I found this photo in my mother's old photo box. Nobody seems to know who it is. My mother probably knew, but she can't tell us now.
It's a painfully evocative image: a captured moment from the first decade of the 20th century (a fashion degree wasn't completely wasted on me). The burnt-out trunks of tall, straight gum trees (and the fact that it was in a family photo box) suggest that it's most likely in the Otway Ranges in Victoria, immediately after a bushfire.
Are this couple looking back at what was once their home...? Have they lost everything?
What are they thinking?
What did they do next...?
What was their next stage of life like?
I keep coming back to that thought.
I haven't lost everything, but I'm packing up and moving to the next stage.
Since the first hint that life was about to get tricky, the last 18 months or so have been ... transformative... in the slowest and most painful of ways. I've worked on through. I've modified the way that this little business of mine runs. The little engine kept on chugging.... I wrote another book, I did an international trade show, I... kept... on... working....
People who don't know me tell me that I'm "a superwoman", or that I'm "an inspiration", or even that I'm their hero (?!). People who know me tell me to slow down or take a break. And now my own instincts are telling me that I have to stop for a bit.... breathe ...be the type of parent that I want to be.... learn to relax again... I have to change the way that I do things ... again. I hate to let down the people who don't know me, but I am in no way 'super'.
I'm packing up my lovely studio and office and moving house and business to something more home-based.... with time and space to be a small, mother-and-daughter family, first and foremost.
I'm going to continue to do the things that feed my soul.... like teaching.
I've already started using the fantastic space above GJ's in East Brunswick as a teaching space (and there are still places on the zipper class in a couple of weeks time...), and will be teaching at Bargain Box in Mornington and Kimono House in the city in the coming weeks.
I'll also continue to supply my patterns to fabulous online and bricks-and-mortar shops, but I won't be operating a retail space or my own teaching space.
I'll continue to design patterns in both paper and digital format (although I'm taking a short break from both, until I feel rested and settled in my new workspace).
I'm looking forward to my book being published early next year, and I have other plans for new projects. But first, I must rest and settle in to a new way of being.
...And I will plant a vegetable garden. (I've been dreaming about it!)
There is much to be done in the real world right now.
Speaking of the real world... (a tenuous segue... it's completely beside the point of this blog post!)
How is this for a classic Melbourne-weather weekend...?
Above: Saturday. Below: Sunday.
Don't go away... I'll be back.... with shiny new wings.