Sunday, October 13, 2013


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 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!)
I will still have the Helen St premises until mid-November, but will be moving to the new house over the next few weeks.  There will still be classes and there will still be patterns, but I may be somewhat quiet online.... (not gone... just quiet). 

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.


Lisa said...

I am the mum in a mum and daughter family too, my daughter is 20 and has left home to go to uni. You wont regret slowing things up a bit, and making more time, once enough of the work stuff to pay those bills has been done! These days matter so much. We don't read much about the single parent biz on the crafty interwebs so I just wanted to add some kindred spirit support. Some days are shiny and smooth and some are much tougher but that bond and your girls face and spirit (and my girls too) make it such a great thing, this family unit we've each created. Good luck with your move, you may not be superwoman but you are brave, creative and obviously a thinker!

debsway said...

Nikki, please enjoy Some slower days, spending more time on what's important to you and your lovely little family and it's important to get your balance back. It's a healthier life for you and your daughter, that matters xxxxxxxx

A Peppermint Penguin said...

take a break, have a rest, slow down, you are still my hero ;-) I mean you are the only person in the world who cares about interfacing more than me, so of course you are!

Did the bookcase sigh when you lifted off the 400wt of "Craft Books"? I won't ask how many boxes :D

Power to your elbow and your wee family.

Lola Nova said...

Nor will we be gone when you are ready to return. I may not be in your shoes, but I do understand upheaval and the huge task of moving house and changing ways. You have been on my mind lately, knowing that you are on the edge of a new adventure, so deep breaths and baby steps to you. It takes time to learn to take a time out for yourself and your family. Love to you and the girleen!

Oh, and yes, a vegetable garden is a most wonderful and therapeutic thing! Have fun!

Su-z said...

I love that you are changing your life to "feed your soul". Sounds wonderful.

meri almeida said...

It sounds good! Good decision.
Wishing all the happiness and good luck. You deserve.
xx Meri

Amanda said...

We all need to stop and take stock every now and again and rebuild. We will still be hear when you have reimerged. Best of luck for your move and I hope your first crop is a good one.

Maggie said...

Just wanted to emerge from my lurking status to see I appreciate your words. They remind me of a great old book I found (hope for the flowers), which talks in part about transformation and the seeming dormancy of being in a cocoon when, in fact, hard work and great changes are happening. Best wishes to you!

breakfast jo said...

Having been in your shoes some years ago, l say, "do not be afraid" Women are tough now as they have been since before that photo was taken. We all get on with the business of raising our families as best we can. We know what has to be done and we just do it. Women are the warp and the weft of the fabric of life, make your fabricky life, weave your creative magic and trust your instincts. You are in great company and never alone. So off you go into this new adventure, it will be liberating! Love to you and the girleen xxx

Lesley said...

Nikki take a break, slow down they say but I can still hear your brain ticking over with what you will be offering next year. A vegetable patch always feeds the soul and the stomach, wishing you all the best for your excitinhg life ahead. x

Kate said...

Wishing you lots of good and interesting change. Yes vegie patches are the best x.

Gillian aka Silly Gilly said...

It may be almost overwhelming to you right now, the change, the upheaval, but the future is so full of possibilities for you Nikki. Rest, rejuvenation, little quiet bonding moments with the girl child will do wonders for you.

Saffron Craig Fabrics said...

HI Nikki, good luck with the transition. It seems like the perfect time to do it. Letting go is hard but rewarding. Life is all about following your bliss! I am glad you are allowing yourself to do so.

Sally said...

Yes. Do slow down, change it up a bit. Taking care of yourself and your family is important. There is no need to rush to get it all done... trust that there will be time to achieve all your dreams.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

May your next stage be positive and filled with more than your share of happiness.
And if there are times when it is not, may the memories of good times and good people get you through.
(Looking forward to the next book)
Happy gardening xxxx

thornberry said...

"Oh Nikki, I am so glad that you ARE slowing down, taking the time to breathe, and to feed your soul. I have every confidence that you and your girleen are moving into a happy new stage of your lives. Moving is stressful, but that garden (among other things) will be worth it! Take care xxx

trash said...

Girlie, garden and breathing. Those sound like just about perfect priorities. Peace to you at this new beginning. Love love.

Katy Cameron said...

Hope the move goes well, and that you get time to rest and recuperate, and plant that garden. Well, provided it stops raining that is ;o)

Leanne said...

Enjoy that little person because in a blink of an eye she will be 21. Slowing down is good we will all be here when you have caught up with life after your move.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Loves of love to you for the transition and the next stage x

Fer said...

My adopted mother grew up in Birregurra and her parents in Deans Marsh/Pennyroyal, so the Otways were very familiar to them. I wish my Nan was still around to see that photo.

Life is such a twisty turny thing, and even though we don't quite think so at the time, bends in roads are always a good thing. I know I can be a bit of a gushing 'groupie' type of follower at times (sorry about that), but I still think you're pretty awesome.

bec said...

What am amazing job you are doing, to keep doing what you are doing! Enjoy the new space-s, and look forward to seeing you soon!

toko sepatu grosir said...

Hope the move goes well, and that you get time to rest and recuperate, and plant that garden.

best regrads
me ;)

Katherine said...

Thinking of you and your girl and hoping that the move and changes are coming together smoothly, Nikki. Wishing the best for you both. Looking forward to catching up!

Tas said...

Ha, ha. I don't miss the Melbourne weather much.

Sounds like a fabulous decision to me. Enjoy it!

aysha latief said...

gah! i used to live in melbourne, and never knew about your classes..