Sporadic Linking: Being Creative

Ok, I admit it. I love blogs which have regular link round ups. I love link round ups. I like it when people point out things I might have missed on the internet. So every now and then, I’m going to put together a bunch of links which I’ve found interesting/thoughtful/cool, possibly with a theme. Probably not on a regular day/time . . .

  • One of my lovely Twitter friends has just launched her blog – Mama Finch. She’s planned a regular series interviewing people about combining parenting and creativity. Her first interview, with Penni Russon, is here
  • I’ve spent a significant amount of time poking around Amy Hood Arts the other day. I found her Art Together page – which offers an ezine as well as links to the blog series – a good place to start.
  • A friend linked to this postĀ  – it inspired me enough to get us out of our sick room/house and in to the fresh air for some art
  • We’ll be doing some (within our state) travelling soon – I want to keep art available for Squirm because he enjoys it so much, so I’m looking at travelling art kits. I enjoyed this one, then I got derailed and fell in love with the art kit and the whole blog post over here.
  • My cousin does some urban sketching and I love seeing her work on Facebook – I was happy to find a blog for Australian Urban Sketchers
  • Finally, here’s the blog of one of my all time favourite Australian children’s illustrators – Freya Blackwood. We borrowed The Runaway Hug from the library recently, which is one of those picture books where the story is told twice – once through the words and again through the illustrations. (I think I need to buy some of her prints too)
From The Runaway Hug, written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Freya Blackwood

From The Runaway Hug, written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Freya Blackwood


Heading to Ikea

Today Squirm and I are heading down the highway to visit Ikea. It’s the first time I’ve headed down there this year, which means it’s the first time I’ve ever gone with a baby šŸ™‚ This trip is mostly about looking at ideas and getting a few small things – and Mr Pilot says I’m not allowed to get anything that won’t fit into the boot of the car!

There’s a lot I enjoy about going to Ikea, but this will only be the second time that I go there on my own (since Squirm is too young to give his opinion). I’ve gone with family, friends and Mr Pilot (the only person I know who can go in and out of Ikea in an hour – it took us longer to put the table we bought together), but going on your own is always a different experience. On your own you can take your time to dream over certain sections, and quickly pass by the sections which hold less interest. You’re not held by anyone elses wishes šŸ™‚

So, what will I specifically be looking for today? I want to get lamps for the bedroom and I’m looking for some wall decoration. I want to spend a bit of time looking at textiles as well as some storage ideas.

I promise that I’ll update you on my progress when I return!

The Great Library Tour: Sandgate Library

Adventures of a Subversive Reader

The Sandgate Town Hall which contains the library


The Sangate Library was one that I was really looking forward to visiting as it is situated in the beautiful Sandgate Hall. I was a bit surprised, though, at how small it was – I think the double classroom my teaching partner and I had at the beginning of the year would have been bigger!

The library was the shape of a big rectangle, with the youth section in the back left hand corner next to the checkout desk. I had another surprise when I realised the only furniture in this section was book shelves! Squirm and I had to sit on the floor to enjoy the books. Despite the lack of furniture, it was a comfortable library, and I must say that we felt very welcomed by the lovely staff. The other nice thing was that, because the library set out all radiated out from a central point, it felt like everyone in the library was almost part of a community.

The small youth section (which included picture books, children’s novels and young adult) was very neat and tidy – as you need for such a small space. It had lovely, brightly coloured low shelves for the picture books, and a bright open bookshelf which held displays and board books. There were lovely reading posters and a display of wonderful Alison Lester prints.

There were lots of great books to choose from – and Squirm and I were so comfortable there that we read more than usual! As I said before, the staff were absolutely fabulous, and very interested when I told them about the Great Library Tour. This was a lovely little library, and since we’ve been invited back for baby rhyme time, it looks like we’ll be visiting again!

The best parts of Sandgate Library

  • Lovely feeling in the library
  • Books set out to make the most of the room without feeling crowded
  • Wonderful staff

Important Information about Sandgate Library

Sandgate Town Hall, Seymour St, Sandgate 4017


Monday and Sunday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am – 5pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday: 12 noon – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm

There is parking on the side streets, and usually it’s easy to find a park further up Seymour St.

While we were there . . .

I discovered Sandgate! It’s funny, Sandgate is only about 20 minutes drive from where I live and I had never been there before. I ended up wandering up and down the main street, discovering a couple of nice gift shops, a lovely little retro shop and an awesome second hand bookshop with awesome gifts available. You could also sit near the lagoon and enjoy the free council wi fi. There’s lots of places to eat, and I was told that a walk along the foreshore was definitely worth it (Squirm was getting – squirmy – so we left that for another day. I can’t wait to head back to Sandgate again

Adventures of a Subversive Reader

Adventures of a Subversive Reader
Little gazebos near the lagoon

Sandgate main street

Happy International Baby Wearing Week!

We’re nearing the end of baby wearing week, so I thought now was a good time to write a post celebrating it. I’ve written about baby wearing before and how it opened up my world when I wasn’t able to drive. I’m still actively baby wearing – at least once a day Squirm is worn by Mr Pilot or myself. I’ve mastered the act of feeding in the ring sling and now I’m actively coveting at least one more ring sling, a soft structured carrier and at least one beautiful woven wrap.

In the last week I have baby worn to:

  • stroll the streets of Maleny
  • visit a bookshop
  • have lunch with my mother and father for Dad’s birthday
  • do the weekly shopping, including buying new sheets and pillows for our bedroom
  • go to library rhyme time
  • clean the kitchen
  • go to Spotlight (still wasn’t going to wait in the fabric cutting line up!)
  • go on a train
  • shop in the city
  • have lunch with Mr Pilot for his birthday
  • have coffee with friends
  • visit another library on our library tour
  • visit another book shop
  • go to my first Baby-wearing event!

The last one was probably the most exciting part of the week. I was a little (ok, a lot) geekishly overcome with happiness. Among the gorgeous wraps and carriers and slings, I felt like I belonged. These were people who knew how it felt to have a little face smooshed against you, sleeping the hours away. They understood that you become a bit (a lot) passionate about baby-wearing, and you want to share all the benefits with everyone. They know the benefits for ourselves – being close to our babies and being able to get out and enjoy life. I can’t wait until the next meet up, to get out and try a woven wrap or a carrier, to be able to have longer discussions without the wind being quite so loud. šŸ™‚

Today and tomorrow, we’ll keep on baby wearing. We’re going to breakfast this morning, then to a fair this afternoon. Then out to a birthday picnic tomorrow. Squirm will be there – nestled close to us the whole time.

Smelling the Roses: Great Service makes me happy

Each Friday Iā€™d like to post about something which is beautiful, or funny, or unexpected which has made me happy through the week.

Yesterday was Mr Pilot’s birthday, and Squirm and I went into Brisbane city to have lunch with him. Before we met up for lunch, I had to do a bit of shopping.

I went into five different store and stopped for coffee (and to feed Squirm). At every one of those places, I had brilliant service, and two places in particular went far above and beyond basic customer service. Both times I left feeling uplifted.

So a big thanks to Pulp Fiction, the ABC shop, Typo and Brumbys in the city. And ENORMOUS thanks to Kikki K and T2 for making it such a nice day!

(Also, check out the gorgeous diaries from Kikki K – I bought one yesterday and now I’m itching for 2013 so I can start using it!)

Exploring South East Queensland: The Queensland Air Museum

Queensland Air Museum
Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra

The engines all lined up to run

Mr Pilot (as you may have guessed from his nickname) has been into planes for a very long time. Last year, we fulfilled a bit of a dream of his – flying over to New Zealand and attending the Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow. Well, I was hooked. (It was either the Spitfires or the triplanes that got me) So, when Mr Pilot suggested we attend an engine run day at the Queensland Air Museum, we made the preparations and headed north to check it out. (The preparations mostly consisted of hearing protection for Squirm. The engines can be very loud and we wanted to ensure his hearing was protected.)

After Mr Pilot completed his own flying lesson, we headed up the Bruce Highway to Caloundra. The museum is right near the Caloundra air field, which is just outside of the main centre of Caloundra. It was really easy to find and we found a park easily.

There was a small admission price ($12 per adult usually, $13 for the engine run days) and then we were inside the main museum building. There we immediately saw a scale reproduction of a Spitfire, along with lots of other models and partial planes. Immediately I was impressed by the amount of information that accompanied each display – there was a lot of history here!

We headed outside, past several other planes to the open hanger which contains the bulk of the collection. One thing, which really impressed Mr Pilot, was the number of engines they had. Unfortunately, to get those engines into working order costs a lot of money, and the longer you have to wait to collect that money the more it costs.Ā  We didn’t have much time to look just at that moment, though, since the engines were about to be run.

We put Squirm’s little ear muffs on (which worked perfectly) and went out to watch the engines. They had four on display at the front, although they were only able to run two. Then they also had a giant one, mounted on a truck . Along with this was an actual plane which they need to run to keep it in good condition. Mr Pilot could tell you about all the engines in a lot more detail, but I can tell you they were very loud! Once the engines were finished running, we enjoyed a sausage sizzle and explored the rest of the big hanger before a brief look through the museum entrance building. Before we went home, we were amused to see a little ukulele in the Charles Kingsford Smith display and hear the story about Kingsford-Smith and ukuleles.

This is a great little museum which seems to be running on the love of the volunteers, membership fees and the small admission costs. I always love seeing people who are passionate about things the way they were here. You could spend ages going through the whole museum, but it would be good for a short visit as well if you have a little plane enthusiast. I’d love to head out for the open cockpit day they hold in the middle of the year, where you can actually sit in some of the planes!

If you live up that way – you might also be interested to check out their corporate event and birthday party deals – a nice way to support this museum which having an unusual place to hold an event!

Mr Pilot and Squirm waiting for the engines to run

Our first night away

Today we’re heading off to a wedding about two hours away from our house. As it’s being held at a hotel, we’ll be staying there the night. This will be Squirm’s first night away from home since we left the hospital. And it seems to have turned into a major operation!

My in-laws are coming with us to look after Squirm while we’re at the ceremony and reception, so we’ve needed to include every possible thing they might need to keep his calm, quiet and collected. Then there’s everything he’ll need to (hopefully) get some sleep during the night. Then there’s all our stuff as well!

I’m supposed to have a list of what we need to take with us. So far it looks like this:

  • Squirm (really shouldn’t forget him)
  • Expressed breast milk, bottles etc (in case Squirm gets hungry and I’m not around)
  • Baby wearing wrap and sling (we’re hoping he’ll sleep while my mother-in-law wears him)
  • Swaddling cloths (for Squirm’s fussy hour(s) )
  • Baby clothes (lots – for vomit emergencies)
  • Burp cloths (see previous item)
  • Disposable nappies and wipes (we use cloth, but it’s just not doable when we’re away like this)
  • Someway to dispose of the disposable items
  • Bedding for the portable cot
  • One or two toys
  • Wedding clothes
  • Spare wedding clothes
  • Wedding jewellry
  • Other clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Shoes

Of course the first question is how can such a small child need so much stuff? Followed by ‘what did I forget?’ I suppose as long as I remember Squirm, everything else will be fine . . .we hope!