A Very Vintage Halloween…

A Very Vintage Halloween…

Hello Little Ones, Being Australian we really don’t do Halloween, although this isn’t stopping every major retailer from here to Tasmania giving their October marketing dollar a red hot run. So rather than spend the whole (I’m only spending a small portion) post bitching about it I shall share some gorgeous Halloween vintage photography with you instead! I’ve got to say unless you’re American and want to have a fun gathering teaching us Colonials all about this delightful tradition, I feel that by ‘celebrating’ Halloween here in Melbourne you’re likely to get, at best arrested, and at worst, never spoken to again by your neighbours who (I presume like most Aussies you ignore for the whole year, including Christmas Day) can find it rather surprising, to say the very least, to see their close neighbours ghoulishly-dressed child magically appear on their front porch, come early evening on October 31st, demanding sugary treats… Honestly friends, just give it a miss or use it as a good excuse for a catch-up with a few other families and have a backyard BBQ, letting the kids run free, now that daylight savings has arrived. Take a look at the tradition of Halloween and how and why it started; base your celebrations around that if you wish. So, rather than feature anything spooky, scary or gruesome, don’t into the hype here in Australia (this comment is to be thoroughly ignored, my darling and most delightful followers from the good ol’ US of A – this is your celebration; enjoy!) I thought I’d share some awesome vintage Halloween images for you to enjoy! So darlings. Enjoy!

Vintage Halloween kids

These little devils files look like they’re having fun!

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Every year since 1952, Margery became more and more concerned that her sons may not find suitable wives.

Vintage Halloween monkey boy

Timmy was told to sit on the naughty step after he stole another banana.

Wolf man vintage Halloween

Giving Frank the table scraps seemed to be giving his coat a glossy shine.

Vintage Halloween kids

It was going to be a long night…

Vintage Halloween

Gladys and Bob were thrilled that adoption laws had finally been relaxed.

Vintage Halloween

The spacesuit always made Bobby feel he could punch above his weight.

Vintage Halloween

Edith kept kept a momento from each of her ex-husbands.

Love Mrs Jones x

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Slow Toys from Little Citizens Boutique…

Slow Toys from Little Citizens Boutique…

I’ve just read a great blog post from a fab online store I stumbled across today, all because I was searching for one of these…

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So, anyhow, do yourself a favour and read this article because this great article has only strengthened my belief in slowing down our lives to a mid-century pace…

With love, Mrs Jones x

“May 25, 2014 How Slow Toys make for better child development.

What in the world is the Slow Toy movement? Like the Slow Food and the Slow Fashion movements, we now have a Slow Toy movement and thank goodness for that.   Along with their darling baby there are two things that arrive at the house of every new parent 1. noise and 2. plastic.

Toy trends of the recent past insist the louder and more plastic the better. Walk up and down the aisles of the biggest toy stores and you notice most toys today need batteries because they do something. Sometimes they even masquerade as educational, think of the loud A’s, K’s, P’s resounding through your living room –but the tide is changing. A new movement is gaining momentum.

It’s called the Slow Toy movement and it celebrates old-fashioned ideas of play because children don’t actually need all the bells and whistles. The theory is that children can be taught and encouraged to explore their own ideas, through listening and by giving them creatively designed toys. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to take the time to get down on your knees and play with your kids, this will help them slow down long enough to ignite their imaginations.

Thierry Bourret, a French toy distributor in the UK coined the term in 2011. Bourret also founded the Slow Toy Awards, held annually in London, they award toys that are well made and nicely designed. There is an element of educating children on taste, the way you would teach a child to enjoy the flavour of a tomato, but most importantly– the toys must allow children to make a world of their own. Another important goal of the Slow Toy movement is to buy ethically and it’s no coincidence that many of the manufacturers of slow toys are small family companies. The inspiration often stemming from their own genuine parenting values and not from the board rooms interested in licensing TV characters. Your purchase helps to support a way of life for villagers, crafts people, families and artists.

There are similarities to the Slow Food movement as well, like the desire to draw attention to the drawbacks to the globalization of toy brands. Why should ever little girl in the world want to be a Disney princess? There is a risk of homogeneity and not celebrating individual differences. The reason it’s so important to wake up to this new trend is because there is sound science backing up its benefits for our children. Studies, including one recently published by the Mid Continent Research for Early Learning, an important learning think tank in the US, have shown that when children have time to engage in unstructured play and make-believe they develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function helps kids to self-regulate, which means controlling their emotions and behaviours.

The study concluded that, “today’s 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and today’s 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago”. The study explains that self-regulation is incredibly important. Poor executive function is associated with drug use and crime. It goes so far as to say that a good executive function is a better predictor of success in school than a child’s IQ, which is really quite revolutionary. Howard Chudacoff, a cultural historian at Brown University, publishes on the subject a history of play. He has studied the radical changes that occurred in the second half of the 20th century. He says, “Instead of spending their time in autonomous shifting make-believe, children were supplied with ever more specific toys for play and predetermined scripts.

Essentially, instead of playing pirate with a tree branch they played Star Wars with a toy light saber.” Chudacoff calls this the commercialization and co-operation of child’s play. In other words those loud plastic toys may be doing our kids a disservice. Let kids do what they do best, use their imagination to explore the world. And then hope that you can keep that spirit alive well into adulthood.  “

Upon life sucking as a mother, and it’s not why you think…

Upon life sucking as a mother, and it’s not why you think…

What’s on my mind at the moment? Glitter.
Why?

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Yes, Rebecca, why, when I can hear the anguished cries of my beloved daughter in the next room with my husband calming her, would glitter be on my mind?

Bear with me friends as I give you this longish, but I think, rather interesting, backstory…

You see, this month alone I’ve had 4 separate stays in the hospital due to a bulging disc in my back and the complications that have come about from bits and pieces related to this chronic condition I must suffer for life with.

Surely not! I hear you cry! Modern technology! Modern medicine! Modern stuff, anything… Nope. Doesn’t work that way.

Just last week I was told by this State’s most super, of all super doctors who are super at this orthopaedic kind of thing, that I’ll always have ‘episodes’ where my back goes ‘out’. I’ll always need super strong drugs and super awesome doctors to help me during said ‘episodes’ and even super rehab people to build me up again and, of course, rely on my super trusty bloody walking stick AT THE AGE OF 42.

Each and every time this happens – you know, probably a few times a year if I’m unlucky…

As I type this my husband is still comforting our daughter who it seems is probably teething again. And what’s on my mind? My daughter? Nope – that is too painful to think about so I’m doing my best to move over to glitter at the moment. Because I love it. It’s pretty. It makes me happy.

Why? Because if I don’t I think I may just go mad…
Honestly it would be so easy to just let go and stop fighting to keep it together, because life is really rather awful for me, and our family, in many ways at the moment.

You see, Edie my daughter, who will be one in a few days won’t come near me if she has a choice. If she’s given to me she struggles to get away and if she’s got to stay with me for a few minutes she’ll scream the house down before she realises she’s stuck and better make the most of an unfortunate situation.

As a mother, who frankly went through something akin to hell to carry her to a safe gestational state to leave my body, I die a little inside each time she turns away…

Why has this happened and why on earth to me? A mother who a few short weeks ago was the centre of my daughters world?

Well my friends it seems that everything comes at a cost! Some more severe than others…

You see all of the ‘wonderful’, pain relieving medicines I’ve been given to get me moving, need additional medicines to cancel out the rather bad side effects of the ‘wonderful’ medicines; but in addition to the ‘wonderful’ drugs and their additional ‘wonderful’ helpers I still need to take daily doses of ‘restricted’ medicines that give me relief from what is called ‘breakthrough’ pain.

This, on it’s own – besides being a confusing and extraordinarily large amount of pills – isn’t actually that bad…

Well it wasn’t all that bad until I came home from my first hospital stay of 5 days; where, by the way, I found myself a Grandma – hooray (I’ll save that story for another post!).

I’ve never been away from Edie for that long before, and Mr Jones brought her and Dexter in to visit me daily. But when I got home she was not particularly thrilled to be around me, which I took as just her being a little snippity at my ‘holiday’ away from her, the centre of my universe!

Nope. The little narc knew I was on ‘drugs’! She could sense it! It seems that she knew I was on some pretty strong stuff and as a primal protective behaviour decided I wasn’t up to the job of Mama and so Daddy better gear up pretty quickly because he had become her number choice of parent! Fair call… In fact, I felt pretty proud that she had such strong instincts that could protect her.

But, 4 weeks and another 3 hospital stays down the track, I now need to keep something pretty positive in my mind before I go to bed these days… Hence the glitter. It makes me happy – don’t judge.

You see friends, the fabulous and, I’m sure, personally delightful, team of medicos at the hospitals I’ve recently been the guest of, in their collective wisdom actually decided to put me, a patient who is on daily medication for anxiety/depression, onto these ‘wonderful’ medications whose collective side-effects include –

“trouble sleeping; feeling anxious, nervousness, unusual thoughts or dreams or feeling deep sadness; abnormal thinking or changes in mood; unusual changes in mood or behaviour; signs of new or increased irritability or agitation; signs of depression”

Well, God Bless ’em because within 2 weeks on the meds guess who was up at the ED for a midnight visit suffering from some ‘unusual thoughts’: my iPad was controlling my mind (actually this could be closer to reality than I’d thought…); some ‘abnormal thinking’: none of it was Steve Jobs fault and he was NOT to be blamed, especially by Mr Jones; and some ‘unusual changes in behaviour’: I spent a good deal of my trip to the hospital making the exact noise Edie does, a clicking/blurting thing… She’s not yet one. I’m 42. Clearly this wasn’t an awesome change in behaviour…

Don’t fear, I’m not done here, there’s so much more to tell you and the answer to why being a mama is killing me at the moment, and yep, it’s definitely NOT why you’ll think it is…

So darlings, keep a sharp eye out for my next post which includes more of the charming, and I’m sure amusing, adventures of ‘Becky the useless and rather disliked by her progeny Mama’…

Love you all more than ever (the drugs make me say stuff I only think!)
Mrs Jones x

Organizing Continued…

Organizing Continued…

Taa daa! I’m nearly done organizing my little crafty space! And… I’ve managed to find room for my collection of Japanese piggies, my Kewpies and my vintage religious icons too!

My wool has a new home, so that I can see what I’ve got…
My washi tape is happily organized into jars.
Knitting needles, crochet hooks and little bits and bobs are sitting amongst the Kewpie dolls.
My reference books, vintage and current knitting patterns are within easy reach and…
With all of this work comes a much clearer mind!

How did this amazing thing happen?

Well, my Physio, God bless that woman, gave me the all-clear with looking after bebe myself! Modified lifting, T.E.N.S. Machine for pain relief and physiotherapy, combined with patience and accepting I’m pretty much unable to use that arm as I did for the time being, is my reality. Hoorah!

And to ensure I keep Mother happy, I okayed a few things with the Physio – her continual questioning of the safety of crochet and knitting (the things keeping me sane!) whenever she saw me was starting to get a bit much!

My life is beginning to get back to normal at an albeit, physically slower, pace.

I’ve managed a one-armed, and occasionally helped, clean out and reorganising of my crafty workspace (just a few little things left to finish off) and I’m feeling able to breathe and think straight again…

I thought I’d share some pictures to show you I’m on the way! Hooray!

Love to you all,
Mrs Jones x

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Organizing…

Organizing…

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Okay… so my workspace is a total mess! Seriously, I have to tiptoe between piles of wool, stacks of paper and baskets of stuff… Stuff, stuff, stuff everywhere and it’s making me feel so disorganized and out-of-sorts in every other area of my life.

There is a reason for this madness! I decided to ‘tidy’ or ‘consolidate’ or, well, I suppose you could say organize little crafting and workspace, but the problem is I seem to be working in circles and not achieving anything much!

This may have something to do with the fact that for the past 2 weeks, and for the following 4, my left arm is in a sling and out of action due to a tendon tear that hasn’t been healing. This also means I’ve got helpers in my home from 9 am to 5pm to pick up, play with and change my bubba and drive us where we need to go… (I adore and am incredibly blessed and thankful for these wonderful people, but being a bit of a lone-wolf it is actually causing me EXTREME stress and anxiety!!!)

I just can’t seem to get myself organized and I think it could be because the rest of my day is so disorganized because I’m not in my normal routine and cannot do the things I normally do around the house and to keep the house running smoothly!

What do you do to get back on track when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
How do you physically organize your craft/workspace at home?
Have you ever had a big craft supply clean out?

I’d love to hear what you do to get yourself organized because friends, I’m starting to sink over here!

Love Mrs Jones x

Edie’s Outfit Autumn 2014

Edie's Outfit Autumn 2014