Monday, 26 March 2007

when I was one I was just begun

A year ago today I started this thing with blogger. At first I was as giddy as a schoolgirl, so in love. But I felt guilty too. I was leaving behind my original blog and while it was far from perfect, we'd been places together. It was when I was planning my overseas stint in early 2005 that a friend suggested I start a blog for the people back home and (I kid you not) I asked what a blog was. Could that have only been 2 years ago?

Blog #1 was where I'd started out and it was witness to my learning curve, both as a blogger and as an expat in Thailand. What an amazing time I had there. So much to see, so much to do. Isolation from home, friends, family and other distractions freed me up to explore new frontiers. That and procrastinating from my real job, writing my Masters thesis.

I was lucky to have a hot house period - both literally and metaphorically - sitting at my sweltering desk day after day oscillating between the dense interior world of academic research and the vibrant exciting world of travel and exploration that awaited me with every trip out the front door. I had a lot to blog about and the time and inclination to explore.

My crafting really blossomed too - mostly because circumstances forced me to use unfamiliar materials and minimal infrastructure, but also because I discovered a crafting community through blogs. Like so many before me I started off with Loobylu, sadly now defunct, and from there the world exploded with inspirations from far and wide. Bit by bit I slid into being a craft blogger first and foremost.

So I moved over to Blogger because my MSN host was (let's be honest) a dog with fleas. I felt really constrained by the technology and hampered from joining the blogging community, largely because commenting was virtually impossible. So I was excited to be going from sole operator to part of something bigger, but the move to blogger also signaled that I was moving on from a time that stood out as one of the happiest and most fulfilling of my life.

I feel sad I can't download the old blog and keep it and maybe even upload it here for posterity and the occasional walk down memory lane. I still remember what it was like writing that first entry after we arrived in our new home, trying to catch hold of everything while it was still fresh and foreign enough to be noticed. Trying to let everyone know what it was like all those miles away from home.

But when you move on from something you also move to something and it's been a great year here. I've made some new friends, in the flesh as well as virtually and I value comments from readers beyond words. The very idea that people read what I say thrills me still - even after all this time.

And I've settled into my blog voice. I don't stress so much about what I am doing here and why. I post crappy photos and don't apologise that they are all I have to offer. I've (mostly) stopped feeling guilty that I don't have time to respond to everyone's comments (especially when people don't link me to their email addresses - oh please do!).

And life is full off the screen too. I am thankful every day for my gorgeous new boy, as well as my amazing not so new girl and my ever surprising, ever surpassing partner in crime. I try to find a little time for crafting, and try not to be unhappy if I don't. I try not to buy too much fabric and I try to enjoy what I do. Ditto for eating and other bad habits.

I'm a little short on time so I'll skip the rest of the sentimental stuff and just say I'm happy. And happier still to be recognising that here. Remind me of it later if I crap on too much about the shitty bits.

To mark this momentous occasion and to say thanks to all of you who read, whether you be commenters or lurkers, and to compensate for comments unacknowledged (see I said mostly not guilty) I'm giving away some presents. The three dolls at the top of this post are up for grabs.

There's Red, a tall wood, wire and felt doll. She is a fun doll to play with because you can move her arms and legs, make her sit or stand or commit obscene acts if you feel so inclined. I suspect she'd be up for just about anything the cheeky minx.

There's Natasha, a small wood, wire and felt doll. She seems a bit iron curtain to me, and if this was 1950 I'd think she might be a sleeper (, and I'd stay alert but not alarmed. If you don't live in Australia that probably means nothing at all to you so I apologise for being so parochial.

And then there's Gretchen the good witch. She's soft and still and inexplicably soothing. Suitable for all ages and heathens.

Now you don't need to have commented before, or have a blog to go in the draw. But you do need to comment here and now (come on! it doesn't hurt to say hi - I won't bite! honest), tell me which doll you'd like and give me your email address. I'll draw the names out of a hat or similar vessel.

I'd like the dolls to go to loving homes, not just be trophies for greedy net trawlers so please don't ask for one just for the hell of it. Do feel free to leave witty jokes or anecdotes for my amusement or tell me why you read my blog or want my dolls, or anything else that's on your mind. I love to read whilst the baby makes a pleasant change from singing happy birthday to me...

*Don't rely on sign in links - please type your email address in your comment!


The Shopping Sherpa said...

You could always convert your old blog into a book at (see SouleMama's at

I'm planning to do my first year as an Easter project...

Nichola said...

Can you not transfer your posts from your old blog to this one? I did this with Wardrobe Refashion when i moved it over to Typepad. I love your dolls and am very glad you are here!

Gudrun said...

First of all, my congratulations to your blog. Why do I read it? Well, it is a very selfish reason: I am German, I live in Germany, but my partner is from Melbourne, being an expat for more than 10 years. We have two daughters, 5 and 4 years old and had planned to go back to Melbourne when school starts. Things have changed, as the younger one is severly handicapped, but we still want to do it one day. So being a crafter I wanted to get a feeling how crafting could be in Melbourne, get a feeling for it because I feel lost without my ressources to cling to. So I came across your blog,loved it and read it day by day. Thank you for sharing.

P.S. I like all three dolls!!!

Helen said...

I love the sleeper, Natascha and i love reading about your Melbourne crafty life. Thanks for sharing and your photos are always fabulous - what are you talking about apologising for? :) When things are going a bit wrong at work here in London I often have the urge to say "be alert but not alarmed" as I think its pretty funny but its just not the same when no one gets it. That and "What the?!". Or "Not happy Jan". Ok I'll stop now. Love your little one in the bonds vest too by the way - those cheeks!

Leah said...

I like to read your blogs because you are immersed ina world of small children, and still find time to think and make. Gretchen would be my choice

h&b said...

Your dolls are lovely, but wasted here. I am commenting because I want to not for gain ;)

I used to do 'webpages' of family life ( very much like a blog, but so much more convoluted, in retrospect ...)

So yeah, i've been 'bloggin' since time began .. just not in blog format.

Perhaps I might print them out ... life/time is even more transient these days, wouldn't you agree ?!

ljmax said...

I've enjoyed your blog for many months...your photos, crafting and mothering reports. Your dolls are incredible as well! Keep it up...

Beth said...

Thank you for the time you take to post (can't be easy to squeeze out time for much of anything with two little ones!) it is appreciated!

I read from Nova Scotia, Canada and have much enjoyed seeing the pictures of your newest munchkin!

(ps, I love all of the dolls!)

tianna said...

I read your blog because it inspires me to try to do more crafting. I can't say I actually do more crafting, but you inspire me anyway. I subscribe to your blog in bloglines, so I read every new post as soon as I see it. I like all the dolls, but since my daughter's birthday is this week I would say the first one would be her favorite.

sarah said...

Yay! I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog - I can't recall how I happened upon you, but I keep coming back, loving the snippets of lovely children, inspiring crafts and the opposite seasons. Today I saw the dolls and just looked at the pictures for some time -- such sweet dolls. I was wrapped up in thinking how I'd love to feel their feltiness, wondering about their personalities... how sweet of you to gift these wonders to some of your readers! Know that they'd be happy in Minnesota, US on the shore of Lake Superior.

Barbara said...

Happy Birthday Soozs blogger!!

I was going to mention the samething that nichola said about the transfer of your posts. I'm pretty sure that blogger has that feature so you should look into it :)

I've admire your craftsty skills since you were on the old blog. I found you through google when I was looking for origami crafts which you had linked and stuck you in my faves. I'm a lurker most of the time but I am a daily reader and have keep up with your life changes and crafts and have been inspired. Thanks!! :D


Kristy said...

I read always but don't often comment.Yours was one of the first blogs I found and I have always loved your no nonsense style.We would definately be able to give Red a loveing home she'd be right at home with my 4 cheeky minxes!

Jessica said...

I come here because it is such a joy to read the musings of an articulate, thoughtful and funny person on matters of crucial importance, like child-raising and crafting. Thank you for contributing to the web-world in this special way. I won't lie, though, I'm also here for the pictures : )

For me, the most of intriguing of these three lovelies is Red; I believe she would make a great rider on the orange Max dog you made me -- I mean, made my daughter. (By the way, everyone who comes into my house makes a beeline for Max. They can't believe how wonderful and amazing and beautiful and special he is. Thank you again for him.) I'm at should I be one of the lucky winners : )

Happy anniversary.

Jill said...

Happy bloggy birthday! So glad that you are here to share your unique view on the world - coming here is a good dose of kiddo squishiness and love too! All 3 dolls are lovely :-)

Anonymous said...

I can't recall exactly how I found you, but I'm so glad I did. You've got such a lovely feel to your writing, such a warm sense of family, and a great sense of humor!

If any one of those dolls wouldn't mind the heat, we'd happily play host to one here in the desert, although I might have to arm wrestle my girlie for her!

I'm at


tracie said...

Happy Birthday to the blog! I found you via your steiner doll tutorial and although I am yet to try it I have attempted others. All the dolls are lovely and look so lovingly made. I love Red. Thailand has to be one of my favourite places and the first place I travelled alone so it too will hold a special place in my heart. Hope your nights are gentle.

Susan said...

Meant to say Happy Blog Birthday yesterday. Belated best wishes. I love reading your blog, I check in every day. You have such an authentic voice, writing about the wonderful, the crappy and all in between. Thankyou and congratulations! Oh, the dolls are lovely, lovely but send them to a home that doesn't do Steiner craft.

suzy said...

I discovered your blog when you were still in Thailand, and enjoyed reading your stories of settling back into Australia, crafting and family life. We're expecting a baby in September so the newborn posts are particularly interesting right now too!
No need for a doll here (they're gorgeous, but I'm trying to minimise belongings while in transit) but please keep posting.


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dizzyjadey said...

Huge milestone! Well done! I'm a frequent reader & sometimes commenter, but I can't remember the last time. I found you via The Washing Line, then onto your craft blog. Having been a new mum nine months ago I found it heartening and entertaining to read about the same things I went through whilst pregnant. Somehow, recently I've focussed more on your crafty blog, which helped inspire me to revive my own crafty/artsy inclinations.
I'd love to welcome Red for my little daughter, if we end up the lucky ones :-)

Cheers, Jade
from jade(dot)dizon(@)exemail(dot)com(dot)au

Beth said...


Janet said...

Happy blog birthday, Sooz!

Kyla said...

Ohh, I love them all. With your inspiration I have started making my own dolls. I've been dying cotton myself with tea and coffee and juice to get my skin tones. I love the whole process, the seeing who is hiding in my felt and cotton mix bag.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about your crafts especially your Steiner dolls. I am interested in the witch doll.


SadieandLance said...

Congrats on the blogger anniversary Sooz. Love reading ur blog and especially love hearing about your adventures with yout new and not so new babes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sooz

I only recently came across your blog via the washing line which a friend told me about. I love reading about your life in Melbourne and feel very inspired by your gorgeous crafting. We are based in London, but lived in Australia for a year and half and loved Melbourne. I also feel inspired that you are keeping on with it, and making an effort to get out there and do things for yourself, despite having a gorgeous newborn and a beautiful not so newborn. I have an 18 month old daughter who I just adore but it is easy to get wrapped up in motherhood and forget there is an outside world and pre-baby self. It was my new year's resolution to do some things that reminded me of the old me this year and it is so refreshing when you do.

Vanessa said...

I found your blog via a Google search for Steiner dolls, and was won by your mothering, craftyness, and, being an Aussie lost in Ohio, a taste of home.
You and a few others inspired me to start my own humble blog, and I come often to 'catch up' with you and your lovely family.
Many thanks, and long may you blog!

ljmax said...

Whoops, here it is:

Di said...

Happy bloggy birthday! No need for dolls at my place at the moment, but they are cute!

Simmy said...

Hi Sooz,

Just wanted to say congrats on the one year. I love looking in and seeing what you're up to all the way over there! Don't put me down for the draw - I've already been well treated by you.