Please welcome my first guest Imogen Eve - its been such a pleasure getting to know this lovely lady in recent months. Something about her gentle mothering ways, attention to flowering things, explorations in thread and watercolour, as well as the glimpses of my hometown Sydney and the bush surrounding...
All photos by Imogen Eve
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your family
My days are spent at home looking after our little family unit of four - Rodge my partner, Oscar my just turned two son and Nora my almost seven month old daughter.
2. What things in life inspire you most?
Inspiration. Such a broad sweeping question...
[my life inspiration] Memories of my childhood. My own children. The local neighbourhood. That excited feeling that is a brand new day. The Australian bushland. All of the above intertwined. I grew up on the outskirts of Sydney with the most beautiful patch of sandstone bush as my backyard. I always feel settled when native plants are nearby.
[my painting and sewing inspiration] Inspiration for my creativity? Sounds soppy, but I'd say my mum and sisters. Mum has always encouraged us in all forms of visual creativity. She has instilled in my sisters and myself a love of surrounding oneself with beautiful things; found, created or purchased. She introduced me to fabric, sewing, textiles and design.
[my cooking inspiration] just as aside - cooking is a form of creativity that I am only just starting to explore. It is an area where I am lacking confidence. I would say that a large amount of inspiration in the kitchen comes from my Dad, who has always been a great cook, as well as on here - in the blogging world.
3. How do you currently manage mothering, home, life together with working on personal and/or professional projects?
This made me laugh a little. Me, manage? Not very well! I'm a bit of a go with the flow person... For mothering my days take on a rhymth. We have naptime, toilet training, meals and some set activities and outings. My main activities with Oscar include painting, reading cooking, gardening, swimming and truck watching. I've learnt more about garbage trucks in the past year, then I ever though I'd know!
I find being a mother a joy, but I know that I need time alone, this is why I choose to make things. I feel it is good for my mental well-being. Making makes me happy. If I paint, I like to do so by daylight. Which means, at the moment, I hardly ever paint. It is not something you can concentrate on with a boisterous and demanding two year old around. If both babies have a nap at the same time, then I usually end up cleaning or make a cup of tea and collapse in front of my computer. That is why I love embroidery or hand sewing. It is a task that I can undertake even when surrounded by mess. It takes up little space and it can be put away in a second. I love to embroider at night after everyone is in bed.
4. What do you like best about your current set-up?
I love that I have family, especially both grandmas relatively close by - so they are always willing to help our or give me some time out. I know that I am very, very lucky to have my family - especially when compared to the experiences of both my mum and mum-in-law.
5 Are there things you'd like to do differently/better?
I wish I had more time, a whole day just to paint, but isn't that the mantra of all new mums? My bubs won't be babies forever and I must remind myself to be grateful that I get to be their stay at home mum. I don't know many women that are able to have this luxury.
6. What is your favourite part of the day?
Prebabies it was the morning. It still is the morning I suppose, it just takes me a little longer to wake up these days, Nora is yet to sleep through (and Oscar sometimes doesn't either).
7. What advice, if any, would you give other mothers about finding a good balance?
Don't be afraid to ask for help with your children. Whether you need it from your partner, your mother or mother-in-law or you need to hire a babysitter.
Time for yourself is not selfish, it is important. For me its centering, stablizing.
My sewing and painting is my "me" time.