Sometimes reading a blog full of daydreamy visions of domestic serenity is just what you need to help you coast through the day. But sometimes you need a blog that's more like your best friend from junior high. You know, the one that will smirk, roll her eyes with you while nobody is looking, and make you laugh so hard that you both end up in detention hall.
That's Shannon Lamden's blog. You may know her as Aunty Cookie, Australian graphic artist and designer, but be forewarned: this mother of 3 tells it like it is. She's sweet and nutty but there's no sugar coating on this cookie. A sprinkling of cuss words? Yes. A blogged birth announcement that reads "Voted the one most likely to be forgotten when we go to the shops"? Yes. And maybe, quite possibly, if you keep reading, a soft, gooey center? We think so.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start? Ive been blogging since 2006, so nearly five years (Thats a bit scary, wouldnt like to add up the time I've wasted away on the interwebs since then!!) I started because I was bored one day and Googled an old mate's name (as you do) and found her blog - and thought 'I'm totally getting on this bandwagon' and did. Although I knew I had to have some sort of slant and seeing as I have a fine art degree figured I should maybe make use of it and do something arty. So I drew some stuff for my daughter's friends' birthdays, posted it and I kind of just kept going.
In an ocean of warm, sweet domestically blissed out blogs, yours is sort of like a jump into icy salt water (in a refreshing way). Have you noticed that? Ive always just written the way I speak and pretty much what comes directly into my head and out of my mouth. There is little editing going on. If I want to sell something I say so. I don't see the point in buttering up my readers seeing I don't know who most of them are and am likely never to cross paths with them!! In real life I'm rarely chatty or overly cheesy and maybe sometimes on the abrupt and snappy side, so by default my writing is the same. I mean, I'm not a total pain in the ass but I'm no blissed out mama!
I do read alot of blogs where I see lovely homes, lovely well dressed kids, lovely lives blah blah blah. And I know its not all true, everyone has their good and bad days and what's shown on the interwebs is how they prefer to be seen. I have no problem with that, I need something to roll my eyes at! Im just not one of those. Sure I have pics of my kids or bits of our home looking cute and all , but the majority of the time it doesn't, My craft is never perfect and what I blog about is the truths of my life.
How do you balance your time between work and kids? Have you had to slow down now that #3 has joined the family? I don't balance my time - I don't think I will ever be able to balance my time! The two older kids are pretty used to me working around them - I use a little slave labour around here and try to make packing orders into a game for them. Lola even told someone once that my job was 'going to the post office'. One is at school, one is at part time pre-school and the baby at home with me so I work around her sleep times and all the drop off/pickups I do. The main adjustment from having number three is me getting used to not being able to work as much as I used to. In the beginning I was getting really frustrated about not getting all my work stuff done as well as running this very tight ship at home, now I feel I've relaxed into the 'three kid mothering job' a little. Offloaded jobs and shock horror - sometimes I even work in a messy house. I know I am meant to say that raising the kids is my number one priority - and you know, most of the time it is - but really working runs a really close second - because if I didn't get a chance to make stuff I'd go freakin' nuts.
What's your favorite thing you've ever made? What projects or designs are you currently on? I'm not sure I have one particular thing - I do like making quilty patched things. I like cutting the fabric and mixing and matching bits together - it's a nice brainless exercise and I find this kind of sewing quite calming. At the moment I'm working on a full colour fabric range. I've come to terms with it being a super long process because of the running about with kids etc..but it's something I have started to take a crack at and play about with and will put to work in the small chances I get. I am also working on a new cushion design which will be out in the next month or so.
Where do you go on the web for inspiration?Always Flickr for trawling through images of peoples crafts and designs. I subscribe to a bunch of blogs that range from interior design to quilting to fashion to cutesy crafters to fabric trends. I can be inspired by the most banal things: crap TV, conversations, other crafters' failures! I have a group of crafty mates I run stuff by, and I guess this kinda brainstorming inspires me to make more and do more with my ideas.
Thank you, Shannon! Readers, in addition to Aunty Cookie, be sure to check out Shannon's amazing textile designs at Aunty Cookie on Etsy where you can find her fabrics, cushions, fat quarters, and more!
(Images: Shannon Lamden)