Monday, August 31, 2009

thriving carrot tops

The carrot tops on the kitchen window sill are growing at a rapid rate - but I am still none the wiser as to what to actually do with them?!?!?

The carrots in the vege patch are also burgeoning... don't they look lush?

...and now enough about carrots until they're actually big enough to eat!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Winter is drawing to a close and before it passed us by for another year my partner thought it would be a good idea to have a fire. His eagerness for a fire happened to neatly coincide with the need to dispose of some old wooden barrels that had for the most part rotten.
We drank a bottle of red wine and ate homemade pizzas sitting under the stars in our backyard. It was wonderful. It has been a long time since either of us has been camping and sitting around the fire was very relaxing. There is something very beautiful and mesmerising about watching a fire.
Master E. woke later in the evening after having a nightmare and I took him outside to sit by the fire and have a cuddle. It was the first fire he had ever seen. He was both enchanted and afraid of it... and very puzzled as to where it had come from.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

playing with birds

Would it suprise you to know that I'm not fond of birds?

In the past I have actually been rather afraid of them, but with the passing of time I have learnt to tolerate their presence.

During my recent screen printing course I laboured over 3 little birdies and now over the past week I have been spending a lot of time on the Avairy site playing around with all kinds of birds - a phoenix, a falcon and a toucan.

Above is one of my creations.

Friday, August 28, 2009


my screens

Last night was my final screen printing class. I took along some of my own screens so that I could take advantage of the school's exposure unit - two of the screens worked out but the other two were monumental disasters to the extent that I just cleaned them off ready to start again. Whilst disappointed that the screens weren't successful it was really fortuitous that it happened. The ol' cliche about learning from mistakes has been characteristic of my learning style throughout my life. It was really interesting to see how the course facilitator worked out what the problem had been and how to solve it. If this had happened whilst I was starting out all on my own I think I would have been really stumped. Still, my skill level has really come along over the past couple of months. Funny to think that printing some orange elephants on fabric started this journey... who knows where it will take me?

I'm disappointed not to be heading off to class on Thursday nights. Obviously I have an interest in learning about screen printing but it was particularly fantastic to spend a couple of hours in the company of adults!

Can't wait to get started at home. Might be a couple of weeks until I really get started as I have a few other projects waiting to be finished off ... story of my life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Master E's egg

The theme on playschool this week was ducks and as such one of the craft activities was to decorate pieces of cardboard cut in the shape of an egg.
Master E. was quite taken with the idea of eggs that day and as such was actually prepared to give the activity a go. He is starting to show more interest in arts and crafts - much to my delight.

All in all it was quite an eggy day - hard boiled egg for lunch and omelette for dinner.
So what to do with the egg shells?
I used them in my on going battle against snails and slugs in the vege garden. Crushed egg shells are a great way to ward off these slimy creatures as they find it difficult to move over the sharp edges. Works a treat :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the final incandescent

our last incandescent bulb
Incandescent bulbs are now banned in Australia and tonight we used our last "old fashioned" bulb - from now on it will be the new environmentally savvy florescent bulbs for us.
A strange thought occurred to me as I fetched the bulb from the laundry stores - this household item that has been so common and familiar to me throughout my life will, to my children, be an antiquated relic. An object representing old fashioned ways and the past.

Monday, August 24, 2009

sprouting carrot tops

day 14

After two weeks the carrot tops are really starting to take off - much to Master E.'s amusement and wonder. "O wow!" he exclaims with sheer excitement as I show them to him.

So what happens now? If I eventually plant them in the garden will I get carrots?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

lined jacket & cuffed pants

A jacket & pants for Ms. M

This is my first attempt at making a fully lined jacket. It took me ages to figure out how to finish it! I was stuck on how to sew the lining into the sleeves. Pleased with my first attempt at a ladder stitch - barely detectable. I've decided against buttons at this time, which in light of my recent haul of buttons may seem to be a strange decision. However without buttons the jacket sits on Ms. M so nicely and it is so easy to turn inside out for another look (... excellent for hiding food slops when we're out & about!). I suppose I could sew buttons on both sides using the same button holes but I wonder if that would be uncomfortable as she crawls all over the floor. Maybe I'll change my mind... ?!?!

Using material from an old skirt of mine and the remnants from the lining I also made some pants.

Ms. M looks so cute in the outfit - but no photos yet - she is so quick getting around these days it is becoming harder and harder to take a decent pic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

3 little birdies fall from the tree

3 little birdies
I'm a bit disappointed with the end result for my little birdies. I really struggled to register my colours and with the wisdom of hind sight I would have made some adjustments to the way I approached making the film positives and the screen.
With the benefit of twenty-four hours I am learning to appreciate the end result. There is certainly that quality of naive art to them. More importantly I am appreciating the learning opportunity that their creation has provided me.
I feel like I am busting at the seams to do some more. There are so many designs and ideas that I have swirling around in my mind. Next week is the final class. I don't want it to end :(

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

dinosaur pants

Some pants for Master E.

Sewing for a boy is a bit of a challenge. The fabrics are blah and inspiration can be in short supply too, certainly in comparison to what is out there for girls. This is something that I am working on - I'll keep you posted on what I come up with.

Being two and a half years old he wasn't at all keen to model them but I eventually got a shot of him wearing them.

the handsome Master E.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

eeeee-aw eeee-aw

a fireman & his truck ... in case you didn't already know.

Monday, August 17, 2009

carrot tops

day 7

In addition to growing carrots in our vegie garden I thought it would be fun to show Master E. carrot tops growing on the window sill. I remember doing this when I was a child. Rather than putting the carrot tops in the worm farm they've been placed on a bed of cotton wool and watered daily (about a tablespoon) as I do the dishes. By day five there was evidence of green shots about to burst into life. Amazing really how quickly new growth appears.

carrot tops - first week in review

Sunday, August 16, 2009

consuming kids

I watched the documentary Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood (on iview) tonight. The film was produced by Media Education Foundation in the United States. It was eye opening to say the least and a timely reminder of the omnipresent power of marketing on us all - let alone small children.

Whist I gather that the situation in the United States is much worse than it is here in Oz, where there are at least some regulations, watching the documentary reinforced to me the value of hand made non-mass produced items.

For me the film also raised very personal concerns and questions. How, as a mother, do I protect my children from such sophisicated forms of marketing? Marketing that at its very heart would have my children value themselves less if they don't possess products being promoted. Marketing that is ubiquitous.

"This generation of children is marketed to as never before. Kids are being marketed to through brand licensing, through product placement, marketing in schools, through stealth marketing, through viral marketing. There's DVDs, there's video games, there's the internet, there are iPods, there are cell phones. There are so many more ways of reaching children so that there is a brand in front of a child's face every moment of every day." - Dr. Susan Linn, the Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

stormy saturday

looks like snow - the ground is actually covered in hail

When the skies opened up today it bucketed down hail... and more than once too! A perfect day to stayed cuddled up in bed reading a book - which is exactly what I did this afternoon. Finished Middlesex - will write about it soon after I have collected my thoughts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 little birdies get their wings

I had my screen printing class yesterday evening. I am really really loving it. So much learning and so much fun. There isn't much formal instruction - the class is really a huge play session - lots of trial, error and experimentation. The faciliator is great, always willing to answer questions and manages to maintain a serene expression in the face of absurdity.

3 little birdies get their wings

Thursday, August 13, 2009

flowers especially for me

What an angel! Flowers for his mama & doing the dishes (see background) too.

Master E's father usually sends a text message when he is walking home from the station to let us know that he is almost home. E loves to go outside and run down the street to his Dada's welcoming arms. A new addition to this evening ritual is that E likes to pick flowers from our neighbours gardens. He comes running back into the house with a gigantic smile and a little bunch of flowers especially for me - his mama. My heart melts - moments like these make all the hard work worth it :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

lots and lots of buttons


I'm pretty stoked with this score. There are button in this pile that I remember from my Nan's collection... it is about time someone used them!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

wet weather play

Winter with its rainy days is the time for lots of indoor tents...

Monday, August 10, 2009

carrot shoots

Successful germination - so far so good. Early signs of carrots to come :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ribbons and ric rac

These ribbons and ric rac recently came into my possession - the result of a clean-up at my mother's house. She actually gave me quite a few packages, including a bag full of buttons, but this is all I have had a chance to sort through so far.

Friday, August 7, 2009

3 little birds

I had my screen printing class last night. Our homework last week was to come to class with a multi-coloured design made into a film positive.
We then used our film positives to make stensils on our screens using photo emulsion.
By the end of the class I had printed my first colour...

I'm really looking forward to next week's class when it will be time to give adding further colours a go. No matter how it turns out it is going to be an interesting process and certainly a learning experience.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

not quite the first tuesday bookclub

I haven't finished Middlesex but I am well and truly into the text and rather enjoying it. A lot of the first part of the novel is set in what is now western Turkey around the cities of Bursa and Izmir. I have been to both of these cities and can really visualise the regions.

Thank goodness for iview - I'll be able to watch the show later - but of course I am now running late for next month!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

what I can't live without?

... the washing machine!

Today my washing machine has become temperamental.
There are piles and piles of dirty washing to get through before the rain returns.
Fingers crossed today was just an aberration.
I don't even want to consider what my life would be like without my washing machine.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

entertaining a sick baby

Ms. M has been very sick for the past couple of days :(. We're all suffering a severe case of sleep deprivation and with Master E. feeling a bit under the weather too there have been a couple of nights where we've been sleeping four to the bed.

Baby karaoke is a great way to entertain and distract a sick bub - especially when you're completely exhausted too.