Wednesday, March 31, 2010

just a minute …in march

Listening… to lots Ministry of Sound albums. Loving it. Also listening to my little girl ‘talk’ and my boy ‘read’ stories to me. Loving that too.

Reading… material relating to my job. Lots of catching up after over fifteen months on maternity leave. Not particularly exciting reading material at all.

Watching… The Wire. This lady said it was addictive and she was right. Also been watching Beautiful People on the ABC on Wednesday night. So so so very funny. Managed to find some time to watch Lost in Austen on DVD while I crocheted too. The concept and idea are brilliant and it was certainly a fresh take on a story that I know very very well… but… I find the whole concept of time travel disturbing. What about all the people in the present worrying about where the heroine is? My concern for the principal character’s worrying mother can be a bit of a spoiler.

Sewing… a peg pinny that is perhaps the most useful thing I have made to date. I still get a thrill when I put it on to head outside to hang out a load of washing. Weirdo hey? Also made up some matching PJs for my handsome boys and managed to finish a pile of WIPs. Perhaps most exciting was learning to use a rotary cutter and sew little bits of material together. Surprising how enjoyable the process is.

Crocheting… square after square for my granny square blanket. Started crocheting another scarf – this time in my partner’s team’s colours while I waited for wool to be delivered but have since abandoned the project for the time being.

Photographing… with my new camera! YAY! …but sometimes getting frustrated that there just aren’t enough sunlight hours in the day. 

Playing… for the last time in the ocean until next summer.

last summer swim

march sewing challenge :: a softie


This month’s challenge was to sew a softie. Once again I left it to the very last moment and have just scrapped in to finish by month’s end. My effort is this little bunny ring for a special boy’s first Easter.

bunny ring

His face is a bit wonky, sporting a somewhat wry expression and one of his ears is a tad longer than the other. I hope he will be loved. I think he will be.

Head on over to Carolyn’s for more softie love.

map 287: K2

K2 Map 287 K2 Map 287 postcard

Dear  ….,

Our K2 adventures have taken us to map 287 and the Vietnam War Memorial in Kings Park. I confess that we’ve been to this part of the park many, many times before, as neighbouring L2 has a most wonderful play ground, filled with prehistoric animals and a duck pond, but this was the first time that I realised there was a monument to the soldiers of the Vietnam War. I’d never noticed it before. A fine sculpture depicts two soldiers on patrol, but not in a gratuitous heroic mode. The memorial was only opened in 2002 and regardless of your attitudes to war it is just that the participants of this war are now being acknowledged.

♥ Sally

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

fashion faux pas?

fashion faux pas?My boy is certainly developing his own style. One of his recent ensembles consisted of his prized Diego singlet (underwear) his much loved guitar pants worn back to front (why have the pretty pattern at the back where it can’t be seen?) and his lamb slippers (comfort rules supreme).

I’ve adopted the attitude that he can wear what ever he chooses from his wardrobe. I do sometimes wonder though how will he feel about this in fifteen years time?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

piecing it together

You might remember that last month I attended my very first sewing guild meeting. This Saturday past was my second meeting. Once again I had an amazing time even if I didn’t get around to using the invisible thread.invisible threadI did, however, use a rotary cutter for the very first time and the 1/4 inch seam foot. Love that foot – so nifty. With some very experienced guidance, I attempted for the first time piecing bits of fabric together to form a Seminole design.rotary cutterMistakes have been made here and there, but thankfully nothing that couldn’t be unpicked. This type of sewing goes against my nature – precision and patience are not there as my prominent attributes… but I dug down deep and found them lurking within.oops! Here’s what I’ve done so far. I’m pretty chuffed considering this is my first attempt at this style of sewing. Is it patchwork? No doubt a strange question for many of you – but the fabric pieces were all rather large at the beginning so I’m not sure if this is known as patchwork or perhaps another term? Please – enlighten me!so far...Hopefully it goes without saying that is was just so lovely to sew with such an amazing and diverse bunch of women. There is so much to be learnt, so many laughs to have and beyond that an awesome sense of being part of something greater. Sisterhood.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

my creative space :: doing it for the kids

It’s all about creative children this week.Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham This book is awesome. Profiling lots of modernist artists it is jam packed with  projects, many of which use recycled materials.  Already, having only really flicked through its pages, I’ve been inspired to facilitate my little ones creativity with many of the book’s projects. (…and I might even have a go at some of them on my own too!)Alexander Girard (p24-5)Mega Bite Monster laptop case (p78-9)Case Place - a modernist fort (p114-5)Watch this space to see our modernist creative output over the next couple of weeks.

Talking of children’s creative spaces… check this out: hail damaged easelHail damaged easelThe holes in the children’s easel is hail damage from Monday’s storm. Full on.

Now you best be off to check out more creative spaces over at Kirsty’s.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

finished (and struck from the list of things to do)

I present to you some finished projects:

1. The Birdie Shopping Bagbirdie shopping bagHeld up in production due to me completely forgetting how I fluked lining my original shopping bag. I finally managed to line this one after spending a lot of time with a lost friend. The pleats on one of the handles is an unintended design feature. The lining and the outer just didn’t match and I couldn’t bring myself to unpick it again!

2. Lounge Pants for Mr. 3lounge pants for Mr. 3 These lounge pants (… that’s just a fancy name of pyjama pants isn’t it? A euphemism of sorts so that we don’t feel so slothful hanging out in what effectively are our PJs) are for Mr. 3.  They have been waiting for the elastic in the waist for I don’t know how long. Both are made from old sheets. The floral pants I needed to hem as well. I thought I’d play around with one of the stitches on my (relatively) new machine.what should this stitch be used for?Obviously this stitch isn’t ‘suppose’ to be used for hemming pants – does anyone have any idea what its ‘proper’ purpose would be?

3. Baby Pantsbaby pants These pants are for a baby born not too long ago. I started them and then stopped when I found putting the elastic in the legs too fiddly. I think I’ve mastered it now. I was really starting to feel the pressure on this project as babies don’t stay small for long.

It feels really good to have finally finished these projects. Strange how some things just tend to hang around like a bad smell. Why is that?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

perhaps with a little help from my friends

argh!!! I cannot crochet in rows.

I can’t seem to crochet in rows!  My granny-a-day challenge is on pause at the moment as I wait for more yarn to arrive from the Bendigo Wool Mill, so I thought I’d start making a footy scarf for my lovely other. Aside from the fact that I didn’t chain stitch the foundation row long enough it has gone all wonky again.

The aim is lovely rows of double crochet. What am I doing wrong? Any tips or tricks that you think might help me out?

Monday, March 22, 2010

when the skies opened

hailThere was a colossal storm in my little corner of the world this afternoon. At 3:30 in the afternoon I started turning on lights due to the dark sky and then twenty minutes later the heavens opened up and pieces of hail came plummeting from the sky. It was terrifying. I stood at the side door and watched our neighbour’s roof become pocked marked with holes, the noise of the hail was deafening, the visibility poor, trees violently moving from side to side. The hail was moving with such forceful velocity that as it landed on the lawn some of the pieces would bounce up and over the garden fence. Tremendous.  A flash flood rushed past the door lapping at the step. And then it was silent, if only for a small moment, before the emergency services’ sirens could be heard screeching in what seemed like every direction. Hard to believe that just two hours earlier we had been playing at the park.

Another storm passed over again a couple of hours later and whilst the torrential rain burst open our eaves, it wasn’t nearly as terrifying. The damage will need to be assessed more closely tomorrow. What ever it might be we’re much more fortunate than those people at Mount Eliza who have been affected by the landslide.

Tonight seemed like the perfect moment to give my boys their matching pyjamas that I recently made for them. Nice to be all rugged up on such a night… boys in their matching pjs … don’t they look so sweet sitting next to each other like two peas in a pod? I can tell you that Mr. 3 was rightly chuffed sitting there with his Dada in matching duds.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

my creative space :: cracking the WIP

the WIP pileThis pile of WIPs (works in progress) have been hanging around my creative space for longer than I care to disclose. In the pile are some lounge pants for my precious babes that only need to be hemmed and the elastic threaded through the waist – so close to the finish line and yet still haven’t been finished for months. I’m at a loss to explain it. Also in the pile is a shopping bag that I have forgotten how to line. I made this one back in October last year but can’t remember how I got it all nicely lined. Mentally this very small project is starting to look like scaling a mammoth rock face. I know that the answer is to dive in, seam ripper at the ready, and nut it out – but that is so much easier to type than to do. Also in the pile are some panties that I have been meaning to make for Ms. M. I’m not a big fan of the exposed nappy so it was my intention to make some panties for her to wear over her nappy and under her summer frocks. Ooopps… summer’s over and I still haven’t finished them. I’m stuck on the step that requires elastic to be threaded through the casing around the leg. It’s fiddly.

So there you go… my creative space this week is all about finishing these projects that have been hanging around for too long. I’m hoping that by confessing them to you I will find some motivation to finish them… if you don’t hear about the completed products soon – do me a favour and crack the whip!

Now head on your way to Kirsty’s where you can gorge yourself on creativity.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the wire

the-wire-posters Have you seen this television series? You probably have. After all the first season, which I have just finished watching, was made in 2002. I am often way behind. If you haven’t seen it you really must. The Wire is awesome. Generally speaking I’m not into cop drama. I don’t watch them on the tele – which now explains why I probably missed this one – I’ve never seen an episode of NCIS Whoop Whoop, or Cold Case or Law and Order … it’s not my kind of thing. For a while there I would watch hospital dramas but after constant hysteria that I was suffering from one exotic disease or another my partner prescribed switching the television off and subsequently my health made a miraculous recovery.

It’s not just me that says that The Wire is brilliant. Barrack Obama was quoted in 2008 as saying that it was his favourite television show too. I borrowed the first season from the local library … maybe your library has it too? Go check it out – and then tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

summer’s last hurrah

Despite the children splashing away in the pool today and temperatures teasingly close to 40°C over the past week, the garden is not letting us be fooled and is announcing loud and clear summer’s end. The zucchini and pumpkin are fruiting their last hurrah even though the vines are starting to shrivel up and die. pumpkinsStill there is plenty of pumpkin to go around. Some of the delights we’ve enjoyed over the past couple of weeks include pumpkin and cous cous cakes, Thai pumpkin and green bean curry, and vegetable muffins featuring pumpkin.  Thai pumpkin curry …and when that cool change does finally arrive (boo-hoo) there will be pumpkin soup.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

my creative space :: comfort craft

In the past week I dropped “offline” for no particular reason at all. The computer was functioning fine, there was lots going on and there was lots in my mind to blog about … but … I just didn’t feel inclined to turn the computer on. An impromptu holiday of sorts.

So what have I been up to?

I’m still taking a photo a day and the project has become so much more enjoyable with the yesterday’s arrival of my new camera!!! new cameraI’m so looking forward to getting out and about on the weekend getting to know my new best friend.

I’m still crocheting a square a day… crochet squaresTo date I’ve crocheted 40 squares for my “rainbow” blanket which is reasonable progress.

Last Thursday I returned to work for the first time since the birth of my daughter. Thank you to all for your encouraging and kind comments. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated it would be and having my crochet with me was a real saviour. I just love how portable crochet is and how meditative the process of hooking a square can be. An excellent tool in managing workplace stress and anxiety.

hooking in the officeI took my hook with me to the office again today. Every now and then I pick it up and hook a bit while I’m thinking. For the time being I am working two days a week, so today was only my third day, but my crochet has been inspirational to others. Today one of my colleagues bought some yarn and a hook with her so that she too could learn this comfort craft too. Picture us both in a corporate phone hook-up with our yarn hooking away… I have a feeling that it won’t be long until others are joining in with us aswell.

I’m off to upload my photos from the past week to my other blog… and then I’ll be heading on over to Kirsty’s to check out what you’ve all been up to…

I missed you all.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my creative space :: taking it with me

I’m returning to paid employment today with very mixed feelings that I don’t yet have the words to express. I have tears, lots of them, a tornado in my stomach and a lump bigger than Uluru in my throat – I don’t want to leave my baby girl.

I’ll get through the day – with a little help from my dear friend Crochet. She is packed away in my bag ready to calm my nerves heading off on the train, something to distract me at lunch and to settle my mind on the return journey.taking it with me

You better head on over to Kirsty’s place – I think I’m going to be sick!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

sometimes it just totally sucks


I took this photo sitting on a bench in a shopping centre. I’d just been bitten by my son when I held his hand to cross the road. It really hurt and in the moments that followed I didn’t know how to react so I walked him to the nearest bench without saying a word, held back the tears and took a photo.

I can write about it now. It was some time ago. I’m not very good at talking about things as they happen or while they’re ‘raw’ for me. I’m better talking about things later - once its all better.

Loyalty is a quality that my teachers often remarked about on my report cards. An admirable trait but sometimes it doesn’t serve any favours. As a mother I often remain tight lipped about my children’s flaws – perhaps feeling that it would be a betrayal of them if I admitted that they weren’t perfect? None of us in this house is perfect. Not even close.

I’ve read many posts and comments out there in blogland which make parenting and motherhood sound so peachy-keen. That ‘bad’ days really aren’t that bad and in many ways just a quirky part of raising a family. Touch wood (I am incredibly superstitious you know) because we haven’t had a bad day around here in a while… but when they happen (and I know they’re certain to come again - life is so damn cyclical) it sucks. Totally sucks. There is nothing cute, endearing or quirky about it.

I just wanted to put that out there… into blogland.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

peg pinny

Inspired by the marvellous Clutterpunk’s penchant for aprons and pinnies I made my man and myself a pinny to wear when we’re hanging out the laundry. We’ve been having peg “issues” as it would seem that the former owner was a tad shorter than us. With a low laundry line and a hanging peg basket, pegs tend to go flying often. Add two little peg thieves and you’ve got some kind of strange peg economy.

At first sight of Gina’s peg-pocket apron I immediately knew that a similar project needed to be added to my eternally growing list of projects that I want to complete one day.

Flicking through the pages of Enid Gilchrist’s Pinnies ‘n’ Things I found a pattern for the ‘Hold All Pinny’.pinnies n things hold all pinny

That same afternoon when browsing at a local fabric store I stumbled across fabric with a peg print. It felt like a sign. Quicker than it would take me to put on a load of washing I had snapped up some peggy fabric and was heading home to start drafting my peg pinny pattern.

Just between you and me I didn’t really imagine that I would start and finish one so quickly…

washer woman washer man tied with a bowpeg pocket

I’m really pleased with it. I made a small adjustment to Enid’s pattern – sewing the ties into the waist band rather than sewing them on and then catching them with bias binding. A neater finish me thinks.

back side and tiesfront view

Never thought I’d see the day when I’d been looking forward to hanging out a load of washing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

the apartment

The ApartmentHave you seen The Apartment? I watched it for the very first time today. It was brilliant. My sweet heart borrowed it for me from a local library after seeing that it was on a best post-war romantic comedies list.  I can absolutely understand how it made the list.  You should really try to see it sometime. You won’t be disappointed. Oh yeah, and if you have an old unused tennis racquet lying around you’ll discover a whole new use for it!

Another one from the list was Say Anything – an amiable film but not necessarily brilliant. Although perhaps it would benefit from a second viewing. I have to think about this one some more.

Have you seen any great romantic comedies from the past lately?