Sunday, October 31, 2010

just a minute … in october

Listening… to an old CD that I made before my babies were born – some of the tracks include Eye of the Tiger, Buffalo Soldier and What’s love got to do with it?  Also been enjoying listening to Amy Winehouse, Lee Dorsey and Dinah Washington.

Watching… Offspring– really really enjoying this Sunday night tv show. Didn’t watch any Commonwealth Games at all… not one event or ceremony. I’m not sure why. I used to watch stuff like that but these days I’m just not interested.

washing the dishes

Sewing… from the WIP box. The aim of the game has been to finish things! Winter coat finished, refashioned pillowcase dress and a couple of repairs. I didn’t achieve as much as I would have liked to this month. Will just have to keep plugging away at it.

playing with the sprinkler

Crocheting… colourful bunting and stars. Grannies, grannies, grannies. OMG – it has been all about the grannies. I’m close to being totally over it.

Playing… with water. The children have started running over the sprinkler of an evening rather than having a bath. They love it! Also been playing lots of hide and seek – a family favourite without a doubt.

watering the garden

Developing… Mr. 3’s drawings are really coming along, just this morning he drew a picture for me of our family climbing a tree. I could see it. So many kinds of wonderful. Ms. M’s sense of humour is being revealed day by day. She enjoys clowning around so much – she completely cracks me up. “Me too” is her catch phrase and she consistently mimics her old brother. Just today Mr. 3 accidentally dripped some custard on his leg while having some sweets and so she had to drip custard on her leg also – “me too!”

Surviving…  my partner’s parents visiting from interstate. So stressful. He is not particularly close to them and in the past they’ve let him know that they’re certainly not my greatest fans. Strange having to play “nice” with people who don’t like you – it was worth it for my children who both had a wonderful time. Exhausting but worth it.

getting ready for the pool

october sewing challenge :: refashion


October’s sewing challenge is to re-create or re-design something picked up from the op shop. I started with this pillowcase:


… and, guided by this book,  turned it into this dress:

pillowcase dress

Super sweet me thinks… and it was my first ever go at sewing on ric-rac too!

pillow case dress 

My favourite part of this little dress is the Mr. Chatterbox tag in the back. A small touch using a piece of ribbon from my own childhood… and fittingly Ms. M is quite the chatterbox these days. Her talking is so good, she picks up so many words and phrases each and every day.

the dress 1 the dress 2the dress 3the dress 4

A great dress for exploring. The cotton is so lovely, yet durable. This dress, which is soon to be a top, will last much longer than it will fit Ms. M.

Ms M in the pillowcase dress

… and inspired by all the pillow case refashioning and because I didn’t find the time to make myself a bag last month I used this pillowcase:

pillow case

… to make this bag:

pillow case bag

For more re-fashioned goodness head on over to Carolyn’s.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

i do not want what i haven’t got

… or do I?

I’ve been considering my “wants” a bit over the past week, indulging myself in one of those reflective life self-assessments. There have been bigger issues at play but something that indirectly came up was what do I actually want. Sounds easy enough to determine … or is it?

Lateline’s Leigh Sales wrote this week that the two useful lessons of her education were from her Year 11 economics class: “wants are unlimited but resources are limited”. (The other was touch typing – gotta agree with that). But is it true? Are our wants really unlimited, or do we just think they are?

I am reminded of Mr. 3, who on the face of it wants much at his eye level when we are out and about. He never knew it existed until he saw it, oftentimes he doesn’t really know what it is, and by the time he’s passed the checkout he’s completely forgotten about it ... until next time. I contrast that with what I would call his genuine desires – he can, for example, tell me that he wants to go to the park with nary a park in sight.

So I am not talking about the matter of wants versus needs, rather the wants that come from our core and are truly our own as opposed to those that are seeded through external manipulation – say the greater consumer machine in which we all live or even family and friends that are close to us and have their own agenda to serve.  There are things that we genuinely want, that we are prepared to make sacrifices for even if they aren’t essential to our lives, and then there are the things that we are somehow convinced – or manipulated – into wanting, however fleetingly. Personally I don’t believe that our wants are unlimited, and fortunately I think for the most part my wants have already been satisfied – the wants that come from my core anyway.

So how do we deal with these phantom desires? Do they have an impact on us at a psychological level – to want something that somehow we don’t really want, and doesn’t satisfy us if we get it?

Friday, October 29, 2010




Dark and gloomy. Perhaps sophisticated and polished too.

I’ve been feeling dark in the later part of this week. Questioning everything about myself and allowing the noir within to take hold. It has been a bit of a battle to get on top of it – I think I am now. It isn’t always easy.

This week’s feature shot was taken by Mr. 3 earlier in the year. It is one of my favourite shots of 2010 not just because of the image, which is interesting, but also because of what it taught me. To play. To have fun. Not to be afraid to have a go. Mr. 3 teaches me lessons like that on almost a daily basis.

man in the sky 

More here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

mr. 3’s creative space :: the echidna


Not feeling the creativity today, but Mr. 3 has been his usual inspired self. After hi-jacking my pin cushion he produced this impressive piece – an echidna!

I’m so super proud of him. 100% his own genius. Uber ace me thinks.

There is always lots of ace creativity over at Kirsty’s place. Go check it out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

three converging factors

The convergence of three factors: 1. learning stem stitch, 2. learning to insert zips and 3. wanting to be better organised has resulted in another zipped case:


behind the text


clay tools case

inside the case  

This time a zipped case to store the clay tools that I haven’t used in a very long time. It would be nice to think that I will use them again, but not in the foreseeable future. It is good to know that they’ll be safe and all together while they wait for me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

300 in 300



Today is 2010’s three-hundredth day. Only sixty-five days to go until the start of a new year. Wow. I am keeping up with my a granny day pledge. Since day 200 I’ve been working on some crocheted granny-bunting triangles…

bunting collage … eighty-four of them in fact. Six each of fourteen colours. All their ends have been woven in and now they’re just waiting to be joined together.

Also started working on some granny-stars too…

granny stars 

…there are twenty-five of them so far - although my children are particularly interested in them and so I’m having difficulty keeping track of them all! No doubt they’ve been posted by Ms. M into some random places.

I’ve gotta be honest and say that at this time of the year I certainly have granny fatigue and look forward to the end of the year when I’ll be taking a break from the triple-treble crochet cluster! Until then there is still more granny work to be done. I haven’t worked much more on the blanket for Master E. since day 200 and I hope to get it wrapped up by the end of the year (or better still Christmas!). I’m also waiting on Pip’s granny bauble tutorial. And no doubt there’ll be some more granny stars and perhaps even some granny hearts?  Not long to go to the final granny tally at the end of the year … see you then!

Monday, October 25, 2010

and the winner is…

…Cherrie @ Willy Wagtail!

Thanks everyone for your kind words and entries.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

don’t forget to enter…

… my blogtoberfest & 400 posts giveaway.

jug cover 2I’ll be drawing the winner around 6pm my time tomorrow – Monday 25th October. (So that is 9pm AEST!)

To enter leave a comment over on this post.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

4 things

4 things that I always carry:

  1. sunglasses

… it would have been nice to think that house keys, mobile phone and wallet were included in the above but alas being so organised remains an aspirational goal for me.

4 things that are in my bedroom:

  1. library books
  2. piles of granny squares
  3. a flower press
  4. empty nappy box that was being used as part of a robot costume by Mr.3  earlier in the evening as part of his delaying bed time strategy. Too cute.

4 things that I would like to do but haven't done yet:

  1. travel to Africa
  2. finish reading War and Peace
  3. be a grandmother
  4. celebrate our 50th anniversary with Dave

4 things that you don't know about me:

  1. I’ve had malaria twice
  2. I often dream of crocodiles under my bed when I am worried about something
  3. I bought a My Friend The Chocolate Cake CD based solely on the art work on the cover … and then they became one of my favourite bands
  4. I watched the fire works at the end of the Edinburgh Festival sitting on the roof of an old church - marvellous

4 things I often wonder:

  1. what someone is thinking
  2. why people produce tears when they cry (Mr. 3 asked me last night – do you know?)
  3. what time it is
  4. will everything be alright


More 4 things at Cath’s place.

Friday, October 22, 2010



What’s not to love about orange? So very vibrant. It’s a safety colour too – gotta admire orange for that. One of my ol’ time favourite books, Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, has an orange spine. Lots of really yummy foods are orange too… carrots, pumpkins, mandarins and of course oranges! There are many stunning orange flowers too.

This week’s feature orange shot takes a trip down memory lane a few years back to our previous home. It is a photo of my orange haired baby boy in front of the fence that I had painted … you guessed it … orange:

in front of the orange fence

More orange here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my creative space :: the WIP box

the WIP box

Now that the coat is finished there is space in the WIP (work in progress) box for a new project… a small one, but room nonetheless. It would be good to make a little more room though so that a few fun summer projects could be started. You see the rule that I have set myself is that I can only start a new project if there is room in the box.

The current contents of the box are as follows:

  • 2 x pillow cases to make two pillowcase dresses for Ms. M
  • 1 x pants cut out & ready to sew for Ms. M
  • 1 x pants cut out & ready to sew for Master E
  • 1 x hat cut out & ready to sew for Master E
  • 1 x pinafore dress half sewn just waiting to change colour of thread in overlocker (? I think that is why I’ve stopped … this project has sunk towards the bottom of the box)
  • 1 x pants half sewn for me
  • 1 x pant to re-fashion/re-hem for me
  • 1 x summer dress to shorten for me
  • 1 x apron to patch up (after ‘play’ karate kicking partner in kitchen with rotary cutter in apron – oops!)

So today in my creative space I will be busting the box.

For more creative spaces take a spring-time stroll over to Kirsty’s… but be sure to enter my giveaway before you leave.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

eating from my garden :: artichoke

artichoke croquettes 

My first artichokes have been harvested and cooked. Neither Dave or I have ever cooked artichoke from scratch before so we decided upon this artichoke croquette recipe figuring that our children might enjoy it too. We had to make a smaller quantity than the recipe suggested because we have only grown four harvestable artichokes to date. Oops… we ate them all while the children were sleeping so they’ll have to wait for next time to try them. There will be a next time - they were YUM!

the sweetest man

Last night my beloved came home with a brown paper bag. Not a lunch sized one either – a big brown paper bag with handles. You know the ones I mean? I didn’t think much of it. I was keen to hand over child rearing responsibilities and fly out the door.

After I returned home and the kiddies were sleeping soundly he told me he had something for me. Oooo! A smile went straight on my dial, my heart lifted a little and my brain started giving the rest of me sound advice not to get too excited and to be sure to show appreciation. Fake smile and good manners ready – check. I find there is always an element of dread accompanying the feelings of elation when I receive a gift from my man… will he hit or miss?


Look what he gave me…golden hands magazine

… and not just one Golden Hands magazine either. An entire pile of them! With fancy binders and all! YAY! Big YAY! Jumping on the bed clapping my hands kind of YAY! Laughing and giggling and squealing with delight YAY!

a pile of golden hands magazines - 23 infact! 

Isn’t he just the sweetest man?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

thinking of you :: melanie @ m*

Setting some creative goals at the beginning of the year has been a really useful exercise and as the end of the year is nigh I’ve been revisiting my list. My crochet goals were to make a basket, a blanket, a square dishcloth and a jug cover. This last objective was inspired by the awesomely clever and talented Melanie @ M*. I’m pretty certain that I’d never seen, thought or dreamt of a jug cover before I saw her blog. Oh the beautiful pieces she has hooked. So very inspirational! …and so naturally crocheting a jug cover made it to my list of things to work towards for 2010.

the book


BUT – finding a pattern to get me started wasn’t that easy. I’ve been looking for one for sometime now… and all the time thinking of Melanie and the gorgeousness that she creates. After some time looking and researching I found this book at the Busselton library and had it sent up to me here in Perth.




Here it is! My jug cover (which cannot be photographed adorning a water pitcher because it has just been brought to my attention that I do not in fact own one!)jug cover 2I used a yarn that is 80% bamboo/20% wool. It was a dream to hook with. So silky. So very luxurious. DELIGHTFUL I tell you.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         In fact the entire production process was wonderful. Sitting outside in the sun chair watching the children frolic, the afternoon breeze lightly tickling my skin, the aromas of the herbs and flowers in the garden, the big blue expansive sky. Bliss.jug cover 4

Happy happy times. It is little wonder that Melanie is so clearly hooked* on making these.

Thank you Melanie.


… and to share in the happiness, the bliss and the festivities that come with spring, blogtoberfest, and this being my 400th post I will offer this jug cover pictured above as a giveaway. To be in the draw leave a comment on this post, and if you’re a follower as well you’ll get a second entry (no need to leave a second comment though I’ll work it out). Giveaway is open to everyone everywhere. I’ll draw the winner by random next Monday 25 Oct. 2010.

Oh yeah… go take a look at Melanie’s etsy store too… filled will lovely dovely covers to keep the flies and bugs out of your chrissy dinner!

* he he he … sorry I just couldn’t resist!

Monday, October 18, 2010

more practice

Remember this? I was practicing my stem stitch. I used the piece of calico to practice another new(ish)* skill – sewing zips – and made a case to store my small collection of stamps. Two I bought in India and the other one I made.

stamp casestamp case zipstamp case on the inside

Now that I have a place to store them perhaps I will make and acquire more stamps. I like stamps.

I have plans to make more zipped cases to store odd bits and pieces. All part of my ongoing quest to be organised – and hey why not practice some skills along the way?

* I sewed my first ever zip this year.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the “just in case we win lotto” coat

It is finished. finished jacket

It should have been finished some six months ago… but hey let’s not dwell on that. It is finished now - just in time for the Perth summer.

finished jacket 2

I’m rather pleased with it. Lots of lessons learnt in the process of production – most notably don’t procrastinate just get it done!

finished jacket 3

There is one awfully dodgy button hole. I ended up abandoning the sewing machine and finishing by hand… but if you didn’t know about it you wouldn’t notice.

finished jacket 4

And those sleeves came up top notch in the end. I’m rather chuffed with them.

in her coat 

Not too many photos of the girl dressed in corduroy and flannelette - after all it was 29°C here today.

thirsty work

Wearing so many layers was thirsty work.

The good news is that Ms. M is ready to head north for the winter on the off chance that we win lotto.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

meet victor

This is my window sill in the grey room, it is next to the rickety old table that my sewing machine is on. It is a very useful window sill – home to my scissors, threads, sewing machine feet and a lot of other bits and bobs. It is also home to the only photo I have of my maternal grandmother (my mother isn’t very good at sharing!)

nan in china

The photo was taken when she was in China. I’m not sure exactly when it was but pre-Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 (I think!). Nan was rather audacious, you would be to ask the zoo keeper if you could give a panda a cuddle wouldn’t you? I guess you just don’t know if you don’t ask and much to my grandmother’s pleasure the zoo keeper obliged.  Isn’t it a great shot?  Certainly deserving of a better frame than that mildewing paper one I picked up in Bali last millennium.

As a child Nan tried on a number of occasions to teach me how to knit. Eventually she resigned herself to the fact that I was a lost cause – a non-knitter. I thought that failing to learn how to knit meant that I wouldn’t be able to do any yarny crafts. It wasn’t until last year that I started to learn to crochet …and now look what I’ve made:

my new panda friendMeet Victor!

He is a bit wonky and completely unsymmetrical, but he has a kind heart and a wry sense of humour.

I named the panda Victor after my Nan’s first husband. She divorced him after learning that he was infertile and then went on to name her first child with my grandfather Vicki (after the ex! … like I told you she was pretty audacious).

with me as I sew 

Victor has joined Nan sitting on the window sill. A new friend to keep me company as I sew. I wonder what she’d have thought of him. I’ll never know.