Friday, November 30, 2012

this moment

little gardener

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with soule mama.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

yarn along

a gusty windy kind of day

It is a grey, gusty, windy day here in my part of the world. The perfect kind of day to stay in one’s PJs and curl up in bed with a book and/or some yarn and a hook and/or needles. It was not to be though, one child needed to be taken to a specialist appointment, two children needed to be dropped off and picked up from different locations and the youngest wee babe decided that today was not going to be a nap day! So there was no sneaking back into bed with a book and/or some yarn related activity – not even for a quick half hour.yarn along 28.11.12     The pieces of the jacket are completed. There is a back, two front pieces and now two sleeves. The time has come to start joining it all together and knitting the collar. One ball of yarn remains. I’m hopeful that this project is going to work out. A tad optimistic even.

See my very cheap bamboo needles. They’ve bowed, no longer straight at all. Is it from holding the needles too tight? Emparting my daily stress into the bamboo’s particles? Or is it because I shove them ungraciously into my handbag, bedside table draw, the car’s glove box? Maybe it’s just because they’re cheap? Your thoughts? Does this happen to you?

I’ve started the text, but am yet to finish it. I had expected that I would have read this short novel in a couple of days, a night even. The opening chapter however is set at a funeral. I’ve not progressed any further. I will. Just not really been in the mood for reading something that at this point suggests it might be a bit dark and heavy.

And speaking of not progressing any further…

just can't work it out

… for a  while there I was participating in a crochet-along. All was going swimmingly until I encountered round 4 of the SmoothFox’s Starburst Flower Square. I just can’t work it out. The brain is not computing what I’m reading on the page. No comprend-ay. Narda. Zilch. I’ve tried this, and that … I’m stuck. Absolutely stuck.

So what about you? Did you manage a sneaky half hour or so in bed with a book or some yarn today? Are you straight or bent when it comes to knitting needles? Ever had a brain freeze reading what should be an easy pattern?

Do tell.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

a natural pair

the naturalimage via 

This afternoon, by chance, I came across one of my favourite films on the tele. Better still the Mr. was taking the kids up to the hardware store while I had a rest and did a bit of knitting. The Natural is a film that I don’t think is possible to watch too many times. As a kid I’d recorded it off the T.V. one night, staying up late to carefully pause out the ads. That VHS video was watched over and over many a lazy Sunday afternoon, gradually becoming more and more stretched as the years went on. Often my father would watch with me. He loved the film, the character of Roy Hobbs, just as much as I did – perhaps even more. Oh my, that final scene where Roy Hobbs (Redford) hits the baseball into the electric lights and they explode like fireworks, coupled with the triumphant music, it is still exhilarating these twenty-five years later.

baseball PJs
I played t-ball for a season or two when I was kid. Unlike Roy Hobbs I was no natural. I enjoyed the game well enough, but being prone to day dreaming and distraction I was often placed in the out field where I was free to chew my mitt and cloud gaze. There was one particular game though where I was placed on the third base. I remember it clearly. I was tired. I was off with the fairies once again and I vividly recall yawning, stretching my arms out straight above my head. Slap. The baseball landed squarely in my mitt, and somehow I managed not to drop it. Needless to say I was pretty shocked to have caught it. My coach, a family friend and neighbour, was beside himself with joy. A coaching highlight for him, unbeknown to him the accidental nature of my achievement, it seemed to me he felt like all his hard work and afternoons of training had been worthwhile. To this day I’ve never confessed the true account of that magical catch.

baseball PJs (2)

I’m not sure if it was my fondness for The Natural or recollections of that glorious childhood sporting moment that led me to buy baseball printed fabric. I’ve a niggling suspicion that the ultimate persuasion was a heavily discounted price. Regardless I’m on de-stashing mission these days (which incidentally is not going very well at all) so last week I  sewed up my boys some more matchy-mis-matchy pyjamas. Serendipity? Me thinks so.
brothers in baseball PJs

Have you had any serendipitous moments lately?
Or perhaps watched a film for the 100th time?
Maybe you’ve had a glorious childhood sporting moment too?

Do share.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

intentions

So that I don’t forget what I was planning when I went fabric shopping online last night:

Angelica Zinc - Cameo

sorbetto top by collette patterns

I was thinking that this fabric would look lovely in the Collette Patterns Sorbetto Tank Top. Just now though I’m not so sure. I’m wondering how the offset circles will work with the box pleat down the centre.

In case you’re unaware this is a free pattern available here.

This Church Flowers fabric is intended for the yoke and hem band on this frock. I’ve sewn this dress once before and it is one of my favourites. So comfy. So cool and comfortable on the hottest of summer days.

Not sure what my plans are in regards to the central colour of the dress… would yellow be to much do you think? Maybe red would be better?

Church Flowers Green - Nicey Jane

stitch and save M5832

 new look 6674

 

Not sure which version of this dress I’m going to sew. Either way this beautiful floral fabric is going to look great as a wrap around dress.

Your thoughts?

Marilyn Blue - Dolce

There you have it. My intention is to sew myself three very much needed items. My summer wardrobe is very scant and that that I do have is in pretty poor condition.

And on the subject of fabric look what arrived in the post today. Yes today – a Saturday!

send maybelle to ellen auction

I “won” this stack of fat quarters in the Let’s Get Maybelle to Ellen Auction. I suppose it’s time that I stopped dreaming about making quilts and actually gave them ago. 2012 has been the year of learning to knit, me thinks that 2013 is going to be the year of learning to quilt. There you have it folks, another intention!

Friday, November 23, 2012

this moment

on a hot day

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with soule mama.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

dino pants

dino pants for O

Some dino pants for baby O. Sewn quickly, now that I photograph them I wished I paid a little more attention to how I cut them out. Fussy cutting just doesn’t feature much around here.

snack timedying lawndino stacks

The boy’s full attention was on eating his dino snacks. Full of concentration so that he doesn’t spill the bowl’s contents - he just loves chicken drumstick biscuits. Not a particularly healthy snack – but tolerated every now and then in these parts.  All the children love their novelty. Even so it is so rare to have a photo of O. looking so serious.

The weather is heating up in these parts and the lawn is turning summer brown.

Time to strip off and get that sprinkler going.

clothes offclothes off (2)

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve running over the top of a sprinkler. These days though I do second guess my decision to turn it on – attitudes to using water sure have changed from those days way back then. For my part I don’t want to deny my children such a simple pleasure and concurrently I want to teach them how to preserve water. Its yet another balancing act.

What about you? Do you turn the sprinkler on for the kids to run and play?

Linking up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

yarn along

amsterdamproblem sleeve

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan is my next text for book club. I know nothing about it. I’ve not even flipped it over to read the back cover. Even though our book club won’t meet for another couple of weeks I’m going to get started on it tonight because this morning I got a bee in my bonnet that I must read Anna Karenina again. I must. Really I must. I do, however, always feel a little guilty when I re-read an already re-read text. Heavy is the thought that there are only limited reading hours and effectively limitless texts to read.

I’m still knitting a jacket for baby O. I’ve finished both the left and right fronts now and last night made a start on a sleeve. I cast on three times before I got all the way past the ribbing. One mistake or another led me to unravel my work. It really was that kind of day. Then, more than a few centimetres into the stocking stitch I released that I had misread the pattern and it needed to be unravelled again.

Frog.

I didn’t have the heart to do it just before going to sleep. So I set it aside and frogged it today. (I just love that word “frogged”. I feel like a real knitter now that I’m getting my head around some of the lingo.)

frogged formerly a problem sleeve

I’ll cast on again tonight… and this time I am really really really going to concentrate. Me thinks it won’t really matter if I do or don’t though. Yesterday was hard going and today has been a breeze.

Have you read Amsterdam? Did you enjoy it?
What texts do you like to read over and over? Or are you a once is enough type?
Done any frogging lately?

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the cutest little sewing kit ever

a little parcel

This delightful  little parcel arrived in my letter box today.

This day that has not gone smoothly. A rough night. A rocky morning. Challenging children’s behaviour. Snot abounds and dirty tissues are littered everywhere. A sick and clingy babe who has found his voice. The cat weed on me. The ill babe poohed in the bath. Oh how I could go on… it seemed like the “urgh” moments were never ending.

Amongst it all though this gorgeous parcel, so sweet in its smallness, arrived.

And inside?

the cutest sewing kit ever!

The cutest sewing kit ever! A gift not just in content, but also in timing and the much needed smile it brought to my dial. Perfect. It is right at home in my every day red handbag. It will be with me where ever I shall go. So much earthy and crafty goodness.

Thankyou will all my heart Nicole.

Friday, November 16, 2012

this moment

pointing her toes

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with soule mama.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

yarn along

yarn along 14.11.12

The back of the jacket I’m knitting for O is finished. It’s a bit wonky in parts but overall I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Possibly it will be a bit on the big side, but better that than two small. The boy is growing fast so it will fit him sooner than I’d like.

Finished reading Water for Elephants and met up with the girls from book club tonight. I enjoyed it. It’s by no means the greatest novel I have ever read, but the love triangle plot revealed itself in a captivating way and the circus during prohibition and the depression setting was captivating.

I still haven’t seen the film. I’m keen to see it now that I’ve read the novel. Not sure how the platinum blonde Reece Witherspoon got cast as a brunette? Why didn’t they colour her hair for the role, or have her wear a wig? Does it really matter? I suppose not.

The themes relating to growing older and caring for the elderly spoke to me the most. Remaining relevant in a rapidly changing world. My mind has been stewing over the issues relating to growing older for a couple of days now, but I’m still not really sure what I make of it all. What do I hope for myself or for others? I suppose the text has led me to wish for dignity, some self determination and good tasty food! Awful to think that at some point in my life I may very well become a burden to others just because of my age.

Do you ever think about growing older?

Linking up with Ginny’s yarn along.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

today…

I made gnocchi!!!

Today I lay in bed and finished reading my book while my partner took E. to school. It had been a rough night with baby O. so he treated me to a bit of a lie in and went into work a bit later than usual.

Today my small smalls and I tidied up outside a bit. Sweeping, weeding and clearing out all the red-back spiders that like to make the outdoor furniture their home.

Today we played hospitals with Susie and the other dolls.

Today we changed the sand and water in the play table and drove toy cars through the sand.

Today I made gnocchi. It was fun, not nearly as tricky as I thought it was going to be. It turned out really well. Very very tasty, like it does in restaurants and unlike it does in those air sealed packs at the supermarket.

Today I thought I had lost baby O. while picking E. up from school. My heart jumped into my throat until I found him.

Today all the children took delight in running over the sprinkler naked.

Today I took a bite out of O’s frozen yoghurt and ended up with a mouthful of sand.

Today I didn’t feel like fabric shopping, even though a sale was on.

Today I was happy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

whites

cricket shorts     cricket shorts - back pocket detail

E. has started playing cricket. He is one of the youngest in his team, and one of the smallest too. Prior to his first game I trotted off to Big W in search of some cricket shorts in his size. No luck. Off to Rebel Sports. Again no luck. Tried another Big W store. Nope. Asked Dave to try the sports store in the city near his work. Nada.

So I flicked through my collection of Ottobre magazines and decided upon “Beach Boulevard” bermudas from 3/2011. Using white cotton drill they were quick to whip up. I didn’t bother with the piping detail on the front pockets since white on white was only going to have a limited effect.  I do adore the elasticised back pocket – it creates a lovely casual/sporty feel me thinks.

One thing is for certain, making these shorts sure did take a lot less time than shopping for them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

matchy mis-matchy mob

matchy match PJs

At their request I made my smalls some matchy pyjamas. I used an old cotton dressing gown that my partner had bought on his first trip to Japan about twenty years ago. He didn’t wear it anymore but it was too sentimental to just pass on to charity.

Heading to a Balance class after a hard day I asked my partner if after the kids had had their bath could he use my camera and get a snap of them all matchy matchy for this blog. I imagined a cute picture of them all lined up in their PJs. Sweet I thought. No worries said he.

my matchy mis-matchy mob

This is the best of the lot. Clearly they’re fresh out of the bath – I didn’t make it explicit that it would be good to brush their hair before taking a picture. I also neglected to mention taking the photo in such a way to cut out the chaotic mess of the kitchen after dinner time!

my matchy mis-matchy mob (2)

He took perhaps fifty or more shots. Lots of very funny poses – lots and lots of photos of our children as they are. Loud, wrestling, constantly moving kiddos.

my matchy mis-matchy mob - keeping it real. This is as they are!

The blue bits of ribbon in the boys shorts and the pink fairy ribbon in Ms. M’s pants wasn’t a clear enough indication of who was who’s. Ms. M wears her older brother’s shorts and vice versa. They’re a funny lot. Sometime I wonder how they manage with out me… but they do. Moreover they do it with their own style and flare. (This wrestle-style photo pose certainly ain’t my style!)

Only one or two photos of them sitting together looking at the camera with their eyes open.

This is “keeping it real” at my house.  Gosh I love them all so much. What a funny matchy mis-matchy mob we make.

Friday, November 9, 2012

this moment

the week we had Woody

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with soule mama.

little stitches

litte stitches

I borrowed this delightful book from my local library. It is full of inspiring designs and projects. Enchanting and whimsical from cover to cover. Indeed I fell so in love with it that I went online a purchased a copy for my personal library.

girl scooting along

girl with horse

baby quilt

Little Stitches is written by Aneela Hoey. I’ve just discovered her blog which is filled with more delightful stitchy goodness. If you like a bit of stitchy treasure you really should head on over and check it out.

laundry design

Have you done that before? Borrowed a book from the library and discovered that you just had to have a copy for yourself? Do tell.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

yarn along

water for elephants and shawl-collared jacket

Today, whilst watching the US election result unfold on ABC24, I started knitting my first ever attempt at a garment. Up to now I have only knitted blanket squares or dishcloths. Already it has been unravelled and restarted twice, but now I have come to peace with it and indeed have forged an understanding between myself, the yarn and the sticks that it’s a-o-kay for the resulting garment to be wonky and imperfect. Since this acceptance progress has been more merry.

Later tonight I’ll be starting Water For Elephants. I am reading this text as part of book club. I’m not familiar with the author or what to expect from the story. I’ve not seen the film. I always enjoy starting a text that I know nothing about. I have no expectations or ideas. I prefer to read the book before seeing the film too. I will watch the film once I finished the novel – it is always interesting to see how another has imagined the text. Don’t you think?

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

i bought a ticket.

I bought a ticket. An entry in tonight’s $100 million lotto draw. Often I dream about winning lotto, but I don’t often buy tickets. I don’t join in with the work syndicates. I didn’t buy a ticket in last week’s $70 million draw. Not sure why I decided to jump in this week… I think it was because the man in front of me at the newsagent was buying tickets. I bought a calendar for next year that was already half price – and then thought hey why not. So after buying the cheapest lotto ticket I could see I ended up spending the full price calendar amount. I have a calendar and I’ve had two days to dream and imagine “what if”?

I asked my partner “what if?” and he quickly, like it was his life’s purpose, replied that he would pay off North Melbourne Football Club’s debt. Really? This took me a bit by surprise. The quick response and his determination. I was thinking he would travel to Africa or Asia and help all the poor starving children, perhaps establish a charity to support children’s literacy. Nope. Saving the footy club is his first priority… and then he’d save poor starving children. (Perhaps by making them playing footy???)

For my part, I can’t actually imagine winning that much money and my dreams always seem to lead to problems. I wonder if winning that much money would actually be more of a burden than a prize. So much responsibility. It would change every relationship I have in one way or another. Winning that much money could actually be quite an isolating experience. Thinking about it makes me realise how happy and content I actually am.

If I did win I would be sure to contribute to lots and lots of charities. I would do my research and make my decisions as thoughtfully as I could. I would dedicate my life’s work to helping other’s and this is where I find the whole idea of having so much money and power awfully frightening. How do you decide? There are so many people and causes in need. I guess these issues plague me now too. Just on a much smaller scale. At the beginning of a financial year I consider the charities I will donate to and make an effort to budget contributions. I find it stressful and at time heartbreaking when charities phone me to request support or sell lotto tickets. I just can’t afford to contribute to everyone.

I know that if I did win tonight I’d be sure to send this family to the US of A and I’d also significantly increase my sponsorship for this woman’s skydive and worthy cause

… and I’d head straight to the yellow pages to find myself an ironing lady and cleaner!!!

What’s your “what if” you won lots and lots of money?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

finger puppets

finger puppetsfinger puppets (2)finger puppets (3)

Gorgeous and generous Mandy recently sent the most marvellous parcel – full to the brim with fabric from vintage sheets. Tucked inside there was a stitchy treat for me (I’ll show you later) and these brilliant finger puppets for my delightful cherubs. They all love them, and already we’ve been treated to some pretty cool (and somewhat absurd) shows. Lots of fun.

Thank you so much Mandy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

temari

temari techniques

I recently borrowed this stunningly beautiful and overwhelmingly inspirational book from my local library. It has left me lamenting that there just are not enough hours in the day. So much glossy colour. So many delightful and intricate patterns. Oh my!

2. so much temari beauty

Imagine a Christmas tree covered in these baubles. Magnificent not?

 

3. temari blues

Temari sure would make an impressive gift for those people who seem to have it all at this festive time of year. Really would it be possible to have too many of these???

4. intricate pattern - out of this word beautiful

Alas – I might have left my run on making these in time for this Christmas a little late. After all there are gifts for three children to make, not to mention Ms. M’s birthday before hand.   

5. a temari ball in hand

…but without doubt learning the craft of temari is on the list for 2013!

Have you started thinking about crafty projects for next year? Or, unlike me, do you keep your head out of the clouds and firmly on what is currently at hand?