Thursday, April 30, 2009

Before dinner

After all that red-hot-as-a-poker summerness, winter just plopped from the sky and now my feet are back to permanently frozen. Today, with the sun offering a bright and breezy, bonus extra degree or three of warmth, we were enjoying the ‘out’ for that slice of time between after school and before dinner.

The One Armed Bandit (small kid with arm in sling), burst from the house for a spot of frustrated stick collecting, (you try it with one hand, when every stick is equally precious), while the older two whizzed off on scooters to spread their wings (well, as wide as the pavement between each neighbour’s driveway). In a final attempt to be as filthy as possible, vile and magical potions were conjured – created from the bounty of a wintry garden (think mud), when finally, one forward-thinking kid, opted for the subtle dinner preparation hint:

“Hey, Mum! Watch this: swan...

...hungry swan...

...hungry dog...sooooo...what’s for dinner?”

So ends that slice of day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

His and Hers

His is way too big (and knitted last winter, before understanding the logic in tension squares), hers is too short with a distinctive 80s crop-top feel. Both are in desperate need of a date with the clippers.

The too-short thing was mainly intentional: partly because this is a dog who likes to chew but mostly because that bringing yarn forward and backward rib knit stuff wears thin. As I am typing and pondering the need for the preservation of a dog’s dignity, a comment has popped in for the previous post from REread. Quite rightly, she observes our poor dog “looks like a double ended dunny* brush!” I'm not sure much more need be said.

* For international visitors, ‘dunny’ is colloquial Australian slang for ‘toilet’

Vital statistics:
‘Hers’ is loosely based on Spunknit’s free pattern, but altered to allow for a larger-than-Pomeranian pooch
‘His’ is a pattern from the Panda Zoomy pattern book (style 5) but uses the same mystery yarn seemingly multiplying in my stash

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Before and After

The dog on the left is our dog, Esme. The dog on the right is what came back from the hairdressers.

It was the first furcut and a couple of years ago now but one that has left a resounding mark on us all. I kicked myself for my “Oh, just a trim, whatever you would normally do” naiveté and any subsequent stealth dog-walking that occurred, happened under the cover of darkness. These days, I am aware that a heavily-furnished-in-purple, doggy hairdressers, indicates the indiscriminate use of purple ear bows and eyelash curling.

We have since invested in our own set of dog clippers. They arrived with an instructional dvd demonstrating pompom styles for poodles. Given we tend to stick with the more unkempt look, (it just seems to fit better in this family), it’s easy to let things go too far. The centre fur-parting down Esme’s back is the sure-fire maintenance indicator. The problem is, she’s predominantly an outside dog and things are getting chilly. The solution? Knit.

Above is one of the current works in progress. Disturbingly like a ribbed human leg warmer, apparently once I get the front leg/sleeve bits knitted, it’s going to look remarkably like a dog jumper. Nonetheless, I have a foreboding sense that this is not one of the more successful ventures...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Perfect Day and The Winner Is...

Sunday was a chilly, rainy, blustery, autumn-in-style day and just the way I remember birthdays in a previous lifetime, before the invention of global warming. And in the words of Lou Reed, once harmonised to me by a dear Dutch friend, it has so been a Perfect Day. Mr Myrtleandeunice has plotted and connived with flair and aplomb, Grandma and Grandad have been willing accomplices and for the first time EVER the kids kept all the secrets (although I had to unwrap presents at great speed to be assured of surprise).

I have been spoilt rotten, supplied with endless cups of tea and never even left the house. A cake was baked, middle-of-the-day crafting guiltlessly enjoyed and a significant portion of my time spent ‘flying’ down the hallway. Those, above, are my wings. A pressie from a friend who gets it just right every time, these slippers (slipperies) are the bees knees. And they are extremely skiddy on floorboards. Sometime soon, I am going to come an inelegant ‘cropper’ but so far, I am Jane Torvill on ice. The kidlets have dubbed them my Peter Pan shoes and today I haven’t felt grown up at all – not even a year older – sliding up and down the hall, giggling wildly.

Enough, already:


(by the way it was the big three eight – and thank you all for your very sweet birthday wishes and advice) drawn, not from the very official hat, but on Sewhum’s suggestion, (thank you Sewhum), by at 12.03am Melbourne time...

Comment number 15

Due to the following disqualifications:
• Mr Myrtleandeunice is not allowed to play;
• A deleted comment;
• My own reply;

The comment number 15 winner is...Kirsten
If you could email me with the relevant details, I shall have them speedily snail mailed in your direction. Congratulations!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Creative Space AND A Granny A Day

Am I allowed to do two meme’s in one? It wasn’t planned. It just struck me, as I pushed the One Armed Bandit (child with arm in sling) on her swing, while sitting on the one next to her, crocheting a granny square and singing Seesaw, Marjorie Daw, (this kid digs nursery rhymes, whereas the neighbours are, quite rightly, about to file a singing restraining order), that I was in multi-tasking mode.

So I’m playing along with Kootoyoo and zillions of others this week with My Creative Space. This morning my space involves a heavy, moving, demanding object and requires extreme co-ordination, a sense of timing and nimble fine motor skills.

Up until a few days ago, I had resisted Pip’s Granny A Day. Then things got really busy around here and I realised a granny provided an excellent and speedy crafty hit. Easily portable, I could possibly fit a little crochet in during the school pick up wait. Now, however, it appears to have infiltrated way further than that. The ‘Mamma, seesaw!’ request for a swing would not usually prompt an ‘oh yes, I'll just grab the crochet hook and two balls of yarn and for every ten swings I reckon I could get three treble stitches in before she screams HIGHER!’

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pear Pair

Amazing, possibly slightly concerning, but doubly delicious.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Small But Significant Discovery

I distinctly recall a conversation I had with a close friend, around a century ago. She had been debriefing after a traumatic day of work, in the intensive care unit, of the local childrens’ hospital. Then she asked how my graphic designer day had been: “Oh...uh, you know the empty white spaces between the letters of a word? Well, depending on the letters, sometimes it looks too big or too small and I have been making them look about the same. It’s, er, called kerning.” Now, not for one minute will I ever make a nurse. But it did put a perspective on things.

The birth of three children and the nuttiness involved with achieving anything half efficient since, has also contributed a smidge extra of that perspective stuff. These days, while still battling with the perfectionist/uptight/control freak gene, I am bemusedly surprising myself, at the balls I'm letting pass through to the keeper.

Recently, I happened across a lovely scrap of fabric that screamed CHICKEN LEGS. Arriving home in time for the witching hour, I chopped onion, adjudicated tired, hungry bickerings and without paying much attention, reached for the back of an envelope and scribbled this:

Two hours later, the bickerings were in bed. I cut straight into the fabric without nutting out a pattern first. Nothing awful happened, the sky did not fall – and you know what? Not worrying is a whole lot of fun.

Below isn’t what I ended up with. The Chickummyjig coming to terms with the egg-laying thing, over on the sidebar, is the first. This one was made for PANDA’s Night Off Night Out. Aunty Cookie has been organising some crafters into action. Incidentally, Aunty Cookie makes that lovely brown fabric with chickens printed on it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, Woe is Me (It’s My Birthday), or: Read This (There’s a Giveaway!)

I have a generally perky personality,* and only do grumpy for the first twenty minutes of every morning and a week either side of my birthday. Terrifyingly, for my nearest and dearest, we are currently living in the birthday danger zone. Luckily, for these nearest and dearest, this year I have decided to be nice(r).

While drawing the line at professional help – it’d take decades and I have places to be, people to see – I am embracing the birthday. (That sound you just heard was a few birds falling off their perches). This year, I am shouting it out loud, that I am not as close to forty as all my high school friends and celebrating with a pressie for a lucky someone.

For a chance to win a pack of five A5 Critter Cards, designed by me and printed on delicious, cottony stock with matching envelopes, just leave a comment and your name will go into the extremely official hat.

Oh and because I'm buying time for the odds to be slightly greater than one in five, comments close at the stroke of midnight (Melbourne time) this Sunday the 26th. Best of luck all and happy birthday to me, tra la la la la...

* For those who know me well, this isn't an invitation to suggest otherwise

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finding Faces: the Sequel

Since first rabbiting on about a few characters I found hiding in unexpected corners of our house, all the Myrtleandeunices have been obsessively ferreting critters out of the woodwork. I am exhausted from the constant adjudication (there have been RAISED VOICES) and reiteration of the made-up-as-I-go-along rules:

1. Absolutely, under no circumstances do ‘put together’ faces fit the bill, no matter how ‘casually’ features seem to ‘circumstantially’ happen together. I am so on to that.

2. Faces found while standing sideways or on one’s head are absolutely and clearly acceptable – and extra brownie points for spotting them the wrong way up in the first instance.

3. If all argument fails, Mummy is right, Daddy is patently wrong. Of COURSE that’s a guy on the travel cup with extraordinary eyebrows, getting a macro view of nostril hairs with every sip.


I figured a second found faces offering, might buy me some peace and quiet around here for twenty minutes. I also thought if I share the hungry bloke we found in our shoe cupboard...

...the chirpy chap who welcomes us at the front door, (only it took us a while to notice because he was shouting his “I'm over here!” sideways)...

...the poor bloke (hang on, why are they all male?) who just needs a great big cuddle, though I've explained the structural implications are tricky...

...that I could gently prod along those, such as Christie, Gemma and Jo who sort of slightly indicated that they might have some characters lurking about in their neck of the woods, as well as Wendy, who stayed completely stum but who I know is pretty good at this sort of thing.

Finally, just to clarify, this is E.T.’s distant relative. Isn't it?

Ed: Crikey! Jo is impressively quick off the mark...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Words and Pictures: ‘Collecting’

When I was as little as eight, the only thing I ever bought with my pocket money was an Enid Blyton book. Given this happened approximately 47 times* and I have hung on to every one of them for very nearly (gulp) thirty years, I'm calling it a collection. Now my kidlets are working their own way through the Adventures of the Wishing Chair and befriending The Folk of the Faraway Tree. And as I overhear Mr Myrtleandeunice reading these bedtime stories, my own memory of those same words, the same calamities and rightful endings, the same mirth at the mischief and edge-of-seat anticipation: it all comes flooding back. Just like that thirty years was a minute ago.

* I have a suspicion that a small number of these books were acquired through birthdays and Christmases. In which case I undoubtedly frittered my pocket money on sweets and treats.

See who else is collecting stuff and playing along with Pip

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pick Up Sticks

We are in the last half of the second week of school holidays - and it's beginning to show around the edges. It hasn't helped that the days haven't panned out as they were (at least loosely) planned. Things were getting a little spiky this afternoon and I went off in search of the kids' Pick Up Sticks set. Apparently it's shot through with all the other stuff that oh so mysteriously goes missing in this house, (such as one of every pair of socks to ever step through the front door).

And then the solution seemed so obvious. I have LOADS of pick up sticks. And ones with extra magical power - you simply can't put them down! I would be lying to say the kids weren't dubious (mainly because the smallest person wanted to play too). But we have all agreed, the concept has legs. The next time the One Armed Bandit is snoozing, we are up for Round Two. I'll be the one sneaking in the wool.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Asking for Trouble

It's not like I sit around twiddling my thumbs much. Only Monday evenings and even then I'm not really watching the Spooky MI5 thrillingness on the box – I'm too busy counting stitches. For this reason, I made a conscious decision to shun the World of Quilting, until the invention of the 27 hour day.

Today I popped into Amitié to purchase a few scraps of loveliness. Do you think I could move past the Town and Country quilt kit laid before me? Not a chance. Even I, oh huffy one, who way prefers to angst over her own colour combinations, thank you very much, instantly threw in the towel and submitted to the inevitable. Greatly impressing at least myself that it's 'batting' I need for the middle bit of the quilt sandwich, I am now all set and there is no stopping me.*

* Except possibly the 19 other tasks now requiring urgent attention (we can't live on bread and chutney alone, apparently).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two Things

First Thing
Thank you for a lovely lot of therapeutic emailings and comments sympathising with our Emergency Room Easter. Some of the gulpingly terrifying anecdotes that accompanied them, make our tiny finger episode look like a mere walk in the park! This prompted me to remember something that periodically ran through my head while in the ER: We are lucky ones. We can fix things. And I do feel, oh, so lucky.

In the meanwhile, the newly named One-Armed Terror is doing just fine, thank you very much. I gave the "Whacka, Whacka" parenting technique, (the term Mr and I give for the sound of the helicopter, ever-hovering style of bringing up kids), a good go but to no avail. Shadowing the small person in an attempt to prevent further catastrophe, was a patent failure, only prompting dramatics and defiant leaps off even taller buildings in a single bound. Sigh.

Second Thing

Speaking of defiant, the single tomato plant that has kept us in salad all summer and wildly, maniacally, overtaken our driveway, has had an extreme manicure. And looky here, at this giant salad bowl filled with green, never destined to ripen much tomatoes. Mr Myrtleandeunice has that look in his eye again - that would be the chutney-making look. Apparently this time, it's a recipe for: Loads of Green And One Red Tomato Chutney.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Holding Off On That Breathing Space

I cheated with my last post. I finished the writing on Wednesday evening, intending to 'publish' Thursday night but hadn't counted on the curve ball. Come Friday evening, I still wasn't up for dealing with the details and, as Andy Goldsworthy's art always makes me smile, that's what I went with. By now, my breathing has returned to a relatively even rhythm and apart from a too-frequent memory of the other morning and the physically cringing response that goes with it, things are pretty ok.

Early Thursday, my not-far-off two year old had an altercation with a tandem bike chain. Her older brother was busy doing what five year olds do, (rotating the pedal by hand) and his little sister, staying true to her job description, poked her finger in the path of the moving chain. Now this is where my toes start curling and I can hear my heart thump in my ears. Her poor, poor finger was stuck, and the time that her Dad worked to free her, while I held her, was surely nothing less than a decade. Even more terrifying, was the sight of the finger once freed. A million soothing nursery rhymes were sung in that ambulance on the way to the hospital and every one of them stuck in my throat. By the time we had been through endless x-rays, anaesthesias and inspections, my poor kid was also enduring croaking, creaking renditions of Up the Wooden Hill and the Patsy Biscoe's Songs for Children that saw me through my own childhood.

Although I would recommend all the hospital staff we came across, be knighted or turned into fairy princesses or something lovely, a series of extremely stressful bungles meant that we had to wait until Friday afternoon for surgery. Given all the finger nerve endings had given up the ghost and pain was mercifully minimal, imagine if you would, the challenge in keeping an I'm-off-to-conquer-the-world ankebiter on your lap or in a cot for 30 hours while ensuring the 'drip' isn't pulled out/causing strangulation/any other nightmare scenario I could care to imagine (these were, by now, countless).

A couple of days on and although there are some hurdles ahead, the poppet is on the mend. It just goes to show how bouncy and resilient kids are, as she negotiates a vastly changed centre of gravity, lugging around a protective cast that weighs a brick. She hasn't stopped demanding 'higher' on the swing, or 'flying' (jumping) off the steps, although her mother is willing to stoop to any form of bribery, if only she would for half a minute.

Finally, I have a list of thank yous (in coming to the rescue chronological order):

1. To our lovely neighbour who is either extremely talented at being in the right place at the right time (or thinks we are extremely accident prone). She scooped up our other two kids and led a tidy up through a house that really could probably have just done with a very large power hose. She also fed the dog.

2. The long-suffering Grandma, Grandad and Nana Myrtleandeunice. This time we ruined the first bit of their Easter holiday but they beautifully soothed a couple of stressed kids and hosted a sleepover. They also fed the dog.

3. To Rebecca Danger for her Bunny Nuggets pattern. Mr Myrtleandeunice very cleverly packed the knitting bag the day of the surgery. The pattern was joyously simple and perfect distraction therapy. Had the Mr developed a sudden mind reading talent and packed the darning needle and scissors I would have finished the second ear and the Parent Waiting Room would have escaped entirely unscathed. To my knowledge, Rebecca did not feed the dog.

(Mr Myrtleandeunice would like a credit for his pom pom bunny bottoms):

4. To the Mr Myrtleandeunice who was the definitive Pillar of Strength. That bloke really does know how to do calm (even though his toes are still curling). And he's a star. And he remembered most of the knitting stuff. And he also fed the dog.

5. Finally, to the very dear friend who appears to be setting up a Meals on Wheels service. A scrummy dinner was supplied last night (the kid with the dodgy finger was the first to demand 'MORE!') and we have only just eaten our way through last week's surprise seasonal (which includes pumpkin) pie. She didn't feed the dog, but I know she would if I ever needed to ask.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Breathing Space

Lately, I've upped the ante around here and things have been fairly busy. There is promise of yet more unprecedented ridiculousness in weeks to come. So, this Easter break is a big deal. It may well be a case for the perversity of setting the alarm earlier, in order to relax longer. Amongst all the baking and crafting and throwing a ball for a dog positively beside herself that her beach season has begun, I'm looking for still. The sort of still that is the sound of my own breathing. The sort of grounding, internal quiet that gets me every time I see this:

From the documentary on artist Andy Goldsworthy, "Rivers and Tides"

Have a very lovely, very long, Easter (or otherwise) ‘weekend’!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Singing Rainbow*: Blue

I'm ready to draw a line under the whole Rainbow experience. It hasn't been without its trauma and I'm embracing the closure. Not that I haven't learnt from the process. Such as, the correct colours of the rainbow. That was a significant piece of information for a graphic designer, with a decent amount of experience and apparently, somewhat dodgy, education. Oh, and there also seems to be a latent blue thing going on. I like ending on blue. An excellent excuse for another typography shot:

Not to mention a favourite print from the late, great Paolozzi:

And then there's the random kitchen selection:

The sweet, kitsch candle holder from a dear friend who recognised the blue tendency before me:

And then finally, the whole It Could Be Time To Get A Grip Moment. Standing in the middle of the kitchen floor, I am conducting my own Symphony of Domestic Bliss/Chaos. Stirring the dinner, playing hidey with the youngest, admiring the drawings of the oldest two, fielding market research evilness calls (fairly politely), completely and utterly ignoring the upside-down-ness of the house... and knitting a Bunny Nugget. A blue Bunny Nugget.

* The Singing Rainbow is based on the song "I can sing a Rainbow", by Arthur (I've-Got-A-Lot-To-Answer-For) Hamilton. The colours of the rainbow as they appear in this song are: red, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange and blue. Those who grew up with the correct colours of the rainbow and, finally, now myself, know them as dictated by the Roy G Biv rule: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

For those with indefatigable stamina, willing to embark on the wrong rainbow journey, here's red, yellow, pink, green, purple, and orange. Pack plenty of Trail Mix.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Snail Mailing

Christie over at Pigeon Pair has been excellently organising a Kid's Mail Swap. The deadline for posting five cards each to five kids around the globe was yesterday and true to my pushing-a-deadline form, above is the photographic evidence that we made it. Were the photo taken after 6pm postal collection time, that would be well into the witching hour(s) and things would be looking a lot less, er, co-operative.

While the kids anxiously await the arrival of their own mail, there is endless hypothesising over what Sam, who lives seven to ten postage days away, might eat for breakfast or what Tallulah's favourite colour Easter egg is likely to be. And with the kids school holidaying and therefore on constant alert, never has the postman felt performance anxiety akin to this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Important Announcement

As part of an ongoing Maintenance of Sanity Schedule, there will be an interruption to normal programming this Monday 6 April 2009. Programming is expected to resume Tuesday 7 April 2009. Thank you for your co-operation.

Spooks is on. I have waited a year. I'm not answering the phone either.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Knead Shipwreck Insurance This Easter?

I can appreciate the ritual in religion. After fumbling my reaction to the death of a family fish, (I'll get back to you on the details of that one), I then found myself at something of a loss presiding over the last rites. The fish and I weren't particularly close, and with limited anecdotal remembrances up my sleeve, I could have done with a relevant, resonating prayer or two.

When religious holidays roll around, I have a similar unease. I am very happy for my kids to learn about all kinds of religious beliefs, but I am not happy to preach them. Conversely, I do not want Easter to be just about eating their own body weight in chocolate eggs.

Given these inconsistencies, this time last year, I was looking to establish a ritual that fit with us. While matter-of-factly explaining the relevance of hot cross buns, the emphasis was definitively weighed toward the making of them. And what is it with that intangible calm, that descends on a home, as the dough is kneaded and the oven bakes? It was a glorious way to spend a Good Friday labouring over batch after batch (don't even try to think you can stop at one).

For weeks I have been anticipating getting my hands on that ritual again. So, yesterday, when Mr Myrtleandeunice started bemoaning the lack of lead-up-to-Easter-hot-cross-bun in his life, I needed no further encouragement. Call it a practice run. I have also sourced the best-ever recipe in the world. It's full of WAY more promise than you'd expect from a bun...

Chef: Karen Goodwin-Roberts (as sourced from ABC Hobart)

Traditional folklore has it that hot cross buns, those familiar shiny round buns with their dark currants sticking out here and there, are descended from pagan days when the vernal equinox was celebrated. If properly made on the actual day - Good Friday -they are supposed to PROTECT THE WHOLE FAMILY FROM FIRES, RATS, ACCIDENTS AND SHIPWRECKS!
(See? Best-ever recipe...)

Serves: 12 • Preparation time: 2 hours

You need:
450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
50g butter
1 sachet easy blend dried yeast
75g sultanas
25g chopped mixed peel
50g castor sugar
225ml milk
1 egg, beaten
For crosses: 1tbsp flour and 1.5tbsp water
(nb. The Myrtleandeunice's also mix a little apricot jam and water to glaze over the tops)

• Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl and rub in butter
• Mix in the yeast, sultanas, peel and sugar
• Heat milk to hand temperature and whisk in egg before adding to flour mixture
• Mix well
• Turn dough on to floured surface and knead for 10 mins or mix in electric mixer with dough hook for 5 mins
• Divide dough into 12 even pieces of about 3oz (75g) and form into balls
• Arrange in a roasting tin leaving space for spreading although they will join up during baking
• Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1.5 hours until doubled in bulk
• To make crosses mix the flour and water to make a thick batter
• Fill piping bag (with a round nozzle) and pipe a neat cross on each bun
• Bake at 400F/Gas 6/200C for 25 minutes

Serving suggestion: pull away buns, split and serve plain or toasted with butter

And, finally:

Recipe adapted for dear friends of the non-Easter persuasion.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Singing Rainbow*: Orange

It doesn't feel like Autumn around here. There isn't that bite in the air, our week has been mostly** squintingly sunny and the leaves haven't even dreamt of 'turning' – although that may have something to do with our searing summer, frying them to crispy bits.

The evidence in our garden does suggest otherwise. Big orange pumpkins are crying out for a soup ladle. Except it's way too sweaty for that sort of thing and I'm looking to broaden the repertoire. I have reliable information that pumpkin bread is the go but I'm also interested in the larger than life reputation of pumpkin pie. We simply don't do pumpkin pie here and I have the faintest inkling one good reason is an unavailable, but vital ingredient(?). Needless to say, any top recipe tips from experts in the know, would be mightily appreciated by all in the firing line of endless Soup de Loup.

(nb. For those with keen eyes, the spot of definitively-not-orange, is the wayward red of a gratuitously posing ladybird).

Last week it was the school's Autumn Festival. A perfect excuse to plan for when it stops feeling like summer and purchase an addition for the seasonal shelf. In attendance were the ladies from The Friendship Tree with beautifully crafted bits, and this pumpkin, glorious in its orangeness...

...has treasures inside.

PS. For those with commendable wherewithall and willing to embark on a rainbow backtrack, try here, here, here, here and here.

* The Singing Rainbow is based on the song "I can sing a Rainbow", by Arthur (I've-Got-A-Lot-To-Answer-For) Hamilton. The colours of the rainbow as they appear in this song are: red, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange and blue. Those who grew up with the correct colours of the rainbow, know them as dictated by the Roy G Biv rule: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

The Roy G Biv rainbow makers are:
• Michelle at Green Kitchen
• Suse at Pea Soup
• Patrice at Making Peace
• Jo at The Cart Before the Horse

** Gloating in my organisation, I began this post last night, back when it was still 32 degrees celsius. Since then we have received torrential rainstorms, boneshaking thunder and a considerable, almost Autumnal, drop in temperature.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ten Sleeps and Counting...

Got to love an Easter Bonnet Parade. A lot less evidence of the upside down baskets and cotton wool balls I creakily remember from back in 'my day', but a great mix of kid creativity and parental intervention, (there has to be some sort of limit to how many Easter eggs you can hot glue gun on to Dad's hat. Right?).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finding Faces

We have three Inspire Wires* hanging in our kitchen. They are located in a high traffic zone, (floor is in desperate mopping need) and visible from a number of vantage points. The bits and bobs that live on our Inspire Wires, include mementoes of pre-kid lifetimes, photographic evidence of dodgy hairdos and incredulous fashion moments, crafty kid creations, swatches of pattern, seasonal treasures and just plain stuff to make us smile.

I coveted my well-travelled postcard, above, more than a decade ago. A Swiss designery couple, Francois and Jean Robert, had embarked on a photographic study of 'faces' found in everyday objects. This postcard is a perfect synopsis of their joy-filled book, Face to Face. It lurks on our Inspire Wires as my reminder to keep my eyes peeled. Between the everyday rituals of an ordinary old Wednesday, I can still find a few extraordinary personalities lurking around the house...

1. Storage box containing emergency stash of kid DVDs. Hauled out on sick days, or occasional Mum-really-needs-a-moment-now school holiday day. Not that the kids have cottoned on to that yet.

2. Child’s wooden toy (things happen with the wooden balls, though since we lost two, the effect is somewhat lessened):

3. Can of Ayam Coconut Milk, 270ml, No preservative! No thickener! No whitener! (apparently):

PS. Keeping my eyes peeled is good for my soul. I therefore pledge, (on a slightly committed level), an ongoing 'Finding Faces' mission. If anyone else is up for the challenge, let me know. You will then have immediately upped the ante and I will be starting to freak out slightly. But I would be delighted to publish any jpeg contributions or link to posts or whatnot. And if no one puts up a hand to hold me accountable, I shall consider myself footloose, fancy free and with less homework.

* Our Inspire Wires were, er, inspired, by Amanda Soule Blake's (aka Soulemama) 'inspiration wires' as shown in her book ‘The Creative Family’. Amongst many other great notions there is an idea for a musical 'banging wall', involving a great many noisy accoutrements, such as saucepan lids. I haven't yet checked in with the neighbours on that one.