Thursday, September 23, 2010


Alright already, I’m cutting to the chase.

Having the English inlaws visit has not panned out as per last week’s expectations. It was surely a matter of time before everyone had acclimatised and I would be swanning off to the nearest girly luncheon, knitting as I soirée-ed.

So, so not. The Mr has been up-to-the-eyeballs bizzy and I’ve been helping like a mostly helpful wife, while fast running out of dinner repertoire options, with which to do bedazzling, daughter-in-law, culinary brilliance.

Worse still, not a skerrick of craft has been achieved – a first in living memory. Not only that, I have managed but fleeting, opportunistic blog lurkery and am trusting that you lovely lot are versed in the time-poor, over-committed language of telepathic commentary. I’ve been missing not throwing my oar in.

So I’m off on an official bloggy break (rather than this recent sporadic blogging bizzo) over the rest of the school hols. I’m off to study up hard and stun the inlaws with magnificent culinary achievement: croquembouche? lobster thermidore? (suggestions whipped up in less than thirty minutes heartily welcomed). Along the wayside, I’ll find me some time out and hang out with the smalls.

When I’m back in a week or so, I’m hoping for less angst – although if you spotted the guest post over at WhipUp you’ll understand there’s a whole midlife crisis to tackle. In the meantime, have a mighty fine week, you lot. I’m already looking forward to the catch up.

PS. For the befuddled, the above image is a graphic representation of how it feels to live with not a skerrick of craft for an entire week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Creative Space

So the inlaws arrived from England late Monday night and what I can’t believe is that I entirely forgot what it would be like. Nanna and Grandpa have soldiered valiantly through jetlag and my three kids are beside themselves with excitement and hyperactivity. What I love is that there is an immediate bond, which has momentarily waylaid most of my ongoing guilt that Australia is so very far away from England.

The bit that I entirely forgot, is that except for kid drop offs and pick ups and cooking dinner and doing the washing and stuff, at the moment I’m pretty irrelevant around here. I have a thick enough skin to let the (ok, slightly too constant), ‘Go away Mum, we’re having fun!’ commands fly right through to the keeper, but what I haven’t yet done, is work out how to take full advantage. While I think I’m still needed to tuck an overtired toddler into bed and debrief the events of the day with the older two, I am fully aware that most of the rest is grandparent time. I COULD BE CRAFTING ALL DAY. OR FINDING A CAREER. OR BEING A LADY WHO LUNCHES. OR SOMETHING.

Instead I’ve been trying not to hover and doing stand-up craft. Easy-to-put-down-and-pick-up craft, of the highly transportable variety. Did you know that it’s possible to crochet seven repeats of Kate’s ric-rac tutorial, in seaweed green, while waiting for the kettle to boil for tea?

Or morph some mind-boggling Japanese fabric into a scarf while waiting in the car for a kid pick-up?

Or knit a few rows of Di’s Clementine’s Baby Kimono, while waiting outside for the washing to dry?

No doubt, by next week, I’ll have the hang of things.

In the meanwhile, my sister has made excellent use of nine months of crafting eyebrows and toenails and the like and has introduced a new cousin to the clan. On her own birthday, no less. My middle is beaming an ear-to-ear grin. He’s sick to the back teeth with all the girls in our family. Even the dog and his stick insects are girls. Probably even the carnivorous fish. He’s pretty chuffed that rather than a tenth girl-cousin kid, Hudson has arrived to take his place next to the three boys.

Welcome, kiddo.

Go find Kirst for your Thursday, My Creative Space, whirl around the world...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Knitting With Cobwebs and Learning German

Is it any reflection on the general weirdy vibe in this house, that all three of my children correctly guessed, upon my waving of (above) scrappy bits in front of their noses, that I had crafted a pair of mosquito wings?

Knitted using the Habu Silk Stainless Steel long lurking around my place – a yarn not destined for anything REAL, i.e. that I could wear, because using it is a lot like negotiating a cobweb. But I’ve been fascinated for ages by its textural possibilities, the ‘memory’ of the yarn (if you pinch your knitting, it stays pinched, if you get my drift). Please note, it is infinitely easier to knit when using a double strand or teaming with some fine merino or whatnot. And the results can be breath. taking.

It’s also fun for trying some of that

artsy fartsy camera stuff.

So anyway, I’m STILL mulling over the destiny of Dead Fly (to swat or not to swat) but thought I’d make a start on a matching mozzie.

In entirely more rivoting news, one of my blog posts has been translated into german for Issue 2 of Kleinformat. (The somewhat dodgy parenting tips for travelling with kids, appeared in Issue 1). Not for the first time, I wish I could navigate german. Kleinformat is pure eye candy and it’s jam-packed with all manner of crafty, funky, designery, wisdom. Especially if you can read it.

The Mr and I spent a considerable portion of yesterday evening practising madly and attempting some small fluency...

Eine sekunde auf den lippen, ein leben lang auf den hüften.

Which, we discovered, is a rather delightful translation (in reference to my penchant for ice cream) from:

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Promises, Promises...

The magnolia, then snug in its wintry, fur coat, has delivered on its spring promise.

It was a generous promise.

With more on the way.

Wishing you every sort of weekend wonderful, filled with its own potential (and maybe even brekky in bed).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Creative Space

Did I tell you I gave up? Like really gave up? I threw the doors of the wool shop open, my hands in the air and proclaimed WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE! None of that selection from a few (of Mum’s favoured) options malarkey.

Then the entire, expansive button collection was spilt before the kid: GO FOR IT! Not that the twirly girly was ever likely to stray long or far from matching pink or puce.

So, winter is over and my previously, frequently-nudey, three year old, is warmly, woolly, clad in a cardigan based on the Olearia pattern – just in time for spring and already warmer weather. I say ‘based’ because I frequently forgot the pattern and did not correct my mistakes. The knitting was very much What the Heck and One Last Shot (would it ever even be worn?), which translates to ignoring repeats and sailing past gathered bits and adding increases whenever the fancy took me.

Wouldn’t you know it, she’s been gadding about in fully clothed warmth since the last button was attached.

And with all that, I have finally rediscovered my groove. No doubt buried under the shell shock of previous experience with three year olds, I’m still not entirely sure how I managed to forget it, lose it. While I’ve been entirely relaxed over ghastly clothing combinations for quite some time (any clothing is a small victory for good and not evil), I wouldn’t voluntarily spend treasured, therapeutic knitty time, with squeaky wool or colours of girl toddler choice. Yet who could possibly choose better colour and style for a kid, than the kid herself? The kid who pretty much sailed through so-called Terrible Twos and launched three with DEFIANCE, OPINION, built-in anti-freeze, SPIRIT and CHUTZPAH?

I’ll choose my battles, thanks.

You know where to take that cuppa for cruise-around-the-interwebby inspire time...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Craft Camp Weekend (A Bit of a Bummer)

Last weekend was rain in sheets and mud in slides and stuck cars and fab food. There was lots of stitchery and knittery and a bit of french knottery and much nattering, way past the Cinderella, through to the wee pumpkin hour. Thank you for having me you fine crafty camp cohorts.

This is not the bummer bit.

Because there is now an unspoken law that craft camp at Sewjourn requires some form of yarnbombing (er, comment loudly Jan, should you beg to somewhat differ), I tackled a cactus nodule.

Fortuitously, the spines are currently, but tiny (evil) hairs and inflicted stinging hand torture for only a little of (the entire) drive home. I have visions they will grow to the nail-thick, needle-sharp, inches-long clusters of the neighbouring cactus – so defining my objet d’art as wildly impressive, rather than mildly disturbing.

This is not the bummer bit.

Another piece of inspired mischief was committed by a talented Ye Yarnbomber Who Shall Remain Nameless Until Ye Yarnbomber Outs Herself. At my first craft camp there were the leggings. Tinniegirl conspired a short while later with the scarf. Jodie came to the party with the fishy dinner. YYWSRNUYYOH (Ye Yarnbomber Who Shall Remain Nameless Until Ye Yarnbomber Outs Herself) produced the sweetest, storkiest hat.

This is not, strictly speaking, the bummer bit.

I have a theory that at some point, throughout the constant sheeting-rain, storming weekend, that a solitary, freak-of-nature lightning strike, fearsomely struck in an otherwise lightning-less weekend. Attracted to the friction of acrylic leggings on metal legs, the stork was tragically, dramatically, smote. Either that or Magda had one of her sneezing fits.

This is, most decidedly, the bummer bit.

Future craft campers, the challenge is hereby issued. The stork needs a new bottom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Creative Space

I’m off on Craft Camp this weekend and have instigated a No New Projects Policy. Which simply translates to a need to start as many projects as possible before I leave.

Kate, Queen of the Crocheted Trim, is letting me babysit that treasure, above, for a few weeks. But I haven’t started on any trim things yet, because my permanently-scantily-clad-in-the-middle-of-freezing-winter kid, said she’d like to wear a cardigan. A pink and purple cardigan. Then I spotted Kate’s knitted ‘Olearia’ and then I was in Wondoflex buying pink AND purple all-at-the-same-time yarn. Lately I’m grateful for any sort of planetary alignment, so I’m not even complaining about the small but audible ‘squeak’ the acrylic bit of the yarn makes as I knit. Though I suspect it’s making me... tense.

This is a sultry shot of squeaky yarn in action and one of my snazzy stitch markers.

The ladies at Wondoflex think I am a nutter. First I was in their shop negotiating all-at-the-same-time pink and purple wool/acrylic stuff, then making strange, excited yelps, when I spotted the rug making stuff. There were only raised eyebrows and an ‘Have you heard of latch hook?’ response to my french knotted rug notion. The following day, I’m back again to buy a different shade of red, except they don’t have it, so I buy the same red, remarking to the raised eyebrow that “I’ll just sort of swish it around in some dye stuff for a little minute”.

So I did half swish my first dye job in half a package of dark brown stuff for a little minute. Or twenty little minutes. Twice. And except for the bit about the wool doing it’s felty, fuzzy thing in the scaldingly hot water, it almost, mostly, worked.

Oh, and if you’re worried about the destiny of Dead Fly, I’m on the case. I’ve been collecting Dead Mozzie reference images. You’ll note that I spared you the pics that come with squished blood splatter.

Visit Kirst for a trillion other spaces of the creative kind...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baked With Heart and Issues With the Batman Logo

The repertoire is becoming somewhat repetitive because that there is more french knottery in red. May I clarify, that as yawningly boring as this may be, what you also see before you is a project COMPLETED.






While you’re doing jaw-from-floor retrieval, I’ll go on to tell you about this excessively large bread bag, for a generally-excellent, recently-birthdaying, big-hearted lady, who has embraced the Art of Living Slow and bakes stuff (when her oven isn’t exploding). Her baking repertoire includes posh things with french accents.

Even though I spent an inordinate amount of time on Gina’s blog studying raspberry jam pips, (spread on freshly baked goodness), as my only source of bread loaf scale reference, the bag turned out big enough for a bakery load of brioche. Sorry, G.

The stencil didn’t quite work according to plan either. I originally cut the words ‘BAKED WITH HEART’ out of the paper. Except, then I came over all clever-like and replaced the ‘A’ in ‘HEART’ with the french knotted heart shape. At the eleventh hour, (just before printing), I realised that it actually read: ‘BAKED WITH HERT’ – because your eye dismissed the heart shape and focused only on the pain. And there you have it. The reason why anyone in the world, particularly designery types, with some too-clever-by-half, tricksy, visual notion, should first go see my mother. My mother sees only a gaping-wide, tonsilled mouth in the Batman logo.


PS. If you’re having a bit of a tough week and going over to Gina’s to measure raspberry jam pips anyway, scroll down to the pic below the jammy bread and have yourself a wee giggle at Gina’s expense.