Monday, November 28, 2011

Me and Her (and Her New Shoes)

On Saturday, the big kid scored a new pair of shoes. Even though she is not the kind of kid to care many hoots what she wears, she is utterly chuffed to the back teeth over these shoes.

On Sunday, I cleared time and headspace and me and my girl and my girl’s new shoes, spent the day in town.

We Markit-ed and we traversed the entire city grid in search of an elusive ukelele,

showed her shoes some sights,

hung out and drank hot chocolate.

When we’d finished doing all that we thought up some other things that her new shoes might like

to try.

As I type this, I’m wearing a broad grin on my face. Truthfully, I’m also blinking back a tear or two (bazillion).

Next week, my girl turns ten. I don’t think I’ve really mentioned how tough nine has been, for every one. A veritable baptism of parenting fire.

Yesterday, away from all the usual, I stepped back and I saw something different. I suspect she stepped back and saw me differently too. Yesterday was a magic balm, soothing our battle scars.

In the train, on the way home, her and her new shoes insisted on standing. She wanted to see if she could stay on her feet for the whole journey without holding on once.

Of course she did.

Look at her there, standing on her own two feet. Doing just fine, Mum.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Even Though...

Even though I always knew, even from swap sign up, that this would be a last-minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants project, I kicked myself when that is exactly how things turned out.

Even though I turned my house upside down and spent waaay too much time pursuing a different idea, this one was pulled together over a calming, PULL-YOURSELF-TOGETHER-GIRL! cup of tea.

Even though I do like the tall, spindly, plant-like business, it seemed a bit ‘nice’ for my style. It seemed fitting to throw a fly onto the screen.

Even though I adore the colour (cos, sorry, I’m still stuck in the Blue Period), I shouldn’t have mixed it under warm lights at 10pm on Saturday night.

Even though I adore the colour,

it’s one of those almost luminescent kinds – the sort that glows a bit, plays tricks in some lights.

Even though the oatmealy Japanese linen is all kinds of delicious, I probably should have printed the swap versions on white.

Even though there are all those endless ‘even thoughs’ and there is a great, whopping, printing table taking up half of my living room and there was a whole lot of effort involved to print just a few metres, I caught the bug again (thanks, Leslie). P’raps we’ll just live around the great, whopping, printing table, for a few more days.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why, Hello There, Blog. O, How I’ve Missed Thee...

The last few weeks have whizzed by in a blur of just plain, real life but lately just plain, real life seems to have upped the ante. The combination of commitments and obligations have verged on the ridiculous but I am grateful to report, that a part of me – the bemused part – merely raised an imaginary eyebrow. (I’m still missing the eyebrow-raising gene so any actual eyebrow-raising is left to the experts).

Snippets from recent weeks include a to-scale cicada construction by the Mr, (above). The hope is that he will be the chosen artist-type and thus commissioned to produce a scaled-up cicada, with a three metre wing span. I am assured, were he the chosen artist-type, that the scaled-up version would not occur in our living room.

Still along a bug theme, here are the latest leafy stick insect babies, hanging about like leafy stick insects. At latest count we have fourteen and I am besotted with each and every one of ’em. It takes three of us to feed them fresh leaves, because despite the hanging about and complete stillness evidenced here,

they are Speedy Gonzales, blink-and-you-miss-’em, escaping Houdini-critters.

The Small asked for the 27,347,226th time if she could be a gymnast. She is pictured below wearing her sister’s leotard because, handily, the class is scheduled when the sister is at school and isn’t around to scream blue sibling murder.

While the gymnast is also clad in a bicycle helmet, this is not yet due to required backflipping manoeuvres of amazingness. It is because the Small and I have been peddling about (and so loving it!) with the help of one of these. Less helpfully, the kid pedals in but one direction (backwards).

There’s been some wonderful, generous, sweetest of treats in the letterbox...

A piece of Tinniegirl ART as part of a swap thing, is now happily ensconced in my kitchen. Titled To The Sea, Cathy sent it after reading my post about a particularly scratchy weekend, where temporary relief was found at the beach. I now have a piece of fabulous ART in my kitchen, prompting clever parenting strategies.

Yarnbombed, French glamour arrived in the form of a 2012 diary thanks to that excellent, crochet-cushion-crafting Kylie. (Belinda, thank you! I believe you played some role in this too?!). Geez, I’m a lucky duck. And geez, my high school French is rusty.

After a certain amount of recent angst around the dignity of yarnbombing disguises, I have finally settled on my get-up. Complete (obviously) with the red-lipsticked pout. Providing I can translate the pattern from French.

Alexis, whom I met over on Ravelry through our mutual love of a Mara shawl pattern and Socks That Rock yarn, went off to a sheep and wool show and sent me some scrumptious stuff flavoured like a New York autumn. It blows my (soon to be New York autumn) socks off, such generosity.

My inlaws have also sent evidence of the Mr’s educational credentials. Amongst the serious university business, there were a few gems, enthusiastically framed within an hour of arrival...

The 1976 certificate for THIRD in the Lower Boys Three-Legged race over 75 metres:

The 1977 effort – a FIRST in the Upper Boys Sack Race, over 50 metres:

GOLD! I say!

Punctuating everything and all of the above, are tiny but frequent opportunities to knit knit knit my way through a 2ply cardigan.

For me, it replaces any need for rocking back and forth in the nearest corner. Knitted sanity, it is. ME time. Opportunity to quietly and simultaneously practise single eyebrow lifts. Even if I do attend every school pick-up, walking around like a knitting nutter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just Like Picasso (With a Significant Difference, or Two)

I have always been a fan of a duck-egg hue but things have stepped up and now, just like Picasso, I’m going through my very own official Blue Period. I only want to ‘make’ in shades of blue and blue-green – just like Pablo. Sorry about that, my old friend Red.

Six weeks of Complete Fail Cardigan knitting has been frogged and morphed into a light, drapey, cottony, spring-ish, (blue) shawl thing.

I’m still not sure if I’ve been knitting for my nearly-ninety Granny, or for me. My Granny is a bit hip (and her hips are sprightly) and I’m concerned shawls are a bit ‘old hat’, in her book. If the shawl thing is staying in my own wardrobe, then I have four days to craft some 90th birthday brilliance. GAH!!! HELP!!! cue: desperate plea for ideas(???)

The shawl, by the way, was a joy to knit. There’s some fancy-pants lace business, punctuated by lots of garter stitch and it’s a pattern that is entirely memorable and do-able – even with kids jumping all over you.

Less kid-jumping-all-over-you friendly, is the Simplicity Cardigan that I am now knitting in a positively irresistable, fragile-feeling, (blue) Tosh Lace 2ply.

Hey, look, I’m crafting a wispy, (blue) cloud...

After all the knittery involved in the crafting of an entire 2ply cardigan, I will be an emphatically Weeping Woman if it’s another of the Complete Fail kind.


PS. There has been household heated debate. The shawl is DEFINITELY blue. NOT greenish. Picasso didn’t have a Greenish Period.

Pettine Shawl details here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Plus (Another) One

I kept it under my hat, when I posted on my first cross quilt, mostly because I couldn’t quite believe how uncharacteristically EFFICIENT and ON TIME and FORWARD THINKING, I was being.

This, the Plus (Another) One cot quilt, is a little different from the first +1 quilt and a gift for a new addition who hasn’t even arrived yet. In a while, I’m going to call my ridiculously-glamourous-while-ridiculously-pregnant friend, who is never at home and make wild assumptions if she doesn’t answer the phone. I shall keep these wild assumptions to myself and NOT try her mobile number, because I remember how wildly irritating it can be, when everyone is waiting for a baby and barracking from the sidelines.

My Small did her very, very best to glamourously model the Plus (Another) One quilt.

She was truly, very tenacious.

Before growing frustrated and demanding to know of her vertically-challenged mother, when she would grow TALL?

Her mother with the not-at-all-tall genes, lovingly, snugly, wrapped her not-that-tall-either child, (because ‘lovingly’, ‘snugly’, is what handcrafted quilts are best for) and gave her a giganormous hug.

Then we let the fence do the modelling.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Patter of Tiny Feet

Five newborns! Three hundred and forty-two, (give or take), to go!

It’s all trés excitement, pacing-of-the-floorboards in these parts! The leafy stick insect eggs have begun to hatch! The Middle is wearing pride in his goofy grin – just as any new dad would! The unpopular Carnivorous Fish is looking uncomfy, housed as he is, in a tank suited to an extensive family of sticks!


(That was a lot of exclamation).


PS. As much as I adore leafy stick insects, even I could not co-exist with three hundred and forty-seven (give or take) of the critters. Assuming further expansion and survival and so on, we shall be drawing up adoption papers and interviewing parental candidates. Dear Mama Sticks, I hope you, (or at least your souls), are perched on a juicy gum leaf, swaying in a light breeze, nodding approval from above.

PPS. Just to be conclusively definitive about things, I am not pregnant.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Today, I’m off being a blogger floozy and wittering on about stitchery and fly screens and stuff, over at WhipUp.

PS. I can’t tell you how much I dig working floozy into a blog post title, even though I am forced to admit that this image of a fly screen looks nothing like a floozy’s fishnet stockings. (Best squint a bit).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Been Camping...

Straight up, I’ll admit I took my hot water bottle, (which was consolation for one of us) after I forgot the coffee-gizmo-maker-thing.

Contrary to the image above, we were mighty lucky with the weather. When it did arrive, it arrived with emphasis. But only long enough to create an authentic (damp) camping experience. Three hours later, the kidlets were asleep and the Mr and I, out by the campfire, reading by moonlight and head torch.

It’s years since I’ve experienced the Grampians and we all loved it. The campsite nigh on deserted, our kids rambled and explored and turned into Wild Things and for five days no one insisted on any kid showering policy.

Between us, we spotted three deer, one echidna, two bearded dragons, a bazillion skinks and a zillion beetles, some suspected Wedge Tail Eagles and a few (fleetingly) collectable worms.

We hung out with the local emus, cockatoos and kookaburras and the kids constructed their very own camouflaged ‘hides’, in order to spy on kangaroos unobserved.

Those roos must see it all.

The Spring wildflowers were glorious.

The dancing ‘flowy’ and ‘fairy’.

Warming fires a constant.

The food simple and delicious

and SELF COOK!!!

The frisbee forgotten with the coffee-gizmo-maker-thing, I found a lid.

I tell you, that lid works a treat.

(now packed permanently with the tent).

We checked out a couple of waterfalls.

We took a wrong turn.

We stumbled across a giant, morose, (scary), koala.

Elly, my dear Dutch friend, my co-explorer of Australia’s east coast and fellow-discoverer of over-sized Aussie icons, these pics are for YOU.

(We think wildlife park entry is via the koala’s bottom).

Now we’re back and bathed and sweet-smelling and mostly unpacked and ready-ish for the new school term, tomorrow.


PS. HELLO to fellow camper, Katy from Sydney, who introduced herself after recognising me via knitwear blog posts(!).

PPS. Spot the stag...