Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Creative Space

Progress Report Project 01
Some Mara knittery using this glorious stuff (the heavyweight sock yarn). I’m nearing the finishing line. As much as can be nearing finished when every rib row takes the best part of half an hour. More than once, I’ve pondered switching to that speedier, continental-style of knitting.

Progress Report Project 02
Best hold your nose. If you’re right up close to the ex-Dinosaur Egg, it is possible to catch a waft of the delight that is two-week-old Moss Spore and Yoghurt Milkshake.

Excitingly, I read something (misguided?) that such mould is good. After, six weeks and following simultaneous planetary alignment, a lottery win, the unearthing of a pair of matching socks chez Myrtleandeunice and the discovery of a fulfilling career allowing work/life balance and all else that currently seems a smidgeon unlikely (I never buy lottery tickets), the moss should begin to sprout. Fingers crossed.

Please note: that stuff looking disconcertingly like two-week-old Moss Spore and Yoghurt Milkshake, is not. When not wet, that there is a delicately-furred, living, (mildly stinky) organism.

Progress Report Project 03
20 x 20 centimetre squares of knitted love to be combined with others from the school community into a blanket of care, warmth and support.

One heck of a lady has a fight on her hands and even if the prognosis wasn’t FABULOUS, I’d still back her for a knockout win any bloomin’ day.

Small Print
In the interests of full disclosure, there are no less than seventy three other projects-in-progress and at various stages of completion. Some have not been touched in years.


More Spaces over at Kirsty’s...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clever (Not)

Clever Bird.

Amongst the bustle of the school Thursday Market there was an exuberant WHOAR! from the Middle as he rushed to rescue an abandoned nest the wind gusted to the ground.

Lucky kid.

Holding this crafted work in the palm of my hand makes my heart skip beats. This birdie-builder is all about quality – none of that polyester stuffing business – it’s lined entirely in 100% wool with smudges of accent colour decorating the edges.

Lucky eggs.

In less clever news, this is the only photographic evidence of a weekend away with dearest friends.

What a luxury as our partners held the respective forts and for the first time in twenty years it was just us high school pals. The not-clever bit, is that involving the over-consumption of tangy margheritas. This One Pot Screamer* from way back, is still cobbling together fragments of lost memory and recovering from the vestiges of the World’s Worst Hangover.

Silly bird.


* A Two Pot Screamer is Australian slang for a person with a low tolerance to alcohol (and when clever, practises some form of restraint).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Creative Space (Modelled by Colin)

The honeymoon is over. O.V.E.R. This last week I have begun to knit, crochet and sew my way out of a ridiculously long list of Presents Owed. Then when I approached each kid, wielding camera, looking hopeful, there was only flat refusal: I’d rather shove bamboo under my fingernails! TWICE! declared the eldest. Not when hell freezes over and cryopreserves the Devil for future study! growled the Middle. Not for all the tea parties in China! flounced the youngest.

Colin, quietly observing the grovelling and the hissy-fitting, instigated the negotiation of a mutually agreeable, craft-modelling outcome...

The image above, is Colin modelling a bib for a baby, born quite some time ago. I can’t really show you the bib, a) because it would entirely spoil any taken-aback-ness (surprise) at receiving such a late gift and b). because Colin’s key negotiated requirement was to get to be Superman. With a cape-bib. Supercolin.

The image below, is Colin modelling a strawberry beanie. For another wee one, it is a woolly hat made purposely big (Colin does have a smallish head) to coincide with a winter three seasons away.

Here we have Colin modelling a crocheted Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf. This is a gift intended for someone who has quite possibly forgotten that I owe them a birthday gift from eleven months ago.

I am chuffed beyond imagination to be ahead of deadline on this one. Even though I can’t make the birthday party on Saturday and my niece will never know of my fleeting organisation. Here is Colin modelling a size 2, girly, twirly, Lazy Days Skirt. Colin could not be charmed into performing a girly twirl. I did not mean to stick him with the pin, holding the skirt waist tight. Nonetheless, poor Colin seemed to feel the pain of pin-sticking and standing about in girly twirl stuff too much to bear.

Luckily, after a choof-about on the mantelpiece, all was well...


Linky list
• Bib pattern adapted to suit a gocco design, but based on this.
• Strawberry beanie (or any fruit or vegie you like, really) pattern by Suse and freely available here
• Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf pattern here
• Free Lazy Days Skirt pattern here


Colin was lovingly crafted by Jess. Jess, I am truly very sorry about the pin-sticking incident thing.

For your My Creative Space bloggy world tour, start with the somewhat caffeine-addicted Kirst...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not-Perfect Perfect

On a Saturday night whim, I set myself a two hour deadline for fabric selection and cutting and piecing the top of a picnic rug. What a liberating thing, is a speedy deadline. No time for faffing, second-guessing or any of the time-consuming doubt malarkey. More a case of grab/chop/sew/done and there I am sitting in front of Lost in Translation right when the TV guide said I should. How I love that movie. Beautiful, lonely, empty, funny and now haunting because Tokyo does not look the same city just now.

From the outset of the Saturday night whim, I understood that the aim was to LIKE the picnic rug but not to LOVE it. The level of like should be such that I would want to use it, but it should not reach the level of love where I would be afraid to use it, spoil it, stain it, picnic upon it.

Yesterday I went out to buy quilted fabric for the backing and then sewed the front and back together and didn’t give a sideways consideration to binding.

I used the speedy tying technique for the ‘quilting’ bit. Voila! A picnic rug using big pieces of fabric that do NOT make my heart flutter and small snippets that DO. Not a labour of love, rather an entirely satisfying, crafty quick fix with function.

I tested the function straight away. Out in the backyard, with the lightweight newspaper sections, my hands-over-ears at the horrors of the real news bit. The knitty business is a Mara-in-progress.

The comfy, snugly, not-heavy, not-bulky and not-perfect picnic rug is just the perfect I was after.

The perfection is entirely proven by my devil-may-care attitude to this mischief monkey with her honey-sticky fingers...

The more used, stained, washed, worn and lived on it becomes, the more perfect the picnic rug will be.


PS. The middle kid says he has no time for picnics. He has time only for thinking, drawing and making dragons.

PPS. When next the aim is for a more considered, quilted number, (without the honeyed, sticky-fingered input), I am so giving this lovely a whirl...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Creative Space: Yoghurt Craft

It was with bad mother singlemindedness that I tackled the ex-Dinosaur Egg yesterday. I’ve been itching to get on to it since last week and nothing was stopping me. Amazingly, we did not eat baked beans for dinner – I outdid myself with uberness and presented health-giving salad (with sprouts!) and trout for dinner. But all failed on the clean undies front this morning and the middle is wearing his bathers.

So yesterday was all about glue gunning and hacking into thrifted doilies and tablecloths. Things are a bit iffy around the edges (at least at the back)...

Then I picked up a kid from school and then I made a milkshake.

The middle kid was keen until he saw what went in to the concoction: One litre of natural yoghurt, a tablespoon of sugar and a healthy dose of moss and moss spores. Mmmmm.

The theory is that the gloop, if kept in the right environment, will promote the growth of moss over the ex-Dinosaur Egg. The theory is the same for growing moss on rocks. The other theory is that the moss may just grow to look like a green fuzzy doily.

There was nothing delicate about the application...

...and I can confirm that the heady waft of warm yoghurt and moss spores stays with you for a surprisingly long time after you’ve hosed yourself down.

On the up side, there was a miraculously moisturising effect. I have one super-stinky but almost youthful-looking hand. Posh cosmetic companies take note.

Meanwhile, for now, it’s all a frequently-spritzed, maintenance-of-damp, cross-fingered, waiting game.

More spaces of the creative kind over at Kirsty’s...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It was a long weekend spent camping and a weekend of big and little perspectives.

A walk in the sky, with a temperate rainforest at our feet, (45 metres below our feet!). A bird’s eye view, we swayed in the breeze, like tree tops.

It was a weekend spent marvelling,

at giants,


the tiniest


Squinting through the dim, evening camp light, knitting for the biggest kid,

made-to-order knitted love,

knowing that today she is off on her first school camp, feeling grown up and excited and big and also a little bit not grown up and nervous and small.

Yesterday, a package arrived and it contained a scarf and more fingerless gloves (TOO COOL!!!). Such a gesture from someone she has never met, made her heart swell.

All this with my ear to the radio listening to another disaster unfold and again I am struck by how my life goes along in its blessed ordinariness. I already had perspective, know how lucky I am. It takes my breath away, that this time last week, pre-earthquake, pre-tsunami, pre-ongoing nuclear threat, that so many other people also lived ordinary, blessed lives.

All I can do is in gestures.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Creative Space

Bet you don’t know what this is?


How about this?...


If you were a small anklebiter type, living in our street, you would have been informed in all straight-faced, adamant seriousness, that it is indeed a Dinosaur Egg*. Ah, the wonderment of having a Dinosaur Egg nesting in one’s garden.

After four years the story has finally run its course. Those little kids are four years the wiser and those of them who questioned periods of incubation and such-like, now raise but a cynical eyebrow. And these days, whenever anyone shows any sort of bewildered interest, the middle kid comes over all excitable and bug-lovin’ and turns the egg over to reveal the resident House(?) Redback(?) Spider. That’s her underside there, perched on her own, egg-y nest.

Ever since I came over all crocheted-rock obsessed, I have had my eye on the ex-Dinosaur Egg. And with all this mild, drizzly weather we’ve been having, it’s time to get a job done.

I have a doilied tablecloth:

I have coverage:

Well, mostly:

(I’m still toying with attachment notions versus all-over coverage, bespoke tailoring and glue guns and whatnot – not to mention a Spider Relocation Plan).

Oh, and then I have this:

And you can take it from me, there is natural yoghurt in the fridge.

I’ll be blending up a tasty cocktail of moss spores and yoghurty acidophilus and painting the ex-Dinosaur Egg with the gloop. And then I’m going to obsessively keep things all damp and moss-growing, conducive-like and see what happens next.

Totally inspired by this.

For all sorts of inspiration, pop by and see Kirst.


* Besides an ex-Dinosaur Egg, it is a somewhat weathered plaster mould of one of those fitball whatsits. Which the Mr cast eons ago for some startlingly necessary reason, which neither of us can recall.