Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Predictable Myrtleandeunice Style, Another Deadline is Pushed to its Very Limit and as the Last Ticks of May Are Tocked, There’s a Sprint Finish...

...and a Make it in May Skirt Sew-Along contribution is completed – JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME.

I can’t express the ridiculousness of posing an entirely motionless sprint finish while balancing on a wooden beam while Mr Myrtleandeunice takes a few forevers to take a pic.

On reflection I can see that I really should have ironed with care and possibly even attention, rather than in a sprint-finish, haphazard blur. On reflection, I can see that I really should consider a visit to a chiropractor (it’s not the skirt that’s crooked).

The skirt is a ClothKits purchase and I’ve been trying to grow taller since it arrived.

Usually I’m a slightly shorter a-line skirt wearer, (longer skirts make me feel 153cm and stumpy-looking) but I couldn’t bring myself to hem through those parked cars and ruin all that nice perspective.

Located not far from my London workplace, I’ve walked past the Trellick Tower, alongside those parked cars, a few times. I never imagined I’d be back in Australia, no taller and three children later, walking around looking 153cm and stumpy and WEARING the Trellick Tower.

You can sign up for Cam’s Make it in May Skirt Sew-Along over here. Best make it like Speedy Gonzales.


PS. There’s a really lovely Rob Ryan skirt over at ClothKits. Like the Trellick version, it comes with the pattern printed on to the fabric, lining, facings, excellent instructions, zip and thread. Best suited to tall persons, those with patience to rejig a pattern, or those who can work a lengthy a-line without coming over stumpy.

PPS. I know it seems as though I’ve disappeared from this space – but in my own head I haven’t! (I enjoy this bloggy-lark too much). Apart from skin-of-the-teeth skirt making, I’ve been bizzy ‘stepping up’ to that real-world parenting gig. Geez, there’s some cathartic writing brewing, on that particular business.

PPPS. So hope all is going along swimmingly in your world.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Fairy Godmother

Meet my Fairy Godmother – he’s the one on the right. The one on the left, is a latex doppelganger, conceived back in the era of Spitting Image puppetry and the satirical UK television series. The larger than life version, was born with a glint of evil in his eye, a shocker of a temper (bellowing roar to match) and a talent for the foulest vocabulary. To this day, I have only Fairy Godmother Roger’s influence, to credit for our full-to-the-brim-and-overflowing swear jar.

Roger Law was also born with a heart of gold, though he’d deny it to the death. He disguises his acts of fairy godmotherliness in a veil of self-interest. As the creative director of Spitting Image for 13 years, capitalist (it used to say so on the business cards) and artist, he markets the employment of the latest young upstart for the advantages of enthusiasm and cheap labour. From the young upstart’s point of view, Roger presents only exciting possibility.

I met Roger at the AGIdeas design conference in Melbourne. I was his ‘minder’. Collecting a jetlagged, two-metres-taller-than-me, long-haul-from-the-UK, non-driving, backseat-driver in the wee small hours, inspires a certain level of fear. Deirdre Amsden, Roger’s wife, who was born talented, gorgeous and Thank God A Diplomat, (as well as considerably shorter and more conducive to good-humoured, sardine-like air travel), typically smoothed things over.

Later that year, with one week of a design degree remaining, I received a bolt-from-the-blue call from Rog. Did I fancy coming over to London to work on the final series of Spitting Image and could I start in ten days? Born with a gene prone to fabulous bolt-from-the-blue opportunity, I’d committed an unhesitant YES before I’d put down the phone.

I never did work as a line producer on the show, but I did play at Assistant Puppet Co-ordinator on set, hanging out on reception inbetween. As it turns out, I wasn’t born with the single-minded, eat-’em-alive drive of a TV producer – but geez, I had a heck of a lot of fun finding out. After four months, the show and an era ended, then Roger bumped into his mate, (my other Fairy Godmother) and pushed me onto the right career path.

As it happens, Roger is also my Mr’s fairy godmother. Straight out of the Royal College, the Mr landed a job as a sculptor for Spitting Image. It is therefore a lot Roger’s fault, that the Mr and I are the Mr and I. For our wedding gift we were presented with not one – but two – of Roger’s framed paintings, (the explanation in the inscriptions is: “in case of divorce”).

My Mr and I watched Artscape on Tuesday night. Both of us wore great, ridiculous grins for half an hour. This is because we were reminded that there is something else that Roger was born with. It’s a bit intangible this ‘something’. It’s a bit bloody-minded determination. It’s a lot to do with that eye glint, that palpable obsession with his craft(s) and a booming enthusiasm. Mostly it’s his infectious living life LARGE. There is no regret. There is a truckload of mistakes, tailgated by three lorry loads of swearing, and a crashing write-off of lessons learned. To top it all, the Fairy Godmother has a heartstopping talent. His ceramics are breathtaking. He draws in infinite beauty.

I don’t think I ever said a proper thank you.


The ABC’s ‘Artscape’ programme, ‘A Law Unto Himself’ is one heck of a worthwhile, half hour watch, currently easily accessible on iView.

Watch out Sydney, Roger is back in town! His latest exhibition, ‘Travelling Light’ is on at the Mary Place Gallery, May 15 to May 20.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finally! The Child Succumbs to (Momentary) Warmth

Over the Easter weekend, I started and completed a Rubble jumper for my smallest.

It was a get-your-teeth-into-it, satisfyingly speedy knit.

Even though there have been many days of freeze-your-socks off, since Easter, it has taken veritable weeks for the child to feel the cold.

Admittedly with all that usual running around

and leaf-throwing


the kid never really looks cold.

She was heard to declare: Mum I am soooooo snuggly! no more than three seconds before she took her Rubble jumper off.

I’ve had the Rubble pattern earmarked for ages, because it looks as sweet as all get-out as a layering garment and also because the sleeves are on the cropped side – oh, how the kid DETESTS warm wrists! (cue: Mama eye-roll).

Knitty details ravelled HERE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Great Mudbrick Weekend

The weekend was two sleeps ago but it’s taken me this long to defrost. Wallowing in Daylesford mud, in the middle of autumn, is guaranteed to turn every extremity blue. Nonetheless, stupendous fun was had – and all in the name of Education.

The Middle Kid’s class is studying ‘dwellings’ as their main lesson. Their current homework project is to construct a hut/teepee/yurt/cave/ger/whatever-the-imagination-dictates. With great foresight, the teacher has emphasised this a Kid Homework Project. Parents wishing to get involved in the fun, should Jolly Well Make Their Own. But we ALL got to join in with the mudbrick making...

Here we are, getting straight down to the nitty, gritty, business of things – the preparatory mud wallowing:

These are the mudbrick moulds:

And releasing the mudbrick from the mould:

Here is some good, old-fashioned teamwork:

And some sheer, unadulterated MUSCLE:

Once the mudbricks are dry they will be transported to school and we’ll all get together to build some sort

(Can you tell we haven’t thought that far yet?)

After the mudbricking, it was straight down to the nittier, grittier, business of things...

The mudslide.

This is one of the impressive, flying mud splats:

And that is a Washing(?) Basin in the foreground:

Amazingly, throwing fifteen or so kids and one crazy adult into an outdoor, wood-heated bath, in frosty temperatures, was a streamlined process.

(can you imagine how glorious, to soak under the stars?)

After the mudsliding, it was straight down to the nittiest, grittiest, business of things:

The huddling around the campfire, the heady waft of simmering gluhwein in the air, the sharing of food – and the sort of conversation that is never spoken, in the bustle of the normal school pick-up routine. While we adults were distracted with all that, most of the kids rushed into the bush, morphing into country-kid, Wild Things. Look what they made...

There were four huts in all. Painstakingly decorated with moss-carpeted interiors and a path swept between them. To my shame, I don’t have better pics. I’m blaming the gluhwein and the warm of that campfire.

I’m really proud of that weekend, (now I’ve defrosted). This was not an ‘official’ weekend away, organised by the school. This was a ‘thing’ that happened, because one family owned a stunning block of land in Daylesford and were unfailingly generous hosts, who stoked fires and handed out blankets and dug mud pits. It also happened, because one teacher was mightily enthusiastic about a curriculum (and mud wallowing in general). It also happened, because the class families, (I think there were fifty or so bodies, in all), pulled on their gumboots and hauled their camping gear for an overnight stay, or daytripped their way into the country. All of us, together, made a whole lot of fun stuff happen.



PS. Coming soon: actual, completed, CRAFT!
PPS: I know. Hold on to your hat.