Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Squeak Squeak...


SqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqu...

Etcetera.

I’ve lost my voice. For days. Getting the big kids out the door for school has been an exercise in wild gesticulation. 

Ironically, my voice always seems to reappear to summon great coughs of hacking-ness...

HackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHa...

Etcetera.

The Small has been worse. (But today she isn’t grey. YAY!)


Ruptured ear drum, then Friday night in Emergency, with lots of cuddles but not many soothing words from Mum except for the best intentioned...

HackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHackHa...

Etcetera.

For a few weeks I’ve been stitchety-stitchin’ a blanket for her Big Girl Bed. Never ceases to amaze me how a crocheted row or two squeezed between bits of a day can grow so speedy-like.

StitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitchStitch...

Etcetera.



255 stitches per row, all of ’em trebles (I’m talking UK language here), two rows of each colour and entirely prompted by Lucy’s blanket of happy. I reckon I’m halfway-ish at 1.5 metres wide and just over one metre long. The Small and I have been snuggled under it as I go. 

Perfectly fabulous until I reach the end of a row, flip the whole shebang over and all the ‘warm’ disappears. Bad, bad mother. Sorry sweetie.


Remember the Epic Blanket, crafted from Yarn of All Manner of Gloriousness? It is coveted and stolen from my bed on a regular basis. That Epic Blanket almost required a second mortgage. I will never ever tell you how much the Epic Blanket cost to craft. I will most certainly NEVER EVER tell the Mr – even though he reckons he’s worked out the yarny yardage. Hmm.

The Small’s blanket is a toe tip into the World of Acrylic. I am a great big acrylic yarn snob but I can see the benefits of this particular one greatly extend beyond the cheap as chips. No need for a second mortgage and no itch factor! Best of all, so far, no sign of what I had been dreading – you know that acrylic-y sound I mean? The sound of...

SqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSque...

Etcetera.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Randomly Mused


ONE
For obvious reasons, I always look before I empty the Middle Kid’s pockets. I always do a quick reconnaissance, before I touch anything inside his school bag. I thought we’d hit an all-time EW! high, when I spotted the DEAD BIRD LYING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCHOOL BAG.



He said he collected the interesting piece of wood because it looked like a vulture. He has his eye out for two of the same in complementary sizings, so that we can arrange all three on the wall, in duck-like fashion.

TWO
I have an addiction to frozen blueberries. I cannot stop. I do an excellent impression of a Blue Tongued Lizard. The kids are mortified and keep warning me about the legend of the great aunt who turned bright orange from eating too many carrots. (She really, really did).



THREE
The Small drew a cockatoo on the wall. The Small scrubbed at the cockatoo and said it wouldn’t come off. Secretly I like the cockatoo. 


Secretly I am collecting roadside-find picture frames. I plan to paint the empty frames white and mount them on a wall. Then there will be an open invitation to draw artful, direct-to-wall things. I also quite like the notion of a champagne-fuelled gallery launch.

FOUR
Jodie and Sarah’s Mum wanted an update on the state of the Dinosaur Egg. I am very sorry, Jodie and Sarah’s Mum, for the disappointing and hard-to-grasp imagery. A jungly garden seems to have grown around the Dinosaur Egg and there is no longer a clear line of sight. For three weeks during a wet, wet winter it looked doilied and verdant. Until a fungal affliction struck and the verdant was replaced with white spots. The white spots have eaten away at the doily bits. As far as a doilied, Jurassic-type Dinosaur Egg goes, it looks extra convincing.




PS. Jodie and Sarah’s Mum, if you are considering a stab at mossy creations, might I forewarn that success seems to depend on a truckload of commitment. It’s like keeping an ever-thirsty pet (don’t even think about a holiday).

PPS. Worthy of note is a distinct lack of green in either of my thumbs.


FIVE
The eldest has adopted a parsnip as a pet. This is Phillippa. I note Phillippa seems to be wearying of the experience and would probably prefer to be baked.



SIX
A Well Known Magazine published one of my patterns and forgot to ask permission. The Well Known Television Version of the Magazine filmed their own version of my tutorial and forgot to ask permission. I sent them an invoice. I emailed an invoice chase-up. Invoice was paid. Sometimes it’s all about the principle.

SEVEN
I am overusing the word ‘snazzy’. ‘Spiffy’ seems to creep in occasionally too. The other day, a youngish client asked me to make a poster design look ‘sexy’. But I am 41 and obviously nearly ancient. And I have a constantly weird-coloured tongue from too many blueberries. I can do snazzy posters, but ‘sexy’ is patently well beyond reach.

Hope you’ve had a SNAZZY start to your week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Big Kid

Every now and then, I receive an email from some nice person and in amongst the chat, there’s a HOW’S YOUR BIG KID GOING THESE DAYS? query.



That has been a bit of a tricky one to answer. Throw in the pre-teen moodiness of Nearly Eleven and consider the light and dark that fills any day and it sort of depends on the timing of the question. On balance I’d say things were much better. I would have said that my big girl, on balance, was travelling ok.

Then there was the recent episode which I should never have allowed to happen. How I kicked myself. On a playdate with a friend, I belatedly realised that my girl would be exposed to the main protagonist of last year’s awful bullying saga.



I realised this halfway through the basketball game that my kid was attending for the first bit of the playdate. I paced the floor. I rationalised there would be a dozen kids or more. Pacing and reckoning that with all those parents and friends around, my kid could hold her own.

What I did not reckon on, was the mother.

What I did not reckon on, was that my kid would be left in the care of that awful mother of that awful bully kid. Not for long. Just long enough for my kid to endure the long, steely glare – ‘right through my head, Mum!’ when my girl dared to utter her nervous hello.



My girl held it together. She did. Well done kid.

Then she went back to her friend’s house and was treated to entries in her friend’s diary written by the bully kid a month earlier. Eight months since bully girl had last attended my girl’s school and still the insults and slander continue in a written format, recorded for posterity.

My girl held it together. She did. Well done kid.

Long enough to arrive home. At home she screamed out her indignation and anger and hurt. I joined in. Somewhere there, in amongst all that mutual fury, things got funny. We had a long chat about choosing our friends. Understanding a healthy friendship. Finding good hearts and kindred spirits. About how much stronger my kid is this year than last. How she has changed, how she gets to decide how to deal with things.



I realised that these days my kid is much more than travelling ok. She’s travelling brilliantly, thank you very much. And she’s wearing her made to order (longer in the body, shorter in the sleeves, please) Rubble jumper LOTS.


.........................

PS. It did not end there. There was communication with the Mum of the playdate and an entirely productive frank and open discussion. YAY!

Meanwhile, I know from previous entirely patronising and ghastly experience, that approaching the bully girl’s mother is an exercise in gobsmacking FUTILITY. This may or may not be the reason why I am still fighting the still adrenaline-charged temptation to aim one heck of a hearty slap. No apology from me on that one, I’m afraid.

PPS. I realise I haven’t had it in me to blog the details of the bullying. The big kid still sees a fabulously down-to-earth, with a wicked-sense-of-humour counsellor type person. The appointments are increasingly infrequent. Much to my dismay! That counsellor has been as much therapy for me as for my kid. Except she says I probably shouldn’t slap the mother.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dizzy Around the Edges

Throw an emergency my way – particularly a medically-themed one – and without missing a heart beat You Can Count On Me. Calm, capable, clear-thinking, efficient, methodical: that’s ME!

Except...not any longer. Last Thursday, it became evident I have acquired too much traumatic, bloodied history under the belt.

I am no fainting type. Last Thursday I turned a whiter shade of pale and felt a tiny bit dizzy around the edges. I gladly accepted the role of ‘support act’ to the Mr’s competent ‘lead’.

List of Traumatic Bloodied History (All Weirdly Occurring on Holidays) With Two Faint-Inducing Links
1. A couple of weeks before the birth of our second kid, my Mr made an impressive attempt at severing his thumb with a circular saw. I was on maternity leave. (So I guess it wasn’t a real, official-type ‘holiday’).

2. My nearly-two-year-old Small attempted to permanently sever her finger in the cog of a bicycle wheel. (I feel a bit dizzy even typing that). It was the Easter holidays.

3. Then there was the unmentionable incident involving the poor, unfortunate groin and the slamming rabbit hutch lid. That was the Christmas holidays.

4. These school holidays I bring you the next trip to the Emergency ward...


...Involving a wrong-way-up Swiss Army Knife, an impaled hand, some frantic arm-waving-about, eventual removal of a blade and an impressive, back-garden-covering, splattering of blood.

No tendons involved – HOW LUCKY IS THAT? Wound healing pretty well now, thank you for asking. 

Mother of child booked in for twice weekly appointments with therapist to address issues of sustained and repeated trauma and the fact that she has unexpectedly morphed into One Great Big Wimp. She also currently feels a little overwhelmed at the sighting of red food colouring.

.........................

PS. Yes. Of course I would really, really like it if the Middle Kid sat quietly inside and read a book for the remainder of the school holidays, avoiding all objects with impaling potential.

PPS. Instead he’s back to the now meticulous, painfully careful use of his Swiss Army Knife, (while his mother helicopters irritatingly overhead).

PPPS. School’s back on Monday. Thank ye Gods.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Ugly Blanket



These last months, while I’ve been working my cotton socks off, bits of coloured yarn have proven something of a lifeline. Every day for half an hour, I’ve tied one end securely to a skerrick of sanity and stitch by stitch, woven a bit of headspace back into my world.

What has become increasingly apparent, at times such as these, is that I care NOT A JOT about the ‘look’ of things. Well, hang on – I do care a very lot at the very start – and the Ugly Blanket was a planned yarny purchase. But once I’ve made that first slip knot, I couldn’t care less. It’s ONLY about the ‘make’.



Stitch stitch stitch. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.



Even though I don’t think the Ugly Blanket is as ugly as all that – SHEESH! – the name has stuck. It was coined as soon as I reached for that apricoty, pasty, naked-coloured yarn in the middle. There was a raised eyebrow from the Mr and some immediate banter concerning the exact shade of old man undies. I blue-in-the-face argued that old man undie colour is a lighter shade of beige, possibly with yellowy undertones. Right?

Regardless, the family has decreed that ‘apricoty-pasty-naked’ is a bad colour for a blanket.



Stitch stitch stitch. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Ironically, after all the family insults, when I went looking for the blanket with my camera, I found it in the kids’ cubby house. HUMPFH.

Not too ugly to be STOLEN.

I twisted arms and forced admissions. Now it’s the ‘Ugly Snuggly Blanket’. Apparently the Ugly Snuggly isn’t entirely awful.

I left it to hang out in the cubby for a very teensy while.

Ugly Blanket details over on Ravelry...