16 April 2014

When you're onto a good thing ...

I got my sewing mojo back bigtime. In addition to the plethora of quilts (which i still haven't showed you, i know), i've been having a lovely time choosing pretty fabrics and churning out multiple versions of the same couple of basic patterns. (So when i say i have my sewing mojo back, i don't mean i'm doing anything challenging, just aesthetically pleasing. Lazy, that's me).

This is the Port Elizabeth top. It is two pieces (front, back) and a strip of bias binding. Hooray for mindless sewing with stylish and highly useful results. I've been wearing these with jeans or skirts on the weekends and with my work skirts midweek. I even extended one of them into tunic length (the Duchess of Cambridge homage on the far right).

Best of all, it's a freebie on the Burdastyle website, here.

Thanks to my awesome work colleague Kate for the heads up on the pattern.

Edited to add fabric details. From left: Prints Charming heavy cotton, from Spotlight; blue crisp cotton (i think it's a quilting cotton); blue lightweight cotton perhaps a voile, i remember the name of the print was Sweetpea; navy blue linen; pale peachy pink linen made from a skirt i never wore (because it was see-through); black linen (very useful, i wear this one most); lightweight voile, very cool and good for hot hot hot days (seen modelled in the shot in a previous post where i am holding the brand new kitten); a pale blue spotty voile from Spotlight, extended to dress/tunic length, worn often over a short straight skirt to work, avec pearls because i am old.

1 April 2014

29 March 2014

Now we are seven.

Betsy is 12 weeks old, is freshly spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. She enjoys climbing curtains, falling off tables, doing zoomies at top speed, early morning sunrises and brief but satisfying naps. Betsy is taken.

27 March 2014

Doh, i keep forgetting to blog

I'm not very good at remembering to blog these days. I do post frequently over at Instagram if you're interested (here). But i have lots to show you. I have not touched my knitting since Christmas really due to hurty wrists, so instead have been flexing my quilty muscles and churning out quilts by the, well nit quite bucketload, but you know, several. More than two anyway. ADDICTED.

See that 'nit' up there that should be 'not'? That is one reason why i blog infrequently. It's really hard to edit text on the iPad, and link and the new Flickr is awful. Whinge whinge.

So anyway, thus is a placeholder as a promise to come back SOON with craft camp photos and report, quilt show and tell, sunrises and adorable kittens. Yes, we pick up the new family member tomorrow. Her name is Betsy.

*this, not thus. See?


4 March 2014

February was hot

Blogger has crashed every evening recently when i've tried to blog so i'm going to post quickly and hope for success.

February was hot and a bit scary for a few days there. That first shot shows the charred leaves that landed by our front door on the scariest day. We returned home after an evacuation day to find that yes, the north wind meant our house was directly in the line of fire. Literally.

The last shot is of Melbourne's White Night and it's when i try to link that everything crashes so you need to google White Night yourself, or just enjoy the photo. I put it there to remind myself that we did go out occasionally over summer to have fun, not just hide from the fires.

Other than that it's been birthday season around here with the middle lad turning 18 followed by the eldest turning 20 ohmygod and deciding to drop out of his university course (journalism) and start all over in a new one (music), followed by the youngest suddenly morphing from child to young man overnight, growing three inches and turning 15. This weekend sees my half century and then we're done with birthdays for several months.

Oh and this particular family of kangaroos has decided our place is part of their territory. They turn up at least twice a week and that joey is hilarious.

3 February 2014

little pink cot quilt

Last November when i was making quilt blocks for Shannon, a friend of ours had her third baby girl (i think i mentioned this in December) and flushed with the success of the blocks, i abandoned my knitting and continued to make more and more pink blocks. Then i dug out a beautiful thick pure cotton white sheet from the linen cupboard and turned the whole thing into a baby quilt.

I was ridiculously pleased with it and it renewed my enthusiasm for quilting, so much so that i hand quilted a queen sized quilt that's been a work in progress for oh, thirteen years now. I'll show you that next time.

In the meantime, speaking of baby girls, i have some rather exciting news to impart.

We are expecting ...

to bring this wee girl home in a couple of months.

She's a Brown Burmese, four weeks old, and we are besotted.

18 January 2014

hot hot hot

Horrendous heat. We've just had five days of over 40C, in a row. The birds were so thirsty that when i refilled their bath yesterday, two flew down to drink while i was still pouring. This is pretty astounding when you consider they usually fly away from the birdbath if i so much as walk past the window. You know, inside my house.

The cat enjoyed licking ice cubes and suffering the indignity of a pink wet flannel.

We spent several days hiding out at air conditioned shopping malls watching movies and eating and trying not to spend too much money. Unfortunately i am not immune to the manipulations of bourgeois home decor retailers and ended up buying a pretty tin to put laundry powder in.

I know. If my 19 year old self could see me now.

We also did a full on evacuation (photo not related, but possibly indicative of my mental state) when the nearby bushfire headed our way. This means packing up supplies and stuffing the cat into a picnic basket and retreating to the local public library, as opposed to just clearing out for the day. Librarians turn a blind eye to pets. Shopping centres possibly do not. The people next to us were having a harder time trying to pretend their dog was not actually a dog, whereas we just looked innocent when our picnic basket moved and miaowed and the other patrons (many of whom had bags of supplies next to them too) and the librarians either grinned or looked the other way.

Coasters for my cousin. A new years gift as i failed pretty miserably at handmade for Christmas. Just got a text from her this morning saying they'd arrived and she loves them. Success. I might make a few sets now for future gifts.

The cool change came in last night and it is such a blessing to feel a refreshing breeze in the house. I opened a cupboard this morning to get a cup for my morning cup of tea and all the crockery was hot. Even the toothpaste was hot. Ok i'll shut up witht he complaints now.

13 January 2014

Coconut ice

This was my final knitted item for 2013, the Colour Affection shawl. I am so very pleased with it. The pattern had been in my queue for ages but i had no firm plans or colourway decided upon when one sunny Spring Sunday i spontaneously dyed up three skeins of sock yarn in tones of strawberry and cream and realised i had my shawl beginnings.

I worked on it occasionally at home, at craft camp, and then took it to work for lunchtime knitting and Thursday lunch craft group sessions.

I cast off a day or two before Christmas, blocked it on Christmas day itself, and took some photos of it on Boxing Day. I haven't done my usual photo mosaic of knits of the year (a lot of things have fallen by the wayside lately including Christmas cards) but if i do i suspect it will be mostly shawls again. It was the year of the shawl all over again.

I did update my 2013 book/reading log though, which can be found over there on the left sidebar, on the link called Not Just Cookbooks (lame attempt at a pun).

Anyway the shawl. Yes. Thrilled with it. Wish it wasn't currently 40C so i could wear it, but hey.

Ravelled, with more photos.

10 January 2014


I've just had (it's 6pm on Friday) a precious week at home in between the week at Walkerville (aka Magic Beach) and the return to work next Monday. The mister went back to work this week so it's been just the boys and I, and no one felt like going anywhere much so we've been pottering, lazing, tidying and generally being quiet. Except for today, when we escaped the heat for a swim.

I've also been doing lots of sewing and have realised that while i photograph all my knitted garments, i'm rubbish at recording my sewing. Possibly because my success rate is not always 100% (but whose is?), but i want to rectify this because the blog is a useful record for me if no one else, much like Ravelry is excellent for logging notes and details of knits. So, stand by for a photo-heavy post of all the tops i've made in the last week or so.

In addition to making Fimo beads I've been quilting enthusiastically (another post is due) and dyeing my stash of cream wool blanketing in preparation for a project i may finally get around to at some point this year. I did a few colours each day and have only one undyed piece left from the enormous stash of blanket offcut i inherited several years ago.

While i'm having a miscellaneous photo-type post, here are some others from the week. Altissimo is blooming against the front of the house ...

and gingerbread was baked and consumed (recipe from Stephanie Alexander).

Delicious. Recipe recommended.

And while we're on sweet things, if you're in Melbourne, do pop in to the ground floor reception area of NGV at Federation Square and admire the jaw-droppingly fabulous works by the Hotham St Ladies. Everything except for the table, chairs and tv is made of icing, even the artwork on the walls, the rugs on the floors and the granny square throw on the sofa. Sensational stuff.

Picasso's Weeping Woman in icing, anyone?

8 January 2014

new obsession

A friend at work was showing me her handmade buttons and explaining about Fimo and i was all, nooo, i don't need another obsession, but look here i am.

I bought two colours, pinned a whole lot of pretty pictures and tutorials on Pinterest and suddenly bam! I'm making beads. Yesterday i went back to the shop and bought several more colours.

No one is safe now. Jewellery for everyone.