Friday, 30 May 2008

A knitting frenzy

I made this scarf this evening to go with my new hat. I came across a brooch / pin I made back nearer art school days. Copper wire some kind of gem stone (can't remember which) and drift wood collected from the beach after a storm (my favourite time to go to the beach).

I had hoped that the scarf would also match the hat a friend of mine made for me- she who has inspired me to delve into this knitting frenzy of late!

I'm not sure if the red in the scarf is quite right for the red of the hat. Maybe I'll have to make another one after all.

This clasp is made from twisted copper wire and glass beads. I made it as a hair clasp but I think it could work here.

Chicky Babe was quite taken by my hat this morning and my outfit this morning was greeted with a "Hey COOL! Can I wear it? Don't be surprised if it ends up in my room." The best compliment I had all day. A teenage daughters approval is a rare and special thing!

When I made this scarf I felt it needed an interesting clasp, this lead me to have a little search for the driftwood piece. I am feeling a pull to make some more jewellery. Maybe soon...

I have been instructed that my next project should be a woolly hat with the ear covers for Chicky Babe. One with lots of colours and patterns. Not sure if I am ready for anything too complicated yet. I might cheat and get her to choose wool similar to the scarf that makes its own pattern or perhaps some embroidery onto it...I'll check out what is available on line.

Is anyone else out there having trouble loading photo's onto flck-r?


I finished my "urchin" hat. The grafting was fiddly but it worked. I think it is a bit stiff, I prefer a softer fall for hats for me- woolly hats can make me look like a boiled egg in a cosy! Maybe I should have used bigger needles. I'll wear it a bit and frog it if I really don't like it.

Bring on the knitting patterns!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Knitting, learning and growing.

I received a call from the local council- Bantam Boy took the call while on study break. The fellow was wondering had I received the notice they had sent some time back and would I call him re the addition to the house.

I didn't want to call thinking it would be bad news that I would after all have to remove the "out building" enclosure of the patio. I fretted and thought about putting it off but I didn't. I rang this morning. He wondered if I had got the letter the council had sent a few weeks ago.

"Do you mean the approval letter for the studio, err patio enclosure thing?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Are you referring to the earlier one about the lack of approval for the enclosure?"

I told him I had spoken to someone in there about it and put in papers and the building had been approved. Oh, he wondered who did you speak to? I couldn't remember I spoke to several people. Obviously they don't speak to each other!

So I worried for nothing, but I didn't worry for as long as I could have done! I am also making an effort to open my letters as they come and trying to deal with things as they come up!

The next thing will be trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour rather than spending the wee hours trying to nut out what the knitting patterns actually mean. I decided to make a hat following a pattern.

I started....

Realized I'd not cast on properly (provisional casting on), so with the aide of this site
I started again....

Still it was not right so I frogged it and returned to the help tutorials. I started again Frogged it once more......

I think I've got it! Wedge one of eight to make a woolly hat from this designer who has some free patterns. I really love this sweater and if I learn how to do this knitting thing I might just buy the pattern and give it a go. The good thing is the pattern goes up to larger sizes too.

short scarf with pin clasp.

short scarf with pin clasp.
Originally uploaded by dette.k
I was sick to death of making squares so I made this short scarf over the last two nights. Desperate to make something that could be completed quickly.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Drowning in papers!

Oh my god! I am so so so bad at doing the paperwork things. I mentioned jokingly but honestly, that I don't open letters if they look scary and yes Fifi I too have been alerted to the fact I've not paid a bill by the absence of that particular service....

"Why can't I make a phone call? What is it May already??!!???"

I have just spent three days turning the house upside down looking for the car registration papers due to be paid on the 25th of May. I just found them in my handbag! I have yet to develop a system that works for me. I am feeling cross at myself for not being a bit more 'together' when it comes to this sort of thing.

My mum was a bank teller and then manager. At one stage she had a business called 'Get Sorted' where she designed systems for businesses and individuals. She came to stay with me and the kids for 8 weeks before she went traveling and gave it her best shot with us. As Bantam Boy (8 at the time said) we won, she was defeated. Her home and finances are run in an extremely organized fashion books balanced, checked off double checked, bills paid and recorded and double checked! Beds made and dishes done before anything else.

I just don't get it especially with the papers. It is just that it seems so unimportant most of the time and there are many more pressing things to be done.... all excuses for my failings! Ok, here is a confession... I actually don't know what you are supposed to keep and what not to keep. I find it tedious and confusing. So I keep rubbish and loose the important stuff. I also find it causes so much anxiety with the regularity of the bills and worry about how I am going to keep up, that I put them to one side and pretend they don't exist. I have had a week where the consequences of my inaction and disorganization are coming back to haunt me.

I have made up several systems all of which fail... I resort back to a system which is not unlike Bernard Black (for anyone familiar with Black Books.) It goes like this , here are the receipts for this week and these ones are for ... all other times. What's more they are not contained to one space but scattered in handbags, drawers and files and folders!!!!

I have to find a system that works and I have to bite the bullet and just do the tasks I hate. I suppose I'm not that bad really, I've managed to run a household on my own fairly successfully for 14 years. It is just that anyone with accounting tendencies would have a conniption! And a little more attention to papers when they arrive would probably save angst in the long run!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Recycle, Reuse, Revamp.

I finished my bag last night and took it out and about today. I am very happy with it!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Tonight's Project

I'm feeling much better. Here's tonights project. I couldn't do any more crocheted squares and have been dreaming of a bag with crocheted flowers on it. So struck with the need to make something I bought takeaway food (yummy pasta- not as natural and fresh as they claim though I think!) ignored the mess and got out my needles and threads.

Chicky Babes discarded bag.

Fabric embellished with the flowers I crocheted (from previous post- wish I knew how to make the link but it is too late to be mucking about with that- it's probably too late to be doing this too on a school night!)

Close up of flowers and embroidery. (I love my camera!)

I've pinned the fabric to the bag just to see if it fits and how it looks. ( Sorry that photo is a bit blurred, it's me not the camera!)

I still have to add some glass beads and pearl buttons for the flower centers. I couldn't find just the right thing with what I had at hand. I may need to do more rummaging through my bead and button collection, but it is enough for tonight.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Two Friendly Little Tea Cups

These two little cups made their way into my china cupboard from an 'op shop'. They never had saucers, well let me rephrase that, since I've known them they never had saucers, but I love them just the same.

I'm rather partial to things that are not quite perfect. I like the obvious 'hand wrought' quality of a hand made item The little knobbles that connect you to the maker of the piece. It's the little lumps and bumps and bits missing that reflect something real and honest.

I think that today where so much is mass produced, Bantam Boy and I are alarmed about what the archaeologists will dig up of our time. What a lot of 'stuff'! (He likes to watch those late night shows about past cultures and religion with me- we have some fascinating discussions as a result.) I think this is also why I love the 'thrift' thing. So many things are discarded and replaced I like the thought of making use of things from the past and have done long before being carbon neutral crept into our vocabularies. It's good actually because now I have validation for my obsession.

But back to my love of the two little imperfect tea cups- This is a recurring theme for me and not in relation to things. I often fall in love with the imperfections in people too, have done since I was a little,little girl. In primary school I always befriended the kids the others avoided. (In the seventies political correctness and equal opportunity were new concepts and in general kids can be very cruel)

I was quite pleased to hear the registrar at my school refer to me as 'lovely but a little crazy'. (I always misplace the account slips and forget which day of the week it is etc. She was particularly amused by the fact that I won't open letters if they look scary. I put them to one side and open them a few days later if I feel up to it.) It's cliche, I know , but the imperfections are what make others interesting, and indeed human. Why then do I expect perfection from myself? Although I must say that I am of late becoming more accepting of my flaws and am beginning to become rather attached to some!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

No idea at all what to call this post...

I've been quite unwell with a bad cold that ended up on my chest this last week and a half. I just managed to get through the day really and had little energy left to blog. I bought this water lily to cheer me up and it has been delightful. It was $4 for one bloom but what a lot of impact just one has! It was fascinating to watch it slowly unfurl.

This is the center of the same bloom taken in the evening without a flash. Isn't it beautiful?

Here is another little still life ready to be painted. I adore this cute round little silver jug. The drawing in the background was done by Chicky Babe about 5 years ago.

This is all I've been able to do lately on the creative side. I had the day off on Friday and spent the couple of hours that I was awake tucked up on the lounge watching crappy midday TV making a few more squares. I also made a scale drawing of a couple of ways of piecing it together, just to have an idea of where it was going and have calculated I will need about 200 of the tiny squares in order to complete the rug to my desired size. I have made 21 so far! I thought it best to sew in the ends and block as I go as this can be rather tedious. Now they are like puzzle pieces or Leggo. I like to play with them and arrange and rearrange them and just look at them. Sadly I don't "have a life".

Speaking of crappy TV- and please don't judge but....
I was watching Desperate Housewives and two of the women were at odds because the newer of the two had come along and taken over the 'domestic goddess' role that Bree had filled in the group of friends. It was her contribution to the group, her identity and what made her special. This has kind of stuck with me because a couple of weeks ago I caught up with a group of girlfriends I have known for some time and felt decidedly superfluous. I wondered what my role was and what it was that I bought to the group. There are four lovely ladies all completely different, one practical and straightforward, another intelligent and confident, one lovely and uncomplicated, the fourth artistic, a little confronting and more complicated. I sometimes feel like a watered down version of the "artistic" one.
I'll ponder this a little more...
Maybe it was the beginning of the flu making me feel out of sorts, but you know what it is like when something creeps into your head. It is far too late to be thinking at all. I must go to sleep!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Slow and steady...

A pile of squares...

becoming a rug.

After thinking about the image from my last post (untitled- should have read "Teacup Tuesday on wednesday- again!") I was not alone in being reminded strongly of Margaret Preston's work. Then tonight as I was helping Bantam Boy polish his visual diary for his TEE art ie. checking his spelling and grammar (don't laugh! Especially those who know me without the spell checker!) I noticed his next project "Margaret Who?-research the art of Australia from 1901-1939 with particular emphasis on the women artists of the period." It looks like we will be doing some lino prints around here in the coming weeks! This is a bit of a coincidence as I have recently been here looking at some lovely lino prints and thinking about digging out my printmaking tools!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Tuesdays teacups on wednesday again!
I love the reflective, translucent quality of the glaze on these. And the teaspoons are really cute. I am thinking of making some serving spoons and forks from silver with similar simple forms. I've been perusing antique books looking at ones from the early 1900.

I tried making oven roasted/ semi dried tomatoes. they were delicious. Roma tomatoes were on special at the local vegie shop. I sliced them in half drizzled over a bit of olive oil and a tad of balsamic vinegar, seasoned them with salt and a bit of sugar and popped them in a hot oven until they looked about right (40 mins I suppose) Fantastic on crusty Italian bread with feta.

Today I made a start on a huge mural at my school. The kids have done some drawings of people engaging in "healthy activities". We talked about how this does not just include playing sport- very much the school ethos, I am deep in the heart of football worshiping land. Kids have arguments over 'dockers' and 'eagles' and are stunned to hear I don't follow it at all- we talked about healthy food , relationships and learning as all being a part of a healthy life.

So now we have drawings of people enjoying walking the dog, having a picnic with family, playing at the beach , reading books and growing vegies. Today I finally put pencil to wall and spent 2 and a half hours after school making a start on it. Bantam Boy came to help going over the pencil lines with texta for a little more definition for the kids when they come to paint.

I'm not sure if I am happy with it. I know that is more than likely just me, as people who walked past stopped and said "Wow" "Fantastic" etc and the kids who were playing around after school were chuffed to see their drawings going on the wall. I am really trying to keep a sense of the children's art work arranging them in a way that tells little stories yet keeps the lack or loose sense of scale that is often present in children's drawings. It is actually larger than I realized! I'm going through that anxiety stage at the beginning of a project when you have a lot of people counting on what you are doing and when you care about what they think!

Why is it that when I have a small bit of expensive quality chocolate hidden or saved for after dinner ( after both cherubs have devoured a family block earlier) , Bantam Boy finds it, eats it (he does ask) and then I get fat???!!??

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Better safe than sorry

Last night I spent 4 hours in the emergency department of Fremantle hospital!

Chicky Babe complained of a sore eye. I was going to say the usual- give it a wash, have a good blink don't rub it etc. When I had a look she had a big reddish, bubble in the corner of her eye near her tear duct part. Oh my god! It looked very strange. Part of me thought that she had most likely irritated it by rubbing the eye but I had never seen anything like it. So being 9pm (actually it was almost 10, I had completely lost track of time while crocheting squares!) on Saturday I thought it best to go and have it checked right away as the GP office would not be open till Monday, just in case it was bad. I also thought it would be best to go before the emergency department got too busy- thinking that later on if Chicky Babe's eye got worse it would be busy with idiots from the local pubs and nightclubs.

It was already quite full when we got there but we were ushered through from the waiting room quite quickly and told to wait in the "eye room". Tim came with us and he thinks it is because I am a random talker and formed a quick rapport with the admissions nurse however, if that were the case, it didn't help once we were inside as they had to treat people in order of need. I didn't really mind because it was reassuring that her problem was relatively minor. The staff were lovely. I asked a nurse if we should go home but she thought it best to have it checked. Then one angel bought me a cup of tea and biscuits and Chicky Babe a pillow at 1am. Chicky Babe was able to lie on the examination bed but I had the most uncomfortable chairs in the world to sit on.

The place was indeed full of idiots, drunk or on drugs having psychotic episodes. Tim thought it was like some T.V drama. Chicky Babe decided that people should be treated in order of intelligence! She was fed up and wanted to make a break for it and run home! We went to go to the toilet at one point but it was occupied by an irrational drunk young man who had cracked his head open and was refusing treatment. He was "bleeding all over the place" he yelled at the bouncer from the night club who was outside the door. We decided to hold on a bit longer! Every time I have been there I am overwhelmed at what a fantastic job these people do under such stressful conditions. Also the little kindnesses that people show that make the world of difference.

Finally the Dr came and checked her out thoroughly- by this time the swelling had subsided substantially but there were no foreign bodies or scratches on the eye so finally we were able to go home. Fortunately I grabbed my "Babbette Bag" that I put together for Bantam Boy's fencing competition earlier in the day- He did very well. I was able to make a couple more squares and thread all the ends through too.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


Finally I have started a Babette Blanket. Actually they were one of the first things I looked at on this blogging art & craft community. A friend introduced me and I became addicted. I think that having people to share what I am making with, here and on flick-r, drives me to have something to include fairly regularly. ThereforeI tend to make sure I allow myself time to create now. However as so few people read it I don't feel pressured to produce or post.

I recently confessed to this same friend that I have in fact had my own blog for some time. I guess I was a bit nervous about what people would think about what I write and how- a bit of a legacy from the red marked school essays and my fragile ego! But this is really a means for me to engage in "random" conversations and I have found it helps me focus on the good things I see around me. The camera can tell 2 stories! In particular in the photo of me in the red wrap dress, if I'd moved the camera to the side just a fraction you would have seen Chicky Babe's half finished cereal bowl left on the coffee table. Another thing I find is that the process of thinking about and creating a blog is helping me to decide what it is that I want to create.

At this moment it is the babette blanket and that is what the title refers to! I rushed into the wool shop as soon as I could after school armed with my Gustav Klimt landscapes book and using this picture (lets see if I can figure out how to do the link..... maybe I have!) I selected some colours. I asked the woman in the shop she suggested using 100% acrylic. Cheap, yes but nice, no!

In the end I went for a washable Marino wool, here in lies the lunacy- I'm not sure if I chose the right type of wool, it seems a little heavy, but the woman assured me it will be warm. Then I am not sure if the colours are at all right. The computer hasn't really picked up the green particularly well it looks black. However I feel it actually is a bit dark. I guess I'll just add some leafy mid green into the mix. On top of that, I have no idea how much wool will be required to make a rug.

I made a start on it last night. I am just taking a bit of an impulsive attitude to colour selection at the moment but I wonder if that is wise. Will the colour distribution be pleasing? This is a bit of a departure from the normal way I work. I normally like to plan things carefully and have a pretty good idea what I want to make in my head if I havn't made a sketch. All I have at the moment is I want a bluey, greeny rug with jewel like colours for a bit of lift, that is reminiscent of the work of one of my favourite artists. Wish me luck!