Monday 27 October 2008

The things we do...

I'm going to see Bloc Party!
To be totally honest I'm not absolutely familiar with their work but the gig is an 18plus gig and those kids under age need to be accompanied with a guardian. They are Bantam Boy's favourite band and he missed out on getting tickets last time, they sold out within half an hour so they have decided to have another gig. Fortunately (???) we were able to get tickets this time. He was so disappointed last time that I really hoped for his sake we would get them even though it was not high on my agenda.
The spider was in the shower recess this morning! Bantam Boy is lucky to be alive to go to the concert! He as usual thought it was hysterical. I on the other hand was truly frightened by it for some reason this morning.

Sunday 26 October 2008

What's the time Mr Wolf?

It's after 2am or 1am we are about to start daylight saving again. I hate daylight saving I spend the whole summer feeling jetlagged, I just don't seem to be able to settle into it. I know people will say it's just a state of mind and it's just a number but here's my justification. It gets really hot here in Perth and I don't have air conditioning at home (or work for that matter) so I rely on the Freo Doctor to cool the house down in the evening. Now it comes in about 5ish pre daylight saving and takes a while for the house to cool down so it's about 8 or so before I even feel like thinking about cooking a meal let alone eating it! with daylight savings that means we don't eat until 9:30. I am also notoriously bad at going to bed early, I am most alert and quite productive around 12am to 2am and struggle to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7:30 in order to get to work by 8:30 (More like waking reluctantly, pressing the snooze button and dragging myself out of bed.) So now that means I have to get up much earlier than my body really wants to. Also because of my reliance on natures cooling system I find that the coolest and therefore best part of the night for sleeping is those early hours of the morning of which we lose an hour because we have to get up! One of my friends said that it was great to have an extra hour of sunshine in the evening to go out to the pub etc. To which I replied she was obviously married because she obviously didn't have to worry about the harsh reality of sunlight, darkness is much more flattering! How am I going to get chatted up in stark dayight. It was something she had not thought about. Anyway this was not the theme of this post....
I have moved into a new phase of parenthood, I am sitting here having crocheted 3 flower necklaces while waiting for Bantam Boy to come home from a party, at which he will be consuming alcohol. He is pretty sensible and he and I had a discussion about drinking today prior to him going out. He has been at parties where he has experimented with drinking but hasn't got badly drunk. He expressed his concern about a couple of friends who have over indulged and embarrassed themselves, this is a comfort to me that he has this attitude. However I am still sitting here wondering what time he will be home (I'm not good at this I forgot to set a curfew, Tim dropped BB and his mate at the party so the other boy's mum will bring them home when they are ready. I thought it would be at a slightly more reasonable hour! Tim said they were talking about 3am!!!!) I don't think he has a key. At least he's not driving about to these things! It was a fancy dress party - Mexican theme so I made both boys a poncho to wear, they looked great. Really simple 2m of fabric with a T shape slit cut in the middle for the neck and then a fringe made by cutting 1cm strips along the bottom edges then knotting them. All 500 of them!!!!
Hmmmm now it's 2:30........what else shall I do.....

Thursday 23 October 2008

today I found love

In a paint pot!

(Well I saw a love heart so did the year 1&2 kids, Tim just said it was a frog! I guess some of the light reflections have confused the image, but I still see a heart not a frog!)

Tuesday 21 October 2008

more kids art

As the kids worked on their lino I started one of my own... I really need to finish it. Ahhh! why do we need sleep!?! There isn't enough time.
*Note to self do not drink and blog!

Monday 20 October 2008

worry not...

These are some of the works done by the kids for the art blast exhibition. I was so worried about the work and how it would be received then I was worried about how strong the velcro would be and if it would hold the framed work on the wall. I dreamt that all the art works had slid right off the pinup boards and smashed all over the floor. I was relieved to find them all in place when I returned for the opening.

I love these little birdies made by the kids in year 1-5. They had one piece of newspaper and had to loosely crumple it into a bird shape. They were told not to have a fixed idea of what they were going to make but to allow an element of chance to take over and alow the folds of the newspaper to tell them what the final shape of the bird would be.

I got a lift into town so I could enjoy a red or two without worrying about driving home. While I was waiting i fell asleep on the breakfast bar and now
I've had 4 red wines and am too tired to even type properly. It is taking twice as long because I keep typing the wrong letters! Anyway I got alot of positive feedback which was very nice and I've met some lovely people teaching the arts in my local district which I was hoping to do as iIam new to this area having spent years teaching quite some distance from home! I've got to go to sleep. night night!

Sunday 19 October 2008

going round in circles

I really should have done some work this weekend....but I did this instead!
Spent hours today and friday framing work for the art display in the fremantle town hall tomorrow. Still have to make up more name labels for all the pieces and must resist the urge to explore free form crochet on Ravelry!
Chicky Babe perfomed a whole lot of improvisations with her drama group tonight. Gosh I laughed so much they were histerical. I also thought they were very brave. I never could perform under that kind of pressure. Actually I don't feel at all comfortable on a stage full stop. I used to break into a sweat presenting the art award at the weekly assemblies!!

Saturday 18 October 2008

Friday 17 October 2008

Blogtoberfest favourite on friday.

Drewzel suggested thinking about our all time favourite song. That is really hard to do there are many songs I love for different reasons. First of all I thought Blue Monday by New Order- Hearing it takes me back to being a teenager this was our absolutely favourite dance song. It only took the first few notes and we would be up there in our stove pipe pants, winkle picker stilettos and long black gloves dancing away. Then I remembered the Stranglers and Golden Brown. It was so poetic and pretty. Then the Cure and the Clash!! And Echo and the Bunnymen. I listened to Drewzel's Triffids song and remembered going to see them here in the 80's. or a long time I've liked listening to Chris Issak's music in particular Blue Spanish Sky. San Fransisco Days was an album I played quite a bit when I separated from my husband this thought led me to think of Bitch Epic by Deborah Conway. I'd have to say that anything off this album is pretty special.It's officially called Bitch Epic but I have a subtitle for it "Songs to leave your husband by." I played this album at full volume the night I left my husband as I painted a big bold painting of sunflowers that I subsequently sold and used the proceeds to help finance my escape! I continued to play it often and loudly. It was strong and beautiful and sad too in places and it was my theme music. This song was full of hope for the future 'today I am a daisy tomorrow...' anything I want to be.

About three years ago I went to see her play live and ended up weeping as she played these songs. They took me back to that time so vividly and I missed that hopeful, brave young lady who was so ready for the world and I felt disappointed that I'd not carried forward the energy and drive of that time and perhaps disappointed in myself for not achieving greatness that listening to this album along with the adrenaline shot following my decision made me believe was possible.

This little piece of piano music is absolutely beautiful, Pia plays the theme to Amalie but I have to say this is the most lovely rendition of it. I think the honesty and simplicity of the old piano is so moving.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Incey Wincey Spider

Today was the first day back at school for the kids. Yesterday we did a lot of teacher talking planning etc. One component was to look at the timetable for last term. Oh my goodness it tends to get pretty busy, on top of the usual stuff I have to organise a display of art work for Art Blast in the Fremantle town hall. Then about mid November the principal and P&C have decided that it would be a great way to raise money by having a whole school art exhibition with every child having a piece of art work to sell. I've known it was coming so I've kept much of the kids work at school but I'm a bit worried about trying to get every child to have something that is complete- some kids have a lot of trouble completing projects even with a huge amount of encouragement and some really are not interested.

Anyway today I was gathering together bits and pieces ready for art blast and I was pulling some bits off the wall as I took one piece from about a good arm stretch above my head it kind of flipped over and there right in front of my face was a HUGE huntsman spider.
AHHHH!!!! F#*!*!!!!!!!! (Screamed silently in my head because I was at school and had to keep my expletives to myself. I very bravely took it, sitting on the artwork out to the garden where the wind got it and flipped it back onto my arm.
More silent screaming and much actual dancing about and flailing of arms...
The poor spider then sat in the middle of the veranda as I ran to the nearby Deputy's office for assistance. She is obviously much braver than I. Using the art work she encouraged it into the garden but the spider certainly had tenacity! It kept running at her with its arms in attack posture! I meanwhile did my impersonation of a 1950's housewife dancing about in a very girly fashion had there been a chair handy I would have been up it!
It took some time for my skin to stop crawling!!

NB: Pictures are of Bantam Boys spider that he has been hiding around the house for me to find of late.

I'm working on designing and making a crocheted capelet in lovely variegated green cotton.

Friday 10 October 2008



PS: Oh Yes...As Fifi quite rightly pointed out this looks like coral, that was indeed my intention. I liked it too until Chicky babe said it looks like a scrunchie!

Thursday 9 October 2008

Todays playthings...


I've been looking at some sculptural crochet- check out gooseflesh, stunning pieces made using plastic bag 'yarn'. I'm playing with cotton to make a more sculptural crocheted piece of jewellery. This one will become a bracelet.

I had plenty of time to work on it, while waiting for Chicky Babe to get her hair cut. I had mine done too but it doesn't look the same as the idea I had in my head, never mind. Then I waited on a bench in the supermarket for an hour and a half while she had her group interview. Thankfully she has decided to go for another job, because apparently I unreasonably expect her to do unreasonable jobs when she asks for money! (Now I'll just ask her to do them for no money!!! )

I also revamped an old T-shirt today using a bit of one of my favourite fabrics.

It was incredibly easy so I thought I'd have a go at sharing a how to post. I got fed up with my lack of photography skills so I've had a go at doing some drawings to help too. Right here goes.

1: Take one plain t-shirt and fold it in half by tucking one sleeve inside the other.
2: pin a curved line of pins where you want the contrast fabric to sit (make sure it skims the top of the sleeve.) Once you are happy with the line cut just above the pins. Keep the bit you cut away to use a a guide for the width of the contrast piece that you will cut out in a minute.

3: Measure the length of the neckline you have just cut, as illustrated and them multiply this by four. eg. If your shirt top measures 20cm you will need to cut a length of fabric 4x20 or 80 cm plus 2cm for joining the seam.

4: Join your contrast fabric into a loop. Leave it partly open to allow for the drawstring to thread through easily. (No need to do this if you are putting elastic in to draw it up) Fold top section over and stitch to make a casing.

5: Divide the top and contrast into quarters and mark with pins. Match these together and and pin t-shirt and contrast together with right sides facing together. Sew together.

(****Don't do what I did, I pinned and sewed the opening at the back of my shirt! I had intended to have a little black bow at the front. It's now at the back!!!)

6: Thread your drawstring through the casing and pull up to the desired gather.

Shameless self promation.

I took my little HANDbag shopping this morning. I did something a bit silly, I cut out a pile of the bags ready to sew and used the left over pieces to cut out some wrist purses. That's not silly, I hear you say, that sounds sensible to use up the scraps and have a pile of things ready to sew when the mood or opportunity strikes. Well that's true but I forgot to cut the bases of the bags so I had 4 bags cut but no bases to match. So I had to go and get some more fabric this morning.

While I was in the fabric shop a lady exclaimed "What a lovely bag!"
"Why thank you," I replied," I'll be selling them at the George St Market."
"It's just the kind of thing my daughter would love."
"We'll tell her to come and find me at the market!" I heard myself say. I was quite surprised that I was so shameless!

I made 7 bags today and 3 flowers too. So does that mean I'm 6 days in front with my goal and I can have a week off?

Tuesday 7 October 2008

regrets, I've had a few...

Today I regretted setting a goal to make something every day and verbalizing it here. That's the problem with sharing a goal, you then feel obliged to follow it through! After going out to lunch and enjoying a couple of glasses of red and indulging in foods that contained either preservatives, colours or flavourings , I regretted eating the desert shortly after polishing off the last creamy morsel, although at the time it was delicious! When I got home I promptly fell asleep on the lounge. (This is my allergic reaction I go to sleep -snoring and then wake with hangover like symptoms.) At this point the last thing I wanted to do was make something but I figured there is only about 6 weeks to the market so I really need to do as much as possible while I can. So I made another necklace.

I still haven't managed to get to the pool yet and the bottom part of my house is still the exact wrong shade of cream!
Oh and Fifi , I couldn't even be bothered cooking creatively or not. The thought of opening a can of baked beans for the family was too much and I was inclined to side with your comments on my previous post! Fortunately for my chicks and their friends who are sleeping over Tim came over and he made chops and mashed potato. It tasted better than the $30 meal I had at the restaurant because it was such a relief that I didn't have to do anything at that point of the day.

Monday 6 October 2008

creative holiday challenge

My little challenge to myself for this month is to try to make something every day. Not so hard to manage for the holidays but maybe a bit tricky when school goes back next week! Maybe that is a little unreasonable, perhaps I should purely aim to work on something creative every day... Now I can see room to cheat a bit because technically cooking a meal could be construed as a creative thing, depending on what you cook. I remember in my teens when my father began to take on the role of cook in the family. This was the beginning of my foray into anorexia. He was a creative cook! Sometimes too creative, he liked to eat honey and Vegemite sandwiches! His meals comprised of some surprising combinations. I was not as adventurous as he and often opted for eating very little!

Even though I had a very busy day I still managed to make this HANDbag for myself- not for the markets.

. . .

My sister "B" is here from the country holidaying with her family . Her hubby and kids went sight seeing and I took her out for breakfast then we went shopping and bought some art supplies. I bought a canvas for a painting that I'd like to do. (I really have to finish some things. Maybe that should be my challenge to see how many things I can complete this month That's it! All this waffle has helped me decide what to do!) After shopping we came home and I made lunch and B played with her water colours.

Later this afternoon I went out for coffee with a friend down by the beach, beautiful. And a great laugh too! She had a laugh at my unrealistic goals for my holidays. When I got home Bantam Boy had his friend over, his mother is also a friend of mine, she came to pick up her son and we had a cuppa. It was nice to catch up. Both kids were out and about today, They are sleeping over at their friends' houses, so I had leftovers for tea, nice and simple! Tomorrow is lunch with the book club girls. Holiday's are lovely!

Here's to seeing how many things I can actually complete this month!

Sunday 5 October 2008

Poppy's Bag

I came across this a few days ago. Obviously my penchant for designing and making bags goes back a long way. I double checked with my mother and I was 8 when I made this. This is a dual coloured handbag that I made specially for my great grandmother. She was a prolific knitter and crocheter and I remember watching her work for hours. God bless her she actually used this bag on numerous occasions- obviously when she knew I'd see her doing it. When she died 20 years ago mum found this carefully stored with all Poppy's special table cloths. Mum kept it safe until recently, and I've had it not so carefully knocking about my place.

Check out the woolly ribbon handle! I remember these were all the rage back then I used to wear my hair in pigtails with these ribbons, we thought we were extra special when we wore two colours in each pigtail. Mine were often red or blue. My sister favoured pink or purple.
I remember being even smaller about 5 and 6, living in Katherine in the Northern Territory I used to make outfits and accessories for the fairies using flower petals sewn together with thin pieces of grass. My sister and I would leave them in the trees and overnight they would disappear!
One day I remember we were sitting under the big tree next to the fence near dad's work (he was a fireman and we lived next door to the fire station) I was sewing with fabric and needle and thread on this occasion when suddenly money began to fall from the tree! 1 and 2 cent pieces fell here and there. This caused much excitement because at the local general store a huge bag of lollies could be purchased with 5c. Amazing! The fairies were paying us for the lovely clothes we had been leaving for them. A few moments later dad stepped over the little wire fence and was "surprised" as we were at the falling money. He hadn't seen a thing he said but he thought he had heard bells. (Tinkerbell was our favourite fairy although we lived in fear that if we did anything wrong she would let dad know what we had been up to. Although I have to say I don't recall ever really being naughty.)

Saturday 4 October 2008

Bare necessities


I thought I'd best make this little bag that's been lurking in my head for months now before I see someone else has made one already! When I went to Melbourne I saw some shoulder bags with handles that loop through one another. I'd seen them before but had forgotten about them. Since then I'd been thinking about making a similar kind of thing that was just big enough to link and slip over your wrist just for the bare essentials.

So in the wee hours of this morning I came up with this. It's not finished yet and I've discovered that I estimated the length of the handle too generously and it sits better if shorter.

PS: all the bags I've seen that are similar to these have a rounded base mine has a circular base, so it sits flat and upright when placed on a table and is my own pattern.

Mark 1...

. .
see the handle is too long!

With adjusted handle...

. . .

I might do some with crocheted flowers too. (For those of us that like more than the bare necessities when it comes to embellishments)

I'm also going to make them in plain black, denim and linen. Perhaps the flower could be detatchachable
I just ran the spell checker over this post and it didn't highlight necessity - I am not the worlds best speller, as some of you may have already noticed as sometimes I forget to check or post at very odd hours when I should be asleep. Necessity has been the brain of my writing life and I have on numerous occasions selected others words rather than making an error!

Friday 3 October 2008

four more flowers...

. . .

I'm really enjoing making these floral necklaces for the market, they've kind of taken over. They are great because there's not alot of room taken up or mess to make. Just a few balls of cotton and a crochet hook and perhaps a few buttons or beads.

After saying that I wasn't going to spend too much time reading blogs I found myself joining in Blogtoberfest in which you blog every day, as I'd already been blogging every day (and three times on one day.) I'd thought I'd join in. As I've been quite productive at the same time I don't feel guilty about "wasting" my time. I find that it is quite motivating to see what other people are doing. Plus now I have my laptop on the go with the wireless network it's easier to find a minute or two to make a post while watching a bit of t.v. or baking cake or cooking dinner. It also doesn't take as long now that I'm becoming more computer literate!

Thursday 2 October 2008

How do your flowers grow..

I made this one this afternoon.
(Chicky Babe as model, and a lovely model too!)

A came to visit with her too little ones. They are just too cute! Lively and funny. We had a good long chat and spent some time sitting in the sunshine while the kids played. (Poor old Pablo had to have a little lie down after they left. He had makeshift alfoil balls to chase and was covered in vinigar and water spray -my next remedy for aphids.)

I baked this cake and it's yummy.

Almond, Coffee Crumble Cake
(An adaptation of one by Gordon Ramsay)

Crumble topping
Rub together 40g butter with 60g of plain flour and 40g brown sugar. Mix in about half a cup of flaked almonds (omitted from the one in this photo as I had none in the pantry. But they do add a yummy crunch.)

set aside and alow to cool one third of a cup of good strong expresso.
Cream together 170g butter and 170g raw caster sugar. Beat in 3 eggs one at a time. Mix in a tspn of good quality vanilla extract or paste.

Mix in half of the coffee with a large metal spoon. Mix in 100g of almond meal.

Sift together half a tspn of baking powder with 100g of SR flour and then fold it into the mixture.

Fold through the remaining coffee.

Spoon into a lined, greased spring form tin, sprinkle crumble mixture on top.
Bake for about 50-60mins at 170degrees celsius (150 if you have a fan forced oven)
Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve. (Nice warm or cold)