Saturday, December 30, 2006


Jaywalker socks in progress using Jigsaw sock yarn. So far I'm pretty happy with them, they just seem to be taking a long time after only previously knitting socks in worsted weight yarn.
I stole this idea from a friend Emma - such a great idea. Plywood shapes painted with blackboard paint on the back verandah.

Friday, December 29, 2006


We are back and recovering from a fantastic Christmas. It is really nice to be home though and to be back in some sort of routine. It was great to see all of my family and Chris' family. One of the best things was spending time with my Nan who came up for Christmas. I haven't had a Christmas with her for years as she wouldn't come while Pa was not well. It was great for my girls to spend some time with her.

A quick summary of the last week.There was too much food, drink and presents. One of Mum's best trifles ever. The girls' swimming in the pool. Relaxing and reading. I cast on a sock.Cuddling my tiny niece. Catching up with family. Seeing Chris sister's new house. Catching up with Neil, Chris' brother. Dad and I only having one political argument, yes amazing! More really good food. Going to the shops for the sales and lasting about an hour. And finally getting home and finding my wonderful next door neighbours had mowed the lawns.

A photo of the girls on Christmas morning More can be found here.

Some photos of bags I made for presents.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

This early Christmas present from Mum and my sister Gemma arrived yesterday - I was very excited. I have been wanting a subscription to Selvedge for ever. It is more fabulous than I thought it would be! Thanks Mum and Gem.

I finished a dress for Christmas using Butterick 4849. I made a few alterations. The big change was I did not add sleeves and changed the shape of the armhole.

I love all the catching up with people during the Christmas season, but I'll be glad of a quiet night in later next week. We had a great party at out place last night for a few peoples birthdays. Lots of ladies and children from playgroup. The weather was great and the dog went to visit a friend so we could all go outside.
Chris was the only bloke and cooked the bbq for us and sat on the lawn with all the kids. Milly wasn't in a playing mood at the end and just wanted Daddy, her dolly and her dummy.

Well it is time to clean the house and try to pack and I should probably wrap the presents before the girls get into them again. Going out again so at least I don't have to worry about dinner. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Early Christmas Presents

I received my Amazon Japan order yesterday which will be my Christmas Present from Chris. No way was I waiting until Christmas Day to open it!
I've been trying to get hold of this book for ages. So glad to finally get hold of it. ISBN 4141878669. More images on flickr.

This is an amazing embroidery book with some smocking in it. ISBN 4579110323. More images on flickr.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A little more sewing.

This what happens when you let small people dress themselves. Skirts around heads and necks.
I couldn't find a pattern I wanted at the sewing shop, so I drafted my own. It is just a little too big and the girls keep undoing the bows, but it will be good for next summer. I think the girls and I have watched a little too much Project Runway this week as Gracie thought she was a model in her new dress.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Sewing Finished!

Good news - I did not have a summer top sewing disaster today. Only because I did not try to make one, had a few other disasters though. I made this cute top and bottom for my niece, unfortunately they are completely different sizes and will never be worn togther. I really like the pants though with the little ruffles on the bottom.

I finished a few other bits of sewing for Christmas. Will put pictures up after everyone has received their presents.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Shopping

Well we survived Perth and the Christmas Shopping. I think Chris only just survived and he was only in the shops for a couple of hours. This year opened up a whole new dimension of Christmas shopping for us - the toy store. Scary. I can't believe what you can buy, what people will buy and how much they will buy.
Mum and I stumbled across this little children's toy store selling wonderful Swedish wooden toys amongst other stuff and ended up buying one of these each for the girls. The girls went straight for them and had major tantrums as we put them in the car and they couldn't play with them. My Dad and Chris thought we just paid a lot of money for plastic bowls, but I can see the potential and love the idea of having to use your imagination and creativity, so we'll see what they think at Christmas.
Don't get the wrong idea - I'm not all Scroogey at Christmas, we have been to a few Christmas parties where Father Christmas has come, including the Playgroup Christmas Party last night, and after there was a Father Christmas pinata where all the kids got to bash Father Christmas which was slightly disturbing.
Now I'd better go and make the last of the presents I need to get done, but first I need to finish a wombat for Soozs who sent me one of her gorgeous dolls. She also has a really thought provoking post about Christmas at the Washing Line.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pink Platypus

The finished platypus. I thought I would make one out of corduroy as there seems to be a lot of it around here, but that was a bit boring so it ended up being made out of some scraps I had. I had eyes like my frogs on it - but looked a bit zombie, I think this is a little better.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Cake

I cooked the Christmas Cake yesterday and the smell while it was cooking was soooo good I really couldn't wait to take a picture before I had a bite. It is an Apricot, Ginger,Fig and Spice cake. Recipe is here. Another sewing disaster today. Why can't I find an easy, gorgeous top pattern? I am off to Perth for a few days and wanted something new to wear - looks like I'm going to have to buy something. In the old days this would have sounded fantastic. Add two children and it will be disastrous.
I think I am having success with a platypus though. It started as a boring corduroy thing, but is turning into a bright, fun platypus. Pictures tomorrow when it is finished.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lots of sewing

I've just installed child safe locks in the kitchen. Way too many incidents in there - bites out of all the cruskits. There was a final straw with Grace tipping all the hundreds and thousands on the floor - it looked like millions and billions and they are all in the cracks of the floorboards - a very pretty look. I have left the tupperware cupboard unlocked - it's a disaster anyway and will give them something to do.
I'm gradually getting through my sewing list. I had an order for another dog, so I managed to finish a couple and some new pants for the girls.
I had big plans to make a couple of quick, easy tops from Simplicity 4589. I have seen a couple of good ones around, but it is not the pattern for me. It was not flattering, I don't need that especially after a great comment by a lady who was talking to me earlier in the week. She had identical twins in their 40s, so we were chatting about twins and then she said, 'Your stomach never does go back to what it was, does it'. Umm I'm well aware of this, I just don't need strangers telling me. I have a couple of other top patterns to try so hopefully one of them will become my new favourite and better go now to do some more stomach crunches.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Little Trees

We finally have some Christmas decorations - little trees using this pattern from Little Birds.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My oh so clever children.

The girls are learning new things every day. This week Grace has learnt to open the back gate and run as fast as she can. She has also learnt to climb on the couch and open the china cabinet and get out my Grandmother's good china while swinging from the corner of it. Grace also learnt that the tops of bbq's are very hot.
Amelia has learnt to watch and follow her sister and she has learnt to scream and scream to get her own way. They have also learnt to hide and be very quiet so I can't find them. I feel weak.
My wonderful cousin Sue sent me a quote that made me laugh - 'Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a duck'
Another dog and giraffe.

Monday, December 04, 2006


It is cherry season down here at the moment. So I made a Cherry Pie yesterday. I added some berries too - so it really was a Very Merry Cherry Berry Pie, I thought about sherry, but I was all out of it.
I would have taken a picture last night, but Chris and I were too busy debating the ABCs top 10 albums of all time. Seriously Australia - Meatloaf?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I have been tagged by Linda

4 jobs I've had
1. teacher
2.working on the wheat bins at harvest
3. swimming instructor
4. anthropologist

4 movies I could watch over and over
1. Girls just want to have fun (love crappy 80s movies)
2. The Breakfast Club (another great 80s movie)
3. Ferris Bueller's Day off (the best 80s movie)
4. Pride and Prejudice (love a costume drama)

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now)
1. The Wheatbelt of WA
2. Perth
3. The Kimberley in WA
4. The Desert (1000km north east of Kalgoorlie)

4 tv shows I love
1. Arrested Development
2. Spicks and Specks
3. Kath and Kim
4. Fashion Series: Closet tales of Australian Fashion - starting this week on Wednedsay on SBS - I know I will love it.

4 places I have been for a vacation
1. Spain
2. Bali
3. Cuba
4. Jamaica

4 websites I visit daily
1. bloglines
2. etsy
3. email
4. a few different news sites

4 favourite foods
1. lamb chops
2. Kukul Mas Curry
3. Cheesecake - preferably baked, but I'm not fussy
4. Chilli Mussels

4 places I would rather be
1. A 5 star resort on any tropical island
2. New York
3. Melbourne
4. London

And I'm not tagging anyone in particular - so it you want to do it - go for it!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Some good things this weekend.
  • the weather
  • Chris' brother Neil visiting
  • dinner out last night
  • having my hair cut - I love just sitting quietly for 2 hours
  • Maisie

Meet Maisie. I have been experimenting with the hair on my dolls. I was trying to make buns kind of like these that Abby made. That was the vision I kind of had, but my version was disastrous so they ended up like this.

I know the following might shock a few people, probably not those that know me in real life - I am not a Christmas person. Don't get me wrong I love to see family and catch up with people, but I'm not a good at big Christmas gatherings, not a fan of hot lunches in this hot weather, not a fan of what stress, heat, alcohol, overeating and forced joviality can do to people especially me and I especially hate the pressure to buy, buy, buy - stuff we don't need and stuff we don't want, especially when there are so many people and organisations in the world that could put that money to much better use. I have been thinking about this more than usual this week as I just picked up the book Affluenza to read.
All that being said, we don't own a Christmas decoration so I thought I'd make a couple. I think we need a few of Little Birds' trees and I think we might need some stars after seeing Caroline's.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I spent the girls nap time trying to finish some Christmas orders and make a plan for what needed to be done in the next few week. I managed to finish these two wombats.

Looking at the one pink one I realised how much I think my fabric choice is influenced by Pamela Peake. I love the fabrics she used for her animals. Here is a page from The Golden Hands Book of 80 Toys to make for Children I got a while ago on ebay. I think there is only the hippo and hedgehog patterns from her in this book. Check out her book Creative Soft Toy Making for more of her great patterns.

Looking at this picture of the wombats I realised that I've managed to put a little bit of me in them!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Never say Surrender!

More dachshund prototypes last night. It is getting closer - but I think it looks more like a cross between a dachshund and a Jack Russell.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Eliza and Clara

These poor little girls have been sitting here in pieces for weeks. I finally felt sorry enough for them to put them together.
I'll admit I was also procrastinating. I have been asked to make a dachshund for someone who owns the cutest little minitaure dachshund and after many prototypes its body is looking good, but its head still has some problems. It is looking better then the horse someone else requested. After a month I have finally given up and admitted defeat. My prototypes were getting worse not better. I am very much in awe of My Little Mochi and her donkey.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Feeling Better

Thanks for your lovely comments. I feel so much better than I did Friday. I actually felt calmer once I had written it out. I have never realised how therapeutic doing that was. I also discovered a few people around here have had the same problem.
We have nearly survived a really busy weekend, one I had been dreading after the wedding we went to last week, but the girls have surprised me. We managed a late night on Friday, the local show yesterday and a Christening and lunch today. Even the church part was not too bad for children not used to sitting still and being quiet, they were very good.
A bag I finished last night - I thought I would put it on Etsy not expecting to sell it considering the amazing bags on there, but it was gone before I could blink so I'd better go and make some more.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever you are.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Small Vent

I don't think I have really used this blog to vent, but please indulge me today.
Every week or two I go to a bigger nearby town to do jobs I have to do and they have a Coles Supermarket. I usually just fill one of those baskets that fit on your arm, that is usually all I can carry with the pram.
The only problem with this Coles is that the only wide aisle is the 8 items or less aisle. No other supermarket I have been to is like this. There is always another wide aisle. At other supermarkets I line up at the wide aisle even if it has the longest line and wait my turn.
At this Coles I wait till there is pretty much no one at the wide 8 items or less aisle and let people who come go before me and I haven't had a problem in the past, until today when the lady at the check out told me how I couldn't use that aisle.
As much as I calmly (yes I did remain calm) tried to explain I couldn't get the pram out any other way and she just kept saying that was the rule. By the end there was two ladies behind me telling me about the specials I could get in Woolworths and how I should write to the manager. So I think I might just do that and from now on I'll shop elsewhere.
Edited to add:
Don't even get me started on the fact I paid for a pram that will fit through a standard door, but I can't fit it through the door at the doctors, the paediatricians, many shops and several mothers rooms in shopping centres.
Luckily the girls were quite well behaved today although they did try and help me unpack the shopping and take a bite out of all the strawberries while I was putting stuff away.
I hat encounters like that they just make you fell yucky so here are some things that are making me feel happy.
Here is Grace trying to hold Milly's had yesterday.

I was so happy with a wombat that went to the wonderful Lauri I had to make another nearly the same.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Felt To Stitch

Some pictures from an amazing book I received recently.
Felt to Stitch by Sheila Smith
ISBN 071349008X

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Toe-up Sock

Thanks everyone for your lovely dress comments. I did wear it and felt very happy in it.
I'm over my fear of very small knitting needles and I think this is starting to look like a toe! I tried the short row toe, but I think I need step by step pictures to master that. So I tried the easy toe and I think it is working. I'm too impatient to knit a swatch and work out gauge so I've already had to rip it as it was too big. I am loving the colour of this Koigu yarn.
Another giraffe using Kaffe Fassett fabric.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Basically there was no craft this weekend (although I think I have worked out the easy toe for a toe up sock). Chris was doing an ambulance course all weekend so it was me and the girls.
We had a wedding on Satuurday, which was just lovely, unfortunately I saw about 3 seconds of the ceremony as the girls were pretty diabolical. Lucky it was a very child friendly wedding and Chris was there for the reception as the girls did not stay still for a second.
I thought I would be able to get some stuff done yesterday, a friend came over and we were goint to craft, Grace, however, was so overtired she would not sleep and that was my afternoon.
Here are some pictures of them looking all gorgeous without a hint of what was to come.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Finished Dress

I finished the dress last night. I'm still not sure about it. It was not really hard to make, but it did take a while and there was quite a bit of hand sewing all the bands down. Oh well if I decide not to wear it out I have a nice house dress. And who doesn't pop on a dress and some lippy while cooking dinner with their bathed and perfectly behaved children while waiting for their husbands to come home (yes Mum I know this will make you laugh!)
And while I was in the sewing zone late last night I finished another giraffe.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Banana Cake

Anyone in Australia will know how decadent this is at the moment - making banana cake and muffins. I usually only buy bananas for the girls and they have to share one. They love them so much and it is such an easy food to feed them.
Both of their grandmothers bought them some on the weekend and all of a sudden a bunch of them had turned black and mushy and they couldn't be wasted so we turned them into cake and muffins. They are not bad since I made the recipe up. (Yes that is a corner of the cake missing - well I had to test the new recipe).

I need a new dress for a wedding this weekend and here is the progress so far. I'm using Butterick 4849 which says 'fast and easy' on the cover. It is not that hard, but it hasn't been fast. You should be able to do fast during a nap time. I keep alternating between this is going to turn out ok and this is going to look ridiculous so I'll keep going and see how it looks tonight.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Look what arrived in my mail box today. A gorgeous seahorse from Jhoanna. It is even more lovely in real life - no sunshine to take a decent picture today. It is going to keep me company while I sew. You can see more of her work here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Toys to Sew

Chris' Mum gave me this wonderful book on the weekend. Toys to Sew by Claire Garland. ISBN 184340351X.
It has some great patterns including these sock creatures on the front. I have never made a sock creature so I may have to add these to my 'things to try' list.
The quiet day I envisaged yesterday never happened. Amelia did not want to sleep and Grace just wanted to practise standing on her head. Maybe today will be a quiet day.