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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Busy bee

Paddy had to have grommets (small tubes, not small surfers) put in his ears on Thursday. He's come through really well, but is very quiet, doesn't want to go outside, and only wants to watch Dora. Poor poppet. But that means that I've been able to get a bit of crafty stuff done that I've wanted to do for ages.

Firstly this.
I think I'd seen something similar on the web somewhere. So on Thursday arvo I painted up this random piece of wood (mdf) blue, then brown. I wanted it to look like a eucalypt forest so just drew some long tree shapes, then yesterday morning started carving them out with my lino cutting tools.

Too easy. MDF is totally the wrong wood - no grain showed through, just that fibrous wood. I was going to clean up the edges, but they look better not being 'sharp'. From a distance it looks great. I can't wait to try it again with some decent wood.

Then this.

I cleaned out my embroidery box the other day and gathered up all the stray floss laying around afterwards. It looked so pretty and so I thought I'd use it for something. I was going for a eye type of image and was going to have all the threads coming out as eyebrows.

But it looked pretty good when they kind of exploded out of that shape. Now I don't really know what it is, but I like it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mamma mia...

Last weekend Lily and I went to Melbourne* with her friend M and her mum S.

Lily and M have a love-hate relationship. They've been friends since they first started childcare at 15 months and have been pretty much inseparable since. Except when you have to separate them for their own safety. Or your sanity. In the beginning it was just your standard hair pulling/face biting (seriously)/pushing each other type confrontations. Now they fight about who is the best swimmer, dancer or singer. ALL. THE. TIME. I probably would have discouraged such a competitive friendship long ago, but I really like her mum (and her son gets on really well with Paddy so we won't be parting ways anytime soon). That and the fact that I guess they're kind of like sisters - they fight hard but love harder. And having each other has given them a confidence at school that has been incredible. They are the two that the other kids gravitate to - because they are sure of themselves because they have each other. As long as the other one is there they are fine. And its not like they're totally codependent - they've each made other friends in the three weeks they've been at school. Anyhoo.

We went to Melbourne to see Mamma Mia. The girls love it so we thought we'd do a girls weekend. While waiting for the show we walked around the city a bit and I found my favourite fountain. It reminds me of a similar one in Bathurst...

The girls loved it! They kept re-enacting it - at breakfast, in the hotel foyer, on the tram and down at St Kilda beach.

We went to see the markets and had some lunch down by the beach. It was really nice. Except for the dead jelly fish.

Then it was time to take two very tired, very grumpy children back home. It will be a nice memory for them hopefully. For me it will be a reminder to always take a leash when I'm taking the child to large cities.

* It was a flying visit - and the first time I'd been to Melbourne in 18 months. It made me realise how much I want to go back without any 'hangers on' so that I can catch up with the lovely folk I know down there and see the places I want to see.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm hot

Gentle reader. Please allow me permission to boast. I'm hot, and new according to craftster!!!

I'm positive this is random - but how cool to be on the front page of craftster???

Monday, February 22, 2010

FO - lace ribbon scarf

I started this in September 2008 and decided that I had to finish it before beginning anything new*.

So here it is. Lace Ribbon scarf, in merino bambino, knitted on nana's old tortoiseshells. I didn't do as many pattern repeats across the scarf as required and in retrospect I think it may have been a mistake. It's as long as I am tall. It could have been longer but I was bored to tears by the end. Great TV knitting though.

It was knitted for my sister. But as she's sitting on a beach in Mexico at the moment she's not received it. I'm frankly a little offended that she didn't hang around to receive it. Screwy priorities I reckon.

*I did start a little jacket for my step niece in bendy 4 ply... but that doesn't count!

Friday, February 19, 2010

More embroidery

I made this for my sister last year. Another thing that wasn't blogged!

She loves this haiku

Here is the dark tree
Denuded now
Of leafage...
But a million stars


I love it too.

I love this embroidery too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I first drafted this post before Paterson was born, in mid 2007. I never posted it and I don't know why. The link doesn't have the image i used anymore - but it does have her other work on it.


Wandering the net one day I found the wonderful Muffin's site... all her illustrations are just delightful, but there was one that truely resonated.

I was so taken with it that I decided to embroider her. I'm nearly all finished - barring the legs. I'm not so happy with my take on her mouth and head incline - Muffin's version captures perfectly the exhaustion? exasperation? resignation? Whatever it is, she's got it right.

In mine she looks almost pleased. And her face is sharper than i'd like. Either way, I'm delighted to have embarked on this endevour, and to know that I once felt that way. Because once this bub is born then I'll never turn my mind to pregnancy again. I also learnt alot about drawing with floss - its hard to get it to look exactly how you envisage it.


I did email muffin to and had her permission to post her image. I loved working on this. But three years on, its still sitting in my embroidery bag. I must do it some justice sometime. Check back in 2013!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Embroidery from the past

My paternal grandfather celebrated (I use the term loosely) his 90th birthday in Bathurst on the weekend.

(we lit the candles and he walked away... overcome? pissed that we took him out for dinner when he didn't want a fuss? just sick of having family around? who knows...)

I've never really spent much time with my paternal grandparents but I remember the bits and pieces that they have around the house. The last time I was there was for my grandmother's funeral. A combination of having my husband and his insatiable curiosity about family and history, and the children's brazen invasion of the whole house made me look at some of these things anew. Like this incredible cross stitch map of the Netherlands (where my family is from).

My dad was born here in Leeuwarden.

The work in it is amazing.

Its filled with lovely little details - an ice skater, a horse, a boat (and three things that look like nuclear submarines - but I suspect not)

It makes me so sad when I think that she could have shared so much with me about her love of craft and her country. But we never really felt comfortable with each other. But she certainly had skill and talent and she must have shared some genetically with me...

Cruel embroidery

I had this idea about doing a cruel embroidery (play on crewel embroidery) last week. And here it is!Its not 'nice' but I've found that a side effect of this new medication is an unreasonable amount of anger and aggression. There is a theory that says that depression is anger turned inwards. Ergo as you get better the anger is projected outwards. If that's true I'm much, much better. I'd rather channel it into this kind of creative output than yelling abuse. Which is what I've found myself doing to the fuckwits that walk their dogs around my suburb and who don't pick up their dog shit. Seriously. Stopping the car, winding down the window and yelling out 'toser!' or 'Oi, are you going to pick that up?' and then spending quite some time planning how I could pick up the poo, following the offenders home and then flinging it at their front doors... not entirely a positive use of energy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vote for Toy Society!

Vote for Toy Society in the Handmade Olympics! (click on image)

See more here!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

My garden is full of n a k e d ladies...

My mum gave me some bulbs a couple of years ago and said that they'd take a season to flower. I was pretty sure she said they were nerines. Last year we got lots of foliage (looked like agapanthus leaves) and, as mum said, no flowers. This year we got lots of foliage. And no flowers.

We thought we'd got some dud bulbs. And when the foliage died away we figured we'd dig them up. Until we saw these weird little prehistoric looking things coming up from the soil.

And they turned into these...

They're n a k e d ladies. Or Belladonna lilies. But I use the former because 'my garden is full of belladonna lilies' won't bring in the punters...

(Of course I'm putting spaces in the word so that my blog doesn't start attracting freaks looking for pictures of women in no clothes. Freaks generally don't bother me. Just those looking for scantily clad females.)

Aren't they gorgeous. Big, beautiful bunches of lilies, on thick, sturdy, leafless stalks. They were so worth waiting for!

On an aside, there is a little sculpture in our garden - a refugee from our bathroom. And she's literally a n a k e d lady.

Ever seen a hug?

This is what it looks like.

It requires two people and arms. And this does. One wonderful friend Georgie, and her two arms made this amazing gift for me. To cheer me after the last couple of dark weeks.

I love it. I love the fabrics. I love the hand-stitching on the binding. I'm so touched that such a busy woman spent her valuable spare time making something to make me feel better.

And it does. I can get a Georgie hug anytime I want now.

Thanks George. Its one of my most prized possessions.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Its only the beginning.

My bubby girl starts school today.

How did she get to be so big? Its only moments ago that she was a baby.

Then a tiger...

Then a toddler...

Then a little lady...

Then a little mermaid...

Then a preschooler...

And now a shy, quiet little girl who hates being the focus of attention...

(mwahhhahahaha ROFLMAO ! Quiet! Shy! I can't even type those with a straight face...)

I think she's do just fine... we can only pray for the teachers.