30 September 2009
I've been finding it hard to part with the Sock Monkeys that I made on Craft Weekend.
I thought perhaps I need some new monkeys to take their place.
Or at the very least some monkey materials.
Luckily DJ's have my favorite monkey making socks on sale at the moment.
So I won't have to be monkeyless for long.
Things I look for in a monkey sock include how the colours will be placed and the patterns will work in the finished monkey, and avoiding any printed makers details on the foot (although I don't really mind the woven name, so long as it works with the monkey piecing in an interesting way).
29 September 2009
The last week (or more) has been busy- here, there, visiting, hosting, cooking, eating, reorganising, rotating and making a trip to the Royal Show. It was C's first trip, but the third time that I've been to the Royal Show in Melbourne.
When I was growing up in Perth, we were a short walk from the showgrounds, so went every year, without fail. We also tried to scam money to "let" people park on our verge, and oggled the nightly fireworks from the front yard. I still enjoy the sights and sounds of The Show now as much as I did as a child. Checking out the livestock, arts and crafts, cookery and watching some woodchopping action being my priorities over throw-away showbags, too much sugar and nauseating rides. C seemed to enjoy himself as much as we did. A great day out.
I am hoping though, that in the rest of this week a degree of normality (and spring weather) will return, and that I have a chance to get the household routine back on the rails, to spend some time with friends who I need to spend some time with, to make some progress on projects and the garden, and take some photos of the socks I cast off last night...
25 September 2009
The Mossy (hoodless) has been seamed, collared, buttoned (Buttons from the stash. Gotta love that) and quickly pulled on before rushing out the door.
I'd have to say a success, based on the fit, C's enthusiasm to wear it, and the nice comments it's received. So nice to finish a project in time for the right season- the mid weight cotton will be an easy care, handy weight jacket to have on hand for spring and cooler summer moments- and in the right size.
I love, love, love the moss stitch texture. A simple knit (the hardest part was probably sewing the armhole seam) and cute pattern. Details of my pattern mods on Ravelry.
22 September 2009
When I was about to become a mother, I foolishly joined a book club that some friends were setting up. Needless to say, I didn't manage to read one book, or attend one meeting. Instead, I find myself commenting, when friends start discussing books, that reading books just doesn't fit into my life any more. That is, aside from parenting books, cook books and kids books. Mostly kids books, many that I've re-read a great many times.
I've always been an enthusiastic giver of kids books as gifts, and now that I have a kid of my own, who seems to enjoy books, I often find myself browsing the kids book shelves when I have a moment to myself in a good book shop. We also make regular excursions to the library to supplement what we already have, and to provide some variety and variation, or to key into current interests and activities. And I get very excited when friends give C books.
Our current red hot favorite excites me so much I had to share it. It was a gift, and such a perfect gift. I want to give it to everyone I know. The illustrations are wonderful (beautifully drawn and offering a feast of retro toddler clothing inspiration), the language has perfect rhythm and rhyme, the is hero inspiring, the story beautifully woven. All round perfection.
Iggy Peck, Architect.
17 September 2009
Up: Convenitent excuse not to do any laundry.
Up: Convenient excuse to chuck a sickie* whilst waiting for the repair man.
Up: Able to be repaired for about the same cost as two pairs of relatively cheap (unless you ask my husband) shoes.
Down: I already bought two new pairs of relatively cheap shoes this week (summer sandals. When you have big feet you need to get in fast, as soon as the stock hits the shelves)
In other good news the tomato seedlings have sprouted, now that I've brought them inside. Water and warmth is what they need. Still too cold outside for them at the moment, although they don't actually get direct sunlight from their new perch in the kitchen window. I think they will have to do a bit of migrating around the house as they grow and their needs change.
*coloquial, meaning take a day of sick leave when you're perhaps not actually ill.
15 September 2009
Now I have a new favorite top pattern. A twist top from Pattern Magic Volume 1- upsized a bit to fit me. Simple to make (sooo simple. One piece. Three seams and perhaps a little hemming. no set in sleeves!) and easy to wear (twist it, don't twist it, whichever way you feel). With thanks to Kirsten for the inspiration a while back now. My only regret is not making a few at the start of winter, but this is Melbourne, so I'm sure I will still have a chance to wear them before Summer is upon us (although I wonder how a short cap sleeve version would work...)
14 September 2009
In the meantime, I'm pleased to report that, this being a craft blog and all, I do still knit and sew. Here's some evidence:
The mossy hoodie is nearly finished. Seamed. Ends sewn in. Just trying to concoct a collar (not enough yarn to do the hood) and contemplating buttons.
There has been sewing too. Mending and making new. I reviewed and re-sorted the fabric stash yesterday and have been contemplating patterns I want to try, and what clothes I need or want for spring and summer ahead. Photos and thoughts to come...
12 September 2009
Sometimes a treat is called for.
Like when you're enjoying a family day out, and it's unseasonally hot, and you all need something to cool you down, and you happen across an icecream stand.
Or when you realise that you've just let your fifth blogiversary slip by (Wow, I've been blogging for that long?). Perhaps one year I may remember that the start of Spring heralds my blog birthday, but don't hold your breath- I'm pretty blasé about birthdays in general.
But my lack of noting my blogiversary doesn't reflect a general apathy to blogging and the wonderful community of people I have come to know. From time to time I do think about whether there is room (time!) in my life for blogging, but I generally come back to the simple fact that making and creating are a huge part of my life, and sharing that, sharing the inspiration and ideas and experiences, with a community of people around the world, makes my life all the richer. Thankyou.
And so to the treat:
Go make yourself some oat and sultana cookies (Recipe from my current favorite cook book- Bill Granger's Everyday). They're quite easy (C's been "helping" me make these almost weekly of late) and exceedingly more-ish (hence the weekly baking).
150 g butter (softened)
225 g (1 cup) brown sugar (I like to use dark brown sugar if we have it in the cupboard)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
125g (1 cup) plain flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
235 g (2 1/3 cups) rolled oats
125 g (1 cup) sultanas (or you could try raisins or chopped dried apricots)
Preheat oven to 180deg and line three large baking sheets with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and mix lightly. Add the oats and raisins and stir together.
With wet hands, roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays. Flatten the balls with a wet fork. Bake cookies for 20 mins or until pale golden (not too long or they will be very hard). Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 30
5 September 2009
I've always had the impression it's hard to make, but perhaps it's just that Mum had it go wrong once or something, because following Stephanie's recipe (including advice and tips, such as straining the lightly beaten egg before adding it in) I managed to produce two delicious jars of the stuff.
I gave one jar to mum, because I know she loves it and she was in need of a treat this week, and the other jar I'm scoffing down on toast or fresh bread whenever anyone else isn't looking. I didn't have any bread on hand when I was cleaning out the pot so I made do with my finger... MmmmmMMMMmmmmm....
3 September 2009
At the moment, the Lego Duplo is getting a good workout, from all members of the family. Hopefully C will continue to give us an excuse to play with Lego for years to come... (I've linked to this podcast before, but feel compelled to link to it again) Last night's family collaboration was this decorated truck with trailers. Things got a little bit manic as bedtime approached, as we tried to incorporate every single piece of Lego into it. A little bit Pakistani perhaps? Certainly great fun and plenty of ongoing entertainment, with endless modifications and re-working before it gets transformed into something else entirely.
(Thanks to the inspiration from this blog to take some photos of what we made)