Sunday, January 31, 2010


Happy Sunday. 

I spent the day painting.  I am a messy painter, but it's more fun that way.
I love wearing overalls too.

I don't love the clean up.

Hope you had fun whatever you did today.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A new way to waste time

This is my new spinning wheel. I was at a NSW Knitter's Guild meeting in December last year and happened to mention that I would like to learn to spin. Beverly happened to have no interest in spinning, but owned a wheel and voila, my Christmas wish was answered! 

She is an Ashford Traditional
This one belonged to Beverley's friend's Mother at one point so is about 50 years old at a guess.

It is in VERY good condition given she has been hiding in the shed gathering dust and fly specks for awhile.  I do need a few more bobbins to get me started but I will have that sorted in a jiffy!

I gave her a quick polish ready for my first lesson yesterday at a friends house. Annette said I was going better than expected for a beginner so I am feeling a little bit happy today!

I am already wondering if Possum would like a pet angora rabbit for her next birthday, or maybe Easter, which comes first.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

12 Months 12 Challenges ~ January

I signed up for Carolyn's sewing challenge for January which was make something for yourself.  I have not really sewn something for me before so this was a good challenge to get me started.

I chose the Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress and my first attempt did not go to plan.  I did not let this stop me.  This version was much better.  I left out the pockets, made it bigger and added a belt.  Much better!

This red fabric came from Nan's stash so it was nice to use something I had, it has a small oriental pattern on it.   Red is not something I would buy for myself (too bold!) so it is out of my comfort zone a little.

Don't you love my 'if I don't look at the camera I can pretend I am not getting my photo taken' stance?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Ok, the small girl will not look at the camera, and for some unknown reason decided to poke her tongue out in EVERY photo taken today but I have decided to make the best of a bad situation and post the photos anyway...

Karen put me onto this cute pattern by Frog Legs and Ponytails.  It's their Carson Ruffle shirt and I knew I had to make it when I saw it!

The PDF pattern was easy to put together and super easy to sew.  I used Emily Bloom fabrics from Spotlight .  This is a size three so I hope it fits for a little while.

It is meant to be a shirt but it looks SUPER cute over her white terry knickers with her white shoes!  Nice and cool for this heat wave too.

Our resident Sparky in training finally got around to wiring in the two new lights I wanted and moved a light switch for me.  My brother has just stared his second year as an apprentice but is already hard to con into working at home...

Monday, January 25, 2010


I feel like this photo, good at a glance, but a close look will reveal that the focus is a bit off.  Pity 'cause I really liked it otherwise :(

I have had a big weekend of driving, knitting, socialising, eating and knitting with friends.  These girls are all awesome and I always feel a little bit happier after a catch up :)  We spent Saturday morning in a park knitting and watching the kids play and Sunday in the B&B knitting and eating.  A perfect weekend! 

The small girl of the house is currently sporting a cold.  It has made for a sleepless night or two which is why I feel a bit fuzzy around the edges.  The small boy is delighting in blowing raspberries as well as his new found ability to roll onto his tummy.  Pity he does not like it when he gets there....

edit: Yup, it proves I am fuzzy!  I forgot to add the picture of the roving I bought from this clever lady

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Thanks to Kirsty who posted a link to this tutorial, I finally got around to making a tutu out of the blue bundle of netting I picked up in an op-shop awhile ago. 

Not quite as good as tulle, but Possum has had fun dancing, and swimming in it this afternoon, not bad for a dollar and 20 minutes work.

Thanks for the motivation Kirsty!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fun Filled.

Story time at the library was a bit more interesting this morning with a celebrity in attendance to entertain the children with two books and two songs.  Both kids enjoyed themselves, I did too :)

Today was also Possum's last day of swimming lessons.  We had 9 days at the pool and progressed a lot after a fright on day 3.  The big pool is fun again and today was full of smiles all round.

Her certificate was well earned and I am very proud.

Hope you had a fun filled day too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little Boy Blue

Another great hat from the favourite book!  This one really pleases me and as it is the first thing I have knit for the small boy I have a soft spot for it already.

I had thought this would be the last hat for awhile now that the children have a new one each, but I am now thinking that Possum would love a hat with a pom pom so might have to cast on another one...

They really are addictive!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Accordian Hat

While on a recent holiday I picked up a copy of Amanda Keeys  Baby Beanie Book.  It could have been the highlight of my whole trip I think!

I knit this beanie up for Possum in two days.  With two small children any project that can be finished in that time frame is very exciting.

Knitting in 8ply on 5.5mm needles made this come together so fast.  I just used remnant wool from the leftover stash stuff Mum bought over.  I could not find 5.5mm dpn's anywhere in town so the Mr chopped up a plastic pair of needles and carved points for me and they worked a treat!

I have just cast on a new hat for the Boy child.  I am really excited about this book.  The projects are wonderful, the photography is fantastic and I can't say enough good things about it.  BUY THIS BOOK!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Bumbly ~ The term given to a beginner Rock Climber who displays more enthusiasm than talent.

The Mr and I had a child free day thanks to Nan and Pop and we set off in search of our glory days.  We wanted to go Rock Climbing which is something we have not had much of a chance to do post children even thought we have tons of equipment sitting in the cupboard.

Ebor Falls is a beautiful spot a couple of hours from home so with guidebook in hand we set off to explore and climb a new area.  Given that I have not done any climbing in a few years now I was back to beginner status which is a bit disheartening.  I did not realise just how weak I have become and am now motivated to reclaim some of my past fitness.

So my first venture back onto the rock was not fantastic, and it was hot, and my legs are scratched a lot by the sword grass, and I didn't climb anything worth mentioning, but we had a nice day and that is the main thing.  We are talking about going back to check out the other section for climbing which I am looking forward to, providing I am fitter!

shutter mode 1/250

This photo was taken from the base of the climbing area, so at least the view was well worth the trip!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Kylie at A Little Red Dress tagged me so now I get to show off one of my favourite photos of myself.  I don't put too many photos of myself on this blog so I thought this meme would be a good chance to do something about that.

This was taken in 2005 at the wedding of my Brother in Law.  The original shot was not great with people and cars in the background but with the help of Photoshop I turned myself into something worth keeping.

Why is it so hard to like photos of yourself?

I won't tag anyone formally, but I hope you will join in on the fun and post a picture of yourself too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I signed up for Carolyn's  12 months 12 sewing challenge in January which was to sew something for yourself.  I have had fun sewing for the children over the past 12 months so decided it was time I put some of my adult patterns to good use too.

I chose the Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress Pattern.

Lucky I used $3/m Spotlight cotton for my first attempt...

With myself clothed, I measured once, I looked at the pattern and decided I had best measure again.
I am an extra small (apparently).  I held conference with my Husband and decided that I would make the size indicated on the pattern.  This was my first mistake.  I got cold feet and made the seam allowance smaller to give myself extra room which was lucky as it is still a tad tight.

My second mistake was putting the pockets in.  They just spoil the line of the dress and didn't look right.

If you don't like hand sewing this may not be the pattern for you.  The yoke is hand stitched on the inside.  Speaking of the yoke, I had to get my other half to read the instructions and tell me how to put it together, he is very good like that.  It makes sense, I just thought there must be a step missing not realising that hand stitching was to come further down the track.

You are meant to be able to wear this dress with, or without, a belt.  Not so in my case.  It looks like a shapeless sack if I don't have a belt :(

Don't let any of this put you off, I have made it again, in a Medium size, without pockets and with belt and it looks great.  I am just waiting on a chance to take proper photos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My Mum decided to get in on the clothes sewing act and borrowed my Make it Perfect ~ Flirty Skirt pattern. She also borrowed a few Fat Quaters from a recent Vintage FQ swap and set to work.

I think she did a super job!

This pattern is great value as it has this sweet skirt in Childrens size 0-5 and two different styles for Ladies size X.small - Large

Reading in 2010

The 2010 Master reading list. 

1- The Cross-Country Quilters ~ Jennifer Chiaverini
2. The 19th Wife ~ David Ebershoff
3. People Might Hear You ~ Robin Klein
4. Seeing Things ~ Robin Klein

5. The girl who kicked the hornet's nest ~ Stieg Larsson

6. The Lost Symbol ~ Dan Brown
7. A Blunt Instrument ~ Georgette Heyer

8. Dark Country ~ Bronwyn Parry
9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad ~ Robert Kiyosaki
10. The Beach Street knitting society and yarn club ~ Gil McNeil


11. The Deadline ~ Paul Brickhill
12. Duplicate Death ~ Georgette Heyer
13. Kindred in Death ~ J.D. Robb
14. Silks ~ Dick Francis

15. How to break your own heart ~ Maggie Alderson
16. War Party ~ Louis L'amour

17. Even Money ~ Dick Francis

18. The Household Guide to Dying ~ Debra Adelaide

Last year I used italics to mark the stand out books that I found..  This year I read less and don't think any are rush our and buy it for my own collection type books :(

Click HERE for the 2009 reading list.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Better late than never...

This is the last of my 2009 sewing and it is pretty cute so not a bad way to finish up the year. It is the Wholgrain Baby Little Mod dress. Very simple and adorable.
The pattern was pretty well written with a lot of detail in most of it. The last step, the yoke, was a bit laking in details but came together well enough.

I used 'Baby's day out' fabric with a plain pink yoke. I thought I had best sneak in this adorable fabric before Possum is too big for it.
I have the Wholegrain Baby Ruffler Dress pattern and the Swing coat which I am keen to try soon too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wordless Weekend

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Per Month ~ January

I had no trouble picking a cook book for Chaletgirl's One Per Month challenge.
This was a Christmas present from my boss in 2005 and I have only made one thing from it since then.
The craft book is one I borrowed from the library to have a look at. I might have to use the library a bit or I won't have enough books to get me through 12 months of challenges!

Rhubarb tart and a softie. I couldn't decide if I liked the teddy or the babushka, or both.
Will find out at the end of the month which way I go.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday

2 weeks of neglect, 6 1/2 inches of rain and hot summer days.
We came home to a JUNGLE.

The Mr and I spent 3 days whipping it, and the lawn, back into shape.

In addition to uncovering the plants that were there, we planted more lettuce, squash, spring onions, carrot and parsnip. We filled our green waste bin twice over with weeds. The chooks got the spinnach and lettuce which had gone to seed and I added cow poo and some organic matter to our sandy soil. Last season we mulched with 5 bales of straw but our poor soil still needs a lot more work so I tossed out some stinky plant food pellets too.

Given one of my resolutions is to spend more time in, and better use my garden, I feel like I am off to a good start. I just need to keep it up!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Round Robin Quilt Top

Last year I took place in a Round Robin Block swap with some of the girls on the EB forum.
We chose our fabric, sent it all in to Kirsty who then sent it on to all the other girls.

We each picked a block and made the same block 12 times in everyone elses fabric.
We didn't know what blocks had been chosen, so we didn't know what our quilts would look like when we got then back.

It is hard to choose fabric when you don't know what it is being turned into!

I got very excited when all my blocks arrived in the post and had my quilt top done within 24 hours!
I love it!!
Thank you to the girls who took part:

Alyssa ~ Card Trick block
Anna ~ Own design
Car ~ Summer Winds Block
Dani Circle of Geese block
Esther ~ Golden Gate block
Kayscha ~ Ohio Star block
Khris ~ Honey Bee block
Kirsty ~ Eight Point Star block
Louise ~ Coronation block
Rose ~ Whirlpool block
Ruth ~ Double T block

The 12 blocks I made for the swap ~ Schoolgirl's puzzle

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The After Christmas Holiday

The 'After Christmas Day holiday' was not as relaxing as the Before Christmas Day holiday.
We left home early on Boxing Day and drove to the Lower Hunter to have lunch with my brother and sister in law.  Possum had fun playing with her cousin who is only 5 months younger than her.

Stopped at the beach on the way down the coast.  Possum didn't like the moving water, but did like it if Dad picked her up and ran in it.  Baby Blue didn't seem to have an opinion, I think he liked it...

I had to have emergency root canal therapy in Berry.  On a public holiday too :(  This did not leave me feeling happy, or well.  On the plus side, Berry was beautiful!  I found the most beautiful shop there and bought a couple of things but will have more to say about that at a later date!

We made it to the Mr's home town where there was a lot more visiting.  We saw as many people as we could because they had not seen the baby before.  He was very happy, chatty and now has an even bigger fan club!  Possum had fun playing with all the Great Aunts and Uncles too.

Aunty Betty taught her to poke her tongue out.  As Aunty Betty later gave me all her old knitting needles I will forgive her ;)  It did create a fun game in the car, I caught her pulling funny faces a few times on the way home.

Such a big trip for the two small ones, and us too.  It is a day and a half in the car each way which is hard.  We stopped at parks where we could for feeding and play to break it up.

I hope you all had happy and fun holidays. 
I am glad to be home after such a big trip and looking forward to starting 2010 proper!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Year pledge

As I watched the clock tick over to a new year I thought about what that meant to me, a chance to start fresh and think about what I would like to acheive in 2010.

I WILL spend more time in my vegetable garden.

I WILL be more accountable for my spending.

I WILL make more effort to do 'kid' things like Playgroup.

I WILL make more for me, and us.

I WILL join my Husband on his quest for reclaimed physical fitness.

I WILL cook shrimp on the BBQ. 

Hmm, I admit the last one is a bit funny, but it is meant to be an Aussie tradition and I don't know anyone who does it so I want to give it a go.  Maybe on Australia Day!?

I WILL also be doing Chaletgirl's One per Month challenge.  I will be making one new project from a craft book or as yet unused pattern and I will cook one new recipe from my numerous, and sometimes unopened cookbooks.

Happy New Year, may it be all that you wish!