Friday, 7 December 2012

Today was spent trying to get this place sorted.

Piles of books were moved, they were dumped in the living room last week when our old entertainment unit was moved into my craftroom.  Was hoping to sort them but I wanted it done quickly so just packed them back into the cupboards.

Watched/listened to ARiver Somewhere DVD, not much of a fishing person but I love Tom and Rob's humor plus the scenery of the places they visit.  At one stage I got tired so pulled up a pile of books as a pillow and just watched the show for a while. 

I finished tidying the sewing room, ok I just stacked most of it in one corner but there is now floor in there and the sewing machine is accessable for the Christmas sewing I probably will wait til the last moment to do.

 I also started on Christmas decorating,

Dining room dresser

Kitchen dresser

Haven't gotten the rest of the decorations out of the ceiling yet, will probably wait until Monday for that.  Am working tomorrow, not happy it's supposed to my weekend off, but the boss has a wedding this weekend.  Had planned on starting my gingerbread making tomorrow, my niece is coming over on Sunday to decorate a house to take to school on Monday.  I'll just make a batch of dough tomorrow night and we can bake them on Sunday morning.  Probably even make 3 batches and freeze the dough ready for baking a few days before Christmas. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A home coming of sorts.

When my daughter was in year 5 or 6, her class went on an excursion to Canberra and the snow.  Silly me didn't read the note properly and thought we needed to provide appropiate clothing for the snow.  So decided to make her a snow outfit.

At the time I worked in Spotlight and we just happened to have duck fabric that they were selling out of, I t bought a purple and a black fabric.  Used a thermo graded wadding and used a fleecy fabric as lining.  The pattern came out of a magazine, now sadly discontinued, called TOPKIDS.  The only change I made was to add a full length zipper, one that opened from top and bottom.  The original pattern was for a pullover top, with the zip only down to the chest, I wanted her to be able to get in and out of the jacket easily.  Made the pants as per the pattern. 

Well the school hired snow gear for them, but my daughter was able to wear the jacket whilst in Canberra.  She loved it and was so warm in it. She did get a little more wear out of it here, but our winter isn't as cold.   She never wore the pants.  So they sat in her wardrobe for years,

A few years back was talking with a friend who mentioned that her eldest daughter had outgrown her winter jacket and was about to go to the snow.  She didn't know how she was going to be able to afford one, with my heart in my mouth I made the offer of my daughter's coat.  She was so happy, her daughter loved it and I remember her running to me and thanking me for it.  I was sad to let it go, almost regretting that I offered, but I didn't want it just gathering dust in the wardrobe.

So last weekend, I saw this freind, we don't see each other so much these days, not since I left the girls group we helped out in.  She mentioned the coat and told me how it's been passed on to 2 others since her eldest grew out of it - a niece and then her younger daughter, each has grown out of it.  I asked if she had anymore use for it as I was thinking it would be good for my niece.  She said she would give it to my mum on Tuesday.

So there I was expecting to get a 10 year outfit back, you know, one showing it's age.  I was amazed because the coat and pants still pretty much looks brand new.  I remember being so particular when I made, everything was padded so I tacked everything in place, hems pockets, I never tack. 

Am so pleased that this lady looked after it so well, she said her daughters loved the pants. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012


I am in shock, wonderful shock, have just been over at Down to Earth and have noticed that Rhonda added me to her Weekend Reading post.  Such an honour.  I've had more page reviews today than ever.  And a comment that's come from someone I don't know.  WOW, Thank you. 

Today I spent time getting to a couple of procrastinated jobs, going through a cupboard and drawers in my kitchen dresser.  A little bit of sorting, rearranging and I've been able to get some homeless kitchen items new homes.  There's a few items going out, can't remember the last time we used the popcorn maker, I actually made popcorn last night in the microwave.

Emptied a badly utilised drawer, it held 3 baking dishes, which now fit into the reorganised cupboard.  The crowded contents of my gift wrap/card drawer are now in the bigger drawer, while the rolls of gift wrap have been moved to the drawer above. 

I found all the little gifts that have been accumulated for use in Christmas Crackers, each year I mean to make them but don't get around to it.  I've decided not to make crackers, going to make little cloth gift bags instead.  The challenge is to use what I've got. 

This year I volunteered to have Christmas Lunch here, my parents will be on a cruise til the 23rd and I didn't want them coming back and going into panic mode to get ready for the tribe. 

It was getting too warm to do much so we all settled down to watch Spyderwick Chronicles, I've not seen it before, I quite enjoyed it.  We sipped Sodastream Cola, sent my husband out in search of a gas refil for our machine, he came home with a new machine.  No one carries the old sized gas bottles anymore.  Could have bought them online but with postage it brings the price up.  Have since discovered that the new bigger gas bottle seems to fit in the old machine.  Going to pass it on to one of my nieces. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Still in jamies, just finished the book, really such an inspiration, I must read more of Jackie's books.

Yesterday I got out into the yard, started digging a narrow bed to surround the raised beds, in an effort to stop the grass from growing up the sides because the lawn mower can't get to it.  Only got the front done, not a lot I did spend ages trying to dig a whole brick out of the ground, the reason I hate digging here.

When the builders built our house they just left bricks where they fell in the mud, it rained so much that year, the yard was just thick mud.  I can't blame the builders for this brick though, it's an older one perhaps from the chook shed my father built here in the 60's or from the sheds our neigbours had, I don't remember Dad painting his, this had paint on it.

Took a trip to Bunnings, amongst the gardening section I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in years.  We used to work together until surgery she had to remove a clot behind her eye went bad, she ended up with brain swelling and  resulting brain damage.  Visited her in the hospital, spoke a few times on the phone but lost contact.  She looks well, still has problems, left side weakness, lost periphial vision and what vision she has is blurry.   She had her back to me, slightly side on when I noticed her, stood for a moment wondering if it really was her before quietly calling her name.  There's one thing she's not lost, her ability to talk and talk and talk, her son was getting so bored that he kept wandering off and eventually made himself comfy on some display furniture.   It was good to hear her news, and she gave me tips on gardening.  We swapped phone numbers before heading our seperate ways.

I started on my Christmas list while there too, saw a pretty bench seat, as well as a garden tool or two I'd like.  I suggested to my husband that perhaps this year we each buy our own presents, that way we get exactly what we want.  He calls me a bad gift buyer, well when he sees something he wants he pretty much instantly buys it.  Is what you get when you leave nothing for the other to buy.  He's not the best gift giver for me either,  rarely getting what I've hinted for.  Last year I asked for an outdoor setting, I  mostly got dvds and candle sets. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Reading, peach cake and tea.

Is it wrong to eat cake for breakfast?  Breakfast for the last 2 days has been just that, a piece of Upside down Peach Cake, I figure it's no worse than eating muffins.

My morning has been spent in the old, not very comfortable recliner by the front window, reading A Year in the Valley by Jackie French.  It's so good I can barely bring myself to put it down.  This morning I got comfy (somewhat that is), book in hand, peach cake on the table on one side and tea.... tea?  Oh yeah tea sitting on the kitchen table.  The recliner isn't the easiest thing for me to climb out of, it just happens to be in the best morning reading spot.  Then I dripped it across the carpet in my eagerness to get back.

The wonderful and lovely Jackie French.
I sat and read for about an hour and a half, longer than I was going to but the book is so good.  Now my mid section is achey, the chair does that, husband won't get rid of it, he loves it.  Ugly old, ratty thing it is, he brought it home from work one day when it was being thrown out.  Nothing was wrong with it, just they don't keep furniture that the residents leave behind after they move on.  Move on sounds so much better than die, he worked in an aged care facility then.  If the family doesn't take the pieces they get thrown out, we even got a mattress this way, wasn't  even used, had been in storage for 5 years because they couldn't use it on the hospital style beds.  Best quality mattress I've ever seen.  He now works at a local RSL that has it's own resort, perhaps we will get better quality furniture when they update.  According to him they update all the time, even updating things that have just been updated. 

I made peach jam on Wednesday, along with the afore mentioned peach upside down cake.  I've only made jam a couple of times before and each time I am in amazement at how long it takes.  As it is the jam looks a little to liquidy in the jars but if the flavour of the still warm jam left in the pot is anything to go by it will be delicious.  Might make some scones later.

 The jam recipe is Jackie's she included it in her book.  The book is basically a journal kept over a year and with added recipes. 
The upside down cake was a bit of a cheat, had intentions to make it from scratch but needed butter so went to buy some, saw a pack of butter cake mix and thought why not.  My excuse was that I was exhausted from all that jam stirring and still had to clean the sticky mess that was my kitchen.  Cake fell apart as I was plating it, looked ugly but mmm mmm, tastes wonderful.

The cake was just a few peeled and chopped peaches, laid down on a bed of brown sugar (1/2 cup) with cake batter poured over the top.  Baked in 180 C oven for 40 - 50 minutes.  Goes well with cream and I suspect custard.  Put the peaches and sugar in right before you pour the batter in, if you decide to make that part ahead of time and put it in the fridge while you go to the grocery shop, it will draw the juices from the peaches and will be very liquid.  No harm done but you really want that happen while the cake is cooking. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Woke this morning to a glorius day, thought about what I needed to do, what I wanted to do and what had to be done.  Usually it's a bit overwhelming but not today, I feel good today.

First thing, after my shower and the obligatory getting dressed (don't want to scare the neigbours do we?)I put on a load of washing.  For once there was only one load worth in the laundry, there are clothes in the bathrooms and beds for stripping but ever since we got the new machine and tidied the laundry in readiness, that's how it stayed.  Taking those doors off the cupboards to fit the baskets in really worked well.  Even when the baskets aren't there, the shelves hold the dirty laundry well.  It's not just me either, everyone has taken to the machine and are all using it and not letting the clothes pile up.

Last weekend was spent out near Araluen on a garden tour of Jackie French's place, such wonders to be seen, lots learnt and delicious food eaten.  I bought one of her books, A Year In the Valley.  And peaches from a local orchard, we bought 10 kilos for $20 of 'seconds', peaches with tiny marks or imperfections that the supermarkets refuse to take.  $2 a kilo, wow, am used to $5.99 a kilo.  There's now 5 kilos ripening in my kitchen, my friend and I went halvies.

Entering the kitchen this morning it was filled with the aroma of peaches, I tested one for breakfast, not quite fully ripe.  The juice from the ripe bits, dripped down onto my chest as I bit, into the sweet, sticky flesh, delicious, can't wait til they are fully ripe.  Must get some jars for jam.

While I ate, I read Jackie's book which is basically her diary from a few years back, interpersed with recipes.  As soon as I tasted her Lime Cordial on Saturday and bought the book I hoped that the recipe would be in there, just now I picked up the book and it fell open right at that recipe.   Speaking of which Jackie told us to all take a lemon and lime from the garden to use the seeds for our own trees.

Was sitting out in the sun, reading, listening to the sound of the birds, the magpies, native doves and others unseen and nameless.  I love the sound of magpies, don't usually hear them here, I always thought of them as country birds, bushland, I loved visiting the country just to hear them.  The sound of our newest neigbour digging his vegie patch next door, it's almost been a year since he moved in, boy time is going quickly.  Jackie's book has inspired me to write, had thought about paper and pen, but the heat of the sun was getting a bit much on my skin, so I came in and now sit squinting at the computer screen as I write these words.  It doesn't matter if no one reads them, or if they don't make a best seller, it feels good to get my words out. 

For now I am off to put the washing out and strip my bed. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Got into my sewing room yesterday and whipped up a stuffed Christmas tree out of some demin from my son's jeans.   It looks more like a Tipi than a tree.

As usual the room felt overcrowded and badly set up.  I was sewing in my own shadow, even with the light on so decided that the sewing desk needed to move near the window, which meant that every piece of furniture in the room needed moving.  My sewing table, chest of drawers, cutting table, 2 other tables and 3 cupboards.  Didn't want to empty anything but after struggling to push the drawers across the room I went to Big W and bought this.

I was surprised that it actually worked, was even able to move the chest of drawers below, with everything haphazardly piled on top.  Single handedly.  Impressed.

This morning there was a market day at the church, I had decided not to get a table, it's not really worth the effort.  Last time I didn't even make the stall cost.  But I did buy raffle tickets, a couple of years ago my daughter won a crochet rug but this time I won first prize.  The quilt below, which just happens to be nade and donated by my mother.  She always makes one for the raffles, about 3 a year.  This year is the first time a family member won one, actually she got 2nd prize but didn't need a crocheted rug so they gave her 3rd prize.  Her ticket was also drawn for 5th prize, she demanded a redraw because she didn't need anything else.  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Laundry clean up

I love this
It's a free project at Ana, she has so many wonderful projects over there.

I've decided that this is perfect for my laundry, but I am going to cheat and not build anything - yet anyway.  My laundry is one of those "oh you need a laundry in a house, lets add a tiny room with a door at each end and call it one", there's room for the washing machine, a couple of cupboards that the dryer sits on and the sink along one wall.  Our clothes hampers take up valuable floor space opposite.  Doesn't leave much room to get the washing out of the machine, if I had a top loader it would be different but I like my front loader.

What I am going to do is to simply remove the cupboard doors and slide baskets onto the shelves.  Won't look as pretty as the above photo but will do the same job, one day I might get around to building my own.

Mine will hold 4 baskets, already had 2 that fit in the cupboard, bought 2 more today for $16.  They look similar to the ones in the picture, mine have coloured handles. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

Junk Drawer Challenge

Rhonda Jean over at Down to Earth issued a junk drawer challenge recently, I decided to take up her challenge.

Starting with my cutlery drawer, which has 2 layers to it but I forgot to take a pic of the bottom layer.  
Then the second drawer down
Oh and my sharps drawer. 

I bought a new cutlery tray to replace the 3 loose trays in cutlery drawer,  No longer do I have to fossick through the spoon tray for the right spoon, I have my favourites.  I have 2 different sets of cutlery, which fit in the tray nicely, all of the odd designs are out now.  Except for the teaspoons, I counted around 40 of those, how on earth did I get 40?   Again I've neglected to take a pic of the second layer - maybe later.  The reason there are 2 layers is that the drawer is quite deep and the original cutlery tray was not, I just thought it was a waste of space.  To get to the lower level I just need to lift the top tray out.
*Update, The teaspoon mystery has been solved.  I mentioned it to my husband when he got home from soccer tonight.  Apparently his brother takes his own cup and teaspoon to soccer and always leaves the teaspoon behind which ends up being brought home with the dirty BBQ utensils.  We probably acquired another one tonight. 

The trays are now being put to use the next drawer down.

Last but not least, why yes it does look exactly the same because I didn't do it. 

I had planned to sort my drawers before seeing the challenge, my daughter and I took a trip to Ikea on Wednesday to find trays for the drawers, they didn't have the one I wanted for the sharps drawer and I didn't see any I liked for the cutlery drawer.  I picked up one today from Potts Avenue and am still looking for the right one for the sharps.

Still have 2 other drawers in the kitchen to sort, they are the next on my list.  As well as all the drawers in the kitchen dresser, all 12 of them.  Oh and the 4 in the dining room dresser.  I had no idea I had so many drawers. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Alpine Strawberries.

I got around to cutting down the weeds today, and here is my reward. 

The Alpine Strawberries are much smaller than commercial varieties, they are closer to the wild varieties, small but full of flavour.  I only trialled 2 plants so probably won't be flush with masses of Strawberries, every few days I pick 2 or 3 ripe berries.  They don't last long.  The count so far is about 9, but the plants are flowering very well.  I read somewhere that you really need around 50 plants if you plan on making jams.

We went to Bunnings today, I needed to get the fixings for my new no dig garden beds.  I got Pea straw mulch, cow manure and compost.  Looking forward to working on the beds tomorrow today  -   it's almost 2 am here.  

They had a new range of Incredible Edibles in stock,  alot I had never seen before.  Decided to choose one out of the 3 that I wanted most.  It was a choice of Guava, Stevia and Pepino.  I chose the Pepino mainly for curiousity. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Tablecloth and a garden glimpse

Woke to the sound of pouring rain today, very glad not to have to get up and drive to work in it. Had been hoping to spend time outside in the garden weeding round the vege gardens, instead I wasted time on the computer and then made a new tablecloth.   

The sun finally came out and I ventured to the garden, which has been growing really well, ignore the weeds.  Will get to those tomorrow, I promise.  It's not only been wet but cold too, have seen reports of snow in parts of the state, we don't get snow in this district.

The cherry tomato has masses of green fruit on it, I had to tie it up as it was covering all the other plants.  I've been picking Alpine Strawberries as they ripen,  been meaning to get a photo but they never last as long as it takes to get the camera.  They are tiny but full of flavour.  My dad thought they were a bit soft but they haven't got that apple like crispness bred into them like commercial strawberries. 

 My Elder plant is really taking off too, it's probably quadrupaled it's size in the few weeks since I got it.

Is budding too, looking forward to seeing the first flowers appear. 

Right now I heading out for a walk to get some much needed exercise. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Recently my son mentioned that my daughter called me a hoarder.  Even my boss asked me if I was a hoarder when I told him that I wanted to take the boxes that this year's spring fasciantors came in.  Yes and No, I am a hoarder in the fact I don't like seeing usuable items going to waste. 

The boxes for example were plain white cardboard with a clear lid, I wasn't the only one who took them, I just had the idea first.  I did take the most, 2 trips the back of my car was was full but I am proud to say that not one of them actually made it into my house.  I took them straight to Mum's asking if her craft ladies would be able to use them, apparently they loved them.  One in particular makes cards to sell and had mentioned to Mum that she needed storage for her cards and wasn't able to afford it.  If it wasn't for me those boxes would be in landfill right now. 

One of the shows I've been watching lately is Hoarders, it's really made me think about what I've got around here and if I could live my life without.  Of course there are many things I could live without, but there are many things that I feel define me.  Recently I took some photos after I cleared out my sewing room to move rooms, the dining room was stacked high with stuff, posted it on facebook and the question was asked "OMG are you a hoarder?" I replied that no I had a lot of hobbies.  Which is true, I do but I hoard craft supplies.  I've stopped going to craft shows to stop buying "must haves" which then sit in there gathering dust, buuilding guilt.   I was looking in the room yesterday and realised it looks like the typical hoarder's delight.   My daughter asked what I was thinking, I didn't know it was all too overwhelming. 

I thought that if I started small it would be a step, so I took a basket to sort, only returning to the basket what I wanted to keep, I did end up with a small pile of give aways, another for throw aways.  After that I felt better and in a creative mood.  So pulled out some beads I bought a couple of years back, my jewwellery making kit and made up some bracelets, necklaces and other items.  The only thing I didn't have were clasps, will get those on Sunday.   Once they are finished will have a small pile of jewellery to sell at a stall next month.

Right now I know I am procrastinating starting on something, so am getting off the computer to go and be more productive.  First thing is to get my quilt on the line so we have something to sleep under tonight. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Sick and tired

Is what I am right now.  Sick with some bug that started on Sunday.

We drove out to Bathurst on Sunday, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been, everyone else had been but me.  We were disappointed not to be able to drive around Mt Panorama, it was closed to get it ready for this weekend's race. 

The place was pretty quiet, the weather was lovely even if the breeze was a bit cool. I fell in love with the old houses in the town, pretty was my word of the day. 

Family portrait, even my shadow looks fat. 

Definitely doing something about that.  I found a great hypnosis site, completely free and for the last 3 days have been listening to some of the tracks.  I've tried the hypnosis road before but get stuck on visualising myself slimmer, I found this one so much easier.  So far I've listened to the perfect shape, weight loss, stop boredom eating and exercise motivation tracks. 

Have noticed the boredom eating  one is really working well, between dinner and bed is my hardest time, the last 2 days have not felt the need to eat.  And if it did cross my mind, I pushed it out. 

Got out for a walk this morning, wanted to grab an avocado to have at lunch and was intending on walking to a big supermarket but by the time I got to the local shops only 10 minutes away I knew that walking the extra distance wouldn't be such a good idea today.  The sun out there is quite hot, I had no hat either.  Was able to get the avocado at the local fruit shop, so came home and made myself a lovely lunch of rye toast, avocado and smoked salmon. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

From scarf to top.

 I couldn't get to sleep last night, had to listen to 'I can make you sleep' hypnosis cd twice.  The reason I couldn't sleep was because I had just finsihed making a top I really was pleased with.

From an $8 Kmart scarf.  Had gone to Kmart earlier in the evening with the view to buy some cheap tshirts for reconstruction and found this pretty muslin scarf.

It was too long to make a top so I folded it in half and stitched aross to make shoulder seams. used a tshirt to mark and cut the scooped neckline out.

The neckline is bound with strips of the same fabric.  I actually used glue (couldn't find the fray stop) to stablise the neckline and stop it fraying while working on it. Just painted it on the very edge and let it dry.  The neckbinding was stabilised with iron-on hemming tape, folded in half and one edge machine stitched on, the other I hand stitched.  I cut the binding on the straight, next time I'll do it on the bias as it gapes a little.  The sides were stitched straigh down the selvage edge of the scarf.

Was worried about fit, but it fits perfectly and is going to be a perfect top to wear on hot summer days, now on the look out for more pretty scarves. 

Friday, 28 September 2012

Who aaid knitting was relaxing?

It's been awhile since my last post, I've been busy, doing extra shifts at work, wasting time on Facebook and TV and doing a little knitting.

The yarn I dyed turned out to be a lovely muted apple green,  happily found a pattern I liked and started knitting.  Knitted from 2 balls at once, 2 rows each to help with the dyelot issue.  Started it one night and was happy to see that the colour was uniform ... until the next day when in daylight the dyelot issues showed right up as stripes in the stockinette section.  It wasn't obvious where there was lace and moss stitching, I'll need to find a lacy pattern for this yarn.

I was however in love with the pattern I chose and needed something to take to the knitting group so with only 5 minutes to spare rushed in to Spotlight and bought a lovely soft acrylic/bamboo mix, Moda Vera Gardenia, in purple.

I've also fallen in love with the new Patons Embrace yarn.  Bought a few balls and the Embrace book and tried to get started on a shawl.  I say tried becasue it's been really trying, first it took me ages to cast on the 400+ stitches, then I couldn't get past the first 2 or 3 rows, kept frogging the whole thing - a result of my counting skills and my stitch dropping skills, the pattern itself was quite easy and straight forward.  Then it clicked and I was happily knitting along and almost finished the first pattern section, was so proud of myself.   Then I took it to knitting on Wednesday and immediately noted a dropped stitch so put it away to concentrate on at home.  It took a while to pick up the stitch in the lace work but I managed to do it again was so proud of myself.  After that diaster struck, my circular needle decided to break as I was trying to move stitches along it, nothing I could do each time I tried to pick up the stitches they just ran, leave me with a confusion of loose threads.  I figured it would be quicker and less frustrating to start another time.  My knitting has now been transformed back into yarn.  Who said that knitting was a great tension reliever?

I have to wonder whether I was sabotaging myself as I chose to do the shawl on the front cover but kept wondering if I should do the larger version of it.  Oh and I was feeling guilty for not completing my purple cardy first.  I'll do that then get back onto the shawl.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Dying Yarn

Last week I bought a bag full of discounted yarn it and thought I'd try dying it before knitting something. Had thought about natural dyes but then decided to use one of the Rit dyes we sell at work to gain some product knowledge.
 Original Colour, dry thread, 100% cotton
 Dye Bath, Rit Dye Kelly Green

Final Colour, Wet

 There was one thing I didn't take into account, Dyelots.  As I was rinsing the thread I noticed colour variations, not quite as obvious as the above photo, but they are there.  The yarn I bought was on clearance and would have contained the oddments they had left, didn't occur to me until too late.  

They are now drying outside in a shady area, I am hoping the colour will dry lighter and more subtle.  

Sunday, 5 August 2012

On the needles.

Have been doing a lot of knitting lately, a lot of frogging too but that's another story.  Ever since joining the Crochet/ Knitting group I've had the urge to get things done, pulled out a partially knitted jacket that's been sitting in a basket for over 5 years.  It only needed one sleeve, so far I've done as far as the arm hole shaping but got a bit bored with it.

I had the urge to start something new, resisted buying new yarn - made myself put it back on the shelf at the shops on Friday.  I looked through magazines I already had for something to make only using what I already had on hand.  I think my favourite knitting magazine is Simply Knitting, I only discovered it last year and the issues I have bought always have lovely patterns in them.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Twinkle Sews

I bought the Twinkle Sews book ages ago and finally got around to printing off a pattern a couple of weeks back.  Today I got around to playing jigsaw trying to get the pattern together, have to say my first impression is not good. This how the pattern matches up on the first part I came across with any features, the dip is the neckline. 

How on earth could it be so far out?  I printed off sized 16 on letter sized paper and matched up the corners. 

I'm hoping that I can salvage it as the pattern piece is for the full front, I'm simply going to slash down the centre and make it an on the fold pattern.  I am hoping that I don't find other discrepancies among the rest of the 63 pages the pattern took to print out.  That's one of the things I've heard complained about these patterns, that because every pattern piece is printed full it takes so much paper to print.  I heard it described as one pattern, one tree.  It's a pity there isn't the option to print the patterns at a copy shop, much rather do that than piece them. 

I wrote the above a couple of days ago, left the pattern until this evening to continue on piecing.  I found the above picture was of the lining, I didn't want lining so have been piecing together the front and what did I find?
Not only that, the pattern pieces are supposed to be surrounded by a dotted line on each side, this is the line to match when piecing after about the first 8 pages the side lines disappear completely, I've had to rule lines myself for matching.

I did end up cutting the pattern in half and here is the finished result.
At this stage I said to myself that this is stupid I should cut my losses and give up, to which the TV agreed, I had been watching/listening to Time Team.   At that moment Tony Robinson made the remark "This is madness"  followed by "sometimes you just have to admit defeat".  Even he agrees with me.  I could go ahead and spend more hours working just to get the patterns pieced together but I'm admitting defeat.  Such a pity because there were a few patterns I liked from the book and I paid good money for it.  

Would I recommend the book to others?  Right now probably not.  

Monday, 23 July 2012


How do you thank someone who isn't there?

Yesterday I bought a heater and put it on before reading the operating instructions, I hadn't realised that it needed legs attached.  Then I stupidly left the room.  A few minutes later I heard what sounded to be a male voice in the house, my daughter and I were home alone, husband and son were due later.  The voice sounded like it came from the front of the house so I went to check if they were early and to check on the heater.  They weren't home so I knew it had to be something about the heater, turned it off, unplugged it and carried it out with me.  Then checked the carton for the instructions, that's when I realised that it needed legs and should not have been sitting on carpet without them. 

Realised who the voice was, our Family Guardian, I call him Uncle Harry - after my Dad's Great Uncle who died as a POW.   He's been with us for as long as I can remember, I remember waking to see a figure watching over us as we slept, I saw him as a shadow, my sister woke many nights to see a Soldier in uniform standing vigil outside her door. 

Not all Ghost stories are frightening.

 He has done much to protect us over the years, if there is something wrong in the house he will wake me, mostly by shaking the bed.  My husband thinks I'm crazy but one night he woke me to ask why I was shaking the bed, I jumped up to check what was wrong and found the laundry door wide open.  He doesn't like us leaving doors or windows open at night.  Especially that night, we found the neigbours had a home invasion that night. 

I know he is with me right now, the top of my head is being touched,  I want to let him know that I love him, he says he knows.  Tearing up right now,  my gratitude and love go out to the Universe. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Went to my Crochet/Knitting circle today, am still loving it and am getting things done and finished.  One project has gotten the better of me again, a few years back I started a cardigan in Cleckheaton 100% and pulled it out last week to try to get it going again.  It is not going well, I've knitted and frogged constantly this week, Right now there is a tangled mess of yarn on the couch taunting me. 

What did I do?  Went out to buy more yarn of course and fabric too. 

I took a step today that I've been thinking about for a while, I asked about having a stall at the place the crochet circle is at.  They have either permanent (Tuesday to Saturday) or casual stalls (Saturday only),  the cost of the permanent stall works out to be $20 per day but I do have to arrange my own liability insurance.  The only other cost would be if I wanted use of the electricity, they charge $5 per week extra. 

Really am thinking about it, is going to be a lot of work, I'd like to mainly have handmade items - clothing, bags etc.  Mum and Dad said they'd be interested in putting things in too, Mum does patchwork and Dad paints. 

Won't be giving up my job, not yet anyway, am hoping that my daughter will man it days I can't and Mum said she'd help out too.  We don't even need to be there all the time either, the stall holders all help each other out. 

I also asked at a consignment store at Glenbrook about selling items through them, they need items to go through their boardmembers before the ok is given.  It's also an option that I could do with or without running the stall. 

I do need to look into the legalities, insurance and tax are a high priority, whether I need a business name or not.  There's a lot to think about. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Here's a pic of the first Aldi Garden bed I set up, there's Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, English Spinach and lettuce varieties in there.

Here's today's harvest, not a lot but enough for tonight's dinner

 Right now the sage is being heated on the stove with honey to make James Wong's Sage Honey.    I got over a nasty head cold last week and now have developed a cough and bad throat.  Sage Honey is great, it ends up thick and practically chewable, really sooths a sore throat and calms coughs.  

Hot off the Needle/hook
Owl Hand Warmers

I made 2 pair of these last week, the pattern came from Simply Knitting magazine.  One was knitted to size and the other on the next size down needles to fit my daughter's tiny hands.  They need eyes but the most suitable buttons I've found so far cost too much.  
My latest crochet project, is the Angel Wing Pinafore made in Magnum Soft 8ply.  The pattern is very easy, easily made up in an evening in front of the tv.  Mine is 1 row shorter than the pattern simply because I only had 1 ball left in my stash.  The thread to the side is all that is left.  It needs buttons but I am debating whether to sew partway up the back.  A lot of the projects on Ravelry were worked in the round after the 6th row.