Friday, December 18, 2009


It has been over two months since my last post, you might have guessed that it has taken some adjusting to get used to working outside the home and balancing the rest of my life. Loving the job but starting a retail job just before Christmas has been a bit of a shock to say the least, still we are all settling into our new rhythm.

As time has gone by I have been wondering how to start writing again, today I decided to just start. However by means of a catch up, here is what we have been up to since I fell off blog land.

Started work, settling in well and playing nice with the other kids.

Had family come to visit. Grandmother, mother, sister and sister in law all came to visit on what happened to be an unseasonably hot week in November. We shopped in air conditioned shops, ate in air conditioned cafes and sipped wine in the warm evenings, So much fun to just hang out with the girls.

My eldest headed off on a school trip to Italy, I haven't got around to travelling very far yet so it was fun to hear her stories and excitement of seeing the historical places and art works she has studied.

Made a few kit sets and brooches now available at two new outlets Lourne and Kallista.

Made my first ever Christmas pud. Yum can't wait it is curing at Pilgrim's. Thanks Shelley for your guidance.

And there you go the highlights and the rest has been full of the usual, supervising homework, organising a house, laughing with friends and making stuff when I have time, energy and inspiration.
Hopefully it won't be so long before I next check in.

Friday, October 9, 2009

www resisting a black out

So I went and got myself a job.
I am loving it and it is less than full time so I still have time for family, my own creating, and a few other projects.
The family are having to adjust to me being home slightly later, I am having to adjust to wearing black. There is a requirement that I wear black as a sort of uniform, I do appreciate that does make it easier to get out the door and it works well for the job, however I have long made a point of having little black in my wardrobe, I love colour, colours that compliment and colours that clash, I love to surround myself with and to wear lots of colour. So it has been a bit of a challenge for me and as I walked to work on Wednesday I had a last loud colourful shout with my burnt orange scarf and bag.
Needless to say on my days off I am making up for it and wearing as many colours as possible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not a play day

I had the day at home today to make stuff. It was the first in a while, what with school holidays and my having gone and got a real proper job. I was really looking forward to a play day. I had plans. Plans to drink coffee, eat chocolate and create cute things.
I managed to drink coffee and eat chocolate, but create cute things I did not. It was one of those days. The magic just wasn't flowing and I went round and round in circles and wondered if I could ever create anything great again, if I ever did in the first place, and what the heck I was doing. Luckily I have been here before and I know that it is fleeting, that probably next time I sit down I will finish one of those projects eluding me today and I will be happy with it.
So I cleaned a bit, sorted and threw out some clutter and altered the school uniforms for the new term. And now I am giving myself this lovely flower and would like to share it with you. Hope you got to create something today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Turning up

Just turning up, not sure what to write and Computer..... is..... soo..... slow.....

We are thinking about a road trip, the distances in Australia are doing my head in. So many interesting places to go and such a long way between them.

We are doing our best to explore Victoria but would love to go further afield, suggestions anyone?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lazy lazy Saturday.

Didn't do much today, been a Mum taxi and feed the family, otherwise very little, so I am relying on a wee project I did a while ago for show and tell today.
I made this wee character for my niece a month or two ago. The body is a ready made wire and wood doll I got from Little Sparrow and her clothes are felt, wool and some lovely ribbon from my stash. She is so simple and quick to make. The dolls stand and sit really well and so are great for dolls house play or puppet shows. The face is left without detail on purpose in the tradition of waldorf dolls.

It is nice sometimes to complete a project from beginning to end in under an hour. Today I couldn't even manage that. :) But I did manage to write a post - third day in a row.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A pressie

picture stolen from Curious Little Oyster

First point of order for this my return to blogging land is to acknowledge a present I received while I was away on my little blog holiday.
Annaliese from Curious Little Oyster sent me not one but two of her lovely lip balms. I sure feel treated, the little packages are so pretty, the lip balm is sure making my lips feel better on these cold and windy days, and the mint slice flavour almost cures my chocolate cravings (almost). I will be visiting her wee shop soon to stock up for presents for my loved ones.
Are you tempted? quick, go here, Annaliese is having a Spring give away so you could have your own lovely balm, be quick it is closing soon. If you miss out never fear just head to her shop in St Kilda or on Etsy.

Happy Birthday to my childhood friend Rachel who also shares the day with Tiffany of "I think we're alone now" fame.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It has been over a month since my last post (how did that happen) and because I am a little bit all or nothing (I realise that is a contradiction in terms to be a little bit all or nothing) I thought I would get back into the swing of things by joining Tinniegirls Blogtoberfest.
Because I am better now... and the computer is mostly better now.... and surely I have a lot to catch up on... and I feel it is rude for me to just continue to listen in on the conversations of my favorite bloggers without sharing a little of myself..... so here I am reporting for a task I have set myself.... to blog daily for a month.... I am really not sure how I will go.... expect some of them to be short... but I don't want to wait till next year to join in the fun..... so here we go........ quick before midnight

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Watcha Wearing Wednesday- embroidery and crochet

A very dark picture but look at that. Crochet loopy scarf made for me by Princess Mandy, so many colours and long so I can wear it round and round my neck . Brooch made by me, my latest version of felt, reverse applique and embroidery and although it is hard to see in this pic I have even added some bling, ya gotta love a bit of sparkle.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A lesson in morals

I have always been a very good girl, I am a bit of a rule follower and have to work hard to break the rules and be a bit naughty. I put effort into sometimes being a bit selfish and in the past was bribed to lie around in bed all morning, bribed with ice cream no less, slothfulness and gluttony!
Bear this in mind as I share with you this great 'moral' version of snakes and ladders. I found it in an op shop a while ago, and have never seen anything like it before or since. I am not sure what I want to do with it. At the moment I am thinking I might just frame it. Or take some prints of it for some collaging or to print onto fabric...... suggestions welcome... but I just love to own it and look at it and laugh.

All the ladders lead you from a 'good' behaviour to a 'reward', patience to attainment, industry to success or thrift to fulfilment. The snakes take you from a 'naughty' behaviour to some sort of 'punishment', conceit to friendlessness, temper to regret, mischief to woe. I love the illustrations, the colours, and most of all the high moral ground of it. We haven't played it yet but think it would be a great inclusion in a games evening.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some quiet shopping

With the stress of it all lately, my body decided I needed a wee rest and I have had a very heavy cold. Never mind, I view this as a chance to sit around on the couch- movie watching, crafting, and taking nana naps.

I'm feeling better now but have lost my voice. For the last three days I have gone from squeaking and croaking to no voice at all. Luckily I am a super fine actor with absolutely no shame and have been acting my way through all the mummy directions that need to be given. Also the girls and I know just a little bit of sign language, that has helped too. The girls dragged me out for a shop last night and giggled every time a shop assistant was confused by my mute response. You see the girls know that given a chance I will make friends with every shop assistant that looks kindly my way. I am that annoying person who is inclined to answer the "how are you" question honestly. I promise I don't go on and I am always positive but I am never just fine "I am great/fantastic/excellent, thanks for asking, how is your day going?"

This morning I headed out on my own with a note book in hand. An op shop happened to be in the middle of all my messages and I found these lovely tins in the window. I had to write a note asking if they were for sale and they were, which ones she asked, all of them I signed. And for how much? just $1 each! excellent. I already gave one away to a friend who will appreciate the Scottish theme, the rest will be used in my play space to store some of my bits and bobs. Of course these days I can't look at a tin with out thinking of Tinniegirl who has the last of her tins avaliable at her shop, if you want your own full of treasure go her see her before she sells out.
Not being able to speak has sure made me think about what I really want or need to say and given me a chance to be a lot more introspective but I have missed singing at the top of my lungs when at home alone or driving around the city. Anyway; I'm great thanks, how has your day been?
edit to add Little Sparrow has some of Tinniegirl's tin as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A long week/fortnight

A fortnight ago I logged off wondering if it would be a long week. It sure was, perhaps evidenced by my lack of blogging, I have just been to busy dealing with life to have the time to reflect here. Having a mixed readership I have been wondering about how much to write here, my uncertainty has lead me to say nothing.... however I have felt privileged to share the ups and downs of many of my blogger friends, and your honesty has encouraged me to share this wee stumble.

The short version is this(and hang in there, I tried to keep it short): A fortnight ago we made the decision to withdraw our very unhappy 2nd born out of her school and leap, hoping that we would find a soft place to land. Moving to a new city, and country has been an adventure for us and really the only thing that has been difficult has been the girls schooling. Only one thing, but oh that one thing is a major.

We resolved the problem for the first born at the beginning of this year and had plans for the second born for next year, but then a fortnight ago it was clear that this was just too far away. So we took the leap and to my great joy and relief the soft place arrived, and after a crazy week of interviews, Dr visits, uniform and stationary shopping, rearranging of finances and farewells, our gorgeous girl headed off, nervous but happy. Most importantly she came home happy and the most relaxed I have seen her in a long time. I am so relieved and now guilty and a little lost. I have been worrying about this situation for some time and relieved though I am, I find myself unsure what to do without the worry. I was unaware of how much it was hanging over me until it was gone. That feeling hasn't hung around to long, already my focus is shifting, (more about that later) but briefly I felt strange and lost without the weight of worry.

Why does it take me so long to leap? I have always found that everything works out ok but I still struggle to hold on, to have all the i's dotted, t's crossed and the ducks lined up, to know for sure before I let go. I need to remember to have some more faith, that I do not have to have all the answers and that I can handle whatever comes my way. Although I know mother guilt seldom does anyone any favours. Choosing school is part of my job and I feel guilty to have failed in this aspect. On the other hand I also know that this journey has lead both my daughters and myself to some good friends, friends we wouldn't have otherwise found. And life is a journey isn't it and an adventure and sometimes it is smooth and sometimes it isn't and as far as life stuff goes this was just a wee stumble along the way.
So there you are out the other side of this little stumble with only a grazed knee.

And on the way my creative space went around in wee circles starting like this on my return to Australia

Getting a bit of a tidy up

And then returning to chaos as I tried to keep on making things amongst everything else going on

before being sorted again.

This cycle is pretty constant for me and the first time I have been brave enough to share the chaos, but while I'm being honest right? For more creative spaces go see Kirsty

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Princesses giggle

It is a well know fact that Princesses like to and are very good at giggling, laughing, chortling, and chuckling.
We have been a little stressed in our house lately so last night I was clever enough to drag Husband out of the house and meet up with fellow Princess 'Chelle and her man and take ourselves off to The Comics Lounge. There we had a glass or two of wine and a laugh or three. Mind you we were laughing before the show even started. Just knowing you are going out for a laugh puts you in a good mood. After, we had a wait for the trains home so we waited at the Roof top bar on Swanston street in the city. It is such a great view, I have been wanting to head up there for a while, now I finally have.
So hooray a night out... it is all so very grown up, although I think going out on a Monday night may make for a long week, I'll let you know.
Then today despite having both the girls home underfoot feeling under the weather; we had a lovely day and some great news. So the mood seems to have turned. Bless.
......Oh and I got some creating done today, sent some new kitsets off to Friendship tree and some house work done*polishes halo* ... yes mixing metaphors but the rules are mine and I have both a crown and a halo.
Hope you found something to giggle about today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Max" Costume

That last post might have been a little whiny, sorry about that. It is a new week, I am already tackling the weeks list, have a day of creating planned and am off to a comedy show tonight, that should all see me right.
Some creating I did manage to do last week was for the first born for a costume day at school. She wanted to go as "Max" from "Where the Wild Things Are" A favourite story from hers and my childhood. We can't wait for the movie to come out. Check the trailer out.
I only have this photo so far, you can't see her cool black tail or the pointy ears under her crown, I will try and get her to model sometime soon. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, she was happy and as a bonus toasty warm for the outside parade on a crisp Melbourne morning. The hat has been worn a couple of time since as a warm hat and I have a feeling the suit may be used as warm pj's sometime. It is great to be able to create to my kids requests especially when it is something simple like this, I am already anxious about the dress requests for school dances to come in the next couple of years.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eye Spy - Something I should use

Late again.... seems to be my theme. I have found my arrival back on the planet not completely to my liking... it hasn't been a great week. Yesterday I was busy with one of my away from home 'jobs' and came down with a killer headache/migraine. I finally made it home barely greeted the family before heading straight to bed to sleep for 12 and a half hours! Wow it has been a while since I did that.
When I woke though I remembered something I should use. A weekend away. A friend has a holiday home in Ocean Grove which is just a short drive from Melbourne. Last December I gave her a hand for the day and she gave me a weekend away in exchange. I have been planning a weekend off for husband and me to get away, I can't believe how hard it has been to find the time to get away. It is about time I cashed in and took us both away for a night or two, away from school homework, and husband's at home work and chores and all that grown up stuff.
To find out what else people are remembering they should use, visit Cindy. Thanks to Bird Bath for this weeks theme

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eye Spy - Favourite Childrens Party Game

Although it may seem that I have fallen off the planet and in many ways I feel I have, I have found my way back on and found the world is still spinning. Some of you will know that I recently returned to my home town in New Zealand and while I was there catching up with all my family and friends I also shared a wee exhibition of my creations with two friends. I will tell you more about that and the rest of my time away soon, but first I thought I should catch up with my Eye Spys. Especially since Cindy asked me to come up with last weeks topic and I choose, "A favourite childhood game/ party game".
I LOVE children's partys. I had great joy in organising them for the children in my life when I was a teenager until I could plan my own children's parties. They are teenagers now so don't want to play pass the parcel, but I still do. Like Cindy and Christina I love pin the tail on the donkey but since I favour themed parties we have pinned the tail on the dragon, given the fairy a wand and put the hat on the gnome. I can't for the life on me find any pictures of these occasions, maybe we were having too much fun. I also love the children to get involved and we have decorated cupcakes and made pizza and ice-cream sundaes. Sometimes the simplest games are the most fun, like when we had a sand castle competition (everyone wins a prize) ............Or feeding the animals like we did last week at niece beansie's party. That's her cousins feeding the highland calves and the pig at Grans farm.

But I think if I had to choose one, please note I can't even follow my own rules and choose just one, I would have to come back to pass the parcel, I love the anticipation and who doesn't like opening a present. Everyone gets a prize in my version and in the middle a prize for all to share. Oh but I just remembered treasure hunts......

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eye Spy - Something I love about my suburb

This one is easy for me My favouritist thing about my suburb is Little Sparrow a great wee shop that is just around the corner and happens to be owned and run by my friend Shelley. I have a friend to go and share a coffee with, a place to sell some of my goodies, a place to go shopping for the children in my life and an easy place to get more crafty supplies. I have meet some lovely ladies at our Handwork circle and have taught and learnt all sorts of sewing and knitting skills as well as supporting each other thru parenting and other life adventures. I really am regularly grateful for being so lucky to have such a great resource at the end of my street. I also love the trams and the two train lines and the excellent food available in our wee corner of Melbourne.

Cindy has asked me to come up with the next Eye Spy theme and since it is my niece's 2nd birthday this weekend I have been thinking about - Favorite Childhood party games... the ones that were favorite when you was a kid or that you like to play with or organise for your children. I love party games and have been known to re-play some of them as a grown up child.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eye Spy- Something I made for a little person

Really late for this one but have been thinking about it a bit and this week I walked into my nieces bedroom and found this.
I painted this for Beansie when she was born and since it is her birthday next week that makes it two years ago. I have painted words I want her to hear as she grows up about believing in herself, following her bliss, that she is a wonderful person and all the other things we want to tell the children in our lives. I painted similar ones for my girls that I gave to them when the hit a certain mile stone girls hit in their teens. I had forgotten I had done it, but Beansie looks at it every night as she goes to bed and as she is learning her colours at the moment they talk about what colours everything is. I live in a different country to Bean, but I love that I can be a little in her life everyday.

For more Eye spy visit Cindy

Recipe Monday - Mulled Wine

Yep late again but since I haven't had a chance to write much at all lately I thought I would start my catch up with a recipe that we served last night at out exhibition opening. Perfect way to get folks out on a cold winters evening- a recipe for mid winter happiness. Mandy adapted a recipe from here  

Mulled wine with Brandy
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 orange peel and juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 star aniesse
15 cloves
1 bottle of red wine 
1/4 cup brandy
put it all in a crock pot and let it all l infuse, do not boil.
Serve warm

Our version didn't have all the water in so may have been a wee bit strong, but we liked it hehe.
 Forgot to take a photo so I borrowed one.

For more recipes visit Jemma

Monday, June 29, 2009

Recipe Monday - Wheat and Dairy Free Fruit Sponge

Apple or Fruit Sponge
I was really impressed with how well this one worked. Please note that it was not gluten free but is wheat and dairy free. From "The New Zealand Food Allergy Cookbook"

400g Stewed or Canned Fruit. (I used a can of Peach slices)

Sponge topping:

75g dairy free margarine

100g Castor sugar

2 eggs

100g flour mixture (my scales are not that accurate so I used 1/3 cup each, rye, rice and potato)

2tsp baking powder (gluten free)

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C

Grease a 22 cm pudding or pie dish, I used a 22cm casserole dish. Put prepared or canned fruit into dish and leave in oven to warm while you mix the sponge.

Cream the margarine and sugar until white and fluffy.

Add egg and beat well.

Sift in mixed flours and baking powder.

Pour over hot fruit and bake for 35- 40 mins.I think mine might have taken a bit longer I just waited for the skewer test.

Husband is dairy free so he had this with no additions and loved it. The girls and I had cream, delicious. A lovely warming pudding for winter.
Go and visit Jemma for the yummiest looking sticky date pudding and other recipes

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eye Spy - A sign

Again a week late but the sign was slow in showing itself, or was I just slow in seeing it................. I thought about the literal ones but I didn't see any as funny as Christina. And in the end it was one of those life lesson signs. On Monday my week started with this....
when the second born tipped the admittedly carefully balanced dozen eggs onto the bench. There were a number that were just cracked but needed to be used straight away. Baking was no where near my list of things I wanted to achieve that day but I decided to take two lessons from this sign. Lesson #1 That sometimes you can't control what life throw at you and amongst small disasters there is the possibility to create opportunity. So these became wheat and dairy free picklets for when they got home from school and work, left over potato and corn fritters for tea and wheat and dairy free fruit sponge for desert. The fruit sponge was very successful, I will feature it in Recipe Monday.

Unfortunately I also created these.
But while I was doing all this creating I thought about Lesson #2, remembering to make do with what I have. I like many crafters suffer the illness of stash hoarding. I love to use preloved fabrics, but I also like to collect more. I really need to remember to use my collection that I have first before I think about going out to buy more. On the other hand is there really anything wrong with buying a bit more inspiration every now and then.......... Maybe I will bang my head on that sign a few more times before I learn that lesson.
For more signs pop over to Cindy
Edit: I have tried to make the formatting sit better but it won't... I am so looking forward to one day understanding how to drive this blogger thing better.

The Train Trip

I can't believe it has been nearly a week since I headed off on my wee Train trip adventure and I haven't had a chance to tell you about it.

For various reasons the only one to join me on the trip was Michelle she had actually travelled in on the Hurstbridge train so we just jumped back on the train and pulled out our crafting supplies. Michelle was making some of her stretchy necklaces, and I was stitching some brooches. It's a good thing there weren't many others in the carriage 'cause we were taking up bit of room with our crafty gear and our giggling.

As we pulled into Eltham station we noticed a market nestled amongst the trees. We quickly gathered up our stuff and jumped off to have a look around. There were some really cute hand dyed pants and t-shirts for children. I didn't take a photo as I totally planned on going back on our way back out. Unfortunately and fortunately the market was bigger than we first thought so she was packed up by the time we got back to her end, so I will surely have to go back. I did manage to get some very delicious Autumn Chutney from "Alot of Good Stuff". We have already made a serious dent in the contents of the jar so I will have to return for some more of that too. Michelle brought some lovely Proteas from a farm up at Kinglake. We were told the guy had lost a third of his farm and his shed to the fires but still had some proteas to share. Michelle's Dad used to have protea he was very proud of at their house in Kinglake, so she brought them for him.

As all the stalls were closing up we headed back to the station to continue our journey. At Hurstbridge it was a short walk down to Heart and Soul Cafe. The atmosphere was great, quiet and friendly and they had a great fun mural on one of the walls. No photo as I wasn't sure the people having their lunch in front of it would appreciate me taking one. There are tables inside and out but we choose one next to the heater. The wedges we shared were the best I have had in ages. Fresh, really hot (temp) and spiced up tasty, there was plenty of sour cream and sweet chili sauce. At the chefs recommendation, we split a chickpea burger which was delicious toasty and not a bit dry which I find they often are. Filled with food and a good coffee we headed back into town again. I loved the day away from the routine and will defiantly plan another one when the weather is warmer and folks are over their winter ills. I love to craft on the go and with a new view and company was gathering inspiration all day. I hope you can come on my next one or are inspired to do some of your own 'crafting on the go'.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busy weekend - train trip and markets

My bag is packed ready to a crafty train trip tomorrow. I will be lovely to get away from the usual routine especially since I have a list a mile long of things that are to be done today. It will be great to sit and chat and craft away on the train. If you want to come along check out the details here and I will see you at 11:20 at Flinders.
I think I might have time to drop into Mathilda's Market in Malvern before I head in . I also hope to get over to Northcote later today for the markets there. Geeze weekends can be a bit busy can't they?

Friday, June 19, 2009


I have exams for the next few school days. I am up late studying and finishing assignments, up early studying, dreaming about English essays and waking up with Math problems on my mind. I feel nervous and a bit stressed. I am not doing my chores and am eating a lot of chocolate. I am looking forward to the exams being over and the holidays to begin.

Oh yeah and I should tell you it is not me actually sitting the exams, it is the first borns first round of exams. I am wondering how I will survive these ones let alone the next two and half years and then ?? tertiary. She has headed off to school for the first two today. ?Five? to go. I am sure we will be fine.

Disclaimer: large portions of this post are exaggerated, we are working hard but actually doing just fine. All my best to those sitting the big ones at the moment.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eye Spy - Inventing

Remember when you were young and biking to horse riding, or swimming, or whatever your after school activity was. It had been a long day at school full of learning and important lunchtime activities and it was hot and there was a head wind and you just wanted to be there. Of course then I wanted to time/ space travel and to just be there, I wanted to be able to with mind powers be able to get kind parent and grandparents with cars to stop and pick me up and drive me there (obviously before mobile phones), I also wanted to be older, to have left school, to have left home to be able to live by my rules... ahh how I was so misinformed. Today if I could invent a way to play with time it would be much more about slowing things down, to give me more hours to play with, to create in, to enjoy my growing children, to have more time with friends, to have more time to be still.
But playing with time is not the invention I am thinking about this week. I think I will have to return to the Amanda's invention that started this eye spy this week. I would like to invent something where we Mums can take and carry the pain for our children. I am glad that my children have mostly had a good run however there have been time aplenty when I wish I could do it for them, to have the blood tests, to mend the broken arm, to help them to breathe freely. My kids are getting big now and I still wish this.

A friend's teenage daughter has been very sick this week and I know that she wishes she could be sick for her, to suffer for her, and save her from the fear and the pain. Even dealing with disappointment and broken hearts I wish that I could carry that for them. But I can't, I can only be there and hold them and wait for it to pass. And I know this wish for our children never stops. I remember my Mum crying for me when I was is labour with the first born, knowing that only I could do it, knowing she would have stepped in for me in a heart beat and knowing that already I would do anything for this child as yet unborn.

A little serious this week but it has been a serious week. Light and happiness will return after this short break.