Monday, August 31, 2009

Tattoos, Monsters and Bowls.

It's a hive of activity.

Indi has just finished her godseye and is now finalising the designs for her tattoo shop, Jazzy and Pepper are drawing monsters, there are lots of little pieces of paper being cut up for a raffle and I am making a bobble bowl.

I have just been informed that the prizes for the raffle are 1) private singing lessons with Jazzy, 2) 4 tattoos from Indi's collection and 3) a concert for everyone featuring Indi and Jazzy singing songs from their very own hit album 'sing it!'.

I made these texta rolls for the girls last year and am about to start making some more for the new Lark shop opening in Daylesford soon.

Oh and I just discovered that my prize for the afternoon will be lice combing the girls' hair!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Creative Space.

It's my first time playing along with Kootoyoo's My Creative Space.

So this is it.
This is my creative space.
It wont leave me alone.
It calls out to me all day...make me into a flower...I'd look great as a bowl...imagine me as a cushion cover...if you don't use me now you'll forget that brilliant idea...

Sometimes I can ignore the call but often it's too strong.

How's a girl supposed to raise her children and keep her house in order?

For more Creative Spaces pop on over here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We Love Books!

This week is Book Week over at Land of Meg and we've decided to join in the festivities.

We are big readers in our house; out loud, to ourselves, picture books, catalogues, newspapers, fiction, text books, non fiction....

I have to admit that I have found it hard to get right into a book since starting to crochet 4 months ago. Quiet times that would in the past have been spent absorbed in the pages of a book are also valuable crochet times. Crochet is taking over my life!

I do have 3 main (non crochet related) books on the go at the moment, each chosen for me by other people and each in different stages of being read.

The main book I am reading is The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper. It is the story of an Aboriginal death in custody on Palm Island. Usually I read fiction and love the escapism but this book, whilst non fiction is filled with drama, conflict and interesting characters.

The Tall Man was bought by my sister Meg and I think I am the last member of my family of 6 to read it.

On the other hand Bren usually reads manuals and catalogues. On top of his pile of books at the moment is a book about bee keeping, an Elliot Coleman book The New Organic Grower, a mushroom growers manual and this book about the Woodstock festival.

I think he is enjoying the different world inside the pages of the Woodstock book but he was surprised to find that the festival wasn't mentioned until page 70 something.

Indi is reading Utterly Me Clarice Bean by Lauren Child. I'm not sure I've ever actually seen her reading this book but every now and then she refers to it in conversation. Miley Cyrus's autobiography is her real love.

Jazzy is reading Mr Men books.

And Pepper just loves this fire engine book, a book on wheels.

I am always hunting around for new books to read for me or for the girls, so if you have a favourite or a recommendation I'd love to hear (read) it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I made some hats.

I made some reversible sun hats for the family.

The denim for mine came from an old pair of my jeans and the floral was from my favoutire maternity skirt.

Bren's front and back came from old, worn out work pants.

Indi's denim was from the same pair of old jeans as mine and the mushroom fabric came from Spotlight a few season's ago.

Both patterns for Jazzy's came from fabric I have had for ages in my stash.

I did make one for Pepper too, but living up to her nickname The Shifter, she has shifted it somewhere and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Her's is navy with dragonflies on one side and bubushkas on the other side.

Meanwhile, the grey band is slowly growing....

Even those skeptics who kept asking if it had changed have been quiet lately.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Band of Grey.

This band of grey is the reason I haven't been posting any finished crochet projects for a while.

I have been crocheting around and around the band. I have undone it and redone it more times than I'd like to admit but I think I've got the hang of it now.

And one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, it might even resemble the bottom hem of a dress.

Watch this space....

I hope you are having a great weekend where ever you are.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Drawings & Chips.

Most of the time my 3 girls get along really well. Actually, most of the time any 2 of them play well while the third is happy to do her own thing.

Sometimes though, at the end of a cold and wet weekend when they have been stuck inside for too long the age gap begins to show. They all want my attention. But there's not many activities that we can all do together that will satisfy the needs of an 8, a 5 and an almost 2 year old.

It is for times like these that we have The Big Book.
The Big Book is for drawing all together with no judgement and no competition. It is ok to colour in someone else's work and to turn something into something else.

At first there is always a bit of 'do you like what I'm doing?' and 'she scribbled over my best one' but it doesn't take long before we all start working towards the bigger picture together.

2 of my girls are at school now and barely a week passes without a complaint and a comparison between their school lunches and their classmates'. While we will never be able to compete with the zillions of dollars of market research and packaging that goes into making mini packets of chips so exciting and appealing, we do have a couple of tricks up our sleeves.

Hopefully you will forgive me the awful photos once you make these for your gang.

Get yourself a packet of Mountain Bread. It is that flat, thin papery bread most commonly used in wraps.

Paint it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cut into squares, lay on a baking tray and pop into a moderate oven for up to 4 minutes.

For a variation sometimes we crush a clove or two of garlic into the oil.

Wait to cool and enjoy.

Pop them into an air tight container and they will probably last a couple of days, but they never really go past the next day's school lunch here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Basket of Craft.

This is the basket that contains all the current knitting and crochet projects I am working on. There are bundles of wool piled in different places around the house, but these are the right now, can't live without, must have with me all the time items.

This basket travels with me from room to room at home and then out of the house to school assemblies, waiting rooms, friends' houses, cafes and car trips.

It contains my knitting project which is sadly at a standstill as I have run out of that beautiful wool and the shop was closed when I went to try and buy more yesterday.

Lots of crochet hooks, needles for darning in ends and scissors. I will one day soon sew up some type of lovely bag for these items to be carried in..

My granny square thing that possibly could become a laptop cover.

A partly completed beanie.

A bowl.

Some gorgeous wool that I had to buy because the shop is next to my hairdresser. I used most of another ball of this over the past 2 nights to make the skirt of a dress but unraveled it this morning when the tension was funny on one side.

And some random balls of cotton and wool that might inspire me because of the beauty of their colour or the loveliness of their texture to create something wonderful.

I am loving how portable these wool crafts are.
When I was in my twenties I drove up to Byron on holiday with my sewing machine in the boot of my car. I could not be without my craft for any period of time. Not much has changed since then but let me tell you this basket is slightly more convenient than my Bernina.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Can Knit!

There is a shared memory in my family of a time when I was little, when after sitting quietly by myself with a book for a while I shouted 'I CAN READ!'

Well last night I had a similar life moment.

Thanks of course to Mrs Doily for the idea, the needles and the wool.
Thanks to Leonie for faxing me through the hat pattern.
Thanks Mr Google for putting me in touch with all the online lessons for casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch and stocking stitch.
And thanks Bren for putting up with my ignoring you all night last night and speaking the instructions to each stitch out loud over and over.

I do find knitting a bit clumsy compared to crochet and it is much harder to pick up stitches once you have pulled a section apart but I am starting to find the rhythm and I am really enjoying it.

If anyone out there has some inspiring knitting sites, ideas or patterns for beginners I'd love to check them out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Bowls & Swaps.

I am having one of those days where it feels like the pressure is building and I'm being wound tighter and tighter so I'm going to try to get this out in a way that it makes sense in words the way it does in my head.

I feel like I've had a bit of a thing with bowls for most of my life.
I've been on a mission to find that perfect soup, salad and cereal bowl since I've had my own kitchen. I've even been known to accidentally drop one or two that aren't to my liking.

When I was at uni I made a dinner set out of cut-up old blankets that I zig zagged over and over on the machine until they held their own shape. Of the 3 bowls in the set, this is the only one I have left.

One of our dear friends Petrus Spronk has perfected the bowl during his life as a ceramic artist. He has travelled the world for inspiration and is in himself an inspiration to us and our community.

This bowl was a gift from Petrus for Pepper's birth. It came with a broken shard of ceramic inside it to represent the place of Pepper in our family and our place as a family in the community.

I could hold and admire this bowl for ages. It has the perfect shape. The sides have the perfect curve. The base is small but sturdy, the sides are long and smooth. Its surface is cool to touch and it is heavy enough to feel safe and sturdy in your hands.

My own work with bowls is truly a work in progress. I am experimenting with materials, shapes and patterns. I love the meditative round and round of creating the sides, but also how many new ideas come to me during the process.

I am excited to see where this journey will take me and to watch the materials, shapes and techniques that I discover along the way.

In other, non bowl related news, my washer swap package arrived today.

One of the best parts of Jodie's washer swap adventure for me has been the discovery of new blogs and like minded people. When my package arrived today I was thrilled to find that it was from the lovely Tammy. Inside the hot pink box were two gorgeous knitted butterfly washers in the softest bamboo yarn, a bar of hand made soap and one of Tammy's fabulous hand made cards.

Thank you soooo much Tammy I love it all.
Thank you too Jodie for organising the swap.

In breaking news; it seems my package has arrived at it's destination today too.
Check out Selina's lovely blog and her post about it here.

Visit my other blog.