25 Nov 2007

It's all over..

for another few years. The Election that is. A triumphant night for Australian Labor, and a new government.

I watched the coverage while playing cards with my inlaws. They were shocked when I told them my vote was based on environmental issues, and stunned when our local seat was won by Labor (though I don't why, as the sitting member is a Labor member too.)

We've also been celebrating DH's birthday with a family breakfast today.

24 Nov 2007

Growing, Growing...

Over the last 3 days we've received 41mm of rain. I'm sure the garden has grown SUBSTANTIALLY since this started.

The tomatoes are flourishing, and had to be staked, and Nalani's Wollemi pine is looking positively tropical.

In another sort of growth, I've cast on for a jumper for Lucas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In fact, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. However, it's Election Day today. Voting is compulsory, and may 'the people who are clearly voting for the good of all' be giving thanks around 9pm tonight.

Don't forget to vote!

18 Nov 2007

Weekend Report

Well, the temperature has been roughly 30 degrees all week, and it sure feels like summer has arrived. We've changed over the flowers on the front porch, hoping to have blooms by Christmas time. Out go the poppies and pansies, in go red and white petunias and a lavender bush.

I've also planted more lettuce (since my mother tells me the price will triple by Christmas time) and a chilli bush. Yum!

The list of jobs is being slowly whittled away - yesterday I managed to make soap! Very exciting, and it took ages. It's a basic cold process batch, using olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, mineral water and caustic soda. I also stirred through vanilla scented coffee grounds to provide colour, scent and a grainy feel. Today I cut up the blocks, and have stored them away in the shed to cure.

I've been plugging away at a Christmas Quilt, which is coming along nicely.

Knitting of course has been happening, with a finished pod (pattern by Olivia here),

and 2 washcloths at a time.

It's now less than a week until my sister and her kids arrive from England, and I just can't wait.

14 Nov 2007

Failed miserably

The daily posting thing, that is. Oh well.

We had a nice visit with my parents, but online time was severely limited (for which I blame my first posting lapse.) Of course, this have been one of the causes of the nice time.

I did a bit of knitting, a bit of felting, a bit of helping with computer problems and lots of talking. Annabelle's princess hat is finished, and is too big. I may to try to felt it again, to try and shrink it more. Lucas has a large head, and it fits him fine.

Also now finished is my Short Row hat, and a couple more washcloths.

I have decided that my washcloth collection should be given away at Christmas time, ideally with handmade soap. I have bought all the ingredients necessary (olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and caustic soda) and am just waiting for some uninterrupted time alone to make the soap. Hopefully this weekend, as the soap needs time to cure. Not having made soap before, I turned to my local library who did not diappoint. I have 3 different books, but am currently relying upon "soap; handmade, pure and natural" by Tatyana Hill.

Lately, my thoughts are turning to my working life. I've been a teacher for nine years, and feel that is not the way I want to spend my time. On the other hand, the hours and holidays are great for parents. Last week I thought an environmental science diploma might be the path. Today we visited the Botanical Gardens and my thoughts are turning to Botany. There's no rush to decide, but if I'm going to need further qualifications, now would be a good time to be studying.

Complicating this issue is the depression and accompanying laziness I'm still dealing with. The next six weeks are going to be a challenge too - lots to do, lots of time away from home, lots of stress-inducing decisions to be made.

7 Nov 2007

Just a quick note

before we hop into the car and hit the highway.

Mum didn't want me to come visit if I had a cold, but it's still just a sore throat (day 3) so we're going anyway. Fingers crossed it doesn't get worse when we get there.

6 Nov 2007

Party day!

Melbourne Cup day here in Australia, which results in office sweeps and all kinds of gambling and drinking. None of that here... but we did go to a 5 year old friend's birthday party. Lovely time had by all.

This afternoon we were busy cutting hair, moving carseats between cars, and doing some pruning.

Tonight my inlaws came over for dinner and cards, as they do twice a week. This time is such a pleasure for me - I appreciate the time we spend together. Tomorrow, the kids and I drive away to visit my parents. More pleasure.

5 Nov 2007

Monday Monday

It's been a strange day today. Tomorrow is a public holiday, so a fair few people have extended the weekend, and gone away. We've stayed at home, and work. But still, things are different.

This morning the kids and I attended playgroup. There were quite a few absent, but lots of enthusiasm from the people present. It was my turn to run the music session, and I'm glad that's over for another term.

We received an invitation to a birthday party, where fancy dress must be worn. Princess, fairy, superhero or pirate are the options. Lucas has decided to be a princess, Annabelle a fairy. Fortunately, the party is not for a month, and we may change these positions.

Today I've been working on our calendar for next year through Snapfish. Each month will feature a different family photo, and I'm getting all our family birthdays and events pre-printed on it with photos of the birthday person.

I'm fighting off a sore throat tonight - and really hoping it doesn't intensify. My sister and her family have been ill for a week now with similar...

4 Nov 2007

Sewing Sunday

I haven't done any sewing lately, but we're attending a birthday party on Tuesday, and needed a gift. So, another crayon roll.

It took me half an hour just to locate my 'pattern', so I thought I'd record it here for my next organisational crisis.

1. Cut strips 1 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches (one per crayon colour)

2. Sew strips together and press. Seam allowance 1/4 inch throughout.

3. Cut 2 rectangles out of feature print 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (note this is the right size for 12 crayons, if more than 12 crayons - 3/4 inch per crayon + 1/2 inch seam allowance.)

4. Fold one rectangle length wise in half (so it now measures 4 1/4 x 11 1/2) and press.

5. Make tab out of feature fabric - cut 1 1/2 x 5 1/2. Sew edges and turn inside out.

6. Assemble layers;
stripes (right side up), then halved rectangle, with tab lined up next to it, then full size rectangle right side down. Sew together, leaving turning space. Turn and topstitch gap closed.

7. Sew down the halved rectangle, between where the crayons will be (follow stripes for guidance.)

8. Attach velcro on tab and body of crayon roll.

This pattern was inspired by many pencil rolls seen all over the crafty internet, like the ones here; here, and here.

It is NOT to be used for profit. Except by me, if I ever get organised!

3 Nov 2007

I love my postie!

Yes, I've received some great things in the mail this week.

Firstly, I was quick enough to get a Limited Edition of MixTape. All kinds of goodies were included - my favourite is the pattern for Miss Buttons. I've heard people talking about crafty goodness - and that is exactly how to describe this pack.

I've also received 2 Everyday Craft books from Amber of Kids Craft Weekly. So many cute ideas, and a perfect present for Christmas.

On the theme of mail, I was very keen to sign up for the Rockin Sock Club this year. However, I've done the sums, and just cannot justify (to myself) spending $50 per pair of socks. I can buy hand dyed cashmere sock yarn from England for less than that, and really do I need more sock patterns?

2 Nov 2007

More knitting

Annabelle's princess hat is ready to be felted. It was a simple knit from Vickie Howell's "New Knits on the Block". I am a little concerned that it has used less wool than I expected. I won't start Lucas' wizard hat until this one has been felted.

The socks are coming along nicely, and I could probably start the heel any time now.

I have also started the latest dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth KAL. This one seems to be diagonal which is a first for me.

1 Nov 2007

November at last!

Yep, there's been some more knitting action here. This is the second French Market Bag I have made, and I am pleased with it so far. I'm saving it up to be felted when I visit my parents again.

Next, last month's washcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth KAL. It looks good, and means I now have a stack of seven washcloths waiting for.... something. I should buy some nice soap to go with these.

And finally, some craft. This snazzy crown was whipped up at Playgroup out of a paper plate.

This month I'll be trying for daily posts. Of course, life may get in the way, but if I'm home I'll be blogging, in the spirit of NaBloPoMo.