31 Dec 2010

2010 achievements

I was sure I'd spent more time crafting than this....  but apparently not.


Then again, I have worked on a lot of different projects this year... and these are just the finished items.

Next up, resolutions!

27 Dec 2010

Camping Christmas

We've returned today from a camping trip over Christmas.



Lots of special times; children playing in a shallow creek, virtually all day long....  finally discovering the secret of not freezing on an inflatable mattress (2 layers of woollen blanket underneath the sheet, on top of the airbed).... turning seedpods into Christmassy birds with the application of a cotton ball, glue and red glitter.....  eating my Mum's fruit mince pies while celebrating with DH's family.

25 Dec 2010

Merry, merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!



As part of Chookyblue's SSCS, I received some lovely gifts from Kristi . Thanks so much Kristi - I love them, especially those adorable coasters.

18 Dec 2010

A break

School's out - and the children and I are spending a few days with my parents. The first priority has been to get all the Christmas decorations out, including this Christmas themed playset. Rudolph is in great demand.

11 Dec 2010

The Adventure continues

The Adventure of Advent, that is.  I've been making lists, and then more lists, and ordering and shopping like I don't know what.  Order seems to be appearing out of chaos, and soon the organisation will be done.


The only crafting I've done is made this Christmassy skirt for my daughter, and appliqued a heart on a shirt for her.  This photo was taken just after their school Christmas concert.  I was delighted that Annabelle went skipping away to join her class without any concern at all. 

Preparing for school the next morning, her problems had all returned.  We making progress however - there's only 5 more days of school left.

27 Nov 2010

Preparing for Advent

Today we've been busy.  It's time for our annual lounge room rearrangement to fit in the Christmas tree. DH is not an enthusiastic participant... but always seems to manage to end up with his easy chair in the centre of the room directly in front of the TV.  And then wonders why I'm not satisfied.  (Maybe this is one of his traditions...)

We also had a visit from the parcel guy, with my package from the lovely Kristi arriving as part of Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap.


Quarantine had opened the parcel, and unwrapped the ornament, and  the enormous stick of peppermint candy had been broken.

Just look at this beautiful ornament - I cannot wait to open the rest of the parcel!


Thanks so much Kristi :)

25 Nov 2010

My creative space

Very little is happening creatively around here, as my energy, emotions and thoughts stay with my troubled daughter.  I am unbelievably stressed about this - possibly because she sees me as the solution to all her problems.  In any case, for the first time in my life (and yes, I'm nearly 40....) I've spent money in the fitness industry.  A 20-visit pass to the local pool, where I'm attempting some stress release.

Today, though, we're celebrating my loving husband's 40th birthday.  I don't think he's conflicted about this at all - it's a great day!  Losing Kim knocked all the vanity surrounding birthdays right away.

The kids got very creative with the colours - and then had to eat all the brown m&ms.

More Creative Spaces at Kootoyoo.

16 Nov 2010

Slow crafting

After the frenzy of Blogtoberfest, I've been trying to take things slowly. My daughter's opinions are becoming stronger, and this is taking it's toll on both of us. These Christmas baubles are just the right antidote - many thanks to Pip of Meet Me At Mikes for the pattern.

6 Nov 2010

The other end of the swap

My challenge this time was to make a quilt for Alissa, of http://bacoon.wordpress.com/

I had recently been to see the exhibition of Aboriginal art at the National Museum, and was just blown away by the paintings.  They were stunningly visually, and I loved how they each expressed a story as well.  Many of the artworks were made expressly to show the artist's country. I wanted to try and make a quilt showing my own country, in a quilting sense.

The straight lines tended to represent roads, or paths, or directions, and the circles were waterholes, or homes, or sometimes mountains.  


I loved making this quilt.  I had been planning it for a while, with many different sketches and fabric choices, but when I was really ready to sew it, I was away on retreat.  A no-machines-allowed retreat. Therefore, the only machine stitching is where I sewed the binding down.  And I really enjoyed the process.

For some time I've been trying to emulate the quilting styles of others.  I greatly admire fine, detailed, dense machine quilting, but it's not what I do.  Instead, I hand quilt, with big stitches, thick, shiny, colourful perle thread, and enjoy it.

I hope you like it too Alissa.


A lovely swap

Once again, the EB doll quilt swap has been a lovely one.

Car, of http://carrose-creations.blogspot.com/ has made a great little quilt for me.  It's called Home on the Hill, and I just love it!  Thank you, Car.

31 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 31

Finally!  It's been a long stretch of posting daily.  Mostly I've enjoyed it, and even been annoyed when I had a pre-prepared post scheduled, but had something to say.

I really feel this changes my whole way of blogging though - typically, I only post when I've made something, or done something interesting. Maybe not though - possibly it was just that we were away from home so much during October. I think I'll be back to sporadic, more creative posts come November though.

And the brush turkey?  They're just really, really cool.

30 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 30

It's been a marathon, but we flew home today.  Just like this,
My lovely MIL met us at the airport, and brought us home.  Where I started things rolling with a load of washing.  Bizarrely, our biggest tree in the backyard has grown it's leaves while we were away, so the outlook is now quite different.

Next step was of course the computer, where my homepage greeted me with;



806 blog entries to read!

I may be some time catching up...


29 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 29

We happened upon a lovely playground at twilight, and this picture is one of the results. We've had a very busy holiday, every day has been full, and I think we're ready to go home. If only to catch upon my blog reading....

28 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 28

Despite appearances, Annabelle was delighted to be in this ride all by herself.
This holidaying business is hard work, particularly when the children are still on Canberra time, so we all rise daily before 6am.

27 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 27

Direct from Adds, the 99 things about me meme.


Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied (but things have changed since then...)
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo's david in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistine chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies guide biscuits.
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the alamo in person
96. swum in the great salt lake.
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee


I think Contiki was responsible for 8 of those achievements in a fabulous whirlwind 3 week tour of Europe.Your turn.

26 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 26

Today I spent far too little time gazing at the reef tank at Seaworld. We bought annual passes, so have visited every day since arriving on the gold coast. Best of all, it doesn't have to be a marathon day, just a couple of hours is fine. There could easily be a quilt emerge from this tank - but I think I'd rather make a brush turkey themed one!

25 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 25

Lorikeets AND craft. The perfect Currumbin combination.

24 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 24

This is why kids don't drive - gridlock!

Obviously, we're still on holiday, with little to no crafting. However, there have been some theme park visits, strawberry picking and swimming.

I did consider composing a post on inappropriate theme park clothing.... but I try to be positive here.

23 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 23

Rainbow Lorikeets are special parrots. They seem to fly as fast as a bullet, and are often seen flashing through our capital cities. My favourite place to see them is Currumbin Sanctuary, where wild birds choose to attend twice daily nectar feeding sessions. The noise is amazing, and the crowds entranced.

22 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 22

And hot on the heels of the tulips post, comes the beheaded tulip post.




I don't know if this happens every year, but I was most surprised.

21 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 21

or, "I Love My Library."

Truly, I love my library. I love the (free!!) internet based reservation system, I love how they email you when your reserved books have arrived, and mostly I love what a fabulous collection they have.

Last visit, I didn't have any books waiting for me, but this fabulous pile was in the new books section. Excellent!

20 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 20

When we moved to Canberra, we marked my first Mothers Day here with tulip bulbs.
They flowered in 2007, 08, 09 and now again they're making me happy.


I haven't cared for them in any way... just planted them. Maybe I should plant more bulbs!

19 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 19

Today has been frantically busy. We're off on holiday tomorrow, and so I needed to get my swap quilt in the mail today. I've just downloaded the Hipstamatic app, so nearly every photo lately has been taken using it.

Blogtoberfest 18

Preparing for bed.

17 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 17

A sneak peek of my latest swap quilt, for the EBDQS. I completed the hand quilting during the weekend quilting retreat from which I have just returned. More on the retreat tomorrow.

16 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 16

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Toni's blog, who is the creator of the Make It Perfect patterns.  Kyla, of Funky Polka Dot Giraffe makes adorable clips, which I think my daughter will absolutely adore.

I just love the rainbow - it's so pretty, without a touch of pink, or princesses, or sparkles....

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait till after Christmas to see them in her hair.

Thanks so much Kyla and Toni :)

15 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 15

Once again, it's raining in Canberra. I don't recall previous years being so wet. On the bright side, we're having a really lime green spring. Such a treat.

I'm feeling very sunny today, as I pack for my quilting retreat weekend. Hand work only, so some thought is required.

14 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 14

Tonight, I finished my Ravelwealth Games project while watching an incredible game of netball. The Australian and New Zealand teams were just extraordinary in this game, as they have been in every game. More pictures after blocking.

13 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 13

In response to today's self portrait challenge, here I am.


* This was not the first photo I took
* Yesterday, I had my hair cut. Shorter than ever before.  When I picked up Annabelle from school, she took one look at me, and started sobbing. Yep. Ego intact.

12 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 12

Happy children. We've been busy today, playing hard with schoolfriends, and then cousins and extras till 7pm. Which is bedtime. Which led to a major meltdown screaming 'I don't want to go home' at 7.30. Which led to unhappy parents. Now we're all in bed, and much, much happier.

11 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 11

As the Commonwealth Games have progressed, I'm feeling the wear and tear. Staying up late, combined with the start of daylight savings has taken it's toll. Add in school holidays, and knitting time has become more scarce. Despite that, my Ravelwealth Games shawl is progressing well. 15 rows to go, but the Games end on Thursday. And of course, being a fairly triangular shawl, each row is longer than the last.

10 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 10

Last night, as I was editing my post about the art at our National Museum, I got a Big IDEA. The deadline for the EB Doll Quilt Swap is looming, and my partner has not been very specific with her wants list. I think I can do something interesting, which I hope will please her. It's all very uncertain at present... But these are the fabrics I think I'll be using.

9 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 9

We've just spent a couple of hours at a disco birthday party. Annabelle was very excited to be going to a nighttime party (5-7.). She had a great time. I spent the time knitting, and mentally rotting up the number of whooping cough cases in her class. Too many.

8 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 8

Today was the last Friday of the school holidays. We visited the National Museum (Canberra) with my sister and her children.
The kids had a great time. After visiting KSpace, my Lucas asked if they all wanted to see something really exciting. Of course, we agreed, and he led the family into the Yiwarra Kuju Canning Stock Route Aboriginal art exhibit. It truly was exciting, and so beautifully displayed in dark space.
This is a picture of an interactive computer touchscreen.  The children could 'paint' by moving their fingers across the screen, and change colour easily by touching another colour.  I wanted to push them out of the way and try myself.  It reminded me of using the paintbrush tool in Paint, but in a much more user friendly way.  Even the two year old knew what to do. 

I started wondering how I would depict my country.  But then I started wondering where my country truly was, as I feel very nomadic, and fairly rootless.  Dh and I have lived in 13 homes since coming together in 1993.

I've edited this post to add further links and information.  I've been experimenting with posting from my phone, via email, which is working well, but I can't master links... or too much text like that.

7 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 7

Yesterday, we took some time out to visit the beach. Lucas loves chasing the waves, and Annabelle's all about the sand. I'm not that keen, so I'm not all that worried that we live two hours from our nearest beach.

6 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 6

The last few months, my Mum has been working hard preparing my grandparents house for sale. They lived in it for 41 years, and having matured in the Depression were not people to discard anything potentially useful. Mum has taken a personal message from this task, and she and Dad are now using their 'good stuff'. It's a real pleasure to see their wedding silver at breakfast, and encounter their bonehandled knives to make a sandwich.

5 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 5

A fabulous first day of the Commonwealth Games led to fabulous progress in the Ravelwealth Games. My shawl is progressing nicely - and I can't wait to get onto the lace.

4 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 4

On the balmy south coast today, and we've arrived just in time to smell spring in my parents' garden. Freesias, jasmine and violets. It's just delicious.

3 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 3

The Commonwealth Games start today, which means it's time to cast on for the Ravelwealth Games.

We're hoping for a peaceful Games, full of outstanding athletic achievements, personal bests and responsible behaviour. That goes for the Commonwealth Games too.
My Traveling Woman shawl is ready to cast on, with divine Posh Yarn cashmere... and I can't wait.

By the end of the Games, I hope to have my shawl finished, and ready to wear. Except the weather surely will have warmed up by then. Surely.

2 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 2

In which we go to Tidbinbilla, clean the childrens rooms and other household adventures.

Lately, I've been reading some strange books, with very long chapter subtitles, as seen above.

Today, ignoring the forecast of showers, DH, the children and I went to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. We spotted a koala, searched for platypus, saw mobs of kangaroos, and an elusive rock wallaby.
Then we played hard in their fabulous adventure playground, only leaving as the rain started bucketing down.

A highlight for me was seeing (and managing to photograph - they're tiny, and FAST) this superb fairy-wren. While not particularly rare, they are always special to see.

The cleaning was really quite boring, so I'll leave it there.

1 Oct 2010

Blogtoberfest 1

Ambitiously, I've signed up for Blogtoberfest again. Basically, blogging each day in October is the goal.

Today, we've been immersed in school holiday fun. Swimming this morning, with my sister and her children, followed by a spot of shopping, where we happened across a bubble show. It was really good, and produced some enormous bubbles.

Returning home, we've rested, eaten enormous amounts, and have now started painting fingernails.


Someone has to be in charge of the glamour department around here. It's clearly not me.

30 Sep 2010

To Do


We're nearly a week into school holidays now, and creativity has taken a back step.

Instead, we've been camping, shopping, babysitting, to the library, out to lunch with Daddy, and today are planning to attend a class playdate. Annabelle will also be attending two birthday parties in this break.

Whingeing has been an integral part of the holiday too. As has singing. Lucas' class has learnt all the words to 5, 6, 7, 8. And since I love to share, here's the Youtube link so you can share my pain. Just play it 50 times and you'll have the idea.




Next week we're off to my parents place down the coast, for a change, and a play at the beach.

19 Sep 2010

Springing along

Today, while I went to hear Margaret Fulton speak, the rest of the family went to Floriade.


The children took far nicer pictures than I did.

16 Sep 2010

My creative space


Paper piecing, to try and catch up with my block of the month. Of course I'm way behind....
but then I found this in the hallway - now THAT'S colour!