23 Dec 2011


We've settled into our Christmas preparations. The kids have decorated the gingerbread house, and excitement is mounting.

19 Dec 2011

Road trip

With my Mum, for my great aunt's funeral. Stopped briefly at The Dog - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_on_the_Tuckerbox

14 Dec 2011


Today, the junior school celebrated the end of the year with a picnic at the park.

We are recovering in front of some Disney tv.

That's one more thing ticked off the end of year list.

12 Dec 2011

Ten random thoughts

1.  My lounge room decor is looking much better now Maggie's here.
2.  Buying a 600ml Diet Coke at the supermarket in Canberra is more expensive than in Disneyworld.
3. Seven days of school remaining, and the children will be tired and cross no matter how much sleep they get.
4. Despite finishing Christmas shopping, I still need to to go the shops at least once daily.
5. School carols nights are rarely hotbeds of musical talent.
6. Fabric paralysis is standing between me and a fabulous new skirt - I wish I could just dive in and start cutting fearlessly!
7. Usually, I'd be complaining about the heat 12 days into December. Instead, I'm missing it.
8. Bells are jingling here, as the kitten climbs the Christmas tree.
9. Test cricket can be wonderfully exciting.
10. Buying a 20-visit pass to the local pool is no guarantee of actually swimming.

10 Dec 2011

Christmas cooking

Installment one - Donna Hay's Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies.  My, they're lush -melted chocolate in the mixture as well as many choc chunks.... Delicious.


6 Dec 2011


This year, I've been fairly discriminating with swaps but had to participate when a Christmas ornament swap crossed my radar.

And just look at these goodies which arrived from Talia yesterday!

The fabric stars can be hung anywhere - maybe a garland, I'm thinking, and the stars will be on my tree just as soon as it is up.

I love those little stars - the basic message of Christmas. Perfect.

5 Dec 2011


Just look at this gorgeous quilt that landed in my letterbox today!!! I am so, so thrilled.

Spiderweb pattern is one of my favourites (and made it onto the shortlist for the quilt I made for this swap.)

Thanks so much Danielle - it's just lovely.

Come to think of it, every quilt I've received from the EB Doll Quilt Swap has been great - thanks so much AJ for organising every time :)

4 Dec 2011


It's clearly December now - Christmas crafting with cricket on the tv.  Definitely part of my Advent.

1 Dec 2011


Killing time, waiting for the dress rehearsal. Hanging out in the library, folding stars with my boy. 

30 Nov 2011

NaBloPoMo - the final post

NaBloPoMo  has come to an end. Daily blogging is quite a challenge, and the clear message I've learnt is that I don't craft that much.

However, I had two swaps due to be posted today, so have finished them off this morning.

Two more things learnt today;

  • Kittens are not assets when it comes to actual crafting.
  • It's best to beat a deadline, not just meet it.  We've had a lot of rain today, following on from last night's astonishing thunderstorms, which has meant terrible light for photographing my finished swap items.
Oh well.

29 Nov 2011

Finally some crafting content

Even if it is that same little quilt.  It's nearly posting date, and I've been sitting outside ballet, finishing it off.
A kitty-free location - maximizing productivity!

28 Nov 2011


All activity has stopped - we're too busy looking after wee Maggie.

27 Nov 2011


So happy to finally get my birthday present - this lovely little kitten. It's been too long since we've had a furry pet. The children are enormously excited, and suggesting names like "girly girly girl" or "cutie pie.".

26 Nov 2011

News from the Nest

The Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) is not a native bird here in Australia.  However, they do have lovely melodic song, and beautiful eggs.

Our nest has two eggs in it (and this stolen one, currently adorning the windowsill.)

I've never seen such a pretty egg.

25 Nov 2011

Bananas are back, baby

It's such a relief to have banana prices down again - after the cyclone and floods, they've been precious fruit. But now the prices have dropped, the bananas have the chance to become overripe on the bench, which results in luscious blueberry, raspberry and almond banana bread. Yum!

24 Nov 2011


I really, really need to start writing some lists.

Mum has gone home this afternoon, accompanied by our gratitude, many special drawings, and a little gift or two from Melbourne.

Crafty deadlines are fast approaching - a dolls quilt, and a Christmas ornament.  Children's events are fast approaching - the ballet concert is less than a fortnight away, involving normal lessons, extra lessons, a dress rehearsal, and a hair and makeup lesson for me.  School has a Christmas carols evening, and various special assemblies.

It really is time to find my inner organised person fast - or to fake it till I make it, or some such inspirational message.

Mum and Dad will be coming to the concert, which opens an opportunity for their car to be our sleigh and magically transport gifts.  A fabulous idea, but it does mean that Christmas shopping would have to be completed by the beginning of December.

Thus, time in December would be available for crafting, cooking, maybe even relaxing.... I think I like it.

23 Nov 2011


During the weekend of luxury, we made a family trip to the Bredbo Christmas Barn. It's an enormous, magical, glitterabulous place in a very small town.  We had the perfect ratio of adults:children - one on one.  The children were captivated and enchanted, and each took the task of choosing a Christmas ornament each very seriously.

Personally, I was overwhelmed, and didn't buy anything. I possibly would have if we'd already decorated at home.   There were some adorable glittery birds nests picks that would look lovely on our tree, given the number of glittery, feathery birds that perch on it each year.  They started me thinking of how I could make nests of my own, as hanging ornaments.  Further thinking required.

This afternoon, I saw a bird fly out of a bush in the front yard. Of course, we investigated, and discovered a nest.  Immense excitement - especially since it's just outside our computer/sewing room. We're looking forward to peeking out the window.

Don't bother trying to see the nest in this picture - it was mainly a window shot!

22 Nov 2011


Preparing to fly back home, it strikes me that these past few days have been all about luxury. Mum's looking after the kids (superbly, I'm sure), travelling business class(!!), and shopping till I drop. Lovely break, and mire details to come.

Big, big day

It's been a very big day - and being dwarfed by this lovely elephant really put things in perspective.  I love seeing animals from ground level - thanks Melbourne Zoo.

20 Nov 2011


Good for the soul. If not the waistline.  Lovely dessert at Koko Black with my Mum and sister.
(see full image)

19 Nov 2011


Packing for the trip - two sets of clothes, sandwiched doll quilt (ready for some evening quilting action), and a book or three.  All set!
(see full image)

18 Nov 2011


Lots of hugging. Chooks and grandmothers.  We were expecting Mum to arrive but not quite so soon. Nor were we expecting said grandmother to be doing tricks at the skatepark. Illustrations tomorrow.
(see full image)

17 Nov 2011


Dough for Christmas decorations.

16 Nov 2011

Planning again

Relaxing tonight is difficult - our skies are being patrolled by fighter planes (to protect the visiting President).  Low level grumbling is fairly continuous. By the aircraft, that is. And by the people - our town is a quiet one usually.

So instead, I'm planning.

Next week, I'll be going to Melbourne for two days.  Once again, my husband will be attending a conference, and I will be holidaying.  This time, Mum's coming to stay with the children.  What a treat!  And to add to the treatiness, Mum's excited about having been asked to do this.

So, what's good to do in Melbourne?  I usually go to the Zoo, but this time, with no children, and not the emotional connection I feel with Sydney's Zoo, it might not be on the agenda.

Reading, knitting, a trip to the beach, maybe a movie? 

15 Nov 2011

Celebrity plans

No creativity today, although I did take advantage of Spotlight's thirty percent off deal, planning ahead for another day.

A week or two ago, Queen Elizabeth II visited Canberra. While I didn't go along and wave, there were a number of opportunities for the public to do so.

Tomorrow, President Obama will be visiting Canberra. No public options here - if you're not a member of the media, parliament, or a generic VIP, this will be a tv only event. I suppose I could go and stake out the road from the airport, but won't.

However, I do plan to keep an eye out skywards, where apparently fighter planes will be patrolling.

Next week, it's our favourite Tasmanian, Princess Mary. Public opportunity available - if I win the ballot.

14 Nov 2011


Today, I was in a whirlwind of activity. Groceries, washing, vacuuming meant time for sewing.

I was very pleased to get my top finished for the swap - and after trying out about fifty different fabrics, simply changed the angling of my log cabins. It made such a difference.

13 Nov 2011

Log cabins for a swap

Log cabin blocks by pugglelogic
Log cabin blocks, a photo by pugglelogic on Flickr.

I finished sewing these blocks this morning, but now am stumped as to how I intended them to fit together.

More colours are needed, surely...

Off to rummage through the stash.

12 Nov 2011

Saturday morning

Saturday morning typically involves crochet in the car, while listening to a TED talk.  Lovely stuff. Inspiration, creation and peace, all wrapped up in a one hour space.

Soon enough, the ballet lesson is over. I'll look forward to the next one though.

11 Nov 2011


My loving husband tells me today it's five years since we committed to buying this house. Fancy that! We haven't done much to it, except replaced the oven.

We still live with an indoor brick wall, look regularly at where the paint tends to peel on the kitchen ceiling, and consider how we really do need to put up curtains as well as the blinds that came with the house.

If its been home for this long, maybe we should start working on making it feel more homelike. Since we both have the clutter gene, this is more complicated.

Or maybe we should just move instead. Not really.

10 Nov 2011

Organizing for summer

Well, actually, more Christmas, as that's the most exciting part of summer.

Today was busy - no time for sewing, despite the machine still being setup on the dining table.

I took the kids over to my sister's this afternoon, where they enjoyed playing with their cousins, as always. Meanwhile, she and I discussed making Christmas foods, and made one important decision.

This year, we're having an official Christmas cocktail. And that is the sole productive thing to come out of today - a single decision. If you've any suggestions for a festive, summery cocktail, please share!

9 Nov 2011

Peaceful piecing

Lovely afternoon - I was sewing, Annabelle drawing, Lucas playing Harry Potter with Lego. All busy. All happy. Bliss.

8 Nov 2011

Online Life

I've just spent the last hour trying to gain access to a parenting website.  Having been a member for nearly 11 years, it's been part of my life for a long time.  Having said that, I was surprised at how personally affronted I felt.  Not that I am a big part of the community or anything - I average  1/2 a post per day.  It's just part of my day.

Having finally been readmitted, the first topic that caught my eye was questioning if all blogging is narcissist.  Well.  Possibly.  For me it's more about record keeping, monitoring my own satisfaction, and validation.

When I first realised that everyday people could blog, it was quite an astounding idea.  I was spending all day with my two very small children, and had just moved away from friends and family. Starting my blog gave me an area where I was me. Still a parent, but me.

As I'm reading more widely now, I've come to realise I've missed the boat with making money from my blog - it's not pretty enough, or regular enough, and I'm not selling anything.  I'm interested in those who are, but it's fine that I'm just blogging. This month I'm trying to post daily, but it's Ok if I don't.

And since I hate a post without a picture, here's a wordle of my blog;

7 Nov 2011

Swim like a fish

Or a mammal.

In the last few days, we've shown our holiday photos to various family members. We've enjoyed it, and I think they have too. It's been nice thinking of little adventures we had during the trip, like getting soaked by orcas at Seaworld. Such a thrill.

My own little mammals had their first day of school-based swimming lessons today. They were fine, although a little tentative. I'm really keen on these classes, as the daily lessons seem to result in more progress than weekly sessions.

DH had the day off, suffering with hayfever, which put paid to my crafting plans. However, the decks are cleared ready for tomorrow.

6 Nov 2011

Family Sunday

A busy day, preparing for a casual dinner for some family we haven't seen for a while. Happy cleaning (now that's a bizarre thought), and the first barbecue of the season. Lovely.

Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to cutting some fabric.

5 Nov 2011


An afternoon spent colouring and glittering butterflies for her room has my girl perfectly happy. Since it was a reward for cleaning the room, I'm also happy.

4 Nov 2011

Whales and rockpools

Last weekend, mum and I took the kids out to a local headland looking for whales. We spotted some of the migrating humpbacks, but they weren't very close, so we descended to the rocks. Lots of treasures to be found. Such a treat, now we're living so far from the coast.

3 Nov 2011

Annoying quilting

Today I've been doing a little quilting. Only a little, since I'm having trouble with my thread shredding in the needle. I've tried all of the obvious fixes, and nothing works for longer than ten minutes or so. It's been very frustrating.

Attending the Canberra Quilters meetings always gives me some motivation to get in and sew - possibly I should attend more meetings!

2 Nov 2011

Chooky love

I love having chooks in our yard.

They give us lovely eggs - so fresh that the whites stand up, as well as the yolks do.

They also provide cuddles when you're feeling worried. Grade One are doing their end of year tests at present, and we are enduring nightly hysterical sobbing. She's worried because she can't get everything right, and then her grades will fall, and then the world will end. Well, I made up the last one, but that expresses the feelings of horror she's experiencing.

I'm horrified, because this is year one. We've a long, long way to go.

So once again, I'm off to the library, for information on boosting self esteem, relieving anxiety in children, and general how-to-fix-your-children's-worries type books.

After I've read these, it'll be time to return to quilting.

Edited to add; when I arrived at school this afternoon, I asked how the test went. She told me it was fine, and that there was no reason to worry!!!!!

1 Nov 2011

How to make a broom

First, collect lots of jacaranda twigs off your grandparents back lawn.
Second, ask for help from your loving grandmother to attach said twigs to the broom handle.

24 Oct 2011


We've been home a week now, and are settling back into routine. The last of the jet lag seems to have worn off, which is a good thing. 5am is really too early to be waking as a general rule.

I did notice that I could eat breakfast much more easily while I was waking earlier though (typically I don't want to eat until 9 or so, which is a bad thing.) Maybe I should start rising earlier just to facilitate breakfast? But then, I don't want to wake anyone else up, which usually happens by just walking down the hallway.

Mostly, this week has been spent getting the house back into order. My prolonged illness, followed by obsessive organizing for the holiday, left chaos in it's wake. It's clean again now, although (as always) there is a desperate need for decluttering and organization. So once again I've signed up with Flylady.

My holiday crochet project is progressing well, and I'm enjoying seeing the Kauni wool rainbow colours emerge.

The other part of today's photo is the mystery ingredient I bought while doing the groceries. Lemons! Delicious, and full of potential. Lemon meringue? Prawn salad? Lemon and garlic chicken?

I tried to shake things up in the meal planning department by getting each family member to choose a meal. I gave them some cookbooks to look through, and hoped for the best. Not so exciting - one chose toasted sandwiches, another quesadillas (which are really just toasted sandwiches using tortillas instead of sandwich bread) and the other couldn't bring herself to choose anything except desserts. Maybe they'll be better at it next week.

20 Oct 2011

Home again

We left home on September 30, and returned on October 17. Twelve days of theme parks, one day of swimming around a luxurious pool, one day of sleeping and shopping, and quite a bit of travel time.

Excellent holiday.

29 Sep 2011

Finding the joy

I'm somewhat overwhelmed at present. It's hard to find joy when I'm so worried about everything.

So many lists, trepidation regarding the long flights with my children, whilst my husband is somewhere on a different plane.

Quiet time can be hard to find when you're all sharing a room. I'm hoping to make quieter time through crochet, reading and headphones.

I am looking forward to warm, humid air. That'll be nice. And its only a treat thanks to our climate here. Which also gives us lovely spring blooms.

The whingeing is over. I'm going on a holiday, and I WILL enjoy myself!

28 Sep 2011

Preparations continue

With less than 48 hours remaining till we leave, I've got down to the really important stuff.  This morning, I've been making iPod and iPad cases.

Now that critical job is out of the way, perhaps I can get to deal with actual.... clothes packing.

26 Sep 2011

Random photos

Found on the memory card....

24 Sep 2011

Creative burst

With a week to go, I think we've booked everything necessary for our holiday. Our dollar is dropping, but I'm hoping it will rebound.

I've been evaluating our wardrobes, and as a result have finished two new skirts for Annabelle, with plenty of help from my mother and sister.

Oh, how I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics! I might have to whip myself up one of these...

16 Sep 2011

Current obsessions

This week has been absorbed by planning. I don't have time to do anything creative, when I have to learn EVERYTHING there is to know about Orlando this week. It looks like we are definitely going, although nothing has been actually booked, except Mr Puggle's conference attendance.

The cold has been persistent, but my voice is finally returning - I haven't had to whisper yet today, for which I am very grateful. Both children are slightly offcolour - a bit of a cough, a slight temperature, putting themselves to bed early (!?) but I really hope they fight it off.

Lucas learnt how to play chess on the weekend, and is very

keen to play anytime. He taught his 5 year old cousins the basics too, and they all seemed to have a good time playing.

12 Sep 2011

September sometime

Creativity has come to a full stop. It's been all I can do to keep the routine going, while collapsing during school hours.

In very good news, my Mum came home from England last week, where she's been having a fab time playing with my sister's children, walking a Spanish pilgrims trail, and doing very fancy needlework classes. She and Dad came over for a flying visit yesterday, and brought some great souvenirs with her. For me there was a Cath Kidston handbag, and a pack of Liberty hankies. Lovely, lovely things.

My voice is still absent, so I'm whispering to everyone, which seems independent of the vocal cords. So it was extra nice to be with Mum and Dad - talking, (and soaking up some sympathy!)

I'm feeling marginally better today, and am feeling optimistic that things might improve. I'm not going to commit to making though, because I've already used up a fair bit of energy with the washing and vacuuming, and still have the groceries to go.

9 Sep 2011

Day Eight

Yesterday was pretty much a wipeout as far as creativity goes. Some serious couch time didn't leave room for anything except playing with my grandmothers buttons. The children had earlier been playing bowerbirds with the buttons, and they really caught my attention.