Saturday, August 25, 2007

Flashback Friday

Well, this is the best t-shirt shot I could find - couldn't find anything more incriminating! This is me somewhere close to two years old?, in 1981. My t-shirt says: My grandma and grandpa went to San Francisco but all I got was this dumb t-shirt!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thrifted Thursday

Hit the Salvos today, and guess what I found?

First, a full-length black velvet dress, really not my style, but consisting of copious yards of fabric, and I instantly thought: cushions, alongside some print or other. Nabbed it for $10 and now we just have to see if I DO something with it, or just store it in the cupboard for ten years (my husband will be groaning when he reads this!).

Then, after dumping a pile of clothes in front of the sales assistant? volunteer?, I was poking through the basket of jewellery they have right there, as they do, and I found this:
It's funny, cos I'm really not one for wearing one's name around the place but I just had to buy this. For one thing, it was the only one in the basket, just this little wrist band in amongst heavy gold earrings and chunky old necklaces and plastic clip-ons - and there's my name on it, or technically my nickname, but the right spelling and everything! Like it was just waiting for me to come along! For another thing, I kind of liked how it felt kitchy and cool at the same time - kitch to wear one's name, and a rhinestone-studded heart, but cool cos the style of the letters is at odds with the curvy-pretty heart, and the metal (esp. the clasp) is smooth and shiny. And hell, for $3.75, it wasn't going to break the bank!

I put it on as soon as I got home, after I laid out all my finds on the couch. Later on I was looking at it again and it hit me that it says, Love Bec, like a reminder to me to love myself, to cut myself some slack when I'm stressed and judgemental and losing it with the kids, to take myself off to bed to rest when the achiever part of me wants to stay up late and knit or blog or read or whatever, to put some effort into making good food for myself... lots of different things, but yeah, what a cool message... (but hehe I'm staying up right now!)

And as if bringing home a bag of goodies wasn't enough, at home a parcel had arrived from Stitch Cleveland - I ordered it late Friday night last week, so I wasn't expecting it for a while yet! Gotta love a good postal service (not like b/w here and Canada - dunno what's going on there, but if Gord's family sends us stuff, it invariably takes months to arrive - grrr)! (Don't mind me nekkid in the background!)
The funny thing is, going by the colour on my monitor, I thought this yarn was blue, but it's actually more purple! Now I'm totally happy about that - purple is eminently useable - but yeah, it reminds me of the tricky aspects of ordering anything coloured online. Don't really know a way of getting around it though - any hints, anyone?

Talking about yarn, I bought this pink and red pile recently to make this for one of Piper's friends. Her mother and I were bemoaning the fact that it pretty much had to be pink to be well-liked by the four-year-old! What is it with pink and little girls?? I figure the red will help mitigate the rosy onslaught!
Now, I realise I've neglected to write anything about the stitching night last week. I got all hyped about Magnolia Square and I forgot all about the beautiful matryoshka doll I began embroidering. Tried to take some photos of it this arvo, but the light was all wrong - I'll try again another time. I haven't worked on my tea towel since, but I will! Yeah, it was a great night - I enjoyed talking to those closest to me - loved the quietly industrious vibe - loved Pip and her attentive hospitality! Thanks to all who were there, for making the space what it was...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Flashback Monday

I only just joined the Flashback Friday surf ring (see link at right) so I'm a bit late posting my costume flashback. Here I am with my friend Tessa at kinder in 1983 - I'm in the black. We even put on a fashion parade (the one and only time I've been on a cat walk)!
Here's me the following year in a fairy costume my grandmother hired for me.
This day is seared into my memory, actually, as it culminated with a rather painful incident! One of the boys was being nasty to my friends and so I whipped him with my wand (as any righteous fairy would!). Unfortunately I caught him on the ear and he had to go and get stitches! Whoops! And yeah, my Dad gave me the biggest smack on the kinder steps... I can still remember exactly where it happened! But hey I'll cut my Dad some slack cos he's changed a lot since then, and now I have two kids, so I understand how they can push your buttons...!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Magnolia Square

Today my friend and I hit Magnolia Square, a craft fair here in Melbourne. I think you have to be invited to exhibit stuff there, so it's all pretty classy stuff. I found out about it through blogland (of course!). Ahhhh, retail therapy - you gotta love it! Here's what treasures I came home with:

Two plush duckies, by Gertie and Me, for two babies yet to be born. I think I'll knit baby hats to go with them...

Some ultra-cute magnets, by Little Chipipi, which I'll send out with some cards I plan to make (one of these days!)...

A gorgeous set of mail stamps, from I've forgotten who - whoops. We're heading to Canada in a couple of months, for ten months, and I'm on the lookout for cool letter-writing stuff, so I can send fun mail to my friends...

Here's my favourite (and most expensive) purchase! Me and my new bag, by Bell + Watson.

And here's what I bought from Auntie Cookie's stand, two cards, two badges and an applique pack...

I was hoping to meet Shannon (alias Auntie Cookie) - in fact, it's kind of what got me to the market - but she was coming down later. However, I was totally stoked to meet three other bloggers who I keep track of: Joanne of Teacup, Samantha of whizzme, and Angela of Three Buttons and Sew Your Own. I got the low down on the copying controversy, which was helpful. Amazing that people in the craft scene feel they can't be creative enough to come up with their own stuff. Anyway, it was ACE to meet these people in the flesh - makes reading their blogs that much more personal. And they knew my blog, which was so gratifying - hey, it's way better feedback than I get from most of my extended family, who I originally started blogging for.

Lastly, I would have bought these shoes by Chook Leaf for Piper (the Spanish Stripes in the pink/red colour scheme), but they didn't have her size. (I was very tempted by the Pullet boots too...) I can order them online though...

So to sum up: Magnolia Square, very fun but hard on the hip pocket!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And now for some pleasant mail!

Wow, look what arrived in the post today! (albeit while I was lying down attempting to take a nap - really must remember to abstain from coffee in the morning if I'm planning to hit the sack in the arvo - let's just say I was rather wired! However, I had a whole lot of creative ideas while horizontal, so it wasn't a total loss)

So yeah, some lush fabric from Matatabi that I bought totally on a whim (late at night!), but man, I love them all! No excuse not to drag out the sewing machine now!

Some super cute character prints: the little gingerbread man (in the foreground), pink with hedgehogs, Sleeping Beauty(!), and characters from a Japanese fairy tale (that one was a bonus for forking out my cash!)...

Mice with apples (not that you can make them out too well in this shot!), pink cats, and squirrels on linen - what's not to love?!

Elephants and mushrooms, mmmm green...

And lookey here, she was willing to face the flash today - here's Piper in the cardigan that took me forever to finish (not that the pattern was hard or anything; in fact, it's a great pattern, I highly recommend it, and as I've said before, I love the wool. Both pattern and wool are by Vero).

And guess where I'm off to in about ten minutes???

STITCHING NIGHT AT MEET ME AT MIKES!!!! My first ever proper attempt at embroidery, except for this...

Monday, August 13, 2007

PC almost a PB!

Just did my first provisional cast on, with a crochet hook, thanks to this tutorial (scroll down past the invisible cast on, which looks like trying to spin a web on one's fingers!)! I have been putting this off for a while - I knew I needed total focus, and that's somewhat hard to come by. However, now the kiddos and the main man are in bed and I have this window. I'm feeling annoyed at the main man anyway, so feel no compulsion to go to bed - ha!

But really, I was just scared of this new technique, that's the bottom line... Once I got the hang of it, I didn't want to stop in case I lost the knack. And then I realised, it really isn't that hard! Funny how the unknown can seem so immense. I love how there's always something more to learn, with knitting (in my case, there's a whole world of knitting out there just waiting).

Anyway, I'm just raving on cos it's late. I'm gonna sit up and knit a hat for myself, with my brand new cast on...

And aren't these so beautiful!

Oh yeah, I finally finished the cardigan for Piper, but she hasn't yet let me take a picture of it on her. I'll have to sneak one sometime. It looks perfect on her - I think I just love the colours (red/pink/purple), and she loves the purple heart buttons... So bummer, no photos for this post, but here's one of her tackling an icecream in Kuranda, NQLD, a couple of weeks ago!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Extemes in the mail

This is the wristwarmer I started while visiting family in Atherton, QLD. I'm halfway through the second one and have been wondering whether I should give them to a friend whose birthday is coming up this weekend. This is a somewhat familiar dilemma: my desire to give a special gift takes priority over my desire to own yummy knitted stuff myself. After ruminating on this for a couple of days, I've decided to keep them for me, and buy my friend a good book. Feels like a good decision... (Here's me peeking into the neighbour's yard!)

The next issue is whether the black mohair (I'm knitting these with a strand of DK and a strand of mohair per colour) will go the distance. I should have divided it into two equal balls before I started, but oh well. Perhaps I will just leave it out, once it runs out, and then I'll have slightly mismatched wristwarmers made entirely with yarn from my stash, which will still feel quite satisfying, I believe...

And look what I've got in my hot little (fuzzy) hands - the premiere issue of mix tape zine! (And note the dishes done! But I confess, not by me, by a friend - thanx Jane!)

I've been reading the blogs of the editors, Nichola and Justine, saw that they were putting it together, and decided to buy it. I love that it's so local - they're both based in Melbourne - and combines craft / life with kids / recipes / enviro stuff. Haven't read it all yet - I'm savouring it! Nichola and Justine met up through blogland, found out they lived near each other, and became fast friends. I think that is so cool - so cool when the internet helps forge local connections, rather than perpetuating global loneliness...

Talk about extremes - on the same day I received this delicious zine, I also got hit with a speeding ticket! Didn't know whether to wriggle excitedly or swear and moan... Haven't paid the ticket yet. I have to psych up for these things. It's particularly galling, because... here's the saga! I was clocked 8km over the limit at 5am while I was heading to the airport a couple of weeks ago (to head up north). $138 for that, thankyou, come again! I knew I was speeding, but I was following my cousin, who had half of our luggage in her car, and I knew that if we got split up, it was going to be tricky finding her again at the airport. So she's hooning along, and it was all I could do to stick on her tail. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to wake up! My lesson is, next time, get my Mum, who was with me in the car, to ring her to ask if she could slow down a little. And now that I've copped this fine, I bloody hope she has too!!! (Just kidding, Kelli... well, half-kidding!)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Been away...

Just spent twelve rather impromptu days in Atherton, near Cairns. We'd planned to go up for a bit of a holiday later in the year but then my grandmother became sick, so it made sense to move it forward. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I haven't had any internet access for the whole time and therefore haven't been able to update this little blog. My previous post, dated only yesterday, was actually a draft from before I left that was just awaiting a few photos. Thought I'd post it anyway, even if it is late!

I took some knitting with me but didn't get to do much. For the first week I had the two kids to deal with by myself, with a bit of help from my dad, who travelled up with us. Felt like I hardly had time to scratch myself, let alone think of knitting! Once my partner arrived later, I was able to start a wrist warmer. Actually, I almost finished it, but I was hoping to finish perhaps two pairs, one for me and one for a friend! Slightly ambitious, for me anyway. I never seem to be able to accomplish as much as I would like to.

It was also more of a blokey space up there - we hung out a lot with my dad and his two brothers and my grandfather and my brother. Not to say blokes aren't crafty, but simply that the space tended more naturally towards backyard cricket, which is hardly my forte but I played anyway and enjoyed the run around!

Sorry for not having any photos to post, but we only got back early this morning (1am) and I really wanted to just get something up here...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Two items out the door

I've been trying to finish off a few bit and pieces lately. Spent an hour or two one evening with a friend which passed VERY quickly, but I did manage to sew the buttons on to this cardie which I started knitting before Jasper was even conceived! I haven't ever had to do loops for buttons before, and at the moment they're just literally a loop of wool. Dunno how long these will last - is there a proper/better way of creating a loop for a button. (Crochet?) Wouldn't you know it, he's almost too big for it already!

I also finished this (late!) present for a niece. I printed out the face on transfer paper and ironed it on, and then embroidered the text underneath - my first attempt at embroidery, so I'm pretty happy about that. The overall effect, though, makes for a rather quirky gift, not your usual Target or Pumpkin Patch purchase, or should I say Gap and Old Navy purchase, seeing as it will be making its way to Canada as soon as I manage to write a letter to go with it, and make it to the post office! Not sure how the mother of the recipient will take it (and really, that's who baby clothes are for, eh!) but oh well. Sending homemade gifts across the other side of the world is one of the few ways I can physically demonstrate my love... And they know I'm quirky already...

And I have finished one mitten! I remain hopeful that I will complete the second sometime soon, that this won't be a lonely single mitten for the rest of its life! The honeycomb pattern is interesting - makes for quite a thick glove. I haven't attempted any kind of blocking yet... It is also very warm, which is a good thing! I used waste yarn to knit an opening for the thumb hole, and even though I have never knitted a sock/mitten/glove before (the only extremities I've covered are heads), the pattern makes total sense to me. I realise I'm often able to visualise the finished outcome from reading through the pattern, which is helpful.

So yeaahhh, that's been it, lately, attempting to squeeze some crafting in, here and there, handballing my child at social events so I can pick up sticks... Feels bitsy and slow, but that's what I've got to work with at the moment. (Although, to my chagrin, I just discovered Auntie Cookie has two kids and still manages to create a prolific amount of things which are always gorgeous - how DOES she do it?? And what's my excuse going to be now??)