Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chest Clutching

I'm slow to catch on to things I know that . Amy Winehouse isn't exactly news today but my god, what a voice this woman has. I was at the hairdressers yesterday and heard the song "Tears dry on their own" and pictured in my head a generous black singer from the 50's. You see this small, frail, damaged woman and the amazing voice that she has. I've watched a few of her clips today of this song here and here and WOW, this song has really got to me. It's not just the song, it's knowing that she has had a god awful time of things, knowing that someone so gifted, really gifted, can be so self destructive, so terribly sad. Thanks for the music though Amy, bring on so so much more.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Finished Ella's although had to do quite a bit of adjusting. Twoandsix has altered the adult pattern down to child size, but as Ella's 5 1/2, I felt it would be too small. I knitted the adult pattern, but I think tweed knits a bit looser so I had to adjust half way though. As a result I have a more rounded top than the cute little peak on the others. She likes it though and that's what counts.

Hard to get a photo with teeth at the moment, but I must, as her top centre ones are hanging on by only a thread, so her look will change a lot, very soon.

A special car ride

Leila was very unwell this week. A fever overnight turned into a quiet Thursday, little activity, lots of dvds. That turned into violent vomitting, more temperatures, sore back and neck, then a meningal like rash on her face and neck. This resulted in a mad dash to the GP, a shot of pencillin there, leaving with a referral in hand for the emergency room with us having instructions about blood tests and "better to be safe than sorry". That led to a rather scarey experience at our local public emergency room. The waiting room was like something out of ER - an old man on a gurney just lying in the waiting room, another old lady with a flu mask sitting in a corner in a wheelchair, a guy with a bloodied leg and a lot of dissatisfaction in the air. We both looked at each other and decided "uh uh" and left. We came home and called an ambulance. Our GP once said that if in doubt and really concerned, call an ambulance and you'll get care straight away.
We've only had one other experience with Ella when she was only 1 - much scarier in a lot of respects. We woke to Ella straining to breathe, crying with the strain of it. The paramedics and the paedeatric unit arrived within minutes, lights blaring. She had an acute case of croup, so off we went, as we did on Thursday night, to the Childrens. In both cases amazing ambos and great care at the Childrens. Benny bear, the subject photo of this post, was a distraction from Ben, our paramedic.
Leila's fine, they observed her for a few hours, then sent us home. Friday she was fine, you wouldn't know she'd been so unwell. Monkeys these babes, but a healthy monkey is far better than any other kind.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I have almost finished Ella's hat and am about 2/3 through Leila's so went for more wool supplies today. I'm going to give socks a go, not decided if I'll do four needles or magic loop for my first try, but I have the wool, isn't it beautiful. It's a Jitterbug wool from Wales.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What have I been watching?

We celebrated Pa's birthday (my dad) at our place today. We usually have my parents to lunch for their birthdays.

On the menu today were starters/nibbles of bruschetta with herbed feta topped with pepperonata then beef ragu on homemade papardelle and then for dessert .... croquembouche and a few chocolate eclairs for the not so fond of custard guests. Of course I didn't remember to take a photo until after the spun sugar had started to dissolve and it had been partially consumed. I halved this recipe and still only had enough custard to fill half of my individual balls. Only one burn and really very yum - worth a try for the WOW effect.


My favourite cut flowers, in all colours, probably the darker pinks and reds the most. I love them when they're fresh, standing tall and ever so straight. I also love them when they're almost at the end and taking up more space on the table with their droopy, twisty stretches.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In the round

I came across Two Little Buttons hats, which I loved, which led me to the adjusted pattern at TwoandSix and from there to the original Ravelry pattern. The girls each chose their own wool - Ella the flecked magenta tweed and Leila the plainer olivey green. I've never used round needles before and it's fun, not at all daunting as I'd perhaps imagined. I would also LOVE to make some cashmere socks, cabled ones, but when the lady in the wool shop said you use four, read F.O.U.R needles to knit socks, I lost my enthusiasm for it - I think that's beyond me!

Yesterday I stocked up on wool supplies, some cross stitch fabric and threads and also some new fabric to make myself a quilted scarf. I can't read more than one book at a time, but I now feel very content knowing I have a number of hand based (rather than machine) activities just at my finger tips. Another tick on my list.

Trying to


Trying to paint.

Trying to escape.

Good thing he's cute!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Productive distraction

I was working on Leila's quilt during the week when Ella asked me if she could have an offcut from the batting, a long scarf like piece of bamboo batting. She was wearing it as a head shawl and asking if she could keep it to use for exactly that. At this point I became distracted "would you like me to make it into a really special scarf" to which she answered "yes pleeeeease". So, with thoughts of Ella and Leslie in mind I made one for Ella the first day and one for Leila the second. The back of Ella's is an old fine wool jumper that had a hole in I couldn't fix - I didn't have a green one for Leila's so hers is just homespun on the reverse. So much fun to make, so cheery, there's one in the works for me too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tournez a droit

Thank you all so much for your kind and supportive words on my Direction post. It always makes me feel better to share the pain. I know it's not original but knowing your feelings are not unique, that you're not alone in the challenges you face, it is encouraging, it feels like you're supported. I haven't "met" any of you, and yet your words make me feel better.

So, I'm turning right, I'm facing a new direction and trying to get the mindset to match.

I realised ways to improve my immediate situation, some I can do something about NOW, others are more a work in progress.

1. My youngest monkey is just that, a monkey. I have been losing patience with her too much too often. She's not naughty, but she definitely knows her own mind. My first born is a very compliant child, very obedient, yet when I write that I find I cringe a bit. I've found Leila a challenge because she has known from a very young age what she does and doesn't want and it doesn't often coincide with mummy's first preference. I was yelling, too much, I'm not proud of it. It wasn't working, I felt out of control and it showed. I have been taking deeper breathes, asking not demanding, giving her time to come around to what I would like her to do, being more appreciative of her efforts, and it seems to be paying off. I have have read Krista's blog for ages and love it, but have often dismissed her NVD writings. Perhaps that's something I should pay more attention to.
Image from Vlitig

2. I have to make more time for me. I've enrolled in this - something I have wanted to do for the longest time and Geoff has committed to get home in time for me to do it, which is a HUGE deal for him with the hours he works. Thank you my love. Hopefully my ability will match my enthusiasm! The images above are care of Vlitig - yet another example of her many talents - but I love their shape and would love to make something similar of my own.

3. I am reading more and watching less crap on tv. It's too easy, to switch on and surf for the least objectionable show - something we did far too often. This is a surprisingly hard habit to kick - I realise how much I feel the need to complete shut down and disconnnect, Geoff too. A good book really helps provide the motivation to resist the crud.

Image from Pigeon Pair

4. Creating. I haven't been doing anything for a while. A lot of the stuff I do tends to be machine based, rather than handwork, and as my sewing room is our dining table, Geoff isn't too keen for me to crank it up at all hours - see 3. mindless tv. I love Christie's handwork, but she's so gorgeously precise, I'm not sure I have such lovely straight, neat stiches in me. My mum did cross stiches for many years, she has some gorgeous patterns, perhaps that's more my thing.

The biggest check remaining on my list to tackle, for now at least, is fitness. I've been doing a dvd I have at home, but haven't yet managed a memership anywhere. I just can't find a spot for it, the ongoing sessions that is - pathetic I know, if I wanted to I would. I am full of exercise excuses I know that, but I'm trying, little by little. Anyone in the eastern suburbs who needs a motivating exercise buddy - drop me a line - I work better when I'm letting someone else down if I skip a class!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Choo Choo

A family outing, Puffing Billy, timeless fun.

There's a lot I can see that's appealing about living in the hills, but Geoff is so not into the idea of it. If there were a business we both wanted to do then I think it could work, but he's a Melbourne city boy, and honestly, it's not fair to expect anyone to do a commute like that who didn't embrace it wholeheartedly.

And yes, I was holding on to them SUPER tight!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Photo care of freefotouk on flickr

I am currently feeling a real lack of direction and purpose. I'm a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, but along the way I've lost sight of who I am to me.
I am like so many other mums who take no time for themselves, who put any of their own activities to the bottom of the list of priorities. Sure, I sew and do activities within the home, while the girls are out or asleep, but I rarely leave Geoff in charge and have activities solely for me. It's not because there aren't things I want to do, it's because I don't like to be away. It's that old hook - you resent not having time to yourself, but when you do, you just keep thinking of home.
I feel fatigued and unhealthy. I'm not exercising. I find it hard to make time for it in my days, but I really NEED to. For the first time ever I feel I've reached that point where I feel being unfit and is actually making me feel weary. I have a constant feeling of lethargy, doing anything, is hard work. Perhaps it's not just physical, it's also the mental preparation, being proactive, I've just lost it - for now.
I need to make some changes. I know I need to fit exercise in and that I'll feel better for it, but gosh, the week is so busy, I hate having to rush somewhere every day. Perhaps I've got too much time on my hands to think - that's probably part of the problem, my lethargy means I'm doing less which means I think more and round and round it goes.
I'm waffling, I need to make a list, before that though I need to get a childrens meal ready, get snacks and swimming gear packed for lessons after school and another bag with the pj's and shower stuff for afterwards.
I'll come back, when I've figured out my plan of attack. It may be a few days in coming ....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


It's taken me a while to get shots of our little boy, and even these aren't great, he simply doesn't sit still long enough. As you can see, Leila adores him, at times a little too much, but he doesn't really protest too strongly.

He's settled in really well, although I had a meltdown yesterday. We went out for about an hour and I didn't lock him in his room because he is so comfortable and hasn't made a mess anywhere. When we got back, do you think I could find him anywhere? I tore the place apart and could not find any sign of him. In the lounge, in the hearth of our blocked up fireplace, there was a little pile of ash from the chimney. I convinced myself he'd got in that gap (he can really climb) so I tore up the blocking and then with the sheer chimney not an option, was convinced he had squeezed in the gap on one side into the wall cavity. I was in tears, completely distressed thinking he'd die in the wall, I was so close to cutting out some plasterboard, seriously. After over an hour I was on the phone with my dad talking options, went to sit on the very bottom corner of my bed and felt a lump..... I had thrown back all the covers on every bed from the top, but hadn't checked at the bottom. Somehow he'd scooted down under the doona and sheet and was sleeping in the very bottom tucked in corner. Now I know how cheeky he is, I won't stress quite so much when I can't find him, but I have blocked up the chimney again, extra securely.