Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Unexpected Cat

We have a cat!

On Friday I received a group email from a friend, looking for a home for her cat. Her new baby is suffering from eczema and she had sadly decided that her cats needed to be out of their lives.

Yesterday we went to visit them, and came home with a cat!

So Myshkin, the Russian Blue, is settling into our home!

We are all enjoying having him here, he's very placid and easy-going.

Last year we had another cat, Millie, come to visit,

but Myshkin is even easier to live with than Millie

(his good behaviour is one of the reasons I said "yes"!)

It's all still on a trial basis, after all, my skin might not cope with a cat, either.
(Even though I can't spell eczema in a hurry, I still live with it on a daily basis)

In the meantime, Myshkin is feeling right at home!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Granny Square Rug

Last week I started another crochet project - a granny square rug to use up my woollen yarns which have lived in a box for years. Since no one round here is going to wear wool, and these just aren't my colours anyway (what was I thinking in the early 90s, I wonder?) ... I decided to use them up productively by crocheting a rug and giving it away.

I'm hoping to find an organisation that gives rugs to people in need. Perhaps a homeless man will appreciate this rug. Since taking this photo last week I've done about as many rows again, and am starting to wonder just how far my wool supply will go ... well, if I have to I'll buy a few balls to make it a decent size.

I'm enjoying making it, and see the transformation from 'useless ball of yarn' to 'useful warm item' is very satisfying, especially considering that about 6 weeks ago I didn't even know how to crochet!

Elizabethan Assignment

Emily had an assignment due last week, so last weekend a good amount of time was spent researching, writing and decorating two letters supposedly written by a young person present at a royal command Shakespearean performance.

She did a wonderful job.
She wrote the two letters in Elizabethan style (as found here) and printed them in CloisterBlack font.
The costumes were inspired especially by The Enchanted Dolls House books and drawn in black ink then watercoloured.

The letters were transported by horseback (schoolbus) to their recipient (the English teacher) in an authentic leather (suede fabric) pouch, tied with leather.

A girl after my own heart ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fresh Bread!

On Monday I bought a bread machine! I've been thinking about it for so long, and finally got one. That afternoon I made sticky cinnamon rolls with pecan for afternoon tea - yum!

And just now I've taken out our first loaf baked in the machine, a fruit loaf. Can't wait to try it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last-Minute High School Musical costume How-To

Today at school the girls could dress as a character from a "school" movie - Grease, High School Musical, Hogwarts, School of Rock etc., or they could just wear mufti.

Emily mentioned this to me a day or two ago, and then last night at bedtime (9.00pm):

"I wanted to dress as a cheerleader from HSM!"

ummm ... not possible!

"Let me think about it"

... a bit of googling ...

and this is what I came up with. A white and red felt E stitched onto a red jacket Emily already had. She put the rest of the outfit together, and voila, a very cute East High School student, ready for school!

I used the Rockwell font to print out a large E, which I used as a pattern to cut a white felt E. I then cut a larger red E and an even larger white E (I just eyeballed these, didn't use a pattern - hence the slight wonkiness ...) I pulled out the sewing machine and topstitched through all the layers, then basted the whole thing onto the jacket by hand.

Time taken: 10minutes
Wearer satisfaction: high!
(better than mufti but not too conspicuous either)

As a bonus, E is of course Emily's initial, so she's going to keep this E on the jacket for a while.

Curly Crochet Scarf

I have finished my first real crochet project - a curly spirally mohair scarf.

I started making this for my mum for Mothers Day, but decided that it wasn't really her style, so I'll be giving it to someone else. It's not quite my style either, and I can't wear mohair, anyway. The good news is that I've found a more suitable yarn to make a scarf for Mum's birthday in June, so I'll start making that soon.

I used a Jo Sharp mohair, my local store didn't have the recommended Rowan Kidsilk Haze
It was very quick to crochet, being only 6 rows. The first 5 rows were fun but the last row with so many chains and bobbles was a bit tedious!

The pattern is from the book Crochet Designs by Tess Dawson. I borrowed it from the library and am hoping to crochet a few more garments from it before I have to return it!

I love the way the scarf curls around and looks like coral. It looks light and fragile, but the yarn is surprisingly strong. Overall I'm pretty happy that I could make something like this having just recently learnt to crochet.

I hope someone can enjoy wearing it soon!

Vintage Thingie Thursday

Oh it's been so long since I participated in Vintage Thingie Thursday, but it's SO good to be back!

Today I'm sharing with you my latest op-shop find - this lovely green jug.

I think I love Grindley jugs more than any other ceramic item! Their colours, their simple yet elegant shape, and just their round friendliness ... they make me want to have a tea party everyday!

This mark was used by Grindley from 1936-1954.

I am always drawn to single-colour pottery, somehow, and Meakin china.

Yes, unfortunately this one I found the other day does have a chip in it, but I don't mind.

Oh no.

I was happy to pay $5.00 for it, because you see it looks just fine with these jugs

... especially in the dresser.

Which I'm thinking of painting.
Maybe a creamy colour, or a pale green ...

... but not the same pale green as the wall ...

What do you think?

Thanks for looking, and please check out other pretty vintage thingies here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Happy Camper

After two years of watching her older sister head off to camp after camp, it is Laura's turn at last!
Today she headed off for a 3-day school camp, and she couldn't have been more excited!
But we'll miss her so much!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Granny Square Rug

This is what I've been working on the last few days! A granny square rug in lovely cotton colours!

Although I can't really call it work, I am loving every moment, seeing the colours come together and the square getting bigger day by day ...

to the point where I've decided I have to work on something else

to make the lovely making of this rug

last longer than a week ...

so I'll dig out some of my old unloved woollen yarns, which no one around here will want, and make a granny square rug to give away.

In the meantime I'm still working at the cushion cover in between other projects, and it's coming along, too.

Just as well I only learnt to crochet in April or we'd be knee-deep in rugs and cushions here by now ...

Dressed for a Grey Day

I had a little chuckle when I began baking this afternoon, and glanced down.

A long apron
(refashioned from a very old dress)

over a long denim skirt
(quite an old skirt)

over stripey knee-high socks
(that make me feel like a munchkin)

with my cute Ecco shoes

... not quite sure if I'm more Dorothy

or munchkin


Or perhaps more like The Patchwork Girl of Oz, (one of the later Oz characters)!

I can't help also but think of The Green Queen getting dressed on a grey day ...

In any case I am warm and comfy, which is the main thing!

Due to some nerve problems on my hips I've been avoiding my usual jeans wardrobe and going for skirts lately. Which makes for interesting outfits when I also want to keep my legs warm AND wear good supportive shoes!

(But I'm glad I don't need to wear my apron out in public! )

Friday, May 14, 2010

Enjoying the Chill

I haven't been posting much,

this week has been a little busier than usual,

and besides,

I can't manage too far away from this

or the heater

or chocolate.

Sad but true.

Even photographing the plethora (cough cough) of completed knitting and crocheting projects is too much effort.

Maybe tomorrow ....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

I have had a lovely Mothers Day, starting with presents this morning and then all going to church, home for some delicious take-away Indian food, a quick walk, then off to my parents for much more food and meeting with family. A quick visit to Steve's mum and now home again. It was a lovely warm day, almost too warm in winter clothes!

At church every mother was given a lovely long-stemmed rose!
(very hard to photograph with a 10-year-old bouncing around in the background!)

My family gave me lovely presents, including several types of chocolates, candied peanuts, some alphabet rub-ons, and 3 DVDs - Julia & Julia, North by North-West, and Green Card. So I'm looking forward to watching the movie and eating the chocolates simultaneously ASAP! (But no DVD tonight when a new series of my favourite show Foyle's War begins on the ABC! That won't stop me eating any chocolate, of course ...)

Laura gave me a very cute present, courtesy of the school Mothers Day stall.

A very cute ladybird on a chain.

When you squeeze the antennae, a watch is revealed! Very cute and wearable!

Yesterday the girls and I bought some new clothes, Laura got this lovely cardigan, she is so sweet and cuddly in it!

I bought a dress and some skirts, plus tights and leggings to wear them with. I'm hoping they'll all be comfortable and practical. I just can't stand being uncomfortable in my clothes! The pinafore I am wearing today (above) is so comfy, made in a knit fabric - I wish I had one in every colour!

We've been doing lots of knitting and crocheting here lately, I'm looking forward to showing it to you soon.

Hope you have had a lovely Mothers Day too!