Monday, July 26, 2010


from a great mathematician

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another post brought to you by the colour green

Even a cursory glance around the blogosphere shows a variety of trends, and personally I love jumping on a bandwagon from time to time.

There is the viral granny square craft craze (I wish I had more patience for crochet, but I think even if I did, I don't have any need for more granny square rugs....the op shops have provided me with excess & probably will keep doing so for years to come!) I think this trend must be equivalent to the macrame making of my mother's era....remember those owl wall hangings?

There are food/recipe trends that I've happily integrated into our diets.....baking bread, meal planning, kale chips and now thanks to a personal endorsement by Michelle my latest addition, the green smoothie.

Good in so many ways, easier to clean up after than juicing, freshening in the sense of having to dash out into the frosty garden to collect an assortment of greens, filling in your tum, and they make you feel good. Perfect for days when porridge is not appealing. And given our current green glut these are super cheap, organic (no one sees those insect holes in a smoothie) & occasionally provide a bit of protein (did I mention organic?)

I'm a convert....but will control myself from going on & on & on about how good these are (because I easily could you know).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Creative Space - ice cream social

Having a creative space seems to be a constant battle here but I did sign up to this sew-a-long and have so far managed to almost finish my first ice cream top (hemming & button still to be stitched on). I made Adelaide a size 2 and it fits perfectly (she's pretty small for her age). A great top to wear over long sleeves in winter & perfect for covering up shoulders in summer. I can see me making many more of these in the years to come.

The bird fabric was from a bunch of op shop curtains I found a few years of my favourites that I plan to use more of soon.

More spaces (every week there seem to be more & more!) over at Kristy's

& now back to the morning mission of seeing if the rug is still there under all the paper, books, sultanas, toys, lounge cushions, discarded clothing, shoes & hopefully my camera!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

dirt :: hallelujah

I'm so glad last week is over.

I'm usually OK with rough days (or I accept they happen) but too many in a row is just, well, too many (combined with a good dose of sleeplessness :: all children contributing equally)

So today I got out & into the dirt.

For me gardening is rarely a chore,

:: it's a slowing down
:: breathing deeply
:: hands in the dirt
:: kind of sanity

The garden has been in free fall for a while now, left to fend for itself. In most instances this has been OK, although a little dry given how little rain we have had.

A quick wander revealed the good & bad of self seeding (my number one lazy-gardener tactic)


lambs lettuce (let this go to seed once & it will be your official winter salad green for life :: whether you like it or not)

in amongst the garlic or on the path....

more garlic and some self seeded miners lettuce (another friend for life)


all those self sown weeds now in the compost
(& before they set seed :: a small miracle)
ready for planting out

Back in March I convinced Tim that another raised bed would fit out the front of our place. It was installed with the help of my folks (and the smalls of the house).

I really like these raised beds. I get the deep beds so we can dig them in about 10-15cm all the way around to prevent grass growing into the beds. This bed provided many hours of dirt filled fun before the planting began.....

This bed was the 3rd we have put in & this time around the bed was filled with our compost & some delivered garden loam. When it was filled about halfway I put a soaker hose in it, curling it around but trying not to bend it. I put the end of the hose up one end, cut to the top of the garden bed (just refit the hose end). The rest of the bed was then filled up, covering the hose. This has meant that once seedlings get going with a bit of surface watering I can just attach the hose to the soaker hose fitting & leave it on a timer with all the water going directly to the roots. So far it has worked really well. The best part is that each day we pass the bed & can easily weed, water, plant or pick! This bed was always destined to be mostly for the smalls so that explains the insane mixture & quantity of plants now growing in it

cabbage, rocket, beet, leek, chervil, spinach, broad beans, sweet peas, parsley & kale!

While I weeded this afternoon, Max dug for pirate treasure while asking me

:: how it is that the people living down the bottom of the Earth do not fall off
:: do pirates only live on boats & are there girl pirates
:: how can you become a king or queen
:: where else could he dig

and my surprise garden discovery :: crimson flowering broad beans

By the time I came in at sunset I felt renewed :: hallelujah

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One year ago

One year ago I was holding my new baby in my arms, back home after a whirlwind birth that very nearly happened in the front seat of our car.

One year on and I'm watching this same babe sitting up to the table with his brother & sister for afternoon tea or drawing sessions. Another person to consider when setting up activities for the day as he's no longer interested in that basket filled with baby toys (despite my encouragement to stay & be a baby just a little bit longer!) He wants to get in amongst the sibling play (specialising in deconstruction or just plain destruction)

A babe who had no choice but to always be in amongst the action;

A babe exposed to some serious sisterly loving;

A babe who's first summer was the best Tasmanian summer I've ever experienced;

A babe who inherited my uncanny knack of having his eyes closed in most photos;

A babe who has spent way too much time in the backpack

A babe who happily receives gifts from his siblings

A babe who thinks milk teeth are formed purely by waking & demanding to be feed all night long

and a babe who seems to venture off on his own more & more (who will remain my baby for a good while longer despite being constantly mistaken for a small boy these days)

Happy birthday Leo

the destroyer with the best giggle going around these parts

a little note to say I'm no longer doing The Market in August, thanks to everyone who said they would pop by to say hello.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Australia Post - more letterbox love

Yet more recent deliveries...

This tea towel from the talented Tania over at Myrtle&Eunice who has a new shop here.

My photo was taken when I went to collect it from the line & realised this looked like Tania's photo. Of course when I downloaded looks nothing like the original which is all shiny & ironed! My photo is fitting for a tea towel residing at our place though, given they are usually found in a soggy pile by the back door waiting to go to the laundry.

I also ordered some of her amazing cards, best seen in her shop, they will be perfect to have on hand for future birthdays (especially for the bug-loving smalls living in our house)
. This one is my favourite....

*Tania's photo

And then a bill arrived *sigh*

And then this fabric arrived (canceling out the bill effect!)

It's out drying on the washing line now, ready to be cut up tonight for some more dresses (similar to this
one from a while back) for the upcoming market I'm panicking about busy making for.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Collar flipping tutorial

This is less of a tutorial and more like an idea with a few pictures taken during the sewing process after a couple of folk requested it when I mentioned this collar-flipping malarkey a while back.

Op-shops are usually bursting with good quality business shirts with worn out collars. This is why there are a zillion tutorials out there for reusing business shirts. The fabric is often very good quality & the rest of the shirt is usually fine but the worn out collar makes them unsuitable for wearing to work anymore.

Affter discovering most of Tim's current work shirts are in the worn-out-collar category I realised I could probably extend the life of some of them by flipping the collars....a little light bulb moment*

*no doubt someone has thought of this before but it had never occurred to me.

So to start with you need to check if the collar is suitable for flipping
(the reverse needs to be the same as the front)

start by unpicking the collar
(use a sharp unpick, not that blunt old thing that came with your machine10 years ago)
I only unpicked as far as I needed to remove the collar

the worn out side!

this collar had a sewn in collar stiffener that I needed to remove as it was very obvious on the reverse side of the collar

so I pulled both of these plastic bits out of the collar

mark the centre of the collar & the shirt with pins (found by folding them in half)

straight pins are better for this bit!
You can see the old stitching marks are obvious, this is helpful when you reinsert the collar into the shirt as you simply match the stitching lines back up again

ready to sew

I made the stitch length shorter than normal as the original collar had very fine stitching. I simple stitched over the previous stitching marks. In reality this stitching line is hardly visible when the shirt is being worn but try your best to match the threads.

now steam, steam, steam the new side of the collar to remove all those wrinkles & marks where the collar stiffeners were(what are those things really called?)

And you have a shirt fit for another day of good rubbing against the stubble!

There is still the faint outline of the plastic bits in the photo below but these disappeared after the next wash & press!

Hope this prolongs a few more shirts before they end up in the scrap pile!

Friday, July 2, 2010

French goodness

I love getting mail

*that's not a bill*

Perhaps it's to do with having something arrive from the outside world as we are not leaving our place on a daily basis at the moment. The smalls are more & more requesting to "just stay at home ALL DAY". This is particularly obvious towards the end of the week when everyone is a bit over the to-ing & fro-ing of grocery shopping, playgroups, 'school' (Max's pre-kinder sessions at the local community house), visiting & park outings. They just want to stay & play with their own things, dig around in the sandpit, stay in their PJ's & generally chill. It's a good thing really, just hard to juggle with my desire to get out & away from the mountain of washing in the laundry. Evidence of today's stay at home request......

I'm still a believer in leave-them-alone if they are leaving me alone

Anyhow I digress...

Last week a package arrived from good friends living
overseas. It was good to hear of their latest adventures & see pics of their babe (growing up so fast on that Parisian spring atmosphere). The package was also bursting with these replacement rubber preserving rings for all the Le Parfait jars I have collected over the years.

I'm glad I'm not the only Hobartian providing safe haven for these fabulous old jars. The craft bits& bobs have been evicted from the jars with no seals...

& they are destined to join the rest of the jars....

So sending out a big thank you to Franki for hitting the cobblestones to find these for me.

* Someone did point out (with equal parts amazement & disbelief) that I had a personal-shopper in Paris & had only requested some rings for a load of old jars.

The smalls love the little mouse & have written little thank you notes. In case my slackness continues & I never actually post these to you, here they are....


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