30 August 2014

round round get around i get around

Bendigo sunset

Sunset in Bendigo, the weekend of the wool show. They're rebuilding the hospital, hence the cranes.

Australian Tapestry Workshop #curiocity #openhousemelbourne

Australian Tapestry Workshop, visited as part of Open Melbourne. I saw in the ATW newsletter today that this is now complete and the cutting off ceremony looms. Pun not intended but ha.

Gorgeous in any weather

I went to Sydney for work and stayed an extra night to play and catch up with friends.

Well hello there Sydney

This was the view from the kitchen of the flat i stayed in. Not too shabby.

Late meeting this evening means a morning off and a walk by the river after school drop-off.

I bought a Fitbit because i am a gadget junkie. No i'm not really, i'm generally a late adopter, but i need a buddy to make me exercise and i'm antisocial so an electronic buddy motivates me just as well as a walking buddy does. And i can listen to podcasts while i walk by the river on weekends or early mornings ...

La Trobe

... and in my lunch hours. This week i only sat with my knitting once at lunch. Every other day i was out walking around campus.

Knitting up the blue Shibui Staccato

Spring is so close. Little pockets of sunshine pop up here and there and warm breezes whisper. Tantalising.

small cat in a patch of sun

4 August 2014

ten days in Bali

Just what the doctor ordered.

Terraced rice paddies. Lunchtime view.

Full moon ceremony to cleanse the villa. We only got to see it because our flight is 10pm and we have a late checkout.

Final pretty drinks

1000 year old temple turtle with offerings on its head.

Rest day today. Book, sticky black rice with coconut ice cream, pool, bougainvillea blossoms flaunting down on me.



Beachfront at Sanur

Good morning Sanur

Saying goodbye to beautiful Ubud today

Itsy bitsy teeny tiny bananas are the sweetest #ubud

Campuhan Ridge walk

Campuhan Ridge walk

Newborn monkeys look like tiny aliens.

Night swim #ubud

Coffee making #ubud

Light fixture


24 June 2014

Winter solstice

Freeeezing here!

Gale force winds, icy temperatures and i just saw online somewhere that the Yarra has burst its banks in the city and Southbank is flooded. Trees down everywhere too.

We've had both fires roaring, the fake one ...

Winter solstice

and the real one.

Betsy decides fire is good after all. #catsofinstagram #burmese

The cats are doing a lot of this.

Burmese squared #catsofinstagram #burmese

I love you soooo much #catsofinstagram #burmese

But! In between icy blasts on the weekend the mister and i went for a walk to the end of our road to one of the best local swimming holes,

Sunday walk to Laughing Waters waterhole

and picked wild jonquils (pretty pretty weeds) which means Spring will come eventually, right? To continue with the yellow home decor and accessories i also made lemon curd. Sunshine in a jar.

Lemon curd oh yum

In other news, the mister had both a physio and a doctor tell him he needs a knee reconstruction so he dutifully went off to see an orthopaedic surgeon who told him not to bother (i think "at your age" may have been implied but not uttered aloud) but to get an exercise bike to strengthen the leg muscles which will support his poor wrecked knee. (He also said YOU WILL NEVER I REPEAT NEVER PLAY SOCCER AGAIN which made the mister a bit sad). Anyway so as the internet person in this marriage, i was charged with finding a suitable exercise bike on ebay, which is a place i tend to stay away from, for obvious reasons. All of this is a longwinded way of saying that hooboy ebay is fun and oh the 1960s kidney-shaped coffee tables and Ercol armchairs that i am now lusting over, and oops somehow i managed to also snag myself my very own wooden cantilevered vintage sewing accessory, otherwise known in Craft Camp circles as a Lady Sewing Box, or just, a LadyBox. Behold.

Lady Sewing Box.

How beautiful is she? I have had a lovely time organising all my sewing notions and important bits and needless to say with the LadyBox at my side i am now a master seamstress.*

* May not be true.

13 June 2014

restorative weekend

It's cold in Lancefield. #craftcamp

Oh, craft camp. So so good.


This time we were very sadly missing Janet who had Life Stuff to deal with, and we celebrated Caroline's birthday, which reminds me i never shared pictures of the March craft camp when it was my birthday, but if you look here click click linky link you can see a champagne glass and some balloons and there are other shots there too. So, Caroline's turn this time.

Party leftover

A quiet moment in the studio #craftcamp

The food was sensational, as always. So was the company.

Dinner courtesy of Susan M. #craftcamp

I made a few things, including a quilt top for the middle lad who has requested a quilt in the bruise palette.

The bruise quilt top. #quilting #craftcamp

There were noisy galahs everywhere ...

Annual General Galah Meeting.

... some cold crisp mornings and nights ...

Good morning #craftcamp #lastday

Three (!) beautiful quilts by Julie ...

Considering the options #craftcamp

... and some cetacean action from Jen.

Moby & Dick

Re-entry to real life is tough after such a wonderful long weekend of sewing, knitting by the fire, eating, talking and laughing with a marvellous group of women. But being amongst people doing what they love, whether that's sewing clothes, making quilts, knitting doll cardigans or drawing, is tremendously nourishing and restorative. It keeps me going.

4 June 2014

aubergine cladonia

Aubergine cladonia.

This is my third time knitting this pattern and it gave me the most grief - i think i frogged the lace border three times before nailing it.

It also took a long time to knit because i took most of the summer off from knitting due to hurty wrists. As a result, this 50th birthday gift is six months overdue oops. I think-hope the recipient likes it though and she's my best friend so forgives my lack of punctuality.

Cladonia detail.

Technical details :: knitted with undyed sock yarn (160 grams of the stuff) and dyed by me with Landscape dyes.

Ravelled here!

19 May 2014

tea rose quilt

This is the quilt that started me on my quilting journey, if you don't count the blue hexagon patchwork that i started when i was fourteen and my mother ended up finishing for me when my eldest son was five years old, and which frankly is kind of hideous.

I collected fabrics for this quilt for ten years (i know, i know ...) always holding the idea in my head of a faded dipped-in-tea overblown roses kind of aesthetic. In fact one of the fabrics turned out to have too bright a white background and i did actually overdye it with old teabags, so the name of the finished quilt is fitting really.

I think of several people with immense affection and gratitude when i snuggle under this quilt. My darling friend Sue, who took jetlagged me to several quilt shops in Seattle when i visited her in 2002 and helped me add to my fabric collection. Jane, who upon hearing i was a hesitant beginner quilter who was intimidated by scary Quilting Rules, sent me her first book and encouraged me to dive in and ignore the rules, and then when i still hadn't finished, sent me her second book, pictured above. And Meredithe, master quilter extraordinaire, who very patiently showed me the ropes of handquilting one sunny afternoon at Sewjourn.

I've procrastinated blogging about this quilt because it is so truly gorgeous that it deserves the bringing out of the big photographic guns to do it justice (ie not just my phone) but the opportunities to do so have been few and far between and I just need to put it up here for the record. And of course the show-off factor. So, apologies for the iPhone photos if you're viewing this on a big screen. Just squint a bit and imagine glorious olde worlde late-afternoon-light rosy photographs instead.

12 May 2014

Me Made May

I've watched Me Made May from the sidelines the past couple of years, but this year, almost at the last minute, i jumped in. I have pledged to wear at least one me-made item every day in May, and am using it to identify gaps in my handmade wardrobe. So far, that translates to i am great at summery tops but need more cold weather wear. I also need weekend wear - specifically bottoms - as i'm tired of wearing jeans every weekend. I don't look good in jeans (short legs + childbearing hips = dumpy potato). However i like the non-ironing component of wearing jeans and so i channelled my inner bogan and sewed a denim skirt, and wore it on Sunday. Go me. The other thing is that i need dresses. Skirts, check. Tops, check. Cardigans, check. Dresses, not so much.

So, dresses, particularly winter dresses. And maybe some pants and warm tops.

I'm logging it daily over on Instagram, together with never ending photographs of pretty leaves because hello Melbourne autumn, but here are some for your viewing pleasure.*

Bonus autumn.

Bonus Burmeses. Look at the body language. Little One, leaning in: I love you! I look up to you! I worship your whiskers! Big One: Really, do we have to do this? Can I go now?

* i saw my blog on a computer-size screen the other day instead of just on the iPad and was shocked at the quality of the photos when they're that big. Those iPhone photos look fine on a phone or iPad screen. Apologies! I really should get back to using the Big Black camera but i can't go past the portability of my phone.

27 April 2014

long weekend[s]

Two long weekends in a row. First Easter, then Anzac Day.

We saw a film (The Grand Budapest Hotel) which was very lovely and features every actor you can think of plus another couple you've forgotten,

baked bread

sowed some seeds

sewed some Liberty pillow slips

made (goats milk, beeswax and olive oil) soap

visited the William Ricketts sanctuary

baked Anzac biscuits

got caught in the rain

basked in the late autumn sunlight

gazed out the window

aaaaand fell asleep.

16 April 2014

When you're onto a good thing ...

I got my sewing mojo back bigtime. In addition to the plethora of quilts (which i still haven't showed you, i know), i've been having a lovely time choosing pretty fabrics and churning out multiple versions of the same couple of basic patterns. (So when i say i have my sewing mojo back, i don't mean i'm doing anything challenging, just aesthetically pleasing. Lazy, that's me).

This is the Port Elizabeth top. It is two pieces (front, back) and a strip of bias binding. Hooray for mindless sewing with stylish and highly useful results. I've been wearing these with jeans or skirts on the weekends and with my work skirts midweek. I even extended one of them into tunic length (the Duchess of Cambridge homage on the far right).

Best of all, it's a freebie on the Burdastyle website, here.

Thanks to my awesome work colleague Kate for the heads up on the pattern.

Edited to add fabric details. From left: Prints Charming heavy cotton, from Spotlight; blue crisp cotton (i think it's a quilting cotton); blue lightweight cotton perhaps a voile, i remember the name of the print was Sweetpea; navy blue linen; pale peachy pink linen made from a skirt i never wore (because it was see-through); black linen (very useful, i wear this one most); lightweight voile, very cool and good for hot hot hot days (seen modelled in the shot in a previous post where i am holding the brand new kitten); a pale blue spotty voile from Spotlight, extended to dress/tunic length, worn often over a short straight skirt to work, avec pearls because i am old.

1 April 2014