Saturday, 30 April 2011

Home, weddings and bbqs!

Well I'm back from Oz, many £'s lighter and only 2 1/2 lbs heavier so that's all good!! I had such a fantastic time, I went to a quilt show, several yarn shops, a japanese kimono fabric warehouse, a totally amazing vintage trimming shop, where I could have spent my entire holiday!! I fed kangaroos, saw little penguins, koalas, kookaburras and cockatoos in the wild, visited stunning coastline, had a ride on puffing Billy through the Dandenongs and spent several days wandering in Melbourne, which is a real mecca for handmade and fresh new ideas, not to mention the best coffee I have in a very long time! And best of all I spent two weeks with great friends, laughing and chatting, eating superb food and drinking cider. So all in all in a holiday that won't be forgotten, I took about 1000 photos! They need a bit of sorting before I can share them, and I'm sure you will all be grateful for that!!

Yesterday was wedding day and like loads of others we watched Kate and William on the telly in the morning and oohed and aahed over the dresses, and loved the way the couple seemed so relaxed. I'm not a particular Royalist but it was great to have something that was good news to celebrate as a society. We all like to have a chat about 'well-known' folks and I loved the fact that most of the chat has been about positive stuff and not brick-batting their private lives.

So The Tune-king and I decided to have a bbq and invite our neighbours to celebrate the wedding together, we had about 30+ in our garden and had a great time until it got a bit chilly and the we decamped inside with coffee and choccy bix. We didn't know some of the neighbours before yesterday and it was a great way to get to know them. I have a passion for community but in today's modern life we go in and out our front doors, life is so busy and we hardly ever speak to our neighbours, maybe a wave or a nod but that's all. We decided a while ago that to change that we needed to invite people into our home and see what happens and each time we have done it has been a success and we are slowly getting to know the people who live around us. So if, like me, you long to rebuild local communities just invite the neighbours round, and see what happens.

Friday, 8 April 2011


So have I mentioned, perchance that I'm off to Australia on Monday, if you really know me and have seen me at all in the last week or so I may have popped it into the conversation once or twice. I am very excited, and that kinda makes me regress to the state of a 5 year old promised a treat!! Especially as I am going to Australian Seaside!! I will get wet in Australian sea, which I'm reliably informed is called The Ocean (definitely with a capital). Now I'm also wondering where exactly the sea becomes The Ocean, is there a fence?

Now to practical stuff, the fact that I'm going in 3 days and I have spent this last week being excited, means I now have stuff to get ready, I will need money, I must pack and that will probably involve laundry. So although it goes against the grain I must write a list. I usually write lists after I have done most of it as I find it more encouraging to start by crossing things off!!

1. Wind yarn for holiday knitting, check needles, I'm using my Denise set so will be able to knit on the plane. Make sure patterns are on Kindle.

2. Upload latest audio choice from Audible. If you like being read to then I really recommend Audible, if you join their monthly plan, its very reasonable and you can spend hours browsing and listening to samples and deciding what you really want to listen to. You can of course do that without joining but when you pay you don't get the discount!!

I do love a bit of internet window shopping don't you? You don't even have to leave your bed and you can be in bookshops, dvd shops, clothes, fabric, yarn, shoes all are at your fingertips, the choice is endless. you just have to keep an eye on the clicking finger!!

Anyway I digress, back to the list,

3. Pack clothes, I think I've decided what to take and I have learnt over the years to pack lightly but Oz is very different weather wise to here. But on the whole these days I'm always hot, (the eternal cry of the menopausal woman) and if it is really chilly they have shops don't they!!

4. Pack flight bag, then re-pack flight bag because first attempt is so heavy I need a sherpa to carry it for me!! At least Kindle and ipod are lighter than books and maggies. Iwill need spare knickers, some kind of washing/teeth cleaning stuff, bit of makeup to cover the I've travelled for 24 hours look on my face, hairbrush. I have planned travelling knitting, a spring Clapotis, in King Cole Riot, lavender, green and cream.

I have decided shawls are the way forward especially for spring and summer, they are easy to slip on for the extra layer or just have loosely over the arm when all you need is that certain something that is called style!!

Digressing... focus please...

5. Get Aussie Dollars, insurance is sorted, ticket is printed, visa is done so think that is the last bit of paper stuff to do!

So there you are that's me done!!

Well I must be off and try out the new "No more pulling' harness that I have bought for Rosie as her life's work at present is to stretch my arms to twice their length in an effort to get me to the park!! She is such a darling and so wants to please me and do what I say but we have a complete communication block on this pulling thing, we just aren't speaking the same language. This is fairly frustrating as I'm usually fairly fluent in Dog, well I think they understand every word I say!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

I have had a lovely day today being spoiled and chilling!! Started the day with Saturday's Guardian in bed with first mint tea, then coffee and a bacon sarnie, followed by more coffee! Sun was shining so we took the doggins to the park & clouds immediately gathered and we got a bit wet, but it was gentle rain so no complaining.

My Beauty trudging up the steps the dogs have pottered off, in fact I tried to get some shots fo Rosie but she runs so much all I got was grass!!

Here Beauty and the Tuneking definitely look very fed up waiting for me as I try to take arty pictures of park benches!! But hood is down so rain has stopped!

Today I have been reading Tilly and the Buttons and she is talking about never having enough time to sew and doing some research with a diary to see why and if she can make time to do more sewing. That really links to my last blog, not only do I need to push myself a bit but I need to discipline myself to do the sewing!!

I have just recieved my copy of Sewaholic's Pendrell Blouse, which has been made by Roobeedoo and Did you make that?. I really want to have a go at that as I think it could be a good cross between a t-shirt and a blouse for me. I always feel so frumpy in a t shirt but they are very easy to wear. I like blouses but I'm not good with collars, they make me feel fat. This blouse is princess seamed so flattering , collarless and has a variety of sleeve or no sleeves and it is simple enough to allow embellishments. I have lots of passed on t-shirts and I have a desire to pick them apart and try and put them together as this blouse!!

I have also re checked the stash, which sounds way too tidy and organised for my piles of fabric!! I have found quite a few suitable patterned fabrics for summer skirts. I have been browsing The White Stuff Catalogue and I really like the a-line skirts they have in there, very simple style but made in all different prints. Actually I like most of the clothes on The White Stuff!!

But for the next few days I'll be visiting my oldest friend in the beautiful city of York so there will be lots chat, lots of knitting, maybe tea at Bettys and a day out with my just teenaged God-son. I have said anything except I'm not good on scarey rides!!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Today is a new day

Well I have woken today with a real sense of newness! I'm not sure why, except that recently I have an increasing desire to explore more creative outlets but I know I'm avoiding doing anything because I have this fear that I won't be any good at it. So I stick to the safe, mostly knitting, but while I'm doing that my mind is whirring with possibilities that then get stuck in a wall of but you're no good at that!! I feel like I want to get out of the box but I've spent so many years saying I'm no good at design, I'm not clever, I'm just a good technician, I only know how to make things well, but now I feel trapped in that box and I want to try more, push the box out til the walls fall down. Even as I write this, I'm feeling excited about how I could represent that in textiles, that is my medium, because I need the feel and touch to be right as well as the look. Maybe this sense of the new starts today is the impetus I need to make me do this rather than just think about it, then push it back into the box because it isn't good enough for anyone else to see. I'm sorry if today's post is a bit of a ramble inside my head and it may not make sense to anyone else, but I don't think a well knitted garment is enough for me (although that kind of knitting will always be part of me) anymore and saying it out loud here is like a starting block. I'm on my marks, now I need to start the race proper!!