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Fragrant green tea and fruit toast for an unhurried breakfast on the back step.

A thoughtful and generous package from the lovely Bells.  I recently won a contest to celebrate the anniversary of Bells’s wonderful blog, and was lucky enough to receive a perfect little project bag made by her own fair hands (I love the fabric combination), and a skein of the most swoon-worthy yarn from Knitabulous.  It is the 50/50 silk and wool blend 4 ply in Summer pudding, a lovely subtle rhubarby red.  What a glorious shawl this will make – maybe this one …  Thanks so much, Bells!

Shells collected from the seaside on the weekend by my boy.  I love how he marvelled over each one, no matter how imperfect, noticing the colours or sheen.

Things that are inspiring and delighting me at the moment …

  • Cooking with my boy.  Anzac biscuits and “Gingerbread men” again, this time using Nigella’s biscuit recipe from How to Eat.  A winner.
  • Actually LEAVING THE HOUSE without children to see some beautiful films in the Jacques Demy program at the Melbourne Cinemateque.  Sigh!  Followed by very fine tapas and drinks at Movida.
  • Attending a real life Stitch’n Bitch meetup, in person, and spending some quality knitting time with some lovely ladies.
  • A lovely box in the mail.  I bid on a couple of items in the Uniform Project‘s accessory auction, not expecting success, and actually won both.  The 365 days of reinventing the little black dress have ended, and apart from raising money for educating underprivileged kids, Sheena has made so many rethink their consumption of clothing.  Limitation inspires creativity.
  • Soba noodles – everybody here likes them!
  • Following Amy‘s example, I have graduated to washing my hair with bicarb soda and cider vinegar – shampoo free via Beauty and the Bees hair washing soap.  I feel a small sense of triumph at this.
  • Being able to wear my woollies again.
  • Dragons and knights and dinosaurs and Peter Pan!

Things I love at the moment …

  • Amy‘s new eMailorder #11.  So excited about this, and really recommend taking a look if you want to forgo commercial skin care and healthcare products for something simpler, without scary ingredients and more economical.
  • My new cold weather Birkenstocks
  • Self-feeding babies – but, oh! The mess!
  • Luscious new yarn from Ms Gusset.  I think this one wants to be a Damson (but would I really wear it …?  Suggestions on alternative good uses for one skein of yummy sock yarn sought.)
  • Elaine’s tie scarf.  Genius!
  • This beautiful new book (more about this later …)
  • I took the plunge and bought some blocking wires – time to get blocking …
  • This magazine … although I read a good pal’s copy, I just had to buy a recent issue and am sorely tempted to subscribe.

I used to be quite good at Christmas.  Amusing myself by styling my wrapping and decorations, planning a traditional yet seasonally appropriate menu, baking and decorating and making well in advance.  Then when I had children, there was less time to think, plan and enjoy fussing with such things.  Priorities changed, and I was more interested in creating memories for my son of the magic of Christmas.  I would love to do more and actually feel disappointed that I haven’t as I realise with shock that there is less than a week until Christmas.  Just because I had organised the tree, cards, wrapping and bought most of the gifts ahead of time, I smugly rested on my laurels.  Until now, realising that I have no free days before Christmas (that is, I’m either working or looking after the children) I realise what I haven’t done. 

Despite the advice of the carefully laid-out action plans of the lifestyle magazines, I have failed to do ANY Christmas baking or think about what we might need to buy for the day’s meals.  I have not obtained gifts for my father or brother.  There’s still bits and pieces to be wrapped that I always end up doing sneakily once their intended recipients are already in the house.  I haven’t organised a much-needed haircut for goodness sake!  And as for the shawl I’m knitting my mother, I just can’t seem to get time to work on it.  Since returning to work, I feel that my life is a complete shambles.

But, ’tis not the season to dwell on the negatives.  Good things I have done:

  • took Rex to see Santa.  Yes, it was in a local shopping centre, but there was a spark of magic even there as he shyly sat next to the red and white-clad man and shared a whispered conversation.
  • enjoyed using hand-printed paper and recycled* ribbon to wrap gifts for dear friends.  And allowing Rex to dispense and place the stickytape, even though this was bound to be slower and less neat than I would normally tolerate. (*note use of ribbon and bells salvaged from a certain Easter confectionery item).
  • made time before bedtime to sit on the couch with Rex with the Christmas tree lights on and talk about, at his repeated request, Christmas when I was little. Strangely he seems to fixate on the fact that I did not save any of the lollies I received as a child to share with him.
  • remembered to buy glace cherries.  Not sure what for, but Christmas isn’t Christmas without them.
  • caught up with a few lovely friends.  Morning tea at our place, and a lovely lunch here.
  • ordered new candles (the proper type) for my German candle pyramid, a Christmas favourite for the last few years since a friend who lived in Berlin at the time sent it to us.  (My attempts in the past to substitute candles did not work, evidenced by the charred edges of the wooden windmill.)
  • actually sent out the Christmas cards
  • bought a new outfit for me from here.  And earrings from this lovely lady.  (…well, not sure if this counts as a good thing …)

And still to do:

  • convince myself that it is OK to purchase gifts for my father and brother at the supermarket
  • wrap up a stand-by gift for my mum
  • just get to and wrap up everything else I have got lying in wait
  • try and finish my granny twinkle garland
  • plan an antipasto Christmas day lunch to consume with prosecco, and leave the turkey for Boxing Day at my parents’ place.
  • contribute to our annual Oxfam gift at work, where instead of buying gifts for workmates, we all put in for a goat or such-like.
  • listen to Christmas music on the radio
  • enjoy the sunshine

spring 013a

I seem to be thinking of things to blog about faster than I can make time to blog, so there is a bit of a backlog of the trivial stuff of my life to share.

Some lovely gifts – well, I bought the dragonfly hair/shawl pins myself from Etsy.  I’ve found it hard to find shawl pins I like, and not being a button person, I’m keen on using them to fasten cardigans as well as shawls.  These are a good length (most hair sticks are too long generally to use as shawl pins), and will work with chunkier or holier knits.  As they are horn, they are nice and light.

The fabulous cuff is a gift from a friend just returned from New York, and is made from a vinyl record!  It’s by this maker and I love it, it fits so well.  Mr. Foxy wants to try a pin and paper cone to find out what record it was!

And I was lucky to receive more goodies from the Bendigo Woollen Mills Users Group Op Shop swap.  Despite moving house at the time, Kylie managed some great op shop finds.  The Bendigo yarn is a 4ply cotton in a lovely colour I’m unfamiliar with, orchid.  The vintage pillow cases will make great dresses for the girls. 

spring 001a

Most exciting of all for me are the vintage patterns.  A fabulous 1950’s New Idea knitting special and a rare 1940’s pattern book.  I especially love these patterns.  Thanks Kylie!

40s collage

In knitting news I did finish the Shetland Triangle shawl in time for my aunt’s 80th birthday party (a preview features on my new header), and I have just started on a project for the girls, but I’ll save these for another post …

Flickr Favorites

Grandma Twinkle Garland

Grandma Bunting

standing ovation



pears green

More Photos

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