28 July 2010

red desert dreaming

26 July

The fourteen year old has gone away camping in the Outback. I spent the weekend with him shopping for over a week's worth of food* that is light to carry and easy to prepare over a tiny camping stove, and doing as much pre-cooking as we could. He headed off at the ungodly hour of 5.00am with his sleeping mat and bag, hiking boots, a tarp (they sleep under the stars), several lots of pasta sauces, lots of powdered milk, and a rucksack full of homemade muesli bars.

His elder brother went on this same camp two years ago so I know he will come home exhausted, covered in a fine red sand, filled with awe over the indigenous Dreamtime stories, and about a foot taller.

I miss him.

* A week's worth, plus enough spare food for two days in case it rains and the desert roads close. Gulp.

21 July 2010

his socks are another matter entirely

21 July

It usually drives me crazy the way he leaves his shoes all over the place, but when I see these they bring a smile to my face.

18 July 2010

home duties

17 July

I planted three trees and three grasses yesterday. And hurled an enormous amount of horse poo around.

Tiring work.


17 July 2010

once upon a time on a quiet saturday afternoon

quilt top with succulent

still quilting

I filled the bird feeder this morning and have been enjoying the rosellas and lorikeets all afternoon

someone dumped a whole lot of chick flicks at the op shop - they were 50c each so I bought a few. watched Notting Hill a couple of nights ago (there is a distinct lack of chemistry between Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in that film. the best thing about the film is Gina whatsit from The Forstye Saga who plays the friend in the wheelchair) and Sliding Doors last night. why had I not noticed how misogynist that film is? (Although, John Hannah ...yum). You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle are up next. sap sap sap, I know. then back to the op shop they will go.

14 July

more lemon curd. the limes have finally finished and our poor sickly lemon tree only has 3 marble-sized lemons on it so I was forced to purchase lemons, but oh it was worth it.

the boys are all hiding in their bedrooms lest I make them do more chores. this morning I put them to work hanging out washing, doing dishes, vacuuming, collecting firewood and so on while I baked fruit cake and a batch of heathen Anzac biscuits (ie. chocolate flavoured). now we have a clean house and a pantry full of afternoon tea goodies. it feels good.

I'm knitting socks for my father's birthday (which was last week). Yesterday was my brother's birthday, and this coming week features the mister's birthday. I don't think he'll be getting socks somehow


the dog is limping

everyone around me (friends, work colleagues) is off somewhere exciting it seems. new york, helsinki, fiji, greece, italy, london, darwin. I'd settle for a long weekend in Dubbo right now

I cut the youngest and eldest children's hair during the week. the middle child who is a bit precious sometimes, won't let me near his with a barge pole

Son #1 after a few teenage years of dark and gruesome indie rock, has rediscovered his love of Bach and has spent many a happy hour downloading sheet music to learn various sonatas and partitas, and then the music for his iPod. together with his rediscovery of the joys of being part of a soccer team this year, he is finally off the couch and engaging in life again

our interwebs have been slowed to dial up speed with two weeks of our month left to go. I guess my watching the film of Far from the Madding Crowd on YouTube (in many many seven minute snippets) contributed. er, my bad

I haven't touched the spinning wheel in weeks, and my aeolian shawl is in the naughty corner after I mastered the nupps (insert skip of joy here) but then discovered the next section requires five separate charts for each row of lace. five. five!

the strings teacher at the youngest's primary school is offering a Saturday afternoon beginner's group class for any parents who want to learn violin, viola or cello. I am so in that. as an aside, said teacher is also a sock knitter. it's meant to be, right?

I could ramble on a bit more but next door's crazy dalmatian puppy is rampaging around our back garden which means any minute three small frantic girls are going to come tumbling down our steps looking for her. our own dog is sleeping through all this (greyhounds not being known for their watchdog attributes) and is now actually snoring. loudly.

12 July 2010

11 July :: habit

11 July

he tried to play it cool, but his face lit up when I said I'd be there at the match


7 July 2010

French Cardi II

grey cropped cardigan

Have I shown you this yet? I don't think so.

neckline detail

I cast off some time last month and it's been worn several times per week ever since. In fact I'm wearing it right now.

grey short rows cardigan

It's a French pattern from La Droguerie; very simple and utterly wearable. I made a light blue version earlier this year which is also well worn. I think I need a green one now. Mmmm, red would be useful too.

If you can't read French, PipiBird has posted some notes on how she made her cardigan, here.

Mine is ravelled here.

Edited to add: English versions of this pattern can be purchased here and here or obtained free from here.

4 July 2010

pictures but few words

a fine winter's day

Yum cha in the city today with good friends. Should do it more often.

in case the house burns down and all the photos go with it

No I don't have four babies; one features twice because you know, middle children need constant reassurance that they exist. (Photo posted in case the house burns down and all the photos go with it and I forget what my children looked like when they were tiny. Although who could forget those ears?)

winter essay time

It was too cold in the study so I monopolised the family room during my last essay writing stint. Shawl, cup of tea, canine yoga, fire, laptop and a bazillion notes and books. Finished!

sunshine yarn

Hand dyed for a fun project I have in mind.

early morning, one May day

Our view changed recently when the enormous branch in front of the kitchen window fell in the pre-dawn stillness. The kookaburras will have to find a new perch to line up on.

1 July 2010

we have a winner

li li li lilies

Thanks for all your comments and blogiversary messages. Here's to another 35 dog years! Emma, your number came up in the random number generator and a copy of the beautiful Nicky Epstein book will be winging its way to you shortly. Thanks so much.

In other news ...

It's school holidays here [again] so on my days off I'm flat out playing Monopoly and taking children shoes shopping and buying groceries to feed them, oh and feeding them. In the evenings I've been quilting. I know! Did I tell you I've crossed over to the dark side? (Probably because I just tried to conquer nupps and it was traumatic so you know, time to dump the knitting and try a new craft, right?)

quilt wip

I haven't yet made it to a quilt shop to look at batting, so I've just continued to make more and more quilt tops. I'm on my fourth so far. Why yes, I did have quite a large stash. Ahem. I'd better buy some batting soon so that I can spend the next two decades worth of evenings handquilting.

quilt wip

That's the one I made mostly at craft camp, and finished off the following week.

Then I made another. And another.

Whoo, it's addictive. Time to create a new blog label.