18 January 2014

hot hot hot

Horrendous heat. We've just had five days of over 40C, in a row. The birds were so thirsty that when i refilled their bath yesterday, two flew down to drink while i was still pouring. This is pretty astounding when you consider they usually fly away from the birdbath if i so much as walk past the window. You know, inside my house.

The cat enjoyed licking ice cubes and suffering the indignity of a pink wet flannel.

We spent several days hiding out at air conditioned shopping malls watching movies and eating and trying not to spend too much money. Unfortunately i am not immune to the manipulations of bourgeois home decor retailers and ended up buying a pretty tin to put laundry powder in.

I know. If my 19 year old self could see me now.

We also did a full on evacuation (photo not related, but possibly indicative of my mental state) when the nearby bushfire headed our way. This means packing up supplies and stuffing the cat into a picnic basket and retreating to the local public library, as opposed to just clearing out for the day. Librarians turn a blind eye to pets. Shopping centres possibly do not. The people next to us were having a harder time trying to pretend their dog was not actually a dog, whereas we just looked innocent when our picnic basket moved and miaowed and the other patrons (many of whom had bags of supplies next to them too) and the librarians either grinned or looked the other way.

Coasters for my cousin. A new years gift as i failed pretty miserably at handmade for Christmas. Just got a text from her this morning saying they'd arrived and she loves them. Success. I might make a few sets now for future gifts.

The cool change came in last night and it is such a blessing to feel a refreshing breeze in the house. I opened a cupboard this morning to get a cup for my morning cup of tea and all the crockery was hot. Even the toothpaste was hot. Ok i'll shut up witht he complaints now.

13 January 2014

Coconut ice

This was my final knitted item for 2013, the Colour Affection shawl. I am so very pleased with it. The pattern had been in my queue for ages but i had no firm plans or colourway decided upon when one sunny Spring Sunday i spontaneously dyed up three skeins of sock yarn in tones of strawberry and cream and realised i had my shawl beginnings.

I worked on it occasionally at home, at craft camp, and then took it to work for lunchtime knitting and Thursday lunch craft group sessions.

I cast off a day or two before Christmas, blocked it on Christmas day itself, and took some photos of it on Boxing Day. I haven't done my usual photo mosaic of knits of the year (a lot of things have fallen by the wayside lately including Christmas cards) but if i do i suspect it will be mostly shawls again. It was the year of the shawl all over again.

I did update my 2013 book/reading log though, which can be found over there on the left sidebar, on the link called Not Just Cookbooks (lame attempt at a pun).

Anyway the shawl. Yes. Thrilled with it. Wish it wasn't currently 40C so i could wear it, but hey.

Ravelled, with more photos.

10 January 2014


I've just had (it's 6pm on Friday) a precious week at home in between the week at Walkerville (aka Magic Beach) and the return to work next Monday. The mister went back to work this week so it's been just the boys and I, and no one felt like going anywhere much so we've been pottering, lazing, tidying and generally being quiet. Except for today, when we escaped the heat for a swim.

I've also been doing lots of sewing and have realised that while i photograph all my knitted garments, i'm rubbish at recording my sewing. Possibly because my success rate is not always 100% (but whose is?), but i want to rectify this because the blog is a useful record for me if no one else, much like Ravelry is excellent for logging notes and details of knits. So, stand by for a photo-heavy post of all the tops i've made in the last week or so.

In addition to making Fimo beads I've been quilting enthusiastically (another post is due) and dyeing my stash of cream wool blanketing in preparation for a project i may finally get around to at some point this year. I did a few colours each day and have only one undyed piece left from the enormous stash of blanket offcut i inherited several years ago.

While i'm having a miscellaneous photo-type post, here are some others from the week. Altissimo is blooming against the front of the house ...

and gingerbread was baked and consumed (recipe from Stephanie Alexander).

Delicious. Recipe recommended.

And while we're on sweet things, if you're in Melbourne, do pop in to the ground floor reception area of NGV at Federation Square and admire the jaw-droppingly fabulous works by the Hotham St Ladies. Everything except for the table, chairs and tv is made of icing, even the artwork on the walls, the rugs on the floors and the granny square throw on the sofa. Sensational stuff.

Picasso's Weeping Woman in icing, anyone?

8 January 2014

new obsession

A friend at work was showing me her handmade buttons and explaining about Fimo and i was all, nooo, i don't need another obsession, but look here i am.

I bought two colours, pinned a whole lot of pretty pictures and tutorials on Pinterest and suddenly bam! I'm making beads. Yesterday i went back to the shop and bought several more colours.

No one is safe now. Jewellery for everyone.

6 January 2014

magic beach

At our beach, at our Magic Beach,
We swim in the sparkling sea.
Surfing and splashing and jumping the waves,
Shrieking and laughing with glee.

We went to Alison Lester's magic beach for a week.

It was wonderful. Happy new year to you!