Saturday, December 29, 2007

wiped out

this is a pretty good indication of how we're all feeling at the moment. You know that flu I mentioned the other day, the one that one kid had, well, as is usually the way with these things, it is gradually working it's way through the entire family. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and have been unable to move for much of the day, and willow has been feverish, and fell asleep on our bed this afternoon, after it was decided that he definitely should not go in the pool, even though he was "very hot". It's rather hard explaining to children that they really should just lie still sometimes, I mean, if you're really hot, the best thing would be to go for a swim, right? I'm hoping that this will be one of those short-lived flus that does it's thing and then flies away, as willow so nicely puts it, because we generally refer to these things as "bugs". I don't imagine that it would be all that nice being in labour and being sick at the same time, would it?

Monday, December 24, 2007

christmas is making me crackers

yes, I'm still here, my little plan didn't work, and baby is still giving me a hard time on the inside! I think the reduced blood flow to my brain and all of the other stuff that's been going on around here (moving out of my shop, car breaking and requiring new starter motor three days before christmas, one child with nits and the other with the flu...need I go on?) have made me a little bit mental, and I have spent the past two days making and baking, because I've been feeling restless. Now I don't feel so much restless, more "ratshit". (For anyone unfamiliar with this terminology, it's australian for being very exhausted).
This is but a small sample of what I've been making, "vanilla kipel" (recipe from our local mag, the peninsula voice), and iced jumbles in different shapes, thanks to bill, only modified to use honey rather than golden syrup and omitting the mixed spice, because it's not very nice. Apart from this, there are chocolate spiders, a weird mix of fried noodles and chocolate, which sounds really funky, but is actually really yummy, I promise. Thanks to my aunty rose for that one. Rocky road, my first attempt, how does one stop the marshmallows from melting when you mix them into the melted chocolate? Coconut ice, also my first attempt, and I must say, a great success, and last but not least, fiona's chocolate balls. I did consider adding a bit of sherry to some, but I thought I'd better not, as I'd probably get the kids' ones and the adults ones mixed up in my current state of mind. Now, don't worry, all this stuff is not just for us, I plan to give a lot of it away as gifts tomorrow. It would probably take a year for us to get through all of it anyway, and seeing the amount of sweetened condensed milk (how did someone come up with that little gem?) and icing sugar that went into these little babies, I don't think I could manage too much of it on my own anyway. I'll sure give it a good crack, though.
So, I bid you all a very "sweet" christmas, because that seems to be the theme for us this year, and I hope santa is good to everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

baby boom

i've finally completed these two slightly late baby gifts for friends who have both recently had baby girls (I'm getting a bit concerned that all the girl credits are being used up). I realise the one on the right looks a little more boy than girl, but I don't believe in pink for girls and blue for boys, and I know mum will love this fabric. These little packs contain a wrap made from a soft vintage cotton sheet , a muslin wrap with matching vintage border and of course, matching bunny. I came up with this idea when I bought an 8 pack of muslin wraps for my baby the other day, and it ocurred to me that we really didn't need 8, and that I had a couple of baby gifts to make. So, after deciding to jazz them up a bit, the rest just fell into place. I will probably have some of these in my etsy shop in the near future.
I'm now feeling very much like having this baby on the outside rather than the inside, the past two weeks have been particulalry uncomfortable and I'm feeling a bit "over it". Not that I don't love the fact that I am pregnant, and am not extremely grateful for having this wonderful thing going on inside me (I always feel very guilty if I complain about these things, because I know that some people don't have it so easy). It's just reached the point where everyday things that I usually take for granted have become difficult. I think you can see how "dull" I am feeling, by the expression! I have purposely avoided these kind of photos, because I cringe at how I look in them, but this will (maybe) be the last pregancy shot I post here, as I'm now 38 weeks, and as they keep saying, it could be any day now. I'm secretly planning to have the baby at the end of this week, and be home in time for christmas! Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

quick stuff

yesterday, when I should have been having a lie down, I made this sunglass case instead. It was one of those "I have a half-hour window, and I'd really like a new sunglass case, even though I never wear sunglasses" moments that I have frequently. About a year ago I bought one of those press-stud puncher things at vinnies, and it's taken me this long to get around to using it. It wasn't as fun as I had hoped , actually quite difficult to keep the things straight, but I got there in the end. I used the mushroom fabric that willow rejected, and it's lined with red and white polka dots. Much fun.
This is the combo he picked out for his "new and improved" christmas stocking, I didn't realise how christmassy it was until I finished it. He's happy with it, although he now wants to keep the purple one as a back up.
I just had a conversation with him that went something like this:
"mum, do we have any mangoes?"
"no, but you can eat that apricot that's in your lunchbox"
"but it's got a bum" (me thinking he said "bump")
"no, it's ok"
"are they born with bums?" (oh, now I know what he said)
"yes, they are"
"well I don't want to eat it with a bum"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

birthday quilt

i've been working on this quilt for my little sister for the past couple of months (on and off), and the time has finally come to give it to her. It's her 18th birthday on sunday, and as she's going to be away, staying in a resort up the coast (half her luck), I'm giving to her today. I'm really very happy with how this one's turned out, as it's only the second largish quilt I've ever made. It's nothing fancy, and I haven't bound the edges, but this is the way that I wanted it, nice and simple. Like me.
Now, I just hope that she likes it, which I'm sure she will. She's been asking me to make her a quilt for a couple of years now, not realising the actual amount of work involved, and I've been holding off for a special occasion, and here it is. Happy birthday, ana.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the dog that thought she was a baby

i had a feeling this might happen, if I left it sitting there long enough. Don't worry, this is not the capsule that the baby will be travelling in, but the broken one that mr. arran scored off a chuck-out, which we salvaged the (very clean) lambswool liner from. I'll let sally have her little moment until this one goes on our own chuck-out...and then maybe I'd better introduce her to a more dog-friendly bed, although she'll still probably prefer the table or one of the chairs which she has also claimed as her own.This morning I had the good sense to drag the family out of the house before they had a chance to embark on any other pursuits, and go to this lovely spot near where we live. I had actually planned to walk to a little beach just around the point from here, but the tide was high, and my legs don't really feel like walking at the moment anyway, so we settled into the creek instead. The boys set about some serious dam building, in between tidal surges which sent willow scampering for that large rock he is eyeing off below.
Fin endured the flood and continued to work tirelessly on his construction, reminding both arran and I of similar experiences as kids. I can remember spending hours trying to construct a "swimming-hole" single-handedly on our very hot property in northern nsw, only to have it come crashing down in the next downpour that we had. Still, there was always that flicker of hope that I could actually make it work, and I would go back again and again and try, and I love that he is displaying these same characteristics of determination. It shows when he is doing one of his 1000 piece jigsaws too. Willow, on the other hand, is happy to drift around, obeying the odd order from his brother for "more wood", and collecting shells on his own. It's funny how different they are, and yet how close they are, and how completely I love them both. I can't wait to meet the next little personality, who will join us in about 4 weeks time! (that's if he/she waits that long)
p.s I guess there were no takers on the w stocking...I thought it was a bit of a long shot. Next time I'll try not to make it so limited!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

stocking up on stockings

since everyone else in this house has christmas stockings, I decided it was high time I made one for myself. This very yummy apple print stretch cord was obviously the perfect choice for an apple lover like myself, god knows I was never going to make anything more taxing out of this piece, not being one to enjoy stretch sewing. Also, being stretchy, one can fit more in the stocking. Good thinking, hey? Alas, when this little piece of goodness appeared on the mantle yesterday, mr. willow decided that his purple stocking was no longer appropriate, and he wanted the apples for himself. I must say, I kind of anticipated this, as his favourite colour is no longer purple as it was last year, but is now red, just like mamma. What can I say, he takes after me when it comes to being fickle. Needless to say, though, he's not getting the apples, but we have reached a compromise on red cord, but not with a sweet mushroom print I have, because no, mum, I don't like mushrooms. So, here's the thing,
I now have this equally yummy stocking up for grabs. This stocking , with freshly hand-stitched "w" on the front (I did that last night, didn't quite get around to it last year), is in brand new, pristine condition, and is looking for a new home. It is made from a beautiful, rich purple corduroy (also stretch), with a funky green and blue retro flowery cuff. So, if you have a "w" person in your life who you think might like this stocking, simply leave a comment below, and I'll have the little man draw a name out on sunday, so that I can post it to the winner before christmas. I know that this is a bit of an obscure little competition, but I'm sure there must be some waldos, wurzels, wilmas, wandas, or even wilberforces out there who need this little stocking in their life. Maybe even a pooch or catty? I look forward to hearing from all you lovely w people!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

christmas bunting

in a sudden burst of energy, I made this mini christmas bunting (well, actually, I was feeling so energetic that I made four lengths of it, there is some available in my shop and also on etsy). I have it hanging above the doorway (not on the wall, just couldn't get a decent photo in situ) and it makes me feel happy every time I walk underneath it. I think this may be my answer to mistletoe.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

hello, christmas

well, the tree is up, and we are officially in christamas mode. I was planning on waiting another week to get things underway (willow thought that santa was actually coming tonight, and I anticipate three very long weeks ahead of me), but since it has been a very rainy saturday, I decided to go ahead and do it today. We have a very stock-standard fake tree, which has been with us for quite a few years now. Before that, I tried all sorts of living trees, which inevitably ended up either dying or being planted in the garden when I decided I needed something different (please remember, I am a fickle creature). Since having kids, though, I seem to have become a lot more concerned about tradition, and kind of like the idea of having a "family" christmas tree, just like the one my great grandparents' had, albeit a quarter of the size; we had to bend the top over on theirs to fit it into the (high-ceilinged) living room.
There's something about christmas that lets you become less concerned about style, and allow all kinds of tackiness into your home. I look at our tree, and have to wonder when I decided that it was ok to introduce a fake plant into our home, and as for all of those things hanging off it, they wouldn't stand a chance under normal circumstances. But, that's not to say I don't love and cherish every one of them, and remember where they all came from, especially the ones that the kids are now contributing each year, and the ones I've inherited along the way. I think that's the thing that makes christmas time so special, for the rest of the year everything can become a bit random and fast-paced, but when that tree appears in the lounge room, and all of those little decorations start coming out of the box, you are immediately reminded that this is a time that you've celebrated every year, for all of your life, and no matter where you are, or what you're doing, it's always going to be special.
(is it still ok to use the word "random"? I cringe whenever I hear it used by some hip and happening young thing lately, but it is still a word, right?)