Tuesday, May 30, 2006

View of a quilt

A picture of zee quilt. And quite a rubbish picture at that. Must work on bettering my photography. Anyway, don't you all think it looks like icecream, or is that just me? That's what happens when you make up quilt designs on the fly, I suppose, especially when you've never actually made a quilt before. Last night Galumph and I made the quilt sandwhich (not as tasty as an icecream sandwhich, that's fer sure) then did the actual quilting. Gah, why didn't anybody warn me what a terrible job that is to do? There was rolling of fabric sandwhiches, and swearing, and curt instructions being issued, followed by more swearing and the PUCKERS! Everywhere! No entry into the Royal Melbourne Show Quilt Beginners category for this one. I can now understand the allure of handstitching a quilt - it may take a lot longer, but it's almost guaranteed to be pucker-free. After all that effort we needed to calm ourselves with a fortifying Milo. Crazy.

So tonight we'll tackle the border (another botched effort that shall be, I'm sure) and then probably the Galumph and I will line up with hands placed on our copy of Kids Quilts in a Weekend and solemnly swear never to attempt another quilt again. Except for the "What a Bunch of Squares" quilt that I'm in love with. Hmm, might need another Milo whilst I ruminate on that one.

Monday, May 29, 2006

View from a bike

I'll confess, Sunday didn't start too well. I cut my thumb whilst trying to wrestle the shampoo bottle free of the shower caddy, just as the water went stone cold and then stubbed my toe on the edge of the bed (who walks that close to the edge of a bed, idiot!). But then we got on our bikes, and followed the Centennial bike path around and enjoyed these varied sights:

Once we were on our bikes, my mood improved enormously. There's something so good for the soul in the gentle rhythm of pedalling around and around. Next time you feel narky, just jump on the bike, that's what I say! Now, where was I? Right - our day. We came home, put Grumbles down for a nap, and the Galumph and I began making a quilt for her. That's right - a quilt! Because I just don't have enough hobbies, what with the knitting, and sewing, and cooking, and gardening, and stamp collecting - uh oh, did I really mention the last one? What a nerd. Ahem. Anyway, the quilt is brown and pink and using a nice floral from the Amy Butler Charm collection, which is also brown and pink with a bit of white, so it kind of looks like Neopolitian ice cream (especially since I've just done big long strips), but hey, it's a start!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the suggestions for the top. I've made the executive decision and allowed the ruffle to stay, but all the comments have given me lots of ideas for future tops. Ta! Oh, and I gave it to my friend, and she loved it - phew!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


O Bloggers of the blogiverse, I need thy help! This is the top I've been making for my friend's birthday, but I'm a bit unsure about the ruffle. What do you all think? Does it work? Is it good, bad or merely fugly? Please, comments and suggestions would be most welcome!

(Oh, and if anybody can tell me how to take a picture of myself in the mirror without looking cross-eyed, that would be good too! Cheers!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Slippery devils

Ahah! A progress picture of the Yoga Wrap. And nicely she's coming along too. Unlike my other project, which is a top I'm making for a friend who is having a birthday (Happy birthday, K!). The pattern, which I've self drafted, is simple enough, but the fabric - gah! Never again shall I sew with silk satin. It's been an absolute horror, sliding all over the place and generally misbehaving. Nothing but sensible cottons and worsted woolens for me from now on. However, I should have it done by Friday, so await, my dear blogging friends, with bated breath for pictures then.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Not your average inner city front garden

The benefits of having a vegie garden include:

- Fresh produce steps from your kitchen (17. I counted!)

- Zero food miles travelled (and only 17 steps from garden to plate! Remind me to tell the Galumph that next time I send him out in the rain to grab some lettuce)

- Neighbours stopping by to introduce themselves, just so they can inquire as to why some of the peas are purple whilst others are yellow (No, we haven't been weeing on them! The answer: funky old-school heirloom varieties)

- The excitement that ensures when the latest Diggers catalogue lobs into the mail box (I have been known to almost hyperventilate)

- The ability to grow almost forgotten varities of vegetables. In our wee patch at the moment we have: Rocket, Crimson flowered broad beans, Blue Lake climbing beans, Lazy Housewife beans, Rainbow beetroots, Freckles Bunte lettuce, Rouge d'Hiver lettuce, Dutch purple podded peas, Golden podded peas, Climbing snow peas, Easter Egg radishes, Rainbow Swiss Chard and Bloomsdale spinach. All this in a space measuring 1.5 by 2 metres!

- Grumbles learning the difference between a weed and rocket (the rocket have the caterpillars, gah!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ahh, Miss Marple, slowly she grows. I have a confession to make: I'm bored with her. I still think she's lovely, but what can I say - I'm a fickle knitter. I've only got eight rows to go, and then I'm finished the front, but all I can think of is Sleeve Island, and that's it - I'm spent!

This arriving in the mail yesterday didn't help matters one bit:

It's four ginormous balls of Rustic from Bendigo Woolen Mills in Earth. Such a lovely shade! And the balls are so big you could play netball with them! Or use them as weights! Or maybe knit yourself this:

Yoga Wrap from Vogue Knitting Winter 2006. Although I couldn't really see myself doing yoga in it. If I tried, I'm sure I'd get all tangled up, and end up with my legs behind my head and in excruciating pain. And my teacher would do that funny little head shake of his, and move on to look at somebody else, whilst I remained there on the floor, feebly croaking "Help! My Yoga Wrap is trying to kill me!" I mean, who would want to take a chance on that happening? Not me.

The other thing against Miss Marple is that, fluffy and sweet as she is, I just don't see myself wearing her until spring at the very earliest. Whereas YW, well, providing that she behaves herself, she'll be popped on as soon as she's off the needles. Or blocking board, depending upon how lazy I am. So warm! So wrappy! So, I'm sorry Miss Marple, but Yoga Wrap it is. Just don't gang up in the cupboard and plan my demise, 'kay?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Belated best wishes

Grumbles (3 days old) and I.

Happy belated Mother's day to all the creative, funny, crafty, crazy-whacky mums out there. I hope you all had a lovely day, and were suitably spoilt by those that love you.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Look at the rubbish that passes for news these days

Tee hee! Too much fun! You may need to click on it to make it big enough to read, though. Make your own here.

The lovely ShellyC asked for the chickpeas nibblies recipe mentioned in the previous post. It's not really a recipe per se, but here it is anyway. Oh, warning: These are darn addictive.

Preheat your oven to 200 C. Line a baking tin with baking paper. Drain a can of chickpeas, then spread them evenly onto the tin. Douse them with a glug or two of olive oil, then add salt, cummin and chilli powder to taste. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, then scoff them as soon as they cool down enough to eat. Deeeelicious!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Five things

Things that make me angry:

1 - Four wheel drives.

2 - Four wheel drives that only appear to have one person in them EVER.

3 - Skidding on a piece of lego and flying across the room before landing very heavily on my bottom.

4 - Doing the above in front of dinner guests.

5 - People who are incapable of telling the truth, and lie about everything - even the small things. Why? WHY?

Things that make me happy:

1 - Autumn leaves.

2 - Ordering wool or pattern books over the net, and then gleefully waiting for them to arrive.

3 - Riding my bike, and hearing Grumbles on the back singing "Row, row, row your boat" to herself as we sedately peddle along.

4 - Whipping up some salty, chillish, cumminish baked chickpeas on a Saturday night and then scoffing them down with a bottle of red whilst watching a daggy romantic comedy with the Galumph.

5 - A Word A Day - such a little thing, that email, but it really brings me joy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend wrap-up

And what a weekend it was! The Galumph took Friday off, and we raced around and did a thousand and one odd jobs that we'd studiously avoided doing for months. We took Grumbles to the maternal health nurse, I had a doctor's appointment and rejoiced to hear that I had antibodies to measles, mumps and chickpox, therefore didn't need any immunisations done (yay, needle avoidance!), we had a lovely lunch out and then plodded through the rain to do our grocery shopping.

Then on Saturday we hunkered down at home, and I spent the day cooking for that evening's dinner party. We feasted on proscuitto and fig tarlettes; carrot, leek and Dutch cream potato soup; simmered garlic sausages on a bed of braised lentils with pancetta and then polished the whole lot off with home made chocolate and Kahlua icecream. Burp!

The next day I thought: Cripes! What a pig! Best do some exercise, so we raced around on our bikes for a while, then finished the afternoon off with a trip to the park:

Oh, and I cut my friend's hair and finished a top for Grumbles. I also cooked quinces, since it was so cold. Vanilla beans and cloves are the key to a mighty fine quince. And lashings of cream. If I keep going like this, I'll soon be so fat that I won't be able to get out of the house.

Ok, off to do some star jumps (or at least think about doing some, because I am nothing if not lazy). Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Runny noses and loyal dogs

The mother-in-law's dog, Fudge. He's a sweetie.

I'd like to claim that my lack of blogging has been due to some highly unexpected but terribly exciting adventure occuring, which was so replete with action that even if I'd had the inclination to blog I wouldn't, alas, have had the time, but no. The sad fact is that in reality I've been laid up with a nasty touch of the flu, and had my mother-in-law to stay. Enough said.

However, I'm not so ill that I can't make a list! Oh how I love me a good list, and this list shall indeed be good - full of the good things I've noticed over the last few days:

- Autumn has truly struck in my little corner of the world, and the town has put on it's finest colours to celebrate. I can't get enough of those magical leaves.
- I have a lovely pile of quinces on my benchtop, waiting to be slow cooked and then devoured tonight with organic cream (actually, I don't know if they are actually waiting for either act, which I dare say would come under 'barbaric' for the quinces, but since I'm not a hard-core fruitarian I shan't trouble myself over the quinces' feelings, and instead happily eat them tonight)
- Grumbles said 'Ear' this morning in the bath. Woo hoo! I'm hoping she'll say oesophagus next.
- Anna has a lovely new pattern up on MagKnits. Go check it out!
- I've just finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell again, and darn this book is good. So good that I'm actually missing not reading it. Does anybody else ever feel that way?