Thursday, August 30, 2007

What have I been doing?

I can't believe it's Thursday already. Thursday! This week has flown! So, a quick round-up!

- On the weekend we rode down to the Abbotsford Convent for the Slow Food Market. It was awesome! I highly recommend the nougat. I also bought a bunch of nettles, but then felt too intimidated to actually use them (bad me), so they sat on the bench until they drooped into oblivion. As you can probably tell, I'm feeling inordinately guilty about that. I'll just have to console myself with that fact that while I was sitting at a bench near the market, scoffing a supremely delectable lemon tart, the lovely Felicity came over to introduce herself.

- Thinking about it, I'm not sure I made such a good impression. That's the worst thing about being spotted as you go about your day to day business: when somebody comes up to say hello, you're busted with a really bad case of helmet hair (trust me, it wasn't pretty) and lemon tart all over your face. And stinky coffee breath. Note to self: try to look more pulled together.

- In my efforts to maintain that Plastic Free lifestyle o' mine, I bought myself a Sigg bottle. Best thing ever. It's lightweight and is specially coated on the inside so that your liquid cannot be contaminated, which can be a problem with other vessels over time. I think it's rather cool, even if, to quote a friend, it looks like I'm swigging petrol out of a fuel bottle every time I have a drink. That would explain the odd looks I've been given when I offer Grumbles some water. Oh, the trials and tribulations of being me.

- I just finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I highly recommend that you do not read this book. It was like a long drawn out soap opera. Too many words to say too little, and predictable to boot. It's a pity, because the premise was good, but the story just plodded on by. I was disappointed that they didn't truly explore the issues and the absolute joys of raising a child with Down's syndrome, instead just focussing on the administritive side of it all, like getting Phoebe a decent education. When the author did elect to mention other concerns and worries, ti felt so token and unexplored. And I'm sure that the parents would have felt more emotions that just guilt. But that's just my opinion. Feel free to disagree!

- On a sunnier note, how amazing has the weather been?! It feels like summer already, even though winter doesn't officially end for another day. I've been possessed with a need to launder anything and everything, as it all dries in a matter of hours. Fabric in my house, consider this your warning: You are not safe from my maniacal desire to clean!

- There's a laneway at the back of our house, and certain people who work nearby often speed along it in their cars, and give you a lot of grief if you happen to get in your way. Never mind the fact that you may be just trying to get your small children into the back door. As I'm sitting here typing with the window open, I can hear one of my neighbours blasting them for their rudeness. Hooray!

Monday, August 20, 2007

On the weekend

Wow - what a crazy, hurly burly weekend we just had. We:

- Took Grumbles to the Aquarium as a belated birthday trip with her Gram. I think she enjoyed it, even if she did yell herself horse screaming "Look, Emo! (That's what she calls Nemo). Look, Dory! Look, EMO! Emo, Emo, EMO!"

- Got ourselves taken out as a belated birthday trip to the Rialto's 41st level restaurant. It was a lovely evening, even for a person who is scared of heights. I'm probably the only person ever who ate there to keep her back most assiduously to the window! The worst bit was when the Galumph's dad kept insisting that we wander around to view the city from every possible angle. I was holding tight onto that wine glass - I needed all the Dutch courage I could get!

- Got my other blog, Dinner Daily, featured on Whip Up. Wooohoooo! Thanks, Whip Up folks!

- Started developing a sore throat, just when I'd thought I was safe from the illnesses suffered by the Galumph and Grumbles for last couple of weeks. To you, sore throat, I say No! I REFUSE to get sick!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dog days

One of the nicest things about having my Motherinlawship come up to stay is her dog.

Hmm - that really didn't come out the way I meant it.

But anyway, back to the dog. Isn't he handsome. Oh Fudge, how I love thee!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Aunty Cookie says relax

Oh dear - the Grumbles has that dreadful cough that is going around. She's in her room now, supposedly for a sleep, but all I can hear is her feeble little 'cough, cough' noise. Poor old tiger who doesn't sleep.

So it's a quiet day around chez Jorth. I'm going to bring out the paints for Grumbles and amuse myself with my awesome Aunty Cookie goodies (thanks, Shannon!). Oh, and maybe peruse the first ever issue of Mix Tape magazine. How good is it?

And to keep you all entertained, since I am infinitely boring today, here's some spiffy links. Don't say I don't keep y'all occupied.

FitzPatterns - some pretty cool free sewing patterns to download
BurdaStyle - even more rocking free sewing patterns
The Modern Pattern Design book, published in 1942 - this is actually a great pattern design course for anybody who is interested in designing their own clothes.
Mr Bean-style Teddy Bear - what can I say except awwwww!
Keepin' It Real - what would celebs look like if they were just normal folk like you and I. Freaking hilarious! The Gwyneth one is my favourite.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Houston, we have a finished Holey Jumper. I repeat, finished Holey jumper!

So I FINALLY finished the holey jumper. Phew! Man, I am so crap at taking those self portrait shots. Oh well, I'm sure you'll excuse me. I honestly took about a billion photos, and that was the best one I could find. None of them show the stitch detail (fault of the black yarn, I'm guessing, and my dark dim house), so pop on over here to see what the official version looks like.

Anyhow, I'm pretty pleased with it all. It wasn't the easiest knit I've ever done, but quite satisifying once you got into the rhythm of it. Doing all those yarn overs and slip stitch knitwise then knit 3 then slip slipped stitch over 3 felt pretty nifty!

I made it in a size medium, as it's for my sister-in-law, not me, and I'm glad I did, as she's a wee bit bigger than I am, and the jumper is pretty darn snug as is. Warm as can be, though. All in all, it's come out rather well. And I learnt how to do the free loop back stitch for attaching the neckband, so it was a fabulous knit to learn some new techniques on.

Rightio, down to business - Project specs:
Pattern - #20 - Pull, from Phildar Tendances Automne 05/06
Yarn - 3 balls of Bendigo Woollen Mills Alpaca in Jet Black
Needles - 3mm and 3.5mm

Monday, August 06, 2007

What's for dinner?

Tired of figuring out what to have for dinner each night? Feel like you're running out of creative meal solutions? Fear no more - my spiffy new food blog, Dinner Daily, is here to save the day!

So drop on by for 5 - that's right, 5! - new meal ideas each week. Huzzah!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ways to fill in a rainy afternoon

[Guest post by Grumbles]
1 - Get a nice big sheet of paper out.

2 - Tell mum repeatedly what you'd like drawn. I found, in this instance, that saying "Cats, Mummy! Let's draw cats!" over and over again finally wore her down.

3 - Jump up and down in excitement while aforementioned cats are being drawn.

4 - Offer to help Mum with paints by squeezing the paint onto the bathroom floor. This step isn't really necessary, but I find it's always good for a laugh.

5 - Get stuck in! You can paint on the actual paper if you like, but I also find painting the table, chairs (usually prompts Mum to bellow "No, Grumbles, not the chair - it'll staaaaaaain!", and then make a mad dash for a cloth to wipe it up. Totally good fun!), more of the table, and my new dress really gets the creative juices flowing. Oh, and a word from the wise: try not to lose interest after only a few minutes. That can really make for a grumpy Mummy, and she might withold your afternoon banana or even worse - not let you get the glitter out to sprinkle over everything!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I am a free loop back stitch virgin no more - huzzah!

After pushing it aside, and ramming it into the 'too hard' basket, and trying my best to ignore it, I finally realised that if I didn't get over my fear of the unknown, in this case doing the free loop back stitch attachment of the neckband to this top, then it would never ever be finished. I'd already blocked the darn thing, so there were no excuses left - it had to be done, and that was that.

So yesterday I sat down, needle at the ready, with nerves of jelly (what if I botched it up? What if the neckband unravelled uncontrollably and everything, including me, went to pieces? What if the neckband sat wrong, and looked stupid and crooked? What if the Russians actually do end up claiming the Arctic, and begin drilling for oil, thus destroying prisinte, untainted land for ever, and a new cold war eprupts as armed countries begin a fight forfuel resources? - oops, wrong issue) and began. And guess what?

It wasn't that bloody hard after all (of course).

Careful work, yes. Time consuming, yes. Utterly boring, and tempting to do only half and leave the rest to tomorrow, yes. But I stuck with it, and now the neck line is very neatly, and, if I do say so myself, quite adeptly sewn on. Hoorah! I'd show a pic, but the black wool photographs really badly in my dark, dim house, so you get a picture of two more dolls made over the weekend instead.

But before I bless you retinas with the pic, I'd like to give a big shout out to Becky, for without her excellent free loop back stitch tutorial I'd have been utterly lost, and damned to a lifetime of neckband avoidance. Thanks, Rabbit!

Ok, ok, the dolls - sheesh!