Thursday, August 25, 2005

Time Table Love - Part One.

Our car keeps breaking down. Two Bears both work in town but live in the country. Two years ago we lived 9 minutes from work, surrounded by cafes and bookshops and other dazzling places. After 12mths of talking, we finally decided to try the country life, so we moved 75ks from Melbourne to live in a house built in the 1800s on 5 acres.

I'm not really a country girl at heart but something made me want to give it a shot. It hasn't always been easy and although it sounds pitiful, my biggest hurdle (and one I haven't managed to leap over yet), is my chronic fear of giant, hairy spiders (another story)....

So. The plan was to catch the train as much as possible, but it didn't work out like that. We stayed back at the office quite a bit, so getting home quickly meant we always drove in and out. But lately things have changed and we've started taking the train. It's a whole other world and every morning (horribly early), I'm up in the pre-dawn light, standing on a platform watching two lovely things: the shadow of a horse grazing and the moon slowly fading.

I've fallen in love with a train.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Make The Bad Book Go Away

Okay. It's not a bad book. It's a lovely Japanese craft book called Tiny Patchworks2 - Make My Life Happy Every Day (what optimism!). I bought it last week and I've been lurking around the mail box every day - waiting. So it arrived. Pictures are wonderful, ideas a great but the truth is my sewing is not up to this - not yet, anyway. I'll have a go, but keep an eye open cos I might end up suggesting a swap-craftbook thingy. In my perfect world, the title would be HAPPY JAPANESE CRAFT BOOK FOR PERSON WHO CAN'T SEW BUT WANTS TO MAKE REALLY CUTE THINGS AND BE HAPPY FOREVER.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Hi Adrianne - not sure what to "won" the 2nd free book VALLEY OF SECRETS on 8th August...but I never got an email re: postal address. Not sure what to do. If you read this, please email me the details asap. Thanks, Fran.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Weather People Were Wrong

...and I was so glad. They predicted rain all weekend but Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining and it was lovely. Despite the frost/cold/rain, my lettuce pots have gone mad - parsley, too.

The Birds

Love these bird pics from This Is Paris and The Tale of Three Little Birds...just beautiful.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Strange but...

Strange...because it's August, because I'm not American...but I really, really love the idea of Halloween. I know lots of people don't...another crass, commercial exercise, etc..and I suppose that's true, but I don't care. I'd love to spend a Holloween in Salem or somewhere in New England. I love all the little pumpkins, lights and autumn leaves...I love the idea of little kids dressed up as witches and ghosts, too. What the hell, maybe I'll carve my own little pumpkin this year. Have a lovely weekend crafty-bloggers.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wild Wild West

This is Sherril-Ann...the sheriff's daughter...I like her on Bulls-eye but I am thinking about making my own giddy-up. We'll see.

Pictures To Soothe the Mind

Just a couple of things that caught my eye on my Sis. Weekend.

Gone To The Dogs are the results from my very first Japanese Craft book...the little felt toys. Lots of fun, but I'm a bit concerned about how worried these guys look...that's why one is called Woody and the other is Allen - they look so nervous and twitchy (actually, a lot of small dogs look like that).

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Adorable Dorrie.

This is a book I discovered in a great 2nd hand bookshop in Woodend. I'd never heard of this series...but I love it. Illustrations are so striking and story-line is wonderful. Plan to find out more about this talented author/illustrator. This book was published in 1966.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back from the Hills

Weekend was so much fun - one of the best. We all met at the house on Friday afternoon - great place; big, light, comfy with a large garden, exotic chickens and lots of winter trees. Didn't take long to open a bottle of wine...then other...ordered Thai in and just kicked back. Saturday went to a fantastic place called Garden of St Erth in Blackwood. I'm not a mad gardener but even I loved this place. Lots of daffodils, ferns, ponds and tracks. Winter probably isn't the best time to see it, but it was still lovely. We were lucky with the weather, too - weak winter sun was perfect.

We did a bit of shopping, too - always fun. Sister No.2 tried on a hat and said "what do you think" to sister No.3, who said "nah, it's not you''... sister No2 said, ''I don't care'' and got the hat anyway. 30 mins later, sister No3 says to sister No.2: ''can I try your hat on''. Sister No 2 says, ''sure''. Sis No 3 says ''That looks better on me than on you...did they have more?''

When we got home, the craft came out. Most of my sisters are very, very good crafty folk - especially when it comes to knitting. I had three aims.

1. Learn to Blanket Stitch.

2. Learn how to cast-on.

3. Learn how to crochet.

1 and 2 - mastered...3? Forget it. Couldn't get past the chain part and it was driving me nuts. But I'm really pleased I can Blanket Stitch and Cast-on...hello...a world of badly made scarves await you!

Must go, back thanks for your lovely comments about the weekend. When they aren't irritating the hell out of me, my sisters are good fun to be with...(and no, they don't know I blog.heee.eeee.eeee.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Final Countdown...

Well. Packing, sorting and behaving as if I'm going away on an early 19th Century voyage to exotic lands as opposed to a couple of days in a small country town.

Just what makes me think I'll have time to read three novels, embroider, knit, crochet, take-photos, cook and communicate with my sisters...all at once?

I'm really looking forward to checking out some antique shops and spying that old chest full of vintage goodness formerly owned by someone's Great Aunt Clara and sold to me by someone who has no idea of the real value of it....! I can dream. If it happens at all, the first thing I'll need to do is create a diversion so the rest of my sister's get distracted...Oh look! Over there, a shoe shop - all stock 90% off!

So no work for me tomorrow (audible YAY!). Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I hope I survive mine. I leave you with a few pearls:

A sister smiles when one tells one's stories - for she knows where the decoration has been added. ~Chris Montaigne

I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ~Maya Angelou

One of the best things about being an adult is the realization that you can share with your sister and still have plenty for yourself. ~Betsy Cohen

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Next weekend is our yearly..and 8th sister's weekend. I have six sisters and each year we take turns to pick a house/location, to spend the weekend together. One is in China, another in Perth, another in NSW, so it's not always easy to get us all in the one spot. This year two can't make it.

When it goes well, we have a blast - lots of laughs, shopping and cooking together. We're had the odd dud weekend - lots of bickering and dredging up old resentments that can sometimes go back as far as six years old! Not too surprising really. We're that strange combination of being very different and very similar and our ages range from 37 to 50. As I get older it gets easier to treat each other like real people rather than sisters...does that make sense?

Each year I get together a little gift bag for each sister and since I've embraced "craft", I'm going to give them one of my home-made pincushions with some books and magazines. I'm also hoping to learn how to crochet this weekend! Hopefully we can exchange a few crafty skills.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Free Book No2.

Here is the next book up for grabs. The Valley of Secrets by Charmian Hussey. Good read for ten and up. "Abandoned as a baby, Stephen had nearly given up hope of ever finding his family. This epic adventure of the imagination follows his change of fortunes when he gets an unexpected letter announcing that he has inherited a house from a great-uncle he never knew existed...." It's a paperback with really lovely black and white engravings.

1/ Be the first to post: I want this book....
2/ I send the book to you free of charge.....
3/ Enjoy.

This Is Paris

Truly Sublime

These Sublime Stitching packets arrived last much fun.

More wonderful swap delights from Fiona. Thank you!

...and inside!

Picture Time

Lovely Swaps. This is from Sarah. Just beautiful.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

PS Pin Cushion

Dear Tanya Nicholas (I couldn't reply to your email)...I don't have a pattern for the pin cushions...I just used a small plate for top and bottom....then cut a strip and sewed and stuffed (basically my approach to any craft project!). Hope that's remotely helpful.

Sunday, the day after Saturday

Hmmm. Sunday night has it's own particular feeling. Sometimes it can bring me down but tonight I'm feeling relaxed and strangely peaceful.
Will post some pictures of latest craft projects tomorrow. I've received my First Ever Wonderful Swaps from Sarah (More Than Words) and Fiona (Hop, Skip, Jump) and lovely purchases from Carly (moopy&me) and a kitten doll made by Claire at Loobylu. What a week! Pity my photos are so crappy - they really don't do these lovely things justice.

Since I've started crafting... I seem to have developed a strange and particular eye for form and it the 7th sense? All I know is that I have been drawn to things that I've never been attracted to before - shapes, colour combinations, textures, weaves and books like This Is Paris by Miroslav Sasek - a wonderful book first published in the 60s as a picture travel book for children. I think there are a few in the series: This Is Rome, This Is New York. The pictures are fantastic and the text is pretty good too. There's a wonderful illustration of the Luxembourg Gardens, a place where you can pay to push a little wooden sailing boats around a pond... something I did about four years ago... just me and about 22 French kids!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Just A Theory

I used to collect blank books. If I saw a really lovely blank book with creamy paper, deckled edges or a stunning cover - I got it. I got it because I thought, if I love that blank book enough, I'll write in it - write wonderful stuff about my life - it'll be the journal I'm not embarrassed about - the beauty of the book would inspire me to write the best words possible. So I'd get the book - take it home, crack open the first page and nothing would happen. Then another internal conversation would start; this book is too lovely for my poor, lumpy words. How can I ruin those lovely creamy pages with deckled edges? It's wrong. It can't happen. I'll just look at it. These days I write for living and have no time to be so precious but now I've started to do exactly the same thing with fabric! The squares are building up and in my mind - the possibilities are endless and each project is wonderful, but how can I cut such delightful colours? I suppose over time, it comes with confidence.

Monday, August 01, 2005


...and this is the trim I got...the daisy one is especially lovely.


This is the little dragon I picked up from the Fair. He's very small - only 7cm tall.

Fantastic Cat

How cute is this? An original Fiona Dalton cat from Hop Skip Jump. I love her out-fit and expression. Thanks for making her, Fiona!


This is Shiree...not ours but she lives in the back paddock. Beautiful nature and she's a whoppping 28 years old and 17 hands high.

Crafted a lot on the weekend but was torn - the sun was out, hills bright green and I just sat in our cosy lounge and stitched. Did get out in the ray a bit - just lovely - snow-drops all over the garden.

Here is a pic of my Craft Fair goodies:

Some Books I've Really Enjoyed

  • Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
  • The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  • Stasiland by Anna Funder

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Living, reading, crafting, taking photos, writing.