Sunday, July 29, 2007


I really wanted to say something profound about the inspiration that my fledgling collection of craft and knitting books provides but I'm "encouraging" three girls to tidy their Polly Pockets (scratches head to think of the "learning" that's been taking place this afternoon...interpersonal relationships?), minding some roasting curried chickpeas, thinking of what to cook for early dinner before Girl's Brigade since I wasn't organised enough to get the slow cooker going and getting a mountain of washing folded (ok, girls have finished with Polly so now to "encourage" them to help with the folding). Do I have time to actually DO any of the craft and knitting IN these books?

My brand, spanking new one is Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol of Angry Chicken Blog fame. It's a delightful craft book that I've already enjoyed perusing with the girls planning projects together. This, along with See and Sew provides me with a neat, basic and prettiful craft "curriculum".

Friday, July 27, 2007

Surviving Peak Oil

Do you think we could fit Mummy and a two year old boy on there too? I guess they do it in India, eh?
(Don't worry too much about the lack of proper kid's helmets. The girls were driven very slowly and carefully to four doors down.)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I have been completely absorbed in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating. It's a luscious and compelling read about our relationship with food and the people who produce it. She encourages a more intentional approach to buying food that is seasonal, produced locally and where possible, organically. She also provides plenty of gardening inspiration too.

I enjoy visiting our Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning where I can set aside my compulsive label reading and concerns about food miles as I take a leisurely stroll around the vendor's stalls. Today's haul included tamarillo sauce, feijoa & date chutney, goat's milk brie & sheep's milk blue cheeses (incidentally Barbara makes her own cheese...I wanna!), organic lamb shanks (20% off no less!), free range bacon hock for my winter soup, free range chorizo for risotto & pizza, and cheap, seasonal fruit.

I "forgot" that I'm supposed to be cutting down my wheat consumption and enjoyed this Schneckennudel "pastry snail" with my Atomic coffee, while reading Barbara.

Our family's next step to be more connected to our food is to focus on getting our own wee garden ready for spring planting. It's all about the compost around here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A job well done

One of the many things I love about knitting is the journey of a garment, not just completing it. There is something so zen-like about picking up the needles on a winter's evening and clickity clacking away.
But I can't deny the satisfaction of finishing something and the joy of giving it to the recipient. Here is the lovely Miss Y, a scrumptious 4.5 months old.
I finished her Daphne Baby Cape from Knit 2 Together while enjoying a rejuvenating weekend away with very good friends and fun crafts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Favourite Things #3


"Just why several of the leading Paris fashion houses should have gone in for aprons this spring, is one of those mysteries that are never satisfactorily solved. Perhaps aprons are a part of the increased femininity of the mode in general, for no garment is more sweetly feminine than an apron" Good Housekeeping May 1939 (in Thrift to Fantasy, Rosemary McLeod, 2005.)
H10 modelling an apron I made for her birthday.

Another one I've sewn. No, I don't iron!

I5's thrift shop find.

M7's thrift shop find (modelled by A2).

Even the man of the house has his own apron!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Craft and Community Curriculum

"In centuries past, children and adolescents would spend their time in real work, real charity, real adventures, and in search for mentors who might teach them what they really wanted to learn. A great deal of time was spent in community pursuits, practicing affection, meeting and studying every level of the community, learning how to make a home, and performing dozens of other tasks necessary to becoming whole men and women" John Taylor Gatto from A Different Kind of Teacher (2001), emphasis mine.

M7 had the wonderful opportunity to spend four mornings during these school holidays, learning embroidery with the lovely ladies of our local Embroiderers Guild. What a special experience spending time with these elderly women as they passed their skills and stories onto a group of enthusiastic students.

C6, a family friend, spends a morning each week with an older gentleman from church learning the basics of carpentry. He was able to give his Mum a groovy outdoor chair, made with his very own hands. No wooden scrappers that we made in Woodwork at twice his age.
How I'd love to see more of these connections made in our community.