Monday, September 29, 2008

First Stitches

While M9 was at our local embroiderer's guild holiday programme, I6 did a bit of stitching of her own.
This afternoon The Three had to have a committee meeting to give the wee cat a name. A3 was under strict instructions not to suggest "Sam" (his usual favourite name), and his suggestion of "Maria" (yes, from The Sound of Music) was rejected. So meet "Sophie the Stripey Cat". We have a dog and an elephant to follow. I suppose they'll have to go through the complex naming rigmarole too.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pioneer Styles

I know that the pile of food looks really, um, unpleasant but it tasted GREAT! We went all Ingalls Family for dinner tonight and made REAL baked beans! I did the haricot beans first in the slow cooker yesterday then realised this morning I needn't have. I chucked in the required onion, "salt pork" (Harrington's Free Range bacon pieces) and some blackstrap molasses.

Apparently "Puritan housewives mixed beans with a bit of molasses, salt pork, and onion and sent them off in large pots to the local bakery to cook all Saturday. The beans would provide a hot Saturday supper and cold meals for a work-free Sabbath." So, the pioneers had slow-cookers too;-)

After recently reading Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer we're trying the Johnny-Cake recipe from our cookbook - "a crusty slab of cooked cornmeal that was mostly a vehicle for syrup or gravy".

Whose Toys?

Hmmmmm...I wonder who is going to have the most fun playing with these?

What would I have done without the kids as an excuse to relive all my favourite childhood toy memories?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pea Lab

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Knits

Gabes at SweetP Knits made me cast my mind back to where my knitting journey all began. I don't have pictures of the first thing I knitted but I can vividly remember it was a garter stitch blanket for my teddy done in leftover yarn from my splendid orange toggled hoodie. My little sister had a cream and brown one from memory. I think you can get the era of my childhood from the colour of our knits;-)

There followed a large number of teddy and dolly clothes made of two garter stitch rectangles sewn together. I still have my first wee teddy wearing his ensemble sitting on my bedroom drawers!

I knitted myself a couple of garments in my teens - a grey v-neck vest and a brightly coloured garter stitch boat neck sweater. I put the needles down until my early '20s when I knitted my boyfriend a sweater. My grandmother was horrified. You never give a man a sweater until he puts a ring on your finger. Thankfully, the Sweater Curse didn't work and we've been married for 14 years. The needles were retired again and didn't really come out in full force until my second daughter was in cloth nappies and I started knitting soakers and longies for her. I'm so excited I can do grown-up stuff again - I recently finished an Hourglass Sweater and have cast on a February Lady Sweater. I'm lucky that I have my super-knitting mother to keep the kids in knits so I can selfishly do stuff for me now;-) What a gift she gave me teaching me to knit and I'm thankful I've been able to teach my eldest daughter as well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

From this...

From this...

To this...

Happy 9th Birthday to my big girl who made me a mother! Once we decided we wanted to hang out with little people you took a lot longer to arrive in our family than we would have liked. You were well worth the wait!! You are fun, funny, a joy and a challenge as we muddle our way through this parenting lark. We're so glad you're going to stay living with Mummy and Daddy forever and ever;-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My First Velma

I've had the pattern for this Amy Butler Velma bag for well over a year now. I plan to use some of my new Ginger Blossom fabric to make one for myself. In the meantime I whipped one up for a friend who turns 40 on Monday. I really wanted Amy Butler fabric but my local quilting store didn't oblige so I grabbed this bright summery look (fingers crossed Lisa likes it!).

In my usual moronic way I'm feeling the hand-made inadequacy so am hoping to get to Wanda Harland tomorrow for something extra to pop in it. Yes, yes, I know I need to get over myself...but still...

Saturday, September 6, 2008


After all the reading of and about, and creating like Eric Carle this week, how was I supposed to leave this sitting in my local craft store? (I think the key is to resist going INTO the store in the first place, Sharon.). We don't have a designer styles home so I'll be quite happy to have this as a wall hanging in our hallway;-)

Why, exactly, did I buy more fabric when it seems to breed quite happily by itself when I'm not looking? Again, couldn't resist this Ginger Blossom selection. I should be following the rule of only buying for projects in mind but it is nice to have such gorgeous stuff waiting for the craft muse to take me.
Miss Eight (nearly nine) chose this Sublime Stitching book when we made a trip to Minerva earlier in the week. She does have projects in mind from it though;-)

As regards balance...there is a lot of emphasis in the paid workforce on work-life balance. I'm struggling to find a time-craft supplies balance in my life! Maybe I need to be a bit harder on my impulses and start plotting uses for the yarn and fabric already in my possession. How do YOU manage this?

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the father of my children - and of course my own Dad (better go and ring him, eh?).

(Finished Ragg Hiker socks.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

This Space

Oh baby. Check out that dough hook! Too exciting. (Pity I've got a meeting tonight so I can't even try it out). The mixer jumped the "essential kitchen items" queue ahead of the grain mill, because I needed instant gratification rather than waiting for the slow boat from the US;-) Can hardly wait to crank that baby up tomorrow.

Watch This Space

Yes, that is my hideous black kitchen bench. No, sadly it's not a complete renovation of my small 1960s rental kitchen painted 1980s pink. Watch this space!