Tuesday, 26 February 2008

I like free postage!

Lara, I found 'Gentle Art of Domesticity' on this site
Free Postage Australia wide!
Ooh I'm itching to push the button.

Just found out Jane Brocket has a new book coming: Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer
(no picture yet, but I love the blurb:

If as a child you devoured Enid Blyton's classics like the Famous Five or Malory Towers, or loved to lose yourself in the adventures of Pippi Longstocking or What Katy Did, then CHERRY CAKE AND GINGER BEER is the book for you. A wonderfully nostalgic cookery book, it will take you straight back to your favourite children's books and show you how to cook the feel-good foods that feature so strongly in them. So, you'll find recipes for Milly Molly Mandy's Treacle Tart, a Swallows and Amazons Boat Breakfast, the Famous Five Fruit Cake and St Clare's Eclairs amongst others. Divided into appropriate sections like High Tea Treats, Midnight Feasts and Seaside Picnics, each recipe is introduced with an evocative description of the book that inspired it. Guaranteed to take you straight back to your childhood, the book is an escapist treat for grown-ups and will encourage you to re-visit much-loved classics and share them with the next generation.

One mention of Pippi and Famous Five and I am so in.
It's so deliciously English!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Op-Shop Finds

Traveled over to Temcare Op-Shop, Station Street, Oakleigh, today and quite a treasure trove! I saw the shop when it was closed and looked through the window at a very cluttered and dark shop and turned my heel and walked away. Not today!

Venturing in, the first thing I spotted was the large collection of interesting chinaware and lots and lots of pyrex in pretty good nick! Didn't need those, so I meambled my way to the linen section and picked up a lovely patterned sheet for $2, then hunted out the craft section where I scored a quilting hoop for $8, fantastic piece of cotton drill (maybe for an apron?) for $1.50 and another embroidery hoop for $2. They had a huge range of craft magazines too (just got the one Quilters Companion). The staff seemed nice, though had no idea of pricing and seemed to think about what to charge for an eon!

I got this little sweetie from my favourite local op-shop, along with a daisy tablecloth.

I also found a chenille bedspread which is in perfect condition (though no label so not absolutely 100% sure it is pure cotton; the fringing doesn't feel like it) in a delicious icy pink. Yum! Goes perfectly with my Kaffe Snowball material and I think I might make it become the backing - OOH YEAH. I can feel myself snuggling under it all ready! I love the idea of an icy, snowy, frosty coloured quilt which warms me and tickles my senses.

Books galore and just a little bit of fabric

After finding my lost camera, (of course, hidden under school paperwork which seems to multiply as I breathe), I have quite a few pictures to post;

some books I picked up from my library's 'Sale' trolley; these are books that are constantly being weeded out of the collection because they are too old or in disrepair, but, that does not stop me from having a little looksee when I am working there! I can see my husband's face now; a sigh and a look - more books? okay, all right. They are starting to collect in little piles in the house; on my sewing table, the dining table, in front of the bookcase. Methinks it is not big enough.

Firstly I got 'Paper Birds That Fly' by Norman Schmidt (1996). A very informative book about the how and why of bird flight and aerodynamics and it has a long list of birds including the Blue-footed Booby (he he, that's a giggle word in our house!) and Peregrine Falcons (which we have nesting and breeding in our Melbourne city skyscrapers!) My youngest sobbs at the moment at the injustice of humans not growing wings and flying like these creatures; I'm not sure yet if this books is going to help or hinder that obsession.
Birds are a favourite creature in our house, so I hope this gets a good workout.

Next, 'Tapestry Cats and Dogs' by Amanda Davidson (1995). I skimmed over this book on the trolley several times, but it drew back, and yes, I took it home. I probably will not ever do tapestry but, I liked what I saw. 25 complete projects with colour photos and colour charts to pattern transfer. Of course this took my eye!

Now, 'The Family Collection: over 25 knitwear designs for babies, children and adults' by Debbie Bliss (1998). Not being a knitter, this was a struggle to decide on taking or leaving, but, I really truly thought of you guys out there who do love play with yarn and sticks, and maybe someone would like this for your own collection. I would love to give it away (Australian postage only, I am sorry!) - first to ask can have it! Please bear in mind that it is a well used library book (with spine label and library stickers still attached, and pages a little less than sparkling) but I got it for you and am happy to pass it on. The jumpers are quite chunky but perfect for winter coming up.

The last but not least, is one which I have not bought, but borrowed; 'Knitting Lingerie Style; more than 30 basic and lingerie-inspired designs' by Joan McGowan-Michael (2007) When I first spied this book, I thought 'how ridiculous, who is going to knit themselves a set of underwear?' but I actually couldn't stop flicking through it! The photography is stunning and the designs are truly beautiful. Very flirty and feminine; old-fashioned one might say with sections called The Bra; The Slip; The Corset; The Camisole; The Stocking, and more, but very very nice! Again for you knitters, look this up at your library, or ask for it to be ordered in. It is very special and a fabulous book to add to a collection.

These are my favourites:

I thought I should show you my growing stash for my snowball quilt. I got a heap of quarters from Glorious Colours (Kaffe Fassett's official online store). Not all the colours are exactly what I expected - some may be too rich for what I want it to look like, but who cares, I have more Kaffe uniqueness in my collection, so that's always a good thing. What I would love though, is if the store could arrange their fabrics by colour, as well as design, it would certainly reinforce the Fassett creed of colour, colour, colour!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Gentle Art

I have been enjoying Jane Brocket's 'The Gentle Art of Domesticity' 2007 by Hodder & Stoughton - I love her writing; natural, flowing, descriptive and very encouraging voice;

'The gentle art of domesticity is also the art of the possible. We no longer need to knit socks....stitch quilts to keep ourselves warm....and we are no longer judged on the quality of our hemming, pastry or heel-turning. The gentle arts have moved into a new realm in contemporary life, a realm we can choose to enter should we wish, and one in which the act of doing is as important as the result.' p.12

That really struck a cord with me - these domestic arts that we love; cooking, sewing, embroidering, quilting, and so many more, are a choice to do, rather than achieve or gain or buy. I must remember this, when my impatience for the end result makes me lose sight of why I am doing it in the first place. I want to create something that is from me, and through that journey of creation, I learn, express, relax, fulfill.

(I think this is one library book which needs to be a birthday present to myself)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

The Horses

I had the strangest experience driving home from work today - 'The Horses' came on the radio, by Daryl Braithwaite, and I started to cry! This is the song I want played at my funeral. My funeral. Can you believe I was thinking of my own funeral? and crying at the grief of it, of the grief of my family experiencing it. Tears were squirting out the sides of my eyes!

Whew! Thank goodness some tailgaiter on the freeway instantly took me out of my weepy state and into utter annoyance mood!

Ah, hormones; gotta love what they do for a girl!

(Above is a painting I though was a bit ethereal - you know, 'we'll be riding on the horses, yeah, yeah, way up in the clouds, little darling......click here for artist)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Hearty softies

Has anyone else found Jhoanna's lovely tute for her 'Hearty Softies'? Her SweetHEARTS all in a row!

Whip one up for Valentines Day - better still whip two up and get them quick smart over to Mikes.

Friday, 8 February 2008

A lot of stuff today

No posts for Feb yet? What are you doing Bronwyn?

Okay - here is something for nothing

First - what we found nibbling our 'Lollipop' Grevillea - no wonder we had buds of flowers one day and the next zilch! We have decided to leave creature from Outer Space because maybe if we are lucky, we may see what it turns into!

When you have lots of these,

you put them in the freezer, then peel them, they turn into these,

whip them up in a food processor

and it becomes this - delicioso banana icecream!

Actually if you got this far in the post, well done, the piccies have not been all that pretty!

Now for some interesting stuff!

Lara from Thornberry put little ol me on her list of her favourites for blogs that "make my day” by Ainslie and “excellent” by Gina. Well, right back at you, babe! Lara is stunningly terrific at her craft - sewing and crocheting would probably be her usual produce, but the thing is, there is something made nearly every day! The woman is a crafting machine!

Okay my turn for lists (I also have over 100 blogs that I flick to every now and then (okay maybe for hours at a time), but to name 10? oohh hard. In no particular order;

Of course I have said Thornberry - that's a given
Jodie from Ric Rac ( you know you're loved Jodie!)
Rosie and Melly from Melly and Me (so cute, and their softies aren't bad either)
Kathy and Sarah from Material Obsession (they know Kaffe!)
Pip from Meet Me at Mikes (who dosen't love her)
Anna from Anna Maria Horner (check out her new range!)
Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! (I want her banner!)
Tamara from Bluebird makes her nest (great title and classy blog)
Amy from AngryChicken (her banner keeps changing form which I always love and I am still wondering why the chicken is angry?)
Kristine from Townmouse (simply beautiful shots of her life and business)
Lynn from Craftstew (I like that I can see her % graphs of her projects - I don't feel so guilty about mine!)

For all you op-shoppers, thrift buyers, second-hand searchers in Melbourne -

check out I op therefore I am blog - what a lot of oppies to look through and lots of goodies found. I have been invited to join, anyone can, just ask them and have yet to contribute - must do this soon!

Now for something completely different -
Hubbie and I had our first Swing dance lesson! I want more! Such a happy happy style!
See Swing Patrol's website for more info. Look at this
and these cuties - good luck for the comp.!!
We had a ball and so many people our age! We learnt steps of the Charlston and then lindy hop, now we just need babysitters! Best thing is , is that you can wear comfortable shoes.