Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Buy nothing new....

Decided to embrace Buy Nothing New for the month October. Should be completely doable, seeing as none of us actually need anything! Might even try and crack out the sewing machine and whip up a dress or two (or might just cut out a whole heap of things to sew at the upcoming Trough Weekend at the end of the month).

Also, it's a great excuse to purchase a few vintage saris from here, right?

If the blog's lucky I'll check in at the end of the month and let you all know how I went. Need to document more of the things I take years to finish.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Checking in

Well, this is the first post of the year, at the end of March no less. Go me!

Let's have a look at what's happened since I last posted:
  • littlest turned one
  • Boo turned four
  • I've been in hospital having my gallbladder out (last week, so still in grumpy sore mode)
  • not much else....
We'd been in the house a year in February and seriously it feels like we've achieved nothing in that time. Rooms are still half painted, there's still crap in boxes in the rumpus room. The spare room is a complete dumping ground for everything. I've done precious little piffing, it started in a flurry of activity and dreams, but totally died in the arse.

I'm desperately wanting to just write off the last 3 months and pretend it can all start again as of the beginning of April.

Littlest starts kindy one day a week in April, so I'm deluding myself into thinking I'll be able to get sooooo much done in the space of a few hours (including the groceries, woo!) I won't make any declarations of blogging more, with details of all the crafty things I'll be doing, because let's face it, it's not going to happen.

But in amongst everything that feels like failure, disappointment and frustration though, we've got 2 beautiful little monkeys that kind of make us forget about all the unfinished shit, the unstarted shit and all the rest of the shit.

See obligatory pictures below....love my boys.


Monday, 31 December 2012

Out with the old....etc.

2012

What a year, so much happened....all at the beginning. James joined our little family and we moved from the Inner West to the Central Coast.

Then we kind of just sat around and did sod all.

Bit of unpacking got done, bit of knitting, bit of sewing, a lot of playing with little people and washing, lots of washing....we slid easily into a new but familiar rut.

So onto 2013

I've seen a bit of this "have a word for new year, not resolutions" thing going around the webs, popped up in pinterest, on the odd blog. Not a bad idea, so if I'm going to embrace a word for the new year it's going to be

PURGE

because this is pretty much me and it has been for a long time:


We have unused rooms of crap....as seen here, here and here:

 


Not just one room of doom....there's a spare bedroom of doom, half a rumpus room of doom and a walk in wardrobe of doom.

Our old house, while small, was FULL of storage, kitchen filled with cupboards, 3 bedrooms with wall to wall, floor to ceiling wardrobes, big laundry/storage building out the back, so for years we were blissfully unaware of how much crap we were accumulating. It all just got spirited away, unseen and forgotten about.

The crushing realization of how much crap we had became evident when we moved, into a huge by comparison house, which had very little storage. I was confronted with boxes and boxes and boxes of yarn, with nowhere to hide it and Husband became aware of how much yarn I actually had (eep). Then there were the bags of fabric and the bags and bags and bags of clothes (a side effect of working in the apparel industry and the blight of a decade's worth of sample sales).

So many toys, so many baby/childrens clothes, so many obsolete computer parts (even the husband is guilty), books, books, more books, cds, dvds....so many things taking up space, cluttering up our lives, weighing us down, draining our energy. So overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, we don't know where to start and nothing gets done.

Even the pantry is a disorganized black hole of crap....ergh.


So, yes....2013 is going to the year of the great purge, where the wardrobes are gutted to make way for new handmade pieces, where I don't throw away a bag's worth of out of date groceries every other week (because I won't be buying anything we won't be using in the immediate future), where we'll be able to have a clutter free spare room and rumpus. Where our living space will be calmer and more zen. Where we'll be pulling our fingers out and making the outside space more useable for the boys and a pleasant place to be. There'll be more posts about completed crafting and planted gardens, may be posts about a first crop of blueberries or how amazing the tomatoes are, even what homemade elderflower cordial tastes like. It has to be a year of bringing less into the house, sending the excess out and doing more with what we have.

It has to be.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

WIP it, WIP it good.

(Note: this is a pictureless post, just really a rant about all the things I haven't done, so please feel free to not bother, it's kind of long and boring)

I've lost the will to knit again, which happens to me on and off. I've been distracted by 2 gorgeous monkeys and all sorts of pretty, quick and easy Christmasy crafting (they can be other blog posts, ha!) and haven't thought much about picking up the needles.

This is a bit bad, because there's a cardi for a friend's bub who was born in September. All I have to do is sew on the sleeves and buttons, but I just can't bring myself to pick up the project and finish it.There's been plenty of dreaming about new projects to start and dicking around on Ravelry....but lately I've been embroidering or beading some felt confection for this years tree whilst queuing more cardigans. A couple of months ago, I sort of vowed to myself not mealtimeto start anymore projects till I'd cleared out most of my wips and I haven't, so that's a bit of a plus I guess.


Weekends have been busy ripping out ugly, weedy gardens, getting them ready for some cheap and cheerful plantings till we work out exactly what we want to do and then have the money to finance such endeavors. It's really just an exercise in upping the "street appeal" of the house and making me feel less depressed every time I venture out there. The herb garden is establishing itself beautifully, I'm down there pretty much every day picking tips of this and sprigs of that to pop into dinner. I'm surprised the basil hasn't been completely defoliated. It's there really is a certain smugness to be had surveying the culinary delights of a leafy herb garden. Again, I'll take some pics at some point and do a lil post on the excitement that is my herb patch. There are also trays of seeds sewn, readying themselves for garden beds and our tummies. Lots of tomatoes and capsicum and salad leaves, also heirloom radishes. So many plans for semi-self-sufficiency.

Oh, I have also managed to whip up a few hats for the boys and partake in a tea towel swap for Trough (Craft) Room. Seriously, there are so many blog posts that plop into my head around these things, it's just finding the time to write them and take pics to make the posts prettier.

The boys are so manic, most days my head is spinning trying to keep up. Biggest is now only a few months shy of 4 and Littlest has cracked the 10 month mark. They really are the cutest, most amazing lil creatures. I love them to bits, nothing makes me happier than my crazy, cheeky niblets.

Anyway, back to the title of this post. It's a bit of a name and shame of all the wips I have sitting on Ravelry, kind of a what needs doing to them and let's see how many I can get through and finish....if for my reference only.

Garter Stitch Baby Kimono - ok, this is the bad one, for a friends bub, needs sleeves sew in, buttons and ends woven in. MUST FINISH THIS!

Scrappy Socky Stripey Cardi - Cardi for Littlest, knitting the 12-18mnths size, so it's really for next year, one sleeve, button bands and buttons and weaving in to go.
Boo's Easy Pullover - ergh, I started knitting one size and it looked too big, knit the smaller and it was just a teeny bit too small for Boo, had the great idea to knit strips to insert on the underside of the sleeves and sides of the body, sewed one in and it's all bunched and crappy. So poo to that idea, have to take out the insert and sew it up as is for Littlest when he's bigger. AND knit another one for Boo, because it's a really great pattern.

Tea Leaves - started this back in February and it was flying along, till I had to finish my Lady E for a wedding. Ok, this just needs the button bands (which I'd already knit one of but picked up too many stitches), buttons and to re-knit one of the cuffs on smaller needles (I forgot to change them over) and then deal with the ends. I love this cardi, so if it's not ready for next winter, I deserve to have my knitting card suspended.

Georgia - I started this back when I was first pregnant with Littlest, to while away the hours sitting in waiting rooms doing numerous glucose tolerance tests, but it was 4ply and felt endless and soul sapping. When I picked it up again a year later the knitting flew by, anyway, it still needs a sleeve and buttons.
Boo's Shawl Neck Jumper - I don't know why I can't finish knitting things for the boys, they're small and quick. I can't even remember what size I was knitting, so will probably frog it and restart for Boo. He's a bit of a sweaty betty, so he'll only get to wear this in the coldest days of winter, good thing it can be passed down.
Not-so-shrunken Cardi - Ugh! The fit is awful on me, I could have knit a smaller size and it needs lots of tweaking around the bust. Another for the frog pond.
2x6 scarf - This has been hanging around for years, I love the scarf, it's just a 2x2 rib, alternating every 6 rows. I wish hubby was trendier, it's a great manly man scarf. Pretty sure this one just needs to be cast off and the ends woven in. Or maybe there's another ball of yarn and I have to find it??
Leafy Goodness - this is blocked and just waiting for the ends to be woven in.
BooBot Vest - such a cute pattern and colour combo, yarn is divine to knit with too. I've only knit the back, so will finish it off for Littlest, once I work out which size I was knitting.

Drop Stitch Scarf - just needs ends woven in.

Chunky Monkey Short Sleever - Another Ugh, destined for frogging. I LOVE the colour of this yarn, just have to find the right project, it's very chunky. (just like me really)

Diagonal Rib Scarf - Lovely and squishy, this is another victim of the not-woven-in-ends malady.

I palindrome I - Blocked and ready for some weaving in of ends!

Forest Canopy - Shawl 3 for 2010 - This was supposed to be part of the "10 shawls in 2010" - FFS!!! Anyway, this was a quick knit, surprisingly, BUT needed a severe blocking but we didn't have the space in our old house, with a niblet and pins, disaster!! So now it's blocked and waiting, you guessed it....to have the ends woven in.

My One Skeiner - Shawl 2 for 2010 - blocked, waiting for ends.

Multnomah - Shawl 1 for 2010 - this came to a screaming halt when I got to the patterned edge. No idea why, it's a cute pattern.
Boo2's Telemark - way too small, frogged, just have to wash the yarn and re-wind ready for something else.
Cropped Cardi - very embarrassing to admit, but this has been kicking around since 2007. I hate the YO increases on the raglan seams. I've come so far knitting-wise and this just isn't me anymore. Will frog and re-claim yarn.
Saturday Market Scarf - This was completed and worn, but I hated the way the cast on and cast off edges were too tight for the drop titch detail. It's been frogged and awaiting a wash and rewind.

Niblet's non-sparkleberry - can't remember why this wasn't sparkling. This has been knit twice, it was too small the first time, so I frogged it and started again, but it never got there. I'll frog and wash the yarn and see if it's salvageable and use it for the Littlest.
So, there you have it. Can't half tell I hate weaving in ends. I'm going to get over the spareness of Christmas, then hunker down and get some (if not all) of these things wearable!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Quick and Cute

Whipped up this very cute little vest for a friends bub the other week, it was the first time we'd met Lachlan. His big brother Alex and Boo are the same age. Alex born in January, Boo in March. This time around Goob was born in January, Lachlan in March.

Alex and Lachlan came to visit the last miniature train day, which is just around the corner from us and the boys had so much fun (we all did)....I keep thinking about the Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake from Zumbo we were lucky enough to have, YUM!

Anyway, the vest took just over a ball and a half of yarn....

Details are rav'd here.

Boo is such a hot lil monkey, I've never really knit anything for him. Goob on the other hand likes to be snuggly, so I have to pull finger and get something light knit for him, for those cooler spring days....seeing as winter is as good as over.

There's half a sleeve to go on my Tea Leaves too....so that might not be seeing too much wear-action this year, good thing I won't be growing out of it.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

So many things

Where to start? There's been an awful lot going on, so I may as well just dump it all into one post because who knows when I'll post again!? I've had every intention of making this a more regular thing, but it never seems to happy.

Goobs hit the 6 month mark last week, he's such a happy little nomlet, giggling non-stop, getting scarily close to looking like crawling. As much as I love watching him grow, it's hard watching my itty bitty bubba disappear.



Boo loves his little brother so much, they were watching Chuggington together in the pic above. I know Boo wishes Goobs was bigger and less squishy, so he could play with him more.

On the knitting front, 2 projects have been finished....one that had been on the needles for 4 years (appalling, I know) and something that was finished in record time for me. Firstly, the Lady Eleanor, an epic entrelac piece, a spectacular looking knit, just not very exciting.




The next project was a super quick knit, the Gaptastic Cowl, 3 balls of Dream in Colour Groovy on 8mm needles, it is sooooooo super warm and toasty. Perfect for this arctic weather we've been having. Who knew the Central Coast hinterlands would be that much colder than Sydney?? I consider this to be the beginning of the Soccer Saturday knitting, I know it's a couple of years off, but I'm already preparing for those freezing mist filled morning watching little people kick a ball about.



I broke my self-imposed fabric/yarn buying ban, buying some fabric to make a super hero cape for Boo, so I don't think it really counts. He loves it to bits and I was pretty damned chuffed with the result. I sort of followed a tutorial from Suzy at Floating World Views. It was the first time I had ever appliqu├ęd anything, which was quite nerve wracking, there was plenty of scrap fabric practices before I was confident enough to move onto the finished product.



I started meal planning and it's working brilliantly! Just popped some black cardboard into a couple of frames and huzzah! We have a To Do list and weekly meal board. Makes things so much easier as mealtime/ bathtime looms, I already know what I have to do for dins, so there's not the old panic of "Oh god, what I am going to cook", it also means that there's a lot more variety happening, I'm not just relying on the same old fall back recipes that were too easy.



There's still been plenty of pottering been happening around the house. Doing so much, seeming to get nowhere. Mum and Dad have been a tremendous help, with runs to the tip, constructing flat-packed furniture and such. The biggest thing we've had done is getting rid of a few ill-planted trees, there was a huge Liquid Amber in the front yard, that was lifting the drive and causes the brickwork in the stairs to crack....not to mention the gutter blocking tonne of leaves and spiky seed pods that it started dropped as soon as the weather turned. It was a magnificent tree, I was a bit sorry to see it go, it was just planted in a bad spot.

Before:


After:


Still have to work out what we're doing in the gardens, I'm even erring toward natives, for easy and fuss free. Then concentrate on the backyard being where all the fruit and veg action happens.

As for things from previous posts....well, I did cook quinoa a few times, failed epically on the amaranth and millet. I haven't bought any yarn, WOO!!! And I haven't lost any weight, although I haven't put any on either, so it's not all bad!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Challenge....

An old knitting acquaintance of mine, Amanda, just posted about her self imposed 30-Day Pantry Challenge. It's a fantastic idea, but our pantry was gutted in the move and is still recovering. SO instead of joining in the full spirit of the challenge, Amanda has set another challenge for me....


To use amaranth, millet and quinoa in a dish in the next 30 days, photographic evidence required.

I've been wanting to embrace a more "wholefood" philosophy and purchased the aforementioned grains/seeds with this in mind. Thing is I've never cooked with them before, well I've cooked quinoa once. Boo lives on chicken, rice, beans and broccoli, so in an attempt to add some more nutritional value to his stock standard, I was going to try and sneak in some quinoa, hoping he won't notice. Fingers crossed with that one, haven't managed it yet. No idea what I'm going to do with the millet and amaranth, however I do own all of Jude Blereau's cookbooks, so I'll be consulting those ASAP.

Also as part of the challenge, I've also decided to sort out this mess....


I am a total cookbook whore....so in the next 30 days I'll be going through everything on these shelves and only keeping the books I use. And those damned boxes have to go as well....

And just because....I'll be imposing another challenge....no purchasing yarn or fabric for the next 3 months....yep, nothing till the end of August....let's see if I can do that....I added another pattern and 2 projects worth of fabric to my collection today for absolutely no reason except that the fabric was pretty. I seriously have to stop.