Friday, September 29, 2017


Some more hankies - like these ones. I've probably got enough now but it's a little bit of happiness to take a handmade hankie out of my pocket. The two outer ones are re-purposed cotton shirts that didn't make the cut (or did?) in a recent wardrobe declutter.

And a balloon in the bathroom. It's a portrait drawn by my granddaughter of my son simultaneously smiling and frowning.

The colours of this post remind me of a joke my father used to like to tell. What's black and white and red (read) all over? Answer: a newspaper.
And a childhood favourite of my son: What's red and invisible? Answer: No tomatoes!

Reading: This house of grief by Helen Garner. This is the harrowing true story of the trial of a man who drove his car into a dam killing his three young children. It's heartbreaking to read in parts but written in such a way that I almost feel like I'm on the jury. Was it a deliberate act or an accident?

Listening/watching: Podcast Wardrobe crisis with Clare Press episode Disentangling style from fashion with Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum from StyleLikeU. This is truly amazing. Everything I've felt about clothing and the fashion industry is so clearly articulated. Their What's underneath project on YouTube is so worth watching - short video interviews of (mostly) women talking about self image.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

birds and apples

A visit to the zoo this week followed by a walk through a local park to see the birds. This particular park has a lake and is always full of birds and, at this time of year, you can see cygnets, goslings and coot chicks.

And a play mat for Little Sprouts made from some of these fabrics and a surplus-to-needs quilted mattress protector as wadding. To make: cut the backing, top and wadding to size and make a quilt sandwich. But, instead of quilting, simply sew the layers together all around the edge, curve the corners and attach double fold bias binding. No need to quilt as the mattress protector is already quilted. Tutorial here to make a mat without binding.

Watching: Three (!) movies this week: 
Love is strange (2014) starring John Lithgow as Ben and Alfred Molina as George - an ageing gay couple who have been together for decades but after George is fired from his teaching job they are forced to stay with friends separately while they sell their apartment and look for cheaper housing.

Leviathan (2014) Set in a bleak coastal town on the Barents Sea, Kolya decides to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house and land will be seized. A powerful slow burner that I've been thinking about all day.

Frances Ha (2012) Quirky movie about a dancer trying to make it in New York City. One of my all time favourite films.

Drinking: Three ginger tea by Pukka. It's "a warming swirl of organic ginger, galangal and golden tumeric". Infuse for at least 10 minutes - spicy and delicious.

Friday, September 15, 2017

marbles and monkeys

Marble painting - drop a marble into paint, roll it around on a piece of paper on a tray and - ta-dah! - art. We had hours of fun with this book, Recipes for play: fun ideas for small hands and big imaginations written by New Zealander Rachel Sumner. Loads of simple ideas for pre-schoolers.

Sock monkeys - done. Pattern for cutting layout here. Variations - including the cute folded ears - alternative layout and detailed construction method with photos here. I'm especially fond of the plain grey one which I thought might turn out to be a bit boring.

Reading: The stranger in the woods by Michael Finkel. True story of Christopher Knight who disappeared to live alone in the woods for twenty-seven years.

Watching: The witness - documentary about Kitty Genovese who in 1964 was stabbed to death on a New York City street while, apparently, thirty-eight people witnessed her murder and did nothing.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


The early Spring weather has had me in the garden so I haven't been spending a lot of time making things lately. Instead I've been trying to lure bees into the garden by planting herbs - purple basil, mint, lemon grass, thyme and oregano - and a few flowers among the veges. We've also planted an avocado, a passion fruit vine and a bay tree. I can't wait to try drying our own bay leaves. Plus, even in a small garden, there's always lots of work to do after winter.

I did find time though to go to Fabric-a-brac last Saturday. I shopped without intent which was joyous.

Everyone in the house is away for most of this week. I always look forward to being home alone and imagine myself living a zen life - getting up early, doing yoga daily, taking long walks and eating raw foods but the reality is that I eat apple crumble for dinner, stay up late watching re-runs of Inspector Morse and sleep in. This time though I am without a plan. Today was taken up with a haircut for me, an emergency trip to the vet for the cat and a mad flurry of window cleaning - by me, of course.

Reading: The photo and recipe for the beautiful cured eggs coloured with beetroot and saffron is in Simple fare - spring, summer: guide to everyday cooking and eating by Karen Mordechai. This is a stunning cookbook with so many interesting but simple recipes that I'd love to try.