Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days 'til Xmas

Today we got a special delivery. The lovely Lee from Killiecrankie Farm dropped off our beautiful Xmas Tree. (We thought about picking it up - but it meant making room in the car by losing a couple of our offspring ... after a very small pause we decided it was best that it was delivered). Sustainably farmed and cut fresh this morning, the tree is a vision of the festive season and has already filled our house with the most beautiful pine aroma ... feels like we are taking a stroll through a forest and we are only traversing from the kitchen to the lounge room. If you have yet to get a Xmas tree - get in touch with Lee - They have 4 sizes and they are so incredibly beautiful!

We hauled out the 'Christmas Box' and began our annual ritual of dressing the tree. Our decorations have been lovingly collected from our travels over the past few years as well as saved from special friends and times that seem so far away now. The collection of an ornament from each place we have visited started late (we pilfered the idea from my sister and bro-in-law) but we have still managed a few. Each year, as they are placed on the tree we get to reminisce a little ... I love this time! And now that Edie is a little older she too is keen to hear the stories as each piece is placed on the tree. I have many favourites ... these are but a few ...
This guy, St Nicholas is from Prague. We were there a couple of days after Xmas in the snow, drinking gluhwein. Each time I see him I think of white Christmases!
This one is up there as my number one ... cheesy, kitsch and hopelessly tacky it commemorates our halcion days of living in Edinburgh ... where pipers (good, bad and just plain ugly) adorn street corners, playing for a few coins from tourists. You press it and it plays Scotland the Brave. I will truly be gutted when the little battery gives up. We still miss Edinburgh (Hi Sharkey xxx). We know we will live there once more!

This one is actually from Loz. She got it in Russia when she embarked on her Trans Siberian Railway adventure which she undertook for her 60th birthday. She had been booked to go in 1968, but got married instead. I grew up hearing how much Mum regretted not going, despite getting married. This wee ornament reminds me that you never have to give up your dreams. I love Xmas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dangling a Carrot (or get thee to a market)

Some of you need no encouragement to attend a market. Some of you only need get a faint whiff of handmade items arranged enticingly on trestle tables and your inbuilt market meter goes radioactive. Some of you may need a bigger carrot. So I am dangling one. Tomorrow (that's right a market on a Monday!!), I am participating in my last market for a wee while. Time to slow down. Time to regroup. Maybe even reinvent. But as a little mark of appreciation for the support I have received in Launceston for my little venture I am marking my dresses right down - some as much as 40%. Think of it as Xmas cheer if you will. So if you can spare a little time for a foray - come along to Launceston Church Grammar Junior Campus' Resource room tomorrow (8.30-11am or 2-4pm). I'll have other goodies too and will be in good company if you are not the slightest bit interested in my humble wares. (see side bar for more info)
PS Those lovely, loved up carrots were in our Hilbarn box this week. They canoodled in my crisper until I could keep them from the wee girl no longer. Felt nothing short of barbaric to divide then munch them ... almost cannibalistic!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shoulder Ties, cake and fairies

These dresses seemed to be a firm favourite on the market circuit last summer. Some beautiful new fabrics for them this season ... I love cotton voile - it is my absolute favourite. I am still squeezing Edie into her size 1 shoulder tie dress ... as a top ... I'm not making her flash her knickers in public or anything like that. Anyways ... she does that of her own accord. Public rolly pollies are de rigeur.

It's been a magical weekend. I got excitedly summoned from my sewing frenzy to eat this ...

and yesterday we all got to go to the magical fairy garden party as a fundraiser for the Clifford Craig Foundation. I realised at the last minute we had no suitable fairy wings ... and wings were the ticket to a free icecream ... so I whipped some up using some stiff vintage, flocked organza I have kicking around in the 'I love it, but what to do?' pile. They had a white elephant stall there- and I picked up some booty - will post later! The garden was to die for ... made me get all inspired so I bought a stack of pot plants from their plant stall too! Just a quick post - back to turning straps and shirring elastic. Don't be jealous.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dad Craft

Yesterday was all about Dad Craft. With the man on holidays, it has given me some much needed (and sorely appreciated time) for market preparation - Niche and the market- hobart. The man is well versed in the need for cwaft ... the wee girl likes her craft, or as she prefers, cwafting. So with these shells collected last week from lazy beachcombing at Binalong Bay, the dad embarked on his own special version of Dude Craft... (making sure he had a mug of freshly brewed coffee in his favourite mug, lovingly pilfered from his Nan - the former champion Bowls afficionado).
The results were nothing short of impressive ... and it even matched the vintage shell cabochon hair slide I made earlier ... available at this year's round of markets (yes that was a SHAMELESS plug).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In the bag...

Yesterday morning the man officially started holidays - his final hand-in complete. Yesterday morning after breakfast and coffee I started to preparation has begun in earnest. Yesterday it was all about the skirt. Today ... it was all about the library bag. With the door to 'the back room' open, the sun shining and the wee girl dropping in and out to have a dance, a jump on the bed, or a fondle of the fabric - I thought to myself ... life is grand. Grander even still when you come up to the house for lunch and find it accompanied with a vase of freshly picked flowers from our garden.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gardening by the Riot Act

Our garden (or parts of it) is looking all Spring lovely. The herbs have gone bananas (no actual bananas, just beserk) and my random cuttings of daisies have bloomed. And then there are those irises. The irises that must have overheard Dunc and my conversation a few weeks back, where we whinged that if they didn't bloom this year after squatting on prime garden land for the past two years ... they were destined for eviction. Amazing what a little fear can inspire in flora. They are glorious.
PS thank you for all your kind words re: craft fairgate. All is calm. Normalcy returned. Glue still in place. Sponge baths, de rigeur.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Craft Fairs are lethal

This is a tale of Craft Fair Woe. It's longwinded. Grab a cuppa...or something stronger. Today I became that figure of pity that you see in the motions of meltdown ... the one you view from a distance secretly thanking your lucky stars, god, goddess, idols, false idols ... that it is not happening to you. Today I wished to step outside of my body and run ... not screaming however ... just run like a thief in the night lest anyone see me trying to make a swift getaway to somewhere like, hm, the Amazon Jungle or the Mongolian Steppes or even just an outer suburb of Launceston .... just anywhere but Deloraine Craft Fair.
Let's be clear. It wasn't that I had been awake since 4am. It wasn't that my date with the tax accountant was last minute shifted to a location across town. It wasn't the wee gasbagger who chatted all the way from Lonnie to Deloraine without drawing breath. It wasn't hauling my double pram out of the boot and almost having a hernia. It wasn't the loading of the tribe in aforementioned pram. It wasn't the pushing of the aforementioned pram whilst holding one unsettle-able enfant and continuing aforementioned chat with wee gasbagger. We got to the first pavillion. We had been out of the car for 15mins. The small had got an icecream and I, a milkshake. Things were even looking up when I spied some items that would make perfect Xmas presents ... made of wood and wire ... the gasbagger even chose them herself and was happy to wait in line to pay for them whilst I juggled the unsettle-able to get at my purse.
No - the slow motion part happened now. I just heard the gasbagging turn to distress. The slow motion of your small moving toward you saying 'I want my Mama', wire and wood thingies still clutched in tiny hand. Realising that amidst a whole lot of people your small is dripping blood from her face. Trying to comfort small and search with fruitless accuracy for something to stop the blood with babe in one hand and the other desperately trying to calm one distressed wee girl.
Enter my Clark Kent. One lovely woman who asked so politely if the baby would mind if she held him whilst I attended to my other small. I practically thrusted the baby at her. Whilst continuing to rummage in the bottom of the aforementioned pram for ... a baby singlet ... yes that will mop chin blood, no probs. Mop blood ... see gash ... the wire and wood thingies must have flipped and the wire so perfect had carved out a deep path... First Aid tent required. Small now screaming. I can only say I believe in the kindness of strangers. As my Superwoman helped me get the baby back in the pram, with his (thankfully) smiling brother...which she then pushed to the nearby office so I could carry and calm the girl while we waited for St John's crew.
My girl is made of the good stuff. Once we were there she regained her composure. The gasbagging resumed around the time the boys started crying in blistering stereo. She proceeded to tell the first aid crew that she was much braver than the babies. That she wanted to be a doctor when she was bigger (News to me ... but ace!). Bandaid in place to cover stitch needing wound, it is somewhat hard to answer questions for the first aid incident form as your boys are crescendo-ing into the baby equivalent of the 1812 overture, whilst all present in the craft fair office are informing you that they must indeed be hungry. Exit office to find nearest shady, semi-private tree to feed smalls. Load pram back up with wee gasbagger back in form and perched on the front. Go back to purchase wire and wood thingies whilst previous onlookers enquire as to outcome of muppet show that, judging by the amount of enquiries, was witnessed by 12, 008 people. Do a quick lap of pavillion to justify the whole trip before starting trip back. Head to food pavillion in vain attempt to get some sort of food for yourself as you realise that now it's 3pm ... the last time you ate was breakfast at 6.30am. One baby opens his lungs, the 12, 008 previous witnesses all look in the direction of the stupid woman with the twin pram and the maimed toddler perched on the front. Grab wildly at various food products and head, head-down to the carpark. Reload tribe into the car. Close doors to block out screaming. Load pram ... can't get it to fit in the boot like before. Pull shoulder muscle in the process, so just put all my weight on the boot door and jam it in. Ring husband and tell him to meet us at emergency for some wound gluing date action. Drive the 25mins back into town with both 'they always go straight to sleep when we're driving' babies screaming blue murder and maimed gasbagger joining in the action because I can't 'make them stop'. Turn up radio. Gasbagger and youngest baby give up and go to sleep. Middle 'he is such a cruisy, patient wee guy' baby continues with purchase. Arrive at hospital. Get out settle crying wee bairn on the roadside, never happier than when you see your man stridng toward you.
Enter emergency. Start wait. Babies require feeding. Go seeking suitable spot. Get to hospital foyer. Both babes screaming. Start feeding one... other tops the pops. Again, another vision of kindness appears amidst the 'I'm not really looking' onlookers and collects the screamer and has him smiling in one minute flat until I can finish with his brother. Bless you. Return to emergency. Hand over babes to husband to take home. Commence 2 hour wait for wound glue, reading signs about recent gastro outbreaks and telling the now all singing and dancing happy-go-lucky small to dodge blood spots on the ground. Just when I thought I had lost all will to live, and considered high tailing it and letting the girl live with a character building scar, our name was called and we were in and out in about 4.5minutes. ACE.
Told you it was long. Sometimes it's good to get things off your chest. Sometimes it's good to share the fun times. Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Niche November Xmas Extravaganza!

Put this in your diaries NOW. New location - Inveresk Tramsheds. Get all your handmade Xmas shopping done in one hit ... and support local makers and designers who will in turn donate 20% of all their market profits to St Giles. That's a whole lot of Xmas cheer and feel good shenanigans in one hit. Goodwill to all Men (and women), eh? I'll be here, touting my wares. Come and see my new stuff, if you like.

More about Niche: all wrapped up here

Ahoy there!

Ahoy! These are going to a special little gal who turns 3 today. So pleased that the vintage naval trim has finally found a home ... I like to experiment on my friend's children when I'm coming up with new ideas for Loz and Dinny. Told you I am a little obsessed with all things Maritime! Hope she likes them .. she is a discerning fashionista.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nautical but Nice

There's a bit of a maritime happening around here. As I gear up for this summer round of markets ... I am completely inspired by everything on and in the water. Although not yet complete, these library bags are just a few that will be available at the market ... November 21st - Big Xmas Extravaganza.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still Life with Hot Grapefruit.

Lamb's Ear: picked and arranged from own garden by small.
Grapefruit: pilfered and relocated from lone, neglected tree round the back of University by man
Lemons: not pilfered, from own tree.
Posh, Designer, Eco, Flatpackable fruit bowl: stylist's own

Gosh I love Spring!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I could tell you that on a daily basis I use my tertiary education and wax lyrical about post modernism and marxist feminist readings of Jane Eyre. I could tell you that my 'spare time' is spent expanding my mind by watching Foreign Correspondent and cheeky little documentaries on climate change and the political state of affairs post-global financial crisis and its impact on the Obama Government. Instead I will tell you that I feed my long standing love for game shows by savouring my guilty pleasure of watching 'Deal or No Deal'. When I am on 'The Deal' I will choose the Number 8 case as it is my second favourite number after 29 (which is not available ... the numbers only go up to 26 "Bulyer!!!"). I would like to tell you I will be brave and go all the way ... but I will be very happy with $10 000 ... but feel it in my waters that I will win $42 000. Until my call up to the Dealerdrome I am happy to jiggle babies and undertake the bedtime routine for the small whilst shouting 'NO DEAL!', 'one more' or 'take the deal' or at the television.

PS As a trivial aside ... in the UK the Deal or no Deal contestants stay the same until they get their call up ... some stay weeks or even months before they get their turn ... spooky!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best Nest

I love my house.
I love my nest.
In all the world
My nest is best.
(The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman)
It has been all about nests in our house for a while now. A nest in the big basket with blankets and pillows. Making nests in the garden and in the parks for birds who might be on the hunt for a new one ... so when Dunc found this beauty at the base of the big old gum tree down the road ... the wee girl thought it was the best nest of all. Relocated and redecorated ... in a nashi pear tree executive location ... what bird would pass up this new abode?and in true The Best Nest style ... it had man hair and horse hair and mattress stuffing! Bonus!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Uncle Ironman

The much loved Uncle Stevie is in Hawaii. He is competing in the Hawaii Ironman Race. He is a superman of epic proportions. He 'won' a wild card entry spot. This is not the sort of thing I would view as 'winning'...but he was stoked. Tomorrow he will be swimming 3.86km, cycling 180.25km and then running a marathon 42km ...BACK TO BACK ... for fun. If I was in Hawaii I would be having a pina colada pool side. Wish we could be there to cheer you on, Stevie ... so from our small part of a small island to your part of another island we use our outside voices and cheer GO STEVIE GO!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raising your hand

Look what I got at auction! Times two! I bid furiously and won! I've only ever gone to one other auction before. I get so excited. I love seeing what all the items go for. I had to dash in and out a few times to settle/ feed the boys ... but I got them. Now I can't wait for Summer and all our planned renos/ tidy ups ... I am going to be lounging on our deck, the one on the jobs list ... soon to be constructed from recycled brick pallets. I will languish in this chair with a cocktail in hand ... care to join me in the other one?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meet the Man Behind Father's Day

Meet this guy. The father. The bees knees. Super Dad. The multi-skilled, much loved man around our wonky house.
He baths newborns with such ease.
Uses advanced principles of engineering to string up pinatas in all weather conditions and challenging locations.
Attacks and disposes of ugly, apricot, knee high sinks we have put up with for two years in a single bound ...
Effortlessly juggles two babies sitting ...
...and standing (precarious though it may seem to the untrained eye)
Completes renovations of epic proportions whilst managing the apprentice...Manages a sleep in despite adversity. Which is good as he needs the energy to... fairies with the theatrical charm of Sir Lawrence Olivier
...accept handmade father's day gifts in the morning...
...and construct sandcastles of architectural merit in the afternoon...
whilst on a spectacular Tassie country drive...he's a keeper xxxx

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Junction is all Wrapped Up

The festival is well and truly over ... but some colourful reminders are hanging in there ... and you thought finishing that scarf in the bottom of your to do pile was a big job??? I mean I still sit firmly in the 'knitting is a dark art' camp. I do not possess the knit one, purl one gene. So these amazing yarn bombed columns that adorn the town hall are awesome. Warms the cockles, non? Specially when I snapped these on the most glorious starts to Spring one could ever hope for!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Girl Can Dance - Junction Arts Festival Part 1

We have had such a brilliant weekend. Junction Arts Festival hit Launceston and painted our sleepy city with vibrant brushstrokes. We made sure we sucked up as much of the programme as is possible with one small and two babes in tow. After Niche we had an early dinner of fish and chips before heading to see Pane ... a dance performance in a shop window. From the moment our feet hit the pavement, my wee girl's started to groove out to the 50s tunes playing. By the time the performance started she was in full swing. She was hooked. As each dance finished and the crowd applauded, she took a bow. Her wee friends joined her. There was a rumble in the urban jungle. They boogied in the night. They danced in the street. They grinned from ear to ear.
At the end the performers invited her in. She danced with them. She was wrapped. I couldn't stop smiling. So full of joy. We all loved it - the performance, the setting - so beautiful. Bravo!Getting your kids amongst it ... priceless.
A woman stopped me as we went to leave. "I am sorry to say, you have a dancer there. Prepare her for a life of poverty", she said. ...only time will tell.
More on the festival tomorrow...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Niche Away for another day

Had such a lovely time at Niche. It was very lovely to share a stall and hang with this gal. It was lovely to revel in the superb aroma of all things handmade. It was lovely to eat cupcakes. It was lovely to buy uber cool ring. It was lovely to do a swap and get me paws on goodies from this talent oozing lass. It was lovely to meet a whole barrel of stall holders. It was just lovely to be amongst 'eau de market'. It was lovely to see some old customers faces. It was so lovely I forgot to take photos. I took but one and then got sidetracked. Sorry. Suse took some. Go there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

See you at the Market, Handmade Lovers

I will be at Niche Market on Friday and Saturday. Hanging out at the Boathouse venue in Inveresk. Between the roundabouts on Lindsay Street - or just a short hop over the bridge from Seaport. I will not have my new cute wee appliqued skirts as Jan the Janome has a broken foot ... her control foot, went caput ... so no shirring elastication is possible ... it seems newer machines don't like the job as much as Jan ... no sweat though - I will unleash my Mountain Stage Tour de France design at a later date...

I am not concerned - I am just happy to be back on the market horse and to be in such lovely company ... Afterwards we are going for Fish and Chips and then heading to see Pane - a free performance in Jessup Retravision's shop windows! Hope to see you at the market - it's been a while xx

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Junction Arts Festival - Launceston

I am loading up my bandwagon and going in convoy with Mrs Smith ... cool things are afoot in the fair city of Launceston ... Junction Arts Festival 2010
Officially the festival opens tomorrow ...but as we wandered around town yesterday ... we saw the city taking on a new canvas - as knitted graffiti, a mandala trail, sculpture and installations began to pop up and take shape. The beauty of umbrellas in trees and posts kept warm by their own scarf. Edie was so taken with watching Pleiades being installed ... she stared in absolute wonder at 'The Snow Tree'. I barely know where to start with the programme.
We have already had a cheeky peek at what is the wondrous, eye popping goodness of 'The Knitting Room'. I mean I thought there might be an odd cupcake in the old knit one, purl one ... but a whole house? Room after room modelled on a 1950s abode - ALL KNITTED? Edie, Aunty Helen and I could barely contain our excitement.

I am already planning my out of house sneak to get to the Junc Room - Festival Club ... Barry Morgan's World of Organs is there. Did you see him on Spicks and Specks?

Image from here

And I so desperately want to muster the courage to get A Haircut by a 10 Year Old or maybe I will just settle on a love letter for Dunc at The Letter Writing Service. ...and that is but the tip of the iceberg!!

I will be at Niche Design Market ... which is also part of the festival.... I'll be planning my schedule from there!