another lovely craft weekend

Over the last week life has quite literally, been a pain in the arse. No doubt at some point I will go into far too much detail about that and the surgery I am going to have this Thursday which promises to be an even bigger pain in the arse, but hopefully will cure aforesaid pain. Suffice to say, when the surgeon offered me last Thursday as a possible date... I said, NOOOOOOOO, I can't miss out on Craft Weekend. I am nothing if not committed. Luckily, sitting down has not been a problem.

Anyway, enough about my bottom issues. Craft weekend was delightful. As always. The last week or two have been so insanely busy. I set myself a huge amount of work and put far too much pressure and stress on myself and those around me. So for me, this weekend was all about relaxing, not rushing and just being. One thing that really helped was not driving, thanks to Di who came and picked me up and Suse who drove me home. It really is an absolute luxury to be driven and I really appreciated it this time. So thank you both. 

august craft weekend

1. view out the front yard, 2. lichen and shadow, 3. dew and mist, 4. daffodil, 5. the shot through the window of the studio in the evening, 6. tea and snack time, 7. lana and bruce, 8. tree shadows on green grass, 9. my new knitting bag, 10. di making a sewing machine cover, 11. it was quite windy, 12. ellen, 13. blossom, 14. jill with some wool, 15. lichen, 16. catherine and suse, 17. brooch for grace, 18. the light coming in the window, 19. wool silk jumper, 20. ellen, suse and di, 21. looking at pictures of ellen's niece on the internet, 22. morning view, 23. lana's amazing toasted muesli with yoghurt and strawberries, 24. in my new green t-shirt (by suse), 25. cath and ellen behind the flowers, 26. moody spring skies, 27. di and lana knit before breakfast, 28. front of the studio, 29. new growth, 30. the corner bedroom

Arriving at Sewjourn is always fun, noticing seasonal changes in the garden and watching the house and studio take on the colour of the group for the weekend. Despite not rushing or being particularly focussed, I completed five finished items. A knitting bag which I totally didn't plan on making out of some vintage fabric samples from Sooz's grandmother in law and some linen from Di's stash. It has a high wonk factor, but the sight of my new knitting bag sitting on the couch, or hanging from the back of a chair with a new bamboo scarf project in it gives me little thrills of pleasure every time I walk past. Much classier than the Clegs bag. I also made a pair of pyjama pants (for hospital), a green t-shirt and brownish silk wool lace fabric jumper. Both out of fabric I have taken to craft weekends many times and both of which turned out pretty well. Although I think I should have changed the thread when I did the hems on the t-shirt and perhaps my machine really does need a service. Oh,and a flower brooch for Grace. Also unplanned and using a brooch finding from Sally-Rose and a couple of buttons I had with me for goodness knows what. Grace was thrilled to receive it and has worn it ever since. She also got a book about a teddy bear lost in the bush from the opshop and I bought G a record which turned out to be a bit of a find, so he was pleased too.

Meals as ever were fantastic. Another luxury. We had a fabulous lamb stew from Ellen on the friday night. The aroma made me think of my childhood in the best possible way. Then we had sticky date pudding with caramel sauce (which took me three goes to get right as it's been ten years since I did any sugar work and I couldn't find my sugar thermometer - recipe coming on eater next week maybe) from me which was pretty good even if I do say so myself. Breakfast was the most awesome homemade toasted muesli with yoghurt and strawberries from Lana. Lunch was two utterly delicious soups from Cath and Suse accompanied by sensational bread from the farmer's market. Then dinner was the most astonishing lamb roast stuffed with pinenuts and other delicious things with a tomatoey reduction sauce served with kipfler potatoes, baby beetroots and salad. Then we had this divine citrus fruit salad and I could not resist taking the last few pieces of grapefruit. Just perfect. Amazingly the next morning we we ready for brunch served by Di which was a caramlised onion and feta frittata and baked beans. Just delicious. Perhaps unsurprisingly we gave lunch a miss and snacked until just before leaving when we polished off the remaining frittata. Not only was all the food totally scrumptious, I hardly had to cook any of it and being one of the last to leave, I took home a few choice leftovers. Which we've been eating ever since.

Like always I feel so lucky and grateful that I get to do this, that G doesn't mind and encourages it even, that a place such as Sewjourn exists in a magic little space just on our doorstep and that I have this group of wonderful women to share it with.  I feel well refreshed. Thank you universe. 

High School for Coburg

For the last two weeks the HSC website has been my magnificent obsession. I've learnt more about blogger and html and other random things than I thought possible. But it's as done as it's going to be at this stage.

Tomorrow night, Wednesday 19th of August HSC is holding a free public information evening and all are welcome. If you live in the Coburg or Preston, come along and have your say on the future of secondary education in your local area.
Wednesday 19 August 2009
Coburg Town Hall
90 Bell Street, Coburg (free parking available)

Keynote speaker: Chris Bonnor
Also featuring Rod Quantock and Catherine Deveny
We invite all parents, grandparents and residents to come tell us your ideas and thoughts on secondary education in our area. Attending will be City of Moreland councillors, politicians and education experts.

Don't miss this opportunity to have your say!

things to be happy about

All of a sudden last week I turned into shrew woman and it was quite unpleasant. There were metaphorical cupboards to be turned out and issues to be discussed and well, yech. So I arranged for Grace to go to her Nana's so we could like, you know, talk about said issues and G said, but I want to go to the football. So we did. And it was a much better idea.

So here is a list of things that I am happy about:

The footy was tense but truly excellent. It was very cold but Carlton won. I remembered all those times we used to go to the footy together and how much I enjoy it. There is something very uplifting about a big crowd experience, it's a bit like a big dance party except it's not all night and the people are more diverse and interesting. And there are men in shorts running very fast doing tricky things with a ball. We discussed taking Grace next year. It would be a great thing to do as a family. Maybe we should get a membership and really commit for a year!

Nana care only a phone call and short drive away. Brilliant. We are so lucky in this regard.

Pumpkin pizza. I made this for the second time and we think it is really delicious. And it involves pumpkin, which is a tricky veg to get through in this house.

I am going to book a week in Queensland for the three of us in late October. Not only will we see Betty and Maeve and Ruby and Cam, but there will be beaches. And maybe we can go to the big pineapple or something like that.

We had a shared dinner with some of our neighbours last night. (I so love our 'hood) The children ran around and trashed the house (eek it's going to be our turn on the karmic wheel sometime soon) then relaxed in front of the heater reading books and napping while we sat outside and drank beer and vodka and relaxed like grown ups. Oooh and I tasted tofu burgers that were really, really good. I must get the recipe.

Then after I got home, I did a bit more work on the High School for Coburg website and stayed up much later than I should have. But it was good. It's not finished, there is a stack of work to do, but I've made a good start.

There was some guerrilla gardening action down at the pool this morning and I didn't do much but I did take heaps of photos. It looks so good. I can't wait to see it as I go past on the bus.

Planted a grapevine and big yellow rose in the front yard. And the mulching is nearly done. It almost looks half decent. Well, it looks like a start.

And you know, isn't it amazing how a night out can make you feel so much better. Who'd have thunk it?

Oooh looky. It's bed time. Shite. Better go to bed before my feet freeze off. Work tomorrow.

a windy night

Last night there was a full moon and the wind rattled the windows so loud I could hardly sleep, despite clean sheets and a clean house from both of us running around with the duster and the vacuum cleaner while Grace sulked in her room. The dripping tap in the bathroom woke me up, as did the noise of Grace sucking her thumb. Not to mention the wind.

My thoughts at the moment are not things I can talk about here and now, so have a picture of an orchid. A gift from a friend and neighbour when I had the cold. Still smelling sweet, still looking good.

Later we might leave Grace at Nana's for the night and go to the footy. I guess that would count as a date. No, really, I am not going mad again. Quite the opposite. But I am wondering what I will wear.... thermals and hat I guess. In blue.