So what have I done with my precious leave? Not a lot really. That was the best bit. Some sniffling and lying on the couch with a horrible cold, that was the worst bit. Such a waste. But oh well, at least it was only a cold as opposed to swine flu, and I'm probably done for winter now. Mostly my days have been full of pleasant things. I've taken Grace for a baby 'cino at a local cafe. Hung out with friends and family, mooched around. Sewed a bit. Shopped a little bit. Made a cheesecake. Played on twitter a bit. Been part of hard rubbish excitement. Made a hat for Grace and most of a scarf for me. And went to the museum three times!
Now I just have to get back into the habit of blogging a bit more often. And develop a positive attitude towards work. Before 9.00am tomorrow. Sure, I can do that.
What are your current obsessions?
The biggest is what I've been calling my winter wardrobe re-invigoration project, and it is not progressing nearly as well as I'd like. The first part, which involved a ruthless removal from my wardrobe of any clothing that didn't work, didn't fit or had worn out, has taken place. The second part involving some new clothes, not so much. Lots of sewing in my head, not enough at the machine. A spot of shopping, but really there's only so far that can take me. There's just not that much out there that fits well and that I like and that I can afford/justify. Like for example the bubble skirt (I know, I know but it was a tasteful understated kind of bubble) at Towanda that I loved but it was $240, not even wool and probably far too dressy for work. I dream about that skirt and its aceness but I just can't justify spending that amount of my clothes budget on a skirt it, no matter how I twist it. I might spend that sort of money on shoes that I would wear for three or more years. But not on an ephemeral type of skirt. The cost per wear equation is not certain enough. Especially since I could make a skirt from material I already have in an afternoon. (But I may go and try that skirt on again.... because maybe I could make one like it.... you see I really am obsessed here!) Anyway the clothing thing will have to be sorted before I go back to work week after next, because really... I've hardly a thing to wear.
Other obsessions are learning to use blogger (in particular the old-blogger-doesn't-have-pages-chestnut), thinking about the garden and renovations, hard rubbish and old dolls found in skips. And cheesecake.
Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
My new jeans with my newly refashioned jumper. And woollen socks and birks at home, keens out and about. When I go back to work, I think it will be all about the boots.
What's for dinner?
Buggered if I know (as it turned out - brown rice with peas, caramelised onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, spinach with a scattering of roasted almonds and grilled tofu pieces).
What's your greatest fear at the moment?
A week or so ago it was the swine flu. Now I'm just having the weird dreams you get at the end of the cold when you take too much benadryl nighttime (for the hacking cough) in which I end up with seven children because of a deadly plague and I have to go back to work (because the plague has wiped out half the workforce) and there is no-one to look after the children. Then there is the one that involves searching for obscure product codes on google.... Goodness knows what that's about.
What are you listening to?
Dogs barking, the whirr of the computer, the tap of the keyboard and G talking to Grace as she rises from her nap in the tent. The only way we can get her to have an afternoon nap at the moment is in a sleeping bag out in the tent in the backyard - but it's good, she doesn't nap too long and we're transitioning away from the nap.
If you were a goddess what would you be?
Beautiful, bountiful and nice. Except when I wasn't.
Down near Wilson's prom is nice. As is the desert. Once I liked road trips and maybe I will again one day, but the thought of packing, leaving, being away, coming home and then unpacking just sounds like too much hard work. I guess I'm trying to say that my favourite holiday spot at the moment is right here. At home. Bonding with the house and the neighbourhood. It's very nice.
What are you reading right now?
Sherri S Tepper - Gibbon's Decline and Fall. It hasn't grabbed me yet, but it might. I loved Grass and The Gate to Women's Country.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Liquorice allsorts. Weird google searches late at night for shoes, bubble skirt patterns and how to take flattering photos of oneself (obviously one doesn't give one's camera to a four year old with the iso turned up to 800).
Who or what makes you laugh?Kids pulling funny faces. Comedy on telly. When Grace says "Oh" like a teenager.
What is your favourite spring thing to do?
Watch the newly green lawns turn to brown. Not. In recent years spring hasn't been the joy it once was. Ok being positive now, opening doors and windows. Smelling blossom wafting in a gentle breeze. Bringing in crispy dry washing. Eating cherries. I don't know, it's hard to think about spring when winter is just around the corner.
Where are you planning to travel next?
Lancefield? Beyond that I have no plans. We were going to go away over these holidays but somehow we never quite got that organised. I've had a beastly cold and like I mentioned before, it's been nice being at home.
What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?
The pea and ham soup we had for lunch the other day was pretty nice. As was the lemon lime cheesecake with gingernut crust that followed. Mmmmm cheesecake. Something about that combination of creamy and citrusy with that gelatine texture. I need to make cheesecake again soon.
When was the last time you were tipsy?
Do you know? I honestly can't remember. The purple pills and alcohol are unpredictable together, so I'm a very modest drinker these days. But I'm due an occasion of immoderate drinking soon. I can just tell.
What is your favourite ever film?
Cue pathetic voice here. I can't remember. Haven't been to the cinema since before Grace was born and I guess there's even less incentive to go now we have a cool telly. The other day I watched The Lives of Others on DVD and it was sad and thought provoking. I've also been meaning to watch Children of Men again and go and see Sampson and Delilah (on the big screen).
What is the biggest lesson you've learned from your child?Apart from all the stuff about the love and being a better person and having to do things in two minute intervals and growing eyes in the back of your head and being the grown up, well I guess it would be monkey see, monkey do. So I've had to learn not to yell as much or swear all the time. Well, not unless I want live a shouty life and hear a four year old saying oh for fucks sake. So yeah, we're making an effort here. And sometimes I find that really hard. But blow me down, Grace was so pleasant and polite when her baby chino arrived at the cafe we visited today that the waitress commented on it.
What song can't you get out of your head?I know which song I'd like to be hearing a bit more of.
What book do you know you should read but refuse to?
Windows Vista, The Definitive Guide.
What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?
I can wiggle my toes from side side
What is your favourite colour?
Green. Dark blue. And black of course.
I would tag, but it's time for cough medicine and bed. So nigh nigh.
It's been interesting using blogger. I have to say that while blogger is easier in some respects (the widgets and lists are easier to use and specific to each blog) and free is really hard to beat, it feels nice to come back to typepad. No having to put pictures on flickr first to get decent sized images. Easy to find widgets (although I wish typepad had the updated blogroll one), a big compose area. Typepad also enables you to add PDF and other files and show them as a link which is an advantage. However if it wasn't for blogger not having this facility, I wouldn't have discovered Scribd, kind of like a youtube for accountants, which lets you embed a picture of the file, and a link and is easy to download and email. Perfect for our puposes really. Blogger is also much more feasible than Typepad for multi authoring and having more than one admin without having to pay an outrageous monthly fee for a business account. I'd probably consider swapping platforms if there was an easy way to move my content across. You would think it would just be a slightly tedious import/export scenario, but no I would have to cut and paste each post, each link and each image.
Anyway, if I had been blogging over the last week or so, then I would have been able to tell you about the freezing week while G was in Queensland on holiday. The week in which I had to do dishes (he normally does them because I think we should get a dishwasher and he says, why? I do all the dishes anyway - which is an argument that's hard to beat but it's a system that falls down when he's not around), the house descended into patches of total chaos and I accompanied Grace's childcare as a parent volunteer on an excursion to the children's museum. I am now certain that childcare workers don't get paid enough. The bus was very exciting and so was the museum, but keeping track of all those children! And to top it off, Grace had the most massive tantrum on the way home and when I tried to put get her in the car so she could go home for a desperately needed nap, she bit me on the cheek. Charming. We've since made up but every now and then I wonder whether I should go back to work early. Perhaps I need to do some sewing tomorrow.
Last week did have some bright spots though. Like mail! From bloggers! Once again proving how nice bloggers are, even when you yourself are being the harpy from hell. The first little gift in the mail was from h&b. She'd remembered that Grace had liked this photo and sent her a print in the mail (and let me know that she was doing this so I was happy to let Grace open the envelope). It looks even more amazing in real life than on flickr, despite the fact that Grace has loved it before I could put it on the wall. The second gift was a little handmade leather pouch containing some amber for good luck for me from Alby Mangroves. I won it! Fair and square I'm sure, although I should point out I guess, that I do know her in real life... Thanks h&b and Alby! You sent brightness into a week that had some darker moments. Once again proving that bloggers in our corner of the blogisphere are pretty damn special.
Part of me is itching to write a scrag fight at the craft table or fisticuffs at the blog meet post, because surely, surely all this goodness is really too good to be true. You would truly think that. Especially if you're an old cynic like me. And you would think that the odds of a such a thing happening would increase if you add in a fair dose lady cramps plus a missed purple pill from me, an overdue essay from Suse and Maria breaking her toe in the dark while stumbling near cactuses. But no. We came, we talked, pawed over fabrics and patterns, cooked and ate marvelous food with lovely wine. Talked and sewed. Sung out loud even. And it was really and truly good. Just like it always is. Even though craft weekends were good before we found our crafting heaven, having a regular venue that ticks all the boxes is a real bonus. Sewjourn is such an easy one hour drive from Melbourne, far enough from home to be away, close enough that you don't spend precious sewing time getting there. And packing is so much easier, knowing that there will be irons and cutting boards and plenty of room for the sewing machines. That studio is just like a big gorgeous play room for grown ups with fabric!
1. pine mushrooms and rosemary, 2. sue's sewing box, 3. test quilt, 4. finished at last (photo by ellen), 5. suse, hard at work, 6. shoes, 7. tree, 8. the opinionated knitter, 9. yellow and green leaves, 10. gloomy weather, 11. wood pile, 12. through the trees, 13. susie sewing the top stitching (photo by ellen), 14. in the studio, 15. wet leaves, 16. wet rose
Of course I took more than I could possibly do in one weekend and my overly ambitious list of projects hardly made it out of the box, but I did finish the quilt for Maeve. As you can see above. Machine quilting was harder than I expected. I made a little test quilt which went easily enough but the big one was much more tricky (for a beginner like me anyway) and there was quite a bit of swearing, but it's finished and I'm pretty happy with it (in particular the machine stitched binding which I must take a close up picture of). Anyway she'll be getting it as soon as I can wash and dry it. Now I just need another weekend for all the other projects....