Thursday, December 31, 2009

Post Christmas



A short new year visit up Sydney way to visit Uncle Gareth and Aunty Karen was cancelled due to illness in our household. And not just me - the kids too. I tried to cheer things up a bit by stitching some easy projects from the Felties book I recieved as a Christmas present from Aunty Lynette. The book suggests each project only takes two hours but I don't think that takes into account flus and chest colds. As a result I had to disappoint Archie when the Chihauhau wasn't done before he went to bed. Not to worry - it was ready for when he woke up. As for all the other projects sitting by my sewing machine I thought this might be their time of year, sadly not. Only one bag to go in the Getting To know My Sewing Machine mission and then I'm free. So many other things I'm desperate to try out...

Free Style Magazine








As you all know I have a serious magazine addiction. If not for my awesome powers of self control (I know, I'm a legend) my family would be financially adrift, undernourished and threadbare (albiet in a sea of fabulous publications, not wanting at all for lush visual inspiration and on trend creative direction).
I feel like we all came perilously close to such a nightmare/dream scenario earlier this week when in Borders I discovered the first edition of Free Style Magazine. After all what is there to expect when you cross that line for the first time and decide it's alright to spend $37 on a magazine?
Imagine though: A magazine shaped like a circle, the cover styled in retro fifties fashions with custom collage esque machine stitching and all inside a flouro designer frisbee. Be still my heart. I had to have it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Xmas Greetings


Archie and I found a goldmine of dead sticks in the backyard that are perfect for christmas crafts: witness antlers for the polymer reindeer he made and a trendy Christmas tree for the doll house! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Moon

Before going to see New Moon on Thursday night I read this very funny review by a grown up male who gave it no stars out of five:
"TWILIGHT: NEW Moon" is not a good movie, but who cares? Stephenie Meyer's saga has hacked into the reptilian cortex of the female brain the way "Grand Theft Auto" taps into the male.
The revieiwer, Gary Thompson, trashed almost everything about New Moon - from the soundtrack (an epidural for the soul) to Kristen Stewart's acting (Bella looks more like someone with mono who is occasionally Tasered) - and having seen it I have to say I agree. Except on one point - I give it five out of five stars because I enjoyed myself so much. As I said to my friend on the way out - both of us high on who knows what? - "Who knew it was a Teen Vampire Romance missing from our lives all this time?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Solomon's Coat Rack: A Moral Dilemma


About a year ago my dad scavenged a wonderful old vintage hat/coat rack. It was such a find: 6 hooks and an aged timber painted in a soft chalky green. I fell in love. Unfortunately my dad was rather attatched to it and I did not feel I could ask him to hand it over even though I knew how wonderful it would look in my house. Every time I was at my parents home however I would look at it longingly and ask my father if he had decided where he was going to put it yet. A year of longing mournful looks at the hat rack later my dad finally gave in and offered it to me. No, I said nobly, I know how much it means to you so I can not take it away from you. Then my dad offered to cut it in half so we could have 3 hooks each. I had to think for a moment. Was this a test in the style of Solomon - the story in the bible where two women are fighting over a baby claiming it is theirs and King Solomon solves the problem by suggesting they cut the baby in half and then the woman who says no dont do that she can have the baby! is actually the real mother because the real mother would never have the baby chopped in half????? Should I say no, don't cut it in half, you keep it dad to show just how much I loved it and then dad would give it to me because I had proved how special it was? Or would three hooks look really good on that small bit of wall next to my wardrobe?
Just another one of the moral dilemmas I find myself wrestling with on otherwise ordinary day.....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sick.

I'm sick as usual and sick of being sick all the time.
A couple of nights ago I sat down in front of the TV to see what was holding my partners attention. An SBS doco on a group of disabled young men who had formed a rock band and were touring. It was hard for them because (from what I could tell in the short amount of attention I gave it) they had Aspergers. I'm sure there is heaps hard to be had when you've got Aspergers. But all I felt for them was irritation. And this: I'm sicker than them and what I do every day running a household and family is far harder and far more significant and I'm so tired of chronic illness and all the pressure it puts on my life and those around me and no ones ever gonna make a documentary about that are they? are they? (Note to my documetary film maker friend Magella: please don't get any ideas about putting me in a documentary. You know I get self conscious on camera and inadvertantly pull out a fake voice that makes me sound like Elle McPherson only with a stubborn cold and a a big fat case of BITTER).
How do other mothers manage I wonder? Am I the only other sick mum out there pretending all is well enough? To find out more I went on line (well okay I am nearly always online so I just opened up a new window...) to find out and hopefully get some tips. Alas I did not find much that I did not already know. I did however find this - a study appropriately titled Mothers with chronic illness: a predicament of social construction. No tips just some acknowledgement of my predicament. And it's funny what a long way that can go.
In the context of a larger qualitative study, a database including extensive interviews with a subset of sixteen chronically ill mothers was obtained. Secondary analysis revealed that the women's concerns about themselves and their children included issues of performance, availability, dependency, and socialization. Further, these women reported that the health care system seemed incapable of recognizing or accounting for the profound interrelationship between their mothering and their illness. Analysis of these findings in terms of the conflicting social obligations inherent in the roles of "mother" and of "chronically ill person" provides a means by which to understand the women's impressions that it was a contradiction in terms to be both an effective mother and a good patient.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perfect

How perfect is this photo? For me it just hits the spot. I found it on Flikr by LvRoid and it's called Legs.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday Girls



Another special night out - this time to celebrate the birthdays of Liz and Ros -two friends in a group my email address book affectionately refers to as "School Mums". Ah...but they are so much more!
(Karen - how did you miss out on having your photo taken that night? Maybe I was too busy taking 'arty' photos of your dessert?? Or was it because you were so busy letting me carry on about the exorbitant fees of a certain organisation - all the while knowing their Accounts Manager sat at a nearby table - that I quite forgot my photo taking responsibilities??)


Bag No. 2 complete (amazing!)


Can't believe I've finnished two bags now from the 'make friends with the sewing machine' project instigated about 6 months ago. Completing projects has never been my great love mainly because disappointment always sets in somewhere between inspiration and the first stitch. Perseverence paid off with this one and I learnt a lot along the way - such as no need to put all your favourite colours and embellishments in to the one project (yes, believe it or not this is my example of restraint). Also notable exception: stripes. They are welcome anywhere as far as I can see especially as linings.


Inexpensive fun at home.

Todays afternoon fun took the form of:

A tent made of lounge cushions for Archie.

Extraction of a loose tooth with rusty barbeque tongs by Ruby.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another completed project?


It's hard to know whether to call this cushion cover project complete when the zip insertions are a little dodgy. Obviously you cant tell from the photos and to be fair they are my first ever attempts but it does bug me somewhat just knowing they stilll need work and I still don't really understand the mechanics of zipper insertion (reading the instructions may be a start...). On the bright side I love the fabric!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm a Twilight Mom!!!


Just when you fear you are most alone - unique in your own particularly festered case of Arrested Development - you happen accross a website that reveals a population of thousands JUST LIKE YOU. I am talking about the discovery a few nights ago of a website called "Twilight Moms" dedicated to grown women who should know better and who have unexpectedly found themselves obsessed with the popular teen vampire series. In my case it is more of an Edward Cullen fixation - to me Robert Pattinson as Edward in the movie (which I thought was better than the book) does not exist as himself but only the Vampire Edward.
Although the series reads somewhat clumsily (Stephanie Meyer is a first time author) she has managed to create a hero that strikes a deep chord with women. I think she has cleverly tapped into the rescue fantasy instilled in us all from the first time we are read Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty as small girls. For this reason alone we should keep such propaganda away from our daughters. Preferably in a small box up on a high shelf only to be bought out when they are at school and we have invited our freinds over to help scrutinise the phenomena more thoroughly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Completed Project.



Finally finished the first of four embroidered bags that have been harassing me. Started these as my 'learn to sew/make friends with the sewing machine' project a few months ago. Feel liberated and inspired to keep going now. This is of a babushka doll with her smallest daughter. For reasons known only to themselves they have a small pink cat. The main part of the bag is linen, the back is in red velvet and the lining (my favourite) is in a white and navy stripe.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pretty in Pink



Had a wonderful time last weekend at lifeline Book Fair with Ruby. Among other fabulous finds was the movie Pretty in Pink for $1 (in VHS video form it's true but doesn't that make it all the more nostalgic?? Okay, no - cross with self for not getting there earlier before all the good DVDs were gone...). The weather was abysmal - sleeting rain, dark skies and the coldest temperature ever recorded for a spring day in Canberra - perfect for cuddling up in front of the TV with a feel good movie. I had forgotten how good this movie was. The acting is genuinely good (with the exception of James Spader as Mean Rich Guy Steph - seriously did any student ever dress like that?) and Andrew McCarthy's cuteness really does transcend that awful hair do (or is that just me getting old?). No doubt the best part though were the clothes and the settings. Annie Potts apartment was simply to die for and possibly even responsible for the obsession I've had with leopard print half my life now. As for Molly Ringwald her outfits brought back memories of the floral waistcoat bought with my first ever pay as a KFC host. So much to love about this film will probably watch it again soon. Let me know if you're in.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

High School Reunion 3

What a shock. High School Reunion committee has imploded with resignation of Chair. Reunion cancelled. Suggestions Chair has made off with Reunion Dinner fund. Say goodbye to $70 early bird payment. Reflect yet again on Chair's unhappy time at high school as most bullied student, his subsequent name change and motivation to be organising said reunion in first place.
Reflect on what this means for self. Find urgency to establish status career has lessened somewhat and decide to call off job hunt. Must be content as trophy wife for time being.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For Dark Rainy Days in Spring.

When the sun hasn't shone for a while I find myself relying on little bits of acid bright colour I have dotted about the house. This must be the darkest wettest spring on Canberra record!

Small Matisse picture, cut out of a gallery programme, in a square frame painted turquise.

The citrus yellow cushion I ummed and ahhed about in Domayne for $19.oo and yet makes me smile inwardly every time it meets my eye.


Wearing green and red in acid bright tones.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Canberra Handmade Markets

Here we have the groovy reworked chair I picked up at the Canberra Handmade markets recently. The stall owner of tango and james ,who rescues furniture like this 'from a life of neglect and unspeakable ruin' is the very fabulous Ninaribena who blogs at Canberra's Got Style. I turned up hoping to get one of her cute purses (she no longer makes them!) and came home instead with said chair. Surprise! Since then I've been having carefree fun moving it around house to find it's perfect spot (the half million household chores pile up and mock my inanity as I go). Have narrowed best spots down to:

A. Against blue wall and next to retro buffet (see photo). Perfect for taking phone calls.
or
B. In lounge against window. Offers perfect vantage point to survey household damage 5 year old is doing with mini soccer ball.

Let us know what you think.

Register now to have a say in the positioning of my furniture.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inspired by Scandanavian Design.



Have constructed 1950s kidney shaped coffee table for dolls house out of balsa wood and recycled kabab skewers. (Yes, I know there may be some who think way too much time on her hands, get a job, yet still others may say You Go Girl!!! After all what better way of laying your family's financial future to waste than staying home all day constructing retro miniatures????

Thursday, September 10, 2009

High School Reunion 2

Have committed to reunion and bought self a ticket ($70). Now all left is to decide what to wear on night and kickstart notable career that will leave old classmates in awe at rise in the world. Shipping Magnate being the obvious choice. To this end trotted off in heels on Tuesday to interview with recruitment agency. As have not been workforce participant for Seventeen years now was not sure what to expect but Melissah, the lovely agent who interviewed me and obviously did not think my CV too laughable, put me immediately at ease and we got right down to determining what area of workforce I might suit best. I didn't want to come right out and say "Shipping Magnate" but I did hint at it by saying "I see myself in Shipping" then proceeded to throw around words like "ilustrious" and "international".
Still not sure Melissah and I were on the same wavelength (she kept returning to words like "Human Resources" and "entry level") but now all left to do is wait by phone for job opening in selected feild. And as I say only three more weeks till reunion and to have established said career...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vintage Shoe Find.


Amazing what you can find at the Salvos on a lucky day. Today these adorable vintage shoes for $5 (yes, I know - $5!!!). Black patent leather, a narrow square toe, grossgrain trim and cute bow. Plus with a chunky - yet somehow elegant - low square heel they are exactly what I was looking for. I could cry then that they secretly pinch my toes blue.

The Recruitment Agency.

Was horrified to find email in inbox this morning from the recruitment agency asking me to come in and have a chat with them about job possibilties. I mean I know I rang them on Friday and sent in my resume yesterday but whoever thought they would reply???? Did they read the resume? They must have missed the bit that said I haven't been in paid work for seventeen years. They must not have noticed the gaping Seven year gap of inactivity I provide no explanation for......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

High School Reunion.

Looming on the near horizon is my High School Reunion. We have been a lazy year and didn't do a ten year reunion - nor a twenty year - so now that it is actually happening you would think enough time had passed to be self actualized about the high school experience and embrace a return with it's opportunity to meet up with those I have not seen since school and yet seem to remember (most at least) quite vividly. Perhaps that's the problem???? Even though there is a handful of old students I still see and will accompany on the night I have found myself dreading the prospect ever so slightly and begun to think maybe I just wont go. But because I still live in Canberra (where I went to school and where the reunion will be) there is little excuse not to go. Or is there?
Here are some possible outs I have come up with. Each with it's own difficulties and advantages.
Excuse 1
Have won an overseas holiday and trip co incides with school Reuinion. To be truly convincing must actually leave the country. Funds an issue.
Excuse 2
Am on call at Canberra Hospital as nuero trauma specialist. Has added advantage of hinting at emminent and unexpected rise in the world since high school graduation.
Excuse 3
Fake own death.
Have only a month to orchestrate one of these.

In The Studio Today



A card made to thank my acapuncturist Mei Wu. I like this because I think it actually looks like her. How many people can say they have been honored in a polymer clay collage? Hope she liked it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Existential Crisis

My liitle boy starts school next year. I can't believe it. Only seems like yesterday I was driving home on Ruby's first day at school and thinking "Thankgod I've got a baby waiting at home". Now he's ready to spread his wings too. Of course ever the optimist I fear an existential crisis looming the minute I wave goodbye at the Kindergarten door and head home to an empty house. Even Col has warned I should have something in place - be it job or study or medication....
I ponder my options almost continually as my state of mind swings from happy to stay at home doing nothing (a fabulous new euphinism to describe a day in the service of a household's physical, mental, social and administrative needs) or get some paid work and much needed validation from the outside world or studyVisual Design part time - and fulfil a goal I've had all my life. One day I am telling Col I want him to do a CV for me and vowing to make appointments at an employment agency. The next I am down with an onslaught of infections and thankful we know how to manage as a family on one income, reconciling myself to a life much like the one I've got but with perhaps a little extra time to blog and surf the net. Then I am checking admissions dead lines for Visual design courses and cursing that I still have no assemblage - or any portfolio at all for that matter. Whatever next year entails I hope I'm doing whatever I'm doing by choice and not because the rest was no longer viable.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seven Circle Scarf


Here is a photo of self in new Seven Circle Scarf which I somehow wrangled a friend into making for me. I can't knit but Karen can as was evident when she turned up at the school in her own Seven Circle Scarf. A few compliments later and voila! we were on our way into what is fast becoming a a great art and craft supplies precinct in phillip to buy charcoal coloured wool for said scarf. Now it is done I feel I could easily pass for one of those ladies you see in art galleries who have accessorised from the gallery gift shop!