Wednesday, January 26, 2011


On a cool afternoon (well, cooler than the 35' day we had here yesterday!), while my babies pushed their pretend babies on their swings

I strolled around my garden having a look at where things are up to, 2/3 of the way through a hot summer here in Australia.

This is our corn

And this is how big the biggest ear of corn is.

This is one of the few strawberries that either the kids or birds haven't eaten- I have big hopes for next year!

And though the tomatoes are mostly done, here are some hopeful flowers just coming up

Apart from that, there are the broccoli and basil (which will have a row of sunflowers behind it)

And these broccoli in pots too.

The beans are chugging along

And this is what's next to our front/back door: chillies and pretties, and soon some more sunflowers in that pot.

Apart from all this, we are planning for winter, and have been planting seeds

Buying seedlings
(silverbeet, lettuce and eggplants)

And even digging garden beds in the cool of the evening.

I love going out in the cool, after the kids are in bed, to water and potter and weed and find surprises, like this one.

I don't remember planting anything in this pot- ah well, time will reveal what it is!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This post is brought to you by the Iphone app Instagram

Well, not really. But I do love it!

There's been alot of holiday life living, kid wrangling, new year life organization, and avoidance of housework going on around here. Unfortunately, not alot of knitting or sewing.
But there has been Barbie-playing

And even jam-making! Look at these beautiful plums simmering away ...

And of course, miss4yo wanted to help, but the jam was a bit hot for 4yo hands, so instead she made a label, practicing her letters.

If you look really hard, it says 'Blum Jam' (she misheard me when I spelled out the words for her).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pay it Forward 2011

I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must re-post this message, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 giftees sometime in 2011. Ready, set, GO!
(via Green Valley Crafts )

*remember to leave me your email address, if it's not linked from your comment profile

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Holiday of a Million Coffees

Don't get me wrong. I like coffee. I love it actually. I love the taste, the social side of it, the moment that is instantly created when a lovely warm cup is set down in front of you for you to enjoy.
But in the last two days, I've had a whole lot of coffee, so much so that today I had to stop drinking a beautiful cup halfway through it because I just couldn't do it, captain!
Yesterday I drank 4 coffees while traipsing around Melbourne via tram and my two feet.
Today, I drank 3 cups and stretched for (but didn't quite reach, I think) a new level in coffee snobbery.
This handsome man:

and I went to Market Lane, which is a specialty café and coffee roastery, located in the Prahran Market.

We were there to both taste their coffee normally (after a great experience there this time last year) and to do what's known in the coffee world as 'cupping'.

Now I know very little about this, but basically cupping is a way to learn about the flavour and character of different coffee beans, by smelling them when they're whole, after being ground, and tasting and scoring each bean on lots of different things like balance, acidity, flavor, and body.

Husband: in his absolute element.
Me: Completely out of my depth.

I felt nervous, I didn't want to say the wrong thing, and I was unsure what the procedure was (though it was explained to me very well, I was just wanting to be perfect at it first try!) so I felt a bit shy.

But we had a great time, and I certainly learned things and enjoyed myself, once I realized it wasn't a test and we were doing something pretty cool together.

My favourite was bean #5, and it turned out that the other three people in the room (who were all baristas!) thought it was the best one too- so maybe I'm not as unknowledgeable as I thought.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Work In Progress: Coffee Date Dress

On a rainy day yesterday

I started taping the pages and pages and pages together to start making the Coffee Date Dress, a free multisized pattern from Burdastyle.

The pattern was sized from 34-42, and I actually sized it up another size to be safe (based on my measurements when referring to Burda's size chart), but it was time wasted as when i tried the dress on while sewing, it was too big in both the bodice and the skirt.

I'm sewing it out of a poly/cotton herringbone knit fabric with a little (but not too much) stretch to it.

This is where I'm up to...

The bodice is together, ruffle is done, bodice is sewn to the skirt, and it's waiting for a zipper (which needs to be bought today, frustrating as I thought I had one that I could use but it's not long enough) and the bottom hem to be sewn.

I'll see how the fit is after the zip is sewn in, but it may need some taking in again.

I'm using the Frock by Friday sewalong at Grosgrain for my instructions- it's been really helpful so far.
I've put myself on a bit of a self-imposed deadline for this dress as I'd really like to take it to Melbourne when my hubby and I (just us! No kids!) go on holiday there in a few days.

Apart from the lack of zipper, I had to down tools and stop sewing last night for another very important reason...

For my husband and I to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. In 7 years we've had 2 children, lived in 6 houses, and drunk a million coffees. I love you honey :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new look for a New Year

Welcome to 2011, welcome to the new look around here.

Change is good ... yes?
I fight change most of the time. Big changes anyway. Little ones are fine, like the way a room might look in my house, or cutting my hair differently, or using a different fabric or wool in something I'm making than what I'd usually use. Thats fine.
But big ones? Not so great with those. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and unfortunately hand in hand with that can come some control freak tendencies ... so big changes scare me, they make me feel out of control and like I don't know where to throw in the anchor or what to hold on to.

Having said all of that - like a lot of you, I'd like 2011 to be the year of some changes, both big and small, in my life.  My husbands job is changing this year, my miss4yo will be off to preschool 3 days a week, and as of a few days ago, apparently we're toilet training mr2yo (I say 'apparently' cause his being 'ready' kind of snuck up on me - even though toilet training is obviously the end goal, I'd selfishly also like to just have him in nappies on my holiday so I can relax a bit more!). There's lots of stuff happening already for this control freak to get her head around.

But it's still exciting. I'm looking forward to what the year will bring. I'm looking forward to (fingers crossed!) having more time to be creative in whatever way, and am looking forward to including miss 4yo more and more in creative stuff.

I'd like to do more photography, learn more knitting techniques, finish the two quilts that I started for the kids a LONG time ago, do some more tutorials for this place, and get to know more lovely people out in the blogosphere.

Oh, and eating better, doing more exercise, having a cleaner house, being a better parent, and world peace would be nice too.

So bring it on 2011 - I'm ready.

What are you ready for this year?
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