It’s Sunday evening and I got one of those back to school last minute panics about the weekend being over and not having done my homework.  Luckily it was to do with my blog and not with my Monday which involves sitting in a boring office with the only upside being no homework.  I thought I wouldn’t have to blog as my weekend had nothing happen, or had it?  Well it depends whether I measure it on the craft scale or on the life scale.  On the craft scale it was a 1 out of 10 but on the life scale probably a 6!  Of course my first thoughts tend to the craft scale…

Friday night Mr T and I went to the premier of the new James Bond, not the flash celebrity premier but the bog standard ordinary folk premier – same movie different kind of drinks…  He was underwhelmed with the movie but I really enjoyed it – Daniel Craig in every scene, what’s not to like?  Afterwards we headed to the nearest pub and had a lovely pub dinner and beverages.  I headed home to snuggle up with my Borders loot, well Mr T kept me waiting for 20 minutes so what’s a poor girl with 50% off vouchers to do?  I bought this :

coutureand this;

pie-biblethen this;


and finally this;

coverIt was a blissful night of reading!

Saturday was haircut day, I also treated myself to a manicure – so now I talk with my hands a lot and keep getting distracted by my pretty mocha coloured nails!  Grocery shopping in afternoon (groan boring tedious) Then to top it all off Mr T had his work Xmas do, which I dutifully tagged along to.  The food was nice, really nice, I managed to find someone I liked to talk to all evening (yes, I’m a cow) and I managed to stay up until 2am!  Just like a grown up!!  It doesn’t happen as often as it used to…  I mean as the title says – I’m too busy crafting these days…  granny!!!  I refrained from drinking though as I was too busy today doing important boring work stuff in preparation for a meeting this afternoon (not for boring main job, but for interesting side job) and then still managed to pop into the Knit Rangers for a quick coffee and catch up.. well not so quick and not just coffee – I managed to drag a few others across the carpark for a wine afterwards!  Hoorah!

So to summarise for this virtual show and tell of “what I did over the weekend” Great books, good food, grocery shopping, psycho pre dinner nerves on saturday, psycho breakdown over dishes not being done on sunday, tempered with a great little giggle, glug of wine and good mates at knit group.

No wonder I’m buggered….




I can’t wait until I can bend and stand like I used to, the craft queue hasn’t reduced at all this past week, sure I’ve had help with chores and cooking, however no one can help my craft chores!  And yes, some parts of crafting are chores, for instance, tracing the patterns from magazines, like Burda, onto newpsrint and then cutting out the pieces, winding a warp is a fair chore – all chores but enjoyable chores which lead to the bliss of crafting.  Perhaps I should have been prepared and had lots of knitting on the go, apart from the one pair of socks I’m trudging through right now, admittedly if they were for ordinary sized feet they would be finished, unfortunately they are for my sons size 14 feet … my lovely son and his rather large feet are getting a pair of handspun, handknitted socks in his xmas parcel.  I am lucky – he does appreciate handknits, in fact when he saw the yarn I made he did request the socks. But I digress, at the moment, I don’t have anything on my mental craft queue for knitting.

I’m hoping to sew this weekend and when I do I will start on this fabric

summer skirtThis gorgeous piece was found on TradeMe advertised as a cotton, I was expecting shirting, but instead I got a lovely heavy linen weight cotton, I’m hoping to turn this fabric into this skirt


I was so pleased to find a plus sized skirt pattern in this issue of Burda that wasn’t a straight style.  For some reason it is easier to find trousers in both ready made and in patterns than it is skirts, I’m going to make this first in a lightweight striped cotton which I bought for $4 per metre to minimise the effect of potential failure…

Wish me luck!




Anyhow I started to do a bit of sewing on the weekend but it kind of turned to custard.  A blouse made out of heavy weight chiffon, my confidence level is a bit up with my recent successes so I was going to modify the blouse with a silk collar and cuffs etc…  The first lot of seams didn’t quite match, no worries – I could just sew the collar over to cover the botch, the first lot of overlocking and seaming wasn’t perfect, so of course it needed some more, then the facing needed sewing, then the facing wasn’t heavy enough to stay down, so it needed to lots of edge stitching…. so I ended up with a big botchy collar.  By this stage I’d wasted about 1 hour of sewing, had a very familiar feeling of frustration where I usually push on through and keep adding botch job to botch job and push through to make a very homemade clown costume.

I chose to do something unusual for me, I unpicked, I sat still for an hour and unpicked the collar, re aligned the front seams and pinned bias binding over the neck edge ready for sewing when I am more zen.  Which I hope will be soon.

Personal growth through crafting.

Lazy days


Enforced lazy days to be precise.  On Thursday I had a minor operation for a hernia which called for a day stay in the most wonderful little private hospital (thanks MrT for having medical insurance!) The staff aren’t rushed or harried, the level of care is just brilliant and I get to have a wonderful deep sleep.  It’s only my second ever operation and I have to say something quite strange – I love going under… it’s just like drifting off into a beautiful sleep… I love sleep…  All I can hope for is when it is my time it will be just like that!

That’s a bit maudlin isn’t it?

Moving on…

It’s exam time for my son which means he’s at home watching tv when he should be studying.  It’s up to him but he is aware he will be at school until he finishes 7th form, it’s just his choice as to whether he will be 17 or 27 when that happens.  Unfortunately I suspect he likes the idea of being at home until he’s 27.

However this week there have been signs of independence, I showed him how to make pizza dough which we kept in the fridge for him to turn into pizza the next day for lunch.  And on the day of the operation he managed to pull together bangers and mash with late notice, quite good mash too!

Now I know being an accomplished cook I should have had my children making hollandaise at aged 7 and such, but to be honest being a working mum there is very limited time to spend on cooking let alone teaching.   Anyhow these kids of mine have a broad palate, know what they like, know good food from bad and that is the first step to being a good cook or baker.  Actually my daughter is an excellent baker, she makes the best chocolate chip cookies, and apparently is quite a reasonable cook now – she is living overseas this year on an exchange and has been cooking once a week to help her families out.

I think I have parental angst about this, don’t you?

Anyhow enough naval gazing, here is the living proof I think my kids will be able to feed themselves and their families, friends and flatmates when required.

boys own pizza

The bun is a mini calzone, or as he called it “a pizza bun” filled with leftover meatballs from dinner,  actually he was trying to emulate Korean Pancakes but decided to try them in the oven instead of on a hob plate and ended up with his pizza buns.  I promised him we will try to do the Korean pancakes one day,  I was impressed though he made the mental leap from bread dough to the pancakes we enjoy at a stall in town.  They are made with a yeasted dough filled with either savoury or sweet and then cooked on a hotplate with loads of oil to make so crispy. mmmm yummy. maybe we’ll see them here another time, but for now, another proud mother moment – just look at that perfectly cooked pizza…proud pizza bun

What do you think?  There’s hope for my kids?

Bag time


Bags are brilliant, so useful, so pretty and you can never have enough.

It’s been on my list for a while to make a cloth bag for taking my lunch to work in.  While bags aren’t hard to work out without a pattern, it’s just a lot more inspiring to have patterns to browse and well it saves on the maths… and as I’ve said before I do love a Japanese craft book

inspirational bag book

This is the bag I made and I did make it to the instructions but it must be modelled by a child coz mine aint that big!  But I still love it

my bagI used a lightweight cotton upholstery fabric for the outer, light cotton lining, the handles are from offcuts from an old lifejacket factory (!).

liningI was really happy with myself, I perservered with all the little details including putting magnetic closures on both the front and back and the sides so it can close like this

all done up!aint she cute!  I feel very cutesy wootesy carrying my lunch in this everyday!

I thought about lining it with some stiffening but realised that this baby needs to be washable because my lunches can leak!

I’ve not been crafting as much as I’d like this past week and boy-o has it made me cranky!

Something that can help with the de-cranking is reading a good cookbook.  I have a medium small collection of cookbooks, but I really believe that I have the ultimate collection for my needs!  So much that recently I went to Borders with a 50% discount and didn’t really need any cookbook there even at half price…  unbelievable! It might have just been the fact my teenage son was pestering me and not giving me enough space to browse.

Anyhow, cookbooks, they really are my favourite kind of book.  I follow recipes for baking but totally freeform any other kind of cooking, I may use a book for inspiration to kick start the thinking process but that’s about it.  It’s not that I’m a food genius, but more that the kind of food I cook for meals is a cross between function and fast!  How to get dinner on the table for 4 hungry adult appetites (if not adult in age) with as few pots as possible in the least amount of time, oh, and to satisfy 4 diverse palates…  Tonight for instance – Pork Laksa with noodles, before you get all impressed, the Laksa was from a can – a very authentic made in Thailand can – where you bring it to the boil add meat,veg and noodles – yay dinner in less than half an hour and very tasty.  I do have a cookbook with a very good Laksa recipe which I will use when I am just cooking for pleasure not for volume of food!

Here are my cookbooks in their place of residence – the kitchen bench – nice and handy for quick inspiration and reliable recipes.

organised chaos

organised chaos

but wait there's more...

First Steps


As a member of the Creative Fibre Guild there is a certain inevitablility about succumbing to fibre fever.  I joined in April 08 in order to learn to spin, but I found so much more, I found an excellent group of people – mostly woman – who are as crazy about fibre-ish pastimes as I am. They are on the whole very generous with their time, resources and mostly knowledge.  In seven months I have learned more than a lifetime of knowledge and expect to learn so much more.

One of the things i have learnt is how to weave, well I’ve learnt the basics, and learnt that it is another wonderful skill and craft that I expect to continue learning.

Here are my first two attempts, both woven on the same warp in cotton.