Tag Archives: friends

A Tale of Two Cakes

You may have already heard the tale of the (thankfully not chocolateless) chocolate cake… it’s already quite famous, you know. But on my return from the stashbusting expedition*, I found another waiting:


Sponge cake with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and cream. Drooooool……

(Dermot’s first ever sponge cake, he will have you know. What do you think Liesl, should we enter him for next year’s Melbourne Show?!)


My birthday (one with a 5 in it) is, in fact, tomorrow, but Sunday is a much more celebration-friendly day, which is why we did it all today. (There is, however, an ominous bag of goodies awaiting kids-in-big-bed time in the morning. In the immortal words of Lola,I can’t wait, I can’t wait!)


It was delicious! (There’s none left, by the way… but it’s not quite as bad as it sounds, we did have guests come for yummo roast-chicken dinner as well, we didn’t polish off the lot by ourselves!)

All that and the Finders Keepers market yesterday with Niamh too. An entirely satisfying weekend!

*If you follow that link you can find a picture of me blowing out the candles – I am clearly moving very fast… which is when I am at my most photogenic, I think**! Thanks Cam 🙂

**I also have quite the photogenic foot, as seen over at Bec’s place. I point this out only to reassure you that I am not kicking Houdini-dog in this photograph, but merely scratching his chin with that foot (which left him in raptures, and my hand quite untainted by Houdini-dog smell!)

A Simple Life – New Friends – And Old

Finn, Niamh and I spent yesterday morning with Marita and her girls, and Marita’s sister in law and her boys. There was playing, snacking, and even (shock!) stitching. Not much of that, mind you, but I gave a little bit of love to my Wee Beasties dragonfly. It was such a lovely morning, company and weather-wise, that I was reluctant to leave, but Finn needed to go to kinder, and Niamh to bed, so we had to head off all too soon. Hanging out for the next time! Funny, just a few short months ago, I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any crafty friends who also had kids of a similar age. I guess sometimes the universe takes notice 🙂

Then in the evening I spent a good long time on the phone to a close friend who I have been woeful at keeping in touch with these last few years (since I had babies and she went off to other parts of the world – if that sounds a touch green-eyed-monster-ish, it isn’t meant to!). She’s now back home(ish)… in Tasmania, and (surprise, Mel!) expecting her first baby in December. I’m so excited for her, and hoping to make plans to get there for a visit sometime in ’08.

Today’s pic is finally the promised photo of Elizabeth’s Designs A Simple Life. The grass at the bottom was kind of tricky – I didn’t want the variegation in the thread to come through in vertical or horizontal stripes, so I intentionally stitched ‘blocks’ of the grass at a time, trying to emulate dappled sunlight coming through the tree. Not quite sure it was 100% successful, but y’know, it looks okay, I think. And marks finish number 9 for 2007.

Not Quite, but Almost…



I seem to have been AWOL again. Oh well. You know. Same old stuff. Actually, these past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty busy. And somewhat social. How unusual! It must be the Springing of the weather, I think. I love the changes as Winter gives way to Spring. Each year, I get all aquiver at the first sight of a blooming Magnolia! The warmer weather over the last couple of weeks has seen us out in the garden – tidying up a little, making plans, moving fruit trees to make room for a new shed… even a little harvesting – check out our first (ever) broccoli:

We are so proud!

Someone else has been discovering a love for the great outdoors:


The littlest one quite likes going adventuring (seen here amongst our lovely broad beans). She frequently starts the day off by requesting ‘shoes-on-and-off-we-go’ (okay, not in words, exactly, but you get the idea). I’m not a terribly good morning person, so our walks usually have to wait until a bit later, but we’ve been having a good time exploring the world, and she does like to ‘help’ in the garden. By help, I mean ‘eat worms’. (So far not successfully, but not for want of trying!)

We did another bit of adventuring, too, and discovered a wonderful playground a few suburbs over, where I spent some time trying to take photographs of kids who refused to look at me:


Or sit still for more than two seconds:

(That’s my lovely sister-in-law and her little boy in the midground there.)

What else? Well, Marita came to visit us last week, and we spent a lovely hour or so playing show-and-tell over coffee. That brings the total number of online stitchy friends I have met to four, and so far not an axe-wielding maniac among them! Actually, bizarrely enough, Marita and I had already met, briefly. We’re both part of the Melbourne Freecycle group, and a month or two back, she came over to pick up some miscellaneous needlework magazines I was getting rid of. It was funny to realise the prior connection, and it’s nice to know someone local, not halfway across the universe like those other Melbourne stitchers I know!

Speaking of stitching, I have been doing verrrry little. I started ‘A Simple Life’, by Elizabeth’s Designs. I also signed up for another exchange. I know, I know, I promised myself I wasn’t going to. But somehow it ‘just happened’! I’m going to be making some kind of ‘small’ for somebody, as part of an exchange on the Rotation Stitchers’ BB. Not sure what yet, but ideas are forming. Must get a move on that.

Also, I’ve discovered that knitting is not as completely beyond me as I always thought it was. I have been doing a little bit of here-and-there practice and learning, and I think I’m kind of getting there. Enough to be ready to start my first bona-fide non-scarf garment, anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes… say in about a year or two!

Later That Month…

The Blogger’s block continues. But I have been stitching. A few secret things – more on those later. And, surprise, surprise, I dragged something out from beneath the mountain of unfinished-finished-things:

I stitched this Teresa Wentzler freebie bookmark back in 2004. Finally, I actually made it into a bookmark! And used it, what’s more:

I used this stuff to fuse the fabric together:

I don’t know how kosher that is with regards to longevity of the stitching, but watch me not care. Also not caring about the lumpy seam up the back of the bookmark. The front looks good, and it does what it should, and that’s all that matters 🙂

Also in the interim since my last post, I spent a lovely afternoon meeting some fellow Melburnian stitchers – Junette, Anne and I descended on Tannia’s house where she plied us with food and wine, and we whiled a few hours away chatting and getting in some quality kitty time. Niamh came along, and made short work of befriending all and sundry, except perhaps Banjo, who remained unconvinced. It was lovely, and I hope we do it again sooner rather than later.

Then, we spent this weekend just past away for a couple of days with Dermot’s (large) family. Annually, on the weekend following Queen’s Birthday, we hire a school-camp facility (dorm rooms, communal showers and kitchen – you know the kind of thing) and spend two days eating, drinking and being generally merry, all in celebration of his grandmother’s birthday. She was 87 this year, and we all had a wonderful weekend. Here’s to many more like it 😆

Occupying my Mind

It’s been a week of half-conceived not-yet-written blog posts. The post that’s still overdue from December (pictures of my humbug-advent-calendar, hand-sewn stockings and Finn’s birthday cake). Another look-what-I-dyed post (floss in choc-mint and mixed-berry, can you tell I’m a sweet-tooth?!). An OMG-Niamh-is-8-months-old-can-you-believe-it post (she is! Can you believe it?!).

And a one-year-on since Laura died post.

But about that, I really don’t know what to say at all. I have thought so much about her lately. About her life, and her death, and about how differently people react to and move forward (or not) from suicide. (This from a much closer-to-home perspective also, as we recently marked one year since my young cousin took his life). About advice Laura gave me that I sometimes forget to take. About the beautiful quilt we made in her memory. I don’t think any profound understanding has come of all this reflection, but suddenly now that the anniversary is here (though yesterday and gone already, by our time), I feel a lot more at peace. I simply wish the same peace for everyone who grieves for Laura.

Two Cats


I was so caught up in my triumphant night of sleep (which has not been since repeated, and lets not talk about it) the other day that I forgot to post a happy dance – Leslie received her Friendship Exchange from me, so I can now show you a pic. The photo comes courtesy of Leslie, since I forgot to take a picture (for the second time in a row now). This is Calico Crossroads ‘Tale of two Kitties’, dedicated to Leslie’s two lovely black furkids, Zoe and Cooper. Check them out sitting on the windowsill in this post on Leslie’s blog. A perfect match for this design, don’t you think?!

I framed this up into a standard sized frame (without glass, obviously, since it had to travel the world) – I haven’t done any custom framing in ages – long enough that my DIY framing shop has started sending me notices about taking a refresher course. I’d love to have the space and money to set up my own framing equipment, but somehow I don’t think that will happen in the forseeable future. Meanwhile, click on the pic for a closer look – and try and forgive me the carried threads that are visible 😳

Friendship Exchange

Well, I finally posted off my exchange for Leslie this morning… ten days late 😳 I feel a little guilty about that, especially given my recent gripe about non-participating-participators (one disappearing act has turned into two disappearing acts, by the way, but I’m trying to let it go).

Anyway, I digress. I’m excited by the fact that was my first post-Niamh finish (and start)! I’ve also finished the scissor fob for my next exchange, but I have to confess that was a pre-Niamh finish. I hadn’t even received details of my exchangee, but it turns out I picked a great design for the person I’m sending to (based on her wishlist, anyway). Pictures, of course, will have to wait until each gift is received.

I also received Leslie’s gift to me, a couple of days ago – click to see what a beautiful job of one of Mirabilia’s cherubs she did for me. Leslie also included The Sweetheart Tree’s Baby Shamrocks Fob with embellishments, and a skein of GAST and one of Kreinik Silk Mori. What a delicious mail day!

Two O’Clock and All’s Well

It’s safe to come back now, really 🙂 In fact, last night’s primal screaming was not about anything major, I’m perfectly fine. It just struck me, not really for the first time, but perhaps rather harder last night, that I am at a point in my life where I am without a sounding-board. You know, one of those close friends who you can always rely on to listen to a rant or five about whatever’s going on in life? Who may or may not give you advice, but will mostly just nod and at least pretend to agree with you? If I’m going to be really honest – someone you can bitch to without fear of repercussion!

As we get older, our lives get swallowed up by other things. Partners, careers, children, exciting travel (ha! Wishful thinking!). We cease to be good sounding-boards for our friends, and in turn they cease to be good sounding boards for us. Or vice-versa. Either way, I suddenly realised yesterday that the people I would previously have gone to for such needs have become less a part of my life now. Or they play different roles in my life. Still friends, but friends with different priorities.

Thus the screamage. Actually, you know, it would be really, really therapeutic to scream for real. But the society we live in now doesn’t really seem to have a place for that. Except perhaps the labour ward (and believe me, did I take advantage of that opportunity – it was extremely liberating!)

Anyway, I feel better, at least somewhat. Helping me out today are the fact that Finn is adapting well to the re-introduction of afternoon naps (for his sanity as well as mine), that I received stash in the mail (a wonderful kit from my Secret Stitcher), and that Debi made me the cutest little web-button: Million Stitches, which you too can steal if you want a super-special Million Stitches link on your site :giggle: I’m sitting here stitching the final parts of TWs Intermediate Whitework ornament in soothing shades of blue, and I have another HD from the weekend to share with you as well, at some point. But before that I’m planning to write a few long overdue emails to friends who deserve better from me.