Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not my bag, baby

I've been thinking forever that I would like to knit this

I was admiring it (again) during my lunch break today when a colleague came past:

Her: "Watchya looking at?"
Me: "Oooh, I think I might try make this"
Her: blank look
Me: "er, the tank, see - it has lace, and the cable is in the shape of DNA...."
Her: blank look
Me: "nice huh?"
Her: "Yeah, um, I guess, it's just I'm not really into that stuff..."
Me: blank look
I wonder what she means...
not into what?
clothes?
DNA?
purple??? (cos, you know, I was thinking pale blue, so if it's the purple...)

Her: "You know, making stuff"

okaaaaaay

non-knitters say the weirdest things....


btw, I switched to new blogger on Sunday, and now all the comments from before then say anonymous! =(
If you left a comment, and it's anonymised you before I could come by to say it, thanks for your comments and support =)
besos!

Monday, January 29, 2007

words of wisdom

On the weekend I picked up a(nother) knitting related book - Yarn Harlot's At Knit's End.

I was reading it on the bus today when I came across this (on page 58, to be exact):

"Join, being careful not to twist
- knitting patterns

The chance of being able to join a multitude of stitches on a circular needle without twisting them and knittng a freak of geomoetry are influenced by the following variables:


  • The number of stitches
  • The amount of time allotted to perform the task
  • The material being knitted"

This seemed especially timely after yesterday's post, so I thought I'd share a few other things I've learned the past few days:

  • Wearing heels lowers your BMI. The higher the better.
  • Heels, however, will not help your ankles any.
  • People love cupcakes. You can instantly feel more popular and clever by posting pictures of cupcakes on Flickr.
  • To boys there is no difference between cucumber and zucchini.
  • Steamed cucumber tastes really weird.

besos...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Let's bee friends

It says "Let's bee friends" and look there's a bee.

This weekend, at the special request of a certain birthday Boy, I made honeycomb cupcakes.

I modified a recipe from the fabulous 'essential baking cookbook'- I used the recipe for fairy cakes and added choc honeycomb in the mix, then topped with chocolate butter icing and bees.

The bees are made from honeycomb too - Crunchie chocettes - with icing for stripes and wings =)

I love that cookbook =)


btw: third time lucky cast on for the red and blue project of mystery (code name rbpm) ;) today.

It's 192 stitches on circulars, knit in the round.

192 stitches are hard to count. (I think I need one of these)

Once I finally got the right number of stitches I realised that the pattern wasn't quite coming out right.
Row 6 (at 192 stitches/row) I read that litte bit at the end: note: on purl rows pass yarn behind before sl1 then in front for stitch

rip
re-cast on 192 stitches

Row 4 - patterning looks great.
Wait, when I joined to start knitting in round I had a twist -aaaargh

rip
re-re-cast on (192 stitches!!!)

Row 8 - so far so good.....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

mittens?

Last night I had a dream about mittens.
Well, about knitting mittens, to be exact.

I think it started with these super-cute squirrelly mittens, which I saw over at Every Word's a Purl.

Except instead of the squirrel motif, my mittens had little Vespas zooming around the cuff.

So, if it is relvoltingly warm here, and I start knitting mittens, is that inspiration or heat stroke?

Monday, January 22, 2007

hey, cupcake!


This weekend I gave in to the cupcakey temptation and made some orange cupcakes from the essential baking cookbook.

The recipe was just the kind of super easy recipe that is perfect for cupcakes, since you want to be able to whip them up quickly and put the time into the decorating.

These guys were just a case of dumping everything in the mixing bowl and then beating with electric beaters.

Once baked and cooled I iced with pale orange (and orange flavoured) butter icing, and decorated with pink star-flowers I cut out from that icing you use on wedding cakes.


So I guess now its official - I have the cupcake fever.

It occured to me today that Marie Antoinette may not be entirely to blame...

I'm beginning to suspect that a certain photo message to my phone from a certain Pavlova over the Christmas break may have planted the seed.

And living in an apartment where the candy coloured walls make moving from room to room feel like jumping from one giant bowl of sugared almonds to another is probably sending me subliminal "must make pastel icing flowers" messages too =)

cute, n'est pas?




Seriously, these guys were so fun and easy and cute and yummy (and appreciated!) that I can see a whole lot of cupcakes in our not too distant future, and, like I said yesterday, these are going to be great for project spectrumming!!!

besos =)

btw, you can check me out on flickr now too =)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Have yarn will craft...eventually

This week has been hot hot hot h-o-t HOT!
In fact, I have avoiding using my computer for fear that:

a) my fingers would melt to the keyboard; or

b) there would be sweat. lots of sweat. I've heard what diet coke across a keyboard will do to a laptop. I'm sure all that sweat wouldn't be much kinder.

Today, thank goodness, there has been a bit of a break in the weather - it was supposed to get to 35 but peaked at 29 at around 10am (and being Sunday... well, I don't see a whole lotta am Sundays)

We're forecast to sit around 30 for the next week or so, that's not too bad so long as it cools down at night.

Actually I'm pretty sure that a lot of the issue with the heat is psycological - the minute you hear 35 you're sure you are going to die, but often if you haven't had any idea then its a surprise that it was soooo hot.
I'm sure I've heard of a conspiracy by some government or another to never have the temperature reported at higher than 26 degrees.
I guess perhaps that's point beyond which morale spirals.
And tourism.


Last Sunday I played a little hide-and-seek with my yarn stash (perhaps there was too much sugar, Bertie).

Mostly it was hidden somewhere amongst our collective and randomly packed belongings, and I had to find it.

WIPs that had found their way into garbage bags for moving weren't to hard to find - the moment you pick up the bag then there's the needles shooting out through the side of the bag, looking to embed themselves in any flesh within reach.

Apart from that there was a lot of me tipping boxes of goodness-knows-what other stuff out all over the living room floor, muttering to myself "there must be more" "I know that pale blue mohair is around here somewhere" "it is impossible that I only own 17 pairs of knitting needles there must be more more more!!!" whilst the boy stood by the door of the 'study' becoming increasing pale as the pile of yarn grew increasingly, well, increased, "more? are you sure you have more than this?"

Once I was satisfied that I had uncovered most of what was there (well, I still haven't found that pale blue mohair!) I went through and tidied the yarn into piles according to whether it was allocated to a project, left over from a project, or just looked pretty with something else.

There's a couple of piles there that belong to WIPs that have been on my side bar since... well... let's just say I got sick of seeing the lack of progress and have hidden that one for now!
By the window are the 'patchwork blanky' and 'couch throw', then there's poor 'veronica' (the knitting is finished, I just have to do the handle), and a crocheted scarf from the 'Happy Hooker' book.

The hawk-eyed reader may have noticed, in the corner there, the missing granny squares! hurrah.
These were some of the last guests to arrive at the yarn party, and its actually a little embarassing.

You see, when I was moving things over here I decided it would be a good idea to keep the craft things together in the cupboard in the 'study'.
You know, that whole putting things in a safe place so you'll be able o find them later?
Yep - never ever works.

I always manage to outsmart myself with that one (you would not believe how many times I have looked over and over through the various piles of clothing on my bedroom floor for something I really want to wear with no luck at all until a week later when I open my cupboard door, and there it is, just hanging there all washed and maybe even ironed!!! grr argh)

So there's (most of) my stash.
Mind you, it has been (as I may have mentioned) way too hot to even consider standing next to wool (or any kind of wool like substance), let alone knitting with it.

Let me tell you - this week I have been super grateful for knitting cotton!

One of thos little piles of projecty goodness up there is something new I'm doing with some cotton I bought this week.
Unfortunately, any further information on this project is classified.

Let's just say this: if you are a member of my immediate family (say.. a sister maybe) and you have a birthday soonish (when you're gift knitting March is soon) and would perhaps be the kind of person drawn to accessories of the red and blue variety, if you don't like my knitting, and wouldn't like a hand crafted gift, then now is a good time to speak up, because anyone who doesn't is going to hades! (rah! scared you didn't I hehe). Ok that's if you drop the Spirit Stick, but still....I'd be carefull just incase.

You can see there with the 'project top secret' some fab reading material I picked up during week too.
Yarn magazine, which is into its second year, but I have just now stumbled across (oooh yes, my finger is like totally on the pulse).

And the cupcakes.
They wouldn't leave me alone.
I had to give in.
I can definately see having lots of project spectrumy fun with that one...
At the bottom you can see I've started already...

More about that tomorrow (ooh the mystery hehe)
We have a tres exciting week lined up here
- tomorrow the Boy has his first day at his new job
- I'm going to have a teeny tiny mole removed from my arm (stitches though, guys dig stitches right?)
- NCIS is back on tv on Tuesday (fingers crossed ten don't kill it like last season ugh)
- Tuesday is also the day thet the next episode of Veronica airs! wooh!
- No work on Friday - hurrah Australia day! which also happens to be
- the Boy's birthday!!!!

I thought I could make him cupcakes.
When I asked what sort of cake he wanted he said he wanted a pizza.
With candles.
Do I assume he's joking?

besos

Sunday, January 14, 2007

let them eat cake.....and cookies!

Yesterday afternoon I went with Jenny (who's moving back to melbourne today for 6 months =( ), J-Mo and a few other girls to see Marie-Antoinette.
I loved it!

I really like Kirsten Dunst (she's in more than one of my favourite movies - including my very favourite), and she looked gorgeous in all those blues and pinks (even though I'm quite sure they didn't have to use fake vampire teeth as Claudia!)

I thought Marie-Antoinette (the character) was great - she was really portrayed as so young and fun and likeable (ok, I know, but watching the film it's like you're one of her friends and you totally can't help but like her!), and Rose Byrne's character was fantastic too.
I really felt like oooh, yes, if I was royalty I think that's exactly how I would like to live too.

Well, you know, except for the revolution and guillotine and all that.
I saw a real live guillotine once - at Castle Gravensteen in Ghent, Belgium. It was kind of creepy.
It reminded me of that time where the ventriloquist's dummy was trying to get Giles' brain and there was the magician guy ... uewwww

....anyway...

It wasn't really dialogue-y, but I think what I enjoyed so much was that it really made me feel like I was there in France, sharing the lonliness and excitement and friendship and fear of the characters.

And it was such a pretty film!!!

ooh and it made me want to eat cupcakes (with pink icing and sugared violets on top!) all day long!

Mmm I think I might buy The Virgin Suicides on dvd tomorrow...

This particular trip to the movies was made all the more exciting by the fact that it was my first time at the new Canberra Dendy cinema.

I was keen to join up as a Dendy Club member - it costs $15 for the year and club members only pay $8 to see films on Wednesday, so I figured if I got to 3 Wedneday's in the year then I'd be ahead.
Plus you get a card which they stamp each time you go and if you see four films in 3 months you get a fifth free (or something)

Well, it turned out that Dendy members get $9.50 tickets ALL THE TIME!
and you can also take a guest for $9.50 each!!!
So, say the boy and I were to go to the movies together once, including my ticket yesterday, we are already ahead.
And after that, even if we share a large popcorn and coke it's cheaper (ok, just) than for two non-members to go and not have snacks!
Perhaps you can tell I was excited???
I'm a total sucker for club cards, so when there's one where you actually see benefits I get super excited hehe

So, between the members' club card and the fabulous and even foreign film, I'm sure Dendy and I are going to be great friends!

Perhaps inspired by the luxury of yesterday's film, this morning I decided to make melting moments biscuits from my fabulous new copy of the essential baking cookbook, which was a Christmas present from my youngest sister.

This book is the best Jerry, the best!
It has everything from ingredients and utensils to basic recipes and a what went wrong for all kinds of bakey goodness, including cookies, muffins and cakes.

Hello - home-made fortune cookies anyone??!! (too cool!!)



The melting moments worked perfectly - and are totally delish (even if I do say so myself!)


Ok, there was one thing that stumped me a bit.

I baked two trays of biscuits.
15 biscuits on each tray.
I ended up with 28 biscuits?
The boy was in the living room (watching Curb Your Enthusiasm), so I know he didn't get to them before I could count them.
So where did the extra two biscuits go?
(fingers crossed it wasn't enormous cockroaches!)

mmm even cockroaches can't stop me thinking about cupcakes!!

besos =)

btw the pics are from our home.

The pink is in the dining area, where we finally have a dining table too.
That's my little officey corner.

Since I'm letting the Boy put his books and computer in the sewing room, and humouring him by calling it the study (lol, joking ofcourse! ;)), I'm setting myself up a couple of 'corners' - this one for computering and then in the living room I'll have the trestle table for more crafty endeavours =) (that way I can watch the tv while i sew!)

There are also a pair of pics from our lovely back balcony - soooo much room!
Because the complex here is probably approaching 10 years old we have the benefit of having some really well established greenery - rather than looking straight into the neighbour's.
Cute huh =)

This is my gratitude friday this week - I'm grateful that we have this fabulous gorgeous space to be in, and that as it comes together it just gets better, and that I have the Boy to share it with =)

oh, and I'm grateful we have dendy too =)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I guess it's official then...

I was going to blog tonight.
And watch Twin Peaks on dvd.
Then watch Life as we know it.
But I'm going to bed instead
At 9:05pm.
I know...

Its just exhausting - we have moved stuff everywhere and I can't find my granny squares and the Boy is watching the 20/20 and getting super excited.
I just don't have the energy this week.

Bring on the weekend (...please...)

besos

btw. I guess at least I got the blogging part done, even if it is a bit of pathetic one hehe.

I'll throw in a quiz...

Which Grey's Anatomy Character Are You?



Isobel
You've got everything - work ethic, detirmination, skill and looks. But you'll never admit it! You have alot going for you, and it's all the talent you have that makes you capable of being so good. But in light of all your ability you still lack self confidence. Don't worry so much about proving yourself, you have everything it takes and all you need to do is believe in yourself to accomplish your dreams.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by myYearbook.com


one more for the road...

You scored as Izzie Stevens. You are the underdog, the one that has to work the hardest to reach your goals. You are liked by all, but have a tendancy to be emotional. You expect your friends and lovers to be loyal to you. You seek acceptance from others.

Izzie Stevens

100%

Derek Sheherd

75%

Alex Karev

63%

Meredith Grey

63%

George O'Malley

63%

Preston Burke

63%

Cristina Yang

50%

Miranda Bailey

50%

Grey's Anatomy, Which Character Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com


hmm not the best pictures, but I swear I don't make this stuff up!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Can't standya Costanza

The Boy bought season 3 of Seinfeld today.
And season 4 last week.
And seasons 1 and 2 before Christmas.
Seinfeld has been pretty heavy on here ever since.

It's odd how it all just comes back to you - astronaut pens, overdue library books, valet parking, saving seats at the movies, the whole lot.
As soon as an episode starts - "oooh this is the one with the ... and the... and Kramer... yada yada yada."

It's also odd how it's all still funny, even after seeing it so many times.



In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Take over the world.



Get your resolution here.



So, I know last week there was a lot of 'New Year bah humbug' going on around here, but it's just that I think people so set high expectations both for New Year's Eve and with resolutions.
Then when resolutions only last for a week it's really disapointing.

That said, it is almost intuitive to pause with the turn of the calendar year and reflect on where you've been and where you'd like to be headed.
So instead of resolutions with the New Year I think I tend to set myself some positive goals for the coming year.
Because 'resolution' sounds hard before you even begin.
In the same way, I never 'go on a diet' - I 'try to develop healthier eating habits' or something - I think it sounds less daunting.

Last year I set two goals.
I wanted to see Robbie in concert, and go to Europe.
Robbie was great, and we have definite plans for Europe in June 07, so in that sense I feel good about last year =)
I guess they might seem like kind of superficial goals, but this time last year I had just finished study (after like 20 years of school/uni) and was more than happy to see where the year would take me.

This year I think I have some more career driven goals for myself.
I am working in pharmaceuticals and really enjoying it, and would love to learn more some of the areas where my knowledge isn't as well developed as the clinical side.
I'm also trying to be a bit more organised.
Our work comes in cycles - there are definite peaks and troughs in the workload, and now that I've been in the job for a couple of cycles I'm hoping to be able to plan things so that I'm more ready for the peaks and also have something to keep me occupied during the troughs.

Another goal I have this year is to get more crafty stuff done.
The past three or four months here have been crazy, and apart from a couple of projects (advent calendar, bag and granny squares) I really haven't got as much done as I would like.
I really try not to think about it like that, because I don't want to feel like its hard work to be crafting - it should be relaxing and fun - so mostly I go with the flow and ebb, but thinking back I would definitely like to make it more of a priority.

Starting February 1 I'll have a new reason to keep inspired - project spectrum is starting up again! =)
Project spectrum is the brainchild of the fabulous Lolly.
Starting February and running until September each two month span has been assigned three colours or groups of colours from which inspiration is drawn.
I participated in project spectrum for several months last year, and found it a really fun way of trying new things.
As well as inspiration coming from the assigned colour groups, try visiting the blogs of some of the participants - so many pretty blogs and talented crafters!!

February and March are blue white and grey, which is a fabulous coincidence since whilst doing some blog hopping from the participant list I found a beaded scarf which I can't wait to start knitting, and I have just the yarn for it in the stash!

Hurrah for 2007 =)

besos

Friday, January 05, 2007

If music be the food of love, play on,...

Once again Friday is coming a couple of days late here (I'm sure I'm always a few days behind...), thanks to some technical problems (blogger and pictures! =S) and the fact that once again I have spent an entire weeked doing moving house things - The boy and I, along with some other family members, have spent the past two days doing some tidying of his mother's house in preparation for sale.

Anyway, this gratitude Friday I wanted to share a few Christmas presents I received which are sure to help make my 2007 a little more crafty =)


From my parents there were these quilting goodies - a cutting mat and a quilt kit!!!!!

The finished quilt will be 150cm x 183cm (59" x 72"), and the fabrics are beautiful autumny kinds of colours, from the moda Country Paths line of fabrics.

Pretty much everything I need is included - precut charm squares, binding, bordering and backing fabrics and instructions.

Needless to say I am tres excited to get started on this!

My Christmas of craftyness was rounded out by a little bit of sillyness - Beauzo and Kit bought me the Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits by Stitchy McYarnpants (who also blogs here).

Check this book out - it is hilarious!

Perhaps it's a hint that the boys would like matching hand-knit ties? =) hehe

My sister remembered me having had the Stitch n Bitch books with me last time I visited, and picked up the Stitch n Bitch page-a-day calendar - its fab!!!

Each day of the week is dedicated to a particular type of yarny information - yarns, websites, tips, and on Fridays there is even a pattern to work on over the weekend! =)

This weekend has also (sadly) seen the packing away of Christmas, with Friday being the Twelfth Night and Saturday the Feast of the Epiphany, but with these goodies Christmas will keep me crafting well into the New Year!!

besos!

=)


But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

ever so coomfy...

Here's a Christmas picture that isn't actually from my place - its where they have all the little winter Christmas village ornaments set up at Myer in Melbourne.
I went with Mum the day after the Robbie concert.

She gets a new one each year, and this year I started my own collection with the Mrs Claus and boot-polishing elf from yesterday.

Mum got the firefighters (we thought they were appropriate this year, with the fires being so close by.)



The really big news today is that the new sofa arrived!!!
It came in a super big box (big enough to hide the tree in to dump in the rubbish skip...hmmm) and it even came within the time they had told us it would (instead of the usual case where they tell you 11am and you haven't heard anything by 7pm!!!)


There's me testing for coomfiness =)
It folds down into a bed (a little smaller than double) and there is storage underneath for bedding (or yarn maybe....) and you can take the arms off and store them under there when its being a bed (assuming it isn't filled with yarn hehe)
We had the choice of licorice or latte, and went with the latte which, as you can see, goes quite well with both the purple and yellow walls of the living room!

Oh, there was other blog-worthy news, in the form of a Christmas present from beauzo and Kit, but it deserves a place on Friday's blog with a few other Christmassy goodies, so you'll have to wait (oooh, I can feel the baited breath hehe) =)

besos!!!!

btw ok, now it was yesterday that the sofa arrived, blogger had the dates mixed up =S

Monday, January 01, 2007

roll on


Ugh I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow!
How could it be all over already?
Seriously - it's already a whole week since Christmas!!?!?

On account of we'll be maintaining some denial re this I thought I might share with you some pictures of the guys who helped feed the festive spirit in our otherwise mostly empty apartment this year.

I'm keeping them on display until January 6 (you've got to get your full 12 days worth, yeah hehe), then everything will be packed away into the Box of Christmas Excitement until next year.
Then I guess Christmas really is over.

Well, except for the Christmas lollies - I'm sure we'll be eating red and green M&Ms and Magical Elves Gems (btw the magical elves' website is cool) until Easter =)

The New Year arrived mostly as planned...well, ok, I'll admit it was a little less sparkly than we had hoped (we had the sparklers, but nothing to light them with!!!!), and then today we spent much of the afternoon moving more of our stuff in - including my sewing machine, fabric stash and most (ok, a tiny bit) of my yarn stash.

I came across some abandonded projects, in various stages of completion (I don't quite feel right about using the word completion there =S), which I am looking forward to getting back into in the new year, including crochet and knit blankets, some beads and something with plastic canvas - more on those as they come =)

Actually, I'm scoping our current makeshift dining (trestle) table for a crafting desk (although it would be handy out on the balcony too... hmmm)

As much as I'm not super keen on heading back to work tomorrow, January looks like being ok:

- Four-day working week this week
- New sofa should arrive this Wednesday
- Catching up with Bronnie again before she heads back to Cambridge
- Australian Open Tennis action (hopefully live!) starting the 15th
- Hoping for three-day working week starting 15th (Fingers crossed for Monday and Tuesday at said Open)
- Australia Day Jan 26th - Four-day working week and the Boy's birthday (planning exciting day - top secret for now - does Boy read blog?)
- then the first Monday & Tuesday of Feb should be in Melbourne for work again.
- 10th Feb is the National multicultural festival food and dance spectacular day
- by then it will nearly be Easter and the start of the Footy season, yeah?

Ok, maybe I got a bit over excited.... but, you know, its nice to always have something to look forward to, yeah?

And, speaking of looking forward, I didn't even mention the 2007 is the official year of going on a holiday to Europe with my mum!!!
The plan is to book the tickets over the next couple of weeks - I'm so excited!
Ahh Danmark jeg savner dig!!!

So roll on 2007.


My hope for the new year, well besides the gym and world peace
(btw can world peace be a new year's resolution??? I saw so many people interviewed on the new year thing on tv last night who when asked what their new year's resolution was said "world peace". Isn't that more like a "what do you want for Christmas?" kind of thing? And new year's resolution is like "to be nice to people" or something? I'm just not sure that one person could have "world peace" as a new year's resolution. Like to achieve world peace? Well, unless you're Oprah - I guess she could give it a go?...)
and that settling into a new place, with my own space, will mean I can get right on track with doing more of the crafty stuff I'd like to be doing!

besos!!!