Thursday, October 29, 2009

My creative space

Rhabarber and Rhubarb

My creative space this week is NOT in the rhubarb patch. I'm just showing off my rhabarber socks. But I have been working on these socks on the sofa when I get the time. I think I've come a-cropper in the instructions somewhere between the leg and the gusset, but I might have just worked out a fudge so it'll be OK.

I hope.

Take a look at other creative spaces, rhubarb-filled or not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things I learned on Wednesday

* You really can get a fever and chills with hayfever.

* Getting four parcels in one day is a huge thrill. I got my Sew Hip subscription with a Cloth Kit included; an enormous giveaway prize; some inspiring art from Etsy; and a Handyman magazine (the Handyman magazine was not mine).

* It makes me feel happy I see people being kind to each other.

* Curried sausages will burn if you leave them by themselves while you go outside and pick snow peas.

* I quite like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things I learned today

Crabapple blossoms

* Rain does wonders for the garden. In the four Springs that we've lived here, the garden has never looked so good. It's also never look so weed-infested and overgrown, but we take the good with the bad around this place.

Broad beans

* Broad beans, when you give them a good talking to, can really pick themselves up. They get harvested in one week but still have a little way to go.

* People who make incorrect assumptions can often come off looking like a horses' posterior.


* Wollmeise, even when bought on behalf of friends, can be especially difficult to let go of when the colours are all so pretty. I never thought I wanted a pair of fuschia, teal, or even purple socks. Until today.

* Having a job outside the home both rocks and sucks. I love the company and the feeling of doing something good for the country. And the pay is a lot better than the alternative. But I miss my sewing room, my fabric, listening to the local ABC radio during the day, and watching Ellen during my lunch break.

And because it's Monday and because I still have a Brown Owls post to write tonight, here are some more garden photos.


Back garden in late spring

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My creative space - something new

Usable surface

My messy sewing table (here and here) has been finally sorted out and so I have given myself permission to start the Adirondack socks.

WIP - Wollmeise crocheted sock

Last night I babysat for a friend, and once the wee lad was in bed it was time for a cup of tea and some crocheting. I did quite a bit for my first night at it. I'm using Wollmeise, the colour is called Rhabarber (Rhubarb) and I'm in love.

Check out the other creative spaces.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Progress is in the eye of the crafter

With reference to my post last week, I have some progress to report.

a) Quilt row sewn, although I have still much more to do on it. For now, I need a little break from it. No photos, as I'm sure you all need a little break from it too.

b) Well, hello lovely red Malabrigo scarf, in all your unblocked glory!

Malabrigo scarf, unblocked

c) The sewing table. I'm not too sure I should be bothering. It's gotten worse, and now appears to have become the household's dumping ground. Half of this stuff is not even mine. The exercise band, for example? Totally not mine. The black plastic bag is holding a brand new men's wallet. And I'm not a man. Only one other person lives in this house and he is. A man. Just sayin'.

The sewing table gets worse

Will Michelle ever start her crocheted sock? Will the promise of New Yarn arriving soon for a New Project encourage her to clear off the sewing table? Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My creative space - dream time

The new Interweave Crochet magazine arrived in my mailbox today. As usual a new issue arrives and I want to make most of what's in there. It's ridiculous. I'm ridiculous. But this time I've promised myself that I won't start anything new until:

a) I've stitched down the latest row on my quilt (ooh! done!)

b) I've finished the red malabrigo scarf which has been dragging on for months

Mess mess mess

c) I've tidied up my sewing table

Between you and me, I think a) and b) are more achievable than c).

And then I can start these, already posed with preferred yarn during an hour of dreaming and stash diving late this afternoon.

Blue Ridge cardi

Blue Ridge Cardigan in some strange khaki/donkey/grey colour, preferably without the added leaves. Perfect cardigan for this strange cold windy wet weather we've been having, but my sources (i.e. the Bureau of Meteorology) tell me it's going to be in the mid-20s by early next week, so I should perhaps hold off until early next year.

Adirondack socks

Adirondack Socks in a red/green variegated yarn. It feels like ages since I made any socks, and they would make the perfect portable project once I've finished the Malabrigo scarf.

More creative spaces here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Words and pictures


* Floriade is over for another year. We went last weekend when my folks were down, and even though it rained a little it wasn't enough to dampen our enthusiasm for a truly excellent festival. Plus the tulips. Love. I think it might be the Dutchie in me, or perhaps not.

* My first week of work was not so scary. The subject matter is really interesting, there is a lot to learn, the people are delightful, and GOOD LORD THEY CRAFT! So far I have heard of quilters, sewers, scrapbookers and card makers, and that's just in my immediate vicinity.

* Having never been enamoured of the idea of sushi rolls before, in the last week I have had it for lunch four days in a row. Love. I should slow down before I get sick of it.


(These swans do not remind me of Peking Duck sushi. No they do not.)

* I have pinched the tops of my broad beans to make them fruit, and by jove if they don't get their collective green bottoms into gear with beans before Melbourne Cup Day, they are all going to be sacrificed to the compost bin so I can plant my tomatoes. I have lots of flowers, lots of bees and hover flies, but no beans. So far.

* Have I mentioned how nice it is to be working in the city again? No? Well, it's nice. Plus it's close to home. But I miss my Woden buddies a lot, to the point that I may have to plan a long lunch break one Thursday very soon.


* I love my new Nintendo DS so much that I am making it it's own case to keep it warm and protect it's little red self. Photos soon. You know, when I actually make it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My creative space - the home stretch

Hand sewing

Over the years, many people have told me they "don't know where I find the time" to sew and crochet. Many of them are parents with little kids, so I can understand their question. But many more aren't. The question always used to make me feel guilty, like I was supposed to be doing something else 'more important' with my time, like gardening, or cooking, or cleaning, or having lots of children. Later the question made me a little cross - like what I was doing with thread and yarn wasn't considered by people to be as important as other stuff they felt I should be doing.

Well, I'm here to tell you that playing with thread and yarn is important stuff, although I do suspect that I'm speaking to the converted! It's important for my health, my imagination and to keep my family warm. It's important because I want to inject beauty into my life and the lives of those I love.

I cook and bake and garden and work full-time and renovate and clean and wash. It's just that I fit craft into a major part of my life as well.

And it's amazing what you can do in front of the telly at night.

My creative space this week is right in front of said telly. After dinner, with a cup of lemon tea, listening to nothing in particular on the box. I'm just enjoying the steady rhythm of needle and thread and the anticipation of it being completed. 24 blocks, 15 half blocks. That's all.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last day

Closed, originally uploaded by quiltingmick / michelle.

I decided that today, being my last day of freedom before starting a new job tomorrow, would be a Michelle Day. Sewing for me, , and a lovely lunch at my favourite local cafe while reading the Good Living section of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Unfortunately my favourite local cafe was closed today. Typical. So I went somewhere else instead.

I'm very excited but nervous about tomorrow. I have a brand new handbag and all my work clothes are ironed. I'll polish up my smile and try to remember how to manage a team. I'm sure I'll be fine. Exhausted, but fine.

Monday, October 5, 2009


On a cold, wet, windy Saturday, my folks, the Mister and I headed off down the Kings Highway to Braidwood, one of the prettiest little towns in New South Wales. We were there for the grand opening of Material Arts Studio Gallery, and Buttontree Lane goods had been invited into the shop.

I was so excited about the whole thing that we may have turned up a few minutes late to the opening, due to what my mum calls "powdering my nose". Ahem.

Material Arts Studio and Gallery, Braidwood

We crossed at the pedestrian crossing in front of the gallery, and thought we might have spotted something familiar in one of the windows.

Material Arts - front door

Could it be?

Buttontree Lane on display

Ha ha!

Opening of Material Arts in Braidwood

Inside it was warm and dry and PACKED with people, but we managed to see special guest, quilter Helen Godden, cut the ribbon with a rotary cutter.

Afterwards it was wonderful to wander around the gallery talking to friends and fellow fabric addicts. I felt like I was home and that, without trying to sound too wanky, these people (many of whom I have known for a decade or more) spoke my language. Kind of like you guys who come here and leave comments. It was really nice. I was high with happiness.

Buttontree Lane pouches on display

I bought the most beautiful green felted wool and silk scarf. While I was lining up at the counter to pay, the lady in front of me was buying two Buttontree Lane pouches. She was so lovely and supportive, and couldn't be happier with her purchases. I didn't think I could get any happier at that point.

Crocheted brooches

We spent the rest of the day in Braidwood. My folks, who had flown from Cairns the night before, were very stoic in the wind and cold. I hope I made it up to them with enough hot coffee.

It was a really good day.

Anyway, if you're ever in Braidwood, it's always worth a stop. The town is just so pretty, and heritage listed too. There is a quilt shop, and a vintage-inspired clothing shop, and Material Arts, several galleries and a lolly shop. Dojo Sourdough. Not to mention Bernardoff. Material Arts is open Friday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My creative space

My creative space

Does anyone else have my problem? The pile of books on my bedside table keeps getting bigger and bigger, almost blocking out natural light ... and before I know it I am having nightmares of being drowned in a room of books, and I'm woken up by a crash and the books are all over the bedroom floor.

So this is my current pile of books, fortunately not yet at the teetering stage, but if my friends and family keep it up with the birthday book-giving it may get there. The New Testament according to Stephanie Alexander was given to my by a fellow gardener and cook. It's a magnificent book, and unlike the Old Testament (Cooks Companion) it has photos. Yes, I'm a shallow woman, and I like the pretty pictures. I think this will be a very useful book for years to come. Not too practical for reading in bed though, unless I'm sitting up.

My parents sent me Material Obsession Two - it's a patchwork book, so enough said! The usual Sew Hip, Peppermint and World Sweet World are there. Does anyone else get World Sweet World? If so, how good is this mag? Brilliant-good, I say.

The top two books were presents from friends and they are both fantastic. I have the teeniest littliest crush on Daniel Vosovic from Project Runway season 2, and this book is all about design and inspiration. I'm not a designer or an artist, but there is so much in this book to be happy about. I love it. And the Paumes book! Oh my goodness - I finally have my very own Paumes, and this one is on London Ateliers. I got this one today, and I can't wait to read it tonight.

Mind you, I was painting outside all morning in the hot wind, and then I had lunch which included bubbles and chocolate cake. It might almost be nap time, except I have to pick the Mister up from work. I might not stay awake long enough to read tonight!

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