Thursday, February 25, 2010


Camel Rock Misty Sunrise, originally uploaded by Char Smith.

My week has improved drastically. Tomorrow I am heading to the coast with my crazy friends to sing up a storm at the Cobargo Folk Festival. A few of us are staying on the beach, at the same place we have for years, where I'm hoping to take my own photo of Camel Rock Misty Sunrise, followed shortly thereafter with a swim in the surf.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


And the week is looking better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Garden, I miss you

Dear vegie patch,

I'm sorry we haven't been able to spend much time together in the last few months, but you know how it is. You make me sneezy and hivey, dear garden. Oh I know it's not your fault that I can't touch cucumber plants and potato plants and, well any furry plant that you grow. I also know it's not your fault that your pollen and grasses render me useless without copious amounts of antihistamine and a good lie down in a darkened room.

I know you've seen me peering jealously from behind a closed window as the other gardener tends you, plants you and harvests you. But you can rest assured that I have been enjoying the harvest.

Vegetable harvest

And I'm enjoying cooking with it and eating it too.

Eggplant pizzaiola - serve

I pray that the desensitising injections work and we can meet again this coming spring.

Until then, I remain your faithful, if absent, friend,

Michelle xo

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ravelympics 2010

Ravelympics 2010 is on at the moment - a celebration of both the Winter Olympics on the telly and the yarn crafts, with the two being done at the same time over at Ravelry. I am in a team with a whole heap of other Aussies - Team Doing a Bradbury, in honour of Steven Bradbury, an Australia speed skater who once did this:

I signed up ages ago, but not feeling the crochet love lately I thought I would be a non-starter, and my dreams of podium glory in the WIPs Dancing and the Sweaterboard Cross events would be no longer. Yesterday while the opening ceremony was being held, I was shovelling mud from my street gutters, allowing storm water to flow a bit easier. I may have also been standing at the window for hours gazing at that rare event, rain.

But after a long swim in the pouring rain this morning (yes I may be nuts, but so are my friends and a neighbour who were at the pool with me) I came back home feeling soggy, but energised. I was going to finish off those Adirondack Socks, so help me! I set up my Winter Olympics viewing platform:

The view from my crocheting sofa

Then I ordered a hot chocolate and a chicken toastie from the kitchen (ha ha), and settled in to watch the moguls and the rain, and crochet my heart out. I had an early equipment failure - I found my Knitpicks Harmony 3.5 mm hook broken inside my project bag.

Broken hook

Luckily I had a spare metal hook. Ninety minutes later, and half way through the first run of the men's luge, I had a pair of finished socks.

Adirondack Socks

They are made with Wollmeise 100% superwash in the colour Rhabarber. I quite like them.

Adirondack Socks

I started them back in October and was speeding along, and then I got busy doing other things. Let's ignore the obvious mistake in this photo, shall we?

Adirondack Socks

Now I am excavating my yarn stash, trying to find suitable yarns for my next event - the Sweaterboard Cross. My only problem is that I have three lovely patterns to choose from.

Ravelympics option 1 Ravelympics option 2 Ravelympics option 3

I'm thinking option 3, actually.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

That necklace

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my last post. I think you're just fantastic. I've been out every night this week so I haven't even been able to cut out my next creation, but I'm hoping by the end of the weekend (gosh, how I love weekends) there will be something to show off.

The tape measure necklace, for those who asked, is by Victoria Mason, a Melbourne jeweller. The Mister gave it to me for my 40th birthday last year, and I think it is my favourite piece of jewellery.

Tape measure heart

I'm quite old fashioned and I still measure fabric in inches - what about you?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Variations on a theme

I'm not too sure whether this making my own clothes gig should be subtitled "Michelle finally wears a skirt for the first time in ten years and then makes thousands of them" or "See Michelle make the same four patterns. Lots." I made another Amanda top, but this time I tweaked the design quite dramatically. I also used op-shopped fabric - a lovely John Kaldor cotton voile (four metres for $2 - that makes this shirt almost free).

Burdastyle Amanda

Instead of the drawstring casings at the neckline and waist, I put in thirteen pintucks at the front of the neck, and five at the back. Then I put four darts at the back and two at the front. It's a bit unstructured and I would like to take it in a little more at the waist, but I need to get this blouse over my head and boobage, and any tighter may involve a Houdini act. We'll see. I do love the pintucks though. I got lazy and didn't face or bind the neckline, but who cares? I don't.

Amanda neckline

I finished this blouse a couple of weeks ago, and then it became obvious that I didn't have a bottom half to wear it with. I dug through my fabric stash and came across the perfect match - a linen/wool/elastane blend (weird blend, I know!) that I bought at GJs in Melbourne several years ago.

Simplicity 5208 skirt

I used Simplicity 5208 again, and this time I added a side pocket. The fabric was great to sew with, and it's stretchiness forced me to be not-lazy and hand sew the hem instead of using the machine to do it. Plus I'd almost run out of thread, so it was the only thing to do. It doesn't iron too well though (which setting do I use? Wool, linen or synthetic? This time I used cotton, but next time I'm using the hotter setting and a spray bottle to get those creases out.)

New skirt and blouse

It's a good skirt though - perfect for both summer and winter, and just really comfy to wear. Plus it goes well with my favourite red wedges, and that makes me happy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rewarding myself

Reward, originally uploaded by quiltingmick / michelle.

This piece of fabric is sitting on the sewing room table, and taunts me every time I walk in and out of the study and see it through the door way. Each night I've been working procrastinating hard on my job applications and this piece of lovely swiss cotton, bought on Monday is going to be my reward for finishing them. I'm going to make a dress.

Sweet mercies. One application was finished last night. The other - not as important, but yet still important - will be finished tonight.

On an entirely different note, one should never underestimate the joy of working with people who are not only extremely lovely, but will go into a craft shop with you at lunch time and encourage you to buy fabric and make something out of it.