Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Sometimes it's nice to get away with the fella you married exactly 10 years ago last Thursday.

Sometimes it's really nice to stay in the same hotel you've been staying at together for the last 16 years.

Potts Point, Saturday morning

Sometimes it's fun to visit the same book store and the same fabric store, and have breakfast both mornings at the same breakfast place with your bestie/non-bridesmaid/best witness.

Sometimes it's exciting to sit behind the goal posts, supporting your favourite footy team, crocheting a cardigan and laughing as all the gentlemen around you offer to save your head from the wayward balls as they were kicked through the goals.

St Kilda vs Sydney

Sometimes it's good to jump up and wave your crochet in their air like a banner when your team scores a goal and wins the game.

Oh when the Saints ...

Sometimes it's nice to sit in the passenger seat and talk and remember and watch the gum trees fly by, and crochet some more.

Crochet, Car

Sometimes it's nice to acknowledge all the lovely words and support my friends have given me over the last week. Thank you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The reason I've been so busy?

From Saturday 27 March and for the following six weeks, I'll be featured artist at the Material Arts Gallery in Braidwood.


And that means I had to make more stuff to put in the gallery.


And I had to think about quilts. I haven't been inspired to make a quilt for ages, but this week has seen a flurry of talk about yo yos (or suffolk puffs) as I'm going to teach a class in how to make them at the next Canberra Brown Owls. I've become addicted to making them. In fact, I've made about 30 since late last night.


These ones, using my treasured and long-collected Japanese fabric, will become a small quilt, but not right now. I didn't leave myself enough time. I'm going to be "artist in residence" at the gallery on 17 April so I'll submit a quilt or two before then.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red Monday


These shoes encompass everything I love in footwear - red, wedge heel, Mary Jane style, and comfortable. They were also half price. And if that didn't improve my Monday, then nothing was going to!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Melbourne in a day

There was no way this day trip was going to be good. I'd had a tension headache for five days that I hadn't been able to shake, and I'd slept for only two hours on Friday night. And I had a nagging feeling that I should be at home working on a deadline, and not gallivanting around fabric stores in Melbourne.

But as the plane flew towards Melbourne and I watched the most magnificent sunrise just below the clouds, I knew the day would be great - just as soon as I'd had coffee.

Bike in Fitzroy

First stop was Fitzroy to meet with my old friend Helen. As I was arriving so early, hours before most of my shops opened, she agreed to meet me for breakfast. Desperately needing a toilet stop and a coffee, I was disheartened to see our favourite cafe wasn't due to open for another 40 minutes. Bum. Luckily Helen showed up and took me to her local. It was open, it had an outhouse down the back, and it had great coffee. Phew.


Back on the tram again, and then a walk down Flinders Lane. We used to stay in a hotel on Flinders Lane years ago, and there was never much there except Craft Victoria, smoking hotel staff and delivery vans. How things have changed over the years - there are restaurants, cafes, quirky fashion stores and Tessuti Fabrics.

Tessuti Fabrics - Melbourne

Oh boy. So much to see and be inspired by. And so much beautiful fabric in one place got me a little overwhelmed! So I jotted some ideas in my notebook and decided to come back later when my brain was a little more settled. I took the tram to GJ's Fabrics on Lygon St, a place that has never failed me, and you know what? It failed me for the first time ever. Their warehouse area on the second floor has been cleaned up, and they have less lengths available in fashion fabric (I was after wool or wool blends). The wools they did have against the wall were rarely priced, let alone marked with the fabric makeup. I didn't want to buy something that looked like wool but ended up being acrylic and there were no staff in sight to ask so I caught the next tram out.

I then went to Clegs on Elizabeth St. So much pretty fabric and yarn but I didn't buy anything. By this point I was flagging a little and I hadn't bought a thing! As I walked past Degraves St I debated having a late lunch but I was still a little full from breakfast. So I kept on until I came to the Nicholas Building.

Nicholas Building

Holy Crap. It was magnificent. How have I never noticed this building before? Inside were two places on my list of "places to visit" for the day, Kimono House and Buttonmania. I bought some beautiful Japanese quilting fabrics and sashiko thread from Kimono House, and some plain vintage casein buttons and a buckle from Buttonmania, perfect for some crocheted cardigans I have in mind.


Then it was back up the hill to Tessuti's where I had a clearer head and I bought three fabrics in greens and greys for a dress, a jacket and a skirt, and stopped myself from buying this until I had a destiny for it in my mind.

Fabrics from Tessuti.

Absolutely exhausted by this stage and now lugging about 5 kilos of fabric in my bags, I made my way to Little Cupcakes on Degraves St where I made things harder for my travel home by getting a few bigger cupcakes (do you have any idea how hard it is to lug kilos of fabric and a box of fragile cupcakes on public transport? I'm sure you do) and then headed to the airport. Then flew home. Then didn't move for the rest of the night and slept a full nine hours until this morning. And I don't have a headache anymore. My deadline is still there (more on that later) but I can work on that today.

So that's it - Michelle Day in a blog post. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Regrets? That I didn't have enough time to meet up with other friends for a coffee, that GJs was a waste of a trip, and I could have ditched one for the other if I had known. Was it extravagant? Of course. Was it fun? Silly - of course it was!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


If there's one thing I love more than fabric shopping, it's a schedule.

And when one finds oneself, alone by choice, in a lovely city for 12 hours, just two days after payday, one must do a lot of scheduling.

There are fabric shops, quilting shops and button shops to visit. Opening hours, closing hours, breakfasting locations, tram timetables to consider.

And then there is the rummaging through of one's patterns to work out what fabric one will need for one's winter wardrobe.

With all this planning and rummaging, I think this week is going to be a very nice one!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I got the blah blah blahs

Not much to say here, but this morning I found a new use for my vintage Pyrex - in the sewing room.

Labels in Pyrex

While I was there I sewed a couple of things for the shop, but not too much. I didn't want to get overwhelmed with creativity or nothin'.

Elephants in Socks

I took a walk in the garden. Autumn, before the leaves colour and fall, is so pretty here in Canberra.



And I've almost finished a crocheted shawl. I haven't had time to do any sewing for myself for Big Girl's' Blou's'e Month but I did discover Shop your Shape thanks to Liesl at Hoppo Bumpo, and now I know what shape I am and what clothes are supposed to suit me, and you have no idea what a revelation that is.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Have you got a little old house and a lemon tree?

With much excitement and giggling, and holding a discount voucher each, a work friend and I jogged through the rain at lunch time yesterday to go to the book store and pick up our copies of The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans.

The Real Food Companion

In case you don't know who Matthew Evans is, he was a famous restaurant critic in Sydney before tossing big city life in and moving to Tasmania to live and work a small holding, in order to get a sense of where food comes from. There's a TV show and DVD about his adventures, and also this book.

It's a beautiful book. I didn't need a new cookbook but ... I have the biggest girly crush on Matthew Evans. Actually, so does my friend, the wench!!! (Kidding. She's lovely.)

Anyway, that book (and it's enormous - think Stephanie Alexander's Big Orange Bible kind of enormous) hadn't been in my possession for 26 hours before I made this (the lemon curd - the fruit and nut bread is from Infinity Sourdough at the farmers' market).

Lemon curd

And this (the pipérade - the bread is Infinity too).


Verdict - a huge success. I got to use some of my massive capsicum and parsley crop, as well as some local lemons and eggs from my competition's friend's farm. Best of all, it all tasted delicious. The pipérade is all gone, but I have half a litre of lemon curd to eat over the next 2 weeks (it's recommended best-by date) and I may need a filling or two at the end of that period. But oh. So worth it.

So I think this might be my new favourite cook book, and I have a lot of books to choose from. Tell me - what is your favourite?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Such a big girl's blouse

The very crafty Kuka and Suzy have decided to host Big Girls Blouse Month.*

Big Girls Blouse Month

I have long struggled with the extra challenges that an ample boobage offers, and in addition I have a long upper chest too, resulting in a low bustline, gaping armholes and darts in all the wrong places. Normally I try to ignore it and just put up with the ill fitting upper wear that I sew and crochet, but I think it's time to get technical and brave, and familiarise myself with full bust adjustments and low bust adjustments ... and actually do them. So I'm joining in.

I have armed myself with my Sandra Betzina Fast Fit book and my work buddy's pattern adjustment notes from when she was at fashion school. I'm sure I'll be fine, but maybe wish me luck just in case.

*(As an ex-English teacher trainee and pedant, I am very conflicted as to where the apostrophe should go. I may not be able to sleep tonight as a result.)