Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brevity of Words

Prompted by Amy and her "conversations" post this morning, I thought I would quickly share this snippet of conversation I had with my oldest daughter (she is 8) on Monday.  I've already written it down, just in case I might forget!

Me: Hey, what did you do at school today?

Kate:  Stuff.

End of conversation.

Well to be truthful, once I got over the answer (this usually is a child that will go into the minutest mind numbing detail) I did ask for more: What KIND of stuff?! and eventually got a few more scraps of detail. Obviously she wasn't interested in conversing on Monday afternoon.  However, at the dinner table when food is meant to be going in her mouth, its a whole different story. Perhaps its the captive audience, too busy eating to interrupt her monologue! (now I am all about family time and conversing at the table, however this is more about avoidance and delaying tactics, of which I am well aware!)

P1020304A random crappy shot of the kids helping their dad celebrate his recent 40th. And the Big Girl giving her dad a big smooch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Adventures

sans photos. As 25kms down the road after leaving home, after what might be best described as a border-line crappy day, I remembered it. Oh well.

We - as in the family, plus two dogs, and visiting older couple and their grand-daughter, went to the prickle farm for the weekend. The visitors wanted to "de-stress and get away" for the weekend - I am not sure how relaxing this was for them, for our intention was to muster and brand calves!

Seeing as there are no photos (and OH! the photographic moments I missed!) I will summarise the weekend's adventures:

- mustering the holding paddock with three kids on board the bike. Lucky they 1. hold on tight 2. think chasing any cow at speed is fun and 3. get off quickly and bring up the tail on foot whenever mum has to race to the lead unencumbered ... who needs a blue dog when they have energy and noise to burn?!

- drafting cows from the calves with kids climbing rails and fighting and squealing and getting in the way and being yelled at until finally they were sent to the branding pen to play away from the action. Stress levels all round returned to normal (cows included!)

- seeing a calf born in front of us in close detail in the yards; plus discovering two other fresh babies during the course of the day. Kids watched the development and progression of baby #1 with great interest as she was in a nearby yard.  They also found and studied the "sac" of one of the other newborns, and squatted around it poking with sticks (another missed photo opportunity!) Patted whichever little and big calves they could find and get close to, despite dire warnings of cranky mother cows. No child was flattened I am pleased to report.

- branding calves.  I partook for a short time, until I returned to the house to cook the hard workers some pikelets for smoko on the bbq. There I stayed after daughter #2 upchucked her breakfast and looked pale and interesting and unfit for the cattle yards.  So she slept and clutched her sore tummy whileI washed up and read a book. Apparently they managed quite fine without me, and the children returned with tales of penning up calves, being stood on, being pooped on, and bearing, ahem, little bundles of meat that the dogs were pleased to devour.

- bringing home the newest addition to the menagerie - Billy-Bob-Henry (there is some dissent over his name!) the new poddy, who was most enthusiastic that someone finally gave him a feed (poor little fellow). Lord knows where his mother is. And back to having calf slobber on the back of my pyjama clad legs in the early morning.

- all slept very well last night.

And speaking of calves, best go and give young Billy-Bob-Henry a snack right now. He's very young, so for the first little bit he will get several smaller feeds a day, despite his protests that he WANTS MORE!

And I promise that I will remember to take my camera next time!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Something you don't see every day

The other day, a house drove by.
_MG_6021A rather large house!
We see houses and demountables on a regular basis actually, but this one was the biggest we've seen transported for a very long time, if not ever.  The no longer used shearing quarters from a property out on The Downs, it was bound for a property near us, to be renovated into a home. Quite exciting actually, we could see it had good weatherboard bones.
Quite a lot of manpower and escort vehicles was require for the move of this building - road signs had to be taken down to fit it through.  And amazingly, it went around this right angle corner with barely blink.
And there she goes, on her way. Can't you see some of the windows being replaced with french doors, and opening onto a wide verandah, which I am sure is on the plans. Makes me want to do some work on my old house again!
So there you go: how to move a house.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


little boy beside my bed:"Mum, I'm gunna 'pew...."

OK then....





I think you get the idea.

The boy is currently on the couch; he makes occasional forays out and about, which end in more  'pewing {unproductive, as the little bit he ate for dinner last night was digested long ago!}.  A bit of cold lemon cordial and some cold finely sliced apple have also re-appeared, but I guess it tastes a lot nicer than nothing.

So, that is on my horizon today, plus a bit of horizontal nappish sort of time for myself - I don't operate on optimum at 4am, and the rest of the day as a consequence isn't all that sparky either. Am hoping most sincerely that I don't end up with 'pewing in triplicate, and the girls avoided getting the same bug.

And here is a random thought for you, that I pondered upon yesterday: why to do cutlery draws get so DIRTY?  I mean - clean stuff in, clean stuff out - and yet  - ye gads! how filthy was mine yesterday when I cleaned it.

And another:  Dogs. Horse poo {fresh of course}. Rolling. Eating. Rolling some more {with joyous doggy faces}.Why?


that I have pinned on my board over at Pinterest. Have I mentioned that I love it?  And I am eyeing off these couple of projects that I pinned.

Rolled flower cuff bracelet tutorial.

And another project, in line with my level of crocheting expertise, and a bit practical.  I'm not a big fan of the frilly coat hanger (although some gifted ones from aunties do hang in my cupboard) however I do acknowledge they are far nicer to ones clothes! This version too would not leave the nasty sharp cornered indents on ones shirts - and with the addition of the cute little flower at the front, and presented as a trio, would make a great gift.

Maybe this would be a more satisfying (read: done quicker = less likely to get bored!) winter evening watching TV project!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Allright, Allright

To stop the nagging, and asking and asking, here it is:

The Most Awful Photo Ever of me - dressed up to go to the ball. Note to self - don't ever ask husband to take photo.

IMG_6110Mind you, my own fault for not striking a more flattering pose, or even SMILING. And if I look hot and a wee bit bothered, I probably was. It WAS hot (stormed that night) and I had just wrassled my way into those  hold-you-in-pants - which are great, but do take some thought and energy to get into. And the absence of ones smart mouthed husband!

I did like my shoes:

IMG_6111(and yes, I didn't realise it until now, I took a photo of my weird toes. more than you wanted to know about me, right?!) but the shoes are nice. And reasonable comfy, even though my few sessions of clomping around the house weren't enough to prevent this, after 8 hours of walking around, and even the odd (bad) dance or two, in them.

_MG_6115So enough with the feet - and some evidence that the rest of the women in my small town indeed know how to glam it up:_MG_6114This photo was taken under lights, but with no flash, at 1600 ISO. Pretty darned good I reckon, even if it is a bit grainy.  And those two girls in the middle - one is 6 months pregnant, and the other has a 4 week old baby - you'd never know though in those lovely dresses! They had a lovely day - doing hair, and nails and makeup and getting dressed, and then had a lovely girls night out (all husbands left at home with the kids!) and stayed right until the end. As did I, being one of the committee. Although after the cleaning up was done, and they cracked open the champers at around 2:30am, we left - champers on a tired mind with a 40km drive home just doesn't mix!

Let me end with this:  my days handling 3am bedtimes are long gone.  Recovery very slow!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Random Friday Stuff

Today, through my own bad management and leanings towards procrastination, my bad memory and circumstance, I have an awful lot to accomplish.  One of which is to take in the skirt of my evening dress that I have to wear tomorrow night. Not leaving a lot of margin for error, given that what else I have to do and where else I have to be today - AND tomorrow!

My newly put together fit ball chair is too low.  Any ideas of how to get it to the correct height for desk sitting? (I fear the ball is already at maximum)  Am wondering how bricks and castor wheels might work together!

We got (another) big snake yesterday, and once again it was the cat that made me aware of its existence. He got a nice bit of milk as a reward.  Since Kate was bitten (reading the post makes me tearing all over again) back in 2009, we have more snakes than we've ever had in the previous 6 years of living here, and most of them in the past summer - 6 in total so far, and 2 of those in the past three weeks - those 2 being very large and nasty.  So, the cats stay, and we are becoming masters in the study of cat behaviour (cats are very good in the art of blocking up snakes - in much the same way a collie dog would block a sheep or cow!)  And one other thing...the bbq cover is no long hanging to the ground! (I don't think you want any further details or you too will develop the same twitch and nervousness that I have!)

Thinking of letting the chooks out in the afternoons now, as a snake deterrent, despite my love hate relationship with them:  they are destructive and messy critters in my garden!

I have a P & C meeting this afternoon.  I am currently secretary.  Haven't looked at any P & C business since late November last year! (see first paragraph)

My new love: pinterest.  I never got Tumblr at all, but this?  love love love.  And my hard drive has never been happy to be free of all of the "ooh, I might do that one day" ideas that I collect from the www.  Find me HERE (you might have to scroll down to see anything of interest).

I had a heap more to say after thinking about it and writing a wonderful post in my head at the clothesline, but now I can't remember a single word. 

See you next week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


We don't get to go to the movies, but I do grab DVD's when we go to the coast or our closer bigger town.  The other day I grabbed Open Season Three, and Up.  Now I think, like a lot of movies, Open Season lost most of its charm with the follow-ups, from the bit I saw.  And I didn't watch Up with the kids today, however I did hear the howls of laughter, so I figure it must have been good!

The story takes a twist:  Fiona linked to an Alan Jackson song over on her blog, for the rather surprising number of people out there who don't know who he is! Funny - I would have thought everyone would have known, but then again, we live in the sticks, and grew up on country music and Slim Dusty. And while I won't say our taste in music is still just country (we are a little partial to Pink, Abba and other musicians I have no idea whose names are, seeing as we don't really "follow" music!) that is where our roots lie, and therefore we like Alan Jackson! ;-)

So, as I followed Fiona's like to listen to Alan Jackson (seeing as I didn't think to go to his Brisbane concert, unlike the great population of North West Queensland) I discovered this same song and a video clip from UP! Not sure if its part of the soundtrack or not, but I really enjoyed this - although, ahem, there might have been tears.  If it wasn't part of the soundtrack for this movie, it should have been - the song is perfect for this little clip. Just perfect. Watch it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

love this

am thinking how I could get this image on a huge enlargement or canvas.

_MG_5981 The real thing is a large metal sign, about the size of a dinner table.  Now if there are ever moves to push over the building (the same vintage as the sign) on which this is attached to I will be first in line to claim this, as it would be just perfect to put up on a wall on our downstairs patio area.

Isn't it just great? or maybe its just me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

in the afternoons

before it gets dark, and when its cooled off a little, we walk over to our little horse paddock (a bit of borrowed common land, taped off with electric fence tape, at the back of the old cricket pitch) and fill up the horses' water trough.

We've gotten in the habit of taking some bread as a treat for them, and call out to the horses before we get to the paddock. Its so much fun to see them pop their heads up from down the flat, and come running to meet us.( It's also a little insurance policy to make sure they don't ping off on the day that we go to catch them!)

_MG_5971"OOOH, look Simmo, she's got a bread bag!"  "yeah Touche old man, but one of those little ones is riding some wheeled contraption!  look at IT!  woah!!"

Well, maybe that is what they are thinking, I dunno.

_MG_5982  This is the other part of the trio - Ben. He's far more sensible and comes in his own good time, knowing that we always keep his share of the bread for him.  He also lives being hosed, and loves the kids (and isn't that a snazzy looking little trough?!)  ;-)

_MG_6001Patting Simpson (aka Simmo) can be quite an adventure.  He is a wee bit...cheeky.  Likes to nibble.  Little boys aren't keen on having their fingers nibbled. Can't say I blame him.

_MG_5999But we love him all the same. Because he really seems to miss us once we leave. That, or its the bread!

_MG_6013 (2) (PS:  I just found some more advanced photo editing within live writer - in this case I was able to colour pop and sharpen - and while the ability to control how much is limited, its still great for this lazy person!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

winter time evening activity

I am thinking that I will pursue a gentle-watching -the- TV -once -the -kids- have- gone -to -bed- activity once the evenings start to get chilly.

I'm not very good, find patterns akin to a nuclear science manual, yet find the whole process quite addictive once I've started.

Crocheting. And I think my specific goal will be this:

bagI'm not sure what I will do with it - perhaps just a place to house my crochet hooks and wool and ready to edge face washers (my previous and so far only  successful crocheting project).  And seeing as I am apparently unable to do straight rows, this being a circular affair, might end up moderately all right.

We shall see. Although it could be at least May before we see some chilly weather; I think we'd like to see a bit more wet season like weather before then!

Monday, March 7, 2011


or maybe I need to invest in some fancy smancy actions.



Version 1

g 02 01

Version 2

g 02 02

version 3

g 02 03I really wanted to bring out those freckles and the blue eyes (which aren't that blue in the photo actually).

I haven't used or looked at action for ages, and haven't ever bought any (well, I lie, I bought two, that aren't appropriate in this case).

Any recommendations?  I have plenty of freebie hazy type of ones, I think I want some pop and colour and something to make a shot like this sparkle...

*flooding rivers*

*kid style

When the kids go over to the sandpit, and ask to use the hose (or not) I give them free rein.  Water + sandpit + kids = peace and quiet for some time for me.

They get quite busy engineering rivers and moats and exciting stuff.

_MG_5925Its quite scientific and learning - like how high to make the walls (and where does the water go? straight down through the sand!)

Its also amusing for destructo kitty #1 (or #2, who can tell, they both look the same), who apparently missed the part in the kitty manual about cats not liking water.

_MG_5931 And even quite David Attenborough-ish, with the discovery of little frogs that live in the sand, flushed out by flooding rivers and stomping children.

_MG_5926The Husband calls them Pobblebonk Frogs, not from any sort of scientific approach or research, but because apparently that is the sort of noise they make when it rains.  I can't confirm or deny this, not have been witness to this type of frog making the noise.  They do however, puff themselves up when handled.

_MG_5939And disappear quite quickly into the sand far away from flooding rivers and engineering children.

Fortunately for the frog, it was also far away from sandpit digging uncles, who came along and decided that excavations  needed to be enlarged.

_MG_5940And then freckle nosed six year olds with no front teeth demanded that I "take a picsha" of them in the tree.

_MG_5943(image SOOC - I need to do some slight editing of this one, as I love it, it captures this child perfectly!  does it say "ratbag" to you?!)

End of story.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

all quiet on the western front

I'm not much of a baker; well I CAN bake reasonably well, its just that I don't very often. I don't even dislike doing it - rather I dislike the mess I make (inevitable) and how quickly the results are consumed, meaning I would then have to do it all over again in a very short space of time, when I haven't even gotten over the stress of cleaning up the mess I made in the first place.

So, smoko's of an exciting baked nature don't come our way that often.

_MG_5910As you can tell from the expressions on their faces!

And lest you think I went all Fiona or Amy like (those two being ladies - both of whom I'd love to visit in real life and sample their cooking!) who like cooking and whip up wonderful delicacies at a moments notice, let me set you straight.  I spied a "bare" double sponge cake on sale at Woolies, and brought it home with me. 

I should have grabbed another, as really I wasted one cake by making it a double layer. But it was yummy!  With cold just-whipped cream and generous lashings of strawberry jam, there wasn't much left over once we'd all had a generous slice (or two, ahem!)

_MG_5913 However, nothing like this for smoko today;  we had a reasonably late night last night celebrating an engagement, and no-one seems to firing on all cylinders, mother included!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

tulle yo yo's and random ideas

So, remember the cover I made for my SIL's digital cutter, and the tulle yo yo I used:
_MG_5810 Just imagine a whole load of these on the front and back of a crocheted singlet. Now that idea might just appeal to you as a lovely bit of apparel, and while I am thankful indeed for hand-me-downs, I promptly took the scissors to this singlet.
I've used this yo-yo's before on random craft items, but after a comment, and then quick email conversation yesterday with the hilarious Tania (who, even for the reader who doesn't knit, or crochet etc -  makes them enjoy the experience - or lack thereof - thoroughly!) I had one of those "aha" moments.
I've long hidden this pile of yo-yo's from my bowerbird girls.  I know this is just the sort of thing they would love to ferret away and use in their barbie houses and leave on the floor and under their pillows and scattered in any conceivable and unconceivable part of the house.
But on a cute cushion for their beds! the best of both worlds!  A list of benefits:they could enjoy the cuteness and girlyness of the tulle yo-yo without having them all over the place; I retain my sanity;  there would be one less bit of crap cluttering my craft area!
I have 21 yo-yo's at my disposal, however I don't necessarily have to use them all.  Some design ideas:
il_fullxfull_96508296 I'm currently favouring a 3x3 (using 9 yo-yos for each pillow) grid pattern, somewhat like above, but with a wider outside border. On lime green fabric, as I have oodles of it, and it would go with their doona covers.
Another thing for the DO list!

Friday, March 4, 2011

This may be the one

I've been eyeing off those lovely pendants that are around at the moment, you know the circle ones, with names engraved.  Never bought one, as lovely as they were, none of them really felt like me.

This version, however, may be it.

ab3911b62D0f022D4f4e2Da8712Db1d5fbbd12c7132a not sure why this one - maybe the simpleness of it?  and I like the engraving/stamping of the letters.  In my case, I would have each of the kids names - three of them (first names only) separated by the little heart stamp. Spacing wise, this should fill up around the same amount as the one above.

I do like the little hanging peal charms I've seen on others similar.  I think I'd like just one charm.

Ah, other heavy and important things for me to think about! ;-)   

Link HERE (ethereal silver)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Designer or Dodgy?

It's could go either way - I am not sure!  Whichever, I am pleased that I achieved what I set out to do - and have been planning to do for some time - which was turn an adults skirt into a girls dress.

I searched for a tutorial on how to make the dress "pillowcase"style, but couldn't find anything close. So I winged it. Perhaps it looks it?  I'm not sure, flushed with the success of having a finished project that I am! (and notice the child admiring herself in the glass doors opposite has started already!)

1 So, I started with this:  a size 8 woman's skirt from the salvos, cost me $2.50.  A slight a-line shape to it, with a nice girly ruffle at the bottom. Pretty, romantic fabric, yes?_MG_5947 After thinking about it, I went and found a dress that fits the girl in question, and traced around the armhole. Made me a pattern - for "next time"! ;-)_MG_5953 (2)Deep breath, and cut.  And I stopped taking photos there, as I had to use my brain and it hurt a tiny bit...the skirt was lined with a lovely light lawn, and after the thinking, I was able to make the armholes nice and neat by sewing the lining and dress together.  There was more thinking and a wee bit of unpicking involved as well, as I decided to use the waistband of the skirt to thread the ribbon through for straps.  And that then required a bit more thinking as there is a zip in the back of that there skirt.  And then the search for enough wide ribbon for the straps (lets say supply is now exhausted).

But I got done, just as the big girl came home from school to try on her new dress.

2 4Now here is where you come in dear readers:  is this a creation that is successful enough for a public outing, with neater hair and nice big flower clip or pretty headband?  Or should we just keep it at home for a nightie or play dress (possibly just a nightie, knowing how the play clothes are mistreated around here!).

Let me know your thoughts, before I embarrass the child and make her wear this in public!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

planning way ahead of time

So my littlest boy doesn't have a birthday until September. And he will be (oh dear lord) five on that day.  He's too little to be five this year.  He's still my baby!

Anywho, my issues with my baby not being a baby anymore aside, the other day he was looking over my shoulder at my emails or blog surfing or something, and he saw a picture of a child with a very cute sock monkey.  You know, the ones that are all the rage around the crafty www world at the moment (or so it seems).  He was very taken by this toy, and I have to admit they are terribly cute.

So here are my dilemmas: 

Is five too old for a cuddly toy?

Will he think he is too big and too boy for a cuddly toy?

Should I get one now while they are all the rage and easy to find?

Am I getting waaay to far ahead of myself, given that his birthday is SEPTEMBER?

Would I be able to restrain myself and not give it to him as soon as it arrived in the mail?!

Of course, one has had to research this sock monkey thing  - here are my options.

89827e712Da19b2D4c9d2Da62f2D7917bd217c6cSockM9I could make my own.  Now this does sound quite fun (although this version while looking like Curious George, is a tad boring compared to others I've seen)  but I really would have to purchase now to ensure I had it made in time, given  my track record at actually getting things done.

Or, I could buy one ready made, from madeit or etsy.

6d09c0b62D38762D446f2Da0e62D0942f91411ef72502nThere is the metro and most handsome Phillip. He likes music.

776956512Dea772D407f2Db42a2Da58b3c25c6a5Wally  Or cheerful Walter.  He likes, rather obviously, to play hide and seek.

sm Or the long and lanky Howard...(who also has a brother - Barry - in shades of blue and white).

As you can see, quite pressing and heavy matters on my mind this morning. Your advice would be appreciated!

A teeny bit of internet goodness

After my doing some gardening and being bitten by a rather cranky mob of black ants, and suffering some mild reactions to these bites (mildish yet brain bending with annoyiness! ie ITCH!), I've abandoned the garden again for a bit.(read: stamping foot and getting the huffs).

Found this cute tutorial for a bag by accident. "One hour" it says!

bagfinished2 And indeed it does seem simple enough. Except i would sew the straps into the top of the bag I think.  Anyhow, added to my list of "things to make".

Back soon with some other thoughts floating around my head....

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