Saturday, 26 July 2008

beautiful buildings - cathedral arcade

I had a spare few minutes in the city this morning. I had my camera with me and the crowds hadn't arrived yet. How could I resist?

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

there's an elephant in my suitcase

Our trip to Europe is less tan two weeks away (yippee!) and I have been trying to think of ways to keep Olive entertained on the very long flights. So of course, I turned to my trusty sewing machine for help.

And made a drawstring bag using an old pillowcase. The idea is that she can put her toys in and out and in, etc.

It will hold some tiny board books, a squeaky bath toy, a ball, her favourite teddy (cookie monster) and a pencil. Got any other suggestions about how to keep a one-year-old occupied for many, many hours?

Sunday, 20 July 2008

this is ... what makes me happy

Warming up in front of the heater.

Collecting freshly laid eggs in the morning. I especially enjoy it when all of the chickens come out of their yard and follow me in a line.

Cooking with ingredients grown in our own back yard. And making a healthy meal for the people I love.

Being there when Olive does something for the first time.

Lining up books in height order.

A warm shower - my best thinking time.

A little bit of time to create.

I look for my happiness in the simple pleasures of everday life. As much as I can, I want to live in the moment and appreciate what I have. There is no point in always looking forward in anticipation of some imagined future happiness, or defining hapiness as something that only happens on special occassions. There is so much to appreciate every day.

Special thanks to Jacinta from One Little Acorn for her great topic this week.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

this is ... what scrambles my brain

Crochet patterns. For the life of me, I simply cannot read them.

Which is funny (strange, not ha ha) because I have no trouble with freehanding crochet and frequently turn to it when I can't find a pattern to follow. Like these:

A toilet doll roll made as a housewaming gift for my sister. I was aiming for super-tacky but I still think I've seen worse.

Owl rattle.

The inaccesibility of crochet patterns has become doubly frustrating since I joined Ravelry because there are so many cute amigurumi creatures I'd love to be making. Like these little guys:
striped turtle

So, if you know of a good online crochet tutrial or can recommend a book, please let me know. Cheers!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

my first tapestry

It's taken me a little while to work up the courage for the show-and-tell but here it is at last, my first woven tapestry.

It was based on this photograph that I took of Olive and her dad at the Osaka Aquarium. Can you see the whale shark in the background?

The beads are intended to serve as braille dots and give a description of the image so that it can be accessed by the sighted and vision impaired alike.

While there are lots of really obvious errors, I learnt a lot too and am keen to do better next time!

Friday, 11 July 2008

this is ... my treasured childhood possession

I'm only five days late with my meme post this week. Still not great but getting better ...

I'd like to introduce you to Seranja. I'm not quite sure of the spelling of her name because I invented it before I learnt my ABCs.

Admittedly, Seranja is quite a scary looking girl. I think it's the teeth that does it. In fact, my partner insists that I ensure she is hidden in a fully closed drawer each night for fear that she will come to life and strangle us in our sleep.

I wouldn't exactly say that Seranja was well-loved but I did treasure her as a child because she was handmade by an aunt, and again as a teenager because I realised that she had provided me with much of my sense of style. (Thank goodness that Barbie was banned in our house!) Note in particular Seranja's black boots (I was a doc Martens devotee), stripey tights, petticoat and dress.

As a child, I as always fascinated by Seranja's knickerbockers too. Luckily, I never took my mimicry of her that far.

And now that I have a child of my own, I find myself wearing ric-rac-embellished aprons.

Thanks to Angela of Three Buttons for the "this is" meme and Danielle of teacups on treetops for this week's topic.

Saturday, 5 July 2008


It was cold this morning. Very cold.


And wet.

With bare trees and blue skies.

this is ... my best op shop find

Only six days late! Ah well, at least I guess it could be worse ...

I do love to op shop because it is a quick, easy excursion that gets us out of the house. And of course, no matter how much I spend, it's always a bargain! Best op shop find ever is a very tall order so I have instead focused on my best op shop find this year. My prime hunting target at the moment is vintage board books and this is my favourite so far.

What is it? is a golden book printed in Japan but I can only guess at the date. Intended as a picture dictionary, it is instead a sweet illustration of how much some things have changed.

These are a couple of my favourite pages.

Things for baby. Check out the chair!

Friendly animals. Puppies and kittens were insanely popular subjects.

Things to ride. I love the driving goggles!

And while I'm at it, why not take a look at some of the other books I have picked up?

Let's Talk

A bunny talking to a deer. As they do.

Baby Animals is another golden book but is more recent, with a 1980 copyright.

Little Kitten Mischief was printed in Tokyo in 1968. See what I mean about the puppies and kittens?

Puppies was printed in Holland in 1974. It is Olive's favourite because it is small and she is obsessed with dogs. I wonder where she gets her obsessive nature from? ;)