Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Catapulting ourselves back into impulsiveness

  We used to be cool. Cool as in, waking up on a perfectly normal day and deciding it was time for a holiday. Throwing camping gear, and kids, and clothes into the car and being on our way by 10am. (Deciding to move back to Melbourne from Cairns, and packing the house, putting it on the market and being gone in 36 hours was the pinnacle of impulsiveness. And a major fuck-up-we were back six months later, minus our gorgeous Queenslander, which predictably sold immediately).

  Over the last few years we’ve become boring. More than boring-beige. A combination of an unreliable car, five rather young children and debt on two properties stopped us doing much that could be called exciting. We have been stagnating in a pool of boringness, and it’s showing. Neither of us are much suited for a predictable life, and when the biggest decision of the day is what to have for dinner………well, lets just say I don’t cope very well with that. Obsessive working works well to a point, but I have to snap sometimes.

  Result-notice given to move out, moving truck booked to dump our stuff at the property, bus booked to Brisbane, plane booked to Melbourne. Not bad for an afternoons work. We have less than a fortnight to pack everything we own, get it on and off a hire truck, clean this place and be gone. It’s at least five times longer than we’ve had any other time, so it should be a breeze.

  And I already feel as though I can breathe again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homeschool snapshot-embroidery

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Thanks to a lovely friend dropping off a stitch book and a whole container of threads!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bathtub gardens update

As promised, a picture of a bathtub garden actually growing stuff.

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This one contains a yacon, also known as a peruvian ground apple, sweet fruit root or jicama (but not to be confused with the yam bean jicama-these foreign crops get so confusing!) Also, it contains five garlics, two Darwin lettuces and a pak choi. All are growing well with complete ignorance from me-thinking of that, i’ll give it a dose of worm wee tomorrow.

  The watering pipes are also proving to be excellent habitat for frogs, we have tree frogs living in each one. We’ve also discovered another bonus-the winter sun on the metal in the early morning ensures the soil is always significantly warmer than the ground. Currently they’re growing much better than the ground beds, probably also related to the fact that our backyard is somewhat boggy and the wetter than usual autumn means it’s just not drying out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shorty turns 5

  Ah, our little Peter Pan. The years keep turning but he remains delightfully compact and innocent. He is my romantic, always picking me flowers and telling me how much he adores me and how beautiful I am-the total opposite of the husband so i’ll savour it while I can!

  The husband wins first prize for handmade present this year, with a lawnmower. Now whenever we mow we have two little boys following us around growling with their own implements.

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  I decided to finally tackle a shirt-I must say, it was much easier than I expected. I saw this fabric on sale over a year ago and immediately thought it would be perfect for Shorty and bought the rest (about 2m). Excuse the wrinkles, he wore it straightaway and spent the next day pestering me about whether it was dry-this is straight from the line, in the few minutes it had off his back.

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  It fitted him perfectly, and i’ve enough left for another one in the next size up. I did have full plans to use proper buttons and buttonholes, but as he hasn’t mastered using them yet decided a zip would be better for independence. 

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  Terribly, i’ve left this post so long i’ve forgotten what the girls made him. Luckily Oods remembered to photograph her pirate ship.

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For cake, a lemon meringue pie. The first i’ve made, but definitely not the last-both clones were groaning in ecstasy, savouring every last mouthful. No, I didn’t do the crust properly either, i’m lazy like that.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lols and Sparkles turn 6

  Ah, my not-so-tiny clones are already six. It’s so very hard to believe they both fitted inside me at once at one stage. Unfortunately (for them, not me) they didn’t wake up to a flock of geese and a horse in the backyard as they were dreaming of. Luckily for them we weren’t rained in this year-last year ended up being costumes from the cupboard and anything goes because we hadn’t been able to leave the property for 7 days beforehand.

  The age of six is the magical age of Learning to Sew on the Machine. So they both got a decorated box full of sewing goodies, like scissors and retractable tape measures, and a few metres of fabric each. Plus, I made them each a pincushion from a Vegemite jar. To say that they were excited about reaching this milestone is a massive understatement, it was all they talked about for months. And they made me sew with them for hours, just like their big sister did last year.

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  Because the pincushions just didn’t feel like i’d made enough, I broke out the hooks for a beanie and gauntlets.DSCF7533

  Gauntlets in action, she’s since felted them to shape them somewhat. My sole gauntlet in variegated pink/brown/yellow will probably never get a mate now-rainbow is infinitely cooler.

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  Oods made them this incredibly awesome playscape thingy for their farm animals from the base of a fridge box. From each other, Lols got a stuffed felt parrot, and Sparkles got the cotton wool/pipe cleaner sheep in the paddock below.

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A peacock cake for the bird-obsessed Lols. I gave her a nature book and told her to bookmark the ones she liked, from her initial 400 or so she narrowed it down over a few days to a peacock, although the birds of paradise came a close second. Food colouring and toothpicks seemed the safe way out of this one, I was having nightmares about 27 different colours of icing and swirling them all appropriately.

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Sparkles wanted a cheesecake, but seemed deflated it was plain on the morning, so I did a quick horse for her. No, I don’t have a springform tin so we just hack them out.

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  Sewing, some face painting, and many hours in their imaginary Twinland with each other added up to what they declared to be a perfect birthday-these two are so easy to have. I hope they keep that contentment forever.

Rooster not-kill day

    Well, we wimped out. But here’s how we got ready for the nearly-kill, and what ended up happening!

  The day before, the roosters were in what the kids christened ‘The Dome of Death’. It’s basically a starvation chamber, so they were nice and empty of food and other ickyness. They’d been put in it a few days previously (with food), as there were some particularly nasty gang-rape incidents happening. This channelled that energy into cock fighting instead.

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  That night, they went back into their crates under the house. They only had to deal with these for two nights, when their crowing suddenly hit grown-rooster status. At 3am. Seven roosters crowing at once in the deathly-quiet suburbs is scary when it’s your fault. Note the onion bag on the left-that one just would not stop. He went in a crate, then a flowerpot, then finally we stuffed him headfirst in the bag. That shut him up.

 DSCF8066 DSCF8067 Mr Red-Vest, not looking happy even though he has more space than the average battery hen

  Then they went back into the Dome of Death that morning, and we waited for our instructor to turn up. By this stage I think i’d already wimped out, and had sort of decided that maybe i’d just give the husband moral support and observe. Reading a Buddhism book over the previous few days didn’t really help-i’ll have to stick with the farming books next time. Then our instructor turned up, and instead of her being the bossy, can-do, shut-up-and-toughen-up person we’d been hoping for, she was really quiet and unsure! Turns out she hadn’t done much of the actual chop-chop part herself, and wasn’t particularly keen to. We had pictured someone waltzing in, pinning and dispatching a rooster in an efficient manner, then sweeping us along before we had a chance to think about it. As it was none of the four adults present wanted to do it! The husband and I were having horror thoughts about botching it and causing needless suffering with our ineptness. So we pulled out, fed them, then I rang around and found someone to take them all before we went through another noisy night, and we *might* reschedule another day with someone else. Probably Tamara, as she would laugh at us mercilessly and tell us to toughen up. Which is just what a difficult task needs.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chickummyjig

Our two resident Chickummyjigs certainly live life to the max. They were birthday presents to the youngest and oldest last year. Frosty wouldn’t touch his for a month though-he just cried and threw it. I must ask Oods if hers ever managed to hatch her eggs, and what came from them.PIC_1665

Maybe even mini-chickummyjigs, as they have been busted canoodling.DSCF1189

And they play a mean game of junior Monopoly (on her own handmade embroidered cushion too, courtesy of Oods).DSCF5452

  Yes, I am very pleased when they obviously enjoy things I make!

  If you’d like to make one too, head over to Myrtle & Eunice for the freebie pattern and tutorial.