Monday, September 27, 2010

The Old Woman Crush Syndrome.


I have been feeling pretty darn good since I hit my 40s nearly 2 years back.

My 30s were a fantastic time:
we achieved a lot in terms of family, home and business
and there is a confidence I achieved finally escaping most of the peer pressure
that I felt as a teen and in my 20s.

I have an ever increasing sense of mortality
which I think has been associated with becoming a mother.
I fear that I wont be around to see my kids grow up to be
(hopefully) healthy and happy and settled in their lives.

But now that I have settled into my 40s
(and have been assured that I am not mid-life yet-
someone said it somewhere, once, and I am chosing to believe them),
I am starting to definately feel like I am coming down the other side of the hill.

Little bits of the body here and there are starting to slow down or fail.
I am slowly but surely getting out of touch with the youth culture
(though once I have 3 teenagers,
I am guessing that I will be back in touch in no uncertain terms)
Planning my 50th birthday will happen before planning any of my children's 18th birthdays.

But my secret fear is what I call "the old woman crush" syndrome.
When does it become a know...inappropriate to have a crush on someone?
Expected as a teen,
natural as a 20-something- year old,
not surprising as a person in your 30s, dare I say?
But is it a bit (or a lot) cougar-ish when you are in your 40s?
Or is it OK till you are 50? Or 60? Or as you squeeze out your last 93 year old breath?

And then there is the issue as to what 
(or I should say who)
 is an appropriate crush.

Too old could be a bit yucky.
Too young would not be something that you'd be sharing with the ladies on tuckshop duty,
now would it?

For tween gals at the moment,
it would appear that you are meant to swoon
at the mention of Justin Bieber.

I thankfully have no vestige of interest in the likes of tween heart throbs.
I think more about giving birth to them than kissing them.

What about teens?
Break out in a sweat at the thought of Zac Efron?

Nope. Doesn't do it for me either.

No idea (no interest?) who's hot for a 20 or 30 year old.

Maybe something with fangs and a six pack.

I grew up in times when Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt were dubbed
"The Sexiest Men in the World"
(Personally I think that Johnny Depp is still right up there)


As a teenager, I adored George Michael
(before he came out)
As a late teen, Rupert Everett
(before he came out)

Yes, OK There would seem to be a pattern there but let's just not get distracted for now.

(And I am loving the fact that the photos that I spent hours gazing at lovingly,
longingly as a teen
nearly 30 years ago,
 have been immortalised on the web.)

Peter Davison was the Dr Who of choice.
Loved Tom Baker but in a platonic way
while Peter was so darn cute.

Did anyone else love Mickey Rourke?
(before he turned into plastic fantatic)
(But not gay as far as I am aware)

C'mon, he was hot!

Ever flutter the heart a little bit at Bill Pullman in
While You were Sleeping"?

In my 30s, I think I was too busy with conception, gestation and newborns to have the time to worry about who had a six pack or not.

Then, as I regained my sleep, my pelvic floor muscles and ownership of my boobs,
men on the screen suddenly seemed to be interesting again.

Mmmm, Gale Harold
(playing a gay man in "Queer as Folk"...
OK, still not going to go there)

David Tennant,
the thinking woman's Dr Who heart throb.

Pierce Brosnan,
the perfect 007.

Well. he was on the list till I heard him sing in "Mamma Mia"
Now I just have to step back on that one for a while and recover.

Colin Firth
(whom incidentally shared the screen with Rupert in "Another Country" all those years ago
and I didn't look at him twice)


John Barrowman.
Torchwood, theatrical leading man, someone once said "sex on legs"
and yes, gay.

(Maybe I am attracted to gay men as it is a pretty safe fantasy world)

But interestingly all my current crushes are men of similar age.
Do you think that most people
are naturally inclined to be attracted to those who are of a suitable age?
(even if not suitable sexual preferences)

So, c'mon, share.
If I can own up to George Michael posters on my teenage wall,
surely you can own up to someone past or present
who floats your boat.

It'll just be between you and me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Maybe. No.

(image from

My hubby and I are (hopefully) at the end of near to 2 months
of interrupted sleep (some nights)
or plain old sleep deprivation ( on the other nights)
thanks to a 3 year old
who would rather sleep on the hard, cold coir mat of the corridor
than snuggled up with her fleecy well loved hippo pillow under her Dorothy doona.

But the psychological and physical negotiations associated with that saga
are another story.

Let's just say that the midnight, 2am and 4am dramas
have been almost clockwork
and very wearing.

2 grumpy, impatient and intolerant parents.

And I am now that queen bee mummy of "no".

(image from

"Can I...?"

Some are well founded...

"No, you can't climb that ladder onto the roof."
"No, you can't walk to school alone."
"No, you can't both sit on top of your 3 year old sister"

Others (I should admit most) not so well founded...

"No, you can't spread your own toast."
No, you can't play in the bath for another 5 minutes"
No, you can't be banker for Junior Monopoly"
"No, you can't have vegemite on sultana toast"

And the only thing more infuriating than have a child ask "why not?"
when you have said "no" with good reason,
is having a child ask "why not?"
when there is no good reason
and being stuck for an explanation as you grapple with guilt.

"Because I said so" is one of those answers you swore you would never give your child.
But "Because I am tired and crabby" isn't really much better.
(image from

It is now a habit.
Easy to say it without thinking.
The same way my 5 year old finds comfort in having his hands tucked in his trousers
and the way my 7 year old finds fun by sucking on his collars and bedsheets.
No thought.
Just habit.

Of all the parenting advice we have been given or have sought in the past 8 years,
the one we both most clearly remember is
"Try to say yes more often than no"

Not sure why we remember it.
Perhaps it is because it seems to be a reachable goal in the grand scheme of positive parenting.

I would hate to think that I am weilding the "no" weapon
just because I can.
As a power play.
I know someone who used to do that to her teenage son
and it was awful to see.

I just need to stop,
think about the pros and cons,
and say "yes" where possible.

I know that there are times when I need to say "no".
Like when my 7 year old wanted my email address
so that he could sign up to a chat room
(on a child's site but the answer was a firm no regardless)

But with my fatigue and intolerance,
I have lost the ability to empathise with
the feelings of my young kids.

So I need to get more sleep,
say "yes" unless it is going to result in head trauma,
something burning
or the next world war
and maybe even try vegemite on sultana toast one morning
and see what my 7 year old is on about.

(image from

And I could even let him spread it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scientific Seamstress Portrait Peasant top

If you like pink, floral, ruffled and generally girlie,
you are going to love this one.

Little Boozle 2010

Personally it is a bit too pink, floral, ruffled and girlie for me,
but I am not 3 years old
and apparently she who matters adores it.

Little Boozle 2010

The pattern is well explained and comes together very nicely.
There are variations on length, dress versus top, number of flounces and the like.
I fussy cut the border print fabric
so that the pattern intensity increased with each flounce.
I like the effect though I am not sure it is appreciated by the 3 year old recipient.

Little Boozle 2010

The length with the 4 flounces that I chose is a bit awkward for her current height.
But there is room for growth so I think it will be perfect past this summer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sis Boom Maddie top

Little Boozle 2010

The Sis Boom range of patterns are some of the most comprehensive and laid out patterns available.
There is a lot of information about the variations of the pattern,
how to size,
fabrics to use,
plus garment construction.
The step by step photos can be a great help to get you over any bumps in the sewing road.

Little Boozle 2010

I made the short (top) version of the Maddie pattern.
I love the ruffled bodice neckline.

Little Boozle 2010

The neckline is the same at the front and the back.

Little Boozle 2010

The little goddess wanted pink
- as to be expected-
so I offered up some fairies with sparkly bits
and all was good...

Little Boozle 2010

(Michael Miller Flower Fairies)

My only comment on these patterns is to read them on your computer first
then print out only the pages that you need.
They can be well over a hundred pages
as there as so many sizes within each pattern.
Within the text, a guide tells you very helpfully which pages to print out
for each size and the variation that you are after.

A Sunny Day sun hat

This pattern is from Tie Dye Diva and Monkeysbug Tees
and is superfast and easy to make.

Little Boozle 2010

It has a ruffled or straight brim variation and is fully reversible.

Little Boozle 2010

I think it would be supercute on bubs and toddlers.
I did wonder if it might look a bit like a shower cap on older kids.

Little Boozle 2010

But the little goddess is very impressed and wont stop wearing it
so it gets lots of brownie points.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coco's Bobble dress

Little Boozle 2010

I came across this gorgeous little pattern a few months back.
It is based on a very old design
but is simple and whimsical and the perfect little girl's dress.

Little Boozle 2010

I started it as a project to give me some quick crochet gratification
but with a busy couple of months,
my crocheting time was minimal.

Add to that,
those oh-so-cute bobbles are quite time consuming
with wool that insists on splitting.
Plus they give the old fingers a good workout.

The result is really sweet.
It is smaller than I thought
so the little goddess will be wearing it to death in the next few weeks
before the weather gets too warm.

Little Boozle 2010

You can find the pattern at

The appeal of an Onion

I have a few Onion patterns in my stash
and a "wish" list for more.
They seem to be nice, simple designs
but sadly I have been disappointed to date
with the couple that I have made up.

Little Boozle 2010

Over the weekend,
I grabbed Onion 2022 and made it up using a Spotlight printed knit.
It came together really well
(all the unpicking that I had to do was self inflicted)
and suited the soft draped fabric that I had chosen.

Little Boozle 2010

But (yes, there is a "but")
there is a noticably low cleavage.

And we aren't talking the

We are talking the "well-hello-sailor-my-name-is-Luscious-Lovelips-and-I-am-looking-for-a-good-time-how-about-it?"

Little Boozle 2010

I think I feel a bit more comfy with a cami underneath.
In fact, I love it (with the cami)

So the jury is still out on Onion patterns.
I will try a couple more and see how they go.
They are simple patterns that come together quite quickly and buying from the above site gives you free English translations with most patterns.
Good thing as my Danish sucks
and there aren't any pictures in the patterns.

Nb: the cropped photo is a consequence of trying to post with the camera on a timer and balanced on its side with a stuffed toy and a remote control holding it in place.
However, it was better than this one...

Little Boozle 2010 1633 (Small)

...don't you think?

Colette Sencha blouse

Little Boozle 2010

I love the Colette range of patterns.
The vintage feel to them,
the way that they suit curves,
the gorgeous styles.

Little Boozle 2010

The Sencha blouse is very sweet.
I used a vintage fabric
and it is hard to appreciate the pattern
but there are tucks at the front and back
and I made the keyhole neckline (version 3)

Little Boozle 2010

I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out
or how it would suit me
but I was very happy with the result
and will certainly be making other versions of this.

Crafty Mamma Sept10

The pattern designer may well shudder at the "slipper" look
but what can I say?
On a sewing day,
it is all about comfort.

Getting ahead.

I can't believe how much sewing I got done over 2 days at our Adelaide meet up this weekend.
No computers, no interrupting children, no interrupting husbands, no domestic duties...

I got my 5 planned projects done
plus still had time to pick up a pair of circular knitting needles
and try to work out what to do with them.

Farbenmix Olivias are one of my favourite patterns.
Super quick to sew up
and a lovely line to the body of the dress.
These are the next size up-
for the little goddess to wear next year
as she already seems to have a lot of clothes at the moment...

Little Boozle 2010

Strawberry French terry and striped Campan fabric.
(Sleeves left unhemmed till she is ready to wear it)
Shortened the hood on this one.

Little Boozle 2010

The second is short sleeved with the knotted tail to the hood.

Little Boozle 2010

Brown floral is a Spotlight knit and the pink stripe is a Campan knit.

Little Boozle 2010

Lucky little ol' me.

Little Boozle 2010

I was blessed to win the latest Crafty Mama's blog giveaway.

The gorgeous and very talented Peta,
to be found hanging out over at One Little Stitch
knitted the Citron Shawlette from Knitty to giveaway.

Little Boozle 2010

And it is a good thing too.
As a crocheter and about-to-be-knitter,
I have never blocked anything.
So now I have to.

Thank you Peta.
A very generous giveaway
and an appreciative winner.

Heaven is...

...a weekend of sewing, crafting, chatting, drinking good coffee
and laughing a lot
with friends.

Crafty Mamma Sept10

(and might I add, you can get soooo much sewing done when you don't have offspring within a 5km radius)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mathematics for parents

Question 11:

If a child, aged 3 years and 3 months,
does a 3ml wee on the toilet
and uses 59 pieces of toilet paper,
how many pieces of toilet paper will said child use when she actually does a poo?

Bonus question for an additional point:
What is the best way of dealing with said 59 pieces of toilet paper
without stuffing up the sewerage?

(image from

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Drink water with health benefits for millions of people.


I am not a person who buys bottled water,
that is, not unless the need arises on a hot or active day when I am caught with 3 young kids without anything to drink.

But apparently someone in Australia does-
given that Aussies spend $600 million dollars on bottled water annually.

Did you know that nearly 900 million people in the world
cannot just go and get a drink of clean water?

900 million is unfathomable to me.

A group of young Aussies started a venture called "Thank you Water".
It is simple.
You buy "thankyou" labelled water when buying bottled water.
100% of the profits go towards funding water projects in countries of needs.


At the moment, none of the volunteers are drawing a wage from the venture.

Visit their blog and their website.

Then, if and when you need to buy bottled water, buy thankyou water if you can.


Purchase of a single bottle will provide at least one month's safe drinking water for another human being.
It's a no brainer, really, isn't it?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Make them and it shall come.

...them bring summer pyjamas
and it being summer...

Having stocked up the little goddess' piggy piggy jam jam drawer for summer nights,
I have been procrastinating on making the boys' PJs.
As soon as it "has" to be done,
it becomes a chore.
And while making 4 pairs at once,
a few thread colour changes aside,
is a quicker process,
it smacks of production line
and that seems to kick in a persnickety little "boredom" gene.

The bottoms are from Favourite Things Little Jammies pattern
modified to a completely elasticised waist.
The top are from Kwik Sew 3234 pyjama pattern.
These are a slim top so I made a size 10 for my boys.
(one is 5 and he...shall we say, takes after his mother;
the 7 year old is a beanpole...they share the same waist measurement)
These are loose fitting but a good size and if they don't get trashed through stretching tops over their knees and playing "hey I have a great idea let's see who can pull and stretch whose pyjamas the most"
(as happened with last year's pairs)
they might get more than a year's wear.

Fabrics: plain knit is Stella. Various patterned knits from the stash.
Embroidery: both from embroidery library,
embroidered onto felt
then sewn onto the tops.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

And *ahem* I might just have made one more pair for the little goddess.
A bought tee decorated with embroidery and bottoms using a knit from my stash.
Embroidery from designs by juju

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010