Sunday, January 30, 2011

Statistics of a husband's mid-life crisis

JFM 2011

Age: 40 years
Causes for distress: Receding hair line; acceptance of never-to-be-clearly-defined-ever-again 6 pack;
Number of little red sports cars involved: 0
Number of young, pert blondes involved: 0 (lucky for him; it could have gotten ugly)

JFM 2011

Number of really long, really hard bike rides chosen to complete upon reaching 40th birthday: 1
Number of mates conned in to doing the same: 2
Number of wives and children packed into the cars to visit 3 states and drive about 12 hours each way to reach the really long, really hard bike ride: 3 and 7 respectively
(That includes his mates' families. He isn't stockpiling extra wives and far as I am aware)


Total time from start to finish: 10 hours and 10 minutes
Total riding time: 9 hours and 11 minutes
Total distance cycled: 196 km
Total vertical metres cycled: 4355
Minimum temperature: 4 degrees Celcius
Maximum temperature: 49 degrees C
Assessment: hardest physical thing he has ever done

JFM 2011

Event: Audax Alpine Classic, Bright, Victoria (23rd January, 2011)

JFM 2011

Money raised by husband for Oncology Children's Foundation:
over $2400

Wife's pride factor: off the scale

JFM 2011

...Dalgarno, Alan        finish...

Well done, hon.

(And to think, all I wanted to do on my 40th was kick back with a nice bottle of bubbly)

Wonder what will be on for his 50th.
I hear that there is some nice bike riding to be had
around the French Alps...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Better a late giveaway winner than never a winner at all.

Little Boozle 2011

I have been away on a family holiday for the past 10 days
so excuse my tardiness in announcing a winner for my giveaway
for the Premier's Flood Relief fundraiser.

Little Boozle 2011

Toni and Carli over at Make It Perfect have done an awesome job
as have all the people both hosting giveaways
and bidding or buying entries.

Little Boozle 2011

A whopping $99 089 has been raised towards the appeal.
Abso-bloody-lutely awesome!

Little Boozle 2011

I'm not a fan of the random generator
as it is a bit cold and clinical for my liking.
But I have an old-enough-to-know-better kitten
who likes to chew things
so I thought that the first name with teeth marks in it
could score the bags.
Call it "chewsing" a winner.
(Yes, groan away. That was awful)

Little Boozle 2011

After an initial ambivalence to the importance of the occasion,
Wally decided that in fact he could in fact
chew on a little piece of paper in the name of a good cause,
especially if it was served up with a wool chaser.

And the first person to be chomped was...

Little Boozle 2011


Thank you to those who participated.
Mac, if you could please kindly email me your details, I will send the bags on their way to their new home.

Little Boozle 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?"

(Clifford Stoll)

I am about to take a 10 day "rest" from the net.

Can I stay away that long?

I know that I will get lots of quality family time,
plenty of knitting time
and maybe even some reading or shopping time.
Who knows?
After 8 years, I might even try and catch up on some sleep
instead of surfing the web each night.

I may have access and I may well be tempted...

(The one thing that will suck me back will be to check in
on the result of all the crafty fundraisers bouncing around the net,
thanks to Toni and Carli over at Make It Perfect.
If you haven't checked out the auctions and giveaways going on,
please, please do so.
They are awesome in number, generosity and quality.
Funds raised currently stands at over $45 000 Australian dollars)

I am giving away a couple of bags.
Please check them out and make a donation)

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes.
I was reading an article today about what exactly all this web-time is doing to our minds.
Given that it is now known that our brains are constantly evolving in response to the way we use them,
it is an interesting debate as to what is happening.
Our age-old survival instinct is to detect and respond to new stimuli.

(Oh, look at that cute furry thing...with big teeth...that is salivating as it looks at me...
Perhaps I should....ruuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnn!)

But apply that to the world wide web
and we just want to click on that link,
respond to that message,
click, click, respond, click, respond, respond, click....
to the point where we find it hard to think beyond superfically
and find it harder to comprehend whatever it is that we are actually reading.


There are (of course) mixed opinions...
hyperlinks and multi-media are overstimulating us and
making us less able to concentrate and think more than superficially.

But then,
playing video games improves memory and speed of information processing.

Oh, but
the internet constantly requires multitasking which most people aren't good at.

Maybe, but then
Facebooks users have more real life friends

And so it goes on.

The internet is here to stay
but it is up to us as to how we use it.

I do believe that excessive screen time has to be detrimental,
in spite of some of the good that it may be doing for our brains.

On the flip side,
the information and resources that are available 24/7 is mind-boggling
and the shopping opportunities are, quite frankly, fabulous.
Then there are the friendships to be made...
William Powers "pulls the plug" on Friday night until Monday morning
and the weekend is internet-free family time
His family, though taking some months to adjust,
haven't looked back.
(Taking a couple of months to adjust gives you some idea of the power of the web)

Something for me to think about while I am unplugged.


Though, given that the kidlets are also going without Wii and computer time,
I may not get the peace that I am anticipating
and I might be back to escape from the real world sooner rather than later.

(Information source: "Net Effect- Andrew Fenton- The Advertiser)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Red. Not pink. Yay!

Little Boozle 2011

Knitting adult sized clothing is rather time consuming.
The cardigan that I am making myself is dragging a bit at the moment
so I took a break to make this up for my daughter in the meantime.

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: In Threes cardigan by Kelly Herdrich
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed

Even though the pattern only goes up to size 4/5,
it is so big on my nearly 4 year old
that I increased the length
so that there will be lots of wear to come.

Little Boozle 2011

She really loves the buttons too.

I enjoyed making this.
As you know, I love fast projects.
But this yarn was so soft and buttery, it was a pleasure to use.

Little Boozle 2011

Plus you will notice, it's not pink.
The little goddess announced brightly and emphatically this morning that "I really like red"

Next I am working on purple...

A picture speaks a thousand words

Little Boozle 2011

When I won Kel's blog giveaway over at The Handmaden,
 I decided to get her to make me a couple of her Wee Waldorf dolls
to put away for my daughter's birthday.

Little Boozle 2011

Yes, they are as beautiful, cute, sweet and gorgeous as the photos show.
More so.

Little Boozle 2011

Thank you Kel. They are perfect. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Life blessedly Ordinary


It is a really odd feeling
to be continuing on
in our "normal" everyday life
when so many people in this country
will not be living their normal lives for a long time to come.

But even as we do our washing and cooking, do our shopping,
play with our kids, sew and watch telly,
we are reminded of what is happening in other places everywhere we turn .

The TV, the paper, the internet,
conversations with friends...
all turn to the floods, the heartbreaking or inspiring stories, the clean up.

Today, amongst my average Sunday tasks,
I took a box of  clothes and toys to a collection point to donate to the flood victims.
Everywhere, families were walking in with boxes and bags
and explaining to their children what we were all doing.

It was overwhelming to consider the number of people all over Australia
donating money, fundraising, giving their time or goods,
even just cooking to take food to those working at the clean up...

I walked away crying- but in a really good way.

I have sewn and knitted the past few days.
But it feels odd to be living an ordinary life
when so many others can't.

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Olabelhe Amelia's dress
Fabric: sheet from stash

Little Boozle 2011

I am not into bubble skirts but I didn't overdo the "bubble".

Little Boozle 2011

The little goodess loves it.
Cool and summery and girly with a bit of twirl.

Little Boozle 2011

Then daddy crashed the photo shoot.

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Yes, for most of us, life will go on.
But let's keep remembering to help those whose lives are going
to be so damn hard for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The human spirit


"Love and compassion are necessities,
not luxuries.
Without them,
humanity cannot survive"

the Dalai Lama

The one positive, the one thing that brings warmth to our hearts
as such a time of despair to so many people during these floods
is the strength of humans to carry on,
the compassion that people are willing to show to others- even strangers-
and the many examples of generosity and kindness that we are seeing.

It restores my faith in human nature.

Premier's Flood Relief raffle


has started the ball rolling on fund raising auctions for the Flood Relief.

There are going to be lots of auctions happening in blogland,
all fundraising for those people who are suffering such heartache and loss at the moment.

Jodie at ric rac is running a raffle-style fundraiser,
an idea which I love as it gives people more opportunity to take part
if they can't afford to donate a lot
plus I think there is potential to raise a lot of money.

So I hope that she doesn't mind if I follow her lead.

I am giving this Keyka Lou small Pixie bag away, postage included,
to a random winner .
The body of the bag is approximately 25 x 22 cm in size.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Also included is an Olivia clutch designed by Ali Foster
(approximately 27 x 16cm)

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Both made with American quality quilting cottons.

The raffle closes at midnight on 26th January, 2011.
(I may be unable to access a computer until the 29th January in which case
the winner will be announced then)

Please make a minimum $5 donation to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal
then return here and leave a comment with your receipt number.
You can enter as many times as you like
but each entry will require an individual receipt number.

I will post anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My thoughts today...


...are with those suffering through the devastation of the floods in Queensland.
Bless you all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives" said William Wallace.

I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks.
I'll be 42.
No grief.
I am enjoying my forties as much as my thirties
and life, while chugging along a bit too fast for my liking,
is pretty darn good.


(yeah, always that but)
it hit me today that, at 42 years of age,
I am about halfway to the current life expectancy
of an average Caucasian Australian woman.


Well, crap. Now that has put things in a different perspective.

I have had a pretty good 42 years
but with another 42 (give or take) left to go,
what more do I want to tick off the list in my life?

Take it for granted that I would like to see an end to
world poverty, war, famine and enviromental destruction.

It is also a given that I would like to see my kids grow up
to become happy, independent adults.

So what things would I like to do before I die?

My very own top 10 bucket list, in no particular order,
at this time in my life:

1 Share a white Christmas with my family

I have had 2 white Christmas' in my life, both in Finland.
Heck, I have even met the REAL Santa!
I might be Australian but I don't like the heat.
Give me a snowball fight anyday.

2 Own a bull mastiff

Big? Sure!
But so cute.
We love Staffies but we have also always loved these big guys.


Hubby and I reckon that we probably wont get one now till the kids leave home.
Can't you just see two oldies prone to hip fractures walking one of these 70kg doggies?

3 Perfect my homemade coffee gelati

I will not be defeated by a frozen espresso.

4 Do a sightseeing safari in Africa

Seeing elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, you name it,
in their natural environment?
Oh, man. It would be brilliant.
(Yes, I know that the hippo is one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals on earth
but I promise I wont try to pat one)

Plus I'd love to see the Grand Canyon, the Rockies, the Pyramids, Victoria Falls,
Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands
and just a couple of other places.

5 Learn to play the saxophone

...oh, and the guitar.

I have always loved the sax and for a long time have wanted to learn to play it.
My hubby, a big believer in pursuing your dreams,
bought me one for my 35th birthday.
Ashamed to admit that I have only had one lesson since then.

I will get back to it.


I have also always wanted to teach myself the guitar.

I learnt music for 10 years as a child
(and hey, I was also in the advanced recorder group at primary school)
so surely I can give it a good try.

6 Be taught how to walk in high heels by John Barrowman says the gal got married in boots with a 1 inch "heel",

who doesn't own any high heels,
and doesn't really want to wear high heels.

But I have seen John Barrowman walk in heels
and according to his autobiography,
he's up for teaching someone how to do it.


OK So really, if I was totally honest, I would just love to meet him.

(Oh, c'mon, at least something on your bucket list should involve a cute leading man!)

7 Watch every Audrey Hepburn movie


and while I am at it, watch every movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
(and find every single cameo of him)

8 Write and illustrate a book

No idea if this will ever happen
but I have always wanted to write a children's book-
and illustrate it.
I haven't done art since I was 18 so it might be way out of my abilities to do that.
But I'd like to give it a try.

9 Revisit the Sistene Chapel

on my way to revisit Barcelona.


Apart from the few thousand other people sharing my personal space,
I have to say that the Sistene Chapel is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever, ever seen.

And one day in Barcelona wasn't enough.
I want to explore the city properly. It is beautiful, alive and colourful.

10 Try some amateur acting

I did a little in high school
but my personality isn't suited to being a performer.
I get lots of hot flushes when put in the spotlight.
But maybe I could give it a go at a local group.
Way outside my comfort zone.

But, hey, life is too short.


So what is on your bucket list?

A shirt...I mean, cat...I mean, shirt...

Little Boozle 2011

What? Get off?
You want me to get off?

Little Boozle 2011

Are you serious?
I'm much cuter than the stoopid shirt...
Did you get me on my good side?
Little Boozle 2011

***grumble*** taste...
...should be patting me and feeding me...
not taking silly photos of silly sewing...

Little Boozle 2011

Not as cute without me in it...

Little Boozle 2011

Nope, not as cute as me either.

Bah. I'm off to find some wool to shred up.
That'll get your attention...

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Sew Liberated Woodlands shirt
Fabric: Where the Wind Blows by Melanie Hurlston