Monday, February 28, 2011

Baa baa blah blah blah.


Nothing makes me grumpier than political correctness gone mad.

Someone thinks it necessary to change "baa baa black sheep".
to "baa baa rainbow sheep"?
Are you serious?

Black sheep do exist, Mr "I-am-bored-today-what-innocent-thing-can-I-find-to-put-a -PC-taint-on?"
In fact, this particular nursery rhyme, they seem to be favoured and popular.
Their wool is wanted by everyone.
There is no suggestion that black sheep are inferior
or produce wool of dubious quality.

I ended up having to explain to my 7 year old son
why someone wants to change "black sheep"
 to "rainbow sheep"
That damaged his innocence more than the nursery rhyme ever did.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How (literally) sweet it is.

JFM 2011

Do you remember being a child
and nothing, seriously nothing, was too sweet or sugary?

JFM 2011

What were your secret little sweet fixes when you were a kid?

My two faves...
I used to freeze Coke or lemonade and eat it with a knife and fork
and the old favourite- I ate jelly crystals from the packet.
(I am sure that there were countless other things that I don't want to admit to my kids
lest they get ideas
but the chronic hyperglycaemic attacks seem to have removed any memory of them.
My story. Sticking to it.)

JFM 2011

If you asked me up until about 3 years ago if I was a "sweet" or "savoury" person.
I'd say sweet every time.
But now I am not so sure.

JFM 2011

I crave sweet food less
(with the understandable exceptions of gelati or raw cookie dough)
and will grab salty food mostly if given a choice.

JFM 2011

Today my 3 kids each attacked a "sherbet" treat that I bought
when we were on holidays a month ago
(I was waiting till the kids were eating outside and headed straight in to the bath.
Do you blame me?)

JFM 2011

They ate with gusto.
Stuck the lollipop (= spoon) (because a bowl of sugar is just not enough sugar)
into the bowl and slurped the stuff down.
Then it started looking a bit like a challenge scene from Survivor.
They would
 *stop, citing feeling sick,
then felt the need to go back and continue**

Repeat * to ** as long as capable.

When a 5 and 7 year old tell you that it is too sweet,
you have to believe them.

JFM 2011

Even after these looks and admitting that she felt sick,
the 3 year old said "just a little bit more"
and "spoon" eaten, started licking straight into the bowl of yellow coloured jelly crystals
or scooping with her fingers.

I tasted it with a bit of excitement from childhood past
and then cringed with the tastebuds of parenthood current.

JFM 2011

So can you still stomach those "treats" from your youth?
I am still partial to licorice allsorts and chocolate coated marshmallows
but generally most things don't taste the same
(I cite Wizz Fizzes as proof)
But has the recipe changed or have my tastebuds?
Probably both.

Mind you, for the sake of evolution,
it is probably a good thing that we learn to temper or outgrow
most of our childhood impulses
like living on sugar, pressing any red button that we see
or trying to eat anything green, crawly and with more than 4 legs.

Postscript: the 3 year old's sweet tooth beat her older brothers' sugar tolerance hands down.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Parenting for dummies: lesson #37


When your 3 year old child asks you which way the hands move on a clock,
the chances are that "clockwise" is not the answer she is looking for.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A dead uncertainty


What do you believe happens after we die?

I am not after a big religious discussion here.
I just want to hear what people believe is waiting for us on the other side.


I have a severe fear of death.
Natural enough, yes.
But if I start to think it through;
the idea that with death comes nothing...for ever and is just the complete and utter end...
I get chills and sweats and really don't cope.

I was brought up with religion until my mid-teenage years.
I still have some beliefs.
Those Catholics do a good job ;)
But I don't have a real faith anymore.

I have a scientific background from my studies.
I find it really hard to grasp the concept of anything that isn't material or proven.
So such a spiritual idea as Heaven is a bit hard for me to accept.
(Then I have this whole practical issue with living with all your ex-partners or spouses, in-laws for all eternity.
Don't get me started on that as a design flaw)

I have a friend, also in her 40s, who is nothing if not pragmatic.
She believes that she will be ready to die when she is older.
That once the quality of life has gone, so then she should go too.
What gives her the strength to calmly and rationally accept this?
Not faith.
She has no religious beliefs and no belief in anything on offer once you have taken your last breath.
She just feels that once you are dead, it wont worry you anymore.

Another friend fears living forever.
He has the same chills and sweats thinking about that
as I do thinking about death.

But boy, do I envy people who have faith.
Not specifically in Christianity.
But a faith none-the-less.

A faith that gives them the ability to take life as it comes and run with it.
A faith that makes them feel supported and comforted.
A faith that helps them believe that everything happens for a reason.

I feel more and more fragile as I get older
and especially since I have become a parent.
I can't say I find the "Walt-Disney-freeze-your-head"
eternity option appealling
but I would like to believe in something.

I do have frequent periods of deja-vu.
Combine that with a pretty lucky life so far
and, if nothing else,
I hope for a repeat cycling through of my life as it is.
(Granted, maybe I just watch too much Dr Who)

Of course, then my scientific side kicks in with the theories of
what your brain is doing to cause deja-vu
and poof! That idea disappears in a puff of logic.
(see footnote below)

But I want to believe in something.
Cause the other option just scares me beyond belief.


All of which reminds me...
does anyone else love Douglas Adams?

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God.

The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing"
(Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Extremes of knitting.

When I started knitting last year,
most of my projects were small and on circulars.
Gratifying and satisfying.

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Plain vest by Anna and Heidi Pickles
Yarn: BWM Rustic 8 ply (bluestone)

Little Boozle 2011

Then you have the flat knitting.
Necessitating seemingly endless amounts of time to sew up seams.
Especially on bigger projects.

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Panda handknits for kids:
jumper with raglan sleeves
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country Paintbox 8 ply (green)

Little Boozle 2011

A 7 and 1/2 year old skinny minny
modelling a size 10 jumper
(so a teensy bit oversized but best I could do at short notice)

Little Boozle 2011

It hasn't been blocked yet
and I am hoping that the collar will roll more
(and more evenly) once it has been.

Meanwhile, I guess these occsasional larger, seamed projects
were invented to remind me
to appreciate the smaller, seamless projects.

Action time.

I decided that yes, I do indeed need a swift and a ball winder.

Sublety is not my strong point.
Not for me,
 leaving brochures around the house for hubby to find.

Little Boozle 2011

I am sure I can find a lot more skeins to wind
if he seems slow on the uptake...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thinking time.

Little Boozle 2011

Gosh, here I sit,
winding wool...
sore back...
this wool will look lovely knitted up...
cramping legs...
um, speaking of which, could do with a shave...
getting the wool tangled...
hope the little goddess likes it...
fighting off playful kittens...
wonder what hubby will get me for our wedding anniversary this year...
can't think of anything that I need or want...

any ideas?

Little Boozle 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A tough week.


So not only do I have to deal with the growing up of the baby of the family this week,
now my 7 year old is asking me if it was me who magically changed the glass of water
to a green colour
and replaced his tooth with a coin.
It only seems like yesterday that he started to "get" those magical visitors
and now he is already questioning their existance?

Wonder what my 5 year old can come up with before the week is through.

Maybe announce that he wants to be a politician when he grows up.
Or that he is too old for those public hugs and kisses
(If you knew him, you would understand the devastation of that-
he thrives on cuddles and hand holding)
(And while we are on the topic,
how many of your kids' baby teeth can you collect to keep
before it just becomes creepy and odd?)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Farbenmix Nadya dress

Little Boozle 2011

Fabric: Fairy tip-toes by Tina Givens for Free Spirit (fussy cut)
Yoke lined with pink gingham from stash.
Ties and hem of pink velour ribbon.

Little Boozle 2011

Sweet little pattern comes together nicely.

Little Boozle 2011

It is a shorter dress for a winter pattern though.
I added hem allowance then didn't turn up the hem
and, given that the little goddess is quite tall,
it is shorter than I expected.

Little Boozle 2011

Plus I sewed it up after her bedtime so the sleeves are a little long
and will need to be taken up.

Little Boozle 2011

It is a whimsical dress that I hope will make her happy to wear.
Because it will make me happy watching her wear it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Growing Pains

Little Boozle 2011

This week was a turning point for the household.
At least for me.

Little Boozle 2011

Our youngest declared herself "not a little girl anymore"
and the high chair was unceremoniously pitched outside,
suddenly redundant after 7 and 1/2 years and 3 children.

She has also had a month of dry nights
and so, as the last of the nappy stockpile disappears,
so do the visits down the supermarket aisle designated "baby".

Little Boozle 2011


The growth pains of parents.

Little Boozle 2011

Celebrating a child becoming her own independant being;
no longer dependent on us for feeding, getting dressed, pushing her around in a stroller.

Lamenting the loss of all that came before.;
no longer dependent on us for feeding, getting dressed, pushing her around in a stroller.

Little Boozle 2011

But I am keeping my real grief for the day that will surely come
when a mummy's hug is embarrassing,
a parent's kiss is NOT something to be seen in public,
when there are better options than spending time with parents.

It will surely come.

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Modkids Penny- dress version
Fabric: pink Stella and printed knit from Crafty Mamas shop.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?

(from Alice in Wonderland)

While the Easter bunny hops past each year hiding his egg stash in the garden on the way,
we often get our children an additional small gift
which does not contain cocoa, sugar or, well, chocolate.

Little Boozle 2011

When I saw this book by Keri Smith a while ago,
I knew that I had to get one for each member of the family.
(Why should the kids have all the fun?)

Little Boozle 2011

The idea is to, well, as the title might give away,
wreck the journal.

Little Boozle 2011

The reviews that I have read have said that it is a great book to loosen you up
and that it is quite liberating to trash a book.

Little Boozle 2011

And, I have to admit, that I have never, ever,
composted a book page,
ripped a page out, put it through the wash, only to stick it back in again
or even documented my dinner within the pages.

Little Boozle 2011

While I fully expect the 3, 5 and 7 year olds to giggle non-stop
and take to the tasks with the enthusiasm expected,
and while I know that we might have to explain that the other books in the house
are not to be treated the same way
(in fact, I might have to put a lock on the lounge room door)
I do have to admit that I am secretly really excited about it too.
It's a bit like being allowed, as a 42 year old,
to be a bit naughty,
like playing with Slime on the carpet
or wedging Silly Putty up an orifice
...but without the repercussions.

Little Boozle 2011\

So that is what we will be doing on Easter Sunday.
I can't wait.
And I can just see the neighbours wanting to move away from the nutcases next door who are lined up
throwing books at a brick wall.

Like Riding a Bicycle.

Little Boozle 2011

Apparently if you stop sewing for extended periods,
you can just flip the "on" switch on your sewing machine
and it all comes back to you...

...even if I thought about all the knitting that I could have been doing
while I sewed.

Does that make me a bad person?
Is it crafting adultery to think of one craft with such lust
while spending time with another?

Little Boozle 2011

Pattern: Little Woo- Patterns by Figgy's
Fabric: purple velour and heavier cotton from stash

Little Boozle 2011

I have to be honest about this pattern.
It is fast to cut out and sew up.
But my expectation of the garment was different to what it is.
I didn't know that this was a casual cardigan/coat.
The knit edges are meant to be left unhemmed
(I hemmed mine)
and it is not a shaped garment;
the sleeves and body are cut out as one piece.

Little Boozle 2011

I cut out the size 4/5 for the little goddess who is a
tall-soon-to-be-four- year older.
Even with hemming, it is a generous and lengthy fit
and I think it may be 15 months
rather than 3 months till she gets to wear it.

On the positive side,
it is a fast casual cardi to whip up
and I would be interested to see the results in a lighterweight knit.
If you are not looking for the more structured garment that I was,
this might suit you
(And it probably highlights another of my bad habits...
I don't read patterns through before I start)

Also, the little goddess seems to have followed through
on her new regard for purple
(now her fourth favourite colour
following pink, "rainbow" and red)

I just can't stop while I am ahead.
Blue is next...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Career options: be a mum with big boobs or be a tropical fruit?

Little Boozle 2011 

My 3 year old and I were having a discussion this week
which led me to ask her:
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

No pause. No hesitation. Nada.
"I want to be like you, mummy"

*a little flutter in the heart a'happening right about now*

(Last week she wanted to have big boobies like me when she grew up.
Bear in mind that everything is relative when she says "big")

While my heart was flip-flopping, my mind was thumping... know, that mind attached to my worrying, stressed personality...
...but why would you want to be me?

"Cos you get to stay up late and each as much icecream as you want"


 "Because, mummy, I see how much strength and stability, love and nurturing you bring to this household,
this family, and that is what I aspire to be able to give to others"


 "Because, for some really odd reason that I can't explain,  I find varicose veins, a flabby tummy, cellulite and pelvic floor muscles of dubious quality quite appealing"


"I dunno"(shrug)


I did ask her but no explanation was forthcoming.

Now I know that as a pre-kindy kid,
yet to really make her way out into the big, wide world,
as her mummy,
I am the person in her life.

And yes, next week she may well want to be
a marine scientist, a pop star
or heck, even a pineapple,
if she sees any more grown ups dressing up as fruit on Playschool.

(Admittedly, I can't see the pineapple population of the world lying awake at night
worrying why it was that someone wanted to be a herbacious, tropical  bromeliad like them)

So instead of analysing it to death,
I will take it for the 3 year old's take on her world that it is.

"I want to be like you, mummy.
because I am only three and a half
and you are my mummy
and you are my world"

That's the one that I am going to go with...

...even if it is really just to have my bust measurement.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

From this...


Step 1:
Buy some yarn at the Ardent Alpaca, Beechworth, Victoria
on a holiday girls' shopping day,
knowing that the cost for such quality and beauty is just irrelevant.

Little Boozle 2011

Step 2:
Sneak it home hidden in the suitcase
until you can sneak it onto your stash where it has "surely been for months"...

Step 2a:
Swear lots when hubby somehow ends up with all the holiday receipts on his desk.

Footnote: To be honest, fellow girl shoppers (who don't knit or sew
or understand the sheer heaven of such gorgeous yarn lol)
had already spilt the beans to spouses to justify their spending on the day.
Step 3:

Make up a ball when 40 little kitty cat claws are locked away in the bedroom.
I swear that those kittens can SMELL my knitting from a mile away.

Little Boozle 2011

Step 4:


Pattern: Neighborly vest by Jennifer Casa

Yarn: Alpaca/wool/silk

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011
I might possibly have accidently turned the neck piece back to front but meh!
It looks fine.
The pattern has a folded up hem but this yarn knitted up like a cotton
so I did a ribbed hem to match the armholes.

Next time I make this it will be in a stiffer yarn
and definately aiming for a more rustic rather than lolly-coloured look.

It is supersoft and well loved.

Lucky. She needs to wear this one lots to pay for itself.