Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A smidge of knitting, a dash of Italy and a truckload of photos.

Little Boozle 2011

I follow instructions.
Recipes, sewing patterns, knitting instructions;
heck, even for Ikea cupboards...
I work better given formulas and specific amounts.
"Winging it" or "making it up as I go along" in not really in my nature.

I am not sure if this is because I studied the science subjects at school
or why I studied science at school.
But I suspect the need for structure came with my personality.

Little Boozle 2011

(I do remember, however, having to make it up as I went along in Italy
when, as navigator to hubby's chauffeur, 
I was presented with the dilemma of a red light with a "green straight ahead" arrow
right next to it.
I can't remember what we did at the time
but my memory of driving in Italy is that you drive how you want but with excessive confidence
and she'll be right, mate)

Little Boozle 2011

As a creative person,
I am frustrated by my inability to fulfill that part of the creative process.

It isn't that I don't want break out and rebel.
Heck, I have even ditched a couple of sewing pattern instructions recently,
thinking that I could do it a bit better.

And I can boil an egg without a recipe. Promise.

But me making things up would appear to be a (wait for it) recipe for disaster
(Oh, c'mon- you just can't beat a good pun)

Little Boozle 2011

It is just the way my brain works.
But I really do envy those people with the confidence and the talent
to create patterns and make up recipes.

But I guess they need customers, don't they?

Squishy Love- Amanda Keeys
modified (yes, modified) by the highly technical method
of using bulkier wool and bigger needles.

Monday, June 27, 2011

When will I, will I be famous?

I had a Shirley Valentine moment at the weekend.


(For those of you who don't know or remember this 1989 movie,
Pauline Collins plays a British housewife
(who is my current age)
who runs away from her depressing, tedious domestic life to Greece
and, to cut a long story short, "finds herself")

The day started with a fight with Mr Boozle
( I don't handle fights well.
We don't do it very often and we don't do it very well)

Then two of the spawn of Satan...er, I mean, children tag teamed tantrums throughout the day.
The other offspring was exceptionally quiet...
probably due to the fact that he was five kilometres away at a birthday party.

There was washing to be done,
a never-ending to do list of chores,
another family meal to make...

I just wanted out.
I wanted something different.
Something more inspiring.
More exciting.

If I died tomorrow, the eulogy from my hubby might go a bit like this:
"I love her to bits.
I can't live without her.
Now she's gone, I can't find the kids' lunch boxes or their socks
and I wish she'd come back just to tell me which kids eats what.
But wow, the credit card bill is healthier"

My kids might say:
"She was crabby and grumpy
and played crap 80s music
(note post title- they have a point)
but she told us that she loved us every day.
We wish she'd come back and tell daddy where the socks are.
Our feet are cold."

Do I aspire to more?
Do I want to be remembered for more than being a wife and a mum?
Do I want to be more...known...or even famous?

The funny thing is I would want anonymous fame.
I would want to have my name come up around the dinner table-
but not in that rock-n-roll or Parisian catwalk or Hollywood kind of way.


There would be way too many free kicks for the paparazzi
(hanging washing out with bed hair in my PJs and my ugg boot slippers would suddenly come at a price)
I can't imagine losing my privacy and anonymity.
Plus I am too old for groupies.

(Of course, I wouldn't mind financial rewards that could come with being famous either)

I've left it way too late to discover penicillin.
But if I could  knock over those bloody cane toads, I'd be in with a chance.

I could write a best-selling novel.
I am sure Harry Potter was originally a little thought over a bowl of breakfast cereal.

I am not sure where my potential for fame lies.
Or even if it exists.
I guess on my death bed,
it is my hubby and kids telling me that they love me 
that will give me a sense of achievement.

But I suspect that I am still going to channel Shirley
some days in the meantime.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seriously. I am not a hoarder.

Hoarders are those people who just can't bear to throw out
useless and unnecessary bits and pieces.

Little Boozle 2011

It's just that a bent and dented Finnish airport sign
that I brought home 25 years ago
might one day come in handy.


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Luck of the Draw

Little Boozle 2011

We didn't find out the gender of any of our babies in advance.

I am essentially an old fashioned girl at heart
and the modern world has so few real suprises left
that Mr Boozle and I didn't want to know.

Little Boozle 2011

When our first born was a boy,
I was kind of shocked.
I had always visualised myself as a mother of girls.
I spent 2 years of early high school at a very small, all-girls school
and I believe that this is the time, as an adolescent, that you learn to relate/deal with/interact with boys.

Ever since then,
I have always found it easier to communicate with girls.
Or more so, I struggle with guys.

Still, he was very cute and kind of defenseless
so we took him home anyway.

Little Boozle 2011

When number two arrived, another (very cute) bouncing baby boy,
I thought how nice it would be that 20 month apart siblings were the same sex.
They could find common interests
or, failing that,
at least all-out-warfare would be on pretty even terms
(unlike the all-out-warfare between my older brother and I as young kids)

Little Boozle 2011

I decided that I wanted a third before number two was born.
So it wasn't about having a girl.

(I just had to persuade Mr Boozle that he wanted a third)

I had read that,
once you have either two girls or two boys already,
statistically speaking, you are 75% more likely to have another child of the same gender.

So we went to hospital without any girls' names on the list
and without any girlie clothes in the suitcase.

Little Boozle 2011

When the little goddess popped out,
we were seriously in shock
and after 4 years of boy's colours in our house,
it took 6 months to get used to having pink in the house.
(It really, really did.
And whodathunk that there were so many shades of pink?)

She is a girlie girl.
But she is also her brothers' sister.
A tiara-wearing, pink-lovin' princess in commando boots
who is right in the middle of the muddy scrum.

It is one of life's little card games
that we can peek early to see what cards we have been dealt if we want
but it is up to the shuffle as to what we get.

Squishy Love cowl- Amanda Keeys.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Elle Macpherson...I'm not



Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Of course, one of us has been airbrushed...

Little Boozle 2011
Romantika cardigan- Elena Nodel

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm not sure...

Little Boozle 2011

...but I think that I might be becoming a dog person...

Little Boozle 2011

Sad to say, I think I'd rather have a pet that privately eats its own poo
than one makes such a public mess of my button stash.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ruffles and responsibility.

Recently I completed my first knitted garment for a swap.

Kelly made my daughter a gorgeous elf coat as a swap for an Oriental Lily tunic for her daughter.

AMJ 2011

In my life BC (before children), I was a perfectionist and a worrier.
(Yes, you can read that as me saying that I was anal)

Little Boozle 2011

I have learnt to let a lot of things go since becoming a mum.

Nothing like the pain of childbirth and its after effects,
permanent banana and milk vomit stains on seemingly every item of clothing in the house
and a chronic lack of personal time and sleep to put most things into perspective.
Little Boozle 2011

I still am fussy with regard to some things.
One is my sewing standards
and, as I get better, my knitting.

I have many years of sewing experience
and happily sew for myself, my family and close friends.
But those gifted seams are damn well straight
and those ruffles headed off to a new home are very, very even.

Little Boozle 2011

Yet while I might happily sign up for swaps
and every other day think about selling,
I then stress no end about producing something decent.
Well, perfect.

I have certainly lurked in the darker corners of market stalls
to check out the standard of products made
and I am honestly surprised as to what some people will put up for sale.

But perhaps we crafty people are our own worse critics.

A dear friend whose daughters are always gifted clothing that I have custom made
openly admits that she has no crafty bones in her body
and that she would have no idea about the quality of the fabric used
or the standard of my sewing.

I always joke a little that I decided not to do medicine at university
because I couldn't handle the responsibility of people's lives.

(Heck knows that the pressure of being responsible for people's dear pets' lives
was more than enough for me)
Given that I can lie awake at night worrying
that maybe there was a teensy pucker in a flared skirt destined as a present,
it was probably a wise decision.

A simple exercise in numbers

1 test knit

Little Boozle 2011

1700 metres of yarn almost knitted

7 buttonholes

27 minutes until midnight

1 huge search through buttons to complete the project
Little Boozle 2011

300+ buttons in stash
Little Boozle 2011

4 sets of 6 buttons that are a colour match

0 sets of 7 buttons that are a colour match

29 swear words

1 believer in Murphy's Law

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's in a name?

What indeed.


When your little ones start to communicate,
it becomes necessary to start giving things names.
Words that they can recognise and understand
and eventually verbalise themselves.

Milk, flower, car, banana, tree.
You know what I mean.

But this process of course includes body parts.

I am finding that there is a big component of family influence here.
I grew up with a "fanny".

Well, I am grown up now but I think I still have one.
It was there the last time I looked.

One friend thinks fanny is a dirty word.

Another, a doctor, thinks that the correct words for the correct anatomy
right from a young age is the way to go.
So her daughters don't have fannies.
They have vulvas.
And vaginas.

While I am comfortable with fanny,
I was an adult before I recognised that the Americans
use the word "fanny" for bottom.

You can imagine my shock to hear someone demand that you
"get your fanny moving"
and geeze, I did not want to know what a fanny pack was used for.

(Mind you, the Americans also seem to use the word "panties"
I am an undies girl.
Panties to me conjures up porn images
or at least a MA rating)

Boys bits are easier.

Willy is a nice word
given the options available.

But somehow my boys already know to use the word penis
the same way they use the word bum or fart.

Whatever you may think of these words,
I think that they are infinitely more functional and socially acceptable
if you have a young kid on the other side of the fruit and veg section at the supermarket
who is capable of yelling out
"Mummy, Bertie just pulled out his pink bits"

And our house is a boob household.

I think of this word as the equivalent to breast
in the same way that bonk is a light hearted version of
many, many other less attractive words.

"Mummy's boobies" is good.
Before you pass judgement on this, consider your options.
Would you prefer mummy's twangers?
Her air bags,
sweater kittens,
David and Goliath,
crowd pleasers,
devil's dumplings,
magic mountains
or perhaps bodacious ta-tas...

Personally I am going to stick with boobs.
It could be oh, so much worse...

(Footnote: I did have to google to find some of those breast words.
Given the moderate content of this blog,
there were a heck of a lot that didn't make the list.

And I didn't even dare google penis.
I learnt enough hideous variations at Uni.
I hate to think what is out there now...)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who needs recreational drugs when you have a kettle?


Today I learned  that 5 or more cups of coffee a day
can exascerbate any tendency to hallucinate
and cause you to hear things that aren't there.

I asked Elvis what he thought about it over our daily coffee catchup
and he thought that it sounded like a load of crap.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heart failure.


So tell me this?

If the sight of my slumped four year old,
sadly, oh so sadly, waiting for her late arriving mother
on her "Special Person's Morning Tea"
while everyone else's Special Person had turned up on time,
breaks my heart just a little bit,

how the heck am I expected to cope with
the first time her heart gets really broken by a boy?

...When she works out that not all people are nice to you
and the world is not always a nice place
and that even cute animals die in the name of the food chain?

...When she tells me that she hates me for the first time?

Life was so much easier when a Wiggles bandaid fixed the bruises.

(It also has to be said,
she has every right to feel gypped that her mum,
who she spends all her free time with,
was the best example of a Special Person that we could put together
with rellies so far away).
On the upside,
my tardiness was due to finding some completed homework
forgotten at the back door
and taking it to my eldest at school
so that he wouldn't get in to trouble.

So I still get a smiley stamp for today.
Just not a gold star.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making it up on a daily basis.

Little Boozle 2011

This, my dear readers, is my makeup stash.
I am sure you can make it out under all the dust.
There is a fairly new mascara there.
You can tell because it doesn't look like something that time forgot.

Little Boozle 2011

And, if you look really closely,
you might see what appears to be a cobweb.
There on the right.
Can you see it?

Needless to say, I don't walk out of the house fully made up very often.

Don't get me wrong.

I don't leave the house with bed hair
(or if I do, it is carefully yet nochalantly covered up by a casually placed yet trendy beret)

I don't leave home with a monobrow.
I learnt from a young age that us brunettes have hair responsibilities.

I don't leave home with a untended pimple like a guiding beacon to find my nose.
(Please let's all promise now not to perpetuate the myth that only teenagers
have to deal with zits.
Promise? Good)

I do my hair.
I pluck any stray eyebrows that set up squatter's right onto my face overnight.
I moisturise and I "powder" my nose.

But that's about it.

For a special occasion,
I will dust off the lipstick (literally it seems)
And a really special  event like a wedding
calls for some eye stuff.

On the flip side,
this means that I am quick to get ready
and boy, am I cheap.

Do you know how often you are meant to toss your makeup and start again?

Every 3 to 4 months.
Yes, 3 to 4 months.
Sometimes I don't dress up for 6 months at a time.

Eye shadows and powders?
Every 2 years.

Every 1-2 years.
I got married in 1995.
I still have my wedding day lippy and occasionally pull it out to see if it goes with my outfit.
It's a wonder it hasn't mutated into another life form by now
and crawled off to take over the world.

I would love nothing more than to be one of those people
who casually lippies up with some fire engine red to go buy milk
but I don't quite get there.
What I am hoping is that, in 20 years time,
Mother Nature, Old Man Time and anyone else on the "Ageing Gracefully" committee
 will decide that I have been good to my skin
and will repay me with a few less wrinkles and crow's feet.
But I am not holding my breath.

Maybe I can put all the money that I saved on makeup
into botox injections and cosmetic surgery.

I'll probably still come out ahead financially.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Water for Elephants...be still my beating heart.

As a (reasonably) hot-blooded 42 year old woman,
is it wrong that my perving at Water For Elephants
was directed fairly and squarely at the exquisite clothing and fabulous 1930s circus costumes?





Robert who?

(In my defense, I kept my perving for things other than costumes
in Pirates of the Caribbean a few weeks back...)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekend diary: part 3- But wait! There is more.

Yeah, I knitted too.

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011
(Ripple- Wendy Bernard)

7 hours in the car each way.

Little Boozle 2011
(easy Wribbed hat- Joan Janes)

Little Boozle 2011
(Hoo hat- Celia Ng)

In between sewing projects.

Little Boozle 2011
(The Big Easy- Vivian Aubrey)

Over breakfast.

Little Boozle 2011

Oh, I love this pattern.
I adore the yarn.
Needless to say, this is my new favourite hat!

Little Boozle 2011
(Norie- Gudrun Johnston)

That's all, folks!

(More details for all projects on Rav.)

Weekend diary: part 2- sewing productivity

(Proof that, in spite of my self doubts,
I can still multi-task when it is required)

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011
KeykaLou keychain purse

I can sew as well as eat, drink, talk and not sleep at the same time.

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011
(Osoberry bag-Fox Flat)
(Yes, orange. Orange!)

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

(Thanks so much Tania. The perfect project for your gorgeous embroidery.
Oh, the pressure to use it for something worthy!
To be used for all my little knitting necessities)

Little Boozle 2011
KeykaLou Ditty bags

Little Boozle 2011

(I modified this pattern all over the place as I wanted
to leave out the zip and the ruffle and change the shape of the flap.
Instead of an old sheet,
I will make it properly one day in a lovely vintage style)

Little Boozle 2011
NapKitten Pleated Clutch

 I may not have it in me any more to change a nappy
while drinking a cup of coffee and paying bills on the internet
and whipping up a sponge for morning tea,
all at once,
but nice to know I still have a bit of multitasking left in me when it is "necessary"