Thursday, 1 December 2011

Crafty stuff coming up...

This Friday the Coburg Night Market - Vic Market is on at Bridges Reserve, next to the Coburg Leisure Centre. Brunswick East Primary are having a twilight fete after school, AND the Made'n'Thornbury craft market is on as well! I wonder if I can drag the kids to the school fete, then maybe nip across to Thornbury....
The Sisters' Market is on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December at the Bruswick Town hall. Guaranteed to find some unique Christmas presents there. Can you believe that it is DECEMBER already?!?!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

What great big ears you have...

Meet the newest member or our family - Merlin (or possibly Merlyn-with-a-y, it is tricky to tell with young rabbits!I have consulted the oracle of You-tube, the 3 staff at the pet shop, and am still not entirely sure if it is a he or a she!). But he/she is very cute, loves a cuddle, licks everything & everyone in sight, and will has yet to grow into those ears!

ALSO - craft group will be at the PO again next Monday . I hope a few people turn up again, I won't be able to make it this time, but please don't let that stop you!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Yarn bombing + a milestone

Well it is a couple of weeks on, and still brightens my day every time we walk to school! The blue section was a bit loose, but the mysterious yarn bomber (or a like-minded soul) came back with some black cotton and re-stitched it nice and firm. I love the gorgeous bright colours - a semi-permanent rainbow out the front of the school!

I only just realised - this is the 100th post for the Coburg craft stuff blog! Yay! I should have made a cake!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Entertaining the family...

You know I love my girls, so when the rain started bucketing down this evening, it was blowing straight into the chook house, and we were worried that it would get all wet inside (and might damage the amazing self-feeder device my H built the other weekend). So I donned a raincoat and braved the rain to go and shut the door, thinking the girls were all inside. But no - of course the cheeky things came running out again as soon as I came out the back door, hoping I might have food for them!
They would NOT go up the ramp and back inside, so with the rain pouring down ( and my H and the boys watching out the dining room window) I proceeded to let the chooks out into the back yard - of course they jumped at the chance to run out and eat some fresh grass, never mind the weather! - I shut the door and gate behind them, because I knew it would be quicker to catch them and put them in the chook house through the back door (where we put the food in and collect the eggs) than wait all night in the rain for them to go in by themselves. The first 2 were easy - I scooped them both up together and shoved them in the door, but the other 2 I had to chase around the back yard one at a time! The last one (tricky to tell them apart when they are wet, but I'm guessing it was Amy because she is the smartest and cheekiest) put up a bit of a chase around the yard. Of course the boys inside thought it was hilarious, but hey, it worked!

PS craft group is back on this Monday night, 7:30pm at the PO.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

still sewing...

Still sewing for the craft stall this Friday, just finished a sign for the cupcakes stall. Missed the cup completely- I thought it was on about 3:20 (well it always used to be - just before school finished. When I was teaching in Mildura, I remember the teachers put all the kids in the library to watch the race on tv!). But we did manage to use up some of the lovely lemons I had been given, and the kids helped make a small batch - 3 jars- of lemon butter, and 2 bottles of lemon cordial! Very yummy, I have never made any sort of jam before (does lemon butter count as a kids of jam?), so it was quite exciting! I took some photos but have not had time to load them on yet.
We did go for a quick walk down to school to check out the yarn-bombed parking sign out the front. My H was walking past on his way to work this morning & spotted it, so he rang up to ask "which one of my buddies has yarn-bombed the school?"- I don't know, but it is a gorgeous rainbow up the post. Must remember to get to school a bit earlier in the morning to see people's reactions!!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Busy busy

Sorry it has been a while - kinda busy with the TWILIGHT MARKET coming up next week, organizing stalls, begging for volunteers, notes for the newsletter, and trying to squeeze in some sewing still to be finished off for the craft stall! If you are in & around Coburg West on the 4th, drop buy after school and say "hi" - I will be the one running between the badge machine, face painting, and everything else!
And I so don't have time, but am taking a day off anyway to head to Caulfield for the craft show on Thursday. At least I have cup day to finish off the sewing ( I'm sure the boys won't mind entertaining themselves with their ds's all day while I sew!!!)

Monday, 17 October 2011


A couple of weeks ago I had to pop into the shops to print some photos for work, I had 15 mins to wait while the photos were printed....and a Rivers Clearance store 2 doors up. $15 could I resist? (and they are soooo comfy!!!)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

School holidays week 2

The middle weekend of the holidays we spent a couple of days out of town, along with the in-laws, my SIL and her 8 year old daughter. The 3 cousins have only ever spent an afternoon together (and the Jedikid has had one sleepover), so spending 4 whole days together was wonderful! They got along really well, and loved "visiting" each other in the holiday cabins.
We stayed at the Korrmburra caravan park (in cabins), with a visit to the spectacular Australian Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne on the way. We have never been there before, and were mightily impressed with the gardens and layout - so much so that we stopped by again on our way home (which of course was the first sunny day since before we left home!). Definitely worth another trip - once we have a bike rack and some new bikes - there are picnic spots and bike tracks around the park too.
On Sunday we were doubly lucky to see a wedge-tailed eagle flying by - being seriously sassed by a pair of crows!; and even managed to spot a bandicoot in the garden too!
Friday morning we wandered around Coal Creek (in the rain), the kids had a ball - they could just explore where they liked, with a fantastic range of old buildings, shops etc. - and Edward the Emu! My FIL went and got some stale bread from the cafe, and had a ball hand feeding Edward, and the boys were quite game and had a go too, although the Jedikid did so from the relative safety of the verandah!

Next Craft Group - Monday 10th, first day of term 4. Only 1 month to go til the Twilight Market, I am madly trying to get a heap of sewing done, as well as organizing posters, rosters etc. ready to go in the school newsletter next week.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

School holidays day 1 - the Melbourne Show

We went to the show yesterday (3rd time with the kids so far - we go every second year) and this year finally remembered to pre-purchase tickets from RACV, which is definitely the way to go! From our place it is quicker and cheaper to drive and park at the show. We ended up staying for 7h and 45 mins (as calculated by Tigerboy on the way home), and had a great day. Loved the frisbee dogs show, the Hi-lux driving team (bringing back memories of the good old holden precision driving team from the 70's & 80's), and the boys loved the freestyle motocross, and monster truck!

We saw the queue at he animal nursery and weren't going to go, but as we were on our way out it was very quiet there so we went and had a look. Lots of very cute calves & sheep just walking around to be patted and adored, and the cutest donkey foal & goat kids (I have a particular soft spot for donkeys & goats, so could have taken one of the kids home, maybe offer a swap???). One little goat suddenly spotted his mum, jumped over a hay bale and ran over to her at the other side of the shed, bleating what honestly sounded like "muuuum muuuum" - even the staff nearby laughed at how much it sounded like "mum".

Love, love, love that our 10 1/2 year old and 8 year old boys still love seeing all the animals (and are happy to have a calf suck their fingers, and a chicken peck at a freckle), the quilts ("like nana's), craft and decorated cakes; enjoy a cup of tea and scone with jam & cream at the CWA cafe (thanks to Fiona for introducing us to it on our first trip to the show 5 years ago!) and managed to wait about 6 hours before even mentioning show bags! (Harry Potter and Bertie Beetle for the Jedikid; Dirt Bike magazine and Warheads for Tigerboy).
A quiet day at home today - with aching legs from walking around all day yesterday!- sorting out toys and kid stuff, ready for the first stage of the new purpose built (by my H) lego desk/shelf for the boys' room to be moved in (and the lego to finally move OUT of the lounge room!).

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

my new favourite bag

I made this bag from another "Sew Hip" pattern. I am trying to make at least one thing from each issue - so I can justify buying it each month!
Their patterns are good, but sometimes the instructions leave a bit to be desired... and the photos don't always  match what the description and pattern say!
I made this one in denim & added an interior pocket. I didn't really like the way they made the strap, and the pattern was a bit vague (or maybe that was just me....) so I just made a plain denim strap, but added in for decoration a nice old leather look buckle I bought years ago.  The front pocket is a gorgeous "sewing notions" print from Rathdown Remnants, which is probably where I got the denim from too.
RR have a great full page ad/bio in the latest "Frankie" by the way! I have been waiting months to read it, I was in the store ages ago when the manager said to the staff that he had "just been on the phone to someone from Frankie  magazine "(which he had never heard of!).

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Craft group last night

Craft group was on last night at the PO; hello to the lovely ladies from the nearby table who came to have a peek at what we were doing ! (making fabric necklaces, photo soon).  We will be back again in a fortnight, see you there!

Monday, 22 August 2011

My new favourite skirt!

Yay, a photo!  Apparently our hard drive full to overflowing, hence the camera /computer communication issue.  No new photos  going on til we buy an external hard drive. Anyone recommend one for a Mac laptop???

Any way, this is my new favourite skirt, I finally made the Mondrian skirt from the 1st Sew Hip magazine I bought ages ago.  I have bought every issue since, and made something from each one I think. The latest has a pattern for a really cute little felt babushka doll, hanging out to try making one!

The skirt was soooo easy - all done on the overlocker (yep, I have conquered my fears!) all bar the 2 button holes.  It is supposed to have a band with really long tails so you can wrap it around and tie it at the side, but I don't like big- tie --up -bow waistbands, so I just made a waistband with some extra fabric, and it does up with 2 BIG black buttons.  It is all stretch fabric bits, mostly from Rathdowne remnats, and the black/grey print bit is from Spotlight. I'm thinking of making another in brown/ orange colours maybe.

Have a look at Ric Rac's latest post - Jodie has totally mastered screen printing and printed up the most BRILLIANT, FANTASTIC Dr Who pillow cases for her daughter's birthday! (David Tennant on one, Matt Smith on the other). Absolutely AWESOME, that girl is just TOO BLOODY TALENTED!!!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Next Monday

Next Monday - craft group, FINALLY I hear you say!!!I know, I know ... but things have been busy with the Trivia night organization - I still kind of need to be there for the final meeting next Monday too, so I willh ave to work out how to be in 2 places at once - which is tricky enouh at the best of times, but I don't have the car either because of swimming, so will have to think about the logistics of it all!!!
So- 7:30-9pm at the PO, all being well.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Friday, 12.

What a week, just don't know where the time goes sometimes. Tonight is the first time for over a week  I have sat down and caught up on some craft blog reading (best thing to do when the footy is on tele). 
I have just spent the last 2 days at the most amazing PD (professional development) "masterclass" run by the new VDEI - Victorian Deaf Education Institute. There were about 30 people there, a mix of Early Intervention workers, teachers of the deaf, speech pathologists, social workers, and even an audiologist and psychologist  or 2. The first day was about working with parents, different adult learning styles and the problems that result when there is a miss-match of styles, connecting with parents etc.; and today was about "theory of mind" which is fascinating - we know how other people think, can predict how they will react when we say or do something, can understand that others hold different view to us, because we have a "theory of mind". Children need to learn/be taught this (especially deaf and hard of hearing children, because they miss hear, don't overhear things, can be very black and white about the world), and it all starts through imaginative/pretend play. When we talk out loud about how we are feeling (pleased, stressed, worried, frustrated, annoyed etc.) around our children, they can learn these 'emotive' words and concepts, and learn that we all have different thoughts and emotions.

Anyway, I could go on... but it was just AMAZING stuff - you could overhear people at morning tea and lunch, saying how fantastic it was, and concensus was that this was the BEST PD EVER any of us have ever been too!  Of course, we all want to go back to our respective jobs and COMPLETELY change the way we approach and do everything!

AND I got to catch up with an old work colleague from Bendigo I hadn't seen in, oh many many years, and another wonderful colleague from Bendigo (we are the only independant EIPA's left in the state), and we nipped into the Vic Market next door for a super quick shopping trip at lunch time today!

It is science week next week and there are a whole host of fun family activities at the Vic Market starting on Sunday - last year my H's research colleagues ran "the science of chocolate" and the kids got to make and taste some yummy chocolates! I don't think they are there again this year, but I'm sure there will be other cool stuff to do.  We might pop down there, not quite sure what the weekend plans are as yet. Hopefully sew another skirt, and bag maybe...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Just a quick word or 2. Had a great day out at the craft show last week. I was very strong and resisted the urge to splurge on lots of gorgeous things, only bought 3 fat quarters (2 owl prints - inc a nice green version I haven't seen before, and a lovely asian dragon print, destined to make into a bag for my dragon loving friend Cheryl). And a couple of cheap strings of beads to make into a black/grey necklace and bracelet.
What else... some little bits and bobs of beads, charms etc. for the boys to make up (except I had to go to Spotlight on Monday and buy jump rings, so we haven't made them yet), and 2 little silver elephant charms for a work colleage who loves elephants. I finally bought myself a nice big - A1 sized- cutting mat. Fits perfectly on the kitchen table, much easier for sutting out fabric and trying out the rotary cutter. Some $1 kids craft paint to try out with my kids at work sometime. Craft paper from The Craft Spot of course... Saw some really nice bags I want to try and make - a brown one with leather handles hand sewn on ($20 for the set of handles) - so I went to the op shop after work on Friday and bought some $2 handles from old travel bags etc. to try out sometime. I still remember how to do saddle stitching from yr 7&8 leather craft at high school - and still use the leather working tool I had to buy for class too, incredible simple yet useful tool!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


HIya, sorry things have been a abit slow on the blogging front, still having camera issues but I am going to play around with the camera again tonight; I have borrowed my camera from work to see if it will work.
Have actually been doing some sewing, one skirt and 3 bags so far. And one skirt made and completely unpicked too, but htat is another story.
Speaking of stories, have you seen this?...

I so want to give a copy of this book to anyone who is pregnant or just had a baby, but only someone I know really well incase they take offence! But for those of us with kids who have survived those mad, sleep deprived early years - the book is brilliant! Just soooo not suitable for children!

Are you coming to the CWPS Trivia Night? I have been busy with meetings on Monday nights which is why craft group has taken a back seat, sorry! But there is one more meeting next Monday, which I think I will skip out on and finally get to craft group. I really looking forward to the craft show this Thursday, so I think I will be well and truly craftily enthused to catch up with everyone at craft group next Monday!

Monday, 11 July 2011


well I said I would get there tonight, but the JediKid has gone to his grandparents for a sleepover, and they will be bringing him back today and staying for dinner, so I guess I will be staying home too!  

Anyway, is is just in my house, or do other people ever have  conversations like this:

Me in the kitchen: can you come here mate? (to the JediKid  playing in the lounge room)
JK: Awrrr
M: just need your help for a second please
JK: but Mum, there's a marsupial dragon, and he's about to fall into a 50 foot.....ohhh, whatever
(and indignantly come in to the kitchen)

So is this - 
a) quite a normal conversation between parent and 10yr old
b) what the???
c) are you concerned that your 10 yr old uses imperial and not metric measurement when discussing the size of an imaginary hole?

Just wondering......

OOPS - forgot to add in some crafty dates/info : check this out for some interesting craft action coming up in Brunswick-
The Melbourne Open House weekend is coming up soon, I'm sure you have seen it promoted on lots of trams; we had an amazing time in the city with the kids last year-

And of course the Quilt and Craft fair is coming up soon-

AND Brunswick North West PS are having a Winter Market on the SAME weekend too!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

School holidays so far...

No photos again sorry, our camera has had a hissy fit and decided it is not on speaking terms with out computer anymore.  And my emails are having major conniptions too.
First weekend of the hols we had a fantastic weekend away at Daylesford with some wonderful friends for our annual July  "family weeekend".  5 adults and 6 kids, we went to the farmers' market (wow, the size and colour of the veges for sale!), then onto the craft market, back for lunch and then a walk around the lake, and of course a visit to the amazing Book Barn 2nd hand book shop.
 Sunday the weather turned, so with another family to come and join us for the day, we packed up and headed to Castlemaine to catch the steam train to Maldon for the Food and wine festival. AMAZING dumplings and dim sims for lunch (although of the fantastic variety, there was only one without mushrooms (yuk!), but the one I did eat was so good, I went back for 2 more!
Back on the train - a much faster althoug slightly smellier diesel one this time, then we bib farewell to out fellow travellers and headed up to Bendigo to visit my family.

Friday, 1 July 2011

craft group in the school holidays

Monday 11th July, 7:30 at the Post office! I don't have any meetings in the school holidays, so I am definitely going to be there this time!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

back on deck

Sorry things have been quiet on the blogging front, I have written a couple of posts - but generally by the time I get around to doing it (ie. after 10pm) the connection is sooooo slow - nothing will load! So fingers crossed - although that makes it a bit tricky to type.. this will work! 
Checked out the Nothcote Winter Artisans Market on Saturday, the boys were  fascinated by the glass blowing. It is on the next 2 Saturdays - 10am-4pm, Northcote town Hall.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Hottest 100

Righto, dinner is cooked, slice and biscuits in the oven ready for this week's lunchboxes, and the rest of the family is die back from swimming in another hour....time to finally get the computer out! Time to crank up the stereo too - Triple J are the running their "Hottest 100 Australian Albums of all time" poll -   
I'm looking over my cd's and it is so hard to decide on my top 10.  Deborah Conway, Claire Bowditch, Powderfinger, silverchair, Hunters and Collectors, The Go-Betweens, You-am-I, Sia, Something for Kate,Cat Empire.... and that is not even going back to high school (which I really don't have on cd - maybe on vinyl and cassette somewhere!) Mondo Rock, Mental as Anything, Moving Pictures  (hmm, lots of "M's" in the 8o's!), Split Enz, Dragon (just listened to a best of I found cheap at JB recently). I always spend too long thinking about these things and run out of time to actually vote!

Bugger, the first tray of biccies are a bit well done. So much for multi-tasking! 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Monday 20th

Monday 20th will be the next craft group, since the 13th is the long weekend!  I have some craft kits ready to go if anyone wants to do some sewing for the school craft stall, just let me know.  
Remember the Spinners and Weavers expo is on this weekend, as well as the sisters market at the Brunswick Town Hall.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Winter woolly wonders

Lots of wonderfully woolly things to do and see in Moreland this weekend and next.  
Saturday 28th May
 "Wool and craft fair" 
 Brunswick Town Hall, 10am-3pm.

 I will be there! Lots of beautiful hand spun wool and knitted articles on show and for sale.  I went a couple of years ago and was talking to a girl from a Bendigo wool shop (Busy Bee? I think) and I said that I was from Bendigo, then she said "Hang on, I think I know you..." - turned out I had taught her when she was a kid and I was doing some CRT (emergency teaching) work! Small world huh! (Not to mention  making me feel old!)
 Then she went and got her mum to say hello - she had been the art teacher at the same school, and I had filled in for her in the art room many times (because apparently most teachers are scared of teaching art! I picked up a lot of extra work because I was quite happy to take on a day of art teaching!).
The following weekend - 
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June 
 Annual Exhibition from the Pascoe Vale Spinners and Weavers 
10-4pm  Swimming Pool Hall, Prospect St

  (left off Cumberland Rd, just before my favourite little op-shop which is on the right hand side as you head north from Bell St).
This show is definitely one NOT to miss.  There are demonstrations and activities (how to make hand felted flowers last year), and the most stunning, beautiful, amazing art works on display - all made of wool.  Previous years I have seen an incredible knitted and felted moebius strip bowl; an amazing wall hanging made with a combination of  knitted, crocheted and knitted patchwork pieces; and a terrific display of hand spun and hand dyed wool, all coloured with an assortment of native leaves and flowers.
  PLUS beautiful hand spun wool and knitted/crocheted/felted/woven scarves/beanies/gloves/socks/jackets etc. on sale for very reasonable prices (considering the hours of work and lovely wool they are made from).

Monday, 23 May 2011

Yarn bombing

Have you heard about Yarn Bombing? Have a look here for more info and photos.  My H has spotted a couple of new "items" along the Melville Rd tram line - near the corner of Albion St out the front of the furniture shop, and across the road a bit further down, there is also one out the front of the new cafe (can't remember the name, it has only opened recently).  Brunswick Bound bookshop has a yarn bombed door handle.  I think I need to go for a walk with my camera!
Apparently June 11 (see link above) has been declared "international day of yarn bombing"!!! Might just have to join in!

Craft group is on next Monday 30th - I can't make it as I have a meeting to start getting the school music trivia night organized.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Yes craft group is on tonight!

We had 10 people last week, hope to see you all again tonight 7:30 at the PO.
Tried to post this last night, but typical bloody dodo connection - NO SPEED!!! Back to zero again today so I don't like my chances now either...

I have actually been doing some sewing now and then... here is the pencil roll I made for my niece's birthday.  Denim and babushka fabric on the outside - same as my jeans bag I made last year. It was a big hit!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Normal transmissions shall resume shortly...

Fingers crossed things actually work this time!
Up-coming dates - the  North Essendon Farmer's Market is on again this Saturday, Lincoln Park Essendon. Lots of great food - we love the potato bread from Mattise Bread.  Lovely jams, cheese, fruit and veges too.  We discovered the market on the way back from swimming lessons one day, and it is a regular on our calendar now - the 2nd Saturday of the month, 8am-1pm.
Also this Saturday - the Blackbird Design Market is on, 10am-4pm at the Worker's club, cnr Brunswick & Gertrude Sts Fitzroy.  I don't think I'll get there, but it looks interesting.

The Flemington market is on Sunday 22 May (I took the family along last year - we were there 5 minutes when the heavens opened and it HAILED like you wouldn't believe! Needless to say we turned  around and damply went home again). The North Melbourne Market is also on, always worth a look - love the vintage fabric for sale there.  And the school working bee, and an 8th birthday party - not sure how we will juggle all that!

there seems to be a glitch - I can't post any content b/c there is an annoying circle thingy going incesently round and round

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Who would have thought...

......that a bunch of knitting needles could make a rainbow? ! And if I can find the how-to that I know I read a while back, they can make bracelets too!!!

Lovely to see SO many people at craft group Monday night - a record 10 craftsters! Even the waitress commented on our good turn out!
Don't forget - the Frankie talk is on at the Brunswick library tonight, anyone want to come with me???

Monday, 2 May 2011

The weekend that wasn't quite as planned...

Well, what a weekend!  The kids were really into the royal wedding, studying the map and layout of the abbey in Friday's Age, and staying up til 10:30 to watch it all!
Saturday we all headed over to Thornbury to have a look at the  Made in Thornbury market.  We also picked up some bargain books  (a Star  Wars movie book, the "big,big,big book of Tashie") and a cool board game "castle keep".
The books and game came in very handy when we tried to go home again for lunch at 1:30 and were stopped in our street by the police, who wouldn't let us go home.  There was a "situation" with one of the tennants in the house next to us, and there were a gazillion police officers all over the place! (Including in our back yard, as we discovered once we were finally allowed back home.  They had used one of the kids's chairs to stand on and look over the side fence!).  A friend and neighbour further up the street sent a message at 6:30pm to say they had finally all left.  We thanked our lovely friends who had come home to take us in for a few hours and feed us cups of tea and chocolate biscuits while we waited;  and finally headed home.
5 hours of limbo, not knowing what was going on, or even if we were going to get home at all that night! One police officer told my husband that we may need to consider sleeping somewhere else that night, which was actually what we had planned  - to go to the in-laws on the other side of town, because my H was in the Great Train Race 9:30 Sunday morning, and we were catching up with my neice for her/our birthday last week too!  But of course we needed to get home  first to pack our bags, feed the chooks, set the timer to record the new episode of Dr Who (all the important stuff!) etc.
But it all worked out ok, we got the the in-laws for a late dinner at 8pm, got up at 7:30 the next morning, and made it to the race - and he even managed to beat the 2nd train and run a better time than he had thought he would!
So that is why we were late to school today - we let the kids sleep in til 8:30 'cos we were all quite buggered after all that!  Tigerboy walked in the school gate saying "if the teacher asks why I'm late I'll just tell her about the police seige and the train race"!

See you at craft group tonight!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Next Monday...7:30

Just a quick note to remind everyone - craft group starts back next Monday 2nd May, 7:30 at the PO.  Love to see some new faces there - don't just read this, come along!  If you haven't got a craft project underway, or would love to learn a new one - come along! Plenty of crafty people, and new crafters too, we can all learn from each other, or at least get out of the house and enjoy some fun company!!!
PS I have booked 2 spots at the Brunswick library next Wednesday for the "Frankie" presentation - anyone want to come and keep me company?

Oh yeah - nearly forgot to say - click on the "Made in Thornbury" link on the right - I know the date looks old, but there is actually a market on this Saturday.  And also check out the fabulous article in the 'M' magazine in last Sunday's Age about local Melbourne craft markets!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Frankie at the Brunswick Library

Finally some craft!  Here is my diary cover which I finally got around to making about a month or so back.  I made it from denim, with a pocket from an old pair of kid's jeans (the other pocket is on my Babushka jeans bag), and the cassette/boom box print fabric is actually a "bandana day" Canteen bandana, bought last year just for the print.  Buttons are a Birch set from Spotlight. Very 80's/ retro styled (do kids these days even know what a cassette is???)

I discovered "Frankie" magazine about 18 months ago, and have been buying and reading it ever since.  I can't stand most magazines full of hollywood gossip, and I especially hate anything to do with people who are famous just for being rich bimbos who slept with some other rich bimbo or d-grade actor. AARRGGHH!!!  Why do people aspire to be rich and thick? That description is fine for chocolate sauce, but not for people! Anyway, Frankie is the antithesis of those mags - it is smart, witty, arty, thought-provoking.  AND "Made in Moreland" are celebrating all things Frankie with a free talk at the Brunswick Library on Wednesday 4th May. 7:30pm.

The frankie story
7.45 pm Wednesday 4 May
Brunswick Library

frankie magazine recently celebrated its 40th issue and has quietly been achieving cult-like status with its ‘nana-chic’ style and friendly attitude. As part of the Talks on Moreland series, hear how local girl Jo Walker became involved with frankie, first as a writer and later as editor, and how, together with founders Louise Bannister and Lara Burke and support from Morrison Media, they have nurtured frankie to become one of Australia’s fastest-growing magazines.

Bookings: 9389 8600

Monday, 11 April 2011

Free to good home...

One slightly mad chicken, approx 14 months old. Good layer, quiet with children, will eat out of your hand and tolerate a pat or to be picked up. Only vice  -  she doesn't like other chickens. 
 We had one chook last year, and got 2 more in March 2010, the older one Bessie (the smartest chicken in the world that one!) died in December.  Got 2 new girls last month, and this mad one (actually it may not be her in the photo, there were twins) named Molly, decided to attack the new girls.  Not just your normal little peck to show who is boss, but full on 'jump on their back and try to peck their eyes out' attacking.  So she is now living in the guinea pig hutch. We have tried putting her back with the others (who are all getting on famously now), or letting them all run around the back yard together, but she still goes the new girls every time she sees them.  And we still can't go and buy the much awaited guinea pigs.  
So... anyone want a pet chook?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sorry for the delay...but...

just wasn't up for it this week.  We had been sooooo looking forward to meeting some of our favourite authors and illustrators ( Bob Graham, Terry Denton et. al.) at the State Library last Sunday.  We were excitedly watching the wonderful Bob Graham talk about where he gets his writing and drawing inspiration from... I leant forward to comment to the boys about the sketch he was making- and some filthy, miserable low-life scum walked past and stole my backpack.  One of those split second things - I hardly ever take it off my back, my H always carries the camera - but not at this time, for some reason I hadn't handed the camera over, and THEY must have seen me put it into the backpack. And then it was gone. Along with our lunch;
*the camera of course (thankfuly we had downloaded all recent photos)
*my nearly brand new rivers raincoat & the boys' raincoats
* my knitting in my lovely flower knitting bag I made last year along with a ball of (thankfully cheap and as yet not started wool), 2 pairs of short knitting needles
*my first ever knitted beanie I made last year
* and my first ever little zip purse I had made, which I always carry on outings, because it has a mini sewing kit (for emergency repairs to loose buttons and broken elastic in pants), band aids, panadol and claratyne tablets, lip balm, mini bapanthem ointment, and my little old pocket knife I bought myself when I finished uni and was working in my Dad's shop - great for chopping apples/cake/slice/bread on spontaneous picnics. It was old, blunt, going rusty,  the timber is worn, but it was special, something I thought I would have forever, meaningless to anyone but me. And not something I mentioned to the police when I reported the theft of the bag...
I have managed to buy a new camera (not quite the same features, a cheapy one for now, but at least it has an optical view finder which is very rare these days.  I will have to hunt the op shops for another back pack, it was the most perfect design for day trips.
LUCKILY I had my favourite home made skirt on, with the secret pocket on the front  - with my phone in it. So I could call 000. The security guards at the library seemed to be pretty ineffectual, they're only concerned that people don't take coffee into the library.

SOOOO if anyone is going near a Spotlight or other store - I need one ball of Patons "Wilderness" in the flecky charcoal grey (it only comes in about 6 colours), so I can make another beanie. Brunswick don't have any, tried Lincraft at Highpoint but they don't sell much other than Lincraft brand wool.

And most amazingly, somehow in the midst of all the crap and chaos of the day, I managed to control myself and NOT drop the f-bomb in front of the kids! As much as I felt like SCREAMING it at the top of my lungs, I think I was more concerned not to interrupt the famous personage in the room!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

craft events

Newlands Primary Twilight Market
Are having their first ever twilight market this Friday April 1
Come and support the local primary school.
The live music is top quality; Ross McLennan, Nick Murphy, Jane McCracken, Dan and Lynell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The food will also be delicious; homemade wontons, falafel wraps (vegan), snags.
Second hand books.
Cake stall.
Cheap indigenous plants.
Real coffee, organic tea, homemade soda.
Fabulous clothes and crafts. Olive Grove have donated a number of things, Mim has printed a whole bunch of t-shirts and there will also be felt scarves and animals.
We will be set up near the playground with kids games.
There will also be community stalls with info on local community actions.
It's looking to be a really lovely night and we'd love to see everyone there!

PLUS the Sister's Market is on again at the Brunswick Town Hall on Saturday.

Peppertree Place Community Gardens (cnr Sydney rd and Bell sts) are having their monthly vege swap on Saturday morning 10am - 1pm.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Finders keepers

Good morning! I am heading off to the Finders Keepers market today with my MIL & SIL, while my niece is staying here to hang out with the boys.  And the Petty's Orchard Apple Festival is on tomorrow, we haven't been for several years, so we are heading over there tomorrow - just hope it doesn't rain!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

This Monday

This Monday is craft group again, 7:30-9:30 at the Post Office.  I have a MAD week with a girls night out on Tuesday night, School Council Wednesday night, and work dinner on Thursday night. So I may not get there Monday, will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

May the force be with you...

We took the boys to the MSO Pops "John Williams" concert on Saturday night.  It was FANTASTIC and the boys loved it  - so did we! I got the double album- yeah, vinyl-soundtrack for my 11th birthday, and listened to it over and over.  I ate through countless boxes of weeties to try and collect all 10 posters in the series.  So it was a no brainer that as soon as the JediKid showed the slightest interest in Star Wars,     I was in like Flynn!  
The boys sat through a 2 1/2 hour classical music concert with no problems at all, talking loudly only once, in about the 3rd piece in, when music obsessed ( and listening intently)  Tigerboy suddenly proclaimed "there's a piano". We went for a walk up to the front to show them the instruments at interval, and to point out that yes, there was indeed a piano on the stage!
As we stood up to leave, the couple behind us told us "your boys were so well behaved, that was a long concert to sit through and they were so good!". Which was lovely to hear, although I did explain that they have been humming the Star Wars theme non stop for pretty much the last 3 years!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Craft group tomorrow - plan B?!?

I completely forgot about the Parent Teacher interviews this Wednesday, so for those of us with kids at CWPS, Wednesday is not a good idea after all!
So --back to the PO tomorrow night 7:30pm.  I will try and get there, but have a sickie at home at the moment. PLUS I will try and get to the Brown Owls on Wednesday for a little while.  This will all involve careful planning of dinners, so I need to get the recipe books out and get organized! We (I say "we" but my H did the cooking)  tried out one of the baked risotto recipes Pip posted the other day, it was very tasty!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Craft group + Brown Owls

Next Monday should be craft group, but the new Brunswick Brown Owls group are meeting at 7pm at the Retreat Hotel on Sydney Rd, so I though maybe we will not meet on Monday, but join the owls on Wednesday. What do you think?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Shopping for craft supplies?

I have just been down to the Auspack store, Sydney Rd Brunswick, stocking up on supplies for the Hume National Playgroup Day  (balloons, balloon ties, plastic table cloths and ribbon); plastic plates for pancake day at school next week; some little gift boxes with lids for a listening game for work; and some HB pencils, coloured notebooks, cake boxes etc for home.  The shop is closing down at the end of next week - they have a great range of "other" craft supplies - crepe and tissue paper,cake boxes, paper lolly bags (I forgot to get more of them, have to go back!), paper bags (you know the nice gift ones, plain white or brown with the twisted paper handles, several sizes), stickers, gift boxes and trays, cards and wrapping paper. And of course a great range of novelty stuff for dress ups (very cheap yet sturdy "Harry Potter" glasses for kids, ours have been going for years), and to put in party bags.

PLUS the other AMAZING thing I discovered when I went there - remember there used to be the holeproof clearance store next door? Well guess what - it is opening in March as a TOYWORLD shop!!! Yay!!! The shop is HUGE!  I love Toyworld, and we so need a proper toy shop in Bruns/Coburg. AND Toyworld always stock a wide range of  LEGO. (LIKE WE NEED MORE LEGO IN MY HOUSE after I banned it a week ago for NOT BEING SORTED again.)
But anyway, that is just my house at the moment, it is still great new about TOYWORLD. I could see in the window they have magnetics (or geomag, nearly the same) and razor scooters for some of  their opening specials so far.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Mark your calendars

I am supposed to be at work today, but am at home on the couch recovering from a bug or most likely a disagreement with something I ate on Wednesday. Yesterday I managed to eat 2 orange kool pops and 4 teddy bear biscuits - that was it.  I don't function well if I don't eat (I would never survive on a desert island!), so it will take me a few days to recover.
Couldn't even watch tv yesterday, but am feeling a little better today.  I just watched the beautiful Australian film "Black Balloon" which I recorded a few weeks ago.  The film is told through the eyes of  16 year old Thomas and his relationship with his  brother  Charlie, who has severe autism and adhd.  It is a moving, funny, lovely film; with brilliant acting from the young cast, (Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward and Luke Ford) as well as superb performances from Erik Thompson and Toni Collete as Thomas' and Charlie's  parents.

Now to the dates - the Brunswick Music Festival and Sydney Road Street Party are coming up very soon, check out the program here .  There are some great local and international artists performing, I just got my program in the post today (ok, I had to ring and ask for a 2nd one because I have turned the house upside down and can't find the original one I got 2 weeks ago!).
The finders keepers market is coming back to Melbourne!  I went last year and it was FANTASTIC, once we walked for miles and finally found the bloody thing! Note to market people - A FEW MORE SIGNS WOULD HELP.

Found this UK sewing magazine in a newsagent in Bendigo the other week, and it is also stocked at the Coburg newsagency in Sydney Rd.  It has a really cool skirt pattern I want to try, one day when I get back to my sewing machine.
Have a look at Pip's "Meet me at Mike's" blog from a couple of days ago - check out the Brown Owls link. There is a new Brown Owls group in Brunswick, meeting at the Retreat Hotel on Wednesday nights. Might have to check them out next time they meet!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Craft group next Monday???

Hi all, sorry about the long break, still having internet issues at home, I can get 5 mins to check emails and then I get nothing.
I am planning on dropping by the PO today or tomorrow to confirm if we can still meet there on Mondays; if so then how about 7:30 next Mon??? I have some knitting to do - just goes to show how the weather has been so hot/cold/hot/cold - I normally can't BEAR the thought of even touching wool when it is hot, but it has actually been cool enough to knit.  Plus I have had a couple of train trips to Bendigo so it is ideal to while away the time knitting. I was reading "All that happened at number 26" by Dennise Scott on the train on Saturday, but just had to stop lest the other passengers thought I was a bit mad 'cos it is just SOOO funny; it really is a "not to be read on public transport" sort of book!!!
I am madly trying to knit up ( and make up the pattern as I go - I don't have one!)  a couple of Bananas in pyjamas finger puppets for a special little fellow at my Friday playgroup who had a birthday last Sunday and just loves the bananas. I think I need to drop by my school today and pick up one of the bananas in pj's  fingerpuppets I have there so I can copy it. Of course I only had the idea for this last night, would have been much better if I thought of it a week ago and knitted them  when on the train of course, I could have made a whole hand full by now!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Back to school...

Can you believe school goes back this Friday?  So we need to get craft group back up and running again! How about the second week of school - Monday 14th Feb? Or do people have plans for Valentine's day?
I will drop in to the Post Office Hotel and enquire if we are still ok to have craft group there, otherwise I shall have to work on "Plan B"for a new venue - any ideas???

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

GJ's fabrics, bunny love and capes!

I have been shopping at GJ's ever since they were out the back of Barkley Square (before they added the food court !).  I don't know how it came up in conversation, but Georgie and I discovered a mutual connection of bunny love (we both had pet rabbits) and would share bunny stories whenever I went to the store. She still has a bunny, I would dearly love another  and have promised the kids one, but with  myxo running rampant it it not worth the risk, so we are contemplating guinea pigs instead. There is a petition to lobby the govt. to allow the myxo vaccine to be used in Australia (it is available in Europe) - please sign it.  There was a big photo and article on the front of the Sunday age about 3 weeks ago, with vets all over Melbourne saying they are having to euthenase pet bunnies all the time at the moment due to myxo

Visited GJ's on Monday - my MIL makes the most amazing quilts, but lives on the other side of town, so she came over for the day  for a visit and we went  to GJ's.  They have a brand new website - link above - check out all those gorgeous colours!

My boys picked out some fabric offcuts for my to make some capes - a dark green rushed velour for a Voldemort cape, and the most amazing black-with-flames satin for a ??? not-sure-who-cape but it should look pretty cool!  That is my task today - sewing capes while listening to the Hottest 100! One of the lovely ladies in GJ's drew me a quick sketch and showed me a quick easy way to make a cape with a hood, so with a quick search of the net yesterday, and a read of an old WW "kids parties and dress ups"book, I think I know what I am doing. I will post some photos if they work out!!!

PS This goes to show how old our old fridge was - - when the bloke arrived with the new fridge last week, he took one look at our old one and said "geez, no wonder you are getting a new fridge!"

Friday, 21 January 2011

Cookie cutter Crtitters en masse!

Thought I needed some colour here for a change! Here is a pile of critters made by me and a wonderful team of helpers for the school craft stall last year.  They were a huge hit with the kids - we had nearly 100 and ended up with only about 5 left!
Big excitement in our house today - we got a new fridge! It is HUGE and doesn't drip water everywhere like our old (ancient!) one did.  It is just wonderful! We emptied  all the food from the esky and cooler  bags into it, and there is still HEAPSS of room in it!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Flood relief - Hope softies


Here is the link to "Hope Softies" - making simple softies for children whose homes have been flood damaged/destroyed.  The Red Cross also has an appeal for Victorian Flood victims.  My Aunt and Uncle live in Rochester (they sandbagged their house, I think it is ok), and I grew up in Central Victoria going fishing on all of the rivers which have flooded!
I will try and chase up if we can have a softies appeal for Victorian families, perhaps via the Vic CWA.

Still having internet issues, it has taken nearly an hour to get any sort of speed today in order to even open any websites!

Brickvention was amazing but waaaay to crowded. But  I'm not even going to attempt to post photos  today with this slow old speed at the moment.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Brickvention this Sunday!

For those like me, whose households and holidays revolve around Lego -  Brickvention is on this Sunday at the Melbourne Town Hall.  The crowd will be HUGE - there have been at least 3 big write ups in The Age so far over the past few weeks.  When we first went 2 years ago, it was just us and about a dozen other families; last year people were queued up for 2 blocks waiting to get in!  
As you can see in the photo, Harry Potter Lego was the big gift item for the JediKids' birthday and Christmas this year. I have to admit it is very cool, the detail of the Hogwarts School, Hagrid's hut, the Burrow and the Hogwarts Express is all amazing.  All he needs now to complete the set is the Quiddich match. Lucky he still  has some birthday money to spend!

Do you find yourself glued to the tv at the moment?  Thank goodness the ABC is running the floods news all day.  I have been enjoying  the new SBS show "the late session with Waleed Aly " (especially with the wonderful line up of Clare Bowditch, Deb Mailman and Maggie Beer this week!); and his co-presenting of the extended ABC news breakfast program this week has been impressive also.

I've got to say that as a Teacher of the Deaf, I am getting a big buzz out of seeing an Auslan imterpreter  at each of  the news conferences, right there on screen, prime time on national television!  Fantastic that the very strong Qld Deaf Society  basically got up and said 'lots of deaf people live here and can't access the news, we will provide auslan interperters for the main news announcements'.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Queensland flood relief- a craft help idea

Hi all, some of you may have already seen my email about the rainbow comfort packs. Read up about the Bushfire  rainbow comfort packs here  - basically, it is a hand made bag, containing a hand made softie, something to do (colouring book and pencils, puzzle book, small game/card game etc., and some socks & undies, packed for a specific age group) - something for kids to have and to do while waiting at an evacuation centre etc.

I have been emailing the lovely Monica at beyond pink and blue ( who set up and managed the bushfire rainbow effort), and she is working on the logistics.  Details when they come to hand will also be posted on the handmade help site

 I will keep you posted, but it looks pretty certain it will go ahead.  I am planning on setting aside some time next week to sit down and sew up a pile of simple bags (simple shopper type bag with a long strap to go across the body, maybe a velcro closure if I get back to spotlight (under the back table in  the Brunswick store, pre-cut 1m lenghts scanned at only 50c each!)
If you would like to buy some cool stuff to put in the bags, I just bought my boys a cool puzzle book each, Angus and Robertson Puckle St store, $1 each. Plus they had the "how to draw warriors" and "manga" books for $1 also, just need to add in some pencils.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Random Holiday stuff...

The holidays have been fairly relaxing so far, well, after the to-ing and fro-ing of family Christmas catch ups that is. We even managed a couple of days at the beach, just walking, collecting rocks, looking in rockpools etc.  The best part was just hanging out together, the 4 of us doing the Giant Crossword in The Age (they take ages though, we are generally about 4 days behind. But a great insight into what general knowledge the kids have - we have both been quite impressed with their efforts!). AND we managed to NOT turn on the tv or have the kids PLAY THE DS for 3 days at the beach!  Which of course has all changed now we are home!
Lots of lego, watching Clone Wars, Pokemon this morning, in our pj's still. 
Heading off to the Westgarth again on Wednesday to see "Tangled" and planning on visiting "The Friendship Tree" whilst in Northcote. I can't believe how it has changed in the 10 years since I was teaching there, all those trendy shops and cafes on High St now!