Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is it a Tomato? or is it The DEVIL??

Hard to tell really...
The last week at Chez Nicholas has included...

  1. Speech therapy appointments, 
  2. Counselling, 
  3. Dance Spectacular rehearsals,  
  4. Excursions, 
  5. Swimming carnivals, 
  6. Dance Spectacular performances (2.5hrs worth, I kid you not), 
  7. more speech therapy appointments, 
  8. kids parties, 
  9. Weightwatchers weigh in (getting back to 67kgs (went up to 75kgs for a bit there!)
  10. Cooking, shopping, cleaning (etc)
  11. doctor's appointments (to get referrals for more counselling and dietician appointments) 
  12. Request for a partial of my latest novel
  13. Watched a documentary about chickens (Did You Know their eyes work independently, so when one is looking at the ground the other is checking the weather - seriously)
  14. And driving, driving, driving (I do 600 - 700kms a week in the car, and mostly don't go outside a 15km radius of my suburb)
  15. Oh and Libby had a baby boy!! (my bestie who lives in Sweden)
The next three weeks looks pretty similar (apart from anyone giving birth) and then, horror of horrors, the long school holidays begin.

I will be blogging during this time, oh hell yes - am already looking forward to the post about the entire Nicholas family staying in ONE ROOM when they go to visit Jenolan Caves.  (We'll have to share a bathroom with backpackers as well. Shiver.)  But as you all know, my blogging always gets a bit spotty over summer, so I apologise in advance.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Stitch Week: The NSW Embroiderer's Guild

On the weekend I headed off to the Embroiderer's Guild in Concord West for their annual market day.  It was just wonderful.  I'll be putting out reminders for all Sydney residents next year, as if you are into delightful handmade bits and bobs, it is not to be missed.
Handmade bag, $30!!
If anyone is at all interested in stitchery of any sort, I can't recommend the Guild enough.  They do amazing work, and are an awesome talented group of ladies.  The Guild runs an incredible array of embroidery courses, and they have a wonderful library and collection of heritage embroidery pieces which members can access.

Their intent is to preserve the many embroidery arts, by giving the basic techniques to anyone who is interested, and then setting them on their creative way to move the craft forward.

Many members have commented to me that my generation (ie Gen X) does not sew and has no interest in it.  But, from my own interactions, I don't think this is the case.  I think we Gen X'ers (and Ys) are under immense pressure and simply don't have a huge amount of time for fine embroidery - many many people sew and have a project or a cross-stitch on the go, but involved as we all are in families with children, none of us are in a position to really embrace it.
New needlecase, $5
And inside.
Its an organisation I hope to become more involved with over time, I was nearly voted onto the committee this year, but had to withdraw at the last minute when it became clear that the next couple of years would be absorbed with getting Miss 5 the help she needs.

Argh... there is a chicken pecking on the window, I have to go and round the damn thing up before it gets its beady eyes on my carrots...


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Stitch Week: Fat Lady Sampler

I've had the pattern for the Fat Lady Sampler (actually called Dutch Beauty) for about fifteen years.  But it's huge and intricate and I was always daunted.  However, I was recently given a kick-in-the-pants by the ladies at the Embroiderer's Guild (of which I am a member), and decided that it was now or never.

This is a picture of the completed sampler - see the fat lady in the top left corner - hence the name.  The original was stitched by a 13 year old girl in Holland in 1790, and aside from modern thread colours and linen it is reproduced exactly as she did it.
It measures 96cm x 59cm (ie huge) on 32 count linen (ie teeny weeny holes)
So far I've got the centre section done, the part with the deer.  Its the size of an A4 page.

Yes, expect to be hearing about the progress of this one for at least the next few years!

I love these old samplers.  I love the uneven-ness of them, the bits that don't fit in properly, where you can see the maker was doing it all by eye.  I was comparing it to Miss 7s little sampler...
Better photo than yesterday - its been washed and ironed now
... and you can see this has been designed on a computer - its just a bit too even, a bit too perfect.

Give me the old woggly ones any day.


Friday, November 04, 2011

Stitch Week: Some Stitching

Finished Miss 7's Christmas pressie...
Still to be washed and ironed
Apologies for awful photo, was being covert.

Still, you get the idea.

Next to get it framed. :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Strawberry Mousse - And Clawing Back The Routine

Dessert last night... after a slow-cooked leg of lamb and somewhat firm vegetables because the oven died again (le sigh).
A great big bowl of Strawberry mousse
Strawberries from the garden - eggs from the ladies that morning
Sugar from Coles, origin undisclosed
Low fat cream from Coles and seething in chemicals (yums)
Anyway, quit your salivating, I have important news to announce.

The Routine (the one I'm clawing back) is... working.

Oh dear LORD, are you reading the right blog? Could this be true? Are you about to fall over with delight?? (well I am, about to fall over, with delight, but also because I've got an inner ear infection and my world is going up and down, up and down, ug giddy).

Anyway.  I really thought the routine I was trying to establish was a bit ambitious - but the kids have taken to the change with a good natured willingness that really surprised me.  Of course now its been going for a week or so there is resistance amongst the ranks, but I am squashing the dissent with all the tools I have at my disposal...
This is NOT a democracy, I say, this is a Dictatorship, and anyone, ANYONE, who does not do their chores does not get to open Granny and Grandad's Smurf package on the weekend.

Yes, denial of Smurfs, I am a cruel and heartless monster, this has been pointed out.

Anyhoo.  The routine / chores / indentured servitude still need work, but the first steps have been taken and are a success.  Huzzah.

Next up is tackling the sodding budget, so we have some hope of actually paying off the house before it falls down from old age (or we do), and getting through Christmas with no creddy cards or nervous breakdowns. Yes, I aim high. I know this.