Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So I've been thinking about this blogging lark lately, what is it for, really? When I started it was just a wee creative diversion because I liked making things, but my life has changed over these last 3 years, and I wouldn't say that is my primary motivation any more. When the wee ones were very small I could only do quick crafty things because I just didn't have the time or head-space for anything else, and it was fun to have small projects for myself. Now my children are older and at school the things I can do and want to do have changed. Little craft projects are not required for sanity because I'm already pretty sane. I can put my sewing skills to more practical use like making curtains, but is that really blog-worthy?
Every now and then I look back through my blog and see what I was doing a year ago, two years ago, and it's nice to remember. Sometimes I'm surprised by what I got around to doing. I might have forgotten about it otherwise. That is pretty blog-worthy to me, and so here I am.

All this thinking about whether I was a seasonal blogger or a perennial blogger got me thinking about plants. (As you do, you know). I have a favourite wee plant, Fuchsia procumbens, it grows on the shady south side of the house where it never gets any sun, and it thrives there. I like looking at it; it's a beautiful lime green colour with little heart-shaped leaves, and when it flowers, the flowers have only sepals, and no petals. It's a freaky wee delight.
What, you want to see Fanny Osbourne's botanical illustration of it? Sure, I happen to have it right here.

It's not your typical cut flower, but I do love it in a wee vase in the bathroom, where I can see it all the time.
It's a consumate survivor, this wee plant. I've had it in that vase for two months and it just stays there, green and perky, because it's made itself some new roots.
Somehow I think there is a good life lesson in this.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

While the boys were away

Funny how families develop their own traditions, isn't it? We have a heap of funny wee things that we do, just because it's worked out that way. Among the traditions that have grown in our household are pikelets for breakfast every Saturday, alphabet soup only when on holiday at Collingwood, very silly homemade cards for all festive occasions (really, the sillier the better), and...one-on-one trips with Dad to see Grandad down in Christchurch. The kids love those weekends. They get to sit in the front seat of the car. Simon drives down after work at night, and there's the thrill of being out after dark and stopping in some small town on the way for tea.
Of course, there's always the other child whose turn it is to stay at home, and so they get to choose some fun stuff so that they have a great weekend, too. Being a crafty sort of a 5-year-old, when it was her turn to stay home, Sylvie wanted to choose some fabric from my stash and make a skirt. She chose some craft cotton and a doily to decorate it. The doily really cracks me up. It's neatly positioned so that when you sit down you can perch your plate of afternoon tea on it, just like on a table. She has such cool taste, I just love it.
In case you're off to go and throw up because this is all just too wholesome, I would also like to assure you that she also had a suite of unwholesome things on her list as well: a trip to town to buy some sparkley hairclips, a play at Chipmunks (shudder), and a fizzy drink and chippies from the supermarket. Life is so simple when you're 5.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

The thrill of procrastination

When I was a student and studying for exams I was a master procrastinator. The meals were never more carefully planned and executed, and the house was as clean as a whistle. Now that I'm a grown-up I still love to muck around when I should be doing something else. In some ways it's a great way to get things done.
Case in point: My crochet blanket project. Now I know I said right here on this blog that it was insanity for me to undertake such a task, but as it turns out, my tax return is due and therefore crocheting a blanket has become a wonderfully addictive, delicious task to prevent me sitting down with my stack of bank statements and the calculator.
This blanket is going to be for a certain 5-year-old girl's birthday, hence the pinky/purpley colour scheme. To avoid it becoming too sickly I sneaked some grey and dark blue in, and I'm reasonably pleased with the way it's looking. If I were doing it again I might do different colours, but I'm a firm believer that you learn something with every project and so I'm not about to start unpicking or anything crazy like that.
Okay so here is a close-up because I wanted to show you the join-as-you-go thing. On the last round of each granny square you use your two-chain stitches between the groups of trebles to link to the next square. This neatly avoids having to sit down and join them all at the end, and makes a lovely big woolly blanket grow before your every eyes. Like magic. Magic!
The full instructions for joining-as-you-go are over here, and I also found a great clip on youtube about crocheting in the ends, here (with the added bonus of a New Zealand accent). Sheesh! What did we do before youtube eh.

Well, that's all from me on this wet Queen's Birthday Saturday. Hope you are having fun, whatever you're up to.