Friday, 27 January 2012

currently crocheting: wavy scarf

Mum gave me some delicious Noro Silk Garden sock yarn for Christmas. I started to try and crochet a pair of socks, but a) they were turning out weirdly and b) I remembered I don't really like mega chunky socks. So I pulled that apart and found this free wavy scarf pattern on Ravelry.

I love scarves. But even though crocheting a plain scarf is easy, it's a bit boring. This one has a pattern I can easily remember without having to refer to, but is interesting enough to keep me occupied and to show off the lovely colours of the yarn. It's lovely stuff to work with!

I'll put up a finished pic when it's, er, finished.

Monday, 23 January 2012


I love it when I have a brief flash of a game or something I used to do as a child. I was just hanging out my washing, and as I shook out the fitted sheet and hung it on the line, with the fabric billowing around the elastic in the breeze, I remembered how I used to love playing amongst the hanging laundry with my dolls. I would put them in the puffed out pocket of the fitted sheets and pretend they lived in the clouds.

Another game I had, when we lived in Papua New Guinea, was to imagine living on the ceiling. We had a coffee table with a mirror inlaid into it, and I would look into this mirror of an upside down world, where the lights all stood up from the ground like plants on straight stalks, and everything was white and minimalist. I would try to catch a glimpse of people who lived in this ceiling world, who were just out of the sightline of my mirror portal.

I love hearing stories of my friends' children and the games and fictions they spin. It's so delightful seeing the world through the eyes of a four year old, where bears hanging around outside your house is a perfectly plausible prospect, where you can be a magician if you decide to be, where the most ordinary objects hold some kind of immense untapped power.

I'd like to get back a bit of that imagination somehow. I know it's still there in me, just need to crack through the sugar shell and release the creamy goodness inside (can you tell I want a creme brulee?).

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Imogen's quilt

I haven't quilted for a while. This is a really simple one I made for my goddaughter, Imogen, in 2008. Her favourite colours at the time were, of course, pink and purple.


The fun part was choosing all the fabrics. There were ones with chocolates, some purple mice, garden scenes, lovely hyacinths, even a cartoon street scene. Each square has a little tie in the corner just for added interest, and I had read at the time that it was an old-fashioned quilting technique to secure all the layers together, rather than quilting a pattern as is often done (though the loft of the batting (the middle filling stuff) wasn't that thick, so it didn't take on that puffy look that I like).

It turned out beautifully and didn't take much time at all to run up, which is my favourite kind of project. Even nicer was the fact that my own godmother, Freda, helped me put it together (she is a prodigious quilter), so it felt resonant somehow.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Not sure what it is about the bunny as stuffed toy that is so pleasing to me. Bunnies are just cute, there's no way around it.

Actual bunnies with red eyes and fierce teeth and whatnot are a little less cute. We used to have a white dwarf rabbit called Bonhomme (short for Bonhomme de Neige) that we acquired through less than legitimate means (my brother's class was on a school excursion to a farm and one of the kids stole the rabbit. On the bus ride home, he realised his parents would kill him, so he palmed it off onto my brother, who was fairly confident that although she would be livid, my mum wouldn't actually commit manslaughter). Bonhomme looked cute, a little white ball of fluff. But boy, could he kick and bite. Vicious little dude. He eventually escaped and the last I saw of him was as he hopped down the street and disappeared into a drainpipe. He has probably gone on to become king of the rabbit underworld.

But bunnies made of soft things - super cute and less likely to bite.


I made this one based on a pattern from Craftzine. I didn't have the right sized hook or yarn or plastic eyes so just muddled along with a larger hook, yarn and buttons. As I was working, mum looked over and commented, "that is a very big head." Yep, it eventually turned out this massive-headed, chibi-esque little dude. He would have trouble getting around with a head that big. But he is just floppy and adorable. I think I'll call him Steve.

[box] Yarn: Needles DK acrylic in Camel (bought from Hot Dollar)

Pattern: Spring bunny from Craftzine[/box]

weasel words

Part of the reason for being all up in the air at the moment is that I am both looking for a job and a place to live (Dad is helping me and my brother buy property, which is awesome, but having a decently paying job is kind of an important part of this equation. Anyway, I digress...). As a result I've been spending a lot of time on real estate and employment websites and am growing increasingly jaded by the emptiness of the copy that advertises houses and jobs. Some examples:

[box]"looking for an ambitious self-starter "

"fast paced global facing digital environment"

"sought-after location"

"Be part of an industry leading, highly dynamic and empowered team"

"Enjoy the lifestyle on offer"

"Are you passionate about the digital space"

"priced to sell" (which goes well with "Vendor says sell!")

"Join a widely renowned and formally recognised agency within a global network"

"contemporary living"

"Funcky Office " (?!)

"This modern apartment is in the heart of marrickville with enviable to everywhere and everything are just at a fingertips includes shopping, restaurants, café, train" um...[/box]

Though there was a moment of humour amongst the dross - job ad for publisher of "entertaining fiction for women"(let the reader understand), applications were to be sent to "Belinda Lusty". It's nominative determinism gone mad, I tell you!

in the meantime

So I'm still unemployed. But I am feeling much more calm about it than I was at the time of the last post.

I have actually had an interview, and will be having the second round of interviews for that job later this week! So that's exciting. And I've applied for a couple of things.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep moving forward, even if it's only a tiny step at a time.

Tupperware stuff is actually going pretty well. [book me for a party] I mean, I'm not smashing amazing targets or anything (yet?), but I've had a steady number of demos to do [book me for a party] and even if this doesn't turn out to be something I'm going to do long-term, [book me for a party] I'm amassing a pretty cool collection of Tupperware I'll get to keep at the end. It's actually really fun, to be honest, and I hope I can make a good go of it.

No, there were no subliminal messages in that last paragraph. But if you'd like to book me for a party, you can email me at sales [at]

I've also started up another blog to show off things I've made! I was looking at my bags and crocheted bits and pieces and thinking that I do achieve things, even if they're not big, flashy things. Making a bag is fantastic! Crocheting an animal is satisfying! Creating something out of disparate bits is such a cool ability I've been blessed with, so I thought it was time to celebrate it.

That blog is called TalulaMei. Please pay me a visit there!

Monday, 16 January 2012

bag lady

I love bags. I can never seem to have enough of them, though I don't tend to mix and match them very often. I'll have a carry-all type bag that I use to death, or until I get sick of it and make another one. It's great being able to make bags for this reason. But it also means I can never justify buying bags, even more high-end, complicated ones. I merely covet their leathery goodness and nifty pocket arrangements.

Here are some of the ones I've made in the last couple of years. Actually I'd forgotten all about that Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric...


The little purses and the pinky purple bag are patterns from Keyka Lou Patterns. I adore every single one of her designs, and have quite a few. They're easy to read, easy to sew, and always produce beautiful results. The extra sweetener is that she allows you to sell the bags you've made from her patterns, which isn't always the case with patternmakers. It's very generous! (I haven't actually sold any, but it's nice to know I could if I wanted to)

The other, long-handled bags were inspired by the Monk's Bag pattern on the Purl Bee. I started off making them exactly the same as the pattern, and then started adding pockets and modifications as I went on.

This is what I love about learning crafts on the internet - there is so much excellent information out there, if you can weed out the wheat from the chaff, and it gives you the tools and confidence to start improvising.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Fast and easy cowl

It was the name that got me in. Fast and easy? Sign me up!

I think the impetus for crocheting this was going to a winter camp in Katoomba. I always seem to be wrestling with scarves and thought a cowl would be less hassle. Perhaps it would have been more effective if it had been a really cold winter and I needed the cowl on all the it was, I think it spent most of its time in my bag.

But I loved the colour combination, and it was such a pleasure to work on. I love the kind of crochet I can do without having to refer to patterns, so row after row of the same thing is good for when I'm listening to sermons or having conversations. I find it actually helps me stay focused on what's being said, more than if I am just sitting there.

[box type="shadow"]Yarn: Heirloom easy care 8 ply, Morris Estate 8 ply

Pattern: this Lion Brand Yarn pattern, though I changed yarns to make the stripes instead of using a self-striping yarn[/box]

Hugo the elephant

Hugo is an elephant I crocheted for some friends at church who had a baby boy. Because he was made for a baby, I didn't use plastic eyes, but just roughly sewed on some black cotton instead. I need to get better at embroidering on features...I generally like the look of them on toys better than plastic features.

I love his little curved ears! They were very squishy and he is overall very huggable.

[box type="shadow"]Yarn: Morris Pure yarn, in Smoke.

Pattern: The pattern is free from Lion Brand Yarn - I love their pattern database![/box]

Lachlan's gloves

When I first started crocheting again, it was winter. Fingerless gloves seemed like the thing to do - easy and functional. Lachy was one of my first test subjects, and I made him these green gloves. I had forgotten to note down the yarn I used, and I think the pattern was cobbled together out of a few I liked on Ravelry. I have gotten a bit better at documenting these things as I've gone on.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


I've been trying to write down in my notebook how I am feeling at the moment, just to try and untangle the mess of unhelpful thoughts bashing against each other in my head. I haven't come up with much, just long lists of things.

I thought I'd try and set goals, because apparently that helps you achieve things in life. But the problem is I'm finding it really hard to actually define anything I want to aim for. I'm thinking this is the depression cloud fogging up my vision, because really there are so many things I could do. But I start to think about anything beyond next week, and it's just blank. I feel like Sara in the Labyrinth, running along the wall outside, unable to see the entrances that are right in front of her and starting to panic.

The only goal I've had any success with so far is losing weight. I aimed to lose at least 5kgs between October and December, and I lost 7.5. Which is great! I have to keep remembering that this is great.

But work...what do I want to do? Get money. How do I want to do that? I. Don't. Know.

Living...where do I want to live? Here. I don't want to move. My friends are here. My church is here. We have space and a yard and a spare room. But we can't afford to live here. So where do I look? I. Don't. Know.

I started asking, well, what's the point? And I know what the point is. My point of being here is to glorify God. In my life, in my speech, in my thoughts, in everything. And he has never failed to provide for me. I trust him.

I'm trying to be still, and meditate on that. But keeping the panic at bay and not crying and not despairing and not descending into a spiral of "what a mess of a life you've made" is really quite hard.

God, give me strength!