Saturday, March 30, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Caught through the flyscreen tucking into some Easter eggs...

Lola: She comes home from school and spends the rest of the afternoon accidentally calling me by her teacher's name. I can only imagine how many times she says it during the day for it to stick so firmly. Patient teacher.
Pearl: On the days she doesn't cry at preschool, she tells me how brave she was.
Stella: She made her own Easter bonnet, a pink thing with a ribbon stuck to it. She insisted on wearing it to bed.

We're off to spend a few days with our country cousins. Happy Easter! See you on the other side.

(PS Stuck On You gift voucher winners announced over here.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013


We started work early this morning collecting autumn leaves and pretty flowers from the garden. Then we set to with a roll of tape and the hot glue gun. The result - the only forest queen at the Easter hat parade today.

(Highly recommended for that fresh, natural look.  Not so good if you plan to reuse the hat next year - after a day in the kindergarten class, it currently looks like a crown of dead weeds...)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ha Ha Bonk*

I had coffee with a bunch of kindy mums this morning, lovely ladies all of them. There was lots of chitchat and lots of laughter, and one of them kept telling me how funny she thought I was. Which was funny, I thought.

I was kind of the class clown in primary school. I was the kid who carried a joke book and tried them out on whoever cared to listen. I also liked to explain the punchline. You know, "Because there was something on the other side of the road that he needed." I can see now how relentlessly irritating it must have been for my parents, but at the time I just thought it was funny.

'Cause there's nothing quite like a good laugh. I had a bloody good giggle on Saturday night. After a night out with friends in Sydney, and one or two glasses of bubbles, I caught a cab back with the pal who was putting me up for the night. Earlier on we'd been chuckling as she held the menu out at arm's length, having forgotten her reading glasses. The subject of ageing and failing eyesight was a topic of much discussion and mirth. On arriving home, she leaned in so close to the lock in order to see where to put the key, it set me off. We giggled and giggled and giggled. And stopped. And giggled some more. Her husband must have thought we were bonkers, or drunk.

Some of my best giggly fits are with my sisters, which makes sense. We share genetics and a common upbringing, so we no doubt share our sense of humour. I think we're all pretty good at finding the funny side of a dark situation. Perhaps some time I'll tell you the tale of the day we sprinkled my mum's ashes at sea. It was one of the saddest, most beautiful and most sublimely ridiculous days of my life.

Because in the end, you have to laugh, don't you? In all the whirling confusion, the often relentless challenge, the occasional pockets of despair, there must be something funny to grab onto. A wry smile at the irony. A nervous chuckle at something quite black. Or a late night giggle fit over something as silly as a key in a lock.

You have to laugh.

* That's the sound of someone laughing their head off, don't you know?

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


With the most profound respect for newborn photographers everywhere, I offer you a sneak peek of my Tiny range of hats. Seven colours. Two more styles to come. Available to purchase oh, so very soon...

(With enormous thanks to gorgeous Indigo and her mumma for such beautiful modelling).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Stuck On You...and a Giveaway

You may remember some time ago I won an amazing giveaway over at Che and Fidel. Well, one of the prizes was from Stuck on You. When I was put in touch with the lovely Jenna, she kindly offered to double the prize value so that both my little preschoolers could be outfitted for the big day. Jenna set me up with an account and sent me shopping. I chose two Out and About Packs, which included iron-on clothing labels, a set of labels for shoes, and some nifty stick-on name labels for everything from lunch boxes to sunscreens to backpacks. But the best part of the Out and About Packs were the personalised drink bottles.

I don't know how you handle the water thing in your house. We have been through dozens of kid bottles over the years, from sippy cups and straw cups right through to expensive eco bottles. Recently I gave up and bought a stack of cheap plastic bottles from the supermarket, all the same colour, so my girls couldn't fight over whose was whose. Of course, the lids snapped off within a few days.

We've had these Stuck On You personalised drink bottles for a couple of weeks now and they've been a hit with the girls, and with me. They're stainless steel, BPA free, easy to wash, easy for little fingers to manipulate, and the girls know which one is theirs so THERE IS NO FIGHTING!

The entire Stuck On You shopping experience was fun and interactive. I chose designs and font styles for the bottles. With the name labels and shoe dots, I keyed in the girls' names, then chose a font, decorative icon and colour scheme for each. There are loads in each pack so they should do us for a couple of years at least.

If you were thinking of getting some labels or personalised drink bottles or something else from Stuck On You, I've got two $20 Stuck On You gift vouchers to give away to two lucky folks. Just leave a comment below. I'll draw the winners on Friday.

Giveaway now closed. The winners are number 4 - Mother Down Under - and number 14 - A Little Bit Country. Congratulations!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Lovelies

1) "Higher, Mumma."
2) I found a solitary bloom in the garden this week on the 5th anniversary of my mum's death. She was a bit partial to a pretty rose.
3) When it happens, my bruschetta is going to be so worth it (and so small).
4) Three Chubby Pixie hats winging their way to Portugal.
5) Oh, hello, autumn. I hadn't noticed you there.
6) It was a big hill, and she didn't want any help.

Wishing you a lovely, lovely week x

Saturday, March 23, 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Lola: She asked me during some bedtime shenanigans, "Are you troubled by the commotion?"
Pearl: She's always stealing my glasses. One morning this week she grabbed them then, pausing to gaze intently at my bare face, she declared, "Your eyes look fantastic."
Stella: Main protagonist in aforementioned 'commotion'. Always.

PS These shots were taken right after dinner, which explains the messy faces!

Previous 52 portraits here.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Jim-Jam Tradition

Easter is a week away. I had been putting that thought to the back of my mind, but something alerted me today. Perhaps it was the sight of my babies coming through the door on their way home from Little Bookworms with whiskered snouts and very long fluffy ears. Or it could have been the package in the mail containing sweet little felt Easter baskets from the Queen. I remembered in a panic that Easter equals pyjamas and set to work with a tried and true nightdress pattern and a stack of vintage flannelette sheets. The cutting is done. Hopefully the stitching can happen in bursts during the coming week.

My sewing has taken a back seat since I started knitting for more than just my own leisure. Lately my sewing machine has been calling to me but I've had to ignore it as I try to finish yet another hat. I've been yearning to set aside a day, or an afternoon, or an hour, to make something small. I gaze longingly at my collection of patterns, at the enormous stash of fabric. 

Next week. When I return from a weekend in Sydney for a special get-together with friends. When I submit another month's worth of recipes and breathe out before starting on the next. When I finish a handful of tiny beanies in preparation for the next stage of the grand plan. Next week.

Is it just my family that insists on new pyjamas at Easter?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Box Ticker

I finished The Snow Child and, wow, did it tick some boxes. A really good novel - tick! A not-too-challenging read - tick! Tolerant of my flighty commitment - tick! A ripping tale - tick! Beautifully written - tick! (Oh, my, such beautiful writing - tickticktick!) Did it call out to me all day long? Why, yes. It still does.

What's more, the book compelled me to sneak pages in the car at school pick-up, and sit in unwieldy postures (think one knee and one elbow holding it open) so I could grab a chapter while knitting, snaffling moments throughout my week to read a handful of words here and there.

It came highly recommended by so many - thank you, thank you! And now I will pass that recommendation, with the greatest enthusiasm, to anyone who cares to listen.

This week, with the haunting chill still lingering, I embark on another recommendation - this one from Little Macaroon (have you visited her place? She always makes me chuckle.) I've only just started The Most Beautiful Thing. I'm promised an unputdownable second half.

And knitting? Alas, no beautiful cardigans for myself, or school cardigans for my kid (it's on the list!). Just a lovely stack of squishy soft hats for the much promised Typically Red Knits newborn range. They'll be in the shop just as soon as I can grab some photos of them on a tiny head.

Joining in with the Yarn Along here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Brown Rice

I know, I know, the brown/wholemeal/unprocessed version of everything is infinitely better. I know. That doesn't always mean I like it better. My weakness for squishy soft white bread has been documented. And I've never been able to get into wholegrain pasta or wholemeal pancakes. But rice, well, brown rice I love. And I love it not as the healthy alternative to white rice but entirely in its own right. Nutty, chewy, delicious brown rice.

Once upon a time I enjoyed my brown rice plain with steamed broccoli and maybe some sauteed mushrooms - not every night, mind you, but when I was feeling virtuous or in need of something easy and fresh. This past summer I've been enjoying this brown rice salad at least once a week. Warm or at room temperature, it always hits the spot. The cooked rice is tossed in an easy dressing of yoghurt and olive oil, and then shredded baby spinach and mint leaves are stirred through with some finely sliced Spanish onion that's been calming down in a little vinegar. And while you could happily omit it (and I often do), it's delicious with some shredded cooked chicken. The whole thing is served with a big handful of chopped toasted almonds for extra crunch.

You can find the full recipe here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Lola: We had ice-cream for dessert. Her sister complained it was too cold. Lola's advice - "Blow on it, then stroke it a little."
Pearl: Whenever she sees a clock she says, "Oh, it's 'twen' o'clock'.
Stella: Afternoon sun was streaming in, catching the dust particles in its light. Her suggestion, "What about we play 'Catch the fluff'?"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eight Things

Eight bits and pieces in and around my place today:
1) A battered but beautiful tin from the oppy.
2) Collage by Lola.
3) Prepping some ingredients for a little photo shoot.
4) Where possible I like to ensure my book matches my knitting. Uh-huh.
5) Jane Austen hour.
6) The very wide shot. It's about as makeshift as it gets here in my, ahem, 'studio'.
7) "Mr Potato Head and a big sister" by Stella.
8) Our homemade yoghurt, in jars these days.


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