New from old blanket

In the kiwi vernacular I would say, “I suck the big kumara“, given the almighty gap between this post and my previous post. However I believe that for once the underlying cause is genuine. In about two months I will be relocating to Queenstown, New Zealand. (Do not get distracted, this is a post about about blankets, forget about Queenstown for now!)

Other than to be aware that at some point in the future we will have a large outdoor patio. To go with that patio I envisage we will need some hand knitted blankets for those days you want to be outside but there is a chill in the air. Given the speed of my knitting and that the number of blankets needed will be greater than one, I am starting the first blanket now; a Melbourne conception with what will ultimately be a NZ birth feels exactly right. For the first blanket I am copying inspired by one of The Twisted Yarn’s blog posts from 2014 (you can see why I am starting now!), an Arne and Carlos blanket. I love the idea of using up left over bits of wool. Way back when I used to sew I had the intention of making a quilt from everything I had sewn, a kind of memory of clothes and events. Great idea – never did it – though I did start. Quite fittingly I am starting this blanket with yarn I bought to knit a cardigan for my daughter. I went gang busters on the knitting doing a frill for the first time ever but never got around to finishing the cardigan (any bells ringing here?!). Of course I am hoping it is not an ill omen to use this wool to start the blanket. I am coupling it with the left over (yes you read that right!) gorgeous green yarn I bought in Hokitika last Christmas and my quickest ever completed project. I think that combo of never finished and finished the quickest balances out!

And for those of you still thinking about Queenstown, the photo at the end of this post is actually our land. There may be more written about this in the future!

arne carlos blanket

The first blanket is underway

In the words of another…

…as to why I have not written a blog post recently, and a much needed re-prompt to myself. I have mentioned in the past that I am a bit of a fan of Annabel Langbein, and earlier this year there was an article about her in the NZ Women’s Weekly. It resonated strongly, and I wanted to share some of that with you, it has only taken me five months – says it all really!

There were so many points she made, that made me go, yes, yes exactly, it is not just me. Of course I cannot copy them all here. The four highlights from the article for me, and words we can all heed are:

  • There have been many nights where she found herself still working at 3 am and thought, “What on earth am I doing?
  • “I am lucky that I am blessed with a lot of energy, but doesn’t mean I should work 16 hours a day.” 
  • “When I first had children I thought I had to be superwoman and keep going – I thought if I got off the bus for even a short time, my life would be over”
  • “Now I know that being flat-out busy shouldn’t be the rhythm of your life. I like to take analogies from nature… plants don’t flower all year round. You don’t have to be on G for Go all the time”

It has been a little crazy busy on the work front for me of late, part time work with more life balance.. humph! I have lots of energy and have worked to the silly time in the morning mentioned above more than once recently. Anyway this is my reminder to get back in balance. If you needed one, hope this helps you.

slow down north melbourne

 

Modern art or…

…did you know that cupcake/muffin trays are essential when baking?!

My daughter and I decided to have a go at baking and decorating some fancy cupcakes. There was a lot of mixture so I put a set of cupcake cases on a baking tray to bake along with those in the cupcake/muffin tray. Let us just say the outcome was not what I was expecting. Who knew I had a talent for cupcake art! As you can see those that were cooked in the cupcake/muffin tray came out as expected. The sprawling mess was demolished while still warm I might add. You cannot believe how utterly delighted I was with the finished product. How often do you make something that looks like the photo in the cook book and they were delicious. These will not be a one time bake methinks. Especially seeing that my daughter does not like marshmallows, so Mum & Dad get to eat the flower ones, not just the bases where my darling girl has only eaten the icing!

Of course without downplaying my incredible culinary skills (tee hee!) these are much easier to make than the final product looks. If you want to given them a go, they are courtesy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Fresh Food for Babies & Toddlers cookbook. I highly recommend this cookbook for new parents by the way. We still make meals from this that the whole family really enjoys.

‘Tis a modern world

On the walk to or from daycare my daughter and I often have conversations. I really had to laugh the other day. We have taught our daughter our first names in the case of an emergency, and she knows her surname. For some reason we were talking about her surname, and then she asked what mine was. Her father and I have been un-married for 12 years, so my surname is of course different. Then she asked what her Dad’s surname was. When I said it was the same as hers she was most offended. Her swift reply was, “he can get his own“. I laughed so hard on the inside and had to tell her Dad. There is an absolute logic to her thinking. Though I suspect it is primarily being five and wanting everything to be hers!

surnames north melbourne

Image courtesy of http://www.kickassfacts.com/are-there-fewer-surnames-now-than-in-the-past/

Best travel tip ever

Okay, I may be slightly biased as this was my other half’s idea. But I am convinced this is the best ever travel tip. Here goes:

A power board

Yes, is this day and age with x mumble devices in tow and accomodation when travelling that always seem to only have one or two spare power sockets in bizarre locations this is your go to solution. Even better when you are travelling overseas and have just one plug convertor – there is no need to juggle (fight!) for charging your device. I thought my other half was inspired. We do not leave home without one now when travelling.

Power board

Don’t leave home without one!

 

Dinosaurs and round tuits – in underwear terms

I cannot take credit for more than about 1% of this post, it is totally inspired by the Real Women’s recent post, The Underlying Truth, absolutely worth reading. Would you believe I went out a day or two later and made my first overdue purchase!

What on earth am I talking about? Letting old, ratty, tatty, underwear become the norm. I am, or rather I was, of the always wearing, did not own anything other than matching underwear brigade. I have always thought that my initiation into bras set me on this path. Acquiring your first bra is a major milestone in any girl’s life. I can visualise this first bra almost as if it were yesterday. Purchased with my Dad, yes that is right, with my Dad. Where was my Mum? At home. To this day I have no idea why it was Dad rather than Mum. I remember clear as day his guidelines to me in the store – anything as long as it is not black! If I pause for a moment I can recall walking into the changing room to try on my intended purchase. And with all my friends getting the skin coloured trainer bras what did I come home with – a light aqua lacy number courtesy of Bendon (a fabulous NZ underwear company, which brought us Elle Macpherson Intimates, among other great brands). And as the saying goes the rest is history.

round tuit north melbourne

Now of course I have not abandoned matching underwear entirely, but certainly way more often than not since motherhood. And probably making it worse is that plenty of what I own is in the ‘it probably should not even be used as a duster‘ category! To shame myself further the last new bras I bought were all maternity bras (at least I am not wearing them anymore!). However since my child has just turned five (proof below) ‘overdue purchase’ is a slight understatement. I knew this, I have had intentions, but clearly needed a round tuit. So thank you Real Women for being my round tuit. I wandered into town last Friday and came home with a new bra and matching underwear. When I put them in my underwear drawer it was immediately obvious and really hit home how dinosaurian the rest are. I then felt totally fabulous the next day when wearing the new – there is better shape and fit in the new compared to the old. I will not be stopping this behaviour. The proverbial asteroid is wiping out my dinosaur underwear. Anything you haven’t got around to?

5 year old birthday cake rainbow north melbourne

Baked last week – proof of 5 years!

Always leave work on time

How I imagined my life would be after finishing ‘the big job’ and how it is now are not in full synchronicity. I think this is why quite a lot of ‘always leave the office on time’ resonated with me. I was really good in how I went about what I did with my time the first month, perhaps even most of the second month after concluding work. However there has been some reversion to ‘type’ – I did 12 hours in one day in my casual job last week, into the small hours of the night. What was good though is that I recognised it straight away. This Saturday just passed I was the me of old, lethargic and perhaps even a touch stroppy, and I called it out immediately. It felt just like when I had my big job – who is getting the best of me? So number 4 below is the proverbial nail on the head for me. Time to summon back that girl who went wild making jam and other crazy antics earlier in the year, before the reversion to type reasserts itself in an ongoing fashion. All encouragement welcome!

Any tips from those who have had successfully traversed this path?

north melbourne inspiration