Friday, September 18, 2009

Fat Black Puss

It never ceases to amaze me what people will search for on the internets.  First though, let me digress briefly. There's a point, I promise, and I'll get to it.

If you're a regular reader of my blog (hello to both of you) you're no doubt aware of the three furry babies in my life: Podae, Fatpuss and Grimth. I should write a book about them called The Very Furry Babies. It would sell to Very Little People and their Very Nice Parents, I'm sure.

I love these animals, even though they can be incredibly capricious and frustrating at times. They won't sit on my lap - I know, three cats and not one of them is a lap-sitter, which surely is the primary function of a cat? I should ask for a refund. And they vomit in hard-to-reach places from time to time. And every now and again I get a small, bloodied corpse deposited in the bedroom as a token of love. And they like nothing more than to smooch on me and fur up my clothes in the split-second before I leave the house ... but I take it all in my stride.

It's the price I pay for unconditional love, you see, and I consider it a small one. And after all,they do shower me with the odd burst of affection and caterwauling, Fatpuss especially (the caterwauling that is). Podder is better with affection, and Grimth? He's mainly food-driven. Though he does quite like a scratch on the head in the morning and will close his eyes in ecstasy if you get the spot juuuuuuust riiiiiiiiight.

Ahem, I've become distracted. What was I saying? Oh yes - that I blog about them every now and again, and tell you adoring stories of their latest adventures and quirks. Much as I've just done. See how I did that?

And when I blog about them, I tag each of the blog entries with their names. Podae, Fatpuss and Grimth. Which leads me to the point, after all. Sometimes when reviewing my blog stats I'm intrigued to see how people find me. Often it's through keywords they enter into Google. Vintage tea towels is a favourite, as is Ode to Friday, and oddly, who sang Lazy Sunday Afternoon as well.

But my favourite has got to be the one tag people are most definitely NOT searching for. Not in the context I use it, that's for sure.

Let me be direct. Fat Puss. Fat Pusses. Furry Fat Puss. Fat Black Puss.

Yep, you know what I mean. And I can guarantee that a photo of my lovely furry fat black puss, such as the one at the top of this post, is not what they are after!!!

So this post is in honour of my lovely furry fat black puss, and his clear internet - ahem, attraction. Fatpuss, you're the tops.

Photos are back!

Whoo hoo! My photos are allowed back into my blog when I post from work!

I have no idea what is different, but I am very pleased. THAT at least I know.

Of course, I have nothing momentous to say on this occasion - isn't it  always the way?

And so I will leave it at that. Ta da!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cate's crochet couture

Look what Cate Blanchett wore to the opening of a thing down at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square today!

It's a crochet dress! It looks like she's taken her nanna blanket and had it specially made into couture!

My word, if I ever needed any more proof that craft is the new cool, this is most definitely it. A crochet dress. A one-shouldered, full sleeved, ruffle-ornamented crochet dress. Worn without any sense of irony at all. Seriously, Cate Blanchett must be the only person in the world who could wear a nanna blanket and look good in it. And doesn't she? I especially like the double ruffle layer at the bottom.

Crochet couture. What boundaries will craft push next??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I has no oomph

I has no oomph today.

I slept badly last night - could it have been the Russian Blue pussycat in the bed overnight, snuggling his little furry body firmly against me? Why yes, I think it was.

Podae gets under the covers when it's cold, you see. He waits until I've fallen asleep and then he sneaks himself in and wedges himself in the triangle between my arm and my torso. Only his black nose and whiskers poke out.

And many years of owning pussins has trained me well in the Overnight Stowaway Cat department. I never roll over and squash him. I've been known to reflexively stick an arm out to stop My One True Love doing exactly that, before I even know I've done it - but I've never had to stop myself doing it. Consequently, the Podder knows exactly who to go to when he needs winter warmth.

I like the snuggles, but it does result in me having a lesser quality of sleep, as I'm sure my unconscious mind chants to itself throughout the night: Don't Flatten The Cat. Don't Flatten The Cat. Don't Flatten The Cat. It's got to have an impact, right?

This morning's impact is that I feel all limp and boneless. I has no energy. I has no oomph. I even has no appetite, and that's saying something.

I'm finding it hard just to sit up straight .... all I want to do is slither silently off my chair and lie in a puddle under the desk, sighing quietly to myself. It's not made any easier by my present state of mind, which simply wants to push aside all the hard decisions on my plate at the moment and just veg out. Seriously, if my brain was a vegetable right now, it would be a turnip.

Nearly one o'clock. Technically, I can go home in four hours and eight minutes.

Not that I'm counting, of course, oh no ....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to ....

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to ..... unleash this little beauty on the unsuspecting public!

Her name is Elly Fump.

On her right side she's made from Amy Butler upholstery print. On the reverse,
a Heather Bailey pattern.

Those legs? They're bits and pieces:
  • an old maroon and gold-flecked paisley I once made cushions from- handmade, as in, I stitched every stitch by hand with a needle. This was in the days before I owned a sewing machine.
  • a lovely terracotta polka dot
  • a pink and brown oddment
  • and the matching chocolate and white partner to the Heather Bailey print on the reverse side
She has lovely Alexander Henry inner ears, and on the outer of those flapping giants is a Michael Miller damask print I intended to make a skirt out of but never got around to.

Elly Fump's coming with me to the Shirt and Skirt Market this Sunday. It's meant to be a lovely day - 23 degrees and no rain until later in the afternoon. Hooray, because I hate it when it rains on market days!

And the best part about Elly Fump? I think it's that lovely pink pom-pom tail.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today's horoscope says .....

Aries: The personal touch proves decisive in your getting hired. Venus, the planet of diplomacy, gives you an easy manner, so go with your first instinct. A new job will challenge your expectations, but concentrate first on getting in the door. You can negotiate terms once your position is made clear.

This is my second job-related horoscope in two weeks. This seems very signficant.....

PS, these tulips came from the garden, they got blown down in those crazy winds two days ago and I didn't want them to die. Tulips keep growing if you cut them, did you know that? So I chopped these ones off and now they look fantastic in this vase, and they're not limp anymore. The variety is called Batavia, and the colour is somewhere between salmon, terracotta, orange and pink. The cups are as big as my palm with fingers extended. Seriously.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why do you like markets?

Right, since I'm at home at the moment (and yes, it's a Saturday night at ten to nine and my life is so wildly exciting that I'm blogging .....) - let's leave that aside for the minute - I have decided to post a few photos that have been longing to make it into the big wide world.

In order, they are "Up All Night" Hoot [primary fabric Tablecloth something or other by Anna Griffin], "There's A Butler In My Garden" Hoot [primary fabric Lotus Garland by Amy Butler and Sway by Heather Bailey on the wings' reverse], and "Mirabella Magic" Hoot [out of Mirabella by Alexander Henry plus some Vintage Dots by Michael Miller on the inside of the wings and Bijoux in Cinnamon on the outside, by Heather Bailey].

I made these Hoots up for my recent Rose St Market, which was a bit of a rubbish day in the end because I was fighting a massive headache on the day. The kind of headache where you try to stay as still as possible - as much to try and not throw up on anyone as to reduce the strobing pain in your skull. Coz, you know, throwing up on a prospective customer is not a good look. It's really not.

I find that on the market days where I can't really engage with people; either because of the sort of incredible pain which is capable of killing a small pony (truly, I never really had an appreciation for what a migraine means, before I had one) .... or simply because I've had a hard week at work and I'm tired, or because it's a cold day and the wind is blowing and I can't feel my fingers anymore, or something equally banal ..... those are the days I don't make as many sales.

Is it because when I'm bubbly I'm naturally more engaging, a better salesperson?

I don't think so. I think it's because when you go to a market - ok, let's take that out of the third person - when *I* go to a market, I like to look at all the stuff on the stall, sure. But what I really like is hearing the artist's story. Why do they make their own particular sort of crafty stuff? What gives them their ideas?

I enjoy hearing about all the curiosities that make up a certain person's approach to things. That's what makes a market personal to me. And so when I'm feeling rubbish, I don't chat about my own individual stories to my customers, and so there's no connection there for them. Just products. And products on their own ... well, they're lovely of course, but it's the stories that bring them to life, don't you think?

What do you like best about markets? I mean, aside from the fantastic and marvellous products we all create, obviously. And our clear and stellar talent, of course. And our patent good looks.

But besides that - what do you love about visiting markets, whether you're a crafty maker yourself, or simply someone out to enjoy the adventure?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Calling all Nannas!

Just got forwarded this email - I think it's a great venture!

The NannaTechnology Project starts today- living simply for our future
Spring has sprung and there is no better time to launch the NannaTechnology Project. With spring comes light and growth and the urge to get active again after months of hibernation- perfect for launching a project which aims to bring people together, and learn and share the skills from our Nannas across the country. The NannaTechnology Project is all about living simply for our future.

Today we no longer have to knit late at night, garden when nobody is looking and pretend not to enjoy baking. From today we can celebrate the skills we have learnt from our Nannas and share them with others who also enjoy them.

The NannaTechnology Project shines the spotlight on a silent movement emerging in our communities. The return of homemade, handmade, knowing your neighbours, growing your own and slowing down. NannaTechnology represents a lifestyle that is better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.

The NannaTechnology Project is harvesting Nanna's wisdom, experience and skills to create a new wave of Nannas. The Project identifies the skill-set we need for our future and is now actively seeking them from Nannas across the country. These skills will be matched with a new generation of Nannas and distributed far and wide to be shared with anyone who is seeking a simpler, healthier life.

Visit the shiny new website
Its starts with the website that brings together people and organisations living the Nanna lifestyle and Nannas across the country to share and swap information, tools, tips, tricks, recipes and thoughts on how to live a simpler, more sustainable life.
It will evolve as Nannas young and old bring their wisdom to the project - so we need you.
It is split into sections to capture the skills we are seeking - Cook - Grow - Clean - Save - Make - Live

Check it out -

The Spring Harvest - harvesting Nanna's tips, tricks and stories
The website needs you. It's Spring Harvest time and we want your Nanna's stories, tips and tricks, recipes and wisdom to share with others. Chat with your Nanna over a cup of tea, cook with your Nanna, plant seedlings with your Nanna, stroll with you Nanna, learn from her and we'd love you to share this with us. Send stories, recipes, photos and snippets of information to

Calling all Nannas- join The NannaTechnology Project
Young and old.
We need you.
We need your wisdom, skills and experience.
Sign up now.
Share your stories.
Come along to learn from others.
Share with us how to sew, cook, preserve, garden, clean, save, make stuff and slow down.
Get involved and bring a friend.
Email contact details to:
Bring a Friend - the more the merrier

We want to grow our contact list to spread Nanna's skills and wisdom far and wide so forward this email to anyone seeking a simpler, healthier and more sustainable life. All they need to do it email their contact details to:

Why NannaTechnology - how the project came to be
The NannaTechnology project grew from a group of young women realising that they were becoming a Nanna ahead of their time and loving it. They found by taking time to smell the roses, learning to garden, bake and cook and learning to make stuff, it made them happy. It was a much needed escape from an ever busier world. And they weren’t alone. By embracing their inner Nanna and telling others about it, there were many more Nannas just waiting to be unleashed.

Let the cooking, growing, cleaning, saving, making and living begin!

A ban on photos - what gives?

It's been a long time between updates. Want to know why?

My work - as if it didn't eat up enough of my life already - has done something weird to the firewall, and it means I can't upload photos to Blogger in the office anymore. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything that can be done?

Because I think: well, I'll post when I get home.

And I spend all day composing the perfect post in my head, artfully arranging witty dialogue and clever repartee, and then of course by the time I finally drag my sorry self in through the front door, it's dark and I'm too tired to type and the post vanishes into thin air. Poof.

I've got to work something out. I need regular Blogger access! I want my lunchtime fix. I've realised just how important to me it is. It's true isn't it, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone, even if "it" is simply a fibre-optic cable with internet access and a pipeline of photos piled up in backlog.

This blog is my emotional sinkhole right now, and without it I feel .... kind of slightly less than my whole self.

So I won't spend today listing all the things that have happened over the past week. What I will say is that there's news coming soon. If all the pieces fall into the right place at the right time, it's going to be GOOD news, too - and that's fantastic. Can't wait!

Keep your fingers crossed for me ....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A minor brush with fame

Yay! I've just packaged up "I Ate Too Many Buttercups" Hoot, who is flying off to a lovely bloke in America tomorrow.

He was looking for a present for his niece and thought my Hoot was just the ticket. Hip hip hooray!

I made up a little drawstring bag for Hoot to go in, too. It's bright yellow with white polka dots, and I've threaded it with a lovely pink ribbon. That should brighten up the parcel a bit.

Right now though, I'm off to make a few new ones for the Made N Thornbury market on Saturday. I want to make sure I'm all stocked up with gorgeous little toys. I really love this market, it has such a nice community vibe to it and there are always lots of people who come to visit.

It's going to be a squeeze this Saturday, because after the market finishes at three in the afternoon, I've got to pack up my stall like lightning, shove all the boxes in the back of the car My One True Love will drive up, and then together we will spin off to the airport with tyres screeching and the wind in our hair.

I'm catching a plane to Sydney, you see, a little more than an hour after the market finishes. I'm off to Sidders for a girls' weekend with Mountaingirl and the Sister Of My Heart. There's Avenue Q in there somewhere (the Muppet musical), and hopefully a whole lot of Project Runway - Mountaingirl's taped the en-TIRE series and - bless her - is waiting to watch it with me, I so admire her restraint as I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to demonstrate such self control!

Hey, that reminds me - the guy from the last series, the one who styled like Vivienne Westwood, the one who came second? I saw him at the Rose St Artist Market last weekend! He was wandering around looking at things (not my stall, probably not a lot of call for children's items in his life I'd say) and if I'd been capable of moving or speaking past the massive, massive headache I was trying not to vomit through, I'd have run up to him and screeched You Should Have Won!!

Lucky for him, I was rooted to the spot. Maybe next time .....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Tuesday and I can't wait .....

.... to start using this fabulous vintage apron pattern that just arrived in the mail!

Have I mentioned how much I love mail, especially the kind that comes with packages attached? Why yes, I do believe I have. So you will understand how excited I was to find THIS in the mailbox waiting for me.

It comes to me from a very special reader who dug it up after seeing my call for The Great Apron Gathering. Thank you so much Gwen, I absolutely love it! And I love it even more that you went to the effort of finding it, packaging it up, posting it and donating it.

As Gwen pointed out in the lovely note she wrote me, the pattern is so old that it's priced in pounds and shillings - fantastic. I quite adore the little black dress the model is wearing underneath her aprons too. Isn't that just the kind of thing we all do our cooking in? Of course it is. How chic!

And the shape of the apron is wonderful, too.... I've half a mind to put a proper back on the skirt and turn it into a pinafore of sorts. Wouldn't that be gorgeous? I fancy the yellow one with black and white trim, that's just my sort of thing.

In fact, I think I've got just the right material for something along those lines ... but it will have to wait until I've made a few aprons for the Sacred Heart Mission first. I love having a project.
Thanks again Gwen!