Thursday, April 29, 2010

A brush with indecent exposure

After my deliberations about what to bring for this trip I finally settled on the answer - everything.

I packed for every eventuality I could think of. Pants, shorts (yes, I found some at Sussan, bless them), tops, t-shirts, shoes, new jammies, etc etc ...... and swimmers.

Yesterday I went for a swim in those swimmers, and a lovely pleasant time I had too, bobbing around in the pool trying desperately to cool down my core body temperature after the run I just finished which nearly caused me to overheat and expire on the running track. (Here, going for a 40 minute jog feels like oh, a 2-hour jog at home, due to the heat and humidity. Oops. I won't be doing that again without some water.)

After I felt my face diminish from beetroot red to a simple tomato, I got out of the pool and had a shower to wash the chlorine off. Peeling the swimmers off me, I suddenly noticed that my boy-leg pants were almost completely see-through in the rear.


Now it's true that I haven't worn those swimmers in a while - I've been managing a shoulder injury and the physio has instructed me not to swim. So I haven't worn those swimmers since - say, about November - and just chucked them into my bag without thinking twice. Clearly over the intervening six months, the lycra has degraded to the point where they are now totally indecent.

Panic began to set in, because tomorrow I am going on a three-day induction camping trip (and incidentally I haven't camped since I was seven years old and got stuck up a dead tree in the middle of a lake and had to be rescued by two of my cousins) - and I will most definitely be needing swimmers of the non-see-through variety for that trip.

And here we are in Kununurra - what are the chances of being able to find boy-leg pants and a tank top - NOT halterneck - in Kununurra, when I can't even find them in Melbourne?? I was almost hyperventilating.

So during a break in our full-day seminar session yesterday, I whisked myself off into the town centre, which is tiny. I tried a shop or two. No luck. My hands began to shake. My mind began to race. No swimmers! I mean, yes, there were swimmers, but I am not a tiny-pant-and-boob- tube kind of swimmers person. I need coverage. I want no visible bikini line thanks very much. I am a boy leg and tank top (NOT halterneck) person. I think I've mentioned that already.

Rounding the corner of the shopping centre my eyes lit on a building, and it was as if the clouds in the heavens opened up and choirs of angels sang to me. Target! Oh my god, even better -- Target Country!

Ten minutes later, I was the proud owner of the perfect pair of swimmers. Turquoise green boy leg pants with a matching tank top - not halterneck. With built-in ahem, support, in the bust. For the grand total of $50. I couldn't have been happier if .... (well, here I was going to say if I'd won the lottery, but that would be exaggerating .....) if I tried.

I tested them out in the pool last night, under the stars, and they were perfect. Utterly perfect.

I think today I'm going to go back and buy exactly the same pair in black. You never know when you might need a second pair, right?

(PS, for a laugh, you should also know that I managed to pack a total of 28.6 kilograms of luggage .... and still managed to forget the special tropical strength insect repellent My One True Love specially bought for me and was therefore feasted upon by massive, monstrous tropical strength mosquitoes on the very first night here. I have since remedied that error.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kununurra, the last frontier

The shire of Kununurra used to be known as "the last frontier" of the East Kimberlies. Having been here only a little over 24 hours now, I can understand why.

It wasn't the three (three!) freshwater crocs I saw yesterday evening, nor the bat that swooped in and climbed up a railing near our dinner table, or the giant lizard or the monster catfish. Though those things helped. 

The town (population around 3,000) lies right on the edge of civilisation. It's truly a physical frontier environment - in over 424,000 square kilometres of land, there is approximately 1 person per 12.5 square kilometres. Work intruding on your life? Need space in your relationship? This is the place to come. 

And it's a strange cross between the proverbial ragged ranges and the barren desert. The dirt is red like blood and the sky is the colour of sapphires. At four o'clock in the afternoon, gun-metal grey clouds move in low and open up, throwing down the last fat gasps of the wet season.

The Kimberley ranges lie off to the south, where running out of water basically means running out of life as well. Getting lost is a ticket to hell. The cold can kill you at nighttime and the sun can kill you in the day. All in all, it's a spot where people survive on the proverbial knife blade.

For all that though, there's a sense of vibrant life brimming around the area. Money is pouring into the region via the Government's stimulus package, and various investment initiatives - too numerous to count - are designed to assist and support industry, irrigation, mining, people and services around Kununurra. For example, there are 19 separate programs aimed at helping the young Aboriginal kids here - of which there are about 700. So there's a lot of activity and it's not all connected or coordinated. 

Package that up with the overwhelming openness that comes from the landscape, a certain kind of freedom that you feel in the isolation here, and a peculiar brand of recklessness that results, and there you have the second kind of frontier I'm referring to - the psychological frontier.

It's the feeling of a town on the edge. The edge of what, I'm not sure.... but it permeates the air, this feeling of possibility teamed with hopelessness, of vibrancy paired with apathy. There's optimism and indifference, in equal amounts. I get the sense that many of the people and organisations are hacking their way through the undergrowth of the metaphorical jungle, trying to carve a way through to something better.

They're pioneers, almost, in a place where western civilisation has only been in existence for 40 years - and trying to bring everyone along on a journey where maybe we're driving too fast, but slowing down could be disastrous. Social norms here are different, or non-existent. Some of the problems run so deep, and are so interconnected, that untangling them seems like an inconceivable prospect.

How can change be effected in an environment like this?

It's one of the questions we're here to consider, and I think it's going to be a long road - but I'm hoping for lots of fascinating stops along the way. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My mum's handknitted mittens

When she came to visit over Easter, mum handed me a big bag about 10 seconds after she arrived. Ooo, excitement. Weighing it up in my hands, I thought ... hmm, early birthday present?

I opened the bag and inside there were umpteen pairs of wonderful handknitted winter mittens in every colour of the rainbow. Marvellous! Much better!

They're arm warmers to be specific and precise, as they have thumb holes and the rest of your fingers poke through. They're convenient for driving, opening a jar, patting the cat, or anything else you may want to do in winter without taking your gloves off and freezing your hands.

Now, this wasn't a random thing. No, this was a carefully planned strategy. Last winter, you see, mum gave me half a dozen beautiful handknitted woollen beanies for my market stall, and every single one of them sold in just four weeks. (And all of them were bought by men - at a craft - market, which I thought was unusual.)

Knowing how Melburnians love to layer, this gave me the idea for some armwarmers as well - don't we all love a good arm warmer in winter? I know I do.

But I can't knit, not one jot. My mum on the other hand .... you know how good she is. So I suggested it to her, promised her 100% of the proceeds, and now here were 18 pairs of lovely winter woollen mittens ready for sale. I'm not counting the pair in deep purples and aubergines that I immediately snaffled for myself.

So I put them on the stall on Sunday, and NINE PAIRS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE. You remember how hot it was on Sunday, don't you? All 27 degrees of it? Balmy indian summer day? And yet, even in the warmth of the summery goodness, these mittens were - ahem - hot property.

Clearly everyone loves my mum's unique handknitted mittens as much as I do. Clearly, I'm going to have to ask her for some more ..... so that I have some stock left for when it's actually cold, if I'm lucky. Clearly, I need to convert mum into my personal knitting machine.

Get yours now on Etsy if you don't want to miss out ...... I can't guarantee they're going to last for long!

Friday, April 23, 2010

But what will I wear?

So I am standing in front of my wardrobe. Actually that's a lie. I am standing in front of *one* of my wardrobes, because I actually have three. And a chest of drawers. And randomly scattered piles of clothes living in metaphorical "wardrobes" around the house, admittedly some of them on the floor - the "floordrobe" as a highly esteemed colleague cleverly termed it - but all of that doesn't sound as snappy to say, so for the purposes of this post let's just refer to it all as one big mammoth overstuffed wardrobe.

To recap, I'm standing in front of my wardrobe. And I have absolutely, positively nothing to wear.

My secondment to Kununurra starts on Tuesday next week, and I'm currently struggling with the biggest challenge of all - not "how do I unravel some of the complexities of the impact of welfare and alcohol on the Indigenous communities in the area", but the much more serious question of what does one pack to wear for five weeks away in the East Kimberlies?

I've been advised to dress down for the office in Kununurra. Corporate wear is unheard of (which is perfectly understandable, because who would shoehorn yourself into the full kit of suit, stockings, heels and accessories unless you had to?) and everyone there wears t-shirts and three-quarter pants. Of which I own precisely none.

I've been advised to bring "dress shorts" - is there such a thing? - and "weekend shorts" and "smart sandals". Sandals! I think the last time I owned a pair of sandals was also probably in primary school. And then there's the question of the shorts themselves ..... I have no idea of what constitutes a "dress short" as opposed to a "weekend short". All shorts are weekend items in my opinion. In fact, shorts of all kinds are quite foreign to me. Do my black linen Laura Ashley shorts count as dress shorts? Or are they *too* dressy? Or are they weekend? Oh, the quandary.

The temperature gets up past thirty-five degrees most days - so I need light, floaty things with long sleeves that will perform the dual function of keeping me cool as well as keeping as much sun as possible off my skin - but the weather gets down to 15 degrees at night, so I'll also need pants and cardies and possibly a jacket. Maybe leggings, as an alternative?

And how do I choose which cardy and jacket to take? It's beginning to dawn on me that I won't be able to coordinate all my outfits, shoes and accessories as I usually do. And not coordinating is anathema to me - I simply do not know how to do it. If by some chance it happens accidentally (usually when I'm packing my gym bag the night before), then I spend all day feeling wrong and broken and awkward and have to go home and change at the first opportunity before the panic completely takes over. Not coordinating will be - I don't know - it's pathological. It's part of me. It's who I AM, dammit, it's my identity!!

Ahem. Do you see what even the mere thought of not coordinating does to me?? I've never had any talent for the 'capsule wardrobe'.

I can't make it simple by just taking black clothes either, for two reasons: one, I'll boil to a crisp with all that absorbed heat, and two, no one will take me seriously, and both things - either death or dismissal - will doom me before I even start. People in the country just don't wear black in the same way Melburnians do. (In fact, not many people anywhere wear black in the same way that Melburnians do, a fact for which we should be profoundly grateful). So I will be taking colours, which is totally fine with me because I love colour, but how am I going to match everything to just one or two cardies? Impossible.

And then there's pajamas. I have to buy pajamas too, because I'm not only sharing accommodation with my other fellow secondees, but - get this - I will be sharing a room. You heard me right. A ROOM. A room! I haven't shared a room with anyone except My One True Love in over a decade, and he is challenging enough. And so I need jammies, not little camisole-y jammies that are actually comfy to sleep in for the hot weather, but proper shorty pajamas of the kind I haven't owned since, oh, primary school at least, so that I am decent enough to walk from bedroom to bathroom in mixed company. Where exactly does one buy shorty pajamas - as winter approaches and all the shops are filled with flannelette? Why especially didn't I think of this a month ago, when I had time and I could have *made* some??

AND, as if that weren't enough to think about, there are the Kununurra Races on while I'm there. There's a fashion on the field competition. But here's the rub, can I also squeeze racewear (and a hat) into what is already going to be a clearly overstuffed suitcase??

Then there's swimmers, and a sleeping bag (I have to bring it), and toiletries, and at least four pairs of shoes - running shoes, aforementioned sandals, weekend shoes and thongs - plus a nice outfit for dinners, and a hat, and buckets of sunscreen, and two sets of exercise gear, and, and, and, and, and I'm beginning to hyperventilate now.

Oh dear. I think I need to go and sit down, with a cool drink, and start meticulously planning. Then I'll do a trial pack, and leave it overnight while I sleep on things, and then in the morning when I wake up my subconscious will have sorted it out and I'll know what I need to take out and what I should put in instead.

Now, if I just do that for each of the four nights left before I go, I should be fine. 

I'm sure of it. I'll be fine. I'll be fine. (insert agitated rocking in a corner here......)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Creative Space

In a last-minute cramming of creativity before I leave for Kununurra next Tuesday (eep!), I am taking the opportunity to finish off a small pile of orders.

Here in the picture are four fabrics that I'm going to use for a series of matching doorstops - a lovely lady has requested one for each of the main doors in her home - I'm guessing three bedrooms and the main bathroom? Or two bedrooms, the bathroom and the back door?

Yesterday was the first time it really struck me that I'm about to go away for five weeks (yes, I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes) and the impact practically caved in my pre-frontal cortex. Five weeks .... without my sewing machine.

Gasp. I think the last time I had five weeks away from my beloved sewing machine was probably in the time before I learnt how to sew. Let us refer to it as The Pre-Creativity Period. It is an ancient time, lost in the darkened, spidery corridors of early Flickettysplits history.

Five weeks! So what on earth am I going to do in the evenings and on weekends? I mean, I know there will be all sorts of natural wonder to gape at, like the Bungle Bungles and the Diamond Mine and Lake Ord and the art galleries and all of that .... but that is not going to be enough.

I need something to do with my hands. Like a cigarette smoker, if I don't have something crafty in my hands, I'll eat instead, and then I'll be the size of a house when I come home, because five weeks of mindless eating is going to add up, that's for sure.

What are your suggestions? I'm thinking maybe I could use the time to learn how to embroider - all I'd need is a hoop, enough linen to toss out the really bad early attempts, a needle and some black thread. What kind of needle though? And what kind of thread? I don't know the first thing about what I should buy to take with me!

Help, dear fellow crafters, please help - I need your suggestions!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The elder of the twinset

Ta da!

The twinset continues to grow - here is the first installment in all its glory.

Isn't it wonderful? It arrived in the post last night, along with strict instructions to NEVER NEVER NEVER wash it - drycleaning only - due to the incredible fineness of the merino wool.

You can see just how delicate and lovely it is. It's going to be perfect worn with a little camisole underneath or alternately, a long sleeved black or white top. So striking!

I am longing to try it out .... but first this unseasonally warm Melbourne weather has to end. Because otherwise I will have to wait FIVE WEEKS until I get back from Kununurra, due to it being excessively hot up there of course and me not needing to pack any kind of a woolly thing at all......


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

love poem

when I look

inside my chest

among the glistening viscera

I see a shadow of you

sitting there on my heart

and you’re up to your knees in my blood

(with thanks to munstre for the lightbox picture)

Monday, April 19, 2010

My secondment to Kununurra ....

So, it’s about time I gave some detail on this secondment to Kununurra, isn’t it? Seeing as I’m leaving next Tuesday, and time is rapidly running out ….

One of the good things about working for a large and profitable organisation is that it has a lot of money to devote to community programs. My company does an immense amount of good work across Australia and we’re recognised for the contribution we make. It’s a nice side-effect of being hugely successful.

Our community work is in fact one of the really rewarding things about working here, in fact. Every year we get two days of paid volunteer leave – last year I helped out at the Sacred Heart food kitchen, and it was an eye-opening experience.

The secondment I’m about to embark on is an extension of that volunteering program. It’s medium-term skilled volunteering, hence the five-week duration; and the program is part of our reconciliation action plan.

I’ll be spending the time with an Indigenous NGO (non-government organisation) in Kununurra, in the remote East Kimberlies. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to discuss externally, so until I find out otherwise I’ll keep things vague enough here so that no person or group is specifically identified.

I know I was selected because the project I’ll be working on is a complex one, with a lot of ambiguity – and I’m good at dealing with ambiguity and change. The organisation wants some input around creating a strategic plan, itemising some clear actions to articulate the plan, thinking creatively about identifying and developing young Indigenous leaders in the surrounding communities, some strategic mentoring and facilitation, and long-term communications planning. I can do all that.

But what exactly will I be doing, I hear you ask? The answer is that I don’t really know yet. And I don’t expect to know until I get up there and start talking with people.

I think that’s part of the challenge, which is to begin thinking and questioning and talking it over with my friends and family – so that there’s an element of becoming an advocate for the program and stimulating other people to perhaps think about things too.

So please, consider this post the first part of a series relating to my secondment – I’ll try to update things as regularly as I can over the time I’m away.

I’m leaving in just over a week, and I’ll be gone til the first week of June. My heart’s beating pretty hard in my chest at the delicious thought of being away from work for that long – I’ve never had that much time off work before. Since I was 18, in fact, I’ve worked through all my uni semester breaks, and I started a full-time job when I was 21, so that makes ….. a really long time since I’ve had a five week break. On reflection, it may well have been the Christmas period when I was in Year 10, before I got a weekend job.

That’s a long time. But I digress. I won’t be on holiday, I’ll be working – but it will be in a completely different way, and I’m excited at the prospect.

So the rest of this week will be spent in briefings - crocodile briefings (yes, seriously), 4WD training, cultural appreciation, planning a side-trip to the Argyle Diamond Mine (heh heh heh) …. can’t wait!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Do you feel lucky, punk?

Ask yourself: do you feel lucky?

(Ah, there’s nothing quite like a classic movie quote to start off a new blog post.)

I started thinking about luck today, for various reasons. My name is a Latin word that means “lucky” – it’s a charming happenstance of my birth that I was given it, and I give due thanks to my parents for choosing it.

People have also said that I lead a charmed life – but perhaps that’s because they aren’t privy to all the hard work I put in behind the scenes. A duck paddling hard, that’s me – but in public, I’m sailing along smoothly, preening my feathers and eating the odd worm.

I do consider myself to be lucky, though, and maybe that’s a by-product of my naturally optimistic outlook. I mean, I’m not especially lucky in the “omigod I’ve just won the lottery” sense – more’s the pity - (hm, I’d have to buy a ticket though, wouldn’t I?) – it’s more that I’m lucky in the “isn’t it great that this wonderful/terrible thing befell me” kind of way.

To wit: last year at work I had this manager – we didn't get on. But you know what? Having had that manager turned out to be good ….. in the end.

For example, if I hadn’t had that manager, I wouldn’t have had to leave my old job. And if I hadn’t left my old job and moved into this new role, I probably wouldn’t have been able to take up this secondment in Kununurra, because my previous manager probably wouldn’t have been able to spare me for five weeks.

See how I did that? I can justify anything. AN-Y-THING.

I tell you, it’s a talent. Just ask my friends, or My One True Love.

I often think that luck is what you make it, but that there is also a half-chance/half-choice influence in there as well. What’s that old saying? If life throws you lemons, then make lemonade? It’s the same thing.

So bring on the lemons, I’m ready to juice them!

PS, if you're wondering how on earth the photos are connected to this post, they are of a free charm square pack that arrived in the mail today - I won it a few weeks ago, because I was the first person to reply to a question in a newsletter sent out by a US fabric newsletter question. Yay! Lucky me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A bird in the hand

Sometimes, Australian fabric suppliers really surprise me.

A while ago, I saw - and fell in love with - Aviary Tangerine, a divine upholstery fabric by Thomas Paul which combines two of my favourite things: the colour orange, and a botanical line-drawing print.

It's easily available if you live in the States, which of course I don't, and so I emailed the US supplier to ask what I should do, seeing as they don't ship to Australia.(Yes, I was surprised too. They ship to Europe, they ship to South America, they ship all over the place - but they don't ship to Australia. Sigh.)

The very nice US supplier, Calico Corners, gave me the name of the Australian distributor. Bingo! Hooray! Success! A problem solved, etc.

So I emailed the Australia supplier and requested 10 yards - you know I always buy in bulk where I can.

And then I waited. And waited. And eventually, I forgot about it. That was THREE MONTHS ago.

I never received a reply from the Australian supplier, and to tell you the truth, I was mightily surprised. I mean, I know 10 yards isn't a huge amount, it's not like a massive order for fitting out a hotel or something, but still - I mean, it's ten yards. Ten yards is ten yards. It's a sale in a slow business economy, and isn't that worth something?

And as a customer who would buy 10 yards of a single fabric, am I also not the kind of customer who is worth investing in, considering that I may then make further purchases of different fabrics from the same supplier if I had a happy experience with them? Don't all businesses want their customers to have a good experience with them???

Yes, that's what I thought too. But to no avail. Clearly, I and my measly ten-yard order are not worth bothering with. So what to do?

Luckily for me, I happen to have a sister who lives in the States. Aha - a solution became obvious. And sure enough, after a few emails, I'd ordered the fabric from Calico Corners, they shipped it to my sister, she took it off the big roll it arrived on, repackaged it, and sent it to me for the princely sum of $75 postage instead of the original $266 it might have cost.

Yay for my sister! Wasn't that good of her? What would I have done otherwise?... I'd be fabric-less and unhappy.

So now I have my lovely fabric (and I added in two yards of a Sunbrella print while I was at it, to recover the long cushion on the outside teak daybed - see, Australian supplier, that is what you missed out on, a 12-YARD-ORDER of over $500, you silly supplier you).

As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or in this case, a bird in the hand is worth 12 yards I never managed to buy now mouldering away somewhere in the storeroom of an unresponsive Australian supplier in Melbourne who I will never, ever, bother wasting my time with again. Nyuuuuuuur.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Introducing .... Gerald, The Elephant In The Room

This is Gerald.

As soon as Gerald came to life on the sewing table, he jumped on a train and travelled into the city.

Gerald was going on a trip, you see, to meet his new owner in Sydney. He had to spend some time in the office first, but he was still excited - even though the office was boring with a capital B. He couldn't believe people had to go to this office every day.

Gerald had packed a bag the night before. He'd bought a ticket for the Skybus. He knew he had to hurry to catch the right one to get to the airport in time.

It proved more difficult than he imagined though, because people kept stopping to talk to him - and Gerald was a polite elephant who didn't want to be rude. So he talked to the people, who all exclaimed over his marvellous hide, and his wonderful ears, and his bespoke pom-pom tail in a coordinating yarn.

One man asked how Gerald knew he was a boy elephant, and Gerald thought long and hard before responding. "I know I am a boy", he said thoughtfully, "because I am inordinately fond of my trunk". The man laughed, and Gerald hurried off to the station.

Once at the airport, Gerald rushed through the x-ray machine, causing bystanders to stare and point as he slid down the conveyor belt, and he ran to the window. "What amazing planes"! he trumpeted.

Before be boarded though, Gerald had a few things to take care of.

First, he needed a new necklace, so he checked out the latest fashion accessories at Mimco. The shop assistant was somewhat bemused to see an elephant in the store, especially when he got on the counter, but she took it in her stride.

Then he trotted off to the bookstore to pick up a novel for the flight. He didn't want to get bored on the trip - he'd had enough of that at the office earlier in the day.

And he wanted to grab a coffee too - Gerald's favourite coffee is a short macchiato. He's quite a sophisticated elephant, really.

Once he had drunk his coffee, Gerald made sure to take some time to stop and smell the roses. He knew how important a thing this was to do, and he wanted to be able to tell his new owner he'd done all the right things on the way.

And then it was time to board - how exciting!!

Before he knew it, Gerald was aloft!! And after only a very short time, he arrived in Sydney.

He was so looking forward to meeting his new owner, the Sober Judge - he'd heard all about him and how nice a little boy he was.

Sure enough, he was a nice as Gerald had been told he was, and Gerald was so happy to be in his new home.

But he couldn't believe how big he was next to the Sober Judge - he'd expected to be a little bigger, but this was just ridiculous!

"Never mind", he said to the Sober Judge, "maybe now I can be your ride-on elephant instead!".

And the Sober Judge laughed happily. Gerald knew they were going to be the best of friends.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Creative Space: the mammoth task continues

So, dear reader, last week on My Creative Space I outlined the mammoth task currently confronting me, which is: Make Five Weeks Of Market Stock In A Little Less Than 21 Days While Working Full-Time, Fitting In The Necessary Exercise, And Still Trying To Have Some Kind Of Life.

Well, okay, so I didn't put it quite like that at the time. But in truth that's the task. And I'm pleased to say that I have progressed, dear readers, I have progressed. Whoo hoo!

In the past few days I have made half a dozen cushions, I've completed four fiddly pencil rolls, I finished an order, I made the EXTRA baby quilt for the Amateur Actress's new niece and sent it to Canberra so quickly that I forgot to take a photo of it, and I ticked off four new family peg bags. I think that's a pretty good effort!

So, now all I have left are six pencilrolls, some more cushions, another quilt (sigh), some eye pillows and heatpacks, the matching doorstops and snakes, and extra owl, cat and whale toys ..... right, I'm going to stop listing things now in case it starts making me depressed .....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My embryonic twinset develops

Ooo, isn't that a lovely creepy thought .... an embryonic twinset developing - growing - starting to kick its little woolly arms - breathing - feeding .... but what would a twinset feed on? It would have to be wool moths, surely.

Do you remember this post? About my lovely new embryonic twinset, made out of this wonderful merino wool?

Well, it's certainly coming along. My mother and father came to visit for Easter (bless them, it saved My One True Love and I from a whole iss-yew about finding cat sitters for the furry babies, never fun at the best of times but practically impossible on big holidays like Christmas and Easter) - and mum brought the twinset to work on.

Here it is in its current form - isn't it delicate and beautiful? I love it!

That lacy detail is just wonderful; it's going to be the perfect trans-seasonal piece, to borrow one of the fashion pack's fabulous phrases. (Now say it with me in a Tim Gunn accent: "well de-sign-ers, that could be  the per-fect trans-seasonal piece! Make it work.")

Mum hasn't done a lot of knitting lately, as it gets too hot at home to even bear thinking about loading oneself up with woolly goodness in one's lap during the summer months. And while the twinset is technically my birthday present, and my birthday is roaring up quite a bit quicker than I'd like, of course I won't actually have ANY need for woolly goodness for nearly two months - because I'm heading off to Kununurra on April 27 and won't be back until at least the first week of June.

Mum says it should certainly be ready by then, so that will be perfect timing. And what a lovely present to come home to! 

Grow, little twinset, grow ......

(PS - my mum is now an official Project Runway addict too, thanks to me lending her a series to see how she took to it .....)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Creative Space

There is so much to see in My Creative Space today that I couldn't possibly fit it all in!

I'm working on a small mountain of projects right now, in an attempt to make everything I need to for my June markets - because of course, I'm going away to Kununurra on secondment in around three weeks time, and I'll be away for six weeks, and I have a market in the first week of June straight after I get back. Then five markets following in quick succession  in the weeks following.

Usually I spend May creating lots of stock and having a "market month off" .... but this year I haven't got that luxury. So I'm wondering: is it possible to spend every moment not working, eating or sleeping, at the sewing machine? And more than is it possible - is it sane??

I have some pretty high goals right now. I need ten pencilrolls (at least), an assortment of cushions, around 15 more Hoots, some new Catticuses, a dozen doorstops and matching snakes, a dozen new fabric necklaces, and a collection of other small bits and pieces.

PLUS I have two baby quilts on order - one is needed by Tuesday, and the other is due for a baby that's arriving in May, so I have to get it ready before Anzac Day as I fly out shortly after.

Whew - that's a lot of work. But I'm up to it! Perhaps I should have put a photo of the spinning Tasmanian Devil here in this post instead, because that's kind of how I imagine I'm going to feel for the next little while .....