Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Does anybody except me and the lovely Yumptatious remember the Nigel Molesworth books by Ronald Searle?  They were fabulously funny, in a very english way, and were great reading when I was 9, 10, 11... her post about finding a copy of one of these also made me think of the Uncle books, by J. P. Martin, which are apparently now quite rare - they were illustrated by the fabulously talented Quentin Blake, who is famous, quite rightly, for illustrating the Roald Dahl books, but who has done many many other fantastic things:

Arabel's Raven

My local library had both in abundant supply, along with all of the Sue Barton Nurse novels (except one, which I've never found), and of course, Swallows and Amazons...  

Is it a sign of impending old age when you start to want to repurchase and re-read all the books from your childhood?  I bought a reprint of "Little Black Sambo" by Helen Bannerman - it's a gorgeous story, just ignore the people who tell you it's racist because of the name - it's about a brave little kid who outwits four hungry tigers... and I'm on the lookout for the Ladybird Cinderella, which was in the "Well Loved Tales" series - mine was exactly the same as this, and I had "The Princess and the Pea" too. Also, "Shopping with Mother" and "The Nurse"  - I just saw it for sale for 28 pounds sterling.  Wow.  I'm pretty sure it was about 2/6 when I had it.  Should have kept them, huh?

And this arrived in the mail:
NEW Joel Dewberry Deer Valley - Persimmon Palette - 7 Half-Yards - 3.5 Yards Total

Too gorgeous for words.  Need to stop buying & start making, methinks.  Need more hours in the day!

Oh yes, I almost forgot - the bunting:

Carefully taken down, folded & taken home for the bride by the chief bridesmaid.  I think it's a keeper!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Too pooped to pop...

I'm pretty sure that was a song title back in the day... anyway, it's done, they're wed, and it was absolutely gorgeous... lovely spot, down by the water at Glebe, everybody behaved as you would expect, there were no fights, nobody got falling-over drunk, the bride & groom left under their own steam before their guests (and why do I mention this?  Well, that's a story for another time...), and we were home in bed by 1.00am.


My favourite photo (well, that I took, anyway):

Just beautiful.

And the most unexpected photo of the day:

Who was she?   Who cares?  She knew a good thing when she saw it!

And finally, the funniest photo of the day:

He's got the flowers & she's trying to get the ring off.  Just look at that concentration!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Well, what a day...

So here, gentle reader, is what the beautiful beach at Newport looked like yesterday morning at about 7.40, when I was waiting for my bus to work:

This is what it normally looks like:

You may be able to tell I was standing in the middle of those Norfolk Pine trees when I took the photo.  Amazing.

This is my backyard as it normally looks:

This is what it was like at about 7.20 yesterday morning:

These came straight off my camera.  Incredible.  And so much fun to breathe in - I just left my nephew a message on Facebook saying how delightful it was to be blowing red snot yesterday... charming.  And we were breathing that in!  I can't believe the government didn't show a little leadership & tell us all to stay at home - oh wait, what am I saying?  This is the NSW government I'm talking about here.  D'oh.

I also had to chuckle at MWH's niece, who is here from Melbourne for THE WEDDING, who said "of course she had to come to Sydney for the freakin APOCALYPSE"... I was thinking of the Red Dwarf moment when Lister is really sick & dreams of it raining herring, and the mayor of Warsaw who spontaneously combusted in 1546, appears in his quarters.  

Some may think that the red dust may be the precursor to said Apocalypse, and I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of Rapture Ready loonies out there cutting down trees & peering through the haze looking for the one great magician to come & take them all away from this... oops.  Just slid off the soapbox.

Ah, it's so much fun out there... 

Happier news, The Bride took delivery of the bunting today, and sent me a lovely text message saying she absolutely loved [them], which is great to hear!  I just have to decide now if I'm going to wear the red shoes to the wedding or the black ones.... it's a tough choice... the bag I bought from the lovely Rowena would go well with either red or black...  opinions pls?

Champagne and ruby bloom -  luxury silk clutch bag

Oh, my outfit?  Black satin pants (yes, yes, I know, very 70's disco), a cream silk blouse & a black lace jacket-y coat-y thing.  Like a dolman coat but with almost a shawl collar... the lapels & collar are all one piece. Who cares what I'm wearing?  The BRIDE is wearing a beautiful Colette Dinnigan dress and she will look absolutely beautiful, because she is a beautiful person, in & out.   So exciting!

Pictures next week.  Now, dinner calls.  Well, it's more of a whimper, actually because of the BLT I had for lunch with Ms Creek... v. naughty.  Good thing I don't have to squeeze into that Colette Dinnigan dress!  Bye!  

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

West meets East

And the red rain falls out of the sky... 

Did anybody chance to check out Nostradamus today?  I'm sure the end of the world was predicted for today, but we forgot to notice.  Also, gross moment coming up, be warned - I blew my nose today & it was full of red dust.  No wonder my lungs hurt.

Check out my good friend Kaz's blog for a first hand glance at the dust, if you want!  This is where we spent the weekend. Looked a bit different this morning!

Check this out: When I came over The Bridge this morning, visibility was so low we couldn't even see the Opera House!

I took my camera to work today, what a nerd, hey?  My photos here tomorrow, honest.  Early start tomorrow, 5.30am.  Bed, sleep.  Dismissed.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


What a month September is turning out to be..although I'm not doing the 45 hour thingy anymore, I'm still pretty tired when I get home, but it's the routine - leave work at about 5.30pm, get a bus about 6.00, arrive home about 7.20 (yes, really), make dinner, lie on the lounge like an exhausted beached whale, go to bed, get up at 6.30am and do it all again.... and so far this month, I've been to Perth, the Hunter Valley this weekend, we've got THE WEDDING next weekend, the annual Festival of the Boot the weekend after.  I want a holiday!

However, I did spend some productive time sewing yesterday, for the first time in a couple of months I was able to spend some quality time talking to my sewing machine... maybe the trick to producing stuff is not to have too much fabric choice?  I took 3 linens & all those nice cottons (the pink, yellow, blue & green series) for linings, six ribbons & some zips, and I didn't have any problem chosing what to make!  

Some small items for the shop, then, after an age of not putting anything in there:

These are the perfect size for phone, credit cards & cash - these are the same size as the one I made for myself a while ago...

I spent some quality time with the best dog in the world, too - she's recovering nicely from her 2nd knee reconstruction, and is now walking (and falling) freely - but she was fine in the water, swimming with the swans:

And we went up the road to visit the French Quilter, who is making a gorgeous quilt using this:

Gorgeous... but apparently there isn't any more of that gorgeous red & blue to be had - shame!

Kaz's good friend Morag Laird came up for a visit too, and she made me some co-ordinating buttons:

And I took some flower shots in the French Quilter's garden:

And the surrounding landscape:

And then we played with the swans:

And I relaxed.  Can't you tell?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Aw shucks...

Thanks to my good friend Kaz, I was able to help out the very lovely Lulu Carter, whose iPhone had apparently left the building, bought the farm, fallen of the perch, you know.  Died.  It's hard sometimes being a geek girl, people ring you & ask some very strange questions, and phone support is very tricky, because you can't always see what others see - but this one was nice & easy, and of course, a pleasure...

Big day tomorrow, early start (5.30am), late night.  Off to sleep, now... but enjoy this - I'm thinking of making this my first patchwork quilt:

This is from Material Obsession Two, it's pretty simple except for one border & the applique...I don't really want to start patchworking seriously, because I think it's a slippery slope, but I would like to give it a burl... (that means "have a go")... should I?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Pussy cat pussy cat

Where have you been? I've been to London to visit the Queen. Well, actually, I zipped across the continent to visit my Mum, who lives on the other side of said continent. It was cold, 16C with wind and rain aplenty, but I managed to endure. So brave.

I lucked out on the way back, getting two seats to myself on the plane, an A330, which had EOD (which means, apparently, "Entertainment On Demand")... and it meant I could watch any move I liked from the somewhat sparse collection - and of course as a devoted lover of petticoats and bonnets, I chose "Young Victoria". Nicely done, they got most of the historical details right except at the very end, where they had her in mourning for dear departed Albert, wearing a blue dress.

Now, I'm the first to admit I don't know about a lot of things, but I do know a bit about the Victorians, a small obsession of mine for a number of years, and also about Mourning Dress - the Victorians had it down to a fine art, obsessed as they were by death (nearly as obsessed as we are with sex, just quietly)... and I know that a Victorian lady of quality, in the first year of her mourning, would never appear in any colour except unrelieved, plain old, black. Plenty of jet, sparkly black glass or sequins to catch the eye, but no colour. This particularly applies to the dear old Queen, who really drove the whole Victorian Mourning Clothing Industry by her somewhat obsessive "conspicuous" mourning for Albert.

It's also common knowledge that the present Queen always travels with a full set of mourning garments, so she can appear 'appropriately' garbed should the need require whilst she's off on a jaunt... so they certainly take it seriously... So, gentle reader, I was somewhat annoyed to see that they'd slipped up here.

Oh well, I'm just going to go off now & polish my collection of Jet brooches, and work on my letter to the producers - just kidding.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

To give, or not to give, that is the question..

The lovely Jo, over at Diary of a Sad Housewife posted an interesting question today about homeless people... do you give them money or not?  Apparently one of our fair city's better known beggars (which these people are, let's not mince words here) is making $400 a day just by sitting outside one of our bigger department stores, asking for help.

I have no issues with the guy, I just wonder how he fell into the homeless hole & why he can't get out of it... and also I'm not going to pass any moral judgements, because I'm reminded of that saying about "never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins..." but I don't make $400 a day by working hard.  

Also, I'm amazed how it's always the people who can least afford it who give money to beggars.  Those of us with more than we need (and let's not mince words here either, that's me) do it the tax deductible way... the people who give him cash money get nothing except a warm fuzzy feeling.

Anyway, my experience was an interesting one; as a general rule I turn down people on the street who ask me for money, but about 5 years ago, on the 20th December (a day of some significance in the Golightly household), also the day of our office Christmas lunch, I was going to the dentist.  A man approached me and asked for $2.80.  I just said "no, sorry" and walked on.  Then I thought about why he was asking for such a specific amount, so I turned back & asked him.  He told me he'd just been released from Prison, had accommodation for two nights & was trying to get the funds together to stay somewhere over the Christmas break, and thought he'd have more luck if he asked for a small amount.  I gave him $50 without even thinking about it.  

My husband's boss says I was scammed.  I don't care, I have to say.  What do you think?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Gee, Gerald...

I just found this blog when the lovely (well, I'm assuming he's lovely) [and I'm assuming he's a "he" - are there any girls called Gerald?] Gerald left a comment on my blog, reassuring me that there is an audience, although somewhat lurkbound, out there... yes, yes, I just made that word up.

Do English people say Gee?  I know Aussies do, "gee, mate, your ute's had the bomb", or "geez, I rekkon the chooks turned into Emus & kicked shit out of your fowlhouse, mate" (translations required?...)  

I love the way Blogger underlines everything I put that extra 'u' in, the 'u' which differentiates us Anglos from our American cousins - but only for some words - colour and honour are two that spring to mind immediately, (also neighbour, rumour & labour), but it doesn't do it for 'dangerous', 'tedious', 'humungus' (is that really a word?) - note to self, look it up online (it's actually 'humongous')...) oh yes, where was I?  That extra 'u'.  I believe Ben Franklin is to blame, but I'll be looking that up too.  Wikipedia suggests that it's to do with the root of the word, French words retaining the 'our' and Latin words retaining the 'or'.  Well.  Now you know.

Anyway, back to Gerald.  Gee, I like his blog (see, I knew I could sneak it into a normal sentence!).  He has lots of those lovely cartoons I used to see in Punch (I miss Punch.  It was so English.)  and obviously he has a great sense of humour (ha!) - check this out

And then I wasted spent valuable sewing time yesterday rummaging round in the innards of an old computer, cannabalising it to make a newer one (see, all that paying attention in class paid off!), but only after I'd been up to that evil, evil shop again and bought another set of blues & whites for Deb.. and Kaz's comment set me to thinking about the blues & whites in my house - of course, I was referring to homewares, and she was thinking of shoes & bags, so there is room for a little confusion - but anyway.. the proof of the pudding is in the bowl its served in, I always say:

and then:

and then:

and on the walls:

and their partners:

which I bought at Artscrawl, the annual HV Art Festival, with her right by my side.  The plates were my grandmothers, possibly even my great-grandmothers - not Isabella, but the other one - and there was once a cup to go with each of them, but they have disappeared into the mists of time.  The plates are not particularly valuable, but they are precious.

And the fabric?  Well, I will confess to a little more blue-and-whitery, just so I can add a little variety to the placemat set - and I love these:

I think the one on the left would make a stunning tablecloth, or even pillowcases.. then I went a little mad with some linens:

And some more of that fantastic blue & orange floral for the lining, and then I bought a bunch of 'little girl' fabrics - the sort of thing you used to see kids in before everything went pink lycra & sequins:

and finally, here they are drying on my rack outside in the lovely dappled sunshine - spring is here!

And now, gentle reader, off, to the ironing board!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

housewarming gifts

My friend Deb is in the process of buying a house, well, she will be when she can find one she likes - boy that girl is, well, not so much picky, as particular... I've seen about 10 houses in the last two months, but when you're buying the house of your dreams, you want it to be
absolutely perfect... so I thought I'd make her a housewarming gift... for the house that will eventuate!

So, I've bought some of this:

and some of this to go with it:

and I think they're gorgeous - but I've always had a bit of a blue & white fetish - one of my oldest possessions is a blue & white batik bedspread I bought in 1979, when I was in high school - it's only a double-bed size, so it doesn't go on the bed much any more, but it always looks so smart... and Deb has one of these large blue & white ginger jars which will look perfect with some cushions made from this, or maybe some placemats and a table runner?

Of course if the house doesn't come off, I can always keep the fabric for myself... just in case...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I made it myself...

I made a couple of these little guys for some people I know - one for my lovely friend GMcD, whose birthday it was the other week:

And one for Jo, at Diary of a Sad Housewife; I feel for her, she's in a crappy situation & sometimes the small things can help to cheer you up:

I love that each one of these guys has their own personality, their own life, and even though I cut them all from the same pattern, they all come out differently (and so cute!!!) - but how creepy is it that their eyes follow you round the room?  Just kidding.  Although the day they start talking back, I'm in trouble. 

I also got these in the mail:

& I'm trying to decide if it's okay to make frogs with fabric with owls on it - I guess it is - who's going to tell on me?  Aren't these gorgeous?  Suggestions please!