Purple cats, one-eyed gremlinbats and other ridiculously crafty activities going on around here

Say hello to Purple Cat. It certainly doesn’t look like the picture in the book but I am very proud of her. See that patterned belly? That is from one of mum’s old aprons from the 60s. See that BLANKET STITCH! Well underneath the blanket stitch on the belly is also a zig-zag edging to safeguard against fraying. See the fabric? It’s an old pillow case. I’m so THRIFTY!

Stop me now, I’m only moments away from referring to it as being ‘darling’.

See that felt? It comes from a little haberdashery shop in Mona Vale run by an elderly gentleman who seems to permanently have his reading glasses perched on the end of his nose. Well as permanently as I can allude to on two visits to the shop.

Her arms and legs are a bit thinner than I had imagined or wanted but that may be perhaps because I adhered to the seam allowance. I’ve decided I hate cutting out patterns and so there was no way I was cutting out four limbs all over again.

Meanwhile, Felix had made his own little pattern for a creature and waited as patiently as a nine and a half year old can for me to create it for him. Little was the operative word and I had to create a bigger version for him.

We’re not sure if its a bat, or a gremlin so, it’s the one-eyed gremlinbat. See those buttons? From the big jar mum has kept for decades. The eye is a crystally number but apparently I got it wrong as the button I used for it’s butt

was meant to be its eye. Whoops.

Oscar has requested a purple cat too (both he and Jasper claim purple as their favourite colour) and is waiting for it. I would say patiently but we know I don’t tend to lie over here.


If that wasn’t enough, the boys and I sanded back the Ikea table and chairs we’ve had since Oscar and Felix were teeny. The Ikea kids furniture is nowhere near as good as this anymore plus it’s all smaller. So, for the princely sum of $15.50 (two spray cans of gloss enamel paint) we have brand new furniture:

It was CRIMINAL how easy it was. AND it was touch dry in TEN minutes.
I KNOW so much news!
Do you remember several weeks back me telling you about this old wingback chair we had? That Mum and Dad had been given as a wedding present from some family friends? That was covered in delightful BLACK VINYL? With the springs falling out of the bottom? And that I’d bought some fabric from Ikea and we were getting it recovered? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Well, the upholsterer brought it back last night:

I am absolutely thrilled with the result:

Some of you are probably recoiling in horror, but I am in love:
And that should really do for one post. 


Toast has a new catalogue out.
Toast is one of those catalogues which tricks you.
It uses the most evocative photos to make things look like they are absolutely necessary.
I can gaze at its photos and imagine what my life would be like if I did actually have time to sit and look pensive and sexy all at the same time. In my pjs.
I’m of course never going to buy anything from it – apart from my phobias about ordering things online from overseas it is a UK company and therefore something that costs 30 pounds is like 500 bucks so all I do is gaze, mutter, murmur and imagine.

There are some things that could quite easily slot into my standard uniform.
This is even called the Easy Pullover. This is the kind of item that I could essentially live in. Each and every single day.
It has a v-neck and is green. The end.Cute, good size, nice colour, like the stitching.
This top? Over jeans? = me
These jeans? Because what I have in boobs and belly I lack in arse and hips = perfect.
I would love to wear this kind of thing
but as mentioned above, the boobs and the lack of a waist means I’d just look dumpy.

I saw these and immediately thought of Blackbird and Suse (who is on some blogging hiatus…)
You see, you put that top on me, or I attempt to wear anything described as ‘find, soft and gauzy’ as that long knit is and all you get is fat, lumpy and ugly. I have great legs but you’re never going to find me wearing opaque footless tights. Ever.
I’m just saying.

I always have much grief finding shirts or indeed ‘blouses’ to fit me – for starters there are the mammaries. Then there is the broad shoulders and back. Apparently I would have made an excellent long distance swimmer or runner. If the boobs hadn’t showed up sometime between 1983 and ’86.

On top of that, I have issues about my upper arms. I’ve had bingo wings since I was about 11. Oh you think I’m kidding but I remember tennis camp in the summer holidays of 1983-84 and being distinctly self conscious about my upper arms.
I know.
It’s a miracle I made it to adulthood.
So there are tops that are permanently out-of-bounds.
That orange band would disappear under my boobs faster than McDonalds goes down a three year old’s gullet. And just the thought of my arms on display in a shirt like this makes me all hot.

These shirts are so ‘now’ that there are way too many women wearing them who should know better. That sleeve? The gathering? The colour? Shudder.Shudder.Shudder.
The very term ‘cap sleeve’ spirals me into an anxiety attack on par with the idea of having to complete role plays at some professional development workshop at work. Oh sure, I’m an attention whore, it just has to be on my terms. This shirt is what you could put me in if there was some sort of ritual humiliation right-of-blogging-passage that had to take place. Seriously, don’t bother dumping my whole being into a bin or shoving me headfirst into a toilet, just make me wear this cap sleeved top with a belted tie and I will die a thousand deaths. Funny, because I work with someone who would wear this sort of top and totally pull it off. She has this whole retro, post WWI ‘look’ and she just works it. Effortlessly. I thought of her when I saw this dress
and this jacketwhich if I attempted to wear would make people spontaneously burst into laughter or ask whose fancy dress party I was going to.

About the only sleeveless item I can contemplate is a waistcoat.
I love that look for a woman. I need to be thinner to pull it off, but the idea of a work shirt, sleeves slightly rolled, open enough at the neck to show a bit of cleavage and waistcoat really do it for me. Take note of those shoes, I’m coming to them.

Speaking of dresses as I did briefly up there, before, I don’t wear them. Some shop assistant once told me that because of my body shape I should always wear a top and pants or skirt. I think I was about 14 so I was kind of impressionable and have therefore always bypassed dresses. Which you know, when I see what is on offer, don’t think is such a bad thing
My Nan used to wear something like that and I used to refer to any dress like is as an ‘Osti Number’ in homage to the brand that produced them in as many polyester floral prints as your mind can imagine.

I know who’d wear this one
Scrapbookers. That’s who.

For some reason this reminds me of some horror film involving exorcisms. But look, Toast manages to make it sexy

This dress is called the lazy day dressand you know what, while I dream of being able to carry such a look off, like this
I could never arch my eyebrows so purposefully or wear that many bangles without my neck permanently itching. Besides, I have come to accept that a lazy day dress would simply make me look lazy in that ‘gee, hasn’t she let herself go’ kinda way.

It strikes me that this has the stripes going in all manner of unflattering directions
and look,
even with mood lighting, a sexy face and a rope it still makes you look broad-beamed.

I don’t wear pyjamas. I find it all too restrictive. And I get too hot. But if I did they’d be something like this
My hair actually looks a little like that in the mornings although I can not vouch the legs would be that unhairy. I also doubt I’d be frying eggs outdoors with some throw around my shoulders but when an item is called glimmer dobby pyjamas and described as such

… very soft and light jacquard-weave cotton fabric with fine lines of silver glitter woven through it …

what is not to love.

I also like the concept of these are they are simply called plain organic cotton pyjamas and if I were a pair of pyjamas I believe that is how I would be described.
The pensive gaze is extra.

This however is just uncalled for
I’m just not sure you ever need to look like a Sith Lord, particularly when you’re watering the garden.
Might be fun if you need to creep out the neighbours though.

I tend to make disparaging remarks about the type of women who run the school p&c – that they wear beachcomber or Jesus sandals, khaki shorts, oversized t-shirts and ugly hats. And windsheeters. I never got the windsheeter. Perhaps its because our climate doesn’t really suit it or perhaps it is just a traumatic memory association to when I did own one as a child and found that all I did inside of it was condensate. And how that was just not enjoyable.

But I quite fancy this. That it’d be handy on those days when it can’t decide if it’s raining or not and I’m ferrying the hundreds of children we have to the eleventy gagillion afterschool and beforeschool activities they engage it.
I know I like it just because it’s green.

This, however, is just too much of a commitment, although I love an off-centre button arrangement.
Moving on.
Still with me?
Newsflash people, there are four words that should never be heard together
Tell me one person these would look good on.
Just one.

Now, because I have no issue with my arse or my thighs, I want one of these but with the skirt around the arms
I’m still baffled as to why anyone needs a cossie in the UK anyway.

I want some of these
and these
and these
and these
just so I can randomly throw myself up onto my tippy toes in some grotesque ballet pose.

But you know? Even Toast makes ugly shoes
It really doesn’t matter who sells them, a desert boot is a desert boot.
And therefore needs to be left in 1985.

What is it with these ughglee sandals at the moment. There is nothing flattering about any of these. Nothing.
even if its in this seasons it colour
et tu Brutus?
Yes Caesar. And I’m so sorry we didn’t bury all of these at the base of Mt Vesuvius.
Before it exploded.


Top 3 is a design store in Sydney my old boss ED put me on to. I adore it – they have the quirky, the weird and the desirable all rolled into one. I know I’m not their target market because a) I do not have disposable income and b) I do not live in any form of housing with water views and c) I do not have disposable income but I hang out at their site regularly.

This is an undated diary. Apparently it’s so you can set your own agenda.

A jewel tree. So handy if I had any.
I’m very taken with this idea. You can get different animals and scenes. They’re called wall puddles, which is just enchanting. And so much more desirable than ones of the floor. But somehow I know in our house, they’d fall off in the middle of the night. Behind the bookshelf. Never to be seen again.

This vinyl wall mural would not fall off. The children would pick it off instead.
I can imagine these in the renovated Paddington terracehouse of someone with no children which is white on white on white and sounds all echoey regardless of how many people are there for cocktails, who works in advertising, calls everyone pet or treasure or darl, has fingers laden with bvlgari jewels, goes to gallery openings and has a little place just a couple of hours out of Sydney ‘just to get away’. They manage to be kinda cool and very creepy all at the same time:
Creepy #1
Creepy #2
Creepy #3
(I’d half expect the hand to come alive and grab me. Squick!)

If real life kids don’t scare the bejeebus out of you, try a mirrored one climbing your wall. Boo.

It’s a doorstop

How awesome would this look in your loft appartment?
It’s a coat hook and while I love the idea, I know that ultimately, if I had to look at it each and every day? It would shit.me.to.tears.
These however I would become quite obsessive about

And this is similarly adorable. And it is a bottle opener. So you could open Vodka Cruisers and that makes it even more appealing.

Oh how I love the idea of sitting in my adirondack chairs in our perfectly manicured back yard with a tray of pastries, a pot of fresh coffee and the weekend broadsheet papers while some delightful finches frolicked gaily in and out of the bird feeder. As opposed to the reality of a yard crowded by a cubby house only used by spiders, a massive trampoline worth every.single.penny. and a neighbourhood wild animal urinal sandpit with patchy lawn, dust bowls and dog shit to negotiate around. And we don’t have finches, we have noisy miners. Rodents of the air.

I blame my schooling and my nature

that I really am quite the uniform wearer.
In that I find a style and stick to it.
Sure, I will attempt to reflect the current trend with a piece or an accessory but I really am a classic clothing wearing.
It’s really boring.
And dreadfully ‘safe’.
For example, I heart Sportscraft clothing and at one stage my entire wardrobe (work and casual) was all their creation.
You see, I don’t go out and buy ‘pieces’ each season or even every year.
I get all hot just thinking about going from store to store trying shit on and then trying to piece together in my brain what goes with what I already have in the clothing circulation.
I have accepted this limitation as I have a wardrobe full of white shirts and not enough bottoms as proof.
I think it falls into the same part of my brain that has to use the same type of peg and the same coloured peg on an article of clothing when hanging it out to dry.
If I’m wearing a Sportscraft pant, I want a Sportscraft shirt to go with.
And so on.
I know.
If I have bought something more eclectic from a boutique I still need to pair it with something I’ve bought in the same store.
Anyway, I just tend hit the stores about once every three to five years, spend a sizeable chunk of money and am done with it all.
I do not to discount outlets.
I generally can not do sales.
Crowds you see.
So anyway, while I’m quite happy with my stash from el cheapo Katies the other day, I have this thing for US chain clothing stores that you all go on about. I spend a stupid amount of time trawling through them for no other reason than I can’t sleep and it falls into my definition of fun. (Similarly today I wondered just how many times I can go here and stare at this lounge imagining how much it costs and that we will never ever own it and still do it over and over and over again.)
So behold.
Here is my homage to J Crew and how I believe Sportscraft is probably the closest Australian equivalent and yet so pathetically lacking in range in comparison (there are benefits to living in a country with eleventy gaillion people – that being infinite consumer delights).

For example, these pieces would be my working life wardrobe:

Granted, her boobs are about the size of my nipples and yes, there doesn’t appear to be even a hint of muffin-top while I can manage to produce a ploughman’s loaf, my legs are as good as those in the shots, I have broad shoulders and when I’m about 15kgs lighter than I currently am, I think I look pretty damn fine in my work gear.

I have a soft spot for jackets and yearn to live in a climate where I could own several and get some wear out of them. I love these a LOT (and yes, a large part of this love is because of colour and lining. I think the red one is actually the style Trinny and Susannah would say I should wear):

I would buy several of these:
(and yes, probably all of them would be green)
(again, it wouldn’t look anything like this on my body with boobs and bulges but I do know how handy they’d be as a b.a.s.e. garment to build upon)

I adore this
I mean, a POLAR FLEECE with a flattering neckline. Whodathunkit?

I’d buy a pair or two of these just to make me smile:
(the pants that is, not the beanie)

I’ve been told I should wear wrap dresses a lot more as I have the shoulders and boobs to carry it off and while I’d be willing to give these a go, it’s the back-boobs I’m worried about and I’m not convinced people would think I was having a FIFTH child if I wore the red one:

I know it’s just because I come from the land of ugg boots that I find this attempt to zoosh them up amusing:
On the other hand, there is nothing funny about these, just a LOT to make me covet and swoon:
I can’t tell you how great this style of shoe makes my legs look and me feel.

I adore this boot so much I would be seriously tempted to also get it in suede
I think I’ve seen me wearing these in.my.dreams. such is my adoration

I think it’s high time I owned a low-heeled flat boot

I’ve never been brave enough to do the anklet boot, but these would give me the strength to give it a go

when someone can convince me what is NOT to love about a patent shoe, I will still think these are fabulous.

And while this is more suited to the weather we’re currently enduring experiencing
I’m quite enjoying the promise of this

And I know it’s just because the only snow we’re ever going to see in Sydney is the unfortunate kind on the shoulders of the guy in the suit sitting on the bus infront of you, these make me laugh:
Do people in the States really wear these?

It’s white, it’s wool, it’s a bag, it’s so very wrong.

maybe if you’re aged 6 or under these are acceptable.

I’m sorry, but NO ONE looks good in a shiny WHITE PUFFER jacket. No.One.

And in Australia, we have a name for the type of person who’d wear these:

My school uniform was black watch tartan:
‘nough said.

And alice bands? In tartan? Really?

On a level I am glad the drop waisted dress is making a comeback

and it looks so much better with a pretty ribbon
but it’s the type of thing I can kinda wear but am just too much of a bogan to carry off. Like, I’d lose that ribbon within minutes and I just don’t lose shit. Ever.

I’d like these though:
even though a Sydney winter would never justify owning three scarves.

So there you go.
I can find a uniform almost anywhere.

I see trees are green…

Using Etsy’s fun colours page:

Shine Your Hiney soaps


Glass pendants from Tandi:
Watermelon Tree desktop wallpaper from Katie Christo:
Monster blankies and towels by NissaLisa
More pendants from GlassElation
Dandelions from Peony Path:
Art by glkuster:
monkeying around with EllyNelly:
One two three awwww from roundbottombaby: