This one time at craft camp

 

Hop on ladies, hop on.

Winners are grinners

On Friday I had the most glorious day, which was good considering just how shite today was. The best part was Eleanor coming to visit. This had been arranged a week before and long before I decided to run a competition and even longer before I drew the winner and the winner was Eleanor. We were both worried everyone would think I rigged it but I promise I didn’t. I DIDN’T.

She came armed with bagels and a challah. I cared for her hips with The Banana Coconut Cake. It was a delicious few hours.

She ensured Jasper will love her forever by playing some bizarre poison ball game with him on the trampoline and learning the subtle nuances of a tickle tackle. Such is their mutual admiration, they shared their glasses with each other:

Eleanor’s holding her loot here – a jar of Strawberry Rhubarb jam and a jar of Quince Relish.

And how hard is Jasper rockin’ those specs of Eleanor’s!

Winners all round.

this ‘n that

From Eleanor, the best procrastination tool ever.

I want a Roller Derby name and I want a piece of the action.

Wouldn’t it be remarkable, spectacular and INSPIRED to take the boys out of school for a few weeks either side of the September holidays to go and do this? (It could also be really really dumb because I’m not even sure that’s the right time of year to do it.)

Not only does this blog have an awesome name, I really want to make this and this. Certainly not low fat (and now I’m wondering how you could make it so – and yes yes I know, cut out the fat, cut out the flavour) but man, how good does it look. In fact, there’s so much of hers I want to make it is bordering on creepy stalker behaviour.

All of you must stop reading and make these. They are sensational and get better the more you make (you get the knack for how to roll them out, to get the right layering effect, they’re good regardless but out of this world when you do nail it).

I am spending a ludicrous amount of time on sites like this, this and this. Which is really pretty stupid because it tends to make me depressed and resentful rather than inspired and motivated. But they’re just lovely all the same aren’t they!

And you know, Jessica Simpson gets such a bad wrap and then I see something like this where she just looks so normal and beautiful – in that classic sense of beauty – in the age before fake tans and boobs and air-brushing to an inch of their lives. And what an awesome idea – to take inspiration from that to create these inspiration boards. Delightful.

I have adored the Go Fug Yourself girls for years now but every now and then they absolutely outdo themselves. For example, their summation on Andie McDowell wearing pantaloons with a view, slacks with cracks, pantalunacy was pure gold. And this, on Carine Roitfield? Genius.

And for reasons completely unknown, I cried like a baby in the movie but this defaced poster makes me laugh out loud. Go figure.

(From here)

*****

Today we caught up with some friends we’ve had since university. Don’t you love those friends who come over and even though you haven’t seen or spoken to each other for FOREVER you just pick up where you left off and fill in the gaps? I made corn fritters which we had with bacon, sour cream, sweet chilli sauce and coriander. There were multiple cups of tea and a few of champagne. They came for brunch and left at 4pm. I didn’t clean the bathroom, mum did sweep the floor and we did clean up the back verandah where we sat for brunch but that was more because of the possum piss on the table than any need to impress. It was a hugely restorative day. Delicious in fact.

Onward!

When good things happen to good people

So last night Chef and I had the joy and honour of attending the wedding of our friends E and M. While the rain was relentless and heavy for pretty much the entire evening it was outshone by the love these two have for each other and the love for them both that everyone in the room clearly displayed.

E and I worked together a few years back and I think I can safely say we clicked from the very first time we met – when she and her boss and some weird creepy ‘independent’ guy from another government agency interviewed me. Any ridiculous concerns I had about having a manager younger than me was basically allayed within the first hour of working together. She is the epitomy of what a manager should be – always willing to get her hands dirty, supportive, encouraging, never micro-managing, creating a team not a hierarchy, resolving issues or problems with discretion and care, never taking things too seriously (she and I could roll our eyes so hard about certain staff members and meetings they’d almost fall out of our heads – something we were both chastised for. teeheehee) and always, always ready to discuss the latest debacle of an outfit worn by some start somewhere around the world and – for me – the best thing about the job (until she and M very rudely up and went travelling through South America for 6 months before working in the UK for a couple fo years).

From E I adopted the phrases about eating something until your head could fall off, my sweets (as a term of affection), getting all hot (but not in a good way), and possibly giving me the shits and making my neck itch (I can’t remember on that front but I do know I started using them when we worked together).

There was always humour in our team work environment and quite frankly if there isn’t then you just can not be expected to go to work every day without going postal.

Anyway, she’ll be all uncomfortable and hot about such a public display of my love and affection for her. M is her perfect partner – quite partial to delusions of grandeur and fame as I am, very happy to have the floor and the microphone and for it all to be about him. At the moment – and even last night – he was ‘mentoring’ me with questions about how far I had got in the book on search engine optimisation he has lent me (um, it’s on the dining room table?) and what I’d done to secure the book deal and did I have a literary agent yet (blushing and um, kicking the floor, no. Not yet. Yes I am going to do something about it. YES, I PROMISE. OMG this is your wedding, go kiss that gorgeous bride).

Their vows were exquisite – expressions of love and devotion with none of the Hallmark schmaltz.

The guests testament to their very nature – down to earth, classy, funny, exuberant, genuine and clearly appreciative of a good feed (the food was sublime – a prawn ravioli with just a hint of chilli, a pork belly with five spice, a prawn-crusted salmon cooked to perfection and a beef fillet with beans and potato dauphinois, while dessert was the best idea – mini ice cream cones, mini lemon meringue tarts and mini creme brulees that were offered on the dance floor and throughout the room so people were not ‘stuck’ on their tables) and not afraid to shake it up on the dance floor.

The speeches were probably the best I’ve ever witnessed – funny, tender and that word again, genuine.

I got to meet E’s mum and she said, “You’re Kimmy! With the four boys! From Narrabeen! OH how lovely to meet you”. Good people. I found out that she and E’s Dad are essentially grandparents to the children of two of E and M’s friend, so much so that they collect one of them from school every Friday and have him sleep-over every other week. I mean, talk about above and beyond. Good people.

As it was I didn’t even disgrace myself in regards to alcohol intake and could in fact drive us home (as opposed to Chef who really did enjoy himself). Not only did this save us what would have been a ridiculously large taxi fare it meant that I was quite well equipped to deal with the cold hard reality that our arrival home at 12.30ish signalled to Grover the perfect time to wake up and have a midnight snack and chat. It was only by the time we were watching Get Smart reruns at 2.30am that I was starting to feel a bit shabby.

So, after popping a few panadols, a mega vitamin b pill and finally convincing Grover to go back to bed I crawled into mine at 3am. I’ve been up since 7am and am feeling a bit bleary-eyed but still on a high from a wonderful evening. I can only imagine how E and M are feeling on their first day as husband and wife.

Just delicious.

Onward!    

old friends, new experiences, milestones

Today one of my dearest friends from school came over. We had not seen each other in ten years. We had not even talked that much or corresponded very much in that time. And yet today, she walked through the door (a darn sight THINNER), we gave each other a huge hug and then started talking. Four hours later she left.

Old friendships are a wondrous thing aren’t they? As we discussed our families and our respective ups and downs over the years it got me thinking. So much has happened to us and indeed we have probably changed quite a lot but at the same time having her sit in my kitchen using the same mannerisms and hearing her laugh just as she had all those years ago was just infinitely comforting.

She has recently bought a house relatively nearby and I am just so tickled to know we’re going to be able to see each other on a more regular basis.

Now, if I could just get K to move to Sydney …
*****
Yesterday I had a day sans children so I took myself into Surry Hills to check out some fabric shops. As you do.

I know. What an idiot.

Tessuti’s is one of those places I could hang out in all day. The most glorious fabrics, GLORIOUS, in a shop that is both buzzing and quiet all at the same time. It’s kind of like a library but with cloth.

I sat there for over an hour looking at pattern books and then probably about the same amount of time looking at fabric. It was exciting and awful all at the same time. All I wanted was for Suse, Sooz or Muppinstuff to just magically appear and natter with me and point out what would work or what wouldn’t, to laugh and be silly about my tension headache and to just make it more fun. That or to call Eleanor and escape it all together and go eat pastries somewhere.

I was looking at it all with the intention of finding a pattern for a frock to m.a.k.e. to wear to the wedding of some wonderful friends in February. I want something simple yet a statement and that I did not spend the whole day either adjusting or not moving my arms (almost a physical impossibility) because of pit marks.

But of course, having this intention on top of actually sewing an item of clothing being an entirely new experience  – because quite frankly the blue screen printed flamingos I did on a pink cotton, elastic-waisted sack skirt we made in Year 7 doesn’t count – meant I was kind of paralysed by indecision, no working knowledge of patterns and the whole weight of the ‘it must be perfect!’ attitude I naturally bestow to any activity I am attempting for the first time.

And weird things happened to me. Like I saw this and just fell in love with it:

I mean, it’s pink and floral for God’s sake.

But it had this weight to it and a sheen smoothness  (even though it was 100% cotton) that made me incapable of not stroking it. To the point it was almost creepy.

And this

was called parrots or some such, even though I couldn’t see parrots in it .But it was a very dark navy and the background was an off-white cream kind of colour. Again, just delightful but hello, my brain was in some sort of disassociative state from the body it was clearly going to have to cover.

I absolutely fell in love with these:

Imagine them sewn along the hem or neckline of a dress? Talk about turning a dress into a statement! I still think I might get some of this. Just to have.

I know. I don’t know who I am any more either.

This was exquisite:

And made me want to make a ballgown in some 50s sort of feel.

This was also gorgeous on a far more contemporary scale and after chatting with Sooz late – and I mean L.A.T.E last night – I think I might get some to make a little straight skirt. Well, by little I mean not flared. Because me, I’m pushing maximum density (once again) over here.

But through all of this I was so tense because while there were a few dresses I kind of liked none of them screamed ‘this is perfect!’ which, as we have established is a bit of a mantra for me.

See these linens?

I want a kicky little shift dress in every single one. Get on to that will you.
  
So I had a debrief with Sooz last night because I was not feeling positive about the whole experience. And she said something to me she’d already said once before but I am a bit slow when it comes to hearing the advice. I know. Half way to solving a problem is recognising you have one. Shut up already.

I realised a far better way to be approaching this is to simply be looking to make a dress. Any dress! Sure, preferably one I will wear but lets not even pin our hopes on that. And from there, let’s look at the wedding outfit possibilities. Sweet.

So, I’m going to buy me some cheap and nasty linen from SpitSpotlight and make myself a frock. If I like making the frock I may even make another one.
*****
Grover is basically toilet trained. I know! It was all his decision and yes, he is really quite partial to doing a wee in the garden rather than in the toilet and – apparently – the best place to do a poo is on the back verandah on the car playmat but you know, he hasn’t worn a nappy during the day for more than two weeks.

Now, normally I’d be singing the praises of this event but it has coincided with us moving him to a normal bed and him deciding to drop his day sleep.

I’ll just let that last point sit with you for a minute.

But the moving into a normal bed – we’re doing this because I’m bored of cots. There’s been a cot in this house for over a decade and I’m ready to see the back of them. Also, I was getting really sick of him just yelling at me from his cot when he wanted to get up – like some warped butler service.

I no, so dumb.

It has totally turned his sleeping routine on its head. Before when it’d take over an hour for him to go to sleep (just as it used to take Felix at that age) he’d just roll around in his cot and tell himself tall tales of adventures passed. Now he just gets up and gives me the absolute shits.

I’m so over it but going back to a cot is not worth the tantrums and tears either.

Yes people, case study of stupid woman who hasn’t learnt anything by Child #4.

And the day sleep. OH MY GOD people. I am mourning the passing of the day sleep. Sure, Felix dropped his at 18 months but Jasper spoilt me by keeping his up until about 3 1/2. Oh sure, Grover will have a sleep but it won’t happen until mid-afternoon and then he’ll happily snooze away – just to be nice and refreshed for the night time performance of killing his mother slowly by being up until 10.30.

He won’t go down for a sleep mid-morning or lunchtime so there’s no point trying. But then by 3-4pm he’s wretched – for himself and those around him.

Hello rock, let me introduce you to hard place. Let’s dance!