25 February 2014
24 February 2014
So I have been putting a lot of my energy over the past couple of weeks into looking for a new home for the Kid and I.
However, every time I look at a potential place there is this nagging thought in my head - how the hell will I ever be able to pack up the tonnes of STUFF we have accumulated? It is completely overwhelming and Im worried when I do see a place I love I may not take it because of the mountain of packing that needs to be climbed.
So I decided I needed to start NOW even though we haven't got anywhere to go to yet - but I needed some inspiration because I have some serious attachment issues. For example, I still have the Kid's pram, bassinet and baby bjorn in the garage - holy guacamole she is nearly 7, why am I keeping this stuff?
Firstly I read Its All Too Much by Peter Walsh and got lots out of this to help me let go and then a friend recommended the blog, Becoming Minamalist which I have been dipping into in the last few days and loving.
The questions I am now asking myself are:
- Is it useful?
- Have I used it in the last 12 months?
- Is it beautiful?
- Am I keeping it just because of sentimentality not because it is actually useful or beautiful?
- Am I keeping it just because it cost me a lot of money not because it is useful or gorgeous?
One of my goals for 2014 fits perfectly for this task - to get rid of 365 things which I am now calling throw365. I have also decided to get rid of 1 thing for each new thing that comes in. No point in discarding 365 things to just replace it with a load more crap.
So sorry F Scott Fitzgerald I will never ever get around to reading The Great Gatsby, see ya later Elmo she loved you when she was 3 but she is a grown up 6 and a half year old now and au revoir broken music box we never really liked that you that much in the first place and your music sucks!
12 February 2014
::: This past week could be titled My Life Without Internet - a tragic tale of loss and heartache. OK OK first world problem, I get it. My crappy old modem (which I must admit was a hand me down to begin with) finally died and I ordered a new one through my internet service provider.
Here I sit exactly one week to the day STILL waiting for the bloody thing to arrive. They said it would arrive between 8am and 1pm and it is 5.20pm and no sign of the thing. I am literally climbing into my CRANKY PANTS as I type.
But lo and behold a miracle, my old modem has just started working - take that crappy TOLL delivery service!
::: I am pleased to tell you I completed my first ever Color Run and boy was it fun even though it was 30 degrees at 9am. I wish I had taken the Kid with me - she would have flipped out about getting so utterly mucky - next year I have promised her!
I walked back from the station on a high. Not actually seeing what I looked like, I proudly marched through my suburb homeward bound imagining myself to be some kind of rainbow goddess. Oh dear lord when I actually saw my reflection was I in for a shock. I looked like an Ooompah Loompah that had just returned from a day working down pit.
::: My knitted jumper is progressing slowly but surely even though I managed to royally f**k up a row and only realised 3 rows later. I ripped it back and I think I have saved it (though you can definitely see where I have picked up stitches badly). Other crafting has been majorly thin on the ground as I am putting most of my energy into looking for somewhere new to live and I am really trying to declutter as much as I can now so that when it comes to packing up the place in a few weeks/months time it wont be so bad!
Well over and out for now - lets hope the new modem arrives tomorrow before this one gives up the ghost for good!
05 February 2014
January's to do list went well even though I still haven't finished the green gingham skirt, unfortunately my heart just wasn't in KCW this quarter - Im sure I will back into it next time around.
So to February I set a lot of goals in a shorter month but was quietly confident about it all until life threw a spanner in the works (aint that always the way). It looks like we may have to look for a new home and my time may need to be spent on achieving that.
Oh well c'est la vie!
02 February 2014
30 January 2014
….and hopefully some not so ordinary.
I loved this post from Fatmumslim. I had been pondering all month whether to set some resolutions or goals and loved this idea. The last couple of years I have set a word for the year which is a wonderful idea but just doesn't seem to work for me - I tend to pick a word and promptly forget it a week later so I didn't see the point of going down that track again.
But I did want to commit something to paper (or internet) and this was just right (and I may have borrowed a couple of my favourites from Chantelle's list too):
1. Double cuddles
The Kid is getting older and one of these days she is going to turn around (probably with her hands on her hips) and announce she is way too old for cuddles. So I am going to double my quota this year and cuddle her twice as much - the Kid better watch out because there will a lot of hugs incoming.
2. Buy an indoor plant
I really want to have plants in my home but they always seem to be at the bottom of the shopping list - so I am going to start small and just buy one plant and try to keep the pesky thing alive until next year.
3. Throw out 365 things
Decluttering is an ongoing battle in my life (no doubt yours too) and in effort to keep on top of the piles of crap I commit to throwing out a minimum of 365 things.
4. Lose 12 kilos
I started a weight loss program in the second half of last year and am really proud of the fact that I lost 18 kilos but I have now plateaued with still another 12 kilos to go to get back to my pre baby weight (yes my six year old baby that is). If I got within 3-4 kilos of that target by this time next year I would be stoked.
5. Improve my photography
I definitely think a lot more about how I take photos but I still have a long way to go. It sure doesn't seem to come naturally to me. I want to read some books and articles and experiment more and just try to get better.
6. Go to England
I have been saving for a couple of years for a trip home and I am close to being able to afford it. So I really hope this is the year we get to go home.
7. Run like the wind
As part of the losing weight thing I have got back into my running. I am just at the beginning of this journey but there are lots I would love to achieve this year with my running including: finishing the Couch to 5K running programme, running in the 5km Colour Run, taking part (even if I don't run it all) in the City to Surf event, start the 5k to 10k running programme.
8. Get in the frame
Oh I really don't like having my photo taken - definitely (and sadly) tied up with having being overweight. But the Kid is going to look back one day and ask where the hell I was if I don't actually start getting in some photos. So I am going to take a deep breath and start to get in the shots sometimes.
9. Get the Kid on her bike
I feel a bit remiss that the kid can't ride a bike. She lives on her scooter and is just a wee bit scared of the bike. Whereas cycling is one of my absolute favourite things to do. So this year I want to get her riding.
10. Sew something for me to wear
Its time I made something that isn't kid sized. No idea what yet, but I am on the look out for something fun for me to make and wear.
11. Knit the year away
I am really enjoying that I am back into my knitting after many years away. Im not fast but thats ok - the idea is just to have one project on the needles at a time and always have a project on the go. Even if takes me all year to finish just 2 things.
12. Make another quilt
I love the quilt I made last year and I would so love to make another one. There is a lot of inspiration out there so its just a case of deciding what to do.
13. Have more play dates
Eeek I have to say that I am not good at having other children over for playdates but the Kid is such a darn social butterfly. So this year I just need to suck it up and have friends over on a more regular basis and even some sleepovers (aaaarrrghhhh).
14. Be a Sydney tourist
I am pretty good at this already. The plan is to continue on and get out and about with the Kid in this wonderful city of ours.
29 January 2014
School's back! The Kid started Year 1 today and geez she was excited (which is great news). I love the way they completely mix all the classes up and there are lots of new kids for her to interact with. I think she only has one child from her previous class and she is totally cool with it telling me how great it was she got to make lots of new friends. I love that she is so outgoing (much more than I am).
Our long weekend turned into a very quiet one thanks to the big scooter crash - my wee girl got about 8 humungous grazes and a big bump on her forehead and it made her feel quite under the weather so much so that she wanted to stay in all weekend……she NEVER wants to stay in so I was a little bit worried. But she has come good now, thank heavens.
We made the cake in a jar and it was NOT good - hahahaha. Even smothering it with white chocolate and marshmallows could not save it. It was the flavour - the spices tasted seriously strange. Only saving grace was the kid was too under the weather to actually want to try it - so I told her it was fantastic. Shhhhhhh don't tell on me.
Knitted my tension square and it was spot on so cast on and started my knit along jumper. I am really enjoying having something new on the needles and look forward to my new 7.30pm date - My Kitchen Rules and my knitting.
KCW // Hour 3 // I really wanted to crack on with my KCW project today but I had my trip to the dentist this morning and it was NOT pleasant and it left me with the sorest gob all day and I have been feeling VERY sorry for myself. I could only manage 45 minutes of sewing and half of that was spent unpicking a seam TWICE. Some days you should just step away.
28 January 2014
So KCW started yesterday and as it was a public holiday here in Australia I didn't have a problem fitting in my hour of sewing, today however was a bit more tricky but I just about did it:
// KCW // Hour 1: First job was to put the ribbon on the blue skirt (a nice easy start). Once that was done I pulled out the Burda Style gingham skirt that has sat in a bag for the past couple of months (with only about 20% done). I spent the rest of the hour just working out where I was actually up to and then trying to decipher the minimal Burda instructions on how to put in a hip yoke pocket.
I really couldn't make head nor tail of their ridiculous instructions so headed to YouTube and found this very useful tutorial and just followed that instead. Seriously what did we do before the internet!!
// KCW // Hour 2: Put in the hip yoke pockets tonight and I seriously love them - my first hip pockets and they are so very cute. Then it was back to trying to deciphering the next step in the process. Think I have worked it out now but fancy that, I seem to have used up all of my hour (and don't have the energy to keep going tonight).
See you tomorrow KCW.
27 January 2014
So I have completed my first (of many Im sure) Hoop-La project. The Kid has a seriously wobbly top tooth at the moment so it was a no brainer to start with this one.
I went with washi tape to decorate the hoop - I thought it was going to be dead easy to put on, but was actually much more fiddly than I realised and it doesn't look quite as neat as all the photos in the book.
I am going to try all the different finishes (i.e. painted, decoupage, stained, ribbon, crochet) suggested in the book over the coming projects but for the next few I am going with the washi.
Now we just have to wait for that pesky tooth to fall out.
26 January 2014
The Kid has been begging for weeks now to make her cake in a jar that she brought home from Vacation Care - and today was the day. Im not great in the kitchen and I kept putting it off but my wee girl had a major scooter stack today and is covered in grazes. To say I was feeling sorry for her is an understatement. So when she looked at me with those forlorn eyes and shoved the jar in my face, well I just couldn't say no, could I.
22 January 2014
I really must try and take my camera out and about with me more often as we had quite a busy week but not a single photo was taken*.
So what were the photos I DIDNT get this week:
// the Kid's first ever go on the giant water slide at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
// me squealing with glee as I came down the giant water slide at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
// the Kid mastering her two wheel scooter - she was a bit nervous on it at first after 2 years on a three wheeler, but this week really saw her becoming faster and more confident.
// me gasping for breath, trailing behind my friend in a 30 degree heat, 7km run (him) / stagger (me)
// us eating fish and chips in the park with good friends
However I did manage to snap some works in progress. I ordered a few cheapo embroidery hoops from Arbee Craft to get me started on my Hoop-La projects. I have completed the first project already (hopefully I will get around to taking some photos today) and am a good way into the second one. I am enjoying making these even more than I thought I would.
More squealing from me because my yarn for my next knitting project arrived today. I can't wait to get started but quite sensibly Chloe from Deadlycraft (my knit along buddy) has convinced me that I need to do the gauge square first. So Im thinking that will be a job for tonight whilst I watch the tennis (go Andy go Andy)
* Mind you its quite nice to just enjoy the moment instead of trying to snap every damn thing too!
20 January 2014
I seem to have made the blanket only a mother* could love. She sure aint pretty but I love her all the same. (Photos have been selected only to show my baby's good sides!)
No seriously, its hideous. It is very very thick**, unbelievably heavy (it would probably crush a small animal) and the Kid can barely lift it.
I also realised quick that I had no bloody idea how to sew seams together and the first 2 rows wouldn't look out of place on Frankenstein's face. However, I did hit my stride after that and realised I was doing it all wrong and then next two rows of seaming look relatively neat.
I have since worked out I have been paying way too much for a ball of wool and there were a LOT of balls used for this project. Which means I am now the owner of one helluva overpriced, 3 tonne blanket. Sometimes I really need to know when to cut my losses.
Oh well Im sure it will keep me toasty next winter and if you don't do stuff wrong sometimes you don't learn from your mistakes….. or something like that.
* not that I actually gave birth to this blanket cos that would be just plain weird!
** which will come in useful for this 35 degree heat we are having these days
19 January 2014
At this time of year we FaceTime with my folks early on Sunday mornings. I am so grateful for the technology we have in this day and an age. Only a short time ago the Kid would not have anywhere near the same level of relationship with her grandparents that live on the other side of the world as she is lucky to have now.
We chat for a good couple of hours each time, the Kid brings out projects or games to do with them or puts on little dancing and singing extravaganzas. We update each other on our weeks and the Kid can do no wrong, naturally.
My mum knits constantly throughout and my dad tries to make the Kid giggle as often as possible, whilst I potter around making breakfast and maybe sneaking a little knitting of my own in.
We finish around 9am when Grandpa is itching to get off to watch Match of the Day and the Kid is itching to get out and about and use up some energy.
Love our Sunday mornings.
17 January 2014
So I have signed up for another year long project - ooh I can't help myself. Laura at Circle of Pine Trees is hosting The Year in Books - a commitment to read at least one book a month during 2014.
Now I am not too bad at getting through a few books during the year so it shouldn't be too hard but I am going to try and take 50% of the books from my bought but put on a shelf and ignored collection.
I gathered all the books together for a quick photoshoot, crikey I didn't realise there were so many (though some are not your typical book club style books I still included them here).
As I am late getting started I thought I would pick a quick read to start me off, especially as I actually borrowed this from a friend and I need to return it.
So in January I will be reading:
15 January 2014
The daily grind is again the norm around here, the Christmas break already seems a long time ago as work and vacation care* take centre stage. Definitely need to plan some holidays and events for the next 12 months so we have something to look forward to.
I have finished knitting the blanket that never ends and now have the fun job of seaming the columns together. Not sure I really know what I am doing, eeeeek, and it is a bit dreary going.
I have joined a year long project I found out about at Wild Olive called a Stitch A Day. You can't get easier than that can you - one little old stitch each day. You can see my first 14 stitches above and the keen eyed amongst you will have noticed I am rather in love with the French Knot. It is by far my favourite embroidery stitch. I don't really have anything specific in mind for this other than to just gleefully cover my hoop in bright colours.
And it is with reluctance that I am adding some ribbon to this skirt. The Kid just doesn't wear it, I suspect because she just finds it too BORING. It seems dumb for it to just sit in the cupboard so I am hoping the ribbon will encourage her to put it on occasionally. Which ribbon? She picked the pink one, natch!
* I know which one I would rather be doing
13 January 2014
I love that Kids Clothes Week comes around quarterly these days. Last time I did a lot of pre-preparation and got through quite a lot during the actual week. It was great but certainly not achievable every quarter unfortunately.
So this quarter I only have one thing I want to get done. I cut out the above Burda skirt pattern last time around but it was the one thing I never actually got to, so I definitely want to get it finished now. If by any miracle that doesn't take me all week, I wouldn't mind tackling a project from one of my Japanese sewing books, maybe one of these:
Are you joining in?
12 January 2014
So late last year I came to a decision to reduce the number of photos of the Kid on this blog. As she gets older I just feel I need to be a little bit more thoughtful in this area. Now I don't plan to ban her photo altogether but just be very mindful of the pictures I do use and adjust the focus a little (so to speak).
I am sitting on the fence somewhat I suppose but I am OK with that and it just feels right for now. As part of this I decided to stop participating in the The 52 Photo Project run by Practicing Simplicity. I did enjoy it last year and I think if my Kid was still a wee baby I would continue on but for now I have decided to say farewell to it.
So what to do instead, I do love the idea of a photo challenge. I have looked around and was tempted by Fatmumslim's wildly popular Photo A Day but there is already too much on my plate to really consider this an option - the prompts are a great focus but a lot of effort to do each day.
Then I was reading Angels Have Red Hair blog and noticed she was looking for a new photo challenge too and I love her idea of a photo a day of ANYTHING and posting it once a week. But I already take photos for my Life in Progress posts and just feel the daily thing would lead me to a big fat FAIL very quickly, due to spending most weekdays stuck in an office!
So what to do, what to do? Well I have decided (for now anyway) to pick a time each Sunday and just take a shot of whatever we are doing at that time. Simple. I might even pick the times in advance so I don't just pick the most interesting time of the day retrospectively.
So here we go…….
Sunday @ 10.00am // Making Jelly with the Kid // Maybe because we are just a wee family of two I often feel guilty if I am not filling the Kid's weekend with playdates and out and about activities. But this year I am going to embrace some lazy Sundays and today is the first. I was going to head into the City to check out the fun Sydney festival today but the thought of the crazy crowds and the blazing sun and the pure need to laze I thought SOD IT. Lets hang out at home, the Kid will survive. So we are making jelly, watching DVDs, playing with Sylvanians (her), knitting (me) and generally chilling….and all with only a tiny hint of guilt!
09 January 2014
My first completed project for 2014 is a wee bit of a cheat as I basically made the entire skirt some 3 months ago during KCW. All that was left to do were the buttons, which turned out to be a 15 minute job. Ridiculous to let it gather dust just for the sake of 15 minutes effort.
And even more stupid than that - could I find the new buttons I ordered, NO I could not. Buried under a pile of clutter somewhere no doubt. So we just went with the first lot of buttons I ordered which were little pigs. Nothing to do with oranges and lemons I know but I just wanted to get the skirt finished.
I used the Oliver + S Hopscotch Skirt and I think it is adorable. The Kid however has a strange thing* about buttons so it remains to be seen if it will be worn more than this once!!
* and not in a good way
08 January 2014
The Kid and I treated ourselves to a day out at the weekend to see Circus Oz. We saw the big top being put up on a visit to town the previous week and the Kid chewed my ear off about going and I thought why the hell not. It was more expensive than I thought it would be and I was hoping it was worth the money. It was I'm pleased to say. It was fairly intimate and the Kid and I had a great view and the acrobatics were spectacular, funny and awe inspiring. I loved every minute.
I have been concentrating on finishing the knitted blanket this past week as I am officially over it. I am close, very close - Ive just worked out that I have knitted 1,930 rows and I only have the final 70 to go. Phew, no wonder I am over it. I am really looking forward to starting a new, far more interesting knitting project next - you know something with sleeves in it, something that will be more of a challenge.
Off to finish those final rows………...