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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Know Christmas Is On Its Way When...

...the deadline for getting your Softies for Mirabel to Pip is fast approaching. We just finished this little awake/asleep fella today. I did the sewing and Henry did the stuffing - most satisfying. While we were working we talked about the fact that not all kids have lots of toys/food/family to make their Christmas special. Henry thought that was most unfair and so do I. When we'd finally finished I wasn't sure whether or not Henry was going to make a fuss about keeping it himself (it's happened before) but not today. He simply held it at arms length and said, 'there, someone for a little kiddie to love'.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let the book wrangling begin...

Look at my lovely new bookcase. Tom made it a few weeks ago as part of our book wrangling project. Books have always been a bit of an issue in our house(s). With over 3,000 books between us we have so many 6 ft bookcases scattered throughout the house that we've basically run out of wall-space. That means limited opportunities to hang any kind of artwork, mirror, photos or whatever else it is that 'normal' people put on their walls. It also makes the place a bit dark.

This new floor-to-ceiling bookcase takes books from almost 3 of our standard IKEA bookcases so we now have a bit of breathing space in the house especially in the entry hall. Now we just need to re-paint the room and the bookcase the same colour (so that the bookcase recedes into the wall) then build 3 or 4 more. Once we've got this lot under control I'm planning on adopting the one in/one out principle to make sure we don't end up back where we started. How hard could that be??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Elegant cowls...

Image via Loops Yarn

Image via katy elliott

Image via Nothing Elegant

Image via Whip Up

I realise that it is absolutely not the right time of year to be lusting after winter woollies (well not here in the Southern Hemisphere anyaway) but I keep running into these amazing cowls. To be honest I'd never even heard of cowls until recently but now I can't seem to get away from them! One of the things I really like about cowls is the way they use interesting buttons, corsages and decorative pins to keep them closed - very swish. I don't recall seeing people wearing cowls around the city this winter but perhaps I just didn't notice. We Melbournians do love our scarves but we seem to prefer long and loopy over short and neck-hugging.

If you're somewhere wintry now and would like to knit one there are hundreds of free patterns online but if re-purposing is more your thing you could try the clever 'Upcycled Scarflette' pictured above which is made from a re-fashioned cable knit jumper.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Four Simple Goals Update II

Originally uploaded to Flickr by Flor A

You may remember that some time ago I pledged to complete Four Simple Goals before the year is out. One of those goals was to get more sleep. My aim was to go to bed by 10.30 every night. As any mother of small children will tell you chronic sleep deprivation becomes the norm after a while and you find yourself regularly struggling to get 6-7 hours a sleep a night (especially when a certain someone wakes you up at 6am every single morning). By this time of year, however, my body starts to tell me in no uncertain terms that that is just not enough - I start to feel more anxious than usual (and that's really saying something!), I develop eczema and I start to find the constant juggling of work, home and family more of a struggle than usual. At times I've been so concerned about not getting enough sleep that I've jettisoned reading in bed in favour of half an hour more sleep. Before long I realised that all I was reading were newspapers and magazines (and blogs!) and that it had been many months since I'd read a book cover-to-cover.

So what's changed? Well, I can honestly say that most nights I am at least on my way to bed by 10.30 (stopping to tidy the living room, take off make-up etc) if not actually in bed. Interestingly, what I've found since I've been reading in bed again is that I drop off to sleep much more easily if I've spent some time in someone else's head. Without reading I just turn off the light and lay awake ruminating over the events of the day and worrying about things that may never happen in the future - very counterproductive. It's still a bit of a struggle to keep myself from wandering around the house doing odd-jobs at midnight but I think just being conscious that I have a choice has to be a good thing.
Are you a bit of a worry-wart too? Do you ever worry about not getting enough sleep?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Posh Pram Blankie

Now that my new little nephew has taken receipt of his blankie I can show it to you too. I used the same pattern as I did for this one but I made it a bit smaller so that it wouldn't be too bulky to use in the pram. Unfortunately I'm too far away to wrap my arms around him at the moment so this will have to do for now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

You Know Christmas Is On Its Way When...

Image from dnamuse

...the shops are full of panettone. I know you can buy panettone at specialist places thoughout the year but my addiction is such that I wait until it is absolutely impossible to avoid. I like it for breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea and supper. See my problem? I can polish off one a week if I'm not careful and I'm sure that's not how they were designed to be consumed. Should they be shared perhaps?

Maybe the secret to moderation is to only eat panettone (hot cross buns, mince pies) that you've made yourself. Perhaps this year I'll give it a whirl using this recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller. What do you think?