Thursday, December 30, 2010

Final FOs for 2010

G'day all!

Oh yes, I am pumping out the posts today after days of quietness. I've been a busy bee since Christmas. You saw the hole in our wall, well it got worse and now it is better. Not watertight yet but better.

What did Santa bring me for Christmas?

Purple hair and a sniffle! (hence the tissue) (I bought myself the necklace)

I finished my 22leaves shawlette some time ago, but it was only this week that I managed to block it and weave in the ends.


This is a lovely shawl and quite easy to knit.


I love the mesh.

I love the leaves.

I love the whole shebang!

I recommend you go and knit one too, if you are a knitter. Or get a knitter to make you one if you are not a knitter. Lankakomero has some lovely patterns (this one now costs USD5 but worth it!).

Here's a few Christmas presents I made for family:
(For my sister in sin - she wanted a jellyfish)

(Sister in sin's parents' bunting)

(PiL's bunting)

(Bunting for aunt-in-law)

(Bunting hanging up - excuse the hole in our wall. We just took the old aircon out as it was horridly inefficient and noisy and destroying the plaster.)

Since I don't have time to do a nice retrospective of two thousand and ten, I will just grab the first prompt from reverb2010.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

2010. Craptastic. Really. People say getting cancer is a blessing "because they learn so much about themselves and what is important to them." I already knew all that stuff. Getting cancer is well, one of the worst things that can happen to one. This has been the hardest year of my life, well maybe not as bad as the year my mother died but it must give it a run for its money. Suddenly the future is taken away, the achievements of the past mean nothing... but at least I have gotten better at living in the moment. Don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out, 2010!

2011? Fantastic. A year where medical tests show no cancer, DH settles down, we find a way to keep our marriage going with us living in different cities, we finish the renovation of the kitchen.... if we can manage that, I hope it will be a wonderful year.

Wishing you a fabulous 2011. Thanks for reading :-)


We have a starry winner

G'day all!

On this, the last day of December in the year two thousand and ten, we finally have a winner of the Christmas stars.

Here's seven stars.

Winner gets five of these seven.

The other two stars go to family. I think the winner will get three red and white and two green, red and white ones. Yes. That sounds good!

Getting pics was the very devil today. It is 40C now. A little hot! The northerly is blowing like a furnace from hell. I managed to get a pic that looks like this:

but most looked like this:

Enough dithering and procrastinating. Do you want to know who the winner was?

Well all the entries were written on a piece of paper and stuck in one of my knitting project bags.


Then I drew out one piece of paper.

LYNZ! Come on down! You have won this lovely set of stars.

I have a little more to say before then end of the day but I'll blog it separately.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Light and open

G'day all!

When Nathan asked me what I wanted my kitchen to look like, I said "Open and airy."

I didn't expect it to be so true!


This is really bringing the outdoors indoors. Just as well we have a few fine days ahead of us, eh? 8-)

BTW, for the winner of the Christmas stars? I shall announce it tomorrow! (and I'll have to make more cos most of the ones I've made I've given to family so far! My bad) I'll show a little of an Oz Christmas too, but maybe on the travel blog. Mebbe not either...


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Now with added squee!

G'day all!

Terribly busy (aren't we all?) at present but must share this with you.

Now with added squee!

(Doh, uploaded the sideways version... will try to get an upright one online instead!)
(I suggest turning your monitor sideways as I cannot figure out how to rotate the video using Avidemux. As a typical open source project created by enthusiasts, the help is pretty much non-existant and they just expect you to know what they are talking about and how to do stuff with very little direction. Like why won't it encode the video to its preferred state when I've run it through the encoder and saved it, which means it should let me use the filters but IT WON'T. Avidemux is a piece of crap if you want to do anything more advanced than cut a video to bits. Nyer nyer nyer.)

(Work had its Christmas party yesterday. We went to a GF mexican restaurant and then to the aquarium. PENGUINS! SQUEE! Tortoises, SQUEE! Cuttlefish, SQUEE! Stonking great big stingrays - WHOA!)

Back with more when I've got crafty pics done.

Remember the contest - you've got only about 38 hours before it closes. see the next post down. So far peoples have a good chance of winning - I've only got 10-15 entries.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hooray - now with evidence

G'day all!

My what an interesting day.

I spent the morning hammering away at Christmas presents.

I finished one batch at my niece's 21st - she is the third niece to turn 21 and the second last. I still have another niece and two nephews to make it to 21. I stuffed myself full to the brim on four different roasted meats and salad (I missed out on the crackling though, *sniffle*), and then followed up with some gf/df chocolate cake with berries. Mmmm.

So here's three of the Christmas stars I've been making:

(I finished another three but forgot to take pics of them before they were gifted and taken to Rosedale. Excuse the quality of the pics, I took them with the phone under poor light.)


They are about a handspan wide (my hands are 10cm/4" across) and are made in various Christmassy materials.

I bodged the pattern from Maggie Makes (scroll down for the star garland). Instructions on how to put the pieces together are at Linaloo.

Oh boy, whilst I am at it, go look at Maggie Make's blog. She is giving away an amazing embroidered tree topper. And look at Linaloo's links to some fab paper wreaths. I am not a paper person but jeez those are tempting me!

Do you like the stars?

Would you like to win some? Let's say five of them. I reckon I can fit five into a smallish bag for overseas postage and certainly five will fit in an oz post express bag for domestic mail. Five in a variety of red, green and/or white prints. They won't be the same as the ones above. I just made them similar to stop any arguments between my sister's offspring. (Amazing how kids will be kids even when they are all in their 20s.)

Leave me a comment for a chance to win. Become a follower for a chance to win. If you are already a follower of my blog and comment, I'll give you two chances to win. What would I like as a comment? Tell me about the things you like most about Christmas. (If you are Jewish, Hannukah. If you are pagan, some part of the pagan midsummer/winter festival. You get the drift I hope!) If you just jump up and down and say pick me, pick me, that isn't good enough. Tell me about what you like most about this holiday season. The winner will be picked by random number generator (and if I have enough entries, I'll use a real computer generated random number, not "Husband, pick a number between one and seven," or grabbing a number out of a hat.)

Entries close at midday AEST on Christmas Eve 24 December 2010 (that's 2am in western Europe and 5pm PDT in the US on the 23rd). ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED, thanks.

I think I'll be spending some more kwality time with the sewing machine tonight and tomorrow 8-)


Thursday, December 16, 2010


G'day all!

I got nada to show you - nothing at all!

I've been so busy over the last week I've hardly had time to stop.

I've gone to Sydney, had a Christmas party and a pool party and another invite to swim over the last weekend, then wandered around Sydney CBD and Pyrmont so much that I got a blood blister on my toe (!!!), then I flew home and got back late enough that I just wanted a meal and bed (but of course if I eat late, I can't go to sleep for another couple of hours at least....), then I had work for three days, and today I've been wandering around like a lost soul trying to catch up with all the things I haven't gotten done so far and feeling out of sorts. I am very aware that it is a year almost since I was diagnosed with cancer and whilst I am very happy to be here, I am also a bit grumpy because recovery is slow and painful now. The rapid strides to health have become leetle teensy steps with a fair whack of joint and muscle pain.

Work was interesting yesterday (well it is often interesting, like mostly interesting). Only problem was I had to get up at 5:30am (not my usual 7:30 or so) to get a train by 6am to get to Essendon North (aka the other side of Melbourne) by 7:30. Which I managed. I caught a train into the city and then a tram out.

I was meeting up with a ergonomist chap who was going to take me out to a worksite to see what an ergonomist does in the field. It turned out I was going to a hospital laundry. It was interesting seeing what he does. He was very careful with his words - he does not force people to do it "this way" but instead makes suggestions for the workplace to take on board. They don't have that much choice in what they do as they have to comply with OH&S legislation.

I was knackered by the time I got home - some time after six pm. 12.5 hours. Then I dragged my weary self off to Crafties to see various friends.

Whilst I am still remiss with crafty photos (even though we have the long days now, we are having foul weather, excellent for ducks and anything that likes to fly on strong winds. I can't put anything down to take pics of without it blowing away or getting rained on), I am madly making stuff. Christmas is only a week away and I only have a day to make the rest of the family presents as I expect to see most of them on Sunday. I've finished a shawl, I'm working on some Tardis socks for Nathan, I have to rework some socks I've never worn for a friend who has shorter feet than mine.... I have to move half the mulch out of the driveway so that the new windows can be delivered (I am struggling with physical stuff at present - my back is sore cos I keep overdoing things, well I hope that is why it is sore!), I've shuffled things around in the garage to make room for the new windows, I've done all the application stuff for the refinancing of the mortgage.... and then I wonder why I don't have any energy left!

It's just occurred to me that I have to move the mulch pretty much by the end of tomorrow and get the presents done too. Eeek. On Sunday I am out most of the day doing family stuff (or at the farmers' market). And we're almost run out of money, either cash or credit. The house has sucked several thousand dollars out of our budget in the last month. Ouch. Just as well we both have jobs cos otherwise we'd be screwed!

Maybe next time I'll have pics for you? With a contest? Cross your fingers and hope 8-)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cracking weekend

G'day all!

Got back last night from a cracking weekend! More to talk about later.

Had a bit of fun with Nathan's buddies up there - he's found a very nice group, some of whom just so happen to like making their hair go wild colours.



PS I think I'll run a contest for Christmas, stay tuned. Alas you won't get the goodies by Christmas but it is always nice to get something after Christmas yes?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Yet another quickie

G'day all!

In mysterious happenings recently, I seem to have adopted a chicken.

Yes, Boldie now comes running to me when I walk outside (if she is out of the chicken slammer). If she is locked in and sees me, she makes a dreadful noise, the same noise that she makes when she is lost (which is to say when her unsisters are not with her - she doesn't like being alone, unlike Isolde).

It took pretty much six months for her to decide that I am the Provider of Goodness (aka food) and that if she follows me around for long enough I'll go and get her some grain. Where she goes, Goldie goes too, about a metre or so behind.

Hmm, just remembered I took a video a little while back that I wanted to share with you. Chickens dust bathe and mine are no exception. I just didn't expect them to all squish up together and writhe around. Goldie is obvious, I hope, Boldie is in the middle with the wattles and big comb and Isolde is the suspicious one on the right. She has a very different temperament to the other two and I am fairly sure is pure English Game. She's gone broody again too.

I am off up to Sydney tomorrow. I am looking forward to having a break - I haven't been away for ages. Haven't had a holiday since last year, except for these little weekend breaks. Gibbering is kindly looking after the puddings (must remember to buy cat food on the way home tomorrow!) and will check the chookies.

We've had Even More Rain. This is the wettest year we've had since the last millenium (sounds impressive ;-). We had so much rain this arvo that there was standing water in the back yard, and we have alluvial, well drained soil (used to be a flood plain). I think it is about 13 years since we had such good rains all the way through the year. The wind was so strong this morning that it woke me up. Half the front yard was almost flat the wind was blowing so hard. Just as well saplings are flexible eh? I'm very glad I am flying out tomorrow and not today cos today would've been terrible. I'm a big wusster when it comes to flying in bad weather.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Very odd...

G'day all!

(Oooh, bottom, sorry 2paw, I've forgotten to send your yarn again! Argh! Tomorrow fer sher)

So DH was down for the weekend again. Whilst he was here, we applied to refinance our mortgage with of all things a Queensland building society. They are a long way away if we need to visit a branch (1000 miles almost) but they have a good deal, good phone service and good internet, if I can believe the online reviews.

(A tea rose, precursor to hybrid teas, whose name I cannot remember - I thought it was General Gallieni but it never flowers red, only ivory pink)

He left this morning to go back to work.

I've been waiting for something all day.

Nearly 12 hours after DH left for Sydney again, I realised that I am waiting for him to come home.

(English Garden, with black spot. Awful spring for black spot this year, so wet and humid!)

I'll be waiting a while - he isn't coming down until closer to Christmas. Then he has nearly two weeks here before flying out again. That will be lovely. I am sure we can have some ding dong arguments whilst he is here - we seem to every time he comes down, mostly over the house because my way of doing things is not his way and I apparently am not doing anything whilst I scour the net and mags and books for doors, floors, finishes, benchtops... (like he asked me to....)

(Christopher Marlowe, a less favourite rose for his floppy habit and lurid flowers - they fade to an outlandish colour! But he flowers well)

Soon I will cook some tea for me (I am concentrating on being a Victorian again - at some point tea turned into dinner but it is tea and I am Victorian, as in the state, not the time), and make enough that I have leftovers for tomorrow and maybe tomorrow night and some for the freezer too. I am going to try making a tomato based pasta and top it with smoked salmon. Sounds nice, not sure if it will work or not. I can eat it cold, which would be good as it is feral weather here currently and has been for about a week and will remain feral for the forseeable future. It is warm to hot and humid All. The. Time. This is not Melbourne weather! I got caught in a fantastic thunderstorm on the way to the refinancing - it flooded a railway line, it flooded some roads, but I was lucky cos it only rained and thundered massively for me! We haven't had a storm for three days now but it really feels like it should thunder soon. It has clouded over and the wind is coming up, etc.

(Graham Thomas, who is almost my all time favourite rose despite being yellow)

I am still sewing madly on the Secret Christmas Projects, well not very secret, and knitting madly on the shawlette that I wanted to have finished last week. I'm glad I am making stuff for people for Christmas cos money is tight again - we are trying to get the house stuff done on our salaries rather than take more money out of the mortgage. No pics still because I am slack. Instead we have some pics of the roses over the last month. They have been lovely but their time is coming (though the amount of water shoots they are throwing is FANTASTIC and I've been pruning out old wood once I've ascertained that the water shoots aren't suckers...).

(Pink moss rose, another whose name is lost in the mists of time. I really should not have thrown out the old rose catalogue that had the whole list of my roses in it....)

Still dismayed that it is December already. We have been home for nearly a year, and what a year it has been! And not in a good year. So looking forward to a New Year, hopefully a year to make up for this one! 8-)

PS - am thinking of making some extra Secret Christmas Projects as a competition on the old blog. I think they would be nice! But I have to pull my finger out and get them done asap, eh?

Friday, December 03, 2010

A month later....

G'day all!

It was my birthday a month ago today. So of course now I am going to share pics of my loot.

My good buddy Knittyinpink sent me two lovely books:


(neither of which I've started making a project from but I will! They are lovely books and very inspirational, I've just been running after different things recently... But many thanks!)

I also ordered some fabric from Hawthorne Threads:

Some Castle Peep FQs in blue,



and some Wild Thyme FQs and a little extra yardage. Goodness there is a lot of fabric in that lot of FQs. It isn't my usual colour style but I really like about 90% of the range so I got the whole lot.

And some extra bits and bobs that took my eye. I especially love the swirly aqua fabric, like LOTS! I want more of it. It is a Michael Miller fabric. I have quite a bit of that manufacturer's stuff. It is odd how I collect more of certain manufacturer's lines than others. I do have a bit of Moda for instance but because a lot of their fabric is off-white based or country craft browned, I tend not to be attracted to a lot of it. Michael Miller stuff is usually brighter, not always, and often kid or modern oriented, which I do like.

I'm still sewing away on Christmas presents. I finally have all the bits cut out, at least for the first batch, and when I've sewn up two or three more of them can start assembling them. Most mysterious, eh?

A few linkies for you to stop me ranting about Centrelink. I think I'm going to go to my local federal member and whine at his office. It is ridiculous, but that rant is for another time!

I stumbled across this interview with Jamie Lee Curtis. In it, she says she only keeps enough clothes for two weeks. Take a look at her closet (it might be shared with her husband, it isn't said). Maybe she does only have enough clothes for two weeks in there (though that seems quite unlikely from the amount of hanging and drawer space) but she certain has enough shoes for at least three weeks without wearing a pair twice!

I love this little knitted reversible toy from Spud and Chloe. Man, I want one! But it will have to wait until after Christmas presents are finished. They have a little knitted elf that is sorta cute too but reversible toy? Such a win in my book!

I think I'll make some green bags for Christmas, like the Sew Mama Sew challenge suggests I should. Then I can give family and a few friends (cos I am not made of Christmas material or time) a reusable handcrafted Christmas gift in a reusable handcrafted Christmas gift!


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December already?

G'day all!

Umm, where did the year go? Actually on second thoughts, this is one year I'd prefer not to have back...

We are in the countdown to Christmas in earnest now. I am busy at work and at home. I've been weeding madly in the garden. I'm sewing madly (no pics, it isn't far enough along yet to share but it is going to be waaay cute when it, or rather they, are done. Well I think so anyway!). I'm knitting a shawl madly. I think I've gotten everything together for the mortgage broker tomorrow.

Yesterday I had my first three monthly check up. The checkup was on my arm in particular, the right one, to check for lymphodema. Its measurements were one millimetre in most of the places measured different to last time, so that is good as it indicates it isn't puffing up badly. I talked to Vinod, the medical oncologist leading the study I am in. He said that I am not going on tamoxifen or any other hormone blocker cos the biopsies did not show enough estrogen activity (and NO progesterone activity at all). The side effects from the estrogen blockers would probably outweigh any possible benefits and I already have enough to deal with from the side effects of chemo (and radio but it is the chemo that is still having ongoing issues!). The joint pain I'm getting is almost certainly part of the low/no hormones (chemo knocked them out). I am feeling and looking much better than I did, but I still have a ways to go.

Me, Krustette the clown. LOL

Anyway, it is much later than when I started this post and DH must nearly be walking in the door, so for the nonce,