Saturday, 23 August 2008

in stitches

The reason for my visit, besides retail therapy and going to musicals, was to go to the craft fair on at Rosehill Racecourse. I wanted to stock up on fabrics for the fair in November in Coota ( .
Mum selflessly volunteered to go with me on my mission and Dad stayed behind to gather his energy for that night (dinner and the movies!). We found our way to Rosehill Racecourse on a beautiful Sydney day and prepared to go crazy. As we approached the pavilions we had a choice to go left or right and luckily we chose right. Would you believe the first stall we saw was the Picklemouse one ( where we got lots of advice and loads of gorgeous fabric from Pam and Alicia. I could see the other people were looking at us as if to say why are they so special? I took a photo but then got in trouble from security in case I was stealing someone's quilting ideas (yes, I've always wanted to make a Donald Bradman quilt). We then had a look at the rest of the exhibitors in that area but there were only a few really good ones. Let's just say there was quite alot of stuff that wasn't really my thing (freaky dolls and bears and bags that has been appliqued, froufou and tizzed to the max - eeek!) Luckily though what floats my boat doesn't necessarily do so for others and lots of ladies seemed to be having a great time.
We had a look at the other pavilion which had a strange aroma (I thought someone had been burning incense but apparently there was a pyromaniac on the loose). There were some things of interest (I got some great Amy Butler patterns and a couple of jelly rolls) and mum and I got to give our hands a bit of exfoliation and moisturising though the pregnant bogan woman didn't and she was cranky.
Having assumed that we would need the whole day to see the craft fair we were pleased that it was still quite early. I suggested ducking upstairs where the classes were being held just in case and I'm glad we did. This is where they put all the creative, clever, bloggy people with quirky, gorgeous things to sell. The area, complete with clotheslines, was very cute and much more my thing. There were lots of lovely retro aprons (which were what I tried to make for a friend for her birthday but ended up with something rather large and not quite so chichi. I'm guessing now that she is almost nine months pregnant it probably just fits) and felt cupcakes and fruit and cuteness as far as the eye could see. Even a bunny.I found out from the lovely Jade (her blog is that all the gals in the area had blogs and will be putting the links up asap. She was sewing the binding on a lovely quilt (great colours and simple, not OTT) and there are photos of it and other projects on her blog. Clever.
So I bought some more lovely bits and pieces and tried to absorb all the cleverness and creativity to inspire me on my return to OJ.
And the dinner and the movie? We saw Mamma Mia which was okay. Funny. Everytime the actors burst into song people started giggling (so that was frequently) and it wasn't just because Pierce Brosnan looked like he was trying to pass a kidney stone everytime he sang. Ouch.
And dinner was at a restaurant called Papaya, which had very funky chandeliers and rattan poufs (not good for bare legs) and we ate some lovely food. Moneybags, Duck Salad, Whole Snapper and soft shell crabs. Mmmm.

Friday, 22 August 2008

the new pete cundall

In spite of the cold weather, Jack is champing at the bit to go outside and play in our yard. There's lots of stuff to do: chase Lucky dog, kick the ball, swing and watch the trucks go by but he really loves gardening with S.
So the other day when S turned up with some potatoes to plant (thanks Diane!) Jack was keen to help.


It seems I've done it. I've cracked the indifference that usually greets me at Jack's Playgroup. Did I take along morning tea (no, I did that once before and my blackbottomed cupcakes were too..well too something and S was delighted when I came home with leftovers).
No, I wore a tracksuit. And we're not talking a Juicy Couture one. We're talking grey trackies with a bloop of pumpkin soup on the leg and a droopy bum. If only I'd known I would've worn them a lot sooner.
Jack had a lovely time playing with the toy stoves and cars and babies and causing havoc. He tried to share a chair with a ginger child but she was not happy. I don't think she's very good at sharing because there was a brouhaha about crayons. Absolutely nothing to do with Jack but she was involved. And we did a craft. All of us, even the seven month old baby. Jack particularly liked the glue part and squidging it around with his fingers. I'll post a photo of his creation when I get home.
At the moment I'm at Villa Tuscana in Sydney sans the boys! My first time away from Jack. And in spite of missing Lucky and Jack and S I've been having a lovely time, shopping at Country Road, having a facial. Just don't tell the mums at playgroup. That would be a big backwards step.
Last night I caught up with my friend Soph and went to see Keating! the musical. I mentioned this at the beauticians yesterday and the English girl who did my facial didn't know who Paul Keating was. Another woman who worked there said with a pussy bum mouth, "He's a former Prime minister of Australia and a pig farmer." I guess that's one way to describe him.
The musical was fantastic. I particularly loved the duet between Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot (My heart's in peril, Cheryl!) with Gareth in his safari suit and Cheryl in her ravishing red outfit she wore for the women's weekly photo shoot. Hilarious. And the actor playing John Howard (and Bob Hawke) - Terry Serio - did a fantastic job. I loved Howard's costume changes, from suit to Wallabies track suit to army flak jacket to moleskins and akubra. And Alexander Downer's solo. Well that was just freaky.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Tap dog

Besides driving and bouncing, Jack has also been doing some tap dancing (he must've inherited that talent from his Sydney Grandfather). He dances all over the place whenever the mood takes him but has discovered that a trailer is a very fine place to dance. It must make a good noise.

Baby you can drive my car...

In the last couple of weeks Jack has taken a fancy to driving any cars he can get his hands on (or persuade someone to open the door and pop him on the seat). He especially likes it at Mudgeegong because apart from the tractor there is also a celica, a mini, the land rover and the troopie. And once he gets started he wants to try them all. Pressing the horn, turning on the hazard lights and all sorts of fun. He may need to grow a little though so he can see over the steering wheel.

Jack and Lily

I was interested to see how Jack would behave with Lily. He would try and give her books and things but seemed disappointed when she didn't grab onto them. She is only 4 months old. He also helped her bouncinette a little, giving it some extra bounce, and gave it a try when Lily had vacated it. For the most part though he didn't spend that much time with Lily(there are plenty of distractions at Mudgeegong as you will see). Then on Tuesday night while she was bouncing in her jumper he helped her bounce then gave her a hug, just as my camera ran out of batteries. I did get these photos though.

Pain au Chocolat is back on the menu

While we were away Jack became a bit of a fan of Pain au chocolat and I was worried about what would happen when we got back, with Wagga and Junee not exactly know for their bountiful supplies of pastries.

Then we went to the Growers Markets last weekend in Wagga and the wonderful french baker is now making them as well as other treats. It seems he and the family have just returned from France and he's expanded his range. Maybe he was inspired. I was certainly inspired (to eat alot of bread!).As you can see Jack was very happy.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The return of beakie

When I was little I had an excellent beanie called Beakie (for reasons which shall become apparent). Actually I also had a pair of slippers called Cookies. Note to self to ask parents if I named all my clothing or just those two items.
Anyway for some reason over the years I always hung on to beakie and I found it in a drawer the other day. As it has been cold (did I mention that?) I decided to try it on Jack. He's not really a fan of headgear. In fact he immediately removes anything you put on his head unless of course it has straps like beakie does. Aha! Foiled again. So here he is at Mudgeegong yesterday afternoon, inspecting the farm vehicles with Noel and Andrew.

grand birthday celebrations

Last Saturday night we had a combined birthday do for Kate and Andrew and Alex and S. Of course Noel, Diane, Lily, Jack, Belinda and myself were also in attendance. We had curries (supplied by Belinda, Diane and myself) many curries... followed by chocolate cake and ice cream.At this point of the evening we beat a hasty retreat so that Jack could go to bed and before any slippers could get thrown due to dubious decisions by a ref or bad play by the swannies.
And may I say that Diane's Massaman curry and Belinda's eggplant curry were truly scrumptious and the leftovers were just as good. And it's been very cold so it's definitely good weather for curry.
Alex got some swans fluffy dice for his birthday and decided to wear them. He's got some interesting ideas on parenting. He says when he has kids he's going to keep them awake all day so they sleep for a long time at night! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! S and I just about fell off our chairs laughing at that one.
This photo of he and Jack looks sweet but I think Alex was up to no good. And here's a photo of Jack and Andrew admiring the chocolate cake.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

My niece Lily

Yesterday I got to meet my niece Lily for the first time (and Jack got to meet his cousin). She's lovely and very well behaved. And she looks so much like her Dad. With some babies I can't see strong resemblances, but she's just like Gazrick.She (and her mum Kate) are staying for a week so expect more photos.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Yesterday Jack and I went to playgroup in Junee. It really is a good group. Very organised with a roster each week for who is doing morning tea, stories or craft. I think it's good for Jack to have a play with other kids and have fun. I, however, don't always feel comfortable. It seems to take awhile before the mums and family day care women will have a chat. I was just getting to that stage before we left but I think now I'm back to square one.
Is it true that you can take the girl out of Mosman, but you can't take the Mosman out of the girl? I do feel snobby when I listen to the other women talking about Big W being their favourite store because it has everything they need (really?). And I feel positively waif like compared to the other mums. But then the morning tea yesterday was Scones, which were a big hit. I have been known to make lemonade scones, because it's a bit of a novelty and they do turn out very light. The scones yesterday, however were Solo scones and they did seem to have a distinctive lemon tang. Apparently you don't have to use lemonade, you can use any soft drink, even coke. Who knew?


I thought I would put a photo on the blog of the fish mural in Jack's room for anyone who hasn't seen it. As I said when we got back home he stood and stared at the fish for awhile. And yes, I painted it (S did the cutting in) when I was about 8 months pregnant. No, I didn't get up a ladder, I have very, very long arms.
Btw my Mum made the quilt and the cushion. Nice aren't they? There are also matching curtains that look great with the turquoise.
Of course, Jack's' room doesn't look like this at the moment. His cot is in our room (it's warmer) and there are books and toys everywhere.

that name again is Mr Plough...

Yesterday while playing in the yard Jack discovered the old plough near the pepper trees and wanted to climb all over it. When we were at the Manor Jack loved going to the enormous park to play and my father was worried how he'd cope when he got home. Seeing as we live on four acres he's doing fine (as long as he stays away from the stinging nettles). At the moment it is very green and lush. We even have oats growing in the back yard. Come summer though it will probably revert to a dust bowl with bindies. No running around in bare feet then.

News from the Manor...

I got an email from the lovely Rebeca. She is about to move out of the Manor which must be so exciting but will have this recent wedding as a parting memory...
Today at The Manor, we have not only potatoes but also a wedding!!!. They have welcome the guests with the Star Wars sound track, for a while I thought that Dark Varder would appear at the Manor. At this moment many of the guests are totally drunk, dancing and singing bellow my window. Anyway it is nice, it gives joy.

I certainly hope the guests were using the force or at the very least a lightsaber when they were eating their meals. Note: these photos are not from the wedding at the Manor but it's amazing what comes up when you google 'star wars wedding photos' (981,000 results!). And if you have some spare time and want a giggle check out these pics on flicker. Hilarious.

Monday, 4 August 2008

fabric frenzy....

Before we left to go overseas I was a craft mama. It started with knitting S a jumper and quickly spiralled out of control and now includes sewing as well (thanks to a sewing machine from my parents). Simple stuff: bags, toys and the like. As my sewing and knitting have continued my stash has grown considerably. It is currently being housed in three big plastic tubs with a few sneaky little stashettes here and there.
Why all the fabric (and wool)? The first reason is that sometimes something is just too pretty to resist and the other reason is that I am about to embark on a crafting frenzy so that I can sell some goodies at the Market Day @ the Arts Centre in Cootamundra in November
My mum has been generously contributing to my stash (she's my enabler) while I was away, so when I returned I had a veritable trevor trove of fabric to admire. There's some lovely fabric this one matches my blog from the wonderful Amitie ( which is a fantastic shop in Victoria run by very helpful ladies and another reason why I like them so much is that Jack was on their blog once
I was chuffed.
And some great novelty prints like these monkeys and lions, and also some fabric (by Amy Butler) from the shop called Picklemouse ( that used to be downstairs under her office. It's such a shame they closed but they still have a shop in the blue mountains.And she got this great fabric from a textile artiste extraordinaire called Saffron Craig ( Love the owls.So as you can see I'm thoroughly spoilt and already thinking up ways to use the fabric. Can I bear to part with the owls?
When I got home there were some samples from a shop in Wagga called Simply Stitches ( including this one which I thought was very funny.In a couple of weeks Mum and I will be going to the craft fair at Rosehill which I'm really looking forward to. Better buy another tub or get sewing so I can make room.
I went to the Craft fair in Wagga on the weekend but it was really a load of tatt. Or should I say not my thing. Sigh. S asked if it was as bad as last year and I said it was worse. I did manage to find this fat quarter of Katie Jump Rope fabrics amidst the chintz. They even had a quilt made from it which looked sensational but was being kept under the counter. Sigh.