Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Crafted Satisfaction at gifts well recieved.

Ahhhh... I like Boxing Day.

The quiet... the chance for my little one to actually play with her toys..oh, hang on I need to go help build a Lego service station... Okay done :)

Well, Christmas is done, just the generalised merriment left.

I was actually really gratified with one set of gifts in particular. Being a novice at sewing, I actually breathed deep and made three sewn gifts for my nephews (in law to be.. if you follow me). Two of them came from the Softies book - a Japanese style bunny for the baby (10months or so) and a blue astronaut for the 4 year old who's into rockets and space. Finally I made a real sized rugby ball for the eldest (5 going on 6) who is about to start at his new school. His uncle went there too, and so my mother in law (to be) was kind enough to give me one of his old school blazers and an old rugby jumper. (Don't worry there are others, they aren't the final year sentimental ones). Anyway these got refashioned into the panels and emblem of the school on the ball.

I was really pleased. An oddly the one I thought the best (astronaut) was the least adored! The baby was so pleased with his bunny, and played with it, sucked on it, giggled at it and waved it around all afternoon :)

The ball was immediately received with a "My school ball! Whoo-hoo!" and then kicked and thrown around (thankfully its all squooshy and hence safe for indoor play ;-)

The astronaut got a "cool!" and then its new owner promptly ran back for the pool. (Hey, it was 40 degrees out (that's 104 American readers) so I could hardly blame him..)

Considering I spoke with my man about my misgivings about giving kids who are happily in the electronic generation such old fashioned toys was quickly quashed. All loved far better than I had expected, so I was really happy. Incidentally, so was their mum to talked to me about the difficulty in finding nice, not nasty looking, non-plastic toys for them!

On my front, I got several of my list items (yay!) including that coveted Interweave Knits subscription!! And of course, the aforementioned mixer :) :) So the loot was good. I also got some Egyptian cotton white towels. Amazingly lovely. As my man said, "I think my mum knows you well now.."

Oh the photo? well, the post looked kind of boring without any colour. They are some of the baking I did. Yum.

Have a great break all - I trust the festive season is treating you well and that you all have air con. We sort of do, but its kind struggling right now.. And SnB ladies, I'll see you Friday. Oh and any requests for favourite sorbet or ice cream?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It must be Christmas-time.

Why? Because our house is baking central :)

Every year (for many years now) our little family (originally of two, now three) bakes biscuits and fruit mince pies for giving away. Admittedly the third member of the house was originally not much assistance at first, mostly focused on the bright coloured things and how good the icing tasted if she could manage to get the hand into the white bowl and then into her mouth.
Actually, three years on, not that much has changed.

Anyway. I have been baking a storm. So far we have -
  • ginger snap biscuits (double batch)
  • fruit mince (approx 2kg from scratch)
  • chocolate peppermint biscuits (double batch)
  • Pastry for fruit mince pies is resting in the fridge before rolling out
  • and so is the vanilla biscuit dough.
This is, quite literally, the first time since 9am this morning I have sat down. (It's 4.30pm now.) I even ate lunch standing up watching over the simmering fruit mince. So a break is good.

After this, I'm onto making fruit mince pies and then biscuits with my daughter.

At some point (tonight or maybe tomorrow) I will go into the city to pick up the remaining Christmas gift (a book I had to order in) and hopefully my Christmas dress (our family tradition states that no matter how broke you are, you get a new outfit for Christmas).

Unfortunately my most beloved of Christmas presents - which is sitting in my bedroom as we speak - can't be used. (Yes, obviously I asked for one, and it isn't a surprise).

I love it so much, I honestly have thought about going in there just so I could hug it. More than once. This is, undoubtedly deeply geeky behaviour ... but I love it.)

It looks pretty much just like this...
You see, in addition to being a knit-geek and a computer game geek, and previously a role-playing geek and LARPing geek, and maths geek and book-geek...

I am also a foodie. (food-geek just doesn't sound right, somehow).

The way to a man's heart might be through his stomach. The way to mine is clearly through semi-professional kitchen appliances. Love you honey!

Anyway, those of you coming to the SnB Secret Santa will get to taste some of my fruit mince pies - and at least I should be able to use it by then to make pastry :) :)

Merry Christmas/festive season to all. I wish you good cheer, calm and really excellent food.

Peace to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I is a lace-knittin' fiend!

Well, I think the lace bug has bitten me again. And hard.

Helped enormously by a return to my 45 min bus-commute.

I have completed I think maybe 10 repeats or so of my Print O' the Wave stole in the last week?

I am now heading into repeat 14 of the 17 for the second half.

I didn't bother to photograph it, because well.. it look pretty much exactly like this..
but on circulars. (that's the first half if you're wondering).

I now have three repeats to go and then the very scary grafting. And then the possibly less-scary but more time consuming edgings. Yes, that is correct. They are a plural. There's two of them. Let's not think about that right now, 'k?

All this sudden burst of lace caught me unaware. I was so psyched out Tangled Yoke but it's got nary a look in of late. Which is unfortunate, since I sit under a vent at work, making my working conditions subarctic and therefore could do with a nice cardi.

I also caught myself looking at cobweb lace patterns on Ravelry. For several hours. And then I caught myself and now feel faint at the idea. I'm sure I'll recover soon. Christmas is coming. And I had Interweave Knits subscription and yarn on my list. *crosses fingers*

Cos I have been such a ever so good girl this year.. {looks innocent...ish}

Oh and if I saw this when I made my list, that'd just about be all that'd be on it. Well, maybe some of this too. Oh, and definitely this. My inner goth child passed out a while ago from squeeing so hard she couldn't breathe. (Shhh, let's not wake her I need to go to bed..)

This didn't help.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Now everyone, stand up a moment.. stretch.... breathe in deeply and exhale.... take a moment to wriggle your fingers and breathe and wake up a bit. Okay. You can all sit down now.

(I may or may not have been training too much lately..)

Well, I have been the embodiment of busyness the last while.

On the other's a brief summary of some of the things I have done...
  • Supervised or did the installation of a variety of objects in my house (carpet, wardrobes, chest of drawers, bed etc. )
  • Cleaned new house. Sometimes multiple times since tradesmen don't believe in doormats apparently.
  • Moved house
  • Cleaned and emptied previous cupboard (aka the apartment) of residence. (this took WAAAY too long).
  • Unpacked all but one room (study, which does not have its shelves etc. yet) and 3 miscellaneous boxes. (This sounds trivial when I write it. It really, really isn't).
  • Run a number of courses at work without my usual co-trainer. (Nearly lost my voice three times on last day...)
  • Made a mohair beret for my mother's trip to UK/Birthday present (no photos sorry, forgot to ask before she packed it - it was a speed knit).
  • Went to my daughter's Christmas concert to see her play Rattle, Rattle Dump Truck on the violin, and then spend the rest of the concert on the stage giggling and whispering and playing with her friend next to her. (sigh)
  • Had several groups of friends & family over for meals
  • Bought all but three of my Christmas presents.
  • Finished and gifted the Cornflower lace scarf. For those of your following along I was reliably informed that it was gratefully received, the colour (her favourite) was perfect and she received many compliments on it. After much angsting over the fringe/no-fringe thing.. it worked really well. I liked the fringe a lot.
  • And last night, I made a bunny! He's for the baby (1 year old?) in the family.. I sewed him. All by myself. I even embroidered! And I didn't stuff anything up! Miracles!

And on that note... Christmas is coming and I have a stack of thinking left to do. Not presents, (they're largely sorted) but.. what baking and kid-friendly stuff I want to do :) And I get a whole two weeks off!!

At this stage my holidays consist of : Baking Christmas biscuits with daughter (her pick), Taking daughter to movies & taking the ferry to the city (her pick) and playing Zelda on the Wii (my pick!). Oh and trying not to put on 5 kilos over Christmas. I ahve the internal fortitude of a wet tissue at the moment, so it's not boding well.