Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip to the Emerald City

Playwright David Williamson penned a play called the Emerald City back in the 1980s, where one of his characters described Sydney as:
"The Emerald city of Oz. Everyone comes here along their yellow brick roads looking for the answers to their problems and all they find are the demons within themselves."
Well we followed the yellow brick road and found some demons - not of our own making - in the form of germs! Carl and the kids managed to pick up some kind of 24-hour tummy bug which was not pretty. I escaped it, but after our arrival back in Canberra came down with a dreadful chest cold, including fever and delirium last night and this morning! Our wonderful winter of woe continues on the health front. Never mind, tomorrow is the last official day of winter and then we are into spring - and READY!
In between bouts of illness, we managed several outings, including to the Taronga Zoo, where I was thrilled to see the seven-week old elephant Luk Chai, and the Sydney Aquarium. We also caught a couple of ferries around the harbour, taking in the spectacular views. Sydney really is a beautiful city when you can get out on the water. The kids had a great time, although we absolutely wore them out. Sadly, I didn't make it to Ikea - Carl was sick as a dog the night before we were due to leave Sydney, so I drove us straight home. Here are some photos from our holiday. You can click on any of them to see a bigger version - I love the one of the mummy Chimpanzee with her baby. Reminded me of me!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Handmade Help's 'Homemade' is here

Lots of lovely alliteration! Spotted on Mands' blog, a new recipe book - and one with a great story and a good cause behind it. I put in my order for the Handmade Help 'Homemade' recipe book last week and it was waiting for me in my letterbox when we arrived home from Sydney yesterday afternoon.

With lots of delicious recipes, including one from Mands and a bunch from Pip from MeetmeatMikes (if you read her blog or follow her on Twitter you know she's pretty handy in the kitchen), it looks great. We're going to try a slow cooker chicken recipe during the week to get things started.

The story behind the cookbook is the Victorian bushfires - a bunch of crafters got together after the fires with a bunch of ideas to help those who were affected. One of the ideas was to create a cookbook - the proceeds of which go to the Salvation Army, and a free copy for every copy sold will be donated to a bushfire victim. That ticked all my boxes!

You can order a PDF version or a print version here. And then you too can enjoy the fabulous recipes and know that you're making a small difference too.


We had a good time in Sydney, although Carl and the kids picked up a 24-hour tummy bug which put a dampener on things. I've also come down with a chest cold just to even things up. I couldn't be the only healthy one in the family now could I? Photos from the Sydney trip are coming soon. Watch this space!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby gifts

There's nothing like a new baby to inspire some sewing. A quilting buddy of mine, AJ, recently celebrated the birth of a beautiful baby boy, Aden Henry. AJ's pregnancy journey was long, with her much wanted baby finally arriving with the help of some modern medical magic. Her joy upon discovering she was finally pregnant after more than two years was contagious. Her family and friends were all overjoyed for her and her husband. Such wonderful news called for a very special quilt, so some of the EB Quilters got together (virtually, of course) and made a 'Noah's Ark' quilt for Aden, or 'Russell' as he was called inutero.
(Photo nicked from AJ's blog)

I made the Ellie & Squeak block - the first time I've made anything like this, as applique isn't really my thing. I did enjoy it though - especially rummaging through my modest stash to find fabric that would work with the sashing fabric (our mutual starting point). Two clever ladies, Emma and Adds, put the combined parts together and Emma did a marvellous job of the quilting and sent it off just after Aden's arrival. AJ loved the quilt and we loved making it for her.I also made a little outfit for Aden - some cute little shorts and a matching applique onesie, using some of the luscious and soft Prints Charming fabric I had leftover from the party bag epic. I made the outfit in the 6-9m size, as Aden is a big boy. Hopefully it should fit him as the weather warms up - he lives in Queensland, so that shouldn't be too far away!
Well we're off to Sydney tomorrow. We're planning on visiting the Aquarium, Taronga Zoo and possibly Luna Park if we haven't worn the kids out completely. We're staying right in town, so we'll be close to all the good stuff and we'll catch ferries to the zoo and to Luna Park. It'll be quite an adventure for the kids! And I might even manage to squeeze in a visit to Ikea on the way home on Friday. Depends how tired we are!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tristan is one!

Goodness me that year went quickly! I can't believe my little man is one already. He's such a happy chappy and I love him to bits. I just wish for his sake that he hadn't been sick so often this winter - he's recovering from another bout of croup, but still manages to be in fine spirits. Let's hope as the weather warms his health improves! Here are some of my favourite photos from his first year in our lives. I'd forgotten what dark hair he had in those early months!

Happy birthday to my happy little man. I love you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here come the cousins!

They came, they played, they went home exhausted! There hasn't been much crafting going on around here. This is why!
My adorable nephews came for a visit over the weekend, much to the delight of Romily, who adores them, and Tristan, who thrives on the excitement of so many kids to play with. My brother and my sister-in-law drove up from Melbourne on Friday and did it in reverse yesterday. A long way to come for the weekend, but three days was more than enough for my over-excited four-year-old!

They had so much fun, but not quite enough sleep. Rom slept in her swap on her bedroom floor while the twins top and tailed in her bed. They had the funniest conversations when they should have been sleeping. Darcy and Cody are four weeks younger than Romily, and it's quite funny to watch her try to boss them around (she gets that from me) and them just ignore her! Sounds like typical female-male relations to me!
The older two, Zach and Sam, were so good with all the little ones. Rom and Sam have a special relationship and they are just adorable together. It was really great seeing Jacinta and Jim with their tribe - we don't get a lot of chat time when we visit them in Melbourne, as we're usually too busy making sure the kids don't get into too much trouble to talk properly. This time we were able to have a good chinwag after the kids were in bed.
With five of the six cousins celebrating birthdays within a month of each other, we had another cake to celebrate. We sang happy birthday to 'everybody' and all of the kids helped blow out the candles (except Tristan who was asleep in his cot already!).We headed out to some of Romily's favourite places in Canberra, including Questacon (a science and maths discovery place for kids) and Cockington Green (Miniature villages and a miniature steam train). The kids had a blast at both places, although they really wore themselves out!Jacinta and I did do a little bit of crafting - Zach and Sam are dressing up as 'Where's Wally' for book week in September. We were raw-edge appliqueing red felt stripes onto white skivvies. They will look adorable in matching red and white striped beanies being knitted by their 'other' grandmother (i.e. not my mum but Jacinta's mum). Also, I finished another two drawstring bags the night before the cousins arrived. One for Darcy and one for Cody, stuffed with a cute t-shirt and shorts outfit each (matching, but different colours) and a cute first reader book for each of them.Romily was bereft upon the cousins' departure and spent a good hour sobbing and wailing. Every time I looked at her she burst into tears again! She loves her cousins and I wish we could live closer so that they could see more of each other.


Things will be a little quiet around here over the next few weeks. I have a paper due on Sunday and then we're off to Sydney for the week for a little bit of a family holiday. I'm going to take some handwork with me, but depending on how exhausted I am, may not get much done! Looking forward to some more crafting soon.