Thursday, November 29, 2012


On the way to the doctor I noticed there was a spectacular storm looming. Strange mushrooms of humid, steamy air were pluming in the sky. So Brisbane, so November.

I like shapely clouds. One day I would like to study them and work out how to paint them well so I could have a huge painting of them over our bed. The Big fella has a friend who is a renowned painter of clouds. Perhaps we could commission him.

On arriving at the doctor I was pleased to see that her well stocked waiting room had some new Home Beautifuls. Being the loveliest female doctor of breastage she does NOT stock Marie Claires and Vogues full of strangely elongated women with perfect breastage for the real women in the waiting room to be traumatised by.

My doctor's name is Jenny. I sometimes find myself calling her "my Jenny" but then I sound a bit like Forrest, Forrest Gump.

It was fortuitous finding the Home Beautiful for it also reminded me that another storm is looming. That would be Christmas folks. The image below from the H.B. reminds me of how Christmas will never look at our place.

.We NEVER wear long sleeved ironed shirts. It's too hot.

.We don't have handbag dogs and if we did we would not dress them in frocks and Santa hats and cuddle them at table. It is too hot.

.We do not have tablescapes of delicate flowers and light, dainty know why, don't you?

.We don't use real crockery for the chillun and the glassware is non-matching. There are too many of us. We don't smile politely while one family member makes a light clearly enunciated comment. We all speak simultaneously and loudly and participate in multiple conversations at a time.

.We do not have matching white paper lantern things.

.We do not tie ribbons around our napkins. They are in a packet.

.We never have dewy complexions but are ruddy, sweaty and salty /chlorinated.

.We do not have immaculately coiffed hairstyles but messy hair which are also sweaty and salty/ chlorinated.  (Some of us have considerably less than we did last year. What was I thinking? It must have been too hot!)

.We DO have a handsome white haired grandad. We suspect he likes to turn off his hearing aid.

Here's one we prepared earlier for comparison.
This is not the full contingent. It is about half of them. 
If it's not chaotic, it's not Christmas.
After late lunch, when the kids are swum ragged, they all lie down to watch the High School Spectacular or something else Grandma has taped for them to fall asleep in front of and the grown ups laugh and chatter and tipple till late over the leftovers.
I dread it and love it equally. 

We are one but we are many...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jolly wog blues

This poor maimed creature was brought to me by the short one for extensive repairs. He looked familiar and upon further enquiry she revealed that he had been offloaded  bequeathed upon her by her granny. 
In fact this jollywog originally belonged to my sister who is now in her thirties and was made for her by my own lovely Grandma, the one who introduced me to crochet.  

So we're looking at a jollywog, c. 1979 here. Can we rebuild him? We have the technology.
Fortunately, the same granny taught me to darn. This not a skill I have used often but it is fittingly the one we have used here for Jolly.

Note unidentified solidified goop which is insoluble but benign. 

Grandma's darning skills were far superior to mine. There may well be scarring due to the indelicate nature of my dog stitching do- goodedness.

There was also the matter of the c. 1979 stuffing which seemed to be decomposing inside him so we had to remove his innards and replace it with state of the art 2012 cushion filler.

His facial bits could still do with a little reconstruction as he has deterioration of the felt particularly in his saucer like eyes. All the better to see you with, Mr J.

After a good wash in Wool Mix he is drip drying in the morning sun outside. 
Reconstruction is a big decision Jolly W. and prohibitively expensive. 
You will, however,  get a 10% rebate from your private health fund who is putting up their premiums and happy to pay for your gym membership if you buy it on a Tuesday in a leap year on Mars.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blueberry Sunday

Sunday breakfast is special because you don't need to rush it. 
You can actually have it when you get up not at 10 am in the shape of a bruised banana from the handbag between school drop offs and doctors' visits.

You can eat things you might otherwise not think of. Like bacon. We will always have bacon.
Somedays though when it is hot and summery there is the goodness of frozen secrets from the freezer.

Somebody has been buying frozen blueberries possibly hoping to eat them himself. However it would seem that his daughters have developed a preference for the berry not least because it is so much fun to swirl into white yoghurt and make lush, ploppy peaks of purple to consume.

Possibly this is also due to the influence of his own mother (the best little mother in law in the west- ern suburbs), who has a fondness for all things mauve, lilac, lavender, amethyst, jacaranda, hyacinth and puce. She introduced the berry of blue to the girls and has called them both Miss Blueberry since they could walk. So if there are none left when you get home it is your mother's fault, Big Fella, although I may have inadvertently chugged a few myself!

Real men scoff at such ninny nanna food and prefer a hearty slab of leftover cottage pie before continuing to mod wheeled things on the brekky table.

Such a hard core skater boy, he is now tagging the house in electrical tape. Dude!

Miss Blueberry, a.k.a. the Skater Girl has gone all legs eleven on me since she turned ten. 
The child is growing like a weed...

or a crocheted rug. Four rows down and still plodding along.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Further Adventures of Marjory Mojo

 This box has not been opened in a while.

Marjory opened it when she visited the other day and blew out some cobwebs.

Along with the sewing mojo, there has been a return to the reading mojo. This deliciously springtime yellow edition of 'the Secret Garden' was given to me for my birthday recently and has been a most wonderful and fitting return to book reading. If you haven't ever read it, it's about a sickly child's recovery and re-emergence into life  in a glorious spring-filled garden. There is life symmetry here people. I haven't read it since I was in single digits but relished rereading it in the rainy weather with the girls curled up listening along.

The crochet mojo is back too with the appearance of a vast number of granny squares to be crocheted together now into the 'radiation rug'. (sequel to the biopsy blanket and chemo quilt)

Two rows down, eight to go. 

Almost there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marjory Mojo and La Machina's Triumphant Return to the Stage

Marjory Mojo has been noticeably absent around here for quite a while. There has been little artistica and the bare basics of domestica to get by. 
Marjory shot through in March. She just couldn't stand the heat so she got out of the kitchen. Monday she stuck her head in the door briefly. She didn't stay long but assured me she'll be back for a longer visit soon.
This rather jolly fabric from Prints Charming got us started. I pulled it out and whacked a quick hem on the ends. Something done! Lala provided the makings of a rustic 'vinaigrette'.

I do like Prints Charming. It has ancestors in the fabulous Art Park range but has become a whole new range of crafts and workshops based on the creator's fabric designs. Now you can get some of the designs at Spotlight instead of just on line.

Of course, this flurry of stitching saw La Machina dragged out from the laundry cupboard where she is frequently flooded by her higher adversary, the Sink of Soaking.

Throw in a discarded dress from a good friend and, "Ding Dong", Marjory Mojo was back at the door.

I cut a pattern from an old dress of Shorty's by drawing around it in blackboard chalk.

 Finally found a use for the glockenspiel or at least its stick which Fishy still has to return to school having not used it since I got sick. Still, it was handy to have the knobby stick here for the complex turning inside out of the dress ties.

Then Ta-Da! Not only does it fit and I didn't have to go out half way through to get some missing bit and nothing has unravelled but...SHE LIKES IT... much so that she has worn it now for two days and two nights. This morning I hid it because it had 'upinade' on it. (Do we have to correct them when they have their own words for a beverage?)

So there's a tablecloth, a vinaigrette, a summery frock and even some hookery pokery going on, fuelled by late night insomnia and fidgety fingers. 
It (almost) feels like me again!

'Grrr-annie' squares for Marjory

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week ender

There was much battening of hatches and clearing of decks on the week end. We sat on the red observation couch to watch it gather and unleash its fury.

It was colourful and noisy and spectacular. 

Next day butter wouldn't melt in Mother Nature's mouth as we drove up to the top of a mountain to look for the Lost Caves of Bungalow Bliss. They are still lost and we would still be looking but for having left Shorty's shoes and the water bottle behind. It was my first bushwalk since treatment. The trees began to spin above my head and when I started to hear pan pipes in the shrubbery it was time to bail.

Tall city centres always remind me of Kurt Vonnegut's "Skyscraper National Park" when I see them teetering together on their little invisible island.

I believe my father proposed to my mother on this lookout when it was more rustic and there were a lot less skyscrapers. We may take them there for a surprise coffee one day.

They need not look for the caves. 

Dad's hip would not approve!

"Look gairls! Is that a cave?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Letting Them Eat Cake

After Blogtoberfest I needed to take a Bex and a lie down for a week or so. Meanwhile, my friend Cath, sent me the recipe for that delicious and decadent cake so I'm passing it on as promised.
The bonus is that, Cath, being a mother of seven, has a lot of things down to a fine art in terms of expedience and quality. This cake is so EASY!!!

Cath's Freckle Cake

Two cups of sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
7g baking powder
7g bicarb soda
6 g salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
120 mls vegetable oil
10 mls vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (she uses coffee)

Add all ingredients except boiling water to a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add boiling water or coffee. 
Mix again. Put into a cake tin and bake at 180 degrees of around 35-40 minutes depending on your oven. Allow to cool and ice with chocolate icing and whatever takes your fancy...smarties, nuts, coconut, strawberries or .... FRECKLES!!!

The amazing lush icing? It's bought stuff in the dark chocolate flavour. I never knew there was such a thing and it's good! I trust a mother of seven. This will be today's afternoon tea. I'll time the making for you like Jamie Oliver with his fifteen minutes smack-me-I'm-hysterical meals.

Speaking of cake...we had a birthday here on Monday. My first youngest turned ten! TEN! Lucky I have another youngest to take the sting out of it. The heart squeezing Princess Lala and her beautiful assistant and I did lunch. 

Then she went for her inaugural double digit solo bike ride.

 We pumped up the tyres.

Then there may have been the sound of helicopter roters of the parenting variety.

Too mummy stalker?

Too precious!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Truly Ghouly

We weren't going to do it this year. I grumbled a bit about the logistics on a week night with five but then it all fell into place. The girls mustered at a friend's house and donned a bit of their Scary McLairy attire. The small one wasn't supposed to go but kind of got dressed and suddenly she was. How could you tell this to stay home?

The Ghoulettes were not as pretty as in years gone past. As I painted Lala, she kept insisting."Uglier. Not ugly enough!" I told her she would scare the short one so she settled for Coraline meets the mummy.

When red eye works!

 By the time we started it was dark so the photos are pretty dodgy but you get the idea. This was the first stop. The face is saying ,"Are you kidding me? I say Happy Elouise* and they just hand over lollies?" This is her third Halloween. In fact it's everyone's third Halloween. The first she was in a pouch, next time in a pram and last year we had a bit of both. This year we all walked the entire thing.

* Shorty speak for Happy Halloween

While others were focussed on the lollies I was distracted by some seriously special West German pottery. Check out that lovely lamp. Colour and form, readers. This was the house of Scandy Andy whom we have visited before. Shorty only had one working head light which made her easy to spot in the dark but I kept expecting her to veer to the right.

Meanwhile the zombies were massing on Scandi's verandi!

The gloating and counting of the booty was the short lived climax of the evening. 

We scooped the boys up from their festival of tooth decay and dropped off some spare girls. The car was abuzz with festive energy and sugar and general overtired hysteria.
Some looked like they might not be able to sleep for a while. 

It takes more than some delirious preteen noise to put the self bedder off her game though. Indeed it is a sweet lullaby to her ears.
I had to pry that bucket of lollies from her grubby unconscious fingers.

There was no time for me to dress up with all the comings and goings but here's one I prepared earlier when Lala was introducing me to her beauty regime a while ago. She made this sparkly goop at a beauty birthday party. There were no cucumbers so apples sufficed leaving me all starry eyed. How do you like them apples? 


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