Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 31 - a fond farewell ...

Well, can you believe it, Blogtoberfest is over for another year!  I'm quite pleased with myself that I've written for most of the days, read almost 170 of the blogs and left a comment on every one.  Next year I'll try to get to 200 blogs read :)  It's been such an adventure of discovery reading new blogs and connecting with others, I've enjoyed it thoroughly.

So what did the last day of Blogtober find me doing?  Working, with a new creative project that may come to fruition to highlight the experience of those with mental illness - I spent a lot of time researching that (you'll have to watch this space for news of that one).  Coming home to my lovely family.  Reading the last chapters of 'How to Train Your Dragon' by Cressida Cowell to the Little Man (totally unlike the film, and a really great read, highly recommended).  Talking to my dad on the phone :)  Then getting ready to write this blog, wondering what to write, and finding a bookmark with a quote I love, which is very apt for all those lovely people who have followed my blog-ventures, old and new:

"A good friend is one who thinks you are a good egg, even if you are slightly cracked."  - Anon

So to my blog friends, thank you for all your comments and for following me during this last month, for your visits to my little whimsical space in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 30 - back home ... connected!

Obviously I am back on the internet and able to publish my posts - yay!  It's nice to be home, I have to say :)  Although it is also vitally important to have time to yourselves as a couple so you can remember who you are without the kids!  But there's nothing nicer than the front door being pulled open and kids spilling out to give you a cuddle when they hear the car coming up the drive ...

Another pic of our day yesterday - the approach to Capel Vale winery, isn't it beautiful? 

Blogtoberfest day 29 - Some Aussie pics ...

We spent day 29 of Blogtoberfest travelling around Mandurah, Bunbury and Capel, visiting a couple of wineries and having a perfectly lovely time.  Thought you might like to see some pics not taken in Perth, rather in the beautiful South West, a bit of Australiana ...

A warm welcome received at Clifton Wines, and a few yarns shared whilst tasting ...

Couldn't leave without some mango wine :)

How much more Australian can you get?  My Holden and a water tower in thr trees ...

... now you can see the water tower

Clifton winery welcome ...

The vines at Capel Vale winery

A drop of Chardonnay with lunch anyone?

Blogtoberfest days 27 and 28 - The Duct Tape Corset!

Ho hum – I’m now in Mandurah – without internet service!  So I’m having to write my posts in Word to save for later, and they’ll all appear on the same day.  At least Blogtober is still happening, even if at a delayed rate!
So here are the photos I took on 27th, blogging about on the 28th and possibly not being published until after the 29th!  They’re pics of the brilliant duct tape corset I made as part of the costume for the wedding anniversary/Halloween party we went to on Saturday.

Tools of the trade – having fun making holes and putting in eyelets ...
Starting on the skirt, which is made from a black sheet – here I’m trying to create the Gothic look ...

Lots of fun with tulle and organza ...

The finished outfit, minus my pointy hat ...
Front of the corset (sorry for fuzziness, bad lighting!)

Edited later:  The corset pattern/idea was taken from the brilliant book 'Anticraft - Knitting, beading, and stitching for the Slightly Sinister' by Renee Rigdon and Zabet Stewart.
I so enjoyed making the costume up as I went along ... I can feel a new career as a costume/dressmaker forming itself in my mind ... J

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 26 - A corset of sorts!

If I hadn't got over tired last I would have written about the corset I was making last night for a costume party on Saturday night.  Nothing too weird there, but wait ... it's made from duct tape!  The good thing is it's made to fit my shape exactly.  The not so good thing is that breathing becomes difficult and it does get a bit hot as you twist and turn to stick the lengths of tape to your t-shirt, especially as the tape sticks to everything else in the vicinity as well!  So glad I was on my own - it would have had everyone rolling on the floor!  Add to that a minor injury with scissors when they got stuck to the tape, and you do begin to wonder if you should have even started on this escapade ... I'll show you the finished project tomorrow if all goes to plan ...

Oh and blogs read today, numbers 151-160 from the list :)

Blogtoberfest day 25 - oooops!

I forgot and went to bed!  Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 24 - Portrait of moi

Today I have a guest photographer - my dad!  Here's a pic he took of me enjoying the world's best ice cream in Torrington, North Devon, when I was there back in August.  It was a trip down Memory Lane for both of us - when dad picked us up from school we would sometimes stop on Torrington Common for a yummy Hocking's ice cream (with flake!) as a treat.  This photo was really intended to wind up Big B who always gets us to stop for this ice cream when we're visiting in the UK!  In fact he plans out his entire itinerary based on where he wants to eat - bless :)

Before you check out anything else, check out Kat's (at 'I saw you dancing') wise words here; did I tell you she's hosting Blogtoberfest too?

Blogs visited today: numbers 141 -150 (less than half on the list, but not a bad effort!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 23 - butterfly fabric

This is the fabric I'm using for my blouse - I finished sticking together the A4 sheets from yesterday and did a few alterations on the final draft so that it can fit my rather buxom upper body!  That's what I love about Burda patterns, they are fairly easy to alter as you usually have to add seam allowances anyway - it just involves a bit more measuring :)

Hopefully I'll have something finished in the next few days to show you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 22 - been busy ...

What I've been up to today in between household chores :)

Preparing the Burda pattern I told you about the other day - the only drawback is I have to stick together 34 sheets of A4 paper to be able to trace off the pieces I need.

A bit more crochet on my yarn eater blankie ...

Didn't like the chores part, but enjoyed the craft!

Only read a few blogs tonight, numbers 136 - 140 - started a bit late!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 21 - reading, reading, reading

Okay I've tried not to favour any blogs over others (apart from my named and famed mentions if you comment on my blog before I reach yours in the list) because all the blogs are simply gorgeous and everyone is so creative and original, but I had to link to this one because the name is so fab and myself and my daughter were both saying 'NoodleBubble' just because we could and it sounds great and is good fun!  (and it is a fab blog too)  Blimey that sentence almost turned into a stream of consciousness!

Nothing much to blog about apart from that as I'm catching up on my blog reading and have now visited blog numbers 116 - 135 on the list.  How's your blog touring going?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 20 - what I'm working on tonight

More hexagons, for my October swap partner - and watching a vampire movie - an eclectic mix :)

Back on the Blogtoberfest wagon - blogs visited today, numbers 106 - 115.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 19 - My fave dress-making site (well, one of them!)

Can't believe I haven't blogged about this site before.  Those of you familiar with Burda patterns will love it, as will everyone else who likes dress-making.  Once you join you can set your own profile and share photos and tips for your projects.  There are lots of free patterns and patterns you can purchase fairly reasonably to print out at home.  The feature I love most is being able to see other completed projects shown off by other sewists just like you and me :)

I'm wanting to make some work blouses for summer, so went straight to  I've found this pattern I quite like, it looks fairly simple so I should be able to make a couple up in the weekend I'm hoping.

And look at this lovely vintage style tulip dress which has been recently added.

And I just love this empire line dress called Danielle, and even better, it's FREE!

It's definitely worth a look ...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 18 - Frazzled

My brain is fried ... been one of those weeks, and it's nearly Friday!  Yay!  I've only really had that 'Friday feeling' back since I've returned to work - now is that a good thing?

Got back home, made a cuppa, stomped off the frustration walking the dog, quick dash to Woolies for supplies, then up 'til late making pizza scrolls and cupcakes for a leaving party for one of Little Man's friends tomorrow.  I think the baking won, nothing like the smell of pizza dough and a sneaky try of a cupcake to revive the spirit!

I'm all ready for tomorrow now!

(no blog visiting tonight, taking a break but will enjoy the weekend discovering more in the blogosphere)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 17 - in our neighbourhood

Blogs visited today: numbers 96 - 105 from the list!

Here's something that's uniquely Australian - prescribed burning in the forests behind our house to stop fire from spreading so easily in the case of bushfire.  I know it's necessary for our safety, but everything looks eerie and barren and there's a permanent smokey smell - which you either love or hate :)
eerie ...
smouldering ...
 Can't wait until we can walk through the forest again, although it will be looking slightly different now ...

where's all the green gone ... ?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 16 - a fruity butterfly

Coo, I've surpassed myself today - blogs visited - numbers 81 - 95.  I had to stop because the little robot test thingies at the comments stage were making me go cross-eyed :)  I've been leaving so many comments, the numbers are actually being repeated and I'm starting to recognize them!

Here's a pic from an email my dad sent me today.  I love it because it's a butterfly, a symbol I use a lot in my art, and it's so delicate.

My day has been busy with posting children back to school, then enjoying my last quiet day by myself before I go back to work tomorrow.  So whilst I was very virtuous and did my monthly data entry as part of our bookkeeping (torture!), I also found time to cut out some fabric for some bags to sell and for gifts.  Christmas is a coming, and I need to get prepared ...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 15 - Feeling flat as a pancake

A cuppa always helps my mood - the mug is a present to myself from my trip to the UK in August :)
Woke up this morning feeling not so great.  I have to admit I was feeling a wee bit flat, but not really knowing the reason why.  There are a few things I can do, so the first was to have a lovely long walk with the dog and stomp a part of it off.  That worked, but I came home still feeling blah.

I ended up spending the rest of the day with the kiddies, just sitting whilst they were playing X-box; playing Dr Who Top Trumps with Little Man was entertaining - we played our way, until Big B informed us we weren't playing by the rules so we tried his version, it was good, but not as good as ours; we cut up fruit for our dehydrater; and walked the dog again in the evening at Jorgy Park.  I can honestly say my littlies cheered me up so much. 

My little hexies cheer me up too - 64 more to go ...
There's also a couple of blogs I turn to when I'm feeling down, they are always guaranteed to put a smile on my face; Jody Pearl who reinvents (upcycles) clothing and who taught me how to make a splice skirt, the best skirt ever!  And the girls at A Beautiful Mess because they are just so darned gorgeous and their blog is one to aspire to.  Go take a look, I promise you won't be disappointed.  And on the Blogtoberfest front, I've visited numbers 71-80 today, so have had a good dose of blog therapy :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 14 - cooking up a ratatouille storm!

Remember the lovely aubergines I was given the other day?  Well, I created up a culinary storm with them tonight and made a yummy ratatouille - here's my version of the classic.


1 large or 2 small aubergines
1 courgette, chopped
tin chopped tomatoes
mixed herbs
1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt n pepper

Firstly prepare your aubergine - chop into chunks, place in a bowl and sprinkle over with salt.  Leave for about 20 mins - this makes the aubergine lose that 'squeakiness' you sometimes get when you eat them!  There will be some water in the bowl by now from the aubergine - rinse the aubergine thoroughly and leave to drain.

Chop your onion, fry until soft, then add the aubergine and courgette and cover and leave to steam over a low heat for 5-10 mins until soft. 

Add your tin of tomatoes and a good splosh of balsamic vinegar (this really adds to the flavour). Add herbs and seasoning to taste.  Add about 1/2 cup water and let the ratatouille simmer for about 25 minutes.  Keep checking and adding water as you don't want it to dry out.

When the veggies are cooked to your liking, serve and enjoy!  This can be a lovely veggie meal on it's own with crusty bread, or served as a side.

Blogtoberfest blogs visited: no's 61-70

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 13 - snuggling, reading

Hi.  I'm not feeling too great today :(  A little bit poorly, so I snuggled into my little corner, with my little cushion and carried on with reading all the lovely blogs listed on the Blogtoberfest 2012 list.  Never knew I could enjoy serial reading of so many blogs.  It's very therapeutic and soothing.  What I like apart from the craft, is that people are so honest, and that we all share the same dramas, sadnesses and moments of joy.  It's like belonging to a big community.

Today, I've read from blogs 43 to 60.  Check some out for yourself.  xx

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lost for words ...

Look, I don't want to turn into one of those bloggers who's always showing pics of my dog to readers, but I reckoned this one is cute enough to share, especially as I've just returned from being out with friends and have not got anything prepared to post about!  I do try to think about what I'd like to discuss, but some days I'm a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal and I'll write about whatever comes to mind as I'm typing, much as I'm doing tonight :)  I think it's more important to start writing and get something down on paper.   This blogpost is about staying with my challenge of blogging everyday, even if it is complete nonsense!

How are the rest of you doing with inspiration for Blogtober?

Blogs read today:  being honest, 0 - had a couple of glasses of white wine and more inclined to fall asleep.  I'll catch up tomorrow, honest.  xx

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 11 - Sleepyhead

Blogs read from Blogtoberfest: 31 - 41 on the list
Named and famed blog: Georgy G Design

I'm going to be honest tonight and say I'm finding it hard to blog.  I have that tiredness that seeps into your very bones, so all of you aches and the only cure is to lie flat and let the sofa take the weight of your body ... I did have enough energy though to find a couple of quotes about sleep and to read some more lovely blogs.

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." -Irish Proverb

I'm going to take the advice from that one!

And this one has a ring of truth to it :)

"I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"  -Ernest Hemingway

Sweet dreams :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 10 - work ... but not quite

Wisteria in our backyard
A lovely sunny day, hence the lovely summery flowers to show you.

Today was actually my work day, though it was a "Family Fun Day" for our clients, which entailed spending the day in the park talking to people and eating lovely food.  The children mixed well even though this was their first time of meeting, which was great; if only we could get over our social inhibitions so quickly :)

Blogtoberfest blogs visited today: numbers 21 - 30
Join in the fun here

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 9 - another challenge!

Blogtober blogs visited: 11-20
Named and famed!  Trudy at Playing in the Attic - thank you for your comment!

I've thought of something else for my Blogtoberfest challenge - I've been pretty pants at answering comments that are left, so I've decided if someone leaves me a comment during Blogtober before I get to them on the Blogtoberfest blog roll I will leave a mention and a link to your blog here as a thank you for visiting and commenting.  I'm hoping to redeem myself in some way :)  And it has been so much fun visiting all these different blogs, I'm loving the challenge.

What I did today - I had reflexology on my feet, which was amazing and relaxing the first hour and a half I've had to sit quietly and just be for the entire school holidays.  Then my dear friend gave me a bag of lovely fresh veggies from her garden.  So I made tea with some of them and had to take a pic of the perfect aubergines - nothing to do with the fact they're purple of course ...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 8 - Lego building

I made the decision today to visit each one of the blogs that are taking part in Blogtoberfest 2012 AND to leave a comment on each one.  People put so much work into their blogs and I'd like to take the time to visit - and I've already left a comment on someone's blog saying I'm undertaking this so now I'm honour bound to do it!  Today I've visited blog numbers 1 - 10 from the list which you can find here.

Our Lego city begins to take shape ...
What else have I been doing?  Building a Lego city with Little Man of course!  We've made a police station, space station research centre and space vehicles amongst other things ... and we've not finished yet!

The little house that I built ...
A space mobile ... Little Man's specialty
A real Ninja move - hiding behind the space cannon - can you make out Doctor Who by the phone box in the background?
It's going to fill the rest of the holidays, which I'm glad about as Lego is the only thing that can conquer the lure of the games console - long live Lego!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 7 - 5 is the magic number

Think I might have overdone the hexagons yesterday - I ended up dreaming about them!   But that didn't stop me making up more templates today.  Everyone in the family thinks I've gone mad, but hexagons keep me going when the rest of life feels a bit hectic :)

We had a magical moment today when Little Man, HB, Big B, Duncan and myself were all sitting in the lounge doing our own thing - Little Man leaned over and whispered to me, "the whole family's together in the same room!"   Even though we were all occupied with our own activities whether it be reading, drawing or hexagons, we were all together quietly enjoying each other's company.  A rare commodity these days as our 'little people' are growing up and spreading their wings, and very, very special. xx

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 6 - more heavenly hexagons

Continuing my obsession with hexagons ...

Teeny tiny half inch hexies - I'll be sharing what this is going to become as the month progresses, and give you the link to the blogpost that inspired me at the same time.  So watch this space ...  My tiny hexies are surrounding a hexie flower I'm working on for my hexie swap partner.

Then from one extreme to the other - I'm making a knitting bag from the Cath Kidston book "Sew" which calls for slightly bigger hexagons ...

From one extreme to the other.
I'll share progress on this project too ...

Both projects are using vintage fabrics which I've been saving for a couple of years until I found something I wanted to make with them!  I know I do use hexagons a lot in my patchwork and quilting, but they are so very therapeutic - the whole process from cutting fabric hexies, paper templates, tacking fabric to the paper - and that's all before you even sew them together to make the fabric ... it all seems terribly slow, but it's the perfect antidote to a busy life :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 5 ... a picture

Here's a little tunnel.  I wonder where it's leading ...

I love the way sun and shade play together; can you step only on one or the other?

I love walking through the trees when the light is like this, it's magical somehow.  Takes me back to being a child.  It makes me happy ...

What little things make you smile?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 4 - Mental

Wasn't sure how I was going to do this post.  So it's going to evolve as I write :)

I've mentioned my hard week at work - doing a training course.  Well, this course was an ASIST course - which is a first aid suicide intervention course.  It has been exhausting, so much to learn, role-playing to get anxious about, emotional issues.  All I want to do is sleep.

As a reward for a hard week, I went to see a movie with the lovely ladies I work with - it's called 'Mental' starring Toni Collette amongst many others.  Now I've never kept it a secret that I have experienced depression and still have to manage anxiety on a daily basis, so was this a good choice?  I'd say yes!  Unresoundingly.  It's funny and heart-breaking at the same time. It's about a stranger - Shaz - who is recruited as a nanny by a husband who's had his wife admitted to a mental hospital after having a nervous breakdown.  Shaz helps the family rise up above their present state of feeling like losers by some very unconventional means, making for hilarious and at times shocking results.  But she's only really mean to the nasty people :)  And you have to question who really is the mental one?  (Oh and if you like 'The Sound of Music' you'll love this!)

Having lived with mental illness there is a possibility that I find things funny that others may not - developing a black sense of humour is one of the things that gets you through the experience of mental illness, and something that your peers share.  But I think it's got a great message for everyone, especially considering it's mental health week next week; there are some uncomfortable moments, but it's a good Aussie film that I can recommend seeing.  

I enjoyed it and it was a good way to end the week after so much emotion - so don't read the Sydney Herald review - they don't know what they're on about!  Just go and see it and make up your own mind :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blogtoberfest day 3 - First quote for October!

Woah - another heavy day at work with the second day of my training course.  It culminated in having to do role play in front of a small audience to consolidate our learning.  Talk about being petrified!!!  When the facilitator asked me what I thought I'd done well, I replied "just sitting up here and doing it" ... but I did feel so good after I'd finished ... when firstly I'd had to summon all my courage to not run out of the door!

So I came home and decided to do something for myself that I enjoy for a bit of self-care, and today it was looking for inspiring quotes to add to my collection - does anyone else enjoy collecting quotes?

And I found this, very apt I think ...

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.     
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope it gives you some inspiration too.  xx

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blogtober day 2 - something going on in the lounge room ...

Phew - what a day.  I've had a really heavy day at work, so decided I would blog about something that made me smile.

There's obviously something going on in the lounge, but these guys have a good vantage point from the coffee table ...

protective cover behind the remote control ...

I love all these little signs of imaginative play, my Little Man making his presence known about the house, even when he's not physically in the room.  This sort of thing makes me smile :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blogtober day 1 - the colour of summer

We picked our remaining oranges from our tree this weekend - I'm still amazed that I can grow, pick and eat our very own grown citrus fruit!  This is my little helper checking the quality - he valiantly held the box whilst I was up the ladder reaching the highest growing fruit before I lobbed them down to him - he caught every one!  Even the bees were in a summery mood, buzzing contentedly amongst the heady smelling orange blossom, not even curious about the enormous hand flitting between them taking the fruit.
Hope you can see the myriad blossoms - they smell divine!
A lovely way to start my Blogtoberfest journey ... please go here to sign up or simply to discover more awesome blogs to visit.