29 Oct 2010

Neuf Têtes - { Nine Heads }

There is an ominous black cloud hanging over my head today for there is a grim task to be done. Not a visit from the tax auditor, nor a teeth drilling episode at the dentist. No, my mission is far more scary. Today, my friends I have to go tog shopping! Aargh!!!!!!

Togs, bathers, swimmers, the bikini, a one piece, bandeau, boy leg....g-string...I mean really people. The mind reels!!

Tog shopping is horrendous at the best of times. Those change rooms, the fluorescent lights, the mirrors that let you scrutinise every angle of your derriére. But I've made it a tad worse by being on a deadline. Hubby is doing the Noosa triathlon on Sunday, star that he is, so we (read: me) are packing this family up and heading on a wee holiday to Noosa for a week.

And regardless of the policies on some Aussie beaches, this little beach gal can simply not parade about sans togs! I've donned a leather suit of armour today in the bid to ward off the assault from negative body thoughts that go hand in hand with tog shopping. "My body is a temple...my body is temple.....oh the change room...please don't make me go in there......aargh!!!!!!"

I'll see you lovely ladies soon as I go to cheer on my beloved and slip, slop slap the week away.

Dress : Supré Stirrup leggings: the bottom of the sock drawer Leather vest: Sportsgirl Plaited belt: Cue Bag: Marc Jacobs (5th anniversary present bought in Paris....sigh!!)

Note: 9 Heads is a method of drawing fashion figures using the head as a measurement.

28 Oct 2010

Mon Espace Créateur - { My Creative Space }

I ate like the proverbial bird when it came to school lunches. My Mama Bear went to so much trouble to laden my lunch box with appetising yet wholesome lunch fare, however more often than not as I chatted and played my lunchtimes away it's contents didn't fill my belly but the closest wheely bin either at school or on the walk home from school when I realised my misdemeanour.

There were even the times when the lunch box arrived home full of nourishment only to be popped sneakily under my bed until I found a chance to tiptoe out to the bin to dispose of the evidence.

Unfortunately a child's memory for cleaning is next to nil so I often created Frankenstein like concoctions with every mould known to man in my little lunchboxes under my bed (yes there were multiples at times!) Only when my Mother Hubbard's Tupperware cupboard was bare did the hunt begin. And it certainly wasn't buried treasure that my Mum the explorer found!

My teaching career was definitely penance for my disgraceful behaviour. A week wouldn't go by without some wide eyed little love coming to me with a lunchbox overflowing with yoghurt. It's milky sludge coating every single solitary item inside. Dry retching away as I cleaned out it's contents to avoid the little one's Mum having to do it after it had festered all day (hope some young teacher will do the same for me one day!) I couldn't help but think of my poor Mum.

I have made a little wee lunch bag for Bijou for us to tote her morning tea around in as we busy ourselves with galavanting. I used some quirky retro inspired fabric for the outside, some navy polka dot oil cloth and a vintage button. Hopefully it will never grow mould!!

For more snazzy spaces have a peek-a-boo over at Kirsty's.

25 Oct 2010

Les Marchés au Puces - { The Market of the Fleas }

I often feel that I have been transported back in time and share my humble abode with two women of the Victorian era. Now my husband is a very manly man however when it comes to his attire for the day I can't help but see many similarities. And my girl..

In the Victorian era women of wealth would change their "ensemble" frequently throughout the day in accordance with their pastimes. A morning walking dress, a dress for visiting, a dress for receiving visitors, dresses for lunch, dresses for afternoon tea, a dress for parties....the list goes on.

Although I love washing I have come to notice a slight discrepancy when it comes to whose items predominate those mountainous piles. Mon petit poppet goes through clothes like there's no tomorrow but that's to be expected since she's a toddler and all. Hubby on the other hand...

A day in the life of Victorian Hubby: Remove one's sleeping ensemble (and discard on the floor!) and dress in riding attire to ride one's bicycle into work, discard riding garb and shower, adorning oneself with collared shirt and dress pants (oh the ironing!), de robe in the afternoon and recommence riding "toilette". Arrive at one's domain and change from sweaty bike clothes into fresh "round the house" items. A spot of renovating calls for a change of shirt...and possibly pants. The gong sounds for dinner. Dress in one's finest for a regal supper with loved ones (o.k. I'm exaggerating this one!). That's right ladies....four changes of clothes a day! Victorian woman!!!!

What with all that to-ing and fro-ing from the washing machine to the clothes line I needed something sturdy. My lovely father in law made a wonderful replica of a vintage washing trolley for my mother in law and happily whipped one up for me (that's where Hubby gets his wonderful woodworking skills!). And if that wasn't enough...he made a miniature version for Bijou! He has started a little etsy shop and I'm sure he will sell up a storm. There isn't a thing this man can't make out of wood....he even built a little mini cottage he uses for his work shed!

Many a morning hour (and I mean many!!) are whiled away pottering in the yard with our trolleys. Two peas in a pod! For more blasts from the past please pop in here. Wishing you a week full of adventure.

21 Oct 2010

Mon Espace Créateur - { My Creative Space }

I was always the shortest in my class at school. A mere wisp of a thing I was the "lucky" gal who adorned the end of the front row in school photos....without fail. I never got to climb those aluminium seats and stand tall at the back :(

There were some delicious hair styles too. The puppy dogs tails (piggy tail plaits tied up with a bow á la Princess Lea), the side pony tail....mmmm!

Take you left hand and place it in your lap like this. Take your right hand and put it on top. Knees together, sit up straight and say "Monkeys"!

As a teacher of Year 1's and wee Preppies my delight with school photos continued. Indulge me for a second and imagine putting 27 Preps into a line of boys and a line of girls in order from tallest to shortest...and keeping them that way as you march the few hundred metres through the school and down to the oval for class photos. This is first term I might add!!

And then there was the hair and the grubby faces (WHO schedules the youngest children last...I mean vegemite sangas for mornos people...hello!!!). If I had a dollar for every face I've wiped, hair I combed, button I've done up, collar I've straightened, shirt I've tucked in....whew! No wonder teachers look a little frazzled in their school photos...and yes still on the side, albeit standing this time.

When I completed these little ladies and photographed them all those memories came flooding back. Some wouldn't sit still, some kept sliding off their designated perch, some looked the other way. I swear I even saw a tongue being poked!! But after some propping and encouragement....sit up straight, hands together, everyone say "Monkeys"!

For other busy bees fly over here.

18 Oct 2010

Cadre de la Table - { Setting the Table }

Sitting down at the kitchen table to eat dinner together was a day to day occurrence in my house as a child. The seersucker tablecloth, the cutlery facing the right way (I don't mean fork on the left, knife on the right...I mean knife facing in...la di da!) salt and pepper shakers in the middle and a water glass for everyone. The butter container was never plonked onto the table. Mon Dieu! It first had to be scooped out with a spoon into a little wee bowl or on special occasions...with a melon baller. Trés sophisticated!

Even on those very rare nights when we were allowed to eat in front of the television...corned beef fritters were usually on the menu coupled with a Disney movie. We still had a place mat each, a fork and a paper napkin folded in half.....and the salt and pepper shakers on their own placemat with the sauce (yes...he was allowed to just stand there naked in his bottle the devil!).

When there was celebration in the air, flowers were picked from the garden and arranged daintily in a vase, tall candles were lit, the crystal salt and pepper shakers came out. And most wondrous of all....Mum turned linen napkins into fans and bishop hats with a flick of her agile wrist.

As soon as Bijou was old enough to eat in a high chair we have been setting the table and having our family meal together. It didn't take her long to cotton on that our meals looked far more appetising than her "slop" (slop: noun. a delicious mix of seasonal vegetables that Mumma has pain stakingly peeled, cut, cooked and puréed for her lovely and hungry little miss) and refused point blank to continue on with the charade. She has eaten the same meal as we eat for a very long time.

And now that she is older and absolutely desperate to help out in any way, she lays the table. One placemat each, one piece of cutlery at a time, plastic cups for water (Daddy always gets the pink cup...). The look on her face after completely this task is pure gold!

Inspired by the ever talented Kelly of The Crafty Minx I made a set of quilted placemats for a treasured friend's birthday out of some linen and vintage sheet scraps. I love them so much that I had a bit of trouble parting with them....but Bijou simply wouldn't answer to the name Ava no matter how hard I tried. What's a Mumma to do?

Make a set or two for her own bonne famille. Wishing you a week full of sit down dinners, effervescent conversation and tinkly laughter. Go on...use the good dinner set!

13 Oct 2010

Mon Espace Créateur - { My Creative Space }

The movie that scared the absolute pants off me when I was a wee kipper was Day of the Trifids. Plants that strategically spat poison into the eyes of unsuspecting human folk causing them to wander about in a blind, stupefied zombie state. Aaargh!!!! This particular movie hid under the guise of ABC television making ones' parents think it would be appropriate viewing...Ha!!!

And then there was Poltergeist. Oh my! I almost can't write about it without looking over my shoulder. "They're he-re!!!" This one caused me to set up a midnight camp on Mum and Dad's floor for a good week.....I was 14!

Well my creative space this week is channelling a little bit of trifid action. I have my first order for some of my Mademoiselle dolls. Not just one or two eerie ladies ....no, no...I have 20 of the loves haunting me and watching me with their eyeless faces. I'm up to the hand stitching phase and can't wait to give these "zombie" dolls some much needed warmth and character....and legs!

They are packed up in a box at night so they can't roam the house and terrify me on my early morning trip to the loo. I know they don't have legs yet but still.......cue creaking box lid noise....

Please have a gander over here for other yummy spaces.

La Princesse et le Petit Pois - { The Princess and the Pea }

Hubby and I often joke that blogging is a new form of Internet dating. I'm definitely not in the market for a new partner but the amount of friendships I've forged through my blog is amazing. You have your profile just like through the dating agencies and you regularly divulge information about yourself. If someone out there "likes the look of you" they can become a follower of your blog and get to know you better.

And as this is the wholesome world of craft I doubt very much that anyone is gluing their face to a Pamela Anderson picture and scanning it in. And there's no awkward meet ups at the Coffee Club knowing 5 minutes into the converstaiton that it's just not going to work out.

One particular lovely friend I have met through "blog dating" just happens to live 5 minutes down the road. She and I could talk under water with a mouth full of marbles and have done so since the day dot. We have oodles in common and share a passion for creating, being stay at home Mummas and eating yummy food. I'm sure we'd be labelled "compatible" by many a dating site and would go on to have a fairy tale wedding and a wagon full of children.

A few weeks ago her little lady celebrated her fifth birthday....princess style. Bijou and I were invited and excitedly headed off to a gorgeous park to join in the festivities.

I made some crown bikkies, some meringues for the grown ups (this is becoming my signature party dish I think) and a Princess and the Pea doll. I had a crack at some free motion quilting on the little wee doonas and let's just say....you tube, here I come.

Wouldn't you just love to be five again...just for a day! Wishing you a Wednesday full of sunshine, bubbles, skipping and chantilly cream filled meringues.

12 Oct 2010

Confiture de Fraises - { Strawberry Jam }

I have always adhered to a fly by the seat of my pants, leap before you look, throw caution to the wind philosophy of life and it's served me pretty well to date. I always optimistically ask myself, "what's the worst that could happen" and nine point nine times out of ten, the worst is never quite that ominous.

Jam making is supposed to be rather an art form if you listen to the ramblings of ye olde jam experts out there. There's the copper jam pan, the thermometer, the jam sugar, the pectin, the "wrinkle" test...blah ditty blah blah!

With a gargantuan mountain of ripe strawberries in the fridge turning the most brazen of crimson reds it was time for jam making! Hubby and I with a googled recipe in tow and a whole lotta bravado took to the stove. "What's the worst that could happen?"

Well firstly we read the recipe wrong and didn't add the correct amount of sugar but since it was bubbling away merrily Hubby said, "let's just chuck the rest in...what's the worst that could happen?" So we plowed on. Wrinkle test...huh? Well it kind of wrinkled when we pulled it out of the freezer. More like a Cindy Crawford wrinkle rather than a weary old Nepalese goat herder whose spent all his life in the sun wrinkle. Time to bottle her up! Have we sterilised the jars? Oopsie....keep on bubbling a little bit longer Mr. Jammy (yes I even name food!!).

Triumph! A collection of ruby red jars now adorn our pantry shelves filled with perfectly set strawberry jam...not too runny, not too thick laced with chunks of berry. So next time you feel a wee bit scared to tackle something new, ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen?" and then jump in. Weeeeee!

6 Oct 2010

Mon Premier Dépositaire - { My First Stockist }

Amidst all the germy haze there shines a gorgeous ray of light by the name of Billie of Belleville. Yes, this little Florence Nightingale has become my first stockist. Yes!! My things!! In a real live shop!! I am so excited that I could scream (except I'm frightened my battle weary lungs may very well give up on me). Billie prides herself on supporting Australian designers and is a real champion for the handmadies out there. Her shop at Annerley is fantastic and is stocked with the most exquisite kiddies clothes...the shoes are divine! Please pop in and have a wee browse if you live in the area....you're bound to find one (or ten) things you love.