Thursday, December 20, 2007

feet in water.

i am nearing the end of the last day of work before my christmas break. as the idea of relaxing slowly seeps into my weary mind, i am sad to be moving away from my blog for a week or so. in the wonderful new year of our wedding i will return hopefully with many new designs to share and sell in my new etsy shop. i feel very fortunate that so many people have stopped by for a peek. perhaps it's the names of each item that draws them in. they did take some serious thought time :)

to all who stop by, have yourselves a wonderfully warm week and keep friends close and family closer. i'll be seeing you after my camping trip (feet in dirty water, esky full of melted ice) when the christmas tree needles are turning a little grey and my tan looks more potential than the environmental promises of kevin rudd.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

putting myself out there.

*sigh* it is with bated breath that i announce my presence as a seller on i have been planning to open a shop there for some time now, but with traveling for work and planning our wedding, getting the 'goods' ready as proved a difficult task.

having said that, i put it off no longer. you will now find some of my newest creations gloriously on display in my shop. it's nice to think that i can create something with my bare hands and offer it up to be loved by someone else. very satisfying indeed. i plan on making at least one thing a night (when i am not out chatting nonsensically to friends and gulping red wine). this way, with some luck, my little shop with grow with all the ideas that are currently taking up much needed room in my head.

over christmas i hope to run some sweet cottons through my beloved old machine, but part of me also needs to take it easy. perhaps read a little. oh, and we really need to organise a celebrant to actually marry ben and i. i left the task to my aforementioned fiance and the only person he found and suggested was someone that looked like michael bolton! why are there never enough hours in the day? how did it get to dec o7 without me even feeling the middle of winter?

i leave now, rosy cheeked with the excitement of being a woman in business, with a motto i find fitting for all the wonderful, exciting, happy, momentous things that i know to be happening in the next year:

2008 is sure to be great!

'what colourful dreams' baby blanket, as featured in my new etsy shop :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

a sense of summer.

after braving the soft falling toronto snow, i was delighted to be tilting my face towards the strong aussie sun once more. how nice it is to be kissed by the sun. to throw on a pair of flip flops and wander through green grass with heat on your back. *sigh* i am truly happy to be home.

so, in my absence ben has turned his guitar finger into a green thumb. the quest: to grow ones own tomatoes. and i have to say, he's doing a wonderful job. we sat out in our little garden last saturday, the day of ben's 36th birthday, and had dinner together. ben slapped some steaks on the new bbq we won at elsternwick coles with our flybuys card. as they sizzled away i noticed the solid green stare of our new neighbours. they were blantantly watching us. sizing us up! sitting up there on their throne and mocking us so.

but it is we who will have the last laugh. for as soon as those neighbours redden with embarrassment, ben will pluck them from their mighty throne, cut them with a knife and toss them in a salad. don't you just love summer?

our new neighbours:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

feeling a little festive.

since getting back from canada life has been a whirlwind. there has been family functions 'happy engagement liz and rob' and 'happy 36th birthday my benny'. besides all that, getting back to a heap of emails at work and feeling jet lagged and fluey, has meant that i haven't been able to write much here. sorry george!

my time overseas was great but its more than wonderful to be home. as the festive season rolls around there is no other place a person wants to be. on my return ben and i put up our Christmas tree and decorated it. to be honest, it was more 'ben lugs in tree, makes it steady, screws things together. em untangles ikea lights and hangs over already limp branches, decorates with baubles and begins the long winded process of trying to make maggie understand that the balls on the big green tree are not the same as the ones she loves to chase across wide open footy pitches'.

i had been thinking, while away, how lovely it would be to make my own decorations. something with meaning, ya know? i remember as a little one having a tree full of stuff we had made at school especially. with five kids in my family the tree had no room for glam myer colour coordination. it was 'get your work up there and be proud!'. so i wanted to make my own. i decided the theme would be something wonderful that has happened in our lives over that past year. I made two. One for last year to signify maggie coming into our lives and of course Ben and i getting engaged this year.

my dream is that over the years we will have a collection of wonderful things to be grateful for and hopefully some smart, savvy and caring kids to past them on to.

here are the designs complete with my new tags courtesy of fancyweaver.

*shop note: will be opening soon-ish. Just got to finish a few bits of sewing. expect launch in jan 08'

I must go now. onegirl has insisted on playing Christmas Songs while we work. there's only so much boney m a girl can take!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

eating with friends

i'm still in toronto working and whilst i am still very, very homesick for ben and maggie, i now have two good friends from work with me to help me explore the culinary delights in this city of condos.

last night was a bit of an experiment. you know when there's two restaurant, of the same cuisine, right next door to each other? most people would have a quick peek inside and do the old 'which is fuller' test. we broke down those rules my friends. we peered through glass and decided, right there and then, that 'no' we would not follow the flock and add to one mans riches, but we would roll the dice, flip the coin and take our chances on the dimly lit quiet place next door.

it was, and i don't exaggerate, a very good gamble. this indian place had all the time in the world of us and our obviously annoying questions about what exactly goes in madras. they brought food out in micro minutes all freshly prepared with love from a chef that has not lost the plot because we are the 9th person to ask for vindaloo, but not spicy. and our waiter was quick to tend to our needs even going so far as to fill our water just as our brain was deciding to take a sip. now that's what i call service!

tonight we experiment with the delights of Queen Mothers Cafe. this toronto icon is not only loved locally, but also by some pretty savvy aussies who often travel here for work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

to the market we shall go.

on sunday in a somewhat surprisingly sunny toronto, i ventured to the st lawrence market. i had been told good things about this market so my expectations we extremely high. plus, as an avid thrifter* in melbourne, i was very excited.

on first impressions and after a number of disappointingly expensive stalls i would say this market was more 'upper market' - you're not going to find any wonderfully cool vintage finds for under $5 for instance. instead the place is littered with people savvy in the art of 'good finds' whose prices are a serious presentation of their knowledge. there was nothing under $20 that fancied my favour.

however, let it be said, i still found some things :) (as if I wouldnt!) towards the back end of the market on a table marked 'everything $5' i came across these little dishes. i think they will make cute bowls on dinner plates for dipping sauce.

can you believe i got 6 for $5? sheer delight! and then, tucked away in a specialty thift store (who knew they had the BEST finds) i found this material for $10.

I also found some other things for benny, but cant detail them here in case he reads this :) i am now itching to get home and charge up my sewing machine once again...

* in melbourne we call people like me 'op-shoppers'

Sunday, November 25, 2007

one of a kind.

ohhhh delight! so many lovely things to share with you. i ventured down to the toronto exhibition centre to see the 'one of a kind' show. be still my beating heart. there are SO many creative, talented people out there deserving of our dollars. forget those giant retail chains. think handmade! it's way more fun.

ok, so i was really delighted by all that i saw at the 'one of a kind' show but there was definitely a few favourites that i thought would be worth a showcase on my blog. let's start with mally bibs. these things are fantastic. perfect for busy mums or friends of mums who want an exceptionally useful and well made gift.

they are made from leather and have two magnets that connect them at the base of the babies neck. they are also reversible. turn em over and suddenly you have a little catchers mitt for all the 'stray' food. when done, simply wipe them down ready for the next on slaughter. best of all the designs have been well thought about. simple. cute. fun.

now on to adult stuff. bags! i stumbled upon the stall of littebrownwren and fancied quiet a few of her stuff. the latest and greatest details some fun embroidery.

ah. someone else with a love of her pup!

right. it was at this moment that i rounded the corner and noticed a stall alive and buzzing with frantic women. i thought - as all good shoppers do - 'what are they getting that i'm missing out on!'.

i ran, bags an all, to the stall to learn that it was The Old Island Stamp Company. high five! happy dance! oh joy! i was in heaven. i quickly thought through exactly what i could use a stamp for and set to work to find the perfect one. they will feature heavily on my etsy shop when i get it up and running with some handmade goodies of my own. here's the stuff i lovingly bought.

I also picked up some fantastic cards made my a chick called Kim Kutner of 'Kims Suitcase'. i loved these cards instantly. so simple and bizarre. this one i am keeping for someone special this christmas.

after such a HUGE day i settled into the booth of a canadian sports bar, drank a pint of beer and ate mexican food and lost myself in the book Eat, Pray, Love. After that, i came back to the apartment and watched 'the notebook' - again. it gets me every time that damn movie. sooooo sad!

tomorrow i will show you finds from the st lawrence market here in downtown toronto, ontario. or as the locals call it, bye!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

new hair.

today was MY day. a day when i did all the things that i wanted to do. no need to please others, no family to catch up with, no appointments to make. barr one.

today i had my hair cut. it's in preparation for the wedding in april. i wanted to start the process early so i know exactly how i am going to have it on the day. i ventured down to toni & guy on bloor st, toronto and had them fix me up. and boy did they do that!

my hair now has a semi permanent medium brown through it with soft slightly lighter highlights peeking out from underneath. over time the brown will fade back to my natural colour (a light brown) and then highlights will start to peek through even more. just in time for my return to the australian sun :)

here's my attempt at photographing myself. travelling by yourself is a damn lonely business :)

i have some fun things to tell but i think i'll leave that post until tomorrow. right now i am going across the road to drink canadian beer and eat my eyeballs out! for all in melbourne, i miss you :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

snow on the way.

well, i'm here. in toronto, canada. i thought i might be lucky enough to escape the snow this time. i ruined some rather lovely boots the last time i graced these streets. who would have thought the salt could do that? anywho, they tell me to rug up tonight. apparently we are going to get some rather chilly weather and perhaps a little snow too. 5 feet in fact. i guess i'm going to have to tip toe everywhere now!

work is going well over here, it's a buzzing office at the moment. full of fast paced sales and noisy chatter. i kinda like it here. at night i have been working, working, working. with aus waking up just as we put our feet in front of the sopranos i havent had a chance to slow down. tongiht i plan on shopping at the eaton centre. yeah! i have already consumed way to much popcorn. i hardly think that it's the kinda thing you should be eating for dinner (where did i get that idea onegirl?)

must bring some of that home with me :)

my apartment is about a 5 minute walk from the office, which is probably another reason that i have been working late. i miss coming home to ben and maggie and gets hugs all round. on monday night i walked across from my apartment to a bar & grill and sat happily reading, ploughing through steak and drinking canadian beer. i felt just like a local, albeit a little lonely.

this weekend i want to hit the toronto market for some serious finds. i am also going to search of a rotary cutter. it's about time i grew up. the hand cutting was driving me bonkers! on friday night it will be drinks with work friends which i am rather excited about. there's nothing like a good aul drink after a bloody long week. no doubt i will have some hairy tale to tell after all that. til then, as a lovely friend of mine used to say, peace out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


just a short note to let y'all know that i am heading to canada this sunday for work. that doesnt mean i won't be able to add the odd post every now and then (although it does get crazy crazy in that ofice) no doubt i will have plenty o good eating and drinking occasions to talk about. i will miss ben terribly and my little mag-star. *sad me* stay in touch and as the old saying goes 'i'll keep ya posted'

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my inspiration.

well, as promised i have the first two drafts of the maggie doll (a kiddies pressie handmade with love and based on my extra cute kelpie pup maggie).

as you will see from the first go, i experimented with rather large ears. maggie has massive ears, ben always says she uses them to slow herself down. she also has extra special markings which i have also tried to replica - still not sure about that one! ideally i want it to be symbolic of maggie but also a little stylized.

see how unimpressed maggie is with my first attempt:

as you can see, the more i played with this, the better it started to look. do you think it needs eyes?

onto other exciting news! as you may, or may not know, ben and i got engaged in august. we wanted to have the whole family together to celebrate and get to know each other a little better. on saturday we hauled all the furniture out of the living room and set up a long table complete with baby's breath flowers and candles. the food was moroccan - and delicious! - and everyone came barr bens lovely sister bridgette who had a wedding. how we managed to fit everyone into the same room at the same time is beyond me! my family are so loud and so crazy i was delighted when they got along famously with bens family (equally loud & funny) it was a very special night for ben and i. here is a picture of us, enjoying a quiet moment together in the madness of it all.

in addition to a wonderful night, i was also given my engagement ring. ben is soooo beautiful! me bought me the ring of my dreams and made me the happiest little veggiemite around. thank you my wonderful future husband, i look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

loggin' on.

just a quick one to let everyone know that i am getting closer and closer to opening my esty shop online. here i hope to display my sewing talents for all to enjoy. i am currently working on a maggie inspired soft toy for little kids. wonderful plush baby blankets for the newest member in your life and cute cute cute tote bags. as with most things, i am sure that i will be inspired more as time moves on and hopefully have a few other special items for sale. *phew* getting enough things together is proving time consuming but with a little effort and a whole lot of material, i am sure i will get there.

in the interim i will be heading to canada and to ireland and to the UK - hello family and jenny (cant wait to see you all) this may hiccup my shop plans but only for a brief week or two. i will bust my butt on my return and make the most of the wonderful world of online shopping.

tune in tomorrow when i show you the second draft of the maggie doll which is not quiet there (needs bigger ears) but is essentially going to be the design. have a good night! xx

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ode to wee wonderfuls.

ok, i know i've been a bit distant lately, aloof and quiet. i've been busily trying to perfect my baby blankets with my trusty old sewing machine. every weekend ben and i have been saying no to invites and cleaning the house, cooking or sewing (bens practises guitar). it has been bliss. like a much needed break, i have sought some quiet time. work is hectic, hectic, hectic and when it comes to the weekend i find myself needing more and more of a slow paced life. am i getting old?

as such i have found time to trial the pattern of wee wonderful, and true to the name this little pattern 'pointy kitty' did not disappoint. i was trying to create my own design based on my kelpie maggie that i can sell in my etsy shop when i get it up and running, but it didnt really work.

so, i went back to basics and started with the pointy kitty design to learn some fun tricks on how to hide stuffing openings and make legs and arms fluid. it was a treat!!! thank you for sharing your very very cute patterns. its a joy to make these and give them to friends as gifts. i only hope one day i can make my pattern with as much perfection.

and now for the pointy kitty with fabric bought lovingly from patchwork on central park.

oh, and this moment i would like to wish onegirl a very happy birthday. may the next year be as lovely and creative as you are. you're an inspiration!

Monday, October 29, 2007

one sunny saturday.

on our little trek around melbourne looking for properties ben and i ventured out to king lake. it's always been a dream of ours to own a piece of land, quietly nestled somewhere. a stretch of australia that we can call our own and maggie can call her playground. the real estate surge in the city as made us consider our options and we thought 'why not?'.

on saturday morning as the sun started to beam down (it was going to be 32 degrees) ben and i took the long drive from greensborough out to king lake. on the way there we came upon st andrew's market. we had to stop. obviously. we jumped out and took a stroll. ben found some fantastic music. i found coffee. we wandered around eating a damn fine falafel pita and soaking up the sun.

that's when i found a little stall run by a sweet chick. she had so many cute handmade things. it was refreshing to see something real. i rifled through her fabric basket and sifted through the apron draw and came out of there with these two lovely pieces.

fabric. just the way i like....

cute apron - could not resist!

i strongly recommend not only the market, but the beautiful trip out there. st andrews, king lake, eltham *sigh* so lovely. so quiet. so full of good finds. in the end we looked at the property we had considered and loved it. logistically though it would probably be a nightmare. perhaps when we're a bit older, and wiser and carrying a few nippers. then we might have reason to up and leave the bright lights on the inner city. so, you know what that means, don't you? back to the search...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

real estate. a real state.

righto, i'm not going to bark on about it. oh, ok. i am going to bark on about it. real estate. is anyone else looking at property right now? it's friggin ridiculous out there. hoards of people are squeezing past each other during inspections of tiny one bedroom shacks that are lucky to be alive and are so close to the train line they could actually double as a platform. it's madness. complete. utter. madness.

ben and i, as you may or may not have gathered, have started the search. the lord of the rings didn't take this long. we have waded through print outs of possible hopefuls only to arrive at the home either disappointed by the fact that it is attached to nineteen other villas or that the price has suddenly jumped right out of our range.

what bothers me is that i am sure every other person out there is feeling just like us. desperate. hungry. perhaps even a little mad. we would jump up and down and throw caution to the wind and probably pay more for a place than our good sense should let us. and if we're all doing the same thing? complete kaos my good friends. complete kaos.

to add salt to the wound we actually love the area we are living in now. it's a highly sought after area, especially by one religion in particular, and as such the prices on a 2 bedroom mess is closer to half a million than it is to SOLD!

i'm feeling very despondent. very let down. i thought australia was the lucky country? where you could have a big old pool out the back and parsley growing in your garden. where your kids could play on the street without having to wear an etag and dogs can run free all day long. Are we going to end up like San Fransisco? A town with such a terrible real estate crisis that people will actually write a letter to the owner stating their plight in order to win the bid? (i've already tried it!)

we just want a house. just a small one. nothing fancy. something with little windows and a busted up kitchen in need of love. something to rest in and laugh in. a small lawn for my maggie and a garage for my ben. it seems in this town, those small wants are too much to ask.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

aussie slang.

i'm trying to post more. onegirl inspired me. today i want to talk aussie slang. my friend jenny form ireland was delighted by some of the more imaginative sayings that we have come to call our own here in aus. similarly she offered up some interesting irish sayings that had us rolling around the floor with laughter. I thought it would be fun to share them with you all and perhaps, if you're feeling in the mood, you might want to add to the list.

Ok, aussie slang:

budgie smugglers - tight mens speedo swimming togs that make it look like you're trying to smuggle budgies around a public swimming pool. Not a good look!

brown-eyed mullet - sounds like a rather harmless 80s hairstyle doesn't it? Think again. It's actually slang for a turd floating in the ocean when you're swimming.

mad as a cut snake - this means your very, very angry. The kind of angry where you could lash out and bite someone at any moment. Where this comes from I will never know. I mean if a snakes been cut in half then he aint goin' no where is he?

irish slang:

sweating chunks - when one is sweating profusely to the point where they know everyone has noticed. the sewat in question is no longer coming out in droplets but rather massive chunks. noice!

batter ya - when you smack and hit someone within an inch of their life. It is not, as some might assume, when you hit someone with a mallet and dunk them in batter for frying.

eejit/sap - someone with little or no hope of every amounting to anything. Say to kids often enough and you got yourself a flatmate for life!

And now for your amusement here is a wall painting we found in sleepy Hobart. I made Ben stop the car so that I could take a photo as proof. As I laughed and pointed out the window near delirious with glee, I failed to notice the man pushing the guy in the wheelchair who had walked into the direction of my pointing finger. Needless to say I was mortified to be given a greasy and jabbed ben in the side to 'put the peddle to the metal' so we could get the frig outta there alive.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

weekend finds...

even though we are halfway through the week i thought i woudl tell you about my weekend. it was lovely. so quiet and slow. i got to read. can you believe it? i found time to finish my book!?! it was bliss.

another reason it was particulary lovely was that on saturday ben and i celebrated 2 years together. its seems like only yesterday he walked into that ad agency and smiled his infectious smile at me. i knew there and then that he was someone i had to get to know better. he tells me (two years down the track mind you!) that when he saw me he knew i was the one too. *sigh*

Look at us now, all engaged and with dog! who would have thought. who would have dreamed! I am exceptionally happy!

sooooo...saturday was 2 years since our first date. o that first date we went to the melbourne fringe festival. *how apt* however after a few wines we decided not to go into the show but rather stayed in the foyer drinking wine and talking and even having a little waltz to no music. I love that memory :)

this weekend there was less alochol and certainly less nerves. we went down to the beach house and just took it easy. on sunday we visited the rosebud market right on the foreshore. there was plenty of junk to rifle through and even some little treasures. here are some things I have found recently that i simply love!

got this great mug on a hunt with onegirl. she will be selling her fantastic finds in her esty shop soon to be opened. keep your eyes peeled!

got three of these. they will make good pie dishes and be fab for reheating :)

my oh my how miss maggie is growing up. check out those ears! here she is in one of her quiet moments, lapping up the suns rays on our beach house balcony. *we love it there*

FYI - i am currently in the middle of my second baby blanket. squares have been cut and ironed and we are now moving on to the sewing. i will keep you posted on my progress. that's all i got. be back soon.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Jesus Camp.

OK. I'm gonna be real careful here. its always the way when you're dealing with religion. tread carefully. speak generically. don't avert your eyes.

on Friday night, after a rousing recommendation, Ben and i watched 'Jesus camp'. anyone seen it? it's a documentary about a camp in America for evangelists. (I'm tipping it's probably the hard core born agains) Anyway, what occurs on these camps is nothing short of mind-boggling.

young kids, perhaps only eight or nine, take part in the summoning of the spirits. during this time, the preacher (there is one woman who does most of it, but apparently anyone with a mic can get up there too) talks to the kids about their journey with the 'holy savior Jesus Christ'. they are questioned about their belief in him, their dedication to him. 'are you one of those kids who goes to school and pretends you are like everyone else? pretends you don't believe in god? you're a phony. a hypocrite. put your hands up'.

on cue the kids begin to raise their hands. well hello! duh! as if any child out there doesn't want to just fit in. i know i was oust for having a funny accent. if i told them i was catholic i might never have made it! as their little faces turned up towards 'our heavenly father' the tears ran down the cracks of their little eyes. these children were crying because they felt they had done something wrong. something evil. that they had publicly embarrassed themselves. the ironic thing is, they were doing all this in front of other kids. kids they probably wanted to be like. when one started crying, they all started crying. when one fell to his knees, they all fell to their knees. when one started speaking in tongues, they all started speaking in tongues. you get my point.

i suppose i am writing about this because i am a little confused on a number of subjects.

one: how many of these camps are out there?

two: has anyone else seen this doco and if so what are you thoughts?

three: is it just me or is religion meant to be about faith. about having a higher power to turn to, to ask direction from and in whom you can seek solace. this higher power does not judge. ever. it treats children as they ought to be treated - as the purest of us all. their souls are young and eager. they will have many lessons to learn, some harder than others. they are sensitive and as such it is our job to protect them.

with that said i will leave you with a disturbing scene from the movie that plays over and over in my mind...

an adult hands a child a plastic 8 week old foetus and tells them that's it wrong to commit murder and then covers her mouths with tape labeled 'LIFE' and insists she summon the holy spirit.

what. is. this. world. coming. too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

many thanks

firstly i want to thank all those people who took the time to join in the great debate. hearing your individual stories has helped quite a bit. i suppose just knowing that each and every woman has to take a moment to think and rethink is comfort enough. i have no set decision as yet, time will bring that. *yeah* you're all fabulous!

moving right along. i was bursting with excitement today when the mail man knocked on our big glass wall. he was bringing my material - ordered with love on z&s fabrics. After attempting my first patch work quilt i caught a fever. it hasn't left yet. and frankly, i don't want it to. i would love to be sick with this amount of dedication and joy forever!

my mission was to find to key fabrics i can use to create a multitude of different designs. i have babies coming out of my ears at the moment. my sister. my friend. potentially my work mate. so a few baby blankets would not go astray. here are the fabrics i found, some of which only cost $3.49 US each :)

*bundles of love*

*love these*

*fun, fun, fun*

Monday, October 1, 2007

the great debate.

i want to put something up for debate if i may. as plenty of you know, i recently got engaged to the lovely ben brocklesby. a happy time, yes? why of course. no doubt about it. however something had clouded my mind in the last 24 hours and i need some help figuring it out.

i was struck by the prospect of not changing my name.

now i will start by saying this: when ben asked me to be his wife my instincts said 'change it'. when i thought about it more i came to the belief that, for me, changing my name would be a public solidification of the life i want to live with ben and the feelings i have for him. i never thought about keeping my name. not even once. not until last night.

bens mum told me changing her name was something she regrets with vigour. she loves her husband and would marry him again and again, but losing her maiden name is something she would definitely reconsider. she believes that in changing her name she lost her identity. that a part of her went and she didn't quite feel like the new name she had married into.

i tend to think that your identity is defined by more than just your surname. am i wrong? what does the consensus say? am i backward in my belief that you can marry someone, take their name and still be successful in life, in business and in your personal development?

*sigh* opinions, personal experience and insight greatly sought.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

wedding bliss...

On Friday just gone, my best friend Melissa married the man of her dreams. it was the loveliest wedding, complete with good music, good food, an abundance of champagne and of course the best company this side of Phuket.

I thought Mel would be more nervous that she was. It absolutely bucketed down with rain and she didnt bat an eyelid. She remained the calm, collected bride she has always been. it was only in the last moments as we fixed her veil and she looked down at her wedding dress, finally on her for the big day, that her voice began to quiver.

me? chief bridesmaid? well i actually got nervous long before mel did. i was worried about having to carry baby emily down the aisle and hoist my dress up at the same time. i was worried about the speech i would have to make and whether i could do it with a belly full of champagne. mostly though, i was worried that my best friend wouldnt have the most wonderful day of her life.

it seems i really had nothing to worry about. mel was amazing - as usual. steve was everything and more. and the day was one of the most special weddings i have ever been too. when my best friend walked down that aisle, her eyes solidly fixed on her future husband i welled up. i was simply over come with pride. that i should know too people so lovely was beyond comprehension. *sigh* Mel, you did wonderfully. I hope you dont mind if i share this photo of you. my favourite. before all the makeup. just pure, clean, beautiful mel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

out of the loop and into the craft.

i will start by apologising for my absence of late. getting engaged has meant many a celebration, followed by surly hangovers, followed by lapse in energy to work, followed by an increased work load, and ending in sheer exhausion.

But i'm back. and that's all that matters!

i managed to feel somewhat inspired by my friend lisa who came over for dinner with her hubbie Joe and their beautiful kids. she explained how she was 'hand-sewing' a quilt after the kiddies went to bed at night. 'by gawd' i thought, 'that's dedication!'.

my wonderfully old sewing machine and sparkling new overlocker has been sitting in the corner of the living room for the past few weeks sharing negative comments about me and my inability to find time for them. i promised myself, and them, that i would give this patch work thing a try and with the use of my sewing machine, i should have a some-what speeder time than Lisa.

and so, using some fabrics sought lovingly on z&s i worked together a baby blanket with matching tote bag. The main fabric on the tote i am going to have to replace. it was an op-shop find and it's starting to fray. but the actual look and completion of this project is really what i wanted to share.

ta da! my baby blanket.

that lovely material. oh so pastelly and soft...

and of course, the tote.

if you have a friend you love ever so dearly. or a sister, or a brother or a mother. someone who is welcoming a new addition to their's and your life, why not give them one of these? I would be happy to make more on request with the same dedication and love, for just a small, material-buying price!

Monday, September 10, 2007


there is one part of beautiful tasmania that i know i will remember for the rest of my life. it's a tiny little italian restaurant nestled in salamanca, hobart. it was here after ordering our wonderfully imaginative dinner that ben asked me to be his wife. of course, i said yes.

an amazing thing happens when someone asks you to spend your life with them. its like a warm, cosy calm settles on you. you suddenly feel at ease. you feel content. you feel complete. i always knew that i would spend my life with ben, but i never thought that marriage would be the first of the many wonderful life events on our list. needless to say i am utterly delighted. i feel like we just met again. such a great feeling!

the wedding itself will probably be next summer. (that's only 6 months away mind you) we figure, why wait? we look forward to celebrating this with all our family and friends. there's nothing like a good knees up as far as i'm concerned. i see it being a quaint, colourful wedding, with little structure and even less formalities eg. place names. i want our guests to be able to mingle. to stand and chat at the bar. to dance.

with all that said, we now enter the organisation period. we are looking for a venue first to set the date we will be working towards. oh god. the thoughts of it all sends my mind spinning :) we must also sit down and tentatively discuss how we will fight off all other suggestions from family and friends that don't heavenly correlate with our own vision. and that, my friends, will be the biggest challenge of all...

here he Ben.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

from tassie with love.

ok, ok. so it's not paris, but it is my little peice of heaven. tomorrow ben and i leave all behind (including little magstar) to leap water to tasmania. i'm hoping i will have time to read. to sleep. to talk. to walk. i wanna see so much and i am so happy that ben and i will have this week to just 'be' together. we havent had a holiday (just us) since halls gap nearly two years ago. it was right after the fires had raged through that area of victoria and all we saw was soot!

so onto chapter two. tasmania - green trees, small roads, strange locals and good beer. i will be back with itchy blog fingers in about a week. until then. happy surfing...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

in melbourne tonight.

in melbourne tonight i will eat great tapas at Hairy Canary and drink from their delightful wine list. i will probably engage in conversation with my sister, liz, too. we've been close ever since she tried to come into this world on the same day i was born.

in melbourne tonight i will see a band called johnny get your gun. liz told me about them a few months ago and we have been eagerly waiting for them to arrange a gig on a night we like. they play at the hi fi bar - good venue - and with any luck will warn the bar and ensure there's enough beer to handle TWO irish people in one night.

in melbourne tonight i will cuddle my kelpie puppy maggie. she got the mange on her head and is feeling poorly from all the medicine. we just thought she might be going a little bald in her early months, but no, apparently she has mites eating at her skin and trying to make their way through the rest of her body. i feel bad for not helping her sooner.

in melbourne tonight i will hold hands with ben. its been awhile (with all the crazy partying with irish jenny) since we had some good old 'us' time. i wanna talk, talk talk and laugh. ben is very good at making me smile. i wanna just hang out and be with him.

in melbourne tonight i will rest soundly. perhaps even like that of a dead person. this has been a massive week. both personally and professionally. a run in with a work colleague did not help matters either. i eagerly await our little trip to tasmania next week. walks. drinks. good food. perhaps it will make the intensity of the last working week dissipate.

in melbourne tongiht i will bid you adieu...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

in overlocker love.

well, i turned 30 some weeks ago now. i thought it would hurt. like, my head. i thought my ego would be bruised and battered and find it difficult to recover. i thought ben might trade me in for a younger model. but really, it passed without much drama. what i did find is that in my wiser years, stranger things delight me. there was a time when a short skirt (that once lived a life as a headband) would arouse excitement. or a set of earrings with 46 fake diamonds too many. or even a cocktail that glowed in that dark, was too big too hold and contained a ridiculous amount of straws for one set of lips. nowdays? it's the overlockers that get my vote.

with jenny over from ireland i didnt have much time to set her up and start to play. but this weekend all that changed. we ventured down to the beach house and i managed to find more than enough hours to experiment. it was such fun. can i say that without sounding 60? me? overlocking on the weekend? such a change from 'getting locked' huh?

I promised jen i would make her a bag and i did. i used some fabric i fell upon in an op shop in rye and some that i ordered in the z & s sale. it's very 'blair gowrie' inspired and even has a pocket for jen's mobile phone - her most prized possession. what do you think?

here she is. cute huh? I was making some tea towels when this one was taken. and the result?

needless to say, i am officially back in the sewing game. *sigh* being 30 really aint that bad :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

death of an oobee.

it's offical. maggie has committed her first murder. the victim? a beautiful onegirl creation, oobee. Bought as a gift for a family friend who have welcomed into the world their second son, we left oobee sitting quietly on the window sill of our south caulfield home.

at approximately 11:23pm we walked through the door after being at a bob dylan concert (that's a whole other crime) and noticed maggie acting a little peculiar, well behaved even. i walked up and gave her a big cuddle because i had been feeling bad about leaving her home alone for so long. that's when i saw him. bits of his delicately sewn together body scattered across our hardwood floors. oobee was no more.

official police photos below:

note the slightly angled tear on the onegirl tag. as if torn in a hurry. it's believed she made this final frantic move as we rounded the street corner and drove into the driveway.

in a brutal, heartless move, the likes of which have not been seen since van gogh went 'loco loco', maggie ripped the ear off oobee, giving his once cute half moon eyes, a somewhat morbid feel.

it's probably a good time to mention that oobee woozel was also subjected to maggie's inner rage on friday night. however, as the tag suggests, it takes more than a baby's teeth, or a dog's for that matter, to break the unbreakable oobee woozel. dog has been seriously reprimanded for the aforementioned indiscretions and sentenced to fewer 'good girls!' and a complete eradication of treats.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

one fat lady*

right, thank you onegirl for making me do this. as if i dont have enough to do, what with my great dress making career and my incessant training with maggie so we can one day be 'best in show'. here are 8 things you didnt know about me.

i have a bent middle finger on each hand. strange, but true. they kinda lean away from the index finger. when i was little i thought if i taped those two fingers together it might 'learn' to go the other way. no such luck. i suffer greatly from this condition. whenever i give my friend jackie the bird, she mockingly screams (movie style) 'oh god no. not the crooked finger!'

when i was little i wanted to be a nun. hay. dont laugh. it's the irish catholic upbringing ok? when i was seven i got a short stint as an alter girl at my local church. i thought i had a calling. that was until, when taking the bowl containing the 'body of christ' up to the priest, i tripped and spilled the entire contents on the sacred carpet. you should have seen the faces of the congregation as they lined up to take eurcharist that had grazed the ground. priceless.

i know a little italian. his name is mario. sto scherzando. (i'm joking) i spent a few great months at the CIS in carlton reciting verbs and learning how to give out my phone number to bello rigazzo.

when i was 19 i was crowned 'melbourne rose'. this meant that i won a free flight back to my homeland of ireland to compete in the annual 'rose of tralee'. i didnt win, before you ask. instead i spent 10 long days riding floats, donning hats and beating of desperate farmers dressed up as irish suitors. noice.

love to write. write, write, write. i've kinda written a mini book and am about to send it into a publisher. wish me luck.

i'd addicted to reality tv. my boyfriend ben detests this quality in me. he prefers good SBS docos and ABC dramas. but i reckon there's nothing like a good scrag fight on national television. 'get her in the eyes!'

i'm finding this harder than it seems. talking about me and not around me is not a strong point (except in the book) i've learnt to be a little bit private in my old age. it suits me better, but makes my writing a little less interesting.

i havent done my tax in two years. can i write that? i will though. in october. i hope the government isnt reading this. i'm no christopher skase, i'm just god damn lazy. aint a lot of money to return any old who.

so that's me. i think it might be lou's turn. go girl!

* one fat lady. number 8.

Friday, August 10, 2007

over the water

well it would be true to say that I am offically over alcohol. my gawd. i just cant believe the amount of vino it takes to keep up with my irish friend jenny. not that we are alcos or anything. i mean we have done other things, like taking long walks....home from the pub. spending an afternoon reading....the drinks list at the Rye RSL, and lots of long girly chats....'will you go get the next round, or should i?'.

seriously though, it has been great to see jen after all these years. we worked together in dublin for a stint back in 01'. we didnt really speak much when we first met. jen was very shy and i was devoid of a personality :) we realised quickly though that we had one very important thing in common. we both love the feeling of beer surging down our bejewelled throats. we immediately became friends.

now here we sit in sydney. we are tucked away in an apartment that casts its modern eye over the bluest, clearest water. one last weekend away before jen boards her stuffy plane back to dublin. last night was another proud moment on the tiles. we walked down to the local for a 'quiet' meal and ended up skuttered playing pool and fending off potetially disasterious men for jen. ah how i will miss her.

by tuesday i will be back in the warmth of my cosy life. ben and i shall talk movies, books and poetry once more. i might even get a chance to try my beautiful new overlocker while my kelpie maggie sits lovingly at my feet. perhaps, and i say this tentiatively as i have a hangover, perhaps we might even have a glass of shiraz in jens honor. goodbye lovely friend, i shall recharge my liver, save a few dollars and attempt to get my arse over to some dusty pub in drimnagh to see you again real soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

winter warmer.

here's a recipe for a really yum soup that warms the belly and melts the heart. it's so bloody easy too, which i love. i'm not bad in the kitchen, even if i do say so myself, but if there's any easier way then your's truly is more than likely going to take it. you can change the vegetables to whatever you have in the fridge. they don't say that in donna hay!

roughly chop some kumara and red onion. place in baking dish and drizzle with 'good' olive oil. roast until soft and slightly crisp. in the saucepan put a quick drip of olive oil and garlic. add baked onion and kumara, vegetable stock, cumin & curry (teaspoon each) and fresh parsely. boil and then whiz until smooth. add one shredded zucchini to soup. top with toasted almonds and yoghurt. serve with dipping bread. yum!

Monday, July 23, 2007

food glorious food.

considering i suffered a bad dose of 'middle ear imbalance' it's no wonder that over the last few days the only thing i have truly been able to enjoy, is food. yum. love it. lets start with the conference. on our second night, and when the floor was really starting to sway, we ventured to a japanese restaurant. i dont usually eat anything i swim next to, so i ended up sitting on the vegie table. it was all good though. they served up a scrumptious meal complete with juggling spices, drum-like utensils and basketball inspired servings. they call it 'teppanyaki', i call it good old fashioned fun. check out our chef in action.

his name was Romeo. and it would be true to say that i fell in love. any man that can accurately throw food directly into my mouth has to be a keeper.

here's a close up of some tofu, just cause i can.

here lou and i get serious about all things vegetarian. if you're interested in supporting local artists who hand make furniture and design pieces with love, sweat and sheer dedication, check out lou's fella Sandy's website. he's well talented!

moving on from there. i caught a little virgin blue bus back to wet, windy melbourne. how i love thee. she was nasty upon my arrival but before long she has welcomed be back into her warm cultural arms. cut to Mecca Bah.

sitting pretty on the waters edge of docklands mecca bah promises new culinary experience for all! being pro veggie i opted for the sweet potato falafels (crunchy and zesty in one) and turkish pizza with zucchini, fresh mint, lemon zest and cheese (bang, bang, bang - that's how each of these flavours exposes themselves to your taste buds)

a delightful glass or two of rose and my little middle ear imbalance is beginning to feel less like a medical problem and more like an inebriated one. thanks tini and elisa for such a lovely night. you're both too cute!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

out of office.

you may have noticed a slight absence of late. i'm away. with the fairies. no, not really. i am in queensland on my work conference. yep versace hotel bitches! (thank you one girl) i love it. unfortunately, after necking some pretty colourful drinks on thursday night i awoke friday morning with a rather serious viral middle ear thingy. it makes me all lightheaded and dizzy. i thought it was the alcohol!

anyhow. went to the doctor and he gave me magic pills and now i think i can survive the rest of the weekend. its been all good wine, japanese food, bar tabs, serious work stuff and mammoth laughs. expect a somewhat weiry em.s back on blog as of monday. no doubt i should have something worthy of writing about. must go now...and lie by the pool.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

when maggie met ned.

well, it promised to be a very busy weekend. not only were ben and i off to see a band play in dusty meeniyan town hall, but we were also going to be re-uniting maggie with her long lost brother ned.

let's start with the concert. bens mum and dad own a farm in east gippsland. at present all that sits on the land is a handmade shack complete with roaring fire. i love it there. nothing but books, red wine and fresh air. in the still of the night, the only noise your chilly ears can hear is the occasional grunt of a hereford. *bliss*. i digress. anywho, the concert was held in meeniyan (around 30 minutes from the farm). the town hall has rows of tables inside and you can bring your own food and wine. the night is spent listening to good music, eating good food and drinking (hopefully) good wine. i have had the pleasure of seeing harry manx and dallas frasca there. good stuff.

the next morning was particularly foggy. all the dogs had slept in the cars that night so we let them out early for a little run around. this was the first moment that maggie and ned met. there wasn't much in the way of 'golden moments', they simply smelt each others butt, detecting some faint memory and trotted off to roll in cow shit somewhere. in way of looks, you can see that ned's farm friendly coat is much longer than maggie's inner city trim. however, there is something about their eyes that's very familiar.

maggie stands charge. she's such a control freak!

now onto my sewing machine. due to the big weekend, i only had last night to have a nudge at it. i decided to give a top a crack, see if i couldnt whip something joyful up. here is my first attempt. a crowl neck top with bell sleeves. made with love and frustration - the best mix!