Thursday, September 30, 2010

Around the House Today

We spent the whole day out yesterday with friends having a bit of fun at the park and lots of yummy eating at my friend Linda's house. After leaving Linda's we had a bit of retail therapy at the local shopping complex. We straggled in the door about 5.30pm completely exhausted.
So we dedicated today to a make and do day. Which means we have to stay at home and amuse ourselves and "make do" with whatever we have around.

Our course that meant a bit of crafty fun first up in the morning.......

I found an old jumper of Rhianna's so we started to sew up some hearts to hang. Why? Well you're definitely reading the wrong blog if you're asking why we do anything around here.

Here are the hearts all cut out and ready to be sewn up.

Here is our first one done and hanging on some tortured willow we got last week. We plan to hang some more crafty treasures on the branches throughout Spring.

This was our work area today. It was so beautiful outside that we decided to do some alfresco sewing. Miss R decided to paint a sign as well. All in all, a good mornings work.

Here is one of my newest vintage finds. Now I know this won't be to everybody's taste but we love it. It's a 1960's retro lamp set. It's a bit Day of the Triffids isn't it? But it's such good light to read, sew and knit by. These two seats are mine and Bills and where we sit after dinner to chat about the day.

And finally this afternoon I spent some time gardening in the front garden while Miss R rode up and down the street on her bike. Such a nice way to enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Tomorrow is going to be all about the housework as we leave for holidays on Sunday. As well as packing I need to make sure my 18 year old son and silly as a cut snake dog are going to have everything they need to survive while we are away. In other words, I'll be flat chat.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Add ImageIntroducing my "new baby"

Well here she is - the new toy. Bill and I have bought an MG. Isn't she too cute for words. Once I get my head around driving it - it's a 4 speed manual and you have to use a choke to start it, I will be zipping around the streets in this little beauty.

Yes, we have completely lost our minds, it is a very frivolous purchase and the front yard now looks like a car yard with all 4 cars out there but oh the love...........

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

School Holidays - Day 2
A Crafty Play Date

I have the privilege of knowing a very clever young lady by the name of Emma Clark. She is into all things stampy and papery. Not only is she into it, but she's just so good at it. And today she turned up at my place with all her little card making goodies for a morning of crafty fun. Well........, it started off as a morning and turned into an almost all afternoon day of crafty fun.

Emma has a daughter the same age as Rhianna so while the girls were busy running from one end of the house to the other and creating havoc, Emma and I got stuck into some card making. (And lots and lots of nattering :: as you do!) Here's our work table about half way through.

We had a wonderful time and the girls thoroughly enjoyed their playdate as well.

In the letter box today was the latest Cath Kidston catalogue - oh drool, drool over all her beautiful bits and pieces. I think I'll try and find an Aussie stockist first before I start buying from the UK. Although our dollar is doing very well against the greenback, it's still a long way from being equal to the pound.

Speaking of currency conversions, it is a great time to be buying from the USA and I bought myself these two little lovelies from Etsy last week. They are two little crochet purses. One is an apple and the other is a cupcake. I didn't buy them for any particular purpose other than I thought they were cute.

Some exciting news for you all tomorrow - there is going to be a new addition to the family - more details later. Have a happy hump day tomorrow everybody.

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Holidays - Day 1

I count today as the official first day of the holidays as it's the first day Bill is back to work and I am nominated Chief Fun Maker.

I can't do anything fun though, until the kitchen is clean. The rest of the house can look like a spanish bull has gone through it, but I can't leave the house until the kitchen is clean and tidy.

Does anybody else have a funny little habit like this?

Oops :: spotted these bananas that need to be made into some banana bread pretty quick smart I'd say!!!

First stop today was some bowling. Found a great deal at a local bowling alley of 2 games, hot chips, drink and some game tokens for the pinball machines all included.

We love to bowl. We like the bumper bowling where no balls can go into the gully and we use the super light ball to make things easy.

After a quick stop in town for some musk essence and some craft supplies at Spotlight we got home in time for some candy making -( this is where the musk essence comes in.)

We love our Frankie magazine at this house and Rhianna spotted this recipe for musk sticks in a back issue last night. Who am I to say no to some candy cuteness?

Let's just say that they look easier to make than they were. But as we have a lot of leftover musk essence, we'll have a go at them another time. We managed to make about 10 good ones.
But we did have some laughs trying to get the nozzle on the piping bag to work properly.

A close up of the action.

We also dug out a hammock that some friends gave to us a few Christmases ago and used the monkey bars to string it up. Rhianna's been out there all afternoon swinging away in it with Finn (our dog). Has kept her amused for ages. I love it when you find something good for the kids to do - and it hasn't cost you anything.

Hope everybody has a good week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review

Revolutionary Road

Although this is a classic, I have only just got around to reading it.

I have to admit that I watched the movie first with Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio. I found the movie just amazing in every way. I went out and bought the novel the same day. And having studied Thoreau at university I was constantly replaying his famous lines through my head as I read the book.
"..most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to their graves with the song left in them".

Of course his quote really applies to the woman in the story - April. Married with two children, she feels trapped in her suburban life with an unambitious husband and the same daily routine slowly eroding her happiness in life.

April and her husband decide to throw it all in and move to Paris. But Frank resists at the last moment and April finds herself again with child - a child neither of them really wants. This is where the "quiet desperation" of April becomes a deafening roar to all those around her.

If you can get a copy of this book, I highly recommend it for a thought provoking read.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cubbies, Cookies and Comforts
( I do love my alliteration!)

Today we got Rhianna's bloodwork back and it's all completely normal. Now, on the one hand I am pleased that it's not what we feared - Glandular Fever (or worse) but then again we have no idea why she is sleeping around the clock, running temperatures and lying on the lounge all day.

Urine tests to come back tomorrow - so will hold out to see what those tests show.

In the meantime we are bunkered down here at home. Today we've done a spot of cubby building. Rhianna and Finn are in there somewhere.

Then I baked some cookies while Rhianna had a sleep.

This morning we found this little card attached to a present on our doorstep (thanks Georgia and Michelle). The present was a frame making kit which of course Rhianna had to start on straight away.

After the frames were completed Rhianna selected some of her favourite pics from the photo album for me to stick up on the fridge. Doesn't it look colourful and cheery?

Of course there were other presents arriving at the house also.( Thanks Daddy) I think she's almost starting to enjoy this sickness business.

And a present for Mumma (thanks again Daddy!!!)

I'd also just like to thank Linda for all the phone chats :: Debbie for the hugs and DVD supplies :: Michelle and Georgia for doorway gifts that made a little person smile :: Libby for being Libby and Mrs Clarke ( Rhianna's teacher) for her calls to check up on her and the constant support.

And thanks to everybody else who has rung or emailed - it's really meant so much to me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Update

Just wanting to let everybody know that Rhianna is actually quite ill and I'll update and post again when I can. Thanks for all your support.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Latest Happenings @ Our Place

Little Miss R has been at home going on 5 school days now. Initially we thought she had the flu but as the days go on we fear it to be something more serious. Until we know what is wrong (Dr's appointment not till Wednesday) we are keeping her at home which is essential as she is lethargic and sleeping a lot.

Now, normally this kind of routine would send me into a tailspin but I am actually enjoying the chance of pace. In the morning we do a spot of reading, a few workbook sheets centred around some comprehension and maths. By then Rhianna usually needs to rest for a while so I get some chores done.

If she's up for it we'll go out to do a few errands but not much as any type of excess activity seems to exhaust her. Today a lovely package arrived in the mail from the UK for her. The most fabulous colouring in and drawing book I've every seen. Rhiannna was instantly in love and spent the remainder of the afternoon on the lounge colouring and drawing her little heart out.

She also unpacked some of the things I purchased from our craft stall at the fete. One of which was a cute little pencil roll made by a lovely lady called Michelle Rosetto. She is one lovely and talented lady who sews all sorts of fabulous things. I was so pleased I got to nab one of these lovelies. And the perfect gift to cheer up a sick little person.

A few weeks ago we found ourselves at a storage facility auction. Apparently some people put all their wordly goods into storage and then forget to pay their bill.

After notifying them, the storage facility sells all their goods at auction. The range of items is amazing. One of the things I picked up was this vintage typewriter for $1. Still in perfect working condition. Miss Rhianna, having never seen or used one before has had a ball winding paper in and out and learning to type the old fashioned way.

It's been another great way to pass the days.

Finn, our dog has also been great company for Rhianna. I think he actually senses she is ill as he has taken to sitting next to her on the lounge for most of the day. He has also endured being dressed up like a superhero in one of her jumpers. Look at that face. Says it all really doesn't it?

Finally, dinner tonight :: some fishcakes and chips which Broc kindly "masterchefed" for me. God love him.
Well I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the blood tests on Wednesday. Or I may be home schooling for a while. Have a great week everybody.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lounge Love

How many lounges does a family need?

Well, unless you live in a McMansion I'd say one, maybe two at the outside.

Now, not only do I not live in a mansion, we live in a quite small 3 bedroom cottage. And currently are the proud owners of four lounge settings.

How do we squeeze them all in and why in God's name do we own so many. Here's the lowdown....

Our oldest lounge is this yellow leather three seater bought when we did own a McMansion.

Now does duty as the poolside lounge. So great to be able to watch the kids swim and be comfortably horizontal drinking a cocktail at the same time.

Our first club lounge - and our truest lounge love. This is where Bill and I catch up at the end of the day with a red wine. It's far enough away from the TV that we can hear each other talk but it's still in the house if anybody needs us.

Our newest lounge lodger and our second club lounge is this little beauty. A real vintage 1930's number with little wooden cup holders at the end of each arm. So very clever and practical.

As you can see I am still loving the whole English thing.

When we purchased the above club lounge, we had to make room for it by moving the large brown leather lounge. It's seen better days but was not quite ready for the scrap heap yet, so out into the entertaining area it went.

We love to lie out here on Saturday and Sunday morning drinking coffee and reading the papers. And when we had a party recently, people that drank or ate too much could be accommodated in comfort till they recovered or the next morning - whichever came first.

So you see we really do need to be having four lounges. We are never short of a place to sit around here.

Have a happy day. I know I am.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Frugal Friday Fun

Due to Rhianna still being ill, I have not had the time or inclination to go out grocery shopping.

It's now Friday night and I refuse to give in and buy take away.

I have a quick flick through the old recipe books and what do I spy:: A recipe for which I actually have all the ingredients - in the house - already. It's like a recipe mirage.

I quickly get myself into the kitchen before I am tempted to dial for Thai. Bill always says I cook with gusto...which is his polite way of saying I make a huge mess. But I don't think it's too bad. See below....

I have the recipe for a bacon and egg pie with old fashioned pastry. Sounds yummy. Before I really get into it, Bill pours me a wine and produces some yummy cheese and crackers to get me in the cooking mood.... and he wonders why I cook gusto.

I'd like to see him roll out some pastry with a couple of reds in him.

As you can see, I am enjoying the cooking immensely - especially the bit where I take a bit of cab sav inspiration.

Here is the pie just before it hits the oven. I am so proud of it. Not because it's any great culinary masterpiece but because I've managed to produce a meal for everybody on the smell of an oily rag.

A bit of cheese on the top - it's not in the recipe but grated cheese never hurt any meal I've ever eaten.

Now, while it's cooking we turn on our newest find - a retro radio. We find some old love songs on a radio station that I think maybe about 50 people listen to. A quick waltz or two around the lounge room and dinner is ready.

Tah -da.

Everybody liked it. It was quick and easy and I actually enjoyed trying something new.
Have a great weekend if you're reading this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Long Days at Home

Miss Rhianna is at this moment well and truly sick as a dog. She had her cousin over for a sleepover on Saturday night and when I had to take the cousin home in the middle of the night with a sky high temperature, I was sure Rhianna would be following suit soon after.

Unfortunately I was right.

This is now our second day lying on the lounge eating ice blocks, chugging panadol and watching the Disney channel.

Luckily, I've had plenty of time to organise a trip away.

After much internet research I've decided to combine two things that Bill and I have been busting to do since we met but have never got around to.

Bill really wants to do a long haul train trip. So I booked us into a Sydney to Adelaide sleeper on the Indian Pacific. It's only a 24 hour trip, because I'm sure that's about all I can handle on a train lying horizontal or in any other position.

From Adelaide we'll hire a car and do the adventure I've always wanted to do - driving the Great Ocean Road. Apparently the 12 apostles are crumbling at quite a rapid rate so I know I need to get down there soon before I miss my chance.

The best part of the whole deal ? - I've managed to book everything in the school holidays.

On the home front I've spent many hours on the lounge soothing hot foreheads, supplying icy poles and finding remotes under all the pillows and blankets. I've also managed to knit a few squares.

Out on the patio the craft cupboard was doing my head in. It looked so messy and all higgilty- piggilty :: so I whipped up a little curtain to hide everything. Dead easy and I am in love with the Amy Butler fabric.

Also did a spot of sewing. I've had this project to do all Winter and have finally gotten around to it in Spring.

I bought the hot water bottles at Big W but wanted to jazz them up a bit.

And no, I haven't learn to crochet. I just found an old granny square blanket at the markets and have cut it up to use the squares.

Little Miss R needs some more lemonade so must take off now. Hope you are all having more fun than me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hello everybody -

So sorry I have been away for so long. Not intentional at all. It's just that Spring has sprung and life has taken off in a very busy and deliciously crazy way.

So what has been happening here at Green Ness?

Well....Miss Rhianna's school fete is this Saturday so there has been much looking at and ohhing and ahhing over the items of the craft stall.

It has been a long journey throughout the year of religiously getting together to make things to stock our stall. Hopefully the weather will be fine on Saturday and we sell all of our beautiful items.

Speaking of craft.....

....while out with a girlfriend the other day we spotted these beautiful acrylic colours and they just called to me.

At first they said "You're crap at knitting so just keep walking" and then they relented and said "Oh go on then, give me another go."

So I scooped up a few balls and have started to knit again. It may be a crazy undertaking coming into Summer but they were so cheap and they are just begging each night to be made into something. Watch this space......

Out in the yard big things are afoot. Miss R is having a birthday shortly and as we don't know if we'll be here in October we decided to give her the birthday present early.

Obviously it's a set of monkey bars. And to say that Rhianna was thrilled would be a mild understatement.

Some adults we know have also tried to recapture their youth by having a wee turn on the bars - no trips to the hospital as yet but some people (no names) have needed assistance to get down/off and lets just say that alcohol and monkey bars don't mix. We'll be leaving it to the kidlets from here on in.

Speaking of the backyard have any of you seen all the lovely colours around to plant for spring? I have gone a bit crazy out there and have spent many afternoons planting up a storm. Makes me smile every time I step outside to see all that colour just shining in the sun. And if that sounds just a bit too Pollyanna for you please remember that I am on anti-depressants and I do tend to smile like a crazy person at the most trivial of things.

The other day a friend from my childhood came to visit and she asked if I would make a French tea cake. We used to scoff these when we were about 10 years old. I don't know whether we really loved the cake itself or the fact that we called it French tea cake and felt all posh and continental eating it.

Twas a very easy recipe to whip up and we did enjoy digging in as we talked about the good old days.

Hard to believe it was over 30 years ago that we used to sit next to each other in class daydreaming about Leith Garrett. Some of you who are younger than me might have to goggle him as he had a very spectacular but short lived career as a pop idol.

As I said Spring is a crazy time for our family as almost all the family birthdays are in Spring plus numerous other events. We are also planning a holiday in here somewhere and trips away with/and to see friends.

But I finally found the time to do something I have wanted to do for years. I joined a book club.

A lovely lady, Nicole opens up her home to host the evening and we all discuss a book that we have read the previous month. This month our "homework" is Eat.Pray.Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I, luckily have already read this book so I just have to do a quick reread.

Then it's off to Nicole's for wonderful discussions, lively debates and delicious food. It's fabulous. I wish I had of joined one sooner. Pictured below is Nicole's loungeroom ready to go for the evening. Sorry about the quality of the pic, I did not have my camera and took the photo on my phone.

Hope you've all been good while I've been away.
(And thanks Libby)