29 November 2007

Too tired to blog properly. And no pictures.

In a futile effort to kid myself I have some level of control over my increasingly insane life, I spent a therapeutic half hour organising my blogroll into alphabetical order. Anal? Undoubtedly. Impressed? Probably not. If I've inadvertently mucked up anyone's link, or lost anyone altogether, do let me know.

Oh, and we are now green. But I think it needs more tweaking to achieve the perfect shade of pea green.

I continued in my efforts to soothe my shattered soul by making a rice pudding which, for me, is the ultimate comfort food. After a serve of Heinz tinned spaghetti, that is.

Unfortunately, the rice pudding looks like something the cat sicked up, and nearly as frightening as the escaping cake so there will be no photos. It tasted sensational though, especially with a dollop of cream and some strawberry jam.

In other news, Son #1 is playing a Lost Boy in Peter Pan right now. We went last night and were mightily impressed. And amused. A tree was knocked down twice, the fireplace fell over in the first seconds of the play, Tinkerbell kept forgetting her wings were wider than her body, which made a couple of her exits challenging, and Peter Pan forgot her line (yes, Peter is played by one of the girls and a mighty fine Peter she is) when one of the children asked her "Can you really fly?" She looked blank for a minute, then said brightly Yes! (Like, duh). The fight scenes between the pirates and Lost Boys and pirates and Indians were done in delicious, hilarious slow motion, and the chief Indian shouted something in fluent Japanese as she exited the stage. But the best bit was that Captain Hook wore her (yes, for some reason all the male parts were played by the girls) hook on her left arm before interval, and her right after interval. Priceless. Son #3 sat next to me and wheezed with laughter all the way through. It was a brilliant night. The line that got the most laughs? It had to be Michael's, when upon hearing that his birth took place at 2am said Oh Mother, I hope I didn't wake you! The most poignant bit for me? Seeing my shy, nervous boy who usually specialises in wringing his hands in the corner trying to make himself invisible, speaking up loudly, clearly and with a twinkle in his voice. Ah, school plays. The best.

27 November 2007

apples with apples (or, still not talking about the election)

pears green

Phew. We don't have to emigrate after all.

pears brown

New Zealand was looking pretty good there for a few days.


And although right now it's more about who's not in than who's in ...


... we're hopeful.


Saying sorry and signing Kyoto are a pretty good start.


She'll be apples.


And to top off a great weekend, my strawberries appeared in print. Ta da.

strawberries knitted by me, used in a print ad

23 November 2007

the one in which we do not mention the election

So instead, sing along with me.

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you ...

Moving right along and ignoring the Big Event tomorrow so we don't get all worked up and overwhelmed, I've been tagged by the delightful and very short-haired Frogdancer with the weird things meme.

This has been around the blogosphere about a gazillion times, stopping off at Pea Soup four times over the years. Which I suppose means you now think you know every random and/or weird thing about me.

Ha. There are many as yet unplundered depths to my weirdness.

Hence ...

1. I finished knitting a plum pudding tonight and ... hang on, that can be number 1 all by itself, no?

2. ... after completing the pudding I thought to myself, it's time to reinstate the traditional Friday Night Meme. Hmmm, no one's tagged me for ages so I might have to create my own meme (eek!). I switched on the computer and there in my comments was a notification that I've been tagged for a meme, ta-da. The Universe Blogosphere provides. So what's weird about me in that? Uh, not sure. My ability to put stuff out there and it happens? (Yeah, um, onward).

3. I'm still doing the hair pulling thing. Sheesh, look at the date on that. I've been molesting myself for two freaking years now. Must seek help.

4. I'm a bit nervous about the election tomorrow. Even though we are not speaking of it, only singing. Clowns to the left etc etc

5. One glass of wine at an art show opening and I'm quite squiffy and rambly. And I have no idea how to do hanging indents in html.

6. I'm still ridiculously shy about this blogging thing. Note to self: get over yourself. I came out to my co-stall-holder friend, very nervously and blushingly, but she was wonderful and she found me (I came out in rather generic terms and didn't give her a name or link) and was full of praise and now look! Here she is! Please welcome Steph to the Blogosphere. (I do love getting people addicted to my own favourite things).

7. My yarn stash (mostly selected purchases from Bendigo Woollen Mills or more often from the op shop) has grown so big I'm starting to hide it from myself, not merely my husband. Which I think means I'm embarrassed by it. I recently found hidden (behind another bag of yarn, oh the irony) a huge picnic basket stuffed full of whites, creams and naturals that I had put aside for future dyeing adventures. God help me.

8. I don't tag.


I'm breaking my usual rule of anonymity to say, please join us here tonight, tomorrow and Sunday.

It should be a wonderful celebration of a lovely community, an amazing artist, and if you come on the Saturday you can buy beautiful handmade things at the market and vote at the same time!

20 November 2007

and lo, it was good

So when your life goes crazy and you find yourself working four days a week (and heavens, that’s a bit too close to full time employment for my liking) and you open up the kitchen drawer to get a bowl for your morning muesli, it being too hot for porridge these days, and you think to yourself how do other people manage to do all this plus the grocery shopping and laundry and cooking (oh the cooking) and wiping the we-have-mudbrick-walls dust off surfaces occasionally and maintain a blog at the same time, and then you witness a small miracle spilling across the surface of the domestic crockery …

rainbow in the bowl drawer

… you pause. And quietly tell the small cornflake-eating child who exhales in an impressed manner as he marvels at the sight.

Until someone says Well it is nearly Christmas after all and you decide to prepare your muesli with strawberry yoghurt instead of Greek.

muesli (homemade)

And the thought of the rainbow living in the bowl drawer stays with you all through the busy week. Like a little tiny sign of hope.

Or at least a sign that someone cleaned the kitchen windows recently.

13 November 2007

that was the week that was

oh what a time was had by all …

It’s been a very social bloggy crafty sort of time around here. First up was an amazing Sydney-Melbourne blogmeet featuring a few of my favourite regular reads. Photos are over here if anyone is interested. We talked and ate and talked and laughed and made the waiter take our photo, as you do, and then talked some more even after being politely evicted from the premises waaaay after closing time. It seems LadyBloggers have a lot to say. Who woulda thunk?

Then the next evening I dragged my weary carcass up the freeway to join the same talented and inspiring crew who attended the last craft weekend away and some new-to-me faces.

The venue was, um, quirky, the garden gorgeous ...


blossom, apple or cherry?

... the weather glorious, the food mostly marvellous apart from a little embarrassment on my part (note to self: don’t put your hand up to do dinner when you’ve been up until 3am several nights running writing a badly structured essay and then socialising with a bunch of LadyBloggers and you’re better at sticky desserts than beef curries anyway you silly sod). But as someone else said, the company was the prize. What a wonderful gaggle of women. And the accompanying baby was beautiful (and beautifully behaved) beyond belief.

I managed to purchase some delicious chenille yarn and Noro from Purl’s Palace

yarns and lines

… made a new friend as we sipped tea and wound the skeins into balls …

lace curtain

… had one of the best massages of my life …

knitting on the verandah

… and knitted. Look at all the flying fingers.


3 November 2007

little acorn

knitted acorn bookmark

Thank you for all your feedback and suggestions yesterday.

I'm rolling them all around my tongue to see how they feel. I'll be sure to let you know when and if things develop.

In the meantime I have a paper to write (medieval imperial ideology and the importance of patronage in Ottonian art and I'm not making that up swear.to.god) and lots of knitting orders to fulfill and post off (Louise, that bookmark has your name on it), followed by a very special dinner on Thursday night and a craft weekend away. Plus, you know, work, housework and children ...

see ya round like a rissole

(no, I can't believe I wrote 'ya' either).

2 November 2007

Thank you. And help.

spring view in the morning

I’ve held stalls at two [school] craft markets recently, and have another two to go before Christmas. It’s fun. Exhausting, but fun.

When I can figure out the button html, I’ll officially let you know that I have taken the pledge to buy handmade this Christmas, and encourage you all to do the same. I was in Target yesterday buying underwear [the only thing I won’t get from the op shop you’ll be no doubt relieved to hear] and was horrified afresh at the PLASTIC. And the OVER CONSUMPTION. And how it has somehow become MANDATED that every single item of clothes little girls own, even their SHOES, should be pink or purple. And boys should only wear things with advertising or aggressive pictures on them and they should only ever wear brown. Or grey. When did this happen? And how come there are ‘girl books’ now (purple ponies) and ‘boy books’ (bum jokes)?

Sorry /end old fogey rant. Back to ME. And my CRAFT STALL.

The bookmarks sell well, as do the washcloths, baby hats (I sold heaps of veggie hats and my precious acorn hat!), baby socks and playcloths. Oh, and the gnomes. At one market I sold heaps of the tiny gumnut gnomes, while at the next, not one. Soooo unpredictable.

I’ve been sharing a stall with a friend, S, who makes the most exquisite felted scarves, baby wraps, booties and trinkets like book covers, pouches and juggling balls. She’s gearing up to open an etsy shop, as is my other friend Y, who sells handmade soaps, bags and aprons. When they’re up, I’ll link to them and you must all go over there and buy up big.

As for myself, I feel some change coming in my online world. I’ve been nattering away for over two years here in this little space and I love it so. Blogging has taken me places I never expected to go. I look at things from a photographer’s perspective now. My knitting has moved beyond hats, jumpers and cardigans to socks, toys and um, food. I’ve even learnt snippets of funny computer-speak html.

I’ve swapped chocolate biscuits with Jane from yarnstorm, attended a big crafty blog meetup, met several other bloggers in real life, and sent and received gifts and blessings from all over the world. Helped organise a Melbourne blogmeet (but couldn’t get there myself …), held a party, made connections with likeminded souls across the oceans and have become firm, regular, real-life friends with the now semi-monthly crafternoon group and weekend away women. I got a job! through blogging connections. Heck, I even became a PILL.

Gosh, lookatmeIvedoneitall.

I’ve watched other bloggers write books, open etsy shops and generally put themselves out there, while I have thus far remained relatively anonymous. Part of me would love to open an etsy shop to extend what I’m already doing with the market stalls, but I’m hesitant to do so under the name Pea Soup (the market stall and the things I make don’t include any reference to Pea Soup; I have no business card or name yet).

There seems to be a plethora of bloggers out there, particularly in Melbourne, who create their blogs to actively network, promote their etsy shops and give advice about how to increase traffic to their blog. But for me the blog came first and the growth of it has been organic. When I hold a stall I don’t advertise it here en blogge with an invitation to come and buy from me and say hi. Perhaps I should? But that whole lack of privacy thing scares me, I don’t want the axe murderers to know where my children go to school, what their names are and how they play violin/wet their beds/bicker/have a penchant for a spot of air guitar on a Saturday night.

We must all find our own balance.

I’m thinking the answer may be to create a business name that would encompass the market stall and a possible future etsy shop, that is somehow related to Pea Soup, but not googleable.* Kind of like an inside joke for those who read the blog, and somewhere to which I can direct friends and parents but where they won’t find the blog. Or am I doomed? Do I go and delete all the dodgy posts about problem children and marital disharmony now? (Were there many?)

What’s a good name for a small handcrafted business consisting of things mostly knitted but occasionally sewn? I tried pea soup in French (Soupe des Pois) and then Petit Pois, but am now leaning toward Pease Pudding for the pea reference and the fact that it comes from a children’s rhyme and my things are mostly for children. I know it doesn't have anything to do with knitting. Any other brilliant suggestions? Update: Pease Blossom perhaps?

* Besides, there is already a woman selling on etsy under the name peasoup, and she even has a blog called pea soup. I’m not unique. Sob.

** And a big welcome to new readers visiting from Yarnstorm, by the way! My stats shot up to 600 readers a day when Jane revamped her template just as she received all that book publicity.

Oy. That was a long linky post. It was also my Thank You Post to all of you who come here, comment, interact, lurk, read, send, receive and share. Because I’ve never done the obligatory been-blogging-for-two-years, how-I-love-you-all post before.