Sunday, December 30, 2012

Knitten: Wristies

I sent my mama some pink Murray River salt for Christmas. She likes salt. She salts pizza, apples, even potato chips. It seems there's a bit of a conspiracy at Lay's wherein they've only been salting one side of their chips. My mom licks each side to determine which is the salted side, then salts the other side.

Anyway, that has very little to do with this post. I grabbed a box to ship the salt in, but there were a few inches of extra space and I didn't want the salt to be knocking around in the mail. What to stuff it with? I had some extra chunky yarn left over in my stash, so decided to make some really quick (really, really quick) wristies for her. I imagine her wearing them at pool tournaments, cuz she's a stylin' lady.

Here I am attempting to model them. Not much luck with the camera.

And here's Mama with her gifts. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book belt hack

After I'd purchased most of my Christmas gifts, I finally gave in and bought myself the diary I wanted (with employee discount, wot wot!) We also sell book belts that hold your notebook or diary closed while it's in your handbag, and they have a little loop for a pen. After using the diary for a week or so, I decided it needed a belt.

Sadly, the belts we sell aren't intended for my size of diary (A6). The belt fit around my diary vertically but was slightly tight, pinching in the plastic cover, and it meant that any pen in the loop pointed horizontally across the diary.

I decided I could improve on that, so I undid the stitches and pulled belt apart, keeping the pen loop intact. I shortened it a bit so it would fit horizontally on my diary, then restitched it. But all I had for thread was what Hugh's mom left in the sewing machine she gave me, which didn't include gray, but did include a lovely bright blue. Once I'd stitched around the leather rectangle, I couldn't stop. I personalised it!

Everything in this picture makes me happy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Received mail: sketches from John

I love getting letters from John! He writes about everyday things, and he often includes sketches of his surroundings. Love it!

I also got another sweet card from Jody. Keep it coming, guys!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Merry Christmas! (Meant to post this before Christmas, but our Internets were broke-sauce. They're much better now, though!)

I asked my wonderful boyfriend for moccasins for Christmas, which I thought were a bit pricey. He got me moccasins and an iPhone 5. An iPhone 5. I am the luckiest (read: most spoiled) girl in the world.

So Merry Christmas everyone! May you have lovely celebrations with family and receive awesome gifts! (And I hope the gifts I sent arrive soon!)

Here is a photo of our hideous tree before decoration. Look at all those baby branches! It's like a new tree is trying to grow out of the older one. According to Hugh, this is what Christmas trees always look like. Oh Australia...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hard Rubbish

When I first arrived in Adelaide and we moved into our new home, Em and Hugh kept reminiscing about when they lived in the richer part of town, and "hard rubbish" day would come around. Apparently, "hard rubbish" is big stuff, like furniture or paint cans or sports equipment that you don't want anymore, but can't throw in your normal bin. When I was a kid, Pops would borrow a truck and take items like these to The Dump, which was always a thrilling adventure for us. But around here, they save them up until hard rubbish day comes along, then they put everything out on the curb. In rich neighborhoods, apparently, you can find some really nice stuff.

Hard Rubbish season arrived in our neighborhood in November. It started slowly at first, with a few items in front of a few houses, but within a week, our sidewalks were littered with huge piles of junk. It was awesome!! It is considered totally socially acceptable to rummage through someone's hard rubbish. There was one pile down the street I was hoping to scavenge from, but a woman with an SUV (called a "ute" around here) pulled up seconds before I got there and started chucking all the good stuff in the back of her car.

Still, I found some killer stuff. For my first find, I was a little nervous at nicking people's garbage, so I made Hugh come with me under cover of night. It was a little, white nighstand made of solid wood with nicely turned-out legs. Hugh was skeptical that there could be anything decent, but he agreed that this piece was actually quite good.

A couple days before garbage collection, when the piles had reached lofty heights, I discovered a kids' cardboard suitcase. The pattern on it reminds me of Amy's baby blanket, Gigi (or was it Geegee?)

Outside the Croyden Bowling Club, I found an awesome lawn bowls bag (the mustard yellow suitcase-looking thing). Inside, there was a film canister full of chalk and these rulebooks. I loved that Ms. Kath Wood highlighted the bits about bowling etiquette.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Reading: The Happiness Project

I recently grabbed the book, "The Happiness Project," by Gretchen Rubin, from the library. We sold it at Anthropologie, and a co-worker recommended it, and now we sell it at my current job, too. In fact, the owner of my current company loved the book so much, she commissioned a special collector's cover for the book and created a companion journal so people can organise their own happiness projects.

I'm only a couple chapters in, but it already has me thinking about changes I can make in my life. I don't think I'll go whole-hog on a year-long project, but I have outlined roughly 12 areas of my life that could stand some improvement, and identified some goals within each area. They're those thoughts you have now and again, "I should start doing [x]" or "I need to do [y] more often," and when I sit down to write them down, there are loads of them! My goals are not new, it's just the first time I've identified them on paper and tried to work on several of them at a time.

One of the goals on my list, which I already do pretty well, is to read a book at least once a day. Living in a foreign country (i.e. not having many friends) and working only part time gives one quite a bit of spare time, and I've been getting through a few books lately. I don't need to read for any specified amount of time, I just need to read. So it's great that Pip from Meet Me at Mike's has suggested a bit of a read-along for a book called, "I Capture the Castle." I just requested it from the library and will read it after I finish the Happiness Project, though that might take me a while because I am actually taking notes and stopping to think about a lot of it. Thinking about improving your outlook on life is fun! So is reading! Yays!

Monday, December 17, 2012


As of 30 minutes ago, all presents are in the post! Yay! There is no way any of them will arrive in time for Christmas (boo), and the postage cost as much as the gifts themselves, and I also haven't completed writing Christmas cards, but at least one thing is done!

I really enjoyed picking out gifts for each recipient, and I felt good about getting it all done fairly early, and I was happy that I had enough money for it all! I want to keep buying and making suitable gifts tailored to each recipient as long as I have the cash, but I have to acknowledge that I probably shouldn't be spending as much or more on regular postage than I spent on the gift itself. Sigh. Oh Australia, you are so expensive, but worth it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slanguage: chockers

Today on the bus, a driver came over the radio asking:

"Does anyone know why Marion Road is chockers today?"

Chockers is the cute-ification of chock-a-block, which we all know from Colin's backpack in "Love, Actually" means "packed full." In other words, Marion Road was "packed full" of cars (or perhaps condoms, hard to say).

Chockers is supposedly used in the UK as well as Australia, and according to The Almighty Internets was naval slang from the WWII era.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Finished object: Red Gum Beret

I knit this beret a couple months ago with the "flowering red gum" wool I got from the Royal Adelaide Show. I'd wanted it to be quite slouchy and long, and the pattern (from the purl bee) I followed seemed to fit the bill. But when it was done, it really was just a beret. I was disappointed and shoved it in a drawer for two months.

Now that I go back to it, I just see it for what it is, not what I wanted it to be, and I like it much better. I'm still not sure if I'll wear it (I'd have to wait six months for it to be cold enough, anyway). So if anyone wants it, call dibs. As you can see, it looks fantastic on men as well as women!

(By the way, in my head, I'm pronouncing it the British way, "bare-ay." A sign I've been out of America too long.)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Finished object: Snowy Christmas Stocking

I finished my Christmas stocking. Generally, I'm pretty pleased with it. The heel and the toe are a bit odd, and floppy because the contrasting wool is a totally different weight and thickness to the main wool. Maybe someday, if I find a better wool, I'll replace them, but I think this stocking will serve me just fine for the upcoming holiday season!

Like snow covering a city...