Friday, August 31, 2007

Seven Things Spring Starts Saturday

TTWC 2007.92 with camellia in bud

Seven Things Spring starts Saturday 1 September. It will be the same as June and July, except this time I'll be doing it from September to November and for September I will have company - TSS is joining in. It has a good spring cleaning vibe happening.

Earthchick started the Seven Things Project in July 2006. Her goal was to try and live more simply - to have less and more importantly to want less; to rid herself of the clutter that overwhelms and paralyses. Amen to that, sister.
In the spirit of the Seven Things Project, items will be thoughtfully dealt with. Just throwing stuff out isn't part of the deal. Mindful consumption and thoughtful disposal are tenets of this particular faith.

We will report each Sunday (most likely with photos and rationales) in three categories :"In", "Out" and"Shake-it-All-About". The aim is that "Out" minus "In" will be greater than or equal to 7.

The stuff we bring in to our homes. This includes:
  • stash items of ANY kind
  • other forms of entertainment such as books, magazines, cds etc.
  • Items received by subscription, for example, magazines are to be counted.
  • Clothes and accessories are to be counted.
  • Homewares are to be counted.
  • Gifts received are to be counted.

Exempt are consumables such as food and other groceries and items borrowed from the library (but not items borrowed from the library and copied for keeping because that is (a) illegal and (b) not in the spirit of the challenge).

Items deliberately weeded from the house. Consumables do not count. Completely worn out and non-fixable/transformable clothing, household items etc do.

This category is about transformation. Having taken on this challenge before, I thought it important to acknowledge the creative transformation of items already in the home. This might be as simple as the use of stash buttons on an old blouse to revamp it instead of buying a new blouse or other transformation of clothes. It might be the creation of something new for ourselves or others from stash. Some items from this category will become "outs" which is perfectly fine.

So, like dieters everywhere, today we binge. The Shopping Sherpa, the Happy Spider and I are off on an op-shop crawl.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

And then my heart with pleasure fills

TTWC 2007.91

Finally the jonquils flower en masse and I missed their burgeoning. Cruel fate!

These are not ordinary jonquils.

When my parents bought the house next door to them as an investment property in the early 80s, Mum was given some jonquil bulbs by a friend. Dad hates bulbs so Mum secretly planted them in the garden next to the front porch of the house next door and pretended they were there all along. Dad knew they hadn't been there at all but upheld the fiction. They were always known as Mum's flowers and in late winter and early spring she filled small vases with them for the house.

20 years pass. *insert wavy time warp image*

Almost exactly 3 years ago, my brother knocked down the house next door and built a big new house for his family. I moved into my house just around the corner at about the same time. At my brother's insistence most of the garden was retained during the building process but the plants closest to the house were to be bulldozed too.

The week before the bulldozers moved in, my brother, his family, his father-in-law and I spent a weekend salvaging what plants we could. The jonquils were just getting ready to bloom when I dug them up and placed them in one of the polystyrene broccoli boxes we begged from the markets. Some I planted in my garden straight away, others stayed in the polystyrene boxes until the next autumn when Dad planted them throughout the new beds we had just created in my back yard.

This is the first year I've had a decent display and they are lovely. I take Mum a small bunch every few days.

Dad arrived home from his Trans-Siberian odyssey this morning. When I mentioned the jonquils had finally bloomed and were now nearly over, he suggested I plant some daffodils as well so I'd get a longer spring display next year. "Bulbs are so cheerful; I don't know why your mother doesn't have some", he informed me. I haven't had the heart to tell Mum.

And to those who suggested I weed there acreages while I was about it, I have two words for you: GET FLOCKED (preferably of those little miniature sheep; they're bound to keep the weeds at bay).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ravel rouser

TTWC 2007.89 in stash mystery yarn

Forgot to mention - I'm on Ravelry.

It's early days yet but I can confidently say this could be a great big time sink. I thought I'd just have a bit of a look after SnB last night (mostly because I felt guilty about being in for days and not having even set up a profile) and the next thing it's 2am.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I picked up the pieces from the recent Knit1 Blog1 exhibitions at CraftACT today. While I was there I collected the Happy Spider's knitted wonders and the dress form that displayed her rogue hoodie.

A quick photo session with the resident gargoyle and it was off to Starbucks for a sit and knit with Jejune and Spidey. Lovely to sit and catch up for an hour or so - a bit like a couple of years ago when it was just the three of us at a Stitch 'n' Bitch. How times change and now we get to knit with lots of gorgeous women 4 times a month!

Jejune was working on the second lace mitt (I got to try on the first one - it's divine) and Spidey had a sensational sock in her new colourway - "Imposition".

Then on to the Southern Cross Club for dinner with Judes and the Woden SnB. Eight women (7 of them bloggers) enjoying the company, the alcohol and the fibre fumes. What a magnificent day.

Hand-me-downs and a sling-shot brain

TTWC 2007.88 with comfrey

Comfrey is fantastic for accelerating compost breakdown and a potent herbal remedy for the treatment of bruises and broken bones. It's also a bugger to get out of the garden. This plant was cut back to the base 6 weeks ago. It's grown 2 foot in the middle of a Canberra winter!

The herb and vegie garden is due for a shake up soon. I'll pick up some manure later in the week to dig through the beds. Mum has promised me a rhubarb plant and it will soon be time to plant the early summer veg and new herb seedlings.

I won't be needing any curly parsley though - my three plants have quite literally taken over the bed. There has been a little die-back, but not much.

TTWC 2007.89 with parsley garnish.

Mrs Jordan, our home ec. teacher, had us garnish every dish with parsley - even junket. I hate junket to this day. I forgot to add the rennet and it came out like a boiled vanilla milkshake. I was made to drink it, after removing the parsley garnish. Hideous.

Monday, August 27, 2007

All blooming life you're feeding

Thanks for the welcome back - it was lovely to hear from you all.

I'm part through some blogs but will admit to reading just the last few posts of most. Many of you I will catch up with in the next week or so and I'm looking forward to that very much.

I've decided that weeding is rather like exercise - dire but necessary and can only be accomplished if I trick myself into it. Also both activities usually end up with me in pain and whingeing.

So the last couple of days have been spent hanging out the washing and plucking a weed or two along the way; hauling bags from the car to the house and back again etc. Net result is I'm about a 2/3 the way through the back garden and 1/3 the front. Tomorrow should see another 1/3 of the front done because I've bought some pansies and seaside daisies for a bed that is currently weed infested.

This morning I took the last crop of TTWC's for a photoshoot and weeded most of the back garden as a result. See - tricked myself into both weeding and exercise.

TTWC 2007.83-87

Sunday, August 26, 2007

So what's been happening?

Yup, we're back.

Five weeks in paradise is tough, lemme tell ya. The weather was only so so, but I managed a walk or two most days and the op-shops of the mid-north coast have been completely denuded of hand-knits most of which have been unpicked and some of which have been unravelled, washed and re knitted. Mum knitted her way through two large 8ply cardigans worth of wool and was only slowed down by the need to unpick more jumpers. I have niddy-noddy related strain and bruising, but we have a reasonable amount of yarn to be getting on with.

There is very little knitting to show . I did a lot of knit/tink and knit/rip on the cardie project that travelled with me. The light in our unit was atrocious, Mum's relatives came to visit (3 out of 5 weeks we had visitors) and I did a LOT of driving - this all had adverse effects on knitting time. Beanies were, of course, knitted. Knitting slows my walking speed down to Mum's pace. A TTWC band takes a 2k round trip walk to the beach to watch the waves and check on the progress of the kangaroo family we adopted.

The really poor weather last week (9 inches of rain in 7 days) meant that the planned artfully posed shots of beanies on the beach, beanies with kangaroos and/or kookaburras and beanies in the rain forest didn't happen. Given the state of my garden, though, you'll be seeing a lot of beanies and weeds in the next few days or so.

Only one bobbin was spun due to crammed living quarters and lack of light. I did manage to resist the call of the local alpaca breeder, though, so at least the fibre stash wasn't expanded.

I missed you lot, though. It will take a while before I'm all caught up on blogs.