Posts Tagged ‘Craft’

treeclimbingAnother long weekend, another virus or two lay waste to the House of Gusto. The past four days are best described as ‘not at all in any way resembling how I made it look on social media’. The illness struck the extended family this time, with nine of us coming down with some or all of nausea, vomiting, fevers, coughs and body aches. The kids added a common or garden variety cold to the mix, to keep things fresh, and so on Easter Sunday night May Blossom ended up screaming in pain from an infected ear, and barking the house down with croup. Because we were at my parents’ place in the country, we set the bush telegraph to work and located a vintage 1980s humifier from some local friends, which got her through the night, along with regular doses of Panadol and Nurofen. First thing Monday morning we hightailed it back to civilisation and steroids and antibiotics. Today we have applied a heavy dose of sofa and Netflix, which seems to be helping.


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It’s the end of January, and with it have come the flies, the return of the Sydney traffic, and a trip down to the country to visit the Kiama Show.

The Show is a two-day affair, Friday and Saturday, and a celebration of all things agricultural. It is also, in its own way and perhaps unintentionally, a hilarious celebration of all things a little bit Not Quite Right. (more…)

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The place was gone to rack and ruin. Only the Lighthouse beam entered the rooms for a moment, sent its sudden stare over bed and wall in the darkness of winter, looked with equanimity at the thistle and the swallow, the rat and the straw. Nothing now withstood them; nothing said no to them. Let the wind blow; let the poppy seed itself and the carnation mate with the cabbage. Let the swallow build in the drawing-room, and the thistle thrust aside the tiles, and the butterfly sun itself on the faded chintz of the arm-chairs. Let the broken glass and the china lie out on the lawn and be tangled over with grass and wild berries. (more…)

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This morning, between baking four huge chocolate cakes and dealing with a toddler suffering from what I thought was fear of the noise the mixer made until I realised it was desperation to lick the batter off the beaters, I finished making the party favours for May Blossom’s birthday party.

Party favours aren’t something I had really planned. I might have flung a few sweets into a bought cellophane bag, maybe, if everything else had run smoothly (as if). Realistically, I probably wouldn’t have had anything to give the small guests to thank them for coming.

But now I do. Now each kid will receive a handmade paper box, decorated with a drawing of an owl and a pussycat in a boat — owl playing guitar, boat containing a jar of honey and plenty of money. Inside each box is an owl or a pussycat, made from denim stamped with paint from a handcarved rubber stamp, with vintage fabric backing, stuffed with a little filling so it’s soft and squishy. They have hanging tabs made from various ribbons. Every single one is different. There is also a chocolate frog in each box. (more…)

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Where are your friends?

If this is some sort of sock conspiracy to make me lose my tiny mind and turn to the cooking sherry before nine in the morning, it’s working. Your reprobate other halves have until 9 am tomorrow to show themselves. After that I will glue eyes onto you and turn you into a family of mixed pastel sock puppets. You will be made an example of.

Don’t think I won’t do it. I have glue. I know where to buy eyes. I saw them not half an hour ago at the $2 shop while I was buying miniature wooden clothes pegs and paper doilies and double sided tape. I am, you see, suffering from a mild case of Craft. This morning I am fixated on making a banner a bit like this for May Blossom’s party. It’s probably just a twenty-four hour thing though. Having bought all the bits and pieces to make it I will unpack all the supplies, lose interest and then become obsessed with going to Ikea to buy a nifty box to store it all in.

Sometimes I suspect I need a job.

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One black and white owl, perched on the screen door.

The month of September came to an end and the Mystery of The Toilet Roll Owls was solved. (more…)

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This coming weekend I am co-hosting a baby shower for one of my dearest friends. I love the idea of throwing parties. I start looking at beautifully styled parties on the Internet and planning how I’ll make pompoms out of tissue paper and suspend them above a table laden with colour co-ordinated iced biscuits in the shape of prams, and I’ll make a cute but tasteful sign – that somehow looks both homemade and professional – from circles of cardboard spelling out ‘Welcome Baby!’, which I’ll string together on a ribbon, and all the guests will have blowdried hair and we’ll all look effortlessly chic and casual but fabulous. Our drinks will have old-fashioned stripey straws in them.

But the more I look at those kinds of sites the more I realise that I have neither the time, skills nor the inclination for such craftiness, and that quite frankly, those kind of parties make me feel a little bit sick to look at. Like I have only eaten fairy floss all day. (more…)

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