Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Day of School
Oliver began school today. A much anticipated event, and it went without a hitch.
He was mercilessly bossed around by his sisters this morning, and he in turn nagged me about leaving for school. If he was in charge we would have arrived at the school gate at 8am (school doesn't begin til 9.15am).
He was walked to his room by his 'buddy', and was shown where to put his bag etc. We left not long after, as he was not the slightest bit interested in us anymore. It helps that he has spent many an hour in various classrooms at the school, as I have assisted with reading groups in the girl's rooms over the past 3 years.

I collected a very happy and satisfied boy from the classroom door this afternoon... only 13 more years to go!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Carnival of Giveaways
I have seen this on many, many blogs now, so thought I would join in.


You are playing for a handmade bag, 100% cotton, from Amy Butler's 'Temple' range. The longer handle loops through the shorter one to close it, and to use to carry it.

I have been selling my bags on etsy, but have none listed at the moment (will have to remedy that this weekend!!)

Simply leave a comment by 2nd February, and I will randomly choose a winner from the names entered. If you do not have a blog, or do not check your blog regularly, please leave an email address.

Giveaway Now Closed

Australia Day
This day passed without me blogging about, as we were away, but there was an article in a Sydney newspaper on Saturday which was amusing... "You know if you're an Aussie if...". I read it before facing the hundreds of people out enjoying the beach, taking full advantage of a long weekend.
It was written by Richard Glover, a local radio host and journalist. I thought I would share it. You may need to click on each image to make it large enough to read.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sun, Surf and Films
I had a lovely short break at Avoca, a beach side town 1 1/2 hours from Sydney. The rest of my family are still enjoying this break, but I needed to return for work today. (They are returning to Sydney and 'real life' tonight.)
The first two days were very sunny and we all developed a different colour very quickly. (The following pictures were taken on the Monday when it was overcast - much better for photographing.) The surf was quite big, and churningly rough for the kids, but cool and refreshing.

George: The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli! (Do you know that quote?)

More photos here.

While we were in Avoca I manage to see two movies.

As It Is In Heaven. I loved it, loved it, loved it! Wikipedia says it is the longest running film in Australia.

A successful international conductor suddenly interrupts his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden.It doesn't take long before he is asked to come and listen to the fragment of a church choir, which practises every Thursday in the parish hall. Just come along and give a little bit of good advice. He can't say no, and from that moment, nothing in the village is the same again. The choir develops and grows. He makes both friends and enemies. And he finds love.

And, The Darjeeling Limited. Another Wes Anderson film ( others include 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums', 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou', and soon, 'Fantastic Mr Fox'.)

Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest", however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.

I have seen some other movies these holidays, and may mention them at another time.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Hens and a Last Hurrah

Heather bought me a new Happy Hen. It is the large blue one.
Yay! I love them.
Thankyou Heather.
A couple of years ago we went to New Zealand with Heather and her family, and visited Portobello, on the Otago Peninsula, home of the Happy Hens. I fell in love with them then.
If you ever visit NZ, go visit the shop.

This weekend we are going away for a short break, as school goes back on Wednesday (Tuesday for me!). One last chance to swim and soak up some sun (not too much because I don't want to look like this!!).

Friday, January 25, 2008

I found three towels in a beautiful blue colour at Woolworths, on the clearance shelf, for only $4 each! Having three children I decided to snap them up, immediately thinking of an idea to individualise them.

My fabric collection (you know, the large box of fabric that is bought on various occasions because it catches your eye, and you MUST have it) had a piece of Amy Butler fabric in blue and white, from her Belle collection. I thought this would be perfect to use to applique the little one's names onto the towels.

I traced the letters onto fusible web and ironed it on the back of the fabric.

After cutting out the letters I ironed them onto the towels.

I then zig zagged around each letter (don't look too closely!)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

I was tagged by Laurie Anne at Tinker's Piggies, so here goes... 4 jobs I have had
1. Pricing books at a Collins book factory - earning money for university. A chance to discover and pick up (from a bin where books with slight flaws were tossed out) many new books.
2. Cleaning a McDonalds restaurant - earning money whilst at university. The midnight to dawn shift on the weekends. A job that gave me some big scares (man in black balaclava doing disgusting things in the drive through window) as I was there alone at night. It paid good money though. Danger money I think.
3. Check-out chick at a local store during high school. Minimum wages!! I think it was $15 for 7 hours.
4. Primary school teacher - that is what I am now.

4 movies I would watch over and over again
1. Ladyhawk - with Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer

2. Pretty in Pink - with Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer

3. Local Hero - with actors you probably wouldn't recognise, except Burt Lancaster

4. Chocolat - with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp
4 places I have lived
1. Tanzania - I was born there and lived there for my first 7 1/2 years
2. Moss Vale, NSW - my high school years were spent in the Southern Highlands
3. Bathurst, NSW - where I went to university
4. Sydney - where I have spent my married life
4 people I email daily
1. My husband - usually with a grocery list of things we have run out of
2 - 4. blogging friends
4 favourite things to eat
1. pizza
2. mangoes
3. muesli
4. salad
4 places I would rather be
1. shopping on my own (dreadful I know)
2. the beach
3. Africa (on a holiday - not to live)
4. in an art gallery with a great cafe
4 things I look forward to this year
1. My 40th birthday party
2. Holiday in Queensland
3. Holiday at 'the farm' with friends
4. And something that is a secret at the moment (and no... I'm not pregnant!)
Now, my turn to tag:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wardrobe Makeover etc.

I decided to change a few bits of furniture around recently (yes...again!), and moved a different wardrobe into Oliver's room. My friend Vanessa had been using it for awhile, and when she moved to her new place it did not fit in. She had cut the panels out of the doors, so I decided to add a fabric to the back of them.
I attached the fabric using a staple gun.
And while I was reorganising I strung some star fairy lights around the walls, and put them on a timer so they turn off at bedtime.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Cozy Corner

I posted this photograph recently, but am revisiting the corner of my house where I like to sit and read, as Monkey Giggles is having a 'Cozy Corner' contest.

This is my purchase from my weekend in the Blue Mountains. I am so pleased with it! I remember my grandmothers owning similar machines when they were alive, as they both were professional dressmakers.
All the mechanisms still work. although I will need to find a belt for it, and some other little bits and pieces.
I am planning on sanding it all back and repainting the metal black, but am unsure as to what to do with the wood as yet. Possibly rubbing bees wax into it and leaving it in its natural state. Any thoughts?

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Finds
I was looking at Gillian's blog this morning, catching up on what she has posted recently, and from there I bounced from site to site, finding lots of lovely things.

I found ISAK, a "world of beautiful happy things".

And Snowden Flood, who has a fantastic series of urban landscape plates, among other goodies.

Japanese artist, Shinzi Katoh, has some wonderful wares for sale too.

Pieces from of these designers can be found on THREEpotatoFOUR, a blog and an online shop.

Of course I have chosen bird related items, as they are my 'thing' at the moment, but there are many other designs and treasures.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Amanda's 40th Celebration
I am home from my weekend away with friends. It was a weekend of coffees in lovely cafes, antique and craft shops, trashy magazines, movies, wine and food.
And lots of talking.
A lovely retreat from domestic duties.
A chance for my children to realise how much they miss me... apparently Andrew took them on a trip to the supermarket, where everybody became a little cranky, and one was heard to mumble, "I wish Mummy was here." (Sigh)
Here are some photos I took of our time away.

The house we stayed in. It is a rather large house (not evident here) that consists of three levels, built on a block that slopes down towards a picturesque valley.Wendy and Amanda (birthday girl!)Robyn and Vanessa ...walking off some of the many calories consumed.

The view from the back deck on Friday, Saturday and then Sunday.
When we first arrived the rain was bucketing down, and it gradually dried up as the weekend progressed.
Vanessa and I visited SO many gorgeous antique and old wares stores. Tomorrow I will show what I bought. It was too heavy to lift out of the back of the car, and I will need the assistance of a strong man (whom, I might say, isn't particularly sharing the joy of my find!).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All Sorts of Things
Last night we had a BBQ at a friend's place, and ended the night watching a DVD of the Midnight Oil concert on Goat Island from 1985. It was to celebrate Triple J's (radio station) 10th birthday. I remember the concert as it was the first I recall being simulcast on TV (ABC) and the radio (Triple J). Some highlights in viewing this the second time around were:
Peter Garrett's dancing (the kids were amused and horrified!)
The song, "Short Memory"
Memories of my last year of highschool, and the political ideals that Peter Garrett represented at the time. (He is now the Minister for Environment, Heritage and the a different political party than he supported back then!), and...
Rob Hirst's pink jumpsuit and sweatband.

I read Anne Enright's "The Gathering"this week. I felt that I should read it as it won the Man Booker Prize in 2007, and I like to be familiar with award winning books. Does anyone else do that?

Anyway, I would not say it was an easy or enjoyable read, and I wouldn't rush out and buy it if you would rather not read about sexual abuse (and who would really!), and don't like the odd bit of bad language.

The novel is a saga covering three generations of an Irish family and is set in Ireland and England. Its title refers to the funeral of Liam Hegarty, an alcoholic who committed suicide in the sea at Brighton. His mother and the nine surviving Hegarty children gather in Dublin for his wake. The novel's narrator is 39-year-old Veronica, the sibling who was closest to Liam. She looks through her family's troubled history to try to make sense of his death. She thinks that the reason for his alcoholism lies in something that happened to him in his childhood when he stayed in his grandmother's house. She uncovers uncomfortable truths about her family. (Wikipedia)

Yesterday I went into school for a little while to begin planning this year's programme. This year I am team teaching on a Years 5/6 Opportunity Class (OC). These are classes that cater for academically gifted and talented children. I am really looking forward to the challenge, although it is a little daunting at the moment. I will be teaching art, science and computers.
This is the view from the school's playground, across the road.

There is a major development ( new shopping center ) in progress, which will not be completed until 2010.

And our church will be smack bang in the middle of it! I think that is amazing.

Tomorrow I am off for a short break with some girlfriends. Two whole nights of child free fun. I do love my children dearly, but they are driving me bananas with their holiday squabbles!

We are going to Blackheath,in the Blue Mountains,to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday.