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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Day We Went To Macarthur Square

I had intended yesterday to go to Paddington's Mathilda's Markets with my daughter, but my husband decided to work instead. This meant I would have been taking my son who is nearly 5 and that would have been impossible. So my daughter and I went to Macarthur Square instead when my husband got home and he took my son with him

From Lincraft: One pack of Lincraft Fat Quarters, One Dracula Mask, 4 Czech Glass Beads, One Paper Punch. All 30% off. No wool. Very surprising, I know.

From Big W: After Lincraft closed (yes, we were there from about 2.00 pm to close) 2 metres of black fabric, 3 reels of black polycotton thread and red ribbon.

From Smiggle: Too many silly things to mention.

From Borders Bookstore: Really Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior. Great book. Very funny.

Macarthur Square is about half an hour on the train from where I live, but well worth the journey. The shopping centre is LARGE, neat and clean and as my friend Sharon has noted to me previously, the prices are often under what you would pay in shopping centres closer to home.

At Borders Bookstore, they were having a store renewal sale and I also got three Paperchase Address Books (normally $12.99 each) and two Paperchase spotty pencilcases (normally $8.99) for $10 for the lot. Bargain.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tag and ReTag

 Fairchild Street who has a lovely blog and is based in Melbourne, Victoria, has tagged me in a game and who can resist that ...

1. What is one thing you cannot stand?

Washing up. I am quite over it. Yes, I do have a dishwasher, but my 2 year old (he's now nearly 5) thought that was a great step ladder to trouble and I feel he has warped the door and it doesn't close properly, so I don't use it. Yes, we should probably buy another one. Hmm.

2. If you could go back to your childhood what cartoon or t.v show would you pick to be your favourite?

Wacky Races with Penelope Pitstop. She always looked stylish and what do you know, she wore a scarf. Wikipedia knows more. We watched on Saturday mornings on T.V. before tennis lessons up the street, where our sole aim was to knock our aging instructors tea cup from the scoring stand, or hit her. (I wish now I had a photo of her, always in long skirt, tennis whites, white cardi, and hat, with a plummy English accent.) Bad, I know. Sorry Mrs Camille. Really. And I liked your flowering plum trees, they were beautiful. Sorry. Again. Bad me. Tennis courts now long gone and replaced by housing development.

3. What's something you do or have done that would surprise a lot of people?

I can ride a motorbike on a farm. Not very well and not often. That probably wouldn't surprise people. Hmm. I've sat behind my husband on a motorbike from Sydney to Wollongong. That wasn't fun. Scary. Before kids. We camped all the way to Cape York in Queensland in 2000, going to Birdsville races on the way. And I went to an Ag College and quite enjoyed B&S balls .. take your pick.

4. Do you believe in ghosts?

Ghosts. No. A higher being, maybe.

5. When you go into a store what's your weakness, something you just can't help yourself buying more of?

Need you ask? Wool, needles, amber glass .... 

6. What's your funniest story you have on your significant other?

He's probably got a few, but to tell you the truth, I can't think of any. That's sad, huh! Oh, I know, he and a friend trying to stalk toad fish with tent poles at Lake Tabourie last year. Daft. He's pretty sensible. Usually. No toad fish were harmed in this, although some male toes may have been.

7. What is your proudest moment of being a parent?

My neighbours telling me how polite and well mannered my children are when we are not around, and also receiving compliments from strangers on how well they are behaved (like when we went camping at South West Rocks) when we don't especially notice that ...!

8. If you could go back and relive one day of your life which would you choose?

My Wedding Day. I would enjoy it again, and again and again (and perhaps not bother inviting some work folk who I have not seen since they left my workplace!). And I would make sure my flowers were a posy you held from the bottom, not a bended crook thing, that I had a proper petticoat for my dress, not my mother's old raggy daggy one because I hadn't tried the dress on with suspenders and didn't know you could see straight through. And I'd look at my husband's face more as I walked down the isle instead of looking around at other people. I was told by an ex-workmate that they have never seen a man more in love ... We celebrate 15 years of being married today.

I'd like to pass this tag onto some of my blog commentors to play, but remember if you don't want to play along that is fine!

Waste Not Do Want
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knitting May Not Be Your Cup of Tea, But This May Be - Up for Grabs

Patons Book R.14 Specially Requested Reprints with Men’s Jumpers and Vests including Rocky, Denis, Brian, Biscay, Tasman, Flinders, Baltic, Caucasus, Alpine, Sierra, Dampier, Pacific, Grampions, Sturt, Andes, Ritchie, Henty, Man’s Scarf in Totem. Man’s Scarf in Fingering, Man’s Gloves, Man’s Scarf and Gloves, Heel-less Spiral Stockings (A) and Heel-less Spiral Stockings (B) - 51 pages in all, C5 (half A4 size).

I have two, having purchased the second yesterday and am giving away one. Wools featured include Patons Totem, Bluebell, and Patons Beehive Fingering 4 ply.

The book is not in perfect condition (some rips and tears and the hole punching!!), but has all complete pages and in my collecting, I have only seen two. I'm not sure what era it is from but hazard a guess .. the 50's. Somebody else may know.

I like the horses on the front!

To be in the draw, please be a follower and please comment on this post. If you don't have a blog, please leave an email. I'll get my daughter to draw names out of a hat on Sunday afternoon EST.

Good luck!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Treasures

I went shopping today. Yes, I know, again. Yes, I know, more Amber Glassware. Who could walk past this beautiful vase for $4.50? Not me. My neighbour even assisted by being at the same store and carefully driving it home for me, while I went and did more shopping. She was going home anyway.

I also got this cute Butterfly sugar bowl and the Pennine Wedgewood Cup for $3.50 or thereabouts. Not bad when I have just seen the same Wedgewood cup for $10 on ebay. I've also seen 6 cups and saucer for $15 + delivery, so  .... The Pennine Wedgewood was manufactured from 1965 to 1971, was "Made In England" and is marked "Oven to Table" on the bottom.

The Butterfly sugar bowl has no mark of maker on the bottom or country of origin. I just liked the shape and the motif, given my name is Vanessa and it means "butterfly" in Greek if you look up the baby names book.

I'm quite liking 70's cups at the moment in brown for some reason....

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday ~ Plug Your Mates

I don't know if Monday has a theme for blogging yet, but I am going to declare it

"Monday ~ Plug Your Mates Day" 

on my blog and if I knew how to use one of those linky tools, well I certainly would.

One of my old school friends who I met up with again at my recent 20th Year Reunion let me into the secret world of her blog last night and I can't be selfish about this. I have to share. She is seriously funny and deserves to be read by a broad cross section of blog land.

Anybody sitting there in a far off country that is not Australia and wondering about the connotations of "plugging your mate" it simply means promoting!

Let me introduce you:

I Am Housewife.....Hear Me Roar (also known as The Roaring Housewife)

This is her description of herself: "I live on the Gold Coast with my husband and daughter. My days are spent playing golf, going to Zumba and drinking decaf skim mocha lattes with a twist of lemon."

Now please go and read and come back and tell me if you like her blog (and leave her a comment too!)

And who knows who I might plug next week, it could be you .... (thank you all my new followers!!)

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flea Market Find of the Year

I was reading Sophie Isobel @ Her Library Adventures and as part of Blogtoberfest, she is hosting a competition for everyone's favourite finds of the year with people able to vote for their favourite second hand discovery.

Here is my favourite find of the year.

Look past my bad photography and the shadows overhanging my jacket.

Look at the shape of the jacket, the Shepherd check fabric, the pointy collar, the detailing of the sleeves and the big black buttons.

And the pleat up the back, with deep side pockets on both side seams.

And the rustle of the acetate full black lining.

I bought this for $15 (half price end of winter sale!) at Padstow Baptist Community Centre Shop just before my 20th School Reunion and wore it over a short sleeved black shirt and an a-line black skirt and I felt a million dollars.

I'd seen it the week before and hesitated and next time I went into the shop it was gone. And I asked my friend Ede who works at the shop whether it had sold and she brought it out and I was so relieved. It was meant to be. There are no brand labels on it, though it is 20% wool.

Now to the voting.

To vote just email Sophie at with the blog name of your favourite find.

Too easy! You can only vote once so be sure to check out everyone's blogs before making your decision.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Royal Albert

I've been thinking this week about Glory Boxes and wondering if any mothers (and fathers) in this modern world we live in still keep Glory Boxes for their daughters?

My sister and I both had Glory Boxes which were started for us from about the age of 10. I married at 23 and she about six months after me. We are 14 months apart in age and I have been married 15 years at the end of the month.

Anyway from about the age of ten, my sister and I got as part of our Christmas present (from Mum and Dad and also from other relatives) part of a Royal Albert dinner set each. I got Peach Rose pattern, which is now discontinued and she got Memory Lane.

My mother helped us select our pattern on a shopping trip to the china section of David Jones when we were about 10 apparently. I don't remember much about showing interest in any china!

My parents bought most of the dinner set at once (when it was on sale) and then gave bits with each occasion, ensuring the pattern didn't discontinue before we were finished completing the set, with a large proportion given at 18 I think.

When we left home to live with our husbands (yes, we didn't live with them out of home before we were married!) we both had a Royal Albert dinner set for 8 people (8 dinner plates, 8 cereal bowls) with 2 pepper and salt shaker sets, 1 cake plate and 1 sandwich tray and 8 cup saucer, and plate sets.

I have to admit I have rarely used mine, though I do display cup, saucers and plates in my china cabinet along with other things ...

Wonder if my sister uses hers much?

Did you have a glory box? Did your mother? Do you or your mother have a Royal Albert pattern? My mother's is Lavender Rose.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Daisy Quilts...: Welcome to another Colourful Friday ~ Orange

One Orange Feather and Fan Scarf for Sharon

One Doily with Orange Hollyhocks from Vinnies Bankstown, purchased recently

 One pair of 8.25mm Orange Needles
One pair of Milward 2 mm Needles with Orange Label
One Orange and Blue Pocketbook Bedsock (don't know where the other one is ...)
One Quintessential DVD and Book purchased from Bankstown Target this week for the princely sum of $1.87
One Boilproof Elastic 2 yards label from my grandmother's sewing box without original elastic
One Chic Knits for Young Chicks book by Sarah Paulin
One Davey Ware dish with Port Elliot 4E carved into the bottom purchased some time back from The Baptist Community Store, Padstow for $1.50
Four Sylko cottons reals including D.21 Gold and the deliciously named D.434 Orange Lily from my grandmother's sewing box
One Royal Albert Peach Rose Sugar Bowl and Milk Jug from my Glory Box
One orange paper flower made by my daughter.
I like Orange.

Why so much Orange? I'm playing along with Daisy Quilts and Colourful Fridays. Play along too!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Drinks Trays

I quite like collecting drink trays, especially Willow ones and most especially the Brian Baigent one above. I bought it at the Salvos at Bankstown about two years ago for about $5. Salvos at Bankstown is no longer in the shopping centre and it is a pity.

The middle Queensland tray is made in Hong Kong, but quite attractive and the top tray is by Maynard Waters and is also manufactured by Willow.

Earlier in the year I wrote an email to Willow and asked if they would ever reissued these trays.They said no.

I love bits and pieces of Australian memorabilia.

Ebay Australia currently have a tray the same as the Brian Baigent one for sale at the moment for $14.95 if you would like a similiar one!

For more info on Maynard Waters, follow this link.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Little Treasures - More Jug Covers

So I was at my Mother and Father's farm on the weekend and I was looking in the china cabinet and look what I found, and of course I had to photograph them to preserve the images forever and share them with my blog readers.

These are from my Grandmother's (Nannie's) collection and from my mother's Nan's collection. They are a little tattered and a little bit unravelled, but you can expect that for their age. I'm not sure who made them, but my mum said that her Nan crocheted but didn't knit, so she could have made them.

I have one more to share with you, but I'll save that for another day.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

3rd Monthly Social Knit In at Bankstown Library happened on Monday

So I'm a little late posting this post as I went to the group on Monday, so I should have done it by now!

The third Social Knit In was a great success, with about 10 people showing up, including many people that had previously attended. Some leave early and some come late ... Maybe next time we'll need a bigger room?

I have two photos for you from the meeting, one of  Jann's bed socks, her "souvenir" from her recent trip to Paris since our last meeting. Two shops she went to while there are Chat' Laine (a wool shop, for wool), and Ultramod Mercerie (like a haberdashery, for a row counter, which wasn't available at the wool shop). The bed socks are the result of her knitting.

The other wonderful thing Jann did while in Paris was have a cooking lesson with Susan Loomis, the author of a French cookery book called Tarte Tatin (which is available at Padstow Library). Details of how to book a similiar lesson are here should you find yourself planning a trip to Paris!

Jann enjoyed the lesson immensely and immediately came back and purchased for herself a new set of saucepans with copper bottoms and said her cooking has never tasted so good!

This lovely lady has been a knitter all her life and tells me she has patterns older than her daughter still! She and her daughter have been to the last two meetings. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from people who have spent a lifetime loving knitting. One of the jewels from this day was winding your frogged (unravelled) yarn around an upside down laundry basket into skeins. We also discussed microwave steaming frogged yarn to get the kinks out. I'm not sure how this works, so Google!

Another lady had recently  returned from a cruise that looked a little like this one with P&O, with her daughter and was knitting a scarf in a pattern I had previously written out for her for a scarf I was wearing at a meeting previously of my own design.

Another lady told us how she had recently completed the total sorting of her craft room including the cataloging of her stamps, making the use of them much easier and more effective. I voted we should go on an excursion to her house to see this for ourselves, always eager to check out someone else's craft storage.

Anyway, I truly enjoyed the meeting, even meeting with some at Lincraft after the group to show them of the secret spot where I had found the Patons Shadow Tweed wool I was wearing in my scarf, recently purchased at the 50% off sale!

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Macarthur's Dream Documentary

Okay, I know I SHOULD be in bed, but I have been listening to a wonderful documentary called "Macarthur's Dream" that had been on TV this morning.

"Jack Thompson presents the story of Australian wool - a story of pioneers and visionaries and the building of a nation that takes us behind the scenes of the fashion capitals of the world. We experience the lives of the Merino farmers and feel the pain of the wool industry through drought, bushfire and economic depression. Feel the excitement of the great American and European fashion houses who use our wool to create garments of the highest quality." as quoted on the Freeviw digital TV Guide.

Why don't they have this on earlier in the night or on a Saturday afternoon? I could have made my kids watch this! In this doco Australia had 174 million sheep and Australia produced 70% of the wool produced for garments. Wow! Not sure if these stats are still correct though.

Jack Thompson for those not familiar was in that 1982 Australian movie "The Man from Snowy River" as Clancy.

I've found the details for the Macarthur's Dream which was filmed in 1999 on the National Library of Australia website TROVE.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Learn to Knit @ Padstow

Is on again today and I'm going, though I am a little unsure if anyone is going to join me, given that the original leader of the group is unable to come anymore due to the impending birth of her grandchild.

If anyone is in the vicinity and wants to swing by, it starts at 11.00 am and is in the Progress Hall in Ryan Road.

I'll be taking my four year old son ...

I can teach you to cast on and knit and purl ...and cast off and a few other tricks!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quack, Quack, Quack

I don't know if this is a goose or a duck, but I found it in my laundry the other day (when I was cleaning the rung where the clothes and hangers go, I know ... hard to believe).

I am pretty lucky to have it I think, being one of four children and this being the only one my family had when I was a child.

Note the tatty ribbon. It says I'm nearly 40.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

You have to love Vinnies (2)

On Tuesday, we were at Bankstown to get my daughter's arm x-rayed, and while we waited for the films to be processed and reviewed, we went to Vinnies.

This is what $5.85 buys you on half price Tuesday! Bargain.

Two pairs of Queen Bee Size 9 (3.75 mm) knitting needles (thinking about the knitting a Patons Cossack Hat)
5 Patons Patterns from the '70s with groovy photos.
1 Crucci Pattern from the '80s.
1 old framed hand coloured photo of Lake Tuross on the south coast (complete with fingerprint on the photo)
Two kids videos - The Land Before Time - Journey to the Big Water, and Warner Bros Treasure Island, already watched. Several times.

I'm very glad to have a combined DVD / Video player still!

For more information on where Tuross Heads is, follow this link to wikipedia.

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Spring at Sanctuary Point

These photos were taken at our holiday house on Friday, two weeks ago on a quick flying trip to mow lawns before heading across country. So pretty!

We have Australian Native Violas, planted amongst the pavers and Australian Swan River Daisies planted near the gate, alongside agapanthas.

The last is a daisy which I can't name, but when the agapanthus come into purple bloom in early December, I am in seventh heaven.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Purple Tweed Indeed

Once upon a time ago when my mother was young, she knitted herself this very heavy this purple tweed jumper.

And once all the pieces were knitted, she discovered that it wasn't wide enough.

Did she panic? Maybe a little, I wasn't there to witness.

Did she find a solution? Yes, she inserted a rib gusset up both sides of the jumper and partially along the sleeves.

I call that clever. My mother is a resourceful woman.

Mum and I had a lovely time digging these jumpers out for their recent photo shoot.

While this jumper may not be as old or as patched as Dad's, it's still going!

Once a sister so loved

her brother Russell that she knitted him a heavy 16 ply wool jumper when he was 18. Twice. First time too small and was frogged.

And the second time too large.

There wasn't going to be a third time, so she used the one she had knitted the second time and made sure that it fitted by sewing the side seams up on the sewing machine, trimming about two inches from either side of the body of the jumper.

Now the brother so loved this jumper that he wore it nearly to death, until it became almost a museum piece as the jumper that was the longest running, still in action jumper that Australia had ever seen.

He wore it drenching cattle, digging out scotch and saffron thistles, building stockyards, poisoning wild briar roses, rounding up cattle, pruning fruit trees and for a great many of other farm related activities.

He coerced his wife to patch it and mend it and reinforce it so that it would never wear out. Which she did. A lot.

Note the finely stitched reinforcing of rib and the red dot signifying "the back".

Now it may surprise many, but this jumper is still worn to this day. In fact, one day when the Russell gives up the ghost, it may become a framed museum piece.

The Russell (my Dad) was born in 1943, the jumper knitted in 1961 (or thereabouts), making it about 49 years young, with plenty of time left to serve, riding motorbikes and crawling through barbed wire fences.

The knitter was my Aunty Helen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lincraft Price Crash

Lincraft Price Crash. Though they name it October Prize Crash on their page header ... duh.

From  50% off regular prices of floor stock yarns. Colours and styles may vary from store to store. Excludes Lincraft DK, Lincraft Cosy Wool, Cleckheaton Bamboo, Patons Sorrento, Hobby Knit, and Panda Cotton Blend 8 ply yarn apparently. I had to blow this up to attempt to read from the brochure online ...

Sale from Monday 4th October to Sunday 17th October 2010.

I know where I might be today ....

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