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January 2011

December 2010

Retrospective 2010

I often wish I had more time for patternmaking and designing.  Maybe that is something I will find in 2011.

Here's a little collection of what I have managed to make this year.


1. Liberty dress side view, 2. Hanging, 3. Flutter top in white, 4. T-shirt and bloomers, 5. Liberty flutter top, 6. Puppet Show shorts, 7. notebooks, 8. Nicey Jane Ice cream dress, 9. Tide pool quilt, 10. Summer top and pants, 11. Berry Ice Cream top, 12. Scarlet Fig blocks, 13. Ice cream top wardrobe, 14. Ironing, 15. Adelaide in pleat shirt, 16. Sunny top, 17. Blue Cap Sleeve Top, 18. Smocked top, 19. Pants pocket, 20. Flutter Sleeve Dress

There's not a lot of quilt making in there.  Something else to aim for in 2011.

The run-up to Christmas

I finally switched to family mode in the week before Christmas.  All Townmouse orders were in the post by Monday or Tuesday and then it was time to relax (oh, and prepare Christmas lunch for 11 at our place).

Picnic in the garden

We chilled out on a picnic rug in the front garden.  After all the Spring rain our front garden is a green oasis shaded by our big Chinese Elm.  

Past the bay window is our side veranda.  It's a lovely spot to grow a lemon tree because it faces North and gets the filtered afternoon sun.

New pots

This is our fledgling Meyer lemon.  Maybe by next year it will bear fruit.


There was time for a little pre-Christmas baking.  Corrie's chocolate brownie for a sick friend.

Brownie box

This is what it looked like before I dropped it over her locked front gate onto her garden path.  Oh dear.

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Christmas day.  

Ours involved a plane trip to Tasmania, piloted by Captain Henri.  We didn't even have to leave the lunch table.

Pilot Henri

All Henri wanted for Christmas was a pilot's uniform and keys "to open all the doors in the world, including Daddy's office".  Santa came through for him and Henri was one happy camper.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.  I look forward to your company and inspiration in 2011.

Clever friends

This beautiful house was designed AND built by very clever friends of ours.

House 1

It is tucked away amongst sand dunes in a quiet part of the Mornington Peninsula, near great surf breaks like Gunnamatta.

House 2

It has been a labour of love for the owners, who lived in a caravan on site while the house was being constructed.  A surf in the morning, 'on the tools' during the day.  It sounds idyllic for the surf loving people they are.

House 3

They are selling this beautiful house, as they are now looking for the next piece of coastal land to do it all again.  It would be hard to leave this house though.  Will and I love it.  To us, this is beach house perfection.

You can see more photos on the real estate listing, while the link lasts.

Snow eggs

After making a bearnaise sauce last night I was left with several egg whites.  I decided to make meringues, which we will have tonight with strawberries from the strawberry farm near Flinders and fresh whipped cream.

Meringues before

The meringues look so beautifully glossy before they are baked.  And with this very detailed recipe it's hard to go wrong.

Meringues after

Here they are out of the oven, having taken on a slightly bronzed hue.

These are a hit with my children, and fun to make.  I know meringue in some shape or form will be on our New Year' Eve menu, along with another batch of bearnaise sauce to go with the main course.

No angel

Yesterday was the perfect school holiday day.  The kind when everyone is happy and you are reminded that life is good.

We spent the morning in the city looking at Christmas decorations and being jostled by the crowds.  One of the department stores was giving away gorgeous angel wings.

Angel Adelaide

The afternoon was spent under the market umbrella in the backyard.  The boys laid out the picnic rug and spent an hour or two colouring their entries in the local pharmacy's colouring competition.  The prize is a giant jar of jellybeans.  There was much discussion over how big the jar is, who is going to win, would they share with their siblings if they did.

I love it that I can entertain four children for the day with a few simple props.

A friend and her daughter spent the afternoon with us.  We took her two big dogs to the local park and the boys took the two little girls down the slide again and again.  We came home and had dinner outside on the back deck.

Right now I'm not envying those of you reading this from a cold climate.  I do love our summer Christmases.

Small crochet project

ISBN 9784413009683 There has been no time for personal crafting around here lately.  I have had my head down in the studio keeping on top of Christmas orders.

When I do crash on the sofa in the evening I have enjoyed flicking through recent purchases from Amazon Japan. 

This crochet book has some simple projects in it, one of which I have had an attempt at.

Crochet flowers

Inspired by the above image I attempted a little hair tie for Adelaide.  She now has long enough hair for a very straggly and scruffy ponytail.  I think the ponytail is more wishful thinking at this stage, but these simple crochet flowers are fun to make and can be whipped up in a few minutes. 

Hair tie for Adelaide

I crocheted the flower onto a plain hair tie purchased at the local supermarket.

Hair tie

And with the beautifully clear instructions provided in all the Japanese crochet books, you can't go wrong.

Crochet flower pattern

The books include a legend too, so you can easily decipher the patterns.  The Japanese are so wonderfully thoughtful and clear headed about this sort of thing.  I find this diagram so much better to follow than a written pattern.