Crappity Crap Crap!!!

Sooooooooo. Good Morning. How are we all?



Ho Hum.

Oh.... "Crappity Crap Crap!!!"? You are wondering, perhaps, what would prompt such an outburst so early on in the morning...? Well. That would be a combination of my already well known crappity crap time management skills & the calender/year/world conspiring against me to make time go just that little bit faster....

Did you know (...& I'm sure you did) that the Softies For Mirabel will get picked up from Mikes on December 11....? Did you know that means one actually has to finish their Softie, dress them if they are so inclined, package them & post them some time BEFORE that, to ensure their safe arrival & dispatch to a new, loving & deserving home...? Did you know that my Softie for Mirabel is sitting with her one armed sister on top of my sewing cabinet, naked, bald, faceless & missing appendages....? Do you know what I shall be doing tonight?!

I say again; Crappity Crap Crap!!!!

(This has been a public service announcement, brought to you by the society of disorganised crafters, in the interest of good karma & little kiddies who need softies.)


There Is Nothing Like A Deadline...

...do you ever go to bed so late that you deliberately avoid looking at the clock lest you spend the few hours you have left to sleep agonising over how tired you'll be in the morning?

I did that last night, or this morning, more accurately, as for some crazy reason I decided that last night, around 10pm, was the perfect time to make our advent calender.

I don't love it. It's okay, but it's not exactly what I had envisioned. There were too many envelopes for a start! That & you can DEFINITELY tell it was a late night jobie. The first time I wrote "Christmas" it was missing the "r". Mmmmhmmm.

(I painted over an old canvas I had lying around & used the stamp envelope template from here.)


A little "refashion" I forgot to post...

I posted this 'hardly a refashion at all refashion' over on Wardrobe Refashion on Tuesday but forgot to post it here as Tuesday was the day of the faithfull camping trip & I was in a hurry to head off & pack various necessary.... necessities.

This top come tunic come dress deal'e has been hanging around here for YEARS. You may recall it from Punk's Dress Up adventure (yes... seems I use the box of "things to do something with" as a dress up box....). I didn't wear it because of the weird top part... I mean.... what IS going on there...?! I intended to make it into a skirt or something, until on camping day, it was pretty warm & I couldn't find anything to wear, I spotted it again & had an idea...

I was actually wearing it while "fixing" it, and it took no time at all, but I was so happy with the result - something, well, wearable! (Not to mention accented with the very height of fashion - the classic "red button".)


Problem Solved.

I had a bit of a conundrum this morning - I have been having a little too much fun pretending to be a music producer or radio DJ or at the very least, a (very famous, very rich) guest programmer on "RAGE" while finding & compiling (in *just* the right order, in true mix tape geek style - it has to 'flow' don't you know...) music for my Music To Craft By swap, and I have found some amazing new songs that I am DESPERATE to share, but I don't want to ruin the melodic surprise for my swapees.... see the problem...?!
I was going to get around it by sharing a video on You Tube of one of the new groups I found, in a sort of out-take, because then it would be only a half spoiler - but when I opened up YouTube just now I was confronted with this video, and well, it's about a hundred times better than what I was going to share, and it doesn't ruin any surprises.


Can't stop the music...

...oh no you can't!

But you do have to hurry if you want to play "Swap the snazzy CDs" with us!

My "Music to Craft by" CD swap over here will close for signups tomorrow...! I "ummm"-ed & "ahhhh"-ed & "hmmmmmmm"-ed & "haaaaaaaaa"-ed & "huruph"-ed & "prft"-ed, wondering it it wouldn't be better to post our "playlists" online instead of send CDs, but shiny CDs & happy snail mail won out in the end & my crafty swap buddies & I will be sending & receiving little packages of good tunes in the post very soon!

If all goes to plan, I'll be posting my CDs out on Monday (that's 2 CDs, one each for my 2 randomly assigned swapees), & I am really, really excited about getting some in return, I love discovering new artists, songs, or entire genres that I haven't stumbled upon on my own, or, sometimes even better, hearing a blast from the past that has me singing along loudly - out of tune & probably with entirely incorrect lyrics.

So kiddies, you best sign up if your CD player is hungry... you know you want to.... all the cool kids are doing it....

My Creative Space.

I don't know how it got to be Thursday again so soon, but I just heard the garbage truck roar by, so oooooohparently it is, & here we are again in 'My Creative Space'.

I am still on the doll making I was contemplating last week, what is it they say... slow & steady wins the race....?! Here are the girls so far - don't worry, they're mostly 'armless. (HA! I kill me!)

I did something I'd never done before with the calico for their bodies - tea dying. I'd been curious about it for ages but just hadn't gotten around to doing any until last week. As is my style, I winged the entire process, also known as "making it up as I go along".

I put a bunch of teabags in a BIG pot of boiling water & waited for the water to get nice & dark, then I added a bunch of salt because I thought I had read somewhere that that helps the dye to take... that could be totally wrong, but hey, it's just salt & can't hurt...

I added the fabric & stirred it occasionally for about an hour (I took the teabags out when one started to leak tealeaves everywhere... oops!!), then I left it covered overnight. I rinsed it in the morning & it lost a little bit of colour, then hung it to dry out a little, before ironing it to dry while it was still a little damp.

Dry, it's a whole lot lighter in colour than when it's wet - so different that I freaked out briefly thinking I had the iron too high or something & had ruined it, but when it was all done I was very happy. I actually have a dress that I think used to be tea dyed until an unfortunate incident with some bleach, so I think I'll have to do a little more of this in the near future - it was fun stirring a big steaming pot of aromatic fabric - I felt like a sorceress putting an evil spell on someones cloak or something... *mwahahahaha*



We just got back.

I am SO TIRED. Like the old 'I've been out all night partying' kind of tired, but without the being out all night & partying. My brain feels as though it'll take about five minutes to warm up before it will be able to consider anything at all. Do you know that feeling....?! Where you have to think about thinking....?! It's odd & not at all fun. Camping WAS fun though, really, I just had issues with "sleeping" on an uncomfortable air mattress with bugs eating my head.

It was a very quick trip, obviously. We got to the site about 6 or 6.30, I was cursing myself on the way out for not taking something to do, like hand sewing or even a sketch book, thinking I'd be bored & have nothing to do - but I need not have worried. By the time we'd set the tent up (my very first attempt at said activity, The Boy's first at that sort of tent, it was a true team effort & I am proud as punch that we managed to get it done with not even a hint of bickering...!), pumped up the air mattresses (thinking, incorrectly, that they would be more comfortable than sleeping on hard, rocky ground...), started a fire & cooked dinner, with flaming marshmallows for afters, it was quarter to eleven.

I was up at 5.30am, not because I wanted to savour the early morning quiet or get the fire started for breakfast, but because I NEEDED a coffee like I had never needed a coffee before. I got that fire started (with the assistance of copious amounts of firelighters) so quick you'd have thought the flash had been by with his boy scout skills.

Punk had a grand time, hooning around on her bicycle with greatly improved balancing maneuvers & wondering at the birds in the trees.

We shall be going again, but next time, for more than one night. We seem to have spent more time setting up & packing up than anything else!


Why yes. As a matter of fact I have been Opshopping.


Thanks for noticing.

  • Black Samsonite suitcase, MOST EXCELLENT condition, WITH KEYS....! $3. Sorry about the shouting, but this was the exciting find. The other oppy has crudalicious ones without the keys for $5. When I asked how much this was & the lady said $3 I paid for it immediately lest someone else come running out to tell her off.....
  • Set of 4 vintage yellow glasses (I don't know what happens to them but we seem to never have any glasses, no matter how many I buy. Spoons are the same. Sporks though... sporks I have more of than will fit in the drawer....!) 50 cents each.
  • GORGEOUS wee white candle holders, I love these. I'm not usually one for candles, or candle holders, but these are very pretty & they felt lovely when I picked them up so I just had to buy them. $1 each.
  • Little owl toothpick holder. I have little plans for him.... 50 cents.
  • 2 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books. Just because they were there. 10 cents each.


Dress Ups.

Little Punk was watching her Playschool Live DVD yesterday & there is a skit on there where there is a princess stuck in a tower - while she was watching I took 2 seconds to cut her out a crown (I PROMISE I'll make her a proper, lovely crown soon... I do!) & she loved it the second she saw it.

We had our first proper dress ups session..... so fun for both of us - but don't you think she looks an awfully lot like The Little Princess....?!


Red Things.

So, oooooohparently, a few of you like red things, and would like to see some of my red things. I don't blame you, red is great. It goes faster. It's irresistible when it's shiny. It has shades like "fire engine". There are songs about it.


When I thought about it, when I looked around, I realised something. I realised that as much as red is my favourite colour, and as much as I will always, always, ALWAYS choose the red option when confronted with a choice of colours in any product whatsoever, I don't have much of a "collection" to show off. It's not like I have a bunch of great red things on a red shelf to share with you - perhaps I wish I did, now, but I don't.

I have a red vacuum cleaner. We have a couple of red rugs. I chose a red camping chair for myself. I paint things red that used to be pink, or green, or not red. Punk's pram is red. My favourite teapots are red. My favourite plate is red.... but these things, I fear, do not interesting photos, or a collection make.

So instead of gathering up all the red in my house & dumping it someplace for your perusal, I thought I'd just share a couple of choice red things that I quite like. The thing about red is, you don't need a lot of it to make an impact. In fact, too much red & you could be forgiven for thinking you might have just stumbled onto the set of SAW VII (I hope that is a number, and more than that I hope it's a big number....).


My Place & Yours....

....'My Collection'.

a) Isn't that just the best theme?!
b) How great is Kate for choosing it?
c) Are you playing along, with Pip?
d) Does "junk" in general count as a collection....?!

I love stuff.

We have an agreement, do stuff & I. It "is" & I collect it. All of it. I could fill this blog, day after day, post after post, with things I "collect". I could bore - uh... entertain you, for hours, regaling you with stories of things I've "collected" in the past.

"Hoard" is perhaps a more.... fitting word. And I don't rightly know why I do it. My Mother does it. My Gran does it. I don't know fo' sho' but I'd bet my Great Grandmother did it.

Probably about the only time I'm grateful that we've moved so much these last few years is when I am trying to make a dent in the "clutter". Each move saw me jettison various odds & ends that I thought I'd never be able to live without. Some of those things I don't regret - like VHS tapes I couldn't play, other things I do (I really, really do....) like my complete set of Frankie issues 1 - 14.

My collections seem to just creep up on me. I get a little something here, a little something there, and then, suddenly, there are too many somethings for it to be a coincidence any more.

Atari games.
Converse Sneakers.
Children's Books.
Pin Up Girls.
Board Games.
Anything Really.

I have always felt I was born too late. I feel I should have been living it up in the 50s, the 60s or the 70s at the very latest. As such I am drawn to anything old, anything vintage, anything "retro". That is why I have rusting tins that used to contain sticky tape sitting around the house. That is why I have boxed opera binoculars sitting on my counter top and that is why I am going to die, without a doubt, under a pile of Australasian Post magazines that fall on my head when I'm 83.

Having said that - about being born too late - I do have a great love for a lot of things from my childhood & I have been squirreling so much of it away that one could perhaps stage an episode of ALF or Punky Brewster in my house without having to bring in many props.

I don't think I could ever channel my energies into properly collecting anything, let alone one thing only. I can't see me keeping anything in "mint" condition - I love to use everything I have & enjoy it (or now, in the case of the books & toys, let Punky enjoy them). Nor can I see me on an endless quest to find the perfect green Bakelite radio (although if I happened upon it, I wouldn't say no...), or parting with too many dollars for it. I just LOVE going to an antiques & collectibles store & seeing half my house in there with price tags up to a hundred times more than I paid. I love seeing things that are (apparently) worth a small fortune that I picked up for $1 because I liked the look of it.

I just wouldn't be able to commit to a one obsession obsession. There are too many gorgeous things, cute things, nostalgic things, NECESSARY things out there, to stick with just one....!

(.........and don't even get me started on RED things....)


Swap Ya?

Last year, I participated in a quick, easy, fun, fun, fun swap over on Crafty Mamas - a CD swap, 'Music To Craft By' and I was unable to participate in the last one they had not that long ago because my computer would more likely burn "in flames" than burn "a CD" but now, I have me a nice shiny woo-hoo & yea-haw computer & am feeling like I could do with some new tunes to get my Christmas craft on.... So........

Let's swap, shall we?

This morning I set up a little "Music To Craft By" mixed CD swap over on Swap-Bot. Takes a moment to sign up if you aren't already swap addicted & the password (I made it 'private' just so that it wouldn't show up on the list of open swap-bot swaps so that, in theory, it's just you, me, and anyone that happens by my blog - I mean - if you're here, you obviously have flawless taste, right?!) is MUSICTOCRAFTBY - sign ups end next Friday, the 27th, when Swap-Bot will automatically assign partners - 2 each - and send out mailing addresses. I chose to make it that we send to 2 people each because that even works if the only people that sign up are; Me, Myself & I. CDs will need to be sent by the 6th of December, but the sooner the better yes? We all know we have lots of craft to get done next month!!! (If you are new to Swap-Bot, you might want to check out their FAQs.)

I am just waiting on some replies from the super quick ladies that have already signed up, but I'm thinking of changing this from an actual "CD swap" to sharing our 'Music To Craft By' playlists on lastfm.com - will keep you posted....

Any questions, you can ask me here or over there - I do hope SOMEBODY plays along...!


My Creative Space.....

...is conspiring with other forces around me to get some dolls made. Really it is.

First, I found a fantastic old book at the oppy with many a cutie-pie doll to make, then my Gran gave me TWENTY FIVE doll patterns (...even if they are ye olde folk art type ones...) that someone gave my Uncle & my Uncle gave to her...

And then, just in case I didn't get the hint, I found this purty green wool at Spotlight on a totally unrelated expedition, for a whole three dollars.

So. Doll making it is. The hard part really is choosing which doll to make...! I'm going to make my Softies for Mirabel doll (...and I really better get moving...) and a doll for Le Punk for her birthday.

For more, perhaps, advanced, creative spaces, I think you know where to go -
kootoyou of course!


....missed it by that much.

What do you want first...? 'The Good News" or "The Bad News"?! (Why is it though, that whenever people ask you that, you know that the bad news will pretty much Null & void the good news...? A more accurate question would be, generally, "Do you want the bad news, or the really bad news?")

The good news is... BUTTONS! Le Punk & I toddled down to the oppy for a wee spot of retail therapy yesterday afternoon, and to post those fashionably late drawings, and I was all "Woo-hoo!" and "Yea-Haw!" to find four jars of buttons waiting for me. There has been a shortage of jars of buttons since my last post about them going down in price, it seems I am not the only one around here with a penchant for cheap vintage buttons, but yesterday, I was in luck. There were three small jars & one larger jar - the small ones were $1 each & the larger $4.

To tell you the truth I did hesitate about the bigger one, but then I realised that there are no guarantees that this oppy won't make like the other & sell buttons in "sets" of four or five for $2 so I thought I'd just buy them, lest I regret it later. I bought a few other things too (duh) & when the sweet little old lady came to the buttons ("One dollar, one dollar, one dollar...") she was stopped in her tracks by the $4 & said "Oh, I'll give you those for $2." & made me the kind of happy that one shouldn't really get just from being awarded a discounted jar of buttons.


The bad news. *sigh* Oh. It makes me a little sad even having to type it. You would think, wouldn't you, that the below picture of an unbearably cute little play kitchen cabinet (dust & all....) that I managed to score for the princely sum of $1 at another oppy would have been included in "The Good News", wouldn't you? Oh it would have been, I assure you, had I just not... turned... around. But I did. I turned around & my heart skipped a beat.

There, in it's adorable handmade, vintage glory, was THE PERFECT wooden sink & stove play kitchen set. We are getting Le Punk a toy kitchen for her birthday in January, I considered making one but, if I'm honest, I really don't know how I'd go about it, I mean, I could try but it might turn out more like a kitchen post-tornado or something. We tried to put a kitchen on lay by but they were on back order, I have a rain check but they still aren't in, it's been five months or so & I'm not at all sure if they will be available by early January or not, so I have been on the look out & thought, briefly, my search had ended.


I saw.

The "sold" stickers.

I can't help but think, if I were better at time management, I would not have been stuck home drawing all morning & I would have been down the street that much earlier.....



Because I am so increadibly great at time management, I have spent this morning drawing pictures for a swap on Swapbot that are due to be posted.... *coughs* ....today.


Oh. So. Lucky.

I am.

I really am.

I was contemplating skipping a post today - I've been up since 4.30am, I'm tired, grumpy & feeling rather unproductive... but what was waiting for me when I opened the door to go & empty the vacuum cleaner....?!

Why, piles & piles of lovely vintage fabric all the way from the USA, of course!

Bethany ran a giveaway on her blog last month & lucky for me & unlucky for them, one of the winners never got back to her with an address & I was picked in the second chance draw - woohoo! There is nothing better to cheer up an exhausted, frazzled Vic on a dreary Monday morning!

My three favourites;

I also have to send out huge thanks to Claire for her super duper package - she spoilt us so much - not only did I receive a super funky red apron, but lots of other goodies too, including a Punky Pirate doll for... you guessed it, my very own Punky Pirate.

Then I got a lovely package wrapped up in brown paper from Kylie.... (including some fantastic yellow buttons...!!)

Annnnnnnnnd, just so you can feel fully justified in hating me, I got this sweet wee Nilla Nilla lip balm in the mail from Curious Oyster, it is ALL THAT, let me tell you. Made in Melbourne & adorned with a cheeky cheesecake pinup... oh how I love vintage pinups!

Gosh the blogosphere has been good to me so far! And don't think I don't appreciate it, and every little thing that happens to come my way in the mail, because I absolutely do! I feel ever so lucky but not only that, I feel very welcomed into this blogging community. It makes it all a little bit more real to be able to touch, wear or adore something I have only seen on a computer screen & to think that someone has had the generosity of heart to send it out to me.

I am slowly gearing up for my 150th post giveaway (since I totally missed the 100th....) & am going to make it a big one. It's the least I can do, good bloggy karma & all....!


I'm making a list, and checking it twice....

Christmas if approaching at an alarming rate & it is slowly dawning on me that I better get cracking with the Christmas presents. I have decided to go with handmade gifts for all, except for a couple we already have on lay by for the Punk (I can't imagine where one would go for a handmade trampoline...).

I announced this interesting fact to The Boy who immediately replied (brace yourselves crafty ladies with crafty or at the very least, nice, partners....) "I don't want any of your crap!". I am hoping he was joking. If not. He's just going to have to suck it up.

I'm not going to make everything myself - oh no - I just don't think I'm up to that. Plus, there are so many talented artisans out there making some lovely things, much better than I could ever hope to do. So I am making only the things I really, really want to, and that I think I can do justice to, and buying the rest. Even buying handmade is, to me, so much more personal & prompts you to think more about the person you are buying for and why you are buying them anything at all. It is easier to buy the usual department store stuff - without a doubt, you could get an ipod shuffle for everyone on your Christmas list, but does that really capture the spirit of giving....?

I love Christmas & I love giving gifts. I just LOVE it. Much more than receiving gifts, although I won't complain when I get some, but I just adore the entire process of gift giving, from the initial thoughts to the finale - the recipient's expression when they open their little sumpin' sumpin'. It is fun & heartening & good for the soul.


My Place & Yours...

I am taking the liberty of cheating a wee bit in this week's My Place & Yours, the theme is "Through the front door" & well.... as what is through my front door is, quite frankly, a depressing scene of chaos, I thought I would modify it to "In front of the front door".

The 'theme queen' for this week is Femme De Montmartre, and I think that my take on it does capture some of what she describes for her theme;

"What is it you see when you enter your home? And how do you

You do not, I am sure, want to see a dumping ground of all sorts of whatnots & strewn toys & clothes... I think a lot of other mothers see that sight or one very similar every day & wish not to be reminded of it... is that not why we are perusing blogs this morning instead of cleaning up...?! And you certainly don't want to know how I feel about it!

So I thought I would share what I see when I make it to my front door after a rare & welcome trip off on my own. Le Punk. Of course.

Messy, pants-less & enthusiastic. All results of "Daddy & Punk time". How do I feel when I come home to.... this?!

Like my heart just might burst. (That could also be to do with falling off my bicycle exhausted after cycling my not very terribly fit self about town in the heat...)

I would also like to officially petition that this theme be repeated a year or so from now, I thoroughly intend to have my very own front door then, painted red, to share & gain envious stares from you all....!


Unlucky For Some.

But not for me folks, oh no, so far today, Friday the dreaded 13th, has been decidedly pleasant. It was yesterday, known from now on as "Hideous Thursday" that was the stinker.

Picture this; early morning, a nice morning, Thursday the 12th of November. I brew myself a nice cup of coffee & toddle over to the computer, camera in hand, all ready to upload my stunningly brilliant "My Creative Space" & join in yet again with meme goodness. I press the power button. Everything proceeds as normal until.... it doesn't.

Computer says "No".

In fact, computer says "Hell No" & blankly refuses to continue living in this cruel world. It seems the death of the mouse the other day was more than a mild inconvenience, it was an ominous sign of impending doom. My heart beats quicker, sweat beads on my brow; WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!

I call The Boy at work (I wish I were kidding folks); "THE COMPUTER IS DEAD!" he is suitably distressed. I spend hours "biding my time" until The Boy returns home & we can set off to get a new, shiny computer.

Horrible, horrible, horrible time shopping for new computer, I shan't bore you with the details except to say heat crazed toddler + shiny new expensive technological items do not mix.

Take detour on the way home to camping ground of "next week". Heat crazed toddler screams her protest for entire length of pointless detour. I scream my protest, loudly, in my head, & wonder why we can't just see the damn camping area when we, you know, go camping...?!

Get shiny new computer home & spend ridiculous amounts of time doing things to it so that it may function like old computer, only faster.



Today, Friday, the lovely 13th of November, all is well with the world. I have a shiny new computer &, like child birth, the painful memories of how it got here are quickly receding.

The sun is shining in a nice, friendly way, not a malicious way, as it has been.

We picnicked in the park, wee Punk & I.

The Op shop gods smiled upon me & offered up some lovely linen & another round table cloth for skirt making purposes.

And aprons.

Lots of aprons.

Hope your Black Friday has been just as lovely!


Punkins who lunch.

We went a'driving yesterday (it's almost twenty minutes past Midnight, so it really was yesterday, even though it feels like 'today', because it was today, sort of...), The Boy had an unexpected, yet overdue, day off, which meant Punk & I had a lovely set of wheels at our disposal, air conditioned wheels at that.

My only real aim for the day was to get me a new mouse. Clickity click click click. You hear that? It's a new mouse. We got one. It works just fine. It's dandy even.

Before the mouse need was satiated however, we had to fulfil a lunch need, that we did in an unexpectedly cool diner-come-take-away-come-chicken-joint. We entered due to lack of options & I was immediately floored by the vintage laminate table & vinyl chair goodness. I wanted every single piece of furniture there, but especially that lurvly red chair... it has spoiled me, that plethora of vintage mish mash, for when I got home I eyed my own white faux wood grain laminex table with it's decidedly dull grey studded vinyl chairs with despair. I have informed the boy that if I find a vintage laminex table with the marbled red top & the chrome sides that I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted, I shall be buying it. Oh yes. Even if then we would have 3 kitchen tables. And the chairs.... oh, don't get me started! My heart aches for them! They would be so much more loved here with me....! If only I could have managed to stuff a couple into my bag... or smuggled some out under my billowy new circle skirt....

We also went by a camping store which just so happened to be having a one day only woo hoo & yea haw bells & whistles sale. We were swept along in the excitement & ended up filling our trunk with a tent (it's a little bit fancy & we're a little bit crap at putting up tents... so... stay tuned for undoubtedly horrible tales of tent erecting failure...), folding camping chairs, air mattresses, a pump for said air mattresses, a billy kettle (oh! how I love that billy kettle! I shall have to show it to you at a later date), campy type plates & cups "etc", a lamp... I'm sure there is more, just as I'm sure that we have forgotten some vital piece of equipment, which will only be discovered when we're out in the sticks, thoroughly encamped & in some sort of dire need.

So. We're going camping.

Next week.

I don't know yet, how I feel about it.

We shall see.


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