Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching

It's probably a bit silly posting Christmas greetings on Boxing Day, but I thought I might as well peak a bit late rather than never. So Merry Christmas to you all, and happy stitching!

I have been working extra days this month, the uni students have been gearing up to move out from under our roof, and we have been preparing for the mama and the dadda with the bubba to take their place in this homely half-way house. We have also been planning our Summer holiday, stockpiling camping gear and essential items for a 4WD trip into the Victorian high country, oh, and in between times, wondering how on earth we were going to manage to fit in Christmas.

There was a half-hearted attempt at Christmas decorating; a small tree up on a side table, away from the marauding Watson, a small collection of Santa Claus figurines, and an arrangement of red and white china on the wine cabinet. 

My dear Anna-Lou shopped and cooked up a storm to try and save me from the usual post-Christmas meltdown. She bought the ham, cooked two Christmas cakes, made salted caramel macadamia slice and Rocky Road. She prepared the summer pudding for breakfast, baked frittata, churned a rich and delicious apricot ice-cream and peeled and baked all the veggies. An angel she is. :)

Christmas is done and dusted now, and Boxing Day has been lazily spent drinking tea and eating cake, taking naps throughout the warm afternoon, and imbibing in a spot of knitting (finally).

The mumma and the dadda and the bubba have come to stay, ensconced in their rooms at the other end of the house. The warmth of the day has given way to cooling rain, and all is at peace.  I am working on a knitted dinosaur for baby R (six months old now!).

I am working with this gorgeous Morris & Sons Empire 8-ply 'Arcadia' yarn. I haven't used it before, but it knits up into a beautiful even fabric, and the variegated colours are very appropriate for a prehistoric reptile methinks.

But I am off to make tea, eat chocolate and watch an episode of Foyle's War with my beloved. I hope that your Christmas season has been filled with peace and joyous things.

Evie :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Three Peachy Chickens

Organic peaches, a gifty from the farm at Cobbitty. I sliced them all up this morning and threw them into the slow-cooker with a goodly splash of Irish Whiskey. Doris, Doreen and Augusta had a terrific feed on the scrappy left-over bits, helped out here and there by Rosie the Wonderdog.

I don't usually eat ice-cream, but I just had to have a wee bit this evening, scooped into a bowl of olde fashioned peaches; the creamy ice-cream melting into a beguiling juicy soup. Delicious. It is surely the best taste of Summer, don't you think?

The best end to a happy day. :)

Goodbye Vice-Chancellor (in my blue lace dress)

When an invitation to a formal event arrives in the post, my first thoughts quite naturally turn to oh-my-goodness-whatever-will-I-wear. I am one of those 'keep it simple' kind of gals, and my wardrobe has been kept deliberately spare. I have never been able to wear bold prints or blousy florals, and I so often seem to gravitate toward block colours of black or red.

But lately I have discovered that I can wear lace with reasonably good effect, and so when the invitation to attend my University's grand farewell to our long-serving Vice-Chancellor [President or Rector, to those in the UK or US respectively], I dismissed the boutique-de-frock and went searching for lacy fabric instead.

The blue was a considered choice spanning two trips to my local Spotlight store over the course of a week. With time getting down to the wire I landed back there on my way home from work on Wednesday and decided that it would likely do as not. Imagine my joy at the checkout to discover that the price had been reduced by 75% by deem of a mega-sale, and that pretty blue lace had serendipitously become more than ridiculously reasonable.

I had cut a pattern from a mesh sheath in my staple wardrobe, and fudged the hemline so that I was able to take advantage of the scalloped hemline. These things are so quick and simple to whip together using a rolled-hem on the overlocker [serger], and if not for my decision to add a border of flower motifs around the neckline, it would have been an evening's work. As it was, the neckline bit got a bit tricky, and getting it to all sit nicely nearly had me in a lather! I downed needle in just under two hours before it was time to slip into my dress and buckle up my shoes. But I did really feel quite lovely with my little home-made lacy number over a black ruffled-hem dress. Too easy!

And it was a truly wonderful evening spent with colleagues with whom I am the very best of friends; catching up with University chums of old, sharing memories, reminiscing, enjoying a rolling collage of photographs that document a long and prosperous chapter in the life of our Institution. And of course, commemorating the incredible contribution of a gifted, dedicated, warm and generous woman. She will be well-remembered, and remembered-well.  Goodbye, farewell, Professor Reid, I have loved you well.