I need some help.  My grandmother wants to buy me ‘something for the kitchen’ for Christmas.  But because my grandmother is not too steady on her feet these days, my father is going to buy the gift on her behalf, so that she doesn’t have to totter round the shops on her own.  Only, because my father lives some 500km away, he’s going to buy the gift on-line.  The budget is AUD$50 to AUD$70.

I would like some mugs or cups so as to have something nice for offering tea to visitors (currently visitors get my mug while I pretend I’m not thirsty, or they get the hideous mug with fake Aboriginal art on it, which we privately refer to as the Cup Of Crass Colonialism, and which we’d throw away except then we could only entertain one visitor at a time).

I’ve been clicked through pages and pages of blah on etsy, I’ve googled, I can’t find anything I like. I love Japanese ceramics.  I like simple things.  I really like these but they’re out of the budget range.  Does anyone else have any ideas?


No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

I interrupt the usual crafty goodness of this website with an important message. The Australian government is proposing an internet censorship scheme that goes further than any other democracy in the world.  It will make the internet up to 87% slower, more expensive, accidentally block up to one in 12 legitimate sites, will miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and is very easily sidestepped. The government of the day may add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist under the scheme.
Our government should be doing everything it can to take Australia into the 21st century economy, and to protect our children. This proposed internet censorship does neither.
If you feel, like me, that this shouldn’t happen, here’s a few things you can do:

We now return you to normal programming.  Thank you for your attention.

crazy dreams

23 November 2008


We’re in the middle of an unseasonable cold snap, so this morning was a good time to sleep in.  While I was dozing, I had a really vivid dream, that went like this:

I am back at my old high school, I have been called in for a meeting with the headmistress (in waking life, she is the headmistress, though when I was actually at the school she was the head teacher of home economics). She wants to talk to me about starting a knitting group, “I believe you call them stitch and bitch”, she says, and then cautions me that the school cannot condone using language like that, another name will have to be found.

We have a long conversation about knitting.  I tell her about the level of maths involved and she thinks that’s a good thing.  The conversation makes a detour through women’s skills vs men’s skills, “women are cooks and men are chefs and none of the girls in the cooking classes are there because they are passionate about food,” she asserts.  I am at pains to tell her that people may be shy about about knitting in public, about how many of the textile crafts are not considered cool and doing them in public for the first time is like coming out.  I ask her how she’s going to protect her school knitting group from ridicule.  We talk about it calling it art, so that it’s cooler.  We wonder how strong the cultural memory of knitting is.

The bell rings.  I tell the headmistress I’m heading back to work and will call her next week to discuss further.  I promise to try to come up with an alternative to ‘bitch’, but warn her that it has a strong hold in popular culture.  I give her my business card.  I realise I am wearing my school uniform.

Pictured:  Cherry, half-finished.  In a yellow that is disturbingly close to my old school uniform.

new pattern

8 November 2008


There’s a new pattern available on the patterns page, for this hat.  I called it Sunshine & Lollipops for no reason other than that it’s a sun hat, and lollipops are a good thing.

fetes and fairs

8 November 2008

Something I like about my new neighbourhood is they do a bloody good fete.  On election day, for example, the local primary school was taking advantage of the through traffic to the polling booths by holding a fete, complete with merry-go-round, fairy floss, home made cakes, plant stall, bric-a-brac and sausage sizzle.  The smell and the sounds have not changed a bit since I was a kid, and the bric-a-brac stall can still provide a vast array of junk at bargain prices (somewhere in the attic of my parents’ house is a box of china swans, snowdomes, little fancy jars and empty compacts with cracked mirrors which represents much wasted pocket money at bric-a-brac stalls).

Then last saturday, there was another fete at the church down the road, this time with a pavlova stall, second hand clothes, more plants, more cakes and devonshire teas.  I watched Michelle and her choir, and took home a truly awesome chocolate cake.

Also last saturday I went to the Vintage Fair at Albert Hall, thanks to a hot tip from the Canberra’s Got Style blog.  And by coincidence, ran into the blog owner, ninaribena, while I was there.

My vintage purchases:  A necklace and a brooch.  The necklace, I was excited to discover, is a Jorgen Jensen design.