Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Green Halloween

Actually a little bit of red too.

  Vampire, Frog Zombie Man (frog was once used for a rainforest party), Robin Hood and "Green Girl". I showed Mr Bowerbird the photos and he laughed wryly, "Oh I hope that one's going on your blog"!

 Of course it's going on the blog!

Checkout how much those kids have grown since Halloween 2010. The Big Bowerbird is getting some good mileage out of that costume. A bit of green and red that year too.

The little Bowerbird put on this face for me before she left, but it was out in full force come bedtime, the post sugar slump is never good.

  Frog Zombie Man stole my children
 Robin Hood back from the dead
 Someone had to stay home to hand out the cakes. One of my Vegie Group friends snapped this of me, where would I be without that magnet fly-screen?
 All lovingly prepared by the children and my mum.  
Choosing which monster cake or biscuit you were taking home was a serious decision for visiting trick or treaters.

Even more serious was the examination of the lolly loot when the kids got home.  I am not showing this picture to our dentist. Some very serious tooth brushing this week.

Came across this via Mamabake's Facebook page, perhaps next year.
Do you celebrate Halloween?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Camping, and a little Silliness

The tent has finally been taken down. It had been up a few weeks (perhaps one too many) since our Great Aussie Camp Out. Taking the tent down is never as fun as putting it up. As a camping finale the kids all slept in it together.  It felt so strange having no children in the house, wrong strange. Come 7am I was rushing out the door checking to see all was well (we did a late night check too). I actually woke up the serene middle Bowerbird, when I undid the zip.

 They had a ball,  the big Bowerbird helped soothe the little one's concerns and snuggled her through the night.

 They were all so proud, especially the littlest who couldn't have achieved such an enormous feat without her trusty friend Lamby.

 Big enough to go camping with her siblings, I was sure she'd come inside at some stage but she made it through the whole night.
 The graceful exit from the tent with sleeping stuff in tow, tent doors could really be improved on.

Ahem. we may have left the tent there a little long. Luckily the lawn's already recovering with a couple of glorious sunny days. The littlest was most upset that our dome home didn't become a permanent feature.

We had rains and days of wild winds whilst it was up, but our Ebay bought, $40 second hand Stockman Weekender has stood the test. I'm thinking if we go away for a week or two we might have two similar tents - one for back up, and hanging out in in bad weather. Putting it away until December when it will make the trip to Eldorado, Victoria, for a wonderful music festival. Can't wait to get my boogie on.

I let loose, in the "formal thing gone wrong" number you can see below, on the weekend. The acetate dress looks a little worse for wear after breaking out some Gangnam Style moves.  A night out without the family, although all the daggy family lounge room moves were not left behind. The photo doesn't do it justice, the skirt is tulip shaped and really accentuated my already generously sized bottom. The "formal thing gone wrong" was a great 40th birthday dress up theme, there were so many hilarious op shopped numbers, in a multitude of hideous fabrics and shapes. I think as we were already looking ridiculous, guests were less concerned about how they looked on the dance floor. The invitation included a curious sticker to wear, it turned out to be an icebreaker but alas I never found my Boots.

Whilst I'm embarrassing myself, do you think these fertilised Euphorbia flowers are just a little rude?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beginners Knitting - Wash Cloth

I have had my mum visiting these last few weeks.  There has been less blogging and more: chatting,  cafe swanning, tasty dining, wine sipping, and generally making the most of having a mum in the same country as me. 

There has also been much crafting.
  I have discovered the simple pleasure of knitting a cotton wash cloth - my first attempt at knitting since I created a wonky scarf over a decade ago. A great way to learn and practice different stitches, a wash cloth sampler if you will. I love watching those stitches create different patterns, who would have thought Knit and Pearl could create so many different looks. We've been scouring op shops for knitting needles - obviously I am not alone as there were slim pickings.  I have decided I am a fan of the bamboo needle and discovered some unused ones at our local Salvos.

 Hmm not sure if my peculiarly shaped, man size, rectangle flannel passes muster with the little one. It's great for a neck scrub and hangs well over the shower bar.  Today she encouragingly told me that "I could do better than that", when I made a dud Frisbee throw. I suspect this is also the case with my wash cloth. I am strangely looking forward to making more. The gentle clicking, peacefulness of knitting, and then something produced at the end of it.
 The two older children have been learning alongside me. There are constant cries of "Nenek" (my mum's Indonesian grandma name) as we drop stitches and create peculiar knots and whoopsies. The sound of eight needles clicking is wonderfully musical.

Whilst we fumbled, Nenek quickly whipped these up. Now I'm working on a pair and so is the Big Bowerbird. I've also made a cowl, which is basically a scarf sewn together (pics to come). Loving finding my inner Nanna.

Mum has also got the sewing machine out with me. It's been languishing in it's box since I purchased it months ago. I think I was a little afraid of it. There has been much repairing and a little wonky embellishing, don't laugh, it has character.

Approaching 40 and finally the knitting penny is dropping, never mind the kids are picking it up just as fast.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Aussie Camp Out and Chiminea Cooking

Saturday was the Great Aussie Camp Out.  A perfect opportunity to dust off the tent we purchased second hand on Ebay months ago. Actually it seemed a little less than perfect, chilly, grey and drizzly, but our big Bowerbird was not deterred.  It was with some relief that we found all the pieces were there, and that the tent is waterproof and can withstand winds - we have discovered (with disastrous results) that these basic features are not a given.
Here she is, pegged out in our yard, hilariously it is meant to accommodate 6 + 2 people, not 8. I think that number of people inside would be seriously squeezy, however our family of 5 should fit cosily. The big Bowerbird and her friend helped put it up, mostly girl power, with a little of dad's input at the end.
 We lit the chiminea for some added camping atmosphere.

 There were wonderfully toasted marshmallows and scone dough cooked on sticks.


 A few tasty scones cooked old school, in the oven, as well.

 Christine at Slow Living Essentials has been using her Chiminea to cook up all sorts of delicious creations.  It made ours seem positively neglected, so we had a go at making some pizzas.  Rather than find all the proper equipment for cooking in a Chiminea we've gone with the Buy Nothing New spirit of things and used the junk lying around our backyard.

 We found the bottom was cooking a little too quickly so an old shovel helped create an extra heat barrier. After about 8 pizzas (just the pita bread type) we had the technique down pat. They were smoky, crunchy deliciousness, just as a wood fired pizza should be.
 Only the big Bowerbird and her friend camped in the tent, and they actually came inside at 3am as someone's car alarm disturbed their peace. It was still a lovely outdoorsy weekend, "just like a school camp" the middle Bowerbird exclaimed with delight. The smaller Bowerbirds are very keen  busting to have a sleep out in the tent so I may be camping with them sometime soon.