I don’t have many treasures apart from the human ones that live here.  I treasure my stitching and knitting because I invest so much time in it.  I love my I-Mac computer because it is my window on the world but aside from that I don’t have much of monetary value.  If I think sentimental value then there are a couple things which sprang to mind for me to photograph – my teddy bear bought for me on the day that I was born by my Dad and a couple of beautiful Willow Tree figurines gifted to me by former students – one that says “thank-you” and another that is the Angel of Learning.  I’m joining in with this “My Place and Yours” hosted by Helloowl and discovered by the wonderful Ms Fifikins blog.  This week’s theme is treasure.  I’m looking forward to playing along and seeing what new themes come up each week.


Personal Shopping Angel

She will know who she is if she reads this blog!  I was spending some time at Threads and More yesterday to get some more work done on Daniel’s cowboy cardigan.  But I have also been hankering after a new knitting project and this time it was to be something for me to wear.  I had an idea of what I wanted but hadn’t been able to find it – a vest with long lines that would cover some of the lumps and bumps but still fit well.  My personal shopping angel just waltzed off to the bookshelves and came back with exactly the right thing first try! We did look at a few other things in magazines but it was the first idea that was the best.  Another idea we gleaned form the magazines was to add some wool embroidery and possibly some beads to the finished product so it will really be one of a kind.  So, I’m going to be knitting a Paton’s Button-Up Hanky Hem Top with side inserts to create more “swing”.  I’m using some delicious Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in “Heather” – 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% cashmere.  I have found myself stroking the balls of yard more than once since I came home with them yesterday.  We had to do a couple of tension squares to work out exactly which yarn and needles to use but I’m glad we did because it means I am way more confident about the finished product.  I’m excited about the embroidery part as stitching was really my first love so it will be awesome to combine two things I love doing.  I just need to get going on the assembly of Daniel’s cardigan so I can start.

At any rate I will have something to knit next weekend while I’m at the Qld Little Athletic Conference – just in case the lengthy debating of motions put forward by various centres is not absolutely riveting!

In Stitches – Giveaway Announcement

I am getting things somewhat more organised around here in anticipation of starting the new job Monday week but I’ve come to realize that I won’t get everything organised – I mean do we ever? – and that I should do a few things that I maybe won’t be able to do for a while.  I’m certainly not going to give up my crafting but it could be a while before I have the luxury of spending most of a day at Threads and More as I did on Tuesday.  The event was Apron In An Hour – Return of the Housewife and while I certainly am not going to be a housewife at any time soon I do have a pretty groovy apron to inspire me for when I do.  Louise Stuart was the teacher and much to my delight she is into ironing rather than pinning and lots of little tricks and tips to make the whole sewing process easier and quicker.  She sells the kits for these aprons from her site and they are also available at Threads and More.  They are $25 for the kit which comes with the instructions and 2-3 pieces of coordinating fabric already cut.  That in itself immediately reduces stress because it renders a trip to Spotlight unnecessary.  I had the boys choose my fabric for the first apron I made after perusing what they had a Threads and More and deciding that I could happily live with any of their delicious combinations.  Then when I’d completed the first one in Japanese Ninja type fabric I decided to choose a more “girly” feel for my second apron.  Anissa challenged me to se if I could actually produce an apron in an hour and I did it is exactly that time.  If I hadn’t stopped to chat to a few people I probably could have done it under the hour.

Perhaps the real star of the show however was the machine I was using.  Mum bought her Husqvarna in 1975 to make me clothes for pre-school and has had it ever since, getting it serviced every few years, so that it still runs like a champion.  This picture isn’t Mum’s machine but is very similar.  There is not an on-board computer or digital display to be seen but it does everything we need it too and sounds just divine – much less “clattery” than some of it’s more modern cousins that were present on Tuesday.  Lynda was very excited and would have made Mum an offer on the spot for it (except it isn’t for sale!) and a number of shop customers who weren’t in the class came along and looked it over during the time I was there.

Now did I say “Giveaway”? I did! June 25 is my 1st “blog-a-versary” and I thought I might use my second apron (the girly one) as a giveaway to one of my readers to celebrate this event.  If you would like to become the proud owner of this apron hand made by me please leave a comment on this post and I will draw a winner at random on June 25.

Driving in the other Direction

I’ve had some very exciting developments this week.  Life has taken a different direction and it is one that no one could have predicted.  After a big application, interview with assessment task two weeks ago and another follow up meeting this week I’ve been offered a job at one of our favourite places in the world. Here

After years of thinking I would never do anything other than teach in a classroom, I saw the ad for this position – Learning, Activities and Events Officer – a few months ago and immediately my heart leapt.  I could do that.  I wanted to do that.  There could be a place for me beyond the classroom, a place where I could still use my skills as an educator and work with a wide variety of people.  I love trains and railways and history.  When the boys were into Thomas the Tank Engine I reveled in the language and the images of that magical world.  We’ve been regular visitors to The Workshops over the years and held annual passes for four years running.

There will be many other changes apart from me driving west instead of east each day.  As a public servant of sorts I will be working longer hours officially but less hours unofficially.  I’ll have some measure of control over when I work, being able to accrue flexi-time etc.  I will be working on most school holidays because those are the busiest times for the museum – especially Boxing Day through to the end of January when Thomas comes to visit.  If I work on a weekend or public holiday I might be paid overtime (huge concept for a teacher!).  I won’t be having holidays for quite some time and when I do they will be during school time.  We think the boys will cope with a few weeks out of school here and there for holidays down the track – I can certainly “home school” them if necessary!  I wont have my own class but I will also be doing without playground duty, report writing and parent teacher interviews.  There are lots of things I’ll miss and lots of things I won’t miss.  There are lots of things about this position that I don’t even know yet and that is both exciting and a little bit scary but I am so ready.

I’m ready to belong somewhere again, to be doing something worthwhile and working hard.  I’m ready to know where I am going each day and where I’ll be going each week.  I’m ready to be challenged, to use my creativity and problem solving skills and I’m so excited!

After initially being skeptical about me working for the government (he never thought he’d see the day) Anthony is delighted.  The boys, after some confusion on Daniel’s part, are just about delirious.  When I told the boys that they might sometimes be used as “guinea pigs”, Dan didn’t relish the prospect of living in a box and eating grass.  But when it was all explained he was delighted of course.  With their new found independence they are getting used to traveling to and from school in a  number of different ways and are relishing the slightly increased responsibility.  The extended family are already booking themselves up for holiday care.

I worked my final days as a relief teacher this week in three different schools and then today we celebrated – Eric’s first communion and confirmation.  Now I have two weeks to get everything in order ready to start my next big adventure.  I don’t know all of what the future holds but I’ll certainly be putting my sunglasses when I drive in the other direction!

Happy Saturday

Not this Saturday unfortunately!  I’m sick with the flu which I’ve been fighting off in order to work all week and now that the working week an other excitement is over I’ve fallen in a heap.  Eric is celebrating his First Communion and Confirmation tomorrow, we have heaps of people coming here and I’ve been in and out of bed all day!

However last Saturday I got to do a bit of escaping after a long boring week at home and spent the day hanging out at Threads and More.  In the morning I set myself up in the cafe with my knitting and my coffee and had a very pleasant morning putting some work into Daniel’s cowboy cardigan.  Then in the afternoon I was lucky enough to be able to do a class with Biggan Dups who produces the beautiful Biggan yarn I am knitting with.  We learnt finishing techniques for knitting, joining colours, making buttonholes, knitting into the side of things, blocking and sewing things together.  Did I mention this lady can knit at the speed of light? (or so it seems!)  I’ve never met a knitwear designer/yard producer before so I asked for my photo with Biggan and she graciously obliged.