This Year Of Living Dangerously

I have been sitting on the verandah following our New Year's Eve tradition of Filling-In-The-New-Buffy-Diary. To ease the burden of writing in all the dates, holidays and birthdays I rewarded myself with some dip at the end of each month and a sip of cider whenever I liked. The cider is in a glass my dad used to drink his beer from.

New Year tasks
Peri and Gilly met a new friend called Jet on their walks this week. They ran and played together very happily.

Gilly, Jet and Peri
The veranda was the coolest place to be, after a walk and a swim for Peri and a paddle for Gilly this morning, we went back to bed until 3-45pm: avoiding the hottest part of the day. It's a good thing there is a liner in the car because Peri gave a big shake again after she hopped in.

Wet Labradors
Last night I went to late dinner with MrsDrWho and her family and friends. MrsDrWho and I had Wagyu beef. It was utterly delicious. It is grown in the North West of the state. Mine was medium well with a mushroom and bacon sauce. It truly was melt in your mouth meat.

Wagyu beef
2011 has been an interesting year. The most horrid part was when I had to go to hospital unexpectedly with the septic shower in my blood stream, and then I spent the rest of the year working hard, and I think successfully, not to be depressed and anxious.

Peri and Gilly have lost over 7kg each and, despite of The Widdler and The Winky Eye, they have had a very happy year.

My new car is still going nicely, the big oak tree is gone from the garden and I have my nice new computer with which to surf the Internet.

I am so lucky to have wonderful friends, real and imaginary, and a kind family who have all helped me in many ways.

This evening I made some collages of the craft I have completed this year and Self Stitched September too. I am quite amazed at all the things I have made, though there are some projects languishing and I have yet to produce another wearable dress: my bete noir. I will finish them off when the weather is cooler.

Knitting 2011 1
Knitting 2011 2
Knitting 2011 3
  More sewing

Sewing 2011 and a car
Some Doctor Who sewing 2011

Christmas 2011 things

I am now officially agog, I must have buried myself in my craft. Oops, the christmas tea towel bags are there twice.

Next year I am looking forward to The Olympics, spending lots of time playing with Peri and Lorelai Gilmore, making a wearable dress, finishing my two cardigans and generally being more organised. It's a Leap Year so that makes it extra special. I think I shall be doing Friday Food and cooking from magazines this year: I always mean to but hardly ever do.

Lorelai Gilmore has been racing about searching for the source of the fire cracker noise and Peri is saving us from the party at the back. They are very good girls.

Happy New Year: welcome 2012*!!!

Peri and Gilly's New Year 2011
I say Twenty Twelve 2012, just like I say Ten SixtySix 1066.

And Because I Can't Organise My Way Out Of A Wet Paper Bag:

SSS10, where I wear the proper Sorbetto dress and my cardigan!!

That makes 20/30 days and at 66.666666666(recurring)% that's not too shabby!!


I was reading the comments on the last post

and suddenly realised there was no picture of the Nice Sorbetto Dress.

Luckily the new computer seems to save things in the Recycling, even when I thought I had deleted them!!

Mind like a sieve when I am tired.

Off to bed anon.


SSS30 and a Review

So, today I am wearing:

  • My new A-line skirt in lime and turquoise. I checked my new drafted pattern against the old one and adjusted the length. I still need to fix the hem at the side seams but this is a much better fit.
  • New aqua top from Katies.


My clothes are slightly crumpled as it is AFL Grand Final Day. On Grand Final Day MrsDrWho and I usually have brunch and go shopping in town because most other people are at home watching the football. Today MrsDrWho's niece came, she's here on school holidays, and we shopped for lots of new clothes for The Niece. I am quite exhausted now!! MrsDrWho did direct me towards the chair in the shops we visited, but I am quite tired.

So there we are, Self Stitched September 2011 is over. I am not particularly fashionable, or equipped with a very self stitched wardrobe, but in spite of this I have added to my Summer and Spring wardrobe and experimented with some new techniques. I have not posted a photo every day, but I did manage 19 out of the 30 days, so I am pleased with that.

I sewed a few new things:

  • 1 dress
  • 2 new tops
  • 3 new skirts
  • 'lounging' pants and
  • fixed a cardigan so I could wear it

Eight new things, 7 of which I can wear outside the house!!! I didn't finish my Rooibos dress, or another Sorbetto dress.

I really enjoyed experimenting , very successfully, with dyeing fabric this time. I will definitely do that again. Re-fashioning purchased t-shirts to make a new top was great too. I wore more necklaces, which is something I wanted to do.

SSS 1 2 3 4 SSS 5 6 7 13 SSS 14 15 16 17 Sss 18 19 20 Sss 25 29 30 Dog walking woollens
I learned that elastic waists don't flatter me, but my olive vest does.

I think, now, I would like to aim for a more organised wardrobe for the warm and cold months. Lots of people are participating in the Colette Fall Challenge (Autumn) where they choose a palette of colours and think about what items of clothing they will make. I might try that, though it would all be greens, I think seeing exactly what I have would help me plan what I need, eg, a pair of limey green shoes!!

On the home front, the Dog Car has had a slight conniption. There's been a small rattly sound for the last week or so when I turned the engine on, but then it went away. Yesterday, it didn't. It rattled all the way to the dam. I rang to make an appointment for my car to be checked out, but Auntie Dutch said that Uncle Dutch could deploy his car mechanic skills for me. I expected it would be something terribly expensive, but I used my new skills learned form the psychologist and realised that I had my new car. I could buy the special seats or cover and then use the money I saved on registration and insurance to have the new car cleaned three or four times a year to keep it nice.

Dog car troubles

In the end, Uncle Dutch found that the water pump was broken. It is a cheap component, but so difficult to remove that the labour could be $600 or more. So the car is slightly un-assembled, the tyre has to come off to allow access and then a new water pump installed. How lucky am I to have such good friends??

Squooshed Labradors
Peri and Gilly were so sad to miss out on all the fun, but the road is far too dangerous a place.

This morning we walked to the shop and they waited for me outside. Being inordinately cute!!!

Waiting at the shop labradors
I have read all ten of John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice books, and enjoyed them immensely. Yesterday I spotted The Lost Stories, a welcome surprise, a book of short tales that fill in some of the missing story before, between and after the books. I ended up sitting in bed this morning crying and crying as I read the last two stories. No-one dies, but there was a poignant tale and then the final story of Will and his friends. I think these are such fabulous books, both the male and female characters are strong and well rounded. I am now looking forward to his new series, Brotherband.

Peri and Gilly have just come inside, full of excitement, they have been down at the fence participating vicariously in the party next door. It's a Dogs' Life!!!


Today I am wearing:

  • My new Lime Green refashioned top.
  • My favourite A-line skirt, this was my best drafted version.

And, of course, Labradors.

I bought a size 26 top from Target, on special, for $14. I have bought the only green stretch cotton material the BSODL(tm) stocks. I used my favourite top as a pattern, and sewed up a variation.

T-shirt re fashion
I used the original hem as my new hem, and I unpicked the double neckband and used the wider one for the sleeve band and the smaller one for the new neckband. I left the neck as a low scoop, rather than making a v-neck this time. As you can see, it is a tad tight across the chest, but I think that will stretch out with a few washes. It was very successful. I am thinking about buying a few men's t-shirts and doing the same thing.

We have had beautiful sunny days and then terribly stormy weather: typical of our Spring. Peri and Gilly love to lie in the Sun. You can see Peri has two food bowls, the one I mix their food in and her own small one. Gilly has her slow-me-down black dish.

Sun baking

Though it was raining on our walk and they enjoyed a fabulous wrestling session and a dip in the creek!!

Wrestling Labradors
I cooked some of Jamie Oliver's Portuguese Custard Tarts. I forgot to mix in the lemon zest, so I sprinkled it on top of the cooked tarts and then poured on the toffee/caramel. They had to be refrigerated overnight and the pastry kept its crunch quite well, but the toffee melted away.

Custard tarts


Today I am wearing (and ignoring the missing days)

  • an A-line skirt made form the fabric I dyed. I drafted a new skirt pattern but it is too long in the front, the side seam hem rises and the facing is not short enough.
  • My new Emerald top I sewed. Now it has lunch on it and will need to be soaked and washed.
  • My favourite shoes, Emerald. 


I inserted a zip in the Centre Back and a loop to close the top with an as yet to be found button. I only had a metre so I cut the front on the fold and the back with a seam. I was worried the skirt might need adjusting after the Kate Winslet Skirt fiasco, so I haven't trimmed the facing and just tacked it onto the back of the zip. I will use an old skirt to fix the pattern before I cut it from some interfacing for posterity.

Loopy loop
MrsDrWho, WeeJock&Bessie's Mum and I went for lunch at MrsReno's house. We had a delightful luncheon and two kinds of wine: bubbly and a delicious light red. MrsDrWho is modelling one of the things the Renos brought back from their European holiday!! I think it suits her!!!

Helmet hair
I chose a pretty Venetian glass pill box as my gift. I almost chose a glass wine stopper, but the green swirl of the glass called to me!!!

Pill box
Spoonflower had their free swatch day so I ordered a swatch of Peri and Gilly and donated $5 to a Heifer charity. It is a lovely photo and I am so pleased. I think I may make a bag to showcase The Labradors!!!

Gilly is full of the Joy of Spring and has taken to unpacking the recycling on an almost daily basis. I must make time to carry it up the stairs to the bin for this Tuesday's pick up. Peri is pretty happy to find a sunny spot and sleep. In between playing rowdy rebel games with Gilly.

Spoonflower swatch
I finished Bagheera's little quilt and MrsDrWho's niece seemed pleased!! I am a bit pleased too, I think the black border finishes it off very nicely.

Bagheera's little quilt
And today I am quite tired after my outing. I haven't knitted anything for several days now. Tomorrow I am determined to fix skirts and skirt patterns. Once a skirt is cut out, I can sew it in less than an hour, which is very pleasing. Fixing up take a lot longer.......

There are only five Self Stitched September days left now. My one aim is to finish adjusting the toile and sew up my Rooibos dress. In green of course!! Five days might just be enough time.

SSS20 (even though it is the 23rd)

On the 20th I was wearing:

  • Freshly Cut Grass hand knitted cardigan
  • Green stretch cotton top, sewn from a pattern I made from an old top
  • Ultimate black jeans
  • New Emerald shoes!!!

My new Emerald shoes from The Ebay are not the height of fashion, but they fit, they are comfortable, they have a wedge heel and they are really, really green!! I like them a lot.

Emerald shoes
I have been almost sewing skirts, and actually sewing a little blanket/quilt for MrsDrWho's niece's cat. It needs to be small enough to travel in a suitcase on the aeroplane. The quilt, not the cat. I am attempting a Bagheera from Jungle book applique with an upside down kitten border. Even though I paid particular attention to the kittens being right way up, they are upside down. Kittens are like that. Once I ran out of bobbin thread, I knew that was a signal to stop sewing. It just needs to be bound.

Bagheera's almost small blanket
I've finished one of the Admiral Halsey Notified Me, He Had To Have A Sock Or He Couldn't Go To Sea socks. The Cat Bordhi Sweet Tomato heel is interesting and fun but it doesn't fit my heel. I am seriously considering unravelling the sock. The whole sock is a few rows shy of ONE pattern repeat. Wow, that's a long pattern repeat. I love the colours.

Admiral halsey one
The new Knitty Deep Fall appeared and I fell in love with Vignette. In love, yes, but I wanted an 8ply cardigan for Spring and Summer not a 10ply one. So I made a tension square and took out my trusty pen and paper and calculated that if I made the second largest size in 8ply it should fit. I have started knitting my Short Scene in Lime Zest Rondo and I am increasing after the waist on the back.

Short Scene back

When I went out this afternoon I gave Peri and Gilly an apple each. Peri was so happy, wagging her tail and crunching into the fruit. Her tail is so cute when it wags!!! You can see Lorelai Gilmore in the second picture, her apple is down the stairs.

Peri is a happy appler

Peri's apple and pop up Gilly
Gilly has worn herself out this afternoon, guarding the house and playing with her plastic cup.She is so tired, but doesn't want to miss out on anything. She keeps falling asleep even though she is trying desperately to stay awake.

Gilly is so tired.....
I picked up the new Baby Gate from Lay-by and installed it. Gilly is not very happy at all, and neither is Peri. The gate clicks shut automatically, so there's no chance of a sneaky kitchen raid!!

I bought some interesting Dog, and some cats, Christmas material to make myself a skirt for December. The ladies in the shop were slightly horrified in a very nice way that I would wear it, but I am looking forward to a Jupe de Noel!!!

Will be a christmas skirt
I don't think I should be in charge of any crafts tonight, I am too tired and sure to make mistakes. I am going to watch the new police detective show on the ABC and then we will all have an early night. Tomorrow I have to catch up on my SSS pictures there will be re-creations on the verandah!!!


SSS18 & 19

Today be Talk Like A Pirate Day. Aren't you glad I didn't translate me whole post?? There was a little Avastin' and Me Heartyin' happenin' here.

Yesterday at once stage I was wearing:

  • Blue denim Ultimate jeans
  • Target long sleeved olive top
  • Green Picket, my hand knitted vest in Washed Haze Aran. Being cotton, it has not held its shape well, but it is warm and green.


Today I am wearing :

  • My bit-of-a-fizzer almost a Kate Winslet outline illusion pencil skirt. I was going for the lighter panel in the centre and darker sides effect, but missed by a mile. The centre panel is some fabulous French fabric, it feels lush and rich. I wanted to use as much of the panel as I could. I drafted a pencil and A-line skirt pattern this morning and I think I used up all my brain power. I have half a metre more of the plain green and I will undo the side seams and facing and front panel and add wider side panels. I think it will count as a whole other skirt!!!
  • Green top with flowery trim, a gift. I think I need to take the sides in a little.

I also need new shoes something wicked.

And so to dyeing. I started with these fabrics,


some dye, vinegar and salt.

I had to use apple cider vinegar, hence the colour. There were 8 teaspoons of dye in the packet meant for 1.3kg of fabric. I had 600g of fabric and I didn't want to obscure the patterns too much so I used 3 teaspoons of dye. I had already washed and dried the fabric.

Dyeing 1
First I filled the machine to the Low level with hot water and then as it agitated, dissolved the dye. After 30 seconds I added the fabric and once it was thoroughly soaked, the salt and vinegar. Then it was just a case of waiting the wash cycle out. My wash cycle is long so I didn't set it twice.

Dyeing 2

I checked the colour, the machine rinsed once, then I added a little washing powder and it rinsed again and then spun the fabric almost dry.

After dyeing
I am so pleased with the effect and I can see that I will be dyeing more fabric soon. I haven't washed these again yet, but even if they fade a little, I am still very happy with the result. I put a load of green towels through the washing machine so if there was any dye left, it would only dye the towels.

I have been knitting some new socks, the Admiral Halsey Notified Me, He Had To Have A Sock Or He Couldn't Go To Sea socks. I am using some Admiral R Druck Opal and the new 'square' needles. They are actually quite good. I think they improve my tension and facilitate an even knitted fabric and it is difficult to hold them too tightly, as I am wont to do. Thus far, it has all gone swimmingly.

Admiral Halsey sock 1
Yesterday I went to a Trivia Afternoon in support of the National Stroke Foundation. One of the Dutches' relatives had a stroke when she was only 29 and she is raising money. There is going to  be a Walk 4 Stroke on the Mainland. Our team consisted of MrsDrWho, The Dutches, Other Dutches and me. There were 45 questions and we scored 38/47* and won. I chose this tea towel.

Trivia prize
I thought it was for auction and I was going to bid for it. It is so beautiful and colourful. I googled Anna Chandler and found that my tea towel must be woven with real gold thread because it is worth $39. I can never use it to wash up with. I am contemplating a bag.

Peri has been fine tuning her hole in the ground so it is more comfortable to lie in.

Peri lying in her hole
She was so soundly asleep that when I woke her up she had her squashed, sleepy, why did you disturb me? face on.

Per wakes up
Gilly is always off somewhere, being busy (unpacking all the recycling of late) but quick as a flash she is right there for her close up!!!

Gilly sticks her nose in
I am quite exhausted, I am going to make The Labradors' tea and have a nap before I ring my mum. Tomorrow at Leukaemia Support Group we are doing some gentle Yoga. I want to be well rested so I can try to bend well!!

I keep meaning to take a few pictures of my new computer, my new casserole dish and Uncle Dutch's R2D2 Artoo detoo in progress Beanie. I finally gave it to him yesterday and forgot to take a photo. Maybe if Uncle and Auntie Dutch read this they will email me a snap??!! I am very forward!!!

*Extra points for naming ALL of Tom Cruise's wives. Yes, we knew them all but we were rubbish at Geography. We're old, and they keep changing the maps!!!

SSS16 & 17

In which I take my standing still pictures with the Sport function, thereby capturing my non movement perfectly, and am slightly out of focus. I may dress up tomorrow and take these again. For posterity.

Yesterday I was wearing (and have already recreated once today)

  • Fluoro green pyjama pants sewn earlier this month.
  • Striped green top from Suzanne Grae.
  • My hand knitted Green is the New Black cardigan. Sadly, this was accidentally washed in the washing machine and now is relegated to wearing around the house status

Today I am wearing, momentarily,

  • My new green top. This is the one I cut out a few days ago, using another favourite top as a template. It has turned out really well. I am so pleased I cut it 12cm longer, but I had to wing the length of the neckband. There is a pucker or two, but otherwise it is great. As soon as I find some other green fabric, I will be sewing a few more, with maybe some sleeve and neck variations.
  • My lovely A-line dotty skirt which I sewed a few years ago. It goes with almost every green. I need to find some more material rich with greens and make a new skirt to match lots of tops. It looks much nicer when one arm isn't 'up'. I don't usually wear a top with my arms waving about, disco style.

Peri and Gilly are demonstrating their leaping and running abilities today. First Peri, who is leaping over the fence on our walk. I snapped a photo as she was mid jump. She looks wonderful and so very cute!!

Peri leaps

Gilly was lying outside the laundry while I was dyeing,

Gilly waits

and heard a sound and took off so quickly that even the Sport function could not capture her without blur.

Gilly, the Flash

I have knitted a hat for Uncle Dutch's birthday. It is very, very late. In case he, or Auntie Dutch, sees it, I am just putting a picture with no information. I have some more duplicate stitching to complete.

Artoo detoo in progress

Auntie and Uncle Dutch gave me some money for my birthday to put towards a ruffler foot for my sewing machine. The ruffler foot arrived on Friday and I am quite afraid of it. It cost $100. I plan to make a ruffled Sew Serendipity skirt.


I am reviewing some new knitting needles for Knits, Needles and Wool, the local wool shop. They are rectangular prism needles, or they have a square shape. I am going to knit a pair of socks for me, with Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato heel.

My dyeing was extremely successful and I managed not to get too permanently green. I shall post about the process tomorrow and show the finished dyed fabric. I am going to be a regular dyer from now on!!

SSS13 2011

I have a slight head cold. Not enough to keep me bedridden, but enough to make me feel poorly. I am using a homeopathic remedy which I spray under my tongue and it makes me feel better. Even if it isn't working medically, the placebo effect is.

Today I am wearing:


  • my Freshly Cut Grass cardigan which looks like it is buttoned up skew-wiff. And therefore was askew all day!!!
  • Black Ultimate Jeans
  • green top, gifted
  • nice green shoes

You can see a tangle of Labradors in the background. The squeaky red ball is being neglected in favour of wrestling.

Peri and Gilly, actually its Gilly and Peri from left to right, have been soaking up the Sun's rays. The weather veers wildly from warm to freezing cold, so they take their sunbeams where they can. I love the way Peri has her eyes closed and her head tilted towards the warmth.

Gilly and Peri love the Sun
Gilly must be a very loud yawner!!!

Peri can hear Gilly yawn

SSS9 2011

My Hard Drive has to go to the computer shop so the documents et al can be transferred over, and I am not sure when I will have it back. They said tomorrow, but I am appointmently busy, so it might be Monday.

Consequently there will be a slight break in Self Stitched September, and more importantly, Labrador transmissions!!

Here is a picture of what I am wearing. It is a bit of a cheat as I wore it yesterday but with all the computer buying and change over it will have to do. I think the photo is much clearer too. I give myself a tick, VG (Very Good).

  • The remodelled Sorbetto dress from here. It is sooo much better. I took 4 cm off each seam at the side, and more up to the darts and down the skirt and I still didn't need a zip. It is very comfortable and MrsDrWho, a fair critic, said it looks nice. Very happy!!
  • My emerald green cardigan with he new buttons which I count as self stitched.

SSS9 but not strictly

I have bought some more material to make another Sorbetto dress. This time I will be cutting the skirt and top as one long piece for the back and the front. I also bought some more of this Sorbetto #1 fabric to make a skirt. The colours match my emerald cardigan so well, and it was the very end of the roll.

The dye is so I can make the fabrics more green and less white. I was inspired by this week's challenge on Sew Weekly where sewers dyed. I have 600g of fabric, and it should take half the dye. I might add a little more fabric and use the same amount of dye as I don't want to totally obscure the patterns and colours already there. Really, it can't go wrong. It can only be greener and how can that be bad??

Shoes2 Shoes1
I have new shoes as a result of brunch/lunch yesterday. MrsDrWho spotted them and I tried them on and they fitted. They are a size 7, I usually wear a 6 or a 6 1/2, but the 6 was a little too tight and there were no half sizes. The colour is called Pewter, but they look green to me and I know they will reflect the green clothes that I wear. They were reduced from $120 down to $44-50. A bargain in anyone's language. My suede loafers are getting old so I am glad I have a back up pair.

Peri on her way home

When Peri hops into the car and sits ever so quietly to have her seat-belt on, there is a treat. Peri is such a good girl.

Gilly, and a watchful Peri
Gilly is always waiting, she's second, but there is a treat for her too. Peri is giving me a wary look, as if she needs another treat if Gilly is having one. A treat is a seaweed rice cracker, or part thereof!!

It is a sunny afternoon and they have both been outside sleeping on their blanket soaking up some warmth.

And now I am going to disconnect my computer Hard Hrive and take it to the shop. It has been a good computer these eight years and served me well. I am both and and excited. Goodbye Computer.