Bedly Nightshade

And so it goes, every morning and every night: The Labradors play on the bed. Lorelai Gilmore feels so well that she is imbued with a new enthusiasm for play. And a biscuit as well, if possible. This is her "Hopeful Biscuit" face.

Gilly is thinking about a biscuit

The best new toy is a hair elastic: it stretches, it pings, it flies, it can make a noise- best toy ever. Tonight they played for most of the 100 minutes I was talking to MrsDrWho on the telephone about her first two days with her new class. They played with the hair elastic, a plastic cup and then the leg of the dinosaur toy. Hedy used to have the upper hand, but Gilly has learned her wily ways and gives as good as she gets. It does make the bed a dangerous place for people who don't want to have their stomachs bounced on unexpectedly, or find themselves staring at a Labrador's belly as their head lies on the pillow.

Hedy's new harness

I let Hedy Lamarr wear her new Walking Harness so I could take some photos. She loves to wear it, as you can see from her proud stance, she thinks it is a delight!! And she walks like a good girl on her lead, so it is a bonus all round.

Gilly's paddle pool play

Lorelai Gilmore has spent rather a lot of time in the paddle pool. The weather has been very humid for the last few days. I know it has not been 45*C, but here 19*C overnight with humidity is a heatwave for us. Gilly likes to dip, turnaround, maybe have a drink and then hop out. Her belly is still a little pink where her fur has not fully grown back yet.

Caramel biscuits

Last time we went to The Vet I took these Donna Hay Caramel Biscuits. They are sooo easy to make and use so few ingredients I am not sure why I haven't made them again.

Neil diamond and video chat hats 2017

I have finished two new hats: The Neil Diamond (Michele) and The Video Chat (Skyping Beanie) hats. Neil Diamond was finished in time for MrsDrWho's God-Daughter's birthday tea. The colour is not right, the grey is much nicer. The Video Chat Hat is an excellent pattern and though I look terrible in most hats, this one might be OK. It isn't for me, it is a hat to knit when I talk on the telephone with the headset on. I didn't have any short 3.25 KnitPro needles and so I cast on fewer stitches for the band with 4.5mm ends and then increased. It means the ribs don't line up from the band through to the hat. I must remember to get new needles.

New timtam flavours

There are four new flavours of TimTam biscuits, made in collaboration with Gelato Messina, which I must confess I have only vaguely heard of. Oh, when I clicked through I recognised some of their gelato cakes from MasterChef. I cannot comment on the flavours as I can't have chocolate, but I shall ask MrsDrWho about the : Salted Caramel & Vanilla, Black Forest, Choc Mint and Coconut & Lychee.

Bags 106 107

What a surprise!! Bags #106 and #107 for my friends MrsMauritius and Bella'sMum. We met about twenty-nine years ago and after we transferred to other schools we continued to catch up over the years. Now we are all retired and we had lunch in town on the first day of school. I am lucky to have such good friends. I made an Australian wild flower bag for MrsMauritus and a "dogs with hats on" bag for Bella'sMum. Bella is a black Labrador.

Hedy stole the zucchini

WeeJock and Bessie's Mum left a zucchini in a bag on the gate. Hedy hasn't had a lot of zucchini and last time she ate some she was sick. Apparently it wasn't the zucchini. I put it on the bench inside the back door, and then later on went outside to find Hedy Lamarr had stolen it!! It is very yummy. I rescued it and Gilly and Hedy had some later on with their dinner.

I must confess that I haven't done any posting. I have spent the better part of every day asleep over the last week. I think because it is cool, I did too much: three social outings in a row and then sewing and knitting and baking: all too much. And I have a slight niggle of a toothache. I have a dentist appointment next week, but I always worry. Dentists are so expensive and my teeth have suffered from all the drugs I have had to take to keep me alive: hmmm, good teeth or being alive?? No doubt it will be something hideously expensive. Still, I must look after my teeth and gums. They are a source of horrid germs, and germs and I don't get on.

I have no idea what I will be baking for Friday Food tomorrow. It will be much cooler, I am making a curry, and maybe something banana or the Better Homes & Gardens super quick and easy pineapple slice?? And it is 11pm so it is time all good (and naughty) Labradors were in bed............


Waffle On. Waffle Off.

There has been much socialising and, ergo, much sleeping ensued!! We walked at the dam this week, but we slept all day and all night. Twice. I think today we have caught up at last. Private school teachers are already back at work and State school teachers return next week, so there has been some determined catching up. MrsDrWho had a BBQ and I made Donna Hay ice-cream waffles. Oh they are so easy and look pretty fabulous. I made all three kinds:

  1. Raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream with raspberries from MrsReno's garden, dipped in dark chocolate and coconut.
  2. Mashed banana and peanut butter with vanilla ice-cream dipped in milk chocolate and pecans.
  3. Chocolate ice-cream with choc bits, a few pretzels and a smear of Nutella, dipped in nothing as they were chocolaty enough.

Waffle ice creams

I bought frozen waffles and filled them and froze them for two hours and then did the chocolate dipping. We had a little heatwave of 30*C so I didn't want to bake. I didn't taste any because I can't have chocolate, but the BBQ people said they were delicious. And as a bonus they keep in the freezer for ages if you don't eat them!!

The next night we went to the posh restaurant at the Casino and then on Sunday I had a long and leisurely brunch with Judy-May. I came over all faint and woozy as it was hot and she kindly reorganised the seating and I spent the bulk of the time over the air-conditioning vent, feeling soooo much better. How kind!!

Rey zippy pouch

I sewed a Rey Zippy pouch. I am a big Rey fan, Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I have been buying material at The BlackSpot of Doomlight (TM) Their Christmas material is on sale for $2-50 a metre, or $1 if you buy the rest of the bolt and with member discount it comes down to 75 cents a metre. I may have been back three times. I did buy some material to make my Rey dress. Now it is home I am not sure it is right.

Rey and matching fabric

There was a better khaki colour but it was plain, and I always spill things on the bodices of my dresses. The Rey material has a tiny bit of green on her outfit, a bronze/khaki colour. I think I might wait and see if there is a better colour later on. This green will not go astray!!

Neil diamond hat one ball

I am racing against time to knit a hat. Today I suddenly remembered a vague promise to knit a hat for MrsDrWho's god-daughter, and it is her birthday tomorrow. We are so old that a god-daughter is perhaps thirty??!!

I need to knit 250 metres by tea time tomorrow. I have knitted a ball so far this afternoon. I've made this hat before, it is the Michele hat, and I have named this The Neil Diamond Hat and I am using Merino Magic 8ply from Heirloom. I am knitting as fast as I can. The slip stitch pattern is easy: one row K6 Slip 1, the next row just K to the end.

Labradors on our walk

Such good news for Lorelai Gilmore at the vet. Her results were excellent and from a starting point of 3 1/2 blue tablets every day, she is down to 1/4 of a tablet every second day, and an Imuran(sp?) every second day too. Dr Tim was very pleased and Gilly seems so happy, playful and normal again. The days have been delightfully cool, but sunny in the afternoons and so Gilly likes to lie on her cushion and soak up the warmth.

Gilly rests outside

Hedy Lamarr pulls like all get out when she walks on her lead so Dr Tim suggested a new harness. I don't have a picture, but as soon as she put it on, she walks like a good girl. MrsDrWho bought Hedy a rope toy for her birthday last week, and she loves to fetch it. I also think it is hefty enough to survive her sharp chewing teeth for quite a while. We are making Hedy work when she wants to play: she has to sit and not bark. She learned to sit in no time flat but she is contrary and barks if throwers are too slow for her. Sadly, that means she has to wait even longer.

Hedy and the rope toy

We haven't really done very much at all, what with all the sleeping and resting in bed. We are very grateful for the cool weather, it even rained this afternoon!! The poor people in Sydney have been suffering from the heat with the hottest month ever in January, but Cooma has had 36 straight days over 35*C. Now I must go back to the couch to watch The Weekly and knit, knit, knit......


Rogue Won

There will be spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, don't click on that clicky link, and/or scroll way down to my review.

Last week I decided to give away the 100th shopping bag I sewed. And it is now 9-35pm on Tuesday 24th January and I am doing the draw right now. Hold on....

Bloss wins!!!

I wrote the names on pieces of paper, folded them twice, popped them in the hat, closed my eyes and drew out a name: Bloss has won!!! She will be able to take the 100th bag shopping!!

Oprah would be proud

But wait, there's more: you win a prize, and you win a prize, and you win a prize......

Oprah would be proud. I sewed some small buttoned pouches in my favourite, and pretty much trademark, green with a Labrador appliquéd to the front and a nice green button that closes the pouch with an elastic loop. I hope you all enjoy some Labrador happiness. Thank you so much for your kind wishes for Gilly's birthday and the 100th bag. There are eight little pouches, I thought maybe no-one wanted the back end of Labradors walking away, so there are some repeats!! I will send an email anon to everyone. Can't promise it will be tonight.

Happy Hedy loves her walk

Happy Birthday Hedy Lamarr. Hedy is a big One Year Old Puppy Dog. She is so happy to be One!! Her little knees are dirty because she is such an enthusiastic stick fetcher that she skids on her knees when she comes close to it. How lovely it is to have two Labradors at our house, and it makes us very happy that they like to be together. I think, to be fair, there should be a give-away next week for Hedy's birthday too!!

Labrador afternoon naps

Gilly and Hedy ate their delicious birthday chew bones.

2017 Gilly's birthday chew bone

2017 Hedy's birthday chew bone

Lorelai Gilmore has been secretly spending time in Hedy's Little Box, which is what we call her crate. I came into the dining room and there was Gilly, looking very at home, if a little worried whether she should be there or not.

Gilly in the little box being worried

I am catching up on Christmas presents. I sewed a set of three Star Wars bags (102, 103, 104) for MrsDrWho, The gold is very gold, almost brassy and very striking.

102 103 104 Star Wars set

I knitted a Pussy Hat for me. It is green, it has two tiny stripes of pink near the top. I used some Vero for the ribbing and then couldn't find the other balls and had to buy some Kureyon for the body of the hat, hence the pink stripes. Of course this afternoon I found the rest of the Vero. The hat really makes cat's ears on your head, but I could only wear it for a few minutes because it has been hot. It was 30*C yesterday.

I shall try and be restrained and not go on and on about it. I am just very grateful to live here and mindful of the "First They Came.." poem. I must speak out if I can, and saying that I don't want to be annoying sounds hypocritical, but some people are not interested or it is not high on their agenda. I like to be aware of what is happening in politics, especially when it affects women and minority groups. I can't do very much, but I vote and I like to learn all I can.

Hats

The other hat, the Markedly Striped Hat, is for MrMadcage's birthday. It is the end of the Kureyon and some Rowan 10ply. I love that it looks like I have made a lot of striping effort, but it is just two rows of plain, one row of Kureyon until the crown, where they alternate - one row of each.

A present from Singapore for the fish

I fed MrsDrWho's mother's fish when she was away on holiday. There were nine when she left and nine when she came back: I am very proud of that. Sadly, now there are only seven. MrsDrWho's mum brought me back four metres of marvellous green fabric. It has a border on each side and it is light and airy. It will make a very cool Summer dress, which is my next project.

When it was 30*C yesterday we didn't know. After our walk we were so tired we slept till 2-23pm. When we woke up, the heat outside was terrible. Inside it was cooler, and The Labradors had the paddle pool for cooling down. MrsDrWho and I went to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It was not in 3D, apparently we do not warrant 3D. Or Gold Class, even though they insist on showing all the happy Gold Class people all over the rest of the continent.

I was enthralled by the film the and the two and a half hours flew by. Also I cried at the end. Several times. It was a sad film, but war is hell and people die, even in the Star Wars Universe. I saw Star Wars, now called A New Hope Episode 4, when it was first released and this film takes place primarily a few days or weeks before Episode 4 begins. There is a lot of chopping and changing of setting and at first I had no idea what was happening, but all becomes a little clearer as the film progresses. The characters are all very interesting and there is a great diversity: human and non-human. I loved that the actors seemed to keep their natural accents, more or less: Ben Mendelsohn (Director Krennic) falls in and out of his Australian/generic world accent, as do others. I was chuffed to recognise at least two Australian actors.

The action is fast and furious and people die. Lots of people die. Many things are unexplained and maybe the stories will be fleshed out later on, or maybe they are told in some of the books. It did not matter. I am glad that the film ended the way it did, there is no more of their story to be told. But it is a worthy part of the Star wars Universe. MrsDrWho told me that there are fans who are disappointed or angry. I am neither. I love the film, maybe even a little more than The Force Awakens. There, I have said it. I like these side stories and I would like to see more, as well as The Last Jedi, which follows The Force Awakens.

It was not only a marvellous film, it also whiled away almost three hours in air-conditioned comfort. When we came out it was sultry and cooler and we had rain by 10pm. I want to see Rogue One again, it is on for another two days, I may be able to squeeze it in.

Tomorrow we are off to The Vet for Gilly's blood test. She seems well, and even a bit naughty, so fingers crossed her numbers are good. We also need to investigate a new lead for Hedy, who pulls like a train engine and it all strength and determination. And then lunch with MrsMadcage for her birthday. It will be a lovely day.

And now I am just pressing the Publish button and being damned. And spelling or grammar errors will have to wait for tomorrow to be fixed.


The Truth, The Hole Truth.....

This is Gilly's life with Hedy

Sometimes this is what Life feels like: you are just sitting there, minding your own business, and suddenly.... Hedy!!! And not just Hedy Lamarr, but Hedy Lamarr woofing in your ear and being very annoying.  Poor Lorelai Gilmore, but every night when we go up to The Forbidden Zone to do a wee before bed, Gilly comes in the gate herself and back down the steps leaving Hedy trapped by the dastardly gate, and when I ask where Hedy is, Gilly wags her tail and runs up the steps to show me where the puppy is. Gilly is all wriggly and I give her lots of pats, even though Hedy tries to muscle in, and she is as pleased as punch with herself for rescuing Hedy.

Gilly cooling off

It has been cool, warm, humid, raining and cold today. In that order. Gilly took some time to drink the paddle pool. Since only 1% of our $900 yearly water bill is for actual water, I don't mind filling up the paddle pool for The Labradors. There is no incentive to be water conscious. We don't go overboard, but a Labrador can't drink murky water that's been paddle in by paws that have been who-knows-where.

Hedy ate too much

Hedy is handy, today she stood up on her back legs and chewed open the new bag of dry dog food that was on top of the freezer in the laundry, and I imagine she and Gilly stood under the hole while dog food poured into their mouths as if manna from heaven. I worked this out, Sherlock style, by observing Hedy's very round belly after dinner. Celery and carrot doth not a round belly make. She's too sated with food to move.

I have been doing jobs with money: new tyres and servicing the car. Thank goodness, all my worry about something leaking under the car was not needed. My rear shock absorbers (???) may need replacing but they are not urgent. Gilly has a new appointment at the vet and I need to make one at the dentist. We feel very happy that ominous tasks have been completed and turned out not to be so bad.

101 bag zippy chip

Look!! Shopping bag #101, with Christmas Koalas, because of course when you think of Christmas you think of koalas!! And a new zippy chip bag. I have remembered not to press the lining before I top-stitch the zip, because it slightly melts the plastic and it is never the same again, no matter how careful I am.

Face washers

I have been watching many and various things: the new series of Sherlock, Travelers (sp is American), Murder She Wrote (totally up to date) and The Librarians. I'm watching lots of other things like Fringe, The West Wing, Designated Survivor, Frequency, Shannara Chronicles, Enterprise, Taxi Brooklyn, The Delivery Man, The Wrong Mans(not a typo), Billions, Ray Donovan, iZombie, Younger: when the show starts to get a little bit frightening or I don't like the way it seems to be going I stop watching and change to something happy and good. Later on when I feel ready, I go back and start watching again.

Whilst watching many and varied things I have been indulging in a little more knitting. Small things so as not to make myself hot underneath them. Three face washers, because that's what we call them here, not facecloths, and the third leaf I managed to eke out of the teal cotton. I used Cottonwood 8ply and it is lovely to knit with, it doesn't make my fingers hurt.

Three colours....

The hydrangeas at the dam are looking beautiful: pink, blue and pale blue/lavender.

Hydrangeas

All the colours are on the one plant, though I think each flower is actually hundreds of tiny flowers.

Tomorrow I am going to make some more boozy fudge with Kirsch and dried cranberries, because I can't find dried cherries. We don't go for a walk on Wednesday so we can sleep in and maybe read in bed for a while. No-dog is going to need a big breakfast after The Incident in the Laundry!!! The weather forecast is for 21 and 20 until the weekend. I heard a scientist talking about heat stress on the ABC Radio a few weeks ago, and realised that what I experience in Summer is not just hating the hot weather but heat stress: headache, nausea, dizziness, irritability, thirst, weakness- but not heavy sweating. Apparently, some people do not experience heat stress and this is why they enjoy the hot weather. They just don't feel the effects of heat stress. I am happier knowing that what I am feeling is a proper thing, that I am not just a hot weather Moaning Myrtle. This Summer has been much cooler, with fewer consecutive days of very hot temperatures. The hottest day was 31.5*C, mostly it has been around 25, which is just right!!

 


Ten Things I Eight About You

Gilly is 8

Lorelai Gilmore is Eight years old!!! There are a bazillion things I love about her, too many to list. She is such a wonderful animal companion. Gilly is loving and loyal, sturdy and true. She loves to play with disposable plastic cups and to walk between your legs and have her back scratched. She makes me laugh. I was chuffed to see that when they are home alone, The Labradors sleep next to each other in the garage. Gilly has a good companion coming along nicely in Hedy Lamarr.

We sing this song about Gilly, now she is eight. I have always enjoyed Sesame Street King of 8 for Gilly.

We are so very happy that she has kept on living after her awful immune suppressed illness last year. She is still taking all her tablets, but she is as bright as a button, full of playfulness and every alert. She is teaching Hedy Lamarr to be alert as well. Hedy is a little bit afraid when Gilly barks, and this is not a bad thing: Hedy should go lower than Gilly. It is the way of the world.

Gilly and Hedy on night time alert

In celebration of Lorelai Gilmore's birthday and the fact that I have just sewn my hundredth shopping bag: Gilly and Hedy would like to give the hundredth bag away to someone. Just leave a comment and we will pick a winner next Thursday afternoon our time. The bag is made from some green quilting cotton and has a mosaic print of Gilly and Hedy on the front. I printed the fabric on The Spoonflower. It is a milestone, or a kilometrestone??, and now I have made one hundred bags in three and a half years the unit cost per bag for the pattern is just eight cents. That's as much as The ABC costs each Australian: Eight cents a day. I would pay more.

#100 bag

The bag is sewn, ironed and ready to post anywhere in the whole wide world. We will send it off to be used for shopping. It will do a good job. Even if you have never left a comment before, it will be fine if you'd like a chance to win!!

#99 bag cats

Here is bag #99, a cat bag. Though the material was cut carefully in the shop, when I tore it, it was quite wonky, and I ended up short. I used two blue jelly roll strips as an accent on the bottom. I think it looks as if it was meant to be. Roll on bag #101.

Sunflake dishcloth

Knitpicks is sending a free dishcloth pattern every week this year. I have knitted the first: Snowflake Dishcloth. Oh the agony of soooo many ends, and sewing ends into a cotton dishcloth is my idea of hell. Still, it will be very pretty, and if I can keep it up I will have fifty-two at the end of the year. Last year I was determined to sew The Splendid Sampler. I made it through about six blocks and then Hedy arrived.  I shall knit as many dishcloths as suits me and if I miss a week, I shall employ a devil-may-care attitude.

Cheese you've been a long time

We walked to the shop and I left The Labradors at the Dog Stop while I went to The Bakery. They waited: Gilly patiently, Hedy not so patiently. She woofed. Poor Lorelai Gilmore still has a fairly pink belly. Her fur is growing back every so slowly.

Hedy does rhythmic gymnastics..the stick

Hedy Lamarr is very athletic. She can leap and twist and turn and should be considered for The Dog Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic team in three years!!

The new Donna Hay magazine has some recipes for icebox pies. Basically it is a base with flavoured ice-cream and maybe a topping. I made the Salted Coconut and Passionfruit Icebox Pie.

Ice box pie

The base is 135g shredded coconut, 75g caster sugar, 25g melted butter, 1/2 tspn salt flakes and an egg-white. You mix this together and press it into the base of a 20cm pie dish and bake for 25 minutes at 150*C. I used a flan tin with a removable base. Set aside to cool.

It would have cost $20 to buy the twelve passionfruit the recipe asked for, so I compromised with four real passionfruit and used some tinned passionfruit pulp. Bring the passionfruit pulp to a boil, add 55g of caster sugar and simmer for 6-8 minutes until it thickens. Set aside to cool.

Then Donna Hay mixes 40g shredded coconut with 1/2 tspn of salt flakes and bakes it for 1-2 minutes. It is meant to be sprinkled over the top of the icebox pie. I missed out this step as I felt it was a bit too trendy for the icebox pie recipient.

Soften 2 litres of vanilla ice-cream and fold in almost all the passionfruit. Spoon onto the base, swirl the extra passionfruit mixture over the top and then cover and freeze. Slice, top with softly whipped cream and enjoy.

There are five other icebox pies: blueberry cheesecake, pandan key lime, cherry chocolate, chocolate swirl & hazelnut and tiramisu.

We are expecting rain tomorrow, which is very exciting. The State has had to start up the gas-fired power station for the second Summer in a row. We really need some rain. I think we will cavort madly in the rain when it comes. And there will definitely be a Friday Food recipe tomorrow. I am baking back-to-school lunch box idea recipes.

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore.

Baby Gilly

 

 


Friday (Food) Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday.

I am being kind to myself after a tricky week and there is no Friday Food. This week:

  • The NBN came
  • The phone and internet did not initially
  • Nor did the silent number
  • The car is leaking some kind of fluid (sp edit)
  • We need new tyres
  • It has been hot and ever so humid

 

The actual man who installed The NBN was kind and very nice to The Labradors. Gilly was interested and sensible. Hedy was all yes I want a pat/no you are a stranger and had to be put in her little box for everyone's peace of mind. Ipad photos, so worse than usual. Hedy inspected the work.

The nbn has come

I am just treating myself a little carefully. After phone calls and emails - from MrsDrWho's mother's house because you can't email or phone if you don't have the internet or landline connected -  my ISP magically found it would not take up to twelve days (5-7 working days with two weekends in the mix) and they had enabled the internet and phone by the next day. I do despair, that I have to exert such effort, but it all ended up being sorted out and my number is silent again too.

Don't know what is leaking from under the car, I just noticed it yesterday, and we need new tyres desperately, so I am off to see what can be done about money. No point in having a car if it doesn't work. We spent all our money on Lorelai Gilmore last year and she is worth every cent!!!

Although it is hot and horridly humid, we have had a cooler summer and this morning it was cloudy so the sun didn't heat the front of the house: a boon.

So I am being grateful and telling people about what is happening. I am thinking today of James Hird. I am not an AFL fan, I only keep an ear on MrsDrWho's mother's team so I can chat to her about the games. I know only too well how easy it is to slip into a state where you believe people would be better off without you, that you are not worth very much and life seems a burden rather than a joy. I hope that whatever has happened, he can find the help and support he needs, anyone needs: BeyondBlue.

Gilly Hedy new summer beds

The Labradors have new Summer beds. They have a cool fabric outer and are squooshy but not warm, they feel airy. They are very popular, especially after the paddle pool. I think a wet cushion is a lovely cool sleeping place.

Cicadas potential friends or snacks

When my mum came to visit she came on our walk. The Labradors were astonished, as were the people, at the cicadas flying through the air. Gilly, and then Hedy, found the cicadas which had fallen to the ground but were still flapping, and they became potential friends or snacks: you guess which. They look like birds, but they aren't. The sound is almost unbearable, but to us it is the sound of Summer.

Christmas baking

I did some Christmas baking, and made cards. That's pretty much all I did. I made spiced shortbread mini biscuits, gingerbread with fondant snowflakes, vanilla pinwheel biscuits with peppermint candy cane iced on the edges, flourless chocolate biscuits, fruit cake and ganache truffles and lemon and white chocolate truffles. I am so pleased with the way they turned out and I purposefully made things that weren't covered in chocolate so they didn't melt in the heat.

Becca bag #1

Sweetpea bag #1

I bought a Craftsy course on sale for $24 and learned a new zip technique and sewed a Becca bag and a Sweetpea pouch. I am totally enamoured with the way the zip works. You cut the zipper ends off and then sew just one half to the bag and then re-attach the zipper pull. I feel very clever!!!

Bags 97 and 98

Grocery bags #97 and #98. I am almost to one hundred and I think I shall give #100 away on my blog. It is the very least I can do after subjecting readers to endless bag photos. I have some special material from Spoonflower printed with Gilly and Hedy and I shall use that!!!!

Xmas 2016 zippy chip bags

Last two zippy chip bags for the last two children at our Christmas gathering.

Hot bowl cosies xmas 2017

Also for Kris Kringle, hot bowl cosies. When you take a bowl out of the microwave, you pop it in the cosy to protect your hands.

And generally the rest of my craft for 2016: I am always amazed that I make so many things. I do sometimes think I waste my time sleeping and feeling not very well at all, but I look at all these things and I feel useful and productive. Of course I love making the shopping bags, but I like to try new things as well.

Knitted things 2016

Bags 2016

Hats 2016

Other bags 2016

Other things 2016

Gilly is trying new things, she joined in the Border Collie/Labrador Puppy chasing game. We are so pleased to see her being happy and enjoying herself. I wonder if she pined for Peri, after Peri died?

Gilly plays The Game

And Hedy is as happy as a pig in mud. She is silly happy, and extra pleased because Gilly stole a present bone from the Christmas bag and I gave half to Hedy Lamarr!!

Hedy is so happy

Here are The Labrador after the gardener whipper-snippered. They have the whole yard to play in and he even filled the paddle pool. He's a kind gardener.

Gilly and hedy after whipper snipper

Today I sat down and added one hundred and four books to my sidebar - you can only see the most recent twenty books I think. I hadn't added any last year. I think there are some I have missed. I usually take a photo as I put the book across the opening at The Library. I think there might be a few photos elsewhere. I've already read seven books this year so I hope to keep up-to-date with my list in 2017.

It is still too warm to sleep, and since we did sleep all day yesterday until 4-19pm and then all night again, perhaps we can stay up a little later. Tomorrow and Sunday are forecast to be 30*C so we should take the cool moments while we can.


That Touch Of Sink

Yesterday Hedy Lamarr had her first swim. In truth, she had her first sink: she ran full pelt toward the ducky she spied and leaped into the water and sank like a stone. There is no documentary evidence per se as I was in will-I-have-to-wade-in-and-save-her mode. I do have "after" photos:

Labradors not swimming

Hedy submerged totally, and after the beat when I wondered whether I would have to save her or not, she surfaced like a submarine, spluttering and dog paddling!!! I made sure to clean her ears and eyes before breakfast.

Gilly does not swim. She wades about doing a kind of canine water aerobics and gets wet up to her chin. Hedy is very vocal and is always making high pitched barks.

Lemon butter biscuits

I have been poorly on and off and spent more time sleeping. Not much else has happened at our house: a little more knitting and some baking. I baked some Jamie Oliver Lemon Butter biscuits for The Vet today. They tasted lemony and buttery but they were not very pretty and I had run out of icing sugar and I just glazed them with some lemon curd. The recipe did make twenty, though it refused to roll out without sticking. I just rolled 20g balls of dough instead.

New toy

As anyone reading my blog knows, I am the world's worst photographer. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors some soft toys at her school fair.  Gilly had the toy, and Hedy stole it. Gilly is chasing her trying to get it back. To no avail.

Lorelai Gilmore is very well. She stole Hedy's treat yesterday, much to Hedy's shock and horror. Gilly is bright eyed and interested in all sorts of things out the window now. She even sneaks into the kitchen if we forget to shut the baby gate.  We go to The Vet next week for more blood tests.

Gilly likes a good step

Hedy Lamarr is in denial. We weighed her at The Vet last week and she is a tad more then 23kg. Gilly is a tad under 27kg. Hedy thinks she is still a tiny puppy.

Hedy says her little box fits perfectly well

She is too big to lie sidie-waysie in her crate, or Little Box as I like to call it. She does not let this deter her.

Hedy is sure she fits

The lady at the wool shop gave me some banana passionfruit. I have frozen the pulp, mixed with a little sugar, in my new freezer. I love freezing things, I have two litres of freshly squeezed lemon juice and six take-away containers of raspberries and loganberries from MrsReno. There is still plenty of room for more frozen things!!!

Banana passionfruit

Last night I went with MrsDrWho, and other lovely people, to see Blackadder. Encore Theatre dramatised three of the Elizabethan episodes: Head, Money and Beer. It was very good, though the seats were uncomfortable. I was glad to go out as I had had a shock. I had had my heart set on something and my hopes were dashed. When I met MrsDrWho I burst into tears. After a lot of Blackadder and a commiseratory glass of wine I had things more in perspective. I did have to listen to Classic FM all day today though. I can only hope that in Australia we see what happens when a country is divided and we don't go down that path. I am glad to live here in a small city, on a small island, where in spite of all our differences, we manage to get along. Still, I Maintain The Rage from 1975, but maybe those Over There will instead maintain their hope in the face of adversity. I shall hope along with them. Together: we can.

Halloween here

Oh and we had a Halloween here, of sorts. There was a great letter in our letterbox inviting us to participate if we wished and a balloon to tie to the letterbox to show assent. The letter also acknowledged not everyone celebrates Halloween in Australia (which is as it should be) And although we didn't participate, I feel a lot happier about it than in years gone by. The Halloweeners were all rather older teenagers and the only interruption to the early evening was their laughter!!

I used my $10 Spotlight Christmas voucher wisely, and bought four sewing patterns and a 6B Wilton piping tip for just $10. I am love a bargain. I saw 8096 on The Curvy Sewing Collective and was smitten, and not just because it is green!! I shall make the third iteration, with the wider gathered shoulder straps. Not so sure about 1102, as it is made in knit fabric, but I might give the version modelled a try.

Patterns 1
I saw 8137 reviewed as well, and I am in search of a woven fabric wrap dress, so I will try a sleeveless short dress version. I just love the skirt on Butterick 5982. I am not sure about the dart in the centre front, but there is some discussion here about a full bust adjustment in the comments.

Patterns 2

The weather is very Springy: hot, cold, frosty, snowy, rainy and wind so strong I couldn't open the car door. It has not been terribly hot, but it was hot enough that I didn't want to take The Labradors in the car for a visit to The Vet this afternoon. We are also enduring mosquitoes the size of blow flies and bulbous, loud blow flies as well.

Labradors on the new bedding

The night is coolish, but we have a new woollen underlay and a new doona so we will be snuggling under the doona and sticking a foot out of bed to cool down. My mum very kindly gave me some money so I could pick up my lay-by early. It is technically too hot for the woollen doona, but I don't care. The old underlay was so old, I had turned it already from top to bottom and in many places there was No Wool Left!! This is a photo taken in a poorly lit room with the iPad, which doesn't have a flash. After disassembling the bed, and making it halfway again, I was too tired to find the camera. Gilly looks so happy, and Hedy sits up very straight to have her photo taken and is very interested in case there might be a treat afterwards.

I have also started answering my blog comments, slowly but surely, and they are not a task or a bother. I like to answer my comments, it is just they get away from me sometimes!! Gilly is lying on the almost finished quilt (and I let her, she's sick) and Hedy is squashed in her little box, so all is right with the world. Time for bed for all Labradors.


If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Bedtime

The football finals came and went. This was Hedy's first footy party next door and she was not impressed: too noisy and too many new people. Gilly went to the part a few times but there was no barbecue and so no real incentive to stay. It was underdogs winning all round in the finals.

Footy final labradors

This week I ate somewhere nice: twice. I spent most of the rest of the week sleeping, or lying on my side on the couch watching Fringe from the start all over again. The weather has been typically vernal, with heavy rain interspersed with warm sunshine. Today after our walk we went to bed and I didn't wake up until 5-09pm. The sound of rain on a corrugated iron roof is very soothing, except if it results in floods and we have had floods again in the north and south. The Hydro lowered the dam in expectation of the heavy rain. Even so the dam has been overflowing all week.

A lot of water

I made some teeny tiny Baby Kiwi socks with the wool left over from my socks. I wound wool on, checking the repeats, and had enough left over. I am very pleased. I think the colours work better than an adult sized sock.

IMG_2505

I rescued my new Vogue pattern from Hedy. Luckily she didn't tear it up, as she did with an old paperback from the recycling, but it is very grubby on the outside. I plan to make the dress without the gathered pockets.

Hedy and the pattern

Gilly continues to improve. She is wicked, she has stolen things from the grocery bags and on our walks she ranges far and wide. She is interested in life again, and maybe there will be some extra food involved??

Gilly investigates

Hedy has never really played inside the boom gate area, so she was quite worried about finding Gilly. You can just see Lorelai Gilmore in the bottom left corner. Hedy Lamarr heard the noise and leaped towards Gilly.

Gilly and Hedy in the bush

The Labradors love going for a walk. It has been very wet, but we don't mind the rain. I am a little tired of wet dogs inside. Thank goodness we have plenty of dog drying towels at home.

Hello smiling dogs

We always take a toy for Hedy to play with, to encourage her not to bite Gilly. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors two new balls-on-a-rope. Really, only Hedy plays with them, but the first thing to do is to remove the rope!!

Hedy with the new ball

And then remove the covering. We are careful to throw out old 'tennis' balls because the ball inside splits into pieces very easily.

This week nine Australian men were arrested in Malaysia for undressing down to their Speedos which were embellished with the Malaysian flag. I shall not say any more, Internet search them if you wish,   but the general reporting called them "boys" and basically, boys will be boys, right? Boys??!! They ranged in age from 25 to 29. These are not boys, they are men, and men with responsible jobs.  I don't understand why drinking too much and stripping to your undies in a foreign country is dismissed as just boyish behaviour.

Our duopoly supermarkets are complaining that customers using the self-serve option are keying in the wrong codes, saying a mango is a potato for example, and so stealing from them. What did they think would happen when they stopped serving customers?? I am always in a long line waiting to be served by a person. I won't use the self-serve as it takes away people's jobs. I know it is a pointless protest and I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, but apparently that is who I am!!

If it's Thursday, it must be bedtime. Oh look, it is and so it is. I don't think the fact that I slept for seven hours today and seven more in the night, will stop me sleeping again as soon as my head hits the pillow.


The C-raté Kid

I missed my window for Friday Food last week. I baked cupcakes on Friday and we ate them on Saturday night, but by Sunday it was just too late. In good news, it means I have already prepared this Friday's Friday Food.

Cupcake

Hedy has been preparing something. I wasn't quite sure what, but it looked ominous.

Not sure what Hedy is planning.....

What she was preparing was a complete evisceration of her cushion in her crate.

Hedy in her little box

Of course now, she hates it. She tries to find a spot that is comfortable, and there is no good spot. There are just lumps of green filling, so she has to sleep on the plastic base and look balefully at us.

Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. She went to the vet with Hedy Lamarr last week, just to have a happy visit where no-one took blood, or put a thermometer somewhere uncomfortable. Gilly had lots of pats and treats and Hedy didn't bark at all: though I did show her the little bottle of diluted apple cider vinegar a couple of times.

Gilly on the steps

Gilly is alert and interested and happy and this week she took off several times on our walk and once ate old bones. Hedy was Not Happy when she couldn't find her sister and she showed her displeasure by trying to fit all of Gilly's head in her mouth when Gilly came back. It is pretty marvellous that Lorelai Gilmore feels well enough to be a bit naughty.

Gilly ran away, Hedy bites her

Hedy shows her displeasure by both ignoring me, and woofing at me.

Hedy, not Hedy not looking then pay attention to me

I have started knitting some new socks with my Opal Sweet & Spicy 3 Kiwi. It knits up so beautifully and I am trying a new gusset decrease, where you decrease every row, with no rest rows. I think it will be fine. Here is the first Chinese Gooseberry sock.

Chinese gooseberry start

I have two new sewing patterns. The first is Cashmerette's Upton Dress. It comes with a full bust adjustment already in the pattern for the bodice. Of course I still want to draft a new Princess Seam bodice with a FBA for this year, but I am eager to try one which might already fit. I bought the paper pattern from Sharon at Stitch56 and she could not have been more helpful. I emailed more than once to ask if the pattern had arrived in the country and then when I couldn't work the Cart, I rang up and she processed the transaction for me speedily and happily. The Upton Pattern is beautifully presented and Sharon wrapped it in pink tissue paper and posted it promptly!! Great Service. I plan to buy Colette's Rue Dress from Stitch56 soon. The second pattern is just a quick dress for when the thermometer goes 'way up, though I will probably do away with the ties at the shoulder.

New patterns

One of my social outings last week was catching up with Mrs Madcage. She's just back from a long trip up the east Coast of Australia, and she brought me back a lovely gift: fat quarters from towns along the way!! How kind of her and I love them all!!

Madcage material present

The days are gradually lengthening and this weekend Daylight Saving starts. I hate the whole "Spring Ahead" part of the "Spring Ahead, Fall Back". It takes us quite a while to adjust to the lost hour, but we love the longer evenings. I don't know an Autumn mnemonic to help me remember, so I have to resort to a USA one. Here are The Labradors outside just before their dinner. It is still light after 6pm.

Gilly looks right and well and Hedy too

And now I am half way through the foot of the new sock and I am recording Gruen so I can start watching anon.


Lie-low and Stitches

In between the snow and rain and wind, we have had some sunny days, and there is nothing a Labrador enjoys more (well, apart from eating and walks) than lying in the sun soaking up the Winter warmth.

Lying in the sun

All went well when Hedy went to the Vet to have her stitches removed. We went straight into a consulting room as there was a very barky unhappy-to-be-there dog in the Waiting Room. The nurse whisked Hedy out to the surgery and Gilly waited for her. Waited and waited, even though it was only five minutes. She was quite worried.

Gilly worries about hedy

Hedy cared not one jot, she was ready to run and play again.

Hedy at the vet after stitches removed

Instead of being like an angry giant parrot on the end of a stick, Hedy was allowed to run free at last. I am not sure Gilly was so happy, she liked being Boss of the Walk. You can just see Gilly, being Boss of the Walk, far away up the hill. She was rather naughty to run up there, but since Hedy was on the lead, she took the opportunity when it arose.

Gilly far away

Now things are back to normal, with Hedy Lamarr at Lorelai Gilmore's heels.

First walk off the lead

We all went to bed yesterday and most of today as I had a migraine. The DVR in the lounge-room has decided not to Timer Record any more, so I had to use the others. I have two old DVD recorders that can only tune in SD stations. The remote control may have been on the bed so I could turn the news on. Late this morning I was awakened by a strange noise.....

Demoted remote

Oh dear, this is Hedy's first official Naughty Thing. Gilly was shocked, shocked and horrified. It can not be all Hedy's fault as she had access to the remote. It still works, but intermittently. What good luck it is the remote for the DVR that is broken. Household appliances know when your Tax Return is expected. They know. So far we need a new DVR, a new Rice Cooker and a new mixer. The Rice Cooker costs less than $20 and works very hard almost every day, so I am not so bothered by that.

I am knitting WeeJock&Bessie's Mum a hat in some soft and luxurious Debbie Bliss Andes: mulberry silk and alpaca. I have only made the ribbing, twisted ribbing, thus far and I need to buy some more short 4.5mm ends to do the actual hat. This will be the not so slouchy version.

Hat band

I am also sewing a Star Spangled Jacket. Here is a tip: always cut sequinned fabric out on a sheet or some other protective covering. Ask me how I know. There are sequins from dawn till dusk all over the house. The jacket doesn't have a full lining, and the spangled fabric is not solid, so I needed to make my brain work extra hard to figure out how to work the full lining and facings. I am almost to the putting it all together stage. When you are about to take a photo and you say "Wait" to The Labradors, this is what happens: Gilly waits patiently and Hedy just rolls on into the picture.

Star spangled jacket with help

Our Sewing night has changed this term, so I have to be organised and sew this fortnight's block and bake some cakes for tomorrow night. I am thinking of baking the Cherry Ripe cupcakes from this month's Taste magazine. I bought some fresh cherries to tizzy them up. I am not sure about the overflowing chocolate ganache. Sure, it looks great, but it is not very eater friendly.

Cupcake