Archive for October, 2012

I went to craft group again on Friday. Fortunately no one tried to open the doors to my car on the way home this week 🙂

We live a fair way out of town and after dropping Gorgeous Girl at school I head for the craft group venue. This gets me there early, but it’s too far to drive home and then drive back in again. So I sit in the cafe by myself and knit on some of my more complicated projects while waiting for the others to arrive.

This week during group I sewed in the ends on this little vest for charity and pieced some more blocks for my hand-pieced hexagon quilt.

I’ve been working on my travel journal for our trip at the end of the year.

I figure if I get the backgrounds done then all I’ll need to do when I get home is add photos and journalling as well as bits and pieces like entry tickets and stubs.

While I had the paper out I also made a card. I’m trying to build up a stash of cards to have on hand.

I free-hand drew the flower and then added the doodles with a black pen. Not sure that it totally works, but it will do.

Not living near a store that sells paper and other scrapbook related goodies I make sure that I get full use out of my scraps. In order for me to do that they need to be accessible and (fairly) organised. If I need a backing for a card or tag I go to my scraps before cutting paper from a new page. I keep my scraps in page protectors organised by colour.

The packet on the top holds bits and pieces that can be fussy cut to use as emellishments for scrapbooking or on cards. How do you store your scraps?

I managed to find a few hours on Sunday to cut for my brother’s quilt. I did pay for it later in the day though. Apparently the foot isn’t yet well enough to manage standing and cutting for any length of time. I’m heading back to Australia on Thursday for a follow-up appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. Hopefully we’ll be able to get things back to 100% soon. I’m much improved (I can now drive the car and walk) so I’m hopeful.

Now I just need to work out what craft things I’m going to take with me. I’m going to have a fair bit of downtime between appointments…

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I’ll be the first to admit that elegant gift wrapping is not my forte. The paper never sits really flat and the sticky tape is always a little askew. My sister-in-law, however, always packages things beautifully.

A parcel arrived at our house this week. When we opened it we found this.

So simple and elegant. The brown paper flower has been carefully set aside to use in a future scrapbooking page and the purple flower is actually a hair clip. There were squeals of delight when Gorgeous Girl discovered this book inside her package.  She’s a big Charlie and Lola fan at the moment.

There were also squeals of delight when I opened my card to discover that Rochelle had included some die-cuts for me. She noticed which die cuts I had cut on her machine last time I visited and sent me a few more. It’s a lovely way to breathe some new energy into the stash.

I have to admit that her cards are always lovely, but I neglected to take a picture of them.

If you would like some of this style, you can visit her etsy store rockmelon recycled and pick some lovely things, perfect for a handmade Christmas.

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A quick fly-by post today to show some cards I made recently.

What I love about these is that, aside from the base card and the flower, they are made entirely from scraps and offcuts and the free paper that comes in scrapbook magazines. I would also brag that they are made entirely from stash, but since there are no scrap-booking stores in Port Moresby, every thing I make is from stash 🙂

The main roads in town are being redone in anticipation of the upcoming visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. This has led to some very long delays and some rather scary detours. One day last week I ended up on a 1.5 lane road that was trying to accommodate 5 lanes of traffic, three going in my direction and two going the other way. It was raining and there were many many potholes. It was at this point that I realised I no longer need to be worried about my driving skills. If I can push my way through that, then I can drive any where. However, this detour did take me through a rather scary part of town, past a large market with big crowds of people (something to be avoided here), so I found an alternate route for the rest of the week.

After 6 months of driving on the roads here in Papua New Guinea without incident, both Gorgeous Man and I had people try to open the rear car passenger door while we were stopped in traffic. Two different locations, on different sides of town, but one day after the other. It was pretty scary and I’m glad Gorgeous Girl wasn’t in the car either time and that we always drive with the car doors locked and the windows up.

Many ex-patriot women in Port Moresby choose not to drive and those who work for (or are married to employees of) big American companies are not allowed to drive at all. They must use a company car  and driver at all times. This rule also applies to the American companies’ male employees. Other NGOs have the requirement that two vehicles travel together at all times, or they provide a security guard to travel with their employees. I would say that security is the biggest adjustment that most people have to face when moving to PNG. For us, we don’t drive at night. So, no deciding we don’t want to cook dinner and popping out for  a meal or going to a movie.

I don’t drive to a new place unless I’ve driven the route with Gorgeous Man first to make sure that I won’t get lost and that it is in an OK area to drive though. My car door incident came on my way home from Craft Group on Friday. 😦 However, I can’t let an isolated incident stop me from doing something that I enjoy.

I have a charity vest that just needs the ends woven in. Seems like that job takes longer to do than to knit the whole vest…

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September and October are the main birthday months in our family. 4 in September and 4 in October. Last week it was my birthday.

Gorgeous Man baked a very delicious Lemon Cranberry Cake with a lemon glaze.

One thing about living in PNG is that you need to be organised when it comes to birthday gifts because there is not much to buy here. Gorgeous Man secretly ordered some fibre from some Australian etsy vendors, had it sent to his sister’s house and picked it up last time we were in Australia.

This is Polwarth fibre. I’ve been wanting to try new fibres this year and this is one I haven’t spun before.

This next one is Corridale, another new-to-me fibre.

My paper-crafting mojo is still hanging around, with another two pages completed.

Gorgeous Man and I shortly before we set off for South Africa (photo taken in December 2005).

Another photo from our visit to family in Perth at the beginning of this year.

Gorgeous Girl also did some scrapping with me. I just give her the supplies and let her go for it. We’ve run out of pages in the 8″ x 8″ album she uses, so we’ve switched to A4 size and I’ll dig out some page protectors and a file for her to keep her stuff in.

And my knitting mojo is slowing creeping into view. I finished off this little cardigan for charity.

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It’s been a busy few weeks here at ruthsplace. Gorgeous Girl had school holidays for a week, and Grandma came to visit.

A certain Gorgeous Girl had a birthday.

I baked the cake and assisted with the spreading of the cream, but Gorgeous Girl cut and placed the strawberries all by herself. At the equivalent of $8 for a small punnet strawberries have become an occasional food (as opposed to last year when we lived near strawberry farms and they were an every day food…) Gorgeous Girl is an interesting child who doesn’t like icing (she says it’s too sweet), so strawberries and cream are her favourite cake topping.

Gorgeous Girl’s school is amazing. I sent cake in with her. When we picked her up, the whole class was wearing happy birthday crowns they had made themselves and each kid in the class had made her a card. The teacher does this for every child in the class.

There was presents.

And joy over new clothes. (Thanks Nana).

This colouring book from her uncles was a huge hit.

It has been great to have in the car this week as we have spent a lot of time sitting in this.

It took 2.5 hours to do the school run on Monday morning – a 34 kilometre round trip. The trip to school required a detour on Port Moresby’s back roads, I just followed the car in front and hoped for the best. The picture is the congestion on our normal road home.

A butterfly came to visit Gorgeous Girl.

Yes, she is inside.The building has no walls.

In amongst all the driving and cooking and birthday celebrating I managed some crafting time.

My first (and probably last) time spinning Wensleydale wool.

The colour is pretty, but the yarn itself is hairy and feels very coarse. I have a second braid which I’ll spin up to match, but I don’t think I’ll buy this type of fibre again.

My paper mojo is still hanging around (my knitting mojo seems to have up and left).

My brother took these photos at the beginning of the year and they are just lovely. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a very simple scrapbooker. Clean lines and minimal embellishments. The big flower was cut from patterned paper and the stickers were a gift from my fabulous friend Kerin.

I got a new sewing machine for Christmas. It has sat idle for a long time. First I needed to wait (until May) for my fabric stash to arrive. I used it to finish a few quilts and then my foot got so bad I couldn’t stand to cut fabric. With the improvement in my foot, fabric has been cut and piecing has begun.  Progress shots to follow.

And in the interests of keeping things real, you will notice if you look really closely at some of the photos that there are unpacked moving boxes in the background. Part of it is that Gorgeous Man’s new office at work is smaller than his old office and can’t hold all of his work books and we need to buy (and find space for) another bookshelf and part of it is that I can’t work out where I want to hang pictures or where to put things that need long term storage as a few of our closets are damp and turn things mouldy. I’m chipping away at it bit by bit, I got rid of another box yesterday…

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I think because walking has been so difficult for so long that I’ve been reluctant to paper craft as it involves unpacking my storage drawers and moving to to the kitchen table where there is space. Now that my mobility is improving I was able to get everything out without pain and the paper crafting began.

I needed to make a card and from there was inspired to make other things as well.

First the congratulations card that kicked this bout of creativity off.

This card up-cycled from an old calendar.

Gorgeous Girl got in on the act and made some cards too. She’s getting pretty good with her stamp placement.

Now we just need to work on not getting the ink pad all over herself…

I also scrapped some photos from the beginning of the year. (I’m woefully behind in my scrapbooking).

Gorgeous Girl loves water. These photos were taken in Perth in January, 2012.

It looks like Gorgeous Man and I will be attending a conference at the beginning of next year (Gorgeous Girl will come along too). I started putting a travel journal album together for the trip.

That is where we are going. We are hoping to spend a week after the conference doing touristy things.

Finally, to keep it real, here is a picture of what my work space looked like after I’d finished.

I’d forgotten what fun it is to play with paper and scissors. I’ll have to try and do it more often.

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