Archive for the ‘child’ Category

A month ago Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl went back to PNG without me. I’m very grateful to generous family members who have let me stay with them and for friends who have been keeping me busy and out of trouble,  but I’ve been missing them a great deal. Gorgeous Girl also racked up quite a few firsts while we’ve been apart. First day at a new school, first missing teeth, first music lesson (drums) first individual swimming lesson, and so on and so forth.

Anyway, a friend asked me to go out with her and some of her friends. When we got to the place we were supposed to be eating (Eat Street Markets – well worth a visit) she suddenly stopped and started fussing with her bag and phone and then pointed behind me and said “Who’s that?” I turned and got the shock of my life when a certain Gorgeous Girl came running through the crowd.


Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl had flown down for a few days.  I was a touch overwhelmed and tears were shed. Gorgeous Man wins Valentine’s day this year.

They flew home today and I’m still in Australia waiting for visas to be sorted out. But I’ll be home in another few weeks and all will be right with my world.

In other news, there has been knitting.


This is a child-sized hat. It’s going to a friend of mine in the north-east USA. She is a registered foster parent and is part of a network of foster parents in her area. The idea is to give her a stack of hand-knit hats, scarves, mittens and baby blankets to keep on hand for foster children that come into care. The knitted items will be one less thing that foster parents need to provide and in addition to keeping the children warm it is something they can take with them when the leave that foster family. A few of my Ravelry friend have joined me in this project and we are going to see how many we can make. Sadly there is a large demand in the county my friend lives in.

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On Sunday Gorgeous Girl wanted to do all the crafts. We started off by putting some dye in the dye pots. She then went and played outside while they simmered away.

We were pretty pleased with the result. All dyeing was done with food colouring.

dyed yarn group

The pink was done by pouring cochineal on one side of the pot and rose pink on the other. The red and yellow yarn was dyed in the cake. We squirted yellow into the centre of the cake and then filled the pot with water and red food colouring. The green was an attempt to do the same thing with yellow and blue, but some of the yellow spilled and we got this lovely green instead. The tiny bit of green and white was thrown in with the green as a ball of yarn to absorb some of the excess dye in the pot.

After that I got ready to cut more fabric so I could keep working on my quilt, but Gorgeous Girl asked if she could sew instead. We decided to call this top finished.

quilt top 2

Pieced and designed by Gorgeous Girl. My job is to piece together a batting and baste it together with a backing so that she can quilt it. I’m not sure how she’ll go. I’m going to put the walking foot on the machine and let her do the straight line quilting that is very trendy at the moment. I figure if I don’t tell her it’s supposed to be hard she won’t be intimidated. After I took this picture Gorgeous Girl borrowed my camera and did this:

quilt top

Craft blogger in the making? It was then time to start a new quilt top. Gorgeous Girl diligently ironed the fabric so that I could cut it for her (I’m not about to let a 6 year old loose with my rotary cutter).


She then gave me very strict instructions about what length and width to cut. It will be interesting to see where her design goes. Hopefully it won’t be another three months before the urge to sew grabs her.

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I was hoping…

I was hoping to show you a picture of my sewing machine mat all neatly trimmed with the binding sewn on ready to be hand-stitched down. BUT after putting a new bobbin of thread in the machine we had some tension issues and I spent most of Sunday afternoon with a seam ripper. On the plus side, I didn’t break any more needles. I just broke lots of thread…

It is quilted now, but will need to wait for trimming and binding until I get back from Australia. I’m flying to Brisbane on Wednesday to do an oral presentation at my university and have an interview with a committee. This is to check my progress on my thesis. It’s just a flying visit. I’ll be home by Sunday evening.

So instead of showing you a lovely quilt, here is a picture of the craft Gorgeous Girl and I did on Sunday (another reason why there is no fancy quilt picture…)

On Sunday morning Gorgeous Girl and I were watching that excellent ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) production Playschool. 

They have really great crafts  and most of the toys on the show are hand-made.  Anyway they had a cardboard box doll house and people made from various sizes of paper rolls. Gorgeous Girl realised that we had all the things needed to make one and asked if she could make a paper towel person. I’m not one to turn down craft requests, so we raided the scrapbook page scrap box and her craft box for supplies and off we went. The necklace is an old broken key chain that she has been hanging on to.

Features and accessory placement by Gorgeous Girl.

Tonight I’m planning on inflicting my oral presentation on Gorgeous Man for critiquing and then hunkering down on the couch to add more hexagons to the quilt. Those things are addictive.

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The creation of small things continues here at Ruthsplace. (Though there is a cardigan for Gorgeous Girl and one for me on the needles at the moment).

My brother’s wife is expecting a baby any day now. I’ve knitted a small hat.

This is the top.

And the view from the sides.

I dusted off my beading supplies a few weeks ago and made some more stitch markers.

I’m pleased with how they turned out.

Gorgeous Man recently bought me some patterns from the very talented Two Little Banshees. He bought the elephant, the hippo and the platypus.

So far Gorgeous Girl and I have made a baby platypus.

Gorgeous Girl is the artistic director and selected the fabrics and the felt for the nose. Mummy is just the piecework hack who puts it all together. I’m hoping to find some time on the weekend to make some more of these as well as a larger platypus. The pattern is really clearly written and easy to follow.

The Two Oceans Aquarium  is a wonderful place to visit and on the weekends they have free activities for the kids. On a recent visit Gorgeous Girl got her face painted.

Gorgeous Girl put a skirt on her head last week and declared she was a chef.

She cracks me up.

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Gorgeous Girl is now at the age where she can help with making things. She’s also starting to raid my stash to ‘make’ things on her own, and can operate my ball winder really well.

Recently a friend had a knitting pattern in a local South African craft magazine. I don’t normally buy the magazine but I picked up a copy and found a wonderful soft toy pattern in it.

Gorgeous Girl went through my stash of felt and fabric and picked out the ones we should use. She then selected the buttons for the eyes and I put it all together.

This was really fun and only took about an hour to do. I think it took as long to choose the materials as it did to sew the thing together. It’s lightly stuffed with wool.

I’ve been quilting. In fact I have a quilt top finished and will be dropping it off to the long-armer on Sunday. As I’ve been working on the top I’ve also been trying to use up my strips as leaders and enders.

Here is the strip box.

and some of the blocks

I’ve now got 25 blocks done, so it’s growing. Lots of left-overs in these as well as some strips from friends (Kate you should see some of your fabric in here).

I’ve been on a roll with the knitting, but have only managed to get a few things from the camera to the computer.

Here is a recent finish:

I’m a bit fond of this knit as it was with me a few months ago when Gorgeous Girl was here

having bilateral grommets inserted, and it kept me from chewing off my fingernails with nerves.

Her hearing is back to 100% and we don’t need to go and check with the ENT surgeon until December, so it’s all good.

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Recently I attended a drum carding workshop where we made some batts to use for spinning. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the process tremendously.

These are the two I made.

I’ve had a bit of waiting time lately, so my carry along project is coming along well.

Hand-spun sock.

This weekend we had an end of year function. The function was at a butterfly park and so we went a bit early to have a look around. Gorgeous Man made a friend.

This little fellow jumped first into my lap while I was squatting down to take its picture and then leapt onto Gorgeous Man. Gorgeous Girl insisted that she be allowed to get up close and personal as well.

I finally made an appointment with the oral surgeon that my dentist referred me too, and I’m going to be having all 4 of my wisdom teeth out in 10 days time. I’m not looking forward to that. They have to do it under a general anesthetic and the surgeon is predicting 5 days off work for recovery.

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September and October are the birthday months in our house. Gorgeous Man celebrates in September and then Gorgeous Girl has a birthday at the beginning of the month and I follow her exactly a week later.

Recently we had a small party for a Gorgeous Girl who turned three.

There was cake.

There was some bubble blowing.

And there were some friends.

The next day was her birthday and we opened some presents.

In honour of turning 37 I thought I’d play along with this meme that I spotted over at Patchy Work of Mini Grey if you don’t read her blog you really should, she is an incredibly talented quilter.

Rules: Things you’ve already done in bold. Things you want to do in italics. Things you haven’t done and don’t want to, leave in plain font. She changed a few of them to make them more relevant to Australians and I left some of her changes in.

1. started your own blog (several!)
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band (brass band and highschool band)
4. visited Hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to Disneyland/World
8. climbed a mountain – it had steps cut into the side of it, so it doesn’t really count
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped (no bloody way!)
12. visited Paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight

22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in Venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen Niagara Falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an Amish community
36. taught yourself a new language (I have enough Chinese to order food, shop  and ask for directions, does that count?)
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. sung karaoke (I lived in China…)
42. seen Old Faithful Geyser erupt watched a sun set at Uluru
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited Africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance (sirens weren’t flashing though)
47. had your portrait painted (Cartoon at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco)
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the Sistene Chapel in person
50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Ningaloo Reef snorkelling)
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the Great Wall of China
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold Girl Guide cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving (no thanks)
66. visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70 visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the Everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the White House (well stood outside the fence)
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one (close friend)
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person seen a platypus in the wild
96. swum in the Great Salt Lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

I am yet to get pictures of my very cool knitting computer bag. At present I’m working on an apron for one of Gorgeous Girl’s little friends who is turning three.

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While in the USA I was lucky to be able to meet up with Amy.

Gorgeous Girl was most taken with her little boy and kept trying to hug him. This is the better picture, the other one looks like she is trying to strangle him…

It was really great to be able to meet up with an online friend in person. 🙂

One thing I hadn’t really realised before is that we don’t really have many automatic doors around where we live in South Africa. The mall that we do most of our shopping at has revolving doors and most stores with street frontage have a gate and you call out or press the bell and the shop assistant will buzz you in.

Gorgeous Girl was therefore, most taken with the automatic doors in the hotel.

She spent a lot of time running towards them to watch them open. Please note the handspun and handknitted hat…

Sadly, her cute little bag was left behind in a store somewhere – I think Whole Foods and so is no longer with us.

On the subject of Whole Foods – wow, what a store. They were right across the street from the hotel and their salad bar was very convenient. I may also have stocked up on some muesli and organic chocolate and other supplies…

She also got to do quite a bit of travel on trains, which she loves, but never gets to do here in South Africa.

I love this picture of her.

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Our trip – part one

One thing I love about blogging is that I get to subject people to my myriad of holiday photos. (evil grin) And I finally found time today to take my pictures from the camera and put them on the computer 🙂

Gorgeous Man and I were going to present papers at a conference in the USA.

Gorgeous Girl was very excited by the prospect of travelling on a plane again.

Here she is in the kitchen just before we left.

The little bear holds some small toys and pencils.

Getting settled on the plane before leaving Cape Town.

A few months ago I saw a 1000 piece sticker book in the book store and I bought it with this journey in mind. It was a big hit.

It kept her busy for hours and it’s still not finished. Gorgeous Girl recognises about half of the letters in the alphabet now…

Gorgeous Girl was really good on the Cape Town – Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Washington flights. She slept for about half of the first leg (in 2 hour batches).

From leaving our doorstep to checking in to the hotel in the USA was time period of about 27 hours. Gorgeous Girl held it together until Gorgeous Man left the hotel room to go find some food for dinner, then she was most distressed that Daddy had gone.

We had a day to settle in and then the conference started.

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Once upon a time, I was an historian and I used to produce worthy papers on notable topics with relative ease.

Last November, Gorgeous Man showed me a conference that was going to be held in 2010 and suggested that I pull out some of my research notes and write up a proposal to present a paper. Well, my proposal was accepted. Gorgeous Man is also going to be presenting at the same conference.

So we will be heading to Maryland in the USA at the end of March. We are going to stay for a few days after the conference finishes. We are also stopping over in Amsterdam for a few days on the way home.

I’m so out of practice writing academic papers that I’ve reordered the structure of the piece 4 times already. The research is mostly done, so I just need to put it together. I can only concentrate on this when Gorgeous Girl is sleeping and I’m not working (those two states of being do not coincide too often these days), so wish me luck.

The garden continues to produce well. We harvested the rest of the potatoes recently.

We share a driveway with our next door neighbours. On their side of the driveway is a fabulous fig tree with black figs. They never touch them and we have permission to take all we want. This makes me a very happy lady.

The green beans are delicious and we are harvesting enough for the three of us to eat every 2 days. We are also harvesting about this many cherry tomatoes every day. Gorgeous Man drizzled these in olive oil and slow roasted them in the oven, he then stirred them through pasta with feta cheese and black pepper. So simple, but one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!

In anticipation of our trip to the US and Europe (where it will be colder than here) I made Gorgeous Girl a few hats. I got out my handspun and asked her to choose some yarn. She picked this one.

This is using fibre that I dyed myself. Since I couldn’t stop at one hat, I cast on for another one.

This was fibre from a local South African dyer.

I’m also knitted a hat for me, but it still needs to have the ends woven in. Pictures to follow.

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