Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Windy Wednesday

This morning I got up early and went shopping. Now and then, EziBuy sell off their returned mail-order clothes and housewares in a retail free-for-all that starts somewhere around 6:00a.m. (I arrived at 6:30 and nearly all the housewares were gone already.) Everything costs $2, so I bought 12 tops and a skirt. As you do :-) Plus a couple of storage tins for the girls.
Two of the tops I bought were so not me, but were embellished with masses of little shell buttons, so I snipped the buttons off and will bag them up to go in my ever-expanding button stash.

Then for a special treat, Helen and I waited for ages at the ENT clinic at the hospital, to be told that she's completely fine, obviously recovered from a suspected case of glue ear. We'd waited 5 months for a referral to the specialist, so I wasn't altogether surprised there wasn't a problem now.

Aren't these old embroidery transfer sheets cool? I got them for 50c at the Arts Recycling Centre on Saturday.
I'm not sure how old they are, I think they date from maybe the 1950s. Maybe even earlier?

The sashiko stitching is finished! Not the best job of attaching it to the canvas, but oh well. Now I need to work out what pattern to use for the other two.

The constant wind here lately is driving me insane. The noise of it, and the pushiness of it gives me the same feeling as when I've had kids clambering all over me, wanting to be carried, needing me, needing something, all day. Aaaaagh! There's a good reason the hills near here are covered in wind turbines.

Friday, November 24, 2006

WIP Friday

Sorry about that rather whiney post the other day! Playcentre can be a bit all-consuming at times.

A while back I mentioned an idea I'd had of having a go at sashiko, using some motifs common in Pacific Island art. Last night I started the first of three 4"x4" pieces which I'll cover some little stretched canvases with. The fabric is some dark brown linen, stitched with cream wool thread. It's fun! But I'm having a little trouble getting the stitches to finish at just the right spot towards the centre, so there's a tidy little circular gap in the middle. The rain has started again today, so this could be the perfect project for the weekend.

I also want to come up with a couple of quick crafty gifts for two friends with little babies - a wee boy born *very* prematurely (6 weeks) and in NICU 2 weeks later, the other baby still an unknown quantity in every respect, due to be delivered exactly a week from today. Got any bright ideas? I'm thinking tiny embroidered t-shirts...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Playcentre on my mind

This week I've been so distracted with worries about our Playcentre. Playcentre has been wonderful for my girls and me. It's a parent-led early childhood education service, run almost entirely through volunteer work, with parents working alongside the children. Our adult:child ratios are fantastic (1:4), and our last Education Review Office report was really positive. Children lead the way into the activities they want to do each day, and we do whatever is necessary to bring their ideas to life.
Helen attends 4 morning sessions each week, and so I spend 1 morning "session helping". I spend at least one other morning doing administration work, often 1 night a week at some Playcentre meeting or another, hours cleaning & tidying, writing narrative assessments for the kids' portfolio/profile books, and on and on it goes.

Next year all 3 and 4 year olds in New Zealand will be entitled to up to 20 hours free child-care, which is an admirable thing. The down-side for us at Playcentre is that it only applies to teacher-led services, and it's still unclear how it will be implemented by those services anyway. With the changes already this year to eligibility for child-care subsidies, many at-home parents found it's worthwhile (financially speaking) to return to work, at least part-time, now that they don't have to spend half their paycheck on child-care. Playcentres around the country have already felt the effects of that, with roll numbers decreasing in many urban centres, and some smaller rural centres closing or at crisis point.

I'm beginning to feel that our centre is just about at crisis point now, so I've been worrying and wondering about what to do. That, and wishing I knew some flash marketing company who could entice lots of new families to come along with their little ones.

On a lighter note, I got a wee bit of crafting done. Etsy finally re-appeared on Tuesday (NZ time) and over the next few days I managed to list the new flowers I'd finally finished. I love how Etsy now allows categories in stores, so all my kimono flowers are grouped together, brooches together, etc.

On Thursday Helen and I went to the Arts Recycling Centre and I picked up a heap of remnants of (new) polyester neck-tie fabric. They've been turned into flowers now, and the first one listed in the store.

The rain we've had for over a week has finally cleared away this afternoon, and when Ian and Jen get home from the hardware store we're off to the pool!

Have a good week!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's raining, it's pouring

What a dismal day. Thursday is my "lazy, busy day". No Playcentre today for Helen and me, so instead we've been doing some errands round town. In the pouring rain. My list for the day:

  • Spotlight for pinbacks - didn't make it
  • Bead Bazaar for Swarovski rhinestones - didn't make it
  • T'n'T for summer pants for Jen - check
  • $2 Shop for storage bags (so I can remove some clutter from the girls' room and give/store it away instead) - didn't make it.
  • De-cluttering the girls' room - you guessed it.
  • Vacuuming - nope.
  • Laundry - har!
  • Grocery shopping - check
  • Update and run a full check with SpyBot - check
  • backup this computer - not yet.
So what kind of "success" rate is that? 33%? My report card for today reads "Miriam could do better".

And the dishcloth exchange deadline I thought I had loads and loads of time for is now just a week away.
I wanted to try and finish these flowers today too, but I just remembered I have a meeting at Playcentre tonight, sigh.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guy Fawkes fireworks

Today is Guy Fawkes. So that the girls could stay up late enough to watch the fireworks, we actually set ours off last night. Jen's not at all keen on the loud noises, but they both loved the sparklers. Junior pyromaniacs:

The launch of Etsy V2 has been postponed until next weekend, so that's giving me some extra time to get more flowers ready for the store. I've got 9 in progress so far, all in varying stages of completion. Pics to follow :-)