Thursday, 10 January 2013


I have declared a moratorium on costly children's holiday activities. We have been skating, out to lunch, shopping, to the Taste Festival x 3 and......$250 later, to the Great Moscow Circus:

I find the culture of children's entertainment expectation hard work. I want my children to be able to make their own fun. I want them to cultivate what Roald Dahl called 'imaginitis'....before it's too late. So, this week we are attempting to see if we can amuse ourselves.....this is a big ask now that we are well and truly enmeshed in the middle of the school holidays. Trust me, it would be easier to cheat and just dump them at the movies or at an indoor play centre or even at home in front of the TV, yet I'm going to persevere.

We are lamenting the fact that the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is closed while they complete their renovation....this would be the entire family's destination of choice however at the moment it's a no go zone. So, this week we have been hanging out at the State Library of Tasmania, at various parks around town and at home. Today, we ventured up to North Hobart and took a turn around the new exhibition at the Bett Gallery before ending up at the State Cinema Bookshop, where we all loitered for quite some time:

I had no choice other than to bring this home:

I'm desperate to start reading it as soon as I finish typing this, yet am sure that it will be sad as poor old Nancy really was very unlucky in love.

I found this book under the Christmas tree:

I could not put it made my husband peevish to see me reading while stirring the custard for the Christmas the same time. The author really threw himself into an extreme Bikram Yoga journey of a time when he'd let himself go so far that he could no longer see a particular part of his anatomy. Next thing you know, he's completed the three month intensive teacher training course and is working on competing in the American national championships. It's a personal story of a yoga obsession which also explores the science behind the practice from an open and fair minded perspective....he even subjects his best friend to classes and charts the results. After reading this book, I couldn't resist the opportunity and have booked a ticket to Rajashree Choudhury's Bikram Yoga seminar in Melbourne next month. Exciting.

Don't panic.....the last couple of weeks hasn't all been about weirdo yoga books, I've also been working my way through the Wallander series, which makes me ache to visit Sweden, and Rosemary Verey's gardening books, which make me wish I worked harder in my garden.

Yet, the most popular Christmas present book by far was this:

Which was wrapped up for the just turned two year old yet yet it's proved to be a hit with the whole family. Can you believe that it tells the story in 12 words and 12 needle felted pictures? Yes, really. Just four pages in you get this:

And then 8 pages later, this:

The conversation that it elicits is's P & P for all ages....even my husband has had numerous attempts at recounting the entire complex plot to children who are hanging on his every word.

Look at what I made on Monday:

I had charge of four extra children, which swelled the numbers to 8, yet ironically managed to find some time to get out the hot glue gun and cover this lamp shade to match the front door. I don't usually do craft yet when I was struggling to find shades for my chandelier last year, I made my own:

When they turned out so well I became carried away and made more to match the 'Imperial Trellis' wallpaper in the library:

Now I'm eyeing off the two nude chandeliers in the living room:

And I'm seriously thinking of sacrificing the skirt of the Matron of Honour ensemble that I wore to my friend's wedding ten long years ago......even though it has recently had an outing:

 The silk dupion is the exact shade of the pink glass detail in the window....could I?

Now to get stuck into that book.



  1. Too funny, my friend! Get out those scissors, Missy. Would dearly love to arrange a play date for yours at mine. We have been remaking the cubby into a cafe, making a boat out of a cardboard box, plating totem tennis and racing down the slip'n'slide. Up your alley, perchance? J x

  2. oh Romy I am hearing you - I have been constantly saying "you need to occupy yourself" to my little cherubs. As soon as their feet hit the floor of a morning they are asking me what we are doing! Enjoy the remaining few weeks xx

    1. Mine too....we are just heading off for a walk to the park! Rx

  3. Sacrifice the skirt - unless you've worn it other than as fancy dress in the past 5 years, its unlikely to resurface again soon. Besides, traditionally brides dresses were often cut up for other things, like christening gowns, or lampshades for a bridesmaids outfit isn't stretching things too far I think. I HAVE to get that P&P book - how hilarious. I'm sure E. would love it. We are off to the movies in a few minutes I'm afraid, although this is the first time for the school holidays.... but aside from that I tell them to occupy themselves, and they generally do, with a bit of grumbling. I worry too about the lack of imagination aspect...Fortunately they enjoy turning my house into a tip by scattering the toys and cushions throughout it, so that is keeping them nicely occupied (and me too as I can't leave it for days and have to clean it up!). xx

    1. OK will use the skirt for chandelier shades! Get the P&P book it is truly fab. They had ' Jane Eyre' too, yet let's face it it's a tad more bleak and I didn't want to scare them. Oh, yes, don't mention the mess.....however the 9 year old is actively saving up for something so he vacuumed the entire house yesterday (my cleaner has quit and it's going to be some time before the agency can find a replacement) including his room and was then horrified by all of the mess....the 5 year old cried when he realised exactly which of his toys had been sucked up in the process. Happy days! Rx

  4. The chandies look fabulous!!
    I am sick of bored kids- driving me crazy!

    1. Thanks! Yes, mine too so since typing this I've cracked and taken two to see 'The Hobbit'.....what a mind-blowing film.....entertainment wise it was worth EVERY cent! Rx

  5. I agree with Heidi. Sacrifice the skirt!
    This morning I've just ripped up some old hot pink French taffeta to use as a headboard. It was the exact shade of pink I'd been looking for. So we must be thinking alike. That pink almost matches your front door.
    And I LOVE those lampshades. The different colours look fab. I've been wanting to do that with ours but fear my versions would look like saggy messes compared to yours.
    (I sewed both my wedding gowns - uh hem, 2 marriages to the same man - and they both had cotton hanging out the back. They were quite clearly not couture frocks.)
    Off to order that Nancy Mitford book on Amazon!

  6. The skirt is ready to meet it's impending transformation! Spent ages trawling internet for instructions on how to make lampshades all to no the end I bought a cheap shade from Kmart and some cardboard and made a template. Then all you need is to be handy dandy with scissors and a gluestick....later I progressed to the glue gun. Trust me if I can do it, anybody can! The thought of a sewing machine makes me break into a cold sweat so you ladies who are competent in that apartment have my absolute admiration. Am sensing there's a wedding dress story somewhere there....would LOVE to hear all about it in graphic detail! The book is fascinating......forgot to mention I have also recently read two of yours! Rx

  7. That dress is a glorious shade of neon pink, very 'on trend'. Could you manage with nipping it up to the knee, and keep it as a pencil-skirt length? Kill 2 birds with one stone? Then carry off a more casual ensemble with a draped scarf & denim jacket?

    I'm so impressed with your efforts keeping the kids occupied on a budget. Go girl!

    Would you like to follow each other?

    Erika @ xx

  8. That book is absolutely priceless, am going to order myself a copy pronto! Can't wait to see how the shades turn out. x


I LOVE hearing your thoughts! Rx