Monday, March 26, 2012

Fifty, twelve, seventy five

Mark & I passed this building on the way through Malmsbury the other night, it always fascinates me. I love that the words are still there, the pale blue paint and the crazy brick work & bluestones. Isn't it cool? Imagine what it looks like inside..

We were on our way to celebrate with Bruce & Kathy at Small Holdings, have you been there? It's a great little wine bar set in an old church, similar to my mum's one actually. Inside there are lots of antiques and interesting was an excellent venue for a party. We had a really fun night. Highlights were: listening to Bruce's niece singing, what a superstar! And only 13!

Kathy's speech, amazing, thoughtful, touching, funny, clever and loving. And it was just the best being with a lovely bunch of people, all brought together to celebrate Bruce's birthday. Fun!

The next day was Lucy's 12th birthday party! Woo hoo!
Her actual birthday is next Monday but she decided to have it early as one of her good friends is going away. The girls had heaps of fun, they went to see The Hunger Games and then came home for cake.
I made a vanilla cake with chocolate icing, baking it in my step father's cake tin.
It's funny how those little things mean a lot isn't it?

Unfortunately I didn't get to see her blow out the candles as I was heading back from Melbourne.
Thank goodness for my beautiful family who all pulled together to make this crazy birthday heavy weekend work out. My dad had his 75th birthday party yesterday too and I couldn't miss that. (We'll have a special birthday tea for Lucy on her real birthday..more cake!) Bill was a good fella and kept me company while Mum & Charlotte took the girls to Ballarat & Mark had a picnic with the younger two.

My dad had his party in Northcote in his studio. It's a pretty cool place. Bill and I had fun exploring it and looking at all his treasures, collections and his paintings.

This little tableau is so Muzz. His teabag, empty cup, glasses and old tuna can with a squashed out fag in it.

I was going to give a speech but in the end we left before the speeches had begun. I had worried and thought all week about what I would say and wrote and rewrote it a million times. It was hard to get it right. Relationships are tricky aren't they? Perhaps when you sit down and try to write a speech like this for someone so pivotal in your can be hard. It was for me. I love my dad, but he isn''t your average dad I guess. It's complicated! Anyway, when I got home and found the scrunched up speech in my bag I pulled it out and felt a great sense of relief. Almost like a burden had lifted. Maybe writing down my thoughts & not speaking them was the best part of it, maybe that was enough.

I really enjoyed being in my dad's studio. It brought back a lot of memories of childhood. Good memories. I like the smell of oil paint, it's comforting somehow. Like the smell of a my Nan's kitchen or  my Mum's perfume. It took me to another place.

It was good to see my dad and his wife and all their friends, eating and drinking in the sunny courtyard. It was good to be with Bill. It was good to make the effort, to be a small part of his day. And it was really, really good to get home to my own family. My beautiful Mark who had tidied up our chaotic house, washed the floor and cleaned the bathroom before Lucy's party. To my gorgeous Mum who happily helps us in so many ways. To my lovely Charlotte,  who spent Saturday night with us & took the girls to the movies. And driving home with my super ace son,  to my almost 12 year old Lucy, and dear Sunday & Rosie. Back to beautiful Daylesford which is just so magical at this time of year.

Birthdays and celebrations always make me emotional. I'm also a bit sick with a dumb cold so I'm a little fragile today, a bit teary and blocked up and snuffly. But happy. Happy & lucky.

Anyway..I better go and check on the quinces that are boiling away on the stove top. Ready for jelly making tomorrow!! Woo hoo! 

Hey, have you entered my giveaway yet? It's not too late, pop over here and you might win this little blue bunny.

Hope you have a happy week lovely ones, see you soon xo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Giveaway Thursday!

Hello! How are you today?

I'm a bit excited today, the sun is shining and I'm happy because my little online
store is finally updated and looking snazzy!

I hope to keep it looking this way with lots of new bits & pieces,

including of course..

lots of bunnies!

These are some of the bunnies you will find in my store today..

I do hope you will pop/hop over and have a look.

You will also find this rainbow quilt cover, the first of many I hope!

To celebrate the shop reopening I am happy to say I am having a giveaway!

 This little blue bunny is looking for a new home..

Her name is Bluebell, of course. She has been lovingly made with beautiful soft alpaca wool and she is wearing a dear little blue woollen cardigan and a pretty laced edged flowery skirt. Did I mention she is super cuddly? Oh yes she is!

There are several ways to win this little bunny....

*  if you follow my blog you will have one chance,  
                  *  if you 'like' the Dandelion Facebook page you will have two 
           *  and if you are a follower on Instagram you'll have three!!

 Please leave me a comment so that I know. And if you feel like it tell me the name of your most loved childhood toy. This giveaway is open to all, Australia & O/S so please spread the word! I do hope you win!

Thanks to all my friends out there, I really love all your comments and thoughts, some of you I have known for a long time now and some are new friends which is lovely too. So good luck, and
see you soon! xo

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ten random things...

...that have happened since my last post.
1: I went to the amazing Doily exhibition at Gleaners with Charlotte. Fun! Liz had set up the exhibition so beautifully and each item was exquisite. I was so happy to see my doll, Doilores, perched on a ladder right in the middle of the wall. If you get a chance to visit Gleaners in Ballarat St, Brunswick, you really should.  I  know you will love all of the fabulous hand made treasures that are on sale. I can't wait to go back for another look myself. I really fancied Liz's love heart earrings..and just about everything else there too! I saw the exhibition made it into the Herald Sun on the weekend, did you see it?

2: Sewing, sewing and more sewing. I'm still working away on getting my online store updated. Bear with me, life is sometimes (always) super busy round here. I hope to launch my new look shop with a giveaway later this week. Stay tuned!

3: A lovely friend and I took our girls to see Taylor Swift last week! Oh my! It was a fabulous show and we all had the best time ever.

The icy strawberry daquiri's for us grown ups went down a treat too. Oh boy, what a fun night!

4: I've have taken lots of photo's for the bunnies and bits that are going into my shop.

Beautiful Sunday has been helping me out.

She did an amazing job last night as she was SO tired after a sleepover party..yawn..

5: I managed to dangle the end of my dressing gown cord into the toilet. Not fun. Does that ever happen to you?

6: I wrote and sent off an application for a job! Exciting!

7: I set up the school footy tipping competition..we are going online this year so no more lost footy tip sheets, no more adding up of tips, and hopefully a fun competition!

8:  I made an All Together Cake (Frankie's Afternoon Tea)  and managed to drop it while transferring it from the rack to the plate. Uh oh. Still managed to salvage enough for school lunches today. It's a great it is

Preheat oven to 180 C (160 for fan forced). Combine all ingredients in a bowl & beat for about 6 minutes. Grease cake tin, pour mixture in & bake for 40 minutes. How easy is that?
Ingredients: 1/4 cup of milk, 125g butter, 3/4 caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon plain flour, 1 cup S/R flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
Icing is 3 tablespoons of icing sugar and a blob of butter. Love this easy, peasy cake.

9: I've started on the speech I'm supposed to be giving for my dad's 75th birthday this weekend. This is some challenge, let me tell you. I'm going with the theme of Ten Things you Don't Know about Muzz. Could be interesting...

10: I ate gnocchi two nights in a row and over 100 k's apart. Friday night with Char at our fave restaurant, Woodstock in Nth Fitzroy and then on Saturday night with Mark at Darmagi in Hepburn Springs. Both freshly made, both delicious, both lovely dinner companions & both great places to eat! (Not sure I could have eaten gnocchi three nights in a row though..well..maybe..)

So there..phew. Lots going on. And now it's Monday and the start of a brand new week. What's happening with you this week? Any birthdays or fun things? Hope it's a beauty, see you soon xo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy days

 Over the weekend our town hosted one of Australia's biggest Gay & Lesbian festivals, Chill Out.
It's always an amazing event and I love the way our town becomes full of colour and life, happy people celebrating life, community & diversity. This year it seemed to be bigger than ever, the shops and cafe's were full and everywhere there was a lovely buzz. The beautiful weather helped, the sun shone and the sky was blue, blue blue. My mum helped out at the Festival Day at Vic Park, she looked pretty cute in her orange top!

Our weekend was super fun. Bill had a friend stay over and together they began to build a tree house in the tallest tree in our back yard. They were so inventive, and brave! I went out a few times, reminding them to be careful (sure mum) and worrying about them falling. 

But I was brave too and let them keep climbing, building and making, reminding myself that this is what child hood is about. Taking risks, making things happen, exploring, finding ways to make things work, creating. All of this at about fifteen metres off the ground. Gulp.

 They used an old piece of hose to hoist up a platform..I couldn't stay to watch this bit...ahhh!


On Monday we headed down to Jubilee Lake for a picnic with our friends from Footscray. Carm is one of my oldest and dearest friends & it was her birthday! I was SO happy to be spending it with her and her beautiful family.

The park was full of other families enjoying the long weekend, 
it was truly blissful sitting there under the big old trees, looking out onto the sparkling lake.


Last night I reflected a bit on our weekend, on our lives lately. I'm so happy we moved to Daylesford in 2005, it was such a good move to make. It's not always perfect, but then nothing ever is. I love so many aspects of life here and the beautiful friends we have made. And after a hard year in 2011 I feel like this new year has already brought so many good things.
Maybe it's my attitude too. Life is so fragile, so precious, that I want to get as much as I can out of it. I don't have time to sit around, I'm into it! I'm finding some new energy (and some sore muscles) through Boot Camp too, something I've been needing for a long time.

Within all the happy days and positive feelings there are always pockets of grumpiness, neediness,
sadness and chaos but I'm not focusing too much on these things. Every day is a new day, every day holds some kind of treasure, something beautiful if I look for it. 

So it's Tuesday and a busy week lies ahead. The girls are looking forward to the Taylor Swift concert  tonight! Woo hoo! And I"m hanging out to see Charlotte on Friday night. We're off to the Doily Exhibition in Brunswick (I have a little doll in it) and then on to dinner. We're going to chat up a storm about our trip to the USA and make some plans. Fun! Thanks so much too for all the lovely comments on my last post. It seems I'm not the only one who has anxious moments!

So what's happening in your world this week? 
Go on, tell me.
See you soon lovely ones,