29 December, 2009


I'm not psychic by any means, so I'm not going to try and guess what 2010 holds for me. I'm also not one to make resolutions. They are simply another set of pressures to add to my already hectic life. I will, however be setting myself a few goals for the coming year. These goals should all be attainable if I keep my mind on it.

So, I present to you my list of goals for 2010.

Find my personal style

Shopping is a little tricky for myself at the moment. There's a part of me that wants to be achingly hip (and another part of my brain that yells "MUTTON!" every time that I pick up something in said hip stores). There's a part of me that wants to dress with class and old-world glamour. There's a part of me that wants to wear shorts and a singlet (thankfully this part of me is mostly quashed and is only allowed out at home).

None of this is really an issue... but for the net result that buying clothes is a total PITA and I chicken out of buying things that really appeal to me because I'm scared that I won't end up wearing them.

So 2010 - time to build a style and build a wardrobe around it. This will have a secondary knock-on effect of me getting to know myself more.

Be creative

2009 was a year where I realised a lot of my creative outlets were pushed aside. I'm going to make an effort to actually be creative. I have a few mini goals within this one:

Knit one lacy item
Knit one total garment - jumper, vest or similar
Knit one sock per month (six pairs for the year)
Relearn at least one song on guitar
Use some of the canvasses I have lying around and paint a small picture
Sew a garment
Start taking photos and using my flickr account again

None of the things on the list is really huge, nor is the number of things I've set for myself too big. I don't want to overwhelm myself with pressure to get it done, so I've kept it small. If I exceed the list - great. But I want to be sure I can reach these goals.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

This might sound drastic, but it's really just keeping myself on track and not letting myself get lazy, along with keeping an eye on my food. I've done it before, I know it's attainable and I just need to keep at it. Nothing but a progress goal here!

Work on me

This is a pretty simple one. Taking time for me, doing things I enjoy and not feeling guilty. Finding myself a new place to live. Doing things that will make me happy. Learning to say no when I have to and not feeling guilty. The problem is not so much doing things I love or taking time out. The big problem I've had is feeling guilty when I do. Time to get rid of that.

It's not a huge list, but I think I have a lot to keep me busy next year.

Happy New Year to all... what are your plans for 2010?

28 December, 2009


It's certainly the fashion to post about the year in review at the moment, what with it nearly being over and the world poised to leap into the new decade.

I could certainly go into many details about the year past that would keep this blog post going until the world ends because the Mayan calendar runs out or something, but many of those things are intensely private and not items that I wish to put out there.

Suffice to say that this year was not the best for me. It's been a long, hard journey and has certainly had some very low and rocky moments. (Oh no. I'm starting to sound like a bad 80s power ballad. I promise this bit won't last long.) Things are getting better and I'm starting to make some very necessary changes to my life and to myself. To my support network, thank you for everything. For just being there, for the random messages, for the tea, sympathy, coffee, knitting, DVDs, laughs, and above all your company. Thank you.

I've learned a lot about myself and changed a lot in the past 12 months. Whether any of the lessons are useful remains to be seen. My taste and style have changed too, and I'm picking up things that I had set aside for so long. Hello video games, music, art and generally creative pursuits again. It's been a slow uptake as I learn to let myself have this time for these activities again.

I seesawed a little in terms of my fitness regime and weight. At the moment I am happy with where I am. I am back into running. I am doing two boxing classes a week. I've acquired the Wii Fit Plus software and balance board for core strength and rainy day exercises. I'm well placed to kick start the new year and keep working on my fitness.

Knitting-wise I reached an important milestone this year. I finished my first cardigan. A whole garment - done. Admittedly it took a lot longer than it really should have, as there were long periods this year where I wasn't really knitting much. But it is done, and I am so happy to have completed it. The style is no longer what I would consider in a cardigan. It's loose with little shaping, but even if I only choose to wear it around the house, it's mine and I made it myself. It's also warm and a little luxurious - a merino, mohair and cashmere blend with a mohair trim. I particularly love the buttons.

It's a cardigan!

Cardigan - button and trim

Not many other knitting projects surfaced this year. In general I neglected it. That's something to fix.

I'm sure there is so much more to write about, but at this very moment it's escaping me. Not to worry - rather than focussing too much on the past I need to look to the future. Which is what my next post will be about.

29 October, 2009

The clothes maketh the woman... or do they?

Today I attended a networking and mentoring lunch for women in the ICT industry. It was run in a joint effort by FITT and GGD.

I had an absolute ball. I had the chance to meet other women who work in the ICT industry - women who I may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. I was able to speak with women who had worked in ICT for a long time and had a lot of advice to offer, and others who were looking for advice. It was a great experience.

There was one topic that came up that did bring about some interesting conversation, and that got me thinking. I was asked if I was treated differently depending on what I wore. I had to respond in the negative - I've been treated the same at work whether I wear jeans, a suit or my boxing gear (if I'm working late after boxing)... but I have now been thinking about clothes all afternoon, and not in my usual "I want to buy this and this and this" way.

Disclaimer: I'm a girly girl when it comes to these sort of things. I like clothes. I like shoes. I like handbags. I like makeup and nail polish and... you get the idea.

When I get dressed in the morning, I wear what I feel like wearing. While there are times that I do dress to impress if I have an important meeting or function, I also try to tailor my outfit to the event and my personal style. If I don't feel comfortable in an outfit, I won't wear it. (With the exception of tight exercise clothes. While I hate hate hate them with a passion, they make boxing class much easier. So apologies to anyone who ever has to endure a boxing class with me.) My number one priority when dressing myself is me.

When it comes to dressing for the workplace... it's a tough gig. What's appropriate at some times or in some workplaces isn't appropriate in others. In the course of my career, I've had times when I've been told I dress too casually, too funky and too corporate - and sometimes it's been said by managers, sometimes by colleagues. I've taken it in my stride and moved on each time, changing my style where it's needed.

Should someone be judged and treated differently according to how they dress at work? First impressions do last, and there are definitely times where it's better to overdress than underdress (a job interview or meeting with an important client springs to mind)... but at the same time I don't respect anyone any less because they happen to be wearing jeans instead of a suit. I think someone's overall presentation and manner are far more important than the clothes on their back. (As someone who has had to attend important meetings in casual clothes thanks to last minute notice... I hope that other people think this too!)

I'd also like to say that I don't think it matters specifically what a woman wears for work, but I know I'd be wrong. I wish I didn't have to be. It's a fine line that we walk. Some items of clothing just seem to mark you as different amongst others. Is it fair? Not at all. While I haven't experienced direct issues as a result of the clothes I wear to work, I know that there are those who judge me and other women by the type of clothes we wear.

Personally, I'll keep dressing to please myself. As long as I feel I'm dressed appropriately and I feel good about it, I'm happy.

27 September, 2009

Who Am I?

It's a question that I've been asking myself a lot recently.

With a lot of changes in my life recently, I've felt a bit lost and confused. It showed me how much my life had become defined by things that were not me. Other people, material objects, where I lived, yarn, work. All things that made up the picture of me.

Then things changed. I do a different job now, I have different people in my life, I live in a different place. Those three changes happened pretty close together, so I feel like I'm flailing a bit. I'm not too sure what is ME any more, and what is me defining myself through something external.

I always have such trouble answering questions about myself - about things I like or questions about me and my personality. I don't know if anyone else has this issue, but I find it a little unsettling that I don't appear to know myself that well.

Time to spend some time contemplating my navel, maybe?

30 August, 2009


It certainly has been quiet around here. (Sorry about that.)

Inspiration to write has been lacking. Inspiration in my crafts has been lacking. In short, I think I hibernated a bit this winter.

It's odd, really. Winter should be when i am crafting most - it's cold outside and generally conducive to staying home and all that, but rarely does it happen.

So once again spring is starting to come about, and I haven't finished even a little of what I wanted to achieve before winter (or the end of winter, if I'm not being picky.)

The cardigan I started in April? Still going. I have a sleeve to go, then I have to sew it up and edge it. Still no photos. It's just stocking stitch, so imagine a pile of stocking stitch pieces in this yarn and colour.

The Woodland Shawl I started... um... a long time ago hasn't really grown at all. It is next on the list of WIPs to complete.

Socks I was working on have been frogged and a new pair started. They haven't progressed that much either.

I did recently finish some spinning. VintageGrrl dyed some fibre and I got a hold of some Cool Breeze... and here is the resulting yarn:

Cool Breeze

(As always, you can clicky to biggy)

I am now spinning up some Southern Cross Fibre Polwarth in the colourway Hay Sunrise:

Hay Sunrise on the bobbin again

In keeping with the hibernation theme: the pink merino I've been spinning on my spindle hasn't gone anywhere.

16 June, 2009


I've been... *gasp* tagged!

Thanks to Miss Fee for the tag.

Ok - here we go:

What is your current obsession?
Being healthy. At the moment I am spending way too much much time thinking about what I eat and how much I am exercising.

What are you wearing today?
Earlier: Work clothes - shirt, skirt and kitten heels (I left the stilettos at home today!)
Now: Trackies, cotton top, hoodie and thick knit socks.

What's for dinner?
Chickpea and lentil patties with tomato relish, steamed mixed veggies and some mash

What did you eat for your last meal?
Burek! (Polish-style spinach and cheese pie)

What's the last thing you bought?
Coffee. Monday mornings can be tough.

What are you listening to right now?
Talkin Bout Your Generation on TV

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
A warm beach. It's cold and wet here.

Which language do you want to learn?
Francais, s'il vous plait!

What do you love most about where you currently live?
The house has an awesome bathroom.

What is your favorite colour?
Purple. And pink. And blue.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Currently it's my black pencil skirt

What were you doing ten years ago?
Probably studying!

Describe your personal style?
Part classy, part kooky, part just plain strange.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?
I'd put it toward the new laptop I need.

What was your favorite TV show or book as a child?
Skippy was my favourite TV show.

What are your favorite films?
Amelie, Office Space, St Trinian's, Zoolander

What inspires you?
Things I see and hear day to day.

Who's work/designs are you inspired by?
Cross-media here: the Chemical Brothers, Rembrandt and Norah Gaughan

Your favourite books?
Terry Pratchett. Enough said.

Do you collect anything?
Wool, makeup, music, DVDs, books.

What makes you follow a blog
The person, and if it's a stranger, the writing.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Had a lovely cup of tea while relaxing after getting through a particularly hellish task at work.

Whats one thing you dream of doing?
Having all the time in the world to paint and craft.

What's your favourite music of the moment?
Bonkers (Dizzee Rascal). It's so annoying but it just earworms me every time.

The rules:1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own. 2. Tag eight other people.

I don't have a whole eight other people to tag... so: M-H, Tia, Lara, Jen and Donna... tag - you're it! :o)

14 June, 2009

Catch up and things made of awesome

For anyone who doesn't yet know, all my health-related and exercise blogging will now be done over at Operation Awesomeness - a blog I am writing along with knitness!

Things have been busy around here (what else is new??) so once again I am in a whirlwind. Yesterday was WWKIP (World Wide Knit In Public) Day, so after the guild meeting I was down at Darling Harbour with the crew causing fear and panic amongst the Muggles.

The day was fantastic - we had a total of 80 knitters turn up (I think the Bayside Lounge was a bit surprised about that) and I got to meet a few new people and catch up with others who I haven't seen in a while.

A very big thank you to Sally for being our wonderful organiser!

I'm off to go warm up as it is absolutely freezing today.

06 June, 2009

Weigh-in and update June 6

My first weigh-in went well. I have lost weight (quite a bit more than I thought I would, but at a guess it's just water weight), and I'm feeling a lot better.

I'm using a combination of techniques and ideas to help myself change my eating habits and lifestyle, some the same as last time and some new.

I'm waiting on a copy of French Women Don't Get Fat to arrive as I've been wanting to read this book since it was released, and as it's to do with living a healthy lifestyle and controlling one's weight and wellbeing I figure now is a good time to read it.

Onward to week 2!

03 June, 2009

As guilt free as it gets

Tonight I ate Hungry Jacks for dinner... pretty much guilt free! I did feel a pang for the large amount of fat and sodium in the food.

I spent today working in the warehouse inventorying some (ok, a lot of) stuff that has to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. It was heavy work. There was lifting and carrying. There was walking. There was moving gigantic pallets. (By the way, using a pallet jack can be pretty cool.) There was digging through boxes of ICT equipment that time forgot.

The upshot of around 8 hours of heavy physical work? It's pretty much exercise for me as a usual day is much less physical activity, and as such it increases my kilojoule allowance. Given that I had my usual breakfast, snacks and lunch I was way short. So I could easily eat that fatty meal from HJ's and still be in my proper allowance.

The best bit? I get to do another 4 hours in the warehouse tomorrow. Yay for another workout! I think I'll eat healthy though.

Hopefully this weekend I will get to do a knitting update post with some pictures. It's been a while since I've posted anything about knitting, and I miss making those posts.

01 June, 2009

New beginning

Early last year, I changed my lifestyle.

I quit smoking. I ate properly. I exercised regularly. I took care of myself.

I felt great and got wonderful results in not very long.

For the past 9 months or so, that has fallen by the wayside. I've fallen back into old habits. I started smoking again. I started eating badly again. I stopped exercising.

While I am nowhere near as unfit as I was when I started this the first time (and tonight's walk/run proved that), I am still very near the weight I was that prompted me to start it all in the first place. I should know, I weighed myself on my sickeningly-accurate scale tonight.

So, starting tomorrow I start taking care of myself again. The smoking is already taken care of - I pushed that aside a good month ago.

The goals and rules:

There will be 30 minutes of activity a day. On workout days this means proper exercise (couch to 5k program runs twice a week, bike ride or yoga once a week, boxing once a week), on rest days it means a 30 minute walk to help stretch the muscles.

Every piece of food I eat will be tracked in a food diary and I will be sticking to a calorie-counted plan.

Weigh-ins are on Saturdays. I'll post about my loss/gain for the week, but I prefer to keep the actual numbers quiet. I have a goal weight to reach, but I'm not sure if it's do-able. If not, I'd be happy to be a few kilos above it.

My motiviation? Well, first up I want to feel and look as good as I did mid last year. Secondly, I just bought 3 skirts that are all a smidgen too tight. I want them to fit me, and soon.

Here goes nothing...

18 May, 2009

Music rant

Why are two out of the three tracks that I really, really want to purchase not on the iTunes store?

It is most unhelpful to hear music on the radio, only to find out that it's not released yet.

04 May, 2009

Fleece Artist!

The lovely Sally ran a competition on her blog - any comments made during the month of March would go into the draw to win a prize.

I was shocked when I discovered that I had won the local prize! I never win anything!

I received my prize and I have fallen head over heels in love - I have some Fleece Artist BFL socks yarn in the delicious Ireland colourway.

Also included in the package was a pom pom maker (check out the URL of Sally's blog to see why!) and some yummy chocolates that didn't last long, as well as a lovely card. It really brightened my day.

It's perfect. Thank you, Sally! I need to put some pics up!

26 April, 2009

Can you believe it?

Me, the girl who swore she'd never knit a jumper is now up to the armhole shaping on the back of my first cardi.

It's almost magical how this item is taking shape.

27 March, 2009


I haven't posted in nearly a month. I'm really no good at this blogging thing.

Don't get too excited... I am only here to advise that blogging will now be put on a hiatus. Some things are happening in my life that I need to take care of - and for now, blogging seems like it's not important enough to be up there. I have finished items, I have formatting to do on here and I have WIPs that I want to share but at the moment I'm not really in a position to be spending time taking pictures and writing posts.

I must sound mysterious and exciting, but really what's going on is the opposite. Well - it'll still be mysterious for most who read this blog, but I can assure you all it's not exciting.

Hopefully within a month I'll be better placed to start posting again. See you soon.

09 March, 2009

Don't mention the Guild...

So I attended the NSW Knitters' Guild AGM this weekend. Oh boy.

I received a very warm welcome from the incoming Vice-President - I was amazed at how enthusiastic she was about the fact that I was there, and she really made the point that she was glad to see a young person... and how the Guild really wants to attract more young people to join.

That attitude seemed at odds with a lot of things that later transpired.

I got to witness first hand some of the resistance shown by members of the Guild toward changing things to make them more accessible - namely making information available on the web and leveraging the knowledge and skills of existing members who want to help with activities.

Questions were seen as personal attacks. There was no mention made of how members could get involved and help. It seems a sad thing that the Guild has members who can (and want to) help with things like enhancing digital photographs or properly storing and archiving the collection of knitted work, but these people are turned away or dismissed because those in charge want to do it their way.

The incoming Secretary was inaugurated but later resigned the same day - something which I was quite upset about as I know that she had some wonderful ideas for the future of the Guild.

I really wonder how the Guild will go about attracting and keeping new members if they are so resistant to embracing the things that will enable them to do so.

I'm considering trying to get in as Secretary... I am just waiting to try and find out some more about the duties required and I want to see if I can gauge the time I'd have to put in. If all else fails, I'm going for committee next year. there needs to be a serious shift in attitude.

15 February, 2009

Rain, rain, go away...

Not really, as we do need it. I am trying to use my psychic powers to send it to Victoria though. They could use it given that the bushfires are still burning.

Today was weather of the type that makes me want to cast on some cosy 8 ply socks for wearing around the house. My good old green socks have been keeping my feet warm tonight.

Instead of knitting, I did a tiny little bit of spinning and a whole lot of cooking. I now have a lot of little mini Mixed Bean Burgers in the freezer, ready to be defrosted whenever needed. I also brought out my small (1.5L) slow cooker and made a pasta sauce out of the tomatoes I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend.

It was my first time using a slow cooker, and I was very impressed with the results, as was the other half. The pasta sauce had a much richer flavour than my stovetop ones usually have - but whether that's because of the longer cooking time or the fresh tomatoes I am yet to find out. I do know that the first chance I have I will break out the large slow cooker and make up a big batch of pasta sauce using tinned tomatoes, and then freeze it in portions.

I'm trying to move toward using as few processed and pre-packaged foods as possible, so I need to get organised and start making more foods that I can freeze and keep on hand for later. It's funny how by not buying many convenience foods our grocery bill has dropped enormously. I expected it to stay the same (or possibly increase) because of all of the fresh ingredients I'd have to buy but that's not the case.

I'm now off to pack some lunches to top off this foodie day.

07 February, 2009

Just when I thought I had enough to do.. and loving thoughts

First off, lots of crossed fingers and toes for all of you who are currently being threatened by the current bush fire fronts out there. I am sending good vibes for the safety of you, your families and your homes!

There's two new things happening with me at the moment - Vintage Grrl and I have have gotten onto the Bento Bandwagon. We are both quite taken with the idea of packing Bento lunches for ourselves and people in our lives. I'm hoping that it helps to improve both mine and the other half's diet as well as saving us some money. I shall have to report back after I start packing these things!

Secondly, as if I didn't have enough artsy-crafty stuff to do.. I've taken to dyeing roving! Here's "Tutti Frutti" - some Polwarth.

Tutti Frutti

I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

18 January, 2009

Detox for free

I've been a bad, bad blogger.

Things have been busy lately - craft has been put aside and I am throwing myself into making my lifestyle healthier. (Let's just ignore this weekend... please?)

I've changed my eating habits (again, ignore this weekend. blip), started exercising again and now my body has gone into detox. My face has erupted and my tummy hates me - don't get me started on the fatigued sick feeling either.

I'm hanging on for dear life, knowing that I'll have to go through another week or so of this feeling and then I'll start to feel much better.

Just in time for Big Day Out. If someone knows where I can get a nice, healthy vegan lunch and dinner there, please let me know. I don't have to worry about alcohol because I'm the designated driver.

03 January, 2009

More dye!

I dyed this:

Blue hand-dyed yarn

It will be a Woodland Shawl... my first lace. (See the previous post for link). I am pretty happy with it. I think it turned out well for food colouring!

I have also dyed this:

Busy Bee

More pics once it's reskeined...

01 January, 2009


I welcomed in the new year with many friends, much alcohol, Buzz and SingStar.

It was great.

Today I am feeling a little sorry for myself. I have been inspired by Vintage Grrl to start a Woodland Shawl, and I need to dye up some yarn to do it.

I'm thinking a gentle variegation. I don't want it to be too colourful, as it will overpower the laciness of the shawl. Blues, maybe?