Sunday, 25 December 2011

On the first day of Christmas ...

… my true love gave to me: a whole heap of lovely presents. I was very spoiled. Hope you were too, and that your Christmas was happy, however you spent the day.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Ninjabread men!

Remember last year when some of the black belts at taekwondo gave out ninjabread men at our last class?

I thought they’d modified regular gingerbread men shapes, but then I found these at the shops:

The packaging is a treat in itself. Some quotes:

“These stealthy warriors are set to sneak into your kitchen and stage a cookie coup!”

“your hands move like a whisper, cutting dark shapes into pre-rolled dough”

“quietly cream together the shortening” etc, “add the molasses and blend into the night”

“moving like the wind, preheat the oven”

Someone at the cookie cutter company has a great sense of humour! We couldn’t wait to make our very own ninjas. I can’t show you a photo because we ate them too fast.

Our real-life ninjas all moved up a grade at the end of the year. Baby Duck missed a lot of classes due to his hospital adventure, and spent most of the year as a yellow belt.

But he finally earned his green tips. Not to mention a $30 grading incentive payment from us, which was rather more interesting to him.

I also missed a grading due to Baby Duck’s hospital adventure, so Demon Duck pulled ahead of me, which makes her soooo happy. She loves being better than me at something! It’s quite handy for me too, as she can help me with my forms. She’s now a high blue belt, and I’m a blue belt.

I remember when we started, how pro the blue belts seemed. Now I am one, I feel a bit of a fraud. I still feel like a raw beginner. My kicks are still crap and my balance is all wobbly. I’m dreading the next form I have to learn as there’s two parts where you have to stand on one leg. At the next grading I’ll be the one falling over and looking like a complete dork for sure. Can’t wait.

Maybe I should ask Santa to bring me a new sense of balance?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Time-travelling Wednesday WIP

Well, yes, it is Thursday, now that you mention it. I’m busy, but I am keeping up with what day it is, just barely. In the blog that lives in my head there are sparkling posts flying from my fingers all the time. There are regular features on my sewing projects, updates on novels in progress, dozens of witty and amusing stories of life with the ducklings.

And of course Wednesday WIP posts happen on Wednesdays. Sadly, the blog that lives in my head bears little resemblance to the one that makes it on to the page here, so I’m just going to pretend it’s still Wednesday. Otherwise it’ll be next Wednesday, and we all know next Wednesday will be stuffed full of oh-God-it’s-almost-Christmas madness, so nothing will get posted, and then the one after will be all thank-God-Christmas-is-over lazy. Before we know it it’ll be Next Year and then where will we be? Wednesday WIP-less, that’s where.

Soooo. Welcome to Wednesday. Again. Who wouldn’t like to stuff an extra day into their week at this time of year? If only it were that easy!

Here’s an experiment in a free style of applique that gets the quilting done at the same time:

This is the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on in a long time. I usually agonise over choices to the nth degree: fabric choices, colour choices, position, everything. This was just “here’s a bucket of scraps – cut out some flowers and whack them on a background”. They weren’t even my scraps, so they weren’t the kind of thing I usually work with. This was an exercise set by the wonderful Kathy at Material Obsession at our last class. It was so freeing to play with fabric like this.

I had such a ball I came home and kept going. I finished the quilting the same day. Here’s a picture from the back, where you can see the quilting better.

It’s pretty rough, but that was part of the joy. The roughness just adds to the charm – you can’t go wrong. Who doesn’t love a project like that??

The last step to turn it from a WIP into a finished project is to make it into a cushion. Maybe when we make it over the hump of Christmas to the lazy thank-God-it’s-all-over days.

Until then it’s back to the Christmas shopping and the end of year whirl. How are your preparations going? Better than mine, I hope!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Parenting: so much easier when you're awake

I was woken recently at one o’clock in the morning by Demon Duck’s voice calling out:

“MUM! Can you come here please!”

I lurched out of bed and stood in the dark, disoriented.

“Where are you?”

“In my bed!”

So I staggered to the lounge room (which is where the girls are sleeping these days) and flicked on the light. What was wrong? Had she fallen out of bed? No, she was lying on her back, one arm flung over her face to shield her eyes from the sudden light, but otherwise seemed fine.

I knelt on the bed next to her. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.” She groaned. “Bright lights!”

Typical kid, I thought as I went back to bed. Probably calling out in her sleep.

I noticed that the Carnivore wasn’t in our bed any more. Hey, I’m sharp at one o’clock in the morning. I assumed he’d been disturbed too and taken the opportunity to go to the bathroom.

He was a long time coming back, though. When he finally got into bed, I realised from the glow through the doorway he’d left a light on somewhere.

“Why’d you leave the light on?”

He looked at me, perplexed. And maybe a little exasperated. “Baby Duck had a nightmare. Didn’t you hear him calling out?”

Whoops. Poor Demon Duck. No wonder she had no idea why her mad mother was looming over her yelling “what’s wrong?” in the middle of the night.

I try hard to be a good mother, I really do. I’m just better at it when I’m awake!