Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Day 18 (But really only day 4)

Only a week until Christmas! December is zooming past at the speed of light.

I've been occupied knitting my sister's present, a Saroyan (see this post for more details). Since posting those pictures I ripped it out and started again, so the the ends would be more tapered.

This is what the first one looked like: 

This is what the end looks like now (notice how the first leaf now has a stem):

I have done nine repeats of twenty-two, so still have a way to go, but it should definitely be done by Christmas Eve. The garter stitch edging likes to fold over to the back, I think because stockingette naturally curls. It is so soft! I love to hold it against my neck - if I could purr while doing this, I would.

You can see that my tension is a bit wonky in places... but hopefully after a wash it will be looking better. The picture below is of where the increase section finishes and the straight section starts.

So, Christmas knitting is under control at my house... how is it going at your place?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Day 14 (But really only day 3)

Well, I have done an awful job posting everyday leading up until Christmas. I'm sure I'm no busier than most other people, yet somehow they find time to post!

Christmas knitting is still happening (extremely slowly - I need to speed up if I'm going to finish in time!), some presents have been bought, and the house has been decorated. No photos to share, however, as since then a hurricane has adversely affected the state of my house :(

I've come across a couple of sweet Christmassy idea, which I've been wanting to share with you, my lovely and deeeply appreciated readers :D

Kootoyoo shared a tutorial for these cute no-sew flower ornaments:

I think this felt ornament is simply adorable, and the tutorial is free over on zakka life. Yay! I might even have time to make some... for next Christmas...

Image belongs to zakka life
And lastly, something to munch on. My friend directed me to this cake recipe: Boiled Chocolate Cake. Apparently it doesn't look like much, but the taste and the moistness are incredible. As soon as the damage from the hurricane is taken care of I plan on making it.

Hope all your Christmas planning is going well!

P.S. Don't worry, there wasn't really a hurricane... my house is just superduper messy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Raindrops and Wedding Bells

Today it is my fifth wedding anniversary! Already. It goes by so fast.

I'm sure you will all excuse me for having a little break from adventy/Christmassy posts so that I can have a little reminisce.

Today it is raining. Those who were at my wedding will know how appropriate this is: the days before and after my wedding day were warm and sunny. My wedding day, however, was misty and rainy. I don't think it stopped raining all day. My ivory dress looked blue because of the tarps which were put up to keep guests dry. 

There was no back up plan, and looking back, I wouldn't change anything. Here are a couple of photos.

It has been a good five years :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Day 2: Christmas Knitting

I have already nearly forgotten to post! Not a good start to the month...
So, I'm doing a fair bit of knitting and crocheting for Christmas. My sister is getting a lovely scarf-which-is-also-a-bit-like-a-shawl, called Saroyan.

It has lace leaves running down one side of it.

This photo is from the first time I started making it. You can see that I've done two repeats of the pattern. It has four more increase repeats, making it reasonable wide, then ten repeats that neither increase nor decrease, and then six decrease repeats.

Since taking these photos, I frogged all this (knit-speak for 'undid it all') and started again, using some modifications which makes the ends of the scarf more tapered, gives the first leaf a stem, and uses a different increase which is more invisible. So far I've done three repeat. Each repeat takes about an hour, though they're taking longer as the rows grow.

I have not taken any more photos since starting again, but no doubt you'll see some pictures soon enough!

If you want to make this scarf, it is a free pattern (Ravelry link). If you want to see my details, go visit my Ravely page.

Are you doing any handmade presents for Christmas? Please share! I need more ideas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 Advent Blog-A-Long

I have found another challenge thing to join in with! Yay!

The Advent Blog-A-Long is hosted by Carrose Creations, and the challenge is to post everyday up until the 24th of December.

Prepare yourself for lots of Christmassy stuff! (And maybe even join in?)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of NaNoWriMo

- National Novel Writing Month
- it's actually an international event... not just a national one
- a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November

- that I got halfway! 25,337
- the idea behind it
- the support I recieved from friends, new and old, from all over the world: Poland, UK and South Africa, Australia
- how much my husband encouraged me and believed in me
- that this is the longest thing I have ever written; it is over twice the length of my English Honours thesis
- that the story is interesting, and that I still love it
- that three of my five writing buddies reached 50,000 words! WELL DONE!!!!!!!!

- that I only got halfway
- having a sore wrist for several days, which hampered writing
- Getting so far behind that it would have been really hard to catch up, though still possible

Next year?
- I want to try again.
- Now that I've done it once and learnt a bit about it, I think I'm more likely to reach 50,000 if I try again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

At My House...

At my house it is lovely, wonderful, relaxed and peaceful, albeit untidy and in dire need of a vacuum.

I got out of bed uncharacteristically early (before 7:30am!!!!) because the cat vomited again. This is the third time in the last few days (four days I think), but at least now he has energy again, so I'm not worried about him.
Worry is so draining. I choose to believe for a good outcome, and to be glad over every sign of improvement - it is much nicer.

This is my gorgeous, funny cat... making the best of my husband's backpack being on his (as in the cat's) chair.

My brother unexpectedly popped in for a visit, which was lovely. I absolutely love seeing my brother. Later this week we're going to have some sushi together in Hobart. I'll try to remember to tell you about it.

So, at my house... music has been playing, talking has happened, plans have been made, breakfast and an apple have been eaten (and some chocolate... shhhhh).

Plans for the rest of the day: read a book for an hour or so, crochet a pig (finish it!), cook tea, do the dishes, maybe do some Christmas knitting (post on this is in the works) and (double-maybe) vacuum.

Hmmmm... not many photos today so far, sorry! There was a dragonfly outside that I tried to get pictures of, but it flew away too fast.

I'm joining in with Lou Lou again... if you have some spare time, pop over and be inspired to approach your crazy Monday positively. Turn that frown upside-down!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Todays Creative Space...

Writing is STILL happening! Though not feeling particularly creative about it... I'd rather share a picture of some knitting I have been doing:

It is the start of my sister's Christmas present... more details soonish!

And one last creative thing for today, which I am allowed to do if I reach 25,000 words by 5pm, is some colouring. I stumbled across some utterly adorable colouring-in pages, which you can download for free. The birdies are just so cute!

Are you doing anything creative today?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Owls in 2011

Yes, it is time to start thinking about calenders for 2011.

My birthday is at the very start of the year, and each birthday one of my presents was always a calender. This has changed since I got married, as I have no hooks in a calender-y type place. Instead, I get a big year planner calender from the Tasmanian University (for freeeeeeee!) and stick it up on one of my kitchen walls. Except for this year, where I printed a very functional calender, a page for each month. I am getting kinda antsy for a new calender, however. Perhaps the next time the landlord visits I'll ask him to put a hook/nail in the kitchen wall? (Oh wait! Just realised I have a nail I can use near the backdoor! Yay!)


Do you like owls? If you do, click on the button below to make your own FREE owl calender.

Generous people make me feel so happy and smiley :D

Monday, November 22, 2010

At My House...

...novel writing is still happening. 20,000 words has ben reached, and I'm still hoping to reach 50,000 by the end of the month.
...some storage has been upgraded to plastic tubs (it used to be cardboard boxes):

...the dishes got (mostly) done. (Those who know me will be amazed.)
...a new space has been created upstairs, in a corner of the bedroom:

I actually paid for amazingly little of what you can see here. Grandma made the rug, and most of the rest was either found or given.
This mirror and table were given by a neighbour who moved interstate. The chair used to belong to my mother-in-law and her husband.
I made this mini-logcabin quilt when I was 13 years old.

The picture, table and most of the books are from neighbours who moved/are about to move interstate. I found the basket. I bought the wool (and the vacuum cleaner...).
...some crochet is in progress:

What has been happening at your house?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The BBC Book List and Me

(edit: I am sure that this isn't the official BBC booklist... it's just what is floating around on facebook at the moment. See the comments for further information.)

I've seen this list a couple times now on facebook, and decided to do it here, as a blogpost.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. 

Bold those books you've read in their entirety. 
Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. 
Underline those that you want to read. 
Star (*) those you absolutely love. 
If you've read a book more than once, but the number of times you've read it in brackets. 
If you've seen a movie adaption of a book, or just want to say something about it, put that in brackets too.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (And have seen and love the BBC series)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein (have seen the movie... hate it.)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (3, and have seen a movie of it)
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (have seen all the movies so far)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee  (have seen the movie)
6. The Bible*
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (have seen part of the movie)
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott* (6 or so - lots!) (love the movie in which Katherine Hepburn plays Jo)
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (and have seen various screen adaptions)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (I'd like to hear the movie, but hear that it's crap)
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (managed to make it halfway through the movie)
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (this is a really strange book)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (seen the movie)
(There is NO number 26!)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll* (have seen the cartoon and the latest movie - the one with Johnny Depp in)
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (I think I've read this twice)
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (sort of... I've read two, and listened to the rest. That counts, doesn't it? I also have the BBC series and have seen all the movies that are out so far.)
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen (at least, I don't think I've read it...)
36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (sort of: I've listened to it and I've watched the movie)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini*
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden* (I've also seen the movie a couple of times)
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne*(read it a few times, and have an audio book of it)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I never want to read this.)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery* (I've read this at least three times. I own the whole series except Rainbow Valley. I love them.)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (seen the movie.)
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel (I was meant to read this for uni, but couldn't get into it)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (have seen the movie with Hugh Grant and the BBC adaption)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - Joen Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (and seen the movie... the book is crap, the movie is slightly better)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (I think. I've seen the movie and a play of it for sure though)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett* (Hate the movie, LOVE the book)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome* (have also seen the movie. LOVE)
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (seen the movie)
80. Possession - AS Byatt (Why does this sound familiar?) 
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (would like to see the latest movie, the one with Jim Carrey in it.)
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert 
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White*
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I've read The Sign of Four, and have seen a couple of movies, including the latest one, with Robert Downey Jr. (love him) and Jude Law.)
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery******* (I cannot recommend this highly enough)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (so sad yet beautiful... I had a gorgeous copy but sold it because I didn't really like some aspects of it)
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (have seen both movies, prefer the latest one)
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (but I did see the play!)

So in summary:
I have read 24 of the books on this list (but a couple of these were series)
I have read BITS of six books.
I want to read another seven books.
I have seen lots of movies.
I love children's books.
I think one of H. Rider Haggard's books should be on here. I've read King Solomon's Mines 3 or 4 times and it is a classic.
I might have read the Jane Austen book Northanger Abbey... why couldn't it be on the list :(
I don't understand why there are some series down, and then an individual book from that series. (For example, numbers 14 and 98, and numbers 33 and 36.)

If you also do this list on your blog, please tell me in the comments so I can take a look!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hello Lovelies!

I am overtired and hyped up, so I thought it would be a perfect time to write a blogpost! 

Hello! How've you all been? I'm simply wonderful, though my wrist is quite sore. I can also touch my toes now, because I have been doing pilates everyday since Monday. It is only a 20minute workout, but it's better than nothing! 

Today I have eaten only junk food. Donuts, pizza, lifesavers... it's been utterly delish.
There was also a little sad moment today, as I packaged up my sweet Gertrude to send her all the way to Portland, Oregon. And she's going Air Mail - pigs DO fly! haha

Here she is, just in case you forgot what she looks like:

Now she also has a blue dress with a yellow flower (like the original Penninah Pig). Every pig needs at least two dresses.

I love writing letters (even though my wrist is quite sore at the moment), and this is the letter which is tucked in the parcel which is travelling to a place far away from me:

November 17, 2010
        Dear [wonderful giveaway winner],
Here at least is your sweet pig, won by you way back at the start of October.
I have named her Gertrude (Gertie for short) but I’m sure she would be quite happy should you decide to give her a new name.
I do apologise for taking so long to make her, and I hope she arrives safe and sound at her new home well before Christmas (though she may cut it fine!).
If she gets dirty, she is perfectly happy to be put in a delicates bag or a pillowcase and put in the washing machine on the cold cycle. Clothes dryers, however, she detests, preferring instead to lie in the sun or near a heater until she is nice and dry.
I hope she becomes a treasured toy, played with often. You will see that she already has two dresses. She did tell me that she longed to have a princess dress, but I told her to be patient, saying that no doubt she would be made one once she reached her new home in America.
Katherine xxx

Oh yes, I do hope that her new owners adore her!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pasta with Tomato, Butter and Onion Sauce

This is such a delicious and simple recipe. It is really economical too. And it tastes like summer.

You need:
2x400g tins of whole peeled tomotoes
70g butter
1 onion, peeled and halved
Pasta (400 or 500grams) - I like spiral pasta for this sauce

Put the tomatoes, butter and onion halves in a medium saucepan. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, occassionally stirring and crushing the tomotoes against the sizes of the saucepan. Start cooking the pasta when the sauce has about 15 minutes left to cook. Once the sauce is cooked, remove the onion and mix the sauce into the drained pasta. Serve with cheese on top.

Picture: not really worth a picture... it tastes like summer, but it just looks boring.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eggwhites Everywhere

The downside to making icecream all the time are the large quantities of eggwhites leftover (and getting fat). There are only so many times I can make meringues before I tire of them.

I will conquer this!

This post is just as much for my benefit as it is for all of you who make recipes that only call for eggyolks. I put out a call on Ravelry for recipes, and did a google search... and was surprised at what turned up.


2. This site has links to over a dozen eggwhite recipes, including cakes, icing, Souffléd Egg White Balls with Red Bean Paste (interesting!), pavlova and more macaroons. And a volcano!

3.  Egg-White Crepes. These sounds like a really yummy and simple dessert or snack to make.

4. Curried Eggwhites
I don't know why I didn't think of this before, having made curried eggs with whole eggs many, many times. Here's the recipe: Scramble your egg whites, put them into a bowl when cooked. Add in some curry powder (Keens in Australia) and mix it through with a fork. (I would probably also add some mayonaisse or margarine). Serve as a sandwich spread.

5. Here is a Swiss Coconut Macaroon recipe:
250 coconut (shredded or ground), 200g sugar, 3 egg whites - beat the egg whites until stiff, mix in coconut and sugar, put make little mounds with 2 teaspoons and put on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 150 deg. C for about 30 until golden
They stay nice and moist in the middle and taste great. If you want to use 4 egg whites, just increase coconut and suger by 1/3 

6. Forgotten cookies!
Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
Beat 4 egg whites, 1 1/3c sugar, splash lemon juice (or cream of tartar) till stiff peaks form. Fold in 1C chocolate chips (you can add nuts or use m&ms). Drop by spoonfulls on parchment lined cookie sheets. Put in oven, turn off oven, leave cookies in overnight (or at least 4 hours).
Delicate, light, delicious cookies. 

7. Conan's Top 10 Egg White Recipes (this is where number 4 comes from)

8. Freeze them! Ice-cube trays are great for this, as you can freeze them seperately.

To finish off, what do you think of this tasty tidbit, told by a person on Ravelry:
"When I was going through culinary school... we were told that some of the best and oldest bakeries in Paris still used egg whites from containers they’d kept in the fridge, or really cold storage, for years."

Is it just me, or does that sound kinda gross?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A World-Wide Community

Usually it is not until we admit that we are struggling that we are surrounded by community. 

I have found this to be true many times, in several different situations. When I failed my teaching prac I was given so much support and encouragement by fellow students, friends and my family. When I cut off a destructive relationship, unsure of what would happen next and of being alone, I was immediately surrounded by friends who pretty much fell over backwards to support and help me, offering me comfort and wise advice as I needed it.

I've lost count of the amount of times I've been at breaking point, feeling discouraged and depressed, and someone has come along and given me an encouraging word which was just what I needed to hear, even though they had no idea of what was even wrong.

This is all a big long introduction to this:

I am so grateful for the support I am receiving as I attempt NaNo, and I love that it is coming from all over the world. Specifically:

1. The UK. A friend who I met during uni moved to the UK to be with her man, and we are in contact nearly everyday via facebook.
2. South Africa. A person from Ravelry contacted me and we are emailing each other back and forth, encouraging and keeping accountable to each other.
3. Poland. A guy (hehe) who I used to go to church with now lives over there with his wife and two children, and is doing NaNo for the second time. He has offered a lot of encouragement to me. On Sunday he sent me this:
Well done!
He has also figured out how to include my dare of having a real recipe in the book:
"You will be pleased to know that I have included cake as a crucial part of my novel and I plan to have the recipe included in chapter seven." 
He dared me to include an alien abduction in mine... I'm still working out the details...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gertrude the Giveaway Pig

Life has a habit of speeding up just when you need it to slow down. 

That is my excuse for only just having finished making the pig for the Giveaway (back on October 2nd).

Would you like to meet her?

Her name is Gertrude, and she is very excited about travelling to America. 

I thought about making her a little suitcase with properties similar to Mary Poppins' carpet bag so that I could tuck myself inside and travel with her. My husband, however, insists that I stay here with him :(

As this little pig turned out much smaller than my original pig, I made a couple of adjustments to the dress as I made it: I replaced the double crochets with half double crochets, and in the second row increased to 36 instead of 40 hdcs total (notes are on the project's ravelry page). 

I hope that Gertrude will be very, very loved in her new home! I will miss her. I love all my crochet babies.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

On the NaNoWriMo Front...

Tell me, are my posts getting boringer now that Blogtoberfest has finished?

Actually, don't answer that. I'm not always the best at taking criticism (however helpful).

On the NaNoWriMo front...

1. I was doing well for the first three days.
2. I then started resenting it because it had changed too much in fundamental ways from my original idea.
3. These changes meant that details I had envisioned and some scenes I had imagined could no longer take place.
4. This made me a little depressed.
5. I have had three days break from writing.
6. Yesterday I realised why I was feeling so "blah" about the writing (see points 2 and 3)
7. Today, I have started editing and changing the necessary details of the story so it aligns with my original idea.
8. I am halfway through this process.
9. I am feeling much happier.
10. I like even numbers, and so needed to have a 10th dot point.

I hope all you other Nano-ers are doing well and feeling happy with your progress and with what you are writing!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lazy Day

Today is a nothing day. I slept in (I was feeling sick) and my husband is reading the latest Robert Jordan book. 

Soon I'll be making some chai tea ice cream for a girly dessert night this evening (very soon, considering the time!), and I'll do some work on my Nano novel too.

These are some photos I took yesterday. Roses from a huge, overgrown and untended bush that grows outside my kitchen window.

Today I feel rather like this half-decimated dandelion puff. Like I might get blown away if a strong enough breeze comes along. I guess I'm feeling a bit frail... no, frail is the wrong word. I'm feeling distant, disconnected and insular, but peaceful. Strange.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Creative Space

My creative space is on my laptop, typing away on my story in Scriviner.

Truth be told, I have fallen a little behind on the necessary wordcount for my NaNo writing. Not by too much though. Enough for me to feel a bit too much pressure. I thought that I'd give you a little excerpt. 

Please remember that this is a first draft, and so a little crappiness is to be expected!

       Lily was a clumsy girl. She was always spilling juice down her front and tripping over and landing on her face. Lily’s clumsiness wasn’t due to hands or feet that were unnaturally large. Rather, Lily suffered from an overdeveloped imagination.
In Lilyland, as her parents called it, cups of juice became goblets of poison, so how could Lily keep her hands from trembling as she bravely tried to stand firm against her pirate captors? Likewise, how could she help tripping over when she was walking along with her face pointed up at the sky, looking for pictures in the clouds.
It is fortunate that Lily’s imagination had such an effect on her, because if she had been looking where she was galloping one sunny morning, she would never have tripped over and landed with her face a few centimetres from a toadstool.
Lily looked at the toadstool, a little dazed from her fall. Why, it looked like it had little arms! How could that be? Toadstools are toadstools and never have arms. Lily knew this because she found toadstools Very Interesting. This was, unfortunately, because Lily’s parents had told her never to touch a toadstool, saying that they can make you extremely sick. Lily was not a disobedient girl, and so she never purposely touched one after that first incident of bringing a basketful inside so as to decorate her bedroom. Every now and then though, on warm days which make you feel drowsy, Lily could often be found lying on her tummy staring dreamily at a toadstool.
Lily had looked at many, many toadstools, and none of them had arms like this toadstool did.
“Hello? Mr Toadstool?”
Lily waited for a reply. There was none.
“I can see your arms, I know that you must be able to move and talk!”
There was still no reply, but Lily thought she saw one of the arms twitch. She tilted her head to the side. A tiny foot came into view.
“I can see your foot! Please say hello.”
There seemed to be a movement. Lily wondered why the toadstool still refused to reply. She remembered that if she was feeling afraid sometimes she would refuse to talk.
“Oh, don’t be scared, dear Mr Toadstool, I would never hurt you. I love meeting new people.”
The arms disappeared and for a second Lily thought she had frightened the toadstool even more, but a moment later a very small person came out from behind the toadstool stem, hands on hips and glaring angrily.
“I’m not afraid,” squeaked the tiny person. “I wouldn’t be afraid even if you were a cat. I’m not afraid of anything! And stop calling me ‘Mr Toadstool’! I’m not a toadstool!
Lily jumped in surprise. This little person was even smaller than her dolls.
“Sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you. I’ve never seen such a tiny person before. What is your name? And why are your ears shaking?”
At this last question the little person glared even more.
“My ears are shaking because I’m angry. Any intelligent Gendle would know that. I suppose overgrown beasts like you are rather stupid.”

That is the first part of the story. I hope you enjoyed it! No doubt you'll hear more soon enough!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I just read Erin's most recent post, and though I'm not going to join in with Curious Girl's month of gratitude, Erin's post made me think about all I have to be grateful for. Or, to put it another way, it made me think of some of the ways in which I have been blessed.

I have a wonderful husband who loves me and cares for me.

I live in a cute unit in a good location, with a great landlord.

We have lived here for four years, so our rent is well below what others pay due to prices rising drastically during the last couple of years.

I don't need to work, as my husband earns enough money to support both of us.

Even when my husband's job finishes on Christmas Eve (great timing), we will still have enough money to live on - one of the benefits of living in a welfare state.

I have a cute cat with LOADS of personality.

Now that I have finished university for the year, I am free to spend my holidays doing whatever I want. Like writing the first draft of a novel (yes, I have realised that I am slightly insane).

I have my own laptop (which I am typing on right now).

Though I don't need to, I can make enough jams and marmalades to last a year when fruit is cheap or even free.

There are many, many more things I am grateful for, even the opportunity I have to share what I think and do with you, most of you who I have never met.

It has made me think though... I have such an easy life, even when money is tight we've always had enough, and I have so much leisure time. It might be a good life, but is it a blessed life? It makes me think of the Beatitudes, where Jesus teaches huge crowds that those who are mourning, those who are merciful, pure in heart, those who are peacemakers are blessed. Not that those who have time to rest, that have all the food they need and all the stuff they need are blessed.

Just a thought. 

I am grateful that I can think.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Before I Wither Of Exhaustion

I can barely type properly, and I apologise if there a* are typos in her* here that I didn't manage to fix (I've already fixed four... make that five). Six, I just noticed I had spelt 'apologise' incorrectly.

I have officially written 2354 words of my NaNo novel. I need to write just under another 1000 today to reach the target of 3334. It's going well despite the wonky typing. Though I'm not really sure if I have another 1000 words in me quite yet... maybe I should make some pikelets?

I drew pictures.

This is Dimitria. She is three inches tall (name comes from the word "diminish" hehe) and is the main character in the story. She is a Gendle (which explains the big ears), and lives in a land known as Gendlewune where no one ever worries.

(I've already fixed up another dozen or so typos.)

This is a 'cover' (haha, getting ahead of myself much?).

When I have time (which I don't think is going to be until Friday) I'm going to play around in GIMP (free!) to edit (and maybe colour?) these pictures.

Unless my brain is a totally frazzled mess by then, in which case I'll probably be watching The Sound of Music and/or rocking back and forth while muttering incoherently about Gendles, big ears and double crossings.

*And oh my, just noticed two typos in the first paragraph but can't be bothered fixing them. Enjoy.
No, I should fix them (I'll do the strikeout thing!). Otherwise my husband will get home and start telling me about them write right away.