Thursday, November 29, 2012


My Christmas ornament for the swap is complete, finished, done. I took Tania's wise words into my day yesterday as I embarked on my third attempt at getting this right. I'm far from a perfectionist, but I got the yips once it really dawned on me that it was going to hang in someone else's home, not just here at my place with all the mess and chaos. So instead of "aiming for a look of perfection", I've got wonky and funny, but loveable nonetheless. 

It should be said that I am neither an embroiderer nor a patchworker. But of course I thought I'd give both a bash. Tis the season for trying new crafts at the end of the year when you're really quite busy and really should have gone with something you know like

One might fairly surmise I'm not much chop when it comes to drafting a five-pointed star either. Wonky? Uh-huh. 

But loveable.

My recipient claims to like Christmas, and Christmas to me means red and green. And although it mightn't be apparent, the patterns on the embroidered side were traced from some Christmassy cookie cutters. It doesn't get more yuletide than that.

I hope my far-away swap partner likes her funny little star. It shall be winging its way to her tomorrow. I hope it arrives in time.

Thanks again, Christina, for organising this fun, only slightly stressful, event!

(Amazing woman she is, she's now launching a fantastic 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. Do go and check it out - a prize a day for 12 days!!! And I have some inside info that there will be some very, very nice stuff on offer.)

Oh, and because I know you'll ask, the beautiful button is part of the latest haul from my dealer, the Craft Queen herself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For Kids

The Bumpy Bonnet for kids is available in the shop now.
Toddler and baby sizes are there too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

20 Years

Last weekend, I travelled back to my home town for my 20-year high school reunion. Let's hear that again - my 20-year high school reunion.

It's ludicrous.

It was only a few years ago that I finished that final exam, flounced my way through the graduation ball, then headed off with my high marks and high hopes to university.

It was only a few years ago that I left university - with a creative arts degree instead of the law degree I'd set out for - and fumbled through a few useless auditions while polishing my waitressing skills in the big smoke.

It was only a few years since I filled a backpack and headed north, landing on an island in the bluest of seas, to further enhance those waitressing talents and fill my bank account with travelling cash.

A few years, only a few, since, weeping and jittery, I farewelled my mum and sisters at Sydney airport and boarded a plane for Europe where I would spend the next two years working and travelling, working and travelling, and wondering what to do with my life.

Only a few years since the awful phone call from the other side of the world telling me my brother had died.

A few years since returning home, a little lost, to discover two years in Europe might sound good over a few beers at the pub, but didn't look all that impressive on a CV.

It was only a couple of years ago, I'm sure it was, that I was stumbling around doing film courses, journalism courses, writing plays, producing plays, trying to tell stories that people wanted to hear. And still waitressing.

A couple of years ago living alone in tiny inner-city apartments, scrounging to pay rent, making day-before-pay-day decisions between 'loaf of bread' and 'packet of ciggies'.

A couple of years since falling into a great job, one that I loved, and paid well, and let me have sick days and holidays and finally release the word nerd that had been trying to get out.

Only a couple of years - surely only a couple - since being introduced to a handsome Greek bloke at work one morning. Only a couple of years since we got it together to go out, start a relationship, move in together, go overseas together.

A couple of years since he made some poetic association between lighthouses and right directions when he proposed to me at dusk looking over the water at Santorini. 

And I said yes.

And I'm sure it was just the other day that my mother walked me down the aisle of a Greek church in Sydney, stepping on the bay leaves that remained from the Easter just past, and a crown was placed on my head, joined with a ribbon to the one on his head, and we circled three times behind the priest.

Only just last year, I'm sure, that we got married, mortgaged and pregnant, all in the space of a few months.

And only last year, I know it was, that our Lola arrived to make us a family, a few months ago, it couldn't be more, that we went from one to three kids in a single leap, just last week that we followed our hearts out of the city to this tiny village in the hills.

It's just not possible that 20 years have passed since that first, enormous leap into the world.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Lovelies

A small selection of lovely from the week:
1) Kitchen helper.
2) From my mother-in-law's garden.
3) A dear friend's new bub (don't worry, his eyes survived the poking).
4) A birthday cake for her godmother got stuck in the tin. We served it with a spoon and called it pudding.
5) Necklace-making.
6) A little modelling - the camera was playing up but I quite like the result.
7) Everywhere I turn, shoes.

Hoping your week is a lovely one.

Some new stock will be going into the shop this week. 'Like' Typically Red on Facebook if you want to be the FIRST to find out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

Via Soulemama.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today I have been experimenting in preparation for Christina's Handmade Ornament Swap...

Upsizing an old favourite...

Getting busy in the kitchen, cooking, writing and taking photos...

And playing with fabric and trims for an exciting project in the pipeline.

If I had to spend all my days like this, I wouldn't complain.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A big stack of magazines waiting for a big stack of spare minutes on a lazy afternoon, coffee in hand, children otherwise occupied. I looked at the calendar today. I think they'll be waiting awhile.

And at risk of sounding repetitive, the only thing happening in knitting news is hats. Hats, hats, hats. I have a special order for some newborn pixies, and I'm waiting for the yarn to arrive. So in the meantime, I've been making sure boys are fairly represented in the shop, tricky when all my days revolve around three girls. My funny little nephew Oscar modelled the chocolate Chubby Pixie when I visited on the weekend. He stood very still and followed direction beautifully - we'll have him back any day.

Yarn Along here.
More photos from the shoot here.
Buy the hat, or order something similar, here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Taking Note

I have a weakness for an empty notebook. Ignore the many I already have waiting to be filled. Ignore the fact a 45-cent exercise book from the supermarket will do the job. Sometimes I need to buy a beautiful notebook...just because. The purchase usually coincides with a sudden burst of organisational or inspirational energy. I may have decided to begin journaling, or list-making, or meal planning, or business planning, or the general sorting and setting in place of some sort of complex system that will ensure the smooth running and general betterment of our days and lives. I will fill the first few pages with zest and enthusiasm and then...well.

On my recent shopping expedition in Singapore, I came across this trio with animal prints and red stitching on the covers, all tied up with string. Calling it a souvenir made the decision easier. And although three new notebooks should mean I don't need one more, when that one has a Fair Isle knitting pattern printed on the cover - found in my favourite local store, Made by Others - well, what's a girl to do?

Four new notebooks, and much, much planning, writing and filling to be done.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Singapore: Cousins

I couldn't talk about our holiday without mentioning the reason we went in the first place, and the reason I'd go back tomorrow if I could - these guys.

My sister and her family relocated to Singapore a year ago and have sunk right into the lifestyle there. We're used to their absence. They're adventurers, these ones. It might seem odd given the tropical climate they live in at the moment, but they follow the snow - a few months in Utah and Canada each year, then home to Thredbo for the local ski season. Madi just made the Australian children's team. She's in the top three in the country in her age group. And her three brothers are following close on her heels. Just quietly, I'm psyching myself for some aunty-style Olympics cheering in the next decade. 

These big cousins showered adoration on my girls. From holding hands as we walked around the zoo, to pushing the stroller through shopping centres, playing dress-ups, sharing ice-cream, endless hairstyling sessions - they had a ball. And big cousins playing with little cousins meant the mums got to go and do indulgent, relaxing things like have coffee, and go shopping, and have reflexology foot massages!!!

Oh, how we wished they lived closer (but how nice it is to have an excuse for an international jaunt!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Singapore: Shopping

Singapore equals shopping for a lot of people. 

Budget, multiple toddlers and a general lack of interest meant I didn't really hit the high street on our holiday. But I did have one lovely morning with my sister in Tiong Bahru where, after our requisite coffee and pastry at the Tiong Bahru Bakery, we went in search of a bookshop I wanted to check out, and chanced upon a beautiful design/interiors shop as well. It was called Strangelets - its tag line "Militant Craftsmanship." I asked if I could take some pictures, and the woman behind the counter said, "It's too pretty not to."

I wasn't polite enough to ask next door in BooksActually. I just snapped away. Oh, how I love a beautiful, eclectic, overstuffed bookstore.

I think I'd find myself in this little corner of the city quite regularly if I ever lived in Singapore.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ambition versus Reality

I have a dear friend who had a birthday just before I went on holidays. Having long wanted to knit something for her, I quickly set about choosing a pattern and yarn for my suitcase, expecting completely and without question that it would be a finished gift upon my return to Australia. I even packed two other holiday knitting projects to fill all those anticipated empty days after I finished the first. 

Sigh. There are never enough hours, even on holidays, to knit everything that needs to be knitted. I would estimate my progress on the shawl, after two weeks, to be about 5%. Oh, dear. I'm sure all the wool and patterns enjoyed their time away, even if they didn't see the outside of the suitcase.

I did finish a book on my holiday, and make hefty progress on a second. This Anita Shreve novel fit the bill perfectly for poolside reading. My attempts at poolside knitting were less successful, but at least I tried...

It's left me wondering about those tropical climates, as I sit here at home in chilly, ridiculous-for-November temperatures. Could I live in a place where knitting seems, well, crazy? Would the dumplings and noodles make up for the lack of fireside clickety-clack? I just don't know.

Joining in with the Yarn Along here.

And thanks again for your fabulous and supportive comments, both here and at my new Facebook page, for the launch of Typically Red Knits. I'm looking forward to a couple of fun giveaways in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Singapore: Water

It was cold when I awoke this morning. Later it warmed up into a glorious day, hot for these parts. I had a burst of nostalgia and put the sprinkler on for the girls to run through, remembering the hours I spent doing the same as a child. Watching them play, I thought about all the water we found to play in on our holiday.

Thanks for all your kind, encouraging words about the grand shop opening. In the lead-up, I have very quietly begun a Typically Red Facebook page. I'd love you to 'like' me, so to speak. 


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