Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Discombobulated.. or Jodie is sick of the sight and sound of herself

Most of the last two weeks has been disappointingly discombobulated ...Why ? well because I am an idiot basically. As usual, I set myself HUGE MASSIVE UNREACHABLE goals for the two weeks off work and then got the total shits on with myself for not even getting close to achieving them. Team that with a dose of E.I.T.T.T.S and that's a whole big overflowing cup of ugly !
It's so easy to concentrate on what I haven't done , or haven't had time to finish...
So pardon me while I indulge in a bit of reality therapy won't you?
Hi my name is Jodie and in the last two weeks :

Reuben got released.

I went to AQC with Annie and Lizzie where I bought a new sewing machine !
I was introduced to an awesome new fabric shop
I made a tea-set

I dressed an elephant

I made a truly beautiful tea-pot out of Liberty fabric from the aforementioned fabric shop.
I wrote a whole new pattern that is off being tested as we speak
I made an awesome chicken with Sooz and Amy during a fabulous visit. I mended clothes for the no-longer-living-at -home teen
I spent a day sewing with the hairy-still-living-at-home-teen.
I read 5 books (kids lit-nice and easy)
I finished the final tweaking of (as in totally finished) three projects for Daylesford Craft ExperienceI cooked, cleaned (not very much) mothered, daughtered, wifed, transported and generally did all that other boring non-blogworthy stuff as well.
My inability to logically look at that list and be happy with it drives me almost as insane as the ridiculous expectations I have in the first place. Seriously I should go to Cash Converters and trade my brain in for something useful - like a fondue pot!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Countryside Softies Giveaway

Hi guys, Welcome to Ric Rac...if you are visiting for the first time as you follow the book tour then please make yourself at home. We are all pretty nice around here, a bit odd at times but in a good way . A little while ago I got an email from Amy Adams asking if I would like to take part in 'blog tour' of her book, Countryside Softies.... what you guys need to know is that I am a huge fan of Amy's work and more than a little bit envious of her talent. Amy has such a distinct style and her softies have such personality's. Sometimes as you trawl the internet you might chance upon a link of link of a link ...this has happened to me and in my mind I think - Oh thats Lucykate's !!! Thats how distinct her style is...
I was sent a digital copy of the book, and while reading a book from the computer is not my natural state (we librarians like the actual turning of paper) I have to say as I scrolled I still got that excited feeling and a few little gasps as I went through. The owls and the fox on the cover are my absolute favourites.

Amy has created 28 unique fabric softies that can easily be sewn by hand or machine. Using cast-off woollens Amy's toys are soft and warm and they embrace all levels of ability - a little bit of wonkiness just adds character and personality !In fact the softies are all graded according to how difficult they are .
Look, Lets be honest Amy is a dead-set superstar and her toys are just gorgeous. The book takes you through the whole process of felting your wool and making your softie, and adding the cute embellishments to bring them to life.
So yes, here is another book destined to be bought and added to my shelf but you don't have to buy one . The people at Stash Books have a copy of Countryside Softies to give fact jump on board the book tour - as they are giving one away at each stop. Isn't this guys awesome ? Amy posted this pattern for his little pond over on Whip-up at the start of the blog tour....

If you want to jump on the are the rest of the dates- go and visit everyone.

April 23 - Syko

April 24 - Lucykate crafts - Amy herself

April 25 - Treefall designs

April 26 - I heart linen

April 28 - Plush you

April 30 - Allsorts

If you would like to win a copy of the book, just leave a comment and tell me which animal you would like to see as a softie - I'll close the giveaway on Sunday evening....and the winner will be chosen by the random number thingo...

(and Amy, that fox just kills me)

All in one day

At the AQC last wekend Lizzie got to telling us about her "local". We visited their stand at the show and made plans to visit.

Oh MY Such a beautiful building- with restaurant cafe next door where we had a delicious lunch .
Filled with pretties and 2,500 bolts of fabric.
Mt heart was definately set on bringing home some liberty, I had seen it at the show and had decided I needed a largish piece, Ok and maybe a mixed pack as well.
and this classroom /exhibiton space is enormous and so full of light. Situated only about half an hour from us in Ballan, Annie and I were amazed that we hadn't heard of Mill Rose before.

After a great chat with the owner, we finalised our purchases and headed next door for a restorative coffee and piece of cake. I have to thank Lizzie for all the photos (more on her blog) as I left my camera at home. I agree with Lizzie when she says you should come along and visit her local - it was a perfect ! Annie and I have decided it should be the venue for our monthly staff meetings ( they are just get-togethers really but if we call them staff meeting they sound more important)
I'm sure we won't need to twist Lizzie's arm to get her to attend....

Millrose Quilting & Gallery
Main Road Ballan
92 Inglis St
Ballan, Vic.

So we set off home with my head all abuzz with plans for the delicious liberty fabrics, only to find an even greater excitement on the kitchen table ! (You can see Master 16 started to open it and then thought better of it - clever boy!)
Now if I can just brave myself to actually turn it on - I might be able to do something with that Liberty fabric.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So , whilst I bought very little at the AQC on Saturday - I did buy something that I chose not to carry home with me on the train.

I think she's almost here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog bore

I know I have been a bit of a blog bore lately,

in my defense, to get to this.............

there is a whole stack of this, and a mind-numbingly lot of this !
None of which make for very good blog.

BUT tomorrow I am heading off to The Australasian Quilt convention with Annie and Lizzie, where I plan to investigate the new sewing machine somewhat. I'm also hoping to find some fabric that will shake me out of my E.I.T.T.T.S .
I'll be visiting one of Reuben's buddies on the Ballarat Patchwork stand and keeping my eyes peeled for Lara, and Carmel, and Fi, and.......if Annie is willing there may even be a crochet lesson on the way !


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


OK. That's it . I have cracked it.I need a new sewing machine. I have saved a not inconsiderable amount of money and the time has come. (I have been muttering about a new machine for at least a year)
I currently drive a Janome QC something or other and I'm guessing it is eightish years old....

Short of some sewing machine company wanting to sponsor me to the tune of a new sewing machine, I'm in the market for a change.

Bernina seems to be winning at the moment.
What do you drive ? What do you love about it?
What features can't you live without
(oh and don't bother trying to sell me on quilting functions - you know I don't speak quilt)

I'm heading off to AQC on the weekend and I think I might talk turkey to some of the dealers.

What questions should I ask ?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thanks for the depend.

Front man in the band.

(Grim Fandango's you can like them on face book and freak him out)
Too cool for school.


Recently purchased and took a sandwich toaster to school to toast other kids sandwiches

(for a price)

Incredible indignation at its confiscation.

Incredible indignation at most things....

Agreed (for a price) to do some test sewing.

because, as he said - "I have mad-as skillz"

"Mum ! Why doesn't your sewing machine go around corners"

Cue some instruction and lots of "I knew that "

"Wow this is cool"

"I totally rock this sewing shit"

"mum.... Mum..... F#%* My hair is caught in your sewing machine"

(quietly wetting myself with laughter in the corner)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday night

It was a big night at Chez Ric rac on Friday night night. The one remaining teenager was out and the scene was setMr Ric-rac could not stop smiling and I had something very very special planned

yep, Nikki's Book !

While Mr Ric-rac headed off to the boy-cave to watch football, I poured a glass of something yummy and settled in. I had dressed for the occasion in unmatched pyjamas, chenille dressing gown and socks.( I know Nikki would approve) Of course, you guys know that I know Nikki, we frequently sewjourn together where I even saw some of these projects get worked and tweaked and photographed. Rumour has it I even pattern tested something for this book. But do not think I'll be letting that friendship get in the way of a hard-hitting warts and all review ! So I have actually read this book cover to cover, I started with the dedication and finished at the photo credits. The thing I love about this book is that is almost a journey in itself. You can start at the beginning with a cute little zipper rose and work your way through the book until you are whipping up your own pattern-free clothing. Of course , depending on where you are with your skill levels , you can just jump in half way through and learn some new techniques.

Actually I think the techniques and tips are the best thing about this book - I am always in awe of the stuff we learn from Nikki at sewjourn - she often had an easier , faster and DEFINITELY NEATER way doing things, and she always has a gadget to help. The book explains some helpful gadgets and has a whole chapter on techniques.There is heaps to learn in that chapter. (She even shares the magic 3cm rule) If I picked this book up for a flick through in a book shop , I'd be impressed with the amount of step by step photos, I'd smile at the writing style - informative and friendly and then as I progressed through the book, I'd begin to imagine making some of the projects and then I'd get to the pattern free clothing section and my wallet would be out as I headed to the counter.

Then as I put the book on the counter, I'd tell the surly young man with the stapled-on eyebrow I'd say "This is a great book, actually its written by a friend of mine"

"She's an author you know" and I'd smile as he put it in a bag and sticky-taped it shut

and I'd think to myself, "Holy shit Nikki, it's a real-life actual book"

(Oh and the word on the crafty street is that Nikki's book is sneaking onto her stall at AQC next week !)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The fat lady dances

So while I am still suffering a shocking case of EITTTS, I was reminded today that it is not always so.

Sheesh , he's done pretty well for a small town postal duck hasn't he?

Milligan is in this months issue of Homespun magazine and he is in some very fine company indeed. and today sees the last working day of the school term for me, I don't have to be back at work for 19 sleeps. At approximately 3.31, if the wind was blowing the right way , and you were listening, you may have heard the faintest whoop and felt the earth tilt ever so slightly on its axis, as I danced a little fat-lady dance through the library shelves and out the door.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Yes, just like one of those nasty "social diseases" I'm afraid it's back.

My recurring nemesis in the form of crap sewing, crap decisions and all round crap crap.

Yep I have a serious case of E.I.T.T.T.S, in fact bubonic-plague-like-case my be a more accurate description. For those of you lucky enough to be immune or at least symptom free, you can find out more information here, here and here . I'm telling you , if you don't see some evidence of craft in this space by the end of the weekend, write me off as the first known fatality and make me a little plaque.

(nothing over the top of course - something tasteful...perhaps with underpants ?)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hook up catch up and hang out

Next Saturday "Making it Handmade" is going to be shown here in Ballarat.

Anna brownfield who is from Ballarat, followed four Melbourne crafters and documented their stories and the rise of craft. There is an article about it here if you'd like to take a look.

Anna sent me an email this week offering a double pass to give away here on the blog, which I gratefully accepted on your behalf .

(Don't worry guys this weeks list of refusals has included UGG boots and rugs )

So if you can get to the screening , and want the chance to win the double pass please leave your details in the comments.

I'll pop back tomorrow and announce a winner.

I am really looking forward to it - not just the movie but the chance to meet Anna and have a bit of a local crafty meet-up as well.

What say you guys to a movie and then some coffee /cake afterwards?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Some days I think its the whole world....

and other days I'm happy its just me.

(I'll be in the sewing room if you need me)