Showing posts with label foxes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foxes. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Busy End of the Year

We all know things start to get a bit busy at this time of year.  But it still surprises me every time!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last popped my head into Amazona Blogland. For busy reasons.

My weekday office job has been a bit busy-ish, both the Sonofaguns are almost at the end of the school year which means lots of end of year excursions, concerts, dinners and getting ready for next year preparations are already kicking in.

Especially for Sonofagun No.1 who finishes from his school this year.

Victorians are weird. As in the state, not the era.
Back where I come from in the Imperial City, grommits (the affectionate Aussie slang term for kids, not the medical devices used to expel earwax) first go to Primary School from Kindergarten to 6th grade, then High school which is Year 7 to Year 10, then College for yrs 11 & 12, then out into the big crazy word of university, technical college or apprenticeships.

There are now some schools there which go from Kindy to year 12, but whateves. It's straight forward.

Down here in crazy Victoria where the football is kicked around by lanky basketballers in tighty tight pants (yes Warwick Capper. I'm talking about you.) and singlets, most schools seem to go from Prep (their weird name for kindy) to year 9. Then Senior college is from year 10 to 12.

I'm a bit out of touch with the football world, but apparently since retiring from AFL, Mr Capper has since dabbled in acting, politics and pornos. source: Wikipedia. So it must all be true.

Sonofagun No.1 is ending his first batch of school years to start Senior College next year.

So what is the most thoughtful, well considered thing a Senior College can do to parents who are trying to help their kids finish up the school year, wrap up their own work stuff, get ready for all those End of Year Xmas parties and start thinking about shopping for Christmas?

Send them all the wonderful book list and invoices for school fees for next year of course!

All payable just before Christmas!

Why thank you! How incredibly THOUGHTFUL!
Why don't you give me a papercut and pour lemon juice on it?

That's my Sunday afternoon exasperation over with.

In more fun news, I finished Henry J. Fox!

I found the pattern in a copy of Simply Crochet magazine Issue. 35 and he was designed by Yan Schenkel.

After spending so much head space designing Stevie Bird and Pearly the Hummingbird, I wanted to just let go and be led along by someone else for a little while, so he was a nice, easy diversion. It was so easy to follow the instructions and worked up in just a few days!
crochet amigurumi fox
































Isn't he handsome?

I've also been writing up a quick tutorial for a cute little Christmas Star Garland.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have already seen a few of my pics.

There are so many different variations on this theme out there in Crochetland.  I did a bit of research and am hopeful this pattern isn't already out there. I'm almost finished writing up the tutorial to post in the next few days.

Sonofagun No.2 decided Baby Penguin & Captain Fluff had to see what Mama Amazona was doing...

Yes there'll also be a stitch graph for the graphically minded of you!

I have also been attempting to sort through some over flowing shelves of crap treasures.  You only get my After photo. The Before photo was a dusty mess!


Our Melbourne Spring has continued to display it's usual buffet style weather.  I received a call from someone in Queensland last week who asked "How's the weather down there?"

"Oh well, this morning it was rainy, then windy, then sunny, now it's rainy but it's supposed to clear up soon."
"So the usual Melbourne weather," they replied!
But today has been just beautiful so I took a few gratuitous flower pics...







free crochet tutorial

Just before I sign off, I thought I'd show you some pics I posted on Facie yesterday afternoon.

My BBB (best bloggy buddy) Vicki from Off the Hook and I were comparing the weather in her section of the world and mine.  We took photos at around the same time right there and then!

Here in Melbourne....


And up on the other side of the world, Vicki took this photo...

What's happening in your corner of the world?

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Red Haired Amazona indulges in an Ikea shopping frenzy!

For some people this sign fills people with joy and inspiration:




For others, it fills them with a sense of dread.  The sort of dread you feel when you know you have to go to a shopping mall.  You think of the trillions of people. The screaming kids and babies. The shopping trolley with the dodgy wheel that sets off your sciatica. Couch after couch after couch. 

Keeping the kids from jumping on every single bed they see and hiding in the cupboards of the fake rooms, running for the little Swedish fox and deer toys and pulling them out, "Mum, can I have this one Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeassssse?  I promise I'll be good!" And then they're little monsters.

Stopping for coffee or Salmon in the cafe, then dragging the kids out of the play area screaming which they then insist on doing for the rest of the trip while you wish Smaland wasn't booked up with other peoples screaming, snotty little darlings so you could chuck yours in and run like a frenzied monkey through the store grabbing everything in sight in the 1 hour time limit.

Dread? I don't feel it.  Whilst shopping malls are my worst nightmare, I love Ikea. I am mildly overwhelmed by it, but love it. I may be the only person to ever move cities for Ikea. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. 4 years ago Ikea was not on the horizon for the Imperial City of Canberra, my hometown. I wished so badly for there to be one though.  It was a horrendous 4 hour drive to Sydney to the nearest store in Homebush if you wanted to indulge in Kottbullar.
So when I had made the decision to move to Melbourne, one of the big yes ticks was there was not one, but two Ikea stores!
I received an offer for a job with another employer in Melbourne, then wrote my resignation letter to my government employer.
It actually said:

"To (whoever at the HR section),

I wish to submit my resignation.  I will cease employment at (insert government department here) on the 29th of May 2011 in order to pursue my dream to live in a city with an Ikea. 

Kind regards,

The Red Haired Amazona."


The response I got back was:

"To Ms Red Haired Amazona,

On behalf of (insert government department here), I accept your resignation and wish you many happy shopping hours with Ikea. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

HR person signing the letter"


I definitely can't claim to visit Ikea often. Possibly 2-3 times a year. But I've never looked back.
In the next few months Canberra's first Ikea will open and whilst the thought of moving back for their Ikea is tempting (being a much smaller city it would be so much easier to get to), sadly their icy, frozen wasteland of a winter is a turn off.



Last Sunday we visited Ikea.  We only intended to 'drop in'.  I knew in my lady brain a 'drop in' meant breakfast, then 2-3 hours around the store, then home for lunch.  But did we blow way over budget.  On everything!

We arrived at 9.30am when the restaurant opens and in typical Swedish Ikea style had a huge breakfast spending around $20 for 4 of us. Including extra cinnamon scrolls for sustenance through the 2 levels of Swedish brilliance.  

For people not yet exposed to the ritual of Ikea, the cafe is the essential first stop.  Grab a free coffee with your Ikea family card, a cinnamon scroll or even grab a full breakfast, a brochure book and take time to go over your definite WANTS.

You're ready.  Ok, you're not really ready. Because you are about to tackle one of the greatest marketing genius businesses ever.  Prepare yourself for THE MAZE!


Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1349831/Ikea-design-stores-mazes-stop-shoppers-leaving-end-buying-more.html



They overwhelm you with amazeballs stuff!  The kids go nuts.  They want all the toys, they want that cool rope ladder you wouldn't ever even conceive of hanging from the ceiling in your house but looks cool anyway, they want the swivel egg chair which you think is cool since you saw the little kids sitting in them in that scene in Sleepless in Seattle.  And then once you break free of the kids section, you are already in the big, windy Ikea warehouse maze. You see awesome room set ups, and every few minutes when you have had enough of room set ups there's pallets of cheesegraters, cushions or candles and you think "Oooo, candles!" and grab a 30 pack.  and then again "Oooo those glasses are only 99cents!" and grab 10! Hey honey, here's the Brimnes Queen I was telling you about, ooooh storage!  So much storage!

And then you see the fabrics!  And you grab a metre of every fabric with foxes or deer because they're so cool and Nordic, and marvel at how they weigh the fabric like fruit at the grocer to price it, then mildly flinch when they slap a $44 sticker on what you thought was just a little something-something to make a cushion out of.


A fabric purchase from a past Ikea visit on display at home. Stapled to a canvas frame & on the wall!

Then your price pain is eased because wow! Doona covers for $14.99!  And dang are there soooo many!  And matching cushions!

Somehow your trolley is full!

How did this happen you wonder....   Well, you did see the bathmats, those super soft absorbent, easy dry Toftbo bathmats.  You grabbed 2 of those!


Believe me, you REALLY don't need to see the rest of my bathroom. 



Annnnd you did think an extra dinner set would probably help. You may have a party at some stage in the next... time somewhere in the future and it's only $24!

And the fake flowers.  But they were only 99c each in so many pretty colours and when they're all together like that they look funky! So you grabbed 20.


My dislike of fake flowers put on hold for pretty pretty colours!

And the box of tealights in berry scents and mango, and spa, and cranberry.  Mmmmmm I love cranberries.  And you remembered you don't have any tealight holders so you grabbed 5. One in each colour! Only $1.99 each!
And you also have your list of furniture to pick up in the warehouse section before the checkouts, and then Gee Willickers: Living plants!  And plant pots! And fresh palms!  Hang on honey, I just decided I need 2 palms for the front lounge, and these pots would go with that moose cushion I found up stairs....
Get the picture?  Been there before haven't you?

If you haven't, forewarned is forearmed.

We may have gone through the check out maybe a couple or few hundred dollars missing in our bank accounts.  Then Sonofagun No. 1 exclaimed in his squeaky teenage voice, "Are we leaving?  I only came for the salmon lunch! We haven't had any yet!"  

I looked at his sad, yet mildly outraged and slightly zitty face.  That poor boy actually volunteered to come.  He was so helpful and kept Sonofagun No.2 from launching Tarzan style off the top of the Nordall bunkbeds onto the Svava swing. 

And it was now 2pm.  So we loaded everything in the car and trekked BACK INSIDE for lunch. I felt like I was doing the Ikea walk of shame.  Breakfast, THEN lunch!


Sonofagun No.2 gets his salmon.

Then a friend who saw my FB status mentioning I was at Ikea, sent a text, "Could u pls pick me up 2 Kottbullar, 2 gravy, lingonberry jam and frozen mashed potato from the Ikea grocery".






We got home after 4pm. Lunch didn't exactly take that long.  Neither did the extra run for groceries. 
But we did remember we wanted a dish rack. And then maybe almost bought a couple of framed prints. Almost.

Weary, car jammed with Sweden, discussing why getting the 2 Trysil chest of drawers was better than the Malm, and reeking of the combined odours of 90 Sinnlig tealights in 3 different scents plus a 3 pack of Lugga block candles AND a Halvlek because it looks pretty with the autumn leaves.


It's also so pretty!


We have enough candles to light us through the Game of Thrones Winter.



So my beautiful Canberra people, that is a typical Ikea visit.  Don't forget to stop by the Clearance section on your way out!




xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona

Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmassness, stuffing ourselves stupid and enjoying Marina Priors Botox

Yes folks, once again it's time for THAT AWKWARD MOMENT BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS!!!

You all know what I mean.  The decorations are still on the tree but that Christmassy feeling has quickly dissipated. You're still on holiday but the house is a mess after all that crazy Christmassing and you're too exhausted to do anything about it but feel like you should, so you randomly wander from room to room kind of picking up stuff but it still looks like the aftermath of a hurricane. The Christmas tree is still up and you want to take it down but THERE'S SOOOO MANY BLOODY GLASS BAUBLEY THINGS AND STRINGY CHAIN THINGS that the thought of unhanging, untangling and packing it all feels more exhausting than the actual doing of it?

I'm also in the middle of a yucky cough thingo. So I cough and cough. I drink the Cough Medicine and it makes me very sleepy. Blech. I want to schlep around and veg or sit on the couch, crochet and watch movies but I know the minute I do, I'll start to fall asleep. It's a catch 22!

So instead I'll have a fun little recap of our Christmas activities.

One of my family's favourite Pre- Christmas activities is to get together on Christmas Eve and watch Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl on TV.  We do it every year.  This year Christmas Eve was at my sisters house.

I think she and her hubby totally did not think we would REALLY be watching the Carols. They would have rather played Wii. As they remarked, "But it's the same thing EVERY YEAR!" 

Yes, we know. But that's part of the fun.

I think at this point I should clarify that part of the joy the Mothership, Fatherdom and I derive from Carols on Christmas Eve is from the fact they do wheel out the same Celebs every year and the Carols themselves.  Like comedian Tim Minchin says in his Christmas song 'Wine in the Sun', we quite like the songs. 

But the other part which I alluded to before is that IT IS THE SAME THING almost every year. And part of the entertainment in that, for us is we are Aussie. And we love to sit and sledge it. Mercilessly. But with good humour and love.

For example.  The Queen of the Carols is Ms Botox herself, Marina Prior. 



When hosts David and Lisa are about to introduce her we wonder out loud to ourselves: "Is she pregnant AGAIN this year?" And then when she majestically glides onto the stage with her everlasting porcelain skin and perpetually frozen, beautiful face we all gush at how wonderfully bee-stung her lips are, how eternally surprised are her wrinkle free eyes and remark at how beautifully smooth her 51 year old forehead is!  And then she sings her usual Angels We Have Heard On High.

I'm not religious. But like most Aussies, I enjoy Christmas for Christmas's sake. And like I said, I quite like the songs. So we love hearing Marina belt this one out every year. She's divine.

Equally we love old Denis. Good old Denis Walters. 





Dear Channel Nine.  Could you please Please PLEASE listen to most of Australia and especially my Dad, the Fatherdom: let Denis sing Oh Holy Night?  He does it better than anyone else!  We're not interested when you pair him up with a little C grade celebrity who won some singing competition. We want to hear Denis belt that tune out with his big gorgeous baritone.  The Google doesn't reveal any recent instances of Denis singing it, but we all would swear on a stack of TV Guides, we've heard him do it at least once. Sometime. Somewhere. And nobody does it like Denis. In fact let him host. We could listen to his juicy, rolling voice all night.


We sing along, we sledge, we had a 10 minute conversation simply about how Tim Campbell is on now and didn't he get married this year?
Oh yes, I hear he married Anthony Callea!

Mothership: What?!? He's gay?!?

Amazona & Sister: Yeah. I think he married Anthony Callea.

Mothership: Really? He doesn't look gay!

Amazona ponders: I wonder why they don't let Tim and Anthony sing together?

Everyone quickly googles on their phones....

Amazona: yep. He and Anthony married in NZ earlier this year.

Mothership: Well I never!

Amazona: Oh well, isn't he David Campbells cousin? Didn't David just call him cousin?
 
Mothership:  I thought it was Lisa's cousin.

Amazona: That doesn't make sense, he and David are both Campbells!

Amazona: Maybe he's a Prick Relation* though the mother's side, coz he isn't related to Jimmy Barnes!

Song finishes. Hosts Lisa Wilkins and David Campbell make a joke about how Tim Campbell is David Campbells cousin, then quickly clear up that Tim Campbell is actually Lisa's cousin. Isn't the Australian Entertainment industry a Nepotistic little kitten?

Mothership, Amazona, Amazona's sister all sigh, sit back in their chairs and collectively state things like "Well there you go! I thought so, Fancy that?" while the People with Penises roll their eyes and sip their Scotches and silently ponder on the mental cognitive processes of the Amazona women.

*For non- Aussies, a Prick Relation: someone related by marriage


The Happy Couple
And the aforementioned Lisa and David (no relation to Tim Campbell) Campbell:

Then Carols were over for another year, I drag my weary hoardes home so we can sleep and awake to the glory and the presents.....

Melbourne made sure Christmas Day was beautiful. Sunny, mild weather. 

I received some amazing pressies:
 The most gorgeous flocked Stag for my wall.



A super cute owl from Sonofagun No.2

Purchased from my favourite shop Creative House in Yarraville
 And the most gorgeous little fox. He might have to stay out all year long!


 A funky steampunk bird from Fatherdom.


And here's just a couple of the selection of pretty clip on birds from Sonofagun No. 1.

We set up to eat our Christmas Feast outside under a big Easy Up tent in the back yard with a bright colourful theme inspired by some Ikea fabric for the tablecloth....


And commenced the mother of all feasts...
Apologies for the blurry pic. I was being criticised for photographing EVERYTHING and not sitting down to enjoy the Christmassness!

Amazeballs Roast Taters thanks to Jamie Oliver....

Everyone had something yummy to enjoy.
There was present unwrapping on the lawn...

Including a very choice pressie from the Mothership:


Just a brief note here to say, I'm not really a massive Ryan Gosling fan. But I really love a good Ryan Gosling meme of the crochet kind, which has been noted by certain friends and family. I frequently may have posted these ones on my facie page:

And finally by late afternoon, let the Calorie fest begin!
The Mothership's Christmas Wreath Pavlova and Amazona's VERY drunken Trifle



Phew. This has been a long blog entry. Apologies.
So Christmas Day was fun and fatty. The Amazona was exhausted. The Sonofaguns were exhausted. And now we're in THAT AWKWARD STAGE BETWEEN XMAS AND NEW YEARS.
Do we clean? Bugger me if I feel like doing that!  I've just wasted several hours pounding this thing out, and now it's afternoon, it's raining outside and I must do something constructive so I feel like I haven't lost a whole day.
For those of you who picked up on my little mention at the top of Tim Minchin and his Australian Christmas song 'Wine in the Sun', I've taken the liberty of including the Youtube video here.  You may need flash player or something to play it. It's brilliant. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post it on my blog, but I'm not making money from it, I don't claim credit for it, it's written and performed by a wonderfully talented, intelligent and funny man. And if someone wants to sue me, just ask me to remove it because I don't have any money to pay out a lawsuit. Unless I can pay you in Bird ornaments. I've got loads of those. But I'd rather you didn't because some of them were gifts and all of them are very special to me. Which money would be too if I had any. Which I don't.





xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona 


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Drizzly sunday, Pearl Jam and Wiggly ferals....

It's a drizzly Sunday morning and I've lost several hours of my life figuring out how to put a pretty background on the page of my new blog. A million things to say and opinions to spew, crochet and knit projects to proudly show off but now I am drained of computer and interwebs lurve.
I sit. I look at the screen and keyboard. The dreaded old keyboard with sticky keys from sonofagun no.1 dropping food scraps after school on it and I am wiped of words.

I'm not the most amazing mother in the world. I lurve my kids like a million Christmases with sherry soaked trifle. I give them yummy food, keep them clean and give them fresh clothes, lots of hugs and kisses and I love yous. I let sonofagun no.2 have floppy hair because he is a five year old who wants to be a rock star but look like Harry Stiles. Then I dry his hair after a shower and affectionately call him Harry Stiles and he doesn't know what I'm talking about.

I let the teenaged sonofagun no.1 play too much computer games and eat waaaaay too many packets of Indomie noodles than I should. But he still flops his lanky 14 year old body occasionally in my direction, wraps his arms around me in a half hug/ half flop and says in his deep teen age voice, "How's the weather down there Maaaa?" So I think maybe I'm not doing too badly.

 I did make vague mention in the description above about being a crochet queen. I didn't use capital letters because I am not The Crochet Queen. I'm one of many, many, many crochet queens who quietly sit on a saturday evening watching whatever movie or tv show takes their fancy and crochets. But I suspect I may have invented the term! Which is a gobsmackingly outrageous statement to make but there it is.

Oddly though, my current WIP (work in progress) and very first photo reveal is not a piece of crochet! I am teaching myself to knit. But because I always try to run before I can walk, I am almost at the end of a fairsisle/ scandi type scarf. The tension is pretty crappy but I'm kind of loving it! I was going to knit a long plain backing but after using the google to find out the best way, google told me to buy some polar fleece and stitch that on to hide all the messy bits at the back. So here's a sneak peek...



Pearl Jam???!?!?!?!

Yes. 
Why? Because I can. It doesn't get Eddie Vedder than that.





"What the Jiminy Cricket are those deer doing?" I hear you ask. Don't ask. Just accept I am a Knitting Debutante who isn't afraid to experiment.  The more seasoned knitter would immediately note my shocking tension. That's okay. Believe me, my foxes are worse...




Poor wiggly, orange little ferals :(

Any suggestions for my ridonkulous tension (yes, ridonkulous) are extremely welcome.

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona