Friday, January 30, 2009

Who doesn't like a quickie?

Three words:

Bluefly Massive Sale!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A 'Skinny' Wheel

In light of recent publicity about the latest PETA ads I thought I might mention a little something about sheepskin.

On a recent trip out west to the plant nursery my husband and I found ourselves at the traffic lights next to a lady with something like this going on:
Now we all know about those strange abacus bead-like car seat covers that are all the rage amongst Sydney taxi drivers, but what is the deal with sheekskin steering wheel covers?

Surely there is nothing more bogan for your car?

We spent a good ten minutes discussing why anyone would think that a ring of elasticised sheepskin could possibly finish off the look of their car interior... we couldn't figure it out.

All I could come up with for this hideously bogan accessory is that maybe they do it to stop their hands having to touch a hot steering wheel in the steaming Sydney summers? However all it takes even on a 40 degree day is to switch on the aircon for 2 minutes and then the wheel is nice and cool.

Surely adding 2 minutes of waiting time to your journey is worthwhile when the alternative is instant car accessory hell. If there was a Tim Gunn for vehicles or even a washed up Trinny and Susannah, this steering wheel item would be your immediate ticket onto the show.

For those poor mongrels with no air conditioning, stay at home lest you even consider buying such a feral thing for your poor car.

Monday, January 26, 2009


So there are plenty of things one can master without bothering to enrol in formal lessons. Cooking, I think, is one. Sewing, is not.

Well not for me anyway. I am an absolute dunce and even when I think I have made something half decent it only takes me a minute to either see an awful fault in my latest offering or I happen to stumble upon something one of my friends has made. Seeing the work of my fellow housewives who sew really reminds me that sewing is just not one of those things you can fudge.

It was December 2007 and I was extremely pregnant, extremely hormonal and as high on idealism as I've ever been. My husband asked me what I might like for Christmas. -A sewing machine, I answered. For what? He asked. -For sewing, darling. But you can't sew. -I know. So will you use it? He asked. -Oh yes, of course. The only reason I can't sew is that I don't have a sewing machine. Oh ok, I'll get you one then.

So he did. Days later, our tiny girl had arrived. It was about 40 degrees in the shade, we'd just moved into our new house. We had no airconditioning and about 65 million boxes to unpack. I figured once the house was sorted I'd be able to switch on the machine and whip up some dresses for my daughter, new curtains for the windows and maybe a dress or a skirt for myself.


Months later I unpacked the machine. My mind boggled. So I went straight for the manual. Not much better. Must be the sleep deprivation. Surely it is the baby's fault. I'll try again tomorrow. Nope, still no luck. So I called up a sewing machine shop and paid $40 for a grumpy old lady to show me how to thread the machine, how to switch it on and how to change the needle. If I wanted to actually learn to sew I'd have to enrol in a course and she didn't run courses anymore so that was that. I went home and whipped up a blanket. When I say "whipped" I do not mean for you to imagine any sort of efficient, successful outcome. No, it was pretty shonky.

Since then I have tried to make a dress for my daughter, a number of very wonky soft toys for friends' babies and I have even attempted to mend a shirt of my husband's. Every single thing has turned out badly. I've seen a few online tutorials, I've even unpicked my own clothing to get an idea how things are out together. I just can't do it!

Fine motor skills do not come easily to me. I think I am clumsy, also I am impatient. Either way, I need some serious sewing help. I keep trying to psyche myself up. I remind myself of the many years I spent at university, of my so-called intellect, of the millions of uneducated simple women folk who have been able to sew since the dinosaurs... still, I cannot master this skill. It is time to find a course.

Today I made a doll for my best friend. She isn't very well and needs some cheering up. So instead of flowers or chocolates I have my idealistic hat on for the day. I am a housewife dammit. I should be able to cheer friends up with freshly baked cookies and home made dolls. I have created a home made chemo companion. Her name is Polly and she is very very wonky. She is made of pretty materials so that is one good thing. She also has one of those "cancer bands" like Lance Armstrong. That's got to work in her favour. Other than that, she is another piece of evidence to support my argument- I need to do a course. "Husband, darling... the only reason I can't sew is that I haven't done a course."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Love Thy Neighbour

We have been living in suburbia for a year now, well I say suburbia but we are about 4 km from the CBD. We have a large block, some empty rooms and no lock on our letter box. We have a washing line and a crew of kookaburras who regular meet up in our trees. It feels like suburbia to me.

Before our baby girl arrived we lived in the inner city. No washing line, no birds and absolutely nothing outside without a huge bolt lock- even outdoor furniture needed to be chained to the balcony. Moving here has been interesting. One of the biggest changes for us is actually living next door to people who not only make eye contact but they come right on over and chat. Back in our old neighbourhood if someone even glanced your way you’d be reaching for the personal alarm in your purse.

To one side we have our lovely neighbours, to the other side we have a little old couple who don’t speak much English other than to constantly ask –“your baby, boy?” –No, girl. “Not boy?” –No, girl. “But looks like boy! Good boy.” They grow vegetables out the back and they water the front garden with washed out bleach bottles. Slightly odd but quite sweet really.

Two days ago I encountered the neighbours on the 3rd boundary line. It got off to a rocky start. They called me Caroline. That is not my name, it never has been. I know it is similar to my name but it isn’t my name. Sometimes I wish it was my name. People have been addressing me as Caroline for as long as I can remember, yes I’ll answer to Caroline, I no longer correct people but still, it irritates me. Anyway we will call these neighbours - trickypants.

So our backyard has gone from this:

To this:

 about a week.

Obviously it is a work in progress.

This is the design I created for the backyard:

We are very happy with how things are going. Now when the dogs vanish off into the yard we no longer worry whether they will come back with rabies. Anyway as it turns out the trickypants were quite attached to the jungle that was our yard.

In a matter of 5 minutes after calling me Caroline they proceeded to complain that their yard is now exposed, that it is my fault their dog escaped (can’t quite figure this one out) my fault their dog barks, they don’t really like my garden design sketch, they want more shade for their yard and more privacy so they think my husband and I should buy mature trees for the fenceline. The type that cost upwards of $10k a pop, they however, won’t go halves in an extra high latticed fence because it is slightly more expensive than your garden variety fence. Gosh that sounds like an awesome deal for us.
I smiled my very best baby pageant grin, nodded my very best stepford nod, we exchanged numbers to discuss more later and I went back inside my house.

Of course being the George Costanza that I am, I now feel that we need an answering machine so I can screen my calls just in case Trickypants ever rings me. I could, be mature and just discuss the issues again but I choose not be mature. I choose to hide in my house every time I see them peering over the fence and I choose to spend some more of my time researching caller ID costs, blockout blinds and reflective coating for our windows.

Suddenly I have been forced to take a break from reading which brand of socks Suri Cruise prefers and instead I am revisiting The Dividing Fences Act 1991 (NSW)

Still, it beats living in a shoebox and researching bullet proof vests for late night runs to the convenience store. I do love our new home.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

Why Stepford Dreams?

Don't we all want to be robotic maids? No, seriously I guess for me making the jump from being a lawyer to being a full time wife and mother has been comical in some ways.

I was not raised by a housewife, my mum went back to work when I started school so I think for me my idea of what 'home duties' entails came mainly from TV and movies. So going to the extreme as I often do, I chose Stepford Wives... I figure if I try to emulate those deliciously charming robot wives then maybe just maybe I'll be 1/10th of the way to Martha Stewart status.

This blog will cover my awfully amusing efforts with the sewing machine, all the crazy child wrangling and the odd rant about my favourite topic- The Bogan. I may also ramble a bit about online shopping. I am a recovering addict. My husband might disagree, he could use our credit card statement as evidence of a current and active addiction... I do try not to buy as much these days, really I do.

Anyway this is my first ever blog and I really hope it works!