Tuesday, August 31


Black Eyed Susie sewing kits can now be found at Nest in beautiful Penguin. The perfect place for a day trip on a sunny Spring day. I love visiting Penguin. There are always great, smooth, multi-coloured pebbles to collect on the beach. Nice coffee and food to be had at Wild and The Groovy Penguin, markets to visit and now gift shopping to be done.

If you get a chance drive to Penguin along the old coastal road from Ulverstone. The scenery is stunning and you'll know you're almost there when the road verge becomes a riotously coloured flower garden. We once rode along the NW coast from Boat harbour to Devonport stopping in Penguin for the night and now I'm wondering if we could do it again this Spring. Would the kids handle being in the bike trailer thingie for long enough? Maybe if we make lots of beach stops.

Sunday, August 29

A few not very good photos of our Niche Market stall. Ignore the disembodied legs in the corner - she's hiding - but not particularly well! We did a better set up on the Sunday and had a less cluttered look with more height on the table but, of course, I forgot to take any photos. I'm hoping someone will have some. Also forgot to take any of all the other lovely stalls.**
Gemma and I had a great time chatting - with each other, with customers, with other stall holders and the lovely Selina (Multi tasking organiser extraordinaire) and with our lovely Mums who were around a lot!
It's been a huge weekend with lots on for the Junction Regional Arts Festival too. We've been out to the Festival both nights and this arvo. So tired. More info soon.
** Also forgot Mum and Dad were going to babysit so we could go out for dinner tonight. Went to sleep and woke up when Sam had already cooked. Damn. Damn. We needed a 'date night' badly.

Wednesday, August 25

Nearly time

Busy, busy, busy. I wanted to show off a few new things I've been making in preparation for Niche but they haven't made it in front of the camera yet. It's going to be a great market I think. Loads of makers that are new to Niche and a lot of more familiar faces too.

I've got some new tops and dresses, some cool tees for boys, belts for boys and girls, cute bibs and lots of hair thingies. I'll also have some pretty brooches for the more grown up girls amongst us and a bunch of the new cosmetic bag sewing kits. I hope to have some bunting sewing kits too - pre-cut triangles, binding and instructions. A great, simple project with very impressive results and ideal for beginner sewers including kids. Perfect to make for a nursery (maybe when the nesting instinct hits!), child's room or for reusable party decorations.
I just haven't had the time to make as much stock as I wanted (particularly for boys) but I'll be taking some fabric samples so if you're interested in ordering something just ask for a look.
I'm looking forward to hanging out with Gemma and choosing one of her lovely dresses for my dress loving princess/mermaid. I've come to the realisation that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and that we just need a vast collection of dresses and skirts.

Saturday, August 21


Some things that have changed for me since I became a mother. Apart from the obvious - having two little cuties with me most of the time!

* I loooove my vacuum cleaner. Seriously. It's one of my most favourite possessions.

* My mountain bike gains more dust than mileage. Let's not even mention my road bike. Or all my other outdoor gear eg my lovely, only used once Macpac ladies backpack (yes, it is lovely and yes, it is just a pack). At least I do carry a small spare tyre with me everywhere at the moment.

* Trips to Kmart can increase my feeling of sanity as opposed to the complete opposite. Scarey.

* I barely ever listen to my own choice of music and am not allowed to sing along in the car. "I'm helping the lady sing Mum."

* I drive a family wagon that cost more than three times the price of my previous most expensive car. Also scarey.

* I cannot hold a thought from one room to another and have the memory of a goldfish. Not much help when you're trying to multitask!

* I cook meat and three veg almost every night and a clear, freshly vacuumed floor is the ultimate luxury.

So what's changed for you?? I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, August 17

Pressies for bike loving Dads

I've always got my eye open for things Sam might like. He's not the sort of person to covet things or buy much for himself so I do like to try to surprise him every now and then.

These are a few things I've noticed recently.

This jersey from BA Gear is almost perfect for him. It even says I am Sam on the side! We read this book a lot at our house given that we have one very fussy eater.

Cute tee set from here

More bike related tees. Found here.

Groovy bike tool roll. This might be the Father's Day pressie. More here.

Thursday, August 12


Cute shoes from Walnut. They've got a few on sale just now (cute hot pink with chocolate binding and very, very cheap) and I'm tempted. If you are too, just be careful about the sizing - I has to get size 41 when I'm usually 39 or at the most 40. There are also some very cute patent leather ones. I'm trying to keep myself to "need" only buying for a few weeks - it's amazing what I can convince myself we need though!

Tuesday, August 10

Psycho Baby

Awww, just look at that little face. You could be forgiven for thinking he's a little angel.
Uh, uh. This child seems to have been (temporarily we hope) possessed by an evil, psycho baby.
Yep, Mum and Dad would really love to listen to you cry half the night and, hey, why eat a sandwich when you can sit on it. Don't let Mum wipe your bum, why not rub poo into the carpet instead. It needs a good clean anyway. Now, just pretend your going to give your Mum a cuddle and then headbutt her in the teeth instead. Ha, ha, ha, how funny. And you know, Mum does love the Tamar Valley, how about a night time tour - make sure you stay awake and yell at regular intervals the whole way. Hell, some places are probably better in the dark. Mum and Dad haven't been drinking much lately, they really could do with upping their alcohol tolerance levels and lets see if we can make Mum break her all time chocolate gobbling record.
Teething??? We hope so. We also hope it's over soon!
PS Don't worry I haven't hit the grog yet! The chocolate - yes.

Monday, August 9

Lentils - yum, yum.

Don't believe me? Try these.

Here you go Mrs Smith.

Lentils in Red Wine

2 tbsp olive oil
1 stick celery finely diced
1 lrg carrot finely diced
1 lrg onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups lentils de puy or any small green/brown lentils
1 cup red wine
1 cup stock (veggie or beef is you prefer)
1 fresh bay leaf crushed
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp chopped parsley

Fry the celery, onion and carrot in the olive oil in a large saucepan until onion is cooked.

Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes.

Stir in lentils and wine and reduce for a few minutes.

Add the stock, 1 1/2 cups of water and the herbs.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are nicely cooked.

These are good with some creamy mashed potatoes and a glass of red.

Sunday, August 8


My good friend the other day commented that she tries to concentrate on the positives in her day. I am the kind of person who needs to be reminded to do this so it was great that she said it. I seem to get tangled up in the nitty gritty and forget about the big picture too.

It was a well timed comment. It's been one hell of a narky weekend here at grumblebum central. I'm wondering if the kids are getting sick again (or maybe are sick already). Arj is almost walking so perhaps he's just frustrated. He's raring to go but can only make it about 5 steps.

Some good things:

Enjoying sewing, sewing, sewing. I miss it when I'm not busy.

Listening to Sia - great sewing music and good for drowning out grumpers.

The almond tree next door has started to blossom (negative point: it's the only tree they didn't knock down with a backhoe a while back in their quest to have the largest, flattest, greenest lawn in our suburb - see I struggle to hang on to the good points).
Arj looks so, so cute toddling around.

Chloe has been singing lengthy songs about singing songs and having a lot of dvds.

Hot cheese scones.

Not having to cook the dinner (negative point: because the sink is leaking into my sewing room in a huge and scarey way and we don't want to wash up in the bathroom).
Red polka dot racing swimsuit I saw at the pool today. I may have to get me one.

This handbag

From Anthropologie. If I do OK at the market I may have to think seriously about this. The buttons are embroidered. Cute.

Wednesday, August 4

News just in

Black Eyed Susie, in conjunction with Loz and Dinny will be at Niche. Yay. Hmmm, better go tie myself to the sewing machine.

Niche had two venues this time, the Art school at Inveresk and the Boathouse. We'll be hanging out in the Boathouse. For details go to the Niche blog. Hope to see you there! I'm looking forward to all the chatting and catching up. And drinking coffees and doing a spot of shopping and hopefully, eating some Hungry Kitty cakes again.


Thanks so much for all your lovely and helpful comments in the giveaway. I decided to draw two winners.

True Random Number Generator
Result: 14
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True Random Number Generator
Result: 5
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Kelly and Kate. I'll try to contact you today - or if you see this first you could shoot me an email with you address - blackeyed-susie@hotmail.com

Now, some exciting news. The kits will soon be available at Thread Den in North Melbourne and their new shop and sewing lounge in Fitzroy. How great that you can treat yourself to a little pressie or buy some materials and then pop into the sewing lounge for a spot of making! What a great place. I'm looking forward to a visit as soon as I can get myself on a plane.