May I be Frankie with you?

Mishell is being frank, open and honest about her world, her community, her family, her life.

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21st birthday gift






“Look Llamas” DIY pillow panel



My gorgeous sister turned 21…. a while ago.  I am late late late in producing these easy but super-cool cushions to go on her bed. To be honest, I bought the fabric AGES ago from Laurie Wisbrun’s etsy shop, Scarlet Fig, because I knew the moment i saw it that my sister would go crazy for it.  She is a llama fan from way back, and let’s face it, there’s nothing cuter than your favourite animal dressed in human clothes!

I wasn’t sure about the colour choice for the bobbly bits on the outside, so I just chose colours that I knew Ashleigh would love.  (Also what I could get my hands on at the time – there was only a very pale yellow and I had hoped for a delicious lemon yellow! Never mind).



Back of panel – Flapdoodle Hats



Oh! La Llama!



Peruvian Blankets

I really hope she likes them.  They were easy to whip up, but as usual I lost motivation to do the hand stitching.  I find hand stitching so dull and time-consuming, and I’m not very good at it!  Lucky I had Sons of Anarchy episodes to watch during the hand-stitch so time went quite quickly while meth labs were being blown up and bikies were threatening drug dealers.  Does anyone else watch this show?  I thought I would hate it but every time I watch it I can’t wait for the next episode!

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Back in the swing of it!

This year I’ve had an unusually bad time with illness.  I’m one of those healthy, robust people who strut around saying, “I never get sick!” while my friends and family sniffle their way through our mild Queensland winters. Truth is, I treated my body SO poorly for so many years, and have only just made it into the healthy weight range in the last couple of them.  Exercise was a non-option for me until recently.  Now it’s a major part of my life. I love running, I love aqua and swimming, and I even love boot camp!  It’s social, and it makes me feel strong, powerful and happy!

Which is why I was so surprised when I was struck down with virus after virus these last few months.  Several of them were those violent tummy bugs that almost pop the eyeballs out of your head and make you wonder if you’ll ever be interested in food again.  And there were the flus – headache, body ache, hours upon hours of dozing in front of “The Morning Show”, moments of lucidity interspersed with complete drop-outs, all to the soundtrack of Larry Emder’s unintelligent comments on world issues.  Awful.

Now it’s warming up.  The Jarandas are in full bloom, the chooks are laying again, and swims are on my mind.  I’ve been told by a few that I should take it slow and easy getting back into exercise.  Which I have.  Sort of. Actually it’s been hard to get motivated, so I was super happy on Thursday when I forced myself out for a 5:45am run and was faced with this:


I’ve had my eye on this beauty for a while.  She was looking about ready to burst on Wednesday night but I was still surprised and delighted on Thursday morning when I was rewarded for my early morning motivation!  This bird of paradise only blooms in spring and we get 3 or 4 tops.  Once we move, I’ll have to pick up a potted one for the new courtyard. She’s gorgeous, isn’t she!

I also returned to my aqua class Thursday and received such a warm welcome from all the lovely ladies (and there were three GUYS!  What’s happened while I’ve been gone!), I wondered how I hadn’t managed to pop in a bit more over the last few months.  The workout was not too light and not too tough, perfect for me to ease back into it.

Dinner was a delicious salad of red quinoa, black beans, chorizo, corn, fresh coriander, tomato and avocado.  Super yum!

quinoa salad


Is there anything you’ve stopped doing for a while, that you’re getting back into?  Craft projects, book clubs, sport?  What motivates you to get started again?

Oh, and here’s a couple more perspectives on my stunning bird of paradise:



Isn’t she beautiful?




She shall be known henceforth as a “finisher”


Claiming it.  I made something great.  Like, something I’d actually want if I saw it at the shops – unlike most things I make, which I proudly display to the entire universe for about twenty minutes, then frantically try to delete off Instagram because I realise how truly crap my three twigs tied together with beaded rafia and a long dangly tail of finger knitting really look compared to what six year olds are making in Cambodia.

So the quilt is a triumph for me.  I used this really simple pattern and tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew which you can view here. The quilt’s particularly special to us because we chose the fabrics on the same day that we learned our little bun in the oven is in fact of the male variety. It took AGES to find just the right colours and patterns and we had piles of fabric bolts lined up along the floor at Spotlight, annoying more than a few fellow customers.  It’s definitely a baby quilt, but we avoided anything involving teddy bears or robots or cowboys (although the cowboys were damn hard to resist).

Once the quilt top was made, we headed over to Mum’s for my very first actual quilting experience, which also included coffee for me and a nap on the couch for Mel.  Mum has this amazing sewing room with a significantly larger table than my own 50 buck dining setting, so it was easy to lay it all out to baste and sandwich the thing.  I had such a great time working together with Mum and then chatting while I sewed and she pottered through her stash.  I learnt where I got my non-finishing genes from – Mum had a bunch of gorgeous quilt tops and half-completed projects lying around which I was so ready to swipe and finish myself, they were beautiful!


I made Mel take this photo of me quilting just in case I never do it again!

I brought everything home, including Mum’s sewing machine, to do the binding.  After cutting everything evenly, it turned out that the quilt was no longer perfectly rectangular, which caused pretty much the biggest tantrum I’ve ever had, until I remeasured and realised it was so close to perfect and easily fixable (the easily fixable part came from a phone call to Mum).  Anyway, all you die-hard quilters will want to slap my hands, but I machine-bound the thing basically because I can’t thing of anything worse than sitting still hand-sewing for hours on end.  It kind of worked.  I used this tutorial from Lori at Bee in My Bonnet and it worked a treat as far as I’m concerned.

Right, well.  We may not have a car seat, pram, cot, bottles, nappies or other necessary items required for baby rearing, but by golly, we’ve got a damn cute quilt! That’ll do, right?

Enjoy the pretty pics!




Ta-Da! Stick-rafia ornament, eat your heart out.

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Three girls, three chooks, and a baby.


My mother told me yesterday that my daughter was lamenting the fact that she didn’t have one special talent.  Mum consoled her by saying that this was normal, that it was good to be capable of many things, rather than excellent at just one.  She also commented that “willingness to try new things” was a special talent that was certainly more significant than being a spectacular kazoo player. My daughter wholeheartedly agreed, noting that she is unusually game compared to her peers when it comes to exploring new foods.  Ah, she’s been taught well.

I, like my daughter, find myself to be competent at most things, excellent at none.  This could be a measure of my non-dedication to any activity.  I’m bored easily, lazy about details, and quickly get caught up in the next new thought.  So I guess, apart from my own talent for adventurous eating, I’m good at ideas.  Blogging is my latest idea.  Maybe it won’t last.  The beauty is, I can blog about all my ideas without having to actually fulfil any of them! 

So here we go.  I plan to write stories about my life with my funny old chooks; beautiful daughter Saphira; loyal and loving partner Mel; and the wriggling wondrous baby boy that’s growing in Mel’s tummy.  He’s 28 weeks baked, only 12 to go.  I’ll also write opinions on things that interest me; reviews of books, events, art and culture; and musings on the various hobbies and things I try out when the creativity bug bites. I’ll write my ideas.  They’re my special talent.