Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pure Gold

I find it difficult to believe, but fifty years ago today my best friend from childhood married her Prince Charming.  Fifty years.  Surely not.

Last evening the bride and groom chose three couples to share in their celebration - their daughter, two old classmates and our better halves.  Tony and I were picked up by our hosts for a cab ride to a harbourside restaurant with a view to die for.  Side note: if you order a cab in Sydney and it turns out to be an Indian driver called Sean, walk away.  'Nuff said.

After a glass or two of champagne in the hotel lounge, we were escorted to our table in the restaurant and there sitting at each lady's place setting was a beautiful corsage in honour of the bride's father who always insisted on presenting corsages to the ladies when he hosted a table at formal dinners.  It was a lovely touch to remember a true gentleman.

Here the bride poses with her new husband in her Going Away Outfit.  If you were a child of the Eighties or later you probably don't know about Going Away Outfits, so get Grandma to explain it to you.

And here they are 50 years later.

Tony and I are truly blessed.  Like old wine, old friends are the best.  

Sunday, 9 March 2014

New beginnings

It's Autumn here in Sydney ... apparently.  Someone forgot to tell the Nasty Weather Pixie because we are blessed with the most glorious days.  Beach weather.  In another hemisphere Spring has sprung and before long our beautiful weather will leave us to start on its trek north.

Images: Boutique Baby Photography
 And of course that means that Easter is on the horizon.  

Dress available here or here
At Chez Fudge we have our own new beginnings, with Tony slowly but surely making progress from the disastrous first couple months of the year.  He will start on rehab (cardiac, not the more interesting drugs or alcohol) in about a week.

With life more or less back or normal, the much neglected sewing machine has had a bit of a workout in preparation for Easter party clothing and decorations.

Baby's Party Dress available here or here
This fabric combination had been sitting patiently in my stash waiting for the right design.  I knew immediately that I had found the answer when Tie Dye Diva released a new pattern for babies 0-3 months to 18-24 months.  It was exactly what I had been looking for.  I usually work with my own designs, but since I was invited to test one of Tie Dye Diva's patterns late last year, I have fallen in love with them.

At this time of the year I sell my bunny garlands which are not only suitable for Easter, but also for children's bedrooms, baby shower gifts, birthday parties, etc.

I was contacted this week and asked if I could make one in more pastel shades for the customer's little girl's bunny party.

Sometimes we need simple suggestions to set us on a different course, and I am so glad that this lovely buyer made her request, as I am really happy with the result.  It will be on its way to Florida in the morning and I really hope the little girl loves it.  I have added it to my Madeit shop here and will have it available in my Etsy shop in a day or so.

Bunnies on Vespas available here or here
What could be better for Easter than bunnies on Vespas?  With balloons.  

Available here or here
To celebrate Tony's homecoming, we were taken out for brunch this morning and our granddaughter was wearing this swing top which I made for her a short while back.  It's another Tie Dye Diva pattern and she loves wearing it - so cool and comfortable.

So it's happy times ahead ... new season, new beginnings.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Homecoming, Part II

At the risk of awakening the jinx pixies, Tony is finally home.  We pulled off the escape early yesterday afternoon in the rain.

As seen through the eyes of our 9 year-old granddaughter this morning.  Note my hanging glasses.
It will take a few weeks of cardiac rehab for Tony to regain strength - we are taking it one step at a time.  He even managed a trip to the barber this morning for a much needed haircut.

Next stop was coffee and Anzac biscuits straight out of our daughter's oven.  The children had each composed a Welcome Home Granddad card for the occasion.

Grandma through the eyes of a four year-old is a bit of a worry.
Spoken from the heart of a seven year-old
We are all going to visit the park if our nine year-old granddaughter's installation is anything to go by.
It was so strange today not to make the daily pilgrimage to the hospital. It's really good to have our lives back.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Can we start the year again please?

Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”  I recalled the quote last week as I was making my daily pilgrimage by train to the hospital.  This was not supposed to happen. 

Late last year Tony, who is trim and fit for his age, decided that he should take a cardiac stress test just to be on the safe side.  To our great surprise, he did indeed have a problem which required triple bypass surgery.  The operation was performed on 20 January and he made a remarkable recovery, returning home six days later on Australia Day.

Less than four days after his return he was rushed back to hospital by ambulance with a suspected heart attack.  Thankfully the heart was fine, but it took about three days to discover the real problem, as he had no typical symptoms.  It was a staphylococcal infection contracted during the bypass surgery.  To cap it off, the enormous amount of drugs administered during the time he was re-admitted all but shut down his kidneys. 

I'll spare you the details, but it has been a horrendous time for us all as Tony underwent more surgery on 3, 4, 6, 10 and 17 of this month.  Not what we had planned at all.  Our 44th Anniversary came and went on 3rd, and there were family birthdays on 15th, 16th and 18th.  This was supposed to be a fun month. 

I remember being with our daughters in the ICU after the first and most serious surgery on 3 February and the surgeon (after wishing me a happy anniversary) explained that there was only a 1 in 100 chance of this happening after bypass surgery.  We almost said in unison, "Noooo ... don't say it!"  You see, where percentages are concerned, Tony has a history of taking it for the team.  There was the time he had leg surgery which required him to be immobile for a couple of weeks.  That produced a blood clot which collapsed his lung. The odds of this happening were 1 in 300.  But by far his best effort was 15,000 to 1 that he would get hepatitis from a certain drug prescribed after a sinus operation - he is particularly proud of that one.

Today things are finally looking brighter.  Most of the tubes have been removed and he is looking a little less pale after the unit of blood he was given yesterday (and I don't want to hear the statistics on that procedure going wrong thank you).  They keep pushing his release date further along and it looks as though he will be in hospital for another couple of weeks.  

Thank goodness for our incredible family and friends who have kept us both sane throughout the whole process.  The medical staff are wonderful and I think Tony knows about 200 of them on a first name basis.  But now all I want to do is get him home and give him a good feed.  If you could see the hospital food (which is shipped in from an interstate destination once every three days) you would no doubt understand.  

2014 - can I please press the rewind button?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Home.  Four little letters that mean so much when your loved one has been in hospital with major heart surgery.

Last Monday week Tony underwent triple bypass surgery which took over six hours.  Our two girls and my brother helped so much through the stressful time and the phone never stopped ringing with an anxious interstate son and friends near and far wanting to know how he was progressing.  Much to the amazement of the medical staff, he came through it so well that six days later I was able to pick him up and bring him home.  It was Australia Day - how appropriate was that?  Of course, he is still a little fragile and there are weeks of rehab ahead, but he has made such wonderful progress.

We have had a steady stream of visitors and telephone calls since Tony's return home.  Yesterday he had the first visit from our Sydney grandchildren who came with their Welcome Home card. They were so happy to see him, although the beginnings of a white beard threw them a little.

Later in the day some dear friends arrived briefly with the most beautiful bunch of Summer Red Eucalyptus. We are indeed blessed to have such wonderful and caring family and friends and we never take them for granted.

Next week I will get back to sewing, but for now I am content to have Tony slowly but surely getting stronger.  It will be our 44th wedding anniversary in a few days and we will happily celebrate quietly.  At home.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bunnies on scooters

Sometimes it's hard not to smile when you see something which is whimsically adorable; and that was my reaction as soon as I opened the parcel of fabric which arrived before Christmas.

Vespas, bunnies and balloons - what sort of artistic mind would have conjured up such a delightful combination?  With Christmas now behind us, I was ready to start off the new year with renewed vigour, and so my bunnies came out, waiting to be transformed into a fun garment.

I couldn't go past my favourite jumper dress design.  Those bunnies would delight any toddler and with Easter looming on the horizon, it would make the perfect Easter dress.

It needed a highlight, so I added some aqua binding to the pockets.

Toddlers look so cute in peasant tops and I managed to find just the right shade to go with the binding on the dress pockets.


You can find the outfit in my Etsy and Madeit shops in sizes 6 months to 3 years, made to order.

I have other designs in the pipeline, but more about them at another time.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Second Christmas

Yesterday saw Sydney at its best.  While our poor Queensland family and friends sagged under unbearably hot conditions, we were blessed with temperatures in the mid-twenties and beautiful blue skies.  This year it was our two daughters' turn to spend Christmas with their in-laws; and with our son, daughter-in-law and four remaining grandchildren up in Queensland, we had a quiet but nevertheless delightful Christmas Day home alone with my brother as our guest.

Now that everyone was back in town, a belated Christmas was organised.  

Rather than traditional bonbons, our granddaughter created her own version for each guest.

Complete with jokes.  Instead the usual bonbon bang, we blew up the brown paper bags and popped them.

Much to the relief of the turkey population, we opted for ham, prawns and lashings of salad,

with tomatoes freshly picked from the garden.

The pudding recipe has been in the family for over 50 years.  My mother discovered it all those years ago and you simply don't muck around with a formula when it's this good.

My brother gave the boys remote control cars for Christmas, so straight after lunch they gave them a serious workout.

Someone borrowed Daddy's camera for a photo duel with her great-uncle,

and someone discovered that there was indeed enough room for cake.

Second Christmas - highly recommended.  Ask any Hobbit.