Let’s start at the very beginning

It’s a very good place to start! You’re possibly here because you saw one of my crazy, op shopped* vintage knitting patterns. Or perhaps you’re after some roadtrip inspiration. Maybe you ended up here by some crazy accident and decided to hang around for the ride.

Whatever the reason: welcome! My name is Katie (you may have guessed this already) and my passion in life is to write stuff so you can read stuff. Everybody wins!

* Don’t know what op shopping is? It’s the Australian term for thrifting or browsing through charity stores. It’s short for ‘opportunity shop’ and I may be a little biased, but I think we have the best name for the magical treasure troves that are second-hand shops.

By the way…

Are you free for a slide night?

Because we are all about old-fashioned fun around here and a slide night is about as old-fashioned as it gets. If you’ve never heard of a slide night, let me explain: it’s like an oldey-timey version of a powerpoint presentation except with no crazy slide transitions and a lot more wine and cheese.

We used to have slide nights when I was a kid and I loved them to bits. My dad would set up a proper projector screen (although you could make do with a handy bit of wall or a hastily-hung bedsheet), the lights would go off and images from long ago holidays would flash up on the screen, accompanied by stories told by my parents or my grandparents.

It was magical.

This is the sort of retro magic I want to bring to Katie Writes Stuff. In a modern world full of changes, technology and constant updates, I invite you to join me for an old-fashioned change of pace where people wear hats a lot (because hats are amazing, and not just for the way they keep rain off your head).

Now let’s flick through some more slides…

The origin story

For the first five years of my life, I lived just around the corner from my husband, although I didn’t know it until I actually met him a long time later. Seriously: just around the corner. I could have walked to his house in two minutes if a) I even knew him, and, b) my parents were OK with a four-year-old wandering outer suburban streets on her own.

Before I turned five and could meet my future husband, my parents took my younger brother and I to live on a ten acre property in the Yarra Valley. It was there that I first discovered I was allowed to write my own stories and put words together however I liked. This neatly solved my number one problem as a girl in the country primary school: not having a horse.

Don’t laugh – it was a serious problem.

It felt like every other girl in my class, if not the entire school, had a horse, and as my parents showed no sign of buying me one, I wrote about one instead. Problem solved.

(It wasn’t all about imaginary horses. I went on to study Professional Writing at university and I’ve even won a couple of writing awards along the way.)

For a taste of my childhood in the country, try this post:
A Country Childhood

Growing up in the country had such an impact on me that I’ve even dragged the Chef* out to live in another part of the Yarra Valley. I am passionate about our country and the people who work so hard on it to provide us with delicious food to eat; the Chef is passionate about feeding the parrots and rosellas that visit our deck. It’s a win-win situation.

I’m also pretty keen on the dining room that I’ve converted into a sewing room. This was easier than you might think: I just put a sewing machine on the table instead of crockery and cutlery.

When I’m not blogging or roadtripping or photographing my cats, I love to make things, preferably from vintage patterns. It started with crochet, which led to knitting, which tempted me into sewing. You might think that was enough, but no. Now I’m learning how to make my own patterns as well.

(I also dream of finding a hand-crank round bobbin sewing machine for the authentic vintage sewing experience. In the meantime, my new-old 1980s Bernina is pretty brilliant.)

* ‘The Chef’ is my code name for my husband, who I finally met while studying for my Library Technician diploma.

So that’s me.

Perhaps we’re a little bit alike. If you’re into knitting in front of the TV or if your idea of a great day out involves a daytrip and a picnic, then I believe this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Actually, if you’re just into cheese or hats or photographing all of the things, there’s still a chance for us.

At the end of the slide night…

We make plans for another one! Because there are always more holidays or roadtrips or hand-made things to share and the best way to do that is with a lounge room full of your best friends and family, with everyone enjoying their nibblies while being sat on by cats, possibly against their will.

If you stick around – and I hope you will – you’ll be served up inspiration for places to visit and things to make, advice on all things photographical (whether you have a fancy camera or simply a phone) along with the occasional foray into the past through vintage knitting and dressmaking. And by ‘occasional’ I mean ‘on such a regular basis that you didn’t realise it was possible to live without laughing at the crazy crochet creations people were expected to wear in the seventies’. That kind of occasional.

So until I hold my next slide night, please make yourself right at home. I look forward to getting to know you and sharing some virtual old-fashioned fun with you right here.

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