Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crochet in 2011

How was your Christmas?
 Ours was great, lots of food, drink and good cheer. 
And now we can relax into the summer holidays! Yay!
The boys are taking full advantage of the holiday lack of routines,
 and are not getting up till 10.30 -11am,
 they do love their beds, especially the older two now they are teenagers. 
 Might have something to do with staying up all hours playing Xbox.

I do find it quite frustrating that they won't go to bed and then they don't get up, but I am trying to let it go and not be too much of a witch. I just start some loud music mid morning and get on with things around here.  They will be back at school in a few weeks and will have to get back to sensible hours then anyway.

Thought I'd make a couple of mosaics of my crochet makes in 2011, it is coming to that time of year, to look back and see what you have achieved over another 12 months, I am always surprised by what you can do in a year!
There were more bits and pieces I could have put in , but I haven't put photos of every project onto Flickr, so these are what I came up with.

I got a lovely book for Christmas with lots of things I want to make in it. I will do a post on it soon and show you, I am sure you will like it!

The new year is always so exciting, I always make heaps of plans and resolutions (that I rarely keep), I am making a list of crochet and knitting projects to try this coming year, and it is lots of fun!!

Anyhoo, must go and wake those boys of mine!! hehehe....
See you soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to you...

Wishing you all the very best for the festive season, 
I hope you all have a lovely happy, restful, fun time, 
Julie xxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Just wanted to share this recipe.  It is the best shortbread recipe and is the only one my mum and aunts make, it's a bit of a family tradition........

Margie's Shortbread

225g butter (I usually melt the butter)
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup ground rice (ground rice gives it a lovely, slightly gritty texture, so try and find it if you can, it's better than rice flour)

Mix all ingredients, press flat, or roll and cut out shapes.  Cook in moderate oven (around 180 degrees c)
until pale (around 12 minutes)

That's it, very simple, but so delicious and Christmassy!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

polka dot progress.....

.............polka dot square cushion progress.............

How are you all going at the moment, organised for Christmas? starting to panic a bit? 
It is all systems go here, I've spent today shopping and have broken the back of my list, and I've ordered the pork for lunch.  We got through our busy weekend, and had a lovely social time in the process and now the end is is sight!!

So I hope you all have a wonderful time this Christmas with family and friends, good food and laughter, and generally just a lovely merry time!!  And I hope there are no fights, I know this stressful time of year can push relationships, so let's just relax and be nice to each other and let go of the little things!

I probably won't get to post again till after Christmas, the boys finish school in a couple of days and will be dominating computer time, so have a great day!!

PS I am really enjoying my advent swap pressies, I have been very spoilt, so Vickie thank you so much!
Slack me though, haven't taken any pictures, will try and do a big group shot at the end.

See ya !

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An antidote to busy.......

Well, it's that crazy busy time of year again, and we have lots to do in this house. 

We were away for a few days last weekend, and had a nice family break, swimming and lounging around reading a great book  (Book 2 of'A song of Ice and Fire' series, I love a good sci fi/ fantasy tale)
It was great, because this week is pretty hectic!.... 

All the usual end of year things and lots of Christmas catch ups and get togethers...... I think more socialising is crammed into these few weeks than six weeks in Winter......  all lots of fun and very enjoyable!

.......having said that, I am freaking out a little bit how I am going to fit in everything I need to do, I haven't bought any presents yet, but there is still a week or so to get that done.......

Today - Garden job in the morning (paid work, so very welcome), Catch up in afternoon with friends for a chat and drink, make meringues for school break up party for andre, 

Friday-out all day on bike riding trip with Max's class, basketball Christmas party in evening,

Saturday - SummerHarvest lunch at Community garden (I am catering the lunch, luckily a small group only), Tennis Christmas BBQ in the evening (bringing some sort of salad)

Sunday- big extended family christmas party at my olds place (70 people, and I told mum I'd bring potstickers, fairy bread and cupcakes, and a salad if I had time), well as these organised events, I have a lot of little admin type things that have to get done like booklists and biscuits for teachers, and running Jesse to his job and his friends places and having enough food in the house for extra kids........I am sure I am going to forget things,  I do that even when we don't have this much on!!!

.......deep breath.....

I hope this doesn't sound whingy, I am happy we have lots on and am looking forward to see everyone,
I do like to enjoy the festive season, so I am trying to not get overwhelmed, but there is a lot of cooking coming up in the next few days!! haha...

I thought this is the perfect time to start a new bit of crochet, just the thing to unwind my frazzled brain.
So this is the start of my polka dot squares, I am going to make a cushion cover, it is hard to tell the size from these photos, but they are not that big, so I think 16 will make a good size cushion.
wouldn't mind a big blanket made of these either.......

I have seen some lovely circle in squares crochet blankets recently in blogland, there must be something in the air! ( Sorry, it's after midnight and I can't be bothered finding links to show you what I mean, I am a slack unit!)

I made this pattern up,  as the ones I saw in other blogs used dcs (tr), and I wanted a nice dense weave using scs (dc), I am pretty happy with how it has turned out. I am sure I am not the only one who has made a pattern like this, but I didn't find one in my short little hunt on the internet, and it wasn't hard to figure out for myself.

Thinking of writing a little pattern and tutorial post if anyone would like to have a go themselves.
Probably after Christmas though!!

What have you got on at this time of year, are you busy, busy, busy or are things more cruisey at your place ?(lucky you!! haha..)

See you soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swapping fun and thankyous.....

 My creative space today has not been provided by me, rather it is in the form of this gorgeous shopping bag that Tanya my Kris Kringler made and sent me as my present in the Haby Goddesses Kris Kringle swap.  Aren't I lucky!! The fabric is gorgeous and I love it, thank you, thank you Tanya!!

Speaking of swaps, look at all the goodies I have opened in the Advent swap I am taking part in!!
Vickie, I am having a lot of fun with this and all the presents have been fab, thank you so much!!  This photo is just some of the festive cheeriness I have opened so far.  Good fun all round!

I am off to do some end of year cooking with Max's class this morning, then I want to get stuck into the garden this afternoon, it is a beautiful day here, and I have lots of seeds to plant.  I feel a garden post coming up soon!

see you soon

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas (twig) tree..........

Our Christmas twigs looking a bit forlorn and presentless.

 It has been a full on week here, blogging got put on the back burner, but I am back into it now!

I am joining in with My Place and Yours over at the lovely Punky and Me for the first time today, I saw the theme was Christmas and thought I might as well jump on the band wagon!

We did the tree yesterday, I use the term 'tree' loosely, as it is kind of a sticky, leafless version of a tree.   We are going for an airy, eclectic, whimsical Dr Seuss-y feel at our place this year, and this is how it turned out. You may laugh.

It is surprisingly tricky to find suitable twiggy branches that have enough little stubby bits to hang our assortment of children-made, me-made and trashy decorations.  Very tricky indeed.  I thought it would be easy as we live in a kind of bushy place, but gum trees don't make very good stubby branches, too smooth and not branchy enough, and the scrubby undergrowth doesn't yield much in the way of sticks at all.

So our stick collecting was a bit of a fail, I had to resort to the pruned bits of our flowering cherry tree and cut off all the dead leafy bits. But they do work well I think.

We were going to spray paint the sticks, but my son's spray paint stash was down to gold only and it wasn't a very nice shade (looks more like vomit green to me), so we have gone with the naturale colour scheme.
Had to wedge the star off to the side rather than the top, as this was the only bit of suitable Stick Intersection.

Looks good at night though.

Definitely lots of airy bits!......

.....and I think once I do some Christmas shopping and get a few pressies under it, it will look like the super freak tree that it is!!  It will...I just know it.... I promise.....yes it will....I'm sure....

Oh well, the boys think it looks pretty interesting (it got the high praise of 'cool'), so that is the whole point of decorating the Christmas tree anyway, isn't it?

Hope your festive preparations are going well too!