Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wintery granny goodness.....

What's been happening in your neck of the woods?
Life here has been good and busy this week, I feel like I am actually achieving a few things, after a conscious effort to stop daydreaming so much and just start doing!  Also I have broken my Diet Coke habit that would see me stopping several times a day for a nice icy 'drink and think'.  Now I am doing my thinking while still getting on with stuff.  I've gone cold turkey, and am not missing it as much as I thought I would. Small steps, but slowly the hours are not just whiling away, they are being used for good stuff.

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my last post, you are all so encouraging and ace, one of the great reasons why I love sharing my bits and pieces here.   It looks like a crochet a long might be a bit of fun, so I will get on with working out how to set it all up, I am sure it will be a pretty casual, hap hazard affair, but I will do my best.  I'm quite excited to be honest!

So anyway, just because I don't have enough projects on the go (not really the truth), I've started a new blanket!!!
It has been soooo cold here lately, winter has totally arrived, and I decided it was time to do something in some rich wintery jewel shades and some darker colours too, not my usual palette at all.
I have a big bag full of wool in kind of muted and, dare I say, dull shades, just perfect for what I have in mind.

I bought a few big balls of some lovely wool/alpaca blend a few years ago, the colours are really nice, but not clear and bright like the colours I have been using, so they have been sitting unloved on my shelf just waiting for me to find the perfect project for them.
So it is time to combine all my Wintery colours into a fabulous granny patchwork type of blanket.
I am really enjoying these little squares, they are quick and easy to hook up.

 After I took these photos, I went out with my mum to visit my grandpa who lives about an hour away, and I managed to hook up another 10 squares on the trip there and back!
We also visited a wool shop on the way home and I couldn't resist buying a couple more colours to add to the mix, I think they are really going to add some nice highlights.

The pattern for these squares is from Michelle at The Royal Sisters, I am sure you would all know her brilliant blog and wonderful patterns. 
 I am really happy with how this is coming along, it is a lot of fun to play around with the colour combinations and lay out for the blanket.
I am also having fun coming up with a few nice stitch combinations for some interesting effects for the mixed stripe blanket too!  Just got to put them all together and see if it works! 
 Fingers crossed.

Ok, that's all for now, I'm going to watch a bit of Wimbledon and hook up a few more squares!
Have a great day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tweety Bird Softie -Tadah!

Sooooo....... how's your day been going? 
It's pretty grey here, I have been trying to make the most of some sporadic sun and take a few pictures of my new softie that I showed you a bit of yesterday.
So this is my version of a bird, still quite owl-like but I was trying for more of a kooky, parroty type bird this time.  Not sure how successful I was!  It's been a while since I made a softie, and it was really enjoyable to make something a bit whimsical.

I made some little feathery things for a bit of a flamboyant crest, a bit like the peacock that has been visiting us.

The green and red honeycombish stitch that I have used for the body, was something I came up with while trying to create a polka dot type effect, it's not too far away from polka dots.
I like this stitch combo a lot!
I am sure I'm not the first one to come up with this stitch combo, but I have no idea what it's called, I think it is quite effective though, and have plans for a few other projects using something like this.
Stay tuned!

....same old stitched and embroidered face as my other softies, I am getting a bit predictable i think!

Here she is on the work table like yesterday, I don't have a pattern for this tweety bird, as I made her up as I went, but I might make another one in different colours and a slightly different shape and I will try and write a pattern as I go, but that could be a little while down the track!

On a slightly different note, I was wondering if anyone out there would be interested in a little crochet-a-long?  I am thinking of making another mixed stripey blanket, using some of the interesting stitches I have come across in the last few months, and I thought it might be fun to make up a pattern and share it with you all, and kind of make it in stages together?  
I will see if anyone is interested, this idea still needs a fair bit of thought, as i have some ideas for a pattern but haven't drawn anything up yet.
Anyhoo, it could be fun, but we will see!

Talk soon!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hooking up a storm.....

This week has flown, and it's already Thursday, and time for a creative space post again.
Today is very cold, rainy and dull here so it is perfect for finishing off my new little make.  Just a peek at it here, I'll show you it all tomorrow when it's all tadah like.

I am enjoying experimenting with crochet stitch combinations, searching for an elusive look, and finding some other stitch patterns that work well along the way.  I am sure there are patterns out there on the internet, but it is fun trying to figure out how to get the look you want all by yourself.
Lot's of colour and a few fiddly parts but I think it is coming together ok! 
Be back tomorrow to show you!

On another note, thank you very much to the lovely ladies who nominated me for a Sunshine award, I appreciate your kind thoughts and I'm glad you find this blog a sunny place to visit! 
Thanks ladies, Peli, Fleur and Laura Miller!

Playing along over here today

Thursday, June 14, 2012

my creative space...turn a square hat

So today I have finished knitting my new beanie!  I think this might become my favourite hat pattern!
The pattern I used is  Turn a Square by Jared Flood  and I really enjoyed making this little hat.  It has been quite chilly round here recently so I should get a bit of wear out of it soon. 

It is made with a solid colour for the main colour and a self striping yarn for the other stripe.  I used a nice charcoal and some left over Noro Silk Garden for the colourful  stripe.  The crown is a great squarish shape due to the way the decreases are done, and pretty easy to knit even though I don't have a lot of experience knitting in the round.  I think I could make a few more of these is other colour ways.

Hope you are having a creative day too!
Joining in over here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Long weekending.....

the freshly weeded, composted, planted and mulched long garden bed! Yay!

hello everyone!

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments regarding my last post with the stripey bobble cushion, you are all so kind!  I love sharing my crafty makes with you all, and I am glad if you can take a bit of crafty inspiration from them!  I am trying to write up a bit of a pattern for the cushion, so we will see how it goes and I'll pop it up here at some stage.

little baby plants of tuscan kale 

We have had a long weekend here, my boys have been home for 5 days, so it's been a nice break from our usual routine, here's a bit of what went on round here........quite a bit of gardening......

.......bought some little plants to fill out the herb garden......

.....played with the camera.....

....foggy cold mornings, beautiful and still , the fog hung around most of the day.......I thought it made the garden look quite fairytale-like.....

....cobwebs were revealed everywhere, .....

...even all over the salvias and jonquils, so very fine......

....the sun eventually came out late in the day, I love late afternoon light, it was a gorgeous day.

I got a bit of knitting done too.  Finished off my first piece of double knitting, this side is red with pink pattern and the other side is pink with red pattern.  So glad to finish this, it was a real brain strain!  I really had to concentrate and do lots of counting to make sure I didn't stuff up the pattern ( which i did in 2 spots, but I couldn't bear to start again so have just left them there).  It was slow going, but I actually feel quite satisfied mastering a new technique, even if I don't plan on doing it again any time soon!

The rest of the weekend was spent working a few hours at my new job, shopping for some bargain wool, (photos to come ), Gary ferryed the boys to a music festival in Collingwood and had some father/son time with the younger two, and we shared a very pleasant Sunday afternoon at a friends place with great food, drink and company. Fun, Fun, Fun!  What more could I ask for?  Life is sweet!

Hope you all had a good one too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Random Stripe Cushion #2 (with bobble)

It has turned freezing here the last few days, the fire is going and I am contemplating doing some daytime, weekday crocheting, something that feels very indulgent when there are all the normal week day jobs to do.  I should really make the chicken and asparagus pie I am doing for dinner now so it is ready early, because it is a basketball night and I am not home later to get it made, but I'm sure an hour of crochet could be squeezed into the schedule, I'll just bump a few of the boring jobs to tomorrow!

Anyway, do you remember the scrapy bit of random stripy crochet I showed you ages ago? No? 
It was a while ago.  Well, I thought I'd show you how it turned out.
This is my 'random stripe with bobble' cushion no.2.
Made in 8ply cotton, mix of brands used includes Bendigo Knitting Mills and Heirloom.

 On the back I just did htr stripes, nice and easy.

A few green vintage buttons complete the look. 
Have to say not very happy with the actual construction of this cushion cover, very dodgy if you look closely. So just squint and enjoy the colours! haha......

Ta dah....

So I hope your day is going great and you're staying warm if you are in Melbourne!
See you soon!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Slow Living Report - May 2012

Hello, I am joining in with Christine  over at Slow Living Essentials again this month for the slow living report for May, so here goes....

Nourish - We have been eating homemade takeaway a bit this month, I was gifted a deep fryer not long ago, and we have had yummy beer battered flake and chips and salt and pepper calamari for Friday night treat dinners a couple of times. I also have some huge Otway Red potatoes that I sliced into thinnish rounds and dipped in the beer batter and fried, they made delicious potato cakes, just like the fish and chip shop! The boys loved them.
On a healthier note, I have also been making soups as the weather gets cooler, we have had chicken and sweetcorn (very good) and the old favourite, lamb shank and barley (delicious!)

Prepare - well, not much to report here really!
The local orchards are harvesting some brilliant apples, so I have been buying lots while they are so fresh and delicious, not getting to preserve any though, they are all getting eaten too quickly.

Reduce - Gave my hot house a bit of a clean up and recycled a heap of old pots into containers for seedlings and cuttings. 

Green - The wood heater has been getting a great work out this month, I have decide not to use the gas heater this year (it needs a good service and I don't want to accidentally gas us), so hope to save abit of money on the gas bill too. Our wood heater can heat the whole house anyway, and dry the washing on the clothes horse at the same time.  Using the clothes dryer much less too, bonus! 

Grow - Sowed seeds of snowpeas, sweetpeas, 3 types of lettuce in individual cells so I can grow nice big individual plants, pak choy,  everything has germinated nicely.
My brassica seedlings are looking great and are ready to plant out in the garden, we have broccoli, red and green cabbage, cauliflower and tuscan kale,  the onion seedlings are still quite skinny, but they will go out in the garden too soon.
Also have bought some more garlic to plant on the winter solstice, a local commercial organic garlic grower broke both her ankles, (poor thing)  and is not able to plant her crop this year,  so I think this will be really good garlic, looking forward to seeing how it goes.
We are harvesting quite a lot of things, baby beetroots, baby carrots, lettuce, spinach beet and the last of the beans.  I am leaving a lot of the great beans to save seed for next summer, they are taking ages to dry off though!

 Create - Quite a productive month on the creative front, I finished a second star stitch blanket, made up a flower brooch for mother's day (and made a tutorial for it) and crocheted a cushion cover. Quite surprising, as I have felt like I've lost my creative drive a bit this month, with lots of procrastinating over what to make and lots of time just looking through patterns!

Discover - I have been reading up on Rhonda Hetzel's book Down to Earth , looking at the budgeting and financial chapters learning that I can do it!  Also started a new job, working at a little farmers market/farm sales on Saturdays, it is fun! 

this is part of my garden and chook yard at home 

Enhance / Connect - My dad finished off the Hen Hilton at our Community garden in May and we did a little road trip to get 12 lovely chookies who are now happily at home in our orchard area. 
Gary and I went to the Mt Eliza Farmer's Market in May and supported several growers, and came home with lovely oranges, salad mix and pear cider!  That market has really grown and improved since our last visit.
My B grade Mixed tennis team has reached the finals, I hope we don't choke! (we have a tendency to talk ourselves out of a win!) We've gotta fire up guys!

Beautiful Autumn evening, my very green and damp garden

Enjoy - We enjoyed a lovely family lunch for Mother's Day, a family picnic at Sorrento, lot's of friend visits for the boys, and a couple of social meals with local friends for me.
Also I've really enjoyed the cooler weather and some lovely still Autumn days perfect for working in the garden, cosy nights by the fire, reading some great books, and watching Game of Thrones ( what an excellent series, although the books are even more engrossing!)

So that is May all wrapped up!

Roll on June and happy winter, life is flashing by at the moment, do you feel that way too?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

You've got mail!

Hello !
Been a bit absent from this here blog recently, I think I have run out of stuff to say!  Haha....
I'm hoping the new month will inspire me to get back on the blogging wagon in a more regular way.
I do have a couple of crochet makes that are nearly finished, so that will give me something to write about soon.  And the garden is going great guns, so maybe a few gardeny posts too. 

Anyway, look what came in the mail for me this week!  Lots of lovely crafty bits, gorgeous red buttons, sock wool and a pattern (love these colours!) , little patchwork sticker labels, postcards, and a very cute owl emery board. 
 It was an authentic 'brown paper package' ( one of my favourite things too!) 
(I am a Sound of Music tragic), tied up with a gorgeous crochet flower . 

 Lucky, lucky me, it was a give away prize from the 
lovely Trudy of Playing in the Attic.  
Do you know Trudy?  She has a lovely blog, and is almost a neighbour to me!
( Well not really, but she comes from the same state as me anyway!)

So thank you so much Trudy, it made my day getting an exciting parcel in the mail,  I have a fairly sedate life usually!
Can't wait to get out my sock needles and have a go at a nice autumnal pair of socks!

Have a great day!