Friday, February 20, 2015

Knitting and Plum Cake..

I've been busy making stuff.  Lots of knitting lately.  My last 3 projects I have flirted with the yardage chicken and lost every time.  Note to self: do not be so impetuous and actually weigh yarn and do yardage before you cast on.  Anyhow: there has been a Quaintly, and then a test cowl, and now I am onto knitting this lovely shawl as a KAL.  I will be doing another test knit cardigan next week when some suitable wool arrives from Bendigo (note to self: do not even look at 10ply patterns when you have no 10ply in stash!)
 Isn't my big girl growing up?  She so desperately wants to be older than she is, while I (of course) want her to stay little for ever.  Look at those green eyes - enormous.

I got quite a lot done on this while I was at the hairdressers today.  It struck me that sometimes even grey hairs have a silver lining.  More grey hairs means more knitting time.  Seriously though, most of my knitting time each week is squeezed into karate, kid's appointments and time spent waiting so I am really glad to have the opportunity to knit!

Our plums have had a bumper crop this year - laden, the branches sinking low to the ground.  We have had plum jam, stewed plums, dehydrated plums, and now, thanks to www.foxslane.blogspot.com plum cake.  This http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/16131/upside+down+plum+cake has fast become my new favourite cake, not the least because it generally leaves a few little crusty, plummy bits around the side of the tin for the cook to eat while it is still steaming and oozey.  So good.  Today, I made two of them and because I was home alone I even got to lick the beaters. Life is good my friends, very, very good, and for the simple things I am profoundly grateful.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Taking Stock

Making : more time for exercise (jogging and bike riding!)
Cooking : Malteser Icecream Sandwiches - soooo good and my kids love them (and maybe me just that little bit more!)
Drinking : decaf coffee and lots of water
Reading: "Tea Time for the Traditionally Built" and "Chase" and about to start "The turn of the Screw" for rav reading group
Wanting: To try my hand at peg dolls (2 peg doll books in my book depository wish list)
Looking: Through knitting magazines (10 cents each at the op shop - oh happy days!)
Playing: Firefighters and aeroplanes at kindy
Deciding: I need a canvas with a quote about morning sunshine to remind me to be more of a morning person!  I've pinned one off of www.soulemama.com that I saw a thousand years ago and loved
Wishing: there was enough time to knit everything I want to
Enjoying: time with crafty friends
Waiting: for our big trip to New Zealand
Liking: how enthusiastic Dan is about his learning since he joined Mr D.'s class
Wondering: If the doctor's scales will still say I've lost 3 kilos tomorrow or if the icecream sandwiches have really screwed me over!
Loving: My 3 cherubs
Pondering: How quickly the year is flying
Considering: Whether I need a stash of Bendigo 10 ply (since I keep seeing so many patterns using 10 ply and I don't seem to have any!)
Buying: Op shop doileys and German rolls from the lobethal bakery
Watching: Downton re-runs
Hoping: To get a new chook tomorrow
Marvelling: at how Maddie can have so many bumps and bruises and still come up smiling
Cringing: at how dirty the girls white school socks are
Needing: an early night
Questioning: why so many people feel the need to fill their kids lunchboxes with processed, over packaged junk
Smelling: awesomely good basil that has gone nuts
Wearing: Kindy clothes (polo shirts and shorts and sandshoes)
Following: pinterest (way too many crochet ideas)
Noticing: that I am a happier person if I get the work/family/life/me time balance right
Knowing: that we don't have a small house, we just have too much stuff
Thinking: about the great de-clutter and learning to let go of things that don't work
Admiring: clutter free spaces
Sorting: Dan's room tomorrow, my sewing corner later in the week
Getting: frustrated at how quickly kids mess up where you just cleaned
Bookmarking: ravelry patterns - sooo many!
Coveting: Bendigo Wool's new "Bloom" collection (which is on special for $10 a ball until the end of February)
Disliking: the neighbourhood cats that wake me up at 3.00 a.m. every morning!
Opening: Another tape runner refill
Giggling: Over a silly thermomix spoof on you tube
Feeling: Knackered after a busy day at kindy, then piano, then karate
Snacking: Trying hard not to, but if I do, a small handful of almonds
Comforting: Maddie with the bump on her head
Helping: make meals for Bridget, and a bunny for the Mirabel foundation, and some little handknits for a kindy families foster baby
Hearing: Top gear in the background, and the hum of the fish bubbler, and the silence of 3 little people dreaming in their beds.
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Heartstrings

This month's workshop will be all about "Heartstrings" - this paper collection is only available until the end of March.  Of course, being an aqua and red girl this collection totally appealed to me:

Happy scrapping!
Enjoy your weekend,
Nell
xx

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Blue Belt and some Op Shop Happiness

So proud of this sweet boy.  He is coordination challenged (inherited from his mum) and has worked really hard to get to this point.  Dan had not been doing Karate for very long when the subject of grading came up.  I wanted him to wait.  He wanted to put in extra time and effort and "give it a go"
The lessons we learn from our children.

On a totally unrelated topic, I am LOVING this stay at home Mum thing.  I have had a few days to call my own lately and I am amazed at how much I get done and how good it feels to potter around.  I have baked for the joy of it, instead of a frenzied rush to fill lunchboxes.  I am even not minding the domestic drudge stuff so much because I can pepper it with a little bit of crafting in between.
Today I even made it to the Op Shop and spent $13 on things to make me happy.
What is not to love about Op Shops?  I found a great little aqua and red checked esprit shirt, and a nice long brown cardi and a green skirt (perfect for my upcoming CTMH leaders Conference) and then I found another Kate Morton book (I enjoyed the Distant Hours so much that I can barely wait to start this one!) and a cute little pen caddy (haven't decided whether to leave it as is or spray paint it aqua yet) and a couple of zips for project bags, and a sweet little bear puppet and a jingly jangly elephant chain for kindy, and a beautiful linen embroidered tablecloth for 50 cents!  And when I got to the front counter with my treasures they had a hot pink geranium on the counter for $3.
Oh I do love Op Shops!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taking Stock: January

This has become a bit of a tradition, started over at www.meetmeatmikes.com by the lovely Pip.
Making : a "happy" bright pullover for me for kindy (much brighter than I would normally wear as a way of warding off the winter blues!)
Cooking : corn and bacon fritters
Drinking : pear cider (my new favourite Summer drink) and too many cups of coffee
Reading: Oh MY!!! "The Distant Hours" by Kate Morton. So good. Seriously good modern goth! I adored it and think I need it for my very own.
Wanting: January to end. Quite frankly it has been CRAPPY
Looking: Forward to February
Playing: Skipbo with my kiddos
Deciding: To spend more time with friends this year. To make the time.
Wishing: We lived in a world where only very old, very sick people died.
Enjoying: Downton Abbey season 5
Waiting: For Downton Abbery season 6 (and for cricket and tennis to end so that I can have my Better Homes and Gardens back on Friday nights)
Liking: Our cleaner (than it was) house
Wondering: If I could go through Maddie's clothes before school starts tomorrow
Pondering: The unfairness and the randomness
Considering: whether I could make park run a habit
Watching: The bunny amble outside the loungeroom window, the old dog sleeping by the door, the garden leaping forth in green and flowery verdant
Hoping: For a really good rest of the year
Marvelling: That my baby (MY BABY!?!?) starts school tomorrow!
Needing: Hugs and reassurance and lots of chocolate
Smelling: Roses (and taking the time too!)
Wearing: Comfy summer dresses
Following: too many conversations on ravelry and facebook
Noticing: that writing my "one sentence a day" is making me want to write more
Knowing: Children grow up way too quickly
Thinking: I wish they wouldn't LOL
Admiring: my friend Nae who has managed to take up running and enjoy it!
Sorting: Clothes, material, my sewing table
Buying: School clothes, ingredients for green smoothies
Getting: Anxious about first day back at school
Bookmarking: lots of crochet patterns on pinterest, and a plum cake recipe too
Disliking: the feeling that comes with knowing the holidays are over and term time is about to start
Opening: yet another packet of rice crackers
Giggling: over the antics of my kids
Feeling: sniffly and emotional
Snacking: on too many pecan nuts
Coveting: chocolate biscuits and endless wool stashes
Helping: organise memorial cards, and photo displays
Hearing: the chitter chatter of my children as they play Minecraft in the front room, the gentle hum of the fish bubbler, the slightest breeze outside
Spinning: A colourway called "happy" in a lovely merino blend
Sewing: a charity quilt for the bushfire victims
Scrapping: Briony's memorial album
Weaving: a scarf for my nephew
Knitting: a shawl called willow wind, and a second sock

Loving: My kiddos and my hubby just that little bit harder and tighter and longer knowing that other families are not so lucky

Bring on the rest of the year - lets put January behind us!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crafty Things

A cowl - crocheted for the sheer joy of using up an odd ball and making something I love for myself.  Cowls are much more practical for me - no scarf ends to get caught in doors, or dipped in paint, or caught up in my hair.  Ages ago I used some favourite wool/silk handspun to make this:
 I didn't really have a pattern. It was just an experiment but it turned out to be the perfect cowl for me, so this weekend, when I had a bit of spare time and new Downton episodes to watch I sat down and nutted it out and wrote the pattern down on my rav project page for next time.  You can find it here:http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nelliebligh/perfect-for-me-crochet-cowl and my new cowl looks like this:

I also knitted a new In Threes (this pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/in-threes-a-baby-cardigan ) I love this pattern so much and I think this is about my 5th one!  This time the handspun Bfl/kid mohair was navaho plied and I used 5mm needles to make it big enough for my 10 year old.  She claimed it before it was even off the needles!  The best part about this pattern is it is quick.  I cast on one day and cast off the next.
There has also been some more knitting on my orange shawl.  Have I mentioned how much I love the school holidays?!?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Life long Learner

I fully believe that we should all be life long learners, and that every person you meet can teach you something.  I like to talk to people. I like to learn.  Because this is part of my life philosophy I tend to pick up friends like wildflowers -and they are an eclectic bunch of assorted dear characters; some with lots in common and some with nothing in common.  Anyhoo, I digress.. For a long time I have wanted to learn how to link my rav projects to my blog so I asked a few questions among rav friends and I think I now have it figured out.  Which is my way of saying, this post is really just to test that I know what I am doing; and to show you a Stitchnerd pattern that I am knitting away on at the moment.http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nelliebligh/wavy-bias

Hope it works!