Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Julie and Julia Projects 2 and 3

Look at my new socks!
I know that at first glance they might look completely ordinary but they are actually these:
I love that they are knitted on straight needles and then crochet seamed up the side.  This book also gives patterns for kids socks and for socks in a range of 4ply/fingering and 8ply patterns.  Because these were 8 ply they made up in noooo time at all and they are super comfy (do you recognise the handspun Heath?)  The seaming looks like this:
I can live with that.  Maddie took one look at these and requested a pink pair "just like them".  I hope you appreciate that I modelled these socks on a 40 degree day! Knitting socks in the middle of a heat wave does seem a bit crazy!

I have also been using some of my homespun to knit hats for Westmead (see here www.retromummy.blogspot.com ) 

Unfortunately this one is a little on the small side because I was running out of wool so it will be suitable for about an 8 year old.  The next one will be bigger.  I have to say that I don't like the 2x2 rib nearly as much as I like the butterfly hat pattern so not sure how many more I will make using this pattern.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lots and lots of scrapping!

I have already mentioned that I have set a personal best for pages this month trying to get the kids albums, and our 2013 albums (3 volumes) up to date.There was the added bonus of some nice new pre-release product from the catalogue that kicks off on the first of February.  This is just a selection of some recent pages!

This is "Skylark" from the pattern in the Workshop on the Go kit (modified to include more 4x6 photos)  This is my new favourite paper!)

Skylark again!

Playing mixey matchy with some old CM paper and tags etc and a little bit of new Skylark.

Another new paper pack, "Jubilee" which I think will be perfect for photos of the Adelaide Show this year!

Lollydoodle paper (layout as it appears in the Workshop on the Go pattern - with the white border cut on the cricut, I modified a bit to use 4x6 photos as I rarely print to any other size)
Lollydoodle again - perfect for little girls (especially my own princess/fairy/unicorn child!)

And next time I blog I will have another 2 Julie and Julia projects to show!
Have a great week!
Keep smiling,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Taking Stock 2014

Making : lots and lots of album pages (I've definitely set a P.B. in January!) countless snacks for children
Cooking : with my kids from the Junior Masterchef series, and for us from Jules Clancy's "5 Ingredients 10 minutes"
Drinking : water and coffee and way too many Pimms and lemonades
Reading: Yarn Harlot (just got 2 more of her books) The Shipping News, Jodi Picoult
Wanting: To declutter this house
Looking: Forward to school going back, Forward to moving on with CTMH
Playing: in my craft room when I can sneak away, family twister after tea
Deciding: to be more positive in 2014
Wishing: for a house that cleans itself
Enjoying: fresh tomatoes and lettuce and nectarines and plums from our garden, 100% organic and sun-ripened
Waiting: for lots of good things; my sister's wedding, a new niece/nephew, my Fibre Retreat, the first ever Australian CTMH leaders conference
Liking: Summer sunshine, line dried washing, floaty summer dresses
Wondering: How I am ever going to use up my fabric stash and how it all came into the house in the first place
Loving: Lazy starts to the morning (no school rush)
Pondering: Whether I might freak out about my big birthday or whether in the end it will be just another day in a pretty good life
Considering: going on a health kick with the kindy girls (learning to like exercise)
Watching: Downton Abbey Season 4
Hoping: To get to the movies to see Walter Mitty with my boy this week
Marvelling: At how quickly children grow up
Needing: Lots of cuddles from said children and just a little bit of quality time away from them too!
Smelling: Jasmine and roses from the front garden, nectarines going off in the bowl because we can't eat them fast enough
Wearing: Floaty Summer Dresses and summer sandals
Following: Way too many blogs and facebook posts
Noticing: That too many people put their life out their on facebook - the good, the bad, and the nasty! I don't need to know what you had for breakfast or that your cat coughed up a fur-ball people!
Knowing: The sleep ins and lazy mornings are coming to an end and the term-time hustle and bustle is looming
Thinking: That this year I am not getting sucked into it - not going to drown in the vortex of non-important busy-ness
Feeling: Optimistic (and just a little tired after Hannah and her friend stayed up giggling and talking until midnight last night!)
Admiring: Quilts on pinterest, Women that seem to get so much done without trying
Sorting: Kids clothes, school stuff, old CM baggage
Buying: Tupperware from the op shop (30c each!) A fur real cat for $4 (already worth it for the entertainment it has given the kids) A pile of beautiful crochet-edged cotton hankies for 5c each - can you tell I love the Op shop?
Getting: the freezer emptied for a side of beef
Bookmarking: slow cooker recipes and crochet patterns on pinterest
Disliking: Crunchy floors, a filthy oven, a house littered with detritus of children
Opening: Countless packets of rice crackers, soft cheese, olives - our standard holidays "bits and pieces" lunch
Giggling: Over the ridiculous game of "jinx" that my husband and kids carry on each tea time
Feeling: Happy and content and like my life is blessed

This list has come from Pip over at www.meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com via Kate from www.foxslane.blogspot.com - feel free to play along!

Oh, and if you are out there, and reading this, feel free to stop lurking and leave a comment - sometimes it gets lonely here!

Keep smiling,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Kick the Bucket January Finish

Ta Daaahhh! One finished smocked dress.

The original recipient of this dress is now 12.  Then I was going to finish it for Hannah, then my niece Steph, then her sister Abigail, and finally now it has been finished for Miss Maddie.  It is not a great dress.  Dodgy smocking skills and rather dodgy sewing skills, but it has twirl factor, and because of the generous cut should fit her for a long time (don't worry, I am under no illusions that she will get to outgrow it - being white I am sure it will become stained and unrecognisable long before then!)

The kids are off to Granny and Grandpa's for a few days next week so who knows - maybe I can get more than one thing finished this month?!?!

Julie and Julia January Project 1

Finally a finished for Julie and Julia (I did actually begin socks for Hannah this month but found the pattern painful and had to rip them out at the heel so many times that the project has stalled!)  Adelaide had the dubious honour of being the world's hottest city yesterday which kind of makes knitting anything wooley a bit of a joke in January.

Hannah and I hit apon this idea in "Mollie Makes Christmas" quite some time ago and decided that it was a great way to use up old Creative Memories Christmas paper.  Some of the stars are handcut and some are cut on my cricut but either way it is kind of simple and home-made and should be a welcome addition to our Christmas decorating next year!

I also found a cotton washcloth buried at the bottom of my knitting basket so it has been finished off today too (and promptly claimed by the littlest pink princess).

Enjoy your weekend!
Keep smiling,

Monday, January 6, 2014

A little bit of vintage sweetness

Everytime I go to Oakbank or Balhannah I pass a sweet looking, vintage treasures kind of shop.  Everytime I think, one day I will stop there.  After my super-productive sewing, quilting day on Saturday (where for the first time EVER I finished everything I took to do LOL) I was driving home and the shop was still open..and I was childless..and I wasn't quite expected home yet, so I got to have my browse, and just as I had expected it was a wonderful treasure trove of all things lovely and vintage.  So this little cut glass jug just had to come home with me.  It is my new favourite find.
Happiest of Mondays to you!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

BOM January

I am using most of my "Bliss" and some "Scrumptious" both by Bonnie and Camille for my BOM from www.opengatequilts.com

LOVE these fabrics (and I was lucky enough to get "Simply Retro" which is Camille's second book for Christmas!)  Now I just have to add the sashings and corner triangles - I am thinking of red spotty strips and a teal floral for the corners but just can't decide whether to swap them and have red corner triangles and floral strips!

Kick The Bucket 2014

Back in 2012 AJ from www.ajsantics.blogspot.com ran a WIP challenge and I found it a great way to get things done.  This year AJ is running a "Kick the Bucket" UFO challenge and as you know I have a serious problem with finishing things so I have signed up!  The UFO list for 2014 looks something like this (and there will probably be more to add!)  Please no judgement when you read this list (it is kind of soul destroying to admit to these!)
*Smocked dress (begun in 2001 now needing only the ruffle - this should be first finished)Finished
*Nanny's quilt (also begun circa 2000 and now needing the quilting and binding)
*Lena's quilt (started for her 2nd birthday at the end of 2012 but might have to be for her 3rd birthday!)
*Applique quilt (at least 5 years old and now just needing borders and quilting)
*Jill's dinosaur (a friend's UFO that was gifted 2 years ago and not finished - this needs to be finished and sent as a Softie for Mirabel this year)
*Elf wall hanging (at least a decade old!)
*Easter stitchery wall hanging (started when Hannah was at preschool!)Finished
*Hannah's purple poncho (begun in December of 2012)Finished
*Stained glass cardigan (at least 3 years old)
*Deb's pink cardigan (another gifted UFO that just needs the rib band and stitching up)
*Debbie Bliss cotton frock
*Emmy Lou's braids
*Felted bag

And some that were started last year (so won't count for AJ but need finishing none-the-less) are Maddie's strippy quilt finished, David's golf cover finished, Strip charity quilt and baby quilt, and my Redwork Winter Stitchery.

Because I am a glutton for punishment I have also joined in the BOM running at www.opengatequilts.com - feeling quite virtuous because I have finished the 2 blocks for this month already!

One thing is for sure, this year is going to see a whole heap more crafting than last year.

So now, if you want to follow along, I will label the posts with "Kick the Bucket" or "Julie and Julia" or "BOM"
Happy crafting,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year, A New Knit..

I couldn't resist casting on this Olinda Cardigan by Georgie Hallam while Mum and Dad were down.  Because they were sleeping in my craftroom I was kind of having craft withdrawal symptoms so this sweet little bit of knitting took the pressure off.  The wool is my own homespun in a colourway called "Amelia" from kathy4fibres.com - don't fall in love with it because the colourway is no longer available.  This "Amelia" cardigan is being knitted for my sweet little Amelia who is my dear friend Lou's daughter.  There is something very satisfying about knitting a special project for a special person.  I'm up to the back shaping and can't wait to continue..

Happy New Year!

After what was essentially a pretty crappy year (with the exception of our big OS trip) we did have a really lovely Christmas and New Year.  It was very special for my kids to have both sets of grandies for Christmas Day.  Prior to Christmas there was the Live Nativity (which is always a highlight for the kids and a timely reminder of why we even celebrate Christmas)

The kids made an unspectacular gingerbread house (and I stayed true to tradition by huffing and puffing and saying we are NOT doing this again next year!)  We made reindeer food and they sprinkled it on the driveway on Christmas Eve.
 And then it was Christmas; with too much good food, and lots of laughs and so much sweet, simple family time.

 Mum and Dad stayed with us until New Years Day.  They can't sit still longer than it takes to drink a cup of tea so while they were here Dad plumbed in a rainwater tank and tried to fix my washing machine and Mum attacked the garden jungle and painted all of the traffic areas in the house (got rid of 8 years worth of grot and grime and kids handprints!) and I sugar soaped all of the walls (finding muscles that I didn't know I had!)  Hannah's feature wall was repainted in a mushroom colour to match her sophisticated new "tween" look.
And in between all of the frenzied hard work there was a tea party in the new fairy garden (that is a whole other blog post) and a trip to the park to try out our new scooters (thanks Santa!)
New Years was a quiet bbq at home.  And now, it is a New Year and we are sliding into long, lazy January days.  The kids have been outside dancing in the rain with their new umbrellas.  I have been enjoying the steady pitter patter of rain knowing that some of it is going into the new tank.  Hannah has had the same Taylor Swift song on repeat for most of the morning.  And yesterday I snuck into my crafty room and did a few scrapbook pages, and cast on some new knitting, and perused the bookshelf thinking about my Julie/Julie project and what I will begin on?  I love that a new year is always so full of possibilities.
Happy New Year!