Friday, December 29, 2017

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that Jazz!

So Christmas is done and dusted and it really was a lovely one with just the right amount of presents, family, extended family, beach time and down time and more food than could sink a ship.

I have been indulging in lots of knitting time while the Giftalong was on and this year even managed an Opadoo (which means nothing to non-knitters but is a pretty big deal if you have been hanging out on ravelry!)  These were just some of my projects:
Downton cowl for Hannah's teacher

Onder for Maddie's teacher - loved this one so much!

Clan Fraser boot cuffs for my brown boots - Jack got very excited by the possum/merino yarn!

Tiana's Coming Home Cardigan - I love this pattern so much I think I will queue it in my size!

Shallows Mitts - perfect for last minute gift giving and super economical to make

Hypen - I see lots of these in my future - perfect for handspun!

All of these are in my Ravelry projects if you want more details.
We are now in that lazy haze between Christmas and New Years, one of my favourite times of the year - nowhere to be and nothing that needs doing, plenty of time to reflect on the year that was and think about the year to come.

Next year I want to get back into blogging crafty stuff more frequently. I will still do the Australasian CTMH blog hops but I want to do more informal posts as well. I am giving myself permission not to do anything in March (which is already Mad March) and also in November/December which is when the wheels fell off this year!

I am beginning the year "Cold sheeping" to get my fibre stash under control (there may be more about that in a later post) - the plan is to use up lots of my stash on charity knitting in January!

I am hoping that the year ahead holds less stress, more gratitude, more appreciation for the sweet, simple things in life, a greater awareness of the preciousness of family time.  I hope to learn to say "no" graciously, to master new technology, to be more confident in myself and my own abilities, to practise better sleeping habits and to try out some new recipes. So no New Year's Resolutions as such, but lots of thinking going on.

Where ever you are, who ever you are, may the year ahead be bright and full of potential.
Keep smiling,

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Self-imposed quarantine and all things boringly domestic

Oopeday! I realised this had never been posted.  This is what happened mid term 4! Pretty ick and I had to bow out of a lot of commitments including blog hops!
So it appears that 3 out of the 5 of us may have whooping cough (despite being vaccinated - and please people, let's not go there about the whole vaccination versus not debate - everyone is entitled to their own opinion)

Anyhow, Hannah and I have been in quarantine this week and feeling truly miserable. Today the drugs finally kicked in and I was able to do a few domestic type things around the house.  Mostly washing, but also a double batch of cornflake cookies (which is really just my basic biscuit recipe with handfuls of mixed fruit thrown in towards the end and then rolled in cornflakes)  This is the recipe that I was taught when I was about 8 and it works for everything - choc chip cookies, jam drops, etc etc and also doubles as a pastry base when you need one.

Put 125g of butter (real butter not margarine) in the mixer bowl and then add about the same amount of sugar.  Put a good splosh of real vanilla and mix on high until it gets creamy. Add 2 eggs and mix. Then just thicken with SR flour bit by bit until the mix will roll into balls without getting your hands gunky.

If you want to turn these into the best peanut butter biscuits ever then just add a big spoonful of peanut butter and a bit more flour and a couple of handfuls of peanuts.

We had lots of eggs because we've been sick and off our tucker so I made a big zucchini slice too. It felt good to be back pottering around in the kitchen.  I think Spring must be getting to me as I even cleaned the kitchen and wiped down tiles and cupboards!

My garden is looking magnificent. All of the bare rooted roses I planted last year have come into their own and are flowering beautifully.  I do so love my David Austens.

We've lost quite a few of the shrub natives in the wet last year so I have replanted some and it is delightful to see the little honeyeaters discovering them.  We've had so many of the little green and yellow friends this year with not so many fairy wrens.  I may need to fix that with a few fuschias.

Being sick has made me think a lot about home comforts and comfort food.  I find that I am not really a materialistic person (flash cars and money don't do it for me) but I do really love sweet, simple things.  When I am sick nothing tastes better than tea in the mug from Nanny's house.  My morning toast is always nicer on a fine china plate and when it is buttered with a silver handled butter knife.  I have told you about my little blue jug collection? Roses always seem rosier in a blue jug.

When my throat was really sore I craved rice pudding and scotch finger biscuits.  That is really much more an emotional response to food than anything else.  I wonder why some foods and objects can trigger that sort of response in us?

Thankfully a new load of book arrived yesterday to cheer me up.  I love these Gail Pan ones - can't wait to get started on a few Christmas gifts out of these when I am feeling better.

I am still knit, knit, knitting on a test cardigan for me in a lovely Spring green. I can't wait for it to be finished. I am so much better at lots of little projects than one big one!

fingers crossed Hannah and I get the all clear tomorrow.
Keep smiling,

Taking Stock: December

Well hello there,
It has been a while hasn't it?
Life got a bit crazy there for a bit but we can finally see the holidays in sight now!
Time to take stock - December already and Little Miss Sassy Pants reminded me today that it is only 8 sleeps till Christmas! Sheesh! Not sure how that happened and feeling quite ill prepared but oh well, what can you do?

Making : fingerless mitts for Hannah
Cooking : apricots and vanilla bean for apricot crumble
Drinking : water, lots of water (and now a ginger and vodka drink that my hubby just handed me)
Reading: the last of the Outlander books
Next read:whatever the library throws at me this week
Wanting:to start my holidays
Looking:at the lovely blanket on Attic 24s blog and wondering if I really need another project?
Playing:fetch with the neighbour's dog (we are dog and cat sitting until just before Christmas)
Deciding: to be a better house keeper in 2018
Wishing:the cleaning fairy would visit
Enjoying:the smell of the roast and the apricots
Waiting:for holidays to start in ernest
Liking: the thought of some chill out time this week
Wondering: how we are going to go with the teen years
Loving:the summer heat and sunshine
Pondering:how miscommunication happens and how easy it is for events to change when it does
Considering: a major declutter
Buying:Christmas presents on line
Watching:Outlander, and A Place to Call Home
Next watch: a Downton binge
Hoping: for a few surprises for Christmas
Marvelling: at how quickly the year has flown
Cringing: at how sunburnt Hannah is
Questioning:my parenting skills
Smelling: old dog and apricots
Wearing: a light summer dress (from Karma East - love!) and flip flops
Following: ravelry giftalong threads
Noticing: how tall my kiddos are all getting
Knowing:the holidays will zoom just as quickly as the rest of the year
Thinking: about future craft projects
Sorting: nothing - feels like EVERYTHING needs sorting
Getting: bitten by mozzies
Bookmarking: felt ornament projects
Coveting: Jude's beautiful spring moss green dyed wool
Disliking: teenaged attitude and kids that don't tell the truth
Opening:lots of cheese and crackers
Giggling: over Maddie's wittiness
Feeling: emotionally and physically drained and ready for the holidays
Snacking: on cheese and crackers and Christmas ham
Hearing: the sound of birds twittering outside - so many honeyeaters this year!

I will be back more regularly now that I have time and want to commit to at least one non CTMH post each month next year along with the Blog Hops.
Until next time,
Keep smiling,