Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Coasters

I have been crocheting up a frenzy!  Everyone is getting crocheted treasures for Christmas this year, so be warned, Loved Ones.  My favourite thing at the moment are Hexagon Felted Coasters made out of the amazing Noro wool.   I played around with a few different shapes and designs but Attic 24's Hexagon pattern I think works the best.  This is a perfect project for the kind of crafter that I am -

1. You don't need to muck around changing wool colours as the Noro does it all for you.
2. Felting is really easy - just pop the finished hexagons into the washing machine on a hot wash.  3.The felting process covers a multitude of sins.
4. You can get 7 coasters per skien of wool or one big mat.

Look at those colours - sigh
Ohhhh so pretty

I had them all finished and laid out like this and thought how
 good they would look sewn together.
All sewn up
What do you think?
I want these all over the house now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hello Birdies

Our big project these last few days has been the Bird Cage/Avery Make Over.   Technically this is Miss M's Christmas present but it has turned into a whole family thing.  Miss M has been bird obsessed for a few years now, we have had budges before but I don't like them in the house (being the neat freak that I am, Mum!)  We all have that niggling level of discomfort about caged birds so we thought we would create a nicer, out door habitat and try again.   I got this old cage on our local garage sale site,  we wrapped it with a finer wire and have found the perfect spot.

I think I might like to live here if I was a pet shop budgie.

Via Gumtree I found a local breeder with baby birds for sale only $15 each.  I love it when all your Christmas Gift Organising Stars align... it was meant to be.  The breeder lives about 10 mins away from us, so we all piled into the car and had a family outing to his house.   It was bird heaven, he had been breeding birds since boyhood (which was a long time ago) and had all sorts for sale.  It was tempting to get something more exotic but budgies really are at our level at the moment.  Oh, he also had a great after sales policy - if they die or fly away, don't worry, just pop back & I'll give you another, what parent doesn't love that!

Not sure of their names yet, we are still at that stage where
 we come up with a new name every hour, on the hour.
After we had safely ensconced our new birds in their home the we all sat around watching them for hours like it was a fire place or a fish tank.     

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where Has The Time Gone

Three legged races - love them.
Wow we are hurtling towards the end of the year and I am officially on Hols, as of NOW!   The girls finished school yesterday and today marks the end of a parenting era, with our last ever Kindy day.  Our community kindy is just beautiful and has been a big part of our lives since 2006 when our first child started there.  I remember looking in wonderment at parents that had all school aged children, who were miles away from baby years and who even had children who sat in the front of the car!  Now I am one of them, I feels like I have moved to a new level of the Parenting Club.

The last two weeks have been a blur of parties, costumes and props to make for the school play,  concerts and performances, teacher gifts to make and lots and lots of crochet.

Well done to my big girls for such great performances in the school Christmas concert.  Miss M as Perri-Meter the odd-one-out Elf who saves Christmas with her (possibly autistic) mathematical skills.  Miss S was part of the Christmas Wish Clowns who sing to a sad Perri about believing in herself.  Miss S was also chuffed with her cameo appearance as one on the elves who bounds out of Perri's present machine.

           A couple of Teacher gifts, I trust in the adage "you can never have too many bags."

Sack races - Go Master B, who knew you had such hidden talents
Crochet Oh Crochet how addicted I have become.
(More Crochet posts to come)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Clever Things My friends Make

I have some very crafty friends, (and some very professional artiste's - you know who you are Ms KLB!)  The unfortunate thing is that we all live miles away from each other so have to share project progress via dodgy iphone snaps.  This doesn't stop us and somehow it really doesn't matter, as the old adage goes its the thought that counts (or the text message.)

This is the start of Ms Soon to be Mother of four's crochet blanket.
How great is this bird cage prototype by Ms PN
- note how well it goes with my bird cage purse.


This is a pair of shorts I made years ago for my girls then
handed down to Ms S for her girls.  Her girls have worn them
and now thrifty Ms S has up cycled them into plastic bag storage.


The shorts live on...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To Do

I, like many people at this time of year have a long list of jobs to do and not enough time to do them in. One of the little jobs I need to do is to fix my Bird necklace.  The poor little bird has fallen off his perch and now looks dead at the bottom of the cage.  This really freaked out the kids when I wore it to kindy one day.
Feels a bit like my energy levels at the moment.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crochet Bag in Progress

My bag is progressing well and I am happy with my order of colours.   I was a bit worried for a while there as the sides weren't really taking shape and the circle base seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.   Then all of the sudden it took the form of a bowl, whew!

From the bottom looking like a rastafarian hat. 
From the top 
Side view, can you get the gist of it?
This just reminds me of one of those vintage folding colander/steamer things.
Click here to see what other clever bunnies are making - My Creative Space

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Next Crochet Bag Project

I have started my next crochet project and have possible bitten off more that I can handle.  I am using a combination of patterns from Attic 24.  The base of the bag is from Lucy's Flat Circle Pattern  and for sides I am planning to use Lucy's Neat Ripple Pattern .  I am not sure how I will do the handle yet but I am hoping it will be a perfected version of the strap from my last bag.

The colours are fantastic, I spent ages deciding what order they would go in.
More lovely fibers from Tangled Yarns

I am still not sure why my Flat Circle doesn't look like Lucy's,
and I do not recommend drinking while crafting.
Craft and wine do not mix for me, I had a little bit to undo the next day,
but it sure is fun at the time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Palazzo La Chooks

We have had backyard chickens for years now and have become complacent, security at the coup is not what it used to be.   A few people that know me well are very surprised I have managed to keep a pet alive for so long but I have.   I love my chickens because they eat all the left over  food my children waste (thus reducing my Mother Guilt) and they give the most amazing eggs!

A few weeks ago my egg supply dried up and I was very worried
A - Was the dog getting in and eating them?
B - The girls couldn't be off the lay as three of them only started laying and I have seen them in the nesting box.
C - Are they eating the eggs themselves? (Which would be bad as we would have to bump off 5 chickens and I don't have any suitable burial spaces at the moment.)
D - What else could it be?

With a bit of stelth surveillance from Miss S and I, it turns out it was D - Crows.  They are so clever, they set up a scout in a neighbors tree and as soon as a chicken comes out of the laying box he calls the others from near and far so they can all come down and eat the eggs!  I was outraged, so wizzed straight down to the produce store to get the netting I was supposed to replace about three years ago.

The girls got some Free Range Action while Miss M and I got to work.

The New Look Palazzo

They were a bit suss about coming back in.

 I was out of the habit of going down daily and getting eggs as there hadn't
been any for so long.   When I went down a few days later I could believe how
 many there were.  In your face Crows!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Best Friend in the Whole World

We have had a very sad week in our little house.  I won't go into things now because we don't know how long the piece of string is yet, things may not be terrible but the possibility they could be is, well just sad.
However I am officially the luckiest woman in the world because I have amazing friends and have been enveloped in love and care all week.   Can you imagine how many happy tears I cried when I received a package in the mail from my dear friend Ms S...  Oh and the card just made me cry even more.  Ms S wrote that since we didn't live close enough for her to be able to pop over and cheer me up, she would send me some things that make her happy so she could share her happiness with me.  Sob sob.  There were photos of her favourite places, her children and beautiful flowers, lovely fabrics and all tied up in pretty paper and ribbon.  (She had me at the pretty paper and ribbon.)  I am very, very lucky!

Happy package complete with Saffron Craig fabric

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crochet Garland for Violet

Well Aunty L's baby is here, before we managed to finish the quilt or for that matter, before her mother managed to get to a suitable birthing venue.  Beautiful baby Violet was born in the foyer of the Brisbane Mater Mothers!  Aunty L made it just inside the automatic doors, gave a primal scream, dropped to the floor and delivered baby's head.  The hospital were amazing and swung into Code Red Foyer action and the rest of baby Violet was born.  A very public, public hospital birth.

Well done to may amazing sister you are my hero, to Uber Grandma and Uncle M you guys are super.

AWWWW - Beautiful Photo by Chani Ridley

Now a name like Violet, how many craft opportunities do you think that inspired in me...  so many beautiful wools too buy from Tangled Yarns in so many shades.

I had lots of fun making this crochet garland for Violet.
Her cot is right next to white timber shutters and
everyone knows white timber shutters need to be decorated with crochet.

(I was actually trying to crochet bunting but I got really really mixed up reading the pattern so went with 6 different shapes. Can you see the dud triangle?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Shower Quilt

Aunty L recently had her baby shower and being the Art teacher that she is, planned a cracking project for us all.  We all had to decorate a calico square to be sewn into a wall hanging/quilt.  Aunty L has a knack for aiming high and achieving the incredible (when we all thought we were going to sip tea and nibble cake.)  Here are some snaps...

Aunty E's patch in the making
Ms C hard at work
Pedal to the metal
Beautiful garden by Miss S
Big Flower by Aunty L
Squirrel With Nut on a Hill by Miss M
Turtle by artist unknown
Cat - collaborative work started by Ms J,
embellished by Aunty L and I
Chook - artist unknown
Mine, its a bit dodgy

Magical River With Bridge and Hot Air Balloon
artist unknown
Ocean going Hermit Crab by Grandma Gia
Rainbow With Small Dog in Red Coat by Grandma M
in collaboration with Aunty L

There are quite a few more squares I am not sure why I don't have photos of them???  I thought I had got them all (I wonder if a certain child might have deleted some because the card was full??)   Oh well that just means I will have to do another post another day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ratatouille Lasagna

When I have a weekend cooking urge and feel virtuous and all European I love to make this yummy baked pyrex dish of goodness.

1 enormously large Egg plant cut into 1 cm slices
3 medium size zucchinis cut into coins
1 large red onion sliced
2 red capsicum cut into cheeks
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Sauté onions in a table spoon of olive oil, then ...
I ever so lightly pre cook the egg plant and capsicum in my
toasted sandwich press - brush with olive oil and closed lid 
for a few mins.  
Starting with the egg plant, layer ingredients into dish
(don't pre cook the zucchini it turns to slush.)

Another layer of egg plant to finish off
Pour over the two cans of chopped toms and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake at 180 until the cheese is golden, serve with what ever you like.
Tonight we are having ours with crusty bread and roast Lamb.
I also love these ratatouille left overs as a pasta sauce, it goes really well with a chunky spiral pasta.