December 29, 2013

Christmas Ornament Exchange :: Part 1

One of the things I really love about the blog world are all the opportunities to participate in swaps, sew-a-longs and other community events. I love the fun of joining in something crafty with other lovely peeps, the sense of community that develops from these events, and the excitement of receiving surprises in the mail!

Recently I signed up to join in the Ornament Exchange organised by Kelly over at True Bias.

I wish I was one of those organised people who jump straight into a task as soon as possible, however in my usual style I did lots of research on Pinterest, dithered over what to create and got temporarily distracted by going on holidays for a week. So by the time I'd finished stitching my ornaments, I hurriedly popped them in the mail and didn't even take the time to photograph them. (But hopefully one of the recipients will do so and I'll show you then!)

The sweet Christmas tree above was first to arrive from Renee of Nearest the Pin.

This sparkly star arrived from Alison.

And this spunky little reindeer (or, I suspect, dachshund in Christmas attire!) came from Nicole of The Solmnolent Dachshund.

Thanks everyone! (Plus there's another couple that will be waiting for me when I return from holidays in a couple of days.) So much fun! It's so nice to have special decorations with a personal story don't you think?

Thank-you so much Renee for sending through a photo of my bird ornament! I used a vintage cotton print, gifted to me by my lovely neighbour Jenny, machine-stitched to an unbleached cotton linen fabric. Then added two layers of cotton quilt batting and hand-stitched together with red perle cotton.

December 6, 2013

The Craft Sessions

Although it's over a month ago now, I have to post some photos of the wonderful weekend I spent at The Craft Sessions. It was SO good. 

It's the first time I've been surrounded by so many awesome people who are just as interested in discussing knitting patterns, fabrics, yarn, pattern designers, blogging, quilting techniques, Ravelry...

There were so many different workshops on offer from so many cool people that it was really hard to decide which ones to do. In the end I decided to try 3 crafts that were new to me: freeform patchwork and block printing, both run by Lesley Keating from Maze & Vale, and whole fabric quilting with Anna O'Brien.

I have to say that patchwork and quilting have never really appealed to me (too precise, too slow-going, too bitsy). But this was different! Freeform patchwork was a revelation. Just grab a bunch of coordinating fabric scraps and start sewing them together. No measuring, precise cutting or matching corners. I love this! (Ohh and the gorgeous Maze & Vale fabric scraps that Lesley brought along for us to use!) I can't wait to do some more. And whole fabric quilting - just beautiful fabric and simple stitching (no patchwork required). From Anna I've discovered how much I love hand-stitching. Such a relaxing, mindful process.

I met so many lovely and inspiring women but a special mention to Jo my room-mate (who is making the most amazing English patchwork quilt - something I will never ever attempt) and Kylie who has revolutionised my knitting by teaching me her continental style method.

A big thank-you to Felicia and her crew who organised this event. Can't wait for next year!

September 19, 2013

Off my needles

I'm sooo excited! Last night I sewed in the ends on the first jumper I've ever completed for myself (note the term completed... there are a couple of WIPs languishing around). I LOVE this jumper!

This jumper is copied inspired by Felicia's version of Il Grande Favorito, with a garter stitch front. As soon as I saw hers I knew it was exactly what I wanted to knit with the Berocco Ultra Alpaca that I had in my stash.

Happy days!

September 11, 2013

Veggie heaven :: Stage 1

I'm taking a new approach to my seed-raising this year. I've realised little bit more TLC is needed if I'm to improve my success rate.

Thank-you Jane for your suggestion to try biodegradable jiffy pots. I ended up ordering them via eBay and they arrived in just 2 days (Jane mentioned that they are also available at BigW and I would imagine the large hardware stores - if you live a bit closer to town than us!). Less root disturbance will surely help with my transplanting issues!

Secondly, no more straight-from-the-bag seed-raising mix. Using the combined wisdom from a few expert sources, I made a mix of composted cow manure, mushroom compost, potting mix and soil, and then sieved it through a colander to result in a nice fine mixture.

My trusty helper assisted with filling all the little jiffy pots. Then we planted:
4 varieties of tomatoes
butternut pumpkins
and giant russian sunflowers.

(As you may suspect, I raided the kids' craft drawers for the icypole sticks.)

I've also been advised to use a weak solution of seaweed extract in a spray bottle for watering the seedlings as they emerge and grow.

Early September and I'm feeling pretty organised for once! And I just love the next bit where we wait for the first shoots to appear, yay!

September 4, 2013

Geranium Dress

My first Geranium!

Hehe! Now I know why people say that. Now that I've made one, I can't wait to make another. Such a great pattern... it all comes together so quickly and looks super sweet!

The fabric I've used is Raindrops from Carolyn Gavin's Spring Street collection. I love this fabric! When I purchased it a couple of months ago, I wasn't sure if it would be for Little Miss or myself. So before cutting into it, I actually ended up jumping online and ordering a couple for metres more for me.

Do you have a pattern that you've made again and again?

September 1, 2013

Spring :: Day 1

Hooray! Spring is finally here! 
Time to pop on our spring frocks and get ready to create veggie heaven!

Does anyone else get super excited about how great their veggie patch is going to be this season? I love planning what will go where, topping up the beds with compost and sorting through my packets of seeds.

This year I will give my seedlings enough compost, manure and worm juice. I will keep the slugs at bay with generous sprinklings of coffee grounds and we will build a fence to keep the chooks out. This summer and autumn we will be self-sufficient for veggies... I hope!

Today we popped in some peas and beans. Potatoes, salad greens, carrots and spring onions will also start going in the ground this week.

Something I always struggle with though is starting off seedlings (tomatoes, basil, zucchini, etc) in pots and trays, in the warmth of our north windows. The seeds usually germinate okay but they either don't thrive in the potting mix, or they don't survive being transplanted into the garden.

Any tips for a good potting mix recipe? Or how to help my seedlings thrive?

Our winter veg supply is pretty much down to kale and the last of the carrots at the moment, though I'm watching with anticipation as the cabbages slowly get bigger. I've never grown cabbages before so it's quite exciting! By the time the kale runs out we should be ready to start munching through cabbages. Eight of them. Hmm...

Sadly the chooks have discovered how delicious broccoli is and have completely demolished what was left. Grrr.

Back in the pen for you girls until further chook-proofing has taken place! Job for next weekend - fence the veg patch.

Woohoo for spring!!
What did you do to celebrate the start of spring today?

You can pop over to the Garden Share Collective hosted by Liz at Strayed from the Table for more garden inspiration.

August 11, 2013

Winter sunshine

Hello there! Yes it's been a bit quiet in this space lately... things have been b-u-s-y! There's lots of things I've been meaning to post about but it just hasn't quite happened.

But ahhh... now I'm on holidays. Yay!!! Loving the West Australian sunshine, the smell of the ocean and happy-chappy kids (mostly... except if more than 6 minutes driving is involved... you know how it is).

Time to catch up and just breathe. :-)

June 16, 2013

Grow Vitamins at your Kitchen Door

Stecher-Traung Lithograph Corporation, 1939-45 

Herbert Bayer, 1943, NYC WPA War Services

James Montgomery Flagg, 1918, National War Garden Commission

Frederic G. Cooper, 1917, U.S. Food Administration

I love these vintage posters encouraging citizens to contribute to the WWI and WWII war efforts by growing their own backyard produce and not wasting food. At the time, food rationing was in effect, giving the extra incentive to give gardening a go. But the posters also have quite a positive vibe. More posters HERE.

And really, the messages in these posters are just as relevant today, just with different motivations... reducing fuel use and carbon emissions, access to ripe freshly-picked produce with the highest nutrient content, supporting your local economy and contributing to future food security.

'Urban gardens for healthy families - Grow vitamins at your kitchen door'
'Sow the seeds of sustainability - Grow your own or buy local'
'Every garden contributes to a greener world'

What do you think?!

June 13, 2013

Good things

You know how exciting it is to get a package in the mail...? (Even when you're the one that paid for that lovely bundle of fabric/books/bed linen/organic moisturiser/ipad/or whatever it is.) Or how nice it is to receive a present on your birthday? But even more exciting are surprise gifts...

To unexpectedly receive something thoughtful from a kind-hearted person just gives me that wonderfully happy glow of what a good place the world can be and how wonderfully lucky I am! And, of course, it makes me want to do nice things for all the people around me and share all the good karma. :)

In the past couple of weeks I've been the recipient of several unexpected packages...

First was the appearance of a brown paper bag on my office desk containing fresh, homegrown lemongrass, limes and kaffir lime leaves, and cubes of palm sugar - not the easiest of things to come by when you live in rural Victoria. A lovely friend, who I don't know well but is a gorgeous person, had put together this little curry pack for me after I'd tasted her deliciously fragrant thai green curry at a recent gathering. What a nice thing to do! (And yes, I made a rather tasty curry myself last week - having fresh ingredients makes all the difference!)

A day or two later I received an email from cityhippyfarmgirl Brydie to say that I'd won some lovely teas in her blog giveaway. Cool! I never win anything so that was rather exciting!

And this sweet little teapot... well that was gifted to me by the lovely lady who has the shop full of vintage goods and collectables next door to mine!

It's nice to know the world is full of such good and generous people! :)

June 12, 2013

One year older...

Yep, yesterday was my birthday. Thirty-nine. Hmm...

Do you still look forward to your birthday? I do! And this was a good one.

Three sweet people gave me a foot massage in bed in the morning.
I received some lovely cards and cool pressies!
I sat in the midday winter sunshine at the Beechworth Brewery and had delicious pizza with family and friends.
Hubby made my favourite orange & almond cake that we shared for dessert with some more friends.
Ah, life is good! :)

June 1, 2013

Shifting seasons...

Happy first day of Winter! Do you think this plum tree might be a tad confused about what season it is?

May 25, 2013

Exciting news :: The Crafty Fox!

I've been a bit quiet on the blog front this past month as there's been exciting things in progress... I've opened a new little crafty venture - The Crafty Fox shop & studio in Beechworth!

It's in the beautiful original schoolhouse building in town, built in 1863.

I've been loving every minute of sourcing lovely handmade clothing & goodies, setting up displays and finally opening my doors this weekend.  I also plan to run occasional crafty workshops and a regular Sunday crafternoon session. Yay!!

Find out more on The Crafty Fox website and Facebook page. And if you're in northeast Victoria do pop in and say hello! :)

May 22, 2013

Mini Mobius Cowl

Brrrr! The chilly weather has well and truly arrived here, so we're all rugged up once again.

Have you ever tried knitting a mobius cowl? I still can't get my head around quite how the cast-on works... but like magic, it actually worked! Somehow it knits from the middle of the cowl, outwards, with the circular needle forming a spiral. It's really interesting to see it progress.

After the cast-on and first couple of rows, this was a super quick and easy knit (just a few hours). Ravelled here.

I made this mini cowl for little miss with the leftover yarn from my own mobius cowl (no photos of that one yet sorry!). I think I'm hooked! I'd love to try a mobius shawl next... Let me know if you have any suggestions for patterns!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...