spring inspiration

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Spring starts tomorrow… Yay! Although I do feel like it has been making its presence known all week. The daffodils are everywhere, tulips are popping up their pretty heads, and the sweet smell of blossom is in the air.

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My nectarine tree blossom is stunningly pretty, don’t you think? I popped a couple of branches in a flower posy with some gorgeous old fashioned May Bush and a few branches of my Japanese Maple, whose teeny baby leaves are the cutest. This nectarine tree is a bit special to me, my grandma planted this tree from seed many years ago. She’s no longer with us, but I do think of her whenever I see my nectarine tree… I love how plants can have such a special meaning.

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My current crochet project is heavily inspired by spring. Spring Meadow is coming along nicely, although it did have a big unpick session at the start as it wasn’t quite working. I first saw the flowers in a row pattern on pinterest, which led me to the original pattern here. Of course I wanted to tweak the pattern slightly (I know – what a surprise hey?) as I had ideas of a flower meadow with different flowers. This tweak of course led to the unpick.

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The first row is daffodils, the second roses and the third tulips… in my imagination anyway! These flowers scream spring to me. The idea is a blanket with the flowers at the bottom, then all cream in colour until the top, where I’m going to have a go at making a blue cloud-ish shape made of hearts. I’ll let you know if it works. There could be another unpick session on the horizon! That’s ok, it’s spring tomorrow! Did I mention that? Bring on the sunshiney days and flowers everywhere.

Wishing you sunshiney days sprinkled with sweet smelling flower blossoms… and not too many unpicks!

winter flowers and some modern retro

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Modern Retro Blanket
Yellow: 100% Pure Baby Alpaca, Teal: 80% Alpaca and 20% Organic Merino Wool. Crochet.
My colour inspiration was a direct rip off from these photos!

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It’s my…a bit modern (teal and yellow)… but a bit retro (granny square) blanket. It’s feather light and super soft. It kept my legs so warm whilst I was crocheting it, and is quite delicate being all 4ply yarn. Generous in size, this baby would be a great lap blanket or a gorgeous modern baby blanket. Quite the versatile little blankie I think.

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It’s a granny square that just kept going. I added a few thin stripes, then some chunkier ones, and I really love the effect this created. I might find it a bit hard to part with actually, but I will be listing it in the Shop soon. If I can bring myself to do it.

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And I just have to share a picture of this gorgeous Rhododendron. This winter flower is our new Rhododendron ‘Wedding Gown’. It’s just starting flowering and is so pretty!

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Lime green in the bud, it opens to the most light bright white delicate flower.

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It’s on the front porch, in it’s very large pot that we purchased it in, but will be planted in the garden once it’s finished flowering. (we didn’t want to send it in shock and risk the billion buds on it not opening!) The pretty little pink buds in the background here are Jasmine. It grows all over my front porch and is about to explode into a delicious sweet heady scent that knocks your socks off when you walk up the porch steps. A perfect entrance to Dove Cottage.

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My favourite tall gum tree forest was in the misty clouds on my last visit. It looked absolutely gorgeous!

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Mother nature rewards me enormously when I make it to my winter walks. Although the day was very grey, raining on and off, overcast, no sun in sight, gloomy even – I am greeted on my walk with this gorgeous sight! I am really falling in love with Rhododendrons. Especially the early flowering ones that give you a big tree with red pom poms like this one.

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And how’s this for a cheery path? I was walking in the rain at this point, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face snapping these beauties.

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I’m going to leave you with this pretty yellow daffy, and send out cheer and hope and love to all, in honour of Daffodil Day.

Hope you find some bright cheeriness in your day… even if it looks gloomy outside… may you find a flower that puts a smile on your face.

taking stock … (and a pretty flourless flower cake)

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I love good idea… especially when it’s a quick and easy one that gathers all the current happenings in a bit of snapshot.  The ‘taking stock’ idea comes from the lovely Pip and her Meet me at Mikes blog. I saw the idea when Pip first posted it, but a week or two went by and I figured I’d missed the boat. Then it popped up at the Foxs Lane blog by the very sweet Kate. So I thought maybe I haven’t missed the boat. Maybe it doesn’t matter when you decide to join in. I figured it didn’t and joined in.

Making : A knitted beanie for my sons birthday. Lucky he’s your typical almost 22 year old and doesn’t read his mothers blog! Of course I know it has to tick the ‘cool to wear list’ too, but if it doesn’t it’s ok as my hubby has dibs on it. It’s my win win knitting project!

Cooking : Gluten Free cake so I feel like I can eat nice treats like everyone else {insert a sulky pout-ish looking face here}
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Drinking : Ginger Spritzers mostly. Ridiculous amounts sometimes and other days not nearly as much as I need to. The ginger spritz is just ginger syrup and sparkling water. I make a tweaked Ginger Syrup version of one I found here, and I find it really hard make enough to keep up with the demand. It’s delicious and healthy. Yay!

Reading: Blogs and mags

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Wanting: To be able to get up a bit earlier in the morning to have more time in my meditation, without feeling like it’s the middle of the night.

Looking: For some motivation to get out into the garden and pull up all the weeds that have suddenly appeared between my snow drops, daffys, violets, mile-a-minute and the blue stones.

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Playing: My learn to speak french cd in the car on the way to and from work so when I get to Paris (eeep!) I hopefully won’t offend anyone, and will be able to find a toilet or a bank or a post office if I need one. I do know how to say ‘I want to buy some shoes’ already so I’ve got the really vital stuff down. Just need to work on the other stuff…. like directions. Oui!

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Wasting: Really not much – I’m stumped on this one! I don’t even waste my cold peppermint tea that I don’t finish from my teapot anymore – I pour it into a flask and have it chilled. It’s not gross I promise! We don’t waste food in this house either with two composts and a healthy worm farm.

Sewing: The endless ends in of my crochet blankets. Darning actually, but who is going split straws here? Trying to learn to love this bit like Pip but not succeeding very well for the most part.

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Wishing: For tattslotto to play nice so I can have my little dream farm sooner rather than later.

Enjoying: Feeling like mother duck and having my ducklings all living at home for what will probably be the last time. My daughter and her fella are in between renting and settlement of their first house so are back home temporarily, and my son has purchased his ONE WAY ticket to South America next year. He tells me he’ll be back… one day… but I sense the backpacking travel bug is pretty strong with him and it could be a while before lives in Australia again. But for now… I’m mother duck.

Waiting: For tattslotto to come to the farm party (and getting a bit impatient with it).

Liking: This cute little blog post where I get to share more than I usually would about myself, but feeling pretty comfy about it. Thanks Pip!

Wondering: How I’ll ever feel OK with my enormous to do list. By the time one thing is ticked off, there’s another two added… It’s like one step forward, two steps backward.

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Loving: My beautiful family and feeling so super blessed at the very sweet souls that are in it! Also loving the fact that one of my crochet blankets has travelled as far as California thanks to Etsy. OMG!

Hoping: My farm dream will actually come true and that it will be the satisfying simple life that I’ve been dreaming of.

Marvelling: At how quickly dust and tumbleweeds appear after cleaning. What’s with that?
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Needing: Storage space and a de-clutter session… the storage will fix itself soon enough (refer back to ‘enjoying’) but the de-clutter needs a ruthless energetic me that’s gone into hiding of late. Especially the energetic bit.

Smelling: Rain coming… and feeling old because I can.

Wearing: A cardy… always! So a cardy girl.

Following: My dreams wherever I can, and dreaming about them when I can’t.

Noticing: That winter is nearly over and spring is on the horizon.
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Knowing: If I keep giving the little farm dream my thoughts and energy, that I can make it happen.

Thinking: I need to actually do some spring cleaning this spring. That would be a first. Oh, and that the little farm dream is on my mind lots lately. Bossy little dream.

Feeling: I need 48 hours in every day just to get done what I’d like to in the craft, gardening, cooking, eating and sleeping departments.

Bookmarking: Lots of random things like knit and crochet patterns, blogs, things to do and see in Paris, cute little farms that I know I can’t have just yet but can’t help visiting (virtually).

Opening: Exciting mail like my brand new hot of the press business cards! OMG!

Giggling: At the cute Bengal kitten that moved back with my daughter and her fella. Koya is very entertaining, especially when she’s really excited and races around the house forgetting that paws and floorboards equals no traction. Her slides are pretty awesome, think kitten on skates and just try not to smile. She also likes to sleep on top of a really uncomfortable temporary storage unit, because it nearly reaches the ceiling, with her paws dangling over the edge. It’s a bit cute!
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Feeling: Happy, content, lucky, blessed, crafty, creative, inspired, busy, pressured, tired, wild, rambling, overwhelmed and a bit crazy sometimes. Pretty normal by my books.

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So that’s where I’m at right now. Happy and content and busy and dreaming of more. It’s a pretty nice place to be really and I’m glad I did this little post even if to remind myself of this. Hope you’re in a good place right now. Wishing you lots of happiness and contentment and dreams you can turn into reality.

PS: The Flourless Flower Cake is a gluten free apple and rhubarb cake that I made this morning, and the rhubarb came from my garden as did all the pretty flowers and blossom decorating the cake.

PPS: All the other photos are of flowers in my garden right now.

weaving rainbows and christening fans

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Weaving Rainbows Blanket
100% Pure Australian Wool, Crochet.

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This delightfully cheery little blanket is finally finished and available in my Etsy Shop. And when I was crocheting this blanket, I could say that I was weaving rainbows. Teehee! A bit cheeky, like when I could say I was crocheting intuition.

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I love the way this chunky variegated yarn created its own natural stripe effect in this blanket. Solid bands of colour that graduate to the next shade ever so organically. This is the first time I’ve used weave stitch and it won’t be the last. It’s the same both sides, is easy to remember and relatively fast. A few ticks there!

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It’s got a lovely almost stretchy drape and is the perfect size for a pram or car seat or bassinet. A really cute little pop of colours in the sweetest rainbow shades including indigo blue, aqua, teal, and royal blue. It’s bright but not so bright that you need your sunnies to look at it!

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Christening Fans Blanket.
100% Cotton, Crochet.

Also available in my Etsy Shop!

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This is my first go at making a blanket specifically for a Christening or Baby Naming Day. I think I have much to learn about photographing pure white too! Geez it was tricky to get the right lighting – obviously I didn’t quite succeed either. But that’s OK – it was my first go at it so I forgive me. I’m still learning. Not that stitch though! A big fave of mine, the Vintage Fan Ripple Crochet Pattern pops up yet again.

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The tweak on this pattern is the size of the fans. Or more specifically the height of the fans. I did a row with smaller fans, then a row with medium fans, then a row with large fans. Then I went back down to medium, to small, to medium, to large and so on.

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I think it creates a really lovely subtle detail in the blanket, it has a gentle flow and is also very unique.

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These are the blankets that went off to the real life bricks and mortar shop this week. It’s not open yet, but as soon it does I’ll let you know where it is in case you are near there and would like to see them (and lots of other super sweet goodies) for yourself. These are all unique custom-made blankets in pure cotton. Soft and squishy happiness in a blanket I reckon!

Wishing you lots of soft and squishy happiness this weekend.

my gift to me

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Today I gave myself the gift of happiness and joy. I did it in the form of these flowers. I picked them from my garden, arranged them, photographed them, then placed them right smack in the middle of the kitchen bench. They smell DIVINE!
All from my garden this bunch includes snow drops, daffodils, jonquils, roses, hellebores, camellias and lavender.

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A Buddhist monk once told me that when you give flowers to people you are giving joy and happiness to them. I think about this every time I give someone flowers. Especially when they are from my garden because I think they have lots of love in them too. So I think I am giving love as well as joy and happiness. Feels pretty nice. For me and the person I am giving them to. I love flowers. I love to pick them, smell them, give them and receive them.

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I also picked a teeny weeny little posy of flowers. Well just Daphne and Violets actually. They smell divine too! I love Daphne but do prefer this lemon scented Daphne. Its fresh scent and creamy colour is just delicious. This teeny posy is for the loo. I like to have a little posy of flowers in the loo. And the bathroom too sometimes! It’s from my mum. She always has a gorgeous little posy of flowers in the bathroom. It’s lovely. It makes me smile. And that’s gotta be a good thing right? We all need more smiles in our day. And happiness. And joy. And love. Thanks mum x

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This sweet Camellia isn’t from my garden. It’s from my winter walks garden. So delicate and pretty just after the rain.

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But then everything looks a bit prettier with raindrops just after the rain … don’t you think?

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This little guy loved the rain, making it easier to rummage around for his tucker. And he looks pretty cute too!

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Winter is really quite beautiful in the garden. The little openings of sunshine in the sky are all the more special when it’s mostly grey and dreary. There’s some lovely flowers blooming, the tree trunks get to come out from hiding behind the leaves and look incredible with their textures and colours and bark, and the grass is super lush and green. I do think there is a lot to love about winter… I know some people don’t like it all… but lots of pots of peppermint tea, crochet and some sweet blooms in the garden, and I’m happy.

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I am getting closer to posting a couple of finished blankets too! It’s taken a while, and I’ve procrastinated, been diverted, ignored them, and now finally, washed and blocked them.

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This pure white vintage fan ripple blanket is going to be a Christening Blanket. I’ve done a few blankets in this pattern now but they are all a little different. There’s some little tweak of the pattern that I just can’t stop myself from making each time.

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This is what’s on my hook right now. It’s nearly finished too. I adore these colours, I based them on these photo’s of my crochet wrist warmers. It’s nearly all pure baby alpaca and is so so soft to touch and light as a feather. I’ve loved not having to count stitches whilst doing this blanket too, just picking it up at the end of the day in front of the telly and finding my rhythm.

Well I’m off to walk by my bunch of flowers in the kitchen, take a deep breath in of their delicious sweet scent and joy and happiness, then make my way to my comfy chair for some crochet. I think I might give myself a gift like this more often. It’s pretty delightful. Sending all of you lovely readers bunches of ‘virtual’ flowers… joy and happiness.