coasting towards christmas… sort of!

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I found this cute little pattern for coasters on Pinterest the other day… whilst I probably should have been doing a million other things. Like thinking about getting organised for Christmas.

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But I’m glad I did procrastinate on Pinterest for a while. I love this sweet little pattern, it’s super easy and doesn’t use much yarn. I had this grand idea about making sets for Christmas presents…

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But after making a set, and being rudely reminded at the shopping centre yesterday that’s it’s only 30 something days till Christmas, I realised that I will quickly run out of time to make the number of sets I would like. I was trying to ignore how far off Christmas was. Live in denial. I’m not quite ready for it.

Coasting towards Christmas is a bit of dream… it’s feels more like flying towards it at lighting speed on a rollercoaster, coming to a crashing crazy screaming stop late Christmas eve. One year I’ll be calmly coasting towards Christmas… but this year? I’m not sure. I haven’t even begun to think about ideas. Except coasters… And I might need to add one more set to the list… I’ve grown rather fond of this set.

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You’ve done that right? You know, got a pressie for someone then liked it so much you had to keep it? In fairness I may make some more exactly the same. And then there’s the ombre set… they look so gorgeous. They’re on the list too. I would like an ombre blue set. At this rate I’ll have two new coaster sets for me, and none for anybody else!

Do you coast towards Christmas? Or is it a bit of a mad rush panic to the day? It’s such a beautiful day it’s totally worth craziness prior, but to get there just a little calmer and less frazzled would be nice. Maybe I should hang the Peace Catcher on the Christmas tree?

Hope your days are coasting along at a perfect pace!

catching peace

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could catch peace? Like if you have a friend or family member you know could do with a dose of peace, and you could just throw them a bunch of peace and they could catch it – really easily like a ball. How good would that be?

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These feathers and sticks represent peace to me. They have been collected over many, many walks, during which I always feel at peace. I walk in a lovely garden where there are few people (especially during the colder months), lot’s of beautiful flowers and trees and plenty of bird life. It’s peaceful and nourishing to my spirit just being there. I yearn to be there often but usually manage a weekly or fortnightly walk there. If it wasn’t for the day job I think I’d go nearly everyday.

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Peace Catcher.
Cotton, feathers, twigs, leather, turquoise, silver – Crochet.

This is my efforts at catching peace. Gathering some of the elements that naturally bring me peace and putting them together in a way that feels very natural and organic to me. There’s feathers from Lyrebirds, Kookaburra’s and Owls in my Peace Catcher and I’ve heard all their pretty songs many times during my walks. The Owls and their gentle slightly eery hoot, the Kookaburra’s having a good old laugh and the Lyrebirds doing everything bar just about breaking into an Elvis song! Did you know they mimic other birds? I’ve heard the Lyrebird doing everything from a Currawong to a Magpie to a Kookaburra. The Kookaburra is a bit hard for them though, and if you listen closely you can tell it’s not really a Kookaburra. It’s a mighty fine effort though.

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The twigs were collected from around some of my favourite trees in the garden. They could be blow ins from other trees, but they’ve been gathered from around the base of the majestic Tulip Tree and the pretty Gingko Tree just to name a couple. Wandering around picking up sticks is very childlike and somehow very peaceful at the same time. Just bringing your focus in to such a simple little task, slows you down and takes you right into the heart of the moment. Thinking of nothing else but the thickness, texture and shape of the twig. In the zone.

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The heart of the Peace Catcher is a crocheted ‘Forget-me-not’ … It’s a special delicate little flower to me. Not only do they pop up randomly around the garden I walk in, but I absolutely adore the colour of forget-me-nots. They were also one of my dear sweet Grandma’s favourite flowers. Sadly she’s not with us anymore, but I feel very blessed to have had such a sweet kind lady for my Grandma. In fact I feel very fortunate to have lived a good part of life with both my mum’s and my dad’s parents in my life and my kids lives. Beautiful Grandparents who definitely played a roll in my life and gave me a great sense of a strong family connection and love. Grandparents are pretty darn awesome… and I’m pretty darn lucky to have had such lovely ones.

The idea of making a Peace Catcher formed well over a year ago. I’ve had the sticks, the feathers and the crocheted forget-me-not in a box ready to make all that time. It’s taken me this long to finally get around to it. Collecting the pieces, putting them together, and finding a spot to hang it in my craft room was a peaceful process. I definitely caught a bit peace making this. It has a peaceful vibe about, and I’m hoping the peaceful energy it contains permeates its surrounds. I do feel peaceful just looking at it so I guess it works… for me. I hope you get a sense of peace looking at it too.

Throwing a bunch of peace your way and wishing you peaceful moments, doing simple things, being in the zone and living in the moment.

spring waves and spring blooms

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Spring Waves Blanket
100% Cotton, Crochet.

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This was such a fab pattern from Pip @ Meet me at Mikes. Thanks Pip! I loved how easy it was to remember once I got going, and how these lovely happy colours work together. It’s called the Cheery Wave Ripple Blanket and the colour selection was inspired by Spring’s beautiful colours in the blossom buds, flowers, new leaves and cheery blue skies.

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All the cotton for this blanket came from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It’s such a lovely soft cotton to use and creates a gentle floppy drape. I do so love to work with pure cotton.

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I took a few snaps of the flowers blooming in Dove Cottage the other day… This is Abraham Darby and it’s one of my favourites. It’s not only a gorgeous peachy colour that softens and gets more pinky when it opens, the smell truly knocks your socks off! Tis so fruity and sweet and strong and delicious.

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This last one is called The Prioress and it smells sweet and spicy – almost like nutmeg or cinnamon or apples… Really! It’s gorgeous and is a prolific bloomer which makes it a big hit in my books. It’s also pretty tough, like most roses, and like most of the plants in my garden. No mollycoddling here. You have to be a bit tough and look after yourself in my garden. Even tolerate a bit of neglect for when life gets a bit crazy, or the crochet hook wins over the garden shovel battle.

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I adore the colour of this Butterfly bush. My garden is so full of flowers in Spring I just love it. It’s also full of weeds and lots of “to-do’s” too which I really don’t love – but lets not dwell on that. The flowers, oh the flowers. It’s hard not smile (even if only on the inside) when you see such pretty delicate sweet scented flowers everywhere. Don’t you think?

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Baby apples are a bit cute aren’t they? This is an heirloom apple variety called a McIntosh I think. I’ve had it for a few years but never actually eaten any fruit from it. The birds robbed me of the few apples it grew last year. I mean I don’t mind sharing with the sweet birdies but they were a bit greedy and took the lot. Then there’s the Possums! Oh what to do with our affectionately named fatarse possum. He plonks down on the tin roof every night -almost the same time. And hubby and I joke, ‘Ah there goes fatarse again’. Teehee. But not so Teehee when he ate ALL of our apples last season. ALL of them. All the Granny Smiths and all the Golden Delicious. Hence his nickname! Though I do think he invited his whole family and all his friends and they had quiet midnight feasting parties too, because there were a lot of apples. We did have nets on the apple trees too. But that didn’t bother fatarse. He worked his way under the nets, stuffed his face then ATE his way out of the nets. Yep, chewed through them. So, no nets this year (because they are full of holes!), and a bigger and stronger fatarse – yet I’m still hoping to eat some of my apples this season. Optimistic? Naive? Silly? Maybe. Probably.
Do you have any fruit trees? Do you have any fruit that goes missing? Do you have any tips on how we can share the fruits of our labour with the birds and the fatarses of the world? My apples and I would be most grateful!
Wishing you fruitful days filled with lovely sweet scented blooms.

paris, crochet and a cute kitten

Bonjour…. Parlez vous anglais? I said this quite a bit during my amazing holiday in Paris recently…. and loved it. What a beautiful language French is… even if I mainly stuck to the above with a little Merci and Au Revoir thrown in! What a beautiful city Paris is! I fell in love with it only a couple of days into my holiday, and it just kept getting better the longer I stayed. I won’t bore you with slide night, but will share a couple of pictures from my trip that I hope don’t bore you.

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The Eiffel Tower, taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

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The Arc de Triomphe, taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

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There’s a pot of gold at the end of the Champs Elysees!

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The beginnings of Autumn in the Luxembourg Gardens

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The early morning mist rising over Monet’s Garden. This place was really amazing – so beautiful and peaceful.

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When Mr Monet walked out his front door, this is the spectacular garden path that greeted him. So pretty.

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The Louvre at night… incredibly beautiful.

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Just one of the spectacular leadlight windows in the Notre Dame. OMG – between the Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle I was in leadlight heaven. In Sainte-Chappelle my first glimpse of the incredible leadlight literally took my breath away. Exquisite!

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You’re never too old for a ride on a beautiful old Merry Go Round… Especially when it’s in front of the Eiffel Tower. Yep, I went on that Merry Go Round with my sister after we photographed the random Bride & Groom. There was a lot of giggling involved!

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Parisian Noro Scarf. I crocheted this silky baby all over the world… really! It was my flight friend and kept me sane (sort of) during those long uncomfortable hours on the plane, all the while Paris was in my heart. Either on the way there dreaming about the amazing places we would visit, or on the way back home remembering the surreal moments of being in Paris. Standing in the most spectacular palace, or walking in the most beautiful garden, or packing myself going up and up and up and up in the lift to the summit of the Eiffel Tower. So many surreal-pinch-yourself moments. This scarf will always remind me of Paris. I’m not sure if I can part with… but if I can I’ll pop in the Etsy shop soon.

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I have been flat out since I got back from holidays but last week I finally squeezed in some time to take a breath, and do some of my favourite things. I wandered around my garden and picked a basket full of flowers. I could seriously spend all day picking flowers, photographing them and arranging them in vases. It feels like time just disappears when I do this and it seriously fills my heart with happiness. It’s the kind of thing that nourishes my spirit, it calms me, slows me down and makes me feel peaceful. It’s such a lovely thing to do, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often!

Speaking of flowers, I saw the most wonderful idea on a favourite blog of mine yesterday. Pip from Meet me at Mikes has shared a link and put up a cute little video about “Pay it Flowered”. It’s such a sweet idea, I think I’m going to do it with a bunch of flowers out of my garden. Check it out, maybe you might want to give it a go too?

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Meet Nara. Isn’t she the cutest little kitten? A.dor.a.ble!!! She’s a little Bengal and a playmate for Koya, the other Bengal kitten you’ve seen pop in here from time to time. They live with my daughter and her fella in their lovely new home. Yep, that time came and now we are back down to one kid living at home. But only for the next couple of months before he heads off on his South American adventure. The times they are a changin’…

So that’s me for the last month or so. I got to live a dream come true. How lucky am I? Paris has been on my dream list since I was in year 7 and first started learning French. I’m so thrilled I got to go… and that it surpassed my dreams and was a total delight! And I got to share this experience with my sister. We travel so well together, enjoy each others company, understand the need for a billion photos, shopping stops, garden stops, toilet stops, coffee stops, croissant stops (not for me obviously!). We stayed in a gorgeous apartment in Saint-Germain-des-PrĂ©s with the quintessential wrought iron balcony, and loved pretending we were locals for a while, going to our friendly fruit & veg man, the Boulangerie and Charcuterie. There was also a stop in Hong Kong for a few days on the way, and a few days on London at the end. Pretty wonderful really! For someone who has only had their passport for 3 years (yep!), I feel like I’m catching up a bit and finally seeing a bit of the big beautiful world out there. Feeling very lucky, blessed and happy… How about you? Have you travelled much? Have you ticked a dream off that you’ve dreaming for a long time? Or are you in the dreaming phase right now? Wishing you dream filled days and dreams come true.