nine smile inducing things

1. Drinking Mojitos with my sis…very quickly… the speed has a direct correlation to the intensity of the smiles… and very quick means the smiles burst into hysterical giggling.

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2. Porch crochet on a sunny late autumn afternoon listening to the happy birds in Dove Cottage.

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3. Watching my Kiwi Coast Blankie grow and grow, and the meditations I’ve enjoyed whilst playing along with #motifmayday.

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4. This pic of my son looking like a (very happy) bushranger at Iguazu Falls.

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5. Snapping this pic of my stunning daughter… I’m mean seriously… This is the kind of beauty that comes from within and radiates out.

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6. Rides like this, with my sweet hubby, on sweepy twisty roads sprinkled with farms and autumn loving trees.

7. This song and those voices!

8. This Instagram feed, not so much in a face smile way but in a heart smile way. So much goodness, so grateful.

9. This positive inspiring blog, again more hearts smiles than face smiles, but this post gave me both!

What you focus on grows… so let’s grow more smiles… to nourish our spirits and lighten the load, even if it’s just for a moment….

What are your smile inducing things? I’d love to know. Link up with a blog post and let me know in the comments below so I can visit, write your list in the comments here, post your list on my Facebook wall, or list them on Instagram and tag me... Use the hashtag #mysmileinducers.

Let’s start something positive and happy… and smile inducing.

Wishing you happy face smiles and beautiful heart smiles.

UPDATE: I’ve added an option for you to link to your blog posts here….

taking stock, take 3

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Making : My kiwi coast blanket.
Cooking : Pips roast chicken soup. Lots!
Drinking : Ginger spritz and my fave mix of liquorice & peppermint tea.
Reading: About Kate in dumbofeather. So inspirational!
Wanting: To buy the old fire brigade building in Beechworth. Lovely lucky Brenda at 13 acres, instagram’d a pic of this special place which is how I found out it’s for sale. My grandma met my grandpop at a dance there way way back in 1945!
Looking: Like something the cat dragged in! I’ve been gardening and riding my bike, so mix up some helmet hair with dirt and you’re getting close!
Playing: Nice with myself and listening to the whispers before they get all yelly and demanding.
Deciding: On what veggies to plant in our brand new veggie patch… excited!
Wishing: I could win tatts (refer to Wanting above)
Enjoying: The extra motivation for bear loves dove thanks to a blog with pip course. Hence two posts in a week – this one is homework! Smiley face stamp for moi 🙂
Waiting: For things to slow down. But getting a bit impatient as it’s just not happening.
Liking: Just doing something for the fun of it, not because I need to, or because I should, or because it’s on ‘the list’ but just because it’s fun. (refer picture above!)
Wondering: Why I don’t make the fun things a priority when I know how good they are for me. Seems a bit dumb really.
Loving: Skyping my son.
Pondering: How I can bring some balance into my life that I long for. Somewhere between getting stuff done and spending enough time relaxing/crafting/doing fun stuff and seeing family/friends. Oh balance where art thou?
Considering: What kind of practical steps would help facilitate the Pondering thing. I really want to do something about it but just not sure how. Maybe it’s just my perception on the time frame I would like to do all that stuff in?
Watching: Offspring again.
Hoping: We can get in a few more rides before winter sets in and the weather turns crap.
Marvelling: At how autumn blows me away every year – it just never gets old for me!
Needing: A few more hours in the day, and days in the week – who doesn’t huh!
Smelling: The refreshing peppermint and lavender essential oils I’m burning.
Wearing: A huge smile from ear to ear when I think about how amazing it will be to be in Machu Picchu with my son and hubby beside me. OMG. Dream!
Following: My heart.
Noticing: How it’s nearly June and I suspect my roses will have to go another year without pruning.
Knowing: I better get some accommodation and holiday insurance sorted soon as my South American adventure is racing round!
Thinking: That I can’t believe after not having a passport for most of my life, that within a very short time frame I am going to tick off two massive travel bucket list destinations that I kinda thought would always be that ‘one day I’ll go to paris’ thing and ‘one day I’ll go to Machu Picchu’ thing.
Feeling: Very lucky and blessed with life in general but especially my two beautiful children… As a newish empty nester I miss them heaps but I am also really bloody proud of them, who they are and what they are doing with their lives!
Admiring: My son for having the guts to fly to the other side of the world, by himself, not knowing anyone there, and living his dream adventure!
Sorting: Not quite at the physical sorting bit yet, still mentally sorting a few crafty supplies so I can get them all organised and arranged nicely in some newly free drawers. It’s on ‘the list’.
Buying: Not much, I’m trying to save. (Refer to Knowing).
Getting: The gardening bug back again after putting in the new veg patch.
Bookmarking: Blogs and recipes.
Disliking: Feeling tired and a depleted by the end of most weeks, weekends are becoming more about recovering than doing stuff, which is something I’m desperate to fix!
Opening: Up the throttle on my motorbike like a cheeky little revhead!
Giggling: At the little revhead I become on my bike! I blame the rumble of the Duke.
Snacking: On the last of the chocolates I brought back from NZ that you can’t buy here, whitmans white chocolate with freeze dried raspberries. I may shed a tear when the last bag is finished!
Coveting: So many farms on real estate websites.
Helping: Myself to another cuppa.
Hearing: The new Beck cd. Again. And again.

So that’s me. That’s where I’m at this Sunday arvo. Where are you?
Wishing you time for the fun stuff.

freedom crafting

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Citrus Blossom Bag
100% cotton, crochet.

Remember back here and that ugly unpicking session?

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Well, after that session I ended up with a few spare citrus blossom squares…. so I decided to turn them into a handle for a bag… silver linings!

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I made the bag pattern up as I went. But I have made similar bags before back here, here and here. These bags were adapted from a pattern on Purl Soho here. But this time I wanted to wing it on my own. A bit of freedom crafting.

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Forget Me Not Bag
100% cotton, crochet.

This bag was made with somebody very special in mind and was gifted to that someone special on mother’s day. Hi mum x

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I absolutely love forget me not flowers, and mum likes them too, and her mum (my grandma) loved them too… so the whole theme kinda worked well for a mother’s day bag I thought. I think once you’ve made a couple of bags with the pattern, it’s rather easy to whip up a bag freestyle. And when I say whip it up, don’t be mislead, as easy as these guys are to make, they take ages… So. many. chain. stitches.

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Pretty Belle Bag.
100% Cotton Pink, 100% Wool Blue, Cotton / Bamboo Blend other colours.

I started to experiment a bit more with the colours, yarn, shape and base of this bag. I really love the bell shape that evolved and the extra little ridges near the base.

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And I thought a long handle with puffy stitches would make it lovely and soft on the shoulder and look a bit cute too! The bags that I made a few years back get thrashed. I use them all the time and am always amazed by just how much you can stuff in them. Once you’ve made one you’ll surely want try some freedom crafting with them and play around with the shapes and sizes. And I think they are a rather granny chic style of bringing home your groceries.

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I’m still crocheting my Kiwi Coast Blanket too. I’m loving the mix of colours and the freedom in picking stitches and row colours. But alas there is some serious edging issues going on. The sides kinda move in and out. I’m telling myself it’s just like the waves on the beaches and it’s ok. But I sense a big chunky edging cover up in the future. This blanket is for me so I don’t feel like it has to be perfect. It’s quite liberating actually as I’m ridiculously pedantic for things that I make for other people or the shop. It’s become my freedom crafting blanket in a different way I guess. Which is a perfect match to the meditation sessions I do whilst crocheting it. Kate’s #motifmayday has been a great reminder to me about being really present and quiet and calm whilst I crochet.

Do you loosen up on the perfection when it’s just something for yourself? Wishing you happy freedom crafting and pretty bags to carry your groceries in.

peaceful autumn walks

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Sometimes my mind is like a freight train, heavily loaded up heading to some important destination.
Sometimes there’s mechanical or track issues and I’m stranded until repairs are underway.
Sometimes it’s like a bullet train, flying along at a rate of knots unable to take in the surroundings.

But then there’s Autumn… In the mountains… Where my train gently chugs to a stop and I get off… I walk around enjoying the trees in their gorgeous Autumn glory… In awe of their majesty and strength. I think of nothing much but how beautiful they are… And how amazing Mother Nature is.

But I can’t always get to the gardens in the mountains… And it’s not always Autumn… So I thought it would be nice to mentally go back whenever I want to… And I thought maybe you might want to too?

Feel free to stroll /scroll at your own pace… Pause where you like… Leave when you want… Next train leaves only when you’re ready…

Wishing you peaceful Autumn walks in the mountains…

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meditations on the kiwi coast

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So the ever inspirational Kate from Foxs Lane is doing this thing called ‘A Motif a Day for May‘. The idea is you select a craft, most are crocheting a motif, and you meditate whilst you make. Because creating, for most of us, is a form of meditation. It’s that time when you are in the zone and not much else matters.

I think that’s what meditation is at it’s heart… to slow down and get into the zone of something where you are not thinking about what’s for dinner, if the cats been feed yet and if it’s going to rain on your washing! We have so much going on in our lives, it’s not very often when you are thinking or concentrating on just one thing. Whether that’s your breathing in ‘traditional’ meditation, or ripping out that next weed you can reach, or painting or drawing, or cooking up a batch of muffins, or walking in the mountains or along a beach… I think ALL those things are forms of meditation if they are something that you just love to do.

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I’ve been playing along with lots of others on Instagram using the hashtag #motifdaymay, but instead of crocheting a motif I’m doing a row (or three or four) of my Kiwi Coast Blanket. I spend the time thinking about what part of the Kiwi Coast I’m crocheting represents, and I reminisce about our recent roadtrip around the North Island.

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As I crocheted the colours of the Napier shoreline, I thought about its huge waves that crash so close into its shore of shiny black pebbles… of falling asleep to sound of those waves… of the gorgeous jade green beaches…

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As I crocheted the choppy waves of Lake Taupo, I smiled remembering eating a $10 half crayfish we brought from Napier, whilst the Lake Gulls hovered above us waiting for scraps… the blues and whitecaps on the water… the chilly breeze that blew through us as we licked our crayfish fingers overlooking the lake…

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I’m crocheting the Hot Water Beach rows at the moment and it’s sooo lovely to remember that blissful feeling of sitting in steaming hot water, watching the waves roll in… the pretty reflections on the sand as the tide rolled out…. steam rising from the sand looking other wordly yet calm and peaceful…

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I love selecting the next colour I’ll use, and thinking about what stitch I might use with it to conjure up the particular coast, beach, bay, lake I’m thinking about. It’s really helping to slow down my mind whilst I crochet.

You see I’m consistently inconsistent… crochet is many things to me. Sometimes crochet will be my mental escape where I’ll think of nothing else but the stitches and get into a lovely peaceful rhythm. But sometimes crochet will be my mental checklist like I must remember to get potatoes tomorrow and get that load of washing out of the washing machine. Yet with the #motifdaymay awareness, and my Kiwi Coast Blanket theme, I have been relaxing into a peaceful world of sweet holiday memories and colours and stitches. How can it not be restful to the mind to think about relaxing beachy holidays?!

I do feel really relaxed and calm when I crochet this blanket. I think this vibe mostly comes through in the blanket… although… it’s a bit like me in that it has a few tension issues too! I’m hoping, for the blanket, they’ll wash out in the blocking process… and for me, they’ll fade a little as I keep crocheting it.

Are you playing along with the #motifdaymay? It’s not too late join… Just pop over to Kate’s blog to find out more…

Wishing you peaceful in the zone moments…

How do you plait a leather belt?

I wrote a post for my hubby’s blog Stockman Leathercraft… check it out! If you wanna 🙂

Stockman Leathercraft

I hear you ask…

Maybe not, but I thought it was interesting… It’s a big, long, time consuming process that I am fascinated by. I should introduce myself, I’m Charlies wife so you can call me The Stockman’s Wife! (I do go also go by the name Little White Dove ’round these parts.)

Charlie is busy plaiting up orders at the moment, so I thought I would pop by and show you some of the processes he goes through to make a leather plaited item. I’ve been taking photographs of Charlie at the different stages of plaiting for a while, with this post in mind… I hope you enjoy!

THE HIDE
This is how the Kangaroo hide arrives. A very large piece of leather indeed. Sitting on top is a whole hide cut into one very big long strand.

the tool
I know this looks like some weird kind of contraption that you’d…

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