my smile inducers… october

There’s been so many things to smile about lately that I thought it was high time for another smile inducers post… and a warning… I’ve been smiling lots!

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Blanket
Ducklings on Water blanket… all alpaca and baby alpaca and pure merino wool… in Pip from Meet me at Mikes Cheery Wave Ripple Pattern… squishy soft and delightful colours… a custom order for a sweetie who requested blue, grey, cream and yellow… these were some of the shades in my stash and they worked beautifully together.

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Scarf
So much so that I had to make a scarf out of the same colours… I found this pattern on the sweet Dottie Angel blog… I’m loving crocheting this pattern, so easy and chunky and bubbly.

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Rufus
Writing a special little message and sending Rufus Rad Rabbit off into the world to find his new home… I really enjoyed making my first Softies for Mirabel and to be honest was a smidge sad to say goodbye… but only for a brief moment as I know he’s off to fulfill his life calling… and you’ve got be happy for people/rabbits who find what it is that they are meant to be doing in life… and do it.

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The Nursery Project
I reckon these guys are doing just that…Rohan Anderson and Kate Berry have created The Nursery Project“Simply put, we imagine a place where we can share the idea of eating real food and living well. We aim to create a place for people to the learn skills to grow, raise, harvest and cook real food.”* What a great idea hey… you can read lots more about it here.
This terrific idea needs funds to get it off the ground… and thanks to the beauty of crowdfunding, we can help make it happen. I love the whole idea of crowdfunding… someone has a dream… asks people if they want to help make it come true… and people do… It’s the people doing it for themselves and that pretty cool! The Nursery Project is a place that’ll inspire and teach people, and that’s the sort of thing that I love to support. So if you want to help dreams come true, check out this link and offer a few dollars.

*text and the image above is from The Nursery Project website

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Homegrown
Growing your own veggies is so satisfying… it’s something we’ve only just got back into… inspired by blogs like Whole Larder Love and Foxs Lane… who’d have thunk a little baby cauliflower could bring such smiles to two grown adults! It’s my first homegrown cauli… can you tell?
We’ve just got a long narrowish ugly spot out the back… near a falling down fence… but the veggies we’ve enjoyed so far are broccolini, broccoli, bok choy, radish, swiss chard, cos lettuce, snow peas and sugar snap peas. Not bad from a small patch… homegrown veggies make me smile big time!

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Weaving
The latest addition to my crafty ways… I’ve never done it before and am totally making it up as I go… though I did buy the complete kit from the Finders Keepers Market last week which came with these gorgeous fibres… hand dyed indigo pure wool is pretty hard for me walk by… and it came with instructions on how to do four basic stitches…
I couldn’t help but think of all the amazing weaving I saw in Cusco recently as I weaved away… and the traditionally dressed women I saw weaving at the markets, by the side of the road, in the shops… so many of them with their long hair in plaits… it seemed pretty natural to add a plait to my weaving.

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Memories
Speaking of Cusco, I just love looking back at the photos of our holiday. Especially from the two days we spent at Machu Picchu… You won’t see too many photos of me on this blog but the time at Machu Picchu is etched so deeply in my heart that it doesn’t seem right to not have it recorded here…
The second day we visited we were blessed with the most incredible exhilarating thunderstorm… watching those water channels come to life and divert the rain water like they have done for hundreds of years was such a privilege… listening to the birds tweet the happiest of songs after the rain had stopped and the sun came out was magical… Oh and can you see the face in the mountain? Yep, big swelling heart smiles here.

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Crochet
Happy coloured granny squares… arranged on the coffee table in the order I’m going to stitch them together… waiting patiently for me to stop getting distracted with new projects… but looking pretty while they wait!

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Roses
Roses always make me smile… but old English roses that smell like fruit punch… they just blow my socks off… every year when Abraham Darby blooms her pretty petals and smells so sweet and looks so pretty with her peachy coloured goodness, she tops my favourite list again. Sticking my nose into the centre of this flower and taking a deep breath is one of life’s sweetest treats.

So that’s what’s been making me smile lately… how about you? Care to share? Add your link below by clicking on the froggy so I can see what’s making you smile… Or tell me in the comments or hashtag #mysmileinducers on Instagram… I’d LOVE to see yours!

May you see your dreams into fruition and smell the sweetest smelling roses.

flashbacks & granny squares

Adele & me
I’m on a bit of an old photo thing aren’t I? This one is different though as I’m playing along Kidspot‘s #voicesof2014 #flashbackfriday. Every week a new theme is chosen by bloggers and this weeks them is “matching”, chosen by moi! So this is my sister and I in our most matchymatchy outfit I could find. From the dress, to the bonnet type thing on our heads, to the baskets, to the shoes, to the hair style. I still remember these dresses and the baskets and even the thick rubber soled shoes (the soles were pink & white striped). Obviously, this was the seventies and we would have been looking pretty damn fashionable for the wedding we were going to.

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On the craft front, I’ve been crocheting granny squares like there’s no tomorrow. Originally I was going to join up with the lovely Kate from Foxs Lane and her Grannyhottie, which sounds way weirder than what it is. It’s actually a super cool crocheted granny square cover for your hot water bottle. But once I started crocheting these granny squares, I just couldn’t stop.

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So the Pixelated Series began. This will be the Pixelated Ocean Blanket and there’s another that I’ve started too. It’s lovely pinks and purples and oranges and is inspired by the colours of a pretty old fashioned flower. So I will be darning lots of ends next, luckily I’m actually starting to enjoy this part of the blanket making.

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This gorgeous colour combination is the next blanket I’ll be making. A lovely custom order blankie with the most luscious quality merino wool and alpaca yarn. Such a soft fluffy squishable mix, I just can’t wait to get started on it.

Well that’s me for now, I’ve been sick as a dog with nastyarse flu for the last couple of weeks so I’m just getting back into the swing of everything and slowly catching up. There’s really nothing like being on the couch for a week to make you appreciate even half decent health is there?

How about you, are you well? Have you managed to dodge the lurgies over the winter? Or are you enjoying the tail end of summer somewhere sunshiney in the world?

Wishing you sunshine, good health, and flashbacks that make you smile.

grandparents and granny stitch

Gran
My Gran… isn’t she beautiful? The picture on the left was taken at a spelling bee… she was such a smart cookie. On the right she is going to the Footy… to see her beloved Bombers. Yep, that’s how smart they dressed to go the Footy in those days. Just look at that gorgeous hat with the feather… so stylish.

Grandma
My Grandma… isn’t she beautiful? She’s such a cutie in the one on the left… arm around my Grandpop and the wee girl in the bonnet is my mum. On the right she is with her dad… looking like the sweet country girl she was.

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What a stunning wedding party… I’d like one of those sailor shirts now! Unfortunately my Grandma & Grandpop don’t have any wedding photos as legend has it the photographer they booked got drunk and didn’t turn up!

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful old photos lately and I feel very lucky that we have so many. All the photos are showing the wears of time, so dad has digitally removed some scratches and blemishes on a few special ones… a labour of love for their funeral services. Grandpa left us last year and Gran just a few weeks back. Grandma passed a few years ago now and Grandpop followed six months later. They were all able to see their grandchildren grow into adults and even enjoy their great grand children… how great is that?!

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I have such wonderful memories to treasure… I’m lucky our family was close and we had lots of birthday parties, Christmas days, afternoon teas and so very many other special times together. Making rock cakes with Grandma and Grandpop throwing real rocks in the mix. Grandma’s homemade baked rice pudding with peaches. Grandma teaching me the piano when I little, then my kids the piano when they were little. Gran taking my sister and cousins and I to the theatre to see Peter Pan. Gran’s nectarine tree in the old house. The smell of Grandma’s homemade soap. The smell of Gran’s handcream. Gran & Grandpas sheep called Sean. Playing pool very carefully on Grandpa’s new pool table. My cousins and my sister and I wearing matching dresses on Christmas day that Gran had made. The taste of Grandma’s freshly dug new potatoes at dinner. Grandma’s homemade biscuits with passionfruit icing. Gran’s lemon slice and birthday sponges. ‘Working’ in Grandma & Grandpops shop. Watching my daughter jump up and join Grandma in her linedance class. Receiving texts from my 90 year Gran! I could go on forever but I don’t want to bore you… maybe I already have… Suffice to say that grandparents are precious and the memories we’re left with live in a very special corner of our hearts.

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This Wreath-of-Love was made for my Gran with blooms from my Dove Cottage garden. Pretty bright pink Camellias, pale pink Camellia buds, one special Abraham Darby Rose, Lavender, Rosemary, Jasmine buds, Mile-a-Minute, Happy Wanderer, Daphne and Salvia.

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And now to something a little brighter… My Popping Candy Blanket is finished and will pop into my shop soon. I absolutely loved crocheting this blanket and am pretty sure the Granny Stitch is my favourite stitch ever. It’s just so comforting and rhythmic and humble. And versatile, not only in what kind of pattern you use it in, but how you use colours with it. I really like the effect of the white main colour, and a single row of different colours in between. But now I’m ready to start a new project… oh how I love this part… forming the idea and picking the yarn and the colours.

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A happy little stash of blankets… that makes me smile. And if you were expecting the ‘my smile inducers’ post, I’m sorry. I’m lame and fickle and undisciplined. I know I said I was going to do that each month… but you know, I really didn’t feel like writing a list of smiley things today. Not that I’m not smiling… I am. I have a lot to smile about… really, so much! So the smile inducing post will pop in from time to time, just not to a set calendar.

Do you have any special Grandparent memories you’d like to share? I promise you, they won’t bore me.

And if you’re lucky enough to still have grandparents around, give them a hug.

And if you no longer have your grandparents around, I’m giving you a virtual hug right now.

Wishing you blooms in your garden, and time to make sweet memories with your special ones.

kiwi coast blanket

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I crocheted the kiwi coast! It’s finally finished… all those ends are done and a bit fat edge is complete. It’s my biggest blanket yet… and a bit tricky to get it all in one photo.

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I couldn’t tell you exactly how much yarn went in to this blanket except that it was a lot… Like a really really big huge lot of yarn! Mostly pure wool but a couple of wool blends too… one blend with bamboo and a couple of blends with my fave, alpaca.

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It covers a king size bed… just… the sides could have been a bit wider to be honest but it’s got a nice amount of overhang at the end.

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My wavey edge… oh well, it is a coastal blanket! I finished with granny stitch edge then a little bobble (or picot if you prefer) every 9 stitches… ‘cos 9 is a good number and you know me and my OCD with numbers… of course the bobble is 3 stitches so this rounds off my number obsession nicely. Crazy huh?

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The best thing about making this blanket was the freedom in the pattern and colours. I will definitely be making more things using this idea as a base. Just various stitch patterns that work with a similar number of stitches, and a mix of colours. Freedom crochet at it’s best… my fave kind of crochet.

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I can see the different coastal areas we visited in New Zealand when I look at it. I did elaborate on this a bit in my instagram feed… you can see the specific crocheted coast line section with a little story about that coast line if you look through the pictures with this hashtag – #kiwicoastblanket. If you are after the pattern details I linked to a couple of them on this post.

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Wishing you happy days… snuggled in warm blankets… handmade with peace love and sweet holiday memories….

embroidering monet & darning ends

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Yesterday I attended my first ever etsy craft party. It was such a lovely crafternoon with my sis and mum, and there was some amazing talent in the room. And what a room it was, this is the second crafty event I’ve attended at west elm chapel street and I don’t think it’ll be my last. The theme for the party was ‘Recapture: Bring new meaning to your photographs’ … There was a lot of embroidery of photos and a little collage play with photographs too… I embroidered travel photos. This photo of Monet’s Garden is still in progress… I think… I’m considering what (if anything) I’ll do next. The Bridge is under consideration at the moment. Or not. So indecisive!

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What I love the most is the texture and three-dimensional aspect the embroidery gives to the photo. Now I really wanna learn French Knots! (Mum, I’ll need you to show me again how to do French Knots because I tried it last night… and…um… as you can see, there are no french knots above! x)

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Luckily for me I’m a craft stash hoarder collector, and happen to have a lovely collection to continue on with my new love of embroidery. I knew I would use this stuff one day! And would you look at that – greens too!

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Ittybitty darning needle, a zillion threads… My Kiwi Coast blanket has stalled pace a little. I’m up to darning in the ends and darn it if this doesn’t slow me down every time. There’s some kind of edge that needs to work in with the gentle wavey edge my blanket developed too. As I’m darning in the ends I’m trying and figure out what that’s going to look like. Any suggestions?

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This is #mysmileinducer for today… a whole mountain of yarn that was gifted to me by a lovely friend whose sis was cleaning out her stash… one persons stash clean out is another persons stash treasure hey? (Can you spot the Buddha head?)

My smile inducers‘ is going to become a regular post that I will try to do on the first Saturday of each month. I would really love you to join in and share your smile inducing things too so there will be a little froggy link in at the end of the post where you can link to your blog or Instagram. Or you could simply pop yours in the comments. And you can instagram a smile inducer anytime you like really, just hashtag #mysmileinducers so I can see it!

Come and have a smile with me, it’ll be fun! I think it’s a great way to focus on the little things in everyday life that put a smile on your dial and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Wishing you treasure filled times with your loved ones.

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….