from crazy to slow and a link-a-long

comfort plus love pile
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Comfort + Love Blankie.
Cream: Bamboo & Cotton. Grey: Wool.

This was my comfort crochet project. It’s finished and been given, with love, to somebody very special. There was much comfort taken in making this simple little granny square blanket. It’s the kind of crochet that needs no counting or concentrating, I could just drift into a gentle soft cloud of creating.

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And drifting into gentle clouds of creating is exactly what I needed to do lately…Is Summer crazy or is it me? I mean I do love the amazing fruits of summer…

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And I love to celebrate the birthdays of loved ones whose special days fall into the crazy that is Summer… Even if it is with a slightly failed ‘could be greater crater cake’ … (I say slightly because although it looked like the surface of the moon, it tasted delicious… surprisingly!)

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And I love the flowers of Summer… Despite the extreme heat we’ve experienced, and most of my garden looking like it survived heatwave after heatwave, with little to no watering (ahem cos that’s kinda what happened!), I still managed to find some vase worthy stems… I’m not fussy and I’ll use just about anything in a vase… This one includes olive tree branches, parsley seed heads (again), bougainvillea, plumbago and the odd tough old reliable rose.

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But Autumn, I’m so ready for you and your quieter days and slower pace… I’m ready for the chilly mornings and evenings, and the mild days in between. I’m ready for the beautiful misty mornings… I’m ready for the trees to lose their leaves and show me their strong pretty trunks… that bend and sway with whatever life throws at them… their strength in their flexibility… I’m craving that flexibility to help me move through life’s crazy and slow seasons… tho’ it’s the slow I embrace wholeheartedly with ease…

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I’m starting the slow already though. I’ve passed this old trestle bridge a few times now, but this time… we had time to stop… time to walk the trestle bridge… and time to take some pictures. It was so nice. I’m amazed how these old bridges were built without the modern-day help and technology. Such craftsmanship.

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Good craftsmanship is worth acknowledging… whether it be in building, creating, crafting, or writing. Sometimes it’s not a drive out to the country to walk on an old bridge… sometimes it’s just a click away! I love a little link love in blogs, and I enjoyed visiting some new places the other day after seeing Pip from Meet me at Mikes Link-a-Long post. I’m probably a little late to the Link-A-Long party, but if you’re looking for a dose of being real with a healthy serve of humour and wit on the side, then please do go visit Kate Forster’s blog What Party? … I had the pleasure of seeing Kate speak at a Voices of 2013 event last year. I was so impressed, when I got home I started following her blog… and I never fail to leave it without a little smile on my face.

And if you haven’t heard of Voices of 2013 then you really must visit here, where you’ll find all the winners who were voted then judged to have the best blogs in Australia. SO many great links here… And, you can vote for your favourite Aussie blog here if you want? I have… one of my votes went to Lamb loves Fox and it’s not just because I love the name! The photography here inspires me to want to understand what all those buttons on my camera do… it’s just beautiful!

I hope Summer (or Winter!) hasn’t been too crazy for you? Do you have any links you’d like to share in the spirit of a link-a-long?

May you stumble upon good craftsmanship often.

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crazy christmas crochet lady

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I went a little crochet crazy this chrissy… just for something different! I made all those cushions in the pic… and the inserts…

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and all of these coaster sets… and a couple of knitted beanies… with 4ply!

Of course I only really decided make a few things late November/early December… then the list grew… then I decided to hand stamp all my wrapping paper too… I’m a bit crazy like that… but boy oh boy was it worth it… to see everyone’s sweet happy faces unwrapping their pretty pressies… smiling and surprised with their homemade-especially-for-them-coloured-coorinated-with-their-home-decor-pressies… ahhh – they are precious moments indeedy…

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The pop of brights blooming flower cushion and coastal coasters went down a treat.

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I forgot to photograph the heart cushion by itself, but these coasters used the same green as the cushion and went together. The baby blue and white cushion was gifted without matching coasters as they weren’t required for my mother in law who resides in an aged care facility. Cushions however are very much required. And a soft alpaca cloud pattern cushion seemed most appropriate.

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Cool grey with a clean pop of cream for the mod home.

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Soft deep smokey blue, duck egg blue, mint, cream, cotton, silk and bamboo. I do so love these colours and textures.

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I love the earthy olive green cotton coasters with the soft lime / chartreuse silk combo. The almost dirty but still fresh and bright without being too bright lime of the cushion with the cream. Oh what fun it was to pick the main colours, contrast colours, and accent colours for each recipient – I swear half the fun is putting colours together!

The Blooming Flower cushion is the most wonderful cushion. I’ve made a few of them now and I love to play with the colours in the pattern. Pretty sure I haven’t made two the same yet. Some I alternate evenly, others graduate in their alternation, some all one colour, some with variegated yarn. I love the endless options. I’ve just had trouble trying to find round inserts for the cushions so I made all the inserts. This worked out rather well to be honest because I like a well stuffed cushion, and I find most of inserts you can buy are a little lame in the stuffing department. The Free Blooming Flower Pattern is from the lovely Lucy at Attic24.

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And one of my favourite coaster sets, the citrus splice set. Yet to be handed over… if I can part with it… but what can I do with 3 sets of crochet coasters? Yes, I already have two sets. I posted the link to the sweet coaster pattern back here if you’d like to whip up a set… or two… or three… they are a bit addictive!

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So it may have been a little quiet around here lately but I’ve still been crafting like crazy.

Now I’m in the recovery period which means the PJ’s are getting a workout, there’s nananaps being had, left over turkey being scoffed, chocolates vanishing, odd jobs being thought about (can’t rush things), new to do lists being written, more knitting and crochet being done (crazy crafter!), garden pottering taking place, new music being enjoyed, and memories of a wonderful Christmas day, full of special and precious family moments, being cherished. Family love in motion is a beautiful thing to watch, be a part of, and enjoy.

I have truly felt so very blessed this Christmas, yet also shed a quiet tear. For some, Christmas is a painful reminder of special people missing in their lives. I hope you feel blessed with your lot in life or had a moment to enjoy a sweet memory if you have a loved one missing from the Chrissy table. I hope you had a lovely christmas day and got to share it with those near and dear to your heart.

And if you don’t do the Christmas thang, then I hope you had a lovely day filled with sweet moments all the same.

ps. this was my Christmas inspired flower bunch for the table, from my garden. Who knew being lazy and letting all your parsley go to seed would reward you with a sweet little pop of green in the flower bunch?
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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.

spring meadow butterflies

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Spring Meadow Blanket & Butterfly Garland
100% Cotton except the pink is 100% Wool. Crochet.

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Spring Meadow is finally finished! It’s a gorgeous soft, slightly chunky, floppy blanket that’s just perfect for a spring babe.

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It’s mostly a lovely cream colour with a row of Daffodils, Roses & Tulips at the base. It will be going into my Etsy shop soon.

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The Spring Meadow garland wasn’t my original idea for the butterflies… I had this idea of attaching a few butterflies to the blanket but I didn’t like the look of them on the blanket… the proportions were all wrong and it just looked a bit too tizzy. So onto a garland they went. I now think this would make the perfect addition to the blanket in a sweet babes room or pram.

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Forget me not Butterfly Garland.
100% Cotton, crochet.

Crocheting the Butterflies was a little like when I was crocheting the hearts… I kinda couldn’t stop… So I made another garland… as you do!

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It’s such a simple little pattern that’s actually quite easy to remember once you’ve done it couple of times. I’m going to try to move on from the butterflies now as I’m excitedly ready for a whole project. Yay! I love this part and can’t wait till inspiration hits and that moment when you say “That’s it… That’s what I’m making next!” … In meantime you’ll probably find me at my yarn stash squishing lovely skeins of yarn or pondering over the many projects I’ve got lined up on my wish list at Pinterest and Ravelry.

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I’ll leave you with my Spring Tea Party themed picture that I created for an Instagram competition to win a gorgeous Mrs Smiley’s necklace. Have you seen these necklaces? They are so pretty and very unique. I’m lucky enough to have one of their bunny locket necklaces but you really couldn’t have too many of them – they’re gorgeous.

Hope you get to enjoy a nice a nice cuppa in some lovely sunshine today… Near a blossom tree or a pretty golden tree with leaves gently falling… with a tasty macaron or two… birds chirping… bees buzzing… butterflies fluttering by… Mmmm that sounds so nice, I might take my cuppa out to the backyard and do just that… No macarons though… I already ate them. And yes… they were delish!

i heart spring

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I really do! So much so that I made a little homage to spring with the pretty little flowers that are blooming in my garden right now. Do you like it? Do you heart spring too? Anyone who knows me would know that Autumn is my favourite season, but spring is nipping at its tail. It’s a very close 2nd… mostly due to the flowers. Oh the pretty flowers.

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I’m so inspired by spring I’ve even crocheted a little butterfly! Isn’t a cutie? I found a free pattern and great tutorial via pinterest. Big thanks to Marie for the great step by step guide that makes whipping up a butterfly such a pleasure.

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I did see some other butterfly designs but I love the three dimensional aspect of this one. I think they would make ace little hair pin additions, and even sweet little brooches. But I have other plans for my little flutterby, as my sweet niece Gracie girl used to call them when she was little. This was my first one so just practice go in thicker yarn. But I’ve got another one on the go in much finer yarn and have special plans for it. I’ll let you what they are if it works!

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And Spring Meadow… Boy oh boy this little blankie really did try my patience. I had to unravel it… twice! Remember I mentioned something about heart shape clouds last post? Silly idea! Who thought of that? This is what caused the second unpicking session. Needless to say there will be no heart shape clouds…. no…. none. Having said that I’m pretty glad I did unravel it as I don’t think the heart clouds worked anyway. It was a bit much. It’s looking really sweet now and unashamedly girly! Delicate pastel colours inspired by spring, in a gorgeous chunky soft cotton. Just a few finishing touches to go like sewing in the ends, and a wash and block session and it’s done.

Are you enjoying springs flower bounty too? Or are you enjoying my all time favourite season of crisp mornings, sunny afternoon and gorgeous autumnal colours like red, yellow and orange? Either way, it’s a beautiful time of the year.

Wishing you armfuls of sweet spring flowers (or gorgeous autumn foliage) and delightful sunny days.