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.

wedding party
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.

citrus blossom icing

It sounds delicious doesn’t? But it’s not food for the body… it’s nourishing… but in a different way… Meet Citrus Blossom…
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Citrus Blossom Blanket.
100% Pure Cotton, Crochet.

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It’s fresh and full of citrus colours… it looks cheery and happy… much of this blanket was crocheted either on the way to, on way back from or in New Zealand. I think it has the light carefree vibe that our holiday had.

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I love the three dimensional aspect of these flowers. I was originally going to have more of them… but it didn’t quite work… now I’m glad it didn’t. I think nine flowers is perfect. Besides, it works with my OCD about numbers… nine is a great number in numerology and it’s one of my faves.

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I wrote about the patterns I’ve used in this blanket here. And I found a lovely subtle little edge pattern on pinterest here. I love the fresh burst of sunshine I feel with this blanket, it will be going into the shop soon to join a heap of others… all with their own vibe and personality.

I have such a stash blankets that I’ve made… sometimes I wonder if I will ever sell them all… sometimes I wonder if it’s wise I put so much of my time, love and energy into making stuff… but then, out of the blue, I’ll get an email that makes me realise something very important. I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.

sweet babe wrapped in love
I was thrilled to receive this lovely photo of one my blankets with it’s gorgeous new owner. This dear sweet little baby girl has had a tough start to life, but is finding a smidge of comfort in her blankie. Her mum and dad cuddle her during the day in this blanket, and keep the blanket with them during the day so it has their scent, then when bubs is tucked in at night, she’s wrapped in the blanket to comfort her.
I love to craft for so many reasons, but this… this is the very sweet heartwarming icing on the nourishing cake. I feel like in my own little way, I am putting out a teeny tiny incy wincy bit of goodness in the world. I know it’s only a crocheted baby blanket, but I am humbled and honoured by this story. Humbled to be a teeny part of it, and honoured to have had this story shared with me. How can this not warm your heart? How could you ever want to stop crafting babies blankets after hearing this? So I shall continue to follow my heart and craft, not just because I love it so much that I couldn’t stop if I tried, but because somehow, somewhere deep down, I really believe I am meant to.

Sending healing thoughts out to all little bubs that need it.

May goodness find you on this cloudy but very good Good Friday.

I’ve been doing a bit of this lately…

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Crocheting this… and it hasn’t been all straight forward.

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There was a bit of this involved… it included scissors! Doesn’t that just feel wrong to have unpick something with scissors?

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It was my own fault, I thought I was being a smartypants darning my ends in as I went. But that only works if you are totally sure you love what you are making… I thought I did. It was probably the first and last time I’ll darn as I go… Darn it! (sorry, lame puns are my specialty)

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This is take two. I’m going with the granny stitch in the granny stripe pattern… obviously without the stripes. You can find the granny stripe pattern here in amongst some other lovely crochet and colourful goodness by Lucy at Attic 24. You can find the Puffy Flower Granny Square pattern here, and there’s a very easy tutorial on youtube here by the lovely Clare Sullivan of Bobwilson 123.

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I’ve been doing my bestest to move to the slow, and this crochet in the park session was a big leap in that direction. It was only for half an hour or so but geez it was heaven.

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Remember I showed you a picture of hubbys new natural hide? Ha ha… just made myself laugh at that sentence… for first time readers I should probably include the word leather hey? Leather hide that is. Kangaroo leather to be specific. Anyway, I’ve had these ombre fimo beads for a while now, I made them back here. They’ve been strung on a single piece of leather, waiting for hubby to plait me one of his signature necklaces.

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I really love how the natural colour doesn’t detract from the pop of colour in the beads. And I love that you can adjust the length of the necklaces to suit your outfit. And just look at how fine that plaiting is! He’s a smartypants isn’t he? I think you might see more of these. I’ll just add it to my ever growing crafty to do list.

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My overflowing craft basket, with its two bags of yarny goodness had a clean out recently, motivated by the recently gifted new basket. How cute is it? I absolutely adore the birdies on the handle.

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And lately my inner-nanna has stepped aside for my inner-rockchick. Well maybe not rock, more like country-folk-chick. The Stray Sisters are the two sisters from The Waifs and boy are they amazing. And boy can they hold a tune. And lets face it, who doesn’t love a gal who can rock out the harmonica? It was a two coffee morning this morning thanks to this gig last night. It was great, a fab night out with some very special peeps but I’m feeling a little worse for wear this morning, possibly due to getting to bed at 1 a.m. and maybe thanks to a Mojito too many.

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I also managed to catch the incredible Neko Case recently. Wow wow wow! You can’t walk out of a Neko gig without being blown away by her majestic voice and tight as band. There were goosebumps during the acapella song! So so good. Neko is probably one of my all time favourite artists and this was the second time I’ve seen her… It won’t be the last.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. How about you? Doing any ugly unpicking? Getting to any gigs? Crafted in a park lately?
I’m going to leave you with a couple of links to some songs by the The Waifs and Neko Case… happy listening and happy days to you!

this one

this one

this one

this one

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-Prés 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.

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!