podcasts and craft wagons












The other week I felt like I was the last person on earth that hadn’t opened the Podcast app on their phone. So I decided I was going to investigate this whole podcast thing that I kept hearing about, and a few days later this great post appeared on one of my favourite blogs, Meet me at Mikes. Put it out to the universe and suddenly it comes to you hey? Well after a great head start thanks to Pip, I soon found a few more subjects that piqued my interest and I’ve been ‘podcasting’ ever since. On the drive to and from work, when there’s crap on tv and even when I get outvoted in the tv watching stakes, and there’s some sort of ruby/hunting/fishing show on. I pop my little earplugs in and I’m off in another world learning about amazing people, what makes for good design and why we like to swear. It’s brilliant! Have you tried it yet? What do you listen to?

The first week of spring has brought with it all sorts of beautiful and not freezing mornings, sparkly sunshine on jasmine and dewy raindrops on blossom. My maybush is flowering, the birds are extra happy and chirpy, and it’s a teeny bit lighter when I get home from work. We’ve picked and eaten lots of fresh greens from the garden this week and I’m looking forward to the veggies growing a bit faster than the slow mode of winter. Cakes were baked and eaten in celebration of all the Leo birthdays plus one early Virgo birthday in our family. I made a flourless zesty citrus cake with sweet potato, loosely based on this recipe, a decadent chocolate chip cookie cake loosely based on this recipe (thanks Reannon!).

In other news I’ve been struggling to fit in craft time of late – unheard of for me as I’m usually pretty good at prioritising this, I know my sanity suffers if I don’t. But for some reason it’s taken a back seat for the last few weeks while things got a little chaotic around here in the wardrobe/declutter/move furniture in every.single.room to a new spot mode. Finally we’re settling back into a regular state of slightly ordered chaos, only a bit of furniture rearranging to go, and most of the crazy chaos is gone (some of it just moved outside to the garage!). Anyways, as a result of the lack of craft, unsurprisingly my health has started to suffer and I’ve been feeling a bit average / stressy / overwhelmed… so I got to fixing that by casting on a beanie at the beginning of the week and casting off by the end of the week. It felt so satisfying and so good to be crafting again. I used some fave chunky baby alpaca which was a delight to knit up. The squishyness is impossible to describe or see in the photo but trust me, you’d want to curl up and sleep in this beanie if it was big enough. I talked my son into modelling it for photos again, ‘just pretend you’re a pixie in the flower garden’ I said… you can probably guess which photo is the one I said this in?

Don’t you think it’s funny how even when we know what’s good for us, we still fall off the wagon and forgot/stop to prioritise the things that bring us peace and make us feel good about ourselves and life in general. I’m back on the wagon again and even cleaned out my yarn basket and got myself a few new projects to play with. Bring on the craft and spring sunshine I say!

Wishing you a gentle cushioned landing if you fall off your wagon, and giving you a leg up to get back on again.

raindrops on snowdrops










The Bees are face-down-bum-up in the Daphne, which smells simply divine. Night rain leaves the snowdrop patch sparkling like diamonds as the morning sun streams in. Camellias show off their pretty colours with their delicate petals dancing in the late afternoon light. Daffodils turn their sunshine faces towards the sun and the Hyacinths poke their pretty little heads out of the ground, reminding me spring is near. As the sunlight flickers through the trees I watch the birds gather their twigs and treasures, ever so selective in their choice. I listen to the chirpy cheery birds and soak the up the quiet peace of the garden.

Ok, I’m ready for another day.

I hope you are well and find sparkly diamonds in your garden.

shades of winter

Brrr… the cold snap in Melbourne has made herself at home… rain is falling as I type and the heater is on high… but yesterday we managed to squeeze in a walk, in between the showers.

Winter has her own chilly beauty… bare and exposed branches… raindrops on flowers… moss and lichen… and every shade of green imaginable.

I do love that winter makes you want to hibernate indoors and slow down the pace… long slow cooked casseroles and soups… lots of hot cuppas… crocheting to the sound of rain… That’s my plan for today at least anyway.

How about you? Are you somewhere toasty hot and beachy, looking out at blue waves rolling in? Or are you close to the fire, watching the grey sky settle in for the day?

May your view be one that warms your heart.

on the last day of autumn

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on the last day of autumn the ginkgo’s golden beauty peaked…

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the smoke bush sparkled with rain drops…

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the camellia’s were already falling to the ground, dying beautifully…

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the magnolia buds readied themselves for their winter show…

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the secret seat by the ferns was lonesome for company…

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the sun tried to peek out…

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but on the last day of autumn it felt like winter…

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the hydrangeas were mostly bare of their lush green leaves…

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the flowers began fading into their decaying winter shades…

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the lake reflections were dark and chilly…

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and the last of the tulip tree leaves tumbled down in front of me…

farewell autumn, you’ve been swell…
come on winter, give me your best shot…
bring it on…

wishing you a peaceful farewell to the season, and a toasty warm embrace to the new one x

one + four = life (baking, knitting, gardening and belts)

The one + four = life series is a ‘lovely weekly visual treat’ created by the lovely Pip from Meet me at Mikes.

herby muffins
Baking
These are my ugly but delicious Herby Bready Muffiny Thingys. Quite the mouthful I know but very tasty ones at that. Adapted from my Allergy Friendly Toasty Fruit Bread recipe they are fast becoming a fave regular breakfast for me. Only a minute in the microwave and a generous lashing of butter and I have myself a filling healthy tasty warm breakfast. That’s a winter winner in my books.

beanie love
Knitting
I started another beanie as soon as I finished the Baby it’s cold outside Beanie. I’ve since finished this one and am considering which yarn to use for the next one. I’m a bit addicted to beanie knitting I think. They’re fast and satisfying, what’s not to love?

veggie patch
Gardening
I’m so thrilled with my celery babies… having only recently learned about the whole grow-a-new-veg-from-the-old-veg thing. Do you do that? Do you know about it? Chopping the bottom off your celery and planting it? “They” say to put it in water for a week or so first, to get the roots started, but the lazy option of planting said celery bottom direct into the soil works too. Yay for shortcuts and cheap veg I say.

belts belts belts
Belts
Thing number 196 about being married to a leather man: You will stumble across long strands of leather, stretching from one room to another, tied to chairs, doors, cupboards etc, tempting a midnight trip should you forget they are there.
Some of these belts are in Charlie’s Shop already but most of them are still to be photographed and listed. It’s on the list. But recently we spent a bit of time creating a new item for the shop where you can design your own plaited belt. You simply pick your plait type, leather colour and buckle type, and Charlie plaits it up. It’s been something we’ve talked about doing for ages so to finally tick that one off the list is super satisfying.

I also came across a very interesting little read on the internet this week that I wanted to share. Five things I’ve learned about the creative process by Ben Lee is inspiring and encouraging. An interesting article that helped me look at the creative process a little differently, I thought you might like it too. Let me know what you think?

May you tick something off your list and enjoy hot buttery bready breakfasts.

my smile inducers… january

In the spirit of that old thing ‘what you focus on grows’…. it’s time to look for some smile inducing moments… I’ll go first shall I?
In no particular order….
 
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one
When my boy told me about choosing to spend his precious few last backpacking dollars on a book to keep him entertained on the long trip home from Colombia to Australia, instead of buying a meal. I feel like I must have done something right there, books over food… and he loves his food!
 
two
Watching hubby chase the birds out of our apple trees… he’s pretty tall and lanky (think praymantis) and when he hears those familiar lorakeit-gorging-sounds, he flys out the door, leaps over whatever debris is in the backyard (currently a teasingly-lazy-hammock), and furiously waves a big stick at the birds, telling them in no uncertain terms to buggar off! Ahh if only he’d let me take a photo of this, I’m sure you’d be smiling!
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three
Eating my homegrown veggies… I don’t mean to bang on about it, but it seriously makes me so happy and smiley with every mouthful!
 
four
The Humans of New York website… yes I know, I’m late to the party… I usually am… some of the stories are a quite heartbreaking but the inspirational warm and fuzzies mostly outweigh the sad bits… I’d love ALL school teachers to read this one
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five
Mondays! I know, who’d have thunk it! I’m so enjoying my new dear monday series I’m actually looking forward to Mondays so I can reminisce over my holiday photos and pick just the right one for that particular Monday… that may be the ONLY thing I’m looking forward on Mondays, but hey, it’s a start.
 
six
Listening to pearls of wisdom from Ralph on Landline, who is now 84 and still working in the timber mill he designed and built when he was in his 60’s. The classic understated country way he spoke, and how this rolled off the tongue, made me smile indeed:
“There are things in it [the saw mill] that I didn’t do right, because, let’s face it, a fella whose never made a mistake, he’s never made anything”… and aint that the truth!
 
seven
This blog… if you’re ever having a crap day just pop over here for some guaranteed authentic cheery attitude… you really can’t help but leave a Pip post without a smile. I’d just love to have more of that cheery disposition so I pop over regularly in the hope that it’ll rub off a bit.
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eight
Getting a flat tyre on a pretty road… admittedly the pretty road induced more of a smile than the flat, although it was the second flat in 2 weeks so I kinda had to smile. Smile or *swear! And really, what can you do? Change it, enjoy the scenery, move on and smile about the good fortune of breaking down in a pretty peaceful part of the country I say.
 
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Music is especially giving me plenty of heart smiles lately… Being able to escape the everyday into favourite songs whilst crocheting is one of my all time favourite things to do… I’m loving the whole Sweet Apple CD but especially this song, and this song.
 
Ok, now it’s your turn… tell me something that’s made you smile lately… big or little it doesn’t matter… a smile shared is… a smile shared!

May your smile-o-meter runneth over with happy.

 

*Of course I did plenty of that too!