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.

from crazy to slow and a link-a-long

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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.

empty nests and new beginnings

I have to start this with a warning… I’m feeling awfully sentimental at the moment. As of last week we are officially empty nesters… It sounds so weird… and feels even weirder! If you follow me on instagram you’ll know my son left last week for his indefinite backpacking adventure in South America. So I have not quite been myself… you know, all 6’s & 7’s. But I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been up to anyway, as it has been a while hasn’t?

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I finally finished my big knitted blanket. Now I have all those ends to do! Hopefully it won’t take me another year and a half to get to them. Somehow it felt kinda right casting off this big project yesterday… emptying out my craft bag.

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And I started a new project. It’s been quite a while since I began a new blanket and I’m loving this one. The humble granny stitch is quite simply crochet comfort. A perfect project for me at the moment… and new beginnings for my craft bag.

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I seem to have started a snowball of declutter too. You know how it goes, start cleaning out one room and before you know it you’ve started a draw in the lounge, and a cupboard in the laundry! Or maybe that’s just me? Not sure how long the novelty will last, I do get distracted terribly easily. Obviously! An old box of photos and there goes a few hours… and maybe a few tissues! From wee babes to fully fledged independent adults in just over 20 years.

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Beautiful young adults with huge big kind hearts and loving gentle compassionate spirits. Who can ask for more than that? Not me. I’m proud as punch. And I’m ready to embrace new beginnings… albeit with a couple of tissues tucked into my bra old lady style.

Wishing you not-too-sad end of era stuff and happy new beginnings.
And may you find your #comfortcrochet equivalent!

winter flowers and some modern retro

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Modern Retro Blanket
Yellow: 100% Pure Baby Alpaca, Teal: 80% Alpaca and 20% Organic Merino Wool. Crochet.
My colour inspiration was a direct rip off from these photos!

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It’s my…a bit modern (teal and yellow)… but a bit retro (granny square) blanket. It’s feather light and super soft. It kept my legs so warm whilst I was crocheting it, and is quite delicate being all 4ply yarn. Generous in size, this baby would be a great lap blanket or a gorgeous modern baby blanket. Quite the versatile little blankie I think.

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It’s a granny square that just kept going. I added a few thin stripes, then some chunkier ones, and I really love the effect this created. I might find it a bit hard to part with actually, but I will be listing it in the Shop soon. If I can bring myself to do it.

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And I just have to share a picture of this gorgeous Rhododendron. This winter flower is our new Rhododendron ‘Wedding Gown’. It’s just starting flowering and is so pretty!

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Lime green in the bud, it opens to the most light bright white delicate flower.

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It’s on the front porch, in it’s very large pot that we purchased it in, but will be planted in the garden once it’s finished flowering. (we didn’t want to send it in shock and risk the billion buds on it not opening!) The pretty little pink buds in the background here are Jasmine. It grows all over my front porch and is about to explode into a delicious sweet heady scent that knocks your socks off when you walk up the porch steps. A perfect entrance to Dove Cottage.

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My favourite tall gum tree forest was in the misty clouds on my last visit. It looked absolutely gorgeous!

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Mother nature rewards me enormously when I make it to my winter walks. Although the day was very grey, raining on and off, overcast, no sun in sight, gloomy even – I am greeted on my walk with this gorgeous sight! I am really falling in love with Rhododendrons. Especially the early flowering ones that give you a big tree with red pom poms like this one.

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And how’s this for a cheery path? I was walking in the rain at this point, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face snapping these beauties.

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I’m going to leave you with this pretty yellow daffy, and send out cheer and hope and love to all, in honour of Daffodil Day.

Hope you find some bright cheeriness in your day… even if it looks gloomy outside… may you find a flower that puts a smile on your face.