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?

IMG_0209
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.

IMG_0219
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.

IMG_0222
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.

love
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!

Advertisements

winter flowers and some modern retro

IMG_7706
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!

IMG_7723
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.

IMG_7721
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.

IMG_7742
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!

IMG_7745
Lime green in the bud, it opens to the most light bright white delicate flower.

IMG_7762
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.

IMG_0816
My favourite tall gum tree forest was in the misty clouds on my last visit. It looked absolutely gorgeous!

IMG_0822
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.

IMG_0861
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.

IMG_0873
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.

my gift to me

IMG_7347
Today I gave myself the gift of happiness and joy. I did it in the form of these flowers. I picked them from my garden, arranged them, photographed them, then placed them right smack in the middle of the kitchen bench. They smell DIVINE!
All from my garden this bunch includes snow drops, daffodils, jonquils, roses, hellebores, camellias and lavender.

IMG_7339
A Buddhist monk once told me that when you give flowers to people you are giving joy and happiness to them. I think about this every time I give someone flowers. Especially when they are from my garden because I think they have lots of love in them too. So I think I am giving love as well as joy and happiness. Feels pretty nice. For me and the person I am giving them to. I love flowers. I love to pick them, smell them, give them and receive them.

IMG_7341
I also picked a teeny weeny little posy of flowers. Well just Daphne and Violets actually. They smell divine too! I love Daphne but do prefer this lemon scented Daphne. Its fresh scent and creamy colour is just delicious. This teeny posy is for the loo. I like to have a little posy of flowers in the loo. And the bathroom too sometimes! It’s from my mum. She always has a gorgeous little posy of flowers in the bathroom. It’s lovely. It makes me smile. And that’s gotta be a good thing right? We all need more smiles in our day. And happiness. And joy. And love. Thanks mum x

IMG_7319
This sweet Camellia isn’t from my garden. It’s from my winter walks garden. So delicate and pretty just after the rain.

IMG_7322
But then everything looks a bit prettier with raindrops just after the rain … don’t you think?

IMG_7332
This little guy loved the rain, making it easier to rummage around for his tucker. And he looks pretty cute too!

IMG_7297
Winter is really quite beautiful in the garden. The little openings of sunshine in the sky are all the more special when it’s mostly grey and dreary. There’s some lovely flowers blooming, the tree trunks get to come out from hiding behind the leaves and look incredible with their textures and colours and bark, and the grass is super lush and green. I do think there is a lot to love about winter… I know some people don’t like it all… but lots of pots of peppermint tea, crochet and some sweet blooms in the garden, and I’m happy.

IMG_7352
I am getting closer to posting a couple of finished blankets too! It’s taken a while, and I’ve procrastinated, been diverted, ignored them, and now finally, washed and blocked them.

IMG_7357
This pure white vintage fan ripple blanket is going to be a Christening Blanket. I’ve done a few blankets in this pattern now but they are all a little different. There’s some little tweak of the pattern that I just can’t stop myself from making each time.

IMG_7371
This is what’s on my hook right now. It’s nearly finished too. I adore these colours, I based them on these photo’s of my crochet wrist warmers. It’s nearly all pure baby alpaca and is so so soft to touch and light as a feather. I’ve loved not having to count stitches whilst doing this blanket too, just picking it up at the end of the day in front of the telly and finding my rhythm.

Well I’m off to walk by my bunch of flowers in the kitchen, take a deep breath in of their delicious sweet scent and joy and happiness, then make my way to my comfy chair for some crochet. I think I might give myself a gift like this more often. It’s pretty delightful. Sending all of you lovely readers bunches of ‘virtual’ flowers… joy and happiness.

peach blossom and sea breeze

Just a quick little post to show you a couple of finished projects…

IMG_6961
Peach Blossom Blanket.
100% Cotton, Crochet.

IMG_6965
Who knew it would take me 14 crocheted flowers before I found one I liked? I won’t tell you how long it took me to decide on the arrangement of them either! But I’m pleased that I fluffed about with them so long as I think the finished blanket looks quite sweet… and it could have easily gone the other way. There’s just the one bunch of flowers on this blanket in the corner. The body of the blanket is blanket stitch and I took the edge out with a couple of rows of a lacey type chain stitch then a few rows of single crochet, finished with a delicate little picot.

IMG_6968
Sea Breeze Blanket.
100% Cotton, Crochet.

IMG_6975
I’m totally in love with this colour combination. The grey acts like a neutral colour against a pop of blue green colours. It looks so fresh and colourful, yet not too bright and in your face. If a refreshing sea breeze had colours, I reckon they’d be like these. Of course you can’t go wrong with the classic granny stitch either. I love a basic stitch like this to show off the colours and stripes in this blanket. There’s a border at the top and the bottom of colours, plus at the top there’s a row of single crochet in each colour to finish it.

Wow… 2 projects down, it’s been a busy week in the crochet department! These blankets are both for an order that I’m super excited about. Now I can start some new projects I’ve been itching to get to, and I just love that feeling. Time to go ponder over some potential yarn colours and ideas…

Hope your days are filled with refreshing sea breezes, pretty peach blossoms and plenty of time to ponder your next crafty project.

mint flowers & mint willow

IMG_6823
Dove Cottage Posy, all from my garden.

IMG_6833
I like my posies a bit wild and rambling like my garden. (By the way – my idea of rambling is on the verge of out of control)

IMG_6842
In the posy is Princess de Monaco Roses, Mt Shasta Roses, Mothers Love Roses, Plumbago, Lime Verbena, Granny Smith Apple Tree, and Mint. The mint in my garden is very special. Not only is it delicious and used often for Mojitos and Smoothies and Flower posies, but it came from a very special place. The original mint plant grew in my Nana’s garden. My Nana is my Mum’s Mum’s Mum. My Grandma gave me a cutting of the mint. My Grandma is my Mum’s Mum (Nana’s daughter – following?). Sadly both these amazing ladies have passed on. So this mint is not only a delight to enjoy but also a lovely connection to the great ladies in my family. And this posy of flowers is for my mum, hence the Mothers Love Rose inclusion too. Have you ever seen a more delicate shade of pink in a rose? It is sublime!

IMG_6840
This posy had a scent to knock your socks off. The mint, the lime verbena and the roses – sweet and fresh. I love the flowering tips of the mint and verbena too – especially the fluffy mint ones, they are quite unusual I think. I must admit, the posy was put together in about 5 minutes flat, sorry mum! Just one of those snap decisions as I saw the roses in the morning and knew the rain of the day would ruin them by the time I got home from work. I also new that one of my favourite blogs Floret, is doing a project called The Seasonal Bouquet Project. This is where the lovely Erin (from Floret) and Jennie (from Love ‘n Fresh, another sweet flower blog) are posting pictures of AMAZING bouquets each week. You can add you own bouquet of flowers to a link and join along, but all the ingredients from your bouquet must be sourced within 25 miles from your home. Well I think all mine were within 25 steps from my front door so I decided to join in.

IMG_6820
And remember these hearts from my last post? Well they were part of a special little order I’ve sent off to a sweetly named shop called ‘Mint Willow Studio‘. I’m super excited about this new part of the adventure for ‘bear loves dove’ and can’t wait to see where it leads me. I only wish I didn’t live so far away from the shop so I could go visit it for real! In the meantime a virtual visit will have to do.

Hope you find some minty fresh goodness and pretty floral beauty in your day today!

cherry pie and hearts

cherry pie and cream
Cherry Pie and Cream Blanket
Cherry colour – 75% wool, 15% mohair, 5% alpaca, 5% silk. Cream colour – 100% handspun wool. Crochet.

I know. I have a thing for food names. This blanket was made especially for my daughter and I wanted it be as comforting as Cherry Pie and Cream on a cold winters day. Or at least what I imagine the comfort that ‘eating Cherry Pie and Cream on a cold winters day’ would bring. You see I have a bunch of allergies with food that rules out Cherry Pie and Cream from my diet. Unfortunately! And the colours look like they could be Cherries and Cream… in my imagination anyway. Ok, so maybe I was just hungry and wishing I could eat Cherry Pie and cream too. Hmph… in my dreams!

cherry pie and cream 3
It’s a classic granny square pattern, I just kept going… and going…

cherry pie and cream 4
7 rows of cherry red, then 2 rows of cream. This totals 9 for the pattern. I’m a bit OCD with numbers in patterns. I like my favourite numbers to appear. Often. It’s a numerology thing. And an OCD thing. Do you do that with patterns? You know, make sure they have your favourite numbers in them? I know my mum does with her beautiful jewellery making. Maybe it’s just us?

cherry pie and cream 6
The cherry red is the “Persian” blend from Bendigo Woollen Mills in ‘Rhubarb’. The cream is handspun and gently waves from thick to thin in a lovely natural organic manner. Both yarns were deliciously soft to work with and both are 100% Australian. We are so very lucky to have such gorgeous yarns of the most beautiful quality available to us here.

chartreuse love
Chartreuse Love Garland.
Dark Green 100% Cotton, Chartreuse 100% Silk.
This little sweet heart garland is for my sis. She has a lovely newly decorated set of shelves with a collection of her favourite green items on it. She mentioned recently that a crocheted heart garland would finish it off nicely. I think I found the perfect green yarns in my yarnstash*.

duckeggblue garland
Duck Egg Blue Silk Hearts
100% Pure Silk, Crochet.
I liked my sisters heart garland so much that I decided the divine duck egg blue silk had my name on it for a garland. It’s so… um… well… silky! Duh! Really luxurious to touch, but may I say, not so luxurious to crochet! A bit of a pain to honest. It splits easily and because it’s so feather light and fine, quite tricky to handle and work with in general. I think I could make this with another yarn in a third of the time… Must say though, I think it’s well worth the extra time and some colourful language!

duckeggblue heart
Sweet hey? Heart pattern was written about back here if you’re thinking about whipping one up yourself. You may see some appear in my Etsy Shop soon too… If I can handle the pace!

New project time!

Yay!

Hoping your days are filled with comfort like Cherry Pie and Cream, maybe with a sip of Chartreuse on the side?
And a sprinkling of soft silky hearts!


* affectionately known as ‘The Yarn Shop’ by the hubby!