nine smile inducing things

1. Drinking Mojitos with my sis…very quickly… the speed has a direct correlation to the intensity of the smiles… and very quick means the smiles burst into hysterical giggling.

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2. Porch crochet on a sunny late autumn afternoon listening to the happy birds in Dove Cottage.

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3. Watching my Kiwi Coast Blankie grow and grow, and the meditations I’ve enjoyed whilst playing along with #motifmayday.

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4. This pic of my son looking like a (very happy) bushranger at Iguazu Falls.

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5. Snapping this pic of my stunning daughter… I’m mean seriously… This is the kind of beauty that comes from within and radiates out.

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6. Rides like this, with my sweet hubby, on sweepy twisty roads sprinkled with farms and autumn loving trees.

7. This song and those voices!

8. This Instagram feed, not so much in a face smile way but in a heart smile way. So much goodness, so grateful.

9. This positive inspiring blog, again more hearts smiles than face smiles, but this post gave me both!

What you focus on grows… so let’s grow more smiles… to nourish our spirits and lighten the load, even if it’s just for a moment….

What are your smile inducing things? I’d love to know. Link up with a blog post and let me know in the comments below so I can visit, write your list in the comments here, post your list on my Facebook wall, or list them on Instagram and tag me... Use the hashtag #mysmileinducers.

Let’s start something positive and happy… and smile inducing.

Wishing you happy face smiles and beautiful heart smiles.

UPDATE: I’ve added an option for you to link to your blog posts here….

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crocheted heart garlands

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Happy Hearts
100% cotton light pink, 100% wool dark pink.

Happy Hearts are going to a brand new baby girl…

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Healing Hearts
100% cotton light pink, 100% cotton cream.

Healing Hearts are going to a wee baby girl on the other side of world…

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The pale pink is the softest pink ever, hard to capture in a photograph actually as it looks a bit washed out.
But it’s soft and delicate and pretty and perfect for sweet baby girls full of sugar spice and all things nice.

Sending happy healing hearts out to you, where ever you are, this sweet Sunday.

antlers, imperfection and favourites

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Deer Antlers loved up with handmade goodness, nature and peace.

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This one is mine… A little leather, beads, feathers, turquoise and of course some crocheted hearts. Hubby made the feather drops using some vintage aqua silk thread to bind them up. I selected the feathers and placed the turquoise drop and crochet heart in position, and he patiently tied them all together. He finished them with a little sliding knot on the leather so we can adjust the drop length when hanging them. I have Lyrebird feathers, Owl down, Rosella, Kookaburra and I think there’s a Currawong feather there too. All collected on walks I talked about in catching peace.

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This one is hubby’s… He has the treasured Lyrebird tail feather that he finally found after years of searching through twigs and leaves. He’s also got a very special Wedge-tailed Eagle feather in there. One day he saw a couple of them having a spat and as they flew off, one lost a feather. There’s also an Owl feather, some Owl down, Kookaburra and Rosella feathers. The leather plaited drop on the left with a rose bead is from our wedding day. We loved putting together the eclectic mix of goodies on our antlers. It was a real combined crafty effort, mostly my design and direction with hubby selecting the feathers and making the drops. Real patience is required for the fiddly feather drops and that’s definitely his crafty talent more than mine.

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The turquoise and silver feather drop has been recycled from my blue suede bag. There were two of these but they fell off a couple of times and I was scared I would loose them. Being rather special and large pieces of natural turquoise I took them off the bag – they had been waiting for a rightful home for some time. One found home in the feather drop, and the other one made home not so long ago in the center of the peace catcher. Somehow, I think they have ended up where they always should have been.

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The carved bone beads have been floating about in hubby’s craft stash for years. They too have found there rightful home. In fact everything hanging on these deer head antlers we already had. Nothing was purchased… we just rummaged through our craft stashes and found everything there.. Except the deer heads, they were an amazing gift for Chrissy. Thanks Sis x

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There’s something special about this little collection of goodies that we crafted together…I find it very calming and peaceful and interesting to look at.

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I have also been crafting in my usual space too… Remember this one? It’s been around for a while now and has a long and troublesome past. Well I decided I am going to finish this little number.

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The yarn is all from Bendigo Woollen Mills and it’s such a delightful squishy blanket.

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Can you spot the mistake? I absentmindedly changed colours on the wrong side! But you know what? After the unraveling this blanket already had, and the time it takes to knit just one row (of a gazzillion stitches), AND after reading this brilliant post, I decided perfection was just too high a price to pay. It still looks beautiful, but it really looks handmade – complete with human error… No machine could do that! Motivated by Felecia’s word ‘completionism’ I decided to push on and accept the imperfections of my work. If you like everything to be just perfect, then I highly recommend reading this great post to help see it all in a fresh light.

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I’m going to leave you with this image of my craft apron with one of my all time favourite crafty tools attached. I always pop my apron on when I knit, crochet, or craft in general… it saves my clothes all being covered in yarn fluff! Plus, if I don’t put it on, I’m forever looking for my scissors. Having scissors ALWAYS on you is a godsend. They are attached with this sweet little ceramic heart, and a stretchy retractable wire that clips onto the scissors. I am seriously lost without my apron and scissors combo. Do you have one of these too? Are they not the best! Do you have a favourite crafty tool? One you simply can’t live without? This is mine. Now I’m off to go pop my apron on and get crafty…

Hope you find some crafty time in your day today too…
And maybe a little acceptance of imperfections…
And even something to look at that brings you peace…

autumn crochet

It’s been a while… but I’ve been busy… more crazy busy than usual… or maybe just more crazy? Who knows!
I do have lots of pretty pictures for you though…
I’ll start with some pretty flowers from my garden…
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The flowers are slowing down as winter nears, but there are still so many pretties in the garden to pop into a posy… I love the autumn silver birch branches and rose hips… And I love that the roses seem to become more intense in their colour as Autumn passes…

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This is in amongst the Cherry Tree Grove at my favourite gardens… Spec.tac.u.lar no?!
I must say walking between two rows of cherry trees… in full blown autumn glory… with the breeze gently blowing… autumn leaves raining down… tumbling along the ground as the wind gently moves them along… is quite the magical experience… twas sublime!

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A panoramic of the Cherry Tree Grove.

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Another sweet Cherry Tree path in the gardens… This one is a bit special… It leads to Serenity Point… and it was my wedding aisle… many moons ago… in an Autumn from another decade!

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It’s not all orangey shades in the gardens though… there are many green and golden paths to enjoy also… like under this big old Tulip Tree.

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Where one can find the most enormous Tulip Tree leaves… This one was as big as my face!

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And the pretty little Ginkgo Biloba trees are fast becoming a strong Autumn favourite. The gorgeous leaf shape and it’s delicious lime green turning golden yellow is quite the sight to behold.

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Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me and blow me away with her stunning colours…

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and pretty leaves looking totally divine in the late afternoon sunlight…

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is there a better sunlight than late afternoon?

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on pretty Autumn leaves?
I don’t think so.

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Apart from taking a gazillion photos on my Autumn walks, I have managed to finish a few crocheted projects too.

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This “Pink Sprinkles” blanket is for an order and I do love a little random unexpectedness in my blankies… as you can see!

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I also crocheted a pure silk scarf using a simple ladder stitch…

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It’s not a warmth scarf, more of a decorative pop of the most gorgeous Duck Egg Blue colour… Feather light and silky… twas perfect for my sweet mum on Mothers Day…

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My current project is for an order and is coming up a treat! Blanket stitch is, not surprisingly, perfect for a blanket as it’s the same both sides… It’s also a fairly solid stitch with no real gaps to speak of and super easy to remember…

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It has the cutest bubbly like texture too making it very snuggle-worthy!

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I shall leave you with one last Autumn picture… The peace I draw from these gardens every time I walk there is wonderful… I heard something on the radio the other day about how important it is to connect, walk, be in, be around – nature. Even just looking at a picture of a tree does something to your brain… in a positive way… in a relaxing and calming way… don’t quote me on this, I’m not great at recalling the details, just remembered how they said how good it is for you… Which I already knew just because of how much I get out of my walks… but it was interesting to hear that ‘they’ have done some sort of scientific tests on this to prove it’s a fact… not just in my imagination!

Well, I hope you enjoy a little bit of a peaceful calming vibe from looking at my pictures of nature… at the least I hope I haven’t bored you to tears! Maybe it’s inspired you to go look at a tree? Or take a walk in your local gardens? Or even down the street? Where in the world are you? Are you enjoying an Autumn or a Spring? Either way, I wish you peaceful moments and lovely vistas of whatever it is that brings you bliss… May the bliss be with you! Teeheehee…

beach fans, pink hearts and autumn love

I thought I’d pop in to show you what I’ve been working on…

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Beach Fans Blanket
100% Cotton, Crochet.

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I just love this pattern and I love these colours together! The yarn is all from Bendigo Woollen Mills and crochets up a treat.

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I like the texture and ripples of the pattern, and I’ve repeated the ripple effect in the border by crocheting into the back of the stitch there too. (that’s how the ripple is created in the main pattern, in case you were curious).
This blanket is for an order and it will be going into a shop that’s not open yet… so exciting! I’ll be sure to let you know the shop details when it’s open!

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Here’s a sneak peek at the other blanket I’ve just finished. This blanket is 100% cotton too, except for the random sprinkling of pink hearts which are in 100% wool.

I’ve been crocheting a great deal of late… So much so that my shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and thumbs are a wee bit weary and achy! I’ve been making sure I walk it out at my favourite gardens… you know looking silly walking and swinging my arms about! (Lucky there’s not many people around hey?) It’s not hard to make myself walk it out at the moment as I absolutely love Autumn, and the gardens are in the peak of their Autumn glory right now. I know I shared a picture of the gorgeous red colours a couple of posts back, well check how beautiful and sunshiney the golden hues are….

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How can you not feel utter joy walking along a stunning golden path like that I ask you? The tree I’m standing under is a Tulip Tree and is absolutely majestic! It’s huge, has an amazing shape, lovely detailed bark, and pretty coloured tulip shaped leaves.

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Ok, I just had to go and find this photo to show you the whole Tulip Tree in all it’s glory. It’s majestic right? That’s my hubby walking along in front to give you an idea of the size of it.

I shall leave you with another favourite picture at the moment (from my Instagram)… A sweet little posy of flowers, all from my garden.
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The last 3 photo’s are taken with my iphone and I promise I will stop bombing my posts and Instagram with Autumn glory photos soon… as soon as Autumn is over that is!
Oh how I do love the gorgeous colours of Autumn.
In the meantime, I hope your day is filled with Autumnal hues that make your heart sing.

fans and fimo

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Mint Fans Pram Snuggle Blanket with matching Heart Garland.
100% Pure Merino Wool, Crochet.

Yep – made another blanket with this lovely Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch. I just love it – in case you haven’t noticed! I’ve done a couple of different blankets using this stitch here and here, even a scarf here. And I found the pattern via the lovely blog Meet me at Mikes.

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It’s a lovely super soft squishy little blankie that would be perfect for the pram or car seat as it’s not too big to lug around. It’s very light and has the softest drape too. And then there’s the luscious mint green colour… I do so love a delicate mint green.

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The pattern is actually pretty easy to remember, and not as tricky as it may look. I thought it might be nice to hang the little garland from the pram, or car window or something and it makes it such a sweet little gift set. I’ve popped it in the Etsy shop already so you can see some more pictures there if you like.

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I’ve also caught the Fimo craze. I love, and I mean REALLY love, making up the colours. More love creating the colours rather than the actual physical mixing of the fimo together, as I did have a little sook occasionally when my hands & fingers got tired. That stuff is SO hard to begin with.

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But the colours… oh my I just loved making different shades. Adding a bit more, taking a bit out, working in another bit of white… All in the name of the perfect shade. Or the near enough is good enough shade. No room for perfection around here, life really is too short. The beads are meant to be a little rustic and earthy in their shape and colour. You can even see my fingerprint in some of them! I kinda like that some have my fingerprint – doesn’t get anymore hand-made than that now does it?

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It’s not just about the colour though. It is also about the beads… I hope to turn these coloured sets into necklaces, plus I have a little plan for some more… Not quite sure how it will all work but will let you know if it does. (I like to ignore the crafting disasters!)

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Brights! I’m not usually a super bright colour person, maybe a pop of it here or there, I like softer tones usually. But then sometimes you just need a big punch of colour I reckon. So that’s this necklace. In your face bright colours, probably for the dull grey winter days I’m thinking.

If you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen my Mint Fan Blankie in progress and the Fimo beads. It was a Family Fimo Friday Crafternoon – that was my Good Friday. Pretty darn good really. What’s better than a Crafternoon? And one with your crafty talented lovely girly family members? My daughter, my mum, my sis and my niece. Sweet huh? There was also chocolate eggs, homemade peanut brittle (thanks sis) and homemade Ginger Syrup drinks (thanks mum). A very good Good Friday indeed.

Hope your Good Friday was good?
And the Easter Bunny hops by with some cute fluffy goodness… and chocolate! Of course. Always chocolate.