so that was christmas

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Chrissy hellos to you! Did you have a good one? Do you celebrate it even? Some of you don’t I know. Our family does, in a big traditional way. It was decadent and included many sweet treats, like these homemade marshmallows made by my clever Sis.

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And there was this! My lovely Sis made sure there was a delicious sweet after lunch for me seeing I can’t eat all the traditional sweet fare on Chrissy day. Thanks Sis, you’re the best! This little beauty is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free (I think) and vegan… and it’s a cheesecake for goodness sake!!! How utterly amazing hey? Best Boxing Day Breakfast ever!

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I had originally thought this would be the first Christmas that I wouldn’t see one of my kids. But my backpacking boy made it home in time… just… long story! Our family had a lovely day, pressies were exchanged, hugs were had, laughs were laughed, Turkey was eaten, Mojitos were drunk, but the biggest gift of all was the time shared after lunch. Tummies were full, hearts were content, and the chatting drifted into the late afternoon. The lead up to christmas can be fraught with stress and pressure, that time after lunch feels like the time when we all exhale and truly relax.

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I even did a bit of Christmas table crochet! You see I didn’t manage to finish Mum’s bag so had to wrap it and give it to her without the handle! Sorry mum, I finished it Boxing Day and will get to you soon!

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The build up to Christmas can be a bit tetchy can’t it? There is just so much to do, and time always gets away. But stressy times for me equals more craft, as it’s the best way I know how to chill and slow myself down. I learned (and it took me a while!) that if I don’t make the time to craft, even when it’s crazy busy, my mental and physical health suffer. So after knitting my Turquoise Baby Alpaca Cardy (and even managing to wear it – thanks Melbourne Summer!), I couldn’t wait to crochet some of the gorgeous baby alpaca yarn. This stitch looks like weaving to me, which I thought was rather appropriate for my Peruvian yarn.

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And then on Boxing Day I decided to cast on a Beanie in the same grey yarn as the scarf. It being summer and all! I don’t know why I do these things, I just like to make what I feel like and I don’t know why I feel like knitting an Alpaca Beanie in the middle of Summer, but I do, so I am!

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So that was Christmas, and now the New Year is just around the corner. If you celebrate Christmas I do hope it was a lovely day for you. If you have family members missing from the Chrissy table I hope there was a moment of sweet remembering amongst the emptiness. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoyed a couple of days off and managed to do something you love.

May the sun shine on your apple trees and may the New Year hold bright sparkly goodness in store for you.

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spring happenings

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Sam
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Gosh the last couple of weeks have just whizzed by! Where have you been?

I’ve been photographing my hubby’s beautiful leather plaited products… his shop has been super busy lately and we’re doing our best to keep up with orders… plaiting, photographing, listing, posting… it’s fantastic and very exciting to see elements of our dreams become part of our everyday lives. How lucky are we!?

I’ve been picking peonies and roses and enjoying watching the garden bloom into a colourful haven of peace and prettiness… We’ve been harvesting lots of our own veggies and the other day we ripped out a flower garden bed to plant a tomato patch. I got it into my head that I wanted to grow all the tomatoes for Grandma’s Tomato Sauce next year. Ripping out the garden bed was a huge day that involved a lot of sweat and great music… the kind of music that makes you break into rake air guitar (I’m looking at you J Mascis and Sweet Apple!)

I’m loving the new Lucinda Williams CD ‘Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone’. The song ‘Compassion’ lifts it’s lyrics from a poem Lucinda’s father wrote… I’m trying to live my life with this kind of compassion… for everyone… you know, not get impatient and curse idiot drivers and other such non-compassionate activities… it’s a challenge and some days are easier than others… but I love the idea of getting this beautiful song stuck in my head and becoming a subconscious reminder…

I’ve been making “Bubblegum Bunting” and wondering what’s the best way to photograph it… I finished the “Ducklings Reflections Scarf” … which was a total rip off of the gorgeous “Ducklings on Water blankie”… I’ve been secret squirreling a couple of other crochet projects for a special upcoming project… and I’m hoping to start a whole new project soon… maybe some knitting… with my divine baby alpaca yarn I brought back from Cusco… sometimes I just go to the yarn cupboard and squish it lovingly wondering what I shall make of it… I’m a bit weird like that, or maybe you do that too? Tell me you do!

I’ve been picnicking with my godsons… eating watermelon in the sunshine… such fun… I’m definitely going to make that happen more often! I’ve been chatting to my son who’s now in Colombia… he has been robbed at gunpoint in Ecuador (he’s fine), seen tarantulas and anacondas (not what’d be on my travel wish list), travelled for 20 hours at a time on a bus, partying (probably way too hard) a lot… and generally having the time of his life.

I’m really enjoying reading this blog, this blog and this blog lately… so much great stuff out there in webland, not enough time to get to it all!

What have you been doing?

Wishing you juicy watermelons in the sunshine and music that moves you…

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-PrĂ©s 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.

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…

vintage fan crochet pattern


Vintage Fan Scarf
100% superfine merino wool, crochet.

I just love this vintage crochet fan pattern. I first tried it on a little pram snuggle blanket, after discovering the pattern on a sweet blog I frequent, called Meet me at Mikes. Pip (from Meet me at Mikes) is quite the crafty legend around this part of the world, and her blog is a lovely inspiring place to visit.

Anyway after making Gelato Fans I decided I wanted to try the pattern for a scarf. I made the scarf in two halves that I joined in the middle, so the pattern is the same at each end of the scarf. I think the pattern ended up working quite well for a scarf and love the way the mustard/pumpkin colour contrasts with the rich denim blue – a good jeans scarf I’m thinking. The yarn is luxuriously soft and was a delight to work with – I never knew wool could be so soft and fluffy.

I’ve made this scarf for the “made it” challenge on ‘Woolhogs’ blog. I love the idea of supporting another newish blog, especially when the lovely Maryanne is making such admirable efforts in getting together crafty folk from blogs all over the world. Well done Woolhogs – it’s a fab idea!

Wishing you a happy crafty week ahead.

a lot of unpicking and a little finished work

Well, I come to post these two wee finished projects with sore hands after many hours of crochet followed by many more of unpicking. Well not exactly more hours of unpicking, as crochet ‘uncrochets’ very quickly. But it feels like that when you start unravelling large pieces of crochet! Ah such is the frustration of trying new stitches and patterns I guess.

When will I learn to unpick as soon as I realise I’m not happy with it? Rather than persevering as I try to convince myself it’s worth it, with just a tweak here and there. Best advice? Unpick as soon as you don’t like it, it more than likely will not get better…unless you are super clever and talented and maybe a little lucky.

So now, on to happier notes of previously finished projects …


Skinny Scarf
Green: 30% Alpaca, 70% Wool, Blue: 100% Cotton.


I found the body of scarf pattern here, thanks to A little slice of life blog. It’s a nice open lacey stitch that works well for a scarf that is not too bulky but still adds warmth. I added a simple contrasting scalloped edge.


I am a fan of blue and green together and I think these pastel shades blend beautifully.


Pastel Fans Cushion
100% Wool


Using a mixture of little blue buttons and lots of left over wool, this little cushion was whipped up in no time.

So now I’m off to crochet some already well crocheted yarn…into yet another incarnation… which will hopefully not require another unpicking session. And how about you? Have you been unpicking lately? Do tell. In the meantime happy crafting to you, and may your unpicking always be short!