Monday, April 30, 2012


I love to crochet and while I am only a novice at it, crochet keeps my hands busy at night and my eyes open.  Without something to do they seem to have a habit of closing!  The blanket I have crocheted above is from instructions found here Attic24.  Lucy's instructions for the ripple blanket are really easy to follow and the result is just brilliant.  This blanket is for someone special whose birthday is yet to come.  I hope they like it.

I have yet to crochet a blanket for our youngest daughter.  I must have been slack while pregnant with her as our eldest daughter had one made for her but not the youngest.  I promised her that the next one I would make would be hers and her instructions were bright and granny squares.  While I have no problems with the bright request I just couldn't bring myself to do Granny Squares so decided on Granny Hexagons again over at Attic24.  This is the result so far, but I have worked out I need at least another 90!  I do believe there is just over 30 here now!  It is amazing how hard it is to keep coming up with different colour combinations.  To date I don't think I have done two the same, not too bad considering I am only using 8 colours.  No doubt that will change as I increase the quantity of hexagons.

To me crochet is one of the easiest crafts (obviously depending on the item you are working on).  I can't remember who taught me to crochet, it may have been my Grandmother who is now 90, but I can't be sure.  I know it is something I have always done and it never seems to matter how long in between crocheting it is something I never seem to have trouble picking up, kind of like remembering how to ride a bike I suppose, which is another whole post for another day (bike riding that is).  If crocheting is something you would like to have a go at there are plenty of videos on YouTube to look at that explain the method really well.  Once you have mastered the basics I would suggest choosing a pattern that is repetitive, blankets are really good, and as your skills increase you can work on more complicated items.

My next crochet project after these and after finished a bunny rug for a girlfriends grandchild, is a light summer cardigan.  This will be something that will really work my brain so should be a good challenge.  I will be using this wool purchased from Jodie at Jellywares.  She was extremely helpful with my yarn choice and an absolute dream to deal with.  I would highly recommend her for your next yarn purchase.

Good luck and take care

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Wow what a weekend.  Saturday was spent sewing.  I downloaded a pattern for the bag.  Can't find the link at the moment, but the pattern was basic even though it took me most of the day to make it.  If I remember correctly there is something like 33 steps to making it!  I have since cut out another one and put the outside of it together also, this time it didn't take me nearly as long.  I think it is always easier after you have made the first.  I really love the look of these bags and the fact that there is three thicknesses of fabric on the bottom.  Better wearing and because I made my contrast fabric black it shouldn't show as many marks.  Another good thing about these bags is they are completely machine washable, so if they do get dirty just throw them in the washing machine with everything else!

In between making the bag we did manage to get the shopping done and voting at our local government election.  This had to be timed inbetween heavy downpours of rain.  I ran circles around hubby as we are pretty certain he may have partially torn his archilles tendon!  He does look rather amusing when he walks at the moment.  I Googled how to tape this type of injury and hope to put it into practice before he heads off to work tomorrow regardless of his complaining about having hair ripped from his leg.  I  did give him the option of shaving his leg!

On Sunday I managed to get the jam made.  What a drama that was.  Note to myself - never and I mean NEVER leave jam to boil unattended!  I went to make the bed after leaving the jam on to boil gently and by the time I got back to the kitchen the house was full of smoke.  The jam had boiled over and cooked sugar onto my ceramic cooktop.  Has anyone tried to remove baked on sugar?  It is nearly impossible, but after hours of soaking the cooktop with water, with no success, I resorted to using some of my Norwex Oven and Grill Cleaner.  This, thankfully removed most of the sugar!  Norwex is similar to Enjo, but that is another post.

All up I ended with five bottles of plum jam.  One will be gifted to the family who donated a large number of jars to me and the rest will be put into the pantry as part of my stockpile.  Hopefully I won't have to make jam again until later in the year.  I think it is going to take that long for my cooktop to recover anyway.

We spent a quiet afternoon at one of our daughter's house watching the Firebirds netball team on the TV.  That was the weekend over!

Take care

Friday, April 27, 2012

On the Agenda.....

I've pulled some plums out of the freezer that I froze back in February.  My eldest daughter and I made plum jam back then but ran out of jars. I have since had my jar collection replenished so I'll be off to Aldi later to get some sugar and lemons.  My hubby loves nothing better than homemade jam.

 I've nearly finished reading this book for about the sixth time.  It is a truly lovely story about a group of women that come together to make a quilt so they can raise money for a mammogram machine for their community hospital and in the process heal each other.  It is a heart warming story and one that inspires me.  You can tell by the dogeared pages just how many times I have read this novel.

These fabrics are on my cutting table awaiting inspiration for bag making.  I hope to get to them today and at least get one bag made.  I especially like the black fabric and hope to make a bag for myself out of this one.

It is indoors weather today and as it is pouring with rain.  Great for my vegetables but not for working in the garden.  I might even light the fire for a bit of warmth, but have absolutely no hope of getting my mountain of washing done.  There is no way I am going to put it all through the dryer.  We are trying to cut down on our electricity use and we aren't out of clothes yet, so not completely desperate!

I will go and get some groceries today also.  I need to stock up on our basics and haven't bought these for over a month now.  I buy most of our groceries from Aldi and make my hubby come with me as doing a large shop at Aldi can be a bit daunting.  A couple of things I still can only get from Woolies but it always amazes me how much it costs there and I only ever come out with a couple of bags of items.  I don't know how people shop at Woolies and Coles each week and they buy everything from those supermarkets.

We support a small local butcher for our meat and head off to our local markets every second Sunday to get our fresh produce.  We have found that we have to be careful of the stalls we buy our produce as I am certain that some of the stalls are selling produce from the Rocklea markets.  We try where possible, to buy items that the stall holders have grown themselves.  Hopefully once our vegetables have grown we will have to go to the markets less and less.  This will be awhile though.

I planted some potatoes yesterday so will keep an update on how these go.  Just have to remember where I have planted them.

Take care

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Backyard (Front yard)

We have a block of land behind other houses (battle axe block) so when we built our house we put it as far to back of the block as possible.  This was to give us more room at the front and move our house further away from our neighbours.  In 2010 we built and extension and this further reduced our usable land.  This was great in a couple of respects :- it reduced the amount of lawn to mow (hubby thinks this should always be my job) and allowed us to travel more freely as there is less garden to maintain.  One downfall has been the lack of space for a vegetable garden.  I have tried raised bed against a western facing fence (too hot) and pots (have to remember to water those apparently).  Yesterday I decided that I'd had enough and out came the clippers and shovel.

I thought I could plant some vegetables amongst the existing plans if I just gave them a slight prune.  After sitting back and looking at this result I decided it still wasn't enough so out came the plants.  I was able to throw the rooted part of the plant into my bin for collection and all of the clippings got run over by the mower.  This gave me a wheelbarrow full of mulch that got spread on the garden along the driveway, reducing our amount of waste!  It did take me a good 20 minutes of continuously going over the clippings with the mower before I was happy.

Then it was off to my local nursery for some seedlings.  I wanted to plant, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce and some beans or peas.  I managed to pick up all of these and then bought them home for planting.  I also wanted to put in some English spinach, bok choy and beetroot - I had seed for these, therefore making it cheaper. 
This is my teeny tiny garden!
The next garden project we want to undertake is to remove some of the overgrown shrubs from along the drive and plant some fruit trees!  It would be so exciting to be able to grow our own fruit.  I am thinking mainly citrus at the moment, along the likes of lemon, orange and maybe even a kumquat.  We'll see how we go.

I also have some potatoes that are sprouting so I am going to have at planting them.  I have done this once before and forgot about them but when I dug over the garden I was given a nice surprise.  I have nothing to loose so might as well try it!

As mentioned in my last post I thought I would show some pictures of some bags I have been making.
These are both my designs that I have adapted each time I have made them.

This one was made for my daughter for Uni.

A large quilted bag with purple flower made as an order.
I have decided that making bags is something I really enjoy.  Over the years most of my friends have received bags as gifts for their birthdays or Christmas.  I have a few more ideas in the pipeline for some more patterns as I enjoy the challenge of designing them also.

The wet weather over the weekend might mean more time in the sewing room and making more bags!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend where ever you are.

Take care


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anzac Day

Today is the day that we remember all of the men and women that fought and worked to keep our country free!  It makes me so proud to be Australian so much so it almost brings a tear to my eye.  What a wonderful place to live!

My daughter is lucky enough to live on a road where the Anzac Parade in her area passes right in front of her door.  Below is the photo she sent me this morning as the march went by.

We had a quiet night last night with leftovers for tea as I have joined Rhonda from down to earth blogspot with a food challenge.  There is only two of us at home now so eating should be alot more simple and cheaper.  Last nights meal consisted of left over chicken and corn soup, with some meat pie and potato bake to follow and then later in the night we had a baked jam rolly polly with cream.  Yum!

Tommorrow I will try and show some more of the crafts I have been working on lately!

Take care

Monday, April 23, 2012


On Saturday I went to a baby shower, the first I had ever been to, and I wanted to give a hand made gift.  I was reading Rhondas blog at and she had made some lovely booties from polar fleece.  These made a lovely gift along with a couple of cute beanies and some bibs.
I also went to my local opportunity shop to get some new clothes for seeing clients (hubby is a builder) and came home with $60.00 worth of items.  My best bargain was this top for $7.95 and it was brand new.  It still had the swing tag on it from the original store for $35.00.  BARGAIN!!

 Take care!