Yarny update and a prize in the post

I love the world of blogging, so many lovely people sharing so many lovely things. Its so great to connect with like minded people all over the world and share in each other’s craft projects and highs and lows of life. Today I received the most fabulous prize in the post. I was the lucky runner up in Jill from Emerald Cottage‘s 100 post giveaway. In my excitement I tore open the package before photographing it, but look what I got inside!

Emerald cottage giveaway prize

handmade card

crochet heart keyring

The little heart keyring is adorable and so beautifully made. I have a pattern for some ombre mitts, a new crochet hook which is great because I snapped my no. 4 hook just this week (I sat on it!) some lovely yarn and a gorgeous handmade card from Jill. I can’t wait to get started on the mitts. The wool colours are gorgeous. I have to say a big thank you to Jill, as its not cheap posting all the way to Australia from the UK. I really do appreciate it ūüôā

In other yarny news, I have started a granny stripe blanket, and I’m making reasonably good progress. It is so much easier than I thought it would be. I’m using wool from my stash, plus a few new colours thrown in, just some cheap acrylic yarn from Big W.

crochet granny stripe blanket beginnings

We are going away next week to Stradbroke Island for a short getaway with the in-laws before they head back to the UK the following week. I am planning to do a whole lot of crochet while I am there. We are staying in a couple of beach cabins right by the water. I can’t think of anything better than sitting with a nice cuppa listening to the waves and watching the kids play, with a crochet project to keep me busy. Really looking forward to it.

crochet granny stripe

Have a good weekend. I will share some pictures of our trip when I get back xx

We have eggs!

Finally, we have our first eggs from our chooks. They have certainly taken their time. Eight weeks from when we got them, at ‘point of lay’. ¬†I was worried I was doing something wrong and started trying to find answers on blogs for why our girls were not laying eggs. Most responses were to be patient, and check all the obvious things like food, water and shelter, which were all good.

Bruce the hen

‘Bruce’ the hen in the nesting box. I have explained how all our chooks are girls, but The kids insist on Bruce, so Bruce it is.

 

 

I am very proud of our first egg, pictured here. Sorry about the blurry pic, it looked alright when I uploaded it!

free range egg

I had it for breakfast, just look at that lovely orange yolk. We are getting two a day now, so things are definitely looking up.

egg for breakfast

Our chooks enjoy roaming around the paddock during the daytime, and run up to me whenever I go down to their coop, as I usually have some kitchen scraps for them.

free range chickens

My little one has got quite brave and picks them up now, as they have also got used to us and become very friendly. I was talking to a friend of mine over coffee the other day and she was saying how her daughter is desperate for a pet and what they should consider getting. I suggested chickens. Not only are they useful for keeping the weeds down and eating insects, but you get the eggs too, and they are an outdoor pet, so no mess in the house. She thought it was a great idea and went off happily to her backyard to work out where to put the coop.

IMG_5310 chickens

I am looking forward to getting a regular egg supply now. Soon we will be inundated, as we have 14 chooks! I will have to start looking for some good egg recipes.
T x

A new arrival

Things have been busy around here. We have a new addition to our household. A chocolate labrador puppy, named Kess. We had a rough first night with her, but since then she has been very good, apart from the nipping and chewing everything in sight.

chocolate labrador puppy

We took her to the beach for the first time last weekend, but she wasn’t sure what to make of the water.

puppy at the beach

My daughter loves her and is very good with her and patient. I think they will become best friends.

dog walking

Here she is, exhausted from her beach trip, pushing up a few zeds. Does that look comfy to you?

puppy sleeping

Last weekend it was Mothers Day here in Australia. I had breakfast in bed brought in by my son sporting a silly face. The eggs were fresh from the neighbours chooks, so yum.

breakfast in bed, mothers day

One of my Mothers day gifts was this gorgeous cake stand. Of course I had to bake a cake to put on it.

cake stand

I baked a gluten free sticky date pudding, more like a cake in looks, but served warm with hot butterscotch sauce and cream is definitely a winner. You can find the recipe here.

gluten free sticky date pudding

We are lucky to have inherited a mandarin tree with our new house. Lovely sweet mandarins from a tree so laden with fruit its bending over.

mandarins, home grown

And finally, I have decided to start a granny stripe blanket to reduce my yarn stash. Its gone quite cool here as we head into winter. Well, cool in the morning and evening, but lovely in the daytime. I don’t suspect for one minute that it will be done in time for this winter. I reckon, going on my current crochet speed, it will take me a year. I thought about starting a granny square blanket instead, but the thought of stitching all those squares together put me off. I will keep you posted on my progress. Its the biggest project I have ever tackled so wish me luck!

yarn balls

Have a lovely weekend.
T x

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy from Love Made my Home for five on friday, this week its Five crochet dishcloths!¬†I know, I know, I’ve been banging on about my dishcloths for a while, but they are so much fun to make! Who’d have thought dishcloths and fun could be in the same sentence! I have been gaining confidence in the old tapestry crochet malarky and tried¬†out a few new designs.

tapestry crochet dishcloths

These three I finally completed as a set for my mother in law’s birthday present, along with a little crochet heart sachet and some gorgeous little soaps and handcreams from L’Occitane.

tapestry crochet

I was trying to get a good photo of them on a beautiful sunny day over¬†the paddock gate, but the photo looks a bit like I’m trying too hard to get a rustic¬†effect and not succeeding. Hope you like the sunshine and green grass anyway.

tapestry crochet zig zag pattern

I worked out a little zig zag pattern and finished this one last weekend. I think I used too many colours though. The white edging helps tone it down a bit.

zig zag tapestry crochet pattern

I decided to make this zig zag one with fatter rows and stuck to four less bright colours. Its coming along and I think it will be quite pretty with perhaps a pink border but undecided at the moment.

tapestry crochet spots

Out of all of them I think this spotty one is my favourite, despite its imperfections. Which one’s your fave?

Have a lovely weekend! Please go visit the other bloggers joining in this week.
Teresa x

A birthday and a beautiful day out

Its been a busy start to the term, so busy I haven’t had time to sit down and write at all. Seriously, I do not know where the time has gone and how on earth I managed to work as well as run a family when I was back in Sydney. I have blogged less since the move when I supposedly have more time! During the holidays my little one turned 6 so we had a day out at Maleny botanical gardens. A great place up in the beautiful hinterland with fantastic views and gorgeous gardens, and a huge tropical bird aviary. We happened upon it by accident when we were down at Mooloolaba beach and¬†we bumped into a man with a giant parrot. As you do. He was promoting the place and handing out leaflets.

view to glasshouse mountains

View to glasshouse mountains from the gardens

 

We got there early as the kids were itching to go. They were not disappointed, and went straight to the little petting zoo to stroke the animals.

petting a mini pony

I had a read of the reviews on trip advisor where visitors warned that the birds do land on you during the aviary tour and to keep sunglasses and jewellery hidden away else the birds would swipe them. Trip advisor is great for handy tips like this.

boy with parrot on shoulder

We all had several different birds land on us. They were a bit shy at first but as soon as the tour guides called to them, they all came flying down. Their colours were amazing.

tropical bird aviary

The tour lasted about 30 minutes or so, which was long enough, as towards the end we’d had enough of birds landing on our heads and trying to eat our hair.

macaw parrot on head

The weather was perfect and the gardens stunning.

IMG_5147Maleny botanical gardens IMG_5148

I love guinea fowls and they had a flock of them wandering about the place. I wouldn’t mind keeping some myself. Apparently they are good for keeping away snakes as they chase away the bigger ones and eat the baby ones. They also eat fly lavae to help control the fly issue in summer. You can let them roam free and they roost in trees at night and forage for their own food. They also sound a very loud alarm when predators are near. An animal that does not need cleaning out or feeding and is useful¬†sounds pretty good to me.

IMG_5153 Guinea fowls

I love the old cart wheels they had laying around the place. This photo was taken outside the loos would you believe.

old cart wheel against stone wall

The following weekend was little one’s birthday party which we had at home and yes, I did finish the pi√Īata in time! It took forever for the kids to smash it though, I should have done fewer layers on it, but I was worried it would smash on the first hit.

soccer ball pi√Īata

They played pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey, and did a scavenger hunt around the property. We had cake and then finished with a play in the tree house. The weather was perfect which meant the party could be held outside, so no mess to clean up.

6 birthday cake

Last week I had a mini tidy up of the front door area, which was very neglected, with my plant pots full of dead weeds after the hot summer. I went to bunnings for a few bits and picked up two geraniums. Apparently a good choice for someone like me who can’t seem to keep plants alive. My hubby tells me water helps with that. He also says when our new puppy arrives the plants will have to go else they will be chewed up!

geraniums and lemons

I picked some lemons off a tree I found in the paddock on a¬†detour back to the house from the chicken coop. I’m not sure what to do with them now. One was used with some garlic to flavour a¬†roast chicken. I should try and make lemonade, or some lemon curd with them.

Well thats it for now, I’ll save my dishcloth finale for my next post, you’re probably sick to death of them by now! I Hope your week is going well.
T x