Dishcloth swap package

I am way overdue with this post. Things have been hectic again with birthday parties, a performance night, a school carnival, soccer games, sleepovers and a house full of animals with various ailments. A sick guinea pig in the hallway, a broody hen in the garage (more about her in another post soon), and a boisterous puppy on the veranda. Of course all this happens when Hubby is away for a 2 week work trip to India! Needless to say I haven’t been near the computer for weeks! During my absence from blogging I received a parcel from the lovely Kimberley from Creative Chaos who hosted a dishcloth swap recently.

dishcloth swap package

Excuse the photo quality, it was a gloomy day

I was so excited with my parcel I launched into the contents rather too hastily and forgot to get the camera first! I had to try the lovely New Zealand Breakfast tea (divine) and the yummy chocolate treats, which melted in the letterbox on an unseasonably hot day! Unperturbed by this I munched happily away on the contents regardless! The whittakers chic peanut bar is long gone.

tea towel

Isn’t the tea towel fab! I’m thinking about framing it and putting it on my kitchen wall. The pretty coasters depict native New Zealand birds and flowers. The gorgeous dishcloth is made with the loveliest chunky speckled cotton yarn.

hand knitted dishcloth

Thanks so much to Kimberley for hosting the swap and for the lovely package. I have been spoiled! You can see what I sent Kimberley here. If you haven’t visited kimberley’s blog have a look. She is hosting another swap with a seasons theme, its not too late to join in, entries close August 25 and swaps to be posted by the end of September. Hope you can join in – open worldwide.

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My blog anniversary

This sort of crept up on me. My blog anniversary was actually yesterday! I knew it was coming up, but we went away last week, and the in-laws are still here visiting, so I’ve really been off the ball with blogging lately. I have made no plans for celebration as yet, but in the meantime I thoughtI would reflect on the past year and what we have achieved here in my little corner of the world. My first ever post a told of our exciting plans for our tree change, and how we might actually do this one day. I remember being so nervous when I hit the publish button. Here we are one year later already 6 months into our new life in the country.

view of the country

Our change has made us the proud owners of 10 acres, a house, a dam, 14 chickens, a dog and a ride on mower.

acreage life

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The girls like helping dad do the ‘farm jobs’ as they get to ride in the trailer

acreage duties using ride on mower and trailer

We have experienced floods, snakes in the house, 96% humidity and the hottest nights ever. No cold weather yet though, which is lovely as I mind the cold terribly.

flooded land, sunshine coast

carpet python in the kitchen

The python that turned up in our kitchen

It has been hard work, managing the land by clearing the lantana that bordered the entire fringe of our property. We are almost there with it now and hope to get a few head of cattle soon, perhaps 4, and see how we go. We built a chicken coop, adapted from an existing outbuilding that was previously an animal shelter. This was serious hard work, hammering in endless nails in the heat of summer. I built the door! And it hasn’t fallen off yet!!

chicken coop

Now we are reaping the rewards as our lovely chickens are finally providing us with eggs, averaging 8-9 a day at the moment.

free range chickens

fresh free range eggs

collected fresh today, lovely eggs

It has been a great experience, with more adventures to come. I am hoping to get back into a proper routine with blogging, and visit all the lovely blogs I like to follow more regularly. I seem to spend my days doing chores and errands, leaving little time for anything else. I think its time for change of a different kind, and focus on why we actually left the city and came here in the first place. I really must get that veggie patch growing! I also really want to continue with my craft too. I have had a few projects materialise over the past year. Some of the most viewed posts are the recycled t-shirt crochet basket and a toadstool, super cute knitted mini toys, and the knitted bunting.

crochet project

half finished basket with cut up t shirt yarn

crochet toadstool

knitted toys

A rainbow of cuties

knitted bunting

Some of my favourites have of course been the tapestry crochet dishcloths and the crochet snake!

crochet snake

crochet snake finished

tapestry crochet dishclothsI have only achieved 48 posts in the past year, but its nice to look back and see just how much you can do in one year.

A big thank you to all my lovely followers and commenters. I do love your comments and enjoy visiting all your blogs. I love the endless source of motivation and inspiration I get from reading all your posts. Here’s to another year of blogging!

Knitted Christmas Santa

I love christmas and everything about it. The carols, mince pies, the lights, the giving, the family time, the food (oh the food!). Christmas will be low key this year as we pack up the house. I am hoping we can manage a few decorations up at the new place before christmas eve. We usually decorate the house and put the tree up on the 1st December, but instead, an advent calendar and a few of these cute knitted Santas hanging around the place will suffice.

 

knitted santas

You can get the pattern from Boo Biloo. I did not use that pattern but made my own up as I didn’t have the right wool (the original pattern uses 4 ply, and there is a scary sounding part that uses double pointed needles, I used 8 ply from my stash and normal needles all the way). The Boo Biloo Santas are clearly more superior to my effort. I also made a christmas tree and a fair isle knitted bauble, but stupidly forgot to photograph them before I gave them away! I will be making more soon though to decorate my increasingly bare house as we pack up more boxes.

knitted santa

They would make nice gifts, maybe accompanied by some homemade mince pies or shortbread. You can personalise them by stitching on a name.

Have fun with them!
T x

Knitted bunting finally finished!

Well this has been a long drawn out WIP. It was one of those projects that gets going real quick, all the flags were done, mostly while waiting for the kids at band practice, but when it came to the sewing and putting it all together part, I lost interest. This always happens to me – the initial enthusiasm fades quick quickly as soon as we get to the laborious sewing bit. It always feels like a chore. I finally gave myself a kick up the bum to get it finished. I’m quite happy with it, but the main thing is my daughter loves it.

knitted bunting

The flags are knitted in garter stitch, so they won’t curl up at the ends. The lettering was added afterwards using chain stitch. I had actually forgotten how to do this, after learning it in primary school a zillion years ago. After a quick search on youtube I found the perfect quick tutorial. Don’t you just love youtube for this! I don’t know what I’d do without it.

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The knitted hearts were sewn on using blanket stitch for a nice decorative edge.

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Now this is finished I can get on with some crochet projects I have started recently, and a christmas knitting project that I will share with you soon. Only 50 days to go until christmas!!

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T x

Summer beach days

I love it now summer is here and we can head out to the beach and enjoy the weather. This weekend we had a wonderful time messing about on beaches and boats. Sadly I forgot my camera when we went out on our friend’s boat on the harbour. The weather was a bit crazy hitting 37 degrees with crazy loud storms and bursts of torrential rain, followed by hot sunny weather again.

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The girls sheltering under a rock cave

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we found a jellyfish trapped by low tide, the kids lend a helping hand

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off he goes

Yesterday we went out for a walk at Brooklyn and treated ourselves to an ice cream.

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I spied a new magnum flavour – salted caramel – so of course I had to try it.

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I think this salted caramel craze is a bit a over rated. The double caramel chocolate version is definitely better.

We headed home and had an easy dinner of roast chicken, chips and salad. Then I continued with a new crochet project I started. I am making a big fat snake, inspired by the one Kate from Fox’s lane made. My little one thought it was so cute she has been pestering me to make it for her. I think it will take me about a year, its huge!!

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The pattern is available for free and can be found on ravelry here.

I hope you had a sun filled weekend 🙂
T x

A nice surprise in the mail

Getting a gift in the mail has to be one of the nicest things. Especially when its from your mum. Yesterday I got a lovely surprise when I found a package at my door. A belated birthday present for B and I handmade by my mum. Cute little pincushion mice and a knitted bunny for A. Arn’t they sweet!

knitted bunny and mice

fabric handmade mice

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the girls got their hands on the mice. I was trying to take pictures while the light was still good, but they were nagging me with ‘are you done yet?’ ‘its taking aaaages!’ and ‘come ooooon!’, so some quick snaps were all I could do before they pounced.

kids playing with fabric mice

My mum sent me the pattern for the bunny a while back, I just hadn’t got around to making it yet. She had some leftover from a tabletop sale she organised at easter as a fundraiser for the church. Unfortunately they didn’t sell that well. Can’t imagine why, they are so cute, handmade, and were selling at almost nothing.

knitted bunny

I love these little toys. My mum used to make the mice for church fetes when we were young and I remember being just like my girls now, itching to have a play with them before they were whisked off for sale.

I also had another big surprise for my birthday last month – I will reveal this later once I’ve got the hang of it.

I hope you are having a good week.
T x

Recycled T-shirt basket and a crochet toadstool

Hello there! Well, kids are back at school today and we are slowly returning back to the normal routine. Even though we had the kids home for the holidays I managed to get a few crafty things done. I finished my first crochet project, the amigurumi toadstool, using the pattern supplied for free at annabooshouse.

crochet toadstool

I am so pleased with it, despite the odd little mistakes here and there. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get photos before my girls played with it, took it to bed, and then took it to school today! I had to snatch it back for a quick photo opportunity when they came home. Its looking a bit bobbly in the picture. My daughter made the little mushrooms with a bit of help from me. It was such a gloomy day today it was hard to take nice pictures.

crochet toadstool

My next holiday project was inspired by Heike at made with Loops, who shared a free pattern to make a basket. Her creations are lovely, my efforts do not do her pattern justice at all. You should definitely check out her blog. Unfortunately I had no chunky t-shirt yarn for this basket project so decided to improvise and cut up some old t-shirts I found during my school holiday clear out to make my own yarn.

t shirt yarn

Cutting up one of my old t-shirts to make continuous yarn

I actually used up almost 6 t-shirts to make Heike’s small basket. I ran out of the royal blue colour with only half a row left to go, so had to add in a darker blue to finish off.

crochet project

half finished basket with cut up t shirt yarn

I am pleased with the result, although the seams in the t-shirt made it look a bit scruffy, but its a great size for a project basket which is ready to go when you’re out and about.

crochet basket

 

crochet basket being carriedAs a complete crochet novice it really wasn’t too hard to do. I might try another one with the nice proper yarn that Heike used, and maybe tweak the pattern a bit to make the handles smaller. See, I’m getting quite confident with this crochet malarky already!

crochet basket with wool

I Hope you enjoyed my holiday projects!

Tx