Monday, July 25, 2011

My Crafty Corner!

The weather here has been really cold over the last week so it's been lovely working on a blanket which keeps me warm while I work! I'm not quite sure how big to make it but I think I will stop pretty soon. I love the white between the rows, it makes it look so bright and crisp.

The plan is to have one giant granny square then edge it in lots of smaller squares. I'm just starting to have a play with different designs before I decide which one to use. This is my fave so far. I will whip up a few more using different colours today to get more of a feel for how it will look.

I've always said that one day I'd love to make space to have all my crafty bits and pieces on display to keep me inspired, instead of tucked away in various boxes around the house. Well last week it all started to happen. So after some fun with flat packs and a screwdriver, my little crafty corner started to come to life! I have taken over part of our spare room and I love it! This room is desperate for a coat of paint, as we haven't done anything to it since we moved in a few years ago. I have bought the paint and can't wait to get it done, then I can change the curtains, put a new duvet cover on the bed etc. But in the meantime I have set up my wee area and I am so very pleased with it.

It's so nice to see all the colourful wool and other bits and bobs that I love so much. What you can't see is the other baskets behind the table that are full of more wool. Yikes! That's one thing about putting it all in one place - you realise you have quite a lot!! And yet I still found myself at a local store who had 30% off all wool on Saturday - so of course I had to buy more. The wool I used on my Queen Anne's Lace scarf was just so lovely to work with, I bought some more of it. I even bought the exact same colour because I loved it so much. This time, I am going to make a cowl with it. I figure it's not too much of a problem having two scarves in the same yarn - they'll look totally different as one is long and delicate and the other will be short and chunky.

It has been a fab week at the op shops too! I got this beautiful embroidered doily which is just so gorgeous and for only $2. I also bought two fabulous dresses and a pretty cardi - for just over $20 all up which is amazing. One of the dresses is a fabulous red/purple/orange coloured sundress which seems hilarious today when it's only about 3 degrees outside. But it will be just the thing for my holiday in the sun which is coming up soon. More about that later!

I had a phone call from a fabulous magazine store here in Wellington to say that they had got Mollie Makes in and that there was a copy waiting for me. When I called them months ago to see if they could get it in, they hadn't even heard of it. So it was brilliant that they were able to stock it. I was beside myself with excitement to get my hands on Issue 1!!!! It is truly beautiful - every page is just so colourful and inspiring. I am absolutely in love with it. Because I wasn't sure if we would get the magazine here in NZ, I had treated myself to a UK subscription. So it was with huge disappointment when Issue 3 arrived today and it didn't include the cover gift. Boo!!! Nowhere on their website did it say that subscribers wouldn't get the gift. Grrrrr. False advertising if you ask me. I will do my best to cancel the subscription as I hate feeling ripped off. Has anyone else had this problem?

So the perfect thing to have while curled up with my favourite magazine and a large cup of tea is something sweet and a little bit naughty. I made this recipe up a few years ago and friends always joked that in times of stress, out come the Moro Muffins. Moro is a popular choccie bar here in NZ. My small folk call them volcano muffins as the chocolate/caramel inside is like lava!

You could use any chocolate muffin recipe, and then just pop a piece of cut up chocolate bar on the top. I think the closest thing to a Moro bar is a Mars bar or even a Snickers. It will sink down during the baking and be gooey and gorgeous. They are delicious eaten warm out of the oven, or warmed in the microwave later on.

Although I have no problem eating them just as they are, because the caramel has gone hard and chewy. Divine!!

We also made an army of small gingerbread men. They look so hilarious all lined up on the cake rack. A little treat for all the playdates we've been having over the holiday break. Always a winner!

Well that's enough of my ramblings. It's been a great week even if it is freezing. We're in the last week of the school holidays and have lots planned to keep small people busy.

I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What a fabulous week!

I was absolutely beside myself with excitement when this parcel arrived in my letterbox during the week. In a post a wee while ago I'd mentioned that I'd treated myself to a subscription for Mollie Makes that took effect from Issue 3 - and how envious I was of folk who had been able to buy the earlier issues. So I was truly stunned when the fabulous Tracey from TopCat's Corner wrote and offered to send me a spare copy of Issue 2. Tracey - you are a total gem and I am so very, very grateful for your wonderful gift. I am constantly amazed at the generosity of lovely folk in blog land and this has really touched my heart. Thank you again!

So it was perfect timing that I had an evening alone to sit and read this gorgeous magazine! Every page had something stunning and interesting - I couldn't put it down. Many cups of tea later and I was still ooohing and aaahing over each page! I have heard that it is now on sale in Australia so I will do my best to track down Issue 1 - fingers crossed!!

Now I know I have about 4 projects on the go already so what better time to start something new! There are some gorgeous big granny blankets on lots of lovely blogs at the moment and I really love them. A few weeks back I showed you some of my dear Nana's blankets which my family adore. So I thought it was time that I made one to add to the collection. This one is going to be one quite large granny square, then I think I will edge it with many smaller grannies using the same colours. In my mind I think it will be lovely - so I will have to wait and see how it turns out!

I'm really getting into using white wool! It makes such a lovely contrast and everything looks so crisp and bright. The perfect way to use up that giant ball of white I bought recently!!

And amongst the granny rounds, I've also been making hats, hats and more hats. All different patterns, all difference sizes. I've decided that making crochet hats is a bit like in the cartoons, where they put a cake in the oven and it comes out iced and even with candles ... because when you crochet a hat from the top down you end up with a complete hat dangling from the end of your hook and somehow it doesn't actually look real! Does that make sense? I'm sure I'm not the only one to have had this thought!!

And to keep the energy levels up, it seemed only right to whip up some hot scones for lunch. A piping hot cuppa and far too much cream - perfect!!

Then it was a bit of pine nut bashing in the kitchen making pesto to go on our pasta for dinner. Boy do I love the smell of basil - delicious!

Mr 6 had an indoor picnic at school on Friday for the last day of term. His class was given the job of providing the sweet course so we made good old Chocolate Crackle. The kids go mad for this and it has to be the easiest thing in the world to make. Melted chocolate and Rice Bubble cereal. Mix it together and pop it into a cupcake papers to set. How easy is that?

And what a lovely way to end my week - Karen from 4 Lil' Girls has given me an award. Thank you Karen, it really made my day! You should check out Karen's gorgeous blog - especially to see the fabulous granny blanket she is currently making - I love it!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and just wanted to say this without sounding all gushy. When I started my wee blog it was because my dear friend Kylie had moved to the other end of the country and it was a way for us to show each other what we had been making. I never thought that it would end up having anyone else looking at it - so I am beyond thrilled that I have 99 followers!! Thank you so very much for visiting me and for the lovely, positive comments you leave. At this stage in my life when being an at home mum is just sometimes plain tough, it's the nicest thing to see a lovely comment. Thank you again and see you soon!

Have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reunited with my hooks!

It has been so nice this week, to be feeling better and to finally get my beloved crochet hooks out again! I was suffering withdrawal symptoms and now realise that my crochet addiction is pretty serious. So as a treat I went on a bit of a wool buying frenzy. I found this gorgeous yarn on Saturday and I just had to have it! I've been looking for a multi-coloured yarn for ages but could never quite find a colour combo that I really loved. This is it. Wintery goodness, with all my fave cosy tones - red, orange, brown, green and even purple. It looks beautiful from every side.

And I knew exactly what I was going to make with it. I've had this Queen Anne's lace pattern tucked away on Ravelry for absolutely ages because I thought it looked too tricky. I was wrong - it's a pretty easy, repetitive pattern that works up very quickly. I made a start last night and it grew much faster than I expected. That's the thing I love about crochet, the results are fast!

Aren't these colours just so toasty and warm looking? As soon as I finish this post I'm going to sit down and do a bit more of it in the hope I can finish it today while the small folk are at school and kindy. It's the last week of term before a two week holiday so it's my last chance to enjoy the peace and quiet for a while!! The housework will just have to wait ....

I love, love, love it so far.I also bought a whole lot of pure wool to make more beanies. Miss 4 has quite a collection of hats that I've made and lots of friends have been asking if I can make them for their children. Up until now I've been making them and giving them away but now I am starting to sell them which is fantastic. The money will be reinvested back into my wool addiction!! I can feel a bit less guilty about that ever growing stash that is currently hidden behind the door in my spare room!!

I hope you're all having a fab week so far. It's cold here this morning, only 7.5 degrees Celsius when I took the children to school - so perfect timing to finish off my scarf and be toasty warm.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cough, cough, splutter, splutter

This is as close to any crochet as I have got during the last week. Looking at all this lovely bright wool, waiting to be whipped up into more hexagons, but I've been unable to do a thing. Last week it was my two small people who were unwell. And being the generous wee things that they are, they then gave their lovely bugs to us!!

It is seriously not fun when both parents are sick at the same time - and boy were we ill. I haven't had the flu for years and years, back then I could stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself. That's the hardest part of parenting - no sick leave entitlement!! Thankfully we are on the road to recovery now. Time to think about dusting off my crochet hooks ...

I had to show you this hilarious ball of wool - it's a whopper! 400g in total so about 8 times what I usually use. The sheer size of it gave me the creeps so I have started rolling it into smaller balls. Not to mention that if I try to use it while it's this big, my cat Bella throws herself all over it and ends up trying to have a snooze on it - it's certainly big enough for her!

So there's no crochet, no baking, no crafting of any type to show you. Lots of things in my head to remember to post about next time. But for now I am going to sign off and have a wee rest.

I hope you are all managing to stay fit and well.

Thank you for all your lovely comments too - they really make my day.

See you next week - if not sooner!