Friday, October 28, 2011

My week of vintage love!

Wow this week has gone so fast! Last weekend was a holiday weekend so we had Monday off - which makes for a short, quick week. It was also the first week of the school term after two weeks holiday and boy am I out of routine. It's funny how your body clock gets used to school pick-up times, but this week I am constantly checking my watch! Hopefully by next week I will feel back to normal. Anyway - I am making good progress with my new blanket and I am loving every minute of it. As promised, I am tying in ends as I go which is soooooooo much better. I am truly converted. So for every 10 or so flowers I make, I join them up. No threads, no mess - you gotta love it.

I'm really enjoying having a fairly limited colour palette too. I popped back to the wool shop this week to get the next installment of wool so hopefully I have enough now to make a decent sized bed cover. I will just keep going until I run out! I love that my local wool shop is happy to hold wool for you for several months so that you can guarantee you'll get the same dye lot etc. My Mum was telling me the other day that that was how she bought her wool when she was younger. It's a brilliant system.

I have to show you a few little op shops treasures I got today. I bought two of these wee lime green pots/bowls for $1 and have popped a mint plant in one of them. I read during the week that having mint plants around the house will keep flies away. Now that we are coming into finer weather (although you'd never believe that if you could see out my window just now), I will give anything a go to keep those little black critters out of my house. I hate fly spray and am trying to reduce chemical usage around the house - so fingers crossed these lovely little plants do the trick. I'll keep you posted!

Now this is actually an old op shop purchase from maybe 2 years ago. Sadly when I bought it there was no cup to match.

So in the meantime I used this little cup which went fairly well.

But this morning I walked into my favourite little op shop and I spotted the matching cup sitting there on the shelf, all alone, just waiting to come home with me and be with the matching saucer and plate. So $3 later and I was a very happy girl! I love being able to complete a set even if it does take years. This is my new favourite set and I can't wait to sit down and have a nice quiet cuppa with it.

It was a pleasure to add it to my mix and match collection of china. All but maybe 4 pieces have been bought from second hand stores over the last 2 years and I adore each and every piece. I haven't spent much at all on any of it - I think only one piece was over $20 actually - so this is my cheap and cheerful collection.

Still on the op shop finds but with a bit of a story first. I went to see a fundraising screening of Breakfast at Tiffany's during the week. I absolutely love this movie and it was fabulous to see it at a beautiful theatre on the big screen. I well and truly fell in love with the orange coat worn in this scene and sat there jealously watching it. Well ....

I know it's not identical, but I found this brand new pattern for $1 today and I think that the style on the right could be made into a fabby orange coat for me. Even better, the pattern says it's Very Easy - two important words when it comes to my sewing ability!! So over the next few weeks I am going to have to sneak a peek into a few fabric stores and try and find some orange fabric!

Still on the vintage theme but this time a purchase off Trade Me (our version of Ebay). This stunner was $20 and she arrived today. I am thrilled to bits with it and can't wait to use it.

I just love how these old bags fasten. I feel very classy just holding her over my arm. I think that I should be wearing that stunning orange coat, gloves and a hat when I use this bag though!!! I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. I would love to have been around in the 50s or late 60s.

Well that has sure been a lot of vintage love going on. I am going to say goodbye now and go and make a nice cup of tea, in my new cup of course, and maybe a nice fat piece of caramel slice to go with it. There goes the diet ...

Have a fabulous week everyone. See you again soon.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Here she is!

I know you might not think it's changed much since the last post, but for me it has. All those pesky ends are now gone and I have been able to stand back and admire it now. The sun came out here which meant I could get some decent pics in decent light. So here it is! My big old granny and I love her! Super snuggly and just the right size for two small folk to laze under when watching a bit of tv.

My favourite part is definitely the border. It was a bit fiddly and took a looooong time to get those ends sorted but I think it was worth it.

Ah, giant granny love. I think I feel different about this project because it was the first time ever that I've worked with white wool. It's such a different look to my usual love of brights on their own.

Yep, I really love these wee squares. And now for the 'blooper' pics where I had a nosey little visitor!!

It ended up taking far too long to get these few simple pics because every time I put the blanket down, my beautiful girl Bella decided it was just for her. Now this blanket is quite large so you get a bit of an idea how big Bella is!!!

This is my fave pic, it sums up that cat attitude. "Yes I know your yelling at me to get off, but I shall just sit here and pretend I can't hear you". I didn't want to lift her off in case she stuck her blimmin' claws in and pulled threads in my brand new blanket!!

So now I am moving onto my next project ...

I am currently calling this one my SI crochet project. SI you ask? Why that would be Seasonally Inappropriate crochet!! I absolutely love this Ashford Tekapo pure wool, it is just delicious. But as we are heading into our lovely Summer over here, working on a very large woollen bed cover is probably a wee bit nutso. I adore these African Flowers. Although it has taken me about 6 goes to work the darn things out - now I look back and wonder what the heck it was I was doing wrong. The whole blanket is going to be made of just these four colours with a creamy white edge.

And speaking of seasonally inappropriate crochet ... I am really jealous of you lovely folk on the other side of the world who are heading into chillier weather. You get to make gorgeous crochet pressies for Christmas - because over here it's not really that handy to receive a woolly hat or scarf when on Christmas day we're outside having a BBQ!!! I'm thinking at best I can whip up a few tea cosies??

Have a fabulous week all. See you soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A very wet week

It's the school holidays here at the moment and we are having the most blah weather. The poor kids are bursting to get outside and run around but it is pouring with rain. So to try and distract them for a while we started some crafty projects.

I am so in love with these tiny bottles and have lots of them around the house as vases. We also have some in the kitchen which the small folk like drinking milk from with a fun straw. So with some of the empties, we decided to paint them and make a colourful wee selection of them to sit on my little kitchen shelf. So out came all the test pots I've collected over the years. I did have to pop down to the paint store to get two of the colours as I really needed a yellow and an orange. Such a simple job - pour in the paint, turn the bottle over and over to make sure it is well covered, then pour the excess paint back in the pot. Wipe the top of the bottle with a paper towel to leave it nice and neat, then leave to dry. Too easy!

They are just the right height for my wee shelf and they add a lovely burst of colour during these rainy, gloomy days. I love them!!

Ah ha - could it be? Why yes - these are all the trimmed ends from my blanket!! I finished nearly all of it last night while half watching the the All Blacks playing Australia. The last two little grannies were tidied and trimmed today. And wouldn't you know it, within five minutes of finishing my blanket and getting all excited about taking some pics and showing you - the weather took a turn for the worse. It was wet, dark and miserable - definitely not great photo taking weather. So I promise that by the end of the week, when the sun is meant to reappear, I will post pics!

I am thrilled with how it looks and can't wait to share it with you. Thank you for all your lovely comments as I've progressed with this project! Miss 4 asked if she could have it on her bed tonight so I think she may have claimed it as her own already. I am very flattered!

Here's just a quick pic of it folded up awaiting its photo session. I haven't pressed it yet (and don't normally do it) but will give it a go to see how it looks. I ended up changing my mind about the picot edging. I did one side with the picot and my crochet appreciation committee (Miss 4 and Mr 7) told me that it didn't look so great. I had to agree! It's fussy enough with all the grannies so a nice simple SC edge works well.

So fingers crossed the weather improves and is more Spring-y than Winter-y. The Spring flowers at the market yesterday were amazing. I am so in love with these beauties. Bright orange rununculas have cheered up my dining table. I can't stop staring at them - they are so intricate and perfect.

Now this is one thing that I do like about colder weather - comfort food!! I was so proud of myself for making this as it was my very first attempt at making pastry. I like to think I'm a fairly ok baker but I had never ever tried making pastry - I thought it would be too difficult. I was so wrong - it was easy peasy. My family loved this rustic pie so much, it will now have to be a regular addition to our dinner menu.

But I am really counting on better weather and more salads instead! I spent Saturday afternoon making a whole lot of these little newspaper seedling pots with the children. Lots of capsicums, lots of salad mix and a few other surprise seeds that I found in the cupboard - so goodness knows what they will turn out to be!! These wee pots were great to make and they can pop straight into the garden, newspaper and all, once the seedlings are ready to plant.

Well that's enough from me - I've crammed quite a bit in! I will hopefully be back fairly soon with some lovely blanket pics. It's all a bit of a downer, getting it finished and not being able to share it with you!

Have a fab week all - see you again soon.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Almost there!

It has been a crazy busy week here so I've not finished my blanket yet - but it's getting sooooo close. The last small square has just been added and I love how it is looking! I am absolutely bursting to get it finished now so I will make an effort to grab my hook every spare second. A few more rows of border then a picot edge to go - sounds easy but now that it is quite big, a round seems to take forever. It was the last day of school and kindy yesterday and we are now heading into two weeks of school holidays so I think my crochet opportunities are going to be few and far between until the new term starts!

This blanket has been so lovely to work on especially while the weather is still chilly. We're having weird Spring weather at the moment - really warm one week then freezing the next. Sods law says that the moment I finish this, the weather will be gorgeous and we won't need a snuggly blanket on the couch any longer!!

As always, Bella had to come and supervise the photo session! She plonked herself down right in the middle for a snooze after I took this pic - so I take it she approves of my workmanship.

I do however still have this to deal with - ugh! Never, ever again will I leave ends untied. I'm guessing it will take me a good week of evenings to get them tidied up. I will just keep telling myself how worthwhile that mundane job is!! If anyone has any great tips on tying in ends I'd love to hear them. I know everyone has their own way of doing things in crochet so I'm always interested to hear of alternatives. I generally tie a small knot when I join wool then I try and weave the ends in any which way to try and hide them before snipping ends. What sort of length do you tie in before you snip?

I did deviate from my hooks for an hour this week to have a play with some cards I had. They were boring as anything so I thought it might be nice to make them look a little more handmade. I had some gorgeous books of scrapbook paper which were screaming out to be used. I trimmed it to size and attached it to the backs and wrapped it around to cover part of the front section too. I love how they look! So until I get my cute old fashioned rubber stamp label made - these will do the trick. A quick hole-punch in the corner and some pretty ribbon and they can be attached to the work I am selling. Otherwise they are proving handy when people want to pass my details on to friends. Fingers crossed it helps get some more orders!

Have a fabulous week everyone.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you all so very much for your lovely comments! It is always so wonderful to hear from you and I really appreciate the time you take to leave me a note.

Now I have used a very high tech way of selecting the winners ... I got my small folk to do it. So hopefully, looking through very tired eyes, I have counted down the list correctly!!

And the winner is ....... Carmel's Closet!! Congratulations hon! You will have the lovely pendant and some delish choccie winging its way to you soon.

For the choccie runner up gifts, the winners are ... Karen from A Quiet Corner and Tillyflops. Congrats ladies!

If you would like to leave me an email with your contact details I will get these wee parcels in the post to you as soon as poss. Hopefully your customs departments will let me send you the small flax bags - fingers crossed.

Also - just a quick note by way of an apology if anyone received a spam email from my address. My email account was hacked last week and a yukky email was sent out which was more or less asking for money. Talk about being mortified - aaargh. It's all sorted now thankfully and I will be changing my password more often.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone - and I'll see you again in a few days with some pics from Mr 6's 7th birthday party today. Boy - we're all completely worn out from all the high energy young kids have. I think I'm even too tired to get my crochet hook out and that's really saying something!