Monday, April 30, 2012

Blue (the scarf).

I've started this week off with such a strange feeling.
A bit of a sad feeling.
Like things are changing.
Like time is passing by.
It's making me feel a bit panicky.
A bit short of breath.
A bit anxious to savour each second.
To live it.
To realise it and remember it.
To etch bits of it in my mind, on my skin, so I can hang on to this moment forever.

I am reminding myself to stay calm.
To quiet the butterflies.
To breathe.
That in our now, we are exactly where we want to be.
That we are making lots of decisions and living well.
That whatever is to come, will be what it will be.
That notes about Miss Pepper starting school next year and Indi's high school orientation don't have to overwhelm, but can be positive and exciting.
That a carpet of fallen leaves means winter is approaching, but so are quiet times on the farm.
That the end of a knitting project I have loved means the beginning of something new and a cozy Indi.
That no matter how I long for time to slow down or stop for a while, it wont, so I may as well get on with enjoying it.

That what I probably need now more than anything else, is to grab my big girl straight home from school and to go for a fast walk around the big block. To feed my family soup for dinner. To squeeze them all as hard as they'll let me. To cast on something new. And to breath it all in.
It's all good.

I wish you a peaceful, wonderful week my friends.


PS. Details for Blue the scarf are Raveled here.
PPS. I bought the beautiful blue wool from Kate's One Fat Slug Etsy shop.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

and finally - a dress.

With the decision to leave my sewing machine at home when we left on our six month caravan trip, came the fear that I would lose my passion for sewing. That I would forget how to make a pattern and whip up a dress. That when we got home I would find it easier to buy than to sew.

From memory, I missed Nina Bernina twice while we were away. Once when we were camped in Broome next to a family of little girls who danced out of their caravan every morning wearing little rainbow peasant dresses. And again when I picked up a bunch of old bits of fabric from a garage sale in Dongara.

When we got home I whipped up three me sized dresses out of desperation. Three dresses made from old sheets and curtains in my stash. Three dresses inspired by a photo in a Japanese pattern book and then made by tracing a dress I already had.

And after them, I walked away from the sewing machine and didn't go back.

And then the other day I went to check out the new yarn section in a quilting shop nearby. And while I was stroking the yarn, Miss Pepper it seems was pulling out fabrics for a new dress. Three fabrics; spots for the body, doggies for the sleeves and butterflies for the frilly bit.

I don't remember the last time I bought brand new fabric. A part of me resented the cost and the non-sustainability of the purchase. But a bigger part of me loved that she planned the project down to the last detail. That she took for granted that her mama could and would sew her a new dress. And to be honest, I adored her choices and loved the feel of the crisp, new bright fabrics.

So we bought them home and one dark and dreary late April afternoon, I made a pattern, cut the pieces and sewed a dress.

It was slow going. At times I doubted that all the bits would fit together. But I loved it. The whole process. And I even cut a pattern out of baking paper to be certain that I could make it all over again.

I've even had a few teensy-eensy thoughts about reopening my online store.


It's a shame I left the photo shoot so late that it was almost dark and all the edges were blurry.

But she loves it and asked to sleep in it, so I'm happy.

So how about you?
Do you prefer to use old/recycled materials?
Or do you get a thrill from the new?
Have you sewn anything lately?
Or are you working with wintery warm wool?
Are you having a wonderful weekend?
I hope so.

See ya later hot potata!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My list of wintery wonderful.

And just like that the warm, sparkly days are over and the cold weather has moved in.

I know lots of people who love freezing cold days.
They love dressing up in tights and jackets and boots.
They love snuggling inside and doing wintry things.

I do not!

I feel trapped by wintry days.
Grey days make me grumpy.
I need sunshine and warmth for inspiration.
I like hanging the laundry outside, pottering in the garden and having picnics.
I like sun dresses and summer fruits and sandals.

The only thing I like about winter is soup.
I love soup.
Oh and I also love watching my gang wearing the woollies I have knitted for them too.

But that's not really enough is it?

Winters are long and cold in these parts.

So I am wracking my brains trying to come up with a happy winter list.
A list of things to get me through the cold months ahead.
A way to forget the funk and remember the fabulous.

So here it is.

(yes, I know it's not officially winter but it may as well be.)

Keep the house looking lovely. As clean as possible and fresh.
Change the bed linen often.
Keep jars of fresh flowers around the house.
Keep going with the painting and decorating.
Play music and dance about the house.
Buy a new front door.

Walk/run often.
Get outside whenever we can.
Rug up and do the farm stuff.
Light bonfires.
Explore the bush.

Spend time with my boy and my girls together and alone.
Find and buy some fun tights.
Make some plans for a road trip.
Go out.
Make arrangements with good people.
Make and have handy a stash of scarves/hats/leg-warmers/gloves to brighten up an outfit and keep cozy.
Always have something to look forward to.

Menu plan and menu shop.
Eat from the kitchen garden as often as possible.
Take spirulina and vitamin B.
Eat seeds and honey and legumes and farmer Bren's bread.
Experiment with lots of different types of soup and hope my kids wanna play too.
Buy a new bottle of Kahlua.

Build up my yarn stash.
Make, make, make.
Buy some oils and candles for bath time.
Write some patterns out and have them tested.
Stay inspired.
Have a project or two on hand all the time.

And spend lots of time with this kiddo.
See the world through her four year old eyes.
Play with her.
Be present and patient.

So that's it - My List Of Winter Wonderful.

Do you have any suggestions for getting through the chilly months ahead?
What do you like to do when the days get short and cccccccold?
Are you a hot or a cold weather person?
If it's warm where you are, can I come and visit?

Have fun out there and stay warm.

Bye. xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rainbow beanie.

The days are getting colder and wetter and I have a gazillion practical things on my to knit and crochet list. Scarves and beanies and jumpers and legwarmers and gloves and and and... But when I found a picture of this hat on pinterest, I just knew it'd have to jump the queue and take the number one spot.

Who can resist a rainbow granny beanie??

Not me! That's for sure.

I used this wonderful pattern.
I used a 4.5 hook.
I used lots of scrappy bits of yarn.
I added the ears just because I like ears on beanies.
I crocheted it last night and sewed the ends in this morning.
It makes me happy.

What's making you happy at the moment?
What sort of things jump to the top of your to do list?
What are you making?
Are you going to crochet a rainbow granny beanie?
Have you ever used a recipe/pattern/idea off pinterest?

Happy Sunday lovelies.

See ya. x

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Looking past the crap.

After my last post I've been thinking about writing a blog about the ordinary stuff that goes on. The not so blog worthy stuff. The lice combing, the never ending piles of laundry, the stress attacks over keeping up with school and life details, the wee on the floor, the dead mouse smell from the roof, the mess of beyond overripe pears in the bottom of the fridge, the mess full stop..............

If you read my blog you know that these things exist here. You know that there are wrinkles and tears. But to be honest, I don't want to dwell on those things. Why would I when I could focus on the good, the happy, the love? And it's amazing what happens as soon as you decide to see the beauty in your life. As soon as you make a conscious decision to be happy, to love your people and to live your dreams.

What started out as a pretty crappy week has turned out to be quite wonderful.
I've noticed the details, I've been kind to myself and I've been happy.

I haven't had much of a chance to crochet this week, but I've loved having the weight of the granny blanket to warm our toes at night. The colours look so joyful against the white of our bed-sheets.
I've been lucky enough to find some vintage treasures. A floor length velvet pinafore which I will have to shorten despite the fact that it makes me feel oh so glamorous, and some Johnson Brothers crockery including this beautiful blue set.
I've been preserving, preserving, jelly, quince jelly, poached quince, apples in syrup and apple compote.
I've been gifted bright pink flowers from the youngest and two bunches of the most fragrant roses from the oldest.
I've been digging in the back of cupboards and pulling out hand knits. I knitted this cardi almost two years ago, I'm so pleased she'll get another year out of it.
We've been spending lots of time outside. The days have been gloriously warm and sunny. We've been collecting kindling, planting, weeding and making lots of new garden beds. And we've been walking around the big block and the lake and shifting things around so we can eat our breakfast and drink our coffee in the garden.
And lastly but really firstly, I've been overwhelmed with kindness and support from your guys.
Thank you!!!!
Your words have meant the world to me.

I am grateful magateful.

I do hope your week has been a lovely one too.
I hope there has been treasure and yummy food, some crafting and some fabulous friends.
I hope you feel loved.
I hope that you have looked past the crap and seen a bit of wonderful.

Bye! xx

Monday, April 16, 2012

How instagram saved my day.

I was sitting in my car this morning.
I'd just gotten off the phone and was processing some difficult news.
Not my difficult news, but difficult nonetheless.
And I was scrolling through the messages and photos on instagram (IG).
As a distraction. For something to do.
And I saw that someone had written a comment on one of my photos.
Their comment said that my life looked perfect, that I was living their dream.
At first, after reading that, I was a bit confused.
Here I was digesting some pretty crappy news and there they were telling me my life was their dream.
How could I reconcile these two?
The drive home threatened to swallow me.
I could feel my sadness taking over everything.
I felt certain that the first day of this week, the last day of their school holidays, would be a write off.
I just wanted to get home, and hide in the bathroom and cry.
But then as I drove up our driveway.
As I looked at the trees with their glowing red and orange and yellow leaves.
As I saw my beautiful farmer boy come out to meet me.
Something changed.
I saw my life from the outside.
As a series of photos.
As a series of gorgeous moments.
And I made a decision to live today as if I were living in my IG pictures.
Because I am living in my IG pictures.
So I came home, spread out a blanket on the grass and finished my book.
Then I ate the beautiful salad my girls made for me and the sourdough bread made by their Dad.
I spoke to my Mum.
I washed and dried our bedlinen.
I went back to the blanket and crocheted a couple of rows of my granny rug and knitted a bit of Bren's beanie.
And then my farmer boy grabbed my hand and we went for a big, long walk around our farm.
He showed me what the farmer boys have been doing and I felt proud.
And I took really deep breaths of the gorgeous Daylesford autumn air.
And I realised that I was happy.
That I am happy.
That I just have to look around or take a few pictures and I'll see it.
The crap stuff will happen from time to time and I fully believe in feeling it and acknowledging it.
But in amongst it, there's some pretty gorgeous stuff going on too.
Happy week you gorgeous people.
Keep living your dream.
I'm going to do my best to remember that I am living mine. x

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The last pesto.

We spent this late afternoon in the kitchen garden. Him pulling out the last of the summer greens, digging the beds over and planting a bit of garlic. Me knitting some rows of rib on his new brown beanie. It was a glorious warm, autumnal afternoon. The air was sparkly and clear. The girls were busy inside. All felt good in our little world.

When the day started to grow cold he came to me by the window and handed me a bouquet of basil he'd just picked. The last of the season he told me.

So we went inside and whipped up some pasta (100grams of flour and one egg per person plus one extra yolk) and some pesto (we use Stephanie Alexander's recipe).

It was a celebration fit for the last bunch of basil. Only made better with a slice of Farmer Bren's sourdough. Yum! Did I tell you he's been talking to his starter? He has! But I'm not interrupting him because whatever he's doing is working, it's delicious.

For those who asked, he's been working from this great book.

I love it when a meal comes together like that. I love feeding our family food that was plucked from the garden not even half an hour before it was served. I love that my kids know the recipe for pasta by heart. I love homemade pesto so, so, so much.

Like we used to say when we were growing up Pesto is the besto!!!!

Happy days.

How are things with you?
What's your besto?

Lotsa love. x

Monday, April 9, 2012


Hello new week!

Hello crazy, middle of the school holidays, lots of children,  lots of insanity, lots of dancing and singing, lots of fun.
Hello pretty autumn table filled with bunches of roses from my farmer boy, and with leaves and petals and cookery books and fruit.
Hello little cape weed Pepper posy that is just as pretty all closed up as it was bright yellow and open.
Hello little crochet squares that I saw on Ravelry and just had to make. I'm not sure what I'll do with them but the hooking sure was fun.
Hello snuggly blue shawl with 16 rows of pattern still to go. What a shame I stood on and snapped my interchangeable number three needle and now have to squeeze you onto metal ones with a too small cord. I love you and am so excited to wear you.
Hello quinces on the tree, off the tree, in crates, in pots and as jelly.
Hello farmer Bren's first loaf of sour dough bread made from his own starter. 
Hello hot happy buns. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Hello plans for a wood burning stove. He's researching models and efficiency and sizes and prices and I'm looking at pictures of kitchens and deciding on a colour.
Hello preserving big pots of apples and pears.
Hello to the few hazelnuts that the birds missed.
Hello chookeys!
What a wonderful job you do laying eggs and fertilising the soil for us. Thank you!

And hello to you!
What have you been up to?
What are you saying hello to?
Is it cold where you are?
Are you cooking or making or baking?
Wishing you a very happy week indeed.

Bye! xx

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