Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pretty Lanterns

So this isn't a huge post, but I just wanted to show you the lanterns I set up today :)
They're very pretty. The hanging things in the corner are little paper cranes that I folded a while back. When the lamp underneath them is turned on they look just as lovely.


Friday, January 14, 2011

I Didn't Disappear, I Promise!

So you might have noticed that there's a rather large gap between my last blog post and this one, and you may even be thinking that it's because I lost interest for a week, but you'd be wrong! I've been on holidays! As proof, this blog will feature quite a few photographs of some of the places I went.

A few days after New Year's was my mother's birthday, and the next day I flew to New Zealand! A very good friend of mine got married last week in beautiful Nelson (that's the top of the South Island, for anyone who doesn't know), and I had a glorious time walking around the little town I was staying in. This is the beach at the end of the street I stayed on:

And this is the lovely main street in Nelson, the cafes on either side were really quite beautiful. I wish I was there for more than just a week!

Unfortunately, I didn't find too many little crafty shops, although I did look. I had to settle with looking at just my own projects, although I'm really excited about the one I'm working on now. Although I have several UFP's (un-finished projects), I'm still working on all of them so they will be done eventually! (My next post will be a list of what I'm working on at the moment - maybe an attempt to show everyone what I'm working on so that I'm forced to work on them so I don't look lazy?!) I did manage to find, however, a tea shop that not only sold about a million different kinds of tea, but served them as well. My friends James and Alistair accompanied me here, and we loved it:

The current crochet pattern I have was found for me by my mother as she was reading through her favourite blogs. It came from what is fast becoming one of my favourites - dottie angel - which you can find here. I'm still only on the first section of mine, so when it's a little more "complete" I'll put up photos.

I tried to crochet on the plane, but I thought that might be a little dangerous, considering a crochet needle might be misconstrued as a weapon... Instead, I looked out of the window, and I managed to get a really beautiful shot of the coast of the top of the South Island:

When I got to Wellington I was so tired that all I could do was fall on my hotel bed and watch tv. I did make a quick trip down to the supermarket, and when I got back to my room it was sunset time, so I took a few little pictures. This one was my favourite of them all - the colours are really subtle, but still so beautiful:

There you have it, folks. I didn't abandon you at all, but rather went off to take photos so you could see a little piece of the world that maybe you haven't seen yet. One day you might get there, and if you do, I hope you have as wonderful a time as I did!


Friday, December 31, 2010

Cookie Heaven

I just wanted to throw in a quick little post here about the most amazing cookie recipe that I just found on one of my favourite blogs - Passionate Homemaking.

It's meant to be a cranberry and orange recipe, but I used raspberries, because I couldn't find any cranberries. It works just as well, if not better!!

You can find this fantastic recipe right here.

Happy baking!


Cafe Crocheting - A "Lost Art"

This morning I had breakfast in our local cafe with my mum and dad. We sat outside - because it was a beautiful and sunny day, which is rare here - and mum and I instantly pulled out the crochet projects. Dad, of course, pulled out a Tom Clancy book.

As we were sitting there working on our little projects, a woman rushed past us, heading towards another little shop. As she looked over, she saw what we were doing, stopped, and smiled.

"You and I are the last," she said. "Crochet is a lost art!"

Sadly, that has been the case, but only up to the last few years. It seems like crochet, knitting, and all manner of wonderful crafts are making a come-back! The joy of sitting in a public setting with one's project has been rekindled, and I'm seeing more and more people show interest in what had been given up as lost.

In my family, not only do we just create, but we tell people about it as well. Mum and I are both constantly on our computers blogging about something we've seen, or something we've made, or wishing that we'd thought of that brilliant idea first. It's entertaining to see us though, because wherever we are, we're usually both arranging the tableware so as to get the best picture for our sites.

It makes me happy to think that when I'm out and I have my crochet with me, I'm inspiring the people around me to get back into something that is not only practical, but beautiful and entertaining.

To those that are already "taking it to the streets" with your wool, needles or fabric, well done! You inspire the people around you to create! To those of you not there yet, I encourage you to get into something creative, even if it's french-knitting using an empty toilet roll with paddle-pop sticks taped to the outside. You probably don't realise how much fun you'll have!!

Happy (insert your form of creative-ness here)!


New Years Resolutions

It's New Year's Eve, and I'm currently thinking about what the new year holds. My family has a tradition that every year on New Year's Day, we have a family lunch, and then we open an envelope which contains the previous year's resolutions. We read them out, and talk about how we think we went with them. After that, we'll write new resolutions, sealing them in a new envelope to open a year later.

It's a really lovely tradition, but I always find it hard to think of the resolutions. Normally it's things like "lose lots of weight", "be very healthy", "always have a tidy house" and other such things.

Today my family and I completely cleaned the house, did the washing, and painted our front door a new colour, all for a fresh start for the new year. I think it's important to see each opportunity to start over, so every resolution that I failed last year, I'll try and achieve in the next. Realistic goals are the key, and remembering that if you fall short of your goal one day, you can always pick it up the next.

Good luck with your resolutions, I hope that you've achieved what you set out last year, and that the new year holds something shiny and exciting for you.


The Christmas Slowdown

So as one would expect, over Christmas, the time for blogging seems to decrease, while the inspiration to blog increases. This has definitely been the case for me, as I've been so inspired by all of the things I've seen and done over Christmas, but I've not only had no time for blogging, I've had no internet connection to do it on.

This, then, is my Christmas catch-up, and it's rather full.

Christmas was a really lovely time for my family this year. We traveled down to my grandmother's house in Victoria, and my mother's sisters brought their families as well. As lovely as that was, however, there's only so much screaming from a baby that I can handle!

My grandmother is a master knitter, crocheter and most other things in the woolen family. Most afternoons, then, were spent in her living room with five women crocheting while watching Bread on the tv.

I know that Christmas isn't really about the presents, but my parents bought me the most wonderful thing this year - a huge collection of the most beautifully coloured wool, crochet needles, sewing needles, pins and lots of other little pretty things. I had just the one crochet project when I left home, and I've come back with at least 4!

I started out with my granny squares for a baby blanket, and I'm pleased to report I'm half-way there on that one. Next came the paper-chain scarf that might head more in the direction of bunting (it depends on how I feel when it gets to scarf length), then there's the chevron cushion cover, and then the chevron arm-warmers slash fingerless gloves.

I've only been a crocheter for about a month now, so being able to spend the time with my grandma, my mother and my aunts was perfect opportunity for learning new patterns.

The paper chain scarf was a bit of a challenge, because of the working round and round in circles. It looked great in the end, but it was a lot of concentration on my behalf to get it to look that straight! Because of my lack of concentration, I'd switched projects before I'd gotten very far, so that's why it's only long enough to be modeled by a bear... Also, I've not learned to sew in my ends yet, so it still looks a tad messy.

Next came the introduction into the world of chevron patterns. This happened because my mum (see her blog - Teacups and Tiskets - here) was starting a knee rug with chevron stripes. I of course had to start it immediately, so I went with something easy - a cushion cover. I loved the colours so much that it seemed like a brilliant idea to make some arm warmers in the same style. I haven't sewn them up yet, but I'll post some pictures of them when I do. For now it's just the cushion panels wrapped around my wrist :D

I think that's pretty much it for the Christmas catch-up. I'm sure there'll be lots more to talk about as the weeks go by. I'm going to New Zealand next week, so I'll take my camera and get some more inspiration while I'm there!

I'll leave you with a few photos of what my Christmas was like :D

Dad's awesome pavlova skills

Nothing better than a tiny child who's excited by Christmas :D

Of course, while driving I had to use my Hipstamatic application to take some landscape shots!

You can be sure that you'll meet some interesting people while roadtripping. Their burgers were pretty good too.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Classy Babies going for the Suit Up

I was flicking through pages on the other day when I found this amazing page - it's got to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen in my life!

Whoever is designing these sweet little applique outfits has hit the jackpot! There's nothing cuter than a classy baby, especially like the little Christmas outfit above.

You can find this wonderful little outfit, plus many more, at Kmcgriff's etsy shop.

Happy buying!