Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Little Relaxation

A bright and breezy hello to all of you, and special welcome to my new followers! I have managed to get here a couple of days earlier this week which surprises me no end for overall I have been busy but, a little relaxation did come into play just yesterday - see what I mean . . . .

A little cheese and wine (Moombaki of course) for those who can tolerate such things, and because the sun decided to shine again we then took ourselves outside into the garden for a little wander . . . 

This is our Blushing Knockout Rose now ...

And below is how it was just a few weeks ago - you may remember me posting about it! It looks like she will need to be planted out in the garden, rather than being left in a pot! She's done well hasn't she!

We also checked out our Ginkgo Biloba tree - a lovely deciduous that is quite slow growing and looking at her best right now . . . . 

Apart from little garden glimpses, here is what I've been busy with this week and it's all crochet this time - you know by now that I like to 'ring the changes'!

First off I made three face washers/flannels - whatever you call them in your part of the world - a beige with navy trim to suit a man, simple enough using just trebles and double crochet (English terms), and a pink with  mauve edge and a blue grey with aqua edge for ladies - the pattern for these two originally came from the book Granny Square Crochet by Catherine Hirst, but, because my cotton yarn was finer than that used by the author I continued on with a few extra rounds and also added an extra chain on the corners from about halfway through, otherwise it would have curled up a bit I think.

I also felt inspired by lovely friend meredith to crochet a few mug cosies - do take a look at Meredith's blog if you don't already know her, she's such a lovely sweet person and her 'makes' are always gorgeous. Her mug cosies are delightful and I took her idea for the button and chain fasteners for three of mine but my shapes are a bit different and I'm afraid my edgings are not as neat as I would have liked either!  Anyway, first pic below on the left,  the mug with the orange button is a pattern from Simply Crochet Issue 2, and the green buttoned one top right is from the Granny Square Crochet book again, but my mug was deeper than the pattern allowed for so I worked an extra round as a border.

I may as well give you a few views while I'm at it eh!

Can you believe that I forgot, previous post, to show you the little Sister and Mum I crocheted for little Hetty Hedgehog …. I think my brain wasn't working too well last week but let's blame it on the migraine and take that subject no further!!!

Here's the three of them together - no, there's no Dad yet - these little spines take a lot of working so I'll think about him for a while longer for he needs to be bigger yet - well, you know, being Dad and all, he has to be bigger doesn't he!

I'm going to finish off now with some quick snaps of my zucchini flowers because they are so bright and cheerful . . . . 

I don't know how clearly that first pic on the left is showing on your screen but the plants had just been watered and that leaf seems to be showing a reflection - I can't quite fathom it out but I thought it interesting anyway - what do you think?

Wishing you all happy times whatever you are doing and once again I take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to each and every one of you for your sweet and kind comments and wonderful interactions that take place among us in blogland - I value your friendship very highly and am so happy that I took the plunge into blogging and was gifted with your lovely fellowship!

Special thoughts and love to those of you who are having difficulties of any kind!

Joy xo

Monday, 25 November 2013

A Mixed Bag

Hello my friends - thank you for being here and for your lovely messages which are always such a pleasure to receive and so encouraging for me! It's been so nice catching up with all your posts too, and enjoying your creativity, although I have been a bit late now and then!

Everytime I get around to posting I think there isn't much to show you but then am usually surprised once the pics start to upload (or is it download, I always wonder about that) from my camera; this time is no different so lets make a start and see what we come up with!

First off the crocheted flowers that you would have seen on my previous post have now found a nice little spot to rest, and I think they look quite happy - what do you think?

I almost forgot to mention that I saw these flowers hooped up in Issue 9 of Simply Crochet!

After settling these little blooms in I hooped up some little fun pictures which would be suitable for a child's room, I think! This fabric was another craft square - 'Forest Christmas All Over' it's called - that I cut into and backed with the cotton wadding, same as for my other hoops. After completing these I then had afterthoughts about them - perhaps I could have stitched into them to outline the main character in each one, but I haven't really felt like taking them apart and starting again - yet! It is a thought for next time though!

And here are close-ups of the main little characters - the pics are not as clearly defined as I would have liked but they are cute little fellas aren't they!

A few days ago my very kind neighbour left me a big jug of sweet peas at the front door - what a lovely surprise! I do love these 'sweet' little flowers but don't really have space to put a frame up and grow my own, so I have been thoroughly enjoying my lovely gift! You can tell that my neighbour likes the same colours that I like!

Aren't they just gorgeous! And aren't I blessed!

I've been having difficulty with my teas lately: real tea is too acid for me so I either go for herbal types or else its hot water with lemon juice, but the enjoyment of my 'tea' supplies had totally left me and I'd even resorted to the odd cup of coffee, knowing that it didn't agree with me but hoping I'd got over that problem, which I haven't!!! Anyway, I have really enjoyed rose tea in the past so popped into our local shop to see if they had any - which they didn't, although they do have a great range - but, they had one I'd never come across before that looked like it might be worth a try . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . . and it certainly was, and is! The blend of rose with chamomile and lavender is divine and I'm very happy to have found it, especially as it's meant to warm my heart too!!! 

While in the kitchen it crossed my mind that you might be interested in having a sneak peak into my other creative area in my home so here are a couple of snaps of my shelves . . . .

Those little mice are from  a boxed set that came with three stripey balls, so they are in fact a Skittle Game but to me they're just my little mice in the kitchen - much better than real ones, I would say!!! 

Now how about another wee walk around the garden while the sun is shining . . . 

Another lovely rose, a climber this time, and he is Pierre de Ronsard - such a prolific bloomer but sadly with very little perfume. Then we have those gorgeous pink blooms, so fairy light, waving to us in the gentle breeze - they are called butterfly something or other! This honeysuckle was grown from the smallest cutting from our neighbour's hedge just a couple of years ago and just look at it now, and with the added bonus of that beautiful fragrance we really enjoy it!

Here we have a butterfly bush which I believe is a New Zealand plant - its foliage has an unusual smell when you touch it but oh my, look at that flower - and you're only aware of the smell if you grab hold of the foliage, so it's okay!
Then we have a lovely fuchsia hanging over the fence - I always think of ballerinas when I look at fuchsias - can you see the resemblance?

Last but certainly not least here are a couple of snaps of the LillyPilly that I've shown you before, but at a different stage here with its beautiful blossom!

And that my dear friends is it for this time - I've been busy with other little crafty things but they will wait for another time as I've probably bombarded you enough with pics for now. I do hope you've enjoyed our little sharing time and I always look forward to hearing from you and to keeping up with your posts also. As always I wish you the very best of all that is good and wonderful, and for those of you who are feeling a bit 'under the weather' or caring for a loved one who needs that extra little bit of loving, I send warm healing thoughts - and thus energies!

Warm hugs and love,

Joy xoxo

Monday, 18 November 2013

Angel and Baby Hedgehog Fun

Hello my friends, I hope you're all well and having fun as we begin the sprint towards Christmas! A big welcome to my new followers - you are most welcome here, I'm happy to see you!

I've been busy making bits and pieces that I can't show at the moment, because, as most of you would understand, they are probably going to be gifted here and there, but, there are a couple of projects that I'd love you to see:

I think these three would make a nice little group on a wall - the little birdies and the Christmas trees fabrics were purchased from Spotlight a few weeks ago as craft squares, after seeing the idea in magazines - they were quick and easy to do and I did what I usually do - cut a circle of cotton webbing same size as the linen to back it with, and then ran the gathering stitches through to secure them on the back. I like the slightly padded look that this gives the little pictures. The little angel stitchie is similar to those I've seen in various places so, with the aid of such inspiration, I drew it myself and kinda made it mine! These are small hoops, around thirteen cm (or five inches) in diameter.

And still on the subject of Christmas, I have been busy with a few little decos:

I do have plans for some of these, but that will keep for another time. I made snowflakes from this pattern last year as well, and found the little stars a few days ago on the same blog here - they are rather sweet, don't you think? The little stuffed deco is from Attic 24, also from last year. The flowers - well, I'll tell you about them another time!

On Saturday morning I was up early as usual, trying to keep up with my ever increasing blog reading, and saw something on Attic 24 blog that really got me excited and, to cut a long story short, followed the link that Lucy gave to Liz Ward's site on Ravelry where I duly bought the PDF for this little baby hedgehog. This little darling is also available on ETSY, as well as from Liz's blog here. Wow Liz does make some little cuties, but I just fell head over heels in love with this little girl and that was a little project that couldn't wait - I might add that doing all those little spikes into each crocheted stitch took a little bit of time, but I thought she was well worth the effort. What do you think? By the way, this little baby has a Mum and Dad - so the PDF covers three sizes, if you are interested!

My darling elder daughter Tracy sent me another lovely surprise gift last week - isn't she gorgeous!
A lovely 'Women's Weekly' pattern book full to the brim with sweet animals (the tall pic down there is the back page) and also a Mollie magazine which, as most of you know, is always filled with wonderful crafty projects and inspirational ideas. The pic of the Koala from the WW book might have you wondering about it's arms - they can be found on another page but one can also make him without any - oh, poor little thing!

I think my post would be missing something if I didn't include something from my garden, and so at the risk of being boringly repetitive, I've included, firstly, my 'Playgirl' rose - and isn't she gorgeous; do you see the happy bee in the first pic, enjoying breakfast?

And here are a few poppies - I'm sorry that these pics are not as successful as I would have liked but the wind was blowing strongly and I just had to wait with my finger on the button and click when I thought my chances were better. We also have the bright happy orange anemone-type blooms there and a yellow rose that we inherited whose name I don't know, along with ever-friendly daisies! So many varieties of daisies available and I love them all!

It's been quite a busy week, all in all, with comings and goings with family and visits to and from friends - and our number three grandson having a sleep-over on Saturday night. We've also had him here for a couple of hours today after school, during which time he enjoyed his 'afternoon snacks at Nana and Pop's place' - oh they all enjoy that bit - then his guitar lesson with his talented teacher, before being collected and taken home. Because they live out of town a little way it's much easier to organise things like music lessons at our place, and they always enjoy coming here! Of course I don't need to say how much we enjoy our boys' company - it's a foregone conclusion! You can tell can't you!

Till next time, take care of yourselves and happy crafting, reading, gardening - whatever brings smiles to your lovely faces!  And be well!

Warm hugs,

Joy xoxo

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Let's Go Beaching!

Hello my friends, I hope you are all feeling bright and cheery - and if not, well, how about a visit to the beach for some lovely golden sands, blue water and sunshiny sky?

The weather here today in Denmark, Western Australia is bright as can be, nicely warm without being hot, and quite still, which makes it a perfect day for visiting Green's Pool and taking some pics! For those of you lovelies who don't know this area let me just explain that we only need take a fifteen minute car trip from home to reach this absolutely delightful spot.

There is just one thing that could put some folks off making the trip from the carpark down to the beach, and that is the steps! Yes, well, perhaps not too bad going down depending on the condition of your knees, but it is a bit of a pull back up again afterwards, especially if you've had a heap of exercise whilst down there! Let me show you .. … 

At the beginning of the path, then around the corner onto the steps, and a couple of pics taken on the way down just to whet your appetite, yes? It's worth the effort, really!

Still on the downwards climb - a bit more pathway to go yet .. ...

Aha! See that first pic there? Well that's the platform where one can stand and peruse the wondrous site that awaits you after the trail down that path - magical water and rocks and boulders that take your breath away!

Now just a half dozen or so steps and you're onto the beach - a few folks have stepped out of their shoes and - well - they're free to walk, paddle, swim, climb rocks, picnic - whatever they choose to do! What delight! By the way that little bit of fencing that looks a bit out of place is there to protect the dunes from damage and is therefore very necessary.

Now we'll take just a little walk today because we really just came down to get pics of this wonderful place to share with you - if we chose to, we could spend hours mooching around clambering over rocks and generally messing about!
The third pic on the left below is where we turned to walk back, and so you can see that we are surrounded by these beautiful mountainous boulders which are a joy to climb if you have a bit of dare about you! The fourth pic here is of the platform again which will take us back up that path and all those steps back to the carpark!!!

And now you can really see what's in front of us - and oh look, there's a bench to rest your weary legs if the going gets too tough! Then we have the big signage again at the beginning (or end) of the pathway, explaining a little bit of what this little adventure is all about! I do hope you enjoyed our little outing, for I certainly enjoyed sharing it with you! Only to share with special friends!

I might add here that this beach is so safe the children's swimming classes are held here every year in January.

On a totally different subject now, Tuesday was 'Melbourne Cup Day' and if you are interested in horse racing then you will no doubt be aware of this special occasion  on the calendar. Here in Australia it's generally recognised as 'the race that stops the nation' and, whether you are a gambler or not (and we are not) most businesses, offices, etc. have a sweepstake for a bit of fun and it's quite acceptable for folks to stop work for the few minutes that it takes to watch the race run! 

On this day our custom is to get together with friends and have a nice lunch after watching the race together on the telly, which we did, and this year it was at our place: we had a lovely salad of rocket, pear, shaved parmesan and roasted 'cashews' (cause I don't care for pine nuts!) along with lovely marinated barbecued chicken breasts. I'm afraid it was devoured before I got the camera into action so you'll have to take my word for it, but I did take snaps of my pavlova which I'm about to show you - yes, pavlova covered in lashings of fresh cream and raspberries - sorry, you're too late, it's all gone!

How about a beautiful rose? This time we have 'William Wordsworth' -  David Austin bred again - isn't it magnificent! It has the most wonderful perfume too!

I think that's it this time folks! Yes, I have done some little stitchies but they are Christmas themed and similar to those already posted in previous weeks so I won't repeat myself. I've also done a bit of the cardigan and this time it looks like the sizing will be okay so I'm happy about that. There are so many crafty projects on my list that it's difficult to decide what to tackle first so I am trying hard to take things as they come and not get stressed, which I'm sure you'll agree is a bit difficult at this time of year, yes?

Do enjoy your weekend and have fun cause life is short and we need to make the most of it!

Many thanks for all your sweet encouraging messages - you are such lovely friends!

Warm hugs to you all!
Joy xoxo 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tidying Up and Finishing Off

Hello my friends, thank you for being here!

It's Sunday again and I'm happy to be linking up with  Chrissie for Sunday Stitchalong once again!
Today I'm showing you the completed stitchie I was working on last week:

 I back the fabric with a soft cotton wadding before securing in the hoop, then run a strong thread through the overlap and pull tight. The wadding gives the piece a slightly padded look, which I like. Before tightening the thread, inside the back of the hoop I place a round of good quality acid-free watercolour paper followed by a circle of wadding to neaten things up; have I explained that properly?

So while finishing off this little picture yesterday I thought it a good idea to take care of another couple of things I'd been working on over the weeks - you have seen these before, but I thought it would be nice to show you how they look in their little hoop frames: 

They are just lying on the coffee table here to be photographed, and a permanent spot has not yet been found for them - maybe they'll say goodbye and go off to new homes since Christmas is almost upon us, who knows …

Tidying up these little pieces got me inspired to think seriously about  more of the stitchies that were lying around looking kinda lost .. .. so I got the sewing machine out today and made a couple of cushions … do you remember the cat and the owl from previous posts?

Do you like them? I'm feeling a bit chuffed with myself - oh dear, does that sound like pride? I'm just very pleased with the way they turned out! Owl cushion is child size whereas cat is larger. 

This week has seen very little progress on my cardigan knitting, in fact, let's be honest, I ripped it out and started again, so haven't quite caught up to where it was a couple of weeks ago: the sizing was wrong - it would have fit a monster, and you know, yes, you know don't you, that I'm no monster?!!! Anyway, I'm happy with it now so I will really concentrate on it this week.

I nearly didn't do this post today cause I was all upset! Yes, J and I watched 'Out of Africa' again and boy does that film get to me! I think it's my favourite film ever, taking me through every emotion possible - it just seems so very real and the ending breaks my heart every time. Of course it is a true story so what else can one expect, but Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are so ideally suited to the parts they play - what else can I say - wonderful story!

But before that we had our walk and I took the camera with me this time.

Waterlilies and ducks in the pond on the outskirts of the park - such a treat to behold, don't you think?

Then around the corner and a bit further along we have these lovely sights. We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful area!

And I think this wouldn't feel quite like my blog if I didn't include a couple of  'In the garden this week' pics for you to peruse: I love my garden and it really is at its very best at the moment!

This rose is such a beautiful specimen with a wonderful fragrance - J planted it only three or four weeks ago and it's doing so well already. It's in an ideal spot where it can be admired for it's beauty and fragrance by anyone coming through the front gate: 

It's been quite a week hasn't it - so many interesting blogs full of the excitement of the preparation and celebration of hallowe'en, as well as beautiful makings, fabrics, yarns, etc.. I've enjoyed it all so much and I thank you all for sharing so much of the daily happenings in your lives. Thank you also for the lovely responses to my posts - you're such a lovely bunch of friends!

I hope that you all have a wonderfully fulfilling week and that those of you whose health is not as good as it could be will soon pick up and feel good and strong again.

Warm hugs to you all!

Joy xoxo