Monday, 29 December 2008

Snowflakes in the Sun

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday.
I spent a lot of time motoring around the Western Australian countryside visiting family and eating scrumptious food. I received some truly beautiful hand crafted presents (which I'll save for another post) and gave some crochet snowflakes that I made myself:

The top snowflake is made out of 4 ply metallic thread and the following two are crocheted out of 4 ply cotton:

I sprinkled lots of glitter over them too:

Of course, in a hot, summery Australian Christmas, real snow is no where to be seen but we love our northern traditions and my snowflakes were a bit of a hit. I had lots of requests from family who wanted one of their own. Luckily, the pattern for the first snowflake is really quick and easy so I managed to crochet four after lunch on Boxing Day, in between drinking white wine, eating chocolate fondue and catching up with my cousins!
(See, easy.)
For those of you who might be interested for next Christmas, I bought the patterns, called the Miniature Snowflake Set, from Crochet Memories.

I also crocheted a snowflake dishcloth as part of a Ravelry swap:

This was also a quick, easy pattern.
The recipient, my partner mooska, said lots of lovely things about the package I sent her. Thank you!

As part of the swap, I received a gorgeous collection of goodies from the talented Joeyn. She sent me a festive, knitted Santa dishcloth, some fragrant, hand~made soap (which smells like it’s been scented with cloves…mmmmmmm…), a super~cute pudding tree ornament, some delicious home~made Christmas cake and stitch markers which she made herself (with her daughter’s assistance) out of beautiful glass beads.

Here’s a close~up of the pudding and the stitch~markers. Aren’t they pretty?

I love participating in swaps! I've received some delightful work in them, felt that my handiwork has been truly appreciated and I've made some great, creative friends.

Since Christmas, and its flurry of activity, I've given myself permission to go easy.

I've been reading, reading, reading... I'm currently enjoying Alain de Botton's excellent Status Anxiety, Pema Chodron's The Places That Scare You and Emily Rodda's Deltora Quest. Drusilla Modjeska's The Orchard, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life Of Bees are waiting, stacked invitingly, on my bedside table.

I've been spending early mornings in my garden. The gardenias and honeysuckle are in blossom right now. I have little nosegays of them, along with daisies and the last of the nasturtiums, throughout my home. I adore their scent.

After months of neglect, I've picked up my Easy Daisy blanket again:

and I've been napping a lot with the cat:

who's loved the company.

I hope you all have a wonderful, restful New Year
as my mother would say,
a guid new year to ane an' a'
an' mony may ye see!


Tuesday, 9 December 2008


If you've been a regular visitor to my blog
you'll have noticed that I haven't posted for a long time
and you'll also probably know that my workload is sometimes really heavy. Last year, around this time, I tried to be superwoman and do lots of things (like blogging and getting involved in swaps and, you know, having a life)
as well as attend to work commitments
...and I ended up with a whopping migraine followed by a heavy cold.
This year I made a decision to focus on work until all my marking was over and, I'm glad to tell you,
I'm feeling really well and I only have one more report to write until I'm finished!

Life hasn't revolved completely around paperwork...I couldn't resist doing a little bit of crafting and nearly managed to finish my Spring Ripple Scarf:

The pattern,
which was easily memorised,
and the lovely colours,
which reminded me of twilight,
made this the perfect, soothing piece to crochet whilst I was marking.

...and I was given the opportunity to sing with the Collegium Symphonic Chorus
in a People's Messiah
which I just couldn't pass up.
I've loved the Messiah ever since my dad first took me, when I was ten,
I've wanted to perform in it for years
and it was magical,
just as beautiful as I'd imagined it to be.
I had to fight hard not to cry in parts because the music was sooooooo exultant.

Last weekend was my first completely paperwork~free break for ages.
Just spending time in my garden felt luxurious.
It's becoming quite overgrown out there,
a tangle of honeysuckle, passionflower and couch grass,
but I found out that a shy little dart butterfly has taken up temporary residence:

that the snails are feeling very confident:

and that there are flowers blooming, unexpectedly, in forgotten corners:

This little blue~blossomed plant is originally from my nanna's garden. I don't know how it got into mine (Nanna passed away twenty years ago) but it's a sweet reminder of her.

The upside of being stuck away for weekends on end is that, when you finally resume your social life, ordinary events become really exciting. On Friday night I went to Bazaar at Fremantle Art Centre. Sitting in the Art Centre's grounds, drinking wine and people watching with my dear friend R was a joy. Getting to do some shopping amongst all the hand~made goodness was pretty darn thrilling too. I bought beads, which you can see in the bottom right hand corner of the following photo:

They're destined to become part of another chunky, red~orange necklace.
I also purchased these wonderful polymer clay, drop earrings from oddgirlout:

I adore them! (and if you click onto the link you can see what they look like on.)

On Saturday I went out to a friend's fabulous exhibition at Accent Gallery in Dalkeith (where my new earrings were much admired) and on Sunday I did nothing but nap, read and crochet:

I felt positively decadent.
(The pattern, by the way, is from the Big Book Of Dishcloths.)

So I'm back.
I hope you're enjoying the beginnings of the festive season too.
I'm looking forward to spending some time in Blogland, catching up.
I've missed you all!
Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


I've been busy, busy, busy...mostly with work, although I've managed to squeeze in a few creative things in the past fortnight.

I went away to visit family down in the South~West and took lots of photographs of the wildflowers that are blooming around my sister's property.
Here's one:

These delicate little flowers (which, I think, are a type of native orchid) also grow in the Darling Ranges, where I grew up. I used to believe that fairies lived in them when I was really little, inspired by my mother's copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Can't you just imagine it?

(Incidentally, I came across Little Black Knitting Crow's photography blog: little clicking crow and really enjoyed looking at her photos of Tasmanian wildflowers and such. She has a wonderful eye. I'm also the proud owner of one of her lino prints. )

I've managed to bead a few memory wire bracelets.
One, just like this, for my mum's birthday:

and another pink one for me:

I've also been working on my Spring Ripple Scarf.

I'm using Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn Number 188 and I think that the colours are delicious!

...and now it's time for me to get back to marking.

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, 10 October 2008


I've been looking after a caterpillar farm over the holidays (as you do) and, yesterday, a butterfly emerged;
a little, female cabbage white.
Here she is, fresh out of her pupa:

(you can tell she's a female by her slightly green colour
and the two spots on each of her top wings)

...and here she is taking her first flight:

Watching her wheeling exuberantly up into the air filled me with delight.

As you can probably tell, I love butterflies,
both the real life varieties and the arty~crafty kind.
These two reside on my fridge door:

The first one was created by one of the children I worked with last year and the second was bought from an art market. By the way, the second butterfly is much, much smaller in real life. They were both made with overhead projector plastic, permanent felt tip markers, thin magnets (the kind you find on the back of junk mail calendars) and a dusting of glitter. One of these days, I'm going to make some myself (and if I had a dollar for every time I've ever said that I would be a very rich woman indeed.)

I try to encourage butterflies into my garden by growing plants that they can breed on. I have milkweed in my back garden for wanderer butterflies and nasturtiums in my front flower beds for the cabbage whites.

Nasturtiums come in such a wonderful array of colours:

As well as admiring butterflies I've been crafting, of course.
I found a sweet crochet lacy scarf and tried to track down the pattern but came to a halt when I reached this blog because it's written in Chinese (I think). So, with the help of Dot Matthew's directions for the Fancy Fans Stole, I worked out the pattern myself.
This is what I've come up with so far:

I think that it's working up prettily but, with warm weather really and truly upon us here in Perth, I won't be wearing it anytime soon.
I'm having fun anyway.

I hope your week's blessed with fun too.
Butterfly kisses to you.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Spring Break

I'm on holidays again, which is lovely. I've been doing a little spring cleaning, but not too much. (I read this article in The New York Times and I like the idea of saying yes to my mess.)
I have made a point of going very slowly
... sleeping, catching up with friends, reading on the couch...
and I've spent time in my garden; such a restorative thing to do.
It's spring time, so lots of the plants are flowering.
My coral gum is in bloom right now:

(It's also hosting a bunch of sawfly larvae, which are all clustered together, tapping their tails. I haven't seen any since I was a child ~ we used to call them spitfires ~ so I'm thrilled that they've come to stay in my backyard.)

I've also made a memory wire bracelet to go with the pink necklace I showed in my last post:

...and I've received a wonderful surprise package from Cindy2paw as part of a swap I've participated in over at Ravelry:

Cindy's spoiled me rotten. As you can see, she's sent me a gorgeous leafy green washcloth, the sweetest floral project bag that she's sewn herself, pretty lavender soap, Tasmanian fudge, a purple notebook, postcards from the Apple Isle and a lovely card with a photo of her adorable dogs. Everything was beautifully wrapped in bright green paper and purple, silk ribbon...there were lots of squeals of delight as I opened it all up!

...and don't you think the project bag goes beautifully with the Spring Ripple Scarf that I’m working on right now?:

Thanks so much, Cindy.

May your week be wonderful.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Today's post is brought to you by the colour...


I have an array of rose~coloured items for show and tell,

  • Pink cotton that's in the process of being crocheted into a wash cloth for a secret swap partner over at Ravelry:

  • A chunky pink necklace that I've just strung together:

  • A pretty silk top,
    found while I was op~shopping,
    that has pink roses embroidered into it:

  • Pink geraniums, blooming at my back door:

  • ...and more pink (and blue and green) beads:

Continuing my theme,
I've also been feeling in the pink,
ever since attending a vocal workshop led by the fabulous Tony Backhouse. I haven't been to choir for months; I'd forgotten just how joyful it is to sing and to be surrounded by beautiful harmonies.

Best of all, I'm tickled pink.
I've just had six month's leave approved for the second half of next year.
How lucky am I?

What's colouring your world?

Sunday, 14 September 2008


I took a little time out from my job last week and did lots of crafting,
which was fun ~ and I've made quite a lot of progress on the things that I have been creating.

The wire cuff that I've been crocheting is nearly finished.
Here's what it looks like when it's worn:

and when seen close~up:

I like its boldness and its weight; it feels good on. (Now I just have to work out how to fasten it off!) Working with wire is very more~ish. I want to make a wire crochet necklace next, and I'm planning on following this YouTube tutorial.

I've also finished the Crocus Scarf:

It's very soft against the skin and, as you can see, matches one of the affirmation stones that I've recently received from the lovely McCabe at dancing mermaid.

Here are the rest of the pebbles that McCabe's sent me:

I think that they're all delightful!
Since I've had them I've been reflecting and meditating on the idea of being enough:
I often get caught up in busyness and perpetual hurry, especially at work,
and it's good to stop and remind myself that I really am enough.
I don't have to push myself all of the time
and I'm allowed to be creative and to play.
(Robyn Posin explores this notion beautifully.)
I'm wondering, does what I'm saying resonate with anyone else?

Wishing you all a week that's graced by creativity and playfulness.