Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Blogiversary Give~Away

I have been writing here for a year!
I've loved the opportunity I've been given to express myself,
to share photos, drawings, musings, crochet, my attempts at knitting...
Most of all,
I've enjoyed the connections I've made with other people.
There is so much inspiration here in Blogland!

to celebrate,
I'm having a give~away which includes:

  • a crochet washcloth with some hand~made rose geranium and pink clay soap,

  • an affirmation pebble,

  • and a small print of one of my paintings.

The washcloth is made out of Peaches'n Creme kitchen cotton using the Victorian Lace pattern from 200 Crochet Blocks:

the affirmation pebble will look something like these:

(I'll pencil on an affirmation of the winner's choice, if they like),

the print is of a pastel and watercolour painting of chrysanthemums:

Edited Christmas 2009: Please do not copy the image below. I did not give Bing permission to use this painting in their Christmas card images and I don't give you permission either! If you want to use any of my images you'll need to email me and get my OK first of all. I can be contacted at inkberryblue (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you for your understanding.

...and in answer to someone's question,
I haven't used any scrapbooking techniques,
the painting's all my own work.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me how you found Inkberryblue. I'll close the contest on Saturday, 10th May (which gives people a fortnight) and announce the winner on the following day.

Don't be shy!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Bags, Birthdays And Loving Kindness

I've been working on a crochet shopping bag. It's the first time I've made up my own pattern and, happily, I like how it's working out.

Here are some progress shots:

I am using v stitches for the sides, and they are crocheting up sooooo quickly. I'm writing it all down as I go and I'll share the pattern when I've finished.

Now for the birthday part: I'm going to be celebrating my blog's first birthday with a give~away in my next post. Please stay tuned...

And on a very sober note, I'd like to bring people's attention to Jenni Ballantyne, who I first encountered through GreenishLady. Jen, a courageous woman, has cancer and is documenting her experience on her blog. She needs love and support, and people to witness her journey. Please consider helping out ~ you can find details about how to do that if you click on the link to GreenishLady's site. Thanks.

Speaking of loving kindness, I'd like to leave you with a photo of a Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag garland, given to me by my sister (thanks A.), that's catching the afternoon sun in my backgarden...

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Kitchen Goddess

maybe not...
but I am the proud owner of three, newly aquired, vintage aprons:

I found them on ebay,
inspired to look after seeing all the gorgeous retro aprons that are being shown off in blogland right now,
and I bought them for a song.
They remind me of the aprons my mum, and the other ladies of the neighbourhood, used to wear when I was little.
I love the floral prints.

seeing as there is a domestic (ahem) flavour to this post,
I'm including a biscuit recipe of mine
(which, actually, is a sort of a Goddessy thing to do, isn't it?)

Kitchen Cupboard Crunchies
So named because the ingredients are very simple ~ the sort you have on hand in the pantry. If you put them in an airtight container, they'll keep for weeks.


2 heaped cups rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup flour
1/3 tsp vanilla essence
1 dessertspoon cocoa (you could substitute with hot chocolate powder)
1 tablespoon boiling water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees farenheit.)
Mix oats, sugar, flour and cocoa together.
Melt butter and dissolve soda in water.
Mix butter and water with flour mixture.
Add vanilla essence. (If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a little more boiling water.)
Put teaspoon sized heaps onto a greased oven tray.
Bake for ten minutes on the top shelf.
Makes approximately 25.

Cup of tea, anyone?

Friday, 11 April 2008

Noro Cashmere Flavor And Japanese Crochet Motifs

The Noro Cashmere Flavor arrived yesterday morning.
I think it is absolutely exquisite:

The apricot skein is colourway number 5 and the purple skeins are colourway number 4.
(You can see what they look like knitted up if you look in Maschenkunst, the company that I purchased the yarn from. If you click on the American flag the site will be translated into English. Photos can be found in the Noro pages of both the Yarn section and the Gallery section.
Sorry ~ the site won't let me link the individual pages that show the photos, but they're gorgeous and well worth a look.)

Now I just have to decide which one I want to use to crochet the Garden Party Wrap. Maybe I'll make two!

I've also been playing with some patterns from the Japanese book Crochet Motif Item that I bought last year,
after getting inspiration from Kwoozy's lovely work,
with the idea that I'll make a scarf out of one of the patterns using some Anny Blatt mohair from my yarn stash.

This is motif number 30:

and this is motif number 32:

The motifs are made out of kitchen string, which is easy to work with, as are the clearly drawn diagrams in the pattern book. might be fun, and good practice, to crochet all of the motifs with jute and put them together into a floor rug.

...oh and, incidentally, if I ever get to be a good enough knitter I would love to make a pair of Rivendell socks. Aren't they beautiful?

Happy weekend everyone.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Feathers, Fans And Flowers

As regular readers of this blog will know,
I'm teaching myself how to knit.
I thought I'd increase my knitting skills by trying a lace project
and chose a beginner's lace scarf pattern and tutorial,
which promised to be easy,
blithely cast on
...then proceeded to wrestle with it all through the weekend.
I've had to start over again about ten times,
which has been very frustrating,
I really need to learn how to fix up mistakes in knitting
(I find them much harder to deal with than mistakes in crochet)
so, when I think about it, it's all good ~
over the past three days I have learnt how to fix up unintentional increases,
I'm on my way to learning how to pick up dropped stitches,
I have discovered the invaluable technique of using lifelines
and I've produced this:

It's very small, it's very simple but I am so pleased with it.

...I'll leave you with a picture of an ivy geranium,
growing effortlessly and gracefully (unlike my knitting), at the back door:

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Beautiful Yarn And A Sweet Dog

I'm doing my tax right now (erk),
consequently there hasn't been a lot of crafting happening around here.
So, in the absence of anything recent,
I thought I'd post about this beeeeeyoooooutiful wool I bought last year:

Scrumptious, isn't it?
It's a twin yarn set of handpainted millspun wool and handpainted handspun wool which I purchased from an indie one~woman Australian business called wooldancer.
I didn't have a pattern in mind when I bought it,
I just fell in love with the colours and textures and had to have it know,
and I still haven't found a pattern that I want to use
so if anyone has any ideas I'd be glad to hear them.
Meanwhile, I'm using the wool as an objet d'art and displaying it on the piano which some of my less arty friends think is a little bit odd.

in other exciting and yarn related news,
I have just ordered my first~ever skeins of Noro wool.
I'm going to use them to crochet Kim Guzmann's new pattern
The Garden Party Wrap. I've bought the Noro from a store in Germany (I couldn't get it anywhere else) and I'm having it sent by seamail rather than by airmail in an attempt to be green (surface shipping saves carbon emissions...there's a really good article about this in Issue 9 of Yarn)
so I'll have to wait a while
...but I'm excited none the less.

Lastly, I'd like to introduce you all to the lovely Rocco.

I met Rocco,
who, in real life, is even more adorable than he looks,
when I was on holiday in Margaret River last year and I promised his mistress that I'd post a photo of him on the 'net.
(Sorry it's taken me so long, Leigh.)