Monday, June 17, 2013

Winter sky and cycling heroics

Oh how lovely the winter skies are at the moment.  The weather forecasts have been predicting showers all week but it was certainly been brilliant blue skies over the weekend.

On Sunday we went to one of our favourite parks, Manning Park in Spearwood, to see if we could get Little Soldier riding on two wheels instead of four.  Such a glorious afternoon, I spent most of my time looking up instead at the cycling action.  Just look at that gorgeous sky.

I did pay attention long enough to see Little Soldier take his first ride on two wheels, and to video the second ride . 

I must say I am a fairly lazy parent in some respects - I don't have the energy to push them to reach milestones.  The upside to this is that the later you leave things the quicker the kids seem to pick it up.  It's only taken a few tries to get him off of his trainer wheels.  He also only did about a year of swimming lessons when he was a toddler but is in at the same level as the kids who started at birth and still go weekly.  It does make me happy to think of all the cold hours in the pool I missed out on.  It's all about self preservation in my world!

I am getting along with my crafting at the moment.  After the drama of getting the Tardis blanket finished, I have plunged into another tight deadline project.  A friend is going to have a little girl in around six weeks (no, I am not friends with the Duchess of Cambridge).  I have started knitting a baby blanket inspired by this pattern - I'm using two strands of soft acrylic in slightly different shades to give the look of texture of the hand dyed wool whilst keeping the blanket easy to care for, an essential in baby gifts I think. The double thickness also makes it nice and thick and suitable as a floor rug. I haven't been progressing very quickly - I find crocheting so much quicker than knitting - but I am hoping to get it finished in time.  I'll post some pics when I get away from the colour.

Hope you are having blue skies where ever you are x

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who got a pass out to Melbourne?

Life is it's usual hectic beast at the moment.  I love spending time with my family, I love my job, I love organising things for the house but just sometimes I wish there was two of me.  That said, I was lucky enough to get a pass out at the start of the month to go to Melbourne with some girlfriends.  I had been having a hard time at work and not feeling like I was getting what I wanted done at home, so it happened to be perfect timing to get my mojo back.

Flying from Perth to Melbourne is a 3-4 hour flight, depending on which way the wind is blowing.  I had to get to the airport during rush hour, so to account for the outside possibility that it would take twice as long to get there I left really early.  Which meant I got there really early.  Oh well, more time to crochet.

I was speed crocheting at this stage as I was desperate to finish a project for my friend who lives in Geelong and who I was going to meet up with.  I got it finished at her house and handed it over, and she was just delighted!  Her and her husband are Dr Who fans and her husband immediately spotted the border (which is the scarf the John Pertwee Dr Who wore). 

It is so lovely giving things I have made away, people are so generous with their praise.

So what to do when in Melbourne?  Eat and shop, that's what.  On the eating side of things, I went to the Meatball and Winebar - not for vegetarians but delicious

Seamstresses - very nice and delicious cocktails, the donut van at the Queen Vic markets - soooo delicious
and had an alcoholic cider slushy - which froze me from the inside, as if the winter weather wasn't enough!
On the shopping side of things, I went to Ikea to get something that we don't get in the Perth store (a monumental event but worth it in the end), stocked up on bits and pieces at Daiso, bought lovely yarn from Morris and Sons and of course bought shoes.  I had first seen these in London last year but couldn't find them at any reasonable price ($200 for trainers is not reasonable to me).  I was looking in Myer for ankle boots when out of the corner of my eye I saw them!  At a reasonable price!  So happy!  I really am too old for them but what the hell. 
And I got the ankle boots - well done Myer!
And of course, when in Melbourne you have to take in some art.  This was in an alley behind a restaurant.
And to finish things off for today, here is the sunset over North Cottesloe last Thursday. 
 Keep well x


Monday, May 6, 2013

Autumn Weekends

It is so lovely here at the moment, with the autumn setting in and making it quite fun to put my feet on the cold concrete floor in the morning and then warming up to glorious sunshine in the mid-20's in the afternoon.

I spent a lovely hour with Princess on Saturday at the local playground.  I am so lucky that this one has a fence all the way around and four cafes within 30 metres, including the fantastic Cookie Dough.  Needless to say they sell amazing biscuits.  This is the view above my head.

As I walked back home, I noticed something I've never seen before, no matter that I have lived on tis street for 8 years.  Some of the houses on our street are semi-detached (ie. they share one central wall).  This was outside on the top of this central wall. 

Princess was quite intrigued as to why there was a beautiful lady on the top of the house.  There was another lady and a man underneath her that I couldn't catch a picture of.  I am going to have to keep a look out for more.

I am struggling on with my long list of knitting and crochet projects, will have to report soon I am sure!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lovely holidays

Me and The Dude are generally pretty bad at organising holidays but we have just spent a week outside Dunsborough with his sister and her family.  It is always lovely to get away and the Dunsborough-Yallingup area of Western Australia is just beautiful.  Even though it's getting cooler we had a couple of great days at the beach and then there are the wineries and breweries when lunch is needed.  I can thoroughly recommend the Eagle Bay Brewery - Princess and Soldier loved the sand pit!

The only slight downside was being with an almost 2 year old that doesn't sleep through the night.  I had to work very had at keeping my mouth shut and not offering unsolicited advice along the lines of "he's old enough, you just have to let him figure it out on his own". Having two babies pretty close together certainly stamped some of the gentler parenting ideas out of me.

I have been busy in the garden lately turning the sandpit that surrounds our house into something green.  There is a master plan that is going to take some time to implement so for the time being I am just having fun planting any bit of ground with vegetables, herbs and flowers.  This is the north side of the house, which I didn't think got much sun and wouldn't produce very good results.  Here is Soldier is helping get the soil ready.

We live on the top of a limestone hill so the soil is really just crushed limestone (aka sand) with lots of rocks in it.  I have a very low key approach to gardening which involves throwing likely looking things (manure, Dynamic Lifter, crushed rock minerals) on top of the sand, digging them in if I have the energy (I ran out about half way through this bed) and putting seedlings in.  I am a disciple of Jackie French and her book Backyard Self-Sufficiency which advocates a pretty low key approach so I feel justified in not being too scientific about things.  So that was about 4 weeks ago, here is what it looks like now...

So lush and green.  I will admit that some of the green is winter grass but I have been picking salads from here and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first cauliflower.  And here is a pumpkin that sprung up from the compost.  I see a future with lots of pumpkin soup!

I have been slow on the crafting front but I do have a giant granny square blanket that's almost finished, an emergency baby gift that is coming together pretty quickly.  You can have a peek when it is done.

And just for a bit of a lift, isn't this a gorgeous photo? We were in Kings Park for a BBQ and the sun coming through the trees was just delightful.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life is just crazy busy

Hi there! I wish had time to take more photos and blog more often but my life is just crazy at the moment. Between family, work, house and craft (an absolute essential in my life) every minute is full.  Here's what I'm working on at the moment... 
Tardis blanket -very belated wedding gift for a friend
R2D2 beanie - for my nephew
garden beds -have given up on getting a gardener to come to see the garden and then come back to do it!
Guest room - to be magicked up out of very messy craft room
Baby blanket - for a friends baby, nearly one year late

And yet to be done...
Baby blanket & toys - again nearly one year late
Curtains for princess and my rooms
Rugs for kitchen & entry hall
So much knitting for our English family
Tiling the veranda

And so on. That said, I'm usually pretty happy these days! How's your life at the moment? X

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Baking bread

Let me start by saying I am not a domestic goddess.  I am what my mum calls a journeyman cook - I am fine at the basics but in no way fit for Masterchef. That said, I have had a go at baking bread the last couple of weekends. Look...

Little Soldier very sweetly asked for his school lunches to be made out of my bread. Aww.  By the way, my favorite mummy cheat of the moment is to make all of the kids sandwiches on Sunday night and then wrap in grease proof and freeze.  It helps that my kids only want cheese sandwiches but this definitely makes mornings easier!

I am following my lovely London sister-in-law's practice of baking a cake in Saturday mornings for weekend snacks. Both cakes so far have come from 'Mary Berry's Baking Bible', which does a very nice line in easy, plain (as in not iced, layered confections) cake recipes.  This is the Spiced Ginger Traybake and it was very nice, even out of the freezer.

One of my favorite fabric stores, Homecraft in East Vic Park, is having it's annual 50% everything sale (and they really mean everything, I stock up on zips, cotton, curtain tape, snips, needles, etc).  I have been twice already and will go again and am having real difficulty resisting the urge to buy this plastic tablecloth.  I am such a sucker for tacky...


Sunday, March 3, 2013

My quiet spot

I have just figured out how to easily upload photos to blogger. Took my time but I finally got there.  So you might be hearing from me more often now. So, here are some photos from my lovely last Sunday. 

Look at that beautiful sky.  I got to sit and knit for a full hour, so lovely.

I am getting close to finishing this R2D2 beanie but there are sooooo many ends to sew in, it's taking ages. I think I might be up for aunty the year when my nephew finally gets this. The fact that I'm his only aunty won't interfere with this vote of course.

And this is the same spot later that day, so beautiful. And having a cocktail made for never hurts.

Hope you to got to enjoy a beautiful in your day too xx

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lovely life

 I haven't had much time over the last week for crafty work - the kids are now at preschool (Little Soldier) / kindy (Princess) which means I have less time than last year as school days are much shorter than daycare/grandparent days!  I am still figuring out how to fit in my increased work hours and look after the family (the fridge has been very bare on a couple of occasions) and take care of myself.  I'm sure in a few weeks it will all be much better but for now I am just concentrating on the little bits of joy in the day.

Like a perfect coffee from Hustle in Freo (soooo pretty too)

Princess' delight with her shadow

A cheese sandwich in greaseproof paper

The second fig from my new tree (I scoffed the first one before I could record it for posterity)

We are going proper camping for the first time on the weekend for my brother's birthday. By proper I mean in a tent with very limited facilities (I think toilets and a firepit is about it).  I very much like the idea of camping but it's possible that the kids will be up at 5am and not in bed til 9 pm and all of us will be grumpy.  On the plus side we will be in the forest, almost on the beach near Margaret River and very near a number of microbreweries (to keep The Dude happy).  Lovely.  

I need to go through my stash to find some mindless crafting I can do around the campfire,  all my current UFOs require laying out on a table or constant referring to a pattern.  Just aswell the stash is pretty big.

I will report back after the weekend, when I am washed and awake! xx

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm back, or at least on the way back...

It has been a long time since I blogged.  The break has been for a number of reasons, including a very long trip to England and some very busy family times.

But I am back and ready to share my world.  And what I have been up to.  Which at the moment isn't much as I don't have much time (new job) but I need to get back into doing something creative and I'm hoping that feeling that I need to report to you will get me going.

First on the list is a R2D2 beanie for my nephew.  I am basing it on a pattern by Esther Park I found on ravelry, but I am 8ply/DK weight yarn and 4mm needles.

I'll let you know how I get on! x