stones, pebbles, rocks



I have been working, slowly around everyday life, on a small collection of one-off stones/pebbles/rocks. It makes me so joyfully happy to use some thread and a hook, and make these sweet little covers for rocks collected at our nearby beaches. 

I am working (ever so slowly) on a new website. And hope to have these pieces available for sale within the week. {Eeek - it's already Thursday. Shall we aim for the end of the week perhaps....?!}. 

Do these speak to you? 
Do you have any stones/pebbles/rocks that need covering?
Or perhaps an empty window ledge that needs one of these little ones?

Happy Thursday my friends. Today is a good day for I am spending it with people who make me feel excited and inspired and loved and appreciated; friends and dear family. 

Enjoy your day, 
E xxx

I made this! {linen & metallic}


I made this little soft sculptural crochet bowl. It's the most beautiful waxy linen thread, and I stitched metallic yarn thread through it as I was working, as well as some other scraps of yarns and off-cuts of threads. 
It feels just perfect in my hands. And is holding my crochet stones and bits and pieces. 

Now I want crochet baskets / bowls everywhere, for everything. {well, except maybe not for my breakfast eating}. 
I need to work out how to make them firmer, sit straighter and not so floppy and soft. Of course, that's all to do with the materials I make it with. So - explorations into what I crochet with coming over the next few weeks. 

I am on a search for copper yarn that I can stitch with. Something that's not too thick and heavy, but also not too fine. A jeweller's wire perhaps? This thread (above) is good to work with something else, but isn't copper wire or anything. But it does give the most satisfying shimmer and sparkle to the natural linen texture. 

What are you working on lately? 
What's making you happy this week?
Would you be interested in a tutorial for this little crochet bowl? 

Enjoy your week my friends, 
E xxx

it's been a while {this post is dedicated to the letter 'c'}

concrete
crochet
overflowing creeks.
 



that is my life at the moment.
rain rain and more rain.
the creeks have been swollen for what seems like years and years.

We have been flooded numerous times, school was closed one day and other days we simply didn't go at all.

Between the rainy moments we have been mixing and pouring concrete. Making walls for our living room. They are taking much longer than necessary - I cannot know the reason why; there surely are lessons there somewhere...... We are plodding on and on to get the walls made and finished. For once we have walls we can lay the floor and put in doors and windows, and then ceiling lining. And then. Oh and then.

a room. a space.
Will be ready for us to move into. Something new and fresh. And made by our hands, and the hands of our family (my dad and my brother-in-law and us). 
And then we will make our kitchen. And who knows we may even be moved in before my good good best best friend visits from New Zealand in 6 weeks. 
(a girl can always dream, can't she....). 

In between the concreting I have been crocheting. What else is one to do when the rain continues to pour and fall and fill up the yard. Tea drinking and crochet seem to have become big past times at the moment; And I am not complaining!

Thank you for those of you who keep visiting here. I always hope to come back more often, and life may have some changes over the next months so I may have more of a routine and therefore be able to visit here more. Here's hoping it all happens as planned. Here's hoping you can visit again soon, and I can be here and we can share tea and crochet and stories and laughs. How are you? I do miss you all when I can't be here; let me know how you are, won't you xxx

*as usual, you can find me on Instagram, search @petalplum

the sacrificial lamb :: but not wool




So there are only a handful of days left until the end of month one of 2013. hmmmm. well. um..

The other day my neighbour said that January is like the sacrificial lamb.

And maybe she's right. It's been all about the holidays and just being with the kids and dealing with their needs (and their moans and their wants and and and......). But I'm just being with it. Have learnt that fighting it is no use; I neither get anything done nor feel good. So this way at least I'm feeling at peace with just being, and having lots of wonderful laughs with my family.

Which means that my 5 things list really isn't gonna happen. Nup. Giving that up. February it is for all the work stuff and making and me time.

So, what have I been doing. Well some of this. And it's been fun and my whole family is loving it and getting excited about it. Even the cat. Yep - the cat is excited about my crochet tshirt yarn rug.

I've had the start of this sitting in the cupboard for well over a year waiting patiently. The other day for no reason at all I pulled it out of the basket and started cutting up more tshirts and starting hooking. And kept on going. 

I've been told, by the tallest person in our family, that it needs to be big enough to lay on. I'll be needing some more tshirts from said person's cast-offs then, I do think.

This rug is a good use of old tshirts and a wonderful new addition to your floor. So quick and easy to stitch up as well - though do be prepared for lots of furry tshirt bits all over you and the floor (maybe don't be wearing black). I can write a tutorial if you want, but I do think that there's probably lots out there if you do a search. Also, mostly I'm just making it up and adding extra stitches as I see fit (and sometimes unpicking a little if need be). It's simple single and double crochet, using a size 10 crochet hook and hand-cut tshirt yarn. If you don't know how to cut your own tshirt yarn; well there's lots of videos and instructions for that as well. Oh this internet thing sure is good isn't it!!!

I haven't even managed to barely get onto my computer these past days, but perhaps I'll be back soon with some other little home-makings I've been doing.

Maybe it's not so much a sacrificial lamb as the making of yarns and tales {tails} with my own little lamblets. What do you think? 

*and before you ask - my kids are every bit as internet aware as you or I (probably more so really). They know that photos of one's feet is very bloggish/IGer-ish, so of course they wanted to do that. And of course, I obliged.


5 things


I can't really believe it's already the middle of January, almost anyway. How did that happen??!! A whole lot of sweltering hot days, and kids-in-holiday-mode whinging surely didn't help with my creative productivity. I think I keep waiting for back to school when I have my head to myself again. Whereas at the moment every seven seconds someone needs me, or something from me. If I go outside or sit in a quiet corner (trying to hide) there's the call of "mama, mum, where are you?". You know that call don't you!

So. As a way to get those plans and goals that are floating in my head out into to reality, I thought that if I blogged about them, then I'd be more likely to get things done. School holidays and whinging kids or not. Maybe? Let's see!

Here's 5 things I'd like to achieve before January is over:
1. Have my new website ready for launching. So share with you what I'm working on. 
2. Have new stock made for said website launch. There will be crochet rocks, for sure. There will be. There will be.
3. Start proper planning on the new workshops and lessons I'd like to present this year. Screen printing workshops, perhaps sewing classes, and also maybe (just maybe) continue on with the creative talks we had happening last year at the Hey Maker! shop.
4. Start, oh, please at least start, the makings (or perhaps solid plannings) of a new outfit for myself. I'd like to make at least one new outfit a month, this year. What shall I start on? Tell me your favourite clothing patterns, please - I do so need a new dress.
5. Write and re-test at least one crochet rock tutorial.

Ok. Sounds simple enough. Though really there's a lot there. I know it's high hopes getting all that done. But to get a start would be great. Less time on instagram might help a teeny bit as well.......

Have you got things you're itching to get done?
What's stopping you? Are you blaming the kids, or the weather (too hot / too cold / too windy), or the lack of space to do your making? 
Tell me, please please do, how do you overcome those hurdles to get your making made?

*I finished this crochet piece today. If the light is good tomorrow, there may even be a tutorial for it and what I did with the finished piece, this week.

chocolate icecream and ......



I am eating chocolate icecream, while my family is all tucked up in bed (including the cat who has been sleeping on a piece of my fabric on a box for the last three days; he's only been up for food as far as we can tell). 

I should be writing my speech for tomorrow's school presentation. I am expected to speak in front of the whole assembly, important p&c president type things - not sure it's something I can wing, so I should write some words down on paper.

This week on instagram I followed a little theme that was happening, choosing 4 of my favourite photos from 2012. While I can never choose 4 favourites, what I found while looking through my massive archive was that the images that spoke to me most were of these crochet stones and also of my natural plant dyeing and stitch work. These images jumped out at me, sang to me. Make me realise that these are the things that have made me most creatively fulfilled this year past. And that I want to focus and dedicate and commit to doing more of next year. 

I am waiting until after Christmas to start any new year's resolutions, as I'm busy up till that point. But I have made a "my crochet stones" pinterest board, and intend to add many many images to that over the coming months. More crochet stones in life I do believe will be a good thing. And if they are crocheted using my own naturally plant dyed yarns, then that is even better. The best thing I think will be if those stones scatter off to live in other homes and find their way into the hearts of other people. 

What do you think about that? 
What made you happy, content, creatively fulfilled this year? 
Was it something as simple as a little creek or beach pebble. Oh golly - I really am simple of heart, aren't I? and that I feel is a good good thing. 

*second image is from Lisa Mitchell's blog. I do like that little saying - makes me think that big things are inside me, ready to grow.

just this



I pulled these from the dye pots this afternoon. These are the ones I put in only a few days ago - yet already such great colour.

Photo is dark and grainy, as it's dark and rainy here! (hehe - that was a funny little play on words, hey...).

The blue is from red cabbage with salt. What an excellent colour. The last red cabbage jar I dyed was purple. Did you know red cabbage is a ph indicator. I think the salt may have changed the colour a bit. My dad said it looks like denim, then he told me why denim is called denim. Do you know why? Well - it comes from a man in France who was the first to make the fabric, he named it after the city de Nimes, hence it became de-nim. You can read about it on wikipedia if you don't believe my dad, but I know that my dad really does know a thing or two!

And the little rock up top was from the blue dye pot as well - it's gone a dark and mysterious hue. 

The grey is from the rusty nail and eucalyptus brew. Some pieces are linen, some are hemp - creates different depths of colour on different fabrics.

The orange/brown is from coffee - what a good colour. I really do like it a lot! Every time there's coffee left over in our morning coffee pot, Sam saves it in a jar for me. I do think it would be much deeper and stronger if the fabric was in there for longer. And it's had no mordanting - so I don't know how colour/sun fast these pieces will be.

Anyway. The kids are having a sleep over, and I'm still doing final prep for tomorrow's market. It's dark and cold and rainy, and I want to sit in front of my fire and crochet....

What are you up to this weekend? Do have fun fun won't you! xxx

something practical this time






I got this lovely lovely yarn on Friday, at a local op-shop (thrift store). It really was a lucky find - I'd gone to get cash from the machine, and when I came back to pay, the lady was putting it out for sale.  I said how much, she said '.....oh, $4?'. Yes yes!

A whole bag of yarn balls. 7 full + 2 with only a little bit already gone. 60% wool with 40% nylon - though it feels really soft and woolly. It's in the most delicious dove grey colour. Someone bought it a long time ago from Coles for about 0.75c, they still have the labels and price stickers.

I've been thinking I needed to start on a lovely blanket - so that's what I did. But then, lying beside the fire last night, Sam mentioned that we really do need some big floor cushions. So - this became a crochet floor cushion (still in the works). I'm planning it big, as big as I can go with the yarn I have. Perhaps I'll get two?

There's no pattern. I just started out as I know how - crochet in the round. And then I added five little corner tab bits (with double stitches and chain rows), to form a pentagon shape. It's just evolving as I work each new row. Changing stitches as I feel like it. I did say at some point today that I was already a little bored with it (after all this tiny rock crochet, this really is a big project for me) - but changing stitches helps to keep me going. And it really is quite yummy yarn. Soft and so easy to work. It's crocheting up quite quickly. And the whole family is taking interest in it, which really does help.

I was using orange embroidery thread as corner markers (oh, I do need to get me some stitch markers, don't I!). The orange was a perfect pop against the grey (especially on this overcast, rainy day). And then, a quick look in my tiny stash bag to discover some orange yarn for the occasional row or two.

It's sure to be ready in time for next Winter - I know myself too well. I get a great start on things, and then go now-where with it. Here's to a finished cushion before the 'lying in front of our fire season' is over!
 and this last one, taken by candle light, and the extra light of a torch. It's hard holding a heavy torch in one hand, and taking a photo with the other hand. I've realised (or thought about it) this week, that we have been living here for 15months now - with no electricity....... 
Crochet by candlelight seems to have become my life!

{sun}day-ing











What glorious sunshine. So good. It warms the soul and lifts the spirits.

I can't believe how much I love love love these sun images. I took them from the moving car (it's okay - I was the passenger!), with the full afternoon sun streaming through. The trees cut the sun into slivers of shafts of light. The iphone works for some things like that as the camera is so slow at taking photos (often I miss the shot I'm after due to the slow shutter speed), but it worked so well in this instance. I want to print some of these - once we have a wall to put artworks and such on!

Of course there was some crochet work happening. I am working on a small collection of these - planning (perhaps) to sell some. What do you think?

Also - my 10 things I love for this Sunday at up on the Hey Maker! blog if you want to check it out.

happy making





I decided yesterday that I needed some happy making happen'.....

So - I washi-taped some little bottles. I coloured the water with paint. I gathered some flowers and the most wonderful moss, lichen, mushroom covered twigs. And I made some happiness.
{These moss covered sticks are all around in my garden. Whole trees covered with them. Wonderfulness. I saw something similar in a magazine once; these things sell at specialised city florists for $5 a teeny branch. It's like buying tumbleweed from a shop, or bamboo..... Not that I have tumbleweed, but oh do we have bamboo. If you want some - come and ask!}

I also made some little happiness bags and pouches. Pure goodness these are. Heart swelling happiness. The making of them was fun. The looking at them. And then the possibilities of what else they evolve into. That's super good. I'm learning that being creative is creative inducing - you need to make to be able to keep making. Sometimes the making isn't neat.good.art.your best, but that doesn't matter, because it makes more making happen.

So - happiness is easy to make. If you only try. The process of the making was happiness in itself, but the having and looking at and enjoying. That's pure happiness. Yah to finding some happy on these rainy, dismal days.

It's Thursday. So, here's to Our Creative Spaces today.

And in other SUPER exciting wonderful happiness making news. Look where I'm being *featured* this week - one of Brisbane's Finest Intagramers on The Weekend Edition! Super YAH!!

the possibilities of a monday morning


I got up early this morning (early for me anyway). To get the kids ready for school - to catch the bus; which leaves much too early, but does give us some extra hours at home.
Monday has possibilities doesn't it! Te start of a new week. You tell the kids they can start over again. You tell yourself that. Start as you mean to go on or something like that.

Yarn and crochet hook are still working themselves in my fingers, in my heart too. And my photos - oh this yarny goodness is so very photogenic isn't it.

I've just finished the last sip on my second coffee of the morning. I'm itching to do some screen printing - oh yes. Its been a while. And perhaps some new sewing this week as well.

Oh the possibilities.....

a whole lota'






there's a whole lot of everything in my house
- noise
-mess
- piles
- dust
- books
-yarn
- magazines.....

-love love love.
there's a whole lota love in my house!

Ari made up this super sweet little ditty/poem about me.
You're a big fat crocheter
You crochet night,
You crochet day,
You crochet rocks,
You crochet, hey!

There has been a lot of crochet going on. And a lot of running around. We're back at school well and truely now. School week is hard, but good as well.

Happy Love Day to you on this sweet Valentine's Day xxxx

it's sunday :: around about





Life in snippets at the moment. Dreaming of other places, and different things, and wishes and hopes. Living in the now is sometimes hard.

+ It's raining here. Lots and lots of rain. Creeks overflowing and bridges being flooded sort of rain.
+ The kids start back at school tomorrow - I'm feeling sad about that, also can't wait for it. Little Mishi will be starting kindy on Thursday. That little one in a school uniform - eeek... And the boy - he's moving up to year 2; that's big isn't it.
+ I haven't sat at my sewing machine for much much too long. I'm really missing her - but not having the thought process for that at the moment. Hoping it will return in a week or so.....
+ I have been crocheting, which is so so good. I'm slowly working on a make-up-as-i-go string shopping bag. We'll see how it works out. if it works I'll try to write a pattern, as I'll be making more. due to being flooded in, I have almost run out of yarn rations! that's bad isn't it....
+ I'm still totally addicted to and enjoying Instagram. But it's not an addiction that I'm embarrassed about - it's a good thing. I know. I'm enjoying the process of stopping to think and plan and style a photo - I wouldn't be getting out my big camera to take photos of my breakfast, so it's good that I am.
+ My sister gave me this so so good book. I'm planning on making dress C and top L, but think it might need to involve some fabric buying.....
+ Sam + I have been watching season one of 'six feet under' from the library. I really want to see 'mad men', but haven't yet found it at the library. What are you watching, enjoying?
+ The boy took an excellent, so so excellent, video of visiting the over-flowing dam the other day. But my annoying, slow, country internet won't let me share it with you. And I so want to share it.
+ The girl sang me a sweet song yesterday about how she loves mummy. I tickled her sweet still baby puffed tummy.
+ I'm slowly working on re-jigging my blog, new header and all. Come over and have a look (if you read this in a reader or some such - which I really know nothing about. I like visiting people's whole house - blog - rather than just one part.)

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Tell me, what did you do..... xxx

heart-felt happiness and wishes of peaceful, joy and light





dear friends,
some little merry wishes for you all. i hope you are enjoying all your sweet making and planning and wrapping and enjoying and laughing.
i hope you are soaking up your holiday time with your children and family and friends. we went for a little walk in the forest today - it was good and lovely.

tomorrow we are having a gathering at my sister's house with all our family. all the cousins to play and run around and laugh and be silly and eat up all the delicious food that we have so enjoyed planning and making (today Mishi and I made hand rolled chocolates, in the morning i will make chickpea dahl and spicey brown rice),

i am still enjoying crocheting these little rocks. this one became a heart almost all on it's own. i will search for more tri-angle rocks, as this shape seems good for heart making. Ari has claimed this one for himself - which i am happy with. a piece of mama-made love for my boy.

keep safe, content, exploring, enjoying, and breathing. xxxxxx E

hooked! addicted!








Despite telling other people (myself really!), that I don't have an addictive nature. I think I do.........

umm...........

:: addicted ::
while I haven't been around these blog-parts lately, I've been in Insta-land. I've made some new friends over there, and deepened relationships with others (who I made in this here blog-land). As it so happens - both Jacqui and I now know that our daughters have the same Barbie doll, yet in different colours!
You know what, I've also taken some really cool photos in Insta-land. Some I really love! I think, seeing as how it's my blog and all, I'm allowed to blow my own trumpet about how good the photos are.
Also - I'm having a relationship with my husband on Instagr.am. We 'like' each others pictures, sometimes he's in the kitchen and I'm on the verandah - a mere metre away from each other. Isn't technology good!

I'm sending all my photos to flickr, if you want to see them. Or over here, as well. Or, if you have one of 'those phones', you can follow me. If you want........ And then we can be Insta-addicted together!

:: hooked ::

a couple of weeks ago, I went with a friend to do some crochet with the very talented and witty Helle Jorgenson. She has a sweet little studio space in my town, Murwillumbah. To be honest, when I moved back down here (to this little country town), I didn't know if there were any (well, many) cool and crafty people. So, actually are. Helle is one of them! {Check out her blog, she makes the most amazing crochet coral and sea creatures using the tiniest hooks, and some great alternatives 'yarns'}.
While I knew how to crochet before the class, what Helle did was take my hand and show me some new things, and helped me overcome my fear of using teeny weeny tiny crochet hooks. Some of her work is done using a .5mm. That's tiny!

So - since last Thursday, I've barely had the 2mm hook and some cotton yarn out of my hands. Well - we did have to do concreting on Friday; I couldn't really crochet at the same time as that! (photographic proof below - I wheeled that heavy barrow of concrete for a solid most-of-the-day)!

Helle and I made little crochet covered beach stones, like Margie's. There's a pattern on Purl Bee (it has some errors, so I just made bits up and went along merrily......).
With hook and yarn in hands, and the light of a candle, I've been doing some experimenting at home (late at night), some unraveling and some stitching/hooking/crocheting. I made myself a little necklace of crochet flower shapes (and promptly Instagr.am-ed it!). And then some more. I finished one for my sister to wear to work (we stayed up chatting until 1am one night; of course the kids got us up at 6.30 the next morning....). I'm currently working on one using some op-shopped cotton yarn, in a colour I'm calling berry. It's a bit of a thicker weight, but is still turning out very pretty.


And now, seeing as how my sewing machine has decided it doesn't want to play (when I really MOST need it for my market making), I'm wondering if I should make these little necklaces for selling at the market.......... {what do you think? Would you buy one?}


Oh yes - I'm probably addicted to chocolate too. But really, that's all..... There's nothing more to reveal.

I'll see you on Instagr.am with a hook in hand!

stitching :: planned mistakes


I have two slow stitching projects on the go at the moment.
I'm calling them 'slow' for two reasons :: firstly they are taking me time to pick them up between stitching days and get working on them, secondly because I am working by hand on them both.

Crochet, of course, is always by hand (rather than machine) - but I think it's the process which which I'm working it, that's making it feel slower and more by hand than usual, for me. This is the piece* that I started last year, sometime. I took it with me to the Brisbane school pick-up and drop-offs, standing there waiting and stitching row upon row upon row. Straight rows, one after the other. Occasional double crochet added, but mainly single crochet stitch after stitch. I got bored with it. I love the organic wool. I love the feel, and the colours. But I got bored stitching row after row and wondering when (if) it would ever get to a suitable size to be called a blanket - rather than a big scarf. So I unraveled it. All three+ balls of it - the kids helped me to pull and then wind it all up into one big ball.
Now I am stitching in the round. It started as a spiral, then morphed into circles. It's meant to have stepping ups to the next row - but generally it doesn't. So there's a lot of mistakes. But that doesn't matter to me. It's happening. Enjoyably. Fairly quickly - slowly or not at all at some times. Of course it won't be ready for this Winter - but that's okay. Perhaps next Winter we'll have it in our new house, to snuggle under in a new room, on a new couch (or some sort of thing to sit on, depending on funds at the end of building!).






Hand stitching these pieces together is fun. Giving me the freedom to allow myself to stitch loose and big and not at all in any sense of 'perfection'. At the moment I've lost the needle somewhere within a pile of fabric, but next week (or even this afternoon) I'll find it again and pick it up and start stitching some more. These warm flannel fabrics are lovely to work with, and easy to imagine joining the crochet blanket next year in that new house of ours - despite the fact the colours won't match at all. All I did was cut the big squares (don't know the sizes, as my tape measure is packed somewhere in a box, with the spare sewing needles and extra threads) into quarters, and now am stitching them back together in different colour variations. I'm working on all reds / pinks together, all yellowy / orangey / pinks and then the blues / greens together. Once they're working into bigger squares of block colours, I'll arrange it again and see how the colours + patterns work together. I'm doing it without thinking too much, or more to the point, without overthinking it (Something I do too much, too often). It won't be perfect - but that's good. I'm aiming for not perfect. I'm even assuming and planning for the fact that I'll probably have to do repair work on my wonky, loose stitching at some stage (perhaps even in it's first year of use).

Planned mistakes, letting things evolve as they happen - stitch by stitch, row by row (either crochet wool or stitched cotton fabric). That's a good thing to do sometimes. Letting my hands work slowly, happily bit by bit by bit by moments at a time......

{I'll find the pieces I'm working on, along with the camera, and the correct sunshine lighting, and the spare moment - possibly with or without little hands in the frame - and show you the actual stitches that are happening. Rather than the before shots - before it was unraveled, and before it was cut}

*Looking back on that blog post, and seeing the drawn plans for our home. How lovely - of course, there have been at least a half dozen or more reinterpretations of the ideas since then. But always, always, with a room of my own.

creative spot in the sun

Today I cleaned the house, as I had a dear visitor coming over for a cup of tea. We've all just sat in the sun and chatted for an hour or so. 
The kids are due back from school momentarily (with Sylv + Mishi), and I'm enjoying listening to Lisa Mitchell's "Wonder".

Lately I've been doing this bit of crochet everywhere I go. Waiting for the school bell to ring,;sitting at kids' birthday parties; on the couch around the warmth of a friend's fire (hi Grace + Deb); or at the market, chatting with friends.

It's delicious organic wool, in deep earth and blossom. I'm working on simple lines of single crochet, using up one ball until it's gone then changing to the next ball wherever I am on the line (middle, end, whatever - to save from having little bits of scraps of perfectly fine + expensive wool not be used). It will be a blanket, in time for Winter next year. I'll simply stop stitching when I've had enough, and that's how big it'll be. A lap blanket. It's like a cherry ripe; choc + berry {colours look a bit blown out in the full-on sunlight}.

Also, I'm finally putting on paper the house that has been floating around in my head for many years. Considering we are looking at land, and moving ever so slowly closer to that aspect of life; I feel that we should start properly planning our new home we want to build and live in. Also, good to let Sam know how big I aim to have my sewing room, and a little desk in the corner somewhere for writing letters and dreams and things. 

Sunshine and a clean house. Kidney beans simmering on the stove top for dinner tonight (no more buying of tinned food for us!). Heart-warming conversation and deep strong hugs from friends, and sisters. What else does a girl need?

There's some yummy Liberty points over at the hostess with the mostess, and her loyal creative spaces.

my creative space

Things are happening here in little spurts and bursts.
Time and inspiration seem hard to come by this week.

This book has been so helpful and instrumental in me not only learning Granny Squares, but also in learning some new stitches and shapes. Have a look at my crochet woolen flower - oh, well umm that's just the start of it. I'll show you more photos another day, just to prove that it does actually look like in the book. More flowers and snowflakes and spirals in the book, to give me more ideas and dreams.
I am planning (hoping) on making at least a few of these little shapes to sew onto some bags (hemp / organic cotton, of course) for selling at the BrisStyle Indie Designer's Market.
Okay, don't remind me that the market is in only one more week. I have a whole weekend ahead of spending with my sisters and the clan of kids. I'll be the one wedged into the corner of the couch surrounded by yarns (fingers crossed).

More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo. I'm going to try and play along with this game fairly regularly.
And this little fairy princess was playing in the garden while I over looked from the balcony.

just like that

A couple of nights ago, I sat down on the couch. All curled up. Trying to keep warm. I got out the fantastic little book that Sylve gave me for my birthday. Super Stitches Crochet. With heaps of excellent little tips and step by step instructions, it's a book about learning the crochet stitches and designs, rather than patterns to make actual projects. Which means that I can learn how to read a pattern, and what all the abbreviations actually mean, and pretty little stitches, that I can make my own patterns (or try and follow some) - but really, I'm not so good at actually following directions, patterns, recipes.Anyway. Granny squares. Being so well written, combined with the fact that I took the time to follow each process (generally I *think* I know what it's going to say, and barge ahead), I made perfect granny squares. Not like these ones. And I'm hooked, again. Just like that.
These are bigger than regular granny squares. I was going to make one really really big one, and that be the blanket. But it started getting a bit floppy, and I thought it best to make smaller ones and use their seams as a sort of strengthening. Don't know if that will work or not, but now I'm making lots of squares in all different colours and variations.
Yarns are: Chilli pepper organic Australian wool, Woolganic. And some beautiful hand dyed upcycled wools that I bought at the The Little Market at Avid a few weeks ago, from Rowena.
I don't anticipate this will be finished for this Winter, so we'll aim for next one.
Also, Just Like That is one of my most favourite ever books. Check it out if you like a bit of dark humour, real life writing, and beautiful intimate details. All with a background of a neurotic Jew - sounds fun hey. Believe me - Lily Brett is a fantastic author, try her short stories if you don't want to delve into a whole book.

the wisdom of the owl-lets

I haven't told you yet, have I, that I'm officially a Brown Owl.
This is super-duper exciting, fantabulous. Membership to this crafty, fun and lovely group is pretty limited. Started by the ever crafty mother owl herself, Pip, from Meet Me at Mikes.
My first meeting was yesterday. A full three hours of crafting and chatting and feeling at ease with all these women who I didn't previously know (apart from their blogs).Thank you so much to Rebecca and Bec for teaching me the basics of crochet. Even though you tried really hard, I haven't quite mastered the art of the granny square. Sylve + I both ended up making flowery curvy waving circle things - very pretty, but not granny squares.
One thing I like about crochet is that it's really easy to unravel, and redo. You don't feel so terrible sitting there pulling it apart (not tedious like using a quick-un pick when you sew a seam wrong). Well, last night I sat on the couch and did a fair bit of unravelling and re-working. I decided that there are only so many times I can attempt something in one night, so I decided to make some round coasters instead of granny squares. (I did hear many girls talking yesterday, saying that grannies are hard to make, so I don't feel totally useless). I made this coaster pattern up, as I went along. And happily can say that I replicated it (almost) for the second one I made. I'm thinking they could cute stitched into a blanket or even a purse. The ideas are flowing.Sam has requested me to make him a beanie. For this Winter. Can anyone lead to an easy pattern for making a male-style beanie. He wants it to have a brim, but I think that's out of the question.
My yarn is a beautiful organic Australian wool, spun in New Zealand, and dyed with low-impact, metal-free dyes. It's so soft and easy to use. Doesn't have a lot of extra fluff. And the colours are really pretty. I'm currently using the grapefruit moon, which is a natural white. Sylve + I got ours from Tangled Yarns (via a story in MAP magazine - Sylve went to school with the girl who drew that cover pic!).