Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rag rug action

Aren't blog archives interesting...I knew I hadn't made much progress on my rag rug for awhile...I flicked back to have a bit of a look (which is where those labels, which I haven't really ever got into the habit of using, would come in really handy)- anyway I was surprised to see that this picture is ummm, rather similar to the one below, taken tonight...oops (while it may not be obvious to the naked eye, there has been a little more plaiting action happen!). I was also surprised to see that I wrote the post nearly a year ago- 28th January 2011. Like I said, oops!
What would move 'one' forward on a project that has been met with such apathy? Why, solidarity, of course.

So there I am, reading Jodie's news the other day when I see a lovely picture at the bottom of her blog post, a rag rug- those fond 'rag rug love' feelings make me smile and think of my own poor neglected pile of raggy braids...before I know it, Jodie has declared not only is she making one, but she's discovered heaps of others are keen too and all of a sudden I've been caught up in the whirlwind of a 'rag rug along'

Actually, that's not strictly true- my response has been far from whirl wind like, but I tell you, some of these other rag ruggers, well, they get things done. There is talk of techniques, methods, ripping or cutting, ironing or folding (which may be where I realised sometimes instructions might be useful). Not just talk either-action (eg, this one involves a crochet hook, and this one, an amazing needle). Having seen these and the progress that's been made, I think that my naive idea of making a big plait and sewing it together may not be the wisest, strongest, easiest, most effective method. I will have to reconsider my rag rug options!

I am looking forward to see lots of rag rugs. So far mine has got a fair bit of white in it, which is an old sheet, the green is a dress of my grandma's (at least, I think that's where it came from). I really quite like the 'Little House on the Prairie'-ness of it all.

It's still school holidays here for another week and abit and we have been enjoying some pretty nice family times, including the odd board game..or twenty!
I tell you what, this was the best 50 cents I have spent in awhile- thank you op shop- "The Game of Life" (I may have been the happiest to find this because it's one of those- 'oh, I really wanted that when I was a kid' games, involving abit of nostalgia!). 
I did make a comment during the game that it's actually not that much like my life, and I don't necessarily agree with the title- there are no squares saying 'your peach tree is loaded and the fruit are going to rot if you don't stop and pick them- miss a turn", or "you have got up early and fed the pigs, move forward 2 spaces". And then, within a few quick spins, I had had twin girls, followed by another baby girl, which made me think, oh, well, it does bear some vague resemblance to at least bits of some peoples lives!

If you are super observant (or have amazing eyes) you might notice the dvd I borrowed from the library- that was inspired by Lara (it's North and South, I also borrowed Pride and Prejudice). 
Can you guess where I was sitting? See that hooking action on 'screen right', yep, still enamoured with learning to crochet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

She's got it, yeah baby, she's got it!

If you are over the age of...what? say, 37 (?), you might be busting out some neat Bananarama moves after reading that title...well, join me as I dance around celebrating the fact that, however late I might be, I am finally coming to the granny square party. There are a few technical issues to sort out (namely starting a new row, changing colour & reading instructions) but that's neither here nor there...at least I am finally on the right track. Now, I was warned that it might be addictive...so see ya later...that hook is whispering my name

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project 5 and some little sewing

This little dress was started at Sewjourn, which feels like AGES age, it was finished shortly after but I haven't blogged about it because I wanted to wait till I met the recipient (Isabel), and gave it to her (well, her mother, really) before I blogged about it. Isobel flew over the Pacific for a few weeks in December, I met her briefly and had a cuddle- she's very lovely (I meant to ask her mum if I can put a photo of her up here, but haven't yet- I will edit this to add one once I have spoken to Nat).

I really enjoyed choosing the fabric for this little Oliver and S "Ice Cream Social Dress". When I was in America, I stayed with Natasha for a few days and she took me to Mood in New York (now there's a store to be awe struck and overwhelmed by, it was pretty amazing). Nat likes fabric. I know she likes orange, and I wanted to include some of me in it- so it was the apples in tangerine, and in green -funny that you can have apples in tangerine and lime, really, huh. How appropriate that the fabric range it comes from is called 'Farmers Market' (designed by Sandi Henderson). 
I asked Nat's sister, Amy what colours Nat likes and she said something like 'vintagey type hues'- or that's what I took it as. So the floral and the pocket fabric completed the fabric choosing- and I forget what range either of those are from.
The other thing I made for little Izzy is project 5 from the Tanya and Nicole project- I didn't take a photo of it- oops. but Nikki did, it's over here. Nikki was generous with her interfacing knowledge- and it was SO GOOD to see her get her hands onto it and fold, bend, squash etc to see how the different interfacings responded (cause I like that inexact, it depends how it feels kind of style).  That was where I first made up a bit of a swatch pack for my different interfacings...and a new appreciation took hold (yep, I want to be the interfacing apprentice!).
So, there's a few older sewing projects...crafting with the girls on Saturday night so hopefully I will get something done and remember that sewing is my hobby and I love it...me and sewing have both been on holidays at this house- and not together!
I am back to work tomorrow, I have had such a nice break, relaxed, restorative. Ahhhh. 

Crochet update: thanks to those of you who pointed me towards the left handed crochet tutes on youtube- I was listening to one and my girl said- "Are you actually watching that video about how to crochet?", "Yep", she said "but you already know how to crochet" (she's seen my chain stitch- bless her!), I said "kind of, but I don't actually know alot, there's alot to learn" and she replied "you don't need to know everything, you know"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The little engine that could...

For those familiar with "The Little Engine that could", that certainly was one positive thinking engine, wasn't it? In the spirit of that little engine, here is todays crochet installment. Unfortunately no pattern was (able to be!) followed so I am not quite sure what this is...I just did everything in multiples of 3. 6 chain stitches, made a loop, 3 more chain stitches, went through the loop and did 3 of something else...then repeated that! One day I'll get to a granny square (I think I can, I think I can).

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I am really not sure if this can be called crochet, or crochet progress at all, but I took a photo because I have done something other than chain stitch today! Just what I have done, I'm not quite sure...are any of you proficient crocheters left handed by any chance...or are the 'success' odds stacked against me?

On a totally randomly note, our neighbours are cooking a bbq and the most amazing smells are wafting over our fence.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

the arrangement

We are lucky enough to live close by to great friends who are biodynamic dairy farmers. We have 'an arrangement', we swap our produce for their milk.
Sometimes the 'vegie box' is more abundant than others, sometimes it includes honey or jam and occasionally a cake or some bread. I feel really grateful to have such excellent quality milk, I do appreciate it. Mr. Apple has worked in the cowshed a reasonable amount, although not for a while, after his first few milkings he commented on how content and settled the cows seemed, really calm compared to other dairys he'd worked in. Our farmer friend is a pretty calm bloke, so the cows probably pick up his 'vibe'.
It's blackberry season here, I did a bit of jamming before Christmas but need to crank out the preserving pan again, we've put quite a few blackberries in the freezer- they'll be turned into cakes and muffins during the year.
We are spending our days kicking around home, hanging out- by ourselves and with friends, it's really nice. It was cooler this week so I baked bread and slow cooked lamb shanks for dinner (pretending it was Winter!). No craft has been done- I don't think I can count the ongoing 'mastery' of 'chain stitch' in my crochet...or complete failure to progress from there. I will be inspired by Lissanne though, because she 'got it' today...maybe I will get it...one day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

List review

In 2011, for the first time, I wrote a list. A list of things I would aspire to do/ be during the year. I really liked my list. I didn't print it out. I should have- it would have made it more of a 'working/ inspiring document' that it was- having said that- it was interesting to re read and see just how many of these I got done, and/ or still aspire to. I am going to right another list for 2012. Until then, let me 'check off' this one...
  1. look into peoples eyes when I am talking to them- not in a creepy way, just give my attention -generally, I think, yes I did/ do this and want to continue
  2. go outside more often - this one I needed written on my wall! I did go outside more, mostly for walks, I would like be go outside just to hang and out 'be'...
  3. put things back where they belong after I have finished with them (hmm, be tidier)- hmm, depends who you ask I think. I actually tried to get rid of stuff so I had less to actually put away! Overall, I still aspire to this, and (sigh), it's a work in progress... 
  4. finish my sentences (I tend to drift off, forgetting that there is a listener involved who can't necessarily read my thoughts) I think I am getting heaps better at this- slowing the thoughts down, and not assuming prior knowledge to the goings on in my head. But if I ever don't finish a sentence on you- please prompt me!
  5. swim in the ocean. Swim anywhere, actually, but the ocean is always great. yep, I still love this- I swam in the ocean today actually. Brilliant.
  6. walk 10km all in one go   gee, I forgot I wrote that- what was I thinking? Funny thing is, I did do this. My friend Cheryl and I participated in the Tat200 10km walk event. It was really fun., Cheryl made sure we kept the pace up! Aside from that, I also did two other walking 'events' with Karen. When I say 'with' what I mean is she was doing the 8km running events and because she's lovely, she hung around and waited for me and cheered me in as I did the 8km walking events (this time last year I don't think I even knew these events existed!). I am going to more of these kinds of things this year.
  7. ride the Beechworth- Bright rail trail with our friends. tick. And it was fantastic and I would do it all over again, and hope we do
  8. read a book every month (at least), and stretch myself in my choices of book -nah, I didn't do much reading last year. I still like reading and will aim for a book a month again!
  9. make an effort to spend time with my friends - I don't think I spent enough time with friends this year. I was surprised when my crafty friend Carolyn said the other day that the reason we don't do more craft together is because I am the one who is always busy. She was surprised that I was surprised! I did get a weekend away with friends at Sewjourn which was pretty lovely. We didn't see as much of our family friends as we have in other years- but really, June- September were a bit of a write-off because the fruit trees were nuts this year! I have to work out balance here...
  10. practice being in the present- be mindful- no need to drift off work in progress- next step- multi task less and have less tabs open on my computer screen at once
  11. do something creative everyday fail. and when I am creative, I remember how much it grounds me and I need it. Still on the list!
  12. make yoghurt instead of buying it nope, forgot it was on the list. Don't think I eat as much yoghurt as I used to!
  13. write (and don't forget to post) letters regularly yes- although there was still a decent amount that didn't get posted.
  14. have more hand made Christmas decorations than store bought forgot it was on the list, although, we probably did, it was thanks to the school age children, not their mother!
  15. play with my children yep, but I am much better at this in the holidays. I didn't know I could be such a 'control freak' and need to have 'everything' sorted out before I could just stop and play. Carcassonne is a bit of a favourite. I definitely want to play more.
  16. cook with my children ...about that 'control freak' thing. I did abit of cooking with the children, but not anything really to note.
  17. listen to music- always enjoy it when I do, just forget to put it on yes, I bought myself a little ipod nano in July- Happy Birthday me- so I listen on that, mostly.
  18. smile and laugh- a lot probably not as much as I would have liked, I had some fun and happy times but overall 2011 was a hard one that I was happy to see the back off.
  19. take more photos (see number 3. give the camera a home so I can always find it!) yes, well, ahem, the camera hasn't even come on holidays with us this time (is this where I admit that I couldn't find it as we were packing!) My phone has a camera on it, though, so I do have some holiday photos
  20. write a tutorial for my blog gee, I wonder what I thought I was going to write a tutorial about. I am open to suggestions!
  21. make some collages one, the 9 year old and I each did one during a crafty session one day
  22. make mosaic steps for my garden yes, thanks for reminding me, list, they actually haven't been properly placed yet
  23. start a hexagon quilt I started and finished a hexagon quilt- but that wasn't what I was referring too. I have started a hand pieced hexagon quilt, and I worked on it tonight actually. On my mums spare bed, she has two quilts- a hexagon one she did and a hexagon quilt my grandma made, I must take a photo to show you. I want to add my hexagon quilt to that pile!
  24. finish a rag rug the rag rug is still in the unfinished projects pile, I still like it, but haven't worked on it for a while
  25. exercise at least three times a week probably, overall I have. One of the 'most admirable' (!) exercise things I did (in my opinion) was do pilates once a week for the second half of the year- that's a big commitment for me!
  26. go to bed earlier and get up earlier I need this one printed somewhere I will see it- it's 11.41pm as I type and the young boy will, no doubt wake up just after 6am and I will here him getting his breakfast and be annoyed a) that I am a light sleeper and b) that I went to bed so late.
  27. own less books at the end of the year than at the start of the year yep. I my love affair with my library was reignited, when I realised I could basically order any book in from almost any library in Victoria and have it sent to my local- all over the internet with no fee attached. I have some recent Burda magazines to pick up when I get home, actually, yey! I have hardly bought any books, and I have dispatched quite a few, with more to go
  28. use fresh herbs in my cooking I think I did do this more- but generally with the trusty hardy perenials like sage, thyme, rosemary, chives and less coriander and basil (because I was crap at watering them)
  29. eat seasonally from the garden and don't whinge about having a hankering for broccoli or asparagus when it's not time! sort of, we've had some amazing fruit, as well as great garlic, spuds, asparagus and a few other things, but I think our garden was abit less abundant this year. The garderner may dispute this!
  30. grow tulips great idea. Forgot it was on the list, I want to grow tuips this year!
  31. sew some clothing for me gee, really- I was thinking this last January? I have progressed to patterns and fabric stage (wrap dress) and made some basic trackies for me
  32. keep a 'thoughts to get back to' note book. And get back to them. HA- as if! That would get very full very quickly- surely the good ideas won't need to be written down 'to get back to'(?)
  33. spend less time on the computer... yes, (this may be disputed)- but not by choice- we had dodgy probs with Telstra for several months interupting my computer usage. What I really need is 'wiser' use of my computer time.
  34. attend the newly initiated 'first Sunday book club' with Mr. Apple (it's only us two!) fizzled- we got through one book, I think it just didn't become a habit- still aspired to though
  35. Generally make time for, prioritise and nurture my close relationships I'd still like to do much better at this
  36. drink more water I'd still like to do much better at this too!
  37. do regular stretching or yoga Abovementioned pilates counts.
  38. chuck stuff that I do not love or use out yes, and there's more to be chucked
  39. keep a journal spasmodically successful
  40. take the children to the snow bummer- forgot about this- surely in 2012 we can make it to the snow
  41. go camping yes- for a couple of days post rail trail bike ride. And we have even been talking 'tent purchase' as a Christmas present (late, I realise that)
  42. spend some time in silence each day no, but again, I think I need to, to collect myself each day.
  43. eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full not always, but more frequently. Overall I would say that my 'eating behaviour' is alot better that it has been, I am eating breakfast most days (that's new for me), probably eating smaller portions and less food overall, without being 'obsessive'. I have lost a decent amount of weight in 2011...and still have a decent amount of weight to lose!
  44. be generous that's a funny one to comment on myself- I am sure I can always be more generous
  45. contribute to my community I could do more. I did my forth year on our School council and second year as President, which I will be very happily handing over in March!
  46. be brave work in progress, that bravery thing, but I think I have been pretty damn brave at times this year
Well, what a lot of words, and no photos!
I think it was worthwhile doing a list, despite lack of ongoing reference to it! It's interesting to reread (I wonder why making yoghurt got in my 'top 46'!)...I will ponder this years list and get something down- otherwise, before I know it, it will be December.

Friday, January 6, 2012

'Gone fishin'

I got abit exhausted at the end of the year, realised I wasn't going to finish everything a couple of days before Christmas, so stopped trying. Now we're at the beach, hanging out together. Nice!

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