Sunday, August 17, 2014

33/52..

a portrait of my children..

eddie: he's been at home more than he's been at school this week thanks to a chesty cough, he's worn out

olive: outside, her happy place even in the bitterly cold winter winds

Just these two today.  I've skipped a few portrait entires recently, not that I haven't been taking pictures, I'm always taking pictures, I've just taken a little step back from my online spaces lately, and not posting quite so regularly. Our quietest time of year has in fact been our busiest, so its been a bit like treading water around here, madly kicking to keep everyone's heads above the surface.

more beautiful portraits here..



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

the craft sessions..


with The Craft Sessions just around the corner, I thought I'd share a little post about my craft, being crochet, and my style to give you an insight into what to look forward to if you've signed up for one (or both!) of my classes..

I'm so thrilled to be taking part, and to be honest, a little bit star struck by the incredible line up of talented teachers and blogging friends I'll be joining and getting to meet in person.  Actually, over the past six months I've been going through moments of self doubt and quietly freaking out, but then I'd read a post like this one, written by lovely Felicia last week and it reminds me of what this wonderful retreat is all about. The simple love of making with your hands, and sharing the joy with like minded people.

I'm no expert on crochet, that is for absolutely certain, but I do love it.  I love creating beautiful things, I love the therapeutic nature of busy hands, and mostly I love making for people whom I know truly 'get' handmade.

A few years ago, I taught myself to crochet with a 'everything you need to know about crochet' book. Except, I didn't read beyond the basic stitches, so I don't know everything you need to know, but I did find a rhythm and a style that is my own.  It's a great book to refer to when I want to try something new. There's just so much you can do with a simple hook and yarn, its an incredible art and I am in awe of the wonderfully intricate pieces people are capable of making.  For me though,  I have discovered over time that I am hopeless following a pattern.  Perhaps it's the lack of quiet time to concentrate, impatience, or maybe my brain just doesn't work that way.  Its the same with cooking. I might follow a recipe once and then I know all the things I'm going to do differently for next time to make it taste right to me.  I'm more of a 'take a look at something and figure it out as I go' type, or sometimes I'll wake in the middle of the night with a design in my head and just give it a whirl, make mistakes, unravel and try again.  I'm quite sure this would be a painful approach to many, and I totally understand.  Sometimes I curse and get frustrated and wonder why I don't just look up a pattern!

I've tried to make lots of interesting things that I've seen in books or on Pinterest, experimented with colour and fancy stitches, and in the end I always come back to plain and simple.  That's one of the great things about craft.  Like any art, there's no right or wrong or perfect, its whatever you like, individual and unique.

I make by feel.  I've no idea what those numbers mean when they talk about tension.  I picture in my mind how I want it to look and use my hook and yarn accordingly.  For example, to make something soft and drapey I'll use a larger hook and hold my yarn quite loosely, while a smaller or recommended size hook to yarn along with a firm hold will have a tighter, more ridged outcome. But it's not only how the yarn feels in my hand, or a project's tension, weight or even colour, I feel a connection to something as I work and I can tell immediately that it's going to be something wonderful or a complete fail that I will never ever wear or use.  Also, I've only recently discovered, I hold the hook in a weird way, I can't even tell you how that developed, it just felt right.

So hopefully I haven't turned anyone off with my strange ways or technically unsound methods.  All I know is that this way works for me, and the outcome is usually pretty great.  

I'll be taking a beginner crochet class where we'll be learning the basic stitches and making the tea light jar covers pictured above, as well as an intermediate class making a start (and maybe even finishing) the cosy 'blossom' cowl, not to mention drinking tea and chatting to our hearts content!

Just like last year, the workshops look so amazing.  From a variety of knitting classes, sewing, weaving, embroidery, natural yarn dying and block printing.  Throw in some yoga, beautiful surroundings and fabulous crafty types, and I'd say it might be the perfect weekend away for this mumma!


Monday, July 21, 2014

making..



Some makes from the last couple of weeks.

Two cowls, actually there were three but I forgot to photograph one before posting it, a beanie and gloves, and some new born baby gifting with a pompom trim.

There are still so many more requests to fill, my hands are busy busy and I'm enjoying it a lot!  Now that winter is halfway through, its a race against time.  I'm hoping I can get things done so they can be used before the season ends..

back to it..


Sunday, July 20, 2014

29/52..



a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014..


olive: always with those raised eyebrows, I'd love to know your thoughts when you do this..

james and eddie: having a camp-out in the beach hut, on the back deck..hours of fun and adventures

harvey: stirring your brothers, and denying it of course..


Halfway through winter already and we're making the most of mild days and bursts of sunshine.  It's not seemed so bad this year, I'd like to think its been my conscious effort to keep a more positive mindset..so far so good and only six weeks 'til spring!


joining jodi's 52 project.. 



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

stealing time, chasing sun and the kindness of strangers..




I'm stealing time whenever I can and I've been on a making frenzy, its just that time of year.  I'm making winter warmers for lovely people, more blankets for newborn babies and random bits and pieces upon request.

I'm chasing winter sunshine and soaking in its warmth and light as it filters through the bedroom window right into 'my' spot..not that I'm ever alone in 'my' spot, I have a pint sized very bossy shadow (who thinks its her spot) to keep me company all of the time.

And how's this for heartwarming..

Last week as I was nearing the end of a project I ran out of yarn, and wouldn't you know it, this particular line had since been discontinued.  I was cursing myself for deviating from my original pattern, about to unravel and start again. Before I did, I posted a picture on instagram to see if anyone might know of some suppliers that could still have some in stock or even if someone had leftovers in their stash.  I didn't hold my breathe, but within a couple of hours I had so many helpful responses and a wonderfully generous lady all the way over in WA had two whole balls!!  So we did a little trade. Such an incredible community, that's what I love about social media.

This is supposed to be our quiet time of year but it turns out we're busier than ever!  It's a good thing our boys are so happy at home, because there was little time for holiday outings and fortunately, they were very okay with that.  Now schools back and the work keeps rolling in. I have a growing stack of projects and not enough time to tend to them. They just sit there all piled up, catching pretty winter light.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

28/52..



a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014..


eddie: I love that your feet still dangle so far off the ground..

james: pyjamas and minecraft, "best birthday ever!"..

olive: a screaming meltdown at nan and pops, I think you frightened your young aunties a tiny bit..

harvey: you were all 'joe cool' but I know you had fun..


Our second week of school holidays was much the same as the first, all day jammie days with one single awesome day out..and a special double figures birthday.



Monday, July 7, 2014

27/52..



a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014..

harvey: stopping to soak in the winter sunshine..

james and eddie: convinced they see an underwater grave, always with the spooky right now..

olive: taking a break on what must seem like an endless stair climb..


These have to be some of my favourites so far, maybe because it was such an enjoyable day.  We had the most spectacular weather for one whole day of the school holidays last week, so we made the most of it with a trip into town to walk along the waterfront, visit the playground, run and adventure and play tourist a little bit.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

more blanket love..


My blanket making is in full swing.  After finishing Olive's blanket in May, I have been busily working that hook on some snugly rugs for new babies soon to be born.

I think its safe to say, I'm a little pre-occupied with these at the moment, sneaking in a few rows wherever I can, I was busting to finish all three just to see them neatly stacked one on top of the other! Also,  I think one of the best things about the making is the gifting.  I'm so looking forward to handing these over in little handmade welcome packs.

The most treasured gifts we ever received for our new babies, apart from the ready made meals (BEST!), were the little pieces handmade with love. There's nothing quite like it, is there.