settling in

It’s been almost 2 weeks now since we moved house! We have our internet connected again, so it’s high time for a blog post :-)

We are settling in well, it didn’t take long to make the house look like ‘home’, well at least until the next carload of boxes arrived from the old house. One morning last week, before another run to pick up some more things, and while the house was tidy I snapped a few photos.

Our living/dining/kitchen is one room which runs the length of the house along the north side so it can take in all of the light and warmth. I’ve always dreamed of a ‘country’ kitchen and ours is a small twist on the traditional layout with the addition of an island bench against we’ve butted our large dining table.

New House 1

New House 4

New House 9

New House 3

New House 7

Behind the living area on the other side of the house is a sewing room, kids activity area (which is behind a central fireplace) and off the kitchen/dining area is the stairwell and laundry.

New House 2

New House 5

The kids have been home on school holidays too since we’ve moved which has been nice, no rushing around in the morning and they have tolerated the ‘boring’ days as we cleaned and unpacked.

Thankfully there’s been Lego and craft to keep them occupied:

New House 10

New House 11

The pencil tins in the photo above were one of my first little craft projects after we moved. I had been saving cans, and covered them with scrapbooking paper using some double-sided tape. Easy – and cute!

The pets are also settling in well, the cat is loving the sun that is already flooding in during the day, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it even more in the winter.

New House 13

And Oscar loves that he can see us in the house through most of the windows and doors, and we like it too! I snapped this picture of him through our living room window:

New House 8

There’s still a little bit to be done, like the garden and backyard outside and some cupboards to sort and organise inside, but overall we’re pretty comfy in here already.

When the kids are back to school I’ll be making a start on the sewing room :-)

checking in

Flowers

I’ve sat down a few times today to try and write this post! Although this is predominantly a craft blog, it also serves as a record for the life of my little family, and so I felt the need to check in, say hello and explain my absence over the past week and a half.

Last Sunday 30th March, my father-in-law lost his year long brave battle with cancer (Mesothelioma). We spent a week away from home spending time with the family after his passing.

Opa's Funeral

6 of the 11 grandchildren from 3 families, at the funeral

Although we take great comfort in the fact that he is no longer suffering, and is now at home with the Lord, there is still an empty place left behind in our lives. We are thankful to family ad friends for their love and support during this time, and also the greater church community who have also been amazing.

Life has that uncanny ability of just continuing on, even though it feels like life around us should just stand still.

This coming week we have our house move planned, on my birthday no less! This will keep us busy, no doubt. Time to get caught up with some packing and sorting.

Woolly Blankets

I did take a moment to enjoy this pile of knitted and crocheted loveliness as I was tidying this morning, it’s not all of the blankets I’ve made but almost all.

And that’s an important part of life isn’t it? Taking time to enjoy even the smallest moments of joy. We really do have so much to be grateful for in this life, even in the midst of tough times.

Chrysanthenum

I’ll pop back in again once we are settled – I haven’t forgotten about the pattern for the jar covers! I promise to share it soon :-)

quick fix crochet

The skein of cotton is now finished! Well almost, I think I can probably squeeze a few more of these out of it:

Crochet Balls

This is the little project I made with my leftover yarn club yarn – 7 little amigurumi balls. I used this pattern from Lucy at Attic24 except I did make mine up a little differently. The main change being I turned mine inside out so that the right side of the crochet was on the outside – it also meant I could hide one end of the yarn inside the ball – less fiddly darning!

Once the little balls were complete, I poked the sharp end of a skewer into the little hole that was left over once I had finished decreasing. Once we have moved and I find my hot glue gun again, I would like to use it to fasten them a little more securely.

Crochet Balls 2

Rather cute! Izzy said they reminded her of plants from a Dr Suess book and I think she’s quite right. They do make me smile every time I walk past them.

Maybelle Flower

I also had enough yarn for one Maybelle crochet flower. The perfect size for a coaster, I think I will be making more of these!

Over the week I became quite addicted to these quick-fix crochet projects – I’ve been crocheting blankets for too long I think! After I had used up all of my coral yarn, I delved into my stash (well, the part of the stash I can still access that is!) and started crocheting jar covers.

Crochet Jar Cover

I will share a pattern for these next week, I just have to make a few more in different sizes to test the pattern. Otherwise you would all need to go and buy large jars of Patak’s curry sauces so that the cover fits :-)

Have a great weekend wherever you are, I’m still trying to get my head around the fact it’s Friday already!

 

coral cotton crush

Cotton Dishcloth Collage

After completing my crochet squares from my last post I bet you guessed it wouldn’t have taken me long to cast on some knitting with my Autumn Yarn Club yarn. You would be right :-) I even remembered where I’d packed my yarn winder, and it didn’t require moving 10 other boxes to get to – win! Our move date has been put back 2 weeks as well so that means more time to sneak in some knitting.

The cotton yarn from the yarn club is ‘Sierra’ by Cascade Yarns. I’ve just read via Jellywares on Marshall that it’s going to be discontinued which is a shame as it is a beautiful yarn. 80% cotton and 20% merino wool which gives it a beautiful softness.

Leafy Washcloth Stocking Stitch

To start with, I knitted the pattern that came with the package – Leafy Washcloth in stocking stitch. I think it’s too pretty for a washcloth and it makes a perfect ‘doily’ for a small vase.

Knitted Washcloths

Next up I knitted two dishcloths, first using a basket weave pattern with a moss stitch border, and then another using a fleck stitch pattern with a garter stitch border. I don’t have links to patterns for these as I just adapted my own because I couldn’t really match tension to any others I found.

Leafy Washcloth Garter Stitch

I thought after my second dishcloth the yarn would surely be nearing the end of the ball, but no, there was still more! So I cast on another leafy washcloth using the garter stitch pattern this time. I did make it a little smaller because I was sure I would run out of yarn, but I finished it with a lot to spare.

Cotton Crochet

And as I was still left with a little ball, I’ve now switched to the crochet hook to use up the rest of the yarn. Stay tuned for that project.

Apologies for the coral coloured overload in this post! I’ll interrupt it briefly with a photo of little miss 5 who asked for me to take a photo of her while I was photographing my knitting, of course I obliged!

Izzy March

I’m actually a bit of a newbie to the world of handmade dishcloths, I crocheted some a few years ago for my sister-in-law’s birthday and she said she loves using them, so it’s probably about time I made some for myself!

Have you used handmade dishcloths? How do they hold up to the rigours of the kitchen?

crochet for a cause

Crocodile Flower Square 2

Today I completed my 8 squares for a collaborative blanket, and they should be on their way to the organisers soon! I’m looking forward to seeing the blanket come together.

Our colour palette was pink and teal, I did have a lot more pinks than teals in my stash so my squares are predominantly pink!

Yarn Clouds and Granny Squares

Crocodile Flower Square

The last square I attempted was ‘The Crocodile Flower’. It was quite a challenge and did take a while. I’m not sure I even got the centre perfect but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s a whopper at 12 inches square when finished. If you would like to try the pattern you can find it here via Ravelry.

It has been nice to contribute some crochet ‘for a cause’. I do hope to do more of this in the coming year. In a few weeks a local organisation ‘Pregnancy Matters‘ is holding a fundraising dinner and silent auction. I’ve donated a custom made crochet blanket to the cause. If you happen to be attending this dinner, dig deep, make a bid and you could have your very own handmade blanket just in time for winter!

Here are a few more links if you’ve been thinking about donating some hand knitted or crochet items to charity:

Knit4Charities - Australian site who organise donations to various charities

Making hats for teenagers at Westmead via Retro Mummy

Wrap with Love – distribution of handmade blankets to those in need

Knit a Square - (or crochet!) 8 x 8 inch squares for AIDS orphans

If you know of any more please leave a link in the comments below!

autumn yarn love

Flower Autumn

“Autumn is the hush before winter” ~ French Proverb

Autumn is in the air here, sunny days are being punctuated by a little more cloud and drizzle and the nights are getting crisper, especially just before dawn. I think it might just be my favourite season, it’s my birthday in Autumn too!

When I read on Mel’s blog One Crafty Mumma that she had signed up for an Autumn Yarn Club at Jellywares on Marshall, I hoped straight over and signed up too – a perfect early birthday present for me!

One package a month for the Autumn season, full of yarny goodness. There was even a choice of knitting or crochet too. I chose knitting for a change. The cooler weather always has me itching to knit.

Autumn yarn club pack 1

After watching on Instagram and Facebook as people started receiving their packages, I stalked my post office box every day until mine arrived yesterday. I certainly was not disappointed, happy mail it was :-)

Inside was one skein of a lovely coral coloured cotton, a drawstring project bag, some homemade shortbread, a pattern sheet and a little knitted leaf by Jodie herself.

Knitting Autumn

I’m looking forward to knitting something up now! And if the timing is right, I should receive the next package just after my birthday in April :-)

Do you love Autumn too?

 

friday musings

Just a random post to squeeze in before the weekend. I also just wanted to say thanks for all of your lovely comments and tips on my last post. I really appreciate it :-)

You’ll be happy to know I have started packing – and I started with the most important part of the house – my craft area.

Actually, there was quite a valid reason for this – not just because it seemed like more fun to start there! Over the summer holidays I sorted and tidied every cupboard and room in the house in preparation for moving, but one area I didn’t get around to was my craft space, so it was very much needed.

sewing room storage

My new favourite storage items are stackable wire baskets and takeaway food containers – both from Kmart. I can see the baskets being useful in every cupboard in the house, but I’ve just enough for my fabric for now. The takeaway containers are perfect for keeping my habby sorted – previous to this I just had one large box which made it very hard to find anything.

I also discovered some long lost works-in-progress and unfinished objects while I was sorting. I didn’t stop to take photos except for this one below which I posted on Instagram. You may remember it from a ‘work in progress Wednesday’ post from last year.

Starburst Cushion cover WIP

I attempted to join the squares into a scarf but I didn’t like it and went with a cushion cover instead. And then it was cast aside for something more exciting, I think it was the ends that were putting me off finishing it. A lovely crocheter on Instagram suggested I just poke the ends through to the wrong side and join it – no one will ever know….except for you, my blog readers!

And finally, between the joys of packing I’ve been working on a few squares for a collaborative crochet blanket with a cause. I hope to share some more about it soon after I’ve gotten permission from the organiser, but for now here are the squares I’ve been working on – they still need to be blocked.

Crochet Squares COllage

The large 12inch square is called Yarn Clouds. I really love the ombre effect of this one. Our colour palette is pinks, cream and teal so I’ve also started on a teal version which was pictured in my Tea with Me post from Wednesday.

Phew! And now it’s a busy weekend as we celebrate my little brother’s engagement, looking forward to spending some time with family.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend too, is it just me or do they seem to be coming around very quickly lately? And then they are over just as quickly!

 
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
 

a cup of tea with me!

Tea with Me Bec

Linking up with Pip at Meet me at Mikes today, I’ve just finished the 4 week eCourse ‘Blog with Pip‘ and it’s been great! Although I’ve been blogging for a little while, there is always so much more to learn and you couldn’t ask for a better tutor than Pip. There’s another course running in May, so if you have a blog or are considering blogging – sign up! You won’t regret it.

Hello and welcome to tea with me:

Keep Calm Tea

The kettle is boiled and I have my favourite lemon cream biscuits in the house. English Breakfast is my favourite, but I can whip you up a coffee too, if you prefer. Can’t promise any other biscuits though, my family inhales them quicker than I can make or buy them.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Bec. I’m in my early thirties and a stay-at-home Mum to three whirlwinds aged 3, 5.5 & 8. The two eldest are at school now full-time so it’s just me and my little man at home during the day. He would most likely be sitting on my lap as we do tea, he takes a while to warm up – even with people he knows. You can read more in my About Me.

I love being a stay-at-home Mum as I am a self-confessed homebody, something which appears to have been passed through the genes (isn’t that right, Mum?!). Creativity is a big part of my life. I enjoy designing things, making things, taking photos and blogging about it all! I’m thankful that being a stay-at-home Mum allows me some extra time to be creative, although most of my ‘craft’ is actually done after the kids are in bed. Hooray for early bedtimes.

Have I apologised about the mess around my dining table yet? We are moving house soon, and in fact, I probably had to push aside my list of ’100 things I have to do today’ to find you a seat – but I really would welcome the break from packing. Cuppa tea time is really my favourite time of the day, especially when combined with 5 minutes of crochet, or someone to chat with.

We may chat about blogging, I love that the internet has opened up a world of inspiration through blogs, and then through Pinterest, Instagram etc. Although, at the end of the day I will admit to you that I just can’t go past a nice glossy craft magazine or craft book – perused over a cup of tea preferably!

I will also admit to you that I love fabric and yarn equally, although there has been a bit of a crochet-fest here on my blog lately. I packed up my sewing machine last week in preparation for our house move in two weeks time, so the yarn fest may continue for a little while longer :-)

As we part ways after tea is finished, I’ll moan about how much I dislike moving house – even though my husband and I have done it quite often over the last 10 years, so I have no one to blame but ourselves.

Tea with Me Flowers

I’ll be popping in here where and when I can over the next few weeks while we pack and move and I may even dig up some older posts to fill in the gaps. I’m excited about lots of ideas and things planned here when life returns back to normal once we’re settled.

Thanks so much for stopping by for tea, and reading my blog – I love that you’ve visited.

If you have any awesome packing or moving tips please share, I’d love to hear them!

cushion crazy

Cushion Crazy Collage

This week I’ve been sewing some cushion covers for our new house – nothing like the impending deadline of a move to kick me into gear! I’ve had these fabrics for a while now :-)

I did intend to do a mixture of easier envelope closures and zippers, but in the end I made them all zippered – it really is easy, and finishes of the cushions nicely. You may notice mine are not ‘plump’, this is because our family prefers flatter cushions on the couch – in fact there has been more than 1 sibling war about who gets to use the flat ones!

The geometric print and the floral are both from the Carnaby Road collection of fabrics by Pat Bravo – the geometric is ‘Go Go London’ in Powdery and the floral is ‘Ladylike’ in Green Tea. I love them – and only wish I’d got more, I had just enough for a cushion each. The fabric is lined with a thick fusible interfacing so hopefully they will hold up well to the rough housing of small children.

Couch Cushions 5 Couch Cushions 4

The doily print is ‘Snowflake Lace’ by Robert Kaufman that I was lucky enough to snap up from Sarah Fielke when she held a recent destash on Instagram. I also purchased a bag of scraps from her which even included some Liberty of London and some already pieced strips!

The other rectangular cushions are decor weight fabric from my local fabric store.

Today, in the interests of a smooth move, I should really pack the sewing machine away and make a start on some packing!

Have you been making anything this week?

 

the epic granny stripe blanket

It’s finished!

Granny Stripe Complete

I’m not sure if I remembered to warn you last week about granny stripe overload photos, so be prepared ;-)

Granny Stripe Complete 4

I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself now that’s it done, but luckily I am crocheting my mood blanket in the same yarn so I get to continue indulging in the bright and happy colours.

Granny Stripe Complete 3

After all of this crochet of late, I’ve also been itching to do some knitting again, and I have more than a few of those WIP’s laying around.

Granny Stripe Complete 2

Now for some particulars if you’re interested:

Pattern: Granny Stripe from Attic24

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK in 17 colours (the special ‘Lucy’ pack from Deramores) with a 4mm hook

Size: 1.2m x 1.5m wide

Weight: 1.2kg

Stripes: Random colour order, 72 colour changes (144 rows)

Time: Each colour stripe took approx 30 mins = 36 hours not including the border and darning of ends! I started it back in July 2013, so it’s still taken me over 6 months to finish :-)

Considering it’s such a large blanket, it’s probably one of the cheapest I’ve made thanks to the Stylecraft Special DK. It’s only $2.80 per 100g ball if you buy the colour pack, which is great value for money. It’s also quite soft and easy to work with even though it’s acrylic.

Granny Stripe Complete 7

Because acrylic can take a beating and it’s easy to wash, I’ve decided it’s new home might be on our old (but ridiculously comfy) 3 seater sofa. I’m planning a little reading nook at the new house with this couch – just over 3 weeks now until we move.

Granny Stripe Complete 5

Didn’t take long for the cat to try it out of course!

Granny Stripe Complete 6

Have you finished any long lost works-in-progress lately? I recommend it – it’s a great feeling, and it means you can start a new project guilt-free!

1 2 3 26