Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rest time

Our beautiful youngest daughter has been killed in a road accident.
At just 38 and with so much more to offer the world, she is gone.
The core has been torn from my being.
I will never hear her laugh, see her wonderful smile again.
I haven't had the heart to blog and so am taking a rest.
Thank you to all those who have visited me; it has been exciting hearing from people on the other side of the world as well as here in Oz.
I wish you all well.
My one parting piece of advice, and you already know what I'm going to say:
Treasure every moment you have with your precious loved ones. Make good memories to keep with you always.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another new experience

The electric water heater that supplies all of our hot water needs has packed it in, and this morning, with the temperature at 5 degrees Celsius I discovered that I was faced with the prospect of either a cold shower, or none at all. With the grass outside covered in a crisp, crunchy frost, neither option appealed to me but I had a meeting to attend so something had to be done. These old buckets, normally used in my garden, came to my rescue and, filled with hot water from our electric kettle in the kitchen, they provided a primitive but satisfying means of taking a shower. With the use of a plastic cup to scoop the water over my head I found the whole process far less traumatic than might be imagined and the surprise was that I only needed a little over one 9 litre bucket full of water.
This brings me to some thought provoking reflections: In many countries in the world, my shower this morning would be pure luxury - hot, clean water that was more than enough for my needs. How blessed am I? I jump into my shower every morning and turn on the hot water without a thought, taking my blessings for granted. I think I will be a little more thankful in future.
May you have all your needs supplied and a little to spare.
Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A new experience

Hamish is cold. He lives in our Victorian Alpine region where it gets jolly cold and his owner asked me if I would knit a coat for him. I've never knitted a coat for a dog. Clearly I have missed the mark as this one is much too tight. Doesn't he look embarrassed, poor love? I can hear him saying, "I do feel such a fool, must you take my photo?" Sorry Hamish but I needed to get some idea of where I went wrong with this coat so I can start again on something more suited to your marvelous physic
This coat will not go to waste as it will fit one of Hamish's smaller golden retriever companions who are also in line for a knitted coat. I think I'll be busy for a while.
I have some lovely Bendigo Mills machine washable wool in a shade called Cranberry. Just the thing eh Hamish?
Back to the needles.
I hope all those out there in blogging land are keeping warm. It's really nippy here these days.
Bye for now until next time.

PS. Amendment! I have finally managed to add the pics of Hamish that I struggled with when I first wrote this blog. It seems that Google's new system will only work on my lap top which runs Windows 7 rather than the desktop which runs XP. Very irritating. After clicking about all over the place I finally found the old form. Aaah. Like a comfy of pair of slippers.
Google I really don't like your new look.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Slow Progress

Moving on with the blankets that I am enlarging for my friend. It doesn't do to hold your breath while you wait for me to get through a project as I work very slowly due to my arthritic thumbs. At this point I could probably issue all sorts of dire warnings to crafters about overusing their hands but if you're anything like me you won't listen. Sitting with idle hands, for me is not an option; I get really fidgety and if I'm watching television I just fall asleep. I've thought of other crafts that I could do that might be less punishing to my poor old hands but I don't find them as satisfying as knitting and crochet. I learned both these crafts when I was 6 and 10 respectively and I have never tired of doing them. It's that Capricorn practicality, I just have this urge to make something that's useful and needed. So now I'm learning to slow down and not overdo the work I love. It took the message a while to get through, didn't it?
Anyway here is my latest effort. The colours are prettier than the photo shows and I'm quite pleased with it. That dark blue is actually mauve. Only another 5 to go but I think I'll take up some knitting for a few weeks as a friend has given me enough yarn to make a little cardigan for a toddler and I've found just the pattern for it.
I hope you're loving the things that you're creating.
Bye for now until next time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shared bounty.

One of my favourite trees in our garden is the fig tree which produces masses of lovely big juicy figs every year. As it is with most home-grown food, we are able to share the fruit among friends as well as put by enough to last us for about half the year. Well actually I am the one for whom they're being put by; the man of the house dislikes figs and has been known to make derogatory remarks about them. This means, of course, that the load that is half filling our freezer is mine, all mine. (cue maniacal laughter) I must be quick when picking the fruit however as the birds enjoy them too and the picture shows what I find if I'm tardy. Birds need to eat too and so I'm happy to share because I enjoy the birds in my garden.
For me netting is out as I once found a little deceased blackbird entangled in the netting. I love the song of the blackbirds and I was upset for days afterwards. I removed the netting and have never netted the tree since. There is plenty of fruit for me and my friends to share, including the feathered variety.
I hope the coming weekend will be a good one for you. Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One step further

Those little medallions that I showed you a couple of posts ago have grown to become the twenty squares that I need to enlarge the little blanket that I have been working on for a friend. All I have left to do now is to sew them together - not my favourite job but it means that soon I will have a nice knee cover. I decided to keep to the colours in the original blanket and I will alternate the squares as I sew them up.
I'm still beavering away at that stash pile. I'm sure there is at least another blanket's worth in there. Back to the hook for the next one.
Must go now; we are Pepper sitting again and he needs a walk. Our evenings are drawing in with Autumn and it's nicer to walk in the sunshine than the dark.
I hope you will all have a happy and blessed Easter.
Bye for now until next time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Special Moment.

I know I've shown you this little fellow before. He's a possum that I met when visiting an animal sanctuary in Queensland 2 years ago. He is a brush-tailed possum, one of our natives and although protected, his kind are very common in suburban Melbourne. Most people, especially garden lovers, call them pests and try to get rid of them. They do have a voracious appetite for most garden plants (especially roses) but I'm happy to share our patch of land with the little bloke that lives in our shed and last night I had the absolute joy of meeting him. Unfortunately the encounter was so brief there was no time for photos. And I don't know who was the more surprised. We have a large ash tree outside our backdoor and that's where I put the fruit scraps that I leave for the possum, in the mistaken belief that he will enjoy them instead of eating my garden plants. (He loves my geraniums as much as I do but for different reasons.) Anyway, there I was doing the fruit thing when I heard a faint rustle and a little face peeped round the trunk of the tree. We stared at each other for a few seconds before he turned and moved away and so did I. When the distance between us was to his liking he came back and started on his snack.
Some days something happens to leave a special memory, and this was my day.
I hope something nice has happened for you today. Bye for now till next time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another granny

I'm still on the project of enlarging some little cot covers for my friend. This one is a bit awkward because it is a different size from the last two that I worked on, although it still needs to be made larger. I think it is going to be a knee-rug size and I've worked out that I will need 20 new squares to finish it off. So here I go. Those little daisies are to be the centre of each new square and the big granny is the blanket that is to be enlarged.
I'm sticking with the plain granny square pattern for the new squares so that they will match the centre.
Wandering through my books yesterday I found one I forgot I had. Ooh I do love doing that. This book is called 'Discovering Crochet' and is one of the Mon Tricot series put out in the 70's. There are some granny squares in there that I would like to try. Oh for another pair of hands. I feel some WIPs and UFOs coming on. Meanwhile I'll be good and get on with the present job.
It's a blistering 38 degrees here in Melbourne today. That's 100 in the old Farenheit language. No matter how it is measured it is still jolly hot. Roll on Autumn, my favourite season.
I hope the weather is being kind to you wherever you are.
Bye for now until next time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ready to go.

Number one of the blankets that I am enlarging for a friend is finished. The small squares surrounding the large ones are mine. Yes I know I'm slow but many years of too much crochet & knitting have taken their toll on my hands and I try to ration the length of time I spend at my beloved crafts. I'm really pleased with this effort though the stash still doesn't look any smaller. I'm beginning to think it is related to the Magic Pudding and will never get smaller no matter how much of it I use. What a lovely thought - endless craft supplies - yes please.
On this subject I have a message from the man of the house, who shakes his head in bewilderment when I speak of my stash in guilty tones. "I don't know why you crafters worry about your stash," he says. "Just enjoy it. You know you'd go balmy without it." So there you have it fellow stash holders. From one member of the non-knitting/crocheting population, "Go for it."
I'm now starting on the next enlargement project.
Bye for now until next time.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Present for Bonnie.

Since way back in the dawn of time (my time anyway) I've loved to make doll's clothes. Collecting offcuts from Mum's sewing projects and using a needle and thread to gather strips of fabric onto a band, I turned out skirts galore. I was pretty chuffed with myself because I could do a proper waistband. I was allowed to use Mum's sewing machine only so long as I didn't turn on the power, (that privelege didn't come until I was 12). Turning the wheel by hand, though laborious, got the job done more quickly. Any excuse to dress a doll was good enough and not much has changed over the decades. So when this little dolly needed some new clothes I needed no persuasion. Bonnie is the daughter of friends of ours and loves to play with her dolls. So here is a new dress, some pyjamas, and a jacket. I hope Bonnie gets as much fun from them as I have had. Wishing you a good day wherever you are.
Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A challenge

A friend who works in the newborn unit of one of our hospitals has given me a bundle of beautifully crocheted little blankets. They were intended as a gift for the unit's cots but are in acrylic and will not stand up to the very hot water that the hospital's laundry uses. Being a tiny cot size they are not large enough to wrap a baby so my friend was unable to pass them on to the hospital's welfare section. It saddened her to think that this lovely well-intentioned gift should go to waste so she presented them to me wondering - could I do anything with them? Well now I ask you; what crafter could resist a challenge like that? My first thought was to stitch some of them together to make a larger blanket. "Make it big enough for a single bed then it could still wrap a baby if necessary." suggested the man of the house. Not just a pretty face that man. That done I took the blanket off to a local welfare agency that rehouses those fleeing from abuse. I thought I'd match up the colours in the others and work extra squares to enlarge them. What an opportunity to reduce my stash. So here I am half-way through the first one, making smaller squares to add to the little cot cover in the centre. Do you know my stash doesn't look any smaller. I'm hoping it will by the time I get through a few more.
I do hope your year has got off to a good start and will just keep getting better.
Bye for now until next time.