Monday, 11 June 2012

What have you been up to?

It's getting a little chilly on my side of the world. Only 10 days until the Winter Equinox. Cold mornings, short days. Evenings spent huddled under blankets, fingers wrapped around cups of tea.

Today was the Queen's Birthday holiday here, and we were treated to a beautiful blue-sky day. Bugger that I had to work this morning. Never mind. The Man and I took the kids to the park in the afternoon, where they showed off their climbing skills (i.e. lots of me whispering "please come down, you're making me nervous"). And the Man showed off his chin-ups (whoo-hoo). I took my camera, but didn't have much luck with taking any photos. 

I've started a photography course at the local Neighbourhood House - four 2 hour sessions - so I've been lugging my hefty DSLR everywhere. My kids haven't yet tired of having their photos taken.

But now for my exciting news. 

I listed my first pattern for sale on Ravelry!

(cue Anxious Me)

"Will anyone like it?"

"Will anyone buy it?"

"Will they understand the pattern?"

"OMG, what if there are mistakes?"

"Oh, no, nobody will like it..."

and so on.

So here it is - Newborn Rose Booties

What do you think?

Cheers, Paula.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Good Friday

Some sad news on Good Friday. My sixteen year old cat, Olive, died today. She had been getting thin and weak for the past month or so, and got rapidly worse overnight. 

We decided to bury her at our new house building site. My 7 year old daughter was suitably tearful, but my 6 year old son wasn't sure what the fuss was about.
RIP Olive.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Almost Winter

This is how Melbourne tells you it is almost Winter...
31 degrees C, then ten days later the temperature is down to 18 degrees C. And you can tell the winter-people from the summer-people. The latter are shivering, dressed in light clothing, defying the cold air. They complain about a bit of rain.
I'm a winter-person. I embrace the cold air. I pull out my boots and scarves and coats with a happy heart. I look forward to the ritual changing of the summer blankets to the thick down quilts. 

Ahh, almost Winter. In Melbourne that means the Craft and Quilt Fair, the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo. It means longer evenings, cups of tea, casseroles, wooly socks, porridge. And it means my birthday too!

This weekend I learned a new skill - yarn winding. I thought I would need one of those nifty (expensive) yarn-winders. But who would have known that all I needed was an empty toilet roll cardboard tube? This tutorial was helpful, and so was this one.

I've done 15 balls already!
Cheers, Paula.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Our First Craft Market.

We finally made it!!!!!

I booked our first market with a bit of trepidation......would we have enough stock to make our stall look professional????  Would people like what we made????  Would I be able to get out of bed early enough to make it to Hanging Rock on time????

Well, I made it there in plenty of time and was even able to have three children organised as well.  It does help that my husband was looking forward to a day climbing Hanging Rock and eating yummy gourmet market food!!!!

We did have enough stock to fill three tables plus a bit more left over to fill the spaces as we sold out.  (Well, that was the plan!!) 

 And, people did like our work.  We had many compliments during the day, sold a bit of our work and came home with a few new contacts and some real possibilities for the future.  We also now know what sells and what parents are looking for.

 This market was a great learning curve for us both and we are looking forward to doing it all over again.  With maybe sides on our marquee to keep out the wind.  And a huge supply of hot tea to keep us going all day.

Paula is just waiting for the next phone call to say, "I have booked ............ market.  Let's go!!!!"

Don't forget to look out for us at the next market you go to.  We just might be there.  If you do see us, come and say hi.  We may even share our tea with you!!!!


Thursday, 15 March 2012

A long weekend

What does one do to fill in time during a long weekend at home? Why, make costumes for one's children of course!

My two chickens have to dress like schoolchildren from the early 1900s for school next week. So after a trip to the Salvos to pick up some old sheets and shirts, out came the sewing machine, and here's what we came up with...
They love their costumes almost as much as I loved making them.

Cheers, Paula.

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Pattern

I love wrist-warmers. I don’t love sewing seams. So with a single ball of dusty pink Cashmerino, what else was I to do, except make up a little pattern for some lacy wrist-warmers, worked in the round. 

One ball turned out to be the perfect amount, with just a tiny bit left over.

I took some photos as I made the second one. Unfortunately, it was getting late, and relying on my phone’s camera flash was perhaps a mistake. Never mind. I’ll post the pattern, with my (not-so-fantastic) photos, with a promise edit later. As soon as I have time to make another pair.

Please, please feel free to pick me up on any mistakes - I’m just learning to write patterns.

Seamless Wrist-warmers, by Paula.
Made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and 4mm hook
Ch 36, join with ss to form ring. Check to see if this loop fits over your hand, and sits snuggly but not tight around your arm where you want your wrist-warmers to start. If it is too tight or loose, change your hook size up or down accordingly.

Round 1 - Ch 1 (counts as first sc), * skip next 2 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch, skip 2 ch, sc in next ch; rep from * to end, but instead of the last sc, work a ss into ch1 at start of row.

Round 2 - Ch 3 (counts as dc), * in ch 1 sp, work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), 1 dc in sc of 1st rnd; rep from * until end, working a ss into top of ch3 at start of rnd to join.

Round 3 - Ch 3 (counts as dc), * in ch 1 sp, work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), 1 dc in dc of 2nd rnd; rep from * until end, working a ss into top of ch3 at start of rnd to join.
Repeat Round 3 until there are 10 rounds in total (or to desired length).
Shape hole for thumb.
Round 11 - Ch 3, [(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch 1 sp, 1dc] twice, 2 dc in ch 1 sp, ch 9 (I’ll call this the thumb loop), dc in next ch 1 sp, [1 dc, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch 1 sp] twice, ss in top of ch 3 at start of rnd to join.

Round 12 - Ch 3, [(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch 1 sp, 1dc] twice, in 1st ch of thumb loop work (2 dc, ch 1, 1 dc), ch 1, sc in top of thumb loop, ch 1, in last ch of thumb loop work (1 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), dc in next ch 1 sp, [1 dc, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch 1 sp] twice, ss in top of ch 3 at start of rnd to join.

Round 13 - worked the same as round 3, except work a sc into the sc at the top of the thumb loop, instead of a dc.
Repeat round 3 twice.
Round 16 - ch 1, work sc in each dc, and in each ch 1 space, ss to first ch, fasten off.
Join yarn to thumb hole, ch 1 and work an edging of sc (I worked 18 stitches in each), ss to  ch 1, fasten off.

Cheers, Paula.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Off to Market

A few months ago, my sister and I would sit around, drink tea (and lattes), and talk big. About making and creating and selling (and also about leaving our jobs to sit around making stuff and drinking tea).

Then came the email.

"I've booked a stall at the Hanging Rock Market!"

Whoa now, not so fast. A stall? Don't you know I've only made just one or two little things? I have a job, and a husband, and children. And I have Doctor Who to watch.

But of course, how could I possibly say no?

This is our dream, for goodness sake!

So I have been crocheting like a mad woman, every chance I have. Ignoring the funny looks at the cafe. Politely answering questions from little children, while my daughter has her circus lessons. Getting used to saying "No, it's not knitting, it's crochet".

Then last night, I started getting a funny pain in my left wrist, and I kept waking up with pins and needles in my little finger. Hmm, maybe I should take a night off.

Two weeks to go. That's if my wrist holds up.

Cheers, Paula.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


What can I say. I didn't plan to buy more yarn. Well, not consciously. But did I really expect to walk out of Morris and Sons empty-handed?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Busy / Lazy

Wow, two weeks since my last post. Too busy? Too lazy? Maybe a bit of both? Ok, ok, but I do have something to show for my absence - a few half-finished projects, and some Holiday Snaps.

This weekend I went a little owl crazy, and made two Little Owl clip-ons (is that what they're called?)

Then my imagination kicked in, and I thought..."what if..?", and before I knew it, I was whipping up a Little Owl coin purse. Well, not exactly "whipping up". More like crochet, unravel, crochet, unravel, and so on. But after almost a full day, this is what appeared. Pity I can't have the same enthusiasm and perseverance for housework!

And now, as promised, Holiday Snaps.

Cheers, Paula.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Paula's Projects

I guess I'm not the only one with too many projects on the go. It's like a drug - that heady rush I get when I start something new. I love finishing stuff, but it's the process I really love. The imagining, the starting, the re-working. The trouble is, each project stirs up more creative ideas. 

So what am I working on at the moment?

1. Stripy wool blanket

2. Covered coat hangers

3. Flower motif string bag

4. Beaded necklace

5. Orange ribbon yarn placemats.

6. Tapestry crochet bag

The last is my favourite. When I was visiting my sister in Ireland last year, she took me to our favourite wool store, The Yarn Room . The lovely Irene Lundgaard had on display there a most beautiful crochet bag.

Well, when I got home, I showed the photo to a friend. My friend messaged me the next day - "can't stop thinking about the bag, would you like to both make one?" So we set ourselves a challenge. To make a bag, using Irene's as inspiration, during the summer school holidays. And we would unveil them at the start of the school year.  Here it is so far...

Oh, and by the way, those are just my crochet projects.  That's not counting the knitting and the sewing and the quilting and...

Cheers, Paula.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rainy Days are Creative Days at my Home.

I woke up to the rain this morning and decided that it was a stay at home indoors kind of day.  Just the kind of day that I can spend making something new.  So here are my projects for today.

First were some new covered buttons. 

I purchased a book called "Doodle Stitching" by Aimee Ray last year and fell in love. But never got around to trying any embroidery from the book. Today was the day. I purchased some linen/cotton fabric just for these buttons. And pulled out the embroidery cotton that was my mums. These were my first attempt and I think they look pretty good.

Next project was an iphone cover for someone special.  This was a little project kit which came with a new magazine I recently found and love - "Mollie Makes".  I am a little disapointed with the finish of the top right hand corner, but I guess it makes the cover look 'rustic'. 

Anyway, the rain has stopped now and the sun is shining and it is time to get the kids outside.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Tea cups, milk jugs and late night shopping

Who would have thought the little sleepy town where I grew up is now home to at least four antique / vintage shops? 
Along with little art studios, cafes, and a playground that puts our neighbourhood park to shame. I couldn't resist this pretty trio and milk jug.

You might notice, in the background of the previous photos are some skeins of yarn. The end result of a late-night eBay shopping spree.

A bundle of scrumptious merino, silk, alpaca and cashmere.

Cheers, Paula.

Monday, 9 January 2012

My First Post.....Ever!!!

Some people start with small dreams and get bigger.  We had to rein our dream in!!! 

It started late one night when we were both a bit over tired and silly.  What if we opened our own shop???  It would be fantastic and we could sell everything we make and it would have soft cosy couches to read craft books and knit and crochet, and we could drink cups of tea and we could teach people our crafts (which when listed was quite a few) and and and....... 

We had so many ideas and both went to sleep with dreams of our business venture (adventure!!!). 

After lots of discussion and husbands who said "you will never make any money from this" and "it will never work", we decided that we should start small and get bigger.

 Maybe we could have a market stall and sell our work and drink cups of tea!!!!   We had so many ideas and just not enough time to make them ALL a reality.

So here we are, writing a blog (when we have time) and trying to start our dream business. It may be small now, but it can only get bigger!!!

Make (we make)  Believe (believe in dreams)


Friday, 6 January 2012

Grey Bunny

I've finished my first original soft toy pattern. 
Meet Grey Bunny.

He's crocheted from soft squishy Eki Riva 100% baby alpaca yarn. I decided to make him in a "teddy bear" style, so his arms and legs are jointed with thread.

And he has a cute little bunny tail.

Grey Bunny is a gift for my friend's brand new baby girl, Evie. But I think I'll work on the pattern a bit more, and maybe give the legs more shape.

Cheers, Paula.