Monday, April 30, 2012

To crochet?

I finally finished the little crochet stool cover I have been working on. I started it a while back and almost finished, but changed my mind and started again. I love it!
I used the granny chevron pattern for this.
I've had a few people asking about patterns and telling me how much they would love to be able to crochet, so I decided I'd do a few tutorials. I've never done tutorials before, so I hope I can make it easy for you to get started and learn some cool patterns.
Watch this space and I'll see what I can come up with.

Do you know how to crochet?
Do you want to learn how to crochet?

Still the weekend

A lot of people complain about Mondays. Not me. I love Mondays.
I work Saturday and get Sunday & Monday off, so it's a part of my weekend really. And there's the added bonus of having the kids at school so I can get things done without hearing any whining.

The weekend was busy but pretty relaxed, which is how all weekends have been lately. I havn't wanted to go anywhere. I think the craziness of January is still playing with me.

A lot of housework was done, which is boring but I am very pleased now to feel organised. 

Ryleah had some birthday money to spend, so we went to our favourite shop Ruth's and she got herself a metal give way sign (she has a thing for signs!) and a vintage sewing machine.
Her love for all things old has started very young. 

I have been doing a lot of online research into some new stock for my shop. It's exciting stuff!
Looks like a trip to India might be in store. They have amazing textiles over there.
I have been baking too.
It keeps my kitchen warm on these crisp days.
There has been crochet, of course.
And some stitiching to decorate my bedroom.
And animal love to make it complete!

Today I think I'll make a banana cake.

How was your weekend?
Do you like Mondays?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cold weather blues

This weather. Blergh.

Today is cold, it is raining, it is dark, it is miserable. There was even a rumble of thunder.

2 days ago it was perfect. 26 degrees, sunny, no clouds. Then this.
When we get to this time of year, I have very mixed feelings.

Some things I hate, and some things I love.

I hate how dark the house gets, and the fact that I have to turn lights on during the day.
I hate that it takes a lot of motivation to get me moving. The sun seems to be energy for me!
I hate having to go outside when it's raining, and the bottom of my pants get all wet (cos I'm short and all my pants are too long!)
I hate that I have to dry Alfie's paws everytime he comes back inside, or risk having muddy footprints all over the carpet.
I hate that I can't get any decent photos inside, due to my lacking in good equipment

But there are quite a few things I love about the colder weather.
I love dressing in thick cosy tights with layers upon layers of singlets, dresses, cardis and jackets.
I love having the fire lit inside, just seeing it makes the home feel cosier!
I love it when the sun peeks through during or after rain - it makes the wet leaves on our gum trees look all glittery! 
I love cooking hearty, wholesome meals and soups. And roasts!
I love getting into bed with freezing feet and feeling the warm sheets from the electric blanket.
I love putting on my most bogan clothes and gumboots and going outside to tackle some wintry jobs, like digging a trench into the dam to stop water pooling in the paddock (ok so that's only happened a couple of times, but it was very satisfying seeing the dam water rise afterwards!)
Bonfires, I love bonfires!
And of course crochet on the couch watching movies, always a winner!
No muddy paws yet!
It's good to think of these things when the weather brings you down.

What about you? Do you like this weather?
What do you like the most about the colder months?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This year, thanks to a little inspiration from Fox's lane, I decided to make jam.

We have an abundance of blackberries that grow on and around our property, so Ryleah, Alfie and I got to work picking. I didn't need a ridiculous amount as I'm the only one that eats jam in my house so we collected around 1 kilo. It was enough to make 5 or 6 jars. Plenty for me and some for friends and family too!

I also bought some fresh strawberries from a guy who was selling them in town. He was like a door to door strawberry salesman! They were big and juicy looking, yum. I would make jam from these as my first test batch. I thought it might be nice with apples too so strawberry and apple jam it was.

The first batch was a huge success. I never realised just how easy it was to make jam! Have you ever tried it?  I used CSR jam setting sugar so it already had all I needed in it's little pack. Is that cheating? Cos I feel like it was too easy. 

All you need to do is:

Wash, dry & sterilize your jars, then pop them into a hot oven. It's important for you to have hot jars otherwise the glass will shatter when you pour the hot jam in.
Peel/chop/blend your fruit
Simmer it over a low heat with an equal amount of sugar (I used 1 kilo of fruit : 1 kilo sugar) until the sugar has dissolved
Bring to the boil for 4 minutes
Pour into hot jars
See, too easy right?
If you havn't made jam before, you really should give it a go!
It is really satisfying when you spread it onto a nice homemade scone.
Old fashioned goodness!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sweetness in a bottle

The house might be in a state of disarray, but at least these cute flowers in vintage bottles and vases make it look pretty!
I love fresh flowers, but I hardly ever buy them. I just forget.
These ones are just from the local supermarket, but I think they look so sweet!

Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tough life lessons

Today was the saddest day of my life because my bird Archie passed away. It made my day just hearing him sing. And seeing him poke his head out of his cage made me laugh. And seeing him sleeping. He was my best friend but now that he has gone I will never be happy again. I loved him so so so so so so much! Even though I didn't have him for long I still loved him. I don't think there's another bird as good as Archie :(

Lots of love from Ryleah

P.s I will never forget you Archie :(

Today has been a hard day for Ryleah.
It has been one of those life lessons type of days.

You see, 2 days ago her beloved cockatiel Archie (you may have met him back here) died.
It isn't clear what has happened to him. Ben was looking after all the pets while we were away, and he found him under Ryleah's bed (he had a cage but it was always open for him to fly around the house). Just one of those things I suppose.

Anyway, I found out straight away when Ben called, but I had a dilemma. Ryleah was excited, so excited for her birthday the next day, and I didn't want to ruin her day, or the build up to it. So I waited. I had dreams about it last night! I didn't want to have to tell her.
I knew I had to tell her before we got home, but how? When? Where?
I didn't want her running to her room to see him only to find an empty cage, Archie nowhere to be seen. I didn't want to tell her as we were packing up the tent and leaving, it didn't feel right. I couldn't tell her while we were driving home, how could I comfort her if I was driving?

In the end I decided to take the kids to a secluded part of beach on our way home. I broke the news to her gently while we were sitting on the sand watching the waves. It was so hard. I mean, to me he was just a bird, but to her, well, he was her baby! She was the only one he would let near him. They were buddies. She broke down immediately, and I felt like the worst person ever. Did I do the right thing bringing her there to tell her? I don't know. I don't think it would have made it easier being anywhere else.
She has been sobbing on and off all day, and it breaks my heart. It is the worst part about having pets you love. She is a caring soul, so I knew it would hit her hard.

I remember being her age and my guinea pig caught pneumonia. I sat with that poor little thing all day in front of the heater, turning her every now and again to try to keep her warm. I can still remember her little groans as I moved her. A futile attempt but one full of love, and I blamed myself when she eventually passed away. I can see that Ryleah would do the exact same thing.

I know that having pets is a great lesson for children in love and in loss. If only it was just a bit easier on them when the loss happens.

Btw-cuddles with other pets can help ease the pain a little :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012 snaps...

We're still here, in Ocean Grove, on our holiday. The weather has been bad, and the weather has been good. Today is perfect.

Our holiday has been all that I had hoped.
Relaxing - check
Crochet - check
Kids having kid fun - check
Uno - check

Mum and I even got a reasonable amount of shopping done, which is always good. (I got some Saltwater sandals! And some stripey socks to wear with them! I feel a bit hip!)

It would have been nice if Ben was with us, but someone's gotta bring home the bacon! And feed the farm full of animals.
A highlight for me was meeting a bloggy friend - the lovely Eliza from's Lizeylou!
We met up in her hometown of Barwon Heads, had lunch then browsed the shops. It was fun, and we had plenty of laughs! She's awesome!
I think it's cool meeting people you have never met but you already know. We were both a bit nervous at first. I felt like I was going on a date! We soon got chatting like normal friends do. Fun! I hope we do it again someday.
We forgot to take photos, so here's some more holiday snaps.
Today is my beautiful girl Ryleah's 10th birthday. We have taken it easy today, with a couple of beach trips, and will end the day with a hit of badminton. She has requested tacos for tea. And Ben will be coming after he finishes work so she will be super happy then.
I will do a post especially for Ryleah when I get home, and will show you some of my favourite photos from when she was little.

We will head home tomorrow. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again. It's so nice to go away but oh so nice to come home again!
I'm not so excited about school starting back again though.
Routine. Ergh.

What have you done over the school holidays?
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