Saturday, March 19, 2016

Oh how busy I have been

Seems ages (and it really is) since my last post. For the past 5 weeks I've been rather busy, mainly as a result of doing a course with U3A (University of the Third Age) called "Declutter your Life". The project I focused on was my craft room which has been an absolute disaster since I had to merge two rooms into one a while back - the craft room and the room where I had loads of books, computer and all its bits and pieces and of course the overflow crafty stuff. The U3A course has been very inspiring and motivational. I did take 'before' photos but I'm not sure if I'll have the courage to show them to you but when its finished I just might show you the 'after' shots.

With all this activity going on I haven't had a great deal of time for much else. A little bit of crochet for my CWA branch - this scarflet which is a free pattern on Ravelry by Suzetta Williams. I've made this before and always like the way it turns out. Easy too which is a bonus. For this I used Superfine 100% Merino 8 ply (DK) Wool with a 4.50mm hook.

During the paperwork clean-up I came across two recipes hand written by my late mother and I'd like to share them with you here - also so I can find them again when I want them. They both sound yummy so if you decide to try one please let me know what you think.

Peanut Slice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1.5 cups self-raising flour
4 ozs margarine
small pkt salted peanuts

Mix together sugar, coconut, flour and peanuts. Stir in melted margarine and mix well. Press into greased slab tin and cook in moderate oven 15-20 minutes.

Walnut Slice
2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups brown sugar
115 grams butter or margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk
carb soda, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt

Rub ingredients together in a bowl, then divide into two portions. Put half into a biscuit tray and flatten down. To the other half, add 1 beaten egg 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon carb soda, 1 teaspoon spice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Beat all together and pour over the base. Sprinkle with walnuts and cook for 30 minutes in a moderate oven.

There is one more recipe which is for Peanut Crisps but I'll keep that till my next post.

Before I finish off, the family need to say hello. Oliver spent last weekend with his Mum at Bermagui on the NSW south coast - he loved playing in the sand.

 And the view from the balcony of the unit they rented wasn't too bad either.

Madison and Quincy couldn't stay awake long enough so here's a shot of what they do best ..

Bye for now. xox

Saturday, January 23, 2016

FOs and a Bit of a Giggle

One of my new years resolutions probably should have been to blog more often but then you know what happens to resolutions!! Seriously, I've been trying to think of something I should plan to do this year and top of my list of course (again) would have to be to get my craft room into some kind of order. Following hot on the heels of that would have to be to finish some of the UFOs still lurking around the place.  Having said that, I have finished some small items (not UFOs) - a few for charity and maybe a couple for the gift stash.

These are toddler hats (8ply with a 5.00mm hook) and I just love this pattern which you can find here.  Its only double crochet (Aus/UK trebles) but its the placement of the stitches that make it look a bit different. The pattern is in six sizes ranging from 2-3lb preemie to child. I'll be making lots more of these.

Knit4Charities is an Australian group I belong to and we support a couple of different charities each month. One of the charities I chose to support for January is Knitting for Australian Rescue Dogs (NSW) and decided to do a dog blanket. Well, I've named this the Ugly Dog Blanket - not for an ugly dog but I think the two colours, although perfectly lovely by themselves look absolutely yuk together. However, I'm sure the canine recipient won't mind - hope not anyway.

Hmmmm do you see a theme happening above? Must try to find some other colours in my stash !!

Another beanie for charity ...

... and a couple of little 'on the spur of the moment' projects ..

Now for a laugh .... some of my Aussie friends who read this blog will know that my late husband was a very 'proper' kind of a man - rather shy and modest. I was going through some old files the other day and came across a clipping from TV Week in Adelaide where Errol was the manager of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio 5AN  at the time. It portrays my man in a slightly different sort of way. The clipping can speak for itself.

That's it for now folks !!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve

Just popping in to wish you a happy new year. We've just seen the 9pm family fireworks on Sydney Harbour (well, actually on the telly) and now waiting to see the midnight ones that they promise will be spectacular .... then off to bed with a good book. Enjoy whatever you're doing and wherever you are in the world, try to see the Sydney fireworks on your TV if you can.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

And so this is Christmas

Well, its almost Christmas here in the Southern Hemisphere - just a little over half an hour to go. I think Santa has already been to our house (we are on the start of his run you know !!).

Madison was hiding behind the tree earlier in the day, sunning herself, sleeping on someone's gift and playing with the decorations. I think she's paying us back a bit for what we did to her the other day ..

The outfit was too small for Quincy, our dog so by default, Madison scored herself a new elf suit for Christmas day. You can tell she loves it eh?

It seems like ages ago that I gave an update on my Hitchhiker scarf which I'm doing as a KAL with Teresa - it seems to be taking forever but I'm plodding along slowly. I wonder how Teresa and Kristi are getting on with theirs? Anyway, here's my progress.

As well as the Hitchhiker, I've been making a few things for one of the charities being supported this month by Knit4Charities. I had some items stored away but have added these which I've made over the past few weeks -

This is the Angel Wings pinafore from Bev's Country Cottage site but it can also be a dress or cardigan, depending on whether you leave the front open or not. As you can see, I've chosen to make this a little cardi which I think would look nice over a jumpsuit.  Next is a little all-in-one knitted baby top which is one of my favourite patterns from Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days blog.  Her patterns are very well written and easy to follow. Yarn is "dy choice" Baby Joy DK.

To make up the 500g post pack, I made this little newborn hat this afternoon -

No pattern for this - I just started with 12dc into magic ring, then the usual increases for the next 3 rounds, straight dc for a total of 13 rounds then after the join, TURN and work another 3 rounds for the turn-up (US terminology). I used Patons Big Baby 8ply with a 3.50mm hook.

Well its been an absolute pleasure finishing off my Christmas shopping over the past week or so. When the school holidays start, just about everyone takes off either interstate or to the coast, and our city is very quiet. This was where I did my final gift buying - its at Majura Park near the Canberra Airport - a big complex with lots of shops plus Costco and the newly opened IKEA.  I took this photo at about 3.45pm on a Tuesday.

I do hope you have a lovely Christmas and as a special treat, if you overeat during the festive season, this diet might help.

half grapefruit
1 slice wholemeal toast
250ml skim milk

125g lean grilled fish
1 cup steamed zucchini
1 Tim Tam biscuit
herb tea

rest of packed of Tim Tams
2 litres chocolate ice cream
1 bottle Ice Magic topping

2 loaves garlic bread
1 large pepperoni and mushroom pizza
1 large jug beer
3 Milky Way bars
1 entire frozen cheesecake eater directly from freezer.

Merry Christmas everyone

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Corridor - KAL and Food

I think I've mentioned before that my stepfather lives in a nursing home here in Canberra. Last time I visited I was amazed at what they'd done in one of the corridors. Of course I grabbed my phone and took a couple of pics -

Don't you just want to go up those steps and go into that house?

My Hitchhiker scarf is growing ever so slowly and it doesn't help that I'm doing other things at the same time.  Teresa (who started this little KAL) asked me for an update so I thought I'd post my progress here as well. I reckon I might have this finished by next winter !!

On a lot of the blogs I read there are pictures of some delicious looking cooked dishes, recipes etc. so I thought I'd show you a couple of meals I've enjoyed over the past few days. Because I only have myself to look after and dislike wasting left-overs, I buy my food from Light n Easy and the only purchase I really need to make is 1.25L of milk each week. I also enjoy the variety in the meals. Its all cooked by a chef and is delivered to me each week in a polystyrene esky. Of course I do add a little treat here and there - chocolate now and then doesn't hurt anyone eh?

These Beef Nachos with Fresh Tomato Salsa and melted cheese are one of my favourite lunches.

The next day lunch was Lemongrass Chicken Bites on a salad, topped with roasted peanuts and dressing. 

Afternoon tea was Tropical Fruit, cranberries and toasted coconut with vanilla yoghurt. Yum.

Its a beautiful sunny day here so I think I'll go outside and do a bit of knitting. Hope you're enjoying your day too.

Till next time

Thursday, November 19, 2015

With a Little Help from my Friends

Yes, folks, that's all it takes - a little help from friends. I've been procrastinating for such a long time about not having written a blog post for months and I want to thank Teresa for giving me that little shove to get me going again. You see, Teresa and her sister Denise are having a little KAL (knit-a-long), making the Hitch-Hiker scarf and since I've had this pattern for awhile but hadn't got around to starting it, I asked if I could join in their KAL. I'm using Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply Bloom in purple - it has subtle shades of purple with flecks every now and then (4.50mm needles). Here's my scarf so far ...

We've had a fairly frantic few months since I last posted. Mostly family things and most important was my little grandson Oliver's 1st birthday on November 16. We had an early celebration a week before while his Belgian grandparents were here for a visit. The Cotter Dam is about a half hour drive from home has a lovely picnic area so we decided it would be perfect for his first 1st birthday party ..

On his special day, we celebrated at home ..

I hope I haven't bored you too much with baby pictures - promise I won't do it too often :)

In addition to my knitting, I've also been doing some charity crochet - two small premmie baby blankets which I forgot to photograph before sending them away, and for this months charity "Hats for Homeless Kids", I've almost finished 4 beanies. Will take pics to show you as soon as they're done.

While browsing my groups this morning, I found this cute little butterfly tutorial which I'd like to share with you and also put here so I can find it again when I need it .. I think they're very pretty, extremely easy and could be used for so many things.

Because I haven't posted to so long, I'm thinking any readers I may have had will have gone so if you're still here, please let me know.

Till next time ....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Take Two .. tah dah !!

Its been so long since I've written a blog post, I'm wondering if any of my wonderful readers are still with me ?? I do hope so and I apologise for my slackness. I have been reading all my favourite blogs (the ones you'll find listed on the right hand side of this page) and needless to say, have enjoyed them very much. As some of you know, since my last post I've had a total hip replacement and was in hospital for 3 weeks all up, including the stay in the rehab unit which, believe me, was very hard work. I still attend day rehab each Tuesday but will finish there in two weeks time. Anyway, enough of that.

My crochet and knitting only emerged towards the end of my hospital stay as I didn't feel much like doing anything really, however I wanted to finish my little grandson Oliver's blanket so I made myself get on with it. I was worried that I might run out of yarn but was very lucky as you'll see in the first picture. The little ball was all I had left after doing the border.

Sadly, a few weeks ago, the crochet world lost a very talented and much loved lady by the name of Marinke (aka Wink). Wink has designed lots of patterns, her speciality being mandalas so quite a few crocheters were making mandalas in her memory. Instead of a mandala, I decided to make some of my favourite little hearts from Wink's very easy pattern - the link is here. They only take a minute or so to make and are useful little embellishments.

On a happier note, my friend Lucy visited recently and brought along her camera to take a few pics of our little Oliver who is growing up so quickly. Its hard to believe he's 8 months old already ! Here's one of L's photos which I think is gorgeous.

I don't want to bore you with baby photos but I do want to show you the little aviator hat I finished for Oli last week. He had the jacket and I thought he really needed a hat to go with it.

Finally, my order of ICE yarn arrived from the UK yesterday and I couldn't wait to start something to see what its like. I'll show you what I'm making next post.