Crochet blanket: Finished!

IMG_7417Finally!

Remember way back in May when I mentioned that I’d started crocheting a baby blanket (here) and soon after realised how time consuming and expensive it would be and decided to keep it for myself?

I’ve finally finished that blanket!

It’s not perfect, but I’m okay with that, I’m sure I’ve said it before, handmade is not supposed to be perfect.

IMG_4964Here is my terrible ‘I’ve just finished it and even though it’s dark, and the light is terrible, I have to share it immediately’ photo.

book and blanketI’m not minding our chilly start to Spring so much now that I have this baby to keep me warm while I’m reading.

For some reason, I cannot recall it now, I decided to crochet this blanket using two strands at a time. This made it double the weight and double the cost, but also doubly warm and cuddly.

folded blanket

blanketNow that it’s finished. I’m happy to put away the crochet hook until next winter.

Miss E enjoyed the time I took taking these photos. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the incredibly good looking baby that lives in our walk-in-robe mirror. Hehe.
IMG_5016On to the next project! Sewing this time ūüôā

Abby xx

 

 

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August roundup

 

We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this month, as well as Miss Penny’s birthday, and the rest of the month was pretty cruisy. Just the way I like it.

IMG_4240Matt found some ricotta cheese going cheap and so decided to make spinach and ricotta ravioli. Somehow I got conned in to helping. See those little fork marks on the edges? I did those!

IMG_4339Miss E and I explored the kitchen cupboards for things to play with. A muffin tray full of duplo bricks makes a fantastic sound when you kick it! Or so Miss E thinks…

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Matt had my best interests in mind when hiding the chocolate, but I found it anyway.

He also had a bit of a funny mishap with chopping down a tree.

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Someone has discovered the TV cabinet drawers and cupboards.

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We’ve made a point of making our Sunday’s a family day, and usually end up in a park somewhere.

IMG_4660Penny and I have been putting our feet up and soaking up the sun whenever we get the chance.

Speaking of sun, I can take further advantage of it now with my new washing line! Woo!!!!

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I’ve been reading:

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.

This was a fascinating read. Northup was a free African American man, kidnapped and sold into slavery. This book was his account of his experiences as a slave for 12 years. It’s a heart wrenching and heart warming story about the best and worst of humanity. It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I’d sunk my teeth into it, I devoured the whole thing in a couple of days.

I’ve been making:

IMG_4236Some cute little bibs for a beautiful baby boy we met last week.

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I finished another triangle quilt top¬†but haven’t gone any further with it yet.

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I then made another quilt as a gift which I can’t share just yet, but here’s the bias tape that I decided to make instead of buying pre-made. Everytime I make a quilt I tell myself to buy bias tape this time, then when I go to buy it I think it’s a waste of money and decide to make it. Then when I make it, I vow to buy it next time. Only to repeat it all over again.

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and the crochet blanket is so very nearly done.

I’ve been listening to:

I downloaded the ‘I Heart Radio’ app, and have been¬†listening to some new music that’s similar to the stuff I already know and love. I tend to listen to the same CD’s and playlists over and over again, so some new tunes feels refreshing and helps makes boring housework a little more bearable.

August, you were swell, especially this last glorious sunshiny week!

Here’s to September, and Spring!

Abby xx

July Roundup

If I had to¬†describe July in one word, that word would be ‘Cold’. Frosty car cold. But aren’t the patterns in the ice so pretty?

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but somehow, not cold enough to slow down our veggie garden! How weird is that strawberry?!

IMG_3704I’ve spent a lot of time this month making baby food, and stocking up the freezer.

IMG_3682Matt’s been tidying up and organising his man cave. I’m jealous and thinking that I need my own man cave!

IMG_3910and working on the pizza oven that I wrote about here.

IMG_3869Penny’s thoroughly enjoyed having Matt working in the yard, and forgetting to close the car doors.

IMG_3868I took advantage of a bargain at the supermarket and bought myself some pretty tulips! I just wish that they looked like that forever, and not as sad as they look now ūüė¶

IMG_3907and I had my hair chopped off, not exactly the way I’d hoped to.

IMG_4011Miss E learned how to sit up this month, and now gets cranky any time she find herself on her back or belly.

She also had her first swimming lesson and absolutely loved it. She spends so much time kicking her legs all the time, that we knew she’d have to be a little fish in the pool!

e swimming lesson

I’ve been reading:

I finally finished reading Jane Austen’s¬†Emma. I’m not sure how I’d managed to get so far through life without having read it before!

I enjoyed getting lost in the 19th Century romance, but didn’t enjoy it as much as¬†Pride and Prejudice but I guess that’s to be expected, given that¬†Pride and Prejudice is the far more popular of the two!

I’ve picked up¬†Shantaram¬†again, as I mentioned here, and as I expected, haven’t got very far with it yet!

I’ve been making:

Lots of things it seems!

IMG_3673The Taggy Cube I wrote about here.

princess and bookThe Princess and the Pea playlet I wrote about here.

IMG_3956Some fabric blocks for Miss E to play with.

IMG_3769and work on the crochet blanket continues, a little slower than before, but I’m still going!

I’ve been watching:

Not much really.

Though this little video popped up on my Facebook newsfeed the other day and made me stop and think…

Maybe I should try baking more!

I’ve been listening to:

A couple of weeks ago we went for a bit of country drive to visit some of my family. A four hour trip, and broken radio reception, meant we listened to podcasts on the road.

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One podcast we listened to was a conversation between Richard Fidler and John Safran, an ABC radio presenter and a Triple J radio presenter, respectively. This podcast was fascinating, talking about John Safran’s new book about a murder case in Mississippi. Now I need to read the book! Well played Richard and John!

July, you were lovely!

August, some sun please!

Abby xx

June Roundup

How on earth are we already half way through this year! Slow down already!

It’s most definitely winter here now.

My lounge room is constantly full of fold up washing lines, as nothing dries outside and I can’t bring myself to use the expensive dryer.

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We’ve had our first few pickings from our veggie garden

vege pickings

and we’ve had some good rain that’s got our creek flowing

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and we survived our first bout of baby illness, with Miss E and I both getting Hand, Foot and Mouth whilst Matt was away.

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I’ve been reading

Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall

&

The Gift of Sleep by Elizabeth Sloane & Mia Freedman

Get the feeling we’re not getting much sleep? I’m not entirely sold on everything either of them have to say, but I’m finding some of their suggestions helpful, and I’m now loosely following some of their¬†routines. I like to read widely, then develop my own strategies with a little from Column A, a little from Column B and a little from Column I’ll-just-make-this-up-as-I’m-going. Both books offer an approach for teaching your baby, toddler or child how to self settle at night. They also give routines to follow around nap times, feeds etc, which is the part I’ve found most helpful. If you’re fairly open minded and you’ve got a little one keeping you up at night, they’re worth a read.

I’ve also been listening to audiobooks as mentioned here. I’m reliving my childhood, listening to¬†The Secret Garden and now A¬†Little Princess, both by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I enjoy the stories as much as I enjoy recalling reading them for the first time as a kid. I love a little escapism every now and then.

I’ve been watching

I really don’t watch much TV. I find it far too passive and get bored easily. But, I will always make an exception for Offspring! I’ve loved this show since it first graced our screens, and I never miss an episode. At the moment I’m finding it a little exhausting with all the crying it’s making me do, but I don’t mind. I love Nina’s style and her clumsiness. I love the non-stop awkwardness and the way I’ve fallen in love with all the characters. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, it may be because it’s an Australian drama series. If you’re outside of Australia, and can get your hands on it, I’d thoroughly recommend it!

I’ve been making

The crocheted blanket continues! I’m nearing halfway now, and I’ve reached the point where I just want it finished so that I can move on to some of the fifty million other craft projects I’ve mentally started. I really need to just stay away from pinterest… and Instagram… and all the blogs I follow… Far too easily inspired/distracted!

blanket progress

I’ve also made the crocheted face washers mentioned here

and I made a new cover for our boomerang pillow for Miss E

boomerang pillow

It’s nothing special, I just used some cheap end of bolt fabric because anything was going to be better than the old faded black pillowcase that was on it before. I tried my hand at crocheting the edge. I’m not thrilled with the results, but I gave it a go, and it’s serving it’s purpose!boomerang pillow crochet

June hasn’t been very busy, but it was long and challenging. Looking forward to a happy and healthy July!

Abby xx

Homemade Facewashers

facewashers

I’ve reached a whole new level of frugality.

I made my own facewashers. Yep, I even surprised myself there.

We’ve just started Miss E on solids in the last couple of weeks, and I’ve quickly discovered that this solids business is messy work! So, we’re going through face washers quicker than I can wash and dry them.

I remember someone saying to me when I was pregnant, that you can never have too many face washers. I guess I didn’t pay too much attention to them at the time because we only own nine, and nine is definitely not enough.

So while most would probably pick up a packet of face washers the next time they were out shopping, I decided to try my hand at making some.

Using some left over bits of wool, I crocheted these two face washers. You probably don’t need me to tell you that I didn’t use a pattern. I just winged it. The idea is cute, the execution could be better. Those crinkly edges aren’t great, but crinkly edges or not, I’m sure they’ll still work for washing little apple and carrot¬†covered faces!

If you’ve never crocheted before, this would be a quick and easy first project. I’d recommend you watch some youtube tutorials first so that your creations are a little more square than my experiments.

I’ll chuck these in the washing machine today and see if they survive. If they prove their worth, I’ll make some more, and if not, I can always buy a packet of them next time I’m shopping!

Abby xx

 

4 Fantastic Craft Tutorials.


crochet animals

1. Crochet Giraffe Pattern (My version pictured above)

This was one of the first crochet projects I ever completed. I’d only made beanies before attempting this giraffe. It took me a long time because I had to learn all the stitches as I went, but the end result was well worth it!

2. Reuben The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Crochet Pattern (My version pictured above)

This is the second crocheted toy I ever made. I found the tutorial easy to follow, and love the end result!

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3. Reversible skirt tutorial (My version pictured above)

I made my own Easter version of this for Miss E. It was a quick and easy project that I completed in one afternoon.

paper flowers 1

4. ¬†Tissue Paper Pom Poms –¬†(My version pictured above)

These were super simple. They took me about 10 minutes to make, 10 minutes to hang and cost only $9 dollars in tissue paper. Cheap, Easy and the look great!

A longer list might have been ‘Craft projects I’ve started and never completed’. The thrill of a new project is just too alluring to wait until I’ve finished one project before starting the next.

My main project at the moment is the blanket I mentioned here. Amazingly, I’m still going, though I’ve just run out of grey and blue wool, so I may be stalled until my next trip to Spotlight!

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It won’t be long before I can use it to keep me warm, while I’m still working on it. That’s if I’m not distracted by another project in the meantime.

Happy crafting everyone!

Abby xx

May Roundup

May. I like May. The Autumn leaves are beautiful, winter’s just around the corner, I’m experimenting with my winter wardrobe but not sick of it yet.

This month:

  • I got serious about blogging. I stopped just entertaining the idea of¬†writing regularly, took the plunge and bought a domain.
  • I’ve enjoyed watching the autumn leaves in our creek.

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and patiently waited for the bulbs to start poking up through the fallen leaves.

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  • Miss E turned 5 months old and I’ve watched her learn to roll from back to belly, and then spent most of my days rolling her onto her back again when she gets frustrated.
  • I had my first night away from Miss E when we went to our 10 Year School Reunion and she stayed overnight with my parents. I only wish we’d gone to bed a little earlier than 1:45am to take advantage of a good nights sleep!

I’ve been making:

  • Bibs as gifts for friends that are having babies soon
  • I’ve started and stopped many crochet projects. I get bored with crochet projects pretty quickly. Right now I’m¬†crocheting a baby blanket, crocheting two strands at a time to make it extra thick and soft. Let’s see if I ever finish this one!

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I’ve been watching:

  • TED talks.

Many of them! I watch/listen to them while I’m sewing or crocheting.

Here is one of my current favourites, about the anxieties of modern parenting.

 

I’ve been reading:

  • Home is where the heart is by Geraldine Cox.

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A fascinating autobiography about Geraldine and her journey from working in Foreign Affairs to supporting an orphanage in Cambodia. This book made me laugh and cry many times, and reminded me to be grateful for all the small things in life that I often take for granted.

Learn more about Gerladine’s work at¬†www.geraldinecox.org

 

Looking forward to seeing what June brings!

Abby xx