Thursday, January 31, 2013

My creative space...

Some very relaxed creating around here this week after the big finale of Mario!  According to my stats 122 people hit on him for a looksie so that was nice to feel the love after all that hardwork!  It's lovely to see him being put to use as well as the boys wake up at some ungodly hour and sit wrapped up in him while quietly watching cartoons and waiting for me to feed them.
I started trialling some new crochet squares for a new baby blanket.  This pattern is out of a Mollie Makes magazine and I have used it before to make a lovely cushion.  I love the puff stitches and the cluster stitches in the centre circle which is why I keep coming back to it.

I've been watching some beautiful colours and quilt blocks emerge over on instagram under the tag #scrappyquiltalong so I thought I might give it a go.  Who cares that I know nothing really about quilting!  I can see how these are addictive!  This is my first one and it was very simple to do and used up some scrappy bits I have been unable to part with my from my stash.
I have followed this tutorial...

And since I can't justify watching rubbish on tv without busy hands I made this simple but super pretty crochet motif from this lovely book last night.  I think they would be lovely as a set done in twine or something and then used as coasters.  The pattern was so easy to do!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Run Forrest, Run!

Every time my alarm goes off at some ungodly hour of the morning I think of this woman who switches it off and rolls over for an extra bit of snooze time.  Then I think of how pasty and unhappy she looks for the rest of the ad compared to her healthy version. 
That literally gets me out of bed.
This morning I ran just over 8km.  The whole way.  Without stopping.  I'm aiming for 10km but after that I'm not sure what.  Running for more than an hour just seems kinda boring.  I play music during my runs and get little updates on how I'm doing with the Runkeeper app.  My shuffle button is quite intuitive too... every time I feel like stopping and walking a peppy upbeat song comes on and off I go! To name a few... Pat Benatar (All Fired Up), Transvision Vamp (I Want Your Love), Guns and Roses (Civil War), Madonna (Like a Virgin, Express Yourself, Like a Prayer), Bonnie Tyler (Faster than the Speed of Light), Tina Turner (The Best, Nutbush City Limits, Proud Mary), Cindy Lauper (Girls Just Want to Have Fun), Aerosmith (Janie's Got a Gun) and when the going gets really tough on comes Eye of the Tiger! 
I have a wee running companion too!

(see all those leaves and tree branches in the background... his favourite activity is eating everything in the garden!)
Milo turned 1 today! 
He is finally learning to run at my pace rather than his and when I go out in the early mornings I always feel a bit safer with him next to me.  I wager he's better than taking another person in terms of motivation because he still gets me out and active as he needs exercise too and he doesn't expect me to make any conversation!  While I love a merry bit of exercise with a friend you can't talk and chat while also attempting to breathe!

Look how cute he was when we first got him!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My creative space... ta da!!!!

My (Isaac's!!!) Crochet Mario Blanket is done!!!!!
3 months late and finished in the heat of a Melbourne summer.  Perfect timing really.

252 five round granny squares joined as I went along.
Ends sewn in over the last few days.
One round of double crochet in each stitch then one row of treble stitches around the edge in pale blue!

8ply 100% pure wool from the classics collection at Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Inspiration drawn from here.
Pattern drawn from here.
And here's where I first started it.

I first started doing this in May 2011 and had planned on giving it to Isaac for his sixth birthday in October, for which we had a Mario themed party.  Life in general kinda got in the way a wee bit, I kept running out of wool and having to order more and I basically got sick of the sight of it!  It appeared to be this never ending project that I wanted to ball up and throw in the back of the cupboard never to be seen again!

I'm glad I perservered in the end because he really does look wonderful!  He is frightfully huge and ridiculously heavy but clearly Isaac can grow into him!

Layed out on my king size bed, just so you can understand his size!

I asked him to pose nicely on the blanket... he farted and then couldn't stop giggling so I guess you could say the blanket has been 'boy' christened!

Lucky he still likes Mario or I would have been in a whole world of trouble!

These are all the ends snipped off after I sewed them all in.  That's at least 2 ends per square - 252 squares x 2 = 504 ends, plus one or two extras for the edge and the occasional run out of wool mid square!  I actually stayed up very late the other night sewing and sewing and sewing whilst watching Carrie on Foxtel.  Freaky movie!  Did you know John Travolta is in it?!
Now, I know there is a tradition in blog land of hurling finished crochet rugs into the sky and photographing them beautifully as they parachute to the ground but since this thing weighs a ton I give you this instead....

"Come hither... Mario and I are waiting for you!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My creative space....

My lovely sisters's lovely friend is having a baby (due on Valentines Day) and has decorated her nursery in greys and yellows.  Thinking how lovely some bunting and a matching cushion might be in the same colours she popped a sewing request into me and I came up with this....

I must say that I am loving my crafty self over it!  I had seen a lovely cushion on pinterest of course with mini bunting spread across it and it looked terribly fancy and clever so I came up with this version.  It is just a simple envelope style cushion cover since I am yet to attempt that whole zip situation.
I made the mini bunting on the front of the cushion as you would normal size bunting.  I pinned the flags into the stripey binding and then pinned that straight onto the pillow so I only had one stitch line tthrough the whole thing.  The bunting flags hang loose.  The cushion cover is just calico.

A perfect match I think!
Here are some lovely links if you'd like to try your own:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My creative space...

I had big plans this week to get the Mario blanket finally finished, but then my husband pulled our entire kitchen out and that kinda got in the way of me sitting on the couch and crocheting all day!

This is actually the last square so I really could do the big reveal but I want to crochet an edge on first and see how many of those ends I can get sewn in.  Come back next week maybe?!

I have double crocheted right around the edge in that sky blue colour and am now going to treble around that a few times till it looks about right.

Sewing those ends are going to do my head in!!!
And in my husband's creative space...
the old kitchen cabinets came out and the new ones are going in!  Tis a bit exciting!

Visit some other creative spaces over this way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Kitchen Story

So, we decided we'd do a wee kitchen reno and replace our daggy kitchen cupboards with nice crisp white ones, bang down some new kitchen benches and have a nice fresh updated look.
Silly silly girl.

Because the kitchen is quite small for such a big house and we really struggle for storage we thought we might try and create some extra bench space and added in those extra cabinets you see there in white.

Which of course then resulted in needing to consider what do with the floor as we had to pull up some tiles to put that new cabinet in.  Which then meant really that the rest of the tiles have to go too!

Lucky Darren is good with tools!

In reality we are also now replacing all the acutal cabinets because the current ones are standard sizes so of course no doors fit them properly!

Oh, and we are attempting to live and cook 'around' the mess!
Anyone want to bring me some takeway?!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Simply Crochet!

I simply could not wait for this magazine to arrive in Australia so downloaded a version onto my ipad this morning. 

I made it to page twelve before I let out my first wanton squeal!

Source: via Sonia on Pinterest
I don't think it is too much to expect Darren to sleep in this!  It even comes in king size which is perfect for our bed!  And at only 120 pound, so afordable (according to the google money convertor that's $183.14!).  I'm sure they'd happily ship me that rug too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My creative space...

It's all about clouds and rainbows!
A good friend of mine shared recently that she was pregnant with number 3 which is all very exciting since it means I get to play with small babies again without having to go through that whole irritating pregnancy issue!
It also means some sewing was in order and since she seems to be heading down the hot air balloon/clouds/rainbow bunting decorating theme for the nursery I thought I'd try and whip up a cloudy cushion!

I just hand drew a cloudy shape on baking paper, pinned it to my two pieces of fabric, cut, sewed and stuffed!
I think next time the cloudy curves need to be more defined and bigger in general but for a half hour project it turned out ok.

I also managed to finish the rainbow colours on my crochet granny stripe blanket.  This is one of Lucy's patterns and I got the idea of merging the colours from The Crafty Mummy.  I spent last night doing what I thought would be a nice edge on it but looked at it again this morning and undid it all.  It was too fine and intricate and for such a heavy blanket so I think I might just granny treble around the whole edge in a creamy white for a couple of rows.  The colours speak for themselves so I don't want anything fancy on the edge.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mollie Makes... addictive magazines!

Have you seen the sweet online magazine, Gathered by Mollie Makes?
A new edition pops up every Friday on my ipad with some lovely sweet crafty ideas and links.  How to make a granny square is from this weeks one.

(just a screen shot from my ipad)
I am addicted to the Mollie Makes magazine just for it's prettiness factor really.  Although it's now more widely available in newsagents and even supermarkets these days, when it was first released I was having a copy or two specially ordered in!
I have heard that the same company is about to release a new magazine called Simply Crochet!  Click on the link for a sneak preview or what it will look like!  I'm hoping it will be filled with some 'funkier' crochet goodness than I have seen in some of the crochet magazines around.  I do love some nanna craft but I am often left wondering what on earth people are thinking!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Twelve years

There's 12 years difference between these two images! 
More crinkles around the eyes, a smattering of grey here and there, less of the come hither look in my eye!

We had the pleasure of escaping out to dinner and movie last night after conning my brother and his wife into a sleepover with the kids.  It's been two years since I last went out alone and at night with my husband which is pretty darn disgraceful really!

Since the last thing my brother said to me when he left this morning was how on earth do I cope with the noise and the 'stuff' around the house, I'm guessing it's going to another two years before they offer to babysit again!!!

Oh, I may have forced him into one of those photobooths where you can now not only print your pics but also get a wee video link to your photobooth antics.  I may have been drinking.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My creative space...

There is obviously a certain amount of stupidity involved when deciding to crochet with pure wool in Melbourne's current temperatures (37 yesterday, 41 today and the forecast is much the same for the next few days at least).

But I had suffered through a mornings worth of ten pin bowling (where the four year won!) and felt that these are my holidays too so surely I get to do something I want!

Then I happened to find the entire movie of Good Will Hunting on youtube (how is that legal??!!), so I had the perfect excuse to plop myself under the cooling vent and pleasantly while away two hours of the day.

What did I do with my tv time before crochet?!  It feels like I am being so productive when I watch now with a bit of craft in my hands.

Mario blanket status update...
Just waiting now for the last red ball of wool to arrive so I can finish his overalls!
That lonely blue square to the bottom left is as big as the blanket will be.  I have a lovely pale blue ready to go for a nice simple edge and am seriously consdering a working bee too assist with sewing in all those jolly ends!!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's tooth fairy time!

Yesterday we discovered one of Isaac's teeny tiny baby teeth had a case of the wobbles.  He didn't even realise it himself, I just noticed it was sitting on a funny angle.  Today it fell out!  He's soooo pumped for the whole tooth fairy fiasco but I feel a little sad about it myself.  Is there anything cuter than teeny baby teeth?
We have the challenge now of what the Tooth Fairy may bring since his brother remembers and reported a $20 note was delivered to him on his first lost tooth!  I remember getting a 50cent coin for mine and thinking all my Christmas's had come at once.  It used to burn a hole in my pocket so I was straight down the corner shop for a bag of mixed lollies with it.
(This poppet is going to hate those eyebrows when he gets older.  Have you ever seen bushier ones!?  He has such a sweet face though with gorgeous eyes, long lashes and lovely thick hair.  He would have made the prettiest girl!  Even a game he has on his Nintendo recognises him as a girl which he is most unimpressed with... you take a photo of yourself then shoot balls at your own face...! )

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I crocheted 2013 in!  I drank a cup of tea! Then I went to bed at 12.13am.
Then this morning since I was feeling so peppy from my non-hangover I went running with the dog.  I've been doing about 5km most mornings since October and I would like to build that up to an occasional 10km's but I'm really not sure how my knees and cankles would cope with that.  For fear of losing my jogging mojo I even entered Run for the Kids this March, only 5.5km course because the 14.5km course just looked to scary - too many hills, running through the tunnel and over the Bolte Bridge, plus I don't think so!
How was your New Years?  Here's hoping it was a happy one.