18 November 2012

Saving the World (aka, using Handkerchiefs)

I came up with a "brainwave" yesterday - that I should stop using tissues and start using hankies, not only to reduce waste but also to reduce those nasty pieces of tissue residue left on clothes because someone unkindly left a tissue in their pocket when they put their clothing in the washing machine!

Anyhow, I have  few spoked edged hankies so yesterday/today using treble and chain, I crcohet an edge around my first hankie!  The edging isn't actually as bright as in the photo, but rather a lovely pastel lilac.

10 November 2012

Hooded Long Knitted Vest

I finally finished knitting this long vest.  It took a while because I changed the pattern a fraction so had to frogged it a bit until I got it just right, and then I knitted the vest which goes down to my knees (basically when I ran out of yarn).   The pattern is Fish Creek by Melissa Schaschwary http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fish-creek-adult-version and I knitted it in Woolznyarns' BFL/Silk http://woolznyarnz.blogspot.com/

26 October 2012

Melton Weir

What to do with a rather boring photo - make it into a sphere using an easy Photoshop process?  Viola. Although the sky was fairly interesting before the conversion, I think it makes for a much nicer photo

09 October 2012

High Dynamic Range (HDR) images

 I had a lot of fun experimenting today with a new HDR program.  I love the way the program gives a "surreal" look to photographs by using a larger dynamic range between lightest and darketes areas of a photo.  Generally you need to take three photos to achieve this affect, HOWEVER with software it is easy to accomplish with one photograph.

27 August 2012

Mali Elephants

Had a lovely day in Melbourne CBD last week.  We went on an elephant hunt, trying to locate as many Malis as we could within a fairly short space of time.  Fifty fibreglass models of the famous elephant calf, Mali, have been paided by various artists and are currently on display in Melbourne until late September as part of the celebrations for Melbourne Zoo's 150th birthday.

Here are the ones I found and photographed :-

12 August 2012

Voodoo Zombie Doll Pincushion

Another Zombie item, ths time a Voodee/Zombie pin cushion.  The pattern was kindly provided by Crazy Dazy.   I felted the pin cushion to make it a little more sturdier.

06 August 2012

Zombie Bunny

I must admit I have a Zombie fetish at the moment.  I am hooked on a TV series called "The Walking Dead" and fascinated by Zombie-like creatures.   So much so, I just had to crochet this Zombie Bunny when I found the pattern as part of a Zombie crochet along, provided here http://thetheoryofcreativity.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/hey-guys-i-got-little-bored-so-to.html

15 July 2012

Cork Noticeboard

This is a quick and easy cork noticeboard which I made a while ago; the most time consuming part was collecting the corks.  

Using PVA (my favourite friend) I glued clean, used corks on to sturdy masonite/board.  I chose a chequered type pattern but you can use any design you like.  I then painted some varnish on top to "protect" the cork, and here is the noticeboard  complete and ready for use.

01 July 2012

Blooming Flowers Crochet Cushion

Well it took six months but I finally finished this crochet cushion by http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/blooming-flower-cushion.html/.  The reason it took me so long was I took a hiatus for a month or two (or even three) to try to locate a round pillow insert - they are IMPOSSIBLE to find.  Last week I decided to bite the bullet and make one which turned out OK, after all you are not going to see the insert because the crochet cushion will hide it (?right). 

The pattern was very easy with clear instructions and the wool I used was from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

26 June 2012

Munch's The Scream

I have always admired this painting by Evard Munch and I thought what better way than making it into a Cabochon as part of a crochet-long on Ravelry.  The pattern was provided for the CAL but I must admit I did quite a big of diggery-pockery to make it look a bit better.  The colour scheme isn't my favourite but it complements the colours of the painting

Now this is a brooch I will be proud to wear.....

20 June 2012

La Dentelle Torchon mat

I finally finished this mat, which only took around four months (obviously not continuously working on it).  The pattern is by Martine Piveteau and I found it very easy to work once it was started, with 30+ pairs of bobbins. 

Who knows, one day I may even get around to mounting it on fabric so I can use it as a mat (now if anyone knows of a fabric mounting business please let me know as I will gladly pay someone to do this for me).

19 June 2012

All-In-One Quiche

This is a wonderful quick recipe for quiche from my lovely talented Lace Teacher, Jill.  Someone said it sounds like a frittata (possibly could be, but this recipe only has four eggs).  The nice thing about this recipe is it doesn't have the heavy pastry:

Jill's Quiche
4 eggs
125 gm chopped bacon
125 gm grated cheese
1 medium chopped onion
½ cup SR flour
1½ cups milk

Mix all together and put in a 20cm pie dish.
Bake 180C for 40 minutes.

18 June 2012

Jelly Babies

What does one take photos of when the theme is "Babies" - jelly babies of course!  This was a very difficult subject matter because of the transluency, but anyhow here is my result.

Eat on....

17 June 2012

Muesli Muffins

Today we made Sharyn's Muesli Muffins (again).  This appears to be a no-fail recipe.

2¼ cups untoasted muesli
1½ cups milk
1¼ cups self raising flour
1 apple, skin on and grated
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 190C
Combine muesli and milk, and stand for 10 minutes
Add remaining ingredients and stir until just combined
Divide mixture into a greased twelve-hole muffin pan and back for 20-25 minutes.

11 June 2012


As part of a top-down project started last month at my spinning group, I decided to knit this poncho with handspun Corriedale.  The pattern is from Knit Ponchos Wraps and Scarves by Jane Davis.

The yarn was very old and scratchy, coated Corriedale handspun and cable plied.  I soaked it in Borax dissolved with warm water and it is much softer now.

Ponchos bring back fond memories for me from the early 1970's.

30 May 2012

A-line Skirt

I finished my A-lined skirt just in time for the end of the month.  You may recall CurlyPops had a sew-along this month, details are here http://www.curlypops.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/make-it-in-may-skirt-sew-along.html and I found the perfect retro material for my skirt. 

I found Curlypops' pattern extremely easy to follow (thanks) and even managed to do an invisible zip (I think this is probably a first for me, as I tend to avoid zips).

29 May 2012


I did some experimenting recently with my new Nikon D7000 and 18-200mm lens, trying to think "outside the suare" and do different compositions.   This rosebud, which was actually very small and I could get in very close with my lens, was in the picturesque Maddingley Park, Bacchus Marsh.

24 May 2012

Skirt Sew-along

I'm going to participate in a skirt sew-along.  I found some retro fabric which I fell in love with, so thought the synchronicity of finding the sew-along and fabric was speaking to me loud and clear.   Stay tuned for the progress.....

21 May 2012

Smartie Biscuits

My youngest made some scrumptious smartie biscuits on the weekend using a recipe from the well-known http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/.  Surprisingly the recipe called for one tin of condensed milk and both my daughter & myself restrained ourselves and didn't succumb to temptation to scoff down the contents of the tin before it made the mixing bowl.  There was plenty biscuit mixture left so we also made some jam biscuits for lunches during the week.

(Makes 7-8 dozen, cook 10 min at 180C)

500 grams butter (approx 1.1 lb)
1 can condensed milk (390-400 gram)
1 cup sugar
5 cups wholemeal self raising flour (or plain flour and paking powder)
toppings like choc chips, smarties, jam, cinnamon and sugar

Cream butter and sugar, add condensed milk. stir in flour.  Roll into balls and flatten. top with choc chips etc, or thumbprint and add jam for jam drops.

Cool on racks

25 April 2012

Amiga Neck Cowl

Another Ravelry KAL and CAL completed using the loveliest of wool - Socks That Rock (Superwash Merino/Silk) in "Walking on the Wild Tide".   This pattern combines both knitting and crochet, and I think it is probably the first time I have made the one article using both processes. 

22 March 2012

Cleaning Stainless Steel

I "discovered" an effective way of cleaning my stainless steel appliances (who in their right mind decided SS ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers look good in a kitchen).   I used vinegar with warm water and used a cloth over the appliances.   Vinegar isn't a new regime in my homemade cleaning supplies, but I wasn't sure how it would react with stainless steel, but I am pleased to report my appliances sparkle (until grubby fingers get all over them again).  For the stubborn stains I used a mixture of biacarb of soda and warm water, and with a soft cloth I rubbed in a circular motion and then cleaned off with the vinegar and water spray.

21 March 2012


My daughter made some yummy-looking cupcakes on the weekend, and whilst I don't really eat them (well, at least I am trying to be "good") I couldn't resist a photo opportunity - those who know me, know darn well I will take a photo of virtually anything (much to the annoyance of my children). 

18 March 2012

Handspun - Merino Wrapped with Angora and Thread

Here is the third month of working through Jacey's "Spin Art" book here and and this month's fibre is TORNADO.  I used Ocean Blue Merino from Kathy's fibres  here (I find her dyed merino is the most competitively priced fibre around).  I wrapped the fibre with commercial angora/boucle and two other commercial threads (one glittery).  I quite like the end result and because I have spun 100gm, there will be enough to make either a hat or put it towards my handspun circle vest I am currently making.

12 February 2012


Last week I spent a few hours as the infamous surf beach in Victoria, Torquay, which is past Geelong.  Whilst it was a chilly day there were some brave souls surfing and swimming the beaches (what I like most about Torquay is there are two beaches - a swimmers beach which is rather "calm" and a beach for surfers).

11 February 2012

Handspun - Merino/Milk Top with Bockens 35/3 Linen

This is the second month of working through Jacey's "Spin Art" book and this month's fibre is AUTOWRAP.   My spinning wheel has an outie which makes the process a little more difficult but I am still quite happy with the end result.  The lovely 80/3\20 blend of Merino/MIlk top is again from "Ewe Give Me The Knits".

08 February 2012

Jerry The Giraffe

Another CAL completed - this challenge was on Ravelry and Sharon's awesome design http://laughingpurplegoldfish.blogspot.com.au/.  Gerry is a crochet giraffe in Magnum acrylic and I think he is just gorgeous.  He has a lovely chain mane which unfortunately you cannot see in this photo.

03 February 2012

Handspun - Polwarth/Bamboo and Merino

I am still spinning madly for my next venture - a handspun vest.   Here are two yarns I recently completed - each weighing 200 grams.

The first one is from EGMTK  http://www.ewegivemetheknits.com/store/Default.asp and it is A Polwarth/Bamboo Top plied with Woolznyarns South Armerican Purple Merinohttp://woolznyarnz.blogspot.com.au/.
The second fibre is Woolznyarns Merino plied again with the South American Merino.

30 January 2012

Handspun - BFL and silk

I managed to spin just over 1 kg of the most gorgeous and soft BFL and silk in a couple of weeks - I cannot remember the last time I spun so much and in 30+ degrees heat! The fibre was purchased from  http://woolznyarnz.blogspot.com/ where I purchase the majority of my yummy fibre.

It was glorious to spin, although I did end up covered in silk fragments which I just brushed off and spun.   My intention is to knit a hooded vest with this yarn.

25 January 2012

Art Yarn - Textured

Recently I purchased Jacey Boggs' new book "Spin Art" and her group on Ravelry is working through the book, one yarn per month.  

The first yarn is "Racing Stripes" and I enjoyed spinning this yarn so much that I did it twice - I am hoping to use the yarn from Jacey's book in a vest so will be attempting to use similar hues/tones (greens/blues/purples) for the spinning along. 

10 January 2012

Street Art/Graffiti

I spent a wonderful day in the CBD yesterday, getting there at 7.30am, to take photos of various alleyways in Melbourne including infamous lanes such as Hosier and ACDC.  Here is the result of my fruitful day.

09 January 2012

Weave It Loom/Weaving

I spent a wonderful day at the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild learning to use a "Weave It Loom".  Whilst fairly simple to set up and weave, I did find it time-consuming. 

My first square was with sock yarn and turned out very open weaved and really quite useless for anything. The second square was with thick and thin textured yarn and was aesthetically more pleasing but also firmer in texture; the only problem with the second sample - very difficult to weave due to the thickness of the yarn (a slighter thinner yarn would have been perfect).  Whilst Weave It Looms are vintage, you can make one yourself and there are a couple of sites on the internet which show you how to do it.  I think even I could manage hammering a few nails into a frame (perhaps picture frame). 

05 January 2012

Lerderderg Gorge

Just got back from visiting a local State Park - Lerderderg Gorge at Bacchus Marsh.  Whilst there wasn't a great deal of water there was enough for the kids to have a play and get wet.
(From a website) the Lerderderg River rises in the Great Dividing Range and has cut a 300 metre deep gorge through sandstone and slate, almost bisecting the park. The park has a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife and some interesting relics of goldmining.   Lerderderg State Park offers a true bush experience. Walking is the best way to get to know the park - there are several tracks for a range of walks from short, easy strolls to strenuous overnight hikes for experienced bushwalkers.