Sunday, May 19, 2024

Aurora inspired coaster with alternative ending

Last weekend we had a wonderful Aurora Australis due to a solar storm. I couldn't see it from here because we had lots of cloud cover and we don't have a clear view to the south, but there were many pictures posted online. They have inspired me to mix these colours, orange, red, bright pink and purple. For this coaster I used my simple hexagon flower pattern but with an alternative ending. For the 4th round, just do 5 dc into the 6 corners, 2 dc into each 2 ch space, and also 1 dc into the top of each cluster stitch. There is no 5th round.

Simple hexagon flower in 4 rounds

Garden Update Autumn 2024

Here are some select images from our garden at the end of Autumn 2024. I just planted out 4 cuttings of all-year round basil, I had them in a glass jar on my kitchen window sill for a week. I cut open a chamomile tea bag and scattered them in a pot because I saw a video that you can do that, and now they are sprouting! Our 15 year old lime tree has stopped flowering the last 2 years since we have removed an infestation of stink bugs. We think we've removed them but the lime tree still isn't flowering.

our 15 year old lime tree isn't flowering

aloe vera still grows abundantly in our garden

some all-year-round basil cuttings I planted out today

a Ned Kelly grevillea we planted out last year

chamomile seedlings from a tea bag

thriving bromeliads are in many places in our garden

a random tiny flower in our lawn

a new tumbler has been added to our composting system

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Homegrown Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Bread

One of the best things we ever did for our house is to keep a compost. Its great to not have anything wet in the trash, all the left over food goes in the compost, especially seeing as we are vegetarians. From our compost has sprouted a huge pumpkin vine, and like last year, we have grown several large organic pumpkins! We cut open the 1st one the other day, and my husband made most of it into a pumpkin soup, and I want to remember how beautiful and sweet it is! As an accompaniment, I made some more homemade bread, this time without oats but just flour instead. A lovely lunch to remember!

homegrown pumpkin soup and homemade bread

this homegrown pumpkin is very sweet and delicious!

a self-sown pumpkin growing in our backyard

Monday, May 13, 2024

Simple Hexagon Flower Coaster - FREE Pattern

I made these flower coasters last night, I apologise if it's similar to something someone else has done, but I didn't follow a pattern at all, I just made it up. I wrote down what I did in case anyone would like to know. I apologise in advance for any errors, I just wrote it out quickly, let me know if you need clarification!

hexagon flower in five colours

I used 8 ply cotton and a 3 mm hook. (2 dc tog, 3 dc tog means 2 or 3 dc together to form a cluster).

round 1 - ch 4, sl st into 1st st to form loop, 2 ch, dc into loop, 2 ch (2 dc tog in loop, 2 ch) 5 times to form 6 clusters, sl st into 2nd ch, cast off

round 2 - join new colour into any ch sp, 2 ch, 2 dc tog into same ch sp, 2 ch, 3 dc tog into same ch sp, ch 1, (3 dc tog into next ch sp, 3 ch, 3 dc tog into same ch sp, ch 1) repeat into ea ch sp to end, sl st into 1st tog st, cast off

round 3 - join new colour into any 3 ch sp, 2 ch 2 dc tog into same ch sp 3 ch, 3 dc tog into same ch sp, ch 1, 3 dc tog into next 1 ch sp, ch 1, [(3 dc tog into next 3 ch sp 3 ch 3 dc tog into same ch sp, 1 ch) 3 dc tog into next 1 ch sp, ch 1] repeat around to end, sl st into 1st tog st, cast off

round 4 - join new colour into any 3 ch sp, 1 ch, 5 sc into same ch sp, sk next st, 2 sc into next 1 ch sp, sk next st, 2 sc into next 1 ch sp, (5 sc into corner 3 ch sp, sk next st, 2 sc into next 1 ch sp, sk next st, 2 sc into next 1 ch sp) repeat to end, sl st into 1st sc, cast off

round 5 - join new colour into any corner (which is the 3rd sc of a group of 5 sc), 1 ch, 3 sc into same st, 1 sc into ea of the next 8 st, (3 sc into the corner st, 1 sc into ea of the next 8 st) repeat to end, sl st into 1st sc, cast off

weave in ends (but we hates it!!!)

hexagon flower in one colour

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Today's Small Win - Mother's Day Cake

We decided we would make a cake for Mother's Day! I remembered I had some fresh raspberries in the fridge that I was going to use for porridge, so we started looking at photos of raspberry cakes and my son really liked the look of this one. We decided to give it a go! We ran out of sugar so only made one chocolate cake, this is the recipe we have used for many years, which is a Frugal Mud Cake. We make it dairy-free by using nuttelex. For the butter frosting, my husband used more nuttelex and icing sugar, he whipped it up in the mixer, one part margarine to two parts sugar, it worked really well. I wanted to remember how well the frosting went on. It didn't pick up any crumbs while I used a spatula to put it on. And then came for the taste test! It was very sweet and delicious! Happy Mother's Day!

A happy memory of Mother's Day 2024

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Hexagon Socks

Today, I found out via a crochet group on facebook that you can make socks out of hexagons! I've made a few hexagon jackets as I really appreciate the simplicity of the idea, but socks as well??!! How easy! This was the youtube video that shows you how!

a pair of homemade hexagon socks

I thought I might give it try and went hunting for yarn in my stash. I didn't find any but wondered if I could frog something from my collection of unfinished projects and some variegated yarn caught my eye. When I pulled it out, I discovered it was 2 hexagons! It must have been fate that these unused pieces were destined to become socks! They had about 15 rounds and weren't granny hexagons but that was ok! I think they must have been for a hexagon jacket for my son but I had changed my mind, it was lucky I had saved them! 
one of two hexagons in the pile of unfinished projects

The hardest thing turning these hexagons into socks was unravelling the unnecessary rounds. I had to slip stitch to the corner as the rounds were half way through the side. I thought I could get them onto my son's feet, which are ginormous! I worked out that they needed 12 rounds to fit his feet. The pattern is quite straight forward, and Sirin's Crochet does a great job explaining it! That's a win for today I am thinking!

hexagon socks on large feet

Monday, May 6, 2024

Today's Small Win - Baking Oat Bread

I had another low-mood day yesterday after waking from dreaming about my lost teaching career, so today I decided on a small win - having a go at baking bread! My husband assured me it was easy! I saw this video by Nikki Beal on youtube the other day and was thinking maybe the oatbread she makes in it would be doable! So with my husband's encouragement I had a go, and low and behold, it actually worked out well! Huzzah! (Yeast, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of oats, 1.5cups of water, 2 hours rest, roll in flour, 30 minutes more rest, then 30 minutes in the a 220 oven, turn, then another 15 minutes in the oven)

today's small win - baking oat bread

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Sewing Adventures - Pink Sleep Shorts

 It took me a concerted effort to conjure up the motivation for this next project. Last month I managed to get myself to my local Spotlight store to buy the elastic I needed. An error was made at the cutting table, I thought I asked for 1 meter plus 5 cm, but apparently I asked for 1.5m so I now have 45 cm of expensive elastic I have no use for. The error discouraged me, so I left making the shorts undone for another month. It was disheartening that I had made an error. Maybe I was too tired, and I really didn't want to screw up the cutting of the material if I went ahead to make the shorts. Sewing is not like crochet, where if you make a mistake you just unravel the yarn and you have the material unphased to use again. When you cut material there is no going back!

It reminds me of why I don't like to cook. Just a few weeks ago I felt confident enough to cook a dish I used to make a lot, sausages in tomato with zucchini and onion. But the sausages were over cooked and the onions were under cooked. I was so sure I had cooked them long enough, but that wasn't the case. The onions were so bad, I threw the left overs into the compost, and that's saying a lot because I always prefer to eat left overs and not waste them! Not wasting food is one of the simplest things we can do, for the environment as well as for the household budget.  David usually does the cooking in our house, because he is so damn good at it, my guess his success rate is well over 90%, when the chance of success when I cook is considerably lower. The fear of failure is real, and it can be crippling, so much so that stuff doesn't get done, or like the cooking, it gets passed onto my husband.

I have a lot of material in my stash. I don't know what I was thinking to buy so much. Well I do, it happened when I first became unemployed. I fancied with all this new time I would get into crafting, and I did with crochet, but not so much with sewing. I just haven't had as much success with it, and I really worry about making mistakes with the cutting. As it was with these pink sleep shorts, I made them very big, because when I cut them I was very careful not to make a mistake, and too big is better than too small! I have needed some more sleep shorts for the summer, but when I looked into buying something I just couldn't decide because I didn't really like what I could find. So I made these, and I am triumphant! Another task completed when trying to fight a low mood! Huzzah!

homemade sleep shorts

Monday, March 18, 2024

One Way to Fight a Low Mood

 Last month I had a few days of low mood. I call it that out of respect to people who really suffer with depression, but it was real, none-the-less. I had to really think long and hard about any activity that could possibly help me feel like I was productive, in any way at all! I think the main problem is my days are pretty uneventful and I struggle to find productive things to do, so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time on this Earth! So one thing I tried was fool around with some black felt tip pens and pastel colours. Here are some images I came up with...

This did help a little, in that I spent a day doing something different to what I normally do. But the next day is the same all over again, and I have to find something else to do!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Crochet Adventures - Swirly Bunny Rugs

There are three swirly bunny rugs that I haven't told you about, I just use my own pattern when I do these. I didn't make these for anyone in particular, I just make them for something to do. So I have these bunny rugs in my stash, serving no purpose whatsoever!

For this pink swirly bunny rug, I used a 3.5mm hook and 4 ply luxury wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

pink swirly bunny rug
Here is the start of the pink swirly bunny rug, it took me 2 months from April 2021 to June 2021.
the start of a pink swirly bunny rug
This blue bunny rug was made using 4 ply bluebell Patons yarn, I had this in my stash and wanted to use it for a long time. My records show I made this one up really quickly, but I just don't believe it! These rugs usually take me so long to do! This one is from April 2021
blue swirly bunny rug with Patons bluebell yarn
this swirly bunny rug is a small one for a new born

Patons Bluebell yarn, a vintage yarn in my stash
Here is the start of another swirly bunny rug, this time I am using Patons Big Baby 3ply in a rainbow colourway. I started this one in December 2021.
the start of the rainbow swirly bunny rug
And here is the completed bunny rug, it took me over 6 months to complete, finishing in July 2022.

rainbow bunny rug using Paton Big Baby 3 ply

Crochet Adventures - Drink Coasters

I've made a few crochet drink coasters over the last couple of years, we use them at our computer desks for our drinks. I spend a lot of my day at the pc and drink a lot of water! The doctor wants me to limit the amount of coffee I drink due to high blood pressure, so I only have about 2 or 3 cups a day, but I drink water all day long. These coasters are ones I made last month and they are by our computers now. I used a 3.5mm hook and 8 ply cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

4 crochet drink coasters I made last month

I saw a picture of this pattern which is on Ravelry, so decided to give it a go.

swirly heart crochet drink coaster pattern on Ravelry

I made these happy sunshine yellow drink coasters last year, again using some more of my 8 ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I just made up the pattern up, the first round is 12 dc, then its 3 rounds of dc then a round of sc.

Happy Sunshine Yellow Drink Coasters

I saw a picture of a crochet seashell online, but I couldn't find a pattern so I had a couple of goes at it by myself, just making it up as I went along. I didn't write down the pattern and they are long gone now, I throw away my cotton coasters when they get too dirty to wash.
Having a go at free form crochet
Another go at free form crochet

These swirly coasters I made using my own pattern, I haven't written it down, I made them in August 2021.

swirly crochet coaster
another swirly crochet drink coaster
I made these 5 heart coasters in August 2022 for my husband's step mum. I have made them before, many years ago, but the pattern is discontinued. So I just looked at the picture and made up the corresponding pattern.

5 heart crochet coasters for Nanna Freya

Friday, March 15, 2024

Crochet adventures- Hooked on Sunshine

I apologise for neglecting this blog! I thought I should bring you up to date with some things I've been doing since I've been away. One thing I've done is I purchased two patterns from Hooked on Sunshine, the Briar Rose and the Whatchamacallit!

I tried the Briar Rose first as it seemed to be the easiest one, and it was pretty easy! I completed this small rug in May 2021 using cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

My first Hooked on Sunshine pattern, the Briar Rose!

I thought long and hard about which pattern to do next. I had these colours left over from previous projects and wanted to use up what I had before purchasing more yarn, which I usually get from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

A selection of left over cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills

These colours were left over from different projects and I wouldn't normally put them all together, but I took a chance and purchased the Whatchamacallit pattern from Hooked on Sunshine. The photo of this project turned out to be a very popular post on Facebook, with lots of people liking it and commenting. I just wouldn't have thought these colours would go together and people would like it so much. I started this rug in November 2021 and completed it in February 2022.

day one of this Whatchamacallit

day two of this whatchamacallit

Whatchamacallit, with cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills

I still have a lot of yarn left in my stash, including this silky acrylic that was given to me by my mother many years ago. I have made other things with it, like a pair of hats for my sister in law and niece, but I still have a lot left. So I started another whatchamacallit in February 2022 using this pink yarn, its all just the one colour. I've been having a lot of trouble with motivation so haven't done much. I am no longer gaming at all, gaming all just feels "finished" and a waste of time. But what I now fill my time with is another dilemma! I think I might work on this rug and try and get it finished!

work in progress,a single colour Whatchmacallit!

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