Funny how ⌛⏰slips away (thanks again to Willie Nelson!)

Last year I started my post in a similar way with thanks to Willie Nelson.  Today I decided to include the video of him singing.  I do hope you like his gravelly voice.  Willie was born in 1933, and he’s still around writing and singing.  We have been fans of The Highwaymen (Willie, the late Johnny Cash{2003}, the late Waylon Jennings {2002}and Kris Kristofferson) since forever, it seems.  We last saw them together in November 1995 with “almost” front row seats at the old Burswood Dome in Perth, Western Australia.  It was an incredible night of amazing talent and showmanship, never to be forgotten 🎶 Hard to believe that it was 23 years ago!

Time has certainly slipped away from me since my last post.  I know it was only 11 days ago, but where it’s gone I really can’t figure out.  The days are going so quickly and we’re already at the back end of June.  Half the year gone in what feels like a blink of the eye 🙀

The good thing is I’ve been reasonably productive on the crocheting front … maybe that’s why the time has 🚀 … although the housework has suffered a bit 🤔  I always remind myself that my Mum used to say “what doesn’t get done today will still be there tomorrow”, and she was right.  So I don’t stress about it, although it would be nice if the house cleaning fairies would pay me a visit occasionally 👌

The gorgeous Portacraft Glimmer Twist yarn that I’ve been using is very popular and I’ve completed two more soft, long scarves … this one in Apple Orchard ….

… and this one in Coral Reef …

There are more orders for beanies … this one black with silver trim. This was a challenge as everywhere I looked the “silver” yarns were really just dull grey. Opted for a very pale grey with silver thread in the Moda Vera Starlight range and it worked really well.

Then a request was for an ear warmer.  I’ve used a cross stitch to give it some oomph and texture …

This is a trial run as I feel that it may be a bit too wide so I’ve used scrap yarn to give it a go and see what the client thinks.

There’s still an order for a Glimmer Twist scarf and matching beanie in the Boardwalk Promenade rainbow scarf profileto be started so I’ve been kept steadily busy this past month and  I’m certainly not complaining.

The good news on the yarn front is that we now have a new shop in Kalamunda called Knit Purl Yarn Boutique and owner Lena has an amazing range of yarns of all types including alpaca, wool, wool blends and acrylics.  It’s going to be very difficult to restrain myself from spending 💲💰💰  I’ll be browsing with friend Anne tomorrow to check out prices for a couple of possible orders (and keeping my money in my purse for as long as possible 😜).

So that’s it from my little corner of the world.  We have some sunshine coming this weekend.  Wishing you joy and sunshine in whatever you’re doing.  Thanks for stopping by 😎

Stormy Weather ☔, Beanies🤠, Ukelele Fun 🎼🎶 and Strawberry Jam 😋

What a miserable day it was yesterday 🌧☔⛄🌪We didn’t get a thunderstorm or snow but the rain pelted down, the wind howled in humongous gusts and it was very cold.  We had two goals for the day … our weekly Kalamunda Farmers’ Market shopping and playing our ukeleles with our Friday morning group to promote our fun class at the local Kalamunda Community Learning Centre Open Day.

First off, we went down to our Sunday Farmers’ Market for our weekly shop of eggs, olive oil, fruit, veg, honey. pasta, chorizo and other goodies and also deposited our “scrunchable” plastic at the Recycle In-Tent.

The Recycle In-Tent (RIT) is a great initiative and it’s amazing the amount of “stuff” you can recycle … especially the stuff you can’t put in your normal yellow top recycling bin.  There’s a big shopping trolley for scrunchy plastic, and that gets filled every week.  There are separate small bins for things like coffee pods, mailing satchels, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, cosmetic packaging … the list goes on.  Until the RIT started up I was unaware that there are actually companies that recycle some items that appear to be unrecyclable (is that a word???)  These special small bins are a fund raising initiative for a local primary school.

Each week our scrunchy plastic is getting less and less as I move away from the supermarket and buy more and more unpackaged dry goods. It’s very rare that I buy any fruit/veg that’s packaged … strawberries are probably the main exception.  I’ve always tried to reduce waste and landfill but it’s amazing just how much more you can do if you really put your mind to it. This past month I’ve only put our rubbish bin out twice and each time it feels stupid because it usually only has a large paper bag (recycled from the butcher) in it with stuff that we can’t recycle. All food scraps go out to the compost, scrunchy plastic into a special bag for Sunday,  newspapers and cardboard into the recycle bin and that’s about it.  I think this sounds a bit boastful 😜 but although I’ve been recycling for years I now feel that there are more options and that I’m really doing my bit.

I’d like to put a plug in for Rachel and Simon who own Replenish in Kalamunda.  They’re my “go to” shop and they really are the place to start reducing your packaging.  They have so many dry goods, spices, seeds, fruits, oils, cleaning products, toilet rolls, reusable cups, straws … I can’t list everything … but if you want to reduce your packing this is the place to start.  You just take in your own container, weigh it and write the weight on the side and fill with your chosen product.  At the counter they deduct the container weight and you’re just charged for the product.  If you forget your container, they have a large bin of donated clean glass jars and also strong paper bags made from recycled paper.  There’s also a loyalty programme so you can actually build up some credit as you spend.  I’m well on my way with a $5 credit waiting to be used.  How’s your recycling/waste reduction going?

While we were at the market we picked up our weekly eggs from Cindy (Khanzi Park Pastured Eggs) and talked her into modelling her pink beanie that I dropped off last week.  Like most of us, Cindy was a bit reluctant to be photographed … she says her best side is the back of her head (I know that feeling)!  Cindy, I hope you’re happy with these photos 😊.

Apparently the “trial” beanie (that I delivered with Cindy’s order last week) is being used all the time at the farm.  Nice to know that it’s being useful 🙂  Cindy has also placed another order for three special beanies for some friends she’s going to spend some time with later this year.  Time to get off to Spotlight to find that special yarn I’ll need.

Shopping, chatting and recycling done, we went off for morning tea at a favourite spot in Lesmurdie called The King and Spoon.  A great little cafe/restaurant with a delicious range of delights.

From there, home to unpack the shopping and then off to the Learning Centre for Ukelele Fun.  I don’t have any photos from the two hours that we were there, but it was a fun filled couple of hours with our people joining in for whatever time they had available.

The Uke group is something we have thoroughly enjoyed being part of (thanks to choir friend Marion).  We started at the beginning of the second semester last year and decided to continue on this year.  There’s no pressure to master the chords quickly, you can sing (or not) and our tutor, Annamaria, keeps us on track (when we’re not too busy talking 😄) … it’s about having fun, mastering a new skill, enjoying the music and socialising. For those who want to take it further, there are Uke groups around that you can move on to and expand your skills.  Gordon and I really look forward to our Friday mornings and although I have to admit that we don’t practice much, we’ve come a long way from our fumbling start last year to feeling confident enough to play in front of an audience (albeit within a group of Uke players!).

Today is overcast but dry with a forecast of possible rain.  Time to get some washing done and into the carport,  and then cut up the four punnets of strawberries that I bought yesterday.  The house will be filled with the delicious aroma of strawberry jam a bit later this afternoon.
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Wishing you a happy day, wherever you and and whatever you’re doing 😎

A Little Ray of Sunshine 🔆

We’re in love❤❤ The secret is out 😺Last week, our second grandchild was born, named after my Mum and born on the day that my Dad would have been 100.  A very happy and nostalgic occasion .. she is beautiful 👌😍

The project I was working on for months was a blanket for the family heirloom cot.  The cot was made by Gordon’s Dad for our eldest son who was born in 1970, and was subsequently used for our daughter and then younger son before being hung from the rafters in Gordon’s workshop until our grandson was born in 2008 😍.  It was then hung back up in the workshop again until it was needed for this new addition to our family.

This is the secret … a blanket that I made with 100% cotton.  Because the pattern is quite dense, the blanket is very warm and was quite a challenge to make during the hot summer months.  The fine cotton meant it took quite some time to complete but the final result was worth it.  Unfortunately I was so eager to hand it over that I completely neglected to take my usual photos but here’s what it looks like ….

The cold, wet weather also made its presence felt last week, so I sat down with the remainder of the cotton yarn and made this little beanie for our new arrival …

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So we are now blessed with two lovely grandchildren.  How lucky are we?👌👍😍

You can keep your hat on 🤠

This past week was a “beanie” week as I filled an order for two beanies for Cindy, who has the Khanzi Park pastured eggs at the Kalamunda Farmers’ Market   https://www.facebook.com/khanziparkpasturedeggs/ One pink and one royal blue beanie finished and I also included the trial beanie free of charge as I wasn’t happy with the way the variegated yarn didn’t blend in slowly as it changed from light to dark pink.  These are the finished beanies …

Cindy was very happy with her beanies and so was I as I wasn’t totally sure that they would fit.  I had made them to fit my head as I was fairly sure that Cindy’s head was about the same shape and size.  Thank goodness I was right 😊 but I completely forgot to take a photo before we went off to do the rest of our shopping.  If you’re reading this Cindy, perhaps you could take a photo and post to my Facebook page?  

These are all “top down” beanies and the stitch is called a Soft Seed stitch.  It can be a bit tricky getting it right as you increase to the right circumference but it has a lovely soft texture and looks really nice finished.  I finished off with a ribbing that I normally use for my fingerless gloves.  Usually, this is done by creating a strip of ribbing and joining it into a circle, then crocheting into the edge of the ribbing to create the round beanie or gloves or whatever.  This new way is an interesting concept and gives me the freedom to work from the top down and finish with ribbing (rather than single crochet or bulky post stitches) and without a puckered finish at the top of the beanie where stitches need to be gathered in and usually hidden with a pompom.  Now it means that a pompom can be an optional extra … not a necessity 👌

I love crochet.  It keeps my hands and mind busy and there’s always new yarns out there begging to be tried out on new projects.

Do you have an item you would like made?  Something that’s a “one off”, that no one else will have in that particular style or colour or yarn?  Why not get in touch with me and we can discuss making something special … just for you 🎀?  I love a challenge and I love making people happy.  Put the two together and you’ll have something unique.

Coming up in my next post … the secret project that I couldn’t divulge is no longer a secret 🍾💐💕👣🌟

Wet and Wild and Wonderful🌧🌩☂☔

From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I’ve always loved this piece of music 😍

We’ve had some pretty wet and wild weather over the past four days and then today has been an absolutely glorious autumn day.  Washing done and on the line and feet up crocheting 😄

I posted in FB today but haven’t worked out how to link into WordPress, so here’s a copy of what I wrote …..

Last week was fantastic following the promotion by NIghtingales Pharmacy and Newsagency, and this week is also looking good 

I wore my rainbow scarf to our weekly Kalamunda Farmers’ Market on Sunday morning and Cindy from Khanzi Park Pastured Eggs commented on how colourful I look each week . After buying my eggs and chatting with Cindy and Linda Oliver (who used to be our “egg lady” until she retired) Cindy asked if I could make her a beanie as the one she had bought the previous year was the wrong size. A bit of discussion on size etc and I now have a order for two beanies, a pink one and a blue one.

I wanted to make “top down” beanies as “bottom up” crochet beanies don’t always finish off neatly at the top, but I’ve never been able to find a “top down” pattern with a ribbed edging. I finally worked out that I could add a ribbed edge by using the same ribbing that I use for my crochet fingerless gloves, I just had to improvise to add the ribbing on as the final round.

So yesterday was a trial run making a beanie with some of Nightingales Ice Cream yarn and using a seed stitch design plus the ribbing. It turned out really well, so I’m now in the process of making the “proper” pink beanie for Cindy. Hope to have both beanies finished for next Sunday’s market.

The sun is shining through the kitchen window and I’m happily crocheting with my cup of coffee keeping me company 

I hope you’re having a sun shiny day 😎

And the photos ….

The photo on the left is the pink beanie currently in progress and the one on the right is the finished trial run from yesterday.  Very happy with the ribbed finished 👌🙂

On a roll ……………… 👌😺🌟☔⚡

My goodness, I remember this song from my teenage years!!!!  Have you ever really listened to the words?  I hadn’t until this morning … interesting 😎!! Great jive music and a good way to start the day with some bright, happy music.

The crocheting fingers have been busy, busy, busy and I’ve managed to finish one order and almost completed another.

Big Thank You to Brenda for the order of a lovely long scarf in the Moda Vera wine and sparkle yarn.  Finished it yesterday and I’ll be dropping it off to Brenda as soon as she has a moment free.

After I’d finished Brenda’s scarf I had this thought …  “I’m on a roll, why not get the second order started”?  It was a lovely sunny day, so I sat outside under the very sparsely covered grapevines and started this gorgeous scarf for Kerry.  It’s the same yarn and style of the previous multi-black/silver/grey scarf that was ordered by Donna at Nightingales Chemist & Newsagency recently.

I just couldn’t put it down last night and this morning I thought I’d just do a “little bit more” but, again, I can’t put it down 🤔, so I’ve decided to continue on and finish it today.  The housework will always be there waiting for me (it never seems to go away, does it 😜?)  I figure there’s about another two hours crocheting and I’ll be finished.

I lit the slow combustion wood stove this morning as the temperature is predicted to drop and rain and possible storm coming in later today.  Kettle has boiled and we’ve both just finished enjoying a cuppa in the cosy kitchen.
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We need the rain after a very dry autumn, but I’m also hoping that the coming rain gets inland to our farmers who desperately need the rain.

So, back to the red hot crochet hook 😄

I would love to hear from you if you’d like to drop me a note or post a comment 😍 and remember, I’d love to make something special for YOU!

Wishing you a lovely day 🔆

Singing is good for the soul 🎼🎶🎶

I am part of a small “all women” singing group called Secret Women’s Business.  There are about 20 of us, we’ve been together for two years and we sing two, three and four part harmonies.  We all belong to one or more of the four Born to Sing Choirs located in Rockingham, Joondalup, Melville and Guildford in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia.  I’m part of the Guildford choir on a Thursday night and I meet with the SWB ladies on a Saturday morning.

Singing with these wonderful women is a fantastic experience.  We have so much fun and laughter as we learn new, and sometimes challenging, harmonies.  Some we struggle with and Martin (our fantastic and very patient choir master) puts them on the back burner for a while, to come back to later.  Others we just keep persevering with until they finally click into place.  One of those is the version of Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (known as Iz).  Unfortunately his life was very short but he produced this lovely and different version ….

This song has really been a challenge for all of us but it finally came together and this last weekend we performed Iz’s version of Over the Rainbow, together with Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; Day and Night; Prayer; The Boy From New York City and a “tongue in cheek” version of Wishin’ and Hopin’ that we call Thrillin’ and Longin’.  We performed at a Lifestyle Expo at the Claremont Showgrounds on Saturday and on Sunday at the Rockingham Cruising Club for the Red Hat ladies “Pearls and Tiaras” function.

Both performances were a great experience … the Expo because we didn’t have a “captive” audience sitting in front of us, just a small number who sat down to eat lunch and perhaps to listen to this group of women on the stage.  The pavilion was full of stalls and people browsing and we noticed that many people in the very large, open area were listening and moving to our music, so that was quite heartening.  Later we had a stall holder rush over to ask how to book us for a performance, so we could possibly have another gig coming up in the near future👌

The Red Hat ladies were a totally difference experience.  They were a fantastic, friendly audience and we were the entertainment for their function.  Their response to our introductions and songs was amazing and very uplifting.  We were even asked for an encore but unfortunately we hadn’t even anticipated that happening 🙀 and didn’t have a song prepared, but they have said they will be having us back 👍 so we’ll make sure we have an extra song or two ready for an encore next time 😉

As I deal with depression, these two “Cs” … crocheting and choir … help keep me on track.    The crocheting keeps my mind concentrating on design, colours, stitches and patterns, and creating beautiful accessories and functional pieces of work.  Singing with the BTS choir and SWB takes me out of myself to another place where I become part of a harmonious whole and contribute to beautiful sounds.  Research has shown that singing is of great benefit for those with mental illness such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks and I can certainly attest to that.

So here we are, Secret Women’s Business, after our Saturday performance.  I love singing with these fantastic ladies ❤.  I’m the pink haired one with glasses in the front/middle 😍

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If you’re interested in listening to some of our SWB and BTS videos, you can find them by clicking on this link or clicking on the “choir” tab at the top 🌈🔆💐

🎶😎👍Things are looking up 🎉🎉

Have a look below at this Facebook post from Nightingales, our local chemist/newsagent.  They’re talking about me!!!!!

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I can’t believe how one small move on my part has taken me in such a big step in the right direction.  I’m currently gathering my finished projects together ready for the photoshoot.  As you will see from the top of the page, I have changed my profile picture to feature my beautiful rainbow scarf that was the catalyst for all this happening.

I can’t thank Nightingales enough for the opportunity to display and promote my crocheting and at the same time I will be assisting them to promote the yarns they have on offer.

As I mentioned in my previous post “Rainbows”, I had received an order for the multi black/grey scarf, which I finished and delivered last week.  Last night I had a phone call from another staff member asking if I could also crochet a scarf for her in the same yarn.  Naturally I said yes😍👌

I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz … I’m going to follow that yellow brick road and see where it takes me …. stay tuned!!!!! 🌈😍

Rainbows 🌈

This video is from a US Red Nose TV fundraiser in 2015.  Who could have resisted Kermit and Ed Sheeran singing The Rainbow Connection?  Not me 😍❤

I chose this video because I’m just finishing off the most magical rainbow scarf.  It’s so gorgeous that I’ve decided to keep this one for myself and I’ve ordered more yarn to make another to sell.  This is what it looks like so far …

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The photo really doesn’t do it justice as the colours are much more vibrant and glowing.

Would you believe that this yarn actually comes from my chemist/newsagent 🙀?  Each year they fill a big bin in the shop with amazing yarn.  I was a little late this year and quite a lot of the yarn had been sold but they’ve kindly ordered in more of this particular one, which is called Boardwalk Promenade.

While I was ordering I decided to pick up several other multi-colours.  There’s this one called Apple Orchard …
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… and this one is Coral Reef …
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While I was there several of the staff were really taken with the almost completed scarf and one staff member asked if she could take a photo to put on their website.  I was more than happy to say yes, naturally 😉!  When she came back she asked if I could make her a scarf in the same pattern but with the multi grey/black/silver called Metropolis.  This is the almost completed scarf … just a few more rows to complete it …
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and a close up …
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Once again, the camera just doesn’t get the depth of colour.

The colour graduations in the yarn are random so you don’t really know what the finished product is going to look like until you get to the end.

It’s soft and squishy and incredibly warm, but very light.  A fantastic combination.  The only downside is that the yarn splits very easily and this makes it very difficult to unpick so that I need to crochet very cleanly and carefully.

More scarves coming up soon.  In the meantime, I’m a very happy crocheter and my world feels full of rainbows 🌈  I hope yours is too 😎

Autumn Leaves

What a beautiful version of Autumn Leaves by Eva Cassidy💕

Today is a classic autumn day.  The sun is shining, the sky is a cloudless blue and there’s a crisp chill in the air.  The leaves on our grapevines are falling every day and creating their usual autumn mess, but as they fall they allow the sun to shine into our kitchen with a lovely warm, golden glow.

We have lived in our home for the past 40 years and the vines were planted about 35 years ago for several reasons … to shade our north facing wall and windows in summer to help keep the house cool; to discard their leaves in autumn so that the sun warms up the north facing wall and warms our kitchen/eating/sit-here-all-day-area; and naturally, to provide us with grapes.  They have certainly done all of that and more.  We have a lovely dappled shady area from December through to February/March where we sit, eat, and entertain protected from the fierce summer sun …

and then, as the leaves fall and the grapes start to wither, we still have this lovely area where we can enjoy the warm sunshine on cooler days and the birds are still coming in to check out the grapes which, I must add, they do all summer!  We work on the theory that there’s always enough grapes for us and the birds and the bees.

Winter is the only time that it’s not practical to be out there … but on those occasional winter days, when the sun is shining (and it’s very cold), we will still take our cup of tea outside and sit and chat in the sun.

Our home is an L-shape and our lives are centred mainly in our kitchen area as it’s the long room on the bottom of the L.  It incorporates the laundry at the very end, then the actual kitchen part with sink, stove, cupboards, fridge, etc and then an eating area that on the original 1970s plans was called the “family room”.  It truly is a family room.  As a family of five (we’re now retired and just two of us), this is where we have always gravitated.  It’s not a very large area at all.  We’ve managed to squeeze in a 1930s kitchenette, a writing desk, table and chairs for six that has stretched on many occasions to eight or more and a lovely Everhot slow combustion wood stove.

IMG_1182The wood stove is lit as soon as the cool autumn days and night arrive and it burns non-stop until the end of winter … except when it decides to go out before I get to it in the morning 😕  The majority of my cooking is on this stove, the kettle is always hot and ready for a cuppa, and the bonus is that it warms the house and boosts our solar hot water system.

We both spend a good part of the early morning here … Gordon reading the paper and doing the Sudoku and crosswords, while I catch up on emails, Facebook and other computer “stuff”.  On cold winter days it’s our favourite place to be when we’re not doing “other stuff”.  Gordon has a car restoration project that he’s working on and he’s still planting out his winter/spring veg garden.  There’s plenty I should be doing, as after 40 years our home needs a really good de-clutter but I keep getting lured back to my crocheting and reading.  Naturally, this warm and sunny spot is ideal for both 😉

To burn non-stop over winter we need about 2 tonne of wood.  We ordered early this year so that it would be nice and dry and this is our stockpile for the coming cold weather …

Gordon also built a large box to hold the kindling that we use to start the fire if it goes out.  We regularly have small dead branches falling from our trees and they make ideal kindling.  This box keeps it all nice and dry and easy to get to.

I took a few photos of the garden this morning … the grapefruit tree with fruit ready for marmalade; my Mother’s Day chrysanthemums, from two years ago, that have survived my neglect and are flowering profusely; petunias and pansies happily sharing the same container; the Seville orange tree with fruit almost ready to pick; our 60 foot Marri tree, one of five out the front of the house; and one of two lovely pink flowers on my Mother’s Day plant from last year.

Last week we had Mark, the tree surgeon, in to check out our Marri trees as there was red sap bleeding from the 60 foot tree.  Unfortunately he diagnosed borer, which is a worm that actually ring barks and kills the tree from the inside.  The first signs are a thinning canopy of leaves and the red sap.  We had several large branches removed to give the tree a chance to recover and Mark is coming back to give it injections of a special fertiliser to help it recover.  We’ve had this done before and it worked, so we’re hoping we’ll have the same luck this time and that we haven’t left it too late.

We also took the opportunity to have two of the other Marri trees “tidied up” as there were too many low hanging branches, especially over the driveway.  There’s a lot more light in the front yard now, so perhaps some of the plants that have struggled for light will do a lot better now.

When we moved in 40 years ago, there were five Marri trees down the side of the driveway and they were just small saplings.  In our ignorance (then) we didn’t realise just how large they would grow.  The driveway has been damaged by their root systems, but we would prefer to put up with the lumpy driveway than remove the trees.  Two have been removed due to borer damage, but we’re doing our best to retain the rest.

Time to pack up the computer and get moving.  The morning has drifted away and I have a lunch date with two very good friends.

Catch you later …..