Friday, December 23, 2011

Extra Squishy

I love gardening and nothing brings me more pleasure than a nice, squishy, green  lawn!!!!
lawn 2 
I love taking my shoes off and sinking my toes into it on a warm Summers day....
lawn 1 
All the while watching my girls roll, jump and play on its vast expanse as they hope and wish that if their extra good Santa might just bring them that jumpoline they've been praying for (don't you know that's what they call trampoline's these days... LOL)....
lawn 3
So with only 2 sleeps to go I do so hope that Santa got their Xmas letters this year - we really would love a jumploine for our squishy lawn...

Merry Xmas - Jodie xx

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last Minute...

Can it really only be 16 days til Xmas???? 
Now that our tree is up the mad last minute present crafting has begun. Is it like that at your home??? Do you seem to leave A LOT of things to the last minute like me? For some reason I thrive on the thrill of getting things accomplished at the last minute - stupid, I know, especially when I still have 2 quilts to finish and a dress to make.....But, here's a pic of something which I do have finished - the package of goodies that I sent off to my Festive Swap Partner... 
swap 1 
And thanks to this gorgeous recipe over at 'The Shady Baker' I am now totally hooked on Basil Pesto - and what a great way to use up all of the excess that I have in the garden at the moment don't you think...
basil 1
Stirred through some gorgeous home-made pasta with extra sharp cheese on top - DIVINE!!! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet and Tender

This week I've been busily harvesting golden onions from my garden - bunches and bunches of them... I like to plait mine and hang them in my dark pantry to dry out, this way they last us all the way through Winter (that's if we don't eat them all ofcoarse... LOL!!!). Nothing quite beats the fresh, sweet, tender taste of freshly grown onions... What do you do with yours???
garden 1 
We've also been lucky enough to be picking tomatoes and sweet hungarian peppers.
garden 2 garden 3
Have you ever preserved peppers??? I'd love to have a go at roasting them and preserving them in some kind of vinegar brine - got any recipe ideas?? I'd love for you to share them with me if you do...
cloth 1 
Over the past couple of days I've had quite a few emails from my Swap ladies letting me know that they've sent out their parcels. This is great news as there is still a week until the deadline.... I'll be sending my parcel off tomorrow. I've made my (secret) partner the 'Grandmother's Fan Dishcloth' that I wrote about here. I just love this pattern and can see many more of this dishcloth made in the lead up to Xmas....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Art of Crochet

The past couple of weeks have been some what of a blur but every single minute of the blurry haze has been thoroughly enjoyed - that's for sure!!!!

After returning home earlier this week with my 2 littlies in toe from a week long 'Homeschooling Camp' I had just enough time to gather up some supplies, make sure DH was equipped to take care of our girls, pack up most of my Shop and head off down the road to Bourke for a few days.... I was invited over to teach a group of gorgeous ladies the Art of Crochet...
bourke 1
Thank you so much for your gorgeous hospitality Anna!!! I had the most amazing time teaching all of you lovely ladies and was so inspired to see what some of you had created since our last meet....

It truly makes my heart sing to see spark in the eye of a new-be crocheter - and let me tell you now, these girls eyes sure were a SPARKLING!!!!

Over the past couple of weeks I've also managed to finish a few crochet projects of my own, some for the gift giving and some just because... The first was my Willow Doily Blanket that I blogged about here....
doily 2 
Then I made another one of Lisa's Super Simple Wreaths.
wreath 1 
This time I used the decadent Malabrigo Chunky Merino in a golden shade and a 10mm hook (the little butterfly is a free pattern from here if you're interested)...

And then I couldn't help myself and I made ANOTHER Willow - this one is my favorite by far...  
doily 1
I am totally in love with the Malabrigo Organic Cotton that I used for this blanket. It has made up so beautifully and has transformed this simple blanket into a gorgeous table cloth - don't you think??? 

What have you been up to these past couple of weeks???

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adding Them Up....

I'm away at a Home-schooling Camp with my 5yr old Connie at the moment, have been since Sunday, and with all of the 'to-ing' and 'fro-ing' (and sitting around) I've managed to knit up another 15 stars using the tutorial in my sidebar for the sick kids I told you all about back here.
tree 1
That will bring the total amount of Stars crafted up by the incredibly generous community of Cobar (and surrounds) to 267, WOW!!!! Not many to make now to reach our goal of 280 before the 10th of December - when we send them off to the Westmead Children's Hospital for Xmas... 

Are you involved in anything for Charity this Xmas???? I'd love to hear about it.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wool Cheque

This time of year always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside - I think it's one of the best things I love about being married to a sheep farmer. We've just finished shearing and the smell of sheep manure and wool is in the air....
wool 1 
So yesterday afternoon from the deck of the Shearing Shed we watched our cleanly shawn sheep grazing out across the flat and proudly loaded up our truck with this years wool clip..
wool 2 
And at the end of it all there were smiles all round...
wool 4
With hopes of a big Wool Cheque come Xmas - we sure do love this time of year...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making A Start...


Thanks to all who are joining in with my Festive Washer Swap - it's great to see some old faces returning for another round... I'll email you tonight with all the details...

After a trip to town today to stock the pantry I made a quick stop by my shop and picked up some essential cotton so that I can make a start on my Washer for the Swap...
swap 2
I'm using the decadant Malabrigo Organic Cotton for my Washer in the Earthy 'Pacae' Shade... What's your favourite Cotton????
swap 1
O.K...I'm now off to sit down with a cup of tea and wind up my yarn.... Tonight I'll be clicking away on the remake of a Grandmother's Classic - oh what JOY!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Washcloth Swap...

As soon as I saw 'Grandma's Fan Dishcloth' I knew I just had to make one for myself....
Well, that got me thinking - it sure has been a while since I've had a little 'Washcloth Swap'.
So how 'bout it???? If you'd like to join in on a Washcloth Swap with me simply state your interest in the comments....

Let's keep this one small, Sign-Up's will close as soon as I get 10 friendly Swappers up for the giving....
You'll have 4 weeks to craft a Washcloth up for an Anonymous partner to bring a bit of festive cheer to their December....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crochet Xmas Wreath

I love Xmas and this week has seen me crafting away on a new Xmas Wreath to adorn my home this festive season....
wreath 1
This was such a super simple pattern and OMG can you believe that it's FREE!!! Thanks to the amazing talented Lisa over at Good-Knits and her Simple Statement Wreath I am officially in the festive spirit!!!!

This project took me a total of 30mins - awesome, right!!! I bought my foam Wreath from Spotlight for $5 and used about a 1/3 of a skein of super chunky Nundle 20ply and a 10mm hook. I now can't wait to felt up some crochet berries to add as well - what do you think???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Knitted Star Tutorial

I've been knitting (and hooking) away at stars over the past couple of weeks in an attempt to bring smiles to the faces of the 220 kids who are stuck in the Westmead Children's Hospital over Xmas this year. My local community is helping out as well and we already have a whopping 60+ stars adorning the Charity Tree in my Shop. 
  
So, today I thought it would be fun to share my little knitted Xmas Star pattern and to make it even easier I've put it into a tutorial...

Let me first begin by saying that this pattern was not entirely designed by me - I picked it up off a gorgeous elderly lady who happened upon my store last year. She briefly told me a simple equation for crating a 6 pointed star and from there I've crafted a 5 pointed one as well....
star 1 
Before we start, gather up your supplies. I'm using 5mm straight needles and some Malabrigo Worsted (approx. 10ply). These stars don't even use 5g of yarn so scraps are perfect!!!

Abbrev : : k = knit, sl = slip, k2tog = knit 2 stitches together, psso = pass slip stitch over, st = stitch.
If you have trouble with any of these stitchs I'm sure Mr Google would be more than happy to help you out with a how-to... 
star 2 
Using the Long-tail method cast on 66 stitches.
star 3 
Row 1 - Knit 4 stitches, (sl1, k2tog, psso, k8) 5 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, k4.
After Row 1 you should be able to start seeing the points of the star forming as numbered in the picture below....
star 4 
Row 2 - k3, (sl1, k2tog, psso, k6) 5 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3.
star 5 
Row 3 - k2, (sl1, k2tog, psso, k4) 5 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2.
star 6 
Row 4 - k1, (sl1, k2tog, psso, k2) 5 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, k1.
star 7 
Row 5 - (sl1, k2tog, psso) 5 times.
star 8 
Row 6 - O.K... Now you're nearly done - (K2tog) 3 times, k1.
Cut an 8 inch tail. Thread the tail through the live stitches....
star 9 
Pull up tight and sew the short row closed like so...
star 10 
Now, if you'd like a 5 pointed star - it's even easier, simply cast on 55sts intead of 66.
You will be repeating Rows 1 - 5 (repeat what's in the brackets of each row 4 times instead of 5).
star 11 
I hope I haven't confused you too much yet... :)
So, by casting on 55sts instead of 66 you will now only have 5 points to your star instead of 6....
star 12 
After Row 5 cut an 8 inch tail, thread it through the live stitches on the needle and pull up tight....
star 13 
Sew in your ends, make a loop at the top for hanging and you're done....
star 14 
Pretty easy, right???? In the picture below I pinned out each of the points of the star on the left and steamed it with a hot iron. This makes for a much nicer pointier star - don't you think???  
star 15
Enjoy!!!! *^_^*

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hooked!!!

This past couple of days has seen me hooking away on a very special project which will be added to my Xmas gift giving pile this year.. willow 1 
Thanks to the introduction to an amazing on-line Mag by the gorgeous Jenni over at Baa-me Knits I'm now totally hooked on Craft Sanity!!!! Have you heard of it before??? Well I hadn't until earlier this week (thanks Jen) and I just LOVE IT!!!!

This week I've also been busily knitting (and hooking) away on stars (37 to be exact) for a charity thing my local community is working on...
blog star 1
It's super exciting and I can't wait to tell you all about it in the next couple of days... So, until then - Happy Hooking!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Special Gifts....

I must say - the most special gifts of them all (to me any way) are those that are hand crafted by people who are dear to you....
brooch 2
There's just something about them, it's as though the thought and love that's gone into every minute of making them oozzes out each and every time the handmade gift is adorned...

Thank You so very much Suze for my very special brooch!!! I love it so, so much and look forward to it now being a fixture in my Spring/Summer wardrobe for the remainder of this year and many more to come...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Girl-y Time

We've been harvasting handfuls of Bok-Choy everyday this week and our most favourite way to eat it is steamed, seasoned and stirred through some yummy rice noodles - simple but GOOD!!!
bokchoy 1
Have you grown Bok-Choy before? How do you like to eat it?? 
bokchoy 2
bokchoy 3
On the Shop front I'm very excited to now be stocking 12 shades of Organic Cotton by Malabrigo. It's 100% Certified Organic Cotton with Natural Dyes added which are environmently friendly and free of chemical agents. I'm hoping to have them up on my website within the next week or so but if you can't wait until them email me and I'll send you through a detailed description with pictures of the shades I have in stock...
cotton 1 
After many long discussions DH and I decided 3 weeks ago that it would be a good idea to bring the girls into town to the Shop with me on Friday's and Saturday's. These will be our days for girl-y time...
millie 2
There'll be Library visits, a little stitching, some play time at the park and of-coarse the usual Shop stuff....
Millie 1
We're taking each week as it comes for now and even though at times it gets pretty tough here in the Shop with the girls, especially when it's super dooper busy, I really am lucky to be able to spend the time that I do with them, they're only this young once - right??!!?!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

**30**

On Monday I turned 30!!!
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I had a gorgeous day filled with delicious food, freshly picked flowers and loads of outside adventuring....
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My girls helped pick and prepare the sweetest lunch that had all of the things this Mummy loves - home grown veg, garlic, cheese, handmade pasta and deep fried fresh herbs. Yes - deep fried herbs and they're AWESOME!!!! Today we had oregano, YUM-MO!!!!!
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I was also spoiled by some gorgeous local ladies in town on Saturday. We had b'day cake and the sweetest little party. Thank you Suz, Lois, Caz-y and Rory, its been a long while since anybody (other than my family) has made me feel that special....

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jewel Blue...

Today I sewed the buttons on the first of my Xmas gifts...

worsted 1

This little cardi was made using the super scrum-my Malabrigo Worsted in shade #32 - Jewel Blue and the pattern 'In Three's'. I've made the size 4/5 for my 5 year old Connie Girl and it's HUGE!!!! It will definitely fit her this time next year and this time the year after as well - that's for sure...

worsted 2

I also got the chance to pickle up some of those yummy beets from my last post.

beets 1

I simply chopped off the greens, leaving an inch still on the root and boiled the beets until they were tender.

beets 2

I then rubbed off the skins with a napkin and chopped off the inch of greens that I left on the top. While still hot I sliced my beets into wedges and stacked them into a sterilized jar where they sat while I prepared my brine...beets 3

To make the brine, bring 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of white vinegar, a few whole cloves, some peppercorns, a twill of Cinnamon and a little root ginger to the boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover for 10mins. Strain the brine and pour it over the beet wedges in the jar and seal... beets 4

These are perfect to eat straight away or you could leave them in the pantry for a good couple of weeks for the flavours to infuse a little more...

What are you harvesting and preserving at your place this weekend???