Thursday, January 12, 2017

I'm over cute

The little grubs on my header just had to go  I'm so over cute. Cute sells though. Perhaps I should look at all my ami's and uncute them.   Once I get back in my crochet mood though.  Not sure what sort of mood I am in.
I can't even be bothered to tell you about my boring Christmas and uneventful new year. Or the deluge that poured in over the cooker, from a hole in the roof.
December 2016
Tinaroo dam dropped to around 31% and people from all over came to look.  We took the usual 'once in every ten to 12 years' photo on the bridge, except this year Ryan held his dad's photo.  It has poured down for a week, the ground so hard and dry that the rain just ran over it, causing flash floods in many areas. Our village alone has had nearly 500mm in a week.
 There's a small respite from the rain today and I can hear so many mowers being rushed around newly sprouted grass.  Not this little duck, the mower can stay securely locked in the shed.  Spoke too soon... Matt has decided to mow before the next shower comes down. Judging by how dark it is going he should have enough time to get the front done.
No energy today for anything. I should be working but decided I didn't feel like it.  I'm only a volunteer and feeling taken for granted, and I don't like how things have changed within the system.
Lunch time.  The fridge is bare except for a couple of peaches and pears. I'll shop tomorrow after I take Stacey home.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close...

This year has sped so fast.  While I have crafted, it has been done half halfheartedly.  Family History has taken over my life and I seem to be constantly time travelling.  
I am still volunteering though the joy has gone out of adult literacy tutoring.  New teachers, new stricter system - cramming too many students into a classroom too small - get the numbers up, get them out of here and get new ones in, there is no time or space for one on one tutoring. I'm trying to get more hours at the info centre, which will mean less travel as the centre is only a short walk away from home. I love meeting people from all over the world, and chatting with people from my own country who are visiting Australia. 
My life is full of itty bitty things, I have spent all of this year trying to catch up or get into some sort of routine.  My health has been up and down, nothing major... a few falls, three biopsys (all fine), blood sugars all over the place, and the usual aches and pains.  
I have been embroidering.  I had the huge idea of embroidering an annotated map of the York area where my ancestors lived. It was part of a uni assignment.  I quickly found out it was way too ambitious in the time scale I had.  Using Publisher I created a map from images on the net and my own family photos.  I scanned a photo of my grandmother as a young woman. Then I cut out a piece of calico A4 size and I ironed on a piece of stiffening onto the back, then with fingers crossed I printed the photo onto this. It worked.  Then I embroidered details onto the photo, flowers in the background, the outline of her dress, and highlights in her hair.  I used my own hair to embroider her hair, very fiddly and time consuming but it gave me the effect I wanted, my grey bits were perfect for the highlights.  I have still a lot to find out about my grandmother so the outline shows that I only know the outline of her story, I still have the details to fill in.  The half finished background shows I know a little about where she came from and the hair links her to me.  The map shows how close the families lived and how small her world was, it also shows that I was born close by and yet never knew any of the family history when I was growing up. 
I crocheted a little White Rose of York and added it to the map.  I learnt something as well. Having the one petal at the top signifies that it is North Riding, if the two petals are at the top this signifys West and East Riding. 
I also have a photo of my grandmother aged around 10, she is wearing a string of pearls and a white lacy dress. I will use a pearl bracelet that I never wear so will use them in the embroidery.   
One of my ideas was to embroider a tryptich, using photos of my grandmother, my father and myself
I had red hair, dad was dark haired, almost black, and I am not sure what colour my grandmother's hair was.  We all have that bee-stung bottom lip. 
This year I have found out a lot about my Yorkshire side, some things not very nice and some that have a little bit of mystery surrounding them.  We always thought the temper came from the red hair but now it might be from my grandmothers side... great great great granny Kirby running through the streets of York, in a passion, with a rolling pin to bash up her daughter in law, and was also fined for fighting with a neighbour in the street. 


Monday, March 7, 2016

...and the rain came down

It's either feast or famine with the rain.  Not enough or too much.  I know we desperately need it, but couldn't it have just eased off a little bit when I went back to the car.  My umbrella fell apart, so I struggled down the back laneway, with shopping in one hand and trying to hold over my head what was left of my brolly.

I'll console myself with these.

I seem to be hitting more and more dead ends and brickwalls in my search for my ancestors.  I need to get in touch with my cousin again, I sent a message through ancestry and I hope she sees it.  This weeks module has had a quick going over.  Writing a research plan, I'm  going back to basics, pretending I know nothing.  Not sure how long I have to do it, I think by Friday.  In the words of Jonesy, 'Don't panic, don't panic'. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lazy Sunday

A years worth of posts to catch up with, all that craft.  I'm sure I started to write a blog post a few months ago.  Obviously not.  So I'll add a liitle bit from the past year when I write my new posts.  
I have started a Diploma course in Family History.  Its something I've wanted to do for a while, and a spur of the moment decision saw me enrolled and wondering what on earth I had got myself into.  I received a High Distinction in the Writing Unit which is part of the Diploma.  It made me think outside of my comfort zone and gave me confidence to tackle other things.  

This latest button caused me so much aggro last night. I cut it too small for the 38mm button and then when i put it on a 29mm one, I catapulted it into oblivion.  Well, my rubbish bin in the craft room as I have just found out this arvy, after an intensive search. The lower one I did on Friday.  That one is too big for the 38mm button, hopefully it will fit a 50mm one, when I can get to Spotlight. 

My little Lulu.  I hadn't realised it was the Chinese Year of the Monkey when I started designing her.  I love how she turned out.  I made a couple of boy ones before Christmas, but wasn't happy how they were developing.  She is such a cutie.  I've nearly finished a sibling for her, at this stage it can go either way whether it will be a brother or a sister. 

Another picture of my rose buttons.  They are so pretty, thanks to the wonderful threads I use. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

March 2016...Really, where did the time go

I love these buttons, I used hand dyed Cottage Garden Threads
in varigated pinks, greens and blues. They are quick to make and satisfy
that creative urge when you want to make something but
don't want to start anything big. 
A small selection of the last years work.  Mostly orders, I wish I could get
orders like these every month.  I love the little fat fairy, roughly based
on moi!  The monster was made from bits of leftover legs, rabbit ears and owl eyes . A friend
of the family fell in love with the cat and I had to make another just for him.
I forgot to add the grass and flowers at the base
of the tree, but its a cheery button despite that. It looks like a firework tree.
Again I used varigated thread by Cottage Garden Thjreads.
I'm obsessed with making embroidered
buttons. The roses were stitched in a close blanket
stitch using one thread of a varigated thread, with fly
stitch leaves.   French and Colonial
knots were used in the background.
. The larger button is 38mm.

More trees.  The varigated threads on the tree trunks and branches
lent themselves very well to the varigation of the bark.  One strand of  thread and
stem stitch, french knots and granitos stitches were used.
The trees tie in with my passion of researching my family history. 

This is my little sugar plum pudding fairy that I quickly hooked up for christmas.
I didn't put up the big christmas tree this year so she had nowhere
to hang out. I couldn't bear to let her go, so she is now a
permanent feature in my craft room.

I can't believe how fast time has gone.  I started a Diploma course in Family History late last year and my craftwork has suffered. Yet looking at these photos, I have been quite busy.  This is only a small selection.  The monkeys I created last month are still to be downloaded off the ipad onto the desktop. 
Volunteering takes up three days a week, my uni course takes 3 hrs a day.  I squeeze crafttime in whenever I can. My Etsy shop has still not opened. I'm undecided what to do.  I sell a few things through a friends shop and by word of mouth, but it isn't going to make me rich anytime soon. 
Christmas was canceled as I was sick with a chest infection, it refused to shift. Nobody wanted to catch anything so they all stayed away. I was quite happy with that and stayed in bed, read books and slept. Had all my health checks - heart, thyroid, diabetes etc.  Everything is fine.  I can come off one of my heart meds. YAY. 

We have finally got rain, after it has been threatening for days.  Glad we got the lawns mowed this week. I pruned the Ivory Curl as well. It finally flowered after 9 years.  I've tried all the online safe remedies to get rid of the weeds, but they aren't working.  So, sorry, they are gonna have to be poisoned. I'll risk it this one time. I haven't got the time, energy or finances to keep trying to get rid of them the hard way. The passionfruit vine, that Lila bought me to put on the fence that I didnt want, is full of flowers and climbing rampantly along the unwanted fence. 

After two months on a meat free diet, we have decided to eat meat once or twice a week.  I HATE Tofu and Tofu hates me.  I can't digest it, it gives me very bad stomach cramps and I spend hours vomiting as my body tries to get rid of the damm stuff .  Found a book at the op shop on Tuesday - 'The Accidental Vegetarian'.  The recipes are wonderful and not one bit of tofu in them. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers

After a very dry 'Wet Season' we are now getting rain in Autumn, its certainly cooled it down a tad, the unseasonal heat was draining me. Not that we get very cold here in the Tropics but the rain is very welcome. Christmas came and went, a very quiet low key affair. It was great to have all my boys in the one house without world war three breaking out. We celebrated Christmas with an exceptionally wonderful Coyle family traditional bacon butty breakfast. Mum and my brother joined in via Skype from the UK. We were so stuffed with breakfast that after everyone had gone on to other parties Matt and I decided we couldn't be bothered with christmas dinner later in the arvy so we just made a salad and had a bit of ham with it, suited us fine and we lazed around for the rest of the day.
Easter was upon us before we knew it, I got to meet Lavinias family and we had a big barbi out the back under the trees, kids running all over the place, wine, chocolate and beer flowing.
Stacey plaited Liams beard. Life has quietened down again and back to a steady pace. I've had all my heart, thyroid and diabetes checks, had a small gyni op and am now awaiting to see whether my thyroid has to be removed. Everything else ok. My hooks having been flying and ami's, flower garlands and other shawls have all been created.
The Bikini Tree got a new suit, tourists from all over the world have posed with it. I'm hoping to do a new one for winter, i thought about a flower and leaf one. The whole town is so pretty with the garden club adding hanging flower baskets and beautifying the town. I get a bit p'd off with living in a tourist village, but then when I am working in the info centre and visitors tell me how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, I feel blessed. Hope it won't be too long before I have something else to say. Jan

Monday, December 8, 2014

Waffling on about nowt in particular

I've been clearing out drawers, rearranging my office space and pottering today.  6 bags of rubbish to toss.  I didnt find my federal police check notice but I found lots of other stuff I didnt know I had lost. I also found time to create.....i'm trying to make as many snowflakes as I can this week, bright bold colours have figured so much in my recent work that using just plain old white seems rather strange.  15 made so far, I'll probably need another 45 for what i need to make, so thats 2 days work.  
Christmas is rearing its ugly head way too soon.  Each year i celebrate it less and less, things don't seem to matter anymore.  Thats not a bad thing.....i just do the things that do matter and stress less over the things that don't. Family and friends are important to me, but I'm not going to send myself broke buying them all expensive pressies or something they don't want.  It's one thing I refuse to stress over.  I love to select gifts i know they will use and appreciate and if it costs Under $10 the more the better and if I can make something I know they will love and appreciate then I put my all into it.  Ok, battery about to die and I want to get another 15 snowflakes made.  Better go get the washing in as well, looks stormy again. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Update

We had a beaut storm last night, lots of lightning and thunder and a fair amount of rain.  It carried on way into the early hours, the house shaking with the thunder.  The power was flicking off and on.....right in the good bits of Inspector Lynley and just when i was on an intricate bit of crocheting.  I was surprised there was only 33mm in the rain gauge, sounded like a lot more.
Ok, so thats the weather report out of the way, now to get down to the interesting stuff.
Hooking.  The name of this blog just isnt doing it for me anymore, my world of Little Petal blog and Hooking in the Tropics aren't working either.  Do I start a new blog and move over posts i want to keep and get rid of the others.  I've certainly hooked up plenty this year, including three extra large bikinis, 2 dozen prs of fingerless mitts, 12 baby blankets, 8 flower garlands and almost 50 ami's.  Hooking and embroidery are my two main passions, admittedly embroidery has taken a huge backseat for the moment.  I'm happy with what I have achieved this year.  Surprisingly the carpal tunnel pain has gone, the only time i get aggro from it is if I have too much wheat or forget my magnesium tablets.
There is such a lot that I want to make...lacy shawls, more garlands and yes, lots more ami's.  When I get bored and have the need to create yet don't want to start a big project I make flowers, when i finish a project and have a small amount of yarn left, I make flowers.  These have built up into quite a substantial collection so I have bagged them up and have them for sale in a friends shop.
Extra large dreamcatchers are big now, using old doilies and bits of lace and embellishments, not my cup of tea but I've sold a few of my odd bits and pieces to crafters who are using them in projects. One lady bought a doiley which is to be the centre piece of a huge dreamcatcher that will hang over her daughters wedding table.  I've a good stash of old magazines and crochet books with lots of lovely old fashioned doileys in.  I'm slowly working my way through them looking for pretty, quick and easy ones to make.
This year has whizzed  by so fast but there is still just over three weeks of making left and I am sure I can get quite a lot done in that time.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bad, Bad Blogger

I am a bad blogger, once upon a time I used to make regular posts, I was always reading others blogs and its such a chore.  I was busier then, no excuse now, I have lots of free time, I am doing more things, life is interesting.  I no longer have the need to tell the entire world every detail of my life. I craft, I make beautiful things but I Have no urge to post every single stitch. Was it blogger overload or have I moved on, was I looking for validation that I was on the right track? Who knows and to be quite honest...who cares?
But for those who do care here is an update. This is what I made recently for the village, its to replace the one i made before that got stolen. Ryan and Lavinia got engaged and bought a house. Matt is living back home with me.  I'm still vollying at the info centre and being a literacy tutor.  My health is good. The garden is good, we just had a major trim of all the trees.  I resisted the temptation to get a new puppy. I'm still housekeeping the holiday home next door.  The house still needs the plumbing fixed, the floorboards need replacing in various rooms the whole place needs a repaint. Such is life and it goes on and on and on. I'm enjoying being alive. I'm not going to make any promises to be a better blogger cos I know thats going to be a big porky and I will soon break it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Its been sooooo long.........

 Life over the past year has been full of changes, people coming and going, tides turning and a lot of crafting.  I actually got time to spend a few days at the beach, then I spent time in the city helping a wonderful friend and sis in law pack up her life in Australia to go back to Singapore.  Ryan and Lavinia got engaged a few weeks ago, I didnt know my son was such a romantic soul.....he gets that off his father because I'm not much of a romantic.  Another son came back home to live for a while, cramps my crafty style a little but we muddle along quite okay, he even cooks once in a while though his idea of cleaning is a long way off my idea of cleaning. My grandgirls are growing up fast, way too fast.  I'm still volunteering, I love tutoring, still got most of the same students, its great to see how far they have come, both in skills and confidence. Health wise has not been too bad, slipped a disc again, had a fall, hearts been fine, diabetes under control, thyroid playing up a little.
Craft wise, been busy hooking
lots of baby things for a photographer, gifts for people, things for the house etc.   Craft room is actually looking quite tidy at moment, i've put away and hidden crafts I no longer do.....beading, tinwork, felting, drawing and painting, I've given away to the oppy lots of fabric and yarn, I've bagged up other stuff and sold them on, I'm also trying to finish at least two ufo's a week and I'm a month ahead of myself.  

The veggie patch is going to be quite productive soon, corn, broccolli, silverbeet, eggplants, beetroot, capsicums,  tomatoes, kale, beans and a few herbs.  
 So thats a brief update on my year.  Knowing me it will probably be another year and another update.