Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Friendship Forming....

As our Xmas visitors drive off down the road and the dust slowly settles we're blessed with some quite time to sit and reflect a little before we hit the road ourselves for a 'Family Adventure'...

There is a new friendship forming...
As we welcome our newest member to the family... She has long floppy ears...
Teen-y tiny whiskers....
A cute button nose....
And a personality to boot...
Her name is 'Paws'
And I think she'll fit in just fine around these parts, don't you???
Every year we like to try and get away somewhere 'new' for a family holiday. This year we're heading down to Canberra, tomorrow in fact, to introduce the girls to the big wide world of Science and Art. QUEST-A-CON is the first of many attractions on our list to visit..
Do you live in Canberra??? Is there anywhere that you think we would love to visit??? Do you know of any good yarn/craft shops??? What about a good op-shop???
See you in a week... xx

Friday, December 24, 2010

Coin Pouch Tutorial....

O.K... I know I've been promising this one for ages, well I FINALLY got around to taking the pictures of each of the steps of the pouch so now I can finish the tutorial...

Before you start, if you are unfamiliar with the way that I crochet, I use American terms, not Australian/English so to me a dc is really a tr to those English at heart...

If you get stuck on any of the stitches in this tutorial, I'm sure Mr Google will be more than willing to help you out, or you could even email me if you like...

Let's get started..... Using a 3.5mm hook and some YUMM-O Debbie Bliss Eco-baby (5ply) chain 3. You are now going to work 11dc into the 3rd chain from your hook (the 1st chain), this will be your 1st round.
Your starting ch3 counts as a dc so you should now have 12dc, right??? Join this round by slip stitching into the 3rd of the 3 starting chain.
Round 2 - ch3, dc in same stitch as joining slip stitch, 2dc in next dc and in each dc round. You should now have 24dc, right?? Join this round by slip stitching into the 3rd chain of the starting ch3.
For round 3 and 4 we are going to increase evenly by 12dc each round.
Round 3 - ch3, dc in same stitch as joining slip stitch, 1dc in the next dc. (2dc in the next dc, 1dc in the next dc) repeat round. You should now have 36dc. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd chain of your starting ch3.

Round 4 - ch3, dc in same stitch as joining slip stitch, 1dc in each of the next 2 dc. (2dc in the next dc, 1dc in each of the next 2 dc) repeat round. You should now have 48dc, right??? Join the same way you did for round 3. It's now time to work the sides of our bag which is really easy....
Round 5 - ch3, dc in the next dc and in each dc round. You should have 48dc. Join the same way you did for the previous round. Your bag should now turn up and start to take shape...
Round 6 to 9 - Repeat Round 5.For the next round we are going to work some wholes to tread a cord through to close your bag, this is called an eyelet round.

Round 10 - ch3, 1dc in each of the next 2 dc, skip 1 dc, ch1. (1dc in each of the next 3 dc, skip 1 dc, ch1) repeat round. Join the same way you did for the previous round. 12 ch1 spaces.
Round 11 - ch3, dc in the next dc and in each dc and ch1 round.. You should have 48dc again, right?? Join same as you did for the previous round.
You can finish your bag off here or you can add a picot edging it's up to you... (the picot edging instructions are up next after the cord)

We now need to make a cord for our bags.
Ch72, sc into the 2nd chain from your hook and in each ch across. Picot edge - ch1, (sc in each of the next 2dc, ch2) repeat round. Join the same as for round 11. Fasten off and weave in all your ends. There you have it, 1 finished little coin purse/bag ready for last minute gift giving...
Marry Xmas - Love Jodie xxxxx

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute....

With only 2 days left til Xmas I thought it might be fun post a couple of quick last minute Xmas-y type projects for you all to do...
The first 1 is for some Xmas String. Once you start on this stuff you won't want to stop and before long will have it hanging everywhere in your home...
This pattern is written using American Crochet Terms. If you are unfamiliar with the stitches I’m sure ‘Mr Google’ will be able to help you out...
Abbreviations : : ch-chain, slst-slip stitch, dc-double crochet, st-stitch.
Using a 4mm hook and some 8ply yarn chain 20.
*Work 6dc into the 4th ch from the hook, skip the next 2ch, slip stitch into the next ch. Work another 6dc into the opposite side of the chain that you worked the last 6dc into (12dc in total, slip stitch into top of 1st dc (1 circle made). Ch 20 and repeat from* until your Xmas String is desired length, I like to make my strings a minimum of 20 circles long.
Simple Hey???
Stay tuned tomorrow for a cute little Tree Decoration and I might even be able to pop up the coin pouch tutorial that I've been promising for months... xx

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thrifty Finds....

Following on from this gorgeous blog who is following on from this just as gorgeous blog I'm posting of my latest 'Thrifty Find'...
I was lucky enough to attend a clearing sale last weekend and while there scored a few bargains in the process... The first was this little red suitcase for $1, yes that's right, $1!!!!
And when I opened it up it had a fabulous surprise in stall for me.....
A working vintage-y typewriter....
Can you believe it???? I can't wait to load it up with paper and start my typing adventure...
And you know what??? At that clearing sale I loaded the back of a little truck up for a whopping $50!!! What a bargain!!! So over the next couple of weeks I'll give you some sneak peaks as to what goodies made their way home with me... :)
On the garden front, I'm starting to pick my passion-fruit and they are absolutely delicious!!! Look out Xmas Day and homemade pavlova topped with fresh passion-fruit... YUMM-O!!!
I've also been picking zucchini and squash daily with this lot picked this morning...
I'm still waiting on my Tomatoes to ripen which is odd for this time of year. I guess it's due to the extremely WET season we're having for a change...
How's the garden going at your house at the moment, what are you harvesting???

Monday, December 20, 2010

Podcast's....

I am totally going to give this friend a big kick up the but when I see her next.... You see on Friday afternoon she made a comment in passing about a 'podcast' and how it mentioned a yarn that I stocked in my shop, Cascade 220...
I never thought any more of it and then that same friend was in my shop the very next day and we spoke of this 'podcast' once again. So that evening I sat down with a very tall glass of Red and let Mr Google guide the way, I had to find this so called 'podcast'...
Have you ever heard of Alana fromShe designs the most gorgeous patterns, has an inspiring blog and if that's not enough she also does regular podcasts. The podcasts are AMAZING and I'm finding myself drawn to listening to the whole damn 46 of them....
So the reason why my friend gets a boot up the arse (totally tongue in cheek) is that listening to these podcasts means that I sit at my computer while the dishes stay in the sink and the house stays a mess. But while I sit and listen, I knit, so I guess it's a win even if it is only a little one... *^_^*
And the latest project I cast on for just last night while listening to the podcasts using some of this divine yarn was the Woodland Shawl by the Thrifty Knitter. I'm only wanting to use 1 skein so am following the notes on this Ravelry page...
This morning when I ventured outside to do a few jobs (yes, I peeled myself away from the 'podcasts' for a few hours... LOL!!!) can you believe that I actually had to garb a beanie??? Yes, that's right, a beanie.... In the middle of December when the temps are normally scorching and you dare not step outside for fear of dying of heat exhaustion I had to grab a BEANIE!!!!
And that got me thinking... I don't think I've shared this one with you all... I made it in Winter this year for my shop but loved it that much that I had to keep it for myself... I used the gorgeous 128 Chunky by Cascade and the shade is the most amazing blue I think I have ever seen...
What's hot on your needles at the moment???

Saturday, December 18, 2010

6 Days To Go!!!!!

This week in sewing class we've been working on some cute little dresses.... I have one in red on the go at the moment, perfect for Xmas day!!!! Can you believe that it's only 6 days until Xmas???? Well, for a change, I'm actually organised with only 1 thing left to do, sit back and enjoy this gorgeously festive time of year... How about you, have you got it all under control yet???
A big thank-you goes out to the 26 fantastic swappers that joined in on this round of my washer swap... There are still a few girls who are yet to post out, some due to flooding and others due to computer difficulties but all in all it has been a great swap...
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Here's the washer that I made for my secret partner. I made it using 85% recycled Australian cotton, a gorgeous new product that I'll be stocking in my shop come the new year... Thanks to all bloggers who have put photos on their blogs of the goodies they created for the swap...
Becky has posted about the gorgeous parcel she sent and received here, Pesky Pixies has posted about her super cute Xmas-y washer here. Tracy has some great pictures up on her blog of the very generous swap parcel she sent her partner here. Fiona has posted here about what she made her partner, the mug rug is gorgeous and really worth a look... Toni has a sneak peak at the start of what she made her partner here. Over here, Cosmic-creepers has her parcel all wrapped up and sent and some super pictures of what her partner sent to her... Jules has posted her washers over here along with some sweet little crochet Xmas decorations. Sharon blogged about the lovely washer she made for her partner here, she even dyed some of the yarn herself, clever cookie... Jewells has a picture of the little angel washer that she designed for her partner here. And last but not least, Kylie has Raveled her amazing festive washer here.
For those swappers who do not have a blog, email me with some pics of your washcloths and I'll pop them up on my blog next week sometime for everyone to see...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crowd Pleas-er.......

I love this time of year, all of the parties and dinner guests. Diets are thrown by the way-side as visions of decadent Xmas spreads fill people's imaginations... A favourite budget busting crowd pleas-er for us this festive season would have to be these little gems... They are deep fried battered potato wedges, devilishly good, and here's how we make them at my house....

Deep Fried Devil's

ingredients : : 2kg of spuds (batter will easily cover 3 kgs if your hungry), 125g plain flour, 250ml milk, 1tspoon salt, 1/2 tspoon pepper, 1/2 tspoon baking powder, 1 egg, 1Tspoon melted butter (cooled).

step 1 : : peel and wash potatoes. Slice into thick chip like wedges approx 2cmx2cm. Place in a steamer and steam until just tender. Set aside to cool slightly

step 2 : : in a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add 3/4's of the milk and whisk until combined. Add remaining milk and egg, whisk until smooth then add melted butter.

step 3 : : heat oil in a deep pan, we are deep frying after all so make sure there's enough in there to cover your wedges sufficiently. The oil is ready when a 2cmx2cm cube of bread is added and turns brown within 1min.

step 4 : : dunk each wedge into the batter until well coated using tongs and then deep fry until golden brown, approx 3 mins.

Serve with your favourite dressings, homemade Caesar works a treat, so does chunky salsa or sour-cream and sweet chilli, the possibilities are endless....
What's your go-to crowd pleas-er this festive season????

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy List....

With the rain comes wet wool and humidity and with that comes fly-strike...
So this week while we wait for the paddocks to dry out so we can finish harvest we mustered our old Merino Ewe's and bought them in for crutching....
Miss Millie was very excited to find a little lamb who was obviously missing a Mum....
And before we knew it these 2 were best of friends....
So we now welcome yet another poddy lamb to the tribe... *^_^*
And I must say that it's definitely at the top of my 'Happy List' for the week....
Some other things that are making me happy this week are - my 2 beautiful girls and my very strong husband, long phone calls to my mum in the middle of the night just because, beautiful fibres that I wouldn't have if it wasn't for my shop, the ever supportive blogging community and their gorgeous comments and lastly 'life'... Even though sometimes it really sucks I wouldn't be anywhere else doing anything else, I truly am lucky to live the life I do....
What makes you happy????

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Re-Assessing.....

Since I last posted we've had just under 5 inches of rain... After what was a promising start to the 2010 harvest season we are now looking at disappointing crops of shot wheat.... We're trying to stay positive, re-assessing our options, deciding whether or not to still sell our wheat even though it will now only bring $140 per tonne (if we're lucky) instead of the $300 that it was just over a week ago... sigh....
All the while we are ever so thankful that we still have a crop to strip and there will still be some money hitting the bank to lessen our burdens... We are not flood affected and have not lost everything, it's going to be tight for a while but at least we have something, right????!!??
Last Friday DH had a phone call from a friend who told him of a farmer at Walgett who took his life that morning with a riffle. He had a wife and a young family and after 10 years of drought and disappointment thought that this year would be his saving grace... So, he went in deep and planted up big... He has lost everything due to the rains and now his family has lost more, him.....