Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jelly Xmas Star Tutorial - revisited....

With Xmas only just over a month away I've been getting quite a few emails from people about the Crochet Xmas Star Tutorial I did back here. For some reason Google swallowed up all the pictures from that post back at the start of this year and with the help of a tech-y friend I have finally been able to recover them again....
jelly star
So, here's the post again - same photos, same instructions, just in a 'newer' post.

If you'd like to make some Xmas-y Stars this year then grab yourself some 8ply yarn (1 used 100% merino in the pictures below but cotton would be equally as good) and a 4mm hook.
(note - american crochet terms are used for this pattern)

To start, make a foundation chain of 5, join with a slip stitch to the first chain to form a ring.
Round 1 - (you will be working this round into the ring formed with the foundation chain) ch3, 2dc, ch3, *3dc, ch3. Repeat from the * 3 more times (5 dc clusters and 5 ch3's total). Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch of the starting ch3.

star1 
Round 2 - slip stitch into the next 2 dc and into the first ch3 space. ch3, (2dc, ch3, 3dc) all in the same (1st) ch3 space. 1hdc in 2nd dc of next dc cluster (a cluster is a group of 3dc's worked in the previous round). *3dc, ch3, 3dc in next ch3 space, 1hdc in 2nd dc of next dc cluster. Repeat from * 3 more times.
star2 
Join with a slip stitch in 3rd chain of starting ch3.
star 3 
Round 3 - Slip stitch into next 2 dc and into first ch3 space. Ch3, (3dc, ch4, 4dc) all in the same (1st) ch3 space. 1sc on either side of hdc from previous round.
star4 
(4dc, ch4, 4dc) in next ch3 space, 1sc on either side of next hdc from previous round. Repeat from * 3 more times. Join with a slip stitch in 3rd chain from starting ch3. Fasten off and weave in ends...
star5
These stars are great sewn into a garland or hung by themselves on your tree. Why not make them in a thick cotton for a Xmas-y themed washer...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Garden Update....

The past 2 days has seen a much needed 32mm of rain fall over our farm so it was nice to step outside this afternoon to snap a few shots of a freshly showered garden - clean of all the red dust which is usually present....

I'm excited to have apple trees blossoming,
garden 1
hundreds (and I'm not exaggerating!!!) of passion fruit ready-ing themselves for harvest in the coming month,
garden 2
many a tomato starting to swell (mmmmm tomato relish),
garden 3
pomegranates setting fruit,
garden 4
'mini muncher' cucumbers just starting to appear,
garden 5
heirloom zucchini's growing by the minute,
garden 6
sweet radishes plump for the picking,
garden 7
and rows of french corn finally starting to fill in (even if it is only just a little)....
garden 8
What's happening in your garden at the moment???

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Homemade Dressing

Although we are in desperate need of some good soaking rain here at the moment our veggie patch is still producing prolific amounts of delicious produce which I am grateful for each and every day.
 
This afternoon amongst my harvest was the first of many cabbages.
cabbage 1
This is a 'Savoy' variety and has taken me approx 15 weeks to grow it from seed to plate. I water my cabbage patch every second day and fertilizer it weekly with some kind of organic matter be it sheep, chook, or horse poop, sometimes even seaweed solution...
 
I have peas planted on one side of my cabbage patch and broccoli on the other. These have helped keep any of those nasty pests away and has eliminated the need for spraying - YAY!!!  
cabbage 2
I love raw cabbage and for dinner tonight am making one of my favourite salads - Coleslaw!!!
I don't care too much for the commercially made dressings so for as long as I can remember I've made my own... It's super easy, only takes a couple of ingredients and is really worth a try - trust me!!!
cabbage 3
Homemade Coleslaw Dressing
 
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 cup of mayonnaise (I like to make my own but store bought is fine too just make sure it's a deliciously creamy one)
 
Put all ingredients into a jar and shake well for 10 seconds. Chop up some cabbage, grate up some carrot, slice up some sweet onions and why not even add a few slithers of fresh radish for a Summer-y kick. Stir through the dressing 10 minutes before serving and I promise you won't be disappointed in the least!!!
 
We love this Coleslaw on fresh buns with grilled chicken or sausages - Yum-o!!! But served on the side with a gorgeous green salad and a good piece of protein is also just as divine...
 
Enjoy... :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

De-Stock!!!!!

Wow - the weather sure is heating up round these parts with the temps reaching 35'C hear on the farm today....
With a new shipment of Summer yarns due to hit my shelves any day now I thought I'd have a little 'de-stock' of some of my Malabrigo Winter yarns...
I've slashed 50% OFF the absolutely divine Super Bulky RASTA.
rasta 1 rasta 3
50% OFF the ever popular Gruessa - a slightly felted, single ply, super bulky, thick and thin pure wool.
gruesa 3 gruesa 1
And 40% OFF Aquarella - a gorgeous hand dyed super bulky pure wool.
Aquarella
Pop on over to the Sale Bin on my Website to grab yourself a bargain!!!!

My Website is now back up and running - thanks for all your emails!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Magic....

I know, I keep saying it but I really do love this time of year... I feel it way down in the deepest pits of my stomach, each and every time I step outside - especially when it's first thing in the morning and the Sun is only just rising and everything looks oh so much more vibrant.
broccoli 1
There's a silence in the air as my girls and I walk round the garden, still in our pj's, checking to see what 'magic' has been worked over night, planning out our day...........
broccoli 2
There's broccoli to be harvested (this will be added to a creamy homemade pasta for dinner).
broccoli 3
Rocket and lettuce to be picked (rocket for pesto and mixed lettuce for a green salad to accompany our pasta dinner).
rocket
New potatoes which have sprouted,
spuds
chives flowering (I'm now itching to try this out - chive blossom flavoured vinegar!!),
herbs 2
and petunia's poking their way through a maze of chocolate mint (have you got any ideas what I could do with this??).....
herbs 1
I could go on and on here with ramblings from my garden but will leave it at that.... :)
 
What magic is happening at your place this week??

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our Days.....

As the days start getting warmer we find ourselves, as a family, spending more and more time outside - savouring the days before they become just that little bit too hot....
Painting on the old rickety front veranda is always a must on a warm day, with colour experimentation high on my girls list of favourite things to do...  (the little strips pictured below are part of a collection they have been working on for a Xmas 'count-down' chain/garland - yes it is nearly Xmas again... )
girls 6
Not too long ago my Connie Girl decided that she wanted her own 'gardenbed'... So she set off with her trailer and collected rocks, horse poop, compost and the all important (around here anyway) sheep poop.  After everything was prepared she took to one of my gardens with a shovel and dug out some of her favourite plants... 
girls 1
She rakes and weeds and waters her little garden almost daily and thanks to this her plants are thriving. So now 2 months down the track, she has visions of expanding and dotting little garden beds all around the yard....
 
Not too far away is Millie, of coarse, under an old rainwater tank stand where a few geraniums and pots of neglected succulents live - this is her little spot, where many a tea party on a warm afternoon has been had already this Season.....
girls 2
The Ponies have finally settled in and we're finding ourselves enjoying their company daily, especially of a late afternoon just as the sun is slipping beneath the horizon....
girls 3
I almost can't believe that this sweet little dress that Millie is wearing was one I made for Connie over 2 and a 1/2 years ago - where has that time gone??? I think I love it just as much today as I did way back then when I fist saw Connie running 'round on the grass in it...
girls 5
Are there things surrounding you at the moment that conjure up old memories???
 
As I slowly get closer to the arrival of bub #3 I seem to be slipping on the old blogging front... :(
I love my blog and derive and enormous amount of satisfaction and reward each and every time I post but for some reason over the past couple of months I feel as though I've been an absolute SLACKER and for this I am truly sorry... I do read all of your comments and I am thankful for all of your emails - technology and I are not seeing eye to eye at the moment but I'm determined to combat this problem so please do hang in there as I try my hardest to get things back on track again...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In My Garden.....

I've been spending a lot of time in the garden these past couple of weeks and the rewards have been endless....
 
Seeds are popping up everywhere....
seeds 1 seeds 2 seeds 3
Winter produce is still being harvested.....
veg 1 veg 2 veg 3 veg 4
The heirloom grapevines that I took 30 cuttings from a couple of weeks ago are now shooting - yippee!!!! I would love to have grapevines all of the way around my veranda, one day....
prop 1
I was lucky enough to be gifted 8 different varieties of 'old fashioned' scented roses from the Hansen family about a month ago in the form of 50+ cuttings and can't help but smile every time I walk down this path as I watch them all slowly but surly start to shoot now that the weather is warming up....
prop 2
My next propagating task is to tackle this big Rosemary bush - I have visions of a Rosemary hedge lining a dull side of my garden that really needs a face-lift come next year...
prop 3
And lastly, I'm amazed daily as more and more of these gorgeous Iris's pop up all over my garden... These bulbs were a gift from an amazing gardener nearly 5yrs ago - WOW!!! Her name is Karen and she is a dear friend of mine. On her dry old bush block, where 15 yrs ago there was not a plant in sight, she has created a gorgeous garden that I envy each and every time I visit...
flowers
Is there something in your garden that you were gifted??? Do you like to propagate??

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Seeds

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous, perfect for planting out some new seeds that arrived in the post this week - heirloom cucumbers, french sweet corn, bull's blood beetroot, ruby red carrots, mini purple onions, and 6 more varieties of tomatoes (I'm super excited about the Thai pink one's!!!??!!)....

I normally buy my organic vegetable seeds from Diggers but this year decided to try out these guys instead...
school 1
So far I'm very impressed!!! I love the packaging (the seeds are actually in mini zip-lock bags inside their paper packs which I'm loving) and the oodles of info that came with each lot of seeds that I purchased is really helpful - some things I already knew but there was a lot of other info that I actually didn't!!!

So while Millie and I planted up yet another bounty of veg for my Spring/Summer garden Connie sat at the other end of the table constructing something that she proudly informed me was super important too...
school 2
Do you have a favourite seed supplier that you like to use??? I'd love to hear about them!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wild Flowers

I love this time of year as it spells the start of the 'wild flower' season here at our farm. Just before Spring and well and truly before things start to heat up the sweet scent of flowers lingers in the breeze and the sound of bee's a buzzin' can be heard all around....
wild flowers
So yesterday afternoon when our noses led us to this hidden bush of 'pee the bed' daisy's we couldn't help but take just a few - even if the old wives tale states that if we do we'll 'pee the bed'... *^_^*
Their scent is heavenly and when I woke this morning it was the first thing I could smell wafting though my home....


 Do you like fresh picked flowers fragrancing your home???

What's your favourite???

Are you a sucker for their fragrance or their beauty???

Monday, August 27, 2012

that day is TODAY....

The birthday celebrations came a week early here at 'Darling Downs' for our biggest girl of 6 - Connie, with the arrival of 3 miniature ponies late yesterday afternoon!!!
reins 1
The excitement was bursting from each and every seam as my little girls savoured the joy of riding their very own ponies for the very first time....
reins 2
I couldn't help but radiate from the side line as I watched my girls engulf themselves in the wonder of their new horses.....
reins 3
I have a really good feeling about this new adventure we're starting on as a family of the 'horse-y' kind - I'm not sure why, but deep down in that place that always seems to be right, something keeps telling me that 'this is good, really good'!!!!!
 
It has been a good 6 years since Brad (DH) and I have had a horse but we always knew that one day they would enter our lives again, especially once we started a family - I guess that day is today...