Monday, March 27, 2017

creatively...

as promised last week, i thought i'd share a little about what i've been up to creatively in recent times...

this month's socks are well and truly off the needles.

a pair of jo torr's vanilla sock with gusset heel and eye of partridge heel flap in naturally waikiwi prints yarn in a red/pink colourway

i cast them on on the first day of march, and finished them up in a little over two weeks.
another pair of vanilla socks, but this time, they're for me!

i also played around a little with some dyeing...

skein of cream alpaca yarn, dyed with drops of food colouring

little droppers of food colouring, onto pre-soaked alpaca yarn, allowed to dry and then rinsed, before casting on...

second imagining of the textured shawl, with extra colour, but without knitting errors

the shawl project i was working on in this post, was ripped and cast on again. i wasn't loving the cream colouring at all, and i'd made a couple of mistakes in the edging when i wasn't concentrating properly...
i truly love it now, and it is finished and blocking as i type. hoping it will be dry tomorrow and the weather cool enough to give it a great first outing!

and because i couldn't possibly have the needles languishing...

the yoke of an orange milo vest

i cast on a milo! it's been a while between knits of this ol' fave and i'm knitting it up in rowan wool cotton, picked up on sale from sunspun a couple of weeks ago now. it's very enjoyable to knit with but i've got quite the decision to make as to which cable pattern to choose!

i'm hoping to get the milo finished up by the end of the month, so i can get started on my april socks! now if only i could choose what they'll be...

do you have a favourite sock pattern? which milo cable pattern would you choose?

Monday, March 20, 2017

taking stock.

chunky thighs and vegie sticks, some strawberries too! a quick shop for celery, onions, mushrooms and potatoes, ready to go home in my basket using a sharp blade to cut some swirls and whorls for a screen printing project beautiful blue green water on the golden sand two big baskets of apples, presenting a world of opportunities

Making : lots of things, in the kitchen and craft-wise too. maybe i'll have to share a bit of creativity next week...

Cooking : quite a bit, there's bread proving on the bench, i've all the makings for a stock, and some thoughts on what to cook to accompany the asian style pork belly we've got planned for dinner are ticking away in my brain.

Drinking : a hot chocolate. treating myself while i sit and type in the relative calm of NOT home.

Reading : actual books! would you believe it? i've just finished 'fight like a girl' which was quite thought provoking and eye opening and stimulating. and i'm just about to start on 'big little lies' after being recommended it by a friend.

Trawling : facebook a bit too often... i think i talked about this last 'taking stock' too, but haven't done a thing about it. deleting the app now!

Wanting : a few more hours sleep. i think this will definitely be my default for the next few years he he.

Looking : at instagram a little less these days, that might change now i've deleted the facebook app though! hopefully not though, it's nice to check in and out without feeling like i need to see every single post which was my default for an embarrassingly long time.

Deciding : on some big picture things at the moment. work-wise, life-wise, it's all up in the air... that would normally terrify me but i'm dealing with the unknown better than i would've thought.

Wishing : people could be a little kinder to one another. it would sure solve a lot of heartache on a global scale don't you think?

Enjoying : not having to stress about money too much at the moment. and letting go of the stress when it crops up...

Waiting : for some images to load. one thing that is not great about country life, internet speed.

Liking : that even though the internet is a bit slow, there's lots to look at while i wait. bees buzzing, birds chirping. the complaints list about this country life is a short one, that's for sure

Wondering : if i know someone local that has a tomato machine i could borrow for a couple of days... i have a hankering to get busy saucing some of the mountains of tomatoes we have around us, but don't think i have the patience to sieve them by hand like i did last year!

Loving : how the skein of wool i dyed last week is knitting up. what a tease, i'll show you more next week he he.

Pondering : what kind of socks to cast on next month... my plan to knit through my sock yarn stash by the end of the year is well on track, cranking out a pair a month!

Listening : to the birds, some sweet cafe tunes, the traffic, people's conversations and low down in the background, the ocean. bliss.

Considering : my plans for the rest of the day. i know what needs doing... but i'll be flexible and roll with what the day brings i think.

Buying : well bought... i broke the yarn buying drought when my fave yarn shop was having a sale. looking forward to picking it up this week! now, no more purchasing! at least until the end of the year. i have my eye on one of these. the perfect antidote to christmas craziness, knitting 15g of sock wool a day! crazy stripy christmas socks for the family he he.

Watching : quite a lot of netflix... we just hooked it up to our playstation, and it's super easy to watch now. we've done 'the crown' and now working our way through 'iron fist' at a rapid pace.

Hoping : for a good week!

Marvelling : at how well one can function having not gotten more than 4 hours sleep at a time for months!

Cringing : at the number of flies currently buzzing around me... they're mighty sticky today!

Needing : to stop eating so many sweets... unlikely to happen in my sleep deprived state though, think it's the only thing keeping me going he he.

Questioning : everything. a lot. there are a few issues lately i've been vacillating wildly on. think it's driving poor bb spare.

Smelling : something delicious being whipped up in the kitchen in this cafe, might need to be off soon to make some lunch!

Wearing : this! who says you can't wear handknits in the warmer months?

Noticing : how distinctly uncomfortable i was in the city last week. we were there for a couple of hours while ben went in to chat to his boss. so many people, so much hustle. just not for me anymore.

Knowing : we're in the right place for us right now. yep. it is known.

Thinking : i've been sitting for too long! my coccyx lets me know these days... boo!

Admiring : parents everywhere. making it work on the daily. it's hard work and i feel like i've got it super easy! feeling lucky!

Getting : excited to catch up with some folks i haven't seen in a while later in the week.

Bookmarking : airbnb places. hoping for a little getaway soon...

Disliking : these flies. seriously! shoo!

Opening : packets of seeds. time to get some winter seeds into pots and on their way!

Closing : the doors and windows, and then opening them again, and then closing them again. the weather has been more than a little mercurial...

Feeling : ready to pop back home and see my fellas. it's good to have a bit of time out, but equally good to chat and play.

Celebrating : easter soon i guess... looking forward to some nice family times for sure! and maybe even some catch ups with friends who are like family. my fingers are crossed!

Pretending : i'm not interested in the new seasons of terrible reality shows that have started recently... for the most part, i've convinced myself... fake it til you make it right?

Embracing : my hair at the moment. it's crazy... curly and frizzy some days, smooth and sleek on others, and the greys, well they seem to be taking over he he. definitely other things to think about at the moment, but i'm hoping to maybe do something drastic soon. we shall see!

what have you been up to lately? care to 'take stock' too? there's a blank list over on pip's post if you want to join in!

Monday, March 13, 2017

6 months.

half a year. that's how long little ag will have been with us tomorrow.

life has never been more different, but i struggle to remember a time without him.

ag, all snuggled up having a nap

the joyful smiles, crazy giggles and ever moving legs and arms never fail to light up our days and nights and i snap ALL of the photos and try and soak up every little facet of you every day, you'll never be this age again.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

let me show you around.

i feel like, quite a few times, that i've said i'd show you around our little country mouse house...
well i'm finally doing it!

won't you come inside?

our green front door, framed by our little porch

don't mind the cobwebs on that there screen door... no matter how many times i remove them, they're back within a couple of days... never mind.

care for a cup of tea at the dining table?

table with a couple of chairs and a high chair, with a wall of black framed pictures and artworks

our house is a little bit of a mish mash of furniture that's for sure... dining table care of my grandmother's house, which was care of HER parent's i think... definitely some provenance on that one. paired with an ikea chair and high chair, and a chair with a fabric seat we picked up from the opshop for $2 (one day i might even reupholster it...)
oh and there's the oddball collection of 'black framed things' too he he!

alongside this little arrangement, is the kitchen sideboard...

fridge covered in photos and bits and a sideboard for our crockery, cutlery, glassware and appliances

picked up for $100 off gumtree, it's a solid little number and sits perfectly between the fridge and the front door, housing all our crockery, cutlery, glassware, appliances and all the random crap that accumulates in the spare drawer...
the fridge was one of our first grown up purchases when we got proper jobs and our old one died (the day after i had all four wisdom teeth removed, the WORST!) and is covered in photos and postcards and the meal planning whiteboard AND our spice jar collection.
it's a busy little corner of the house!

a quick peak into the baby's room...

100 year old cabinet for ag's clothes

and you'll see this pretty ancient old cabinet... again, picked up from grandma's house and again, harking from her parent's place too. this guy used to be in my grandparent's shed, housing tools and such, and before that, housing my great grandfather's beer making supplies.
before that, i'm assuming it was some kind of pantry cupboard as it has wire mesh in the bottom section (meat safe style) and a little metal lined cold box too!
for now though, it's the perfect wardrobe for ag's clothes!

and finally our bed'room'

our bedroom: lit by lamplight on either side of the bed with a blue curtain behind

our main living space was built as a pool room, and thus has NO windows! after moving ag into the single bedroom, we've moved our bed into the living space, tucked into a corner to give us a wee bit of privacy if we have guests over...

it's a wee bit unconventional, but hey, it works! plus we get to use our awesome lamps a wee bit more often too!

what kind of space do you live in? massive pool table in your living space he he?

Monday, February 27, 2017

green love.

oops, seems as though i missed my weekly posting last week... trying to post on a tuesday isn't working sooooo well for me at the moment, we seem to be getting up later and later in the mornings, and tuesday is now mother's group meet up day.
so important for the sanity to be able to chat out baby issues with fellow mummas whose babes are around the same age and stage as ag.
anywho, i'll give mondays a bit of a go for the next little while he he.

today i thought i'd give you a little update on what's growing in the garden... with VERY little input from myself to be honest. i sprinkle a bit of water around every now and again (as does mum thankfully, otherwise i'm sure everything would've perished by now!) but i haven't really planted anything new for a VERY long time... everything seems to be thriving though and we're getting little bit and pieces of food here and there which is ace!

bb and i picked up this finger lime tree in the months before ag came along (feels like a life time ago he he) and i didn't have high hopes for it to be honest...

a teeny finger lime growing on the equally teeny tree

it's thwarted all my expectations though, with a beautiful show of flowers, and a few little weeny fruits too! we'll see if they actually grow into anything edible he he.

the corner where the finger lime is growing, with all my other pots, is looking pretty happy too...

collection of pots with all manner of plants growing in them.

what a collection!
the fig is growing great guns and will need re-potting in no time. and the raspberries? well! i've had a few little nibbles from it. delicious!
there are a few roses amongst the edibles too, and they're occasionally putting on a beautiful show which is always a delight!
and the two avocados i recently moved from the windowsill to out here seem to be enjoying the outside life, phew! must remember to keep an eye on them when it gets a bit cooler though... i've heard they're not fond of frosty times.

just next door to the pot collection above, is this little pocket of greens...

spinach, kale and rocket

a rainbow spinach plant, a couple of holey kale plants (thanks for that caterpillars) and a rocket plant. here's hoping the caterpillars leave them well enough alone to let us get a few feeds off it ourselves!

we've popped some nets on a couple of the strawberry plants in the hope of getting to eat a few... but for the most part the birds are too clever...

they get a pretty good feed from them too, as the strawberry plants are EVERYWHERE he he. here are a couple more on the herb garden near the cockatoo aviary...

basil, chives and sage thriving along in a planter box, with strawberry plants in hanging baskets off the front and sides

i've got a plan to paint up some little rocks as strawberries to try and dissuade the birds... will let you know how that goes he he.
in the mean time, we have PLENTY of herbs to munch on! check out the sage and basil. both are SO much happier since moving into this planter box when we moved out here, they were originally in little pots when we lived in melbourne. happy herbs!

and to pair with that gorgeous fresh basil, tomatoes!

tomato plant growing up and through the mandarin tree

like last season, we missed the boat on planting tomatoes, but not to worry as they came on all by themselves once again he he.
i'm particularly proud of this one, not only did it self seed, but it's sprouted itself right under the mandarin tree, and is using it as a trellis.
the mandarin tree is by far our tallest citrus tree, topping about 3 metres or so i think... and you'd better believe that tomato plant is growing right up and out the top!

there are a couple of other that have popped up in and around the veggie garden too, so here's hoping we get a good little supply from them all.

now i'd best drag myself home, i popped out to a cafe to write this up, but i'd best be off and get to dealing with the mammoth supply of zucchini that we've been collecting from the single plant we're growing. what would we do if there were multiple?!

zucchini slice and brownie and fritters coming up!

what's growing in your patch at the moment? any suggestions for zucchini gluts?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

progress report.

seeing as how we are EXACTLY halfway through the month, i thought i'd best write up a little update on how my february plans were coming along...

completed pair of vanilla socks in dream in colour everlasting sock heavy 9ply sock in 'morning glory'

the socks for my brother are done!
i was tossing up whether to put them aside for the month of february to focus on my knit-a-long projects, but they were SO close to being done it didn't feel right to leave them... so i powered through them instead!
i got to give them to him over the weekend and naturally couldn't wait to snap a picture of them on. they even fit quite well thankfully!
the fit calculation on the pattern is second to none, both pairs have yielded supremely well-fitted socks.

might have to knit myself up a pair sooner rather than later...

but before i do, there are a couple of other projects i need to be working on...

approximately 3 inches into the leg of a pair of jozi socks

including this pair of socks!
they're knitting up quite a bit slower than i'd anticipated, particularly after zooming through the aforementioned pair for my bro... 2 and a half weeks thank you very much!
the twisted rib is definitely a bit time consuming, but i am LOVING the way the yarn is knitting up, it is gorgeous and just. so. lush!
plus, the finished product will be really well fitted on the leg with all that ribbing too!

project number two is coming along a wee bit quicker though...

two thirds of a textured shawl on the go

and it's almost a complete opposite of the socks. where the socks are tight and firm, this shawl is open and drapey. it's lovely to have two contrasting projects on the go simultaneously to be honest.

i'm up to the slow growing part of shawl knitting though... where you have so many stitches it takes QUITE a while to get a row done, but i'm trying to get a good few rows done every day to keep it ticking over. and it's certainly coming along nicely!

i'm not sure how i feel about the colour however, not sure i'm really a cream girl... it might just end up in the dye pot. we'll see!

are you knitting-a-long in the kanga kiwi kal too?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

taking stock.

pair of calves, white and grey in colour the last light on a night last week green tea and matty's socks taking a dip with ag to cool down after a hot day a bit ol' bowl of wonton soup. delicious plums from the tree, preserved in jars for winter.

taking a minute or two to take stock with pip to fill you in on what's been going on around here.

making - a shawl, and socks, and too many plans.
cooking - quite a bit actually... after a quick stocktake of our freezer, we realised we had a fortnight's wort of food in there. lots of home cooked meals for us!
drinking - way too much soft drink. must cut back really... it's just so delicious and is also a nice caffeine hit (i'm not a coffee drinker...)
reading - too few books. need to put the barefoot investor on hold at the library after a recommendation from some friends yesterday, and to work my way through the pile on my bedside table too!
trawling - gumtree. always. currently looking for a wardrobe for ag. we're moving him into our bedroom in the next few weeks and need somewhere to keep all his duds. which reminds me, i had plans for a house tour, perhaps that can be next weeks post!
wanting - to spend a little bit less time reading rubbish on my phone. might be time for a little social media detox again perhaps...
looking - into a few different ways to bring in some cash... and stay home with the baby. bb is too! so nice all being home together and hopefully we can keep making it work.
deciding - on what to do for the weekend. a few family members are coming down this way so should be nice to catch up!
wishing - teleporters existed already. or self driving cars were mainstream... i like to visit friends in town, but it is a BIG drive!
enjoying - ag being almost 5 months. he's so delightful and for the moment, almost exactly where i left him.
waiting - on the washing machine to finish. washing is pretty neverending hey?
liking - that even though the summer veggie patch is pretty pathetic, we're still getting a few bits and pieces on the daily.
wondering - what the future holds... not sure why though, things will happen the way they will happen.
loving - having so much freedom. my days are pretty much whatever i'd like them to be... with a cute tag-a-long to boot.
pondering - which cast on to use for the socks i'm intending to cast on tonight, i want them to be nice and stretchy to fit over my heel and ankle nicely... these ones fit me really well, and are easy to get on and off, but do you think i noted down what cast on i used? nope! fool!
listening - to ag chat while he plays with his toys next to me. delightful!
considering - making some baby clothes... have you ever? any recommendations?
buying - way too much food while i'm out and about. need to be more prepared to save our dollars for more important things!
watching - call the midwife. feeling recovered enough from birth to be able to watch it now he he.
hoping - the dishes get done while i'm out later this afternoon... one must always have hope.
marvelling - at how much has changed in our lives in the past year. this time last year, we were 9-10 weeks pregnant, and only vaguely contemplating
cringing - at what's going on in the states at the moment. and feeling grateful we're so very far away!
needing - to streeeetch. our dining chairs are not the most comfortable to sit and type on he he.
questioning - our needs, constantly. particularly when the wanties hit.
smelling - veggie curry. or what's left of it after i finished eating my lunch. delicious!
wearing - jeans and a jumper. in february. go figure.
noticing - how much dirt is on the floor. i think i could happily vacuum everyday, except that i hate vacuuming.
knowing - ag won't be almost exactly where i leave him for much longer. in the time it's taken me to write this much, he's done a 180 on his play mat...
thinking - about dinner. the thoughts of food are constant. i've only just finished lunch!
admiring - zero wasters... slow steps nicole, slow steps.
getting - a bit annoyed at myself for continually forgetting to drink water. it's really important.
bookmarking - yoga videos, chocolate pudding recipes, baby onesie patterns. all of the things really.
disliking - poosplosions. just when you think you're safe, bam!
opening - and shutting the pantry door. nope, still no chocolate in there.
closing - the lid on the washing basket. if i can't see you, you're not there dirty washing.
feeling - a bit itchy about all of the things that are lying around here in the kitchen... 10 minute tidy up is imminent!
hearing - the wind picking up. this weather man...
celebrating - a birthday on the weekend hopefully, with the family that are coming to visit, looking forward to it!
pretending - the baby isn't still in his pyjamas at almost 2 in the afternoon... he is. no shame.
embracing - slooooooow tuesdays after big mondays he he. pyjamas and all.

what have you been up to recently? care to take stock too? there's a blank list over on pip's post!