Tuesday, April 17, 2018

bullet journaling.

towards the end of last year, i started looking in to journals and diaries for the new year...

i came across the bullet journalling concept and boy, did it appeal!

super simple (or not, if you'd prefer...) and aimed to keep you on track and kicking goals.
perfect!



i picked myself up this journal as a fresh start, but the bullet journal concept is so simple you could use any book you had lying about.

i've aimed to keep my journalling pretty simple... i watched a tonne of youtube videos of just GORGEOUS bullet journals that people have put together and use, but i knew, that as a toddler mum, who likes to spend her spare time knitting up a storm, i didn't want to be spending a bunch of time setting up my journal on the weekly.



the above monthly spread, is done, as you can probably work out, monthly, and i use it to keep me on track...
from the monthly goals list, i can break down smaller goals and set them up as tasks on the weekly spread below



this set up is a little more complex than the bare-bones, traditional bullet journalling, but i quite like it...
it only takes me a quick second to set up (no ruled lines here!) and i make notes in certain places within each square for certain things...
for example, my to-do list for each day always starts in the top right hand corner under the date.
in the bottom left hand corner, goes the meal plan for that night's dinner, and i make some journal type notes about the day in the bottom right.

my husband thinks i'm a bit of a loon for setting up my weekly spreads just like a traditional journal or diary, but the reason i like this diy format over a fixed one, is that you can change things up at any point, and throw a 'collection' in here and there.

i've got a great list of books that i've read this year, a list of possible blog post subjects, a mega house master to-do list... a lot of lists really, but having them dotted through my weeks is really ace. and with the index feature in the front of the bullet journal, they're always super easy to find again too!

are you a bullet journaller? what's your favourite collection?

Monday, April 9, 2018

taking stock. the catch up edition.

whoa mumma! it's been a while... great plans to blog once a week were completely thwarted by busy life stuff!
anywho, in attempt to get you all caught up on the last few months, i thought i'd go through pip's taking stock list.
here goes!

big sunflower, filling the frame
tray of biscuit balls, waiting to go into the oven
birds eye view of a stack of pancakes, topped with berry compote and a quenelle of cream
a collection of four mini knitted jumpers, with a fifth on the needles
a stack of books and magazines on a bedside table with a reading lamp attached to the nearby bed
ag cuddling his bunny and hunting small eggs on the floor

Making : tiny weeny knitted jumpers for the wool gathering annual retreat next month. and a shawl. and a kid's jumper i started on new years eve and still haven't finished... oops!

Cooking : dinner. every night. i'm stuck in all sorts of ruts right now, but the days stop for no woman! we still need to eat dinner, and even though takeaway is super tempting... our budget (and waistlines for that matter) strongly favour the home cooked meals!

Drinking : a whole lot of tea... i started the year wanting to cut back on my coke consumption, because they really add no benefit to anyone's health or wellbeing... and boy did i start strong, only one in january! then i decided to do feb fast for added sugars in february, and only fell off the wagon once or twice, and then march hit and boy did i indulge! time to cut back again now though! need to keep reminding myself just how terrible that brown, fizzy, sweet rubbish is for me.
so yep, tea. drinking lots of tea!

Reading : a book on homesteading that caught my eye at the library a couple of weeks ago... it's on the bench and i read a couple of pages while i'm waiting for things to cook or while ag is happy playing... so about 6 pages in total ha ha!

Next read : see above picture ^
we recently moved into a house we purchased at the end of last year! and in the unpacking process, i've made myself quite the reading pile! i'm not entirely sure where to start, but i know not bringing my phone or laptop to bed with me at night is probably the best place to start! such terrible habits i'm in with them both!

Wanting : to do all the things... looking around our beautiful lounge room, there are still quite a few bits and pieces that need work... the doors and trim still need painting, there are piles of boxes speaking to me from just inside the study door. oh well, they can wait a little longer!

Looking : forward to being completely settled in... one day ha ha!

Playing : a lot with blocks these days, and with rocks in the front yard, and at the park. toddler life is full on, but full of play!

Deciding : on designs for the laundry cupboard/linen press. need to make the best use of the space we have, without spending a small fortune. can not wait to have some functional storage in there!

Wishing : time didn't go so darn quickly! the days fly by sometimes and i wish they would just slow down ha ha!

Enjoying : having an 18 month old. he is just so cute and so busy all the time, and the discoveries he makes about his world just make me stop and slow down and discover with him. it's amazing!

Waiting : for this sleeping through the night thing to kick in... anytime now with consistency would be just fine ha ha

Liking : getting back to blogging for a second. i've written so many posts in my head, it feels nice to finally get one out!

Wondering : if i can keep some consistency with it...

Loving : having our own space to do anything we want with! it's nice to be able to do exactly as we please!

Pondering : garden options. and ways to connect with my neighbours and new immediate community.

Considering : doing a spot of baking this afternoon. i wonder if my biscuit recipe would go ok gluten-less... we will see!

Buying : a single skein of yarn. my first for the year! i'm trying to use as much from my stash as i can, but a project i have in mind (not from my knitting plans for the year, mind you) calls for a contrast colour, the likes of which i just did not own... soon i will though and i'm hoping to cast on right away! maybe i can share my progress with you soon!

Watching : 'santa clarita diet' on netflix. it is SO funny! and a bit gory at times ha ha. but mostly hilarious. i love drew barrymore, and timothy olyphant is so spunky. i love his portrayal of his character too as i'm pretty sure the last thing i saw him in was 'deadwood' and his character in that was SO different!
i've also been rewatching 'parks and rec' because it is the best! i love all of the characters so much, they're all so great!

Next watch : maybe a rewatch of 30 rock? if i can find it on a streaming service. stan or netflix, please hook a lady up!

Hoping : that i can get this blog post, and a little knitting done before nap time is over...

Marvelling : at how quickly a cup of tea disappears ha ha!

Cringing : at my complete lack of self control when it comes to chocolate. i just need to stop buying it!

Needing : to do some yoga. i don't know why i always put it off when my body loves it so!

Questioning : when i'm going to find time to give myself a little manicure. my nails are all different shapes and sizes at the moment ha ha!

Smelling : vinegar and bicarb. toilet cleaning day! always a job i put off, but so nice when it's done!

Wearing : jeans, sleeve-less tee, handknit socks.

Following : ag around and tidying up after him. well sometimes any way... sometimes i just let him run riot and clean up when he's asleep ha ha! trying to teach him to tidy up after himself, it's not going well...

Worrying : about my favourite boots... i took them to have the heels fixed this morning and i'm going to be without them a week! i miss them already!

Noticing : the birds. i thought i wouldn't see or hear as many birds now we're living in town, but there's still quite a few around... especially at 5am!

Knowing : well trying to get to know my limits a little more... trying not to pack too much into one day and knowing when to stop... like here. i think i'll stop right here!
time is running short and my knitting is calling to me!

what have you been up to the last few months? any tips on where to start in my reading pile? or what to watch next?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

citrus cordial. a recipe.

what to do when you have a glut of delicious citrus? make homemade cordial of course!

a stack f pink grapefruit, sliced in half to revel the pinky-orange flesh

i've used this recipe to make lemon cordial, as well as to make this batch of pink grapefruit cordial...

it's so simple, i don't even really know if it could be called a recipe ha ha.

cordial simmering away in a saucepan

500mL citrus juice
500g white sugar
500mL water
zest of 2 fruits

heat sugar, water and zest in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves.
add juice and bring to the boil.
remove from heat and strain, then pour into sterilised bottles.

see what i mean? so simple!

the cordial, strained and poured into sterilised bottles

and just so perfect over ice, diluted with soda water, to keep cool over summer!

have you ever made your own cordial? what's your favourite flavour?

Monday, January 1, 2018

nicole talks knitting. episode 5.

recorded a couple of weeks ago now, but what more perfect time to share this video about my knitting plans for this coming year.



2018 knitting plans, ravelry queue
fluorite sock pattern
fly with me vest project

music by https://www.bensound.com/

are you a planner? what have you got planned for the new year, crafty or otherwise?

Monday, December 11, 2017

candle making.

a few months ago now, i was very generously offered to try a candle making kit, from the crafty candle supplies company based in melbourne.

flat lay showing everything in the kit, wicks, tin, soy flakes, thermometer, fragrances and a jug

i was so excited to give it a try when it arrived, and then, of course, didn't get a good run at it for a couple of weeks.

weighing out the soy wax on a st of scales

when i finally had some time up my sleeve (thank you nap time gods!) i had such a great time! who'd have known making candles would be so easy!? and it was a bunch of fun too!
i do love to try my hand at new things, and it was so ace that the kit came with everything you needed!

setting up for pouring candles, wicks stuck to the bottom of the tins, and threaded through an icy pole stick to keep them still

now the question is... do i use my newly made candles at home? or give them away as gifts this christmas??
decisions decisions he he!

the tins after having wax poured into them, now to wait for them to set

have you ever tried your hand at candle-making? what's your favourite candle fragrance?

Monday, December 4, 2017

green love.

well, well, well... not surprisingly, it's been an age since i last took you on a stroll through the greenery round these parts... needless to say, there's a fair bit more going on than last time he he.

anywho, on with the showing and telling!

a picking of broad beans, bundles in the apron of my dress

the broad beans have been doing their thing, and we've gotten quite the pickings from them... lots eaten for dinners and lunches, and quite a few going into the freezer too!
will enjoy those once the very short broad bean season is over.

the garlic is looking rather splendid.

masses of garlic plants in the ground, ready to come up

won't be long before that's up and out of the ground, drying out and ready to keep us stocked up for the year ahead. have missed having it on hand the last month or so!
must remember to preserve some for the couple of months we'll be without.

the carrots haven't taken so well unfortunately...

three lonely carrot plants in a swather of open dirt

a couple of years ago, i had such luck with a fantastic carrot crop, but haven't been able to replicate it since... will keep trying though... love being able to go out and pick carrots as needed!

the snow peas have been quite generous this year...

a perfect snow pea, growing on the plant

they're just THE perfect snack. as well as the sugar snap peas we grew alongside them... delicious!

i managed to grow a single perfect cauliflower.

cauliflower growing, surrounded by green leaves

just one, from the half a dozen plants i put in...
not too worried, as i'm not actually the biggest fan of the cauliflower he he. was fun to try though!

feeling a little disappointed with the fruit trees this year to be honest... so much gorgeous blossom, but not a lot of fruit!

green baby plums on the tree baby pears on the tree

well a little fruit as you can see above, but not the masses that we were lucky enough to have set last year...
it's all in the weather though, and i think we got some truly rotten stuff just as the bees were needed to do their thing...
oh well, better luck next year!

my next garden update mightn't be for a while, but it should be of a quite different space, stay tuned!

what are you growing at your place at the moment?

Monday, November 13, 2017

well hatted.

over the winter months, i knitted a lot. A LOT!
as well as working slowly on socks, and a few commission pieces, i also knit up a whole load of baby hats...

a little stack of newborn sized garter ear flap hats

this baby hat to be specific...
i knit 12 of them!

a collection of 'kid' sized garter ear flap hats in different yarns

three of them were in newborn size, for three new babes that came into the world over those wintery months, and the remaining nine, were knit in the kid size... for nine (not so little) newly-minted one year olds!

four more garter ear flap hats

even having knitted up so many of these hats, i still love the pattern! it's so easy and looks so cute on little heads.

i'm even contemplating knitting myself one!

probably my favourite part of having knitting so many though, is the small, but sizeable dent it's made in my dk and aran scraps. huzzah!

hats bundled with ribbon or twine and labelled with a gum leaf

i got a wee bit creative with the wrapping of them too.
since having a baby, i've come to realise just how much goes into the packaging of gifts! so much stuff!! that will all most likely just end up in the bin!
hence my low-packaging gift wrapping. the leaves can be composted, and the string or ribbon was all repurposed from my stash of collected bits and bobs. hopefully they might be reused by the recipients, but if not, at least i know they've had a couple of uses before being binned!