Saturday, October 31, 2015

radio silence.

things have been a little quiet over here the last couple of weeks...

a fortnight ago, on a sunday, i was putting together a 'my week' blog post, sitting down to some dinner with bb, and watching a little tv when our cheeky and much loved kitty started making a big racket.
he was meowing and yowling and hissing, quite obviously in a huge amount of pain.

we rushed him straight to the vet, where we were very quickly informed that things weren't looking good. a blood clot lodged in the artery feeding him back legs, a blood clot caused by a dodgy heart. a dodgy heart which had also filled his little lungs with fluid.
we made the incredibly hard decision to have him put to sleep, as even after a whole load of pain relieving drugs, he was still in immense pain.

it's been a pretty hard couple of weeks since we lost our little fella, and i don't think it will be something we get over quickly. to be honest, just while typing i've had a little tear up...

he was such a big part of our lives, always around to greet us after our days of work (or even just quick walks around the block) and always keeping us well and truly entertained with his crazy antics.

he;ll be missed everyday and be forever in our hearts.

Friday, October 16, 2015

show and tell.

this week's finish, comes after my questioning at the end of last week's post, regarding what to do with the yarn i had leftover...
well it didn't take me very long to decide at all!

milo vest knitted in orange colinette cadenza

another of georgie hallam's patterns, the milo vest!

this one i have knitted before... i think this might be my fourth to be honest! it definitely won't be the last however, as they are super fun to knit, as well as being very quick (particularly in this weeny size!)

i always find the body incredibly compelling to knit, with the small amount of cable design. i just want to get one more repeat finished... and before i know it, it's way past bed time!
i may have been a complete zombie at work yesterday for that very reason!

a close up of the hugs and kisses cable pattern. xoxo.

i knit this up in the 3 month old size, playing yardage chicken towards the end there... and i have in mind a good friend's growing bump. i just hope it still fits when it's cool enough for the little one to wear next year!

what have you been working on this week?

Monday, October 12, 2015

meal plan-less monday

this week, bb has taken the week off from work while i am set to work six days in a row.
that can mean only one thing. a week of not cooking for meeeee!

instead, when i come home from work, i'll work on finishing up these sleeves...

two, almost-finished sleeves, knit in bendigo woollen mills luxury in blue denim colourway

and maybe even make a start on the body too!

i'll have a bit of a play in the garden...

a close up of a few broadbeans, growing in the front yard

harvesting little bits here and there. these broadbeans made it into a dinner last week, making it all the more delicious!

and maybe i'll even have a little hunt through my stash...

a snippet of the extent of the button collection

for a few buttons for my newly finished cardigan.

now i'd best be off, dinner is nearly ready!

do you do the cooking in your house? what would you do if the cooking was being done for you?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

my week.

showing off my tan saltwater sandals on the grass sampson captured under the lamp light, looking a little moody grilled asparagus with avocado and tomato on toast. oh and a cup of tea! a bag full of mail to be posted the first yellow rose bud of the season

this week saw me purchasing some new shoes! the only shoes i had that were suitable for summer were thongs (or flip-flops) which are NOT suitable for work in the least.
not any longer though as i secured myself this beautiful pair of sandals.
i gave them a test drive yesterday, wearing them all day at work and clocking up well over 10 000 steps in the process. not a blister nor a pinch. love them!

sampson had a super photogenic moment underneath the lamp earlier in the week. i took about a gazillion photos as he stood and posed like a model. it's a wonder what bugs in the lamp will allow me to achieve ha ha!

i whipped myself up this delicious breakfast on friday morning. i'm getting better at this cooking without animal products thing...

i had a whole bag of post to mail out this week! wedding invites are out and everything is feeling a little bit more real now. everyone knows all of the details and a few people have already sent back their rsvps. huzzah for mail!

and on top of all the above awesome stuff, the first rose of the season popped it's little head out.
this was early on in the week so there's quite a few more out too. hopefully i'll be able to keep on top of dead-heading the spent roses, which will keep them blooming all summer!

what did you get up to this week? what's flowering in your garden? what's your favourite thing to have for breakfast?

Friday, October 9, 2015

show and tell.

this week i'm sharing a wee cardigan i've been working on for the last couple of weeks.

i've been wanting to knit up a granny's favourite for what seems like forever, so when i came across this yarn, i knew it was time!

granny's favourite knitted in colinette cadenza in ginger cinnabar colourway.

i snapped up the yarn when we were having a mega sale in sunspun a few weeks ago.
i'd never seen the colinette cadenza before, but having knit with the jitterbug in the past, i knew it would be a treat.
also i just couldn't walk past the colour! there's a little lady in my family whose favourite colour is orange so a granny's favourite it had to be!

close up of the inside of the button band

this isn't my first time knitting one of georgie's patterns, but i still can't help but marvel at the beautiful details she includes.
the lacework is the sweetest thing ever.
and boy do i love the slipped stitch along the inside of the button band. it helps the button bands sit flat against the body AND means they can be worked seamlessly.
there's nothing i love more than finishing up a project, casting off the last edge, and having only half a dozen ends to sew in... no seaming required!

close up of the neckline with lace detail

as i suspected, the cadenza was an absolute dream to work with. my only concern is that i now have a whole skein leftover... what to do? what to do?

now, i'm off to pop this baby in the bath. it definitely needs a good ol' block to relax the body and sleeves, and open up those lace panels a bit!

what have you made recently? have you knit one of georgie's patterns before? are you a seamer, or do you, like me, prefer seamless makes?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

the craft sessions 2015.

quite a few weekends ago now, i packed up my suitcase and headed off to the yarra valley for the third year of the craft sessions.
i was really REALLY excited to be heading there, a) because i missed out last year, and b) because of the family stuff i had going on at the time.
knowing what i knew about the weekend from my last visit, it would be the perfect remedy for my scattered and grief-stricken brain.
and it did NOT disappoint.

welcome sign out the front of the yarra valley conference center

the food, the accommodation, the refreshments, the atmosphere, the PEOPLE!

i feel this year, more so than the first, i got to know a lot more people, a lot better.
there were faces i recognised from year one, and from the past 10 months working in the wool shop, that i connected with a little better, and i tried very hard to not be so painfully shy. quite difficult for a total introvert!

the other reason i was super excited to be heading to the craft sessions was obviously, the workshops!
i picked the most perfect list of workshops this year and was very keen to get stuck in!

first cab off the rank was darning with jules.
i took one of her workshops at the first retreat and loved her manner of teaching, so knew this would be a workshop i would get a whole lot out of.

startint to reinforce the heel of a hand knitted sock, with the darning class notes in the background

jules showed us a whole range of darning techniques, to fix a whole range of issues.
strengthening areas of knitting, repairing holes or nicks, even fixing pulled threads. all covered!

a hole no longer. the base of bb's blue socks is all darned up.

being woefully unprepared for my classes, i didn't have the requisite swatches knitted to darn on, so i brought along a couple of pairs of socks that desperately needed some repairs done.
though it made my job a little harder, bb now has a much more functional pair of socks, yippee!

the next workshop i had scheduled was the spinning class on saturday morning.
spinning is something i've been thinking and thinking about, ever since i was gifted a spindle (almost two years ago! eep!) but was always a little too scared to take the plunge.

a card with different types of fleece attached, with an information booklet on spinning in the background hard at work spinning on a wheel, that look of concentration
cheers to karen for this picture.
the first piece of yarn i spun on a spinning wheel, very uneven!

plunge taken. in safe and guiding hands.
kate and judy were our guides into the world of spinning and provided a whole lot of information on preparing fleece, the best fibers for spinning and how to actually get going and get some yarn spun. they were both absolute vaults of knowledge and i could have sat all day flicking locks of goat fleece and listening to them talk on a subject that they were both clearly very passionate about.

saturday afternoon was free time, with little demonstrations being held on a whole range of topics, as well as a mini-market running with a few stalls.

i quickly drove into the nearest town after lunch to pick up some fabric for my class on sunday (WOEFULLY unprepared!) and hurried back to check out a demonstration of some spoon carving.

the various steps involved in taking a block of wood and crafting it into a spoon at th craft sessions 2015 giving the carving a go

i've been completely fascinated with spoon carving ever since kate started posting about it, and am trying to convince bb to give it a go. he's not so keen, but maybe i could squeeze in another hobby myself... nope!

i also popped by the mini-market and picked myself up some goodies...

harris tweed pouch full of skein merino silk sport in gingko

a couple of skeins of wool (ironically, from the shop that i work in) as well as a GORGEOUS harris tweed pouch from jules (she sells them, and other pretties online here).
the yarn is the same that i used for my featherweight cardigan and i have been swooning over this green colour for months. i don't have a pattern in mind, but i envisage it as something beautiful and drapy, perhaps a shawl of some description...

sunday saw an all-day screen-printing workshop happening with leslie.
again, i had taken a workshop (or two) with leslie on my last visit to the craft sessions, so knew i was in for an excellent day with a lady who knew her stuff!

leslie took us through a multitude of techniques that are used for screenprinting, and then brought it back to home. as in, screenprinting that you can do AT home, using inexpensive and simple items to achieve excellent results.

blue screen-printed stars on a dark grey fabric

i had a little trouble at the start of this class as i hadn't thought a lot about what i wanted to print, pattern or design wise...
most of what i came up with was way too complex for the process, so after playing around a little with this simple stencil (above) that lorelei designed and cut, i got into my groove.

we both realised we had loved ones who adored all things star wars, so got to cutting out darth vader motifs. you can see the final results of mine here.

after a break for lunch, i really got into things, cutting out and printing (and printing, and printing) a super secret squirrel wedding project. i was one of the last ones printing at the end of the day ha ha!

everyone gathered for a quick bite of afternoon tea, a few photographs and some sad farewells, and then everyone was on their way, back to reality once more.

is it wrong to be looking forward to next year's retreat already?

a big thank you has to go out to felicia and her ace gang of helpers, anna, claire, jen and martine without whom the event would NOT happen.
they do such an ace job and the whole weekend is an absolutely blissful experience.

have you attended the craft sessions too? or something like it in your neck of the woods?

Monday, October 5, 2015

meal planning monday.

phew! last week was a big one. trying new recipes meant lots of time spent in the kitchen, but with lots of super delicious results!
and not a single animal product was cooked! well by me anyway... bb is not as keen on being on the vegan train as i am ha ha!

i'm still feeling really great about eating in this way though, so prepare yourself for another week of vegie based meals!

creamy vegan pasta with roasted tomatoes and basil, whipped up in my kitchen on tuesday night

tonight, i'll bake some mediterranean sweet potatoes, and top them with some of the stuff in the fridge, tomatoes, avocado and maybe some a spinach salad on the side. should be nice and fresh on this hot melbourne day.

tomorrow, i'll throw some mexican rice in the slow cooker before work. it's always nice to come home to have all of the cooking done.

wednesday, i'm off from work, so i'll end a nice pottering day around home with these pies. they were on the list last week, but never quite happened... and after some thinking, i'll replace the vegan biscuits (scones from what i can gather), that top the pie, with some olive oil pastry, as i'm not so keen on buying butter alternatives and things.

thursday, i'm sadly back to work, but will whip up this soba noodle salad when i get home.

last week, i missed out on having to work a late night due to the public holiday, but i'm back working friday night this week, and as such, i'll pop some vego tacos in the slow cooker. i'll make sure we have all the fixings so that it's easy to serve and eat when both bb and i get home from work.

saturday, i'll be working again, so will leave bb in charge of the cooking. i might suggest he has a crack at those vegie burgers i was talking about last week though... they never happened either, which i was a bit sad about.

by sunday, i think we'll need some curry in our lives. this lentil curry was ace last week, so i'll definitely have another go!

what are you eating this week? do you have a favourite vegan recipe?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

my week.

blue and white ben elke lunch bag, ready to be packed with a jar of salad, popcorn and an apple a trio of sweet treats, purchased from the home of vegan delights, smith and deli in fitzroy sampson the cat, lounging on and around everything i was using to put together my wedding invites on our kitchen table fat chips, grain salad and chargrilled corn at gazi restaurant in melbourne elderflower and cucumber, pear and basil, and watermelon, ginger and vanilla sodas at gazi melbourne

a delayed post today as i was working all day, and then just HAD to get out and enjoy some sunshine when i got home.
daylight savings, you are very welcome here!

my packed lunch efforts have continued through the week, salad jars and snacks all the way.
oh and there's my beautiful ben elke lunch bag too.. making this whole taking a packed lunch thing WAY nicer!

picked up some delicious vegan treats on my way to the finders keepers market on friday from smith and deli. not pictured is the bagel with vegan cream cheese i devoured beforehand. so much yum!

this beautiful boy was so very helpful while i was putting the finishing touches on our wedding invites earlier in the week. so helpful, much sarcasm.

and for ncb this week, the girls and i hit up gazi. they looked horrified when i said i wasn't going to be having any meat or cheese, but the food that i did eat was crazy good! as were the soda's that we washed our dinner down with.
mine was an elderflower and cucumber soda, which may or may have not been spiked with a wee shot of gin. it was the perfect beverage for a beautiful spring evening!

what have you been up to this week? eaten anything delicious?

Friday, October 2, 2015

show and tell.

yesterday, i mentioned that i wanted to make a couple of cushion covers and i have wasted NO time!
with the public holiday in melbourne today, i thought it was the perfect excuse to ignore the housework, and get to a little bit of sewing.

four Darth vader motifs screen printed in black onto a light grey fabric

the fabric panel above, i screen-printed at the craft sessions a few weekends ago, thinking i could make a cushion cover for the study for bb. he's a big fan of all things star wars!

because i was super unorganized before the craft sessions, i had no plan or idea of what i wanted to do with the screen-printing. hence, when it came to making my panel into a cushion, my fabric was a little narrow.
this meant i had to play around and add some sashing around the edges to widen the panel.

cushion made of screen printed panel with Darth vader motifs

i'm pretty happy with how it came together considering i'd never sashed anything before, nor constructed a cushion back before!

to hold the cushion in the cover, i sewed some buttonholes freehand on my machine (the buttonhole function wasn't working!!) to one side of the back panel, and raided my button stash for something that would work...

brass computed ornate button on black fabric

these little beauties came home with me from the bendigo wool show earlier in the year.

i mayyyyy already have regrets for choosing black for the sashing and backing for reasons you may have picked up in the previous picture.
black surfaces don't stay pristine for long when there's a ginger kitty in the mix. cat. hair. everywhere!

what have you been making recently? have you ever sewn a cushion cover before?

Thursday, October 1, 2015


wait, it's october? OCTOBER!?!

some mild panicking as it's just over 2 months to our wedding and there's a whole stack of things that i want to get done before then, not to mention christmas and 2016!!!

*takes a deep breath*

beautifully scented jasmine blossom on the plant in the back yard moody full moon with swathes of cloud on last night in september

last month, i set myself some pretty simple goals. i wanted to make a start on bb's jumper (tick), finish some socks (tick), knit some more squares on my mitred square blankie (buh-bow) and keep up with my gardening (half-tick).
they were goals that were mostly achieved, but some family stuff that happened during the month took it out of me quite a bit. there was a lot of long solo drives (no knitting time) and quite a bit of time i just wanted to sit and rest. emotions and grieving sure do take it out of you.

pre-prepared food for the week, bircher muesli in a jar, mason jar lentil salads and little boxes of snacks his current ritual while bb and i get ready for work, eat, drink, sleep, glare at me when i dare to think about making the bed

anywho, what about this month? well this month is slow fashion october over at fringe association, and i think i do want to join in! i'll write a post specifically about that later in the week (and maybe even that craft sessions one i've had brewing in my brain too...) to expand a little more on what my plans are.

knitting wise, i'd love to finish the little orange cardi i'm working on, and make some good progress on bb's jumper. mainly i just want to enjoy the process of knitting it though. less rush, rush, get it done, more slow, methodical meditation.
i also have a couple of cushions i'd love to get sewn up. we'll see how that goes ha ha!

on the wedding front, i need to get our invites out asap! this will mean having to get them all put together and pretty, enveloped up and in the post. hopefully by the end of the weekend too. having the public holiday tomorrow gives me a bit of bonus time thankfully.
i also need to get my wedding ring organised and set some solid honeymoon plans too. flights and accommodation, here we come!
it's all coming together gradually.

in the garden, i really need to get some bird netting up. on everything! the possums keeps coming in the night and munching on my pretty plants. i need them to look really nice come december, so netting has to happen sooner rather than later ha ha!
i also need to thin out my raspberries a little this month, they're getting out of control already and they haven't even settled in yet!

and in the kitchen? well this past week (4 days? semantics!), i've been ridiculously organised with my meals. jars with bircher muesli are on the bench top for breakfasts, the fridge is full of lentil salad in jars too, ready to grab for work and there's been a meal plan as well... it's been great! and it would be nice if i could keep that up for the month. we'll see how it goes i guess.

what are you up to this month? do you have big plans for october?