The Wooden Blocks Pa Murphy made

Here are some simply delightful wooden blocks, and a special red and green wooden train made by Pa Murphy as a gift for Thomas!

Isn’t this collection of wooden toys just lovely? Its so much nicer than the mass produced blocks you buy from the store. All the more special are these toys because they were made for Thomas by his grandfather. These are something you would want to keep and treasure, and hopefully pass on one day, because no one has anything quite the same as these wooden toys. I’m not sure where the wood came from originally, but I think these are at least some what environmentally friendly because they were made from scraps of wood from Pa Murphy’s workshop. For something like this you really shouldn’t buy any wood especially, as any tiny bits of left over scrap wood of any shape will do. These were lightly coated with vegetable oil so a very nice, environmentally friendly toy for Thomas!

Another reason why I like these toys is because they are a classic and timeless toy that doesn’t have the branding you see everywhere nowadays. As much as possible, I’d like to help Thomas learn the true value of things, and not according to if they have some recognisable logo or image on them, as hard as I know that is going to be!

Definitely an addition to my collection of hand crafted family heirlooms! Thankyou Pa Murphy ❤

The Silver Candle-stick Holders my father made

This pair of candle-stick holders are so very special, they were made by my father around the time my parents were married in 1969.

My father was a jeweller’s apprentice so knew how to make these from brass and then coat them in chrome. One looks a little tarnished now, and I’m not sure how I can clean them and polish them up. Dad suggested I could get them re-chromed, which sounds very complicated to me! I’d rather they stay the way he made them.

These have been passed around between our family members for a while, and now have come back to me for safe keeping. I intend on keeping a small collection of precious items that have been hand crafted by family members. These items are family heirlooms as far as I’m concerned and I will be teaching my son to treasure them. It’s much more precious to have things hand made by your ancestors than other things that have been simply bought mass produced. I hope the collection will demonstrate to my son that its possible to make these things ourselves, that one day he can also choose to make things. So far we have a wide selection of handicrafts in the collection, including carpentry, embroidery, jewellery and of course heaps of crochet. These things are made by family members as far back as my great-grandparents! I also hope the collection will be compact. When passing heirlooms along I do think it’s important that the items are not too cumbersome to keep, that they don’t become a burden and don’t take up too much room.

Check out other items in my collection of family heirlooms if you’re interested! There is more to come …

Handmade 1st Birthday Card for Thomas

Thomas turned one nearly a month ago, but we’ve been so busy catching our breath after a very busy Christmas season, this is the first chance I’ve had to blog about it!

This was our first ‘proper’ Christmas with Thomas, as his first Christmas was spent in the hospital nursery, and I was still in hospital that day myself. That’s why we decided we should make an extra effort this season, and visit everyone in the family, which we managed to do, except for seeing my sister and her family in Darwin. We hadn’t gone anywhere all year, with Thomas being so small I didn’t feel confident enough. So Christmas was a very busy season for us indeed this year, and we’ve decided we should spread things out a bit better next year so it’s not so overwhelming!

One thing we can’t change though is Thomas’ birthday, which is on December 14th, right when things start to get busy. We had to have a party of course, in fact we celebrated all week with visits from family and friends spread out so our small home would not be too crowded in case it rained. Thankfully it didn’t rain! My mum came to visit Thomas on the day though, and brought gifts and this very special handmade 1st birthday card.

I just adore my mum’s handmade greeting cards, don’t you? They are so special. I’m trying to convince her to try and sell some, I think they might be popular!

Homemade Quilt for Thomas

On the weekend, we got a visit from Nanna and Poppy (David’s dad Brian and his wife Freya) and they came with many gifts, including this special handmade quilt for Thomas!

How very special this quilt is, including a lively print of playing frogs and a print of blue hearts. I’m sure this quilt will get some use, probably in the cot as it’s a bigger size than a bunny rug. Freya is very good at making lovely quilts. I think they would be too tricky for me to try, whenever I cut material it always comes out wonky. And once you cut it you can’t save the material. That’s why I like to crochet, any mistakes I make I can just undo and retry. I guess everyone gravitates towards the crafts that suite them the most.

Besides the quilt, Nanna and Poppy also brought a lot of fresh produce from Stanthorpe, including these tomatoes and zucchinis home grown in their very own garden. We’ve already eaten some in the few days since their visit, but I’m a bit worried that some might waste there is so much! They also gave us several jars of home-made pickles, again using fresh veggies from their garden. It must be so satisfying to eat from your own garden. I know it is and our own garden only has herbs and a lime tree!

They also brought this lovely posey of roses from their garden, now my kitchen smells like roses again! It’s a pity they live so far away, it’s a long three hour drive one way. Hopefully we’ll see nanna and poppy again before too long.

Round Blue Baby Rug

This round blue baby rug seemed to take ages! I’m so happy I’ve finally finished it, although it’s ended up a bit smaller than I thought it would be at 56cm across.

I got the idea for this one from crochetspot, they were saying round is a good shape for baby rugs. I didn’t follow a pattern, I just looked at the photo for inspiration. I had already gotten a fair way into it when I realised I had 13 segements instead of 12. I couldn’t believe it (wait a minute – I know how to count)! I figured it would be ok and just kept going. Maybe 13 is a lucky number in this case, well that’s what I’ve decided anyway. This is the same pattern I used for the simple spiral white doily I finished last week, except for this rug I edged it with 5 trbl scallops. The reason it took so long is because, yet again, I used a 3mm hook and fine baby wool. Really, when I make a rug I should use a big hook and thick wool, then it won’t take so very long. I must have been working on this for a month or two, using nearly 3 x 50g balls of the blue 100% Australian merino wool I got on special from Lincraft.

This year I’ve really gotten ‘hooked’ on completing projects. I don’t like how I start something and have incomplete projects around, although of course I do have some of those! I just felt a need to finish this one so I can get some Chrissie presents done – now I just have to figure what I could make as gifts that will be practical and nice, that they might like and not hate!

Pink Doilies my great-grandmother made

These are a pair of embroidered doilies my great-grandmother made which are edged with pink crochet. This is my post for this week’s Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound.

I remember these from my childhood. My great-grandmother was so very talented with this, there are many samples of her work in our family, these are the few I have in my possession. My great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother Margaret) embroidered these, as well as the crochet edges. These two are starting to show signs of age, and I know they look like they are in need of an iron, but I dare not touch them!

Here is another doily, this one my grandmother Beverly embroidered. That is my mother’s mother. The fine embroidery is so lovely, I hope one day to improve my skill with this, but I don’t think I will get it this good.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these two samples of our very special family treasures made by my great-grandmother, and my grandmother.
❤ ❤ ❤

Be sure to check out other pretty pinks @ Pink Saturday!

The Table my great-grandfather made

There is a real story behind this special little table and how it came to be in my possession.

This small bedside or occasional table was made by my great-grandfather Charlie, the father of my father’s mother Mavis. Apparently he was a skilled carpenter, and my understanding is that he hand-crafted the swirl you can see in the middle. This is the only thing I know of that was made by my great-grandfather that is still in our family and I am very privileged to be the custodian of this historical family piece.

This table has obviously had an eventful life, it even has a coffee stain on the top. But I’m not going to touch this, or attempt to restore it. Its just not going to happen. Anything I could do, or anyone else for that matter in my opinion will only take away from it’s character. No way could a ‘fresh coat of paint’ make this look better because it will make something old look new and you will not see it for what it is. New is not always better. It is a very special turn of events that allows this table to be in my possession. You might think this table, being made by father’s grandfather, might have been handed to me by my father but it was not.

When my great-grandfather’s first wife died, he remarried a lady who the family came to call “Aunty Annie”. Mavis and Aunty Annie didn’t get along, so Mavis didn’t inherit her father’s things. Aunty Annie’s best friend was a lady named Margaret, who adopted her niece Beverly. When Aunty Annie died, Beverly inherited her things, including my great-grandfather’s table. But Beverly and Mavis knew each other, and they had  introduced their children to each other. Dennis was Mavis’s son and Heather was Beverly’s daughter, and they are my parents. When my grandma Beverly died a couple of years ago, her daughters agreed I should get the table.

I love the history behind this table, it makes it all the more special. I think its sad we don’t have more things like this in our family, things that are meaningful and made by our ancestors. Old things should be cherished and passed to those who appreciate their meaning. That’s just my opinion!

I hope you enjoyed hearing the story behind this special piece of furniture my great-grandfather made.
❤ ❤ ❤

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