Ronda’s homemade flower brooch

This just arrived in the mail, a special handmade gift from Ronda, an old friend of my mother’s!

Ronda saw a photo of the first tea cosy I ever made on facebook and asked me to make her one, so I made her one and posted it to her. My second go at a tea cosy was a bit fancier, it was a reversible two way tea cosy with a Lady Grey side, and a Ladybird side. Ronda liked it so much she sent me a present back, which included her home made flower brooch!

How sweet, now I just have to find a special place to put it. I’m thinking my favourite sun hat could do with an embellishment like this!

Summer Drinks "Frangipani" Coasters

This is the last coaster set I’ll do for now. I guess if anyone else wants one, I’ll just get some more cotton and make more! But next time I buy cotton, I’ll get some red, pink and purple so I can get different colour combinations. Below is a photo of the colours I used for this gift giving season.

It’s fun to think of a name, a scene or season to match the colours and vice versa. I have done this last set because these three colours to me say ‘frangipani’ and I had enough of these colours left over. When I lived in Darwin there were a lot of frangipani trees about. They would loose all their leaves in the dry season, which is the north Australian equivalent of winter, but it really doesn’t get very cold at all. Then as the wet season approaches, the trees would become full of flowers and the smell was gorgeous. Most of them were the yellow and white variety, some had a light blush of pink. And very rarely, there was a deep red variety which didn’t seem to grow as thick but had the rich fragrance of a rose and was very special. The blue in this set represents the clear blue skies of the Darwin dry season.

I do not recommended this coaster set for red wine drinkers, as it’s mostly white and yellow. If you spill red wine on these, soak in cool water immediately. Here are some more tips on how to remove red wine stains from cotton.

Next, to make some Christmas decorations and practice baking some home-made treats to share as gifts!

How to have a simple wedding

David and I decided early last year that we would get married, after he romantically proposed during a holiday at a place called Secrets on the Lake in Montville. The how and when of it was all up in the air. The thought of organising a wedding was very daunting for both of us as we have become real hermits in recent years! But it was pretty obvious to us from the onset that whatever we did, it would have to be very simple and low stress!

By holding the ceremony in the cute and quaint backyard garden of a local celebrant, and only inviting parents to witness it, a relaxing lunch for 6 topped off the day and rain by no means dampened the mood.  The day was all about David and I celebrating our love and making our marriage official, skipping a lot of traditions but keeping the few that were meaningful for us. Below I outline the details of our little wedding for future reference, and how we organised it in about 6 weeks and for a cost of less than $1200 (if you don’t count our rings!).

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Silk Bamboo Wool Hat with Flower Brooch

This is the most expensive wool I’ve ever bought, but it was on special and I just couldn’t go past this gorgeous blend of silk, bamboo and wool. I chose a colour similar to another hat I’ve made, because my sister-in-law said she liked it.

I used a 4mm hook for this hat, and the pattern is my own which is the same as my Pretty Patterned Beanie. As promised back then, this time I used a much nicer yarn with a 60% wool, 20% silk, 20% bamboo blend. This yarn was a such a joy to work with. It has a luxurious softness and consistent thickness, it’s called ‘silk plus’ yarn from Lincraft. Again, I made a matching detachable rose brooch, using the free pattern at Crochetspot.

In everything I make I would like to include a little of what I call ‘wabi sabi’. Apparently it’s a Japanese term that means imperfect perfection, and is often included in handcrafted art works! I think it helps remind me that not everything can be perfect, no matter how hard we try. It’s much healthier to accept and appreciate the beauty in handcrafted things that often include a slight flaw and lend the piece some personality. It also helps me avoid an obsession to try and produce perfection, which can be very frustrating as I find little flaws irritating! The ‘wabi-sabi’ in this piece is hidden at the base of the rose brooch! If you see it you will know this is a homemade piece made with affection.

It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday and I wanted to make her something but I wasn’t sure what. I remembered she said she liked the patterned beanie but it’s too small for an adult to wear, so I made another one with nicer wool in a similar colour. I was worried this one would be too small as well, but it’s slightly larger than the proto-type as I used a bigger hook and thicker yarn.

I also put it on David’s head for a while to make sure it was big enough, which was pretty cute! Sorry I forgot to take a photo of that, lol. I’ll be posting this one off with the first one I made like this as a pair, which is a smaller size. Hopefully these two will get some wear, I’m just sorry they didn’t arrive in time for winter!

Enjoy and Happy Birthday
❤ ❤

Cream Ribbed Hat with Rose Brooch

I was very surprised when this beanie hat worked out so well, because I made up the pattern myself!

I learnt how to do ribbed stitches when I made my purple bolero shrug using a pattern from Lincraft. I had seen round ribbed crochet hats before but I’d never read a pattern when I made this hat. I sat down to watch tv with David with a new ball of Sullivans Softply in cream which cost $2.49. I flicked through an old stitches book my mum has leant me but couldn’t find what I was looking for, but I did start thinking about the ribbing, and wondered if it would work. It easily worked out, it was a lot simpler than I thought!

Then I just had to make a big rose brooch to go with it didn’t I? This is the 4th flower I’ve made using Rachel’s pattern from Crochet Spot. But this time I remembered the pattern as I had done the Berry Pink one the day before. But I made this one different. There are 14 petals, and for the 1st 7 I did trebles (English db tr) instead of doubles (English trebles) to make the petals at the bottom bigger. The other 7 petals are double crochet (English trebles) as usual. It makes the rose more full at the bottom.

My easy ribbed beanie pattern, using 5mm hook and thickish wool
1. 1st round is a beginning 3 chain, sl st, then 12 trebles (American doubles) in the round, sl st
2. 2 ch counts as 1st treble, treble front around the post of the treble below, treble into each treble (as well as front treble around each post) = 24 trebles
3. 2 ch counts as 1st treble, treble into each treble, treble front around each 3rd post (the one thats raised from the previous round) = 36 trebles
4. 2 ch counts as 1st treble, treble into each treble, treble front around each 4th post, sl st = 48 trebles
5. 2 ch counts as 1st treble, treble into each treble, treble front around each 5th post, sl st = 60 trebles
6. 2 ch counts as 1st treble, treble into 5 trebles, skip one treble, treble front around each 6th post, sl st = 72 trebles
7+ repeat row 6 until desired length is reached

The wool I used feels soft to touch, but after wearing this hat for a short time the skin on my forehead started to itch. I’m assuming this is why people usually use nicer wool for beanies. I will live and learn! Still a fun hat to make, and I’m very glad my mother in law liked it enough so I could give it her last time she dropped by for a visit. She didn’t think it was scratchy, so I hope she will get some use out of it.

❤ ❤

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!

Embroidered and Scented Toybeanbags (1 2 3 4

I’d already decided to make these to use up a bunch of dried basil flowers, and cut up the squares last Thursday afternoon. This project turned out to be a way for me to practice my embroidery, and I’m pleased with how that’s coming along.

On Friday morning I was looking through the Transformation Thursday’s party link and found number beanbags at Lemon Tree Creations. I’d already planned my bags, so the ones at Lemon Tree are slightly different, but it’s still good to see how they do theirs.

After I sewed the bags on my trusty Husqvarna 2000, I stuffed each one with three tablespoons of old lentils and dried basil flowers. I put 15 tablespoons of lentils and a big heap of basil flowers into a bowl, and then a spoon of lavender oil, so these bags smell lovely. A little aroma therapy there for the kiddies!

I planned to do my stitches in thick contrasting coloured cotton. When I went to embroider the “D” on a hanky for David, I had a vague memory of my mum teaching me a chain stitch and tried to replicate it but had a lot of trouble. So for this project I did some research and looked up images of basic embroidery stitches and found a very helpful page at Tipnut. The chain stitch in particular came back to me easily. I also found some youtube videos on how to make a lazy daisy and a french knot.

For this project I used the following embroidery stitches
running stitch
blanket stitch
cross stitch
chain stitch
lazy daisies
french knots

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