Sunday, April 16, 2017

Busy

We're getting close to the end of the school holidays.  There's just this Easter weekend left and then it's back to school and the usual weekly routines again.
 
We've certainly been a lot busier these school holidays and there's even been more sleepovers so we've had kids coming and going constantly.
 
I've finished another lovely scarf.  This one is in the last of my pecan alpaca yarn that I have and is really beautiful to work with.
 
 
 
 
I did have a small amount leftover which wasn't enough to make a big project. 
 

 
 
In the end I decided not to waste the yarn and make something in alpaca that I can wear myself this winter so I made up the lacy scarf you see below.

 
 
It's not very long because of the amount of yarn I had left but it does wrap around the neck nicely and isn't bulky so I'm really looking forward to wearing this one a few times when the weather gets a bit cooler.
 

 
We also had our usual trip to the zoo.  Little Miss R loves to ride the horses and they're only there on the school holidays so we try to give her at least one ride per holiday.
 
 

 
 
There's also a 4 month old cheetah cub that the kids were so excited to see.  They loved the fact that it was sleeping with it's head on a blue whale toy which was very cute.

 
 
There is usually some kind of activity on at the zoo during the school holidays.  This Easter weekend it was a hunt for hidden clues.
 
The kids were given a small 3D thingy and had to read the clue on the card they were given at the entrance.

 
 
From there they had to find the animal enclosure in the clue and there was a board with another hidden clue on it.   Around the zoo we went to different enclosures until we got to the last clue which had a special phrase on it.
 

 
 
Armed with the phrase we went to the information desk and they got to pick a small prize from a treasure chest which was pretty exciting.  There were tiny little koala animals, fridge magnets, arm bands, stationery (zoo themed) and animal stamps to choose from.
 
We have movie plans (Power Rangers for the boys, Beauty and the Beast for the girls) , Easter Sunday to enjoy then hopefully a quiet day on Easter Monday before heading back to school.  Then I can hopefully get a little bit more crochet done as I've sorted through and organised my yarn as well as my patterns this holidays. 
 
Everything's much easier and nicer to find now and of course I got plenty of inspiration for more projects with some of the lovely yarn that I had forgotten I had.
 
I hope you are all having a lovely and safe holiday.
 
xx Susan
 
 
 


Monday, April 10, 2017

A flood of crochet

Sorry.  That title is a really bad pun of what's been happening here in Queensland and northern New South Wales lately. 
 
It is sort of accurate though because after not doing much crochet for nearly a year (for various silly reasons), I've suddenly been a productive whizz.
 
 I can proudly say that I've finished the alpaca/silk shawl.  This project was planned when I bought the yarn for it at the same time as I bought the yarn for Master M's blanket.
 

 
 
The plum wool scarf was also completed and blocked and I really do love this one but there's no point me keeping it as I live in Queensland and it's sadly way too hot for me to wear.
 

 
 
It is really lovely though and the colour is beautiful. 
 
 

 
 
I have also finished and blocked the gorgeous Garden Trellis scarf with the Japanese Noro yarn I started not long ago. 
 
I really wasn't happy with this scarf when I first started but the more I worked on it, the more those gorgeous colours flowed into each other and created a beautiful piece.
 

 
 
Since I finished this one, I've already stared and nearly finished a beautifully earthy alpaca scarf which I desperately want to keep for myself but it would just swelter in it.
 
So I'm back to selling the things I'm making.  I really only crochet things I would love to wear and keep myself but because I live in the tropics, I just have to enjoy the making of them and hope that the people that buy my items love them as much as I do.
 
xx Susan
 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Crochet update..... and the school holidays

It's been a bit wet around here lately.  That's to be expected with Cyclone Debbie to the north of us and flooding all around us over the last week.
 
It started the school holidays off early as all schools were closed for the last Thursday and Friday of the term in South East Queensland.  The kidlettes were VERY happy about that but I had already decided it was going to happen with the torrential rain on our roof in the early hours of Thursday morning. 
 
 I couldn't sleep of course and at 3am when the rain is pounding on your tin roof you start making adjustments to your mental school holiday schedule and calendar.
 
The first couple of days were easy.  We didn't leave the house.  It was way too wet (flooding) and windy and being outside was not that pleasant.  The kids did venture onto the trampoline in their togs for awhile as they always do when it rains but that was about it.
 
So what did we do?  Well the kids got plenty of screen time (bad Mum) because who wouldn't really let them have it when the weather was so bad and we still had power.  It also gave me plenty of time for some crochet.
 
 
 
 
Master M's blanket is coming along really well.  After not touching it for about 6 weeks (which coincided with the time we were without an airconditioner in 30 plus degree heat and high humidity),  I all of a sudden got a spark going in me again.
 

 
Then I ran out of yarn of course.  It seems I work a bit of a loose crochet and I'm almost there but need just the teeniest little bit more of a few colours to finish the blanket off.  So I've ordered some more yarn of the colours I need and have put that project on hold until the order eventually arrives from the UK.  It took 3 weeks to arrive last time so I'm not looking for quicker miracles this time.
 
So instead of moaning while I'm waiting for my order, I decided to start on a new project.
 
I excitedly got hold of one of the baby alpaca/silk mix balls of yarn I ordered ages ago and before I could talk myself out of it, I started a new project.
 

 
 
 
You will not believe how glad I am that I started this project.  The yarn is beautiful to work with and is the softest and most beautiful of yarns to feel against the skin. 
 
The shawl/wrap that I started making it with came together in no time.  Perhaps I let the kids have a bit too much tech time but hey, it was raining (flooding), we couldn't really do much else except board games and I was in my own happy tech/crochet space.
 
In no time at all I had this project finished.  All I need to do now is to block it to make the pattern really stand out and this shawl to look amazing.

 
I also planned out a number of other projects and the next one was a lovely textured scarf in this plum coloured pure wool.  I finished this one pretty quickly as I really enjoyed working with this yarn and making this beautiful pattern. 
 
It still needs blocking too of course so that the lovely pattern can be seen better.
 

 
 
Even though the school holidays started early, it hasn't all been flooding and crochet (or tech time for the kids).
 
Master M's had a couple of sleepovers at his mate's place across the road. There's been lots of back and forth across the street with the kids lately which is a good thing.
 
Little Miss R has also had her friend from school have a sleepover at our place for a couple of nights.
 
There's been lots of imaginative stories, outings and fun to be had. 
 
There's been A LOT OF LATE NIGHT CHATTER AND GIGGLING when trying to get children to bed. 
 
There's been some very imaginative stories which has resulted in children sleeping out in the lounge room.  (Yes kids, we are a little sceptical when a small creature in a red cape is wandering outside the window sill in the bedroom.  Even more so when the dog is very quiet and hasn't noticed a thing either!)
 
When we have other kids for a sleepover that usually means some of the kidlettes favourite meals.  So we've had homemade lasagne for dinner, pancakes for breakfast and homemade pizza for another dinner.
 
I made a double batch of pizza dough and rolled it out into individual sized pizza bases (extras can always be frozen), then the kids went to town making their own pizza toppings with what they had to choose from.
 

 
 
The best way I've found to get a good individual pizza base size is to cut them out with a noddle bowl.  Depending on the depth of the dough, you can always roll them about a bit thinner to make a bigger pizza if you want.
 

 
 
The food seemed to be a bit of a hit.
 
We took advantage of a small break in the weather to take the kids kayaking.
 

 
 
There was some paddling fun, some exploring fun and then there was a bit of an injury.
 
I'm so sorry to Master W's parents.  There's nothing worse than handing a bleeding and injured child who is in your care back to his parents.  Luckily no stitches were needed.
 
The kidlettes did have a lot of fun before that moment of course.
 

 
 
I also got a small chance to work on my next project.
 

 
 
Unfortunately it was while I was taking a couple of minutes to sort out my yarn in the wind and work a few stitches that the injury happened.
 
So the crochet has been going great guns lately.  I've even been working on my own pattern for a shawl.
 
Just don't allow me to look after your kids when I decide to take some crochet with me when we go out.!!!
 
xx Susan
 
 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

50 Years!!

Congratulations to my Mum and Dad.
 
50 years of marriage is quite an achievement.
 
 
 
 

 
 


 
My parents aren't big on parties and just wanted a nice lunch out with their kids, grandkids and the two special people who were their attendants on the day.
 
It was really lovely that my Aunt (Mum's sister) and Uncle (Dad's brother) were there for this casual celebration too.
 

 
 
Their four grandchildren were also there to celebrate this special day.
 

 
As were their three children.
 
 
They also got to cut the cake in the same place as they had their wedding reception all those years ago.  Of course the Caboolture RSL has been renovated a few times in the last 50 years so it looks a little different now than it did back then.
 
 
Congratulations Mum and Dad.

 
 

 Love you. xxxxxxxx
 
 
 
(Thanks to the staff at the Caboolture RSL for being so fantastic and helping make this special day even better.) 
 
 
 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Boats and fishing

Sometime during January we purchased a second hand boat.
 
 
 
The boat is in excellent condition but the owner is elderly and hadn't used it that oftenso we decided not to use it until we could get the outboard serviced.  That means that not only do we have to organise for when the mechanic can do it but also when lovely hubby is home so things can take a little longer than we would like. 
 
As they say, patience is a virtue and I finally got to go for a run in our boat.
 
 
On Thursday we dropped the kids off at school, bought a freshly cooked hot chook from the local grocery shop on the way home and then we both got to work.  While hubby hooked up the boat and loaded the fishing gear, I made roast chicken wraps and rolls and a flask of coffee.  Then we headed out for some special 'us' and child free time.
 

 
Getting used to the boat and how she runs and sits in the water was one part of our day.
 
The other was throwing some lines in the water and hoping we could catch some dinner.
 
Hubby started the proceedings by catching a really lovely grunter.  I've heard about 'grunters' before and now that we've finally caught one I realise why they're called that.  They seriously do 'grunt' when you haul them in.  It was quite amazing actually.
 

 
 
Just being out on the water and having some time to ourselves was pretty amazing actually.  We enjoyed coffee and our picnic lunch and just being able to chat about anything.  Not that we really chatted a great deal. 
 
Anyone who knows lovely hubby knows that he is a man of few words.  I am the conversationalist in the family.  On this day however, I think hubby spoke more words than me.  I just enjoyed myself so much and loved that we were together so words seemed pretty wasteful at the time.
 

 
 
Enjoying the passage and our local water haunts, and spending time together was definitely the order of the day.
 

 
 
....and the fact that I out-fished hubby doesn't hurt either :)  Some nice bream and whiting decided to jump on my line so I was pretty chuffed with our day out. 
 
 
xx Susan
 
 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Too hot for crochet

We've been having a few record high temperatures around here so you'll have to excuse me for not even trying to finish Master M's blanket.  Even in the bedroom with our little air conditioner working it's little heart out, it's just been way too hot to even contemplate making a blanket.
 
 
 
 Since our lounge room air conditioner is truly out for the count (just in time for record temperatures), we've been going the old fashioned route of trying to keep cool.
 
That means more time in our back yard late in the afternoon when we get a nice breeze and things start to cool down.  (Well it's not cool really, just a little less hot than it was an hour or so earlier.)
 

 
 
I've been trying a number of things to help side-track me and cool me down.  Blogs....finances....updating diaries......chilled wine......
 

 
 
 
Master M seemed to have the right idea and filled up soaker guns with water and blasted anything he could point it at.
 

 
 
Then we realised that the water from the soaker gun when squirted in a particular spot made for some pretty spectacular jewel like arcs in the sky.  The photo does not do justice to the actual effect.  Trust me, I tried so many times to get a good picture and Master M was happy to oblige because it was so much fun to shoot that water through the air!
 

 
 
...and on a slightly different note.  It was my dad's 78th birthday the other day so the kidlettes and I headed down to my parents house after school one afternoon for cake and noisy fun with their cousins.  Happy Birthday Dad.  Love you xxxxxxxx.
 

 
 
xx Susan
 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Back to the crochet soon I hope

Until then it's been a mad whirl around here during the last few weeks of the school holidays then back to school.  I haven't even been taking that many photos even though we seem to have been doing plenty.

So I'll quickly let you know just a smidgeon of what we've been up to.

First of all, there is this.....
 
 
 
 
 We bought it in mid January from a friend who hardly ever used it so it's in really good condition.  Hubby's been out a couple of times and has taken the kids as well but we decided that the engine needed a service before we used it anymore.  That is happening as I write so we may even go fishing after school today.
 
There have also been plenty more zoo trips and why not.  It's an amazing place, the kids love it, we have the passes and it keeps us entertained for a couple of hours at a time.
 

 
 
 Little Miss R has been really enjoying cooking and baking more.
 

 
 
That has slowed down a bit now that school has started and also since our lounge room air conditioner died late last week.  Believe me when it's in the 30 celcius and really humid, no air conditioning in our lounge room is not pleasant.  It's a room that faces full west and pretty well doesn't get air. 
 
 Unfortunately it's not getting looked at for another week and we've got some mid 30 celcius days coming up.  Eeek!  Luckily the bedrooms have air conditioning.
 
Master M got a new bike for his birthday so we've been tearing up the tarmac on that.
 
 
 
 
There have also been outings and picnics which have involved plenty of driving (always lots of driving when hubby takes us on picnics).  In fact we did nearly 500 kilometres on Saturday when we went on a jaunt.
 
Somehow our picnics and outings nearly always involve creeks and rock throwing.  This one is Emu Creek near the town of Blackbutt and is really low right now.  Boy do we need some good rain.
 

 
 
And of course school has started.  I thought things would slow down a bit once the kids went back but that hasn't happened as yet.  Last week I was trying to catch up on things that I didn't get the chance to do on the holidays.
 

 
 
 So hopefully I'll get the chance to do some crochet and finish Master M's blanket.  I'm over two thirds of the way there, I just need to find some time to actually sit down for a time and get it done.  Perhaps I'll hide away in my air conditioned bedroom later in the week when it's hot and I won't want to be anywhere near my oven of a lounge room. 
 
That sounds like a plan!
 
xx Susan