Showing posts with label Redhead life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Redhead life. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Moving House



I've been away from blogland for a little while...

I would like to say life is cruising along very nicely at the moment. That things are chugging at a walking pace and lots of interesting things are happening. 

What is actually happening is that life is currently the 8am express to Flinders Street Station. Jam packed and hurtling down the tracks with occasional jerky stops, and while you have a million things on your mind about the destination ahead, all you want is a comfy seat and cup of coffee!

We have just about finished our house move.

My little house near-ish the beach and lake is now empty.


This morning we said goodbye to the Eternally Fruiting Lemon Tree.



And picked as many of the ripe ones that were left.



I've managed to cram an entire house full of crap into another slightly bigger house which already is full of stuff.
At least Sonofagun No.1 has settled in to his new cave...

Please excuse the mess....
The result is like one of those hoarder houses on BBC documentaries about people who crawl through tunnels of newspapers to the toaster in a space that was the laundry but is currently a makeshift kitchen because the kitchen has 37 years worth of TV guides, 15 slowcookers still in their boxes, a large undefined blob which may have been your childhood chewing gum collection or earwax, all of which hides the corpse of a long lost family pet who everyone thought ran away in the mid 1990s.

But everyday we pack more boxes and reclaim living space to make this place liveable for our blended family.


My lovely man The Bear was already living here so I was able to plant sweet peas in April which are coming along nicely.


Our fluffy black moggy Bijoux has been confined indoors until she becomes more comfortable, but spends most of her time hiding in the Sonofaguns bedroom.

My gorgeous Bear bought this place about 2 years ago. He's been using it as a home base but has mostly been at my place or on the road. So it is pretty much a blank canvas.

I'm very much looking forward to landscaping, and decorating and making it our home.


I was super excited to find this little patch of violets in the 'garden' (I use that term loosely). Bear has been instructed not to dig it up!


And my potted daphne has flower buds. A few little things that make me happy and content in our new home.


I took cuttings of a dark pinky purple ivy geranium and from the fig tree in the old backyard. And my lovely neighbor Nana Bev gave me some cuttings from her begonia.  I've popped them in jars of water to strike.


Nanas wall unit has become buried in all my nic-nacks until I can curate the collection properly and find special places for everything. I haven't got anywhere to unpack my yarn yet!


And look what we've got!  This beauty is warming our whole house this winter!


I've had hardly any time for crochet design but have been chugging along with a few WIPs.
Something that has snuck up on me is the need for reading glasses.

I didn't realise I needed them until the Bear got a pair. I tried them on for fun but was amazed that suddenly I could see properly! So off to the optometrist went I.

I had to wait a week for my prescription glasses so in the meantime I bought a cheap pair of magnifying glasses from the supermarket and crocheted a little bag for them.


Then I got my 'real' ones. What do you think?


You can tell it's winter here! Chunky scarf time...

I've been slowly working on my Shells on the half Shell blanket by Teresa Kasner. So easy to zip through the rows.


One morning on the train, I started making a little flower which I found on the Little Woollie blog. Julie is a super clever designer.


I then crocheted some leaves, stitched them onto a boring grey knit vest, embroidered a chain stitch and voila!  I'm just going to crochet a couple of little flower buds to finish it off.


As I mentioned in my last post, as well as moving, I'm planning a super exciting trip in September with my godfather Gary (aka Gazza because in Australia everyone's names are altered to end in 'ZA' or 'O'. EG John = Jonno, Barry = Bazza).

My cousin and his partner of nearly 30 years are getting married. And we are super thrilled for them!

The plane tickets are already taken care of and finally after weeks of unsuccessful searching on airbnb, we've booked accommodation for the first part of our trip. And even though we have to go to this one specific city for my cousins wedding, we are trying to plan sightseeing as well. We also decided to visit another big city thats only a short trip away. 

Many people would have a long list of big touristy places they want to see when they travel. 
For the first city my bucket list is simple:

1. See a real live squirrel. We don't have squirrels in Oz! I've always been fascinated by squirrels and chipmunks.


2. Find a copy of Desolation Boulevard on vinyl by The Sweet. This is available here, but in the place where I'm going, there's something extra special about their releases of this album. Do you know what that might be? It will give you a big hint of my destination!


I'm not really the type of tourist who wants to go to all the tourist sites and see all of the tourist things.  I kind of like to go and dwell and soak up atmosphere. 

I'm also quite lazy and am not overly excited about hiking up mountains or walking to the far side of town to party all night at the hottest discotech, snorting blow off Bob Segers' ass with Stevie Nicks. Maybe if I was 20 years younger...

We will still go and see the amazing big things because how dumb would it be to go somewhere like London and not see Buckingham Palace? Or visit Egypt and not see the pyramids?

The 2nd city has a much longer list of special buildings and monuments which we want to see! Perhaps because Gazza and I are politic-geeks. And this city has some rather impressive museum type places that push our nerdy buttons.

So that's what I've been up to. Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Rangas, Records and other things that don't begin with R.

There have been lots of things happening in the Amazona household over the past month.
So much in fact that poor Blog has been feeling quite neglected.
Firstly this has been happening...



No, I did not buy a new generator.

This is the first box I packed as we begin to pack up our little house and move only a short distance away to set up a fresh new home with the Bear. After several years of living between 2 houses (although mostly in mine), my gorgeous Bear and I are shacking up. Blending fams so to speak. It's a little bit exciting!

And a little bit sad because whilst my little house is getting old and a bit worn, I'll miss my big backyard with the eternally fruiting lemon tree. And the rainbow lorikeets that flock to the nashi pear trees in February. The fig tree that has only just started growing figs. And I will really miss our suburb. So close to the beach and with a lovely community spirit.

In an effort to get the Bears house ready for Spring, a few weeks ago we dug up a patch in the garden, set up a massive trellis and sowed a line of Sweet Pea seeds.
After they popped up their little seedling heads, the snails ate all but one. 🐌🌱

A couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Saturday morning sleep in and trudged into the Melbourne CBD to display a bit of redheaded ranting at the 2nd Annual Ginger Pride Rally!


Melbourne City council obviously thought so many gingernuts, rangas, coppertops and flaming tomatoes with their famous firey tempers were bound to cause trouble so there were crowd control wardens...

"Hey Jim, watch out for the one in boots. She looks like she's about to riot!"
"No worries Fred. I've got enough pepper spray to light up the whole bag of carrots..."

Gingers, duracells, matchsticks and freckle faced carrot tops of all shades were represented. Non-gingers were also welcome but had to be accompanied by a BloodNut friend or family member.

Because Star Wars inspired slogans make everything cool...

A non- ginger hides his shameful brown fuzz with an appropriately coloured scarf.

There were games of ginger beer pong, and even a ginger speed dating booth for those of you wanting to help spread the MC1R gene by doing the wild thang with a genu-wine Fanta pants!

The SPF50+ sunscreen and ginger beer flowed freely as pale skinned Titian creatures frolicked under the partly cloudy skies. 

There were flamed haired rock bands starting with local Melbourne band The Vanns.


Many of us frequently scampered to the shade of the small trees in Federation Square when the sun peeked from behind the clouds lest we sizzle like sliced tomatoes on the bbq.
 
The Rally also raised money for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which raises awareness & funds to help stop bullying against children (including little rangas!)

There was loads of camera-people running around taking photos and videos. Finding myself in some of the photos of this Daily Mail article was a little bit like looking at those Where's Wally books. Can you find me?

We all like, totally felt like celebrities, like totally....
 

1500 of us marched and chanted from Federation Square and around Alexandria Gardens. The march organisers led rousing chants with megaphones such as:

"R.A.N.G.A! We will never go away!"

"We're proud! We're red! We're really good in bed!"


I am hoping the parents of our little baby rangas didn't let the kiddies chant that last one...

There were even some orange & red flowers along the way showing solidarity...


 
In crochet news, I have also been crocheting a lovely light blue cardigan from a pattern I found in an old copy of Simply Crochet magazine. Issue 34 to be precise.


It's called the Cream Soda Lacy Cardigan by Annalies Baes. I love how this already fits so well.
The pattern calls for Malabrigo Arroyo Merino and 4 and 4.5mm hooks. 

However I have 3 balls of light blue 5ply acrylic. I had bought them by accident thinking they were DK, and because I never use 5ply, thought they'd sit there unused. However after creating a swatch for this pattern decided to use them but crocheting with 3 and 3.5mm hooks.

I love love love this old Rod Stewart compilation. The cover is in the shape of a scotch glass.

Since Bear gave me a record player for Christmas, I have been finding gorgeous 2nd hand vinyls in op shops, and by raiding Bears record collection. I did still have some of my own left over from when I ditched my last record player after it died nearly 10 years ago.

It's been so lovely to make a cuppa, pop on one of these classic LPs and crochet this lovely cardigan.


Me and Ian Anderson go waaaaay back. I used to listen to my dads original copy of Thick As A Brick over and over again.

The busy-ness of life has seriously interfered with pattern writing time.
I have been trying to finish editing and photographing my latest mandala for nearly, or morely a month.  (yes I know 'morely' isn't a proper word but it sounds like it should be!)
 
I did finish one, then realised my stitch count was all wrong. So instead of frogging it, I finished it off, then started another.



I really love the colours in this mandala. I used the same cottons as my arm mitts but also added some gold thread.
 


Would you believe good old Susi Q has been amazing for inspiring wild, colourful mandalas?
 

I finally finished my mandala that has been remade and perfected over the past couple of months.  I guess it has been inspired by the 70s glam rock that I've been listening to lately such as Suzi Quatro and The Sweet (I love love love Ballroom Blitz!).
Check it out!


Stay tuned as I publish the pattern in the next day or two!


So in between cardigans, mandalas, Ranga Rallies, and moving house I am also planning a rather amazing little excursion to a place FAR FAR away.

A place where I never imagined visiting.

A place which feels a teensy bit intimidating but exciting!

It has been very 'spur of the moment' as I have a family member getting married and I was thrilled they thought to invite me but they don't exactly live 5 minutes down the road...

I'm going to keep it under my belt for a little longer yet. I'll let you know where I'm going when it gets closer to the time!

Like seriously people. Do you ever have those times when nothing happens for ages, then everything, like all of the really big things happen at once?

It's like life is nice a sleepy. A little dull, but in a nice sleepy way, then someone sticks a firecracker under your bum! Startling, makes you jump, maybe swear, but with lots of pretty colours.

Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Monday, 13 March 2017

A day at the Ballarat Begonia Festival

 
 
This weekend was a long weekend in the state of Victoria because today was Labour Day. I'm not sure what that is but to whoever Mr or Mrs Labour is that we have a day off work named after them, I thank you.
 
Yesterday afternoon whilst perusing the Instagram, I came across a photo of beautiful flowers labeled #ballaratbegoniafestival.
 
Ballarat is only an hour west-ish from Melbourne. I googled this thing and hurriedly smashed a text message off to the Bear declaring, "How is it there is a huge flower festival near Melbourne this weekend and I didn't go!"  Then followed by at least 5 emoticons of a crying face. And maybe a flower.
 
Bless his furry little heart because just as I had written off the weekend and thought I was going to spend to day doing laundry, he said we should go the next day. Today!
 
I took a million photos. This blog post has approximately half a million. 
 
The Bear drove, I crocheted. A match made in heaven! *yes, this is one of my hands. it does not belong to a man, just a former horticulturist.
We arrived!

The Ballarat Begonia Festival is held in the Ballarat Botancial Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree. In the era known affectionately as my 'yoof' (youth), I trained as a horticulturist.

I walked away from working in that industry as the income was little more than that of a supermarket checkout chick and years of sun exposure rendered many of my female work colleagues looking older than their grandmothers. Being the vain little thing I was in my mid twenties, I desired a decent income and a life of skin cancer avoidance.  However I will still completely Geek Out In botanical gardens, floriades, florists, garden festivals and anywhere near large trees. Like this one...

Sequioadendron giganteum. AKA The Sienna Redwood.  Isn't she beautiful?  I have had that Woody Guthrie tune buzzing around in my head all day!
  There was an avenue with bronze busts of all the former Australian prime ministers. Adorned with floral wreaths for the festival!
 
Kevin Rudd aka Kevin 07, aka smiles for the camera and acts super friendly but was known to be a raging cranky Napoleon to his staffers behind closed doors. Also known for dropping loads of F-bombs....
 
Lovely Julia. The abuse she copped has possibly guaranteed no female will want to be prime minister for at least another 200 years.
 
Good Old Bob Menzies. I used to use the Menzies library a lot when I studied at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was haunted. Maybe by Menzies.
 
Dear Harold Holt. He walked into the sea and never walked out. Then they named a swimming pool after him. Because #australiahasasicksenseofhumour
 
Another PM who has a suburb somewhere named after him....
 
And little Johnny Howard...
 
The great Cunning Linguist (he would appreciate that), Paul Keating.
 
The garden beds were filled with the most amazing dahlias. This one is as big as my head!
 
A bed of Fragrant Plum roses.
 
 
 
So if this is a Begonia Festival, where are the begonias????
 
See that big glasshouse past the statue of Wallis?
Let's go inside!
 
 

 
 

 
The Bear and I. This was just after our arrival. After 3 hours of trudging around the gardens, getting hungry, constantly yelling at Sonofagun No.2 to stop trying to walk on the garden beds, telling a hangry (hungry/ angry) SOG No.2 that yes, we were getting food soon, sorry we can't get food soon because the lines at the food trucks were a mile long etc, the smiles were wiped off our faces....
 
 
A lego umbrella!
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
A beautiful mermaid in the very very large sandpit play area.
 
Because in Australia, kangaroos are everywhere.
 
There was exactly 10 lego sculptures hidden around the gardens as a part of a treasure hunt/ competition to win a cruise. It was actually quite fun.
After we left, finally fed ourselves and the hangry Sonofagun No.2 and the Bears cub, we decided it was time to go home.

BUT just on the outskirts of Ballarat we saw the signs to the Ballarat Mill Market. I have already visited the one in Daylesford and Geelong. These markets are huge antique and old wares emporiums...



Be still my beating heart! A copy of Desolation Boulevard by 70s glam rock band Sweet! I would have happily slapped down 35 bucks EXCEPT it was an Australian release which does not include one of my favourite songs Ballroom Blitz. Apparently only US releases of the album have it. Sad face.


This place is so huge and has so much stuff, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Just as well theres a café inside to rest your overwhelmed eyeballs!

Um, excuse me Sir. Have you seen a US version of Desolation Boulevard by Sweet around here anywhere? Or a budgie vase?





All of the anodized bickies tins and ALL of the pyrex.
Phew!  And would you believe I walked out of there and only purchased a small pokemon badge for Sonofagun No.2? True!

What a fun day! Thanks for visiting!

What did you get up to this weekend?

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona