Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Those lazy, crazy, hazy days of Summer

Have you seen those memes about the start of a new school year/ end of the holidays where parentals make funny comments such as...



Or even...





That is not me.
I love school holidays.
If I can, I try and take time off with my kids so it becomes my holiday too.
Holiday programs can be a little expensive and when I pick up Sonofagun No.2 at the end of the day, he's way more physically exhausted than from spending a day at school.
We don't do too much. I do tend to be a bit on the lazy side. But we do fun things. (I had written 'lots of fun things', then realised it wasn't 100% accurate!)
So this little post is about how we spent our long summer holidays!
You'd already know from this blog post that we spent 2 weeks over Christmas in Mollymook with the Mothership and the Fatherdom.



They're almost too polite to say so, but I'm fairly sure they were happy for the peace and quiet when we left!


 
I'm pretty crap at taking fireworks photos. But I still do it anyway. I take hundreds! And then I realise like any Crazy with a smart phone that they all look shithouse, and I should just put down my phone and enjoy it IN REAL LIFE because I'm never going to look back over 247 photos of fireworks in 10 years and be all like, "Awww! Remember that greeny red one from the Ulladulla New Years Eve of 2016? This blurry one is my favourite!"
So we returned home and I continued to make my circles into squares. There were many cups of tea and hours of Netflix involved.





This is where I'm up to now:







I thought crocheting a lightning bolt for my face was the best idea I'd had in years.





If you need a lightning bolt face or even a necklace, the free tutorial is here.



Sonofagun No.2 and I ventured down to our local beach a few times. We found this pair of sunnies in the water with this little sea thing attached. After a few photos, it decided it had enough, detached and swam away.







We visited Melbourne Zoo. SOG2 absolutely had to visit the penguins the minute we arrived.


 
He was only vaguely to 'not at all' interested in the other animals.

"Pfft! Elephants. How boring! Can we go back to the penguins now?"


My favourite section is the butterfly house. He spent the entire time in here declaring loudly in front of everyone, "These are soooo boring! They'll die in a couple of days anyway!"

My Sonofagun No.2 does not have this thing called 'tact' or 'a filter'.  When we went to see Rogue One 'A Star Wars Story' for the 2nd time, there was a memoriam for Carrie Fisher just before the movie started.
As I started to feel a little eye moisture, SOG2 said this so LOUDLY, everyone in the theatre heard:
"HA! IT SAYS RIP! R.I.P. RIP!!!!! LIKE IN THE GRAVEYARDS WHERE THE ZOMBIES LIVE! SHE'S A ZOMBIE NOW!!"


We had to stop by the penguins before we left. To say goodbye of course.







So I have developed a THING where if I can't or don't feel like working on my main projects, I pick up some cotton and make a mandala.


 
This one is halfway through being written down and tested as a future tutorial. So bright and pretty!




I also enjoyed lots of these! A delicious, refreshing cocktail of Gin, Soda Water, Elderflower cordial, lemon and mint leaves.
I can only have one each evening because I'm a Cadbury girl: a glass and a half and I become a pissy* mess.

*drunken, not urinating



 
Down here in Kangaroo land, it was Straya Day on 26th January.
I'm a bit conflicted about Australia Day.


On one hand it's nice to have a national day that celebrates our wonderful country, but not on a day that the Indigenous nations mourn and remember as Invasion Day.



We took the kids down to the local beach for the rides, food stalls and concerts.
We found a spare table and chairs at the park. We took dips and crackers and crochet!




I love this map created by @Amazing_Maps which shows all the different countries that fit into our big island!





Then in the evening, more blurry smartphone fireworks!





While the rest of the country has sweltered in a long heatwave, good old Melbourne has had a nice summer.


My Nashi Pears grew.



And the Rainbow Lorikeets ate them...



They squawk and crap EVERYWHERE. But being the bird lover, I just sit under the tree quietly with a cuppa and watch them happily.




I love roses. This one is called Eyes for You.




And this hybrid tea is Monica.








Has the mandala bug bitten you?






It bit me on the bum and it still itches. I can't get enough of them. The one above was from a pattern from Simply Crochet magazine.


The one in the bag below is my own design. I am addicted to the process of making a perfectly flat circle and with each round, trying to 'math' properly so it stays flat.






This is my 2nd version of the one above but I've realised the centre is very similar to a mandala that has previously been published elsewhere so it's  back to the drawing board!




So that was our summer. The Sonofaguns are back at school. I'm back at work. And already longing for the next school holidays!

xox
Louise


The Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Staggy The Yarn Bombed Stag



Last year Kmart was selling these cute Stag Clocks for $15.

I bought one and hung it on my wall. I didn't really bother to use it to tell the time, but I loved the shape. One of those useless things you buy because... reasons.

Here is a photo of it taken ages ago when it was a benign random wall thing....


Then disaster struck. It was knocked off the wall. The hook at the back was kind of small and narrow. This broke one of the antlers and the clock mechanism.

Then I saw a picture on the Instabrag of someone's yarn bombed deer.  It was a 3D thing like my Juicy Moosey. I have just spent hours scrolling back trying to find it from months ago. But I can't even remember who made it. Sad face because I really REALLY wanted to show it to you!

And I was always envious of Lucy's wreaths from Attic 24. Especially her winter wreath with that super cute hedgehog! Queen Crochet Amazona Lucy inspires me monthly, weekly and sometimes daily, but her Winter Wreath is especially inspiring.

So I decided to make use of the pieces of my broken stag shape to create something like a cross between a seasonal wreath and Yarn Bombed Stag because I am an inherent hoarder and hate throwing useless crap away. Until I become overwhelmed with useless crap and throw ALL of it away. Which happens about once every 3 years. Or 10.

I glued the antler back on and threw away the cheap clock mechanism. I wasn't really interested in that anyway.

I had an idea for a woodland thingy where the stag shape was like a tree and it's antlers would be filled with leaves and forest-y things!

I started off with a nice oaky brown yarn for the 'trunk' and branches.


I crocheted it to fit adjusting the single crochet stitches for each row as i went along.


When I finished the shape, I crocheted around the perimeter in a double crochet  stitch to fit around all the sides.


I then stitched it to the back. It wasn't in any neat, pretty professional way. The back looks like a bit of a dogs breakfast!

Then disaster struck again! (jeezus this is as bad as an episode of Neighbours. And in bucking the trend of most inhabitants of Kangaroo Land, I don't actually watch Neighbours. Nor do I wear thongs. Although I used to love wearing a thong as in undies in the form of a string until pregnancy made my butt too big if that makes any difference? And I occasionally say 'Crikey'.)


The disaster catalyst came in the form of Sonofagun No.2 and his well meaning efforts to do... actually no. No well meaning sweet 7 year old stuff. He was roughhousing around and knocking things over pretending to be Godzilla or Spiderman. Or both at once, and knocked Staggy off the table.

So the antler that previously broke, broke again.


This time I splintered it and glued the crap out of it. See all that glue?
 
I then searched the interwebs for bits and pieces.

I made up the grass....

 
I also made up these cute toadstools which are applique style.  I am completely shithouse at French knots! Those little white dots had to be reinforced with Wonder Womans invisible thread.  I also made lots of small pink and mauve flowers.  They are fairly similar to Lucy's Teeny Tiny Flowers (tutorial here) except for some different stitches and they are made in mercerized cotton with a 2mm hook.


I whipped up these cute little balls to be sort of like berries. I simply used the basic principles of amigurumi to make little spheres.


And I made a bunch of these cute little acorns. They are available as a free pattern from another favourite blogger of mine called Sons Popke. You should check out some of her other cute woodland amigurumi!


The little half acorns in the 'knot hole' (also freestyled) were adapted from this pattern. I made the acorn cap according to pattern, then only made half the acorn but didn't stuff them with polyfill.


The pattern for the leaves below can be found on the Attic 24 blog here.

 
The leaves on the left below are called Spring Leaves and you can also find the pattern on Attic 24 here. The thing I love about them is the 2 tones. They look so fresh! They remind me of peacock feathers. And they are so quick and easy to make!
 


The mistletoe, fern and oak leaves came from the book 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet.

 

I knew I also wanted Hellebores. When I was growing up, the Mothership always had Hellebores in the garden. Last year when I visited the National Rhododendron Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges, there were thousands of hellebores in all the pinky/ plumy colours.


Luce (you don't mind if I call you Luce? It's an Aussie thing where we have to shorten everyones names. EG: Adam = Ads, Lucy = Luce, Brian = Bri. And if they already have one syllable names, we stick Y or O on the end. Dave = Davo, Jack = Jacko, Jane = Jane-y. Don't take offense! It means you're one of the gang!) So Luce has a gorgeous, easy to follow Hellebore pattern which I followed to make some for Staggy. (See what I did there?)
You can find the easy to follow tutorial here.
 
To assemble Staggy, first I stitched on the grass and toadstools and ground stuff.

 
I then started the long process of hand stitching on all the bits and pieces onto the branches.
 
I also wanted some wildlife. I played around with the idea of Australian native animals, but thought seeing as this tree was a little more European woodland style, I'd make some non- Aussie creatures.  I found a free pattern online for this adorable little squirrel.

Because I wanted the squirrel to look like he was scampering up the side of the tree, I only crocheted legs on his left side.


 
But this little owl I made up myself!  Would you like to make one? Then stay tuned in the coming week or so when I publish the pattern!

 
Sunny Jim the budgie has developed a habit of trying to get herself into whatever I'm working on or doing.  She loved to fly over, land on my workspace, pick up and throw pieces around. She also decided it was a new fun game to fly onto my cappuccinos to dip her beak into the froth, then turn around and crap in the cup like what she did shortly after I took the photo below. Deviant!
The sweet little toadstools were purchased on a whim a few months ago from The Figtree Forest in Milton.


Do you know that familiar feeling when you're working on something and can see the end? You look at your progress and inwardly think, "Only 5/4/3/2/1 rows to go!" or "I just have to sew on these last leaves/ flowers/ dingdongs on and I'm done!"

 
It didn't quite work that way for me. I crocheted all the leaves, animals, acorns and most of the flowers. Then I sewed them on and made more flowers. I also had a collection of cute shiny beads and things to sew on.  But I simply looked at it at one point and thought, "I don't think it needs anymore." And that was it. How anti-climactic!

 
What do you think?


I love it like a fat redhead love cappuccinos & timtams!! (yes I'm talking about me!)

I have hanging on a rather boring wall.  Unfortunately no pretty fireplace to hang it over so it can brighten up this boring part of the loungeroom!

 
Have you transformed something rather plain or broken at your place with yarn or some other medium? I'd love it to see it! Show me by popping over to me Facie page and posting it! Or tag me on Instagram.


xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona