Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A Quick Catch Up


It's not as though I haven't been doing anything.


It's just that I feel like I haven't had much to blog about!


Autumn and the decline into colder weather kind of brings me down and makes me feel boring. And kind of blah. But that doesn't mean I haven't been crocheting!

I have had several projects on the go over the past month.



My fairy godfather had a birthday coming up. And in his little NSW country town of Boorowa, it gets really really cold in winter.


So I found some super soft yarn called Lion Brand heartland in a lovely denim blue. 




 It's ironic because last year I was in New York and wanted to visit the Lion Brand Studio but other things kind of got in the way.


I had one opportunity when I went out exploring on my own to visit Lion brand Studio. I recently discovered when I was hotfooting it over to the Highline, I practically walked past it without realising!  But that day I desperately needed to walk in some nature.


Then at a point when I thought, "I should go find that Lion brand Studio place!" I kind of went off on a desperate last minute mission....


Yes. It is true. I am a dedicated, hard core Pokémon Go player. I admit it. I chose Pogo over yarn. But I had a luggage allowance to think of!!!! And a virtual souvenir weighs a lot less than the amount of yarn you and I know I would buy!
I raced across to Grand Central Station to catch this guy (as they are only found in the USA so it was a true PoGo souvenir!), then it was time to head back to the apartment for dinner.

So it feels a little bit cheaty to buy Lion Brand yarn at my local craft shop here in Melbourne. And probably for twice the price it would have cost me if I bought it instore!




I found this wonderful stitch online. It's called rib stitch. It is gorgeous as it looks like knitting but works up VERY fast! 

I found the tutorial for the stitch on the blog My Hobby is Crochet which has a super easy to follow tutorial!

I also crocheted a matching beanie.


Excuse me for looking a little bleary eyed! I was up late finishing this so I could send it off in the first mail bag to Boorowa!

To make the beanie, I crocheted a rectangle using rib stitch, then slip stitched it together on two sides, then pulled the yarn through the top part so it bunched up tight.





If you recall I crocheted a quick little bunny beanie for an Easter Hat Parade at work.  I am in the process of writing up the pattern.



It is just very hard finding spare time lately. Personally this is kind of devastating!  I used to have so much time to design and publish patterns.  Now although I crochet all the time, pattern writing is much more time consuming and it's very difficult finding that time! 



I have also been working on a project which may take a very long time. For this type of project, I'm a perfectionist.  I won't say too much yet in case I throw it in the corner out of frustration but I'll give you a little hint...

Image courtesy of Australian Geographic.
If you've read my blog a little over the past few years, you may have picked up on the fact that Eurovision is my Christmas.

The Blonde Bombshell Miss Emma, the lovely Elise and I got up at an eye-watering 4.30am a couple of weeks ago on Sunday morning to watch the grand final live from Lisboa, Portugal.






We had a yummy breakfast of bacon, eggs and pancakes!



We LOVE the wacky acts so were super happy our favourite singing act won!

A song that features Wonder Woman, Pikachu, a chicken dance sung by a gorgeous lady wearing a hot pink kimono and yarn balls on her head is a winner in my book!

Thanks for visiting!
xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona





Friday, 6 April 2018

A Delightful Autumn

We're having a lovely warm Autumn. There is a dry crackle to the air but it's sunny and warm. 
The garden is still churning out food and flowers.

Check out these gorgeous Bishops Hat (Scotch Bonnet) Chillis.  My dad grew them in his garden, then at Christmas he gave the Bear one of his own propagated plants.  The fruit turns a glossy red when ripe.
I'm not sure where it is on the 'heat' scale though!


Violet and Jerry the guinea pigs are the very willing recipients of any trimmings that don't make it to the kitchen. 


I feel like I've been waiting forever for the limes to be ready to pick...



The strawberries never stop. Unfortunately we have an ongoing battle with some stealthy slugs. So far we have been keeping them at bay with coffee grounds (we have PLENTY of those) and crushed eggshells. However we have had to use occasional light sprinklings of snail bait when they get particularly active.


We're also still getting tomatoes. And mostly from the plants which popped up from compost!


Can you smell the basil?  It's amazing! 


I also planted some daffodils, jonquils and ranunculus for Spring. The ranunculus are already popping up through the soil. Our winters aren't very cold here, so I have 2 bags of tulip bulbs sitting in the fridge for a few weeks.


Lately the Bear and I have been watching this UK gardening show on the Netflix called Big Dreams, Small Spaces with a deliciously, curly haired bloke called Monty Don. Weird backwards name.

Sounds like his name is really Don Monty, but they wrote it backwards by accident.  

 He's got a beautiful voice. The narrator of the show loves to describe him as 'Englands head gardener' or the 'chief horticulturist of the UK' and other grandiose titles.

And because I don't live in the UK, I believe her!

Monty hugging his fuschia

He's kind of gorgeous!  I found a website online which described him as the 'thinking womans crumpet'.  

I think it would be more accurate to call him 'The Weeding Woman's Sex Symbol".


So the Bear and I have been watching his show and while I lust over those beautiful green, lush English gardens, the Bear draws up little garden plans for our gravelly, out of control front yard.

My favourite red Salvia


After many years of murdering poor innocent indoor plants, I’m finally having success.


I’ve been growing orchids, fiddle leaf figs, hoyas and these very groovy ‘Magic Beans’.
They are apparently a rainforest tree thingy.



I've been doing more crochet than I have the time to keep up with. I'm starting to suffer from 'Too Many WIPs' syndrome!

After completing my bolster, I began crocheting a scarf type thing in the same style. I really love making those random, colourful stripes. But it may not be long enough to be a scarf. It might have to be a table runner instead.  I've put it aside for the past 2 weeks until I make up my mind...



If you follow me on Facie or Instabrag, you may have seen my Easter Bunny Hat.



So first I saw a note from Sonofagun No.2s school announcing a FULL WEEK AHEAD of the Easter Bonnet Parade.

He dresses up for Book Week, Japan Day and some other random dress up day.  But for some reason I didn't think he'd want to wear an Easter Hat. 

So I exercised poor judgment and had a mega parenting fail and didn't say anything or make anything because #imabadbadmum .

So the evening (Monday evening) before the Easter Bonnet Parade at exactly 5 minutes past his bedtime, he jumps up and is all like:

"Mum. The Easter Bonnet Parade is tomorrow and I need to wear some sort of Easter Hat!"

and looks at me like I will say, "Yes, I know, and I've spent all weekend working on it for you and here it is, the most magnificent Easteriest of Easter Hats you have ever seen in your life and all you friends will be super jealous!"



Instead I was a total Bad, Worst Ever mum who will die a thousand Bad Parenting Fail deaths as I looked at my child.  

I thought to myself, "Oh. Shit. How are you gonna get outta this one Louise?"

I heard myself saying, "Oh really? Oh dear darling! You should have told me a few days ago that you wanted to wear a hat in the Easter Bonnet Parade. It's too late now!" 

And tried to tell myself I was teaching him a lesson in Planning Ahead.


So the next morning we arrived at school and there were lots and lots of well organized and totally Super Dooper parents dropping off children with Amazing Spectacular and Magnificent Easter Bonnetty Hat things and Sonofagun No. 2 turned and looked at me.

And gave me that look that is totally accusatory and I have failed at parenting.

Fortunately there were also loads of other parents who failed at parenting as they walked their Hatless children through the school gates with the same hunch-shouldered walk of shame that I was doing....

After dropping him at school, I went to work.  And got to my desk, turned on my computer and read my emails. One of them announced that 2 days later on Thursday (The day before Good Friday), our section of very serious and hardworking office grown ups would be having an Easter Hat Parade.

I'm not telling a lie when I tell you I have a rather substantial collection of yarn and craft items in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet.

I have yarn, spare hooks and several of those extra craft packets that are usually stuck to the front of Molly Makes magazines.

And without hesitation, I grabbed some things and over the next 2 days (in break times and at night watching Netty) made this:


Of course my eagle eyed Sonofagun No.2 was quick to point the finger and jump up and down at the evil mother who fails to make him an Easter Bonnet, then makes one for herself.


So I gave him my hat and told him he can wear it next year.  

That didn't work. In his 9 year old wisdom, he was quick to point out that it is a whole year away and I will probably forget because... (get ready for some classic 9 year old emotional blackmail)... I am a bad mum and don't love him and I should make him his favourite Tuna casserole to apologise.

Now someone who is way more forgiving of my faults and foibles is my Bear.  I am outside my comfort zone and making him a scarf in brown.

The Mothership was given some lovely alpaca from a friend (who owned the actual alpacas) and she passed it on to me.
I didn't know what to do with it because I don't really 'do' brown.

But Bear said he would like a scarf as he doesn't really 'do' bright colours.

I thought a knitted ribbed scarf would be a good manly scarf type thing.


These abominable 3 cms of knitting took 4 HOURS!!! 4 bloody long sweary hours! It was from a pattern of purl 1, knit 3 etc and just didn't work. And I'm a very slow knitter.

And I don't want to do something where I'm sitting hunch shouldered over it mumbling that repetitious sentence, "Purl...one. Knit, knit, crap! Bloody needle... knit..... Move the yarn to the front.... puuuuuurlllll..... one. Knit.... knit. Hang on. How many knits have I done? 1, 2, 3, 4. Crap! Put that back, Puuuuurlll....one!"

So I found a crochet tutorial for ribbed stitch, grabbed my 4.5mm hook and off I went like a speed demon down the rows.


So far I've used 2 out of 3 skeins and it's looking a lot better!


So that's my little ramble for this afternoon.

Thanks for visiting!

xox


Louise


The Red Haired Amazona



 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Summer

I used to really dislike summer.



But after the long almost sun-less winter we just had, I have been yearning for sun and warmth.

My garden has gone nuts!

The sweet peas grew so high very quickly.

I had to give it a little haircut as the vines were starting to tumble over the neighbours fence. 
Trimming 8ft sweet peas when you're 5ft is a little bit like trying to get a hug from a reluctant teenage son. You try to reach up, while they don't particularly want to bend down and just awkwardly pat you on the shoulders while making short dinosaur jokes at your expense...



But they got trimmed down to top of fence level and within a week started flowering like crazy again.



I'm itching to get back into crochet after devoting the past 3 weeks to sock knitting...



I made them for the Mothership for Christmas. I'm not a speedy knitter so every spare minute while watching tv, commuting on the train or while Sonofagun No.2 did his swimming lessons was devoted to knitting.
I forgot to take a photo of the finished product to show you!

So now I get to play with a delicious ball of Scheepjes Whirl which was an early Xmas pressie from my best bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook in Jolly Old England!



I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet!

The Bear and I were allowed out on our annual 1 night out of the year for our work Xmas parties. Mine was drinks after work at a cocktail bar. The Bear met me there and we then went off to his which was drinks at the Melbourne Zoo!


These smiles are saying, "Yay! I've been freed to play with other grown ups in a non-work setting! And drink free booze!"
These smiles also hide us both thinking, "I kind of want to be home on the couch in my pjs watching netflix! I'm so old and boring."



Christmas joyfully vomited all over the house!




 On the day we were joined by the parentals, my sister the Blonde Amazona as well as the divine Miss Em (aka the Blonde Bombshell) and our other friend Elise.

I made the trifle to end all trifles. The designated drivers asked for theirs 'to go' as there may or may not have been half a bottle of sweet sherry that may have accidentally been 'spilled' into it...


I call it 'Sherry with cake and other stuff'.


Although it was a bit windy, the sun was out and it was a beautiful 23c. The garden was showing off. It was nice to show off my hollyhocks to the Mothership & Fatherdom. 



 I saw them several times head down, bum up taking photos! 

My snapdragons are dwarfed!




Coreopsis 'Rum Punch'


After my last post I received many messages and comments here and via Facebook of support as well as so many of you sharing your stories of dealing with anxiety. Thank you for kind words and I'm sending all my love to everyone who also battles with this. I have only recently had this but many have had to deal with it for years! 
So a massive interwebs hug for all of us! 

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona