Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Into the Redwood Forest...

 Yes. California Redwoods!

Aren't they magnificent?

These babies are 85 years old and over 65 meters high.
 And they're growing nearly 13,000 kilometres from home. Just 2 and a half hours drive west from Melbourne.

A couple of weeks ago we went on an overnight trip to find them.  We headed west towards Geelong...

And stayed overnight in a camp site at Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road.
 After setting up our campervan at a local council recreation reserve on a wet and windy afternoon, we headed into the hills towards the Otways National Park.
 With amazing views below us.

 Teeny sheep...
After nearly an hour of winding narrow roads through wet eucalypt forests and rainforest gullies filled with tree ferns, this appeared...
Let's go for a little walk.
The whole time I had that Woody Guthrie song in my head "This Land is my land..."

"This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters;
This land was made for you and me."

Looks like the land is pretty big if it's from this redwood forest to the gulf stream waters of the USA!😂

I was lucky enough years ago to see Arlo Guthrie in concert and he performed this song.
We didn't pack a picnic as it was a rainy day. We were sheltered from most of the rain but large fat water droplets still came through. The ground was slippery and muddy.
I could have spent all day here if the weather was kinder to us.
The Aire River meandered out of sight. We jumped into the car and a very short drive away, the river became a waterfall.

But to view the bottom of the waterfall, we had to walk down all of the stairs in the world. Which meant walking all the way back up.
These few photos don't do justice to how many stairs there were. And they were higher than your average step. Which is not ideal for short legs.
I'm not a religious person. 

But if there is a hell, when I die if the odds aren't stacked in my favour, I'm being sent straight back here. It was the worst 15- 20 mins of my life. And after going through a 20 hour labour with Sonofagun No.1, that's saying something....
After the horrendous STAIRS FROM HELL we went in search of the Melba Gully Glow Worms!

Melba Gully is so beautiful!
The pathway follows a stream which probably flows to or from the Aire River. Apparently there are platypusses but we didn't see any.  We were here for the glow worms which are supposed to come out after dark.
There were interesting and curious fungi growing on trees.

And when the sun set, we saw lots of little glow worms with their blue lights. They were quite faint though. Not as bright as shown in photos of the internet.
Do you see that little blue speck in the middle-ish of the black space above? That's not dust on your screen. That's the only photo I could get. It was pitch dark and my little camera held it's opener thing open for a full 16 seconds to capture it. 

So despite the crappy weather, I loved the redwood forest. I wish it was closer to home as I would go rambling through it every weekend. 

 Thanks for visiting!

Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 6 January 2019

I haven't been quiet, I've been crafting like crazy!

It's always tricky for me to blog around November/December about what I'm making as it's usually gifts for Christmas.

So firstly I don't want to show friends and family what they're getting for Christmas.

Secondly and mostly I travel through November and December in a a sort of dazed chaos. I am disorganised, befuddled and just trying to get through it ONE DAY AT A TIME.

This year was especially busy. At the beginning of December I jumped on a plane and flew 1100km up to northern NSW to the town of Tamworth.  An old and much loved friend of mine, Jaime is pregnant with her first baby and was having a baby shower. 

Tamworth is a small town and the country music capital of Australia and home of the Golden Guitar.

Guitars breathed & scribbled on by Dolly, Keith Urban, Kris Kristopherson & Paul Kelly
Dolly breathed on this thing. And scribbled on it. In person. There may still be Breath of Dolly in the hole of the guitar. And I was close to it. This is the closest I have ever been to a holy relic.
This weekend the temperatures were in the mid to high 30s. Really hot!

So it was totally ironic that my present for Jaime's baby would be a crocheted blanket!!

Jaime and her lovely fella Casey don't know if they're having a boy or girl yet. And Jaime is like me. We both love bright bold, fun colours. 

Whilst thinking of what to make, I was inspired by a bright blanket I spied in a blog post by Pip from the blog Meet Me At Mikes.  Pop over and have a look at her blanket. It's just so fun and beautiful! I used many of the colours Pip used as I had them in my stash and many of her colour combos as they were so bright and joyful.
Here's my meager effort.

Chuck Norris approves.
As you know I was also working furiously to finish my Amazona Parrot pattern. I really wanted to finish it by the beginning of December. But LIFE keeps getting in the way.

LIFE= work, house work, kids, sleep.

The first one (work) is so ANNOYING! I know we have to pay bills, buy food and shit, but seriously! It totally interferes with the No.1 priority in my life. Crochet. And it is as annoying as anything.

OK, so mini rant alert.

I'm sure about 2 years ago I seemed to have WAY more time to create patterns for you guys. I was a creative FORCE OF NATURE! I had patterns oozing out all my orifices.The good ones. Not the yucky ones. I blogged. I wrote patterns. It was my thing.
Now it takes MONTHS for me to write up anything. It used to take just a few weeks.
A few months ago I was on an online job website looking for a job for Sonofagun No.1 when I randomly found a job for a major craft retailer in Australia.They wanted a knit & crochet designer who had experience writing patterns, providing pattern assistance, and testing new patterns for knit and crochet. 
It was TOTALLY my jam!

See? Even Chuck Norris thinks so!  I filled out the application. Wrote up a super groovy resume that was just informative enough, sounding like I was amazing with a touch of modesty. It had links to the blog and the patterns and ALL OF THE THINGS without being too overboard. Because you're supposed to condense your experience into less than 2 pages, yeah?
I did that thing you're not supposed to do. I told a few of my colleagues at work. They were totally like, "OMG THAT IS THE JOB FOR YOU! YOU WOULD BE AWESOME! THAT JOB IS MADE FOR YOU!!!"  Incredibly supportive and excited for me.

And to top it all off, there was the option of work from home. AND the office is literally 10 minutes from my house which is Melbourne is ridiculously rare.

But I didn't even hear back from them. Ah well. I'm sure they found someone who would be super amazing. They may have probably wanted someone with more knitting experience than me. I'm only good for knitting socks. And there is usually lots of swearing and frogging involved.

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions. They're kind of a load of crap actually. You promise to do something. Like lose weight or whatever. Then you try really hard for a week. Lose 300gms. Then kind of forget/ lose interest/ accidentally binge on a carton of Baileys Irish Cream flavoured ice cream then gain 3kgs and give up. 

But without making a New Years Resolution, I'm going to try really hard to make more time for crochet and designing again. And blogging about random stuff. 


Back to Craft-ember (craft + december)...

For Xmas this year we did a Kris Kringle type arrangement where we had to buy a present for 1 person (I got my sister) and gift them something that was handmade/ 2nd hand/ upcycled.

I knitted the Blonde Amazona a pair of socks.
I did make them a bit too long. But apparently that's ok as the Sister Amazona has a freakishly long big toe.
Once again I used the wonderful and easy to follow tutorial by Winwick Mum. Thanks again Christine! 
Sabrina the kitten rescued from the highway to hell (aka 45 mins out of Melbourne) approves.
I also made some polymer clay handles for crochet hooks. I gave 1 to the Sister Amazona, 1 for my Best Bloggy Buddy Vicki from Off The Hook, 1 for my friend Emma and 1 for me.

I have also finally started a project using a skein of Scheepjes Whirl in Blackberry Mint Chip which was gifted to me a while ago by Vicki. 
I came across a wrap pattern in a copy of Inside Crochet magazine (issue 104).

It's called the Ayumi Wrap by Annelies Baes.  The pattern is written for a different yarn and I have been following the pattern, but taking a few liberties. The pattern is written where you work off both sides of the base chain, 1 side in one colour, then the other side in a contrasting colour. I have just been working from the base chain in one direction. I hope Annelies doesn't mind!

It's lovely how the gradient colours start to emerge!

 And finally my holiday project.

When we went to the coast, I took lots of crochet cottons with the intention of making more Amazona Parrots. I also took the Inside Crochet mag mentioned above to keep working on the shawl. In that magazine there was a beautiful mandala pattern designed by Dedri Uys from Look At What I Made.
The journey home in the car was about 10 hours, so I whipped up this mandala! 
One of the rare times I block anything...

I did make a few mistakes as I was crocheting in the car. The highway stretches are fine, but there was also bumpy country roads, and windy mountain range roads involved.
The original pattern uses Scheepjes Calista which is an aran weight cotton. I only had a handful of 2 and 4 ply cottons with me. So it is a bit more 'doilyish' than Dedri's.  

I might make it again with some of the cottons from my new box of Scheepjes Catona... 

That's my project wrap up. What have you had on your hook lately?

Red Haired Amazona