Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Guiness World Record attempt

A year ago a little post popped up in my Facebook feed for an attempt at a Guiness World Record attempt at 'the most people crocheting simultaneously'.
It was to be held at a craft fair called Craft Alive in the town of Bendigo about an hour and 40 minutes north west of Melbourne. A free crochet hook for all participants and yarn supplied by Bendigo Wool Mills for the event.
Of course I was gonna go!
Fast forward to last weekend and the Divine Miss Emma and I piled into her little car on a miserable, rainy winter morning and hit the highway to Bendigo!
I didn't take any of my current projects as they are not very travel friendly. So I threw a couple of balls of hot pink yarn and a 4mm hook in my bag 'just in case'!
The temperature was freezing and the rain pelted the little black car along the way. I left my hand mitts at home so I started crocheting a new pair on the road!
The rain eased as we arrived in the postcard pretty town. 

I was wearing a pair of socks I knitted last year and some cheap sparkly gumboots. Perfect for stomping through icy puddles and mud!

The Craft Alive fair pops up every month or so around NSW and Victoria. I haven't really bothered with going before as there is usually loads of stalls for quilters, scrapbookers, bead thing makers, button lovers and chandlers. 
Luckily there was a few yarn sellers today with some deliciously squishy skeins. I was extremely good and only bought one ball. Yes, one!!!
I know it's another ball of sock yarn but my mind is brimming with different NON SOCK ideas for this ball!

Finally an announcement was made over the loudspeaker for all participants in the world record attempt.
We all filed into the part of the auditorium with long strips of tape on the floor and stood along strips with 50 people per line. Emma and I took folding chairs and thank Holy Oprah we did as the cold, concrete floor would have been a teensy bit hemorrhoid inducing.
A man declared lots of random Guinness record type announcements through a loud speaker, however it was kind of hard to hear him in the echoey auditorium.  Emma and I kept counting rows to figure out if we were going to have enough people to break the record. We were counted, wrist-banded and recounted. We signed our name on several different clipboards. And we were counted again.
The current world record of 604 is held by the NSW town of Singleton. We were in the 2nd row, so as more rows of people gathered, it became harder to work out how many there were. But the Loud Speaker Guy kept calling for more people from the fair to come in, including exhibitors and stall holders. It didn't look good folks!  
Husbands who had never crocheted were hauled in by their wives, there were kids of all ages with hook and yarn in hand and most were quite experienced!  Many including ourselves brought along their own projects, some gladly used the supplied hook and yarn.

A local news crew was there walking their video camera up and down the aisles. You can view the news item on their Facie page (the side of us appeared once. The kid at the beginning of the interview is adorable!)

A photographer from the local rag The Bendigo Advertiser took photos of everyone including Emma and I who were happily seated, crocheting and under my Granny Stripe blanket which I crocheted several years ago from Attic 24s pattern.
photo courtesy of Noni Hyett Bendigo Advertiser
Look at that! It's Emma and I in the feature photo!! Our 5 minutes of fame. You can read the article and view all the photos here.

Finally at the official start time of 2.30pm we were told to start crocheting! We all crocheted furiously for 15 minutes! Well, not really. It was like crocheting at home, but for a much shorter time and without Netflix.
 
And before we knew it we were chanting the count down for the last 10 seconds and at last everyone gave a mighty "YAYYYYYY!"

And then wandered out chatting and laughing in search of coffee or anything else warm.
But we weren't told the result! Nobody said, "Well done everybody! We had the numbers!"
We just heard murmurs of "Um, yes we have to wait and hear back from the Guiness people," which we took to mean they fell short of numbers.
Which they did. Apparently not by much but we gave it our best shot!

After a couple of hot chocolates at a local cafe, we bundled into the car for the journey home. And I kept working on my mitts. I finished one in the middle of the record attempt and finished the other mitt when we were 15 minutes from home.
Let's hope they give it another whirl next year!


xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Oh hey there Winter!

So far Winter has been kind of mild. Except for today but as we tip toe into June, the weekends have been mostly clear and sunny. Around 15c. Absolutely delightful!

Last weekend I decided to leave the boys at home and go on a little afternoon adventure with Luciano.

Luce (pronounced 'looch') is my Xtrail. I know it's a bit weird but when I go out driving on my own, I don't feel like I'm really alone because I'm with Luce. 

 He's a little worn, but handsome and reliable. A few months ago the Bear and I considered getting a newer car. We looked online and in a few car yards, but I couldn't find anything better than Luce. 
So the Bear went to the wreckers and found some newish black leather electric seats, and a better aircon, then replaced the old stuff.

When Luce and I are out driving together I talk to him, sing in him, complain about the other drivers to him. While waiting at school pick-ups I shove yarn in his steering wheel and crochet hooks in his aircon orifices (I think he ate my 4mm). He doesn't say much back, but when I need to put the pedal to the metal, he roars ahead and then happily lets me fill him with all the cool stuff I find along the way.

On our little adventure we decided to wander around the nearby town of Ballarat.
I went for a wander through the Botanical Gardens on Lake Wendouree.



I was last here over a year ago for the Begonia Festival. The garden beds were mostly dormant or newly filled with seedlings for Spring blooms.

There was still lots of lovely things flowering. Like these penstemon.

 I had to leave Luce in the carpark. He didn't mind. I wandered around looking at statuary and trees while breathing in lovely deep breaths of crisp country air and the smell of fallen leaves.

I love this glasshouse. The Gardens are about 100 or so years old I think. So there is alot of old style architecture. I love this modern style building thrown in the mix! It looks like a crazy caterpillar.


 Jonquils flowering right at the beginning of winter!

 There's a beautiful old tram that travels through the gardens. If I had more time, I would have taken a ride.

I spent another couple of hours in the Ballarat Mill Market.


This place is huge and filled with ALL OF THE THINGS!
This Moose jug came home with me. As did an old Steve Miller Band and Sonny & Cher album.


One of the main reasons for this little trip was to visit a shop I have been following on Instagram called The Crafty Squirrel!   Whenever the owner Morgan posts her latest finds from craft markets in Japan, I would promise myself a little shopping trip. And I finally did it! 

I bought an adorable bunny purse and pencil chocolates as a birthday present for the Divine Miss Emmas birthday, some cute little tin bird brooches, baby bird pins and Morgan even had some note pads and pens designed by Nathalie Lete whose designs I adore! I seriously could have bought everything in the shop especially as there are loads of adorable japanese cutesy haberdashery products.

Then it was time for Luce and I to head home.

Bear had the fireplace lit when I got there.

Whilst I was out swanning around the countryside, he was installing windows for our pergola.

He found them on ebay.  They're quite dirty here but after a spray with the pressure washer, they came up much nicer the next day.


Isn't he a handy, handsome fella!  More recently, we got to be grown ups and go out for drinkies for the Divine Miss Emmas birthday!

Another year older and most importantly our beloved Emma is 1 year cancer free.
If you recall from my last post, I mentioned I was in the middle of writing up the pattern for my Bunny Beanie. The pattern will also include a Pussy Cat Beanie!  This little beanie below just needs some pretty felt flowers and then I can take a few more photos for the free tutorial. Not long to go now!
 

Thanks for visiting! How has your winter/ summer been so far?
xox
Louise


The Red Haired Amazona

Friday, 11 August 2017

Desperately Seeking Spring

 
Winter has it's own beauty.
 
Like fog on the lake.
 


Dew drops on sedge


Frosty cobwebs on the Tangled Lignum.


Sun burning through the fog.


This is my favourite.


The hot pink tips of a leucodendron bring some warmth.


Yes, yes it looks very mystical and romantic but bloody hell, I'm sick of being cold.

I am utterly hankering for some signs of Spring, warmth and SUN!!

And later that afternoon I found some signs that Spring isn't too far away.

At Sonofagun No.2s school!


Broadbeans in the school vegie garden.  A wintery vegetable but fresh growth screams Spring.


Cornflowers, oh yes!



And while they always live at the local train station, the Rainbow Lorikeets screeching and flapping around the palms feel summery. Even though on this next morning when I took this photo, it was about 10 degrees celcius.


I have been loving my new cotton mitts.

 
I started making a new pair in pinks and apricots. But wasn't a huge fan of the colourways.
 


So for the tutorial I am writing, I started a new pair in peacock inspired colours.  Purple, teal, dark blue, pinks, silver...


Photography is always best in a well lit sunny room, but this is not common lately.  However I am hoping to have the tutorial finished soon.

Just before the Northern Hemisphere autumn!  I was thinking of taking a pair with me when I fly up to that side of the planet in just 4 weeks time, but I think it may still be a little warm.
The Google tells me the temperature should be around the early 20s (celcius). Just warm enough to enjoy being out with out being too hot.


xox
 
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Finding Space & the Crap we accumulate


I am quite unsettled at the moment.

But it's only for a little while longer I hope.

I am still trying to find space in this new house for things to go, and find space and time to get back into crochet and blogging and creating.

I have a lot of THINGS. Like books, yarn, and crap.

This isn't even half of it!

By Crap I mean all the things you accumulate as gifts and that you pick up yourself and don't want to get rid of right now because they bring joy and memories.

Charcoal walls. Don't even get me started on how much I dislike them.

To you, Crap is wonderful. You love the Crap. You don't call it Crap though, you call it 'nick-nacs' or 'memorabilia', 'bric a brac', 'momentos', or just simply 'my things'.  But let's face it. To many other people, it's just Crap.  In fact I'm fairly sure when I bite the dust, and my kids have to figure out what to do with my bits and pieces, they'll chuck the whole lot.

Our small front lounge. For now. I'm thinking that a repaint in a fresh light colour and bespoke shelving is in our future...

And that's totally ok because I'll be pushing up daisies, but for now I'm still holding onto and loving my Crap.

Yarn and books. My favourite idea of the week.

However finding places for my Crap is taking so long. And we didn't exactly move into a grand manor filled with millions of special shelves for Crap.

Colour coordinated book
 curating: thanks Pinterest!

So this weekend we are having a garage sale to get rid of some Crap while still finding places for our Special Crap which is staying.



All this is leaving very little time for creating, blogging, crocheting and spending scrumptious hours of sitting in comfy chairs doing those things with a cup of coffee.

Bijoux can claim my place for crocheting and the drinking of the coffee, for now.

Which leaves me feeling still unsettled. You know that feeling too, don't you?

So this morning after dropping Sonofagun No.2 at school in our old neighbourhood, I gave myself 15 minutes to wander around the area and find some small happy things.

Soft pink Azaleas

Like camellias. I bloody love Camellias. After perving and taking sneaky stalker photos of some in peoples front gardens, I decided I'm going to plant some at our place.





I gazed longingly at the park in front of the beach.  Today wasn't a nice day to go walking through it, so I took a quick snap of this immense Morton Bay Fig Tree.  It was cold, windy and rainy.



Then a lovely old man walked over to me and made a funny comment about the poor weather. He was a member of the local historical society. He started telling me how his family had lived in the area for decades and one of the local streets was named after his mum who had worked as a nurse in the original hospital.


It reminded me of how much I loved living in that area for it's strong sense of community and history. Not a long history, just 100 years or so, but for the ever expanding city of Melbourne, it's history.

Gum Blossoms in front of the local library

If I could find a big adult sized tutu that looked like this, I'd wear it!
We made time on the weekend to take the kids out to our local (Wahhhh! not local anymore) favourite old cinema in Yarraville to see Spiderman Homecoming.


The street in front of the cinema is permanently closed now. So they played some street Jenga.


Bear and I had Ciders while we waited for the most amazing burgers.


I did find some time last week on a Sunday afternoon for a little bit of creating. I started writing and replicating my Unicorn Poop Arm warmers. But after 1 row of star stitch, I decided I wanted to do a few more. Then they turned into slightly different arm warmers.


Theyre still a work in progress. I'm not sure if I should be making arm warmers in the round, or like above; a big rectangle thing which is sewn up the side. I've done it both ways and in combination. With the combination way, I start working in rows back and forth, then at about row 5 or 6, join the 2 sides and continue in the round. Once I've finished then last round, I go back to the first 5 rows and sew them together. I prefer the way these fit. What do you think?
xox
Louise



The Red Haired Amazona