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

Saturday, 18 June 2016

A Glorious Weekend in Canberra

Yes it was. Driving all the way to Canberra just for a long weekend is a bit of work, but I had a Hankering.

It all started when I was perving on the Instabrag and saw some amazing pots of honey posted by a local Canberra business called Handmade Canberra.

They run a large quarterly market at the Exhibition Centre which has lots of yummy eats and beautiful items made by local Australian artists.

That deliciously gratuitous picture of honey resulted in a comment exchange where the Handmade peeps totally twisted my arm and completely demanded that I come up for the market....


And then they cemented the deal with donuts.

Like srsly?  How delicious do they look?

My tastebuds commented under the photo before I could control myself....

Yummy donuts by Donut Papi

I also wanted to catch up with a couple of close friends, and see my brother and his family, and soak up some hometown bliss.

So on the Friday afternoon, we left jolly old hipster Melbourne and after an overnight stay at Albury, arrived Saturday morning at the Handmade Market in time to meet my super dooper oldest bestest friend Bibi and her two Sonofaguns.

A very misty welcome to Canberra!!

We let the kids play on the good old iconic Action Bus. This was a novelty for Sonofagun No.2 who's used to grotty old Metro Trains.

We ate yummy French Crepes, Phillipino Chicken Satays, marinated pulled beef and rice, drank creamy hot cappuccinos and tried our best to browse the stalls while 3 of our 4 boys said all of those wonderful things boys say when you're shopping:

"When are we leaving?"
"My legs are sore."
"Why are you looking at these skirts when you looked at skirts over there?"
"Can we go now?"
"This is soooo boring."
"Don't you have enough wool at home?"
"When are we leaving?"

Much peace. Very relaxment.

So we gave up and took them back to Bibis house for pasta and lego.  AND the best thing of all for oldest bestest friends who haven't seen each other for 18 months: several cups of tea and lots of talking.  And then a round of selfies which just reminded me that I'm old and have too many wrinkles.
And Bibi still looks the same as she did when we were a couple of young single gals cruising round town in her little Ford Laser...

Thelma, er, Bibi & Louise....

We stayed at Auntie Martha Stewarts that weekend. For those of you who haven't been following my blog for a while, Auntie Martha Stewart isn't her real name. I've used a Nom De Plume to protect the innocent, but she is so named because she is a very clever crafty lady who has dabbled in every craft known to human kind and taught me how to crochet. 

She lives in a lovely little townhouse in an estate in the south of Canberra that has the most beautiful view from her back courtyard.

Pretty, frosty morning

Much serenity. Very scenery.

Sunday morning I was able to visit my little big brother the Red Haired Viking and his family. They are lucky enough to have a family of Blue Fairy Wrens that hop around their backyard. They hopped and flew around so quickly, all I could get was this one blurry photograph.

Then after bribing my boys with the promise of food, I popped back to the market to buy all the things I wanted from the day before.

Like donuts from artisan donut makers Donut Papi!!!

From back left around: Marshmallow & Lychee, Rose (?), Black Sesame, Matcha Green Tea

And these beautiful cards by Marja-Leena.  I had to buy a small stack of these. Even though they are gift cards, I think I'm going to pop them in frames and keep them. They're so beautiful!

And that scrummy local Canberra honey and chocolates.

I also bought a couple of these amazing notebooks by Funky Journals.  They are old kids books which have been made into spiral bound notebooks. And the original story pages are scattered inside amongst the blank pages. I kept the Scuffy the Tugboat notebook for myself as I remember it was one of favourite books when I was little and when Sonofagun No.1 was little, I bought a copy for him too. I did buy a couple of others but I am keeping them secret ATM as they are put away for Xmas pressies!

I was awfully tempted by the Knight Rider Annual notebook!!  So much Hoffness!

I walked into a yarn stall with lots of soft, colourific merinos and silks when I spied the most amazing granny square coat. On a person! I asked about her gorgeous coat. And her gorgeous self. Her name is Jackie and she was simply another shopper like myself who crocheted this deliciously warm creation....

She was kind enough to let me take a couple of photos. Isn't she clever? I think I might need to make one for myself!

So yes, I spent Dollars and had a lovely time. I also bought some Ginger Beer with Chilli for the Bear, Some Lemon Meringue Marshmallows, A gorgeous skirt by Sheesh and stopped by a roadside stall on the way home past Benalla and bought some local Olives and Strawberry & Vodka jam!

After my quick 2nd whizz around the market I headed over to my very clever and talented friend Naomis house for some crochet.


I spent a glorious afternoon with Naomi, her mum Kaija (who has been my very good friend for over 20 years) and Naomis daughter Elmi who at the age of 9, is already an amazing artist like her mum and grandmother. If you'd like to check out some of Naomis art, check out her webpage or Instabrag!

Naomi said she wanted to learn how to make a doily like this one that I made a few weeks ago and posted on Instagram...

And once she got the hang of it (which was super fast), she posted this on Instabrag...

I also gave Elmi a little How to Crochet lesson. She did really well despite my dodgy teaching!

So after a good night's sleep and a delightfully frosty Monday morning...

we packed ourselves into the car, did a quick drive to Lake Burley Griffin for a few gratuitous photos and left for the long drive back to Melbourne.

The Museum of Australia

Telstra Tower aka The Batman Rocket (according to Sonofagun No.2)
Quick story.

See this section of lake looking towards Telstra Tower?  When I was in Year 10 at high school, we had a catamaran lesson in this section of lake.
It was a fun afternoon. There was much boating, and lots of falling in and swallowing lake water etc.

That evening on the news on tv, they reported a body had been pulled out not far from where we were drinking lake water....

The National Library, and that weird triangle thing in the background is Parliament House

The Captain Cook Memorial Globe
Ah Canberra! Ah Markets! This weekend I've discovered there is a market MUCH MUCH closer to home called the Maribyrnong Makers Market. I'll definitely be popping around to have a look there as I've heard there's THINGS. And it won't take 7 1/2 hours to get there!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Beware the Antarctic Vortex!!!

Hello Possums!

Just popping in for a quick hello!

It's a dreary week we have ahead. 

A big icy blast is hitting Kangaroo Land this week from the south. The news peeps are calling it The Antarctic Vortex! When I heard that on tv last night I laughed and laughed! 

It won't be anywhere near as bad as the Polar Vortex which hit the US last year. But they do love to over exaggerate, don't they? 

If one of my favourite fellow bloggers Auntie Shan in Canada reads that the Antarctic Vortex will see Melbourne shivering in temperatures as low as 10c, she will also laugh and laugh!  

So it will be a little bit extra cold and unpleasant in Melbourne. 

This afternoon I have been cosied up inside watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith with Sonofagun No.2, slurping down huge cups of tea and playing with yarn.

organic cotton yarn

Last week the Mothership gave me the beautiful yarns that she bought for me whilst holidaying in Italy.

2 balls of delicious Bio-bimbo cotton and a selection of Lana Gatto merino.

Italian merino

I still haven't figured out what I'm going to make with them. But how gorgeous and exotic!

Axel the genderless budgie is happily tweeting everytime he/she hears R2D2 in the movie from his/her perch atop Juicy Moosey.

flocked deer

Actually he's more of a deer than a moose. Whoops. 

I'm more than 2/3 through my Granny Stripe afghan.

attic 24 afghan

I am absolutely loving my new Knitpro crochet hook. So easy on the hands! 

I also indulged in another super expensive imported craft magazine this morning!


Cup's almost empty. Must be time for another!  This is one of those gorgeous cups I bought in Port Macquarie at World Par- Tea

Peacock Tea Mug

On the WIP front, I have finally finished backing and adding the finishing touches to my Intarsia scarf. Just in time for the Antarctic Vortex!!

Antarctic Vortex knit scarf

How's your weekend going?
The Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Beating the Winter Can'tBeStuffeds with Crochet

I haven't really been posting as often lately. I haven't exactly got the winter blues, more the Winter Uninspireds.

The Winter Boreds.

The Winter Can'tBeStuffeds.

Not with crochet. But with Doing Other Stuff.

Like excursions and day trips.  

Melbourne winters aren't that challenging. Yes it's a bit cold. Sometimes really frickin cold. But I grew up in Canberra which is bitterly icy freeze your nuts off cold.  Especially at night when it gets down to minus 7 celcius.  So Melbourne ain't that bad. But it's just unpleasantly windy, rainy, cloudy and glum. And I don't really want to leave the house that much. 

Which has been awesome from a crochet perspective!

I've finished a Rainbow Scoodie.

scarf hoodie scoodie

And 3 different sets of wrist cuffs including writing up and publishing the pattern for one of them.

Crochet wristlet
I'm still experimenting with this wrist cuff. I think the shell cuff part should probably be horizontal striped instead of vertical. What do you think?

I was also sorely, sorely tempted to purchase an Attic24 pack from Wool Warehouse in Pommie Land to make a granny stripe blanket.  


2 reasons. Firstly I looked at my mishmash of yarn and wanted to make something to use it up.  Like thousands of Crochet Queens, I love Lucy and always wanted to make a Granny Stripe Blanket. 

Secondly because I worked out that it's just as cheap to buy one of these packs (including postage) as it is to buy the same amount of DK but another brand from retailer Lincraft here in Australia! Crazy isn't it?

But after sorting through my stash, I realised I had the same of most colours, and similar shades of others. The compulsive shopper in me itched to jump online and order. Fulfil that glorious endorphine rush of waiting for that big package to arrive in the post with the thrilling Royal Mail sticker. Opening it and soaking up all those gorgeous bronze bands of Stylecraft DK that I've seen online.

BUUUUTTTT the sensible Amazona (who rarely makes appearances) popped her head up and said "No. Not yet sweet Red Haired Amazona. USE WHAT YOU HAVE!!!"

I only needed to buy 3 extra colours.  I had small balls left of them but they wouldn't have completed a whole stripe. I found them at my local Big W. 

So I've put my designer brain to rest for a little while and am enjoying row after row of mindless granny stripes. So delicious and satisfying!

rainbow crochet
25 rows of delicious Granny stripes with only 1 colour substitution. I couldn't find Aspen green so used a grey instead. No, they aren't rug stains, just lens smudges. OK they are rug stains.  :(

I've promised myself that special thing that all Yarn Crafters promise themselves.  Not to buy anymore yarn until I use what I have....  Are you laughing with me? We both know it's sort of a white lie, don't we? 

crochet meme

As I mentioned before, we haven't really had any excursions out for a little while. We've had a bad run of illness and injury here in the Amazona household. 
At the moment Sonofagun No.2 has a persistent cough which has kept him home on and off for a couple of weeks. I'm exercising Mothers Discretion and have kept him at home since last Thursday to try and help him shake it.  

But in a week* we are fleeing Melbourne's Wintery Lurve for some Northern Exposure.

(*I originally just wrote "In a few of weeks", then wrote the rest of the post. Happened to glance at the date today and realised it's in just 1 week! Crap! haven't found anyone to look after the bird or packed, or booked a rental car or anything!  Is there anyone in the area who is willing to Bird sit for 1 week in exchange for a couple of balls of yarn?)

5 days in Coffs Harbour.  

I had hoped it would be warmer than here. It is 15 hours drive north from Melbourne (we're flying thank goodness!). The Weather man is telling me it's only 19 degrees there today but thats a good 5 degrees warmer than here and it is beachside and lush and green and it will be lovely to have a change of scenery.  And of course I'll share holiday snaps with you! 

I'll probably pop instant snaps on my Facebook page. Now which crochet project should I take with me?  

My Granny Stripe Blanket? Or a small project like wrist cuffs?  
The Red Haired Amazona