Friday, 4 January 2019

Summer Holidays

I've been looking forward to Summer all year.  

Flowers in the garden, vegie garden produce and Christmas!

The weeks leading up to Christmas were chaos. I was not organised AT ALL! My Christmas shopping wasn't finished until the 22nd of December. 
That was my deadline as the 23rd of Decemember after a 10hour drive found us here...

 On the NSW South Coast at a place we call Paradise. It's not actually called 'Paradise'. It's called Mollymook and it's where the Mothership and the Fatherdom live.

This Christmas was going to be fun as my brother the Red Haired Viking and my Sister the Blonde Amazona were both there with their families. 

We took up our trusty camper trailer and set up on the front lawn.
 My parents have a Maltese x Shihtzu called Koko. We brought Chuck Norris the pugalier with us and my sister brought her miniature Schnauzer Phil Collins.  

I was really looking forward to us all walking our dogs on the beach and the general doggy chaos. All pups got along very well, except Chuck Norris and Phil Collins had occasional fights over food. 

To add to the zoological bedlam, my sister and her daughter showed up with this tiny creature.
Isn't she adorable?!?!  They were on the highway 45 minutes out of Melbourne when they saw her all alone on the side of the highway. No farms nearby and no sign of a mother or litter of other kittens. So they bundled her up and brought her along. They stopped at the nearest town for kitten milk and food which the starving little cat gobbled up immediately.

They realised she was only 4 weeks old and had possibly been dumped. 
The PLAN was to bring her to Mollymook and give her to a shelter or vet.

Over the next 5 days, she grew strong and playful. She was protected from all the curious canines and cuddled by everyone.

But PLANS change, and now little Sabrina lives happily with them back in Melbourne. They tried calling her Stevie (Nicks) as they already have another cat at home called Lindsay Buckingham, but Sabrina seemed to suit her better.

Christmas Day! This magnificient house was a few streets away from my parents. A blurry pic taken from the car window as we lined up with a stream of other cars to take a look.
 I would have liked to take a photo of all our delicious food, but as you can tell from this photo of my trifle taken at about 5pm, we cooked and we ate.
Yes, it was my usual highly boozey Xmas food contribution covered in fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries and cream, full of sherry drenched cake and jelly.
 Most evenings we sat on the back deck drinking the wine and playing the games. Our favourite is Celebrity Head.
Have you ever played Celebrity Head? Basically someone writes the name of a famous person (real or a character) on a post it note and sticks it on your forehead. 
You don't know who it is and have to ask 'yes' or 'no' questions to determine their identity.

For example:
"Is it a female?"
"Am I a cartoon character?"
"Am I married to another famous person?"

Each time you get a 'yes' answer, you can ask another question. If you get a 'no' answer, it's the next persons turn. Obviously the first person to guess their celebrity wins.

It took AGES for me to work out who I was this time...

 Remember what I said about zoological?  One day an extra dog arrived. A little Sheltie turned up ownerless and collarless at our front door.

All dogs happily welcomed each other, but his attendance was short lived as the Bear and I took him up to the local vet. Fortunately he was microchipped so the veterinarian contacted his owners for us!
Chuck and Collins say hello to the Sheltie's butt.
 Chuck was completely at home at the Motherships house. He discovered his favourite place on top of the back of their sofa. Sometimes he sort of 'melted' into it...
 At 6pm nearby Narrawallee beach is available for dogs 'off leash'. So we'd use code as Koko understands key words.  Instead of saying, "Let's take the DOGS to the BEACH for a WALK,"  we'd have to say, "Let's take the D's to the B for a W."

There were lots of cicadas on the beach from the surrounding forest. Some were already dead. Some like this little guy were waiting to be rescued.  I'd pick them up, dust off the sand and they would fly back to the trees.
 One day I was lucky enough to visit the garden of one of the Motherships friends'. She has a beautiful garden filled with scultures and interesting plants. Would you like to take a little tour?

This plant actually smells like popcorn when you rub the leaves! Cassia didymobotrya (Popcorn Cassia)
Cuphea platycentra (Mexican Cigar Plant)
A type of Ginger Lily
Brugmansia suaveolens

 The Mothership and the Fatherdom are members of the Ulladulla Garden Club. Their flower and vegetable gardens hold delightful finds...

Eucomis sp. (Pineapple Lily)

So Christmas was done and dusted. And what do you think showed up in the supermarket on Boxing Day?
Yes. Hot Cross Buns. On Boxing Day.
On New Years Eve we drove down to Ulladulla Harbour for the fireworks. And I figured out how to control the shutter speed on my phones' camera.

The Bear did not quite figure out how to spell his name with sparklers... 
 We ran out of sparklers so tried again with glow sticks. Can you read it?

My Nana lives nearby and these toadstools popped up one morning. This photo was taken that afternoon!
Here's another fun name to say fast 3 times after 2 G&Ts: Leucoprinus birnbaumii
 The day before we left for home, we took our final evening walk on the beach. I tried to take a selfie but didn't realise the 'beauty' enhancement was on and added mascara to my sunnies...

The budgies are gonna love this....
 Just quickly, we arrived home to some delicious garden produce... Not pictured (because I ate them) are blackberries and loads of tiny tomatoes.
We also arrived to a Christmassy house which needed to be packed away for another year...
 And this AMAZING Christmas present which arrived in the post from my best bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook via Snufflebean Yarn.

Have you ever received one of these massive colour packs from Scheepjes? 

109. One Hundred and NINE different colours in cute little 10g balls! What am I going to do with these? 


 Today it's supposed to hit 42c (107.6f) today so I think I'll stay inside with the aircon surrounded with these little skeins. What will I make? I DON"T KNOW!
Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Amazona Parrot

You all know I am obsessed with birds. I just adore them, don't you? 

Quite a few months ago I started creating a little bird.
First he looked like this...

 His beak is kind of knobbly and he was small and sweet but not quite what I wanted.
 So I tried using a 4ply cotton, but he was kind of clunky.

 Over lots of cups of tea...
 This adorable creature emerged...
 But he still wasn't quite right.

Then this one popped off my hook. Better! But for months I played around with body shapes.
 I was probably being too fussy but I didn't like any of these bodies. They didn't feel 'birdlike'.
 My little Willow TV tray table became a bird production line...
Chuck was getting feed up with me. I must admit I probably wasn't giving him enough attention (nevermind there are 4 other people in the house he was ignoring) 
 And finally I made this one...
 He was perfect!
But Chuck was trying to take matters into his own paws by stealing my workspace!

But at last I'm happy with the result!


I'd like to introduce you to my newest addition:

This is a crochet pattern for a sweet little Amazona Parrot.

The body is made in the amigurumi style with the wings and tails feathers crocheted separately, then stitched on.

Amazona Parrot is approximately 20 cm from the top of her head to the tip of her tail and is made using five different colours. 

The little parrots have been cheekily perching in my blackberry bush!

The preferred yarn is Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat or any other compatible 2ply crochet cotton and a 2mm crochet hook.
You will also need a darning needle, scissors, thread for sewing the pieces together, a little clip (if you'd like to make it into a clip on), 6mm safety eyes, and polyfill stuffing.

As you can see from the photos, you can choose whatever Amazona Parrots colourways for your own colour choices you want. He can be monotone, tonal or you can make ones like mine: little feathery rainbow explosions!

You can attach a ribbon and hang her from wherever (she makes a perfect Christmas decoration!!), stick a skewer up her butt and plant her in a pot or vase with some flowers or sew an alligator clip below her tail and clip her onto ALL OF THE THINGS!
So does this mean you'll take me to the park now??

You want to make one, don't you! 

The pattern is available for digital download in my Etsy and Ravelry stores for the wee price of USD$5 (exclusive of any sales tax, GST or VAT that applies in your country).