Monday, 20 September 2021

How good is September?

September is pretty damn nice.
I am trying to take regular plods down what I've started calling the 'Yellow Walk'. 
It's a walking pathway right through the centre of the suburb so there is a street down on the left hand side, then this path and a tiny stream , then another pathway and houses on the other side. 

It's lined with natives and lots of birds and possums have started making their way back in.

On this day I found a big scraggly and delicious smelling Melaleuca.

I've always loved these sweet purple Indigoferas...
In autumn I planted a stack of anemone spiders in a planter. I think 'technically' the weird little things you plant are called 'corms' but they look like dead shriveled up spiders. 

Those little dead spiders popped out these eyeball exploders.

I love happy flower accidents. This viola popped up from a self seeder.
Here is my post winter, freshly tidied flower bit. Because I mostly plant perennials in the garden bed, it's still looking a bit bare right now, but in the coming months it will become a jungle. Most of my peonies are in pots and all on the flat trolley in the bottom right. The reason why is when they flower mid November (well, to be fair only 1 has flowered so far but the other plants are still young) we have random hot windy days which blast the bejeezus out of everything.

If they're all on a trolley I can wheel them under the pergola and shut the blinds to protect them. 

It's tomato plantin' time!
In a monthish my Sonofagun No.1 turns 21. TWENTY ONE. Like bloody hell, I'm barely mature enough to be 21 let alone have a child that's survived long enough to be 21.
I remember when he was a sweet tiny baby as he was sleeping I'd kiss his cute little head and cuddle him, then pop him into his bassinet and think, "Phew! I didn't accidentally kill you today." And count that day as a win.  Not because I planned on killing him. Just because I had managed to keep a small human alive all by myself for a whole day.
I mean I had a husband but he was an idiot so I didn't factor him into the 'keeping a baby alive' process.

21 years of having a human also means I have been crocheting for 21 years. The very first thing I ever crocheted was a blanket for him while I was pregnant.

For the past couple of years he has been asking me to crochet him a new blanket. He wanted it in the very uninspiring colours of black, red and white. I really struggled trying to put those colours together in a way that didn't look like it supported a footy team.

I finally had a flash of inspo last week and picked some colours out of my remnants trolley. 

Beige, weird gunmetal type brown, an orange toned red, a blue toned red, and a couple of different blues. I liked the way these colours were reminiscent of a sort of 50s boy scout Americana type look.

I have really kind of left this to the last minute (blanketly speaking) so I've decided a large granny square design will hopefully get finished on time in random retro squares and squares with circles in them. Each square will be bordered in black and joined as I go.

The turquoisey-aqua blue was yarn I rescued from a jumper. I loathed the jumper but loved the colour so I frogged it, balled them up and they've been sitting in my stash for a couple of years.

12 squares down, I don't know how many to go! What could go wrong?  And I've finally found a project that I can use some daggy brown in that looks ok!

How is your September going?

Louise


Red Haired Amazona

Monday, 6 September 2021

The Cat in the Nest


This guy is kind of spoilt. He recently scored a new crocheted bed...
A couple of weeks ago Sonofagun No. 1 bought his cat child 8Track a cardboard nest. These nest things are supposed to be a claw sharpening thingo. Apparently. 8Track would simply sit in it and watch his favourite non-tv tv show.
I decided to make it a little more comfy. For possibly months but most likely years there has been a very large ball of chunky yarn sitting in an alcove in a bookshelf in the lounge. 
I read through a couple of popcorn stitch tutorials and got to work.
The one I found the most useful was on the BHooked website.
I had forgotten that the very large ball of chunky cream yarn was a very large ball of different coloured chunky yarns.
I crocheted a roundish shape big enough to sit inside the whole nest. It turned out a little irregular but still rather nice.
Most afternoons he can now be found here for hours.

The 1st of September is the beginning of Spring but I've been paying more mind lately to the traditional indigenous seasons. I mentioned in my last post that August is Guling or Orchid Season to the local Wurundjeri people. September and October is "Poorneet Tadpole Season, (September and October) is when temperatures rise, rain continues and the pied currawongs call loudly. The days and nights are of equal length." (https://warrandytediary.com.au/august-always-season/)
And the weather is warming. Last week we had a few days in the 20s. It was glorious!

I'm finding new native blooms on my park walks. These gum blossoms smell like sweet honey from many metres away.
This sweet yellow flowering shrub was tucked under some other bushes and was the only one of its' kind I found on a recent walk. I had never seen it before and thought it was a Boronia. However it didn't really have a scent. After a bit of research it has been revealed as Senna artemesioides.
A bright little Genista...
Broccoli, parsley, spinach, lettuce, nasturtiums, an orange and a lemon all picked from the garden. Everything except the orange was for our dinner that night.
You say Spring, I say SPRING CLEAN!!!

Look, my housekeeping skills are generally non-existentish. But I have my moments. As I slowly claim the end room as an office/ craft area I went the whole hog on the weekend.
I dragged every single ball of yarn, craft magazine, craft thing into the room and sorted everything.
I spent 5 minutes getting inspo from the Instabrag and apparently this is The Only Way To Arrange Colours.
ROYGBIV. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Apparently white and black go on each end and brown is like a boring old daggy bit at the end.
So I ROYGBIV'd the cotton threads.
Then I ROYGBIV'd the acrylics.
The 4 and 8 ply cottons copped a good old ROYGBIV-ving as well.

I wonder if there is also a real person called Roy G. Biv? Maybe G stands for Grahame, or Gerald.
I haven't bothered to show you the rest of the craft stuff. Honestly, I have accumulated a massive amount of craft crap over the years. Boxes of beads, embellishments, easter craft, paints, polymer clay etc. It's embarrassing really. They all got ROYGBIV'd as well and stored away in tidy boxes, tins and bags in the cupboard.
And now I have this nice little space!

My 'french' wall can stays as it is for now. All these sticky notes only stay up as long as it takes to embed the words into my brain but there has been a discussion with the house handyguy about floating shelves....
Thanks for stopping by!
Louise


Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Folk Art Shoulder Bag- A finished project

 Hello all! I hope you are all happy, healthy and safe in your part of the world.

Here in Kangarooland we are seeing an increase of Rona cases which has sent the eastern states into lockdowns. 

In my little patch I am just enjoying the short walks, crocheting and the warmer pre-Spring weather.

In Melbourne we are in Woiwarrung country and the Wurundjeri people used to recognise not 4 but 7 seasons here. Which makes perfect sense to me. The warmth and beginning of the blossom season doesn't happen magically on the 1st of September. I notice signs of spring as early as the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August. According to the local indigenous calendar it's currently Guling or Orchid season in August. It is characterised by orchids flowering, the silver wattle bursting into colour and male koalas bellowing at night.  Well I can say there are no koalas around here, but the other 2 make sense. 

Wattles are looking freaking fabulous on my morning walks and smell amazing.

I bloody love wattle. Always have. Each little ball is super soft and fluffy. And most wattles have this intoxicating sweet scent that smells like nothing else. I just shove my face in a bunch like this and INHALE!

The lemony yellow ones above (maybe Acacia vestita?) doesn't really have a scent but the species below Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) smells glorious.

Yes they really are THAT yellow. There is no filter or photo tampering in these images.
The local swans have fluffy little babies.
And there are classic signs of Guling season in my own garden.



And Waring Wombat season from April to July with it's cold, rainy days and misty mornings is finished.

This weekend has been a glorious 20+ degrees celsius.  I was able to spend the day out yesterday getting the vegie garden ready for summer crops, planting out potatoes and sowing tomato seed in pots.

But that's not why we're here. I ticked the first project off my list of WIPs. 

Get ready for some serious crochet bag porn.
This little shoulder bag is decorated with leftover flowers from my Jardin D'ete pot cosies. I also made extra daisies and leaves.

I used Flinders cotton 4 ply yarn for the main body of the bag and strap and Scheepjes Catona 4 ply for all the flowers, leaves and vines. I adore the glossy, vibrant colours of Scheepjes Catona. I only had small little skeins to use, otherwise I would have used Scheepjes for the entire bag. It's not easily available here in Australia.

The bag was a simple rectangle crocheted in single stitch. Then I crocheted two small narrow rectangles for the sides, and a long shoulder strap long enough to hang diagonally across my body.

Once I whip stitched these 3 elements together, I used surface slip stitches to work green vines around the straps and on both sides of the bag.  After that I hand sewed all the flowers and leaves over the piece.

So yesterday I caught Chuck sleeping on the bag and I thought I had picked off each and every one of his manky dogs hairs. But the camera found all the ones I missed.

I purchased some fabric from Spotlight to line the bag and handles. Now I know lining the handles might feel like overkill BUT one of the main problems with crocheted handles is they tend to stretch. Lining them with fabric stops this completely.

I also lined it inside including a pocket on one side. The pocket is a little too big and gapes out so I added a snap stud thingo.

I hope you like my little bag. I really really like it. I think it's my new go-to bag.
Some flowers were deliberately scraped together using last remnants of yarn. I like this crazy look.
There are lots of technical errors with the lining but it's fine. It works and I really adore the folk artsy look!
I hope you've enjoyed visiting and letting me show off my new bag. Why don't you make one for yourself?

Louise


Red Haired Amazona