Wednesday, 30 December 2015

An Amazona Christmas

How was your Chrissy?

Mine was lovely. Crazy hectic, but lovely.

Every year I tell myself that next year I'll be more organized and more Christmassy, and every year I barely get there by the skin of my teeth!

And when the magic day rocks around, I'm left a bare husk of a woman. Exhausted from all the last minute present buying & wrapping, house cleaning, cooking (although I didn't have too much of that this year).

This year that feeling was magnified as I was running around trying to do the one thing you really don't want to have to worry about on Christmas Day: KEEPING THE BLOODY HOUSE COOL!

In our Aussie Melbourne summers, we usually have ok weather. Mid 20s, sometimes stupidly rainy. 4 years back there was gale force winds which caused a bit of damage to houses in the north of the city.  But not really heat.

This year it was about 36 degrees.  And we were eating outside as my little cottage is not big enough to seat 14 people for lunch with any comfort.

But enough of that.

It was still lovely to have the Amazona Tribe come down to Melbourne.  Even my brother and his little family came to stay!

A few days before the big day, I decided to try and be all parental etc by getting Sonofagun No.2 to bake bickies with me.  We actually had loads of fun mixing and decorating with a little pre-made icing thingy that came in it's own piping bag. 

These are just the prettier ones. We actually baked about 25 which still all looked quite cute.

They were supposed to be for Christmas Eve to snack on whilst watching the Carols on tele.  But somehow the Sonofaguns managed to make the whole lot disappear!

And so to the decorating.

Last year I was super organized and decorated all the trees outside with lovely big baubles.
So I got out my super large tub of balls...

I probably only hung abut half of them in a fairly lazy way. I mean the weather was heating up in the Chrissy lead up. So my decorating meant I sat on the lawn under a tree, tied string to the ones which had lost theirs, and sent Sonofagun No.2 scurrying around to various trees and bushes to hang them. And of course he had his own ideas. He hung them from the bougainvillea, various door handles, the budgie cage, and some low branches.

Normally my tendency to be a control freak would walk along behind him putting them in the 'right' places, but I just let him do whatever and actually came to the realisation that he loved his choices, and I loved his choices because they were his.

Our Elf on a Shelf Sockso also made an appearance.

So how was my tree decorated this year?

Well I tried taking a photo of the whole tree but it didn't want to look good for the camera (it kept telling me its bum looked too big with all those bird decorations).

So here's a few pictures of my favourite decorations...

Favourite number 1s are the ones my Sonofaguns have made over the years...

Don't ask me what that that thing is on the left with a plastic iPhone cover attached. I don't know but Sonofagun No.2 told me it's for Christmas. So I hung it on the tree.
Because parenting.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old I used to make loads of things from Fimo. I made this little Santa and dog. I attached wire and cotton thread, and sent them to my Great Grandmother. Every year she hung them from her tree at Christmas time. And then when she passed away, they came back to me. I now I hang them from my tree. I love the feeling when I take them from their little box each year that I remember and think of her. She was a lovely soul.

Juicy Moosey (who's really a deer) got the Chrissy treatment.
Those super cute little porcelain owls and dogs are from my fave shop Typo.

Here's a few more of my favourites...

So the BIG DAY arrived.  I made those little cloche hats for 2 of my gorgeous nieces.

Instead of having the majority of the flowers on one side, this time I opted to decorate the hats lightly all around like a garland. All the flowers and the sweet little bee were sourced from the book 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet.

The love of my life (apart from the Sonofaguns) aka The Bear heard my whinging about a crappy sewing machine and how sewing and me don't love each other. And also how I had THINGS to sew and wanted a machine that would sew ALL THE THINGS, do it all by it's self and make me a cup of coffee which I could sip while I watched it sew all the things.
And gifted me this wonderous creature...

I am in love. I used him yesterday. I'm thinking of calling him Bob.
So with the temperature soaring up into the mid 30s (that celcius peeps!), we set the tables under a massive marquee, carried out 3 massive coolers and platters of delicious summer eats.

The Motherships amazing Prawn & Mango salad...

Apple, Ginger and Strawberry Punch

The kiddies played and enjoyed having cousinly time. See how many penguins you can spot...
All year Sonofagun No.2 begged for this $80 Lego Ninjago toy. He saved his coins (and got to $22.15). And so I bought it for him for Xmas (Sonofagun No.1 got a whizz bang camera).
And because he's 6 and the lego contraption is for 9+ year olds, guess who got to put it together?

Me. And after 3 hours, I finally finished. 3 hours. 6 labeled lego bags. 2 instruction manuals labeled Book 1 and Book 2. And over 110 steps. And I didn't even use the Craggle!

To his credit he's been super careful with it and loves it with all his big 6 year old heart.

And so to the pack up. I kind of had an urge to pack up early this year. And clear the decks for a fresh new year.
So the careful pack up began today.

I love wrapping the glass ones in pretty paper. Then next Xmas it feels like opening special delights!

All my special tree treasures!

All boxed up for another year!

I want to thank you all for reading my little ramblings, buying my patterns, following me on Facie and Instagram, sending me lovely photos of your finished projects and just being straight up gorgeous Creatures of the Yarn- lovin' and non-yarn lovin' kind!

And I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and a fantastic, yarny, healthy, happy 2016! 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Saturday Night Movies & Crochet 2015 Recap in Pictures!

If you follow my Facie page, you'd know that most Saturday nights (or Sunday nights), the Blonde Bombshell (aka BFF Emma) and my lovely Bear and I watch movies. And crochet. 

Now you and I both know that there's nothing more wonderful than curling up on the couch with a bit of tellie, or a movie and picking up yarn and hook. And drinking the tea and eating the munchies.

Sometimes we've had Ring Ins join us.  And without fail they have been all like, "So you really do crochet AND watch movies?!?" like it's the last bastion of crazy multitasking and it's as weird as if we told them AND demonstrated that we cooked a souffle AND fought off the vikings at the same time.

Most of the time I post a little Photo mosaic of whatever we're watching and both crocheting on Facie.  When the Bear joins us, he doesn't crochet. But I'm sure if he could give a car an oil change or tinker with solar panels in the loungeroom, he'd do that.

What he does do is help us unravel tangles, slowly unwind tricky yarn balls and sip his Scotch and regularly drops hints to the Blonde Bombshell to see if she'll finally succumb and watch Sharknado. He hasn't succeeded yet and probably won't after we watched Zombeavers.

So to wrap up our year in movies, I thought I'd indulge and give a recap of my photo mosaics from Facebook.  I started posting them in about mid April and unfortunately one or two are missing such as the night we watched Zombeavers...

bill murray
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: We love Bill Murray. And Wes Anderson movies. The Blonde Bombshell was making some coasters that night whilst I made a cloche hat for a friends little girl.
(18 April)
sun theatre yarraville
The Avengers Age of Ultron: We took our movie night to an actual cinema for family movie night. And we took our crochet! (25 April)

granny stripe blanket
Noah: Sorry for the funny fuzzy photo. I also had salted caramel chocolate treats. All to myself! (2 May)

kingsmen colin firth
Kingsman Secret Service: Who doesn't love Mr Darcy? Sexy monkey that he is. That's my Rainbow Scoodie nestled with a nice cuppa. (9 May)

mermaids movie bob hoskins
Mermaids: Shoop shoop shoop. Such a gorgeous classic movie! Remember how Cher only ever cooks entrees because she can't commit to cooking a whole meal? (16 May)

Eurovision 2015: No movie tonight. It was a huge magical Eurovision weekend. And what made it a huger deal was Australias invitation to participate. I was so excited I even took a dodgy photo of the tv screen. We're super equally excited that we've been invited back again for 2016! Squeeee! The Blonde Bombshell was working on the worlds heaviest and most labour intensive blanket whilst I was working on my Fan Dance Wrist Cuffs (24 May)

scandi knit scarf
From Here to Eternity: I really enjoyed this movie. Although it wasn't all about the sand pash. That scene left me with an uncomfortable empathetic feeling of sand up the clacker. Ugh. But Frank Sinatra and Burt Lancaster were delicious to watch. My project that night was my Intarsia Knitted Scarf. (30 May)

wrist cuff crochet
The Last Five Years: seemed to drag for blimmin' five years. Holy Oprah I would have rather watched 5 hours of infomercials! The BB was crocheting a gorgeous chunky cowl whilst I played around with more wrist cuffs! (13 June)

Thor The Dark World: That Saturday night I was solo and I think I was just happily sitting there enjoying Hemsworth muscles and sorting through my yarn stash. Drinking a massive cap and totally blissed out. (18 June)

netflix series
Daredevil: no, not the dumb ben affleck movie (gawd I hope he doesn't eff up batman). This was a bit of a Netflix tv show binge. The BB was absent, so Sonofagun No.1 and I tucked in. Why has he got a laptop? Because he was watching some other Avengers movie on the lappie AND Daredevil on the tellie. The teenaged version of multitasking. (20june)

cucumber sex toy
Swinging with the Finkels: have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee whizz! I wonder if Mandy Moore has ever used vegetables as a sex toy?" I haven't. But I found out anyway. I'm not sure that scene was relevant to the storyline.... I also was working on my Rainbow Granny Stripe designed by Lucy at Attic 24.(27 June)

sun theatre yarraville
Antman: Another trip out to our local Art deco cinema to soak up calorific Choc tops.  A tip for crocheting in dark places like the cinema is to take something with an easy, repetitive pattern that you don't need to look at too often.  (18 july)
granny rectangle crochet
Wives & Daughters (Netflix series): After smashing that Granny Stripe blanket in under a month, I moved on to my last blanket of the winter season which was a big granny rectangle in blue and white for love of my life, the Bear. (25 july)

sun theatre yarraville
Fantastic Four:  there's something about this movie where, no matter how many times they try to revamp the story, if never seems to launch. But it still made for cosy blanket making and a fun night out with the kids. (8 august)

square crochet basket
The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Another Wes Anderson indulgence. I think I was trying to figure out how to crochet a square basket in the round. By the end of the night I gave up and started playing with cottons! (1 August)

christopher meloni fridge
Wet Hot American Summer: If you haven't caught this bizarre gem of a movie yet, do yerself a fava and get on it! Then (as in 'afterwards', watch the prequel series on Netflix. I have never loved Christopher Meloni more than after I saw him humping a fridge... (15 August)

amigurumi bird
Zac & Miri make a porno: Well they tried. That night I finished one of my first little birdies. I call them 'chickadees' but still have not published the pattern.  (29 august)

Focus: Good old local soap opera star made good Margo Robbie and the fresh prince. Watch it. It's interesting. And tonight I finally finished Bears blankie. Crap that blanket took ages!  (5 Sept)

tunisian crochet
The X- Files Season 2:  Since they announced the new 6 episode special of the X-Files which is to be released in January, I have been catching up on ALL of my favourite ever tv show episodes. I also started working on a pattern I found in a magazine for a Tunisian Cardi. It's a beautiful cardigan and I'm sure the designer created it perfectly, but whatever was published in the magazine doesn't quite work out. I have already emailed them about one error, which they gave me the correction, but quickly found several other errors which ultimately decided I didn't have time to figure out or follow up on. Maybe in a few weeks I'll pick it up again :( (26 Sept)

stephen hawking
The Theory of Everything: This was kind of interesting. I actually started to read Stephen Hawkings book A Brief History of Time after this. Fascinating read! Well the first few pages were. I'm sure the rest is too if I ever get the chance to finish the book. I haven't yet figured out how to crochet AND read a book. It's the whole book holding, hook holding business. (10 Oct)

berry cheesecake
Jurassic World:  Look at that cute little bubba! My beautiful Sonofagun No. 1 turned 15, and as his party was held another night, we watched his movie of choice and the BB brought over the most delicious cheesecake! (24 October)

amigurumi fox
The Hunger Games: The BB decided it was time my HG cherry was popped. I also started working on a sweet amigurumi fox I found the pattern for in a crochet magazine.  (7 November)

crochet stars
The Hunger Games Catching Fire:  See those sweet little stars? This was my free pattern for Join As You Go Christmas Star Garland. (21 November)

egg nog
A Very Murray Christmas:  Every December we switch to Christmas movie mode, and kicked off in awesome fashion with this little gem of a special. I started working on my Axel cushion which is still a work in progress. (5 December)

Lethal Weapon: A classic Xmas movie. Just like Die Hard. I had put aside my Axel cushion to create a sweet little kawaii felt fairy doll for my Christmas tree which I found in a copy of Mollie Makes magazine. (12 dec)

elf on a shelf totoro
Bad Santa: I couldn't believe what I was watching! It was hilarious and depraved viewing. This was our Christmas dinner and I was able to give the BB her Totoro Amigurumi which I made from a free pattern I found on Ravelry by designer Lucy Collins. It was so quick and easy to make! I was also working on a cloche hat as a Chrissy prez for one of my nieces.
(20 dec)

budgie crochet
Hunger Games Mockingjay: With Xmas finally over, I was itching to get back into the Hunger Games movies. Only one more HG left in the series! My Axel Budgie cushion is coming along nicely. (26 dec)

There we are. The year in movies. And a year in crochet!

This has been a tradition at my place for the past 4 years and I wish I had catalogued the previous years. The previous year was an absolute pearler as we indulged in many old classics such as Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple movies, I think somewhere in there we also watch some classic James Dean. If you've got any suggestions for me for future movie viewing I'd love to hear them! Now we look forward to the next 12 months of Saturday Night Movies & Crochet (not a very catchy title, I know).