Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mollymook bliss & crazy detours

It's been a busy couple of weeks!
We took a super quick trip to one of my favourite places on earth, Mollymook in NSW to spend the weekend with the Mothership for her 60th birthday.

It is a long drive. About 10-12 hours. 

But the minute we arrive and drive down Golf Avenue in Mollymook, we're greeted by the magnificent view down the road through the trees to the expanse of Mollymook Beach. It's just so pretty. 

Do I have a photo? Well, er, no. Sorry. But next time, I promise!

The siblings arrived within the hour or 3 after we did. My younger sister (our very own Jan Brady, but we shall call her Blonde Sister Amazona) and my little big Brother the Red Haired Viking.  Little, because he is the youngest. Big because he towers over me. But then everyone does. They had their own family entourages and as quick as that, Mothership's house was filled with family fun and chaos. 

Sonofagun No. 2 had fun hanging out with his Canberra cousins...

The railing is just wide enough for a little leg in each gap, too narrow for whole bodies.... I checked!

We were only able to stay for a weekend but managed to squeeze in some beach time.  We live near a beach at home, but Port Phillip Bay beaches in Melbourne are bay beaches. Not much in the way of surf, surrounded by city. Nice but I think coastal town beaches are nicer. 

The Sonofaguns soaking up the beachness....
The Mothership's party was epic.

We decorated with vases of flowers from her garden...

We all chipped in on cooking duties, setting up, greeting and chatting with all the family and friends who came.  

Greek salads, watermelon & feta salad, satay chicken niblets, potato bakes, chicken and lamb satay sticks, orange & fennel salad, roast leg of lamb and the Mothership's homemade satay sauce and homemade barbeque sauce!

The weather did not stop us! It began to rain shortly before everyone arrived and culminated in the mother of all thunderstorms towards the end of the evening. 
In the weeks leading up to the party, a little idea began to implant in the old brain.  Ok, it was a half idea/ half phrase that took it's own shape. I tried to shake it off as silly but the purple tendrils of creativity hooked into everything until I had to sit down and start writing. It had a mind of it's own and I couldn't stop it! It had it's own tune. Well not really. It stole someone else's tune. I was swept up in a tidal wave of a parody that I simply had to do!


This phrase kind of just arrived in my head and kept whirling around. 

"60 is the new 45"  

But think of it in place of that well known line "this'll be the day that I die...." Recognise it?  

It's from the song American Pie by Don McLean.

So I put these words to paper. We practiced and figured out the right chords for the guitar, and then performed this for the Mothership at her party to the tune of 'American Pie'....

60 is the new 45

A long long time ago Mark can still remember how Debs red hair used to make him smile.
He thought her ass looked hot in flared pants,
And hoped that she would take a chance and maybe they'd be married in a while....
But February makes Deb shiver with the 60 years it delivers,

Old age on the doorstep, and soon she'll need a new hip!
And I'm sure she's had a little cry when she sees the wrinkles at her eyes,
But I've got them too and I'm only 29, so Deb no need to sigh...

Coz 60 is the new 45
Just have another glass of Houghtons 
and if your glass runs dry then Mark will run down to the liquor aisle singing
60 is the new 45,
60 is the new 45!

(Upbeat verse)
Deb popped out a few cute kids and your's truly is the favourite!
But don't tell Lisa or Mick...
She's the Queen of planting and manure, she can take 50 oldies on a garden tour
She is the birthday girl du jour!
Oh her famous Thai Chicken balls are a dream for your abdominal walls
Just dip them in sweet chilli sauce and you'll be going back for a second course!
She's lived in Latham near a park, a farm with goats just for a lark,
then moved down to the coast with Mark the day that he retired....
And he was singing 

60 is the new 45
Just have another glass of Houghtons 
and if your glass runs dry then Mark will run down to the liquor aisle singing
60 is the new 45,
60 is the new 45!

(slow verse)
Have you bought your walking frame, and do you remember your own name?
for your senior citizens card.
Go to the salon for a blue rinse, buy Depens for incontinence 
and put your teeth in a glass at the end of each day.
Now you all know that this is bollocks!
Susan Sarandon is no old trollop....
You're our Australian version, although Susie's been to the plastic surgeon!
And you've joined a club of hot older women, 
like Lynda Carter and Helen Mirren
Coz 60's too young to be packing it in!
So hold up your wrinkles with pride!

And start singing 
60 is the new 45
Just have another glass of Houghtons 
and if your glass runs dry then Mark will run down to the liquor aisle singing
60 is the new 45,
60 is the new 45!

Yes. I sang it. No, I can't sing. The neighbour's cat sounds better when he's on heat yowling around the neighbourhood in an attempt to lure innocent young girlie cats into an afternoon of feline lurve. But the Mothership loved it!  And she was serenaded by the 30-40 people there who all joined in for the choruses.

The Mothership's garden without rain....

Just something a little interesting: last Easter when we had a quick trip to Mollymook and the adjacent larger town of Ulladulla (pronounced Ah-lahdah-lah, not Oolladoolla), we went down to the main street to watch the Ulladulla Annual Blessing of the Fleet Parade.  And right at the front of the parade was Historian Neil Oliver filming a segment for the History Channel's documentary Coast Australia!

It forms part of Coast Australia Season 2 Episode 7 but the website says the segment on Ulladulla is a 'web extra'. I haven't seen the episode yet as we don't have the History Channel, but that may mean this part is only available to view online.

For native Ulladullians and Mollymook-tians, and any interested parties, the show aired on Feb 15 (last week) and you can view the link about the program here .

Normally we drive back from the coast via a rather interesting steep, hairpin bendy mountain road know locally as 'The Clyde'.  Locals told us this time to take another route that heads north towards Nowra, then south and avoids the steep hairpin bendy Clyde.  It was quite a beautiful trip as it is a slow crawl up the hills until you seem to be driving along the top of the mountains above the world.

We followed their directions. Then we missed a turn. We ended up on the mothertrucker of all ridonkulous detours that took us to wild crazy places!

This was the right way...

This is also the right way....

This was also the right way. Believe it or not...

This did NOT seem like the right way...

Don't even get me started on how WAAAAAYYYYY off the right way we were.
After an hour or so of following random firetrails and kangaroo tracks in the wild Australian bush (somewhere north between Bungendore, Braidwood and Goulburn), we found the original road we were SUPPOSED to go down and were able to continue our trip home.  

And now for an update on that never ending Russian Cloche hat thing:

I have finally figured out the pattern for this cute little hat!

panama (1) (469x640, 85Kb)

I am in the process of writing it up in a way that's hopefully easy to understand with step by step pictures. I'll do my diddly danged best to post it up, if not this weekend then next Wednesday for sure!

Until then


The Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Little Girl's Cloche Hat Russian Pattern Update

I know it was MONTHS ago I posted about my intent to make the little cute cloche hats that are bombarding the interwebs.

Many sincerest apologies for the delay. The Christmas and getting the Sonofaguns ready for the school year had kind of taken over life BUT I have been working on them when life grants me 5 minutes to sit down for crochet bliss.

So just to recap (pardon the pun... cap/ hat etc), I posted back at the beginning of December about how I was going to make these hats from the patterns which are posted elsewhere by talented pattern creators.  The original pattern was created by a Russian lass and poorly translated into English can be found here. 

I then located a website with a link to a clever lady who has one of the patterns available for free on etsy in 'real life English' which you can download from here. 

I have been making two hats. One for a 4 year old and the other for a 2 year old.  
The hat patterns don't seem to give sizings for the different ages. Usually we get to try them on the lucky little ladies as we go so we can adjust. 

However the little girls who are to get these hats are elsewhere in various locations in this vast continent, so I'm using 1 part interwebs assistance, 1 part guesswork, and 1 part luck and hoping they will fit!

The hats are a little bit stretchy. Which is great!  The added ribbon stops that stretch. Which is not great. So let's hope they fit!

So here's my first BIG REVEAL:

This is hat number 1 on Sonofagun No. 2...

I followed the Etsy pattern up until the first batch of single crochet stitches before the brim, then only did altered the pattern a little so it would naturally flick out a little.  The brim also was less bulky than when using the original pattern.

I then found some gorgeous ribbons at Big W (of all places!)

And used the lovely soft green ribbon....

And then added some flowers and leaves from various free patterns that the Google found for me.

I freestyled the green viney stuff which was so fun, almost addictive. I was on the verge of covering the hat in green curly vines all over the place!

The leaves are Lucys from Attic 24 which can be found at the bottom of her post tutorial for the Triple Layer Flower .  

The large rose is called the Gratitude Flower which can be downloaded for free from Bonita Patterns .

The little flowers were another free pattern from the clever blog Crochet and Other Stuff.

The addition of the green ribbon meant that whilst Sonofagun No.2 with his nearly 6 year old head, was able to model the hat in the first photo, it wouldn't fit him with the ribbon on in the final photo.  If it is going to be too small for a 4 year old girl, then it may need to be removed (insert sad face here).

And so for the 2 year old's hat, I have almost finished the actual hat part.

In a previous post I modelled a reluctant Sonofagun with a yellow thing half finished on his noggin. 

I scrapped that. It was shit. It kept inexplicably blowing out to a beret for an elephant.

I jumped in Luce (short for Luciano) the trusty X-trail and headed to the nearest Lincraft (Geelong of all places!) and found some lovely 2 ply cotton in a deep blue:

And I have 4 short days to get this one finished to be handed over to Aunty Horse Rescuer when we meet up at the Mothership's birthday in th Garden of Eden (aka Mollymook NSW, aka where I want to retire when I win Lotto next week).

What do you think?  

Now I know I promised to interpret and write up the other Russian Hat pattern which doesn't have a proper English translation online and looks like this:

I will do this when I finish this project. Hopefully it won't take me as long this time...

If any of you have finished one of these cute hats, I'd love to see it!  

I'm not sure if you can paste photos in the comments section or email me via the Google+ link but give it a go and I'll post them here for all the world (10-15 regular readers including my mother and various aunts, cousins and friends) to see!!


The Red Haired Amazona

>>4th of March 2015:
Hello Crochet Queens!  Just a quick update to let you know I've posted my version of the Cloche hat Spiral pattern here!!<<