Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Confessions of a Potty Mouthed Amazona

I have a confession to make.

I am a bit of a potty mouth.

Now in every day conversation I mind my Ps & Qs, and am fairly inoffensive. There's a time and place for random profanity and it's not during casual discourse with friends and family. And really shouldn't take place in front of children.

But my inner trash queen emerges in the place where it affects many of us. In the car. Ok, maybe it's not just in the car, maybe also in the house, in the outdoors, and in the world. But let's ignore that for now.

I don't think I am an aggressive driver because I believe there's room for all of us on the roads and we should all endeavor to get to our destinations safely and ensure everyone else does the same. I also like People and don't wish them any ill will simply because they are on the road as well.

But there are a few driving habits that really piss me off such as using mobile phones while driving, changing lanes without indicating or tailgating and sadly, those actions bring on a case of Oral Toiletitis.

The ironic thing is that of course like everyone else, I may do these bad things too (except tailgating or using my mobile). And maybe whenever the Mothership is in the passenger seat I've sort of noticed that she grips the door handle with white knuckles. But I never said I also wasn't prone to occasional bouts of hypocrisy. 


When someone pulls suddenly in front of me without using their blinkers or the aforementioned tailgating, I think wonderous thoughts like, "What are you doing knob cloud?" or I may even draw from Shakespeare and call someone a Lumpish Babulous Nibble. But most of the time it is basic but colourful adjectives such as "What a f*&$ing asshole!"

And maybe sometimes I think that I'm thinking these things and not actually saying them. I like to think that whenever the Sonofaguns are in the car I'm only thinking these things whilst maintaining the perfect 'Mum driving the kids' persona.

But maybe that rarely happens.

Last Sunday night after dinner I was watching TV next to Sonofagun No.2 who was on the Tablet watching a Youtube video of a guy playing World of Warcraft or Minecraft or something something. You know those Youtubers the kids watch who simply have videos of themselves playing games while they narrate and scream and carry on while they're playing? Annoying AF but whatevs.

This guy was playing and there was a lot of "Woah! What was that? A creeper! I'm gonna smash you!"  and then "Oh shit!! What the f*%&!!!" 

I decided to be all parental and said, "Hey, I don't want you watching that. If you must watch one of those guys, watch that Pommie guy who doesn't swear! Whatisname? Dan TDM or something?"

Sonofagun No.2 dutifully stopped the video but then Sonofagun No.1 popped his head into the room and said, "You know Ma, in his defense whatever he hears in those videos is nothing compared to what he hears you say when you're driving."

Amazona: "What? I don't swear THAT much!"

SOG1: "Are you serious? Yesterday you called some guy an asshat!"

Amazona: "Yes well, that's obviously not very nice and I shouldn't have..."

SOG1: "And I've heard you call people wankers, assholes, f*$ wits and knob clouds more times than I can count. You can't even make it to the end of the street without swearing at someone."

I was shocked, confused, in denial!

And then I remembered a little conversation that took place the previous Friday night between Sonofagun No.2 and I in the car.

I had just picked him up from After School Care. It was pouring with rain and dark. I was driving home singing along to Meatloaf on the stereo and as I entered a roundabout, another driver pulled onto the roundabout in front of me causing me to brake suddenly.

Now the impression I had in my mind was that I was happily and loudly singing:


and as the guy pulled in front of me I thought, F*&%ing asshat"

Then Sonofagun No.2 piped up from the back seat, "Mum, you said a rude word!!"

And I realized I didn't think it. I sang it.


Oops. So I replied, "Oh baby, you're right! I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have used those words. I won't do it again." And I felt contrite, and proudly parental all at the same time.

Until Sonofagun No.2 said, "Sure you will mum. You do all the time. Next time maybe just call him a Douche Bag."

Interestingly at the time I was more preoccupied with the fact he commented on my swearing instead of saying his usual comment:

"Stop singing Mum. You make the music sound ugly."


The Red Haired Amazona

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!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala

happy flower crochet mandala a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona

Why Happy Flowers? Because I've kind of convinced myself there are tulipy type flowers in rounds 6-7!

And they make me happy!

Would you like to make yourself some of these super easy peasy fast mandala/ doily thingos? Then let's get cracking!!

What do you need??

3.5mm crochet hook
A darning needle
Yarn: Any brand of 8ply Cotton or  
Cotton Blend. I used Patons 8 ply Cotton Blend.

Colour A: Teal
Colour B: White
Colour C: Soft Pink
Colour D: Mid Pink
Colour E: Soft Green
Colour F: Yellow
Colour G: Purple

Special Stitches:

Beginning Popcorn:
Ch 3, yarn over, insert hook into the Ch2 space, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 4 remaining loops.

4DC Popcorn:
YO, insert hook into next Ch2 sp, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into same sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO pull through 2 loops. There will be 5 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 5 remaining loops.


Beg: beginning
BLO: back loops only
Ch: chain
Dc: Double Crochet
Hdc: half double crochet
MR: Magic ring
Sc: single crochet
Sk: skip
Sl st: slip stitch
St: stitch

Let's get started!!

Super Dooper Tip: As you fasten off each colour, sew in your ends. Saves the big stitch up later on!

Round 1: Starting with Colour A, work 6sc into MR [6]

Round 1
R2: 2sc in each st. Fasten off and Join Colour B [12]

Round 2

R3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in same st, then *(2dc in each st ) Repeat from *. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch 3. Fasten off and join Colour C in between the 2 groups of 2dc. [24]

Round 3

R4: Ch2 (counts as hdc), hdc in same st, *Ch 1, sk next 2dc, 2hdc in same sp). Repeat from * to the end. Join with sl st to top of beg Ch2. Fasten off and join Colour D in a Ch1 sp. [24hdc & 12ch]

Round 4 Close up
Round 4

R5: Ch3 (counts as dc), 2dc in same sp, *(Ch1, 3dc in next Ch 1 sp) Repeat from * to the end. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch3 and fasten off. Join colour E in a Ch1 sp. [36dc & 12ch]

Round 5
R6: In 1st Ch1 sp: (Ch3, dc, Ch 2, 2dc). Then in each Ch1 sp *(2dc, Ch 2, 2dc). Repeat from * to the end. Join with a sl st to top of beg Ch 3 & fasten off. Join Colour F in a Ch2 sp. [48dc & 24ch]

Round 6 close up

Round 6

R7:  Work Beginning Popcorn (see Special Stitches above), Ch5, then *(4DC Popcorn, Ch 5) Repeat from * to the end. Join with sl st in top of beg Ch3. Fasten off and Join Colour G. [12 Popcorns & 60ch]

***Tip: take care not to work your ch 5 too tightly or it will warp the work!!***
Round 7
R8: Ch1, then 6Sc in each Ch5 sp, 1sc in top of each popcorn. Sl st to beg ch. Fasten off and join Colour C into sc above a popcorn st. [84sc]

Round 8 Close up
Round 8

R9: Ch1, 2sc in same st, *(sc in each of the next 6sc, 2sc in same sc above the popcorn st of R7) Repeat from *. Join with a sl st to beg st, fasten off. Join Colour A. [96sc]

Round 9

R10: Ch1, sc in same st. Sk 3 st, Work shells as follows: *(dc, Ch1,dc, Ch1, dc, Ch1, dc, Ch1, dc, sk 3 st, sc, sk 3 st) Repeat from * around to the end. Fasten off. If you haven't sewn in your ends as you went along, do so now. [12 shells]

Round 10 Close up

Block and you're done!

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala - a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona

Happy Flower Crochet Mandala - a free tutorial by Red Haired Amazona