Monday, 27 April 2020

Hanging Around Home in Autumn

 Our trees are now doing this.
And for the first time in 7 months I'm wearing socks.
 Chuck Norris occasionally needs to wear a jumper when we go out for our daily walks.
Doesn't he look sweet and happy in this photo?
Mr Norris is actually a bit of an asshole on his walks.
Yep. Asshole. 
As we approach the park he starts barking his head off to announce his arrival to everyone and starts pulling very strongly forward. So we do the proper training thing where we give a little tug on his leash and say, "No!" to let him know it's not good behaviour.
But he now does this nasty little trick where he barks, and pulls so he makes an awful choking sound. He does it! Not us! He bloody does it to manipulate everyone else into believing we're horrible, mean dog parents who choke our poor sweet Pugalier when all he wants to do is to get to the park as quickly as possible.
So now we detour through a few random boring streets before heading to the park so he becomes a little worn out to be bothered trying his assholery on us.
 When we walk, we can sort of forget that there's this coronavirus drama in the world. Until we see some others out walking wearing facemasks.

There's a random assortment of water birds who live in the muddy puddle called a lake at our local park.
 All jackets came off as the sun came out, the kilometres passed by and we warmed up.
Hey there sexy man! You've got a cute bum!
 These small native flowers smelt sweet enough to be reminiscent of spring wattle.
 The trees aren't big enough to have hollow trunks yet, so the council built nesting boxes for local honeyeaters or ring tailed possums.
A council built torture device.
I've been crocheting basic granny squares to make a blanket in yummy, warm colours.

They're just 5 rounds of doubles, then one round of single crochet in a different colour. I'm still not sure if I love it yet? 
 Autumn means Autumn gardening!  I started planting daffodil, Bluebell, Tulip and Hyacinth bulbs along with some pansies, violas and primulas.
Those two maaaa-hoosive tomato plants have finally died back. They gave us kilos and kilos of tiny toms! Now they're just 2 stringy dead vines. I have left them as there are still tomatoes green on the vines. They will continue to ripen. Then I can clear everything from around the lemon tree, give it some fertiliser and a good layer of mulch.
 About 6 weeks ago I threw a few generous handfuls of sulphate of potash around the blackberries. They gave a gorgeous 2nd flush of flowers and now we're getting more blackberries than we had back in January. And they're also much bigger!
 I threw them into this choc drop muffin batter.  Yeah, I know. I baked! A rare event. Very rare indeed. But I was trying to get Sonofagun NO.2 to come and help bake. 
He initially said, "Yeah sure, I'll bake muffins and stuff."
Then after I got everything bakey out of dusty cupboards and announced it was time to bake, he looked at me and said, "Oh, you were serious? Yeah, nah I'm not baking."
Takes after his mother.
 They were alright. Very unattractive for a muffin though. I used to bake muffins ALOT when Sonofagun No.1 was a toddler and I always remember the muffin mixes being wetter. This recipe I found online was kind of dry. I added extra milk. However they tasted delicious and the whole batch of 18 muffins were gone by lunchtime the next day.
We have also like other families across Victoria commenced 'Remote & Flexible Learning'.
Our teachers have worked extremely hard to deliver lessons to the kids every day. Sonofagun No.2s teacher provides us with a PDF every day with a structured lesson plan filled with videos, exercise sheets and links to online resources. It's awesome. 

Here is his efforts for art. He had to draw a face shape, then using grid lines (shown in a video) sketch out the details of the face. He went further than he was supposed to and did the body and a scene around. Then spent more time on the scene when all he was supposed to draw was a face. 
He told me he had never drawn a person before and said he did better than he thought. This person is his favourite Youtuber.
How are you spending your lockdown? I hope you're all safe and healthy! 
Red Haired Amazona

Friday, 3 April 2020

Totoro Crochet Mobile

I have some news....

No! Not mine. The Blonde Bombshell aka The Divine Miss Emma has had a delicious little bouncing baby boy cut from her lovely tummy to be unleashed unto the WORLD!

And he's squishily adorable. The Blonde Bombshell has had a little Baby Bomber!
The Divine Miss Emma decided to have a 'My Neighbour Totoro' themed nursery.
My Neighbour Totoro c/o of Studio Ghibli
 If you haven't heard of My Neighbour Totoro, it's a gorgeous anime movie created by a Japanese animation company called Studio Ghibli. They also created other movies such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, The Secret World of Arriety and The Cat Returns amongst many others. There are loads of them on Netflix at the moment.
My Neighbour Totoro c/o of Studio Ghibli
We love these movies and My Neighbour Totoro is my favourite. It is about 2 little girls and their dad who move to a new house in the country. Their mother is recovering from a long illness in hospital. One of the little girls meet some of the local forest spirits who lead her to the large spirit called Totoro. 
My Neighbour Totoro c/o of Studio Ghibli
It is the most enchanting movie. Even if you're a hardened, grown up grumpy type person, I challenge you to watch this movie and not fall in love with it!

So when The Divine Miss Emma said, "I'm up the bloody duff." I said, "Whaddya want?" And she said, "A Totoro mobile like the super expensive ones on Etsy." And I said, "Sure." 
I didn't need to try and design a Totoro. It's already been done. In actual fact several years ago I made the large Totoro for the Divine Miss Emma for Christmas....
That last pattern was from a designer Lucy Collins. But I didn't want to make a big one. 
Only little ones. A clever clogs called Shehla from blog The Blue Elephants has published small versions of the patterns for all 3 of the forest spirits for free.
There are the 3 'Totoro' spirits: A small white baby totoro, a medium blue totoro and the very large grey Totoro. 
I first grabbed some scraps of coloured yarn to crochet a 'practise' medium one who ended up looking like this. He is not true to colour, and I didn't intend him to be. But I loved him looking like this! Sonofagun No.2 gave him to a friend for Xmas. 

I had loads of felt pieces from some time several years ago when I thought I was going to make all of the things out of felt and didn't. I cut them into leaves and pulled this mysterious machine out from a cupboard. The machine was dusty. It had never seen daylight before!
I made pompoms of different sizes and colours. The black circley things that you see aren't pompoms. They are Soot Sprites from the movie and are made from felt. They are in a couple of other Studio Ghibli movies. 
 I also bought felted wool balls off a local seller on Ebay.

So one of Baby Bombers favourite things to do was to scream his face off whenever he gets his nappy changed. He screams so much that he manages to squeeze a little tear out of his left eye just to make it look like he's terribly traumatised!

Doesn't that sound adorable! 
Since we installed the mobile over his change table his mum has informed me that he has decided not to scream his face off when getting his nappy changed anymore. Because he's totally fascinated in his new mobile!

It's now Autumn and so I have been making a little pram blanket in matching colours from his mobile. I first made a basic swatch...

I haven't followed any pattern for this. Just making up each row as I go along, although most of it was in single stitch.

What do you think? Do you want to make a baby? I don't. I already have two of the buggers who can finally feed themselves, wipe their own bums and I really like sleeping.

If you're just like me and want to make a Totoro instead, pop over to those links and give it a go! 

Thanks for visiting!
Red Haired Amazona