Showing posts with label craftering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craftering. Show all posts

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Slow Weekend

I think I said yes to far too many things this year, and now I find myself really very busy. As a result, I tend to spend the weekends recovering from my crazy busy weeks by crocheting, gardening, reading, socialising, and not really doing much online. As a result of THAT, my poor blog has been neglected.

I really thought that I would give this site some attention last weekend. We had 4 days off, afterall, and no concrete plans. But, instead of queuing up posts with recipes, gardening successes, and craft projects, I spent time cooking, gardening, and sewing instead. But it was a glorious four day weekend - it went by slowly, and gently, and really gave me a recharge. I honestly think we should have a four day weekend every month.

My slow weekend involved lots of lovely things, like...

Peanut Butter Oat pancakes. I saw this posted on Facebook on Friday morning and had to have them. I made some changes - I used chia instead of flax seeds, I used sunflower oil instead of melted butter, things like that.

When I made the batter, I thought it looked like Definitely Not Enough, so I quickly mixed up a second batch, effectively doubling the recipe. That turned out to be unnecessary - we were so full we had leftovers, which admittedly were a nice snack. So even greedy gutses like Andy and I found this recipe enough for two people - if you make it yourself, don't be fooled by the small quantity of batter.

Gardening. Mainly Andy did the gardening, with some occasional support from me. He built some garden beds, covered the front bed with cardboard and then mulch, planted loads of seeds, and harvested this gigantic sweet potato.

Which we turned into African Peanut Stew. The stew also had eggplant from the garden, luffa (aka loofah) from the garden, chillies & capsicums from the garden, and lots of delicious peanut butter.

Easter Eggs. I made some totally amazing Coconut Cream Eggs from Celebrate Vegan. I know Easter is over, but it is worth making these, even if you shape as truffles, because OMGtheyaredelicious.

I mixed up the filling, which involved cream cheese, icing sugar and coconut, and in my version a splash of cointreau, and froze teaspoon-sized blobs on a baking sheet. Once they were frozen-ish, I could shape them into vaguely egg-shaped things. I had a little chocolate left over after coating all my eggs, so I made a ganache and drizzled it, which was sort of stupid but not bad.

Curtains. I made them, with the help of Nacho. Now our bedroom is nice and dark, no matter how full the moon is.

I also made jam, finished crocheting my blanket (now I just need to edge it), and we dog-sat Tika's friend Zoe. It was a full weekend, but it all happened at a nice slow pace. I'm looking forward to the upcoming public holidays to do more of the same!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Finished Product Friday

By way of following up the Work in Progress Wednesday I posted several months ago, I give you, Finished Product Friday! I can't show the finished version of the blanket, because I'm still working on it. But my giraffes have been done for a while, and I finally got my hands on some spray paint to transform what I affectionately call the "ugly elephant".

 It wasn't so ugly - Andy quite liked it. But, I specifically bought it with visions of a brightly coloured ceramic elephant in my life, so I got my spray paint on and transformed the pants off this elephant (heh, imagine an elephant in pants).

I think the elephant and the giraffes are getting along just beautifully, don't you?


Especially when you add in the gorgeous blooms given to us as a housewarming 'bouquet' by Dee and BoaB.  It feels good to finish things!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WIP it.

I'm working on a few different crochet projects at the moment, so I thought I would join the Work in Progress Wednesday phenomenon, which started two years ago and I'm just doing for the first time now. I never claim to be at the front line of trends.

First up, we bought an ugly-as ceramic elephant from the second-hand shop, and I have plans to spray paint it some exciting colour. While I figure out what to do with that, I'm making a totally awesome, not-at-all-Nanna-like doily to sit underneath it.


I think the giraffes and the elephant will be friends. I hope they will, anyways.

The pattern for this comes from this ravelry pattern.

My second project was inspired by a book I got from the library called Bring Colour to Crochet by Renate Kirkpatrick. It has patterns for 64 different squares, which in the book are all put together into a single, very diverse throw rug. I liked the book so much I bought a copy to have for myself, because squares are a very useful thing. And I'm making a blanket, but not the same as in the book. Instead, I'll be repeating the same few squares and making a bit of a pattern of my own. First, I had to stock up on enough of each colour to finish the whole blanket.

And so far I have 6 finished squares (well, they mainly still need to be edged), and one about halfway done.

The thing I like about making a blanket from squares is that I don't have a big, half-done blanket all over my lap. If that was the case, I wouldn't be able to work on it until winter, because it has been pretty disgusting the last few weeks. Humid, hot, no-pants weather.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Tropical Vegan Home: Happiness = Colour!

I've read a few blog posts recently about happiness -- The Little One is back(!!) with a post about her happiness project,  and Wayfaring Chocolatarian Hannah discusses various forms of happiness, such as goblins and cake. These posts are a good reminder to me that I need to be happy!  I have been, for the past few years, sometimes obnoxiously optimistic and upbeat and happy, but succumbed a bit to the drudgery of my first few months of actual work.  But I'm determined to be a happy person again, and one of the things that makes me happy is bright colours.

A little while ago, I was starting to feel pretty down on our current rental unit.  Probably because we've lived here for 4 full years now, and it was just starting to feel a bit samey-samey.  And because we rent.  This means that we can't paint walls, install shelves, and our real estate even gets funny about hooks getting put into the walls.  In addition to the limitations to personalisation, we have never been able to sign a lease for longer than 12 months, so there is always a chance that we'll be moving out "soon".  As a result of that, we have resisted accumulating much furniture, because we (well, Andy) don't want to have to move much stuff.  So anyways, the off-white walls, tiles, and ceiling started to feel oppressive and I had to do something about it!

Also, our bookshelf was a bit overflowing.  I had several trips of bringing anything remotely work-related to my shelves at uni, but we still had stacks of books on top.

So, when I saw a freecycle ad for a bookshelf, I said OMGYESPLZ!  I was a little bit meh to find that it was white, but thought that would be easy to overcome.  Originally intended for the spare room, this shelf ended up finding a home in the kitchen, instead, housing some cookbooks, and Nacho's food space.

And after a few weeks, some painting of previously-white goods, and some getting my craft on, these shelves provided an opportunity for some colour.

Only, this didn't solve the problem of our over-stuffed bookshelf, because none of those stacked on top made it to this one.  But a few weeks later someone was selling two small shelves for only $10 (not each! for the pair!), so we finally got some more breathing room for our books.

Another easy-pants way of splashing some brightly-coloured cheer around involved yarn, and crocheting, which I enjoy - so this project had a double-happiness factor.  I covered over our white throw-pillow with a straight-forward granny square.

It's double-sided, so we can swap it around depending on our mood.

And we pushed some thumb-tacks into previously-existing holes to spead out our collection of trinkets -- a Welsh love spoon, from my trip to Conwy in 2009, a cowry-shell turtle that a friend brought back from Micronesia, and our wedding hand-fasting cords, made of PNG shell money.

So overall, I'm feeling happier with the space.  And less antsy to change things and move to a house (though still a little antsy for those things).


The irony is that the lease we've just signed is only for 6 months -- at our own request -- so we currently have the least certainty since moving in back in 2007!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Lazy Crafternoons

Now that it's a bit cooler, I have picked up my crocheting again - having it in my lap keeps me warm, instead of making me unbearably hot.  I have a few unfinished projects leftover from last year, but instead of working on those I decided to start fresh!  And we have a few friends who are having babies soon - my vegan friend Matt and his wife Emma, and a colleague of Andy's.  New babies seems like a perfect excuse to crochet adorable things that I love making, but have little use for, myself.

For Andy's marine biologist friend, I made a big, stuffed clown fish.  

It's based on a pattern that I found online -- but was fairly unhappy with and had to make lots of changes, so I won't post the link.  At Andy's request, I made it like Nemo, with a 'special fin'.

For Matt and Emma, I made a farm yard menagerie.

A little pink piggie.

A chicken, who looks a bit like a cockatoo.

And a black sheep, with crazy eyes.

The thing I kind of love about crocheted stuffed toys is the fine line they sit on, between cute, and a little bit creepy.  Kind of like Tim Burton movies.  Now I'm working on a bag, but at the moment it is just a collection of small squares, so I won't post a work in progress photo.  But expect more crochet posts this winter!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Merry Craft-mas

In keeping with my belated christmas posts, I have another for you (and at least two more on the way).

In this one, I get crafty.

In addition to pango jam, Andy and I gave a few handmade stuffed toys as presents. I have recently rekindled my love of crochet, and decided to enter the surprisingly prolific world of amigurumi -- Japanese stuffed toys.

For my nephews in the US, I made two little monster dolls, from this pattern. Each took about a day to make.

Apparently they loved them, or at least the younger of the two did. Upon opening their presents, the 18-month old grabbed both his and his brother's monsters.

Another crochet gift was quickly thrown together for Andy's brother, who recently spent a year living on Macquarie Island -- an sub-Antarctic island full of penguins, seals, and other wildlife. I looked up a few penguin patterns, messed one up and improvised it until I got a semi-cute (though lopsided) result. This one only took a few hours, including several stuff-ups!

To go with everyone's pango jam, I crocheted some pineapple fridge magnets, which took about 10 minutes each.

And for our kitty friends, I made some catnip toys, which took 20 minutes max.

I'm already brainstorming about the handmade gifts to give next year!