Sunday, October 28, 2012

A few things I've been loving lately

I must say I'm not overly sure of the etiquette involved in using other people's photos to link to their stuff even if you're not hotlinking. It means people are able to see if they like something but I don't like to use other people's photos without asking. Anyone know what is the best thing to do?

For now I wont use photos that don't belong to me.

This book of knitting patterns for boys by Katya Frankel is fantastic. It's full of gorgeous and interesting jumpers/sweaters for boys. So many times the knits you can find for boys are really basic. These patterns are full of great textures and really caught my eye. I want versions of these in my size.

"With sixteen sweater patterns for boys aged 4-14 (with chest measurements of 23-34 inches) and the cutest photography you have ever seen, Katya Frankel’s new book Boy’s Knits from Cooperative Press is the answer to your knitting prayers if you want to knit for boys."

Soft Sage Circle Jacket by Doris Chan is a gorgeous crochet cardigan. I love the frilly neck line and the wonderful bell sleeves. It's also a style that looks good on quite a few different body types. 
That's actually one of my favourite things about Ravelry, the fact that you can see, by looking at the projects tab, what the item looks like in different yarns and on different body shapes.

Woollywormhead's 5th annual mystery hat knit-a-long. I'm really interested in taking part this year. I'm just trying to decide if I can afford it. It starts on the 1st November.

The Illustration Stitch-a-long is a new Flickr group centered on embroidery based on existing illustrations and art. The first stitch-a-long starts in January next year and the subject is the work of Edward Gorey. After that will be Tim Burton. I can't wait. 
Most of my embroidery to date hasn't been based on a pattern or existing drawing. I've just made it up as I go along. The two most recent I finished were a bit different. One was based on a photo of a local building and the other was of a sketch someone did specifically for me to embroider. It was actually quite different working from someone else's art.

This Pirate Stack Machine Embroidery at Urban Threads is really cute

And this gorgeous French Bulldog with the saying "You say GEEK like it's a bad thing" is also awesome and free.

I have quite a few things on etsy and other blogs that I will link to as well but I shall put them in a separate post. I pulled something in my back and sublaxed my shoulder today moving wood for the fire so typing isn't comfortable.

Have some more photos of Hill End for now.

Lilac growing in the orchard next to Holterman's Corner

Beyer's Avenue, Hill End
Beyer's Avenue. I love the view on the road out of town. The trees were planed in the 1800s. I've not lived in a place in Australia that has as many deciduous trees as we do out here. Natives don't drop their leaves. It makes Autumn very pretty.

Red clay and gums. This is mostly what you get here once you move out of the centre of the village. Not many wattles are flowering right now but you usually get a lot of those too.

More bush. It surprised me that the Eucalypts were so different to what we got on the coast. I don't know why I was surprised. Makes sense. The temperature range is vastly different.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Almost finished

Tonight (well, this morning actually, given that it's 2:30am) I finally managed to get the text done on the two present embroideries. I've spent most of a week fighting with them or pissed off and ignoring them. I can't get the spacing right and I don't have a decent way to transfer stuff that small on to the fabric. I don't have a printer and although I can trace onto the fabric using the computer screen as a lightbox it only works for the general shape of the thing, not details. This was fine when I was drawing the pictures but apparently my brain wasn't so happy with the text. It's all a learning experience I guess.

Usually, when I'm dealing with text on pictures, it is digital. I can use Photoshop to do it and I can nudge and use free-transform and basically get it in the right place and spaced properly. By hand I don't have a lot of experience with that. I don't think my dyslexia is really playing a part. It didn't help that I was trying to fit two very different length words into a curved arc around the bottom of the frame but far enough away from the edge that I could still stitch it.

I nearly gave up a few times today as well but the wedding is on Saturday so it needs finishing for that and the other one needs to be posted off while we're in town tomorrow.
Both are now done as well as I can do them in the time frame I have and have been washed to get rid of the pencil marks. The birthday present one is in front of the heater drying off for now. I still need to glue the fabric down and decide if I'm going to put some felt on the back of them.
I was going to embroider messages on the felt but I really don't have time any more. I think I'll just end up writing the message on a beautiful swing tag from Hill End Press.

I'm very glad to have most of it done now. I shall add pictures tomorrow once it is light. I don't really have anywhere to take half decent photos at night. Some rubbish, phone photos are on instagram, twitter and my tumblr. I shall also add photos of the three patterns Ruth has finished knitting this week.

Now I have to some how get some sleep before the trek into town tomorrow. We've been here just over two years now and the 3 hour drive in to town and back to get shopping still gets to me a bit. It just takes so much energy when I have so little to spare.
Especially right now when I'm going in to another health flare.

Back from the tip

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A family visit

This last week was spent off visiting family and friends. We mostly had a great time but it was exhausting. The hours and hours spent driving, the sleeping on other people's beds or on a mattress on the floor, just being around people takes it out of us. We both have health issues that cause fatigue and I had just started back on pain patches which make me tired (and make me even more likely to pass out on standing for the first few days, which I did.)

It was good to catch up with people. It's hard to see family so few times a year. It gets so expensive with dog boarding and petrol for us to go more often. It's also a 7 hour drive and I'm not always well enough for that.

Managed to find time to get some embroidery done though. I finished embroidering the picture of Hosie's for Steve and Susanne's wedding present and got most of the work done on the pony picture for a friend's birthday. Just have the text to finish on both of them now. Hopefully I can get them both done by the end of the week.

I had trouble getting the text in the right place and making sure it was centred and all. I played around with it on Photoshop today and will trace it on tomorrow. Tried to do it by holding the fabric over the CRT monitor but I can't see a thing through it. I've done it on the laptop before though so I'll have to use that tomorrow. I know it puts a lot more light out of the LCD screen than the CRT does.

Ruth is knitting up some more Wooly Wormhead hats and I'm making up a couple of shepherds and an angel for this Christmas's installment of Alan Dart's Nativity set for the nephews. Thankfully we've not left it until the last minute this time.

Now we're home again we're getting out around the village for our evening walks and enjoying the quiet you just can't get in the cities.
An Iris came up in the flowerbed under the bedroom window this year. We had a few tulips as well. We've been here two years and haven't seen any sign of them before.

White Lilac
The White Lilac near our front gate is blooming again. About a week later than a lot of the others in the village. Our plants are often behind. We're in a bit of a hollow and don't get as much sun. It smells wonderful.

Over the fence
Our cottage in the background

Old Girl

One of our nearest neighbours, other than the geese and ducks.

Denison St
Denison St while we were out on our walk. We were a bit too early for all the kangaroos this day. We saw over 30 on Post Office flat the other day and more in an empty paddock.

Catholic church
The church is being done up by Hill End Arts Council for use as an art space.

I love this gateway and the wisteria is gorgeous.

Fallen tree
This tree fell over years ago but it's still growing.  


 This quote really spoke to me. It is from the free issue of Entangled Magazine, Rachel Rayner's article Hope Chest. It's a great magazine. Do check it out.

"Fibre captures that feeling of hope better
than any other craft I’ve tried. the act
of creation is always kind of a talisman
against bad luck and broken hearts. I’m
here, it says. I’m a person with a voice and 
I can make things. Whatever else that’s
going on, whatever bad things happen in
this life, I can make things. this little piece
of my soul that I’m putting into what I’m
making will keep on keeping on whatever 
I do and can reach out to people when i
cannot.  "

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Where you can find us

I thought I should put together a list of all the places you can find us online.


I think that is all for now.

Armadillo face
One of the knitted toys we made

Blossom in the bird bath at Hosie's B&B

Cherry Plums in the back yard

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A step forward

The weather is turning warm now, even in our cooler pocket of Australia. The Cherry Plums have finished blooming and the apples and pears are out now. We haven't had to have the fire on for well over a week and I have moved my quilt off the bed.
I will miss the winter and it's cold days, cozy fires and warm woolens. Our garden has come to life and the grass actually needs mowing again and the lilac flowers are starting to open. We had tulips come up this year in the front garden beds. We've been here for two years now and there was no sign of them before. We also had flowers on our mystery fruit tree next to the front door.

(cherry plum blossom)


(mystery fruit tree)


Last weekend was the long weekend in NSW for Labour Day and Hill End Gathering Group ran a market in the Town Hall. It was a pretty good weekend though the weather turned cold. A bit fortuitous for us because we had made a bunch of knitted hats to sell and we sold all of the adult ones on the first day. All but one pair of the fingerless mitts went as well.
It was great to see so many new people and we had a great time talking to them and the regular stall holders too.

I took the spinning wheel and spun yarn for Ruth's cable jumper for most of the two days we were there. It was too dark to do any needle felting or embroidery in there and spinning in public is always an experience.
So many people have never seen someone spinning on a wheel before. We had one bloke in his 80s come up and tell us it was something he'd never seen in person. Kids seem to be fascinated by it. I talked to many wide eyed children and let them feel the raw wool straight from the sheep.
It is a mesmerizing and relaxing process. I find my foot still tapping away to the rhythm long after I've put the wheel away. It pleases me greatly to turn fluff in to string and then watch Ruth make it in to clothing.

As well as the hats and gloves we had knitted toys and I had quite a few hoops of hand embroidery that didn't sell at the market. It's a tricky one. It's not a craft market and a fair few of the stalls are second hand bric-a-brac and a lot of people are only going to spend a few dollars. Hand made stuff just costs a lot more.

Anyway the embroidery is now going up in our Etsy shop. The left over hats will also go up there as soon as we can sort out a way to photograph hats for children and babies without having a model handy.
All embroidery can be found at
Here are a couple of examples

Ginger haired boy

Winter Tree
Winter Tree


For now we're trying to get out and get walking again a bit more. Hopefully work up to getting the dogs out for more walks, health permitting of course. It's not really playing along right now.
Here's the Etsy address again