Saturday, October 18, 2014

Macrame and Other Exciting Things.

This weekend has had Archie and I doing lots of macrame together. I found this neon string at the hardware store and am so in love with it that I'm surprised I haven't knitted a suit for Jonno to wear yet. He would look so fancy. Instead I've been knotting up jars with it. They glow.
This jar is my favourite. I have some L.E.D. tea lights to pop in there so I can't wait for the next warm evening.
Can you imagine.
Archie has taken to macrame like a duck to water. He spends a lot of his time learning new knots... as you do when you're 11 and an assistant patrol leader at Scouts.
And today my yarn from Black Sheep Wools arrived. I can't wait to show you the Christmas project we're working on together but I need to whip this batch into shape first.... 
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spring Snippets.

It's mid Spring now in New Zealand and the air has suddenly turned warm. Archie sat up in the studio with me today. I crocheted and he read - pure bliss. What you can't see behind Archie is the deck which is festooned with wisteria and the fragrance wafted in all morning.
The wisteria creeps its way across the pergola too, so you can imagine how much tea I am trying to drink under it at the moment.

My little puppy niece snoozing on the couch. I am so obsessed.
 And my amazingo, fantastico birthday present from my neighbour - she made it! I love it!
Whether you are in Spring or Autumn, I hope that the season is embracing you too.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Studio.

This weekend (being the weekend of birthdays), I had the absolute joy of having Jonno up in my studio with power tools (that sentence didn't quite play out the way I planned). For far too long the studio has been an awkward dumping ground for all the unwanted or hard to categorise junk in the house. Nothing creative has gone on there for an age. And so, with the boys away, we tackled it.You can see the results above. Note the bench jutting across the room - that's from Jonno's childhood kitchen!
 Paint brush and pencils storage - gaaaahhhhh!!!
 The big man himself. Note the paper dispenser he made for me. Grrrrrr.
 Hooks.
A table to crochet and paint at - with chairs!!!!! Maybe it's time to get serious about giving crochet lessons. 
Jars for washi tape and towel rails for tissue paper - this has streamlined the Stanley book wrapping sooooo much.

This was one of my little projects - I've had this box since I was little and with a couple of hooks and some chain, it's now handy storage - I thought I was pretty clever with the string next to it too!
 Jonno put in a bookshelf next to the guest bed (also in the studio) and I propped up an old steamer trunk to become a bedside table.
Most satisfying reorganisation of a room ever. I've still got lots of bits to show you so will start taking the next batch of photos.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's My Birthday (and I can play with Lego if I want to....).

Today is my birthday. Yay. It's a quiet one this year, so many exciting things have happened over the past 12 months that a low key celebration is absolutely sublime. In fact, it's such a quiet one that I am blogging at the moment rather than out at the movies with Jonno (the calves escaped down to the estuary so we had a change of plans). The boys departed at lunch time for a weekend of adventure with their grandparents and cousins, so this weekend will be about getting my studio back in order. I so hope I have some wonderful photos to take of it by Sunday.
Considering that we are only catching up with a few friends over the weekend, Jonno and I will also be eating a lot of cake. This year I made a hummingbird cake with lemon cream cheese icing for the top and raspberry cream cheese icing for the centre. It is so, so, so delicious - hopefully the boys won't be expecting anything upon their return.
 I'm also feeling the luckiest person in the world as the boys gave me this Lego ice-cream truck that I've been beside myself over. It is utterly inspirational and I can't wait to crochet something similar. Have you ever seen such a Lego-ey piece of art!
 Beautiful birthday table.
 My new birthday mug - thank you Gaga and Pa! The tea tastes particularly scrumptious!
 New birthday books - reviews next week!
Archie being oh-so-helpful. What a boy!
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Crocheting with the Boys.

 Today a dream came true, Hugo learnt how to crochet. He still has a long way to go but the 'click' happened for him. Wahoo! Sitting at the table with my two boys while we had hot drinks and crocheted was beyond my wildest dreams. I'm still smiling all these hours later.
Yesterday my neighbour popped by with her new book by Mr. Finch and the teeniest, tiniest plate of macarons ever.  By the way, the book is utterly sublime and if you ever have the chance to read it, seize it. No patterns but amazing photography of his work so far. I tried to hide the book so it could live with us but to no avail..... I can't wait to see it again. 
Archie made a little crochet kite this morning. He thinks it would be a wonderful project for beginners so we will write the pattern up at some stage together and post it.
Crochet can be pretty intense you know....
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Quick Round Up of Greedy For Colour Christmas Projects and Patterns!

I know it seems crazy to start thinking about Christmas. After all, October only popped up in the calendar a couple of days ago. But, as all crafters know, October is the month to really, really, really get making if you would like it to be  Christmas ready. I've put it off my making before only to regret it later. So come on, let's get going.
This year I am working on a Christmas project (to be revealed soon) and I'm delighted to say that Black Sheep Wools have very kindly offered to contribute the yarn needed for my project at a special rate! Wahoo!!!! So keep an eye out for the pattern which will be coming soon.
For the meantime, here are some projects from the past few years.....
 Crochet Balls -   Instructions for making the wreath aren't included but I tracked down some photos of  the construction process which I'll share next week.
 Angel Wings - I always think these would make a wonderful decoration hanging from a mini, handmade wire coat hanger. 
Crochet Apples - perfect for a Christmas tree, look at the colours!!!


And if you don't feel like decorating a tree this year, you could always hang your lighter decorations from the roof using washi tape to secure them. 
I hope something from the round-up has tickled your fancy and has you thinking Christmas thoughts!
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crochet Lessons.

This morning I gave my first official crochet lesson. Exciting and daunting all at the same time and I think I learnt more from it than they did. The group comprised of three, a mother and two 11 year old girls. 
As everybody who has learnt to crochet knows, the first few lessons are the hardest and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Added to that, one of the girls was left handed and found it quite tricky to get the tension right. So, when we reached that stage, I had Jamie Oliver's Hummingbird cake at the ready. It is amazing what a break with tea and cake will do for perspective. 
And so I rethought my concept that crochet must always be done with yarn wrapped around the left hand (so obvious now I know - I am a beginner teacher though) and began to practise with the girl using our right hands instead. It was miraculous, she started to twirl her hook and it all came together. So humbling and good for me too as I laboured away with my opposite hand, realising what life must be like for left handers in a right handed world. I will never, ever, ever try and get a left handed person to crochet 'my way' again.
We decorated the room for the lessons. Hugo made some paper chains (although Archie is pictured in this photo) and I picked lots of flowers. Archie wound the ice-cream sticks with yarn.
 It is addictive, this teaching people to crochet. I think it's my way of infecting the world so that I will have more friends to crochet with. The big thing with me teaching classes though is working out how many I can teach at one time and how to handle the varying abilities that occur within one class. Something to ponder over happily for the meantime.

As for me, it's back to work on the caravans!
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xx.

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