Wednesday, April 27, 2011

pink and pretty

Today I began a new pattern, learning a funny counter intuitive stitch sequence along the way. The x shaped sequence of stitches sets up a loop ready for a treble cluster in the following row.

As I created the set up line I was having a running commentary in my head of, 'oh this can't be right, I put that over here and now I do what? And where? But that looks awful...HUH?'
But as I started the next row it all fell into place. See the first treble going into the x shaped loop above, it's a neat little trick, some may even use the word nifty, some pattern makers are so clever!

(The pattern is 'Francesca' hat from 'cute crochet clothes for kids' by Sue Whiting.)

And here's some garden pretties-rosella flowers and flower bud. These are in my top five favourite plants- they are strikingly gorgeous and the fruit can be made into a lovely jam or cordial. Somehow though I seem to always plant mine too late in the year!!

And despite swearing to get them in earlier this year I slipped up again and am not at all confident the bees will pollinate them in time. I have my fingers and toes crossed, but at least with a plant this pretty I already have some joy from them.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holiday crochet catch up...

This shot is of a portion of some fingerless gloves which were a secret custom order for lovely Anca. Anca and her husband Peter make and sell beautiful 'happy flame' beeswax candles at Village Life Market at Northey Street, Mullumbimby Market and a few other places too, I am a big fan of their beautiful coloured candles.

Peter requested some in this lovely shade for her birthday, so I dyed some fauve fibre yarn and love the way the light shone through the fibres as they dried on the window ledge.

I love making these gloves, so comfy I wear mine to bed on especially cold nights! Are you a fan of pink? I don't mind it, in soft shades like this, but usually go for rich shades like the red above...we all have our faves don't we? These were fun to make with a cotton and wool blend darker contrast top.

And I loved making up this scarf- it's destined for my amazing generous neighbour who recently gave me an enormous lot of beautiful fabrics-thick rich corduroy, wools, etc.
I wanted to make something very special for her and had seen some beautiful examples of Queen Annes Lace scarves on wonderful Crochet with Raymond blog. The pattern is great, I am not sure if I have it exactly right, but it all looked pretty and that's what counts, right?

I love the flow of this pattern, its intricate without being fussy, if you'd like to make one yourself head over here to crafty boys blog for the pattern...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't work...just play with meeee!

hello again, quite a bit of blogging going on lately.Distracted from doing my permaculture design project?? Never. Ahem....oh well, let's just go with it...

It's really hard to take a good shot of my black cat-he always just looks like a black blob!
And even harder considering he thinks a camera is something to play with, y'know give a bit of a scratch to. Objects or beings Tripitaka doesn't want to scratch'll get back to you on that one...*

Anyhoo, Tripitaka had the generosity today to be dozing in full sunlight. this isn't the best shot but look closely- see his secret stripes in this shot, the reddish areas-they cover him from tip to tail, we didn't see them for quite a while, only in the brightest light do they show up.

This is his classic come hither look-"see my fluffy, furry soft belly, I only want a pat"-then whammo, he curls up around you like a little cat ball, whips out his out his claws and clamps his teeth down on your wrist. Don't be fooled, no, no, don't be fooled.

And lastly this is his subtle and adorable way of indicating he'd like a chin rub.
(And of course this gives him a great chance to give a finger a nip!)

X Kate
*Food! He won't scratch food!

Monday, April 18, 2011

easter break!

hey there and happy holidays!!
I am so content to be home this easter, I have a week off work and going to class-yeeehaa!
It's been raining ALL day(typical school holiday weather!), but as my son requested a day at home for art that suited us all great!

We made lots of marble roller coaster constructions (you know those plastic tube things which connect together multiple ways?), painted, wrote stories and looked out the windows at the heavy rain!

It won't be all play this Easter though; I have some work to do though- got to get my permaculture design plan started.
To get the ball rolling I have been enjoying some dreaming, some observing, some positive visualisations-luckilly we just had a field trip to some amazing houses and farms up at Crystal waters so I have lots of inspiration! That's where all these amazing houses in the piccys were-aren't they wonderful?
The measuring and drafting process of the design will be a little less fun for me but its good to challenge yourself(isn't it?!)

Anyway I will break it up by getting my ol' hook out and making some more free form was so satisfying making this scarf up as I went along. I also have a dragon toy to repair, a long overdue secret project to finish and post and some newly swapped fabrics to play with!

Pretty cool easter plans, huh? What about you? Hope you have some great things lined up and happy easter!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

facebook sharing tips

You can get up on stage to promote your community group or business, it is wonderful and effective.

But how about reaching people who don't already know about your activities-who aren't in your audience yet? Facebook is an easy way to grow your community group or small business.

It is cheap(cost of internet) and is available for your group or business to use to promote and inform at no cost, right now.

I have my own personal facebook page, one for dash robin and one for Village life at Northey street. Why? Because the potential audience and resources available is far too good to resist.
There are around 6 million active Australian users of facebook....that's a lot of people facebooking!

To get started follow this link to create your own page. It is user friendly. Once you have created your own page you can then create a business or community group page.

Now you have found some friends, uploaded great photos of your groups members, shared activities and invited people to events.

Perhaps you've decided it's time to turn your attention to sharing your interests or helping grow healthy communities.

Beginners guide to facebook sharing...

Discover more and share your favourite community group, businesses and services amongst your network simply by searching for them and 'liking' them.

Each page will have a thumbs up symbol. Once you have clicked on this you have liked a page. You will get updates on your facebook home page whenever this page has any comments, photos or links.

To share this pages news with other relevant pages and your online community is easy!

When you enter a comment or status update you can create an active hyperlink to another facebook page.

Simply type the @ symbol before you write the page name in. This short cut will make it effortless for people to click onto another page. Don't we love effortless?!

Here's an example; the Village life at Northey street page was developed to showcase the Village life social enterprise market which I co ordinate.

We are a community centred market, so low cost and effective ways to promote ourselves are what we need.

Each time I comment about a particular stall holder I create a link through to their page.

So Village life fans may become the stall holders fans too-by clicking the good ol' like button again!

To link your own liked pages all you need to do- as I mentioned above- is add the @ symbol before typing the facebook page name.

As you type in the name of the page it will show up in blue as you can see

Village life market at Northey Street (my facebook page name)
The Herbal Gardener will be back this Sunday with her amazing biodynamic organic *magic* creams...(my comment and hyperlinking)

Readers now have the option to click on these words and go directly to that page.

All your liked pages' latest news will appear on your home page.

You can share these individual news updates too.

Clicking on the share button will post this news onto your own page profile.

I shared a Gum nut hill stationery page update about their new range of refillable pens made from recycled Australian timber. This is how it appeared on the Village life page.

Recycled newsprint paper pencils

We now stock refillable Fountain Pens made from sustainable timber. Feel free to visit our online shop for more photos and browse the full range of Gumnut Hill Eco-Stationery

Friday at 4:57pm · · · Share

It is a win-win situation. It is showing the range of things available at the market, it is promoting gum nut hill stationery and ultimately supporting the aim of developing sustainable local business.

I also add links to facebook fan pages with external websites which have relevant inspiring books, courses, events, groups or films.

I love to highlight positive or pro active social and environmental resources. As our market is a eco friendly local market these are targeted to our networks existing interests.

This example linked to the permaculture course page of Northey Street city farm.

new courses coming up soon-book in early to secure your spot.
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It aims to bring food production back to where people live and to develop new, sustainable ways of living in our cities and rural areas.

· · Share

In this case the impressions reads 208, (see the text I highlighted in red) which means this little piece of information appeared on 208 individual home facebook pages.

By utilising the share option your whole network learns more about something you love.

It is all these small and big details which can help keep us up to date with what is going on.

Good luck and I hope you find this helpful!


Friday, April 15, 2011


Anyone who knows me, in person, will know how much I love op-shops and garage sales because of my appreciation of vintage wares...

One or two photos of selected areas of my house on a blog looks quite sophisticated and minimal, and readers who have never been to my house could be forgiven for thinking how sweet it it all must be.
But this passion has created a humungous storage problem; pretty things have over run my cupboards, indeed my whole home; I have pale coloured 50s crockery piled high in kitchen cupboards, loads of linen table cloths placed on any horizontal surface & the extras stacked up on top of wardrobes-alongside the boxes of vases and doilies and wall plates and anodised cups...

And these things are beautiful, so special and unique, much too lovely to not be in use, to be packed away. So I will be bringing a whole bunch of bits and pieces, cups and saucers, lovely bowls, etc along to Village life market this Sunday for sale.

I hope this goes well, wish me luck won't you, so it can become a regular thing, I really do cherish this hobby of mine, its fun to be a gatherer, a bit bower bird, and if I can share these items then this will become a way to nourish this interest, and also keep these treasures being treasured! So stop by my stall on Sunday for some of these some of this!


Monday, April 11, 2011

pulling out the coats

Gosh I LOVE this time of year. I am overjoyed when I can pull on my beanies and gloves and am having a total love affair with making crochet gloves at the moment. I always struggle the first time round with any new pattern, but once I have succeeded, I love repeating the pattern; tweaking, refining.

Lately the process of refinement is all focused on fingerless gloves-thumb holes have been altered, wrists lengthened, widened, stitched added-that's the beauty of making hand made things isn't it-making it exactly right for the individual? It is inspiring to have such gorgeous hand spun yarns to work with too, this last one is another much cherished skein from Village life regular Fauve Fibres.

And speaking of customised hand made items the lovely Chantal Vincent is making a special stamp for me with a robin on it. She sent a little work in progress image of it through- it's so brilliant, sweet and cute!
I can't wait to use it, I thought a lot about how to create eco friendly tags. This seemed the best option because once I have the stamp any paper or fabric can be utilised!

Anyway, I will wait to show you the finished product, but in the meanwhile here's a lovely flower our permaculture class saw while visiting properties at Crystal waters the other day....

And check out truly gorgeous artist Chrissy Foremans blog this week as she has posted up an interview with me! I ramble as per usual but her blog is well worth a visit-she has the most stunning bright and uplifting images and ethos-you might remember I interviewed her here?
happy reading,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

crochet kids

As we approach our cooler seasons I'm listing cozy accessories on and etsy.

I have enlisted my youngest to model.
He loves to pull funny faces so to capture a natural expression I wait until he is absorbed in play...
which means he is always looking down!

I can't always interrupt his playtime to model for me though...
so meet one of my favourite props- 'old velvet'-an op shopped chair...
What are your favourite props? Who gets to be your model?