Springing into spring

Springing into spring

Spring is definitely here. Well, it pounced on us with a 30 degree day then ran off far into the distance. I’m glad the rain is back this week. I feel like we haven’t received a decent drenching in a long while. I know my plants could certainly use some rain water.

My indoor plant collection has all but multiplied since I found the plant of my dreams a few months ago: the chain of hearts. I absolutely adore it and there are so many new shoots now that the weather has become a lot warmer.

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I’ve been getting into cacti and succulents. I have to say that I was never into cacti at all. I didn’t find them very attractive and to be honest found them super boring with their spikes and slow growth. Fast forward to 2017, where I’m completely obsessed and enamoured. The different shapes and sizes and colours. I love it all. Not to mention the surprise blossoms that show up after a good season.

The biggest catalyst I would say would have to be my latest trip to Europe. Having gone smack bang in the middle of spring, we went to market after market with stalls filled with cacti in full bloom. I desperately wanted one to call my own.

The other weekend I took apart the stand of succulents that had grown haywire. A lot of the jelly bean plants had aerial roots, so I had to fix that. It was a hot mess of plant roots and wayward stems.

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I started off by pulling the plants apart, cutting back the roots and repotting into some of the seedling pots I had laying around. If you’re concerned about having to trim back succulent roots, don’t fret. Succulents are hardy plants that can propogate quite easily from cuttings.

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Then it was just a case of rinse and repeat. I stacked them nicely on one of those cheap plant stands that you can purchase from Aldi. Go figure I ended up with a surplus of succulents, and a lot of them didn’t make the plant-stand-cut. I ended up giving some away. Anyway, end my boring plant rant.

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See ya later, June

See ya later, June

We’re halfway through the year already and I don’t really know how time is flying by so fast! I’m just trying to stay dry today. I left the house with my gumboots, my fab new Elka rain jacket I got from Europe *love* and a brolly.

In an effort to keep myself accountable I’m going to document my current work in progress (in terms of my craft projects). I brought a few bits to work on whilst in Europe, but I’ve gotten a bit discouraged with the length of time that it is taking. Lesson learned I’m focussing my energy on short and portable projects that I can put down and pick up without recalling too much pattern information.

At the moment I’m making a turban style headband which will be perfect for keeping ears warm in winter. It’s a gift for someone that I started maybe one or two nights ago? I’ve already had to frog it and restart twice, but I’m pleased to say it is almost done. All I have left to do is sew all the ends in. It uses the brioche stitch which is perfect as I’m a continental knitter, but I can get easily distracted by things and miss a stitch.

I adore how chunky these stitches are!

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All wound up

All wound up

Yeah, you could say I have a *bit* of a yarn addiction. I originally ordered a cheap-o yarn winder off eBay. It came to the grand total of $11 inclusive of postage and was due to ship from Hong Kong. After an entire month of anticipation and waiting, the yarn winder never showed up. I was disappointed but never fear, this story has a happy ending. I got a full refund for the cheapie winder.

I ended up ordering a heavy-duty yarn winder for a little more money and a fraction of the time. It has metal gears unlike the original one I was getting, and can make balls of up to 10oz. I don’t really measure in ounces, so I don’t really know what that means, but I have zero regrets. I love my new winder.

They say it isn’t good to cake any skeins if you aren’t planning on using them soon. The problem with my stash is that I adopted a majority of them as loose skeins which have been bugging me for a while. I am planning on using them very soon, so I love that they’re beautiful centre pull cakes. Hashtag yarn nerd.

It is sososo much easier than winding a skein by hand. I did 6 yarn cakes in the space of about 30 minutes. Definitely the best thing in my maker life right now.

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T-shirt or spaghetti?

T-shirt or spaghetti?

Each time the cold weather sets in, I’m inspired to knit something. I’ll do a separate post with the projects I currently have on the go. Off the top of my head I have about six projects on. Help. I think I may have too many. I tend to switch between each project depending on how mobile I am on a particular day. Nothing is worse than bringing 10 billion balls of yarn onto the train. I’m so looking forward to receiving the yarn winder I ordered.

T-shirt yarn (aka spaghetti yarn) has been on my radar for a little while now, but I haven’t brought myself to take the plunge. I stocked up on some t-shirt yarn at the last Lincraft sale, where giant balls were 50% off and as low as $4 each. I made a small planter out of yarn which I gifted to someone.  Not too dissimilar to this planter tutorial from Wool and the Gang.

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Jeans planter from Wool and the Gang

Now I yarn yearn for more. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

I’m thinking of whipping up one of those cute floor rug weavings that are very much in at the moment, but I’m not sure how slippery it would be on tiling and wooden floor boards. I also worry that they’ll only be trendy for a short time. I imagine with a larger gauge they’d work up super quick and easy. I like this tutorial from My World of Wool.

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Rug tutorial from My World of Wool

I love all things kitschy, and this macrame planter is calling out to me. I made some out of fluorescent builders rope, and it looks fab. I had never thought to experiment with yarn instead. Find the tutorial for this planter at the Clover USA blog.

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A neat woven plant holder from the Clover USA blog

There are so many fantastic yarn colours out at Lincraft at the moment. Unfortunately no longer half price, but still as steal for $8 bucks for a large skein. After I pick which project I want to do first, the next problem will be deciding the colour!

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On a crochet roll

On a crochet roll

I hope that everyone managed to stay relatively dry this weekend. My succulents got a good battering in the strong winds yesterday, but at least they’ve gotten a good soak. There were some stray leaves around the place which is good for propagation. Which reminds me that I should get some more pots for them to grow into.

The weather allowed me to catch up on my crochet. I finished up making the second of the baby cardigans that I started. Picking out an appropriate applique for the colourway was the most difficult. I ended up picking between a rose and cherry, with the cherry winning out. I had some dramas picking which button to use as well. But I finished the cardigan and am more than pleased with how it turned out.

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I thought I’d switch back to toy making post-cardigans. I’ve shied away from amigurumi because of the complex shapes and increases/decreases etc. BUT seeing as I’ve conquered The Cardigan, I saw no reason to tackle a complicated pattern. Granted I invested in a set of crochet hooks during the last Spotlight sale. Woops.

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I bought an amigurumi book years ago that has remained untouched for too long. I picked out a giraffe pattern and am happy to report that I’m almost done. All the pieces are made up and all that’s left is sewing them all together. I even put a jingly bell inside. I can’t wait to see him pieced together.

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I almost forgot about this long weekend – I always tell myself to book something in advance and always neglect to organise a thing! The last interstate trip I took was to FNQ, with the intention to snorkel and make the most of the warm weather. This time around we’re thinking Canberra. There are so many new restaurants popping up that I’m keen to try. Let’s see whether we make it down. I’ll report back on what we find!

Who else is excited for the long weekend? Are you up to anything fun?

Japan!! (Part 1)

Japan!! (Part 1)

Guys! Japan is amazing and I’m staying in Japan forever because Japan is awesome and cool and has everything I could ever want slash need. But not really, because I have work. But seriously. One month in Japan is just not enough!

Perhaps I’ll do a more thorough post as we travelled through multiple cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kobe and Nara. One regret was not going to Hokkaido (However I got to sample a tonne of Hokkaido soft serve in a delicious lengue du chat cone), but all in all it was an amazing trip. Lots of shopping and lots of culture, I think it was a pretty good balance.

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I was a little intimidated by the language barrier, having not spoken Japanese since my high school days, where the most advanced thing they taught me was how to read hiragana and ask for someone’s phone number. We survived! On the plus my pronunciation was spot on as I multiple people attempted to have full on conversations in nihongo thinking I was fluent!

We made it just in time for the tail end sakura season and were treated with beautiful blooms on our shinkansen trips. It means no traditional hanami, i.e. laying out tarps and eating and drinking sake all day. I’m not complaining! I got my fair share of sakura. The photo below is from Ueno Park.

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The other thing that killed me was all the cute, crafty Japanese wares. I wanted to take it all home, and believe me I tried. I. Bought. So. Much. Stuff. So many DIY craft instruction books that I had to pass on because I couldn’t understand them. Sadface.

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The main reason for the trip was to celebrate some upcoming birthday milestones *cough30cough* and celebrate we did. We went to a small fishing village and stayed at an onsen (WITH THE BEST VIEW EVER: see below).

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More Japan to come.

Recent crafty endeavours

Recent crafty endeavours

I’ve definitely dropped off the face of the blogging-planet. I can’t even remember what my last post is about. Probably something about how I don’t blog as often as I’d like. I love blogging as an outlet for my thoughts – possibly because I always wanted to have a paper diary but never got around to it.

I started pottery classes a few weeks ago. I only enrolled to do one term but I’m loving it so far. I’ve had some hits and some misses, but it’s just fun to meet new people (as much as I say I hate it – hi introversion!) and get messy! I spent last class playing with underglaze.

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Last week, I welcomed a new niece and she’s the most adorable squishy thing ever. Plus she is so tiny. Plus she has that mystical new baby smell that I thought was something new mums made up because they loved their babies so much. In conclusion she smells amazing.

I’m dreading how cold winter will get this year. This morning I found myself shivering in my thick winter coat and wooly hat. It’s only autumn. :| I was even contemplating whipping out the gloves and the boots, but I held off. It’s becoming harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings. I really don’t like winter.

I’m obsessed with my Cricut. H travelled to the USA for work a few months ago and  brought me back a Cricut machine. They retail for 500+ in Australia so I was never going to get one here. Basically it’s a printer that cuts instead of inks. If you’re still confused there are plenty of videos on YouTube ;) I made some gem stone table placeholders for a recent dinner party.

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