Saturday 28 January 2012

mystery guest

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The funniest thing happened when we got back from camping, I have to tell you.

Last year around this time we delighted when frogs started turning up in our garden. And do you remember we found frog spawn in our new pond last spring. Those eggs were moved to a bucket, on a friend's advice, away from the hungry goldfish.

Fast forward some months and sadly only a few had survived the juggling and the heat of the bucket. Any of these who were returned to the pond were eaten very quickly by our goldfish; Flashy, Fluoro, Pirate and Leopard so we weren't sure what to do with them when we went away. Then clever Mr F got one of those nets that you hang on the side of an aquarium. We balanced it on the edge of the pond and put the remaining tadpoles inside, about five of them, getting to be a good size now, and left for Christmas.

I checked on the taddies after our first fortnight away and they were doing well, there might have been a couple less but the edge of the net had dropped down in all the rain and I presumed they'd made the break for freedom (and probably got eaten in the process).

When we got back from camping I went out again to check their progress. I peered into the net and searched hopefully for life. Splash! A large dark grey shape sped across the net. I looked again and saw that a small blackish goldfish was the only resident in the net. I'd never seen this fish before in my life! Where had it come from? Our fish Flashy and Fluoro are beautiful bright orange Comets and Pirate and Leopard are white with black and orange spots. Who on earth was this interloper who'd broken in and eaten all our tadpoles?!

I got one of my large glass vases and put the new fish in it to see him better. I couldn't understand what I was seeing. Eventually it dawned on me that the only explanation could be that our fish had had babies, and indeed later I found another small black fish in the pond. So here's a pic of our babies Florence and Boo, our mystery guests, with their parents. I'm hoping they turn a brighter colour but I'm just quite happy to have them too. What a surprise!

And do you know, while I was feeding the fish the other day I saw a large black shape with a thick black tail rise up from the depths for a moment, a massive tadpole who has survived this whole saga. Here's hoping he goes on to have babies too.

p.s. I got a new zoom lens for my camera for Xmas and one of the reasons I wanted it was to photograph birds. Here are a few beginner shots of me spying on our bird bath.

Thursday 26 January 2012

my creative space - bullseye


Still busy with visitors here, eating, swimming, having fun, but there's been a little bit of progress on the bullseye blanket. I'm having fun with the colours and enjoying having some lighter shades to add to the mix.

Saturday 21 January 2012

learning to crochet

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One of my major priorities when packing for holidays is organising what craft/art I'm going to take with me. This is usually decided at the very last minute and its not unheard for me to be printing knitting charts or trying to find a sketchbook as the rest of the family are getting in the car

Does that sound familiar? One of the nice things about blogging is hearing other crafty types admit to the same compulsion. Seems I'm not alone in feeling twitchy if I don't have a project at hand.

When we left to go north back in December I threw in a couple of balls of wool, some random crochet hooks and a printout of the Bullseye blanket pattern that Kate made so beautifully on her recent roadtrip. I so loved her version that it inspired me to try one last time to master this skill.

It was only on the trip home that I pulled out the hook and yarn. Luckily the Bullseye is quite a simple pattern and with lots of unravelling and practice I finally got the hang of it. By the time we arrived home I had a small circle and was feeling like I could crochet, at last!

I love how quick crochet is. I've quickly finished the central circle of one square and started on the darker frame. Its not perfect but I'm happy. Google has taught me to single crochet, half double crochet and beginning a circle with the magic ring. I've even gone back and tried some projects that I've failed at before - Kate's Crochet Rick Rack and Christina's simple flowers. I might even have ordered a few more yarns to lighten and brighten my stash.

How about you, do you need a holiday craft and what has it been? And what should I crochet next! Its so exciting to have all those new possibilities in front of me.

wool stash

Tuesday 17 January 2012

le camping

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We are home from camp, back in the real world but not quite unpacked and still finding small piles of sand around the place!

Its such a blessing our annual week of swimming, sanding, walking, talking, weather, fun and fishing with family and friends. I love the funny traditions like camp awards night, cocktails, crosswords and cards, camp espressos and bingo.There was even a tiny bit of craft, some weaving practice, it seems I can't help myself.

I'm still feeling my way into the New Year - starting to think about where I'm going, where I want to go and the challenges and juggling ahead. And we have a fourteenth birthday this week to plan and two lots of family passing through Sydney to stay in the next fortnight.

I'm slowly starting to catch up on blogging, see what you've all been up to. I hope 2012 is treating you well! Oh and I've got a new craft project on the go, and I'm dying to share. So I'll be back soon.

p.s. I've just enabled embedded comments (so I can reply) looks like fun.

Monday 2 January 2012



Looking back at 2011 I'm quite surprised to see all I crammed into the year! Big achievements included organising a huge swap, designing loads of new fabrics, knitting a cardigan, some fun tutorials, some new recipes, joining the pinterest and instagram communities and being part of a couple of inspiring swaps.

This was the year I hosted the Big Brooch Swap, an idea that had been percolating in my mind for a while. It was fun, it was exhausting and it was inspiring! I met lots of new, wonderful makers (88 swappers in all) and got to experiment with the medium of brooch making for the first time, sewing my little blue wren brooch.

Project Selvage inspired me to design my Marble fabric and my Lego Bricks prints followed. Both have proved wonderfully popular. 2011 also saw me selling these full colour fabric designs for the first time which was great fun. I can't wait to see what you've all been sewing with the fabrics. I'll share them here soon. Here's to even more designs in 2012 including some more screenprinted fabrics.

I got round to block printing with foam and perspex, one of last year's resolutions as part of one of the three swaps I joined (Leslie's great handprinted fabric swap). That's three if you include Cam's Hottie Challenge which wasn't strictly a swap but raised money and brought attention to a great cause. Another wonderful example of this great blogging community coming together to do great things.

I featured another ten wonderful bloggers in my Show & Tell series. I so love highlighting and celebrating our amazing local blogging community with this feature, and I've made some lovely friends through it too, so this will definitely be back in 2012!

I knitted a whole cardigan, an actual knitted garment, which has been a dream of mine for a good while. I haven't knitted much since then (I seem to only be able to cold weather knit?) but my Ravelry wishlist is long so as soon as the weather cools... Also I'm a bit inspired to learn how to crochet at long last so that might be on the 2012 to do list.

I shared my paper pots and pillowcase tutorials this year (see sidebar links). Its been great seeing people share and use these tutes and I'm inspired to make more. Both have been popular on Pinterest where I have been hanging out a bit this year. I'm a bit addicted to my new iPhone and Instagram too and neglecting my SLR. And Flower Press finally got a Facebook page too!

We arrived home today and have a couple of days to unpack and repack (and collapse) before we join the other side of the family for our annual campfest on the Central Coast. But first tomorrow night we have tickets to opening night for Circus Oz and will be catching up with lovely Melbourne friends who are up for that. Can't wait.

I'm starting to slow down and feel inspired again, I always need this break to recharge. I'm slowly starting to think ahead to this new year and make plans... but that's another post! Happy New Year lovelies. Hope you're having fun and rest and frivolity!!