More pretty yarn and a warm blanket

I’ve decided what to do with the yarn I dyed.
IMG_1254
IMG_1255
IMG_1270.JPG
IMG_1250
This blanket fulfills two main aims.
A) it shows off the colours of the hand dyed yarn really well &
2) it gives me loads and loads of mindless, therapeutic garter stitch.

I need the mindless repetition of doing the same motion over and over like you wouldn’t believe.
There is stress coming out of my eyeballs, bruises emerging from me trying to quell the pain in my arms and legs, things to organise, things I can’t organise and the only way I’m barely sane is that repetition of knitting.

I’m vaguely working on a pattern.
Cast on a bucket load of stitches (200 odd. I did attempt to do math and make a pattern but decided to go for simple)
One row solid, 3 rows variegated.
And when I’ve finished with one colour I start with the next.

It is guzzling yarn! I’ve stopped at spotlight to buy more (Moda Vera pure wool 50g) and dyed that up, but I’m estimating I’ll need at least 9 more balls.

But the next 6 are dyed and ready to go.

IMG_1258.JPG

IMG_1279.JPG

IMG_1278.JPG

IMG_1282.JPG

These gorgeous flowers are growing in our front garden on the tree that our passionfruit vine grows on. I decided to try and use it as an inspiration picture.
IMG_1239.JPG
IMG_1242.JPG
IMG_1240.JPG

It gave me a chance to experiment with dyeing methods. And it looks so pretty!!! I’m absolutely kicking myself for not taking a picture of it all skeined up. I can’t believe I don’t have one on my phone! I’m very disappointed with myself. Unfortunately my favourite skein has become tangled whilst winding.

IMG_1284.JPG

So it’s current status is sitting in the naughty corner (exactly where it is now) until I can work up the energy to untangle it. Hopefully without having to cut it. That would really annoy me.

sig

Mums Garden – Part 2

Almost immediately after posting what shall now be known as the first instalment of Mums Garden, I received a flow of emails with more photos. (Mum is a very faithful reader of my blog – Hi Mum!!!! love you!)

So I can show you some of the wildlife, and not so wild life that we enjoyed.

photo 3 (1)
photo (1)
photo 1 (3)photo 1 (2)
photo 3 (2)

Mum is particularly fond of birds. I am not so fond. Yesterday I was just minding my own business, reading a book on our front porch (the last book of the Grisha series by Leigh Burdugo so it was particularly tense) and there’s an unidentified noise coming from the roof. I look up and I see two eyes and a beak peering down at me. Fortunately it flew off to chase some smaller prey but it made me jump out of my skin.
I’m jumpy around birds, which makes these next three photos a little odd to be on my blog.
I’ll put them after a break for all of you who are also jumpy around birds.
More

Guest post – Mums garden

My parents are moving house for the second time in my life. And while it’s a good move and a necessary one, it does mean that Mum loses her garden that she’s spent 15 years pottering around in.

Somewhere along the line Mum’s green thumb genes mixed with some recessive black thumb gene and resulted in me. I have killed cactuses.

So I asked Mum to guest post for me and show me her favourite parts of the garden.

photo 1

There aren’t many places that can compete with this view. Although living so close to a National Park does have its downsides.

GetAttachment

Fortunately fires aren’t too regular an occurrence.

But being that close to the National Park means native flowers and wildlife thrive. We actually do get kangaroos come up to the backyard and drink from the bird bath. [Beks note - I wish Mum had sent me a pic of that! I'm sure we have one somewhere]
photo 3photo 2photo 1 (1)

And she even sent me a pic from my old bedroom window.
It’s not quite the view I remember as there has been a few changes since I left home. But it was still one hell of a view.
photo

sig

Pretty yarn

Things aren’t really so good at the moment. I’m being passed from one specialist to another to find the best way to manage the constant pain that I’m still in (seriously a fucking tablecloth!!!)

When you’re too sore for even the gentlest hug, and dealing with all the other shit going on, one can take comfort in looking at pretty yarn. (See also watching Jane Austen movies and remembering just how awesome the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility is [what a stellar cast] and just how awesome Tilney is [especially in the 2007 version - I love the dry sense of humour]. I sometimes think he’s the best Austen hero. I mean the man knows his muslin! [but then Wentworth is so dreamy and Darcy, well he's DARCY] but I feel I’m digressing/fangirling slightly…)

This is yarn I dyed myself.
I feel like a little kid when I’m dyeing. Especially as I’m using food colouring which is typically used for cakes and playdough.
It’s a colourful and very non-scientific adventure.
Just a bit here…. ooooh I’m not sure about that lets try a bit more of this colour.
In spite of some of the skeins I actually had a plan for not turning out according to plan, I’m rather fond of all of them.

My only regret is that they’re all 50g balls with estimated yardage of 80m. I don’t know what to make with them.
I guess I could just stare and pet them.

(Please politely ignore the state of my stovetop. Having a sparkling stovetop isn’t the highest of priorities at the moment.)

IMG_1201.JPG

IMG_1200.JPG

IMG_1199.JPG

IMG_1207.JPG

IMG_1211.JPG

IMG_1210.JPG

IMG_1208.JPG

sig

Shop Update! Bad Wolf & Bulletproof

I’ve added two new cuffs to my shop.
I’m trying to have more pre-made examples in my shop, which of course means making more for myself! All cuffs will continue to be made-to-order, but with more specific examples.

Before I started making cuffs for myself I had bought a bad wolf one. I ended up giving it to a friend one night at the pub.I figured that he wanted me to make him one, and rather than wait I just gave him the one I was wearing and made one for myself later.
(If you’re a doctor who fan the reference should be pretty self explanatory. If you’re not a doctor who fan – it’s something to do with doctor who!!!)

I also wanted to experiment with the new calligraphy font that I’ve got. So I looked through my notebook of other peoples words and settled on Bulletproof.
It’s one of the songs on my ‘ladies who kick serious ass’ playlist.(We all have one don’t we?)

(Don’t forget all my blog friends can get free shipping with coupon code “PARTTIMECRAFTER”.)

sig

Curse the things that have made me sad for so long

Curse the things that made me sad for so long
Yeah it hurts to think that they can still go on
I’m happy now
Are you happy now?
Spoke out the things that you‘ve worked out to be wrong
You got two hands to take all you can, but don’t take too long
To be happy somehow
Are you happy now?
Figured out I’m good
Turn me down like I knew I should
Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck happy happy
Don’t chicken out, it’s all good
You’re allowed to be what you could.
Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck happy happy
Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck happy happy
Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck happy happy
Figured out I’m good
Turn me down like I knew I should
Happy now
Don’t chicken out, it’s all good
You’re allowed to be what you could.
I feel good
I feel good
I feel good
I feel good
Curse the things that made me sad for so long
Yeah it hurts to think that they can still go on
I’m happy now
Are you happy now?

20140108-103524.jpg

sig

A no, a maybe, & a soft yes

When we moved out of the apartment I pressed a few flowers to remember it by.

Turns out I pressed a lot of lavender, which we have at the house, but I still want to make some sort of artwork out of the pressed flowers.

20140801-210337-75817412.jpg

20140801-210336-75816656.jpg

20140801-210338-75818371.jpg

Things didn’t exactly go as planned.
Whatever way I arranged it, things didn’t look right.

I looked through my paper stash but nothing seemed right.

20140801-210552-75952626.jpg

20140801-210551-75951796.jpg

The plan was to modpodge the dried flowers and some pretty paper to a canvas and that would be that.

My original plan was to make a crayon artwork like McStabby’s nugget made for her. But that failed dismally.

I was however able to use the canvas to test how the paper and flowers would stick, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted exercise. Even if I don’t have anything to show for it.

20140801-211045-76245899.jpg

20140801-211046-76246810.jpg

So it wasn’t an entirely failed experiment.
Although I still don’t know what to do with the pressed flowers.

20140801-212528-77128326.jpg

sig

Little things that are making me happy

*electronic stitch counters that tell me exactly where I’m at in a pattern

20140728-211504-76504557.jpg

*finding flowers pressed in a book that you forgot all about

*pretty knitwear in movies

*tea selections arriving in the mail

*yarn just waiting to be dyed- full of potential

20140728-211829-76709783.jpg

*nail polish the exact same colour as my glasses with chipped paint

*glittery socks

20140728-211640-76600107.jpg

*doctor who yarn club deliveries

*eyemasks with headphones in them

*being greeted by the giant ball of hair known as Cookie-Dog

20140728-210801-76081897.jpg

20140728-212330-77010739.jpg

20140728-212331-77011578.jpg
sig

Give me a home among the gum trees

I may not be much of a gardener or any of one, but I do appreciate our garden (and the hard work Hewhofishes puts into it). I particularly enjoy the edible parts of it.
We’ve eaten a few home grown radishes this year, but these two just keep on growing. We’re not sure if they’re going to be tasty so we’re just letting them keep growing. We want to see how big they get!

20140717-070650-25610002.jpg

I cooked up some pasta the other night with sauce straight out of the jar, but I leant out of the window and added some fresh bok choy and parsley and it turned into something extra yummy.
The plan is for two more window boxes along that side of the house. I keep giving HWFs not so subtle hints that I want him to grow spinach. Spinach is on the gout list so he won’t be able to enjoy it, but I will. Isn’t that what love’s about? Growing vegies you shouldn’t eat for the lady that you love?
20140717-095158-35518383.jpg

Ignoring the compost bin, this is an avocado tree. Another food that HWFs doesn’t like, but this one came with the house so no special effort required. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an avocado on a tree so I’m looking forward to that.
20140717-095156-35516088.jpg

The oranges that I was looking forward to making marmalade didn’t quite work out as planned. We only got about 4 off the tree which were edible, the rest had squishy parts which turned scaley after a while. Still we learn when things go wrong so there will be more potash in the soil next year, and if that fails a call into the gardening show on talk back radio.
oranges

There may have also been a slight incident involving the brand new greenhouse. The day after planting seeds into those little tiny pot thingies, there was a bit of a storm and the wind knocked it over. Poor greenhouse.
20140717-095159-35519186.jpg

The pea hay that mulched the tomatoes sprouted some peas. So they were rescued and planted into their own pot. Surprise peas!
20140717-095159-35519965.jpg

Of course there are some pretty things too. What sort of garden doesn’t have flowers.
20140717-070650-25610703.jpg

I’m not sure that I would be proud of a weed, but if you are going to be proud of a weed, it might as well be a big one. He insisted on showing off his handiwork.
20140717-104827-38907345.jpg

So even though it is smack bang in the middle of winter and most trees have lost their leaves, there is still a little growth happening.
I just need a old rocking chair.
house

(and that’s your blooming lot for the week)

sig

Media spotting!

I’ve been excited about this for some time and somehow managed to keep it a secret until it was released.
I’m featured on the latest episode of Hollis Jay’s podcast ‘Myriads of Thought‘!

Hollis is a supercool lady who talks about her life, geekery, and things that are generally interesting and awesome.

She also finds cool people who make cool things and interviews them (thats where I come in).

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to an episode before she contacted me, but I’ve listened to every episode since and quite a bit of the back catalogue.

Check my interview out from the 1:22 mark, or just listen to the whole thing. I am among some awesome company this week.

Seriously I am still chuffed that people like what I make enough to buy it let alone interview me about it! Thanks Hollis for having my words on your show. Its strange to hear something I wrote not in my voice and Australian accent.

Listen to it here or I’ve put a transcript below.

1. Introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Bek. I live in Perth Australia in a 100 year old cottage where I’m lucky enough to have a crafty room all to myself where I can make as much mess as I want. I taught myself how to knit 3 years ago and that opened my eyes to the crafty underbelly of the internet. I met a whole heap of awesome knitters and multi-crafters and realised that making something I could touch and see is a really great feeling, particularly as my day job involves sitting at a computer.

2. Tell us about your shop.
I sell metal stamped cuffs and rings as well as hand made earrings and stitch markers. I have some pre-made cuffs but mostly people like to personalise and send me a phrase which means something to them. I also have a custom order option so if you like something that you’ve seen on my blog like embroidered cushions or a pair of earrings that I don’t have in my etsy shop, you can request them and we can work something out.

3. Can you go in the making of one of your pieces from beginning to end?
For a custom cuff the first thing I need is what’s going on it. I take that and write it on a piece of paper to get a feeling for the length and also as a reference for spelling. I’ll also google it, if it’s not a reference I’m familiar with because I’m curious like that.
From there I visualise how it will look, particularly if it’s over two lines or is front and back.
Depending on the size of the cuff requested, and the length of the phrase I pick out the right size stamp set. Then I tape the cuff to my anvil and figure out where to start. Then I hit each letter with a hammer. It’s quite noisy and deliciously satisfying. Once I’ve finished the stamping I use a sharpie to colour in the letters. I let that dry and then wipe off the excess with rubbing alcohol and give it a bit of a shine.
I then bend it using a bracelet bender which creates a nice shape. Then I resist the urge to keep it for myself!

4. Do you have a favorite piece in your shop? What is it, and why?
I have a soft spot for the cat earrings as they were my first ever sale.
I really love a ring that I made for myself that has mine and my partners anniversary date on the inside and a heart on the outside. That’s really special and even more so because I made it. I think that’s the wonderful thing about custom pieces. The personal touch makes them unique and meaningful. I’m also currently working on an embroidery with the firefly theme song. It’s going to be epicly awesome.

5. Is there a particular genre that inspires your pieces, and if so what is it and why?
Definitely pop-culture references! I keep a notebook with me at all times and anything that makes me cackle or think hmm this would be good on a bracelet goes straight into the notebook. This happens a lot whilst watching television or listening to music.
I also have a tumblr, thingstoembroideroncushions.tumblr.com which collects all sorts of random quotes and phrases from around the internet.

6. What scares you?
Birds. I am one of those people who ducks down in their car if a bird flies at them. Don’t ask me for custom bird earrings please!!

7. Who or what motivates you and/or inspires you to create?
Words are still a major part of how we communicate. There are so many writers out there who can say things much better than I ever could. I take the bits that mean something to me and transplant them into a different context such as a cushion, bracelet or a ring.
Once they’re out of context they can take on a new meaning and a new significance. Some of my favourite nights are me and my best friend getting home from a night out, watching Black Books and quoting it back and forth. Now that she lives further away, we do the same thing over twitter! I have forged friendships through a shared love of the same tv show. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m taking something that people already love and connect over and making it visible and wearable.

8. Are you more spontaneous within your work or more precise?
I should be more precise because as soon as I make a spelling mistake or mix up the direction of a stamp I have to start all over again. But I’m pretty disorganised and spend half the time picking up letters and trying to figure out what they are. I’m definitely spontaneous with earring making and stitch markers. I put everything out in front of me and just experiment.

9. Who are your favorite artists, writers, and musicians? What are your favorite books, films, television shows, etc?

There’s a website where you put in tv shows, how many seasons you watch and it calculates how long it would take to watch every episode. I got to 100+ days before I stopped and backed away slowly. Needless to say I love the medium of television and it’s detailed storytelling capability. I tend to reference Black Books, Coupling, 30 Rock, Doctor Who, Buffy, Angel, Community, Parks and Rec, Bobs Burgers, Firefly, and Arrested Development the most. I recently marathoned Leverage on Netflix which had so many ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ pop culture references. I like that in a television show.

Editors and Blood Red Shoes both released albums this year which I cannot stop listening to (or scribbling down lyrics in my notebook). I also love Cold War Kids, Silversun Pickups, Haim, Bombay Bicycle Club, Sugar Army, The Shins, Wolf & Cub, Phantogram and The Decemberists.
I once started to write the lyrics to Neutral Milk Hotels – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on my bathroom wall, but only got about half way through.
Total Eclipse of the Heart is me and my best friend’s karaoke song (and so I made her a cushion with the lyrics on it).
If I’m having a bad day then the Once More With Feeling soundtrack never fails to brighten my day.

Growing up my parents could never get my nose out of a book. My current house has an epic, all the way to the ceiling, bookshelf which I will eventually fill!
I have a whole section of bookcase dedicated to Jane Austen and associated books (Jane Austen Book Club is one). When I moved out of home I took the whole Anne of Green Gables series with me which I still regularly re-read. I like Sophie Kinsella, Maggie Alderson, and Lauren Weisberger for instant girly gratification. I enjoy Philippa Gregory and in particular The Cousins War series. I’m a sucker for a narrative style where the same story is told from different perspectives.
I just finished the Duncan Lay series Empire of Bones which I really enjoyed. And I’m anxiously awaiting the third novel in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothsfuss.

I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest and awesomest people around. They’re the type of people that inspire me, as well as the everyday people that I’ve met through the internet that are doing all kinds of cool stuff.

10. Promote yourself. Shamelessly. :)…:)
You should visit my shop because I guarantee you’ll find something you like. Or if you don’t I’ll try and make it anyway. Who doesn’t like one of a kind-custom stuff!

20140108-103524.jpg

I am also still updating my song of the week playlist so check that out in you’re in need of some new tunes!

sig

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 534 other followers

%d bloggers like this: