Where has the year gone!

So it’s 2016 and I haven’t posted so far this year! Rest assured I am alive just busy. Almost overwhelmingly busy. 

I’m wandering around with only a playlist and a reading goal. The Bek who had organised a 15 for 15 and 24 in 2014 seems like a different person. 

That’s not to say I haven’t done some cool shit already this year. I’ve finished a test of a shawl I designed. I’ve already finished 3 books (including Villette which was an absolute slog! Not knowing French was nearly a deal breaker but I persevered and got to the end). I saw the live show of Welcome to Nightvale and made an “all hail” glowcloud pendant. 

   
    
 
Laneway Fest was amazing as always. Top tip – always take a yarn needle to a music festival because you never know when Cupid’s wings will need reattaching and you just may come to the rescue and then hang out with some super-rad new friends and have a super-amazing day! 

   
    
 I have some new apps which are helping with the business that is my life currently. Productive lets me tick off habits and schedule reminders for things like ‘stretch’ or ‘take medication’. It also means I don’t forget ive taken my meds and take them again which is always a good thing! 

Optimise me I found through the Career Girl Daily blog. I’ve only been using it does few weeks but I like how it trends and tells me where I spend most of my time. It’s only as good as the information you put in (which takes some time in itself) but being the data driven gal I am it’s so interesting to see how much time I spend on certain activities compared to what I think I spend on things. Housework for example! I’ve also been using the Unfuck Your Habitat app which is from the blog of the same name. My most used feature is the random challenge. Setting a timer and working towards a specific task totally works for me! 

  
  This is probably more of a brain dump then a structured post like 2015-Bek would have written. But writing it has made me realise I do have things I’m working towards even if they’re not structured goals like past years. 

  • I want to publish some more original designs this year 
  • I want to continue with my etsy store
  • I want to read 30 books
  • I want to seek out stories I wouldn’t normally read
  • I want to keep fostering good habits such as drinking water, keeping up with the housework, getting to bed before 11, stretching and exercising 
  • I want to keep up with my friends through whatever medium suits. I definitely want to keep sending letters, but I also want to text and chat and call to keep in touch. 
  • I want to study again. Maybe formal maybe not. But I need to learn something new. 
  • I want to keep studying German. 
  • I want to collect ALL the cats in Neko Atsume. 

So yeah maybe I do have some goals. Maybe I won’t put them in a pretty graphic like previous years. And maybe that’s ok. 

  
Here’s to 2016!! And fancy glasses!

(Oh and yes – my hair is currently pink!)

Things I’ve learnt recently 

Dont start to dye yarn when there’s a strong chance you’ll nod off and leave it on the stove. 

  

But do dye some more once you’ve finished your nap. 

   
 
Cats like photobombing yarn pictures. 

  
Cats snuggling while playing Mass Effect is the best way to spend a Saturday morning. 

(Jane Shepherd is amazing and I love her and want to be her!)

   

Although it’s difficult when they’re climbing all over you and being adorable.

   
Bright pink hair makes me happy. As do polkadot shirts and dark lippy. 

  
  

Happy days. 

Fun with permanent markers

Possibly my favourite part of grocery shopping is checking out the stationery section.

It’s not even a whole aisle but depending on what’s in stock you can usually find something interesting, new, or pretty.

Recently I spotted some metallic sharpies and they somehow slipped and found their way into my basket!

I sat down on the couch with some glass jars, some coloured permanent markers, got comfy and started experimenting.

My drawing didn’t go too well. The glass was slippery, my drawing skills are limited, and once you draw on the glass it doesn’t come off!

I experimented with text by taping the design on paper and sticking it to the inside of the jar.
That was not easy. It was fiddly, I didn’t have enough light, and half way through the paper moved.

I had the most success when I went to basics. Horizontal lines and geometric patterns. They’re my strong suits. Nothing too tricky but striking.

 

        

I then ran out of jars, so I moved on to the pot I use as a yarn bowl. I had bought it from the hardware store with a little plant because I thought I’d try my hand at keeping 1 solitary plan alive.
I was quickly informed by the gardener in the relationship that the pot was too small for the plant.

So it’s been holding my yarn ever since.
Using the gold metallic sharpie I gave it a scalloped top.

  

It was exactly how I thought I’d spend my friday night, but there you go.

Oh and naturally I filled the jars with pompoms because that’s how I roll.

PS for those readers who use feedly or by email. I’ve redecorated! Come have a look and tell me what you think?

Everything and nothing

I feel like I’ve done everything but still done nothing in the last month or so.

I don’t think I’ve finished anything yarn related. My spinning wheel still isn’t set up although I have bought fibre for it.
I am working on my own hat pattern though. I’ve frogged it twice but it’s starting to look pretty good.

I bought some new glasses from firmoo.com. I have worn glasses since I was 8 and only now have I discovered the wonders of buying glasses online.
My last pair of glasses cost me $375 in out of pocket expenses.
I got three pairs for $130 from firmoo! I now have a pair of prescription polarised sunglasses. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a pair of prescription sunglasses before. It was also too expensive. So I’m pretty psyched that I now have 4 pairs of glasses with the same prescription. I’ve had just one pair of glasses for 3 years which I’ve been terrified of breaking or losing, so this is a really cool feeling.
Plus they’re really stylish and cool.

We have booked flights, accomodation and tickets for the Boxing Day Test Match!!! Our credit card is slightly maxxed but its worth it. I feel it’s been ages since we went away more than 3 hours from the city.

I’ve sent some things out in the post and got some things back in the post. Including a super awesome postcard from twitter lovely Megan and a swap package full of lovely goodies as part of the selfish knitters winter wonderland swap. I quite like putting something in the post and knowing that it’s probably going to brighten someone’s day.

I’ve been reading plenty. I actually paid money for the digital copy of Dragonfly in Amber because I finished Cross Stitch and was still awake so clearly I needed to read the second one immediately.
This is also the difficulty with December. I’m not sure where it all started, but Christmas Lists have always been a ‘thang’ in my family.
Mostly mine consisted of books. But it always meant that if I put something on my Christmas List then I couldn’t buy it until after Christmas.

Well that’s what’s happened again. I have a Christmas list which has this book on it, so I don’t want to order it, but I need to read it straight away. Yes I know – first world problems.

I’ve also had another needle in my neck. Yay! But I am feeling the best I have in a while. My twitter nagger Raves has been keeping me on track and making sure I go to the pool. I wasn’t a happy panda when I went on Saturday. All these people were there and the walking lanes were full. At least after work is mostly small children yelling. I think I put up with small children yelling, more than other people in MY lane. But I’ve felt better for going.

Oh well. Here are some photos from the last month or so.

Later taters.

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I have too many nail polishes that I don’t actually like on my nails.

I cannot apply black nail polish to my nails. It just doesn’t work.
Most of it ends up on my cuticles and it never looks neat enough.

Same with the banana yellow colour I have. You need 15 hundred coats to make it look any good and I just don’t have the patience to keep my hands still for that long.

Somehow these unusable colours keep finding themselves into my nail polish collection. I blame the $2 price tag and the 3 for $5 sales that all my local chemists seem to have. (I go to the chemist a lot at the moment.) A gal only has so much will power.

So inspired by my polka dot jars, which I’ve just found out I never actually blogged about.
So quick tutorial – I used nail polish and hole punch protectors and you combine the two to create polka dots on jars.
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We have a rather large collection of empty jars. They’re just so practical! I use them for my dyeing but also for storing things on my desk, but they have to be pretty.

I didn’t have a plan, I just turned the jars over and poured nail polish over them. Very simple but effective with the right combination. Really how can you go wrong with black and pink.

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My desk is messier than usual because I’ve been busy. As the Pogona needed 20 stitch markers I thought I’d better make some more. And of course some earrings had to be made as well.
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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.

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

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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]
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Little things that are making me happy

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

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*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

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

*glittery socks

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*doctor who yarn club deliveries

*eyemasks with headphones in them

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

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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!

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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The pea hay that mulched the tomatoes sprouted some peas. So they were rescued and planted into their own pot. Surprise peas!
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Of course there are some pretty things too. What sort of garden doesn’t have flowers.
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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.
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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.
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(and that’s your blooming lot for the week)

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if you can clean an oven, you can clean me

You know it’s been a while since you’ve blogged when wordpress has disappeared from chrome’s most used sites.

Yes, yes I have been missing in action.
I had a whole 6 days off work!
Not all that fun though because I t was on doctor’s orders so there was no crafting, but there was a lot of television. I then went back to work before becoming infected by the cold, so I spent almost 2 weeks curled up on the couch with my teapot and Netflix/WatchSeries and resting.

If anyone hasn’t watched Orphan Black yet, go and watch it immediately.
The acting performance by Tatiana Maslany is incredible, especially as she juggles many different parts.
I cannot recommend it highly enough. Such an interesting story which keeps you guessing, but hooks you in.

I also finished off Season 3 of The Killing, Season 2 of Bomb Girls and have now watched all 10 seasons of Greys Anatomy.

I wasn’t expecting to like Archer so much but I did. So I watched all 5 seasons of that.

I started watching Being Human and got through 3 seasons of that before getting bored. I may still watch season 4 just for completeness.

I actually used this site to see how much television I’ve watched, but I stopped when I got to 100 days. It got a bit alarming. Especially when you consider the amount of times I would have re-watched shows like Friends, MASH, How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock, let alone the amount of times I’ve watched Black Books!!!

Unfortunately, all of this television watching has left me with a lack of new shows to watch. I watched 4 episodes of The Walking Dead before getting bored. I tried watching House of Cards but quickly gave up.

So if anyone has any television recommendations please share.
And cross your fingers that my second half of the year is healthier than the first.

Maybe I did sneak in some knitting.

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