A quick fix

Grape leaf

When Im working on one or two larger projects I sometimes feel the need for a quick project to satisfy my cravings for making AND finishing something. So this week I did just that and whipped up this crochet scarf, using scrap yarn and a beautiful woven stitch of single crochet, chain one.

Scrap Crochet Scarf

This isn’t the first time Ive used this stitch (you can check out my dishcloths here), I like the fabric it makes and the way it looks, a little more stylish than a plain crochet stitch.

I guess since I joined the ends together its technically a cowl (or maybe a snood or an infinity scarf depending on where you are from), but whichever way you look at it, its lovely and warm and cozy!

Scrap Crochet Scarf 3

And boy did it ever use up a good lot of my leftover wool 🙂

It was very useful today in the chilly wind and rain I had to stand in while watching not one, but two early morning games of Saturday soccer. In fact Im fairly sure, as I sit in front of my roaring fire tonight typing this that I have only JUST begun to thaw out! Scrap Crochet Scarf 2

I quickly ducked outside this afternoon to catch the last of the quickly fading light to take these photos and the wind was still blowing everything around:

In other satisfying, but perhaps less permanent projects completed this week, in an unusual half hour where I found myself at home (alone!) and dinner already sorted, I painted some leaves…

I love autumn leaves, and these magnolia leaves lent themselves well as a lovely sturdy canvas. I used some acrylic paint and markers to create these designs, and while they won’t last forever, they were a fun way to use the time I had to unwind at the end of what had been a busy day.

Painted leaves-2

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t entirely alone. I did have a small furry ‘helper’ who couldn’t quite understand what I was doing and why I wasn’t patting him!

Painted leaves 2

I hope your week has been a good one, and for those of you enjoying spring, spare a thought for me as winter fast takes us into her fold and send me some words of the lovely sunshine and greenery you are enjoying at your place please! J xoxo

Home again and a special package waiting for us!

We’ve spent the last week holidaying in the Coromandel – which is about 2.5 hours away from where we live and on the upper east coast of the North Island of New Zealand…

It’s a beautiful seaside town…

And we spent much time exploring the coastline (The children are seen here crab hunting):

They found some tiny (tiny) crabs…

We even managed some exploring by boat 🙂

Parts of Coromandel are pretty famous

You may recognize this beach – Cathedral Cove – from one of the Narnia movies?

We had lots of walks, especially in the evenings, which even though its getting dark much earlier now, are a lovely way to wind down after dinner.

But it sure was nice to arrive home after a week away.  I love my home and love arriving back from a stay away. There’s something wonderful about returning home.

And that first nights sleep in my own bed.  Heaven!

More importantly, there was a very special package waiting for us when we got home! The children ravaged it open as soon as they were in the door… seems we don’t get much mail these days!

Inside a cute ladybug tin were some special hand painted rocks, which had travelled by mail all the way from Berlin, Germany. The lovely Julius had seen our earlier posts about our rock painting endeavours and suggested to his mum Carina, that we could exchange rocks… which of course we were very excited to do!

There was also some gorgeous self striping sock yarn in the package, which I was very excited to see. Thank you Carina and Julius!

One thing I love about blogging is the amazing people you ‘meet’ through shared interests (as an aside nobody in my family understands my love of crafting – my brother often shakes his head and tells me Im an 80 year old woman trapped in a 40 year old’s body!). I have followed Carina and her blog Häkelmonster for the last few (maybe 4 or 5) years and always enjoy seeing what she has been up to. It intrigues me that although we can be half a world apart we can have so much in common, from sock knitting to child raising and much in between.

If you are interested you can read Carina’s post about the rock exchange here and see what our NZ rocks look like 🙂

Have you received any exciting mail recently?

Have a lovely week, friends. Janette xx

In my sketchbook

Well my navy blue crochet top is officially in the naughty spot. It’s been a bit hit and miss, love the color and the yarn, but the pattern has been a bit less intuitive than I like… earlier in the week while crocheting in front of the TV I messed up and didn’t realise for quite a few rows (read nights) so had a major unravel to get back to where the mistake was. Then last night when I was admiring my handiwork (most of both sides now finished) I realised I’ve used a bigger hook on this section than I began the garment with. Gah.  Unravel? Continue and pretend I didn’t notice? Ignore it for a few days/weeks/months??  I’ll report back soon.

So I thought I’d share something that I do enjoy working on at present, my sketch book…sketchbook36I have always loved to draw… it is when I feel most at peace with myself.

sketchbook38 sketchbook37 Here are some of my favourite pages…sketchbook21 sketchbook23 sketchbook31 sketchbook32sketchbook20sketchbook28sketchbook29sketchbook30sketchbook25sketchbook26sketchbook33sketchbook24I could spend all day, every day drawing. I wish I did! The last one Ill share with you is this one;sketchbook27A very important message dear friends!sketchbook 40And before I go, a few more shots of that beautiful spring blossom 🙂sketchbook34 sketchbook35sketchbook 41You’re welcome! I feel better already. Now I’m off to find a little crochet project I can work on and complete quickly… xxooxx ~ Janette

 

Slowly…

Tiny snail

Tiny snail 2

Tiny snail 3

Tiny snail 4

Like this tiny snail, I’m taking things more slowly this week. We’re still recovering from the bugs, but there’s only one more week left of the school term so looking forward to the break like a light at the end of the (winter) tunnel. Unlike this snail, I’m not cruising around outside much so you’re more likely to find me snuggled up in front of the fire 🙂

 

Toadstools…

ToadstoolsLacy crochet mittensToadstools 4 Autumn leaves 2015 Watercolor toadstools 4Red toadstoolLacy crochet mittens 2Toadstools 3 Watercolor toadstools 2 Watercolor toadstoolsWatercolor toadstools 3There’s been lots of toadstools and mushrooms out in the past week or so, I keep spotting them when I’m out on my rambles. Our current wet yet still pretty mild winter seems to be encouraging them… and me! I especially like the red and white ones so it’s no surprise these toadstools have found their way into my sketchbook this week. Ive made some more mittens for Maia (and an as yet un-photographed hat for Carter – he’s pretty hard to pin down for photos these days. Ive also done some more work on my red shawl, which I think is about the right size now for a pretty edging… any suggestions? What are you working on this week? What’s inspiring you?

J – xox

PS> I should have mentioned that the crochet mitts Maia is wearing are ones I mentioned a little while back, Im planning on posting a pattern sometime soon 🙂

An autumn walk

For  those of you that have been following for a while you will know that we live in Hamilton, New Zealand, very close to some spectacular gardens, maybe even best gardens in the world! This afternoon we took a family walk through them, and in the fading  afternoon light I took these photos – which I thought I’d share with you…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 2 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 3

Do children always have such boundless energy?

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 6 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 4

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 5 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 7 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 9 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 10

I love this photo, but for the leaves, the fish could be swimming in the sky!

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 11

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 8Hamilton Gardens April 2015 12

Maybe that should be verdant autumn…Hamilton Gardens April 2015 13

Lots of fun with looooog shadows…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 14 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 15Autumn really is a lovely time of year – the nights are cool but the days are bright and warm. The leaves are changing colour, but there is still so much in bloom. What’s your favourite season? What’s the weather like where you are? J xoxox