Saturday, July 31, 2010

Granny Flags

A while back now I crocheted these little bunting flags. I got the idea from another crafty lass on the internet but can't remember who it was - sorry.  I had no pattern to go by, just worked it out myself (that's why they're all a little different), but aren't we all.

I thought I'd show how sometimes it ain't easy getting things done. These were taken at the same time as the one above.  It's like dealing with a difficult model and I only have a few seconds to get the shot done.

Thanks for your help Hamish.

Something stinging for the littlies.

After making my beer and pesto I still had a lot of nettles left and after reading about a very old Roman recipe for nettle cordial I thought 'why not?'.  Here's a bottle. 

It's kind of sweet but refreshing as well.  I tested it out on some kids who knew it was made out of stinging nettles and they got all giggly and nervous then said "mmm, not bad!".  So I don't know that they loved it, but they didn't say "yuk!".

I also rinsed my hair last night with some of the left over water I had after I had blanched the nettles. I don't know if it's my imagination or not, but it did feel shinier and healthier this morning???  I'll be doing some more testing on others to see if they notice any difference.

Friday, July 30, 2010


On our last holiday I tried cooking with stinging nettles.  Using rubber gloves I picked and then cooked a delicious tomato and nettle pasta sauce to go along with the fresh pasta I cooked with the kids. The heat gets rid of the stinging power.  After doing some research on the internet I discovered that nettles have lots of different uses and are incredibly healthy.

I asked my dad to get me some more and today I cooked some nettle pesto and I'm brewing some traditional stinging nettle beer.  It should be ready in a few days so I'll keep you updated.
The pesto was pretty yum but I do have tingling fingers from being stung despite wearing rubber gloves. Not your average vegetable.

What next?

Sorry I haven't done much blogging of late, but my family was hit with the gastro bug last week.  I thought that I was going to miss out on it, but you know - they like to share. This week the three kids have a cold, and the youngest has a middle ear infection. My final bit of whinging goes to the student who told me on Monday to "Get f***ed Miss".  Ahhh, casual teaching. Bring on spring.

I was cheered up however by the sight of our neighbourhood dog 'Dougie', visiting in his winter coat. He's our very own Mister Dog, the dog who belonged to himself (see earlier post).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just hanging around.

Mobiles. Not the annoying things that interrupt our lives with stupid ringtones etc, just a very quiet hanging mobile. This is one I have just completed.

I've used an old children's book as inspiration for the colours.  I also used pages from the book as well as I love the illustrations and phrases such as "How does the doll go? Mama."  It's an ecclectic mix of colours, materials and buttons.

This is the monochromatic one I made some time ago and I've attempted to photograph it before but it never looks great when photographed (sorry). It doesn't help that my camera has decided to stop zooming!  It includes paper flowers and doilies. Both are hanging from a wire hoop up top.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What did I do when it was raining?

Well I made some more flower brooches on my holiday.  I needed something that I could take along with me that didn't require too much equipment, and I could do when I got a spare second.

Here's the outcome.

And here's me modelling a few (just so you know that they're brooches). 

I do enjoy mixing up the different materials I've found fossicking at 2nd hand stores.  I also used some bright buttons I found at a craft shop during our visit to Dungog.

I'm starting to aquire a bit of handmade stuff and hopefully will have enough to have a market stall soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When it rains.

Well we've just spent a week away and as you can see it rained a lot.

We didn't mind too much though.  We had no tv, no computer or internet, no mobile phone coverage but we did have big puddles, bike riding, lots of mud, reading, craft, toasting marshmallows, bush walks, leech hunts (yes) and scrabble.  Now . . . lots of washing to do. 

Managed to get to Dungog for a day and was impressed with their community arts group.  Dungog is a place I have visited at least once a year for the past 30 odd years and it is slowly becoming very groovy with some nice cafes and shops.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Well back to the dining table.  Not to eat, but to set up my screenprinting.  It was the first time I tried to print a large piece of material and I learnt a few things.

Firstly make sure the table is evenly covered with a blanket. Also make sure the material is ironed (as you can see mine isn't). And my last hint is get someone to help you carry it outside to dry.  Ideally it would be best left to dry on the table - but with a 1 year old looking to destroy all in his path - it had to get moved! The wet ink rubbed against the material in sections.  Grrrrr. 

Oh it would be lovely to have my own studio/room/broom cupboard.

I'm hoping to overprint this design in another colour and then embroider.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flowers for Winter.

Recently I mentioned Prints Charming. Well I bought myself their beautiful book of the same name and felt inspired to make one of their flower brooches. 
Here's Miss Beatie modelling my work.  I've used vintage fabric from a lovely old floral tablecloth. When I've screenprinted enough fabric I'm hoping to make one using left over pieces. 

I like the way Prints Charming enhance their screenprints further with embroidery. Here's one of my screenprints that I've begun to add detail to. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but the book has given me lots of ideas and inspiration.

A long time ago.

This is an old crocheted blanket I made when I was about 10 years old! I recently dug it out of storage and gave it a wash, and now it's being used on my son's bed. 

I am constantly amazed at how many crocheted blankets are for sale when I go looking at the Vinnies or Salvos.  Thankfully my mum didn't get rid of this one.  I was shown how to crochet by an old family friend, Helen.  She now lives at Vacy and still crochets.  Thanks Helen!