About Me

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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inspiration and Stealing Ideas

This has been a weekend where I've been getting inspiration for all sorts of things and from all sorts of places. Firstly, this cushion cover I've started (yes, I know I haven't finished the first one yet). Last night when I was procrastinating going to bed I checked out Coco Rose Diaries blog and clicked on her "crochet" link (you'll find a link to her blog on my blog reading list) and was once again mesmerised by the amazing colours of her work.

I tend to be such a mono chromatic person when choosing colours and yet I love bright and mixed colours in other people's work.

This is the cushion cover that has, over night, become a work-in-progress. Note the muted colours. I know this will be lovely when complete but it's just a little bit boring.

So, while I was browsing I saw this incredible blanket made from little granny squares. Being in cushion mode and still having three large cushion inners to be covered I realised I could modify this to a cushion cover. Unfortunately the pattern wasn't posted but I could figure it out quite easily. Sorry Coco, but I just couldn't resist.

So this afternoon I've been sitting in the warm winter sun at my table making dainty little squares. I do get a little frustrated with adding colours, tucking in tails and starting a new square within what feels like moments but it's certainly worth it when you see the finished result. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning about 9am. The children are all back at school, my house is spotless (for the first time in a very long time) and I have a date with my teapot and my crochet!

I've also been inspired in cooking too. The other day our lovely friend Val dropped off a chocolate cake and a big bag of lemons. I just LOVE lemons for so many reasons. They smell amazing, they're so versatile and they are so shiny, yellow and fresh looking. I especially love cooking with lemons because they have that strong, citrus taste that goes well with so many things. Having a date with my friends and a cranium board I decided to whip up some lemon cupcakes. Now, I'm so not a cake decorator that I don't make cupcakes very often. But I had to walk past the Culinary Council the other day on the way to Spotlight so I called in to see if they had any pre-cut flowers. As they stock everything I was in luck and I got two packets of these beautiful little flowers. Now I feel a lot more confident in cake decorating.

And my last inspiration came from Junior Masterchef Australia. I had recorded the final for Kayley and I to watch and we sat down to it yesterday afternoon. These amazing little 12 and 13 year old's made an Adriano Zumbo dessert of pears, profiteroles and creme patisserie. I figured if these children could do it I could too.

Well, I almost did. I made these profiteroles for dessert tonight and made my first creme patisserie, which I injected into the choux buns then lashed choclate icing on top. I'd have put melted chocolate but we'd eaten it all last week. Rogan and I taste tested one while the girls were outside having a fall out (can you see the gap on the plate?) Delicious doesn't even cover it!

So tomorrow morning is my first Monday off in a long time and right now I'm holding my breath waiting for it to arrive. I have to bonus of My Kitchen Rules on telly tonight then early to bed so I'm up bright and early to get the kids out. Waa hoooo! Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Holidays, Colds and Crochet

It's the middle of the school holidays and I have two children down with nasty colds. I sent Rogan off to deal with his man flu with Nana. He was reclined on the sofa, cheeks red from a temperature, nose blocked and looked up at me through sleepy eyes. "Because I'm sick, does that mean you'll do everything for me?" He asked. Hmmm, thought I. It must be time you had a few days with Nana. Poor little lad.

But on the up-side, Nanny is back from England and she came home bearing gifts . . . most importantly my first issue of Mollie Makes. I've had it less than a week and it's plain to see that I've read it multiple times, it's dog eared already and I'm loving making the first little bits and planning the bigger projects. I have just one issue with this publication . . . it makes me want to do all sorts of very ambitious things like screen printing fabric.

The other thing I've been working on while the rain falls and the children cough is hats using more fun textiles. I found these gorgeous fluffy yarns for a very reasonable price and wondered how they'd work in a hat. Thankfully Janae is always willing to be my hat guinea pig so she's got a stash of hats now.

I promised the little girls down the road a hat each and have decided that the new and improved ones will go down a treat!

I'm loving this one for Holly. I got this ribbon the other day and knew that it'd look lovely round a hat. The flower is a pattern from the MM Mag.

And Sarah's flower has the new yarn around the outside. I'm not sure if I like it or not but I'm sure an eight year old will think it's pretty cool.

I have been so inspired by the little MM flower that I'm currently working on a cushion with that at the centre of each square. It's nice to be making something for myself again!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Needs Must

It was such a cold, wet and dismal day that after a hot lunch I was finding it difficult to stay awake in front of the fire this afternoon. Expecting to have to stand in the cold and cheer on Kayley at netball, and having made it to bed by 10pm for the last three nights (a miracle in this house) I knew I needed a quick project to be sure I didn't fall asleep.

I whipped out my Stitch and Bitch - The Happy Hooker book and found this scarf pattern. You know, I really recommend this book for all crocheters because I've made almost half of all the project in there now and every winter I open it up and make one more.

The scarf in the pattern is only one colour but as I tend to dwell in black clothes over the winter months and because I've claimed my fushia flower hat for myself I chose to do a striped version of the colours of my hat.

Thankfully netball was cancelled as I hadn't finished it yet. I took the kids to Nanny and Granddad's for a hot swim and I sat watching and finishing the scarf. My fingers became more and more numb but I was determined to get it done. Needless to say, the minute the last tail was safely tucked away, never to be seen again, an eight year old tapped me on the shoulder and asked "Cool, can I have it?" Well, she can't "have" it but she did get to wear it for the rest of the afternoon. I think I'll be making another one very soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Phew, that was a busy week

I spent the most part of last week and all of the weekend filling orders for hats. I finished off the last one yesterday afternoon and almost jumped with joy.

Please, don't misunderstand. I love to make hats but I finally got my Nicky Epstein knitted squares book from the library on Thursday and it's been calling out my name ever since saying naughty things like "Go on, Belinda. Making just one square won't hurt." Thankfully my resolve was firm and I got the paid jobs out of the way and now I have a week ahead where I can make something for me.

You will remember that I promised I'd make myself some cushions over the winter and as I will probably not be able to renew this book from the library I figured making a cushion cover was the most sensible use of the time I have with it.

And because of this I've fallen in love with I-Cords. I've made them before as stems of my flowers but to make one that's 76cm long to make a twirly heart and with five stitches instead of three, I've realised just how versatile and easy these can be. And how effective.

So this is the first of the squares now I need to go make some lunch and then get on with the next. Woo hoo. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Look what I've made Part II

I sat knitting a tiny teddy with my feet up and a hot cup of tea last night. It was absolute bliss. I can't quite believe that I've made this. Well, I say "I've" made this but I had LOTS of help from my lovely building buddy.

The children are completely in love with it as it's just the right height to sit on the floor and colour in on it. Janae's been sitting on it all morning with various toys. I have to laugh though as my first prediction came true. I said to Building Buddy that there'd be a child on the sofa trying to watch telly and another would come and sit on this and there'd be a row because sofa child wouldn't be able to see. We had about four of those rows last night.

The more I see the fabric the more I get used to it and start to love it more. I guess, being practical, the best part is that it's hardy and durable so it should still look good in a week, unlike my first love fabric that was too expensive.

And it even served a practical function yesterday afternoon. I had a 'customer' come to place an order for hats and this was the perfect place to lay out balls of yarn, hats, flowers and all other paraphernalia so she could make all her decisions. I think it's safe to say I'm in love.

I'm also discovering my hidden child right now. Kayley brought home an Enid Blyton book Secret Seven last week. Oh no, thought I. I thought we were over story reading. But we get Janae off to bed, I make up a pot of hot chocolate and sit around the table together. We read a couple of chapters and even I have to be tough and say no to more because the story is starting to get quite exciting. I loved Enid Blyton as a child and used to tuck myself into bed to read chapter after chapter. My mother has a big suitcase of all my favourite books from childhood. I think I'm going to have to find it and get out some of my true favourites. I know Kayley would love Trixie Beldon and there's one an English teacher gave me once after I spent a term helping out the kids in remedial reading. It's called The Boundary Riders set on a big cattle farm in Australia. I've read it probably six times and have even re-read it as an adult. I really want to share it with Rogan and Kayley now.

But now I have work to do. The sun is starting to peek through the clouds so my table is beckoning me to get started. Catch you later.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look what I've made

Poor Rogan, he feels like every time I promise to make him something it ends up on the back burner as something more important comes up.  That's exactly what happened with his fireman. Sorry Rogan.

But, I managed to get it finished this morning and am looking forward to him coming home to see his face.

Janae loves him already and I fear she may have to be reminded that he's Rogan's toy.

So now I need to find the next project. I'm just waiting on a text from my building buddy. She's off getting her dacron and foam so that we can finish our ottoman projects today. I'm eager to be putting my feet up on it tonight.

Kayley has ordered a teddy in a sack so I think I'll sign off now and go get that made while I've got some spare time. Hopefully I'll be showing you to ottoman tomorrow!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What a Weekend

I got a call last night asking if I'd take a job whipping up some "uniforms" for a play at a local school. Sure why not? I had to take up and hem these polar fleece jumpers and then sew on the tape to make a replica of a uniform. It didn't seem that hard until I had to do the belt around the middle. With stretchy material and non-stretchy tape it was a bit of a mission, but I had to put my perfectionism aside and just get the job done. Thankfully, it's all done now and packed away for delivery tomorrow.

I finished Janae's dolly last night. I'm not that in love with her but Janae is and I guess that's what is important. Now I'm working on a fireman for Rogan. Of course, that may be a little longer in the making as I suddenly have lots of jobs to do.

I have the birthday party goodies finished so I can deliver those on Monday. Now Kayley has asked if I'll make her one. She has a headband so it's just a case of crocheting a flower.

I have quite a few children's hats made and ready for sale. Sonia is coming over on Tuesday to pick two she wants to give as gifts to her daughter's friends. She also wants one for herself so I've set aside the colours she's interested in and will make it once she lets me know exactly what she wants.

And tonight is my black hat making night. I've got to get this one done for delivery tomorrow morning. I'll be heading to bed as soon as it's finished as I'm completely shattered tonight. But it's a good shattered; there's nothing like being tired out from a hard day earning a crust!