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A few years ago Gorgeous Girl was a flower girl in a family wedding. A good friend of mine took the pictures from my facebook feed and made a present for me.

pendants2

Kerin sent me the tiles and then, on my last trip to Australia my sister-in-law, who makes wonderful things helped me attach the silver thingies (she did tell me the proper name for them but I forget) and I visited a local beading store to find a way to wear them.

I’ve worn both of them a few times since I put them all together. Thankful for friends who send surprises and for collaborative projects.

Photos don’t do them justice, but it’s very grey and cloudy outside, so indoor pics it is.

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Visiting

I have been reading Sam’s blog Madfabriholic for a number of years now. I really admire her quilts and knitting, and was thrilled to be able to meet up with her when we visited the USA.

She graciously set aside a day and, along with her lovely daughter, took me to her favourite yarn and fabric stores. Our first stop was Fancy Tiger Crafts. I have to admit that I was a tad overwhelmed by the selection available and only ended up with some fabric and a few stitch markers.  I only got two because I haven’t tried this kind before and wanted to make sure I liked them before buying a whole stack.

fabric1

I’m not sure what I’ll make with it yet, so it’s going to marinate in the stash for a while.

Next up we visited Colorful Yarns. I was feeling a little less overwhelmed by then and some yarn came home with me. I also found the type of stitch markers that I had been looking for and so added a packet of them as well.

yarn1

This is yak yarn. I’m really excited to give this a try! Just need to find the perfect pattern for it.

We then had a very tasty meal at a Mexican restaurant whose name escapes me and a wander around a mall for a while.

visiting with a blogging friend

Thanks for the wonderful day Sam it was great to meet you.

 

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It’s the start of the birthday months here at Ruth’s Place. Most of our family and extended family’s birthdays fall in the months of September and October.

So I’ve been making a few cards. I’m thankful to friends and family who send me their scrapbooking scraps and odds and ends from their die cutting machines. A new injection of papers every so often helps keep the mojo going as I can put new combinations together. This card is thanks to Lisa and Kate.

fathersday card

In hindsight I should have inked the edges of the map and the flowers to tie them all in together…

flag birthday card

Again should have inked the edges…

Jbirthday card

Upcycling a page from an old diary.

 

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There’s been a lot going on here at Ruth’s Place.

Last year I blogged about Gorgeous Girl’s new swing…

On Saturday afternoon Gorgeous Girl and I were relaxing quietly in the lounge when we heard a loud cracking noise. I looked up just in time to see branches going past the window.

The tree snapped off at the base. Gorgeous Man thinks it was because of beetles.

This is what freaked me out a little.

I’m feeling very blessed that Gorgeous Girl wasn’t swinging at the time and that there were no neighbourhood kids playing on it either. Also feeling very lucky that the tree fell in the direction it did, if it had fallen in the other direction it would have damaged the house.

Gorgeous Girl’s best friend is leaving in a few weeks. Today we had their last special play date, they’ll still be at school together for a while. One of the fancy hotels here has a play area. We have to pay for it, but it’s one of the few places in Port Moresby where the kids can play and swim, and it’s nice for the parents to hang out and relax. What we didn’t realise when we turned up was that there were special Halloween activities in the play area today. Halloween is not an Australian custom, so we haven’t ever celebrated it in our house. Gorgeous Girl was most impressed with her first Halloween experience.

There were some costumes.

Some art and craft. We came home with a glittery painting of some pumpkins. There was also party food (Gorgeous Girl pretty much ignored the  lollies (candy) in favour of the popcorn and savory salted snacks), and party games where Gorgeous Girl won a book much to her delight.

I didn’t quite get her little friend’s soft toy finished before our playdate this morning. But I did get him finished off this afternoon. He’ll be delivered next week.

Please don’t notice that his arms are sew on at different heights. A closeup.

Gorgeous Girl chose the buttons for the eyes.

I’ve started the front for Gorgeous Girl’s matching cat.

I really like this African Flower pattern.  I can see a blanket of these in my future. Not while I’m living in PNG and doing the stash down thing though. We have no use for blankets here and I don’t have space to store one, and I’d need to buy a ton of yarn to make one and that would defeat the whole stash down process I’ve been on for the last two years.

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Playing along with the Tour de Fleece this year on Ravelry has taught me that I’m really good at spinning every day the real Tour is on (when I’m near my wheel that is), but I’m terrible at taking photos every day and uploading them to all my teams on Ravelry. I think next year I’ll spin along but I won’t join any teams.

So, on to the yarn. The first yarn I spun for the tour was this lovely merino dyed by yours truly.

(In exciting news, you can see my feet at the bottom of the photo out of focus – normal shoes…) I only had 58 grams of this (just over 2 ounces I think) and so opted to keep it as a single.

I love the way the colours have turned out.

The second yarn that was spun up is 100% camel fibre.

I opted to chain-ply this one for a bulkier yarn.

Next I knocked over some Wensleydale.

This is feels quite itchy. It hasn’t had a bath yet, but I think this skein and the other skein I spun last year will probably become a bag.

Speaking of bags. When I was in South Africa, my friend Kerin sent me some sari silk. I looked around for a while for the perfect pattern for it. Eventually I found one, but halfway through the knitting of it I realised I didn’t have enough yarn, so I made up this little bag pattern from the top of my head.

In other news, I have quilting project paralysis. You know when you are eager to start a big project, but also a bit daunted by the prospect? I have chosen a pattern/design I want to use for Gorgeous Girl’s Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt, but the thought of all the maths I will have to do to make it work is kind of holding me in place.

Yesterday I knit a sheep’s hoof twice and pulled it back twice. Both times my fault because I can’t count, not the fault of the pattern. Perhaps tonight I need to start knitting a little earlier…

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Irony

I made a mug hug. Gorgeous Girl picked the orange for the nose and the blue for the scarf.

There is something kind of ironic about crocheting a snowman mug hug  while enduring the tropical heat and sipping cold water. This isn’t my usual style, but my very good friend Kerin showed me the pattern on facebook and I offered to make it for her. I really hope it will fit her mug. I’ve told her that if it doesn’t she needs to get a new mug.   🙂

This will get dropped in the post when we arrive in Australia for Christmas. This year will be our first time in seven years to celebrating Christmas (on Christmas Day) with family in Australia. Last year we arrived after Christmas and Gorgeous Girl got presents 5 different times as we visited family and friends around the country, but it’s not the same as doing the whole celebration and lunch and swim at the beach. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve started thinking about projects I want to take with me. I’m taking a pair of socks to knit and a crochet hat – Gorgeous Girl asked for a floppy hat and picked out the yarn yesterday – who am I to say no? Then I’ll throw in a charity cardigan that just needs sleeves and a few balls of yarn for some charity hats. They’ll most likely get sent off to Jan of OzComfortQuilts before we return to PNG – less weight in the luggage. Then I’m taking the big hexagon quilt to work on as well. I’m enjoying hand-piecing so much that I have got a few more lined up that I want to do, so I need to get this one knocked over.

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Recently a dear friend and I did a skills swap.  I made her this shawl.

Gratuitous second shot.

In return she used her mad jewelery making skills to make me this.

Sadly, my photography skills do not do it justice.

I’ve also been reconnecting with my sewing machine. This little guy was a gift for a birthday party Gorgeous Girl attended recently.

The denim is from a pair of Gorgeous Man’s jeans that grew holes far too quickly.

Lastly, this gorgeous handspun yarn

has been knitted into pieces and is being assembled into a bag for my good friend Lisa. I’m hoping we will get a chance to meet up when we are in Australia at the end of the year (she lives in a different state to where our families are, so it may take some coordination) and I can give it to her in person.

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Remiss

This post should have been posted weeks ago…

In July, Cape Town hosted an International Quilting festival. One of my blog readers let me know that she was coming from Australia to attend the festival and so we made plans to meet up.

Jenny arrived with some Sanitarium Marmite (the recipe is different from the Marmite sold here) and some Cherry Ripes which were most gratefully received. Jenny actually lives in one of the towns that I lived in when I was in Australia, but we didn’t know each other then.

Here we are at the festival.

The quilts were amazing. Since I no longer belong to a guild, I don’t get to see quilts in person anymore, so it was nice to get up close and personal with quilts instead of viewing them on a computer screen.

Here are two which impressed me the most:

And with my finger for scale (please note I did not touch the quilt at all).

I can’t even begin to imagine how to make something that small.

The mind just boggles!

The quilt show did prove that I’m more of a knitter than a quilter though. Carle and Dana had a stall in the shopping area at the festival and I filled my bag with yarn in about 10 minutes. (I did have a list and was shopping for specific projects, but still). I did buy a little bit of fabric in some lovely bright colours which I will mostly use for soft toy making, but most of my money that day went on yarn.

I have been quilting though, I’ve been working on finishing a quilt that the mother of a friend of mine started about 15 years ago. That’s been an interesting challenge. I’ve just gotten it back from the long arm quilter and need to put the binding on and then I can deliver it to her.

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Owls

I am very blessed to have two very creative and talented sister-in-laws.

One of them has recently started to blog here.

A few weeks ago I saw some gorgeous little owls on her blog and proposed a swap.

Before I knew it these wonders appeared in my mail box.

Aren’t they wonderful? They are made from upcycled vintage fabric.

When I opened the package Gorgeous Girl’s first words were: “Aunty Shell is very clever!” She then spent the afternoon playing with her owl (the pink one) and took it to bed with her.

Rochelle, we love the owls!

I was delayed with my part of the swap by illness. I got over the throat thing only to come down with the flu. So pictures of what I’m sending in return when they have been received. I’ve finally finished the finishing touches and will get them in the post tomorrow.

If you would like a similar owls to come and live with you (they are all one of a kind) you can visit Rochelle’s Etsy shop.

Lots of knitting finished objects to come in my next post…

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So, we are 1 hour and 45 minutes away from leaving for the airport. All that is left to be done is to shower, pack the toiletries and finish my paper.

I figure the three hour wait at the airport before boarding tonight will give me some time to put the finishing touches on it. :)And I don’t have to present until Friday…

There’s been a little bit of crafting going on. The travel journal is finished, but it is packed, so pictures will have to wait.

I finished a handspun  hat for me, but it is packed, so pictures will have to wait.

One of the reasons I’m so behind with my paper is that work got really crazy over the last 3 weeks. Our company has offices in Cape Town and the USA and we had some of our American colleagues visiting. It was really lovely to catch up with an old colleague and finally meet a new one in person. But it meant that I had to go into the office much more than I usually do. (I love working from home because there is no commute).

Anyway, the point is that I made a scarf for one of my visiting workmates.

Hand-dyed and hand-spun by me. She seemed to like it.

I also managed to squeeze in a quick scrapbook page. I’m still working through our Australian trip from June last year.

Look Kerin I started using the alphabet tags you gave me 🙂

Well, I’d better go and get ready.

We have internet access in our hotel in the US, but I’m not sure about Amsterdam, so I will try to do a few blog posts from the road.

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