Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Taking a blogging break

I need to step away from the blog for a while. There’s lots going on and not much crafting happening.

At this stage I’m planning to start blogging again in the new year.

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I haven’t knitted very much for charity lately and so have decided to move charity knitting back into regular rotation of projects.

I’m really happy with how this little cardigan turned out.

charity cardigan2

It used up some old Elle Escapade yarn. Pattern can be found here. It’s a very easy pattern that makes a good take along project as it doesn’t require much concentration.

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I whipped up a little crochet hat. It took less than an hour.


This will go to charity.


I’m knitting a cardigan in yarn to match.

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Take along knitting

More car knitting. A simple linen stitch facewasher using the rest of the yarn from the last one.


Just two more rows to go and then cast off.

linen stitch facewasher2

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I’ve started adding the row to the bottom of the quilt.


It will take me a while to get the whole row sewn down.


Then I’ll need to remove the papers from the second last row from the edge so that I can make some new hexagons.

I have several rows on the side and top and bottom to add to make it queen-sized.

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Life is pretty busy for me at the moment, I’m working full-time and studying part-time and we are heading in to the end of the semester so there are exams to write and marking to do. However, I’ve learned that I cope much better with life if I’m doing something creative every day. My very wise sister-in-law calls this filling your bucket. So I’ve divided up my week into different crafts and aim to spend 20 minutes before bedtime making something.

Wednesdays are for crochet. This little crochet flower headband was completed in one evening (a little longer than 20 minutes).

calendula hairtie1

Yarn is handspun merino silk.

calendula hairtie2

Details on Ravelry.

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When we were making our way to Papua New Guinea for the first time six years ago we called in to see my good friend Lisa and her family. We hadn’t seen them for a long time as we our families had been living in different states and then Gorgeous Man and I had moved to South Africa.

Lisa, through no fault of her own, had ended up with a lot of Very Hungry Caterpillar fabic and during that visit she cut me some pieces to take with me. I had a panel that I had bought in South Africa, but not the coordinates. About a year later I saw (for the first and last time) quilting quality fabric for sale in one of the stores here in Papua New Guinea and several metres of the white came home with me and I started cutting and sewing.

I’m a slow quilter and it’s taken me a few years, but it’s finally finished. Behold in all it’s glory.


The quilting was done by Quilting by Fiona. This is the second quilt she has done for me and did not disappoint. If you are in Australia I don’t hesitate to recommend her for quilting, she’s great to work with, reasonably priced and does an excellent job. I’ve dealt with her via mail and in person and both times went without a hitch.

You can see her lovely work. We selected a pantograph that had a mix of stippling and butterflies to match the theme of the quilt.

I’m so happy with how this turned out. I have another centre panel and some left-overs, so a small baby quilt may appear at some point in the future. Huge thank you to Lisa for her contribution (and her husband for buying the extra fabric that she found herself with)!

One final show and tell.


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So I made use of some of the scraps from the hexagon quilt to make some coasters to go around the house. I love how they turned out. Some are a bit wonky, but it was a learning experience. Here’s the set in all its glory.


These were done quilt as you go style and used the left over bits of fabric that were too small to use for anything else.



I love the centre fabric and was so pleased to be able to use it up. This one is the first one I did and so is a bit wonky. It took me a bit to get the hang of finishing it off.



There was no planning, I just grabbed the closest fabric that fitted the space I needed.


But I think it works. This was really simple, but if there is interest I’ll put together a tutorial. Let me know in the comments.

I’m itching to make more of these and think they might be nice gifts.

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One thing I really wanted to do in Thailand was take an online cooking class. I had found Sammy’s Organic Thai Cooking School via a blog review before we arrived in Thailand and after looking at some brochures, and reading more reviews I decided that this was the one I would book into. The school takes place on Sammy’s farm which is a short drive out of Chiang Mai. Sammy picks up the students from their hotels and stops at a traditional market on the way to his farm.

We arrived to find the large under-cover cooking area set up ready for us to start cooking.

cooking 2

We had a brief lesson about local ingredients.


Everyone got their own station. There were two students from Belgium and one from South Africa in addition to Gorgeous Girl and I from Australia/South Africa/Papua New Guinea (answering the question “Where are you from?” is kind of hard for us).

Gorgeous Girl had her own station. First we made a curry paste from scratch. I opted for a red curry while Gorgeous Girl made a yellow curry paste.


The two dishes.

cooking 6

I made my red curry a little too spicy for my taste, but Gorgeous Girl’s yellow curry was fabulous. She did it all by herself too.

Next we made dishes using the wok. Gorgeous Girl opted for her favourite dish, cashew chicken.


While I made the best pad thai I’ve ever eaten (good recipe, not my exceptional skills).


All up we made 5 dishes each including one dessert. We got a recipe book to take home. I’ve tried one of the recipes so far – it wasn’t a huge success because I didn’t have all of the ingredients. But I will be working on incorporating more of our day out into the regular home menu.


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Belated holiday review

Did I mention that in addition to working full-time I began my PhD this year? Life is kind of hectic at the moment, but I am going to make a concerted effort to blog more regularly. I missed it last year.

I’m getting projects done slowly. A few minutes here and there. I try to spend at least half an hour doing something crafty before going to bed at night. Today I dyed some fibre for spinning (pictures of that when it’s dry).

Anyway, let me tell you about our holiday. At the end of last year we travelled to Thailand. We started in Bangkok. We booked all our Thai accommodation through Airbnb which was much, much cheaper than booking a hotel room. The added advantage was that we got to live like locals and Gorgeous Girl got her own room rather than sharing with us.

The downside was finding the first house. We arrived in Bangkok late at night and took two trains to get to the station nearest the house (we had to change lines – we didn’t get lost). Then we decided to follow our host’s instructions and walk. Unfortunately, through no fault of the instructions, we missed the turn off. When it became apparent that we had overshot our destination we flagged down a taxi and got dropped at the point where we could pick up the key. Then we walked (with our suitcases) to the house. Unfortunately, we overshot the lane we were meant to turn down.

This image may show you why.


It was a very small narrow road, now imagine that in the dark… I was so proud of how Gorgeous Girl travelled. She pulled her suitcase along, and carried her back pack without complaint. She rolled with the punches when we had to back track and didn’t really start to complain or get anxious until the second time that we missed our turn and had to ask for directions.

We stayed in a typical Thai apartment for the area.


The front door. Downstairs was kitchen and living area.


Second floor was the bedroom that Gorgeous Man and I stayed in and the bathroom and Gorgeous Girl had a bedroom at the very top. I suspect that one would develop excellent leg muscles if one lived in Thailand for any length of time. The steps in the house were very steep!

This was a good base, we could order breakfast from the house directly opposite. It was walking distance to the MRT station, there was a small 7-11 nearby as well as some restaurants and a park where Gorgeous Man did some bird watching while Gorgeous Girl and I checked out the playground equipment.

One of the highlights of Bangkok was being able to spend some time with one of her former classmates from Papua New Guinea who had relocated to Thailand a few years ago. It was so nice to see the two of them pick back up where they left off and Gorgeous Girl was able to attend A’s birthday party and meet all of his new friends which was really lovely.

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