Sunday, September 26, 2010

At Floriade

There is this lovely little path at Floriade just behind the rhododendrons which runs along the dogwoods. It's very cute.

Last year they had these hanging above the path.


This year we have umbrellas.


I'm not too sure which one I prefer. I like the lanterns because they were easy to photograph, and just so very beautiful. You rounded the corner, and BAM there they were. Stunning. But I like the umbrellas too mainly because the Floriade theme this year was imagination. As we walked up the path, they felt like they were dancing above our heads. It was very Dali-esque.

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beanie Ladies

In January, when four of us were planning our trip to Central Australia, I offered to make them all beanies, as it was going to be winter when we went, and, well, any excuse to crochet something for people I love, I suppose. Then I found out another two friends were coming, and suddenly I was making six beanies. I bought some Malabrigo, had a few patterns lined up...

Beanie Ladies

And the next thing I knew I'd made five almost-identical beanies, but all in different colours. I started my own on the way back from Kings Canyon, and finished it as we all gathered in the dining room at Ross River the next night. Then our friend Colleen walked into the room. I hadn't realised she was coming until the last minute, so I offered to make her a beanie from the leftover yarn I'd brought along for running repairs.

Colleen's Durango Hat

I started it in bed that night and had it finished by breakfast. I even had a spare button. This pattern made a very fast beanie - they only took me 90 minutes each.

Beanie Ladies

So with seven of us wearing almost-identical beanies for the nest few days, we were christened "The Beanie Ladies" by the others. It became like a secret handshake, and we were very easy to identify when down the river, or at the gorge. We were joined together not just with yarn, but with our friendship and our love of singing, and we experienced things together in Central Australia that are sometimes hard to put into words.

This week one of our Beanie Ladies is in town, so we had dinner tonight at my house, all six of us, missing the seventh beanie lady who is still at home in Melbourne. We shared photos, and spoke of what we felt and how much we loved our time at Ross River. It was good to be together again.

Five of seven

Hopefully over summer when our seventh beanie lady is up here, we'll be able to get together again.

First and third photos are by Colleen Kelly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Six, eight and nine.

Back in April I wrote about how I finally gotten the whole appeal of wearing shawls as shoulder-wear, and by May I had decided to get involved in the crazy scheme over on Ravelry to make ten shawls in 2010. That's right - I was going to crochet ten shawls before the year was over, and I was going to enjoy every second of it, dogammit.

I've shown you most of my progress on crocheting six of the shawl here, here, over there, yonder, and also wherever. Today I realised that I haven't shown your shawls six, eight and nine. So here's a little show and tell.

Silky Wool Shawl

Number six was a simple shawl called "Country Cotton" by Lion Brand Yarn, a free online pattern and it was made in a month. Instead of cotton, I used Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool 8 ply in the Thundercloud colourway. It is divine yarn to crochet with - I have some more in red that I have grand plans for. The pattern was easy, brainless, and therefore perfect for watching the rest of season one of "Gossip Girl". It's also the biggest - and warmest - shawl I have made and it's the most perfect thing to wear on blustery winter days while walking along a seaside clifftop. Or down Northbourne Avenue. Whichever.

Bridal Shawl

Number eight was another Lion Brand free pattern - Bridal Shawl. I crocheted this shawl with a Crazy Zauberball in the Burnt Almonds colourway. This yarn was perfect. Unlike the Noro I used for the Painted Mountain Shawl, it had no breaks, no unevenness, it was smooshy soft and it bloomed beautifully on blocking. I started it in mid June when we started watching season two of "Gossip Girl", and finished the rest of it while I was in the Northern Territory.

Bridal Shawl

Glorious Morning Shawl

Number nine was done as a crochet-a-long with a friend. I had two skeins of Wollmeise Twin in Vamp red, and we decided to both crochet a shawl in the same yarn. My friend made a South Bay Shawl (which I had already made) and I made a Glorious Morning shawl, which I had had in my Ravelry queue for a while. I actually love my friend's shawl a lot more than I love my own, but I'm still really happy with how mine turned out. I crocheted this at the same time as number eight, and also finished most of it while sitting on a bed with my friends in a wooden cabin with a granite stone floor in the Northern Territory. This shawl has a lot of friendship in it. It was an easy pattern, but I kept making mistakes and could only crochet this when I could concentrate (therefore it wasn't the perfect "Gossip Girl" project). I had a few problems with running out of yarn and having to rip back several rows TWICE *sob* but all in all this is a lovely shawl, in a fantastic colour and as I wear red most days of the week it's been a great shawl to wear to work.

This photo was taken when it was sleeting, a month or so back. Do I look cold? I was!

Glorious Morning Shawl

Stay tuned for shawl ten! Soon! Or tomorrow. Whichever comes second.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My creative space - remembering the hexagons

Hexagon quilt revisited

The Fassett Fascination quilt from last week is on hold as I wait to see if my Fassett-stash will be improved courtesy of an impending birthday. So this week I've dragged out an old favourite and put it squarely in the middle of my creative space, to remind me to finish the bloody thing.

Remember the twisted hexagon quilt? I think the last time I spoke of it, I had 10 days to go until by 40th birthday and I was looking forward to finishing off the top. Well, here I am with 11 days to go until my 41st birthday, and I haven't worked on that quilt for almost a year. I never did finisjh the top before my birthday last year, and I never did enter it into the 2010 Canberra Quilt Show. Heck, I didn't even go to the 2010 Canberra Quilt Show.

I'm aiming now for August 2011. See what other people are aiming for in their creative spaces.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My creative space - Fassett Fascination

Fassett fascination

The last-ever listings for my Etsy store are completed, and now it's time to stroke some fabric and dream of what I can make for myself.

I have collected Kaffe Fassett books since I bought three at Powell's in Portland, Oregon several years ago. Since then I have built up an impressive library (of eight books), and also some very beautiful Kaffe-designed fabrics have come into my house. It might be time to stop admiring the books and fabric, and do something with them and make that quilt.

And now I have the time and capacity to do it. This closing-down-business thing is very liberating!

Want more fabrics, yarn and other creative spaces you can poke a stick at? You know where to go!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Girlfriend in a coma

I have been on the go since dawn this morning, with a madly busy day at work, a long walk to the bus stop and then home, running errands once I finally got home for a husband with a really awful case of man-flu (which I thought was a bit rich seeing as he had the car all day) and then I cooked dinner and just about fell asleep in my mashed potatoes.

Last bags ... ever

Once I awake from my coma (I'm sleep-typing at the mo, don't you know), I'll be photographing and listing this stuff for the Etsy shop. It arrived from the gallery in Braidwood today.

And then once that's done I'm going to treat myself to a good sit down and read of this, which also arrived today.

Interweave Crochet

Can't wait for this coma to be over.

Monday, September 6, 2010

And that's the show, folks!

I've made a big decision. I'm shutting down Buttontree Lane. I actually made the decision back in May, but it has taken me this long to work out how to actually shut it down.

I am waiting for some bags to arrive back from Material Arts in Braidwood (now sadly closed as Kate wanted to spend more time on her farm with her family) and I'll be putting those in the shop. I have a lot of sack bags cut out and ready to sew, but to be perfectly honest I'm not that keen to make them at the moment. Perhaps one day soon, when I'm at a loose end. But the shop will close, and once the bags are gone, they are gone.

I'm sorry to be disappointing people. Buttontree Lane, while it has been a lot of fun, gave me a creative life I had only previously dreamed about. Sewing project bags was a major part of who I was for over two years, but now it's time to move on and start sewing for myself and my family, and become my own person again.

The blog will stay for now, so you haven't seen the last of me. I'm hoping that with this decision finally out there, it will unblock my sewmojo, and I might be able to finish a quilt or two (and stop talking about it so much).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stormy Sunday


We've had wild, wicked, wonderful weather all weekend. The kind of weather you crave when you are hoping for an excuse to sit under a rug, crochet, and drink hot chocolate. Not so great if you have a leaky roof or a wayward gum tree that likes to lose it's limbs when it blows a gale - and you have to feel for those people who have really suffered as a result of this stormy weather, including our emergency crews. Here, we've been fine. No leaks, no power outages, and an overflowing frog pond is our only concern for the moment.

I spent this morning, not gardening, but taking photos in the wind, while a shower passed overhead. With the warm weather this week, we've noticed a lot of growth in the vegie patch. The strawberries I planted last weekend have already started shooting, and I expect flowers very soon.

Strawberry plants

I have four rhubarb plants which hibernated underground over winter. They are all starting to emerge with the warmer weather - except mine look like they have a pest. My bet is snail or slug bambinos. They will be attacked with an organic pest remedy - a sharp spray from the hose - later.


The spinach I planted a month or so ago has been kept safe from the possums by our tried and tested fencing method, and is finally starting to grow. I'm looking forward to a season of spanakopita and spinach and ham tarts.


Lettuce - if this rain keeps up it won't bolt as quickly as it usually does, and we won't be faced with bitter, sappy lettuce.


And finally, the nectarine blossoms have really come on in the last week. They are the most perfect shade of pink, and they make me happy with the promise that spring is finally here (even thought I really, really love winter. It was just time for some colour in my garden!)

Nectarine Blossoms

Nectarine Blossoms

I've joined Bellgirl in Veg About. If you have a vegie patch, or want to start planting, come and join in and see what the other bloggers are doing.