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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hello Autumn












Autumn is here. It has technically been here for 6 weeks but it doesn't really feel like Autumn to me until the leaves turn red, daylight savings comes to an end and I start fantasising about switching on the underfloor heating. I was very tempted to do just that today but we are going to try holding off until June. It'll be beanies and an extra blanket on the beds until then.

It's been a lovely weekend just pottering around the house and a visit to the local farmers market this morning. I was chatting to the local Alpaca grower and it re-kindled my desire to get back on the spinning wagon that I started way back when. I spent 2 afternoons at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild when I was pregnant with Flynn and despite the ladies being ever so patient with me I just couldn't get the hang of it. I think I might have to give it another go. I've definitely upped the ante on the knitting productivity and expenditure the past 12 months so even the Mr is coming around to thinking we could be saving money with the purchase of a couple of Alpacas.

We spent an epic afternoon in the garden today. Our house paddock is still very much a work in progress so when I say gardening I mean there were chainsaws, weed killer and two massive bonfires to burn the piles of shrubbery leftover from when Dad was here at Christmas. The area in the front of the house was unusable due to overgrown shrubs and trees which also blocked the entire view but Dad wielded his magic and transformed the jungle into a rough cricket pitch and half soccer field and now that you can see the whole view I don't know why we were "umming and ahhing" for 7 years over the decision to clear the area. 

We settled in around the fire pit afterwards and had curry for dinner and toasted marshmallows for dessert. I don't know why we don't do this more often, the minimal clean up alone would make it worthwhile. The only thing to top off the evening would have been a soak in the outside bath next to the fire, a glass of red in hand and a sky full of stars. Unfortunately, there is still not enough water in the tank to meet the requisite water height in the tub and it was overcast anyway. Maybe next time.

How was your weekend? Any Spinners amongst you? Is outdoor bathing your cup of tea? Do you love Alpacas?

Mel xxx



Friday, April 11, 2014

Above the clouds







The first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning is the Sun rising over the Coal River Valley through the triangular window at the end of our bed. 

We've never had curtains in the bedroom here and love being woken up by the view and enjoying some quiet moments before the pitter patter of ten little feet come traipsing up the stairs.

The Sunrises at this time of year are particularly beautiful and occasionally I take photos of them and share them on Instagram.

Sometimes the Sunrise is special enough to warrant its own blog Post like the other day when we  awoke to this amazing sight - the thickest, most incredible fog I have ever seen. It went as far as the eye could see and felt like we were living above the clouds. Over bowls of Porridge we watched it slowly recede until it hovered just above the river where it stayed for another hour until it was time for School. It felt like Autumn had finally arrived.

It's raining today and I couldn't be happier because the tank is filling up and I will be able to hold off getting water delivered. It seems crazy to have to pay for this one thing that nature provides for free but the reality of living in the second driest Capital of Australia and not being hooked up to the town water supply means about twice a year we need to fork out $120 for water. 

We still have another 3 days left of School next week before the holidays and I think we are all feeling the effects of a very long first Term of School. It will be a nice, quiet weekend ahead. Friday night is always movie and popcorn night here and then I'm thinking a whole bunch of nothing for the next couple of days. I might even tidy my desk and put the 2014 Calendar on the wall.

Have a lovely weekend friends! 

Mel xxx



Monday, April 7, 2014

Obsessions

Image found on Pinterest, sorry I can't find the original creator.

My brain works a bit like the diagram above. If I have a book to read, I will either love it to bits and read it in a few days flat, often with an all-nighter in there to finish it off, or it will sit on my bedside table for 7 months and then go into the 'one day, probably never' pile.

Due to having these slightly obsessional tendencies, if I become hooked on a particular TV Show and there is an option to watch the entire Series in one hit, I will do just that. Two weeks ago I started watching the first episode of Breaking Bad and sure enough, 10 days later I emerged with the entire 5 years worth of episodes under my belt and the heavy eyelids and enhanced vocabulary to prove it.

Part way through my Breaking Bad marathon I considered having a little pause. Tiredness was creeping in and no one could find matching socks but then I reasoned that the sooner I just get to the end of the Series the sooner I can get on with my life. Binge watching seemed more efficient than the slow burn of an episode a week for 5 years. The only problem with this intense way of viewing is that you become completely absorbed in the Show and desensitised to bad language and criminal behaviour. If one of my friends knocked on the door right now and told me about their illegal Meth Lab, I'd be more likely to respond with "Yo! Is it the blue stuff? How much for a teenth?". 

Seriously though, it was a great Series with a fantastic cast of morally compromised characters and if you can get past the disturbing subject matter then it makes for captivating viewing. Did you watch it? Are you also worried there is going to be a rise in illegal meth labs springing up around the world as a result of this show? I'm still workshopping my feelings after watching the Finale the other day. I'm particularly disturbed at how upset I was with how the show ended. It was the 'right' ending but after all the bad stuff Walt did, I still just really liked the guy and wanted it to all work out favourably for him. Or maybe I just felt a connection to the actor himself, which may be why I was thrilled to read that Bryan Cranston plans on writing a memoir revealing the secrets and lies he lived with over the course of the 6 years of filming Breaking Bad. Yes!

Why everyone is obsessed with Breaking Bad

Anyway, The Game of Thrones Series 4 premiered Sunday night in the US (today, our time) so that will keep any Breaking Bad withdrawals at bay. Or so I thought! Game of Thrones is now only available to watch on Foxtel in Australia and will not be available for purchase through iTunes like the previous 3 Series were. We don't have Foxtel. Neither do my friends or the majority of people in this country. As a result, no doubt there will be a multitude of sites on the internet where you can download and watch the episodes illegally. This is not good. The only option is to wait until the end of the Season and buy it in the shops, a useless option because everyone will be revealing details of the show and talking about nothing else but Game of Thrones for the next few months. What to do? Moral dilemma. Or maybe I'm just still in Breaking Bad mode. If you are interested in seeing the funny Game of Thrones recap trailer doing the rounds on the interwebs, you can see it here.

Speaking of obsessions, I think a good indication of a burgeoning knitting obsession is going to the movies to see The Book Thief and spending the whole time drooling over the beautiful hand knitted items worn by the characters and hoping you will be able to find similar patterns on Ravelry so you can create the same wardrobe for your children. So much wardrobe and knitting eye candy in this lovely film. 
  



Images from here
I do not wish to live in war times but I would swap the cheap, mass produced clothing available now for their everyday clothing in all it's handmade and knitted glory in a heartbeat. 

I thought I'd better give my knitting a little break on the weekend and get stuck into tidying the household so I re-arranged my yarn stash. It's an 'installation' of sorts. It's by no means an excessive stash but I have nevertheless undertaken to reduce it before entering another yarn shop. To reduce my stash the only solution is to engage in more knitting. I will then have to replace my stash to keep the 'installation' looking pretty. Win win :-)



Another obsession to enter our household is the rainbow loom bracelet obsession. It has been part of our life for 2 weeks now and not since the arrival of Minecraft have I seen my children so absorbed in something. Eleanor was stopped at the Salamanca Markets on the weekend by a stranger who wanted to photograph this riot of colour.



The children come home from school, gather in the blue room for YouTube tutorials and make bracelets for each other and their friends and then spend lunchtimes swapping them with their mates at school. I'm not particularly fond of picking up thousands of coloured rubber bands all over the house but for an activity that has kindness and generosity at its core, absolutely! 


Just look at their little faces. They are completely obsessed. 


The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Any obsessions in your household at the moment?
What are you looming? Knitting? Watching?
Did you watch Breaking Bad?
Are you a Game of Thrones fan?
Can you recommend a new Series for me to watch?

Have a great week!

Mel xxx

Monday, March 31, 2014

Where's Flynn?

Hello 16 Months. I remember you.

You're that age where, if you have a quiet but fast and adventurous toddler, the number one question in the household becomes "Where's Flynn?!".

It's that age where you are straight out the door like a shot and within 30 seconds can be found amongst the chickens, trying to give them a hug

Come back!

or grabbing pellets out of the bag to feed them


Or the dog


Or you'll be climbing up the stairs, knowing I'll be right behind you


Peekaboo!


Or you'll be opening every single cupboard and rearranging the contents. The spice cupboard is your favourite. 


Or you'll be 'helping' with the laundry


Or playing with the water cooler or anything except the box of toys available.


Or pushing every single button on every single appliance in the house.


Or climbing onto all the furniture.


Or getting onto the trampoline to kick the ball.


Or playing in your little red wagon.



Busy Boy.

Thank goodness we both get a chance to rejuvenate during your daytime nap



before starting round 2 in the afternoon :-)


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-Along





I was really keen to have a crack at lace knitting so I joined up to Ysolda Teague's "Follow Your Arrow" Mystery Knit-Along where I knew there would be plenty of support available to get through the project. 

It was my first Knit-Along and it was a really fun thing to do and I especially enjoyed the interaction with other knitters from all over the world. Every week for 5 weeks we were given a choice of 2 clues. Because I wanted to see how each clue turned out I decided to do 2 scarves. I was able to keep up each week with both scarves until the 5th week where I finished the final clue on my first scarf and then released we had reached a situation of Dire Straits on the home front. I'm not saying the Dire Straits was in any way related to the fact I had spent the previous 5 weeks knitting like a madwoman at every opportunity and may have neglected the household as a result but in hindsight the timing is rather interesting. I shelved the final clue on my second scarf and will pick it up again as soon as order has been restored, which I'm hoping will be in another few weeks.

It's not that I wanted to have a lace shawl to wear per se, I just really wanted to try knitting lace and if I could wear it at the end that would be a bonus. The fun was going to be purely in the making of it. The truth is, the making of it nearly did me in. It required every inch of patience and then some. It was not the relaxed knitting I'm used to where you can still carry on conversations or watch some TV while you're at it. I lost count of the number of times I had to recount stitches or rip back a row and I had to start over from scratch not once but twice. One little mistake in lace knitting can make the whole  thing look terrible. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I really started to bond with my scarf over the course of the Knit-Along and as I finished the clue each week I was looking forward to getting the next clue in my inbox. I am quite pleased with how it came out and will definitely enjoy wearing it. I love the way you can see the arrows within the design of the scarf.

After my last scarf, I decided to have a change from my usual neutral colour palette and opted for this gorgeous blue/green. I love the colour and any worries I had about it being a bit 'out there' for a scarf have disappeared now that Hemlock Green is one of the 2014 Pantone colours of the year and I am literally seeing the colour everywhere. 


I have no idea why I look pregnant in this shot.

I'm currently reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and really loving it. There is a lot to be said about this book so I'll leave it for another time.

My ravelry notes can be found here and I'm joining up with Ginny this week, something I'm trying to do about once a month, which is a more realistic time frame for me to be able to have a book read and a bit of progress on a knitting project.

Hope you are all having a great week!

Mel xxx


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Evening Walks












I love my evening walks. Sometimes one of the children joins me and we enjoy some special one on one time together and sometimes I go on my own. More often than not though, Daniel and I go together once the children are in bed. It's a nice way for us to reconnect at the end of the day and this is where some of our best conversations happen. It also provides a much needed break from the after-dinner mess, which never seems quite as bad after returning from the evening walk.

Since I mentioned how much I love "the golden hour" in my last Post I thought I'd share some photos of our evening walks before the end of daylight savings finishes and brings this lovely ritual to an end. 

The twilight in Tasmania is particularly long due to the Island being so far south of the equator. The Sun sets low on the horizon for a good while and casts long shadows along the sunburnt landscape and bathes the surrounding hills in a beautiful golden light. I love listening to the Birdsong, the sound of the wallabies thumping and the wind flowing through the Eucalyptus trees. Sometimes the neighbour's horse comes over to say 'hello', and without fail, a bright white cockatoo feather will catch my eye. 

I rarely take photos on my walks but the above shots are moments that took my breath away and made me want to reach into my pocket for the phone so I can savour the moments again when I get hit with bouts of nostalgia. I will miss these walks in a few weeks when daylight savings comes to an end. However, we have decided to replace the evening walk with another equally enjoyable past-time - rugging up on the balcony with a glass of wine and a bit of star-gazing.

Have a lovely week!

Mel x


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