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Sunday, 17 February 2013

~African daisy progress, Crocherati update, Valentines day

 
... African daisy  progress
 

This week we've been making litle daisies for the African Daisy blanket. I think I should have called it the daisy eater because its a hungry little blanket and it gobbles up each new daisy as soon as its made. :D
 
 
Here are a couple of progress photos showing how the blanket is growing.
 
You'll see how each row grows it creates an edge that is not straight and to help minimise this I've designed one half of an African daisy that aims to straighten the edge out. 
 
 In terms of design that means the edges will be straight - but at this pont there will be a zig-zag edge on what I see as the top and the bottom of the blanket.
 
I quite like the effect it has and am in two minds on whether to fill it or not... I'll play with the design a bit more before finally deciding.
 
The last photo shows the "half a hexie" I made as a gap filler. I've shown it to a couple of friends as a bit of 'market research' and they seem chuffed enough with it so I think that will be an appropriate filler for the gaps. 
 

 
To round the blanket off I'll edge it with a couple of rows of the dark blue and "hey presto" the African daisy blanket will be finished. I have really enjoyed this blanket and the way it looks is truly festive - it lifts my spirits every time!
 
 ... Now an update about the secret granny square exchange, or "Crocherati"
 
 
The next round of the exchange has kicked off with a Valentine's Day theme and though I cannot show you the squares I made and sent - that would shatter the anonymity for my recipient!!! - I can share with you the squares I have received.
 
 
Two beautifully themed heart granny squares and then a surprise bonus as well: an interwoven heart that has lovely smelling potpourri in it! How very lucky and spoiled I am.
 
 
 
 
 
 
... Musings about Valentine's Day...
 
 
I think its so lovely to have a day dedicated to love and the pursuit of romance. Yes every day should be special and filled with love - but how nice to know that for one day a year you can be super soppy and totally over the top with romance crazy - and it is totally okay...
 
 
Yes I liken it to the same euphoria as going to Disney-land ... difficult to leave there without happy memories. Sore feet on the day, but as time goes by and the sore feet heel, along with the memory of the loooong cues (etc.) one is left with happy thoughts, of happy times, and fun.
 
 
That's me for this week lovelies, have a glorious week. Warm pixie smiles coming your way, xo.
 
oOo

Sunday, 10 February 2013

~summary of projects on the go ~


Yay I'm better. I think I had this year's flu and its been a tough one - good luck to anyone out there going through it at the moment, hang in there!


Projects on the go


I needed to take stock of all the WIPs - that would be works in progress -  I have going at the moment, and make a list of causes I made promises to - and I am not allowing myself to take anything new on-board until I have delivered on all of them. They are - in no order other than the order I'm remembering them in.


1.\ Granny Square for the next round of the Secret Granny Square exchange (tick, but can't show it to you as its a secret :o( ... I will show you the ones I receive when they get here)


2.\ A couple of granny squares for the blanket being made for the fistula hospital in Ethiopia


3.\ A couple of granny squares for one of the Crocherati ladies who is compiling a blanket for friends of hers in Queensland who have been affected by the recent weather events (tick, here is a photo of the squares I'm sending)



4.\ One border row as part of the Creative Crochet Crew's QR code project (tick, I mailed this earlier the week and it has been received)


5.\ A couple of headbands for another Crocherati cause towards kids with cancer


6.\ As part of an outreach a couple of hearts to one of the Crocherati ladies


7.\ FIVE gifts as part of anew group I belong to where you make a gift as part of a "pass it forward" initiative.



8.\ Finish the lovely daisy blanket so I can list it on Etsy.


Here is a photo showing that the joining has started! This is going to be smashing when its done, love the colours sofar.


More to do about Daisy...


So many wonderful things to do with the African Daisy - on my list is this lovely handbag via the below link. Not only does it come with detailed instructions and layout information, but the entire pattern and instruction sheet is free. Enjoy.

http://www.craftpassion.com/2012/04/african-flower-crochet-purse-part-1.html


Warm pixie smiles coming your way, xo

oOo

Saturday, 2 February 2013

... mancold ...

 
Still a bit quiet from me - yup its got me in its grips - I have a dreaded MANcold !!!
 
The only thing I don't have is a little bell. What the hell am I talking about you wonder .....
 
 
 
Click here to see what a Mancold is:
 
 
 
Will be back next week - till then, a wave from this side of Pixie-Land.
 
oOO

Sunday, 20 January 2013

~ Krista block 15, 16 litter blocks and 30 african daisies


Krista block 15
Still using Panda's "magnum soft" acrylic yarn (in butter) I made block 15 of the Krista throw. If you want to see the different colours its listed here:
 



This block was so pleasant and super easy. It starts off with an eight petal flower in the centre - and then grows very quickly into a granny square pattern.









Its even lovely from the back you can see how the flower evolves into the good old granny square so familiar and loved.








If you're looking for the patterns - they are free and via the link: http://promotions.spotlight.com.au/Facebook/Tabs/block_of_the_week/botw.aspx

16 squares for a fun cause
The Creative Crochet Crew invited crochet artists to participate in making a QSR Code from granny squares. This is a similar project to the one they ran for the Arts Hub QSR competition toward the end of last year.
 
So I've had the privilege of making 16 little white squares which will form part of the QSR border and  I'm so excited that I can be part of this collaboration.
 



In order to keep them flat I joined them with a slip stitch through the back loops only - this is one of my favourite joins as it looks like its been weaved together.
 


If you're wondering - the Creative Crochet Crew is a facebook community where a love of crochet is at the heart of the group - a great place to visit for fun and inspiration. If you want to see their page its right via this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Creative-Crochet-Crew/142317845834754
 
 
African daisy update


Sofar I have 30 hexies in various stages of completion. Its still my aim to join them into a blanket and list it on Etsy. By the end of this week I'm comfortable that I will have all 30 hexies lined with the dark blue borders and ready for assembly into a blanket.

 
I wonder if it will look nice if I start it as a field of daisies - then have a thick band of the dark blue before adding a rim  of daisies again -- OR perhaps I should just have them all form a daisy blanket.

 
Time will tell how this evolves - its wonderful to be inspired I can't wait to see how this blanket develops - I'm letting it guide me as I go.

 
Well that's my crochet story this week - warm pixie smiles coming your way. xo
 
oOo

Sunday, 13 January 2013

african daisy progress

No Krista block this week - instead I've been focusing on makings some african daisies for the blanket I would like to list on Etsy.


Sofar I've made a good start for the blanket and though I'm not quite as far as I would have hoped am pretty excited that this has the potential to be truly lovely - I hope whoever gets it will enjoy it as much as I have loved making it.


At this stage my big worry is which price to list it at - list it too high and it might not sell. List it too low and people might not trust the quality. Maybe I should list it low as an introductory offer as this will be my first Etsy listing and then take it from there.


A progress pic:





Other projects I have committed to this week include making a blanket for the Hamlin Fistula Organisation; making headbands for children with cancer; and also became part of a group of ladies who are crocheting a QR code as a group effort.


I'll keep you posted on these over the next two or three weeks. In the meantime I would really appreciate your feedback on how much you think I should list the African daisy baby blanket for.



That's it for show and tell this week - have a wonderful week with warm pixie smiles coming your way, xo
oOo

Sunday, 6 January 2013

~Show and tell...

 
...Krista block 14
 
 
As you know I'm doing a block a week towards what is called the "Krista throw" - and this week I made the block for Week 14.

It starts of as a granny square - but instead of being worked in the round all the way it has the first two rows in the round and then expands outward via two of the four sides. The effect is quite unusual in that it expands outward to the top right from starting as a cross-like structure bottom left.
 
It would be interesting to make that initial squarer in a different colour to the rest of the block - and for the next one I might do that. This blocks for this throw will be a solid colour - its called "butter" and is made by Panda wool in their "magnum soft" range.
 
 
If you're looking for the Krista patterns - they are free and via the link: http://promotions.spotlight.com.au/Facebook/Tabs/block_of_the_week/botw.aspx
 
And a standard reminder that there is a Facebook group for the Krista throw. Like-minded crocheters who participated in the original Spotlight promotion as well as others who joined later on and I have found these ladies willing to share their experiences when constructing their own Kristas.
 

...Started another project - African daisies

 
With so many ideas to get my Etsy store up and running I have decided to make a daisy blanket using the African daisy or Somalian daisy pattern. The pattern seems to be pretty standard and freely available throughout the web - I just did a quick Google search for "african daisy crochet pattern" and it returned with 101,000 hits! www.google.com
 
I have always loved daisies and having it against a blue backdrop to symbolise the sky is so beautiful - this is how it evolves from yellow circle to daisy hexagon granny square:
 

 
And look, I've made a start! Next time round you should ask me if I managed to complete it and list it on Etsy yet, that is my target for next week.
 
 
 
That's it for show and tell this week - have a wonderful week with warm pixie smiles coming your way, xo
 
oOo

Sunday, 30 December 2012

~ Krista block 13 ... Secret Santa ... The Lace Cafe

 
Krista throw block #13
 
This week I made the 13th square towards the Krista throw. Its also a flower but this one didn't have a centre ball in it like the flower did in week 3 - though very similar methinks.
 
 
 
I love the final effect of the raised flower petals, though I'm realising that I prefer less lacy blocks and blocks with a little more structure to it.
 
Its my intention to join these blocks together without spending too much time blocking them - and I hope that any tension concerns I have for the "lacy"-type blocks will be resolved when they form part of the throw's whole.

Remember all the patterns in this throw is free and via the link: http://promotions.spotlight.com.au/Facebook/Tabs/block_of_the_week/botw.aspx

Also the Facebook group for the Krista throw has a community of likely minded crocheters who are happy to talk you through the experiences they had when constructing their own Kristas.


The wonderful world of the Secret Santa / Kris Kringle

One of the Australian traditions that has a very special place in my heart is the "Secret Santa".
A group of people set out to buy each other Christmas presents anonymously in what is fondly called a "Kris Kringle" or "Secret Santa" exchange.

How does it work you're wondering.... Its pretty straight forward really. All the names of the participating group members are chucked in the proverbial hat - and from this you are given one name and that is the person you will be buying a gift for.

The price range is usually set upfront and everyone who participating agrees to this and a date to bring the gifts in. As great efforts are usually taken to keep it anonymous the gifts these are clearly labelled with the name of the recipient and then be collected in a pre-determined area, handed out and opened to great fanfare and enjoyment.

This year I had wonderfully unique pleasure of participating in two of these exchanges - with a couple of differences in that
 
-\ the participating groups covered the entire Australia as a geography;
 
-\ the gifts were to be mailed
 
-\ it was for two craft groups - both joined via social media.
   The first the Krista Facebook group; the second the Granny Exchange I have mentioned before and fondly call the "crocherati'
 
-\ these groups are full of talented crafters and crocheters
 
 
With all of these constraints you might be questioning the end result of these exchanges - but look at my beautiful gifts!

I am so very privileged I'm counting these as my best Christmas gifts this year! You can see from the photos the wonderful attention to detail as I received two fabulous bags, a detailed scarf, other goodies in line with my interests; a beautiful handmade card for the tree - look I can go on and on and list them all, but why don't I just show you how wonderfully spoilt I am. A picture speaks a thousand words so I hope you get as much joy picking out the gifties as I have in my enjoyment of them. PS those tealight candles are banana leaf candles and smell absolutely devine!
 
 
 
Clearly I'm still a bit giddy - wonderful people, a wonderful tradition. Thank you so much I'm so pleased to share your generosity with the world!

 
The Lace Cafe in Olinda

We also took a drive on the tourist road through the lovely Dandenong ranges here in the State of Victoria and had a pie and a cuppa in the lovely town of Olinda.

There is a beautiful Victorian-esque shop on one of the corners called "The Lace Shop" and what a treat to walk through there! I snapped these two phodies of the outside display windows - how beautiful:
 
 
 
Even though it was past 5 o'clock the shop owner welcomed me to walk through the shop and I'm definitely going to make a plan to go back and buy some of the goodies I spied with my little eyes... In particular there were some lovely spoons at the front counter that had a crystal embellishment at the top of its handle, all the goodies in the store were absolutely fabulous.

I do like to collect business cards of such glorious little shops but she had just run out - only to be so kind as to write down all the details for me on a piece of paper even though it was well beyond the store's opening hours at that time.

Saw on the outside shop window that the store is in the market - and just to tempt you I have found the link click here: http://www.commercialview.com.au/businesses/retail/1-olinda-monbulk-road-olinda/business-details-3191563.html

Its not often you get to buy into an opportunity like that with an existing reputation, clientele, and on the tourist route! Fabulous! If it were my time I'd be knock-knock-knocking on that door but at this stage of my life I have to pass on this opportunity. I hope the new owners will keep the character of the store - what a lovely lovely place!

That said I can't believe we're at the end of 2012 - yay we survived! Happy New Year to yawl - I pass this blessing to you that 2013 sees your hopes and dreams realised; that your best wishes are surpassed and that any kindness you show to others be repaid to you tenfold!

- warm pixie smiles coming your way. xo  -


oOo

Sunday, 23 December 2012

~ Krista block 12 and a spoily for a friend who deserves a spoily

 
My favourite thing about working through the Krista blocks is
revisiting skills I thought long since forgotten.
 
 
This week's Krista block (number 12) is entrelac crochet and came out pretty looking just like it did in the picture so I'm rather happy with it.

If you're after the pattern for this block or any of the Krista blocks I've made sofar click on this link they are available for free:

 
 

I had a good giggle at myself in the beginning of the block as the ole mind tried to remember how it works - and then two tips came back to me:

   1.\ after the first square, flip the work before you turn
   2.\ turn it clockwise until the hook touches the 3ch start

After that it was zippy fast and the block took as much time to make as the traditional granny square - faster than any of the the other blocks in the throw sofar.

 
A close-up of the stitching 
 
 
 

The nice thing about entrelac crochet is that the front and the back look pretty much the same - its really fun. Here's the flipside of the work.
 
 
 
 
Other applications of entrelac crochet

It will come as no surprise to you that there are many many applications for entrelac crochet. Some of my favourites include baby blankets - and there are some beauties out there.

One that I am adding to my favourites is featured on Charlotte's web page and is a white and blue baby blanket. Have a look at it here:
 


Helpful friend


Helping my lovely friend, who doesn't know she's gonna be helped by my yet, and hoping she only reads this blog only after I've had the opportunity to give her the gift...
 
This friend has twice now broken her shoe just as she's about to enter her local shopping centre. Which is a good story to laugh about - but also an opportunity for a surprise spoily.
 
So I made an imaginary thong - it has no sole and is pretty much a hippy version as it involves hearts - but its forming part of an "emergency mall survival kit" that I was hoping to get to her before Christmas.
 
I'll demonstrate what it looks like on my hand:
 
 
 

How did I make it...
 
I made a heart - and at the bottom of the heart made a ring of 30 sc looping back to form a ring. This forms a nice loop for her toe to go through.
 
At the top of the heart I made two ch stitch ropes - one of 50 ch and one of 40 ch. Why different lengths you wonder? Well why not, its for a laugh and a giggle. And to see if she'll notice ha ha ha.
 
Well its been a good fun week - Merry Christmas I hope you have good family fun and have a lovely day.
 

That's my craft story this week - warm pixie smiles coming your way. xo

oOo

Sunday, 16 December 2012

` hearts hearts hearts

 
... Oh this has been a fun week - I have been making hearts that will [potentially] become pins during memorial services at a Palliative Care Unit here in Melbourne. I say potentially because if the Crocherati lady who is coordinating this activity finds an alternate use for them it would still give me great joy to have been part of this.
 
Yes, I have prioritised something over my Krista block again this week - but have no remorse as there are one hundred little happy hearts in my arms.
 
Let me share some pictures with you ....
 
 
 
So many hearts they are falling out of the box ... I need to do some planning to squish them all in without tangling their little heart strings....
 
 
It starts with one bunch ... 
 
 
... and then another bunch comes along for the party ....
 
 
  ... and another ...
 
 
... and before you know it they have multiplied like little hearts who are left alone in a box with other little hearts.... lol!
 
 
... fun in a variety of colours ...
 
 
 
All the hearts in the mailing box, ready for a send off...
 
 
To be a fly on the wall when she opens that box I'll send it off tomorrow and even though its Christmas Australia Post won't let me down I'm sure she'll have it in a flash!
 
I have been making some heart pins for my Etsy shop and am so pleased that the little guys in the photos above will add some value to the Palliative Care services.
 
Well, that's my craft story this week - warm pixie smiles coming your way. xo

oOo
 
 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

... loading ...

No blog this week, pigeons, just clear ran out of time. Methinks the pixies may have helped themselve to my stash of extra minutes. But do come back next week to see what we got up to.
 
xo