Gone Country

The weekend just past was a long one. Guy, myself and a few of our friends made the most of the extra day and headed for one of our favorite spots.
Its a secluded little property nestled in the Bega Valley. It belongs to the family of one of our friends and we are entirely grateful they let us crash it every now and then. In return we often spend time pruning fruit trees, collecting wood and basic maintenance stuff.


The water tank and shed

The boys love it because they get to do stuff they wouldn’t necessarily do in the city, like use chainsaws, go hunting, light fires, ride motorbikes and the list goes on.
This trip was spent relaxing. Guy went into it wanting to cook every meal on the fire. His menu included rubabrb and apple cobbler, cowboy beans (baked beans and chipolatas), roast pork with veg, cubanos, and campfire cones (aka sugar comas).
We cooked most of our food on/over/in the fire

My days were filled with helping Guy cook, helping with rubbish burn offs and spinning, whilst my nights were filled with reading. I got a new kindle just before we left and oh man! how did I miss having one! Every time I fly, I break one, so I have been kindleless since our trip to South America last October. It was lovely sitting on the couch next to the roaring fire, reading!
I set up my spinning wheel wherever the people were. Meant I was still “productive” whilst sitting around the fire pit, whilst chatting.
I spun inside, I spun outside, I spun by the fire, I spun whilst I watched the sun set

I was sad to leave such an inspiring and soul soothing place. But I know I will be back.

sunset spinning by the fire

Such amazing views to admire

Take an ice cream cone, stuff it with marshmallows, snickers, mars bar, then wrap in foil, chuck into the hot coles. After a few minutes, pull it out, unwrap and enjoy the awesomeness that is squishy marshmallow, chocloatey goodness! There you have the recipe for “sugar comas”!

Celebration of Wool

Every year there is one thing marked on my calendar that I can not miss. Its the Celebration of Wool market day at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston Canberra.

The Old Bus Depot Markets (OBDM) are awesome every weekend of the year. There is hot apple cider and coconut chicken to look forward to, or freshly squeezed orange juice and sweet pastries to try. There is always top notch crafts people selling their wares from paintings, to wood work, to sewn goods. There is honestly something for everyone. Guy likes to sniff out new and old favorite foods, my Dad looks out for plants, my Mum can often find fabrics, my niece some crafting things. We often meet out there on a Sunday morning when the family has been in town visiting, just before everyone heads back to their “normal” lives.

But every May (around the 3rd weekend), they have a market dedicated to everything wool. Fibre, yarn and fabric. Ugg boots, felted vests, hand dyed yarns, homegrown fleece. Even shearing demonstrations!

It’s not just me who loves it. This day has become so popular that last year they made it into a two day event! And added classes!

So what happens when you have a spinning obsession, expendable cash and a market day dedicated to all things woolly? You end up well stocked with fibrey goodness and a stockpile that will last maybe ~ a month!

This is how my weekend just gone went. I headed to the markets on the Sunday, 20th May. With Guy in toe, our first mission was to fuel up with deliciousness (pizza for breaky?! why not…), closely followed by buying all of it. Well not really, I was pretty selective, sniffed out what was around before heading back to buy things.

 

wool day stash

Some of my favourite places were Feltfine, Glenora, Raxor Yarns. I bought some beautiful wool from some lovely ladies who grew their own sheeps but I didn’t get a business card and didn’t take much notice of their store name. Sad panda that I can’t pass their details along, sorry! Oh and a sneaky Birthday present for mum from Frank Williams!

So obviously I have spent my spare time since Sunday spinning!

Spinning self portrait. Here I am plying some corriedale I picked up from Glenora at the Old Bus Depot Markets wool expo

I defiantly recommend checking out the Old Bus Depot Markets! They have other theme days as well, and are worth checking out any Sunday of the year. But if your fibre inclined, I highly recommend the Celebration of Wool (Wool Expo) weekend in May (usually the 3rd weekend of May). And there is a “Creative Fibre Day” on July 8 which is not as big as the wool days, but have a lot of great fibrey, wooly goodness too!

Happy Hump Day!

I’ve actually been super productive this week! But today all my energy has been sapped and I want to crawl under a quilt and stay there. Preferably a nice handmade by Mum quilt, big enough to cocoon around me.

Anyways, “just keep swimming” as Dory would say.

Things that I have achieved this week include :

I set up my dressmakers dummy to my measurements. It made me realize just how bottom heavy I am!

dressmakers manequin
My dressmakers dummy set up to my size.

I cut the L and the O for my giant LOVE sign! This thing is going to be monsterous!

L O
These things are massive! The whole thing will sit at about 4 metres long when it’s all set up!

Guy and myself got the corner garden bed in! We are both excited to finally have garden space to get veggies growing again!

corner garden bed
Slowly getting there with the garden! We got our corner garden bed in on the weekend

I have completed the top for one baby quilt…

patchwork baby quilt
Baby quilt made with panel “Thicket” by Gingiber for Moda, sashed with squares of batik fabric

And started another…

4 foundation paper pieced stars
My first attempts at foundation paper piecing! I think I’m doing ok! This is a free pattern from Threadbare Creations

I can’t wait to start showing off some of these things as finished pieces! But for now, it’s back to the sewing table!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

I’ve been spinning so much, it’s ridiculous!

It’s not until you start looking back that you realize just how far you have come. This has certainly been true for my spinning adventures. A year ago I bought myself a spinning wheel. Before then I taught myself to spin on a drop spindle.

Many many years before that even, my mum was spinning on her wheel, and I tried to jump straight into it. I didn’t last 10 minutes and then didn’t have the urge to revisit it.

It wasn’t until we were passing through Cooma in the holidays of my second year at uni, stopping at the Ashford store, that I picked up a drop spindle. Curiosity got the better of me, and I bought one, along with some wool. My mum also got one, and side by side, we egged each other on enough to conquer the drop spindle. This was my first real taste of spinning. I spent the next 8 or 9 years spinning on my drop spindle, getting better at consistency and learning how to ply.

My first yarns were think and chunky. I crochet a hat from the first singles I ever made. It was pretty crude, but I cherish it. I then moved onto plying my yarns with threads or other fine yarns. My favourite was to ply them with sparkly thread (still is). And then, finally, plying with other hand spun yarns.

Now I have a spinning wheel. Honestly, in the year of having it, I have spun more than my whole 9 years combined spinning on drop spindles! The process seems to be much much quicker, and it is easier to get in the rhythm, not having to stop to wind on. I am completely and utterly obsessed!

I spin ever single day. Maybe its just a phase, only time will tell. But it has become a sort of meditative practice for me. I use it to clear my mind before and after work. I use it to keep my hands busy when I don’t know what else to do! I use it as a tool to be in the moment, taking in the feel of the wool in my hands and the soothing clicking of the wheel.

Alas, all this spinning is making my yarn stash get out of control! It’s ridiculous!

my happy place
When I think of my “happy place” this image is what comes to mind. I was watching the winter sun set whilst spinning.
hand spun yarn
My very first wheel spun yarn.
Fluro yarn
Spinning fluro yarn on a drop spindle
crochet hat from handspun yarn
This was my first (somewhat) successful spun yarn. This is what got me addicted! It was spun on an Ashford bottom whirl drop spindle. I crochet it as singles.

A Colourful Wedding – The Beginning

It has been ten years in the making. I first met Guy in October 2007, at the local pub. We hung out, got to know each other and then bam! We were standing on top of the hill, near the house we had built together, looking out over Gungahlin. Lights twinkled bright as rain trickled from the sky. Guy told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. Standing there, in perfect frog spotting weather, I naturally assumed the surprise to come would be somewhat slimey and eager to jump on my face. So who can blame me when my first reaction to the love of my life, down on one knee, box in hand, with ring lit up, asking “will you be wife”, was “WHAT THE HELL?!” followed by (eventually) “OF COURSE!!”

With a date locked in, a photographer, a celebrant and a caterer all confirmed, the fun has begun!

We have been approaching the whole day from an art installation perspective. Making what we can, and gathering what we can find. The list of “exhibition pieces” is long. Felted flowers, giant LOVE sign, wedding dress, tie dye shoes, and that’s just what I’ve thought up so far!

Think Bright!

Think Colourful!

Think Rainbows and Sunshine! (fingers crossed for sunshine on the day!)

A stack of rainbow tulle will be made into a petticoat
A wet felt rainbow flower
I will be wet felting my own flowers from delicious wools!
We are gathering a mis matched assortment of coloured glasses