All is wonderfully well here in wintery melbourne (I am writing this with a curtain of pure blue sunshine spilling into our little flat). The last month of winter here is approaching fast and I am SO DARN excited for spring, green trees, growing seedlings on our windowsills, bare limbs and gently spring sunshine. Yum. To be fair winter here in Australia is an absolute delight too really, I am English and am used to 5 long months of cold, grey and drizzle with the odd sprinkling of clear skies and snowy mornings. I miss the snow, but I dont miss riding to work on sleety streats with a waterfall of rain infront of my eyes. I can count on my hand how many days I have had to ride my trusty bike through rain thus far this winter, and when it does happen theres a real sense of naustalgia for good ol’ Blighty, and a childhood of red wellies and splashing in muddy puddles.
The thought comes up that little creativity has been going on in the last month since posting here….but im not sure that is really the case, more that my mind has been flittering around getting excited by lots of different projects all rather unrelated to each other. There has been little bursts of garment making and much crocheting in front of our little stove snuggled up with the oh-so-scrumptious gentleman and series after series of Spooks. I finally completed an 82 square Granny-Square blanket I started back in spring last year when I was WWOOFing (Working on Organic Farms) on Tom’s parents land for my visa extension. It is made from the softest alpaca/lambs wool blend in a range of blues, greys and greens, and reminds me of stormy oceans. Im sure we will get much more use from it before the winter is through as it is a perfect little movie blanket to throw over our laps on the sofa. Below are a photos of it in progress, the last one is it finished except that I added a large 3” border around the outside using the same teal wool that I connected to squares with.
I absolutely love crochet, its so fast!! I seem to refind my love of knitting and crochet during winter when all I want to do is surround myself with fluffy things, things that will keep me warm and toastey. Once I have a bit of extra funds Im planning on starting this awesome free knitting pattern I found on Pinterest (via the free knitting and crochet pattern website ‘Ravelry’)
I just love absolutely everything about it! Here is a link to the pattern if anyone is interested. The lady who knitted this version pictured above extended the sleeve length and bottom hemline by about 2 inches over what the pattern states. Here is the link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/buttercup-6 I love it in neutral colours…i mean whats with the yellow version on the pattern?! Im thinking of trying it out in a chestnutty/reddy brown colour. Im just waiting for a little bit of spare income so I can fork out the $60 to buy some nice wool for it =)
A couple of weeks ago I also made this little jumper dress for myself out of some cheap fleecy material that was remnented at my local fabric warehouse. The fabric is a polyester which I would not usually buy but I fell in love with the colour and the inside is so unbelievably soft and fleecy and Im always desperate for warm layers that work well over dresses and leggings. And the fabric was $6 a metre…sooooo.
I just took the basic pattern from a stretchy dress of mine and added sleeves and an asymmetrical hem. Super easy and a great warm winter staple for early morning bike rides and running around after toddlers when Im at work. (The little girl that I nanny is now 13 months and is super-ultra-turbo-charged! She was 8 months and very much still a baby when I started working with her….now she’s definately a little toddler!)
This week was the last week of one of my favourite Op-Shops (thrift store/charity shop) being open here in Melbourne. Its relocating to an unknown address and Im so sad, they always had the best fabric collections and are one of the only Op-Shops around here that actually has a wool collection worth speaking of. So ill be hunting down my new favourite places to grab bargains soon…but until then I pretty much bought them out of the lasts of their fabric collection and scored a SERIOUS bargain. $17 for well over 6 metres of random peices of vintage floral materials! I cycled off a happy gal with a bike basket spilling over with colourful springtime prints. I knew as I was buying them what they would become, and the photos below are the humble beginnings of a collection of recycled fabric dresses for my ‘Selkie Child’ line that I am working on to sell alongside my Women’s clothing.
They are super simple to make but just so wonderful when they are complete, their linings clashing beautifully and little details of lace trim and bright buttons. I have been hankering for an excuse to handsew recently and had a great time working on these little embroidered patches that I am adding to the dresses as they are completed. Embroidered onto the patches are excerpts from one of my favourite poems ‘The Stolen Child’ by W. B. Yeats. It’s a long poem with many verses but I love the section ”Come away O’human child to the waters and the wilds with a faerie hand in hand for the world’s more full of weeping then you can understand.” Below are the patches that I have completed so far. I love handsewing! Im so slow and not very neat (im sure my great great grandmothers would be turning in their graves!) but I think they are sweet and nostalgic and add a little bit of fanciness to the finished dresses.
So these are some of my little projects that I have been getting on with. Life feels such a mixture of sloooooow winteryness and weeks that just revolve in a blink of an eye. Tom and I are working hard, and slogging along with the process of getting my De-Facto Visa so I can stay as a resident in Australia. At the moment my current visa will run out on the 19th of November this year, so its all systems go to try and get the next visa sorted! (this means endless beaurocracy and $4500 for our troubles ;-P)
I think thats pretty much it for now folks, Its lovely to see more and more people following this blog so I dont feel that I am just talking to myself anymore. I love recieving your comments and if anyone is interested in purchasing anything they see here, or have any ideas for custom orders or collaborations then I love a good challenge and just drop me a comment below!
Much love and wintery wishes,