Wednesday, December 26, 2012

recently {five reasons why the blog has been so quite}

1. We moved house
Early August Brendan and I decided it was time to start looking for our own place to live. We has no idea what we were getting ourselves in for. In a space of a month we looked, applied, got accepted and moved in. I honestly think it has taken me till now to get my head around the whole process because it happened so quickly + at the most busiest time of the year. But it feels good. We have learnt so much about each other and ourselves during the past few months, and slowly we are working out how to merge our two lives together to make new routines and traditions.

2. Work has been insanely busy
Schools are busy places, especially at the end of the school year. I've written and edited reports. Had spontaneous parent/teacher interviews. Said goodbye to this years kids and met next years. Taken 80 9/10 year olds to the beach in the rain and slept over at school. Said goodbye to a colleague I started my teaching career with and met new colleagues. Turned stars into Christmas trees and newspaper into Christmas bowls. Made chocolate balls with 80 children. Packed up my classroom and spent hours engaging exhausted children. Basically, I have been in survival mode for the last two months until now. 

3. Turned Twenty-Five
Celebrated my birthday with some of my closet friends at a lovely little beer garden in the city. Melbourne gave as a glimpse of it's perfect summer nights as we drank beer and chatted in the warm night air. It was ace.

4. Celebrated Christmas
We ate, drank, ate, laughed, ate, swapped presents and repeated, multiple times with friends and family over a three day period. It was lovely to relax catch up and be present. It was awesome to have my own house and tree to  decorate.

5. Hello Summer Holidays
That pretty much sums it up. I have so many plans for the next five weeks, that I really don't know where to start. I'm looking forward to spending some time down at the beach with some ace new friends, catching up (again) on my 2012 project life album and coming up with an achievable plan  for 2013, making plans to crochet a new blanket and make a quilt, plan and dream about a 2014 holiday and cook up a storm.

I have plans to share for the blog, 2013 and a heap to catch up on throughout the next few days.

It feels good to have time slow down for a moment and really enjoy the last week of 2012.

Have things slowed down where you are?
What plans do you have for the last week of 2012?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

creative space | simple square blanket

Love starting a new project. Love finishing it even more.
I started working on this blanket, sometime towards the end of January. It has been with me through hard days, long weeks, sick days and times when I need calmness. I think it is the repetition of patterns and stitches that draws me to long term projects like this. I loved that I could pick this project up at the end of a long day and not have to think about where I was up to or that it could sit there for weeks without being touched.

Inspiration for this blanket came from the lovely Pip and her super simple squares. Initially, I thought I would stitch the squares together... that lasted approximately three days before I realised how much extra time it would take me to do that and I decided to join my squares as I went. The blanket ended up being 132 squares and I added one row of treble stitch around the edge (still not sure on the best technique to 'finish' a blanket). I wasn't too fussed with the pattern that was forming, my main criteria was that the same colour couldn't touch! Once again, the most tedious part of the blanket making process was stitching in all the ends, next next, I must remember to do this as I go.

For me to finish a project it needs to be achievable and I need to see it coming together as I am working on it. This blanket was perfect for that. 

Are you glad to see the end of a big project?
What have you been creating?

Playing along with my creative space
(it's good to be back!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Winter 2012, I want to remember

How we decided to start looking and applying for rental houses.

Getting accepted for our first rental house, much quicker and easier than we anticipated.
How lucky I am to have an awesome family who helped with the packing and moving of all my things.
Unpacking boxes + setting up our new home.
How our relationship changed during those first few weeks of living together.
How cold, wet and unpredictable the weather was.

Learning to adapt to things that weren’t how I expected them to be.
Layering up to leave the house most mornings for work.
The excitement in my classroom, before, during and after their performance of the Flintstones at the school production.
Staying up way to late watching the Olympic Games.
Adapting old routines and making new routines. 

The awesome performance of Sally Pearson and Anna Meares at the Games.
Wearing bright coloured jeans with boots and super warm jumpers.
Trips to Ikea where we debated the ‘essentials’ and made plans for things we could make ourselves.
Cardio sessions at 6am, when it was still dark and less than 5 degrees outside.
Realising, that I much prefer to exercise in the morning before work.
Watching the block and falling in love with Dale and Sophie’s style.
Eating mums homemade soup with fresh white bread.
Feeling the warmth of fire first thing in the morning.
My obsession with instagram. 
The sense of calmness and familiarness that came with every square I crocheted.
I didn't realise it had been so long between posts. Winter has been a crazy busy couple of months. So ready for Spring and all it has to bring with it and getting back into regular posting. I have lots of pictures of my new house and projects I've been working on over the last couple of months to share with you. 

Have things been extra busy where you are lately?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

project life | how I caught up

The other night I sat down to 'get caught up' on project life. I knew I was a few weeks behind (a month and a half to be exact) and I knew I hadn't been taking many photos (long working hours + lack of sunlight). Feeling overwhelemd, I went and checked my email (avoidance) and Ali Edward's latest newsletter was waiting for me. In which she was talking about how she had gotten behind with her newsletter. It was just what I needed to hear. I decided there was no point stressing out about how far I was behind and how I was going to get caught up. It was in the past and the present was waiting.

That six week period became one double page spread in my album.

I loved Ali's repeating journalling technique that she used in her newsletter and decided to use that too. I picked a couple that I really related to and added some of my own. I trimmed down a page proctor so it would hold 4 6x4 and added the text + some pictures of the report writing process (one of the reasons I had ended up so far behind)

One of the reasons I love this approach to memory keeping so much is that it is a reflection on my life right now. And a few weeks ago, that life was crazy busy. This project reflects that.

Are you a memory keeper? A collector of stuff?
What approach do you use to record those memories?
Do you use project life?


my creative space | split personality pillow

I made my first crocheted pillow!

I was cleaning up my wool basket and found a couple of circles in squares grannys I had made a couple of months ago, which were going to become a blanket. Turns out I never got around to that project. I decided to turn them into a pillow, for my friends birthday. It was Wednesday when I had this idea and her party was on Saturday. Nothing like a good challenge!

I used the join as you go method to join my granny squares. This meant they ended up with two rounds of cream yarn. As I had never made a pillow before, I didn't really know how to finish it. I spent some time on pinterst and google trying to find a tutorial with not much luck, so I decided to just wing it, and make a giant granny square for the back. This was going great, until about two thirds of the way in and I ran out of orange wool, it was late Thursday night and I didn't have time for a visit to the shops on Friday. I finished the square off with purple wool.

I continued crocheting the square until it was roughly the same size. All my searching before, had told me that the most popular way of joining the two squares together would be to use single crochet. Which I planned on doing, until I discovered they were slightly different sizes and didn't have the same amount of treble clusters.. there was no point stressing over it, so I single crocheted the two squares together with my own unique method!

I was really happy with how it turned out. I love that it has two distinct personalities, the calm look of the grannys on the front and the bright orange/purple square on the back, depending on your mood!

Do you crochet pillows?
How do you join the pieces together?
Do you use a pattern or prefer to make things up as you go alon?

I am still working away at this blanket too.
I needed a bit of a break from making the same thing over and over again.

Do you finish one project before you start the next?
Do you like to have a few different projects on the go at once?

Go here to see a variety of fab projects.

Monday, June 11, 2012

point + shot | long weekend

It has been a super productive long weekend here. I've spent most of the three day break writing and editing mid semester reports. After finishing a report, I rewarded myself by making a square for the simple granny blanket. There was a very good ratio of reports written to squares made this weekend! I started joining the squares together and it is really starting to look like a blanket now. Love this. Naturally, I did most of the report writing and crocheting in my pajamas in front of the fire. I am yet to find a way to write school reports that doesn't involved my pajamas, they seriously have to be the most comfiest sitting down clothes ever!

Was it a long weekend where you were? How did you spend it?

Playing along with Sunny + Scout for the first time in a while.

Monday, June 4, 2012

right now

Winter has really set in down here in Melbourne. The mornings are cold and icy. The days are long and cold and and really wet. Layers are being worn at every opportunity. Boots and stockings are on on high rotations. The fire is burning day and night.

I am right in the middle of writing reports and I have declared the Queens Birthday long weekend, the report writing long weekend. They will be finished.

I am finding a few minutes here and there to crochet a few more squares for this blanket and I am dreaming about learning this stitch to make this scarf

I am pinning bits and pieces over here and really hoping to find my blogging mojo really soon. 

Are things slowing down for winter in your corner of the world or are they about to get busy? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

right now

Things are about to get really busy. Just as i am starting to feel like i am finding my feet with this whole blogging thing. It is getting to the busy end of term. Reports need to be written, parent teacher interviews need to be had and lessons need to be planned and taught.

In then mean time, I am still snapping photos and collecting bits of life for my project life album, crocheting a square here and there for this blanket, participating in Ali Edward's 31 Things class, training for my next 10k run and spending lots of time drying to get washing dried in this weather. Hoping to share some of these things here over the next few weeks.

Are things becoming busier than usual where you are?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

my creative space | more squares

Things are getting really busy around here and time for crafting is become harder. I really need to find some of that work/life balance people talk about. My creative space really has to thank a stupid virus that paid me a visit because there isn't really much you can do on sick days besides watch reruns of friends and crochet some granny squares! It's all about finding the good in everyday, right? 

At the realisation of how many squares I am going to need for a queen size bed blanket and the slow process of individually stitching them together,  I started joining them as I was going, using a my own joining stitch, loosely based on this method. I love it. It is so much easier knowing that not only does the last round finish the square but joins it to the blanket. Love watching this blanket grow.

The best thing about making blankets? snuggling under them on cold Melbourne nights.

Take a look over here to see what other lovely people have been crafting this week. I know that is where I am heading :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

around here

the weather is getting cooler. scarfs and jackets and boots are becoming a necessity to leave the house in the mornings. rain is here most days.

the sun is setting much earlier. it's dark leaving for work and dark coming home.

warm, comforting food is being baked from scratch. food that leaves you feeling full and content.

sick days have been had. lots of oranges and apples are being eaten to prevent any more.

it's getting to the busy end of term. lots of correcting and conferencing about learning is happening. goals are being set. reports are being written.

plans are being made and conversations are being had about new adventures, new houses and new experiences.

squares are slowly being made and joined together. new projects are being planned.

Monday, May 14, 2012

week in the life: the pages

I am so grateful to have this project finished.

In the end, I kept it really really simple and added it to my project life album. I used Becky Higgins Design F page proctors and trimed the end strip off to make them slightly smaller than the full 12x12 size. This left me with 7, 3x4 spots to fill each day. Seven photos. I could do that. I decided to use the 6x4 spot on each page for that days words. Keeping with my super simple theme, I typed my text directly into Ali Edwards 6x4 story overlays in photoshop elements.

Some days, I ended up with more photos than others. When it came time to print the photos to add to the album, it didn't bother me too much if some photos were placed in another day. On a whole, my weekdays are usually pretty similar to each other and in months/years to come I know I am going to be grateful for the bigger picture and not to concerned about the minor details.

I had been waiting for the right photo/moment to have a go at using the one photo to fill the 12x12 page. I went with a photo of me ready to document my week. I love how it looks. I may still go back and add some journalling to this photo, as I currently undecided as to whether or not it is complete. I used this tutorial to cut my photo up (I divided my photo into 6 6x4 photos) to save and print as I don't print my photos at home. Side note: make sure you save your images in the proper format or they won't print (I totally learnt this the hard way! I'll need to wait till the next time I develop photos to print the top left hand corner!) The opposite 12x12 page is still unfilled. I'm thinking about dividing another 12x12 photo of my bedroom currently but I am still undecided.

In short. I absolutely loved this project. I will definitely be doing it in some form or another next year.

How do you currently keep your photos and memories? Blogs? Photo albums? I would love to know.

Friday, May 11, 2012

sick days

Yesterday was just one of those days.

I work up feeling on the blah side but decided to press on. After attending my before work boxing class, I had found a little energy. By lunchtime, I was feeling terrible. I was pretty much told not to go into work tomorrow. I have never really been one to take sick days instead choosing to work on because there is just too much to do but after listening to everyones advice, I decided to take today off. After a really early night and a 12 hour sleep,  I am already starting to feel a little better. Sometimes we really do just need to stop and let our bodies rest before it becomes anything more serious and that is exactly what I plan to do today, with a little bit of crochet thrown in for pleasure. 

What things make you feel better when you are under the weather?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Today we took a lovely bunch of nine and ten year olds into the city. We explored the Immigatrion Museum, had a guided tour of the MCG and enjoyed a lovely walk up Flinders Street to Federation Square and back down Soutbank. It was magic to re-see the city through their eyes. It was magic to see the MCG through their eyes.

Lesson learnt: pass over the camera to children more and you'll be amazed with what you come away with.