Saturday, 31 December 2011

Crochet and Fireworks

Just a quick pic to show you some of my crochet progress. It's coming along in ripples and rows!

I am enjoying myself with this project a great deal! Even more so with the amazing view from the back of the boat. Yesterday we dropped our mooring in peaceful Middle Harbour and motored out into the fray that is Sydney Harbour. We checked out Farm Cove, which still had heaps of space, but decided we'd enjoy the view a little further back. So we joined a multitude of other boats already anchored in Athol Bay off Taronga Zoo.

Those big sausage shaped doovers on the bow are fenders, that we think we might need on hand as they bay gets more and more packed with boats. Smaller boats are coming now and anchoring in between the larger boats. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the wind does not change again, and send us all careening into each other!

I have decorated Lucey Blue with some of our Australia Day flags, and lots of other boats have flags and banners and plenty of colour flying too. It is very exciting to be this close in. Bring on the fireworks!

Happy New Year everybody!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ripples on the water...

I've gone all hook happy here. I'm in a bit of a ripple rhapsody you might say. Crochet crazy? Definitely!!

I can't remember if I ever said much here, but I know I mentioned it (even if briefly), because I got two generous offers of crochet tuition from some fabulous stamping friends (thanks so much Patrice and Jocelyn...even if I haven't managed to take either of you up on your kind offer...yet ;-).

Before we set off sailing on Lucey Blue in May I had been inspired by Lucy of Attic24 to teach myself how to crochet (her excitement is highly contagious), so that I could make beautifully brilliant blankies like hers. So I got myself a 'how-to' book of crochet stitches, watched several online tutorials, got some el-cheapo yarn from Spotlight, mucked around with swatches of this, that and another, and kept my eye out for the perfect yarn. I even made myself a snazzy little purse to hold my crochet hooks, scissors, stitch counters and needle in.

One thing I have discovered of this fabulous hooky past-time, is that it is easily portable! Not like stamping and cardmaking at all! With stamping, I like to have ALL my things on hand, and if I've left a particular embellishment, ribbon or cardstock at home (and it is the thing I think I need to finish the card just so) then that is likely to annoy me a lot....a real lot! And we've already discussed here that I would have needed a second boat tied to the back of Lucey Blue to store all of my craft goodies on this voyage (a cruise liner may have been more appropriate in actual fact).

Anyhoo, not so with crochet. I have a  little pink and white tote bag that was a freebie during one of Clinique's promotions (I keep those bag for all sorts of things). This holds all my goodies in it. One of each colour of yarn I am using, my crochet purse, and my project (at least while it is small).

While we were away I started out small, and have made a scarf out of vertical stripes of treble stitch, using a nice cotton yarn (Moda Vera Sombre) that I picked up in Spotlight...

I did feel a bit silly crocheting on a boat, in the middle of a hot Whitsunday spring/ actually felt like summer up there, not like Sydney...which currently feels like winter!!!!! But it was fun, and it was a good way to become well and truly familiar with treble stitch.

And now, I have started my gorgeous Ripply Blanket, and I am in love. I am using Lucy's awesome Neat Ripple Pattern...which you can check out for yourself here. It is such a great tutorial, even a complete novice like me can follow it.

I went up to a local yarn store last week and bought some yarn. The details are:
Name: Sublime (by Sirdar)
Type: Baby Cashmere Merino Silk dk
Composition: 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere
  0160 Rubadub
  0051 Button
  0002 Cuddle
  0245 Caterpillar
  0244 Ragdoll
  0243 Little Miss Plum
Weight/Length per ball: 50g/116m

Thankfully I only bought 2 balls of each of the above six colours at first, but then found it for almost $10/per ball cheaper online (ZOWIE CAVEY THAT'S A BIG SAVING) have ordered the rest online. I'll let you know how that purchase goes after it arrives. The little swatch above was made to test the pattern, and compare colours. I may make the actual blanket with a slightly different pattern of 2 rows/1 rows interlocking (like Lucy is currently using in another ripple blanket), but I'll experiment and see how it goes. I know my colours are not as varied and brilliant as Lucy's, but I love these colours, and I love distinct patterns.

And this is the start of my blanket...

I started with a chain of 283 stitches ([20 x 14] + 3). The chain, and the first row of treble stitches were hard work. Lots of counting and squinting and checking....but in an amazing Christmas miracle, I got my numbers right the first time, and didn't have to undo any of it! Now it seems to be plain sailing (no pun intended), and I am on my way. I am using a 4.0 mm Clover Bamboo hook...I really like the way the Bamboo feels.

It doesn't look like much all curled up here, but when you straighten it out, it looks big. I estimate I'll need about 35-40 balls to make a good size blanket (thank goodness for the discounted yarn eh?).
Ok....enough jabber from me. Back to my crochet while the kids are happily playing with Lego.
Have a great day.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A little Christmas Bling...

I was just wrapping one last Christmas gift, and I thought I'd open up my poor old neglected blog and post a picture of what I made, and say hi...and Merry Christmas...if there is anyone still out there reading!

The gorgeous black, red and white glass lampwork focal beads in this set are by two different artists on Etsy...Laura Critchfield of Chestnut Ridge Designs and Kandice Seeber of Air & Earth Designs.

I didn't have the energy to do much with the Christmas wrapping...we'd just finished our Christmas lunch practice run (what the heck, may as well make the most of a good thing, right?!), and I was feeling pretty sleepy.

I also thought I'd let you know that after seven months of sailing on the high seas (some higher than others ;-)...we motored back through Sydney Heads on Thursday afternoon...and I was feeling just a little teary at the time too!

It has been such a wonderful adventure, but for now I am pretty pleased to be home (although as we sat around the table today at lunch I commented on how much Lucey Blue feels like home right now). Thankfully we have a few more weeks to relax in Sydney and get our heads ready to pack up the boat before we head back to Canberra (and school and work and stuff...).

Very best wishes to you and your family this Holiday Season!

Monday, 21 November 2011

More Reverse Applique...

A while back, at Hamilton Island (above), I made a bright, beady sun-catcher. Unfortunately, my craftin mojo departed shortly thereafter, and the accompanying card never got made. So the sun-catcher has been sitting in its box, not catching any sun at all. That's a pretty poopy situation methinks!

So on Saturday, with my craft supplies already out and littering every surface in the saloon anyway, I resolved to get the matching card finished, so the poor little sun-catcher could be released from its box. As I mentioned in my previous post, I've got Reverse Applique on the brain, so I fooled around for a bit, and this is what I came up with...

As you can see, I chose the card colours to match those of the lampwork beads (made by Sari of Gaialai on Etsy)...

The colours in these beads (and the stripes and dots too) remind me of the Clown Anenome Fish that we kept bumping into on The Great Barrier Reef.

...well, its a pretty loose association, but you get my drift?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Finally sat down to do some craft...

With pretty vistas like the one of Bait Reef on The Great Barrier Reef (above) to distract me, sitting down to do some craft has not been high on my list of priorities. By just lately I have been dreaming about making a card. I've taken to doodling card layouts at random moments, and have been itching to drag all of my stuff out and have a good ol' play. So today, with Nick and all three kids off the boat, that is exactly what I did!

I made some earrings for a friend, and a card to match...

The card has been in my thoughts for a little while, ever since I saw the Reverse Applique technique showcased here on Nichole Heady's blog. I thought it was such a simple and effective look, and was really looking forward to having a go at it.

I am very pleased with the way my card turned out, so much so that I have another planned already, just in a different colour scheme (I don't want to overtax my poor craft-deprived head too much on the first day ;-)!

I am afraid that I'm just not inclined to write up a detailed recipe list for this one. Suffice to say it is all PTI, except for the Pumpkin Pie Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!), and the Cuttlebug Folder which is the Tiny Bubbles one, by Provocraft. The beautiful red, orange and green lampwork beads are by Laura Critchfield of Chestnut Ridge Designs on etsy.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Promises, promises...

Ok, so I'd better not make any more promises regarding craft projects, I can't see any on my horizon just yet. I'd end up with sand in my inks if I got them out I probably shouldn't risk it ;-).

I did make a postcard of our latest stop...does that count?

Missing my craft blog lots and lots. Hope to be back here soon.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Time Out in Tin Can Bay...

I have no papercraft to show you, but I do have some pics of tranquil Tin Can Bay in Queensland, and one from Moreton Bay too. We are having a lovely time, but I am missing this blog lots! I have been updating our Lucey Blue blog, so you can catch up there if you wanna know where we are. I will make something for here soon though...promise!

Have a great week!


Sunday, 12 June 2011

A Little Love Bug...

I thought I'd play along with Just Add Ink's Challenge # 71 - Just Add Black and White this week...because I needed some inspiration, and this one seemed like just the ticket!

I visited Fantasia at Taren Point yesterday, and picked up a few little goodies to make this card at Mum's place...

The Love bug is just hand cut, except for his little feet, which are parts of a flower in the Spring Bouquet punch by SU. The white cardstock came as a 12 x 12 sheet, with a flower dry embossed on it, which I thought was very cute. The black was also a 12 x 12 sheet and came with straight-ish lines dry embossed on it...impossible to see in these pics.

The rubons are by Kaisercraft, and I'm not impressed at all. I had to rub really, really, really hard...and still it hadn't transferred from the sheet properly, and came away all crooked and broken on the 'L' and 'o'...which I tried to fix, but you can still see it. They are a fraction of the price of the SU rub-ons though (which work wonderfully and easily on all surfaces I find) I guess you get what you pay for!

PS. The inspiration for the love bug came from a motif on one of Thumper's Pumpkin Patch suits.

Gotta run now,

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sailing into the sunset...

Actually, it looks more like we'll be sailing into a headwind. Not very good news!

Last night I stayed up WAY past my boat bedtime (which has been in the vicinity of 7pm - can you spell P.A.R.T.Y. A.N.I.M.A.L??) and made a little thank you card to give to the marina staff here (with some yummy Haighs chocolate frogs). We have had Lucey Blue at the d'Albora Marina at The Spit for about a year and a half, and have got to know the staff quite well in that time. They are very friendly, super professional and always there to help. It has a been a real pleasure to have stayed here, and we hope to come back to The Spit when we return in early 2012.

I have had this card in my head for about two weeks, but like I said before, the thinking and doing are such vastly different things! As we now hope to start heading north either late tomorrow or early on Saturday, it became a matter of some urgency, so I finally pulled my finger out and got it done.

I am afraid that a full recipe for this card is pretty much beyond me at the mo. The colours (as near as I can guess in dim light) are, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White, Brilliant Blue, Pacific Point (I think I am all out of this now...very sad), Soft Sky and Yoyo Yellow. The sun die is a Die-namics one from MFT (I think), and I ran the whole lot through my Cuttlebug in that scrummy SU texture folder (whose name I can't remember). I might add that I nearly broke my Cuttlebug doing that because the wad of cardstock was so thick that it almost would not go through even though I was only using two B plates. Oh, almost forgot...I also used my recently acquired Corner Muncher (or whatever name it goes by). It munches corners like a hot knife through that puppy!!

Well, that's all from me for today. I still have to wrap up this fortnight's Distance Education pack, and then tidy up the bomb zone that is our saloon. As our living space is now several orders of magnitude smaller than when we lived on dry land, the mess seems to get completely out of hand in a much smaller amount of time (even though the volume of possessions that we have with us is also several orders of magnitude smaller too). Maybe I am just being overly sensitive to mess, as the number of places that you can go to escape it is very small...non-existent even! Hhhhmmmmmm....I think I need to sit down and take a breather....that last paragraph barely makes sense.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Cookies and Cream...with a touch of Mary Poppins

Today I got a chance to do some crafty tinkering, and I felt like playing with fun and pretty I did! I used some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious beads by Laura of Chestnut Ridge Designs on Etsy...

The photos above are both by Laura (thanks Laura). Laura makes gorgeous beads, and she is even trialling free shipping at the moment...if you like colourful lampwork beads in fabulous shapes and designs, go check out her shop...spit spot!

This is what I made with Laura's beads...

The colours are pretty much Whisper White, Chocolate Chip and a lovely blue that I don't have a name for. It is a really bright and lovely colour though! If you hadn't already noticed, this combo is a bit of a fav for me (as evidenced by my blog header and sig line), and makes me think of Cookies and Cream (not sure why though).

I wish that I had made the bracelet prior to today...then I could have worn it out to see Mary Poppins last night. If you have a chance to see this stage show, you was AWESOME!!

The kids and I have been singing show tunes all day, and they are watching the movie on TV as I type, and comparing differences.

Anyhoo, best step lively now...things to do, people to see...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Gone Sailing

Sorry 'bout the long silence in here! We have finally packed up our home on terra firma, moved out and are now installed on our floating home, Lucey Blue, in Sydney Harbour.

I do have a cupboard full of crafting goodies onboard, but who knows when I'll get time to use them. I have been thinking about them often, but thinking and doing are such vastly different things eh?!

We are undertaking Distance Education for Miss 7 onboard and appreciation of teachers has increased 100 fold.

Life is not all work and no play though, and tonight the kids and I are going to see Mary Poppins in town. I can hardly wait!

Anyway, just thought I'd pop in here and dust out the cobwebs. If you want to read about some of the other things we have been up to you can do so on our Lucey Blue blog.

I am going to leave you with a picture of Thumper, in his brand new life jacket. Talk about ONLY ORANGE. Yikes, that glow is just scary!!

Have a lovely Sunday!