Monday, December 31, 2012

A year of knitting

2012 Knitting
2012 Knitting
L-R: Emerson's blanket, Imogen Cowl, Baby Blanket,
Cabled hot water bottle cozy I, The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, Cozy II
Ripple Blanket, Toast, Kerchief II

I wondered what I should write about for the last post of the year. It has been a year full of many things. The birth of our daughter, the growth of our son, establishing a vegetable garden, renovating our house, a move to greater self sufficiency with a water tank and solar power, and so much else besides. But when I thought about it I was reminded that my intention when I began blogging was to have a record of my creative endeavors. While the blog has changed and grown, that intention has remained. First as I sewed and quilted, then as I crocheted and silver-smithed and now as I knit. In terms of craft I think it is safe to say that 2012 has been my year of knitting.

Were it not for Ravelry I would probably not be able to tell you that last year I knitted eight projects. (Though I could tell you that prior to that I had really knit nothing more than a few garter stitch scarves.) This year though my total stands at seventeen. More than double my previous figure, as I moved away from crochet towards knitting, and my confidence grew. This total includes my works in progress, and a single sock that is destined never to have a mate. But I am still counting it. I knitted a sock! I never thought I would be able to knit a sock.

It's been so encouraging to have the blog and Ravelry to chart my progress as a knitter. I learnt much this year, from knitting in the round on dpn's to the magic loop method, long tail cast on to provisional cast on, turning a heel and knitting lace. There have been many knitting related posts on the blog as I shared my journey. The most popular being the Ten things I have learnt about knitting post, and the posts Anyone can knit I and II. It's a joy that my creative pursuits can inspire and encourage others.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me this past year, for your visits and comments. Thank you for those who took part in the Christmas Ornament Swap and the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaways. Thank you to those who have supported my shop and encouraged me.

I look forward to sharing this space with you again in 2013 and continuing our conversations. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

10 months

A few days ago our little Miss turned ten months old. The first of the double digits and a month full of many firsts. From tentative beginnings by mid-month Emerson was officially crawling and then standing with support. Oh, those chubby legs and those little feet always seem to be moving away from me now. This month too, "Mama" and "Dada" have emerged from her sweet babblings. A growth spurt and continued teething have left us with many a sleepless nights. And there was an altercation between baby and shower screen that left Emerson with a bruise on her forehead. Another incident while crawling added insult to injury when she acquired an additional bruise on top of the original. Her love of our cat has not abated. Thankfully dear old Seth is a patient animal. When the fur and tail pulling get too much he resigns himself to leaving the vicinity, often times closely followed by the little lady.

We also celebrated our first Christmas as a family of four. I think it was the decorations on the tree that were the final encouragement Emerson needed to start crawling. And while she may not have understood the goings on of the season, she did seem to enjoy them. From Christmas lights to a bounty of fruit, piles of wrapping paper and ham on the bone, she was in her element. 

I took a look back at the images from her previous monthly portraits today. I see the most change between the first and the second month photos. And slowly I can see a toddler face emerging from that sweet baby face. It feels like we are racing towards her first birthday. I'm quite sure the first year flies by faster than any other year in a persons life.


Onetwothree, four, fivesix, seven, eight and nine months old

Saturday, December 29, 2012







One of my favourite places to explore, alone or as a family, is the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. GOMA is currently hosting the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial, which I have been frequenting since I was a teenager. Today we spent a couple of hours taking in the exhibition. Seeking out the pieces that most appealed to us. Pausing before the skill and craftsmanship of many of the pieces. I found myself drawn, as always, to the paintings of interiors and sculptures displaying craft elements. (There are more photos on my flickr account of some of the pieces that caught my eye.)

It was quiet at the gallery today. Quieter than I had expected, given that it is a school holiday weekend. I love feeling like I have the place almost to myself. There were no queues, no rush. We wandered into this interactive exhibit and had a wonderful time. These images are our souvenirs of this mornings adventure. I love them all, but particularly the one of my little man alone, pulling a cheeky face.


Friday, December 28, 2012

This Moment

Christmas morning

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - SouleMama 

Friday, December 21, 2012

This Moment


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - SouleMama 

(Photo taken by Aunty Noni.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Creative Space

DIY Oobee
An oobee from Maze & Vale scraps, and the diy oobee

DIY Oobee

I really couldn't resist. I'd had in mind to wait until Emerson's first birthday in February to make up the diy oobee kit I brought. Her first handmade softie for her first birthday. But I couldn't wait. Her first handmade softie for her first Christmas? Absolutely! 

So last night my sewing machine sat on the dining table and while Cohen played Lego and Emerson crawled around the legs of the chairs, squirreling away scraps of fabric, I cut and stitched these dear little oobees. Leslie had been so kind as to include some large scraps of hand printed fabric. I stitched them together to make one piece of fabric and it was the perfect size to make another oobee. I finished him off with a mustard coloured felt face (but forgot to remove the pencil marks on his face before taking these photos!) This sweet scrappy oobee will being going to live with a little boy who has just turned one.

I love how they have turned out. I don't think they could be any cuter. And I love having another handmade gift to wrap and place under the tree.


Joining in with my creative space.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yarn Along

I borrowed my sister's copy of The Diary Of Freida Kahlo when I was last visiting. I was first introduced to Frieda's work while in high school and there has been a place in my heart for her ever since. Her strong self portraits, her convictions and cultural legacy, her incredible life story. The pages of her diary are full of beauty, inspiration and sorrow. I have been dipping into them little by little.

Yarn Along

Yarn Along

Knitting means always learning. Each project presents new challenges to the novice knitter. For instance, I recently discovered that some knits can only be worked in solitude and silence. Distractions are the enemy of such projects. They can not be knit in the car. I can not watch a movie, or even listen to a podcast, while knitting them. They do not appreciate you putting them down to answer the phone, change a nappy, or remove a Christmas ornament from a babies mouth. I have learnt the hard way that mistakes are complicated and tedious to fix in lace patterns. This the Imogen Cowl has taught me. The most complicated and beautiful pattern that I have attempted in my two years as a knitter. I may have overestimated my skill in taking on this project.

Still, it is with anticipation I greet those quiet moments of solitude that allow me to add another few rows to the cowl. Two sleeping children by day, a sleeping household at night. Two rows here, three rows there. This shall be a slow project. I hope as I work that the repetition and practice builds my skill. Perhaps by the time the cowl is almost complete I shall be able to knit it with less focus than is currently necessary. Regardless, there is a strong sense of satisfaction that comes with each new row added to this piece. There is a certain type of joy that comes from making something with your hands and surprising yourself. 

What are you reading or knitting?


Joining in with Ginny.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free Express Post Offer

Last minute shopping? From now until Christmas I am offering free express postage within Australia with the purchase of two or more items.

Enter EXPRESS at the checkout and receive your order the next business day (it may take two days if you live outside Express Post network.) All sales are gift wrapped.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crafty Mail


Beautiful birthday tern wool from Quince & Co

Also for my birthday, Knit Picks interchangeable cable needle set

DIY oobee kit from Maze & Vale

I realised something as I looked at these photos. Were it not for blogging none of the above would have arrived in my letter box. There would be no wool for knitting, no new cable needles and no softie kit. Without the friendship and inspiration found through blogging, I may never have taught myself to knit more than a garter stitch scarf, I would have no need of beautiful cable needles, and I wouldn't have been introduced to the wonderful work of Leslie from Maze & Vale. Life would be all the poorer without it.

And I do so love crafty mail.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ornament Swap Goodies


A crochet Christmas tree, knitted star and Lego tree from Little Woolie

A felt and doily pudding and an embroidered felt bell ornament from Wombat's Picnic


Oh dear. Teething. I had forgotten how difficult it could be. Just as I have forgotten what an unbroken sleep feels like. So please forgive me if you are waiting on a return email from me. Feel free to re-send any correspondence you think I may have missed. I am endeavoring to make use of all day time napping opportunities. Even going so far as visiting my sister, only to curl up for a nap after an hour, leaving her to mind the children. (Thank you darling, understanding sister!)

I have been waiting for a chance to share the beautiful ornaments I received in the swap. I have been so lucky.  My partners, Jules and Cyndy, both spoilt me with two ornaments - one for me and one for Emerson. While Jules' son made Cohen his own Lego Christmas tree, a massive hit with my Lego obsessed darling. Thank you so much Jules and Cyndy! Your gorgeous ornaments are hanging proudly on our tree alongside our own handmade ornaments, gold baubles and decorations from my Mother and Grandmothers past Christmas trees, making it all the more special.

I'm so pleased with how well the swap went this year. All you clever crafters out there! Thank you all for participating. Would you be interested in doing it again next year?


Ornament swap house keeping - I know many of you have received your ornaments in the swap, (I love seeing them pop up on your blogs and instagram!) while some of you are still waiting. I have been checking in on late ornaments for concerned swappers, ensuring they have been sent. Some international swappers may still be waiting. I have had a few emails to say that ornaments were sent later than expected, but no emails so far to say that ornaments haven't been sent at all. So I am hopeful everyone will receive their ornaments with time. A few swappers have forgotten to reveal their blog or email addresses with their ornaments. If you can't contact your partner and would like to, shoot me an email. Thanks again! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

This Moment


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - SouleMama 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


11 December 2012

My dear Cohen,

Last night I tucked a three year old in to his bed. This morning a four year old clamored in to our bed for a birthday cuddle. Yesterday I could still, just, call you a toddler. Today you are a little boy. You even look more like a little boy now, with your Lego Star Wars pajamas, (a gift from your Aunt and Uncle.) Recently a friend sent me a photo of you taken on your last birthday. Your features seem more defined now, with only traces of that dear little baby face remaining.

I want to tell you a little about yourself as you are now. I know we will both forget, despite our best efforts. There are all these little things that make you you. Parts of your personality, your quirks, your character. You have such a wonderful imagination. You live in a world where imagination and reality overlap. A world with imaginary friends, things and places. It is beautiful and heart breaking; knowing this innocence is so fleeting.You are a confidant, happy, joyful little boy. You have your own mind about most things, which can lead me to despair at times. Some days are just perpetual negotiations. You will do or say anything to try to change a no to a yes, especially at bed time.

Photos of you are harder to come by now, as you are either camera shy, or determined to get the camera yourself. You still don't like chicken and you would be happiest if your diet consisted solely of sausages, potato gems, bread, fruit and ice cream. The introduction of new foods is met with a determined "I can't like that," before you have even tried it. You do love all things Lego and Star Wars. You ask to go to your Aunt and Uncles at times, just to play with their Lego. You have a handful of unique sayings, such as - do you be happy Mama? (when you've been naughty,) can you like this? (about everything) And there are the words of your own making, including 'ya-ya' for a light saber/sword (because of the sound you make when you wave them around) and 'Pahwah' for Grandpa (which has stuck).

You have written your name for the first time, you can count to ten, but you often cheat and jump from 4 to 9. You know all your colours, shapes and seasons. You recognise garden plants and love sunflowers, your favourite colours at the moment are blue and orange. You eat strawberries fresh from the garden each day, you snack on basil leaves while I water the plants.

You are so in love with your little sister and will share all your toys, bar your matchbox cars with her. I'm really not sure why. There have been a few unfortunate incidents, where you have for example run past her and knocked her over, then hidden. But for the most part you are gentle and loving and I find you talking to her, or patting her, or cuddling her, while she stares back in admiration, or giggles at you.

There is so much more. I'm sure you'll hear much of it many times in the future, as I recall fondly these moments of your childhood. What I want you to know more than anything is that I love you and I always will.

Happy fourth birthday!

Love Mama.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day twelve

If you have 'met' Greer of Typically Red while wandering from one blog to another, you are most likely already a follower. Greer has a way with words, as well as a way with knitting needles. Recently, Greer combined her love of handmade items, beautiful yarn and vintage style to create a collection of hand knit bonnets. A special piece to pop under the Christmas tree as a "something I need" gift for little ones.

For our final giveaway, and the opportunity to win a custom order bonnet (winners choice of colour/style/size) please have a peek at Greer's shop and leave a comment below telling us which colour you would choose if you won. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Greer and Typically Red, or purchase your own gorgeous hand knit, by clicking over to her shop, blog and facebook pages.

Let's support our local talented knitters this Christmas!


A big thank you once again to all the wonderful crafters who have been a part of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. A very big thank you too to all the wonderful readers who have left comments, liked facebook pages, started following blogs and of course, made purchases from these talented ladies too. I have really enjoyed this project and look forward to undertaking it again next December.


And the winner of the final giveaway, care of, is comment 25!

SamanthaJust checked out Greer's Etsy shop - how absolutely cute! Gorgeous work!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day eleven

"Hi I'm Allie of Allie's Handcrafted Gifts! I am a working mother of 3 children and wife to a kind and supportive man! My background is in Veterinary nursing and I have always had a love for animals and a passion for Art and Crafts. I make a range of different gifts so there is something for everyone, I make softies from Dolls and Daydreams patterns and also mini felt toys from Ginger Melon Patterns as well as covered wipes cases and knitted dishcloths and much more! Please pop by my page and say hi! xxalliexx"
Lenny the Mini Owl Softie, $30. 
Lenny loves rock and roll! He also loves London! He is a cool little bird who can play a wicked tune on the base guitar! His favourite band is the Rolling Stones and his favourite snack is English muffins!

Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without toys. And there is nothing like the creativity and love that goes in to a cute handmade toy. For your chance to win Lenny, please leave a comment on this post. This giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

To find out more about Allie, or to purchase your own handmade gifts, visit her blog, shop or facebook pages.

Let's support our local crafters this Christmas!


And the winner of day eleven, care of, is comment number 9!

eskimo*roseOh he's such a cutie!

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day ten

Epheriell, by Jess Van Den, is a collection of eco-conscious, sleek, contemporary jewellery, handcrafted in a solar-powered studio in the country north of Brisbane. 

"My style is both contemporary and classic – creating clean and stylish designs that can be worn every day. I craft each piece myself, putting care and passion into my creation – just for you. 
I adore working with metal – my favourite material. I’m also passionate about using recycled and reclaimed materials in order to make my jewellery as eco-friendly as I can. I now source all of my sterling silver and gold from an Australian company, which supplies 100% recycled metal. Almost all of other metals I use are reclaimed or salvaged."

For the opportunity to win a pair of Jess's handmade sterling silver Treble Clef Earrings please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Jess and Epheriell, or purchase your own handmade pieces, by clicking over to her blog or shop.

Let's support our local talented jewellers this Christmas!


And the winner of day ten, care of, is comment 26!

Karlene - Such a clever design

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day nine

Independent textile designer Susie Stubbs is based in Sydney, Australia. Her company Flower Press produces screen printed and digital textiles including tea towels, cushions and fabric yardage, as well as art prints and cards. The name Flower Press reflects Susie's love of the natural world, a theme that runs through her work. She loves natural fabrics, crafting, thrifting, vintage design, cooking and gardening which she writes about on her Flower Press blog! Susie is also a community minded blogger, creating and hosting the Show & Tell interview series, which features Australian creative bloggers, as well as the successful brooch swap. There is no end to Susie's creative talents!

For the opportunity to win the beautiful Ruby Slippers print and Tomato Filigree linen tea towel above, please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Susie and Flower Press, or purchase your own little piece of Flower Press goodness by clicking over to her shopblog and facebook pages.

Let's support our local talented textile designers this Christmas!


And the winner of the day nine giveaway, care of, is comment 82!

sascedari have such a sweet spot for beautiful tea-towels, one my nana gave me is one of my most precious things. these prints are lush, off to check out the shop! have a lovely evening :)sarah

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day eight

While her children are at school Marina loves to create beautiful children's clothing. Her all-time favourite design is the sweet ruffle nappy cover below. It's not difficult to see why.

For the opportunity to win a sweet ruffle nappy cover and matching singlet in your choice of size (000, 00, 0, 1, 2) please leave a comment below. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can see more of Marina's beautiful work, or purchase from her collection, by clicking over to her online store Wild Blossoms.

Let's support our local talented makers this Christmas!


And the winner of the day eight giveaway, care of, is comment 34!

Sara Oh that's the cutest thing! A size 2 would be perfect!

Friday, December 7, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day seven

"A graphic designer with an intense love of fabric, a crafter with a
huge fascination with printing... it was only logical that someday I
would start designing and hand printing my own textiles. Muted tones,
dramatic shades and natural fibers; improvisational and beautifully
organic quilting; toys that are as cuddly as they are unique - that is
what Maze & Vale is all about. Designs are originally created as
sketches or carved block prints and become screen prints that I pull
by hand in my one room studio. My obsession with colour is fulfilled
by custom mixing shades with my own hands using environmentally
friendly, water based textile inks and printing them on natural fibers
of cotton and linen."

A festive set of five hand printed fabric panels (each measuring roughly 34cm x 42cm) in soft and lovely 100% cotton, valued at $40.

I love the tones and shapes in Leslie's work. Each piece fits beautifully in to the whole picture of her work, her style shining through. I am also rather in love with her oobees too and have brought a kit, in order to make one for Emerson.
For the opportunity to win the beautiful fabric panels pictured above please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Leslie and Maze & Vale, or buy your own hand printed goodies, by clicking over to her shopblog and facebook pages.
Let's support our local talented crafters this Christmas!
And the winner of day seven, care of, is comment 15!

Jacinta - She has some amazing designs!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day six

This month's issue of CLEO magazine features the work of Anna, from One Happy Leaf, a maker who works with bamboo to create sweet, nature inspired jewellery.

"Hello there, I'm Anna from Perth, Western Australia. I live with my fiance and naughty kitty cat. When I'm not making jewellery I'm in the veggie patch growing lovely organic vegetables, or reading a good book with a hot tea in one hand! 
I opened my Etsy shop last year after I was feeling stifled working in a government job. Working on my jewellery pieces gives my right brain a workout and gives me a sense of satisfaction that my job doesn't. My fiance lends me practical supports with the shop, encouraging me to expand, improve and acting as quality control on my packaging before it gets popped in the post. 
All of my pieces are inspired by nature. Those who know me well know that I am a lover of animals and bush land, so it was only natural (excuse the pun!) that I would make nature themed jewellery. I have recently branched out into making jewellery out of eco-friendly wood. I'm hugely excited by this, and the hippy within me can't stop doing a little happy dance." 

For the opportunity to win these two pairs of earrings, (a pair for yourself and a pair as gift perhaps?) please leave a comment below. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Anna and One Happy Leaf, or add to your jewellery collection, by clicking over to her Madeit shop, Etsy shop and facebook pages.

Let's support our local talented makers this Christmas!


And the winner of day six, care of, is comment 38!

Bek - Very sweet! I wear the same earrings every day and would love to change them out with lovely earrings like this- or give them away... Perhaps!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day five

Lamina lives in lovely sunny Sydney, where she indulges her passion (obsession) for screen printing textiles, sewing and her love for making beautiful handmade items. She also enjoys sharing her inspiration and creative adventures on her “do a bit” blog.  Lamina believes there is nothing better than handmade and it makes her happy to "do a bit" creatively... everyday. 

For the opportunity to win a beautiful 100% linen Aqua Cats tea towel and a 50% linen, 50% cotton Aqua Cats pouch, both screen printed with eco friendly ink, please leave a comment below. The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Lamina and Do a bit, or purchase prints of your very own, by clicking over to her shop, blog and instagram pages.

Let's support our local talented crafters this Christmas!


And the winner of the fifth giveaway, care of, is comment 11!

Kat - Love the blue!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day four

Melbourne based illustrator Simone Downy creates whimsical art prints and greeting cards of deer, bunnies, foxes, owls, bears and other cute creatures. Her label, Nomuu, is characterised by her use of pastel tones and ink pen lines. The adorable animal children that appear in her art works make them perfect gifts for little people or expecting Mama's.

For the opportunity to win this beautiful A4 Kitty Cat print in Coral, which sells for $16, leave a comment below. Open Internationally, this giveaway will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Nomuu, or purchase prints for yourself and loved ones, by clicking over to Simone's shop or blog.

Let's support our local talented illustrators this Christmas!


And the winner of the fourth giveaway, care of, is comment 29!

Donna - Had a look at them last night. So sweet

Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day three

Mellie Lang recently moved to the Sunshine Coast from the UK, where she was a clothing designer. With a creative dream and notebooks full of designs, she left her day job to set up a studio in her house, where she could indulge her passion as a designer and maker. Here she puts her love of natural materials to work on her knitting machines.

Mellie's work combines a love of nature with a conscious commitment to using only sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. From wool to packaging, each item Mellie sources needs to suit these requirements and wear well over many years.

This beautiful cushion, A Partridge and A Pear, was inspired by the traditional Christmas song Twelve Days of Christmas. It seemed the perfect choice for today's giveaway.

For the opportunity to win this beautiful cushion, which retails at $45, leave a comment below telling us your favourite thing about the Christmas season. Open Internationally. The giveaway will be drawn tomorrow morning.

You can find out more about Mellie Lang, or purchase her beautiful designs, by clicking over to her shop or blog.

Let's support our local talented crafters this Christmas!


And the winner of the third giveaway, care of, is comment 18!

Tammi NepiaHmm, there are so many things to love about the silly season but my favourite would have to be watching the excitement of our kids as they decorate the tree.
Gorgeous cushion.

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