Can I officially call myself a knitter now?

A belated Merry Christmas! With all the festivities I didn't get a chance to do my usual Christmas post.
I've been knitting. A lot. And loving it!

This is my first knitting success story. Most arty/crafty stuff comes pretty naturally to me, but not knitting - I've had to really work at it. But finally it's paying off :)

The pattern is "Annie" by Tikki. The yarn is "luxury" in the colour lavender from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

I learned so much knitting this cardigan and the end result far surpasses what I thought I was capable of. Thanks be to God, my help and inspiration!

Isn't the daisy stitch just beautiful. This is what I love about Tikki patterns - they are quite simple in design but have these little "highlights" to make it special. Most of her patterns are knit on circular needles, which I also love.

This cardi used just over 1x 200g ball of yarn and the buttons were from my stash, which makes the total cost about $15 AUD, what a bargain! OK, lots and lots of hours but so little money.

I've already ordered yarn for my next cardigan, this time for my eldest daughter and I must admit I'm feeling quite impatient for it to arrive so I can get started, I'm so loving knitting right now!


Things have changed for me this year in so many ways. All are positive (I hope) but not necessarily easier. I feel God has answered many of my prayers but in His way - not mine. He is leading me in a different direction to what my wordly self had envisioned. So, there has to be a letting go. Of dreams, perceived wants, hopes. And an embracing of His dreams, wants and hopes for me. It is not all about me. It can't be all about me. And if I think it is all about me then I am trapped in a vicious cycle that never ends and leads nowhere.

Thank you Heavenly Father for all you have shown me this year. For all your grace, love and constant attention. Thank you for giving me the strength to let go of useless things and to focus on the reality and purpose of my life.

First soap batch :)

Woohoo, I finally did it! Something I've wanted to do but put off for years (too expensive an outlay for equipment, too scary!) Those were my excuses anyway.

After chatting with Julie I realise this was something I could do on a really tight budget. I got a cheap stockpot that was missing a lid, inexpensive silicon mould and stick blender, husband fashioned a curing rack for me out of bamboo from our backyard and probably the most expensive ingredient was the coconut oil, which I had to order online.

I used this basic recipe and found the whole process very easy (how cool to watch that beautiful saponification process!) Using lye is not fun but entirely manageable when you follow the safety precautions really carefully.

Now for the really hard part - waiting 4 weeks for the soap to cure!

Embroidered screen printed butterfly bag

During the year I was invited to partake in a collaboration - my first collaborative effort in fact!

Something I love about the handmade community is how skills and talents can be pooled to create something really awesome!

Margo from The Climbing Tree sent me a gorgeous linen piece with a screen printed butterfly from Thea & Sami with the idea that I could embroider it for a bag flap.

Margo used a Nicole Mallileu pattern to sew a gorgeous bag featuring the butterfly. I think the contrast is just beautiful! 

Here is the completed piece before becoming a bag flap. I hand painted some segments and used a variety of embroidery stitches with silk, cotton, and swarovski crystals and beads.

The bag was snapped up by a very happy customer :)

Margo makes all sorts of things including gorgeous children's clothing, hats and bags. You can find her in the following places:

For beautiful screen printed fabrics and homewares:

And for bag and clothing patterns:

Adnil press re-opening and giveaway!

I'm so glad to see Adnil Press has re-opened for business after being a long term customer of theirs. To celebrate, Linda has 2 marvellous prize packs to giveaway on the new blog. Pop over to enter, I have!

How the Grinch stole Christmas

File:Grinch poster.jpg

Most of us know the famous Dr Seuss story where the Grinch is able to infiltrate Whoville and steal "Christmas" from right under the little Who's noses.

If you are a Christian in these modern and secular times this may be an all too familiar feeling - that Christmas is being stolen from under us and transformed into something that could be called worship, but certainly not that of Christ Our Saviour!

It is the worship of gifts, money, decorations, food and festivities and all under the popular term of "happy holidays" - a very non Christ like term.

So what can we do? How can we keep Christ in Christ-mas?

Of course it starts with our spiritual lives and our personal worship of Jesus. He must be born in the stable of our heart.  If we have this part right then we are on the right track as we will be a beacon for others as the light of Christ shines forth from us. But there are practical things we can do too.

Do not adopt any of the popular secular terms associated with Christmas. "Happy holidays" does not represent Christ in any way.

Do not buy anti-Christmas propaganda! This means only sending holy and appropriate Christmas cards, even to non believing friends (this has the added bonus of a holy image being displayed in a non- Christian home, even if it's only for a short time).

Ask your post office specifically for religious Christmas stamps. If we don't create the demand they will not supply them.

If you are celebrating Christmas with some non Christians do not adopt their accepted methods of celebrating. Keep your interior recollection and keep the day holy! Set a positive example.

Make Christ centered family traditions. Mass, advent wreaths, special prayers are just a few holy devotions. One of our traditions is to set an extra place at our Christmas dining table for The Unseen Guest.

It is an absurd thing to throw a great big party on someone's birthday, sate ourselves and make merry, all the while ignoring He whose birthday it is, especially when it is the birthday of the King of the universe!

Merry Christmas and abundant blessings to you all!

This post was co-authored by my husband Patrick.

"Mum, there's nothing to eat!"

Do you ever hear this? I bet you do! You need to do the shopping but haven't had time, you open the pantry and can't see the food that is there from lack of motivation to cook, plus all those other reasons for the dreaded "no food syndrome".

However, when we have a good look around we realise we are usually far from destitute and starving.

Lunchtime today I'm met with the dreaded words so I decided to go for a fossick and see what I could use up. I found:
2 sheets of puff pastry
3 slices of ham
A small portion of cheddar cheese
Strawberry jam

And here is the result:

Ham and cheese scrolls

Jam scrolls

And some satisfied children :)

Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...