Friday, December 30, 2011

Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2012

I was doing my morning catch up in blog land the other day and I came upon this, The Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2012 via beberouge.  What a wonderful idea.  Thinking that I had come upon it to late to enter I quickly emailed Jill to see if I could still participate and yes I could!  So now the big decision is what type of granny squares will I make and how many can I send to England in time before the 31st January 2012 deadline.  Once I have started I promise a few photos.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year, creating something so beautiful that someone (whoever that lucky winner is), will really appreciate it.  I can't wait to see what other people have made and what the final product will look like.  Are you a part of this? 

I hope you all have a wonderful New Years and keep safe in your celebrations.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Christmas to all

Clock wise from top left; Christmas baking, Santa's biscuits, Little wooden Santa's, wreath, Little Elf, felt owl.

The presents are wrapped & under the tree, Santa's food has been put out (and food for the reindeer's), the house is clean (well semi clean :-)), my feet are up and there's a nice drink in my hand. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas where ever you are and what ever your plans are for the day. 

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Christmas movies;

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear" - Buddy the Elf

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well it’s been a little while since I last posted.  Things have been a little crazy busy here.  Lots of Christmas planning, making of things, present purchasing, it seems at times like it’s never ending but seriously I love this time of year.

Recently I was tidying up some of my cupboards and came across some half finished Christmas ornaments.  I seriously think that I started them about 3 years ago and for some reason or another they ended up in a cupboard and forgotten about.  But not this year, I am making it my mission to finish them.
So to begin with I finished the crochet pears.  I don’t know what I was thinking putting them away.  All they needed was little bits of thread added so they could be hung up. Tick that off the list.

These little present ornaments where sort of half done.  All they needed were little bows to be added to the top.  This took a little bit longer as the bows were to be constructed out of 3 lengths of ribbon. But here they are hanging nicely on our tree. Tick that off the list.

This Christmas wreath I am still in the process of making.  It is taking a bit longer.  This might be because I am writing my own patterns for all the decorations (baubles and holly).  As soon as it’s finished I promise final ta-dah photos. But here's a few progress shots.

And of course other little projects are being thrown into the mix.  I made a little mattress, pillow and blanket set for my niece’s doll house and some Christmas themed crochet hanging birds.

I have also almost finished some crochet face washers to go with some handmade soap for little gifts. I’m not into soap making, I think I have enough hobbies on my hands at this stage, but at one of the local farmers markets I go to, there is a stall there that sells the most beautiful soaps, using all natural ingredients.  I think my favourite would have to be the lemon myrtle, oatmeal and Manuka Honey.  Every time I open the cupboard that they are in the smell just drifts through the house and it is beautiful.

I am also trying something different with the face washes.  I am making them using Tunisian crochet, which I am really enjoying.  So much so that I no longer even need to look at the pattern.  I am just making it up as I go along, and I am finding this very relaxing.  No stressing about if it is done correctly.
But like with most things there is still a lot more on my Christmas wish list of things to make (and to be honest visiting Pinterest isn’t helping either.  So many creative people out there with fantastic ideas and only so many days to make things in.  Oh well, maybe next year).

How are your Christmas making plans going?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pretty Little Finds

I was going through some of the many photos that we have (is it just me but since having a digital camera there seems to be hundreds more photos that we now have compared to what we might have had with an old camera that takes a film roll?). Anyway, I came across some photos of some op shop finds that I found a few months back and thought I might do a little sharing.

I love the embroidery work that has gone into these.  It's makes me wonder about the past and who might have been sewing away to complete them.  Was it some young girl putting together a set for her hope chest, or someone who already had an established home and wanted to pretty it up, or were they a present for some one's kitchen tea? 

I know there has been many a debate on line about finding treasures like this in op shops, should they be kept in their original state or can they be re purposed to make other pretty things?  For me at this stage, I think I will leave them just the way they are and admire their pretty-ness.

And also included in my finds was a wonderful little egg cup.  I try not to create collections on purpose, but I have noticed that I already have about 8 of these little beauties all in different colours.  Oh well, if they make me happy then what can it hurt?

What's your best treasure find?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Granny Ripple blanket

I love to make gifts for family and friends and there is nothing more special than making something for a brand new little person.  I know I have mentioned this before but I really do enjoy it.  A few months back a friend of mine gave birth to a little boy, Little X.  And although I should have finished his gift by now I am sad to say that I am a little behind.  It did take me a few weeks to figure out what colours I was going to use and I wasn’t sure on what style of blanket to make.  I knew I wanted to crochet one but what style, pattern, stitch was I going to use.  I ummed and arrhhed about it for quite a while and then I found this...

I had not come across Pradeepa’s blog The lazy hobby hopper before but when I mentioned it among the girls in craft group it seems I was a bit behind the times.  Wow what a blog.  One very clever, creative lady making some beautiful crochet work to be inspired by.  And now I was ready to make Little X’s blanket.  So here is my progress report.  It’s about a third of the way through and still going strong. 

At this stage I am still trying to decide on what type of border I will put on it once it’s finished.  Do I just do a plain single stitch and picot edge, do I try to fill in the half triangle spaces to give it a clean look, or do I just leave it how it is?  Decisions, decisions...

I must admit one thing I wasn’t so sure of when making the blanket was how to end a row and begin the next.  When I originally looked at the pattern by Pradeepa there wasn’t instructions on how to do this and I know since then that she has added extra details on how she has gone about doing this but I decided to do mine a little different.  To me this gave the edges a neater look and will make it easier to put on a border (if I do decide to do one).

I now have lots of lovely tails to weave in (sigh).

It's a bit hard to see in this picture but once I have finished the last cluster of 3 (treble: English/Australian terms, dc: USA terms), I then chain three and do 2 (treble/dc) in the top of the last stitch), then do the next 3 cluster in the space as per the pattern.  Hopefully the diagram below makes it a bit easier to understand.

On another note, do you like my ladder (my wonderful prop)?  I found this on a neighbours hard rubbish pile.  Yes, I know that it’s now illegal to take things off hard rubbish piles (in my local area) but look at it, how could you not take it home.  Better to be at my house being appreciated then ending up in land fill or being pulled apart for firewood.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Whatever makes you smile

Just a bit of show and tell for today.  I had one of those moments today when you finish some thing that has been an idea floating around in your head for quite some time.

Today I sewed the last piece in place, hung it up on the wall, took a step back, took a big deep breath, let out a sigh and then smiled.  It actually kind of looks like what I had envisioned, and I must admitted I am kind of chuffed with myself. 

I am not one to talk a lot about what I do (or as some people say brag) and I did struggle with the concept of actually doing this blog and the few market stalls that I have done (I struggle with a lot of self doubt) but I am finally learning that it is OK to be proud of what you make.  And if it makes you smile then that is OK too.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bunting Swap 2011

Did you take part in Rachael’s bunting swap?  I know a few people who did in blog land and what a wonderful idea it was.  How exciting it was to receive special little presents in the mail and not bills for a change.  These were my lovely surprises...

To Rachael and Kylie, thank you very much for my buntings they are beautiful.  I still haven’t decided how I’m going to display mine yet (I have lots of ideas running through my head), but as soon as I do I will make sure to let you all see. 

I have taken part in a few of these swaps over the years and have received some wonderful things.  I really do appreciate all the time and effort that it takes to organise so I am sending out a BIG thank you to those wonderful people who organise these swaps (whether I have taken part in yours or not). 
This is why I love about being part of the crafty blog community.


P.S I forgot to mention here are some photos of the bunting that I sent out.  If you received one of mine I hope that you like it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coming back...

Should one ever feel guilty about the time that they spend away from their blog and those blogs that they follow?  I do.  Is that normal or is that because I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that I do everything or that I think that I can do everything?  Is this a female thing or is it a mother thing?  Wow this is now becoming way too deep. Really wasn’t planning on that. 

Unfortunately I have had to have an unscheduled, shall we call it ‘holiday’ from blog land as my real life got a little bit busy.  Bouts of sickness, an unplanned trip the emergency department for little O and several doctors appointments later, I am finally hoping that things will now start settling back into their normal routines.

During this time I was able to fit in a bit of not only hooky goodness but also some knitting and sewing.  On the weekend just gone I held my third ‘Esme Rudy’ stall at a local primary school spring fete.  Besides the weather being quite horrible in the morning (we’re talking heavy rain, wind and even hail), by lunch time it fined up and the rest of the day was quite pleasant. 

I met some wonderful women who had the surrounding stalls and they were very generous in the advice that they gave me about having a stall and working at markets. To Kylie, Annie and Olivia thank you for all the advice that you gave me.  It was very beneficial and will help me to plan on what direction I really want to take my work in, and for also making the time fly.  It really is a good day when you met lovely people and have great conversations.

So what did I make I hear you ask.  Well I went from our kitchen table looking like this...

Yes they are freaky little eyes looking out at you. having a fantastic stall like this...

To everyone that bought some of my stuff I hope that it brings you as much happiness as it did as I was making it.

I hope that you are all well out there in blog land.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just remember to breath deeply and stay calm

What does one do when you come back from a quick trip to the toilet to find this...

You must remember to breath deeply...

close your eyes...


slowly count to three...




That way when you open your eyes again you do not scream or yell or throw your arms around like a crazy woman and scare the living daylights out of your two year old.

And this wasn't the only mess, Little O decided that he was going to play in the creation that he had made and was covered from head to toe, in the sticky mess that is raw eggs.  I know I want my child to be creative but this was SOOOO not the time or the place.

But I did feel very guilty for getting angry with him after we went for a little walk to relax and he picked these and gave them to me...

Now how can I be angry with him?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

One day when I grow up...

So my new found obsession is Pinterest.  I must admit not a lot of hooky work is actually happening at the moment.  But I think I need to share with you my favorite pictures so far. 

When I was little I always wanted a tree house.  My Dad did try and make this a reality for me (a small platform up in an old cherry tree) but I always dreamed of something bigger.  And Pinterest has shared this dream with me.  Take a look at these.  Is it too late at thirty something to move into a tree house?

1. 2. 3. 6. 7. nowthatsnifty.blogspot.com8.
 Ok so technically the last two aren't tree houses, but if I couldn't live in a tree then I want to live in a hobbit hole.

If you could live in a tree or the ground which one would you choose?


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trash or Treasure

I love a good market.  Whether it is a local farmers market, art and craft or a trash and treasure, I love going to them all.  Recently I rediscovered a local trash and treasure.  I remember going a few years back but then it was a little one with a few stalls and a bit more on the trash side then treasure.  A couple of weeks ago I saw a poster advertising it and decided I should go back and have another look.  Sometimes C is happy to go on these adventures with me and other times I know he was wishing he was somewhere else, so this time I decided to give him and early Father’s Day present and let him have a big sleep in (which he complains a lot about how he doesn’t get them anymore), and take Little O with me for our own adventure.  Wow! How it has changed.  Besides being almost 3 times as big as it was last time I was there the range of stalls was incredible.  Lots of plant stalls, fresh flowers, homemade jams and chutneys, new products and lots of little trash and treasure stands (and I mean the good treasure).  When I go to these markets I usually go with a limit set on how much money I can spend.  I have been known to spend quite a bit.  So if there is not enough money in my purse, then I can’t buy it.  Only once over my many years of market shopping have I truly regretted this rule, but it does save me from buying a lot of unnecessary things (or dust collectors as I have been told).

So what did I buy this time I hear you say...

well come and view my treasures...

The hand statue being the perfect ring holder for when I do the dishes, bright vintage fabric for only $1 (a meter and a half, what a score!), a perfect pattern book for little people (loving the gorgeous crochet booties), the tiniest  of crochet hooks, a sock darning mushroom (I have been looking for one of these for quite a while, my heart skipped a little beat when I saw it, yes I know very sad, I get excited over the smallest and weirdest things), and finally a bunch of the most beautiful smelling freesia’s I have ever had and the prettiest of colours.  We also stopped and had a little morning tea snack of freshly made cinnamon donuts and lemonade. 

So a successful day for Little O and myself and a relaxing start to the day for C.

What’s your greatest trash and treasure find?


P.S On a side note I would like to say a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to a very close friend of ours.  Miss A has taken the big step and has moved out of her family home.  She has spread her wings and taken a big leap into adulthood.  Not a big feat some might say, it happens all the time, but for someone who is legally blind and has Cerebral Palsy this is no little thing.  We will be with you the whole way Miss A for whatever help and support you may need.  Love you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wow, where did those two hours go?

So I've just joined Pinterest (yes I know a little behind the times).  I put Little O down for his afternoon nap and he's just woken up.   Wow that was a quick nap I'm thinking to myself, only to look at the clock and realise that two, yes you read that right, two hours have gone by. No house work, no hooky (crochet), not even a snack to eat, but plenty of "oh what a great idea, I wish I could do that, that's beautiful" and plenty of laughter later. I think I might have to set myself some time limits otherwise nothing will get done.

Hope you are enjoy the first day of Spring in this beautiful sunshine.


Monday, August 29, 2011

I think imagination is a word...

"I think imagination is a word, it's like a dream but you're awake when you're having your dream..."

I know it' s not very 'adult of me' to watch children's programs on TV, but I think I have fallen in love with Small Potatoes.  The little child in me sings every time I hear the theme song.  Little O finds it very funny when I sing which in turn makes me laugh. 

This would have to be one of my favorites episodes....enjoy.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love a bit of bunting

Oh!  I just came across this and had to join straight away.  I loooove bunting!  I have made it for both my niece and nephew's room and made one especially for Little O's room for when he was born.  So many ideas, so many colour choices, do I sew, do I crochet??  What to make???

Please join and lets see if we can help Rachael achieve her goal (now if only I had a big enough house to hang it all).


Crafty Challenges

So I’m letting you know that this post sort of comes in two parts.  Please bear with me, make yourself a cup of tea, take a seat, join me and come along for the ride....

The story begins a couple of months ago when two of the ladies whom I work with decided to do a “Chip-tox”.  For them, this meant that they would go 100 days without any form of chips what so ever.  Hot chips, potato chips, Twisties, Cheezels, if it was anything to do with a potato, or even closely related then it was banned for the 100 days.  Now I’m not going to say it was easy for them, there were days that they did struggle but we gave them as much support as we could and in the end they made it successfully.  Not a chip had passed their lips in those 100 days. 
One of these ladies just happens to be my boss, so a new concept was bought to one of our team meetings.  For the month of August we were all going to give up one thing.  We were given a week to all decide what this would be and then at the last team meeting in July we  all write down what it was we were going to give up and signed our names to it.  (Please don’t get the wrong impression of my boss, she is the loveliest lady and all this was done in fun, and some people did decide to take this really serious and give up some big things). 
We had people giving up chocolate, coffee, bread products, Face book, soft drinks, one even gave up being lazy and decided to committee to an hour exercise session (of any type) once a day for the month, and then came the big stuff, one lady decided to give up smoking.  I on the other hand really struggled with this, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink coffee, I have to limit my chocolate intake anyway due to food allergies,  I really had no idea...

...and then it hit me!
 What is the one thing that I am guaranteed to buy at least once (maybe twice) a week? 
Craft materials! 

Anything from wool, to threads, to papers, to hooks, to needles, I have never been one to pass up a craft bargain or new product.  So that was my thing, I had to give up purchasing any new products what so ever for the month of August.  Now when I made this decision it didn’t occur to me that I had not only my birthday during the month (I love a good birthday craft spend up), but also my nieces and my own Little O’s.  How could I make things for them if I can’t buy any new products?
It was time to sort through the stash.
This ‘sort through the stash’ might sound easy but it’s not really when you have it all in different places around the house.  I wish I had a little craft studio or my own special room but I don’t so my craft supplies are all in little hiding places around the house.  It took me several days to get it all together but in the end I was able to successfully find everything that I needed and it didn’t look like  I was going to have to purchase a thing.
For my niece Miss C I was able to make her knitted doll (see previous post below) out of wool that I already had in my stash, but for my Little O I was going to be a bit more creative...

As previously mentioned there was a theme to his party and I was going to be limited to my colours, but I was able to gather supplies that I think complimented it.  It was hard work especially when it came to making his present. I didn’t have the right colours but I just had to make do...
And in the end I think I was successful.  Little O had the most wonderful day for his party, the winter sunshine was glorious, the children were outside playing, the adults were also enjoying themselves, all in all I think I did a good job and not a new craft product in sight!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pretty in pink or purple

As I have mentioned before I love making things for people especially the little ones, and recently I was able to par-take in my favorite past time as my little niece Miss C is about to turn one.  I found this pattern book a little while back and have been waiting for the perfect time to make something from it.  Miss C's birthday is the perfect opportunity. 

When it came to deciding on exactly what it was I was going to make for her I knew that I wanted a doll but what colour choices.  Miss C's room is a mixture of both pinks and purples and really how can you decide on just one colour.  And then I found the solution, why not do both... a little pink doll AND a little purple doll!  So I present to you Miss Rose and Miss Lavender (apologies for the photos, it was a very overcast day when I took these).

They are Topsy turvey dolls. When you want to play with one doll you just pull down the skirt section over the other dolls head and arms.  Apparently Master B (Miss C's older brother who is 4 yrs old) was playing with the doll all night going "Now she's pink, now she's purple, now she's pink, now she's purple".

And of course I had to make something else so here is another little present that we gave to Miss C as well...
The beanie pattern can be found here (a fantastic design by Jennie Harrell).  The crochet flower brooch is my own design.  I decided not to sew the flower so that this way the beanie can be worn without it, or the brooch can be worn on something else like a cardigan or little jacket.

And because a girl can never have too many accessories I also made a pink crochet flower brooch too.
Happy Birthday Miss C, we hope you have a fantastic day!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hoot Hoot Hooray, it's my birthday!

Little O is soon to celebrate his 2nd birthday.  Can you guess the theme?  He's a big Hoot fan, running up to the telly every time Hoot comes on. I think at the moment his favorite words might be "hoot, hoot" as he repeats it over and over again.    This is my version of Hoot that went on his party invitations.  It was rather cute as he watched me make them, each time I finished a card he would "Hoot, Hoot" with a big smile on his face.  I must admit it is a bit of an obsession for Little O at the moment, but I think a harmless one, and one that I am more than happy to share with him.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Final moments

I love the final moments when you finish something that you have been making.  Lets be honest I can become a little obsessed when it comes to making things.  I come up with the idea of what it is I want to make, I dream about it, plan it in my head, choose the colours, gather my materials, and then begin making it.  I will get up early in the morning before anyone else awakens just so I can have some uninterrupted time as I sit there crocheting away.  Every spare little minute I have I will try and fit in a few more rows.  Well I have now come to that moment where I have finished my latest project, a gift for my friend's little one.

I must say that I am loving this program that makes these mosaics (  I was reading Jules's blog and she had an example of how she had used it...WOW!  What a great way to show your stuff.  If you are like me and take numerous  pictures of what you make from every know angle then this is a great way to display it.  Thanks Jules for the link.


Friday, July 22, 2011

My Creative Past

As I have mentioned previously the meaning behind the name Esme Rudy comes from three important women in my life, My Grandma Esme, my Nanna Ruth and my Mum Wendy.  Each one has had a big influence on my life, especially my creative one.  So I thought that I would introduce them to you.  Sadly both my Grandma and Nanna are no longer here, but the skills that they have taught me and my memories of them will always be treasured.
My Grandma Esme tried all crafts. You name it and she probably gave it a go over her many years: patchwork, crochet, knitting, beading, card making, sewing, lead lighting, Ribbon flowers, floristry, decoupage, lace making, embroidery, teddy bears, but she was more well known for her beautiful porcelain dolls and china painting. Many a time did we go to her house and there would be doll pieces laying about on the dining room table. Ones that she had just taken out of their moulds and she was either in the process of sanding down, painting on their fine facial features, or putting the dolls together.  One school holidays I spent a week with Grandma and we made a doll together from pouring the slip into the moulds, firing, sanding, painting on the face, putting it together and then finally dressing it in hand made clothes from material that I had chosen from the fabric stash.
One of Grandma's tea cup and saucers.

A crochet blanket made by Grandma that covers one of our lounge room chairs.  The size is roughly big enough to cover a single bed, so plenty of room to snuggle under on the couch.

Even now I have many pieces around our home that she has made over her many years and some that I hope to hand down to my children.

My Nanna Ruth was a knitter.  From my memories as a child, she always had something on the go and it was usually a little cardigan for one of her many grandchildren.  I was always amazed that she could knit while watching TV and not even need to look at her work or the pattern (something that one day I hope to achieve), and that she could put her knitting down and then come back to it hours later and not worry about where she was up to, she would just start knitting away.  I have been lucky enough to inherit many of her knitting patterns and her well worn tortoise shells needles.

My Mum Wendy is also very talented.  Mum knits, sews, does the most beautiful embroidery and over the years has decorated the most amazing cakes.  Mum and Dad in years gone past used to run their own cake decorating business.  Let’s just say our birthday cakes as children were awesome.  Mum even made and decorated my wedding cake.
I must say though, that one of my most treasured possessions is my Christmas stocking that Mum made.  It was the first of many and over the years how beautiful they have become.  Mum makes her own designs and then embroiders them on canvas.  I have Santa carrying a sack full of toys, my brothers have a toy soldier and a Christmas tree surrounded by presents, my Dad has Santa fly fishing in a stream and my Mum has Mrs Claus reading her favourite books beside an open fire.  When Little O was born it was very exciting to see what design would be on his stocking (Santa on a house roof climbing into a chimney).  And of course with myself and Little O having one, I couldn’t leave C out, so I made one for him with Santa snowboarding (a favourite sport of his).

Not sure if the photo does it justice.  And did you know according to my Mum, Mrs Claus is a huge Tolkien fan.  That's her reading Lord of the Rings (oddly enough my Mum's favorite book).

Mr Claus partaking in one of his favorite past fishing.

This belongs to one of my brothers, a Christmas morning scene.

So with such talent in the gene pool I am lucky and blessed to have inherited some of the creativity that these special women have.  Here’s hoping I can inspire my children in the same way.