Sunday, 28 August 2016

Crochet Shawl

My completed shawl!  The pattern is Ecume by Annette Petavy and it wasn't difficult to crochet.  I think it took about a week to make and then a while longer to get around to blocking it and sewing in the ends (least favourite part of the process!).

I didn't crochet all the repeats in the pattern because I felt it was long enough - this probably has something to do with the yarn and hook combination that I chose to use.  I freely admit I wasn't too bothered about gauge!

Very happy with this one!  

Monday, 8 August 2016


Several years ago I bought a sashiko kit.  I started the embroidery but didn't get very far (approx. 6 inches in a straight line to be precise!) and it lay untouched on my craft table under a pile of other stuff until the other week.  I decided to give it another go and it proved to be an excellent project to work on while watching telly!  The embroidery took all of a few evenings to finish and then I made it into a bag.

I decided to add a lining so I couldn't see the back of the embroidery (it wasn't pretty!) and found this cherry blossom print in my stash.  I have to say, it's a very cute little bag.  I have absolutely no idea whether I will ever use it but I'm delighted I finally got it finished!

Also on my craft table was a pile of yarn and a pattern that I purchased in 2011 .... so this shawl is my latest work in progress.  And there is some fabric cut out on my craft table for another project.

It's amazing what you can do when you have two working arms!!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Postcard from the UK

After our recent trip to Switzerland we went to the UK to visit family and then had a few days in Devon on our own.  We stayed in Salcombe, a harbour town on the south Devon coast and, whilst it rained quite a lot, we had a very relaxing, enjoyable time.

From Salcombe we went to Exeter, where it also rained!

Since we've been back I've been doing some crafting ... I have made a bag which I will show you as soon as I sort the photos out, and I've just started on crocheting a shawl.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Postcard from Switzerland

SS Vevey on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)

In June I travelled to Vevey, Switzerland with Andy.  He goes there to work on a regular basis, but I haven't been since 2012 so it was a good time to catch up with friends and see the sights before we went on to the UK to visit family.  Sadly it rained quite a lot during the week I was there, but it was a nice change of scene after my operation.  

I enjoyed walking along the lake shore.  Yes, that is a fork in the water!!!  NestlĂ©'s worldwide headquarters are in Vevey (which is why Andy is there so frequently) and the fork is opposite their food museum, the Alimentarium.

After he was thrown out of the US during the McCarthy era, Charlie Chaplin lived in the hills just above Vevey in a beautiful house which has now opened as a museum:

He lived here until he died in 1977 and is remembered with this statue down by the lake:

Chateau Chillon is one of the main tourist attractions in the region, but in many trips to Vevey I'd never made it, so on one particularly wet morning I got on a bus and took a trip east down the lake shore to visit:

Obviously my kind of castle!!

When I came out the weather had dried up sufficiently to take this snap.  It really is a very good example of a medieval castle (the earliest parts date from 1000 A.D.) but it was overrun with tour buses and was a bit crowded for my liking.

Another great pace that I visited on a very wet day was the Olympic museum in Lausanne.  I snapped this in the grounds on my way in before the heavens opened and I really liked the "no violence' sentiment.  Very interesting museum - shame I didn't get to see the rest of the grounds as there seemed to be quite a lot out there.

From Vevey you can see wonderful views of the Alps.  This is an evening view of the Dents du Midi from my friends' apartment.

Had a lovely time despite the weather!!  Saw lots of friends, did lots of sightseeing and generally had a good time.

Next up will be some snaps from our trip to the UK to visit family before I get back to crafting.  I have some things that I'm working on .... so watch this space!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Back in the Saddle

I'm finally back at the sewing machine!  Earlier this year my neck and arm problems got so bad that I elected to have surgery to move the ulnar nerve in my elbow and to release it in my wrist.  It was definitely the right decision and the scars are healing nicely.  Don't worry, I'm not going to inflict photos of those on you!

Once I'd recovered from the op we went to Europe for 3 weeks, so some travel posts will be coming up once I've processed the photos.  In the meantime I've managed to make a couple of zippered pouches.

And there's one last item that I made last year but didn't get to post because I was waiting for the recipient to receive her birthday present.  Sadly the parcel never arrived in Australia but I thought I'd show it to you anyway.

Now, I'm off to find where I stashed my crochet hooks and yarn!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Busch Stadium Opening Day 2016

It's the opening day of baseball season here in St. Louis and, as we live right opposite the stadium, you can't but help get caught up in the atmosphere.  

After a wet start it has dried up and looks like being nice weather for the game (a bit chilly, but that's April!).

It's traditional for the Budweiser Clydesdales to put in an appearance on opening day and this year I joined the scrum to watch them being hitched up before they did a lap of the stadium.

Love the roses in their manes!

I'm not going to the game today.  I'm now back home in front of the telly with a cup of tea watching the festivities in comfort!!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Postcard from Montreal

Place Jacques-Cartier

We've just come back from a chilly week in Montreal where temperatures dipped to -20C (-28C in the wind).  It's a place I've long wanted to visit, preferably at a warmer time of year!  However, we weren't there for pleasure but to get our visas renewed at the US consulate and, sadly, the visa expiry date determined when we had to be there, so we did Montreal in the snow (and thermals, down jackets etc...!).

Near the Basilica

I didn't take many photos because taking my gloves off to snap pictures seemed like a recipe for frostbite and on the coldest days I only walked in La Ville Souterraine; a network of underground tunnels connecting major buildings and metro stations - not very picturesque.

Hotel de Ville

We have to go back to Montreal at some point in the near future to conclude the visa saga (don't ask!), so I'm hoping for better temperatures and the opportunity to see and photograph a little more of the city.

This sculpture made me smile.  It is one of a pair that stand either side of a bank building in the old town.  This is 'the French poodle' and the other was 'the English pug' - I didn't manage to get a good photo of the Englishman holding the pug sadly.

Inside the Basilica

The trip was a good opportunity to play around with my new point-and-shoot camera.  It's my photography solution for when I physically can't carry my heavy SLR and all the lenses.  It seems to perform quite well and it has some cool effects like the fisheye effect on the photo above which I preferred to the normal view of the same scene!

I've seen a lot of French churches and cathedrals and none of them were the riot of colour that was the interior of Montreal's basilica.  It had what I imagine is more of a Russian feel (but never having been to Russia, I'm just guessing!!!).

I've got some sewing updates ready to go but I'm waiting for the postal system to deliver a parcel to Australia before I blog ... the parcel is already a month late, so it's not looking good!