Every month I make plans to do a weekly update on my making and things I’m enjoying at the moment ,but then just let that thought slip through the cracks.
We are in level 2 of lockdown.Covid -19 situation has been so much better in NZ than in other parts of the world. I have so so many things to be grateful for , but in this time of uncertainty,I have been quite scatterbrained. While I keep reading and hearing about how we all navigate these surreal times in our own ways, I hate to admit that I have been struggling with anxiety as well.
I am trying , to be productive and positive. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. However , I ‘m not giving up and I try to focus on things that bring me joy.
I’m writing down everything, to keep track of my schedules, the things I do ,to keep track of things and slow down and enjoy.
Like I said before, I’m trying and giving myself grace to fall down and get back up again.
Signs of Spring are popping up everywhere in the form of daffodils, cherry blossoms and hyacinths, I just hope we will have gone back to level one normality by the time Spring and Summer rolls by.
What a couple months it has been! No one saw this dark cloud coming huh? The leaves have started changing colour . We had a couple of earthquakes like we didn’t have enough already with the Covid 19 Pandemic.
All businesses except essential services have closed and we are still in level 4 lockdown.It feels strange to see caution tape in the park near our home.
The uncertainty of days after the lock down is lifted ,kind of looks bleak at this pointNevertheless , never have I been happier to be living in NZ like at present. I admire our Prime Minister for the decisions she made during this critical time.
Moreover , since I enjoy being home, it hasn’t been too hard for me .All essential things are available without any hardship. More than anything however, I am so thankful for the family time this quarantine has allowed our family to have. It has definitely helped keep my spirits up , to notice little things and enjoy them.Like someone close to us pointed out, its a strange blessing for us.
The boys are having online classes, although they miss their friends and going out, they seem to be happy to be home. We have now become used to online Church Service, Zoom Bible study, chats and Knit groups . Its good to be connected this way, although I do miss going out to cafes with my friend.
I had to clear out my craft room for my son and now I really don’t have a designated space to hide sew or knit.My routine has gone off the window and I am trying to hold on to some sort of schedule ; successful sometimes and unsuccessful at other times.
I must admit that I have been feeling like I have ten tabs open inside my brain and unable to think clearly. So now I have decided to not check my phone as soon as I wake up. Instead , I wake up at 6.45 a.m when my alarm goes off, brush my teeth, drink a cup of warm water, pray, shower , have breakfast, attend Bible study and only after that, I check my instagram and emails.
This has helped me not feel overwhelmed all the time.Plus I’m taking it easy and not stressing over unfinished projects. I do regular updates of my day on Insta-stories, I rearranged my journaling space and now enjoy journalling my day to day updates and sometimes do creative art journaling with soft music playing in the background.
With everyone being home, a lot of food is being cooked and polished off in like ten seconds
.I may have put on weight but I have gone off sugar during this period and was surprised that for the amount sugar I was taking in, it hasn’t been that hard to give it up.
The one being that has single handedly been drawing us out of our respective spaces of the house, keeping us all distracted, entertained and our spirits up, is our sweet adorable Amber. I think she is the happiest to have all her humans at home all the time.
Have a blessed time my friends and please stay safe at home if you are able to.
Back in January 2019, when I got my journal from Kikki. K , I loved it but I was not certain if I would finish it.
I have always had journals. This Kikki .K journal from the Life is wonderful series , with all the woodland motifs was a delight to write on. As a result , I did not abandon it half way through, like I have sometimes done ,and actually finished the 2019 journal pages
Apart from the cute layout of the journal, I also liked that it was date free. That took the pressure out of having to stick to everyday journaling , leave dated pages empty , and feel disappointed looking at the un filled pages. Usually , I only journaled once a week , but journaled more than once when I felt like I needed to get my thoughts in order ,
Back in September, I discovered a few things that propelled me to a whole new world of art journaling
Water colour paints and brushes my son had discarded.
With all my supplies and December Daily musings journal prompts from @retrowtures , a new love for journaling took root and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of decorating my pages with water colours and putting down my thoughts on paper.
Although there are some amazing art journal pages, I look upon my journaling as something I do just for my own personal joy , without a self imposed performance pressure on myself.
While at the Craft Camp , I took a class on Mindful Knitting, where I learnt about the importance of creating a making space . Ever since I have strived to slow down, keep the area I work in ,clear of clutter and light a scented candle. Sometimes I have instrumental music playing along. This has helped me truly have a few moments of calm and peace at the end of the day .
The things I journal about differs every time. Sometimes its just about my day, sometimes its how I am feeling, my thoughts, fears etc, sometimes its prayers, or gratitude , things I’m loving at the moment and so on.
I do not do it on a regular basis , sometimes its once a week , and sometimes I journal more often
I have also been using it to practise my art journaling and calligraphy and it has been a wonderful creative outlet for me.
Each time I ‘m able to set aside a good chunk of time, I use it to journal and sometimes art journal. No part of it is perfect in anyway , but process of creation something without any sort of restriction, embracing the flow of the moment is what is fun for me.
So, I do want to encourage you to try journaling , creating a making space for yourself and see how you like. I have definitely enjoyed the process and I think you will too !
Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog
It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.
I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.
I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,
Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter
dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall
greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden
some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop
Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.
The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.
Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.
We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water
While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around
This swan was so graceful in the water
Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.
Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.
Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.
Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)
Every single winter since I came to New Zealand, I’ve wanted to get a cabled hat. A cream one. Now I’m not big on wearing hats but that’s another story. Anyways, every time I see a cream cabled hat in Kmart, I’d come with some excuse not to get it .The underlining fact behind all those excuses is one and only reason .And that is ,like every maker, I always think I can totally make that .
Only, I never get around to making it because I’m distracted by something or the other . Another reason I’ve realised over time is that when something intimidates me, I keep putting it off until I work up enough courage to tackle it. Thats what happened to the cabled hat as well.
Then in one of the video podcasts I watch, I saw a baby cabled hat and heard of the Antler hat pattern from Tin can Knits.Since this site is widely spoken of as a beginner friendly pattern site, I decided to give the baby Antler hat a go, the smaller size seemed less intimidating. The sizes run from baby to adult size.
A few false starts later, it was smooth sailing. I still made a few mistakes because I was too tired and sleepy to count properly or distracted.
I used one whole skein of Heritage Polwarth and 5 mm Chiagoo needles.
Tid Bit : “Now I’d actually pay you to make me something like that ” Those words coming from an usually disinterested teen is high praise I think and says a lot about the pattern 🙂
This hyacinth plant is special because it reminds me of a friend who came by to spend half a day with me. When she came to visit me, she brought this lovely hyacinth plant for me. I never knew hyacinths had such sweet scent before then.We shared a meal, learned a little bit about each other, exchanged recipes and bid good bye.
When the flowers withered, I planted the bulbs and did not remember about them until I saw the flowers.
They remind me of a lovely time and also that spring is slowly making her entrance .Can’t wait to see the earth bloom and come alive with flowers of different colours.
One can never get enough of the beauty ,South Otago region offers. When my cousin visited New Zealand with his friends, we decided to tag along on their two day trip .
First stop was Lake Tekapo. About three hours drive from Christchurch, the deep turquoise waters against the backdrop of the rugged brown Southern Alps is just breathtaking.On the banks of the lake adding charm to the scenery ,stands the Church of the Good Shepherd .Apparently a favourite spot for wedding photographers.Enroute to Queenstown, stopping at various Scenic Outlooks to admire the magnificent beauty of the landscapes meant our supposedly six hour drive from Christchurch to Queenstown ,was stretched by a couple more hours. Hence we reached Queenstown late at night .
Ready to crash ,The Scenic Suites hotel where we stayed, with its spacious bed and clean self contained utilities ,offered just the cozy comfort we needed. The stunning views of the lake and town were an added bonus.Oh ,the breakfast of eggs benedict with english muffins and bacon we had at the hotel restaurant was large , filling and scrumptious.
Of all the adventure sports that Queenstown offers,
my favourite past time at Queenstown is people watching , having a juicy burger at Fergburger ,
(one of the best tip we received and found immensely helpful to avoid the serpentine queue ,was to order beforehand on phone and then go get the burger . )
Or grab an ice cream at Patagonia. Not only do they have a wider variety to choose from but you can also create your own cone , add things you like . So fun and so so yummy !
or walk on the side path gawking at all the sights and sounds enjoying the touristy vibe of the town.
Looking at the pictures just makes me want to go back there.
Just before the labour weekend rolled around, J suggested we all take a trip to the West Coast to explore the area. Since none of us had any idea about the area.
Grey Mouth is about three hours drive from Christchurch and we took the Arthur Pass route.To say that the scenic drive was spectacular ,would be an understatement
The first stop was Castle Hill, which are interesting rock formations .This kind of set the tone for our trip
The terrain itself is so different on each side the mountain. As we went up the mountains the long stretches of the dark grey river beds with streams trickling by and dull brown beech trees, were a feast to the eyes.
The steep scary down hill drive that would lead into the rainforest like terrain with ferns and lilies everywhere, came as a big surprise. The gorge and the bridges simply breathtaking!
This was a budget trip for us and so we stayed in the Kiwi Holiday Park , with its self -containted kitchen, lounge, toilets was very convenient and clean.We however decided to sleep in tents, true Kiwi style.Crawling on all fours trying to get into the tent, sleeping with hot water bottles in my sleeping bag so as not to freeze into an icicle , maybe are fun things to try once in a lifetime, but its not something I look forward to repeating again for fun 🙂 The whole town was shut down for a Bike race and so Pancake Rocks was to be our next destination.Rugged mountains on one side the vast wide ocean on the other, the beauty left us speechless. At the entrance of the Paparoa National Park, a Weka ,another flightless native New Zealand Bird, took to greeting the visitorsInside at the park, a very well laid out trail leads to mind-blowing natural beauty. The visual treat is overwhelming as your eyes are torn between admiring the rock formations that look like pancakes stacked one above the other and the rock formations that look like humans, the rugged silent rocks providing the perfect foil for the boisterous wavesand home for nesting birds high up on them. .On this trip,I did not cook, but picked up different salads and food from Countdown, the supermarket and had a picnic by the river at noonscoured the beach for pebbles and driftwood, in the evening, ate dinner at Pizza Hut .Unprofessional campers that we were, couldn’t take in the idea of shivering in our tents to sleep and so decided to pack our tents and head back back home.
The steep drive down the mountains, covered in thick fog afforded some scary , nail biting moments, but by God’s grace, we all made it home in one piece, and fell into our beds with grateful hearts.
If you knew me in real life, you would probably have heard me say that I love cowls a lot . I prefer them over scarves because of how you don’t have to fuss with them like you would a scarf if it gets out of place.
When I finished this cowl and posted on Instagram , there were a couple of people who said it looked like the Keffiyah , the distinct red and white Kuwaiti headdress and asked for the pattern.
I decided write down the pattern and call it the Keffiyah cowl as it was indeed inspired by the Kuwaiti headdress .
It is really a very simple pattern to make
. I used Heritage Organic Merino yarn a light worsted weight yarn
Melon Sorbet 50 Gm X 1.25skeins
Ecru 50 Gm X 1.5 skeins
(US instructions )
SC = single crochet
DC= double Crochet
SL ST= slip stitch
With Melon , CH 27
Row :1 SC in second ch from hook, DC in next ch, ( sc in next ch, dc in next ch) , repeat () till the end.
Change Colour to Ecru , ch 1, turn
To change colour, at the end of the row, draw through the new colour in the last loop of the final dc or sc in the row.
Alternatively, you can also carry the yarn through . In which case you will need more yarn.
Row :2 Sc in first dc, dc in next sc ( sc in next stitch , DC in next sc) Repeat ( ) until the end of the row.
Repeat row 2 until desired length , making sure your last row is the colour that is opposite to your starting colour.
Whip stitch the short ends together . Weave in all loose ends.
For the Scallop Edging
Start the edging at the point where the joining ends. Along the wider side of the cowl, make ch3, 2 DC in the 3rd ch from hook. Skip two stitches . Sl st in the next stitch. Repeat around. Finish off.
Do the same on the other long side. Weave in the ends .
We stayed in a small town called Balclutha at a motel called RoseBank Lodge. It was a comfortable place.
The eggs benedict and hotcakes at the restaurant there were really good.It was great to walk/drive around Dunedin to soak in the essence of the city.Dunedin a university town, with a lot of young student crowd against the backdrop of the magnificent architecture,was a unique mix of urban as well as old world charm and grandeur.interesting wall art and the locomotive museum was a hit with the boys. hilly landscape along the harbour so rugged and picturesque It was good to spend some time sitting on the grass by the harbour, watching the seagulls The Cadbury factory is a must visit, I tried the triple chocolate drink in the cafe near by , so tasty.The architecture of the railway station was simply breathtaking
However, the most thrilling, and exciting experience for us in Dunedin was going up Baldwin Street, the Steepest Street in the world.
having a little glitch with our car in the middle of the climb, holding our breaths until we got back down
and getting a certificate at the certificate shop was indeed an experience that will stay in our memories for a long long time.