These fingers were made for crafting!

And they do! Knitting, cross stitching and now,…polymer clay sculpting!

Totally Unique by Danielle

First I tried a little gnomish looking house with some white Sculpey I had that I coloured with art pastels. It worked pretty well but I was very unhappy with how quickly my hands heated up the clay which made it very difficult to form into the crisp details I wanted.

So for my birthday I bought a lot more tools and clay and set to work experimenting some more…not managing to achieve any greater satisfaction in the process either, I’m forced to confess…

Totally Unique by Danielle

My favourite is the little face surrounded by flowers. That was the result of a face mould and some icing cutters I bought to make the flowers and leaves with. The fact that the flowers aren’t symmetrical bothers me but that’s because I actually had to fix this because the first time I baked it I forgot to loosen it from the base I was sculpting it on and when I went to pick it up after it cooled, I ripped off two of the flowers. This was after I re-did it and re-baked it again.

But I also made a couple of pretty face-brooches but the frustration with blunting the clay details with my clunky fingers continued!

I like them…but they’re not to the degree of finish that satisfies me yet.

But I’m still learning so I’m trying to be patient…while I make a list of supplies I still need! The list is definitely expanding!!

Totally Unique by Danielle

But on other fronts…the cross stitch progresses! I’ve finished the hag and now the giant’s head. The rest of his body is on the next and final line and I’ll get to that as I continue on.

Totally Unique by Danielle

And the Combo Beanies also continue with the seemingly inexhaustible Combined Cone Yarns!

   Totally Unique by Danielle

I’m down to the last couple of balls and have faint glimmers of light at the end of the yarn tunnel! I live in hope! So far I have on hand 20 beanies! What a marathon!

So I’ll continue challenging myself with the clay while coveting more tools so I can do it BETTER! (I will not be defeated!) while continuing on with the cross stitch and beanies…and who knows! I might actually get around to the poor benighted lace socks!

Cheers!

Dx

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I keep losing track of the days of the week!

I didn’t realize it was Wednesday already!

Well, the cold of winter is well on its way here in the Wheat Belt. It’s quite warm during the day but BITTERLY cold at night. Or at least I feel like it’s bitterly cold! I don’t really like getting cold. I like it BEING cold. Just so long as I’m inside a warm house where I can enjoy the feeling of being cosy warm while outside the sky is grey and hopefully raining. Not so keen on actually being out in the cold weather.

And knitting does not warm my hands up at all…

In fact my hands actually get colder as I knit…but that’s not stopping me! I’m still grinding through all that combined cone yarn I balled up.

Totally Unique by Danielle Totally Unique by Danielle Totally Unique by Danielle Totally Unique by Danielle Totally Unique by Danielle

The last one is especially large since I used 10ply yarns on 4mm needles. I’m really liking the pile of beanies I’m getting together. I’ve still got about 2 balls of charcoal grey to go and maybe 1 more ball of the blue. Give or take.

I’m slowly progressing on the Monty Python Cross Stitch. But with cold fingers, it’s difficult manipulating the needle. But I’m onto the second character on the third line. So at least it’s still moving forward…slowly but surely.

Totally Unique by DanielleMy fingers are cold and I better get this done while I can. Now that I know what day of the week it is 🙂

Cheers

Dx

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Just a touch of Melancholy…

…only a little bit. But I feel restless while at the same time not wanting to move. Wrapped up inside the house where I have a certain amount of control, why would I want to go out??

Mind you, unfortunately it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything useful. I could be cleaning the house, you know, changing guest sheets, smartening up the lounge, dusting the dressers, all the myriad domestic things that always need doing…but I’m not. I can’t work up the energy to try. There’s no room to spread things out to re-organise things into a better order and with the minimal amount of mental energy that I have, I’m not spending it on something that is only going to prove futile!

So instead, I do what I have to do and then bury myself in my craft where the goals are small, achievable and I understand their demands. And they only have to be done to my requirements. Not some unknown requirement that I never seem to understand or grasp.

I have been continuing my campaign to knit up all the thin yarn I had on cones into beanies I can give away to charity and I’m doing pretty well on that front. Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by DanielleTotally Unique by Danielle  Mackenzie's beanie  Combo Beanies - 4mm charcoalpurple  Combo Beanies - 4mm bluewhite  Kim's Beanie  Combo Beanie - grey/green  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by DanielleTotally Unique by Danielle  Totally Unique by Danielle

I think that’s pretty good for a whole lot of yarn that I hadn’t the foggiest idea what to do with! Four of these have already been given to family members but the rest will be going to charity. I’ve already got another one on the needles and I’ve got about 3 more balls of this combined yarn to use up! Go me!!

And the Monty Python Cross Stitch continues on apace. I finished the first character on the third line. I think he’s some sorcerer or something.

Totally Unique by Danielle

And have just started the next one. I think she’s a hag or witch.

Totally Unique by Danielle

Not much of her yet, but we’re getting there.

I’m still waiting for my fingers to be slightly less tender before I start doing more of the lace sock but other than that, I have been keeping my creative impulses quietly ticking over. And I’ll keep doing that until the melancholy gets bored and goes away…

…it usually does 🙂

Cheers!

Dx

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How is it already May??

Where is the year going? It seems to be whizzing past so quickly! Oh well. I’ve continued plodding on.

Totally Unique by Danielle

I actually managed to post the beanies I made for my niece and youngest son. Major achievement for me since I tend to dither on getting things done sometimes. Jordan got his beanie the next day so I was pretty chuffed with that. I assume Mackenzie got her beanie but I don’t expect to hear back about it immediately. David will probably text me about it eventually.

Totally Unique by Danielle

I’m pretty impressed with the beanies I’ve been able to churn out using my combined fine yarns. Adding a really small amount of contrast yarn makes it more interesting to look at as well as knit which is a great stash buster as well. I’ve still got a lot of the dark charcoal colour so I’m trying to get through it my adding the contrast yarn not just in the brim but also in the body of the hat. It does make the knitting seem to speed along quicker too! The one in the top left corner is the latest and I’ve already got another on the needles. I am a machine!!

Totally Unique by Danielle

It’s not the only thing I’m knitting at the moment either. The Crimson Socks are going on apace. I finally knit up all the extra gusset stitches and I’m now just knitting until I get to the length of the foot that I want. Still with the lace insert so I’m going slowly…especially since I managed to knit a hole in my fingers.

Totally Unique by Danielle

So I’m trying to give my fingers time to heal a bit by not knitting with the tiny needles (2mm!) and doing other things.

Like…paracord bracelets! I’ve seen heaps of these things. That positively proliferate Pinterest so when I was in Albany I bought two paracords, black and khaki. I thought they were the least offensive colours for men. And they were very easy! The hardest thing I found with them was trying to tidy up the ends when I finished and attached the clip to the end of the bracelet. They do look smart, especially when you think I ended up making 4 bracelets with the two hanks of paracord and they sell these things for about $15 at shops. It’s enough to give one pause for thought if I didn’t totally suck at selling!

   Totally Unique by Danielle Totally Unique by Danielle

And also I have finally finished the second line of characters from my Monty Python and the Holy Grail cross stitch!

Totally Unique by Danielle

Pretty cool, isn’t it? I’m starting to get quite excited about this now and enjoying being able to tick of another character as I get further down the chart. Yes, there’s still the question of preparing and cleaning the cloth when I’ve finished as well as figuring out how to get it framed but that is for another day.

So, I will continue on my industrious little way. I like May. It’s Mother’s Day as well as my Birthday. So I usually enjoy it alot. We’ll see how we go.

Cheers

Dx

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Well, that was a good weekend!

We went back home to Albany for the Anzac Day holidays which was lovely. Hubbie rarely get’s public holidays off so it was doubly nice. And especially since My brother and his family were staying at my Mum and Dad’s place so I got to spend time with them too!

Something like that all coming together is a bit like all the planets lining up at once!

But we were down for Anzac Day. David and Kim went to the Dawn Service, very brave of them because they got in the Albany even later than us on Friday and were very tired! But we all went to the Anzac March down York Street to the Peace Park. It was really nice. So many people came and participated! I got a few pictures of the marchers waiting before they started. They’re not very good but you get the idea.

Anzac Day 2015

We remember those who went before…Lest we forget.

Another reason Hubbie came, more specifically, was to take his father on a helicopter ride out to Breaksea Island and back as part of his birthday present from Hubbie and his sister. Donna’s afraid of heights so she sent her husband, Paul as proxy. They all really enjoyed it greatly and I even got a picture of them flying over the Anzac March!

Anzac Day (9)

When I took this photo it seemed much closer!

Greg's helicopter

Here is as close as I could crop it and I STILL had to circle it to make sure it didn’t get lost in the clouds! My Hubbie, Brother-in-law and Father-in-law are in that little mechanised bubble! Go Guys!!!

So, because David, Kim and Mackenzie were down I stayed at my parents place and Greg stayed at his parents. It actually works out really well. Our two dogs were brought along to “visit Nana and Grandie” and they’re relatively big dogs. I enjoyed having a couple of days where I didn’t get jumped on in the middle of the night.

But I knit! I’m ALWAYS knitting! And I really want to knit up all this combined acrylic yarn I got off my op shop acquired cones. The pattern I’ve been using is so versatile! and forgiving! I finished a beanie before I left Kellerberrin and cast on a new one in the car as we drove down to Albany. I finished at Mum’s where my brother promptly snavelled it as “His”.  Then he teased Kim mercilessly about having one so I knit one for Kim.

Can you see where this is going?

Now, there was no way 5 year old Mackenzie was going to get left out but despite the fact that I can churn these things out in a day if I concentrate, there was no way I was going to finish it before David and co. left the day before us! So, after promising faithfully that I would knit it and post it to her, she graciously allowed me to do so. She is such a cutie!

So, over the Anzac weekend, these are the beanies I knit!

Combo Beanie - grey/green  Combo Beanies - 4mm bluewhite

Kim's Beanie  Combo Beanies - 4mm charcoalpurple

And Mackenzie’s, that I finished in the car on the way home. Using all the same yarns as are in Kim’s beanie, but in the reverse order. Variegated yarn…what a bugger for pooling! But she should like it.

Mackenzie's beanie

I’ve just got to post it now.

So, a really pleasant weekend was had by all. Even my Dad enjoyed himself and he finds the constant chatter and noise a little trying sometimes. The happy memories should sustain me for quite a while in dry, dusty Kellerberrin.

 David and me again

This is my little brother…

David and Mackenzie

..And this is him with his precious daughter, Mackenzie…

Crazy Eddy's 2

And this is the whole motley gene pool! Our parents, Ted and Margaret!

I miss you all more than I can say and love spending time with you all, where our quirks and craziness is accepted, embraced or at least used to make funny stories for the future! Look forward to seeing you all again, whenever that is.

I love you all!

Cheers!

Dx

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As the Seasons slowly change…

I am very thankful that the intense heat of summer is past and a more temperate climate is currently resting over the Wheat Belt as the temperature dips radically at night and warms up slowly through the day. Much more to my liking! The only thing that could improve it would be rain!

The farmers are starting to burn off last years chaff and trash out in the paddocks so at night it looks a bit like a herd of small dragons have started feeding flames across the dark fields. Pretty impressive looking, really!

Pre-seeding Burn off

I finally finished the three headed giant from my Monty Python and the Holy Grail cross stitch. It seemed to take such a long time but I guess I only have 6 hours of good light to do it in and I have to make a show of doing something in the house all day besides craft!

Monty Python three headed giant

So now I’ve started on the next character. There’s not much to show as yet but he does seem to have less colour combinations than the giant did so hopefully it wont take me three days to get him done!

Monty Python cross stitch

But besides the cross stitch I have been working my way through the combined cone-yarns I have balled up. A lot of greys, charcoal greys and creams, not that exciting a palette to choose from really. But I can play with other stash yarns I have on the garter stitch brim for a dash of colour. So far I’ve played with knitting them on a 3mm needle, a 3.75mm needle, a 4mm needle and a 4.5mm needle. You get different sizes depending on how thick the yarn or the needle is and when I tried knitting some of it on needles too small I ended up with a beanie you could probably use as a canoe. It was so stiff it could stand up by itself. That one I unravelled, lesson learned!

Trio of coneyarn combo beanies

I have quite a little collection growing now but I think I’ll stick to 3.75mm and 4mm needles. Either side of that they get too small or too big. Unless someone has seriously crazy hair!

Combo Yarn Beanies

I’ve used up all the chunky cream/grey yarn I had so now I’m moving on to the grey mixed stuff. I should be able to get at least two beanies out of that. This first one I knit on 4mm needles. I’ll do the next one on 3.75mm. See how two different sizes turn out!

Coneyarn Combo fifth beanie - 4mm

Makes a nice sort of marled appearance in the colouring, doesn’t it?

And last, but by no means least, I finally got a pic of the socks I’m slowly grinding away at. The pattern is Blackrose Socks by Suzi Anvin and it is quite easy. I’m doing both socks at once because I hate second sock syndrome and although it’s been a juggle from time to time, I think I am finally getting there. It is knit cuff down, so now that I’ve turned the heels I just have to keep knitting up all the side gusset stitches until I’m back to the original 30sts for the back of the foot and then just keep going until I want to start casting off for the toe. Simples!

Crimson Socks

This is the back of the heels. The socks have a lace insert on the front but it looks pretty unimpressive at the moment till I’ve finished them and blocked them to really let the lace pattern shine. Even so, the heels look quite striking in my funny dyed yarn. Almost like a criss-cross pattern. Very attractive!

So there you have it! If taken from a creative point of view, I have been amazingly productive! Three projects, all running concurrently. The artist triumphs!!

Mind you, the domestic side feels called upon to mention that there are still dishes in the sink waiting to be washed as they have been this last couple of hours and that there are literally hoards of tiny, grinding jobs that probably should be done if the house were to be looked after the way it probably should.

I freely confess, the artist doesn’t really care.

She just takes off her glasses. Then only the important things in her hands are clearly seen.

All is well in her creative universe!

(Lucky thing!)

Cheers

Dx

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I am easily distracted

…and I have difficulty keeping a track of what days of the week it is. All I could remember was today I was to do one of my blogs…guess which one it was supposed to be? Yeah, surprise, surprise! This one!

Guess which one I did? Not this one!

So because my OCD I’m going to have repeat the content I already put on Blogger.

I think I need to give myself some alarm that tells me which one to do when 🙂

Alcott Vest

Today is another day and thankfully there are more hours to put craft into to keep fidgety hands busy!

It does puzzle me why I can sit hunched over a cross stitch or drawing up a picture or nutting out a new technique I’ve  never tried knitting before for hours! But when I have to tidy a bathroom or hang out laundry…blimey! It suddenly takes on the proportions of some enormous, insurmountable chore, sucking all the fun out of my creativity and rudely breaking in to my own little world. It’s so inconvenient!

So what have I achieved so far this week?

The Marvellous Vest is all done and put away. I dusted off the Monty Python and the Holy Grail cross stitch and have actually managed to progress to the next line of characters! The light issue still remains so I can only do it during the day, so at night I knit.

I’m knitting a pair of socks with a lace insert with some yarn I dyed about 2 years ago but I still don’t have a pic of those so I’m keeping them as a surprise for later when they look more like socks.

Also I realized I had accumulated a large number of left over cone yarns with ridiculously thin yarns on them that I really couldn’t use in their present state. So I dragged them all out and combined a lot of them to make useable yarn for beanies. I must say, so far I am very pleased with the results! Much better than I’d expected and since they’re almost all acrylics, they should be easy to wash. I’m going to see how many I can make and then I’ll donate them to my local charity.

So there you have it. Does anyone else suffer from excessive creativity and nil enthusiasm for useful accomplishments?

Maybe it’s just me 🙂

Cheers

Dx

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