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For the love of crochet…

If I say I’ve been off my game recently, it would be an understatement… Cooking has become a chore and not the enjoyable pleasure it once was, my kitchen is falling apart, we have had problems with mice, which I absolutely hate, and don’t cope well with, and Tate just needs his Mom, so it’s hard to get things done. I’ve struggled with crafting too, well that was until I started my crochet along blanket new inspiration and pleasure flooded through me… I enjoyed my first few rows so much I’ve started a second granny stripe blanket too!

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I am not an expert at crochet, but it is one of the things in life I am glad I have taken time to learn, it’s addictive and I love it! To start my crochet along (CAL) blanket, I have had to learn a new technique, which I have to say had me slightly complexed for a while, and then when I did get the foundation row going, I was not happy with my tension, but it is true what they say, practice makes perfect, and the more I’ve hooked the foundation row the better it’s got… Thankfully!

The whole idea behind the CAL blanket is to incorporate different stitches into the rows, learn new things and I think just have fun, so being an avid crafter I am so excited for this challenge, I’m also a terrible hermit in the winter months, so any excuse to snuggle on the sofa and crochet is good for me!

I look out my window as I type this, to a white world of snow covered grass, we have had a lot of snow since February started, we began today with a light covering of snow and this Sunday/Monday is set to see us with another snow storm, So as I crochet my spring colored blanket, I am dreaming of longer spring days, picnic baskets and my newly crocheted blanket, chillier spring soccer games wrapped in my blanket and hot drinks cuddled in our hands!

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The sun is shining today, but it’s cold and windy, I’m snuggled with my two babies on the sofa, I’m about to pick up my hook and crochet another stripe… Whatever you are doing today… Stay safe and warm!

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Color inspiration for my two blankets … I just love this!

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Pumpkins, boots and a touch of homeschooling…

I have to say I love everything about Fall, pumpkin flavored everything, cooler but not cold weather, wearing cardigans and sweaters old and new, and soups, hot and creamy… But, you knew there had to be a but, BUT I hate the thought of cold, cold winter on its way… The solution… Move to a warmer climate all year round! Easier said than done, but I’m working on it…

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I would love to live near the beach, hot summers and cooler winters are perfect by the beach… I see myself in an old house with my family living happily with the ocean not too far away, but for now we have to live and dream on… I would just like life to slow down a little bit, the last few back to school weeks seem to have been crazy, all ideas of routine and organization have flown out of the window… But I need to get back on track!

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Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with a lovely lady at Mabel’s soccer game… It was so weird usually when you tell people how many children you have they are aghast, but this lady lives on Long Island and has many friends with large families, 9, 10, 11 and even 12 children… Obviously I need to live there! We started our long conversation about people’s attitudes to breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding, how everyone feels they have the right to have an opinion on whether you should or should not breastfeed and especially on the subject of extended breastfeeding, most people make it very clear that extended breastfeeding is not the norm and as such should not be done… But I like to be my own person and do things my own way! She then started to tell me that she home schools her four children, well actually her eldest daughter is now married, she got her masters degree by the age of 18, and she was home schooled… Very interesting to me, because I have been researching homeschooling my two babies, but again this is a subject where because it is not the norm of society most people frown and do not agree… Like my older children, it has been a subject for discussion in my house for many weeks now… Now I’m not sure if the negative attitudes are jealousy because they would have liked this option or just because they think I would be an awful teacher, as it has been said several times recently!

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Now before all the haters of home schooling start shouting, I am only thinking of this option, looking into the logistics and weighing up my beliefs and reasons for wanting to do this… Believe me I could change my mind, but events in the past have started me thinking maybe this would be a good option going forward… We will see, but for now I have started a little home schooling with Florrie… Reading, writing, the letter A for Apple is this weeks letter of the week… and just lots of fun!

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Fall to me means time to crochet, knit and sew… Cooking warm comfort foods and baking scrumptious goodies… In the coming weeks I am hoping to slow life down a notch or two, get back to basics and enjoy some time reconnecting with my sewing machine, hooks and needles… I have some gorgeous soft cotton yarn that is crying out to be made into hats for my babies!

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Menu plan for this week…

Lots of fruit smoothies, brownies, muffins, oatcakes and cookies!

Saturday
pork goulash

Sunday
Beef pot roast

Monday
Sausage and pasta pumpkin soup

Tuesday
potato and bacon soup served with garlic breadsticks

Wednesday
Home made pork flatbreads with roasted veggies

Thursday
Chicken dumpling stew

Friday
Home made pizzas

Everything I make these days, and I mean everything has added nutrition in the form of flax seed, chia seed and wheat germ… I use gluten free oats to add thickness to my casserole sauces, it cooks and thickens without anyone knowing I’ve added all this goodness! My other shout out is coconut water, I use it in as many dishes as I can, stews, casseroles, soups and smoothies, this is a wonderful ingredient, almost tasteless when it’s added, but oh so full of good nutrition and fantastic for your digestive system!

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Fabric, hooks and lots of yarn!

The sun is shining, the temperatures are above freezing, almost tropical… I have no doctors appointments of any kind today, yesterday I had a checkup at the OBGYN, my little man is head down, which explains all the pressure and many, many trips to the bathroom! It is time to catch up on the laundry and get my sewing machine out… Those burp cloths won’t finish themselves!

Burp cloths made and laundered, I moved onto my crochet edge blanket… I am absolutely in love with this blanket, I used a very soft shirting fabric, measured to 31″x36″, hemmed with a 1/4″ double turned in hem, sewn and then it’s ready to get out the yarn… Yay my favorite part! I used a tapestry needle and a no 2 cotton yarn, it was time to blanket stitch around the edges of each of the four sides of the blanket making sure each corner had one diagonal stitch also…

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After all blanket stitches were complete, it was time to add the shelled crochet edge… The finished result is a very cute not too feminine soft and cozy baby blanket… Perfect for a Spring newborn baby!

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I think my body is changing, my hormones are raging, the tears keep flowing and I am so incredibly uncomfortable, pregnancy should be 8 months, this last month is just not the best… So despite not being very organised, and not being actually ready for a newborn baby, my body and head is saying it is more than ready to have it’s little inhabitant out and get it back to me again! At my OBGYN appointment this past week, I had no signs of labor and hopefully next week I should have the date set up for my c-section, 3 weeks Sunday and counting… Carrying 8 children plays havoc on your body and that is why this little boy will definitely be our last child!

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A blatant plug for Florrie’s Attic on Etsy!

My house is so unorganized at the moment, I hate it, but with my lack of energy all I’ve managed to do is crochet and sleep… Adding to the chaos are so many doctors appointments, it’s just crazy, appointments for iron infusions, appointments with my OB and appointments for ultrasounds, in between my own appointments there has been Florrie’s checkups and vaccinations with the pediatrician… Just madness, but in the last week we have gone from a three car family, with 5 people scrambling to share 2 cars to a very comfortable 5 car family, less taxi’ing around for this tired momma!

On the subject of crochet, I have been concentrating on my Etsy shop and trying to add new products in the hope I can attract some new customers, I would love it if you could help me out and share my shop to others also my Facebook page… I would be very grateful if you could help me out!

Here are some of my new products…

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All of these newborn hats are just $10 each and ready to ship!

I have several new items I am working on, another baby blanket with the crochet edge, I am totally in love with these, they are perfect for the warmer weather of spring and then into summer, I love that they are very different, so with that in mind I am going to make some burp cloths, I love different looks that are not generic like shopping in Target, so I wanted to create an unique look for these… Watch this space!

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This is a newborn baby blanket, made with a very soft shirting fabric, it has a crochet edge… It is $18 ready to ship!

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Inspiration…
I am officially 32 weeks pregnant today, but I will leave you all with a belly shot from 29 weeks!

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Blueberry Mojito time…

Paul has converted me over the last couple of years… I officially love mojito’s, I wasn’t sure about them at first, but Paul’s love of a nice ice cold Mojito has totally got me addicted now. Father’s Day in our house has come to mean, the last of the spring soccer games, followed by a cocktail or two on the deck all served with a nicely cooked BBQ and a slice of cake to finish everything off… Father’s Day our way!

So, I received my weekly zip list email last week and there was a gorgeous photo of blueberry Mojito’s, I followed the link and was inspired for our Father’s Day cocktail this year, but of course I forgot to bookmark the recipe so I had to wing it by adding blueberries to our Mojito recipe;

For each glass …
1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
10 mint leaves
1/8 cup of white sugar
A small hand full of blueberries
Place all of these into the glass with a pestle grind the ingredients so that the juices and sugar make a nice paste, then add ice and 4-5 whole blueberries, top with 1/4 cup of white rum and 1/2 cup of club soda… Stir and enjoy!

We also had a BBQ this year, I had no back up plan if it rained, which it has done a lot this year! On the menu… Philly cheesesteak bar, grilled rubbed steak, grated cheeses, onion, peppers and toasted rolls, take your pick and create your very own Philly cheesesteak! We also had Italian inspired freshly made burgers… To your ground beef add 1 cup of freshly made breadcrumbs mixed together with a handful of chopped rosemary and another handful of thyme, then mix in one tablespoon of red chili flakes. In your blender add a bunch of fresh parsley, some freshly sliced Parmesan cheese, a clove of fresh garlic and a half of a red onion… Blitz until finely chopped then add into your ground beef mixture… Mix together thoroughly then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, mine sat around chilling for 4 hours whilst we went to our soccer games! Finally heat your grill, shape into patties and cook to your desired taste, grill the buns, then top the burgers with cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce… Enjoy, Paul said they were the best Father’s Day burgers he had ever eaten… Maybe an exaggeration but they did taste good!

Finally on a Florrie’s Attic note… I spent my Monday morning wandering around Jo Ann’s Fabric store, possibly one of my favorite things to do, inspired by another order… Yay, I wanted some thinner cotton yarn for my hat flowers, I then had the idea I could sew little pillowcase dresses and add my crochet flowers for decoration, keeping in a theme of combining crochet with all my products. So totally inspired I bought the cutest yellow and gray fabric… All I need now is a spare hour or two and hopefully my vision will be ready to launch in my shop… So watch this space Florrie’s Attic!

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For the love of yarn!

I am totally loving making sun hats at the moment… My creative juices are flowing and my head is spinning with color ideas… Sunflower yellow with green gingham ribbon, lilac with yellow crochet flowers, patriotic 4th of July sun hats are dancing through my head, each time I complete a sunhat I am so tempted to keep it for Florrie, but I know that I really need to set up my little online shop… Time to get serious and try selling my wares!

We had a very productive but busy weekend… Saturday saw us checking some chores off our long list of to do’s for the house. Paul spent the afternoon on BBQ duty, after spending a grand total of $25, we now have a working spotlessly clean BBQ, Paul is king of cleaning the kitchen and also the outdoor grill! My Mum and I spent the afternoon productively making the seat cushion for the wicker sofa on the clean new deck we have been renovating. We then scrubbed and washed down the outdoor directors chairs… The deck is starting to take shape finally, we are very late this year getting outdoor living started, but although we are later than usual we are appreciating the clean deck and slightly cooler weather… We have been sitting out into the evening with our glass of wine and just chilling with our beautiful scenic views!

Talking about outdoor living, I can finally menu plan using the grill, i love to cook outside during the warm summer evenings, last night saw me roasting some Cajun style pork outdoors, I also added some small fingerling potatoes roasted with my favorite spray oil from TJ’s, coconut and seasoned with salt and pepper, I also added some lightly spiced corn on the cobs… Voila outdoor eating at its best… Spicy Cajun style pork and warm salad tacos!

A very quick side note… I was very excited to finally get my favorite salad mix again from Costco, although there was only 4 left on the shelf so I grabbed 2 big bags and was so glad that I did as there was none to be seen when I called in there again yesterday… The motto to this story, grab it while you can, because it is so good everyone is buying it too!

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Soap box moment…

In this struggling economy we are supposed to feel ‘grateful’ we have our jobs, but the cold, stark reality is that companies are just using it as an excuse to use and abuse their employees… In years gone past loyalty and hard work, commitment and knowledge were all things that were rewarded, but in these times we live in now they are not only disregarded but reasons to take away money and moral from hard working employees… We are no longer people but numbers to gain more and more money in a never ending cycle of greed…

… And this is why I am putting into place my idea of creating my own company on Etsy for my handmade creations… This idea has been around for well over a year now, I don’t want to go back into the working world and be a slave to companies that no longer care about individuals, I want to be my own boss, I am so in love with making handmade items, and I really need a challenge in my life too, that this is so perfect for me to try right now, it may not have a racing start or generate a huge income, but it is something that I can incorporate into my life with my children and give me something to do that isn’t just housework! I have a plan in mind to keep my stock minimal to start with, simple and then just see how it goes… Wish me luck! Watch this space for more details on Florrie’s Attic…

Yesterday I did one of my favorite things visited Jo-Ann’s Fabric store, this one was brand new, sparkly and just so full of everything the avid crafter could think of and more, this is where my idea of my new Etsy company began to emerge again, as I wandered through the aisle upon aisle of colorful fabric and then onto the overstocked yarn department, I knew this was a deep passion in my life that had to be released into the world… I could spend hours just looking at fabrics, I could spend hours choosing yarn for new projects so now it is time to learn, perfect and create… The first one is that scarf I knitted a few weeks ago, I had an idea whilst out shopping with my children, the idea has changed the scarfs identity into a different concept, lets hope it works and it can be my first item for sale!

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