Honouring – 3 ways

My best friend’s mother, my first crochet teacher passed away two years ago. She was a beautiful, kind and generous lady, she was the first to feed my passion for crafts, crocheting to be exact.

So when my best friend gifted me a bag with these precious pieces inside, and said, “mum made these and I think you could do something with them”, I immediately thought how can I honour her time and her creativity and give these pieces new life. I had no idea what her plan was, other than a blanket of course.

The blocks were obvious however, varying in sizes made it a bit more trickier to join. I proceeded to remove the white border on all blocks, blocking the pieces and frogging some rows to create blocks of the same height.

It was a puzzle but a joy to see the pieces take shape.

With the white repurposed wool, I sewed the pieces together and created a whimsical wobbly edge.

Lastly, I chain stitched a flower across multiple pieces. I gifted it back to my best friend and although her mum had already made her some blankets she was thrilled with what I created and keen to treasure the keepsake.

Months later, the same friend, fed my yarn addiction with more wool scraps her mum had. Truthfully, it was a very messy tangled mass of yarn and wools and a few swatches.

The colours on this swatch caught my eye, but what could I create? I decided to frog it and knit an icord with this ball of beautiful hues.

I then  twisted the icord, sewed it to a card and embellished it with sequins, seed beads and butterfly beads to create this sweet first birthday card.

Back to the yarn barf, I patiently and painstakingly untangled all wool and rolled them up into balls.

This time, challenging my self not to crochet or knit with the wool I explored pom-poms. Once sorted it seemed my best friends mother had a rainbow of yarn all along. After making pom-poms of varying sizes, I embroidered her logo on white canvas-like material, adhered the pom-poms and a few buttons.

Added a felt backing and a ribbon – my hoop art was complete. Gifted to my friend, a little reminder of her mum in rainbow colours.

So, before we discard puzzle pieces that don’t ‘seem’ to fit, or the one-off pointless swatch or the headache-inducing tangled mess, think how you can give new life to what was once created and treasured.


What to do with all that artwork – well the ones worth saving?

Do you keep your children’s artwork? Do you pretend to like it? My approach is to ask my son if he wants to keep it – that way he is part of the decision. The main reason I keep any of his artwork, it has to be big and has to be colourful and bright, is to recycle as wrapping paper! But this piece spoke to me…….

so I cut the entire sheet into triangles [isosceles triangle and the 2 edges provide right angled triangles]…….

I created paper beads. I rolled them up starting at the base [widest part of the triangle] using a skewer and secured the tip with white glue.

After painting them with mod podge to strengthen them and make them shiny I threaded them on waxed cord.

Let me know what you use your child’s painting for.

I love to crochet but doilies aren’t my thing

Ok, so I love to crochet, all sorts of things, socks, amigurumis, scarves, Christmas snowflakes anything really but traditional doilies for furniture, let’s just say our modern home doesn’t suit these.

But when my bestie gifted me a huge doily her mother, my original crochet teacher, had made approximately 40 years ago I was over the moon. I wanted to show this beauty off, I wanted to have it on display but how, in my modern home.

Isn’t it beautiful!

In the words of Oprah Winfrey, my aha moment came when I explored the initial idea of stretching the doily in an embroidery hoop.

Hoops that size didn’t exist or perhaps they but are not readily available, or craft rings that size didn’t exist, I then had to think outside the box, rings from the hardware store, hoops from the toy store, metal rings from the car windscreen shades.

My dad came to the rescue creating me a 60cm [24 inch] diameter hoop from his scraps, which meant I needed to cover the imperfections. No problem, that’s my forte.

I used cotton to wrap the hoop

Once covered and doily stretched and attached I created my dreamcatcher pin board. I could now hang my doily and use to clip all my littles creations. All the items I make that lay scattered in drawers, or shelves just waiting to be gifted or used as an embellishment, are now on display and I can admire them from my workspace.

The doilies pattern and ‘holes’ are perfect for pegging and pinning all my little projects.

I have been converted, doilies are my thing!

when two hashtags collide

Over on Instagram I post mainly crafty-inspired photos, lots of flowers and things I cook or eat. Those that follow my journey might be familiar with my two favourite hashtags #flowersonfriday and #miniaturemonday. So when we visited Cockington Green last October during our trip to Canberra – these 2 hashtags did collide. Cockington Green is a display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings featuring houses and monuments from more than 30 different countries, from Scotland’s Braemer Castle to Peru’s Machu Picchu. The miniature detail is fabulous and as it was spring time the flowers were in full bloom. Sit back and enjoy…. the miniature landmarks [or scroll half way down if you are here for the flowers only]

and terrific tulips [and poppies and daisies and other beauties that caught my eye].

Before we arrived at Cockington Green we visited Old Parliament House and strolled through the gardens…

House of Representative Gardens.

Senate Gardens.

think outside the box

I was lucky enough to win this gorgeous multicoloured Scheepjes pack. Fifty, stone and river washed 10g cotton and acrylic balls.


The box sat on my reading chair for a long time, while I thought what I could make to show off all the gorgeous colours. I am glad I took my time to think what I could create. I stumbled across a hexagon shaped crocheted flower pattern on Pinterest.

Perfect, I could make flowers and then join them to create a blanket. I sewed in the tails and trimmed the excess. [These trims were kept – more on that later]. If you would like to see all 50 colours close up, click here. Working through all the balls, I made 200 flowers for my blanket [this made for a perfect travelling project, I made them in the car, at my son’s swimming classes, in front of the TV]. As I was not sure how I was going to place the colours I made them separately and once I decided on the layout I joined them at the corners. It measures 82.5 cm x 90 cm [33 in x 36 in]. Now waiting for winter……


The flip side looks like the embossed effect.


I was able to make 4 flowers per ball. And I had anything from 20-40 cm [ 8-16 in] leftover from each ball. These were all tied together to create this ball.

With the ball I crocheted this little swatch.

What could this become? A miniature blanket. A pencil case. No, I decided to create a needle book.


I glued some of the trim on the labels.

I enjoyed reading what the names given to the colours meant. And created this canvas ‘art’ with the labels.


Remember the trims I kept after sewing in the tails – I turned these into 3 balls and held them together with white thread – temari style. Then onto cord and around my neck.

So these 4 projects from this wonderful box of yarn. Remember to think outside the box and not waste anything – you’ll be surprised what you can make.

….to design with flowers….

Part 2.

After a quick visit to Parliament House and checking into our hotel we walked to Floriade. Floriade is a flower and entertainment festival held annually in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park featuring extensive displays of flowering bulbs with integrated sculptures and other artistic features. Floriade comes from the Latin word floriat, which means to design with flowers. This is my second time at Floriade and first for my husband and son. It really is a must – an explosion of colour and blooms everywhere. The most common bulb here is the tulip, and it is such a stunning flower with so many varieties. You will see by the rest of my post how it is very easy to become trigger happy and take so many photos – everywhere you turn is an ‘isn’t this gorgeous’ moment.























The Governer General and his gardens

Part 1.

We took a family weekend road trip to Canberra a few weeks ago. We broke up the not-so-far trip in Goulburn, having breakfast at The Roses Cafe [an old TAFE], a wander through the markets and Mstr M having a go at table tennis.

A rough itinerary in mind, we stopped at the information centre for maps and ideas. The lovely gentleman said, you are lucky to be here this weekend – as the Government House is open today and you might just see the GG strolling through the gardens.

We had the Floriade and Cockington Green on the list for the weekend but we soon set out to visit the Australian Mint where Mstr M made his own coin and Government House too.

This is part one of a three part series of the flowers we saw in Canberra that weekend. Government House, commonly referred to as Yarralumla, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. It is located in the suburb of Yarralumla, in the City of Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory. The house opened in 1891 and opened to the public the day we were visiting. The house is set amid 54 hectares of parkland – and this is where this blog post journey begins……

Colourful and cheery garden beds welcome you

Although there are 6 gardens to wander through we marvelled through The Hasluck Rhododendron Garden













and through Lady Gowrie’s garden




These beauties were near the house it self



oh to go back in time and attend a formal function

We also made a trip to Parliament House and Floriade that day. Stay tuned for part 2 where I share the gems we saw at Floriade.


What is AmiguruMAY I hear you ask? The lovely Ilaria from Airali invited fellow crafters to participate throughout May via her daily prompts to follow and share.  It was chance to celebrate all the things #amigurumi, hang out with other makers and designers from all around the globe and grow our creative community!

The prompts were:

Here are my posts that I shared over in Instagram land

Day 1

I plan on taking part in this monthly challenge. All things amigurumi! Hosted by the super talented @airali_gray follow #amiguruMAY to see what lovely cute creatures (amongst other things) talented crocheters are making around the globe. Coincidentally my #currentwip is a cactus pincushion designed by Ilaria herself. However as I rescued this kit from an op shop it came with no pattern. I found a pattern on Pinterest but am modifying it as I go along as I have limited yarn. A challenge within a challenge.

Day 2

It’s day 2 of the #amiguruMAY challenge! Inspiration, like many I absorb so much inspiration from here, Instagram, pinterest and books/magazines. There are so many talented and generous makers that share their makes, tips and patterns.

Day 3

Day 3 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Tools. It is the obvious tool but no cute creatures can be created without crochet hooks. Mine aren’t flash but do the job. Looking closer at them I have #tulip#rose #stratford #milford brands amongst my collection.

Day 4

How do you like your eggs? Fried? Scrambled? Hard boiled? Day 4 of the #amiguruMAY – the smallest. I had a go at making something tiny. I have a plan for these eggs 🥚🍳 stay tuned. Stroll to end of the post to see what I did.

Day 5

Day 5 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Introduce yourself.
Hello🙋‍♀️, I’m Carina. I was born in Argentina 🇦🇷 but have lived in Sydney, Australia 🇦🇺 pretty much all my life. This means I can also speak Spanish and love football⚽️. I am married and have a 7 year old 🏃‍♂️. I’m left ✋handed. I love to bake🥧🍪 but don’t really cook (hubby👨‍🍳 cooks). I love to travel 🌏🛫I work part time in 💊 research. I have been crafting since I was little. Learnt to crochet at an early age but discovered amigurumi🐖 about 5 years ago. Like many others, a day without crafting doesn’t seem right. Even if it is mending✂️ my son’s school uniform as I type this. Do we share any similarities?

Day 6

Day 6 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Maker or designer? Typically I’m a maker when it comes to #amigurumi but I did design and make 🐖☝️and the eggs a couple of posts back. I see so many wonderful creations that I want to try. Although I always like to put my own spin.

Day 7

Day 7 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Fave yarn. I recently came across and discovered @kartopu at my local @spotlightstores I raved about it to my friends. It would make THE best amigurumi 🐦🐸🐢🐙🐁🌸. The colours are sublime.

Day 8

Day 8 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Animals 🐂🐎🐅🐈🐩🐕🐖🐄. I made this pair 🐘 a couple of years back for a newborn. I love this colour combination. This will be a fun day to check out this hashtag😉

Day 9

Day 9 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. How/when did you start? I guess it starts with crochet, right? And I was little when I started crocheting. Observing my bff’s mum and learning (I.e making mistakes😉) as I went along. In fact a few weeks ago I sat with my bestie’s mum and showed her how to Tunisian crochet, how cool is that! So I have loved crocheting for a long time. I then discovered making other things other than granny squares. I made these spool pincushions for some friends and have shared my pattern for these on my blog.

Day 10

Day 10 of #amiguruMAYchallenge. Your first ami. This is my first ami. Love this green amineko cat. Love his attitude. This was gifted to our niece’s daughter. If you check out #amineko you’ll see his flock.

Day 11

Day 11 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. The biggest. Tooth Bunnies 🐇 . The bunnies are a pattern by @lanukas I renamed them ‘Tooth Bunny’ as the suffolk puff tail was sewn as a pocket for kids to leave their tooth and the fairy to leave a gold coin. They are not that big but the biggest I have made. I donated these to be sold in a craft stall at a school fete.

Day 12

Day 12 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Safety eyes. This is my limited supply. I often embroider eyes. Or have have used not so safe brads. I like how the iris on the smaller ones are coloured and like the idea of potentially painting the bigger ones to suit the project they will be used on. Looking forward to seeing what other makers use.

Day 13

Day 13 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Top tip. I have seen number of different ways to create an invisible decrease but I think like this one the best. Inserting your hook in the front 2 loops and then pulling yarn through. This great photo is by JustBCrafty on Pinterest. Am sure we’ll all learn a lot today reading everyone’s top tips. 📷 JustBCrafty

Day 14

Day 14 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Fave pattern. Well, if you are like me your pinterest board will be busting with patterns you want to buy or try out. Or with ideas you want to explore. During a ‘research’ session on Pinterest I discovered this llama. Isn’t she adorable. This would have to be my current fave pattern that I would like to try. The pattern is by Nancy Anderson.
📷 @redheartyarns website

Day 15

Day 15 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Hands at work. Sorry no manicure or nice polish but a little tute on how to create a magic ring for lefties. See we lefties crochet clockwise. Any questions let me know.

[This was a quick video – click on my instagram link below to see the clip.

Day 16

Day 16 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Stash . I’m happy to say I have more than this 🌈 stash shown but not as much as some others, although am envious of some stashes out there. Showing this variegated collection I bought in Argentina🇦🇷. I bought 2 of each. They are Brazilian 🇧🇷 and called Camila (my nona’s name 😍). I made the #amineko cat out of this green one.

Day 17

Day 17 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Texture. I finished my little #WIP the cactus🌵 pin cushion. So to add texture and thorns I tied some green yard randomly over the cactus. Thanks @deeacraftyboutique and for also suggesting a little saucer under the pot.

Day 18

Day 18 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. The cutest. This has to be my cutest make. Pattern by @airali_gray I made this for the newborn of an Aussie friend who is living in Germany. It was so much fun to make and dress.

Day 19

Day 19 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Creative goals🎯. My long term goal is to continue to learn. Discover new stitches. Whether they be crochet or embroidery stitches. Rediscover crafts. Learn new techniques. My short term goal would be to have a project published in my favourite magazine @homespunmagazine

Day 20

Miniature Monday and day 20 of the #amiguruMAYchallenge. Fave book. I don’t have a favourite amigurumi book. So I asked Ms Celeste. She too said she didn’t have a favourite but was happy to share her collection with me. I’m secretly eyeing the Tunisian Amigurumi book 🙊. Sharing another of my interests, miniatures. I love making mini items, even mini amigurumi books📖. Ms Celeste was crafted by the talented @bettis_stitches go see her furry creations🐕🐀

Day 21


Day 21 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Mark your rounds. I always use those 💚 green and 💛 yellow plastic stitch markers when working on the round and also in other crochet projects to secure the current stitch. But when I researched markers I found some pretty ideas on Pinterest. I used eye pins and seed beads and created these red ❤ stitch markers. They also double up ear piercings for my cow 🐄. I designed this cow but it’s a bit wonky. It then occurred to me eye and hook closures would make handy stitch markers too. The markers I saw on Pinterest were posted by Claudia Lowman on her blog ‘delights gem’ – by ‘floriental’.

Day 22

Day 22 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Photography. This is a cheeky post. Sharing a ‘photo’ of my recent rescues from the op shop. And this time with patterns🤗. I shouldn’t start them just yet with other WIPs lingering…… said no crocheter ever 🙊 I take all my photos with my @samsungau note 9📱 and love the quality of the photos. I use brightness and contrast features to enhance if necessary and I use @canva to add pretty text. And am pretty organised once I transfer my photos to my computer💻. Sorting and filing into folders 🗂

Day 23

Day 23 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Dreaming of….. holidays🏖, flying✈, Italy👢🇮🇹, Florence. I spotted this super cute window dressing 🐈☕in a tiny shop in Florence during our European trip in 2016.

Day 24

Day 24 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Ami friends. I have a number of instagram friends who crochet and who have crocheted amigurumi but I am happy to say I met a new friend through this challenge who creates some wonderful creatures. Andreea reached out to me offering to share a pattern. I’m enjoying seeing her journey through the challenge and beyond. Go see her feed, she is very talented and sweet.

Day 25

Day 25 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Stuffing. When I made these coat hangers there was no stuffing. I covered the wire and sewed it closed. Sometimes minis don’t require stuffing. But will be interested in reading the tips others post. Made with @dmc_embroideryperle cotton

Day 26

Day 26 of the #amiguruMAY challenges. Sewing pieces together. My little monster is ready to endure a little surgery and come together. Pattern by Erinna Lee for Simply Crochet magazine.

Day 27

Day 27 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. For… . I made these apples🍎🍏 for charity last year. Donated then for a school fete. I suggested they could be used as pincushions or end-of-year teacher gifts. Apparently they were popular and sold fast but had a cheap price tag 🏷I believe. They were fun and quick to make. I also made the stalks using wet felting technique. Pattern from Pinterest – 5 little monsters website.

Day 28

Day 28 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Fave stitch. I don’t have a favourite stitch for amigurumi, or rather haven’t used anything other than single crochet/double crochet (depending on which pattern or which part of the world you are in). But I did go in search on Pinterest. And found this loop stitch. I thought it would be great for a shaggy dog. When I tried the stitch with my left over cactus supplies I created this. I thought this would make a great scary monster😈👹 eye👁. Do you agree?

Day 29

Day 29 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Proud moment. Craft related but not amigurumi related. In addition to having many of my creations published in @handmademagaus my proudest crafty moment was winning the @brotheraustralia competition with this submission. A banner with my favourite quote embroidered and a little shelf of miniatures. The prize, a craft room make over, sewing machine and scanncut machine. Love my craft room.

Day 30

Day 30 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Not only amigurumi. As my Instagram name suggests I love to dabble in many crafts. One of them being miniatures. Miniatures is challenging, eye straining 🤪 but almost all makes are irresistibly cute 🐇. My dad made a ‘room box/store’ for me and slowly I have been filling it over the years. It is now a mini haberdashery✂️ store. This is one of the items I made from scratch. The ‘wine rack’ style shelf was filled with the finest 😉 yarns. This project reflects why I enjoy making miniatures. It’s a combination of many skills and crafts. Using maths, design and painting I made the balsa wood shelf. Using covered quilled coils I created the yarn.

Day 31

Day 31 of the #amiguruMAY challenge. Shelfie. It makes me happy I can’t take a shelfie of all my creations as most have been gifted, donated or sold. These owls 🦉 were photographed before being sold. Thank you @airali_gray for organising a fun challenge. Has been lovely meeting other artists, learning and absorbing inspiration.

You think you know someone until you make them this birthday card and they tell you, I don’t like eggs 🥚🍳 🤣 remember these mini tiny amigurumi eggs I made part if the #amiguruMAY challenge, I used them to make this card. Regardless, it was well received and appreciated.

to feel, feeling, felt

Many, many years ago I bought 3 bags of wool felt from Spotlight . I am not sure if they still stock them. Purple, orange and green. As you can tell they are rough pieces in many shades. I did not take a photo of the purple bag but here is the orange one.

So I set about first separating them into 3 shades, light, medium and dark. Then I proceeded to split the fibres to make them soft and easier to work with. This took a very long time. But worth it.

Then carefully guesstimating the amount I needed, I created balls of felt ready for wet felting.

So with a bit of hot water and soap and initially carefully creating felt balls between the palms of your hands, balls start to form. As they take on shape you can add more hot water and more soap if needed and applying more pressure with your hands to form the balls. They are left to dry overnight.

Once all the hard work is done you can create – the ideas are endless, here are a few that I created. The felt balls are easily cut with a kitchen knife to create 2 halves.

earrings – with a few seed beads and embroidery

necklace – with a few seeds, sequins and stitching

a trivet – joined and sewn together, I used a curved sewing needle

a greeting card – on tulle, perle cotton, seed beads and sequins

I trialed this process last year and created some green earrings for my bestie.

What would you create with felt balls?

Non-stop Workout Ninja Warrior party

We, as a family enjoyed watching Australian Ninja Warrior last year. Cheering on from our lounge room and with many sympathetic aws’s and oh no when contestants missed the mark!

In celebrating children’s birthday one tends to be inspired by current trends, current superheroes or current likes. Perfect! A ninja warrior themed party for master 7. Here’s a little overview of our efforts last December.

First, a bit of Pinterest inspiration for invitations and cakes. A free editable template was found. Edits made. Printing at Officeworks. Invitations on the their way.

My husband detests lolly bags [read the irony in the subsequent paragraph] so we brain stormed what could take place of the lolly bags. Water bottles! With our active, and energetic party theme, we thought these would encourage kids to drink healthy and be active.

Personalised thank you tags attached!

During a clean up I found some car-related party-favour medals. So printing off a few more thank you notes I converted them into Ninja Warrior thank you party-favour medals.

Master 7’s grandfather offered to make the piñata. He replicated the image from the invites to a T. And yes it was filled with lollies. And yes they all took home brown paper bags with the lollies they retrieved. What’s a party without a bit of sugar!

We settled on the menu.

We hired the obstacle course.

I created a commando obstacle course.

Now for the cake. After several Pinterest research sessions for inspiration I came up with my own design. It was to incorporate some of the obstacles. It meant I needed to use other materials other than royal icing and jelly. Namely, balsa wood, wire, paint, washi tape and plastic containers. I even used quilling techniques to create the rungs on the ring toss obstacle. I made the frame and used trimmed plastic containers for the pools. The cake consisted of a chocolate layer and upper vanilla layer. I had to be careful when engineering the holes to insert the swimming pools.

The party was a success. Happy and tired kids. And well fed parents. Till the next one!