I certainly lucked out with the weather last week. With cooler days and hints of rain, it was easy to stay on track and keep making all the new Christmas pieces. The result? My working bee proved most bountiful. I have two full mailing boxes in the mail, destination: in.cube8r in Fitzroy.
In the mailing box, there are plenty of beer cosies, including festive Cthulhu! They are pretty adorable if I do say so myself. There are also new Zombie Santas, Angels, Elves and lots of Christmas themed critters! Ther are 3 Kringle reversi-balls which flip from a cute Christmas bauble to a Drag Queen or Zombie. Perfect for post-season decor
It was all I could do to let go of those elves. They are my fave out of all them. I have also included brand new non-Christmassy cosies in Zombie, Voodoo and Frankies.
Hopefully, they will land in the gallery by the end of the week.
You are probably not surprised to be seeing the telltale signs of Christmas appearing across retail and out on the streets. After many, many years of working in retail, the novelty of this festive time had well and truly rubbed off the shine for me. I have been ‘out of the game’ for a long time now, and I still haven’t got back into the Christmas spirit – yet. I revel in my role as a Grinch throughout the entire Christmas period. All this said I do secretly (really) enjoy making all my Xmassy critters which make their way down to in.cube8r about this time of the year.
My first shipment has landed, and they’re currently residing in my cube space. I’m currently working on a bunch of new festive themed dudes that will follow the first wave in the next week or so. I’m pleased with what I am creating. I have taken this week off work to complete them, and get them ready to ship. Today was meant to be house chores day. I am finding it very easy to ignore them and am working on finishing off all the crochet parts and adding their faces. I will look to ship these as soon as I get the all clear from Elle-May and Clare at in.cube8r.
Time to wrap this up like a Christmas present and get stitchin’! If you’re a Melbournian then do make sure to pop in to in.cube8r gallery and check out all the incredible artwork that decks the halls.
You could say that this is outside my wheelhouse. In that, it’s not my usual theme of crochet. I would respond by saying that I enjoy making quirky items and that crochet biscuits (or cookies if you happen to be from the USA) would fall into the category of quirky. I work with an incredible woman who I, fortunately, call a dear friend. She has had a rough 12 months since discovering that she had breast cancer. After surgery and radium treatment she is now in a better place. She’s in remission and nearly back to how she was before the detection.
Before this, she was actively raising funds to support cancer research. Just one of the many events was a bake off which was held at our work. Some noted cooks among our colleagues were asked to produce an entry be it savoury or sweet, that met with a criterion of containing an ingredient that began with a particular letter selected at random. A winner and runner-up were chosen by our Director as judge, and a perpetual trophy awarded. We, the non-bakers got to make a $5 donation and consume the entries among a plethora of edible goodies. The event was a big hit. So much so that it made a comeback this year. While I can cook, as a baker I sure can crochet like a demon! I mused about how I could participate. I came up with a cheeky idea. I asked my friend if I could enter, and did the entry have to be edible? I thought that it would be most amusing to make some crochet items as an entry. The response was positive! Positive in that ‘no’ I could not enter crochet baked goods. But ‘yes’ I would instead create the prizes.
I would typically make up my own, but for this mission, I had some patterns to track down! A quick Google lead me to Crochet Cakes Sachets. These are beautifully simple patterns that were so much fun to make. I wasn’t too sure what I was going to make. I pondered making a trophy or a prize cup that featured a cake or something. I began to think that biscuits would be cute and simple enough to use for that purpose. Another Google search delivered me up a Boys and Bunting jammy dodger pattern. Again, fun to make but a little time-consuming for me to produce the number I required. It did, however, give me a basis for a biscuit pattern of my own. A further Google search to see if anyone had developed a pattern for ANZAC biscuits. I was not able to find anything. The pattern I put together came together really quickly. I worked it out and made 4 ANZAC biscuits while watching (or listening to when crocheting) the new Star Trek: Discovery episode and After Trek. Afterwards, I used this pattern with some minor modifications to make a choc-chip cookie and a jam drop pattern. Those are still in my head. I might get around to getting them written up to share in the future.
I had made a slice of cheesecake, and a sponge cake and these made for an adorable 1st and Runner-up prize respectively. The biscuits, ten of them, in the end, were given to each of the other bakers as a thank you present. I forgot to take any photos of them all before they were handed out. D-oh! Thankfully I have sourced the only image of the biscuits that a colleague who acted as OFFICAL PHOTOGRAPHER captured on the day. The Great Bake Off raised $230. My friend will hold additional fundraising activities over the next few months. All the funds raised will go towards a donation that will be made to Mater Chicks in Pink
The pattern is written using US terminology.
ANZAC Biscuit pattern
2x 8ply yarn – caramel and tan
Popcorn stitch 1(P1)
YO, draw up loop, YO draw through 2 stitches
In same stitch *YO, draw up loop, YO draw through 2 stitches*
3 stitches on hook, YO draw through 3 stitches
Popcorn stitch 2 (P2)
YO, draw up loop, YO draw through 2 stitches
In same stitch *YO, draw up loop, YO draw through 2 stitches* x2
4 stitches on hook, YO draw through 4 stitches
MR, CH1, (SC, CH1) =1st HDC, 9x HDC, S/S to CH1 of 1st HDC, CH1 (10 HDC)
*Leave long leader yarn to back of base
*Work HDC through the space between HDCs of the previous row (under all 3 loops that make an HDC)
[(SC, CH1, HDC), HDC], (2x HDC) x 9, S/S to CH1 of 1st HDC, CH1 (20 HDC)
[(SC, CH1, HDC), HDC], *2 x HDC, HDC* x 9 (30 HDC)
SC in CH1 of 1st HDC, 29 x SC, finish off (30 SC)
*Stitch the leader yarn under the stitches of 1st round, bring through to back, pull tight to close the centre
*Bring end tail to front RS to weave in
*Wrong side WS (back) is the right side RS (front)
MR, CH1, (SC, CH1) =1st HDC, 9x random combination of HDC, P1 and P2 (10 stitches)
*Leave long leader yarn to back of base
*Work stitches through space between stitches of the previous row
*stitch is either an HDC, P1 or P2 randomly selected
[(SC, CH1, HDC), stitch], 2x stitch x 9, S/S to CH1 of 1st HDC, CH1 (20 stitches)
[(SC, CH1, stitch), stitch], *2 x stitch, stitch* x 9 (30 stitches)
SC in CH1 of 1st HDC, 29 x SC, finish off (30 SC) DO NOT FINISH OFF
Join the two sides together with SC
With WS of BASE facing you, insert hook through SC and then again through 1st SC of Biscuit TOP. Work SC through next SC of both sides around, finish off (30 SC)
* Bring end tail to BASE to weave in and thread through inside biscuit. Trim any excess
On Tuesday the 24th of October the MIA parcel miraculously was delivered to in.cube8r. Sendle refunded my shipping fee $10.59. I was contacted by Sendle via my Facebook page, where I had posted a link to this rant. The parcel arrived within minutes of that contact. I am satisfied with the result and will look to use Sendle’s services again in the future. This will be dependent on the status of the delivery driver in Fitzroy’s employment. I fully believe that he is the reason for the delay. Once I know he is no longer on the in.cube8r run, then I will see about using Sendle again. Until then I guess I’ll be back to being an Australia Post kid.
I wouldn’t usually do this, but today I am frustrated, and I feel like venting! I used to love Sendle. It was easy. I place the order, and then a courier comes to collect my box and takes it to Elle-May and Clare in Fitzroy at in.cube8r. I had smashed out a bunch of cosies as they have been selling like crazy. Fourteen in fact. I organised for their collection on Tuesday 3rd October. The expected date of delivery was Friday 6th October. Today it’s Sunday 22nd; the box remains lost in transit. Sendle is sort of doing what they can to rectify the situation. I get an email every couple of days, and they say tell me they’re still waiting to hear back from the courier. So much for Halloween treats in abundance. I should be hooking and making replacements to send down to don the now empty beer bottles adorning my cube space. I have been crocheting, and I will continue to do so once my rant is complete.
No word from Sendle since Thursday. No change on the tracking page. I must start to practice how I plan on getting cranky at them all be it via email. If you have some suggestions on how to verbalise my disappointment and how to start negotiations on insurance, please do drop me a line.
Over the past few months, my beer cosy critters have been selling well and selling out! I’ve struggled to keep up with demand. This week sees a big shipment of cosies destined for in.cube8r gallery in Fitzroy. The more Cthulhu cosies I make, the more I enjoy the process. So much so that I had leftovers! I will send them when they are summoned for duty in Fitzroy. We escaped to the New South Wales north coast for mini-break over the long weekend. Destination Brooms Head. A new holiday spot for us. I packed a bag of yarn, two bags of eyes and my hooking tools. Another benefit of crochet. It is transportable. I didn’t make near as many as I had imagined I might. There was too many beach activities and enjoying socialising with family. I’m happy I managed four Cthulhu though. They make up the party of fourteen that were collected by the courier this morning. They should arrive and be available from my cube space this coming Friday 6th October.
It’s also time to start thinking about Christmas and looking to develop some new bits and pieces for the festive season. I wonder how a red, white and green Cthulhu might look? I suspect they’ll be darn cute indeed! There’ll also have to be some drag queen-themed Christmas pieces. Perhaps some finger puppets? I’ll also look to top up on voodoo babies, zombinos, Frankies and their lovely brides. Why am I typing? I have to get a hooking!
I haven’t posted anything about my World of Wearableart entry for 2017. The reason for this is that it still stings that I was not selected for the show this year. I have been devastated, embarrassed and kind of in denial about it. I’m typing this on the day that the awards show will be happening. My WOW mates are in Wellington. They went to Designer’s Day activities yesterday. I’m really feeling the loss of not being a part of it all. From the sadness though I take strength in determination to do better next year. I also see that life goes on. My friends still like me and that there is life beyond not having been selected in WOW for one year. It just simply can never happen again!
This was my entry in the UV Section Illumination Illusion: Fly, Float, Flow
BoBo is a mutated glow bug. If I could do over I would add black detailing to the wings or a thousand other things. BoBo will see the light in a display of some form in the future.
Jumpers and Jazz 2016 saw some of my World of Wearableart entries on display in the front store window of AOK Clothing. AOK owner Anna said that there was a really positive response to the display. It was with really short notice that Anna asked if she could again display some of my work. I wasn’t too sure what to use. In a hurry, I threw a few of my tree jumper entries into a big plastic tub. Once I completed my tree jumper installation I dropped off the tub to AOK. I wasn’t able to help Anna set it up due to prior commitments. That was a really good thing. An hour or so later I received a MMS image of what she had set up in the window. OMG. My jaw dropped. I could not believe how incredible it looked. Even though I had made the jumpers, I did not recognise them at all. I should’ve known that they would make fabulous wearableart shouldn’t I? They really did!
In the tub, I also threw in my 2 carnivorous pot plants that were included in a display at the Warwick Town Hall in last year’s festival and some random creepy monster potted plants. For something that didn’t have any direction or concept, it looked a treat. Anna reported that the feedback from visitors was again very positive. I’ll have to start thinking about what to do for 2018 – if she’ll have me back of course!
The Jumpers and Jazz festival has been another fantastic one for me. This year tree jumper installation day kicked off very, very early. In fact morning television early. The Today Show arranged for live weather crosses with weather correspondent Natalia Cooper in chilly downtown Warwick. My bestie Helen and I were among the brave group of folks to arrive ‘on set’ before 6 am. It was a beautiful time to be up and it also allowed us to get a car park right next to our respective trees. Most convenient. We gathered around behind the action of the first cross. Once the cut was called it was time to commence Operation Installation. My tree was known as “Tree 64” this year. There is a building in place of the vacant site now. I think in all It took me 3 or so hours to stitch my tree jumper “Sherbert” onto my tree. I really enjoy how that process unfolds. I have an idea in my head when I start as to how it might look. Then it changes to how I imagine it might look as I see it flat on the floor in my home. As it starts to be stitched on those images changed quite dramatically for me this year. It ended up looking very different to and happily even better than I thought it would.
The festival introduced a new section to the competition in 2017: the Hall ofFame Award. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the awards ceremony this year. Tara and Fast Eddie from Better Homes and Gardens were on hand to make the announcements. I am bloody proud to say that I was named as the inaugural inductee into the Jumpers and Jazz Hall of Fame!! The Warwick Daily News wrote an article about me Bright star in hall of fame. And there’s also a very quick glimpse of Sherbert in the trailer for the episode that Better Homes and Gardens crew filmed over 3 days. I wish the full episode was still available, but it appears to have expired from the Plus7 site. The show really showed how beautiful, fun, and exciting the Jumpers and Jazz in July festival is. I felt very proud to be a part of such wonder.
I included a light element to my tree jumper again this year. I stayed in town on installation day night so I was able to head down the street to see the lights in effect. It was pretty darn cool, if not quite difficult to capture.