loveliness found 10/52

make sure you get to the bottom of this week’s ~loveliness found~ post
to check the winner of the May Gibbs giveaway!

again, thank you all so much for entering and leaving such lovely comments
– I only wish I could send all of you a pillowslip!

p.s. & if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
– & I would so love it if you did,
please leave them in the comments (links always enjoyed :-)

~ the acorns are making promises they can’t keep, the carrot seedlings are exploding, thank god for indian summer cocktails ~
(freshly squeezed beetroot juice, a twist of lemon, traditional bitters,
a splash of Cinzano, soda, & a whole lot of ice)

~ big girl reading whilst little girl playing,
silly-sweet dog can’t decide who to squash up to
so boings from one to the other with a huge delighted grin  ~

~ picnicking delights – hand squashed strawberry jam
& gorgeous new to me magazine ~

~ finally getting the hang of things …
making the little green machine zig & zag,
& whizzing along with that magic loop ~

~ one day closer to filling these drawers,
oh how I love before & after photos! ~

~ the season of birthdays is over … the new one will arrive before I blink
… oh my she’s growing up so fast ~

~ & the winner is ….. number 27, Elizabeth Boswell!
send me an email, Ms. Elizabeth, to arrange delivery :-) ~


Thank you so much, dear folk, for all the lovely words you shared in yesterday’s comments.  I wish I could send every one of you some
May Gibbs goodness & a lily-pillowslip :-)

I am so inspired by your enthusiasm, I’ve added a few more details to the giveaway – your very own copy of Alison Lester’s Magic Beach
to read whilst snuggled up with your pillowslip, & I shall embroider your name – or anyone else’s name that takes your fancy – on the pillowslip & bag.

Remember – you have until Sunday to enter.
I shall draw a name at 8pm Australian Eastern Summer Time & announce it in this week’s
~ loveliness found ~ post.

Thursday mornings are sooooooo good.  No classes.  No predawn departures.  A morning when I can share a lingering pot of tea with Abby … make some pancakes for breakfast … have second coffees with Julian.  Completely spoilt.  I know that for the next 10 weeks I shall really treasure Thursday mornings.

After enjoying such a civilised breakfast this morning, I actually buckled down and finished the chores before picking up a needle or fabric.  That’s extraordinary willpower on my part.  Oh yes … there’s many an afternoon when, with half an hour to go before I need to collect the little girlies, I frantically – ineptly! – squeeze in as many chores as I can and end up racing out of the house cursing my earlier frippery.  But not today.

Thus, it wasn’t until morning tea had come and gone – without tea, because it’s too damn hot – that I sat down with Fraulein Heidi on my lap.  She’d been sitting – headless – on the craft table for more than a week.  It was becoming rather disconcerting.  So a crocheting we went.

That part didn’t take at all long.  The stuffing – a little longer.  Truly, I find stuffing more of an art than sewing, knitting or crocheting.  Dang it’s hard to get it right.  But what took FOREVER was creating Heidi’s face.  It’s such a marvellous thing that needlefelted features can be ripped right off with nary a sign that they had ever been there.  Always makes me think of that skit from Sesame Street – the one with the orange who rolls out of the fruit bowl, the kitchen bench becomes her stage, rubber bands, the dish mop, other bits and pieces become her facial features and then, under a spotlight, she sings opera.  Do you remember that one?  I loved it.

Anyways … back to Heidi’s face.  On went excessively rosy cheeks.  And off they came.  On went multicoloured (I was trying for hazel) eyes.  And off they came.  She had no less than 5 pairs of lips before I settled upon one that didn’t make her look like an alarming ventriloquist’s dummy.  At one point, her eyebrows sat rather smooshily on top of her eyes.  No good. And I tried a felted nose – which made her look like a Muppet.  Her cheeks came in.  Went out.  Moved down.  Back up.  It’s amazing how a few millimetres difference in cheek positioning can be the difference between looking like Abby from “My Family” (and no, that is most certainly not who we named Abby after!  I first met the name Abigail in the brilliant Ruth Park novel – an Australian classic! – “Playing Beattie Bow” – I was completely besotted) and something a little more girlchild like.

Without moments to spare (stolen moments that meant I could only wash half my hair) I quickly plonked a roll of soft, flimsy white linen onto the kitchen table – bought at a thrift store in Richmond for $5 – and worked out the right shape for a petticoat.  It shall have pinch pleats at the front, with wee eidelweiss embroidered around the neck and a fine crocheted lace at the hem.  A buttoned back – the kind that Laura and Mary would have to do up for each other.  These dolls of mine – their heads are so big, I doubt I shall ever make them anything big enough to pull over them without giving the dolls disturbing neurosurgery.  And then I shall make Frida a petticoat too!  And a paper pattern, so that I may do it as many times as I like!  And you could as well!

Of course, the petticoat is the start of Heidi’s layers – there’ll be a wee brown skirt, white puffy blouse and bodice next.  And I’m hanging out for the winter knits – I bought a wee Clover pompom maker the other day and I can’t wait to knit Heidi a beanie with a pompom on top.

‘Twas funny … after snipping up the linen, I had to dash … school pick up, afternoon tea, homework at the kitchen table, cool baths with long chapters of Little House in the Big Woods – in which everytime I mentioned the cold or frost or snow or howling wind, the little girlie flung herself back in the bath, imploring the heavens to grant her the same – little girlie dropped home, Music Festival with big girlie, take-away dinner with Rina … and then, finally, I plonked down on the sofa and there she was.

Fraulein Heidi – sitting in the armchair across from me.  Looking so sweet, I expected her to start talking any moment.  Made me smile.


garden giggles and a giveaway winner!

School free day today!  Well, for the younger members of Bootville … this older one still had to dash into uni for a rural community nurse and adolescent pregnancy seminar.  But when I arrived home, just on lunchtime, the girlie was still in her nightie – warmed up with the mushroom beanie and sheepskin slippers.  Yes there’s sunny sunshine but my, that wind is still icy.

And here … the six kitchen chairs “won” on ebay, collected on Saturday and a colourful collection of stitchery – they looked so pretty on the glossy (chipped) black we decided to bring more out to make an impromptu flowery garden.

I crocheted this summery coloured owl for Abby – and thought this sweet owlette maybe needed some owl babies to perch with her on the spring table.  Abby says no.  She’s just a young owl herself and apparently a specialist bed snuggling owl.  Hmmm …

This boyishly sweet fellow is Bede … we added wings for a’fluttering.  I had initially thought they would stand out like ears – but that’s precisely what they looked like – daft ears.  Just when I was ready to pop them into the wool basket for future reincarnating, Abby pinned them into this position.  Yes!

Abby’s weekend creation … I think his name is Riyu … or Joon … I don’t think she’s quite decided.  A feltie version of an original character she’s mulling over a story for.  Did you see the tiny yellow bird she needlefelted onto his shirt?  She has a lovely attention for detail.

Oh … and my beautiful girl.  It was such a lovely blessing to come home on a weekday and there she was, all ready to play.  I adore being at home with my girlie.  We ate Italian pastries for lunch, finished Bede, cavorted in the garden and then snuggled up on the sofa and played Mario.  I’m hopeless.  She’s awesome.  I spend a lot of time in the bubble of reincarnation.  She drags me along behind her.  Now, we’re making crepes for dinner. With lemon and icing sugar.  And hot cocoa.  It’s good stuff.

And of course, our sweet little original “spring is almost here” owl … who’s already to fly away to reader number #8 – “sewn sweet home”-  in England who’s prepared her leafy lanes just for him and is going to name him Ozzy.  Send me your details “sewn sweet home” and I will prepare Ozzy for his migration!

Thank you dear folks for entering the giveaway .. it was so lovely to read the names you chose and to imagine my little owl so far away in your homes.

too-whit! a spring is almost here giveaway

edited to add:  This wee owl baby definitely has air mail wings so please, folks from across the oceans, please do feel welcome to participate in the spring-is-almost-here giveaway! lily x

Monday … home from my child and family health seminar … determining what are accidental bruises vs. those exceptionally ugly non-accidental ones that we will see plenty of in the paediatric ward … needed something light and lovely after that. Sunshine and wool!  What could be more relaxing?

The hours slipped away … the crochet grew … the colours warmed me all up!

Added some dried beans for structural integrity (I learned this term when I was a young university student – we knew a structural engineering student – he questioned the structural integrity of everything – made me completely paranoid – “do you think the flat has enough structural integrity for the piano?” – drove Julian crazy – now Abby wonders too!)

Hmmm …. but what is it? A-ha!

It’s an owlbaby.  And since leaving the nest, she’s been seen in all the neighbourhood trees.  I think she’s searching for spring … and there are tempting snippets everywhere!

Blue sky!

About to burst-with-blossom trees …

Herbalicious re-growth …

Green, green, green!

And just in case we get too excited … a little more grey :-)

Abby even caught her by the tramstop – she was heading to the beach!

If you would like this wee owlbaby to fly your way, leave a comment – and a sweet name for her – and Abby will draw the winning family on Saturday!

She’s all hand crocheted in pure wool – a mix of the Aussie standbys Cleckheaton and Paton’s –  from a pattern in my head … stuffed with dried pinto beans and merino fleece, with eyes fashioned from antique Chinese wooden beads (from a huge strand I found at the opshop).  Not baby friendly … but infinitely cuddle friendly :-)

So leave a comment – remember to include a lovely name – and she could be yours!



a wee Christmas present for my blockaday readers …

{ The Tomten Christmas Band, copyright 2011 A Pint of Cream }

I’ve been squeezing Christmas cross stitch time in between all the other busyness that is our lives at the moment.  It began with the realisation, back in Bootville, that I couldn’t find our Christmas stockings and that, in fact, I hadn’t been able to find them last year either.  Hmmm … I do wonder whether “moving” ever truly finishes!

So, the day before we left Brisbane, after collecting Abby from school, I dragged her along to Amitie with the promise of a Bagelicious smoothie once I had picked out fabric and trim to whip up four new stockings.  Three for us, and one for Mum who has never had a Christmas stocking.  Disappointingly for Abby, Jenny, Judy and I chatted and ooohed and aaahed over the new Sue Spargo ribbon for so long that Bagelicious had closed by the time we got there (never mind, we had frozen raspberries and bananas and yoghurt at home so we made our own smoothies) but I did come home with a clutch of loveliness for the stockings.

I began stitching straight away – all will be simple stockings in lovely coloured linens with natural linen linings, each topped with different and gorgeous bands of Sue, a 4 inch strip of cross stitched linen and a wee trim of lace (from Nana Nicky’s lace suitcase – yep! lace suitcase).  All who observed my feverish stitching noted that the missing stockings were sure to turn up once I had made these new stockings.  And guess what – as I whipped out the bottom drawer on a wardrobe at Mum’s, just before the removalists were about to carry it out to the truck, there were the missing stockings.  :sigh:

But like the Father Christmas quilt, I have now made such good progress on Mum’s and Julian’s (remember – Mum has no stocking and Julian’s is very impersonal) that I’ve decided they simply must be finished in time to hang from the chimney with care.

For Mum’s cross stitched band I used a Danske Julemotiver pattern – the only alteration were the colour choices and the addition of an “A” for Alayne in between my sweet Christmas girlies.

For Julian’s, I got a lot more carried away with the basic pattern in the above leaflet – and ended up working up my own pattern on the computer.  Which is what I have included christmas tomtem band pdf 2 here for you.

{ The Tomten Christmas Band, copyright 2011 A Pint of Cream }

I know, I know, I know … it’s Christmas in less than a week.  But surely I’m not the only silly billy who’s still cheerfully plugging away with her needle.  Perhaps you have a last minute stocking, or a Christmas apron or tea towel or gift bag that needs trimming :-)

It’s sweetly simple and quick to stitch and it’s here for you as a Christmas gift from me.  So, while I’m unpacking boxes and downloading furniture – oops!  arranging furniture! (moving has made my brain go soft – can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought in the last week, “never mind, I’ll just hit edit undo!”) – you can plonk down by the fire or snuggle up in bed or on the sofa with a hot cocoa, or stretch out on the verandah in a nice cool breeze with an iced tea with plenty of ice (depending on what’s going down in your neighbourhood at this time of year) and stitch up some Christmas loveliness.

And think of me.  Sweating and grimy.  With my sore hips and aching back.  WISHING I was sitting in that lovely spot with that lovely drink stitching some Christmas loveliness :-)

Enjoy dear folk!

p.s. please remember that this is an original design and is available for individual use only.  Please do not reproduce or use for commercial purposes.  Ta!

p.p.s. when I tried out the link for the pattern it came up enormous and I had to shrink it (using that command – thingy) and there it was perfect.  hope you can work it out :-)


a gift for you this weekend

That is, a give away for everyone!

Abby’s been home with a cold for the last two days and we’ve been indulging in our favourite cosy pursuits – drawing, stitching, watching Agatha Christie films, Stardust & Princess Bride (they always go together) and reading.

One of the books we rediscovered was Ursula Le Guin’s A Ride on the Red Mare’s Back – so spooky and enchanting.  With beautiful illustrations and a hefty dose of Swedish folklore.  Which inspired a new cross stitch – The Red Mare.

If you have not had the delight of reading Ms. Le Guin’s wonderful tale, you may have met the Red Mare (or Dala Horse) at Ikea!  We look at the large – are they papier mache or wooden? – statues positioned around the store each time we visit and wonder whether we could charm a sales assistant into letting us squish one into our handbag – ’cause they never have them for sale!

So here you are … for all you Red Mare / Dala Horse lovers … The Red Mare cross stitch with a pretty nordic border and flowers.  I have included the instructions I put in with my other designs (available here) for those of you that haven’t tried cross stitch before but would love to give it a go.  It’s very simple and once you start, so very hard to stop!

Click on the red link below to download your PDF …

The Red Mare Cross Stitch Pattern and Instructions

I’m busy stitching mine up this evening – I’m half way through the mare’s body – and plan to applique it onto a denim tote I would like to sew up this weekend – it’s been on the drawing board for months and I’m hopeful that this sweet embroidery will be the kick in the butt I need to get sewing.

I also think it would look lovely as a needlepoint stuffed toy.  Abby wanted me to do that this afternoon but I had no red embroidery wool in the book box size box I have full of embroidery wool – every shade of blue and brown and green you could imagine with the odd skein of ecru and pink floating about but no crisp, fire engine red.  How could that be? Hmm … that just means a trip to the embroidery store.  What a shame :-)

If you have any questions, please email me.  And please remember, this is an original cross stitch pattern and I would ask that you do not sell the pattern or any finished cross stitches you make.  Thanks :-)

I do wish you a lovely weekend and many hours of cosy stitching!