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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Veggie Gardening in Raised Garden Beds


Backyard Makeover

After 20 years it was time for our backyard to have a makeover. Weeds had grown wild - we do have a bit of a wild garden. A few years of ill health also attributed to the growth of the weeds. 

Mr F got his digging shoes on and dug out all the weeds. He was pretty ruthless. 
Mr F hard at work. Me having fun with the camera


Next he built some garden beds. I have never seen raised beds so artistically angled and designed to fit the space perfectly. They are so well made, they will not break down.


Building archetecturally designed raised garden beds


Next it was time to fill the beds. We had over two cubic metres of soil that we screened to get out all the weeds and stones. I could not believe we had so many stones. The veggies certainly would not have gained any nutrients from them. 


Pea straw as a base for the soil in a raised garden bed


First, in goes a layer of pea straw. This will rot down and give nutrients to the soil and attract beneficial critters to it. On top of that went the soil, manures, coir and mushroom compost. Within days, the bed was ready to plant. I had some old potato pieces that had grown shoots. I kept them with just this situation in mind. So in they went as out first planting. Here they are coming up a couple of weeks later. They look small now, but believe me, they grew to be over 60cm tall (2ft).


Our first potatoes


Mr F had to take out a tree that was causing problems and sending out shoots everywhere. He had to dig down 1 metre (3ft) to get rid of the root. he filled the hole with lots of stones we had screened from the soil for the garden bed. It was heavy and hard work. Note the resting chair and some of the roots.


The all-important resting chair


It didn't take long for this to happen. We collected a lot of zucchinis from here. 


Zucchini is all pervasive. It covered everything else in the bed. 


While in the garden nursery, I found a sweet potato plant. It went into the largest pot I could find.


Sweet potato growing in a large pot




 Here's a little bit of the produce we have been reaping, - zucchinis, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans.


Produce from the garden in less than three months


And the broccoli is growing really well. 


Broccoli with its blue green colour


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Baby Slippers or Booties

I have had fun crocheting lots of little booties lately. I found a lovely pattern by Mamachee on Ravelry.



It is called Galilee Slippers

These little beauties can be worked in all colours of the rainbow and in different sizes too. 

I just love colour so have made them in different colours.

Galilee slippers in bright colours



Crochet slippers can have different coloured soles



Slippers can also be worked in plain colours


Premmie booties are tiny with a shell edging


Pixie booties are finished with crocodile stitch

Crocodile stitch is a complicated stitch to learn. Try this You Tube video to help you. It is quite easy once you get the hang of it. 

Join me on Instagram for lots more crochet photos  @tossyv

Other articles you may like are -
How to make a magic circle - a great article to help beginners

Vintage buttons for crochet

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Variety in Crochet

Crochet is incredibly varied.

There are few stitches - 
  • chain, 
  • single crochet, 
  • double crochet, 
  • half double crochet and 
  • treble crochet (all US terms), 

and yet with these, an incredible number of different patterns can be formed. 

From something simple, to something more complex,

Simple double crochet stitch



From a crocheted blanket ...

Hexagonal pattern blanket in crochet



To a three dimensional hat ...

Just what Spiderman needed - a cosy crocheted beanie



To s simple headband with a decorative flower ...

Sweet little Miss pink and white headband with flower



To some toys.

Mr Hoot Owl in Australian Indigenous colours


Why not pick up a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and learn to crochet something you are interested in. 

  • The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Super Hero Crochet

Super Hero in Crochet


Crochet can take us many places we thought we would never go. 

For me it was 


I had three little boys that love their super-heroes. I decided to make something to keep their little heads warm for the winter. 

Minion Crochet Hat


First, there came the yellow one:

Bob the Minion in his bright yellow hat




I was reliably told that when you look at this Minion, His left eye is green and his right eye is brown. His name is Bob.  Apparently there are more minions floating around too. 


Bob the Minion has a green left eye





Super Hero Spiderman:



Spiderman to the rescue


Spiderman will have nice warm ears




I will have the pattern for this Spiderman beanie available soon. 


Batman:



Batman superhero beanie




Get your mask on straight Batman


Thanks for modelling boys.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Crochet: How to make a magic circle

Crochet Styles and Tension

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Crochet: How to make a Magic Circle

The Magic Circle is useful when starting off a circular item, for example a beanie, hat or cloche, or a doily or round shawl. The circle ensures a nice, tight centre. You can control the size of the hole in the centre of this. 



Instructions for Magic Circle


1 Loosely wind yarn over fingers 2 times.













2 Push yarn through circle and make a loop.











3 Using the crochet hook, form loop and make 2 chain.








 
4 Make required number of double crochet into loose circle.
The number of double crochet can change according to your pattern.







5 There are 2 circles of yarn going through the double crochet. Test carefully to find the one that is directly attached to the tail of the yarn. Pull one side of this so that the other circle gets smaller. If you have the wrong side, stop and pull the other side of the same circle. When one circle is tightened, pull the tail of the yarn to tighten the second circle.


6 Slip stitch into 3rd starting chain.











Other articles you may like:

View more crochet on Instagram @tossyv
 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Vintage Buttons for Crochet

The Old Button Box

I inherited 'The Button Box' when my Mum passed on.

The old button box


Vintage Buttons

This is a treasure of wonderful buttons dating back beyond 70 years. There are lots of very old shirt buttons, ivory looking, now paper thin. There are buttons from my Dad's RAAF airforce uniform, and buttons from old cardigans that my Mum would have worn, and buttons from the clothes we children wore after they had seen the end of their life. Nothing was thrown away. 


Buttons over 70 years old

 Button Material through the Ages

Old buttons were made of celluloid, bakelite, lucite, vegetable ivory and metal, glass, china, mother of pearl, enamel, wood and casein. 

Oh, the stories they could tell, the bodies they have helped keep warm, the places they have been. 

I recycle these beautiful buttons to finish off the little crocheted jumpers, jackets and beanies that I make for toddlers. 

All about vintage buttons 

Broken Buttons


Buttons are tough, and they last a long time. It is rare to see broken buttons. When I was going through the button box the other day, I washed some and sorted them into new groups. There were only four broken ones out of a couple of hundred buttons. 

What stories they could tell. What beauty in these old buttons. 

 Well used vintage buttons at the end of their life

Crocheted Items Decorated with Vintage Buttons


Vintage pearl button on multi-coloured crochet girl's beanie

Vintage buttons on crocheted beanie

Vintage pearl button at the centre of a crocheted flower

Multi-coloured toddler's cardigan with various vintage buttons
 
Follow me on instagram for more crochet photos @tossyv  
 
Another article you may like:



Crocheted Beanies

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Crochet in Art




 I Love Crochet

I Love Photographing Things I Love  

I Love Digital Artwork 

Put these things all together and what do you get? 

Art made with crochet, photography and digital manipulation
Crochet swatches to measure tension


I started  off making some swatches to work out the gauge or tension of my work. If you crochet a square with 20 stitches and 10 rows, the finished size of this will depend on
  1. the thickness of your yarn
  2. the thickness of your crochet hook
  3. if you crochet loosely or tightly 
  4. the weather - whether it is hot or cold
  5. the type of yarn you are using - whether it is smooth or textured
I took a few photos and the next one caught my eye a couple of weeks later. 

Mmm, I thought, I think I can do something with that.

Crochet photograph used to digitally make a new work of art


The program I use to do artwork with my photos is Picmonkey. There is a free version as well as a paid version. I used the free version. Here's the link http://www.picmonkey.com/

My image at the top of this post -'The Crochet Network' - is made with the photo above and digitally manipulated in Picmonkey.  

Do you join your different skills together?
I'd love to see some photos of your work. 

Here is a link to an article about crocheted beanies 
and another about art and using it digitally.  

Enjoy! 

Follow me on instagram for more crochet photos @tossyv