Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First Zentangles

When it comes to anything made with fabric, yarn, cotton or fleece I've done many many crafts in my lifetime. But I've always considered myself having NOT an artistic bone in my body when it comes to art.

That was until I discovered Zentangles. I was browsing blogs and came across these fascinating doodle-type drawings that were so intricate and interesting, and at first I still thought that I could never do anything like that. However the website had step-by-step instructions and before I knew it I was off!

These are some of my early zentangles, except for the above black picture of course, that was just playing with some white ink on black paper.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 50 Blanket Project

Last year when the Black Friday fires swept through Victoria in February, hundreds lost their homes and many lost their lives. On Mothers Day 2009 a church group made little bags of goodies for the mums and held a morning tea to give them out.

I had loads of crocheted and knitted scarves, hats, ponchos blankets and shawls that I had made but had no one to use them, so I donated them to be given out at this morning tea. One of the ladies told me that her sister's church supported an orphanage in India, and that if I had the time, the kids there would love a couple of my blankets.

So I happily said 'sure' and started making blankets. Well, six blankets later, when I was handing them over, I casually asked for more information about the orphanage and how many kids there were.

Well it wasn't long and the plight of these kids really broke my heart. They come to the orhanage with nothing and some girls are given to the orphanage just because THEY'RE GIRLS!! Girls aren't worth anything unless they have a good dowry, and can't work as hard as boys.

I was told there was about 50 kids, and that was how The 50 Blanket Project was born. I decided I would make at least 50 blankets so that EVERY child in that orphanage has a blanket and will know that someone on the other side of the world cares.

You might think omg where is she going to get enough yarn for 50 blankets? And how much is THAT going to cost her? Well, it has cost me nothing. I have NOT gone out and BOUGHT one single ball of yarn for this project!!

You see I love to buy yarn and when there's a sale on, you will find me happily buying a bit of this and a bit of that. Nothing too outrageous, just enough to fill that I-need-to-buy-yarn-today urge that all yarnies get!

So, you see had this stash, and I MEAN a STASH!! And THEN I started spinning.......

Well..... when one starts spinning, ones tastes in yarn often changes. These days I want fleeces and fibres and the thrill of spinning it myself. Spinning is soothing and comforting and satisfying in a different way to crochet and knitting.

So now I have fleeces.... and fleeces.... and fibres.... and......... well you get the idea. The thing is, in the next couple of years I want to move my little family out to the country, and I sure as hell don't want to move a whole truckload of yarn!!

So it's been an absolute pleasure to make these blankets for these needy kids, and have the pleasure of using these yarns AND watching my stash shrink too!! And shrink it has!! I have tubs that are empty, it's been a very long time since I had empty tubs that I didn't have to go out and buy empty!

So here's a few of the blankets I've made for this project, I've just finished blanket 46.


A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I went halves in a horse, here is Harley:

Isn't she just gorgeous! She's a 15 year-old 15.1hh Thoroughbred mare. She did a little bit of racing in her younger years, plus she's produced two foals who are racing now, but I don't have any information on them.

My little son Toby just loves going to the paddock to see her. We bring her out and give her a feed and a brush and Toby is learning all about how to look after a horse and to keep his fingers clear when he feeds her apples and carrots. He does a brilliant 'horse snort' impersonation too!!