A Christmas Retrospective and Secret Projects

Greetings friends from a warm and sunny city in the far southern reaches of the globe.

I know a few of you are waiting to see the secret handwork projects that I was beavering away on in the months before Christmas.  So here they are

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Oh no, that’s just Siddy showing off his sparkly festive outfit – and can you see the piles of parcels?  That’s how the King girls roll when we get to spend a bit of time together alone at Christmas………..

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Oops, no –  that’s just me and Siddy taking our very early morning Christmas Day walk on the beach………..  7 am on a perfect morning.   Bliss!

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Ah, here we are.  A Persian Tiles Blanket for my ED, Joanna, in her favourite colours

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And a detail shot if you are interested.  I went for a 3-D look on the leaves by keeping the hook size the same and adding an extra double-treble……..  And I really like how it turned out

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And Orlando on pressing duty

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Now, for YD, Danella, this is ‘Winnie’s Wonderland’ from Emily Littlefair’s book ‘ Round and Round the Crochet Hook’ adapted from a square throw to an elongated bed end throw.  This is the centre – loads of texture and interest, I really enjoyed making this one

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Here ’tis as it grew bigger

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and here it is in-situ – the green is matched in her headboard which you can’t really see

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Finally a pair of baskets, one each for the daughters, made from tee-shirt yarn to hold work in progress and containing all kinds of goodies that are essential for handworking

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And the boys got presents too –  it was a good day, loads of fun and everyone was quite worn out  by early evening ………

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The year is off to a grand start.  I’m on a get healthy – stay healthy kick and with a new pair of headphones I’m well into meditating with Dr Joe Dispenza.  And there will be watercolour paintings this year!  How’s it going for you so far?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m happy that you did!

 

78 thoughts on “A Christmas Retrospective and Secret Projects

    • Hello Lynne – how lovely to see you here. Thank you so much for this lovely comment, you made me laugh. Hats can be quite complex so I’m sure you have every reason to be proud of your creations. And if you can double crochet you can do anything 🙂

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  1. The gifts you made are wonderful. 🙂 Well done. I am drooling over the Tile blanket, and those colours, just perfect. I will surely be used for many years to come.
    Great photos of you and Siddy and the morning walks, those are always so good to have.
    Slowly getting back to normal around here too, back to work and settling into a routine again after the holidays.
    Enjoy the new year and all the very best wishes for a stunning year.
    xxx

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  2. All the lovely crafts (that blanket!) and fur kids and beach, what a marvelous read! But I can’t get my mind off: Siddy’s outfit!!!! I LOVE it! hahaha What a dapper, festive, and fun gentleman he is! You two look so lovely and happy on the beach, too. That sweet Orlando!

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  3. I hardly know where to begin! Your crochet is magical. I love the blankets/throws you made for each of your lovely daughters, using favorite colors and those amazing patterns. They’re gems. Those baskets are fabulous, too, and something I think I might like to try. I really like the way you’ve added all the charms. That makes them equally unique and special and so you, Pauline. Thanks for sharing pictures of the tree and the presents and the slice of life pic of D sleeping on the couch. Festivities, especially those including wine and food, can really make you tired. It’s a good tired, though. I love that first pic of Siddy, but the last one, ohmygosh that face! His personality shines through.

    I’m still amazed at how close you live to the beach and what easy access you have. Here it’s a 45 minute drive on a winding road, then a hassle looking for a place to park once there. So it goes in our crowded bay area. I’m so glad to have spent time with you in your lovely home and surrounding areas.

    I’m sorry to be late to the party, but happy to have a look around today. Big love and hugs, and wishes for a stunning new year. xo

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  4. I love that photo of Siddy levitating on the beach! It looks like his enthusiasm for life has made him free of gravity. What a great Christmas you all had–a walk on a beach sounds like heaven to me right now and to be with your girl and pets, and just enjoy each other? Perfection. Your crocheting is really spectacular (although when I see that throw on the end of the bed, all I can think of is cat claws getting caught in the stitches–eeek!) I hope your fresh new year is wonderful, Pauline!

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    • It’s a great shot isn’t it Kerry 🙂 Do you know that (so far) none of the handmade projects has been ruined by cat claws in any of our houses. They may be furred, but not clawed. And we all have hand stitched rugs the pets lie about on. I’m quite amazed by that now that I think about it. Happy New Year to you too – I’m looking forward to all that the year brings us!

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  5. Your posts always make me smile, Pauline. I love seeing what you’re working on and oohing and aaahing over the colors and the designs. Your crochet work is amazing! And I do love Siddy’s dapper vest. Looking forward to the watercolors, my friend. Stay healthy and have a wonderfully creative new year. ❤

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  6. Happy New Year, Pauline! I am so impressed with the beautiful presents you made. I always have so many ideas and I always fall short on time. That blanket with the textured leaves is amazing – you can see the texture even in the far away photo. And that bed throw is amazing on that white bed. – The picture of Siddy bounding on the beach just exudes joy, doesn’t it? I had to laugh at Orlando. My cat has insisted in helping me with every quilt I have ever made – ALWAYS while I am trying to sew it. Adorable – and yet . . .

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    • I started on Christmas presents back in May Jodie 🙂 Some folks were horrified when I said, but I knew it was the only way I’d get the two majors completed without having a nervous breakdown and still have time to make up packets of cards and all the little incidental projects that might come up. The little baskets were ‘last minute’ and that was decided on halfway through November. I’m so glad I did it that way too – I had lots of time to enjoy the processes. I also don’t have a career to attend to any more 🙂

      Cats and handwork! Before Siddy came to live with us Orlando had a place on my workbench where he would sit and watch me painting or drawing or whatever and as soon as I moved away he would sit on it. Once he sat on a canvas covered in glue – that rook a while to clean up. I learned to move some things beyond his reach………… I did notice as I wrapped the blankets that there were still little bits of Orlando on each one 🙂

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      • Pauline – My goal is to become more like you. I would never be horrified to hear that you started so early – in fact, I have a list of things I wish I had done this past Christmas and I am determined to get to them as soon as I can (for next year). The career is an issue, for sure. Dratted monetary concerns. I am a bookkeeper, mostly, so I am right in the thick of my busy time right now.

        Re: cats and handiwork – My third quilt – for my brother’s 50th – as I finished it I saw a weird mark on it – that cat had lived on it for a month, so I blamed her but I have no idea what it was – snot? poopy? Whatever it was, it would’t wash out. I got in there, scrubbing and using stain remover and when it had finally faded to my liking, I realized that the plain gray backing of the quilt had a bleached out area where I had scrubbed the color away. Sigh. We’ll just call it “character.”

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  7. I always love your choice of colors, Pauline! So vibrant, like you. Siddy and Orlando look so comfortable there together. My favorite pic is of you and Siddy on the beach 🙂 Please tell me which Dispenza book you are listening to. Happy New Year, again!

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    • Its such a great pattern isn’t it – I’d love to try making one up a bit more like the jewels – every tile a different combination of colours. I’ve probably got enough in my stash now to make it happen 🙂 It’s a little too hot here right now – A pretty constant 30C predicted over the next week ….. I bought a big electric fan today 🙂

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  8. Those are beautiful blankets. I have never seen ones with so much texture and visual interest. You’re very good at crochet. Your stitches are perfect. Siddy is adorable in his holiday outfit and Orlando is the top presser in the whole world. Wishing you and your family all good things in the New Year; health, happiness and serenity.

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    • Thank you SS – that’s high praise! I especially chose the bed throw design for it’s texture as that YD does love her tactile interest! And it also makes the making really interesting. I’m better at crochet than knitting 🙂 I made a cardigan for me which will be worn around the house 🙂 I’m so glad you noticed Orlando on pressing duty. He dutifully climbed atop every pile of crochet pieces, work laid out for blocking and completed items just placed on the table waiting for the next step…….. Apparently it is his job in life! That’s a great photo of Siddy isn’t it – so happy! Thank you for your ny wishes xo

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  9. Happy New Year, Pauline, and thank you for allowing me to share in your Christmas day. Your tree and all the pressies look beautiful, but your crocheted gifts even more so. Your daughters are lucky to receive these very special gifts, but I think they must have also received the gift of crafting from you too. The beautiful baskets for their own work give the hint.
    I’m pleased your year has begun so well. I hope it continues that way. With best wishes for all good things. xx

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    • Hello Norah, thank you for your lovely wishes. My eldest goes a bit bonkers when we get to spend Christmas together and I spent months making up their blankets and baskets and filling them with all kinds of little necessities for hand crafting – it was great fun! Happy New Year to you and your family Norah, I wish you all good health, good times and much success especially with the wonderful Readilearn!

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  10. Jel of the weather. It’s mild here but soooo grey. Mylo is getting a lot of walking and there are.many excuses to stay indoors and write. Loving the handiwork of course. Hope the get healthy pays off. We are being ‘encouraged’ to join in with veganuary but I don’t think I’m ready to forgo cheese….

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  11. If I had that beach nearby I might actually be tempted to get up and go for a walk at that ungodly time of the morning too.
    Your blankets are gorgeous – both daughters must have been over the moon with them. I am going to embark upon another Persian Tiles/Eastern Jewels this year – or that’s the plan at the moment anyway – as I gave mine to my daughter. I was going to stick to the same colourway as the pattern as I have quite a lot of the yarn left but you might have inspired me to mix it up a bit.
    What are you doing for your getting/staying healthy resolution? I have just embarked upon another Dry January but Mr. T. isn’t doing it this year so it might be a bit more difficult this time 😦

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    • I’m a morning person so it was a little late for me, I had to wait for the girls to be ready 🙂 It’s a perfect time to walk! I was pleased with both blankets and they were too I think. As to the health pursuit, I’m upping my walking, returning to my long neglected yoga practise, meditating daily and continuing to ignore the insanity of the world and look for the good that is being done. Coming at it from all directions really. I kind of naturally all but gave up drinking several years ago, just having wine when friends were around, but this year I stuck with fizzy water and felt so much better for it. I put it in a nice glass so I feel special while drinking it 🙂

      It’s always harder to do something when the other person isn’t – so good luck with your month off. You could try doing what I do 🙂

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  12. The secret projects are so festive and happy looking. Love how they brighten up a room. You are quite good at that. The baskets made from t-shirts makes me think your girls do crochet as well? Siddy looks quite striking in his holiday outfit. What a happy Christmas you all had. A walk on the beach sounds just perfect. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. Hugs all around.

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    • The blankets are certainly colourful Marlene 🙂 Jo crochets and knits and now sews – she sewed herself a tote bag while here to keep her bargello stitching work projects in. Danella is all set to learn 🙂 Happy New Year my dear – here’s wishes that it brings all good things your way!

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  13. Oh my, the afghan is beautiful, Pauline. I love the colors. The pattern looks so much like what my Mamaw used to crochet. Aw…Siddy looks so happy frolicking along the beach. What a great photo! Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year, Pauline. ❤

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  14. Your home looks wonderfully festive and you have been extremely busy getting ready. I particularly like the green afghan (my gran called crocheted blankets this) which looks so fresh and bright on your bed. I think I’d like to try Christmas in a southern clime for a change, though I do like winter well enough, especially fresh snow. You look so happy on the beach!

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    • Hi Susanne – it’s my daughters home, mine was festive in a different way 🙂 I think Americans in general maybe still call handcrafted blankets and throws ‘afghans’ so maybe Canadians do too? Christmas is very different in Summer – there are always pros and cons aren’t there. It’s always good to share in the experience of other people though.

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