Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Real True Proper Crafty Blog

tea cosy

Oh, I’m so excited!  I just posted my first ever crochet tutorial on my blog!  I know a lot of my lovely readers aren’t excited by crochet, but please indulge me on this one.  It makes me feel like my little blog is all grown up and being productive.

another angle of the lovely cosy

This original pattern is called Pippi and Lovely M’s Granny Square Tea Cosy, copyright 2003, Laptop on the Ironing Board, Inc.

button detail

I might also post the tutorial as a blog post after this.  I hope you don’t mind.  It’s just that I can’t work out how to tag it when it’s in page form, and I want all the people out there searching for a free tea cosy pattern to be able to find this one!

teapot

While I was at it, I also updated my About page, which was in dire need of some tinkering.

For those of my wonderful readers who tune in to hear stories of my children misbehaving, take heart!  The more I faff about with crochet tutorials, the more mischief my children achieve, so it’s win-win.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must encourage Christopher Robin to stop watering the washing…

The Joy of Giving

I just had to share:

teapots with cosies

I made these tea cosies for my two dear friends, Pippi and Lovely M.  You might remember Pippi as my friend who made the soap for my blog candy giveaway.  She gave it as a gift for the blog and wouldn’t accept any payment for it.  If your memory is really good, you might remember Lovely M from my socially awkward misadventures in Label Fail – the Sequel.  I wanted to give M a new name as everyone else in the blog seems to be named after some literary character (or Brady Bunch member).  In some ways, M is like Little Friend Susan to my Milly Molly Mandy.  But Little Friend Susan is sensible and hardly talks, and that doesn’t describe M at all.  Anyway, Lovely M is happy to be called Lovely M and I think it rather suits her.

In a world of self-contained school mothers with blow-waved bobs and glacial conversational skills, Pippi and Lovely M provide an oasis of genuine friendship and spray-coffee-through-your-nose laughter.  That, in itself, I think, is enough to warrant a present, but as it happens, both Pippi and Lovely M have recently moved house (from near by to even nearer by!), which means I get to make them housewarming presents (my favourite kind!).

When Pippi and Lovely M received their presents, they made all the right exclaiming noises to ensure plenty more handmade gifts come their way.  In a strange way, I love that something I made will live in their home.  Does that make sense or is it vaguely stalker-ish of me?

Anyway, here’s the most exciting part:

The pattern is my own design!

I’ve never designed my own crochet pattern before, unless you count my star snowflake, which is really more of a modification than an original design.  I think I will call it Pippi and Lovely M’s Granny Square Tea Cosy.   When I get organised, I will put a tutorial (with rather dodgy photos) in the “Hooky Business” section of the blog.  Just like a real grown-up craft blog!  And I can put it on Ravelry and everything!

I’ve also just finished a blanket for my brand-new nephew.  I struggled a little with this one, but we got there in the end (meanwhile my nephew is six weeks old):

blanket

I wanted to sew a cloud motif on in the corner, but with the variegated yarn it just looked weird, so I left it off.

And finally:

parcel

This parcel is bound for Tennessee, for Sandy from Craftsnotherstuff, the winner of my birthday blog candy giveaway.  I’m thinking of sneaking in some Tim Tams (choc biscuits) and other Aussie treats, but I’m still working out how to do it without getting chocolate over everything…

Oh!  It’s all so exciting!  Giving gifts is even more fun when I can boast about it all over the internet…

Look Look Look!

Here are some things making my house a lovely place to be right now:

roses

nasturtiums

Fresh flowers from my very own garden

sunflower sprouts

Sunflowers growing on my kitchen windowsill (these give me a ridiculous amount of joy)

paintings over piano

These paintings I bought last year from the doctors.  The artist’s name is Caz, and she exhibits her work in the waiting room of the big clinic.  While I’m at it, this piano gives me a great amount of joy also.  Our next door neighbour was cleaning out his garage and asked if we’d like it.  Did we what!  We have a REAL house now: we have a PIANO!

poppy1

This is the painting I bought first, for a ridiculous $20 (and here I was thinking I could never afford original art!).  She looked so lovely on the wall and yet so lonely that I thought I better go back and buy her sisters.

semi abstract art

poppy2

This one has “Poppies in the garden” written in pencil on the back.

The next time I went to the doctors I met their mother:

happy trees art

She was so beautiful. And HUGE.  But her price, though very reasonable for a painting that size, was well out of my reach.  Sigh,

For over a year, every time I visited the doctor, I would sit near her and look at her.  I don’t need to own this painting to enjoy it, I would think to myself, It’s just as beautiful here as it would be in my house.  And I would sit there looking at the painting feeling very virtuous and a tiny bit sad.

Around a month ago, I went to the doctors’ with Christopher Robin, who had split his head open at school and had it glued back together again at the hospital (that might sound like it might make a dramatic and interesting blog post, but, trust me, it was just a whole lot of scary followed by a whole lot of waiting in the emergency room – no real narrative structure there).   I needed cheering up so I found us a seat right next to my painting.  As I gazed at her, it struck me that there was something different about her – it was her price tag!  The painting had been drastically discounted and was now $120.  I called Mr Knightley, “I know what I want for my birthday!”, I announced breathlessly (my birthday was still several months off, but I was being organised).  Within a few hours she was on my living room wall, and it turns out I was wrong:  she looks MUCH MORE beautiful in my home than she did in the waiting room.  Look:

living room with painting

If I had commissioned this painting it couldn’t have looked more at home.

A lot of bloggers are talking about thankfulness at the moment (is it something to do with Thanksgiving? I don’t know).  I am thankful for my home.  If you could see the state it’s in at the moment as I blog amongst the toy-and-toast rubble, you might think that strange, but I guess I wouldn’t have mess if I didn’t have such a perfect abundance of food and possessions.  I’m going to finish this post now and give my beautiful home some love.

Just as soon as I convince Harry to stop riding the vacuum…

And The Winner Is…

snowflakes

I’m just about to draw the winner of my blog birthday prize giveaway using a random number generator.

And the winner is…

Number 14!

Congratulations to Sandy of Craftsnotherstuff!  I’ll be sending you a parcel of goodies just as soon as I work out where on earth you live!

loot

Thank you to everyone who participated in this birthday celebration.  I would have loved to give you all prizes, but, sadly, I just don’t have that many stamps…

I Want Candy!

As you may know, my humble blog turned one on Monday.  In honour of this momentous occasion, and because I want to thank you for being such faithful and engaged readers, I’m having a BLOG CANDY GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you want to see the loot?

bells

Here are some blue bells similar to the ones I used to yarnbomb Bells Beach;

snowflakes

And here are some snowflakes, similar to the ones I stressed out about last year, including a star snowflake, which is my one-and-only original pattern published on this site.

soap

Aaahhh…if only this blog had smell-o-vision!  Here is a delectable soap made by my dear friend whom I will call Pippi.  It’s hand-made from all-natural materials and really makes your skin feel nice.  I hear it’s good for those with allergies too.  Plus it smells amazing.  And I have a thing about smells (there are many fragrances I can’t stand.  If Mr Knightley buys scented baby wipes or scented toilet paper, I throw a small temper tantrum)

swap cards

Finally, here are some fun educational swap cards about Australian animals.  Our supermarket gives these out with each purchase, so this part of the prize is really only for an international winner – I’m pretty sure if you’re Australian, you have enough of them floating about!

loot

And here we have the complete prize haul.  As you can see, I made a rather lame attempt to fashion the loot into the shape of a Christmas tree, but didn’t think about the position of the sun, hence the lovely shadow.  Plus, can you see the alluring glimpse of t-shirt at the bottom of the photo?  Pure photographic genius!

So, would you like to get your hands on all this sugary goodness?  Here’s how you can do it:

1. Follow this blog, or like the FB page, if you haven’t done so already

2. Leave a comment after this post – you don’t have to write anything profound, but it will act as your virtual raffle ticket

I will give each commenter a number and use a random number generator to pick the winner.  I will draw the winner at 12:30pm next Thursday November 14 and notify the winner by email (so make sure you don’t use a fake address).  You don’t have to be a regular reader to enter, so feel free to tell your friends and family to put their names in the hat too.

A note to my male readers – I’m sorry this prize is a bit girly, but if either of you were to win, you could use the prize as gifts, so please enter just the same!

Happy Blogiversary!!

pom poms

Can you believe it?  Laptop on the Ironing Board is a year old today!  On this day last year, I tentatively uploaded some awkwardly worded posts and reshaped some humorous anecdotes that began their life as family emails.  Back then, the blog was called “James James Morrison Morrison”, but I got tired of spelling it out for people, so it quickly changed to “Laptop on the Ironing Board”.  It wasn’t long at all before I was totally addicted to blogging.  It’s still my favourite thing to do.  And now that my blog is having a birthday, it’s time for some serious celebration!

Matilda's Bed Cake

Blog Candy!!!

I’m going to have a little giveaway to celebrate this blogiversary, but I haven’t quite got the booty ready to photograph.  I want to raffle off some gifts to thank you for being such delightful readers.  I’ll have another post up this week to tell you all about it.  Sorry for my lack of organisation!

Gorgeous Bunting

What’s that?  A gift for me?  Oh, shucks, you don’t have to get my blog anything!  But if you insist, what my blog would most like for a birthday present is some new readers.

Laptop on the Ironing Board Birthday Gift Registry (choose one, if you like):

  • Think of someone you know who might like this blog and tell them about it (or email them a link).  This might be your hairdresser, your child’s teacher, your parish priest, your mums group, your maternal and child health nurse or the lady at the post office.
  • Share a link to your favourite post on your Facebook page (or Twitter or other new-fangled social media I’m too un-hip to know about).  This is a good one, because the person is already online when they get the link.
  • “Like” Laptop on Facebook
  • Put Laptop on your blog roll (and let me know so I can put you on mine)

DSCF4887

Vital Statistics

Finally, I thought I’d share some fun (well, fun for me) stats with you:

53 Posts (counting this one)

284 Followers (and I love you all)

6,755 views

and 463 comments

from 75 different countries

The most hits I got in one day was a whopping 233.  This happened when my friend promoted my blog on her Facebook page.  I couldn’t stop smiling all week after that.

fake cupcakes

Thank You, I Love Youse

So, thank you so much, dear readers for taking the time to read and engage with me.  You are what makes this such a joyful and affirming experience.  Every time you leave a comment, I just about fall over myself with glee.  You make writing exciting.  You really do.