Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mandala Madness

You know what you don't want in between lots and lots of family staying at your house, when the sheets and towels are being changed at a mindblowing rate of knots?  You don't want your washing machine to suddenly start screeching loudly, followed by the acrid stench of something very bad happening, with the finale of large belches of smoke that signalled the end of my 12 year old LG front loader washing machine.  As soon as the shops opened after New Year, we whipped into town and bought this beauty, another LG, I decided that I wanted to go back to a top loader and I was really pleased to find one that uses what I consider to be an acceptable amount of water, about the same as the standard front loader.  So, a gazillion loads of washing later, I am almost up to date and I am really pleased with the machine.
 We had a lovely time over the New Year's weekend with Paul, Sam, Stevie and Riley.  There were lots of Xmas presents for the girls that they enjoyed opening and playing with, we found a glorious park (Eyre Park, back from Middleton Beach - it has the BEST flying fox!), we ogled from the car as we drove through Sculpture Park where the wonders of chainsaw art are displayed in a bush setting, and the best treat was my neighbour bringing her orphan joeys that she raises over for Stevie and Riley to have big cuddles.  Lovely :-)
Our last lot of family visitors were my brother Pete, nephew Dee, niece Steph and her boyfriend Hunter who is visiting from Utah.  Our kangaroos kindly hung around so Hunter could enjoy seeing them, I was very pleased.  It was great to see you all! :-)
 Then I trotted up to Perth for a three day mother/daughter fun time with Michelle who was a birthday girl.  We shopped, walked, tried to entice kitties out from under the bed as apparently  I was a big scary monster but finally they consented, and we ate some wonderful vegan food.  On the last day we treated ourselves to dinner at Raw Kitchen in Fremantle, all plant based and a focus on raw, wow, the food was sensational!  Mine was Live Pad Thai, chocked with raw zucchini noodles and other vegies, with a lovely peanut sauce throughout.  Michelle's was raw nachos, I can't remember what the nachos are made of but they were delicious and the dippy stuff is a mixture of cashew cheese, tomatoes and other veg - yummo!  One the side we had a white bean dip drizzled with harissa oil and bread.  What a feast!
 I arrived home a couple of days ago, to a lovely quiet house.  It's been brilliant having everyone to stay and also visiting in Perth, but nothing beats home sweet home with my darling husband and pussy cat. 
I said hello to the roos, this is Andre, he is Growler's 2 year old, basking in some rays of sun.  He is a gorgeous little boy, feeling a bit left out as Growler keeps shooing him away as her newest joey spends time out of the pouch.
This is Noelle, the joey I rescued, playing with her mother Marx at the carer's place.  Noelle is fit and healthy, feeding well from the bottle, and as cheeky as a monkey by all accounts.  Marx is improving ever so slowly.  She is an amazing girl, apparently it is normally impossible to treat a wild adult roo, but she is tolerating all forms of treatment without any aggression, she seems to know she is being helped.  She's had x-rays, chiropractic manipulation of her lower spine (xray showed a small displacement of one spinal vertebrae), combined brain resources of three vets, not to mention the wonderful carers who roll her and massage her so she doesn't get pressure sores.  She is still not standing, but it is hopeful that she will.  The consensus is that the vertebrae that was out of whack compressed the nerves to her tail and made it partly numb, and as kangaroos use their tail for balance, they think this is the reason that Marx has been unable to get up.  She is constantly trying and her legs are strong, once the inflammation subsides it is hoped she'll be able to get up.  Small steps, the gurus think it will take a few months for her to recover, so we must all cross our fingers xx
 I wandered around my garden, drinking in the healthy growing plants that are supporting myriads of butterflies who are here this time every year.  Just wonderful.
 We have two male Red Winged Fairy Wrens along with females in the back garden at present.  They are competing with each other and trying to outsing each other which gives us the pleasure of hearing their wonderful melodies.
 I said hello to the chickens and the duckies.  The chickens now have names, Riley and Stevie have decided that they are Jacinta, Ivy and Twinkles.  :-)
 We are very excited about these luscious red globes.  These are the first fruit from our Flavortop nectarine tree.  Not many, perhaps a dozen, and we ate our first one this morning.  So much flavour, absolutely delicious!
 I said hello to the vegie patch that's looking healthy and happy.  I think the sweetcorn has grown a metre in the last few weeks!!
 I said hello to my garden gate that I have adorned with the mandala I was making before Xmas.  I love it there, I know it will wear out in the weather, but it makes me happy to see it every morning when I wander through this garden to get to the chook pen.
 In close-up.  Gosh I love mandalas, and if any of you have a hankering to crochet one like this, the free pattern is here - Starflower Mandala pattern
 And speaking of mandalas and crochet, let me show you what the postman sent me from Wool Warehouse in UK!  I was given a gift voucher for Xmas by Michelle and I had the most wonderful time deciding on the colours to order to complement what I already had.  This is my complete stash of Stylecraft Special DK Acrylic yarn.  I always poo pooed acrylic yarn, but this yarn is wonderful, so soft and good to work with, plus the added bonus of washability.  I am a convert!
 This is my colour palette (for now, til I order more ha ha).  I took this marvellous idea from the bestest crochet blog here - Attic 24.  Lucy showed photos of this great method for keeping tabs on your colours and how it helps to make decisions, by winding a small amount of yarn over pegs.  I didn't have pegs but Steve had plenty of long bits of scrap wood that he cut and smoothed down for me.
I don't know if you are getting it, that I am currently OBSESSED with crochet, I am all tingly and jumpy inside!  I have been planning a big crochet binge for months now, but first I made myself finish some knitting things like socks, and also this lace knitting scarf I made Michelle for her birthday.  It was almost the death of me, I kept losing my place, stuffing up and having to undo!  No-one could talk to me whilst I knitted it, and it was a bad bad idea to try drinking wine at the same time too! It turned out nicely in the end, I was very pleased with it, and Michelle likes it which is the main thing.
So, anyway, here I am ready to begin the big crochet binge, and I have something in mind.  After spending a lot of time on the internet, looking at photos and reading patterns, I am about to start a BIG MISSION, it's called Mandala Madness, website here if you are interested - Mandala Madness.  Basically it's another mandala, but this one ends up a massive 1.8 metres across, and is made up of zillions of rounds of different stitches!  Some people have made them with only a few colours, but others have gone to town and made wonderful colourful, happy creations.  And that's what I am going to do, which is why I had a buy up of many many colours, my Mandala Madness will be a riot of colour!  I have to cull my colours choices down to about 16 though, otherwise I will never be able to decide what to use.  I plan to start today, having been a good girl and done all the washing and cleaned the house, so I'll start posting a few progress photos on each blog post.

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