Thursday, 20 December 2012

Another beautiful free shawl crochet pattern

I pinned a whole heap of free shawl and capelet patterns recently with every intention to make each and every one of them either for myself, as gifts or both! After finishing the Pineapple Lace Shawl I moved on to this gorgeous design that really caught my eye. I left off 2 rows around the bottom but it turned out beautifully and as a very simple pattern, I highly recommend working one up for yourself or as a gift! You find the free pattern by clicking HERE.. the only thing is you will need to sign up to the Lion Brand website to access it, but with so many other free patterns available on that site, it's probably not too much of a problem :o) Feeling inspired by the purple and black on the last shawl I made, I was eager to use that colour combination again and after a few hours of happy crocheting, I finished up with this:
It has been wrapped in white and red striped paper, tied with a box and had a tag attached to it under the Christmas tree :o)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Nailed knitting, chocolate, wine and a very squishy photo session

Hiya! I am completely and utterly exhausted from a busy weekend and a photoshoot earlier thisafternoon...thought I'd just pop in to my lovely little corner of the interwebs here with a post for anyone out there who reads them :) *waves*

I have totally nailed this knitting thing... behold! No dropped stitches! It looks like a scarf, and I suppose it could be used as one but it's actually (or at least it will be tomorrow) a newborn wrap that I needed for my shoot tomorrow. Hoorah for being able to make my own props and stuff when I need them! ^.^ Look at my sexy knitting!

I also made some clippies! I was asked to make some for my friend's daughter as she has crazy red hair and obviously needs pretty things to hold it back a little. It's a rare occassion that I'm asked to make things for people... made me feel pretty chuffed actually!

Oh!! I was lucky enough to receive a very kind and thoughtful thankyou gift from my photography clients this afternoon ^.^ I was not expecting anything at all, it was really touching! After doing so much work towards to my photography lately (and I'm certainly not complaining!) it was just really really really lovely to be given a gift. Chocolate and wine.. The way to my heart! So thankyou to the beautiful family I worked with today, you are wonderful people!

Aside from all that I've been spending a mostly quiet weekend at home with hubby and the fur babies playing Skip Bo and Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64.... pretty fantabulous weekend I'd say!

Here's one of the photos from my session today.. see the rest at Quirky Bean Photography if you'd like!
I probably should mention the whole shoot was based around smooshing cake into each other's faces ;)

Bonne nuit my friends! I need some sleep!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Oodles of gingerbread, another lovely scarf and a huge trip to plan!

I told you I loved this pattern! :o) I've made another one in this really gorgeous green as a gift to a close friend of the family. It's lovely and soft and I really hope she enjoys it!

These past few days have been a bit hectic here at Shmoogle Bean HQ... me being sick on and off (cause still unknown!) makes for slow progress! I recently made up my annual batch of gingerbread men and sent them in with my husband to work to share with the staff he works with and the lovely librarian ladies. From what I hear they were well received :o) I always make extra for the cleaning ladies, the grounds keeper and office staff as I really don't feel like many people give them thanks at the end of each year for all the hard work they do. Last night saw yet another Christmas gift finished and checked off my list.... I am running VERY low on time to get them all done!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!! But I'll manage :o) I'm not even going to think about how many I still have to do because I may fall over but swords up and charge onwards! The trick is not to look down!
I call this, my Bubblegum Hat hehe

Pretty neato right?

What are you doing for Christmas? Going anywhere?

We are!! To Albury in fact ^.^ Yup, on the 22nd of December hubby, myself and our two fur babies will pile into our clunky old car at 3am and head off from Armidale for a 13 hour drive. The whole of my husband's family (his 4 other brothers, their wives/girlfriends, his sister, nephews..everyone!) will be at his parent's house this year so we're making the great annual migration to join in :o) Previously our funds weren't going to allow us going anywhere but it turns out we get a bit of holiday loading from last year *jumps up and down with glee* and we will make it! Hoorah! I'm not entirely sure whether I'm looking forward to the drive itself though... although we're planning every stop, fuel refill and snack break it's always nerve wracking to travel anywhere over the Christmas period...especially over a long distance. Plenty of music for us, chew toys for the fur balls and we'll be alright. Needless to say we're both pretty damn excited!!!!! Now if only I could be sure I'll have all this pressies made in time! Eeeep! Oh and I guess I'm also a little nervous coz well, let's face it... I've gained a few kg's since the last time everyone saw me and I guess *shuffles feet* I'm just really self conscious. I'll live, it's not the end of the world... but it haaaas been bothering me just a tinsy bit.

Anyway MOVING on from that delicate (or chunky lumpy) topic..

oh look!
GINGERBREAD HOUSES! Sorry for the totally LAME-O photos but they are being stored in a giant blue plastic tub at the moment to keep them safe until they're delivered to my Armidale buddies this arvo :o) Seriously you open the lid and it smells like heaven in there... OM NOM NOM I made gingerbread houses last year too... from my own recipe actually ;) (smug face) haha but really if you'd like the recipe you can find it by clicking >>>HERE<<<
Ok so I'm not the most skilled decorator in the world, and my construction skills are a tinsy bit dodgy but they are holding together! Thumbs up! I could have taken them out of the box to take a pretty picture but it would disrupt the Tetris-like harmony inside the box and I'm too scared I'll break one haha

Now my icky sick self is going to hole up on the lounge for a while and watch Alien 2.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A beautiful shawl, Stargate and more Christmas presents off the list!

Isn't she a beauty? This gorgeous pattern you can find for free on the Caron website and I highly recommend making one either for yourself or as a gift! It is just so B-E-A-utiful! The pattern is suprisingly simple to follow, and depending on your crochet speed, won't take too long to complete :o) I just gotta say how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the black and the purple together! I had visions of being clever with black and orange to create a butterfly wing inspired shawl using the same pattern but we'll see ;) It's now wrapped in red and white striped paper, tied with a bow and under our Christmas tree.

I've been in Christmas present making overdrive lately... that happens when you leave everything til the last minute! Typical Tash :o) But I'm slowly making headway, I've been focusing on getting all the gifts for the girls done first.... mostly because I'm completely stumped as to what to do for all the manly men! Oh well..I'll think of something! Lucky I have so many free patterns and inspiration stored on Pinterest...or I'd be pretty well stuffed! One of those things happens to be this beautiful free shell lacey scarf pattern from The Art of Zen Crochet which, I might add, works up an absolute treat!

I've fallen so much in love with this pattern that I'm currently working on another scarf, this time in an absolutely stunning sea foam green.... I'll show you later ;)

Now the reason why I mentioned Stargate was because recently, my husband and I started watching it from the very beginning with Season 1, Disc 1 and are currently up to Season 4 somewhere... Hubby watches it while I sit and work on my Chrissy pressies and there was one particular line that caused me to burst out into uncontrollable giddy laughter. It was of course a Teal'c line that got me, and I suppose reciting it now won't be nearly as amusing as having seen and heard it on the actual show. But anyway...
Colonel O'Neill 'What are we going to do now?'
Teal'c 'I hear of a place when human females do battle in a ring of jello'
Colonel O'Neill 'I'll call Daniel'
 I just lost it...  I guess you really had to hear it to get the full effect, but trust me it was classic! Teal'c is one of my absolute fav sci fi characters!

Now I'd best get back to my present-creating! I'm running out of time and there's alot to be done!

Much love!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Willow trees and 3-day cupcakes

I love willow trees...they're my favourite kind of tree. They're beautiful! We have one over hanging our backyard :o) I actually found a lovely little nook of Armidale yesterday with willows all around.. it was so beautiful! Ok so I had to navigate across built up debris and kinda sank into the mud a fair bit but I got to where I was going eventually! Worth it!

Ours provides lovely shade, gives a gorgeous green glow when the sun filters through the tendrils...ours has recently become home to a family of ravens. Two very young birds sitting on a bough outside my house happily carolling away waiting for mum to feed them. They sound a bit like Velociraptors from Jurassic Park (which by the way, scares the beejeebies out of me!)

I guess it wouldn't be so bad if my little dog, the protector of the universe didn't feel the need to bark at them. My little dog feels the need to protect the yard against ANYTHING at ALL costs. He has little man syndrome. Completely harmless, just thinks he's a big tough Doberman.

He's not exactly terrifying! He may lick you to death but that's about it!
Hmmm. the 3-day cupcakes. No, it was not some insane multilayered difficulty of 1000 cupcake fact it was just a cupcake recipe on Junior Masterchef for cryin' out loud! But they still took me 3 days.
This is basically how it happened:
Find recipe with intentions of making awesome cupcakes to consume with gusto. Lose enthusiasm. Find butter cake packet mix in pantry...regain some enthusiasm and proceed to make cupcakes the cheat way. I.e. not from the actual recipe



Scoop out a little of the centres, and put them away for the day. The next day I make the lemon curd and stick it into my cupcakes.... then they go back in the fridge...still unfinished. Why I couldn't finish them all at once on day one I have no idea. Anyhoo... day three (late last night) I pulled them out and finally made the meringue for them. The meringue for once in my life actually reached the right consistancy, but I burnt them under the grill....  I then ate 4 in a row they mustn't have been that bad; then again my standards for my own baking aren't that high and really I'll eat anything. So no problems eh?


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Marvelous Mondays Hop! Come One, Come All!

Hi Beans! Guess what's a little different this week? I'm co-hosting the 'Marvelous Mondays' blog hop hosted by the fabulously talented Julie at This Gal Cooks! Pretty nifty right? I super dooper with a cherry on top encourage you to link up your crafty, delicious and DIY posts and join in! SQUEEE! Enjoy! ^.^
Good evening, everyone! Welcome to Marvelous Mondays week 22! I hope you all have had a great weekend. This week's co-hosts are:

Julie from This Gal Cooks (HOST)
Tash from Quirky Crafting Schmoogle Bean (co-host)
Sarah from Southern Comfort from a Yankee Perspective (co-host)
Amanda from Realistically Domestic (co-host)



  • Please follow your host and co-hosts via Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Blog Lovin, Facebook or RSS Feed. Please leave a comment stating how you followed so your host can follow you back. Your host and co-host links can be found at the top of the party post. 
  • Check out your fellow bloggers' projects. Leave them some wonderful comments to let them know that you stopped by.
  • Link up your recipes, crafts or DIY projects. Please link something that you made. No giveaways or shops, please.
  • Grab a button. It's not mandatory but it helps get the word out about the party.

  • Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Sweet Inspiration ~ loving the colour brown!

    I really am! It's one of my favourite colours, you can pair it with so many beautiful colours like pink and blue and yellow and it's just so versatile! I've been in love with 50 shades of brown lately (yeah I know, bad pun) and I'm feeling like I want this inspiration to spill over into my photography... so I rummaged through my yarn stash, my ribbon drawer and pulled some things together to inspire me to create a really beautiful newborn photography prop set. I've put together some inspiration in this post, the materials I have on hand and some of the things i've already made hoping that some brilliant and completely adorable ideas start forming! Oh! And you remember how I started to learn to knit the other day? And that I was hoping I wouldn't make any mistakes so I didn't pull it apart in frustration? Well it's been pulled apart about 4 times since then and I've started again...this time with slightly bigger needles and I'm finding it much easier. Also please excuse the terrible lighting in these photos! I'm still learning how to do that properly... and not doing to well *sigh* Oh well I'll get there eventually.

    I'm really looking forward to getting creative with it and to see what happens!

    Tuesday, 20 November 2012

    Only 34 days to go! ^.^ Christmas printable tutorial

    And here I am sharing with you a few fun digitals I've been making just for fun :o) Want to make your own? They're very easy! All you need is Paint, and! Create a new file in Paint (you should have it on your computer, it comes standard on Windows operating systems...if you use a Mac I can't help you sorry! lol) and set the size for however large you would like your image...if you're printing it it's always better to make it larger than you need; you can resize it without losing image quality that way. I made mine 30cm x 30cm but feel free to go bigger or smaller.

    Now choose a colour you like for the background; after doing one in red and green, I think this lovely shade of blue will do the trick!

    Next, what's your favourite Christmas song? That one that plays and just makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? For me it's 'Winter Wonderland' so I'll be using lyrics from that. Oh I just love the Dean Martin version! Gorgeous :o)
    So you have your song, now the fun bit! You can use the fonts that come on your computer, you can download some new ones or you can use the fonts provided on The trick is to get creative!! Try a combination of various fonts, or just use one or two...really have a play with it and see what you like. Move them around, try a few different layouts go for it! If you're after some new gorgeous fonts to play with, I have quite a few different styles and options on my Pinterest Board that you're welcome to browse through; simply click the link on the image and you'll be taken to the fonts and how to download them. If you follow the link to the font download, click 'download font', a little box will pop up when it's finished, click open. You will then be taken to a zipped file; double click the icon and Winzip will open. If you then double click the TTF file (True Type Font) it will open an install box...hit 'install' and done! You can now use that new font in any application that allows text on your computer (Paint, Word etc) It's really not as complicated as it sounds I promise :o)

    The fonts I've used for my 'Winter Wonderland' are (in order)

    Okidokee so you've added your lyrics in the fonts you like onto your background... save your file as either a png or a jpg. Next hop along to and click 'upload photo'. Down the left hand side you'll see a number of icons...there is one down the bottom with a snowflake, click that and a then click on 'Wonderland' and just feast you eyes on all the lovelies you can add! Clickity click through them and you'll find you can move them around your image easily, resize them, change the colours and all sorts of things. Now it's just a matter of decorating your image! I've chosen to use some snow flakes over the top..use the 'fade' slider to make them more opaque, a flourish along the bottom and finish I've used 'frost' to border my image and give it that final touch!

     See? Fun right! Have fun with it! I just love fonts... I have a serious weakness for them :o) So much so that I've made quite a few of these pretty printables hehe Oh! and just a p.s no I'm not trying to endorse or anything...I'm not paid or any of that bollocks to suggest using it on my blog, I simply enjoy using it as it's very versatile and user-friendly and I like it. I thought for those of you who don't know about it, this might give you an opportunity to explore it and have some fun with it.. so all these opinions are my own k?

    Annnnnd then I couldn't help myself....

     Well it's still Christmas themed! ;) Guess what it's from?

    Anyway, enjoy guys! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask... just be aware that I can't help you with specific downloading issues or the such, if you have a problem with a font download, ask the site the font came from... they'll be a lot more helpful than I would be :o) Whoops! And a heads up...most fonts you download are for personal use only... it wouldn't be a good idea to try selling your finished printables as it goes against the font creators liscense agreement.

    Monday, 19 November 2012

    Billabong Wildlife Park

    Last month when I was visiting home in Port Macquarie I took my hubby to Billabong Wildlife Park to check out the critters since I hadn't been there since I was very young; I off course took along the DSLR, 50mm lens and off we went! Check it out :o)

    Learning to knit!

    I felt like acquiring a new crafty I'm determined that I shall learn how to knit! ^.^ I gave it a go around this time last year and failed big time!! I think given it's been a year I should maybe try again (funny actually, I couldn't knit so I learnt how to crochet instead... how does that make sense?!) So far so good! Only thing is I don't know how to pick up stitches again if I drop them, or how to do anything aside from going back and forth with the basic knit stitch and even that mighten't last too long! Oh well...wish me luck and fingers crossed my knitting project here gets to grow a little before being pulled apart in frustration haha

    Friday, 16 November 2012

    Things you can make/put in/do with your empty coffee jar!

    So anyhoo...I ran out of instant coffee thismorning *THE WORLD IS GOING TO END EVERYBODY RUUUUUN!* and whilst shaking the last dregs of coffee out of the jar I got to thinking... my goodness that is one sexy glass jar!! I absolutely must make something with it! That of course led me to Pinterest (of course... derrrr! where else would I go?) and so I bring you this quick post of
    Things you can make /put in/do with your empty jar!
    Ok fine it's really just me embedding a heap of funky ideas from our favourite online time waste...... um pinboard but hey, I get snaps for enthusiasm! I'm actually supposed to be cleaning the house and crocheting itty bitty Christmas hat props for tomorrow and sewing in the ends of my donations to Yasminah's Gift of Hope but I am sitting here with my small furry puppy in my lap, in my pajamas still and perusing the interwebs...I really do need to get to it soon though. Good thing I have The Very Best of Canned Heat on surround to listen to ^.^ There may be more dancing than cleaning involved! Enjoy lovelies!
    Source: via Mariné on Pinterest

    Source: via JD on Pinterest
    Source: via Jess on Pinterest