How I Started Crocheting Patterns

Crocheting was something I did when the children were little. I crocheted a pony called Candy for my little girl and a giraffe name Jaffa for the boys. Jaffa I recalled had a very… very long neck and the boys would swing Jaffa around in their bedroom, out of sight from Mum. It wasn’t the best pattern in the world you had to lean Jaffa against a wall for him to stand up straight.

Knowing me I probably modified it in some way, a habit that is hard to break.

Candy and Jaffa survived the children’s rough games up to their adulthood. Candy is still around and became a star in my children’s books about the adventures of Zach & Candy.

She is with me now, just behind my chair in the junk cupboard.

Alas… Jaffa suffered another fate, no one will say, just a wall of silence… 🙁

The last time I saw him, he was in a cupboard at my son’s place, my son wanted him for his little boy. 

Leah with CandyBut I fear not everyone felt the same, he was old and couldn’t stand up straight, so he may have ended up in the old clothes bag going to ‘good will’, or worse still… in the rubbish bin. I like to think he’s got a good home somewhere. Enough about that, I’ve had my public lament time to move on…

Rebirth of something I loved

My granddaughter stayed with me one weekend and she brought a little hippo named Zack from kindergarten with her. Over the weekend this little hippo was to accompany her wherever she went and on the Monday morning at kindergarten, she had to bring a book of activities that she did with this little hippo, in story form to “show and tell”.

This was the start of my story telling, (in addition to when I was a child) and Zach’s Weekend Adventure with Friends was created and based on that weekend’s events. 

Crocheting – Prop Created

Anyway the whole point to this is, I started to crochet my first character from my book, Zach. I must admit he was a sorry sight, too large really for what I needed. I already had the storyline, I just needed the prop.

The children loved him straight away and he was a mess after they played with him, white filling oozing out, but they didn’t seem to mind. After they left I would get the scissors and trim off all the filling coming from the open weave style I had created.

I never imagined he would be so popular. They would both play for hours with Zach & Zach with JhettCandy along with all the super hero figures.

An Idea was Born

An idea was born, by this time I had already created a number of children’s books including, “Zach Gets Left Behind” which was inspired by my little grandson’s day of playing with Zach.

I decided I would crochet all the characters from my books and produce an easy to follow pattern I could sell online… surely it wouldn’t be that hard?

This is what happened.

The Garden Shed is a Scary Place

What inspired me to write this book?

“The garden shed is a scary place full of things that creep and crawl and sometimes sting, must keep away from all these things.” 

The Garden Shed is a Scary Place

The idea of writing this book ‘The Garden Shed is a Scary Place’ started when I began to clean up my father’s garden. I always knew I loved plants and over the years I would surround myself with pots of plants, when I didn’t have a garden. 

However, it wasn’t till my father was sick and re covering from an operation, that I realised how important the outdoors was. The first thing I do when I get up, is to take my tea or coffee,  and sit outside in the cool morning air and contemplate the days activities. Even when I am away, I’m looking for a balcony or sitting area to enjoy my morning cuppa outside.

During my Dad’s recovery, I would sit and talk for a while and then go out into the garden and start sweeping the pathways and picking up the fallen leaves and twigs. In the early days he thought I was taking over his job, I suppose when you are sick all you can think about is getting well again and some how… I was taking away his strength…his independence. He is old school and a little bit controlling, unfortunately a family trait. 

None the less watching me doing all the things he normally did and enjoyed, was hard for him. Eventually he settled down and started to like the fact that someone else was doing his job and he could let it go… and give it to me.

This garden isn’t so much a memory of my early childhood, another country’s got that one, but a memory of my teens and my dear mother who during the last months of her life would sit in the living room and stare at the garden through the glass doors.

 My Dad had a ritual of going around the garden each day, and pulling out the weeds. Birds would follow behind scratching where he unearth the soil, the result was no weeds, a compliment I was quick to share with him.

While tidying up the beds my imagination started to roll…so out from the leaves, bark and twigs came this book.

‘The Garden Shed is a Scary Place!’

Dad took great interest in watching me taking photos of the shed from many angles, along with the pathways and plants, anything really that took my fancy. The rhyming started to emerge, just a few words first:

The garden shed is a scary place full of things that creep and crawl and

sometimes sting, must keep away from all these things. 

I started to think about Mum, she loved writing poetry and all her poets were written about events in her life, at the time I acknowledged the skill she had and was familiar with the events they were attached too.

It would be nice to have her here now, to look over my first rhyming story, I know she would change some of it. With that said, just perhaps a little of her poetic skill was past down, time will tell.

This simple story some of it in rhyme is about a young child’s journey to the garden shed. “The garden shed is a scary place.. full of things that crawl and sting.

The closer to the garden shed the child gets the more fanciful the journey becomes, it’s a combination of real garden dwellers and a little bit of fun.

Sorting out books

Over the weekend I’ve been doing some sorting out. It’s not a job I enjoy, the dust and mess is something I avoid like the plague. But nonetheless it had to be done. I love books in all forms, digital, paperback and hard bound books, their pages reveal the world and you can be there in an instant. Well written descriptive books are very intimate they melt into your mind and subconscious and shape your thinking and view of the world.

People have lost their lives to produce and distribute information in the form of books and pamphlets, whether it was aimed to preserve the Bible’s writings or fighting for a cause. The written word is powerful.

“A drop of ink may make a million think.”
~ George Gordon Byron ~

So with that thought in mind, books were the focus, old books with yellowed edges and smelling of dampness. This is the only downside to books if you live near the sea, they just absorbed the moisture in the air and before long they start to deteriorate.
This particular book was an old copy of ‘The Untold Story – Howard Hughes’ I remembered reading it, quite a fascinating read. I opened the yellowed pages and to my surprise I found three pressed flowers distributed through the book.

I had a habit when I was younger of putting flowers in books to preserve them, usually it was of a special event or someone I really cared about gave them to me. My dear old Mum would do it and I believe Granny Lewis (my mother’s mother) did it too. So the habit has been handed down. Some don’t like the thought of a book being used for such ends but a book becomes personal after you read it. At one time I would put money in books for safe keeping, but stopped that habit years ago.

Remember Me Like a Pressed Flower

And with that thought in mind, I instantly remembered why I had put the flowers there. I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten them. It’s fascinating how the mind works, many times I’ve looked at that book and thought I should throw it out or take it to ‘goodwill’ but something always stopped me.

I scanned the front matter of the book for printing dates; there it was… First Printing, March, 1996 the year my husband died. Up to this point I have been very comfortable writing about it, after all it’s over nineteen years ago.

However when I typed the year I found tears were filling my eyes, that’s one reason I hate sorting out stuff, memories surface… happy and sad.

“Remember me like a pressed flower in your notebook. It may not be having fragrance, but will remind you of my existence forever in your life.

~ Unknown ~

But I’ll glad I found these flowers and the book, I might just read it again or maybe download another copy onto my Kindle Reader…leave the original in a time warp.

Fingal Head

Fingal Lighthouse

 

Fingal Head is a place where I always feel at home the reason being is that it holds a lot of childhood memories, my dear mother loved this location and my father would often take her on a scenic drive to Fingal Beach.

It is without question a beautiful place for all those who like to walk and take photos.

The sleepy little township hasn’t changed much for decades, which is part of its charm.
Unlike the Gold Coast the beachfront has been left untouched, so recovery can take place when weather systems batter the coastline.

From Fingal Beach carpark you can head south along the sand tracks to the Light House and Dreamtime Beach.

The first thing that will strike you is Cook Island around 500 metres offshore with the distant sounds of bird cries it is a beautiful sight to see.

Your camera will be out and you will be snapping photos…

Best time is early morning around dawn or late morning and late afternoon for the best photos; otherwise the sun will be directly in front of you.

Fingal Beach
It’s been said, that Fingal head was formed by Tweed Volcano. Its unusual shaped columns of basalt rocks standing like soldier at attention, forming a unique crescent shape at the base of the headland is mesmerising.

It looks orderly and purposeful and neat, unlike Burleigh Headland where the six sided basalt columns have been strewn about with some violence throughout the whole headland… with the exception for ‘Jellurgal fingers’ at Tumgun Lookout, where they are stacked orderly pointing out to sea at some distant location on the horizon.

Rock Formation Fingal Head

There are a number of things you can do at Fingal Beach

  • Walk along the beach or bush tracks
  • Visit the Basalt Rock Formation on the headland (but take care)
  • Observe Cook Island 500 metres offshore
  • Climb up to the Lighthouse and soak in the history
  • Admire the beauty of the native flowers in the spring or summer months
  • Walk to Dreamtime Beach
  • Head north along Letitia Spit
  • Or go beach or rock fishing…

Finish your day with lunch or dinner at the Sheoak Shack

The groves of Pandanus trees are beautiful on the beach front, however this time I visited there were a number of trees undermined by high tides and inclement weather, but that is the natural cycle of events along an open beach.

Pandanus Trees on Fingal Beach

At low tide you may see the shape of the basalt rocks at the base of the headland, but the real view is on the headland. It is spectacular!

This impressive rock formation is made up of larva mainly basalt and was named the “Giants Causeway”, after the famous Giants Causeway between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. It was also called the ‘Devil’s Causeway’ by locals.

The strip of beach Letitia Spit to the north of the Fingal Head was named after the first ship to enter the river ‘Letitia’ in 1840 according to Wikipedia.
Casting your mind back a couple of hundred years before the Europeans came to this place, you can understand where the indigenous people’s dreamtime stories came from.

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The headland is a little paradise… the rich volcanic red earth against the deep green leaves of the Pandanus trees and that mystic island offshore rich with indigenous culture and stories.

The beauty of this place has been recognised since early last century, below is an excerpt from a newspaper in 1930 and most of what they describe is still here on the Tweed Coast.

December 1930 – The Sydney Morning Herald

OUR NORTHERN BORDER.
The Twin Towns on the Tweed.
(BY KATHLEEN REED.)

There are other delightful places to visit the pillared black rocks of the Devil’s Causeway at Fingal, where the oysters are delicious: that chain of little towns along the Queensland coast, whose lights gird the white beaches at night time like a many-stringed necklace.
But the Twin Towns exact tenacious allegiance. On the green eminence of Point Danger, under the spell of encircling azure ocean, azure river, where a little cargo boat is nosing its way across the bar, mountains outlined in pale; blue, a distant setting for the foreground of red-roofed houses, dazzling sand, and frothing , breakers, one is persuaded to wander no further, to seek nothing more. Reference – trove.nla.gov.au/

Take the time to walk and enjoy the moment…