A pop up post from Serendipity Farm

Hi All

So what’s new? I have most probably missed the rise and fall of nations while I have been beavering away. I know that in the time since we last spoke, two of the most influential, larger than life people have passed away. I am talking about Mr Leonard Nimoy and Mr Terry Pratchett. They have both had a huge influence on our modern lives and culture and their passing is a big reminder to live each day as it comes and to make the most out of our lives. “DEATH COMES TO US ALL” but some of us aren’t quite ready yet…

And so onto the reason why narf has ducked in from her crazy world of attempting to meet all deadlines at once and ending up falling over her own feet most of the time. Well, I received the final parcel of bunting from a wonderful lady called Nanette who is a fellow Aussie and I just HAD to scrape the time up to thank her from the bottom of her heart for her most inspiring bunting/hanging that she sent to me. Stevie-boy has been bribed with an extra 30 minutes in bed if he will walk Earl today for me so that I can spend the hour tapping away here feverishly attempting to find the words to thank not only Nanette, but to every kind soul out there who has both sent bunting and remained a dear constant reader of mine for all of these years.

Nanette is a perfect example of “like minds finding each other”. That’s the best bit about social media. We can find each other. We might be slightly skewed. We might have some pretty crazy ideas. We might howl at the moon occasionally (or maybe that’s just me…) BUT we do have little moments of resonation with other souls out there in the blogosphere and the amazing friendships that can spring up are nothing short of incredible. (Narf pauses to multi-task the heck out of a bowl of hot porridge with brown sugar and coconut cream…Note to self…”you might want to wipe that off the keyboard, I don’t think that they are designed for deluges of sugary coconut cream…aHEM!)

I carefully unwrapped Nanettes bunting and was again reminded of just how talented people are. The attention to detail, the ric-rac, the beautiful bead strand, the fact that it wasn’t bunting and was a lovely wall hanging that I could easily relocate to my craft room and the fact that Nanette had found something that resonated with her, from my knock-about pages here were simultaneously humbling and uplifting. When someone that you don’t know gifts you something the modern approach is to look for the gimic. “What do they want?” We are conditioned to be suspicious but sometimes it is as simple as someone thanking you for your words and for taking part in something that stretches the world over, a little pop up gallery of sorts that we can all take part in.

I am SO behind in sending out reciprocal items. I have a wonderful square/squares planned for Ms Snail, and Stevie-boy has been AWOL from his shed for so long that the rats have moved in! Aside from a quick dose of something nefarious that rats adore but that will render it rat free, he has an order for Ms Marlene that absolutely positively MUST be achieved. I can only apologise for how slow my reciprocation is to those who are about to receive. Our lives are now manic. We spend a fair bit of time AWOL and the bits that we are here tend to be swallowed up trying to patch together Serendipity Farm and do homework. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE it, but that most glorious and languid stretch of endless time that I seemed to have last year (and took most SHAMELESSLY for granted) has up and buggered off. I am left stretched thin in its wake, but only metaphorically. I have bulked out to attempt to turn myself into an anchor and alas, time is much like Maggie Thatcher and “shall not be stopped”. It does make it a bit harder for Earl to drag me but he is bulking up too so we are bound to meet in the middle of the equation at some point. A result of physics I am assured.

So I hate to love you and leave you so quickly but here are a few photos of Nanette’s gorgeous wall hanging. I adore it Nanette and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful kindness in sending it to me. That photo of them all fluttering in the sunshine is planned for this weekend if it doesn’t rain. I just checked the weather report and it said “sunny” so fingers crossed folks! Till then, here’s a BIG hug from all of us here at Serendipity Farm and catch you on the flip side 🙂


What have we here?

What have we here?

Isn't this gorgeous? :)

Isn’t this gorgeous? 🙂

I love everything about this lovely handmade bright hanging. You certainly got the brief Ms Nanette. There is nothing narf loves more than natural fibres, bright colours and hand made items. I get the feeling we are both hippies of sorts :)

I love everything about this lovely handmade bright hanging. You certainly got the brief Ms Nanette. There is nothing narf loves more than natural fibres, bright colours and hand made items. I get the feeling we are both hippies of sorts 🙂

Check out this lovely hand sewing and ric-rac.

Check out this lovely hand sewing and ric-rac.

And I got my very own strand of loveliness :)

And I got my very own strand of loveliness 🙂

And last, but by NO means least, look at this gorgeous fabric! You got me in a nutshell Nanette :)

And last, but by NO means least, look at this gorgeous fabric! You got me in a nutshell Nanette 🙂

One way to stop Earl from pinching your toys is to drop them into your water bowl as you take a drink. Works EVERY to a hydrophobic Mr E ;)

One way to stop Earl from pinching your toys is to drop them into your water bowl as you take a drink. Works EVERY to a hydrophobic Mr E 😉

Some of a great BIG bag of gorgeous fresh hazelnuts gifted to me by Glad, our elderly next door neighbour's daughter Wendy

Some of a great BIG bag of gorgeous fresh hazelnuts gifted to me by Glad, our elderly next door neighbour’s daughter Wendy

The few moments that I have to myself (HA!) get used to feverishly crochet. I have been making "things" for a friends baby sister. Here are two pairs of Mary Janes. Aren't they cute? Why did I make 2 pairs? Because I didn't read the pattern properly and ended up making 2 left shoes that's why ;)

The few moments that I have to myself (HA!) get used to feverishly crochet. I have been making “things” for a friends baby sister. Here are two pairs of Mary Janes. Aren’t they cute? Why did I make 2 pairs? Because I didn’t read the pattern properly and ended up making 2 left shoes that’s why 😉

And lastly, here's Brittany. Brittany used to have lots of hair as you can see in this image. She now looks a whole lot like Sinnead Oconor thanks to taking part in the "World's Greatest Shave" event to raise money for cancer research. Aside from donating money I donated this rather fetching dead fish hat that I adapted from a knitted pattern and customised the derriere out of for her soon to be bald and MOST cold head. She loved it so much she wore it into the city :)

And lastly, here’s Brittany. Brittany used to have lots of hair as you can see in this image. She now looks a whole lot like Sinnead Oconor thanks to taking part in the “World’s Greatest Shave” event to raise money for cancer research. She raised $1500 which is a fantastic effort. I decided to make this rather fetching dead fish hat that I adapted from a knitted pattern and customised the derriere out of for her soon to be bald and MOST cold head. She loved it so much she wore it into the city 🙂

I am currently working on a baby snuggle, which is the baby equivalent of a beer can holder as our 3 weeks of summer seems to have turned straight into winter STAT. I will share it when I finish it (soon) as I also adapted it to crochet from a knitted pattern. I am getting the hang of this cross culture thing and am enjoying plagiarising the heck out of knitting patterns ;). Please note, to all of the plagiarisee’s, narf is NOT selling them so good luck with the lawyers ;). Now, off to draw some sketches for a website our class is working on. We get to do actual “jobs” in this course and have an actual “client”…how exciting! Not sure that the “Tasmanian Aero Club” is going to be able to handle the “AMAZING” website that we are all going to cobble together, or if their server will be able to handle the plethora of whiz-bang components but heck, ya gotta try don’t you! ;). Back to the world of HTML5, CSS, Coding, Div’s and all things digital for moi. Have the best day folks and if you have leisure time, enjoy the HECK out of it because you just never know when it might evaporate!

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue Dreamwalker
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 07:16:49

    Your friend Nanette’s bunting is beautiful and so detailed.. Love also your booties, and that Hat 🙂 Brilliant adaptation.. Clever you xx
    Those lovely Hazel nuts so brought back memories of my Dad.. We would always go hazel nutting, he would always walk with a pair of nut crackers in his pocket so we could eat our spoils along our walk..

    Sending lots of Love and Hugs, as you gather in your harvest and sit down to do your course work..
    ❤ Sue x


    • narf77
      Mar 17, 2015 @ 07:57:23

      Lovely memories and lovely comment Ms Sue. I am just quickly checking out the comments section before I race out the door. Have a lovely day and wish I could share my hazelnuts with you as I still haven’t worked out what I want to do with them. It’s a case of SO many recipes and no time to make them 🙂


  2. thecontentedcrafter
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 07:29:08

    Yay to Nanette – just one word – delightful!! No two – delicious!! Make that three: FANTABULOUS!! Thank you all for taking part – isn’t blogging the greatest thing ever? 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 17, 2015 @ 07:59:32

      You forgot “Scrumdiddleyumpcious ” Ms Pauline. I treasure all of my bunting and fingers crossed, will get them all up to Sanctuary on the weekend to photograph them before removing them from the soon-to-be-deluge that is promised for later on in the weekend and into the safety of my craft room. BIG hugs to everyone who sent bunting and to everyone that sent metaphorical bunting, it was and is all appreciated incredibly 🙂


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Mar 17, 2015 @ 09:43:19

        I didn’t forget that word – I just can’t spell it. You are so much cleverer than I!! ❤

        I am so looking forward to the reveal – although I think a movie is more in order as there is so much you can't possibly get it all into one shot – not even with Stevie-boys fantabulous camera! Have fun!!

      • narf77
        Mar 18, 2015 @ 03:45:59

        The problem with a movie is that you get photobombing dogs in every scene 😉

  3. Nanette
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 11:06:11

    So happy to read all your scrumptious words that tell me you really like your bunting…….I call these prayer flags when I make just a single one, and their hopes and wishes get to fly away to the world. I just made something that resonated with me, something that would handle being outdoors, something bright and beady and that would flutter in the wind…..so perhaps you’re right, we’re a pair of hippies of sorts. I’ll post pics on my blog too now that you’ve revealed it, as it’s actually double sided so no matter which way it twirls, there’s something to see. Happy bunting to you 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 03:47:42

      Thank you SO much Nanette. Your prayer flag is gorgeous and so beautifully made :). Perhaps inner hippies is the go, outside hippies get too much leisure time. I was an “outside” hippy last year, this year I am a technogeek on the outside but am still a hippy inside 😉


  4. quarteracrelifestyle
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 15:17:10

    Oh, isn’t that beautiful Fran, very creative! yes, I too have parcels I must get together to send, I am shamefully behind in everything but seem to be extremely busy getting nowhere at all!


  5. The Snail of Happiness
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 22:13:54

    What a beautiful prayer flag. My Masterpiece also has a creation from Nanette in it – what a talented crafter!
    Glad to hear you are enjoying the learning and even gladder that you are still managing an occasional blog post too. I do so miss you when you are gone!


    • narf77
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 03:49:11

      I am “gone” most of the time Ms Snail but I have my few hours in the morning to connect with you all on your blogs which keeps me sane and sets my days up right 🙂


  6. brymnsons
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 23:10:10

    Another lovely surprise for you and such a lovely piece, so clever. I love those little booties too, and the dead fish hat. Such a crafty edition 😉😍


    • narf77
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 03:49:47

      I loved working out the pattern for that hat. I think I might start working out more patterns and sharing them here if anyone is interested 🙂


      • brymnsons
        Mar 19, 2015 @ 18:31:08

        I have been trying to get back into crochet, but my goodness it’s a bit rusty lol. I think that’s a great idea Fran x

      • narf77
        Mar 20, 2015 @ 05:29:25

        I think the best bit about crochet is that it is rustic by nature. If you use single crochet, you can get a similar result to knitting (knit one, purl one style) but you can also crochet something up really fast if you use some of the longer stitches like double or trebbles. I like the clean look of single crochet so mine tends to take me a lot longer but the results make me smile. I am currently investing my efforts into making sure a friends baby sister doesn’t freeze this winter and translating cute patterns from knitanese into crochet. I love living on the edge of mania 😉

  7. aFrankAngle
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 06:02:06

    So you and Nanette are kindred spirits. Do you realize how scary that is to others? Oh wait … Brittany cut off her hair? Cheers to her efforts for a noble cause. But as busy as you are, the mere thought makes me tired.


  8. Littlesundog
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 08:58:56

    That prayer flag is such a beautiful and thoughtful creation! You had to feel the love, right? And you cracked my up with your admission about two left booties. When on earth do you find the time to crochet? I love that dead fish hat!


    • narf77
      Mar 19, 2015 @ 04:08:42

      I don’t find the time, I make it ;). Poor little Queensland babies that suddenly find themselves living in the Australian version of Antarctica need to be decorated warmly ;). Glad you liked the dead fish hat Lori, it took me a few days to make but was fun to work out how to make it. Any time I have, in between studies, is now my crochet time. Now that Mr Terry Pratchett has passed away I am going to find some time to read all of his amazing novels over again as well. Some things just aren’t negotiable 🙂


  9. Yelena
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 02:30:25

    You know I just realized that you are kind of person whom want to give many gifts-)) I feel like sending you one myself.

    Lovely hazelnuts they are so beautiful to photograph.




    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2015 @ 05:32:08

      I still have to work out what to make from those lovely fresh hazelnuts (just picked from the tree). I might shell them all and make a single jar of gorgeous hazelnut butter I think. The best gifts are the kind comments I get here Yelena. I love the wonderful sense of community that you can discover when you reach out in social media. 🙂


  10. Born To Organize
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 07:16:31

    I love that bunting! Thanks for taking closeups of her lovely stitches as well. I too like natural fibers and bright colors. That is beautifully done.


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2015 @ 03:00:12

      It also complements your gorgeous bunting. I will be attempting to string them all up inside Sanctuary and take some photos today. It is really cold this morning so that usually means we have a lovely autumn day on our hands. Fingers crossed I get some nice shots to share with you all 🙂


  11. Maria
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 21:25:04

    I’m visiting from Nanette’s blog and have thoroughly enjoyed my visit 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2015 @ 02:59:05

      Thank you for visiting Serendipity Farm Maria, it is lovely to see new faces :). Isn’t Nanette’s bunting delicious? We are going to try to string them all up today (fingers crossed the sun comes out) and take a photo. Sanctuary (my fully enclosed veggie garden) has gone a bit feral since we started back at TAFE full time but I am sure I can find a patch that looks pretty enough to do justice to all of the gorgeous banners and hangings that I was incredibly lucky to receive. I am one lucky girl! Cheers for stopping by and commenting Maria 🙂


  12. Margaret Griffin
    Mar 22, 2015 @ 17:32:50

    Hi Fran, I remember the FRANTIC pace of your life towards the end of your studies last year. I remember you moaning about being chained to the computer so you could complete your assessment tasks on time…….and the glorious feeling of release when it was all done and you could escape into the garden for a few months. So 2015 sounds like a repeat of 2014 but more intense now that you and Steve are travelling to attend classes…….yes, it is a shock getting back onto the treadmill again and all that free time over summer just slips away. Good Luck with your time management during term times.


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2015 @ 03:13:43

      Cheers Margaret. I think the best bit about this year is that we are learning a whole lot as well as being hauled out of our comfortable environment and interacting more. It’s been a great few months and we have learned heaps. It’s been a bit difficult to get ourselves into a completely new routine but on days where I am told it is going to rain I get an extra hour here in my early mornings (no watering Sanctuary) and when an hour indoors feels like luxury, life is interesting and full. We need to get out into the main garden area as the blackberries and spear thistles think that they own the place now but over Easter Steve and I will get out there with both whipper snippers and wreak havoc on their reign. You learn to do what you have to do and find ways to do everything else. Time management is tantamount to a good life 🙂


  13. Maria
    Mar 23, 2015 @ 10:24:02

    And thank you for your visit to my blog Fran. Unfortunately I touched the wrong icon and the email with your comment disappeared…it’s not even in the ‘deleted’ folder :-/. Yes I agree, those long flights to the UK,US etc are pretty awful. I’ve signed up to follow your blog via email and look forward to following your adventures. Interestingly, Mr Next Stage and I met via the internet site Schoolfriends.com, (now Friends Reunited) which my daughter had suggested I join…that was 13 years ago…been married 11.


  14. Lily Lau
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 03:49:44

    Crochet seems so fun! I love the result 😉


    • narf77
      Mar 24, 2015 @ 04:01:19

      It is Lily, you should give it a go. I love amigurumi especially where you use single crochet to make things. Single crochet is very easy to learn and use. Thank you for dropping by Serendipity Farm and commenting 🙂


  15. Namita
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 04:18:35

    Hi Fran, lovely buntings there. I have seen them in Tibetan community here. They keep fluttering in the breeze perhaps spreading the message written in them to the Gods. Loved to see fresh Hazelnuts. We don’t get them here so it is a novelty for me. How is your garden doing? and how are the dogs? here it is time to sow pumpkin, cucumber, gourd and zucchini. We got the seeds today. Days are getting hotter and hotter.
    waiting for another lovely post,
    Love, Namita


    • narf77
      Mar 24, 2015 @ 04:45:03

      Here it is time to plant out winter veggies like cauliflowers, cabbages and garlic. Must remember to plant lots of broad beans this year as I love them too. I will soon be doing a post with the bunting inside the garden as well as the dogs. Everything tangle together ;). Thank you for dropping by Namita. I am glad your weather is starting to warm up for you and your garden is going to be full of wonderful things. Can’t wait to see what delicious things you create out of it all 🙂


  16. Robbie
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 07:58:38

    FRAN!!!!! You are back:-), you are one lucky lady-you have the most talented and amazing friends. It is Christmas at your house all year:-) That is beautiful:-) What gifted people, but I have to admit-If I ever get around to a making anything it will not be something, I sew. It all is the fault of my Home-ec teacher in jr. high. She was MEAN and made me feel so badly when I tried to sew at 13 yrs old with their machines. I got over it and sewed in high school to make skirts or random things that I could do easily. I hated doing it but it was affordable. You could buy a pattern and different materials and have a lot of clothes for cheap + be unique-LOL….but I have to admit- I did it out of necessity, and never a “Joy” in it–which is really sad:-( I blame it on Ms. Wessels-mean lady!
    I admire people that sew and do it with great joy:-)
    I know how busy you are + I never know when you will post-soooo-
    I catch you when I can-
    I am getting busy around here now:-)
    Don ( my husband) and I worked the past few days on the garden. We ground up all our leaves from all our beds and put them back in for mulch-now that is economical. We have to do it together for that machine can “eat someone”-LOL. I would of never had it around with small children when I was raising a family. It is loud, but boy does it turn piles of leaves into usable mulch:-)
    You are so talented, those shoes are adorable:-)
    Snowed here today-so had time to read blogs-catching up!


    • narf77
      Mar 24, 2015 @ 17:44:07

      Let me know if you ever want any baby things. I am on a roll :). You are SO busy in your garden you are putting me to shame. We haven’t done much since we started TAFE and we have no idea how we are going to put outselves back out into the garden. I must have had the same teacher as you did in home economics, she was mean too! I could never manage to thread the sewing machine and just gave up. Never sewed anything apart from hand sewing because I absolutely positively HAD to sew it. I would love to learn to sew but that terror keeps coming back. I reckon our home ec teachers owe us an appology! 😉


      • Robbie
        Mar 25, 2015 @ 07:40:19

        I remember she held up my “project’ to the whole class and said, ‘ This is not how to do it”-GRRRRRRRRR-wait-need some more GRRRRRRR! LOL. Did you have that “home-ec” room with the mini kitchens where 4-5 girls would work in the kitchen. Then they would mix us with boys-that was interesting. We had an area for sewing,too.
        Yes they do owe us an apology-she also had this BIG bun on top of her head-what a mean lady. I did get over it enough to sew clothes in high school-my mom showed me how. I could thread it from m y mother, but the “joy” of doing it never caught on with me—never could find it no matter how hard, I tried….
        Made sure when I taught people later in life, I was not mean like that:-)
        You are in the season of school now-enjoy the break, it will be spring again and you will be out there again—after the leaves!

      • narf77
        Mar 26, 2015 @ 05:56:19

        Might take me most of winter to recover from raking all of those leaves! 😉

      • Robbie
        Mar 26, 2015 @ 06:03:39

        lol-I helped my daughter all day saturday + our yard all day sunday-I can totally relate!
        Being over 50 makes it a bit slower to recover:-)

      • narf77
        Mar 26, 2015 @ 06:34:34

        Tell me about it! 😉

      • brymnsons
        Mar 26, 2015 @ 18:10:00

        She use to teach home ec as well. I asked her which bin to put a raw egg in and she said “how bout shoving it down your neck!” Nasty cow. Made me unpick all my hand sewing because I did it the way mum taught me and not how she wanted it. No difference but just to be nasty… At least she didn’t kill my love of sewing 🙂

      • narf77
        Mar 26, 2015 @ 18:51:10

        Yeah, what is it about home ec teachers eh?

      • brymnsons
        Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:14:56

        I don’t know… maybe they aspired to be chefs and couldn’t take the heat 🙂

      • narf77
        Mar 27, 2015 @ 18:52:30

        Lol! 😉

  17. Linda
    Mar 28, 2015 @ 12:43:51

    Great bunting! And love your hat and gorgeous booties. You are too clever!!


  18. Chica Andaluza
    Mar 29, 2015 @ 08:54:09

    Sorry I’m so late – I still don’t get notifications 😦 but I was thinking today “what’s miss narf up to?” and I see you have been crocheting like a crazy woman (in the good sense of crazy!). Love your gift too, and if you could just save me a couple of nuts please….


  19. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Mar 30, 2015 @ 09:59:14

    Fresh. Hazelnuts. My mind is spinning with the mere concept. Much like one hapless grocery clerk once professed to believing that apricots only existed in a dried and sweetened form, I never gave any thought to what a true, live hazelnut would look like. I’m thrilled that you’ve introduced me to an entirely new world of fresh produce, once again! Now if only I was so lucky to have such a generous (and green thumb’ed) neighbor too.


    • narf77
      Mar 30, 2015 @ 17:05:17

      Still haven’t worked out what to do with them yet. When they are fresh from the tree they are sweet and somewhat milky. Walnuts are amazing fresh from the tree as well. Most people never know how delicious fresh nuts are 🙂


      • Hannah (BitterSweet)
        Mar 31, 2015 @ 16:06:22

        Mmm, the stuff that foodie dreams are made of! This reminded me that green almonds should be showing up in the farmers markets here shortly… I must finally give them a try. I’ve been intimidated by the strange fuzzy things (and price) in previous seasons, but now I see what a foolish thing it would be to waste the opportunity again. We’ll have to compare notes on our fresh nut recipes!

      • narf77
        Apr 01, 2015 @ 05:08:42

        Have you thought about heading off to find growers who might be selling them cheaper from their farms Ms Hannah? Farm-gates here are the best place to pick up bargain fruit and veggies. Maybe you could do a teeny little photo shoot for an organic almond farm/nuttery and be paid in fresh almonds? ;). Seriously though, you can make some amazing things from fresh nuts. They taste completely different to dried 🙂

  20. kellie@foodtoglow
    Apr 04, 2015 @ 07:48:22

    Hi Fran. Those nuts look more like what we in the UK call cobnuts – milky, mild-tasting, in jackets. You sure they are hazelnuts? Anyway, glad all is going well with you and your studies. Don’t get on the wrong side of the law with your knitting though! Love what Nanette has made. Very skilled. As someone who grew up somewhere where it never got cold (Florida) I never learned to knit or crochet. Cross stitch, yes but anything wearable in wool, nope. Happy studying. And I”m not being sarcastic. 😉


    • narf77
      Apr 05, 2015 @ 05:15:02

      You are certainly making up for lost time with the cold now Ms Kellie ;). They are hazelnuts, just fresh picked from the tree. Cob nuts are from beech trees aren’t they? The bigger hazelnut varieties tend to be called Filberts. I am crocheting my sister a very intricate shawl for her 50th birthday at the moment so all of my spare time (HA) is taken up with that so no roaming the streets for me! Happy Easter 🙂


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