Piper's 3rd birthday

THREE! It hardly seems possible that our little miss sunshine turned a big three years old this past week. Piper has been excited about this birthday for probably the three months prior, and woke up on the day-of practically jumping up and down until she got that special birthday crown on her head.

Piper at age three

Piper dancing in the street

Piper in her birthday crown

Unlike the last two years, she finally understands what birthdays are all about. She told everybody we saw that it was her birthday, how old she was, and didn’t hesitate to say “But it’s MY birthday!” when one of her siblings wasn’t doing whatever she wanted them to do. Sassy pants.

girls on piper's birthday

As with every year since the day she was born, we headed down to main street and into the thick of the Country Music Festival to celebrate in the evening. We really did go down on the day she was born, too. So it’s become a special tradition all of the kids look forward to. We wandered up and down the street to listen to buskers (Piper twirled her way up and down), the little girls had their faces painted by a faery, before having dinner out.

face painting

Piper on her third birthday

dancing in bubbles

How fun to dance amongst shimmery bubbles on your birthday.

birthday jewels

Birthday jewels. Piper is obsessed with everything sparkly and “girly”. She will exclusively wear tutus and what she calls her “dancing” dresses if given the choice.  She loves Star Wars (much to Daddy’s delight), and playing shopping games with her sisters. Unbelievably, Piper is starting preschool in a couple of days time (just two days a week), and she cannot wait to be able to play with her friends all day long.

faery garden in a tea cup

Tea-cup faery garden we purchased from the face painter. Isn’t it adorable?

jakob and piper

Happy Birthday sunshine girl.



4 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , ,

Freckles on her nose

A face without freckles

is like a night without stars

Zoe freckles on her nose

bunch of weeds

tiny flower

messy hair and freckles

summer sun kissed girl

xox Amanda

2 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , ,

mini brambles bears by little labyrinth

More mini Brambles knitting. These guys are so squishy and cute I couldn’t help myself and had to make a bunch of different colours. The pattern is still coming – I underestimated just how busy the holidays would be with six kids running around. But soon, soon. The trio above remind me of chocolate – light, milk and (my favourite), dark. Yum!

hand knit mini brambles bear

In more knitting-related news, have you guys heard of the new E-zine, Addicted to Sock Knitting? I was lucky enough to win a subscription thanks to Andi’s gorgeous blog, and I’m so thrilled. I’ve only had a chance to read a little bit / glance through the patterns but it is so promising! I know all my sock knitting-lovin’ friends will want to check it out cause seriously, a whole ezine dedicated to sock knitting, what could be better? This year ahead I want to (need to?) do some more “selfish” knitting, and socks are always amazing for that.

persian kittens 10 weeks old

Look at how big the kittens are now. I think they doubled in size (again! haha) in the last two weeks. We actually said goodbye to little Obi over the weekend when his new Mama came all the way from Melbourne to pick him up, and Oreo went off to join his new family this morning. Simba will be leaving on the weekend coming. Kind of bittersweet – I’m so glad they’ve gone to such wonderful homes, but we’ll definitely miss their playful presence in our house! Obi seemed absolutely content with his new “people” and I’ve already seen a bunch of photos of his adventure homeward and beyond.

Hoggle 10 weeks old

Hoggle is soooo fluffy. And yes, of course he is named after the Labyrinth character. Of course!

Luna 10 weeks old

And miss sassy princess Luna. She’s gone from being the teeny little runt, getting picked on by all of the boys, to still being the teeniest one, but with the feistiest personality! She totally thrashes her brothers in wrestling matches, but look at that sweet face.

Luna black cat

Hoggle the kitten

Can you believe it’s NEW YEARS EVE tomorrow?! Yikes. I’m not ready for 2015!

xox Amanda

5 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , , , ,

Brambles and mini brambles

I am finally finished with a huge wave of custom orders that came in. Lots and lots of little bunnies and bears and tiny newborn bonnets. My fingers actually kind of ache from so much nearly non-stop knitting with tiny needles over the last couple of weeks. The goods news is that I’ve also managed to complete the patterns for the mini versions of both Briar Bunny and Brambles Bear, and I hope to release them within the next week or two!

mini brambles bear by amanda keeys

brambles and mini brambles bear handknit

Look how teeny weeny Mini Brambles bear is! She’s so pudgy and adorable. I can’t wait to see her snuggled in next to a newborn. This one is actually off to a newborn photographer so it won’t be long before I see photographs I’m sure. The original size Brambles above is off to the same photographer. She’s knit from 100% alpaca and has the most gorgeous halo of fluff around her.

original size brambles bear

brambles bear by amanda keeys

Brambles bears by Amanda Keeys

Don’t they look so pretty together? I love natural coloured knits so much. There is something so soothing about those tones. I just wish I had a little baby to snuggle in there too. Living vicariously through others is pretty OK with me too, though ;)

blythe bear bonnet by amanda keeys

angora blythe bonnet by amanda keeys

I finally remembered to photograph a couple of the many Blythe knits I’ve made of late! There are tons more, but I couldn’t remember where I’d stashed them. Whoops. These two are made from 100% pure angora and are soooo soft it’s ridiculously. Super super super fluffy too.

newborn bear and bonnet set little labyrinth

More Brambles! This one is a matched newborn set – the bonnet is my Evie bonnet, with i-cord instead of lace for ties. Both are knit from undyed merino/baby alpaca yarn.

Hoggle the kitten at 8 weeks old

Hoggle in a flower crown

And of course, I can’t help but to share another couple of photographs of my little cutie, Hoggle. Look at that lil’ tongue poking out. He’s so flipping CUTE I almost can’t stand it.

xox Amanda


4 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , ,

DIY cardboard cat house

At 8 weeks old today (yes! Oh my that went so quickly) our kittens are super playful and inquisitive and love love love to wriggle into the most ridiculous of hiding spots. Pretty much anything and everything becomes a playtoy (they particularly enjoy destroying bits of paper) so we decided to get crafty this afternoon and make some fun cat goodies of our own.

Luna in the kitty house

pom pom on cardboard cat house

Cardboard cat houses! These were a lot of fun to make and really simple too. We used cardboard boxes made for storing files and cut doors and windows out before decorating. The trickiest part is probably cutting out the door/window, so best for an older kid or a parent to help. I used the blade of a pair of scissors to score the cardboard, then had to kind of wedge the blade into the cardboard and slice through.

Isaiah's house

luna's cardboard cat house

Isaiah made this one for little Luna. The take-away coffee cup on top is meant to be the chimney with a little puff of paper “smoke” coming out of it. He also made a toy from hessian twine that dangles from one of the windows.

kitties playing in their cardboard houses

We decorated with gold and silver sharpie markers and washi tape just for fun. The kittens went crazy jumping from house to house, climbing through the windows, and hiding from each other before dashing out for sneak attacks.

persian kittens playing


Hoggle, loving his “second story bed”. All of the kittens are enjoying playing up there, but since it was made for Hoggle… well, he reigns supreme haha.

hoggle persian kitten

kitten cardboard cat house

Kitten playground!

making felted pom poms

pile of rainbow roving

We also made a big bunch of rainbow wool felted pom poms. Easy enough for kids to make with a little bit of guidance. You just need wool roving in whatever colours you want and some hot sudsy water. Pull off little tufts of the roving and kind of layer into a vaguely round-ish shape, then scoop up between two hands and dunk into the water. There are probably better ways to do this step, but this is what worked for us.

kitten watching

making wool felted pom pom balls

Then you just “roll” the wool between your hands, kind of like rolling a ball of playdough, until the fibers start to felt together. Once you’ve got a roundish shape, you can be a little more vigorous with the rolling.

making wool felted balls

Squeeze out the excess water between a couple of layers of towel and then let the pom pom dry.

rainbow wool felt pom poms

These make the best cat toys but I can also imagine them looking adorable hung on the Christmas tree as ornaments  maybe we’ll do that next year!) or maybe thread a whole bunch together for a fun necklace.

Hoggle with his ball

Piper kissing Simba

xox Amanda

4 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , , , , ,

mini "gingerbread" house

School Holidays have already begun, and so has the holiday fun. My kids have been loving the Reindeer Cam and of course, the Christmas Countdown clock (kind of addictive to watch the seconds and minutes tick by..). Our lights are up, our big tree is going up tonight, and I am ready to start feeling some of that good christmas cheer.

Today we made some adorable little mini “gingerbread” houses. Seriously super simple and fun! I saw the idea on Pinterest, but none of the links went anywhere so I figured I’d do my own little “DIY” since we were going to go ahead and make them anyway.

Depending on how many kids are decorating, you will need:

1 – 2 packets of Arnott’s “nice” biscuits
As many/whatever lollies you like.

For the icing:
2 egg whites
2 cups of icing sugar
To make icing: Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks start to form. Then sift in your icing (I must admit I didn’t bother to sift, but if your icing sugar is lumpy you might want to go ahead) a little at a time until mixture is thick and goopy. You can put it into a piping bag, but because I had so many kids decorating, we just put spoonfuls into zip lock bags. When ready to use, simply make a small snip at the corner of the bag.

step 1

step 2

step 3

I think the photographs give a pretty good idea of what you need to do, but basically you want to ice the inside edges of two of the biscuits, then join them together over the top of the third biscuit in a triangle shape. Add an extra line of icing down the top center. This step could totally be done ahead of time if making these with little kids, or let older kids put their own together. And now you’re ready to decorate!

decorating supplies

I gave each kid their own cupcake liner full of lollies and icing bags to save arguments, then had pots of sprinkles and such to share in the middle of the table.

zoe decorating

Piper eating icing

(Some people may prefer to eat their icing straight from the bag… haha)

decorating mini gingerbread houses

decorating mini "gingerbread" houses

christmas time decorating

lilly decorating

The best part? This activity kept them all entertained and busy for well over an hour, and much closer to two for some of my more adventurous decorators. I honestly thought they’d have it all over and done with within half an hour so I was very pleasantly surprised.

isaiah cookie decorating

lilly admiring her house

lilly's finished house

And look at how adorable they turn out! So easy, so cute.

finished mini cookie gingerbread houses

Will you give these little cookie houses a go?

xox Amanda

Leave a Comment | Permalink

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Christmas kitten

adorable kitten in christmas scarf

December 1st. Happy Christmas month! Woohoo. Time to bust out the holiday crazy. I knit a teeny weeny little scarf for the kittens. Not sure they are as impressed with it as I am, but it’s stinking cute.

Now I have to get moving on the ten million things I want to make before Christmas. Time is ticking… eek.

carolling kitten

xox Amanda

2 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , ,

beautiful 5 week old persian kitten

5 weeks! Well, 5 weeks tomorrow. But close enough right? They have grown sooooo much. I could swear they almost doubled in size while I was away in Sydney this past week. Such adorable little fuzzballs. And don’t even get me started on their expressions. I could spend all day playing with them or staring at them.

Now they’re super duper active and race up and down the house, chase the kids, and wrestle and tumble each other around and around. They’re even becoming interested in proper food – following Ophelia to the food bowl and giving things a thorough checking out.

basket of kittens

kitten kisses

Little Obi is especially affectionate – he loves to give little kisses, especially to me and Zoe, and will “groom” my hair if I’m laying down. I’m so glad his new family-to-be are good friends of ours (even if they live in another state!) and his new “Mum” is a photographer too. I’ll be able to watch him grow up.

Zoe and Luna

Luna and Zoe

The princess of the bunch.  Zoe gives her so much attention and love and I’m sure that they already share a special bond. We’ve named miss kitty Luna, after Sailor Moon’s cat.

kitten and droid

Piper and kittens

piper and kittens

So much love.

handful of fluffy kitten

luna in madison's hands

5 week old kittens

Armfuls of kittens. Is there anything better for cheering up? I don’t think so. I would be quite happy to live my life as a crazy cat lady. Actually, I fully plan on being the crazy cat lady when my children are all grown up and moved away. Or maybe I’ll open a Cat Cafe. Did you know that there are actual things as Cat Cafe’s? There is one in Melbourne, but I think this one in Japan looks absolutely amazing. Ahhh I want to visit one soooo much. Talk about heaven.

mini briar bunny

And finally, the knitting. I’ve been working on a huge bunch of custom orders, the majority of which are my new adorable mini briar bunnies. These guys are, as the name implies, much much smaller than the original Briar Bunnies and are the perfect size for little bubbas. I will release the pattern for the mini’s soon for those who like to knit their own.

mini briar bunny knitting

briar bunny sizes

Mini, midi and original Briar Bunnies. I haven’t decided whether I’ll offer the midi size for sale yet. It’s a nice in-between size, but whether there would be much demand for a medium size or not is something I haven’t figured out.

original, midi, mini briar

handknit briar bunnies by amanda keeys

A better look at the sizing of the Briar Bunnies. The original bunny is actually Piper’s and as you can probably tell, very very well loved! Well-loved toys are the best kind.

xox Amanda


16 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , , , ,

Zoe in star wars land

This week our kittens have gotten even more adventurous and are now venturing out for long periods of time to play. They chase us down the hallway and creep into the girls bedroom if they hear the girls playing in there.

Zoe likes to create little “play areas” for them during the day, and give these areas themes with the use of toys and stuff. My favourite so far has been “Star Wars land”. Isaiah’s blanket, a couple of the star wars pet toys, and Daddy’s little star wars people beanies were all set out for the kittens to climb over and play with. Zoe was telling the kittens some imagined story about Obi-wan and Leia (they were in love I think?? At least she kept on making them “kiss” haha).

Obi in Star wars land

kitten yoga

Looks like he’s doing a little bit of kitten yoga don’t you think?

giving a kitten a kiss

Kitty kisses. These guys are so, so loved already.

snoozing kittens star wars

sleeping three week old persian kitten

And when they play hard, they crash hard. Don’t you love the teeny little ewok pillow? ;)

Koda teacup pomeranian

Look! Not a kitten! My Koda boy turned FOUR this week. He is still so tiny most people think he’s just a little puppy. He’d be lucky to weigh even two kilos. We bought him some birthday treats from Sophie Blue dog treats (handmade and local) this past weekend and even his fussy (seriously, I have never met such a fussy dog) loved them like crazy. Koda being four means we have lived in Tamworth for almost four full years now too. Man that time has gone fast… I still miss Sydney most days.

lilly in black and white

Sweet Lilly today. Suddenly looking soooo much older to me. And those freckles of hers. I could swear that every time she steps outside, the sun gives her another kiss.

lilly and four week old persian kittens

armful of kittens

Kittens! Look how big they’ve gotten. Four weeks old tomorrow. I have to go away for nearly a week, and I’m sure when I get back I’ll be shocked at how much bigger they are again. Going to miss my kiddos and kittens soooo much. Maybe I will not miss being woken up several times a night by children standing over the top of me staring silently down at me until I wake up (so creepy!!)… or kittens meowing loudly at all hours of the night. Maybe. Actually, probably not. I’ll probably miss it all by the second night.

lilly's photo idea

lilly and our kitten

Lilly and I went down to my studio with a few of the kittens this afternoon to take a few photos.  She found the little flower crown (that I’d made for a doll) down there and insisted on putting it on a kitten. “It’s okay that he’s a BOY mum, because he doesn’t even KNOW that he’s a boy, does he. And boys can wear flowers anyway.” Of course they can.

kitten in a floral crown

I’m not quite sure little boy was as convinced though.

kitten cuddles

cat love

Look. At. That. Nose. / dies of cute overload /.

playing with four week old kittens


And that’s about it I guess. Enjoy your weekend, friends!

xox Amanda

2 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , , ,

sleeping three week old kittens

Three weeks! Seriously. The time has flown past. The kittens are already so much bigger, so much fluffier, soooo much cuter.

three week old kitten

This little cutie, who is the biggest of the bunch, now has a name thanks to his future family! They’ve called him “Simba” and I think it suits him perfectly.

girl kitten three weeks

Doesn’t she have the prettiest eyes? This miss is still Zoe’s favourite, still has various names thanks to Zoe that are most often: “Crystal, Rainbow Flower, Little baby fluffy girl, Cutie pie.” She’s not quite so darkly brown-black anymore – still a very deep chocolatey colour, but she is getting longer white/grey hairs on her legs and little “stripes” of lighter brown on her body.

Obi at three weeks old

Obi, getting cuter by the second. He has the saddest, sweetest looking little face and is still the biggest snuggler of the bunch. His face just makes you want to pick him up for cuddles all the time. The eyes… ahhhh.

unimpressed three week old persian kitten

My little guy.. looking completely unimpressed with the world. I get you little guy, I totally get you.

totally crashed kitten three weeks

And the other little mister. Completely crashed out fast asleep next to my husband this afternoon. Look at those paws up near his cheeks. Dare you not to go “aww”.

playing with Obi

Obi persian three weeks old

Every single day they get a little bit more adventurous and playful. They’ve started wandering out of my bedroom for short periods of time (before Ophelia hustles them back in!) and the kids are really enjoying being able to play with them much more before they need to sleep again.

sleeping zonked out kitten

See? One moment happily playing, swatting at little bits of Zoe’s hair, and the next moment completely 100% zonked out asleep. The cutest.

carriage full of cuteness

Five little kitties in a baby carriage. Can I resist taking photos of them? Nooo no no.

kittens in a doll's pram

I love how in this shot all of the boys are just sitting there looking cute while little girly is hanging over the side. There’s one in every family, right?

three week old persian kitten

And lastly, the cutest little face. No wonder I’m getting hardly any knitting done right now.

xox Amanda

2 Comments | Permalink

Tags: , , , , , ,

Next Page →