piper in black and white

Tamworth recently got a fun new playground (a big deal in this regional area!) inside of the Marsupial park, so we decided to go and check it out. I haven’t done nearly enough fun “little” things with the kids lately, and even though the big kids were all at school, I figured it would be nice to spend some one-on-one time with Piper doing something other than grocery shopping / coffee / going to the gym. I really, really need to remind myself that doing stuff like this is what makes memories.

photographing kangaroos

The marsupial park is free to get into. There are several “exhibits”. Lots of birds, some peacocks who wander freely, lizards and even a cage of guinea pigs. You can enter into one of the areas where the kangaroos hang out. This one had a joey feeding (if you look closely you can see her head tucked into the Kangaroo’s pouch). Pretty cute. Piper was taking lots of photos with my phone.

piper lacey lane


Hopscotch game painted on one of the spaces between picnic areas. Piper is pretty obsessed with hopscotch right now so she was in heaven. There’s also a sandpit with plenty of toys right next to one of the picnic areas – great for families with little kids. You could sit down and eat in peace! We’re definitely going back with a picnic lunch one day soon.

tamworth adventure playground

adventure playground tamworth

So many things to explore and play on in the Adventure Playground. Merry-go-rounds and climbing walls, a netted climing… thingy, lol, that also doubles as another merry-go-round, slides and slippery dips, another sandpit, little cubby-houses to play in and more. There’s also a flying fox that we spent a while playing with, but because it goes so quickly and I was busy chasing her down to the end I didn’t get any photos of that.

kissy face piper

at the park

The other sandpit has this cool little digger thing. And a little set up with pipes and stuff that makes “music” when you hit them.

little readeing cutie

There is even a little spot with a tub full of fun books to read. Perfect for a little quiet time and cooling down after playing hard on the equipment. At this point Piper was so tired she didn’t even want to have “one last swing” or “one last slide”. We read a couple of books in the cool shade before heading off.

Piper lacey lane cutie

Just cause she looks so darn cute. Little poser, haha.

feeding the ducks

After the playground we headed over to another park in town to feed the ducks. Piper has been begging me to go and feed the ducks for the last week or so and I finally remembered to bring some bread with me. The duck in the last photo was so keen he ripped the little piece of bread right out of her hand.

feeding the ducks at the pond


xox Amanda

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Lacey Lane sunglasses cutie

Two more sleeps until Spring.. naturally I am looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days. I’m ready for the “freshness” of Spring. For some flowers and sunshine. For trying to get things back on track. The start of Spring feels like as good a time as any to make some changes.

Piper in Lacey Lane

Piper rocking horse lacey lane clothing

After completely losing my photography mojo for months I think I may slowly, slowly slowly, be feeling the inspiration hit again. I dusted (yes, literally had to dust) my camera off, charged up the batteries, and got Piper dressed up into some Lacey Lane cuteness this afternoon just for some photos. It’s been forever since I did that. Forever since I wanted anything to do with my camera. Piper was ridiculously cute and hamming it up, and even though we didn’t go any further than our own yard, it was fun! It felt good to be holding my camera again.

Piper lacey Lane outfit zara puckers

Piper wearing lacey lane

That isn’t dirt. It’s glitter and sequins all over the floor from the girls crafting. Just so you know.

Piper bunny spring flowers lacey lane

dandelions and lacey lane

Piper and Hoggle

Hoggle the photobomber.

book week dress up day

The two middle girls had Book Week dress-up day for school on friday. Zoe went as Cinderella, and Lilly chose to go as Hermione for the 2nd year in a row.

Zoe aka Cinderella

Lilly aka Hermione

Lilly and Zoe

Cutest Cinderella and Hermione I’ve ever seen. Not that I’m biased or anything.

"glass" slippers

xox Amanda

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Sigh. My poor little neglected blog. Just one of many things in a long line of things that have fallen by the wayside in the last several months. I’ve been completely.. overwhelmed. A little depressed. A little manic (it cycles in severity, but with two medication changes things were pretty terrible for a couple of months there). Busy as anything. Blogging sadly just got shoved aside and I kept telling myself I’ll update soon… even if it’s just a photo or two, but the longer it went the more awkward it felt to post again. Which I guess doesn’t really make sense, ’cause everyone is busy with their own lives anyway, but it just felt weird.

Today though I feel like putting something up. I’ve barely even picked up my camera in the last four months or so, but I have a few things. And a new pattern out, too, so that’s something I can share.

Elodie Slouch by Amanda Keeys

I talked about this hat ages and ages ago, but I got around to releasing the pattern just a few weeks back. Elodie Slouch has sections of easy lace for texture and an interesting ribbed brim. It’s a wonderfully slouchy hat that makes the perfect addition to your cool weather wardrobe. Knit it in alternating colours or all in one tone to create your own unique look. You can find the pattern available for purchase on Ravelry, Love Knitting or Etsy.

Elodie Slouch hat by Amanda Keeys

Non-knitting related, we welcomed a little bunny into the family in June. She was a combined birthday present for Zoe & Lilly, and they named her Crystal Flower. She’s an indoors-house bunny, but she only has free reign of Madison’s room since I don’t trust the dogs or cats alone with the bunny. The bunny is totally sweet and snuggles a lot and asks for pats by butting her head into your hands.

Crystal Flower baby bunny

bunny cleaning her face

baby bunny

And honestly, that’s about all I have to share. Maybe just taking this tiny step towards posting something, anything, will help me get my motivation back. We’ll see. If you’ve hung around through my absence, thank you so much. I’ll try not to be a stranger.

xox Amanda

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Rainflower Unicorn knitting pattern

Who doesn’t love a magical Unicorn? Rainflower is a mystical Unicorn with a beautiful long flowing mane and tail. She loves to daydream and brings sunshine and sparkles wherever she goes.

unicorn knitting pattern

I designed the Rainflower Unicorn pattern  at the request of my little girls – they’ve been bugging me for a Unicorn for the longest time! I just love how she turned out. My favourite part comes after the knitting is complete – creating that flowing mane and tail is a lot of fun and allows for lots of creativity. You can use any combination of yarns you like. I think a fluffy mohair would look particularly good.

Rainflower Unicorn yarn

Attaching rainflower mane

knitting a unicorn

For the creamy-beige coloured Unicorn, I used a combination of the main yarn (drops nepal) and some handspun and dyed yarn I’ve had in my stash for years.  Her hair is also longer than the paler Unicorn so my girls can have fun braiding and playing with her mane and tail. For the cream coloured Unicorn, I used a mixture of the main yarn and some mosaic moon, leftover from some longies I knit years ago. You can see how even just changing the length of the hair and type of yarn can give your Unicorn a unique look.

Cutest unicorn knitting pattern

I am seriously in love with this gorgeous Unicorn, as are all four of my girls. I think I’ll be busy making them a whole herd of Unicorns to play with in the coming weeks.

You can purchase the Rainflower Unicorn knitting pattern at all of the usual places: Ravelry, Etsy, Loveknitting & Craftsy.

xox Amanda


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socks knit in hedgehog fibres

Yikes. It’s been nearly a month since my last post. And there I was hoping to actually stay caught up and stuff. Oh well. Life gets in the way. Regardless, I’ve been knitting lots and lots and lots (and not only shop orders this time!) and even have a little bit of stash enhancement to show off. Fair warning, this post is pretty photo-heavy.

First of all, some socks I am knitting in absolutely gorgeous Hedgehog Fibres  in the Cabaret colourway. This yarn is so ridiculously soft. I am not even kidding. A total pleasure to knit with. And that colour? So saturated and intense. I really need/want more Hedgehog Fibres yarn now.

sock yarn blanket in progress

My blanket is progressing slowly. I ran out of colours so it hasn’t grown much in the last few weeks unfortunately. I should probably find some sock yarn swaps on Rav I guess. Ideally, I’d like to have it finished for the start of winter next year. That gives me over a year to gather up enough colours and get it done. I know the knitting wouldn’t take me too long, but collecting enough colourways will be the tougher.

regia sock yarn

tosh sock thunderstorm

malabrigo mechita

A little stash enhancement just because. You know sometimes you just want yarn for no reason other than it’s incredibly pretty and squishy and you just….. want it? Yeah.

Top: Regia sock. I’ve never tried this yarn before but I heard about it on the A Homespun House podcast. Sidenote, I may have bought it just because I love the way she pronounces Regia.

Middle: Tosh sock in Thunderstorm. I don’t even remember adding this colour to my cart, but hey, not complaining. So pretty and it definitely evokes the feeling of a thundering sky.

Bottom: Malabrigo‘s new yarn, Mechita. Ohhh this stuff is just as soft and scrumptious as the worsted yarn and in so many beautiful colours too. I can’t wait to get these babies on my needles.

handknit socks pile

And off the needles, two pairs of socks. Both the same pattern (mine), in the same yarn (tosh sock), but in different colourways. It’s finally getting cool enough to warrant woollen socks, although I still prefer knitting them to actually wearing them. Luckily my Mum loves handknit socks, so I know I always have someone I can knit for.

socks handknit in tosh

handknit sock detail

handknit socks

You may remember me talking about these socks several posts back, but I ended up making a very slight and pretty much insignificant change to the second pair. I don’t know which way I prefer (the change is at the toes, if you care to give your opinion).

beau bear

My cheeky Beau Bear. He wanted to play while I was trying to take my photos. Hard to resist his adorable furry face!

Beau Bear Malshi puppy

Seriously. Cannot. Resist.

toy in progress

Super duper sneaky peek of a new design I’ve been working on. Any guesses as to what it is?

Madeline Tosh unicorn tails

Unicorn tails heart

My last little bit of stash enhancement. Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails! Ahhh. So darn CUTE. These are teeny little skeins and they will be added to my blanket at the first chance I get. Also? They’re called freaking unicorn tails. Resistance is futile.

Zoe and Hoggle

Unrelated to anything at all – my Zoe girl and Hoggle. Because they’re both adorable.

xox Amanda


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Piper attitude

Piper being a grump

Oh man. The attitude with this kid right now. We skipped the “terrible twos” but the three’s are much, much worse. I thought we’d managed to escape with Piper somehow (stupid, since the older five all went through terrorsome – trying – tiring – three’s) but the last couple of weeks have shown me that we definitely have not. I’m exhausted and feeling over it and wondering why I still don’t have a handle on this whole parenting thing.

Zoe with pink spray hair

Zoe had “colour” day at school today. She went in all-over pink clothing and shoes, and I sprayed some pink hairspray into her hair for added fun. Can you tell she was super excited? Love that smile.

Beau bear puppy in a hoodie

Beau Bear looking ridiculously cute in his hoodie this afternoon. Look at that expression though! Haha. He has almost as much attitude as Piper.

Teething puppy

He is teething super badly right now and wants to munch on everything and everyone. Those little teeth are sharp, too. We have lots of toys for him, but none of the “teething” ones seem to be doing the trick.

Puppy hugs

Cuddles after school.

puppy in the grass

Beau bear maltese x shihtzu

Just ’cause he’s cute and I can’t resist.

sock yarn blanket progress

close up sock yarn blanket

sock blankets one and two

My sock yarn blanket is progressing nicely. I actually wound up starting the project all over again. The first time around I was using 2.25mm needles and 16 stitches per square, and after completely nine of them decided that the fabric felt a little too firm for a cuddly blanket, and also wanted the squares to be larger. This time I’m knitting with 2.75mm needles and a 40 stitch square. I’m much happier with the way it’s coming along. You can see the first patch sitting on top of the second for size comparison. The only problem I have now is that I’ve almost run out of different yarns for my squares.

Beau Bear and Hoggle

beau bear and hoggle

Hoggle and Beau have become best friends. So funny! They play together all the time. Cat and Dog BFFs?

Evie moodle

And just in case you need a little extra dose of cuteness I thought I’d share a few photos I took for a friend of her puppy Evie. Evie is a Moodle and just a bit daintier than Beau.

Evie in the grass

puppy paw cuteness

Puppy paws. They kill me with cute every single time.

xox Amanda


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Zoe and Beau

Zoe and Beau the puppy at the river


Madison with Koda and Beau

Piper at the river

Piper and Beau at the river

Piper and Beau the puppy

Isaiah and Beau the puppy

Beau the maltese x shihtzu puppy

It may not be Summer anymore, but the warm weather is determined to stick around for awhile yet it seems. Although I’m longing for those crisper, cooler Autumn days, at least the kids are still happy to make the most of the heat.

xox Amanda

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Beau Bear the puppy Maltese x Shitzu

So, we got this adorable new addition to the family yesterday. A puppy! I guess you can pretty much just call our house a zoo now, what with the three cats, the six chickens, the ten million kids, and now the two dogs. This little guy is Beau Bear, and he is a maltese x shih tzu and 100% cute.

Beau Bear the malshi

puppy butt

Look at that teeny little puppy butt. And the paws… ahh so cute.

puppy love

Beau Bear and Lilly

Beau is loving all of the attention from the kids and is already getting along with the cats and our Pomeranian. He’s a little sweety (so far! haha) and plays hard until he crashes hard.

Cute puppy in a hoodie

I bought him a hoodie for Very Important Reasons. Basically, because it’s cute. And I can never resist a pet in a hoodie.

xox Amanda

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madison flower crown

So much has been happening lately that I haven’t had a chance to really take a breath, let alone blog about anything. I debated trying to catch up on everything, and then decided that if I did that I’d never get around to posting anything, so it’s just going to be a miss-mash of stuff I think.

Tonight Madison headed off to her first “formal”. Not technically a formal really, but a formal night (where you have to dress up etc) for youth group. Maddy was sooo excited. I was not ready for the transformation from little girl to teenager that magically occured when she walked out of her bedroom, ready to go. Where the heck did my little girl go?

madison evening light

gorgeous black and white

Don’t worry. She did wear shoes. But they were high heels and I made her take flip-flops with her and had her kick them off for the photos. Ugh. Time! Why do you have to go by so fast?


The little girls spend almost every evening on the trampoline, especially now that it’s starting to get a little cooler and more bearable weather-wise. One more day of Summer left…  bring on Autumn I say. Cannot wait.

sock yarn blanket

handknit sock yarn blanket

And… with cooler weather literally just around the corner, I finally joined the bandwagon and started a sock yarn blanket. This is kind of huge for me since I hate having projects languishing (and let’s face it, a blanket is a big project and will take forever), I hate having more than one project on the go, and I am not patient when it comes to finishing things. The upside? It means I will need to knit more socks to get more sock yarn scraps, and also buy more sock yarn. Total win. I thought I had way more sock yarn scraps than I actually do though, so I’ll be on the hunt for some soon (so hit me up with links if you know of any good mini skeins vendors!).

cheeky monkey

Random photo of my little monkey. Because she asked me to take one.

chooks in the evening light

chicken in the evening light

Figured it was time for a chook update too. I can’t even remember the last time I posted a photograph of them! Yes, they are all still here, however egg production has slowed down big time. We’ve had them for just about two years now. They aren’t laying as many eggs now, but we still get a few. I have read that you should add/replenish your flock every year or so, but I don’t want to end up with a dozen chickens…

zoe and hoggle the cat

My kindergarten kid. Zoe is absolutely flourishing since starting school. She has always been incredibly reserved and shy, but suddenly, boom! she’s this amazing little talkative social butterfly. I love how excited she is when she walks in the door of an afternoon, ready to tell me about her day.

Body combat instructor training

And finally, this happened. I passed my Les Mills body combat module training last weekend. This was one of the hardest, most thrilling, emotional, crazy intense and FUN things I have ever done. A couple of years ago I would have never, ever imagined (or even wanted) to do anything like this. I’m so proud of myself, not even ashamed to say that. I went into the weekend feeling super confident, walked out after the first day totally deflated and down, feeling like I was 100% going to fail (and spent the entire night feeling awful), and walked out on a ridiculous high at the end of the second day with my PASS! I almost fell over when I read that pass on the page. My hands were shaking as I held the paper and double and tripled checked to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Nearly a week later now and I’m still trying to catch up on sleep though…

So how about you guys… what’s happening in your world?

xox Amanda

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handknitting socks

Ahhhhh. Finally knitting something that isn’t a bunny. Or a bear. Or something for somebody else. See these? These are socks I started designing way back at the very beginning of November last year and had to put away while I was busy working on the mini patterns and so many custom orders. I’m still working on orders, but I just needed a break and to work on something just to break things up a bit. I don’t even remember finishing that first sock, but when I went to my project bag there it was, aong with all of my notes, crumpled up into a ball and with the second sock cast on with a few rows of ribbing.

kitten and handknit socks

I quickly got back into the rhythm of the pattern and managed to get a fair chunk of the second sock knit last night (while also re-watching Walking Dead episodes with my husband – eek, so excited for new eps!). I’m pretty confident I’ll have them finished before tomorrow.

lacey handknit socks

socks close up

The yarn is Madeline Tosh sock in a gorgeous silvery-greyish-blue colour.

handknit socks little labyrinth

Picking up this sock again has made me really wish for more time for personal knitting. Right now it’s almost impossible. There are orders (which I appreciate), and so much general busyness from day-to-day life of kids being back at school, and there is all of the hours I am putting into getting prepared for my upcoming Les Mills instructor training. To say our days are a bit of a busy blur right now is an understatement! But, spending last night knitting on these socks has reminded me how important it is to carve out a bit of time to knit just for me, for no reason other than I love love love to knit.

kitty paws on knitting

Sweet furry paws on my knitting. His colouring almost matches, don’t you think?

xox Amanda


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