Happy Birthday, Blog!

birthday introspectionWordPress kindly reminded me that I’ve been blogging with them for 5 years! I thought as a little birthday present I would give the place a little tidy up – new format, new header, and a bit more of a refined, ‘grown-up’ looking style.* I’ve also created a separate email for the blog – musicalbutterflyblog@gmail.com- so if you have any bloggy questions, get in touch!

I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging for a while – I had to wait for the internet to be connected in our new house (!!!), but I also wanted to take a step back and see if this little blog was something I wanted to carry on with. This new design is my way of saying YES! Back when I began this whole journey on Blogger, blogging was a way to document my adventure into knitting. I wrote it primarily for myself, as I knew nothing about sharing on social media, but I grew to have many blog friends. I moved to WordPress to match the big move that was going on in my life – moving away to study. With that meant less time spent crafting, and therefore less time blogging.

Recently I’ve found myself reading more and more fashion blogs as I try to develop my own personal style. What I saw were beautiful women who had it all, and I wanted that too!  Then the comparisons – my blog wasn’t as big and bright and colourful as theirs, I didn’t have as many followers, I lacked what I saw as necessary resources (such as a brilliant camera to take amazing photos!), I didn’t have as much time as (it appears) they do to dedicate to getting my blog up to that standard – and with all these negatives I began to lose my passion.  But I’m learning that its not all about comparing yourself to others – rather, finding your niche and your own voice!

So – I’m going to start from the beginning.  I’m going to spend time planning out where I want this blog to go, and all the steps to get there, and then take it one at a time. I’ve gotten as far as realising that my niche is DIY, with a bit of fashion, reading and LIFE thrown in. I’ve been thinking about a key word for the blog too, to help give it that focus, and the one that keeps coming to me is INSPIRE.  In particular, to inspire and be inspired.  Every time I read blogs I find a new way of doing something, and I want to pass that on to others.  I still have a long way to go, but I already feel my passion for all this coming back.

Happy birthday dear blog, and welcome to the new chapter in our journey.

* I’ve used Canva for most of the design – if you haven’t discovered it yet, check it out! It’s super easy to use for graphics!

FREE hat patterns to keep you warm this winter!

It’s getting cold in Wellington – time to knit some hats! Mr. EP requested a new one for him, since the last one I made is in storage – and with plenty of leftover yarn I thought I’d make one for me too.  They were super quick – the beret was done in a day!

I didn’t follow a pattern for these, I just based them off patterns I’ve made in the past, but as a couple of people have asked about what I did I thought I’d write them down and share them.  The pattern assumes you know basic knitting skills and terminology, as well as knitting in the round and either using DPNs or magic loop.  If you find any errors please let me know so I can correct them.

Basic Ribbed Beanie (see my Ravelry project page HERE)

Basic Ribbed Beanie pic

Basic Beret (see my Ravelry project page HERE)

Basic Beret pic
(Please excuse the low-quality phone photos!)

Hope these help you to keep warm this winter!

My Year in Photos: 7 Feb – 23 March

My Year in Photos: 7 Feb - 23 March

Clockwise from the top:
17 Feb – Andrew playing Roman dress-up
13 Mar – Sunset
15 Feb – Happy Valentines Day!
21 Feb – Happy EPs! I survived my first day at Max, and Andrew got a kitchen job!
13 Mar – Think its time for some new #chucks…
23 Mar – Shame my phone can’t pick up the beautiful red colours, it was prettier in person
17 Feb – Checking out Roman machines at the museum with two of my favourite people
12 Mar – Perfect roasted chicken and vegetables
7 Feb – Yep, so this pretty much sums up our day!
15 Feb – All good road trips begin with a stop at the golden arches…

Want to see more (including all the ones I’ve missed!) – follow @ballatrina on Instagram!

New Year, new books!

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I mentioned before that last year I read a pitiful amount of books! I intend on improving that for this year.  I got a couple of new books from Santa, as well as a great find at a bargain bookstore!

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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich was a present from Santa, and just like all her other books, I really enjoyed it.  It does seem a bit repetitious after the other stories in the series, but I can’t pass up the humor!  I moved on to Michael Connelly’s A Darkness More Than Night after that, which my aunty lent me when I couldn’t get to a bookstore!  This was also a pretty quick read because it wasn’t easy to put down – surprising for an author I haven’t read before – so I’m keeping my eye out for more of his books.  If you like detective novels, then you’ll like this one too.  Of course, I have to have a James Patterson in the pile as well.  This was an early birthday present from my in-laws, and I finished it in less than a week!  I’d read some negative reviews about Cross My Heart after I got the book, saying that the end came up very quickly, and the unfinished story was just a ploy by the author to get you to buy the next book.  I didn’t think the ending was rushed, although it was a little strange having two storylines overlapping the way it does.  I would have bought his next book anyway because I really enjoy the Alex Cross character.  Warning – there are parts of this book I had to devote more time to because I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened!  Just as gripping as all his others.

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These all came from an op shop!  One of the greatest places to find book bargains, in my opinion – $7 for ALL of these!  $3 for each of the Dan Brown’s (at the moment they’re $10 each in book stores), and $1 total for the rest.  It’s a good way to ‘try out’ new authors without committing to full price if you find you don’t enjoy them.  I started reading My Legendary Girlfriend because I wanted something light-hearted after all the crime drama, and although it’s been reviewed as ‘the female Bridget Jones’, I’m just not getting into it!  I’m almost ready to move on to another one.

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…or, when I get a house and some kind of craft room set up!  These were Christmas presents from my aunty and my sister, who obviously know me pretty well!  The projects in these books are just gorgeous, I can’t wait to try them out.

I think all these should keep me out of mischief for a little while! What’s on your reading list for this year?

Trina xo

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My Year in Photos: Jan 1-12

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Jan 1 – Beautiful Auckland sunset to kick off the New Year!
Jan 2 – Busy day at Mission Bay beach
Jan 3 – Best way to spend a windy day inside!
Jan 4 – Relaxing at the park by the beach :-)
Jan 5 – My view for the day :-) love lazy Sundays!
Jan 6 – Not a cloud in the sky today! No filter needed for this one…
Jan 7 – Hello from Bay of Islands! Off on an overnight cruise, an early birthday present from my husband <3
Jan 8 – Sunrise in Orokawa Bay
Jan 9 – Penguins!
Jan 10 – On a tour of where husband grew up, starting with one of the houses he used to live in!
Jan 11 – Road trip to the Tron
Jan 12 – Stealing kitten cuddles!

Follow @Ballatrina on Instagram for more!
Linking up with:

life rearranged


Trina xo

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Looking back on ’13

2013 was a great year for me in many ways – I graduated AND got married! – but there were lots of sad and stressful times too.  I’m looking forward to this year being a little more quiet and easy-going, once we finally get settled!

Crafts – As I always do, here is a look back at the crafts I got through in the last 12 months:

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1. Andrew’s T-shirt blanket
2. Crochet hexagon blanket (still in progress)
3. Puppy jumper
4. Bec’s T-shirt blanket
5. T&A sign for the head wedding table
6. Wedding invitations
7. Origami flowers – about 200 of them!
8. Wedding table centrepieces – all the jars were decorated with cut-outs, ribbons, sheet music and candles
9. Red shirt refashion
10. Travelling leaves scarf
11. Travelling leaves hat
12. Knitted Christmas tree

Food – I didn’t do a lot of exciting cooking last year while I was living with my parents, but I have a few new favourite recipes that I tried out that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

Reading – I read a pitiful 4 BOOKS. That’s terrible for me! I blame it on the distracting TV in my room!  2014 is already better, but more on that next time.

Wedding – It’s all over, and it feels like it was a really long time ago!  My hands still feel like they need to be making flowers, and I still check my emails more often than I should expecting to hear from vendors, but that will lessen over time! If you haven’t already, go and have a look at some of the photos.  I’m well and truly over weddings now!

Life – Being away from Mr EP for the bulk of the year was a strange feeling, but thanks to Skype we were able to talk almost every night.  A couple of days after graduating we headed to Melbourne for Bec’s wedding, and my parents went away on a Hawaiian cruise for their 30th wedding anniversary! But as well as those exciting times, my family went to 4 funerals last year, (including the minister who ran our pre-marriage sessions and said grace at our wedding – he was taken far too soon…) which really is 4 too many.

Blogging – My top posts for 2013 were Origami Flowers (still at number 1!), DIY Butterfly Sleeve Tunic, DIY Jewellery Cleaner, DIY T-shirt Blanket, and Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Muffins.  I’m excited about a new style for my blog for 2014, which is in the works!

Farewell ‘13 – bring it on (gently…) ‘14!

Trina xo

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Oh, Knitted Tree!

Oh Knitted Tree

Think “Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!”

So, this was a spur of the moment project (aka: procrastination from packing up my room!), but at least it’s practical!  When we’re in Melbourne for Christmas we usually like to stay in a hotel in the city to have some family time with just us before catching up with extended family.  This means we usually have to go without any Christmas-y decoration for Christmas morning, which just won’t do.  We’ve taken to trying to find some kind of tree ornament on sale that we can surround with presents.  This year, to save us from tears joining the crazy hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers, I’m getting organised!

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I was inspired by this pin, and decided to use this free pattern on Ravelry to make it a little different.  Mine are all sewn together rather than individually hung, so it stretches a bit when it’s hanging up, but a bit of blue tack fixes that!  I will eventually get around to making a star to put on the top, but this will do in the meantime…

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Something about this picture makes me think of dancing trees – just look at the personality of those bottom corner ones! He he he…

This will be a pretty background for Christmas dinner with the neighbours tomorrow night, along with the magazine trees I made last year.

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Tutorial coming soon!  If you’re looking to make these, fatter magazines work best.  The bigger tree with the star is a Next Magazine, and the smaller one is an Avon catalogue!

If you’re looking for ways to have a crafty tree this Christmas, check out my suggestions on Pinterest:

If you’re away for Christmas too, check out these stick-on trees you could take with you – here and here.

Have a look at my “I <3 Holidays!” board on Pinterest for more ideas!

Merry Christmas!

Trina xo
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