Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Thank You Husband

Actually no, not really.
Just as I was getting ready to get back into Blogtoberfest, my husband downloaded some 'Lion' thingy to the computer and chewed up all our broadband limit. Hence, no blogging, no searching, no internet (I dislike the fact that we are charged up to $200 to continue to use our internet after we reach our limit).

Back online now, after Blogtoberfest has finished. That is OK, I have a few things I can blog in the near future to make up for it.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Big Girls Bed

Layla will be 3 in a couple of months. I only toilet-trained her a month ago. I know, pretty 'late'. But I had such a bad experience with James that I just didn't want to start. I am also a lazy parent. As it turns out, she has been a dream to toilet-train. So good in fact that she has been waking up dry in the morning. Of course the next step would be to take the night nappy of her. Only problem..... she is still in the cot. Once again, that was due to having such a bad experience when we moved James to a bed.
So first step in night training was to move Layla into her big bed. The big bed has actually been in her room since June (when James got a new midi-bed). Only ever referred to as her 'dolls bed' though.
We made the move a week ago. Rather than just jumping out of bed in the morning, we have told her to call out to us. So far it is working. Like most things with Layla, they are just easier. In the mornings, she calls out "Cock-a-doodle-doo" to let us know it is time to get up. Don't ask me where she got that from, but it is hilarious....

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Back on Track

I have been off the planet this past week. Death in the family, death of an online friends' son. Sisters engagement. Funeral for family member, which involved reuniting with family members we had not seen or spoken to in 15-20 years. And I joined Weight Watchers. It has all been a bit too much at times.

So hopefully, I can jump back in where I left off and continue Blogtoberfest. Hopefully.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ice Cream Dress

Well, I tried to post this last night, but it kept freezing up. Will try again....

This is Layla's most recent 'Mum-made' dress. She does love it. And more and more she is pointing to her cupboard (rather than her chest of drawers) and telling me she wants to wear a dress. If this Sydney weather would warm up she actually might get to wear all of them. The great thing about dresses is that they will often get 2 summers out of them, or at least a summer and a winter (with a long sleeve top and tights underneath).
So this is the Ice Cream Dress pattern by Oliver + S. Size 3. Fabrics were purchased from the Fabricworm website...... Michael Miller, Forest Life Aqua, annndddd something else (butterfly print).

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

So, What Have You Been Doing Today?

Yes, I have been counting Coles Sports for Schools vouchers. Argh.....
I got through the bag that I had - 2300 vouchers there.
I just feel very sorry for the lady at school who volunteered to do the counting. At the end of last term she had counted 27000 vouchers. Apparently she went home with another 4 bags worth on Monday. My contribution was one full bag. I think I will have to offer to give her some more help.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Daddy has gone to NZ

My husband has headed off to Wellington today to see a game of Rugby tomorrow night that his beloved Wallabies are not even playing in. Yes, that is right. He and his mates booked a weekend away in NZ and bought tickets ($400 each mind you) for a game the the Wallabies failed to qualify for. Then there is the $900 flight, $700 in accommodation. Plus spending money. All for 2 nights away in the windy city.The Wallabies are however now playing the following day. However my husband will already be on the plane back home when they start playing.

If I said I was annoyed it really would be an understatement. I just need to plan my 'compensation' (I think he is up to 4 boys weekends away in the past 3 years, to my ZERO girls weekends away). I can't decide if I should take off and leave him with the kids for a week/end. Or buy myself something significant (think Kitchenaid). All suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Gok Wan

I will start this by saying, I do not have Foxtel. I have never felt the need for it, and our 'budget' is stretched enough without adding another monthly bill. So all I knew of Gok was his ad's for Westfield. And he did seem quite serious on the ad's.

Now over the years I have managed to get tickets to see Carson Kressley and Trinny and Susannah at Westfield. These shows are open to everyone, but if you are lucky, you can get a seat to see the show. Just a nice addition since you normally have to get there quite early to be able to see the show properly.

So the other day Westfield sent out an email offering tickets to the show. I jumped on it. My sister and I went along, and got front row seats. Woo hoo! And a great goodie bag!

The show started with Donny Galella checking a few audience members to determine their body shape. Westfield has a new Body Shape Calculator. You can enter your measurements into the boxes and it determines your body shape - fantastic!

Next came Gok. Well he was fantastic. He is an absolute natural, and so funny. Now I am a Gok fan. A number of audience members were made over during the hour long show. And I will be finding out how I can see his TV show without having to sign up to Pay TV.
I will just say, sorry for the very average photos. The bright white screens at the back of the stage made it difficult to take good photos from the where I was sitting.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

My Little Man

My little man is a complex human. I struggle to understand him most of the time. He likes to dance, and sing, and be loud. He is outgoing and confident. And he is male. All the things that I am not, or at least he is everything I wasn't when I was a child (well I am definitely still not male). He is also smart.... sometimes too smart for his own good. He is 6 afterall.

One of his all time favourite movies is Mary Poppins. So we handed over the $$$ (well my Mum bought James his ticket) and off we went last week to see the musical in Sydney. Well it was over a week ago actually. And my goodness, we are still hearing about it.... almost all day every day. We wake up to him singing at the top of his voice.... Supercalifragilisticxpialidocious, Chim Chim Cheree etc etc. Then the days are filled with him trying to get his little sister to play Mary Poppins and Bert. So I just thought I would share a photo of him waiting for the train after the show.... reading the menu from Charlie & Co. Burgers of course.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Blogtoberfest 2011

Yes, just a few days late in starting Blogtoberfest... but that doesn't surprise me at all.
Time to blog starts NOW!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Guerilla Knitting

In June, I escaped my kids for the first night ever..... yes, my first night away from my kids in 6 years (not including the night I spent in hospital in labour with baby no. 2). I attended a wedding for my cousin in Townsville. It was a quick trip..... just one night away, with a wedding and reception and family breakfast the next day. But it was so wonderful to thaw out. The weather in Sydney at that stage had been COLD. COLD and WINDY. The horrible rains hadn't started at that stage. But the cold was more than I can handle. Townsville was about 24'C and warmer in the afternoon sun.

On the walk from the hotel to the wedding reception I noticed a fancy tree - one that had been attacked guerilla knitting style.

Now, as we live about 15 minutes drive inland, we never see the sun rise over the ocean. Perhaps if I could get out of bed early enough, I would see it. But in Townsville, we stayed right across from the water. It was the most amazing thing to wake up to the sunrise. My sister and I shared a room, and I even asked her if I could take the single bed as it meant that I could open the curtain in the morning and lay in bed watching the sunrise, lol.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

So, it has been a while

I have lots to blog, but will start slowly. I haven't been doing a LOT, but I have been sewing. It is more just school, and a stint of work through June, and now school holidays that has been holding me back. I envy those people that have even one day a week break from the kids. Unfortunately I do not. So any sewing is squeezed in here and there.
And while my lovely daughter is pretty easy, she has pretty much stopped napping..... from 2 hour naps to nothing, just like that. Of course, afternoons are 'difficult' as she is extra whingey and clingy now. Oh well, it will pass in time. And fingers crossed we can get a place for her to attend preschool next year.

In the mean time, I will blog just one of my sewing projects.

The pattern is from Wink Designs. I won a copy of this pattern at Sew It Together, and got to speak to Marina as she worked on her very pretty hexagons.

A month or so ago I realised that Layla had lots of summer dresses, but no winter dresses. She had been living in jeans. And really, who wouldn't in this very cold Sydney winter that we had been experiencing. But really, she did need a dress. I had purchased a few 'stock' fabrics (ones that I had no immediate plans for but I knew would come in handy) from The Fabric Store. For this dress I used 2 denim weight fabrics, which was fine for the dress, but impossible when it came to using it for the ties. I used ribbon for the ties instead.

I realised that I only photographed one side of this dress. I will put up a photo of the reverse at a later date, if I get one. I have a feeling the spotty side will be our favourite.

Please take note of the gorgeous clip (which goes so well with this dress) made by Natalie. Thank you again Natalie.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

So, Sew

I have been on a bit of a sewing-roll lately. To be honest, I have been sewing quite a bit for myself. But carrying an extra 15kg means I don't really do the clothes justice, even if I am happy with the sewing and the finished garment. Adding to that, my husband really doesn't take nice photos of me..... at least he doesn't seem to look at the photos he has taken to advise me that I need to turn my body a bit, or retake the photo cause the way I am standing draws attention to my stomach. He took 2 photos of me tonight in which there was NO light in the pic. Hey, just for the fun of it, I will post the pic, so you will know what I am talking about......

Yep, that is what I am dealing with.
Anyway, edited version.....

This is the Tessuti free pattern. I have more fabric to make a couple more versions of these too. I think they will be my staple for winter. I am sure they look better on someone smaller than me, but at least they cover the belly and muffin top, and are super comfortable.... just make sure you choose a cotton-rich fabric.

I also picked up some Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric from a local quilt shop. I LOVE it. I decided to make up a cushion for my kids and my niece and nephew for Easter (rather than going overboard on chocolate). I really like the finished product.

P.S. don't worry there will definitely be chocolate in our house at Easter, just trying to cut back a little (for the kids). And perhaps if I cut back I wouldn't have 15kg to lose....

Saturday, 16 April 2011

A Little Oliver+S

Earlier this year I bought up a huge range of fabrics from overseas (pretty sure it was QuiltHome that I bought from). Amongst my haul was some of the lovely Oliver+S fabrics..... including the pink knit fabric. The problem is that I am not a lover of sewing knit fabrics. Lack of experience really. However, with winter coming I thought I really need to bite the bullet and get some winter clothes whipped up for Layla in particular (James is covered with school uniforms for most of the week now, yay!).

So I went ahead and cut out a long sleeve top from the Oliver+S Hopscotch pattern. I forgot to put the walking foot on the machine for the hems (the way I 'do' knits), but overall I am VERY happy with the result. It was a particularly easy pattern to assemble, and I will be making more for winter.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Terribly Late Thank You....

I can't believe it has taken me so long to post this. I took the photos during a 'blog break' so it kind of got lost in the system. Late last year I got to meet Christy to hand deliver the pattern that she 'won' from my blog giveaway. Turns out we live not far from each other. And she was so lovely to give me the following gift.....

All made by Christy..... beautiful binding and crocheted trim. I am still waiting to find the perfect project for them. I don't think I could possibly use them on a present for someone else (I am too selfish) - they will be used on something for Layla.

Thank you so much Christy!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Sew It Together - Part 2

Dinner on Saturday night at Sew It Together was at The Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe in The Rocks....... YUM!

Karen and I

Ingrid, Helen and Cass

Pork Belly

Chicken dish (which looked delicious)


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sew it Together - hmm, not much sewing really....

I was lucky enough to spend Saturday with all the girls at Sew It Together. I missed out last year as we were in Hong Kong for the weekend that it was held, so I really didn't know what to expect.

Saturday morning was spent at the Menzies Hotel 'sewing'..... actually, I didn't get much sewing done. I did do a lot of talking, eating, talking, and admiring of others projects. I was so pleased to catch up with Cass, Ingrid and Christy again. I was just as pleased to finally meet Karen, Helen and Kylie (who I have known online for a long time). And lets not forget all the new friends like Rachel, who I managed to see again on Monday at Spotlight (of course).

I participated in a Hand Pieced Quilting session with Kathy from Material Obsession in the afternoon (by which stage I was exhausted) which was fun.

I came home with a massive haul of swap items, giveaways, freebies, and purchases......

There is only one thing missing from the big picture, and that is an Owl Kit that I chose as a prize, donated my Claire from Craft Schmaft..... which has already been made up and claimed by James (yes he is 5.5 but he still loves softies).

The item I made for the swap was a 'necklace' - not really sure what to call it.....

Since it is now time for school pick up, I will have to leave it there for now. Will be back with a more detailed post of the stash I came home with and DINNER.....

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Moving on....

I am trying really hard not to let external factors get me down, but they do. The natural events that have occurred over the last few months seem to stop me in my boots at times. Before I know it, a week has passed without having achieved much at all. Then when I do achieve something crafty, there are just set backs which make me doubt what I have done (is it all worth the effort??).

Anyway, I think everything has been cleared up now.... goods received, money paid, and apart from the small earthquake which apparently just hit Wellington (where my husband is due to head later this year for the Rugby World Cup) I think I am ready to move on again.

I am heading to the Sew It Together meet this month, and joined in with the Name Tag Swap. Name tag has now been received by the recipient, so I will post the picture of the name tag here.

I have also been settling in to my new 'life' as the Mum of a school student. I have actually felt like it has been a pretty big adjustment for me (James has had no trouble settling in). My day is cut so short, with drop off, pick up and a toddler sleep in between. So much for all the sewing time I thought I was going to have, lol.

I think he is up to 7 merit certificates, an SRC award for 'Respect' (of all things) and he was elected SRC rep for his Kindy class. On top of that he has had a great transition - 5.5 years of torturing us has finally paid off.

And for good measure, my gorgeous, but very clingy (said with gritted teeth) Layla.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Queensland Flood Relief Appeal Auction

NOTE - just to bring this Auction in line with all the others, the Auction will now end at 9pm on Monday the 24th of January, 2011. Not long now.....


What a week of devastation in this country. Living so far from the flood damaged region does make it hard to help in a hands on way (seeing all those local Brisbane residents on the news pitching in with the clean up brought a tear to my eye tonight). But the crafting community are doing what we do best - Making Stuff!!!

Toni from Make It Perfect is coordinating a crafty fundraising venture.

My contribution is a dress that I have made which is up for Auction on my blog.
Details are as follows.....
The dress was made by me - using the Modkid Kyoko pattern. Fabric is the Hunky Dory range by Moda Fabrics.
It is a size 4, but really, I would say 3-5 year old could wear it. The dress is loose in style with the obi which ties around the waist to make it 'adjustable'.
Dress is finished inside with French Seams.

Since I don't have a 4 year old to model, I have shown the dress on both the 2 year old and the 5.5 year old, so you can see sizing.

5.5 year old model (hehe)

2 year old model - Note, the dress is actually above her ankles (just a bad angle for the photo)

The Auction will run as follows:
1. Bids will start at $20 (Australian)
2. To bid, leave a comment on this blog post stating your bid amount - higher than the previous bid.
3. Bids shall be placed in whole dollar increments
4. The Auction will close on Monday the 24th of January at 9pm - the highest bidder at this time will 'win' the dress
5. Please ensure that you leave your email address with your bid so that you can be contacted if you 'win'
6. All proceeds from the sale of this dress will go to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal. The winner will pay the money directly to this fund, and forward me a copy of the receipt of payment by email. Once proof of payment has been received, I will send the dress.
7. I will cover the cost postage of the dress and the dress will be sent once

And if you aren't interested in this dress, there are plenty more amazing items up for Auction..... just follow the link above to Toni's blog for a full list of participants.