Thursday, August 28, 2014

Red Riding Hood - Little Things to Sew


If you were like me, Book Week comes around when you don't expect it. I mean, once you see other school kids walking to school in their costumes you start wondering if you're going to get that letter about it in the school bag. We somehow recieve our letters with little notice or it's just that I really would like, say, a month in advance notice! Because, every single shop gets sold out of costumes very quickly and there are no sizes to be found for said Miss Almost 8. She wanted me to buy something for her and she wanted to be Little Red Riding Hood in particular.

Red Riding Hood Cape - Little Things to Sew
As luck and persistence (from said child) would have it, I recall having a pattern for a cape. It even happened so that it was called Red Riding Hood in Oliver and Ss' book - Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson. I was actually just thinking I would cut out a circle from some fabric and copy a hood pattern from another pattern but somehow roped myself into tracing out this pattern and also actually cutting the lining for this as well. We bought this red polar fleece throw from Kmart for $5 and I hoped it would just be enough as there was only one other red throw left in the shop. 


So after all the kids were in bed I started sewing. I was stuck at the first instruction; to stay stitch the arm opening. No pictures. I had no clue if I was meant to fold it down or not so I left that part and moved on. As I sewed up the outer panels I realised I had one piece missing. Oh great! Did I even have enough fleece left to eek out that panel? Yes, of course I did. Divine intervention, it seems, to have kept me going because it was well after 10pm and I wasn't really understanding the instructions as the pictures were not so clear and I need pictures!!! Also, when you fold the fabric to cut out your two pieces I wondered if I would get the correct cut... by midnight all this fussing was left aside as I sewed, on and on and on. There was no going back and no going forward if anything else went wrong. I did run out of red thread but realised quickly that you won't be able to see it anyway. I had used red thread for the hood to top stitch and that was fine. I used black thread inside and you don't see it when you turn the lining inside out anyway.


It was certainly looking pretty good and going really well. It helps to have something playing on the laptop to keep me company. I used a red elastic hair tie to make the button loop and used one white button on the front. I finished this cape at 1am. Bleary-eyed I went to bed. In the morning I showed it to her. She really likes it and I was so glad how good it looked when she put it on. It's been really cold so I told her to wear jeans and a shirt instead of a dress like she wanted the night before. I'm glad I went ahead with the lining too. It was some fabric I bought on sale at Spotlight that I wanted to make a dress out of for her. It's a really pretty love heart print cotton that's quite soft. The lining was a bit shorter than the polar fleece on the front panels so I pulled it down a bit and then cut off the extra bits before turning it through the hand opening (no pockets).


Turns out  this thing is also reversible!! She is yet to wear it reversed but wore it the next day to the church family fun day. I really love it and would recommend the pattern to anyone who wants a little cape for their girl. What do you think of it?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Japanese girls blouse, View n


I spent this week making this girls shirt from my favourite Japanese pattern book (Sassy Girls - see right pane).  I wasn't sure of the sizing as they base their pattern size on the child's height. This is  size 110cms and it is perfect for my almost 5yr old.

It reminds me of the Tova Top but for little girls. The book even includes ladies size in small, medium and large. I'll definately have to give that a go soon.  The cotton I bought from a local store and I love the soft yet smooth and perfect thickness of it. It's perfect to wear as we are still shivering down here and she has a singlet underneath for extra warmth.

She likes it too and although the collar isn't as tall as pictured I kept it like a mandarin collar. Somehow the collar is a rectangle sized 2.5cm by 30cms. When you sew it up it ends up smaller and not as tall. It's even meant to be the same for the ladies shirt pattern? I couldn't figure if that was wrong or not and not bothered to re-do another collar piece. The pattern is missing the bottom cuff  as well so I made it up myself. I can't tell you how much I love it. I want it in my size now. She looks awesome in it, yes?


In other news, my sister is doing a bit better. Thankyou for all your prayers and well wishes. There's still a way to go until she gets better and we will keep going that she does pull through it. I wish it were Spring already. So many people in Sydney are getting the worst flu ever and taking a few days off from work to recover, hubby included. He's had half his team sick at home. It seems to be really contagious, especially if you're taking public transport. Anyway, let's also keep praying for peace especially in the middle-east where Christians are being persecuted for their faith. We are so lucky to live in a democratic society down here and I do wonder how long it will last.

Happy Sunday,  have a great week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kez's Kitchen Cafe Snacks


These are the latest release from the Australian made products by Kez's Kitchen called Taking Cafe Home. I tried really hard to make these last in my house but they were too yummy and didn't last long. That is precisely why I have a lack of pictures of us devouring them. The kids took off with the biscuits as soon as I opened up the pack. We have to have some sort of biscuit in the house because I am a tea and coffee addict.

In their own words, Kez’s Taking Cafe Home range allows biscuit-lovers to enjoy the luxury cafe experience in their own homes. The five new products add a creative twist to family favourites. Mini Mixed Moments is a new take on Melting Moments, a packet of nine bite-size melting moments in heavenly chocolate, red velvet and passionfruit flavours which were inspired by the French macaron.  


This is Jacquie eating her mini red velvet melting moment. The other little boy ran off with the passionfruit ones and ate them all! I only got to eat one of them. Can you believe that? I give these ones a 7/10. I'm not a big fan of melting moments. They seem to be generally too buttery for me but the kids didn't mind at all. They did like the chocolate melting moment the best.
 
Now, these are the BEST cookies. They are the Chocolate Mud Cookie Bites. They are sooo awesome. I had them during the evening with a cup of tea and we finished off the whole box. I tried to eat as many as my hands could grab before the kids ate them all as well. I am selfish with my biscuits like that. These I give 10/10. I love the crunchiness and the chocolate flavour of these. The hard part is stopping at just one or a few. It's definately a crowd pleaser. Go buy yourself a few packs.


We had these Salted Caramel Peanut and Pretzels last. I thought they could have had a bit more flavour. They were a bit dry and I didn't dislike them but I didn't like them either. Hubby ate a few as he wanted a snack to eat. If they didn't have the chocolate at the bottom I wouldn't have enjoyed the taste of them. You can't tell there's a pretzel in it and it's actually not salty like you think. I'd describe it like a cornflake biscuit?  Anyway, I give them a 5/10. The only thing I liked about these is that they come in individual packs so you can pop them in your purse/bag for when you go out. We have finished the whole box though, if that's saying anything.



So there you have it. Kez's Taking Cafe Home bisuits are available at your local shopping store. A family-owned business where all good things come from their kitchen to your table. Try some out today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Life's a bit rough

It's second week of school holidays and it's been very uneventful. The first week I had a nephew come by and he decided to put up a trampoline that we were gifted. The second week (right now) we've been sick and hanging out at home.

Well, said nephew had done trampolines before and said it would be a breeze. Then after we assembled the ring we looked at each other with our eyes opened wide. This thing is gunna be HUGE! It's a 14ft thing which could house our family! It was done in two hours which was rather impressive, I must say. It was great that he knew what to do even though one of the pole legs was missing a hole. Arggh, hate when that happens. Regardless, the kids love, love it. The kids were jumping up and down with excitement after it was done (pun intended!).



We were lucky enough to visit Saunders and Co last week as well to preview the Big W Toy Sale. Today is the last day that Big W is offering a no deposit lay-by until X-mas with great sales and price matching on all their toys. The kids had so much fun. The younger two enjoyed the Playdough and Peppa Pig toys. The older ones tested out the scooters and my 7yr old girl loved the Geleez. I have already put one toy for each child on lay-by. I don't want to buy too many toys and I've instructed my sisters not to do what they do each year either. Each kid ended up with one sack each. That's too many. So I put the toys we want on lay-by and that'll be the presents from their aunts and uncle. I don't buy my kids toys at Christmas time.

Here they are playing with the Peppa Pig drum and Nerf Rebelle Power Pair gun. They are cute and they can both use them. I took more photo's but they are on the camera. We spent a good hour there and I had to physically grab the youngest boy under my arm and get him out of there screaming his head off. Yeah, terrible threes!


Here he is asleep in his bed. I had to take it because I thought it was really cute and he was sick at the time.
I felt sorry for him but he is fine now and the sickness has passed through each child so we've been at home during the holidays and not doing much but sleeping in and making messes.

Speaking of sick, my eldest sister is also unwell. She's got a lung infection and because she went through all the chemo and the transplant wasn't successful she has a low immune system. The specialist has not given us much hope but we've been praying that she does fight it. So if you're a praying type of person please keep her in your prayers. God bless.

Thanks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Winter time

I feel so awesome! I'm on holidays (albeit at home) so I don't need to wake up so early and deal with getting kids ready for school and all that busy-ness. Last month it was full of birthdays! Like crazy. Above are my famous Mars Bar Slice which are totally delicious. I had to give most of this huge tray away otherwise I'd be going to the gym every day.


The little man turned three. I made him two cakes. So yummy. I highly recommend White Wings Irresistable Chocolate Mousse cake. Soooooo goood and easy to make.

The new neighbour is constructing so half our fence is gone. He's a very nice guy and he's also gotten rid of this tree on his side which was over our garage and there is so much less tree crap on our side now. Yippeee.


I've re-discovered love of my little Breville 5 bar coffee machine. It's small and it makes me a nice Vitorria coffee with frothy milk. I'm going to need the caffeine hit for these holidays. Our first adventure will be at Saunders and Co where I'll be previewing the Big W Toy Sale and seeing what's on offer. I've told the kids to be well-behaved or the trip is cancelled, hee hee hee. It works a treat.

Anyway, there are ups and downs but mostly ups. It's so cold now so our winter coats are out and we've been getting sick on and off. I hope you have great plans for your school holidays.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finish Quantum Power and Pure with Active Oxygen.


I think just about all mums say that they are Time Poor. I certainly don't have to explain myself here. So, on the occasion where there's lots of glass and porcelain things to be washed I like to dump it all in the dishwasher. I've tried the cheap brands and expensive brands of washing tablets and powders. Since my dishwasher is very cheap, ahem, sensitive (it's a Cona brand or something hubby picked up with his dad a long, long, time ago) it doesn't do a good job unless I use a quality dishwashing detergent. Seriously. I am not kidding. It doesn't dry my dishes and it can leave even dirty dishes (I just can't go back to the Aldi powder anymore. Sad memories). I don't even think about how much chemicals are being used to wash my dishes. Do you?

That is until Woolworths had this amazing half price sale on all the Finish dishwasher tablets! Aaaahhh-le-lu- ya!!! I popped in one Finish Quantum tablet one day and everything came out sparkling and clean. Since then I have been using my dishwasher more often. I've tried their Gel version and it works but not as great as the original Quantum version in my washer (again, sensitive washer).

Now, Corrie at Retromummy, is recently testing out their new and less chemically made version : Finish Quantum Power and Pure with Active Oxygen! I couldn't say no to test it out myself. It's a healthier alternative to the normal stuff as it doesn't have heaps of nasty chemicals in it. Who doesn't want that for their family? I've been also starting to use less of my Teflon fry pans and use stainless steel instead.


She was really quick at sending me my tester pack too and I tried it out last night. Yes. I know. I am the world's WORST dishwasher packer-upper-er....  Since my washer is cheap, it also has no instructions on how to pack dishes for washing and I will never figure out how to set my bowls! It's also low so  my medium cutting boards only fit on the sides. So, there's the Finish tablet sitting in the dispenser (top pic) and my stuff inside. I put the plastic stuff that seems to be dishwasher safe on the top rack.

I must say after a Normal wash setting, Finish Power and Pure is AWESOME!!! Everything came out clean and shiny and spotless. I was very impressed. See below: the cutlery is shiny and the plate is spotless.



Even my baked on Pyrex dish came out clean. I had made chicken schnitzel and there were black crusty bits on the side. I put it in as it was and was so happy to see it so clean and streak free. 


One other indicator for me is how clean my dishwasher door ends up. No leftover tablet in the dispenser (yay-eee) Also, to save energy and carbon emissions I do turn my washer off on the dry part of the cycle after the dishes are clean and pull out the racks so they dry naturally. Seeing as my washer is in another kitchen (that's another story) it's not in the way of the kids or myself so I can do that.

So, now that you know, you better get these new chemical-less tablets. They are really great and a healthier alternative for you and your family. If they got hubby to do the dishes that would be heaven on earth.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Things


I hope you all had a lovely Easter and holiday. I got up before the kids on Easter Sunday and finished off the zipper so she could wear the dress. I am so totally against zippers! Urghh. Anyway, it worked out well and I finished the dress off with a pink ribbon which really made the dress shine. The best decision was to re-do the skirt by gathering it instead of having those pleats. This is a size 8 so she will be able to wear it for a while, at least til end of summer (Feb) over here.

Next time I make up this dress I will use a lighter fabric. It's a nice pattern which also includes a plain bodice which is fully lined. If I do use a ribbon tie again it's a good idea to make those ribbon belts or sew a part of the ribbon to the dress so it doesn't ride up.

It seems that during Easter the retail sector like to have sales so I popped into Lincraft and they were having a 30% off sale storewide. I hadn't planned on buying anything more than a dress zipper (for the Easter dress) but of course, as usual, I perused and found a few things to bring home with me. The craft book section had a lot of marked down items and I could not go past this Debbie Bliss - Essential Knits for Kids book. It was marked $7.99 but with the extra 30% off it was even cheaper! ( You can do the math) Bargain!!!

It's a great book which is divided into four sections of knitting joy: knitting basics. down-time, special time and time-out. It's for ages 2-5yrs old so I have two littlies I could knit for. I decided I would start on the essential v-neck vest in the time-out section for my little man. I just love having a handy vest to pop-on when it's certainly getting chillier over here.
I was even thinking I could venture into the polo-shirt (jumper) or maybe a quick and easy party shrug for the 4yr old. In any case, I did buy yarn to go with the vest project and knitting needles (just in case I never had them at home). I guess if I started now I could finish it within a few weeks (at best, I am very slow at finding time to knit).

We're still having a few more bbq's and get-to-gethers before the kids go back to school and I will be back at work next Monday (ho hum). Hope you're enjoying time-out like I am.

Are you up to any crafting/sewing/relaxing??? I'd love to know.