Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Makings


This year I decided to tackle a few cookies. I had made a shortbread version and we ate them all.
This chocolate one was featured in the Coles Christmas cooking brochure and it looked very good and I had most of the ingredients on hand. Even hubby got into the action and was helping to cut out shapes. They came out rather nice but not as chocolatey as I would have liked. I will have to track down a better recipe next year. I did like that it was a white chocolate icing too.



Some nights I get to sit at my sewing table while they're all asleep and I fiddle around.
I decided to iron up the hem and do some hand-sewing (which I dislike). But that meant that this Oliver + S
blouse got made-up and finished in time for Christmas mass. It's really cute but man, there's a lot of buttons at the back. I would have prefered a zipped version.


The children got into the decorations and the tree is a mess but what-evs.
Here is the littlest adorning decorations fashioned by his sister from a headband. I had worn it across my neck which was rather fetching if I must say. Lol.

These simple cushions (there's one camouflaged in the back) were made up from some Ikea pillowcases I hardly use. I love love love the floral print and it has a really soft cotton feel. A very quick project because I lopped off one end of the pillowcase and sewed in an invisible zipper late at night. I will have to post more about invisible zips because I became much more of an expert this time around and I have some things I learned to share.

Anyway, have a very Merry Christmas and thankyou so much for stopping by. Please be safe these holidays and may you be blessed this wonderful season.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis the Season to be Jolly

This year I wanted to go on a Christmas House Lights trip. Hubby wasn't really interested but caved in and drove us around after I got the older two ready. The young ones were asleep hence the scruffiness.
Anyhoo.... I picked a few addresses from our local paper and went to this amazing house who won the competition. It was awesome. So many lights, so many things to seeeeeeee.
You know even a well dressed house will amaze children and adults alike. The kids adored it.

The main house even had their own Santa and he took a few pics with the kids. I think I even like these ones better than the one we took at the mall. Elijah isn't even crying. What a good baby.

They had three windows dressed up like this. It was so cool. There were houses with lights lit up inside and little moving ornaments. Like.Wow. We moved onto a nearby street (how I love you gps) and saw a few more houses before the kids were sleepy and yeah, I was too.

Can you tell i am into the Spirit this year? Why not? I'm not heavily pregnant or carrying a newborn this time, Yay! AND to top it off, today I found out I am the winner of one of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaways.
I won and chose the Built by Wendy Simplicity pattern from Jmday.

Now that's something to be jolly about.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby's Bib


Each Monday I get to go shopping and leave a few little ones with daddy.
It's nice to have that time to grocery shop but it still takes a few hours with some browsing of my own inbetween. It's nice to have a bit of one on one time with Miss 5 as she's usually tagging along.
She even packed the grocery bags into the trolley at Woolworths for me which impressed the checkout chick and mother next to me. Start them young I say and you'll have them doing these things for you for a while.

So I normally take a list with me and sometimes the list is still on the fridge.
I told hubby I needed some bibs for baby and he said "Why don't you make them?" I did try before when I had my first son but they didn't turn out nice. I did try to find the right set at the shops because I like to have a plastic backing and for them to be a good size. This boy drools like a fountain. There were none that were suitable and within a decent price range.

So last night I traced out one of his big bibs and trawled through my stash to find the elusive PUL I've been stashing for many years now. I bought it when I had my first with the intention of making cloth nappies but that never eventuated. Now I have enough PUL to make about 6 bibs! Yay.
I cut out the blue flannel and just used one piece of PUL for the back. I bound it with white bias and sewed velcro to the tops. Voila! one very nice bib.



I think he likes it too.



Friday, December 9, 2011

December



Well the tree and the lights across the back wall are up so we're just about ready for the Season.
Two yeara ago I put up the lights by walking barefoot and pregnant on the t.v unit! Crazy huh.
This year I put it all up and the lights didn't work. Wth?
Back to Kmart for new set of icicle lights and back up on the unit again. We got a new star as well.

This year I left the teachers' presents as last minute. I had some spare wine bottles from a wedding in the cupboard and Little Miss going to Kindergarten Next Year made up these ThankYou cards with my help. I stuck a little ribbon in the back to 'hang' the card on the wine bottle. Genius, I know ; )
There's also a big box of Cadbury Favourites in the pack too. The cards have a cute little poem about teachers in it and I'm sure her teachers will adore it.

The littliest turned 6months old yesterday. Wow, how.time.flies!!!!
He thinks sleeping through isn't his cup of tea so I am yet to enjoy a decent night's sleep.
He loves his food though and we're starting with potato and mushy stuff. No teeth yet.

I've made some Ottobre pants but the zipper pull flew off and I can't get it back in the teeth.
Did you know Ottore patterns Do Not Include a Seam Allowance? I found that out the hard way. At least I used some cheap fabric before starting on a nice denim.
It's suppose to rain all December so I might need pants this Christmas Day. I'm sussing out the shops but (so funny) I picked up this nice singlet which turned out to be a crop top. What??? Where's the rest of it? Young fashion. Where am I suppose to find something decent? Perhaps Target.

We shall seeeeeee.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Shopping for Christmas

 


I really enjoy the Christmas season. We took the annual Santa pic and it turned out smaller than the past few years so we were disappointed. The older kids put on a fake smile and the other little ones didn't even smile. I opted for the cheapest set we could buy and perhaps would have liked to be more picky about taking a better picture. They're not really helpful at those photo places. At least it was like having a family photo and we can update our wallet pics again. I put this smaller one in my new diary, which I got from K-mart again this year for a budget price of $4.

I'm pretty sure my kids can't read my blog so I will go ahead and tell you that we've splurged on them this Christmas. I didn't want to get them any old toy that they'll play with for a day and then have it left on the floor for me to stumble over. I wanted them to have something which would lean to the educational side so I decided we would get them a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet (breath) ,... each! If we were to only buy one I'd never hear the end of their arguing.

They already love the iPod, which we don't have, so they are really going to love this gadget/toy/whatever. I just hope they get to learn things and it goes to good use instead of just gaming. Target seemed to have the cheapest price so after I dropped the kids off at preschool/daycare I went up with the other two littlies and got the last pink one and one green one. That way they'll know which one belongs to whom.

 



Our local shopping centre were also giving free tote bags for every reciept of more than $10 in the centre so I came home with two of these cool bags which are made of hessian and lined with some kind of plastic adhesive inside. They fit a lot of my groceries in and I'll keep them in the car so I don't leave them at home.


I did some more Christmas sale shopping at Cotton On Kids, picked up some jeans and bought this cute bag. The proceeds will go towards their charitable work. Yay.


This gorgeous dress is for my niece and it's an Origami dress from Myer. Just beautiful and at 25% off it was only $29.95.

 


Lastly I picked up a skirt for myself. This is from Temt and was $13 (with 30% off storewide). I should be able to pair it up with a Cotton on blue polkadot knit singlet and Target black slingbacks.
I love finding a good bargain and when the kids are behaving it makes for a stress-free shopping experience.

I hope you're finding your own bargains too. Time for me to tidy up the sewing room so I can get a move on with making a few things for Christmas like an iPad case, pants for my little boy who's growing up too fast, and totes for teachers. But perhaps first, finding out what that darn smell is coming from the back kitchen.

Toodles.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One for the boys

My almost 4yr old son hardly has any shorts to sleep in so it was about time I get off my butt and make him a pair. I tell you if I didn't know how easy and fast it would be I'd have started these a few years ago! I don't actually have any pyjama patterns I liked so I used a shorts/pants pattern from the Japanese book that I have. I have no idea what the name of it is though. I just know I have not made anything from it yet, until now. It is pattern number 44.

I found this beautiful knit fabric at Spotlight. It is called Toybox and perfectly soft and not too thin. You know how it is, when you make something out of knit and the fabric seems to be way too light. This is not the case. It's beautiful to work with. I cut out the largest size from the book which is 100cms. The boy is about 102cms so I was hoping it wouldn't be too small. It turned out perfectly. I used my overlocker to do all the seams and I used my new stretch twin needle to hem up the bottom legs and waist. It looks so much more professional when you do it this way.
 

It took me a while to find the page on how to sew it up but it's easy once you do it a few times. I am normally a ninny who sews up the side seams instead of the butt/crotch pieces.






 

The front and back views. Sorry for the blurriness. So hard to get a boy to stand still!

Here are the finished shorts. I really love the way they turned out. I will be making many more of these for this summer. We had a few days of blistering heat and today it's windy and about to rain. It's not exactly time to put away the quilts and coats just yet.

What are you up to?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Distracted

Well Spring has made a late entrance around these parts of Sydney. This weather has been crazy I tell you. It's been cold, rainy and sunny all in one day!

We have been feeling the heat so much so today that I really wanted to make this wrap dress that I've been talking about forever. I've used the pattern before for my maternity top.
It's not finished yet. I have only put the bodice together and skirt. I wanted to see if I could make a simple dress, omitting the top panel. I don't think it's working out.

 The bodice JUST fits. I'm holding it together in the pic above. After some reading the fabric you're meant to use is anything stretchy like knits. However, I had this lovely synthetic thing I picked up when Spotlight had their 30% off storewide. I think it really suits me and drapes over my bumpy pokey bits. It's rather low cut too, lucky I am wearing a singlet underneath. I am suppose to put facings on the edges rather than folding the edges under twice and that is why it is probably more open.



The problem I see is that I haven't cut out the front wrap panel so that's why I currently have trouble wearing it. See there are no zips so unless I plan to put in a side zip I need to cut out a top front panel.

I'm going to think about it a bit more........
I've decided to stick to the instructions and put in facings and make it a proper wrap dress. That means it won't be finished any time soon. I need to buy some facings (bias binding).

In other news I also recieved these in the mail: (squeal!!!)
 






I'm incredibly excited!!! The first is Overlock Sewing which contains simple items such as a skirt, t-shirt and cardigan. The second is Simple Chic. Both were from yesasia and they were free shipping.
I can't wait to get started on something else but I must finish the other unfinished projects around here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Almost finished blouse.

I have this friend whom I met from Playgroup. She's awesome and we are similar in our tastes and dilemmas. She comes over and we have fun playdates with her two girls.
Turns out she likes sewing too so yesterday I showed her my stash of patterns and got her into Japanese Pattern books. This sounds like trouble... he he.

She also inspired me to take some time out and sew. So I did. The babies slept and I sewed, and sewed. There were no bathroom or food breaks.
I just sewed until one of them woke up. I felt really good. More inspired. I wished I could have kept going.

 

I am excited. These are parts of the Oliver + S Puppet Show Blouse. I've had them cut up for a while now.


I've been cooking too, from Apples for Jam. We made Tessa's Banana Bread and we gobbled it up. There are no pics to show. I tried the Lentil and Sausages but the kids only liked the chicken sausages. We might try some cookies as we start gearing up for Christmas. Ahhh, it will be just around the corner in no time!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back in the Game


One of my favourite go to blogs is Cakies by Ruby Ellen Bratcher.
She inspired me with her homeschooling, talent and living life through the lesson of the Lord.
Amen to that. She also has 4 beautiful children and a doting husband.
She made me want to buy those Saltwater shoes her girls wear so much that I scoured the net and ordered some from Ten Tall Trees. However, our dollar was going down by that time so I lost a few bucks in the deal. Good news for you though that our dollar is above parity right now so you can grab yourself a great pair of shoes!!!


Fast forward two weeks (ish) later and they arrived! I got the girls to try them on and they are actually the perfect size. I was going to buy their size 6 and 10 respectively but decided to go a size up (thinking they're larger in size). My girls wear those UK sizes so I bought the 7 and 11.


White (leather) Saltwater Sweet Hearts.

Pink Fuchsia (leather) Saltwaters

Spot the baby.


My new appliance taking up even more room on my kitchen bench.
I've been wanting one for a while so when I saw the box at Aldi with a discounted sticker on it I told hubby I had to have it. He said ok. The guy  scanned it and it scanned at the wrong price so I told him it was meant to be $39.99 and he changed it. Phew. I made pizza dough with it this morning.  I learned to be careful once the dough climbed up the dough hook cos it took me some time to fish it out of the hook inserts.

My happy little bunch. Things are on the up and up around here.
I've joined a basketball team on Sunday arvo's and hubster looks after the young to while I am pounding the court with my lead legs. First game back I thought I was going to fall over but since then I am now keeping up a bit more. I average two points per game which is great in my books. And then the other day while shooting a few hoops at mums I noticed something. WTH? I am a left-handed shooter! When did that happen? No wonder hardly any shots were going in. Up and up I tell you!

Posts that make me emotional today:
  • Chris losing her baby girl. I've been a long time fan of her blog and to read this breaks my heart.
  • The blog community is amazing. Read about the healing quilt. It makes me want to make my posts more meaningful, inspiring, ... healing.
Well, we've had lots of funny weather this month. Yesterday we had a heat wave and last night I had the fans on. Then it rained. It rained all on my washing. Oh well. Serves me right for being  lazy busy.

Lord give me strength.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hair Square Hair Accessories

As a mother of young girls I am always in need of hair accessories.My 5yr old has long hair and my 2yr old has curly hair that requires taming. Lots of taming.
Otherwise there will be clunks of food dried up in their tresses if I fail to tie their hair back.
So last week I went to K-mart and went to buy a few clips for them.
She instantly picked out the Hair Square flower clips.

 


However, when I opened them at home, to my dismay, there was one missing blue flower clip.
I was very much disappointed as I like to get what I pay for and I count all my pennies.
So, what's a girl to but write a letter. I actually wrote a quick e-mail and presto, they responded pretty quickly. Of course they apologised and would replace the packet.

In the mail the next day I recieved my replacement box along with some other goodies to try.
How awesome is that?!! ! I was so happy. Now that's fantastic customer service.
 


 


Here is my 5yr old wearing the Hair Square Flower Clips and little bands.
The only annoying thing about the clips is that they tend to trap strands of her hair in the gap between the glue and flower piece. So I have to either carefully release it or pull out the clip with a few strands attached. I might have to hot glue the gaps for future use. I like the little tubes they come in. There are cute little fairies on the front which all little girls love.

 

I'll be trying the metal free hair bands soon and will report on those too.
If you have any good hair ties you can recommend please share them here.

Stay tuned for some more product reviews.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Decorating... it's just not my thing


In my mind I had grand plans for decorating his Christening.
However, let's just say not even a fraction came to fruition as I left things majorly last minute.
At least the pom poms came together the night before. I also made a 3m bunting but should have made heaps more for our shelter.

 One of them now hangs in the kids room along with the light lanterns.
I wasn't able to decorate the night before because hubby wanted to wash down
the walls the morning of the party. THE MORNING for goodness sake.
And where was I come morning, well prepping my pretty self of course.
Along with curling the 5yr olds hair (which I've never done before).


I am glad to say that the Christening went well and the party was nice.
I was run of my feet though and it was not as organised as I'd liked it to be.
Still there is a lot to say of extremely helpful family members and those who are not so much.
You know the kind. You have them your ranks too, yes?


Here's my happy bunch clean at church and then totally dirty by lunch, lol.
A few pointers I'd like to add about party planning.

* Actually have a plan. Write it down. Write shopping lists and actually buy things in advance. The dollar stores are magical places.

* On the day have your make-up, hair and stuff done locally. You don't want to spend you precious minutes driving from suburb to suburb.

* Try, try, try prep things the night before! Decorate and have tables and chairs out that evening for the next day!!!!

* Have someone with photography skills take the photo's. A budding 12yr old nephew does not suffice. You will regret it later, I promise you.

* Most of all. Have fun!!!!!!!!

Mwah.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Planning and Milestones

This little cherub turned 4 months young today. He's a fussy little thing but I love kissing him to bits.
Life has been really hectic since his arrival. There are days when I truly feel I cannot do a single thing and other days when a bit is done and the world is alright.

This 5 year old requested earrings so I obliged. I was more nervous than she was.
I forked out the cash to have them both done at the same time. One skinny guy and one medium sized guy were at both sides of her. Both looked a bit scary as they had tattoo's down their arms and a collection of piercings in their ears. I suppose it is the sign of a true professional in his field, yes? I always tell myself not to
judge others. I could have done them at the GP which would bring the cost down by half but I wanted it both ears done together as I was scared she'd freak out.

Just as they were getting ready she looked a bit worried and told me she didn't want them anymore. Too late for that. I told her it would be quick and she'd be ok so SNAP! Both ears were done and she didn't even flinch. She didn't cry and I was so very proud of her. When we got home I was a little saddened to announce that my little girl now has earrings. A sign of her growing up, well to me anyway.

 

Hey, I made bread last week! A friend came over for home-made pizza so I prepared two batches of dough. We only used one batch for the kids so I decided to let this one rise a second time and glazed it with milk and egg. Into the oven and 45mins later we had bread. It was a bit chewy but lovely. I have bought a pizza stone to try some more bread things from the 5mins a Day Artisan Bread book.

Thankyou for your advice and suggestions re party planning. We still have Elijah's Christening next Saturday. I've been scouring the internets for ideas and trying to keep the costs low. How great is this site? I decided to go with Martha Stewart Pom Poms and a bunting. I wanted lanterns but they can get a bit expensive.
I did find this cute lantern light decoration from Typo. It comes with fairy lights but I haven't decided where to hang it yet. I have selected a bunch of fabrics for a bunting and will have to get around to that this week.
My local two dollar asian store is awesome! I found his bombonieres there and will go back for this gorgeous flower cake stand.

This is a bargain dress I picked up from Millers (not just for older ladies).
They are having a 50% off sale right now so the mid length dress was only $20.
Sorry for the bad photo. I'll take another one of me wearing it one day.

For now we have a party to get ready for.
Stay tuned.