Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lack of material

A lack of material is not something that I usually deal with as my little stash keeps getting bigger and bigger and even if I make something there is always a reasonable amount of left overs to put away.

Last year Olivia had a dress that she loved that Todd had bought for her in the US. She lived in it and was so upset when we found a hole in the skirt and it could not be mended. At the time to console her I promised that I would make her one the same or at least as close to the holey one as I could. We went out together and bought some material, 1.5m infact and was pretty sure that this would be plenty.

I finally found a pattern that I like that goes up to a size 12 and is perfect! It is the brand new released pattern by oliver + s called Fairy Tale Dress and can be found here along with all the other AWESOME patterns by oliver + s. Can you tell I love their patterns? hehe. They are easy to follow, I always learn new skills, look so finished and not like 'homemade' clothes if you know what I mean. I love, love, love them.

Anyway, I bought the pdf pattern of the Fairy Tale Dress and printed the pattern out and cut and stuck it all together and pulled out the material this morning hoping to cut it out this evening when the girls were in bed. I shuffled the pieces around and no matter how I moved them they were not going to fit. If I wanted to make a dress for Sophie then it would be fine but not for Olivia. The size 10 / 12 pattern is just not going to fit on this material. For the first time I do not have enough material. 

A trip to Spotlight is therefore in need of happening so that with fingers and toes crossed they still have the same material and I can buy another metre and all will be well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A few extra photos Part 2

Olivia attended her first school overnight excursion. A band camp.

This year at school she has been learning the flute and taking part in the Beginner Band. She loves band and thinks it is fun but lessons and practising not so much. Anyway, I dropped her off early Saturday morning at a place called Merroo at Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains, and we were to come back at lunchtime on Sunday to pick her up and listen to a small concert of what the bands had been practicing. We dropped her bag and sleeping bag in her cabin and she was with all her friends in the same cabin and then headed back to the big hall where we had to say goodbye. I made her let me take a photo and it is SO Olivia, trying so hard to be happy but you can tell she is a bit scared and not sure about everything that is going on. 

The following photos show what Sophie thought of the concert, Olivia playing in her band uniform,  and finally the happiest girl, who had a fantastic time. I just love the difference between the first and last photo. It is Olivia to a tee.

You did a great job my beautiful girl.

This has turned out to be an all Olivia post so far but I am just going to add a quick pic or 2 of her heading off to her school disco. Such a cutee, the black cardi was just until she got there.

A Bunnings Warehouse has opened close to our home on Victoria Avenue and on the Opening Saturday there was quite the fun outing - sausages in a roll, face painting, fairy floss etc and Sophie was adamant that she wanted her face painted. Todd took the girls and here are their faces, a butterfly and a dog. I love Sophie in ecstacy whilst having the painting done.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A few extra photos part 1

With the passing of time and not being able to catch up on everything I thought that I would share a few photos that I took of things that happened to my little family. So be prepared for some photo heavy posts.

This is the biggest cupcake I have ever seen and was it was Olivia's choice as a treat.  

Liv's eyes were definately bigger than her tummy as she managed to eat the top of this rocky road cupcake and that was it. She felt special getting such a treat even if most of it went in the bin.

The following two pictures were Sophie as she was caught for the first time on the bench top trying to get to the chocolate stash. She had climbed up herself without me knowing. 

On a lovely bright May morning Sophie and I headed to Rouse Hill town centre for something. In the town centre area they have these fountains and Sophie thought that it would be super fun to try walking through them and not getting wet. However as I have said many times before she can not help herself where water is concerned and had to touch. She had a ball and in the end travelled home in just her hoodie and damp trousers as her tshirt and vest were rather wet.

It is Melanie's birthday in May and it was decided some years ago that we don't give each other adults birthday presents in order to save some cash and lets face it we all get what we want and need most of the time anyway. I was over at Mel's house and she showed me some fabric that she had bought at Ikea and had the thought that she would turn it into a table runner for her white dining table. When the table is extended it is super long and bought table cloths and runners just are too short. I offered to hem it all and sew it for her birthday. Aren't I a nice sister in law? :) 

I just cut the fabric and then joined the 2 lengths together to make it longer, then hemmed the whole thing with about a half inch double folded hem and stitched as straightly as I could all the way around. Easy, a little time consuming when doing the folding but worth it in the end. Melanie loves it and it looks great on her table. I believe that the material was a cotton drill from Ikea.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zoom Zoom

In the many months that I didn't post on here I did manage to complete a couple of little projects and so I thought I would share one more that I am quite pleased with.

Earlier in the year I mentioned a little chugga carrier that I made for the lushous Noah for his birthday you can see the post here, and all the time that I was making that I knew that I had to make one for gorgeous Isaac too even though it wasn't his birthday. Lucky boy :)

I used the same pattern from Homemade by Jill which can be found here that I had used for Noahs one, but of course there was a car on the front and not a train and there was one more pocket as they were smaller to fit Lightening McQueen and his friends in.

I used the same black denim on the exterior as I had used previously on Noah's, the inside was a cool chequered flag cotton drill and the road was a very soft grey felt with a yellow felt cut into pieces as the road markings. I sewed a centre stitch down the middle of the carrier to help it fold better and used black velcro and belting to do it all up. Red cotton check was the material used for the car and I just appliqued it by using a zigzag stitch all around the edge.

Kathryn, Issac's mummy said that he loves it and wants to take the caddy with him everywhere. I'm so glad.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pepper and Baby

It was my niece Lilia's birthday last month (I know, I am hanging my head in shame) and when I asked Jemma what Lilia may like, turning 5 is a big deal, the answer was, a rag doll ! 

A rag doll!, I have never made one of those and I was pretty sure that I did not have a pattern of any sorts that would be suitable. I was right, no rag doll patterns but I did have a pattern for one gorgeous little dolly called Pepper and her baby. 

Perhaps 5 years ago a lady called Lorraine gave me a copy of this pattern after we had been to the Craft and Quilt fair with her daughter in law Elise. I had seen the pattern there and fell for it immediately. I was put off it as it looked really difficult and it called for lots of applique and embroidery stitches, both of which I couldn't do. So after accepting the pattern eagerly Pepper was put to the bottom of the pile, the too hard pile.

I set to it that I would make Pepper for Lilia and perhaps make some adjustments now that I feel rather more confident with things. The applique happened on the hair but rather than hand stitching the entire face, hands and the cheeks on I used my machine, but the embroidery stitches did not. I did the best I could. After putting it off and putting it off I choose the materials from my stash and the request had been for pinks and purples as the main colours. I had to get some flesh coloured felt and matching thread but apart from that everything was on hand. 

With all that said, here is Pepper. The pictures show her from body completed but flat, then finished and then with her baby in tow.

The fabrics used for her skirt on the far left and 2nd from the right are from Prints Charming, all other pinks were from Spotlight. The yellow seersucker for her head was a gift from my mum and her back is a cerise pink flannelette that was also from Spotlight. All of baby was from Spotlight. She was backed with a matching soft blue flannelette also from Spotlight.

I am feeling rather pleased with myself and quite proud of Pepper. Even the ladder stitch that I used to stitch her and baby up was pretty good too. She is now wrapped up and winging her way via Australia Post to Lilia in England for a very belated birthday present. I hope she will 1. forgive me and 2. Love Pepper and baby lots and lots. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A strange awakening

This morning we were awakened by a sentence from Olivia that we have never heard before and one that I hope I don't hear again any time soon, it was just so strange.

She said, "Mummy, Daddy, there is a sock in the toilet and I just went and now I don't know whether to flush or not." Hmm.

Naturally the responce from the barely conscious parents was, "What?! what are you talking about? a sock in the toilet?" But yes, indeed, there was a white school sock in the toilet bowl and the toilet needed to be flushed.

Todd's comment was, "Well I will leave that one up to you as I have to go to work." Cheers, thanks buddy.

The not so white school sock has been rescued from the toilet thanks to the handle of a wooden spoon, the toilet has been flushed and just for good measure the bathroom cleaned. I still have no idea as to how the sock got there and all inhabitants of this home are pleading ignorance, but for now, job done and thank goodness Olivia didn't flush the toilet and block the system. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where to start?

It has been months since I last posted and so much has happened that I can not even begin to catch up on everything.

I know I have said sorry before about the lack of posts and then no more have materialised so I won't apologise again and just hope that the amount of posts that will spring up here in the coming days will show that I have indeed gotten my mojo back and am excited to share what I have been doing and making. Mum even sent me an email asking when some more posts were happening. I didn't realise that this little blog of mine could be missed.

I thought a few pictures may help to fill some of the time lapse and bring me back up to date. Enjoy.

Sophie swimming in her new wetsuit at Terrigal. Yes it was that cold.
Sasha - Nathan & Kirsty's new Staffy/Malamute cross
Olivia at the park
Sophie at the park
Sophie at her pre-school Easter Party
Pre-school Easter cake
Clever cupcakes
Sophie and friends meeting the Easter bunny

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do you Shazam?

Do you Shazam? Do you know what it is? If you don't then I will fill you in. It is the most awesome app, that when you tap it, it 'listens' to the music that is playing and will then tell you the title of the song and the artist singing it. How totally cool is that? ! Yep, very, I know.

As you may or may not be aware I am involved in the youth program in my church, which is a program that is for girls and boys aged 12-17 where they have their own Sunday school lessons, separate lessons for the girls and boys and separate and joint activities. Naturally the kids want to dance and so such activities are put on and last weekend it was the turn of Baulkham Hills (my area) to 'host' a dance. This means being in charge of decorations, a theme if you want one, food and advertising the event. I am really sad to say that I didn't get any pictures of the whole thing but the kids did a great job. Wednesday eve we spent a couple of hours putting up decorations including a spiders web of streamers across the hall to give a feeling of a lower ceiling, top hats strung up, paper hats on fishing wire across the room, painting pictures of different types of hats, balloons and the food and drink in the hall area. There was lots of dancing, more kids than normal there, groans when it was time to end, and even this old leader got up and had a groove when Arrested Development and Montell Jordan were played. 1992-1995 tunes were just brilliant.

What has all this got to do with Shazam you ask. Well, Friday night was the dance and being 'old' and not having a working radio in my car, there were loads of songs that were played that I didn't know what they were and who they were by. I Shazamed a lot through out the evening downloaded the songs off itunes and now I have a new playlist! Totally awesome.    

So download Shazaam, for free, you get about 5 tags a month for free and get yourself a new playlist. Brilliant.

Friday, March 23, 2012


On the 22nd March 1997 two people were married first at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints in Norwich, Norfolk, England,

After a brief reception at Dunston Hall,they zoomed down the motorway with close loved ones to the temple, where they were married for time and eternity.

They looked like this on that cold, bright March morning in England.

Now, 15 yrs on they look more like this, even though this picture is a little old now.

Plus there have been 2 of the most incredible additions to this little family and they look like this now.

Today, after 15 years of marriage I wanted to make it known how lucky I am to love and be loved back. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

And finally Away

Tuesday was the designated day when finally all post to my sisters and parents would be sent. So 3 big parcels were put together and addressed and taken to the Post Office. Thank goodness Mum and Dad and Robyn were here at Christmas so I didn't have to post. I had forgotten how expensive it is. Sheesh.

Mum and Dad got back the 2 t-shirts that Dad left here all ironed, temple cards and birthday and Mothers Day cards.

Jemma and Jay got a little parcel with Noah's birthday present and card in. I know it is late but gosh I hope he loves his train caddy.

Kathryn and Adam got a parcel with Dilly the Dinosaur activity books in and a Martian Shapes book, plus Issac's dinosaur drawstring bag and my very lovely blue and white elephant which Kathryn is giving to her friend as a baby gift.

Everyone I hope you love the stuff in your parcels and they make you smile even a little.

I love you all.

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

It is lovely Noah's first birthday and I had decided to make him something for his big day. I heard via the grapevine, ok, Mum, that he was getting some Chuggington trains for his birthday and so an idea started to form. 

Have you seem this awesome car caddy tutorial at homemade by jill

I totally love it and have had it bookmarked for soooo long waiting to make it. So with Noah's big day approaching I thought why not? I headed off to Spotlight with my list in hand (oh I have to add a child free trip, it wouldn't have been fun with little ones wanting to leave whilst I was choosing fabric) and wandered around gathering my supplies. 

I had it in my mind that I would use the basis of the tutorial but tweak it and make a train caddy. Less pockets, but bigger ones, train tracks instead of a road and of course a chugging train on the front and not a car, and amazingly the picture in my mind came to fruition.

The pictures show the finished specimen.

As you can see I chose a black denim, and grey cotton drill for the main inside colour. The tracks are the softest wool blend felt (not cheap but feels so nice) and the actual tracks are a black satinish piping I think. I found it on a huge reel in the trims section when looking for the white piping for the edging. When I saw it I immediately thought tracks and then I cut it to size and hand sewed the pieces on. The tracks are a little wonky but I hope Noah won't mind. 

On the front I found a simple picture of a train from a children's colouring page and cut it out in felt. I used Wonder Under to attach the felt to the denim but it did not work! No sticking at all. So I appliqued around the wheels and steam clouds which actually gave it really nice texture and then just hand sewed a couple of stiches on corners to hold the body of the train down. 

I also found black belting and velcro as I wanted it to just blend into the denim and I think I achieved that in the end.

I am happy with it and learned new things along the way, which is always a bonus I think, but find it so frustrating along the way when I have to go back and unpick, which more than often is down to me and my rush to finish and perhaps not understanding the instructions properly.

What did I learn? Well I had never used piping before on the edges of something, and when the tutorial suggests that you attach the velcro before the end of everything LISTEN. Hand stitching through that and denim was a killer. As per the tutorial I did attempt to paint on the denim using acrylic paint and stensils but they bled terribly and looked dreadful so whilst it was still wet I managed to wash the paint off and had to leave if for a day or so to dry. Then using felt cut out the numbers and hot glued them on. Phew it turned out ok. 

So is another car caddy on the drawing board? Totally! Watch out Issac a home for Lightening McQueen will be on his way to you very shortly.

Not forgotten

I haven't forgotten you my little blog in fact I think about you a lot but it almost feels like I have fallen out of the habit of writing on you. 

Perhaps I have and so a new resolve to fill you in on my little world, or some of it at least.

A 'custom order' was placed for some nappy pants in varying sizes and colours so I got down to business and made them, and guess what? I forgot to take any photos and I have to say they did look super. My favourite ones were the little 3-6 month size in yellow seersucker, just gorgeous.

I was feeling a little out ok understatement, a lot, out of control with regards to my eating habits and so I decided to challenge myself and see if I could go without chocolate for 40 days, it just so happens lent is on now so... So far I am at day 23 and all is well. There has only been 1 day when I was really wrestling with myself as to wanting some but I feel good and in control. Sadly no weight has been lost, so I am already considering my next options for a 'do without' period and see how I feel. Sugar/desserts/cakes etc are high on the list as is bread. Hmmm decisions decisions.

I will let you know what I do and how I go.

Olivia has been ill a bit lately first with head cold/ flu symptoms and right now is on a course of antibiotics for a strep throat infection. Todd has been giving her drinks of juice/cordial/squash what ever you call it, with a vitamin C powder supplement in it, unbeknown to her, with the hope that she can feel better and her little body can fight off these germs a bit more. She has never eaten much fruit and I do worry about her getting sick because of it. So fingers crossed this works in the short term.

Last night was our ward New Beginnings Evening. We decided to have it in the garden at the Presidents home, under a gazebo and crossed our fingers and toes that the weather would hold as it has been so horrendous lately. It was lovely. We decorated with fairy lights, bunting made in the colours of the values and little lanterns that hang from fishing wire with a tea light candle in them and when it gets dark they look like they are floating. It was really pretty, and then just a few nibbles for supper and gorgeous girls to spend the time with. A lovely evening.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dinos galore

I am so happy with Isaac's dino bag.

It is made from some Michael Miller Dino Mates cotton and a 'boyish' stripey cotton knit I had in my box already that I bought at Spotlight. They matched perfectly and I just added some orange satin ribbon and the drawstring bag was complete. Perfect for keeping toy dinos in and off the floor.

On Saturday when cleaning and sorting the girls book cases, I found some Dilly the Dinosaur activity books, that Mum gave me when Olivia was little, so now they are winging their way across the ocean to Isaac who loves dinos, along with the drawstring bag. 

It is so cute isn't it? and the good news, there is enough material left for another dino bag. Maybe when Noah is bigger he may want one too. We shall see.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It has been too long

It has been too long since last I posted, and  I am sorry about that, but also can I say I am not sorry too, because I had the best time with mum and dad and my sister here. With my sewing things all put away in cupboards and boxes I had very little inkling to sew. Here are a few pics of the rest of our summer.

However, now that everyone has gone and I have recovered from the melancholy that saying goodbye to family for a time always brings to me I am ready and raring in fact to create some things. 

School and pre-school have started back with tears from both of my darling girls. One just flat out did not want to go, the other just wary and trepidatious about the move to Year 3 and will she be able to handle the work and the new stage in school.

With the return of routine, for them and for me, it means that I can get a wriggle on with some of the things that I want to achieve this year. So lists are being made and plans put in motion. 

I have a custom order for some nappy pants in varying sizes from 3-6 months upto 18mths and a very belated 2 yr old's present of a drawstring bag for his dinos and I think I am going to throw in a car caddy too because I am so late. I hope he loves them once they are done. With these in the pipeline please bear with me and I will get them finished as soon as possible to share with you.