Saturday, November 27, 2010

5,4,3,2,1,Blast off

10.30am this morning saw the arrival of 8 of Isaac's kindy friends for his very first friends birthday party. Up until now parties have been mostly family - not that you would really notice, or that he has missed out, once my sisters and I get together there are 9 kids between us - so its pretty much a party on its own anyway! But now he has had a year at kindy we decided to celebrate with family on the day, and then let him invite his choice of kindy friends for a party the week after.

Finally, after much planning, waiting and waking each day to "is it my party day now?", today was the big day.
Isaac decided quite some time ago that it would be a Rocket party.

Firstly there were the invitations - which we could only send out a week ago due to quite a few commitments and dates waiting to be confirmed.

We must have chosen the date well - all of his invited friends, 7 boys and one girl, were able to make it.

I love planning kids parties. I'm never organised enough to have it done in plenty of time though. Thankfully this morning my sister Jodi came early and helped finish off a few last minute things, like wrapping the pass the parcel and finishing off the food. Her little boy Riley is at kindy with Isaac and came to the party. ( Yes I know Vic! (my other sister) she will be reading this and shaking her head, she is far to organised these days and puts me to shame - her favourite line "what have you been doing all week?" I was really busy, I promise!!!)
There are always so many ideas spinning around in my head when planning a party that only a very small proportion of them ever come into being.
I have seen the full on candy bar idea on party type blogs etc and really love it - it always looks awesome. I wanted to set one up BUT a group of 10 five year olds unleashed on unlimited lollies - not really my idea of a great party.
I decided on a very much scaled down version - just two cups of lollies, lolly pops & mini cheesels. I prettied up the table by draping it with a black sheet, adding a framed rocket post card, some themed cookie pops in bright cups and the party bags displayed in a wooden tray with a small balloon arrangement. A little table also held a bottle of rocket fuel (water) and some cups ready for the guests to help themselves.

The party bags contained a small pull back quad bike, ball, 2 x lolly pops, bubbles, 2 x sticker sheets and a rocket cookie pop.

Lucky that I did scale it right back - this little monkey thought it was set up just for her I think. She ate more lollies than I care to acknowledge today!

Then there were the party games.
Isaac announced on the way to an appointment yesterday that he needed to have a pinata at his party! Like I didn't have enough on my plate already! I explained that we didn't have one - his solution "well you can just make one Mummy" With such a limited time frame, I came up with this solution. Balloons with a handful of wrapped lollies inside. The kids had to hit them with a plastic hand fly swat (unused ones!) until the balloons burst and the lollies flew everywhere. Some burst easily, and others took quite a bit of hitting.

The next game was a moon rock race - aka an egg and spoon race using ping pong balls.

Then there was the old party favourite, pass the parcel.

Next it was time for lunch. The party boy was getting the grumps up by this time, hence the empty chair in both these pics. He eventually pulled himself together again and joined us for lunch. Sandwiches, little pies and sausage rolls, pineapple & strawberry, and kabana, cheese & cherry tomato kebabs that were supposed to look like rockets, cocktail franks, fairy bread stars and apple juice.

Of course, no party is complete with out a birthday cake. A rocket of course.

Including fiery sparkler boosters.

I mentioned earlier that there was just one girl invited.
Jana is apparently Isaac's girl friend.
Isaac is apparently Jana's boy friend.
It was cute to see them hanging out together today. She helped him open his presents, and sat by him. She was also smart enough to go play with Jazz once his mood started to deteriorate! It was heart warming listening as we planned party stuff. This cookie is for Jana and I will put pink smarties on it, Jana can have this lolly pop in her party bag because its pink, - so it continued, my little man, so thoughtful and sweet (occasionally!)...just hope Jana likes pink LOL

After the guests had left and the cleaning up was done, he had a lovely time playing totem tennis, building lego, k'nex, and making moon sand creations.

The snorkel and mask even got a practice run in the bath tonight.

Tomorrow I've promised to play the lego game, and watch him try out his magic markers.
He had a wonderful day, got thoroughly spoilt, had a little melt down, and went to bed totally exhausted. I hope I managed to tick all the boxes for a fun and successful birthday party. I think I will sleep soundly tonight as well.

PS the biggest giggle I had all day - as one of his little mates was leaving I gave him a couple of extra lolly pops to tuck in his party bag for his sister - he looked longingly at the rest, sighed and in his most gorgeous and sincere voice said "you are SUCH a lucky duck having all those lolly pops" Such a precious age :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


.....a little sneak peek of the Secret Santa gift I'm making for one of the girls in my quilting group.

......and don't tell Isaac, but when he is at Kindy, Jacinta loves to play with his Teddy, and always chooses one of HIS favourite plates and cups to have her lunch from

- too cute!

12 Crafty days of Christmas

Would you like to join me in sharing a little Crafty Christmas inspiration?

The following bloggers are joining me in the
12 Crafty days of Christmas...
My Space
Little White Dove - Feathering my nest
Carrose Creations
Nellie Bligh
Banana Runkin
Kylies crafts

Thanks for joining in ladies!

I was planning on joining in with the advent blog-along again this year, but it seems that my diary for December is already looking VERY busy. Instead I decided that committing to share 12 Crafty Christmas ideas/projects etc between now and Christmas would be enough to keep me on track and motivated, but not overwhelmed!

I LOVE Christmas, and I would love to see what you are all up to as well. If I get anyone interested in joining me I will pop a list of participants here so my (little group of!) blog followers can hopefully come visit you as well. If there are no takers, I'm still going to be sharing!

There will be some decorations, sewing, the Christmas tree, some gift making, our Christmas card photo, teachers gifts, ( hopefully) a new wreath for the front door, gift wrapping and sharing of some cool crafty ideas I have bookmarked from some other blogs.

So if you sew, scrapbook, just make 'stuff', decorate your house, enjoy making your Christmas wrapping look pretty, make your own Christmas cards or even just want to share some links to favourite Christmas inspiration out there in blog land to inspire us all, pop a comment on this post to let me know you are going to join in, and we can all inspire and motivate each other through the Christmas season!

Friday, November 19, 2010


The celebration of Isaac's 5th birthday began today....

He awoke to a lovely pile of presents

all opened on our bed as usual...

There were presents in the mail (thanks Ange! your timing was spot on xxx)

Lunch at the bakery with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Jode, Auntie Vic, Georgia & Bailey, followed by cake back at our place.

In between visitors, and pone calls, there was lots of Lego building and playing (his favourite thing to do at the moment)
Some yummy name biscuits made by Auntie Vic - VERY impressed!

Because there is a c in her name, she got to share this one.

The dinner request was sausages and salad.

and yet another cake..appropriately decorated with Lego men (most of them have such grumpy and mean faces...these guys really need to lighten up!)

and a quick photo with Mummy
and to think, just five years ago this was us...

It seems like so long ago, but also like only yesterday.
Happy Birthday Isaac xxx
let the preparations for next weekends 'Rocket' birthday party begin!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

pretty dresses

This dress turned out every bit as pretty as I had hoped.

I used the raglan shift dress pattern from whole grain baby. I made it using the size 2 pattern (only because that was what I had printed and cut up from last year!) I added a little to the length, and also added about 2cm to the sleeve length to male it sit down a little more rather than sit out.

The gorgeous Riley Blake fabrics are from the same range that I have to make the quilt for Jacinta's bed.

I ordered them online, and they were even more beautiful in real life than they were on my screen!

I was inspired to use this fabric combo by a beautiful dress Nat from Patooties had in her recent shop stocking. I loved it as soon as I saw it, and when I went looking to find out what it was, I found the entire range and knew it was perfect for the dress and the quilt I had in my mind!

Friday, November 12, 2010

got to be in it!

Want a chance to win a fat quarter pack of these delightful fabrics?

Corrie at Retro Mummy is generously giving two readers a chance to win a set of all fourteen fat quarters - imagine what you could make with that! Head on over to the Retro Mummy blog to find out the details!

Homemade Muesli Bars

Yesterday Isaac wanted to make some Muesli bars.

I checked out several recipes on line, got the general idea and off we went. Well I'm glad to report they taste delicious, BUT as far as being a Muesli bar they were just kind of not! Most of it crumbled into many, many pieces when I tried to cut it.

The kids grabbed handfuls, squeezed it together into a bar of sorts, and ate it any way. I keep nibbling as I pass by.

Back to the drawing board with this one!
Any one point me in the direction of a good muesli bar recipe?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Kitchen Garden

I have fond childhood memories of helping my Dad & Grandpa tending the HUGE vegetable garden at my Nanna & Pa's. My Mums Dad always had veggies & fruit trees growing as well, and both my parents and Craig's have grown veggies over the years.

As a child I experienced the crunchiness of apples picked straight from the tree. Knew the deliciousness of a tomato, eaten straight from the vine, and savoured the way its scent lingered on my hands even after the delicious warm flesh had been eaten. Ive picked a lemon and bitten into it, its sourness stinging my tongue as much as the squirts of juice stung my eyes. Ive collected walnuts, and layed them on the racks to dry, and spent many a day cracking them open with stones, or by throwing them hard on the concrete. Ive pulled carrots from the ground, and been treated being allowed to eat the tiny ones as the beds were thinned. Ive collected the eggs, still warm from being layed, and thrown kitchen scraps to the chooks. I devoured the sweet delicate flavour of a fresh ear of corn, dripping in butter, and the inevitable burnt mouth from not being able to wait for it to cool before trying to eat it.

I have so many happy memories of ordinary everyday meals, shared with family, the table laden with food that was harvested only hours ago. Of the aroma of sauce permeating everything in the house after the tomatoes sat bubbling away for hours to make sauce. Of the sweet taste of peaches and apricots over winter from the preserving jars that lined the pantry shelves. Of running down the back to pick a bunch of mint for Mum to make mint sauce to go with the roast lamb, or chives to mix through sour cream to top some webbered potatoes. I also hold some not so fond memories of the broad beans we would be served by Pa G during our weekly meals together, grown with love I'm sure, but a taste for which I have never acquired, they were tolerated only by being smothered in the most delicious gravy, made in the roasting pan from the meat juices thickened with flour.

These are all the sorts of things that I want my kids to experience. The memories I want to be able to create for them. Our garden will never be on the scale of those of my grandparents. I doubt my kids will ever have the joy of raising backyard chickens. Our garden will be created our way, in our time, and in the space we have available to us. We will create our own memories

I have yearned for a real veggie garden. Something filled with all the things we love to eat. Over the years I have had various herbs and vegetables growing in pots, and in a small bed (which was removed a couple of years ago to make way for a storage shed!). I loved the idea of a raised garden bed. Something the kids could help tend, but not walk (or ride) straight over! I was going to get one of the timber framed beds, but Craig wasn't that keen on them. One day he arrived home with this corrugated garden bed.

I was stoked! We choose a spot for it,

filled it with soil,

and finally got the seedlings we bought the week before planted in the ground.

The kids have helped water everyday.

Isaac has been planning this garden for a while - here is his wish list of things to plant that we made about a month ago.

We pretty much have everything on his list planted. We currently have tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bunny ball carrots, dwarf snow peas, green, red & yellow capsicums.

After a quick pot raid at Grandma & Grandpa's we added some pots of strawberries and some chives this morning.

We still need to find somewhere to plant Isaac's radish seeds, some repeat harvest lettuces, baby spinach, and a few more herbs. We also have a mushroom farm around somewhere, I must get it out and see if it will still grow!

I cant wait until it is all ready for harvesting - just in time for lots of delicious summer salads. There is nothing in the world like the flavour of home grown produce...especially tomatoes fresh from the vine!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Dolls quilt swap - what I received

Just as I opened the garage door to go out yesterday, the white postal delivery van pulled in with a registered dolls quilt! To say I was chuffed when I realised that the talented Anna from tillytom had made a quilt for me is an understatement.
When I opened it up and saw this gorgeous little quilt, complete with two little birdies in a tree I was thrilled. How cute is it, and doesn't the quilting look fantastic.

You can see some more photos that Anna blogged here THANK YOU Anna, it is just beautiful and we will treasure it!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Dolls quilt swap - what I made

Today is opening day - unfortunately my quilt hasn't arrived yet (hopefully it comes today!) for me to open, so I thought I would share the quilt I made. It has arrived and been opened. I made a quilt for the lovely Kirsty . As part of the sign up process for the swap, you have to answer set of questions about your likes and dislikes etc. Kirsty had requested a wall hanging, and said she liked Modern quilts, applique, piecing, and most colours except gold. The only things she didn't want on there were ric rak, ribbon, buttons and lace She also wanted to hang it next to a gorgeous green & blue quilt she had received in a previous swap, so it needed to compliment that.

This is what I came up with....

I really enjoyed making this quilt. I read a heap of binding tutorials before I finished off this quilt, and I'm thrilled with the lovely even binding I achieved. I tried raw edge applique for the first time - surprisingly quick and although fiddly, quite simple - don't know why I hadn't attempted it earlier! The only things I'm a little disappointed with is 1. the quilting. I still haven't attempted free motion quilting, and think it would have looked gorgeous with all the white area around the tree and the border strips in a nice dense swirly pattern and 2. the number of corners I managed to chop off the pinwheel blocks! But in all, Im really happy with the results, and when Kirsty opened it this morning, she said she loved it - and that's the main thing!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

We love the Postie

This morning we had a registered package arrive at the door, amid much excitement from the little ones.

If only you could see the full on melt down occurring a few feet away from this smiling face. Jazz got to get the parcel from the delivery lady, and then it was Isaac's turn to have a hold...she did not want to give it up!!!

I finally succumb to the lure of buying some fabric from the US. I have a wonderful quilt shop in the next town, and usually I get most of my fabrics from there. With the strong Aussie dollar and the cheap US prices, I finally got over my guilt of not supporting local and placed an order. I have been able to justify it to myself, in that I simply wouldn't have made the purchase at all if I had to buy it at AUS prices - I got fabric for summer quilts for Isaac & Jacinta (just need to get backing for them) and fabric for a dress for Jacinta...all for about 1/3 of what it would have cost me here.
I ordered through a store called Hawthorne Threads. I found their prices, customer service and super speedy delivery to be exceptional, and wow, can those girls cram a priority mail satchel to the brim!

Surrounded by wide eyes and exclamations of how gorgeous the prints were (and the kids were pretty excited as well!) we carefully unpacked the beautiful fabrics. The fabrics for Isaac's quilt are mainly the All Star 2 range from Riley Blake in the blue colourway, and all the divine girly prints are The Quilted Fish, Sweet Divinity range in pink, blue and a few cream prints.
With the tantrum of only a few minutes ago forgotten, Jazz was enthralled by the patterns and pretty colours.
and has declared the spotty ones as her favourite prints. I cant wait to get a start on washing, cutting and piecing!