Monday, January 24, 2011

you can blame my parents

I grew up listening to Dr Hook - and I still love listening to it..sad, but oh so true!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

little red chair

Over the past few days Ive been rearranging the little ones bedrooms. Isaac wanted a little study space in his bedroom to do his homework. I went searching the local secondhand shops and op shops today for a small table to use as a desk. Unfortunately I came up empty handed as far as a desk/table went, but I did find this gorgeous red chair.

Its actually a full size chair that the legs have been cut down on - and its the PERFECT height for my little man - much to the disgust of his sister who was with me when we bought it, and assumed it was for her. Dont worry, she didn't miss out completely, she got this very cute little bag.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

crochet projects

We are nearly three weeks into the new year and I haven't had the sewing machine out once yet! Ive been itching to get into some sewing, but the days seem a little full to squeeze it in at the moment.

Its still school holidays, and I seem to be swamped with tidying and washing and feeding kids - all day every day. Only a week and a half left until life returns to some sort or nice quiet and predictable school term routine. I'm looking forward to that part of it, but not the whole uniforms, lunches and out the door by 8.30am routine! Oh and then there is the covering and naming of three (yes, we will have three of the four kidlets at school this year!) sets of school books and stationary before then, and the larger than expected list of school uniforms and shoes that need to be purchased as well!

Thankfully to keep me sane I have still been getting some crafting time. Ive just had to move to something a little more portable and suitable for picking up for a few minutes here and there. In one of the craft books I got for Christmas, there is a lovely crocheted blanket pictured in the background of one of the project photos. It caught my eye as soon as I saw it. I wanted to make one! I had a little play around with some crochet last year and lets just say I realised I needed more practice! I got my yarn, and made this little test piece. It started off a bit wobbly on the ends, but straightened up about halfway through. I worked out what I was doing wrong and kept on practicing.

Now Ethel has a little rug in matching colours to what Jacinta's will be. I haven't blocked it or anything as its just for a doll (sorry Ethel!) so it looks even wonkier than it is. There are quite a few mistakes in it - it was a good learning curve for me. I also made the little vest for Isaac's Teddy - although I keep on finding Ethel wearing it as a dress! Considering I didn't have a pattern of anything and just winged it, it came out pretty well for a beginner!

Once I was confident I could actually pull this full single sized blanket off, I made a start.

I took this photo a few days ago, after another couple of hours, the pink strip is about double that size now. It was going to be totally random width stripes, but that will do my head in, so I'm thinking that it will follow a nice predictable pattern, which I will make up as I get to each colour. I will add in another white stripe next, before the blue to lighten it up a bit. I though the green and blue were a little too heavy in the test piece. I was looking for more of an teal or aqua, but this is all I could get form the local spotlight. Its an easy project to pick up here and there during the day, or sit and work on in front of the TV on my computer free nights. It is a slow process, but I'm finally starting to get the rhythm and find it quite relaxing. I'm already mentally planning boys colourways to go in Isaac's room!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

out from behind the camera

My kids are pretty used to having a camera pointed at them, so its no suprise that they are keen little photo takers too. They love running around with the point and shoot, capturing the world as they see it. It often makes for some very interesting veiwing as well - its not often you get to see the world through the eyes of a child. I was taking a few shots of the kids outside the other dya when Isaac asked if he could use my DSLR. I hesitantly handed it over, he was very careful and captured lots of shots of Jacinta and I - most of them in focus too! These are all SOC, and are a little dark - but I wasnt getting into letting him mess with the settings, so it was on the manual setting I had been using while facing the other way.

I really want to get some more photos of me this year - as much as I would prefer to stay behind the camera, I think its important to record some of the kids and I as well. The easiest way to achieve this is to hand the camera over more often - maybe I might get some more precious shots like this one! (This one has been lightened up a bit, and sharpened slightly in photoshop)

If you are reading this, I challenge you to hand the camera over to one of your kids (or set the timer if you dont have kids) and see what they see for a bit. Leave a comment and post some pics to your blogs - Id love to see what they capture...make sure you let them take some pictures of you as well...come on, out from behind that camera!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Every little bit counts

The devastation that hit QLD with in the last week was unfathomable. As fellow Australians I think we would all like to do something to help out those families who have lost everything. There are so many ways we can all do our little bit.

The other day the kids and I sorted through our toys and books and got together boot load of toys to donate to the QLD toy appeal.

We plan to put together a shoe box of love and drop that off at the local collection point.

The crafting community from Australia wide have banded together and there are auctions and raffles being run on blogs across the country with all the proceeds going to the Premiers flood relief appeal.

Toni from MIP, has co-ordinated a massive group of crafters and is hosting a fantastic fundraiser.

If you would like to check out some of the items on offer there is a master list on Tonis blog - Make it perfect. Some items are up for auction to the highest bidder, and there are many that are being run on a raffle system - you make a $5 (some are more) donation direct to the relief fund and then leave your receipt number in the comments section to enter. It is run on an honesty system, some require an emailed copy of your donation receipt if you win. There are new auctions being added each day!

Ive also put my name down to make some quilt blocks for the quilts for Queensland project, being organised by Corrie from retro mummy

qld quilt button

They are only little things in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit helps!

Gratitude journal

everyday life | week 2

playground adventures #1

Bythorne Park Nairne

As part of my getting outside more challenge (ie the lets try and get my vitamin D levels back up to normal challenge) I decide that I would try and visit a few of the playgrounds around the area with Isaac & Jacinta.
When my sister sent me a message the other night to see if we wanted to go to a playground not far from her I jumped at the chance.

We woke to a foggy, cool morning. Its the middle of summer, so we were confident that by the time we met there at 9.30am the fog would have lifted.
NOT! I had to put the windscreen wipers on as we neared the playground - in fact when I eventually got home at about midday, it was still foggy!

Since I had driven the 15 minutes to get there, we put on our brave faces (Vic & I that is, the kids neither noticed nor cared what the weather was like!) and went for a play.

The playground is situated next to a man made lake and has a beautiful outlook (well what we could see through the fog), on a nice warm day it would be beautiful exploring the garden areas, following the paths, and playing under the sleeper tepees.

Bailey loved the steps, apart from a few seconds checking out the equipment, these kept him busy the whole time we were there LOL

The kids all LOVED banging on the drums

playing peek a boo around the posts

feeding the ducks


riding the rocket

and playing spiderman games on the giant web.
Vic wasn't up there voluntarily, she was rescuing Isaac who got himself stuck!

So what did we think? 7/10
Its a lovely area. The playground equipment is probably most suited to pre-schoolers and older rather than toddlers, but there was enough space and natural play areas to keep the littlest ones busy. There was an under cover BBQ area up away from the lake, and as an added bonus we even got to see a train go through on the nearby tracks! Plenty of parking, and public toilets (although miraculously no one needed to use them!) Defiantly worth a visit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A glimpse into the future?

3.07pm - She spent about 20 min talking on the phone to her cousin Georgia this afternoon. My sister and I both put the phones on hands free so we can listen in on the conversation. It was hilarious. I don't think either of them actually listened to much the other said, they were both to busy trying to say their bit. Jazz had to wander around as she chatted - she even 'took' Georgia into her bedroom to talk about her new kitchen! Very cute, and they both thought they were pretty special.

6.27pm - she was laying quietly doing some drawing when she suddenly rushed to her room. She returned to her spot, phone to her ear and chatted away for a few minutes before carefully placing the phone next to her book and resuming her artistic pursuits!

She loves the telephone. It rings and she wants to talk. If an object is around about the right size and shape, she puts it to her ear and starts chatting away. The wii remotes are a favourite 'phone', and can often be found in use. TV remotes, small boxes, even the occasional shoe have become victim to her obsession. In her Christmas stocking there was a plastic mobile phone - she loves it! I'm thinking that by the time she gets to the teenage years, she will probably have a phone permanently attached to her ear - I'm sure it wont be the freebie or $2 plastic version that is in favour now either, I'm betting it will be something that needs a constant stream of money to keep it functioning...perhaps I should start her on a savings plan now to fund her telephone habits during the up coming years!!!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Gratitude journal

As well as my everyday life photos, I'm also going to keep a gratitude journal using these templates. I like to be able to journal a little more than what I can on the my weekly template, so this may be the a great way to record a little more detail, and practice my writing skills, rather than my well honed rambling skills, when I feel like I want to!

PS - speaking of gratitude, you will all be grateful to know that Ive now caught up on all the posts I had in draft form etc from the last week or so. Sorry for the overload today!

everyday life | week 1

As much as I enjoyed my Photo a day challenge last year, I have decided to approach it a little differently this year. I'm going to choose 10 photos a week and put them together as an overview of the week. This will allow me to add more than one photo from a day, and not necessarily require me to take photos every single day. I put together the template, from some freebies designed for a monthly photo project, available from simple as that , and customised it a little to suit what I was after.

getting organised...again

For the past few years I have designed and printed my own diary. This year Ive decided to give a pre made one a go. Mooo have one that can be personalised with up to six names, so that's what I got.

Its cute, and it has space for each of us. I'm already missing the block of space at the top for notes and family activities that my old diary included though. I will keep working with it and see how it goes. Of course I couldn't resist the temptation to personalise it just a little. I loved the monthly tabs on last years diary, so I gently removed them and added them onto this years, and added the little heart to the front as well.

I also ordered some book plates for my increasing stash of craft books.

I looked around at lots of different ones, but ended up using the return address labels from Vista print. You can usually pick then up free, just pay a few dollars postage and there are 140 of them. There are heaps of pre designed ones, but I choose to use the blank template and vista prints clip art and design my own. I have also customised these in the past to use as name labels for the kids, and some 'book plates' as a gift for a friend who regularly lends me some of her envious stash of crafty titles.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Creative goals for 2011

Its the beginning of a new year, and time to start thinking about what I would like to achieve creatively over the next twelve months.

This year I plan to commit to a regular crafty day (at least once a month) with my friend Nell (and anyone else we can round up!) so hopefully I might actually get some projects finished.

* Single bed quilt for Jacinta - have the fabrics
* Single bed quilt for Isaac - have the fabrics
* Complete my 'scrap' quilt
* A red, pink & aqua quilt - have the fabrics
* buy a darning foot and learn to free motion quilt
* Crochet a stripy rug for Jacinta's bed - have the wool
* Knit a vest for Jacinta - have the wool (don't have the skill or knowledge!!!)
* Knit a beanie for Isaac - started
* Make a pot holder, tea towel & apron set for the play kitchen
* Flanny PJ pants - 3 each for the kids for winter
* make five gifts for my facebook pay it forward ( I still have some spots if anyone wants to join in! same as my blog PIF from last year, it was just doing the rounds on facebook and I decided to join in there. Join up and I will send you a handmade something with in the next 12 months, in return you agree to post the same offer on your facebook/blog and send out 5 gifts as well. Leave a comment here if you are not a facebooker and I will reserve a spot for you)

OK, that should do me for a start! And that's only the bigger projects I have planned!!!!

Here are the fabrics for my pink/aqua/red quilt. Its my favourite colour combo at the moment. It makes me feel happy just seeing these colours together.

I got this selection yesterday from The patchwork apple (my LQS) which sadly is going to be closing its doors soon... but of course that means a big closing down sale - how could a girl resist!

I will miss being able to pop in there for a little fabric fix, or some creative or practical advice from Jane. I bought my very first quilting fabrics from Jane many years ago (when she was at Lenswood) so its a bit sentimental seeing the shop close. I'm sure life has many wonderful things in store for Jane, and she will now have more time to devote to her family, quilting and life.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Mummy, can we have a picnic ?

Why not!!! Food (cheese & biscuits, cherries, apple & carrots, fairy bread) and drink (a jug of milk) the picnic rug and the shade of the tree in our front yard. Check, Check, Check - everything for a perfect picnic!

There was lots of chatting, laughing, cherry pipping, eating, cherry pipping, tickling, funny faces, and taking turns to take photos. It all ended with a big tickle fight. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Old Tailem Town

A few images from our visit to Old Tailem Town today.

I loved wandering through the old houses. Seeing the way they would make do - furniture made from what ever they could get their hands on, quilts created out of necessity from fabric remnants salvaged from anywhere possible. Life was simple,
and must have been hard work! The houses felt lived in and authentic, you could walk right through them, immersed in the life and times of the families that had lived there. The shops interested me much less, they could really do with quite a bit of maintenance. Unfortunately, as I stood looking into them, they just seemed grotty and unkept. It was definately worth the drive, and if I should return, it would be with a big can of aeroguard - the mozzies and flys were shocking!