Monday, August 31, 2009

Yellow reminds me of sunny days

Pink just made me want to bake cupcakes.

Ignore the mess. We went with Dulux 'straw' in the end (I won). 1/2 strength. I love it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Presently making presents

A peasant dress for a four year old friend.
And a 'super-cute tote' from the Meet Me at Mikes book for my mum. It is actually super-cute and just the right size for her essentials i.e keys, phone, wallet. I still need a slightly larger bag for my essentials i.e keys, phone, wallet, nappy, wipes, water bottle, sultanas, toy car, textas, notepad, clips and tissues. One day I'll get to carry a small bag again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not sew busy

I haven’t been sewing busy. I’ve been ‘other’ busy. Looking after little people busy. And I’m back in ‘going to bed when they go to bed’ mode because one of the little people thinks 5am is a good time to start the day.

Which means I've only had a little bit of time for SKIRT MANIA II. SKIRT MANIA I was this time last year before all the summer markets when I vowed to never make another skirt again. I've recovered enough to make these -


Monday, August 24, 2009


I've never rallied before because I've never felt strongly enough about anything before but I do feel strongly about women being able to choose where and how they give birth. I chose to birth Rory at home with the loving support of my family and our midwife who had become part of the family.

I chose homebirth because I didn't want to labour in the hospital (they have a tendency to take over as I discovered when Abby was born) and couldn't fathom having advanced labour contractions in the car on the way to the hospital. Instead I laboured in my lounge room, gave birth to Rory on the bathroom floor (we couldn't fill the bath quick enough!), and drank my fancy champagne and ate my fancy brie in my favourite chair before going to sleep in the comfort and quiet of my very own bed. I was very lucky to have such a lovely birth experience and my hope is that any woman in Australia could have the same.

Ummm I could go on and on but I won't because this is a craft blog. If you want to read more start here.

Rory brand new

Seasonally optimistic

Last week we had some sunny days with temperatures in the mid 20s so last night before I went to bed (and without checking the weather forecast) I selected this outfit:
Jeans, my new top, and birkenstocks.

Maybe not. It's 15, windy and rainy today so instead I'm wearing boots, tights, skirt, coat and even a scarf to the Playschool concert.

I made the blouse using Simplicity 4589 (again) and the fabric is Amy Butler (although I didn't realise that when I bought it. It doesn't seem to be anything like her others.)

It's in the rotation

My sister gave me a subscription to delicious magazine for my birthday (or was it Christmas? I don't remember since they are so close together it is one long gift-fest). A few recipes have made it into our regular rotation including this Pumpkin and Pasta Bake. It ticks all the boxes for weeknight dining - cheap, easy, speedy and hoovered by all members of the family.

Here's how we make it -
A splash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
About 800g pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
3 cups vegetable stock
300g pasta (penne, bow ties etc not spaghetti or fettuccine)
300ml pure cream
1 tbs chopped rosemary
Breadcrumbs and cheese to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until the onion softens slightly. Add the pumpkin, stir to combine, then add half the stock and cook for 5-6 minutes until the pumpkin begins to soften.
Stir in the pasta, cream, rosemary and remaining stock (I thought this was a really strange way to cook the pasta as I've never seen it cooked in anything besides water before but it seems to
work). Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the pasta and pumpkin are tender.
Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Eat. Yum. Yum.
Also in the rotation (and ticking all the same boxes) at the moment is Rhonda's Spinach Pie. We are making it at least once a week and I like to eat the leftovers cold for lunch the next day.
In other food news, the pantry is a bit more close-able now. I made an orange and polenta cake but it was pretty crunchy and most of it ended up in the bin.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My weekend

Making : pumpkin pasta bake from August's delicious magazine for tea
Cooking : pumpkin soup and Rhonda's bread for lunch
Drinking : morning coffee at the Farmer's Market with my uni friends
Reading: Dooce's book and The Time Traveller's Wife

Wanting: the 5am wake up phase to end soon!
Looking: forward to the rally next week
Playing: Thomas the Tank for Rory to keep him occupied at 5am

Wasting: apples. You can't ask for a 'papple' and only take one bite, son!

Sewing: s
kirts and peasant dresses for the next market and a Spring top for me
Wishing: we could afford a cleaner
Enjoying: My Sister's Keeper (the movie)
Waiting: for the next chapter to begin (cryptic!)
Liking: 35% off at Patchwork by Sea

Loving: all the fabric I bought at the sale
Wondering: what I'm going to make with it allHoping: we didn't plant our tomatoes too early
Marvelling: at the sponge-like qualities of the 4 year old brain
Needing: burnt orange cotton and skinny elastic to finish some projects
Smelling: jasmine and trying to contain it so it doesn't take over our garden

Wearing: my boots for probably the last time this winter

Following: Cherry's and Tracey's new blogs

Noticing: that winter seems to be getting shorter every year
Feeling: like I miss Shell (my sister who has moved to Dubai for 2 years)
Bookmarking: These dischloths in preparation for the Jellywares swap
Opening: a tin of 'straw' to paint the kitchen
Giggling:at Rory's new favourite word - ute

Thanks Pip for the idea!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

5 minute refashion

Women's t-shirt to kiddy dress. I simply chopped off the sleeves, took a few centimetres off the armholes and sewed the sleeves back on. I used an existing dress of Abby's as a guide. She thinks it has 'party dress' potential but for $1 I'm gonna let her make mud pies in it.

He-who-is-happy-to-play-with-one-car for half an hour and I visited some op-shops on Wednesday while she-of-little-patience was at kindy. After a babycino at the Brown Dog Cafe (delicious food but crumby service) we popped into the Sunflower Shop on Goodwood Road. It is a small shop but has huge turnover so there's always something good (especially women's clothing and shoes). I had a hot tip (from an eavesdropped conversation) about the Salvos in
Darlington on South Road so we headed there next. The selection of clothing was pretty daggy but they had heaps of furniture and also manchester. We also stopped in at the Big A Op Shop on Goodwood Road as I'd never seen it open before. I was underwhelmed and probably won't bother visiting again. I think I picked up some doilies there but that was about it.

Here is the rest of our haul -
- A cushion cover I plan to turn into a tote bag.
- Some vintage Sheridan sheets with purple flowers (seemingly brand new!)
- Some pillowcases and assorted lovely linens
- a ute and about 10 other matchbox cars for the walrus because he can say 'ute' now and it makes me laugh and he seems to have this idea in his head that when he visits an op-shop he has to buy a car.

In other op-shop news I have booked to go on a you us and a bus tour. I'm hoping they'll introduce me to some op-shops I haven't visited before.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saying 'no' to the kindy uniform

Because it makes me feel good to know she is going to kindy wrapped up in a little piece of love. And because they don't have to wear a uniform to kindy anyway. And the uniform is actually quite hideous. And because, quite frankly, I don't want her to look like everyone else. And because it's ok to be different, in fact it should be celebrated. And if the kids laughed at you because you had chopped up raw capsicum in your lunchbox (ok that is a little weird) don't worry because everyone likes different things and if you like capsicum that's all that matters.

The buttons are from Badskirt. And the dress pattern is 1970s from the Op-Shop except I made it way shorter (just below her bottom) so she can still climb and jump and swing and scoot and cycle. The fabric was $2 from the remnants bin at Lincraft.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Polka Dot Swap

I know the Polka Dot Swap was so July '09 but sadly it seems my parcel from Sally is lost in the post so I haven't been able to blog about it. I secretly think the postie's wife is shopping with my lovely tote but we haven't given up and I'm still staking out the letterbox.

Sally is new to sewing so I made her a 'work' apron using Bari J's tutorial. It's just like the one I made for my MIL for Christmas except dotty (of course).

And also a pincushion (and one for me) because you can never have too many.
Now I'm on the hunt for more swaps.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tweet tweet

I changed the googly eyes but the basic pattern is from Handmade magazine.

Finished in a hurry because the library has started sending me nasty letters (something about a 4 week borrowing limit) and Poppy is getting impatient!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The market

I'm still recovering from the market on Sunday. It was mayhem and I did not stop chatting all day (to customers, friends who said hi and my market buddy Bec - sorry for talking your ear off I don't get out much!). I even met someone who reads my blog. That makes 3 of you!

I only managed to take a few photos after the rush hence the empty racks.

The downside of a busy market day is that we have to (find time to) sew madly so we can do it all again next month. Sewing madly isn't the down side no no! But it can take over my life sometimes. The upside is that now I can go crazy buying new fabric. I spent an hour at Spotlight last night and came home with this:

When I came home I jumped online and bought a few more things including this fabric to make myself a new Anna Tunic.

And the fun didn't stop there! On Tuesday I said to the kids listen up! You get a ride on the train, a visit to the beach, a play at the park and a babycino so please can you give me 10 minutes of shopping time at my favourite fabric shop? I used my firm but not mean mummy voice and they obliged. Infact one of them even fell asleep. (BTW Adelaide people Patchwork by Sea are having a sale - up to 35% off - on Saturday 22nd of August. The details are in their newsletter.) I came home with the last remaining metre of this Amy Butler fabric.

Filling up my bucket

When I had counselling for PND last year I was told to 'empty my bucket.' The theory being that on top of cleaning, cooking, shopping and keeping a toddler happy, the baby was too much to cope with and my bucket was overflowing. So I simplified my life and only did what was absolutely necessary to keep myself and two kids alive until 5pm when Chris came home (really, it was that bad).

One of the tasks I relinquished was menu planning and shopping (Chris took over). I haven't complained but I am getting really sick of bangers and mash! Chris also doesn't seem to 'get' the reduce part of reduce reuse recycle and often comes home with items such as this:
Oh dear. They are truss tomatoes! They are all connected already! They don't need to be wrapped in plastic to keep them together!

So I've been slowly starting to fill the bucket back up and have taken on the shopping task once again. I sewed some nice produce bags (because SA is plastic bag free now but what about all those little bags for beans etc they are evil too) and we have been catching the bus or the tram into the central market every week and treating ourselves to a babycino and morning tea while we're there. Nothing too taxing about that now is there?

'Cleaning' however will not be going back into the bucket for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The story of a scarf (or how I find time to knit)

supervising bathtime
watching Oprah
at a family picnic while Chris cooks the barbie
at swimming
'refereeing' in the backyard

And that's where the story ends because what was I thinking making a scarf for an 18 month old??!!! As if he is ever going to keep it on.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's happening in the veggie patch

Adelaide has had a little tease of Spring the last few days. Oh, it's glorious to be outside in the sunshine.

We've been busy
+ weeding
+ 'befriending' caterpillars, slugs and snails
+ preparing the new veggie patch for planting
+ making mud pies in the bird bath
+ clearing an area for our new chooks!
+ hanging up a gazillion loads of washing
+ pouring bucket loads of water on our worm farm (apparently they don't mind) so they make more fertiliser for us.

I have found that chilli spray does a good job of deterring caterpillars and we are putting all our egg shells around the lettuces to see if we can keep the slugs and snails away.

Here are some photos of what we have growing at the moment

capsicum (only 1!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Messy mat

Because Walrus eats like a pig (I mean 18 month old) and I'm sick of the mess. There will still be mess but I can get the washing machine to clean it for me now. He's been using sign language lately - a bowl thrown upside down onto the floor means I'm full thanks mum!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A gazillion toy bags

Some days you can't even see the floor at our house so I've been making these drawstring bags to store all our 'little' toys. This way everything has a home and we just do a quick tidy up at the end of the day to make sure everything is back where it belongs. The mess makers help with this since the bags are 'coded.' So far I haven't had another deer antler injury so it seems to be working. Now, what to do about the 'big' toy mess?

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