Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pillowcase Dress...

I made an attempt at the Pillowcase Dress that's done the rounds in blogland (I can't remember which tutorial I ended up using....there's quite a few out there). I didn't have a pillowcase to cut up so I used fabric in the same way.

I think it turned out really sweet...probably looks more like a nighty though. I had a bit of trouble with the arm holes when I was making the casing for the ribbon ties, but overall it's a simple and quick sewing project (particularly if you use a pillowcase).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Look...

As you can see, I've been playing around with my blog today. I finally figured out how to put my own photo up in the title...not hard really. These were another couple of shots I took for the header photo, but they didn't quite make the cut!!!

And here is Chloe's chair bag in the blue cherry fabric. I didn't have the right sized chair to hang it over so it's a bit hard to get the idea, but basically you're looking at the part that hangs at the back of the chair with a pocket to keep their things in and on the other side is a pocket to hang it over their chair. The kids keep all their work books in the pocket and in Chloe's case, lots and lots of teeny tiny cut up pieces of lace from the art and craft room, a really dirty old ruler, pebbles from around the school.... She takes after her dad...she's a hoarder, she literally can't throw anything away (I haven't worked out yet if this is a good or bad thing???).

Will's library bag is just as he ordered....pirates!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holiday Snaps...

We had a fantastic time in Dunsborough over the long weekend. The weather was perfect. We spent time at the beach, had lunch at a winery, played boardgames, drank champagne with friends and relaxed...just how a holiday should be. I love this photo of Chloe at the winery sucking on a lollypop!!!

...a bit more scenery from the winery. It was a gorgeous setting. Unfortunately the food let them down a bit.

Glenn and Will had fun at the beach together building sandcastles and trenches. The beach was a minutes walk from our house and the water was only knee deep for a long way out so the little kids could splash and play around by themselves without us worrying about them going out too deep.

And now it's back to reality and it already feels like we haven't been away. The kids are back to school next Monday so today we've spent the day buying last minute school supplies, labelling, labelling and more labelling and sewing up library bags and chair of these tomorrow (oooohhhh how you can't wait to see them!!!).

Monday, January 28, 2008

'This Is....What Scares Me'

This is an easy one for me this week.

What scares me is......flying!!!

In fact, it more than scares me....we're talking major fear. I try not to let it stop me travelling and am hoping the more I fly, the more I'll get over my fear, but so far it hasn't happened. Before I can hop on a plane, I HAVE to have a couple of glasses of wine to help calm me down and it does help a bit. But of course now with little children, I can't completely wipe myself out. And I'm also very conscious of not passing my fear onto them, so I have to hide it from them which can be very difficult.

And it looks like Three Buttons can relate well to what scares me!!! I'm curious to see how many others have our same fear. I think it's pretty common.

We're back from our long weekend by the beach and it was fantastic. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

And lastly, a closeup photo of some of our Frangipani favourites!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Self Portraits....and Summer Holidays...

Will and I were messing around the other night taking some self portraits. And now looking at these, I just can't believe how much he DOESN'T look like me. I mean, seriously, could we be any more opposite??? And in fact, Chloe looks a lot like her dad too. Do I feel just a tad ripped off.....since I was the one that carried each of them for ten months, gave birth to them, ruined my body all for the love of them!!! No, I'm not upset in any way!!!

Anyway, I'm signing off for a few days...we're heading down South for the long weekend until Monday. I will hold off doing my "This is..." post until then (the title this week is "This is...what scares me". And I know EXACTLY what I'm doing for this thinking required)!!!

Have a lovely Australia Day weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Last night I covered my second cork board to go in my sewing room (this one's a bit bigger...from Ikea). I've hung it near my cutting table so I can pin my sewing instructions, measurements etc. to it when I'm working, as well as other bits and pieces. I think it will be very useful.

I've been experimenting these last few days after coming up with an idea to make a child's apron that they can use when setting the dinner table for mum or dad. The idea developed as an extension of the craft aprons I made for my kids a few days ago.

I thought that a little apron for kids to wear, with three labelled pockets for knives, forks and spoons would be a great way to get them involved and more importantly, excited about helping with an everyday job like table setting. They can use the three pockets to sort the cutlery and then take it to the table and set it. And who knows, it could even earn them some pocket money if they're lucky!!!

I've made these ones using quilting fabric, with a linen pocket and twill tape ties. The knife, fork and spoon design have been machine stitched.

So what do you think??? Or have I totally just stolen someone elses idea???

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweet Treats...

Look at my delicious purchases from Spotlight today. The fabric is all quilting fabric and it was all on sale!!! The green spotty one actually has tiny little red lady birds on it. The red one with the black pirates on it is for Will's library bag (his choice!!!). And the others are all for various different projects.

I also bought the green wire basket today too and it was also on sale (so of course, that justifies everything!!!). The basket is beautiful and it is now sitting on my shelf holding all of my twill tape, ribbons, ric rac etc.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is my favourite cup...

I decided to join in the fun with the meme over at Three Buttons.

Today's post is 'My Favourite Cup'.

My favourite cup is this one that I bought for myself about a year ago. I love to drink my tea and coffee in a large mug and it has to be SUPER HOT!!! First thing in the morning I love to sit down with a cup of tea in my sewing room and check my favourite blogs while the kids are happy playing (usually!!!). Of course, once the school holidays are over, this ritual will be I'm enjoying it while I can.

Our standard hibiscus' are looking gorgeous this summer (their first summer) so I thought I'd share them with you.

Nothing to report on the crafting front today, but I do have something in the making that I will hopefully share soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Craft Aprons...

Well, as expected, yesterday was a stinking hot day so we spent most of it inside in the air-conditioning. In the morning, I made the kids some little craft aprons. Then we baked a couple of slices to share with friends who came over in the afternoon for a swim.

Chloe wanted her apron to hold little notebooks and pens and Will wanted his to hold large A4 pieces of paper and pens/pencils (he's always got to push the boundaries and make things just that bit difficult for me!!!). I had to explain to him that because he's only a little boy, an A4 piece of paper will be too big to go in his apron and will end up wrapping half way around his body. He didn't care, so neither did I!!!

These are the end results. They were a bit of an experiment because I've never made them before and didn't have a pattern. So since I'm still a beginner to the sewing thing, I'm quite proud of myself for cutting out a rectangle, hemming it and attaching a couple of pockets and ties....pretty difficult stuff!!! I like the whole concept of a craft apron and I think they'd make lovely gifts (particularly for little girls) so I'm going to try another one with a few extra fancy bits and pieces.

We're off to Karrinyup Shopping Centre this morning for a trip out. I haven't taken the kids to the shops all holidays (except a couple of times before Christmas). We're taking their cousin Cayley with us too. They'll be lots of window shopping, playing in the toy shop and coffee, pumpkin and date muffins, iced chocolates and chocolate cherry slice!!!

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Chloe went to a school friend's house today for a play and my sister had Will for a few hours so I was FREE!!! I spent my morning indulging in a late breakfast, reading a magazine (from cover to cover!!!) and sewing with no interruptions!!!

I made a door stop for our laundry door. My friend gave me a template for the pyramid style doorstop. It was really quick and easy and very addictive. Unfortunately we don't have any other doors that need a door stop, but I just can't stop at making me!!!

We had a stinker of a day today...I think it reached 36 or 37 degrees (and tomorrow will be 39) so I made the kids some spiders. For some reason, I've never made these for them before, despite me having them as a child frequently. Anyway, they went down well with Chloe but Will wasn't to keen on them. You can sort of tell by the expression on his face in the photo.

And lastly, this afternoon, in between making dinner (for some crazy reason, I seem to be most productive during this time) I made a messenger/pin-up board to keep above our phone in the kitchen. It will hold all manner of things, particularly party invitations, pens, vouchers, school notices etc. I've so desperately needed something like this (we have a new stainless steel fridge that I'm trying not to put anything on) so here it is. I sort of took the cheats way out a bit. I bought a $5.00 cork board from Bunnings that has the timber frame around it. Then I covered it with fabric and staple-gunned it tightly at the back (Emily, I'm loving the staple gun!!!). I decided it needed a pocket to slot extras into, so I hemmed a bit of fabric top and bottom, glue-gunned the bottom edge of the pocket along the bottom frame of the board, then staple-gunned the sides tightly at the back. Voila!!! Now I just have to sweet talk Glenn into putting a hook on it and hanging it for me. I'm a bit of an organisation freak so to have a special place for all those annoying bits of paper, pens etc. that seem to lay around all over my kitchen bench, is VERY exciting!!! I'm thinking of making one more of these boards to go in my sewing room, to pin favourite little fabric scraps to (if I'm really in love with a particular type of fabric, I can't just toss those scraps into my fabric scrap basket, it gets kept to one side in a 'special' spot...and now that spot can be pinned to a I'm probably starting to sound weird???). And then I can also pin any other little bits of inspiration to it. Very handy I think!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Playing and Bunting...

We had a lovely morning with my mum this morning. We took my kids and my sister's daughter to Heathcote Park, South of the River. It's a gorgeous playground set up very high that overlooks the river. After the kids had a play, we walked down to the rivers edge to collect shells and inspect jellyfish (mostly washed up ones). Then we had an icecream and headed home. Silly me forgot my camera, so all the photos are on mum's camera. It was a great morning and the best part is, once you get home the kids are usually happy to amuse themselves for a while.

I've been promising to make some bunting for my friend's two little girls for a while now. But the thought of cutting out all those triangles was putting me off. Soooooooooooo, yesterday afternoon, in between dinner preparations, I decided to make a start on it. I had all the triangles cut out within the hour. Then after dinner, Glenn took the kids across the road to the park to play cricket, so I was able to sew the bunting together (that took about half an hour all up). And soooooooooooo, 'Tah Dah'....we now have finished bunting. Sometimes I don't know why I spend so much time procrastinating about things. Once you get started, it's usually not as bad/difficult/time consuming as you think.....USUALLY!!! The bunting photos are not the's very tricky to photograph (and I'm a BAD photographer). But I think you can get the idea.

Hope you're having a happy day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Don't ya' Just LOVE a New Bag!!!

Last night I cut into some more Heather Bailey fabric to finally make MYSELF a bag. I always seem to be making them for everyone it was my turn. And I was sort of experimenting with a few 'new to me' techniques, so I wouldn't want to pass that on to anyone else in case it didn't work. As it turns out though, the bag was a success. I used the same pattern from 'Last-Minute Fabric Gifts', but I tried lining it with interfacing to stiffen it a bit. I also lined the straps too and did some extra rows of stitching on the straps to make them stronger. The only problem I've had, is the interfacing doesn't seem to have stuck to the fabric properly in a few areas. There are a few lumpy spots. I've never used interfacing for bags before so it's completely new to me. Perhaps I've used the wrong thing? Does anyone have any suggestions or a better type of interfacing to use?

I've had a very productive 'home' day today. It's amazing how good you feel after getting stuck into some dreaded housework and washing (it's just the getting started bit that I have trouble with). This morning was spent cleaning the house, followed by a quick trip to Coles for some groceries. Then this afternoon I've done three loads of washing and made dessert for tonight. I made an English recipe (I'm assuming.....well, it came from an English lady anyway!!!) called Syllabub??? No idea how to spell it but it tastes amazing. But then, I am a sucker for anything citrussy. It's basically made up of lemon and orange rind and juice, a little caster sugar and a tub of double thick cream, all poured over some sponge finger biscuits and left to set in the fridge. Yum, Yum, Yum!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Check These Out!!!

A quick photo-free post today to let you know I've added a few new blogs to my list of 'Blogs I Love To Read'.

Tree Fall Design has some fabulous, beautifully made goodies.

I Love Milk and Cookies is obviously all about food. There are some great recipes and fantastic photography.

Of Paper and Thread is a lovely WA (Bunbury) based blog. Lots of beautiful handmade things.

And lastly, Elemental Stitches is a GREAT blog for tutorials. There's so many on her blog, from making children's clothes to housey bits and pieces. Megan, you'll love this one.

So just in case you had absolutely nothing to do over the weekend, this should keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

'My List of Stuff I Did'...

I was struggling for a title for today's post so who better to ask than a seven year old!!! And of course, her suggestion was...'My List of Stuff I Did'!!!

1. My sister and I swapped kids for the night last night...I had her boy, Conor (eight years old...sleeping over with Will) and Chloe slept at my sisters house with her eleven year old girl, Cayley. It's a lovely swap where the brothers and sisters get a break from each other. We often do this in the school holidays. This morning, the boys and I decided to bake a chocolate cake. I had to search lots of recipe books for a recipe. I suddenly realised how I get so caught up with cooking the 'fancy food', that I seemed to have forgotten about the everyday goodies. Soooooooo, we found the perfect recipe and got to work. With a bit of icing and sprinkles, it turned out delicious.

2. My lovely cousin Carolyn (who was one of my bridesmaids when I was married twelve years ago) had her first baby just before Christmas...a little girl called Madison Sienna. I can't wait to meet her tomorrow. So last night I embellished a couple of plain singlets with some cuteness to go with a few other gifts I bought for her baby a while ago. And I couldn't help but feel some yearning for when Chloe and Will were small, delicate little babies. How life changes so quickly. But the cruel irony is that when you're stuck in the middle of a baby keeping you up all night, rarely sleeping during the day, demanding your attention every minute, you feel as though it's NEVER going to end!!! But it does!!! And although I wouldn't wish those sleepness nights back again, I would do anything to cuddle my own helpless, beautiful, little baby again. Oooooohhhhh, am I sounding just a bit clucky???

3. And finally, a spunky hairdo I did in no more than three minutes today for Chloe with our new Trash Ties (it's the really long Trash Tie). As I've said before, they're great!!! Chloe has picked this hairstyle as the winner for her first day back to school this year!

Hope you all got through 'Your List of Stuff You Did' today too!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My 'BLOB' called Blossom...

Aren't little kids adorable with the way they interpret things. This afternoon, I set the kids up with some flat little wooden popstick style people for them to decorate with fabric, textas etc. Will decided he wanted to take it a step further and make a bed for his wooden doll (actually, it originally started out as a skateboard, then he changed his mind and made it a bed). He asked me to make a tiny little pillow for it. When they had both finished decorating, Will asked me if I was going to write about it on my....."B-L-O-B". I love it when they misinterpret things. I always ask them to repeat themselves, just so I can have an extra giggle to myself. Yep, I was right the first time....he called my blog, a blob!!! So cute.

I took the kids to Spotlight this morning (of course, it was for very selfish reasons....I had a Christmas voucher to spend!!!). I told the kids they could choose a little craft each to do. That's where the wooden popstick people came from. I decided I wanted to spend my voucher on a cutting mat and a rotary cutter so I can learn how to make quilts. Of course, I spent three times the amount of my voucher, but I'm certainly very well set up now. Spotlight had a clearance table for all their quilting fabrics and they were marked down to $3.00 per metre. I found this gorgeous aqua and floral fabric that had originally been $18.95 per metre....BARGAIN!!! I've already used most of it making another table runner, a small coffee table mat, a cushion and a little drink coaster. I wish I'd bought more, but the kids were worn out by the time I reached the fabric aisle. And really, I'd spent enough!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Table Runner

I ordered some of Anna Maria's 'Bohemian' fabric and received it on Friday. I wasn't sure what I was going to use it for. I love that each of her designs incorporates so many colours.

Then it hit me...the perfect use for the fabric where I can look at it and admire it every day. I decided to make a table runner for our meals table. I love how it turned out. I used a plain linen for the middle piece and all the others are from the Bohemian range. I bought the fabric on sale from Quilt Fabric Delights. I might just have to order a bit more.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Beginnings...

I can't believe two weeks holiday is over already and we're at the beginning of a fresh new year. I love the feeling of beginnings and all that lies ahead. We had a lovely family Christmas. Here are the kids on Christmas morning looking bright as buttons despite their VERY EARLY wake up time!!!

One of my favourite Christmas presents was Last-Minute Fabric Gifts by Cynthia Treen. It's a lovely book with some beautiful and inspiring sewing projects to make. I made the Twig-Handle Tote, but adapted it to suit fabric handles (although I am going to buy some wood handles to try out too). It's such a simple pattern and I had each bag made in no more than an hour. The first one I made using a lovely aqua and fushia floral fabric from Spotlight. It's a very heavy-weight fabric so it holds it's shape really well. The other bag was made using Heather Bailey's Freshcut fabric which I'm in love with at the moment. I'm going to try the bag again, using some sort of batting/wadding inside to stiffen it. Speaking of Heather Bailey, we received some of her Trash Ties the other day and they're fantastic. So much fun to use with endless hairstyles to try.

While Glenn has been on holidays, we've planted our vegetable/herb garden. Although we're on a fairly small block, we have the perfect garden bed for vegies and herbs. It gets almost full sun and it's a great size. All we have to do now is keep our rabbit, Roxy away from the lettuce!!! We've only had it planted for a week but already our beans and peas are shooting and everything is looking great. Very exciting!!!