Saturday, 27 December 2008

Happy Christmas, a little late

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas break. We had a lovely quiet family Christmas this year without any interstate relatives. We had a lovely time and are still enjoy the lovely weather and relaxed atmophere in our part of the world.

Catching up a bit, I had a nice meetup with two of my sewing friends from EB recently. While it was a shame that Marie couldn't make it this time, it was lovely to meet Sue for the first time, and so nice to catch up with Andrea again, who very generously made us each a gift. Here's my beautiful bag: I'm looking forward to more catch ups, and also meeting more of our Brisbane based sewists.

Due to our Christmas being a more casual one, I decided not to make a special dress, which was probably just as well as the girls very quickly changed into the dressups Santa gave them on Christmas day! To wear to a couple of catch ups before the big day, I decided to have a go at stencilling. I'm loving this process. I made Lizzie a simple 'Joy' stencilled on a bought Tshirt, but she argued it 'didn't have enough pretty things on it'! So I added some ricrac and yoyos and made a matching skirt.

I don't have a finished photo of Louisa's, but hers is much simpler. Here's the initial stencil and then I've since added a gold dove onto it. I'll get a pic later.

I hope you enjoy any extended family time you might get. My husband is home for a couple more weeks, and we'll soon be joined by his son J. I'll have to ask him very nicely for a photo of the 'You Rock You Rule' Tshirt I stencilled for him as part of his Christmas gift while he's here.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

My favourite Christmas book

I'm so lucky to have this beautiful book in my possession. It brings back such beautiful memories of my own childhood Christmases.

Our Grandma would come over to our home every Christmas Eve after my Pa had passed away and stay the night. Her piano was at our house (no room where she lived) and she would play Christmas tunes from this book. Later Dad would read Twas the night before Christmas from its pages.

Having Grandma stay over meant my older sister would sleep in my younger sister and I's room on the floor. It was very exciting, and we would be determined we would not be going to sleep, but instead we would play games to keep us awake until we heard Santa.

Here's a few select pages. I have scanned the entire book, as its getting a little the worse for wear, which to me adds to its special magic charm.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Kimono

Here's Louisa's kimono dress up for a Multicultural celebration at her school.

I did use a pattern as a base: McCalls M4953 but made loads of changes, reducing the material significantly by making the sleeves and the body shorter, and doing away with the lining. I felt that in the Queensland heat, extra fabric is not a good thing.

Of course I got a little carried away and cut it too short, so added a contrast band around the bottom rather than the neckline, and I really like the effect. By the time I got to the sash/obi part, I winged it with a rectangle of fabric and some velcro. I have no idea what the pattern required as I'd tossed it aside by that stage. That's one of the things I enjoy about kids' dress ups. There's no real rules and you can experiment without feeling too bad if it doesn't work out! But in this case I really like it and it's a great addition to the girls' dress up box.
The fan was a gift from some friends who went to Japan recently, and the drinking straws in the hair were Louisa's idea, which I think look very cute.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Some online games to play over Christmas

I'm not much of a gamer, so I prefer my games to be a bit chilled and relaxing. If you need a break from sewing or online blog trawling, here's a couple of Christmas themed games that you (or the kids) might like:

The Crossing

The Winterbells

Plenty of other, non-Christmassy games too at Lizzie's favourite for us to play together is A Daily Cup of Tea


Monday, 24 November 2008

More sewing!

Quite a bit of sewing to report. Maybe its a warmer weather thing. Here's a couple of things I've done lately.
Firstly, a twirly skirt, which will be part of a present for Louisa's friend, Ava. The fabric was from a local discount fabric store, where I've often uncovered some gems. Their quilting fabrics are only $6, so perfect if you don't mind that the fabrics aren't the latest current favourites. This is apparently is an old Michael Miller. It's very pink, but I think the recipient will like it very much.Secondly, Lizzie was after a nightie. Louisa has a satin cheapy from Coles of all places. She adores it (it's pink with fairies - what's not to love?) as does Lizzie. I raided my stash one night to make her one and discovered this lovely thin knit fabric I'd squirreled away, with plans for a light hoodie which never eventuated. I vaguely traced the pattern from Louisa's, so consequently it's a little big, but Lizzie doesn't mind and at least it will last her a while!

Finally, non-sewing related, but Louisa completed her very first Highland Dancing exam on Saturday. She did very well and was very impressed with her medal - and with this mock magazine cover we put together:

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Lizzie's peasant dress

Here's Lizzie's new peasant dress. I've loved seeing peasant dresses on loads of blogs lately, so thought I'd do my own simple version with an old pattern I already had. It really shows what great value home sewing is. I used some lovely Cherry Tree fabric I got in my local Spotlight's recent move for a bargain $5 a metre!I'm very happy with it, and so is Lizzie. I intially thought this particular fabric was a bit too sickly pink, but Lizzie insisted and I love it made up. She's happy to wear it all day, without the need for costume changes 5 times a day which we've been having lately. It's so comfortable you can even bungy trampoline in it!That photo was taken at Kings Beach Caloundra, a fantastic family holiday spot. In addition to the bungy trampoling, there's an ocean water bathing pool, lovely patrolled beaches, some nice eateries and cool water features to play in. This time it had the added attraction of Victorian based Grandma and Grandpa Max, and Aunty Helen, staying there.
Here are the girls dressed and ready to go on the way up.

The trip back was quite eventful, driving into the severe storm South East Queesnlad endured on Sunday afternoon/evening. Our usual 45 min trip became 2 and a half hours of very slow driving, and Louisa and I were exhausted after it (Peter was working). Lizzie slept the whole way, and then transferred to bed and slept through until morning with no dinner. Thank goodness I'd allowed them both to have an icecream before we left.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A new skort and a big bump!

Look at poor Lizzie's head! One minute she was sitting outside on a chair next to me, playing a game with Louisa and the next minute there was a bump on the concrete - and copious amounts of tears. Poor little thing.
She still managed to model her new skort for me. I made this for all those park visits we seem to be having lately. It's beautiful outdoor weather here at the moment, and while Lizzie owns loads of nice dresses and skirts, I prefer her to climb trees and rope ladders and slide down slippery dips in shorts - or skorts (love that word!).
I had intended for this material to be used for a twirly skirt or dress, but when I was just about to cut out some sensible plain drill, Lizzie insisted she wanted this fabric for her new skort. So who am I to argue with a very insistent 3 year old?

And finally here's Lizzie's lovely painting she did today. Beautiful!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Pillow slip dress

The weather had been warming up a little, although back to cold and wet today. Lizzie should get a bit of wear from this pillow slip dress eventually. It's made from a lovely thin cotton which will be perfect for super hot summer days.

I wanted to have a go at a pillow slip dress with some fabric I didn't care for much before trying it out on nicer ones. So I found this fabric with teensy dots deep in the bottom of one of my plastic tubs. Not sure where I scored it from. But now that it's made up, I really like it - and best of all, so does Lizzie!
Please excuse the lack of ironing, and the fact that I haven't trimmed the ribbon ties to size yet. Oh, and our sad excuse for lawn and half dead pot plants. They've since been watered and are back to looking pretty.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A pretty present

Another little friend's birthday party - and this time I actually sewed something! Well, sort of.

It's kind of cheating, isn't it, to use such a cute fairy image from some pretty fabric and just applique it to a bought Tshirt. I don't think the recipient minded my laziness. A matching headband and an activity book featuring very similar looking fairies and we had a great gift.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

A Mermaid's 'Tale'

One of Louisa's favourite books is Can You Catch A Mermaid? by Jane Ray. It's quite a melancholy book really, but both my girls enjoy me reading it for their bedtime story quite regularly. The illustrations are just beautiful, and story (about letting your friend go home even if it makes you sad) is quite moving!

This week was Book Week Parade at school and Louisa decided she wanted to be Freya, the mermaid character from the book. Of course, the tail had to be detachable, as Freya comes onto land and the shy little girl she befriends doesn't know initially that she is a mermaid.

So here's my effort. Admittedly the costume is a little dodgy in parts as I found the stretch velvet a little tricky to work with (and of course my twin stretch needle broke halfway through!), but the tail worked out beautifully.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Well, look at that. I've missed a whole month with no posts at all in July! I guess there's been no sewing to report.

Lizzie has had a wondeful week, turning 3, attending the Justine Clarke concert at a local hall and celebrating with three cakes (four if you include the cupcakes at daycare as well!). We had one cake at mums' group, one at home with the family and one at her extra special party on Saturday!
This was one of the cruisiest and most enjoyable parties I've had for the girls. We only had three of her little friends (plus two older siblings who are Louisa's friends from kindy last year). We held it at home and kept the party games and sugary foods to a minimum. The girls seemed happy enough playing with Lizzie's new doll's house. We did do pass the parcel and a treasure hunt, and applied some mermaid themed temporary tattoos. What fun!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Louisa!

I can't believe it's been 5 years since this little baby entered the world! A rare shot of her sleeping - it was quite the novelty, being a catnapper from day one. Too much going on to waste time sleeping apparently!

And look at the little lady she's turned into! Such a happy, friendly, clever and kind little girl. I am immensely proud of her. I won't show too many party shots, but here's her sister enjoying the day, even if it was a little damp.
This face just about says it all!

And where better to go on your birthday for dinner than our local Sizzlers! Fine dining it isn't, but to a five year old, heaven on a stick, especially when Mum lets you wear the nail polish and jewellery some friends gave you and have icecream for dessert!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Pay It Forward

Look at the generous parcel I received from Karen. I absolutely love it all! The girls adore their pencil rolls (they're both the little artists, and love to draw each night before bed) and are thrilled with their letter Ts, and have already worn them several times. The appliqued singlet matches Louisa's twirly skirt and hadan outing to a boy's party last week. The coasters are on my coffee table and getting quite a workout, and the tissue pouch has been added to my handbag. Such lovely and useful things! Thankyou Karen!
So now it's my turn. I'm thinking I'll need at least a month for there to be enough responses for me to pick out some lucky winners.
Here are the rules:
I will send a handmade gift to 3 random people who leave a comment on my blog
requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift
will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week… LOL… but you will
receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in
return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
Now I really have to start blogging regularly!!
I must share some of Louisa's birthday fun soon. Next post, I promise. I can't believe my little girl is 5!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

I'm such a bad blogger at the moment. I sometimes feel bad, but then I figure not that many people are still reading, so it doesn't really matter! I do still want to keep it going though as record of this stage in my life. So here comes a photo rich post.

Mothers Day is a while ago, I guess, but these photos are from that weekend. We had a lovely time in the mountains, Peter convincing the girls we'd found 'Fairy Mountain', so a fairy spotting expedition was underway. The girls keep catching imaginary fairies, having a little chat and then letting them go. So cute.

We won't even discuss the restaurant we ate at that day, except to say I used to think restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares were exceptions. Not so sure now.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Long overdue...

Here is Elizabeth with one of her favourite toys. I have been very remiss in not posting photos of Tiger Filly's fabulous handiwork which we received as part of our Valentine's swap. Mainly as it quickly became a favourite with my mermaid obsessed daughters and it's been tricky to wrench it out of their hands. So here it is, still in Lizzie's possession, maybe a little worse for wear. I also received some beautiful cord, which you will be seeing very soon in the form of another pinafore dress, and yummy chocolates which quickly made their way into my mouth and onto my hips!
Thanks again for such thoughtful gifts, and apologies for not posting images sooner.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Suzanne got her groove back?

How about this cute pinafore dress? Modelled without a top under it, as we were both a bit excited to get it on her.
Recently Elizabeth and I took a trip to Spotlight - it certainly had been a while. I think I needed that to give me a little inspiration. This beautiful cherry tree fabric is certainly more expensive than the fabrics I normally use - I'll admit I'm quite the cheapskate and generally try to buy clearance fabrics or those on sale. But I paid full price for this one as I loved it so much and thought it could definitely make a dress worthy of the gorgeous Lizzie.
Lizzie's favourite feature: the pockets!
Please excuse my fiddling with the photo. I opened up a program to get rid of some of the reflection on the glass fence - but ended up playing around with the funky edge feature instead. A bit much probably, but certainly different, unusual...

Monday, 21 April 2008

Let's go fly a kite!

Peter decided to buy the girls a kite - well, that's what he said. But given that he purchased a stunt kite for ages 10 and up (and consequently the girls can only really watch) I think the toy was more for him! Still lots of fun 'helping', although Lizzie did get knocked over by a string at one point when it did an unexpected nose dive.
Quite the family bonding experience, just ask Mary Poppins.

Thursday, 17 April 2008


Such a long time between posts. What have I been doing? Lots actually. We had a trip to Vic to visit family. The early Easter meant that my Dad's birthday was over the Easter break so it gave the girls and I a chance to fly down, meet my sister (who flew in from Canberra) at the airport, hire a car and drive down to West Gippsland. A lovely 77th birthday lunch for Grandpa Max at a local winery. We also took a drive to the Yarra Valley to catch up with his twin sister, my Aunty Florence, and family, and dropped in on the other grandparents, Nanna and Poppa, in Melbourne where the girls caught up with their favourite cousin Joseph.
Hmm what else? I've been working on house and garden. Let's just say Bougainvillea is not my friend. I've been pulling some out of the front of our house and - Ouch! I'm also now the Ikea queen - I'm really impressed with my 'putting stuff together' skills at the moment. Also, I've been contemplating my return to work, so I'm in the middle of filling in a course application to make working life post kids a little more enjoyable for me. I've also rejoined the gym to shift a few kilos caused by too much baking and not enough walking.
Apart from that, the usual family stuff. Trips to Moreton Island on the boat, outings to the waterfront, coffees, etc. Some photos to follow when blogger feels like behaving!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Life's a balancing act!

Yes, I know it's a sewing blog - so how do I explain my lack of sewing related news. I guess one child in school uniform most of the time, and one in her older sisters hand-me-downs, not to mention my eye for a bargain recently at our local DFO - all of this means that I really have no need to sew. In the past my desire to sew has over come this one, but lately I've been doing a little reassessing, and have put sewing on the back burner for a little bit. My house and my fitness are taking over. But I'm starting to get the itch to sew for myself- so stay tuned!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Some sewing at last.

I've finally done a little sewing. Excuse the poor photos but my dear husband has my camera so I'm stuck with the old one.
I made a very simple two tiered skirt for Lizzie, made with this orange star fabric which she just loves. She's a bit of a star gazer like her dad, and orange seems to be a colour she connects with for some reason.
I appliques this cute spare of fabric onto a Target T. I found the sqaure already cut out amongst the high school magazines and old assignments Mum brought up when she visited at Christmas. I can't remember where I got it from or what I was planning to do with it, but this is one time I'm glad my mum is a bit of a hoarder.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Other people's work

Not much creativity from me lately, so how about a look at some other people's. Namely, my two daughters. I wonder if you can pick which pictures were done by the two year old, and which were done by the four year old? Louisa's only lately shown an interest in drawing, I guess because you have to stop talking and concentrate for a bit! Her little sister, Elizabeth on the other hand loves to draw more than anything, and is pretty good for her age, I'd say.
Can you tell we've had a lot of rain?

Another creative person is Greg Dries, from Moods Photography. Here's just a couple of the beautiful photographs he took at the end of last year.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Louisa's first day at school!

I'm not quite sure where the last 4 and a half years have gone, but here is my baby starting school yesterday. I apologise for the blurriness of the photos (mummy's hand was shaking a little), but I think the expression shows exactly how we were both feeling about her first day. Apprehensive, but mainly excited.

Her day seemed to have gone really well. The teacher has already established that Louisa likes to chat and isn't shy (no surprises there). And when talking about activites she did that day, I commented that it sounded like fun. Her response: "Everything was fun, Mum!'.

I must confess I'm happy that the Prep year here in Qeueensland is play based, and will be similar to the C & K kindy she attended last year. I had been quite casual and unconcerned about her starting because of this, but must admit to some quiet tears on the way back to the car. I'm only just realising that so many of the outings and adventures we've done together and that I've taken for granted will be consigned to school holidays and weekends. 'End of and era' is how one mums' group friend put it, and it sure is!