Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year (almost)

I trust everyone had a lovely Christmas.  I have been lying low around blogland - working, mucking round with the small people in the swimming pool (thanks finally to Melbourne's weather!)and trying to enjoy my husband's flexible work arrangements for the week.  We have absolutely no plans for NYE tonight and I'm totally fine with that.  I am refusing to make any resolutions of any sort since I cannot ever stick to any of them either and I am certain they would just end up being more of the same I always make... primarily, lose 10kgs, exercise more, eat better, drink less, blah, blah, blah!

I would like to try and blog more regularly though so I am starting off tomorrow with fat mum slim's photo a day challenge for January.

(image)

Anyone else interested?

Dont drink too much tonight!

 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas







Working in retail at Christmas time is such a treat.  I did the midnight shift last night, finished at 9 tonight and will work till 5 on Christmas eve!  Lucky I am all prepped and prepared and just get to giggle (and get paid for it!) at all those poor souls who are doing the last minute rush.

I just wanted to pop in quickly to say Merry Christmas to you all.  I hope Santa brings you exactly what you want because you totally deserve it!

Eat, drink and be Merry!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quilting 101

There are no fancy sewing feet around these parts!  There are no fancy instructions!  There is loads of guessing and guesstimating!  There is a vague knowledge that quilts exist and have a front and back and middle.  And that's about where I am up to.

I bought a pack of pretty squares and sewed them all together.  Who needs a quarter inch foot when you can just use the edge of whatever foot you have on your maching as a guide!?  I went to Spotlight and had a nice lady tell me I needed cotton batting to pop in the middle and have just used some housy Ikea fabric for the back.  I just pinned all three layers together and now I am about to stitch down the lines where all the squares meet - I believe this is called 'stitching in the ditch'!  I am sooooo quilt savvy!

And look, here's an appallingly bad iphone photo of where I am up to! 



I shall report back on whether this was successful sans walking foot on my machine! 

A wee birdy also told me I might not even have to use bias binding on the edges of the quilt!  Apparently if I trim it down nice and neatly round all four sides, I should be able to just fold the housy fabric over (like a skirt hem) and sew it down and use that as the binding!

Real quilters must be having a conniption about now!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We survived our Santa Photo!

I totally want to get that printed on a t-shrit to wear proudly for the rest of the festive season, because 'survive' we did!


It took numerous bribes of chocolate, money to waste in the Timezone located nearby and in the end, me pretending to 'steal' Santa's bell for Matilda to even look in the direction of the camera!  I honestly wish there were secret camera's set up behind Santa's chair catching the perfomance us mum's put on to get our children on Santa's knee and smiling.  They are Oscar worthy!


And looky what I found yesterday in Sportsgirl of all places and on sale...


A Beci Orpin embroider your own cushion!  Love it!  She must have done a collaboration with Sportsgirl or something.  They had some other cute things in there too that I could have gone troppo on but I find that store to bright and cheery and youthful for my liking these days.  All those bouncy, smiley, half naked sales assistants can be very intimidating!

Hope you are having a happy Sunday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pretty Panel Skirt: A Tutorial

Remember when I guest posted over at Emma's simple handmade gifts for girls series?

I showed you how I made simple skirts for little girls.  I have made so many of them now, I can literally whip them up in half an hour or so.

Yesterday I decided to get a bit tricky and fancy this skirt up a bit more!  I am such a thrill seeker!  I am calling it

The Pretty Panel Skirt!

So, what I think you should do, is pop over to Emma's and read about making a simple skirt just so you have the basics down, then come on back here and I'll show you how I added the pretty panel in....




Righto,

Grab your materials.  Here I am using a spotty blue fabric as the main part of the skirt, some pretty floral as the panel and then just to be super fancy I am (of course!) adding a babushka dolly to the panel to pretty it up even more.

 Measurement wise, I made my panel the same length as the skirt and about 7 inches wide.  Really you can make it as wide as you like.  I made it wide enough to add the sweet dolly on.

Lay out your main fabric right side up and then line up the edge of your panel fabric right side down to one of the edges of your main fabric.  Sew down that edge.  In the picture below, I have sewn down the right hand side.

Turn this over now and line up the other edge of your pretty panel with the other edge of your main skirt fabric and sew down that line (again, in the image below this is down the righthand side.

Press your seams open so they are nice and flat and turn it out the right way and you should end up with this...

Now you can just go back to the simple skirt tutorial and create your hem as normal and maybe your waistband too.  If you would like to pretty your panel up even more as I have done with the dolly, leave your waistband for now.

To add my dolly I ironed her onto some visoflex (do I have that spelled right???) then cut around her gently and then ironed her onto the fabric panel.

To make her even more secure I then zigzagged around her edges.

Once you have done that you can go ahead and make your waistband following the same instructions you would use in the simple skirt tutorial.

All done?

Does yours look like this?


Pretty, yes?  And definately fancy!

I hope this all made sense.  Please feel free to ask questions (although I am not sure I will know the answers!)




Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekends


Baked these 'reindeer' cupcakes lastnight for my son's cupcake day at school.  When he saw them this morning he laughed... and not in a good way!

Took my baby girl to the doctor after she had been bitten 32 times by mosquitos, 12 of which are on her poor little face.  Gave her a non-drwosy antihistamene.  She slept for 14 hours straight.

Packed up our beach house which finally sold. 

Got exposed to far too much flesh whilst assisting a lady in the changerooms at my newish job.  And when I say far too much flesh I mean, just her in her knickers and bra... and she need a bikini wax... from her knees up!  I am not sure I get paid enough to look at that.

Finished all my Christmas shopping.  Now I just have to post most of it back to Tasmania.

Got addicted to Handmade Ryan Gosling.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

OMG! Totes the funniest thing I have seen!

Since I have pledged my love for Ryan Gosling on previous occasions, how could I not share this...



I am constantly asking my husband for hand rubs post crocheting!  I simply cant get over the perfection that this would involve!

Find more of Handmade Ryan here.  Try not to wet yourself laughing.



Friday, December 9, 2011

This week I'm grateful for...

It's been too long since I have joined in with Maxabella and her wonderful grateful posts.  The thing is I started a part-time job which is mostly work on Thursday and Friday nights and Saturdays too just for fun!  So unless I am super organised with pre-blogging and then scheduling posts I kinda miss the boat. And I do miss it.  So much so I have added to my Christmas wishlist - I would love one of these Gratitude books from Kikki K and praps one of those instant polaroid cameras too for quick happy snaps of the things I'm grateful for which can then be pasted into the book!  Fabulous idea, yes?







Iphone snaps this week include these two beauties!  Isaac had school uniform dress up day at kinder and he was so excited.  Seeing all those little people in their too big uniforms was really funny.  Isaac has had such a wonderful two years at kinder but is totally ready for big school with his brother.  Today we found out he who his teacher is (she's fabulous!), where his classroom is and when he starts.  The countdown has begun!

And, oh my, how the tears began when I popped my poppet into her too big kinder t-shirt for kinder orientation this afternoon.  My tears, not hers!  I am generally not a cryer when sending the smalls off to school but this third and last one is breaking my heart a little.  I texted my husband this picture asking him where my baby had gone and praps suggesting another one might be in order...!  I'm thinking he thinks he's pretty safe since we recently paid a small fortune to my gynaecologist to ensure there'd be no more (a whole other story about why it costs everyone else $35 to get that lovely Mirena IUD  and yet ended up costing us almost a $1000!!!)!

This week I'm grateful for these small people and these big school milestones.  I feel really lucky that they are gorgeous kids, who go to gorgeous schools and have gorgeous teachers that look after them when I'm not!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Somewhere over the Rainbow: Part Two: The Cake

Rainbow cakes really do rock! 













How pretty was that??!!

My tips on successful Rainbow Cake making:

- Make life easier for yourself and use basic butter cake mixes!  I know baking traditionalists will scoff, but I just bought 3 cake mixes (Greens), made them up, weighed them and divided them in half and ended up with perfect cakes!  In fact, I made them a week before the party (in case of a cake fail) and froze them (wrap each colour individually in glad wrap) which made it very easy to ice them on Saturday afternoon.  I popped the whole complete cake back in the fridge after icing, got it out on Sunday morning and by the time I cut into on Sunday afternoon the cakes where defrosted, the icing had set beautifully and it was really yummy - nice and light and fluffy and moist!

- My cake colours are nice and bright because I used the Wilton gel colours.  Apparently these work better that the runny liquid types which change the consistency of your cake batter and produce less intense colours.

- The icing is literally butter and icing sugar and lots of it!  To get it nice and white, whip the butter like buggery for ever and ever and then whip it even more!  I also found some white icing dye at Spotlight and added this in as well and I am really happy with the crisp, white result.  I also used a clear vanilla essence (again found at Spotlight) for some added flavour.

- I only cut a slice or two of this at the party and then had all the small people pick which colour they wanted to eat.  The cake ends up being really tall and I dread to think what all that cake and icing in one tall piece might do to a three year olds behaviour!!!

- Dont be scared to try this cake!  It really was simple to make.  It looks fantastic and has been one of the best cakes in terms of Wow Factor that I have made.

There is still some left over if anyone wants to come over for a slice!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Part One


Matilda had such a lovely birthday yesterday.  Being super organised payed off because it meant that we could have a nice relaxed morning, opening presents and revelling in our baby being three, before the Rainbow Party in the afternoon. 

We kept it fairly small and simple and it really was lovely.  And of course, Rainbow Cakes Rock!

Prepare yourself to be photobombed!!!

The Rainbow Outfit
Me and my baby girl

 Attempting to get nice family photos in this house is clearly a waste of time!


 It's not Rainbow party hair without Rainbow Ribbons (Spotlight) and the most adorable Rainbow clip (GiddyGiddy) that my girlfriend arrived at the party with!


The Party Table
m&m shots, marshmallow clouds, fairy bread, hundreds and thousands biscuits, popcorn, chips, snakes, rainbow chocolate balls.... and of course The Cake (which deserves a post all on it's own!)

Looooove Cake Bunting!!!!

Love these girls debating the merits of which colour m&m shot is best!


The Entertainment
 Rainbow Drawing Table


Rainbow Pinata (Spotlight)

Pass the Parcel

There was also lots of self entertainment.  Thank goodness for trampolines, slides and backyard swings!

The Decorations
 My girlfriend made these Rainbow Tissue Paper Pom Poms!  Super easy and super lovely!  I have them hanging in Matilda's room now cause they were too pretty to get rid of!

 These linkyloos balloons I found in the party shop but I have also seen them in my supermarket too.

Rainbow bunting I whipped up!  Also now hanging in Miss M's room!

Matilda was well and truly spoilt in the gift department too and as the day progressed she became very savvy at sticky tape removal and wrapping paper ripping!
I will post the marvellous rainbow cake in the next day or so.  I think it has been my favourite cake so far for wow factor and highly recommend everyone give one a go.

I also had loads more ideas and things that I wanted to do for this party but simply ran out of time in the few days leading up to it due to new work commitments and an absent husband.  My rainbow pinterest board is full of inspiration if you are looking for ideas.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A sneaky peeky.

I squeezed in a bit of cake decorating today! 
We are almost ready and raring to spread some Rainbow love tomorrow! 


How good is licking the beaters!!!!????


No, I didn't let her lick it!

Tonight, I am having trouble processing the thought that my baby will be three. 
It feels like a mere moment.

Matilda meeting her big brothers

Matilda at two weeks

Matilda on her first birthday

Matilda on her second birthday


I'm sure I'll be back at some point during the next week with a Rainbow Party Post wrap up!




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My creative space... Back on the hook

My creative spaces have been all about birthdays lately and I was having SEVERE hooky withdrawals!  I was actually getting a little concerned that I might have forgotten how but lo and behold, it's just like riding a bike!  My hooky claw hand came right back within moments - there must be some kind of crochet muscle memory!

I have been vegging out these last couple of nights in front of Offspring repeats (thank you Channel 10 - it's just as funny the second time round!) and churning out these snowflakes and christmas trees.  A friend requested some to be made into a garland for her tree so I do hope she likes them.


I follow the most excellent and free tutorial over at The Royal Sisters.


And because I couldn't leave without mentioning the Rainbow Party that will be happening in three sleeps...
...the cake bunting is ready!