Monday, December 31, 2012

Diaries, Calendars, Planners, New Pens!

I can't be the only one who loves a fresh new diary!  I have spent the last hour or so pleasurably filling it in with lovely new coloured pens. Sticking fancy stickers on birthdays.  Popping in term dates, holidays, Father's Day and Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas, pre booked houseguests and potential houseguests!  I refuse to apologise for the fact that fresh new stationary turns me on!!!!
This is my second Erin Condren Life Planner and I love it!  Fancy monthly tabs, plenty of space for writing everyone's important bits in and not too bulky that you can't take it out and about in your handbag when needed.
While this is my personal planner I have other calenders around the house too so everyone knows what's going on.  A Kikki K family calendar hangs in the kitchen and everyone gets their own column, including a family line for group activities and a line for birthdays too.  I also use the calender on my iphone and ipad which is easy to use and update when out and about.  There's a calender in the study and maybe one or two in my craft room (just because they are terribly pretty!).
Overkill  you might think, but in this house, if it's not written down somewhere, it's not happening!
Please tell me you're the same and not one of those special types that can totes remember everything off the top of their heads?!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Some serious craft room mess!

I think it's safe to say that my craft room has become a dumping ground for stuff!
Seriously, how many tote bags does one girl need hanging on the door?!  And what you can't see hidden behind the door is shameful!  More bags of course, hanging on hooks, a stretcher bed and our old fold in half dining chairs that surely we can't throw out.... they might be useful at some point in time!

The bookshelf is vaguely tidy as I did have a massive magazine purge (which just about broke my heart!) but I tend to fill up all the nooks and crannies with 'things' that make actually accessing the books like a wee dance.  They have to be taken out in a twisty fashion just so for fear of knocking and breaking any of those special dust collectors!
And look at the piled high mess on top!  Don't even ask me what's in some of those tubs and boxes!

Having a crafty table is such a bonus.  I have that lovely big green cutting mat to use right next to the sewing machine... so why would I actually use it for that purpose!?  Instead, lets cover it with things that I have been too lazy to put in their proper spots!  And then lets use that as an excuse as to why I haven't been sewing anything... I don't have any room!!!

These lovely pj gift boxes where heading straight to the garbage bin at work on the weekend... almost sacrilegious!  They are terribly cute with little ribbon sides and clear lids which I thought would be perfect for little skirts and tops to go in.... if I ever get back to sewing any!!!

How could I go pass the 50% off calender stand at the shops when this daily crochet calender was begging to be added to the craft room mess!?

Last night whilst watching some tv I thought I'd start sewing some of those pesky ends in on the Mario rug while I wait for the last red ball of wool to arrive and instead I tripped over my long forgotten rainbow granny stripe rug.  It was just what I need to keep me calm as I stupidly watched Wolf Creek on my own until the wee hours.  Can I make a suggestion and say never watch it?!  I rarely go to bed and have nightmares and this one gave me some.  I think it was the freaky laugh that did it me.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with family and friends.  Wishing everyone a Happy New Year too.  Good luck with your resolutions if you make them!  Perhaps one of mine should be to have a craft room clean up!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My creative space...The Peppa Pig Party

Better late than never, right?!
Miss Matilda turned four at the start of the month and we went with Peppa all the way!  She really is the bees knees and quite hilarious as an adult to watch... especially since I read somewhere recently that a close inspection of Daddy Pig reveals a head that closely resembles a dick and balls!!!
(I'm sure Matilda will love reading that when she gets old enough to trawl through this blog!)
It was a hot hot hot day so the party had to stay inside (unfortunately!).
Party games included Musical Muddy Puddles, Pin the Tail on Peppa and Pass the Piggy Parcel!  I also managed to make mini Peppa Pig colouring books for everyone to keep them entertained at the party table! Party bags included Peppa Pig hair clips and pony tail holders found at the last minute at Best and Less...score!

The cake might have been a little on the large side!  The benefits of the husband owning a bakery meant that I was able to ask him to bake and bring home a slab cake to cut Peppa out of.  He walked in with a cake almost a metre long and half a metre wide!!!
Below is how I've made lots of my birthday cakes and it generally works out well.  I would normally bake a standard size cake or cakes earlier in the week and freeze them.  On the day of cake construction just take them out of the freezer and cut out the shape/s you need.  Cover completely with buttercream icing and then use the ready rolled stuff like a jigsaw puzzle on top!  Because the cake is frozen there are virtually no crumb issues when cutting out the cakes and the chill sets the buttercream icing really well.  By the time you get around to cutting the birthday cake the next day you have one deliciously moist defrosted cake to eat and enjoy! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Proud Parenting Moments #763

So, the boy's school gives out Student of the Month awards at assembly.  Not everyone gets one.  I've known parents who've had smalls at the school who have never recieved one.  Frankly, I find them a little annoying.  You have good kids who happily plod along getting good results, behaving themselves, playing nicely who never get an award.  Then you get the child who just about murders someone on a daily basis in the playground but one day, for five minutes, actually does what they are told and get awarded for it!  (Excuse my rant!)
Late last week we got the call asking that we might be needed at Monday morning's assembly as someone was getting the big call out!  I did ask Isaac's teacher whether he might be getting one for good spelling during his graffiti stint, but apparently no.

 Trying his best at all times and being a nice friend to his classmates.
(such a spunky boy!)
And of course, there is no way Isaac could have been a sensible child who calmly walks out to the principal in front of the entire school to recieve his award.  Of course not. 

Clearly, I have a class clown in the making!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The thumb stroke

For as long as I can remember Matilda has done this thing where she seeks out one of my fingers, preferably the one with the raggediest nail edge, to maniacally stroke.
 It soothes and calms her, especially in the middle of the night when she joins us in our bed. If I have my back to her and don't give her my hand she sobs like I've hurt her feelings.  On insane, sleepless nights when she has tossed and turned unable to sleep for a variety of reasons, I have let her flick and scratch at my nail till the skin around it has bled. 
Parents will do anything for sleep.
 Her preference has mostly been the thumb.

(the thumb stroke in action today before swimming lessons... )
No-one else's thumb nail can do the trick.  It must be mine.  As insane as it can (often!) drive me, it makes my heart feel warm and aglow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Proud parenting moments #485

We rarely see our neighbour so when she knocked on the door this afternoon I knew there must have been a problem...
oscar isaac sista dad mum
and a police car apparently
All clearly written in permanent texta on a fence that is not ours!
Clearly they had to clean up their own handywork!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Pudding Day

I declared today Christmas Pudding Day. 
Normally Christmas Pudding Day occurs when my lovely sister is in town since it really is a two person job to hold the calico full of yummy puddingy mix whilst tying it up with string!  Since she couldn't just flit over on a whim from Tassie, I had to do it myself!
Really, why bother cleaning up the breakfast dishes before you start!  Just dive right in and make some more mess. 
My fruit has been soaking in kahlua for about a week or so already.  I dumped all my dry ingredients into the soaked fruity mixture... which of course included a healthy bag or so of choc chips, mixed it all up and came up with this mess....
...dollop it all out on to a pudding cloth...
...mine has a Christmas pud recipe on it but I follow a different recipe.  I purchased a few of these a couple of years ago from Spotlight but this is the lucky last one.  I soaked this in my big pot of boiling water before I put the pudding into the centre of it so it was sanitized before use.  I also dust the cloth lightly with plain flour so the pudding won't stick to it.
Tie your string around the the calico nice and tight, getting rid of us much air as possible.  This is where a second set of hands comes in useful as one person can hold up the pud, pulling the cloth nice and tight and the second person can tie the string around and around!
Whack a saucer into the bottom of your saucepan of boiling water.  You will hear the constant tingle of that plate and know that you are not burning the bottom of your pudding and that the water is happily boiling away constantly cooking your lovely pud.

Make sure you tie the excess fabric and string around the handle of your pot so you don't set your kitchen alight with the gas flame from your cooktop!
I boiled that pudding for three hours and will then hang it out on a hook to dry till Christmas Day.  I'll boil it up again on the day for an hour or so and then probably eat too much of it with raspberries, custard, ice-cream and icing sugar!
Don't forget to make your son take ridiculous photos of you holding up your heavy pudding to share with the world!

What can you do for the three hours your pudding is boiling away?!  Certainly not housework!  I used that time to play around with new headers for the blog, mucked around with the widths and basically stuffed things up, then spent about the same amount of time googling ways to fix it!  Whoops!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My creative space...

I had quite a skirty weekend!  A girlfriend asked me to make these four matchy match skirts for a friend of hers who has just given birth to her fourth baby girl!  Lucky thing!
I'm a big fan of dressing your small people in same same things on occasion!  I know many who are not!  I think while they are little you can get away with soooo much in the dressing department so do it while you can!!!
I must have learnt it from my mother....
In case you can't see very well, those are matching terry toweling t-shirt and short sets!  My mum changed it up a little to allow me a pink set, but still, we match!!!
I grabbed a few plain white t's for her to match them all up, for a nice clean crisp look (which should last approximately 3.5 seconds once you get a white t-shit on a small person!).
For more creative spaces, head on over to Kidspot.  There's always some lovely inspiration to be found!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spinning a yarn!

My lovely friend Penni and her gorgeous yarn shop, The Stash Cupboard in Hobart, featured on the 7.30 report the other night!  Sqeee!  Such a sweet story about a wee film that is being made all about knitting.
Click here for a looksy.

And these are some happy snaps from when I got to visit Miss Penni's lovely shop way back in August on my Hobart weekend.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Isaac is 6!

I spent the day baking today for this spunky lad.
All he wanted was a $100 note...
... The Skylanders Game...


... and a new remote controlled boat since Milo accidentally ate the last one!
Tomorrow we are off to the indoor skate park for his party with a slight Mario theme to it so the grand cake baking had to happen today.
Pinterest on the iPad acting as my guide to various Mario cakes on the interwebs.
I covered him with buttercream icing, only dipping my finger in once or eleven times!  (Really, how can butter, sugar and vanilla essence taste so good??!!)
I colour and then cut out all the pieces I need like a jigsaw puzzle and lay them on top of the buttercream layer.  For Mario I only covered the top, not the sides cause I don't know how to do edges without messing up the icing!
So handsome!
Ta Da!!!!
Some of his proportions are a little off, like his mouth is a wee bit small, but the birthday boy loved him when he got home from school today and that's what really matters!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My creative space...

Isaac turns 6 tomorrow!
Clearly this... 
... is NOT going to be finished!

Those four missing squares at the bottom there... once I have done those, I'll be long as I don't count the weaving in of those dastardly ends or coming up with a border of some description!
Want to create something similar in crochet? Three round grannies are your answer... even four would make this project a little less, um, lengthy! 
Five!  It's a wrist killer! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My creative space...

I made a dress!  Can I get a woot woot??!!
Miss Matilda has a lovely tea party to attend this Sunday and when I spied this beautiful fabric at Gail B's the other week I knew I had to have it.
The dress was super easy and one I have made before.  (If you click on that link you can see how I modified the arm hole so that it was a little deeper). I followed the pattern a little better this time though and used bias binding round the arm hole and elastic across the chest rather than threading a ribbon tie through that chest area which would then do up over the shoulder on one side... make sense??!! (Again, you can see this one shoulder do up if you click on my previously made dress link).
I loved it so much I made two and gave one to a little friend!
And for an extra little thrill when I put it up on instagram, one of my instagram buddies @meandmy2guys let Melody Miller (@missletterm: the fabric designer) know and she commented on it!  Yay!
Some other creative spaces are over on Kidspot.  And you must go and visit Paisley Jade and see the beautiful black bordered granny blanket she has made!