Friday, October 31

Colour Mixing

Have I been encouraging colour play too much?I found this 'artwork' on the bathroom counter. Materials: one tube blue toothpaste and one tube red toothpaste. Now we know they make purple. I chose not to display this one but it did smell minty fresh!

Thursday, October 30

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Spencer and Benji
Masters of Mischief and Mayhem

Tuesday, October 28

More kids artwork

This is one of Alexander's artworks from kinder. Since we did the month of art at home - the amount of stuff coming from kinder is phenomenal. We have wrapping paper for every christmas gift and some great pieces on display like this one.

Monday, October 27


Materialize in Riversdale Road is closing down. Their last day will be December 6. They are getting rid of all their stock. Mostly natural fabrics - no knits, and everything is $10 a meter. I picked up 1.3 meters of this - pale blue silk chiffon emroidered with beads and sequins for only $13. Its not my colour but I was thinking of it for a gift (even just a pile of fabric)

Also while I was out, I went into the Salvos which is across the road. I was looking for doilies for a project, but stumbled onto this jacket which is a really good fit. I cant show you because the photo I took with the flash in the bathroom mirror only highlights how dirty the mirror is!!! So, off I go to clean the mirror!!

Sunday, October 26

Machine Embroidery

I love my boys, but I love more that they like a long sleep in the middle of the day. I get to do some sewing in the light! I am using my machine more now (mum has one and all the software so I am used to it) A friend of a friend needed a scarf copied for their second childs christening. Although it needs an iron, I was quite happy with how this came out. There was lots of cutting and pasting with the designs as nothing ever seems to be quite right.
It wasn't that long a sleep, but I got the embroidery done for these eye masks. I started sewing after they went to bed. This pair of masks is for a girlfriend who is getting married. She lives in the US and is coming back home to get married before returning. We are just going to go to the church to have a look but I wanted to give her something. I got some black and cream silk from Darn Cheap fabrics and embroidered the Mrs and Mrs on one side. I ironed on some wadding to both the front and the back which gives them some nice stability. The ties are simply made from the fabric. They are nice and soft and I thought they would look cute on the flight home - I certainly hope they are not needed before then!! They are not quite finished yet - a bit of handsewing - but that can be done at craft night tomorrow

Saturday, October 25

Pay the price

Last night we went out - yes with no kids. Not the most exciting night, but to have an uninterupted conversation was nice. Mum and Dad came over to look after the kids and indulged them. Now I understand that Grandparents like to do that, and I think that I am fairly liberal in what I 'let' them do (I couldnt stop them if I tried) but I pay the price the next day!!

So late to bed with tummies full of sugar does not make for a nice boy in the morning - just times that by three! We weren't out late, but when we got home, we sat up to unwind, so I wasn't the best mum either. On top of this, we run our own small business, so there was a BAS statement to do and even the computer was having a bad day.

After completing it, and the twins having a sleep we were all a little happier. We even found a use for these beads. I gave them a coat of Mod Podge (avail in Aust at Riot) and they came up all glossy. While they would make a good gift in the matching wrapping paper - I am having these - they look great with denim! and moreover, Alexander actually made them.

Thursday, October 23

Alexander Artwork

It is a great privellege to watch a childs development. Sometimes things just happen overnight and all of a sudden you notice a big change in their ability. Other times the development is slow, and you dont see it happening and then all of a sudden you realise how far they have come.
This is some work Alexander did at kinder - and all of a sudden his work is much clearer and much more deliberate. He is also bringing a lot more work home, which is pleasing - not from just a product point of view - but that he is learning to concentrate, block out other kids and complete fine motor skill tasks. Great work little man!

Wednesday, October 22

Marbles or beads

There is still an air of creativity in our house, which I love. When we did our bird for the birdcage back here we also made some beads. Just round balls with holes in the middle - as I had this project in mind. I wanted to do some marble painting, but we dont have any marbles (and maltesers wont work for this one!) so these were perfect. Also it was a great way to decorate the beads. With paper in the bottom of a sided box, I put small dollops of paint (yellow, blue and green) around the paper. Then in went the balls and all the boys were happily shaking it. It actually worked better when they went fast than slow and orderly.

And the final product - multi coloured beads and some great wrapping paper for whatever these become.

Tuesday, October 21


You may remember back here when I made an apron as a gift. Well his mum wanted to buy one, so this is what I whipped up for her niece. In between times I was lucky enough to buy a fabulous 2nd hand embroidery machine (Husqvarna) so this time the initial is embroidered. Much quicker and easier and looks great for a girl. The fill of the t is also curly. She loved it which is what its all about.

Monday, October 20

Musical Serenade

I was back to our music group today, but I wasn't expecting this. The boys love music and happily dance around and sing- but not at music. They were happy at the cafe, happy in the foyer - but really not happy once we were in the hall! Really not happy - hysterical screaming for almost an hour. Not fun for anyone..... Benji went to my girlfriend, who then had to struggle with two toddlers, while I had Spencer who was really not happy. Maybe it will be better next week??

Sunday, October 19

Some sewing..

Finally something to show you. I am making progress on the christmas list...I am quite happy with this one.

Saturday, October 18


One of our fundraising projects for kinder was a shopping tour, so as an avid outlet shopper and kinder supporter, I signed up back in July. As the day was approaching, I was less and less enthusiastic about it as I really didn't need anything. Having said that I still managed to spend money - for the kinder!

We went to a kids wear outlet, Ticklish in Coburg somewhere (I was on a bus!!) which was good, as too was the Diana Ferrari outlet but there were 90 busses of women out doing the outlets so you can begin to imagine the day. Couple this with one of our hottest days, a new to the job bus driver (who got lost along Sydney Road at lunchtime and then stuck in back streets) and worst of all NO AIRCONDITIONING.

Yes, no airconditioning. A new bus on a hot day so the windows didn't open and there was no moving air in this bus. That certainly made 11 hours of shoping unbearable. It was not amusing when at the last stop the bus driver met someone from the same company who showed him how to work the AC!!

So apart from that, the only shop I could recommend is Dirt Cheap Books - which actually has a great range of junior readers ($5), cookbooks and fantastic art coffee table books. Worth a trip.

Wednesday, October 15

More Capes

FINALLY I gave away some gifts today. I am trying very hard to stick to my hand made pledge and have had this finished for a long time but needed to catch up with my girlfriend who had cancelled a party due to illness. This is my reversible cape, and when it is kept simple it is actually quicker and easier to make than an unlined one - go figure. Below is the front view, you can see one side is silver and the other is navy starred panne velvet.
This one shoes the back - and finally the super R on the back that I painted here - And sticking to the theme, here is the card and paper that I made for the pressie. I thought they looked so cute - but they were instantly tossed - however while the cape was not worn, it was nursed all morning!!
Oh - and this is the card (sitting on envelope) that I made for his mum's birthday. Unfortunately there were a couple of spelling mistakes (6 in fact) but as I started at the bottom, when they occurred I kinda thought - cest la vie!!

Tuesday, October 14

To all the kids born in the 1920's, 30's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

I received this on email recently and wanted to share........
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested fordiabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright coloredlead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks some of us took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a Ute on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't openon the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Fruit Tingles and some fire crackers to blow up frogs and lizards with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugarin it, but we weren't overweight because...... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were backwhen the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubbyhouses and played in creek beds with matchbox cars. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape or DVD movies,no surround sound, nomobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet orInternet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter time.......noreally! We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays. We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered innuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bully's always ruled the playground at school. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. Theyactually sided with the law!

Our parents got marriedbeforethey had children and didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora'and 'Blade'..... This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers andinventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, October 13

My little boy is growing up

Alexander went on his first excursion with kinder today - to the monash hospital. It is a well organised event that looks at the hospital and those people that work there. There has been a big build up to it and todays the day.

The trip was at lunchtime, so their start time was delayed by two hours - well they were 'fun' hours. He was so excited that he got up early and got dressed and even started his breakfast (he is allowed an apple from the fridge) Then the nagging started about making a sandwich for lunch. He has been asking about this for the last week, so once that was done he was ready - but incredibly early. How were we going to kill time- with everyone going silly. Benji had brushed his teeth, run off with the toothbrush only to be found with the chair to the bench and dipping his toothbrush into the sugar bowl and then into his mouth!

So off to the coffee shop for babycinos, and then finally to kinder. His best friend was there (who normally doesn't come on a monday) and he was off- just like that. Bye mum and a wave.

Where has my baby gone???

Sunday, October 12

Sunday Funny day

Well it started with the best intentions. Yesterday I had looked up in the paper a market in yarra glen so we toddled off there. We were going to invite friends to meet us there but now I am glad we didn't - why? Well that would be because the market was on yesterday - whoopsy. This information I found out when I called my mum to find the newspaper reference. So, we had an hours drive to have a nice picnic in the yarra valley and it was actually quite nice. It actually would have been nice to have lunch at a winery but we were neither dressed nor 'ready' for it (in that I mean the twins!!)
Then we packed up and called in to mums place on the way home. I don't do this nearly as much as I did pre twins- mainly because there is too much to keep them away from. Our place is fairly toddler ready (i never say proof because we do have some furniture!!) but with one child mum managed to keep all her ornaments etc intact, and while that is still the case with three grandkids, it is much, much more difficult. So dad and popeye took them to the park (again)
Once we were eventually home from our adventures, we had a bit of creativity to expel. First we had a go at some waterpainting on wet paper, but much more fun and effective was shaving cream prints. First we put some shaving foam on a container or tin. It is fun just to mush it around and make some peaks. Then we sprinked some food colouring over it in red, yellow, blue and green. Once prepared, we put the paper down into the shaving cream. We didnt mix it prior to printing as it happens as you squish the paper onto the coloured cream. We had a couple of goes and put the paper down to dry out with the thick shaving cream still on it. I think the results are great - and they have a pleasant, manly smell too!

Print one still with wet shaving cream (foam)

Print one once the shaving cream had dried

Saturday, October 11

Getting ready

I have bene thinking quite a bit about Christmas lately, and I am trying to make everything or a majority of stuff, that I have to get organised. I am a visual person so I thought the best way to do this was an idea board. I have decided what my girlfriends are getting, and even have the fabric, so I just have to get going - so what is the perfect thing to do as a distraction - an idea board of course. So I spent last night painting an old cork board and finalising my drawings. I stupidly left them on the table overnight. This morning, they sat relatively unnoticed, or so I thought...The minute I went away to change Spencer's nappy, Benji must have sprung into action (this is only my summation, but I have seen them in action so its probably close to the truth) and started his version of creating. The only problem was it was a permanent black texta he was decorating with. While I can live with it on my idea board, I am not so please with the alterations he has made to the white vinyl chairs. Just a reminder why I dont have anything GOOD in our house!!

Regardless of this glitch to the morning, I not only got my ideas board done, but I cut out all but one of these items, and decided what to do for a 4 preteen girls I had forgotten. I have actually FINISHED one - I will have to take a photo on Monday when I have some space to spread out!! (oh, and notice how I have used the fabric to subtely hid the black scribble!)

Wednesday, October 8

Bird Cage - the final

The balloon was popped (this should be done outside as lots of dried glue and glitter goes everywhere). The bird was painted and a matching feather stuck to its tail. Now all that is needed is somewhere suitable to hang our birdie.

Tuesday, October 7

Bird cage

The crafty bug has hit us today, and after a bit of talke about birds and picking up some string at the $2 shop- we were making a bird and cage. This is fairly simple to do. Blow up balloon and smear with vaseline. Soak string in PVA glue (we watered ours down a bit to help it soak in). Then begin wrapping the string around balloon - we started by tying the end of the string to the balloon, and leaving enough string to tie it up to dry. When we were finished we sprinkled a bit of glitter on it - another idea is to roll the glued string in sand for a more authentic look.

We decided we needed a bird inside - I had planned a simple one from some scrapbooking paper, but as we had some DAS (airdrying clay) lying around, we used that. Obviously these bits are now hanging out to dry, but our plan is to pop the balloon and then hang a decorated bird up inside.

Monday, October 6


Back to kinder! Hooray is what we all say. Back to routine and a bit of normality. The big squirrel did kinder duty tday (while the twins and I enjoyed a coffee with a girlfriend - he he) and he is always surprised how hard it it. It was a difficult day too - first day back after holidays always it - no one is really settled. It is really great he has the flexibility and desire to go. He and Alexander both got so much out of it. They came home so chatty and in sync - a great outcome.
Speaking of in sync I just had to share this picture of Spencer and Benji - they put themselves next to each other like this, enjoying some soup. Note the stencil shirts.

Sunday, October 5

Sunday Funday

The big squirrel had to work this morning, but wiht such a lovely day, mum and dad came over and we spent time enjoying the sunshine. We have some rainwater catchers (wheelie bins under unfinished guttering) that needed to be emptied - and three little squirrels that loved every minute of it!
With Popeye and Dad home, I could leave the kids and escape to Spotlight for a bit of bargain hunting. It took a while but we sniffed out some - and I came home with all of this for my new fashion passion - kaftan.
I don't know about you, but I don't like standing around in my bathers. With a post baby body (twins at that) and chasing all thekids, there are so many bits and angles that should not be on display - hence the kaftan - or dress.
I have ideas for these 4-5 different styles and now need to refine the patterns. I am working on my first one (like the second style) but its still a work in progress, the neckline isnt finished. It is a little big for me but bnothing that some ties wont fix. I will also be adding a couple to my list to make for christmas pressies. I really want some nice white voile as none of these are pure cotton. I was thinking that I could embroider around the neckline - any ideas where i could pick some up?

Saturday, October 4

Time with friends

The big squirrel needed some time to get on top of his paperwork, so to allow him time I took the kids out - anywhere just away from home. I had read there was a market on so that was our destination. Wandering along, we bumped into some friends, who invited us back to their house.

Impromptu stuff is always so much fun and so natural. We had a great time - it broke up our day and they even cooked us lunch. Talk about getting looked after!! So from what was looking like a very trying day was quickly turned around with boys playing out in the sunshine and me enjoying a glass of wine with friends - thank you very much!

Friday, October 3

Tired much?

I had a major freak out today. Yesterday I went to the doctor for a number of reasons. I have had that cold that has been going around, and with our 'holiday' it had got worse not better and also for a general check up. I ended up on antibiotics for the cold, but he felt I was generally otherwise good.

This morning I missed a call as we were getting readdy for swimming, and I rang back the local number to be shocked to find it was the doctor calling me! Of course, now I was on hold for what seemed like forever!!! I was pleased to learn it was nothing life threatening (which is what was going through my head while on hold) but that I had really, really really low iron. Now yesterday when I asked him to check it, he sort of did so under sufference, but now it is a different story. He asked if I was tired - well yes. No really tired - well yes, isn't every mum? So now I have a series of iron injections and hopefully these will perk me up a bit. Is there a world where people are less tired that this??????

Thursday, October 2

Carpe Capes!

Yes - Siezee the cape! I have been busy at the machine making capes - one for a present, two to sell as dress ups to kinder and two for future presents. I am really happy with how they turn out and thought I would share how I do them. So while I am busy working on some basic instructions, I thought I would share an unhelpful model with cape.