Saturday, February 28

Yeah me!

Its been a weird couple of days. There hasn't been much whirring of the machine as there has been the threat of more fires - thankfully they have not occurred- but we have been busy looking after friends in potential danger areas.
Today, with cooler weather and a party looming, the machine was uncovered and whirring again. The request was put in for a personalised towel, so I had to ablige.
Instead of wasting money and resources on expensive wrapping paper, I am trying to be a little more environmentally aware. So, my towel was packaged in another drawstring bag, which should be useful for other things too. I appliqued a j on the front of the bag (with the embroidery machine) and then a lightning bolt moment. I could do the same thing on the card! I have a stash of white cards which we use for every occasion, and it was so easy and really effective. I was so pleased with myself, my little 'yeah me' moment!! (Oh, and it looked SO good on the present table - even better)

Wednesday, February 25

Wavey Day

Today was Alexander's last Wednesday off. Next week he will start full time school and it will be that way for the next 13 years - at least! So I had planned a special day together. The big squirrel had even taken the day off to look after the twins. While it wasn't exactly what I had planned, he had a great day.
One of his good friends from kinder invited him over for a morning play date and I couldn't refuse as they have really missed each other. So I took the little boys to playgroup, Dad went to work, and Alexander had a great play. We all got home and had lunch together which was really nice.
The afternoon was more what I had in mind. We went off to the wave pool at Monash- just Alexander and me and had a lovely time practicing swimming and jumping in the waves. He said he had the best day ever. I had a lovely time and it was nice to celebrate the end of an era.

Tuesday, February 24

Pancake Tuesday

This is a day I always try to remember, but often I only do after the fact. But today, I actually remembered.I got these cute little silicone egg rings from Aldi with the thought they would make great pancakes. This morning I made them to pop into Alexander's lunchbox, instead of a sandwich. Hopefully he will eat them.

Sunday, February 22

Sunday Funday

We had a lovely day today which was very fluid. We all headed off to breakfast, and then stumbled across our local street fair. We went for a lovely walk, chatting with friends who were also out, and looking at things in the community. It was a lovely morning and nice to be out in the sunshine.
Once home the little boys went off to sleep and we started the large task of doing some jobs around home. We are trying to turn this little nook into our information centre. We now have all the books there, but also want all school notices etc.

Its been a long time since he has done any overall worthy work!!!

but he did get in and help paint our sliding door into a blackboard. This is still a work in progress but we are getting there....

Saturday, February 21

Sadly, size matters

I was browsing today and tried on some jeans- they were on special for a good price at an outlet store so they looked like a bargain. I tried the size 12 and they went nowhere near me. I was not going back for the larger size.
Now being a dressmaker for a number of years, the majority of my clothes don't have sizes on them, but those that do vary from 8 - 16 from S to XL. I have tried them all on today - and started to purge those things that dont fit, I dont like and I wont wear. And while there is a bit more storage room, there are still 8s and still XL sitting side by side. What saddens me is the need for TWO piles. Yes, one of pants that fit and one of pants that dont.
Having children certainly messes with your body, and rather than lamenting the loss of my waist, it is the gaining of the flubber that is of more concern. The back fat that wasnt there before and the favorite jeans that used to fit, now with not only a muffin top, but one with cream icing hanging over the top!
There are four pairs of pants that do not fit. They used to fit but they cannot be worn because they look disgusting. It is not about the size on the label as the pants that dont fit are 10s and 12s but there is a miraculous pair of 8s that weren't even going to get a try on that actually look quite good. There was also a couple of 12s that were too big and went in the donation pile. This is why I know in my head that those little tags that tell us what size things are, really shouldn't matter, but in a lot of ways are a mental barrier to many of us.
I love my 'Trinny and Susannah', Tim Gunn and Gok so it was with a critical eye I looked if things actually fit and whether they also looked good. Some things were rediscovered, some were discarded to those in need and the biggest decision of all was made - Hi Ho, Hi Ho its off to gym I go!!

Friday, February 20

Dad with his boys

The big squirrel had little helpers to put together a chair. They were all attentive and helpful and enjoyed spending constructive time with their dad.

Thursday, February 19


As a general statement, things are on the improve. The twins behaviour and mine too, has all been much more even and tempered. Their communication is improving every day, with Spencer chatting in full sentences now and Benji only a little behind. This has calmed things a bit and they seem to channel their energy into mostly positive pursuits. I say mostly because we still have some of this... clean and still wet washing being distributed down the hall
and this, a picture being removed from the wall,
and of course finding things like this- milk flavouring - which was unopened, being strewn across the floor. I don't know how they even managed to get that silver bit off the top, obviously childproof!

Tuesday, February 17

A new day

If only everything was this easy. After my rant yesterday I have been determined to think differently and I cant believe the difference - in all of us. My little angels went off for their daytime sleep easily today after some fun activities together. The three of us stood around and made playdough which they then actively played with.
We managed the whole school drop off much better today and Benji and Spencer even walked happily to Alexander's class. There were of course some hiccups, such as finding Xander's lunch on the bench upon our return and a bit of a mural on the fridge in my lipstick, but all the same, I just didn't let it bother me. And I feel much better for it - lets hope it can continue.
On a different note, I had to make Alexander a library bag for school, and he needed by today. I had craft night last night and set about to my task. Starwars is one of the current obsessions so I downloaded a picture from the internet and printed it onto computer transfer paper. I did the same with his name - if you are doing this you need to remember to flip the image or else it is back to front. I had some cheap rubber backed curtain fabric which I ironed the image onto and I made the bag from the same fabric. Sometimes I find the images peel off a bit so I prefer to applique them on. Then I whipped up a fairly simple tote bag that was taken off to Library today.

Monday, February 16

Half a Glass

Of late, my glass always seems to be half empty. I can only seem to see the worst in everything, and everything seems to make me angry. There is no real reason, it just is how it seems to be. I have decided to make a change.
I am going to live more in the moment. I am trying to get more organisation and routine at home which should help the twins to settle. I am going to take some time out and start to say no to things. I seem some days to be chasing my tail as I race from one commitment to the next - there never seems to be any time to just 'be'.
Its going to take me some time - it is a major attitude shift, but I would rather be getting happier than a churning anger in my stomach. I think it is really a need to simplify- everything. There are so many people who are facing so much hardship and my glass really is half full.
To paint a picture of where this is all coming from, lets look at this morning. I am in the school morning routine, and the twins want to start toilet training. They wont get dressed, they take of their own poo filled nappies in the bathroom and then fight over the toilet. There is poo everywhere except in the toilet. I get a top on Benji and deal with Spencer who is on the toilet wanting to unroll all the paper. Meanwhile Benji wees in the hall. Its bin day, and I take a said dirty nappies out to the bin, only to have Alexander racing out hysterically to find me and trip over in the driveway. If I was leaving them all as if I would take a bag full of dirty nappies with me. Alexander has lost a shoe and we are getting later. Finally relatively poo free we are in the car on the way to school, Benji is SCREAMING and has taken his arm out of straps. This involves pulling over to fix hysteria on all parts and making us again later to school.
Once at school and parked (actually close to gate) I have to walk him to the door so twins have to get into the pram. I end up staying for assembly but he doesnt even see me! I decide that now everyone is calm, we will go to a preschool music program. All good - until we get int he door and then the tantrums unfold. There were only 2 other people there, and my two were hysterical and extremely non-participative. That is until the music ended and the food came out. Benji stopped crying 30 minutes into the 45 minute session but they both just sat all over me and wouldn't do anything. I got home to clean up for a colleague (not really friend) to come over and while I am putting things in the box, there were two little monkeys tipping it out again.
Now I sit doing my blog, venting and deciding to change. I don't expect these situations to change ( hopefully the do and for the better) but hopefully I will begin to feel better about it all - and remember that my glass really is half full.

Sunday, February 15


it starts to get dark and you can feel the rebellion matter how tired these little boys are - they WILL NOT give in. I have tried sleep overs with Alexander but that didn't do much good. Even I wanted to jump from one matress to the other as they covered the floor!
What do they do? They just keep getting up,
and getting up
and getting up.
I have sat with them. I have read to them. I have tried controlled crying. I have tried reasoning with them. I have tried no eye contact. NOTHING IS WORKING. Tonight it took over an hour and a half but what makes it more difficult is that Alexander is ready to go to bed - and he goes quite readily, but our routine is to read a chapter of a book - currently Charlotte's web and she is just about to lay her eggs - and if I disappear the twins get another burst of energy.
Don't get me wrong, I am not expecting miracles (however one would always be nice) and Alexander was not easy to get to bed, however this is truly double trouble. One starts to settle and nod off, and the other starts to jump on the bed. I get up to settle the bed jumper, only to have the other one break into tears. It is just getting beyond a joke - like being stuck in a bedtime groundhog day. Once they actually fall asleep it is fine and I am lucky and thrilled that they sleep but I am beginning to HATE the time from 7-9pm. Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 14

Fairy Party

Fairies on a treasure hunt in the garden
Party bags made with the birthday girl, using stencils and stick on letters.

Biscuit wands for all the fairies.

Another outing for Peter Pan - this is what a boy wears to a fairy party.

The beautiful birthday girl and her fairy toadstool house cake.
Musical toadstools - (themed musical chairs- sans chairs)
Oh, and one other thing I have to mention which I think was terrific. Pass the parcel. Even the kids are over this game these days as they all EXPECT a prize in each wrapping and once they have had a turn, they have a tendancy to wander off. What Kirty did was wrap up all the prizes in the MIDDLE, so every child got something but there is still incentive to sit to the end of the game. Hooray, I will be adopting this next time.

Friday, February 13

Mini Anniversary

I got home from work today to find this beautiful bunch of flowers. I think the last time the big squirrel bought me flowers was in hospital when Alexander was born. This is partly my fault as I don't like him wasting money when there are better things to spend it on and also buying into the whole Valentine's Day, Hallmark holiday thing. But all that aside, it is always nice to get flowers and tomorrow marks the date where we have been engaged for 14 years! I'd like to say the time has flown, but cant find it today as I am just feeling old. While I always tell him to send them to work as you get much more bang for your buck with an audience, he was very thoughtful and picked them himself but more importantly gave me a card in which HE had WRITTEN some lovely words. This is much more special and something I will keep. Thank you babe!
(In return I made him a "delicious" pasta dinner where I caught the bottom of the sauce and then tasted it and I reckon the mince had turned so we gave it to the dog and had sandwiches. I don't think I will be getting another bunch of flowers in a while!!!!!!!)

Thursday, February 12

Birthday gift

The helpers always come out of the woodwork when you are trying to take a photo!! With two of these little monkeys I find it very difficult to get anything - and I mean anything - done. We have a birthday party on the weekend, and while it is still warm, we have made her a personalised blanket. She lives in the hills and it gets very cold up there. Below is what it actually looks like. With no winter fabrics in stock yet, I found it quite hard to get my hands on some polar fleece. This one was not really the colour I was looking for, but it was the right stuff. It was actually double sided fleece which is bonded together. I pulled it apart to do the machine applique and then sewed it back together. It is approx 160 x 160 and folds into a pocket (a Quillo) which is about 40 x 40 so it forms a nice little pocket. Pulling the bonded fabric apart wasnt really a problem, however the residue stickyness that was all over my hands, the machine and everything else negates any benefits! It turned out ok though.


Wednesday, February 11


You have probably heard about the devestating fires that have ravaged Victoria's beautiful country-side and communities. While we live in suburbia, such destruction and horrific loss of life has touched us all. I worry about friends who live in bushland areas and strangers who have lost loved-ones and possessions.

As a community the country has bonded together to try to help, but how do you really help these people. They have seen things that no-one should see, and they will never forget. At the moment they need money, and we have donated a number of different ways. I try to put myself in that position and think what I would need, then I want to give that to them, but at the moment charitable donations are more of a problem than a help.

To a point, our life needs to go on, but even the act of grocery shopping, or making a birthday present makes me feel guilty for those who have nothing, not to mention any frivoulous purchases. While reading others feelings of the fires, I found this from Fi's blog.It inspired me in ways to help longer term. The Handmade Help blog where it was posted is bringing communities together to help our fellow man. All of a sudden I knew how I could help - without being a burden. Our crafting group is full of knitters so we willg et started on some winter items - hats and scarfs, maybe even jumpers as it gets so cold in those mountains.

Talking with these girls helped me to deal with it a little better and our kinder community is underway to help other kinder communities in affected areas. Doing something, no matter how little, is much better than doing nothing.

Sunday, February 8


Another gift to make as relief from the news that our state is literally on fire. I cant bear to watch any more news - its just too devestating. So, I needed to get creative.
I had to get a gift for a music lover, and had seen record bowls on the internet, so I thought I would give it a try. By simply typing how to make a record bowl into google, I got simple instructions and in under twenty minutes had two finished projects!
Step one - get records. I had to go to mums to get some to try. I didn't want to wreck something that they liked so I grabbed my own records. These were the first ones I bought with my own money - a whole $10 from Brashs- and you got one free. I still feel ripped off as they weren't original artists, but what sounds like some "Idol" singers singing your favorites (from 1984!) Burt was collected to scan and cover the record centre in case it worked- others wouldn't get the significance of my first album.

Step two - and this is the key - Turn an oven proof bowl UPSIDE down and place the record on the top and place in the oven (at about 200 degrees) for only a few minutes. (Alexander didn't even know what these things were!!!)
The record will quickly start to dip around the bowl. Now, you can either pull it out and mold it quite easily if you want an open style design. If you would like a bit more bowl shape, leave it in as it will start to hug the bowl - this may be slightly harder to remove. Once in a shape you like, set aside to cool.

Here is the finished project - the front one is a tight bowl, and the back one is more open. You have to remember they cant be bowls as they have a hole in them, however for chips etc they can be really fun. I stuck the burt record centres in to my bowl and gave the inside a quick coat with modpodge so it could be used for food. Hope she likes it. Oh, for the card I scanned the cover of the bacarach album to match. He is one of her all time favorites. Maybe I'll make some biscuits and wrap it all in cellophane, we'll see.

Saturday, February 7

RECORD HEAT!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure you can really see in this photo - but this is the dash of my car in our driveway as we return from a party and it is Hot, no, really hot. I have the outside temperature and it is 47 degrees outside - and that is centigrade! I have never known it to be that hot. We are hovering inside with the aircon blasting and trying to keep cool. They sky outside is an eerie colour, but I have no news of fires - yet. The countryside is so dry - it feels like it has just been baked.

To keep the kids cool we gave them baths in the cool room (the one with airconditioning) as everywhere else is too hot. Hope you are staying cool.

Friday, February 6

More pressies

The machine was busy again making the other half of Lauren's present. She is a HUGE fan of Elmo so I found some embroideries and put one on a tshirt (inspired by Polo pony) and one on a windcheater for day care. I bought these as it was cheaper than making them. The large one is a pillow case I made - with a font from Sesame Street it appliqued the name with white blanket stitch. This is all fabric from the stash and I was really happy with the outcome. To save throwing out paper, I put all the bits and pieces into the pillowcase and added a ribbon.

Thursday, February 5

A little bit of creativity

I made this felt wand for my god daughters 2nd birthday. I found in in a tutorial but sadly, I cannot for the life of me find where - it is really good and i want to credit them. I was on How About Orange which led me to the best post here on *the long thread* but from there it is a mystery. However I found it I am really happy and hope she is too!

Wednesday, February 4

One on, One Off

After a great start to school yesterday, today was a day off. It is still warm, and we needed something to do cool and indoors - so off to the movies. I took all the kids to Forest Hill. Managing them all at the movies only takes a little preparation as I had food etc and went to a cinema that hardly anyone else goes to - and it was all true to plan. We even saw an 11.10am movie - The Tales of Despareux, which although it was animated, was fairly focussed on truth, honour and loyalty, all a little high brow for a five year old and a little slow - no wonder the little boys looked like this!

Tuesday, February 3

School is Cool

Our little boy on his first day of school today, and what a day! There were no tears, no pushing, he was eager, excited and so ready to go. While there is much debate about holding kids back etc, I think this is a really individual choice, and you really need to know your own children. I was pretty sure Alexander would go when he was scheduled to, even though he only turned 5 in January and today I felt we'd done the right thing. He is eager to learn new things, meet new people and just get out there and do it! We got a quick kiss at the door and he was off - he didn't even look back. Just hung his bag up and sat down to start work. We stood at the window watching for a while, waiting to see if he would need us or if there was anything else to do, but he was already engrossed in coversation with a new friend that he didn't even see us leave. He is well and truly a school boy now with a very proud mum and dad.

Sunday, February 1

Furniture Relocation

Now that Xandy is a school boy (well almost) we want his room to reflect that and as such things are on the move. Rather than rushing out and buying new things, we have been moving things around to great success. The best thing was moving a bookshelf from his room to a nook in the kitchen that we haven't got around to getting something for. It was a pretty good fit but an excellent solution. These things however always take longer with the helpers!