Sunday, May 31

Number 96

It was almost really a Maxwell Smart moment of "Missed it by that much" for my Nana who is alive to celebrate her 96th birthday today. She has been in a nursing home for around 10 years due to dementia, but is quite ill with a chest infection/pneumonia. The antibiotics kicked in last night, and she is still alive - but not really with us. The person we knew and she knew is long gone now. She barely recognises any people in the room, let alone realising she had children and who they are. Mum visits, but even she suggests us staying away. So, for the woman I remember as Nana, the excentric and outgoing woman who was never without a beau, to that woman I wish a happy birthday and hope that she is still around somewhere....

(This was Nan's dog. I remember it from her kitchen. I love its kitch-ness and it is a sentimental item that reminds me of her)

Saturday, May 30

Auskick - Grandparents

Today was grandparents day at Auskick and like the good ones they are, both Mum and Dad were out there on the field (not that mum was too happy about it, or particularly dressed for footy!) Alexander had a lovely day, and Benji and Spencer don't like to miss out and have a run around the field - or run off on Nana as the case may be. It is a nice fresh way to start the weekend.

Friday, May 29

Knitting Machines

I have two knitting machines. I know it sounds excessive. What is worse, I don't even know how to work one. It was one of those pregnancy purchases and it has stayed in the box pretty much ever since. The other one works much better and can pretty much do anything......

This woman is a dead-set knitting machine. Her latest offering is this great wool jumper for Alexander.

Saturday, May 23

Pile of Junk

I'm so over catering and sewing for a purpose that I was happy to get out, sans kids, to spotlight just for a wander. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just on the lookout for either inspiration or a bargain. I find spotlight is only good if you are not looking for a specific item. If you are - you NEVER find it. I like to let the fabric (or price) speak to me.

Today what greeted me was a bargain bin, where things were mystery bags for $2 each. I could see a couple of things that were worth more than two dollars so I bought three bags (as you do).
There were four different size embossing tools, some St Patrick Day decoration, a selection of zippers, a range of cottons, window paints, and some scrapbooking tools. There was also a pepper grinder, buttons, ribbons, and a chicken mould. This array will start a couple of new projects, I'll probably try embossing, but not sure what to do with the giant chicken!

Wednesday, May 20

Yet another birthday- Happy Birthday Mum

The machine has been whizzing, the beads have been dropping and the oven pumping.
This week, on the menu was Roast Turkey with 7 types of vegies - sweet potato, roast potato, parsnip mash, beans, cauliflower and broccoli and corn on the cob. Mum only wanted a little cake as we had also apple crumble so we made chai cupcakes with crushed honeycomb on the top.

Mr P and I were busy trying to make things for mum. We got this great fabric from spotlight of all places. It is a really soft knit. We only bought 2.5 meters and managed to make this wrap dress with bell sleeves and a sleeveless v neck top. Both are Burda patterns out of the magazines I get monthly but I didn't read the fabric requirements properly and we really needed 4 meters for both outfits - but with a bit of clever arranging, we fitted it all in. Thankfully both items fit perfectly. I will get onto mum to get better photos of these yet.
The other thing Mr P and I always do is make her necklaces. We have a place where we buy different pearls and natural beads. This time her request for black necklaces. So we did one similar to the red one she has on in this photo and matching earrings. ( Her ears are not pierced so clip ons are hard to come by).
Finally we got accessories - a belt and some perfume. We also coordinated with Dad who bought a red handbag and a red batwing cardy. Another good, successful night.
Oh, and we got a progress report of MrP's latest artwork for school. He is working on portraits and this one is only half done.

This week we were catering for Mum's birthday.

Monday, May 18


Bit of a worry - it is electric and lives at Mum and Dads!

Sunday, May 17

PJ Party

Alexander had a school friends party today and it was a really nice party. The theme was a pajama party disco. So everyone had a costume and everyone had fun. The kids didn't have to go and get special stuff, we just found a clean pair of jammies. While he wasnt initially thrilled about going out in his PJs , once he got there and saw everyone else in theirs, he was cool.
The party was at a party centre and was sooooo cute. They had a reception room and you walked through to a designated eating area and from there could either go to the disco room, complete with disco ball and lighting, or to the beauty parlour. A fabulous pink room with mirrors, lights and pink high chairs and the kids got either face paint or hair spray. It is really great for girls - makes me want one....

Saturday, May 16

Present project

Alexander has another party - tomorrow, (this boy has the best social life!) and I have been busy with the embroidery machine again. The towel and facewasher were wrapped in the pink bag with an i on it. Alexander made the card.
Oh, I was so inspired with walking yesterday, that I walked the twins to football this morning. Alexander went with dad and we were taking a leisurely walk. It was all good, and I felt good until not one but both boys cracked and decided they were no longer walking. They lay on the footpath literally kicking and screaming. I was scared - we were on a main road, not far from our destination, and had to carry the two little strong buddhas who were really not impressed. Thankfully I saw a friend walking her dog to football and she carried one of the boys the rest of the way. So not so on the walking bandwagon today, but thankful for community and the local network we are building.

Friday, May 15

Walk to school day

Walk to School day was highly promoted at school and actually most people did it. It was a really lovely experience (it would have been a nice day to drive because i could actually get a park right outside school!!) Mum looked after the twins and Alexander and I had a brisk walk up hill to school. It was really nice to have that time together, being active and chatting. A much calmer way to start the day.

Thursday, May 14

Cut some more..

You know how I hid all my scissprs - well there is now almost an increased facination with them. Mum made this great coat for my brother and was busy finishing off the buttons (which needed to be approved by Mr P). She was doing this while the kids were asleep and then quietly sewing on the buttons at the table when they awoke.
In a well orchestrated manouever Benji distracted Mum and Spencer moved as quick as the wind to the scissors and CUT.
He did a slice into the lapel of the finished, fully lined wool coat. He cut effortlessly through what would be four layers of fabric plus two of interfacing to leave an inch of clean cut into the high lapel of the left side of the collar. Mum was (understandably) hysterical. She could have been (and deserved to be) worse, but she realised they really didn't mean it. But the damage he did it is almost easier to chuck it and start again than repair. However, the story does end well as clever mum did some darning and you can hardly see the damage. Well you can if you know where to look. But the recipent is still very happy and this is him, post cut.

Wednesday, May 13

Birthday Boy

Another birthday - we are at that time of the year for us. In the family we have two clusters of celebrations - May and December/January. And here we are at number 2 out of 3, for my brother. Because I am the only one with children, it is easier to have things at my place than to go out anywhere.

As we don't go out, and it is his birthday, he had the choice of meal - however this is salt and pepper squid. Nice but troublesome to make. Then this morning, Mum calls to tell me two extras are coming!!!! So, dinner has gone from a kitchen table affair to a proper dining room affair - and the painters are still around!!!!!!!! Mad cleaning, frantic shopping and moving junk - projects and papers away anywhere. It will take me weeks to find everything, but the house is tidy and we have squid and a recipie.
As it turns out, it is quick and easy to make and the night went off without a hitch. He loved all his pressies - I loved this bag we got him and so did he - so retro. A really enjoyable evening, but I should start preparing for next week now! Happy Birthday Mr P

Monday, May 11

Still painting - and cooking!

The painters are still here and our house is in chaos. I spent the afternoon huddled with the twins on a bed reading books. It was the cleanest warmest place and they needed to sleep and I needed a place to hide! It has been hard to try and keep out of the way, but still have a life- especially for Benji and Spence.
Today we did a little bit of cooking - the easiest scones ever.
1 cup fresh lemonade (ie just opened, not flat stuff)
1 cup cream (just normal stuff)
3 cups self raising flour
Pour the wet ingredients into the sifted flour and mix quickly. The usual scone rules apply- ie don't over work it and work quickly, but these are really harder to get wrong. Roll and cut out scones and put into a hot oven (200-220) until golden brown. Enjoy with jam and cream - Yummy :)

Sunday, May 10

Happy Mothers Day

A terribly unflattering photo of a joyous mob of boys celebrating their mother - just FAR TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING! I need to teach these boys to sleep in..........but apart from that I had a special day surrounded by all my boys. And for my mum, not only did I go and visit her mum with her, but we put on a nice BBQ spread for dinner with the family.
Happy Mothers Day to every mum

Saturday, May 9

Ode to the Thermos

It has been a busy messy couple of days at our place. The painters are still here and all our stuff is moved about and all teh windows and doors are open. It is much too cold for that, so we have been going anywhere to escape it. We have wandered most shopping centres. Luckily we have the weekend off - well kind of.

Today, as a special mothers day treat we got to play football with the kids. Great - except it was raining - what a treat. Actually , having said that it was good just to get on with it and once you started moving it wasn't too bad. The saving grace was the thermos of hotdogs. I had never thought of this until Jo suggested it, but boiling water and Don skinless franks and a bit of bread and they were a great and simple treat.

Thursday, May 7

Easy Applique

I was busy making another bag in line with my homemade present plan and I thought I would share how easy it is to do your own applique.

I create my design on computer, print it out and trace it on the matt side of freezer paper. I got this from a patchwork shop - and am not really sure where else in Australia you can get it. Why use it? It is temporarily tacky and peels off without any trouble or leaving any marks.

2. Using low heat, iron the freezer paper onto the fabric you wish to applique. It is transparent so you can line the fabric up. Once stuck, cut your design out.

3. Once I have the design to applique (I was doing a couple at once here) I attach it onto my project - in this case a bag - using vlisofix - which is double sided sticky webbing- conceptually like fabric glue. This reduces the amount of fray the applique will have, but also stops it moving during the next step.

4. Stitch around the edge of the applique. For this project I used a small zigzag stitch. Another option is buttonhole stitch for a heavier edge, but I only wanted a soft contrast.
5. I finished off the bookbag with contrast handles and stitching. This is a basic rectangular bag, with the corners sewn in to create a base and ironed to create sides. A simple and effective way to decorate and personalise anything.

Tuesday, May 5


Two types of painting are going on at our house. Messy and clean. Would you believe that it is the boys that are doing the clean painting??? Yes, its true.
I finally got around to getting a painter in to finish off our extention (only two years later..) but they are here doing prep work, and it seems they are everywhere. We are getting the woodwork done inside and out and also the bathroom so there is stuff everywhere - dust and junk and paint and everything! Ugh. We are huddled in a clean room doing water painting. I know that sounds messy, but Sarah brought some great books that I havent seen for years- you know Magic Painting where you just add water and the boys love them. The only clean painting in our house for a while, I bet.

Monday, May 4


Quiet times today were only punctuated by the vacuum.

Sunday, May 3

Sunday Funday Returns!

It has been a long while, too long since we have done much together as a family and it was really nice to drive up to Mt Dandenong today to the Chestnut Festival. This annual event is run by the kinder nad local schools as a fundraiser and is a lovely day out. Luckily it was sunny and we met some friends and enjoyed a day out together.

Saturday, May 2

Hard work

Somedays it all just gets a bit hard. The big squirrel works a lot - I mean a lot. It is hard work and when he gets home he is tired. I get that. But, I think that I work hard too. Caring for three children is hard work, and throwing twin toddlers into that mix just doesn't make things any easier. They are big boys, active boys which makes the job very physical too.
In my whinge /venting, I am thankful for my boys and I love them dearly, but sometimes I would just like a little time for me. A toilet stop either by myself, or if I am lucky enough to be alone in the tiny stall, not to be worrying what on earth they are up too - either someone is screaming or it is that earily quiet that you know they are up to something really know that sound.
Today what has really pushed me over the edge is that I feel like I am an afterthought. Kind of losing my identity as a person. In the hustle and bustle of it all, I just become Mum - not a person, no feelings, just a machine. And I dont like it. I will tell the big squirrel - when he eventually gets home - if he's not too tired.........................................

Friday, May 1


We had a very welcome visit from Aunty Sarah and Uncle Andew. While it was only a fleeting visit, it was nice to catch up face to face. Oh, and the other thing, I did finish my scarf - I still don't like it and wont wear it. The style actually looks good on because it folds around your neck, but I think i will donate it to a happier home.
While on the subject of knitting gone wrong, mum crocheted this one for me. On a similar theme, but with crochet.
The pattern is again good, and while I like the wool, in this style it looks like a giant cabbage is trying to strangle me. While it took about 6 big balls of wool, it is warm but so incredibly heavy that I think i would pass out if I wore it - so this one is probably going to be recycled! Back to the kitting board!!