Friday, July 31


I was quite proud of myself getting this present organised. I got some personalised stationery including a stamp for one of Alexander's friend from here. We then had some fun with paper making little pockets for the cards, notepaper and stickynotes and initilizing them. Finally I made a pencil case to house the lot. Ususally I would get the machine out but as i was busy packing for a weekend away (yes! AWAY!!!!) at SewJourn, I couldn't be bothered fussing, so I dug out some embroidery threads and did this by hand. Hand embroidery is not my forte at all, infact this is the first thing I have ever done, so I am a bit chuffed with the result. The red plane is the same as on the cards and it is a simple demin zip purse with lining.

Wednesday, July 29

100 days

Inspired by Naomi and chatter from the mums at playgroup, I threw a little impromptu celebration for Alexander. I made a little card with some inspiring words, a hot chocolate and some fairy bread - well it was 100's and 1000's - all to celebrate 100 days at school.
His school didn't recognise the occasion, but he felt very special when he arrived home. We gave him a dollar - a cent for every day. He plans to take the celebration to school for show and tell - complete with fairy bread for his class.

Tuesday, July 28


A sparkly cape and matching dilly bag, along with a flower press were wrapped to take to the twins first party. They have been to parties before, but this was a three year old one especially for them. We were dressed and ready early and on our way to do a couple of jobs before the party- except...
Benji got tired and almost fell asleep and thats where the plan began to unravel. He wouldn't get out of the car. Eventually I forced him inside. Spencer was happy to go in, but Benji was not. He was desparate to get out. He screamed and tried to escape for nearly 10 long minutes. Eventually he calmed down and we edged our way into the party. Once he settled he was fine but we are going to have to work on it because not only is it embarrassing, it is draining.

Saturday, July 25


I have a little book obsession - especially a cheap book. I am not a big reader per se but I love a self help or a craft/DIY book. I had a drive with Benji and Spencer out to Dirt Cheap books and picked up another load this weekend. One of the books - which I already cant find - had this great foolproof cookie recipie. I didn't realise it was the classic anzacs, but they really took 5 minutes and are really YUMMY.
Fool proof cookies
150g butter, 1 tbs golden syrup, 1 tbs boiling water, 1.5 tsp bicarb soda.
1 cup coconut, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup oats, 1 cup plain flour.

Melt butter with golden syrup.
Once melted add bicarb soda mixed in hot water - mixture will bubble.
Add bubbly mixture to well mixed dry ingredients.
Mix well and roll into little balls (mine are about the size of a big marble)
Cook in a moderate to cool oven (150-180) until golden brown.
They will harden once they cool.

Friday, July 24

more list

I'm a virgo - what can i say but I love lists. This is what we did based on pigeon pairs post here. We made 10 sections of regular things that he needs to do every day and one for those extra things - like library day. We have a score section down the bottom out of ten and he is happy for a rating, but at this point no further reward than that. On the flip side I have a weekly calendar split into school time and after school. So I have things like assembly, art, religion and all the specialist classes as well as swimming etc. There are also spaces to fill in any extra events.
He LOVES this. He ran around doing the jobs and loving ticking them off. We got to school early, no yelling and all in a lovely mood.

Thursday, July 23


Thankfully today after a traumatic grovery shop, I have two little boys asleep and I am sitting trying to do some work. These days if I don't write it down, it seems to slip away.I have two sets of lists on the go of all the things to do(Just FYI, I LOVE lists - particularly checking things off. Sometimes I will write some things down that I have already done, just to cross it off).
As is my usual habbit, I am procrastinating and finding a million different things to turn my attention to, rather than ticking things off my list. I was on Pigeon Pair blog where I found this wonderful post about a kids check list for the morning. It is a visual list, laminated with check boxes to encourage kids to do their own jobs. This is something we have been struggling with, so rather than paying those bills and doing the washing, I am off to make my own.....

Tuesday, July 21

TuTu How Tu

Chatting with the girls at knitting last night, the topic got onto making tutus. It was all a bit confusing so I have done some high tech instructions here. (2 pages) As the mother of three boys, this is a skill I am more than happy to share because they aren't really that keen on tutus round here. While I think I have covered it all in the instructions here is a basic outline.

Materials - 3 m length of net or tulle or similar
3 m length of wide ribbon or satin binding
7o cm of corded elastic
A toggle (which holds both ends of elastic and makes skirt waist adjustable)- sorry none in pictures.
I am working with net here. Usually when you get netting it is about 150 cm wide. Cut it in half lengthwise giveing you 2 strips about 75 cm wide and 3m long. You can actually make 2 skirts which look like mine (2 layers), or you can double the layers to have 4 thicknesses of net.
Here I would usually fold the net in half but I had already cut this so I am working with two separate 37cm wide pieces. The only reason I suggest folding the fabric is it is quicker, and the raw edge of the net can be quite pointy and rough around the waist. But if you like to cut, go for it. I also like to edge the fabric - I use the overlocker to do a rolled hem, but you don't have to. Tulle and net dont fray, but if you'd like you could do a zig zag stitch in a contrast or even add some ribbon or trim.
The waistband is the 3m of ribbon folded in half. I press this with a cool iron to get a crease.

Below is the folded elastic being pinned to the folded edge of the net. You can see there is a 'pocket' at the top edge of the ribbon. This is where you thread through the elastic. I have also chosen to sew up the end seams and I do this before I put the folded ribbon on. Again you don't have to as it gathers up and this opening disappears.

Once you are sure that all of the layers have been caught by the pins, you can sew the ribbon to the skirt. You may wish to do decorative stitching or extra rows of stitching. I just do one close to the edge of the ribbon.

The final step is to thread the elastic through the ribbon 'pocket'. I always wrap the end of the elastic with tape to help it through and use a safety pin to navigate the way. The safety pin is easier to feel as you thread through the pocket and catch through the elastic.

Once you have got right through the length of skirt, the elastic will gather your skirt. Simply slip the toggles onto the ends of elastic and adjust the waist measurement to suit. I tie knots in the end of the elastic to prevent the whole thing coming undone, but you could sew beads or some kind of ornaments to the ends if you felt like it.

And my beautiful little boy kindly posing for his mum - what a little precious. Not the footwork - and last piece of missing skirting!!

Monday, July 20

I'm back

Hi, yeah, its been a while I know. Its one of those things I have been meaning to do but get sidetracked - so today, its done. Almost 2 months of posts up to day. I think I go back to early june, but all done now and planning to stay up to date.

Play again

After yesterday's performance, I decided to take a proactive approach. I got the table out and we sat together to do some cutting and pasting and the boys really enjoyed it. They sat and concentrated well for a while and while there was no product, it is not always about that. We had fun. They played well, together and there were no tantrums.

Oh, and on a happy note(for me) I found something I thought I had lost. I had been asked almost a year ago to alter. It was a project that wasn't fun, urgent, easy and I didn't think it would have the outcome she was after and basically I didn't want to do it and I hadn't got around to it. Anyway, she wanted it back. This wasn't an easy task as I couldn't find it, and didn't have the time to have a good look. She called today to say she was on her way over so I had to look and I FOUND IT and RETURNED IT. So, note to all if you want something done, made or altered - GIVE ME A TIME LIMIT. I ONLY WORK TO DEADLINES

Sunday, July 19

Fireman Sam

Can too much viewing of Fireman Sam turn little redhead boys into Norman Price?????
The boys are OBSESSED with Fireman Sam - from DVD's but we also have some dolls and a fleece blanket. However I don't think it is all good.
We had a birthday party today, and the little boys fell asleep in the car on the way. I let them sleep for a while (with the big squirrel) but they were waiting for the kids to do the cake, so I woke them up. Not really my best move as they had to enter an unfamiliar house, full of adults they didn't know and it was all a bit overwhelming. Spencer was consolable, however Benji went off. Really off - which has been a bit of a habbit lately. He was screaming for 20 minutes, totally inconsolable. Hopefully we can write it off as a phase but anyone who has a difficult child knows it isn't fun.

Saturday, July 18


A cubby is being constructed at our place. It is slow going with Popeye having two 'helpers', but it is going to be great.

Thursday, July 16


Oh, I am singing and tapping my feet as I type. I had a lovely night out with a good friend. She had tickets (for which I must remember to pay) to Crazy for You at the Art Centre. We were mixing with the grownups on a night out on our own. After a lovely dinner with wine we were off to the show which was jam packed with Gershwin numbers. It wasn't an all your bells and whistles type of production but it was really enjoyable way to spend a night.

Wednesday, July 15


Another great find from this magazine is this great baby cardigan pattern. My aunt knitted it for the twins when they were little and they were great. They are knitted in one piece and tend to grow with the child. I think I got 6months out of them (which is a long time for a baby). Mum knitted this one while we were away, and some of the other wool is earmarked for more - again for gifts.

Monday, July 13

Sale - homewears

One of my aims when starting this blog was to share some of my bargain shopping secrets - here is a really good one.

Rhubarb - make china and now children's clothes and accessories are having their annual sale - one which I have been hanging out for. I got a great deal last year and need a top up.

Wednesday 22nd July, 2009 until Friday 24th July, 2009.
283 Swan St(melways reference 44 F11)Richmond.VIC, 3121.
Wednesday - Friday: 8am - 7pm
Mastercard, Visa, Cash, Eftpos

Sunday, July 12


Scienceworks in Spotswood is currently exhibiting StarWars costumes and Props etc. My brother and Dad to Alexander off to this and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr P is a bit of a star wars freak and has spead this disease to both Alexander and Dad (to a lesser extent).
They all had a great day together and Alexader sees it as the pinicle to a great and busy holiday.

Friday, July 10


Home again and getting ready to return to school it was evident that EVERYONE needed a haircut. I bought some groovy clippers with up to a number 12 adjustment and just had a go. The before and aftershots dont look too bad and I think I will get my money back from the clippers in no time. Next is the twins but I haven't had a chance to get them yet.


Apologies up front to those honest and skilled mechanics out there that can fix a car. Obviously this rant/post is not directed to you. No, indeed this is directed to those shonky rip off merchants that obviously do not know one end of the car from the other and do not accept any responsibilty for their actions.
You know that the big squirrel had car troubles. We were progressing with fixing what the mechanic had diagnosed to be the problem. When he had finished the work and tested the car, it seems that was not in fact the problem, there was something else. Would you not imagine with the level of skill and training we could expect him to find the underlying problem?????
To cut a long story short, not happy with our mechanic and if it wasn't so hard and time consuming we would take action against them. I just hate that we have just taken our business elsewhere rather than address the issue. Now they will just continue in business with someone else ending up in the same position as us.
Regardless, problem solved, not too much money, a lot of inconvenience and stress, but car back on the road.

Wednesday, July 8


We took the bikes away with us and actually went on a ride. Alexander wasn't keen. Something has obviously happened to make him think that he can't ride. We hired a tag along bike where he was supported on the back of hte big squirrel. Initially he would not get on and was doing everything he could, during a hysterical episode, to fall off the bike. After a chat and some serious convincing, he got on and we went on a nice long ride through Bright, which has a really nice flat bike track. That afternoon, he wanted his bike and jumped on, squealing in delight at his accomplishment.

Tuesday, July 7


The big boys were off playing golf today, so we took the opportunity for a country drive. My aunt suggested we have a look at Wangaratta woollen Mills (Textile St, Wangarratta). All of this pile of wool only cost $37. The pink and blues are pure wool 4 ply and the other wool is 8 ply and only cost $10. It isn't as good as Bendigo, there is not the range, but it is cheap. It is like a seconds shop so you may not find exactly what you are looking for, but if you are just looking for wool and inspiration it is worth a visit. (Oh and all of these patterns were thrown in!)

Monday, July 6


Off to Alpine country for another(!) holiday. This time with my mum and dad to celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Mum and I have been off exploring the shops and found these vintage patterns in the local op shops. We were actually in there for knitting needles and all of this was less than $5! I think I will be trying some of these soon.

(Not for me, well maybe the little boy outfits for Size 2 but I thought the baby gear would make lovely gifts. Just a little not of clarrification!!)

Sunday, July 5


Is there a better way to celebrate than with chocolate? I got this seasons Family Circle - mainly for the recipe on the front. We made it today for Mum and Dads anniversary. (Ramikins courtesy of op shop) It was easy and as delicous as it looks on the cover.

Wednesday, July 1

Girls Night

A busy busy day with playgroup, some extra work in a student film and then desert with the girls!
Sounds exotic, but helping out my brother doing a film at uni but then some old school friends came over. (Of course they are not old, but we have know each other since high school). Even though our lives have moved and changed, we have stayed close and it was lovely to sit over scones and lemon tart to catch up. There are a few promotions, pregnancies, a new baby and a new house. All very exciting things, but it is the day to day stuff that is the best. Thanks to the girls for a lovely night. It is nights like this that remind you how important good (and old) friends are.