Sunday, August 30

Blustering Beach

While it was sunny, it was really really cold, but after a lovely breakfast out, we headed for the pier. Put off by the winds we had to explore the winter beach and rockpools before heading home. (note my totally inappropriate clothing for rockpooling on a cold beach!!)

Saturday, August 29


We had a little holiday at Phillip Island with some friends - organised months ago - to see the penguins. Little did we know we had to experience Antartic in order to see these little critters. Sadly we are not allowed to take photos even outside the visitors centre, but this is us on our way out to them- complete ski gear and sitting out in the pouring rain, gale force winds we did ACTUALLY see penguins. For those planning on going, don't waste too much time sitting in the bleachers as the penguins walk up along the walk way, really close and this is much more protected from the elements.
The night was finished with warm lasagne (yum) and a bath

Thursday, August 27

Another Birthday

yes this one was mine. Once you get to a certain age, with a car full of kids, the ideas of relaxation and a day off are just that, ideas. I had my family around me and that is the most important thing - and that makes for a happy day.

Monday, August 24


Spencer, at all of 2 1/2 has a fascination with the camera. Of course not the little snap one, but my good one. On more than one occasion I have been startled away by the flash from my little Pap!

With over 150 photos in his folder, here are a couple of the recurring themes -

these little feet appear in most pictures!

Sunday, August 23


We had a trivia night at school last night which was a great night. We had a competitive (and intelligent) table and had a lot of fun. It was also a great way to get to know some other parents outside of the school gate. We dressed as brides and grooms and I made this centrepiece to the table - the bones are what we used at our wedding and still have in the garage.
It was a closely fought game and came down to a tiebraker at the end - a true/false heads/tails game which ended with me and one opposition - just a bit of trivia - Asia has hosted the commonwealth games - in KL. If only they had asked the names of Brangelina's kids, I could almost give you their countries of birth too!

Saturday, August 22


It was the final auskick today. Why is it kids really start getting into something when it is

finishing. Alexander had a lovely day today, he really got into it and you could see a huge progression in his skills - the fact that he now actually has some!I had to share this photo, even though its blurry. Alexander and Benji disappeared for some time today - happily and quietly only for Benji to be paraded for a fashion parade! Alexander had managed to convince Benji to get dressed up in not one but 6 of his t-shirts. The bulky little boy was like Heidi of the Mountain. It was all smiles until the camera came out. If only it was that easy to get Benji dressed every day!!

Friday, August 21


It is an amazing privilege to have the opportunity to watch your children grow and develop. How quickly they change, their attention span grows....where have the babies gone?

Wednesday, August 19

Oh baby its magic!

This magic trick came home from school. Just what we need, yet another way to make money disappear. The magicitian really enjoys this one!

Tuesday, August 18

Plastic Bag

A little inspired, I have actually started Alexander's teachers bag. We are making a carry all style bag with plastic coating. The construction is very similar to the tutorial here at Skip to my Lou.
I cut out two pieces of the main blue fabric at 39cm x 52cm. I cut the same sized pieces out in lightweight clear plastic. I buy this on a roll at spotlight and its labelled as table plastic- very handy. I wanted to decorate the bag so I did all of this first.I cut the strips of the "paris" fabric and using strips of vlisofix (i didn't have enough to cover the whole area, which would have been my preference) I stuck it to the blue dots. I used the vlisofix like double sided tape. I then zig zaged the edges to prevent fraying.

Then I covered this area with pink and blue ric rac. I decided to decorate both sides. Now its time to sew up the bag. I sandwich the plastic inside the two pieces of bag and pin it carefully. Then sew down the two long edges and along the bottom of the bag. I plan to line this one but it is not essential. If you are not lining the bag you will need to zig zag or overlock the edges to prevent fraying.
Then to create a base, I pull out a triangle from the edge of the bag. I do this by lining up the seams along the base and the sides for about 4 cm, then sew along them. If this is confusing refer to skip to my Lou instructions as they are more comprehensive. I sew along here twice for added stability. Do the same for both sides. The trickiest bit is actually turning the plastic coated bag in the right way. I haven't finished this bag because I don't know what I am going to do for the straps. What I did do was whip up another one for me! This one is the left overs from the curtains I made for the twins room from Ikea fabric. The straps are each 76 cm long and I have not covered these in plastic.

I will give you an update on the blue bag, but I will use a walking foot as the top is really hard to sew when the plastic is on top of the machine. It is ok to use a normal foot when the fabric is on top and bottom. Stayed tuned!

Monday, August 17

My Favourite things

A hot cup of tea in my giant mug (obviously didn't start as mine, but I have taken it over),
Four new note books for all of my 'important' lists and just because I like them
A brand new copy of the ikea catalogue which arrived at my doorstep today - full of inspiration and clever ideas.

Saturday, August 15

Bag it early

Ok - I admit I am a bit tragic, but I took Alexander out today to pick some fabric for his teacher - for a christmas present. I know it is only August, but we always have a lot going on in December, so I just wanted to get somethings underway. I wasn't really sure what we were going for, but I wanted to get to Patchwork Central without Benji and Spencer. I was thinking along Amy Butler lines, but Alexander had different ideas, and that directed the whole project.
He chose the parisian fabric and we were guided to the coordinates. I bought .5m of both the parisian and the blue spot, and .25m of the stripes as it is flanelette and already had the ricrac. Looks like we are making a plastic coated bag and some zip purses. Planning to do this quickly before it just lands in the stash.

Friday, August 14

Tie it up

My brother is doing rounds at the moment as part of his teaching degree and where he is he needs to wear a tie. Being a bit of a fashionista himself, he did have ties but they were more for special occasion. He actually needed some 'boring' stuff to wear to school, so today mum and I whipped up these three ties - based on the pattern from pearlbee. I say based on because we made a few adjustments to whip them up quickly.
Firstly, we downloaded their pattern (joined it and split it into two equal sections). This pattern fits into 70cm of fabric and you could easily make two ties from this amount of fabric. We had about 10cm of lining fabric and 70cm of iron on interfacing (shapewell)
Rather than adding the stablizer as suggested, we interfaced the whole tie with shapewell (which is a woven interfacing). Then we sewed the two pieces together with a bias seam.

Next step was attaching the lining at the top and bottom of the tie. We did this with the machine, placing the lining and the tie end with their right sides together, and sewed the two sides of the point. (not the edges.)

Then, we turned turned the lining in the right way (so the seams were hidden inside) and pressed it ensuring the tie had a nice sharp point. We also pressed the joining seam open.

Seriously, almost done now. Simply fold the tie in half lengthwise, with the right side inside and pin along the edge. Sew the seam right through from end to end.
Once completed, lightly press this seam open, taking care not to crease the edges.
Then you need to turn the tie inside out, by pulling the slim end through the thick end. I have a tool, but if you don't, tie a long string or ribbon tightly to a safety pin. Thread the safety pin through the tie and attach it to the end, ensure you keep hold of the end of the ribbon. Then simply pull the end of the ribbon which will pull the safety pin up and turn the tie the right way through. These are are really easy and make a great gift. We whipped up these three while one boy slept and this cheeky one helped!!

Wednesday, August 12

Story time

It was all too quiet ( which is rare around here) and I crept up to find this beautiful sight. Alexander reading to Benji and Spencer. I love that they all love books.

Tuesday, August 11

Bright Ideas

Bad idea - it only cost $100 to buy the replacement globes for this light in my kitchen. It took 2 men a good hour to manage to get the old globes out and the new ones in. THEN we realise this photo is the only time we will see all lights on together - almost immediately three blew.
Good idea - meeting up with Naomi for a playdate. Kids playing together like a little pose, catching up and having a chat/vent and then with tired boys who slipped happily into bed.

Monday, August 10

Tea Time

My new favourites - notice they are all orange (but not orange flavoured!) Iron rich tea with no iron stripping tannin and tastes yummy!!!

Sunday, August 9

Out in the garden

A little project we have been working on for a while (since June LAST YEAR) is tidying up down the side of our house. Finally with a bit of help from Mr P we are making some progess. This is really the quickest access to the cubby which is still under construction so this modification should reduce the cartage of mud into the house.
This has started a bit of a trend in our yard, trying to tidy it up ready for summer. The boys happily played in the yard while we got a bit of tidying done. I got rid of some bricks that have been bothering me for 5 years. They were really an accident waiting to happen, and for once I moved them BEFORE the accident. It is nice and green outside, and because the kids are so happy out there, we want to make a safe and easy place for them to play. Next project is a sandpit....

Saturday, August 8

Move - e

Yes - my little 'angels' are all smiles here but I think that hat is hiding some horns!
I have been having real issues with the boys of late - at the moment Benji in particular. They both are SO headstrong and stubborn that there is no moving them. We have issues about what they will wear, what sock and shoes. Issues that I never had with Alexander, and now I have them doubled. So, I can kinda manage the dress issue - while I don't like it, I have to pick my battles or else I will go insane.
I know the kids really get rushed everywhere. We are up early every morning, dressed fed and out the door by 8:30. Alexander never had to do this. With him, we struggled to be out by 10am. It was a much more leisurely pace. Then we have to do the pick up at 3:30 so sleep patterns are all disrupted and if I miss the 'opportune time', then there is no sleep and they obviously still really need it. (This may be our biggest issue)
So today we had a lovely morning. Kirsty came over with Eloise and the kids all just played. We sat outside in the winter sunshine and they just literally ran around in the dirt and had really pure play. They left about three - the same time kinder was showing a movie for fundraising.
Timing was in our favour, so I quickly cleaned up and packed up everyone off to the local high school. The twins love movies and it was only $15 for a family - so I thought Great. Well - actually, not so great. We were a bit late, Alexander went inside and was ok, but the other two totally lost it. Benji was screaming uncontrollably and was escaping at any opportunity. I know he was tired but it is just extreme at the moment. He doesn't like new places and really has a meltdown. I didn't have the time to slowly go through the motions and move him into the movie, not to mention the 100 people who were interested in Matagasca 2. (as it turns out, this is really not an appropriate movie for little boys- given self sacrifice and all). Luckily the big squirrel was there and we did a swap and he took the twins home while I stayed with Alexander.
Not surprisingly he got the kids to sleep quite quickly and soundly. Alexander and I walked home which was nice, and we were surprised to find them still asleep. I was even more surprised when they didn't wake at all for dinner etc and they actually slept through until 6am the next morning. Hopefully it is just a phase that will pass?????

Friday, August 7


You know your baby is growing up when he is busy grooming himself ready to go out on a Friday evening to a disco! Yes, he is all of five and a half and it is already happening. This was a fundraiser at school and actually well set up. Tickets had to be pre-purchased, and the school was split - prep - 2 at 6 - 7:15 and 7:45 -9pm was grades 3 to 6. There was no food provided just water and cordial so they had to take an empty drink bottle.

Being a typical boy, I was concerned that three minutes into the dance and he would have lost his drink bottle - so I whipped up the drink bottle carrier you can see on him. It is really very easy and I think all the family will get one to free up my bag from drink bottles!
I went off to Bunnings to get a one inch "o" ring, from the plumbing section. I thought this would fit perfectly on a standard water bottle. As it turned out, they only had this multi-pack which had a variety of sizes, and the largest one fits the big drinkbottle he uses at school so I did that. This is what the "o" rings look like. This pack cost $2.60.I found some ribbon - this was from a cheap make a belt kit that cost me about 50 cents, but you could make a fabric band just as easily. Alexander needed about a metre, but best to measure your child. I then attached each end of the ribbon to the ring using the sewing machine.

Once done, stretch the "o" ring over the drink bottle. It will be most secure if you place it in a groove. Easy and it worked! The drink bottle came home and he had a lovely time. Now to find some nice fabric to make one for me....