Sunday, February 28

Froth and Bubble

Its a lot of froth and bubble around our house at the moment- well tulle and no bubble since the mains burst today and all day we have been at home without water or warning. So no washing could be done, although I did find enough water for my cuppas, I hit the machines.

Harking back to a previous life I am helping two friends out with upcoming weddings. So I am making a flower girl /junior bridesmaid dress and also a skirt for a kinder friend who is renewing her vows in Hawaii (jealous) Both are quite frothy tulle numbers but should be good. It has been good to do some clothes again....i think i am getting a little inspired.

Saturday, February 27

more bracelets

Still have a bit of a thing for circles - and was wondering if there were any bigger circles than the ones in my necklace so that I could alter the sizes of the loops - thinking outside the square I went to Bunnings (hardware) for a look. Of course there wasn't what I was looking for but I came home with these brass washers and the idea of a bracelet. The silk embroidery ribbon I had from a mixed bag of bargains from Spotlight.
The idea in my head was kinda like this but it took me a really, really long time to work out how to put it all together (all of Dream Girls!)- and here is the outcome. I am actually really happy with how it turned out - I think it would also look good with leather.

Friday, February 26

New friends

These are the lastest additions to our family - three little robots. They are SO easy and so cute. I can't take full credit for them because all i did was pick out the colours. I bought the designs for my embroidery machine from here and the whole thing happens in the hoop. All you have to do is turn it inside out and stitch along the top. No doubt their friends will come over too.
Gill - cant wait to see some of your stuff now you have all the gear!!!

Thursday, February 25

new jewels

Well, jewels may be stretching the definition a bit, but I have finished my necklace - all those pesky ends sewn in. Note to self for next time - leave them a bit longer!
I am fairly happy with it - my crocheting skills got better as I went around, so it seems it may need to be a blue necklace - however I would have been happier if it were significantly longer. In my head I imagined it almost to my waist. A friend did come up with a great idea and I think this is the way I will wear it - mind you it is only fashioned for a quick photo here -

This way you get to see all the colours and it looks more interesting. Thanks Miss G!
Oh and I have to show you a shot of my new favorite bracelet! - Mr P drilled decorated and provided the dice, so all I had to do was string them together. I separated them with beads and picked up the red around the different die.
I am really happy with it and it has been on every day this week. All of the bits I had in my kit - only I wish the wish charm actually was chance or something a bit more along the destiny line, but wish will do. Now all I need is somewhere to go!

Wednesday, February 24

cool stuff - chopsticks

How cute are these! I know they look like really long pegs but infact they are chopsticks - and the peg is that little bit extra help, especially for the kids learning to use them. I should get another one for the big squirrel who always asks for cutlery at Asian restaurants. Maybe the kids showing him up will be inspiration to learn! Where are they from? I will need to find out details as Mr P brought them back from Chicago.

Tuesday, February 23


With all this time freed up from the shakles of the glowing box, I am actually craving visual stimualtion. Today in the Herald Sun newspaper (I did say visual stimulation, not hard core news) was a fashion week lift out. This was the four page spread - current fashion spanning past decades/fads.
I was reading them and looking at the pieces. Now I can deal with the fact that the looks are styled and you wouldn't really wear them like this - well not to school pick up!
but I read a bit closer and couldn't get over the price of things.
Seriously - does anyone know anybody with a spare $5268 dollars to recreate this look? Or maybe $4261.95 for this one. I think its cheaper because you can't see the shoes. The Cacherel shirt is $495. Even for silk it is a fairly basic cut with a zigzag on the collar. Even in silk - which I am assuming it is, I cannot imagine paying essentially $500 for it. Personally I would even think twice at $50, and you would have to factor in drycleaning.
This one is quite reasonable at $3666 - reasonable I must be losing my mind. The mans outfit is $793 and he will get a lot more wear out if it than the womans which is more than 4 times more.
This one is $3176.95 - well I think I need every bit of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kinder update

We are still working (hard) at the kinder thing. Today we all made cookies to give to the teachers to thank them for the hard work they have been putting in to helping the boys settle in. My motive was two fold - an activity for the boys during the morning and also a distraction when we walked in to kinder. It wasn't a raving success, but it was certainly an improvement.
(I used the sandwich cutter for the cookies)

Oh - and here is Spencer in his t-shirt. So happy with how they came up (and that he will wear them.

Monday, February 22


Last week we made some major changes. I had left screaming boys at kinder when I got the call from school about Alexander. That was it - too much was happening with too few consequences and I new I had to take some major action. I spent my two full child free hours cleaning out every single toy in Alexander's room. The idea is that the toys are confiscated (they are stacked in our room) and he has to earn them back. If there is any serious bad behaviour (not just a little home altercation) then a toy is given away. We have never got to this stage but I am prepared to back it up. The other major change is the TV is off.
Over time the TV has been on much more than I like. The kids watch ABC or a DVD, but now with ABC 2 & 3 the problem is they have access to kids programming all day and the kids know this. Alexander is tired after school and the twins don't nap so it was often easier to sit them in from the the telly to ensure they had some quiet time - but no more.
We are now one week in to the new regime and I cannot believe the changes. We are all talking and actually doing things. The most dramatic change has been with Benji. He is talking more and playing more - and spending much less time in tanty town. Mum and I took them to do the grocery shopping (or weekly torture as it has been) but it was really almost pleasant. Now this change could also be due to kinder, but either way the change is miraculous. We are playing together, as are they - blocks, lego, dinosaurs, play doh and dress ups. The imaginative pay is my favourite. Spencer puts my gumboots on, with two bottle warmers on his hands as gloves and he is a spaceman and Benji is his dog!
Not only are the kids happier but I am too. (Although I did miss lost but I'll get over it). I am getting more done, the house is tidier, we are eating better and I actually get to participate in the play - rather than watching while I try to do other things. In this effort to slow down and enjoy things a little more I bought these retro phones. I only actually wanted on - to use - but the boys saw them and wanted to play with them too. So a deal was done and now I have three - two for play and one plugged in. Now we have to stand at the phone and actually dedicate some time to our caller. No wonder people didn't have mobiles when these dial phones were all we had - it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to dial the number!!

Sunday, February 21

A quilt

Sadly I am not a quilter. I appreciate them and while I am a sewer, the concept of a quilt is far too time consuming let alone the face I cannot use a rotary cutter, am not precise at all and can't choose the colours for a quilt (you know some people just have an amazing eye for that. Something that I would say looks ridiculous is the exact fabric that brings it together)
The other problem is explaining the whole concept to the big squirrel - I spend a fortune on fabric (seems I have expensive taste in patchwork fabric), cut it up into little pieces, put it back together, get more fabric for the back, not to mention wadding, and then often pay someone to quilt it for me. I know there are cheaper ways but I need longer to get my head around it - clothes are much more immediate and satisfying to me at the minute. (And easier to justify my fabric spend as money saved!)
Having said all of that - this post is actually about a quilt - that my mum made. It is larger than a cot quilt at about 150 x 165 cm (i think) it is all based on the five little monkeys rhyme and decorated using machine embroidery. I think it came up really well.I love the backing fabric - the red and white ticking. She quilted it herself just stitching in the ditch around all the joins. Apparently this design is available, but suggested in pastel colours, where she has used white, yellow is suggested but I love these colours together. Here is a closer look - you can actually easily read the verse on the quilt. Originally it was intended for my boys (she had initially planned to make 2!) but they are now three and a bit passed laying on a rug so she decided in her wisdom to finish one and give it away. Little Travis who is the recipient will get a lot of use out of it I am sure.

Saturday, February 20

Princes and Princesses and a ?

So my prince is ready with his adapted crown from our dress ups, new jacket (which is burda pattern 2452) I added the cape which I wanted to look like two little blue birds had draped it in a very disney manner - it was easy as it is just a square caught at the corners, but looks quite effective. The bottoms are knickerbockers in the same pattern, with long white socks and school shoes.
So I had spent a good time working on Alexander's outfit when yesterday I got a call saying that the twins were also invited! Luckily we have enough of Alexander's old costumes to do the trick. Spencer wore the same style jacket - which we made for Alexander's 4th Birthday when he was a pirate. It gets a lot more wear now it is in the dress ups. While I had clothes for Benji he is on the fussier side...
And not as much of a poser as these two..........
We all went off to the party and the birthday princess was beautiful in all of her regalia. We were overdressed as I had suspected (but it didn't matter). All the kids had fun being entertained by a Princess.
The very busy birthday girls mum not only made her beautiful princess dress (complete with gloves and diamond necklace)- with a beaded bodice. (I suspect these were beads from her wedding dress?? But, she also made the cake with a matching dress - all while nursing a very new baby boy. A good day was had by all - even Benji who was dressed as a ...
...well we called him a dragon for theme's sake!

Friday, February 19

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of!

Prince Charming, Prince Charming, ridicule is nothing to be scared of.... the old Adam Ant song is on a loop through my head as I am working in this project.
Alexander has been invited to a Princess Party. He has grown to big for his old outfit (and worn it a few times already too!) that I felt he needed a new one.
I know this is all going a bit over the top, but once I start I just cant help myself. I did break my Febusave promise - just a little bit - I needed the velour for the pants and a little bit of blue trim - the rest I actually had in my stash. Yes all those plasticy crown buttons which I picked up somewhere along the way were actually perfect. See I told myself that one day they would come in handy. As too for the lightweight curtain fabric that I got the end of roll from in November 2008 was just perfect. So I think for $10 I can be forgiven. I could spend $10 with the kids at a coffee shop and not even notice a dint. Now I will have photos, memories and I think lots of people will have a few laughs - but all in good fun.
Party is tomorrow so finished just in time. Oh- she is getting a fairy door...but shhhh its a secret.

Thursday, February 18

identical opposite

Last night I had a wonderful relaxing night with the knitting girls who, no matter how shitty things seem, they always make me feel better. I had a quiet night with a knife - sounds sinister but really just cutting a freezer print. I wasn't in the mood for wool and my latest project requires too much concentration. This had been something on my to do list for a long time - they are for the twins and I liked the irony for them - of course they are their usual colour codes. I didn't create the design, it is far too clever - it is by an artist by the name of Scott Kim done in 1981 and I believe it appears in his Inversion book.
On the school front, I have calmed down a little. While it was a difficult drop off with the twins, they did actually settle and seemed to enjoy the session. This of course relaxed me somewhat. I have drafted an email to the school because I think they deserve the opportunity to address some of my concerns (but I am also prepared to move him if we need to). I spent a few days drafting the email and was finally happy with it - direct but not too emotional - got the direct email address, took a deep breath and pressed send. GONE....................and then a message - almost immediately.....action???, Mail Administer returned. Maybe its a sign?

Wednesday, February 17

Cool stuff - another book

This is a great little book - its not even mine, although it has had a nice long holiday here. This is full of inspiring ideas, complete with web links. Here are a few of my favourites...

Funcky little flower broaches made from tape measures.....

Hair ties with computer key decoration. My hair could certainly do with some CTRL!

I love these - they are seat belt buckles mounted to the wall, and the clip bit may have your keys or other things you need to keep handy. This is one idea I definately want to do

Final one - an interesting idea - its called a war bowl, but could work with lots of different things. Full of great ideas, these are just a few that I grabbed pictures off before it went back to its home.

Tuesday, February 16

Any ideas????

This post is a bit of a rant about school stuff - probably more for me than for you but I welcome any comments or advice.....

It has been tough round here with everyone adjusting to change and I don't think any of us are coping very well. The twins have just started kinder and while the first couple of sessions were fine now they have separation issues. I know that is to be expected and it is all normal, but B. literally cried himself to sleep, and slept in the doorway for the whole session -- even snoring! S. I think is more resilient and got on with things. It is hard when there are two of them, fueling each other, but after hanging up from the kinder teacher, I get a call from the school principal about the other one.
Seriously it doesn't rain it pours. We have been dealing with a difficult personality for a year (peer), and while we thought they were in separate classes it turns out they are in a shared class - team teaching.
Team teaching is apparently what the Victorian Education system is moving towards under their "Education Framework", and Alexander is in a trial class. I have a number of issues, the main one being the lack of communication from the school. I understand that really they didn't want to tell us because of our fear of the unknown and change, but I think many of those fears are based in fact.
I feel that it is my job to make sure that my children are offered the best opportunities at school. I enjoyed school and I hope for the same for my boys, but I am worried about some of my choices. I chose a school based on four key factors - strong male presence in leadership and teaching roles, small class sizes, good facilities and a range of specialist classes. In the 18 months since I made the decision, all of this has changed. A new principal and vice and experienced male teachers leaving. Now we have team teaching with 45 kids in the class. This trial is about qualifying for funding so that they can build more shared spaces - so not only increased team teaching, but also construction for a number of years. A. is in the old library which has been replaced by a little room with books, and all the specialist classes have been reduced due to the ever increasing student population.
On top of this, it is my feeling that there is a little personality issue between A. and the teacher (and us) and he is more naturally drawn to the other one- and it is my feeling that the teacher believes him to be a trouble maker/ naughty child, which he truly is not. (He is my good one, I can only imagine what she would do with the twins!!!)
My dilemma - do I keep him where is is and soldier on, with the school number on redial, regular meetings, bullying issues to work through. Do I risk him getting lost in the crowd of 45 kids. Will he thrive or just survive. He lacks a real buddy, which is where a lot of the issues stem from, but how much can/should I do in order to 'fix' it. What about the educational issues which are fundamental for a 6 year old.
OR do I move him? Will this just be more disruptive. I run the risk of just moving to a different problem, to a new environment which he doesn't know and doesn't even know the kids, let alone have any friends. And new school could just 'sell' me in the same way, and all be different once you are enrolled. I just don't know......................

Monday, February 15


I have a little obsession with lists - ok truth be known a big obsession but I am trying to control it or maybe I am spreading it. With everyone in the house so active now, my brain has been hurting trying to remember it all. So this is now a laminated list on Alexander's school bag. It lists all the things he needs to remember - things into his bag, runners on sport day and the like. I have colour coded it so that he knows if he has activities after school and to remember to take any extra stuff on those days. He has decorated the other side with his name so he can easily find his bag in the pile at the door in the morning.

When I have the laminator out I can't stop myself. Between the laminator and the labeller I don't know which is more addictive. Anyway so I was working on this for myself. On the front it has my resolutions. On the inside is my schedule - which as main taxi driver its full of the kids activities. I have colour coded mine as to what I am doing, and what things or bags I need to take. Hopefully this can get me out of the house in a happier and more energetic mood, which is sometimes half the battle won. I made it into a little booklet with another page which is blank - but still laminated. I have a whiteboard pen which I can write notes - things for dinner and little reminders, like pancake tuesday tomorrow and parent teacher interview. Lets see how we go. Oh, and it is all handwritten because now the printer is broken. Murphy's law it happens when it is full of new ink!

Sunday, February 14

Happy New Year

the view from our sunroom this morning

I have decided that life is just too busy for resolutions in December/ January. With Christmas and 4/5 of our birthdays, I am just muddling through, not sitting back and reflecting. However February 14 (this year) I can deal with, so Happy New Chinese Year.

My resolutions are really motivational words on what I am wanting to do - I want to keep them close as reminders:

  1. Move

  2. Deliniate

  3. Participate

  4. Make

  5. Order

  6. Celebrate

  7. Consolidate
I know what they mean - and hopefully with such broad basics, I may be able to make them a reality.
Happy Year of the Tiger
(oh and Happy Valentines Day)

Saturday, February 13


Due to our behavioural issues - play has been a real focus again. Out came the duplo and it was really played with. We made a house, fire station and police station and all day they moved through it. Benji in particular was really getting into the role playing.

Based on last W

Friday, February 12


This was the inspiration for my latest project - oh, the circle that is on the end of the blind - and the latest project is a crochet necklace. I am only a new hooker, so I just wanted a little project that wouldn't involve any financial outlay and wouldn't matter if I stuffed it up (or lost interest which is a bigger problem)
This is what I did:
These are cheap rings from a dollar store - I think they are the kind for keyrings - they are really very light and quite flimsy. As you can see, I worked with the links joined together - I will explain in a minute.
Then, using cotton thread I had, I crochet around the loop. I can't tell you what stitch I use because I dont reallyknow - maybe double crochet. I still have to stick the ends in but you get the point. Why I work with the rings linked is that once you have crocheted around a ring, you cannot get it off - so although the rings are very flimsy, once done, they wont come apart.
I have worked with three colours based on a necklace I saw on a soapie (Y&R fyi) I have 11 blue, 11 green and 6 white between both. The idea is that it can be a primarily blue or green necklace or multi coloured. When I have sewn in the ends I will show you it on.

Thursday, February 11

Every thing I got!

It has been a tough couple of days round here and my apple cart is well and truly upset!

While kinder was good on Monday and I left happily, Wednesday was the opposite. I couldn't get out of there and it escalated that Benji was having a full blown tantrum and not participating. They were tired, a bit off colour, which is no excuse, their behaviour was initially annoying and then upsetting. I ended up staying, doing duty - so all the plans I had for my whole 'hour off' flew out the window. The exhausted boys fell into bed as soon as they got home.

At the same time, the big squirrel picked up Alexander from school only to find out he had been in trouble and we needed to meet the school Principal. Not that this is ever something that you want, but a really didn't need everyone upset on the one day. There was a school information evening which I attended and sorted out his key issues with the teachers and Principal- which were somewhat exagerated when they were first told to me.

This led me to ask - What am I going to do? After a good cry, pointless I know but somehow cleansing, I have taken a deep breath and back to baby steps to see if we can get back on track. With play dates scheduled, more sleeps for the twins, I am constantly talking about things and their fears.

Swimming for the twins is a big fear - Spencer will actually get into the water, but Benji wont even take off his shoes. To try to make it seem a bit more fun, I have made these swimmers - just like the incredibles! Lets see if that works. A step in the right direction, they put them on...

And seem pretty happy about it - maybe because there was no pool in sight. Lets see how we go next week when there is water!! (Just an aside, I didn't realise how much alike these two look- but these pictures highlight what I can't normally see!)