Monday, March 29


I am hosting a party tonight for a girlfriend whom I met at high school. Actually there are a group of us who still stay in touch who will all be over tonight (8 girls bringing 5 babies under one) Of this group, I need to give three birthday gifts. Two are getting the bags and a heat pack like this one. I like to wrap my gifts in brown paper. I like the simplicity and that I can dress it up however I want - and I have a lot of it. I borrowed a cutter from a friend and bought this great adhesive paper today at Big W. It looks like scrapbooking paper, but it is adhesive at the back.
So it became a simple card. I would have used it to stick the brown paper - but today nothing seems like it will stick it down. I love the look and am off to get a circle cutter of my very own.

Playing shops

I bought this at Christmas and it has been hiding under my bed. With school holidays, all the kids have colds so we are staying home a bit - and playing shops. There is something in it for everyone - communication skills for the twins, fine motor skills with colouring and even maths for Alexander. What's better is this shop even serves dogs!

Sunday, March 28

Just tell me what to do...

These are my new shoes - lovingly teamed with my PJ pants and a dirty floor(obviously I don't stage my photos!!). These are the shoes the internet made me buy. I had to have them- and I needed them too.

I was reading Julia's blog about stumbling around on blogs when I stumbled here and specifically to this post. I did not enter the competition - my chances were just too slim. Instead off we went to chadstone to FIND THOSE SHOES. Originally I wanted the champagne ones but they are not in stock - but I am just as happy with the practical black ones. They have runner soles and leather tops so they are comfy and practical - no more slippery shopping centre tiles. So apparently I am an easy advertisiting target - who knew?

Saturday, March 27


I don't know what my compultion is to keep punishing myself, like life isn't hard enough already. I think last nights alcohol consumption may have killed off a few vital brain cells. or is it the constant sleep deprivation that makes my hungover self think that it is a good idea to take three boys to Spotlight on a Saturday afternoon?????????????????????????

Anyhoo - I got what I needed and we got out virtually unscathed. Spencer is currently obsessed with Harry and his bucket of dinosaurs and as such must wear a vest and carry a bucket of dinos everywhere, Benji had no shoes on and wanted to be carried and that was only the way in, so you can just imagine what a tornado we were - like the tasmanian devil in the old looney tunes cartoons. The blurry picure is of the fabric I needed for a gift - but now I think I will hold it over and make/give it to someone else! Stay tuned

Thursday, March 25

Easter Bonnet

I had a busy night last night in preparation for today's kinder Easter Bonnet Parade. Of course I had forgotten about it and actually hadn't prepared or bought anything so I really had to be creative. WOW - look how creative I was...
when Alexander was in 3 year old kinder!! Luckily or lazily I put it up high on a shelf, perfectly preserving it with a thick layer of dust - but that was easily fixed. Now all I needed to do was make a pair to it. I found a painting of Spencers (he has been quite prolific with the roller) and folded it to make a crown. I cut out some egg shapes which we decorated at Playgroup as an activity. An aside - an easy way to get decorative glitter is to use double sided tape, and then dip into a pile of glitter - much cleaner and more effective than other methods. - and simply stapled them on. Spencer was happy to model the hat at home and even on hte way to kinder, but this is the image of them at the PARADE!

Benji was eventually coerced to wear his hat and parade, but I am glad I didn't make a bigger effort!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 22


(sorry, Alexander did an ABBA medley at school this morning and it has been in my head all day) This is my latest little project - guitar rattle. Not an original idea but this i smy take on them. I saw large ones in LMNOP magazine (No. 10) and I thought iit would be a perfect rattle for the newest little boy (who's dad plays guitar) In the magazine there were kids with large size padded guitars, so after a trip to spotlight for some spots and stripes my idea was coming to fruition. I dre a pattern on a piece of A4 paper (to give you an idea of size) and cut two of them out of the red spot fabric. Then I used felt to applique the squares on to indicate strings etc. I sewed these on with the machine before I sewed the main parts together.
Before I turned it in the right way, I trimmed around it with pinking shears - then turned and stuffed (hard stuffed particularly around the end of the neck) I left the base of the guitar open and hand sewed it up. However before doing that I made a little bag into which I put three little bells (christmas style) but they rattle rather than jingle but for a first attempt I am pretty happy.
(lovely hand modelling to show you about how big it is finished.)

Sunday, March 21

Mens PJs

(kwik sew pattern 3044)
A dear friend of mine has recently been dealt some shocking news and all of a sudden her husband is in hospital undergoing treatment. This was really out of left field and no one was prepared - least of all him.

Of course everyone has rallied around to help them in anyway that they can, and my way is at the sewing machine. A different (male) said that most men don't have any PJs and the only time they would need them was in hospital - and this is what I did.

He is only young and I know that buying any kind of fabric for boys is hard. I also wanted cotton and a stretch as if you are in bed you need comfort and light weight, but also to look ok if you have visitors. I found this one at spotlight - it is a knit and made in burda pattern 8187 which is a track pants pattern. This is the pattern that I did but the length is pretty good and a bit interesting...

The next ones I am a bit embarrassed about. I actually went and bought good quality cotton viscose fabric from a boutique - then I prewashed it and it looks like they are 20 years old. SO I think these look a bit ordinary but knowing him they will probably be his favourite. I used a basic Kwik Sew pattern 3044 which is a one piece pattern (ie no external side seam) Really the less this fabric was sewn the better - I was worried it would fall apart around me. THis is why I don't normally prewash fabric (dont tell anyone)

Saturday, March 20

Easter Tree

It is getting a bit festive around our place now - we got the easter tree out and my collection of decorations is growing and I think it looks really good now. Luckily we have the perfect space in the kitchen for it. Alexander helped me weave little baskets to put in decorations we give as gifts.

Thursday, March 18

more dress ups

This is Lunar Jim - A current favourite. My boy Spencer loves to dress up. This is his interpretation (keeping in mind that we have a white astronaut jumpsuit)
From the top, helmet, snow gloves and snow boots and a wetsuit. We were almost there but this was on a 30 degree day and I couldn't get the wetsuit back up when he needed to go to the toilet because he was already so hot! Gotta love that imagination.

Tuesday, March 16


Why do shoes that are tight never stretch but ones that are a perfect fit always stretch?

Why aren't bras true to size and always need to be tried on?

Why do I always wear white when we are eating bolognaise sauce and it inevitably lands smack bang in the middle?

Why does the hair on my legs grow at 10 times the rate as the hair on my head?

Why do the kids always want to eat my food and not what i have specially prepared for them?

Why do bad things happen to good people - when they already have so much to deal with?

Monday, March 15


I had a lovely little get away to SewJourn over the weekend with a lovely bunch of women I met when Alexander was at kinder. We have been once before so we were all prepared for a major sewing session. Around the glorious catering and serene country walks I actually managed to get all of this made - and nearly finished. There are three pairs of flanellette PJs for the boys for easter, a plastic bag for the present cupboard....
We made these great loyalty card holders - you know Spotlight card, coffee club cards etc from a tutorial here - very easy and quick to make using scraps - there is even a selvidge one. Our kinder teachers are getting them for Christmas - getting in early!!
Two half made and one dressed Poppy Dolls from here. Mine are done out of calico and will look much better when their heads are sewn on!
Two wraps tops, one for me and one for a birthday gift. ( remind me to show you how easy these are to whip up)
This dress which is using a scarf that I was given. It does need a black sash to tie around the neck and once that is in it will look good with a black belt. It is essentially like the little girls pillowcase style dress - oh and also a skirt which I forgot to put in this photo - actually I wonder where it is. Not a bad effort for one day and one evening sewing. I had to leave early on Sunday morning to get back for the fair. I told you those wraps were really quick to make!!

Sunday, March 14

School Fair

Our little clown was performing in the junior choir at the school's grand fair which had a circus theme. He did a great job of 'sleepy geeves' or Daydream Believer by the Monkees!
Then for him it was off to play and with great weather we had a fabulous turn out and I even managed my first go at face painting. Much more elaborate set up and expectations than I had imagined, but it was ok. (Funny there are no photos of it!!)

And BEST of all I got my pine box! The old pine shops that used to be around don't seem to be around anymore and I couldn't find a wooden toy box to put in all our dress ups. Low and behold there was exactly what I wanted at the school trash and treasure - much cheaper than the options on ebay and the little boys love it.

Saturday, March 13

Skirting the Issue

The sewing machine has been busy whirring and I actually finished the wedding skirt. It is gored satin back shantung with three layers of full circle tulle over the top. The edges are finished with a rolled hem. (This photo doesn't show the edging)
This is another skirt - but this time for me. With some poplin that I got from Darn Cheap for $2 a metre and was trying to do it for a night out - but didn't make it, but it is done now. All I need is somewhere to wear it.

Friday, March 12

Mini Moo cards

These are a lovely little package that arrived in the mail. My details are on the back with the concept being to give to parents of school mates to arrange playdates. I like them too much to give them away at the moment. Got them from

Thursday, March 11


Here are the instructions on how to make the plastic coated bag featured here. I showed mum and she went off to work to make them, and at the shop they are all excited and churning the things out as they are really easy and quick to do.

What you need:

2 pieces of fabric 38cm x 46 cm (15x18.5")

2 pieces of clear plastic the same as above.

(I get this on a roll from spotlight I think it is called table protector and I use the lightest weight.)

2 handles approx 70cm each. -I prefer webbing or belting but I am too lazy to make my own!

A walking foot for your machine - the plastic is hard to sew around the top opening and this ensures a neat outcome.


1. Iron your fabric - this is your last chance. Once you get the plastic on, you cannot go near the ]on. I spray my fabric with starch just to make it a little more crease resistant and sturdier. You can use light weight cotton as the bags strength will come from the plastic.

2. Put the fabric face up and place the plastic over the top and pin the corners.

3. Place fabric right sides together so that the plastic is sandwiched inside. The plastic sticks together so i find it easier to pull it off and start again if i need to reposition.

4. Once the pieces are in place, pin them together and sew around three sides - the two long sides and the base of your bag. Leave the top open.

5. Zig zag around your bag to stop the fabric fraying. Zig zag around the top opening too - but make sure this stays open.

6. Put your hand inside the plastic pieces to open it a little. What you need to do is put your fingers into the corners of the bag and line up the side seam with the base seam. From the outside it should look like a point.

7. Measure along the side seam about 1-2" and sew a line across perpendicular to the side seam.
Do the same to each side and this forms the base of your bag.

8. Turn the bag in the right way and use your fingers to gently press the seams.

9. Fold the top of the bag over about an inch for the top hem. Press hard with your fingers to get a neat fold along the top. Pin. Before this is sewn you need to position your handles.

10. While I cut these at 70cm there is only 59 cm visible from the top of the bag. I mark this having even sections inside the bag - there should be about 5 cm pinned inside the bag.

11. Mark the middle of the front and the back of the bag. Then measure 5.5cm to each side of the middle. this gives you a gap of 11cm in the middle of the bag which is the gap between the inside edge of your straps. Pin the straps so that the inside edge of the strap retains a gap of 11cm.

12. Now sew the hem around the top. It works best with the walking foot on and the outside of the bag facing you. I usually do two rows of stitching - this gives the bag opening a bit of stability and also ensures that your handles are nice and secure. All there is to do is clip off all the threads and your bag is ready to use or give as a gift.

2 Extras -

1. If you are giving as a gift, these are better if you roll them from the base with a bit of paper around the end to stop the plastic sticking and prevents creasing.

2. If you buy patchwork fabric and you pattern allows you to work against the grain (across rather than down the fabric, you can get away with 40cm purchase of 112cm wide, and have enough left over to make a little purse which would be a great addition to a bag.

Use freely and enjoy - my mum has so why should you be restricted!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 10

Great New Book - for young Boys!

This is a great new book in our collection - Jackson's footy. It is a hardcover book with beautiful colour illustrations. What is really nice about it is the content - about a boys love for his football which is very Australian but also lovely to have a book really targeted to boys.
As parents, we are actually not that into footy, the Big Squirrel doesn't have a team and I follow one which I have lumped onto the boys whether they like it or not, and they will continue to suffer because of it! We do do Auskick and while Alexander could take it or leave it, Benji and Spencer breathe the stuff. We have been carting a football around with us last winter, and I am sure it wont be long until it is a constant in the backpack again. This book is very relevant to us!
Fundamentally it is aged at preschool children and is a nice picture book with a very basic story. Having said that, its use of common words made it a good read for Alexander who at six managed it quite well. Hopefully he can read it over and over and over to the twins!
Not sure if it is in the stores yet but you can buy it here - they also do Made in Melbourne.

Tuesday, March 9


Our lives are being taken over by these little balls- Bakugan. They are large marble size and pop open on a metal card. There is a japanese cartoon which 'supports' them, but the kids love them. Alexander got a couple for his birthday, and it turns out they have been great to assist with his issues at school. There are limited play areas for his age group and he is not that into soccer so he was left wandering and up to mischief. Now there is a big Bakugan match (??) every lunchtime which has expanded his social circle and given this group of boys something positive to focus on.

From what I can understand there are energy powers associated to each ball from the card they land on - called g's and so can I fool myself that they are at least talking maths. In my mind they are kinda like dungeons and dragons - almost a made up game, but that may just be the 6 yr olds that are playing it.

Now the twins are into it too - we had meatballs for tea which no one was into, but as soon as I said they were Bakugan balls, they were all cleaned up. Sometimes you just have to go with it.

Sunday, March 7


Yes, that too, but we actually made jam from figs! I was excited because it is actually the first time I have ever made jam. I don't know how I have lead such a sheltered existance, but it was fun, and not at all hard. It was a really great exercise in the process of where our food comes from - this was from tree to table. Our neighbours tree to be precise - well actually no one is there at the moment and they are growing over our side of the fence -but we did have to reach a bit for some- lets not mention the ladder. Anyway, we have figs, from a tree, and Alexander wanted to make jam, so we did.
Got to love Mr Google, who just tells me everything, step by step with pictures and all I needed was pectin. After a quick walk up the shops we got Jamsetta which did the trick. We followed the recipe on the back and ta da a nice small batch of Jam of the Fig.

Saturday, March 6


Is it still called hail when it is this big????Our humid weather has been broken with an amazing and damaging storm. We are in the suburbs of Melbourne and were hit with a freak hail storm. We had hail the size of golfballs but some suburbs were pelted with tennis ball size. It sounded like we were being invaded, with them hitting the roof and windows with real force. Luckily we are on a hill and it hit the otherside far worse than us, however there are some serious dents in the car. We were lucky that we were at home and not travelling anywhere and none of our property was really damaged. There has been flash flooding, roofs collapsing and all kinds of things. Hope you were all safe. (notice spencer is still 'spiderman')

Use your imagination

The boys saw bits of the first Spiderman movie today. Alexander watched it, and Spencer was 'inspired' by it. All of a sudden he decided he needed to BE spiderman. We have lots of dress ups but no spiderman so we had to be inventive.
Mum initially grabbed Alexander's PJ top and while this sufficed, he needed accessories. First it was gloves - I quickly put my hand on these snow mittens (while it is a mere 28 degrees and humid here) I thought he would reject them and move on, but no, they went on without a quibble and then it was a ... mask...From the same bag I pulled a large woolen hat which I pulled over his eyes saying lovingly "here, just pretend you can see" I really didn't imagine that he would at all be happy with this, and he stood and looked at me only to say, "I need the boots now"
So with large skull gumboots he managed to walk to go and fight crime - spiderman style!

Friday, March 5

Birthday Season

It has hit my birthday season. Not my birthday, (August 27- lest you forget!) but a bunch of my girlfriends. In fact in a little over a month there are 7 gift giving birthdays for my friends. Here is one idea I am working on. Obviously they can't all get the same present, but there are a few different groups so I can look innovative when I am not so much.
This is Ikea fabric and you can see I have used different fabrics on each side of the middle two bags. They are unlined, but have plastic coating on the outside. I am really happy with the size and used webbing/belting for the handles. Easy to do and handy for the present cupboard.
I am planning a tutorial and hopefully I can get this up over the weekend- having said that am off to a hens night tonight (renewing vows not a new union) so who knows how the weekend will turn out!!!!