Thursday, April 29

Its the thought that counts...

Mothers Day- it is looming close so I have been racking my brain to think of the perfect gift for my mum.She is one of the original crafters so I have to be careful that it is not too naff, not too young, something she hasn't already done (our house was made of macrame in the 70's) and something she will use. I was however trawling the internet for some new and exciting ideas - these were some of the best here and here. However it is looking like Mr P and I will resort to the tried and true jewellery option!
What I was wondering is while there are all these funky crafty ideas out there for mothers day, who is actually making them for the young and funky mums??? While my boys are interested in craft (especially Alexander) they are still too young to do this undirected. Which leads to my point. The Big Squirrel cannot even turn on the computer. Yes, a man that cant even find internet porn let alone find blogs filled with crafting ideas. His idea of 'thought' is running around late on the evening before often without the kids - thankfully he leaves enough time that its not 7/11 but close!. Nothing makes you feel more special than looking after the kids while your husband is one of those frantic male shoppers that sales assistants pounce on and load them up with useless crap they can't sell.
So while the saying is it is the thought, it is also the action - not so much the product. I would love something the boys have put together - picture coasters for example or even simple drawings. There are loads of ideas - will someone please tell the big squirrel???

Wednesday, April 28

Learn to Swing - Brunswick

How cool is this! Friends on mine are Jazz musicians having seen them play I highly recommend these gigs. They are 1920's style big band and when I have seen them in the now defunct Manchester Lane, what struck me the most was the fantastic swing dancers. All the die-hards get out and strut their stuff while the band plays.
Now they have a regular gig in a 1920's style venue in Brunswick and prior to the gig are offering dance lessons! At only $15 I reckon that is a bargain and would be a great night out....if only the big squirrel had any rhythm!!!

Monday, April 26

RIght place at the right time...

Alexander brought home a colouring competition entry from school with quite strict time restraints. While we argued about it - we actually got it back to school in the required time. Then last weekend we went to Bunnings and right there in the door was the display and in the centre was his colourful entry!! Entries haven't closed yet and we don't expect to win, but gee it was nice to walk in and see it there.

Wednesday, April 21

Who knew?

Well certainly not me! I actually don't know how this escaped me but throughout my entire life I have sewed mostly with my mum and she never used, or mentioned, a thing such as this.
This, my friends, is a bodkin. It is a tool designed to thread cord or ribbon through a pocket. Would be good for threading elastic. I used it to thread the ribbon for my bag. It is blunt at the top and long enough to thread easily. It grasps the cord easily by its grip teeth which you adjust by sliding down the metal ring. I have ALWAYS used safety pins. I hate them, they come undone midway and stab you, or they drop the cord normally just before the end and you have to start all over again and that is when I can actually find one. I have struggled like that for years before this little gem came into my life last week and guess who gave it to me - MUM!! Who knew?

Monday, April 19


I have some ideas rattling around at the moment using this stuff. I remember it from the 80's where people made little characters or teddies as earrings. That is not what I am hoping to do - bit of a blast from the past but we will see what we get.

Saturday, April 17

It's a Boy

The boys had been busy waiting............
And waiting some more until finally.....
They got their first COUSIN!! And he is a boy (I almost fell off my chair when I was told - thats how convinced I was it was a girl!!) But a boy it is and these boys couldn't be happier to welcome him to the world.
Congratulations to his Mum and Dad - little James is a real cutie.
(Here is one of my blankets actually in use!)

Friday, April 16

Tea Anyone?

Back to school again and I am trying to get a bit of order back into our lives. We have re-arranges some furniture and this is breakfast - with full china ( no plastics), cutlery and tea. A full breakfast and a chance ofr us all to talk around the table before we start our day. It is what we always did growing up and it is nice to bring this tradition into our home.

Thursday, April 15

Bag It.

I love drawstring bags. L-O-V-E them. I use them for anything and everything - shoes, wine bottles, gifts. lingerie bags, toys, swimming bags, backpacks and for gift giving. Basically they are easy and great to keep stuff together. I mentioned here about the pile of 3D glasses on my kitchen bench - so here is what I did- made a drawstring bag. I should even be able to remember what is in it! I got a bit creative with this one as I thought we could take it to movies, so I wanted space for glasses and lollies! I didn't want the glasses to get scratched, so each got their own polar fleece pocket. Heres how:(Remember I wanted these off the bench - desparately - so much so I dont think there is a straight line here - but it does the job) I cut out the fabric based on my glasses. There are two pieces of the yellow fleece which is long enough to wrap up to cover the glasses. The cotton fabric is one long piece, folded at the bottom which is slighltly bigger than the finished size of the fleece. Next step was to create the individual pockets for the glasses. This was simply a line of straight(ish) stitch at approximately thirds. Then I joined the fleece to the top edges of the cotton. I put right sides together before I sewed so that the pockets will be accessible inside the bag.

At this point it is time for some finishing off. I hem the top inch of each fabric on the side seam so that I can put the drawstring throught. Once this is done on each edge (four times) Then I create the pocket for the drawstring by sewing a seam about two centimetres from the top edge - the same way on both sides. (Here is a good time to trim some threads - someone should remind me)

Then I sewed up the side seams ensuring I caught both pieces of cotton and fleece. The seams are visible on the inside because I treated the fleece like it was the wrong side of the fabric. You can see from this shot the individual pockets. All to do now is thread in the ribbon or cord and c'est finis. (I used ribbon which is double the width of the bag open and I choose to thread two cords - one from each direction which creates two handles but a tighter more secure closure)

Wednesday, April 14


No - not a blues brother festival - we went to see How to Train a Dragon in 3D and these are the re-usable glasses. It is an expensive outing as there are no concessions for 3D movies, and with the glasses an extra dollar, we were up for nearly $90! That being said (and spent) the movie was really a great show. The 3D effects were fantastic and there was a great story. While there was some violence (Fundamentally they are vikings fighting dragons) there was no blood or gore, or death- there was however some loss of limbs but this was actually a minor theme of the movie. The moral is that violence is not the only way and if you take a little time to understand each other - everyones life can be so much better.

My boys at 3 and 6 loved it and so did we. I think girls would really love it too. I would actually highly recommend this movie - even if you don't see it in 3D.

I am off to make a bag for my glasses ready for when the final Shrek comes out in 3D.

Monday, April 12


Noddy is the newest resident at our place. A lovely gift from my brother for Easter - and a real blast from our past. We had Noddy and his partner (in crime??) Big Ears egg cups when we were growing up and while I don't recall them being the most stable of egg holders, they certainly are good looking. He made the hat which I think is better than the original. Now the hunt is on for Big Ears!

Sunday, April 11

A find!

While I am constantly talking about clearing out our clutter and minimising, for some reason things like this keep coming to our house. I must confess it was I who saw it on the side of the road (hard rubbish collection) and I quickly shoved it in the car and drove off. It obviously needs some work but I am not sure how I will recover it yet. It is a child size rocker and really cute. My little guys are about the right size so it will probably be gifted as we really do have enough furniture.
I took the kids off to Ikea today in an attempt to find some fabric to cover it. As it is yet to have an owner in mind I didn't find anything - at least for that. Now I am busy reorganising my drawers as I bought new inserts. Isn't that always the way with Ikea - once you make your way through the maze of the store, you walk out with stuff even if you didn't mean to.

Step inside.....

This is etched into the concrete along our regular bike path. I actually think it is a nice piece of graffiti which is a little ironic. It caught my attention today. Step inside - Be what you imagine. I couldn't step in because I didn't know.
I am sure you know the feeling, and I am sure it is about insecurity - but I am feeling like I don't fit in, you know just a little bit different and on the outer edge of things. Being "in" is not actually anything I have aspired to and I can deal with being "different" but I almost think I am either not quite different enough, just not quite right (for want of a better word). I don't think I could actually deal with someone like me - which is probably why none of my friends are like me. Maybe I do it on purpose?
This isn't a 'poor me' and I feel OK, I just don't really know what I want to do or if I do, how to get there. I see other people living my dream, or at least having a go and I wonder why I just can't or maybe wont. I know that I sabotage myself - over-think and over-plan and under-action things. I am terrible at contacting people, not ringing, texting back and often forgetting to check my messages. I do appreciate the contact and always mean to get back to people. I have a list (I love lists) of people to get back to, but sadly they often get back to me first.
There are a few things that have contributed to this feeling but the biggest influence is probably a movie. On a recommendation (thanks Robyn) I watched Coco avant Chanel. I just had to look up the title - but now the movie makes sense because it was all about her life before she got into designing clothes - that was just a mini montage at the very end (disappointing). However it was about her life and how she approached it. Coco (in this movie) had such an attitude, such a disdain for pretence and a belief in herself that it didn't matter that she was different. In those days it was all about class and breeding which she didn't have, but she was against pretending. She was commonsensical and when she went against the system there was reason, rather than for the systems sake.
Coco was different and she didn't care. She just went on and did what she wanted to do how she wanted to do it. The big question is why can't I?

Saturday, April 10


We went over the Bolte bridge to a party and the light was magical. The sunsetting through heavy rain clouds which thankfully held off for the housewarming/engagement party. We were one down on our travels as Alexander went to the circus - but we had to have our 'bucket of dinosaurs' a la Harry to look after.

Friday, April 9


We had a lovely afternoon today with good friends at a park. The boys all had fun - and while it is still hard work I am longing for the day that I dont have to chase my little monkeys from their daredevil antics and we can just sit and chat while they play. Not too far off.
I only managed one photo but the boys were being so cute - all coming down the slide as a train with fabulous smiles. A great day - thanks Nay.

Thursday, April 8


Did someone think there was a shortage of eggs or chocolate at our house?? Apparently so, because we won this - from the Pub!! We so rarely go out (and infact when we last did the big squirrels meal didn't even come) and on a whim I actually filled in the entry forms. I was trying to win a bike. Now I will have to buy one two work of all this chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 7

Bucket boys

This started in the spirit of water conservation- but has taken on a life all of its own. Benji prefers this to the real bath and he will sit in there for ages - longer if we would let him. Of course Spencer cant stay away too long.

Tuesday, April 6


I love their eyes.....And I would love to have this at home -
two toilets - its that simple.
I can't believe i put these two pictures together - but there you go.

Monday, April 5


It has taken me a long time to feel part of our community. We have lived here for about 10 years, but it wasn't until the kids were born that I even thought about the local community. With mothers group, kinder and school it is really nice to get to know those people who live close.

Today we were looking after a friend and took the kids for a bike ride along part of the local track. They could ride ahead (as we shuffled along behind) as we could see them and it is a popular track with families. We came back via the park where we bumped into some friends and all the kids had a lovely time playing together, enjoying the sunshine.

It is those random meetings that I love about being part of the community.

Oh - here is a picture of the pencil cases I made as an easter present to our friend. I bought three different types of pencils so this was the best way to separate them. The kids had fun doing some drawing.

Sunday, April 4

Happy Easter!

Its been a long and fun filled day today and while its only early we are all tired. The easter bunny stole our extra hour sleep this morning (daylight savings ended) - so early I didn't even get a chance of a photo of their new pjs! We went out for a lovely breakfast- the streets were deserted - thats how early we were. We arrived home and had a great easter egg hunt in the back yard.
It was a beautiful day and rather than hanging around home, my parents and our gang headed off to the beach for a walk. St Kilda beach hosts a market along the esplanade so after a brief walk we headed to the beach and had a lovely time. Not surprisingly, the boys all got wet - only Spencer was smart enough to swim in his undies - but we all went home happy and tired. We hope you all had a lovely easter too.

Saturday, April 3

A New Tradition

I like tradition. I like the link to the past and also the idea of doing something that you have always done. We are not terribly religious, but one thing my family always followed was no meat on Good Friday, and it is a tradition I continue now with my own family. I think when you marry there is a constant comprimise of traditions - some you take and some you lose, but you can always create new traditions which is what we have done today.
I have seen around blogland that lots of people have new pyjamas for Christmas morning. I have been thinking what a fabulous idea that is as it is one of those mornings you are always photographed in your PJ's. So too is Easter Sunday - so this year the boys all got new PJ's. It is a good time too as we are heading into colder weather (hopefully- it has been unseasonlly warm). I also wanted to get a photo of them all together in their new daks but I cannot believe how hard this always is. This was the first photo - 30 odd more trys did not get any better. Maybe the photo tradition can be only one shot - like in the olden days!
Hope you all have a lovely easter and enjoy your traditions.