Monday, May 31


After the fabulous weekend away it was back to my reality. I was refreshed and ready to try new ways to tackle our issues. So all styled up in my new dress that I made on Sunday we set off walking to kinder. It was a lovely way to pass the time between swimming and afternoon kinder that often seems to drag on. We all enjoyed spending time together and had a fun play in the park. I also made sure (despite numerous offers) to walk home by myself and enjoy the short time I have alone. I think the essence of the saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true. Two and a half days was long enough for me to be away so that I missed everyone and was looking forward to being back home. Shame it wears off quickly!!!!!

Sunday, May 30


Backs were packed and we left Bendigo today. I was happy I had started knitting my hat and whipped up 2 dresses which had been on the to do list for a while. Naomi Robyn and I decided we could take the long way home which was a lovely way to end the trip. We had a look around Bendigo Pottery - which is still so stuck in the 70's. Seriously they could do with some product updates and a quick surf around blogland to get a feel for what is going on. Still good to have a look at. Then we stopped off and had a lovely walk along the historic street of Kyneton.
I really havent done that kind of browsing for about 6 years and it was lovely to have no pressure and be able to go in and out as we pleased and potter and chat as we went.
I got these lovely stamp french styled stamp set (which I have subsequently seen in Handmade on Chapel st) and a knitting book from a great knitting shop there.
For me it was a nice way to end the weekend which was really about winding down and recharging. Because I was under no pressure to produce I could relax and I got to the point where I was really looking forward to going home and seeing my boys which is the state of mind some days I wish I could just bottle.....

Saturday, May 29

Click Clack and Away....

The car was packed with waaaay too much stuff but we were off on the inaugural knitting weekend. We headed off to Bendigo so we could go to the woollen mills but to me it really didn't matter where we went as long as we were away!
While it is scary to leave the Big Squirrel with the boys I know that they should be ok and just to relax with a lovely bunch of girls. While I took a box full of stuff there was nothing that had to be done which meant I was happy to be at the mercy of others - a rare and nice way to feel. We stayed in a beautiful big house that Jo found and only had to arrange one meal it really did feel like a holiday. With beautiful food, lovely surroounds and gorgeous company with was a lovely break. Apologies for lack of pictures- my little camera went on holidays with a flat battery. Pop over here or here to see some great shots

Thursday, May 27

Inside the ball- surprise!

Sadly I don't have any pictures of the ball being unwrapped, but it was great fun! There was red streamer everywhere and little pressies kept falling out everywhere - and we were in a posh restaurant!! The excitement and anticipation was what I was after and this ball concept really delivered on that.
On Tuesday I spent the day running around Chadstone to try and find some little trinkets to put into the present. This is all that I managed to squeeze into the ball - and I gave her a bag of supplementary stuff too. I will list the things for you from left to right starting at the top.
Hand made Alice in Wonderland purse, chocolate that didn't make it in the ball but hung outside, some face masks for some pampering, some coffee vouchers, a mascara, the red lipstick thing is actually a pen, red nailpolish, a travel jewellery compact (source of lots of problems), a pearl bracelet, lip gloss, a pen with a perfume atomiser at the end, hand cream (I got more Natio creams with a bag that I gave her), Freesia bulbs from tesslars, Computer key magnets, a thong style beaded bookmark, a lipstick brush and some sticky notes (the rest of the set were in another bag.
There are the bits I made - well not the freesias, but the purse - this is the reverse side, the bookmark, the bracelet and the magnets. Yes, real computer keys - there are many days I wouldn't mind pressing Ctl Alt Delete to start afresh!

Wednesday, May 26

Surprise Ball....

At knitting the other night, Jo was raving on about surprise balls that she had seen. Check her blog here they are in her inspirations. We were chatting about the idea and thought it would be a perfect gift for a friend whose birthday I was celebrate later in the week. This is my attempt.
Really it is not anywhere near round let alone symetrical but it was the unwrapping idea that excited me...I couldn't fit the chocolates in so they were hanging off the edge. I will show you tomorrow what is inside...........

Monday, May 24


Life's funny isn't it. Today, two years ago we had a lovely gathering of mothers and daughters at our place. Robyn and I worked together back when I was pregnant with Alexander and I had read Jo's blog and it was this day that Jo set me up with this blog.
Now I am celebrating my two year anniversary of blogging. After two years and 569 posts I am still ignorant to many functions, rules and the proper ettiquite of blogging. I love getting comments but don't know how to get the noreply function off. I still use a preset templates and I have no idea how many people even look here, if any, but thats one I am happy to be in the dark about! I would rather spend my time reading about you than any instructions.
Surprisingly I have found blogging to be very therapeutic. I feel like I am a member of a secret community - a secret bloggy community all of whom have something to offer. I see this place as my secret identity - not in some 'masked crusader' kind of way, but in a way that I tell you a whole lot more secrets than I tell anyone else. It isn't here I wear my mask - but everywhere else. I have made some lovely friends through this, our weekly knitting group - and am now looking forward to a weekend away with them. Never would have guessed I would be making real, in the flesh friends with whom I am comfortable enough to go away with!
I am pretty good at keeping up my secret identity. I don't publicise my blog- in fact my friends don't even know I do it- not even Facebook "friends". Friends at the school gate hardly even know I sew (and I think that is best kept to myself especially in the lead up to school productions!) I am not embarrassed by it, I just don't think people would be interested in it, or even understand why I do it.
Why do I do it? For me this is like my diary, and I have found it helpful to write things and in some weird way share them. Once the post is published, to me it is finished and I feel some sort of relief, the weight off my shoulders. I enjoy reading your blogs because it helps me to feel like I am not alone. Not only is it a sense of 'like people', but it is the sharing of real stuff - the daily struggles or internal turmoils ,that stuff that we dont always share, but all can relate to and understand. I also love the inspiration, the sharing of ideas and skills. I have always loved handmade, and enjoy the thought, effort and love that goes with that. It is nice to share a place where this is celebrated.
So thank you for letting me be part of the secret club.

Sunday, May 23

Sunday Funday

Today we enjoyed the sunshine and headed out to Phoenix Park. It is a great local park which is mostly fenced, but has something there for everyone. Lots of lovely little areas to explore and enjoy which we did (and it is spitting distance from Chadstone Shopping Centre)

Saturday, May 22

Book Bag

For Wendy. Decoration is simple and will work for her but is still personalised. This is braille for W. I was pretty chuffed with this idea - hope she likes it.

While books could go into this bag - I have something better than that - a website offering free delivery all the time. has a great range of titles - and if you want your time and money sucked away have a look here. I browsed happliy all afternoon in the craft section.

Friday, May 21

na na na na na na batman

A side of the road find - now cleaned the batmobile has been added to the fleet

Thursday, May 20

Another celebration

Happy birthday Mum- notice she is wearing her mothers day necklace.
We celebrated with a lovely dinner at home.
Hope you had a great day mum

Wednesday, May 19

Daydream beader..

My little boy was very grown up last night - up on stage at the open night with the choir. I could see the teachers had spoken to him before proceedings started and I was feeling nervous for him. He was handed the microphone to introduce the junior choirs numbers - I'm a Believer and Daydream Believer (I think the teacher is a monkees fan). He did such a good job - spoke confidently and smiled throughtout the performance. We were a very proud mama and papa.
And this was the other job for the for mum whose birthday is tomorrow. She buys anything she wants so MrP and I make jewellery. We buy the beads from a pearl shop and this time our style altered a little.
Clockwise from top right - this is a long line necklace with lime green beads. Below it is a leather twine with pearls. These are randomly knotted and look really good wrapped three times around the neck or also looks really nice around the wrist.
Finally the white beads which in real life look very natural, almost volcanic. The original premise was the mid length necklace and bracelet with circular clasps. Then we realised they could join together for a longer necklace. Finally MrP created the hanging insert which extended our options from one to five. These are photographed on our table but on the skin they look great.

Tuesday, May 18

Time for Play

Hey you - yes YOU. Get off your bottom and come and PLAY. The sun is shining the birds are singing it is a beautiful day. Get outside and enjoy this moment.
I really don't do this enough, and even didn't feel like it today - but gee once you do get out and relax with fabulous company and the warm sun on your back
smiling faces of children at play and you wonder why you don't do this every day.
Even with both my camera and phone in the sandpit wasn't the trauma that it could (and in hindsight probably should) have been.
NOTE TO SELF - Enjoy every day. Get out and experience it. Share and you feel better....

No School!!

Alexander had a curriculum day - which I wasn't really prepared for. The twins still had all of their regularly scheduled activites - swimming and kinder, so poor Alexander was getting dragged around. Not much fun for a day off.
So, the choice of something special was put to him - something for he and I to do together while the kids were at kinder. He decided that we would bike ride - to the bowling alley, bowl, ride home via the park. And we did.
We had a truly lovely time but my favourite bit is the bowling shoes. Yes they are smelly and have your size on the back and all and sundry have already worn them, but I think they are cool. I want a pair - in fact for the cost of the bowling, I think I almost bought them!

Monday, May 17

Sewing Trick - Taking up Jeans

My Mum is full of tricks - especially about sewing. Here is a great one to help taking up jeans or sewing over any thick fabric. She used this little gadget - it is called a 'Button Shank Plate' but is really good for Denim or any thick fabric for that matter.They come with your machine if you have a Husqvuarna so you may already have one, otherwise you can buy them.This little gadget helps you get over the thick lump caused by the seams of the jeans. It stops the cotton looking all cobbled before the seam and creates a more professional look.
  • Wind your thicker matching thread onto the bobbin and use a normal matching thread on top.

  • Use a new denim needle to make the job a little easier.

  • Cut off the excess hem and ensure you fold it over twice - to avoid a raw edge (and create a professional finish)

Once your jeans are pinned to length with the hem folded twice you can start to sew and sew until you get upto the thick seam and stop with the needle down.

At this point you need to lift the foot and slide the 'helper' underneath the foot. The idea is that the 'helper' raises the foot of the machine making it easier to ride over the thickness of the seam. The 'helper' has two different thicknesses at either end, and you need to try to see which one is best for your job. Once you have decided slide it right in until the front of the helper is in line wiht the front of the foot - up against the seam you need to go over. Like this-
Then you put the foot of your machine back down and continue to sew over the seam.

As you can see here, the foot walks off the 'helper' and onto the seam. If the seam isn't too thick you often don't need the 'helper to get back down the hill, however if it is thick like this, sometimes you get a better result if you stick it in at the front and work the instructions in reverse until the foot is off the seam and you are right to continue sewing.

In brief:

  • Pin hem with a fold at the top
  • Put thick/matching thread in the bobbin so you can sew from inside the leg - much easier.
  • Use a new Denim or heavy weight needle- nice and sharp
  • Stop sewing when foot reaches thick seam - Needle down
  • Lift foot and insert 'helper' from the back. Put foot back down
  • Sew over seam
  • If needed - lift foot and place helper in from the front
  • Sew until over the thick area
  • Remove 'helper' and continue sewing.

Happy hemming - this could also be really useful for making bags when you have to go over thick areas.

Sunday, May 16

Sunday Funday golf....Dad was in his element!

Friday, May 14

Coffee Cozy

I whipped up this squirrel coffee pot cozy for Mr P's birthday yesterday. It was so easy and looks so effective that I will have to make one for myself. I got the template for the squirrels from the long thread and traced it onto freezer paper which I stuck onto felt.
I then stuck vlisofix (double sided sticky stuff) to the other side of my felt appliques and iron them onto the red dotty piece. Originally I had planned to bag the dots out with felt once I had appliqued, but I changed my mind and went through both pieces to give the squirrels a bit more depth. As it was felt, and it wont fray I appliqued with a straight stitch.I had cut the dots and the red felt the same size ******, but reduced the dots by about a centimetre around each side by hemming it.I added some little buttons for the eyes and velcro to attach it. I added about an inch for the strap and this goes under the handle. This was really my prototype so I was having a go and measuring against my coffee pot, but I was really happy with the outcome - and it fitted Mr P's plunger pot which is a different brand.

Wednesday, May 12

Fun with 2 r's

The R's I am talking about are Reading and wRiting!. Alexander is now in grade 1 at school and the expectations (from school) jumped dramatically. What we found was that although he was only just 6 he was already getting homework. It may only be a reader or two and some writing practice but when its every night it becomes more like a chore than time to enjoy the written word together- which is why we use the fairy door.
What is a fairy door?

Our fairy door is a dolls house door from The Dolls House in Camberwell. I buy a raw door, numbers and the handle which comes with a key. I use 3M removable stickers to connect them to the wall and you can put them anywhere - mine is near our toilet which is a common thoroughfare, but others are in the bedrooms.
This isn't my idea - they are around other places, so I looked on the internet for how they are used and some of the "rules" behind them. The main rule is that only the fairies with the key can open the door and their fairy dust means that they can enter into their beautiful home. We cannot force the door, if we do, the fairies will feel that you are attempting burglary and they will leave in fear.
I wrote a little book.let which is a backstory and explains how they moved to the city and what the door means which helps explain the concept of fairies to a male household.

Why use a fairy door?
I use it for two reasons. The first is to encourage imaginitive play. Alexander is still young enough and innocent enough to enjoy the idea of fairies. They are only little for such a short time, that it is really nice to watch him enjoy and interact with our fairies.
The second is really developmental. We communicate with the fairies through written word. This means that if we want to know anything about them, we have to write to them and ask. We draw them pictures, and their magic fairy dust can reduce the size of the image and they decorate their home with them. This is great writing practice. The fairies write back with tiny letters either on their computer or hand written on special ivory paper. Everything from them, or if we make something for their home, it is little which helps develop the boys fine motor skills.
It is also about patience. The fairies aren't about instant results. If we write a letter, we need to leave it at least overnight, if not longer. They regularly check the door for any correspondence. Then if they do leave us a letter, we enjoy reading it together and taking any action. The fairies are up to date with all the happenings in our house. They know if your bedroom is messy, and a lost fairy in your room is a good reason to tidy it up!!!
Finally for us - a boy filled house - it is really nice to have something a little feminine and they all really enjoy the mystery.

How did we start?
Actually the photo here is when we had first mounted the door. We hung the key on the handle and Alexander knew the fairies name was Amelia, but he wanted to know more, so he made a little card asking her some questions, and the communciation channel was open.
We knew Amelia had been as there was fairy dust (glitter) left by the door. She had taken the key and also left her first tiny letter. They are now kind of like pen pals - yet our fairy has intimate knowledge of our home and sometimes leaves specific instructions - particularly about tidying a bedroom!

Alexander really leads how the door is used. When he lost his first tooth he asked if Amelia knew the toothfairy and what she did with the teeth. It was a beautiful letter (I save them all) and after some time Amelia wrote back and Alexander was very pleased with her response:
The good white teeth are used to build our houses and furniture, and the yellow, rotten ones go into maracas!
I am also really enjoying the fairy door- she left her muddy gumboots outside her door the other day and the surprise on Alexander's face was priceless.

Tuesday, May 11

Weight on my mind

I bought new scales because the other ones were broken. We don't use them alot but the glass in the dial had broken - otherwise they were ok. The new ones are slimline and digital and have all these great(?) functions such as calculating your BMI and bone density - however I am not really sure how the scale figures that last one out. Like with any new toy, I put in my details, age(I used the real one), height and then had to get on.......

I was really not prepare for the outcome. I know I have not been on scales for a while, new scales are often different to the old ones, I have spent some nights eating icecream in front of the Biggest Loser but I didn't think I was......o...oh ....OH!....obese!!
(this isn't actually me- like I would ever pose like that!!)
Yup. The scales practically yelled "Get off me fatty before you break me!!!" Obese. Honestly, there are 5 good kilos that shouldn't be there (the Biggest Loser ones) and then some I would like to disappear, but calling me Obese is a little outside the realm of reality. I would have said overweight - or "overfat" as my scales so eloquantly put it.

So guess what - yes I am on another diet!! This one is basically based on the Atkins one - no carbs and lots of protein. I am up to day four and am staying far away from those scary scales. Today I am finally allowed to eat something other than pure protein. I thought I was about to turn into an egg! I have just been hanging out for something with a bit of crunch - lettuce even. Assuming it actually helps me lose weight (it promised 5kg in the first 11 days) I am actually not hungry. I am drinking all my water (2-3l) and am allowed tea and coffee with milk. Normally my biggest hurdle is giving up my beloved cuppa.

So while the scales rule the bathroom, me and protein bars will have to become friends.

Monday, May 10

Momma Bliss

I had a really lovely weekend - and the fact that it was Mothers' Day was just icing on the already tasty cake. The Big Squirrel was home all weekend - which is so rare, but lovely. The weather was nice and sunny which made the Mum V Sons Auskick match much more fun.In the afternoon I got to shop with my mum - sans kids- so I actually got to LOOK at stuff. Sunday was gorgeous - with the boys making me breakfast in bed. I sat up like Lady Muck reading the paper in bed while who knows what was going on in the kitchen. I managed to control my need to control and didn't even yell out to see if everything was alright - and in the end it was. I was spoiled with lots of presents. I love the way that kinder and schools are structured to help with things like Mothers Day. The boys each made me lovely peg bags with beautiful artwork on them. Alexander's school had a stall where he always buys me a plant (I don't know why, I never seem to keep them alive, but maybe thats the challenge!) This year they had a half price sale after school and the little sweetheart used his own money to go and buy some more gooies! My favourites as always is the handmade cards which I will keep forever.We finished the day with a lovely family stroll around Camberwell Market followed by hosting my parents for lunch. The niggles and teasing over how to cook only makes the day more fun. I think I found my own little bit of bliss this weekend - hope you did too.


Alexander has been busy carving and colouring for a few days now to construct this palace. Well, it is designed for a frog, so for him it would be a palace. It is two storey wiht an insulated garage, flags and a 2D car but he is so proud.
I am sure someone who is not so happy is the mother of the boy who is getting this, and similar constructions from a number of other kids, for her sons toy frog. Yes, the frog isn't living but for some reason everybody has been making homes for this plastic thing. Whatever the reason, Alexander had great fun making this and thats what its all about.

Saturday, May 8

Only one more sleep...

...until I can open these! Benji and Spencer very proudly brought these lovely packages home from kinder and I can't wait to see whats inside. The each presented me with a flower and were so cute. I am so impressed with kinder teacher who managed to have a similar package ready for every child to take home - each with a handmade card and decorated paper. She must have started in February.
This is my card from Spencer and it is the first time he has drawn something recognisable let alone a face with limbs, hair and a mouth. I do look a bit grumpy though.

But Benji seems to think that I am ROCKET POWERED!!! Or maybe the package contains some fabulous new shoes??? Tomorrow I can stop guessing.