Thursday, September 30

Three of a kind

Three pairs of bathers - just waiting for some sunshine. I am trying to pack within 3 colours - of red white and black in order to limit how much I pack. On holidays I never wear half of what I take, so I am trying to be really streamlined this time. Not even filling the empty space with 'just in case' items. I know three pairs of bathers may seem a little excessive, given the last sentence, but they don't take up much space and are all different - and in some cases could be worn as clothes. The red ones ended up ok but there are some things I would do differently next time. I will add a basic thin halter strap to them. The black tankini is really good and practical, and I imagine I will wear it as a top too. Again I added straps, but not halter - nice wide sitting thin straps. I can tuck them in if I want to. Finally, my favourites are the t shaped ones on the left. They do all the things that I want them to do- particularly cover baby damage and look pretty good. Again, next time I would put a back closure on the top strap but other than that they are really good. No fashion parade here - maybe post holiday, with a tan!
Finally they are all sitting on my wrap. I found this fabric when I was looking for something else and found that I had bougt 2 very similar fabrics. I decided it would be a wrap. It is 2 m by 70 cm - the same as my pashminas. I got the pompoms at Theos and am really happy with the result. I can wear it as a scarf, a short dress, a skirt, tie it around my bum or to sit on. It cost a total of $12 but works perfectly with my colour scheme.

Wednesday, September 29

Game On!!

I am usually non-confrontational. With the exception of my husband, who will run from a verbal shoush, I do not fight with people. I get angry, hold it in or maybe vent a bit here. Usually the person has no idea that they have even hurt me.

I have had an email that pushed me to respond. It was a nasty, personal email and it was also sent to my friend. She was a little cheer squad egging me onto reply. A little support always helps. The Emailer has text me a half hearted apology, but its kind of like saying "You're fat - no offence" and expecting it to be all over. This has been brewing for a while and its getting nasty. I know by me playing ball it actually makes it more exciting for her, and she actually gets what she wants, but I don't think she realises who she is playing with. I can take the abuse only for so long. Little by little it has been building up over the course of the year and now the cap has burst and I am ready to explode. I say "Game On Biatch!!"

Monday, September 27


Back on my last crafting weekend I saw in a magazine a pair of bathers. With lots of gathers I thought they would be brilliant - because you couldn't tell what was fat and what was folds! I filed it away in my must to file.

Now we are off to the sunshine, I actually need some new bathers, so I picked up some lycra from Darn Cheap (of course!) with the intent of making these- they are one of miriclesuits best sellers - Camilla RRP $269.
I have made bathers before and was going to have a go at adjusting a pattern but mum, who works in a sewing shop, said Kwik Sew had new patterns and got some for me. I couldn't believe there was exactly the pattern I wanted:
The fit on the orange suit is not the best for the model, but that is about the only difference. I am mid way through making these. They are actually fairly easy. I have however made a couple of errors due to timing, but these would have been fixed if I had read the instructions! The fit seems to be big at the top and little at the bottom, which I would fix for next time. Oh, and you know I have three little boys who play rough, so I am adding some straps. I can't be flashing my boobies to all and sundry.
This is the other pattern she got. I thought the tankini was good, but I am actually making both of these styles. For me I have cut this one out as a small top and medium bottom - also adding straps to both. Both are in black but I reckon the one with the cut-outs could be really good because it looks like a two piece at the back, but at the front hides my 'damaged' tummy.
All three are at elastic stage so there is no fashion show as yet- maybe when I shed my winter hair you may get a little peak of the outcome....but only maybe!

Sunday, September 26

Ladies who lunch

I had a lovely day today, catching up with some girlfriends from school. We had planned to
have high tea at Crown or the Windsor, but couldn't get in. So it was a case of Ladies bring a plate to our hosts house and we were surprised to find she had raided her mums silver and china to set up a really special table. Scones, chicken sandwiches, chocolate eclairs, asparagus rolls, lemon and chocolate tarts, sausage rolls and delicious sponge were the days Divine delicacies.
We sat and chatted for a couple of hours with bottomless tea and coffee at no charge! Much better than the Windsor I say.

Saturday, September 25

Drawn Out

The day was filled with football - excitment, anticipation, footy food. We had our own highly contested competition...
But like the grand final betweent the mighty pies and equally deserving and desperate StKilda - there was no clear winner.
However it is much easier for us to decide. I can't imagine having to do it all again next week!

Friday, September 24

Bike escape

We just had to get out of the house today, and headed down to the peninsula with the bikes in the boot to meet up with friends who have a house there. It was lovely to have some fresh faces to add into the play. They were all really good, and we rode on a new track from Rye to Blairgowrie for a play and a coffee.

While it was not sunny, we were outside all afternoon and all the boys were tired tonight. (As is their mum who was running all the way - not to mention a helpful Grandad who isn't used to my boisterous boys!)

Thursday, September 23


Tragically "tight" doesn't refer to any part of my body, just my mental state. I know it shouldn't really come as a surprise to me, but it did when I realised I am really tight with money. Really, really tight. Frugal sounds nicer but I don't think that really applies. I don't actually think I have any rationale behind my thriftyness, maybe I don't like to feel ripped off.

I shouldn't be surprised - I hate supermarket shopping. Maybe it is that I actually HAVE to buy stuff. Walking around filling the trolley is fine, but putting it out for scanning starts the blood pressure rising. Oh and the pain of actually paying for it - only to have to front up and do it all again the next week! Petrol is the same. At least getting the groceries thrown at me discount style makes me feel like I am doing my bit for the budget. I digress.

Robyn and I had a lovely night tonight wandering the luxuries at Chadstone. It was nice wandering in an out of the lovely shops, chatting and catching up but not buying anything. Actually we didn't even see anything that moved us into the change rooms to play dress ups. I know I don't buy alot, but I do like to look. However what became clear is my own value system of what something is "worth" is really off.
I have a number of issues with clothes & I will try to summarise. Most of the issues come because I can sew (note "can", rather than "do"). I can quickly see how things are made and assess the quality/availability of the fabric. I cannot justify $100 or more for a simple pillowcase style dress made out of 2m of poplin - total cost about $6 and would take less than an hour of uninterupted time to make.
The quality of a majority of the fabric around at the moment is appaling. Not to mention that all of the clothes are probably churned out of the same offshore factory and you are simply paying for label and mass marketing at the higher end - and a little more fabric. Those teeny bopper shops (Dotti, Forever New, Valley Girl etc not only hark back to the dreaded 80's, but are soooo skimpy it is almost x-rated)
What I want to do is look nice, proportioned, fashionable but not too much for as little money as possible. I am more than happy to shop around to find the best price and go anywhere. When I see a fabric I like (an obviously is cheap) I will buy a few meters and just hang on to it until I need it. It may be minutes but it may also be years.
Anyway- this is the top that highlighted my inability to be parted from my money. It is a simple cotton interlock top. Nothing fancy infact only enough weight in it to last a season, which is probably good given the nautical nature and the frill will date it exactly to summer 2010/11. It is from seed RRP $59.95.
My immediate response, which I actually said outloud in the shop (yes, somebody please stop me!) was "you can get 2 of these striped singlets in Kmart for $6 and cut one up for the frill!" Now for me $12 is ok to spend on a seasonal item like this. Throw a blazer or red cardy over it and you are so now its not funny. Wear it at least 6 times so that the cost per wear (CPW) is $2 or less and you're done. Next summer - op shop or more probably a rag. At $60 the CPW is $10 and you would need to wear it long past its used by date to get your moeny back which to me defeats the purpose of a "seasonal" item.
This is really what is going on in my head when I shop. All. The. Time. Yet, I still enjoy it. It is like a constant project which I need to research. After the shopping I relaxed(!) in front of my lovely Gok - who like trinny & sussanah is all about dressing for your shape, but also building a somewhat seasonal capsule wardrobe of 25 pieces, so that you shop less and wear more. A good philosophy, but I need to think on that some more....

Wednesday, September 22


Three more Poppy dolls all dressed and ready to go off to their new owners. One is ready for Chrismas, but that is not that far away! I love the little blondie - too cute, like her new owner.

The other thing I have been doing is making these cool mint bracelets - which are actually white coral. I found these great seed packets downloaded from here. I was so impressed with them now I am thinking about other things to make just to put in them! Just Something I Made has heaps of other free downloads and inspirations - you should have a look.

The other thing floating around in my head is this bracelet knock off from Anthropologie. Not hard but certainly a good way to use and wear random beads.

Tuesday, September 21

Medal Please...

The big squirrel wanted a medal tonight. While he has the chest for it - he only cooked dinner! Even the definition 'dinner' is questionable - it was eggs....
The lovely big squirrel seems to have an incurable case of antidomesticity. It is a degenerative disease where any domestic skills he had have slowly eroded away with no working memory of them even occuring.
While he has never been a masterchef, he did used to cook, but it has been a really really long time. Probably since we were married?? But tonight he took the first baby step towards a potential recovery. He cooked dinner for him and the boys. It did involve two trips the shops for the ingredients. (He forgot eggs the first time). I tried to stay out of it (as much as a controlling virgo can) but when it takes over 2 hours for eggs on toast, and the first thing you cook is the toast I can't help myself.
Having said that, he sat up and they all had a go at his traditional meal of eggs, hamsteak and tinned spagetti. Baby steps, baby steps.....

Monday, September 20


OMG. It is only day one of the holidays and already going mad!! The TV which had been off for 2 weeks is on - just for a little sanity.
By lunchtime today - yes Day One, I had:
- cut all the boys hair - mainly to get Spencer's as he was fast becoming a ginger cousin IT.
- paid the bills (whoops they we a little late, hence todays urgency)
- made fudge brownies
- played basketball
- AND fed the beasts and their relentless appetites. Only 13 more days !!!!??

Sunday, September 19


We got the creative juices flowing again - well a little here over the weekend. The boys painted some boxes that I got a little while ago. The big squirrel took these pics but he doesn't know how to use the fancy schmancy camera - hence the iso being WAY too high.

I got creative on some long overdue logos for the big squirrel. Digitized on Saturday they seemed to take all Sunday to sew them out - but they look great. Just a few more to do....

Hope you enjoyed your weekend

Wednesday, September 15


I was raving on about the joy of receiving handmade back here and I need to continue more today. I have been sporting today a beautiful handcrafted dahlia brooch today and feeling really proud as I wear it. I got a bit dressed up (for playgroup and kinder drop off) in all black which really highlights the red of the flower.

I am proud because it is handmade. It looks gorgeous and I love the thought and effort that has gone into it. The creative talent is not only sick as a dog, but coping with a 3 year old and a baby (both have been sick) and sleep deprivation. I don't know where she found the time but I am glad she did.
I am so pleased to tell people that a friend made it for me, A new friend, and I don't make friends easily. We met through our lovely 'knitting' group and I am proud to call her a friend. She is so beautiful and kind, generous to a fault and exceptionally thoughtful.

Tuesday, September 14

Getting by...

Circumstances have unfolded that have really put a spotlight on the twins. This harsh, unnatural and really unwelcome light has shown me that for the past 3 almost 4 years, I have just been getting by. I haven't been thriving, just thrashing about trying to stay above water.

Not that I feel like that every day, but raising kids is hard and I don't think we often acknowledge how hard it is - and how draining it is. We have been having speech assessments, and they are showing large areas of learning which Benji (& often Spencer) dont know. Things that I did all the time with Alexander, I have never done with them. Why? Too hard, have somewhere to be, have to do pick up, drop off, get the food, clean the floor, change the bed......

Survival has got in the way and I have lost focus. While I read books to them, it is different. I can't seem to create that one on one situation where we can sit an chat. There are always time pressures or someone else wanting or needing something.

I think it may be that I/we focus more on the older child (or they just never stop talking long enough) and those younger ones that are dragged along are expected to learn by osmosis. Some things the twins are advanced at. They are more coordinated than Alexander at the same age, and able to do more things like riding that he missed out on. But they have absolutely no idea about colours. I have known this for a while and they have the names of colours but are yet to link the two together. But they can count - because that was our focus before Alexander started school. All the time in the car we would be counting and those two little boys can count to 20, yet cant tell you which is the red light.
I did think they may be colour blind, but thanks to Dr Google we checked that and they are fine. I just need to do more. Thinking outside of the box for ways to talk about colour and keep their attention, Smarties came to mind. Food and colour - there is no better combination. The boys had to sort the colours and name them before they could be eaten. Seemed to work and with each smartie, the colour name was repeated. It wont be a quick process, but if we are all thinking about it we will remember to teach them. Their little brains are like sponges and today they are filled with colour and chocolate!

Dont worry, I am not beating myself up over it all (that was yesterday!) just trying to be proactive and get on with it.

Monday, September 13


The annual fundraiser for kinder was a disco this year. The girls did a great job organising it - but you know it is one of those things that is not for everybody. An in everybody I mean these two....
who were like old men and just wouldn't dance. They had 'learnt' dances at kinder- well they knew them at home, but wouldn't even participate at kinder. I saw the class dancing Zorba the greek around these two sullen boys who sat steadfast to the floor!
The proceedings rolled on and they had hired a children's DJ who was fantastic. She had the crowd dancing - with appropriate songs and teaching them moves and even letting the kids have a turn on the microphone. Who doesn't want to sing along to who let the dogs out?? Who who who who who. Alexander danced the afternoon away.
Now you have that song in your head too - who who who who who

Sunday, September 12


A little purchase yesterday at theos sale. I only had Benji with me so I had a chance to have a bit of a look! There is some felt pieces $4 for 10, that I thought would be good for poppy doll hair. Some china thread that never goes astray. Two random rolls of organza ribbon that I think will end up in the stash. The christmas pipecleaners (only $1 for all of them) are actually for kinder. The thing that I am most looking forward to is the tool kit which has a hole punch attachment. My plan is to make threading cards - stay tuned..

Saturday, September 11

Self Portrait

At the gallery shop yesterday I picked up this little goody. It is a box of A5 sized cards featuring art works from the Tate gallery. With each of the artworks is an activiy or exercise related to the artwork.
This is theboth sides of one of the cards. Alexander had a look and he chose out a self portrait one. The idea was to print out a picture of yourself and then alter it. I was out of one ink colour (dont you hate that!!) so we couldn't do that. I then discovered he had done this.

All on his own - he had found the window crayons and drawn this on his mirror.
On the topic of self portraits, these are versions of the themselves the twin have done - they were on sale at our disco.



Friday, September 10


It has become a little tradition over the years that a girlfriend takes me to the winter exhibition at the Victorian Art Gallery for my birthday and we went off there today to see the European Masters from the Stadel Museum. While we had one little babe, it wasn't mine so it was a lovely time off wandering around the large collection of paintings that range from the beginning of impressionism, through cubism into the beginning of surrealism. There really is a large collection and it is worth a visit.

Thursday, September 9

Secret Squirrel Projects

As I mentioned in the last post, we celebrated Miss G's birthday yesterday in true crafty style we couldn't help ourselves making too many things. But its all fun. This is a heatpack which I have been carrying around since May.
Alexander chose and beaded onto bracelet elastic this bracelets.
This little A-line skirt was going to be a bag. I just loved the fabric which was in the patchwork section at spotlight, but it called to me and really wanted to be a skirt. I picked up some little interlock cami's that were in the right colours to go with it (cheaper to buy than make!)

This was my favourite. It doesn't look much here (maybe I can get her to model it??) but it is a black brocade fabric, with a high waist and inverted centrefront pleat. The weight of the fabric makes it sit really well. It is a New Look pattern, and I have not altered it at all - except not pressing down the pleat, but it has a really retro vibe to it - and even better looks great on her.
We celebrated last night. We were entertained in a cosy flat and shared a scrumptious dinner and a delicate sponge and enjoyed a lovely evening. My boys were even little angels. (Mr P has a glowing box!)

Wednesday, September 8

More cookies

I have to brag about these cookies, because really how gorgeous do they look? Not only that but they were so easy that I think I may have a new addiction.

They are so not my idea, I saw this in a little giveaway cookbook with last month's Notebook Magazine and the decoration is done by using stamps. How cool is that. I used the set I bought at Kyneton.
I made vanilla cookies - but you could use your favourite recipe. I cut the shape using a scone cutter and while they were cooking I rolled out white fondant icing. It worked better when it was quite thin. I cut this with the same cutter. Then I was ready to stamp. I had some black food colouring that I poured onto a moistened sponge and simply began to stamp - and low and behold it worked! The G was for Mr P's Miss G's birthday and was from an alphabet set from Kikki K. To put the biscuite and icing together I used a bit of jam, only because I didn't have any icing sugar. The only thing I would do differently is I think it would be easier to stamp the biscuit once the icing was connected to the biscuit. Now the floodgates are open and I am imagining the possibilities.....

Tuesday, September 7

Use your imagination

Day 2 of no TV. We had to cold turkey because the glowing box was taking over our lives. It started as a bit of a babysitter when I had something I needed to get done. The weather was miserable and cold so the boys couldn't go out and play. We got Disney channel and they were hooked. Like addicts they could hardly sleep waiting for their next fix. I had been trying to wean them down, yet the tantrums were becoming unbearable. So the plug is out of the wall.
I have to say, yesterday wasn't fun. I think really we had all forgotten how to play. Thankfully we were out at activities most of the day - it could have been worse! Today was a home day - all day and that can be a long day, but we actually had fun. The sun is shining and we played in the backyard, we did cut & paste, colouring and finally made these little puppets which we could make up our own stories and present them over the back of the couch.
I have to say on a whole, the house is much more calm. We still have our moments and everyone needs to turn their volume control down a notch but we are getting there. My aim is that we learn to live without it, and can reintroduce some moderate TV time.

Monday, September 6

Yummy & easy

Last week at knitting Jo told us of her easy florentines recipe. I made these for fathers day yesterday and this is all that is left!

My recollection of what she said and what I did is basically this- you may need to tweak a bit:

2 cups cornflakes

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup flaked almonds

1/2 cup glace cheries (I also made some with raspberry lollies for the 'kids")

1/2 cup sultanas

tin of condensed milk

Mix the sticky mixture together and lay cookie sized portions baking paper.

I baked them in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes but you will need to watch them. Cool and cover the back with melted chocolate and drizzle chocolate over the top. I made some with white and also with milk chocolate.

My proportions were a bit off as I halved the batch to do half with cheries and half with raspberries and then I was a bit liberal adding more of everything, so I didn't really have enough condensed milk - however there were no complaints.


Sunday, September 5

Happy Fathers Day!

The morning celebrating father started early in our house- 12:15am to be precise. The poor big squirrel (and our bed and bedding) was covered in vommit from Alexander. Not a very good way to start the day - but it did improve!! We gave our presents with my favourite always being the boys cards.
Alexander's card was lovely - especially 'how do you build apartments?"

The twins made these cards. I know they were drawing the same guy, but it strikes me that these are remarkably similar. I did ask the teacher if they were done by one of the boys as opposed to both (I can't get spencer to draw) but she insisted that they had each done one.

The gift was a handdrawn keyring and also a drawing on a hankie which is lovely.

Finally, a shot of the big squirrel in 'that' outfit. Perfect fit!