Tuesday, May 31

Cooking up a storm

After dress up day at swimming (hence spiderman outfits) we set about to make a slice.
Well actually it turned out more like a big cake but all good. I have a big rectangular springform pan so I figured the boys could each make their own - giving us a double batch.

They really enjoyed the process and it didnt get too messy - except craking those eggs where the word WAIT fell on deaf ears. However the result was worth it and really yummy.

This is a family circle recipe called SNICKERDOODLE SLICE and was great because it is all done by hand and doesn't need to be mixed too much. Perfect - here's the recipe.

Sunday, May 29

Off to the footy

we all rugged up to brave the Melbourne weather and caught the train into Richmond to watch the football (AFL). Alexander got free tickets through Auskick and we were off to the MCG.
It was a long day as we got there a bit too early to get good seats, but all in all a good day. The twins liked the train ride the best, Xandy got into the man on man competition - as did I from a totally different perspective.....

Saturday, May 28

Incentive or Bribe?

Well whatever you call it, I have employed this technique to all of my kids this week with simply jaw dropping results.
Honestly it is not my usual parenting tool of choice, I prefer to think that encouragement works much better - but I had to pull out the big guns.
First: Alexander. He is playing basketball but frankly is not really a competitive kid. I get it, and while I don't expect him to be Michael Jordon I do want him to know where the ball is and stop dancing and chatting to the other players.We offered him money for his first goal. This we borrowed from another basketball parent and the incentive was actually put in place last year (sot the results didn't really come quickly!) As time has passed the amount actually increased significantly - not that he really understands the value of it. Today he got that first goal! We were thrilled and so was he. After the goal he actually played better than he ever had. Maybe the pressure was off. So is the deal - no more money for subsequent goals.

Onto the twins. They have a couple of obsessions - one is the Dinosaur Train which is a Jim Henson production of which they have the DVD. The other is non-participation at kinder mat time. They will sit defiantly while all kinds of fun things happen around them. Here's a visual - 25 kids and adults dancing Zorba the Greek and my two sitting glumly in the middle. This has been going on some 18 months.
I smelt a rat the other day when they came home and said they had done the hokey pokey and wanted to do it at home. When asked if they had participated they said no, but they had watched. And it really does get through (contrary to some specialists who suggested non-participation was due to speech disorder and not understanding). They knew all the words and actions.
I suggested to them that if they participated at mat time for a whole week, they may get a dinosaur train toy. Friday was the first day and the teachers said not only did they join in but they had fun! Lets hope a week is long enough to break their bad habit.
So it seems that the incentive (or bribe) works for my kids. Would love to hear your experience...

Friday, May 27

Throw some light on it

Before - expensive light fitting. 12 globes at $12 each which last approx 1 hour each - and not all the same hour.
After - 3 new bayonettes and the cheapest fittings. Lots of light and a happy feeling all over
These have just come out of the packets. They are continuing to straighten out.

Wednesday, May 25

My latest Love...

Having a bit of a love affair with pintrest (www.pintrest.com). Any time I need some visual stimulation, I go there for a browse of lovely. My boards are building up nicely, but what I have noticed is while my ideas are growing, output has stalled - if not stopped completely.
I decided yesterday that I needed to make - turn ideas into actions.

Via babycino I found these lovely envelopes.
I love a little purse - and they have such a lovely french name "un fourre tout" apparently translating to a stuff everything. My kinda purse! They are in France and I am not sure they post to Australia so I thought I would make my own.
In my images I had some great old airmail envelopes - of course I cannot find where I downloaded these from but I got the address line from the Graphics Fairy.

Here is my very rudamentary process.

I used powerpoint to manipulate the image. I flipped the back of the envelope so the finished image could simply be folded. I added the address line on after and blended as best I could in five minutes. It kinda looks like this but not so stretched. (I need to speak to my IT dept - Jo!! to find out a better way!!) But you get the idea.
The I simply printed the image onto canvas paper - I got this at Aldi of course, but Offiiceworks etc has it. It goest through the printer just like paper. I took this printout to knitting last night and sat and handsewed it into my own little stuff everything with a zip along the top. While this lacks any purpose at the moment at least I have finished something!

Saturday, May 21

Best Friend

They sneak into each others bed
There is no personal space
They finish each others sentences
They are happily sound asleep in each others arms.
I can only imagine what it feels like.....

Friday, May 20

Another birthday

Yet another celebration. May is always a busy month for us - but we are done now! Today was Mum's birthday and we actually went out for dinner- but really they should have paid us.

We had a banquet at the local Chinese restaurant. To paint more of a picture, the place is full of Asians for whom this is their regular Friday night fare. We were seated in the middle and must have been entertainment to all these people - because we were there forever!!!! Three hours to be exact and my gorgeous little boys with their red hair glowing is a sea of dark heads sat like little angels. Admittedly they were sick but I had not drugged them! It was long for me, and they must have been so bored, but were so good that the staff were giving them lollies and kisses!!! Seriously! While it was a long time coming - the food was really lovely.
We finished up with coffee and cake at our place where we gave Mum her pressies. This time a top and skirt made from a really fine knit. It is a turquoise with black marle. We teamed it with a belt, and lace stockings and grey earrings. Mr P made an awesome squirrel brooch which is cast in tin. Looks fab but you can't really see it here. She is happy anyway.

Sunday, May 15

New Dress

This weekend whip up was a little knit dress by DKNY - V1179. Mum borrowed the pattern from a customer, but it is a simple little dress with a straight back, pleats to the front and a wide collar that creates a bit of a cowl neckline.I made mine in a light weight (almost sheer) knit from Darn Cheap. It is from the stash and would have been $2 a meter, but it was nice to use it. I was planning on wearing it as a tunic in winter but it will be a great little summer dress. (I have a nude slip for underneath)
It would also look good in a heavier weight, maybe with a smaller collar and side pockets.

Saturday, May 14

By the horns

We were lazing around this morning - reading the papers when we saw an ad for Walking with Dinosaurs. An amazing lifesize dinosaur production. Spencer is currently obsessed with dinos, and while we had thought about going the cost was prohibitive ($100 x 5!!) Today we saw they are closing tomorrow and all remaining tix were $50 so we booked and saw it this afternoon.
There was no preparation, just jumped in the car and went - amazing for us.
Poor Spence - who is the reason we were there- was PETRIFIED. Not of the dinosaurs, but of entering the arena. He would not go in, and once forced in continued to cry and carry on while squeezed in behind my back. He was suggesting he needed to go in an ambulance or to hospital because he felt so bad. I felt like a terrible mother forcing him to go, but then he went on and on and on that it actually became a bit funny (I know awful).
However, as soon as the show started, he stopped. He LOVED every minute - hopping quickly on to his own seat and almost giving me a running commentary. I knew that would happen which is why I pushed him to go in. He hasn't stopped talking about it - mission accomplished.
(We all enjoyed it too - worth it if it is near you)

Friday, May 13

Birthday boy

It was Mr P's birthday today and we happily wrapped up all of his presents. We have a couple of prolific artists in our house and after I photograph their work, we use their artwork as wrapping paper. In this instance I think they came up looking really good.
He loved his gifts and we enjoyed a lovely feast at his place - prepared by Miss G. Thanks for a lovely night & Happy Birthday

Thursday, May 12


Some times you cannot see changes. They are small or seem insignificant. Other times they appear as a major shift and you wonder how you didn't see it coming. Maybe you have to take a step back to see it - or other times it needs to be pointed out to you.
I got it pointed out not once but twice this week - and it was wonderful.
In working with Benji and his speech issues, it seems there is a lot wrapped up in it, his confidence, ability to socialise with peers, join in etc. This week I had an extra kinder duty (aren't they both a privilege and a chore) and the kinder teacher told me how much he had improved - in every aspect. He is chatty and open, able to join in the games at mat time and integrating more as part of the group. All the things I want him to be able to do. Subsequently we had another appointment with the new speechie (I forgot the first one!) and she pushed him to a new level and he was able to meet her expectations.
Obviously we have been taking baby steps and I haven't been able to see. Time to open my eyes.

Wednesday, May 11

Things I learned from Knitting

Whether I wanted to or not. Isn't that a great book title. I found it while pinning and laughed and laughed. Just quietly, I am not going to buy the book, because with the exception of Jo, not a lot of knitting happens at knitting, but I do learn lots.
The strange thing is that by sharing I seem to learn the most about myself and get a new perspective on my own life and circumstances. While we all have a whinge, a giggle and maybe another whinge or vent, at the end I actually go home and feel better. I have new ideas and am actually trying to change the way I think about things. A big thank you to those wonderful girls about whom this book is obviously written!!

Tuesday, May 10

Cake - osaurus

I finally got the silicone moulds to work - with cake! With a little spray oil and flour the dinos happily dropped out and the boys love them!

Monday, May 9

Happy mothers' day

I hope the mums. grandmums and mums to be had a wonderful day. The bug squirrel took some incredibly flattering photos of me too early this morning which I wont be displaying here - however here are the mugs that the boys made me at kinder.

Then we hosted lunch for my mum and family. A shot of Mr P , Mum and me. Mum is in the outfit that we made for her. The jumper and the leggings are from fabric at some time from Darn Cheap.
We have decided to run in the jumper to make it less box like - but otherwise a happy day.
Oh and mum loved the cushion!!

Sunday, May 8

Over scheduled!!!

8am Basketball
9am Open Kinder
9:30am Kick football at Mothers day Auskick - wear Pink
10am Door Bitch Greeter at Kinder Open Day
1pm Relieve my mum from looking after twins
1.05pm Fall in screeming heap

I must learn to say no - but not to my babies.

Saturday, May 7

For My Mums Day

Mothers Day is swiftly approaching, and as with every year, the challenge is to find something to make for her. With her birthday also falling in May, this always proves to be difficult. Mr P and I feel that she probably has enough jewellery this year and we need to change tack. We made a jumper out of brown and gold stripe knit (I need to get a picture of it!!) and some thick leggings to go with it. Matched with an improved belt we were done - but the kids.....
There is only so much room on ones fridge for artwork so I was trying to think of an idea using their art and then I thought of a cushion.
Each of the boys did a drawing of Nan on a rectangle of fabric. I used Pentel Fabric pastels as they give good colour and don't need too much pressure. Benji used the wrong side of the fabric but thats ok too.
I had a new pillow that I used as the cushion and covered it in silk furnishing fabrics (honestly which I had in my stash - they were given to me in offcut sizes.) The trim I got for a steal some time back and I appliqued the drawings on.
I was really pleased with the result and it was really easy. The front and the back are different fabrics - so the pictures can either be displayed, or hidden depending on the situation. The cards (top picture) we made using photos of the kids artwork. While I say this was easy, I do have to own up to a little shortcut - no zip, or closure of any kind. Yep, I simply sewed the whole thing shut. No washing of this little beauty!

Thursday, May 5

Dip Dye

Mr P's birthday is coming up. He is now working as a teacher and needs some funky duds for work. I did the obligatory wander around Chadstone and saw a shirt I liked. The one thing I didn't like was the pricetag. So I made my own!
Basically the shirt was a check shirt, which had been dip dyed, but from the top, not the bottom. Easy enough. Hello Kmart for a check shirt and I also picked up a white long sleeve top to dye the bottom of. Then to Lincraft and I bought a packet of powdered RIT dye in Navy.
I made the dye bath up in a bucket which was wide enough for my shirts and as deep as I wanted the colour. The dye was fairly concentrated.
I did make some errors.
1. I put the bucket in the kitchen sink. No there isn't dye everywhere, but there wasn't really enough space. I was doing another one for me, but the whole top jumped into the dye.
2. I tied the fabric that I wanted to stay undyed in elastic bands. This meant that the remaining fabric was folded. It was better to hang the garment flat so the colour was more even.
3. Gloves would have been a good idea.
Apart from that it all went well. I left the shirts to soak for about half an hour and then rinsed and dried them. I was really pleased with the results:
Shirt dyed top down. Dye chosen to match the colour in the shirt. Need majority cotton shirt.
I have always liked these - and it worked well.

**Edited- he has now been given gifts. Both fitted and looked really good. He liked them and didn't even realise I had dyed them myself (Despite seeing my Avitarian hands previously!!!)

Wednesday, May 4

Mothers Morning Tea

I love Kinder! Today they hosted a morning tea to celebrate Mothers Day.
The kids sang us song, gave us gifts that they had made at kinder, drawn cards
and then we sat outside and had biscuits and juice. What a lovely way to spend the morning with my boys.