Monday, December 31

Goodbye and good riddance 2012

Well - the last day of 2012. The day the Mayans didn't think we would see, and a  year I am happy to see the back of.
There have been some good things - such as all the boys at school and all having a great year. Such a relief! I have been fitter and healthier this year and started some work out of the house and one of those in a business I plan to grow in 2013.
On the flip side there has been a lot of worry:
Ongoing and unknown health problems for both my Mum and Dad. They have aged all of a sudden.
Worry about the twins being ready for school and additional help
Legal issues - for a good friend and then threats from a family member.
A search warrant at home! Seriously - thankfully resolved but required new knickers!

As a result I am trying to change my thinking an my actions. Lots of these issues could have been averted had action been taken earlier and that is what we are trying to do now and in the new year. Worry less and do more. We have started taking some action and it feels good. Some long needed jobs are happening around home. The deck has been oiled and looks great, finishing touches that were left as soon as the space became liveable and of course some financial issues which now have some action and timeframes.
With a lot of luck and hard work, 2013 will be better, or at least more enjoyable.
Wishing you all a happy but more importantly healthy new year!

Sunday, December 30

in the swim

This year we got a pool. Not a big one - just 3ft deep, 12 ft round. Wasn't much including the filter but I can't tell you have fabulous it has been. The boys are at an age where all they want to do is be in the pool and I am happy to sit (in the cubby) and watch them. Hours of entertainment AND exercise.
We are not great maintenance people, so at the end of the season it will come down - to make way for the footy pitch - but this is a note to self to do it again next year. Since this snap, we have put up one of those portable 3m x 3m shades and the pool is mostly in shade all day - brilliant.

Benji the Builder

 Benji loves to do jobs and help. Whenever the big squirrel is at it, Benji is his shadow. That is why this was such a great gift. There is a range called RED and is a put together fussball table. There is a great range including billiards, air hockey and some smaller kits from Big W.

The kit came with all the bits and required a bit of sawing sanding and drilling to put it all together.

Not only did he love every minute of building it

he LOVES playing and WINNING!

Saturday, December 29


Not a lot of ties get worn round these parts. The big squirrel has a couple that come out for weddings and are worn under sufferance. This has probably increased their significance to the boys - Spencer in particular but also Benji. They love wearing shirts and often ask for a tie as well. So for Christmas they each got a tie. 
These boxes are often on sale - I think we picked these up for $6 each. Complete with tie, hankie and cuff links - an of course my favourite bit the box. Mum cut down the ties to make them the perfect size for the boys,
and added the all important velcro dots at the backs so they are effectively clip on ties. 

Friday, December 28

P & G

The somewhat elusive Mr P & Ms G are a crafty pair. Here is a little taste of their most recent creations.
 They named this bracelet the charmless bracelet with little charms they had picket up in their travels . I really like it.
But this one is the height of awesomeness!
 This is how it was packaged
 My new pin cushin - complete with a heap of extra large pins!

I love the fabric choice, the pot and most of all the flower details. 

 See - they are just so crafty! Thanks guys.
(they were also responsible for big ears)

Thursday, December 27


 Sharing happy memories from my childhood with my own children 
Big Ears came to join Noddy at our home this Christmas
so now Noddy has his mate and my little mate and I can share boiled eggs and dippy soldiers as I used to when I was young. 

Wednesday, December 26

sew...its christmas day

This year Santa didn't deliver anything for me to wear on christmas day so out came the machine for an emergency whip up. 

I had bought this fabric at darn cheap (glenhuntly) recently. It is a knit and the panel is around 80cm wide. At $6.95/m. At $6.95 not a huge investment. 
(As a side this is our traditional brother and sister christmas tree photo - I must be in a bit of a rush as I am holding the TV remote!! Weird)

 Basically what I did was:
1. Cut small slit between panel repeats to form head hole. This was turned under and hemmed.
2. Folded in half and sewed two side seams. I left a gat at the tops for the armholes.
3. Hemmed the armholes.
4. Made a quick casing for some elastic around the bottom and put in on.
then I cut off the threads!!

Virgo Escape!

Sometimes I cannot control my inner virgo. She is often bubbling not far from the surface - but other times she just explodes. This time of year, the traditional time of lists (even santa writes one) and resolutions is a tough time for her.

Case in point:

This was todays production. An update for my christmas book. Yes, I already have one but this one is better - on the computer and with pictures. See - cant control her. I have gone around and photographed all of our decorations, cataloged what I have and where they will be stored. Also a list of some of our traditions, some of the things we did and other things to remember. I will put it in my christmas folder for next year.
I know it is really tragic but it really helped this year and made for a much smoother running festive time. The original idea for this is from and this is my way of tailoring it a little.
Hope you are getting over christmas!!

Tuesday, December 25

Merry Christmas

From our lot to you - Merry Christmas and may the new year be healthy happy and bright.
From Us at the squirrel lodge

Monday, December 24

the night before

 One of our traditions is a new pair of PJs on christmas eve. I always think about these most of december, but notoriously end up leaving it to the last minute. This year I was at a bit of a loss what style to go with - but I had a range of cotton in spots which I had earmarked for shirts, but was a little desperate so went with it. My darling mum actually whipped up three pairs of shorts while I was off christmas visiting.
I had bought three white tshirts (from big w) with the idea of decoration them. I suggested to the boys that I could applique a tie on them, but they wanted something a little more formal. So I was straight of to How About Orange to get her pdf of this tuxedo front.
I used the silhouette for both the orange and the blue versions as I had some tshirt transfer so these were actually quick and easy. Alexander's were a different colour so I used tshirt transfer paper - but the one for dark tshirts. This actually is a white film which you print onto and then peel off and iron onto the shirt. I adjusted the colour to match his shorts and simply printed it through my regular printer. Then I used my low tech scissors and cut around the edge. The transfer is also on the white of his shirt - unlike the twins - but it is all white so there is no issue. In record time I had three happy boys - who don't want to take these tops off!
 Now the stockings are hung, the lights are on, the cookies are made and out and little boys tucked up in bed waiting for the big man in the red suit to visit.
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21

compare and contrast - start and end

It was the kids last day of school today. The twins finished their first year of prep. Amazing really. Where has that time gone? But all the same they have grown and learned so much in that period.
Here are the munchkins at the start of Feb ready for their first day...

And here are Spencer and Benji in the same positions (pure luck rather than good management) at the end of the year. Much more confident and ready for adventure.
 The same for the picture of all three - all of them look like different kids. 

Monday, August 13

A big wish

Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since mum was sent home from hospital - the neurology ward. In the last 6weeks we have been on an incredible roller coaster ride, with dad receiving treatment for cancer and in the same week he came out of hospital, he was sitting in an ambulance with mum.
With days spent by her bedside, we were expecting, and told, the worst with brain surgery scheduled for the Wednesday. About 10 minutes later, a doctor was back in the room explaining there may be some discrepancies with their diagnosis and we would no more in the morning. That Tuesday morning, mum was in a diffent room and we were chatting waiting for the doctor - on a knife edge but still expecting the worst. Then a registrar came in to discharge her. Of course we were suggesting he was in the wrong room - but then we saw a doctor who said they were 95 percent sure it was a bleed and she was going home that day. We didn't even have any shoes for mum to go home in - that is how unexpected the news was. Now it is a month later and a follow up scan is scheduled for tomorrow.
Mum has been doing well, adjusting tot he medication and taking it slowly. She has been up and down in her outlook and it is hard for all of us to do anything without thinking about 14 August. No plans are being made- it is hard to see the future beyond tomorrow. Mum thinks there is still a tumor and wants everything sorted by tomorrow. We are, as you can imagine, hoping with everything we have, that this was an isolated incident due to stress and self medication, and that she is going to be fine.
I was going to write her a letter to let her know how much I love her and want her to fight against anything that may be in our way- but I decided against it. Not that I don't feel that, but I don't want her to feel like I am yang goodbye just in case. She needs all our positivity and love and I know she knows how much she means to me. . I think the waiting and uncertainty is the hardest bit. Now just to get on with things until we know more of what our future holds.....

Wednesday, August 8


Anyone who knows me has no doubt waited somewhere for me, or for something from me. Why?? Because I am ALWAYS late. My vision of myself is a wild haired lady crazily running from one thing to the next. This is by no means intentional, its just that I am easily sidetracked. Like today.
Today I am working from home. The actual work that brings in money...I did do some, but then I got a bit bored and started to think about other things. The other things in pinterest.

Yes Pinterest, that place which if full of ideas where time has no meaning. Its a bit like the pokies for me - terribly addictive but doesn't result in much, until today.

I had seen a tshirt on there that was so me and I made myself one.

 As one of the big squirrel's colleages just commented - no NOT pregnant, but maybe that's just HIS issue. Putting it on my top saves that little bit of time....

How I did it.

With my MARVELLOUS Silhouette cameo, I cut out the words on freezer paper. Set on a lightweight paper setting with the shiny side of the freezer paper DOWN. This way it comes off the sticky mat easily and means you do not need to flip the fo

Then I ironed the freezer paper onto a tshirt

As I am not only late but inherently lazy, I used these fabric pastels to colour in the tshirt. Why? I couldn't find my fabric paint but I did find my lost felting tools - yeah!!

The fabric pastels are simply that - and I coloured in from the outer edge in. It worked best if I heated up the tshirt a little. This made the pastel melt and colour quicker.

Once happy with the depth of colour, a hot iron over a sheet of paper sets the pastel. Once this is done, I could remove the freezer paper stencil.

And ta-da completed shirt.

Thought I was being clever taking this picture on the computer instead of in the mirror - but found I had to flip that one anyway!

Wednesday, June 6

Emergency Refashion

I have a bit of a before and after for you today - all thanks to a mirror! I got dressed today, knowing I was spending the morning in the classroom. What I didn't know (until 8:30) was that it was walk to school day and we would be rushing to school on foot. 
 That is where the outfit began to come undone. It rode up, the petticoat rode down and it was all a bit hot mess. Not to mention the fundamental flaw that the dress does not suit my shape. In my imagination I am tall and willowy. This is not my reality. I made the dress last year and it is batwing and comes in towards the hem (fabric from Spotlight) I also made the cardi and leggings and clearly should take photos with some reflective aid prior to posing! Anyway .... I haven't worn the dress much because it is too much hard work. I need to wear a slip, heels and really work it which clearly wasnt happening today. Also it grips around my bum and hits in all the wrong spots.
 So I chopped it off! Simple as that - I marked where it needed to hem for a top and the rest - well I hung it around my neck and it became a scarf! Two rows of overlocking and two seams and I have a new piece which will get far more wear.
 Here are the after shots - with the aid of a bit of makeup and some lighting makes it all look so much better - but pared with my dark teal coloured jeans (Kmart for $19) all much better.
 Sooooo much better than before and all done while catching up on Y&R!!

Saturday, May 12


This pattern is in the new burda (Feb 2012) which I had to try. Mum and I did the rounds of the fabric shops last week for coloured ponti but remnant warehouse didn't turn up much, nor darn cheap. (subsequently I found a variety of colours at Lincraft) I got the beige at Remnant warehouse and the rest at Darn cheap. The citris is actually stretch velour and was a bit harder to manage.
I didn't have the pattern with me so didn't quite get enough fabric - particularly the grey - but it worked out in the end with the black on the bottom - which for me is better. The back is similar colour splicing except for the exposed zipper which runs all down the back.

That I will have to get on Monday so until then this is a work in progress.....


Today was the annual Mothers Day round at Auskick. The gods were smiling on us mums today as the weather was perfect and the Dads organising it had actually staggered the matches, so that Mums with children in different year levels could play in each match. This was a little scary for me because the G3+ group actually know how to play!!

 The morning started with the preps and as always this is a lot of fun. There are lots of kids and lots of mums which is great. Then it was down to the lower oval where it got serious.
 Lets just pretend that this one went through the goals shall we....
All in all a lovely morning spent with my boys.