Monday, January 23


In a sea of green bags at school it is important to be able to identify yours. This is even true when there are three in the car. To combat this I have had this idea tumbling around in my head for a while
With my favourite material of the moment - vinyl I was simply going to do this on the embroidery machine - but 2 layers of vinyl, it does not like, so I had to defer to more manual methods.
I printed out the kids initials from the computer and literally traced them onto the vinyl. Witht the black I left the paper on and sewed through it. I experimented with different stitches and stitch lengths, but a simple straight stitch at 2.5cm seemed the best. My freestyle sewing got better as I went along, but I have to say I wished I had named them all with straight letters - I, L T?
The finished project - a tag to hang of their school bag and a few other simple bags - and colour coded for the twins.
I bought the vinyl for lunch bags. I didn't want the commercial style insulated bags and having bought sandwich boxes decided to make my own. Essentially I wanted like a fold over paper bag style.
With the pattern made (not a ruler in sight!) I transferred this onto the vinyl and went for it. I was concerned about the wide sides folding out, so I put a little tuck in the sides.
They still need velcro but I am pretty happy with them...

Sunday, January 22


Today has been lovely - like one of those days you see in a sitcom about happy families. We mucked around and all had breakfast together and then headed out for a ride. With the twins now both of training wheels, we can travel at a decent speed and its fun. We actually did a 10k circuit today, punctuated with the obligatory icecream - but it was great.
Home all sweaty and we blew up a paddle pool and the kids had great fun in that.
Xandy and I made Lego he got yesterday and we sat enjoying slurpees watching a movie.
My only request - more days like this.

Saturday, January 21

Getting ready....

With my little boys starting school in 2 weeks, I need to get a few things ready. I have all their books and uniforms but it is the little things - and I know from last time that these are the things that can take some time. Today I spent my time printing and ironing on labels and sewing smocks and library bags for each of them.
The boys will be in the same class this year and to help the teachers I am trying to colour code them - it will help a litlle. Spencer is red and Benji is blue.
I got this fabric from Spotlight. The gingam style print is a drill and contrast sleeves are from a lighter poplin or similar.
At our school there are quite strict rules on what the art smock can be - no plastic, no shirts, full back - which essentially means home made. There are some you can buy at school but they aren't very nice. The front is usually rubber backed curtain fabric to protect their clothes better. This time I didn't do that - drill will do. There really were no fabrics that were going to work for twins, and also to have longevity of school life. Alexander is in a pirate one which at 8 is already a little juvenile for him. Even though his is now looking way to small, it seems I have no inclination to remake him one - but more focus on the real need at this time.
I decided not to put elastic in the sleeves as I found they balloon out and end up in the paint - but instead I folded them up 3 times and did a couple of stitches. This should hold til the end of the year when no doubt they will need to be let down.
The library bags are simple drawstring with the left over fabric. I bougt 1.5m of the drill and 70cm of the plain and there was ample down the side for the bag. I appliqued this on using double sided interfacing.
They look cute here but I just know they will find a way to get dirty!!

Friday, January 20


Alexander was at a party, so the twins and I went up to Mum and Dads. They have a great bike path behind their house so Poppy came on a ride with us which we all enjoyed.

Really really early

I am really early for next christmas. I cant be late for the one just passed as I only just bought the fabric - on sale of course. Rather than my usual trick of putting it away as fabric until December when everything goes mental - I made the intended projects and will put away three christmas pillow cases until December and then the boys can fill their dreams with the Christmas spirit.
This is simple christmas cotton that Spotlight is throwing out for $2 or $3/m. I got 1.5 to make 3 pillowcases. The Christmas print is the full width of that fabric so I needed a contrast fabric. I had bought this one for table cloths but didn't use it so cut up a bit for it here. It is doubled so I would have probably used a metre to make the three.
Now just to put them somewhere where I will remember......

Thursday, January 19


This is a rocket
This is the driver
Complete with passenger they had a lovely time.
Sometimes it is magical to watch these two at work.

Wednesday, January 18


As you can imagine after yesterday, we are all a bit over ourselves and lying around today taking it easy. Alexander has been playing with his new things - pouring over science books but he pulled out this great game that will surely be a favourite. It is called Labyrinth and is a board game by Ravensburger. Essentially it is a strategy game where you need to collect treasure in the maze - but the maze moves each turn. Some pieces are fixed which makes it extra tricky. We played it with 2 of us, but you can play up to four.
There is no reading required so I think the twins could also play - but it does take strategy and the ability to see patterns and paths - both for where you want to go and where you want to stop your opponent from going. This is the kind of game anyone can win - and it does make it hard to cheat to let the kids win, which I think is a good thing too. Highly recommend.

Tuesday, January 17

BIrthday Boy

My little boy turned 8 today. Seems like I have been a mum for a really long time - I can hardly remember my BC self, but on the other hand I can't believe it all happens so quickly. I can still remember bringing him home as a little baby. Quiet snuggles on the couch. He is all arms and legs now - but still gives the best cuddles.
It was a very big day for us all. As per tradition, the day started with presents in our bed
and then we went out for breakfast.
From here the big squirrel went off to work and we picked up Xandy's BFF (his term) and we went off to the movies. The Muppets was the choice and while it was good I enjoyed it much more than them. There was a lot of reference to the 80's and old episodes which flew right over their heads but they still had fun. From there on to McDonalds for lunch. (lets not think about the nutritional value of this day) The boys had fun playing while I got ready for the evening celebration. Because his birthday is in the summer holidays, I feel I need to make a bit of an effort to celebrate as his friends aren't usually around. We had a lovely family dinner in his honour.
It was one of those really easy nights - lasagna was requested and with salad and a bit of garlic bread was not too difficult to prepare. As it was hot we ate inside and then as the evening
cooled the kids all played outside. My girlfriends with kids the same age came over and we really think of them like family - the crew of 'cousins' all outside riding bikes and having a great time just playing.
Time for songs and cake and the day draws to a close. He is a year older and has a happy celebration to remember
Oh - as a reminder to self - this is meringue on the cake instead of icing. Form peaks and spread over cooked cake (hummingbird in this case) and then browned in the oven. Yummy.

Monday, January 16


We had a play date at our place today. It was a little longer than planned and that was ok because I was prepared. You know some kids you don't notice when they are over - in some cases it can even be easier to have extra kids. Well, this isn't one of those.
We picked up our visitor after a productive trip to spotlight (yes - I took 3 boys to spotlight!) where I picked up these...
painting sets of Wall E with a square canvas, and the paint pallet and brush included. I know that they're Wall E and no one really cares about him - but each one was only $1. How brilliant is that. For the peace and quiet it bought me it was worth much more.All the boys sat for a considerable period of time and happily painted away. What was great is that everybody had their own interpretation of the paintingAnd I was happy to let them go for it.They were all so happy with the results.
And I was happy that they all played together in a very civilised manner. It made it seem easy!

Sunday, January 15

More food?

I have such a bloated belly now that I can barely look at these photos. Seems the day has been all about food. This morning we had breakfast at McDonalds as a treat as I thought we would head out to Camberwell Market. The kids had a good play and we changed plans and headed out to Carribean Gardens instead. Little has changed there - the mushroom stands, the smells. I got what I was looking for and promptly headed for home. The boys enjoyed mango smoothies before I coerced everyone out for Mexican. Seems no one thought they liked Mexican food and I have to admit I used to feel the same way - until I was taken here. I never knew what to order and always got something yucky. Not any more. We got the banquet and all of us shared what is for 2 people. Yes there is that much food. To top it off desert is included. I knowingly ordered Death by Chocolate and Chocolate Nachos.
The kids polished off those Nachos
The big squirrel enjoyed his Death by Chocolate. He looks like he is enjoying Mexican now doesn't he. He wasn't keen to share it! They are now all converts. Alexander even said that is the best place ever!!
I had to stop Benji here - he had plans to lick the bowl. Not while we're out honey.

Saturday, January 14

Mini Masterchef

Alexander has been keen to help out in the kitchen - not baking, but making dinner. So today was the day - with a little help. Onion chopping is always a good way to start but these ended up in the mincer.
Benji was also on hand to help pumping chicken, onion, carrot, fresh parsley and mint though the mincer.
Xandy made paddies and I cooked them up. We served them in english muffins wiht baby spinach, tasty cheese and sliced pear. They were really delicious and everyone ate them up.

Friday, January 13

Friday the 13th

Today is meant to be all about black cats and ladders etc. Round home it felt like real life Scooby Do. Low flying helicopters bussing overhead. Lots of unusual traffic - police cars, SES vehicles and news vans. The helicopters were flying so low it really felt like you could reach out and touch them. Very unnerving.
Investigations led us to believe they were looking for a missing local woman who hadn't been seen since 16 December. I don't know her or have never seen her, but still don't like things like this happening around here - my safe little pocket - my home.
As the day progressed, the news got worse. What they were searching for had been found and it was not good. It was closer than I had thought - in fact we regularly ride our bikes past the area and had no idea of its gruesome secret.

By nightfall, the news was in - a body found burried in their backyard and a husband charged.

While it is terrible, terrifying and no one wants it happening around thier backyard, my heart and thoughts go out to her children. Boys, 15 and 11. Not only have they lost their mum, but they have also lost their dad. Words fail me - I just wish them Hope.

Thursday, January 12


Time really was on my mind today. For the first time in a month I had some time to myself. I was off to my pilates class and happy to get back into the routine a little. I had missed it. Not only the exercise, but the opportunity to be by myself - regroup and focus. The chance to have a clear thought. This year one of my goals is to do that more. I am a better person all round when I do - and a much better mum.
I was then lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet up with a girlfriend to wander the shops. Both of us sans kids - I couldn't remember the last time thats happened. It was nice to be able to have a conversation that flowed without interruption, but I was conscious of mum at home with the kids so it didn't last too long. I got a calendar and pens from a lovely friends generous gift and went home to use them. Now I have a lovely little hub where everthing should be organised from. With two little boys heading off to school shortly, I need to be on top of things.

Wednesday, January 11


I was lying in bed, lamenting the non-existent summer. The news came on the radio - more mild weather, thunderstorms and severe storm warnings. This was not a day to go camping - even if the tent was going up in our backyard. The elements were agains us - but there was a promise made so I had to delver.
We pack up into the car and off to bunnings. The boys love the idea of a campfure- yet at most caravan parks it is prohibited so apart from Solstice they have rarely seen one. We walked the ilse with two small trolleys until we found what we were looking for. I even needed to buy wood in plastic - so terribly suburban I know, but when we got home we lit a fire.
Even the now light rain wasn't enough to deter them and we were toasting marshmellows on skewers. The sun even came out for a bit and we enjoyed sitting by the fire and playing out in the yard.
Then the other surprise - we set up the tent inside. A smaller one - with sadly no room for me, but a tent none the less. The TV was off and the sleeping bags out. Even the electricity was off. We ate sausages outside from the BBQ - the fire wasn't that reliable - and then finished the evening huddled around the picnic table playing games of uno and pass the bomb. All in all our Glamping (glamourous camping) was declared a success by all.

Tuesday, January 10

Away for Another Year

Christmas is officially over in our house. Today I gathered all the remnants of the festive season and packed them back up into the roof. I did however take the time to organise things a little to make it easier next year. Like things are together and the ornaments all sorted. It does feel good. Having been sick most of the lead up to christmas this year I felt I didn't do as much as I had wanted to or planned, a lot of that was because I didn't have the energy to find it.
Now everything has a place and of course I even have a folder of christmas info. I do need to get a christmas card list together as another year has flown by where only those people who I saw got a card! Whoopsie. I even wrote a letter!
The kids were entertained with the rhythmic nature of lego. I am loving this Creator set which has three levels of houses and cars to build - each harder than the previous. This is one of the first 'sets' I've encountered where you are encouraged to pull apart and Lego...

Sunday, January 8

Happy Birthday Hugo

A lovely evening celebrating an 8th birthday
with an outdoor movie night
thankfully the weather held out - and the kids enjoyed themselves
it is nice when a posse of kids can get along
and there were sparklers
Thanks Nay for a lovely night and Happy Birthday to Hugo!!

Sewing - Drawstring Bag

I love drawstring bags. I use them for everything. For keeping things sorted but especially for gifts. Often they are the wrapping, but sometimes they are also part of the present - as in this case.
Hugo got a Magic book - along with a couple of magic accessories - but every magician needs a magic bag..... This one is denim with a silver lame (I think that word needs an accent to change it from daggy to sparkly) H appliqued on the front.
The fun part it is reversible - and I managed to have the H look good in red zig zag on the bag.
Double thread with some silver china cord and toggles complete the package.

Saturday, January 7

Two wheels and guest photographer

In a strange turn
just after spencer lost his tooth -
Benji lost his training wheels and now Benji lost his first tooth
Spencer is also off and riding
with a marvellous chant of 'i can do it!!"
Benji was being a supportive brother
joining in the chant
but also in his role as
guest photographer
not a bad job really.