Friday, April 26

Home Town Tourists

 Alexander was lucky enough to receive entry into a GATEWAYS program at the NGV. It is a 2 day program where they have special access to the gallery resources in order to study portraiture. Apparently the focus is on the 17th and 18th centuries and this one is loving it, as he is a bit of a history geek (his words)

With our school on the move, literally, we have a couple of curriculum days, so the twins and I decided to go on an adventure for the day in the city, as Home Town Tourists.
 Surprisingly. they were really interested in the sculpture that is around the city. We walked up to statues, and they pointed out architecture, monuments and even graffiti. We walked across the Yarra and looked at the view and the old lights. "This looks like Paris" they suggested. Like they know.
 Coffee near the Ian Potter Gallery
 A bit of a photo op before we walked through the alley ways across town. We had a visit to the toy department in Myer and a bit of a purchase. Then back across town for a ride on the City Circle Tram (FREE). We went the museum to look at the Dinosaurs and this was again free. (members)
 A bit of a photo op outside a fountain at the old exhibition building. There was an antiques fair in there but I really couldn't push my luck.
 Not only photobombed by black bird but he stole Spencer's sandwich right from his grip - lightning speed.
 Then off through the park, running through the Autumn leaves to finish our circuit of the city and pick up our little artist.
A great day really looking at some of the fabulous things our city has to offer.

Thursday, April 25

Anzac Day

 Bleary eyed, my two big boys jumped (or were pulled) from their warm beds earlier than usual to travel off to the city to commemorate Anzac Day at the traditional Dawn Service.
 Alexander in his cubs uniform as this consitutes a badge.

 I on the other hand stayed home with the little boys and Spencer and I made a wooden robot dinosaur that he had received as a gift for his birthday.
 The best bit is, it ACTUALLY WORKS! You clap and it moves and roars.

Wednesday, April 24


A photo each year. I don't see the subtle changes as they grow, but I hardly recognise that little bubby. This is part of a portrait exercise later in the week. 

Tuesday, April 23


Today it has been hard to get motivated enough to do anything. I have managed to get the couple of must do jobs out of the way - but there is a basket of clean wet washing that wants to be hung out and I just cant be bothered. It isn't even that big a load. Almost missed the best drying part of the day now....

You ever get like that? The train drops you at Struggletown in the morning, and try as you might, you just can't fight its power? I suppose that is the theory behind the saying, if you want something done, ask a busy person. I have all of 2 things on my to do list and have only done one as I have to hand it over today!

I blame the book. Alexander snuggled in bed with me this morning and we are nearing the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We could feel that no good was coming as the book brought us into the climax so we decided to read it this morning, rather than last night as he went to bed. I read out loud for almost an hour and a half. Tears streaming down my face as we lost our dear friend Dumbledore. (Oops - spoiler alert!) We haven't read his funeral - I couldn't cope with any more, and we had to get to school. We have really got lost in these books - travelling on adventures and it has been wonderful to experience together. I had no idea what was going to happen. It will be interesting to watch the movie on the weekend to get their take on the book. 

So thats me. Today in a nutshell, the death of a character is a children's book has given me a severe case of the cantbebothereds in real life. I'd better snap out of it and go get the little angels. Maybe we can finish the book and get a happy ending??

Sunday, April 21


 The gods shone upon us again at football this week with sunny, mild weather. We were at our home ground so no problem finding that!
The twins played happily under the big oak tree with their posse of footy mates - such boys!

 Thankfully this was a high as Benji dared go near climbing the tree.
 And the icing on the cake was that Xandy was awarded play of the day for his work in the ruck. He took some great marks and was in on the action. He was on such a high, the effects of minimal sleep from the night before didn't make a mark at all - all day!

Saturday, April 20

More minecraft shirts

Xandy's best friend is having a sleepover party - tonight. His birthday was back in January, but we hadn't given him a present. We were tossing around a few ideas, but kept coming back to this. Party Kid was really instrumental on our little minecraft explosion and his dad runs the server. Thus, the minecraft tshirt is really appropriate.
These were made using the same techniques as here. I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to print and cut using my silhouette. Every time I did a practice it was perfect and then the stupid stuff wouldn't coordinate when I printed it on the tshirt stuff. I had no time for minor technical difficulties, so cut the shapes out by hand and am really please with the outcome, particularly the grey one which just looks like a groovy shape.

We did need a trip to the shop for cards etc so after auskick and our traditional saturday hot dog lunch we were off to the shops. Benji was desperate to spend some of HIS money, so this was incorporated into the mission.
 Not to be left behind, Spencer bought himself a dinosaur egg which you did to discover something inside. He worked hard and got the thing out, but I don't even know what it was!
Benji on the other hand got his Lava lamp. He had given one as a gift a week or so ago and wanted one himself. He paid for it and has spent ages gazing into it and watching the shapes.

Wednesday, April 17

Three Little Pigs Necklace

 Goodness - it is so much better when the kids take the photos than the big squirrel. Every single shot was blurry - this the least so. Apologies - but you get the idea. I made this three little pigs necklace - yes that blurry silver blob towards the bottom. Some he even cropped that out! 
Anyway a really simple idea that you can use to transform some of the wonderful plastic paraphernalia into wearable jewellery.

 This is what I had. A statue from a Shrek collection, silver paint, eyelets (1.6mm Screw eyes from Bunnings) and a 1mm drill bit.
 Removed base of statue.
 Spray painted it all silver. Amazing how removing the colour brings out the detail. Then I drilled a hole in the top, behind the hat for the silver eyelet. Simply twisted the eyelet into the predrilled hole,
Threaded it with some orange china cord because thats what I had and on it goes.
I wore it to the shops and already got some comments!

Sunday, April 14

misdirected worry

Today was Xandy's first footy match. Ever. I was so worried he'd get hurt. Not so much from throwing himself into the game. More from being in the wrong spot and being trampled by those boys on the ball. But, I needn't have worried about him. He took a while to warm up and get into it but in the end he did, and had a good go and he actually played ok. 
 My worry was misdirected however. Before the game the kids were warming up and we were chatting and the twins went off with their posse of mates. Doing a quick head check I realised one was missing. Yes, of course the naughty one! I asked the other one where he was, to be informed he was up a tree. He didn't know which one. I should have. The tallest one.
We were under this tree at the time and had to talk Benji down from the top. My knees actually tingle at the thought. He was not at all concerned and was chatting all the way down as I was directing him back to the middle of the tree. The others who were now standing over from where I took this picture, said the tree was swaying from side to side and they were all glad it was not their kid up there! Luckily everyone returned home from this matched unharmed. I however may have a few more grey hairs.

Friday, April 12


It would be true to say it has been a tough 12 months for us. It started last Easter when Dad was diagnosed with cancer, then his treatment the following holidays. Then Mum had her seizure. Tender hooks for a good 6 months and then her operation and subsequent diagnosis. In that time we had a visit from the detectives and then tax worries. The last two are very separate issues - but I can say very confidently that both matters are resolved. The fact that the tax is all done is one huge relief and we had talked about taking the kids out to celebrate to what they call the chocolate fountain restaurant.
 Or as it is better known, The Conservatory at Crown. We had told them about it and they really wanted to go, and on a whim, we went today. It had been refurbished since we were last there and it really looks so much better now. 

We went with the buffet dinner which has a full array of international cusine, and we made a deal that they had to eat dinner before they could visit the dessert buffet. And they did. Sushi, stir fry and numerous duck pancakes were consumed before they could wait no longer. And when it looks this good, I can understand! This was one side with the array of petit desserts. At each end of this was icecream which you could help yourself. There was even a man crushing lollies int the icecream at request.

 This was on the opposite side - the chocolate fountains. Again improved since our last visit. There are four flavours of chocolate for you to dip fruit, strawberry, pineapple. rock melon or marshmellows.
There was also a tower of Macarons which were lovely and light.

 Would you believe the Big Squirrel also has a sweet tooth?

 And the view - where we could see the gas towers along SouthBank
Crown Foyer
 And outside watching the gas towers which really throw out some heat (with the noise)
And finally  our night came to an end - we were home by 8:30 but two little boys were out to it. Sugar Coma me thinks. 

Monday, April 8

super show

The boys were busy all day in 'rehearsal' and quite frankly I was happy that they were happy and quiet and I let them be. My invitation arrived and I was in for a treat - dinner and a show.

The backyard was set with a table, two chairs, flowers AND candles. Initially we were refused entry! Apparently we did not meet the dress code. Back we went, frocked up and returned to be shown to our table by the loveliest waiter.

We were handed a menu from which our order was taken and then the first course, or on tray arrived.

 Bless their little hearts. We ordered the fruit salad and dips. The fruit salad was a mix of dried fruits, which still technically meets the definition.
 Benji (dressed ready for his number) brought the dips and biscuits and proceeded to help himself to them!

The twins did a bit of a clown number while we waited for our mains to arrive. We dined on beer battered fish and chips while the boys danced and performed on the trampoline. Spencer did gymnastics, Benji danced to kung fu fighting and Xandy was the compere and joined in some routines.
The mozzies ended the show, but it meant we retreated inside and fed our hungry performers, who hadn't eaten as they were feeding us.

It was a really fun and totally organic night (obviously not the food!) The boys were all so proud of what they had achieved, and of course we were bursting with pride that they would actually want to do that - both together and for us. A truly magical night we will long remember.

Saturday, April 6

Pattern Review - Butterick B5848

Today I spent some time at a fab place called Bounce Inc for a dear friend's sons birthday. It is her birthday in 2 weeks and rather than my usual belated present, I actually got in early. See, she is up the duff and I had made this for her and would rather she got the wear out of it now.

This is the first time I have used this pattern - butterick 5848 . It was easy to use and hangs well. My only concern is, especially after looking at these pictures, is that I have made it too big. I made the medium, but will have to wait and see. It was longer than this on me, but again I am not model height, but I did make the raised hem as it looked daggy at the longer length. My thought was as the weather gets cooler, it could be a handy layering piece over leggings and a long sleeve top.

B5848B5848Line Art

Now to the old wait and see if it fits!  Happy Early Birthday! (& thanks for a lovely day)