Monday, July 29

Reward for Effort

Spencer received a smile award this morning at assembly. It was so well timed for him - and also deserved.
On Friday, while waiting for the boys to rush them off to basketball, Spencer's teacher excitedly grabbed me. She had just retested Spencer since the holidays and his reading was exceptional. She was so thrilled that he had gone up not one but 6 levels in reading! He had gone from not meeting their required level for mid year, to exceeding that level! I knew that he had improved - he had made one of those massive jumps that you know he was just getting it. It has actually become a pleasure to listen to him read as there is not only flow but expression to his stories. So proud that all of that extra hard work we have done is really paying off. He will be able to float along on this award for some time now too which is great for his self belief.

Well done honey - and thanks for smiling at the camera!

Sunday, July 28


The latest addition to my winter wardrobe - a wook jacket. Needs an iron but it has either been on or on a bag waiting to go back on since I made it.
It is this burda pattern
very simple - centre back seam, bust darts and the facing becomes the collar. Very easy - this one is unlined. It would be better with lining, but I haven't had it off long enough. 

Saturday, July 27

One of those families

I suppose with three boys, it was bound to happen but we were hanging out with the locals at the opening of the football club rooms. The kids were off with their mates playing footy and we were inside where we we knew most people!

Actually, given what it was, it was a good night!

Friday, July 26

Royal Head Wetting

 We enjoyed a lovely spread at my "boss"es house. The cake was beautiful and delicious. There was a layer of chocolate hidden under the icing.

The rest of the spread included champagne, salmon bagels, cucumber sandwiches and pims - not to mention the royal quiz and pictures.

Its a win

 Our second game and it was a win. Not just a win but a walkover. The mercy rule was applied which the little ones didn't understand but the older ones certainly got it and were very proud.

Wednesday, July 24

Body Parts Cupcakes!

My offering for the quarterly cupcake stall - I am obviously working to a selected market!
They all went quickly and we made over $1200.

Sunday, July 21


 Intially I was so keen to see my boy come home from footy covered in dirt. He is now really getting in there and having a real go...

 that was until I had to wash those white shorts!

He was easier to wash and headed off for a Cubs Bowling tournament.

Off to the ball

My carriage awaits - well our Maxi Taxi - but we were off to the ball. I can't say the preparation was without its hiccups.

As I had made my dress, I wasn't about to pay for other necessities for the night, so I had planned to do my own nails, hair and makeup. The day started with the kids all off to their various sports, with the exception of Benji who didn't feel well. He stuck with me, and I was keeping him away from Mum who is on her chemo week.

We all returned to our place for a cuppa, with Benji relaxing on the couch - until he got up and exploded into a cascade of vomit. Right across the carpet - thankfully not on my dress. Game change - Mum and Dad were unceremoniously kicked out, Benji cleaned up and put to bed before I could address the carpet.

Ugh - just what we didn't need. Not only a mess on the carpet, but that also put a big dent in our babysitting plans. Thankfully my brother was happy to fill the gap (babysitting not carpet cleaning) and the big squirrel went off and hired a steam cleaner. Wow- that makes the vomit sound extreme. It wasn't that bad, just pushed up steam cleaning to the top of our to do list. So the big squirrel did our carpet at about 4 in the arvo when our party started at 6!

So I got prepping. Hair I went oldschool and borrowed Mum's hot rollers. These babies have had a good workout over the years and I was going for that old hollywood style hair.

Nails were a simple french polish - not much to work with there. And the bag was a vintage glo mesh clutch. Mum had 3 variations to choose from!

This is later in the night when the photographer caught me pulling down my slip. Sometimes you just have to buy the photo to get it off the table!
Now you can see the dress all finished. The slight stretch in the fabric gave it a snug fit but with quite a bit of structure. Decided I didn't need the belt. I have a massive pair of heels on under here, but the hem sweeps the floor so no-one is aware what a short arse I am!

Here is a group shot from our table - one came down with the same bug as Benji so couldn't make it!
We had a lovely night out playing grown ups and are looking forward to next year!

Friday, July 19

Their First Match

 This is the team - don't they just look so cute!! They are such a lovely bunch of boys and so excited to be paying their first proper match! With 10 kids on the team, we subbed out the whole team and they were really good about that. Every few minutes the entire team changed.
 They all played so well together - and had a go.
 Our team even managed to score some points. Obviously we didn't win. I think it was faily obvious that we were novices but they all had fun. It was so amusing to watch. The poor opponents I'm sure didn't really know what was going on - when the whole team just changed - except one kid whose number kept changing!!

Thursday, July 18

The next generation

 Benji and Spence now are in their own basketball team - thank goodness they are both on the same team as it minimizes logistics - but I have a case of the here we go again 's!

Wednesday, July 17

Frock in progress

 Working with the black was actually easier than you would expect. The fabric was 150 wide, so I really did only need 2 meters - now I can make a top with the left over!
I used this Vogue pattern - V8494. It is a great pattern if you have a waist and hips. It nips in but then just skims over those other bits. I have made it before and know how easy it is, but it also has a nice fit. It has princess seams and a centre back seam. I decided a side zip would look better.
 I cut the satin the same as the beading and sewed them together as one. This way I dont have to worry about the seams showing through the tulle. I have bought velvet ribbon and beads to make a belt, but I am not sure on that...

Apologies for the quality of the shots - but this was a work in progress under pressure. The dress came together really quickly, but I felt it needed some adjustments - so I ran in all the seams, particularly the side seams to give it a better fit. I think I actually made this one a size bigger than last time - and now have to get rid of that extra fabric. 
 With the adjustments made and the zip in, this is a much better picture of how the dress will look. I lined the bodice in the satin which finished the neck and armholes nicely. The only major adjustment I made to the pattern was in the shoulders, which I took up at the back about an inch. Then hand sewed the lining along the zip and waist seam.
Final step was the hem which I simply overlocked the two fabrics together and turned it up and machine stiched. Because there is some fullness to the hem this gave it the body it needed. 

Oh, and I guess you are wondering about the other fabric. I cut it out from a made up pattern. I cut two layers of the georgette lining. The scallops form the hem and there are plans to get rid of the tulle at the bottom - but while it looks nice here on the hanger,

it looks absolutely AWFUL on. In my head I had imagined it draping softly and hanging elegantly- however on me I truly look like a stumpy elephant in it. The fabric puckers around the arms and just adds bulk. This dress is so not for my shape, but for a tall willowy woman. I will have to do a remake of it or else it will wallow like this forever in my laundry! Maybe thats for another post!

Monday, July 15

Frocking Up

I am off to a Ball on Saturday. It is for Xandy's footy club - a bit of a fundraiser and the dress code says formal. I have a choice of formal dresses, but I got a photo from last year to see what they wore - and it was full on black tie. The real deal. No risk of being overdressed! So with this new information - I was off to the fabric store to go all out!
 Both of these fabrics are from Darn Cheap in Glenhuntly. The black is a tulle with small sequins of black and gold. The other is a cream tulle which is much more heavily beaded and with a cream cording. I couldn't decide so I got both!
 I got 2.5 meters of the black which was only $40/m and 1.6 of the silver at $50/m.
 I envisioned the black dress long in this pattern. I also bought some heavy weight black satin with some stretch to line it with.

The silver I plan a short dress with a scalloped hem. I was thinking a Gatsby style dress, loose fitting like a tshirt style dress. I have georgette to line it with to keep it light. I just couldn't decide!!

Friday, July 12

In the Swim

 As a final school holiday treat, we headed to GESAC today in Moorabin for a swim. The pool area has been done up and it is really fantastic for kids. Then entry charge is reasonable and it includes unlimited rides on the two massive waterslides - if you can wait it out in the line. The one you can see inside here is a single person one, the other slide is outside and two people ride an inflatable thing in it.
 Underneath the slide is a fabulous play area. It has graduated entry and heaps of different squirty things to play in. It is made for water play and is shallow enough for toddlers, but also with some deeper areas - probably about 90cm, so an adult can sit in the water and supervise. Apparently there are also warmer spots (!) There is also a short lap pool inside, with an Olympic sized pool outside. There was more than enough to keep the boys happy - and me as I didn't have to get in!!
The twins happily went down the slide - Xandy did the walk of shame back down the steps as he was too nervous to give it a go. We'll have to work in him!

Thursday, July 11


As I'd apparently 'missed' two days of the boys holidays (working and then King Kong) there was a need to get out and do some things. So thats exactly what we did with a little bribery!

The boys had to sit through my pilates class (thank goodness for ipads) and then we were off to buy school shoes and footy boots. This was actually exciting for them, and as that is all we looked at - we came out with 6 pairs of appropriate and cheap shoes. Yay for DFO in SouthWarf. 

Then we walked to the Docklands were we had some vouchers for Wonderland. Turns out it is a slightly longer walk than I had anticipated - but there was a great little park on the way...

 Then when we finally arrived - all the fun of wonderland. Seems like the school fair has spoiled them a  little since last time we went, because now all the rides seem a little 'tame'. We did enjoy the dodgems though.

 Finally, back through Harbour Town where there was a little patch of snow set up for play. The boys had a little play there before we started the treck homeward. Luckily we were greeted by a city circle tram and had a little ride most of the way back.
 We all reckon today makes up for a few days!

Wednesday, July 10

King Kong

We took Mum and Dad to see King Kong at the Regent today. It was a great spectacle and the puppetry was amazing. In fact at the end - the puppeteers got the biggest applause. The story - well its King Kong really. I would say it is a happily condensed version of Peter Jackson's movie of the same name. It has real potential - but would need to be reworked before it hit broadway (I have watched too much Smash and think I am some kind of expert!!)

Sunday, July 7


After a hectic start tot he holidays with football, bowling, playdates etc. I felt the boys needed to get their creative on. Benji asked to paint, so I grabbed some tiles that I had moved only that morning - leftovers from the newish toilet, and they attempted prints on them. 

 The idea was to use acrylic paint and then remove it with cotton bud sticks to make a pattern and then we would print on them. The problem was that the paint wasn't thick enough and the sticks didn't remove it enough for the printing process
 While it was a bit of fun, they were getting discouraged by the results of the prints - so we changed tack.
 The tiles were cleaned off, and the boys were each given a sharpie to decorate the tile.

I found some porcelain paints that I had picked up on special somewhere a long time ago. I had a funny range of colours, but that was the limitation. Each of the boys took a really different approach to the task and each giving fabulous results.

They were baked in the oven and came out great. I want to put felt on the back of them to use on the table as heat pads but they want them framed on the wall - or even better (to them) tiled on the wall. For now they are in a pile waiting for some resolution!