Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Survived Christmas

We have come out of the other side of Christmas in one piece, albeit a little more tired and our pants a little snugger ;) But that is ok, we will catch up on our sleep and I am back to Weight Watchers in the first week of January. But we are also very happy - we got to spend time with both sides of our wonderful family. It is always such a fun time!
All the handmade gifts were very well received and the kids especially loved theirs :) Though I must say, being told you are 'so clever' and 'what a great job you've done' numerous times in one day was a little daunting lol I felt like a kid getting an A+ in my exams (though I don't think I ever achieved that hehe).

Well I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas. It is all over for another year :)


Monday, December 22, 2008


Well the last of my Christmas presents is finished! Yay! So some photos are in order.
These are a pair of shorts for my DS, to go with the t-shirt blogged about here.
Ottobre Designs 3/2008 #30 in a size 116. They are the Multi-pocket Long Shorts (or something like that). Lots of detail like topstitching and funky pockets. But a boy can never have too many pockets now can he?
These were actually my second try at this pattern - I started with some blue fabric, which I worked out to be stretch cotton sateen! Not exactly suitable for a pair of shorts for a 5 year old boy. So I abandoned them and bought some cotton instead. Much easier to sew and look so much comfier!

Front close up - my topstitching is getting better :)

Pocket detail.

Back pocket detail - they look fiddly, but weren't too hard to do :) I am no longer scared lol

Back view - the legs aren't uneven, just my hanging of them :)

A little surprise inside the front waistband.



The kids and I decorated gingerbread snowmen and trees today. They had a ball. And only ate 1/3 of the chocolate chips whilst decorating :) They chose the colours for the royal icing, and DD wanted to put the red colouring in to make purple. A 3.5 year old does not understand "3 drops". A very liberal squirt was added to the icing bag. Hmmmmm, I am glad the little bottle was nearly empty. The green bag also decided to pop open whilst being coloured, so it was a very sticky start.
The kids helped set up the area and layed things out for me, being very helpful. I added the icing and let them decorate with the chocolate chips. What a choice!
When they were done they picked one each to take to our next door neighbour, who was thrilled.
They have since eaten several, but the rest are to take to share at grannies house for Christmas day. So we must restrain from eating anymore. But they are super yummy - not bad for my first batch of gingerbread.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

What will you do?

Today was the Christmas picnic for my son's preschool class. So we went down to the school with a picnic lunch and to see Father Christmas and watch the kids get their present. The end of another school year. Who would've thought that me, the one who never wanted kids, would have a son heading up to the big school next year! And my baby off to kindy as well! DS has had a great year, he has made friends and even has a best friend now, which is great, as he can be a bit shy.

The main question I get asked when people hear that I will have no kids for 2 days a week is "What will you do with yourself? Two days without kids!" Well.........some peace and quiet is on the agenda lol
I will also attempt (I say attempt, as I am prone to procrastination and getting nothing done!) to do:
* more sewing for the kids.
* organising the house so that it is easier to keep clean.
* delve more into the world of soap making.
* help out more at the kindy - I enjoyed helping out at pre-primary this year, and should be able to do it more often next year.
* get back into comping, I haven't been doing much over the last 2 years and I want more exciting mail! lol

Now some piccies of the latest Christmas presents I have completed. Mum, don't look ok! At least until after Christmas lol

For my younger cousins, I made a pencil roll each, a bag from Ottobre 3/2008 (#28) - such a great little pattern, and a crochet purse. I asked their mums for their two favourite colours, but giving no hints as to what I was doing. The colours I had to work with were: pink/green, blue/purple and yellow/orange. Here is the one in yellow/orange.

I just loved looking at all of these hanging on my wall. I will miss them.

I also finished up a top for my daughter for Christmas - Ottobre 3/2008 (#2 - Puffis Tee), this is a great issue - I also have a pair of shorts I am finishing for my son for Christmas from this issue. I am not entirely happy with the bindings on this top, I used FOE (fold-over elastic) instead of rib binding. I think I need more practice though. This is to go with the misty skirt (Ottobre 1/2008 #13), which I have just realised I haven't blogged about. So I will add it here.

I also made some pot mitts to go with the apron I made for my Grandma. It is my first try at any sort of quilting (well I think you could call it that). I really like these and want to find some fabric and make some for myself. They have Insul-Brite in between the fabric layers.

And finally (because it has taken me 45 minutes to write this post), some Coffee Spice Sugar Scrub for some ladies in my family at Christmas. It smells delightful, and coffee is supposed to help remove the kitchen smells from your hands.

So that is what I have been busy doing for the last 9 days. Now Christmas is fast approaching and I am nearly ready lol Just some cooking and finishing the shorts to do now.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hi From Blogger

Well after starting a blog on my site, it appears that some people cannot see it :( So I have moved over to here :) I am hoping it all goes according to plan, though I am prone to making things harder than they need to be.

For ease of use (well mine anyway) I have copied & pasted my posts from over "there" to over "here". This is mainly so I can keep a track of my projects.

I hope you enjoy my blog and like my pictures that I share.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Melly & Me Sweetness in my House :)

Well, they are sort of in my house. They are hidden away in a cupboard away from sticky little fingers and peeping eyes until Christmas morning. I wanted to make on each for my kids. They sort of picked out the patterns, when asked which ones they liked, DS said Dilbert (luckily, as I had already bought the pattern lol) and DD picked Blossom. They don’t know they are getting them and I am just busting to see their little faces light up when they unwrap them.
I am really happy with both of them, though a few changes were made (when don’t I lol). Blossoms wings are attached with velcro so they can be removed if necessary for cuddling in bed, and they don’t have fusible fleece in them, sadly I didn’t have any, so I just used medium weight interfacing. Dilbert has no sewn on spots as he came pre-spotted (well the fabric did). It is leftover from the cubby house curtains I made.
Please welcome Dilbert:

Please welcome Blossom:

Other Christmas project progress has been happening. I finished off two pot mitts for my Grandma, to match her apron. Pictures later. DS’s shorts are about 1/3 done, need more kid asleep time, me thinks! Changed the pattern I was going to make DD’s top from too lol. It was going to be the “Hugs” top from Otto 1/2008, but I don’t have any bias binding to match the fabric, so I traced off the “Puffi” t-shirt from the Otto 3/2008 issue instead. It is all cut out, ready to sew now.
So other than that, I have a little more Christmas shopping to be done, just little things, and some Coffee Kitchen Hand Scrub to make up in the next week. Then I suppose I should look at making my shortbread mince pies for Christmas eating………..I have some fruit mince left from last year, so that should be well and truly delicious this year (it was last year too, but a year spent doing whatever the alcohol does can only improve it).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Some Sort of Order

Who am I kidding??! lol I don’t do organisation (read tidy) very well at all. I seem to collect things, and then I need to find a home for them. In a small house with limited storage space, this is a hard task. Especially with a limited budget to create new storage. So we try and clean up and give away the stuff we no longer have a use for. This past weekend we did just that. It was mainly because the kids wanted to put the Christmas tree up so they needed to clean out their toy boxes and their desks. It also meant I had to do some of my own cleaning. I had a bookcase with my collection of cooking magazines in, and it had also become a dumping ground for anything as you walked past it. Anyone who has seen my collection knows I have wayyyy too many. I had been a subscriber to about 3 for the past 4 years or so and also bought another two when they had something I liked the look of. I randomly cleaned them out and passed them on. I stored all my ripped out pages of recipes in plastic bags and put it back in the shelf (can you see the problem here??). So this weekend I looked at the covers - if they tempted me to look inside I did, otherwise, out to the Good Sammy’s. I also recycled that big bag of torn out recipes. To complement the magazines I also have a 55L tub full of cookbooks (and then some more), so I really didn’t need to keep the magazines. Not to mention access to the internet and the millions of recipes there. Now that the bookcase holding the magazines was empty I could give it a new job. And that just happened to be sewing related.


My cupboard in the lounge (aka the sewing area) before cleaning.

I have stored my Ottobre magazines in plastic zip bags (so I don’t lose the pattern inserts) and then in a draw. Except I finally got to the stage that I now have too many to fit in the draw, well and for the draw to still go back where it belongs lol. A trip to Bunnings was in order. I wanted some magazine holders to put the mags in. I was then going to put the patterns into sheet protectors and into a lever arch file - much easier to organise. Bunnings doesn’t sell anything close to usable as a magazine holder. I didn’t want flimsy cardboard ones, and plastic ones are just expensive (I needed at least 4). So my darling hubby kindly offers to make me some. “Course I can do that darl” he says. Up to the MDF section we go. Two sheets of MDF cost us less than one plastic holder would have. Back home and within a few hours (and a couple of beers), I am the proud owner of 4 sturdy, lovely magazine holders.


So by bed time I had all the Ottobre mags sorted into their rightful place, the pattern inserts in folders and a longing to have more time and energy to sew many more things from their pages.

I finished up a few more Christmas presents too - nice smelly bath salts and bath milk. These are for my Grandma and my Aunty. I am now onto sewing shorts up for my DS to go the spider t-shirt.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Spider T-shirt - Another Christmas Present Done

I finished this tee last night, but was way too tired to post it. So far it is my favourite t-shirt I have made (not hard considering I have only made about 5). It doesn’t look like a pj top!! It looks so much like a RTW, I have even impressed myself! Fantastic lol
The pattern is Ottobre 3/2008 #29 - Spider T-shirt in a size 122 - it looks huge in the photos, but it should fit him perfectly. I love the design of the shirt - the back shoulder panels come a bit further forward and the seam is just on the front of the shoulders. The spider is just stencilled onto a cotton woven (the stencil didn’t work properly, and some of the paint seeped out the sides, but since I had already made the stencil 3 times unsuccessfully, this spider stayed). I also tried using Soluweb for the web design (as per the instructions). Now mine stated that it was lightly fusible. Ok, I can do this. I traced the web, placed it where I wanted it and lightly pressed with a hot iron, with a cloth over the top. Well it is fusible - to both the pressing cloth and the t-shirt!! So the only way to fix that was to rip the two pieces apart, leaving lots of Soluweb on both bits - argh!! Soluweb - 1, Liz - 0. And no web design on the tee.
After washing the Soluweb (or bits of it anyway) off the t-shirt, I just drew my own web design on there. It says to use top-stitching thread when sewing the web on, but I didn’t have any in white. So I used the triple straight stitch on my machine - this worked really well! I am so impressed with it. In fact I am a little bummed I had to sew the spider over the top lol
All that is needed is a pair of shorts to complete this outfit for my DS for Christmas.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Well We Survived

This weekend just gone, we left the kids for the very first time. The only time I have left either of my babies, was when I went in to have Adele. And even then, I saw Lachie every day. Now hubby has left the kids, as he has had to travel for work and stayed away for 2 weeks at one stage.
So we had a friends wedding invitation requesting our attendance, in Adelaide! Now, we didn’t want to not go, as this is a very good friend of ours. So we decided that since we never had a honeymoon when we got married and mum offered to have the kids for us, we should take this opportunity and take a honeymoon (even if it is 6 1/2 years late).
So we told the kids, and let them know how long we would be away, and that they were going to stay with Grandma and Grandad. They love going to the farm, so that was an adventure for them. Adele apparently got a little sad as we were boarding the plane, until mum gave her a bag of lollies. Man, swapped for lollies!! We didn’t even talk to the kids while we were gone, as they were just having too much fun and didn’t want to talk to mummy or daddy. They knew exactly how many days and sleeps we were gone for, so weren’t at all concerned. Our preparation was obviously very effective. They were very excited to meet us at the airport though :)
We stayed in a lovely hotel in Adelaide, had our little honeymoon and went to a lovely wedding. I must show my bit of sewing for this wedding, I made my dress to wear. The pattern is the Tony Gard dress from Burda WOF magazine issue 5/2008. I originally traced the pattern to my measurements, as per instructions. I didn’t want the scarf that was on the original design, so that required a little bit of re-drafting of the bodice. Ok, I can do that lol So I get all the pieces traced and cut out. I only just had enough fabric for the pattern, so there wasn’t any room for trial and error. The fabric was an end of roll from the (now don’t laugh) furnishing section in Spotlight. But for $5, I couldn’t really go wrong.
After sewing up the bodice, I gave it a trial fitting…….it was way too big!! Yet it matched my measurements, so who knows. Again, I traced the pattern, this time a size smaller. I also changed the shape of the back of the bodice more to my liking. This time, I sewed it up with some cotton fabric that was just hanging around. It fit perfectly - well around my body anyways. I needed some darts added into the bust (seems to have always been a bit of an issue for me). Then when all the kinks were ironed out in the trial bodice, I just managed to get the new bodice out of the old bodice with a few little tweaks here and there.

So here is the dress along with my hubby (the closest to me) and two of hubby’s friends.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Kids, Tupperware & Ovens

Well the heading says it all really :) My daughter loves to play with all my kitchen utensils and bowls. She makes cakes, salads and many more exotic creations pretending to use the contents of my pantry.
Well unfortunately tonight, one of my bowls sadly passed over to bowl heaven. Now I don’t have much Tupperware, and the stuff I do have is pretty much all second hand, so I treasure it lol
I turned the oven on to preheat it prior to cooking tea tonight, and carried on preparing food. I started to smell a warm plastic smell. I opened the oven door and there on the top shelf was my poor Tupperware bowl – though no longer looking bowl like. It was pretty much transparent and starting to sag between the gaps on the rack :( So I quickly grab a potmitt and pull the shelf out of the oven before racing outside to put the hose on it.
It doesn’t look the same anymore, though it did return to the original colour. Now do you think that the lifetime warranty would apply in this instance? Lol Not exactly a shrinky-dink!!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pikelets, Gardening & Sewing

Wow, what a rather productive day! Even if it did start with a lie-in, reading my book in peace for awhile. We made pikelets for morning tea. The kids had great fun decorating theirs with hundreds & thousands and chocolate sprinkles. Me, I just stuck with jam lol
I also managed to get out into the garden and do a heap of pruning and weeding and just general tidying up. Looks heaps better!

I cut out and finished one of my patterns that I traced yesterday. Ottobre Designs 2/2005 issue, pattern #1 - Lettuce Edged T-shirt for my niece in a size 74 (for Christmas - she will be 12 months in February, so I want it to fit for the whole of summer). It was just so cute and relatively easy to sew. My ribbing binding on the neckline can do with some work, but I am still trying to find the perfect way to attach this without buying a Coverstitch machine (but I do dream………) But the hems were down with a rolled hem - my favourite way to hem lol So easy! And it is the entire reason I bought an overlocker - but that is a different story :)
Anyways, the tee was to go with a little tunic top and pants, also from Ottobre, issue 2/2004 patterns #2 & #4, also a size 74. I really love Ottobre patterns, and the tunic top made me realise why. It has top-stitching on the panels - now before I started sewing with Ottobre, I had never heard of top-stitching, let alone done any. And it makes all the difference! It adds detail and makes the outfit look more professional.

The little t-shirt - a lovely cotton/lycra remnant from spotlight.

The binding isn’t too bad on the front thank goodness :) It is relatively covered from the back where it isn’t as neat.

And the whole outfit together. I love this rose print cotton poplin. I bought 2 metres of it, on the first day it came on sale in spotlight - and I have just a few little scraps left.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Beautiful Friday

These are the beauties that I spied in my garden this morning. I love Daylillies and Lilliums. The Lillium I was given 2 years ago and each time it flowers, it is more spectacular than the previous flowering. The Daylillies I have either bought or were given to me. I have about 6, maybe 7 different ones (I think, they won’t co-operate and all flower at the same time for me to check lol). I have recently moved the Daylillies to get more sun, and it appears that they are very appreciative.

I hope the pictures make you smile just as the flowers brightened my morning.

Well I hope you have had a great Friday. Nothing too exciting here, apart from the flowers, but I got several mundane bits of housework done, so I can spend the weekend doing other things. I also got some patterns traced out, so I hope to get a start on them soon.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Welcome :)

Well here I am. I have finally joined the world of blogs. Much to hubby’s delight :) He has been on at me to start a blog - hosted by him of course!
DH: Why not share what you make with everyone?
ME: Because I don’t need to.
DH: Oh, but you do……….

So that is what has occurred now. I am here. So I suppose a bit about me and what will be appearing on this blog is probably in order. I have always been interested in trying new crafty things, so now with my kids a little bit older, I am finally doing just that.
I have never really been one to like sewing. In fact I practically failed it in Home Ec at high school. I hated sewing! What use could I ever have for it? I know my mum tried to teach me once – we nearly finished a shirt for me…….I don’t know what ever happened to it, but I never finished it and I never wore it either, so I guess mum didn’t finish it lol I always remember doing crafty things with my grandma growing up. That was always great fun. She taught me the basics of crochet. Some of which I remembered nearly 20 years on (argh! Yes it has been that long – eek!)
I had sewn on and off over the years since getting married. I sewed the curtains for our house – most of which remain un-hemmed. Just doing the sides was enough for me – I hate sewing straight lines. Plus, I am pretty sure my mum moved house with un-hemmed curtains (can you see the procrastinator genes appearing now?) So I am letting the curtains “hang” until all the creases fall out lol
So all in all, I started sewing this year. Properly sewing. Creating clothing that was wearable. Mainly for my kids, but a few pieces for me. I also found Ottobre magazine and Burda WOF magazine. These are my main source of patterns. Why not the ones you can buy at the fabric shops? Well because these magazines come with around 40 patterns each issue. Sure, you can’t use them all, but the Ottobre ones have from baby right up to teenager sizes. And Burda, well I like some of them in each issue and eventually I will get them made :)
So that is the sewing explained lol

I am also interested in making my own soap – I made one little itty, bitty baby sized batch on the weekend, using what ingredients I had on hand that I could actually put together to make real soap! Next stop is some more!!

Well that is about it for the introduction, I think I have covered everything :) No doubt I will back soon with some photos of actual things I have made.