Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Has Passed

for another year at least :)

We spent a lovely time with our families. Lots of fun was had, including....

Fishing with Poppy, and catching 4 fish (especially boast-worthy as Poppy is a fisherman and caught none!)

Lots of swimming as it was nice and hot.

Collecting the eggs for one of their great Grandmas.

Growing magic trees (a present from Santa).

Giving Poppy a haircut.

Tree climbing and piano playing.

And going out for yummy coffees!

And that was just a few of the things we got up to!


p.s. A huge thank you to my husband for the photo's as I didn't seem to take very many at all.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Only 3 More Sleeps

Christmas is nearly upon us.

The presents are all finished and wrapped. I can't share any photos as my family read my blog, so I will share them after they have all been received.

I must say though, the older I get, the more joy I get in the giving. I love making or even buying, a present that you can't wait to give to the recipient.

So all stay sane, and be merry and enjoy Christmas - I am looking forward to spending it with my family.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eva's Shawl

After seeing the gorgeous shawl that Tracy made here, I was inspired to make one too. Despite the fact that I haven't managed to crochet much beyond a granny square and a few misshapen motifs.

The pattern is from here. It is just lovely.

I used 4 balls of 50g Moda Vera Faith from Spotlight as it was only $2 a ball, and I didn't want to use expensive stuff in case I got bored or really struggled with the pattern. I can't remember the composition of the wool, and I have put the tag in a safe spot. They only had 2 balls at my local store in the cream colour, so when I realised I was going to need more, I rang around to find some more. The only store that did was on the other side of the city, about a 40min drive one way..... Luckily for me, DH was headed up that way for work and was able to pick 2 more balls up - though I wish I had asked for 3, as I didn't have quite enough to finish the 2nd row of edging. It was also a different dye lot, but it isn't too different (one benefit of being new at something - you don't mind quite so much!) But it still looks pretty, and was quite warm.
I used a 4mm hook, as this was the biggest I had in my stash - I have since acquired some larger ones to make another shawl at some point.

I wanted it to wear for the wedding last month, and I got it finished the night before - so it hasn't been blocked, though I have no idea how to do that yet either :)

I used a big pin to hold it together (please excuse the very tired face - it had been a long day).


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

We gave the teachers gifts early this week, as DD's main teacher will be away for the last week of school.

I am really into trying to give useful and consumable gifts at the moment, mainly fueled by the feeling that my house/life is too cluttered. I really don't want to give a gift that either, won't get used or is just going to take up space and the recipient finds annoying.

So this year I made some lanyards for DS's teachers, as they carry their keys on them for easy access.

DD's teachers I made key fobs for, as they don't use lanyards.

Not content to leave it just as that, I made some biscuits and some truffles. Biscuits I have done many times, but it was my first time making truffles and I read so much that I was totally confused. Some places said you could keep them for up to a month, others said no more than 3 days. In the fridge/definitely not in the fridge - argh! So I did my usual take on things and went my own way.

I followed the advice of some, slightly boiling the cream, and coating them in chocolate (apparently this is NOT how real truffles should be, but tough, I needed them to last and be a little more foolproof).

Lets just say - they worked! And were totally scrumptious! They passed my 3 taste testers with flying colours and requests for more lol

I think the teachers appreciated the gifts, and I hope they found them useful.

All recipes are from here. I used Baileys Truffles, Dark Chocolate & Rum Truffles, Lemon Poppyseed Swirls and Cranberry & Pistachio Biscuits - though I swapped the pistachios for walnuts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wedding Outfits

Last weekend, my husbands sister and her fiancé got married. They had asked for us all to be in the bridal party, so I set to work planning to make the kids outfits. The first place I looked for patterns was Ottobre (of course!).

I wanted to match DD's dress colours as close as possible to ours, but man, that was hard work! The choice of colours just didn't seem enough. But I managed to get them pretty close, and the end result was just gorgeous! Both fabrics were a taffeta - but it wasn't a heavy taffeta - quite light actually. The underskirt was just bridal tulle. Pretty much the only changes I did was to leave off the bow on the dress, and the ribbon on the underskirt (oh, and forgetting to read the instructions and mucking up how to attach the bodice lining to the skirt - woops!)

DS's outfit was a little more complex; jacket, pants, shirt, vest and tie! I used black linen/cotton for the suit - it was a dream to sew. Stretch cotton poplin for the shirt, again, a dream to sew. The vest and tie were from DD's fabrics to match. Changes to DS's outfit were to lengthen the pants from 3/4 to full length. I also lengthened the sleeves on the jacket as he has monkey arms lol. The one problem I did run into, was that I made the patterns in a size 128, then remeasured DS, I really should've gone up a I told he wasn't allowed to grow until after the wedding....thankfully he didn't - but it won't be an outfit he wears again, except for maybe the pants because I left them a bit long and they can always be converted to shorts later.

They were both so excited to be part of such a special day and were so well behaved. DD loved getting ready with us, and being able to wear a little bit of makeup for the day. And doesn't she look gorgeous with her hair curled! And DS spent the day doing 'boy' things and getting ready with the big boys.

Patterns used were:
Dress - #19 3/2008
Underskirt - #20 3/2008
Jacket - #27 3/2006
Pants - #29 2/2004
Shirt - #21 3/2009
Vest - #20 3/2009
Tie - #22 3/2009

Don't we look all spiffy dressed up! :)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A New Art Folder

A party for an 8-year old a few weeks back, meant I put on my thinking cap for a useful present I could make. It was for a classmate of my DS. I do find boys a bit harder to make for, but most kids tend to like to draw or write, so I settled on an art folder.

The fabric was approved by DS :)

I decided to make it a bit different to the last one I made, and have the pencils in a pencil case type part.

This works rather well, but the velcro can be a little sticky - may need to rethink the application if I make it again :)


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogtoberfest Is At An End and Some Lovely Views

Just some of the fantastic views that graced our weekend. It was a weekend spent with family, and a lovely time was had.

I hope everyone enjoyed Blogtoberfest - I know I did. It was a challenge to post every day, but I am glad I did it lol


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cosy Cocoon

Found at my sister's house, and it now lives on the nature table at pre-primary. Very fascinating to look at.


Friday, October 29, 2010


Yes it does.

My DS stuck all these magnets onto the bottom of his ceiling fan. They were very hard to photograph, as my photos show lol


Thursday, October 28, 2010

I've Been Holding Out On You

About two months ago, I found out my Aunty was coming over from the America. And she so kindly offered me some of her suitcase space if I wanted to buy any fabric from over there.

Well, I wasn't going to be asked twice! lol Yes please! And the dollar conversion was pretty good (not quite as good as it is right now, but good enough). So I ordered. When the fabric arrived at her house, she checked it out and then emailed me to say that it came with a discount coupon - did I want to order some more?

Teehee - yep! But this time I made sure it was just for me :) So I got a linen/rayon blend and some patterns - a Jalie one and a Hot Patterns.

The rest of the fabrics are quilting cottons, and they are just so lovely! I can't wait to use them.

So a huge thank you to my Aunty - enabler that she is ;)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little Tired Today...

I spent the day with DD at pre-primary today. I did some work with DD, and also helped with the other 23 kids in the class. It was great fun, and I love helping them.

After commenting to my sister that I was feeling rather tired after that, she rightly stated "Now you know why the kids are tired each day after school". lol

So very true!

And just because I don't like leaving a post picture-less, here is a strawberry flower - hopefully it will yield a very yummy strawberry.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Started!

Daylily flowering time that is. I love this time of year when my daylillies flower - they are always so big and happy. I smile when I see them.


Monday, October 25, 2010

New Growth

And hopefully they will grow into giant sunflowers!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

My "No Need To Worry" Contract

DS wrote this contract out for me this past week. So now, I have no need to worry anymore :)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Giveaway Winners

My helpers have helped, and winners have been drawn. Because there are two helpers, it sort of dictates that there are two winners :)

I really wish I could have given a prize to everyone who entered, all the lovely comments made me smile!

So congratulations to both ottomania - you have won the clutch and a surprise, and mummy_chelle - you have won a surprise, I will contact you both.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Oops - Nearly Forgot

to post today :) So here I am.

Look how busy this little guy is! Yet another play around with my camera ;)

Just a reminder - giveaway shuts at midnight my time (so about another 2.5 hours left to enter).


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well Now

look what I have learnt....

With a very big thanks to my very patient husband, I have learnt that my camera CAN take those fabulous photos.
A couple of weeks ago I read Nic's post on her new toy. And I fell in love with the purple flower picture (not the actual plant, it grows like a weed here lol) but the close-up-ness of the photo.  The talk of amazing macro mode, and then the lady  bug photo made me want to buy a new camera!
I explained to DH what I wanted to do (take more macro photos of my flowers), so we dug out the DSLR and I had a play around with that. You have seen some of the results from that camera over the last few posts. They are not bad photos, but still not the 'right-in-there-can't-get-any-closer' type that I was looking for. So I was pestering for a new camera, as surely that is all I needed to take such great photos.

Well, ahem, DH showed what settings to use on my little Canon A620 this morning before leaving for work, and boy, did I have fun! I need more flowers now :) But best of all, I don't need a new camera - the one I have works brilliantly - it really is all about the operator!


p.s. I still have some even closer, but I will share them at a later date.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running Out Of Words

with this blogging everyday :) So please enjoy the hibiscus.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lemon Blossom

What started as a scraggy little tree that I didn't expect to live, is now in it's 4th or 5th year and has a healthy crop of lemons each year.

And aren't the blossom pretty? They have a lovely scent too.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Hair Cuts & The Workings of a 7 Year Old Mind

It was haircut day the other week, ready for back to school. Now DS prefers his hair to be cut in a #2 length. So it is easiest if I do it - makes sense as it is cheaper too!

During term, his hair is left to grow, so when it is time for a cut, there is a fair bit there.

Mid-cut he looked down at the piles of hair and exclaimed.....

"It looks like a rat died and all its fur fell off!"

Yep, my 7 year old is gross.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rose Petal Tea

When the marquee breaks and falls down, you make a tent. And serve your guests rose petal tea :)

All while looking adorably cute!