Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Crafting!

So I was absolutely in love with this Christmas outfit from AnK, however I couldn't get it for both girls, so I decided to do some crafting myself!

Off to Spotlight I went, and I got some cheap red shiny fabric. Just the ticket I thought. It literally only cost me about $5. So Emily got a new red dress, and Miss Lexi got a matching skirt. We got some ricrac courtesy of Just Patchwork, and I used one of Lexi's sleeveless onesies to make the top of her outfit.

I thought they came out just lovely, and achieved the aim of making the girls look Christmasy. They might even double for Valentines Day!!

And when Nana Taylor asked if the girls had Santa Sacks, I sheepishly said no. So look what came home from the shop!

And sadly, I didn't sew any gifts this year (hand slap), however Lexi did score this fabulous little homemade hat from Cousin Katie! Isn't it just gorgeous!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Homemade Christmas Goodies!

YUM!!!  I love homemade Christmas goodies, and decided this year to make it a new family tradition and jump on the band wagon!

This is definitely year 1! The strawberry jam almost drove me crazy! First I became complacent, and thought it was so easy I didn't need to stir the pot that often... and then of course the next stir added little black bits... doh! So I got some more strawberries, and being a busy mother of two, I forgot to put them in the fridge and by that night they were mouldy! Damn warm weather... and then round three: success!! Everything else went fairly well. The fudge was SO yum, and SO easy. The milk chocolate being my favorite... well of course I had to do some taste testing!! Anyway, definitely doing more of that next year. Check out my friend Martha's recipe here  ;-)

The lucky (well I hope that's the right word) recipients were some dear friends, and my neighbours with nine children scored the big box of the sweet stuff! Next year I will start earlier and make more. I wonder if saying that will become a yearly tradition as well  ;-)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Chandler's Special Shirt!

A new friend of mine, Sarah had seen the custom shirt that I created for a little girl Indiana for her first birthday on Indiana's mummy's blog over here. She decided that she would like one for her special little girl Chandler for her first birthday/naming day! And what a pleasure it was to work on another custom shirt!

The party had a cupcake theme, and once I got the colour scheme and a sneak peak of the invitation, I created these options:

But... the winning design was:



I hope that Chandler had an amazing 1st birthday and naming day!! Thanks again Sarah for the opportunity to be a part of something so special!

Oh, and Sarah sent me a special gift as a thank you, which was totally unnecessary, but completely lovely all the same! It's a beautiful charm sporting the names of my two special girls. So sweet!! If you like Sarah's work and are looking for a unique gift, check out her work here!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lessons learned in the first week home alone with the girls!

So my very sweet, very helpful husband returned to work last week. I was worried that I would be hugging his feet trying to stop him from leaving come Monday morning. However the week has gone much much better than I expected! In fact... I may just be able to do this!!  :-)  Having said that... I have learned a few lessons this week:

1)  I MUST shower (this includes Emily) before Nathan leaves for work! It helps me get ready to start the day on the right foot. Plus... the one day I didn't, Lexi didn't want to have a good nap in the morning and showering was almost impossible!
2) The baby MUST sleep! Yesterday we went to mother's group, and I didn't want to wear Lexi, so took the pram. The thing is... she doesn't really sleep in the pram. So an entire morning of teeny tiny cat naps! This makes for a very wired 3 week old at midday! So until she relaxes a little more, I need to wear Lexi in a sling or the Baby Bjorn when I am out for long periods.

3) The family MUST eat! On Sunday I did our menu plan, and the four of us went food shopping. So if all else fails, the family will eat! I also had one super easy meal on the menu... saved for a night when I need it! It involves pulling some lasagna I had frozen out of the freezer and putting it in the oven. Maybe adding salad, depending on how bad the day has been! Lucky for me, I haven't had to use it yet  :-) And finally, in the afternoon, I get out everything I can for cooking dinner: ingredients (as long as they don't need to be refrigerated of course), pots & pans, utensils etc.

4) The house MUST be tidy! Yes, I said tidy, not clean: let's be realistic, it's only early days yet! I had a toddler who just loves to throw toys, food etc on the floor - plus there is just general mess created from living... dirty dishes, dirty clothes etc. I could clean all day - instead, I have devised a 2 minute game. Twice a day (when Emily goes down for a nap, and when she goes off to bed) I spend 2 minutes literally running around, putting things back where they belong, and cleaning up what I can. This way at least things seem tidy and manageable. And of course from there, I can do housework as I have time. But if all else fails, 4 minutes a day will help keep my sanity!

5) I MUST do what works, even if it's not ideal! I have a thing about not wanting Lexi to get too used to sleeping on me. This stems from having Emily constantly attached to me for the first couple of months of her life. However I am learning that when you have two children, and a house to run, life must go on! So one thing I have been doing is in the early evening when it's time to cook dinner, if Lexi is awake (which is more often than not) I strap her to me, and cook dinner! This way she gets to nap and feel close to her mumma, and the family gets to eat a nice dinner. Ideal? No, but does it work? So far so good...

And finally...
6) I MUST get my priorities right! First comes the kids... they have to! They can't fend for themselves. But a very close second is me! They can't be looked after if their mumma is run down. So this means when they are both napping (which is happening more often than I thought) I nap too. Dishes, washing, vacuuming... it will all wait! I also make sure I eat and drink. Okay, so it's on the run most of the time, and while holding a baby, but I am fed. And then comes my husband.

And finally finally... this post was written 2 weeks ago. Opps...   :-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

A new addition...

OMG! I can't believe I didn't blog at all during the month of October! Do I have an excuse?? Of course I do! Please meet the newest addition to our family, Miss Lexi Grace!!

Lexi joined us on Oct 6th, after a lovely quick and easy labour (the stitches after not so quick... not so easy...). She was born looking absolutely beautiful, but surprisingly different from her big sister. Maybe she has her nose... but that might be it! It's so nice that she is her own special self, with her own personality and identity!

Big sister Emily was teething and had a fever when we returned home, so was miserable to begin with, and then there was this new baby taking up lots of mum and dad's time! I told Emily that I understood - if Daddy brought home a new wife, I would be pretty unhappy too! But after a few days she realised she was in love with her little sister, and is constantly giving her kisses and cuddles. She tries to soothe her when she is crying by patting her, which is so very sweet [okay, so it would be sweeter if it actually worked  :-) ]. Emily likes to help me by getting a nappy for Lexi when I ask for one. Of course I give lots of 'wows', 'thank yous' and high 5's in response just to encourage her. So a few days ago, she must have really wanted to please me.. she gave me 8 nappies in a row!  So cute!

Anyway, I shall blog more often, but must nap now while the two girls are sleeping

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Haircut!

My baby girl doesn't have a lot of hair, so the thought of cutting it seemed just plain wrong. It's rather thin and wispy though, and was getting long and straggly at the back. So... today was the day!


I must say, the black cape was the cause of the tears! I guess it is quite a weird experience for a little girl to be sitting in a strange place, with a strange lady trying to put something around her neck! So, we decided to go capeless, and mummy was going to supply the cuddles. There was a little help from Mickey Mouse on the DVD player, but after a few minutes, Emily was actually fine, and quite curious. She was watching the hairdresser in the mirror and taking it all in. 

 So in the end... a successful result and a beautiful little girl!

Oh, and on a crafty note; the dress is one that I finished this week from a beautiful Amy Butler fabric from her Lotus range: Wall Flower in Cherry. The pattern is one I have used before (here and here) and love! It's by Ivy Designs, and the great thing is you can download it as a PDF! So anyone in the world can get it in an instant. Plus I love that next summer I will be able to print the pattern off again and cut out the next size up  :-) 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A quilt fit for a little boy!

My cousin Kylie recently told me that she wanted to make a quilt for her nephew Tarell. As she hadn't done any quilting before, I suggested she come stay for a couple of days and I could help her create something. And I was thrilled when she said yes!

So we stuck to a lovely simple design of sqaures, using some fabulous fabrics that she selected, as well as using some nice soft minky.

Didn't she do just great for a first attempt!! Her corners match perfectly!! And she says she can't wait to make another. That's a good sign. Thanks for being my first ever student Kylie!!!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Cookies please!

I love Sunday afternoons. Especially when I am busy sewing, and my hubby and daughter decide to bake!

Here are the scrumptious choc chip / M&M cookies! Although they didn't come out looking exactly like cookies, I think they are somewhere between cookies, and muffin tops. Not a bad place to be really.

Thanks Nath and Emily!! Same time next week??  ;-)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shoes & Socks!

What a day! My little girl Emily got her very first pairs of 'real' shoes. I took her to get measured, and she was very well behaved (despite trying to leave the store with the shoes on before she had paid...).

On the other hand, I am washing like a crazy woman, trying to get ready for baby no. 2, due in 5.5 weeks (not that I am counting...). I have been washing all of Emily's clothes, and look at these teeny tiny little socks!

What a flood of emotions. My little girl is growing up, and another little bundle of joy is about to enter our lives


Monday, August 16, 2010

And off they go! Pencil/Crayon Rolls!

I have finally sent out some pencil and crayon rolls that I had been making for 'Backpacks 4Aussie Kids'. I really meant to make more, but there is a lot going on in my little world. Oh well, we do what we can to help, when and how we can right? I hope I make some kids smile  :-)


Monday, August 2, 2010

Bunting Love!!!

I have been thinking about making Emily some bunting for some time now. I mean it seems like it would be easy enough. So in my week of family crafts, I decided to give it a go. And what do you know, even with designing my own template, it only took me about two hours!

Emily will be vacating her room at some stage soon for a little brother or sister, so we have held off on the painting, and doing too much decorating. But this lead to a BORING room!


And check out the after pic!

I have to say, that I am now in LOVE with bunting!! It's so great to add a splash of colour, and I find myself asking... can I make more for the one room? Can I make some christmas bunting? Classy bunting for our bedroom? (to which my husband replied, 'do you know what classy is?')

I really love how much of a difference a couple of hours has made. And the reason it has taken me so long to post this, is because I couldn't find thumb tacks to put it up! It seems people don't like to put holes in their walls anymore, and all I seemed to find were those sticky thing! N.B. Try a newsagents!
Anyway, I am tempted to say this is the easiest item I have ever made. I think there will be a tutorial coming... because trust me when I say this... there will be more bunting made here! Perhaps not for our house... we'll see!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A dress challenge!

So another one of my 'family time' projects was making a beautiful dress for Miss Emily!

Project 3:
Ivy Designs were looking for a few people to road test some of their new patterns, and I was lucky enough to be chosen to trial the Montana Pinafore Dress! After buying Emily a pinafore dress back at Allies Attic a few weeks ago I had been keen to try making a pinafore dress myself anyway, so the timing was perfect.

Let me just say, this pattern was SO easy! I have not done a lot of sewing with patterns, and often find them a little challenging, but this one was so simple, and had lots of pictures to help explain the steps too. What I really love about it is that it comes as a PDF, so I made Emily a size 1 dress, and when she gets bigger, I can just reprint the pattern and cut out the size 2! And 3... and 4! I think the dress took me a little over 4 hours from start to finish, but at least half of that time was doing the Babushka Doll.

I think I am going to get some beautiful fabric and make up some simple summer dresses. No doll on the front, just let the fabric do the talking. I figure they will take me two hours at the most!

Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern, and no doubt the others are all great as well! Thanks for the opportunity Ivy Designs!


Monday, July 19, 2010

A simple cushion to add a little something...

In my daughter's room we have a lovely rocking chair, which has had so much use for those night time feeds, and sometimes just those cuddles and story time! The only thing is... it's a bit plain looking, and to be honest, I need a little back support.

Project 2: Cute cushion!

So in just an hour or two I put together this simple cushion cover using my favorite Saffron Craig fabric, and paired it with some plain fabrics for the 'E' and the elephants... 'E' being for Emily btw - not for elephants! I didn't really think that through... opps!

And I just love some buttons to finish off a cushion, it holds the back together so well!

More crafty projects to come!