19 April 2014

Next projects


So finally I am starting to think about creative projects again and what I want to make.  Its been an age since Ive done any sewing and I am starting to miss making things.

I want to make some more dresses for the Kid but am undecided on what style.  I want something for everyday not fancy party dresses but I haven't found a pattern that is jumping out at me yet.  I haven't had a look at the commercial patterns for a long time so it might be time to check out Simplicity and Burda to see what they are offering.

In the meantime I thought Noodlehead's Road Trip Case would be fun to make - one for the Kid and those multiplying elastic band creations that are strewn around the house and one for me for my on the go embroidery projects.    Only wish I had started earlier as we are off on a little holiday for next week and it would have been great to have them for that.

One thing I really struggle with is fabric combinations - I can sit and stare at different fabrics for ages and still not know if they work.  Whereas others just seem to have it down to an art, I get nervous about what goes with what.

Anyway, after much deliberation and a desire to only use what I have in my stash, I have come up with the following combos - the top is of for the Kid and the bottom one for me.  I may end up not using all the fabrics in each group but its a good start.




16 April 2014

Life in Progress


So I had to admit defeat this week when the only channel I had actually managed to tune my TV into had now disappeared.  So I had no option but to call out Jim Antennas to come take a look at the problem, but I have to say I didn't hold out much hope for the guy - I had already tried everything already.

Mr Antenna arrived and told me if he managed to fix the problem it would be a $95 fee, I nodded and wished him luck.  He had a good look at the socket and sadly agreed with my prognosis, there was indeed absolutely NO signal.  So he unplugged the cable and moved a book I had leaning against the wall about 10cm further along and put the cable into the OTHER socket.  Perfect reception!

DO NOT SAY A WORD!

If you think my week could not get any more embarrassing I also stacked it on the scooter in the middle of the shops - flat out sprawled on the pavement, 2 grazed knees and 1 elbow.  Bless the woman who came running to my aid asking if I was hurt - I laughingly replied "only my pride".  The Kid burst into tears at my side assuming I was DEAD.  I think I may have given birth to a bit of drama queen (when I mentioned this to her she stomped off saying "I am NOT a pyjama queen").

Ive spent the rest of the week keeping my head down, catching up on my knitting and looking forward to a nice long Easter break coming up.

14 April 2014

A gorgeous gift


During the big moving process I had to stay at a friends place for a few weeks and I realised the Kid didn't have any jarmies that fit her anymore so she was running around in a t-shirt and undies at bedtime, as you do!

Well I popped back to our old place to pick up our mail soon after and was surprised and well chuffed to receive a wonderful parcel from my bloggy buddy Chloe over at Deadlycraft.  But seriously how did she know the thing we needed more than anything at that very moment was a nightie.

And what an utterly gorgeous nightie, I was a wee bit jealous!  The Kid adored it too and wore it every single night of our 3 week stay.  So thank you again Miss C for such a perfect gift - I hope you don't mind me sharing your beautiful creation.

Oh and there was a little something for me too - I thought this little pot was normal hand cream at first but Chloe explained that it was especially for knitters and crafters to use on their dry hands.  I carefully packed it and have just re found it again.  I will be definitely taking it for a spin on this cold Sydney night when I pull out my knitting later!

The Kid and I feel very lucky indeed.

10 April 2014

Life in Progress


Life is all about turning our new place into a home right now.  I unpacked most things pretty quick after moving in though god knows where the fruit bowl ended up……a total mystery.  And now I am starting to think about what to put on the walls, how to personalise new corners and the best way to display the kid's artwork.

I would really like to buy some new prints for the wall like this one of Battersea Power Station - my mum used to regularly push me in my pram past this iconic building and I would love this on my wall as a reminder of home home (if you know what I mean).  Crikey I better start saving up!

My crappy old table (thankfully) wouldn't fit through the door of my new apartment and I had the perfect excuse to buy this new desk from IKEA that I have been eyeing up for yonks.   I stomped up and down and had a mini tantrum when I realised it was out of stock (I didn't realise this until I was actually IN the store of course).  But yesterday I (sensibly) checked online first and saw that it was back  on their shelves - so I hotfooted it to Rhodes IKEA and snaffled it up. And here I sit typing this at my posh new desk.

Now if I could just work out how to tune my TV into any channel other than ABC, I would seriously be cooking with gas!

06 April 2014

Hello from the flip side


I certainly never meant to disappear from my blog for so long but sometimes life just throws a spanner in the works.  In short, the Kid and I needed to leave where we were living and find somewhere new to call home.  Its been a crazy couple of months but Im pleased to report that we have come through the other side unscathed and life is good.

We are loving our new place and are starting to settle in.  We have been in for about 2 weeks and its really beginning to feel like home.  In fact I am a little in love with the place, a fresh new start is a damn  good thing.

But you know what, its always about the little things isn't it…... the shower that doesn't run out of hot water after 2 minutes, the kitchen that has enough cupboard space so I don't need to store everything on the counter, the air conditioner unit I didn't even notice until I moved in and the neighbours that say g'day and welcome.  Ah Bliss.


25 February 2014

Finished: Hoop-La Project No 2 - Home Sweet Home


I actually finished this a few weeks back but have only just got around to taking some pics.  I love these Hoop-La projects so much that I can't wait to make more.  I just have to choose which project next…..ah decisions, decisions.

24 February 2014

throw365


So I have been putting a lot of my energy over the past couple of weeks into looking for a new home for the Kid and I.

However, every time I look at a potential place there is this nagging thought in my head - how the hell will I ever be able to pack up the tonnes of STUFF we have accumulated?  It is completely overwhelming and Im worried when I do see a place I love I may not take it because of the mountain of packing that needs to be climbed.

So I decided I needed to start NOW even though we haven't got anywhere to go to yet - but I needed some inspiration because I have some serious attachment issues.  For example, I still have the Kid's pram, bassinet and baby bjorn in the garage - holy guacamole she is nearly 7, why am I keeping this stuff?

Firstly I read Its All Too Much by Peter Walsh and got lots out of this to help me let go and then a friend recommended the blog, Becoming Minamalist which I have been dipping into in the last few days and loving.

The questions I am now asking myself are:
  • Is it useful?
  • Have I used it in the last 12 months?
  • Is it beautiful?
  • Am I keeping it just because of sentimentality not because it is actually useful or beautiful?
  • Am I keeping it just because it cost me a lot of money not because it is useful or gorgeous?
One of my goals for 2014 fits perfectly for this task - to get rid of 365 things which I am now calling throw365.   I have also decided to get rid of 1 thing for each new thing that comes in. No point in discarding 365 things to just replace it with a load more crap.

So sorry F Scott Fitzgerald I will never ever get around to reading The Great Gatsby, see ya later Elmo she loved you when she was 3 but she is a grown up 6 and a half year old now and au revoir broken music box we never really liked that you that much in the first place and your music sucks!

12 February 2014

Life in Progress


::: This past week could be titled My Life Without Internet - a tragic tale of loss and heartache. OK OK first world problem, I get it. My crappy old modem (which I must admit was a hand me down to begin with) finally died and I ordered a new one through my internet service provider.

Here I sit exactly one week to the day STILL waiting for the bloody thing to arrive. They said it would arrive between 8am and 1pm and it is 5.20pm and no sign of the thing. I am literally climbing into my CRANKY PANTS as I type.

But lo and behold a miracle, my old modem has just started working - take that crappy TOLL delivery service!

::: I am pleased to tell you I completed my first ever Color Run and boy was it fun even though it was 30 degrees at 9am. I wish I had taken the Kid with me - she would have flipped out about getting so utterly mucky - next year I have promised her!

I walked back from the station on a high.  Not actually seeing what I looked like, I proudly marched through my suburb homeward bound imagining myself to be some kind of rainbow goddess.   Oh dear lord when I actually saw my reflection was I in for a shock. I looked like an Ooompah Loompah that had just returned from a day working down pit.

::: My knitted jumper is progressing slowly but surely even though I managed to royally f**k up a row and only realised 3 rows later. I ripped it back and I think I have saved it (though you can definitely see where I have picked up stitches badly).  Other crafting has been majorly thin on the ground as I am putting most of my energy into looking for somewhere new to live and I am really trying to declutter as much as I can now so that when it comes to packing up the place in a few weeks/months time it wont be so bad!

Well over and out for now - lets hope the new modem arrives tomorrow before this one gives up the ghost for good!

05 February 2014

Things to do: February 2014


January's to do list went well even though I still haven't finished the green gingham skirt, unfortunately my heart just wasn't in KCW this quarter - Im sure I will back into it next time around.

So to February I set a lot of goals in a shorter month but was quietly confident about it all until life threw a spanner in the works (aint that always the way).   It looks like we may have to look for a new home and my time may need to be spent on achieving that.  

Oh well c'est la vie!




02 February 2014

Sunday @ 8pm


Why get ready for bed when you can parade around the house is a series of silly hats?

30 January 2014

14 ordinary things to do in 2014….


….and hopefully some not so ordinary.

I loved this post from Fatmumslim.  I had been pondering all month whether to set some resolutions or goals and loved this idea.  The last couple of years I have set a word for the year which is a wonderful idea but just doesn't seem to work for me - I tend to pick a word and promptly forget it a week later so I didn't see the point of going down that track again.

But I did want to commit something to paper (or internet) and this was just right (and I may have borrowed a couple of my favourites from Chantelle's list too):

1.  Double cuddles

The Kid is getting older and one of these days she is going to turn around (probably with her hands on her hips) and announce she is way too old for cuddles.  So I am going to double my quota this year and cuddle her twice as much - the Kid better watch out because there will a lot of hugs incoming.

2.  Buy an indoor plant

I really want to have plants in my home but they always seem to be at the bottom of the shopping list - so I am going to start small and just buy one plant and try to keep the pesky thing alive until next year.

3.  Throw out 365 things

Decluttering is an ongoing battle in my life (no doubt yours too) and in effort to keep on top of the piles of crap I commit to throwing out a minimum of 365 things.

4.  Lose 12 kilos

I started a weight loss program in the second half of last year and am really proud of the fact that I lost 18 kilos but I have now plateaued with still another 12 kilos to go to get back to my pre baby weight (yes my six year old baby that is).  If I got within 3-4 kilos of that target by this time next year I would be stoked.

5.  Improve my photography

I definitely think a lot more about how I take photos  but I still have a long way to go.  It sure doesn't seem to come naturally to me.  I want to read some books and articles and experiment more and just try to get better.

6.  Go to England

I have been saving for a couple of years for a trip home and I am close to being able to afford it.  So I really hope this is the year we get to go home.

7.  Run like the wind

As part of the losing weight thing I have got back into my running.  I am just at the beginning of this journey but there are lots I would love to achieve this year with my running including: finishing the Couch to 5K running programme, running in the 5km Colour Run, taking part (even if I don't run it all) in the City to Surf event, start the 5k to 10k running programme.

8.  Get in the frame

Oh I really don't like having my photo taken - definitely (and sadly) tied up with having being overweight.  But the Kid is going to look back one day and ask where the hell I was if I don't actually start getting in some photos.  So I am going to take a deep breath and start to get in the shots sometimes.

9.  Get the Kid on her bike

I feel a bit remiss that the kid can't ride a bike.  She lives on her scooter and is just a wee bit scared of the bike.  Whereas cycling is one of my absolute favourite things to do.  So this year I want to get her riding.

10.  Sew something for me to wear

Its time I made something that isn't kid sized.  No idea what yet, but I am on the look out for something fun for me to make and wear.

11.  Knit the year away

I am really enjoying that I am back into my knitting after many years away.  Im not fast but thats ok - the idea is just to have one project on the needles at a time and always have a project on the go.  Even if takes me all year to finish just 2 things.

12.  Make another quilt

I love the quilt I made last year and I would so love to make another one.  There is a lot of inspiration out there so its just a case of deciding what to do.

13.  Have more play dates

Eeek I have to say that I am not good at having other children over for playdates but the Kid is such a darn social butterfly.  So this year I just need to suck it up and have friends over on a more regular basis and even some sleepovers (aaaarrrghhhh).

14.  Be a Sydney tourist

I am pretty good at this already.  The plan is to continue on and get out and about with the Kid in this wonderful city of ours.


29 January 2014

Life in Progress


School's back!  The Kid started Year 1 today and geez she was excited (which is great news).  I love the way they completely mix all the classes up and there are lots of new kids for her to interact with.  I think she only has one child from her previous class and she is totally cool with it telling me how great it was she got to make lots of new friends.   I love that she is so outgoing (much more than I am).

Our long weekend turned into a very quiet one thanks to the big scooter crash - my wee girl got about 8 humungous grazes and a big bump on her forehead and it made her feel quite under the weather so much so that she wanted to stay in all weekend……she NEVER wants to stay in so I was a little bit worried.  But she has come good now, thank heavens.

We made the cake in a jar and it was NOT good - hahahaha.  Even smothering it with white chocolate and marshmallows could not save it.  It was the flavour - the spices tasted seriously strange.  Only saving grace was the kid was too under the weather to actually want to try it - so I told her it was fantastic.  Shhhhhhh don't tell on me.

Knitted my tension square and it was spot on so cast on and started my knit along jumper.  I am really enjoying having something new on the needles and look forward to my new 7.30pm date - My Kitchen Rules and my knitting.

KCW // Hour 3 //  I really wanted to crack on with my KCW project today but I had my trip to the dentist this morning and it was NOT pleasant and it left me with the sorest gob all day and I have been feeling VERY sorry for myself.  I could only manage 45 minutes of sewing and half of that was spent unpicking a seam TWICE.  Some days you should just step away.

28 January 2014

KCW is here


So KCW started yesterday and as it was a public holiday here in Australia I didn't have a problem fitting in my hour of sewing, today however was a bit more tricky but I just about did it:

// KCW // Hour 1:  First job was to put the ribbon on the blue skirt (a nice easy start).  Once that was done I pulled out the Burda Style gingham skirt that has sat in a bag for the past couple of months (with only about 20% done).  I spent the rest of the hour just working out where I was actually up to and then trying to decipher the minimal Burda instructions on how to put in a hip yoke pocket.

I really couldn't make head nor tail of their ridiculous instructions so headed to YouTube and found this very useful tutorial and just followed that instead.  Seriously what did we do before the internet!!

// KCW // Hour 2:  Put in the hip yoke pockets tonight and I seriously love them - my first hip pockets and they are so very cute.  Then it was back to trying to deciphering the next step in the process.  Think I have worked it out now but fancy that, I seem to have used up all of my hour (and don't have the energy to keep going tonight).

See you tomorrow KCW.

27 January 2014

Finished: Hoop-La Project No 1 - Tooth Fairy Project


So I have completed my first (of many Im sure) Hoop-La project.  The Kid has a seriously wobbly top tooth at the moment so it was a no brainer to start with this one.

I went with washi tape to decorate the hoop - I thought it was going to be dead easy to put on, but was actually much more fiddly than I realised and it doesn't look quite as neat as all the photos in the book.

I am going to try all the different finishes (i.e. painted, decoupage, stained, ribbon, crochet) suggested in the book over the coming projects but for the next few I am going with the washi.

Now we just have to wait for that pesky tooth to fall out.

26 January 2014

Sunday @ 3pm


The Kid has been begging for weeks now to make her cake in a jar that she brought home from Vacation Care - and today was the day.  Im not great in the kitchen and I kept putting it off but my wee girl had a major scooter stack today and is covered in grazes.  To say I was feeling sorry for her is an understatement.  So when she looked at me with those forlorn eyes and shoved the jar in my face, well I just couldn't say no, could I.

22 January 2014

Life in Progress


I really must try and take my camera out and about with me more often as we had quite a busy week but not a single photo was taken*.

So what were the photos I DIDNT get this week:

// the Kid's first ever go on the giant water slide at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

// me squealing with glee as I came down the giant water slide at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

// the Kid mastering her two wheel scooter - she was a bit nervous on it at first after 2 years on a three wheeler, but this week really saw her becoming faster and more confident.

// me gasping for breath, trailing behind my friend in a 30 degree heat, 7km run (him) / stagger (me)

// us eating fish and chips in the park with good friends

However I did manage to snap some works in progress.  I ordered a few cheapo embroidery hoops from Arbee Craft to get me started on my Hoop-La projects.   I have completed the first project already (hopefully I will get around to taking some photos today) and am a good way into the second one.  I am enjoying making these even more than I thought I would.

More squealing from me because my yarn for my next knitting project arrived today.  I can't wait to get started but quite sensibly Chloe from Deadlycraft (my knit along buddy) has convinced me that I need to do the gauge square first.  So Im thinking that will be a job for tonight whilst I watch the tennis (go Andy go Andy)

*  Mind you its quite nice to just enjoy the moment instead of trying to snap every damn thing too!

20 January 2014

Finished: Knitted Blanket


I seem to have made the blanket only a mother* could love.  She sure aint pretty but I love her all the same.  (Photos have been selected only to show my baby's good sides!)

No seriously, its hideous.  It is very very thick**,  unbelievably heavy (it would probably crush a small animal) and the Kid can barely lift it.

I also realised quick that I had no bloody idea how to sew seams together and the first 2 rows wouldn't look out of place on Frankenstein's face.  However, I did hit my stride after that and realised I was doing it all wrong and then next two rows of seaming look relatively neat.

I have since worked out I have been paying way too much for a ball of wool and there were a LOT of balls used for this project.  Which means I am now the owner of one helluva overpriced, 3 tonne blanket.  Sometimes I really need to know when to cut my losses.

Oh well Im sure it will keep me toasty next winter and if you don't do stuff wrong sometimes you don't learn from your mistakes….. or something like that.

* not that I actually gave birth to this blanket cos that would be just plain weird!

** which will come in useful for this 35 degree heat we are having these days

19 January 2014

Sunday @ 7.00am


At this time of year we FaceTime with my folks early on Sunday mornings.  I am so grateful for the technology we have in this day and an age.  Only a short time ago the Kid would not have anywhere near the same level of relationship with her grandparents that live on the other side of the world as she is lucky to have now.

We chat for a good couple of hours each time, the Kid brings out projects or games to do with them or puts on little dancing and singing extravaganzas.  We update each other on our weeks and the Kid can do no wrong, naturally.

My mum knits constantly throughout and my dad tries to make the Kid giggle as often as possible, whilst I potter around making breakfast and maybe sneaking a little knitting of my own in.

We finish around 9am when Grandpa is itching to get off to watch Match of the Day and the Kid is itching to get out and about and use up some energy.

Love our Sunday mornings.

17 January 2014

The year in books




So I have signed up for another year long project - ooh I can't help myself.  Laura at Circle of Pine Trees is hosting The Year in Books  - a commitment to read at least one book a month during 2014.

Now I am not too bad at getting through a few books during the year so it shouldn't be too hard but I am going to try and take 50% of the books from my bought but put on a shelf and ignored collection.

I gathered all the books together for a quick photoshoot, crikey I didn't realise there were so many (though some are not your typical book club style books I still included them here).

As I am late getting started I thought I would pick a quick read to start me off, especially as I actually borrowed this from a friend and I need to return it.

So in January I will be reading: