Ah, its good to see a finished project in a sea unfinished things here. I made another 3 sets of the Wild Olive Felt Ornaments which I love - even thought I am bit over making them for this year. One set has gone of to my Mum and Dad, then some are for my swap and some for my good friend that is hosting Christmas Day this year. I say this year - she hosts it every year to be exact and I love her for that.
We are really enjoying getting all festive here at Ellieboo. The Christmas tree went up on 1 December and I have to say both me and the Kid had to really stop ourselves putting it up before that day but you can't put a tree up in November can you?
I have been very organised this year and its the first time in forever that I have actually written cards to friends and family and got them posted BEFORE Christmas Day. Patting myself on the back as I type.
However it has not all been tinsel and Jingle Bells……I sent two parcels back to the UK and trust me they were not that big. One cost me $75 and the other $40 to post….WTF. You would have thought I was posting a washing machine or something (actually the second picture above shows what I sent for $40 - how can that be possible?) I knew it was going to be pricey but I was gobsmacked and hyperventilated right then and there at the counter. However I reluctantly handed over my hard earned.
On the home front the Kid got a bit tired of me nagging her about cleaning her teeth and decided to ban me from her room which I thought was really rather cute but damn I wish she would just go do her teeth without me asking…..just once!
I am finishing off the faces on the little felt reindeer above and then all my felt ornaments will be good to go and so will be heading back to the post office to send to my swap partner Chloe at Deadlycraft - thankfully the cost to send a bunch of felt to Tassie should not lead me to have a complete conniption. I hope!
Here we are again at the Christmas count down. Yikes how crazy is that. You may have noticed a bit of theme for December's to do list - it is all about finishing some things as we finish the year. The orange skirt for instance ONLY needs buttons and its done - a quick win you would think but the damn thing has been sat on my sewing table since KCW in October!!!! So December is all about finishing and hopefully lots of quick wins.
I have stuck to crafting to dos on my list but December will also be full of Christmas actions (as it is for everyone) such as finish hanging Xmas decorations, write my Xmas cards, finish buying presents, post presses to the UK, make paper chains, plan our Christmas break so we have lots of fun things to do, eat chocolate to excess and so on
I thought life was meant to slow down a bit as we head towards the pointy end of the year, but it has been a mad hectic week. Being a single parent, its sometimes difficult to do all the things you want to do, especially if you don't want to drag along a a bored and moaning child.
Exercise is actually one of my hardest things to schedule when I don't have someone to mind the Kid. Friends mean well when they come up with suggestions like exercising at home to fitness dvds or to get an exercise bike or to (god forbid) take the kid on a run with me but they are just not practical solutions for me.
So my exercise programme now takes place at work lunch times and on my day off. I used to run a lot of errands on my lunch break, so now all those things have been pushed into already busy weekends! I tell you I am looking forward to a nice rest at Christmas, the holidays can't come soon enough.
In other news, the great bedroom swap of 2013 is officially complete and the Kid was so happy with her new room that she has moved back into her bed. I bought the above cabinet from IKEA and spent a good portion of the past weekend building the bloody thing - it had approximately 613 screws and bolts. Whoopee I said. The Kid particular loved the bargain fake flowers I got her which I have to admit I quite like too - finally a plant I can't kill!
The only sewing that has taken place is the embroidery of the felt ornaments which I better get back to if they are going to get to their recipients this side of Christmas.
P.S. How gorgeous is the little cardi my Mum knitted for the Kid, what a treat to receive in the post today.
To say it has been a little bit rainy in Sydney of late would be a wee bit of an understatement - the words torrential, drenched and soggy come to mind. So we have been stuck indoors A LOT but I don't mind because it meant I could start the felt ornament production line and get moving on my Christmas bunting (going for the round bottom look this time).
I have been continuing my exercise regime - Im doing the C25K in case you were wondering. However my running buddy has buggered her knee and has had to rest it for a few weeks so I decided to stick on Week 5 whilst she recovered. You would think repeating the same runs over and over would mean I could blitz them now……I can't! Will I ever be able to do Week 6 (let alone Weeks 7 & 8) is going through my mind.
I didn't let the rain stop me and actually quite enjoyed running in the drizzle instead of scorching sun for a change…..and I kept thinking if I was back home in the UK ninety percent of my runs would be of the damp variety, so I aint complaining.
The exciting news of the week (well for me anyway) was that I kicked my old lumpy futon mattress to the kerb and now have a brand new one in, ahhh bliss. Well that was until the Kid announced that my bed looked mighty comfy and she would be moving into it and sleeping on a diagonal to boot.
Don't worry, I have a plan to get her out……it involves me moving into her bed which will annoy her no end that she will want to sleep there just so I can't (insert evil laugh here).
I like cute, which is a bit of luck because these decorations are SUPER cute. I bought the pattern for these 9 ornaments from Wild Olive and was really happy with it.
The only thing that confused me a little was how you were meant to hang the ornaments - I think it is a little strange that this wasn't included in the pattern details, surely they are meant to be hung?
So I just added a little bit of ribbon to each one and now they are ready for the tree. I love them so much that I am starting a little production line of ornaments so I can send some to my friends and family. I probably will not do the whole set for each person because I will be here until the next Christmas if I do that. But little sets of 4 would make a nice little gift I think!
Right, time to catch up with Homeland whilst I get cracking on the next batch
Oh dear the last week is a bit of a blurry haze. Could have something to do with the fact that I was a little under the weather for a few days. Not serious enough to miss work (sadly) but debilitating enough for me to forsake my to do list and this blog for things like a sneaky afternoon nap and a LOT of crap TV.
When I started to feel better I really wanted to get cracking on my Christmas crafting but had the mother of all chores looming over my head that I could ignore no longer - the great bedroom swap of 2013 of course. So I bit the bullet, rolled up my sleeves and cracked the whip*. And my giant bed has now been dismantled, relocated to the new room and reassembled. The mattress has been chucked out and Im just waiting for the new one to arrive. Needed a big sit down after that effort I can tell you.
So I just need to try and get the Kid out of the living room** and the bulk of this epic swap is done.
Now I can turn my attention to the Christmas bunting - do you like the red deer fabric? Spotlight is getting much better with fabric choices these days, do you reckon?
And did you notice my brand new, very expensive, make me feel like a grow up, proper sewing scissors - an early Christmas present to myself.
* I am rather partial to a cliche or 3.
** The Kid is exercising her squatters rights and refusing to leave!!
Its hard to keep up with the Kid and her social life sometimes and this past week has been a total whirlwind. We had trick or treating first up - I had managed to avoid this for the first 5 years of her life but no longer. So it was our first time and we seriously loved it - so much so that next year I want to dress up too. I think my entire suburb entered in the spirit of being either a tricker or a treater. We went with a few school friends and their parents and the lolly haul at the end of the night was epic.
On Friday night we went to a friend's Halloween school disco and fair - yay we got a second outing for the witches outfit. All that effort did not go to waste at least. The fair didn't really have enough rides for the amount of kids and the wait for the dodgems nearly made my head explode…..1 hour people, 1 whole freaking hour. The Kid could not, however, be persuaded to abandon the line!!!
Saturday was the Kid's own school fair and we were there the minute it opened - I was determined to get her on as many rides as possible before the queues went crazy. But whilst the crowds did grow the queues were totally manageable all afternoon thankfully. By the time I got to MY favourite bit - the second hand book room - it was rather late and there were only slim pickings left, however we were given a giant box and told we could fill it for $2, which we dutifully did (see above for some of the haul).
Crafting took a bit of a back seat to all the festivities and truthfully I needed a sewing break but this week I have started on these little ornaments for Christmas - they are seriously cute. I am going to add some ribbon so they can be hung on the tree. Hoping if they turn out OK to make some more to send to some family back in the UK - may be in sets of 4 and that way I can spread the love.
Well that is the Ellieboo life in progress this week……whats going on in your world?
I used Simplicity 3680 for the Kid's Halloween costume. I dont know what it is about commerical patterns but I really struggle with them. I think I just dont read their language if you know what I mean. I sometimes read steps over and over and still dont have the foggiest what they are on about. This pattern had some of these moments.
I started by preparing the sleeves upside down and it took me ages to work out why they were not fitting duh! The satin I used was quite heavy and frayed as soon as you looked at it, and my patience faded rapidly. I think if I hadnt spent the previous week sewing non stop for KCW and also had more time to get this ready it wouldnt have been so bad.
It was such a rush job that I did steps wrong and left out others - as you can see I left the belt altogether and just tied a bow around her waist.
I would make this pattern again (but not in satin) and as long as I gave myself ample time. Bottom line is the Kid loved it and looked like a witch.....so ultimately it was mission accomplished.
November is about finishing things - for real this time. I need to finish the big bedroom swap (unless we want to be sleeping in the living room into next year) and the knitted blanket that I have been knitting for close to a year needs to be completed (Im sick of seeing it on my to do list)
Also I know it is early but thoughts are turning to Christmas and I really want to make these incredibly cute decorations for my tree and if I have the time maybe some as gifts.
I need to put the buttons on the oranges and lemons skirt made during KCW and make the green gingham skirt that I didnt quite get to but is all cut out and ready to go.
My exercise program is continuing as I enter week 5 of the C25K program - it is getting tougher and I am a bit worried about the weeks to come but to give it a try is all I can ask of myself.
Crikey, KCW was full on this time around. I really enjoyed concentrating on sewing for a whole week and I put a lot more than an hour each day into it. I managed to complete 2 skirts and one dress, even though I am still waiting for the buttons to arrive for the lemon and orange skirt. I have a feeling they may have been lost in the post if you know what I mean. Might have to write off the $2.80 I spent and go look for alternatives.
By the end of the week I was literally all sewed out and really needed a break from it. You know its time to get back to normality when the washing is piling up, the kid is moaning about being abandoned and the carpet has disappeared under thread ends.
But stupidly I had promised the kid a witches outfit (this witches outfit to be precise) and I had only 2 days to do it in. I have to say, maybe because I was burned out from the previous week of intense sewing or the fact that I had to work with horrible fraying satin, that my heart was really not in this project. I really had to force myself to do it and the result is not great. I only have some hems to finish off tomorrow morning and it should be ready to go but I have cut so many corners on the dress and really dont like the finished article.
Note to self.......you need more than 2 days to put together a fancy dress outfit.