Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My sister can never have too many bags

Happy Birthday, little sister! Couldn't resist whipping you up a Charming Handbag with some Amy Butler August Fields fabric. I love the home decor weight fabric for bags and wish it was more readily available. Yes, yet another grey day for taking photos. Ugh - this spring weather is seriously doing my head in.

In other thrilling news:
* I fed my family lard. It won't happen again. I could barely stomach the smell of it cooking. And doh - it hadn't occured to me that it was most definitely not happy-pig fatty goodness.
* I'm decluttering children's wardrobes for Food Storage Friday tomorrow;-) I'm re-inspired by reading Independence Days so will be digging around in our probably expired emergency food supplies and reorganising everything.
* Two weeks and three days till I see Eddie, Ben and Liam. Psyched. (Although feeling slightly guilty for digging into house deposit funds for this!)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obsess much?

The latest obsession at our house...

Hubby and I have been completely captivated by the story of Christopher McCandless after Aunty Claire recommended we watch the movie. We've rewatched the movie (and will again), both read the book AND have the soundtrack on an almost continuous loop. (Eddie Vedder - how I love you - see you later this month!) We have at least one conversation each day about the story too;-) Maybe it's a bit cliche for a couple of almost middle-aged people to become engrossed in such an adventure (foolhardy) story as we feel shackled by our comfort and settledness but it's well worth the watch/read.

Sun's Out Photoshoot

The sun came out, so the camera came out;-)

My gorgeous big girl in some of her mama-made summer fashions;-)

I had started to make myself a sunhat from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing but it became very clear it was going to be too small despite the fact I have a pinhead! So Big Girl scored and loves it!
Sew Liberated's Flora Tunic - using the rest of a thrifted sheet.

A Pillowcase dress from Handmade Home. It's the perfect length for a Big Girl Tunic without chopping any length off it. And yes, from the thrifted sheet set;-) We've got our money's worth.

Another Flora Tunic from leftover Prairie Dress fabric.

A Little House on the Prairie dress with $1/metre fabric from stash.

The full Holly Hobbie look again;-)

Mama's Schoolhouse Tunic in the shirt length - with some cheapy old fabric from deep in the stash. I put hook and eyes across the front of mine so I can close it if I don't want the top underneath to show.
My Retro Redux Shrug in Cascade 220 from South Seas Knitting.

Frilly Angora-Merino booties from Luxury One Skein Wonders. These are truely teeny. They never would have fitted my babbies' clodhoppers!

It was fun firing up the sewing machine yesterday after a bit of a hiatus - inspired by Meg's patterns arriving in the post this week. So I was able to churn out the three tunics for me and my lil' ladies. It's a good feeling watching the fabric stash decrease too (gotta quickly create some space for more fabric that is arriving in a month or so - eek).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday Ramblings

Spring sprung right back into winter weather in recent weeks which has not a happy Sharon made.

Some things which have made me happy:

Sabbath Chocolate Cake - and sneaking milk kefir into my suspicious family.

Diwali - including a rocking Rajastani puppet show.

Labour Day - enjoying a chilly, windblasted Wellington beach picnic.

My new piercing.

The best thing this week has been watching The Waltons with the kids. I cannot tell you how ridiculously enjoyable this extremely wholesome television has been.

My crafting mojo has left the building but I'm hoping for a return with some sunshine and warmer weather.

Goodnight John Boy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

No, I can never have too many bags!

I LOVE bags. I love the Mama's Bag out of Handmade Home. I used a couple of fat quarters from my stash - perfect size. I'm now not allowing myself to buy random fat quarters unless I have a project in mind but I was thankful that these were hiding away waiting for this very project. The bag would have more structure if I used heavier upholstery-weight fabric as Amanda recommends.

I added a snapable inside pocket for my Dr Bronner's lip balm which I compulsively carry everywhere. I was able to take the bag on a mama-only outing to lunch with some lovely friends just after I'd finished it this morning;-)

(Again, pics taken in horrid yucky spring weather light.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

I made my own sunshine

Beach Blanket To Go. Done.

The combination of pink and yellow? I is lovin' it, innit!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

O Sunshine, Where Art Thou?

Seriously Spring, where are you? We are now into our sixth month of having a fire going. Not cool. I give up waiting for some decent lighting to take pics of my finished objects.

One of my long term goals is to get into patchwork quilting. I made M10 a cot quilt as a first birthday present with the idea to do one for each child but I stalled there. I even bought a walking foot for my sewing machine a couple of years ago which has sat languishing. I dragged it out recently, and grabbed my Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts book for a bit of how-to and whipped up some quilted coasters to pop into my gift box. Fun. I quilted!

My couch is in serious need of reupholstering, but until funds allow I thought a few cushions would obscure some of the worn-out-ness. I tried Log Cabin for the first time and used up some scraps and fat quarters that had been lurking in the stash.

Next step is to get brave enough to cut into the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric I've got to make a lap quilt with.

I've also made another Gratitude Wrap and a matching letter satchel for a cousin's birthday next week but that's been posted sans photos.

Now, I'm just waiting for some cute patterns to arrive to cut into the Ginger Blossom stash for the girl's summer wardrobes. I really hope I can be disciplined enough to make quite a bit of their stuff. (Please excuse the link fest in this post. I know, I know - not an original idea to be found! Works for me though.)

Friday, September 25, 2009


The subject of pioneering continues to be big for our family - initially encouraged by my interest in it and enthusiastically grasped by kids who have heard Little House on the Prairie and other stories.

We haven't learned much about our local history, I think because neither Hubby nor I have a personal connection to this place. On a day this week when winter decided to have a last go at us, we visited our local settler cottage museum.

The kids were fascinated that the very swing used by children over a hundred years ago is still in the tree.

This amazingly detailed dollshouse with working lights was gifted to the museum. We could have stood there for ages looking at the intricate details.

A slate, like the very one Anne bonked Gilbert on the head with! This thing is heavy - poor Gilbert.

A4 in front of one of Mum's favourite things - a Singer treadle machine. I want.

Pumping water would be fun for a while, but good, hard tedious work every day.

After our visit I was inspired to finish the girl's Little House costumes. I7 is having a lot of fun in her Laura regalia.

This photo screams Holly Hobbie to this '70s girl;-)

Some other thoughts on Pioneering:
* I bought Hubby a book on Handy Farm Devices in the hope we'll have a little handy farm for him to utilise it on one day.
* I had huge fun last weekend at a cheese-making course with a homesteading buddy (she's a real homesteader while I'm still just a wannabe).
* Thank you, Aunty Claire, for introducing me to the writings of Wendell Berry. I am getting so much soul nourishment from his descriptions of people connected to place, and his honouring of those who work and love the land.

(Eek - I should update here more to avoid long, disjointed ramblings.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has definitely sprung at my place. The winter knitting has been put aside and the sewing machine fired up as inspiration hit with Soulemama's new book, Handmade Home arriving. Did anyone else have the Reader's Digest Needlecraft book growing up? Mum had "disposed" of our old copy so I was super excited to find a copy for M (gonna be 10 in the weekend).

I put to use some Amy Butler decor weight scraps I'd scored and whipped up a pretty new mousepad for my ugly puter desk. Playing around with a bit of patchwork encouraged me to sign up for a beginners quilting class at my local fabric store for next year. Hubby and I are always keen to pick up new skills, particularly those we can pass onto the kids.

I replenished my supply of mama pads with some thrifted sheet remnants and gifted bamboo fleece. I'd already made my little sister and I matching "sheet pants" from the sheets. We were able to wear our pants and share a bed in a fancy schmancy hotel during a girl's weekend away recently.

The kids and I discovered a summer coloured candlewick bedspread and matching pink'n'yellow sheet to be turned into a Beach Blanket to Go.

I'm nagged by the thought that some of this creative energy would be better spent in a much needed spring-clean of our house. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Selfish Knitting

I love that I have a Mummy who happily (apparently) knits for my kids so I can focus my knitting on MYSELF. I'm pretty sure noone else is gonna do it for me;-) I finally sewed on all sixteen buttons to my Sixteen-Button Cardy. You'd think the name would have warned me that there would be a bit of button sewing required. Doh. I should also have been put off by the wide neckline knowing that I am somewhat narrow of shoulder. So although the yarn is completely scrummy and it fits well I think the continual yanking back onto my shoulder may cause this item to not be worn much.

True Words

What I really miss is someone able to string an intelligent sentence together (that I agree with) and enunciate it properly;-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bread Matters

I'm not huge on posting food pics here because I'm not that good a photographer or food stylist. However, lately I've been making the BEST bread that I feel like boasting about. I got Bread Matters on Sandra's recommendation and apart from being an enjoyable, revelationary and revolutionary read it's opened new doors in my bread making. I cranked up a rye flour sourdough starter and use that with our home-ground wheat flour and usually some soaked grains to make a tasty, filling, long-lasting Vogels-like loaf. I do feel revolutionary making bread using no commercial yeast, just the wild beasties I've cultivated in my kitchen;-)

Nothing better than topping it with M(nearly)10's homemade grapefruit marmalade!

I use a fancy schmancy French loaf tin. It's double walled which helps give a nice evenly cooked, lovely crusted loaf. The finish is polished for non-stick-ness rather than the gross teflon non-stick stuff that eventually chips off into your food to poison you;-) I need to get a couple more so I can cook a weeks worth of bread on one day. One major benefit of the bread is its long-lastingness.

I love how our children's literature reflects stuff in our family life - as it should. The Giant Jam Sandwich baker doesn't add any strange preservatives to his huge loaf.

The only filler the In the Night Kitchen dudes try to add is Mickey;-)