Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Special First Birthday Photo Shoot

My brief, somewhat vague, to my talented friend Elke of Elke Dous Photograpy fame... 

....a photograph of my beautiful little girl on her first birthday, sitting on a chair with a bunch of balloons.  

And boy did she deliver! What fun we had in the late afternoon sun, playing with balloons, pram and chair. I must warn you, the following is complete photo overload, but I simply couldn't help myself!!

Her outfit was, of course, a 'the toffee tree' creation, something I had begun some time ago. Having purchased cotton lace six (or more) months ago, the search was still on for the perfect fabric. Small flowers, no pink. I went into the Southlands Sewing Centre in Willetton. Oh. My. Goodness. What an array of fabric!  My "I'll be half an hour" quickly (and unsurprisingly) turned into a good hour.  I spotted the fabric I was looking for and set to work. 

The Outfit, finished the week after Anya's first birthday... step find a shoot location.
Fortunately Elke is very good at her job and found the perfect spot down a walk trail near Murdoch University. Australian bush. Perfect!

 The chair...I did a super quick recover the morning of the shoot (nothing like leaving it until the last minute!), using fabric left over from curtains I made for Olivia. This is a chair I have had, for what seems like forever. It was half re-upholstered (DIY style) and just needed recovering again, after the boy (who shall remain un-named) found out that a stanley knife is really sharp and cuts fabric when you 'draw' on it. Looks much better like this anyway.


The old trunk...belongs to my Mum,  I'm not sure she exactly gave it to me, but I have it. It held my worldly possessions-glory box style- when I moved out of home to go to university.  And has stored various bits and pieces since. It currently houses dress-up clothes. I dream about it being a feature piece in my soon to be completed sewing room.

The pram...Anya's first birthday present from us, which we bought from The Honeyclock, a gorgeous little book shop and gift store with a coffee nook, in Bibra Lake.  

 Like the little flower hairband, made from fabric scraps? I found a tutorial for the flower at Fabric Envy. I even had a little self-covering button in my button tin. Quite simply, you cut out 12 flowers, fold 8 of them in quarters and stitch it all together. Hey, presto! Cute little flower.



 I'm done now tired little girl, who has had enough.

 She was so compliant (as always) and though she didn't shine too many of her precious smiles toward the camera, she was a star. A gem.

The first two would have to be my favourites, though it's hard to pick! Please let me know yours!

Millefiori Romper Pattern (Cute Clothes for Kids, Rob Merrett)...yes it's a one piece, not top and pants!
Fabric - Flora by Laure + Jessi Jung for Moda
Cotton Lace (a stall at the Perth Craft & Quilting Expo)
Buttons from Spotlight
Fabric Scaps for flower from my scrap basket
Elastic for headband

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Raisin-less bread

This is what Raisin Bread looks like when you forget to put the raisins in...

Luckily, we're quite happy to eat ours with raisins sprinkled on top

I'm quite hopless at slicing bread, so it won't go far. Maybe I'll get it right tomorrow. I did wonder what that beeping noise was. Keegan told me it was the fridge, so he went to close it. Obviously, it wasn't.

Since the breadmaker is out, pizza for dinner?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creating My Sewing Room: Part 1

I wanted to call this post The Return of the Wanna-be Organised Housewife, but she hasn't returned.
The dream to be organised and tidy shall remain as such. A dream. I will settle for tidyish and 'wanna-be organised'. I did manage to clean the stove top and keep it clean for most of the week.

A small hiccup last Monday has saved me from returning to my unfinished TOH jobs from the 20 day challenge I started, back in September. I scheduled these jobs on my calendar to begin last week. Monday was D-day. Monday was also emergency carpet cleaning day after an eventful post-breakfast spew. I dont think I will be able to look at Coco Pops in the same delightful-childhood-memory way again.

Emergency carpet cleaning has led to 'let's paint the spare room while it's empty', which in turn leads me to think 'lets make this a sewing room not a spare room' .  My husband is thinking, 'let's put the study in there too'. I'm not so sure it'll all fit, but we'll give it a go.

The plan was to use the furniture we have, rather than buying more, but the Ikea Expedit 25 cube storage unit we have is too big to move into the room without dismantling it!! Ideally, I'd like white furniture, so rignt now I'm looking out for a super second hand deal on Gumtree.  I love this study desk setup by IHeart Organizing, using two Expedit 5 cube single rows with a desk fixed between them. I'm wondering if we can re-model ours to something similar, though I can't see me enjoying painting it.

We have this fantastic storage unit in the nursery. It was used for craft storage unit prior to babies, so perhaps it will be re-converted and a new chest of drawers found for Anya's room. The boys need new drawers as they've been sharing one and it's getting a bit small for their big boy  clothes, so a little swapsies may be in order.

On from emergency-carpet-cleaning...leading to room changing...leading to ... my devoted, do anything, darling of a man husband (is that too much sucking up?) sanding suede effects paint off the wall, removing wallpaper borders (another potential oh-crap moment but thankfully Google comes up with the goods), patching and painting walls in my sewing room.  Hopefully the painting will be finished this week, so I can move back on the weekend, then tidy up the rest of the house!

The boys sat very nicely, waiting patiently and watching Daddy do the cutting in.

Then finally, they were allowed to have a turn. Dad wasn't planning on this, but he had promised Keegan the day before that he could help painting and he dressed himself super early (I did wonder why this happened so easily) in his 'painting shirt'. So, Dad kept his word!

Our front lounge is looking a little like a disaster zone, though the boys are enjoying using the double mattress on the floor as a trampoline and mat for 'head flips'. I hear myself saying ... "If you hurt yourself, dont come crying to me"...over and over... and over.

I thought I'd use this no-sew time, to finally take my sewing machine in for it's annual service at Bestways. The last one was actually in 2009, so it's well overdue. I'm looking forward to getting it back and into it's new room where I can get stuck into my Christmas sewing. I should be utilising this week to do all of the 'non-sewing' bits for my current placemat orders.

So, where do Mum and Dad sleep when they visit? Mattress in the front lounge with two bouncing boys? Anyone know of any any great sofa there such a thing?!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baby Girl's Birthday Night

I wasn't planning on having a cake for Anya's birthday, as we celebrated the weekend before with our fabulous Very Hungry Caterpillar Party. Keegan was a little concerned when he asked at breakfast if we were having a cake and the answer was "no".

Getting the guilts, I baked up some cupcakes, iced them and voila, butterfly cakes. She did have a special butterfly candle from the Honeyclock, but needed a bit of help to blow the candles! By no means of planning, the butterfly cakes and candle decoration were well co-ordinated with our very hungry caterpillar birthday theme this year!  I think we will need another candle for the next birthday.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Holidays, bike riding and creative time

Our little family drove to Exmouth during the October school holidays for what was the perfect family break, shared with some great friends who were equally happy to sit and relax most days. We drove out to Yardie Creek, which wasn't flowing to the ocean, watched some day trippers set off on a boat tour up river (another time), took a dip in the ocean at Turquoise Bay, watched fish swim on the Ningaloo reef and went whalewatching from the lighthouse.

I, err, didn't take many photos..perhaps it was holiday mode or perhaps it was just that 3 kids and all their gear is enough to carry down to the beach. No free hands for the camera!  It did make the Esperance beaches, where you can just drive down and set up out of the car for the day, seem so perfect  (well they are really). Still, it was beautifully warm, not too windy on the eastern side of the peninsula - perfect for little boys and girls to splash at the water's edge. I'd love to go back, perhaps when the kids are all a bit older. Like when they can carry their own beach towel, boogie board, hat, waterbottle, etc, etc...down to the beach by themselves. A 10-12 year old would have fun fishing, swimming and boating with Dad while Mum gets to lay on the beach reading her book under a lovely big beach umbrella. Drinking pina colada.Or gin and tonic.

My favourite thing we did there, and probably the kid's favourite too, was going out on the glass bottom boat from Tantabiddi Beach. Oh, the excitement when they saw the fish in the water.

"There's a fish"

Just imagine 3 kids saying that, repeatedly, for 5 minutes straight, every time they saw another fish (and there were plenty). The poor tour operator should have just let them get their fish spotting energy out, before trying to tell us something about the colour of coral. He fought a losing battle.

Some other pics...
Wildflowers just out of Eneabba, a great bush camp spot for an overnighter.


Divining for water with a stick...or just collecting firewood...

MOST excitingly, Keegan learnt to ride his bike without his training wheels. I'm not sure who was more excited, him or us!  He had a good go while we were at the Caravan Park in Exmouth, then we overnighted at Nerren Nerren on the way home. With soft but firm red dirt, it was perfect for coming to a slow motion, falling stop!

Serious stuff, this bike riding...

 Dad getting him started...

Off and racing...

 Getting started again...

And more of this boy who is just so photogenic!

Nathan has just mastered 'pedalling' his bike recently too. I'm seeing summer as lots of fun, riding bikes in the park, hopefully towing their little sister around while they're at it. Our back yard isn't quite big enough for riding 2 wheel bikes minus training wheels (luckily we have great neighbours who let us use theirs), and our street is a bit tricky for beginner riders, our house being mid-way up a hill.

Edit: I've just realised I haven't put the 'creative time' bit up here, I did a bit of sewing over the school holidays for myself and clothes for the week...