Friday, July 31, 2009

Something to consider...

After another tough week.

"You are only what you are when no one is looking"
Robert C. Edwards

So ends another school week and another torrid week of interaction with my eldest child. I love him dearly but we seem to have an unsurmountable gap in our relationship at the moment. I worry that I am too hard on him and am being unfair and I know that I don't handle his behaviour well.

This quote makes me stop in my tracks. I am very careful to be a very moderate mother in public. Don't get me wrong; I don't abuse my children behind closed doors. But I appreciate that often my behaviour in handling conflicts at home with my children would shame me if it was observed by someone else.

So I need to start counting to 10, taking a deep breath and thinking about how I am behaving. After all, I am the adult and he is only a child.

Definition of heaven?

Equals a gorgeous fabric delivery!

I have been eyeing off a floral paisley Stenzo fabric for nearly a year but have been put off by the cost of the fabric and the delivery charges to post it from the USA. However, with a sale on at Banberry Place, an improving Australian dollar and a freebie pattern on offer, who can blame a girl for succumbing! Heck, I was so excited when my parcel arrived this morning, I actually showed the fabric to hubby instead of discretely manouvering it out of his line of vision!

So here are my gorgeous fabrics. Seriously they are everything that I expected them to be after drooling over them on my computer screen. The choice and range was reduced as they were end of season but no complaints from this little black duck!

Little Boozle 2009
2 poplins

Little Boozle 2009
poplin detail

Little Boozle 2009
knit and cord

Sorry. Can't stay. Just want to go and look at them a bit more! They are giving me an adrenalin rush. I nearly took them to the kids' swimming lesson this morning as I couldn't bear to be parted from them...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

(but not how you think!)

Heck, no. I am not organised enough to be even thinking about Christmas for the most part. This is total self interest on my part!

Last year Santa at the local shopping centre, off his own bat with no renumeration from me, told our then 5 and 1/2 year old that he wasn't old enough for a Nintendo DS. What a legend you are, Santa! But of course he is now 6 and wanting one badly as is his 4 year old brother. But then his 2 year old sister wouldn't miss out so for hubby and I, it is just too hard at the moment.

Solution? Mummy had matyred herself once again and undertaken the responsibility of DS ownership and the allocation of playtime to offspring. Well, someone has got to do it.

So Santa has been to the mid year toy sales (smart man) and, from what I hear, knows that I love red!

So I have just made up a Nintendo DS pouch using the tutorial by Tracy.
Used up a bit more of a vintage fabric that I love but have nearly finished. Sniff.
Used the thickest wadding that I have because I can be clutzy and I have kids.
I also put 2 snaps on rather than 1 just to keep it more snuggly tethered.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
Inside includes pockets for game chips

Little Boozle 2009
Dream sequence...if I am getting one, I'd love a red one, Santa! Wink, wink!

But I guess I'll just have to keep being a good girl for the rest of the year and see what is in my stocking on Christmas morning, hey?

Bee-aaa-uuu-t-i-ful hairclips!

Aren't they cute?

Yesterday a couple of Adelaide Crafty Mamas met up for some chatting about sewing, kids and family and anything else that came up. Karen and I both loved the hairclips made by Helen. So of course I had to have some.

Little Boozle 2009

Are they not gorgeous?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Redondo- take 4.

Another Studio Tantrum Redondo skirt.

This is my 4th Redondo. I am making 5 this year for friends' daughters' birthdays.

With each one, I am getting faster and making less errors. I am surprised at how quickly this one seemed to sew up.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

One day soon I might be brave enough to put the ruffles down the spirals!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Gift of Giving- to Gilly!

The Paisley Pincushion Shopkeeper's Apron

A little while back the Crafty Mamas forum had a giveaway of an apron pattern for one lucky recipient. When Gilly didn't win, I made her a new one...because, well, she needed one! She made is easy for me because she was so easygoing. All she wanted was a big pocket on the front.

I used The Paisley Pincushion- Shopkeeper Apron pattern. Main and lining fabrics were vintage sheeting fabric with new cotton for the pocket. The back was meant to be fitted with buttons but as I didn't have Gilly here to try it on for size, I replaced the curved, buttoned back with straps so that it was not as fitted.

It is a simple, easy to put together pattern.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

It showed up on her doorstep today- and thankfully she likes it and it fits. I am glad that it turned up now- Gilly and her family have been through the wars with illness so she needs some cheering up!

Hanging around the Crafty Mamas forum is good for me. It is such a generous, caring and warm community that it just makes you want to go out and be generous of spirit! And that can only be a great thing in this world, don't you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Binding Bliss

Another yummy parcel from my postie!

OK So I am in love with my postman.

Today he delivered these goodies from the Netherlands courtesy of the friendly Noor of Holland Fabric House on etsy.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Beautiful bias bindings with a crocheted edge. Can't wait to use them for something...then again maybe I'll just sit and look at them!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sis Boom Patricia tunic

for fun in the sun!

Last month I made Jennifer Paganelli's Sophie tunic. This week I made her women's version, Sis Boom Patricia tunic.

The pdf pattern is well over 200 pages to print out all the instructions and pattern pieces in all sizes. That must be a record!

Clear, comprehensive instructions and easy and fast to put together.

I made the body in a vintage sheeting cotton and the facings in a Robert Kaufman floral.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009 039 (Small)

This little baby is headed to Queensland for our upcoming family holiday and then to our beach bound Christmas. Just perfect for wearing over the top of bathers when you are at the pool or the beach.

The Beaded Lady

gave me some beads!

The awesome Kat had a giveaway on her blog and today my little treasures turned up. Check them out!!! Did I mention generous Kat?

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009 054 (Small)

Not one but two bracelet and earring sets; not one but two bookmarks.

Thanks babe!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

19th July, 1990

(the day that I met my husband/best friend/soul mate/previously I'd have said lover but now we have children!)

So today is the 19th anniversary of my hubby Al and I meeting up and getting together. It was a drunken University evening that was blurry at the time but even blurrier now!

So what do we do on our anniversary? So far this year, he has gone for a bike ride with his mates, I have gone for a walk with a friend, we have done some washing and cleaned up the kitchen. We have put the kids into their rooms for an hour for the sake of their sanity (and ours!) And this afternoon grocery shopping, birthday party runs and someone is dropping by to pick up our now unused cot. Romantic, huh?

But the comfort of our relationship certainly wasn't there this time 19 years ago. Amid all the passion and stomach flutters was a nervousness and an uncertainty in ourselves and each other that only time has waned. OK , so the passion might have waned too but we are, for the most part, still in agreement in where we want to go in life, what we want for the kids and what flavour yoghurt to have next.

In the past couple of years, amid the chaos of young children, Al has found bike riding and I have found my sewing and crafting. We seem to have conquered our "me" time, at least as well as we can with the kids. But we are recognising that importance of re-finding our "we" time. Not easy when we have no local family and no regular babysitters. Friday night has become date night (which is stay at home but once the kids are in bed, eat adult food and talk adult talk and maybe watch a DVD that isn't rated "G"), so far pretty unsuccessfully. With house guests, prep for birthday parties and illnesses, we have only managed some quality time about twice in the past couple of months.

But the important thing is that we keep trying!

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I would never have to live without you." Winnie the Pooh

OK so technically it doesn't work unless we are both the same age but let's not get picky. I am a sucker for all things romantic (and also for Pooh) But Al is 2 years younger than me and today I have been in his life for half of his existance. In 2 years, he will have been with me for half of mine.

Here's to the next 19. (They will involve teenage children. Be afraid. Be very afraid!)

Love you always, Al

PS I bought him a Mint Pattie (his favourite) when I did the grocery shopping this afternoon. Who says romance is dead?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ottobre Women's Best Tops #2

Love this pattern!

2 things that you should know about me:

1 My latest frenzy is for the Ottobre Creative Workshop 303 pattern (Women's Best Tops) Great pattern.

2 I hate ironing.

You will be able to tell both from the photos methinks!

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just a Thought...

One for the sewers out there.

"The only time that housework comes before sewing is in the dictionary"

(Which would explain why my house is such a mess)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Knit Wit

(Or is that Nit Twit?)

Although I have been sewing since I was a teenager, I am a knit sewing newbie. (I thought my stash was big when I just collected cottons and bits and pieces; now I am adding knits!)

I appreciate the speed of sewing knits and I appreciate the forgiveness that it offers but I am still getting the knack of neck binding, especially with regard to a neat join.

A pattern that has been repeatedly recommended to me is the Ottobre design 303- Creative Workshop- Women's Best Tops.

So I sewed one up today to see how they sew up and fit and I am pretty happy.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

It was so quick to sew up. The fabric is a vintage single knit that I scored from ebay. The neckline is in Stella fabric. The neck binding join is far from perfect but practice will get me there. At least I am not scared to tackle knits anymore.

I might yet be convinced of the attraction (and there sure are some gorgeous knit fabrics out there)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Positive Parenting for Dummies

Now that's a book I'd like to read.

A combination of fatigue, school holidays, rainy weather and 3 children, all at different but equally challenging stages, got the better of me today.

Quite simply I'm not the mother that I thought I would be. I am less patient, more time poor and grumpier with my kids than they warrant (most of the time) They are just behaving like 2, 4 and 6 year old children should but I am not acting like a 40 year old mother should.

Yet my 6 year old can still tell me that I am the best mum in the world, even after an awful day like today. Breaks my heart and warms it at the same time. The unconditional love of our children.

In all the information that my husband and I have sourced since becoming parents, we have found no end to the "don't do" recommendations but we just can't seem to find out how to do that "positive parenting" that seems to be recommended.

So at the end of a bad day, I kiss my kids, tuck them in and tell them that I love them. Tomorrow we will start again and all promise to try harder.

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? "
Ed Dussault

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fat-bottom bag

Well, yes, it could mean me but it doesn't!

This was a crocheted bag from Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker (Stich'n Bitch Crochet).
A super-quick, fun project to fill in a couple of hours. I managed to turn into a lengthy exercise in procrastination until I worked up the motivation to finish the flowers and sew it all up.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Did I mention that I have a bit of a bag fetish that is unsupported by my lifestyle?

I may have to start gifting or selling some of these bags that I make...or start having a social life!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Autumn recession busting...

(single handledly!)

Mmmm, I have just looked at the (mainly on-line) shopping that I have done over the past few months and realised that I have surely contributed to the fact that the Australian economy isn't going bust.

So I feel the need to share, show off and most importantly cleanse myself of this bout of crafty shopping guilt - in prep for next time. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!

First weakness- patterns! I only discovered the world beyond mainstream commercial patterns when I found Crafty Mamas last year. Boy, oh, boy- I didn't know about this world of boutique patterns out there! The only "commercial" pattern I have bought since entering this new world is a vintage reprint of a Butterick from ebay-soon to be sewn up as part of a vintage pattern sewalong at the Crafty Mamas forum.

A lot of the crafty mums at the forum are enamoured by Enid Gilchrist's many baby and children's pattern books. But I only just discovered that she did women's as well...and scored this from ebay.

Sewing 2009 001

Onion has some lovely patterns! Another Euro discovery. Most are also available with an English translation sent via email once you purchase the pattern.

Sewing 2009 012

Second weakness: embellishments. These are some gorgeous Farbenmix ribbons stocked in the Crafty Mamas shop.

Sewing 2009 008

No need to point out that I am also a sucker for fabric. One quilting cotton that I purchased was Michael Miller's "Hanging Cages". (I don't love the concept of birds in cages but some of the doors are open) This fabric is all for me! I visualise a jacket in a plain fabric with this fabric as eg jacket band and cuffs. We'll see...

Sewing 2009 002

And I have just discovered knit sewing. Another stash in the making.
Most of these are for my little girl but a couple I bought (like the chocolate/pink/blue rose one) are for me! These were bought at The Fabric Fairy in the USA.

Sewing 2009 005

Sewing 2009 006

I impulse bought this "nappy" bag last week at a local sale. To me it is a "crochet project" bag. A couple of local school mums run a business called Skedaddle which sells a variety of (mainly Australian made) goodies like children's hats, back packs, nappy bags, hair accessories, jewellery, lunch boxes. They had an end of season sale which happened to be in the next street on a morning when my mum was visiting and I only had one child in tow (fate or what?) But seriously, I do like to support small businesses. I bought a few things that were seconds and marked down but this medium sized nappy knapsack was just perfect for carrying along crochet projects when I am on the move. It is in cherry blossom which I adore, peach skin which is yummy and has little straps that you can externalise so it will strap onto a pram. It was in perfect condition; just ex-display and a bargain!

Sewing 2009 003

Sewing 2009 004

And lastly I cannot resist vintage...well, anything really! I scored enough of this divine pattern green velvet off ebay to make myself a coat or a jacket. Now I am just too scared to cut it!

Sewing 2009 018

Ah, I feel much better now. Good to get things off your chest.

If I was a stay at home mum with 3 kids but no computer, we'd save heaps.

Oh, wait, what is that selling on ebay? It looks yummy........better check it out........hate to miss a bargain! Bye!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Advice for a 6 year old boy's birthday party...

Run them ragged!

My beautiful oldest son turned 6 yesterday. While we had a couple of (token) girls at the party, it was really a bunch of energetic, noisy, boisterous little guys running the show! (though, to be honest, he's got as many good girl mates as boy mates. He's a sensitive, new age sort of guy!) You may remember that the theme was robots. So the best part of my evenings the past week has been spent cutting, glueing and sticking robots for relays and "stick the button on the robot".

(Sadly, I get my jollies from this sort of things! But I must say that, as nice as it is to bake, decorate, plan and bring to life games as an outlet for my creativity, I am pining for my sewing machine right about now. Even my crochet hooks are pining for some company)

So we had as many running and racing games as we could- dodge balls, relays, even just sprinting races. Every parent appreciates picking up a subdued tired child from a party, don't they? We also had "eat the doughnut off the string" (tied to the clothes line) A lot of them took it very seriously which made it very funny!

JAS 2009 011

And the cake? A bright, multi-coloured robot, of course! I gave up my art years ago and think that doing my kids' birthday cakes is even more of a creative outlet for me than my sewing. Usually it takes me 4 or more hours to decorate. This one was easy!

JAS 2009 097 (Small)

As you can see, no natural food colouring was harmed in the making of this cake.

JAS 2009 071

I really shudder at red icing- I guess that it is the stigma of red food colouring! So I mixed it with yellow and used orange icing on the cake instead. No one said that I was a logical person...

So my first little baby has just turned 6. Not sure where that 6 years went...