Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A collective noun for T shirts?

T shirts numbers 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

During the week as I sewed up my 5 tee shirts and cut out another 2, my mind wandered into la la land a bit. So I started wondering what the collective noun for a group of Tshirts was...or should be...

Something cool like a bloat of hippopotamuses.
Or a mischief of mice.
Or just plain a sneer of butlers...or a flange of baboons...

But I didn't get far. Nothing witty, meaningful or even practical. Ithink that I just need to stop making tees and get a life so that I can think about more meaningful things!

Anyhow here are the tees- 2 for each of the boys and another for me!
Pattern- Ottobre Creative Workshop 301 (kids) and 303 (womens)
Fabric- Plain - Stella from Crafty Mamas (Australia)
-Patterned - Fabric Fairy (USA)

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

The boys chose the fabric colour for the arms to go with the robot fabric.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

(Lots of praise and "ooh-ing and aah-ing for the double hems please)

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

I'm halfway through 2 funker styled shirts for my daughter then I am moving onto other projects of the non-tee shirt variety!

Familiarity breeds contentment

Not to be confused with "familiarity breeds contempt"

The second saying, of course, is one that I, as a stay at home mum, am on very good terms with. I think that this saying was coined by a SAHM. I believe that my children would be less contemptuous of me if they were at boarding school and only saw me in school holidays or maybe even just at Christmas time...

But I digress.

Familiarity breed contentment. I bought my overlocker, my very first overlocker, 18 months ago. And I have been scared of her ever since. She is complicated, picky, moody and noisy. And she gets really snootish and defensive if I swear at her.

But tonight I rethreaded her from scratch in 5 minutes. Perfect. 1st time. Hence- familiarity breeds contentment.

Not that I will be ever able to achieve this again. But for now I will glow in the aftermath of the achievement...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quote of the Week

From "Flash Forward" Ep 1:

Conversation between the mother of a girl and the mother of a boy:

Mother of boy: "You are so lucky that you have a girl"

Mother of girl: "Are you kidding? You only have to worry about one penis. I have to worry about all of them"

Too true!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Way cool!

And I do mean, WAY cool!

What's that saying about the smallest things and the smallest minds?

OK So now that I am 40, there isn't much that makes me bounce around like a Labrador puppy talking like a teenage, dread-locked surfer dude, but this really is, well, waaaaaaay cool!

Look what I did!

Little Boozle 2009

When I got back into sewing 2 years ago, I took up where I left off when I was about 20. With my trusty Pfaff given to me for my 18th birthday. Sewing wovens. Full stop. End of story.

So of course in time, as I got into things and as I learnt more, I decided that I needed an overlocker! Yes, NEEDED! Long story but I ended up buying an ex-demo from Spotlight in Tasmania who posted it home to South Australia for the princely sum of less than $8 ($8 post; the OL wasn't THAT cheap!) So it was one of those spiffy ones that does the assorted hems (oooohhhhh!) but marked down heaps as it was a discontinued model and an ex-demo machine.

So it has taken me more than 18 months to get comfortable with the basics, mostly using wovens. But now that I am sewings knits, especially for my boys, it was time to explore the capacity of my machine. So after lots of fiddling, false starts, swear words, manual reading (amazing what you learn reading instructions!), taaa daaaaaaaaaa! My 1st cover hem.

Way, way cool!

Sunday Funny

To lift your spirits on a cold, rainy Sunday!

I have 3 favourite jokes in life. A pink gorilla joke which would take me about 2 hours to type so sorry! A shark joke which requires singing in the punchline so you are going to have to wonder about that one too.

Oh, there is a 4th but it uses offensive language and I haven't shared it with many people in my life- they either have to be really close friends or I have to be really drunk. Needless to say, it's not appropriate to post here!

But this is one of my all time favourite (albeit a tad tasteless) jokes. It is a miserable day here so I hope that this can give you a chuckle, even if you have heard it before.

Q. What is the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits your windscreen?

A. His butt.

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

School holidays : Day 1- Part 3

Update- 9pm :

4+ (+++) tantrums (yes, some were mine, alright?)
3 children asleep
2 white wines downed (well, OK 3 but then the countdown wouldn't be so clever)
1 day over

1 down; 15 days to go...I'd better go and check the stockpiles of coffee and wine.

School hols: Day 1- Part 2


1 child on her way to bed
1 husband on his way home from work having volunteered to take the other 2 kids to the hardware store with him for an hour (I agree- what is he thinking? silly man!)(but you will notice that I didn't talk him out of it)
1 sun intermittently shining
1 bladder overly full from an excess of coffee
1 banana cake cooling on the cake rack ready to be iced

All in all, things are looking up, don't you think?

Must pop off for a visit to the ladies' room so that I can fit in another coffee with my banana cake...

School holidays: Day 1

By 7am:

3 runny noses
2 hail storms
1 husband running off to work.

Needless to say that I'm not turning the coffee machine off today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The important "why"

For me, at least.

Let's forget those petty little questions like "Why is the Eastern seaboard of Australia blanketed in a suffocating red dust at the moment?" or "Why is the Global Financial Crisis seemingly under control in Australia but not elsewhere?"...

...and consider the important things.

Why doesn't avocado ever wash off cutlery in the dishwasher?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tees tease

One down, who knows how many more to go...

I decided to try out the Ottobre Creative workshop tee pattern 301 for kids given how much that I love the adult version. So what started out as a tee for Mae has turned into the start of a production line of 2 for each of 3 kiddlywinks plus another 303 for me so that I don't feel left out!

They are cut out ready to go but I keep getting distracted by the mundanity of domestic chores, crochet and my coffee machine. I think about sewing a lot more that I actually sew!

So here is the 1st one and again the little goddess loves it. The thing seems to be the print. Cute butterflies and strawberries are obviously approved of but there seems to be little appreciation for floral embellishments...

Pattern: Ottobre Creative Workshop 301
Fabrics: Red Stella from Crafty Mamas shop (Aust) and strawberry print from Fabric Fairy (USA)

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

PS And who would have guessed that this little angel yesterday refused to eat, put any clothes on, drew on our polished Baltic pine floorboards with permanent texta (note to self- finish trying to clean it off today), cover herself and the bathroom in toothpaste and, in a triumphant climax to the day's activities, confetti a bowl of grated carrot all over the loungeroom carpet?

Monday, September 21, 2009

This little baby is all for me!

Noro Catherine Wheel hat

I came across this crocheted pattern by Michelle Mooney when scouring the web for crocheted hats. It was fun to crochet, I adore the colours and I really like hats that you can scrunch up in your bag without worrying about trying to reconstruct them when you pull them out at the other end.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Aren't the colours glorious?

Rock on Spring!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Schoolgirl Pleated skirt

by Little Chickadee Patterns.

I fell in love with this skirt when I saw the pattern. Maybe the rebel in me likes to make school uniform style clothing with a free license to use whatever fabrics I like...and I can tell you that I will never chose school uniform plaid!

This was pretty quick to sew up and I think that it is a super-cute little skirt! It will be a pain to iron but sigh! What is a mummy to do in the name of a daughter's fashion?

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

And the icing on the cake- the little goddess was actually happy (yes, happy) to try the thing on. She even did a happy dance to celebrate.

Little Boozle 2009

Now, you just know that she will refuse to wear it tomorrow...

Easy, quick and yummy scroll base recipe

What more could you want in a recipe?

This is so fast to throw together. No rubbing in. Just mix and roll out. Great base for cheesymite scrolls. I layer it with barbecue sauce, cheese, ham, tomato and whatever else is going. Roll them up, cut into slices, brush with beaten egg or milk. Cook for about 20 minutes in a 200 degree oven.

1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk

Double the recipe and pop some in the freezer too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Be Afraid!

Be very afraid!

Yesterday our 6 year old wanted to know what words have no rhyming word to them. Hubby and I looked at each other across the table, half relieved that it hadn't been "where do babies come from?" or "why is the sky blue?".

The other half of us kicked into action. Not that mummy wants to show up daddy or that daddy wants to prove that he's smarter than mummy (but he is still a little ticked off that I scored higher on the IQ test 10 years ago than he did. 3 children and 7 sleep deprived years later, I know darn well who'd score higher if we repeated that test today!) But we do a have a bit of a competitive relationship, always have.

On this one we came out equal. He thought purple and I thought orange- and whacko, what do you know? We are both right. If anyone is interested, the other 2 common words which don't rhyme with anything are silver and month. (What is it with colours?) There are more less common words (for anyone still interested , such as angst, scalp, width, breadth, depth, eighth, ninth and twelth)

Bless Mr Google! How did we ever cope at school without computers? (OK I'm old!)

Our 6 year old is very inquisitive and it's not like hubby or I are dumb but I find myself questioning my memory when he asks me a question. I've already fallen back on "let's check- daddy should know" or "we'll have to look that up" Partly I question my knowledge these days (isn't that ironic? We lose some level of intelligence during pregnancy then the kid that caused it hangs around to rub it in) and partly because I question the accuracy of my memory.

I figure, another 6 months of computer studies and my 6 year old will be helping me out.

I'd better go and brush up on my calculus, how exactly the earth does move and where the heck
Akrotiri is. If he asks me how to sew a French seam, I'll be fine but somehow I don't think I'd be that lucky.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Colette Parfait dress

Great patterns for gals with curves.

When I first saw these Colette patterns, I fell in love with them. Thought it was a shame that I wouldn't be able to wear them and would it be wrong to buy them for my now 2 year old daughter to wear when she is older?

But others have said that they would suit my figure and so I took a second look. They are divine patterns. Remind me of vintage style dresses of the 50s.

The patterns are in a gorgeous little booklet layout. Well laid out and easy to follow. I had trouble with the fit as I think I made it a size too big for my top half. But that was my problem; not the pattern's.

I top stitched around the top of the bodice though this wasn't in the pattern.

I also decided to re-invent the way you insert an invisible zipper. OK, so properly reading the instructions on the zipper packet, in my sewing book and in any one of a dozen on-line tutes would have saved me the grief but it reminded me to try that as an option next time I am doing something for the first time.

Anyhow here tis.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

The fit needs more tweaking to sit better but that's something new to me that I need to work on. Meanwhile it is wearable. A bit low cut over the cleavage area so will have to shorten the straps or get a bit funky with my dress code.

Summer is on its way...

Well, it was yesterday!

A couple of unseasonally warm high 20 degree days have blessed us here in Adelaide. Anyhow, it inspired me to whip up something summery and the Sweet Halter dress from ManiMina is quick and easy. Really it is a variation on a pillowcase dress but I think a dressier version.

Little Boozle 2009

The green in the tie is not photographing well; it actually is a different shade of green and goes well with the lime of the main dress body.

The pattern finished the arm holes with a double folded hem edge but I used some fun bias binding instead.

Little Boozle 2009

Mae and I seem to have reached an "understanding" She will try something on long enough to show daddy which is usually long enough for me to snap off a photo or two then she can change back into clothes more acceptable for a 2 and 1/2 year old (!!!!!)

Little Boozle 2009

It may not give me the best photos but at least it doesn't look like I am torturing her to wear my clothes. The neck tiedoesn't sit as snugly on her as it should yet. I made a size 4 as I am wary of American sizing and I figure if it is too big, she can just wear it next year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fast, forgiving and fabulous...

...but enough about me!

(I'm not that forgiving anyhow)

Knits are wonderful. Now that I am sewing them, I can't believe how fast it is to sew up a garment. Of course, I have a lot to learn and a lot of practicing to do but I think that I have a grip on the basics.

Another Ottobre Creative Workshop 303 tee, this time with a scoop neck rather than a round neck.

Little Boozle 2009

(The neckline is actually a chocolate Stella which matches the brown of the sleeves but it has come up rather blackish in the photo)

Little Boozle 2009

I do find some of the better quality stretch fabrics very expensive. But you sure notice the better quality when you sew them, wash them and wear them. I tend to use the expensive fabric for eg sleeves or body rather than the whole garment- then it goes further!

I still have a soft spot for wovens and always will. But it is nice to have a choice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bloomin' heck!

(Insert a wolf whistle here for the gals)

The very talented Sam of Jetta's Nest creates the most divine goodies. My boys have appliqued robot tees already but I drool over her dolls, brooches and well, really, anything that she creates.

So of course I needed to own one of her Bloomin' Buttonhead Brooches. The lovely lady at the back is Siarah but (no offense Siarah) I have to say that my heart belongs to Lola. She is just so sassy and confident.

JAS 2009

JAS 2009

Thanks Sam. They are just perfect. I was going to gift one but don't think that I can part with either of them!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Father's Day

to dads everywhere!

As much as I detest the rampant consumerism associated nowadays with Father's Day, (as well as Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas and every other celebrated day it seems...), the sentiment of acknowledging the love for, and contribution to your family of, your dad/husband/grandfather is a lovely one.

My son wanted to know when Grandmother's Day and Poppy's Day were. I think that we'll just hijack Mother's Day and Father's Day for those.

But, if you avoid the marketing side of today, what dad doesn't get the teensiest bit gooey when he gets the portrait of himself that his 6 year old son has drawn for him or the decorated "special shoebox" that his 4 year old lovingly glued and stuck?

“Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” -Anne Geddes

Happy Father's Day 2009.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pins and Needles

Breaking bad sewing habits, one step at a time.

It is amazing how when you get used to something, it doesn't worry you. Move into the renovator's delight and you are going to paint that unbearable Mission Brown kitchen another colour straight away- but it takes you a couple of years. Sit on the foldout stool for months at your sewing machine thinking "I must get a new sewing chair" but never actually getting around to improving the situation (or your posture).

Well, this is how I store my sewing needles:

Little Boozle 2009

Yes, they are in there somewhere. Among the pins, safety pins, and if you look closely, there is even a sewing machine needle in there. Darn annoying when you are looking for them as you can't find them. Darn annoying when you are pinning as you can't pull out anything but needles.
And I daresay it blunts them too.

I have seen a few of these cute little needle books out in Cyberspace recently so my TV viewing this week has been a bit of handsewing. Nice for a change. I added a snap closure to decrease the bulk when not in use.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There is heaven on earth...

and it goes by the name of "cheesecake"

Cheesecakes are a bit of a blast from the past. Made numerous amounts of them in my younger days but I think I stopped when I read one too many times the kilojoule count of a good cheesecake.

Recently my son had some and so I decided that I should brush off my recipes because it would be a really good thing to cook with the kids.

I am searching for THE best lemon cheesecake (or the best can never have too much lemon cheesecake) I thank Carla for this one. I used to make it growing up but somewhere the recipe went AWOL. The boys and I made it at the weekend. So fast, so easy and so, so yummy.


200 grams plain sweet biscuits (Marie, Milk Arrowroot, Granita etc)
80 grams melted butter (approximately)
Optional: handful of nuts to add to the base (hazelnuts, pecans etc)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of lemon juice from VERY ripe lemons
1 packet softened cream cheese
2 cans condensed milk (OK so you only need 1 for the recipe...oh, now what could you do with that 2nd can? OK So maybe you'd be sick if you ate a whole can...should I try it and see?)

Crush biscuits (with oir without nuts added) to fine crumbs.
Mix through butter and press into foil lined pie dish (I use a spring form tin)
Pop into fridge while you make the filling.
Beat cheese and milk in a bowl until smooth.
Add lemon juice and continue beating until mixture thickens. My lemons were yellow but not really ripe and it still worked but I think that the mix wold go thicker if the lemons were riper.
If you want, you can zest some lemon peel over the top.
Refrigerate till ready to eat (or until you just can't bear the anticipation any longer)

I remember making cheesecake bases by placing the bickies in a plastic bag and bashing the proverbial out of them with the rolling pin. Man, was that time consuming! But that was how we were taught at school. I have this time round plugged in the food processor and voila! Biscuit crumbs faster than you can wipe that condensed milk off your face. (My guilty little cooking secret is that I no longer rub the cold butter into the flour patiently with the tips of my fingers when cooking scones. I don't know if it is due to time constraints, laziness and the need for faster gratification or the fact that I've never enjoyed the task but I still feel like I am letting my grandmothers, great grandmothers and any other scone-cooking rellies who came before them down)

So now that I have been sucked back into the kilojoule laden vortex that is cheesecake making, last night I impulsively made another one. Well, I had to really. I have some overripes strawberries that need to be used up. Oh, the sacrifices...


180g biscuit crumbs
90g melted butter
1 punnet strawberries (go, ahead and pop a few extra ones in. Yummmm!)
1 packet of softened cream cheese
1 tin condensed milk
3 teaspoons gelatine
3 Tablespoons boiling water
32ml whipped cream (apparently optional- I will explain)
1/3 cup lemon juice

Make up cheesecake base and refrigerate.
Beat cheese till soft then add milk, juice and gelatine.
Fold in cream and cruhed strawberries.
Pour over base and refrigerate.

This recipe came from my mum and my nan before her. They are both ladies who adore whipped cream. I made this last night without the whipped cream because I didn't have whippable cream and because I am not a fan and it set just fine. The flavour was probably more intense and I guess the cheesecake was probably a bit heavier for it but hmmm, no, it was still divine.


I think for the sake of our cardiovascular systems that we will not be making any more cheesecakes for a little bit.

But I will keep you posted on the great lemon cheesecake search!