Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This week I discovered...

(image from open.salon.com)

...that the muscles you use with regular Zumba sessions
are completely different from those muscles that you use
-and that will consequently severely stiffen up -
after an afternoon's weeding.

In fact, I am willing to bet
that even if you skip up a big steep hill 5 times a day while
pumping 5kg weights in each hand,
balancing a ping pong ball on your nose and
dropping every 8th step to do 70 pushups,
weeding will find some unused muscles, somewhere,
to cause you pain.

Note to self: make garden maintenance husband's job in future.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wearing my heart on my chest...

"Make Peace" from Urban Threads

My new tee embroidery...

Little Boozle 2010

Can't see the wood for the trees...

...can't see the book for the technological advancements.

(image from stillmanbooks.com)

I love books.

I am quite anal about them.

Happy to lend them to you,
to share the love, joy and excitement 
and to get some dog-eared pages happening.
It just shows that they are well loved.

But you absolutely HAVE to return them.
And nothing pees me off more than to have my lovingly collected series change cover mid-series.
Why, printing people, why?

I am not a book snob.
In fact, quite the opposite.
Years of studying books in high school put me off books that are hard work.
Plus I was so in awe of what was hidden within "Wuthering Heights" that I was scared
to read a book and risk missing so much amazing meaning. 

I read trashy novels, crime novels, some non-fiction,
rarely anything of too much substance.

But, now with 3 children under foot,
and a daily yearning to sew,
reading for hours on end
at home, on the weekend or on holiday is a distant memory.

But I do love books.

But what about the electronic variety?
When a friend living overseas recently bought a Kindle for her daughter for those long distance flights
when visiting home,
I understood...but still secretly cringed.

Cheaper to buy books that way;
more convenient for such occasion.
And I appreciate the tree-sparing aspect of electronic books.

And now I have a 7 year old who would read all day, every day,
if things like sleep, school and the need to eat didn't get in the way.

It is a joy to see him love books the way that both his father and I did.
Trying to sneak the light back on
to read "just" another couple of pages
(He hasn't yet gotten a torch under the covers like both his mum and dad did)

(image from blueridgedreams.typepad.com)

We visit the school and council libraries. Lots.But we also travel long distances and interstate due to family commitments.
We could honestly pack dozens of books for him for a 7 day visit interstate.
One luggage allowance alone for books.

So, finances allowing, what do we do?
The idea of having access to the weight and space efficiency of an electronic book system is attractive.
The idea that we can get him cheaply as many books as he wants whenever he wants is fantastic.
But I just can't get past the concept that books shouldn't need a power supply.
Books shouldn't be hard and cold.
Books shouldn't be a machine.

(image from glenbatten.com)

But I want our children to grow up holding books,
thumbing through the pages,
being able to smell those pages,
carrying a book around as an essential take-everywhere item, like keys and a wallet,
to find joy in rummaging through stalls of old books at markets,
to get excited when discovering a new author,
and to take some of those books that we are reading to them now,
that they love,
and to keep them
and sit on their kids' bed when the time comes
and read them to their own children
and teach them the joy that is a real life book.

(image from whatjamiefound.com)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I made it and I love it

The Paper Bag skirt

Little Boozle 2010

Using the tutorial from Make It and Love It,
I whipped up this skirt today as a break in a long stint of cleaning and reorganising the study/sewing room,
reconciling a year's worth of receipts,
sorting photos from pre-digital camera era for digitisation
and deciding which art works of my children are the most precious and worthy of keeping for all eternity.
(They are all precious, my dear children,
and yes, they are all worthy of keeping for all eternity, my sweethearts,
but mummy and daddy don't have a spare mansion hanging around for storage purposes)

See, I have well earned an afternoon's sewing haven't I?

It is pretty quick to sew up
and you get a really stylish little skirt.

Fabric is a cheapy but very pretty cotton from my stash.
I lacked the width to do full width of front pleats unless I wanted to make another panel.
It removes a bit of the fullness but I am still happy with the result.

Little Boozle 2010

I also ran a line of sewing near the top across the front panel to hold the pleats down flat at the top.
Little Boozle 2010

The little goddess seems to have developed a new approval rating system.
If she promptly bursts into ballerina mode,
it is a winner...

Little Boozle 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Can Do. Go To. Can't Stop...

When you are on a good thing...

After posting about the scrummy Go To dress from The Train to Crazy,
I just had to make more.
I figure that they are versatile as with layering you can cover quite a few months of the year.

Patterned fabrics are Modkid knits and plain is Stella.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

I am quite taken with pink and brown combinations.
After 3 years of non-stop pink,
I think that it takes a bit of the prissiness of pure pink away.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

And the little goddess seems OK with the colour combo...

Little Boozle 2010

...well, at least this week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Parenting 101- advanced: sarcasm

Case study no 4: The "Browns":

Setting: a grumpy family dinner due to 3 kids refusing to eat food that they all loved a month ago.

7 year old: "I can't wait to have children"

Mummy and daddy look at him inquisitively.

7 year old glares back: "That was sarcasm"

(image from blog.beliefnet.com)

Piggy piggy jam jams...

...or you may know them as pyjamas.

Sitting here drinking a never ending hot cuppa to keep warm,
I shivered as I thought of the poor little goddess having to do a catwalk of these summer PJs.
But given that, as you will notice, she spent the whole time posing on front of her reflection in the telly,
she didn't seem to mind.

Little Boozle 2010

Pattern: Favourite Things- The Little Jammies
Fabrics: Dora and red spot- from Crafty Mamas shop
Floral- red Flower Sugar

Little Boozle 2010

This is a really sweet little pattern.

Little Boozle 2010

I made the camisole version
and only changes the waistband to fully elasticised
(the pattern is elasticised at the back with ties at the front)
Comes together really quickly and is dainty and feminine.

Little Boozle 2010

Socks don't match?
I just couldn't bring myself to fully undress her on this cold day for the sake of my blog.

Little Boozle 2010

It may well be that these are PJs and the red set is day wear
as it will be a struggle to get her out of the Dora set methinks.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010


Monday, August 9, 2010

Insidious ageing

A fact of life.

(from ehow.com)

I am getting older.

That seems to be stating the obvious, I know,
but I am noticing how I am changing-
you know, I am getting old.

I am not talking about the obvious physical stuff.

Not the fact that I find myself looking at those facial waxing products in the supermarkets with a feeling of impending doom.

Not the fact that my boobs are headed south as fast (or possibly faster) than my son is reaching towards the ceiling.

Not the fact that I must face it: that I am past my physical prime,
as my varicose veins, stretch marks, cellulite, creaky knees, decreasing bladder control
 and increasing number of wrinkles...er, laugh lines will attest.
I am talking about the state of mind.

I feel like a young mum.

I have 3 young kids.
I am ready to "get down" with my kids,
bust a move with them or whatever lingo will be in vogue when I have teenagers
that I need to (re)connect with.

But I am changing.

About 5 years ago, I switched off Saturday morning telly music clips
as I didn't want my kids asking just exactly what Jessica Simpson and that sponge were doing to that poor car.
Now I don't switch it on because, well, so much of that music is just so awful.

(from images.mirror.co.uk)

C'mon, hands up anyone who hasn't said to their kids
"When I was your age..." ?

Wizz Fizzes just don't taste the same.
Is that because the palate of a 42 year old is a bit more discerning than the palate of a 5 year old?
Or because sometime in the last 37 years they changed the formula?

Either way, it makes me feel old.

It is insidious.

Just the way my hubby reaches for the telly remote but now checks out ABC and SBS
before the commercial stations.

Just the way I used to barrel through saying "me, me, me" when a video game was on offer but now I just sit back and watch while I crochet rather than take on my 7 year old son in battle.

Just the way that I lie awake in bed at night wondering what is "daggy" and what is "cool" these days.

Just the way that I find that my objects of housewife crushes are 40-something year old men rather than 20-something year old men.
Ashton Kutcher?
No thanks.
(Not that I dribble over Brad Pitt but did you know that he is 46?
Johnny Depp the same.
Now I feel old...)

(from susieqtn.com)

But I will take heart in that I do know who Justin Bieber is,
that I can and do still dance like a dag around the house in front of my kids to anything on the radio
and that I don't have to buy facial wax just yet.

"Growing old is inevitable.
Growing up is optional."

Super comfy, super easy, super yoga skirts

Modkid Yoga skirt tutorial

This is a fantastic little tute to make these really comfortable, well fitting skirts.

These are both made with knits and a lot of fullness
but you can make a woven skirt with the stretch waistband.
The amount of fullness is up to you as it is all based on a couple of measurements...

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

...but my 3 year old will tell you that the twirl factor is much better with more gathering!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The gorgeous Go To dress

Enough woven dresses. Onto the knits!
A friend put me onto a fabulous free pattern from a great blog
called The Train to Crazy.
(Love that name!)

You can find the pattern and the blog here.

My version uses 3 different knit fabrics all from the Crafty Mamas shop.

Little Boozle 2010

It is really sweet and now I want to keep making them!

Little Boozle 2010

And the little goddess thinks so too.

Little Boozle 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

An adorable doll

Thank you Liss!

Today I received the most gorgeous parcel in the post.
Wrapped inside a gorgeous tie dyed length of cotton fabric,
I found...

JAS 2010

Isn't she just lovely?

Liss from  Rainbow Made makes the most gorgeous dolls
and I was lucky to be her recipient in this July's Crafty Mamas swap.

 JAS 2010

Liss is a very talented lady whose passions lie with doll making and dyeing.

JAS 2010

Maybe I should order one for myself now?