Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Frock - an update

I finished the frock in time for the work function … almost ... just a little bit of hand stitching under the arm didn't quite get done.  I figured that the chances of anyone having their head in my armpit during the course of the evening was quite low so chose to feed my children and organise the babysitter instead.
I thought I might share some process pics with you.
This way you don't have to experience the swearing and the procrastinating that also accompanied the production of this dress.

This was the rough mock up as I was copying a dress hanging in the cupboard that sadly doesn't zip up anymore.

The bodice - with a few less pleats than the mock-up.

The satin binding was suggested by the lovely lady at Fabulous Fabrics.  
You buy it off the roll either there or at Spotlight - how did I not know about this???  
So simple and the result was great.

The invisible zip. God knows why I purchased this ?!?!?!  
I have never been able to figure them out and usually avoid them like the plague but for some reason I decided that I would give it another go.
I'm so glad I did as you tube saved the day.  
These things ARE really easy to put in if you know how.  Fancy that!!
Check out this clever chick if you want to know how ….
The invisible zip and I are now friends.  I may put them in everything.

I think the jeans and boots work quite well - don't you ??

And sadly, this tired little photo taken after we arrived home, without my shoes on, standing (well, slouching really) in a badly lit room is all I have of the finished dress.
You get the idea.
I think the dress itself may be a little long and I think the underdress could be a little shorter too.  Generally I am happy with it and one day I may even finish the hand sewing at the top of the zip.
Next project ….. maybe a quilt …. or maybe the mountains of laundry creeping down the hallway.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A letterbox surprise ...

Surprises are lovely both when you give and when you receive them.

You can only imagine how excited I was to find this little lovely in my mail box today thanks to the fabulous Maya at Housenerd.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I won a little giveaway that she ran on her blog.

So excited!

I am not going to be able to spend only $50 at Calico and Ivy - a beautiful fabric and yarn shop in Mosman Park, Perth.

Thank you Maya (love your work!) and thank you to the ladies at Calico & Ivy - my credit card and I will be visiting very soon.

Hope you are getting lovely surprises today, too.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


We have a "work do" to go to on Saturday night.
You know the type - black tie with a theme and I'm the spouse who knows probably 3 people.
Can you tell that I am jumping out of my skin with excitement ??? …..
I would much rather be on the couch in my pj's.
In true spouse style I will trot off, smile, make small talk and probably have a really good time.

It is best in these situations, however, not to arrive naked.
This could be a little awkward and may hinder the Mr's career opportunities.

2 weeks ago I decided that I would make a frock (as no other frock in the wardrobe fits … damn it!).
I will make a little something that can do this function and a wedding in September.
Fabulous idea!

A week disappeared (how does that happen?) with only a bit of Googling and Pinteresting and not much else.
A girlfriend in here in Perth directed me to Fabulous Fabrics in Balcatta.

Truly fabulous and full of really NICE (and expensive) evening fabrics.
For Melbourne peeps it is a bit like the long lost love child of Franke Stuart in Hawthorn and Clegs. Fun, fun, fun.
In a fleeting moment of misplaced confidence I purchased some beautiful black lace.
I love it!
It is divine!

It was ridiculously expensive (I may have to sell a child when the Visa bill arrives).

I am now too scared to cut it in case I 'frock' it up.

It is Wednesday.
The function is on Saturday along with kid's sport and a couple of kid's parties.
I work on Friday.
And did I mention that I don't really have a pattern …

I may be "frocked".

Do you think I can just wear my jeans ???

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Loss,conflict and the wisdom of children.

It has been an emotional week in the world.
Around the world violent acts have caused heartache for thousands of people.
Sadness and heartache that we can only try to comprehend.
In Australia these acts are usually items on a news bulletin - they shock us, scare us and sometimes horrify us but generally we move on in our island bubble, detached from war and conflict.
Not this week.
This week it became very personal.
And so very sad.
The bombing of flight MH17 and the subsequent deaths of 3 Perth children amongst all of the many others has delivered the consequences of war and conflict into our homes.
The sadness in our house as we mourn a football team mate and a lovely family that we smile and laugh with on Sunday mornings, is nothing compared to their loss and that of the families & friends of every other passenger.
With heavy hearts we feel for them, send them our love and wish that we could do something ease their grief.

There have been many questions and conversations as we all come to grips with the enormity of what has happened.
Our youngest child, who has just turned 8, has been trying to process it all and I wanted to share a conversation that we had the other day.

Miss A: "Mum, why would somebody do that? Why would they bomb a plane?"
Me: "I don't know.  In the world there are people who are just not nice and they do horrible things"
Miss A:  "Are they bullies?"
Me: "Yes I think they probably are"
Miss A: "Maybe they should all think back to when they were little kids.  They should think about what it feels like when somebody is mean to you and how awful you feel.  Then they should remember that feeling and not be mean or horrible to other people.  They should do things that are nice and they should stay on their own sides and be happy with what they have.  Then they won't bomb planes and people won't be sad."

I think she is right.
May this never happen again.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

In the blink of an eye ...

…. my smallest turned 8.

How did that happen?

So many years but sometimes it seems so few.

To celebrate we had a garden party at home with (what were we thinking ???) around 20 (!!!) seven and eight year olds.  20 is crazy but we only moved here 12 months ago and our little Miss is still finding her place so after much discussion we decided that we should have them all.

I love a home party.
I love the preparing, the planning, the discussing, the making.
I love seeing the kids and getting to know their personalities in action.
I love that the kids have a great time without paid performers in an old school type of way.
I love the way our bigger kids get in there and help out and love doing it.
I love it when the last of them leaves and we all crash on the couch.

Here are some picks of our 8 year old garden party.

"Dirt cups" or tim-tams whacked though the food processor with a bit of chocolate topping thrown in to bind them a teeny tiny bit.  SOOO yum

The cake which was going to be a number 8 but I chickened out.  Decorating cakes isn't my strength.  After checking out Mr Google I discovered a blog called I Am Baker which, apart from being fabulous, has an excellent tutorial on how to do the icing roses.   If I can do them any 5 year old with a piping bag can!

I loved the look on the kid's faces when we cut the cake.  They were expecting chocolate not a rainbow surprise.

A little crafty gardening activity to do between games which the kids all took home.

And before you think that we are uber cool, organised party professionals, let me just keep it real for you ….
ice packs required - 2, head crash and mild concussion on trampoline
band-aids required - 1, bleeding foot whilst dancing on the carpet
kids in tears - 2 or 3 at various moments but all left the party smiling (phew)
happiest creature at party - our old friendly dog - who may have eaten the remains of 18 donuts and didn't require dinner - until one of the kids quietly mentioned that she was terrified of dogs as she hid behind my legs (oops) and we gave the dog a little rest in the laundry.
state of floor afterwards - very sticky & crunchy
dinner for the family post party - cheese toasties as we were all pooped!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs

Do you remember these ?

I'm preparing for a gazillion 7 and 8 year olds that will celebrate a birthday here on the weekend.

We're planning to fill them full of homemade sugar treats & cakes, have them run around like mad outside (praying to the weather gods on the hour every hour!) and send them home exhausted and hopefully with our home intact.

Have just made salted caramel popcorn which taste just like Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs.

Good god it is delicious.  And healthy ??? … corn ???? Maybe just a little bit ?????
Ok not healthy at all but fun and delicious.

Recipe in this book:

I just have to stop eating it !!!!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Today ...

Today it is wildy wet & windy.

From here we can usually see down the hill to the ocean but not today.  In fact since I have taken this pic the skies have opened, rain is belting in sideways and the wind has picked up.  I can barely see the houses over the road and the trees are dancing limbo with each other.

Even the basketball ring is having a little lie down so it doesn't dance through a window.

The dog and I are gratefully bunkered down inside waiting for this to cook so the hungry hoards have something to eat after school.

I'm not looking forward to the school run.  Think we may get a little damp …..

How about you? How is your 'today' ?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Click Clack Clacking

One big boy beanie for a little brother's head is finished and in the post.

Modelled by a reluctant Mr who is wearing a t-shirt - a Perth winter is very different to a Melbourne winter and this is why I am posting these goodies back to Victoria.  Not a lot of need for them here.

One Miura Cowel for my sister finished too.

The youngest girl, despite the fact that she is still wearing shorts and t-shirts most of the time, has requested I make her a beanie as the next project.

Quite enjoying the clickety-clacks although my neck is getting a bit stiff and sore - I'm a tense little knitter.
Must remember to relax the shoulders and look up occasionally otherwise my neck will seize up and my head will probably explode.
That would just be messy.

… calm blue ocean … relax … calm blue ocean … relax … calm blue ocean ...

Friday, 23 May 2014

Clickety Clack

For me crochet is like ordering a 12 course meal in Portugese with only a tiny Portugese/English language dictionary to help.  It can be done but is slow, clumsy and you may not get what you think you should be getting.

So I've gone back to the sticks.  It just makes sense to my brain.

I made my first ever beanie last week and forgot to photograph it before I posted it to my brother.
It was a little small so now belongs to his lovely girlfriend.

This is a second attempt being made a little bigger to fit his not so small head.
Matching wool and matching pattern.
Ha, won't they look quaint with matching beanies as they walk around the paddocks!
The pattern is here on ravelry.

Have you anything on the sticks or are you hooking?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hungry Like The ….

(did you pick up the Duran Duran reference fellow teens of the '80's - go on click on the link the hair alone is worth it!)
The only other wolf reference I could think of was this - which still makes me smile and think of my big sister and I running around the back yard yelling "It's the wool-uff!  It's the wool-uff!".

But I digress…

Today daughter number 2 was a wolf at school assembly as part of a class Jungle Book singing and dancing performance.

I do love a little bit of a costume project and considering that the sewing mojo is very low I need a project with a deadline.

We trawled Pinterest for ideas and ended up with this.

If you are intending to make a wolf at your house here are some links that might be helpful …

The Mask:
I found a free pattern here.
I traced all parts of the pattern and cut them out in different colours of felt and stitched them together.
We added an extra layer of fur behind the ears to help it match the vest.

The Paws:
Pads cut out of felt and sewn onto a rectangle of fur (to one side).
Sides sewn together to make a tube and leaving a hole for the thumbs.
(If I had taken photos during the process it may have been helpful but I didn't - sorry)

The Tail:
Looked soooo much better on pinterest (isn't that often the way).
For some reason the link won't work but I'll give you the details so you can try yourself or at least search for it on pinterest.
Basically it is made out of acrylic wool and a dog brush.
I think ours needed more brushing but I was over it and she was happy so we called it finished.
A piece of black cotton herringbone tape was used as a "belt" to tie the tail on and hold the vest closed.

The Furry Vest:
Just a little vest/waistcoat - shoulder seams and side seams and that is it.
I already had a pattern from previous concert costumes so just used a modified version of that.
Here is a great link and tutorial if you need one - found at a blog called Danamadeit.
The lovely lady at Spotlight gave me the best advice for cutting fur …
Cut it with the inside facing up and always just do little snips keeping the bottom blade of your scissors quite still.  This stops you from cutting the outer layer of fur so that you still have a shaggy edge.  Works a treat. Thanks clever Spotlight Lady!

And that in a nutshell is our Wool-Uff costume.

Enjoy your day people.

Jenny x