Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday M!

For Little Miss M's cousin, all the way from across the world, to celebrate her birthday and Christmas and New Year and Baptism with us - what a whirlwind 4 weeks for one so young.

To start the string of celebrations, here is Cousin M's birthday cake - a "some bits vanilla and some bits chocolate" teddy bear cake.  Let me tell you - I've made a wedding cake before and this was soooooo much more difficult.

It went from this...


To this...


P.S That writing was done using melted chocolate, a toothpick and baking paper. 

Happy Birthday Cousin M!!!  And congratulations to your momma and dad for making it through the first year with their sanity intact.  Love you J and V!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gearing up

Christmas is just around the corner and, this year in particular, I am in full swing with Christmas cheer.  I don't mind Christmas; I'm not a scrooge.  I normally just accept that it's that time of the year rather than anticipating "that time of the year".  But this year, I'm anticipating it more than just accepting it.  Part of it would be because Little Miss M is grasping the Christmas concept and I enjoy watching her enjoy life (that was a mouthful).  

Anyway, my Dear Husband has happily gone along with my swing of mood regarding Christmas and has been helping me with the Christmas preparations.  Here's his contribution so far... I'm so proud of his work.  I can only show part of it as it might form part of your present!!!!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back to normal

And with a vengeance...

After a hard haul for a couple of weeks, and some time to recover from that, we have our life back (mostly!).  Home is still a mess, but I can now see parts of the floor.  Fridge needs to be cleaned out and restocked.  Laundry needs to be washed and folded and put away (funny how that last bit seems to be the hardest for me).  But we're getting there.

AND we had a restful and productive weekend!!

A few weeks ago, my material arrived at my doorstep.  Little Miss M knew that I was planning to make her a dress and this is how the progress has morphed along over the weeks.



I had to sew the ends to stop it fraying too much as Little Miss M refused to part with the material.

And then she wanted to actually wear it out.  At this point, it's still a swath of square material.  Yes, we walked out of the house looking like this (with shoes and socks as well!!!)


And finally, I had a chance to cut it out and (much later) sew it together.  The finished product - Little Miss M's Kyoko dress by Modkids.



This is a great summer dress as it's loose and airy, yet provides enough coverage for protection from the sun.  Long sleeves are a must at the moment as Little Miss M really, really, really dislikes have sunscreen put on her arms at childcare.

On the sewing front, this is a great beginner's dress with detailed finishes.  Bias tape is used to hide the seams on the sleeves, the skirt hem and the neckline.  There are no buttons or zippers as it's a pullover dress.  It's really loose on the body.  The instructions read like having a sewing teacher in the room with you - detailed with how's and why's and pictures.  No guess work anywhere.  I think it took more time to cut out the pattern and the material than it took to sew it together.  I think it took more time  to read through the instructions than it took to sew it together!!  But it's for this reason that I decided to try out this pattern - I need all the help I can get.

I enjoyed making it.  And I loved the look of wide-eyed loving wonderment from Little Miss M that I actually and finally made a dress for her.  Plus the loving hugs and kisses afterwards - what a sweetie!!  With that sort of thanks, I'll be making more things for Little Miss M.

That's Creative Commitment Sewing number 1 for December 2010.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Summer Rain

It's been a long time between posts.  To all of my work mates - great work.  I'm glad to be part of the team that pulls together like you all have in times of "crisis".

On this side of my world, well it's been on halt.  Cooking, cleaning, crafting, mothering.  Dear Husband has been a single parent for a couple of weeks now.  Thanks, love, I owe you!!!

However, you would think that after two weeks of intense parenting, Dear Husband would learn a lot about a toddler's expectations.  Don't mention a treat unless it's a bribe and can be given in less than two minutes.  Don't mention the playground unless you're planning to leave for it in less than two minutes.  And don't mention "puddles" unless you're willing to follow through with the splashing consequences.

So, in the middle of a flash flood Summer thunderstorm, I call out Dear Husband to help us get from car to home as quickly as possible.  First thing Dear Husband says to Little Miss M - "Baby, look at those big puddles".  So we all know what needs to happen next to avoid late afternoon meltdown...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's all in the details

Earlier in the month, I attended a Bag in a Day workshop.  Great fun; learnt heaps; built confidence.  I didn't quite finish it at the workshop, and I've only just now gotten around to finishing it off *roll eyes shake head*.  Admittedly, I have taken it out for a couple of quick trips before now.


The bag was waiting for some embellishments.  The embellishments tell me which side of the bag to face out when I wear it, so that my beginners (read : dodgy) interfacing job on one side doesn't show.  It's all in the details, all in the details (so I'm sorry about the contrasting red t-shirt.  My dear husband was kind enough to model, so I wasn't going to push my luck by asking him to change t-shirts).


The embellishments are courtesy of a lovely store, Kimono house, and made with the same fabric as the lining of the bag.  Of course, since I made a flower for my bag Little Miss M wanted one for herself as well.  She hasn't asked for the matching bag ...yet.


I don't what it is about pink.  I don't normally wear pink.  I'm a black, white or denim with a rich colors kind of gal.  But when it comes to buying material, I seem to be drawn to pink.  Is it a safe color for these sort of girl accessories?

That's Creative Commitment Sewing number 2 for November 2010.

Once Bitten; Twice Shy

It's not that I haven't admitted to it; it's just that I'm not enjoying my reaction so far to it.

I suspected at 3 weeks; had a dating scan at 6 weeks and am now nearly 10 weeks pregnant.  Yeah!

Now... If only I could stop the feelings of apprehension.  If only I could stop the dreams.  If only I could stop checking for bleeding every hour.  If only I could get past the fear and accept that this uncomfortable feeling in my stomach is just pregnancy nerves, bloating and constipation.  If only I could let myself enjoy this time of my life.

Is it a matter of letting go of the past?  Or is it a matter of embracing what has been to fully appreciate what is now?

*sigh* one day at a time.  Looking at old photos helps.  I'll make it to this again, I'm sure ...I think.  



But either way I already have a greater appreciation of how truly blessed I am.  Fear or no fear - that has to be a good thing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What took me so long?

Juggling midday naps and frequent trips to the toilet means that not a lot has been happening on the crafting (or the house cleaning!) side of life.  But finally, I have managed to finish off a couple of reading cushion covers for Little Miss M.  Thanks to N for the inspiration!


A few notes about these cushion covers.
1.)  I don't know why it took me so long to get these together.  Cutting and piecing the panels took the longest.  Sewing was a half-an-hour to an-hour to do.

2.)  These are two different types of cushion covers.  One has a zip at the bottom.  Instructions are courtesy of this tutorial.  The other has overlapping flaps at the back.  Instructions were nought.  Success (as in "not bad, fits well; but are the flaps upside down?") was a fluke.  As long as the cushions are soft enough to stuff into the cover, then I have no preference on which is better.  They are both easily removable to wash.

3.)  The paneling was done differently.  One cover was two pieces joined together to make one piece (picture on the right).  The other was a full under-piece with a panel sewn on top (picture on the left).  With the two pieces joined together, even though I interfaced them, the seam allowance is still (very minimally) visible.  On a different type of fabric, this might make a difference.


4.)  I used interfacing, on both the two pieces joined as well as the panel sewn on top to minimise the appearance of the seam allowance through the fabric.  Interfacing is only attached up to the seam allowance.

5.)  I cut the corners to minimise the bulk and to give nice pointy corners.

6.)  Depending on the fabric that you use, it's not necessarily cheaper to sew up your own cushion covers.  But I have enough fabric scraps to sew up a couple of mini cushions for Little Miss M's dolls.  And having Little Miss M proclaim to all, with a big smile, that "Mama's making me cushion covers" is priceless.

So here they are in action...


That's Creative Commitment Sewing number 1 (and 2, if I don't finish this bag that's waiting for the final touches) for November 2010.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How long would you have waited?

One night - two weeks ago, I went out looking for this

But it was closed.  So I settled for this

And, finally, two weeks later, I had this

Followed by this

After waiting for two weeks, it was sublime...

Two weeks!!! How long would you have waited to satisfy a craving?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Parcels

I LOVE receiving parcels in the mail!!  I love it, love it, love it.  I know my postman  by name and, lucky man, he normally gets a treat when he comes knocking on my door.  All quite innocent - thank you very much!!

It's been a bit quiet on the crafting front, because I have been waiting for my parcels to arrive.  And they're here!!!  (As she jumps around the room in delight)

Hmm - what lovely goodies do you think I am going to make with this set?

And here's the lovely treat that greeted my postman this time round.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What can you do?

All at the dinner table.  Little Miss M banging her spoon and not eating.
"Please stop that, Darling.  Please stop banging the spoon on the table."
Spoon continued to bang.
"Sweetheart, please stop that.  It's too loud and you're making a mess".
Spoon continued to bang.
"Sweetie, enough, please"
Spoon continued to bang.
"Oh, for goodness sake, are you listening to me?!?"
"No mama"
"Oh, ok.  Well, when you're ready to listen, tell me"
A few (quiet) seconds later.
"I'm ready to listen now."
"Ok.  Please stop banging on the table with your spoon."
"Ok mama"
A few seconds later... Little Miss M starts to bang her hands on the table... *sigh*...  At least she stopped with the spoon.


 

What can I do?  Enjoy it while it lasts :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blast from the past

Talk about reliving the memories - I spent a fun-filled night at Bobby McGees!!!  In a true stroke of entertaining genius, D & S held their engagement party at Bobby McGees.  Nothing can invoke the "good-ole-days" memory store better than going back to the scene of the crime - complete with the music, the sticky floor, the dark corners and the free-flowing cocktails.
* smiling reminiscently * - yep the good ole days.

Here's the card for the occasion.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Hump" Day already?

As in Wednesday Hump Day! 

A couple of disastrous parenting nights, overly busy work days and a stuffy congested head makes the weekend just been seem so far away.  It was such a lovely weekend; let's hope the rest of the week is better and the last two days was just a hiccup.

Thanks for a lovely visit, N!  I cut you out of one of the photos as I never asked if I could post your ass on the internet :)



Not too bad on the crafting side of things as well.  Dear Dad got to practice some more screen printing and Little Miss M got a newly printed t-shirt.  
 

 Do you remember the time when your parents could do anything?  I still think so - a few decades old; married with kid and I still ask my dad to come over and fix this-and-that and add shelves over here.  Love you Pa!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Powers of Suggestion

On the way to childcare yesterday...

Miss M : "Why did Mama go to work today?"
Daddy : "Mama had to go to work to make some money so that she can buy bread."
Silence.
Miss M : "Is Daddy going to work today?"
Daddy : "Yes baby"
Miss M : "Is Daddy going to work to make some money?"
Daddy : "Yes baby"
Miss M : "Maaaaaybe Daddy will to go work today and make some money..."
Miss M : "And, maaaaaybe Daddy will buy a book."
Miss M : "Yes, maaaaaybe Daddy will buy a 'Maisy' book"

Later that evening, Dad's wallet a few dollars lighter...


Sucked in!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Dear

HAHAHA!!!!  I've got a ways to go in the cupcake decorating department.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Eggs and ... Beef

To what lengths will I go to ensure that our fridge is stocked with Free Range Green Eggs and Yarra Valley Grass Fed Beef?  



To some, this is a way of life.  For me, I struggled to find the shoes in my cupboard for these conditions that would keep my toes dry and be cleanable for use some other day.  And even then, the shoes were white - aaaaargh!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Second Wind

Considering the extra slow, non-productive end to the working week, this weekend has been relatively productive.  

Laid out and shopped for my 5-week menu plan.  


My dear husband printed out a t-shirt for our little girl.  I have a couple of purses in the making - near completion.
  

And cookie dough balls all ready to be baked whenever the cookie monster comes calling.  


Not too bad at all, I think.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Little Something of Dad

We're still getting the hang of childcare, mainly getting ready in the morning and bypassing the reluctance* my little one has in going to "school".  The latest trend is to let her bring a little something of her dad's with her to childcare.  Here's her last pick - her dad's t-shirt.


*Reluctance = can range from "I feel sad" to out-and-out tantrums (from both mom and child sometimes)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sew Straight

I'm not doing too badly in the sewing stakes.  I've been making my Creative Commitments  (check them out on the side bar) and getting use out of the sewing machine that I spent too much money on.  I think, though, I need to get back to basics and learn how to sew straight!!!

First attempt - check out the crazy sewing line on the right

Second attempt - better

Final product!!!

Note : the pattern is from a wonderful designer whom I can't recommend highly enough - Nicole Mallalieu.

That's Creative Commitment Sewing number 2 and 3 for October 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Priorities

Sometimes (ok, most times except on pay day), going to work just gets in the way of the more important things in life.  However, would I enjoy these moments as much, or indulge in them as much, if I could get it everyday?

I wish I could decorate cupcakes like this!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things That Lift My Spirit

With the onslaught of gray weather and a hard two days ahead of me, it's time to prepare mentally with things that lift my spirit.

The anticipation of homemade cupcakes

Being read to while cooking dinner

Relaxing in the sun

What lifts your spirit?