Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm Blaming You!!!

This morning I cut up one of Maddie's cot sheets.  Nothing else would do.  I tried, really I did.  I tried shopping from my stash, I tried matching homespun at the Patchwork Apple, but I couldn't get the right shade, or the right feel, for the project I had in my mind, and all the time I just knew exactly where the right fabric was.  So I am blaming you Alicia Paulson, and Janelle from Heartfelt Crafty Things, and Amanda Blake Soule, and Nicole Wood, and all of you other lovely bloggy ladies who keep showing me how much fun it is to repurpose something old into something new.  In some ways it is a returning to my childhood - growing up in a family that wasn't particularly crafty I often "scrounged" bits and pieces to repurpose for my projects; and when I didn't have a pattern (almost always) I just made one up.  Somewhere along the way I have acquired more fabric/cash/patterns and lost the ability to just "make do" - I am having fun finding that part of myself again.  This is the start of a Spring swap project for Dutch Blue.  I am using the stitchery from Rosalie Quinlan's book "A Stitch In Time" but just matching up threads from out of my stash, and doing the flowers kind of free hand because I couldn't be bothered tracing each little one.  Oh, and the stitching fairy was really very good to me because just when I was feeling guilty about cutting up Maddie's cot sheet I found another identical one in the linen cupboard and we never use top sheets on baby's cots anyway :)  Just goes to show that I should probably be cleaning out the linen cupboard instead of blogging or stitching LOL.
Enjoy your weekend!
Keep smiling,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hannah's First Day of School

My "baby" officially started school today.  She was ready a whole hour before we needed to leave!  She was excited and happy and so keen to be there.  I didn't cry.  Not even a little...but I'm feeling kind of lost at home today and waiting anxiously for 3.00 to see what sort of day she had.  I hope you love school little one!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Little Bits of Time

I recently read ANOTHER organising/decluttering book (which I'm not going to name or even recommend as the cold-hearted woman suggested such horrendous things as not displaying any of your photos on the walls, and not keeping any precious baby things, and she is definitely not the type of person that would appreciate my secondhand blue jugs fetish!)  Anyway, one thing she did was list the jobs that could be accomplished in 2 minutes, and the jobs that could be accomplished in 5 minutes, and in 10.  It was kind of useful because I could see that some of the jobs that I loathe really do only take a couple of minutes (or maybe a couple more) to do.  Bearing this in mind I am trying to just unpack the dishwasher and the drying rack every morning while the jug boils because it really only takes two minutes.

One job that really doesn't take 2, or 5, or 10 minutes is feeding Maddie and I need to just remember that this is not forever and quit trying to balance her with one hand and do stuff with the other!  She really doesn't feed as well when I'm reconstructing a lego castle or checking my emails!  With the whole lack of time thing in mind I've used my Creative Memories hexagon punch and scrap cardstock to make a heap of paper templates for some paper piecing and then rough cut a heap of hexagons from my scrap fabric box and I'm going to have a go at paper-piecing some grandma's flower gardens to applique onto cushions and teatowels etc.  Figure it will be a good take anywhere project and I might get something done while I'm waiting for Hannah at the school gates.  Handwork is definitely the way to go at the moment!

Corey, from the beautiful is having a Spring Swap so being a glutton for punishment I've signed up!  If anyone can tell me how to put her button on my blog I'd be grateful!
Hope your Australia Day is a good one!
Keep smiling,

Friday, January 22, 2010

What They Are Wearing in Paris this Season...

Gorgeous isn't it?  A future designer in our midst?

Why I craft...

I've worked out why I craft.  It is because at the end of the day, no matter how much I have cleaned and nagged the house will still look like this:

No one will know how long it took me to feed, settle and wash for this little possum.  No one will know how many loads of washing have been done, folded, and put away and no one will remember the culinary disasterpiece that I cooked for dinner, but I will have something to show for my efforts; a quilt block, or a little stitchery, or half a sock, and I can look at it and think "I made this" and that is kind of cool don't you think?

As promised here are the recent layouts (more in the gallery on my cm website )
I've been having a play with some very old products (like the gingham paper!) and some very new (heartmaker border punch and the beautiful February Nature's Whispers Paper)  Feels good to use up the old stuff but so exciting to break into the new!
Keep smiling,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Op Shop Finds and Book Stuff

Does rocking Maddie's bassinet with one hand and blogging with the other constitute legitimate time spent "settling the baby"?  The other two have disappeared harmoniously into Hannah's pigpen so no doubt I will pay for that later but right now I am just enjoying the peace after a night of sleep deprivation (now if this coffee cup would just fill itself up...)

Pip over at is having a blog tour so there are lots of good reasons for some serious blog oggling (so many creative people in the world!)  I don't quite feel trendy enough to be totally at home amongst that list but oh the inspiration!!! are running a Children's Handmade Book Exchange.  Hannah loves to create her own books (and has been on paper rations after squirreling away some of my craft patterns to draw and cut up on LOL) so this will be perfect for her!  A lovely way to validate children's work too!

I got to spend yesterday cropping with some lovely friends so that was just WONDERFUL.  I will try to post some page layouts later but for now here is the latest in op shop goodness - we had what I consider a red letter op shop day:
We went looking for the basket for Hannah's fairy garden and came away with a big one for her and this smaller one for Dan (that we didn't end up using so it now has strips of fabric in it LOL), 4 gorgeous little outfits for Maddie (who needs more clothes like a hole in the head but none cost more than 50cents so who could leave them there?  And pink gingham and candy stripes?!?!) A copy of Sense and Sensibility (which was on my reread list) and a book of Adam Lindsay Gorden poems which contains one of my favourite quotes:
"Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone;
kindness in another's troubles, courage in your own"

A huge stack of heavy old fashioned butter knives (my favourite kitchen tool for lifting off biscuits, spreading silky smooth icing, mixing scones, and buttering toast)  I really only wanted one or two of these but the whole bundle was $1 so I will keep what I need and then thought that I will chuck one into the basket next time we take fresh scones to a friend.  My favourite find however has to be this little blue jug.  I have a bit of a collectors thing happening for little blue jugs.  This was to go in Maddie's room but hasn't left the kitchen table yet.  You've gotta love the op shop - it is seriously better than going to the movies!Have a lovely Thursday!
Keep smiling,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fairies in my garden (and dinosaurs too!)

Did you know I have fairies in my garden? Dinosaurs too!  My friend Kirsten sent Hannah a wonderful gardening book that had an idea for a fairy garden using an old basket.  Hannah received 3 little fairies in her Christmas stocking and Daniel received plastic dinosaurs in his.  After a trip to our local op shop for a suitable basket ($4 bargain!) and a trip to the nursery for them to both pick out plants we were all set.  The kids had a great time making these with only minimal help from Mum.  They have been dutifully watering everyday too and there has already been some great play happening.

On a totally unrelated topic; have you checked out the Craft Hope etsy shop  They are trying to raise money for Haiti with all profits going to Doctors without Borders.  If I can I'll try to work out how to link their button to this blog?  They are looking for donations but also have some great stuff to buy. 
Keep smiling,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guess What!?

Guess who slept through?

WOOO HOOO!!! Three nights in a row so I reckon it is almost a habit!  That just about makes up for the fact that I am getting nothing done while she is awake LOL! It is so hot here that during the day Madeline is feeding every two hours.  Yet another reason why I am not a fan of "drop in" visitors.  Drop in on us and you are likely to find me with it all hanging out; about to feed, feeding, or just finished! 
I'm off to finish cleaning up the kids craft corner and then I might just attack my own craft mess (quilts are beckoning...)
Keep smiling,

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Loving: Those twinkly blue eyes; that sweet, milky, slightly moist baby smell; the smiles (that aren't wind); the soft cooing noises and the dimples beginning to form in her hands and feet.  Not liking so much: the sleep deprivation and the fact that my baby is one month old already! Loving 100% organic nectarines that taste of pure sunshine and Summer; that crazy, rainbow chalked fence; and my Beatrix Potterish vegie garden with the multicoloured lettuces in regimented rows just waiting for Peter Rabbit to nibble on them!Loving: the joy that one present can bring; summer activities like trampolining and swimming that wear little people out enough that I get quiet time in the afternoons! Loving: anything with red and white spots but especially this Christmas dress that was just from Mummy to Maddie (I have a feeling this one will go in her special keepsakes and not be passed on!)

Loving: sharing this last pregnancy and newborn days with my dear friend Naomi and her gorgeous son Max - having someone to share this experience has made it so special :)  Naomi has a way of putting everything into perspective.  Neither Maddie nor Max have been "easy" babies - Naomi keeps me grounded and positive and says "Enjoy not Endure!"

Loving: seeing little baby things drying on the line in the Summer sunshine.
Not liking so much: the extra washing!

Loving: Beautiful handmade things for Maddie; the thought, love and care that goes into a handmade gift.

Loving: the flurry of Christmas and post-Christmas mail from friends and family we would love to hear more from; it was especially nice to find out that a few of them have been lurking here (you know who you are J and H! SOOOO wonderful to hear from you!)

Loving: the cherubs' first sewing efforts (Hannah on the left, Dan on the right)  I was especially impressed by how quickly Dan picked it up!  These will become special library bags.
Loving: the prospect of a child free (not baby free) day scrapping this weekend!

Loving: the finer details; the little things in life that make a moment sweet and special! Those last precious weeks when this little one is all mine before she heads off on her educational journey.

Hope you're enjoying Summer as much as we are!
Keep smiling,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Hmm...What is it about a New Year that sees me doing strange things like cleaning up the linen closet and attacking my sewing table? I am the world's worst at New Years Resolutions. Every year I make the same ones! Every year the minute the music to "so this is Christmas, and what have you done" starts wafting through shopping centres everywhere I start getting an acute attack of the guilts and thinking about unfinished projects, a house full of clutter, letters not written, commitments not kept...

My other half laughs at me. He doesn't believe in New Years Resolutions (especially if you never actually fulfill them) James is all about "maintaining the status quo" which is probably just as well; a calming influence around someone that bounces from one unfinished thing to another :)

So anyway; here they are again, just for the sake of it:

1. Be a better friend. I am blessed with the most wonderful friends both here and interstate and I just don't catch up with them as much as I should. And I'm hopeless with birthdays. Did I forget yours? Sorry. Consider this an apology. I'm not promising to remember this year, or to write to you more often either, or even to gossip with you on facebook, but I will "resolve" to try harder.

2. Be a better housewife. I so do not like cleaning, but while I am the SAHM I guess it is part of my job description. I need to get back into flylady. I also need to learn not to obsess on days when the crumbs overwhelm me - the cherubs won't be little forever.

3. DECLUTTER. No further comment.

4. Keep my front room tidy (I've actually made a pact with Miss Hannah for this one after the dearly beloved pointed out to me that I couldn't be too mad about the mess that is her room while she had my front room as an example!)

5. Be more patient with the cherubs/be a better Mum. This would be easier if someone wasn't always crying/wanting to be fed/annoying their siblings/having a tantrum. Some days I ace this one, other days I think I need parent helpline on speed dial LOL

6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Thrift - I am actually getting a buzz out of this one. We are using fitted cloth nappies for Maddie and they have worked out so well that I am now worried we won't get through the box of newborn disposies that we bought for emergencies before she outgrows them. I'm actually thinking we will go totally cloth with no disposies at all. We have been using earthballs in the wash since September and I love them (aside from the environmental impact Dan's excema is totally gone!) I am also enjoying making projects entirely from my stash and reading other people's blogs and books like Handmade Home.

7. Finish things! "Things" like our wedding album, and the dresden plate friendship quilt I started with Apple Piecers before I had Hannah, and the project I started for Judy's 70th, and the dress I started for my baby niece Caitlin (who is now a very tall eight year old!) Generally I start the year off on a good note, getting lots done in January and February by using the rule that I have to finish two existing projects before starting a new one.

8. Be grateful - I have such a wonderful life. I have so much to be thankful for. I need to learn to appreciate things more!

No doubt there are other smaller ones but I think that is it in a nutshell. No photos this time (hard enough to feed a baby and type with one hand and I figure if I don't post now it will be Feb before we know it!)