Monday, September 6, 2010

Small town, big heart

We just returned from a week away in Phillip Island. I went there with my parents when I was younger but can't remember much (strangely I remember that Mum bought a Gucci t-shirt...). This time, the Mr and I took the boys. We hired a house and two other families joined us for a few days. It was chaotic at times but a brilliant thing to do - all the little boys (5!) had such fun climbing up sand piles, looking in rock pools and generally just mucking around.
After the other families left we had some rainy days where we layed low and I went into town with #1 and visited the CWA shop. Two lovely older ladies were knitting and crocheting while I looked around. #1 proudly showed them the contents of his backpack and started a long detailed explaination of just how much he loves Lightening McQueen. When the conversation started to die (the ladies clearly were not well aquainted with Lightening), #1 began to tell them how he helps mummy with knitting and terial (material). And sometimes he and mum do cooking together and we make yummy pancakes. And then he proudly announced, I love knitting.
So cute. It made me realise that those moments during the day when you share something with them - let them have a go of the knitting needles or a press of the sewing machine button - it's those times that they cherish more than I realise.
Later in the day he said to me, 'Mum, I like those girls.'
'Which girls?' I said.
'You know, those nice girls in the knitting shop.'
I bet they'd love to know that he called them 'girls'!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Division of responsibilities

It's funny how the jobs are divided up within a family. We are going away on a holiday tomorrow and it got me thinking about who does what in this household.
I definately take care of the lists. I like lists. I look after the food (generally) and the social calendar (who am I kidding...that should have said, the kids social calendar).
Packing is the Mr's domain and he is so good at it. If packing were a game show or a reality TV show - well - we could be millionaires. He can fit pretty much anything anywhere. His golden rule is that he MUST have everything in one place before the packing commences. Nothing frustrates him more than someone (ok, me) saying 'Oh, here is another saucepan for the dishwasher.'
So that brings us to other household jobs: tidying (me), hardcore cleaning (him), changing lightbulbs (him), setting mousetraps (him), shopping list (me), remembering things like pyjama day at childcare (me), sewing (me), washing (both), nappies (both), making the peppermint tea once the kids are in bed (him), cracking the Tim Tams open (me).
Grocery shopping (me), Bunnings (him), outside stuff (him), paying bills (me), putting out the rubbish (both), remembering birthdays (me), writing letter to (his) grandma (me), writing on the birthday and christmas cards (me and this is a commitment that he believes was written into our wedding vows), figuring out how things work (him), map reading (him), driving (both), making appointments (me), choosing the music (him - he always makes the best music choices).
Turns out that for the most part I suppose we are pretty traditional.
Love that I'm really happy with him doing his jobs and I think he's pretty happy with me doing mine. Meant to be.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sleeping babe

Recently, #1 had a nasty fall and his chin was pretty badly hurt. We needed to put special antibiotic cream on the wound but of course, how do you do that to a 3 year old. He would not let me near it. So I put the cream on after he'd fallen asleep. It was a very sweet moment in time.

There is almost nothing I love more than watching my boys sleep. There is something so amazing about children when they are asleep. So peaceful. So innocent.

It reminds me of a time when they were just newborn babes in my arms. That feels like so long ago.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Putting pen to paper

Although you'd never know it, I actually write blog posts in my head daily. However, it seems that they rarely get beyond my mind and actually posted onto my blog. Sometimes that gets me down. I think that I'd love to post more frequently but it seems I don't often have everything in one place - the camera might be elsewhere, the picture might not have been taken, the camera cable misplaced, the big boy wanting to watch Thomas on the laptop, the dinner not made....things just get in the way sometimes. So I got to thinking today that if I just didn't worry so much about posting images, more posts might actually make it to the blog.
But a picture says 1000 words and posts without pics aren't always that interesting or inspiring. I love looking at other people's beautiful blogs. But I figure that I'd rather have a post up, a thought out of my head and actually documented than not. So you know what? This is my blog and I can do whatever I please with it.
So I'm going to.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pretty rainbow

I meant to post this pic ages ago. Discovered it again when I was downloading the memory card. On this day, there were three rainbows above our house - this was the clearest one.
I love rainbows.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


image from
Well, life got in the way of posting in May. We've had lots going on this past month...a new nephew, my birthday, my son's birthday, my sister's birthday and what seems like weeks of a household with at least 2 people sick - damn colds.
I thought I'd share an image of the present my two little boys gave me for my birthday...a beautiful, beautiful sticky tape dispenser. Infact the most beautiful sticky tape dispenser I have ever seen.
I saw this tape dispenser on NoteMaker a while back and absolutely loved it. The Mr remembered and sneakily bought it for my birthday. Such a fitting gift to be given from my sons. #1 LOVES sticky tape.
I keep telling him that I love the gift he gave me and he keeps insisting that he did not give me Spencer. Still doesn't quite understand what dispenser means....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tutorial: easy ironing board cover

As you can see, it has been a while between posts here on this little blog. So I thought I'd make this post a goodie.

Remember a while back I posted pics of our old laundry? Well it is now finished and looks brilliant (will post pics soon). I've been loving the new laundry and admire its beauty (and cupboards and bench space and concealed dirty clothes hamper) on a daily basis.

About a fortnight ago I was trying to decide where to store my ironing board - oh the decisions that one has to make!! I decided not to store in the laundry and then I realised that was a really dumb idea. The reason I didn't want to store it in the laundry was because it was ugly-ing up my lovely laundry.

So I decided to make a new cover for the ironing board. It will now look lovely in the new space.

Here is where the craftopia starts:

This is a REALLY REALLY easy project. I would say it is totally suitable for a beginner sewer. As long as you know how to use the straight stitch on your machine you'll be ironing on a new cover in no time.

You'll need:

- a sewing machine
- coordinating color thread (actually, you won't even see the stitches so if you want to be all uncoordinated in your thread choice - go right ahead)
- 1.5 m of 100% cotton fabric (or if you use 150cm wide fabric, you'll need about 70cm)
- some thin ropey stringy stuff (I used some cord I had leftover from the blinds)
- scissors
- pins
- your ironing board

Now this is hack craft at its finest, so if you are a person who isn't comfortable with winging it, you might be best to ditch my instructions and find a more detailed tute online. For those of you who are happy to give it a on.

1. Firstly get your ironing board out and lay your new fabric over the top. Position your new fabric the way you want it.

Oh, sorry I didn't take 'in progress' pics... but the instructions are so easy you won't need them.

2. Now, cut your new fabric in the rough shape of your ironing board leaving a very generous seam allowance (I left about 10cm all around).

3. You can do this next step one of three ways. The first option is the neatest, the other two are quicker and the end result doesn't really matter because you won't see the stitches:
a) Turn over the edge about 5mm and sew a little 'hem' all the way round OR
b) Zig Zag stitch around the edges of the fabric OR
c) overlock the edges of the fabric

I went with option a. And honestly, do not worry if it doesn't look neat and tidy.

4. Now make a hem by turning about 2cm your fabric over. Pin the hem in place. Make sure you don't make a hem narrower than, say, 1.5cm. You are making a casing for the cord so you need the hem to be wide enough to pass the cord through.

5. Sew the hem in place. Remember to leave a 2cm gap somewhere. I put my gap on the widest end of the board. This is where you'll stick your safety pin in to thread the cord through.

6. Get your trusty cord

And singe the end of the cord. I read on another site that this means that the cord won't fray while you are poking it through the casing. To determine how much cord you'll need, measure all the way round your old ironing board. I added on about 30cm (I always over estimate when I'm making things up as I go along.).

7. Get your safety pin and poke it into the end of the cord. Now thread your cord through the casing that you made.

8. When you've threaded the cord all the way to the end, put your new cover on top of your old cover. Pull the string tight and WOW - you've got a new ironing board cover!!

I should have mentioned at the start that my old ironing board cover still has lots of good padding so my new cover will sit on top of the old cover. If your ironing board needs new padding, it might be a good idea to try quilting wadding.

Give this project a go, it honestly took me about 40 minutes to do - and I was multitasking - watching West Wing at the same time :-)

I love the new cover. Cost next to nothing to make and looks splendid. Do try it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finishing touches

The big boys room has been a WIP for a while. It started as the junk room but when #2 was in utero we (ok, the Mr did the lions share) did a brilliant job of turning it from zero to hero. The wall decals are the final touch. They look amazing. Get yourself some here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cut up

All washed and cut up. Ready to join.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sisterly love

Here are the fabrics that I've chosen for the quilt I'm making for my sister's wedding gift.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mother love

I've had a week of uncovering some truths about mothering. I am a firm believer that the moment that you think you can start predicting what little ones are going to do - they change their mind. So never count on a two hour sleep because it won't happen ok? But one lovely thing about my experience of mothering is the unspoken connection between a mother and her children. In our ante-natal class, one of the other mothers-to-be said she was a deep sleeper and was worried that she wouldn't hear her baby cry in the middle of the night. I'll never forget what the midwife told her 'Even after the birth, there is an umbilical cord between a mother and her baby. It's just invisible.'
I think this is so true. Often I wake about a minute or two before my little baby wakes in the middle of the night. Today I was driving home from the market and halfway home I just knew that #2 was asleep (very rare - he's not a car lover). I think the atmosphere changes in some way or your instinct tells you something that your eyes will confirm at the next red light.
There have been so many times over the past 2.5 years that the invisible umbilical cord has been there. And hopefully it will keep me connected to my boys forever.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All quiet on the western front

3 boys asleep. I'm ironing and measuring and cutting and folding. And imagining what this quilt will look like when it is pieced.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little baby elephant

Today I took the boys to the zoo to see the baby elephant. I was thinking that it would be quiet - mid-week and all. WRONG. To quote my dad: every man and his dog was there trying to get a glimpse. We lined up for half an hour and surprisingly #1 was on his best behaviour (probably due to a full lunchbox being trust in his lap) and #2 slept (bless him).
Anyhoo, the queue moved. We made friends with the random people behind us in the queue. I trusted them to hold our spot and look after all my worldly possessions while I took #1 out of the queue for a few minutes to stem his boredom.
The baby was worth the wait. She was super playful and the big elephants (mum and, I'm guessing, one of the aunty elephants) were very active too. They kept making big noises and the baby climbed a dirt pile much to the glee of #1. She also splashed around in the water. #1 was a little disappointed that she didn't fill her trunk with water and spray us though.
Can't win 'em all huh?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My buttons are being pushed

By a whining two year old who won't go to sleep.

My computer buttons however, are not being pushed due to the laptop screen being broken. (Again, some of the credit goes to the two year old).

Hence the blogging break.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Two crafty gals are coming round tonight to do some stitching. Now...if only I could decide which project to start...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In progress

Some quilting, some piecing, some cutting and some sewing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Summer love

One thing I love about summer is the fruit. I also love the community of gardeners and friends who swap their excess. These strawberries are from my mother-in-laws hairdresser, they were so tasty. One of friends gave me a whole swag of stewed apricots, two other friends gave me more plums than I know what to do with. In exchange, I am the lemon and zucchini provider.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First harvest

Passionfruit is my favourite fruit. This is the first passionfruit we've had off our vine. It was sublime.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A week of freezer: day 7

Zucchini lasagna

One of my favourite recipies. It is from Bill's food and is so quick to put together. I used lasagne sheets from the freezer, zucchini from the garden, spinach that needed to be used up and tomatoes left over from our felafel dinner. Healthy and delicious.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A week of freezer: day 6

Felafel with fresh tomatoes, beetroot relish, tzatziki and spinach

I bought Larder Fresh felafel at the market. They are very yummy and are free from almost everything: preservatives, dairy, gluten, wheat, chickpeas... joking.

5 minutes in the oven and they are done. I reckon dinner took me 15 minutes to cook and that includes chopping up the tomatoes, make the tzatziki and put everything together.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A week of freezer: day 5

Rustic winter soup

In summer. I gave #1 two chicken nuggets for lunch (from the freezer of course!) and after putting them infront of him, he turned to me and said 'can I have soup too?'. Now, for those of you out there who have children who hardly ever eat, you'll know how I feel when I say - this is music to my ears. So one little container of soup promptly defrosted. Win-win. One more thing in his tummy and one more thing out of my freezer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A week of freezer: day 4

Spaghetti with spinach pesto and prawns

When we went to the market a lovely lady from Verde Provedores gave us two containers of spinach pesto. She saw that we had a newborn and figured that cooking great dinners wasn't really a priority for us right now! She suggested that we pop the pesto in the freezer and stir it through pasta when we needed a quick meal. I decided to go a little up market and team it with some prawns and mushrooms. I pan fried the prawns and mushrooms in a bit of butter and then scattered some basil from the garden over the top of the dish. It was definately the nicest freezer meal we've had this week. If you see the Verde pesto's around, I recommend them. The spinach one is delicious.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A week of freezer: day 3

Image from Grill'd

Another day, another freezer meal. Today we had homemade hamburgers from patties I'd frozen a few months ago. And quite fittingly for Australia Day, we made them on the BBQ. This pic is not the burger I ate. It is a representation of what I made but ate too quickly to photograph. My all time favourite burger is the Mighty Melbourne (with beetroot) from Grill'd. It is absolutely delicious and I wish there was a Grill'd in Northcote so I could get my fix a little more often.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A week of freezer: day 2

Pancakes with lemon and sugar
The Mr is the Pancake King. His pancakes are rather legendary. #1 is a very keen helper now too (egg cracking seems to be one of his favourite things to do). We have a lemon tree in the backyard that is FULL of lemons but all of them are green at the moment. Luckily I had some frozen lemon juice in the freezer.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A week of freezer: day 1

My freezer is bursting at the seams. We are at the point where you put something in and close the door quick smart before everything comes tumbling out.

I've decided to post A week of freezer. Every day this week I'll be making a meal using frozen ingredients. The aim is to have lots of room in the freezer by the end of the week!

Day 1 was soup. I had three different vegetable based soups in the freezer left over from a big winter cookup. Popped a container of each in a saucepan and voila! Dinner done.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A better blind

Now that #2 is here, #1 is in his big boy room. The Mr spent some serious time in there transforming the mission brown wardrobe, pinky/creamy walls and blue ceiling to a much nicer color scheme of white (sorry - Lexicon) walls and ceiling, and charcoal for the window frame and wardrobe. It looks so much better and bigger too.

His room faces has the best view in the house, it looks straight over our backyard. The sun streams in and it is a really nice space. But not too good when you want your toddler to have a day time sleep. So we had a crack at making some roman blinds. I chose the fabric, a beautiful Echino print and the Mr did a series of complex calcs to come up with a plan. It took us forever to make them. Roman blinds have ALOT of boringness in the construction. There is hardly any sewing - just straight lines. The most important part of the process is the measuring and the marking up. Ours was double trouble: the window is really big - over 2m wide- so we needed to make two identical blinds.

Now the blinds are up and we use them every day. I love them, the print on the fabric is great. It isn't too kiddy so should last for a long while yet.

Here is a closer look at a small part of the pattern:

Aren't the colors great? The zebra is my favourite.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Very much looking forward to posting the after photos of our laundry.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Frenchy window

When we travelled to Paris I saw so many window boxes overflowing with geraniums. I loved the color of the flowers and the big round leaves. My window box is a little work in progress. But I love it all the same.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Update on crappo project

The good news is that the stupid window shade did eventually get finished. I threw a bit of a tanty (blaming it on the pregnancy hormones - not the bad measuring) so engineer husband stepped in and saved the day.
The second piece of good news is that the shade blocks out all that 5am sun. So no more waking up to sun in the eyes.
Later this week I'll show you a really good craft project.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Almost a year goes by

Last year I mentioned a craft project that took me to hell and back. Well it has taken me 10 months to post the pics of this little ditty.
Our bedroom has a small window that is quite high and faces east. In the morning, the sun shines through the frosted glass and tends to wake me up. I don't like a light room. So I decided to do a quick crafty fix. I wanted to make a blind for the window and I thought it would take me an hour or so to whip up....HA. The craft gods were not smiling at me that day.
A seemingly simple (too simple) process:
  • measure window
  • measure fabric and blockout
  • sew fabric to blockout
  • insert wooden rod
  • hang

First I measured wrong (how??), I cut the incorrect amount of fabric (of course, I only had JUST enough fabric in the first place). Then I cleverly thought that I'd use viseoflex to stick the fabric to the blockout - yes, I thought, that will save me pinning it. Well that did not work. At all. I had bits that were stuck on, bits that were bubbling, bits that couldn't be unstuck. GRRRR.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ripper Christmas

This Christmas was lovely. It was our first Christmas as a family of four. It was a really special time and great to spend it with our loved ones.

Boy #1 is 2.5 so is now plenty old enough to know what all the fuss is about. Although, he is a bit afraid of the big man in the red suit. He strictly told me that 'Santa is not allowed in my house Mum.' And then instructed me that the protocol would be as follows:
  • Santa to ride up our street on the sleigh
  • Reindeers eat the food that we left out for them on the driveway
  • I meet Santa on the footpath and tell him what good boys I have
  • Santa to hand over the gifts to me and I must take them inside and put them safely under the tree
Everything went to plan and Santa delivered two lovely gifts for each of the boys. Alas, boy #1 did not get the Lightening McQueen skateboard that he'd be hankering for. Santa said he was a bit little for that this year (but was quick to add that boy #1 is a VERY BIG boy).

Boy #2 is not so big, only 8 weeks old at Christmas. He still had a great day and much to boy #1's delight, Santa delivered #2 a Percy of his very own.

This year the Mr delivered. Big time. He took boy #1 on a journey across town and bought me a beautiful salad bowl and salad servers. Very very spoilt. The bowl is pictured above with a lonely grapefruit from the market. The macro pic is my favourite section of the bowl.

Want to know a sure fire way to get more salads into your diet? Buy yourself a gorgeous salad bowl.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To market

Depsite the hot weekend, we decided to spend Saturday morning at the farm. Boy #1 is obsessed with 'clip clops' (horses, donkeys, ponies - you get the picture) so we bundled both boys into a hot car and went in search of said clip clops.

The farmer's market was on and for those of you who haven't checked this market out - it is well worth a visit. The fresh produce is beautiful, heaps of organic stuff and lovely stall holders (who must have melted, it was so bloody hot). We bought some delicious oranges, grapefruit, peaches, nectarines, falafel, honey and icy poles.

Back to the horses: after our market sojourn, we discovered that the farmers had put the clip clops in a different location that was just too far to walk in 36 degree heat with two babes. Of course we couldn't tell that to the boy so instead I did what any good mother would do - I lied. Those clip clops had gone to the beach for a swim in the hot weather. Yes they had.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hot days, warm nights

image from

It is going to be 43 degrees in Melbs today - too hot to do anything except sit on the couch and whinge about the heat.
In more crafty news: I'm thinking about my next big project. My sister just got engaged (!) and I want to make her and her hubby-to-be a quilt. I'm struggling to pick a pattern that will stand the test of time. This will be their wedding present and I don't want them to look at it in a few years and think 'Oh gawd! How 2010 is that?!'
She recently bought this beautiful Marimekko fabric and plans to turn it into a spot of wall art. So I'm thinking that I'll use Scandinavian-esque fabrics in the quilt. Anyone out there with some good ideas for a pattern, please let me know! I'm keen to get cracking on this project, the sooner I decide on the pattern, the sooner I can shop for fabrics...