November 25, 2008

interesting links

i know, i have barely been doing anything...

but i have some links i've found and want to keep...

Pencil Roll Tutorial

Picnic Roll

Map Lamp

October 21, 2008

Finished and Fun in the sun!

well i didn't get my kaftan finished til the day before leaving but it was perfect for taking! I wore it down to the pool everytime i went, not just for the dress up night ;)

here are the pictures i promised :D

oh and i had a FABULOUS weekend!!!

October 04, 2008

another challenge

in 2 weeks i'm off to the gold coast for a child free weekend - and i CAN'T WAIT!!!!

anyway for our first night (cocktails by the pool ;p) we have a theme of dressing for the year we were born... lucky me, a 69 girl! i could have gone as an astronaut but thought it might be a bit hot LOL thought about being a hippy but then i was looking at a book i had borrowed from the library on western fashion for the past 1000 years and the picture of the late 60's was of a lady in a kaftan and tight 7/8 pants. i decided that was perfect for lounging by the pool!!

mum reminded me i had a pattern - simplicity 4067 but i discovered that i had bought it in the wrong size! aagh! so i had to resize it all by multiple sizes and i didn't do such a great job, but then again i have no idea what i'm doing lol i also lengthened it. unfortunately i didn't have enough of the matching material to make any pants, but i figure for the pool i don't really need them (and tbh the sleeves will make me hot and i would be even hotter in pants)

the top has come out a bit big, and the bottom, while it is big enough for my pear shape, is not big enough in the right spots because i'm so short between the waist and shoulders (and very long from waist to crotch). never mind, i'll remember that for next time, if there is a next time ;)

i am really really struggling sewing it too - the fabric i'm using is a very very light cotton - maybe a muslin or a battiste or something like that... anyway, on both my sewing machine and my overlocker, i have to stretch the **** out of it otherwise the stitching gathers as i sew / overlock. it's driving me a bit crazy but i'm nearly finished now....

tomorrow i need to get mum to help me sew some trim on to make it look really 60's (unfortunately the trim was $6 pm so i don't have enough to go around the sleeves and hem as well as the neck :(). i also am going to make a headscarf to wear, tied at the side of my face of course lol like the headscarf in the orange version here . hmmmm my kaftan is definitely not as big as the originals lol

i have just realised that i should have big puffy hair too, but i'm going to be swimming so not sure there's any point... lol

i did buy big sunglasses too ;)

ok, i will post a pic tomorrow once i have it finished!

September 21, 2008

Car Organiser

well, the state of my car is disgraceful (i meant to clean and tidy it this weekend but it just didn't happen) and i'm sick of having stuff everywhere. so I googled ideas for making your own car organisers. i found this blog which had a great tute and i set to work.

i used a piece of corduroy which i had bought to make pants for ryan, but as he is my denim addict (will rarely wear anything else) i decided to sacrifice it to the cause - plus it matched our gorgeous (*snort*) beige interior LOL it was the perfect size to get 2 organisers out of, with the tiniest bit of fiddling (if you look closely the drink pocket has the wale of the cord the opposite way - totally intentional! lol)

i was a little over enthusiastic with how much extra fabric i included in the pockets, but now it's perfect for that notepad and tissues lol
the cord wasn't too thick to sew, though a layer of thinner would have been easier.

i had originally planned to have elastic run around the headrest and across the base of the seat, so it was mostly out of sight, but decided that probably wasn't the best option. so we do have unsightly white elastic down the front seats but i'm not really that bothered - i think the benefits outway the aesthetics.

next week i'll do one for the other side, i ran out of time as it took a little longer than i expected!

in other news i spent the past few weeks tidying and organising my sewing area, it's mostly done now and looking heaps better! just gotta sort out my fabrics and find something better to store all my overlocker and sewing threads in - what do you use?

September 12, 2008

12x12" canvas prints $29.98 at big w

community service announcement lol

see here for further details

August 31, 2008

Disco Queen!

Emelia is having a disco party next weekend so i decided to make her (and hopefully rory) a disco shirt to wear! it seemed like such a simple idea...

it could have been worse but gosh this fabric was hard to sew! i couldn't get the tension on either my sewing machine or my overlocker right and it was impossible to get straight hems and edges with the sequins. i also made a few little mistakes but hopefully no one will notice.

Pattern is Ottobre 2/2005, Design 11. as Emelia is 110cm tall i made a size 116 but it is really too big. I'd rather big than small and she may need to wear a long sleeve shirt under it next week anyway if the weather's cold! I've done this one before too, loved it then!


August 27, 2008

looking for more sewing blogs to read?

try this!

The Big List of Sewing Blogs

thanks to the very talented teri from mermaids on whose blog i found it :)

August 26, 2008

i am no knitter

unfortunately :(

i wish i was. some day i'll take the time to watch some youtube movies and teach myself how to do it properly - i think my main problem is how i hold the needles and yarn.

anyway, despite not being a knitter i do enjoy doing it. knitting is less forgiving of people who aren't good at following instructions though... that's why i generally sew or crochet lol

it's made worse by the fact that i only knit at night after the kids are in bed, when i'm tired and not good at concentrating, and wanting to go to bed myself!

i started a project for emelia and i am really enjoying it so far - except for the errors! ack! it's a lacy shrug and while the lace pattern is easy to do it's also easy to stuff up (if geoff talks to me for instance lol) and i honestly have NO idea how to undo it because of the way the lace is made lol. i just messed up the rib cuffs because i thought i'd dropped some stitches, picked them up, and then discovered that i hadn't dropped them at all!! aaagh!!

anyway, i will keep soldiering on...

by the way, i have started keeping track of my projects over at ravelry if you're a member there :)

August 08, 2008

6 things meme

thanks S :)

1. Link to the person who “tagged” you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

1. S is amazing - she is not only very well respected at her job, which she does full time (by hours if not technically) but she is also a fabulous mum to 3 and another on the way, as well as trying for the simple life and doing things like growing her own vegies, keeping chooks etc etc

2. see above lol

3. (1) at the moment i wish my children would all run away for a good half hour. i am tired and want some quiet time to myself lol
(2) i get dyshydrotic excema when i'm stressed, mostly only my hands, but sometimes on my toes or elbows. i usually don't notice it until i've scratched enough to be annoying.
(3) i have no willpower
(4) i spent the morning at ryan's preschool for the first time. i have much admiration for preschool teachers lol i was exhausted and i didn't even do much!
(5) i'm wondering how old i'll be when i feel my nose stud is no longer appropriate?

4. i tag
Mands, who is a single mum to 2 gorgeous girls and still finds time to quilt!
Bec, who i just bought some yummy soap from and have forgotten to let her know it's arrived
joey, who only learned to knit a year or two ago and is incredible with the needles!
and 3 women who make the most gorgeous kids clothes for sale - ingrid, milly and tina - go check them out!

5. will have to do this over the weekend - gotta go make dinner!

6. will do :D

rory's hat finally finished!!

it just barely fits :-0 (my kids have such huge heads lol)

i worked out the issue with the ottobre pattern and it's mainly that it tells you to start each row with 3 chain and count that as a double (treble) crochet - but that's actually incorrect, you shouldn't count it as part (on most rows lol)

August 03, 2008

the new and the old...

well i managed to get one page done before i needed to finish (it's above) - and i found a whole heap of old pages needing to go into albums, including a few which i think i have never photographed before! i wanted to share my two faves of my gorgeous little boy (who is now 5!), they're down below :)

some card making....

last month i went to my first stampin up party - thanks to hannah and nicola! i bought just a few basics to make birthday cards so that when we need them we can quickly make them instead of having to spend $5+ on buying them!!!

here was my first attempt this morning - i would have kept playing with it but it was for Hannah and she arrived to drop some stuff off before i had a chance to do anymore lol

July 25, 2008

considering colour combinations

July 20, 2008

heights (early june)

A 87cm
E 105.5cm
R 112

July 07, 2008

aaagh that ottobre hat!

yes, i am now making rory one (same wool, different colourway) and i have made the same mistake somehow as last time - i am up to row 8 or 9 and it's pulling in too tight. problem is i can't remember what i worked out last time. perhaps it was that i didn't count the chain 3 at the start of each row as a dc even though the pattern says to. whatever i've done it's not easily worked out because i've followed the pattern perfectly.

now i really wish i had written my own version like i thought i should...

June 21, 2008

AT LAST !!! my WIP is finished!!

i lost count of how many times i had to undo this and start again, at least 8. oh my goodness it was so frustrating. i'm not sure if it was me and my inability to read patterns properly, or the ottobre instructions...

anyway, this is the ottobre pattern i used here

i am now making some little flowers to go on it, pattern here

and i have to say thank goodness for youtube for converting US crochet to australian!!!

June 19, 2008

overlocker course update

i have been enjoying it - when i make it!

i missed one week as g went to see the chaser show. i missed another 2 weeks because i wasn't well and just couldn't face going.

i went this week but achieved very little (still not well) and there is only one week to go.

i have really enjoyed it and have learned a lot. i never realised there was so much you could do with your overlocker!! i meant to leave the poor neglected thing in for a service and forgot. will have to do it next week.

we are supposed to pick a project to do during the course. a pillow was suggested but i just wasn't all that interested. in the end i picked this pattern and will make it for emelia from a chocolate brown uncut cord for the dress and a not-quite mint green for the shirt and leggings.

obviously it will take longer than 2 hours for me to make it, but i'm hoping to attend some of their 'sew what you like classes'. the teacher has told me she will help me to make new swimmers (with underwires) and bras for myself!! OMG i need new swimmers desperately but larger sizes with underwire are $200+ !!!! and i also need new bras even more desperately (all my 'new' not cheap bras are falling apart despite already having been repaired :()

they have a deal where you can attend 8 of these sewing 'classes' for $135, you get help on whatever you need and you don't need to attend every week, just when it suits. sounds great :)

another meme tag...

from mermaids

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

i had met geoff about 9 months before and was waiting on the results of my interview for a job over here in canberra where he was living. (they took 3 months to get back to me, i should have known they were going to be awful employers lol). i was living in tumut, out on my own for the first time and loving it. renting a gorgeous heritage flat from my boss. was enjoying my job though i had apparently had a falling out with the girls at work - i only knew as they all stopped talking to me :-0 in august 2008 i finally moved to canberra and moved in with geoff just until i found another housemate (heh)

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

i'll say tomorrow as today is nearly over.

* bake something quick and easy for a morning tea playdate

* fold some washing, the pile is monstrous

* put the F&V from organic express away in tupperware in teh fridge

* make dinner

3. Snacks I enjoy:

golden delicious apples (now out of season, sob), little mandarins, soft cheese on crackers, cake of most kinds, coles brand stem ginger cookies

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

hire a cleaner and a nanny, hmmm maybe a housekeeper who did it all. put this house on a bigger block (love my house but the yard's too small), buy an embroidery machine, travel overseas regularly, give gifts to family, plan a spectacular 40th birthday, have massages every week!

5. Places I have lived:

tumut, gilgandra, kempsey, queanbeyan - nsw

canberra - act

milan - italy

northwood - uk

vermont - usa

6. Jobs I have had:


waitress (hopeless lol)

fairy floss maker!

canteen hand



camp counselor

disability support worker


project officer

and currently policy officer

7. 6 Peeps I would like to know more about (in no particular order)

whoever would like to do it - just let me know you have!

May 17, 2008

i've been tagged again!

The Crone has tagged me!

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
i'd been going tout with dh for about 6-9 months and was just a few months away from moving to canberra to be with him.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
fold washing *sigh*
practice my overlocker skills
make a shirt or skirt for emelia
send g to canberra theatre to buy tickets for the chaser's show
survive my children, GIVE ME STRENGTH

3) Snacks I enjoy:
golden delicious apples
brie / camembert cheeses with crackers and chilli jam
slices and cakes (aagh)
scones with jam and cream

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
travel o/s regularly
buy a beach house
pay off my mortgage and buy a house on more land
get a cleaner too LOL

5) Places I have lived:
canberra, wagga wagga, milan, london (northwood), vermont

May 11, 2008

quick fleece hats

just found this link on another blog, i'll definitely be having a go at these because we always tend to need 2-3 hats per child - as at least one always seems to end up at daycare ...

the secret to my addiction...

a few weeks ago someone on eb mentioned bloglines... suddenly i didn't have to miss posts because clicking all my links was too tedious and time consuming to do, or miss blogs because adding them to my list took ages too.

now i have a few (*cough* nearly 100 *cough*) blogs subscribed to and bloglines tells me when there are new posts so i know to go straight to them. i can comment immediately and my only problem is that i keep adding new blogs, and i see so many recipes i have trouble remembering where i saw one i want to make LOL

do yourself a favour and check it out

and if anyone knows why i am all set on being public subscriber and yet i never show up as public i'd love to know!!!

May 09, 2008

ottobre WOW!

i have jsut discovered someone on flickr who is totally into ottobre and i am just wow at what she has made - love the colours and fabrics, she's into dyeing and fancy stitching, she has an embroidery machine (how jealous am i??? *sob*) OMG! she is amazing!


last weekend i got the urge to crochet.

so when i went to lincraft i bought a ball of wool (a bit tricky as i was following an ottobre pattern and it talked about metres per 100g and i couldn't find any particularly close!) thank goodness for youtube as the instructions are in american crochet terms LOL

it's going slowly as i just do a row or two per night (i have discovered i can actually crochet while i read on the puter, wooh lol) and i had to undo 3-4 rows last night as i realised that i had messed up half a row really badly. anyway, here's a teaser...

ETA: aaaagh i think i must have stuffed it up somehow, it is not looking at all like it's supposed to - and i have no idea how, i thought i'd done really well at following directions !! OMG i am sooooo bad at following instructions, i just cannot do it lol

May 06, 2008

overlocker student

tonight was the first night of my 8 week overlocker class. we didn't do a lot tonight (in fact nothing lol) but talked a lot and had some little demos (the teacher spent a lot of time helping some of the people who had 10-20 year old overlockers which hadn't been used in all that time!!!) as mine's a janome and the newer (cheaper lol) version of 2 of the others i didn't get any extra help.

we get to pick our project though so i'm going to do covers for my machines, just to keep the dust off...

May 04, 2008

the verdict is in...

i stuffed up the invisible zipper! it's totally visible LOL i think i should have done it my way instead of tryign to do it the ottobre way with a non-functioning brain!!!! LOL

Such a Princess!

Emelia's princess dress is nearly done :) i just need to do the zipper - an invisible one (which i have never used / done before so am a little nervous lol)

i ended up using a different pattern - the new Ottobre arrived and Emelia (who took it to bed with her two nights in a row lol) fell in love with this dress (3/2008, design 19)

i thought chances were the ottobre dress would probably be easier than the simplicity so went with it - so far it has been easy, even though i did stuff up the side seams of the bodice (but i wasn't feeling at all well yesterday so i have a good excuse)

i had to go out this morning to buy the zipper so i bought some ribbon to trim it with too - now i wish i could have trimmed the bodice with some too instead of my pathetic top stitching! i might try later if i get a chance, at least it won't be as fiddly as the ribbon on the bottom to sew straight as i'll have the top stitching line to follow :)

i have to put in a disclaimer too - i did NOT choose the fabric! it is totally not my taste in colours lol emelia picked it from mum's stash ;p i think it qualifies as retro as it's no doubt late 80's lol

here's the princess (with her new princess jiffies, what a blast from the past they are lol)

PS: as it's practically winter here now she'll be wearing leggings and a long sleeve shirt under it ;)
i saw a dress with similar sleeves in myer, made out of fine cord and with decorative stitching so if i can find anything suitable in my stash i'm going to have a go at making this as a winter dress, probably shorter.
PPS: this is a 104 and emelia is 3.5y and wears a size 4-5 top and size 4 bottoms

April 30, 2008

i've been tagged!

thanks kylie lol

5 things found in my bag:

1. chapter 3 of the book my psychologist has me reading
2. the kids' swimming cards
3. aquim anti-bac handwash
4. elastics & clips for the girl' hair
5. lip balm (moogoo, mmmm)

5 favourite things in my sewing room: (or what I would have if I had a sewing room!)

1. ikea expedit shelf
2. window to back yard
3. ottobre mags
4. tv & dvd so i can put on old movies to listen to and keep little fingers away
5. my daylight lamp, thanks mum!

5 things I have always wanted to do:

1. travel more
2. lose weight *sigh*
3. have more money lol
4. have a great job with great people (i'm very close now, if only it paid more lol)
5. have a cleaner

5 things I am currently into:

1. stephanie plum books
2. choko bai jo (see my food blog for details)
3. writing policies lol
4. being online
5. checking my kids' hair for nits *sob*

5 people I am tagging:

1. will do this later, need to get ready for work now!

April 29, 2008

a princess dress?

emelia has been invited to a princess party (on mothers day of all days) so i thought i might make her a dress.... am i insane? lol

anyway, i already have this pattern - a garage sale find.i'm thinking of doing the dark pink dress on the bottom right, it looks the easiest. i think. lol

i already have the blue or green organza left from the mermaid skirt (which hasn't been very popular incidentally, as it's too hard for the kids to find the middle and put it on without my help) which i can use and i'm thinking of trying to use another fabric other than a slippery satin.

what do you think?

April 20, 2008

everything old is new again!

I dug emelia's overalls out of the mending pile this morning, pulled all the snaps out, undid the stitching and stitched them together all through the crotch. perfect fit for her and so cute! she'll get a lot more wear out of them than emelia did, especially with the poo sagas of recent weeks lol

will add some pics shortly...
ETA, my pic is corrupted somehow, this is one on flickr though

April 05, 2008

what a nightmare

i have just spent the past hour trying to get my overlocker to work, even called the store for advice, and have now given up.

i'm trying to do a rolled hem (with a variegated thread) and the lower looper thread just keeps breaking. i have rethreaded the whole thing probably 12 times or more, no kidding. i have also changed the needle as they suggested.

i just don't have time to take it down there for them to look at as the party is at 1pm. i wish they'd bothered to call me back about their beginners class last year (or was it the year before? lol), i can't afford it now :(

thank goodness i found a cute handbag i'd bought for rory's birthday but not given as the girls don't really play with any of the handbags they have already...

April 04, 2008

birthday gift

on wednesday ryan got his first preschool birthday party invitation!

i realised yesterday that rsvp was yesterday, even though the party wasn't til june (very early to send out invites i thought, especially with one day to rsvp!) anyway, called to rsvp and the party is on THIS saturday, someone got confused lol

i meant to have a quick look at the shops this morning but forgot and with our new tight budget i decided i should really try to make something.

the birthday girl is turning 4 and seems to be the youngest of a few children. she is quite tall and slim and seems to be from a european background and has a very individual style which is a bit funky and lot like ottobre. lucky eh?! lol

so i found some nice soft indigo denim and am making this skirt - luckily mum already traced off the wrong size for emelia which happens to be the exact right size for lejla :) i'm going to top stitch with either red or hot pink, i'm not sure if she's a pink girl...

Emelia (3y 7m)

waist 53cm
chest 55cm
height 110cm

ryan - height 113cm

March 26, 2008

community service announcement LOL

i have just set up a food / kitchen blog, to share my kitchen experiments and favourite recipes.

March 24, 2008


wooooo! not only did i finish something in a day but it was something for me too!!! yippee!! (the kids are just about sorted for winter, i want a whole new wardrobe i can't afford though so i need to be sewing...)

the jacket doesn't fit quite right - it's actually a bit tight across the shoulders and i'm not really sure how to fix that. other than that it's not too bad, could do with an extra cm all round perhaps.

i didn't put elastic on the arms as i decided i liked them as they were. they are also shorter than i expected, but luckily i love 3/4 sleeves ;) i haven't done the ribbon tie yet as none of my ribbon is the right colour.

i don't mind the style - it's probably not quite me for casual wear but suits very well for work. i'll probably make at least one more (i have several more velours waiting lol)

PS: do you like the photo ryan took for me? i asked him to take a photo of my jacket so he did exactly what i asked lol i supposed i shoudln't complain, at least there's no double chins lol!!!

nice rainy day for sewing...

i'm trying to make myself a jacket to take to melbourne - something new :)

yesterday i drafted teh pattern to fit and cut it out. hoped to sew but didn't. today i'm sewing...

i'm making this jacket from Ottobre 2/08 design #10 in a chocolate brown stretch velour. interesting to sew lol

seven things meme

I’ve been tagged by Dani

Firstly, here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
2. Share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Things :
1. I am hoping to sew myself a jacket to take to melbourne today.
2. both my girls are getting sick, only 4 days before we fly out, i am just dreading that it could be tonsilitis :(
3. too much is never enough
4. i am craving a decent cup of coffee - aldi coffee is good enough most of the time, but i want something better atm
5. i desperately want to be organised but never seem to get close
6. i can't stand whinging whining children - aaagh
7. half of the filling in the tooth i've been procrastinating on having refilled, fell out last night

I’m tagging
7 people who i will work out later today lol

ok, tagging...
dani / dsk
the crone
lynn / dreamweaver
helen / mini-grey
karen / phreespirit

and i just can't think of a 7th person who i don't think would get annoyed with me lol (not that i think anyone on the list will actually do this lol)

February 24, 2008

Ryan's Library Bag for preschool

still in shock that my boy has started preschool (and that he loves it so much!). even though i checked the list the week before it started i'm positive a library bag wasn't mentioned on it so i didn't have one organised when the note came home on wednesday saying that IF they had a library bag on friday they'd be allowed to borrow a book (if not, too bad so sad!!)

i work weds & thurs so no chance of making a bag on those nights, i am exhausted.

so i made it today. i used this blog tutorial for inspiration and a search on eb to get the idea and dimensions etc.

i totally stuffed it up but love it anyway LOL i haven't been feeling well today (dizzy & nauseous) so was having trouble concentrating. it was suppose to be blue on the outside and green on the inside, with the handle sewed into the seams hehe

i handstitched ryan's name on the label, and did the button more for practice for him than practicality.

February 03, 2008

mermaid skirt

today i hosted a craft open house - only eilleen was able to make it but it was lovely to chat and catch up with her, and i achieved my aim of getting something done!

i had planned to start some winter clothes for ryan but hadn't tidied up in time (plus hadn't washed the fabric) and remembered i wanted to make a princess skirt for rory for her birthday. i found the instructions on a blog (i forget where :() last week.

I had some gorgeous green and blue glittery organza already and decided to combine the two, not realising that it would make a skirt that looked like a mermaids! the idea was to make a loop of elastic slightly smaller than the waist (i used my usual wide waist elastic but recommend you use as narrow an elastic as possible, as long as it's strong enough). you then cut strips of any shimmery / see through fabric and simply knot them around the elastic - voila!

the only downside is that there is glitter EVERYWHERE!

the photos show emelia modelling it for me :)

January 19, 2008

Heights January 2008

Ryan - 111cm
4y 7.5m

Emelia - 102cm
3y 4.5m

Rory - 85cm
22.5 mo