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Fathers Day, McScrooges Birthday, Boys Birthday and so on….

17 Sep

Well, it was Boys second birthday last week, and, going against the Pinterest trend, I DID NOT put on a huge shindig which rivals some weddings I’ve been to, nor did I buy out ToysRUs or anything similar. In fact, I went cheapskate the whole way.

I did start thinking about having a big picnic like we did for Girl’s birthdays when she was little, until it occured to me that Boy is shy. OK, lets be honest – Boy really doesn’t like people much, so I figured I should do something he might actually like  far more – we just had a nice dinner at home.


Girl insisted that pumpkin soup is his favourite – he denied that by blowing raspberries at me when I put it in front of him.  Here he is opening the card Girl made him. (do you see that shiner? He took a header into the kagu in the living room, right onto the corner of the step – ooochie).


He got a set of hardcover Lynley Dodd stories, a shirt (I know, lame, right?) and a big Hotwheels car. And thats it. It didn’t matter, once he opened the car, he could car less about the rest of it, ignored the heck out of it all anyway. Well, thats not quite true, we also got him a trike we found on ebay, but I dont have any photos of it! So never mind. Another time.

Here His Preciousness is with his cake (note the Hot wheels car still clutched in one hand)…

About 1 minute after blowing out his candles and eating his first bite he threw up all over his bowl. Lovely. The next few days were filled with similar sorts of loveliness. Euw.

We also had fathers day and McScrooge’s birthday that week (it never rains but it pours).

I cant remember what we got him. Probably not much. He honestly hates it when we get him things and is disappointed with us when we do.

Girl had a birthday party to go to and asked for a pencil case like we did before. Since that fitted in with my typical cheap style I was fine with it. The oilcloth was in the bundle I got at the fabric-0-brac at the State Library a few weeks ago. I actually found it pretty thick and difficult to work with so I had to leave it quite simple. It worked out ok.

I had decided not to do another fabric covered sketchbook because I wasn’t quite happy with the last one, so instead I sewed a cover for an A5 folder and made her a funky diary instead.


Just ignore the little corner of messy workroom there, ok? The inside of the cover is gingham material with clear vinyl from, yet again, sheet set packs sewn over the top. I put together dividers with pretty pictures and titles like: “If I Were A Mermaid” and “Things I Want To Make” and “Super Cool” and “My Dream Castle”. Then I laminated them. I was going to sew around them with top-stitching thread, but I was sewing right up to the minute she was picked up, so I ran out of time.

The images on the dividers mostly come from, their digital scrapbooking stuff, and some of it is pictures of material in my stash.

The dividers are not quite flush, but never mind, I’m happy with it, and most importantly, Girl was jiggling with delight, and even MORE importantly, some of the other mothers have since approached me to hassle me about them, so I know I have done good! Plus, I have survived the last few weeks, which is the most important thing.

Now if only I can survive the next few on the lead-up to our holiday away…


Fabric-a-brac at the State Library

2 Sep

I may not have been hanging around The Slacker for awhile, but I have been getting out and about.

Last week (was it last week? I cant remember now) my local meetup mothers group had a meet up at the State Library where there was a fabric and craft swap market (there was also some baby reading and rhymes thing that we went to first, but all I can really remember was the heaven to come). Holy moly it was fantastic.

I coulda spent every cent I had there. It was heartwarming to know I am not the only one who obsessively collects and DOES NOT USE craft materials. They were selling their lovingly hoarded bits and bobs at insane amounts, $3 or $5 for a few metres of material. I was seriously in sewing heaven.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the fabric-a-brac, I was too busy running around avoiding my children’s entreaties for attention/food/milk/home and rummaging through the masses of amazing material.

I actually managed to restrict myself to spending only $25. which was unbelievably hard, but now I regret not getting more. Isn’t that the way? Somehow everything I did get turned out to be pinks and reds though. Wonder what thats about?

It is almost all already button-holed for projects. I wonder if they will get done or if they will simply join my own lovingly hoarded yet untouched cupboard of pretties? Either way, THERE IS NO WAY I am going to sell them at the next Fabric-a-brac. Please PLEASE let there be a next one!

Pretty Pretty

15 Aug

We’ve only got another 6 weeks until we go overseas. Its suddenly looming over us, instilling deep fear of NOT GETTING ENOUGH DONE!!! Aaargghhhhh!

So I immediately turned around and wasted loads of time sewing up a dress for Girl, and now, blogging it. I’ll get everything I need to get done, completed some other time. Soon. I promise.

I made up the pattern, although its just a basic bodice with a sweet-heart neckline, straps, a gathered skirt and of course, it was missing something so as usual we added a great big huge sash and bow. I think it works alright, and it didn’t really take too long, started yesterday at 3pm, and finished at around 10ish, but had to stop in the middle to cook and eat dinner, kid wrangle, watch the news, etc, etc. So pretty quick and easy, really. The material is leftover from a patchwork quilt I made for Girl awhile ago, and the material for which Girl chose. I personally find it a little pastel, but she likes it.

Now I better go do something constructive I suppose…although theres lots more things Girl wanted me to make for her…


Whats In A Name?

10 Aug

I’m over this title stuff. It’s hard to think something up that isn’t really dorky. Maybe from now on if I can’t think of something all my titles will be “hgosewhgo heljkh” or similar. Just so you know.

Where have I been lately? Well unfortunately I exceeded my download allowance on the VERY FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH and had to put up with shaped internet for the whole of July. Boy, was it tough. I just barely stopped myself from throwing the computer out the window. Or buying more download allowance. But I was good and I toughed it out. Such are the hardships of our lives, huh? I think we’re doing pretty fricking awesomely if thats the hardship we put up with.

Of course, this doesn’t count pooey nappies, realising I’m going to have to do something about my wisdom teeth (REAL soon), vomiting flus throughout the family or finding the dosh to pay bills, but anyway.

So, yes, I did do stuff while I was away from you! This is what I did…

A whole heck of a lot of these:

to go along with this:

A baby pack for my little sisters newest littlest one. A change-mat made to her specifications, a huge stack of reuseable cotton flannel baby wipes made from a combination of new flannel and flannel recycled from a massive bag of flannel pjs. Yes, yes, I soaked the heck out of them, washed them and hung them out to dry in the sun before cutting them up for use. Then I couldn’t resist buying a little grow-suit set from Pumpkin Patch to go with.

Then I made another set for a friend of mine who has had a beautiful little girl, and then, because I couldn’t help myself, I also made a little patchwork blanket:

with lots of help from Girl who sewed the squares, but we couldn’t be stuffed doing any quilting on it, and I think its just fine without, and then we couldn’t resist making this as well!

Oh, why wasn’t Boy another Girl? Girl clothes are so cute! I wish I made this sort of thing for Girl when she was little, but I was totally into dressing her like a boy. Now I try to dress Boy like a girl, but it doesn’t work…sob…somehow he knows he’s a boy and he screams and carries on “Pretty! Pretty! NOOoooooooooooooo!” Like, seriously? How does he know?

So pretty….Its Butterick 6361, version C but without the sleeves or the hem detail. Instead I completely lined the bodice with a soft voile, but when it was finished it looked a little bit boring and lacking something. So Girl told me to stick a big fat bow on the front of the dress and then on the butt of the bloomers. Too cute. It made it just the right amount of treacle.

It was quick and easy to sew up, in fact I started it the afternoon before and had it finished that night. However, I did cut the newborn size and it might even fit her sometime around her first birthday. Other than that, I’m very happy with it!

I gotta tell you, it was really nice to just sew something quick and easy start to finish without any messing around or problems. I wish all my projects were so easy.

Anyway, must go and force Boy to stop veging in front of the tellie, the trampoline is calling! Bye!


Cheap Presents

23 Jun

Summer, summer where for art thou Summer? I miss you! I’m fricking freezing my bloody ass off! This is the season for flannel people. Lots and lots of flannel. Its also the season for crafts because its about the only time of year the sewing room is bearable for any length of time.

So yes, I have been sewing up a storm. Girl had a birthday partay to go to of the sleepover variety and ofcourse, being the cheapskate I am, I sewed for it. I think I spent a grand total of $8 on this present. Girl designed the whole thing after denouncing all my ideas as “lame and boring” and  ordered a sketchbook to be covered with her selection of materials, a pencil case – again in her selection of material and some pencils from the newsagency. The cost was $5.50 for the sketchbook, and $2.50 worth of lead pencils.

I had some oilcloth left-over from another project (I’ll tell you all about it later) and I used some plastic from one of those cases that sheetsets come in – you know the ones? I have never been able to throw them out, and have finally found a use for about 10cms worth of one…now I just have a bag full of them to go. The pencil case pattern is from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches, but I didn’t read the instructions properly and accidentally made it about 5 or 10cms smaller than it should have been.  I don’t know what it is about the instructional language in that book, but after reading about a paragraph my eyes glazed over and I realized I hadn’t a clue what it was trying to say. Couldn’t make head nor tails of it. OH well. Still, it worked ok.

I covered the book with the material as per Girl’s instructions, but couldn’t find any of my origami paper or anything to put on the inside to hide the messy bits. In desperation I used some old colour cards. Oh well. Its covered.


Happy Mothers Day

14 May

Happy Mothers Day everyone! My Mothers Day was wonderful and also rather horrible. How was yours?

We had lots of fun, and lots of fights. It started out promisingly, with breakfast in bed – toasted croissants with avocado, cheese and tomato, chocolates and cups of tea. Before too long the bed was filled with giggling kiddies, crumbs and a thousand ferrero rochere wrappers.

This was followed by a blissful hour on my own since the Scrooge took the kidlets to church (I am a heathen and get to stay home). Then much fun was had when I attempted to change the sheets and make the bed. Every time I tried to get some chores done Scrooge came along and sent me off, promising faithfully to complete my mission for me. I generally just finished them once he got distracted and wandered off…Hey, it’s the thought that counts!

We had home-made icecream for lunch (maple syrup and roasted buttered pecans), and leftover homemade pizza from the night before.

And then despite having plans to go to Bunnings to get some flower plants and garden the rest of the day, we ended up having an impromptu kite making competition, using only materials we already had around the house, followed by a a kite flying competition at the park.

I am proud to say my kite definitely rocked! I have to admit I cheated though, I snuck onto the internet and bought a quick ebook on kite-making and then just copied – skipping all the hard bits.

This is D flying my kite cause it was definitely the best – even though it didn’t stay aloft for longer than a few minutes at a time.

Then a certain someone had a major meltdown when her kite fell apart, crying and proclaiming that she hated Mothers Day because it always gets wrecked. NO! It wasn’t me, thank you very much! The tantrum was finally brought under control at dinner time. Yes, it was a long tantrum.

Where’s some alcohol when you need it, that’s what I want to know. Oh, that’s right. I drank it already.


I Made a Play Tent

13 Feb

OK, I think I mentioned in a post recently that I was overdoing it on the present front again. Well, this time it was for a good cause – we needed a present and I didn’t want to spend any money. ANY. And I didn’t.

I started out with the wrinkley doll from a few posts ago, but I just wasn’t getting the right vibe. A doll is great and all, but I know this kid has got a billion dolls. And how much better is it to get something that becomes an adventure?

And then it came to me – the people across the way have a massive cool teepee in their yard which Girl and I have coveted ever since they moved in. So I did loads of searches online for different teepee tutorials. And I found some gorgeous creations. But they all took a gazillion metres of material, and that I don’t have. And then I came across this tutorial from Grosgrain.

Immediately I imagined it with a million ruffles, heartshaped windows, a beautiful patchwork ground rug and ribbons festooning the thing. Even Paulie jumped on board and made the frame for me from various odds and ends under the house, and painted it white with paint leftover from the bathroom. Then I spent two days slavishly sewing a wonderful patchwork rug, used two layers of flannel as batting and backed it with an unused shower curtain. I cut the material for the tent, realised I had cut it too small, and sewed it back on, then cut it again, then accidentally cut it in the wrong spot altogether, fixed that, bound it in purple bias binding (picked up years ago $3 for a big plastic bag full and then never used) to hide the calamity of stupidity, and sewed a million ruffles to it. Okay, I sewed four layers of ruffles.

This was the half way point. I stood back, and looked at it. Paul looked at it. Girl checked it out. Boy ran in and out of it.

And I was embarrassed. It was so over the top. It was just supposed to be for a 3rd birthday!

Plus, although I made the rug out of patchwork squares that I didn’t even actually like, once it was all together, I kinda did like it. No, I liked it a LOT. And I didn’t want to give it away. At all. So I decided to keep it. And then War of the Worlds started on the tellie, and I hadn’t seen it yet! And it was really good. Even if that weirdo is in it. So I didn’t finish sewing all the ruffles on. That’s ok, it didn’t need them anyway. And then, quite frankly I decided I couldn’t be assed with the windows or anything, and it would be fine the way it was (minus the ground cloth cause that’s mine now).

And you know what? It turned out great just the way it was.

It immediately became full of little girls, a tea party and a picnic rug (the one we gave her for Christmas!). I did actually wish that I had cut the big window, but really, it didn’t matter. I think its super cool. So there.

This is the patchwork piece I was going to make into the ground cloth. I cut the shower curtain off of it since its mine now and I don’t want a shower curtain on it. Its so nice and bright. I think the word Paul used was “garish”. Thanks.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it, maybe make it single bed size for Girl or big enough for my bed – yeah, that sounds about right. So there.