Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cuffs, cake and colds

I think this title pretty much describes where we're at right now. I'm feeling too tired to try for eloquence today, so I think I'll pretty much just do a run-down.

Mid-week sewing project was wrist cuffs for myself and the kids - and we all got a kick out of wearing them all week, even if Matt did find them a bit bemusing!

Lee had the Super Hero bug all week, and must have had good dreams on Thursday night, as he woke up Friday morning, and the following dialogue took place:

Lee - "Mum, where's my Superhero cake?"
Me - "What? Oh, your cape's over there"
"No, my CAKE, where is it?"
"Stop being silly, it's right there!!!"
"No not my cape, my CAKE, is it in the oven?"
"What, why would it be in the....oh, CAKE!!!"

That's when the penny dropped, and I asked him if he had been dreaming about cake, and he had. Apparently it was an oval shaped cake, which was purple with lots of candles on it and it was his birthday. After discussing how this was all a dream, we then went back to "so where is it mum"? "what?" "my CAKE!!!!"

And so the Super Hero cake came into being. Unfortunately we didn't have an oval cake tin, so we settled on a round one, but I did actually have purple food dye (don't ask), so we made a lovely chocolate Super Hero cake for morning tea. It was actually yummier than it looked, and Lee took great joy in offering Grandma and Grandad some of his very own Super Hero cake. Ok, I think I've said the words Super Hero enough for one post now!

The weekend has been slightly less super (sorry, couldn't help myself) than the start of the week, as both kids now have colds and I can feel myself succumbing. Luckily, my sister came round while Matt and her husband went riding, so we made pumpkin scones. Nothing like a hot scone to lift the spirits! Lee also got in on the act and made his own. But he didn't make round ones, he made 'train' ones. Of course, can't you tell?

Personlly, I preferred the old fashioned variety:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Monday

What makes a Monday super? Well, to start with - a cape!

Now we can play "Super Lee to the Rescue" in style. And hopefully there will be no more stealing damp towels from the bathroom to turn into capes (just lovely after they've been dragged around the floor and then put back on the towel rail - yick!).

Then for me, another handbag. This one is made from a tablecloth I found in an Op Shop - I think it's maybe from the 60s or 70s. I've been a bit obsessed with developing a pattern for a handbag that I am happy with. I would love to be able to make them for people as gifts, but they've got to be good. This one is getting closer to something I am happy with, but I think it could have done with a more rigid interfacing. This was the first time I have used the 'One Step Buttonhole' feature on my sewing maching (yes, after three years I finally felt confident enough to give it a try). And boy do I feel silly. It was SOOOOOO stupidly easy. I've a funny feeling I'm going to find reasons to add buttons to many more projects now!

Anyway, here it is:

And the inside view:

After a morning of sewing (and just the bare minimum of housework) we then took off to the local kid-friendly cafe (still wearing the cape), then to the park, and then to the train station where we met Matt getting off the train from work. Lee was so excited to be at a train station, and the train driver even waved at him - how can anyone resist waving back at a boy in a cape bouncing up and down and waving like a maniac!

All in all, a super day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sweep sweep swoosh!

Sweeping sweeping swish.
Thoughts gather in little mounds.
I throw them like dust.

OK, maybe not the best Haiku ever, but I couldn't find one already written that would summarise this post, so I had a crack at one myself.

Previous to moving back into our newly reno'd house, I was always a vacuum, dustbuster and wet/dry vac kinda girl. Cleaning the floors was not a fun job, mainly because the kids hated it. Basically they hated the noise - Lee would start yelling at the top of his voice, Kate would cry, and I would grit my teeth and get through the task as quickly as possible.

Since moving back in, however, I've discovered the joys of sweeping and mopping - sounds weird and perverse huh? I know!!! Maybe it's partly because much of the floor is new, and just comes up looking so nice even after only a quick sweep, but I think it's more than that. For one, the kids don't mind - so no racing the clock trying to get as much cleaning done before it all becomes unbearable - I can take my time. But secondly, I am actually finding it calming and meditative. Often I find I start sweeping with a jumble of thoughts bouncing around in my mind, but gradually as I swish and swoosh the broom around, chasing the dust bunnies across the floor, I find my thoughts are just "sweeping, more dust over there, sweeping".... pretty basic stuff, and such a relief to the incessant noise and chatter that is usually going on in my head.

Don't get me wrong, I still have days when I stand back, admire my freshly mopped gleaming floors, and almost cry as I watch my kids smear avocado sandwich all over them and then push a Thomas train though the mess. This is often followed by a fierce desire to sink to my knees and bang my forehead against the floor. But hey, there's always something in life that can make you want to headbutt a floor right? So for now, I'm going to enjoy my simple pleasure - sweep sweep swish!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Making and baking

Finally managed to grab myself some sewing time, thanks to Kate having magnificent daytime sleeps, Lee being very good at playing next to me in the Rumpus room while I sewed, and me ignoring a decent portion of housework! Although, in fairnes to myself, I did spend the first part of the week cleaning the house like a demon, as we had Mother's Group at our place for the first time in months and months, so I was maybe just a 'bit' obsessed with having the place looking nice. But for the rest of the week I decided it was going to be all fun stuff. Big crayon murals and playing on the swings for the kids, and sewing and baking during naptime for me. Fun fun fun!

I have decided I LOVE our new oven - I even made scones this week that wouldn't break a window if hurled at it. And for Mother's group I made these mini quiches:

They were YUM, and I froze a heap which I've been eating for lunch all week. I also had time to sew this up - I've had the pieces all cut out for ages:

It is the "Charming Handbag" pattern from Amy Karol's "Bend-the-rules Sewing" book. It didn't quite work out as it was supposed to, so it's a bit wonky, but I've still been using it. I love the fabric which was an old pillowcase I found in an op-shop. I think it's from the 70s. Reminds me of something I might have worn as a child. And I used old plastic buttons from my Grandma's button tin, which I was lucky enough to inherit. So I figure what this "Charming Handbag" lacks in finesse, it makes up with charm!

I then had another crack at a bag, combining the Tote style (from the same book) with the Charming Handbag pattern, to come up with this:

It is closer to what I would like to create, but still not quite what I'm after. I think next time I might try using either pleats or gathers in the top so it 'scrunches' a bit more. And using linen was maybe not the smartest move, as the crinkled look is not so great. I do like the yo-yo flower brooch pinned on it though. I made it ages ago but didn't really have a use for it. Now it has a home!

And lastly, today I noticed Kate's only hat is now too small, so I made this:

I used some of the lovely Heather Bailey fabric from her Freshcut line, which I've been saving to make something for Kate. The pattern is just a New Look one from Spotlight. It turned out ok, although I think it is a bit high - would be a good fit for Bert, but I think next time I might try and make it a bit more "Ernie" shaped, if you know what I mean. Also, it only JUST fits Kate - wwwaaaaa. So I guess in about two weeks we will need another one. Oh well, a good excuse to perfect the pattern I guess. By the way, does't Humpty look particularly pleased wearing the hat? Maybe when Kate has grown out of it she will hand it down to him.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Another flying week

Well things haven't become any less busy since my last post, so here's a quick snapshot of my week:

Project of the week was making a pinata with Lee and Kate for my sister and her husband's joint birthday party. Didn't really know what I was doing, but we had fun, and it all worked out well. All the kids got a few good whacks in before it cracked. Watching them all scrambling down on their hands and knees gathering up lollies brought back lots of lovely childhood memories.

I also made Jade and Kym a chocolate heart-shaped birthday cake. It wasn't my finest work, but considering I decorated it with a massive hangover (yes, first one in about five years), I guess it was ok. I did have to serve it up to a host of executive chefs and foodies though, which was a little embarrassing!!!

And the reason for the terrible hangover? Let's just say old workmates, a Hollywood hen's night (congratulations Andrea - I had a great time), and four glasses of bubbly (which was about two too many). It was fun catching up with a whole heap of people that I used to work with, many of whom I hadn't seen in about three years. It was also fun dressing up. Just not so fun being so sick after only four drinks in five hours - and I was home by 11.30pm. So not fair!!! Anyway, I went as Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's. This is the best pic I'm going to post of myself, as I like to think this is how I looked to most people who were wearing their 'beer glasses' (or equivalent).

Bit of a 'Monet' viewed from afar...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things that are making me happy...

Still settling into our newly renovated house, so no time as yet to get back to my sewing (and I have a bag all cut out and ready to go, so I'm absolutely itching to get it finished).

However, I have made time this week to quickly take snaps of some of the things that are giving me a little lift every day - once I started looking around, I realised that there are so many things....but here's this week's top picks anyway:

Finally I have a big bare wall on which to hang my prized painting (before renos it was on a very small wall that was painted blue - not the best backdrop for it). It is by Alesha Cox, an artist who lives on the Sunshine Coast, and it is called "Inner Peace". It reminds me to slow down and be calmer every time I look at it.

This is a small and slighly scrappy bunch of jonquils, I know. But I LOVE jonquils - I love the way they pop up out of the ground every year down south, I love the smooth stems, and the delicate star shape of the waxy flowers. But most I all, I love the smell. Most people I know either love or hate the way jonquils smell, and Matt insists they smell like wee, so we never have them in the house....usually. But this week at the market, the lady we buy flowers from gave this little bunch to Lee. So this week, we have jonquils. And I'm loving it!!

And lastly, a sneak preview of our kitchen:

Ok, I know it's not much of a picture, but I don't want to take any photos of the whole kitchen until it is all finished, and we are still yet to tile the splashback. So in the meantime, just a small picture of the island bench. Actually, this picture incorporates two things that are making me very happy at the moment. For one, the corian benchtop was a big splurge, that Matt and I are SOOOOO happy we indulged in, as it is every bit as lush and tactile as we had hoped. And the green bowl was a Mother's Day present from the kids (and Matt) this year, and I finally have somewhere to show it off. It is by Dinosaur Designs, and is another deliciously tactile object made of an almost luminescent swirly green resin - yum!

Here's to happy things!