Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sophie: defying gender stereotypes and social fashion demands in today's outfit for shopping. Robot onesie and matching pants, complemented with a rose floral jacket. I feel like if the jacket was black, she'd look like a tough biker because of it's slightly-too-big-ness.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes the days and weeks all blur into one, so it's good to have something to look back on and realize - I achieved that! To know that those days were not wasted or meaningless. :)

I cut out alphabet cards this week, in cardboard, then stuck colored cardboard on the front and wrapping paper on the back. It's now up on the wall in Sophie's room, looking pretty stunning I must say. The teacher in me is excited about it's learning potential. She could sort the letters by what color card they have on the front, or the back! Or by shapes!

For a while now we've just been stacking recycling on the bench, actually, now that I think of it, I'm not sure we've ever had a proper recycling bin. But that's all about to change! Thanks to having a child, I had a perfectly sized nappy box that fits under the beverage area. Now that it's covered and labeled  it's ready to become a recycling revolution.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sewing projects 2 and 3 complete!

Firstly: Chair Covers. 

I came to the realization that kids are going to be messy and if I want my chairs to survive (which I do), I need some way of easily washing off the mess and protecting the current covers. Actually recovering these chairs would be way too much hassle  So I looked through my drawers of material, surfed the net to get chair covering inspiration and then came up with some covers. Overall I'm really happy with how they've turned out.

Secondly: The Bag.

I've noticed that while the current nappy bag that I have is lovely and large and fits everything in all it's nifty little pockets, sometimes it's just too big for where I'm going and I need something smaller with just the essentials. Again with some surfing of the net, I discovered a pattern for a cool stylish bag that looked like it would do the job. 

It was going to be a challenge though, because the pattern was a bit tricky and fiddly, but I thought, what they heck - I've started to read instructions! Maybe I can do this. So I looked through the drawers of material (no shopping for me!) and adjusted the pattern a little bit (it calls for something called Peltex, whatever that is) and began. Because I was using leftover material, there was not quite enough of the blue stripy to do the whole front, but I did some creative alternating with the plain blue and came up with something quite cool. 

I've been inspired by the quilt mum made for Sophie, so I traced one of the elephants for the top flap. I think it makes it look super cool, and really only took me a little extra time. 

You can see the tricky handle bits here. You may also notice that in the photos you never see the handles themselves  That's because despite following the instructions (or perhaps because I followed the instructions) I managed to sew them on incorrectly (going over the zip, rather than staying on the same side). Sigh. When I realized  Steve advised some unpicking, but I had just spent at least 2 hours sewing those ridiculous tricky bits (not to mention hand sewing parts because my machine went a bit crazy and was unusable for some sections). There was no way I was unpicking that.

I suppose if the handles annoy me, I can cut them in half and rejoin them to the appropriate sides, but I'll see how I go first I think. Inside has a number of divider pockets which are very cool and handy. 

Feeling very productive after this weekend. I'm now pretty much all out of the stripy blue material (thanks Ikea!) which was also used for curtains in our bedroom. Steve watched me start the bag and asked if I had taken the curtains down to make my most recent projects. 

Bag pattern found here: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/september2010/StyleStitches.pdf

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I've been thinking this morning about priorities. Possibly because yesterday in the car, Carrie and I spoke about the way some women say they love their children more than their husbands. I don't think this is the way it's supposed to be. I mean, children are important, but after 20 years of slogging your guts out raising them, they leave. Your husband is the one who stays till death. I want my hierarchy of love to be God, then Steve and then Sophie.

Anyway, back to priorities.

I've noticed that I've been neglecting my quiet times a lot since becoming a mum. And when I say a lot, I mean they are pretty non-existent. I suppose it's a culmination of factors that have lead to this - I finished my last quiet time series (reading the bible chronologically through the year) just before Sophie was born and I didn't really have anything in mind to start after that. Actually, the book I was going to read and, indeed, did start reading, was misplaced at the hospital. The first few weeks of raising a child proved to be very draining, time consuming and any spare time I did have was mostly consumed by sleep.

But now, I'm getting enough sleep and Sophie is usually calm enough in the mornings most days to give me time to myself. There is really no excuse. I've had time to cook, clean, make jackets, chair covers and even go shopping, not to mention time to see people, but seemingly no time to spend with God.

What's wrong with my priorities? I wake up in the morning and after feeding Sophie, I check my email. And then (shamefully) Facebook. Then I wash up, and do a tidy of the house. Sometimes I'll put on a movie while I do some sewing.

I've got hours here. What happened to spending 15 mins with God? Why isn't that a priority anymore? Laziness and complacency has set in and I need to get out of this cycle and get my priorities straight.

What good is a clean house and chair covers if my relationship with God is in disrepair?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

News Flash! 

I just got a new watch band. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

I've finished the second kimono wrap for Sophie. :D I think it is most excellent. It's much more refined than the first one. I actually bothered to change the thread color this time to match for example. I didn't bother with the French Seams (although I have nothing against them in particular) because I used Olivia the Overlocker on all the seams. Olivia is 21 this year.

I had to do a substantial amount of creative cutting to get the material out of the scraps that I had, but also managed to hide all the joining seams in hidden places, so from the front, it looks as if it's practically perfect (kind of like Mary Poppins!). I also cut strips of the fabric and used that to do the edges, rather than use bias binding. I think it looks rather stunning. Excited for winter when Sophie can wear it.

Until then - let's put her in a bowl!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sewing Project One: Kimono Wrap.

In an effort to make sure I don't go insane and have something to do that I can easily put down when interrupted, I made this last week. I got the pattern from sewmammasew.com which has a fair few patterns and tutorials.

Strangely for me, I actually read the instructions before I began to sew. The instructions told me to do "French Seams" which I had never done before and didn't really see the point in now, but rather than ignore this, I decided that I could try a second new thing and actually follow the instructions. I can now do French Seams.

I did have to do some adjusting of the pattern because the original has the wrap going right over left, which is terrible and not at all Japanese, but it was fairly simple to wrap left over right instead and I'm happy with the finished product.

It is for a 3 month old, so it won't fit Sophie for another 2 months or so. I was going to put it on her and take a photo so we could all have a good laugh at how silly she looked, but then decided that might be bad mothering, so I resisted the temptation.

Here is some other material I've dug out of the seemingly endless amount inherited from Mum that I'll use to make wrap number 2. I'm sure I had some PJ's made out of this when I was small.

Kimono Wrap Pattern found here: http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/october2010/SMSKimonoWrapBettsyKingston.pdf

Friday, February 01, 2013

General observation: Having a child means that almost everything is inconvenient.

I'm not complaining, or saying that I never want to do things, but my younger sister said to me on Tuesday "When would be convenient for you?" and I realized that really, I can't tell her, because maybe Sophie will eat and sleep at the same time as yesterday, and then again, maybe not. I can plan things around what I think will be when she's asleep or awake or whatever, but really, there is no telling when she'll be hungry or tired or whatever!

Maybe when she's older and there is more routine, but right now, every day is a mystery. Who knows when things will happen! I'm surprisingly not too bothered by this disruption to my otherwise organised life. I think I'm coping well with the unexpected nature of life. Weird.

Yesterday, I made these Italian Lemon Biscuits with several interruptions and at one stage with Sophie sitting happily in the papoose.

These are delicious.