Monday, September 22, 2014

For Your Amusement

I've spoken before about cleaning the bathroom. It's not a fun job. I'm not sure I know anyone in the world who would say they enjoy it. I've noticed in the last few months that cleaning the shower has gotten harder and harder and yet, despite my sometimes diligent scrubbing, I don't seem to be making much headway in the battle against yucky stains and shower scum.

Thursday night, as I readied myself to clean the bathroom again, I pondered this situation and wondered if I was doing something wrong. I checked the cleaning stuff that I've been using, thinking that maybe there was a secret instruction like "add water", or "leave for half and hour" that I was missing.

I was missing something. Turns out, for the last few months, I've been cleaning the shower with a kitchen cleaner. That's right folks. It may be great on grease and grime in the kitchen, but it does nothing for the shower scum and soap build up on the tiles. That answers a few questions I guess, despite leaving me feeling just a little  bit stupid, and a little disheartened at the wasted effort of scrubbing I've been putting in.

Rest assured, shower cleaner is now on the shopping list, and when I venture forth to acquire it, I will be triple checking the bottle I pick up to ensure it is the right thing.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Off the Shelf

Last year, I made this gem and I'm excited to say that last week, Sophie took it off the shelf and had a good twenty minutes using it.

I am well pleased.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Experiences

Last week I let Sophie have her first attempt at finger painting, inspired by my friend Ruth who blogs over at Twenty-first Century Lady. I figured if she could do it with her bub, who is only eight months old, it was about time I let Sophie have a go. 

She had a lovely time, there were even tears when it was time to pack up. I'll have to let her have a go again soon. I don't know how long the pictures will last though, given that I made the paint with flour, water and food dye. Oh well. Until then, it's decorating her room nicely.

 Also, why make one pair of cool shorts, when you can make five? Hehehe.

Friday, September 19, 2014


For those playing along at home, here is what I was working on last week. The not-sewing stuff. :) 

Though it doesn't turn, it does do the job of a clothes line, in that it dries the clothes. Sophie knew what to do with it, though she struggled a little with the pegs, and where to put some of the clothes (she liked to hang things off the wood, rather than the line... not sure why).

Job well done. Thanks for the wood from the garden shed Dad. I'm sure I'll find some uses for the rest of your scrap wood in the duration of my girl's childhoods.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Since mum and dad have been away I've been looking after their fish and the garden. It's not hard. I just go around every Wednesday as I would normally if they were there, on my way to prayer. The girls play (well, Rachel lies around while Sophie plays) and I make sure things are still alive. As a result, I've been lucky enough to reap the benefits of the garden. 

I've collected an abundance of passion fruit (see what some of them turned into here), and most recently, these tomatoes have decided to turn a delicious red color. 

As I've been looking after these tomatoes waiting for them to ripen, I've had to do a bit of work. The tomatoes are really heavy, and as they grow, they weigh down the vines. If you don't stake them up and tie them, quite tightly, to the stakes, the tomatoes grow on the ground and end up rotting. 

I was thinking about this in relation to my own walk with God. Sometimes I'm growing like the vines. I am going to church, bible study, praying, so I have fertile ground to grow in. Things are green. Then I'm producing fruit, meeting up with girls, encouraging other Christians, trying to have spiritual conversations with mums at the park. 

The thing is, that this fruit producing process gets heavy. Even if you are growing in good soil, you need to be staked up to be able to bear the weight. I need to be tightly bound to Gods word and walking with him daily or I will be like the tomato plants with the fruit on the ground: bearing fruit, but it's rotting quickly. 

I wonder how tightly I'm staked to God. Time to hide his word in my heart and meditate on his marvelous deeds (Psalm 119). Daily. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Not Sewing

I've been spending an hour or two each day this week doing some of this not sewing stuff that I keep talking about. This specific not sewing project has made me feel very "handyman". I have used the drill, and the saw, and the handyman measuring tape. I've even used the hammer and only a few more nails than I was supposed to need.

What is this exciting thing you've been working on? I hear you ask. Well, as it's not quite finished, you'll have to wait a bit longer. Only two coats of varnish to go.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More than Sewing

Though the majority of my posts do involve some kind of sewing, I do actually do more with my life than spend time with Sally. I feel that recently, I've been doing a lot more of this "not sewing" stuff, though much of it has not appeared on the blog. Oh well. Just because it's not on the internet, doesn't mean I don't do it!

Anyway, here is something that is not sewing that I did recently with the abundance of passion fruits I collected from my parents garden in their absence.

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Muffins for breakfast on Fathers Day. Yay! You get a picture of my muffins, because Steve was still asleep and when he did wake up for his breakfast, he devoured it too fast.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Birthday Shorts

Though this is a gift that will not be given for another month, I'm posting early for two reasons. 1. I think these are really groovy, and 2. I'll be busy around the time that they will be given.

I sewed these up with the Sycamore Shorts Pattern from Sew Like My Mom. This pattern was fabulous and easy to sew. The pockets on the side are super cool and I even put a tag in so it's easy to tell the front from the back.

Is that double stitching along the cuffs? I hear you asking. Yes, yes it is! I feel like these shorts are possibly the most professional sewing I've ever done. Hooray! I hope they get worn a lot.

On the super dooper plus side, I got the material when Spotlight was having a mega sale, so I got a meter of each, even though I knew I'd only use a quarter of that. So there is a stack left over for more shorts! Can you see Sophie in a pair? I know I can!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Felt Food: Strawberries

I feel I should give credit where credit is due when it comes to my sudden foray into the world of felt food. When I googled "Felt Food" the first result was this post at Apartment Therapy. Thank you Google, and thank you Apartment Therapy for going to the effort of listing (and linking) all those felt foods.

There were a number of strawberry tutorials which I did peruse, but pretty much just ended up making it up as I went. They were pretty simple. A little more than a semicircle of red felt, some yellow embroidery thread, stuffing and a scrap of green. Sophie loved these so much she didn't mind waiting for me to sew them (to the point just watching and not grabbing or anything!). And she also helped me to stuff them with the stuffing without eating any of it or running around the house with it! Hooray!

I saved a plastic strawberry container to house these in (which was very hard to photograph) but my estimation skills are a little off and there is space for two more. Maybe next week. I don't think the plastic container will last long anyway, because Sophie can't open it independently and would rather scrunch it up in her hands to listen to the sound than put the strawberries back in. Oh well.

Friday, September 05, 2014


Just wanting it to be clear that I have no favoritism with my children, I thought I'd share this photo from when Rachel was about a month old.

See? I don't just put Sophie in a bowl, I put Rachel in one too. :D

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Felt Food

Now that the bigger things on my to do list are done, I've been crossing off several of the smaller things. It feels really good to get them done, quickly and easily, though most of them feel they don't warrant a post (like a pair of modesty pants for Sophie that match her latest party dress). That said, I've made my first foray into making felt food for Sophie to play with in her kitchen, which I feel is a milestone worth celebrating.

I actually started by making some sunny-side-up eggs (sorry no photos), which got an ok response from Sophie. She understood they were food, but didn't really connect. Not too surprising since most times she has eggs, they are scrambled or hard boiled. Anyway, second on the list were these donuts, which I made using this tutorial for inspiration.

Sophie could not care less about these donuts. She really has no clue that they are delicious food. I even took her to the donut shop to show her the pink iced donuts, but alas, no response. What she is excited about however, are the felt strawberries I'm making. Two down, four to go, should get them done today.

In the meantime, here is a photo of Rachel modeling a donut for me. She's a helper.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


One of the ladies from church who I see at prayer every week, gave Rachel this beautiful cloth book, which she no doubt sewed herself.

I couldn't bear to write on it with a sharpie, so I spent some time thinking and then sewing and came up with this.

I know it's just a cloth book that won't last, but I think I've made something special here, so I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Have been thinking about a number of things lately, and even writing half of the blog in my head, but when I come to the computer, it all seems to just run away. Maybe it's got something to do with my current mental state. Here's an example for you.

Last week, I was cleaning the bathroom. Not the most fun job in the world, and admittedly I had left it a little long, so it was a bit more gross than usual. I am there on my hands and knees scrubbing away thinking to myself: "This is gross. Humans are gross. Look at the mess we make. It's everywhere. All I do all day is clean up this crap."

It doesn't end there, because I keep thinking.

"This mess isn't just our outside. We are dirty inside as well. We try to do good, but fail all the time. I'm trying to love people, do the right thing, read my bible, but I'm failing. Everyday. Failing."

And it's true. We, as humans, can try as hard as we like, but in the end, we are going to fail. We are not perfect. We can never make it. I know this is why we need Jesus. This is why we need a God who comes down to us to bridge the gap. I find that I relate to Paul's sentiment from Romans 7 more and more.

Anyway, enough of my mental state. I am getting through it, as always. God is good. All the time.

Recently in church we have read through Nehemiah, and last Sunday, because it was the 5th Sunday of the month, we recapped the whole 13 chapters. I must admit, I was a little dubious about recapping 13 chapters in one night, but I did enjoy the sermons on Nehemiah that I had heard, so I was also looking forward to hearing the parts I had missed.

Neil did a great job. Nehemiah tells the story of a broken Jerusalem. Not just the physical place, but also the people. God is faithful to these people, this broken place. Nehemiah has the job of organizing the people to rebuild the wall, and then lead the people in coming back to God.

The story is so encouraging, and yet heartbreaking, because in Chapter 13, after all of these reforms, Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem after being away to find the people have fallen back into their old ways. I know I've read it before, but I was so sad to hear it again on Sunday. Maybe because I can relate. Why is God so faithful to people who just forget about him? Why is he so faithful to me?

How amazing is God's love for us. How great is it to remember that he has abundant forgiveness and grace for all our failings. God is good. All the time.