Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Poser

I made some skirts for the girls. I got some remnant fabric at Spotlight when I was in there getting elastic. It was only $2, so I got the meter. Half for each child I figured. But Sophie is taller now, so I paired hers with some leftover purple from her Easter Dress. Then I added ribbon, just because. 


It's pretty and swishy and just a bit long, but means she'll get a lot of wear out of it right? Rachel's isn't finished yet, because the half meter wasn't long enough for her either, and I'll need to lengthen it somehow. Still working on that.


Anyway, in an endeavour to take more interesting photos of the clothes I sew, I took these the first time Sophie wore the skirt on our trip to the Workshops Rail Train Museum at Ipswich. She's wearing a new shirt too, which is good, because it almost makes up for her grubby kindy shoes.


Sophie did have a little bit of fun posing for the photos, but in the end, never really held still long enough for a superb one. Not sure how other bloggers do it, but I suspect there are bribes involved.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Shades of Blue

When one has decided to mass produce for one's child, it is my strong recommendation that the material chosen, is all the same, or a very similar colour, thus enabling mass production to occur without having to change the thread on one's sewing machine. 


This was certainly the case for the quick sewing I did last weekend. Sophie needed new shorts for summer (and boy is it coming in quickly this year!) so I asked her to choose material from the stash (still trying to use it up before buying more) and got sewing. I was able to cut everything out on a Saturday morning and sew two thirds of it Saturday night. I ran out of elastic and needed to borrow a pattern for the last pair of pants, so the final sewing happened the following Sunday night.


Can you see what I mean by it all being the same colour? I had blue thread on Sally the Sewing Machine the entire time. So fast. Sophie got four new pairs of shorts. Three of which are Sycamore Shorts Patterns, which is my go to basic shorts sewing pattern (see?) I left the pockets off two of them (the blue flowers and the pink-ish one, but put them on the owl pants, because I had the coordinating blue (left over from Rachel's Easter Dress). The owl fabric I've used before in an Izzy Top for Sophie.


When I measured out the fabric, I noticed that I had just enough of the blue/owl combination to make one more pair of shorts, though slightly smaller, so I made a pair for Rachel. I kind of like the mix of the shorts and pockets being alternating.


And since I was making something for Rachel I decided I'd make her a dress too, just because I could. I have heaps of this blue with white flowers material left over too, at least another two meters I think. Actually not sure where it came from. The pinky material came from a lady at church.


The final pair of shorts were Clover Shorts, which are by far fancier in construction, although I left out the pockets, sash and belt tabs for easy sewing. I still did the cuffs though. I don't know where this fabric came from either, maybe the haul from my friend Kurt recently? But there is also loads of this still. I'll be making more shorts out of it in the future!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Winter Garden Spoils

So much grows in the winter. It surprises me, though I don't know why. Maybe because people rave about spring being the happening time for growing things. Meh.


This years growth of snow pea plants has far surpassed last year. When you water things regularly, and it gets enough sun, the growing really happens by itself. Originally I had some trellis up and my Dad convinced me it would need more, and it turns out he was right, because they have grown past the extra trellis.


The tomatoes next to them have also taken off, and not just cherry tomatoes this year! Actual tomatoes too! Unfortunately there is bad news, the possums have discovered the garden and are eating the parsley like there is no tomorrow. They also ate a whole half dozen strawberries that we had growing too. Rotten possums.


The other things we've got growing next to the snow peas are these beans. To be honest, I don't know what it is, but I will clue you in on how to grow your own unknown beans!


Give your children a pack of dried soup mix beans to play with. And some lentils and kidney beans and chick peas for fun too. Watch them pour these beans from container to container, enjoying the sound they make and hording as many as they can fit into an ice cream bucket.

Then watch, or don't watch, as they ignore your instructions to keep all of the beans in the large container and on the mat that you have placed in the yard, and cart the beans all over the place. Then wait as the beans are dropped and left in all sorts of places. Realise that you can't possibly pick up all of these teeny tiny dried beans and figure that the birds will pick them up.

A few weeks later, after the rain and sun have done their job, you will find a fair few of these dried beans have actually germinated and spouted in your yard, or in the garden or in the cracks between the pavement. Then you can pick them up, plant them in your veggie garden and wait and see what grows.

Who needs to buy seeds or go through a complicated germinating process, when your kids and nature can do it all for you?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Denim

At the sewing machine again.


I actually had started this what feels like ages ago. It was week one or two of term (so back in July), and I was wandering around the house looking for something to do. With all of my assessment submitted (still haven't had everything marked yet), and all the kids settling into term really well, I didn't have anything to do! Madness!

Anyway, I promptly spent two weeks of spare nights cutting up jeans and shorts for another jeans quilt. Again, I'm working through carefully hoarded, I mean, collected, material and getting rid of stuff by actually using it, rather than letting it get dusty. I wish I had counted how many I cut up, because there were a lot. This one will be bigger than the other two, because I'm are aiming for it to fit the queen bed, rather than a single.

Anyway, after the cutting and measuring and recutting and remeasuring was done, it all sat around for a few weeks while I procrastinated. I didn't really have enough space to lay out the squares to get an idea of how it might come together, so I waited until I went to my parents place and did it there. Then it lay around for another couple of weeks while I procrastinated some more. This time I was thinking that it was going to take ages to sew everything together and I couldn't possibly do it while the kids were here because they would surely mess up the pattern and my layout etc.

Finally I bit the bullet. Steve was going to be out one night and I really wanted to get the pile of fabric out of the way before the kids did decide to investigate the bag it was in, on the floor, in the dinning room. And when I started, I got it done in about an hour and a half of sewing. Which is not long at all.

Despite that, it's not big enough. It needs at least another two strips of squares. I did a look through to see if I had any jeans left. I do, though the final two strips won't be as full of variety as the rest, because they will probably be out of the the same pairs of jeans, unless I want to unpick some of the other strips, which, let's be honest, is never high on the agenda. Anyway, maybe I'll put the half-completed-but-at-least-sewn-together quilt top away and procrastinate some more. I seem to have given myself some kind of wrist injury or RSI from being an parent-type-adult and I should probably rest it some more before I go cutting up things and doing more damage.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Recreation

I don't know quite what made me think of it, but for some reason, I was talking to the girls about when Rachel was born. Somehow the conversation turned to when Sophie tried to steal Rachel's blanket as a baby, which made me think of this Owl Rug. 

I have lots of photos of Rachel on it as a baby, because it was made for her by a long term family friend, and she was a baby, so she spent lots of time lying around on things. We were coming home from a kindy pick up discussing it and I mentioned that maybe we could get the Owl Rug out and take some photos with it to see how Rachel had grown. 



Well, the girls were all over it. They loved the idea of checking how big they were now compared to when they were babies and the idea of recreating the photos. Especially the blanket thief photo (above).



So here are a set of photos recreating events from three years ago. Rachel as a baby, probably about three months old and Rachel now, just over three years old.



I know the lighting is all wrong, the now photos are taken in the afternoon, rather than the morning like the originals, but the girls were so excited about it that they just wouldn't be put off. They didn't want to delay at all.



They are both so much bigger than Brown Bear now!!  How did it happen?! Actually, in this photo, Rachel is only about four days old. Sophie is nearly 18 months.

We were originally just going to recreate these ones of Rachel, but then Sophie really wanted to do one of her blanket too. This is her original blanket from Aunty Sarah.



Sophie was too excited to stop smiling, and it's really natural for her to suck her thumb now too. Her baby photo must have been before four months, which was about the time she started sucking her thumb. The blanket doesn't lay flat anymore either, because the dark red colour wool shrank in the wash and pulls now. That's why Sophie has a second blanket from Aunty Sarah. Seriously, the girl is in blanket heaven with all her blankets.

Here are some extra fun shots we did as well. I still don't know why it was so funny for them, but they really loved this.



Sophie is laying on her quilt, which was put together by my mum, but each square was done by someone at the baby shower I had before Sophie was born. It has so many special memories. Rachel has one too (pictured above and below), and I blogged about it here when it happened too.

After I showed the girls what the photos looked like on the computer next to their comparisons, Rachel asked why she wasn't wrapped up like she is in the photo with Sophie and Brown Bear. I did explain that when she was little we wrapped her up to help her keep warm, feel safe and go to sleep, and that now she didn't need to be wrapped up. Also, that she was now, in fact, too big to be swaddled, but she was really keen on being true to the recreation.

So I dug out one of the two swaddles that I still have (just in case someone with a baby comes round), and wrapped her up.


She thought it was so hilarious and in fact, it was so hilarious we couldn't be serious enough to take the recreation photo anyway. But this photo is fabulous just the same.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rectification

Despite my lament in February about how I had forgotten to document the girls birthday parties and Rachel's in particular, and then the subsequent promises that I would do better this year, it has now been nearly two months since the last birthday party and it still remains undocumented. Alas. Hold onto your hats though, because the situation is about to be rectified.

Rachel. Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. What can I say, the girl loves her bugs. When I asked her this year what kind of party she would like, she instantly responded with: "bug party!" "But you had a bug party last year," I countered, but she was not to be reasoned with. Bugs it was, from invites to cakes. Bugs.

As the girls get older, I love to include them in the party prep process. Sophie coloured her own invites in January, and so Rachel helped to create these ones. I did the cutting of the circles, but Rachel did the black spot painting (with Hugo's help), and the gluing of all the bits together, including the googly eyes we added at the end.


Party food was pretty similar to last year, although the sweets were a bit different I guess. Fruit salad and veggie sticks with dip are party standards. They make things feel healthy. That enormous platter of fruit was devoured by the kids pretty quickly I have to say.


These meringue caterpillars are really cute and pretty easy. Just make the meringue and then pipe them into squiggly shapes.


I was going to make these cupcakes lady bugs like I did last year, but I had an excessive amount of green icing left over from the cake, and it looked like grass, so it was easy to just do different bug shapes on them.


Birthday cake! Even though we were repeating the bug theme, I did manage to have some sway with the birthday cake, not wanting to repeat the lady bug cake again, just because I like things to be different. This is the butterfly cake from the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book, which Rachel liked when I told her I could make it blue (not yellow like the picture in the book).


I didn't want to have to figure out how to divide it up between 25 hungry party guests though, so that butterfly is flying over a field of green with flowers on it. After we sang Happy Birthday, everyone simply got handed a cupcake. So much easier! I did cut up the cake and put it into containers for people to take home though. 


Here is Rachel eating a snail scroll. It was a great morning and we were blessed with some amazing winter weather. Brisbane winter this year has been phenomenal.


And that is the end of the party. My one lament is that there was no bunting. I had lent it to the kindy for the fete a couple of weeks earlier. One of the well meaning mums had taken it home to wash and I didn't get it back in time. Oh well. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lunches

It's been a while since I did one of these lunch box posts. Busy busy I guess. Also, I feel like I repeat lunches a lot, so I probably only photograph once a week, or once every two. That said, I am making loads of lunches. Lunches all the time! Lunches even when we aren't going out, just because it's easier to have something ready to hand the kids at meal times, especially when there are other kids that I've got to organise as well. 

This first lunch is the most boring, but at the same time, it's the one I'm most proud of. Even though I was tired and sick and feeling terrible when I made it, I still made a lunch. My girl is not starving; she is alive and cared for. This is the kind of lunch that says "I love you" way more than any fancy lunch I think, because it's not about me being fancy and feeling great, it's about me feeling terrible but knowing that I love my girl. 


Anyway, it's a honey sandwich, grapes, cucumber carrot and a bit of cornflakes left over from making honey joys. A lunch box of love.

Next up is more fun, even if it didn't get eaten. That's some omuraisu, which is a Japanese dish of fried rice in an omelette. The girls like these for dinner when Steve and I are also eating them, but come lunch they seem to forget. Also, they don't like the hassle of cutting the egg with the spoon. Heh. Grapes, carrot and cucumber sticks and some dried apricots to round it out.


I make most of these lunches the night before, which means pretty bad photos. Sometimes I think I won't bother posting them, but why let bad photos hold me back? Food is food right? Maybe. 

This next box is a fish egg, avocado, a peanut butter sandwich (this is Rachel's lunch, so no, I was not sending peanut butter to kindy!) veggie sticks (celery, carrot, capsicum) with dip, raspberries and grapes. 


Some plain rice onigiri (rice triangles) with some flower carrots, apple, veggie sticks and avocado.


This lunch looks yellow to me. Although, I think I was going for a traffic light of veggie sticks with the green cucumber, orange carrot and red capsicum. Strange. There is ham, crackers, cheese, orange and a bit of custard there too. I think the custard must have been left over from bible study. They often buy custard in excessive amounts.


Sophie's version of the lunch first here. Heart waffles (leftover from breakfast), cheese and ham, apple, cucumber and tomato, with some yogurt too. Sophie is less inclined to eat yogurt than Rachel, which is why she has a smaller amount.


Rachel's lunch, grapes! While Sophie likes the cheese and ham, Rachel sometimes takes convincing. She's got a bit less cheese, yogurt, tomato and cucumber flowers with her waffles and grapes.


Stary lunch here. Cutting out those sandwiches took a bit, but they look good. Rachel got the off cuts so I wasn't wasting the extra bits. star carrots, cucumber disks, watermelon, grapes, octopus sausage and a little marshmallow in the middle. I talk about how to make octopuses in this post here.


Chicken drumstick, avocado, tomato, cucumber, corn puffs, mandarin, pear and olives. I look at my lunches and I find that most of them don't have sandwiches at all. I wonder why? Isn't that what most people have in theirs? Not sure why my lunches are different.


I think I packed an extra sandwich to accompany this lunch, because it was one of our holiday adventure lunches. Custard, cheese, soy chips, strawberries veggie sticks and an owl egg.


Boring egg for this one, cucumber, tomato, cream cheese and ham wrap spirals, pear and corn puffs. Oh look, this one is nearly dairy free, if it wern't for that cream cheese....


Here are some random non-lunch box lunches I made the girls last week. Rice cakes with peanut butter and veggie faces. I feel they speak for themselves.



Lucky last, Rachel's lunch from Thursday! Strawberries, cucumber, avocado, cheese pretzels, sausages with tomato sauce and yogurt. Do pretzels have gluten? If not this lunch is gluten free!


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Snapshots of my Day

Hugo and Rachel are painting at the table, sitting on the big stool and the frog stool. Suddenly, painting is over and the seats that they had been sitting on became cars and rockets. Rachel turned hers upside down and designated different legs to have buttons on them. 

Rachel: "This one is for an emergency, and so is this one. So if there is an emergency, then we push it."
Hugo: "But your engine isn't broomming."
Rachel: "Yeah, so I push this button to blast off."
Hugo: "We are going to the moon! I'll get in my car."
Rachel: "No, I'm going to the zoo."



After a while, they decided they needed to pack things for their trip, leading to the emptying of toys into their cars. Rachel gave Mia a collection of blocks to play with as she sat watching on the couch. 

Rachel: "Here Mia. We can take turns."
Mia: "Ohhhh."
Hugo: "What are you doing?"
Rachel: "We are taking turns. You can have this one."
Hugo: "Ok. Thanks."
Rachel: "There you go Mia."
Hugo: "I have to go now in my car."
Rachel: "Ok, but I can't come, because I'm playing with Mia."
Mia, offering Rachel a block: "Uhoh.."
Rachel: "Oh thanks Mia."
Hugo, tipping all his toys out. "I'm trying to find my milk."
Rachel: "Hugo, I've found my milk."
Hugo: "Oh, I'm looking for my milk."
Rachel: "Hugo, you left it here."
Hugo: "No, I put it in my car..."
Rachel: "No, you left it here and I gave it to Mia. Now you can have this one."

Later on, Hugo has a moment to himself. 


"These koalas are watching me swimming. I'm swimming. I'm swimming to you! I'm a snapping crocodile! Mia is in the water too. She is swimming. I swim here. Then I go in these. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Now I'm going to do this. Woah! Splash! Your dinosaur has to eat, ok?" 

Hugo hands me a giraffe. 

"Aunty Paula, do you mean a horn? This is a horn. See? BEEP! Two horns! Ahhh!! We need.... we need.... nahn nop pee... ahhh....Bagh!! This book! This book is upside down. Graph baph broom broom."

And possibly my favourite moment from having five children in the car. Sophie and Hadley are in the back, while Mia, Rachel and Hugo are in the middle. We are driving to kindy. 

Hadley: "Woah, when Paula goes this way, I go that way."
Sophie: "That's inertia."
Hadley: "What?"
Sophie: "When your body goes that way, when the car goes that way, that's called inertia."

So proud.