Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Garden Spoils

This is the pumpkin! I totally forgot to weigh it in the end, but it was so nice to cut open and see that lovely orangey-yellow shining out. Mum took a quarter for the Easter family lunch, and I gave wedges away to our neighbours. It even smelt nice when we were cutting it. What shop bought pumpkin smells nice when it's raw? 

I was watering the bed of sweet potato plants wondering how soon it would be until we saw some actual sweet potatoes, when I noticed something pushing out of the soil. Thinking some random animal had been digging up in the bed at night (I've heard stories from the neighbours about some tricky possums in the area), I had a poke around and found that enormous sweet potato you see below.

I quickly followed the vine and found a few more as well. The girls were delighted to see them coming out of the soil. We haven't had sweet potatoes from the garden since last August, so it was really exciting to know stuff is still growing there, especially since the plant has been transplanted twice in that time.

I remarked to Steve that even if it's not at all cost efficient to grow your own veggies, when you take into consideration the water, soil, mulch, etc., not to mention the time it takes to look after said garden, the feeling you get from actually having edible food that you grew yourself is amazing. Totally worth it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Dresses

With Sally the Sewing Machine being out last week, and school holidays still in progress, I have been able to make another couple of dresses for the girls, just in time for Easter. I didn't really have Easter in mind when I was making them, but after they were finished, they were so bright and colourful, that they just yelled at me to celebrate new life - which is what Easter is all about, right?

These dresses were really fun because I let the girls choose some of the fabric themselves as a treat at the store. They turned out way more matchy than I was anticipating though, because I used the same pattern and material layout, which is a bit of a bummer, but I guess it's not the end of the world. People assured me that they didn't look matchy in the slightest when the girls wore them, so maybe it's just me anyway.

I used the Sally Dress pattern, from Very Shannon. I've used it before here, Sophie's first birthday, and here, just before Rachel was born, but I haven't sewn it in ages (nearly three years!) so I had a few problems getting it together. Somehow I mixed up the bodice construction, and then couldn't be bothered to unpick it, so I did some creative sewing to get those armholes done. It was a bit frustrating, but again, not the end of the world.

The girls love the pockets. So totally perfect for Easter egg hunts!

Sophie and Rachel also took turns helping me to sew things - pushing the reverse button, lifting and dropping the presser foot, being in charge of the pins, which they love. It was nice. On Sophie's the pockets are lined with the butterfly material that is on the hem.

Rachel's has just the blue as lining, but I found that cool old (vintage?) trim in my sewing cabinet that matched rather perfectly. Mum recognised it when she saw it, so I guess it must have come from her stash at some stage and I'm glad I got to use it up.

Rachel was not a happy camper for these photos because we couldn't find Rachel Bunny to go in her pockets and she had to be content with the sheep. Sophie, on the other hand, was too excited to sit still, and all the good shots I have are from her not looking at the camera. Oh well, they show off the dresses nicely.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Cannot Celebrate Yet

Last week I handed in my final workbook for Tafe. It's official people, I have no more deadlines hanging over my head. But I can't celebrate yet, because even though the workbooks are in, they still need to be assessed, and some of those assessors are incredibly picky. So I'm expecting to have to do some kind of resubmitting before I can officially say that I'm done.

But man does it feel good to be nearly there. I quickly celebrated with a lull in most activity and then surge of sewing. It's so nice to sew. I looked back at the blog history, and I haven't sewn anything since December last year. Before Christmas. That's over three months of sewing hiatus. Too long.

I used a free pattern from The Sewing Rabbit, for these two dresses. It's really easy because there are no closures - no buttons or zips! Hooray! It uses a bit more fabric, but it's worth it for the easiness of the sewing. I had the fabric on hand anyhow. I did leave out two of the ties on each dress - you put them on the sides of the skirt to carry the ties/knot theme through, but I couldn't be bothered.

The material for Sophie's is from mum, I think she got it in Japan before Sophie was born (or when she was very young). It's gorgeous. I used some hand me down scraps from a lady from church for the lining which matched really well. The skirt part is really twirly, because there is heaps of fabric allowed for it. You could totally get away with using less, but I had enough, and I know Sophie does love to dance in twirly dresses.

This is the first time I've made this dress, and it's pretty big, which works really well because we are coming into winter, so the girls can keep wearing them with shirts underneath for warmth. Rachel's was so big on her littleness that I ended up putting a tuck in the back to stop it gaping, but it looks so cute and she loves it. Her dress is made out of a cot sheet I got from a friend.

You can kind of tell because I used the feature of the sheet as a part of the skirt front, but it could also just be extra design, so it passes. I did leave the tag on the inside though, just for authenticity. Rachel really likes her's, but I had problems because the moment Sophie saw it, she wanted to know why she didn't get stars. Despite the fact that only moments ago she was completely in love with her bear dress.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

From Whim to Wepons

Our girls love to play with swords. They like to pretend to be heroes rescuing things from dreadful monsters. Steve loves to teach them good weapons practice and proper sword play. We have a lot of swords for a house with only daughters.

We were packing up said swords last weekend and Steve asked where they usually lived. In a box in the laundry, as it turned out, so he suggested making a weapons rack for proper sword storage. I agreed. I mean, who wouldn't take the opportunity to get out the cardboard and hot glue gun? And make storage?! It's like a dream. :D

This post has an incredibly rare action shot of me actually doing some crafting, because Steve was there to document things. The girls were in charge of important things like getting the cardboard toilet rolls out and counting them to make sure we had enough.

Anyway, we used two cardboard toilet paper rolls per sword. Cut them in half, glued them back together (to make a larger roll). Then I hot glue gunned that onto a strip of cardboard and taped it for reinforcement. Finally, we used the 3M sticky things to stick the completed weapons racks to the doors of the girls rooms, so their swords are easy to access.

Not sure where that other cutlass is gone, but Rachel Bunny also fits well in the rack. Handy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Pumpkin Pride

This is the pumpkin from the garden. The first pumpkin. I've also got some Kent Pumpkins growing (one of them is squashing the basil). 

I tried to weigh it, but the only scales we have are kitchen scales that only go up to 5kg. And this pumpkin weighs more than that.