Friday, March 26, 2010

A busy thrifty weekend

We had a lovely weekend last week. No birthday parties or other commitments which was nice (not that we don't like birthday parties.......there are just so many children's ones popping up all the time) so we were able to please ourselves.

Here are a few shots to illustrate....

As always, there was plenty of puppy love. Here is Kippy on his green bathmat where he is allowed to hang out when he comes inside for the evening. He scouts under the dining room table for dropped morsels of food and then we say in a stern voice "Mat!" and he usually trots over and sits on his mat in the hope of a doggy treat. Usually, at this point, our Curly Whirl Girl gives him some attention, whether he wants it or not. I love the resigned look on his face as he submits to our girl's affections.

The state of our "playroom" has been giving me grief for ages and we didn't have the money to buy some much needed new shelves to create some order from the chaos. The girls weren't going in there much as there was not much floor space to walk on, what with all the dolly cots and prams etc. Then, a cheque in the mail, and off I went to Ikea to finally buy some shelves. Scott put them together on Saturday morning and I got high on organising endorphins. In my zeal to get the tidying happening I forgot to take a "before" photo but perhaps it is just as well. We took out every toy, chased away the spiders and dust and then Scott set to work.

When he was finished, the shelves provided a fun space to play in for a while before I was allowed to start work. I could just see a split chin happening at any moment when someone overbalanced.
This photo shows embarrassingly, just how anally retentive I truly am.

Here are the girls with their beautiful cousin playing in their newly tidy playroom corner. Of course, it hasn't stayed this tidy but at least you can still see the floor. As my mother likes to tell me, we have too many toys but, hey....we like playing!

On Sunday morning, my big girl and I got up earlyish and headed to a huge flea market at a nearby Catholic Church. We took along our pocket money and here is what we bought.

I chose this happy little jug and a pretty lace doily to put it on. I realised later it has a rip in it but you can't see it here. My big girl fell in love with this daggy old traymobile. It was only $2 but it didn't quite fit my vision of her room's decor. But she wanted it so badly that I felt it would be mean to impose my aesthetic tastes on hers. She chose some more old doilies and found three horses (also $2) and here is the finished display for her room. She's a happy girl. (Her two top teeth are so wobbley (spelling?) they are sticking out like little bunny teeth. I hope they fall out soon).
I finally managed to finish the baby quilt I have been making for the Mountain Baby Quilt Project. I didn't really like working with flannellette. Apart from being horrible to touch in our sticky heat, it was much thicker than normal cotton fabric and I broke a sewing machine needle sewing the mitred corners of the binding. But, it is ready to go and I just have to get organised and parcel it up. It has some crooked quilting and a lump in the binding that looks like a snake swallowed a mouse, but it goes to the States with lots of love from our family.

I also finally started cutting squares for the quilt for the new baby due to arrive in our family (my brother's ,not mine!) any day now. I have since changed my design around and used less plain colours and more patterns but you get the idea.

Now, another weekend is looming. Have a good one, everybody.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Things I'm Into (A la Tammie)

As I've not been blogging much lately and am trying to concentrate on the positive side of things, here is another "Things I'm into" post courtesy of Tammie to show what we have been up to at our place. (Hope that's ok, Tammie!)

1. Hanging out with Gina - Since she arrived in Australia on Christmas Eve, I've been enjoying hanging out with my beautiful new sister-in-law. My brother has been at sea for a few weeks and their first baby is arriving in early April so we've been buying baby clothes, choosing material for me to make a baby quilt, having hot chocolate and cake and buying a baby sling with my big sister, more shopping, more get the idea. Now that my big brother is home from the sea and I'm trying to let them have some time together, I'm really missing Gina. Here she is with my little girl on Christmas Day. She was an instant hit with both my girls who are extremely excited about having a new auntie and the impending arrival of a beautiful bubba.


1. Having a less shaggy dog - Although Kippy does look rather magnificent with a full Cavalier King Charles coat, I have not been brushing him as I should have and he had some terrible tangles that I couldn't even cut out for fear of hurting him. He was also leaving white hair all over me if I cuddled him and although he is only inside at night in the laundry, there was plenty of Kipper hair on the floor needing to be swept up. So.....the nice lady from Pooch Mobile came to the house and gave him a much needed hair cut topped off with a warm bath. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her not to cut his feathers off his legs so he now looks like a beagle. But his coat will grow back quickly and he will look like a nice tidy Cav again. In the meantime, I am more conducive to cuddling him again.


3. Going to jazz ballet with E - After two years of school with no extra curricular activities (I guess I'm a lazy mother), E has started jazz ballet with a school friend. She just loves it and is learning a dance to a quite funky Miley Cyrus ditty which she practises diligently. G and I like sitting outside the classroom, watching the show and chatting to the other mothers. E doesn't have the full uniform yet but here she is ready to dance in her black t-shirt with her hair tied back. How come she looks so grown up all of a sudden????

4. Baking scones - We have had weeks of rain, off and on, and after seeing a yummy photo of scones in a Country Style magazine, I decided I really NEEDED to make some. I found a recipe and started rubbing that butter into the flour. A short time later, I had hot scones with jam and cream and my neighbour arrived in a timely fashion to help me scoff them. The recipe was from David Herbert in the Australian Weekend Magazine (sorry - can't be bothered to find a link - a lazy mother AND a lazy blogger) and had chopped apricot in the scones. Yum....I love apricot. Of course I had to make another batch two days later as it was still raining and well...I had the rest of the cream to use up, didn't I?

5. Quilting - no photo yet but I'm in the midst of making a quick flannelette baby quilt to send to the Appalachian Mountains. It's a project I read about here and if I don't finish it soon, winter will be over in the Appalachians. Luckily, Rachel, who organises it has been very patient with me. Unfortunately, while sewing on the binding yesterday the needle on my sewing machine broke so I'm about to traipse down to the nice man at the sewing machine shop so he can show me how to put a new one in. I've tried myself without success.

Just while on the quilting topic, I just noticed this post of Rachel's with a photo of her fabric stash all neatly folded and in a little cabinet. Such a pretty sight that I wish I had one instead of shoving my fat quarters and material into shopping bags and squeezing them into my wardrobe. Check it out.

6. Having a rare date with my husband - Yesterday, we organised the girls' favourite babysitter and went out for a day off together. We went to our favourite haunt of late - the Barracks at Petrie Terrace. We happily spent over 5 hours having coffee/pie/icecream/lunch, seeing a movie, browsing in a bookshop, without having to shift the car. It was heaven - and so great to see my boy in a different light (as in not someone I mostly discuss children and chores with). When we got home we had an impromptu photo shoot as the girls wanted photos of their beloved babysitter, Olivia - all of 18 years old and worth her weight in gold (rather than the paltry $65 we paid her). Thank you Olivia. I won't embarrass you by putting your photo on my blog so here's one of Scott and the girls instead.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something learned today

Wow.....I've really slackened off on the blogging front. Apart from being busy with life (as you guys all are - don't know how you do it), I honestly haven't been able to find anything interesting to say.

But today...I did learn something interesting. If you try and fob your three and a half off with playing quietly beside you on the bed while you try and watch a few minutes of the Oscars, she may very quietly squeeze some three in one shampoo/conditioner in your hair. You may think she is gently patting your head and you may enjoy her tender ministrations but you soon realise that your head is wet and sticky and you need to have another shower and wash your hair before you can go out for the school run and post-school jazz ballet class.

That's the extent of my wisdom for today.
PS I'm so glad my mother and sister don't read my blog. They would be appalled at the ironing board on display in the lounge room and the extension cord snaking along the floor to my sewing machine. Oh's a mess but it's MY mess!