Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lucky we go camping

We were sitting around the dining table having a lovely family lunch on Sunday when the power went out.   It was the second time that day that it had gone out so we were expecting it to come back on after an hour or so.
NOPE!  We didn't get power again until 1am on Wednesday morning.
Lucky our camping gear was in the shed so we grabbed that out so we could at least cook and boil the kettle.
We certainly weren't alone in the South East here as so many people lost their power for days after the torrential rain and wind from ex-Cyclone Oswold.
We were really lucky that my Mum and my sister still had power so we emptied the freezers and filled theirs up.  Other people weren't so lucky and have been throwing out everything that was in their freezers and fridges.
We also had our camping fridge which can run on gas so we could keep some things cold which was great.
We handled no power pretty well I think.  In fact it didn't really worry us too much as the kids were happy playing outside or doing puzzles.  We even got the board games out and had some lovely family time playing them.  An added bonus is that hubby's been home this week as well as he couldn't get back to work because of the floods.
It's lovely to have power now though as I can at least get some washing done without having to run over to Mum's and as it was back into the high 30's Celcius (it was 37 degrees when I picked the kids up from school), I was very happy to be able to put the air-conditioner and fans on.
Hope you're all having a great week.
xx Susan

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happiness is dull, dark, grey and wet

As I'm sitting here the rain is pounding on the roof and it's one of the loveliest sounds in the world.
It's been raining for a few days now and I'm certainly not sick and tired of it as some people seem to be.  I'm love, love, loving it so much.
Lots of rain also means plenty of mud and I've had two cherubs needing a bit of a hose off on the odd occasion during the last couple of days. 
They've had plenty of fun in the process though.

Lots of rain means indoor pursuits.  There's been plenty of wrestling, puzzles to be done, colouring in, crafty things and of course movie watching.

I've been doing some crafty things of my own.  I'm nearly finished a couple of other sewing projects but mostly I'm trying to finish my blanket. 
I'm not having a love affair with this blanket, mainly because I realised just how many people were making the same style.  That made me put it aside for ages and even think of pulling it apart but that would have been just silly.
I tried it on Little Miss R's bed the other day, just to see how many more rows I would need to make and it looked really good so now I've decided that I'll concentrate on finishing it and then can start on something else.  It'll probably be a ripple blanket in blues cause that's what Master M has asked for.
This close to going back to school there's been plenty of covering and labelling of all those school books and pencils etc.

If anyone has a foolproof method of stopping the below happening I would really appreciate it.  I don't think I have one book contacted without bumps and ripples in it.  Crap stuff is contact!

We also went to visit Grandma who is back from her holiday in the north.  That meant a few belated Christmas gifts for the kids who were SO EXCITED!!!!  Lego all round this time so there'll be lots of building to add to our indoor fun while the rain tumbles down.
Master M also got his birthday present from Grandma which is a pretty huge truck.  It's now his favourite toy and he keeps putting his lego in the back and driving it around the house. 

Another heavy shower has just started so I think I may go and do a bit more of my blanket while I have the chance.
I hope you are all getting some lovely rain where you are if you need it, especially in the Southern states where the fires are continuing to be bad.  If I knew how I'd send some of the rain your way.
xx Susan

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy pottering

Hubby is home. Oh what a difference it makes having him here to help out with the kidlettes. His last two shifts seemed to go forever and he only had two days at home in between them. 
As a result, I've spent a long time with just the kids and was starting to need to be admitted to an asylum by Tuesday.
He's home and I've locked myself away from screaming, whinging, fighting kids and am in my happy place.
Continuing on with my clothes sewing for 2013, I've made another top and I have to say it's really light, cool and comfortable.  Amazingly I didn't even have to do a bust adjustment for it!
It was a little low in the front and I hate having a large area exposed, mainly because I hate having the hot sun beating down on any exposed area of skin.  We have a bit of a history with skin cancer in the family (as most Australians seem to), so I like to cover up as much as possible.
I added a piece of white ribbon across the front which really finished the top off but it is a little crooked so I may have to unpick it and straighten it.  Then again, this is me so it will probably stay that way forever more.
 You may also remember I showed you a piece of canvas my sister had painted on.  Well this is the not quite final result...
It's supposed to be a glasses case but I need to reinforce the bottom a bit more to make it sturdier so that any glasses inside will be protected.
I also need to finish the closures on it.  I put in a hidden magnet but it wasn't strong enough so it won't stay shut.  I ended up putting two other pearl clasps on it which I really don't think look right on it. 
I'm also having a bit of trouble putting them in.  I think I need to work on my hammering technique!
Just to make my life a bit happier I received my order from Darn Cheap Fabrics the other day.  This is in no way a paid advert for them as that's something I'd never do on my blog but when I get good service I like to tell people.
I've ordered from them before and have my package delivered within 2 business days of ordering (most of the time it's the next day).
It's always packaged beautifully....
...and I always receive a free gift with my order.  It's usually only 50cm of some ribbon or trimmings but I love the fact that I get a little gift for free. 
So this time I got my order, delivered in super quick time plus...
...a free gift of some ribbon.  I'm not sure what I'll do with these roses but I'll put it in my stash and I'm sure they will be perfect for some future project. 
I had thought of making something for Little Miss R with them on but it's a bit too girly for her. 
Only a few days of the holidays left so I'm also busy covering books and labelling things.  We're off to buy school shoes on Friday and visit Grandma as she's now back from her Christmas break in Cairns with her other son and his family.
Lots to do and with hubby home for a few more days I'll try and squeeze some 'me time' in and a bit more sewing.
xx Susan

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

See that.....'s called a cloud.
I woke up to a cooler day and dark clouds threatening.
Lets hope that those clouds get darker and drop some of their precious load.
We need it.
xx Susan

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Where have the holidays gone?

Mid-December 2012 seems so long ago but that's when the summer school holidays started.  With only just over one week left until the new school year begins, I'm wondering just what on earth we've done with our time.
There's been Christmas and New Years of course and the time between them seems to fly by.  Just as we're getting over that we realise that it's Master M's birthday (as well as a niece's, a nephews and a brother-in-laws all in the first 9 days of the New Year).
Between all those days though there has been plenty of sliding in the backyard..
 I've also aquired 2 bookshelves to store my crafty things in.  This one is in one of our hallways and is now VERY full with all my crochet things and craft books. (The other is in my sewing room and is COMPLETELY FULL of fabric and other sewing goodies.)

 There's been plenty of yummy salads  which are about the only thing you feel like eating on a hot summer's day (and the days have been bloody hot!) 
If those salads (and risottos) are completed with some smoked salmon then that really tops off the day.
Of course there has been an enormous amount of swimming.  In fact we've been heading out to my sister's almost every afternoon for a swim. 
I'm loving it for a number of reasons as it:
1. Keeps the kids happy
2.  Tires them out
3.  #1 and #2 make Mummy happy
4.  Mummy has also been unintentionally losing a little weight because of the salads and the swims.
5.  All of the above make Mummy VERY happy indeed.
We've also seen a number of Rhinocerous beetles this summer.  We haven't seen them in recent years so the kidlettes go their first look at one and weren't too keen on the noise it was making.
I had so many plans to keep the kidlettes busy and occupied during these holidays and all of a sudden I'm running out of time and have hardly done a thing with them. 
Having said that, it's been a reasonably happy holidays and they haven't felt like they've missed out on much at all.  Then again, I NEVER tell them my plans because then they won't be upset if we don't get to do things (like go for a train ride).
I also think that because it's been so hot, they've been happy to potter around home and go for a swim nearly every afternoon.  That's the biggest secret of our pretty happy holidays..... swimming almost every day.
Now I've got only one week left until my baby starts school and I'll probably spend that time in a bit of a mad panic trying to get school books covered and finding school shoes for Master M as that's the only piece of his school things we don't have yet.
xx Susan

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sewing in 2013

I don't usually make new years resolutions, mainly because they're not usually that realistic and I never seem to stick with them so I tend not to bother with the whole process.
This year is a little different and over the first couple of weeks I let myself get a 'feel' for the year and decide on a few realistic goals for this year.
Sewing forms a big part of my goals and for a few reasons.
I want to learn to make clothes and make them well.  Not just slapping it all together and saying that it will do, I want something that I'm proud to wear, that fits well and know that I've taken the time in the construction to make it so.
My first attempt was the above tunic.  There's lots of things that need tweaking but it's comfortable and lovely hubby even made a nice comment on it (I was shocked!)
When I was out the other day I spent a lovely time browsing at Spotlight and ended up buying four new patterns.  They were half price so I'm thinking of going back to get a few more while the sale is still on.
I then spent the afternoon in my room tracing and cutting out patterns to size so that when I decide to make them, all I have to do is cut out the material basically as the patterns already sorted.
 Unfortunately I got a bit excited about getting in and making things so I now have 3 projects on the go.  One at a time Susan!
Today I intend to finish at least one of them and hopefully get another one partly done but that all depends on the kidlettes too.  (Hubby went back to work yesterday so it's just me and the cherubs again for awhile).
Another thing I'm working on lately is what to do with these......
They're scrap canvas that my sister has painted on and I'm going to cut them up and make them into something useful.  Keep watching this space!
Have a fanatastic weekend.
xx Susan

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sad but necessary

In 2004 we got married and the rings were put on my finger.
Since then I've had two kids and put on nearly 20 kilo's, most of that in the last 18 months.
My wedding and engagement rings were getting VERY tight and beginning to hurt so drastic action was needed.

I now have a dented ring mark in my finger and two rings which hubby cut off the other night with the tin snips.
It was a sad moment to know that they're damaged but I was so relieved to have them off.  Now we just have to see if we can get them fixed.

xx Susan

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A little bit of random....

My days lately have been filled with decluttering and sorting.
I'm getting my craft room in order and going through everything to see what I do and don't need and also making sure I can find it easier.
I've got two bigger bookshelves from my sister that I'm FILLING with lots of crafty things.  I also realised just how much yarn I have now that I have it on display and it's much easier to get to.
All the plastic boxes that I had full of yarn things and fabric are now empty and everything's out where I can see it.  I figure if I can see it I'm more likely to use it up and I can think about what I'm going to do with it while I'm working on other projects.

On a completely different note, Patch has a favourite spot on these really hot days.  Once he's let out of his enclosure and put on the chain he goes straight to the barbeque and there he stays for most of these hot days.

I'm not sure what he's going to do when he grows a bit bigger as there's no way he'll fit under the barbeque then.

As the kidlettes are getting older and keeping themselves occupied in various ways, I'm able to make a little nest on my bed and get a few things done myself.

I'm still working on my blanket and hook away when I get the chance (in between checking on Master M and making sure he's not destroying something else).

I've also got some sewing on the go as well and yesterday unpicked some of it while sitting in my nest in the air conditioning.  The cricket and tennis is on so I have that on the tv and can happily spend my days pottering.

The next few days are continuing to be scorchers so the air conditioning will go on soon and the crafty indoor stuff will begin again (for kidlettes as well).

I've got some patterns and more material to cut out so I'll set that up on my bed in a little while and get to it.

Then later this afternoon we'll head out to my sister's for a swim to cool off which has been a bit of a ritual lately.  We didn't go yesterday and I got completely hounded by the kids.  I don't think I'll get away with it today, besides, I'm loving the cooling dip too.

Hope you're all having a great week.

xx Susan

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A few extra crafty things

I can show you this picnic blanket now as Christmas is over.
It was a gift for my sister and brother-in-law and my first try at doing something this large.
It's got a check border with fabric depicting scrummy things in the middle.
It's not quilted as there's no wadding in the middle,  it is a picnic blanket after all.

Maybe I'll have a go at quilting in 2013!  I never thought it would be something I'd even contemplate but this year my sewing has really progressed.  I'm also thoroughly enjoying it so anything is possible I suppose.

I gave you a sneak preview the other day of a glitzy bag that I had made.

This is a birthday present for my Niece T who is heading into her early teens.  I wanted to make a bag for her and decided I wanted something a bit glitzy and sparkly that a nearly teenager might like.
All my other nieces and nephews are about the same age as Little Miss R and Master M so I can still use cute kids prints for them but that was not an option for this bag.
I had fun making it, especially as I sewed a zip for the first time in my life!  I nearly didn't make it because of the zip but decided I had to get over the family terror if I wanted to continue sewing.
I say family terror because my Mum ABSOLUTELY HATES PUTTING ZIPS IN, and does everything in her power to not sew anything with a zip. 
My sister and I therefore have grown up thinking that putting a zip in is something akin to walking through a room with 1000 poisonous snakes crawling all over the ground.
I did it though and even though it's not quite perfect, it was pretty bloody easy. (Mum evidently has a bag full of zips that she's now sending over to me.)
I can't show you my nephews messenger bag as I still can't upload photos.  I'll show you another day though but for now it's time to start on another project. 
Because of the heat we're experiencing I'm only doing crafty stuff early in the morning as it's the coolest time to be in my craft room.  It's about the only room that's not air conditioned and being in there later in the day in not an option really.
Hope you are able to stay cool wherever you are.
xx Susan

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Master M turns 5!

On Monday, 7th January Master M turned 5!
The present opening is by far the best part of the day.
Especially when you get something you really wanted and squeal that it's SUPER AWESOME!

Pancakes always seem to be a tradition for breakfast on birthday mornings.

...and of course there was cake.  A chocolate cake for my chocoholic son.  (Unfortunately it was a shop bought cake which makes me feel I've failed in the mother department this birthday but cooking one in time wasn't an option).

He did insist we had to buy a caramel cake for Little Miss R as she hates chocolate so we ended up with 2 cakes to share.  Luckily Nan, Poppy and Uncle I came over to help us demolish them.

Turning 5 also means that in a few weeks he'll be starting school!  He's so excited about that and so am I as it will hopefully mean a little less destruction about the place.

He's not deliberately naughty or anything, he's just very, very curious as to how things work and is a typical rip, tear, bust little boy. 

So happy birthday to my little man.

xx Mummy

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

There's work to be done

The day always starts with a cuppa. (There's plenty more throughout the day too).
We were at Aunty Rob's to work though so get your boots on kids.

See these goats below....  They were getting a bit naughty so their days were numbered.  In fact it was minutes because not long I took this photo they were having an endless sleep.
The goats had been sorted so it was branding time.

Grandad had this taken care off with help from hubby.

After all that hot work it was time to cool off.

The chickens are also laying REALLY well at the moment.  There were plenty of eggs in the fridge, in fact the space you see below had another 4 cartons there not long before I took this photo.

There were plenty more eggs in containers on the table as well as in the door of the fridge so quiches and scrambled eggs were consumed while we were there.

We also came home with 4 dozen of them so I'll be doing a bit of baking over the next week I think.

Yes we're back home with a sad dog and kids who are now confined to our small yard again.  Ok, and a sad mummy too cause I love it at Aunty Rob's and wasn't ready to come home.

That maybe because my house is such a mess right now and one of my challenges over the next few months is to do some serious decluttering! 

xx Susan