Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Project Restyle

I have just signed on for Project Restyle, a fabulous idea from Elsie and Rachel of Red Velvet Art.
The idea is basically (in my words): make new stuff from old stuff that may otherwise be destined for the dump.
I feel like I live this every day, trying to save old things, give them new uses. But I think it's a fabulous project to promote and can't wait to see what everyone else has done. It will be inspiring.

This is something I did a couple of months ago, but I think it fits in with Project Restyle perfectly.
My upcycled lampshade was something I'd been wanting to do for a while. It has been sitting there on my list of 'things-I-am-aching-to-do-just-as-soon-as-I-can-find-the-time'
I found a couple of lamshades in an op shop one day and snapped them up with exactly this project in mind. I still thought it was a long way off from actually getting done, but not long after I had a day where the kids where kind-of-sort-of behaving and kind-of-sort-of driving me crazy at the same time........and I just started it.

It was so much fun to make. I didn't really have anything specific in mind, I just started. I ripped up some fabric and started wrapping. And then I started adding.

Just adding little bits and pieces, anything that took my fancy. I really love the end result and I plan on making more of these. Very therapeautic to just make something. Anything at all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a beautiful Christmas. Stay safe. Enjoy the company of your loved ones.

And if you will be at an extended family gathering................I hope that everyone behaves themselves ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Hi-de-ho, just a little test post as I have, well obviously been absent from my own blog, but also had trouble getting in to my own blog lately. Blogger you banned me from my blog? I did not know you could do that. My punishment for abandonment I guess?
But I found my way in, I'm back. Is anyone still here with me? After months of nothing, I guess not.

Two more sleeps until Christmas, the gifts are wrapped. Some beautifully and some not. I won't share the ugly ones with you, lol.

For much of my gift wrapping I utilized a roll of childrens drawing paper (originally from Ikea, but found by me in an op-shop a long time ago).
For this teachers gift I photocopied a very old map of our local area onto some card and also photocopied an old envelope I have hoarded from when I was a teenager with international penpals. I reduced the size by 50% and covered the part where my address was with a shipping tag (prior to the copying). I used a dymo labeller to put the recipients name on. A bit of hessian (op-shop), a bit of fabric, and a little peg from a $2 shop and there you have it. I think it's a bit cute.

This sweet little paper rosette is made from a page from an old childrens book (the book was already ripped so I didn't feel bad about that), added a button and attatched it to a piece of fabric. Again, my beloved shipping tags.

This one is as simple as it gets but, in my humble opinion, still looks good ;)
A paper doiley, stamped. Add a bit more hessian and some string, you're done.

I love, love, love wrapping presents.
If anyone's still out there don't be scared to let me know. Say hello.
Merry Christmas all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Apple Cozy you didn't know you Need to Have

That's right. It's a cozy. For your apple.

How. Cute. Is. This?
I found this adorable pattern from this lovely lady on Etsy, but as I can't actually crochet I, ahem, had my Mum whip up a couple for me. Love them. I think they are perfect for leaving on a teacher's desk, don't you?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just links for t-shirt bags

As promised, a couple of links to some t-shirt bag making tutorials :)
This one is great (a 10 year old boy has started his own business making t-shirt bags!)
And, of course, Martha wouldn't be missing out on this either ;)
Let me know if you make some, and what you use them for!

T-shirt bags

Hey hey, welcome to our first trial of making t-shirt bags. We just did these the moring and straight away it's obvious that the 'design' needs tweaking. There are heaps of on-line tutorials for making these and I think they are a great idea.
You just start with an old t-shirt, I raided my husbands drawers, he has plenty of shirts that don't fit him anymore.

Just a few simple cuts like this. You're taking off the sleeves and cutting a bigger neck hole. T-shirt fabric being what it is, you don't need to hem any of these cuts. Too easy.

Then all that's left to do is turn it inside out and stitch across the bottom of the shirt, closing up your bag!
I think my main problem was that the shirts I used were a little big? The fabric is so stretchy that you couldn't really be loading these up with anything heavy the way I have done them...........the bottom of your bag would just hit the floor!!
I will try these again with a smaller shirt I think.
(just click on these pictures to see them bigger)

On the plus side they do sit very nicely up on your shoulder.

So that's making a bag from a t-shirt in a nutshell, will pop back with some links to some tutorials for this later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chore Charts

I probably don't need to tell you that I am not a naturally organised person, neat and tidy, with fabulous time management skills. No. My blog (un)maintenance probably speaks for itself. Going in to the third term of school most mornings still consist of me running around barking things like "Hurry up, go, go go!" "Move fast or we're going to be late"
It's happened more than once that my kids leave the house without having had their hair brushed (actually that's most days for Clary), and even (gasp) with unbrushed teeth. Disgusting, I know.
So in an effort to try and sort the lot of us out I have made the kids little charts for their rooms, reminding them what needs to be done. You could hardly call them chore charts because we are really tackling the BASIC basics here. Like make your bed and brush your hair, lol.

I would have liked these to have been made from fabric with little pockets for the cards, but once I decided to make these I just wanted them DONE. So I did them the fastest way I could.

I got photo frames from Big W, framed some scrap booking paper then put the hooks onto the actual glass (Command Adhesive hooks).
I had photographed the kids doing their little jobs and made them into little cards and laminated them.

Once they've done whatever it is the card tells them to they can just flip the card over to show that the job is done.

I have made them one each for the super easy mainly-in-the-morning jobs, which is in each of their rooms. I am making another joint one which will go in the living area which will have other things on it, such as feed the chooks, set the table etc.

Will probably be one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time but really doesn't change anything, I'll let you know how we go.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've fallen behind with the blog again, I know. Plenty to blog about, not enough time to do it, blah, blah, blah.
Anyway thought I would do a quick, although somewhat lame with completely no planning to it, post before I go to bed. I have just quickly taken these pictures with my little point and shoot to go with this so they're not too spectacular.
This first one shows, in addition to the mess of my house, the globe I just couldn't let go of when it broke from it's stand. A pretty cheap globe so I wasn't too surprised that it didn't survive my kids, but I couldn't fix it back to the stand and just couldn't think of anything else to do with it so I strung it up with a ribbon and it has it's new home up there with our hula hoops.

The top of that cuboard is not normally so cluttered (I mean it does have a lot of stuff on it, just not that much, lol), but it has some frames waiting to go up on the walls. I framed a strip of photobooth pics from our wedding, some of Ruby's art work and also a 'Second' ribbon awarded to Ruby in the school cross country. (as Ruby is one of only two girls in her age group for sports at school she will be lucky enough to always score a First or Second ribbon in sports events, lol. So far she has three 'Second' ribbons)
Also in the picture above you can see over on the right, on the wall down below the tutu which hangs from the curtain rod (hmmm, just typing that out makes me think that maybe I could do with some help from an interior decorator), the calendar I made for the kids.

It hangs low enough so that the kids can change it each day. It's a baking tin hanging on a ribbon, with magnetic dates, days and months, easy to change. I just printed everything out, mounted them on cardstock, laminated them and added self adhesive magnets to the back. I know it's very plain but it's practical and functional and that's what I wanted. With my never ending to-do list I really pick and choose now, what tasks I'm going to spend my time prettying up. Ugh, so boring I am. I already had the magnets which I've had for ages but I used them all up and would love to get some more so if anyone can tell me where I can get my hands on some that would be great. It came in sheets which could be cut to any size, peel off the backing paper, and you're done.

The other thing I'm on the hunt for is dishes that are both freezer AND oven proof. Cooking most of the time for myself and two kids that don't eat huge amounts I ALWAYS have loads of left overs. So I'm putting portions in the freezer to give to my mum, and occassionally my neighbour. As neither of these two own microwaves I need to be able to put the food into something that can, preferably, go from the freezer to the oven.

At the moment I'm using these things but I don't like them because they are disposable crap and I need another option.
Can Pyrex go in the freezer? Anyone got some other brilliant freezer-to-ovenware they can let me know about?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cauliflower soup - success!!

So I took my huge cauliflower this morning, and turned that baby into soup. I was really feeling at the start like it was going to be a huge waste of time (like most of my cooking efforts), but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved it! Yummo. Still couldn't convince the kids, although Ruby did have *some*.

If anyone else is tempted to give it a go, I'll share the recipe (for readers in Australia, the recipe is in the Donna Hay mag that's on the shelves right now)

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
25g butter
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used minced garlic, heaps of it)
3 sprigs thyme (I used dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 and a half heads cauliflower (1.5kg), chopped (I just used my monster cauli)
500g sebago potato, peeled and chopped (I'm not up there with my potato varieties, so I just used what I had, unwashed spuds, 4 med/big ones. probably too much, I don't know, but it turned out fine)
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
2 cups (500ml) milk
half a cup (125ml) of cream (I omitted this altogether as my cream was off, ewww)
salt and pepper to season

Melt the butter in saucepan over low heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook for 5-8 minutes or until onion has softened. (you need a huge saucepan for this, btw) Add the cauliflower, potato, stock and milk, increase heat to medium and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cauliflower and potato are tender.
When I put the cauliflower and potato into the pot I just didn't get it because there was such a huge amount of veges for such a small amount of liquid. It was looking like this.

I put the lid on and figured the veges would start to steam cook but they didn't. think I just didn't have the heat high enough so I turned it up and ta-da, the liquid bubbled up and veges mushed on down.
This picture is a bit foggy because my lens got a bit steamed up.
At this point it was smelling GOOD. Very good.

So then you just take it off the heat and whizz it up with your stick/hand-held/whatever you want to call it blender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve it up in baby sized bowls for the little people who probably won't eat it anyway, despite the fact that it is very yummy.

Serve up a big dish (with toast) for yourself, and then you still have plenty left for lunch tomorrow, some to take to your Mum, and some for the freezer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just a little picture of our little guinea pig. Clary had named him Lightning McQueen (Ruby named hers Fragile, lol).

Despite the fact that today started with me digging a hole to bury poor little Lightning in, we've had a better day today. We went to some local markets this morning, then to a birthday party this afternoon. The kind of party with fairy bread, fairy floss (straight out of the fairy floss machine, how cool is that?), pass the parcel, and tons of lollies. We smothered the sadness with sugar.

I got a cauliflower the size of a small car while at the markets, planning to make some soup with it tomorrow. Will let you know how that goes.I eat loads of chicken soup through winter. Heaps. Lots. Figure I need to try something different. Probably destined for failure on this one as I'm not a huge fan of cauliflower, lol.
Also on my list tomorrow is to put some order into MY room. MY room is the spare room where all of my stuff I love to do is done. Photography, sewing, all of that. And that room needs some serious help. (needs to be way bigger for a start, but that's another story)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A giraffe bowling set?

Yes. Really. I have started my Christmas shopping!

I have had the most foulest day ever with was topped off with the death of a guinea pig we have had for 10 days. Ruby is distraught and I'm not too far behind her. So I decided to veg on the computer and found the cutest little bowling sets for kids, on sale too!
Check them out here.

Nothing more from me tonight, I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Do you print your photos out and put them into albums? Playing around making this little mosaic is a huge reminder that I must do this!! I barely have one photo of Clary in an album.

I have *some* of Ruby's pictures in albums but not all, not by any stretch of the imagination. And the kids LOVE looking at the albums!!! I am surprised at how much they love doing this.
I put off doing it for so many reasons. One being that I want to find the perfect album, that won't cost me a bomb. Any recommendations??
Ruby's albums are cheap and nasty (Big W, slide in ones) and I want to replace those too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So, I think most people that know me well know that I dream of one day having a portrait photography business. To try and help fund my little venture I am trying my hand at selling some non-portait-y photo canvases in a local cafe. I hung five canvases last week and two have sold.
Tonight I have just ordered two more to fill those blank spots on the wall. This is one of them.It's one canvas, storybook style. Didn't really want that white space between the two but had didn't know how to get rid of it. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gee, well some things just never change do they. I've been trying to load photos for this post for half an hour and blogger is being 'difficult'. I am going to go on regardless, in case I change my mind and can this now.
I am going to give you a very brief idea of what's been happening in my world since my last post. Very brief. I will gloss over lots of things and omit others altogether. And no, I 'm not omitting things because they are outrageously scandelous or anything exciting like that, I am omiting things that are tedious and boring. Although, no doubt, I will continue to include things that are tedious and boring.
I rely on your initiative to look at the stuff that interests you and ignore the rest.

Three weeks after my last post last year I lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer. I am not one of these people who writes beautifully and expresses themselves well with the written word, so I will not do him the disjustice of trying to say anything more about it here. I loved him very much and still some days when I think of him I 'forgot' that we no longer have him. It sucks. Plain and simple.

I have had to acknowledge that I am mum to two kids and will not be mum to three, four, or five children. That sucks also. Again I am not at all eloquent with words and won't try to be so. While I have constant reminders of how very lucky I am to have the children I have that doesn't actually take away the urge to slow down and grab things I do not, and will not, need as I cruise down the baby aisle in the supermarket. Nothing, if not utterly pathetic, really.

And that's all I have to say about the sad parts of life lately. I am not here to spread the misery, I am here to obliterate it.

On to the happy stuff.

My big girl turned 5 and started school. These two things happened within two days of each other. She learned to tolerate (oh, actually no she didn't tolerate it, scratch that) having her hair brushed properly and pulled up into little pigtails in order for me to indulge my love of hair ribbons on little girls. School was the perfect excuse. I told her she HAD TO have her hair done like that. School rules, I said. Yes, I'm quite sure there is a place in hell for mums like me, lol.

I turned into a mad woman, reigniting my passion for covering school books in brown paper and whatever else takes my fancy.

She had her first 'proper' party. The kind where you actually invite people who aren't related to you. It was still pretty small, we had it in our back yard. We decorated the Hills Hoist and had sack races and a pinata and one of those smash-it-up pinata cakes, do you know the ones I mean. It was fun.
I would show you pictures but Blogger just isn't coming to the party on that.
Clary turned three!!! I still can't believe it. He is hungry 24 hours a day, sneaky, and into everything, ALL THE TIME. So I guess, just another little boy, lol.
Oh, and I got married! Yay me. In fact got married so recently that I don't even have my photos yet to show you. Although I can give you a sneak peak over at the photographers blog here. Carsonhall Photography are Fiona and Bec and they are completely lovely.
We had the best day ever on our wedding day, it was fabulous. An on-a-budget, big fat country wedding. Fun. After eight years together and a seven year engagement I guess we just thought it was time, lol.
And in between all of that I continue to make big messes in my house, feed my magazine addiction and bake cakes and yummy bikkies to try and compensate for the fact that I am the worlds worst cook. Love to bake. Hate to cook.
And while this pav may look like a train wreck. It tasted divine.
And thank you Jody and Amber for your comments yesterday. Appreciated.
: )

Monday, May 10, 2010

So if a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him, is he still wrong??
Oh, I am kidding people (although I still find that VERY funny), don't hate me. What I'm really wondering is, if I start posting again, will anyone actually be reading? Yes, it has been some time between posts. I think I am ready to blog again. Is anyone ready for the blah, blah, blah?