31 March 2009

Take a break

I have just arrived home from having an awesome night out with some of the most special mums I know... the sort of night where you talk lots, eat yummy food, laugh, share funny (and embarrassing) stories... one of those much needed nights out that you so often never get around to doing.

As a mum it is so easy to give out all the time and never really bother to recharge your own batteries or just take a break.

So, no matter who you are (male or female), don't forget to take time out to relax and enjoy the people around you. Laughter, friends and food... three very important facets of life ;)

30 March 2009

80's flashback

I had a strange moment this evening... as I looked at the mountain of washing to fold on the floor in my lounge, I had a flashback... a flashback to the 80's to be exact.

Instead of my mound of clothing and towels waiting to be folded I saw "Marjory, The Trash Heap" straight out of Fraggle Rock.

Ha ha - sleep deprivation can do strange things! Any other Fraggle Rock fans out there?

28 March 2009

Topsey Turvey Dolls

Slowly but surely the two Topsy Turvey Dolls are coming along. Here is a sneak preview...

26 March 2009

Twinkle Twinkle

I just wanted to say a quick hello to you all!

Things are pretty busy here at the mo. I would love to have more time for crafting and relaxing, blogging and baking... I grab moments when I can to stitch a few stitches here, read a couple of pages of my book there, but mostly my week has been spent on the busy little bodies around me and the everyday stuff that that entails (dressing poor little puppies included)... and shouldn't it be that way? Of course!

So I leave you with a little ditty from Miss 2 (from a few weeks ago) - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (just incase you couldn't make it out). She's a sweetie.

23 March 2009

Currently I'm working on...

Currently I am working on some more Russian dolls, and two topsey-turvey dolls for the girls.

Aaarrrggghhhh... I would never have thought I would be the kind of person sewing dolls! Oh well, maybe I can break the stereotype... or become it!

What are you currently working on?

21 March 2009

All I wanted was a kiss...

All I wanted was a photo together and a kiss... and this was all I got! Boys!

20 March 2009

Favourite things Friday

Here are a few of the things I am loving at the moment...

Our new puppy Narnia and her cheeky antics (she stole the dummy and wouldn't give it back!)...

Watching my girls do the thing I used to love to do... swinging round and round the clothesline.

Loving gifts given to me by Miss 4 (what on earth am I supposed to do with this one??)

New paisley fabric

Being invited to dine for free at the best restaurant in town (picnic styles)!

What things are you loving today?

19 March 2009

Softies books

Look at what I have coerced my local library into purchasing for me (and others)!!! "Softies" and "More Softies". Checkout the website here.

I can't wait to sit down and enjoy reading them... Narnia can't either!

Have you read (or do you own) any of these??

17 March 2009

Passionfruit muffins with glace icing

The season for passionfruit is here! These muffins are delicious. I iced mine while they were still warm, hence the runny icing... but they still tasted just as good.

Note: This recipe requires about 6 passionfruit.

2 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (60g) butter, melted
1/2 cup passionfruit pulp

Passionfruit Glace Icing Ingredients
1 cup icing sugar
3/4 oz (20g) butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Grease twelve standard muffin cups or line them with parchment paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour. Stir through the sugar. Make a well in the centre.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, butter, and the 1/2 cup passionfruit pulp. Add all at once to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened (the batter should be lumpy).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

For the icing, sift the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. Add the 3/4 oz melted butter and enough of the passionfruit pulp to mix to a smooth and spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the cooled muffins and allow to set before serving.

For more delicious recipes visit here.

16 March 2009

Butterfly Bliss

Today the girls and I had heaps of fun creating butterfly puppets.

It always amazes me how so much learning can come out of everyday things... the drawing shapes and patterns on our butterflies was the planned activity, but then that developed into flying them outside to show Daddy (who was mowing the lawns) and discovering what the wind did to our butterfly wings. That led to a hunt for flowers for our butterflies to have a drink, which then led to creating a play with our butterflies, and then having a dancing and singing time to songs about butterflies!

Wow - learning can actually be fun!

15 March 2009

Mandy the Matryoshka Softie

Look who I've just added to the shop here.

More coming soon...

14 March 2009

Narnia has arrived...

Meet Narnia... the latest addition to our family. She is a beautiful little Whippet puppy, who I am sure will fit in well with our family of 6, not to mention Barney the cat, Rebecca, Squeeky & Cheesy the mice as well as Daisy, Cornflour, Buttercup and Chicken the chickens.

Master 7 did mention this evening to me, "Mum, I don't really think dogs are very good for the environment.". When I asked him why, he responded with, "well, they slobber all over your arm!". Interesting thought.

Have a great weekend!

11 March 2009

PaisleyJade and the quilt of doom

I must confess... for most of my life I have hated quilts... especially those really ugly, granny looking ones. But then in the last year or so there has seemed to be a comeback in society to 'all things crafty' and some quite impressive 'trendy' quilts have emerged.

Well, my first attempt at making a quilt (two at once to be precise) seemed to be doomed from the start. Maybe my expectations were too high... is it normal to want to do 'free motion' quilting when it's your first try ever at even making a quilt? And just to hack me off, my sewing machine knob for lowering the 'feed dogs' didn't work. This led to hubby taking my machine apart without my knowledge and then sheepishly having to search the Internet for instructions on how to put all the teeny tiny bits back together again. Boy, was he lucky!!

Amongst other dramas like running out of material, choosing filler that was way too thick for a first-timer, children stealing pins out of my material (that is holding everything together), every seam that could possible pucker puckering and not to mention hubby and Barney the cat having a nap underneath my project... I have finally finished my two quilts!

Boy am I glad that you all can't examine them up close and see all the shocking mistakes and patch ups!

In the end, the girls are thrilled (as you can see in the photo's below) and I have a new respect for anyone who has ever sewn a quilt in their life... even the really ugly quilts.

10 March 2009

Sixty and still surfing

Happy Birthday to my awesome Dad who turned 60 today!

The kids took great pleasure in making him special birthday cards... Master 9's card had a flip-o-rama picture (cheesy animation technique) of Poppa jumping up, Master 7's card had a special blank page (labelled "DRAW") just for Poppa to draw a picture on, and Miss 4 drew a beautiful card with rainbows and cut out hearts and stars stored inside... and a map - just the sort of cards Poppa's need!

Dad still is as passionate about surfing as when he was young, so what could be more fitting to celebrate his birthday than posting a few more of the classic (ex-slide) photo's a mate of his had been sending us over from Canada of Dad on a surf trip around New Zealand in the 60's. I just love the New Zealand landscape and beaches (and the classic cars)!

Love you Dad xox

09 March 2009

Bend-the-Rules Sewing

Look at what the library reserved for me... the very cool "bend-the-rules sewing" book by Amy Karol!

This is such a great book, filled with simple tips and tricks and heaps of inspiring ideas for people who would like to learn to sew, amateurs and also pros.

As I drooled over the colourful, glossy photos in the book on the drive home from the library, hubby said, "Do you really like that sort of stuff?". What a question!

Anyway, an excellent book in my opinion. I especially love the modern feel, the colourful fabrics in the photos and the down to earth way that Amy Karol writes. I was also quite amused about her fabric storage system... she keeps it all crammed in plastic rubbish bags!

A great idea for a gift for any person who loves to sew, especially with Mother's Day just around the corner... hint hint.

Check out Amy's website/blog here.

Have you read it? What did you think?

08 March 2009

80 and loving softies!

Today is my Nana's birthday, and a very special one at that... she turns 80 years old!

The last couple of years have seen Nana in resthome care. She has gone from being a highly active lady who loved sewing, cooking, socializing and reading, to someone who only wants to sit and stare (and suck lollies!). Last year she chose one of my softies to keep, and loves to stare at it sitting on her dresser.

Nana has very few wants... the things she loves are flowers, lollies and believe it or not she asked me for another softie!

So today she had a little party in her room at the resthome and we celebrated with spongecake. She received tonnes of lollies, flowers and another softie to sit next to her favourite one.

The saying is true... it's the simple things in life that you treasure.

06 March 2009

Flashback Friday

Don't you just love my stripey top and skivvy!

It's quite funny to think back to some of my favourite clothing items when I was young... like my two pairs of knitted legwarmers (one pair was grey and the other was pink). I was so proud of them that I think I even wore them in the summer.

I also fondly remember my grey, stirruped pair of cords... very trendy for a while, and then they became very uncool suddenly. And who could forget my rollerskates!

What clothing items do you remember well from your childhood?

Update: Thanks to everyone for your love and concern for Miss 4. She is doing well, currently living on banana and yoghurt milkshakes, and dribbling less and less each day (much to my joy). So thankful to God that she didn't have more serious injuries!

05 March 2009

Paisley softies

After a day like yesterday (see here) I think today I will ponder on the wonderful paisley softies out there in flickrland...

Tad Paisley by aspenglow

I have some new paisley fabric... and I am inspired!

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