Friday, August 28, 2015

Yes... those are my kids

When you tuck your children into bed and as you leave you hear:

Bounce: Flip, Flip smell your armpits.

love you more than entertaining where that might have come from xxx

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Yeah I Made It 35/52... New Look 6000 and Part 1 of my pledge

Welcome, in case of emergencies you will find your exit button in the top left or right corner.

So I have until 10th of September to make 3 items from my stash to fulfil my pledge, and who am I to disappoint once I make a pledge??!


I have owned this fabric for 5 years it was anonymously donated to me in my first year of blogging. I love this fabric so much - I used a scrap of it in another project but then hesitated to jump with the rest if it. Fabric does this to me sometimes.


So I've made another NL 6000 dress - the simple version. I added a couple of tucks in the back neckline to work against the general 'humpback of notre dame' that seems to come as a free bonus with New Look patterns. I also did the pleats on the sleeves wrong but hey - we'll keep that between us shall we? The neckline pleats at the front were also necessary, probably I didn't take enough bulk out of the back.


I went for a shorter hemline than I usually do on this one. I blame The Atlas - he was home when I was hemming it. (Seriously hoping it doesn't shrink when I wash it!!)

I love this dress - I feel all sorts of airline stewardess in the 60s in it.


Outfit summary

Dress - NL 6000, donated fabric, items all from stash (free)
Tights - hand me down from my sister (free)
Boots - new, bought on sale recently ($170)

Overall awesome feeling - free.


So that is one down, 2 to go. I know we can hardly wait, right??
How about you - is there something you love that you just need to cut into/use/get out?


love you more than finally making something to enjoy from special fabric xxx

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

reading that distracts you from the TV - Palace of Tears

So, I opened this book one evening just after the boys had gone to bed and then 2 nights later I closed it all finished with a book hangover - which I'm pretty sure is an actual thing.

I only read it in the evenings and I didn't stay up late but I absolutely ate it up while I was reading.

Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale is a blissful read.


It follows the lives of several women and one Adam Fox, builder of the lavish clifftop hotel in the blue mountains, re-named Fox's Folly by the locals. The story opens in 1914 and jumps between different voices and different years.

As the narrative unfolds we are drawn into the worlds of the women who related most closely to Adam - Adelina - wife, Freya - lover and mother to Angie, around whom the story seems to spin and not spin, and Laura who enters later. As their narrative unfolds so does the narrative of Lisa, grandchild of Adam Fox, as she assists a local historian putting together information on the place that has become known as  'The Palace of Tears'.

I would happily re-read this book any time. The characters and the storyline are nuanced and well written. There is some shocking history covered as Australia journeys through 2 wars and locals react to those of foreign descent on their soil. There are lavish parties and love affairs - all covered tastefully.

So enjoyed this read the characters are really well developed and the narrative twists and turns in all the right ways unveiling itself little by little. The relationships between the characters also feel very real and have genuine emotional depth to them.

If you like strong storylines and accurate historical elements you will really enjoy this.

details - Allen and Unwin, May 2015, RRP $29.99, also available as an ebook

love you more than hydro-therapy xxx

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yes ... When - words that can change family dynamics

Parenting, not a job for the faint of heart - or for the proud - your kids will embarrass  that right out of you... fast. That is a promise.

(Don't worry though I'm pretty sure you get to give that gift right back to them during their teenage years, I'm quite looking forward to that!)

So it seems to me we ought to resource each other when we stumble onto something good that works. When The Atlas and I did a toolbox course one of the gems, and there were many, I took away was 'Yes... when'.


It would seem that semantics are in fact important. So instead of sticking the record on 'are you kidding me? Heck no' we change the record to 'of course my darling, when...'

Let me example you up on this.

Child: Mum can we go to the park?

Usual Mama: no we are not going to the park, your room is a mess and I have asked you to tidy it 40 times (mama is not above exaggeration to make a point)

instead we try this -

Child: Mum can we go to the park?

Mama: My darling, I would love to go to the park. Let's do that as soon as you have finished tidying your room. Come and get me as soon as it's done and I'll bring the soccer ball.

Do you see - those subtle little semantics?

Maybe I jest a little with my language, ;o)? But I am serious about it as a strategy. Most of the time there is a way to say yes... when. Instead of no...because. That simple word shift actually makes you feel more positive and your little one feel more like they are going to get what they want.

Of course I can't promise it will induce no whinging. I still whinge when I have to clean my room so somethings are kind of set.

So next time you are faced with

Child: Mum can I dye my hair green and get a minecraft tattoo?

You can say

Mama: Of course you can my darling when you have left home and you are paying all your own bills. At that stage I can only disapprove from afar.

See - yes... when. Try it out, it just might work a charm if you are feeling a little stuck in the 'no because' pattern.

Of course I always call my children darling and I am never less than perfect, despite what my son wrote about me on his descriptive writing activity.

love you more than still being humbled by your children after nine years in the job xxx

I would also like to add I don't actually yell, even if Flip tells the world I do. When we disagreed about this I almost said/yelled, I can show you yelling kid. (But I didn't, because I am very mature.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Power of Bloggers

Hi there philanthropist hopefuls,

It would seem maybe the internet does have some good qualities. Karen from Did You Make That has recently put together a challenge and a fundraising drive for the National Literacy Trust in the UK. Being a book lover and educator and wannabe-published children's author, this is a cause I can get behind.
Entirely unrelated photo of a small jug I recently acquired at an op-shop - for your viewing pleasure!

Karen also invited supporters to pledge to do something as well so I have promised to make 3 garments from my stash before the 10th of September - it can be done!

So whilst I go head-down bum-up into my stash I would also encourage anyone else who feels motivated to join the cause, or buy a book for a child that needs one, or read to a small child or teach the world to sing.... just because!

Until then my friends I should be cutting out. You can find out more here - should you be feeling a pledge coming on!

love you more than a zip that fits the project you started before you checked you had an appropriate zip, this is an actual, real problem xxxx

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yeah I Made It 34/52.... Wolfie

Costume loving mamas I greet you,

Flip's friends call him Wolfie, which he likes very much.

So when book week was first discussed this year he wanted to be a wolf - he wasn't too concerned about which book it came from.


I bought some fake fur and some polar fleece and used the hood pattern from a onesie sewing pattern I already had. I lined the hood in the fleece so it is pleasant (and warm) to wear. Then I made the ears by sewing a triangle of fur to a slightly smaller triangle of pink felt. By doing this the fur wraps around the felt which makes them more realistic - yes, I agree realism was probably not the overall goal!


Before I sewed the ears together I did some free motion stitching on the pink to make them.... a little more realistic!!

I sewed an elastic loop into the chin corner of the hood and sewed a button on the other side.


I then made some very simple cuffs from the offcuts, using velcro from the stash. Cue - pants and t-shirt from his wardrobe.

Face paint and we were done. He grabbed a Wolves book he bought earlier in the year.


He loved it and I'm hoping he might get further use from the hat to keep his head warm from time to time!

Selfish sewing shall resume soon...

love you more than 2 costumes done xxx

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Four Ways to Click - books with health benefits!

Relationship builders and brain lovers.... this is for you!

I was sent this book a while ago, it was published in Feb this year, and I started it, turned lots of corners to re-read and then got distracted!

So I picked it up and finished it the other day.

four ways to click -
Rewire your brain for stronger, more rewarding relationships
By Dr Amy Banks with Leigh Ann Hirschman


I loved this book. It is very accessible, even for someone (me) who has little knowledge or experience with neuroscience and it's impact on relationships. For a good deal of time psychology has been about treating people to get them to be unaffected by their relationships and where the goal has been independence.

However, neuroscience is changing and in this book Dr Banks provides compelling information that relational strength and harmony actually strengthen our brains and make for a more meaningful and happy existence.

I don't think it matters which side of the optimist/pessimist or great relationships/terrible relationships spectrums you find yourself I think this book will provide challenging and positive ways of thinking and rewiring your own perceptions and ways of being. I kept thinking of different people as I read this book and wanting to recommend it to them. I also found a couple of the sections really personally challenging and they have already had an impact on some of the ways I think and how I label my thoughts.

The four pathways that Dr Banks covers are calmness, acceptance, emotional resonance and energy. Each of these is linked to how they come into play in relationships and how they have lasting affects on our lives and relationships.

For anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by life, like they don't belong, for people struggling with emotional resilience or mental health I think this book would be interesting and encouraging. If you want a stimulating read that will challenge and extend you and also encourage you I would definitely recommend this super readable but equally academic book.

Details - Allen and Unwin, Feb 2015 RRP $29.99 also available as an ebook.

love you more than a book that makes you smile while you read xxx