Friday, May 30, 2014

On Reading and Crying

When we were children my mama read us The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde and cried (I mean really cried - the works)
at the end I said:
I never want you to read to me again
and my younger sister said:
read it again Mum, read it again

Currently I am reading my boys The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S.Lewis. It is the 6th of the Narnia books and we have also read Prince Caspian and they have the audio books (abridged sadly) of The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

I adore the Narnia books. Every couple of years I read them through and I always get something new from them. They are so much more to me than just good yarns.

I find parts of them rather emotion inducing but I am committed to not having a Happy Prince moment! Tonight I read the following - with rather a lot of pauses and quavering.

"My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Alsan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia."

I know it probably seems totally strange as a part to make me emotional, but it is Reepicheep's dedicated fervor to continue on with all of his might that I find so wonderful. It speaks to something deep in me - this determination and whole-heart quest. His heart is fixed with all his courage on his destination and he will go in that direction until he has nothing left in him and there go down still facing towards his dream. (For those unfamiliar with the Narnia books Reepicheep is a mouse with courage to turn an army - he's absolutely gorgeous).

Do you ever cry reading aloud? And which reaction would you have had as a child? Mine or my sisters?

love you more than a book that can be read 100 times xxxx

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Make My Week - Trimmings No. 2

Here is my second entry into the Umbrella Prints trimmings competition

this time I ordered a mixed packet and decided to go with a hearts theme.

Using a similar approach I cut hundreds of hearts of various sizes and used every single piece of the fabrics to make a multitude of hearts!

I made four simple cushion covers on the theme of love - LOVE, kiss, heart and balloons,  using op-shop fabric for the body of the cushions. The backs are an envelope back with a sqaure of velcro in each to make sure they stay firmly closed.

Honestly I think these turned out pretty average - it just goes to show sometimes things don't come off the way you hope they will. Still they are complete and that's the main thing. :o)

What now? On May 30th (this Friday) all the different images of things people made will be uploaded to Umbrella Prints pinterest board and then you can madly pin all your favourite projects. Each time you pin an image from their board (so please don't pin from this post if you like mine), that project gets a vote and the winner gets prizes. Cool huh?

As always joining in with the super talents over here

 Show & Tell Thursday's
love you more than a project finished in the nick of time! xxx

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Me Made May - the next installment

We I only missed one day of photos this week so not too bad :o)

A few outfit repeats this week and a new dress which I'll tell you more about another time but it makes 4 clothing makes for me this month! Yay me. Yes also I am going crazy taking photos of myself and I am wearing my slippers on 2 days, but I don't go out in them, okay? Also I pretty much didn't wear any make up this week either.... yeah I'm pretty inspiring right?

May 21
Yes this is the day I forgot but this is the dress I wore - with different shoes, hair, tights.... anyway. Just squint your eyes up okay?

May 22  - This is a New Look Project Runway pattern I borrowed from my sister last year. I adore the fabric. It's a little shorter than I usually go for and I wish I made the the sleeves roomer but I love it anyway.

May 23 - You've seen this one last week - do excuse the slightly crazy look and pose!

May 24 - my stretch dress - superb photo don't you think???

May 25 - this is my new dress - the fabric has been cut out and ready to go for nearly a year!! Finally made, so pleased to have this out of the 'must be done' pile.

May 26 - this is one of the wee kimono t-shirts I made over summer and it's the first time I've worn it. The denim skirt is one I made nearly 8 years ago.

May 27 - The new dress worn to look like a skirt with a glassons cardi with embroidered flowers that lovely Louana sent me.

Phew! Nearly at end of May. Have you done MMM? How much of your wardrobe is handmade?

love you more than a photo shoot done by a professional xxx

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trimmings - Entry One

This year I was very excited to discover that Umbrella Prints is a fabric maker that operates from Adelaide. Each year they hold a competition to see what people can make from a little packet of trimmings (a bit like the scrap bag swap that Nin hosts but more specific)

I ordered 2 packets and this is my first one.In the Blues Packet this is what I got.

My first idea wasn't going to work because of the small total area of fabric I got so I changed it up and made a very simple baby blanket. It seems to be baby season in our lives again so over the next few months I'll be coming up with gifts for little special people that arrive in the lives of friends and family.

I attached all of the fabric to a bonding fabric and then drew on all the raindrops. This meant there was basically no wastage, as you can see some of the drops actually have multiple fabrics in them.

I haven't added anything into this blanket so it isn't a quilt - this is intentional so the receiver has the option of using it for swaddling, floor play or other general uses. The background for the drops is organic cotton and it is backed with soft flannelette that picked up second hand.

I love the colours and the fact that by chopping the pieces up so much I could make something much bigger than my original idea.

I'm quite pleased with my final result.

What now? On May 30th (this Friday) all the different images of thins people made will be uploaded to Umbrella Prints pinterest board and then you can madly pin all your favourite projects. Each time you pin an image from their board (so please don't pin from this post if you like mine), that project gets a vote and the winner gets prizes. Cool huh?

How about you? What do you like to make from tiny scraps?

love you more than presents ready for new arrivals xxx

also linking in with my favourite Thursday girls

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Monday, May 26, 2014

What I'm Reading - High Altitude

This is one of those books that The Atlas usually picks up to read (as I head to the craft section), it's the story of Mike Allsop - a true adventurer.

Mike is a pilot (who almost died in a plane crash), an Everest climber and a ultra-marathon runner. So he's pretty much everything I'm not - although he is a kiwi.

This book details some of the astounding things he has achieved in his life and the drive that it took him to get there. Mike is also a husband and a father of 3 children.

More than once during the book I thought about his wife Wendy, and actually I thought more about her than I did about him as I read. The courage and generosity she has to encourage Mike to do these kind of things when they have 3 children and it means she is holding down the fort, as well as (I imagine), saying her prayers he will come home safe.

The book is not about her and the premise is not to make people think about her achievements but I guess that is what is lovely about someone telling their story - the interpretation and the impact is in the hearer's ear.

I wasn't inspired to try the things Mike has done (heaven forbid - I am not keen on any of them!! and even more so now) but I was inspired by the kind of woman Wendy is - her selflessness, her ability to be sacrificial for the man she loves, her ability to be doing as much (in different ways) but to remain, largely unrecognised (although it must be said, Mike does praise her a lot). She is the inspiration for me in this story.

Mike's style is very kiwi and I'm not even really sure what that is or if I would have noticed it so much had we not being living in Australia for the last 5 months. Perhaps it's his turn of phrase, or the things he does, or his observations, whatever it is - I can tell he's a kiwi, a bloke and I think a bit of a larraken!

One thing that I adored about this book was the way people stepped in to Mike's life to assist him in achieving his goals. I can't get enough of people cheering another person on and this book is full of the goodness of people towards others. I also loved Mike's determination to succeed, Pain is only temporary, quitting is forever. I need more of that grit.

This is a book for the adventurous and for those that long to live right on the edge. It's a book about seeing a goal and going hard out until you realise it.

Details - Published by Allen and Unwin, available in Paperback $29.99, and ebook and is about to be released in a new paperback format for $24.99

love you more than reading on the edge without the imminent threat to life xxx

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Week 21

Getting ready to leave the house this morning

my 2 sweet and lovely boys

love you more than morning light and photographs coming together xxx

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Wonderful Colour Swap

Although winter doesn't seem to be coming here in Adelaide any time soon, I do think of winter being a little colour lacking so I thought maybe a colour kiss by way of an easy swap could be in order?

I'm calling it 'a little bit of wonderful', you know like a wee unexpected burst of colour on a dreary, cold day. You don't have to be a crafter to participate in this swap.

This is a colour based swap. You will get an email with your partners details and some of their favourite colours. Your challenge is to choose one colour they love and base all your items around that colour. (As much as you can - creative license is okay!)

Please include 3 or more items in the swap (they can be handmade, or thrifted - if your partner is into thrifted stuff please check, or bought all shiny and new).

Also you must include something to inspire them - a note from you, a quote or poem you love, a link to a song you love or a copy of a story that makes you smile.

Feel a bit too open ended? If so here are some ideas to get you started:
Stationery - sitckers, note paper, pencils, washi tape....
Treats - sweets, chocolate bars, soup sachets, spice mixes
Creative - ribbons, buttons, ric rac or something you have made, cookie cutters and a favourite recipe
Winter Pick Me Up - seeds to plant in spring, a mixed 'tape', cute socks, soap, nail polish, candles .....

Price guide is $20 (excluding postage) but you are welcome to get creative and spend less if you want to. Please keep it around this mark though and don't go too far over or throw something together for $5 - we don't want receivers to feel embarassed or disappointed.

These are the rules
- Open to Aus and NZ only to keep postage manageable
- Sign ups start May 25th and close June 10th.
- you will get your partners name, answers and postal address by the 20th of June and need to have your parcel sent by 30th of June.

please only sign up if you are genuinely excited by the idea of making a 'wee bit of wonderful' parcel for someone

To sign up please leave your name and email address in a comment and I will email you a form to fill out. If you don't fill the form out and email it back I won't be able to pop you in, as your partner will need these details.

Thanks to Cat the swap queen for her lovely input - I hope I do you proud :o) I tried to make a button but I couldn't get it to work so here is the picture instead :o) x - somethings never change!

love you more than shopping for someone wonderful xxxx

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Make My Week - Kimono Style Dress

I like to this of this as a 'house dress'. It feels like a nighty and it's not the most flattering thing I've made but frankly it's comfortable and takes about 20minutes to make!

Op shop fabric, ASG(Australian Sewing Guild) de-stash lace - to make it look slightly less like a hospital gown (yes I had notice the resemblance!) and some thread.

Sometimes it really is the simple things in craft. Start and finish in one quick session - so satisfying!

Joining in with a parade of committed crafters here

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than a start and finish during the ad breaks xxx

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Me Made May Week 3

May 14 - yet another incarnation of New Look 6805 this time with a self drafted (not really 'drafted' but not from the pattern!) skirt. Top made from old curtains and bottom from an old sheet. Beads made for me by Bounce.

May 15 - Self drafted Kimono style T. Op shop beads and bought jeans.

May 16 - I'm calling this my house dress. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow as it was this weeks make. Which means I have managed 3 new makes this May and all from stash.

May 17 - So I did wear shoes, just not to for the photo. Dress is made in cotton drill with a denim midriff. Bracelet from Oxfam, watch Dr Seuss a gift for my 21st birthday.

May 18
I didn't get a photo today because, as well as having barely any voice I was co-leading a heritage buildings bike tour for 2.5 hours in the morning and co-running (The Atlas was my attractive sidekick) an 8 year-olds Lego party for 2 hours in the afternoon. So here is an appropriate shot of what I did wear that day from a photo from the Adelaide News Paper a while ago.

May 19
Back into my shirt dress today - sooooo comfy! Also modelling one of my beautiful prizes from the Offset Warehouse competition -  this amazing Basket/Bag from BasketBasket. Also model wears new gumboots a mother's day gift from some very delicious young men. Yes I do look a bit like a farmer inside with my boots on but as these are self-timer shots I felt it was a better choice!

May 20 - New Look 6749 - this was a previous photo because you guessed! I forgot to take a picture again!

Yes it is another week of predominantly dresses. Yes I do need to make some pants. Yes I am more interested in making some more dresses. What's a girl to do? I do enjoy MMM but I also get a little over taking the photos (I love the record once I've taken them though).

So this week was a week of entirely average photos, sorry bout that! :o)

love you more than the perfect dress fabric xxx

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Today You Are 8

Today my big boy is eight.

Dear Flip,

I love that you are just yourself. You march to the beat of your own drum without consciously recognising it. You are a friend of anyone who'd care to be your friend. You have boy and girl friends and you just love having people over and spending time with people.

You are interested in facts and how things work and if vampires are real. You are desperate for a phone or an ipad or any kind of technology but you are also mature about the fact that we keep saying no. One day you might grow up to be a computer programmer and if you do I hope you will understand why we stuck to our principles on this.

You are smart and you are funny. You sat on my knee the other night while we watched Bear Grylls to protect me if I felt scared of any of the yucky stuff he eats.

You like harmony between people and you love it when we all hang out together and have fun.

You play like a champ with your brother - sometimes the 2 of you just disappear into your room and all I hear are the voices of your current make-believe-activity (punctuated by the odd disagreement, which is usually over before I need to intervene). You listen to audio books all the time and you love me reading to you.

We love you Flip. We love who you are and we hope as you grow up you continue to be firmly convinced that we are with you all the way cheering you on to the person you were made to be.

Happy 8th birthday.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Masterchef - The True Invention Test

Okay competitors today we have the most challenging invention test ever in the history of masterchef.

The rules are simple.

You will find yourself in the kitchen of the middle of the road mama with school (and possibly pre-school aged children) the day before shopping day. Your job is to make a family meal that will suit offspring, 2-3 of various ages and 1-2 adults.

You will have half an hour to complete the meal. Your time starts at 4.30pm exactly and your meal must be served by 5pm. If you miss this deadline several of the judges may refuse to eat and throw a tantrum, and your food. One of the key judges, and only people likely to appreciate your meal, may arrive after this time - half an hour to an hour later in fact - so you better hope your meal tastes good lukewarm, cold or sadly reheated in a microwave.

You will have full access to a partially stoked cupboard and fridge/freezer. Don't forget to use the veges quietly dying in the bottom draw of the fridge. That slimy thing on the third self is not a squid it is a mixure concocted by the 3 year old and must not be touched for fear of demerit points.

Please dig into the back of the cupboards where you are likely to find some interesting opened packets of ingredients like lentils and quinoa that are probably pass their use-by, as the main cook was going through a short-lived 'natural' stage before they realised no one would eat any of it - by all means though do prove us wrong.

During your half hour cooking time you must also listen to 2 children read very slowly and ask for help on several words. You will have to make them read to you, they will not offer and this is an imperative part of the challenge if you want to move on to the next round. You must provide this task equal concentration to your cooking. Don't forget to sign the homework books as evidence you have done it.

The table must also be cleared of school notices, cereal from the morning's breakfast, playdough and a collection of things that have no special home. After this you must coerce, without violence, one of the children to set the table.

You may use any recipe that you can find in the kitchen provided the book pages aren't so stuck together that you have to tear them apart. It may be more successful just to make it up as you go along, this is an invention test after all.

Presentation will not help. All food must be disintegrated to such a size that it can be eaten with a teaspoon anything crunchy or slimy may cause one judge to gag in such a way that all other judges will no longer want to eat theirs either.

Each judge requires their own plate, although many will eat off each others plates during the tasting too. You may have to do some washing while you are preparing in order to have enough plates to serve up your meal. One judge may refuse to eat their dinner if it is not presented on the correct plate - the correct plate is currently unknown.

If the kitchen is a mess when you have finished don't worry, you have a hour at about 8.30pm to clean that up yourself.

Don't forget to season your meal, however you must not use salt as it is bad for the children, anything spicy as they will refuse to eat it and fresh herbs as they will cause suspicion.

The rules are simple:

  • get the meal done and feed all the judges. Any contestant who manages to do all of the above and have everyone finished what is served to them will receive an immunity pin and be interviewed by woman's weekly for $10,000.
  • any contestant failing to complete this task will be given the same task every night for the next 10-18 years 
Good luck your 30 minutes starts NOW!

Our Lego Party

Of course there are multitudes of people who have had Lego parties and done them exceptionally well. This is our one. Many of these games I found online and you have only to search pinterest for Lego parties to get a whole host of ideas.

I tended to hit the theme with the activities. We were going to do the chocolate game but Flip got a bit upset because it's too hard to cut the chocolate and I thought to myself - dude (yes I do talk to myself this way) it's his party why play a game he doesn't like?

 we did inside games:

- guess the Lego in the jar

- lego memory game - 20 pieces, 2 minutes to observe and then see how many you can remember (write or draw the pieces). They seemed to love this game.

- lego building collaboration - roll the dice and take the set number of lego from the box and add them to the group build in 30 seconds

- back to back Lego - all the children were given an identical bag of lego pieces and a theme like 'school', 'tall' or 'fast' and 45secs to 1.30 mins to make something using their pieces then show them to each other. The variety was awesome.

- mini figure madness - pick legs, then a body, then a head (the bowls went round in a circle), build your person and give them a crazy name.

and outside games:

- lego treasure hunt, find little lego 'faces' stuck around the courtyard.

- lego toss - lego shaped erasers thrown into little cups that each have a point value

and food

and cake - a number 8 made from cupcakes with icing and blue chocolate lego men that I made from my silicon moulds.

I also made crayons for the wee treaty bags :o) I did warn them twice not to eat those ones when they got home. I think they all had a good time.

and running about (which I don't usually leave time for - I'm working on being a little more chilled out instead of running them like a military operation).

I had other games as well but time started to run out - not that I want to do longer than 2 hours, as far as I feel it's plenty.

The food was very relaxed I did think about going all themey with the food like I did for Bounce's teddy party last year but in the end I wasn't convinced couldn't be bothered.

and now I have a child who will be 8 tomorrow! The years are fast. And when I had a little baby I thought 8 sounded quite grown up and big (and a little scary) but I'm pleased to report it's still pretty small really, and it likes cuddles and being read to. Actually I think 8 is pretty great!

love you more than a party that is over xxx