Friday, August 29, 2008

They make them for grown ups too

and Jodi's giving one away, a vintage one no less.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shop Update - Monday 1 September

Three more girls to go into the shop on Monday. Trying to get better organised for Christmas, I'm optimistic that others may like getting organised as far in advance as I do!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You want broccoli too?

I'll just go get some from the garden. Still always such a rush!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Minimum expense, maximum pleasure

I think a lot and I like to be organised. This translates to me being organised about things like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and Christmas a long way in advance. Ella turns 5 in October and today we started making the take home goodies for her guests.

Made with scraps the supplies themselves cost something like $5.00 USD for 60 self covering buttons of varying sizes; the headbands to cover were about $5.00 USD for 12; the bags to put both items in were about $4.00 USD and the stickers around $3.00. Priceless, the amount of fun that Ella and I had together this afternoon making a start on them. Honestly though, I couldn't buy lollies for 14 kids for that much. Of course there's effort involved, but if it wasn't fun that we wouldn't be doing it. Making buttons is so satisfying and super easy for kids to do with the minimum of supervision. The headbands aren't something I've done before so these first two are a little messy still. Cute though don't you think - again for nothing more around 75c each and some very sticky fingers and a little fiddling and you have a very cute gift.

Stay tuned for the invites, which we're yet to decide on. Ella's decided on a garden theme, but the execution is still up for discussion - ideas welcome.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Give me light hearted

Pre children most of the movies we watched were foreign language, worthy films. At the time they were everything I loved. Post children I can't get enough lighthearted feel good. This movie fits the bill - loved, loved, loved it (on dvd of course). I'm a definite sap. Also now have to get the soundtrack by this guy - love the Scandy music.

Little c

How cute is this! It tasted so delicious too, so different to those you buy in the shops. He is only a mini and has taken quite a while to get to this size, but honestly, not a blemish on him.

Our winter garden has been very slow this year, although I guess compared to the summer crops which just ran rampant, it's hard to compete. In the summer you're also keen to be out there, tend to the veg a bit more conscientiously. In the winter it's so wet, your mind isn't on weeding, feeding, chatting and cosetting your little guys. I am looking forward to the warmer months though, it's getting close to that time and I'm going to take over a lot more of the front garden for little beds everywhere. So far there will be zuchs, eggplants, basil a plenty, four varieties of tomatoes, lettuces of varying kinds, a bed dedicated to strawberries and that's as far as I've gotten so far. I want to be sure that there is actually enough planted to influence what we buy. I'm realistic with the space we have, but it's frustrating when something goes really well and you only put in six plants, equally so if you put in more and they're rubbish. Open to suggestions too, what are you planting?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Some things, well if I'm honest, most things have changed since we had children. As parents often tend to when talking about anything remotely negative in connection to their children, as if alleviating any suspicion of lack of caring, love, or commitment on the part of the parent, not that we'd change a thing is so often our get out clause. So, however much I wouldn't change a thing, one thing I've missed a lot, has been words.

I come from a family of voracious readers, my parents and all of my brothers (of which there are three, all older) have always devoured books, sci fi being huge with my parents and two of my brothers for many years. Writing also runs in the family, although only in a love way, in a passion, in a need it for distraction way.

While we were living in London I completed a two year Creative Writing course at Birkbeck. I had never completed formal higher education before and it had always been something of a personal hurdle for me. I guess I felt a need to validate my own intelligence, my own worth as judged by a wider audience. In many ways others have always found me outwardly very confident, but I have many insecurities, I just have a good poker face - my lack of formal higher education has been one of the greater ones.

Anyway, with the arrival of both our girls, time for reading and writing has pretty much disappeared. Like all things I know you can fit in what you find most important, but given the choice between sleep or reading in bed, my choice has always been sleep. Of late, however, I have taken a book to work on the train for my two out of mother role days. I've read three books in the last month. That isn't much compared to the funds that used to go to Waterstones on an almost weekly basis, but I'm so happy I've made the time, those few snatched moments, those words that, due to good choices in reading matter, have enriched me for those few moments each week. I even bought an iddy biddy book torchy thing that clips onto your book, only $3.95 at Spotlight. For now it's only been used in the early hours by the girls coming into our bed while we play shadow puppets on the wall, but as always, hope springs eternal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good citrus

Encouraging creativity

can mean cleaning up a lot of mess.

At times I find it difficult, with the difference in ages, to always find activities that both girls are able to participate in fully. Ella's obviously much more co-ordinated and also, let's face it, cleaner and neater. I feel mean even saying that but you do have to be in the right state of mind to start activities when you know full well that you're going to have half an hour of cleaning afterwards. I know that's being a mother and perhaps I'm more selfish than some, but I do need to be in the right state of mind.

So yesterday was painting day and any reservations I had were removed when I was reminded how much Leila loves it, regardless of the low paint onto paper ratio.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Girls on film

I LOVE updating my etsy shop. It's such a sense of achievement when the girls are finally in the shop, on show. It always gets me motivated to lift my game and update more rapidly, I can see my work on show, if for nothing more than the pleasure of that alone it's worth it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Too gross to photograph....

I have to share this story because I've gasped in horror when I've heard it's happened to others, but today it happened to me.

After Leila woke from her nap today I could hear her playing very happily in her cot. Usually she starts calling out not long after waking but as she didn't today, I left her for about half an hour before going in to her. I expected to walk in to a baby playing with her toes, giggling at her pictures, but what I found was something quite different.....

Leila was sans nappy and yes, horror of all horrors, after removing her nappy she'd done a very big poo. That same poo was all over her hands, her face, her legs, not to mention being all over the sheets, blankets, teddies, sides of the cot, wall - AAAAARGH!!!!! Geoff wasn't home and I honestly stood there for at least a minute saying "OH NO, OH NO, OH NO". I only leapt into action when Leila put one of those grubby thumbs into her mouth - she is a thumb sucker after all. I then ran to the kitchen and grapped a lolly pop so at least she could suck on sugar, the lesser evil of the two. I then removed her at distance and took her to the bathroom. This was tricky though too, as we've been without hot water for the last two days as our service broke and was only fixed this afternoon. I had to then boil the kettle quickly, tip it into the bath and then cool with tap water to get maybe a half inch of bathing water. Baby cleaned (that stuff was really dried on) I had to tackle the bedding, picking up little deposits from everywhere! I haven't even been able to wash them yet as we still don't have hot water.

I told you it was gross!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sorry Sandy,

I lied, I didn't send it on Tuesday, I'm posting it tomorrow! I did buttonboles on this little one so I could use the sweet buttons, but they're not my strong point - don't look too closely!

PS Don't worry, you won't be getting the dodgey material in the background, that's my ironing board cover!

Heart rate definitely reached 180!

Oh my god, went for a ride with Leila today and seriously thought I was going to die on the return, that's how unfit I am. We went along the bikepath and with Leila on the back saying "park, park, swing, swing" I was trying to remember where the park we used to go to was. Needless to say I took a wrong turn and had to backtrack, went further than I meant and looking at my watch was worried I wouldn't have time to get back and collect Ella from kinder. Leila fell asleep in the bike seat and I could see her head bobbing from side to side and when I put my foot down to turn around and ride back I stepped in a big pile of dog shite! So, that was my little bit of exercise (around 10kms isn't too shabby) for quite some time. I said to my mum when I got back that exercise is a bit like childbirth, painful while you're in the midst of it but as soon as it's finished you forget and feel really good!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three little girls

I've got my crafting mojo back, now all I need is more time. I know that different people have mentioned this at different times, but I honestly don't know how some crafty mothers out there manage to achieve all they do. Actually forget the crafty bit, just managing the day to day well is impressive enough for me (what clean house?!).

My girls are almost 5 and 19 months and aside from the two days a week I'm at work and they're with family, they're with me all day every day. Ella has kinder one day when I'm not at work, but that's only for 4 hours and then Leila's with me and awake. I certainly don't play with both of them every second in the same way that I did when Ella was younger - then it was all about her - but I am with them all the time and don't really manage to do anything that doesn't involve them. When I'm sewing I include them with crafts of their own, but invariably the process is disturbed, for me, with another distraction of some kind. Leila's too small to really participate and if she does it usually involves a LOT of mess. That's all fine, but my whole point is wondering how other mothers manage their time. I know that some craft at night but that's not me. We don't eat until around 8:30 so after that I can manage some time with Geoff and then I'm headed to bed.

I can only think that perhaps others have time without the kids much more than I do. I have a friend who has no family around and uses childcare for her own sanity two once a week so she can have time for herself. I certainly don't judge her doing that, but it's not something I'd be comfortable with. Perhaps other children are more self sufficient than mine, perhaps other mums are less interactive with their kids, I honestly can't figure it it. I wish I could, because I end up feeling a little inadequate that I can't juggle more than 6 things at a time!

I had hoped to participate in this market in November, but honestly, it's not realistic to think I could - I just don't get enough time to work on the dolls. I would want to go with at least 30 dolls to make it worthwhile and to make that many - well, even if I worked on 3 a week (which would be huge for me), that would take me at least 3 months and I just don't have that time. I'll just have to try and crank it up a little and get more into the shop in the next couple of months, hopefully tempt some sales for Christmas.

So, after all that distraction, these three little girls just need to be dressed. They're for a custom order, three little girls for three little sisters in Brisbane for Christmas, I'm so excited that they'll be together!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Over in a blink

Back from a weekend that was over too quickly. Although we love spending time with the family, the girls adore it. Ella sitting with the bigger cousins at the kids table, seeming so grown up, ordering meals in restaurants for herself, soooo cute! Leila laughing almost constantly at the antics of the older ones.
Geoff took some digital shots, but I did three rolls of film. I think there are some good shots in there, but we'll have to wait and see. Control the wants, control the wants!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pick me up

Every year we spend a long weekend with Geoff's family and today we're packing up and heading south, not too far, to Philip Island. Can't say I know much about it aside from the fact that the annual motorcycle grand prix is held there and that there's a nightly penguin parade as they march from their nesting grounds to the water. It's rather chilly here so brisk walks on the beach and lots of red wine are in order and then there's the tiramisu made this morning for our dinner tomorrow night.

Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nosey Nasals

My mother has told me tales of one of my brothers who, when a toddler, had a nasal fascination (although only with his own nostrils) and used to stuff things up there. I remember hearing of how he'd come inside, not old enough to talk but to gesticulate that his nose was hurting. Mum wasn't surprised that it was his nose as he'd stuffed things up there before, but this time she couldn't get to whatever it was. They walked to the doctor and he used some sort of monstrous looking tweezers and pulled out bunch after little bunch of flower petals. The image of my brother sitting there pulling the petals off flower after flower and then stuffing them all neatly and firmly as far up his nose as he possibly could - well that image stays with me.

There are some family likenesses with our girls, but there haven't been too many personality traits or habits in common, until now. Leila also has a nasal, nosey fetish - she too likes to stuff things up her nose, but she has a favourite object, fluff. Her favourite fluff is from our new carpet in the lounge which continues to pill up a lot during the settling in stage, but she is just as happy with blanket or jumper fluff. Leila sits on the carpet and picks up little balls of fluff. At first she "cuddles" them into her cheek, thumb in mouth, other fingers clutching at the ball of fluff, but invariably I see her little fingers sneaking that fluff up her nostril, predominantly her right one. Tonight at dinner she was doing a funny sneezing thing and then a ball of moistened fluff appeared on the table! She also thinks it's funny to say "mummy" when you're not looking and when you turn around she has the middle finger of each hand stuffed up a nostril! I can't help but laugh but what if she progresses to larger objects? I seem to remember my brother stuffed dried broad beans up on another occasion!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fondue, Snow and Winter Veg

In our house the almost 5 year old and I talk quite a bit about the difference between needs and wants. I know it can be a difficult concept for a child, but it can also be tricky for an adult. I feel I really need a new digital SLR but I know it's really just a strong strong want. I had never owned a compact camera before this little digital one we have, I have three manual SLR's ranging from my steel Nikkomat to the more modern automatic jobbies, but never a compact. I didn't think I'd be the digital convert I am but how can you go back to being without one? I've started using my SLR's with film again, as there's no comparison to the fun of it versus a compact, but we got rid of our scanner and when you add the cost of processing (including onto a cd) to the cost a film, you're into the $30 mark for $36 shots - polaroids are looking cheap by comparison! Looking at the gorgeous shots everyone else takes - particularly Ella and Clumsy Bird, how could you not be inspired? My other need is a new computer, a faster, more reliable, more gutsy, fancy pants one - with the full Microsoft suite of programs and Photoshop and all the stuff others seem to have as standard. I'll save expanding on this rant for another day though.

The weekend included fondue with my folks,

A trip to the snow with Ella - the babe was unwell,

and inspecting the winter crops.