Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look at me

I've always been a keeper of small pieces of paper, generally in my handbag, journal, beside my bed, on the kitchen window sill, basically everywhere. I can usually find what I need, but since Ella started school it's gotten out of hand. There are so many notices for everything, and many you need to hang on to. I'm a big calendar user, but things like lunch order menus and class contact lists just don't fit.

This has been on my to do list for a while but I finally finished it last week. 6 cork tiles stuck onto a piece of plywood with contact adhesive, then covered with fabric onto which I'd sewn three pockets along the bottom, stapled, cord attached with buttons at the front and hung. Now everything can have a home.

I wanted to make some self covered button tacks - you can buy the backs on etsy, but they're quite expensive (anyone know a local supplier?). For now I'm using generic plastic tacks, but they're not very pretty and also they're a bit long so don't go completely into the cork.

I made a board for Ella a few years ago now, although hers is quite different. I got a lot of pleasure making this, I think it's really effective. I made a few as gifts for friends, a J, an M and a T. It takes a while to get the letter stencil just right, and cutting with jigsaw takes a bit of practice, but it's actually quite simple, and the kids love having their initial writ large!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Both girls have been through phases where the bedtime story is the same one, night after night after night. Leila recently went though a "Is it Bedtime Wibbly Pig?" phase, but has now moved onto the Playschool Orange book. Both girls have loved this book, it's good and very interactive, but it's long and they notice if you try and turn two pages together. Geoff loves reading to Leila at night, but he's ready to move onto the next book!

What's missing?

We're adding to our family, we'll soon become a family of 5! On Wednesday our newest member, Eddie Bubbles Bailey, will join us. I promise not to bombard you totally with cute photos, but will have to at least introduce you. Who would ever have thought that feline accessories could raise the excitement levels of young girls so high?!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Full Heart

We lived in London for 5 years, but it was now almost 6 years ago. During the time we lived there I found two of the most beautiful women I've known in all my life. You know those friends who don't judge you, who know your shortcomings and love you anyway? Friends you could spend weeks with (although they may disagree); friends you would share things with every day, if only you could; and friends who you can actually tell that you do love them.

The hardest part about leaving London, was leaving these two. I remember calling Lena (the gorgeous blonde Dane) from Heathrow in tears, feeling desperate to be leaving. Kate (with the big brown eyes and dark hair) is English and very different to Lena - but I love them both. This photo was taken in Paris, around May 2003, just before Geoff and I left to come home to await Ella's arrival.
Last week Kate told me that she and her family were coming to Melbourne in March next year, arriving on the 23rd. Today Lena has told me she and her family will be arriving just after Christmas, THIS YEAR. I am so excited about seeing them, but anxious too. Anxious because it's almost like a lover you've missed for so long, I know that once they're here I will be worrying about them leaving.

I have met Lena's daughter, she was about 10 months old when we left, but not her son. I've met Kate's elder son, but not her younger and neither of them have met either of my girls.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have your most beloved females near by - make the most of them, for some of us will be forever oceans apart from those that make us most happy.
Can't wait to see you both! xxx

Lemony Snickets

OMG I know, two posts in a row about homemade biscuits but these, OMG like like, they are totally amazing! You simply MUST try these. They are almost like a very moist lemony scone biscuits - if that takes your fancy. I won't tell you how many I've popped into my mouth (they are perfect popping size), but you should put them in a room you don't walk past often, otherwise you will simply eat them all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm not so fond of sweet biscuits, although strangely the occasional double dipped tim tam seems to fit into another category altogether. I prefer fruit cakes, coffee style cakes and biscuits that are a little sweet, but preferably with nuts over chocolate. Leila isn't fussed about sweet things and Ella can't have any nuts in her lunchbox biscuits because of all too prevalent allergy problems at school. So these are really just lunchtime biscuits and I'll make something else for my consumption, they're from one of mum's old recipes, probably from the UK Good Housekeeping, I love the crackles on top.

I love the "cookie of the week" over at A Friend to Knit With and think I'll give the lemony snickets a try.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Maroondah, that is. The idea was for a bbbq breakfast, but with very fine but very wet dampening our spirits we changed to take away coffees and delish pastries from Giant Steps.

We jumped in puddles, we threw stones in rivers, played inside child size houses, took self portraits, climbed steps and called "cooooo-eeee". A great place for a weekend romp. Be sure to take your gumboots!

Friday, May 15, 2009


On Mother's Day, last Sunday, I had this song running through my head, but could only remember a few of the lyrics which I sang badly for Geoff. Normally my darling husband knows exactly what I'm thinking of "you know that actor, the one I like, that was in that film, you know the one". This time, he had not a clue.

Today I remembered the song title and it's my song of the moment - Empire of the Sun, Walking on a Dream. I thought the voice was familiar (Sleepy Jackson) and it also makes me feel of the vibe on the Lost in Translation soundtrack and also a bit of Phoenix mixed in too. Fun clip.


PS Sorry, I even read up on the notes how to insert the YouTube link but, using my limited techy talk, the embedding is disabled on this one ...!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The obligatory bimonthly trip to IKEA was yesterday. This trip the only item not on my list purchased was fabric and really, that is a necessity isn't it.
Frames are always on list, but this time I bought white and I love the look. Pictures on the walls makes me happy, along with fresh flowers, which now tulips are back in season I must start buying again. We have a lot on the wall, but still lots of space which calls for some larger pieces. I have a couple of original pieces waiting to be framed but they demand professional framing and it's so expensive. One piece, an original painting on paper by a dear friend, the last quote I got was over $300. I love the piece, but find it hard to figure the framing in and we've had it in a tube for literally, years.
The pieces in this photo aren't original, although I would love one - you can find them here.


We don't subscribe to the neat bed look in our house. We all have doonas and whilst we try and straighten and smooth them each morning, it's not a high priority. I know my mum said a while ago that in years gone by it was a measure of how a woman kept house, a source of gossip "you know the beds weren't made!", so I'm making myself a potential target by not "dressing" this photo more.

Ella's bed is only a 3/4 bed and the quilt is a full single size, but we love the look of it draped casually over just the same.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Finally got around to updating my etsy shop with some of the stock from the market. I must confess that I conked out after 4 listings. Is it just because I have a crappy computer, or does everyone find uploading photos to etsy exhausting? I'm going to try the Australian Madeit, but feel a bit lazy in learning new processes right now - how sad am I.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

For us spent having breakfast with my parents at The Red Shed. This place is so me, everything I love and would love to have. The building is the type of design Geoff and I would like in the new house we're hoping to build within the next 5+years. The cafe is everything I dream of owning for myself. It's not too big, it's not trying to be everything to everyone, it's just concentrating on what they do best. It's kept small and manageable. It's visiting this type of place, thinking about all it would be to me, that makes my chest feel tight and my heart beat a little faster. I'm thinking of this as a venue for something for my 40th later this year. It's not flashy, but so comfortable, tasty, relaxed and beautiful views all around. If you haven't been - go.

Mother's Day, my girls, my mum, my father and my husband. My life reflected back at me in my girls, my past and my future, all the things I've achieved and all the dreams I still have. My life at around the half way point, theirs just at the beginning. They may have the benefit of more years on their side, but I refuse to believe that my age will prevent me from achieving the many dreams I still have, unless I let it.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.

Queen Bee

I finished Ella's quilt last night and I have to say, very satisfying. I was always looking forward to the actual quilting and binding part the most, and I did find it the most enjoyable. I can see why quilt making becomes a habit.

I machine quilted, I am not patient enough to do that by hand. I did buy a quilting foot and experimented with it. I liked the free movement, but found it hard to keep my speed consistent enough to keep the stitch sizes the same. I ended up using the normal foot which meant the stitches were the same size, but the movements not as fluid. It's far from flawless, but I'm really pleased with it. It's a fairly light quilt with only a cotton batting inside, but gosh, it's so snuggy. Leila's next then I've already worded up Geoff that I'm going to make one for our bed, although I had to promise I won't make that from pieces of our old clothes.
When Ella's in dry again I'll post a picture of it on the bed so I show more than just the binding.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

$41 + knobs + elbow grease

While Ella was at school today I did an extra coat of varnish to the top, added china handles and lined the drawers with deep purple paper. I moved it into her room, reorganised everything and when she came home it was there, as if it always had been. These photos were taken about a minute after she'd arrived home. I suspect it's going to be her new favourite place.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Can you believe the only thing I forgot when setting up my stall on Saturday was the camera, so I have not one single shot of the girls all laid out. My first market and I probably won't be doing another for quite some time, although not because it wasn't enjoyable, simply because it took over my life. The relief I feel at not having to sew every single moment, well, it's lovely. Great success though, both the fun day and the market, such a wonderful effort on the part of so many parents and teachers.

I learned the the less expensively priced items were most popular. I made a pattern for and produced a number of pure wool felt hippos from them, which were a huge hit. I wanted time to make more felt animals, but the dolls take so much time I ran out, of time that is. I sold a few dolls and received order for another, but nothing to get overwhelmed by. I made enough to buy a pair of gorgeous pants - I can't recommend them enough - so simple but on soooo slimming (which we all love) and just so nice - do check out Nicole's market visits.

So, now I'm going to restock my etsy shop and try the Made It Australian equivalent - has anyone used it? I'll just list a couple of items and check the response.

Now I'm onto my list of other "to-do's" which include a desk for Ella. I bought an old pine desk on ebay recently and today sanded it all back and have started varnishing it. I've also bought some china handles to jazz it up and some nice paper to line the drawers with. I'll show you what this duckling turns into when she's all done.