Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess (Move over Martha). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess (Move over Martha). Show all posts

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My first quilting bee!

I recently received an email from one of the class parents saying that sewer's were needed.  I had a good laugh at "sewers" and then didn't offer to help.  I have very little sewing experience despite my mother and maternal grandmother's best efforts!  My grandmother used to make wedding dresses for people in her spare time, when she wasn't busy raising her six children and volunteering at the war memorial etc etc, she taught my Mum how to sew, knit, crochet and they both then tried to teach me.  Despite their best efforts it was mostly unsucessful unfortunately, I can just stitch a button back on and sort of know how to work a sewing machine.

 Another email was received not long after the first, desperately requesting assistance.  The school is hosting a Bollywood Ball  as a fundraising event and each class year are auctioning an item they have made to help raise some funds.  Every child in Lower First (the Captain's year) had decorated an elephant on a square of fabric.  The art teacher then suggested that perhaps some of the Lower First parents could make a quilt out of all the calico elephants squares.  Gorgeous idea, except not one of us had any quilting experience and only a couple actually had any real sewing skills.  Regardless, we were up for the challenge:

Elephants stitched in rows, with 4 cm strips of blue fabric between and the wadding ready to be stitched on.

One clever Mum embroidered this square.

The Captain's elephant!

Husband has had a good laugh at me hunched over the sewing machine for the past few days.  As he pointed out to me... the sewing maching has been in a box in the roof for the last 15 years.  Every move he has suggested that we pass it on to someone who might use it! Never I would cry, I have plans to make beautiful clothes for our children, library bags, cloth nappies, linen napkins, lovely cushion covers.  Grrr, he would mutter and curse at me under his breath as he moved the sewing machine into yet another roof cavity!

Last week as I was squinting in frustration at the little strips of blue obstinately refusing to come out at 4 cm despite having been pinned into place, I tried to recall the last time I had actually sewn anything.  After a bit of thought I vaguely remembered whipping myself up a french maid's costume to wear to the Mardi Gras party, way way back in my early university days.  Hmmm, definitely had been a while then!  Even though I only managed to stitich two rows of elephants together I loved the experience and am looking forward to trying my hand at some new projects!  Maybe a library bag?  Any suggestions for an almost novice?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 4

"Something green"

Green, in particular depression green, is one of my most loved colours.  As I was wandering around the house and garden today I spotted literally dozens of green things that I found beautiful and struggled to make a decision about what to photograph today.  In the end I took a photo of the top of my dresser.

Top of my dresser!

It was too hard to choose, between the green Carlton Ware bowls that I use to store my jewellery and beauty odds and ends in.  The tea cup with a splash of green that I store my bobby pins and hair ties in.  The milk jug full of camellias from the garden with their glossy green leaves and the green detail in the tiles on the back of the dresser...

Green is a magical colour.  It is fresh and wholesome and makes me think of new beginnings, I associate it with both land and water and ultimately it is a lovely soothing colour. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project Organise: The Car (plus some photos of the wall mounted TV for Rachael)

                As the back seat of our car always seemed to look like this:

I decided that some Project Organise was necessary.  A quick trip to Kmart and I purchased this little canvas storage unit to put in between the boys car seats.  I measured the space first as there is not much room between them.  I know this as I had to squash myself in the back the other day when we were dropping my MIL home... to the other side of Sydney!  Anyway, inside I put all the various items that the boys use to entertain themselves on car trips.  Books, colouring-in items, a couple of puzzle toys and a few small matchbox cars and planes. 

Fits perfectly!  At the back is a Crayola Travel Turtle.  I am really hoping to avoid going down the DVD player in the car path, so this is my way of trying to keep the boys entertained on long car trips! Audio books on CD have been fantastic as well.

For Rachael:

Photo of the TV, it is wall mounted above the sideboard.  The bracket for the TV is not centered above the unit as it needed to be attached to a load bearing stud.  Something to think about if you are wall mounting!  The TV moves around on the bracket though so we can position it at different angles.  In the above photo it is pushed back to the right against the wall.

My paternal grandparents were anthropologists. I inherited many of the artefacts that they collected in the 1930s/40s.  These pieces are Aboriginal and Samoan and are hiding a speaker. The DVD player and Foxtel are also here, but when we renovate next month and this wall gets ripped out we will relocate these items into the sideboard itself.

At the other end of the sideboard, is the amp, another speaker, one of my WW1 ashtrays, an aboriginal knife and a painting by June Bird

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Lolly jars

This post originally appeared on an old blog called The Brothers Trimm - I just wanted to add them to my personal blog in order to store the memory!

Christmas Lolly Jars


old jars
glue gun
poms poms in white and red
pipe cleaners
(all of these items can be found at Spotlight or similar craft shops)

Making the lolly jars:

Get the glue gun out and start glueing!  Make sure you supervise closely as the glue gun gets super hot.

Lastly fill with lollies or shortbread, ours are to decorate the kids Christmas table with, but they would also make great home made Christmas gifts!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas button ornaments

This post originally appeared on an old blog called The Brother's Trimm - I just wanted to add it to my personal blog in order to preserve the memory!

Christmas Button Ornaments

Button Christmas ornaments are a fabulous Make and Do Project as almost all the necessary supplies are readily available and very cheap.  I had a big jar of buttons that didn't seem to belong to anything and combined with a pack of pipe cleaners we were all ready to go with a great Christmas craft activity.  This is an activity that can be done by children as young as two, Baby Pirate is two and a half and with a little help every now and again he loved it.  Threading the pipe cleaners through the button holes was great for improving his eye hand coordination and the organising of the buttons was great for sorting skill development.  All in all, a great Make and Do project!


Pipe Cleaners

Making "wreath" button ornaments:

Select a pipe cleaner and start threading!
When they have decided that there are enough buttons on their wreath, loop the pipe cleaner ends together and wind closed.  Trim off any excess and then tie a ribbon on to the bare spot of the wreath  making a loop.  The loop can now be used to hang the ornament.

Making a "tree" button ornament:

Select a pipe cleaner and make a little dent in one end to stop the buttons sliding off the end of the pipe cleaner.  Then sort out the buttons into large to small size order and thread onto the pipe cleaner starting with the largest on the bottom.  We topped ours off with a little red star found at Spotlight.  Then wind a little loop into the excess pipe cleaner and thread some ribbon through!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A new bedside table.

For a while now I have been using a stack of magazines and books as a bedside table and it was starting to irritate me no end each time I entered the bedroom and glanced at my side of the bed!  Clearly, I desperately needed a new bedside table and as we are about to renovate and my bedroom will be completely different once finished, I was reluctant to spend a lot of money on something that might not work in the room post-renovation.  I also didn't want to spend a medium amount of money on a stop gap bedside table that I didn't love.  Instead, I popped into our local Salvos store and picked up this rather ugly bookshelf for $15. 

I gave it a light sand and a new coat of paint and I am delighted with the end result.  After the renovation is complete and once I have found the perfect bedside tables I am going to move it to the future guest bedroom as a new bedside table where it will work perfectly next to my old black wrought iron bed that is currently stored under the house.  Well, I hope it will work anyway!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Embracing thrift with cute cowboys!

As I have two boys, my intention has always been to buy good quality clothes for Boy One and then hopefully pass some of his wardrobe onto Boy Two.  Boy One though has turned out to be extremely active and enjoys playing in the dirt, trees, sandpit and other typical boy joy places.  Most clothing has survived the mud and the dirt very well.  Seed, Country Road, Gap and Old Navy are definite favourites.  However, almost all of Boy One's pants have suffered in the knee area.  It seems so wasteful to throw out a pair of trousers just because the knees have worn through, so in the spirit of thrift and with noble thoughts regarding the environment, I asked my lovely Mum if she could sew some knee patches for me.  I am so pleased with the end result that I am blogging about it!

I knew that if I was to be happy with the patches that the fabric had to be cute.  So after quizzing a clever pre-school Mum (Thank you Susan!) I found some gorgeous cowboy fabric at a nearby quilting shop.  A fat quarter of cowboy fabric cost a few dollars and if you think about the cost of buying a new pair of decent pants, a few dollars is nothing. 

The patches were stitched on by hand, with some additional fabric stitched onto the inside leg of the jeans (basically behind the patches), in order to meet boy play standards.  This will come in handy as Boy Two is following in Boy One's gumboots and is equally as fascinated with mud, dirt and general outdoor mischief.  

Perfect play clothes for the little one! Thanks Grandma!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lamingtons and the Garbage Truck

This morning we made Lamingtons. It was a first for all of us. I have a very clear memory of watching a lamington drive as a little girl. I watched mesmerised as a group of familiar mums worked at unfamiliar speed in a factory line baking what seemed to be enough lamingtons to feed the population of a country town or in this case a school fete.

There is a reason why people do it in drives... it is quite a messy and fiddly exercise. However, for two tactile little boys... they loved it.

CWA standard they definitely were not! Nevertheless, we had fun and I even had 5 minutes peace and quiet to enjoy mine with a coffee whilst they were busy eating theirs!

Sadly said peace and quiet was suprisingly short lived. Today is garbage day and, as is a long standing tradition, the boys kept an ear out for the noise of the truck winding it's way up our street. As soon as they can hear it they both race out of the house, screeching like banshees "garbage truck, garbage truck" and then stand at the top of our driveway in relatively quiet anticipation. Normally, the driver waves at them and he and I exchange a "boys will be boys with their obsessions with large machines" glance and then he continues on his way around the neighbourhood. Today was different though... maybe he smelt the lamingtons baking? He stopped and asked if the boys wanted to have a sit in the cab?

They loved it... he let them press the buttons, move the seats up and down, and the highlight of the experience was a demonstration of the bin collecting arm grabbing our recycling bin off the nature strip and "emptying" it several times!

That driver made their day with this small act of kindness!


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