Friday, November 15, 2019

Library Bag

While I was there cutting out shorts and skirts in the September holidays, I was also forward thinking about what Rachel will need for school next year, namely a library bag and pencil case. Here I will talk about the library bag, saving the pencil case for the next post so as not to bore you with sewing stories. 

Rachel's library bag was modeled after Sophie's with a few tweaks. I used the leftover fabric from her Nature Bag, which is such fun wonderful fabric that I'm sad to use the last of it. It's got a slip pocket on the inside for the library card, a Velcro closure and is fully lined. Easy. I kind of wish I had looked at the yellow corner fabric a little more because I could definitely have cut it to match the pattern, but oh well.

It's lined with some purple fabric that I found in the stash (thanks anonymous donor-person), and is fully functional. Rachel is now just a little bit more ready for school.

Thursday, November 07, 2019


It was the holidays. The end of the holidays. I needed to do some cooking and was craving some ginger slice with caramel topping; something that I knew the girls would probably not really be into. When the girls asked what I was doing, I threw caution to the wind and told them as I was cooking, they could both also choose one thing to make and provided we had the ingredients, we would make it. 

Cook books out! Rachel choose some honey jumbles, which were relatively straight forward. Easy. Sophie saw this cake, and was sold. There was a lot of washing up this day, but all delicious things were made. 

The girls did all of the measuring and stirring for their respective cooking. I just sliced and iced the cake for Sophie while both girls made the bees out of fondant. They added the stripes with Nutella and used flaked almonds for wings. 

The cake itself was honey with lemon and was delicious. Unfortunately for Sophie, who had chosen and made the cake, it was too sweet for her and she ended up not eating any of it. Oh well. She liked the bees. 

This cake was a fun way to end the holidays, and I'm glad we made it. I wonder if there are any other parents out there who let their kids make ridiculous cakes on a whim too. Probably.

I also wonder if the girls will remember this, or if they will complain in the future that I never do anything fun with them. Probably that too.

Friday, November 01, 2019


We have an amazing lime tree that makes lots of limes every year. Usually such an abundance that even giving them away in spades we still have heaps left over. 

One solution to this has been making limeanade. Which is like lemonade, but with limes. Obviously. 

Steve usually undertakes this venture with the girls, the last time I documented it being in April 2018. Interesting. Does our lime tree fruit twice a year and I haven't noticed? Maybe that's why we seem to always have so many limes!

Anyway, it's so fun and so yum that I can see limanade being in our future for a lot longer.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cardboard House

I made this house so long ago that I actually don't have any photos of it's construction. The box has sitting under the house for at least two years. It was gifted to us by our friends down the street who's husband works in engineering at the airport, so I assume it was initially used for some enormous part of a plane.

Whatever the case, the box itself was huge. So much so, that I didn't want to actually cut into it until I was sure it would get full use. It lived under the house and I would take it out every now and then with the other boxes, but it always went back under. After the extension of our house, I realized that we now had a space for an enormous cardboard house to live for an extended period of time, so I got it out and started working. 

Essentially the box is what it always was. I just cut one of the flaps off (the front piece) and used that for the top part of the roof. The sides and the back flap just stood up and connected to it. I used another large box from under the house (this one was a TV box) and cut it to be that front panel and support the roof. 

One side wall has two windows and the other side has one window cut into the roof. The back top has a ventilation section, which is still able to open and close, but I feel I could cut it off, because it's too high for the kids to do anything with anyway. I painted the roof door and around the windows with the very last of the red paint that has also been used for the play wall, the sandpit and the cardboard boat. The walls of the house (which the girls helped paint) were done with either leftover from our house renovation or leftover front steps paint, I can't remember to be honest.

After it was done, I was inspired by Ruby Red Shoes' caravan and added some decoration. I used the final amount of cream paint that I had previously used in the shop and the cardboard rocket. The inside is unpainted, and I let the kids go crazy on it, but every now and then I put up white paper as wall paper and they have a new canvas for their crazy art.

Even after my additions to the roof and door, the outside still looked a little plain, so I let the girls paint flowers on the walls too. I didn't let them go full crazy, like when we painted the wall, but they did get to paint, and that's what matters right?

I drew the outlines of the flowers in black pen, and then had them paint in the sections with color. It worked pretty well, and they did a good job of staying in the line and respecting my color choices.

The cardboard house has been out on the deck for a good while now, and is lasting well, if a bit dusty on the roof. The girls sporadically ask if they can sleep in it, but over winter, my answer was a pretty resounding no. Maybe in the summer holidays I'll let them give it a go.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Shorts for Hugo

Made some shorts for Hugo.

Hope they aren't too small.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Camping 2019

I want to camp more. Some days I don't even know why, because there are so many things about camping that are hard or inconvenient that it's hard to justify that the pros outweigh the cons at all. But I still want to do it. I want to be out in nature, unplugged and offline for even just a little while. Breathing fresh air and enjoying God's creation.

Steve had his fair share of camping as a kid, so he's probably more experienced, but less enthusiastic that I am. As the girls get older though, I think it's much more doable, and certainly an experience that I want to give them while we can. While I appreciate that it's not particularly Steve's holiday of choice, I'm still so keen.

So, this September holidays, I took the girls camping.

Steve doesn't get as many holidays as I do, working in the corporate world, and he is saving those up for Christmas, so I took the plunge and took the girls. Before you start applauding (or worrying) I'll let you know; I didn't go solo. We went we with a family we know. Sophie goes to school with their son. Three of them, three of us. The numbers were good, and the overall adult to child ratio was a fabulous 1:1.

We went down towards Mt Barney on the boarder of Queensland and New South Wales. It was great. The campsite was busy, but didn't feel crowded. A little rain but mostly fine, chilly at night, lots of animals to see and barely any phone signal at all. Perfect.

The second day we all did a 14k hike, which was pretty tough, but so worth it. It was seven k's to this waterhole (sourced from an underground spring), where we splashed and cooled off before heading back the way we came.

We also did all the things you usually do when camping, like sitting around in the shade eating, collecting sticks for fires, cooking marshmallows and playing card games. We saw wallabies, Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos, a Bower Bird, Kurrajongs and a goanna. There was rock hopping at the creek and torch games after dark. Rachel's Nature Explorer Bag was in full use.

In the end the fun of going and the good memories definitely outweigh the trouble of packing even the kitchen sink to get there. Let's go camping more! Maybe one day I will even feel like I can take the girls on my own, but I think they would need to be older and more able to help out first. In the mean time, we will enjoy the time with friends. And the marshmallows. 

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Holes in the Cupboard

At the change of season I do a cull through the girls wardrobes and I notice the holes. Gaps where they won't have enough clothes to get through the next few months. This brings on a subsequent sewing binge, which never feels bad because it's all unselfish, totally practical and using up material in the stash.

Enter September 2019. It's hot again, and the girls need shorts. Rachel mostly because she was down to one skirt. I think Sophie only got so many because I think she'll have a growth spurt soon, and so though she's still got two pairs from April, I don't think they are going to last long.

Sophie's haul was a skirt and two shorts. I did actually intend to make the skirt out of the pink and orange material, because it's so light and flow-y, but then accidentally cut shorts out of it instead. Oh well. The blue flower print (that has previously been shorts and a dress) is the skirt. I've used the pink and orange fabric before too (thanks Aunty Sue!)

The castle and knights fabric is new on the scene. I bought it on sale at Spotlight at least four years ago now, and every now and then I dig it out and see if the girls fancy it. At last they said yes! It's so cool right!? Can you see the bunting on it? :D

Rachel got the castle and knight material as a skirt over a surprise pair of shorts. Two in one! That red fabric is the one that has caused me much trouble in the past, but this time, I pre-washed it. Twice. Here is Rachel loving her skirt with it's surprise shorts.

The girls both love wearing their new gear, which makes me pretty happy. I know there will come a time that they won't like wearing what I make (in fact I probably won't bother making stuff then) so I'm loving it now.

I know it's because they are my children, and I love them so much, but could they be any cuter!?

Rachel's other garment was a skirt out of the crazy floral fabric (again, donated from somewhere), that was put on as soon as it was sewn. Straight off the sewing machine. She did help sew it, sitting at the machine, putting the presser foot up and down and pressing the reversing button too.

And she's such a character that I don't really mind.