Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kindy Shorts

Hugo starts kindy next year, so obviously I wanted him to have something cool to wear to kindy, just like the girls had. I had just enough material for a pair of shorts from the coloring in material that I'd gotten from Ikea.

It has made three dresses (see Sophie's, Sonia's and Rachel's), and was used in the Table Tent, and now all that remains are some scraps. Goodbye fabulous material. I hope I can find something similar again in the future, because wearing something you've colored yourself, is a pretty special feeling.

Anyway, because there was such little material left, it was a bit of creative cutting to get the shorts out; some of the pattern is upside down, I'll admit. And I accidentally cut one piece out facing the wrong way, so I had to trace everything through the material and color it a second time. Luckily, these are going to get trashed at kindy anyway, so it really doesn't matter.

And I don't think you can really tell. They just look fun to me. Crazy, but fun.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Shirt Tie Dress

Remember all those ties I had lying around? I've used another one!

Steve recently realized he had a few shirts he wouldn't be wearing again, so I made one of them into a dress for Sophie. I'm not sure I love how it turned out, but Sophie does. Being white, it was perfect to add a fun tie from my stash to jazz it up a bit.

I loved the curved hem, but I think it's way to long on her, so I would make sure I did more measuring next time. Rachel has been begging for some more kindy dresses, so I am fairly sure she'll be the next recipient of one.

When I asked Sophie what she likes about it, she said she likes the tie (which she got to choose) and that it's white. She promptly wore it to church the next day and managed to get felt pen on it, so I don't know how long it's going to last before I reassign it to being a kindy dress, but we shall see.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Red Dress Up Dress

We had a party on the weekend that required some princess dresses. Given that it's been two years since I've made a dress up dress for the girls, they've done some growing, and a new one was in order.

I started sewing it on Friday night, finished the hand sewing on Saturday, and it was worn to the party on Sunday. Talk about success!

It helps that I used exactly the same pattern as the previous dresses (Blue and Yellow ones, and the original Cinderella one) but just sized it up. I cut the bodice as a size 8 to allow room to grow and made sure the skirt would be floor length for the same reason. It was a little long, but I just tacked up the front a bit which looked cool and meant that Sophie could walk without tripping over. The back was still long.

I'm excited to say that part of the dress is made from curtains. The ones in our dining room were originally floor length, which was unnecessary, so I had cut them off and saved the excess. It proved to be exactly the right amount for the skirt. The bodice was leftover from my Mum making Christmas dresses, lined with some random lining fabric that was donated to me (I think). The skirt also has two layers of gauze with gold stars on it. So shiny!

Sophie was a little sad that it wasn't super spin-y (especially after I tacked the front up), but it's still pretty special, and look: she can still dig in the the sandpit in it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Self Sufficiency

It's a new era of bento making: this morning, Sophie and Rachel both made their onigiri themselves! They had seen a video on how to make the panda shapes using the mold that we have, and asked if they could do it. I was dubious about how it would go, but it was actually really successful.

I set up the bowl of rice for them to use on the bench and distracted myself making the eggs so as not to hover too much. That sausage in egg is quite complicated to do, fyi. They took turns (eating breakfast while they were not making lunch) which went smoothly too.

Everything in the lunch box is sitting on a bed of cooked carrots. I didn't know any other way to get everything to fit nicely. The girls were super excited and proud of their onigiri making efforts. I don't know if it will become a regular occurrence, because it probably did slow down the lunch making process slightly, but I'm ok if it's a weekly thing. It was successful after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Faith is like an Extension

Reflecting on our renovation plans while listening to a podcast on Hebrews by Tim Mackie (it's on the Exploring My Strange Bible podcast, go check it out!) I have drawn the conclusion that there are a number of similarities between getting an extension done, and having faith in Jesus.

Many people think that faith is all about believing in something that you have no evidence for. I'll be honest, that would be nuts. If you've go faith in something, then hopefully, you have seen some evidence. Maybe you haven't seen the fullness of what has been promised, but you've seen some clues, or testimonies that something is going on.

If you were to look at our house right now, and we said; "Come round for Christmas on our deck." you would think we are nuts. There is no deck. But if we showed you the plans for the deck, the emails with the builder, the clothesline that has been moved in preparation for said deck, you would see the evidence of what is to come. Thus you could have faith, that come Christmas, you could have a party with us on our deck.

Jesus says to us that he has eternal life for us. It's a promise. If you don't know Jesus, or haven't seen the plans, you might think this is nuts to believe in. But the evidence is there. We aren't blindly holding on to something that has no documentation. In fact, the claims of Jesus have lots of evidence. We haven't seen the fullness of the promise yet, but we have a strong foundation on which to base our faith.

I am encouraged to know that just like an extension is waiting for our house, so too is an eternity with Jesus, and my faith is based on a ton of evidence.


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Monday, August 20, 2018

Feeling Sore

2018 has turned out to be a big year for us. I thought 2017 was nuts, with lots of weekends away, the long absence of Steve and the Big Travels at Christmas time, but it looks like 2018 wasn't content to be a quieter year at all. Instead we have been inundated with big decisions, trips away and changes galore. I think I mentioned it here.

Let me illuminate. We've done four trips to Bundaberg already, and I've got plans for a fifth in the first week of the September school holidays, as well as a camping trip for the long weekend in October. On top of that, we've decided 2018 is the year for a real renovation on our house.

We've been living in our house for eight years this October, and since we bought it, we have dreamed of putting a deck on the back. Our yard is enormous, there is room for it, and given that we live in Queensland, it would be just perfect to have a deck. But the logistics of getting the deck on, where the access would be, what we would have to do about the laundry part of the house, moving the clothes line, all seemed to be in the way, not to mention the financial side of putting on a deck. So we put it off for a while.

Then we had kids, and I started a family day care. We keep looking around at things, and wanting a deck and possibly a second bathroom, and a study for Steve so he could work from home, and wondering if we would ever get to it. And in January we started to have real conversations about what it would look like if we were to actually do it. What did we really need vs what did we want?

I spent six weeks calling builders and all sorts of people, trying to get an idea about the process that is renovation and what was needed. The whole process is quite complicated, but we finally figured out which route to take. Steve spent a fair amount of time on virtual house design programs, shifting things around and trying to help us get an idea of what we wanted and how it might fit together. He even bought a whiteboard for brainstorming.

In the end, we used a planning company to make the plans, and then had builders quote on it to see if we could afford it. After the six weeks from the end of January, the planning stuff took another two months, and then getting the builders to quote on it took another six weeks. Finally, after our initial conversations in January, we had everything we needed to get started. After such a long time, I think I'm finally getting excited for what the end product of the renovation will be.

Of course, there are things we have to do to get ready for said renovation to start (approximately two weeks!).

We have moved our garden bed and the clothes line, both of which were previously in a space that the deck would impact on. The girls have been very helpful and also enjoyed the bonus wheelbarrow rides that Steve offered them as reward for their service.

Steve's ripped up a whole lot of weedy-grass front lawn ready for us to transplant some of the awesome Sir Walter from the back to as well. Steve and I, though probably mostly Steve, are feeling really sore today from these arduous tasks.

The clothes line was the original old Hills Hoist which is just an amazing clothes line. I'm so appreciative of Steve putting in most of the work to move it for me, (and our neighbor Ian who popped round to help with the lifting) rather than just get rid of it and get a new line. On no modern clothes line will I be able to fit five loads of washing and have them all dry in two hours because of the great spacing allowed.

Remember that I finished painting the downstairs toilet in February? Well it's been a good six months with that shiny clean toilet, that is now part of the house that will be demolished for the extension to go on. But also remember we redid the front steps in April and wished for a new balustrade? Well that's happening now, so you win some, you lose some.

There is so much thinking and planning that has gone into this, so we are pretty exhausted from all of it, and are about to attempt to live through the reno, so wish us luck! What's happening is the laundry area that is on the back of the house (down about four steps) is coming off and we are building out from the dining room (the set of three windows in the middle of the house pict above). Everything will be one level, we will get the laundry, a second bathroom and separate toilet, a living area, with a bay window (this is the part I'm most exciting about!) and then doors from the new living area out onto the deck.

Because most of the reno is happening on the back of the house, we should be able to just close the back door for most of it while they build the extension on, and then there will be a bit of uncomfortable time when they remove the wall where the door and windows are to connect everything together.

So much of this year has been spent in planning, thinking, evaluating, checking, rethinking and making responsible adult decisions. I know it's going to be a bit uncomfortable while the extension happens, but I'm starting to really look forward to what it's going to be like at the end of it. The outdoor living space that we can use even if it's raining, the bay window I can sit and read in, the extension/deck warming party we can have when it's all done.

Yes, 2018 has been an unexpectedly big year, but there are some good things coming, and I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Latest

Sewed another dress. I feel bad that the majority of my posts are updates on things I have been sewing. Sorry people.

I do like this dress though. Mum and Dad bought the material back from one of their travels; I think it was maybe intended to be a table cloth. I didn't take a photo of the fabric (of course), but I had to think about how to cut it out to be a dress, because the darker color was only a section of the fabric, and I didn't know what to do with it at first.

Thankfully Mum gave me the advice to use it as a bodice, and the way I cut the sleeves, the color kind of merges in, to help make it all come together.

I fully lined the bodice (first time for this self-made pattern dress) and, of course, put in pockets. I also did a gathered skirt for the first time, which I like, but I think it makes the front bodice sit a little too high, so I'll have to fix that if I do a gathered skirt again.

Sophie took this photo for me (below). I think that back panel is my favorite part.