Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Disco Costumes

The girls went to their first kindy disco last week, and the theme was "We can be Heroes". While they have a plethora of Cinderella type dresses (here and here) and fairy skirts (here), they were lacking in hero type costumes. 

So I showed the girls a range of generic super hero costume photos and asked who they wanted to go as. Sophie chose hers based on which costume was the shiniest. It was Wonder Woman. 

I did make some adjustments to the style, because it was for a five year old, but I kept all the classic elements and I feel that she is an excellent generic Wonder Woman.

The shirt was just $2.50 from Big W and I just cut the sleeves off. The skirt was some leftover stuff from the stash and some new tulle from Spotlight that worked out to be about $5. I had the yellow left over in the stash, which was fortunate. The headpiece is just pinned onto a headband that we already had, which made it really easy for her to wear it.

Rachel chose her costume on which one had the most blue. Her favourite colour. She is Captain America.

Again, I had to do some costume adjustments, to make it appropriate, but we were all happy with the results. Same deal for the shirt and skirt, so another costume that cost $7.50. Winning! I spray painted the star on, and the mask used to be butterfly shaped, but I sprayed that and cut it to shape too. I had the white and red material in the stash as well.

All in all, some successful costumes I think. The girls were really excited about their poses, can you tell?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Been Praying

It's been a busy last few weeks, and it's full of overwhelmingly big opportunity and the accompanying big decisions which a little bit make me regret being an adult. 

In the midst of it, I've been praying. 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Skirt Sewing

Sophie had a minor break down last week when she wanted to wear a skirt to kindy and found she had no kindy skirts this year. Usually, she gets her kindy clothes from ordinary clothes that have been worn too much, painted, stained etc, that I deem them to be kindy clothes. Alas, all her current skirts were still beautiful and clean. 

Given how easy skirts are to make, I promised to make her a couple. With pockets of course.

I had the material in my stash from a friend who kindly donated it to my sewing cause (I've actually sewn heaps with her material, but seem to have only blogged about it here and here, both skirts. And both times I used the yellow piping. Strange coincidences). Sophie picked it out, and thankfully the two prints were similar enough that I could use the left overs for pockets on the other. I put some of the final bits of yellow piping I got from Reverse Garbage around one set, but didn't bother with the other.

They are a little long on, but will last all year this way. I did suggest that one should be for kindy and the other not for kindy, just to make it last a little longer, and Sophie did comply. Here she is wearing it at swimming. I was taking the opportunity to photograph the skirt when Mia decided she should get in on the photo action.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Doona Cover Dress

I have been thinking for a while that I should make myself another dress. If you'll remember last year, I made leaps and bounds of progression with my sewing such that I successfully drafted and sewed myself a tailor made dress that fits to perfection. And has pockets. Suffice to say; I wear it a lot. 

So, when Steve was in Melbourne for work for a weekend, I decided I'd make a dress. I used an old doona cover that had been left here from when Sammie was renting with us. We didn't have a bed that would fit it, and I loved the bright print. Yay for recycling! 

I knew that the bodice would fit, but I wanted to try something new for the skirt part, so I attempted a circle skirt. I say attempted, because I wanted a semi circle skirt, and somehow the maths went wrong and I ended up with a full circle skirt. Not the end of the world, and certainly has more spin potential, but not quite what I was going for. 

I did buy some awesome spotty bias binding to finish the dress with, and given that I had everything else on hand, I think that's ok. $10 for a dress these days ain't bad!

Because the material had sat in the cupboard for umm... six or seven years now, there were a few holes, but I just used some of the bias tape and cut heart shapes to patch it. So pretty and you don't even notice they are there.

Here I am wearing it on it's first outing to church, the day after I made it. The girls were also in home made dresses, making me feel special, even if I didn't make them (thanks mum).

And here I am wearing it on date night with Steve. Thanks for being ok with your crazy wife and going out in public with her very unique dress.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lunchboxes for Two

Rachel officially began kindy this year, so even though I've been making her lunches in lunchboxes last year, here are are lunchboxes that go elsewhere and are eaten without me around at all.

Kindy day one: sushi. It was the request of both girls that they have sushi for the first day. These are egg and avocado, in the lunchbox with some grape tomatoes, carrot, capsicum and cumber sticks, grapes and soy chips. 

Day two: so vibrant and healthy still! Wraps with cream cheese and ham, grapes, cucumber, carrot and capsicum sticks, grape tomatoes and watermelon. Already I can see the familiar go-to items of the lunchboxes making their appearances.

Hooray! A change of pace today. Pasta with cherry tomatoes, ham and parmesan. Apple pieces and corn puffs. I made this lunch the night before and it was waiting in the fridge in the morning.

Side by side lunches, because I have two kindy girls. It's a whirl wind of children growing up, that suddenly they are at kindy, and before you know it, the year is gone and then they are at school. And then they are gone. Soon to happen to me I suppose. The days are long, but the years are so so short.

Anyway, back to the lunches. Cream cheese and ham sandwiches, boiled egg, pepitas, grape tomatoes and cucumber sticks and corn puffs. Rachel has grapes in the orange-print reusable lunch pouch and Sophie has a pear.

What madness is this? A different lunch box!? You saw it first people, sometimes I use different lunch boxes. This was for a playgroup day actually, so I did see them eat it. Carrots (cooked), ham, grape tomatoes, ramen noodles. Cornpuffs, crasins and apricots. 

Planning ahead, I made some mini quiches and put them in the freezer. Although it takes up a lot of space in my tiny freezer, it does make lunches easy to throw together. Same old same old for everything else. I remember last year lamenting about what I would do when grapes and grape tomatoes are out of season. I find I am again wondering the same thing.

Wraps again, cornpuffs, blueberry yoghurt, olive, grape tomoatoes, hiding under the cucumber flowers. See I'm changing up the cucumber sticks with cucumber flowers!

Are these lunchboxes self expliantory? I don't feel I need to talk about the next one at all.

These next two lunches are an example of what happens when Brisbane has a heat wave and it's too hot to organise any kind of nutrition in lunches in the morning. You put leftover dinner in one lunchbox: pizza that Rachel didn't eat the night before, along with anything else you can find that doesn't require any effort. Grape tomatoes (lunchbox lifesaver!), popcorn, marshmallow, choc chip biscuits.

Sophie ate her pizza for dinner, so she got some store bought Vegemite and cheese scrolls. Since she doesn't like the choc chip biscuits, I gave her marshmallows. And olives. Most terrible lunch ever. I would not recommend this as a regular lunchbox option, but for a once off, it was really hot and I couldn't be bothered but at least the kids are fed, it's pretty well perfect.

We had burgers for dinner one night, so again, I used some leftovers. The breadroll has avocado and cheese on it. Then some tomato and the meat patty, because I know they will just be taken off and eaten separately anyway. Olives, carrot and capsicum sticks. Popcorn.

Another leftovers for lunch kind of bento here. We had spaghetti and meatballs, so I saved some of the pasta and meatballs for the girls lunches. Didn't bother with the actual pasta sauce but just used tomato sauce for them to dip into. Added grape tomatoes, pear, cucumber and capsicum.

The frozen quiches make another appearance here, along with ham and salami, grape tomatoes, cucumber flowers, corn puffs, passion fruit (from my parents vine) and some apple. Rachel is smashing the passion fruit, and Sophie wanted to try it, but didn't end up eating it.

Salami and cream cheese sandwiches, cucumber flowers and grape tomatoes, peach, apple and passion fruit. This is Rachel's lunchbox. Sophie had olives where the passion fruit is in hers. They also had a pack of corn puffs because they were going on a kindy excursion to the park and I knew they'd be extra hungry.

And that's half a term done. Sophie has been asking for Totoro shaped onigiri (like the one in this post) for the last week, so maybe that will be tomorrow's lunch. We will see.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Faraway Tree

A friend of mine who works in a bookshop gave the girls an audio book copy of Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree, read by Kate Winslet. It took a little while for them to get into it, but they love to listen to it now, and it's been a pretty handy thing to have on the long car rides to Bundaberg. There are three books in the trilogy, and when you've spent 16 hours listening to the lot of them, you find you really want to do something more, or maybe that's just me? 

Anyway, I've made a Faraway Tree. From cardboard. Glorious cardboard. We had a real growing collection under the house, and I knew it was time to use some after the last tidy up down there. Steve was pretty happy to see it getting used. 

I feel I must look like a stalker when I say that I got the inspiration for this particular incarnation of the Faraway Tree from Ikatbag, who made one for her own girls here. But it really is a coincidence. And there was no point reinventing the tree, so to speak, given that there were already good basic guidelines to follow right? 

Here it is, in it's tall cardboard glory. My cardboard supplies came from my parents, (thanks for getting those new outdoor chairs and the bunk bed for the kids!) and also a random box that I picked up somewhere. I was using it to segregate the children in the car when they start to get annoying. Let's hope I don't need it for that anymore...

This Faraway Tree has a working wash basket lift, that you move up and down by turning the dowel at the top. The children love this particular feature, especially Hugo. He was the first to really investigate it. I hid the turning mechanism by cutting a channel in the top of the tree for the dowel to lie in.

There is a hole at the top of the tree, with the ladder leading up to the land above the cloud. The girls love to pretend there are all sorts of lands there, just like in the book.

Here is Moonface's round tree room with the ladder just outside. The most exciting feature of Moonface's room is that in the middle it has the start of the Slipery Slip, which goes all the way down the tree to the bottom and is by far the fastest way of getting down again after you have climbed up.

You can see the slippery slip going down the middle of the tree in the photo below. It does go all the way down to the bottom. Hugo initially tried to put cars down it, but they didn't fit. Thankfully. 

The tree also has little windows and doors that open and close for the people who live there, and also for visitors.

The little people who live in the tree at the moment are actually just peg dolls that I painted ages ago, (and the girls painted one each actually), that loosely look like Disney Princesses, but the girls have renamed to be tree characters without much fuss. That said, they have put a lot of other things in the tree, including the wooden Koalas (who blend in and are hiding in some of these photos), and all of their soft toys. Hugo has also housed some cars at various points.

One thing I do regret about this tree, is that I got so excited about making it as big as I could with the cardboard that I had, that I kind of made it too tall. Rachel (pictured with the tree below), can not see the land at the top of the tree unless she stands on tip toe, which makes it very hard for her to play there. Not that there will ever be a next time for this tree (I don't think), but if there was one, I'd make it shorter.

Since these photos, I've let the kids glue green "leaves" on (scrap paper, ripped up), to give it a bit more colour.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Job's Done

Remember last June, when I suddenly took it into my head to repaint the downstairs toilet to increase it's general aesthetic appeal? You can read about it here. Well, we had a free weekend, and suddenly were hit by a wave of energy to get some things done. 

Behold! One downstairs toilet with painted walls, floor and a new toilet seat.  

Such shinyness.

Completely different to the old floor. And now, when we look at the floor in the general laundry area, just outside the downstairs toilet, it seems that we have some more painting to do.

We also put up some hooks to hang extension cords, re-fly screened the front door, and I made these:

All in all, a good weekend.