Friday, March 29, 2013

Sally is back! She just needed a clean and now her thread tension issue is all gone. I spent all of yesterday sewing; and I mean all of yesterday. The coolest thing I made was a dress for Sophie to wear to Kristan's wedding in two weeks. She's still so little and I know it won't fit for long, but it's super cute.

I am really proud of the end product (although you can tell it's home made if you look closely) because I had to make the pattern myself. There are not a lot of dress patterns for little girls under 18 months, I guess because really, they are a little impractical for that first year. I took inspiration from The Itty Bitty Baby Dress, and The Party Dress (both free patterns found online) and then did some juggling to make the final dress. I really wanted a sash with a bow, but given that Sophie lies on her back most of the time, it would be quite uncomfortable, so it will have to wait.

Look she likes it! It's a little big, but that's ok. All the material was hand me downs from my Mum (will the supply never run out? Here's hoping!) and I've still got a huge chunk of that blue flowery stuff left, so be prepared for more dresses in that. :)

The bunting for under the shelves turned out quite nicely. The scalloped stuff is less intrusive than the triangles. :)

Itty Bitty Baby Dress:
The Party Dress:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This is possibly our quickest reno/house improvement yet. On Saturday, the living room looked like this:

Yep - new desk and TV cabinet, I feel like the living room has never had so much space because they are both thinner than our previous desk and TV cabinet. To complete this, we were putting up shelves (thank you IKEA) to fill the space above the desk and give us more storage.

Now the living room looks like this:

Look at all those DVDs (and that's not all of them - the kids ones are in the drawer of the TV cabinet). Look at the space potential and the extra display shelf I've got. Hooray! Now, the bookshelf, that the DVDs were on, can be used for books! It might just be too crazy right?

I'm also dreaming of the bunting I can make to loop along the shelf brackets which are just calling out for it. When Sally is back I promise!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yesterday, I took Sally the Sewing Machine into get a service. It was time that her thread tension issue became a thing of the past, and given than I think she's about 10 years old, it was probably time for a check up. She's gone for two weeks now. Two whole weeks!! What am I to do?? Part of me considered just using Olivia the Overlocker for standard sewing as well, but it is a bit risky. Better not.

So this morning I've painted the door jambs (the new ones that went in when we got our new doors put on) and I think I'll wash up and then maybe finish playing StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, which by the way, has been considerably disappointing in the story line aspects.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I've been reading "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior" by Max Lucado in my quiet times recently. I've read it before, actually, I've owned it for nearly 10 years now, but it's always a thought provoker. This time I noticed something pretty basic.

I've always called the book "No Wonder They Call Him Savior". Maybe I was just trying to make it shorter in conversation or in my hasty reading style, maybe I never saw that extra word, but I've noticed it in the title now; "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior".

Those three little letters make all the difference. Jesus isn't one of the many saviors, he's not an optional extra. He is the savior. You can't sit on the fence about this one. Jesus is the only way. There is no believing in Jesus and following Buddha. You can't try to take a bit of everything. With Jesus it's all or nothing.

At the Deacons meeting on Saturday, Mark had us read through John 21:15-17. We then turned to the person next to each other and asked the question that Jesus asked Peter.

"Do you love Jesus?"

Three times.

What a challenge  Because I love Jesus, but I also love other things. Things that are actually taking my time away from loving Jesus. Do I truly love Jesus?

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols

Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
And anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol

- Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I'm alone in the universe. So alone in the universe.

Today I had some ladies that I did antenatal classes with over for afternoon tea (not my idea, but I figured if it was going to go ahead, I'd rather be somewhere comfortable that had a change table readily available). Only three of the ladies came with their bubs; a three month, an eight week and a six week. Everything was ready, afternoon tea (carrot sticks and cream cheese, grapes and shortbread), floor swept and play mats out.

Sophie was the only one to use a play mat. The other mothers held their babies the entire time (the six week old had only had his immunizations today and has bad reflux and slept for only two hours last night, so I can kinda see that, but the others...). Even if their kids fell asleep. And they all sat, even if it meant awkwardly rocking while sitting in a non-rocking chair. We talked about babies. How long they are sleeping, what feeding is like, how their dads are with them etc. They stayed for two hours and didn't eat a thing.

I tried to start other conversations. "What are you doing in the idle hours?"; "I've been doing a fair bit of sewing..." etc. In vain. These other mums apparently don't have any time to do things. They said that if they have an hour or two it's spent cleaning the house (dishes, dishes, dishes). Or they just don't do other things.

What is wrong with me? I felt like the strangest person there. With my content daughter on her mat and my clean house and my sewing projects on the go - I was an alien who had landed in the middle of these apparently normal mothers. Where are the mothers like me? Are they somewhere out there? Or am I destined to feel like I don't belong for the rest of my mothering days?

Some days I toy with the idea of finding a mothers group. Then I think of experiences just like this one and feel I'd be safer at home where no one can make me feel like the outsider (albeit unintentionally).

Monday, March 18, 2013

Planning Stages

To help fill the hours this year, I've been doing a lot of sewing (as you may or may not have seen already :P) and have delved into the exciting world of craft stuff that is found online. One such site is called This is an online world where sewers and crafts people alike can gather and share and what not. They also offer a number of online tutorials, some costing money and some free.

I've signed up to take one of the latter tutorials called "Block of the Month". Each month I get the pattern and instructions on making a quilt block that will eventually be apart of a whole quilt. I also get to see videos on how to make these blocks, just in case. I think it will be good for me to actually learn how to quilt, rather than making it up as I go like usual. :)

This is my basic plan. The colors are just rough guides for what will eventually be there. I need 33 fat quarters (pieces of patterned material to use), which will make up the quilt top. I assigned each a number (after organizing them in color order) and then thought about where I'd like what colors. Hopefully I've not made any serious mistakes and it will all come together beautifully. Tomorrow begins the actual sewing of Block 1!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Car Mat

Inspired by all the possibilities that sewing with felt can bring, I spent a few hours yesterday morning making these:

Super cute when rolled up, and when unrolled they have almost unlimited car playing potential!

The green strip has dividing sewing which would allow for 6 cars (probably matchbox sized) to be stored in. The "road" section is just black felt with white felt stripes. I had a fight with Sally to get her to do the zig-zag stitches but we managed it in the end. The thread tension is still an issue between us some days. :P All in all, I think it's a cool way to transport cars for little boy's playing pleasure. I hope Cooper likes his.
The pressure is on. Well, maybe it's always been on, but I'm feeling it more now. What pressure? I hear you ask; well let me tell you: The pressure of having actual people read this blog. Back in the olden days when I began this, I would probably write whatever nonsense that I cared for, not considering the consequences my words might have on the world at large.

Now, however, I do feel that burden. I feel I can't write about somethings that weigh heavily on me because they would be taken the wrong way, or even the right way. I feel that every post must have some actual depth to it, rather than being meaningless babble. I can't post too much about this, or that or people will think I'm crazy, or hopeless, or whatever.

Blogging has suddenly become quite hard, but I guess I'll just keep trying my best. Sophie believes in me. She's been learning to smile at cameras, thanks to the somewhat excessive amount she sees them at her grandparents house.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

This morning I completed something I've been tossing around for a while (ok, maybe a week and a half) and I feel like it came out really well. Maybe spending time thinking about what you are going to do before you do it does affect the end product. :P

So this is what it looks like. I used some ribbon that was on a present Fiona is giving Sophie for Easter and I'm sure some people will recognize the polka dots. Also used some more of the bias binding that Mum donated to the Paula-sews fund. 

When you open it up, you see this. Pretty boring right? What kind of a thing have I made my daughter anyhow? But if you flip to the back....

... you see this! And inside the pink pocket ...

... is this! All sorts of crazy bits of felt that I spent some time this morning cutting up. And with the felt you can be all creative and do ...

... this! Ok, I'm not that creative, but I'm sure my children will be. All in all I'm really happy with the finished product. As always it has it's small glitches. Sally the Sewing Machine can't get thread tension right, so the zig-zag's are messy, and the binding is a little too thin to cover the overclocked edge, but I changed the thread colours to match (most of the time) and even pinned before I sewed (most things). Well done me. :) 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

It is beautiful and cool in the mornings when the sun is out. I love the quiet and the birds and the sun filtering through the windows. It's rather poetic. Morning is when Sophie is most content to lie around and investigate the world on her own. Morning has a lot of promise for the new day.

This week has been busy, or rather full. I've been working on finishing Activity Bags for when I have toddlers (talk about being organised). I've seen Ruth, done the shopping and I also went to prayer on Wednesday. Steve and I went to Ikea last night to sus out TV cabinet options.

I like being home and being a mum, but filling the week is a challenge and I don't know what I'd do if the week weren't full. It's easy to struggle with depression and ... I don't know. It must be the hardest thing about suddenly being at home all the time.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Last week, I noticed that Steve's "Mr Leigh" towel which we got from the Lee's for our engagement had some holes in it. Rather than throw away this lovely towel, I used the binding that mum gave me (though I doubt she had this purpose in mind) to make what was not-holey into washers and hand towels.