Monday, September 30, 2013

 A busy and productive morning. Seventh thing about to be crossed off my to do list with this post! Hooray!

I finished sewing up the hem on my latest skirt. The way I've folded it for this picture either makes me look super skinny or the pleats look massive. Don't fret, the skirt has neither of these qualities, I just folded it strangely.

Also finished off the June block for the quilt. Finally got some background fabric which I'm pretty chuffed with. :)

And yep, more bunting! This is for the cubby house, so it's not finished yet (I'll measure it first), but I strung it up to get a hint of what it may look like. I love the look. Scalloped bunting is harder to make and I don't like it so much, but it will be perfect for the cubby. Time to go feed Sophie. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

So it turns out Sally has the ability to blanket stitch! Who knew?

I've been working on Christmas presents again, so I can only show a sneak peak, but I'm loving what I'm doing. :D Can't wait to show off the real thing at Christmas time.

I also made a skirt last week which is pretty swish, although I need to take up the hem. No photos of it yet though. Sorry kids. Just bask in the knowledge that I've been busy,

Also painted the door to the cubby house at my parents place. It's all ready for Sophie to have a play. Though, I am going to make some bunting for the outside. Really it can't be considered complete until there is bunting.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Having a baby means that you get a lot of gifts. And I mean a lot. I was watching a friend of mine open the gifts at her baby shower on the weekend and thinking about all the lovely little things that were given to me before and after Sophie was born. Practical things like wipes and wraps, and fun, cute things like onesies and dresses.

I really tried to make sure that if I was seeing someone who had given Sophie something wear-able, that she was wearing it. Or I'd make sure I took a photo and sent it to the person. It was a way of saying thank you, and showing them how much I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the gifts. I am blown away by how much people love this. Little old ladies who have given Sophie one dress are absolutely delighted to see her in it.

It makes me think about the gifts that I have given to others, especially gifts that I have made. I love to see people using their gift. Or wearing it. When I see someone using something I've given them, I'm delighted. I don't' have to be referenced or need credit. I just feel good knowing that what I gave them is being used.

Steve and I gave a gift once that we'd made. We had painted three canvases and then collaged them with photos from their wedding as well as the bible verse that they had read. I knew they had wanted something for their walls in their new house, so when we gave it to them and they put it up straight away, I was pretty chuffed.

About a year later and I noticed that they had changed the wall decorations. Life goes on, and I probably wouldn't have even thought about it, but the new art bore a strange resemblance to what we had originally given them. Actually, what they had done was cut out the pictures off the original canvas, and then stick them one some new canvases.

I had a hard time describing how I felt when I realised what I was looking at. Sad that the time had come where they wanted new wall decos, hurt and outraged that they had just cut up something I had put a lot of time and thought into for them. Disappointed that it had meant so little to them, that they could just cut it up (and sadly too, only save the photos, not the bible verse).

Life goes on again, and even that art is gone, replaced by something new, but I was thinking about all of this in relation to gifts today. God has given me gifts, and he delights when I use them. He picked out these gifts exactly for me and he loves to see me use them. He's like the little old ladies who have given me a special dress to wear, and he's waiting to see the photos.

And I think about the times when I'm not using the gifts God has given me. When they are left on the shelf, or put in a cupboard. Or worse, when I use these gifts for things that are not what he wanted. Or when I've cut them up and tried to use them somewhere else, only to find that that's not going to work either. How hurt, outraged and disappointed he must be. How sad he must be, for gifts that never give him delight.

What are you doing with your gifts?

Last week's tangent project was making a Tulip Wrap Dress for Sophie. I got the pattern for a size 3 online somewhere and managed to scale it down for her. I used material from two work shirts of Sarah's to make it. I'll probably never use female shirts again, because they a) have less material than a male shirt and b) are much more tailored to fit. It was very fiddly but I'm happy with the result (though, annoyed that this photo is not centered :P)

I did add buttons on the front, which you can probably just see in the next picture. The total cost of the dress was $1. Seriously. YAY! The shirts were from Sarah, and the bias binding was from Mum. those darn buttons were the things that broke the bank. That said, I did spend a good two or three hours on it (thanks fiddly shirt material :P) so if we are counting time spent... this is an expensive dress. :P

Sophie wore it to a baby shower of a friend of mine, along with a pair of modesty pants. I should have taken photos before we went to the party, but I forgot, and as a result, this was the best shot I had of her in the dress. Everything else she was backwards or moving or crying.

The other thing I made to take to the baby shower, was a Nigella Chocolate Honey Cake. It was easy to make and delicious. I will make this again.

I can't believe I took twenty photos of it, and yet this is the only one that I feel is good enough to blog. Bah humbug! The Chocolate Honey Glaze over the top was a bit lumpy because I didn't sift in the icing sugar - not a mistake I'm likely to make again. Do you like my marzipan bees with their goofy smiles? I'd put them on later next time, so they don't sink into the glaze quite so much.

Friday, September 20, 2013

These little guys live happily in a big pot in my garden. One of the most fantastic perks about having a house is the chance to grow things. I have to admit, there is also a massive downside to having a massive garden/lawn and the associated weeds, but on the whole, I do love the green. I've had the chance to grow lots of things that I never thought I would. Most of these things are herbs (the pot pictured above has Italian Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme).

These herbs were inherited from some friends when they had a move last year and both the parsley and the oregano have gone through phases of great growth and also near death. At the moment, the oregano is having a bad reaction to Sophie's new bath soap. Curash was not a problem, Johnson and Johnson is not so plant friendly.

This mint makes me feel really excited and glad because I grew it from a cut bit that I had left over from some mint I bought from woollies. Just put it in a cup of water, watched the roots grow and then put it in the ground. Now it's thriving. Yep, I know that mint does that, but I still feel good. Life! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sophie's new modesty pants in action. Yay!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Flower Basket

This week I'm again giving myself permission to take it easy and just finish one thing at a time (with maybe one or two side tracks). So yesterday, I focused on finishing the August/September block for my Block a Month quilt.

It's come together quite nicely, and I think very pretty. I did stray from the original pattern, added petals to each flower and decided to blanket stitch everything on rather than do a lot of fiddly hemming stuff, but I like the outcome. I also like hand sewing, I think I've said before, for the change of pace. :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

On Saturday, Sarah and I had a sewing day. It was fun getting the sewing machines out (her's is newer than mine! The next model up in fact, but still has the same thread tension problems that Sally used to have. Poor unnamed sewing machine of Sarah's). While Sarah worked on making some cushion covers with fabric from Ikea, I cut up some of Steve's old work shirts and made some shorts for Sophie.

I originally wanted them to just go under her dresses to cover up her nappies, but they turned out to be super fancy, and possibly too big. Oh well. They are cute and I'm glad I got to use up some old shirts. I like reusing material like that.

In our bible study on a Wednesday night, we've been looking at First and Second Peter. It's been rather good, and I really enjoy the casual way we are reading through and sharing with each other. Last week we hit 2 Peter, and verses 5 to 9 really jumped out at me.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are short-sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

I often think that I just need to love people. I believe in Jesus, and he's told me to love, so I'm going to do it. The trouble is, it's actually hard to love people and I, more often than not, find myself failing.

Reading through this passage in 2 Peter made me realize that actually, there is a process to getting to love people. I need to take baby steps before I'll be able to get up to the stage of loving people. I need to have goodness, knowledge, perseverance, self control, affection for those people and then finally love.

I know that it's a long road (that's what life is all about though right? A long process of getting us ready for heaven. Making us more and more like Jesus.) but I think I can have more chance of actually making it if I consider getting a handle on the small steps, rather than trying to leap to the end goal too quickly. Lord God, please give me the patience to follow the steps for your glory.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

 This week, I tried to allow myself to not do much, but rather, give myself a break and just focus on finishing one thing. I find I often have a to-do list of immense proportions, not full of things that must be done, but full of things that I dream of doing. This is very daunting when you feel like even if you got around to doing these dream things, they'd be rubbish anyway.

So I took a break and decided I'd just finish one thing. This one thing was the crocheted rug I've been working on most of winter (usually at Frisbee games while "watching" Steve play). I only had about a third to go, so I allowed my self to put on some DVD's, sit next to Sophie and just crochet. Sophie certainly enjoyed playing with the wool as I worked. 

Rug is now complete. :) I've told Steve that if I ever pick up the crochet hook again and say the words "I think I'll just make..." then he is to stop me, with force if necessary. I can't crochet well, I don't know how I made the mistakes I made and I've even less of an idea about how I managed to fix them. Let's leave the dream of crocheting where it is: in dream land.

On the plus side, my right arm is so buff from all the crocheting, and on the down side, I managed to pinch a nerve or something in my shoulder because I was crocheting so much.  Such is life. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Updates and Jeans Quilt 2.0

Christmas Presents, I have defeated thee! Or, most of thee in any case. :) 

It's a little bit sad when you have it all done before the Christmas season is even here, but I feel super organised! Yay! Just a few final things to do. :) More time then to actually celebrate Christmas. Here is a sneaky peak at what those colorfully wrapped presents contain: 

I have also finished the Jeans Quilt 2.0! Went to spotlight and they were having a sale on fleecy fabric now that winter is done, so I got the backing material for $5 a meter. Score!

Here are the two Jeans Quilts side by side, being friends. (no idea why this picture rotated...)