Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Boat Mark Two

Couldn't help myself. Painted the boat.

It only takes an hour or two, and makes such a difference to the overall look and last-ability of the boat. Now the girls can go sailing for much longer. With all their friends.

That was Sophie "helping" me with putting the tape on before I painted the white. Here is Rachel ready to sail.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Floating Cardboard

I was scrolling through the Pinterest feed last week when Sophie came along and had a look at what I was doing. She happened to notice a cardboard boat picture that had popped up, and promptly asked if she could have one. Of course I said yes, but of course, it was a little harder than that to actually make.

After a week of asking me, we finally found the time on Monday, when all the little ones were asleep. So I pulled out this awesome heavy duty cardboard from under the house (thanks Dad for getting a new BBQ) and set to work. I figured because kids would be climbing in and out over the sides that it would be worth using some of this precious cardboard if I wanted it to last.

The boat itself came together quite smoothly, thought I wish I had put a little more thought into getting the side angle joins to work properly. At the front point, I scored the top of the cardboard, scooped out the honeycombed support stuff and then just folded the other side of the cardboard over and taped it down. It made everything join very nicely without me having to do any tricky maths or angles or whatever.

At the sides though, for some reason, it didn't occur to me to do this, and so I have a very ugly mess and a lot of tape. But it holds and so whatever. I've learnt for next time.

The mast is completely removable. I put a cardboard glad wrap roll in that the mast actually slips over. I did reinforce the middle board with some extra cardboard and paper towel rolls (what a great variety of cardboard stuff there is just from saving household recycling! Yay cardboard!). Now, the kids can climb over it with out it buckling.

The sail is a scrap bit of fabric from who knows where. I drilled all of the holes to put the PVC piping into the mast, because that cardboard roll was pretty durable. It was good to have power tool usage to make this boat I think. Anyway, beacuse it's all PVC and loops, the sail can collapse completely down and store inside the mast. The mast comes off too, so I can put the whole thing in storage under the house when the kids get board of it. Hooray!

I looked at it this morning and wondered if I should give it a coat of that red/maroon coloured paint that I did the sandpit lid with. Maybe. Sophie looked at it when it was done and asked me: "Will it float?" Priceless.

By Friday, I'm a little sad to say, the sticky tape was not doing an amazing job of holding everything together, so I got the drill out again and put holes in the sides and then sewed everything together with some twine stuff. Brown, so it matches the boat. That's my eye for colour showing there.

I think it worked really well. I used the really random needle that I've used to sew cardboard before. I even took a picture of it this time, so that you could all see what I'm talking about. I really have no idea what it's real purpose in life might be, but I think it works excellently as my cardboard needle.

This boat holds me and four children with room for pillows and toys. It takes up a good third of the lounge room. Sophie and Rachel like to sit in it and read books and watch Play School. Maybe one day, we will see if it floats. First thought, I feel it needs an anchor. And a crows nest. With a Jolly Rodger flag. Yes.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ten Years Ago

Blog milestone. Posting for ten years.

I almost can't believe it. Has that much time really passed? And look how far I've come! I use full sentences and correct spelling and grammar. Please do not go back and read those early posts. In fact, I'd stay away from all of 2005 entirely, and probably even the start of 2006. I don't know what I was thinking. But now, I use titles, and labels. Have pictures and coherent sentences. So good.

At the same time, I feel like I'm still that teenager figuring things out. Trusting in God to take me where he needs me to go, knowing that I'm going to make a million stupid mistakes along the way. No matter how much I wish that I would just get it right now, I've got loads more learning to do.

Here I am at twenty nine. Husband, house, two kids. And yet, not everything is together. Some days I want to stay in bed because it seems safer there. I wonder if I'll be blogging in another ten years, or if I'll have given it up entirely. Maybe I'll be more interesting then, or talk less about sewing. Ha, that's not going to happen.

Anyway, while I want to be all introspective and cool, and recognise this somewhat significant day, the reality is that I'm sick and sleep deprived. The kids have just gone down for a nap and I should do the same thing.

If you've been reading since the beginning - thanks for staying with me! If you've joined somewhere else along the ride, I hope you stick around. I have enjoyed blogging; getting my thoughts out of my head and into the unknown where someone may or may not read them. It's been a challenge and it's been fun, so for now, I'll keep it up.

Monday, September 07, 2015


So many people have been asking me: "What have you been up to lately?" and I find that nothing big springs to mind. I mean, we haven't done any renos, don't have any big parties planned. I feel like I want to answer: "Nothing much," but that doesn't seem right either.

I've gotten the hang of (as much as you can get the hang of such things) having four kids. The house is clean again. Sophie and I have been sewing. A lot of sewing. She needed new shorts and skirt for summer, now that her winter stuff is packed away. So we've been sewing together. A little arduous, I'll admit, but fun.

When I first told Sophie that I would be making her some new skirts and invited her to choose some material from the stash, she was pretty excited. Then, she fell in love with the first thing I pulled out (a stripey tank top that I thought I could re purpose) and wouldn't choose anything else. Oh well, at least that meant that I got to make the fashionable choices for the rest of the material right?

After making the stripey skirt, where I did a cool thing with the top and made pockets for the front, I also made her this one using a pattern I found a while ago from Melly Sews. First ever drawstring. I really like this skirt. What awesome pockets right?

I tried to actually do a photo shoot with Sophie wearing her skirts, and as you can see, failed rather miserably. It doesn't help that our camera is rather old, or that she's two and a half, but even things like lighting and what else she was prepared to wear were troublesome. I have much greater respect for other bloggers who have their kids in great shots for their newly sewn outfits. Maybe they use chocolate bribes. This is the best photo I have. It's a little bit depressing.

Anyway here is Rachel getting in on the photo shoot action. She looked pretty darn cute in that dress, which looks home-made but is not.

I also made Sophie a pair of shorts out of some larrey floral fabric that I've used before in some tops which I blogged about here. They are pretty crazy, but given that she wears lots of boy-coloured shirts, I was happy to have some out going floral shorts to make her look less like a little boy and more like a little tom-boy type girl.

We spend lots of time outside in the sun, enjoying the sandpit and the spacious backyard. I set up obstacle courses and dump multitudes of cardboard boxes on the lawn for building and climbing into. The kids swing in the swings. We wear lots of sun screen but still manage to look a little pink at the end of the day.

I've been cooking lots of new meals. Pizza buns and roast vegetable tarts. Delicious. This is life. It's nothing big to remark about, but it's a whole lot of little things that add up to a lot of fun.