Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Catch Ups: Dresses

More catching up on things that I've sewn today. The first one is a little dress I made for Rachel's 2nd Birthday, back in June. I can't believe I haven't even blogged about her party, because it was a really cool party. Maybe I'll catch up on that soon too. 

Anyway, Rachel has heaps of clothes, and I'm always reluctant to make her more when she has so much, but it was her birthday, and I wanted her to have something special to wear. Even though it was winter, I made her this little sleeveless dress out of some cotton I had lying around. It has strawberry buttons and is lined with some fabric left over from my Block of the Month Quilt 2013 that was perfect for Rachel because it had little bees and ladybugs. She's really into the mini beasts that one.

On the day of the party, she wore it over a long sleeved shirt and pants, with a jacket, and now that it's getting hotter, she can wear it without. I like that it's a bit long lasting like that. Makes me feel less bad about making it. Also, it's her favourite dress, so if she can see it in the draw, guaranteed it's the one she'll pick.

Sophie and Hugo were keen to get in on the modelling action when they saw me photographing Rachel. This was handy because Sophie also happened to be wearing a handmade-not-yet-blogged-about outfit.

I had started this dress last year and I did blog about it too, while it was only half made. I pulled it out again just before Sydney, thinking that it probably wouldn't fit Sophie any more (given that an entire year had almost past), but that it would be good for Rachel for our Sydney trip. I chopped off the hem so it was more Rachel length and then finished sewing it.

Turns out it was too big for Rachel, so I regret chopping them hem. But it still looks good on Sophie, and she loves it. Win! The buttons on the front are blue birds and the pocket is her favourite feature. It's a little short, but that's ok.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sewing Skirts

Feeling much better about life lately has meant a resurgence in sewing! I've actually sewn a few things now that haven't made it to the blog, but hopefully I'll catch up soon. Sophie has been the main benefactor of the sewing spree because summer is coming, and she no longer fits the things I made for her this time last year.

Part of what has made the sudden sewing spree happen was the trip to Reverse Garbage, because along with all the cool things for the rocket, I also picked up some pre-made piping for $2. It was a bargain! So far, it's appeared in two skirts, and I'm hoping to use it again in a skirt for Rachel.

This is the first skirt I made. Just a simple rectangle and then some self drafted pockets with the piping trim. I also put the piping down the side seams for extra colour.

Sophie was pretty hilarious when she was modelling it for me. The material was from a dear friend who was hoping I would get a chance to use it. Yay! I did! I'm really thankful for hand-me-down material, because sewing is an expensive hobby if you have to buy everything yourself. That said, Steve is happy that I'm working through the stash. Slowly but surely, I'll get there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

To the Moon!: The Cardboard Rocket Ship

I know you've been holding your breath in anticipation, and I genuinely hope I haven't caused anyone to pass out while you've been waiting, but here it is! Those obscure shots I shared a few days ago, were in fact, the makings of this enormous cardboard rocket that now resides in the living room. 

I started with this large sheet, which was the same that I had used for the cardboard boat. It's super thick and durable, so I'm looking forward to it lasting a long time. I wish I had more of it, because it's such quality cardboard, but that's all there was, and unless someone I know needs to buy a new BBQ soon, I won't have any more for a long time. 

I gave the side with words on it a quick coat of paint with the leftover cream from the shop, but other than that, I didn't really do much paint this time. That sheet served as the walls, and I cut the roof and fin pieces from another big sheet of cardboard that I had, this one from the time my parents got a new outdoor table setting.

The walls cardboard already had a fold in it, so I was a little constrained as to how many sides my rocket would have. It ended up with five, one space being the door and the other four being walls. I'm glad I didn't put a door on, because that is the first thing to go, and it would have meant there was much less actual space inside the rocket. I wanted there to be enough room for all the kids without pushing.

Here it is coming together outside. That bit of cardboard at the bottom of the door never really ended up being there. I still have it, but it hasn't needed to go on yet. We took it all inside to decorate the inside of the rocket before really assembling it though. Check it out!

That photo was taken at night, I'm afraid, with some terrible lighting, but cool right!? We went to check out a place called Reverse Garbage just for fun and found a stack of stuff that I could use. And then, Steve got all excited and went through his geeky computer stuff box and found a stack of stuff we could put in too. I've got better close up photos later on in the post, but yay! Ipod, mouse, random inside of a computer thing, switches (that actually switch!), internet connection cables, radio antennae, audio cables and an old tuner. FUN!

Here is Sophie helping me decorate the outside. All of those silver foamy things were stickers we found at Reverse Garbage. They were excellent. I relocated some of the ones Sophie put on, but she did have a lot of fun doing it.

All of the joins are reinforced with pop tape from Spotlight. I got it on sale, so the colours are a bit mixed, and it wasn't a sticky as it once was, but that's what you get when buying on sale I guess.

The roof has two windows cut into it, with "glass" as well. They are dip or yogurt lids that I had saved for some purpose. I just traced them, cut the circle and then hot glued them into place. I like the way you can actually see clearly through them.

The fins are two pieces each that I glued together and then onto the sides. They were the last bits to go on. I'd like to reinforce them with some more tape, but all I've got left is pink, so I'm a little hesitant. Maybe if they start looking a bit ratty.

Needless to say, the kids have been loving it. Even that they can just go in and be in a secret place is enough for them half the time. They also love leaning out the window and saying hi. I wonder if I should put some "glass" on that window too, but it's very big, so I'd really have to look to find a piece of plastic that would be right. Meh.

Ahh! Inside close ups! Those stickers say "Service" and "Back Up". They were from Reverse Garbage too (as are all the other stickers). The switches they are next to flip on and off too.

That clip is holding on to all of the sticker backs, and it came off a lanyard Steve had for NDC in Sydney two weeks ago. The kids can pull out those cables and put them in, though it does take them a bit. The tuner is the first tuner I bought when I started playing guitar (a long long time ago!). It still works, so we put batteries in it. The kids can turn it on and when they talk at it, the lights change and flash and stuff. 

Here is Sophie checking out the mouse, which clicks and has a scrolling wheel thing. It's up there next to my old ipod, which still works, but really, was never going to be used again. The kids really have no idea what it is. There are stickers above the ipod and mouse that read: "Wet Ice", "Dry Ice" and "Perishable". The stickers on the other wall (behind her arm), read "Dry Stores" and "Stores".  

"Waste" and "Customs" stickers, another switch near the numbers there. An old Voip phone Steve found and Steve's old web cam. Cables and sockets and things. Fun. Oh, and a hook thing up the top there. I hung up some space helmets on it today though and found out it's too low and blocks the window. Bummer.

At last, Rachel, checking the sound plugs. It's only really be up and running for a day (putting it together didn't take too long actually (compared with how long some things I make take), and I'll put it down to having Steve on board with the project. So helpful is my husband. Yay for marriage!) but the kids love it. Humm, that sentence got away from me a bit there...

Anyway, the other thing I have to say is that I had to do a bit of living room reorganisation for this rocket, because once we made it, it was too big to go through the doors. So, unlike many of my other cardboard creations, I can't store it under the house when they get bored with it and bring it back out again in a few months. Since it will be here for a while, I thought I'd tidy up and actually make room for it.

If you are looking to come over, get ready to have a play in the rocket, I won't judge.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cardboard Teaser

I've been at the cardboard again!

I don't want to talk it up too much, but it's pretty amazing, and if I were you, I'd be checking and rechecking for the next few days so you can be the first to see its awesomeness.

Can you guess what it is?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Garden's Growing

Everything has been growing rather well, even though we left for a week and nothing got watered in our absence. Every day the kids love looking for snow peas on the vines and promptly eating them. I think the $4.00 I spent on the pack of seeds has been totally worth it. We have eaten fresh snow peas every day for the last two weeks.

The other exciting news is that we actually dug up some sweet potatoes! I had planted a sweet potato ages ago, that had sprouted in the cupboard. Wasn't sure what would come of it, but a vine popped up. Of course, I know nothing about how to tell if anything is growing under the vine, or how to encourage it to grow under the vine, but I watered it none the less.

I was pulling up weeds last week and out came a sweet potato. I was so surprised, and a little unsure about how to tell weather they were ready or not, but I covered them up and had the kids dig them up the next day anyway. They were delighted. There were only two and Rachel was a little bummed about missing out, but she got to wash them with me, and the vine is still growing, so hopefully we will have more in the future too.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Madeline Costumes

It is rather delightful when your children enjoy something that you yourself loved as a child. I don't know what it is, but there is something about it that just brings you back to the way you felt and how happy you were. Ahh, lovely memories of childhood.

Sophie and Rachel have started to enjoy longer books, including Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans. There is something really comforting about reading those initial rhyming phrases: "In an old house in Paris, that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls, in two straight lines." We only have four of the books, but every so often, I also let them watch an animated episode, so they are really getting to know the characters.

Sophie is really into using her imagination to be other people, so it was no surprise when she declared one day, that she was Madeline. Rachel, always the eager accomplice, was Miss Clavel, the nun. Hugo has been given the role of Pepito, which he seems happy with.

So they played and played and even though I was busy and stressed, I decided I needed to spend a half hour making them some costumes. It was therapy. I didn't have a pattern, and I wasn't too worried about longevity or completeness as such, but I just wanted a little something for them to put on to help them embrace their imaginative play.  A bit of yellow material let over from table cloths at a friends wedding (I've used these left over table cloths before in several things) and some white scraps and we were good to go.

I wanted to give Rachel the option to be a little girl, rather than the nun who looks after the little girls, so I made two Madeline costumes. Then I made a Miss Clavel costume as well.

These photos of them always make me smile. They were standing there together and I said "Girls, can you hold hands?" and Rachel takes both her hands and gives me the biggest smile that says "Look Mum, I'm holding my hands!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Ahh, again a long silence in blog land. There has been a lot going on, and I've really struggled with finding the time to write. I've done a fair few things that I want to talk about, but getting them all together and on the computer - always a difficult task.

Anyway, on Monday, Rachel and I made a cake. I feel like it's a fairly similar cake to this one Sophie and I made in October last year. Not similar in looks or type, but similar in the feelings that went into it. Steve and I had been away in Sydney with the girls last week and we got back Sunday night. Monday was a reminder that work had to start again, even after a lovely little break. So we made a cake.

Rachel wanted a blue cake, and I thought the layers would be fun. It was fun. It's just a plain vanilla cake, (that sank a little because I checked it too early), but it's colourful and moist and delicious.

Cake. It makes the start of a working week just that little bit better.