Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cooking, kids and a little crafting ...

Not much to tell....

Thursday I went to the 'starting a craft business' info night at Amitie organised by Nichola and Justine. It was really interesting and provided a lot of food for thought. Thanks so much to both of them for organising it and all the other great things they do. It was my first chance to meet some bloggers in real life and I was slightly terrified to start with. Of course, they were absolutely lovely and just like they sound in their blogs. A special big thanks also to Jenny for providing the venue and hanging around until 10pm. Another nice opportunity to do a little fabric shopping.

Friday was a school party to celebrate the end of the 'bugs' theme Chloe has been working on. The food had to be bug related so I made cupcakes with spiders, ladybugs, dragon flies and butterflies. Sadly I only got photos of the ladybugs as they were the left overs. I think the kids only ate cakes and more cakes for lunch - I bet they were fun to teach in the afternoon!

Today we did the park and 'bagels and juice' which is a Sunday morning tradition for the girls.

That means a little bit of swinging....

a little bit of monkey bar action...

and a whole lot of sliding!

We haven't been as often lately but for the last couple of years we have spent most Sunday mornings at a park in Caulfield and then for a coffee at one of the yummy cake shops up the road in Elsternwick. The girls love the fresh bagels and always share a bottle of apple and black currant juice.

Now they also get one of these....

And this afternoon I worked on the tutorial for the child's apron. No, I haven't forgotton and actually need to make the apron for one of Chloe's friends whose having her 8th Birthday party on Saturday. I have now written out the instructions and order of everything and I hope it all goes according to plan as fingers crossed, this is my first go.

Other than that I have started to work on my doll quilt for the swap. I am very excited about this and am really enjoying doing the hand piecing. I will give you a teaser photo soon but I can't reveal too much.

To finish tonight - here is my gorgeous 'middle child' being what she refers to as a 'style girl' - wish I could be so cool!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mission Accomplished!!

Finally I can show you some pictures of the apron I made for the very lovely Cathy of Miss Marzie fame. She received her parcel today and by all accounts she loves it!

So bear with me as I have taken lots of photos and want to share them all because I was really pleased with the way it all turned out.

I love aprons and I love making aprons.

So when this swap came up I leapt at the opportunity.

Lucky, lucky me I was matched with Cathy and after looking at her blog and all her photos I just wanted to make her something really pretty and pink.

My inspiration was from this lovely 'Romantic Homes' magazine a girlfriend bought for me not too long ago.

She knows I love making aprons and found this wonderful article full of gorgeous pictures of aprons.

And the fabrics are some of my favourites.

After looking online for the new Sis Boom fabrics, lo and behold Amitie got them in the same week. It is such a big print I had to be careful cutting it so I used part of a pattern and modified it to suit the way the flowers fell. I just love the green diagonal gingham - just perfect apron fabric. And then, of course, I had to add some girlie frills.

I also wanted to do something pretty with the packaging.

Another girlfriend recently bought me a pink plastic apple basket which was immediately taken by Chloe! I thought it would be cute to send the apron in it (not Chloe's basket, a new one).

And then I found the apple dish cloth pattern. I have wanted to knit one of these for ages and it was really easy and quick.

The cookie recipe and card I copied from the Alice May Classic Biscuits book. They just seemed perfect with the 50's style apron.

I really enjoy the swap process, it gives me so much pleasure making something for someone else as a surprise. And even better, I have made a new friend! Cathy, I am so glad you like it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Just a couple of things....

This is just a quick post tonight as I have some fabric cutting to do. I received my swap partner for the doll quilt swap and I am so excited about it I just have to get started. My apron is safely on its way to Miss Marzie and hopefully she will like it. I will probably do a show and tell about it tomorrow night.

I have been sewing and knitting this past week and have nearly completed a pinafore for Chloe. Unfortunately my sewing machine light globe went and I was sewing on black at night. I didn't realise until the next morning that I had been using blue thread. Luckily the bobbin had run out and I had decided to leave it otherwise I would have top stitched it - another unpicking disaster avoided!

I also whipped up an apron for my neice Lexie who turned four. Inspiration struck at around 3am after Daphne had woken us up. I had to do a retro number and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Mind you it is big enough to fit her for another 10 years I think.

Last week I had an email regarding the apron I made for Lucinda a while ago asking for some advice on making one. It has now inspired me to have a go at doing a tutorial for a simple child's apron. So bear with me and I will try to get it done this week. I need to have light for the photos and as we've been having a lot of foggy, dark days that's getting a little difficult. I will do my best.

On that note, I am off to the cutting board to work on my secret project. I am so in love with these fabrics I could just eat them! Unfortunately you have to wait until July to see it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Food, friends, fabric and lots of fun..

Wow, what a busy weekend it has been. Chloe and Lucinda went to their Nana's for a sleepover on Friday night which meant a quiet Saturday for the rest of us. So we took the opportunity to clean out all the storage boxes in the shed, the girls wardrobes and our big, fat junk room - the dining room. I got rid of heaps including clothing, toys, and other rubbish. I still had suits packed away from when I last worked in 1999! I have boxed and labelled all my fabrics, wool and other sewing bits and pieces so now I know where everything is. And I cleaned up my desk. It feels so good to have done it although there is still a lot that needs to find a home.

Sunday we enjoyed the company of some lovely friends who came for dinner. I made yummy Crisp Prosciutto Baked Pork from Donna Hay's 'Food Fast' book served with baked potatoes. This is really easy which is nice when there are a lot of kids over and lots of distractions. It is basically a pork fillet wrapped in prosciutto and baked on sliced apples with heaps of pepper, olive oil and sage thrown on top. You then serve it on a pile of rocket that has been coated with a mustardy vinaigrette. Sounds slap dash but it is nice - really.

The children made their own pizzas with ham, olives, mozzarella, mushrooms and capsicum followed closely by some yummy icecream and cupcakes. Thanks guys, it was a really lovely evening.

Today was a public holiday and we did something I have been meaning to do for ages. After reading this I just had to go to Meet me at Mikes.

What a great little shop - the girls loved it and it was so inspiring to see all the work from the crafty bloggers. Unfortunately Pip wasn't there but her husband (I think) was very helpful. Chloe bought some gorgeous ella and kate hair ties from this lovely lady and I got some great vintage fabrics and this wonderful tea towel. I have seen it hanging on Ali's wall and think it is perfect for my kitchen wall. Some days I think I will need to stand firmly in front of it and breathe deeply!

Everything was wrapped up with pages of old books which the girls thought was fantastic - so did Mummy! Hopefully I can get to meet Pip next time.

And here are some photos of the gorgeous little peg bags that Cathy of Miss Marzie sent for my girls. They can keep their hair ties and stuff in them and look so pretty in their bedrooms - thanks again Cathy.

I also wanted to show you more detail of the fantastic apron she made me for the One Hour Craft apron swap - a lollipop coming out of the pocket and the sweets at the bottom and if you click on it you can see the different coloured threads to match the fabric - just brilliant!

This week is all about finishing my apron for Cathy and getting it to her. I am dying to show it to you....

PS. I keep forgetting to add this. I was tagged again by "Shael over at Mi for the seven random things. So if you're interested check out these. What you really must do though is check out her blog because it's gorgeous and her bags are just devine - there's a brand new red balloon one that I so want. And she has the sweetest little girl called Ophelia - isn't that a beautiful name. Thanks for the tag Shael and sorry it has taken so long to respond.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Good things come in small and big packages...

Look what I found in my letterbox today. A special parcel from the fabulous Miss Marzie, my apron swap partner. It is actually a whole week early which I find incredibly impressive as I always need all the time I can get to complete anything.

And look at what was inside......... a funky, gorgeous chocolate lollipop and denim apron that I absolutely adore.

The photo isn't fabulous as I had to take it myself. You can't really see all the amazing detail - can you see the little sweets on the bottom left - how utterly adorable. Cathy also included some lovely extras for my girls which I couldn't photograph in time for tonight but will post tomorrow.

I really enjoy the swap process. I have made some wonderful friends by joining in on swaps and it is so incredible to see what each person puts together right down to the packaging. You all come up with such brilliant things and it's so nice to actually own a lovely piece of work created by someone you have admired and only seen on screen or maybe just by someone you don't even know. It also gets the creative juices flowing and I love the challenge of creating something for someone you only know a little bit about. Then we get to see them grouped together and it's such a great reflection of both the amazing similarities and special uniqueness of our ideas, tastes and individual talents.

It is also extra special that Cathy is a local blogger from Melbourne and you never know, maybe one day we can get together face to face! Here's hoping she enjoys my apron as much as I will hers!

We had another delivery for the first time this week.

A few weeks ago a lovely young man knocked on the front door and told me he was the new milkman. A company called Aussie Farmers has a new franchise in our area and they not only deliver milk but also other dairy products, eggs, bread, juices and even fruit and vegetables. I just had to give it a go as the prices were so competitive, it supports local producers and it was free delivery. I have to say the idea of not having to drag the girls out to buy more milk also appealed enormously.

And look what was inside that big box...

It is so fresh and plentiful (that is a double layer) and really good value for $35. In fact we think it is too much and have decided to try the smaller box for $25 and see how much turns up. Check them out, I think they're great.

So this weekend we have dinner guests - and what perfect timing. Lots of lovely fresh food to cook and me looking resplendent in my new, gorgeous apron!

Monday, June 4, 2007

You can leave your hat on..

Well, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, I've just been knitting! And doing a little sewing. Winter has hit and it actually has become a little chilly - well chilly by Melbourne standards - about 15 deg celsius which is probably a bit of a joke to some people in the Northern Hemisphere. However, it is cold enough to wear hats so I whipped up one for Chloe earlier this week.

She chose the colours and requested two hanging pom poms which I finally attached last night.

And my Birthday still hasn't ended - I received a gorgeous handknitted scarf from my beautiful friend Roslyn. Isn't she a star! I love it as it's so long and warm. Great for visits to the park with the kids.

We discussed the need for hats to go with these scarves as she had knitted herself the exact same scarf. So I zipped into the wool shop on the way home, grabbed some of the same wool and hey presto - my new hat. I am going to try a slightly different version for young (she's waaaaay younger than me) Ros which is like this. If it works I might do another one for me. I also need to knit a nice blokey one for my husband as his ears must freeze on his walk to and from the station on his way to work.

I also made this cute pinafore for Lucinda after seeing the lovely ones Cathy from Miss Marzie made. She's just made another one and has the most hilarious photo of it - have a look it's gorgeous.

I'm not sure I did it right because I made the size 5 and it is a little tight under the arm. I think I didn't take enough seam up when I did the binding. I have some black cord to make one for Chloe who is 7 and have cut it out to a size 8 just in case. The difference seems fairly minimal. I also thought I would try to line the bodice instead of doing the binding. I just have to remember how to do that - I'm sure it will come to me eventually.

And - how exciting!!!! Another swap and this time it's a doll quilt swap. I found this yesterday so it was great timing as the sign up started today. How gorgeous are the first swap quilts! There is also now a flickr group for those completely mad about doll's quilts and have you seen the quilts that Hilary from Wee Wonderfuls is doing for her soon to be born daughter's bedroom wall. I can't wait to see photos of the finished wall.

It's all so utterly inspiring and will add yet another project to my very long list. Oh I wish there were more hours in the day!