Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Giveaway

Ok, I am really nervous about doing this as I am not sure that there are too many readers of my blog, and also because I am not sure that my sewing is good enough to give away....anyway those fears aside I am going to give it a go.

Blogger won't let me post photos so do you remember this dress? Ever since I made it getting Ellyse to wear it has been a struggle. At first it was not pink enough, but now she complains of the shirring being too tight on her chest.

I can't possibly keep making her wear a dress that is uncomfortable so I thought I would offer it as a giveaway as I just hate seeing it hang in the cupboard unloved.

So if you have a darling little girl in your life that you think would fit this dress (I would guess the shirring would be about a size 2 if Ellyse is finding it uncomfortable) then please leave a comment by Friday and I will do the random number thing to pick a winner.

Come on lurkers out you come (I hope there are some!).

Good luck to everyone.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a wonderful, wonderful Christmas

What a joy it is to feel and see te joy of Christmas through our children's eyes. This is the first year that Ellyse has had a little understanding of Christmas, but I still don't think she entirely 'got it'. But she definitely got it enough to be excited and overjoyed with her gifts.

She did totally forget it was Christmas though, she walked staright past her presents under the tree into our room, after about 25 minutes the following conversation occurred -

E - "Mummy is it Christmas today?"
A - "Yes darling it is."
E - "Oh ok then."

A - relieved to get anouther 5 minutes lay in bed until Ash woke and we decided we should get up. Even when we got up she was more interested in having breakfast thanseeing the presents, and that Santa had eaten the biscuits. So innocent and so cute.


Santa bought Ellyse a new (big girl) bike, we cannot believe how good she is on it. She also got a scooter from mum, I am sure Ashton thinks they are for him too. It is too cute watching him trying to climb up onto the bike. An accident waiting to happen for sure.


Here she is riding her bike -


video


My darling husband surprised me with a new sewing machine. I was complaining about my walking foot last week and told him taht would be a great gift - turns out the machine he bought me came with a free walking foot, he told me he bought me a walking foot that came with a free machine!

It is a Janome Quilters Companion and I am not really sure what it can do yet. I know it has 60 stitches (including a blanket stitch hich will save me so much time!) and that it has electronic functions.

I have started sewing on my new machine, I have made two little skirts for some gorgeous twin girls who we will visit tonight. They are friends of friends and when our friends are in town we often meet up at their house. Megan has commented on sewing I have done for my friend's little girl so I thought it was a good excuse to use my new machine.

I saw this tutorial last week and liked the little ruffle so I used that idea with a normal elastic casing waist - nothing fancy but I think they look quite sweet. I know Megan will love them. Ashton is the same age as the twins so I used him as a model and for sizing - he is loving Ellyse's sunnies at the moment which also adds to the look.

I am looking forward to quilting the little dolls quilt I made earlier in the week on my new machine.

I just had to add pics of these gorgeous handmade gifts my friend sent for Ellyse and Ash, they are just adorable and I can't wait to take them off the tree and hang them in their rooms.





Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas


Wishing your family a wonderful Christmas.
Thank yo uso much for taking the time to read my blog and make comments to keep me motivated this year. I just looked through each month and I definitely had a slow start to the year in terms of sewing, but the sewjo came back at the end of the year. I hope to try many new things next year with Ellyse going off to pre prep 3 days a week, so just Ash and I at home.
Enjoy your time with your families tomorrow and see you soon.
Andrea

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nothing like sewing at the last minute....

Well last night I got a bad case of the guilts. Why you ask? I have done a lot of hand made items as Christmas gifts this year and I am extremely proud of that, but none for either of my kids. So today with left over fabric from this project I got set to work.



Ellyse recieved a Little Mermaid Doll for Christmas from her Aunty and Uncle so I thought a doll's quilt for her would be perfect given the fabric. I quickly drew up a design and changed it about 3 times, then I started cutting, changed my mind again, then started sewing. It took me just over 2 hours from start to finish (just the top, not wading, quilting, binding), and I am excited. I think it looks just wonderful. The design is by no means original I am sure but it is a first for me. I don't think I can see it being wrapped around dolls and dragged around by Ashton so I think I might hang it in either the play area or Ellyse's room.




I am not sure how I am going to quilt it yet, not sure if I will get to do it before Christmas or not, I am hoping to.



I have also made a Margaret Bag for my closest friend for Christmas, I am giving it to her tongiht, I am really excited as I know she will just love it. I am looking forward to making some more of these. The pattern was fantastic, so easy to follow and the bag is a great size.




The sewing girls over at Essential Baby participated in a Secret Santa recently. I was sewing for Susan. After cheekily finding out her favourite colour and what she would like I made her an apron, a Tin Whistle bag and some coasters. I also made her son a drawing case. I didn't take the best pictures of what I made, but here they are anyway.






I would like to say that is all of my sewing finished, but I still have a drawing case to make and some beach balls. Best get to it.




Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Secret stuff reveal and today's sewing


Well the secret little packages featured in my previous post were in fact little gifts for the Brisbane girls on Tuesday. I made four bias tote bags for each of the girls (I included myself, aren't I lovely?), Marie I will have to post yours to you!


Thanks to Susan and Suzanne for a lovely meet up on Tuesday, I look forward to another one in the new year.

I made two of these retro dresses today as gifts my good friend's daughters. I am so pleased with them and cannot wait to give them to the girls. I am a bit cranky that I didn't think to center the gold and fuschia one, the pattern is just a little off center, but whrn Lauren is wearing it I doubt anyone will notice. I also noticed on the blush dress that the mermaids are swimming up at the front and down at the back, again I am sure it will not be noticed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Secret Santa and other secret stuff

A big thank you to Natalie for our wonderful SS parcel. Natalie has gone to so much effort to create something individual for me and the kids. I just love everything.

Included in the parcel was

- an appliqued shirt for Ashton (both sides, how cute is that?)

- a shirt with heart shaped yo yos and other gorgeousness for Ellyse

-a ruffle apron for me
-magazines for me
-some tree ornaments for decorating our home
-all wrapped in some beautiful floral fabric that will no doubt become something for Ellyse.


Thanks so much Natalie, we truely appreciate your effort.


I have been working on some other secret stuff tonight, all will be revealed tomorrow - actually that is today as it is 2 am!!!



And just to finish a photo of alittle outfit I gave to a little one yee old (Ellyse speak) on Sunday. My present was the last to be opened and prior to that the mum had opened about 4 sets of Pumpkin Patch clothes so I was feeling a little nervous. I was so pleased when she told me afterwards how much it meant to her that I had put in the effor to create something. My satin stitch is totally dodgy, especially the wheels, but she didn't seem to notice.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's a wrap

My latest Versatile Wrap is complete and it was decided by all that pink was the colour to use as a top so here it is!



The pattern is designed by Toni at Make It Perfect. I was lucky enough to win a competition that she ran on her blog and recently I recieved the pattern for The Summer Fling in my letterbox. I am really excited and can't wait to give it a go. Thanks Toni.

This next photo is a little set I made as a gift for a one year old little boy. I have actually made another pair of shorts for another little boy, but I (but most likely Keiran) have misplaced the top so I can't finish it just yet.

and lastly a sneak peak at my EB Secret Santa. I sent it off to the recipient today, I hope she likes it all. I definitely enjoyed sewing for you!



Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What colour would you wear with..

..this skirt?

Sorry for the bad photo, it is late and I am tired and really want to get to bed!


I was always thinking yellow, and even have my eye on one to get......but Keiran thinks getting a red/deep pink would be better. It was too late to argue so I thought I would get your opinion.

And for those lovely EB girls who helped me make my decision on which dress to wear last Saturday night here are a few pics.....early in the night, trust me I don't want to show the ones later in the night, they might ruin my reputation (not that bad really).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Secret Santa and the lighting of the tree


Our little family went off to the lighting of the Christmas Tree in the city last night. It was lovely for the kids to see it and be amongst all of the excitement. I was amazed at how many people there were there.

Yesterday was the first time that Ellyse has shown interest in wearing dress up clothes outside of the house. In fact she isn't even a really big dress up girl unless we have visitors, but yesterday she wanted to wear the hidious purple sparkly plastic high heels out, I was prepared and took some spare shoes which we did need. I don't think she will ask to do that again. The last night she wanted to wear her fairl dress. Seeing as she has had it for a year and hasn't really worn it I was only too happy to let her wear it. She looked gorgeous!


Tonight we are off to our Mother's Group Adults Christmas party (the kids one is next weekend), I decided to sew up this bag as one of the gifts. So many of the mums have asked about the one I made myself. This fabric is just from SL, it is a nice heavy canvasy type fabric.

Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

On Kylie's request here is the recipe. I got it from EB, but it is actually a Woman's Weekly Recipe. It was so yummy and got better over a few days. Next time I would make it 2 days before the event, and I will be making it again.

Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes (plus standing time)
Cooking Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients:
250g unsalted butter, chopped
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 2/3 cups (400ml) coconut milk
200g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
2 cups (440g) caster sugar3/4 cup (110g) self raising flour
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 x 85g Cherry Ripe bars, chopped coarsely

200g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely, extra
125g unsalted butter, chopped, extra

1. Preheat oven to slow. Grease deep 22cm round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan; add coffee, coconut milk, chocolate and sugar. Stir over heat until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves; cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk in sifted dry ingredients, then eggs and essence; stir in half of the Cherry Ripe. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Top with remaining cherry ripe; bake in slow oven about 1 3/4 hours.
Stand cake 10 minutes; turn, top side up, onto wire rack to cool.
4. Combine extra chocolate and extra butter in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. Refrigerate until mixture is of spreadable consistency.
5. Spread chocolate mixture all over cake

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy birthday Daddy and a few other bits and pieces

It was Keiran's 35th birthday today and I think Ellyse was more excited that anyone!

At her request the party had to include

- decorations (care of the story Seven More Sleeps by Margaret Wild)
- balloons
- party hats
- chocolate cake
How could I refuse?

We made decorations through the week using this idea (scroll down to baing tray prints) from Kids Craft Weekly. Ellyse really enjoyed this printing and I think they worked out really well. Best thing is that it is painting that she can manage herself.



Now for anyone reading this who knows Keiran, you will know that any kind of cake, icecream or desert make him thirst (a lovely term his niece and nephew came up with) so you will find it unusual that I would make him a Cherry Ripe Chocolate Mud Cake - trust me I was thinking of the other 14 people who were going to be here! I can highly recommend this recipe, it was absolutely beautiful.



And a photo of my gorgeous family, yes that is me wearing a jumper in Brisbane in November (almost December), it was so windy here today and the breeze was quite fresh.


In other news, Ashton weaned himself this week. I was planning on stopping the last feed soon anyway, but kept delaying it. I am not too sad about it though as I am hoping to be able to have another little bundle and do it all again.
Here is his last ever feed!


This is a little set I made for Ashton a while ago, not the best photo but you get the idea. I am really happy with it, although the top is in the handwashing pile as the first (and only ) time he has worn it he got crayon on it.


Ok I think that is enough of an update today. I am working on a few little projects at the moment for Christmas gifts, baby showers and birthdays!

I can't believe how close it is getting until Christmas, better get my skates on.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Secret Santa Questions

Would you like something handmade as a gift?
I would love something handmade, but also understand that we are all busy and anything that is sent with me in mind will be truely appreciated!

Do you have a favourite Christmas Colour?
Red and gold are the Christmas colours in our home.

Do you decorate the whole house or just a part of it?
We decorate the area where the tree will be, as well as ornaments etc in the play area and lounge room.

Do you have any Christmas Traditions?
The kids have a stocking which is gifts from Santa. Last year they were given gorgeous sacks, we will pop those in their rooms this year and might become a tradition that they can look in there as soon as they wake up. Other than that none have really been established yet.

What sizes are your children?
Ellyse is a size 3
Ashton is a size 1

Do you like quick projects or things that take a little longer?
I love quick projects, I hate having WIP laying around, I forget about them and start something else!

Is there anything that you like to collect?
We don't collect anything specific, we definitely don't have a lot of Santa, snowmen etc around our home, I prefer stars, angels etc.

Is there anything you don't need?
I don't use FQ much, I find they sit in my stash as they are too small for a number of things I like to do.

Have fun, I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bias Tape Tote


I used this tutorial to make this gorgeous handbag. It is a gift for a friend whose birthday is on Thursday. I think the pattern is upside down and it is not centered, but I love it anyway. I only had just enough fabric left from making these bags last year. I will definitely be making more of these bags, if I had all of the supplies it would have only taken me about an hour all up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

READY, SET GO!





It has only taken me 15 months, but I have finally done some sewing for Ashton. I used Burda 9793, and somehow managed to much up the fake zip area, but it looks ok.

I love the fabric, it has an assorment of vechiles on it as well as traffic lights. I am planning on appliquing a top with something to match. They are a size 2 so should last him a while yet!


I also finished this twirly skirt off for Ellyse. I feel a bit mean as it was intended as a gift for a friend's daughter, but after seeing it made up I just cannot part with it. It is made with fabric from the Farmer's Market collection. I have chosen some other fabric frm my stash to make another for Chloe!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The not so Madeline Dress





You will not believe that this dress started with this pattern!




I saw a little girl at the shops a few weeks ago with a peasant style dress that was shirred at the bodice, it was absolutely adorable. I thought it would work perfectly with the Madeline pattern. I increased the bodice size to accomodate the shirring and I was off. When it was finished it just looked too much like a nightie. I think a lot of it was the fabric also. I had planned on the aqua ruffle on the bottom, but I still thought the top looked wrong ( no pics sorry, wass in too much of a rush to got the unpicker out!).


I took the sleeves off and made some bias binding (all the while thinking of Cass with her bias maker) and made the straps instead. I am really happy with it. I love the colours (Ellyse is still to be convinced that aqua is ok for girls), something different to pink.
I am now off to work on some shorts for Ash, hope to have them finished this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Not a sewing post - a look at my gorgeous kids post!

Well with not one, but two machines out of action at the moment, there hasn't been any sewing going on here. I have been thinking alot about sewing and planning what I will do when the machines are all better, so that counts for something at least.
I am sure all of the mums out there know the feeling that your children are just the most beautiful and wonderful people you have ever seen. I just can't help feeling this way at the moment. Both Ellyse and Ashton are just being absolutely delightful and I am just loving the ages they are at.

Ellyse is such a little mummy, watching out for everyone and taking time to talk to her little friends that no one else can see - there is Ella, Bella, Arabella, LilyBelle (see the pattern here), then occassionally the boys join her, Zachary and Daniel. This make believe play has really started since she has been at the child care centre rather than FDC. She spends her days setting up beds for her babies, she plonks herself inbetween two of them with her scissors, paper, book and a pen, all the while telling children to lay down, go to sleep, I am busy writing in the book etc. I caught her telling a real friend last Friday that "If you don't listen to me Max I will have to pinch you" -I don't know where she got that from, hopefully not one of her teachers! Poor old Max, did not want to be forced to lay on his tummy while being patted and rocked to sleep by the 'teacher'.


She adores Ashton most of the time, she gets things for him and tried to find out what is wrong if he cries.


So here are some photos to celebrate my beautiful Ellyse-






I could go on, but I think that is enough.




And little Ashton, how can he be so like Ellyse in so many ways and then so differnet in others. I can't decide if it is a gender thing, second born thing, or just personality, but man he gets places Ellyse is still yet to discover. Ellyse didn't climb, open, bang anytning, she just sat and played. Little Ash is just into everything. While Ellyse is inside patting babies he is outside digging in the dirt. While Ellyse is hoping the water doesn't touch her toes while K is washing the car, Ash is covered head to toe in freshly cut grass while waving the running hose around. If there was one blade of grass on Ellyse we would have to call someone to help.


But what a snuggle bunny Ash is, he loves to cuddle all of us, he puts his thumb in and nuzzles up to you, it is just adorable.



How is that for photo overload? Aren't they just the cutest?