Monday, May 31

at my house.....

Today at my house I have one extra - child that is.  Monday mornings are busy busy as we start the week off with an early morning Kinder session, so today I picked up my son's little friend too and he came home with us for some lunch and a little play whilst his mum gets a few things done.

So the chaos has died down as the empty tummy's have been filled and my little toddler is fast asleep, so now the two boys can get on with playing.  I love listening to their little conversations about toys, families and just stuff - it's really sweet.

I just had time to snap a few pictures - first of their Kinder bags left on the deck as they ran outside towards the trampoline.

And these great action shots - coz of course boys aint boys without a bit of action! 

Playing along with Lou today - so what's happening at your house??  Lou's also asking what you like/dislike about winter (seeing as today is the last day of Autumn).

Hmmmm....stuff I like about winter are things like comfort food, red wine, snuggling up with blankets and loved ones, cups of tea, listening to the rain, warm overcoats and lovely scarves and winter hats! Me, my son and daughter are all born in winter so birthdays each winter month will be lovely. What I dislike are really just quite boring and practical like the struggle to get the washing dry (or your washing finally dry and then it rains and it's still on the line), the fact that my kids LOVE to play outside and sometime the weather is not permitting and my huge gas bill I get around September, but other than that it's all good and makes me appreciate Spring that little more!

Now I'll go see what happening at your house....

Sunday, May 30

flea market finds

I love joining in on this little Sunday ritual of sharing our treasures that have been given a second chance and loved for all their imperfections and history.  However this week proved to be difficult as, although I had a couple of visits to some local thrift stores, I walked away empty handed. I even visited my favourite antique/furniture restorer (as I happened to passing by) and yes, I did fall in love with half of the items there - especially a gorgeous wooden and tapestry firescreen, a matching pair of church pews and some quaint little art deco drawers that were just too cute - but they are not the type of items to buy on a whim! 

So although I purchased nothing this week, I thought I would share with you my ever first flea market find when I moved out of home many many years ago.  And of course it is practical.  I was at a local trash and treasure and spotted this little casserole dish and snapped it up for about $5.  It has been used, well as a casserole dish, a fruit bowl and an onion bowl just to name a few.  It has survived three house moves and I still use it today and  love it! 

Hoping some thrifting luck comes my way by next week.  Now I'm off to check out all your treasures. Don't forget to stop by a Sohpies if you want to join in....

Thursday, May 27

my creative space...

Today I am reminded of those sleep deprived days of early motherhood.  The middle of the night feeds,  the creeping around the house so as not to disturb the 'finally' sleeping child, only to drop a tissue or flush the toilet and the wails can be heard as you cringe and calculate how long they have been asleep for and work out if is it worth re-settling.  Well, it's not that my children have reverted back to infant-hood, but today I am feeling somewhat sleep deprived as my head finally hit the pillow at close to 1am, only to be woken at 5am by my son who thought that was a reasonable time to start the day - ah...the joys.

Luckily my Letter Box Fairy made a special delivery yesterday and left me a whole tray of yummy ginger crunch, which I am told is a Kiwi thing.  It is so delicious that I just had to have some with my morning tea (that was after a very strong coffee when it was still dark outside).

So taking it easy kids love to draw, paste, cut and create (oooh sounds just like me!)  so after an early morning session of craft, we've hit the pavement to post out a few parcels and my mind is racing over what I am going to do with these great fabrics.  Just simple pinwale cord in a gorgeous deep red and fantastic teal green/blue!  I want to add a few clothing pieces to my stash that I take to the Sugar and Spice Market and I thought these were great winter colours.

What's your creative space look like today??  join in at Kirsty's! See you there!!

Wednesday, May 26

Italiano notte {Italian night}

Late last year my husbands family were contacted by some relatives in Italy they didn't even know they had.  My father-in-law discovered he had an older brother (now dec.) who was given up for adoption by his mother at birth and this was kept a secret until now.  He married and had children (my father-in-law's neices and nephews and my husbands cousins). This picture is of him and his family some time ago.  He and my father-in-law share the same name and they look very very alike.  It has been very overwhelming for everyone involved and the international phone calls have been constant and a great way to communicate.  However, some of them are now planning a trip to Australia to come and visit all of us.  We are very excited, but that quickly turned to trepidation as my Italian speaking skills need improvement.    It gave me flash backs to the days in the class room with "Avanti" on my desk.  All I can remember is 'Dario, Dario sei sempre in retardo!' and "Angela, chuidi la porta."  Some how telling them that they are late or asking them to shut the door just wont cut it!

My husband is Italian and can speak the language (albeit dialect) but to feel confident when they arrive, my husband and I have now starting having weekly 'Italian Classes' at home.  Last night was one of them and we used this cheap little kit I bought off ebay.  It comes with CD's, translation book, excercises and the best part I love is these cute little flash cards with words and phrases in English on one side and Italian on the other!  They make learning fun as we sit down together with a glass of vino and quiz each other for a few hours!

  Our newly found relatives come and visit me at my blog...

Ciao Salvatore, ciao Anna! Com e la tua famiglia?  Io sono pratica parlare Italiano cosi tua arriviamo.

Tuesday, May 25

talented crafters

I love receiving handmade things..... and yesterday the postie delivered me two such wonderful parcels.......

The first was this gorgeous knitted cardigan for my daughter with crochet flower pocket and ladybird detail buttons.  I found it on Etsy and loved it so much but it wasn't in her size, so I contacted the seller - Margaret, who lives in Ireland and loves to spend time knitting and crafting.   We corresponded about what I was looking for and she made me this...AND included a sweet beanie and two little headbands, they are just so beautiful.  Check out Margarets new little store here.

The second parcel was a giveaway I entered at My Little Birdie and I won!  So this gorgeous bag is mine and I was blown away by the generosity when I discovered these little extra's too - some hand made vintage style cards and two blocks of milka chocolate (needless to say me and kids got stuck into the chocolate straight away!).  Check out My Little Birdie's sweet little blog here and don't forget to check out her Made It store too!

I am always in awe and admiration of crafters and these two lovely ladies are no exception!  Even though we live in a modern virtual world, it has it's benefits as it offers the privilege of searching for handmade goodness all over the world!

Wishing you all a happy crafty day!

Monday, May 24

at my house .....

Trying to get a few things done today - as always I am a mother that feels compelled to multi-task!   Remember those spray-painted dowel's I posted about yesterday?  Well, here is what I did with them....

Yes, they are Pin-Wheels!  I finished them yesterday and tried them out in the little breeze we had whilst my son was out washing the car with his dad.  They will be for his upcoming 4th Birthday Party and I didn't want him to see them yet.  I am planning just a small party for him with a few of his close friends and instead of lolly bags for his mates to go home with, I thought pin-wheels would be great!  I'm not too sure the drawing pin securing it all in place works effectively, but I have a bit of time up my sleeve to change it around!  

We'll spend some time today making some invitations, no doubt they will be traffic themed.  But I'm also working on some of his handmade pressie's that he will get from us.  One includes a STOP sign little pillow to go on his bed.  My son is traffic obsessed and has requested a cake that looks like a road and Give Way sign (I know - don't ask!).   So I thought a little octagon pillow in red with these bold letters would be fun to make!

What are you up to today??  If you want to join in visit Lou!

Sunday, May 23


Weekend jam packed with lots of adventures, the sun was shining, and we thought we'd make the most of it.

 I thought I would share just a few photos with you.....

A yummy picnic in Gisborne with the kids and gorgeous hubby.....

Spray painting some sticks - All will be revealed tomorrow what they are for.... and making some paper bunting cards....

And today I got the chance to meet two of my fav bloggers at a little market.  Lou from Buttons by Lou Lou was there selling her gorgeous hand made items and Emma from Frog, Goose and Bear selling her clever creations.  I bought this delightful ring and some alfalfa seeds to grow myself in this kit with instructions and jar!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 21

letterbox fairy

As I ventured out this afternoon across the road to post some letters with my wee little ones in tow I checked my own, and to my surprise I had a visit from the Letter Box Fairy!

Usually she leaves me something in the form of sweets but today this little treat is red hot!

Don't you love little surprises in your letterbox other than bills or creepy crawlies!!  Thank you letterbox fairy...I had a little taste and WOW it's got amazing kick!  

Thursday, May 20

my creative space... has been one of those days (i know and its only just lunch time).  My son bit his lip yesterday, so eating is difficult (and painful).  I was feeling like Mother Hubbard (with cupboards bare) this morning so quickly made and list and thought a trip to the Supermarket might break up the morning.  My son was still in pyjama's at 10.30am so my idea of betting the rush was squashed, not to mention the fact that once we did finally get there I realised it was Pension Day!  Argghhhh!  A lady driving very close to the curb gave me a foul look thinking I was going to hit her car with my trolley (yeah sure!) and then I get home to realise that I am two loaves of sliced bread short!  A quick check of my shopping receipt calms me somewhat as I realise I didn't even pay for them - they must have just been forgotten on the check out counter!  Still annoying!

So when I got home and let the fury go, I thought I would finish and then photograph some little paper buntings that I have been working on.  I love sewing with paper and they look really cute hanging up in my daughters room, that I may have to make her one...

I have been trying to think and create some fun items to stock at my next market which will be at Woodend at the Sugar and Spice Market, so along with these buntings, I might make some with a range of different shapes - like garlands of circles joined together - oh the possibilities are endless! I am feeling better!

To check out more creative types head over to Kirsty's

Tuesday, May 18

recipe sharing

Playing allowing with Maggie  & Sparrow and sharing a favourite recipe.

Often over looked is the humble chick pea and yet tastes great and is good for you.   I discovered this recipe when I wanted to cook a vegetarian meal for friends who just had their second baby as I think a meal is a great gift to any family with a new born!  This is also a great last minute dinner idea, is vegetarian (not that i am one) but you could easily adapt it if you felt like adding any type of meat.  It is great as leftovers and can be served with steamed rice or cous cous.  Also, you don't have to use the vegetables listed here, you can just use what you have available, which means as long as you have a can of chick-peas in the pantry and some veg in your fridge (like zuchinni, beans and pumpkin), you ready to go!

Chick-pea and vegetable casserole

Tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed. 
1 eggplant, diced
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 red capsicum, diced, 
2 small red chillies finely diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tblsp tomato paste
250ml vegetable stock
salt and peper
1 tsp harrissa (optional)

Sprinkle diced eggplant with salt and allow juices to bead.  Rise well and pat dry. 
Heat a medium saucepan and add a splash of oil to cook onions, carrots, capsicum and eggplant for 6-8 minutes or until soft.  Add the chillies, garlic and spices and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, stock, salt and pepper and harrissa (if using) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce thickens. 

Serve with steamed rice or cous cous. 

Sunday, May 16

Sunday, happy Sunday

It's a been a delightful weekend and I'm a bit sad that it's coming to an end.  The boys were away (husband and son) so that left the girls (me and my daughter) to play - and play we did.  Her playing and mine - which meant cooking (us), drawing (her), playing with her brothers train set without protest (her again....shhhh dont tell), buying fabric (me), reading (both of us), endless cups of tea (me and her finishing off the reset) and just a tad of housework (me, of course with my little helper to hand me pegs or assist with sponge or broom).

It's lovely just to spend some one on one time with my youngest, as she never got that alone time I did with my first born.  She has relished my attention and soaked up the idea that she can have free-rein of the toys without dispute, argument, negotiation and compromise!  Ah bliss.

And heres a sneak at what I got up to whilst she was having some shut-eye.

A bit of reading - real living mag, material obsession book (bought at social club book club for $12) and book lovers book journal (mother's day pressie) which is to record books I've read and my thoughts about them! 

Worked on a few cot quilts (after perusing Material Obsession) how could one not want to make a quilt?

Amazingly I finished one!  It's a small cot quilt or baby play mat.  I used a screen printed panel and then just created the rest by adding different colours and patterns including stripes and oriental inspired fabric. I only top stitched a small section as I didn't want to detract from the overall look of the quilt.  

Now the house smells of roasting vegies and rosemary and the boys have just arrived home - so I'm off to get updated about their adventures, share mine and get some cuddles as well. 

Hope you all had a great weekend...xx

Friday, May 14

rainbow tidy

The other night I got the urge to organise my scrap bags.  They were getting a bit out of control and really all i did was to shove them into a plastic bag and the more fabric I buy, the more scraps I have.  I tend to keep most of my scraps (as you never know when you are going to need that tiny bit of fabric) but I knew I needed a better system.

Enter basket and bits of cardboard cut to form a grid and some sorting of colour and voila - a rainbow scrap basket!

Now it's easier to see what I've got and if I need an orange or blue to red bit of fabric it's at the tip of my finger - oh and I just love looking at it!

Got a fabric organisation tip??  If so i would love to hear it...

Thursday, May 13

my creative space...

It's my dear friend from Pod and Three Peas Birthday tomorrow - so we mum's and our combined four children got together this morning for a catch up.  A while back we were chatting about learning to crochet.  At the time I had been working on some granny squares for a winter blanket and happened to mention that if I couldn't be bothered making enough for a blanket I could just make a crochet cushion.  I saw the sparkle in her eye as my dear friend loves all things retro and what would be more 70's than a crochet pillow adorning your bed or couch.  So I offered to make her one for her birthday!  I picked classic retro colours in creams, mustard, orange and a hint of teal.

I didn't realise what a challenge this would be.  It was fine making the granny squares - although please note I am still a very beginner crocheter!  The trouble I had was working out how to convert it into a pillow!  I had three attempts, all slightly different, and then settled on treating the crochet part like any other piece of fabric - and I'm really happy with the results.  So today I gave Paula her Birthday presents....

But what would a birthday present be if you know what you are getting, so I made another cushion from my thrifted linen finds the other week and was delighted when I found a little side plate in the Johnson range that Paula collects at an op shop in the country. I did make a little crochet trivet/hot pot holder thingy, but didn't remember to photograph it!

How nice it feels to give handmade and thrifted items....xx

Happy Birthday Pod xx

Head over to Kirsty's for more creative types!

Wednesday, May 12

Great Apron Swap 2010

I was so excited when a little parcel was delivered to my door yesterday afternoon!  It was my apron from my swap partner Catherine in the Great Apron Swap 2010!

Look at the beautiful packaging and handmade card - it was so lovely i didn't want to open it...

But then I did and wow - what a surprise!  A beautiful, stunning, double sided apron and a little Irish recipe book!

I love the fabrics Catherine chose and she has put a little pocket in the reverse fabric on either side and embellished the apron with gorgeous ric-rac and cute little daisies.  The pink polka dot trim make it so fun and girly I don't think I will want to leave the kitchen!!!

I've posted my apron for Catherine the other day but wont post any pictures of it until she gets it!
Thanks Catherine for such a lovely Apron!

Monday, May 10

flea market finds

My entry is a little late as it took me several attempts at finally laying out my find and taking some photos.  Albeit these photos aren't the best as there was dappled light on the dining table, but I wanted to wash and hang them out to dry whilst the gorgeous Autumn sun is out.

I found these during the week at a local op shop and aren't they sweet -  a little stash of cross-stitched napkins, doilies, and runners and was just so excited I knew I had to have them.  I know what I want to do with a few of them, but the other's will just have to wait until I find the perfect project for them.

I love the colours and the detail in the stitching - a lot of work has gone into these little crafts and I want to bring them back to life. I think I scored this batch for under $10!!!


For more delightful finds - head over to sophies 

Saturday, May 8

A recipe for all mothers...

I stumbled across this poem and thought it just too beautiful not to share and very fitting that after all, tomorrow is Mother's Day!  To all you mummy bloggers out there - Happy Mothers Day! I love being a stay at home mummy to my beautiful children and I enjoy hearing and reading all the trials and tribulations, excitements, highs and lows that you all experience.

I truly hope that you get spoilt by your children..xx

A recipe for all mothers

Today I left some dishes dirty;
The bed I made at 3.30
The nappies soaked a little longer
The odour grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilt the day before
Are staring at me at the floor.
The fingerprints, there on the wall
Will likely still be there, next fall. 
The dirty streaks on the window pains
Will still be there next time it rains. 
"shame on you old lazy bones," I say
"And just what have you done, today?"

I nursed a baby till he slept.
I held a toddler while she wept.
I played a game of hide and seek
I squeezed a toy, so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song, 
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess it's true...
Unless you think that what I've done
Might be important to a little one
With bright blue eyes or soft brown hair
If that is true, I've done my share. 

Joanne Green

And just incase that didn't bring a tear to your eye....this was my early Mother's Day gift from my son that all the mum's were given at a special afternoon tea at his Kinder....

Friday, May 7

something for nothing....

It's not often you get something for nothing these days. Usually there is a hidden catch but this week I got something for nothing, not once, not twice but three times!

First was my road side find!  It's hard rubbish in our area and on my way home from Playgroup the other day I saw this little beauty and quickly threw it in the boot.  Once home my son thought it would be a great place to store his blocks!

The next something for nothing was winning a Blog Giveaway over at Katia's.  I won a gorgeous fabric button and a fat quarter of fabric!  I was so excited when it arrived in the mail.  Thankyou Katia xx

And the final something for nothing was this hoard of homegrown herbs and goodies I was given on a visit to my grandmother! I did actually give her a jar of my olives so perhaps this can be considered a barter.  I did only ask for a small bunch of rosemary, but I got this instead!  My son was amazed when he watched his Bis-Nonna (great-grandmother in Italian) pull the little carrots out of the ground!  I only wished I had taken my camera to capture the moment...

Thanks for stopping by and if you have a good 'something for nothing' story - i'd love to hear it! 

Thursday, May 6

my creative space...

Some things finished, some half way and fabric I am still admiring and wondering what I will turn it into!  With two young children my creative space is generally theirs - toys, paints, playdough, baking, etc, but I do have a little nook in the house to call my own and this is it!  It's lovely to have a little place to sneak away to and create!

I love when I find fabric I absolutely love, like the linen with with Wizard of Oz characters dancing around, and Ink and Spindle screen printed fabrics.  Want to see what other creative types are up to?  Head over here...

Wednesday, May 5

billy's bunting

Our little friend Billy turned 1 the other day - and a while back I asked his mum if she would like to me make him a bunting as a birthday gift from us! I was delighted when she accepted and equally excited at the prospect of making it!  I picked vibrant colours, with a hint of retro and dash of boyishness so hopfully it will be enjoyed for many years to come.  As a last minute idea, I made a little pillow with the left over material and a matching card....