A Baby Boy Quilt

I was so excited to give this beautiful baby boy quilt to it’s new owner on Saturday.

baby quilt

(got to love this photo with the very glamorous shed in the background, and unfinished pizza oven in the foreground!

The little man hasn’t arrived yet, but I hope he loves it!

I had so much fun making it.

baby quilt cotWe’ve a few more friends having babies soon, so the baby quilt production line continues 🙂

It’s just lucky I love making them.

Abby xx

 

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A Picnic Rug

I’m very pleased with this little project.

I’ve spent a long time lusting over pretty picnic rugs, and finally decided to make my own for this Spring and Summer.

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It’s made from a vinyl topped table cloth (for waterproofing the back) and patchworked duck cloth.

This was an easy little project. The most time consuming part was hand stitching the binding. At a fairly slow pace, I knocked this project over in a week.

I bought this ‘beautiful’ tablecloth on ebay for $8. I figured it didn’t matter too much what it looked like, as you wouldn’t see it when the rug’s laid out anyway.

table clothOnce I’d quilted the patchwork top to the backing, I trimmed off the excess table cloth, and then added the binding. I made the binding myself, because I’m too cheap and fussy to buy bias tape.

Here’s a glimpse at how the back ended up looking.

IMG_5508Penny was insistent on helping me take photos.

IMG_5505I’ve been toying with the idea of adding some hand embroidery to my quilts lately, so I thought I’d try it out first on this rug.

IMG_5502It’s not perfect, but practice makes perfect!

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As per usual, I made far too much bias tape, so I sewed around the edges of the left overs, and then sewed the strip to the back of my picnic rug, to hold the rug together when it’s rolled up.

and here’s the finished product.

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IMG_5512I’m so happy with it, and can’t wait to have our first picnic with it!

Abby xx

 

 

 

 

 

A Busy Week

It’s been a busy week for us!

We started out with picking Matt up from the airport after a work trip on Saturday night, just in time for Father’s day the next day.

Miss E and I made this cute little card for Daddy. Idea found here.

fathers day card 1

fathers day card 2

 

(Daddy’s version doesn’t have the heart over the face!)

We spent our Father’s day visiting our Dad’s, having a picnic lunch, watching the footy (Australian rules football)  and then moving all the furniture in the house when I decided I wanted a change at 8:30pm on a Sunday night. Haha, he’s a super daddy and a very patient husband!

On Monday we took Miss E to the Royal Adelaide Show.

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I think we had more fun than Miss E did, but she really enjoyed seeing and patting the animals.

IMG_5181This might have been a nicer photo without my double chin. Ha!

She wasn’t too sure about the clowns, but was pretty happy with the pink fairy wand she won as a prize!

It feels like I’ve spent half my days saying ‘No’ on repeat. She may not be crawling yet, but she rolls EVERYWHERE and is in to EVERYTHING. We had a 20 minute argument about not touching the speaker here.

speaker

As you can see in the picture above, with the cords hanging about, we’re still in the process of sorting out new homes for everything after I insisted on moving all the furniture around.

I worked Thursday, and Matt spent the day with Miss E, managing to slip in an IKEA trip to buy some shelves for our new play area.

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There’s a lot more work to be done in here, but we’ll get there eventually.

In the moments in-between, we’ve been enjoying all that Spring brings to our garden.

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The creek is greening up, and looking like a bit of a jungle.

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and our apricot tree is starting to blossom. I can’t wait to see all the flowers out.

and now it’s the weekend, and I’m looking forward to some couch time, reading a book, and finishing off the quilt I’m working on.

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week too!

Abby xx

Craft projects of yesteryear – Part 1

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a craft project (or 4 or 5) on the go.

As I tidy out my spare bedroom, I’m finding some of my old craft projects, and I thought I’d share them with you.

When I was four, I would construct houses out of paper and paint anything and everything with glitter. My Nanna taught me to knit when I was five or six, and I started knitting myself a scarf which I of course never finished.

When I grew a little older, my craft of choice was cross stitch. I remember going through a stage of cross stitching bookmarks, though where they’ve all ended up now, I have no idea.

In a recent effort at tidying my spare bedroom, I found these stuffed in the bottom of a box.

cross stitch 1

cross stitch 2

cross stitch 3

I don’t remember making any of them, and I’m not sure what I planned to do with them. I love how they were all stitched into a coffee stained piece of aida cloth that I assume my Mum was planning on throwing out, before I whisked it away. I’m not sure what was going to be in that bathtub either!

A project I do remember working on was this ‘lovely’ blanket. The first blanket I ever made.

first blanketThis was my summer holiday project when I was thirteen. It was a feature on Better Homes and Gardens, and the front cover of that months magazine. I bought the magazine with the pattern in it (I was a ridiculously cool teenager. Ha!), and Mum took me out to buy the polar fleece fabric and yellow wool. I cut out the squares, blanket stitched the edges and sewed them together all in a few days.

I was so proud of that blanket. It sat on the end of my bed for years. These days it lives in the bottom of a box. It may not be pretty, or very well executed, but I’ll never throw it out!

It’s nice to look back at where you started out, and see just how far you’ve come.

I’ll share more of these gems with you as I dig them up.

Abby xx

 

Crochet blanket: Finished!

IMG_7417Finally!

Remember way back in May when I mentioned that I’d started crocheting a baby blanket (here) and soon after realised how time consuming and expensive it would be and decided to keep it for myself?

I’ve finally finished that blanket!

It’s not perfect, but I’m okay with that, I’m sure I’ve said it before, handmade is not supposed to be perfect.

IMG_4964Here is my terrible ‘I’ve just finished it and even though it’s dark, and the light is terrible, I have to share it immediately’ photo.

book and blanketI’m not minding our chilly start to Spring so much now that I have this baby to keep me warm while I’m reading.

For some reason, I cannot recall it now, I decided to crochet this blanket using two strands at a time. This made it double the weight and double the cost, but also doubly warm and cuddly.

folded blanket

blanketNow that it’s finished. I’m happy to put away the crochet hook until next winter.

Miss E enjoyed the time I took taking these photos. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the incredibly good looking baby that lives in our walk-in-robe mirror. Hehe.
IMG_5016On to the next project! Sewing this time 🙂

Abby xx

 

 

August roundup

 

We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this month, as well as Miss Penny’s birthday, and the rest of the month was pretty cruisy. Just the way I like it.

IMG_4240Matt found some ricotta cheese going cheap and so decided to make spinach and ricotta ravioli. Somehow I got conned in to helping. See those little fork marks on the edges? I did those!

IMG_4339Miss E and I explored the kitchen cupboards for things to play with. A muffin tray full of duplo bricks makes a fantastic sound when you kick it! Or so Miss E thinks…

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Matt had my best interests in mind when hiding the chocolate, but I found it anyway.

He also had a bit of a funny mishap with chopping down a tree.

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Someone has discovered the TV cabinet drawers and cupboards.

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We’ve made a point of making our Sunday’s a family day, and usually end up in a park somewhere.

IMG_4660Penny and I have been putting our feet up and soaking up the sun whenever we get the chance.

Speaking of sun, I can take further advantage of it now with my new washing line! Woo!!!!

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I’ve been reading:

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.

This was a fascinating read. Northup was a free African American man, kidnapped and sold into slavery. This book was his account of his experiences as a slave for 12 years. It’s a heart wrenching and heart warming story about the best and worst of humanity. It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I’d sunk my teeth into it, I devoured the whole thing in a couple of days.

I’ve been making:

IMG_4236Some cute little bibs for a beautiful baby boy we met last week.

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I finished another triangle quilt top but haven’t gone any further with it yet.

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I then made another quilt as a gift which I can’t share just yet, but here’s the bias tape that I decided to make instead of buying pre-made. Everytime I make a quilt I tell myself to buy bias tape this time, then when I go to buy it I think it’s a waste of money and decide to make it. Then when I make it, I vow to buy it next time. Only to repeat it all over again.

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and the crochet blanket is so very nearly done.

I’ve been listening to:

I downloaded the ‘I Heart Radio’ app, and have been listening to some new music that’s similar to the stuff I already know and love. I tend to listen to the same CD’s and playlists over and over again, so some new tunes feels refreshing and helps makes boring housework a little more bearable.

August, you were swell, especially this last glorious sunshiny week!

Here’s to September, and Spring!

Abby xx

Five minute handmade cards

In my ongoing effort to save money, I’ve decided to no longer pay $5 for a card every time a birthday or event rolls around.

Several years ago, before I had a sewing machine and started crocheting, my craft of choice was scrapbooking. Along with scrapbooking I made all my own greeting cards, but the time I spent making these cards was ridiculous, and definitely not possible now that I’m a mother/teacher/sewer/crocheter/cook/cleaner/wife/etc/etc.

washi tape

Thankfully, I’ve just discovered Washi tape (yes I realise I’m very late coming to the party on that one!), and so after stocking up on about $15 worth of tape and using some card stock I already had, I’ve made 20 cards, that are ready to go for the next birthday/engagement/baby, for a fraction of the price that I would be paying at my local newsagent.

card 2

and the best part, each card only took a few minutes to make.

How I did it:

  1. Found some quotes I liked on Pinterest by searching ‘love quotes’, ‘birthday quotes’, ‘baby quotes’ etc.
  2. Typed my quotes into a word document and placed them where I thought they would look best on the card.
  3. Cut some A4 card in half and adjusted my printer settings, then printed a few of each quote onto cards.
  4. Folded the cards and decorated with Washi tape.

card 3

The most time consuming part is getting your layout and printer settings right, but once you have that sorted, you can print as many as you like within a few minutes. The tape decoration is a two minute job.

card 1

Quick, cheap and simple. Perfect.

Abby xx

 

 

Another triangle quilt

It seems I have a triangle quilt addiction.

I’ve recently started another equilateral triangle quilt, to get through some of my many fabric leftovers.

It’s the biggest quilt I’ve attempted yet, to fit a single bed.

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IMG_4205Lots and lots of triangles. I originally worked out that I was going to need 216, then as I started cutting them out I began to wonder whether I’d miscalculated. Yep, I only needed 132. Glad I realised that before I’d cut out 216!

IMG_4208Taking up half my lounge room floor.

IMG_4210My very professional method for keeping them in order.

IMG_4281The top all together, and some evidence of my triangle addiction, with the triangle quilt Miss E uses as a play mat, on the floor.

Now to go buy some batting, make the backing and some bias tape, and we’ll be ready to quilt!

but, I’m already distracted by the next project….

IMG_4282Abby xx

July Roundup

If I had to describe July in one word, that word would be ‘Cold’. Frosty car cold. But aren’t the patterns in the ice so pretty?

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but somehow, not cold enough to slow down our veggie garden! How weird is that strawberry?!

IMG_3704I’ve spent a lot of time this month making baby food, and stocking up the freezer.

IMG_3682Matt’s been tidying up and organising his man cave. I’m jealous and thinking that I need my own man cave!

IMG_3910and working on the pizza oven that I wrote about here.

IMG_3869Penny’s thoroughly enjoyed having Matt working in the yard, and forgetting to close the car doors.

IMG_3868I took advantage of a bargain at the supermarket and bought myself some pretty tulips! I just wish that they looked like that forever, and not as sad as they look now 😦

IMG_3907and I had my hair chopped off, not exactly the way I’d hoped to.

IMG_4011Miss E learned how to sit up this month, and now gets cranky any time she find herself on her back or belly.

She also had her first swimming lesson and absolutely loved it. She spends so much time kicking her legs all the time, that we knew she’d have to be a little fish in the pool!

e swimming lesson

I’ve been reading:

I finally finished reading Jane Austen’s Emma. I’m not sure how I’d managed to get so far through life without having read it before!

I enjoyed getting lost in the 19th Century romance, but didn’t enjoy it as much as Pride and Prejudice but I guess that’s to be expected, given that Pride and Prejudice is the far more popular of the two!

I’ve picked up Shantaram again, as I mentioned here, and as I expected, haven’t got very far with it yet!

I’ve been making:

Lots of things it seems!

IMG_3673The Taggy Cube I wrote about here.

princess and bookThe Princess and the Pea playlet I wrote about here.

IMG_3956Some fabric blocks for Miss E to play with.

IMG_3769and work on the crochet blanket continues, a little slower than before, but I’m still going!

I’ve been watching:

Not much really.

Though this little video popped up on my Facebook newsfeed the other day and made me stop and think…

Maybe I should try baking more!

I’ve been listening to:

A couple of weeks ago we went for a bit of country drive to visit some of my family. A four hour trip, and broken radio reception, meant we listened to podcasts on the road.

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One podcast we listened to was a conversation between Richard Fidler and John Safran, an ABC radio presenter and a Triple J radio presenter, respectively. This podcast was fascinating, talking about John Safran’s new book about a murder case in Mississippi. Now I need to read the book! Well played Richard and John!

July, you were lovely!

August, some sun please!

Abby xx

Day in the life of a SAHM

This is a long one, sorry!

Before I had children, I was one of those people who wondered what on earth Stay at Home Mums did all day. Surely with all that spare time on their hands they could be doing so much!

and then I became a Stay at Home Mum…

Someone once asked me whether I’m getting bored with all that spare time on my hands, and I laughed. When they asked me what I did all day, I couldn’t come up with a good response. Some days it just feels like you’re on the go all day, and then when you turn around at the end of the day, you can’t recall a thing you’ve done.

So today, I’ve decided to record what I actually do all day.

It’s definitely not a jam packed day, and I do get some down time, I just don’t always get to choose when that is, or how that is.

My Ordinary Tuesday:

6:15am – Matt gets up for work.

6:30am – I get up, thinking that I’ll be able to have breakfast with Matt before Miss E wakes up, and maybe even sneak in a shower! No luck, she wakes up. I go to her and discover an explosion… I call Matt in for back up. He takes the clothes and puts them in a bucket to soak, and I deal with the baby. Nice start to the morning!

6:50am – Miss E and Matt play while I tidy up and prepare her bottle. I feed her and put her down to play, while I have a cup of coffee and read some blog posts.

7:20am – Matt leaves for work, Miss E and I play with the sensory basket. I watch her as she sorts the items into ‘things that make noise when you shake them’ and ‘things that don’t make noise when you shake them’. I take photos and videos, and send text messages to Mum and Matt declaring her a genius.

emptied sensory basket

8:00am – Feed Miss E her breakfast and then set her up to play in her highchair while I bag up the frozen puree I made yesterday.

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8:30am – Naptime! As soon as she’s asleep I eat my breakfast, have a shower, fold some laundry, unload and load the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen and just as I start doing the dishes, she wakes up.

folded laundry

9:45am – Plonk Miss E in her highchair again while I finish the dishes and make some more puree.

10:15am – Read a book together, play together for a few minutes, then leave her with a bowl full of plastic coins to play with while I try to hunt down an email and sort out some work related stuff.

10:45am – Make myself a cup of coffee, grab some meat out for dinner (I’m a bit of meat bargain hunter) and sit down to finish the sewing I started last night. Stop and start my coffee sipping and sewing a million times to sit her up after she’s fallen over or help her get the toy she’s thrown out of her reach.

meat

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11:00am – Feed Miss E her bottle, then reheat my coffee and try to finish my sewing. Give up on the coffee and sewing after having to do a nappy change, realising the nappy bin is full, as is the dirty clothes hamper, which I empty. Put a load of washing in, and deal with this mornings soaking clothes. After putting the load of laundry on, I walk through the kitchen and find three dirty bibs that should have been in the same load. Sterilise some bottles while I’m in the kitchen.

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11:30am – Miss E, Penny and I all have cabin fever. It’s a nice day outside so we go tend to the veggie garden, talk to the neighbours chooks, sit on the stairs in the creek a little while, listening to the kookaburras and watching Penny explore. Then Miss E has a swing while I water my seedlings.

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IMG_3950(wearing Matt’s thongs because my gardening shoes seem to have gone wandering. I suspect Penny may have played a role in their disappearance)

12:00pm – I prepare Miss E’s lunch, all whilst singing a song about how I’m preparing lunch, to the tune of Mary had a little lamb, to try and stop her grizzling. This is only the third time she’s tried chicken, and she hates the texture. She spits most of it out, then gags on it. I give up and give her pear and apple instead. She plays in the lounge while I clean pumpkin, carrot and chicken off of everything within a 2 metre radius.

12:15pm – I give Miss E a catalogue to play with / rip up while I eat my lunch (last nights leftovers). This amuses her for about five minutes, and then she decides she’d rather pick dog hair off the carpet and eat it. I rethink my previous genius statement and try not to take it to heart that she’d prefer eat dog hair to my cooking.

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12:30pm – I put Miss E down for a nap, and quickly vacuum the dog hair off of the carpet before she goes to sleep. I start writing this post before I forget everything, or lose the piece of paper I’ve been writing stuff down on.

1:15pm – She wakes up crying. I get her up, and try to get her playing, but she’s grumpy and clingy.

1:45pm – I put her back in her cot in hopes she’ll sleep some more. Success! Back to blogging.

2:15pm – I go to grab the laundry basket that’s still in our room and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. So glamorous in my ugh boots, daggy clothes, and covered in baby food. Go and hang out  the washing.

daggy mum2:30pm – Try get this sewing finished!

3:00pm – Finished sewing. Waste some time on social media & unload dishwasher.

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3:30pm – Afternoon snack (ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Culinary Genius). The second my food is ready, Miss E wakes up. Give her a bottle and then play.

4:00pm – Put away her washing and sort through what fits and what doesn’t (I swear I have to do this every couple of weeks. She grows so quick!) A bit of play time, then a coffee for me while she plays happily by herself. Yay!

5:00pm – Matt gets home and we have some family time before I feed Miss E her dinner and he starts cooking our dinner. After Miss E’s had her dinner, I give her a bath while Matt finishes cooking dinner.

6:00pm – We eat dinner and I clean up the kitchen while Matt gives Miss E her bottle. He then explains how the internal combustion engine in her toy truck works.

6:45pm – I head to my parents place to pick something up for Matt, while Matt stays at home and puts Miss E to bed. Stop by McDonalds for a McFlurry on the way home. It’s every bit as bad as I should have known it would be.

7:45pm – Home again, and parked my butt on the couch.

8:30pm – Miss E wakes up, and I give her the ‘dream feed’ early. Then back to the couch.

9:15pm – Writing the last of this blog post, re-reading it and scheduling it for the morning.

9:30pm – Blog post all sorted for tomorrow. Miss E’s still unsettled and Matt’s attending to her. He’ll be off to bed soon and I’m hoping she’ll settle enough that I can too!

Abby xx