Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Finish Line - Blogtober day 31

We made it! And what a great Blogtoberfest it has been. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading so many wonderful blogs, 'meeting' new bloggers and crafty folk, and the fun of posting daily. A huge thanks to Tinniegirl for hosting Blogtoberfest, Cathy you know I think you're awesome :) Thanks also to Curlypops, Badskirt and Cunkychooky for their Blogtoberfest hubs, it's been a blast.

Happy Halloween everyone, have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The home stretch - Blogtober day 30

Today I'm playing my 'Get out of 1 Blogtober post FREE' card! We're on the home stretch. Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Creative Space - Blogtober day 29

This is my first time joining in with Thursday's My Creative Space hosted by the lovely Kirsty at Kootoyoo. My creative space this week is an attempt at some stitchery and some piecing. My little Mr Jumping Bean has just learnt the days of the week (and loves to recite them endlessly). In a fit of madness (cunningly disguised as some attempt to support and encourage his learning journey) I thought it would be fun for him to have the days of the week hanging on his wall so he can read them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy Bee - Blogtober day 28

Firstly, a giveaway update. Thank you to all those who have entered my giveaway so far, the suggestions are great, keep them coming! I have some vintage treasures to add to the giveaway prize - I will update with pics tomorrow as I'm currently flitting around organising our camping trip Done!
If you haven't yet, click here to enter the giveaway. Please enter, I'm still looking for more quilt suggestions!

Vintage knitting patterns, crochet patterns, Vintage Simplicity tracing paper (in three colours!), and a vintage edition of Woman's Day Handicrafts magazine!

Also, due to the long weekend, I will be extending the giveaway until 11pm on 4th November AEDST. I will draw a winner on 5th November. Don't forget to mention the giveaway in your blog for an extra entry 3 extra entries!

In other news, I visited a lovely store today, Mrs Martins Quilt Shop, in Monbulk. The shop is very full, I could have wandered around there for hours (if I didn't have two little 'uns with me and a tent awaiting my attention at home), and Karen (Mrs Martin!) was the most lovely, helpful and welcoming lady you will ever meet. She immediately got out a basket of toys for Mr Jumping Bean which kept him happy whilst I looked for a new embroidery hoop. Karen was full of helpful advice, nothing was too much trouble, and the prices were very reasonable. She runs a number of classes throughout the year, including a sewing circle which I would love to join. It was great discovering this little shop today, and to know that it's not far from my home! Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, but there is also an online shop if you are far far away.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Victoria Fire Danger Period - Blogtober day 27

I have just returned from a 'Fire Ready' presentation in preparation for the official Fire Danger Period which commences tomorrow in Victoria.

We live in a high risk bushfire area, and our plan this summer is to make sure our home insurance is up to date, and not be here on the high risk days.

I hope and pray that everyone stays safe this summer.

Regular transmission will resume tomorrow

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Monday - Blogtober day 26

I was going to play my "Get out of 1 Blogtoberfest Post FREE" card today, but it turns out I have something to say! Two things actually.

First, thank you for the quilt suggestions that have been made so far in my very first giveaway, if you haven't entered yet get your entry in here. Be warned, you have to work for this giveaway, I'm in desperate need of a quilt pattern, please help me find it!
We have reached 10 entries, so I will be adding something else to the giveaway prize. Haven't decided what yet, I'll keep you posted!

Also, I really want to mention another amazing giveaway going on at Kimono Reincarnate. Melanie is giving away a really lovely prize, and there is a link in her giveaway to her etsy store (gorgeous!) and her ebay store where she has some stunning japanese fabrics, including vintage kimono fabrics! I placed a bid. Couldn't help myself :)

Hope you're all having a cheerful Monday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The funniest dessert ever - Blogtober day 25

Today is my little sister's birthday, so we all went out for birthday dinner here which was fun.

The food was pretty good, the service was great and the Margaritas were excellent.

But this dessert really 'takes the cake' (sorry, couldn't resist).

"Dr Tim's Sticky Date Pudding with Self Administering Caramel Sauce".

 *Dr Tim is our local GP, I'm pretty sure he's responsible for this frivolity.

It was delicious.
Happy Birthday J.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Giveaway! Blogtober day 24

Due to the long weekend, I will be extending the giveaway until 11pm on 4th November AEDST. I will draw a winner on 5th November. Don't forget to mention the giveaway in your blog for an extra entry 3 extra entries!

I need help. If you are a regular reader then you probably know this already. However, I need your help specifically to solve a problem. And if you can help me, I'll give you a prize!

I want to make a quilt. Queen size. For my bed. I bought fabric. I am only missing one thing: a pattern.(Well, two things if you count actual quilt making experience).

Here is the fabric I bought:

It's Black and White and Red All Over by Windham Fabrics. I'm a huge fan of red stuff, and when I saw this line of fabrics I fell in love with it, ordered it, and swooned over it when it arrived at my door.
However, now I'm really concerned about finding the right pattern to make a modern looking quilt for my bed.

Originally I thought I might try a Bento Box after I saw this quilt by AmandaJean at CrazyMomQuilts.
But I think that pattern lends itself to less busy fabrics.

I'm actually really worried now that I will not be able to find a pattern I like for this fabrc. I stumbled across a quilt made from this fabric that looks way too busy and bitty for my tastes - here's an example of what I don't want .

I want something bold and modern, with big pieces or big strips. I dont want little pieces as I think with this fabric it will just look messy and bitty (see example above!).

Any suggestions?

I'll make it worth your while! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment with a suggestion for a pattern or a style of quilt, and a link to a picture so I know what you're talking about. Sometime shortly after the end of Blogtober I will randomly draw a winner. The first part of the prize is this brand new copy of waste not want not which is full of 200 ideas for recycling, thrifting, and re-using, and has some great crafty ideas and projects as well. When we reach 10 entries I will add another prize! If the suggestions keep coming, I will add more to the bounty. I am happy to post anywhere.
As a bonus, I will give an extra mystery prize to anyone who comes up with a pattern I actually use for my quilt!

EDITED TO ADD: To get another entry 3 extra entries into the draw, mention my giveaway on your blog :) Leave a comment to let me know if you have.

Added to giveaway prize after 10 comments:

Can't wait to read some suggestions :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Everything's coming up MilHouse! Blogtober day 23

My lovely stepdad called in yesterday to deliver a little gift for me, "an early birthday present" he said:

Aren't I lucky? My very own iPhone :)  I'm still trying to work out how to operate it properly - thank goodness for my good friend Google or I'd still be trying to work out how (and where!) to insert the sim card. Clearly a challenge set by the cruel people at Apple to weed out those of us not clever enough to own an iPhone. If you don't own an iPhone and haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking about, click here and see where the sim card goes. Then tell me if you would have worked that out on your own.

Also, today my goodies arrived from Vic over at Punky and Me. I was lucky enough to win her very first Best of the Fest Giveaway!

Picture from here
Thanks so muc Vic, I love it all, can't wait to get started on the book tonight.

And, just when I thought my day couldn't get much better, the bloke who lives at my place brought me home one of these...

Hope you enjoyed your Friday as much as I did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Menu - Blogtober day 22

When I'm not sewing or covering things with paper,  I like to create colourful delights of another kind.

Tonight's menu will feature a delicious blend of organic butternut pumpkin and potato, lovingly cooked and gently blended. This will be complemented by a generous serving of organic zucchini which has been lightly steamed to perfection and pureed for your dining pleasure. Your dining experience this evening will be completed by a wonderfully light and not-to-sweet serving of perfectly stewed organic golden delicious apples to which I have added just a little pinch of love.

Actually, these are the only things my fussy 8 month old will eat. It could be worse I suppose. And being an organised sort of person I cook in bulk and freeze in ice cube trays, then store them in a freezer container.

I tell myself I make my own baby food for the nutritional value and cost saving, but I think it's because I just love the mix of vibrant colours!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can you guess what this is? Blogtober day 21

I bought these recently and the bloke who lives at my place was pretty excited.
Know what they are?  Go on, take a guess, you know you want to.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Softies for Mirabel - Blogtober day 20

The Mirabel Foundation is doing some great work to support children who are affected by parental drug abuse, and we can all help too, by making a soft toy for Softies for Mirabel. Pop in to Meet Me at Mikes for more information about this great cause, and get sewing!  There are still 6 weeks left to make your softie and send it in to Pip.

I have never made a softie before, but there's a first time for everything! Any suggestions for beginners patterns gratefully accepted!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nine? Really? - Blogtober day 19

Earlier this year one of my friends suggested we join their family for a camping trip in November. Earlier this year, November seemed like a galaxy far, far away. I have just realised that November (and our camping trip) is in two weeks. And not surprisingly I am feeling a little unprepared.

First, a warning: Real Campers, avert your eyes. I have a confession to make. We are camping in a caravan park. *Gasp!* Yes, that's right, a caravan park. Where there are actual flushing toilets, hot showers and level, powered campsites. And now you're asking yourself "how prepared does she really need to be?" Well, I may need to procure a map of the park in order to find my way to the indoor/outdoor swimming pool complex. And I'm wondering about my hair is a powered site after all.

In anticipation of the big camping trip, I purchased a shiny new tent which claims to sleeps nine. When the bloke who lives at my place set it up in our backyard, I realised they meant nine owl softies. Or nine chocolate invaders. Not nine actual life-sized people. I'm hopeful that we will be able to squeeze our little family of five in there, and am eternally grateful I didn't buy a tent that claims to sleep five.

I have packed the sleeping bags, some board games, kites and bikes for the kids, fishing gear, bbq accoutrements and a couple of beers for the bloke who lives at my place. And of course, some portable craft projects for me! I'm hoping to make a start on one of Kirsty's bookmarks while I'm away.

Happy trails!

Sshh, don't tell anyone, but apparently the caravan park has an internet cafe so I'll be able to check in on you all while I'm away!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delirious - blogtober day 18

1 snotty baby + not much sleep + 1 huge mug of coffee = feeling slightly delirious this morning. I hereby command myself to stop staring, bleary eyed, at the multitude of inspiring blogs that have taken over my computer of late and GET CREATING!

I may be back later with something to show for my efforts. Or I may be found in the fetal position on the floor clutching some embroidery thread and pinking shears and mumbling something about quarter inch seam allowances, while my kids forage for food in the TimTam/Mint Slice stash...

Oh, my kingdom for 8 hours unbroken sleep.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why do I create? Blogtober day 17

I have just finished reading The Crafter's Companion, edited by Anna Torborg. Seventeen crafters have contributed a project to this book, and they have all been asked the question: Why do you create?
It's not a something I have really questioned in myself much before, creating is simply part of who I am. But the book got me thinking more deeply about the reasons I like making stuff.

I think mostly it is some innate part of my being, this need to be creative and productive. And I like to have something tangible to show for my efforts. I really really love having an idea in my head and then seeing it come to life in 3 dimensions. As you know, I don't have a great deal of spare time on my hands, so when I sit down to make something, I like it to happen quickly and easily. I don't have enough time to make up templates and samples, try them out, unpick them, adjust them, resew, scrap that idea and start again. So what I do is think through an idea in my head until I'm pretty sure it's ok. I start with a little seed of an idea, toss it round in my head, think it through, actually 'create' it in my mind and watch each step coming together to kind of see if it will work before I actually invest any time in it, write it down, or take to fabric with scissors. Of course, my ideas don't always work, but this process seems to work for me most of the time.

Another thing I love about creating is that it is all about me. Those of you out there with young children will understand what I mean. I gave up my career (gladly!) to stay at home and raise my children, a decision I have never regretted. But I have discovered that when I spend 23 hours a day being on call and caring for three little ones, it is really terribly important for me to be able to put aside the other hour of the day just for me. To do something just for me. Me time. And I love it.

I'm still experimenting with mediums. At the moment, it's all about fabric, but in the past I have dabbled in papercraft, cake decorating, knitting, scrapbooking, decoupage and painting to name a few. But I am loving fabric and all it's possibilities, and I'm learning so much!

Someone in the book mentioned that Craft Blogs are actually taking us back to a time when women used to get together and sew, knit, crochet etc in a group - it's connecting us so we can share our work, inspire and support each other and learn new skills from one another, and continue the wonderful tradition of women being creative together - even if it is in a virtual world!

Aah, I love it when the www is used for good instead of evil.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Knitting Needle Roll - Blogtober day 16

All my moaning and complaining about lack of crafting time seems to have paid off! I have completed yet another little project, a knitting needle roll. It's my first attempt at a needle roll, and also my first attempt at piecing *gulp*. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it.


Lift the flap

The outside

Detail of the piecing on the outside.

The roll is a gift for my mum who knits these wonderful colourful blankets for all the new babies in our life. She has knitted one each for my three little ones, these two belong to my two boys:

Aren't they gorgeous :)

The needle roll was inspired by Tania Howells' needle case in "The Crafter's Companion" edited by Anna Torberg.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Library Bag - Blogtober day 15

Well, after playing 20 (million) questions for most of yesterday, I finally managed to find an hour to throw together another lined drawstring bag, this one is a library bag for my daughter to use at school.
She chose the fabrics herself - pretty funky hey?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why? Blogtober day 14

Why are there two letters for dad in the letterbox?

Because the postman left them there.
Why did the postman leave them there?
Because that's his job, his job is delivering letters.
Why is his job delivering letters?
Because there are lots of letters that need to be delivered, and someone has to do it.
Why does someone have to do it?
Because otherwise the letters wouldn't get delivered, and there wouldn't be two letters for dad in the letterbox.
Why are there two letters for dad in the letterbox?

Why don't I have time to do any crafting?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogtober 13th - lucky for some

On this day, Blogtober the 13th, I do feel lucky. In the words of this clever girl: It's lucky to love craft. I feel lucky to have discovered so many fantastic creative blogs this Blogtober. And, I feel lucky that I have been well and truly bitten by the creativity bug this week. I have new crafty and creative ideas coming in thick and fast, but, frustratingly, no time at all this week to actually get productive. So what to do?

I have started an Ideas Book, to keep track of, and further develop my ideas, and also to remind me to keep trying to make more 'creative time'. With 3 kids and a busy full life, it's not easy.

I would love to know what you do with your creative ideas- do you have an ideas book? How do you make creative time in your busy lives?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eyes ahead please - blogtober day 12

I was checking out this post over at HoppoBumpo this morning. Liesl is playing Eye Spy and is showing off a bright and lovely corner in her study. Hhmm, thought I, if I had a functioning computer with photos, maybe I could play along too.

Still musing over the possibilities, I glanced up at the corner of my kitchen. Uh Oh, bad move.

I have decided that even if I could upload photos this week, they certainly wouldn't be of any corners of my ceiling. Or my floor. I'm pretty sure if I actually take my eyes off my sewing machine/laptop screen and look up I'll just see more cobwebs. I try not to look down either due to the neglected state of my floors.

Eyes ahead, and just keep crafting thanks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Damn you Blogtober! Blogtober day 11

Note to self: blogging is much better with pictures. Phone computer shop tomorrow and plead for the return of the big computer with all the photos on it.

If it wasn't Blogtober I would not be boring you all with these picture-less posts. I would be sitting here not blogging at all, quietly hoping no-one noticed my unexplained absence...damn you Blogtober!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Too much craft? Blogtober day 10

No such thing!

Today Poor Point 3 and I went to the fabulous Northside Makers Market and checked out all the handmade goodies.I met Cam (Curlypops) and Cathy (Tinniegirl) saw their wonderful creations in person, they are really fabulous (the girls and the creations!).

From there we went to the CraftExpo at the Exhibition Buildings where I stocked up on some supplies, added to my stash, learnt to make fabric covered buttons (easy peasy! Who would have thought?), and bought some liquid which will apparently make printer ink colourfast on fabric for a little project I'm working on for a christmas present. Poor Point 3 amused himself by flirting shamelessly with every person who laid eyes on him.

And since I was 2/3 childless it was a relaxed and enjoyable day out! Came home to dinner on the table, so thanks to the Bloke Who Lives at My Place for topping off a perfect day :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Soup Recipe - Blogtober day 9

According to Amy's list, today is the 9th of Stocktober (soup day) so I am sharing with you my own recipe for Pumpkin Soup. I have tested it with the strictest of critics and have received rave reviews, even from The Bloke Who Lives At My Place who hates soup, and the Jumping Bean aged 4 who hates pumpkin but asks for this soup at least 3 times a week.
Let me know what you think!
(Apologies for no pictures of said soup, refer to yesterday's post)

I make a huge pot of soup with these quantities then freeze my leftovers - you can vary the quantities to suit your needs.
2 brown onions

4 or 5 Medium potatoes
1 big wedge of Jap Pumpkin
1 big wedge of Grey Pumpkin
1 half a Butternut Pumpkin
2 Massell Chicken Stock cubes
Pouring cream
Salt and Pepper

Peel and roughly chop the onions, all the pumpkin and the potatoes. Throw into a large stockpot.
Add the stock cubes, and enough water to come up to about 2/3 of the vegies (so they are not completely covered by the water). Don't stress about this, you can add more water later if you want a thinner soup.
Bring to the boil, the simmer gently with a lid on, for about an hour. You can simmer for a couple of hours as long as you keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil dry!

Blend the soup using a blender or a stick mixer. Add the cream during the blending process. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top (optional) and serve with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Is there something going around? Blogtober day 8

My computer has a virus. It's in the shop where it can't do any more damage, waiting to be fixed. Yesterday I tried to log in to my online bank, and got a very weird message asking me to enter my 'funds transfer external'. Hhmm, that looks very wrong, thought I. Quick phone call to the bank, emailed them a screen shot of the message, and they said it looks like a very bad virus :(

The Junior Crafter also has a virus and is home today from school.Maybe there's something going around?

I'm currently blogging from the (temperamental and unreliable) laptop, which means no uploading photos, and therefore one very visually unappealing blog until the computer is fixed.

And of course it would happen during Blogtober.

-Amazing giveaway - limited edition prints (Blogtober Extra!)

There are some pretty amazing giveaways going on in Blogtober, but this one would be particularly awesome to win, so this is an extra post today to share the link with you. Check it out here:
Bespoke Press: the bespoke illustrators project + online sale + giveaway!
Bespoke Letterpress Boutique have given a platform to emerging illustrators and are giving away a set of 10 limited edition prints. Each print is by a different artist, and they are all stunning. Click on the link and leave a comment about which print is your favourite to be in the draw.

To see a full list of all the Blogtober giveaways on offer (and to check out some new and exciting blogs you may not have seen before) head over to

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Special Guest Contributor - Blogtoberfest Day 7

In the spirit of Blogtoberfest I am sharing the love - today's post will be written by The Craft Gypsy Junior Edition (7). Enjoy!

During the school holidays my two friends came over and we watched a tutorial called how to make a little teddy bear from fondant because we were making cupcakes (but we didn't eat the bears because we loved them so much!). The tutorial was super easy!

Mine is the green one in the middle.

One of my friends can't eat gluten so we had to use a special type of flour to make the cupcakes. They tasted exactly the same!
We also made flowers, letters and hearts out of fondant to decorate our cupcakes.

We had so so so much fun.
ps thanks for reading.

by The Craft Gypsy Junior Edition (age 7)
(mum helped with the link, I don't know how to do that yet).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You can still be tough and carry your stuff - Blogtoberfest Day 6

Finished another drawstring bag tonight, this one is for my 4 year old son. 

The little man chose the fabric himself and proudly showed it to his dad last week after our outing to Spotlight. The bloke who lives at my place (who was hoping, I think, for something less...well...polka-dot-ish) rose to the occasion, nodded sagely and said "Good idea having a bag like that Son. So you can still be tough, and carry your stuff."  Much to my amusement, the little man has been repeating the phrase ever since.

Just scraped in for day 6 of Blogtoberfest...I almost needed a late pass!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Delicious Guacamole - Blogtober day 5

Today I'm sharing my recipe for yummy guacamole.

1 Ripe Avocado
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Natural Yogurt
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper

Mash the avocado in a small bowl.
Stir in the yogurt, crushed garlic and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve with Nachos, corn chips, on crackers with fresh sliced tomato, or use as a dip, whatever you like.

Recipe Notes:
I always use Hass Avocados, they definitely have the best flavour.
You don't have to use fresh garlic, a jar of crushed garlic is fine.
I always use Jalna Natural Yogurt because it's simply the best real yogurt I know, but you can use whatever brand you like, you can even substitute sour cream if you prefer (or if you run out of yogurt!).

PS. It goes really well with one of these (just add tequila). Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I see red - Blogtober day 4

Look what I found at Ikea today...

I think I can feel some Christmas decorations coming on.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blogtoberfest day 3 - Drawstring bag

Today I made this great little lined drawstring bag, following this tutorial. It was easy-peasy, and turned out really well! It will make a great library bag, toy bag, or pyjama bag.

I'm making one for each of the kids, they picked out their fabrics last week. This was my practice one (having never made a bag before) so I used this great fabric from a doona cover I thrifted at my local op shop for $1! The cover was reversible, so I had two coordinating fabrics to use, stripes for the outer, and floral for the lining.

Also, you should pop over to Punky & Me and check out Victoria's Best of the Fest giveaway. It's a great way to find out what you should check out  in Blogtober, since there are waaaaay too many fab finds going on at the moment, it's crazy!

And my find for today is this fabulous idea by Kirsty at Kootoyoo - check it out!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 2 - Knock Knock

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Boo who?
Don't cry, it's only a knock knock joke!

Okay, that was a teensy bit lame, but it is my kids' favourite knock knock joke. I'm running with Amy's suggestion of starting Blogtober with a Knock Knock, who's there. So here goes, a few things about me you may not know:

*I'm a serial crafter. Which is why I am still a beginner sewer, knitter, painter, cake decorator, scrapbooker, etc. The Bloke Who Lives At My Place thinks I have a rare form of "shiny kit syndrome" known as "shiny craft syndrome".
*I have OCD tendencies. I am trying really hard to let go, as my drive for perfection often stops me actually completing projects for fear that they may not be 'perfect'.
*I have three kids. Maybe that's why I don't have enough time for crafting?
*I have an unnatural attatchment to my (very large) Tupperware collection.
*My favourite colour is Red.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blogtoberfestivities - Blogtober day 1

I am joining in with Blogtoberfest this month - I'm up for the challenge of a daily post! Hopefully it will be an interesting and inspiring month of posts, and I'm hoping it will motivate me to find more time to be creative.
I love crafting. It's what I do. It's my creative outlet, it's time to myself, it's peaceful and relaxing and enjoyable and stimulating and oh so much fun!
Mostly I enjoy crafting alone (although I'm never really alone, I'm always just a mouse click away from crafty company, thanks girls), but recently my 7 year old daughter and I have been sewing together, which makes a nice change from her being pouty and me yelling a lot.
On rare occasions even The Bloke Who Lives At My Place makes an appearance in My Creative Space, most memorably to help me create 'vegetables' out of fondant for our daughter's 4th birthday cake which was a 3-dimensional vegie garden, and to suggest the use of staple guns, D-rings, dowel and acrylic primer as appropriate solutions to my crafting problems. He's my go-to-guy for 'how to do stuff', and as he keeps telling me, I'm an ideas man. What can I say, we're a great team.
Do you do most of your crafting alone? Or as part of a team? Or with your family, friends or craft group? 

For more info and to keep up with all the Blogtoberfestivities, head on over to CurlyPops and Badskirt. 
Have a great Blogtoberfest!