Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The last few weeks in photos

I have to touch on the horrible violent event of last week, just to acknowledge it as I post my daily normal-ness here. Sigh. Surely some things must really change? We can't just become numb or put it in the too hard basket can we? It's been occupying my mind a lot. Anyhow. That's not why I'm here right now. Moving on (here, now).

For twelve years in this house we managed with a bathroom that was horribly ugly and became more broken and leaky and damp and nasty until we had about four plumbers standing around looking at pipes and saying it was, really, not worth investigating and mending any further. Hello, dear bank lender....

Now we have a nearly-finished bathroom that is just so luxurious in comparison, despite being only 2.1 x 2.1 metres square, and sure beats the heck out of 'washing' ourselves in the laundry sink as we did for several weeks. It's fabulous. And I have wanted one of those telephone-shower things in the bath for as long as I can remember.

We've picked strawberries and made jam. Clem's drawing and writing has taken off like a rocket since he's been at school. Um, including a lovely picture of 'farmers' on the wall by his bed. And spelling Jasper 'JasB'. He has been running a shop out of his bedroom for a couple of weeks, selling us back our wine collection and his toys and books in exchange for handfuls of buttons. Cute as that may sound, he has been driving us all nuts on the behaviour front at home. We have researched more strategies that include a lot of clear, consistent (and firmly enforced) rules, calm in the face of tantrums, encouragement in self-help skills and chores/responsibilities. It's coming along.

I have sewed a bit, including the 'shorts' (longs) for Clem from Cloud 9 organic Ed Emberley lions and tigers, which I have loved for ages. Also, a dress for me that you can hardly see in the pic above and I really should devote an actual post to because although it's incredibly simple it has been in high, high rotation in our speedily warming summer.

Charlie's been sewing. We have Wanderer caterpillars. A friend and I have been working very hard to set up a new business (more on that, I hope, soon!). You know. Life. 

I hope yours has been safe and happy.

- Jane x

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's my coffee, bitch?

this morning
Clem: "What's my coffee, bitch?" 
Me: "Ah, what was that?" 
Clem: "What's my coffee, bitch?" 
Me (struggling not to laugh, Andy almost crying across the room): "What do you mean by that?" 
Clem: "Is it a face, or a bird, what is it?" 
Phew... as I thought, he was mucking around with the word 'picture' i.e. what did his coffee froth look like. 
And um, he likes a decaf. Bitch.

- Jane x

Sunday, November 18, 2012

glorious mud

Playing with mud is generally awesome and to be encouraged.

Going back and playing with mud after cleaning up and changing into fresh white taekwondo uniforms just before a grading (test for new belt level), not so awesome.

- Jane x

Friday, November 9, 2012

baby chicks!

This post is a bit overdue since the chicks hatched last Saturday. But 'better late than never' has become a bit of a theme for me lately.
We did not have the best of luck with our chicks this time. From a dozen eggs, one broke early on and in the end just three hatched. One of them was apparently stepped on as it emerged and sadly, had died when we found it. So only two sweet chickies remain.
Our broody hen had been so diligent and dedicated, I couldn't imagine the hatch rate was her fault. I contacted the breeder and she confirmed similar results with other recent hatches. There were two roosters 'responsible' for these eggs and one has apparently not been doing his job!
Nevertheless, we have two ridiculously cute babies that are receiving plenty of loving attention.

There's also a chance we may yet get another broody hen this season, and be able to try again. The Wyandottes seem to be a rather broody breed. Our second Silver Laced girl decided to join Broody Trudy on the nest an about day 18 (of 21). Actually the poor chicky that was squashed probably resulted from this as Trudy was a bit crowded on the nest. Anyhow, just like last year we now have two proud 'mother hens' showing the babies the ropes.
(Trudy is on the left with the pale and shrunken comb, a result of being broody for some weeks.)

And now onto sewing news, and some quite practical sewing at that. Charlie and Jasper now require USBs to bring some of their homework to and from school. But a USB is so small! How is a ten or eleven year old to be responsible for something like that? Why, with the help of a USB Key Fob, made from the clever pattern by Nicole Mallalieu.
Of course, I really should have thought more about using pale colours with grubby ten-year-old hands.
Below is Charlie's; he picked the fabric to go with the pencil case he made himself a while back. It's just waiting for me to find it a hook to clip on and off his schoolbag.
And in the next photo you can see how it works: open the snap and the USB can be used while still snug inside. (There's a buttonhole behind so it can be removed and replaced if need be.)
The pattern looked over-complicated to me at first glance. However when I read it through properly and followed it step by step, I realised it was in fact very precise and helpful. The detail helps in achieving a very neat and satisfying finish.

We have a very busy weekend coming up which exhausts me just thinking about it. It's all good stuff, but I just wish I could spread it over about five weekends, you know? It starts with the Christmas Pageant tomorrow morning, which means a certain five year old will be fully hyped up for the season from tomorrow onwards. Deep breath and dive in, hey?

- Jane x

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Washi in action and a hat for Clem

 Action shots of the linen Washi Dress? Sure!

We headed to McLaren Vale today to pick up a little bargain I scored on Gumtree (like Aussie eBay). A great excuse to pop into a couple of our favourite spots in the region on such a stunning spring day.

For any locals who might be interested, this amazing swing is at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre. It's made by French company Proludic (as is the rest of the great playground equipment there) and if we suddenly came into a bunch of cash, we'd totally install one of these in the backyard. So much fun.

We dropped into a favourite winery, Alpha Box & Dice (whose website does them no justice whatsoever so I won't link to it!). Unfortunately their old pinball machines weren't working so no joy for the boys there but there was space to run and a loquat tree to pillage.

And here is Clem in his 'Huck Finn Cap', a Sew Liberated pattern. He wasn't sure about it so I am endlessly thankful to the very cool staff at Alpha Box & Dice for lavishing on the compliments about it. He kept it on the rest of the day.

The front of the cap top is meant to be tacked down to the brim to give it that proper tweed cap sort of look, but I quite like this more newsboy-style. I think I'll leave it. Great pattern and this, the 4-6 years size, is perfect for this 5 year old.

Later there was a birthday celebration for Andy's sister's husband at a hills pub. Ah, spring Sunday! Just what we needed after a busy week with Andy mostly away travelling.

I hope your weekend has been lovely too.

- Jane x

Friday, October 26, 2012

Linen Washi Dress

I have joined the Washi Dress party. Whoohoo! I love it.
Only 'on the hanger' photos at the moment since Andy (photography slave) has been away most of the week and in any case, the weather has decided to put me back in cardies and boots for now.

The details:
Pattern: Made by Rae Washi Dress (let's not talk about the amount I spent on new ink for our printer so I could see all the sizes in their pretty colours).
Size: L (I muslined the bodice as suggested and it needed no alterations. No alts = yay! Size L = get over yourself, me.)
Fabric: luscious, lovely Lithuanian linen that my mum brought back from an overseas holiday.

The half-metre of the patterned linen she gave me was just enough for the bodice front and back. Perfect!
And oh how I love the wrinkly, nubbly, fibrous nature of the main natural linen fabric. In these pictures the dress has been worn, washed and ironed and I can tell it will develop a beautifully lived-in feel. I think I'm going to live in this over summer.
The back of the dress is usually cut as one piece (bodice and skirt together). Because I ended up with a fairly chunky seam where the two fabrics joined, I thought the usual elastic shirring might not be strong enough to gather it up. So I used 1/4 inch elastic instead, zigzagged onto the inside by feeding it through the machine foot and stretching a little as I went:

Three rows of elastic and happy days.

I am usually not a fan of facings but the ones (neck only) on this pattern are substantial and purposeful and add structure just where it's needed. I also chose the neat option of stitching them down from the outside. I was able to do this by feeling through the bodice with my fingers as I guided the fabric under the presser foot. So there's nothing flapping about or flipping out and I think the contrast fabric facing gives the dress a lovely finished look.

I will try for some dress-in-action photos soon!

- Jane x

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

things he said

Our littlest one is getting bigger and I think I'm okay with it. The 'last time' things were hard: last day of Kindy, last day of childcare, last regular Thursday morning with Grandma. School? He's loving it and he has his big brothers there to take care of him. I've been really busy. I'm far more positive about it all than I predicted I would be.

I've been keeping a record of the funny little things Clem has said. The following is the contents of a document that's been sitting on my computer desktop and added to for a while now. I don't wish he'd stay little forever but I sure do want to preserve the memories of his littleness.

gingerbread cook
“My tiny ear is very dead.”

"hometel" (what 3y.o. Clem called our hotel base on holiday in Sydney)

“Mama can eyebrows grow?” (Yes) “Mama I guess we’ll have to cut my eyebrows when they get longer and longer and longer until they get down to my tummy.”

“I keep trying to swallow that slug thing down but it comes back up. In my throat. Mama it’s slimy. Do you have one?”

idly singing: “tiny kangaroo bounce… tiny kangaroo bounce… tiny kangaroo bounce” (for Tie Me Kangaroo Down)

“Mama did you have teeth when I came out of your mouth?”
birthday schoolboy

Seeing Georgie Parker on Better Homes & Gardens: “Mama, how did she get there? Did she just crash out of the walls from Play School and just drive there?”

“I’m not four years old. I’m four years new!”

Clem, feeling his chest: “Mama, is your heart hard?” Me “Well it’s a very strong muscle, but it’s not hard like bones.” “Well can it get… can it be broken?”
turning five is exhausting

Long day, Andy out at a meeting, giving cranky Clem a Yakult as dessert and as I popped the straw in he said "is that the last straw?" ... I had to laugh.

Clem: “Mama and Dada, look, I made a butterfly!” (making a shape with his feet) Us: “Oh that’s beautiful darling!”  Clem: “And now…” (changing the shape) “… a dead one.”

“Dada, did you know your hair is part of your eyebrows, because it’s almost starting to touch it.”

don't be fooled by the sweetness

About Justine Clarke, children’s singer: “Mama, Justine doesn’t fart, never ever. And she never ever goes to toilets.”

Clem on the toilet: “Owowowowow it’s a spiky one… it’s a puffer fish kind of one…” (I collapse laughing) “Mama it’s not funny… well it’s a tiny bit funny.”

“Mama is as beautiful as a bird.”

Me to Charlie, about a small school t-shirt: “It’s not the end of the world.” Clem: “Mama, when is it the end of the world?”

Clem, looking at the clothes I chose for him for kindy: "Mama, they won't like that, or that." Me: "Who won't?" Clem: "The girls!"
just hanging

Clem went on an excursion today: "There was an explorsion at kindy this day and we saw a worldpool. And the person talked about the Aborniginal stuff."

I took Clem to visit his baby cousin and afterwards he asked me "How did they know his name is Curtis?”

Doing a wee at the same time as Andy: “You’ve got a giant willy. It’s got smoke coming off it.” (er, it was a cold night)

"Mama, one day I would like to grow some snapping plants. But when they get too old, can you put a string around they mouths so they can’t bite you? Make it very strong?"

"They’re not called women. They’re called womans!"
saying goodbye on his last day of childcare

"Mama, because you eat caffeine coffees, that’s why you’ve stopped growing. But I don’t want to stop growing."

Clem: "Mama, what's at the end of the rainbow?"   Me: "A pot of gold!"   Clem: "No."   Me: "Oh, what then?"  Clem: "Purple!"
reluctant to leave his last day of childcare, doing an endless puzzle

(discussing the goldfish in the pond outside and why they hadn’t reproduced) “We had a daddy fish and he laid some eggs and maybe when he was sitting on them they got too hot so they didn’t hatch. And he died because he got too hot as well.”

"Mama, ‘bye’ in French is ‘konichitty – bood – yeah’."

"I don’t have very listening ears because they’re blocked."

I commented that the piece of wood he was holding had been eaten by termites.
“Termites? Hahaha! It’s ter-na-mites! Not termites. Haha!”

"I’m five and I’m completely five and I go to school!"
all dressed up on his first morning of school

family of five with the newly minted five-year-old
(By the way, a few days later, I cut their hair. All of those mopheads. Not too much, but this was getting ridiculous.)

I do hope that's not quite the end of the 'funny Clem words' document. But he is bursting with pride about his growing up and for the most part, so am I.

- Jane x
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...