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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A dozen fertile Wyandotte eggs for our 'Broody Trudy'. She looked so very delighted, if ever a chicken did! We are so excited to be hatching another brood as we did last year.

And just one photo from Clem's birthday party, showing the cake. For the third time I made him a Miffy cake, by his request, except this time he wanted chocolate cake with chocolate icing and the boys all decided it was Miffy's friend Aggie, the brown rabbit, instead.

Hooray for the beautiful simplicity of Dick Bruna drawings.

And, watch this space for fluffy chick pics in less than three weeks, eek!

- Jane x

Saturday, October 13, 2012

KCWC - tee two with tie

Clem is having his birthday party at home tomorrow so I thought he would like a new t-shirt to wear. And because I bought a bunch of these coordinating Farbenmix knits (partly with a voucher I won from Crafty Mamas, lucky me), it's clearly in the same 'family' as Jasper's tee from yesterday.

Before I could take some decent photos of it there was food down the front but I don't think you can really pick it in these trampoline action photos, where Clem was willingly letting Jasper bounce right over the top of him, even though it was clearly unnerving.

(covered as usual in bandaids and temporary tattoos)
Pattern: Ottobre Best T-shirts, with bands added on the sleeves, calculated at .85 x circumference of sleeve ends so they pulled in a bit

Fabric: Farbenmix cotton/elastane jersey from Crafty Mamas (I cut the neck and sleeve bands from the wide stripe version of the red/turquoise knit)

Iron-on: another from Crafty Mamas

Tie tee is in the wash as I write, ready for party duty tomorrow!

- Jane x

Friday, October 12, 2012

KCWC - beetle tee

I really wanted to take part in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge this time. I didn't sign up last time and then I felt a bit left out when I saw the awesomeness everyone else was posting on their blogs.
This time, when I tried to put the KCWC button on my blog it wouldn't fit on the sidebar. Maybe I should have taken that as an omen. As I previously posted, it's been quite a week here. The hour-a-day of sewing thing hasn't been happening.
But today I managed this:
Pattern: Ottobre Best T-Shirts (skinny version)
Fabric: Farbenmix cotton/elastane jersey from Crafty Mamas
Beetle: iron-on velour from Crafty Mamas

Am I still allowed to call this a KCWC achievement if I haven't adhered to the rules? It was certainly inspired by KCWC. The volume and quality of garments being sewn out there is simply incredible.

How cool is that iron-on beetle? And it's fuzzy!

Okay so enough of the cool cropped photo stuff, let's see this kid enjoying his new t-shirt.
That's more like it.

- Jane x

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

a tribute on the smallest's 5th birthday

Whew, it's only Tuesday and it's been quite a week already.
Daylight saving began on Sunday.
Monday was Clem's first ever day at school, so we not only had to get everyone up, organised and out, it was also an hour earlier.
He had a great day.
Today he is five. At 5.38am this morning he shouted "birthday!" in delight.
Despite the early awakening we still managed to be a little late for school.
Everyone has a bit of adjusting to do with this new routine and nerves will be (have been) a little frayed.
But I would like to repeat the wisdom of my wonderful, patient, clever, dear husband, uttered at just the right moment this morning:
"Life's a pain in the ass, but I wouldn't want to be doing it with anyone but you."

Back at ya, babe.

- Jane x

Saturday, October 6, 2012

this moment

Inspired by Soule Mama: "A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Actually, one word: dandelion.
- Jane x

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spring Sunday

Sunday of a long weekend was spent at my parents' bush block in the hills.

Spring wildflowers are out, mostly tiny little lovelies that you need to look for close to the ground. My absolute favourites are these climbing sundews (carnivorous plants), here amongst some blue orchids.

 Bush 'art' by my Dad.
 Evidence of echidnas.
 Piling up old logs to make habitat for lizards, birds, and um, probably snakes.
 Native cherry. Edible but would be a bit difficult to survive on.

 More spring wildflowers.

 'Running Postman' which likes to spring up in areas where we've had a bonfire.
Smoke in our hair, smoke in our clothes.

Loving the season before the (very necessary) total fire ban kicks in.

I hope your week is a happy one!

- Jane x
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