Friday, August 24, 2012

Hard lessons Part 2: Saying goodbye

When David came home, after we had lunch and more tears flowed, we wrapped the nest in green fabric (Big's choice) and cut it down from the wire. We went outside to the butterfly garden and dug a hole. Bel wanted us to take photos to remember the baby bird.

David said a prayer and then Big helped him fill in the hole.

More tears fell at home when she noticed how forlorn the wire looked without the nest. But she said goodbye and hopes to meet the baby bird in heaven.

Hard lessons and the circle of life

I had actually been looking forward to this post until today. For weeks we have been watching Sun Birds staking out our deck and building a nest. There was much excitement when the mummy bird moved in permanently. We would watch her for ages and laugh as the blue chested daddy bird preened himself while looking at our windows or chattered to the ‘other bird’ in the toy toaster (it’s our old chrome toaster).

We watched closely over the weeks and were over the moon when we noticed the mummy bird bringing insects to the nest in her beak. Big learned so much about how to tell the mummy and daddy birds apart, why it’s important for the mummy bird to sit in the nest, how to be still and quiet so we don’t scare the mummy bird away. We loved their trilling song that sounded throughout the day.

Because the nest is above our play area, the mummy bird actually became quite used to our presence and would stick her head out of the nest and peer at us as though we were just a mild annoyance.

But then…

Last night we noticed the mummy bird’s absence as we ate dinner. David tried to tell Big that it was because the baby bird had flown away. We couldn’t hear the baby cheeping and hoped this was the answer.

But we came home from playgroup this morning and I could see the baby’s head peeping out of the nest. I called Bel over excitedly, noticing the flies too late. The mopping that I needed to do was temporarily forgotten as I held my distraught little girl and tried to answer her questions.

She cried so hard. I cried because I couldn’t take away her pain. I had been so fearful of this happening. But the questions were so hard. It started with her standard, “Why?” But she didn’t want to accept my answers. I told her the baby must have been sick. “But they are not apposed [sic] to get sick.” I then tried to tell her that everyone dies at some point. “Why?” So we can go to heaven. “I don’t want to go. I want to stay here. Will you die? And Daddy? Willow?” My heart broke over and over as I tried to make her understand.

She has calmed down, but every now and then she still asks why. “I don’t like it when baby birds die. If the mummy bird gives the baby lots and lots of kisses, then the baby bird will be happy.” (She saw the mummy bird trying to pull the baby out of the nest. I told her she was kissing the baby.)

I called David to give him the heads up. We are going to take the nest down, wrap it in fabric and bury it when he comes home for lunch. I’m hoping a small ritual will give her some closure.

All she wants to know right now is why it died and if the baby bird is happy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The busyness continues

After we got over Hubby’s birthday, Little turned 1. We still can’t quite believe it! There was a big party planned and relatives arrived from Perth and New Zealand. But the spanner in the works was Big having a febrile convulsion one evening during dinner. An ambulance, emergency accommodation and a babysitter later, we got to the hospital. It turned out she had croup and was given medicine and discharged.

Big being so sick meant that we couldn’t have Hubby’s elderly grandparents and unwell sister come to the party. So it was a bit smaller than we hoped. But Little looked so cute in her birthday dress (fortunately I had made it before all of the family arrived so it was completed before the drama!). 

Grandad had made a cake and the afternoon was enjoyed by all whose immune systems were strong enough to attend!

It seemed that as soon as Big recovered, Little became mysteriously ill with ridiculously high temperatures. So when she became limp and lethargic and incredibly hot, we once again went to the emergency ward. In between temperature spikes, Little flirted with the nurses at 1am and had them madly in love with her! We finally got home at 5am with no answers. It wasn’t until a few days later that a rash indicated that she had a simple virus, roseola.

So, while we waited at home for the girls to recover, I received an interesting phone call. A while ago, I had filled out an application to be part of the Mummy Panel for the ‘Cairns Parenting Companion Magazine’ and I was one of six mums picked! So excited!! I had a very brief photo shoot (just a head shot) yesterday, and will have a couple of comments published in this coming edition.

But did I think with two sick children, new commitments with the panel and simply cleaning the house that I had enough to do? Of course not! I had sold a doll through ‘Earth Toys’ and was feeling pretty good about it. So Hubby said I should start a website. I figured that was too hard, so I launched a facebook page: . And it’s going brilliantly! I have actually fallen behind filling orders for my dinosaur softie, which is a bit stressful, but very exciting! Once I get the dinosaurs made, I’m hoping to have a chance to make some other ideas into a reality this week and post them up on the page. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's been too long and I made a wallet

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, I am a really slack blogger! I do loads that I would love to blog about, but finding the time to sit and write it all out seems to escape me. That has been truer than ever this month!

In July, we had Hubby’s birthday. I want to preface this by saying that I completely and utterly adore him, BUT he’s not as emotionally exuberant as I am. So when I make things that I get excited about, he barely bats and eyelid. I have learned over the last decade + that, “That’s nice” in hubby speak equates to, “Wow, babe! That’s amazing!” in my language. But I still hold out hope that one day he’ll be as excited as I am…On top of this, I don’t seem to be able to find the perfect gifts for him. I have come across presents in clean outs that are still in their original packaging that I gave to him while still in our teens.

So when his birthday rocked around this year, I was stumped. He desperately needed a new wallet, but I loathe handmade wallets. I have no idea what it is about them, but I just think they look dodgy (sorry to any proud wallet makers out there!). But, in keeping with our handmade theme, I set about making him a wallet. I unpicked his wallet (he really moaned about being walletless too!) and painstakingly tried to recreate it out of orange fabric (his favourite colour). I got Big to handle the wallet with paint on her hands (she kept trying to touch the wallet without getting the paint on it, bless her!) and stamped ‘RAIDED’ across the front, because we all get to his wallet before he does!

I hated it! I still do! So, with children in tow, I braved the shops and bought him a leather wallet and a new ipod for ‘Angry Fridays’ at work (the day he plays heavy metal music in the workshop). Our shopping trip dissolved into tears when Big discovered that we would not be presenting Daddy with the wallet that she helped make. Needless to say, the store bought wallet is under our bed in its original packet, while Hubby carts around his one of a kind one.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

June Gifts and July Crafts

We had quite a few birthdays in June. I really am hopeless though and often forget to take photos of gifts before I give/send them. I did it as recently as yesterday. So I don’t actually have photographic evidence of some gifts, like my little brother’s…

But, for the birthdays we celebrated in June, I made the following gifts…

As well as birthdays, we found out that a friend of ours was having a baby. Yay!! I love it when people have babies. It’s (usually) so exciting! So I tried a new technique and hand dyed some organic bamboo terry with blueberries. I was so thrilled with the results that I am going to try some other natural dyes for more ‘Sleepy Worms’ to put in the shop.

I love our zucchini vine. The photos of the Sleepy Worm turned out so well, that I couldn’t resist finding out what other little creatures might alight on the huge fuzzy leaves. This little guy was made for a very dear friend of ours’ mother, H. H has taken me under her wing simply for my friendship with her daughter and my love of sewing. She is forever thinking of us and the girls and sending clothes from overseas, or fabric that she saw and thought I would love to add to my stash. I wanted to show H how much I appreciated her love and thoughts, but she is a phenomenal sewer, so anything I thought of making paled in comparison to what she can do. So I decided to make her something completely frivolous, but (if I do say so myself) incredibly cute!

As well as sewing for friends, we have been a bit crafty with the girls too. Our most recent project, which I saw somewhere while I was trawling blogs, was ‘gnome pegs’. Bel had a blast helping me paint them. I finished their faces and hats during nap time. Even though Bel is learning to sew using an elastic needle and rug base,

stitching tiny hats is still a bit beyond her!

We used non-toxic paints thinned with white vinegar (I read that this helps stain the wood. It seems to have worked). Once the paint was dry, we coated the pegs with bees wax and popped them in a low oven to let the wax melt over them to seal the paint even more and give them a nice shine.

The little pegs are much loved and the blue is much sucked on by Willow. They have joined the ever growing ranks in the doll house. Our next project will involve pom poms. We’ll see how much patience Bel really has when she realises how long it takes to make them!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So much to report!!

Well, I did finish Isobel’s raincoat. While I was very excited about how it was going initially, I am actually a bit disappointed with the outcome. Oilcloth is so much stiffer than I thought it was going to be and that’s exactly what I was hoping to avoid. Oh well! Bel loves it!

When it came time to take photos of it the sun had come out, so we had to improvise! Daddy came to our rescue with the hose.

After Bel’s coat was done, I moved on to what I had been referring to as “the big project”. Bel begged us for ages to get a “high bed” so we finally took the bunk we had in the garage down and did it up for her. By we, I mean David. She loved it! But there was so much space underneath it that she kept filling up with stuff. So I decided to make her a little alcove in which to chill out. Once again, the idea in my head looked vastly different to the finished product, but Bel was stoked. She didn’t come out of her room for days. She kept telling me she was too busy reading to come and play!

David and I designed the beanbag pattern and I made over 100 leaves, 20 odd flowers and 8 butterflies from fabric. In the evening, David strung up some dragonfly lights that we had been saving for our deck. It was loads of work, but her reaction was worth it!

Then, something really big happened. We go out for coffee each Saturday morning and across from our regular haunt, a new toy shop was opening. I fell in love with it simply because of the image on their logo. It definitely looked like my kind of shop! When it finally opened and we went to check it out, David said I should ask if they would sell some of my Waldorf inspired dolls. It turns out, they will!! I now have 3 of them in the shop and more on the way. So if you happen to be in Cairns, check out Earth Toys and maybe buy one of my dolls! I must say, I think they are very reasonably priced. They are between $40-$60 dollars and similar items sell on for $70-$200! They also have many other amazing handcrafted wonders at very reasonable prices.

I must apologise for the blurry photos. I took them on an iPhone and I just have no idea how the use the fandangle contraption!

On a parting note, David cannot believe that I cannot seem to part with my off cuts of fabric and notions. I have crates of them in the garage. But he was not complaining at the fun Willow had playing with a piece of interfacing while eating dinner last night!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A place for princesses and a pretty light!

I seem to find so many ideas from all of the blogs that I read and facebook links. There never seems to be enough time, or space, to try each idea that I find. But two I just had to try are both pretty and functional.

The first one I saw at a birthday party for one of Bel’s friends. This particular girl has an exceptionally talented grandmother! The things she makes gives me craft envy. Not only do I wish I could sew like her, but I also wish I had someone who would just make the beautiful items and give them to me. It would save me a lot of time! But I digress…What I saw at the party was one of those cubbies that fits over the dining table. The one that I saw was fully lined with embroidered flowers, a letter box, a removable door that could be replaced with a puppet theatre (complete with matching wooden spoon puppets). In short, it was completely amazing and every girl’s dream cubby!

I also saw a similar thing on Better Homes and Gardens and then again at the amazing Ikatbag. They were popping up everywhere! I did make Bel a princess tent a couple of years ago, but it got to the point where it had seen better days and she never used it because the slightest gust of wind would send it flapping and she hated that! So I toddled off to the discount fabric store in the city while Grandma was on school holidays and bought the brightest pink fabric I could find with bright green ribbon and purple lace. Then what I had bought sat in my ‘To Do’ stash pile for quite a few months. One day I was actually motivated to begin. I loved what Ikat said, that she woke her girls up from their nap to view theirs for the first time, so I wanted to do the same thing. There were squeals of delight from Bel, and Willow was thrilled that the box cubby had been vacated by her big sister and she could now have dominion over it!

The second thing that I just had to make was a chandelier that I saw on Craftzine’s facebook feed. I did not want to faff about with glass test tubes, so I bought some plastic ones from E-bay. Once again, the magnificent Jay from Birdie & Bug came to my rescue, finding me the perfect flowers for my light. Needless to say, I love it and it makes such a pretty shadow on the ceiling. It also only cost me $50, which I think is an incredible bargain!

So now we are almost half way through the year and 10 weeks away from Willow’s first birthday. Before I even start thinking about that, we have even more birthdays this month and I still have my ever growing ‘To Do’ pile. Stay tuned for Bel’s amazing new raincoat (if I do say so myself!)…

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birthdays in May

We have quite a few birthdays in May, so I just want to post a couple of pictures of my favourite presents that we made.

The first was for a little boy we know. When I asked his dad what he liked, I was told, “Toy Story and dinosaurs.”  So I created this T-Rex, complete with poseable limbs.

I have already posted about my love of Waldorf inspired dolls (I have since put eyes on Willow’s because it creeped David out apparently). So for a couple of birthdays that we ended up missing this month for one reason or another, I made some dolls. The purple haired doll I made a little differently with poseable arms. She has made it to her new home and is receiving much love apparently. The green doll is yet to find her home because I can’t seem to be able to coordinate a playdate with her new family. But hopefully we will get her to where she belongs very soon!

My other favourite was for Bel’s best friend. Her mummy asked for a skirt that would “flick out” when twirling. So I made a simple circle skirt and added a ruffle on the bottom (the first time I’d used my ruffle foot. It was so much fun!). Bel picked the fabric and we also made a matching headband using a yoyo.

The same friend’s party was a butterfly theme. When I pulled out Bel’s wings, they were ruined! They were the kind with stocking like fabric stretched over shaped wire. I never liked them as I constantly had to reshape them and she couldn’t fit through confined spaces with them on. Off we went to Spotlight so Bel could buy the fabric she has had her eye on for months. If I ever lost her in the shop, I was guaranteed she would be looking at the fabric.

I also bought the stiffest interfacing I could get. I drew some wings and cut two from the interfacing so it would be doubled up. Then I sandwiched the fabric, right sides together, between the two pieces of interfacing and stitched it all together leaving a gap for turning. I topstitched around the edges and then soaked the whole thing in ‘Stiffy’ fabric stiffener. Once that was dry, I had an amazing set of stiff but flexible wings. I attached a couple of pieces of elastic, made another circle skirt and a matching headband and we had a costume. Bel was thrilled! She actually made me teary when she put it on and gave me a big hug saying, “Thank you so much for my costume, Mummy. I love it so much!”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Creating Space

It is no secret that we live in a little house. A very little house. It's technically a unit and we have no yard and a teensy weensy little living area. So when it comes to fitting everything in that we need (yes, need, no matter what my husband says!) things tend to become a little cluttered. So when we had to create a nursery for Willow, out came the computer and bookshelf into the living room.

I did compromise with David and got rid of an entire bookshelf of books, but I couldn't part with all of them and insisted that we needed to keep at least one bookshelf. It looked awful. It was overloaded with books stacked every which way and was on a bizarre angle in order to allow access to the power point behind it. The girls would constantly pull all of their books off the bottom shelf, causing a collapse of my precariously built towers of books. Plus, it was the first thing anyone saw when they walked in the front door. Not aesthetically pleasing at all! Something had to be done. Quickly and very, very cheaply.

David took our simply rectangular bookshelf and pulled it apart. He reconstructed it in 5 boxes and only had to buy a little bit of extra wood. We attached it to the wall and painted it with white exterior paint we had left over from painting the house. We figured you can never have too much mould protection on anything up here! David then brought a giant mower box home from work and we cut panels to fit into the back of the boxes (let's just say we weren't the neatest of painters!)

In order to make our cardboard long enough, we cut two pieces and held them together with wooden skewers and masking tape. I was quite happy to cut them 'near enough's good enough' because we were going to cover them with fabric, but David busted me. So I let him take over.

Even the girls hindered him!

The fabric was on sale at Spotlight and it's not very clear, but they are vintage keys in photo frames. I was kind of going for a 'key to knowledge' theme. The contrasting green was chosen by David and a friend of ours, Jay from Birdie and Bug, who both have a better eye for colour than I!

And we put the books back up! I think it looks much better than before and we have been able to put the girls' toybox under it, creating even more space! So now when people walk in, they see my books as a feature, not as an after thought. The way books should be viewed!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mothers' Day at our place

Okay, so it's almost an entire week after Mothers' Day, but we have had a week of fires, sleepless nights and snuffly children. So I am only just getting to this now!

Last Saturday began very emotionally. I was struggling with what to do with Bel (we have removed her bedroom door after Willow had her fingers slammed in it) and then I got a phone call that my dad's house had caught fire. Luckily, it wasn't too serious. There is a bucket load of damage, but fortunately it's all outside the house. I was so glad that I had been on top of the Mothers' Day craft and had that completed by Friday. Bel had such a good time. I am really loving that she is now old enough to actually do the crafts with only a little assistance from me! So she baked...

...and made bubble bath, ensuring that there was enough for her to enjoy that evening. Then Sunday morning, I discovered that the girls and their Daddy had been very busy crafting, just for me!

Sorry about the blurry photo. My good camera is broken and our little one just isn't great in the late afternoon! Each jar also contained chocolate. David tried very hard to keep their goings on a secret, but I already had been told by Bel that they were painted jars. I just wasn't allowed to see them before the big day! I also got a new cuddle bathrobe. It's lovely!

I hope all of the other mums out there had an amazing day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Reviews, reviews, reviews!

I have two Library Thing reviews today. I read the books a while ago, but have only just had time to post the reviews (a wonderful friend has allowed Bel to stay with her at playgroup while I brought Willow home for a nap). So, without further ado, here are my reviews!

Notes to Self
‘Notes to Self’ by Avery Sawyer is a riveting story that deals with adolescence and consequences. Sawyer presents a realistic plot that comes to life through engaging characters, making her story one that teens can relate to.

Sawyer’s plot is a very simple one. Robin wakes in hospital to find that she has suffered head trauma after a fall and she needs to piece her life and memory back together. To add to her angst, her best friend, Em, remains in a coma. The character’s journey reveals the consequences of seemingly harmless choices and the isolation of being different. However, this simple plot is brilliantly revealed through Sawyer’s characters.

There is only a small cast of characters in ‘Notes to Self’. The story is told by Robin and Sawyer has beautifully captured her confusion as she struggles with her trauma. Robin’s mother is typical as she struggles to balance nurturing with her teen’s growing independence, especially as she tries to piece her own life back together. Reno becomes a constant for Robin, accepting her with her injuries when some of her friends do not. Their budding romance is very sweet and his character adds strength to help Robin through her confusion.

Sawyer writes very well for a teen audience. Her novel deals with most of the issues and insecurities adolescents face. While she portrays consequences, it is not done in a condescending manner, making her message more palatable.

‘Notes to Self’ is an excellent book for teens. It deals with pertinent issues such as loyalty, friendship and self esteem. Sawyer presents engaging characters who are dealing with the natural consequences of their actions. It is the sort of novel I could see on a junior high school English reading list.

4 Stars

And They Called Her Spider: A Bartleby and James Adventure
Michael Coorlim’s ‘And They Called Her Spider: A Bartleby and James Adventure’ is an engaging steampunk mystery that is easy to devour. The characters and plot are well presented in an alternative turn of the century adventure.

Set in England, ‘And They Called Her Spider’ begins with a lyrical description of a female assassin who has captured headlines. Bartleby and James are charged by Scotland Yard to find her before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. In a partnership reminiscent of Sherlock and Watson, Bartleby and James sort through the clues to reveal Spider’s identity before it is too late.

The characters are quite dynamic. James, an engineer who loves to tinker and prefers his own company, tells the story. He is quite out of touch with society and relies on Bartleby, a rich aristocrat, to help him avoid social faux pas. Bartleby has a quick mind and a very cheerful disposition. Coorlim’s plot is well presented to allow each character’s personality to shine.

Coorlim’s style is very easy to read. While the story contains appropriate twists and turns, they are not difficult to follow. At times, formatting of the ebook does detract from the story. However, I found myself quite enthralled in Coorlim’s steampunk London.

‘And They Called Her Spider’ is an enjoyable read. As it is quite short, I would prefer to read a number of Bartleby and James Adventures as a collection rather than as standalone stories. As Coorlim’s characters are engaging and the plot is entertaining, I will be looking for more Bartleby and James Adventures in the future.

3 Stars

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A different kind of making do

Not a crafty post today, but still about making do nonetheless. This morning things were going smoothly. The girls and I did the grocery shopping, made it to Spotlight and bought some crafty tidbits for Grandma’s birthday present and Bel’s best friend’s and got home in time to feed Willow and put her to bed. Bel sat down and watched a DVD, did some painting and jumped on the trampoline while I did some sewing. Then Willow woke up (insert ominous music here).

Willow is teething, we think. She doesn’t have any of the same symptoms of teething that Bel or any other baby on the planet has, so it’s hard to tell. But she’s really, really unsettled and screams randomly. I’m hoping it’s teeth! So she didn’t sleep as well as she should have, but was happy enough. I changed her nappy and Bel wanted all of us to jump on the trampoline. Which was fun until Bel decided I was too heavy and cramped her jumping style. Once I was off Willow wanted out because I was gone but Bel still wanted me to watch. So I plonked Willow on the pavers so she could happily play with Bel’s bike while I watched Bel jump.

Within five seconds, it was on. Bel was off the trampoline and insisting that she absolutely needed to ride her bike right now. She almost ran over Willow’s foot and fingers (amazing how babies can have all of their digits in the same place at the same time!) and I roused at her. Bel’s response was to turn around and swipe at Willow with her fist.

Now Bel is an amazing child. She is friendly and happy, not to mention intelligent and affectionate. Until she has to share. Then my beautiful girl turns into some sort of selfish monster. We’ve been using that word so much since Willow has started crawling that the other day, I asked her what she was drawing and she replied, “A selfish.” She thinks it’s a type of bug. Not sure the lesson is getting through there…

So back to today. I got very cross at Bel for attempting to hit Willow and told her it was rest time. She didn’t want a rest, so I responded, “That’s fine. You can have a timeout then.” Cue the worst 40 minutes of parenting I have had to date. Bel flat out refused to go into her timeout. So I did what any wannabe good parent does. I asked myself, “What would Super Nanny do?” Fortunately, I had seen an episode with kids who didn’t like time out at my aunt’s place last week. So off I went, explaining why Bel was in timeout and each time she came out of her room (most of the time I didn't even make it out of the door), I silently placed her back on her bed. Awesome. Except Super Nanny didn’t tell me what to do when one child is refusing a time out and the other is screaming hungry, possibly cutting a tooth, and wondering why everyone is so upset.

This meant I now had two screaming children. I couldn’t put Willow down because her screaming just went up a few octaves each time (I tried the Super Nanny thing for about ten minutes), and I couldn’t back down on Bel’s timeout. So I went into survival mode. I went out on the deck to feed Willow, closing Bel inside the house, while deeply regretting my self control in walking past the chocolate this morning. Surely she would get the hint eventually and calm down? No. My child has the most amazing stamina and continued to howl. Plus Willow was still too worked up to eat and was also screaming. So I joined in. Not with the screaming, but I definitely had tears. I am a teacher. How could I not enforce discipline with a toddler? Then I had a brainwave. I did the Mummy equivalent of sending a troublesome student to the principal. I called Daddy home from work.

Monday, May 7, 2012

And we are back!

Well, we are back! The trip was nowhere near as stressful as I had been anticipating. The girls travelled beautifully thanks to Hubby’s brainwave of setting out at 2am in order to get four hours of driving under our belts before they woke up. The time we spent with the family and friends we got to see was time very well spent and we enjoyed every moment of it. The girls also got to feed elephants at the zoo and go on the Southbank Ferris Wheel.

Elephant feeding at Australia Zoo

Our accommodation everywhere we went was wonderful and we definitely want to give a shout out to Coconut Palms on the Bay in Hervey Bay. The manager was wonderful and the motel was amazing! We stayed there on our way to Brisbane and on the way back. The rainbow we saw over the ocean was just spectacular. My favourite thing about Hervey Bay was that you could turn off the main street and not even 500 metres down the road were amazingly huge properties with cows. My kind of place!

Rainbow over the ocean just outside our hotel in Hervey Bay

We also spent time with my aunt and uncle in Mackay. They are very close to my age and our kids are almost exactly the same ages. Bel and Willow had an amazing time with the cousins and we were really sad to leave. So much so that on the way home, the car broke down and it was nice to turn around and go back to them! We had missed my cousin’s birthday by only a few weeks so we took down a present for him of a magnetic fishing pole and some fish. It was very simple to make. There are loads of tutorials for them on the internet. I used steel washers that Hubby already had in the garage. It was a big hit! I cannot believe it, but I didn’t get a photo of the kids playing with them!

The reason for the big trip at the end of the day was to attend the wedding of my best friend. She had graciously asked me to be her only bridesmaid, so I has very honoured. It was a beautiful day, except that it was raining, misty and a top of about 17C. Obviously the bride was stunning and the groom is definitely worthy of her. The bride was incredibly understanding and allowed me to make my dress (initially I thought it was a good idea, but it wasn’t as much fun in the end…) so that I could feed Willow. Her aunt is a lactation consultant and thought that the best part of the day was me feeding Willow in the back of the church while photos were being taken! Out of the left over fabric, I made dresses for the girls, which got so many compliments! Unfortunately it was wet and cold and the end of the holiday, so the girls weren’t their usual sunny selves and we didn’t get a brilliant photo of us all, but what we have will have to do!

The Wilkinsons in Blue

When we arrived home, we had a new addition to our garden. We did a house swap with some really good friends of ours who also have two small children. Unfortunately their toddler wanted our garden gnome, Ivan, to be a bit more active than he was capable of. While they managed to glue him back together, they also bought him a new playmate to make up for it.

Ivan and his new friend, who is yet to be named
So now we are getting back into routine (yay!) and packing everything away. We have loads of birthdays and Mothers’ Day this month, so it will be quite crafty once I figure out what we will be doing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Travelling Stresses and Easter Fun

We are currently getting ready to go to Brisbane (in fact, I'll probably get into trouble for blogging instead of packing...). We have decided to drive and stop off to see some of our amazing family who we never get to see on the way. The purpose of this trip is to attend the wedding of my best and dearest friend to her amazing fiance (well, obviously she's marrying her fiance...). But before we go, I thought I should post about what we did on our Easter break.

It wasn't much of a break for us. We are not the tidiest people with two kids and we are doing a house swap with another family while we are away. They too have two children, but still, we didn't want them to walk into our awfully messy house! So we cleaned and worked on our renovation projects to get them to a safe standard for other people's little ones. In between all of that, we did an egg hunt:

 And exchanged presents. The girls' grandma is a diabetic, so we don't exchange chocolates. Grandma and Grandad bought the girls clothes for our trip to Brisbane (it's a bit colder down there!) and the game 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos'.

We continued the homemade gift trend and made Bel's Dora doll that her Gran gave her for Christmas a couple of years ago a new ballet outfit (that matches Bel's own ballet outfit) and I made Willow a Waldorf Doll.

I bought the pattern for Willow's doll at Adirondack Patterns (I am in love with their etsy shop!!). The pattern was easy to use and their tutorial had a truckload of pictures and was incredibly easy to follow. I just loved the idea that the face can be left expressionless to facilitate imagination.

After church and the gift giving, we went to the shops to buy some warmer clothes (no luck for me, but we did buy loads for the girls). Along the way, David and the girls had fun with fedora hats,

and pillow displays.

So now we are madly packing and dealing with Bel crying because she wants to play with the toys she packed for the trip. I have voted in our local election and David is out running errands. I will post pictures of our trip and the wedding almost as soon as we get back! Which hopefully won't take as long as this post did. 3 hours just to get pictures in grrrrr!