Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another party present

We finally got to the end of all of Ryan's party invites and this weekend Adele was invited to a party. She was so excited I felt really bad that I had to tell her she couldn't go. We are away at the beach this weekend. Naturally she was a little upset about that. In an effort to make her a little bit happier we made a present for her little friend. The little girl is turning one, so I made a wee skirt (I think I have made one for pretty much every little girl) with a kiwi theme. The little girl is part Chinese and I wanted her to embrace her kiwi side. I used some of the left over silver fern fabric and I found in the fabric chest this awesome pohutukawa fabric. Pohutukawa Tree is a lovely native to New Zealand that flowers around Christmas time, making the bush have a red glow about it. A real summer flower. The trees are along the coasts and usually old and twisted and just have so much character to them. I love them!! The skirt..... I thought I would team the two together as a wee celebration of her NZ side. It is three layers, I cut the first about 4 inches and the last the same. The middle is 2 I think. Then I super gathered the second layer, by this I mean as gathered as I could possibly make it. It used about 4 or 5 time the length of the first layer. So super duper gathered!!!!! Then the bottom I used my trusty old gathering foot. It is a super twirly skirt! Like the most twirly skirt ever!!!!! Of course I now want to make one for Adele and maybe my self. Imagine how much I will need for me, yards and yards!!!!!! We wrapped it up with a painting Adele had done at PlayCentre, perfect!
So yes, off to the beach this weekend, a break well needed!! I am hoping to take my quilt and do some work on that. I want to make a bit of progress, mostly so I can start another one.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Busy old fashion housewife day

Today has been rather busy. It was a perfect spring day. With a slight breeze, so starting my good housewife day I think I have washed, dried and folded 5 loads of washing, including stripping down both of the kids beds. Whew and that wasn't enough, because that deserves a medal, I also set down the next lot of cheese. This is a THE best amount ever. Eight rounds. I brought a couple more containers last time we were in Mirte 10 and Blair added a few holes this morning and we were all set. This meant this time I didn't have to pour any down the sink. Every tiny piece was able to be collected and made into Brie.... come on the next 6 weeks.
Then once I had the cheese doing its thing (and the washing) Blairs parents had given us a big bag of lemons and Blair's favourite cake is lemon cake. Being such an amazing wife I made him lemon cake. Well Adele and I did. She is a great help. I can't remember if I have shared this before or not but here it is.
Lemon Cake
250 grams butter
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of self raising flour
150 grams of yogurt (Today I used vanilla, I use whatever is in the fridge)
1 tablespoon of lemon rind (I also squeeze in the juice, extra lemony)
Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat. Then everything else all mixed in together. Bake 180 for about an hour. Keep an eye on it. I often turn down the heat a little bit after 30 mins or so.
So now while the cheese was doing cheese stuff, cake was baking and washing was drying. I put a chair outside and watched the kids playing in the back yard and sewed on the binding to Ryan's quilt. I picked it up from the quilter a few weeks back and finally have made a start on the binding, 3/4 the way round, pretty pleased. It is a plain olive binding, it was meant to be a teal but I cut them too thin and there was no way I was going to be able to wrap them round. I am happy with the olive, but the teal would have been nicer. The backing is cuddle fabric, plus it also has a batting so it is thick and warm and heavy to put through the sewing machine.
And to top off the day I cooked dinner! Blair was home in the afternoon and kept the kids entertained so I cooked lamb chops and mashed spud. Whew, I must say I am a little tired and looking forward to the kids heading to bed. It has been so full on and loads of smiling faces today. Even though it was so full on it felt more relaxed than the days we are rushing around doing stuff . Adele is already asleep and Ryan wont be too far away. In their nice clean beds. Heaven!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A new top for ME!!!!!

In a wee break from making the kids some stuff I made my self a summer top this morning. The weather has been so lovely that summer really feels so close. Loads of outside play and nice and warm. I love the changes of season so much. Spring and Autumn are my favourites for sure.
Righty the top. I made a simple singlet from a KwikSew pattern, 3407. I was happy with it but I wanted it to be a bit more. The sort of thing that if you are out and about and then it is dinner time, you still feel comfortable sitting down for dinner. O.k that doesn't really happen to us any more but I guess I can dream.
I had some lovely pink merino left over and it turns out to be just enough to do what I wanted. I barely had any left over. So dress it up a little I put a ruffle round the bottom. I would love to say it was all 100% my idea, but I saw a top like it somewhere and replicated it. Well to be fair I do put ruffles on everything so in a way it is my idea too.
Ryan has another birthday party today. This one is a drop off, so Adele and I are going to hang out together in town for a few hours. Not sure what we will do but it will be nice to have some time together, we do a lot together but it is busy stuff, PlayCentre, hanging out in the car and things like that. We might even just go for a walk. It will be nice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

French dress for a kiwi kid

I was really worried that when I started this dress it was going to be too small. I tried the bodice on when it was made and it just didn't seem to sit right at all. But you know I really should just trust these patterns, it has turned out great. It was the Wonderland dress (not the sprout) by Make it Perfect. This is the hardest dress I think I have made. Not because of the instructions, but just because it was tricky. It required loads of pins getting things just right and hence loads of pin pricks. Not so cool. It took me a couple of sessions to make it. With a good few hours of each session working on it. Usually I sit down and do from beginning to end in one go. But not with this dress, I would say 5 or so hours, if not more. Very happy though with how it has turned out. Adele has not taken it off yet, even though it still needs a hem. I really want her to wear it tomorrow so she might have to take it off for dinner. She is developing an obsession with Paris, so this dress is quite a fav! She has a few Barbie books and they are all set in Paris. Every time plays cars or anything to do with travel, she is always going to Paris. How nice would that be!!!
O.k, time to go encourage her out of the dress.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Matchy match

Tragic as it may be, Adele and I have matching skirts. I really wanted a skirt to show my support for the rugby and I really liked the fabric I got for Adele's skirt. I did hum and harr about it a little, o.k. maybe 2 minutes. There is a BIG game this weekend and I wanted to pretty much dress the whole family in black. I even asked Blair if he wanted some shorts. He said no. Not sure why.
Maybe because I said I could do it the same as Adele and I. How cool would that be!!!!
So I made it by sort of making it up as I went. I cut a whole heap of lengths 8 inches wide. Then I measured the first layer about where I wanted it and how loose I wanted it. Then I used the good old trusty gathering foot on my overlocker and put three layers. Then I cut a length about 5 inches, gathered that on. Then sewed up the back. I put a yoga band on the top to keep it up, using merino of course. I didn't even hem it, I just overlocked the bottom. Very comfortable!
So the funny thing is, Adele and I also have matching striped leggings, and of course plain black tee shirts. Look forward to a photo on Saterday, I may go over board!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crumble and fabric

So here is my new book I made the biscuits from. I have used it again, though in my haste to eat it I never took a picture of the finished masterpiece. I made good old fashion rhubarb crumble. Rhubarb, for me, is one of those old fashioned staples. We don't have it much but when we do I always think I should make that more often. This crumble doesn't have a lot of crumble and is more like a cakey crumble. Sometimes you want pudding but really not all the calories. Well I think this is a good compromise as it really is more fruit than cake.
Baked Rhubarb Crisp
500 gram rhubarb cut into 2.5 cm bits
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
thin slice of lemon rind (I took this out before serving)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of spice (I used Cinnamon as I couldn't find any spice in my cupboard)
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Put rhubarb in a baking dish, pour in sugar, water and lemon rind. In another bowl mix butter into flour, add remaining ingredients until it forms into a crumble. Sprinkle over rhubarb. When I made this there wasn't a complete covering of the fruit. Bake in oven for about 3/4 hour. We had it with custard. YUM!!!!
This is the new fabrics I brought. From good old spotlight. The french one if for Adele and the other for Ryan. The french one also has Italy and UK. I could make her one in every country!!!! I am planning the Sprout dress by Make it Perfect and Ryan a standard pair of shorts. With pockets. I made him some without pockets and well I was told shorts must have pockets. Now I know!! So I have all my orders up to date for today, so tonight it is dress making time! Pretty excited.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A new top

There is a real possibility that Adele will be starting kindy in the next term. One of her buddies is starting this week and he is six weeks older. In six weeks time it is the new term. I had that, oh gosh she doesn't have any kindy clothes feeling come over me. So I made this top this morning before Blair went to work and stopped into spotlight to pick up some new fabric to make a dress. I will be needing to pick up some tee shirts too at some stage and some shorts. But for now the top. It is a pattern out of the book I used yesterday. Again really simple to construct. Even with the hand sewn binding on the arm and neck. I can never get my binding to look as nice as the books or patterns, so I was surprised that it has settled down so nicely. I did have to iron it pretty well. Next time it goes on it might not look as nice. The back has buttons, but under the buttons are hook and eyes. I was going to just put button holes but again I just can't get them to look as good as I want. The hook and eyes look good to me. Being on the back, no matter what I put she is going to need help with it. It kind of has a peasant look to it and I think that suits her. Plus Adele told me her favourite colour is green at the moment so win win. Now the fabric is left overs I had from dress I made for myself. I put the straps on my dress funny and I have to pull it a part to fix it, so the chances of us being together in the same fabric is pretty low.
I have being having a bit of a lull in Silly Goose sewing, so I am trying to get as much stuff done as I can. Hopefully over the next few weeks I will get loads done for the kids. Ryan will be wearing a uniform so he wont need so much, but I did pick him some fabric today too. So tonight my aim is to finish my current orders, three pairs of pants. Then tomorrow night do Adele's new dress and Ryan's new shorts. Not over ambitious at all!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bubble skirt for a birthday girl

Both my children are friends with a wee girl from Ryan's kindy. I have made her stuff and posted about them in the past. Today was her birthday party. Another one of Ryan's friends trying 5. Oh my god, seriously, where has the time gone!!!! I asked her mum a while back if there was anything she wanted, quickly the reply came a bubble skirt. I was going to take Ryan out to pick fabric and make it an adventure, but I just plain ran out of time. Again, seriously, where do all the hours in the day go! This morning I woke up with no fabric, no time to get some but a big chest filled with fabrics, so I knew I would find something perfect. Ages ago I brought a denim which had embroidered stars all over it and some matching flannel. I had intended to make Adele a cool pinafore out of it. As winter is drawing to an end and the need to make a skirt were a bit more pressing today, the two fabrics teamed together as lovely as I thought and became the best ever bubble skirt!
The pattern is one I have used before from Emma Hardy, "Making Children's Clothes". It is the quickest and easiest bubble skirt to make, so simple. And now I have it here beside me I am all excited about making Adele some of the other cute clothes. I do have a sort of free afternoon. I am not sure how clear the photo is, and Adele does not look the happiest, but she was, honest! Because the skirt has quite a heavy fabric top layer and a light lining it bubbles really well. I really like it and so pleased.
O.k, so I have some rugby to go and watch,
Disclaimer... I, of course, had this skirt made and ready for the party weeks ago Lucy, not at all started this morning at 8 am xxxxxx

Friday, September 16, 2011

Biscuits and cheese

We were meant to be heading off to the scallop festival in Whitianga, but it didn't end up happening and as we had already arranged for the kids to go to the grandparents we headed over and spent the day with Blair and his family. It really has been a nice relaxing time with 6 sets of eyes looking after the kids.

We all popped into town and I got to have a few moments looking round a book store, uninterrupted. BLISS. Of course I found a great new book and thinking about the money I saved not having a feast of scallops I brought it. "A good Spread, recipes from the kitchens of rural women of New Zealand". It is a collaboration by the women's division of the Federated Farmers. Loads of great NZ favourites and really simple but tasty. Now I know it is tasty as this afternoon I baked Peanut biscuits. Very very tasty, and to make them a bit yummier, I melted dark chocolate and dunked the tops in. Chocolate always makes them better.

125 grams butter

75 grams white sugar

75 grams brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons peanut butter, I used crunchy

1 cup of plain flour, I added a little extra as my mix was quite runny

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and mix. add peanut butter and mix. add dry ingredients. Spoon into balls and put on tray, cook 180 degrees for 10 mins. Once cool dip in melted chocolate.

And the cheese. We have Blairs parents some a few weeks ago, so perfect for eating, and you know I think it has all gone :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Black fever!

With having a child at kindy, I imagine any schooling will be the same, you really get kept up to date with "things" happening around the place. So of course at the moment it is World Cup time in NZ with the rugby. We as a family love the rugby any way so having Ryan getting all excited through kindy has been quite, well, brilliant for us! We have had a couple of Black Out days. All the excitement has been making sure Ryan has his All Blacks outfits sorted for kindy. I thought Adele might be feeling a little left out and came across an old All Blacks teeshirt of Ryans for her. She would not wear it as it was a boys tee shirt. It is, but really it makes no difference, gosh they can be picky!!!
So to make sure she didn't feel left out I made her a silver ferns skirt. All I did was cut a whole bunch of strips at 4.5 inches (or maybe 4). Then using my gathering foot on my overlocker started layering the skirt up. It has three layers with a 2 inch ruffle on the bottom. With a good old elastic waist. Super, super simple. I am sure it took about 30 mins and only used half a metre of fabric.
Go the All Blacks!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wow a 5 year old!!

Over the weekend we had the big 5th party. Ryan was in about a 100 minds about what cake he wanted, his theme and what games he wanted to play. So in the end we had a whole bunch of un-matching things and you know, it didn't really matter at all. It was his party and he and his friends had a blast. So we had a castle cake covered with shrek characters. I made a chocolate bottom layer and the second and the small cakes were a banana cake. The lava was red food colouring and coconut. He just loved his cake! I thought it was ok. They never ever look as good as the photos and I have to stop myself from being so disappointed because the kids love them and at the end of the day that is who the cake is for.
We hired a bouncy castle and lucky for as, since it bucketed with rain, we could set it up in our shed. The kids went NUTS!!!!! Totally recommend a castle. For the whole 2/2.5 hours they were on the castle. A 15 minute break for food and drink and just full on playing. All ages had the same amount of fun. We had three two year olds, a whole bunch of 4/5 and one 9 year old and they were all playing so well and all together.
And the goodie bags. I wasn't going to do any, I have this thing about them. I find it very strange. But I went to the craft show and they were practically giving away a whole bunch of pencils, crayons, paints, all that sort of art stuff and all Disney type stuff. So I brought a whole bunch, each bag cost about $1.50. Of course since this a was a late plan on the morning I didn't have any bags. So I looked through my stash and found enough scraps to make 10 bags. Just a plain, single layer pocket, didn't even have a handle. Rather pleased, especially when one of the mums was telling my how much play her wee girl has had with the pocket. It is her new treasures bag. awwwww bless.
So now I have a 5 year old. We still have him at kindy for a few more weeks as his school only takes kids in at the beginnings of each term. Crazy to think this time 5 years ago I still hadn't had him and life as I knew it was all about to change. Wow!!!!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Going to the zoo

We had a Playcentre trip to the zoo. Usually my friend takes Adele with her on a Thursday, but when a trip to the zoo is planned of course I came as well. The weather was not the best, rain half the way round, but we still had a lovely time. It was the first time I had seen so much activity from the animals. The colder weather seemed to make them a bit more active so there was a big positive to going in the wet weather.
When we first started off Adele and one of her little buddies ran ahead and turned the corner and all I heard was crying and screaming... Adele had ran straight into a giraffe (it was behind its fence) and she was so scared! Bless her. This meant though I pretty had to carry her the whole way round.
Side note, I am sitting here watching her sneak some food from the pantry, I said no to a snack because it is dinner in about an hour. She has pulled the cat scratching pole over, is balancing on one foot whilst putting salt on a plate of weetbix. Oh, hang on, the fridge is being opened, I know I should say something but it is so interesting watching her. She can't reach the milk and is getting frustrated. So I have just helped her, when a littlie puts that much effort in you really have to help them, she had also set out a plate and weetbix for Ryan.
Back to the zoo. For the first time we saw the tiger, just stunning!!!! Then we had a little play and then when home with a tired wee girl.
So this week is Ryan's big party.... gulp!!!!!! All coming together now. Should be a blast!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gardening Time

So here is the start of my summer garden. The last couple of years I have usually grown from seed all the wee plants I want to grow in the garden. But it was such a mild winter that when we were last in the garden store there was so many plants already at this size. So I just brought a whole bunch and went with that. So we have peas, beans, tomato's, pepper, onions and a new herb garden. We only moved into this place in December and I left behind my super fantastic garden. So at the moment we only have two bins, one day we will have four. We still haven't worked out where to put potatoes or corn. Next year!!!!! We are trying to put a bit more thought into our gardens but since this isn't really an area we know much about we sort of muddle along and are happy if we get a small yield. It is all about learning and giving things ago.
Ryan's 5th birthday party this weekend, wow, so so fast. He keeps changing his mind about what cake he wants, trying to get him to go firm on an idea is a bit hard. Every day it is something new with promises of this is the last time I change my mind. I am looking forward to the new adventures, but also a little nostalgic about my baby growing up. It really was waaaay to fast. And with all the making for other parties I have no idea what to make for Ryan, will the cake count? Or maybe a pair of shorts tomorrow....
So much to do and so so little time