Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Your First Christmas

Dearest Miss Annie,
Only a few days ago you had your very first Christmas. It's true to say that Mumma was more excited than you and Dada put together. I have really started to enjoy the festive season. You have brought back the excited child in me.

This Christmas was spent at Nana Jane and Poppy's house. We are still working tirelessly on our own home, trying so very hard to get it finished and move your cot in so that you feel some sense of normality, homeliness, security. It hasn't phased you though, all the moving around. You love getting up in the morning to a line of smiling faces as they come out from their bedrooms. Dada, Nana, Poppy, Maggie, Archie and me. It's a never ending playfest with you as the headlining act. I've never seen your toes move with so much excitement.

On Christmas Eve the entire family came to Brighton. Aunty Briggie, Uncle George, Great Aunt Mary....boy oh boy, you were so overwhelmed and so over tired I thought you would never go to sleep. But eventually you did. In our room, tucked into the portacot that Nana Jane had bought. Sweet, sweet Christmas dreams floating through you crystal mind. How soft and still you look when you sleep. How tempting it is to lean in and kiss your forehead. Your face is relaxed and complexion flushed. Your hands are lightly closed and your lips only slightly parted. It's a baby that just begs to be kissed!

On Christmas morning you woke Dada and I at 5:15am. Ugh! That hurt. Especially after two helpings of dinner and waaaaaay to much wine. But your little smile made up for it. Once you had your bottle (because nothing gets done in the morning until milk warms your belly) we sat you up in the living room and watched you pull things from your stocking. You were so surprised at all the books. Truly delighted. It was wonderful to watch. It wasn't long before you cottoned on to the fact that glossy paper means new toys. You surrounded yourself with new books and new stacking toys and the toes just moved and moved.

In the afternoon we travelled over for dinner at Aunty Ingrid's house. All Mummas family were there. Nana, Poppa, Aunty Deb, Liz and Uncle Keith. You love hanging out with your cousins. Especially Harrison. He is very protective over you. Always ensuring that you are safe and happy. By the end of the day, you, Dada and Mumma were pretty knackered so we all ventured back to Nana Elliott's house and settled in for the night. I watched you sleep again. My little girl. One month away from turning one year old.

By the steadiness of your breath and the smile on your sleeping face I concluded you had enjoyed your very first Christmas. It's probably not one that you will remember in the years to come, but it is one that me, your Mumma, shall never forget. Merry Christmas Miss A and a Happy New Year.

Love Mumma

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Living it up on a Saturday night.

Gawd. Can't remember the last time I was out in a club on a Saturday night. Where did she go? That girl. The one who took an hour to get ready, always used a hairdryer, matched outfits over a glass of vino while arranging meeting dets on the phone. She was classic, that chick. Always up for a big night out. Loved to drink wine in short dresses with friends. Loved chatting up boys and trying to outsmart them with her mind. Some how managed to take taxi rides without spewing and moaned all day Sunday as the waves of regret washed over her.

She ain't around anymore. Well, let's just say she doesnt get out much these days. Instead, she spends a lot of time at home. With bubs and hubs wondering what to overlock next. Here' s a little look at what the 'Wild child' got accomplished last night.

*Cute striped bags for Bens female clients*

Each one will contain this luscious Bio-organic hand cream. Me. Want. One.

*Shirred dress for my wee neice. Cutey-ba-booty Caila.*

Am very happy to have finished these projects. They have been on my list for way to long. Ben has been working all weekend on the house and office stuff and as such, I had the chance to fit these in. We didn't hit the hay last night til about 12ish. Once Ben had finished his work and I had ticked these off my list. *sigh* It's feels good to get them done. Now...bring on Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No fixed address.

Well, a few months ago now we bought our first home. *sigh* It was with much delight and excitement that we picked up our keys and downed a little champagne in celebration. But, since that great day the sheer fear of renovating as loomed towards us like a quickly blackening cloud. Buying a house that's a hundred years old may just be the craziest thing we have ever done. Officially.

After tearing up floors and ripping off plasterboard, we noticed that all the walls were bowed. In carpenters terms that means the walls are wonky and need to be straightened before the plasterer can come and do his thang. This is no mean feat. It has taken us just a couple of weeks to wrangle a few straight walls here and there while we juggle babies and work committments and family and friends. I think the party has started but no one is having fun yet.

We also discovered that our floors are rotting. Not good. Ben checked a few of the beautiful baltic boards and noticed a little bora. And no, I'm not talking a shiny new VW under the boards. Some will need to be replaced and others relocated (bedrooms will be carpet so all 'good, slightly less bora' boards will be salvaged for hallway and living room).

Add to this the fact that our roof needs straightening (thank you 19th century knob -end who thought a lean-to would be the 'next big thing') our windows need replacing, and we have no wardrobes, and you have yourself quiet the project to finish before Jan 4th. Yep. Our plasterer arrives early new year to start giving us walls and sanity.

Thankfully we are staying with Bens parents at the moment who have been nothing short of terrific. Ben is working out of home at the moment which means we also get to spend a little fam time together first thing in the morning. Here is just a little look at our early morning 'exercise Maggie, drink coffee, entertain baby' walks.

When Ben is busy inside, Annie and I occupy ourselves in the new garden. I did lots of weeding and placing plants so they looked pretty, and Annie just tried to look adorable. I think we both succeeded.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday love of mine.

On Tuesday just gone, my lovely husband Ben turned 38. He seems to think that's pretty old, always wishing he was not a dashing 22 years again, but just a tidy 37.

'If only I could be 37 again', he sighs.

I always tell him he looks fantastic for his age, but I don't think it helps. Anyway, I just want to officially wish, the man I ardently love, a happy birthday. I am so lucky to have someone as special as Ben in my life. Annie is ridiculously lucky to have such a fun and patient father. All in all, I believe that makes us one very happy family.

*only moments later Ben asked me to hold Annie. 'I can't dip my vietnamese roll' he complained.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shirr is pretty!

On our weekend away at Sewjourn I got a quick tutorial on shirring from Ms Jo. She was making a little dress for her daughter and it got me thinking. Perhaps I could make a little shirred dress for Miss A and pop it in her Christmas stocking.

She will never know that Santa aint much of a Janome lass. I picked out a few cheap fabrics just to try this out and am pretty happy with the results. Both of these little numbers will be going in the Xmas stocking for the big reveal on Christmas morning.

Is it just me, or did Christmas get...like...a thousand times better since having kids! Although we wont be in our new house come Christmas I am endavouring to make it as special as possible After all, it is Annie's first Christmas and I want it to be one that we all remember fondly. Hopefully a little quilted stocking and some handmade dresses will make everything seem just a little more grounded and real.

Monday, November 23, 2009

While you were sleeping...

Some mothers just can't help themselves...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

my obsession with ebay.

With the new house renos started, I have been rifling through ebay looking for everything from front doors to new (old) teapots. It's my new obsession. Last night I had Annie in bed bang-on 7pm in the hopes of securing a Robur 6 cup vintage teapot. We have been using Ben's mums since we have been staying here and the tea from this thing is just lovely. If anyone spots one in an op shop, grab it for me, I will pay you handsomely!

I also managed to get my hands on this stash of vintage wooden thread reels. I will probably use the thread on most of them and then use them to decorate our sewing/music room. For a mere $8 I was more than happy.

In the world of sewing I have come to a bit of a stand still. I think that's just because the house has really occupied my time. Might need another Sewjourn soon :) I may get some time to whip up some pressies for Christmas, but I'm not holding my breath. There are carpets to source, sash windows to order and Miss A to love and mind, I might just be too busy as 2009 comes to an end.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sew-Journ So-fun.

Finally, I find the time and the energy to express what a wonderful weekend we had at Sewjourn. It was a good chance for me to finish some projects that have been lurking in my brain and in the fabric stash for way too long.

Everyday was an early rise, followed by brekkie and then off we ventured to the sewing room to knuckle down for the day. Sewing and chatting, and sewing and tea, and sewing and chatting and too many brownies. (thanks Leslie) At night, we ate dinner together, drank wine (that was mainly me) and then went back out to sew. On one particular evening I was the last one up, still hand sewing the binding to this quilt for Miss A.

With Christmas just around the corner, I was also happy to get a start on this stocking for Annie. It's made out of scraps from previous projects, so it's thrifty and fun :)

I finished this just the other night and have loved looking at it ever since. Christmas will be so much more fun now that our little A is here.

Would highly recommend the weekend in Lancefield at the lovely Sewjourn, although I believe that it's pretty booked out this year. Perhaps try for next year and get your group together early. They have some good op shops and a fantastic antique store to boot. Bring your credit card!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the move in pictures.

This is me...in the middle of a move. I look happy huh? Not too stressed...

...that's because we had these guys. NEVER MOVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!!!

Of course Miss Annie was just delightful through the whole thing. We really have been blessed.

It wasnt long before the family came to visit and have a sneak peak. We all had to sit outside because the house has so many holes in it :)

*in other news. I have a BIG Sewjourn post a-coming. But the camera got lost in moving and I only just found it today (minus one battery). Give me a day or two and I will showcase the creations made on that fabulous weekend away.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Collingwood Children's Farm

This is how we spent yesterday. Meandering through the Collingwood Children's Farm. There are sheep, chickens, horses, cows, ducks and goats. It's a great day out for the little ones. And....if you're attempting to have a green thumb like yours truly, there is also a very impressive worm farm and vegie garden to stare at longingly.

When I say 'smile' with a camera in hand, this is what I get.

Cormac steals toy slyly...

Annie claps his efforts...

Annie realises this means she doesn't have said toy anymore...

Me and Miss A.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting ready for Sewjourn.

Tomorrow we head off on our weekend away at Sewjourn. Getting ready for this has been no small feat. I have been packing while Annie naps, collecting supplies from Spotlight, Darn Cheap and Amitie when I can find the time and writing lists for Ben for his big weekend as soul carer. In actual fact, I need a holiday now more than ever :)

Last night I worked hard to cut most of the fabrics for Annie's cot quilt. I really want to make the best use of my time at Sewjourn so being prepared is vital. Check out this stunning stack of simple prints.

To say that I am excited is a little understatement in a big world. I am very, very, very excited to be taking this trip. I will Miss A and Mr Ben as I am sure you can imagine, but the idea of having some time. Just time for me. Is too good to resist. I am going to swing past Dan Murphy's tomorrow and get a bottle of expensive wine I have been eyeing off for ages. It's about time I splashed out and gave it a whirl. And I can think of no better place, than the cosy walls of our weekend retreat, Sewjourn.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ready. set. sew!

I am slowly but surely preparing for my great escape at Sewjourn. For those that don't know, it's a weekend escape at a cottage that is set up for sewers just like me. And her, and her, and her, and her. We are all venturing down this Friday for some well needed sewing hours away from little babies. I will miss my Annie for sure, but I think the time alone with Dad and some time for me with friends will be a big benefit for everybody.

So...what am I going to make you ask? Firstly, and most importantly, a summer quilt for Miss A. She is my muse after all. I figured it would be good to have something light to throw over her on hot summer nights, and since we will be in our new house this summer, I thought a splash of homemade was in order. Here is a sneak peak at the fabrics I foraged at patchwork on central recently.

Secondly, I think I want to make another dress. Ya see, the first one is actually not bad. Shocking job on the inside when you look closely, but on the outside? I don't mind it :)

That's me and Miss A. I am the one wearing the hand made dress :)

I found some really light summer fabric at my local op shop and thought perhaps that might make a pretty dress for long hot days? Here is said fabric, which BTW cost $1.

The other two projects I have in mind, is a gift for a friend due her baby in two weeks time and perhaps a little christmas stocking for Miss A. I am so excited about Chrismtas this year. Annie is at such a fun age to enjoy it and I get a bit silly that time of year as it is. No doubt it will be fun, fun fun!

But right now? I better get cracking on cutting my materials. I want to make the best use of our time at the lovely Sewjourn!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the BIG spring clean.

Ok, there's something that I have to admit. It's hard for me to write these words, so I hope you'll understand why I have never written them before. My husband is a hoarder. There. I said it.

With the new house and all the packing and cleaning, I figured

'Hell, Em, you simply don't have enough to do. Why not have a garage sale to get rid of all Ben's crap?'.

'Are you stark raving mad?' asked sane me.

'Probably' said always slightly drunk insane me.

'We have more than enough to do as it is. Did you forget that we actually move house in less than two weeks, we go back to work and there's a two day sewing weekend thrown in for good measure?? Shall I inject the butter straight into your veins now and you can die of a heart attack instead of stress?'

'Don't be stupid Plain Sane. Just think of the money we can make off this crap. There's tonnes of it!'

'Fine. Don't listen to me. You never do anyway. Go. Have your stupid garage sale. But don't come running to me when the heart palpitations start.'

'This garage sale will pay for the medi bills. Trust me.'

Insane me won, and on Saturday we had ourselves a little old garage sale. We opted to have it at our friends house in Elwood as we live in a cul-de-sac. Their street frontage really optimised the client potential. Here is the loaded car and a very weary Ben.

To make things even more tiresome, I decided a good garage sale needs home baked goods to sweeten the tooth and loosen the pocket of your customer. I made biscuits at 7am and even sewed little paper bags together. I seriously am insane. Anyway, I got a HUGE slagging about the cookies. My fellow stall holders were not convinced I could shift the merchandise. These pictures say it all.

In the end, although the whole thing was damn hard to co-ordinate with a baby and just general every day life, we managed to walk away with approx $240. Not bad for a day of meeting new people, laughing with good friends and drinking lattes. I highly recommend it.