31 December 2008

The last nappy

Well after five years of washing, the last nappy is flapping on the line out there, about to be brought in and folded and put away... Hooray for undies!!!

It's one less thing to do, but really it wasn't the hassle I thought it would be. I was often surprised when people told me I was "mad" or "really good" for washing all those nappies. If you haven't heard of modern cloth nappies (not the type hanging on my line up there) and how easy it can be, have a look here or here and spread the word.

29 December 2008

Lazy summer days - part 1

It seems that summer is finally here! Since the festivities our days have been spent pottering and tidying, gardening, lounging and playing. Catching our breaths. The owlets are running around the garden playing frisbee in their undies and eating yoghurt icypoles... ahh nothing better.

Sadly our neighbour's tree, the one that gave us all our afternoon shade and made the backyard a green and private place, blew over last week and today, what was left was removed. Its left such a huge open space, an empty hole and no more shade over the sandpit or our fave spot... On the upside, with all the melaleuca branches, we made a bush hut! A special cubby for the girls to escape to with secret tunnels.

There's even been time for jam making. Strawberry jam until the apricots are ready - not long now!

The other thing I've been pottering away at is my new Etsy shop! I've been promising myself I'd start something by the end of the year and between the market and Etsy, I feel satisfied enough for now. Just made it! Do pop in and have a look. If you're Australian and you'd like something, I'm more than happy to work something out directly and without US dollars confusing things!! I'm happy to do custom orders too, using fave fabrics or old sentimental bits and pieces... I'll be adding more things as I have time. Hoping to be adding screen printed fabrics sooner rather than later too! Let me know what you think!!

25 December 2008

Oh happy day!

Our Christmas Eve feast food.

And Santa stockings I made for the girls...

One of the pleasures of Christmas in summer... melon, mango and cherries for breakfast...

One word was uttered... "cool".

My little christmas elf looking casual as in her new red silk cape, taking notes on the day as it unfolds...

Another fab thing about Christmas in summer - pav!

We had such a lovely day. A floaty day. One thing at a time, one gift at a time. We paused and enjoyed hanging out together...

...So I'm feeling tired and relieved all at once. No more *have to-s* for the year. I love this next week. Looking back and thinking forward before the year begins. Hopefully some quiet and lots of sleep. Have a merry one!

Summer Solstice

We had a picnic in the back garden for dinner for the summer solstice. A quick breather in the creative frenzy...

So I whipped up these gifts in less than two days in order to get them there on time.

Tea towels designed by my owlets.

Scarf for Mum's New York trip made from a felted jumper inspired by Finnyknits. My first ever buttonhole!!

Bookmark for Dad using the same felted jumper and Marmadaisy's tutorial.

Silk lined sleep mask for Cam... who could do with a few extra hours of nap time.

Fingerless gloves for my sis who is also taking off to NY. Also made from a felted jumper and inspired by Finnyknits

20 December 2008

Dipping my toes

So I've finally managed some time to make some bits and pieces with my fabric stash and we are off to market! Today! I'll be popping these lovelies on the Crafternoon stall. There's some little skirts, flower clips and a couple of apron decorating kits. Here goes...

ETA: The market was lovely! Lots of fantastic design and friendly people. I sold a few bits and pieces. Unfortunately someone bought an apron kit while I was away from the stall and the apron was not inside the bag when they took it home!! I'll hold onto the apron, so if you are out there lovely customer, please contact me and I'll arrange to get it to you!!

18 December 2008

Counting days

A pictorial catch-up on the goings-on round here of late with our activity advent calendar...

Icecream decorating day...

Crazy hairstyles day...

Rainbow toes...

Wreath made from sticks from the playground and ribbons, while listening to Aretha really loud! What else?

Other activities have included a spectacular after-dinner walk, hunting for a christmas tree in the bush, decorating said tree, christmassy craft and writing songs with Daddy.

Completely unrelated to the advent calendar, but check out our broad bean harvest!! I'll freeze most while I look for some fabulous broad bean recipes...

7 December 2008


Audrey was invited to Max's fifth birthday party yesterday, so we whipped up a gift that we knew he'd like... An apron with fabric crayons so he can decorate it himself and a star cookie cutter. I've found that kids love things even more if they have some involvement in the final product.

Way back in August we gave Audrey a kit of fabrics and jewels and things to make a cape and felt birthday crown (mostly because I ran out of time to make them, but partly because I wanted her to have some fun with it too...). We made the cape straight away and it has been well loved. Audrey drew a pattern for the shape of the crown and we started it, but didn't finish. What better reason to finish than a fancy dress birthday party?

6 December 2008

Big days part two - Advent

Despite a bumpy start, festivities have begun. A highlight for us last year was our Activity Advent Calendar , so it was high on the agenda for December. So far we've decorated the table for Christmas, sung songs, read stories, had breakfast for dinner (a godsend when mummy can't stomach a trip to the kitchen!), and had a dress-up dinner. Here are my butterfly and island girls. Swayer was a kangaroo and I was a pirate (many suspicious looks from the island girl...). Best to keep those photos secret I think!

Amongst all this, kinder was in a frenzy. I volunteered for two days helping with pomanders, angels and candles. It was a crash course in Steiner education and a pretty good insight into Audrey's days there this year. I learned that its hard work maintaining such calm in a group of 15 kids and that Natural Learning/Unschooling is definitely for us! We're sad to be leaving a ready-made community of lovely peeps, but so excited that our days will flow more freely and learning will happen when we are ready. We'll still use a steiner-ish approach, but in a way that is a bit more relaxed and free, which we have the luxury of doing in a much smaller group. Lucky us. Now for some time out before Christmas and some much needed Twosuh time...

Big days part one - Spring's end

These last weeks before the end of the year are so big for all of us. Blink and two are already gone... We managed to clear a space and make a spring table before spring ended, much to the delight of both girls who were whipped up into a frenzy of flower picking and spring craft. While this was happening, Swayer was enjoying some sun, surf and space at a conference in Queensland. Hence the family centred craft. We missed him lots and were so happy to see him home last friday night. The following morning we went out for celebratory brunch and Audrey and I shared some french toast. Big Mistake. It will be a while before I trust brunch again. Its always a shock for me when tummy complaints happen as its never often. This time I earned the descriptive title "Stinky Dinosaur of Smelly Feelings", bestowed on me by Audrey which is really quite apt for last weekend.... *sigh*

25 November 2008


I've so enjoyed the afternoons this spring. Our front verandah is large and made of concrete and is positioned to attract all the day's sun. The lizards love it. So does the cat. I like to sit in this chair (another tip shop find) and watch the sun disappear behind the hills while the girls play with the masses of rose petals in our garden, or ride bikes up and down, waiting for Swayer to come home... I like to hide behind the white lilac bush with my cuppa and a book and soak up 5 minutes of quiet time if I'm lucky... I'm too busy to enjoy it this week, but hoping to get back there soon and looking longingly at my spot as I race in and out the front door. *sigh*

16 November 2008

Lucky finds

Along the way in our quest to consume less we still get that occasional need for some retail therapy. Or perhaps its just the excitement of finding something useful in the rubbish heap. Not sure... I do know that we love the Tip Shop! This morning Swayer asked me what we have ever bought from there that was useful. I went on to list a large number of items we have found among the rubble. Pyjamas, fabric, records, bowls and plates, bikes, my fave afternoon chair... Today we found some more fabric, a basket, bamboo placemats, a book, a spotty shell and a picnic basket we've wanted for about forever... all for ten bucks!! Love the tip shop.

We did some digging around the backyard too and found there are potatoes growing under the potato patch!

10 November 2008


We had a brilliant time in Melbourne. The girls picked a thing to do on each of the free days we had. As Little Owlet is so into animals right now, the Zoo was her pick. She says she loved the Zebras best, but I think the whole day was a success really. We were especially impressed to find her favorite bird of the moment, the Tawny Frogmouth, sunning on a log.

Big Owlet's fave place is always the Museum. She's a science nut these days and particularly into the human body on this visit. The highlight had to be the digestive system display where the food travels the body and, well we all know what happens at the end, but the fart button was a nice surprise for a 5yo! The silly mirrors were pretty great too.

We returned home exhausted and so happy to be in such a peaceful, green place. Melbourne is so much fun... loud, colourful and busy. We love catching up with everyone and packing the days full of fun stuff. But how wonderful to wander out to the garden barefoot and feel dirt and green things growing all around you, to smell that fresh air and hear nothing but birds and the breeze. I'm looking forward to the next visit, but I'm also really excited at the idea of a few summery months right where we are.

31 October 2008


Some bits of old fabric and ribbon...

make a great skirt to twirl and whirl and run and play in...

and one for mama too...

We're off to Melbourne for a few days for a wedding (hence skirts) and the zoo and museum. Hopefully a little inspiration too..

28 October 2008

Baggy Craft

Audrey and I had a few quiet moments so we whipped up this drawstring bag for her to decorate with fabric crayons. I love how her drawing is developing... love the attention to detail with the fringe and the borders, a new addition to most of her drawings. And of course, one must draw one's name right up the top front and centre... Cute huh?

27 October 2008

Lazy long weekend

We've had a beautiful four day weekend... time to breathe at a rather hectic time of year. It was Show Day here on Thursday, so of course we went to the show. Even though we said last year that we wouldn't. The show was loud and packed and smelly and we all left with worn out feet and ears. We did have a great time on the dodgems and patted a few animals and Audrey had a ponyride... and all the free apples we could eat!

We also discovered that our 9yo puss may in fact be a Norwegian Forest Cat, rather than just a plain old stray from Wantirna... Some of us have fallen in love with her all over again, but I remain unmoved... As does she.

So the relaxing bit came post-show. Dinner with a lovely friend, paddles at the beach and a weekend of dreaming, gardening and flopping. I must say I am feeling rather creatively frustrated, so I've been planning ways to do more. I made Audrey a skirt (below) with some bits lying around. So now there is a long list of sewing requests, as well as a return to screenprinting in the works...

18 October 2008

Two owlets and a box of facepaint...

Its all about the headband...

Its so much more fun when they play with the colours themselves don't you think?