Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some of my favourite dolls...

I've lost count of how many dolls I've made and sold now.

I do have my favourites though.

Most are now scattered across the United States.

They're all different and I loved making each and every one. Some people ask me if its hard to sell them, to let them go. No. I love the thought that someone loves what I do enough to buy one.
I love the thought of a little person getting around with one of my dolls tucked under their arm or into their bed.

This one is still for sale in my Etsy shop, the rest have been sold. I enjoy the challenge of custom orders too, you can purchase directly from the shop or contact me from here.

I hope your day brings you happiness, craftiness and contentment!

Some of my favourite dolls...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

THANK YOU!

I thought I'd just pop in to say a big thanks to all of who have left your kind comments, well wishes and lovely emails over the past few weeks, its been really heart warming.
I hope you can bear with me through this "settling in" period and keep visiting even though there isn't so much to see right now.
I'm sorely afflicted with the crafter's/ artist's (is "craftist" a word?!) bane - my brain is constantly swamped with inspirations but there is no time to bring them to fruition. The ideas haven't stopped, even if the hands can't keep up. And I'm about to embark on a graphic design course.
Multi tasking has taken on a new meaning!

God bless you all, have a great day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday.

As you can imagine, most of my time lately has been spent "just being a Mum" and squeezing in a little crafting time wherever possible. Juggling feeds, nappies, baths, toddlers (and their often unruly behaviour), meals and all my duties doesn't leave much time for anything else, but despite all this, I really feel happy and grateful. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do and I'm pretty good at it most of the time!
So, I thought today I should bring you a little eye candy lest you grow tired of my rambling text.
This is a shot of the wee bairny (now all of 12 days old!) in the Hugabub I previously mentioned.
Note the small observer to the side.

I managed to fit in some baking time yesterday using the dough hooks on the new mixmaster.
The bread rolls became garlic bread to accompany the anchovy, zucchini and onion creamy pasta we had lastnight.
The loaf is a lovely fruit loaf, for which I will give the recipe for you to try. Although it ages quickly, it makes a great next day toast. We toasted slices for morning tea with melted butter and strawberry cream tea from T2tea (delicious served hot or cold).

FRUIT LOAF.

First stage of dough:
100g plain flour
7g sachet dry yeast
1 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
250 ml warm milk

2nd stage of dough:
350g plain flour
half tspn salt
50g butter
1 tspn mixed spice
50g muscovado or brown sugar
225g mixed, dried fruit
1 beaten egg

Method:

1. First stage ingredients.
Mix flour, yeast and sugar, beat in the milk slowly. Cover with cling wrap for 20 minutes or until frothy.

2. Second stage ingredients.
Put flour and salt in a bowl and rub in butter. Stir in the spice, sugar and fruit. Add egg to first stage dough, then add flour mixture. I did this with the dough hooks, then continued to allow the machine to knead the dough. If kneading by hand, do so for about 10 minutes. Cover dough and leave to rise for about an hour.

3. Grease a loaf tin. Give risen dough a quick knead. Cut into 3 pieces and shape each into an oval to fit across the width of the tin. Leave to rise again for about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees (C). Bake loaf for 20 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hugabub (drool)

Just got my Hugabub in the mail yesterday, to say that I'm impressed would be an understatement!
It came packed beautifully, had an instructional DVD and even a handwritten card congratulating me on the birth!
After watching the dvd to learn the different wrap styles I tried it out, baby loved it and slept for ages. I did have another baby carrier which I never used because it hurt my back and caesar scar, no such problems with this one, it feels great. Its also made in Australia.
(Just in case you're wondering, no I don't work for Hugabubs, I just like to share good products and companies with others!)

I've started crafting a little again, still haven't "driven" the sewing machine as I'm worried I'll wind up sore, but it won't be long now, I'm feeling so terrific. I'm making a few small gifts for a kind person (do you know who you are?)
Husband has taken the 2 older children out to IMAX and the Melbourne Museum today, so once I peel myself away from this screen I should be able to fit in some craft time.
Lastnight I found a tapestry kit that my sister gave me (I'm ashamed to say!) about 10 years ago!!! Well, being the waste - hater that I am, I told myself in my night time overtired haze that I will finish it, no matter how long it takes.
Wish me luck, I may need it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Post caesarian section recovery tips

My dear fellow surprised me with an early birthday present yesterday - he couldn't wait! I've always wanted a mixmaster so I think he was pleased with my reaction.

Having just given birth to my fourth child by caesarian section I thought I'd offer some recovery tips that have helped me over the years.

IN HOSPITAL

1. Try not to think of your c- section as merely a surgical procedure. It is a medically assisted birth. Focus on the birth, not the surgery.
2. After the birth start by wriggling your toes as soon as the spinal anaesthetic begins to wear off. As more feeling returns in your legs move them gently about, rotating ankles, slowly bending your knees. Continue these gentle exercises while you're confined to bed.
3. Get as much help as you can at this point, ask someone to pass the baby to you for feeding etc, don't try to do too much.
4. When it is time to get out of bed for the first time, once again, ask for assistance if you need it to sit up. Roll onto one side, place your legs over the side of the bed. Push yourself up from the bed using the strength of your arms. Sit on the bed until you feel ready to stand, sometimes you may be dizzy. When you stand make sure you shuffle, don't take big steps. You will feel much better after a good shower. The midwives always recommend to me to urinate standing up (if you need to) in the shower rather than sitting on the toilet for the first time.
5. To alleviate any wind pain you may experience I have found peppermint tea to be effective.
6. To assist your bowels to start moving again naturally, without medication I have a bag of soft licorice and nibble a few pieces each day, I've found it really helpful.
7. Once you're up and about take regular short, shuffling walks. Spend most of your hospital stay resting, actually lying down with your legs up.

AT HOME
1. This is the time that you need as much help as possible, particularly if you have other children.
Hopefully you have a supportive husband or partner, but if not, enlist the help of anyone who is willing. If no one offers to help, ask. If you are not comfortable asking for help, offer to make up for it somehow at a later date. I can't stress how important it is that you receive help.
2. Even if you feel well you need regular rest (lying down) to alleviate the stress on your body and allow it to readjust. Your recovery will be so much faster if you give your body time to rest.
3. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby. Really important. You can introduce strategies eg. I get my toddler to climb onto a chair, then into her cot so I don't lift her.
4. Drink lots of water, eat nutritious food. I usually feel ravenous the first couple of weeks, this is a normal effect of breastfeeding, don't worry about how much you eat, just try to make it healthy and keep the fluids up high.
5. Find a comfortable position for breastfeeding, use pillows to support baby and your back.
6. Start pelvic floor exercises (you can do this a few days after birth)
7. Don't commence any exercise regime (walking, sports etc.) until you have the approval of your obstetrician or GP.
8. When walking around the house, continue to keep your steps small to prevent strain on your softened and weakened ligaments. Avoid bending over to pick things up. Get in and out of bed carefully, rolling on your side and using your arms instead of abdominal muscles.

Please contact me if you have any questions I may be able to help you with. Please note, I am not a medical professional, just an experience mother.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Etsy shop re opened

Just to let you know my Etsy shop is open for business once again, hopefully I'll have some new things in there before too long. Remember, anything you see on my blog that is an original design can be custom ordered!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Anna Grace

Anna Grace has safely arrived! She was born on Monday morning weighing 3.29kg (7 pounds, 4 oz.) and she is beautifully perfect. The operation went very well and this is my best recovery yet.

The children all love her so she has received a warm welcome into our family. She feeds well and is, so far, a very contented baby.
Thankyou dear God for another beautiful blessing. We are so grateful to have her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday

I rarely buy magazines, however, a hospital stay is a worthy excuse for buying not one, but three of your favourite magazines! I've had these sitting and waiting, so very tempting to peep, but no! I loooove craft and lifestyle magazines, every visit to the library sees me with at least a handful, but naturally, competition for new editions is fierce.
Check out the cover of this months Homespun, wouldn't you be tempted to peep?!


Grass Roots - essential reading for suburbanites craving the country life!


I couldn't go past Handmade, especially when I spied the "triple pack". Who says clever marketing doesn't work?
I'm signing off for a little while now, those of you who visit here regularly will know our new baby is arriving on Monday. I'll be back as soon as I can manage (with baby pics of course!)
God bless you all and thanks for reading :)


Friday, July 10, 2009

On my walls

Are you the sort of person who walks into a house and wants to look at everything? I find it fascinating visiting homes I haven't been to, maybe I'm just a nosy old stickybeak, but when someone visits me I love it if they want to look around. So, today I'm sharing with you some of the pictures that hang on the walls of our home.

The picture above was an op shop find that is in my bedroom, I practiced ballet from the time I was very young until my teenage years, when I found the discipline of point shoes too hard on my feet.


Our ten year wedding anniversary is in September this year. My, how life has changed since that lovely day, and how our marriage has grown!

This picture was given to me by my mother in law, it has been with her for a long time and is very beautiful.



This one has belonged to my husband for as long as he can remember, its small and cute and lovely.
Today I'm making hospital preparations and am making my first pair of rosary beads. I've repaired plenty of broken sets but never made some from scratch, its going well but is quite hard on your hands and fingers (mine are swollen at the moment too, another pregnancy side effect).
Hope you have a wonderful day!



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hand embroidered card

A visitor to our home was admiring some of my craft work recently and asked whether I make cards. I have been known to paint cards or, in more pressing circumstances, cut and paste. But for some reason, I'm just not that into papercrafts. Give me a scrap of fabric over a scrap of paper anyday!

So... my Nanna's 82nd birthday is coming up. What else can you do when waiting for a baby to arrive but put hours into a gift for someone?



A fabric card is not difficult to make, but be prepared for the time it will take!
I do so love hand embroidering though, so relaxing, and even better when the children are in bed and you have a husband handy to chat to.


The photo isn't good, but those are suffolk puffs (yo - yos) on the front. This is a great way to showcase a special fabric that you may only have a small amount of.
If you would like to have a go at making one but aren't sure how to start, I'd be happy to put up a tutorial, just ask!

Yesterday was a happy one, I made my first sale through Madeit and my study grant was approved. Busy times ahead!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Thankyou to Del of Delicious Designz!
She awarded me with this lovely blog award, what a very nice surprise.

Here are the rules of this award :
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the blogs I'm passing the award onto:

1. Antique Rose Designs
2. Styling It Retro
3. Little Cotton Rabbits
4. Plain and Joyful Living
5. Our Shabby Cottage
6. GardenMama
7. Kristen Doran Design
8. PinkLizzy Sews
9. And so, I sew
10. Catholic OnlineMothers

Monday, July 6, 2009

Birthday girl!

2 years old today! Of course it seems like yesterday she was a wee babe in arms, now to be replaced by another wee one. She loves the little apron I made her and is still wearing it now. I actually made it while she was asleep, so no measurements, but it fits perfectly.

She loves her new wee waldorf too. She is pushing her dollies around in the doll pusher she also received - a very happy little girl.
Today is also husband's birthday, unfortunately he is at work, but we'll have a little party when he gets home!


These are the embroidered buttons I mentioned in the last post. I've been wanting to start a button collection for ages so these are a start. I used a tiny quilting between and one strand of embroidery floss for these. Its very enjoyable, I must do more!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The winner of the softie giveaway is.....


MON!!
I know where to find you, I'll send you a message.

This afternoon I've been embroidering tiny pieces of fabric to cover buttons with. I seem to have a bit of a thing for miniature things, the challenge of using tiny needles and the cuteness of the end product. Only problem is trying to get a decent photo with my camera, even editing only improves the detail a little. I'll keep trying with that so you can see the little buttons - I love them!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mothering

"If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home....
But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colourless, and of small import to the soul, then, as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean.
To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours and holidays;
to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, books, cakes and boots;
to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene;
I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.
How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?
How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone?
No, a woman's function is laborious; but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.
I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task;
I will never pity her for its smallness."

G.K. Chesterton

Friday, July 3, 2009

Etsy goodness in the mail

I got a little parcel of these headbands from Ema Lou at Scarlette Rose Fairy in the mail today, there was one for me too. The colours don't show too well here but they're really pretty and vibrant. They smell lovely too! Even my older girl, who usually hates to have anything in her hair is wearing hers happily.

Ema Lou popped in this cute little dyed singlet as a present for the new baby, just lovely! There is something so satisfying about buying handmade goods, particularly from mums at home.
Check out her shop, she has a wide variety of totally gorgeous goods!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Birthday doll

Its the little one's 2nd birthday on Monday, so I couldn't let it pass without making one of her favourite things - a doll! This is one of my little 6 inch dolls and I knitted her a little dress and matching headband out of lovely soft baby yarn.


Just for something different I drew and painted her face on instead of embroidered. Her hair is alpaca and merino wool.
I'm working on a birthday apron too.
I'm starting to feel like I need to cram everything into the next 11 days (yes, 11 days!!!) before the baby arrives. I know I won't even be able to contemplate sitting at the sewing machine for many weeks. This baby, like all my others will be born by caesarian section and I know by now that the recovery is slow.
The softie giveaway is still on!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A fine Winter's morn'

" Its a little chilly but perfect for a stroll and a scratch, wouldn't you agree Henrietta?"

"Oh, indeed, how right you are Miss Feathers, particularly now there is so much worthy greenery about and that dreadful moulting business is over. I almost felt I could never show my feathers in public again!"
"Miss Brown, I do wish the paparazzi would cease following us about, all that hovering and clicking makes me self conscious!"
Thought for the day:
"A glad heart maketh a cheerful countenance".
(Proverbs 15:13)