Friday, April 30, 2010

My Craft Space Revamp : Humble Egg Carton Organiser

First I need to apologise because I haven't finished this item off - not through lack of trying I might add. You see, we are having TERRIBLE weather here, so it is taking aaaaaagggeeesss for things to dry. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about my humble egg carton organiser...

It is quite a simple concept, beginning with a hefty lick of paint on a standard egg carton (we're still waiting for this to dry). In order to strengthen the lid of the carton, I painted it with Gesso (a primer) first. Then I just used a standard acrylic paint to cover all sides of the carton:

Next I made this crazy ruffle for the top:

The next step is to glue the ruffle to the top of the container and then print up an 'inventory listing' of the contents of the egg carton (once I've filled it up) to place on the underside of the lid.

Simple, yet effective and a great way to reduce landfill!
Pop in over the weekend to see the finished product (and keep an eye out for the tutorial on how to make one yourself, which I'll try and get up in the next couple of days)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Refashion - From coat to scarf (Part 2)

Well as promised, I am back with pictures of my finished scarf. Here is a close up of the detail. It isn't perfect, but I think that's the whole point!

And, here is a picture of me wearing it:

It stinks to high heaven due to the fabric paint so it really needs a good wash, then I'll have a bit of a think about whether I'm brave enough to wear it out in public lol.

Gosh, I don't look too bad for only having 3 hours of sleep last night, hey!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Refashion - From coat to scarf

Remember last week when I made the military hat out of my old coat and I said that I was also working on another project that used up the remainder of the coat? Well here is - a scarf..and here is how to make it:

First cut around 60 4" x 4" squares from your material. Note: This scarf is RIDICULOUSLY long (I'm talking about 6 metres) but I think it is necessary so that it sits nice when finished. Once you have the squares, pin them together by placing the top point of one square in the middle of the preceding square, like this:

Next, run a wide zig-zag stitch down the middle:

Before you know it you're done:

Now, I would have taken a picture of me wearing it had I remembered too, but I didn't... and it no longer looks like it does in the picture above. The reason for this, is that I decided it was a tad too boring (like pretty much every other piece of clothing I own), so I challenged myself to brighten it up a bit.

So, in my usual fashion, I did a bit of research on ways to add a bit of 'pizazz' to this thing. I spoke to numerous people and looked at many websites and everything pointed to the use of buttons as a way to add some life to it. But THEN I saw this tutorial on Alisa Burke's blog. When I saw that Cheri over at I am Momma hear me roar had a crack at it too, I figured I might as well apply the same principles they did on the shoes, to my scarf.

So, first I used a mixture of fabric fixative and acrylic paints to create my 'splotches' and then I used a black fabric paint pen to fill in the lines:

I am still putting all the lines on (6 metres of scarf remember people!) but here is a sneak peak of how it's looking so far:
The question now is "Am I going to have the guts to wear it out??" lol

10 Weeks Old!

On Sunday, our 'not-so-little' boy turned 10 weeks old. Here is a picture:

The things I have learned this week are:

All of a sudden YOU'RE the expert (WTF?!?!): We have a couple of friends who are due soon, so we knew to expect to talk about our baby a bit when we caught up with them on the weekend.

What we didn't expect, was that Matty and I are now deemed 'experts' amongst these friends lol. Well experts we certainly are not, but on the way home Matty and I were discussing it and realised that compared to when our little man was 1 week old, we now knew a LOT more than we did back then.

We now know that even the leading brand disposable nappies leak, we know that cloth nappying really isn't that hard, we know that in order to keep the baby swaddled you need to be a little 'tough' and we know that there are other alternatives to the 'cabbage leaves' to relieve your poor aching nipples.

One thing I am thankful for is that we will never again be where these friends are...poor buggers lol!

Expect fluff in weird places: I would have expected someone to tell me about this when our baby was born, but nope... we had to figure it out ourselves. Let me tell you that there are SO many crevices where fluff gets stuck. The most common places we have found fluff is in the creases of his hands, in between his fingers and in between his toes.

For a fluff gold-mine, make sure you check between the neck rolls. There is an added benefit of removing the fluff from the neck rolls regularly... if you don't, your baby will develop what has been coined in our household as 'stinky neck'. Let me tell you, no one wants stinky neck!

Another place to check, especially if your baby is wearing something made out of fleece, is the tiny fat creases at the back of the thighs. We found so much fluff in there one day that we could almost build our own firelighters.

It's ok if your baby isn't doing the same as everyone else's - Nothing irks me more than when a mother says "Oh, MY baby was doing *this* at 8 weeks old.. Is he not doing that?" .

It really isn't a competition. Just because your baby is doing something that another baby isn't, doesn't mean that baby is a dunce. Babies are only small for such a short time, I wonder why mother's seem to want them to grow up so much faster.

Chances are if you're feeling crap, someone else is too - One of the things I was worried about when joining a Mother's Group, was that everyone would be pretending everything was hunky-dory all the time. Thank goodness they aren't like that!

We had a pretty crappy week last week, with reflux appearing to be the main contributor. When asked if we all had a good week at the Mother's Group, I said "Nope" straight away and about 75% of the group admitted they'd had a crap time of it too. It really helped to talk about it all and to hear that we weren't the only ones with some problems.

Well, since I was slack with the 10 week update, here is another photo we took this morning:

Oh isn't he adorable laying there with his Ugg Boots on and his belly hanging out! lol

It is official.. I am a slacker!

The definitions for slack on the Web include:

  • avoid responsibilities and work, be idle
  • be inattentive to, or neglect; "He slacks his attention"
  • slump: a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality; "the team went into a slump"; "a gradual slack in output"; "a drop-off in attendance"; "a falloff in quality"
  • slow: become slow or slower; "Production slowed"
Yep... that sums up me and my blogging at the moment. In fact, I'm pretty sure the dictionary writing people are going to contact me soon to see whether they can use me in their examples:
  • "Michelle B slacks her attention"
  • "Michelle B went into a slump" and perhaps even
  • "Michelle B's production slowed"
I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted me to provide a passport sized photo of myself too, so that they could put that next to the definition as well.

Yup, I've been slack with my blog and I know it

But as they say "the first step in addressing a problem is to acknowledge that it exists". So, this is me acknowledging that I am a slacker and promising that things are going to improve in my little blog world.

I will be back soon with some posts of what I have been up to (promise)!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Craft Space Revamp : Pin Cushion

Remember last week I made a decision to write a post on the progression of revamping my craft space each Friday? Well here I am, as promised.

One would have thought that the first task on my list of things to do to revamp the space would be to clean it up, as it is
absolutely disgusting to say the least. Instead, I chose to make a pin cushion as I have needed one for a while.

Now, I know that making a pin cushion sounds boring... but what if I told you I made a pin cushion in the shape of a tree and that I also made some little apple pins to stick in the tree? It becomes a lot more exciting hey!

So, here is my pin cushion:
And here is a shot of my polymer clay apple pins:

Pretty cool hey?!?! I do think I'd like to make the top of the tree a little bigger as it is a tad out of proportion with the trunk. Not bad for a first attempt though, if I say so my self.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Exciting Announcement...

You may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet on the blog front, not really posting about the new and exciting things I've been making as much as I used to.

There is a reason for that...I have been busy setting up my store! There isn't anything in it yet, but it's still exciting, right?!?

As if that wasn't exciting enough, trust me when I tell you that things are about to get a whole heap more exciting as I have some VERY exciting news. Hold onto your hats people!

First, take a look at this:

What is it you ask? Well it is my 'sock owl box'. For the past couple of weeks I have been in negotiations with the lovely Claire from Craft Schmaft, to arrange the purchasing of a cottage license to enable me to make and sell her owl mobiles in my Etsy store
. I am so excited! If you haven't seen Claire's stuff, I suggest you pop on over and take a look. There is some VERY cute stuff!

The first batch of owl mobiles should be in the store by the end of the upcoming long weekend with a bit of luck. Once they are up, I will be working on some tag blankets and pencil/crayon rolls to put in the store as well.

After years of procrastinating about selling my craft stuff, I am finally doing it. I hope to be able to generate enough income from it to at least buy craft products so that I can keep making stuff once the maternity leave money runs out.

Oh, and for those of you wondering how much money I've generated via Adsense... well as of right now, the balance is a whopping $0.00! lol... awesome

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Essential Life Skills from the How About Orange Blog

When I saw this post on the How About Orange blog I knew I had to give it a whirl. Seriously, who could resist!

While I don't believe that her other posts about money origami or being able to make roses out of straw wrappers
constitutes an "essential life skill", toilet paper origami is definitely something everyone should learn lol

For my toilet paper origami experiment, I chose to make the 'flourish' design as I thought it looked the most elegant and would be the one that would impress Matty the most.

When I started this blog I never imagined I would be taking a picture of my toilet roll holder, yet alas, here we are!:

So, what was Matty's reaction to my toilet paper origami when he got home? Well it was disappointing to say the least....

First of all, I had done my toilet paper origami to the roll of toilet paper in the main toilet (which is the one he usually uses). As Murphy's Law would have it, he decided to use the toilet in the ensuite all night *sigh*.

In the end I said to him "Oh for goodness sake, go to the other toilet and pretend you're having a poo" lol..... He didn't question me at all and trundled off to do as I had asked.

I expected to hear a little giggle at the least, but it was more like a snort. He came into the bedroom and said (in his most unimpressed voice) "I nearly got skewered by the fancy folding going on with the toilet paper." It was heartbreaking. That's the last time I go to the effort of folding the toilet paper all fancy like lol.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Refashion - From coat to military hat

I have been holding onto my old coat for a while now, simply because I like the colour and material it is made out of.

When I say a 'while', I actually mean a couple of years. You see, it takes me a while to get the confidence to do things... but Friday night when Matty went to Geelong to see a movie, I bit the bullet and cut up the coat.

So, what did I make out of the coat you ask? Well I made two things, but today I am going to show you the Military Hat I made using Amy Butler's pattern from her book "Little Stitches for Little Ones".

You may remember that I made the shoes from this book also. Well, they were a little small. Actually, her 'newborn' size were more suited to premmie babies in my opinion. I ended up giving a couple of pairs to a baby who was in the special care nursery when our son was born.

Anyway, knowing that her patterns tend to err on the smallish size, I decided to make the hat in the 6-9 month size. Boy am I glad I did, as it only just fits. I am also glad that I decided to take a bit off the front bill as it would have been massive (I cut about an inch off).

Here is a picture of the finished hat:

I must say that the problems with the sizing has really put me off making anything else from the book, which is a shame because there is some really nice things in there.

I will post the other item I made out of the coat later in the week once it's finished.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

9 Weeks Old

The weeks are flying by in a blur. I knew they would, but didn't think they would pass by quite so quick. Our little boy is 9 weeks old today and his personality is really starting to show through.

Here is a picture of him all rugged up and ready to go outside:

This week he had his first lot of immunisations and it was really nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Sure he cried, which was to be expected, but he settled down quickly and then just went to sleep.

We didn't see any real effects of the immunisations until Saturday morning when we noticed he was exceptionally 'spewy'. He was off his tucker all day yesterday and slept a lot. He seems a bit better this morning though!

The things I have learned this week are:

Your friends disappear - You know it's bound to happen, but it still comes as a bit of a shock! Everyone wants to see you in the first couple of weeks and then all of a sudden no one does! It's funny, because you haven't changed as a person, but just about every mum I've talked to says it has happened to them too - crazy! This leads me to my next point.

You start doing things out of your comfort zone - I am not one to really talk to people I don't know, but this week I have been having conversations with everyone I come into contact with! I've also looked up people I've met in the past few months on facebook, as a way to feel a little more connected.

Even at 3am, smiles melt your heart - We have a bit of a 'rule' in our house that between the 5pm feed and the 6am feed, it's all business. That means that we make limited eye contact with our son, barely talk to him and certainly don't encourage any form of play. I have nearly caved in a couple of times when he is laying on the change table grinning from ear to ear. Even at 3am he's a happy little chappy!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder - As I said above, this week has been a bit rough for us. Because of this Matty and I decided that I should have a bit of 'me' time and go and do some shopping by myself. I simply could not believe how much I missed our little guy. I had spent all morning looking forward to going out in the afternoon, only to want to get home to see him again!

Mother's group starts up this week and while I'm a little bit excited, I am also a little bit nervous. I'm not sure whether it's going to be for me or not or whether I will even connect with the people in the group, but I am willing to give it a shot and will let you know how we go!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Craft Space - Part 1.. The unveiling

Is it any wonder I am uninspired? Take a look at my craft space:

Before our son was born, I had a whole room to house my craft stuff in. Now I have a table in the family room and a bit of space in the linen press. Ergh!

It isn't a nice space to work in. I don't look at the table and immediately want to engross myself in a craft project. In fact, most of the time I avoid doing craft there because it is such an uninspiring space.

I look at pictures online (a LOT) of the spaces other people have. Take a look at Jenny's craft space over at the Allsorts blog. Isn't it just stunning?!?!

I often wonder "Why can't my space be inspiring this that?" Well the answer is that it can be. I just need to get motivated to do it.

So my challenge for the next couple of weeks/month is to bring you a post once a week with something that I have done to jazz up my craft space. Lets say that Friday is the day to show you what I've done. That gives me a whole week to do something.

What is your craft space like? Do you like it or does it need a revamp too, like mine does?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt (Update #2)

Since it's almost half way through April, I thought I better get my act together with the redwork Christmas quilt.

So when we went to Murray Bridge for Easter I took along the block I was working on, with the intentions to finish it and design the next one. Surprisingly, I managed to accomplish both.

Here is a picture of the first block finished:

I actually found the time to stitch part of the second block I designed too. It was a lot simpler than the first block, so took hardly any time at all. Here is a picture of the second block:

I now just need to stitch the words "At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year" and I will be ready to tackle the design for the 3rd block!

I am hoping to be finished the second block by the end of the week. Wish me luck!

12 Month Collection Photos - 2 Months

First things first....

Our little man turned 2 months old today (going by the calendar), so we took some more photos for his 12 month collection (here is the first photo):

I couldn't get him to smile at all, possibly due to the fact that he had his first lot of immunisations today, which all went fine.

Anyway, I am going to post again today with a craft item I've been working on. Stay tuned

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter 2010!

Yesterday I had plans on showing you what I got up to in the week leading up to Easter, but my SD card for my camera broke so I couldn't get my photos off. Not surprisingly, my lovely husband was able to fix it enough to get the photos off but I'll need to get a new one at some point. RIP 8gb SD card!

Anyway, because it was school holidays my sister was bored, so I asked if she wanted to help make the Easter Eggs I was trialing a few weeks back. Sure enough she did.

We made some filled with butter creme, some filled with chocolate ganache (which were my favourite) and we also filled some with caramel and put a mini solid chocolate easter egg in the middle. Really, it was sheer piggery, but so much fun!

Here is a picture of Matty holding the Easter Eggs, which were a little bit rougher than they would have been if I had made them myself, but it was so much more fun doing it with my sister!

We also purchased some plain hot cross bun dough from Bakers Delight and churned out a whole heap of both plain and choc chip flavoured buns. Next time I think we would thicken the 'cross' mixture up a bit as the stuff they gave us was a little runny:

Unfortunately the dough was too stiff to mix the choc chips through, so we just pushed them into the top. They were still awesome!

I made Matty some Easter Eggs from scratch (but forgot to take photos) whereas he 'modified' existing eggs. Here is a picture of the Easter Egg he gave me:

The egg in the middle was filled with around 600gms of M&Ms and then put inside the large Easter Egg. The remaining space was filled with a mixture of miniature solid chocolate and caramel eggs. All up we estimated it weighed around 1.5 kilos!

Of course, Easter wouldn't be complete without Easter Bunny ears. Usually it's Matty or I wearing them, but this year it was our little man's turn:

I bet he won't let me do that to him in a couple of years time lol!

I hope everyone had as good an Easter as we did!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things that Inspire

Today's post was supposed to be about Easter and all the fun things I got up to in the days prior but this morning when I took my SD card out of the camera to upload the photos, the plastic casing on the SD card broke and now neither the card reader or the camera will read it. With 3000+ photos on the card you think I would be flipping out, but I have faith that my nerdy husband (the biggest geek I know) will be able to do *something* magical to fix it. Here's hoping anyway...

So today, since I have absolutely no photos for you, I am instead
going to show you some things that I have stumbled across while reading various craft blogs. Boy are there some clever and creative people out there!

First up, check out this Foam Dirt from Ikat Bag:

I simply HAVE to make this Dino Land Suitcase from At Second Street:

And I can't help but share the playroom that I am Momma - Hear Me Roar has created, complete with a tree that has 'pickable' apples!:

While all of these posts make me want to create things, the blog of Alisa Burke has got to inspire me the most. Grab a cup of coffee and head on over there - the creativity of this woman will get those juices flowing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

6, 7 and 8 Weeks Old

As promised I am back! I am excited to be blogging again and am hoping to be able to update you all on the projects I have been undertaking over the last two weeks. Today though (as with all Sunday posts) it's all about the boy!

During my hiatus, my little man turned 6, 7 AND 8 weeks old (well, he is 8 weeks today). Here is a picture of him at 6 weeks old (how cool is his 'super hero' onesie)!

We had a fantastic Easter on our first holiday as a family over in Murray Bridge and as a special treat for us, our son started smiling at us - yay! He was an absolute dream on the 7 hour trip, only waking for feeds and a bit of a play.

Here is a picture of him on Easter Sunday at 7 weeks old. As you can see he quite likes being dressed up as a bunny (not that he had much of a choice):

And here is a picture taken today at 8 weeks old:

The things I have learned over the past two weeks are as follows:

Keep a spare change of clothes in the boot of the car - I know I've mentioned about having enough clothes for yourself for times when you are poo'd, wee'd or spewed on, but I strongly recommend keeping some of these clothes in the boot of the car too.

Earlier this week I went our for morning tea with some friends. I got out of the car, started unpacking the pram and then realised my boob had sprung a leak. As a result, half of my t-shirt was wet with 'boobie juice' *sigh*. I didn't have a spare change of clothes, so I had to stand in the toilets for a good 10 minutes under the hand dryer lol. I was hoping that everyone else's perfume was making the sweet smell of breast milk!

Don't expect too much of yourself - It's a good day if your only accomplishment is getting out of bed, showering and getting dressed. Enough said.

Be flexible - I have a friend who has a small baby and she is not flexible in the slightest. She has a list of things to do for that day and they all get done, no matter what. Putting it nicely, she is a wreck. She is stressed to the max and doesn't seem to know why.

Sure there are things that may need to be done in a day, appointments to be kept etc., but if you are having a bad day it helps if you are flexible enough to shuffle things around.

This week we are off to get the first lot of immunisations done. It doesn't bother me that he has to have the needles as I know that it is doing him good. The part I think I will struggle with is if he is miserable for a day or two as a result. I'm sure it's nothing that lots of cuddles on the couch can't fix though!