Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shoes ...

Back to school for the kidlets today ... yay yay yay ... ok, that was from the mum, NOT from the children, they were less than thrilled to be back! I've got the washing sorted, dinner defrosting, some washing folded, and started in my wardrobe. I got all my shoes out ... look what I found! 18 pairs which doesn't include my slippers or my crocs, so that brings me up to 20 pairs. It wasn't that long ago when you were fortunate to have 2 pairs, one for every day, one for church ... don't know that progress is all that it's cracked up to be in some ways ... however ... I digress.

Of all these shoes, 4 pairs were bought brand new, the rest are from the op-shop, and I have paid between $2 and $10 per pair. I love Mary Jane shoes, and have 4 pairs (3 black, 1 pink). My husband feels that the pink pair are the ugliest things he has ever seen. I've only worn them once as a result, and I think they may be re-donated for someone else to love.

These are my new RED shoes ... they are so very very comfortable! There is a photo of me aged 6 with red Mary Jane's ... obviously I still love red shoes!!

Well, while it's fun to be sharing with you, I'd best get back into the day and make some progress on my 'real job' being a home maker ... Smiles, Mrs R

Monday, April 28, 2008

I can see the shelves!

Still carrying on the tidying in cupboards! I won't say it's becoming addictive, but I do like the results. I'm now in the kitchen pantry, this is where I keep things that I use daily, opened packets, canisters etc etc ... you get the idea. I discovered that I had 5 bottles of honey with about 1cm of honey in each of them. I boiled the kettle, warmed them and decanted into the current honey jar. Waste not, want not!

Here's a small 'before' shot ... sad but true ...

And a few 'afters' ...

AND, here is the pile ready for the rubbish bin ...

Next step is to re-label the tupperware containers on the baking shelf, nothing worse than making a cuppa tea for a friend and using salt instead of sugar ... and believe it or not, it HAS happened ... they still remind me about that ... good thing I really like these girls!

I'm not venturing up to the top shelf today, that can wait until tomorrow I reckon ... not sure that I want to know what I've hidden up there.

Kids & I had a huge day out today (all nice things) and on the way home, I used some money I'd earnt sewing and re-stocked the back cupboard. It's lovely to look in there and see stuff ... makes me far more secure and content (I know it's silly). Now I just have to maintain levels. Still some things I'd like to keep on hand, but that can happen slowly.

Off to clean up and take the rubbish to the bin (or dispose of the evidence!).

Smiles, Mrs R (grubby but content!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Photos ... to prove I've been busy!

Got the camera re-connected, so back in action!

Here is my version of the 'winkie' ...

How I normally wear my t-shirt

The attachment ...

The 'after shot'!

I feel far more secure wearing this! AND because it's attached to my bra, it doesn't flap or move ... when I bend, it bends ... and stays close to my chest. Certainly makes me feel much more comfortable and care-free as I'm not worrying about gaps or gapes, and no extra straps to drive me batty!

Here's the work I did for my friend ...

Embroidery in progress ...

I have a Janome 350E ... I'm still very much a beginner, but each time I use it I learn something more (even if it's what NOT to do!).

Here's half the pile ready for the threads to be clipped.

And, last but not least ...

The Blonde Mop's golf shoe bag.

He was quite chuffed with it, however proceeded to leave it home when he left for the game this morning, so had to play in his normal track shoes! Did have to laugh!

Well, as you can tell, I've had a busy weekend ... time for bed now ...

Nighty Nite ... Mrs R

Tidying, sorting & menu planning

Was watching "How Clean is Your House?" yesterday and was quite inspired to organise and de-clutter. Started last night in the bathroom, and emptied the cupboards and culled a fair bit.

Today, I got into the back cupboard (which lives in the laundry) that is my storage pantry cupboard. On Frugal Aussies, we've been talking about stockpiling and pantry stores. I was so happy to get in there and sort out so that I can see exactly what I have on hand, and what I need to shop for. I culled a huge garbage bag full of rubbish ... glad to see that go. Everything else got sorted, lined up and is now neatly arranged.

Top shelf, cleaning & washing products, light globes and a shelf for presents.

Next 2 shelves, packets, tins, jars etc
Toilet paper (not in the photo), wrapping paper, stationery & plastic bags.

Certainly not tackling the kitchen just yet ... that's a HUGE task that I don't want to think about!

Also went through the freezer stash and came up with meals for the next two & a half weeks (18 days). I have meat content, so should 'theoretically' only need to shop for basics and pantry stocking items! Will also put money aside for next big buy to re-fill the freezer.

Here's the menu plan:
  1. Chipolata sausages
  2. Bacon & Eggs
  3. Spag Bolognese
  4. Kebabs
  5. Pasta Napolitano
  6. Rissoles
  7. Casserole
  8. Minestrone
  9. Meat Pie
  10. Grilled steak
  11. Pizza
  12. Grilled Chicken
  13. Braised steak & onions
  14. Pasta Napolitano
  15. Spag Bolognese
  16. Stir fry
  17. Roast Corn Beef
  18. Scrambled eggs

Happy day, Mrs R

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lovely lazy days ...

Well, in my dreams maybe!!

Yesterday I took Little Miss Sunshine to the ANZAC day service after which there was a huge country style morning tea. Lovely to see & talk to people in our community.

On Thursday a friend gave me some work to do ... 7 pairs of trousers to hem, and 14 shirts to embroider - on one side over the pocket the driver's name on the other side is the company name. First time I've done commercial work like this ... took me all day, but finished last night! AND pretty well done if I say so myself. Pictures to follow - having trouble connecting camera to computer at present!

Last night, I tried to make what is essentially a 'dickie front' ... based on the Winkie. Mine isn't as pretty, but does the job ... feel far more secure about a wrap front blouse when wearing it. I used press studs to fasten the ends as mine is just for me ... still looking for the perfect fastener, safety pins?? Smile!!

This morning, cut out a shoe bag for The Blonde Mop's golf shoes ... just need to throw it under the sewing machine and cross my fingers. I'm using a pattern from a library book, hope it's big enough for his shoes ... he's got growing feet!

Dropped LMS at rollerskating and TBM at the shopping centre (where he was 'cruisin') and went to the op-shop for a wonderful wander. Good oodles of nice stuff ... ok, a bagful, but it's all nice. A shirt & skirt for work, lovely casual comfortable shoes for every day wear - which are bright red (I like red), some new bras (1 for me, 1 for LMS) and a t-shirt. Not bad for $18. I always swore that LMS wouldn't get black bras until she was 16-18, however, considering that she wear a fair bit of black and looks really good in it, figured it was better than she have something that blends rather than contrasts (think pink or white or green bras!). Far more classy. So, that theory went out the window.

Well, better get too and make this shoe bag ...

Happy day, Mrs R

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday, hems and dog teeth!

Popped into see a friend today, and he gave me 7 pairs of trousers to take up & 14 shirts to embroider over the pockets on each side! Good thing he made me a great cuppa tea and gave me unlimited access to the biscuit barrel!!! Trousers are done already, but the shirts may take some time ...

Charlie Dog went to the vet today to have his teeth taken out ... grand total of 22 removed. He will smell so much better and be so much happier for them gone. Plus, the bill is alot less than originally quoted (was thinking between $500-$600, came in just over $300!). I'm happy. We're off to pick him up shortly.

This is Charlie on the quilt my sister made him ... I bought a bag of doggy fabric scraps/strips from the op-shop and gave it to her, she pieced them together into the most beautiful floor mat for him. She's a very talented quilter!

Opened a box of knee high stockings today (4 pairs in a box) and one of the stockings didn't have any elastic in the top. Normally, I'd throw it in the bin and mutter. Today, I wrote a nice letter, enclosed the faulty stocking and have sent it to the manufacturers, requesting a replacement. Fingers crossed!

The Blonde Mop is making dinner tonight .... at least that's what he announced last night. He's going to make hamburgers, and I'm staying out of the kitchen! Might have to give him a recipe to show him how to stretch 500gm of mince for 4 people ... but he'll be fine! Both my kids like using the electric frying pan and flipping stuff and pressing down on it and basically playing ... I figure that the heat kills all the germs, so it's good to eat!

Smiles, Mrs R

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Carelessness and Catastrophies ...

Don't the two always go together?

The saga of my dress continues, went to set the sleeve in and discovered I'd overlocked the back neckline in with the shoulder seam and taken a good 2" off the top. Bother!! Luckily enough, there was enough fabric left over to cut a new back panel. So, unpicking I went, re cut, stitched, and no-one will be the wiser! Next problem is that the sleeve and the arm hole aren't playing nicely together ... mainly due to changes in the pattern I have had to make (to fit my huge bat wing arms) ... so, after some creative cutting, I have pinned the sleeve back in for tacking and trying on. This isn't as much fun as it could be. However, the good news is that once it's done, the pattern will fit well and I can just cut and sew the next one (if there IS a next one) without any fitting or dramas. I guess that's the bonus of altering the pattern as you go!

So, have put that aside for a short while ...

Sewing the next thing, which is 2 dresses for a customer. They are a very simple pattern, think very long singlet with slit up one side. However, the fabric is a shiny stretchy jersey that was horrid to cut out. And, due to various non-brain moments, have had to unpick a fair bit already ... which is sad considering it's such a simple pattern. Firstly, instead of stitching a centre back seam, I stitched the side seams together ... cheated and cut the entire seam off ... there is enough give in this fabric to lose that bit of width. Try again. Next, realised that I hadn't allowed for the side split. Back to the unpicker ... best thing about unpicking is that I'm using a twin needle to stitch the entire thing together so that all I have to do is slice through the zig zag stitches on the back and it all falls apart. Phew. Why twin needles you ask? Because the jersey is so stretchy, it gives some extra stability as well as the overlocking, and as I'm going to twin needle the neck, arms and hem, this is much easier than threading and rethreading each time I do a seam. I did have the foresight to wind 2 bobbins before starting, so that I won't have to stop and re-wind mid project. Always nice!

Also in my sewing basket is a huge amount of sewing for a friend who is currently overseas. That's good, she can't ask me where it is while she's away!! Will get onto that eventually, just not highly motivated ... all basic stuff, but needs bits and pieces of tweaking!

Well, off to the jersey dresses, then to explore the depths of my freezer and see what meals I can come up with for the coming week. Menu planning and money saving sure go hand in hand.

Happy day

Mrs R

Friday, April 18, 2008

Playing with patterns

Trying another of the op-shop patterns. This one is copyrighted 1974 ... I was 8 way back then! The pattern has never been used, wow ... that's saying something! It's a rather plain pattern, but there is something appealing about the cut and the front bodice.

As something completely new, I decided to tissue fit the pattern ... cut it all out carefully and pinned together. The pattern is a size 18 (yikes) but seems to be ok ... nothing major needs fixing, and as there are 1.5cm seam allowances, there is some measure of adjustment level involved. I bought some teal mechanical stretch fabric (150cm wide & $5.99/metre) ... it will fall beautifully and wash like a dream.

I was going to adjust to make 3/4 length sleeves, however will follow the pattern properly the first time. Who knows, I might just like it, and with winter coming up, the long sleeves may be handy.

The other issue I have is that it's falls just below the knee, whereas I tend to wear everything very long (just above the ankles - ballet length). Might give it a go, with black sheer stockings and black shoes, my legs might fade into the background ...

Will post pictures as they happen.

Mrs R

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First toile

Tried this pattern with mixed results. The pattern went together beautifully, the way it is constructed is a delight to sew ... few little tricks here and there. Beautifully crafted pattern, plus, I'm sure that the pattern has never been opened or used before. It was still folded neatly from the factory! The big disappointment was the size. It's designed for a size 14 (36" bust), however, it sure didn't fit me anywhere except the bust shaping, too small across the rib-cage and tummy, plus the sleeve was so very tight and the arm hole very high.

Would have to do some major modifications if I'm going to make it for wearing in public. Certainly have to think about it long and hard before going to all that work ... maybe I'll e-bay the pattern instead.
Mrs R

Op shops and sewing patterns ...

Popped into our local op-shop this morning and had a dig through the pattern box ... what a treasure trove. Picked up all these patterns for $1 (they love me down there!). You can't see all the detail in this one, but the first blouse on the left has pleated detail at the cf neckline. Will make a muslin (toile) and see what fit changes need to be made. Think it's an 80's style, so will be fairly loose (not a bad thing).

The top pattern is 2 dresses, but I thought that I might trim it down to make a nice wrap front blouse. The second pattern is a 70's style dress, it's a size 18.5 (huge) but I like the front detail and the flare. Again, will make a toile, and see what alterations need making. Might have to get my Happy Husband to pin a bit here and there (he's very obliging if you ask nicely).

These patterns are gorgeous. The first on the left is a pattern from the 60's, I really like the pattern pieces inside. The blouse is nicely shaped with darts at the back shoulders and in the elbows on the sleeves. The next top pattern is a misses size 12 (much too small) but I may be able to grade it up. Has a delighful petal neckline. Also from the 60's.

The bottom left is a late 80's number, really nice dress/blouse set, and the bottom right is a 70's number with a pretty bodice detail. Again a size 18.5, but will attempt to grade downwards!

So, all in all, am pretty pleased with my haul. Also picked up some fabric while trawling through the boxes ...

Will post more as it happens.

Mrs R

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cough Cough

Been unwell for about 5 weeks now ... started with a raging sore throat and ended up with a cough. Finally I went to the doctor who said I have Whooping Cough (Adult version). Well, there you have it!! I now have fantastic cough medicine (full of codine) and anti-biotics. Am starting to feel somewhat better. It's life as normal now, but I have to stay clear of my parents (both of whom have pneumonia!). That's a blow as we were going to visit on Thursday.

Been wanting to do some sewing but haven't wanted to tackle anything big or hard. So I made some hankies from quilting cotton that I had in the drawer. They came up beautifully, and are bright and pretty! Whilst I've been sick, discovered that I didn't have enough hankies, so this will sure help out!

This morning the kids & I had haircuts, the Blonde Mop actually submitted to having a trim ... he still has the length, but it's much neater and easier for him to care for. Little Miss Sunshine had hers layered and shaped, each time we go to the hairdressers, she ends up looking older! She has bought herself a box of hair dye (violet!!) and we have asked an older friend (17) to help her dye it ... so that's happening next Thursday.

Me with waves ... that's a first!! Normally dead straight ... but it's fun for a change.

Mrs R.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sewing Room

Thought I'd show you around my sewing corner ... I've done some tidying up which is still a work in progress. To the right which is all my machines, I have a Janome 625E, a Brother overlocker and my new baby, a Janome 350E, I actually have one more sewing machine that isn't shown, but that's a whole different post!

To the left ...

Top drawer of my rolling cart (newly neatened!) ... my scissors are AWOL at present, must find them an put them away. The shears definately need sharpening, that's a job to be done THIS WEEK!

Second drawer (again, newly tidied). See my lovely 'clapper' ... my dad made it for me. I went to a class and was shown how to use them and they were selling them for $35 each. I traced around one, and showed my father, who whipped it up out of some spare wood he had. It is wonderful. The bits of wood next to it are seam allowance measures that dad cut for me. They are 1cm, 1.5cm and 2.5cm so that when I'm pattern cutting, I can just lay them on the line and rule, and I'll get a perfect seam allowance without having to dot dot dot rule ... much easier!

Feeling quite positive about getting in and actually organising the rest of the sewing stuff!

Mrs R.

Sunday Skate!

Yesterday Little Miss Sunshine had her first Rollerskating Competition. She's involved in the Exhibition Skate which is a precurser to actually being judged. The children in her ability level go out onto the floor and just skate and show off what they can do for 3-5 minutes. It's basically a confidence builder so that they get used to skating infront of an audience and judges (although the judges seemed to view it as a break time!).

Considering it was her first ever event, I thought she did very well. She had to cope with a different floor, and the fact that neither of us knew what was going on! Live and learn I guess.

We did have a score as there was a stand of second hand leotards which we trawled through and found the most beautiful pink lycra/velvet confection. It fitted her perfectly and looks fantastic. Will be perfect for the next Comp (about a month's time). Cost $55, however, it did save me having to make anything.

I was very impressed and quite amazed at the varying leotards, the styles, the fit, the shape and oh, everything ... can see that once she gets a little bigger and out of pre-loved ones, I'll have to be sewing up a storm.

Here's a picture of her going onto the floor, in the leotard I did make her.

Smiles, Mrs R

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out and about!

Yesterday I did some clothes shopping, FOR ME!! I went to 2 op-shops and brought home a huge haul ... very proud of myself! I got

  • all in one flannel pj's (my husband says that I look cute) (new)
  • black skirt for work
  • multi-coloured long sleeve knit shirt (for work)
  • ankle height boots (new) Sandler Easy Steps
  • 4 magazines (2 cross stitch, 2 sewing)
  • piglet rugby jumper (new)
  • bra (brand new!)
For a total of $24 ... I was very impressed with myself.

Today after rollerskating, Little Miss Sunshine & I went to a different shopping centre and did some more winter shopping for her. Spent $117 and got 1 hooded zip jacket, 1 pair pjs (3 piece) and 3 bras (oh plus undies for the Blonde Mop). Also did a bit of food shopping on our travels (which is nice because the family does like eating!). LMS has decided that she likes "new clothes" as compared to "op-shop clothes". I had to bite my tongue so I didn't get down her throat (so to speak). I gently suggested that she gets more clothes from the op-shop, and that it is still a good place to shop. Notice the difference in the quantity and price between her shop and mine?? Oh well ...

Off to have a shower and get into my cuddly pj's ... 'night night ... Mrs R

Friday, April 11, 2008

Notebook Photos

Finally, photos of my notebook.
Enjoy. Mrs R

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cartin' Your Art ...

Thought I'd show you what I made earlier in the year ... these are the ones that I made for special orders ... they're an artist's folder for children. I had lots of fun making them. I promised in an earlier post that I'd show you the one I made myself ... hopefully tomorrow ... stay tuned. Mrs R


Isn't it amazing what you can do with an embroidery machine, a sewing machine, a bit of fabric and a keen and eager teenager? He is so rapt with this headband and has spent quite some time adjusting it so it looks good with his hair!
Mrs R (proud mum)

Busy Thursday

Phew, finally come home to a very happy Charlie Dog ... he misses me while I'm at work! Last day of work at the local high school today. They gave me a beautiful plant to say "thanks for helping us out this term" which was so kind of them. I had a very interesting, growthful time, and they were all very patient with me and I have learnt alot. I go to a new high school next term for 3 days a week. More learning I figures! Oh, in case you are wondering, I work as a relief School Officer, I have my name down at 3 high schools within a 20 min drive from home. The hours are good and it works in well with the family, plus I can get part time work that suits sporting commitments (children!)

Little Miss Sunshine & her friend caught the bus to the local rec centre for National Youth Day. The local YAC (Youth Advisory Council) are having an open cafe night with a movie (on a huge screen cinema sized screen). On the way home the Blonde Mop & I dropped in to see what was happening. He got involved in a game of poker, and the girls & I played Twister. My Happy Husband will pick LMS up after the movie (Surf's Up).

The Blonde Mop came home with a yellow headband. He asked if I'd make him a new one with a Nike brand on it. It's do-able. Unfortunately, we could only find some white stretchy stuff, and he really wanted yellow, but the white will apparently do for tomorrow. TBM asked if He could go shopping on the way home (late night trading) so off we went. He knew exactly what he wanted, and found school track pants at K-mart (I found some lovely foundation which cost more than his pants!), then off to Target where he got a windbreaker and a pair of new work trousers. Phew! At least he's a discerning shopper and knows what he wants and likes, plus is prepared to accept boundaries of finances and my shopping patience!

Off to make dinner I think - spag bol sounds like the go - quick easy and no fuss (plus very very filling!)

Smiles, Mrs R

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday Madness

Well, before breakfast, I managed to put up 6 pairs of trousers for a customer, phew! All done. Also been discovering the wonderful world of sewing blogs ... oh I am so inspired and motivated. I guess the first step is to actually clean up my sewing area so that I can 'create'.

The kids are out of school today, as we are going to our friend's funeral. He was 14. It will be a sad service, but a very important way of saying 'goodbye' ...

The Blonde Mop will brush his hair for the occasion (he's been told), and we've had a few wardrobe consults (mainly me saying ... "no" ... try again!) ... settled on a t-shirt (with attitude) & checked long shorts with skate shoes, very appropriate. Little Miss Sunshine has had 2 changes thus far, and is now in a summer dress (shades of white, rust, brown & hints of black) with bright blue shoes (with silver dangles & jingles), a black cardigan and a brown furry handbag. It's quite delightful ...

After the cuppa after the service, we will go off for lunch at the shopping centre, then to the hospital to have Little Miss Sunshine's finger re-xrayed to see if there is a fracture or not. Also find out exactly what she can and can't do and for how long.

The Blonde Mop is working again this evening, so will have to be home and get him back to work in time for 5pm (although he was smart enough to let them know that he may get in a little late, depending on how long we have to wait at the hospital).

My Happy Husband had a clever friend over yesterday afternoon, who fixed up our wireless connection. We can now have 3 people on the internet at once ... plus the Wii is also hooked up wire-less-ly. The Blonde Mop spent some time uploading and figuring it out this morning.

Well, best go put my best face on (with the aid of a well lit mirror) and skedaddle (will check for tissues first!).

Mrs R

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Patchwork handbag

I made bag late last year, but it's so pretty I wanted to share it. It was my first experiment with patchwork. Most of the seams line up, but the lace was a saving grace that covered up any 'fudges'. The pattern came from the magazine "Handmade" which I borrowed from the town library. I made another one which I had intentions of selling, however Little Miss Sunshine liked it so much she got it!!

Smiles, Mrs R


Well, here we are, I'm typing, you're reading ... what a nice way to start a blog!

It's been a lovely Sunday. My friend took my daughter and I to church. The pastor preached from Romans. He is working through the book. Last week he did Verses 1 & 2 of Chapter 1 and today he did Verses 3 & 4 of Chapter 1. If he's going at this rate, it's going to last all year and maybe then some! Regardless of that, was a lovely service, and nice to be part of the fellowship.

My parents came over for arvo tea and Little Miss Sunshine (our daughter) made hash browns for snacks. Was rather funny watching her cook, she has dislocated her little finger on her dominant hand, and it's somewhat limiting, but she's pressing on regardless. Mum, Dad, the Blonde Mop (our son) & I played the Wii bowling. Was lots of fun. Dad kept on forgetting to keep his feet tucked in and mum & I were constantly tripping over them as we bowled.

I've been puddling around making Little Artist's Folios recently, and wanted to make myself something for work. I took the Note taker design and 'tweaked it' ... I had got a lovely well worn Italian Suit from the op-shop (free - it was moth hole-y) ... and knew that it would make something quirky.

Only cooked for 3 tonight as the Blonde Mop is working. Having a job has been wonderful for him, he is learning about work ethic, money management and the best thing (for me) is that he gets dinner to bring home. Anyways, I made a pasta sauce (of sorts). I cooked up some bacon, tin of tomatoes, 3/4 jar of pasta sauce, diced capsicum & onion, and a grated carrot. Served over cooked macaroni and topped with grated cheese. Delicious. AND there is enough left over for my husband's lunch tomorrow. Bonus.

Anyways, that's enough for my first post. Stay tuned, tomorrow I aim to post the photo of my work note-taker.

Smiles, Mrs R