05 November, 2013

Baby Pickles update

Here he is, my beautiful little man, my lovely Baby Pickles. He is nearly fifteen months old (and still snuggling billee the oobee by leslie keating).

He is such a delight! He laughs hard, he adores his big brothers, he tries hard to make them laugh. He is confident, determined, snuggly. He is lovely.

And talking!! The ex-speech pathologist in me is pleased - he has more than ten real words: ta, go, look, more, mumma, dada, bottle, James, yuck, dummy, bath, bye, hello, water, home. His first words are different from the other boys' - they are social words - less action words than Little used, and less object words than the Gherkin used. I wonder if this is a clue, as it could have been for our previous boys, about the sort of personality he will develop as he gets older.

The older boys adore him. (So do we.)
Chat soon xx

23 October, 2013

baking up a storm in an allergic house (aka keeping it simple: The Humble Scone)

Hi there!

So, have I told you that I love to bake. Love it! With my three cheeky rascals keeping me, well, busy, I often don't have the time I would love to have to make stuff. But, baking, well, that's a different story! The boys love to help out, and I love the feeling of having created something, even if in the kitchen, rather than my crafty space. Add to that the challenge of finding great recipes that are both egg and nut-free (or at least adaptable), and I am in.

So lately we have had an awful lot of playdates, which has been lovely! And a great excuse to bake! There are a few favourite treats I have been taking along, but this has been the hit. It's funny, I'm not sure if it is the same everywhere else, but in Australia there seems to be this great mythology about The Perfect Scone. So if you bakes scones, and they do not resemble hard, crumbly small rocks, you are crowned as somewhat of a baking superhero/goddess.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the Australian Country Womens Association, who used to pride themselves on leading the way in all things baking...

Anyhoo, this recipe for me, has been a never-fail. So I thought I would share it here.

Before I start, I need to acknowledge that this is a tweak of a recipe from someone else. I have a small piece of notepaper taped into the back of my recipe book, with a version of this recipe - no name, and I have no recollection of where it came from, although I have a suspicion it may have come from a Val or a Sylvia.

The Humble Scone

3 cups SR flour
1 cup cream
1 cup sparkling water

(Disclaimer: I am not a baker! I am not a cook. I am a mum who is starting to bake the basics, and loving it. And I want to share the joy. I hope you have luck with the recipe, and if not, tweak it until it is your own.)

Preheat your oven to 220C.

Mix all your ingredients just until combined (don't overdo it) - the dough will be wet and sticky. Pop the dough out onto a floured bench, give it a bit of a gentle fold over until the dough feels good, you know, doughy. You don't want to give it a hard knead - just a gentle fold over. Next steps, don't roll the dough, just lightly pat it down. Cut it out, using round cutter or plastic cups (with a plastics drawer that is very accessible to a one year old, we have to make do with whatever we can still find in the kitchen!). We usually get between nine and twelve scones out of one batch of mix, depending on which cutter we use. Pop in the oven 15 mins in a preheated oven at 220C.

When you're done, take them out, let them cool for as short a time as you can manage, spoon on some local jam and yummo! You're done.

Have fun xx

13 October, 2013

Whip up a market bag!

Got some sewing in last night (after the duelling laptop date with Mr Pickles - him studying, me working). A new market bag! This one was made from a vintage double Sheridan sheet I picked up for $1. It looks unimpressive in the photo, but once you start to fill this thing it suddenly becomes enormous! I love it - hope everyone else does too, this may just become my go-to home-sewn gift...

The tutorial's here, via Whip Up and by the amazing Alexandra from Lola Nova.

The tutorial's very simple, very clear, and the sewing EASY. Love it!

Back soon xx

07 October, 2013

the gherkin - getting older

The Gherkin has his first day of his last term at preschool tomorrow. Can't believe it - where has the time has gone? His next holidays will be the ones before Big School [gulp].

He is such a delight! Funny, loving, quirky, smart, gorgeous, lovely boy. This is him intentionally photobombing as I was trying to snap Baby on the beach. It's become a new (hilarious) joke of his. Love it. Cheeky monkey.


04 October, 2013

the pom pom party - the credits

Hi there! So there has been a little bit of interest in the pom pom party, which I had not quite expected!

I wanted to post about where I got the various ideas I pulled together for the party....

I have been collecting party ideas since I started out on Pinterest, and my party board is constantly being updated. I follow people who I know have brilliant party ideas and repin them as they pop up. As well, some clever bloggers I follow throw fantastic parties  - I pin their ideas too! My aim is just to make a collection of great ideas that I can use as a resource later.

So initially, I wanted to throw my one year old a confetti party, but it all just started to feel too tricky. Then my very brilliant designer sister in law decided she was throwing a rainbow party for her son (only a week older than Baby Pickles), so I decided to shift away from confetti.

So pom pom it was! I decided to stick with the confetti -funfetti?- cake, but add pom poms. I had pinned a number of these, but this one was probably my favourite, as I also loved the finish on the icing on the cake.

Rainbow Birthday Cake
After some how to ice a cake advice from this blog, and adding in sprinkles in between the three layers, a pom pom cake topper, and a cute vintage thrifted deer, my Baby's cake was done!

Okay, so the next thing: the baby banner! This idea was a direct copy from Stephanie at Simply Radiant . I tried to include one photo from each month of Baby's life and include different faces - happy, sad, funny etc... I was really happy with how this had turned out, and it is now hanging across the wall in Baby's room.

I had a bowl of pom poms on the table, just for the cute look, and then we had those big paper poms hanging from the trees - we can pick these up here really cheaply in $2/bargain shops.

Of course, we are so lucky to have such a beautiful garden, and it was such a beautiful day! It was only at the last second that I decided to pull out the "Christmas linen", which is why it has very clearly not been ironed! (Come on, I may be crafty, but I am not superwoman!) I wish I had thought of that a touch earlier.

I will pop up the printable thingy that I made to go in the party bags for the kids to take home with their pom poms, some time in the next week (or so).

Take care, happy crafting xx


01 October, 2013

stop! hammer time.

Yippee! Who could forget hammer time. Just found the best pattern for hammer pants (aka harem pants, parachute pants, etc...).

I had started on some hammer pants some time ago, but then had an extended adventure in the land of unpicking as I had actually made the waist/crotch too long, and had tried to be really clever and attach a separate waistband, before I tried the pants on Baby Pickles. I'm not sure I am using the right terminology here, but let's just say that the waistband came up to his armpits - seriously not cool. If only I had used a pattern, I may have saved myself a rare and precious spare hour.

Here is Baby Pickles in all his hammer pants glory.

Apparently, hammer pants are an all-weather pant (!) and perfect for days that might include: trips to the park, eating raw potatoes straight from the vege patch, and hanging out with pugs. (Apologies for the photo quality - there's only so much an early-noughties, pug-chewed phone will do).
These were made from a fantastic vintage homewares (curtain?) fabric I found for just 50 cents at one of my very favourite local opshops. The opshop is a complete mess, but has some real gems if you are willing to spend time sorting, especially in the fabric and books section. The thrill of the chase! I thought I was really clever making these without a pattern, but the time it took to work it all out! I did like the little detail I did on the outside left leg, which was really just a loop of fabric stitched on (you can just make it out on the potato shot), but made them look a little more special...

Next time, I fully intend to go down the sewing from a pattern path - I could use the pattern I made whilst making these, but how cool are these pants via suburbia soup? And with a free pattern download to boot! Love it.

Watch this space for more Baby Pickles in hammer pants action xx

ps. after using the word hammer seven times in the one post I thought it may be illegal not to link here


23 September, 2013

oops - he turned one!

Oops. Did I mention that Baby Pickles has turned one?

Can't believe a whole year has been and gone. And what a year! I don't often blog about the harder, parent-y type parts of our lives, but Baby's start was a rough one, with hospital admissions and dramatic weight loss and other upsetting bits and pieces [sigh]. But we all got through it and he is now such a delightful little being, though he does like sleeping on me just that little bit too much...

So... getting back to the story, we had a pom pom party!

pom pom cake :)
pom pom cake, decorations, banner
pom pommed out little man, who made it to the cake cutting (pre-lunch) and didn't wake up until everyone had gone home
[Edit: for more information about the sources of inspiration for the party, please have a look at this post]

Guests got to take home a big yarm pom pom with an inspiration sheet on things to make with pom poms, bubble mix, a small tub of playdough and a lollipop (mostly for the mums and dads for the car trip home!).

The other part of the story is that guests were asked to bring a pom pom that I would the put together with all the others to make a gorgeous pom pomerrific decoration for his room... photos to follow!

Chat soon xx

ps he loves his Billy the oobee! thanks Leslie xx

20 September, 2013


You could be forgiven for thinking I had fallen off the planet, but, no, I have been busy with work. And other things too! I have been crafting up a storm, truly! And op-shopping like a woman possessed...

Oh, and on other news, Baby Pickles has been diagnosed with an egg allergy, so I have been learning to bake egg-free (this is my egg-free pumpkin loaf - yummo!).

Back soon xx

06 July, 2013

why i've been missing in action


I've been missing for some time! Not lost, just off with small children.

Making dress ups.
Visiting the park.
Dealing with runny noses, gooey eyes and wheezy toddler (the joys of winter).
Taking a much-needed beach break.

Watching The Gherkin turn five.

Single parenting with Mr Pickles away.

And just hanging out. 

I hope to be back to post again soon, but, well, let's see what happens.

If I don't post here for a while, I will at least try to get all of my blog feeds onto feedly or something to stay in touch with all of your adventures.

Take care, xx

10 June, 2013

These days. Gone before you know it.

Okay, so I'm decluttering tonight. It's all part of my Tidy Up June effort (more on that later). Sitting in the loungeroom literally surrounded by boxes and boxes of baby boy clothes, now all outgrown by all of our three boys. Ugh. All of a sudden, I started feeling giddy, feeling the boys' childhoods hurtling away from us. It's all too fast! (And yet, every day goes so slowly). Have to remember this feeling when tomorrow afternoon (probably around half past four) they are starting to go slightly bonkies and I am dreaming of that teleporter again.

We have had a rough old few weeks in this house. Ear infections, conjunctivitis, bronchiolitis, impetigo, the 'flu, gastro, three weeks of sleeping on the floor of a little one's room or sitting up on the lounge holding baby pickles. But still, the thought that their babyhoods have (almost) gone, that we are planning no more babies, that this phase of our life is ending... well, I just want to have a good ol' fashioned cry.

Ugh. Feeling nostalgic, sorting through all of these baby clothes... [Breathe in, breath out]

Chat later xx

23 May, 2013

trackie thursday!

Yay! Another week, another trackie thursday.

For those of you just tuning in, trackie thursday is our slow day. No preschool, no playdates, no swimming lessons, no reason to leave the house, or even get dressed. trackie thursday is our day of rest.

Today we did have some friends pop in in the morning, but then all was quiet, it clouded over and got seriously cold. We braved the cold for our daily walk, and then got home with still 90 minutes to go until bathtime and the nighttime chaos/rituals.

So, remembering a fine idea I had seen recently on pinterest we set out to try to make one of these:

Now, I don't know about your kids, but my kids just don't make stuff that looks like this (perhaps they may one day). Instead, we made something that looked a little more like this:

So theatre designers we may not be, but it seems panto performers we are! We all happily whiled away nearly two hours on the making and then the performing and watching. What great fun! And of course, the dinos had to be in the audience, too.

Have a happy week! xx

22 May, 2013

What Madeline's wearing this Wednesday

Hi there!

Introducing Madeline, my fabulous dress form (and friend, of sorts). Madeline is often used for sewing, but is used just as often for me to hatch and test ideas about outfits, accessories, ideas to sew. I was looking at her this morning thinking just how gorgeous she looked, and decided she deserved a photo. And perhaps even a blog post!

So, this is what Madeline is wearing this Wednesday:

Singlet, so old I just do not know where this one came from, or when.
Cardigan, old (now too small, read: tight) JAG jumper split up the middle
Vintage lace trims, opped for $2 for a huge bag
Skirt (yet to be stitched), vintage tablecloth
Necklace, braided tshirt strips from opped tshirt
Flower from miss rose and sister violet

Thanks Madeline!

How do you organise your creative thoughts? Are you a pinner on pinterest? Do you have a mood board? A journal? What helps you pull ideas together and know what's next?

Chat soon xx

17 May, 2013

{this moment} - mummy sandwich cuddle

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

This moment was inspired by Soulemama. If you’re tempted to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. 

16 May, 2013

trackie thursday!

Little's effort - a dolls house rocking horse

Yay! Another week, another trackie thursday.

For those of you just tuning in, trackie thursday is our slooow day. No preschool, no playdates, no swimming lessons, no reason to leave the house, or even get dressed. trackie thursday is our day of rest.

It is also typically the day that we do cool stuff at home. We play, we bake, we make.

Today, we painted our dolls house furniture. The boys really, really loved this activity. Not quite sure what the attraction was - the new paints, the new surfaces to paint, or the fact that it all felt a little bit like vandalism (!).

The Gherkin, concentrating (by some miracle the tongue is in xo)

Little stuck with it for a good twenty minutes, before he started painting his arms and face (with craft acrylics - excellent!), and The Gherkin was there for much longer. And, this mummy is learning - I remembered to ask the boys to paint with paper and placemats under their work. Last time we painted on the kitchen table we stained the timber...

The Gherkin, still concentrating, but clearly very happy

The boys are keen for me to "makeover" their dolls house. I think now after their great start I need to put some effort in, too!

Chat soon xx

14 May, 2013

things i hope to sew soon...

So, over the past few weeks...

I have made 13 dinosaur tails.
Done monster patching on The Gherkin's jeans.
Made a cover/holder for my ergo baby carrier.
Finished replacement seatbelt covers for the kids' carseats (and in cute fabrics too - have to take some pics).

Now, it's time for some sewing for me. Here's a glimpse of some of the inspiring projects catching my attention at the moment:

by sloppop YEAH - have a lovely rose-coloured corduroy...

burdastyle casual dress 05 2012 pattern - in a wool or sweatshirt fabric?
marimekko MANTU - no words, really. lovely.
 nani-iro - I just know how good this would feel in one of our highland winters..
I may be able to refashion something opped/thrifted into something like this?
Now I just have to decide what's first on the list! What would you choose first? I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to sewing for me, which I rarely get to - I think I have done well to narrow it down to four projects!

Those of you in the southern hemisphere - what's on your sewing list for the cold months ahead?
And those of you seasons ahead, what was your go-to wear for your winter just passed?

I would love to beg, borrow and steal your great ideas!

Chat soon! xx

13 May, 2013

for those who believe in fairies...

Do you believe in fairies? The highlands do!
Autumn has arrived, and with it fog, moss, and fairy mushrooms! The boys are enchanted by autumn, by far the best and most beautiful season in our part of the country.
But, please, don't eat these mushrooms! These are a type of poisonous toadstool called fly agaric (amanita muscaria). Oh, and if you eat them, the fairies will have to move out ;)
Chat soon xx

03 May, 2013

dinosaur party!

He's three! Can't quite believe my Little is three already, and babyhood and toddlerhood officially over. And what a way to celebrate! The boy had his dinosaur party, that he so badly wanted, a purple dinosaur cake, and dinosaur tails for everyone! (that is, all of the kids - I could only find the time and energy to sew thirteen, rather than the thirty required if I sewed for the adults, too).
the happy birthday boy

There was no sweets table, gorgeously decorated, no pin the tail on the trex, no bracho-bubbles, so many of my pinned ideas will sit waiting til our next dino party (I have three boys, I am sure there will be another coming my way!).
very happy Little with his purple dino cake


Little had the best day, and love love loved his cake! He didn't like wearing his tail though, so he was the only kid there without one! Other little friends, on the other hand, didn't want to take theirs off...
I wore my new tunic that I made and keep mentioning but never photographing, and The Gherkin decided under no circumstances would he be photographed.
We had a brilliant day. Happy birthday my beautiful Little boy xoxo


21 April, 2013

preparing for the dinosaur party!!!!!

So, believe it or not, our Little is turning three next week. I can't quite believe it, his babyhood has just vanished. I now am beginning to understand what people mean when they say "enjoy it dear, it all goes by so quickly". It seems it was only weeks ago that he was brand spanking new.

He is growing into a big boy and wants a dinosaur party this year. But, to be very clear, he does not want dinosaurs that Rah! coming to his party. Just the quiet ones.

So much inspiration on pinterest, it's a wonder my head just didn't pop! So many cakes, most well beyond my skill level...

And then there's all the stuff that goes with it, the games, the outfits, the party favours, the decorations, the "dessert table". I am yet to see a dessert table at a kids' party, but I am impressed that people are going to the effort. Clearly I am going to the wrong parties! Here are some other bits and pieces that caught my attention:

how cool would slime be with an itty bitty dino inside?

oh my, check out the dino biscuits (cookies)
want one.

So, what are we doing for our dino party?

I don't want to spoil the big reveal, but we hope to have it in the garden. The birthday boy has requested a dino treasure hunt, a dino cake and we'll probably play pass the parcel and pin the tail on the... you guessed it, dino!

Little's friends will each get a dino tail (only have a dozen to make some time in the next few days!). Very much like this one:

my big boys in their dress ups for the Gherkin's fourth birthday party last year
And they will also be leaving with little dino bags containing a dino stamp each, a hopping dino toy and a dino crayon.

But more on our party during the week, I have to save something for later!

Have a happy week, chat soon xx



to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!