24 February, 2013

speaking of husbies felting woollens...

So, once upon a time I had a favourite cardigan. Pure wool, picked up from an opshop (thrifted) for eight dollars and big enough to keep me warm through my first highlands winter, belly swelling with bub number three.
Mr Pickles did me a favour a couple of weeks ago by washing all of my woollens and then popping them into the dryer. And voila! Felt ;)
Once I finished sobbing (kidding) I decided to make myself a beanie.
It was a piece of cake really:
1. With my cardi flat, and inside out, I traced around the shape of a favourite beanie
2. And then stitched along this line
3. And then cut the stitched beanie out of the cardigan with my pinking shears
4. And turned the completed beanie outside out
5. Done!
6. Oops! Not quite. A few vintage buttons later and...
7. I had a new, cute beanie to wear! I really should have been looking more excited, but I was too busy trying to take a self portrait (it's nothing short of a miracle that my tongue's not sticking out).
And just in time for an unseasonally chilly, wet highlands day.
How about you? Have you done anything with felted woollens? I now have quite a collection to my name, so I'm on the lookout for new projects ;)

Chat soon xo



23 February, 2013

we heart craft

So, every now and then my lovely hubby goes away with work. It's rarely for very long, typically 3-4 days, but it can make for a tricky time with the boys club (plus mummy) left at home.  Mr Pickles has just headed off on a whirlwind nine day trip to the U.S.

All has been going well. Until we went for our regular pre-dinner walk on day two of daddy's absence. The Gherkin cried and cried (and cried). He wanted to hold daddy's hand, not mine. He wanted daddy to put him to bed tonight, not me. He missed daddy. He wanted daddy to be home. He wanted to tell daddy that he missed him. (Being in horribly different timezones stinks). We stopped, sat down on the grass and had a big snuggle until he stopped crying. And then kept walking.

My nearly five year old boy adores his daddy. And he is beginning to realise that one day he will grow up to be like daddy. He watches Mr Pickles like a hawk, like he is taking notes now, for later.

One of my big wishes for the Gherkin is that he grows to be one half of the beautiful man his dad is*.

So, today we made special love craft for daddy. Printed pages covered in hearts, a little white crayon and watercolour paint, and hours of entertainment for the Gherkin (who really, really loved seeing the surprise messages magically appear).

 Happy non-Valentines Day Mr Pickles from your tribe. We love you, we miss you, do not forget to come home! xo

 * hopefully a little better at doing the laundry though, so all his loved ones woollens don't end up felted ;)

17 February, 2013

pom pommerific!

I have a dream of one day doing my big boys' bedroom up in nautical colours (not a nautical theme). At the moment it is... let say, eclectic (the reason you won't see any photos of that room on this blog for quite some time!). Today, I promised them if they went to bed like big boys, I would make them something new for their room for bedtime tomorrow night. I am part of the way there! Hoping that the two wee boys may give me some time tomorrow to do some more pom pom making and complete the project by bedtime.

Hope you've been able to squeeeeze some crafting into your weekend too.

16 February, 2013

doing better. and making stuff, too

Hi there!

Guess what? I have been crafting! Somewhat boxed into a corner, with a little friend's birthday party here all of a sudden and my inability to face putting the three boys in the car and driving into a local town to a toyshop, I had to make something. And so I did - voila!

My apologies for the crumby, crumby photography - this was taken using my dodgy ol' mobile phone on our way out the door to the party. It's a 0s and Xs (tic tac toe) set in a bag! I would love to take credit for this original idea, but it was absolutely inspired by the work of others, including:

Now I'm wishing I had taken a better photo of my effort (and wishing I had also had blue felt in the stash, to use instead of the yellow.. never mind!). I was so proud of this effort today, which was actually completed within a typical crazy day with three boys under five!

Doing better on the being more kind front. I find that the hardest thing about three small people is the constant lack of sleep. I know that this has spoken about by others, more eloquently elsewhere (like here), but sometimes, what I wouldn't give for twenty four hours filled with a solid night's sleep, a slow start and an afternoon nap! It is absolutely the key to my mood and my ability to be a great mum to my three beautiful boys. So, what to do in the absence of sleep? Fake it! I am trying to plan ahead distractions for the boys, and funny stuff too - silly things that will break the tension when these build. So far, so good.

Hope your weekend is a wonderful one xo

13 February, 2013

a little promise for the gherkin

DSCN4899, originally uploaded by summer pickles.
Today wasn't any sort of anniversary, birthday or cause to mark his birth. We just had a tricky day today, is all. But we hoped and wished and longed for him for so long - I feel like I should have been better prepared for this parenting gig. But, whew! It is hard work.

Tomorrow I'll be better, a kinder, more fun version of me.

Just look at how excited (and nervous) we were to be meeting him for the first time!

I'll be better tomorrow.

Chat soon xo

08 February, 2013

baking with kids: schiaccata

My boys love to bake. Who could blame them, especially when there are always treats at the end?
Today we outdid ourselves - we made dough, people! This takes time to rise, knead (read: waiting) - something I didn't think my boys would tolerate. But there you have it, they're full of surprises.
Determined to use the grapes slowly getting softer in the fridge, today we made Schiaccata, using Ian Parmenter's original recipe from his book L Plates. It's like a sweet grape sandwich pizza. But this doesn't sound very appetising, does it? Probably better to just look at the pictures, really.

This was pretty simple to make, but we would adjust some of the ingredients next time. Interestingly, Ian has since appeared on a number of ABC programs, radio and telly, and has altered the recipe . I think these changes (increasing ratio of grape to dough, increasing flour in the dough), are fairly much in line with our experience.
Our dough at first was more like goo, and required a LOT of extra flour to be added in the kneading stage. Thankfully my dad assured The Gherkin over the phone that all was not lost, or I may have just chalked this one up to a sensory experience for the boys, and an important life lesson about baking...
But in the end, our resulting schiaccata was a hit, scoring a five out of five on The Gherkin's scale (where 1 = this is terrible, and 5 = this is the best thing I have ever eaten). Little Pickle was also impressed, but just as happy with the honey mixed through natural yoghurt. Not sure if there was more in his mouth or on his clothes, bless him!
I feel like I may be slowly getting toward one of my new years resolutions - to bake bread without a breadmaker. One success with yeast under my belt, and the year only young, I may bake a loaf of bread yet...
Chat soon xx

07 February, 2013

addictions, collections and moral dilemmas

Well, hello!

My name is Hannah. Did you know that already?

I am coming clean today. You see, I have an addiction... ah, a collection. Well, let's be fair, a couple, but I'm not talking about the fabric stash kind. I'm talking about vintage books. Vintage childrens' picture books in particular. It's all about the illustrations, which I just love.

Illustrations like these:

I see these books, and I just can't stop myself. Perfect condition, drawn in, split spine, completely and utterly falling apart - if they have illustrations I find quirky, funny, really just so ugly I am amazed they ever got published, or beautiful, they're popped in my handmade tote, coin purse lightened and off I go. To the next op (thrift) shop.


So I was looking at some of these in less than fabulous condition the other night, and thought I might need to take out a page and frame it for my boys. But it does feel wrong to extract a page from a book. Particularly one that has had at least one previous owner - I almost feel as though the book is just on loan.

But this would look gorgeous on the boys' wall, wouldn't it?

What do you think? Is it criminal to tear pages from a book? Or ease pages from a split spine? Or slide out a page wedged between other loose pages? Is this why colour copying and printing were invented?

These are the dilemmas I ponder when everyone else (hubby included) is in bed. Perhaps I need something to do, like folding some washing. There is plenty of that.

Chat soon xx

ps. i'm playing along with a month of home  - are you?


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!