Saturday, 31 December 2011

The end of 2011

I am not quite sure where this year has gone. It has zoomed past me so quickly, I have hardly had time to do the things that would normally make me happy.
  • We had another baby, Nicholas
  • We sold our house
  • We made plans to build next to my inlaws (or outlaws)
  • We coped with 4 months of a screaming baby until he was diagnosed with reflux
  • We coped with another 4 months of shattered sleeping until we went to sleep school
  • I started my M. Ed (Teacher Librarianship) .. was I mad? probably
  • I have been trying to get back into running as time out and regular exercise.
In amoungst this, there wasn't much time for doing what I love .. sewing and crafting.

Next year I return to work and in addition to my two classes of teaching, I am doing one "class worth" in the Library. So excited about this change (giddy like a school girl). As for Konstant Kaos ... I have been doing lots of thinking and planning lately and my first task is to run down my stock levels and then I have a few ideas how to move things along. But it might happen after we move house in April.

via KikkiK

But my New Year's resolution is to take it one month at a time. At the start of the month, set the goals and see how that goes. I found this cute little pad in Kikki K to build good habits which I might use to make sure that I am eating well, exercising well and also getting some sewing time in as well!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Creative Space: Aunty Cookie

I got this print a while back and it sat on my wall attached with blue tac while I contemplated how to frame it. I liked the fact that the edge of the picture was ripped and that added a sense of authenticity to the original piece of artwork.

I bought a frame from the swedish super store and I looked at the print the mount and I thought, no ... it needs something extra.

So I hunted up some red fabric and mounted it onto that then into the frame. I think that it looks good on my sewing room wall. I managed to pick up another print from Aunty Cookie and I think I will do the same.

If you are looking for any more creative spaces ... hop on over to Our Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Gift Wrap the Aunty Cookie way

I love the ritual of wrapping gifts for Christmas. This year I bought the Aunty Cookie gift wrap PDF via her etsy shop. Really, really cute!

The PDF is only A3 in size, so ideal for small gifts and I have used it as a wrap accent on large pieces. I love the statements like "of course, yes. I honestly love it."

Go and get yourself some Cookie Christmas Wrap.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


I like to decorate my Christmas Tree's with wooden ornaments with a red/silver/white scheme. I am not much into plastic tree's, I love the smell and look of the real tree.

This year I stumbled across Urban Timber Woodworks on etsy. They do laser cut snowflakes for the Christmas Tree. I thought that they were gorgeous and took a gamble and bought a few sets. When they arrived they were even better than I thought and they had this lovely smell about them as well.

Nice and crisp design.

Here is one of the sets.


And here is a cute cat photo posting in front of the Christmas Tree!

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Link below in comments!

Monday, 12 December 2011

All aboard the Gosling Train ..

I'm a bit slow at the moment. I finally got around to seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love and have discovered Ryan Gosling. The movie was quite enjoyable and Steve Carell did a wonderful job as the middle aged father going through a divorce. I am not a large fan of Julianne Moore, but she did an alright job of the role.

After mentioning that I had discovered Gosling, a friend posted this site, Handmade Ryan Gosling, to Facebook. So for your enjoyment (and mine)...



I can imagine Ryan saying .. "Hey Girl, let me sort those fabric scraps into colour groups for you". Or, "Hey Girl, Order as many Jelly Rolls as you want, I will still love you .."

Cushion for Kerri

I'd been wanting to make something from Elizabeth Hartman's book for ages, but study and house preparations have kinda got in the way.

A friend was turning 40 and said "no presents" so I decided to make her a pillow. I got a handful of fabrics from my favourite fabric store.

And I had a go of my favourite pattern of the book.

I had a go at the pattern as a "sampler". The square of fabric that I used was a little smaller than the one that she recommended, but I really enjoyed the process of placement and sewing of the leaves. I cut them in bunches of 4 so that it wouldn't take as long to cut the leaves. The applique was easy and effective to do.

On the back I cut 4 1/2 inch squares and patched them together. If I were to do this one again, I would probably make the pillow larger and sash it.

Elizabeth writes clear and concise instructions with lots of little tips and hints along the way. I also love the way in which she lists "alternative ideas" at the end of the pattern, sparking the imagination even more.

I look foward to making more from this book when I get some time.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

10 months

We coming upto the 10 month mark with Nicholas and I am not sure where the year has gone. It is already that time to be talking about returning to part time work next year :(

I haven't gotten half of the crafting done that I wanted to get done. But we have put a house on the market and on Saturday she goes up for Auction. It is amazing how much physical and emotional energy selling a house takes.

At 10 months he is a strong little boy, doing things that his big sister never did. Like standing in the cot and shaking the sides of it, whilst screaming. He has started to try and climb the stairs in the hall and likes to pull himself up on everything; Me, stools, couch, cat ..

His sleeping is so much better since we visited Mitchum Private Mother Baby Unit. We now have the techniques to get us through those horrible days and nights where he is restless.

I have abandoned any plans for a crafty Christmas this year, making minimal gifts. With the lack of sleep and house plans I was just making mistakes all over the place. What I have done is organised a craft box for when I sit in front of the telly. Full of projects that don't require lots of brain matter.

Do you have a crafty box? What is in it?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mr Kammel's Modern Steam Engine

Any excuse to share a gorgeous picture of my hubby.

Take in the Engine room of the Steamboat Wattle, moored at Docklands. Photo taken by the very talented Kerri Valkova.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas for Cats

Life has been a bit full on, but we are through our first two "Open for Inspections" on our house, so I can almost feel that a sense of normality is returning (except for the fact that now my house is sparkly clean and has to stay that way!).

I've started to start thinking about Christmas and found myself looking for things for the kittens. Most of these finds are "in an ideal universe" presents because most are incredibly expensive!

I hope you enjoy my finds!

There are lots of cat drinking fountains around, but this one is quite stylish and also comes in stainless steel.

This sleepypod cat bed is gorgeous! I love the fact that you can buy a warmer. When the furballs are in the cattery you can unzip the bottom for them to sleep in it. It is also a lot less bulky than the cat carriers that we have at the moment and comes in some lovely colours!

ModKat vertical litter box is so cool! Not sure if this would work, I would be tempted to hack one from an old plastic box to see if my furballs would use it. The design is lovely with not too many corners for the dust to settle. Looks easy to clean and I love the idea of a washable liner.

Cool Cat Climbing Tower

I like the fact that this one can stack together if you needed to put it away. Cool concept.

Hollywood Franklin Cat Tower

I love this concepts and there are a few hacks around that have tried to do something similar. But this one is so stylish and I can imagine it in my backroom! The tower uses ikea parts, Stolmen components. You could probably buy components like this and attach them to the pole as well.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Finished Backyard .. my creative space!

We have been very busy at our place clearing out and getting things ready. The backyard is done and I can't wait until the pumpkin takes hold and makes the backyard look look luscious.

I am so pleased with how it has come together, especially the $13 glazed saucer under the tap (below next to the garage) that works well as a bird bath. In the morning I often come down and look out the back windows and see a bird washing itself in it. The cats love it.

My wisteria has taken off as well. There are still a few things to do here and there, but we are pretty much done.

And if you are wondering why the pictures look so swish, that is because our house goes up for Auction on the 10th of December. We had the "official" brochure pictures done the other day and the house scrubs up quite well! It was interesting to learn all the tricks that they use when taking pictures and the techniques that they use to do dusk photography.

We are moving closer to the parental units across the other side of the city. It should make the commutes each week easier and also provide Tori and Nicholas with more contact time with their grandparents. Even though I am sad to be leaving Northcote, I am looking forward to re-decorating another house again as I have caught the bug!

So I might not be around much over the next 4 weeks, too busy cleaning! I have been doing lots of crafty things, but not much time for blogging and even less time for projects that don't enhance how the house looks.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Through the eyes of a four year old

My daughter has claimed my old battered digital camera and spends lots of time taking pictures of odd things. But every once in a while she takes some gorgeous (in focus) shots of Nicholas.

On the change table, the picture previous to this one was a close up of the inside of Nicholas' nappy ...

In the high chair.

Then mummy had to grab the camera and take a picture of the both of them. It is true what they say that you take less pictures of the second born. Not because you don't want to, but because you are so bloody busy running after the first born!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Zen and the art of painting

I am trying for a Japanese inspired garden outside my bathroom window. We had an interior designer do a walk through of our house the other week. The most interesting 2 hours I have ever spent.

One thing that she recommended was to paint the fence a darker colour so that the green plants "pop". And so, I did this afternoon and I am rather pleased. I still have to go over it again to get the gaps, but at least the first coat is done.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

And then there were two

I've been sitting on this blog post for some time now. It is quite an emotional one and I guess it has stopped me from regularly posting.

We got Anastasia in November of 1995 and on the 10th of October 2011, she passed away. She was effectively our "first born".

She was always quite reserved and hated to be picked up. Probably due to being picked up as a young cat, she strugged and landed on the tiles and fractured her front paw. So if she wanted to smooch you, it was entirely on her terms. She was never a lap cat, but would happily sit next to you.

This photo was taken when we lived in Noble Park. Not long after we got Boris he instantly fell in love with our Russian princess. Boris was a street cat that we found a home for. Battered and bruised we brought him into our home and instantly they became a couple. Whenever I look at this photo, I hear Lionel Richie and Dianna Ross' Endless Love.

Ana and Boris are together again under the rose bush in our front garden. I miss her terribly, but in the end her kidney's had shut down and whilst we could have put her on a drip and prolonged her life for another month, it wouldn't have been fair. So we had to make the call, and it was such a hard one to make.

At least Natasha has Vladamir. It makes it easier on them to have someone to play with. I caught Tasha washing Vlad the other day the way that she used to wash Ana, he wasn't too thrilled with the experience but I suspect he liked the attention.

So that is what I have been upto ... not much craft happening, lots of interior decorating, Nicholas and I did sleep school and he is sleeping much better. But I guess I haven't felt like blogging much and now you know why.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

My Green Room

I have been enjoying the colours in my Green Room lately.

This rose is called Cardinal.

I think I grabbed a cutting of these daisies from someone ... they grow like weeds!

We have Gerbera in a pots out the front and they are older than our house!

I love the way that the freesias grow up through the African daisy.

We only ended up with one tulip this year.

What does your green room look like?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Just in time for Summer

Lots of things have been happening at our place lately, just in time for summer! Garden bed borders, paving and then tomorrow morning turf arrives.

I can't wait to feel the grass between my toes on a hot day, or to lie down on a picnic blanket with Nicholas. Victoria is chuffed about the paving out the front of her cubby house and is already planning red and pink flowers in pots to decorate the front!
Are you playing along with Blogtoberfest? Head over to Tinniegirl and check out what others are posting about.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

North of the Yarra Quilters Guild Exhibition 2011

If I have a moment to spare, I am hoping to zip along to the North of the Yarra Quilters Exhibition on Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th October. Open from 10am to 4pm at the Eltham Community Centre - 801 Main Rd, Eltham, Melways Ref: 21 J6.

I keep an eye on their blog and there always seems to be something interesting posted. On my to-do list is to complete a quilt that is "show worthy", preferably one of my own design. Until then I will lurk around quilt shows and dream of achieving that goal when I get a little time to indulge in sewing.

So if you are not up to anything on the weekend, head on over!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Playing with Goo

The theme for Camera Club this month is "Fluid in Motion", so we took the opportunity to play with Goo this morning. When you leave it, it hardens, but when you pay with it, it goes liquidy. My hubby could tell you scientific name for it, for us it was just fun!


1 packet of cornflour
1 cup of warm water
Food Colouring


Add water with a few drops of food colouring slowly while mixing to get the consistency needed. The water doesn't have to be warm, it is just easier on your hands! If the goo dries out, add more water! For something different, you can make it white and then experiment with food colouring.


Thank-you to the emails about Nicholas and his sleep (or lack of), last night was another shocker with him waking every 45mins or so. Sleep School can't happen fast enough for me!

Why don't you join us for Blogtobergest? It's not too late to join, head over to Tinniegirl and sign up and start blogging. What? You don't have a blog? Then sign up!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Welcome to Blogtoberfest

We are nearing the end of the year and blog entries have become far and few between. Blogtoberfest occurs at the right time to heart-start your blog again and hopefully score a few giveaways along the way.

Party Bunting from Lark that I got for Tori's Birthday Picnic

So why has my blog been so empty? I have a matter of days remaining on my first Teacher Librarianship subject and I am frantically trying to finish my second piece of academic writing. It has been tough going. Nicholas *still* isn't sleeping or settling like he should at 7 months and we are booked into sleep school in the next month (don't worry, I have a strategy for Blogtoberfest). My reward at the end of all this is a nice facial massage which I will book once I hand in my essay.

I have been compiling of crafty projects to finish once my sewing machine is allowed to be switched on again. I keep on telling myself that it will be worth it when I am fully qualified to be in the school library. At the moment things seem doubly hard due to Nicholas being so temperamental.

Why don't you join us for Blogtobergest? It's not too late to join, head over to Tinniegirl and sign up and start blogging. What? You don't have a blog? Then sign up!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Etsy Friday Finds

Some new things from some old favourites ... enjoy!

London Bus Cot Blanket by Sally Nencini
Sally's work is just gorgeous, check out her cushions!

Venus Necklace by Zippan Designs
I got one of their butterfly pendants a while back and everyone comments on it. This will be my next piece from them!

This ring costs a fortune, but can't you see why? Toolis Jewelry have an amazing selection of different contemporary rings.

ABC Pillow Cover by Helen Rawlinson
I have noticed this fabric popping up everywhere at the moment.

Fish and Chips Teatowel by Mr PS
I think that this would make a gorgeous wall hanging, if only the tea towel was in red!

Have a great weekend guys!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Over the Rainbow

She wanted a Wizard of Oz party for her birthday. But we were not too crash hot on a big gathering. Birthday #5 can be big, but the rest can be smallish. So she was given the opportunity to identify a handful of friends and we held a small afternoon tea in the local park.

Even though not many came dressed up, she had her Dorothy dress and that is all that mattered.

The difficulty was actually getting a picture of her, she kept on running away to play on the huge playground.

But we did get a few snaps of her!

I had the most amount of enjoyment with the baking. Making a cake for her on the theme Wizard of Oz. I'm no good at the fondant stuff, so I opted for a smartie rainbow and a meadow of flowers on a vanilla cake with cream and raspberry jam

Outfit Notes:
The blouse and petticoat was from the German Dirndl outfit that I made last year. I popped some light blue Ric Rac on the blouse and I unpicked and sewed up the petticoat so that it was more flouncy. The dress was a simple pinafore style dress with an invisible zip up the back and interfacing in the waste band. the pinafore used about a metre and a half of fabric. The skirt was just a length gathered, no fancy half circles or anything. The top is similar to an apron with straps that crossed over at the back.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Happy Birthday Victoria

I still can't believe that my baby girl turned 4 today.

The last 6 months have been jam packed with learning curves for her and now we are having full intellectual conversations with her. Now she is a little girl and this time next year we will be preparing her for school in 2013.

We picked her up early from Kinder, washed her, dressed her and decided to take a few photo's early knowing that she probably wouldn't be up for it later on in the evening. She has been battling a low grade fever for the last few days and was understandably tired. This is not unusual, we always seem to be sick around her Birthday. Two years ago she ended up at the Royal Children's with dehydration due to a bad case of gastro that we all ended up getting.

She has been wonderful with Nicholas, rarely showing jealousy. She sings to him, gets down on the floor with him and is quick to put a dummy in when he cries. She takes her big sister responsibilities seriously and likes to help at nappy change times.

Victoria is quite crafty and loves to create things and then play with them. Her craft desk is always a work in progress and once when I was doing hand sewing she came up to me and asked me to teach her. So I hope when she gets a bit more dexterous I can teach her to hand stitch and crochet.

And of course she loves to sing and dance. She has wonderful memory recall for songs and wants us to sing to her each night. She is always excited to learn a new song. Her favourite CD's are the Justine Clarke ones at the moment.

For my reference, here are the blog posts for her Third Birthday and Second Birthday.