Saturday, April 28, 2012

A scarf.....or two

Master M asked me to make him a scarf the other day.  I think it was the fact that it had suddenly turned cool and even though he REFUSED  to put on anything other than t-shirt and shorts, he must've felt a little cool to ask for a scarf.  He wouldn't even put shoes on so I just let him feel the cold.  He'll work it out when his feet turn blue!

After dropping Little Miss R at school I got straight into making a lovely grey scarf for my little man.  I had a PROJECT that needed finishing so no amount of housework was allowed to get in the way.

Luckily I checked with my boy because after about 10 minutes of crocheting I asked him how he liked it.  The look on his face was EXACTLY like his father's at times as he so calmly and dryly informed me that he wanted it BLUE!

After a quick search through my stash I realised that I did indeed have some blue yarn so I began AGAIN.

A few hours later it was finished.  It really didn't take me that long to crochet but I did have a zillion interruptions along the way because you can't just sit on your bum and crochet when looking after an extremely active 4 year old boy.

I didn't edge the scarf and it's also made out of two different coloured blues because I ran out of the first colour about two thirds of the way through. 

Considering my little man was asking me if I'd finished it about every 5 minutes, I didn't DARE undo it all and start again with the second colour knowing I had enough of this to finish a full scarf for him.

He now has a two coloured blue scarf that he loves so much and keeps wrapping around himself telling me:

"my scarf is LOVELY mummy.  I love's LOOOOVELY"

This was repeated MANY times.  Very cute, that was until he decided it was perfect for tying on of his crocodiles up with.  I really should have know that's what it would end up doing as any piece of rope, yarn, belt, fabric etc that's more than about 50 cm long ends up tying up one of his MANY crocodiles.  He's obsessed.

Then I decided that when Little Miss R got home from school she'd really want a scarf for herself.  I mean a few days ago we had the air conditioner on at night because it was pretty hot but it's the first cool day so out comes the winter stuff!

I decided to make my girl a scarf for school so here's the start of what I'm doing:

Will show you the rest when I've finished it, as well as the verdict from my girl.  It could go either way with her, she'll either love it or in  no uncertain terms tell you that she HATES it and that she wanted something in PINK....or BLUE.......or PURPLE.......or RED.....whichever is her favourite colour at that particular moment.

I just do what I want and I know that she'll like it on ONE day in the near future at least.

xx Susan

Friday, April 27, 2012

Some people just don't get it

Lovely hubby was wandering past the other night while I happened to have my blog post list up.  Something caught his attention so he asked "what on earth is Green Pie?"  (That's the polite version).

He wanted to know, so I showed him the blog post.

After being a good and dutiful husband, he read the whole post then walked off with a funny grin on his face shaking his head.

I'll add now that lovely hubby doesn't actually read my blog.  I'm not at all put out by the fact that he doesn't because I know that the whole blogging world is something that he's not interested in. 

His reaction showed that he truly doesn't 'get it' though.  I still love him very much and it's definately one more special thing that I can have to myself. 

After all, I really don't get his love affair with WOW. (World of Warcraft computer game.  Bores me to tears and can't think of anything worse actually.)

If he took up crochet though and started to get interested in blogging then I think I'd be REALLY worried......oh dear, I really don't think I want to go there!

I wasn't going to add this but it does nearly defy belief and I'm sure you all have some good stories about stupid things your husband's have done.

Just before he headed back to work the other day, he decided to make a fire to clean out all the tree branches that he had cut down.

I heard lots of excited noise from the kidlettes and walked outside to this.....

The dry branches really started to take off and soon the flames were higher than our shed.  This shed has a quad bike just on the other side of that wall as well as our camper trailer, cans of fuel and I'm sure many other flammable things.

Out came the hose and he started to hose the shed down while the fire continued to burn.

Once he realised that I was standing there, he gave me a sheepish grin and said..  "we wouldn't want to burn the shed down would we?"

A thousand things went through my mind about how to reply (lots of versions of   'WHAT THE F*?! DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING")   but in the end I just calmly said..

"no honey, we REALLY wouldn't want that."

Hope you have a great weekend.

xx Susan

(The shed is still is my husband).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another go at the Grocery Challenge

I decided recently that my grocery shopping was really getting out of hand.

I think it may have been the fact that things kept falling off the shelves every time I opened the pantry door.  They just didn't have the room to all fit in.

Last year I challenged myself (as inspired from Sue) to spend only $80 a week to feed a family of four for nearly 3 months.  With a little organisation I found that I did it with ease.

If you want to read more about it then head to my side bar and click on my other blog Sunshine Smiles which I've had for the last few years.  In the label section on the side bar you'll find GROCERY CHALLENGE where you can read my posts about it last year.

So why did I allow myself to let my grocery bill get out of hand again?  I really can't tell you exactly but I think that laziness or just the ease of not having to sit down and work things out probably won out.

You know what......that's just completely crap.

It took a small amount of time to work out my menu plan and grocery list once I had it all organised.  I only ever did it when hubby was home and he was given strict instructions that I wasn't to be disturbed by him or the kidlettes in the half an hour or so a week that I would sit down to work it out.

I did really well.

So now with everything getting out of hand, it's time to do it again.

Last week was my first week and even though I've given myself $80 if I need it, I'm trying to do it in under $60.  The first week probably is the easiest because you're using up things out of your pantry and freezer for most of the meals.

Imagine my surprise when I spent only $51.27 for the week.  This includes bread and milk too and we also have to buy special milk for Master M who is lactose intolerant.  (Perhaps I should just buy a cow though as he had NO problem with fresh cows milk from the farm.)

So I'm starting the grocery challenge again and this time I'm not giving it a time limit.  $80 a week is all I'm allowing myself because I KNOW  I can do it easily.

Wish me well everyone.

xx Susan

(Oh and remember, I don't have anything growing in my garden because I'm really not that much of a gardener.  In fact the only thing I had growing was parsley and Little Miss R ate all that because she loves to snack on parsley all day long.)

An oval basket

Here it is! The basket I was making the other day is now finished. Yay!

It's been pulled apart many times (the base about 5 times) and the sides redone (4 times) until I was happy with it.  Sometimes it was just way too floppy, others I made it too high and it wouldn't sit right. 

I've finally got it how I like it and thank goodness I wrote down most of what I did so I can make another one.

Who knows, I may even have a go at writing up a tutorial for it but that may be a little too scarey for me!  We'll see.

It's made using a size 7mm crochet hook and combining 3 8ply strands of yarn to help give it some structure.  I used bright pink, light pink and blue to give it a speckled look. 

Hope you love my little bag.  I do.

xx Susan

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day 2012


A special day of Rememberance for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. (ANZAC)

Something that is special to the people of both our countries on April 25, every year .  A bond that was originally forged at Gallipoli.

There is such intense rivalries between our two countries but we also have such strong bonds to make our countries' relationship unique in the world I think. We really are like sisters.
There is that rivalry that most sisters have but we love each other so much that when it comes down to the crunch and the hard times, we do look out for each other.

This year Little Miss R wanted to join her school in the official town march.  The children amassed amid the chaos.

Then my Nephew J (7 years old), started to march off with his class....

...then it was Little Miss R's turn, walking proudly and holding her teacher's hand.

The ex-service men and women marched proudly.

All of the local schools were represented in the march but by far the largest representation was from Little Miss R's school.  There was an extraordinary amount of students and teachers there which was so wonderful to see.

In fact the head of the local RSL was amazed to see how many students had turned up and also mentioned that it was the biggest turn out for our local ANZAC Day ceremony that they had ever had.  I felt so proud to be a part of it.

Near the end of the ceremony there is always a flyover by an old war plane, this time a Wirraway bomber.

We all stopped and waved as it flew over, then came back to circle around us.  All the little ones were really excited about it.

My dad didn't realise that the kids were marching otherwise he would have got his father's war medals for us.  There is always next year as I think that we will be participating in this day for many years to come now.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor years condemn them.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

Lest We Forget.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The last storm of the season?

It's nearly the end of April which means we're about two thirds of the way through Autumn. Winter is officially just over a month away and we're still experiencing temperatures in the high 20's (celcius). Today has been about 27/28 celcius and quite muggy.

Now I'm sure most of you know how I feel about the heat and humidity so I'm getting a bit sick of it to tell you the truth.  It's been hot and humid since last September/October.  Please bring on the cooler weather...I really want to wear a cardigan!

Anyway....after that small rant I'd better get to the point of this post.

A storm started to build up this afternoon.  I thought I was going to get really wet picking Little Miss R up from school but we didn't.


The storm ended up to the south of us and headed out to sea before heading towards the north-east.  There was a couple of half-hearted rumbles of thunder but that's about it.  So this may be the last storm I see around here until about September/October so I have enjoyed it.


Just bring on some cooler weather PLEASE!

xx Susan

Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving the beach

I am not a really beachy person.  I don't really like swimming in the ocean these days but I do love to walk along the beach or just sit and watch the waves crash in over and over.  It really is therapeutic.

Friday afternoon after dropping Master M off at my parents' for a sleepover, then picking Little Miss R up from school, I decided we had to head to the beach. 

I just needed the soothing waters and views and I thought my girl and I could have special time together and have dinner in Caloundra as well.

It was the most gorgeous afternoon.  We wandered along the edge of the water and searched the rocks for treasures.  I ended up sitting on a rock just soaking it all in while my girl continued to explore.

Then it was time for a play and lots of energy burning fun.

Once we started to get hungry we headed back along the path to the beachside cafe's to find something for dinner.  I was intending to get fish and chips and sit looking over the water but Little Miss R desperately wanted to be grown up and go to a restaurant on her special night with mummy.

So it was off to one of the cafe's where we still got to sit looking over the water, we just had to watch the cars go by as well.

It was so lovely and after the week we've had, my girl was so well behaved with perfect manners and was a delight to be with. 

Once home we snuggled up together to watch a movie to top off our girly night. 

It was lovely.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some hooky business

It's no secret that I've struggled this week with the kids. I've been pretty exhausted and on a number of occasions found myself sitting at my sewing machine staring at it.  I have no idea how long I'd been there for but I'd just zone out.  My brain's method of trying to cope obviously.

As much as I wanted to do some sort of crafty stuff, I couldn't work out what I wanted to start on.  I wasn't interested in finishing anything I already had on the go and if you want the truth, all I wanted to do was crochet.

I wanted to do something with wool and not cotton like the bedspread I'm in the middle of making so I searched my stash and then got some inspiration online and found the perfect project here.

It's a chunky crochet basket and I thought it would be good to keep a small embroidery project in while I'm working on it, or just some sewing supplies...or anything really.  I just wanted to make it!

I joined 3 8 ply strands together (two black and one orange/pink mix) and started.  It was so therapeutic sitting on my outside lounge while Master M was riding his scooter up and down the drive or digging in the dirt.  I got so much done, just going round and round and round.  I didn't have to think, except to count some stitches and was able to start to recharge my batteries.

I ran out of one ball of black wool part way through so added in a strand of grey which changed the final effect slightly but I still like the look of it.

I decided that I'd had so much fun making this basket that I really wanted to make another one but in different colours.  I also wanted to make a more oval shaped one rather than round so I made up a pattern and off I went....

This is it so far.  I'm really loving it although it does need a bit more tweaking until I'm really happy with it.  I'll just keep working on it.

There's nothing like crochet to help get you feeling better.  The fact that Master M had a sleepover at Nan and Poppy's on Friday night and Little Miss R had one Saturday night has helped as well.  Then Lovely Hubby will be home late this afternoon and that's really perked me up and made me feel like I can handle things.  Yay!

Hope you all are having a great weekend.

xx Susan

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sometimes I feel.....

...a complete and utter failure at being a MOTHER.

This is one of those weeks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Lovely hubby's cousin had a tree fall on her fence and into her yard from a neighbours place. 

It required lots of chopping and lifting to get it all cleaned up but hubby was ready for the challenge.

Once we had a ute full of wood, it needed to be brought home to be chopped into smaller pieces then taken to my brother's who seems to have a bonfire at least every weekend when there's no fire bans.

It's lots of heavy lifting....

...and there's plenty of it for our little hands....

...but we WILL get the back of the ute full.

It's now all cut up and delivered but I think it'll be a few weekends before hubby's home again so we may not get the chance to enjoy a bonfire at my brother's before it's all gone.

Oh well...I'm sure there'll be other times.

xx Susan

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

School's back

Do I be a happy bloggy Mum and say that the school holiday's are finished and I'm so sad that it's back to school and no more fun or do I be completely realistic?

Ok....I'll be realistic.  I've enjoyed the holidays to an extent.  I've probably been happier these holidays than I have with any in the past year but it's still been a challenge.  My kids are ok on their own but they really do feed their restless, pent up, full-on energy for when they're together.  So much so that the second week of the holidays when I was on my own 24 hours was a full on challenge.  I didn't cope well.

Thankfully for me they both had a sleepover on Friday night at Aunty Sandy and Uncle Jeff's and had a fantastic time until Master M did a typical little boy superman thing and hurt himself.  All's good though and they arrived in time for Daddy to get home so that was fantastic.

I ended up having a blissful night to myself but couldn't for the life of me work out what I wanted to do.  Sleep is probably the most longed for option but I sort of feel like I rip myself off if I do that when I'm on my own. 

I instead poured a few wines and watched some movies which is something that I truly NEVER do these days.  After debating what I was in the mood for I went for some old favourites.....


Zulu started the evening off.  I love old movies and this one just happens to one of my favourites and one that I know my Dad loves. 

Then once I was really settled I ended up skipping the usual soppy love story movies which I thought I'd watch for something I really enjoyed....

I watched the Bourne Identity and the Bourne Supremecy and loved every bit of them as I did the first time I watched them.  There's not many movies where I like the movie better than the book but this series is definately one of them.  In fact, I loved the movies so much that I didn't even read anything after the Bourne Identity book.  Good books but the movies are so much better.

Anyway.......hubby's home for the last weekend of the school holidays so we have nice family time.  Then it's back to school.  Woohoo!!! Selfish ME time for Mummy on the Monday.  Master M is with Daddy, Little Miss R's at school and Mummy can do whatever on earth pleases her.

I headed to the shops.  Not that I bought that much, I just enjoyed browsing, wandering, having coffee, writing in my journal, lunching and just having some special time for me.  It was so lovely.

These are going in our camping stuff.  $6.95 reduced to $2. Bargain.....I was so excited!

I did get some winter pj's and clothes for the kidlettes as they are growing a great deal quicker than I can learn to sew comfortably. 

Once I got sick of being around so many people, the noise and the traffic, I decided that all I really wanted to do was be at home.  So that's where I went with strict instructions to hubby to keep everyone clear because it was still a 'ME' day and I made a few pattern weights. 

I had a couple of nuts which I wanted to wrap ribbon around to make pattern weights as I had seen here, but then I decided that it would take me quite a bit of time to make them pretty and that sewing up a few, stuffed with rice, was a much quicker and easier option.

I've got some nice pattern weights now so I don't have to pin the pattern to the fabric every time I want to cut something out now which will save a bit of time.

So I had a fantastic first day back at school where I didn't have to worry about taking her to school or picking her up.  I had no agenda except for what I made myself which is so refreshing, liberating, uplifting but also really worrying because I'm not used to it so I kept thinking of all the things I needed to do at home.  We really can't stop ourselves from being Mum's can we?

Hubby goes back to work tomorrow so it's just the kidlettes and myself again for awhile.  Lets hope the 'ME' time that I have had has helped me to recharge, relax and enjoy the rest of the time.  Wish me luck!

xx Susan

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My crafty update

I really felt like I didn't get much crafty stuff done over the school holidays but when I went back through everything, I realised that I got a lot more done than I thought.

I continued doing some more embroidery as I had something in mind for these small pieces.

I also finished another A-line dress for Little Miss R.  I used a different pattern this time and I like this one MUCH better.

I thought that the other one I had made was a bit too full and the neckline was too wide.  This one is just right and I've also got some great material to make a couple of winter dresses for her that she can wear over  a skivvy and tights.

I've also been making some lavender sachets.  That's one of the reasons why I wanted to do some embroidery as I've stitched that onto the front of some of them.  I have yet to get the lavender to fill then but as soon as I get that (hopefully this week), then I'll be able to finish them off.

Here's a couple with some embroidered pieces sewn on.

These ones I stitched a felt heart onto them and sewed a button in the middle.  Easy and cute.

I've also been making some wheat packs too.  I've made a few mini ones which are great for the freezer and sit nicely across the forehead if you have a headache or they're great for all those bumps kids are constantly getting.  Mine are anyway but then they do play pretty rough.

I've got some bigger ones ready to go as well but I've got to get some more wheat to fill them too. 

Lastly I've made a pair of pants for Little Miss R.  I had some plain green material which I though would go well with a couple of her patterned shirts and sewed a little lace bit around the bottom.  They look very cute and she's very proud of them of course.

Here I was thinking I hadn't been very productive and I've realised I've got quite a bit done.  Most of them have been small projects that I can do bits of every now and then although I have to say that the bulk of what I've been doing has been when hubby's been home.

Over the next couple of weeks I really want to crochet more of my cotton blanket.  Even though I'm happy sewing right now, I am missing my crochet.  I also want to make a few more pairs of shorts for Master M.  He's missing out a bit with all this sewing so I'd really better get a few boy things made for him.

Hope you have all had a fantastic holiday and a productive week.

xx Susan