Saturday, December 31, 2011

That is it for 2011

As the Little Man and DH read I thought I would reflect on this year. Note the quilt - I know it looks well used. My mum made it well before I was born. It is being loved and used. I prefer that than alone in a cupboard collecting dust. I love it - each piece of reused fabric reminds my sisters and mum of clothes and items mum made when they were little... She rarely crafts now. Such a shame.

We have had a great 2011 here.

* I reconnected with some old friends
* The front is officially a food patch. Lets hope it stays that way! I need to weed it (again).
* Abby joined the family.
* The Little Man has GROWN and developed and still has us all wrapped around his finger (well I like to think not me...)
*DH patent has been approved.
* Both older boys have had such a successful and fun filled year.

In 2012 I would like to achieve the following... in no order

* Welcome and enjoy having three chooky ladies!
* Finish three quilts (all here ready to go!)
* Make a Christmas Tree skirt
* Make the middle boy a Shepard's Bush stocking
* Enjoy the Little Man even more!
* Have a productive veggie patch
* Work out some way of bring more calm and peace in this household!

Hope you all can look back at 2011 with positive feeling and are looking forward to 2012! I am - though hesitant as I don't know what will happen (control freak in me) but I can see some exciting things in the horizon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Its not like I can back out now...

How was yours by the way? We had a fabulous time from Christmas eve till boxing day. Well stretched, cruisy and easy. Love it that way. The best thing was "this is the best Christmas ever" from our middle man.

I know I said I would have this done by Christmas. That is done and gone...
But now I cannot back out on this project. With the amount of hours already put in (sigh). I propose to do a little bit each Little Man sleep and evening. Then it will get done. Eventually...

Hope you are all enjoying this time of the year. I love it with all the activities, warm weather, boys at home, hubby at home, summer fruits and the spontaneity of the days. Love it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas time...

Hi all,

All of us here at If Only I Had Chocolate wish you all a safe holiday period and a happy and healthy 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


30 cards made - 20 to go then I can finally start sending them off. Got to do it by tomorrow so people get them before Christmas - that is the point of them after all...

Idea taken from here

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Freshly picked

A total of 1.2 kg of cherries from the tree. Our first serious crop! So sweet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another gift cured...

Honey, oatmeal and beezwax soap

and Caraway and Poppy Seed Soap

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just one more pillow...

I finished this project!

Just the Christmas Tree left and then I have done what I wanted to do for 2011. Love it.

I have made a plan. 2012 is going to be the quilt year again for me. First I will restart my Quilters Journal Quilt. Blocks done. Need to do the stitching. This will take a while. Then I will commence Life is Beautiful Quilt by Helen Stubbings. Already have the fabric kindly chosen by Helen herself (service ha?). Between all of that... I am going to tackle this project. A civil war block a week. Recon I can do it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

s.l.o.w progress is being made

I have been finding it hard to sit down knowing I have a good block of time to get on with this project. I will have it done by Christmas.

Almost done the tree - the most intense part.

The thing I dont like about raw edge sewing is you can either miss the edge. Do it to close so it 'shreds' the fabric or to far away that is it obvious... I understand this is not the done thing...


Monday, November 28, 2011

Salted Caramels

I know - would never imagined mixing these two flavours together...

Would you ever imagine they were morish?!

Go on make some... here

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Check. Check. Check it out.

Claire from Little Fish Creations kindly encouraged me to learn how to use an over locker. My fear, I realised was unfounded... Look what I made with her support and encouragement... I had a GREAT day with Claire and am rather pleased with myself. The Little Man is particularly pleased with the trains... toot toot!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Those black naughty thingos...

They are back this year...

I have a lovely surprise for them.

Yes I do.

A allnaturele version to get rid of them.

Vacuum dust. Yes dust from your vacuum bag. They hate it.

Cherry slugs people - they also like quinces AND pears. Shake your vacuum bag over the trees (and under the leaves) regularly and this will - apparently rid of the darn things. Oh I know they don't harm your tree or fruit - but I rather use my vacuum dust efficiently and have pretty trees in my garden all summer! I think I might beat them this year (evil laugh). Next is the slugs/snails...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

With a bit of planning...

I can be disgustingly organised with Christmas gifts.

This year is my best so far. I am really pleased. I think I have competed all my to-make-gifts. Do you make gifts for Christmas?

I still have some gifts to do - but that is because I have NO idea what to get them (sisters...). Darn it.

I got this idea from here. Perfect for the goodies hamper I traditionally do for each of my aunts and uncles...

Friday, November 11, 2011

I REALLY thought

after raw edge appliqueing this WHOLE tree once I would have the technique down pat.

fat chance - another two to go...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Childhood books

This is a story I remember fondly from my childhood. My mum read to me before I went to sleep. I cannot remember when she stopped doing it. This is my original copy - what a treasure. Another book I remember and have just sourced is Tikki Tikki Tembo.

Do you know this book?

What was a special childhood book for you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

a bit of this and a bit of that

I have finished this book. Book club is tonight and I am at home. Been struggling with a head cold the last two days. Damn it. I love the socialness of this group of ladies. I enjoyed it "immensely darling". Would only change one thing. Wonder what the next book will be?

I am also excited that I have managed to source a good, reasonably priced duck bill scissors (here). I will be doing lots of needle turn (yes facing it head on!) in a quilt I am about to start so decided to get myself a pair.

Happy week everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

okay... enough pillows for 2011

I just had to do this project. Personalised it to suit our home. Goes perfectly with the Eiffel

Now a bit more positive thinking and progression on my Christmas appliqueing...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You got to feel good!

When you finish your first attempt at something!

Kris encourgaed me along to finish it - to start clipping rather than wait till I finished another project. Good on you Kris. Thanks to Jan for her teaching and step by step instructions. I have a friend who now wants to make one.

hint: linen raggs up beautifully!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Give me a H!


Give me an O


(louder people)

Give me a R


(come on LOUDER)









(shake those pom poms)


(cheering heard all round)

Day thirty one of Blogtoberfest! Horrah

Phew you have managed to trawl through a month of daily blogging from me so you deserve a horrah as well.

I have drawn a lucky winner. All people who posted on my blog during Blogtoberfest were counted. For every post you did - you got an entry. Cool ha! The prize is a Anette Eriksson Chaetaeu Kit. The whole kabudle people!

The lucky person was.....

VICKIE! (woo hoooo)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day thirty of Blogtoberfest

Where I would like to be right now


Outside My Window... Cloudy and cool.

I am thinking... What will I do next...

The best thing today so far... us all sharing hot chips at the playground when it was cold.

From the kitchen... making chicken ranadang for dinner. Ummm might go and make macaroons...

I am wearing... socks, jeans, black long sleeve top with floral top and hubbies blue polar fleece.

I am creating... need to snip rag quilt and begin quilting the Oh Christmas Tree quilt.

I am going... to the kitchen to start making macaroons.

I am reading... The Kite Runner for book club - really slowly...

I am hoping... the macaroons work!

I am hearing... The older two planning on something to do and Michael shuffling paper on his desk.

Around the house... Gus sleeping, screen free day and new toaster in kitchen.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Monday kindygym and visit Faz. S12 starts new violin lessons with a new teacher and S11 Tae Kwondo. Tuesday Playgroup, S12 rowing and S11 drums. Wednesday swimming, S12 futsal. Thursday playgroup, S12 Orienteering and then exhibition at school that evening and S11 tae kwondo. DH evening course. Oh yes MUST do food shopping tomorrow. (breath!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day twenty nine of Blogtoberfest

Please make welcome Mable.

A garage find - thanks to my local Brown Owl post on FB

Not only do I need to learn how to crochet but also to use an overlocker...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day twenty eight of Blogtoberfest

Awesome evening - crap iphone camera.

Fish and chips.

and a walk up to the local milkbar for icecream.

Love evenings like this.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day twenty seven of Blogtoberfest

There is something about watching your seeds come to life and grow right in front of your eyes. I will be fiercely protective when they go out in the garden. Warning slugs and snails - you will be dealt with - severly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day twenty six of blogtoberfest

Bandaids solve everything when it comes to the Little Man.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day twenty five of Blogtoberfest

Yup. I made this. Impressed or what? Seriously thought there was no way I could do it. Still bought the kit. Then believed there was no way I could actually make it look good enough. Bought the fabric. Then thought there would be no way I would get around to it. Then made it. Happy I am. Poppet from Nicole Mallalieu Design. I have my eye on making one of these this summer.

In the spirit of Blogtoberfest I will be having a giveaway to celebrate the complete month of blogging. Promise. It is coming.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day twenty four of Blogtoberfest

The lovely lovely Jan visited us today with her cute little one. We talked about rag quilts and many other things. I am still in the process of adding more blocks. A last minute decision. I loved how she binded her rag quilt. Nothing like I have seen before. Worth the wait. Must be patient Sarah...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day twenty three of Blogtoberfest

In my hoop now...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day twenty two of Blogtoberfest

Thankyou DH for taking the boys to the show. I got to iron these shapes down. Wonder how long it will take me to actually quilt it. A bit ergy about the thought!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day twenty one of Blogtoberfest

Saw this on Reaves,a party of four and thought I would do it as well...

a. age : 37
b. bed size : queen
c. chore that you hate : making dinner - never ending deciding what we will have,shopping and cooking it.
d. dogs : yes - Golden Retriever Abby.
f. favorite color : red but I wear a lot of blue...
g. gold or silver : gold
h. height : don't know. half way I guess.
i. instruments you play : not in my adult life.
j. job title : right now - Wife, Mummy, Daughter, Sister and Friend
k. kids : three - all boys - almost 13, 11 and 2 1/4
l. live : Tasmania
m. mother’s name : Alice
n. nicknames : lots as a child!
o. overnight hospital stays : countless before my adult life with ear stuff, appendix, wisdom's, anaphylaxic shock - you know standard stuff.
p. pet peeves : bad drivers seems to be my biggest peeve. That I can think of at the moment!
q. quote from a movie : ????
r. right or left handed : right
s. siblings : two - both sisters, 7 & 8 years older. I was very unplanned!
t. time you wake up : when I am woken by the Little Man!
u. underwear : absolutely! What people don't wear undies!!!
v. vegetable you hate : cooked you know those big green bean things... what are they called!
w. what makes you run late : because I usually try to fit just that one more thing...
x. x-rays you’ve had : teeth and back.
y. yummy food that you make : lots...
z. zoo animal : what the! Ummm oh I don't know! What ever the zoo has!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day twenty of Blogtoberfest

This is going to be a longer post than normal so get comfy.

I thought I would do a post about what I have learned about raising boys. I am sure you could do the same with girls. Just some thoughts today.

There is heaps of research out there proving the effects on girls who miss out on a father figure. Well I believe the same goes for boys and their mums. Did you watch ABC a few nights ago on Life's Hard Questions (or something like that) with gardening guru Peter Cundall saying when soldiers are dying on the battlefield they are heard calling out their mums name. Tear jerker plus.

Boys need to spend time with both parents alone. Fun times. Also I believe it is important they spend learning time with their dads and mums. Dads can tech them the boy stuff. I am amazed at what my boys can do now and how savvy they are with tools. Often if there is a little job - they will fix it. The oldest made a chair for the little man with no help and finding bits of wood around. He even learned what needed improving and redid it. I could not have been prouder.

I also think it is important that boys are given jobs around the house. They need to learn to be independent men. So mum don't do everything for them! So they don't turn out like their dad (sorry honey it is the truth!). We have a job list in the kitchen. They do not get paid for these jobs. This is part of being in a family. The jobs are simple like feed the cat, take out recycling so on and so forth. It is black and white with what they are expected to do and who does it. 99.9% families who do this do find it a task keeping the children to do their jobs. I believe the persistence is important. Any ideas on avoiding the "Do your jobs" routine would be handy. We have tried rewards etc etc.

From when they start toilet training teach them to put the lid down and wash their hands! The toilet routine. When they were old enough I also taught them how to clean the toilet. This way if they ever made a mess they were expected to clean it up.

My boys have messy rooms. I believe their rooms are their sanctuary. It is the only real space for them so I have learned to let go of the tidy room rant. I do once a fortnight ask them to clean it up enough so I can go in and vacuum the floor. The mess is a good mess in one boys room. He is usually creating something. At the moment he is doing a puzzle, setting up his car racing set and has his train set out. The older boys is another story... This is why we have the shut your door rule. So I don't have to see the mess! Now that rule has come handy with a toddler brother!

We also believe the boys should be given opportunities to earn money. They have self initiated mowing our neighbours lawns. They also get 'paid' by us for doing extra jobs. Like cleaning the car. This way when they ask for something we say "that is what pocket money is for". This got rid of the "can you get me this..." battle when we were out. No matter how many times you say no...

We also believe it is important that the boys know we are not perfect and we don't have the answers for everything. We are honest if we don't know and then assist them in finding out the answer. I am so grateful for dh. He is a wealth of knowledge and often the boys like to talk at the dinner table about things they are trying to work out (like currents, amps and stuff I don't remember from school) and he slots right in. I know I have my place in their learning.

Anyhow that is enough form me. I would like to hear what you have learned about raising boys.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19 of Blogtoberfest

The evenings have been balmy. Unusual for Tassie at this time of the year. We BBQ at a local park last night and tonight we ate outside. Requires effort but oh so worth it. It will be cooling down for the rest of the week I hear.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day eighteen of Blogtoberfest

It went very quiet...

I found him 'hiding' in our bed casually flicking through the photos on the iphone waving and saying hello to them all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day seventeen of Blogtoberfest - a day late challenge

The Challenge for day 16 was a self portrait. Challenge it was. For me anyhow. I have done it. Here is me. Hair needing washing. Tired (very late night before - my own fault). I took a gazillion and still was not happy. Seriously what was I expecting anyhow? Now you know what I really look like.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day sixteen of Blogtoberfest

At the moment some of my projects require the sewing machine which has resulted in a few on the go.

This is the beginnings of Oh Christmas Tree from Don't Look Now. The cutting out is a slow process...

These are the blocks to make a rag quilt which Jan is kindly guiding me on... May even get some rows sewn up tonight.

There must always be a stitching in front of the tv project. Especially as I am not knitting anything at the moment... I made the blocks for this quilt oh... over 2 years ago... It is good to get a block ready to have a start on it.

How many projects have you got on the go?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day fifteen of Blogtoberfest

It has been raining and windy here all day. I decided to get out in the garden this morning as I wanted to get the seedlings in. Not having much luck with seeds (grrr). Worried I am missing prime vegie growing time. Discovered the cherry tree is having its largest crop ever. Must remember to cover it before the cherries change colour this year.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day fourteen of Blogtoberfest

I have managed to get some day stitching done. When the light is best to do insanely small stitches...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day thirteen of Blogtoberfest

We are out enjoying this sunny day...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day twelve of Blogtoberfest

Jan did this on her blog so thought I would have a go...

1. What was the last film that really moved/disturbed/thrilled you and why?

Most movies don't seem to have that effect on me... The last one that really sucked me was The Source Code and there was one before that but cannot remember its name... (similar style of movie)

2. If you could be given ANY gift what would it be?

The gift of patience. Or if I was being really greedy a magic wand!

3. What's your favourite way to wake up and what's the first thing you do?

A sleep in (like past 9:00!) and feeling refreshed. I roll over and give hubby a hug and contemplate my day. Usually by now you will hear "Mummy? DADDY!" coming from The Little Mans room...

4. What crafts have you done?

Scrapbooking, stitching, knitting, quilting, a bit of most things... even if I only did it for a short period like pottery.

5. What were you doing before you started this?

Putting the Little Man to bed and checking work emails.

6. When was the last time you cried laughing?

Oh gosh I am not sure. It was recent but cannot remember why!

7. What did you want to be when you were little?

I honestly cannot remember. I am sure it switched weekly. Still not even sure employment wise I am want I am destined to be...

8. What is your current favourite TV program?

Australian Story, The Slap, Crownies, Packed to the Rafters, United States of Tara, One born every minute (only because I can sit there and appal the midwives care - I am a midwife)

9. What would you name yourself?

Actually I like Sarah. I would prefer my middle name being Jane than Ruth...

10. What characteristics do you hate about yourself?

That I don't chill and am sensitive. I also feel selfish often. Would wish I was a bit less selfish and more family focused...

So that is me! Any surprises? What about you?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day eleven of Blogtoberfest

I finished my last book. Now on to this one tonight. It is the next book club book to read. I hope it sucks me in.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Have you read it? What did you think?

Thank you to the little man who held the book for me so I could take the photo...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day ten of Blogtoberfest

Worked on stuff for the upcoming school fair tonight.

Sweet dream everyone.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day nine of Blogtoberfest

Spent the day cleaning up and sorting my cluttered shelves...

and finishing this 'quick' project. A good reminder when you need it. Inspired from this person who etsy shop was featured in Mollie Makes issue 5. I may be inspired one day to colour the background...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day eight of Blogtoberfest

Finished the project from Kellies class.