- Aunty Mum
- The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Of my two girls she's the one who loves her dolls and playing house and when I saw a quilted hold out dolls house tutorial on Pinterest I knew I just had to make it for her as part of her birthday treats.
She's also my guinea pig, because if it all comes together and she loves it, it will be my standard birthday gift for little girls next year (unless I find something equally fun to make instead).
here. But I have to be honest that I didn't really follow her instructions and kind of worked it out in my head. I've figured out some things I'd do differently next time I make it, but I'm still really happy with it so far.
I love the covered buttons on UK Lass's picture and I've been given a whole lot of cover-your-own-buttons recently so I'm definitely adding those.
It's almost too difficult to wait until December 3 and see what she thinks when she opens this gift. But I still have lots of little dolly bits to go inside it too.
So it's just a case of finishing and hiding it until next month. I wonder what wonderful things I'll be doing next week. Check this out. I don't think I'll be making this next week but I'm going to make sure it's something I do before the year is out!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
My poor children have been living off store bought biscuits for the past two weeks and I've felt very bad about it. Today I've more than made up for it.
However, I'm working on the premise that all 33 children will be taking baking so there's going to be more than enough goodies for everyone. I love icing mini cupcakes because it's one quick squirt with the icing bag, a dip into some sprinkles and presto, you're done.
150g softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 packets Greggs Instant Pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
mini M&Ms or choc chips
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs beating well after each one. Add dry ingredients and combine well. Add Chocolate (as much as you like).
Roll into balls and place on baking tray, flatten slightly. (You may wish to put the mix into the refrigerator as the mix may be sticky).
Bake at 175 degrees C for 12-15 mins.
I baked mine for 12 minutes because we love the slightly gooey centre. Also, I made my balls way too big and they almost all merged into one large biscuit. We got about 40 of these out of the mix so there's plenty to go around!
Friday, October 28, 2011
I love the warmer months of the year. I love the night breeze that comes through the open door when I'm falling asleep. I love the way the children race out to play after dinner because it's still light. I love waking up and bouncing out of bed ready for the day because it has started before me, unlike the winter months. I do not, however, love the way the outdoors requires more attention leaving less time for creating.
I love fresh beans in the summer, but I'm not so fond of going through the epic drama of creating a bean frame each year. Hopefully this sturdy bamboo number will stay put for a few seasons to come now.
I love a mutton roast with my family, but I'm not so fond of the tedious job of pulling off fencing battens to make way for a new fence to keep the sheep in.
I love the way the birds sing from dawn until dusk. I'm not so fond of the cheeky Kingfisher bird that sits on the swing set and dive bombs the windows for some unknown reason. I keep threatening to take the air rifle to him, but he just laughs at me.
There are so many jobs to be done that I'm kind of glad it's wet and miserable outdoors today. All I have to do now is get on top of the indoor jobs and I'll be ready to get started on something fun. Here's hoping that all the chores can be complete by this evening and I'll have the weekend to watch the children play happily while I keep on with my baby blanket.
at 12:18 PM
Monday, October 24, 2011
I put the rotary cutter to use this morning and churned out a bunch of squares. The only issue is that I felt like I had an enormous pile of squares to be sewn together and when I got to the sewing machine and started putting them together the pile disappeared very quickly.
Still, only three more rows to go and I'll be ready to do the border and then put it all together. I'm really starting to love this quilt and can't wait until it's hanging off the back of the sofa. As I watched the All Blacks narrowly win the Rugby World Cup last night I thought "hmmm, a little chilly. What a shame I don't have the quilt finished" so I think it's going to be handy as well as colourful.
Now the children are making my headache worse by playing up because it's time to head off to Nanny and Granddad's house so I can throw them in the deep end of the pool. (It's pool cleaning day and there's only about 40cm of water in the pool so they're not likely to drown. I am thinking I might secretly stash an overnight bag into the car for Janae and see if I can con the folks into keeping her there for the night so I can have a quiet morning tomorrow once the older kids are safely at school. We'll see how that goes!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Here's my offering for tonight. I LOVE making this cheese cake because it's so simple and yet it's so show-offy (if that's a word).
You know, I can't quite believe that we've survived this holiday. I think I say this at the end of each school holiday, but this one has been different from all the others in that one of the Nana's has taken herself out of the family equation for the time being so I've been surrounded by three children for much more time than is usual in a break from education. It's been okay apart from our tummy bugs but I'm looking forward to next Thursday which will be my first child free day for three weeks.
So tonight we'll crack open a bottle of wine, lift the lid on a box of Cranium and spoon some pudding on our plates; we'll let the laughter flow, the tears of giggles flow and let our hair down. All I have to do is scrub the loo, wash the floor in there, feed the kids and get them to bed at a decent time for the first night in over a week and it's all on. Yeee Haa!
Tell you all about it tomorrow!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
However, we're all back to our usual selves now and ready for the close of the holidays. Until today I've still been feeling squimish but I've discovered that it has more to do with dehydration rather than bugs. I've discovered this in a lovely way. I've been child free this afternoon and had the opportunity to catch up with The Lovely Carolyn over a cup of coffee. Then I had a cup of tea with friends who took Rogan and Kayley out to a puppet show this afternoon and I've downed a couple of glasses of water and suddenly I'm feeling much better. Note to self: make sure you keep drinking (not wine unfortunately).
But amidst this fog of unwellness I've virtually finished Janae's outfit and have managed to make headway on what I'm calling my "My Life" quilt. I've spent the past couple of weeks pouring over quilting books from the library and browsing the web for colour combinations and all those lovely things. I have so many little off-cuts of fabrics and am totally in love with Fat Quarters (now that I know what they are) so last week I decided to make a start on a very basic quilt for the back of our old sofa to throw over ourselves if it gets cold.
I've called it "My Life" because I had thought I had some old clothes in my closet that would go lovely in this quilt. I have, however, discovered that I've given them away to Good Will over the past year so it may mean a name change.
Now that I'm feeling so much better I'm going to keep going on my quilt because it's easy to cut a few blocks, sew them together and then get on with something else, without it taking over my life. Speaking of which, I've got half an hour before I need to get the dinner on the table so I might put myself at the table and cut a few more.
I also need to whip up a cheesecake for our Crazy Cranium night tomorrow night, but that can wait. I'll keep you posted on how the quilt is progressing!
Monday, October 17, 2011
WHO'D BE A MILLINER? But as it was Monday and I'd managed to do some creating I thought I'd better stick with my assigned day.
Here's the hat I've struggled with for hours that is to go with Janae's new dress. The times I've unpicked it because my seam was so wonky I caught the brim of the hat, etc, etc, drama, drama, drama. But it's complete and it's okay. I know Janae will love it even if I don't. Note to self: Think twice before making another hat from fabric!
You know, there are some days when you just know God is on your side. Today was one of them. Kayley awoke complaining of a sore tummy and, in what I have discovered is normal mummy fashion, I dismissed it telling her she'd be right soon.
I dropped Janae off at preschool and while there Rogan organised a play date with a school friend and off he went. Kayley reiterated her stomach complaint (after trying to organise her own play date) and I very unsympathetically shoved some kiddy paracetamol at her. Well, 20 minutes later I heard some alarming sounds from the bathroom (along with lots of sobs and tears) and my precious girl was quite sick. Boy, did I feel a huge dose of the guilts. Thankfully she was the only one home so she got lots of love, back rubbing and assurance that all would be well at some point.
Then this afternoon she agreed that she'd lay on the sofa watching Sky kids programs with Nanny while I took the little ones for a swim. We made it to Nanny and Granddads house, Rogan promptly took himself off to bed and then dashed off the the bathroom to follow Kayley's example. How was God on my side? Because Kayley was past the vomiting stage, Janae was a box of birds and I knew I could cope without losing my temper or my mind. Imagine the state I'd have been in with two children sick at the same time and our littlest trying to mother everyone in between.
So, amid the drama I've almost completed Janae's dress . . .
It was BRILLIANT! My iron on vinyl has arrived. It's my first purchase from Fabric Online and I have to say it was a painless and very speedy process. I'll be keeping my eye out for other bargains there from now on.
I cannot make any more bibs until I have this outfit finished but it's safely tucked away until then.
Oh and I have to share that my mother, oh she of infinite patience admitted she's just a little sad that I've learned to sew because she's worried she may be put on the back burner for all the sewing jobs. NEVER! My mum is the whizz at knit fabrics and keeps us in summer stuff so she'll always have work from our family!
Saturday, October 15, 2011
They did a fairly good job too, and I tried not to dent their pride in their work by going behind them to add some elbow grease to the mirror that was looking more than a little smeared. I don't think they even noticed.
And then I was concerned that all this sunshine would mean that I'd have to get out and mow the lawn. But, the Spring season was on my side and once lunch was over the heavens opened up and I felt obliged to get started on Janae's dress.
Because Rogan was out gallivanting with Granddad and the girls were playing so nicely elsewhere I also set to with the sewing part.
How is it that I have managed to avoid falling in love with sewing before? Beats me, but the bug has definitely caught me. I even got back to it once the children were in bed, but realised I need elastic for the pockets and don't have any so I've had to reluctantly stop. Ah well, good thing the rugby is on tonight or I'd be very upset.
It has been amazing to note that, as with my learning process in knitting and crochet, I am following the directions to the letter and have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. But, the faithful follower will find the prize in the end and this is the case with sewing. I have just completed putting the contrast down the skirt fronts and my mind had this as the top of the skirt instead of the opening. I doubted the directions right through to the completion and then realisation dawned on how it fits together. Silly me!
Okay, the kettle is on, the anthems are about to be sung any moment and the first semi-final of the Rugby World Cup will be underway. What a nice way to take our minds off PSA kiwifruit virus and a very large ship leaking unknown amounts of oil into the sea at our local beach.
See you next week!
Friday, October 14, 2011
While they dried we sat around the table (in a rare moment of peace) and chatted and made some paper flowers to go in the pots once they had dried.
Now the children are watching Mary Poppins and I haven't the heart to send them off to bed, even though I'll regret it tomorrow if I don't. Now all I have to figure out is which thing to make this evening. I have done nothing on the top-secret-project in over a week because I have all these other things that need to be done. And I've had Kayley drawing up a list of chores to get done tomorrow morning so I'd better get on with something tonight.
Here's hoping your weekend is a good one, with great weather and full of entertainment!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I now have my first "new baby" gift complete and can't wait to give these to Sonia who is due any time now!
Now I'm desperately trying to keep the children from killing each other after three days of rain. I'm fed up with the sound of my own voice, certainly fed up with the sound of the children's voices so we're just waiting for Kayley and Nanny to get here and we're taking a road trip out to the Katikati Library. The beauty of living in a large rural area is that we can access libraries all over the place. Our little one is great but Katikati is bigger, has better toys, larger selection of books and DVDs so we should be able to amuse ourselves until lunch time, then I'll let them fight over which DVD to watch first, shout a bit and they'll hopefully settle to something so I can have some peace. Ahhh, only one and a half weeks until the school holidays are over. So near and yet so far!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This little angel is much cuter in person (so much so it's tempting to keep her for my own tree). I'm going to have to hide her from our knitting theif . . .
Can't stop to chat today as Janae is running her own bath and is heading for the kitchen to put "bubbles" in. Not sure dish washing liquid will be the healthiest bubbles.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I've been talking lately about making gifts for some of my friends who are expecting babies, and I thought a bag to throw over your shoulder with a few bits and bobs you might need could be a good addition to my gift so I made a start on working out how to make one and what would work best.
I know it's all a bit girlie, but I am sure I'll be able to find some "boy" fabric around too. And I've managed to source some iron on vinyl in New Zealand (I'll blog the address when I can remember where I put it) so I'm also thinking the lining on the inside should be vinyl incase of spills etc.
However, between the two of us we worked out the tension issues. The only downside is that we can't get the bobbin winder to work so I'm having to wind bobbins by hand. But that's a small price to pay.
Hopefully the Green Machine should be home safe and sound by the end of the week, which leaves just one week of the holidays to wait until some time to do some child free sewing.
Now I need to get the children to bed so that I can get on with making some Christmas decorations for a Christmas Swap I heard about from Megan over at MouseHouse. Thought it might be a good idea to get on with them so they're ready to go by the postal date.
Enjoy the rest of your day and will catch you soon with some more goodies I hope.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It was such a "doing" day on Saturday that, once the washing line was full and the lawns were mown I just couldn't resist putting our swing seat together. I now call it "our" swing seat as I've only sat on it twice since putting it together.
I was a little concerned that I'd fail because the beginning of the assembly instructions told me "assembly may require two persons". But, one person and two children who were so patient and helpful, got it together in a couple of hours. And here are the little cherubs all snuggled up on it at half past seven this morning. Gee, if only they really were still asleep at half seven.
Tomorrow is card making day for Grandad's birthday later this week. Can't wait to see what awesome creations they'll come up with. Oh . . . a GREAT idea to get together with your friends and their children over the school holidays has been come up with by Corleah. Get all together for "Kids Craft Morning" and set the children to something simple yet fabulous and help them out while chatting and drinking coffee. We're having one on Friday morning so we're really looking forward to that.
My prayer is that if you have school holidays occurring at your place that you're enjoying the little darlings, and that you have space for a quiet cup of tea and a flick through your latest favourite craft magazine at least twice a day.
PS: The darling old Singer can be repaired, which is great news, if a little disappointing that a fancy new machine is now at the bottom of the 40th birthday list. The Green Machine should be home by the end of the week, but until then, Anna has loaned me her old darling. Yeah . . . more sewing tomorrow!
at 8:03 PM
Thursday, October 6, 2011
It's meant that he's had to have some counselling and he's had lots of encouragement such as a chart on the wall of the classroom to indicate his ability to interact without hurting his friends. If he gets five "cars" in a day he has been sent home with a banana sweet. And his little friends have stood by him, helped him and encouraged him.
So I thought it might be nice if Rogan shared a morning tea with his class as a way of saying thank you to them all. This afternoon has been a flurry of cupcake baking, fondant colouring (my hands are as yellow as the stars) and sprinkle scattering. He's very excited about sharing this with his friends and I hope it will help to reinforce the message that friends are for loving not thumping.
Good work my little Rogie!
at 6:54 PM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Then they wore me down and I parted with a whole $3 for a ticket. I made it very clear that I only wanted second prize as I already have a BBQ which was first prize.
It was all a big joke and I never thought I'd win. Even Kayley kept asking "what would you do if you won first prize?" My response, very tongue in cheek was "I will ring up who ever won second prize and see if they want to swap.
Well, no need! I got a phone call this afternoon with Kim laughing saying, you wanted it and you won second prize. I was astounded as I have categorically NEVER won a raffle in my life. Now it's sitting, in it's box in the garage waiting for a time when my three little helpers are away from home so I can put it together. I even have decided to put it on my secret patio off my lounge so I can sit out on it with my knitting and no one can see me.
I've offered Carolyn a share of one side of it and a glass of wine if she helps me to assemble it. She seems quite open to that offer. So hopefully, I might have it put together by the weekend and be outdoors knitting Christmas stockings on it. I'll let you know!
at 4:47 PM
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I knew it! Poppy is only just finished and . . .
She's been claimed by someone else.
Ah well, that's the life of a crafting mother I suppose.
You know, I remember now why I LOVE wet Mondays. Yesterday was pouring with rain, howling with wind and my friends and I were gathered in the warmth and much fun was had. Today the sun is shining, the breeze is light and I've achieved so much because I feel revitalised and renewed.
The washing line is full of clothes, the house has been hoovered from one end to the other, beds all made and one little girl has been playing happily all morning. I've managed to finish Poppy and now we're waiting for Nanny to come by to pick us and the sewing machine up to see if it can be renewed and revitalised too.
Would you think me a terrible person if I confessed that there's a secret part of me that hopes the darling old Singer cannot be fixed? I love that old machine and it's been such a blessing to have it, even for a short while, to build a love affair with sewing. But now the mourning period is over (it's remarkably short for machinery) I keep imagining sitting at a new machine that has one or two more bells and whistles than Singer. Actually, Singer is so old she doesn't have any bells or whistles so anything would be an improvement.
Well, only time will tell and I'll let you know the outcome. We're also off to fleece an old woman of her furniture. Not really. A lovely old family friend is giving up her gorgeous home to move into a gorgeous new home of much smaller proportions and she has some furniture she wants us to have so we're going to have a look at her wares and see what we can collect. That's very exciting for me. Now for a quick sandwich before we head off. I hope your Tuesday is beautiful, successful and rewarding too.
Monday, October 3, 2011
We had crochet, decoupage, sewing and lots of ideas flying about the room. The Ottoman was littered with craft books and magazines, and a great time was had by all.
But even better . . . we've come up with something I'm very excited about. Corleah had a great idea about choosing a craft and a budget and all doing something similar as a bit of a competition. I have a feeling that this could blow out to something quite big.
So I take great pleasure in announcing the inauguration of the Great Omokoroa Picture Frame Upcycle Challenge which has a maximum budget of $20 and we have until 12 December to complete it. Basically it's all about finding a cheap old picture frame and doing something marvellous with it. We've already had ideas thrown about like making a square wreath, using it as a photographic medium and I want to make mine into a kitchen chalk board where I can leave myself little notes. Each person can do whatever they like with their frame so long as they don't exceed their $20 budget. I can't stop thinking about it and want to get started now. But we're going to go Op Shopping after the school holidays to buy our frames and, if applicable, any supplies we can find dirt cheap. Can't wait to see what ideas come out of this and who joins us in this adventure.
Now my Crafty Monday is at an end and I need to collect my little treasures and think of ways to keep them entertained on a cold and wet Monday afternoon. Now there's a challenge.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The children have been treated to hot dogs and chips for dinner in front of one of our all time favourite films Nanny McPhee and are now tucked up in bed peacefully slumbering. I am going to throw some bread in the toaster and put the kettle on for my own dinner and I'm going to settle down to Sex in the City 2. I have only one problem: which craft do I choose? I think it might have to be knitting as I can watch and knit at the same time. Embroidery is very much a head-down-bum-up kind of craft. But who cares which I choose, they'll both be fun and I'm sure the film will live up to it's reputation. There's nothing like a bit of self-obsessed girlie rom-com entertainment for a Saturday night in.