Sunday, January 29, 2012


It finally happened!  Maya lost her first teeth,  one on Friday and the next one on Saturday (with some help).  She couldn't wait, and our kids seem to loose their teeth later than others.

Something to show the kids and her new teacher on the first day back at school tomorrow.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Criss Cross Floor Cushion ~ Free Tutorial to Dowload

Behind the scenes I have been working on this large floor cushion as a free tutorial for Sew Mana Sew.  It can be downloaded here.

I just love this cushion.  I made it for Ayden to take with him when he moves out in a couple of weeks.  His favourite colour is a bright green,  which features in this pillow and pops really well with the grey.  It's huge and I used a 65cm square cushion insert.  It could be made with lots of scraps and brights which would look fantastic.

It's Australia Day today and a beautiful sunny day outside.  As always,  we are celebrating while listening to the Triple J Hottest 100.  Still not too old for youth radio :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Let's keep those kids busy ..

It's week 7 of the school holidays here. I have to say that the trick for the school holidays for me is keeping the kids busy and keeping the costs down.  Our five favourites this year have been kites, fruit picking, swimming at the beach, visiting the wildlife park and experiencing the Melbourne Museum - twice!

We have three kites and the kids love them.  We go down to the local oval and they run up and down and the kites look just beautiful.

A possum seems to be stealing most of our apricots this year,  but we do have raspberries and nectarines to pick.  The kids also love grabbing a bucket and picking plums from some of the local trees and watching the parrots eat them too.

Not much beats the beach at our place!  The kids could go on those boogie boards, build sandcastles and swim all day.  I took this pic of a very happy Kane at Port Fairy this year.

We get good value from our family pass at the Ballarat Wildlife Park too. 

Our first trip to the Melbourne Museum was so enjoyable we were back again for a second visit and we took Ayden along with us too.  Maybe the spiders at the Bugs Alive! Exhibition aren't for everyone but the kids loved all the bugs.   With kids visiting for free,  it's the best value trip to Melbourne for our family too.

Just one more week of holidays to go!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Uni Offers are in!

Ayden at the Melbourne Museum seeing if he was as tall as the tallest man... not quite

On Monday it was the day where I sat around feeling very anxious.  We had to wait until 4pm for the Uni offers to be released.  Ayden had a list of 10 engineering courses he selected and with his ATAR score and SEAS application we had no idea what he which one he would get an offer for.  If he was successful at Monash University it would be moving out of home,  and giving up his part time job or RMIT would have him still living at home and commuting, at least for awhile.

We are so proud.  Ayden will be studying a double degree at Monash University in Environmental Engineering and in Science where he can learn for a career in addressing climate change and renewable energy. 

Ayden travelled to the uni today for an enrollment day and took the two trains and a bus to get there and only got a bit lost on campus.  He will need to find a new casual job (the old one are happy to give him shifts anytime he is back in Ballarat) and move to the uni residences by 11 February.  Not long to get everything organised!  Maya already has her eye on his bedroom..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maya in her Dandelion Kisses dress

As soon as I saw this fabric on Saffron Craigs blog I knew it would be perfect for a summer dress for Maya.  It's from the Magical Lands range in pink and is called "dandelion kisses".

I used a very simple pattern that Maya selected for girls separates,  Simplicity 2483.  It was a bit tight on the neckline but I unpicked the pleats and let them out a little and now it fits well.

French seams, binding on the neck and arms and an invisible zip on the back!

Maya wanted to show her guinea pig Princess in the pics so here she is.  Much bigger now.

And a bit of a handful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog at the Melbourne Museum & Giveaway

On my first day of holidays,  the kids travelled up to Melbourne and I arranged to meet up with Lara and her kids to see the new Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog performance at the Melbourne Museum

 The kids were familiar with the Aboriginal creation story of Tiddalik,  about a greedy frog who drinks up all the water leaving all the other animals to try and find a way to make him laugh and release all the water back into the waterways.  The story is from the Gunai- Kurnai people of Gippsland,  which makes it even more interesting as it's where Matt is from and where most of our extended family live.  The story is also so relevant now and the message of looking after our water was not lost on the kids.

The show is so much fun!  There are bright sets and beautifully decorated Australian animals, funny dancing, jokes and lots of opportunities for the kids to get involved.  There was clapping dancing and even a bit of swimming! It was a very interactive performance which really appealed to all the kids. My boys have been trying blow a few songs on the gum leaf today, inspired by the show.

Uncle Herb (pictured above) is of the Gunai-Kurnai people, narrates the performance as he and the rest of the cast try and encourage Tiddalik to release his water by making him laugh.
The show was presented by Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre in collaboration with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company.

There are even more free activities for kids at the museum. Callum, Kane and Maya were keen to paint up their own frog masks to take home too.

We spent the rest of the day at the museum and hardly stopped for a minute. It was Maya's first visit and she couldn't believe the dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Walk and loved the animals in the Science and Life gallery - especially seeing a wolf! It was so much fun that we will be back to visit again next week, especially since Kane would like to spend a bit more time at Bugs Alive!

Performances of Tiddalik run daily 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm from 3rd Jan until 31st Jan 2012 (except Saturdays and Australia Day) and run for 20 minutes at the Melbourne Museum Theatre. The show is for all ages and bookings are not required. The Melbourne Museum cost $10 for Adults and children and concessions are free.

Give Away – Double Adult Entry Passes to Melbourne Museum (kids are free)

Thanks to Melbourne Museum I have 3 double passes for adult entry to the Melbourne Museum. To enter:
  • Leave a comment below letting me know that you can use the tickets and what you would like to see.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only. If outside of Melbourne you must be able to use the passes by June 2012.
  • Entries close at 5pm AEDST 13 Jan 2012.
  • Three winners will each win a double pass.
The passes are valid until the 30 June2012 and cannot be redeemed for cash. The tickets are not valid with any other offices and excludes special exhibitions and events.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day 2012

New Years Day was sticky and hot.  Last year we hardly had a summer and this one has hit us quickly.   There's not a lot we can do during the day but sit under the air conditioner and sew.  I made a Make it Perfect A+ skirt in black linen - my third one.

The only times I went outside was to check that the rabbit and guinea pigs were okay in the heat.  Buddy the rabbit did spend a bit of time under the air conditioner too.  By evening the kids were like caged tigers needing a run, so it was off to the local lake and park at dusk for a long walk, swing,  frisbee and tossing bread to the ducks.  Tomorrow will be hotter again.  Maybe a bit more time with the sewing machine and the swimming pool.


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