Monday, 28 July 2008

Playdate Goodness

We're off to a fairly big play date tomorrow. 20 mummies and their respective tin lids (I am guessing at least 30). I would like to take one of Overmilkwood's awesome cake stands (but am searching for shot glass alternatives (where did S hide the sake glasses????)) for my favourite play date biscuits. Though they will be travelling in one of these.
front view

Weekender Biscuits

125g (4oz) butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 jumbo/2 small egg/s (otherwise the biscuits are a dry argument)
2/3 cup sultanas (yellow raisins)
1 cup of self-raising flour
2 cups lightly crushed cornflakes

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add Egg/s, beat well. Fold in sifted flour, sultanas and crushed cornflakes. Drop teaspoonfuls of mixture onto lightly greased oven trays/biscuit sheets/Glad Bake. Allow room for spreading (these suckers really spread). Make in moderate oven 20 minutes. If your oven is hot 15 minutes is all you need. Makes about 30 (I usually get more).

From The Australian Women's Weekly The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits (classic version ie late 70s early 80s brown cover version rather than the modern pinkish cover).
Cornflake biscuits
Don't they look scrummy. CT is a pelican when it comes to these beauties.

Friday, 25 July 2008

My Friday Volunteer Gig

Surprised to see another post so soon?? I had so much fun today that I would like to share my fun Friday gig with you all. Some time ago I mentioned that I was taking over as the Art and Craft coordinator's spot at our playgroup, well today was my first day. I am very lucky that my predecessor, has planned themes for the year already (which is what I struggle with) and all I have to do most weeks (not every week mind you, because some have already been partially prepared) is to organise an appropriate activity for 18 months to 5 years.
dippoloducus sample.
This week's theme was dinosaurs and I chose finger puppets. You can find the templates I used here but Enchanted Learning has more dinosaur activities here. I copied the finger puppets, then pasted them into a word document, increased the size and printed them off. I recommend paper heavier than 80 gsm but less than 200 gsm (difficult to cut the holes out otherwise). Then I went through the ANZA craft supplies. This week I decided to use cut out paper pieces, sequins, commercial pom poms, glitter glue and stickers. Mainly because they were already in containers. There were also markers, crayons and pencils on the craft table. It was interesting seeing what the kids chose to do with the supplies. I assumed because the t-rex looked aggressive that the girls would gravitate to the dipplodocus puppets. WRONG. Most kids chose to do a little colouring (markers seemed to be the most popular. CT was the only one who showed interest in the crayons.), a little gluing and sticker action (interesting to also watch them carefully select the stickers and then stick them. Some haphazard, others with great deliberation.) The feedback from other parents was good and let's see how next week, gingerbread men goes.
t-rex sample
As I hovered over the table (anxious because it was my first time), CT spent a lot of time at the table experimenting. I accidently round paper filed her first effort a crayon/marker creation (she seems to be going through a purple faze). As she was observing the other kids around the table, she became fascinated with the glitter glue and glue stick. The whole squeeze the glitter glue tube went over her head but she understood that she could spread the glitter with the nib. I have to admit that I was surprised she didn't use her hands. In the space of an hour she also worked out how to take the lid off the glue stick, use the glue end like she does a pencil to put glue on the paper (also surprised she didn't experiment further there either) and stick a piece of paper (not much lasted because, why not pull it off and place another piece on). She was also fascinated with the texture. I haven't used glue with her before. Sighed relief that she didn't try to imitate some of her pals glue eating either (or did she try it and decide that she didn't like the taste??). Her second dinosaur is the below, the glitter version and not the pink and brown one. The top one belongs to her friend Oliver.
Proud Mummy
Here are some other activities that I found but didn't use (most because of the age range of the kids); dinosaur shoes, 3D dinosaurs, coffee fossils, memory game, and my favourite origami (though it looks a little difficult.).
Thanks S
I would also like to thank S for helping me cut out 30 t-rexs last night (as seen above, you are a star sweetie). I did the diplodocus templates. Another big thanks for letting me store it on the floor of the linen cupboard. (Now all I have to do is make sure we DO NOT open the door when CT is awake.... I have had to put supplies away several times in the last week...)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

A Name and I Would Like You all to Sing Along With Me

We will get to the name in awhile people. I need you to all sing with me. Our chosen piece of music is Handel's Messiah Chorus (a linkie link to the music if you really want to get in the spirit of things). Que intro and all together people (in the full glory of this piece...) "Far Croatia, Far Croatia, Far Croatia, Faar Crooatia...."

Why?? Well because I was being a show off last week, karma decided to come and slap me around for being a smart arse (and had annoying humid weather/torrential rain, so I can't PVA my bits for MPC (see my mind is on the same page as you mawha ha ha)). Everything I have touched since the 14th has been a disaster. Some have been salvaged, but I have started my THIRD attempt at my Russian Doll Swap. The first attempts will make appearances in other places at a later stage. But they can stay crumpled in a far corner under the sewing machine dining table in the studio until one doesn't feel like hacking into it with the scissors (no photos of that cluck up for you then as well). Just couldn't use the thread paintings for what I wanted them for, I sort of kind of painted the corners of the fabric into the back of the fabric... Got frustrated with how much eye strain the first attempt gave me (red fine line pen on denim will do it to you every time), so I decided to give freezer paper a go.
Knew if I iron the design down it wasn't going to move and I would see said design. Like how intricate it is?
double hmpf
Like the paper??
Just to let you know how really bad it is!!!!!!
'Cause it ain't coming out. The horns are well and truly out for these poor poppets... I have plans for them. You will find out in due time (evil teacher laugh). So sorry Meridian Ariel, I feel so flakey...
Like the zippered pouch??
Like the zippered pouch and
What do you do with a failed placemat?
coasters? 2 failed place mats... Not rehashing that either. Not going to share the mangled hats and the burnt Ikea animal print baby quilt.... Phew that is off my chest, thanks for the moan bond and vent.

Now for a drum roll...... The newbie machine has a name. It took awhile to pin Donnie down to decide on a name. S flat refused because he felt I would argue with him over a name. Besides he felt seeing Donnie gave me said beauty, Donnie should help me. So the machine's name is Fred. Thank you Lil'd for the name. All the males in the maternal line have the name Fred (actually Fredrick) as a Christian or second name. We agreed if Fred was being a good machine, Fred is channelling its inner female so Fred is short for Fredrine. On the other hand, if Fred is playing up thus channelling its inner male, Fred is short for Featherdick (one poor unfortunate relative scored that nickname when his best friend aged 3 couldn't pronounce Frederick properly...) So there you have it a Jacobsen tradition won hands down. Lil'd if you could please contact me via Flickr and I will get your contact details.

Well I am going to return to my manic reality. I do not want to jinx what I have been up to, so it will remain a super dooper secret squirrel, which I hope I can share soon. If the SDSS falls through, expect to see all the creatively rejigged items that are not swaps, in my Etsy store (and that will be all at once for the sheer hell of it!!). Oh I am so all over the place, too many play dates and not enough sleep will do that to you... Thank you all so very much for your messages regarding the death of my special student. They all helped and writing a looooong letter to the family has helped me. Smooth thanks for helping me remember one of my favourite memories of the older sister (but I will not be tempted by your swap suggestions...). :D Wish me luck people.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Last week's rabbit hole

Last week, was another very busy week (don't think it will be changing anytime soon either) with CT, various playgroups, a hyperactive bowel, a stint in bed, molars playing havoc with sleep and sewing. Note to self, I need to drink more water otherwise there will be more bouts of a hyperactive bowel. My sincere commiseration those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Want to play?
So this last week was a haze of little girl sewing and making buttons. On the button front I have made and lost 3 sets of buttons, one only wonders how. I had to go supplies, again, and that is what I am doing tonight in front of the zombie box. Donnie's dress, the t-shirt dress tutorial, a lack of trousers and the fact that CT is about to grow out of most of her handmades, spurred last week's sewing activity. That and I moved onto the dining room table and S was extremely impressed about it... His positive comments spurred me into action people. Have a look below (need to work harder on the photography. None of shots on hangers off the door looked any good....). What do you think? Most of the garments were made from こはるの ふく(which I take to mean Small Spring/Young Spring Clothing) ISBN 9784579109708. All the little outfits are easy to construct.
The New Wardrobe so far
There are 5 pairs of pants because we go to lots of indoor play centres (like every other day) and I really felt these are more appropriate than bloomers. A customised tee, a puppy for the puppy obsessed little girl. I couldn't find appropriate button eyes at the time but the shirt now has eyes. A halter neck top in blue polka dots and frogs (frogs, fish, dogs and circles are motifs I love) which you will notice have matching pants. Cherry broderie anglaise skirt, really easy to make. Cherry broderie anglaise wrap top which is from the same McCalls pattern that the elephant top was made out of. Cherry broderie anglaise tunic dress which was worn to playgroup today. This dress will be a staple of a little girl's wardrobe for years to come. Easy to make, easy to wear and lovely in cool cottons. Finally frog polka dot tunic. The puppy tee and stripey pants were worn to playgroup on Friday, lots of positive comments and few people asking where I bought the outfit. Loved saying, 'I made it last night'. I bought more of the stripes today. The cherry tunic dress was worn to another playgroup this morning and lots more compliments. I have plans for this dress. I know a local store that sells simple clean line linen/cotton neutral handmade items. What do you think? Worth going and trying to sell myself???

Oh I have decided to trawl for more comments and extended the name the machine giveaway to Friday. Honestly, it will take me until then to finish the said goodie until then and want to draw the competition with prize.... Cherio all. I am off to make more buttons. 4th time lucky???

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Horrible News

I was all set for a post yesterday afternoon and skite about what I have been up to. Until I got a call from a former teaching collegue. It was lovely to hear from this dear man, but his news was not so flash.

As pupils we are often touched by that special teacher, well the reverse is true of students. One of my most memorable and special students, was killed in a freak car accident on Tuesday last. She was 18 years old. What made me feel even worse is that her family and I were once close. Actually, I think I would have quit teaching because I found the environment I lived in difficult and I wasn't coping. They offered me friendship and company and many an afternoon was spent either around their dining room table or lounge room. Saddened that it took me so long to hear about it. One can only wonder how her older sister who was in the car is coping (she was seriously injured), as well as her parents and younger brother. They were such a close family.

A morose post but I need to get this off my chest. What a tragedy that such a beautiful person with what seemed like a bright future has been cut short so abruptly. May her soul rest in peace.

Monday, 7 July 2008

The post in which Donnie ROCKS!!


Thanks for all the stash loving. :D
Lookie, lookie
Today is a post all about why Donnie Rocks and her mad chum Sharyn. Through the pair of them I have a BRAND NEW machine. THANK YOU Donnie. Feeling very special here. So it means that I can have a few projects on the go on both machines! I have sewn on the new baby in Brisvegas (as some Brisbane residents fondly call Brisbane, Australia) during transit (move to Singapore was from Perth, Australia via Donnie). I loved it and hankered over it. I knew said machine was coming my way for awhile. Donnie blew me away when she told me she was giving me the newbie. Thanks. And a big thank you Sharyn for bringing to over. Lucky me! A visit from a friendly face and a new machine. Sharyn thanks for the jaunt to Arab St (yes I added to the stash), a lovely lunch and coming around for dinner (head hung in shame over the state of the floor).
Who is this?
Donnie also sent other goodies, through cousins as well. Check out the little girl's new threads!
the dress
Smart or what???
I'm so Pretty
I am usually good at naming machines, but I am stumped for the newbie. Can you help me?? There will be a give away for the best name. Keeping it an SS people until winner is announced. :D So delurk, help me name the newbie (because that moniker is kind of sad....).

Edit: Name my machine competition ends next Tuesday. The giveaway will be sewn on yet to be name machine and will have button holes (OMG I have fallen in love with the buttonhole feature on this machine!! What a doddle!!) and will have one of my 'thread paintings' (but that will be sewn on Ma, seeing we are at one with the free hand machine embroidery)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Confessions of a fabric hoarder

This post is specially dedicated to Jackie, as I have been pillaging her chocolates and other backing and stash on flickr. Feel free to help yourselves as well (online that is).
Singapore finds
Kathy recently came out of the closet and revealed her shoe collection. I love shoes, but have 'feet issues' so gorgeous shoes are out. If there is anything I need to come out of the closet about would have to be the stash. Fabric and certain notions are the one thing I hoard almost compulsively. So confession time. This week is fabric that has mysteriously made its way into my stash in the short 4 months I have been here (yes four). Oh the photo shoot took close to 2 hours because...
Fabrics found frequently
of the photographic assistant. I left explanations of the piles on Flickr. I am just going to post the eye candy and let you know that I have plans for ALL that fabric. You can also see the stashes at Flickr too.
Quilting cottons
American and Japanese Patchwork Fabrics
Cotton lawns and broderie anglaise
Cotton lawns and broderie anglaise
Mystery Bag
Mystery bag

And you know what S is cool with the fabric. Thanks for letting me have this vice. Oh I also updated Etsy tonight. Will edit the photos tomorrow (had to update).