Thursday, June 28, 2007

Softies a deux

'Two little softies, sitting in a tree, h*u*g*g*i*n*g'
Okay, so making little stuffed toys is making me go a little gaga. But they have been fun. Apart from the eyes! I am not good at eyes. The pattern calls for buttons, but with under-3s it stipulates to embroider the eyes (as buttons could be pulled off by enterprising babies/toddlers, eaten and choked upon). Oh dear - my stitchery skills leave a lot to be desired.

However, I am not getting hung up on the details - the kids will love them. Romily is already madly in love with her kitty.

I put Kitty on the rail of her cot last night and when Romily woke up this morning the first word she said was 'kittyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'! Kitty has been carried around all day, given 'food', been put to 'bed' and been hurt ('ow, poor Kitty') and then kissed better ('all better'). A success :)

(Black Bunny's eyes are not embroidered, as you can see. They are bits of felt stitched tight through their centres)

Black Bunny will go to his new home this weekend when we pay a visit to baby Jack. The other three softies will be finished hopefully over the coming week (or two). I am dreaming up my next project and have drawn up an initial design. Lots of HSTs - haven't done them yet, so it should be fun. I hope!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No monkey business...

...but plenty of funny bunnies, pretty kitties and brazen bears.

My little softie buddies are coming along - they are all made and stuffed - but so far remain faceless and nameless. They're also not completely dressed - I've ties, scarves, hair and other bits and pieces to make and appliqué onto the bodies.

They're all destined for different homes, except for the two bears, who are going to my nephews for their birthdays in September. I think I'll probably have finished them by then!

The bunny (big ears) is going to baby Jack, who is around two months old, and one of the kitties is going to Molly, who is about three weeks old. Romy will get the second kitty. She'll be beside herself when she sees them all - I'm not letting her touch them, as I want them to go their new homes clean! No sticky lolly fingers thanks very much :)

These have been quite fun to make, but I'm also looking forward to starting on the next quilty project. I think it'll have to be the Christmas table runners I was going to make for last Christmas!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Birthday treats

I was truly spoilt yesterday - and thanks for all your birthday wishes.

I had a lovely long sleep-in and then Romily helped me open my presents. We then had a lovely afternoon together, with the day topped off by my favourite dinner - roast chicken with roast pumpkin and potato and some token greens. Then the cake!

Romily was enraptured with the idea of cake and candles, but got a bit scared when it came time to blow them out. We might have to practice a few more times before her birthday in August.

I also received some gorgeous scarves, socks and beads from my parents and brother and sister-in-law. My present from my other brother is being shipped from Amazon next week and I can't wait to get it. I'll post about it when it arrives.

Carl and Romily also gave me Richard E Grant's latest book - The Wah Wah Diaries. Can't wait to read it. I love him! Not as much as I love my husband, of course!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Da na na na na na na they say it's your birthday...

...And it's my birthday too yeah! (apologies to The Beatles)

That photo is me at two years of age. Nothing like Romily, apart from lots of hair!

Dear god how did I manage to become 36 years old? I cannot credit it. Ah well, it's been a busy three and half decades that's for sure. And one more year of being in my 'mid-30s' - I guess it's not all bad when you look at it that way!

The best present I've received today? A sleep-in - a proper sleep-in. That is, Carl took Romily out of the house when she woke up this morning and I slept until 9.30am. This is the first time in nearly two years. Hooray and happy birthday to me! I am waiting for them to come home to open my other presents. Romily was trying to hand them to me last night - she's cottoning on to the whole birthday, cake, candles and presents idea! She'll be beside herself with excitement tonight with the cake and candles. Darling Carl has even made my cake himself. What a beautiful man :)

Oh and my first Ottobre magazine arrived yesterday. Perfect timing. All those projects! Very inspiring too.

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Romy Bear

Romy Bear is one of my many terms of endearment for our little cherub. Very fitting apparently, as she went gaga for the first softie I'm stitching - a little bear. We've had a lovely, relaxing weekend, slow enough for me to find a couple of hours to getting my softies project started.

Here is the first bear at the 'just-stitched', no-stuffing phase. Looking a little bit flat!

And here it is after stuffing, with the Romy tick of approval! I still have to stitch on the details, including the face, but Romily was in no doubt that it's a bear.

Here is a bunny in the same 'outfit' - he'll be going to a different home to the first. I then have three more to do, which may have to wait until the weekend, as I have a horrendously busy (short) week coming up at work. My boss is on leave for a week and I'm 'it'! Fortunately this added responsibility coincides with the finish of my probationary period, which I passed with flying colours - in fact my boss asked if he could clone me. I guess they're happy with my work!

I got all domesticated today and baked some vanilla crunch biscuits. They are very crunchy and very yummy. Romy helped too, which was just lovely. She is a good helper and likes 'turning' (stirring). Long may this phase last too.

Rom is definitely on the mend, which is good. Two days of toddler grizzle is about all I can 'Romy Bear'!

Back to work tomorrow. Best get an early night tonight. Who knows what the week may bring.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Enjoying some time out

I've been forcing myself to read again. For pleasure. A chapter each night before sleep. It helps clear out the day's activities from my mind. I am also a little less stressed these days now that I have a job I love, albeit a very busy job that requires some high octane activity, so I find I am happier reading and not so fidgety. I stopped reading for a while there because I just wasn't enjoying it and couldn't find a book I liked.

I tried very hard to read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which came recommended to me by my darling husband. He thought I'd appreciate it, having been in the army and all. I tried, and tried, but I just could not get into it. I gave up after about 10 chapters. I just didn't like the style it was written in at all and who needs to be thinking too hard at the end of a long, tiring day?

So I ditched it and picked up Saturday by Ian McEwan while transiting through an airport last month. I read it in about a week - more than a chapter a night! I really enjoyed it - let me tell you why. It felt real. It felt like a story we could all relate too. It had characters that weren't entirely sympathetic but also very believable. I can't tell you how many books I've read where I get to the end and think 'as if'! The world created by McEwan was clear and familiar, although it is set in London. I've been there twice, but not to the area in the book. The front cover image helped a lot! I put it down very satisfied, although I did know where the story was heading, so I might mark it down a little for lacking in suspense. I must confess that it did get my hear racing nonetheless!

So, if you're after a contemporary novel, set in post-September 11 London that tells a good story about a very believable and flawed man, then I recommend you give it a try.


Today was spent shopping and then decluttering. The first half of the day I enjoyed, although I do get a little down going to the shopping centre and finding just about all of my favourite stores are having sales and I can't afford anything that's a luxury right now. I did, however, manage to replace my torn and worn 15-year-old dressing gown! I also bought a couple of hooded velour jackets (hoodies) for Romily, who has outgrown all her size 1 hoodies, and some cute tights. I absolutely love shopping for her.

Then this afternoon we got serious about finding homes for several piles of books, papers and clothes that had been accumulating in our lounge room. It must have been the day for it as Tracey over at Ozcountryquiltingmum spent her day doing pretty similar mundane tasks!

While sorting out the clothes pile (Romily's clothes that are being 'retired' and some of my maternity and breastfeeding clothes), I discovered (to my embarrassment) a huge mending pile. Whoops! I guess I know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks in front of the telly! :o

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yes that is indeed lipstick

Okay, so when you hear the words 'more cream, more cream' and you forgot to put your handbag away out of reach, you had better be worried.

Yes that is indeed lipstick.

She looks so proud of herself, the little minx! She wasn't actually trying to put on lipstick, but face cream. I guess all those tubes look the same.

This is the third time. You would have thought that mummy would have learned her lesson by now...apparently I am a slow learner. Fortunately it was a freebie lipstick that was trashed this time.

Romily is going through a real 'I want to be like mummy' phase - she tries my shoes on all the time, tries to put my stockings on, wears my clothes, including scarves, gloves and hats, wants to wear my beads/jewellery and is always after me to put cream on her face. She's not even two yet!

No stitching this week, although I did wash and iron the fabric for the softies. I will try to get this project underway this weekend.

We have a long weekend here starting tomorrow - it's the official celebration of the Queen's birthday - yes the Queen of England is also the Queen of Australia. We all bless her majesty on the second Monday in June, for we get the day off! Her real birthday is in April, but the public holiday actually has nothing to do with that! It's to celebrate the monarch's birthday, whenever their actual birthday may fall! Trust Australians to find a holiday where there's none!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Early birthday present!

My birthday is coming up in a big rush (in a couple of weeks) and I was browsing around today in Blogland and came across Ottobre, which I've often heard of, but have never actually seen. I was so impressed with what I saw, that I subscribed!! An early b'day present from moi!

Some of the projects in the latest edition are stunning and I have such a desire to sew, sew, sew for my gorgeous Romily that I can never have enough inspiration!

Some of you asked me why I iron my quilts before I present them! I guess it's just to even out any bumps the formed in the washing machine and to make sure the binding is sitting flat and nice before I wrap them up as presents. No one ever told me to - I just thought it might look nice :)

I don't have the iron very hot and I don't 'squish' the quilt flat, just smooth out the top really.