Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thread of Sunshine

String of sunshine

My life is but a weaving, between my Lord and me,
I do not choose the colours, He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not til the loom is silent and shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful weavers hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

Things have been getting the best of me lately. This life we have is full of stress. It can be so wearing. When I was having a bad day recently, my mum happened to show me some family history stuff she had been working on about my Nanny. Mum showed me this poem which had been in the front of Nanny's bible. It brought tears to my eyes. How true are these words. Even though things seem to be a bit of a mess, "the dark threads are as needful in the skillful weavers hand, as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned."

I can't control what happens in this life but I can change the way I look at things in this life. I know I am a bit late for new years resolutions but I want this year to be different. I want to spend more time looking at the blessings and gifts that God has given to me instead of getting weighed down by the grief in our life. I want to make the most of what we have and not need things to be different to make me happy.

It's a lot to aim for in an unpredictable life but you know what? I have everything I need to get there. I just have to work out how to use it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sewing machine lessons

Esther and Ellamay have been craving Mummy time without Amelia around. Now that Amelia is back to daycare again for a couple of days a week, we have managed some. Aside from going out shopping with me, they really wanted to learn how to use the sewing machine. Now I was a bit stressed about doing this. I knew it would be a bit difficult to have the two of them wanting to learn at the same time. (One of the joys of twins, I guess). I didn't really think 6 and a half was old enough and was worried about them hurting themselves. I got over it though. Well, not really but if they want to learn, I should teach them.

Esther sewing


Ellamay sewing


They sewed ten lines each. Considering it was their first attempt, they sewed super straight. I told them to line the foot up next to the last lot of stitching. Some of it went a bit wonky because of this but they were pretty good. Esther and Ellamay were worn out from the concentration after they were done. Next time I told them they could make a draw-string bag. They are pretty excited about that though I am not sure when will be squeezing that in. School starts back on the 4th of Feb. (Hurrah!).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Making little worlds

When the kids were recently complaining of being "soo booored" I sent them outside to make some little worlds. I gave them a al foil pie dish, a paper cup, some pva clue and scissors and told them to go make something. They really didn't understand the idea at first but I think they did really well once they got started.

Esther's little world

Esther's little world.

Ellamay's little world

Ellamay's little world.
These make me think of the books I loved when I was a kid. The Littles. Ever read them? The al foil pie dishes weren't really big enough to make much so when we were out shopping we looked around for something to use. We found kitty litter trays. They are perfect. I had to explain what a kitty litter tray was to the girls... FUNNY. Anyway, when they make some more I will put some more photos up. If you need to entertain your kids, give this one a try.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Amelia in the sheet tent

The kids wanted to go camping last week. They found a rope and tied it to a tree. They came and asked me to help them tie it to the clothes line. A few old sheets and pegs later, here is their tent. They spent the morning out there until it got too hot, making pretend food out of sand and reading in there.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Old dresses into new messenger bags

I know I said I was going to do a post about the Crisis being one now but I got side tracked. I might get back to that some other time (I might not too, knowing me). Anyway, here is a project that I was madly unpicking clothes for.

I have wanted to get Esther and Ellamay a messenger type bag for ages now mainly so they could carry their asthma medication with them anywhere they went. I wasn't keen on buying bags because the ones I had seen were too big, too small, too ugly, too poor quality or too expensive. (Or all of the above). I decided to make some. I can make things and they are much nicer than the bought ones (sometimes). I had problems then trying to find a bag that was right and easy enough for me to make. Then I came across this great tutorial for a messenger bag using old jeans. YEAH! The tutorial has the size of the fabric at 26x10 inches and I changed it up to 28x11 inches and increased the length of the strap also.

The three girls all had some dresses that they had grown out of. They really were too worn out to hand on but I couldn't just throw them away, they were so nice. Making them into bags was perfect. So here you are. Esther and Ellamay wearing the dresses (I think they are about 4 years old here).
Esther and Ellamay 07

Esther's new bag. The design on the flap was on the bottom of the front panel of her dress.
Esther's bag

I love the owl.
Owl on the bag

And here is Ellamay's bag.

Ellamay's bag

I used the lining from the dresses to line the bags too. Though there wasn't quite enough from Ellamay's dress so I just used extra from Esther's. Her dress was a wrap around dress so there was more fabric in it.

Here is Amelia wearing her dress. This dress was a size 0 and she is only 8 months old in this photo.

Amelia 8 months

And here is Amelia's bag. Her bag turned out a little bigger than the other two because I was trying to get the two front pockets on the front flap. And because the dress was only a size zero, I had to use a lot of other fabric to make up the rest of the bag.
Amelia's bag

I made a pocket inside them and because it was funny to me, I sewed in the tags from the dresses. :-)

Dress tag in the bag

I am feeling quite proud of myself for actually getting them done. The kids love them and have been using them just like I hoped. Thank you Tim for taking the kids out on the weekend so I could have a sewing day. :-)

I wouldn't mind making a bigger version for myself. I will just add that to my list of possible sewing projects (that is a long one). Not a bad start to the year. January hasn't even finished and I have completed a project. Or is that three projects. Yes. Then I really have achieved.

Have a great week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Local flood waters

This is just a giant puddle by comparison to the flooding that is happening around parts of Australia. The sky turned blue today here for the first time in days. It has been raining constantly and the puddles were getting bigger and bigger. Coming home from town today was an experience I would not like to repeat. Flooded roads, fast approaching too deep to pass. Tonight, Tim is out helping with sandbagging homes near the river. They expect the floods in this area to peak tomorrow. We are high enough but people close to the river and creeks have a nervous wait. And so I am blogging instead of sleeping. Because who can sleep when there is so much happening.

It has been great to see on the news tonight that the Australian spirit is alive and well and people are coming from all directions to assist in the clean up in Queensland. So much loss and devastation and yet perfect strangers are stepping in and lending a hand. I am so glad to be Australian.

I came across this post over at Meet me at Mike's all about different ways we can help out with the effort. Go over and see if you can help out. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Agapanthus and stuff

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago. The agapanthus are all looking a bit worse for wear today though. Not only have they lost most of their flowers due to little hands needing them for all manner of outside makings and games, the rain has been coming steadily all day and has them all looking rather drenched. Who would think we would be having more rain at this time of year. Not at all normal. And it is so humid. At least we are not flooded. Queensland is having a terrible time at the moment and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost so much.

At the moment I am working on projects with big ideas but not too much action. It is slow going with the kids on holidays because they are, you know, "SOOooo bored" and need to be entertained. One thing I am trying to achieve at the moment is a whole lot of unpicking. Blah! What a job! I am trying to use some old things and turn them into new things. I think perhaps I could say I am getting on the upcycling band wagon. Couldn't tell you how long it will be before I have something to show for it. Especially since I have 3 to do (as always).

I should finish up for now. I am in the middle of trying not to burn the tea while I type this and the kids are filling up eating a whole lot of ice cubes. Treasures. Hope to be back in the next couple of days for my blog-o-versary.

Chipmunk pencil tubes

Chipmunk pencil tubes

How do you like our new pencil holders? We made them after I saw this post over on One Crafty Mumma. It is actually a tutorial on making silts out of tin cans but I didn't have any cans on hand. I decided to use a cardboard postage tube which is a very handy crafting item! (Remember the barbie chairs?) Anyway, I used a disc of photo mat board and hot glued it onto the base. I cut up the felt from the pattern and the girls picked the colours for the background. All in their own colours of course! Green for Amelia, pink for Esther and purple for Ellamay. I went with yellow. I was really excited to make this because I have quite a huge pile of craft felt to conquer before I can justify going and buying anymore - I want a stash of quality wool felt. I had to help Amelia with hers but Esther and Ellamay put there's together by themselves. We just used a marker to do the eyelashes.

Felt making time

After we were done the girls did some more crafting with the left over felt. It was a hot day so we spent it out working on the outdoor setting. Today it's been raining and the kids have been working out there again. It is really a good spot for them to work.

Head over to One Crafty Mumma to see the Hip Hip Hooray for Holidays series and get some great ideas to keep the kids entertained.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Teddy wash day

Teddy wash day

We had a hot day just after Christmas and we decided it was time for all the teddy's to have a wash. The girls all lined up with their teddies, gave them a big cuddle and then dropped them into the washing machine. I told them not to worry because I was using a gentle cycle. I thought there would be tears from Amelia but all was okay because "Bear and Bunny 'bery' dirty." Those toys all got bigger cuddles than normal when they all came in off the line ready for bed that night. :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas and New Year

Hi. I'm back. Maybe. If I can get back onto the computer to post stuff and what not. It has been every kind of busy here. How about you? Our Christmas week involved lots of last minute organising, making and festivities. We live in a small country town so we get a visit from Santa just before Christmas on the back of the fire truck. The kids love it. He brings a bag of lollies for everyone which is very exciting. Usually it's just our kids at our end of the street but this time some other kids joined our girls waiting for Santa.

Santa coming on the fire truck

Lollies from Santa

Christmas morning was delightful. We managed to stay in bed til 9am! What a great sleep in! When the kids dragged us out of bed they had already polished off the orange tic tacs they got in their Christmas stockings and had played with all the bits and pieces from Santa. We opened all the presents from us, saving the biggest for last. A new trampoline! After breakie, the kids went out and helped Tim put it together. I wish I had have taken pictures because it was cute funny. We spent Christmas eve with Tim's family and Christmas lunch with my family. 

A jumpy Christmas morning

Boxing Day was pretty warm here and we were all pretty worn out from all the Christmas fun. The kids were keen to try out their new swimmers and since we couldn't go to the pool, Tim sprayed them with the hose. Esther and Ellamay kept coming back for more too.

Fun on Boxing Day

Amelia hated it so she just used her new camera to take pictures of all the fun.

Amelia and her camera

New Years eve was spent with some good friends of ours from Queensland. It's probably been about 12 months since we saw them last so it was great to catch up. We had traditional bacon and eggs for breakie on New Years day and fluffed around for the day. Our friends went home after lunch and we all laid down for a sleep in the afternoon (YEAH!). That night, we had a lovely night out at the in-laws for a BBQ, celebrating my sister-in-laws birthday.

In all a very full week (and a bit) worth of activities and festivities. Amelia has been struggling a bit with her tummy again so that added a bit of stress to our time but hopefully we can get that sorted out again and things can be a bit settled for a time (I live in hope anyway).

That about covers it really. Posting will probably be a bit half hearted for another few weeks while the kids are still on school holidays. I have so many ideas for the Crisis this year. I hope I can make some of them happen. See you soon.