anxiety, baby and toddler, baby led weaning, bad week, baking, bird feeder, biscuits, blw, Bollywood, Book, camping, CPTSD, diy, diy books, mental illness, mindfulness, pants, pattern, pintrest, ptsd, Sewing, sewing novice, toddler activities, toys, trousers, upcycle, words

Week Thirteen- Apparently a list no matter what I do with formatting.

  1. Ridiculously short post here. Mainly because l’m kind of crazy busy in both mind and life with things to do before we go away next Monday. Camping. In Queensland. 
  2. Many of the things I am busy with are, at the very least, Pintrest inspired so there will be a huge stonking post full of things. But not while I’m still doing them.
  3. Here are just a couple of little things- plus I’ve added some photos to the previous post.

    This morning I made bub some pants to go with her good dress. I’d used this pin earlier in the week with polar fleece to make some PJ pants to take away and it was so quick and easy. I forgot I was using very light Indian cotton. It took a little longer than expected. 

    Look very closely on the bottom right- shirring.

    My favourite part? Spontaneous shirring of the cuffs (which I learnt from this pin) worked beautifully.

    I’ve also been coming across a lot of these

     pins of late. I adore them. I’m in love with language so finding new words is always a wondrous thing.

    Here are a few of my particular favourites.


    Because I am

    Wish me luck in my sewing/couriering/shopping/driving/train riding week.

    I may post while away- I aim to. If not there will be make up posts upon my return.  Meanwhile look for me in the interstice.

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    anxiety, anzacs, baby and toddler, baby led weaning, bad week, baking, biscuits, camping, cooking, CPTSD, diy, missy higgins, music, ptsd, reading, recipes, repurpose, Saree, Sari, sewing novice, Tim Minchin, toys, university, upcycle, winter, wrap top

    Week Eleven. Remembering.

    Right now I can’t for the life of me remember what I was going to write about… 

    This week has gone so quickly.

    We made Anzacs (as we always do) and danced in the kitchen to Missy Higgins 

    I adore the painting on the right but photo for recognitions sake.

    (Bub especially loves this song, and now sings the chorus – well part of it. Calls it the Anzac Song.  I especially love this  song- being a frustrated artist)

    Truth be told I love all of her music and have a particular soft spot for this . Its especially good after arguments with people you love.

    Which happens when they misplace things when you moved house in Febuary and still have no idea where they are. (Yes, I am looking at you, Big M) So that ate up some week.

    Then there was this STUPID AND IDIOTIC “postal survey” (plebiscite makes more sense- thought up by plebs. Anyone else do Latin at school? Anyone?) announced in Australia. It has made me rather upset. The amazing and brilliant Tim Minchin sums it up best here and quite simply I believe this :-

    Anyway. There was that.

     I also did a spot of sewing- we’re going to my cousins wedding in September up in QLD and I’m s-l-o-w-l-y making my way through a pages long to do list (mostly pin inspired).

    At the top is “Make E’s Wedding Dress” and yes, we all had a good laugh at that one.

    I wanted to make her something that reminded her of a Sari as she often asks to wear one (her passion for Bollywood undimmed)

    After looking at so, so, so many patterns for dresses for babies and toddlers. I found this one. For a reversible wrap top. 

     (Actually first I found this 

    but I really didn’t want to pay for a pattern and the handy image search corner thing found the top for me).

    So I printed out the pattern, then traced it onto baking paper and made it longer and cut it out of some beautiful but very thin Indian cotton I had bought on eBay and some equally beautiful broderie anglais. Also from eBay.

    After thinking about it overnight I realised two things. 1. That they would not work as a lining for each other and 2. That I’d cut out one too few front prices and that would have looked very wrong. (One shoulder wrap dress on toddler. Not good)

    So the next day I cut out another front piece from the cotton and some lining from Calico and tried to pin it all together. Discovery of the week- pins are like hair elastics- they vanish.

    Anyway- I was being careful and taking my time so, yes, the next day I sewed it all together following the instructions – which are actually quite simplre I’d imagine especially so for a slightly more experienced seamstress.

    I ended up with a dress which looked okay on the Indian cotton side and lovely on the calico. I hung it up overnight as apparently this helps with hemming.

    That night I thought again and realised my mistakes. 

    The next day I fixed them (sew all edges except the bottom hem first, then seam the sides with the fabric you like least outwards).

    I even used a decorative stitch.

    Tried it on Bub, hemmed it. Done. One wedding dress that I don’t have a finished picture of. Although here is the next best thing- pre hemming and adding of ties:-

     I will have a “proper” picture though- when I finish the pants to go underneath it and make the front panel end in a curve not a point and I’ll put it here 

    And now, of course, I’ve remembered what we did do that was new….but we haven’t finished it yet, so that will have to wait for next week.

    Alia Bhatt, anxiety, anzacs, baby and toddler, baby led weaning, baking, biscuits, blw, Bollywood, cooking, diy, education, headscarf, Kurti, mental illness, mindfulness, montessori, pasta, pintrest, post natal anxiety, pre natal anxiety, ptsd, quotes, reading, recipes, repurpose, sensory activities, Sewing, stress, toddler activities, toys, upcycle, winter

    Week 8. Scrappy,  but good biscuits and toddler fun 

    So, no blog post yesterday. And no apology either. Truth be told I’m exhausted. 

    I don’t know if it’s winter or my ED or bub having her immunization reaction or “I’m a single mum with a daughter” (anyone else remember those black & white ‘women low in iron’ ads? Were they for red meat? Or just awareness…anyway. Advertising in the 90s rocked & 80s …. what went wrong? (Not that I watch commercial tv except in waiting rooms so I wouldn’t really know))

    So yes. Exhausted. And yesterday while bub napped I thought about writing but then, well, didn’t. 

    Because this week got away from me. I’ve browsed pins for clothing ideas (I adore Alia Bhatt) for ways to cover my hair when I go to the GP  ( being germ phobic is so much fun when you have to pick up a regular prescription) for baking ideas and for storage ideas for our Airbnb tent (& got eldest working on it- woot!)

     it’s also been a week where looking up things like this :

    featured a lot.

    Also it’s August. Considering semester started about three weeks ago and I’m tired of just scraping through assignment by assignment (I want an HD damn it! (For those not permanently studying HD= High Distinction = A or in the 90%s)) I thought maybe Pintrest might have some handy hints/ tips.

    This (and the discovery I have an assignment due next week) led to a wild Pintrest a thon on Sunday night.

     I found so many pins like this: 

      and subscribed to this :

      (honestly I got the information I needed from the pin but…you know…fellow blogger. The emails haven’t stopped. Yup- one of those) 

    Thus I was going to write a post on Pintrest and studying- then I realised while my assignment is due in a week that isn’t today and I won’t have used these pins by today.

     So that’s for next week.
    Then I thought I’d do a “self care” post because I’ve been looking up lots of pins about it over the last few months and self care seems the new “thing” (after paleo, yoga, jazzercise, pritikin diet…thats got me back to the 80s. Further I have no idea) 

    But have I used them yet? Have I even read them? Erm- no.
    Right – so that left me with a post on anzac biscuits  or shirring . 

     Because while I’ve looked at a lot of pins there isn’t anything that feels finished.

    So this is kind of an evaluation plus excellent biscuit plus actually surprisingly cool toddler activity post.

    Excellent Anzacs

    To anybody out there who doesn’t like Anzacs – try this recipe but use white sugar instead of brown. They will taste like brandy snaps.( If you do this Do not give them to your toddler. They will go mad)

    Anzacs are bubs cooking activity of choice at the moment. We’ve made them about four times in the last three weeks.  When offered an alternative  (“shall we make cake” “No- Anzac Biscuit “ which is so sweet and followed by please and she put those words together herself and the brilliant thing is they are quick, easy, relatively low sugar and it’s fine for kids to eat the mix – No egg)

    So yesterday we made Anzacs. 

    And it was fun. 

    And bub chose to be in her Baba Sling which is fantastic for cooking and short things like that. 

    Very nice way to spend the afternoon. And bub had “parfait” (yoghurt with anzac crumble and hidden fruit) for dinner. 

    I could walk you through the recipe- but I honestly didn’t take any photos & with such a simple recipe it feels a bit like the teacher who would give you a hand out then read it to you. Kind of pointless.

    * One thing though- aside from the sugar- best shaped with wet hands and also watch the time. I haven’t had a batch go the full time yet.

    Toddler Sensory and Other Development Things Activity.

    While I was hectically trying to find a pin to do yesterday afternoon during bubs nap that wasn’t baking and wasn’t sewing I struck upon the idea of a toddler activity. 

    Apparently you will always have either pom poms or pipecleaners at home- just lying around- as you do.

    (Bub woke up at this point and thus began a great chorus of “No Pom pom, no pipe cleaner. Oh no!” which provoked a lot of laughter but no activities)

    The problem is (aside from the pompom pipecleaner dilemma- do people from America smoke a lot of pipes?) lots of activities were a part of lists and I wouldn’t have felt like I’d done that pin unless I finished the list.

     

    We ended up with moon sandplaydough or this: 

    When I told Big M about it (wonder if that psudonym will stick) the phrase “And then what”? May have been used.

     So I wasn’t going to do it. 

    Being the self confident person I am.

    Instead I was aiming for this: 

     later in the afternoon.

    But you know- a toddler to amuse in the kitchen, an oncoming headache – it’s pasta, it’s cheap, its quiet; why not let her play with it. 

    I started bub off with some patty pans and a handful of rigatoni (I think..bumpy big macaroni) and asked her to help by putting the pasta in the patty pans. She was having so much fun with that I got out a straw. Now- notice the straws in the screenshot? Not see through. Also the pasta is decidedly larger than the straw.

    Our straws are clear and the pasta just JUST fit on them.

    After a lot of “mummy help please” and “are you sure you want to” “yes” I was so proud of bub when she took a piece of pasta off then put it back on a straw.

    I then struck upon the idea of bamboo skewers – do I have to say “ supervise your child if they are doing this activity – especially if you give them a thin pokey bit of wood- even with the point cut off” in headmistressly tones? 

    Thought not.

     Good.

    They worked so well and she was so happy and so so proud putting pasta on and taking it off.

    At around this time we had everything set up for the biscuits (did I say this was to entertain her while we did some dishes and got ingredients out to make Anzacs? – it was) but bub didn’t want to stop.

    When the skewers ended up on the floor, eldest and I struck upon the idea of spaghetti at exactly the same time .

    This was the best yet. It would have been better had it not been thin spaghetti but you work with what you have and bub loved snapping the spaghetti as much as threading on to it.

    It all ended about half an hour after we started with bub hiding the pasta in the seat of her high chair and pockets of her tabard (apron) before asking to do “cooking now”
    So if you have a toddler who is restless but not tired or just want something a bit different to do with them- try this.
    It’s parent involvement heavy (my way was anyway) but so much fun. You might also want to try a shoelace in place of straws. I think it would work.

    So there we go. I did complete a pin after all.

    (I also used this one after realising every new paragraph in this blog started with “so”)

    anxiety, baby and toddler, Book, calm for baby, diy, diy books, education, home made book, infant massage, montessori, pintrest, post natal anxiety, ptsd, reading, repurpose, sensory activities, stress, toys, winter

    Week 6 – Trying a name change.

    Little E’ or “bub” what do you think? I’ve switched them around a bit- tell me which you prefer
    Hello all. Yes, this should be a part two post- I know.

    But Little E had her immunizations this week and I don’t want to judge relaxation activities for a baby  on a slightly grumpy and off colour one.  So that can wait until next week.

    Plus alll the stuff from last week.

    Plus we had our (unexpected ) first Airbnb guests (go here for blatant self promotion)

    I’ve been keeping up with the baby massage though and even though bub is not quite up to par it seems to help soothe and calm. If nothing else she likes the routine and having her feet rubbed.

    One tiny thing though- I’ve been using doterra lavander oil (Which I adore as does bub) but we are racing through it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it stretch further? Carrier oil maybe? If so which one?

    So- sensory activities (like the glitter bottles from last week) led me to reading about all the different ‘styles’ of education

    Yup- screenshot

    I didn’t get much further that that infographic (Oh I adore Reggio -sigh- so hard to find. Undecided on anything else as yet) before I stumbled across this

    Yup- another screenshot

    A home made colours book from paint samples.

    I loved this idea so much I didn’t get past the pin- just took the idea and ran with it. But here’s the link : http://craftulate.com/homemade-colour-book/

    Apparently it was homemade with free colour samples (read on yet another “travel games for toddlers” pin).

    I googled “free colour chips paint au” expecting either

    a) nothing

    b) come into such and such hardware store or

    c) (at best) one of those fold out pamphlets with 100s of tiny squares.

    But I found that most, if not all, paint brands offer free chips. I  went with British Paints (ah Rolf Harris before he was evil, Sheepdogs and jelly beans (or was that Dulux?) )

    They have this amazing site with billions of colours which, if you grew up with renovating parents and a passion for those free paint booklets and cards in hardware stores while you were hanging around waiting planning what colours to paint your future house (yellow and white- god knows what I was thinking- probably just over Heritage Green and Mission Brown ) is paradise

    I decided to try for a rainbow plus black and white.

    I clicked and clicked and clicked and expected any second to see a box pop up with “you’re not really painting a house are you?” Or more realistically “you have exceeded the number of items you can select”. That never happened. However because I felt so furtive we ended up with two reds, two purples and No orange and No black but a brown.

    Because of my current adoration of India I couldn’t click past this

     either. So we ended up with two greens. Or blue green as we’re calling it.

    The paint chips arrived. They are huge. Like almost phone size but square. You know what I mean. I’m enormously impressed. Well done British Paints. If I’m ever painting a house or a wall (instead if making a book with my bub) you will be my first port of call. Free postage too!

    I thought this would be a nice family activity so I showed little e the chips and explained what we were doing & she got very excited and threw them all on the floor . As bubs do.

    For making the book I thought I’d simply stitch some pages together as I have done in the past but when I went to Pintrest looking for reminders on how to do the stitching I came across this brilliantly simple idea,  and Little E loved the video. (Of course now I can’t find the original pin. Something learnt here. Pin the pins. You’d think it would be obvious. Apparently not. Anyway- good simple tute – just no video)

    So using some 220gsm Drawing Paper (think thin cardboard but way more flexible- benifit of living with an artist) we made two booklets. Or I made two booklets and bub kept changing the screen at exactly the wrong moment.

    Then came the fun part- GLUE!. We put a small amount of kids craft glue into a little pot and found a paintbrush.

    Having mummy glue the first colour down did not a happy little e make. Nor did being in charge of the paint chips. It was glue or nothing.

    For a while she happily dabbled glue on the back of the chips and the pages and the table and the chair and my arm then she decided to try eating it.

    As a rule “It should be it’s made for kids” is not a wise reply to give when asked “is it toxic”?

    Especially not when faced with a freaked- out -child -just -ate- something- not -food mummy.

    It obviously wasn’t toxic. Thank God. Knock on wood. Praise relevant dieties. She’s fine.

    Somewhere during the dabbing and sticking and the ‘Not on where the colours are we don’t want them to stick together “ of it all I thought of adding some ribbons.

    I’d bought a bulk bag of ribbon offcuts from ebay a month ago because

    1. I was sewing again

    2. I have a little girl

    and 3. I like wearing ribbons too.

    Kind of irrelevant except it meant we could get all the colours we needed plus some extra (a black ribbon to go on the white page).
    Asking a child under two to pick specific colours of ribbon from a bag as big as their body is for want of something not sweary a tad foolhardy.

    All they will want to do is dump the ribbon on the bed, lie in ribbon, swim in ribbon, throw ribbon on the floor, put ribbon in any bag and pocket available saying “pretty”.

    There were tears when ribbon alllll went away.
    I should have decanted 3 or 4 of the right colour into an open container and had bub choose colour by colour.

    You live, you learn.
    Anyway. After bub had had the extra glue washed off (while I furtively added glue to some chips, stuck the folded pages together to be thicker and more board like & stuck the two pamphlets together) we sat down and colour by colour added ribbons.

    Little E insisted on gluing again and did a good job. Didn’t try to eat the glue again and only minimal amounts went on hair/clothes/table/not ribbon.

    By now it was late afternoon so I put the book on the mantlepiece to dry and with only minor upset got on with our evening routine such as it is.
    The next morning Little E asked for “My Book” & after going through all of her reading book titles only to be met with a no and shake of head we realised she meant the colour book.
    She looked so happy holding it- was lovely.
    Since then we’ve been through it together and added the colours names.
    It’s currently bubs book of choice to “hold” or read to us, and very often get read to her and she fiddles with the ribbons and calls many colours “green” or “pink” depending on the day.

    Beautiful idea and not something I would ever have thought of otherwise. Something precious and useful. I’d highly recommend doing it.

    (Obviously I plan on adding a ‘proper’ cover and cutting the trailing ends of ribbon. Will I? Probably not. Does it matter? Not one iota)

    I think it’s the kind of activity I’ll repeat as they’re bound to fall apart or be surpassed in knowledge – simple colour names could become spelling or the light spectrum (ROYGBIV anyone?). 

    When bub is older she can even pick the colours online & hey, brilliant school project resource (If, say, you picked mosaic art as a topic or just want multicoloured title letters).
    So that was kind of lovely.

    anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, Nightie, pintrest, ptsd, repurpose, Sewing, sewing novice, sock monkey, toys, upcycle, winter

     Fourth Week – hmmm

    Wow. Okay. I’ve made it to my fourth week.

    I’m quietly a little bit happy with myself.

    So, life has been a bit, well un-brilliant since my last post. Very messy and torrid and stressful and tortured with past issues like my ED creeping back (in a totally nasty ‘it’s behind you’ kind of way). As well as this there’s been parent-y stuff going on and I mean, god, you’d think by thirty – mumph I’d be over parent issues but nup…still doing the same old routine .
    Anyway- 

    one thing I have learnt so far with this experiment is that I quite like sewing. 

    Especially for bub. 

    Although I miss the time with her.

    I’m still very much a beginner so each project takes probably at least twice as long as it should and I make mistakes. 

    Loads of them. 

    That is why I wrote about not one but two pin activities this week. 

    Because if anyone else out there is like me I want them to know the mistakes are ok. It works out….or maybe just don’t make the same ones I did.

     I’m going to call this ‘The Bedtime Set’ Because it feels like it needs some tenuous connection other than ‘I sewed them both’

    My middlest child wanted a sock monkey for  years and we could never find one or when we did we couldnt afford one (at the time Frank was really the only brand in Australia making them) so when I  found about twenty pins for DIY sock monkeys I knew I had to make one (there are also so many other sock animals- after middlest saw the monkey I now owe him a sloth. Or a dachund. Or an elephant).

    I went with this pin because it seemed easy and beginner friendly. It probably would have been if this beginner had actual fabric scissors and a pencil or chopstick for the turning-narrow-things-in-the-right-way bit. A bamboo skewer just doesn’t cut it. Nor do the kids old school scissors  (ba-doom-ch?).

    So I marked, and sewed, and hacked and then realised I didn’t have to cut both layers of sock together- so that helped.

    Then I spent twenty minutes trying to turn it’s arm in the right way. I gave up. Turned everything except that arm and the far too thin tail inside in and then just unpicked the disobliging limbs and sewed them up on the outside. Bub isn’t two yet. She doesn’t care.

    Then I used the template from the tutorial to cut a monkey face and eyes from some left over tshirt fabric. Stuffed and sewed and stuffed and sewed as bub bedtime hurtled at me until we had a monkey. 

    A bit Frankensteins monstery but definitely a monkey. 

    Handstitched his mouth (thank you years of embroidery and especially my grade 6 teacher Mrs Scott).

    Bub loves him and he hasn’t fallen apart yet. I’m impressed and he is wonky in a loveable and totally fits in with the rest of us way.

    I’d wanted to make bub a flanelette nightie for weeks. It’s been freezing in Geelong (-2 last night) & a thin onesie just isn’t enough for my little blanket kicker off-er-er. 

     I finally asked eldest to pick up some flanelette and elastic from Lincraft,  and bub was happy playing in the clean washing mountain so I thought I’d give it a go.

     

    This pinned tutorial is easy. Really. Just if you haven’t sewn clothes before- be careful.

    Something went a bit awry and I cut out the pattern backwards I think…either way I had to cut the front and back pieces in half and sew them up the middle.

    NB with sewing always look at the shape of things in photos instead of assuming a curve means neckline.

    After that it came together well. There was an instruction about sewing elastic onto the sleeves that I couldn’t work out- so I just made a pocket and threaded some through.

    One thing I am going to add is a couple of press studs above the hem in the middle so that bub doesn’t end up with that ‘nightie twisted around you, is trying to strangle you and has exposed 80% of your body’ thing. If they don’t work I might use press studs on a pair of leggings and the nightie…or I could make flannel pants…hmmm.

    (Also, always double fold hems. I washed the nightie pre wear and I had to re hem it due to fraying. Lesson learned. )

    Bub tried it on this morning and didn’t want to take it off. 

    Yay.

    Happy Mum.

    Also it is huge so -longer life- Yay!

    There. A cuddly toy and a nighty. Bedtime set.

    The practice with these meant that I felt confident enough to take last winters pjs – two size 0 thick weight onesies by pumpkin patch and sew them into one bigger bub sized onesie- it’s actually kind of cute. Plus warm and comfy. Bonus- it was my idea. Not a Pin in sight. (If you wanted to pin it though that’d be kind of cool :))

     

    Have a happy and warm week everyone.

    P.S. I’ve got a couple of pin based long term projects coming along- one for next week that might be especially good for parents of little ones, one for bigger kids. Nothing to do with sewing. Or cooking. Well not much.