Tuesday, 31 July 2012

“Bubbie” & “Wa-wah”*


*Bubbie and Wa-wah = their nicknames for each other (Isabelle can’t quite say Noah yet.) These two are as thick as thieves.

Noah has become a lot better at sharing with her, and not just his unwanted crusts.

Isabelle will search the house forlornly when he isn’t there, yelling "Wa-wah, wa-wah!”

Noah will tell me off if he thinks I’m not treating her right. “But Mum, Bubbie doesn’t want to go to bed yet.”

When I put Noah in his bed Isabelle snuggles in too and pulls the blankets up with a "tuck-tuck.”


I know this photo is kind of an oldie now, but it sure is a goodie.


They both tell me a lot that they love me, but for Isabelle this sounds more like “I arrr ooo.” When I tell Noah I love him too sometimes he says… “Awww, shucks!” I’m not sure where he got that from. He also likes to tell me how proud he is of me.

It’s extremely cliché to say, but these sorts of things really melt my heart… as do most days when I pick Noah up from kindy and when he gives me the biggest hug and tells me how much he’s missed me. Then I have to pretend I have a little bit of dust in my eye or something, so his teachers don’t see my mushy Mum tears and think I’m a weirdo.

Noah’s sad face and hunched over trudge is something to behold. Over-acted is an understatement, and sometimes I have to bite my lip not to laugh!


another oldie – but ohhhh that bottom lip!

Isabelle has a shoe fetish. She changes her footwear multiple times in a day. Often we’ll be just about to go out the door and I’ll realise she has odd shoes on… sometimes one of her brothers…

…or mine!


She is also a pretty good little helper around the house. Her favourite job is the dishwasher and the cutlery is her speciality.. each time she hands you a fork, knife or spoon she says “go” (here you go).


She’s pretty talented at making mess too – here she is “helping” with the washing…


The last mention has to go to a classic Noah moment. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen this pic I posted the other day of Noah (and Woody) enjoying some blue cheese and broccoli soup. Well anyway, I left the room… and a while later Noah came to tell me…


… that perhaps Woody enjoyed it a little too much !? Don’t you love the little concerned face in the background?

It’s been far too long since I updated the 'Noah-isms' and 'dear Isabelle' pages. I will do so in the next couple of days… adding these titbits and anything else I can think of.

What cute things are your kids doing at the moment?

Jenny x

Sunday, 29 July 2012

{A current obsession} vintage haberdashery

If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed that I have been ‘pinning’ away images of vintage sewing supplies.

[image source]

I just bought some vintage cotton reels like this on trademe – I just love the wooden reels and there is just something beautiful about those rustic labels.

[image source]

Isn’t vintage ribbon on wooden spools beautiful? I blame my sister for starting this obsession, (she bought me the roll you see in this post.)

[image source]

I would really love some velvet ribbon! Isn’t it sweet?

[image source]

Do you have any current obsessions?

Jenny X

Friday, 27 July 2012

Your help needed!

I have two bits of shameless self promotion that requires YOUR assistance today.

Firstly, I have 4 entries in the shorts on the line sewalong and VOTING STARTS TODAY IN THE VIEWERS CHOICE CATEGORY.

PicMonkey Collage 2

My entries are:

# 36 for the puffed and cuffed chambray shorts (top right),

# 37 for the sailor shorts (top left),

# 61 for the green stripey shorts (bottom left), and

# 62 for the black check (bottom right).

So all you need to do is head over here and put in your votes (if you want that is). (My photos over there are not as clear – mainly just close up of details unfortunately.) 

You are able vote every 24 hours so I expect you to synchronise your watches and set alarms! (Not really, but if you want to that’s quite all right!) Voting closes 29 July.

Thanks in advance!

I was really excited to be included in 2 of the 3 judges favourites posts, so I’m crossing my fingers that I might be in with a chance… there are some pretty awesome prizes!

… And the second thing that I need your help with is by hopping on over to my brand spanking new facebook page and like away! If I get to 100 likers by next week I might just host a giveaway to celebrate.

Click on the link above or my new little facebook icon at the top right of this page…


(Yup, I stayed up last night playing with HTML)


I am forever in your debt!

Jenny x

P.S. Any one else super excited about the Olympics? I am!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A tea party top

I have a little girl who loves all things girly – her dolls, her shoes and tea parties. (She also equally loves playing with cars, trains and splashing in puddles.)

Sometimes on a sunny day she pulls out one of her old baby blankets and some of her ‘babies’ and nestles down in the backyard for a picnic of sorts.

I was inspired by this to start planning her birthday (which is not until November) to be tea party/ picnic themed. I’m pretty organised because I’ve already bought her a little suitcase and tea set and also plan to make some felt cupcakes and a mini picnic blanket for her present.

… Then I found some gorgeous teapot fabric the other day – and was inspired to also make this little top…

IMG_4917PicMonkey CollageIMG_4921IMG_4888

Shhh! Don’t tell her, I’ve put it away for her birthday now!

And here’s the other bits that I’ve collected so far..


Now just to find some little stools so I can make some of these

Because a tea party isn’t complete with a few toadstool seats!

Joining in with 'Our creative spaces'

Jenny x

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A belated first blog-iversary and some fun facts

image source (are you not salivating?)

Turns out this little ol’ blog turned one the other day, so I thought I’d belatedly celebrate by spilling some ‘fun facts’ about my blog interspersed with pictures of my various blog headers that I’ve had over this last year. (Which I seem to change as much as I do my underwear. No. Cancel that, I do the latter much more often, ok!)

Anyhow! I sincerely hope this is not a snooze fest!



(My first ever header – July 2011)


  • Fun Fact #1

The most interesting search term someone has used in google to find my blog is ‘baby wrestling fabric.’ The mind boggles. I don’t know about you, but this makes me imagine some kind of underground baby wrestling ring.

This search term landed the person on this post when I think they were aiming for something a bit more like this. (You really should check that link out – it’s hilarious!!)


new header #2

(My second header – clearly from a time much sunnier than now!)


  • Fun Fact #2

Definitely NOT the most interesting, but by far the most common search term for finding this blog is the word seagull or seagulls! (118 searches!) As above I imagine the person would also find themself bitterly disappointed upon landing on this post, which is more about my daughter’s weird squawking noises and some terrible camera work than the bird they were looking for.

Also, why are there people out there searching for seagulls on the internet??? They are the most annoying birds around…

And in case you’re wondering Isabelle (in mid tantrum)now has a noise that has matured from ‘seagull’ to Ringwraith (or the worst cry in the world – according to Andrew.)


Summer blog header

Also from a much warmer time – this is one of my favs


  • Fun Fact #3

My Fabric Covered Coat-hangers post is by far the most popular post on my blog. (551 pageviews, compared 266 for that stupid seagull post, the next popular.)

  • Fun Fact #4

The post I’m most proud of (from a non-crafty perspective at least) has to be 'Why Motherhood makes you smarter.'

There are also quite a few (mainly some of my earlier ones) that I’m much less proud of.) But is good to see how much I’ve come in a year in blog writing, photography (well as much as is possible with a basic point and shoot) and crafting!

The craft posts I’m most proud of are a toss up between Noah's little grey blazer and his teepee.


blog header #2

My 4th blog header

  • Fun Fact #5

I’ve had a lot of weird spam comments (thank goodness for blogger’s marvellous spam filter), but the weirdest of all have been on my(apparently highly complex and intellectually stimulating) post called Thrifting and Baking.

Here are a couple of my favs:

“I like this blog its a master peace !”

“I couldn't have asked for a better blog. You happen to be always at hand to offer excellent guidance, going straight away to the point for easy understanding of your site visitors. You're really a terrific pro in this subject matter. Many thanks for being there visitors like me.”

Plus a few more along the same lines of me providing “excellent information” on the clearly difficult issue of thrifting and baking. I’m glad I was able to help out.


remixed header #2 texture

my current header

  • Fun Fact #6

I’ve really enjoyed my first year of blogging and most of all I really enjoyed making a few really good bloggy friends. (Although I do kinda cringe when talking about a blog friend in ‘real life’ and then using the term ‘blog friend’ when asked how we know each other.) It’s great to get inspiration from others, comment and receive encouraging comments and realise that other’s are out there go through the same kinds of things when it comes to this stay-at-home-Mum lark.

In fact I actually made a ‘real-life’ friend (Hi Anna) through blogging – like we actually have met in real-life and stuff.

All in all, I’ve found blogging (and particularly in the crafty Mum niche) a great little community to be a part of.


Congratulations on making all the way through!

Some bloggers host giveaways when their blog-iversary rolls round, not me! Instead you get a collection of (supposedly) ‘fun’ facts! Maybe a giveaway is in order in the not so distant future… I’ll have to rustle up something!

Also, what would you like me to post more/less of, as I move into my second (eeep!) year of blogging?

And, if you’re a blogger, what’s been your weirdest search term/ bit of spam?

Thanks dear readers, and please keep up the comments – I love them!

Jenny x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

{Recycled Round-up} Re-using your child’s art

recycled round-up

If your household is anything like mine you get inundated with your child’s artwork and are reluctant to part with any of it. (In fact if you’re anything like me, you also find it hard to let go of all the envelopes of hair from their first, second and third … haircuts.)

I may not have an idea of what to do with all that baby hair… but here are some ideas of what to do with all those precious ‘masterpieces’, starting with something I thought of and did myself today.


We had been given some plain-ish placemats from a friend who was getting rid of stuff in order to move. We already have some placemats so I was intending dropping them into my local oppie, until inspiration struck.

I basically cut the artwork down to size and mod podged it on! I may do a second coat just to ensure that it is properly sealed.


(Please excuse the terrible photos – natural light was basically non existent here today!)

Here are a few other ideas:

1) Turn your child's artwork in softies!

2) Photograph your favourite pieces and compile a photo-book

I definitely intend to do this great idea as the kids get older!

3) I don’t know if this one really counts as ‘re-using’ but it’s always fun to find ways of displaying your kid’s artwork in a new and innovative way…

such as our little gallery which I made and wrote about here.

… And another idea from this blog - paper bunting made from your child's art (obviously we also used some of my painting and a vintage book in the example here.)


… And here's a display idea from pinterest… another version of a gallery..

Do you know any other ways to re-use kid art? Please let know! Also comment with link to a recycled project you have done (doesn’t have to be to theme), or found on the web if you like!

I hope you are enjoying my re-cycled round-ups. For the first and second in the series go here:

Jen x

Friday, 20 July 2012

More shorts on the line

PicMonkey Collage

Inspired by this pin and wanting to get another entry or two into the 'shorts on the line' sew-along before it finishes; yesterday we set off to Spotlight in search of black and white gingham.

While in the shop, Noah took a great liking to some green,blue and white stripey fabric, so much so that he grabbed the whole bolt from his seat in the buggy, just about toppling a nearby mannequin and entire display in the process. He yelled: “I want this fabic!!” (fabric)

Amidst all this I did pause to wonder what the other customers were making of this ‘fabric tantrum’, but I consoled myself by deciding that if they were fellow fabric lovers, they would regard such an incident with awe and appreciation, rather than disgust.

Needless to say we got both the desired fabric and the gingham.


Once again I used the MADE pants with a flat front tutorial. I’ve used this pattern so many times that I basically have it committed to memory. The only adjustment I make is that I fold up the hem once I’ve sewn it and then sew back down – making a cuff and also shortening them slightly to give the length I prefer.

I’ve found it’s impossible to get Noah to stay still for photos – that boy is full of beans!

He did eventually tire himself out though!


Joining once again with…

Jen x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

DIY: Your child’s face on a cushion(using freezer paper stencils)

When I first discovered the world of crafty blogs I also discovered things such as freezer paper and mod podge. I haven’t used mod podge yet but did buy some freezer paper recently on trademe (kind of a NZ equivalent to e-bay.)

In case you didn’t already know, freezer paper can be used to make pretty good stencils to paint onto fabric – kind of like the poor man’s version of silk screening.

Here’s how you can make your own cushion covers with your child’s silhouette on them:


I made my own cushion covers using this tutorial, you could do the same, or could just use some plain store bought ones.

After you have this sorted you are ready to create your stencil…

step 1

There are a number of ways to make your silhouette design. I think the easiest way is to take a photo of your child in profile. Enlarge the photo to the size you want and print.

(My printer ran out of ink so Noah’s photo is very light and I free handed Isabelle’s silhouette, by copying the photo. Also please ignore my doodling!)

When I mentioned that I was planning this project to Daisy she directed me to this helpful method.

steps 2-3

These next two steps are pretty self explanatory really, the only thing to mention is to take it slowly and carefully when cutting to make your stencil nice and crisp.


Again, pretty self explanatory. It is important to use permanent fabric paint, as it will last longer, even when washed.

It may also pay to place a bit of scrap fabric or paper under where you are painting in case the paint bleeds through. (My cushions are made of thick furnishing fabric so it didn’t for me.)


My fabric paint bottle directed that I leave the paint to dry overnight and then heat set it by ironing it – do the same if directed to also.

Once this is all done… enjoy your new personalised cushions!



Jen x

Joining in over here

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Small Style: Cherries and polka dots

I’m in no way (and never will be) a 'Toddlers and Tiaras' Mum … BUT I do think my kids are rather cute… AND I do love to dress them in cute clothes. So, it’s only natural that I’d do the occasional kids clothing post, right?

I really don’t buy many of my kids clothes new these days. In between gifts, hand-me-downs, op shop scores and what I make – I only really buy one or two things every now and then, when I really fall in love with a cute little outfit. And if it costs a little more I justify it by thinking about how much I’ve saved with all those second hand and homemade items.


Isabelle wears: Dress - Green Jean (from a competition I won on the Baby Vintage Facebook page), Cherry hair clip – won in a separate competition from Baby Vintage, white thermal onesie – T&T (hand-me-down from Noah), merino tights - made by me, red shoes - Hoof e-sale (a gift from my friend Rachelle.) 

These photos were taken about a week ago. We’ve all been laid up inside with a nasty flu (body aches, hot/cold spells the lot) with Isabelle perhaps getting the worst dose, so these photos seem like a distant memory!

I really love the dress that Isabelle is wearing here, had I not been lucky enough to win a $50 voucher from Baby Vintage, I think I would have bought one of these little dresses anyway. Apart from the fact that it’s adorable, I love that it’s made by a fellow New Zealander and that it’s made out of repurposed jeans.

Co-incidentally that morning Isabelle was biking around with a little doll in her pocket that matched her outfit. (Perhaps she’s learning to accessorise at a young age? – Yikes now I do sound like a Toddler & Tiaras Mum!)


And in case you’re wondering why I didn’t feature Noah’s outfit – well as you can see he was still in his PJs!

Joining in with (and I plan to do so on a monthly basis)…

Jenny x