Latest blog post

I asked my husband what should I call my latest blog post.

“Latest blog post”

He is the creative one in the relationship!

How are we all?

I am well. . . not really. .  that so called break is long over. I have been back at work for a full week and have just started a new week. Oh and it is NOVEMBER!!!!! Da fuq???

I am so behind. Working 5 days for the man, is just not working out for me, but my bank account disagrees.

I feel so behind and I have such grand ideas for Christmas. I honestly don’t see half of them transpiring.

Oh well.

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I feel like moving to this little town!!! 45mins to the beach!! Zero traffic, no paid parking at the beach. Sounds like the life!

It is just the frost I need to battle.

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Can any garden savvy readers spread some light on the above 2 pics. The top one is just a close up. It is like a hydrangea tree?? Vibernum?? What is it?

I love it.

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What is this called? Dogwood??? I loved it too. I need to find a tree that can hold it’s own in the centre spotlight and not compete with magnolia teddy bears. I am slowly trying to figure out my front garden. I want to plant my magnolia teddy bears in a row (sort of hedge) to screen out neighbours on the boundary. But on the front corner of the block I want a tree. . . what goes with the magnolias, or contrasts nicely against it? Because it will be the leader of the row of the magnolias. . .

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These pictures were taken in the grounds of Milton Park.

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Berkelouw Book Barn at Berrima. VERY NICE!!!! We went twice LOL.

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This bud turned into the flower below.

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My husband rings me and tells me that there is a big white rose in the garden. I say, don’t you mean pink? Dude are you colour blind??

Come home and I stand corrected.

This is Crown Princess Mary rose.

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I really enjoy doing these watercolours!

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I bought these new terracotta pots on our trip! They are my buxus balls. GROW BABIES GROW!

Gardening in a white top! Makes sense. . .

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I also bought the 3 ball topiary from The Potting Shed in Bowral. I swoon over their instagram photos and so glad I have now visited. I wanna go back!!!!!

I have also planted something in the empty pot now.

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This is my Audrey at 11am.

Just having a snooze. . . standing up . . no biggie.

Clearly she suffers from neglect and I practice DEtached parenting!

*tongue in cheek*

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She then rolled over to this pose. Then I stopped giggling in disbelief and I scooped her up onto the couch and put a patchwork blanket on her.

She is just the sweetest little girl.

(to me)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Audrey at 18 months

Even when I am on holidays, I can’t keep up.

I’ve just finished my last antibiotic tablet tonight! I have been on 5 courses of antibiotics for the last month! Starting with my wisdom teeth, the mouth infection and then the cold! (I can’t even tell you when the last time I have had antibiotics before, I swear I’ve probably had them twice in my life prior to this) But I am ALL BETTER!

** knock on wood **

And on holidays! Loving life something severe right now. No hustlin’ for a little bit.

To celebrate 18 fabulous months. We took Audrey to the zoo as a family. Since returning to work when Audrey was 5 months old and losing weekends to work, there has been zero family time. So this was a real treat.

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Penguins are my FAV!!!!!! And we just happen to have the cutest and smallest! Bless.

Then we had another family fun day on Sunday. We went to Kirribilli Markets for a look around. Nothing really took my fancy.

Then to Anvil Coffee Co on Kirribilli wharf for brunch.

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Wearing a springtime fun dress. Liberty of London print Jacadi dress.

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Where little A had her first babycino!

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I’m thinking of framing this picture. I just love it.

(but she’s got a wrinkled bib on . . . . Thoughts???)

Then we went to Mosman to go shopping. I was looking for christmas presents for Audrey. There is a few kids shops. Toys in particular, but I have no idea what to get her or what she is in to . . . She only showed interest in one item, that is because she has it at home. . .

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Then we went to Balmoral beach for a stroll. Then fish and chips!

Today I managed to do some sewing and my husband painted some doors.

This only occurred because Audrey was at daycare, she is too inquisitive and destructive these days to attempt that kind of caper with her present!

At the end of the week, Husband and I are off to the Southern Highlands. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to see, do, eat? I have booked Biota for dinner one night.

Hope you are all in good health and spirits!

Iced sugar cookies

I made sugar cookies.

I have wanted to try making these since my first attempt. Which was over a year ago for my daughter’s christening.

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This time I made the icing properly!

Except my piped border was a too thick is consistency making it hard to get smooth lines and it has visible edge. Never mind, there is always next time.

I used this recipe for the cookies

And this recipe for the royal icing

(pavlova magic in lieu of meringue powder)

There is still plenty of room left  for improvement!

And gee golly, the skies the limit in terms of what you can achieve on a cookie! I don’t think I will attempt any of that though.

xoxo Laura

A tour through blogland

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I have been nominated by not ONE but TWO fellow bloggers who I adore! I am feeling rather celebrity status right now you guys! Shucks.

Thank you firstly to Natalie of In the Night Sky. Natalie’s transformation of her backyard still has me in shock with how much work they did themselves with the round pool and the decking, all the painting and re-painting of the handrails. This definitely pops into my head when I can’t be bothered doing something and want to quit or outsource, I think NO there is Natalie who never gives in. You are one hard worker!

and secondly to Heidi of Adelaide Villa

Always willing to help me with my design conundrums and is my go to gal for in the trade stuff that I can’t get my grubby mits on. Tells it as it is – Laura, that will look cheap! Appreciate all the advice this lady gives me and ADORE seeing her own updates.

If you aren’t familiar with these 2 blogs, go over and have a visit! The tour consists of 4 questions.

1) What am I working on right now -

Oh god, What AREN’T I WORKING ON RIGHT NOW! Honestly I wish I could show you what is going on in my head. It never stops and goes at a million miles an hour, darting all over the place

Coming up shortly I will have a chance to have a BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A break from work. And spend some extremely overdue time with my little family and with that I hope to utilise the time to complete some work around this house when I have a spare set of hands (husbands) so I don’t spill a tin of paint down my back! Yes, this actually happened to me when I was trying to do something alone!

I REALLY need to order some curtain rods for my kitchen so that they are here in time for my stay-cation so I can start sewing my ikea hack curtains that I have already purchased.

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Still grappling with trim tape or not, but thinking of just making this as is and then I can see if it needs the trim tape.

2) How does my work differ from others in the DIY/decorating

Spelling mistakes! Definitely spelling mistakes.

Umm. . . maybe because I take my D.I.Y’s SERIOUSLY and try to make them look high end and not some sad tacky slap dash look. and for the most part, I think I nail it!

Yes I just wrote the above sentence! I have no modesty I am so PROUD of the recent D.I.Y’s I’ve done.

Major Big Head!

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No in all seriousness. My d.i.y goals are borne from a lack of funds and a strong desire to be surrounded by nice things. Having said that, if I was rolling in it, I think I just have a natural drive to create for myself regardless and try to create my own thing. So who knows.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I have always maintained this. I write for myself first and foremost. I love comments, but if there was no community, no readership I would still write and put it out there as a diary for myself.

I can be a bit hard on myself (but not crazy perfectionist, I give myself plenty of accolades, no probs in that department)

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But I can very much get like this, but a quick scroll through my blog brings back a lot of partially forgotten memories of some pretty great stuff I have made and it perks me up. Gives me the confidence to keep going.

But I do love connecting with like minded people and me putting my part out there brings others in and that is great. because hand on my heart I personally know NO ONE who is a creative soul like me that loves to craft the way I do that I can connect with outside of cyber space. So it is great that I connect here.

I do love to share what I have created and it has inspired other people. Love it when they get in contact and I say, Hey I love the hardware you used in your kitchen reno, I have used the same, here are some pics. That is heart warming and I do the same from other people that have inspired me

4) How does your creative writing process work?

Some posts write themselves, Not this one. HA! Too many thought provoking questions. I think plonking in the pics I want to talk about first is a great start then fill in the gaps as I write about each pic and pretty much a blog post is done.

I nominate Vanessa from Life in our blue house who hasn’t updated in a little bit, so hopefully this nomination might spur her on a bit!! He He!

Another Geranium Dress

This it the third garment I have made with the geranium pattern.

I love the simple style of it.
I did the pleated version this time. And used Nani Iro double gauze fabric.

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I did my first modification to it. I did a high-low bodice. The front of the bodice curves up (ever so slightly) and the back bodice curves down.

This is the first time I have done pleats before. (Well I made the pleated cot skirt for Audrey’s room)

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It looks so beautiful on Audrey. I made it in size 2 and I am sure she will love wearing it over summer. So light and airy.

I really have been bitten by the sewing bug. Not enough time or room to sew though. This dress took me 6 uninterrupted hours to make.

Oh well, I enjoyed myself.

I have noticed that so many dresses Audrey owns are pretty much a version of this dress. So I want to try doing some more modifications to it.

Next up I want to try adding some piping detail to a garment. And making some more wearable separates. I am scared they will fall apart in the wash though!

That leads me to my next question – Do you pre-wash your fabric before you sew with it?

Wisdom teeth.

Good golly I am glad I am getting this over and done with because it is not pleasant.

Yesterday I had 3 wisdom teeth extracted. I have already had one out because it was straight forward. That was in 2010 and I never went back to the dentist till May this year. I still remember the crunch sound and me whimpering as the male dentist kept telling me to stop being a girl!

I would like to have a second child so I thought it would be best to see a dentist in between babies (A new dentist that is). Well that was back in May and I have been seeing my (lovely) dentist once a month or fortnight since. I had something stupid like 10 fillings (sweet tooth) and a root canal, finally culminating in the extraction of 3 wisdom teeth.

Here is 2 pictures I took of Audrey before we left for the dentist.

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Looking very French/American

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I wanted to snap the pics as it is probably the last time the trench will get worn.

I had them taken out in the chair under sedation. I spent the rest of the day and night in bed icing my face. I found it very difficult to swallow the first lot of tablets. Dribbling everywhere and too scared to swallow but the pills were getting bitter in my mouth. Not pleasant.

My husband made me some dinner. Mashed potato and carrot with some garlic, rosemary, finely chopped smoked salmon and lots o’ butter! It was some top shelf mash.

My daughter had it for dinner as well. She knew something was up with me and was really lovely and gentle with me. It was the sweetest damn thing ever!! She was in her high chair and I was next to her and she ever so gently offered me her meal. “Here mumma, here” One spoon for me, one for her. She spoon fed me you guys and it was f**king beautiful!

And my husband went to all that effort to make that meal for me and I was just so in love with my little family!

In sickness and in health.

This morning I was not feeling great and took more pain killers and I got hot sweats, which is what I was getting yesterday but stayed really still and fought off the urge to vomit, today I was mid way through one (is this nausea?) and thought, the hell with it and called for the bucket and I had a pretty decent vomit (sorry) I couldn’t fight it anymore. (and it made me question the idea of a 2nd baby, but when they rub your forehead  so gently and spoon feed you, you convince yourself it will be worth it)

So that was the end of panadeine forte for me. Didn’t agree with me. So I have just been on panadol and nurofen. It was a lovely sunny day today. So I changed into shorts and a singlet and plonked myself down in the garden with some clippers and did the edges. It was not physical work. I went slow.

Meanwhile my husband cleared out our 3 raised vege beds ready for planting. We are a bit behind but that is how we have been feeling for a little bit. Better late then never.

Plus I get very little day time with my husband with our clashing work schedules. I forced myself to make the most of it and no wisdom teeth extraction was going to get in the way!

Anyone been out planting or doing garden maintenance? What about dentist stories?

Audrey at 17 months

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Geez. . .  It wouldn’t hurt to crack a smile.

Taking these pics of her is the best thing I did to improve my photography skills. I get so frustrated trying to take them but I persevere, because it is for my own good.

I often want to hurl my camera across the room because of its shortcomings, but what do you expect of a 5 year old base grade camera?

(AND BECAUSE SHE WON’T STAY STILL, LOOK AT THE CAMERA & SMILE!)

I really want to upgrade but hooley dooley the camera I want it just too expensive for me. I am not a professional photographer and I don’t earn an income from it, so I can’t justify the cost. I just want the camera to take some nice pics here and there. But I don’t want to settle, I believe you should save up and just get what you want . . . . argh.

Never mind. One day.

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Father’s Day this year was a real bust.

I was at work. .  I was also at work for his birthday which was the day before.

#slackerwifeoftheyear

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I made him this card and envelope

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And put together a little scrapbook. Featuring pictures of them.

I made that little banner. On the morning of Father’s day I put it on the top of the fireplace for my husband to see it when he awoke.

I did a little photo shoot with Audrey to get some nice pics for her daddy.

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This is one from the cutting room floor! WAY TOO CUTE.

In other news. I have been meaning to put these pics in a blog post for a while now.

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This crayon roll was created by my friend. She nailed it with the fabric choices. Ummm TOILE and linen! YES PLEASE and purple too!

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Isn’t it fantastic???

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Audrey thinks so. Trying to steal it mid shot!

Want one for yourself? Handmade by kahli on Etsy and Facebook.

Meanwhile with my own sewing journey. I am trying to do eenie meanie minie moo on a few pdf patterns. Can’t decide.

Hope you are having a great day!

Birthday Cake

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Happy Birthday to my Husband!

The gift category was sparse so I tried to fill the void with a knock out cake!

I’ve been thinking about this cake for months.

I wanted to d0 a semi-naked cake because my husband isn’t the biggest fan of icing. He also isn’t into sickly sweet anything. So regular buttercream is out for him.

So I made swiss meringue buttercream. Not too sweet at all! Lighter in colour then buttercream and silky looking.

The cake is very pretty. Rather feminine. Better suited for a cake for Audrey, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to try this cake.

I knew no matter what I made it would be a chocolate cake. Husband loves chocolate cake. He also loves whipped cream and strawberries, so I did that in the centre of the layers.

I decorated it with a yellow ranunculus from my garden. The ONLY ranunculus I’ve got so far, well that is what I thought when I went to cut it off I cut another bulb too! D’oh! That is what happens in haste.

The other flowers are violas and pansies (I think . . . )

Raspberries and blueberries.

And lastly mint leaves from my garden.

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It was a hit and I am beside myself with how it turned out!

I don’t want to toot my own horn (HA!) but this could be the front page of a food mag! Am I right?

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A simple card I made.

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Have you been baking anything?

What about craft? Any crafting?

Have a good day!

Sewing

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Hi Everyone! How are you?

I’m well. I have been sewing.

I also ordered some more fabric which is above. A nice bundle from Japan. For the red polka dots I am thinking of a Christmas day frock for Audrey

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Here is the top I sewed for Audrey. She loves it.

I tried again with the same pattern and made a dress for Audrey. This time things went smoother! I took my time. I used new scissors and I put sticky tape on my machine for the correct seam allowance and that made all the difference. Everything was so neat and lined up perfectly.

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The dress has pockets!!

** SQUEAL **

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A little notched neck line cut out and faux capped sleeves.

I even lined up that bunny so it would be in the middle of the bodice.

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I saw this fabric in a nearby quilt shop and took what was left on the bolt. It is Beatrix Potter toile.

Perfect considering I am having a love affair with toile right now!

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I finished this one off nicely with 3 buttons. I have never done button holes before and my machine doesn’t have an option for them so I taught myself how to do manual ones! 2 on a tester scrap and I was ready to go.

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The pattern even has an option for a pleated skirt. I need to try that next.

(And maybe do something NOT IN PINK!)

So what is new with you? I have, for the first time in m life, been LOVING the rain! My plants are going to be so great come spring!

Which is next week HURRAH!

Audrey at 16 months

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No new teeth this month. At least the photo shoot was on time.

My poor darling made it all the way to 15 months of age and 11 months in daycare to be sick. She got conjunctivitis that was suppose to go away after 2 to 4 days on the eye drops. It ended up turning into a 2 week saga and then her first bout of antibiotics was prescribed. Whilst she was on the antibiotics she managed to come down with some other feral illness!  I blame myself for sending her to daycare ONE day because I wanted to go to work. Oh the guilt you feel calling in sick to work and guilt you feel leaving your sick child. It is not fair and I was not prepared for it.

The poor didums hasn’t been at daycare for 3 weeks (minus the one day I did send her)

A big thank you to businesses that are flexible and for family helping out when they can. Everyone still works full time except my father in law but he doesn’t have the confidence or physical ability to look after A for the whole day. So it was a tough few weeks trying to balance it all out.

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She is SO cheeky! Keeping me on my toes.

She has put crayon on the walls. Dulux wash and wear is a CROCK. So is their “non yellowing” enamel paint.
LIES I tell you LIESSS!!!!

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I have been meaning to make risotto for the longest time! Perfect meal for a toddler I think. Especially one that loves cheese!

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It was SO good!

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These flowers are SLAYING me!