Valentine’s Day

How are we all?

I’ve been keeping myself busy, hence the silence?

How much sleep is normal for an adult to get a night? Ugh. I get, on average, between 6 and 7 hours a night? Is this life?

Living in Sydney is hard. Have you seen the price of houses??? Husband and I are just out there day in and day out slogging it for the man to have a bag of old bricks pretty close to a main road. YAY.

(but don’t get me wrong, grateful I have a bag of bricks. We started with ZERO)

I’m always conscious of how much time I get with my husband though.

This past Saturday, for the first time ever, my husband decided to celebrate Valentine’s day.

The year I finally gave up hope. It was 9 long years of UGLY CRYING!! I’m not going to lie. I’m honest.

So I went to work on Saturday, like I always do. A co-worker bought chocolates in. I was eating them and I got some lunch and ate some more chocolates (I am a chocoholic with a MAJOR problem)

and I was all like queasy, woahhh man I’ve over done it with the chocolates, I thought

Then drive home and open the door to the beautiful aroma of SOMEONE ELSE COOKING!! I NEVER come home to my husband cooking. He helps me when I cook, like an assistant, but not like this. He had organised for our daughter to go with his parents and it was just us two.

He spent all afternoon cooking and consequently dinner was ready at 5pm.

Like grandpa and grandma.

But I still felt ill from before! Not to be rude though, I ate what my husband cooked me. And drank wine. . .

Then he took me to see 5o shades of grey.

I read all 3 books back in ’12. Well. . . . . . . to be 100% transparent, I probably skipped more then I read of book 3.

But not to go on a tangent. I was REALLY looking forward to the movies.

A girl in my mother’s group suggested we go see it (as a group) but I was the only taker . . so that fell through.

THANKFULLY Hubby to the rescue (on a side note, I use to LOATHE the word hubby. So puppy dog, cutesy ICK. But I find myself typing it so often. believe me, I don’t say it in real life) I was making fun of him, Like hey, you are going to have “SUCKER” written on your forehead. . “whipped” But shortly after I changed my mind. Like, HELLO, Earth to Laura, as if men wouldn’t be into this movie.

Cut to the chase. I LOVED THE MOVIE. LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read so many reviews prior:

“Although I haven’t read the books. . .”

“I didn’t read the books but I thought it was no good”

“The acting was bad”

“I walked out”

BLAH BLAH FUCKING BLAH!

People are losers.

But I’m a loser according to all these reviews. Am I that bored and desperate and this is what gets me off?

UGH.

I have no time to entertain these questions.

I LOVED IT. SOOOO MUCH BETTER THEN THE BOOKS. I’ve brushed up on the books to remind myself of certain things that occurred.

Christian wasn’t even a pyscho in the movie like he was in the book. “Did you take your pill? Did you eat today? Did you drink today? What’s that guys name?” 50 shades of questions.

They omitted the scene where he pulls her tampon out!

When Christian says “Laters baby” in the movie, it wouldn’t have really made sense if you hadn’t read the book. Sounded a bit lame without further explanation.

The relationship and interaction they had between each other in the movie was so much better then what was portrayed in the book.

Ana was FUNNY in the movie. Totally SAD in the book.

No ‘inner goddess’ but the constant lip biting was played out in the movie, but I liked the way it was done.

They kind of glossed over her & Kate’s relationship

Anyway, enough said. I really liked it.

So once out of the cinema I started to feel really ill. Cut to bed time with daughter away for the night and me with my head in a big bowl vomiting ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!!!

I swear to god. Our brief alone time is being sabotaged. There was the recent time we went to Byron Bay and was awfully unwell for the entire duration of that trip. And now this night!

AND NOOOOOO I AM NOT PREGNANT….. A lady with a near 2 year old can’t at the very least look bloated or sick or tired without accusations that you are pregnant flying in from all over the place.

Food Poisoning.

Again. I had it in late November.

It must have been from my lunch and not the gourmet dinner my husband made.

What a bloody shame. I still feel sick 3 days on. Hmmpph. And here I am solo parenting while my husband is away trying to keep it all together.

WAAAAAAAAHH wahhh wah.

I never get food poisoning! I had it when I was about 8 after Scott Murray’s BLACK spider web birthday cake and I threw up 7 times including in Macdonalds. Then November, and then Valentines day. Nothing in between. What is going on?

I’m not who I use to be.

So #YOTH15. Where is that at? A grinding halt that is where. I can’t make a decision to save my life. FAR TO OVERWHELMED. I need help. But help costs bags of money. And bags of money just went on booking a holiday because we are just OVER IT!! And thought, FUCK IT. Holiday.

At least there is a lovely write up over at Eternal Icons

Go on, read it!

I think I need to write a realistic GOALS list for #YOTH15 and start working my way through it. But even what would be number 1 on the list has been hard for me to tackle. ORDER CURTAIN RODS. I have been to the place twice now and still haven’t bit the bullet. Thinking of sending husband in for this one. JUST DO IT.

And I would love to find an all encompassing landscape person for the front yard (fence, gate, driveway, front of house facade, landscape) that doesn’t charge 50k and is located on the north shore. They are all on the north shore and only service the north shore.

Plus I need to replace my front window. I don’t even know where to begin with that. I want it to look like what it would have originally looked like. Like my neighbours. This needs to be done before we do the gutters and water tanks. Because the bay window has it’s own gutter.

But now I am too hesitant to commit to spending the money because we booked a luxe holiday.

Always the case.

So has your significant other cooked for you and you vomited it up later? Seen 50 shades? Loved/loathed? Tell me what is going on?

Anyone going to the Cadry’s rug floor stock sale. I want to go, but again, too overwhelmed.

Talk soon!

Comment section now fixed

Hi Everyone,

I didn’t realise that a change I made to stop the vast amount of spam comments I was receiving  also stopped allowing authentic comments on this blog to be left!

But it should be fixed now. I thought it was a little ghostly over here. Mostly my fault with lack of posts.

Thank you

#YOTH15

Welcome! I’m back. I am ready to blog!

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I declared it year of the house which equals – #YOTH15 in hashtag lingo. I urge you use the hashtag if it is also YEAR OF THE HOUSE for you too!

This remark came as I wanted to put of a 4 square collage on instagram of things that I did around our house this past year and I all I could come up with was the banquette upholstery and the bed head d.i.y.

It dawned on me then. Not enough was done around our place. I wasn’t happy. This year, I would like to change that.

There are countless things that need to be done, so time to starting ticking them off.

So far! 1 week in:

Bunk Beds bought for my daughter’s room.

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I would LOVE twin beds! I LOVE that look, but I think only works if you have boy-boy or girl-girl. And as I haven’t fallen pregnant yet, I can’t determine that.

But it is time for my daughter to go into a big girl bed and with all the sales floating around, I thought it best to do it now.

Even if I did end up with a second daughter, realistically in a small room, bunk beds are the way to go. And we don’t have rumpus or playroom either.

I am a bit sad as I would have LOVED to make a crazy headboard.

But don’t get me wrong. Bunk beds can be cool too! I had bunk beds with my younger sister and we had a BLAST!!!!! It was the best fun.

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Sarah Richardson designed nursery – source

(Might have to give my bunks a coat of paint in a cool colour)

I purchased 2 occasional chairs for our living room. They are dining armchairs (carvers). I don’t have the width to fit 2 separate armchairs. I dislike slipper chairs as they are so low and most people in our families would have a tough time getting out of them including myself!

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I am really happy with these. Just need a very petite side table to go in between them.

This is something that has been on my list for a while, when our families visit there isn’t enough room for people to sit.

Another BIG TICK that has been lingering since we bought the house. LIGHT FITTINGS! A cheap light fitting is a cheap light fitting!

Plus I need 2 for the living room.

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I have now placed an order for these. They match my fireplace scones.

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I had my heart set on the Bryant chandelier

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Since forever, but in the shop today, I changed my mind and it is for the best.

I already own, for the living room, this coffee table

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and now these 2 chairs

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And the settee (needs re-upholstery)

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And this is my fireplace

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(Still on the hunt for a mirror. I would like antiqued style panelled mirror with the studs/flower pins)

They are all soft and feminine pieces. The bryant chandelier is graphic and masculine and not 100% the direction I am evidently heading in with the selections I have already made.

We have also received 3 quotes for airconditioning. My husband has been asking ever since we have moved in, but I keep saying no as truly it is not that bad. THAT IS UNTIL THIS WEEK AT HOME! I finally see where he is coming from and the heat affects him more. Poor guy!

So we will hopefully be installing 2 split system units in our house (Part of he reason I said no, is I dislike the units on the wall, they are gross and I would prefer ducted, but wouldn’t bother doing it until we do an extension and do it all at once. . )

We have also received 2 quotes on new guttering and a water tank. We definitely want a water tank as we are slowly becoming keen gardeners, especially with growing herbs and vegetables and also my flower and hedge aspirations.

I think that is a CRACKING start to 2015!

My home is my castle and if you are going to work so hard, you might as well benefit from it with a nice place to come home too from a day at work.

On that note, about work,

This blog post was JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO READ!

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source

Sadly applies to me to the letter!

A good wake up call though, sometimes I just want to pack it all in and be a stay at home mum. but that would mean a massive cut back on a lot of things. No fabric purchases, no furniture purcahses, no holidays away.  Probably not even nice cuts of meat for dinner. HELL NO Meredith Dairy goats cheese. Not much at all.

So just put my head down, bum up and keep on keeping on!!

Because I got a quote on THE display cabinet of my dreams.

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Yes, $22,000. That is what American made, solid timber costs. . . . (this is the price of a trade discount, the original price is $28k because our dollar is not the best right now)

Never in my wild reverie could I fathom owing this.

Maybe with a winning lotto ticket in hand. . .

Any plans on #YOTH15 around your place? TELL ME!!

Merry Christmas

Wah!

Hi, remember me? I use to occupy this space! I just paid for another year of hosting, so I better do something with it.

Let’s do a little back capture shall we.

I took a weekend off and went on a trip to Byron Bay for my cousin Becky’s wedding.

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Source

Woot Woo right?

We stayed at Byron at Byron and it was LOVELY! Very nice indeed. I would like to go back. (because it was kind of a fizzer because I got sick and spent last day seeking a doctor which I found at Ballina emergency department:)

My daughter turned 20 months.

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Gone are the days of photo shoots! It means I better quickly learn to take great pics at very short notice with very little time. The working 5 days a week compared to 3 is the difference between crafting and santiy and no crafting and stark raving mad lunatic. But, I do what I have to do for my little family and my expensive taste!
Gee, why couldn’t I just be happy with generic and mediocre?

Which brings us to my next point. JULISKA! I J’ADORE!!!!!!!! So HARD!!!! So $$ but so beautiful and creative! I love it all. I love the ethos of the company and the design and the way they can mix and match it all with such flair. High end with low end, plain with intricate. patterns with other patterns. Sourcing and utilising artisans throughout the world. Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Portugal. THE WHOLE DAMN LOT.

I am seriously considering a new dining setting, well 2. HA! (Casual and Formal)

Which rounds us out to my next point.

Christmas Eve Dinner. My Christmas table was SAD FACE. Very non inspired at all. Maxwell and Williams white dinner setting that was gifted from my Aunties storage cage to help me out when I first moved out 8 years ago does not make for an amazing display. Next year, Next year it will be different. But I said those very words last year when I put this dinner setting together,

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I did the same setting this year, but there was no cookies on the plate. (No time for those special touches) I didn’t bother taking a picture oft this years table. Plus I had a moment of weakness at the flower markets where I bought a bunch of candy pink roses because I somehow thought it would look good. But of course in the light of day, it was a terrible lapse in judgment. At least my Calligraphy has improved leaps and bounds.

Next point, I went to the flower markets on the 23rd. I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 3.45!!!!!!!!!! My friend from mothers group came with.

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^^^^^ THIS THOUGH, Oh This ^^^^^ This, I was happy with.
A BIG improvement from last years flowers

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This is my mantle. I didn’t have a mantle last year, So I was super chuffed this time around.

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I also made a fresh Christmas wreath for the front door.

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So yes, I think now is the time to commit to a new dinner setting. I rationalise the cost now that I have a daughter, Oh but one day it will be passed down to her. (But she will probably hate it and think it is the ugliest thing on the planet) Only time will tell. I also would like glasses for the table. I have a mix match of err stuff. But the setting I would like is not discounted in the boxing day sales like I had hoped. . .  . . . And I just can’t pay retail.

Here is my tree

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I loved it!

My wrapping.

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I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Bring on the new year…………… no……. this year went by WAY TOO FAST. My daughter is growing way too fast and I am spending more time at work then I would like too which I keep agonising over and I really don’t know what the right thing to do is. And what I should prioritise higher, of course, my daughter and this precious time, but time is precious and this is the time to be working towards a nice future! Hmmph.

Having said all that. I have 2 weekends leave coming up! I think my husband I just need to make a point of taking more leave and more time off. It is important to not stress the hell out. Work is important but not that important!

I’ve fallen off the face of this blog

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”

Well I am here, I am trying.

I missed the blogiversary. It was November 24. FIVE YEARS of blogging and I haven’t missed a month. I am pretty proud of that.

 Some people blog twice daily, ha, not me.

So, what’s new with you guys? I’ve been reading your blogs (if you have one) and trying my best to comment.

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My daughter is now 19 months old (well nearly 20 months now) but here she is at 19 months.

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That was a fun afternoon. She sprayed my new camera and I totally didn’t care.

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If you follow me on instagram you would have seen this outfit that I made for Audrey.

I whipped up the red cotton linen blend shorts in an hour before her daycare Christmas concert.

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This is her wearing it. The top has plenty of growth room. It was a VERY hot day and it was the perfect ensemble for it.

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She absolutely ROCKED OUT at the Christmas concert! Her and the boy next to her. That was it. The rest were either shell-shocked, frozen, running away or howling!

What a little superstar! Can you guess the song? Ok, I’ll tell you.

Jingle bells! Duh!

Then the vomiting bug started for her that evening and then me later in the weekend! YAYSIES.

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I’ve made a start on my Christmas wrapping. I am doing blue and white this year.

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My calligraphy is getting better.

Here is my tree. I’m not 100% happy with it, but it will do. My daughter is always ‘jingle-jingling’ it. And I’ve put all the good decos on it. . . . .

It has a barrier around it, but pulls it away and walks behind it, waves and says “see ya” So damn cheeky.

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The photo is a bit overdone. I was just playing with my camera. There is NO photoshop here. Cross screen filter y’all. And not a instagram filter. An actual filter, one you screw onto the lens.

The exposure is a bit long. .  but yeah, like I said. Just playing.

.  .  .  .  .  .

I’m currently stealing some days away in Byron Bay. My cousin is getting married tomorrow. Better run! Pre wedding drinks are on!

Toodles!

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?