Posted by: picanini | March 12, 2014

Birthday girls…

As per my usual habits of disappearing, there’s been a bit going on behind the scenes.

ARuby birthday dress2

I think I mentioned that Ruby’s birthday was coming up – it was last Friday. The real estate agent decided to throw an inspection in the day before, so I spent the week either scrubbing the house or organising for the birthday and party on Saturday. I was up till Midnight finishing a special dress for her birthday on Thursday night.

ARuby birthday dress back

I think she’s pleased with it.

Arubys birthday dress hem

She’s got a dress up ballet tutu underneath, which really isn’t long enough to give it the pouff it needs. I think that will have to be remedied shortly.

There’s a bunch of pads cut out to get stuck into sewing, as well as some liners for a project…I’ll have to save them for another day as I’m really tired.

 Aparty jelly close

I’ll finish with some rainbow jelly for a bit of fun and brightness. This has become one of those things that started innocently enough, and has become such a favourite that I wouldn’t be forgiven if I didn’t make it.

Posted by: picanini | February 27, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Perhaps a touch dramatic, but its been a big week! Life’s been a bit hectic, and I’m still running around trying to catch up.

Last Thursday was Richard’s and my wedding anniversary. It’ the 2nd time in the 4 years we’ve been married that he’s been away! Uni pracs in Toowoomba always seem to be held during the same week as our wedding anniversary – c’est la vie, I guess. At least we’ve managed to make the most of him being away both times, by meeting up for a weekend redeverous without children. But it was a bit of a tough week doing it all alone for most of the week – crying kids (missing their daddy) till late made it hard to get those nightly jobs done – and I was doing both our night jobs. A bit of trouble with the car along the way (and an unplanned stop in Nambour for 4 hours for repairs), made for an unexpected twist. I did get there in the end though, and we had a lovely and relaxing time together.

pad composite

I’ve just finished sewing these, hopefully I’ll get them snapped and listed before the weekend.

Butterfly embroidery

I’ve also been busy with some hand-embroidery. The majority of this was done during the holidays and I haven’t actually touched it for weeks! Hand sewing is very therapeutic I find – it’s almost finished. Just the little bit on the left hand bottom wing to be done.

And I’m trying to decide what to make for Ruby’s birthday Friday next week. Of course, a dress is in order. But which pattern and fabric will I use.

Posted by: picanini | February 17, 2014

Hello, hello

I’m a couple of months late, but Happy 2014! Has it been a good year for you so far? Can you believe we’re already over 1/2 into February?!!!!! I’m feeling a little guilty, having disappeared for more than a couple of months. And where have I been?

opera house

Finn insisted we must re-visit the Sydney Opera House

We had a pretty busy summer holiday – we spent almost a month down south including the Christmas and New Year period, mostly in Sydney with my in laws. They have a lovely big house that they plan on selling some time soon now that they have no kids at home, so we decided to make the most of it while it’s there.


We did all sorts of exploring – we walked over the Harbour Bridge (the kids scootered) and over the Cahill expressway down to the Botanic Gardens and through to Mrs Macquaries Chair.

Middle head adventure

We parked at Mosman and walked/scootered to Middle Head.

exploring middle head

The kids really enjoyed exploring the historic abandoned military site.

squeezing out

We all had fun squeezing through the underground tunnels.

Banksia boy

We also visited my old stomping grounds of the South Coast of NSW.

Above pic is of Gannon hamming it up as a Banksia Boy (You remember the Banksia men from Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie?).  We don’t seem to have Banksia trees up here – I miss them, as they were all around the property where I grew up. And Warratahs too.



It’s so beautiful in that part of the world! We camped in Jervis Bay for a few nights.

QVB tree

We visited the Queen Victoria Building in the city and admired the huge tree,


as well as visiting DJ’s – of course we saw the window display. Ruby has a thing for nutcrackers after seeing the ballet.

lego elves

We also found some interesting things – this elf in the DJ’s Christmas cave is made from Lego.

vikings (2)

After Christmas we went to the Vikings exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour.


We wrote our name in Runes – the ancient script of the Vikings.


Kirsten Viking

And played dress ups.


We went right into the submarine, and under the decks of the old sailing ship. Neither are good for the claustraphobic.

Ruby and Kirri

We also took the kids horse-riding…and did LOADS more things.

I also took the kids down to the Sunshine Coast to catch up with my family and old friends, and suddenly, it was time to get serious about getting organised for school – and actually get back into the school groove.

There have also been some dramas in my extended family that have caused head and heartache since the new year – and they’re not over yet. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for life in general and sapped the emotional energy right out of me – I just haven’t had it in me to get here. But, after hearing last week that a child in Finn’s class lost their dad over the holidays after a battle with cancer, you realise that you must make the most of what life’s dealt you and quit moping. And so I’ve been fired up to try and find my Joie de vivre again – so here I am!

I’ll be back to the usual crafty stuff in the next post!


Posted by: picanini | December 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday a day late

I’m sure I’m not the only one about to have a nervous breakdown by the end of the school year with all the activities!

tie dye prac

Sorry I didn’t make it here yesterday – I had one heck of a day. It all started with a tie dye workshop with the preppies at my kids school – I helped the lovely Kylie from Little Zen/Earthchild designs. We discovered bizzarely at her son’s birthday party earlier this year that we both had known of each other and our respective work for years.  How many other mothers make cloth pads and nappies and have kids in the same class?! Isn’t that crazy?

The tie dye pics are actually things I did at home the night before. It has been a while since I’ve dyed, and years since I’ve done anything like tie-dyeing so, as you do – I had a go at 11pm the night before to make sure I had it straight. There was actually pink in there as well, but I think the dye must have gone off as it didn’t take.


Yesterday also involved an excursion with Gannon’s year 5 class to Breathe health club. The kids had a ball – and were pretty tired out by the end of it (as was I!!!). We had 30 minute rounds of Tennis, Body Attack/Combat, Boot camp, Aqua Zumba and Spin.

Summer dress #4

And as if we hadn’t had a big enough day (swimming lessons after school!) we then went to the Year 7 graduation and school disco. I was hoping to have this dress finished (the 3rd of the Japanese pattern book dress), but I just ran out of time. Sorry, no pics of us firing up on the dance floor. I actually spent most of my time in the canteen!


And I finished the night wrapping these – if you’ve been around here a while, you’ll know this is our little Christmas tradition. Make a huge number of Gingerbread Christmas trees and stars (there were over 120!), and give them to all the kids class mates.

Posted by: picanini | November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again already! So what have I been up to?

AB voile dress long

I’ve almost finished this dress – I just have to cut and knot threads. It’s from the Japanese pattern book – I used the actual pattern from the book, but took some tips with placing the shirring from Gerties Peasant Dress Creative Bug workshop.

AB voile dress

It’s a really nice dress on – probably the best fit  of a woven garment that I’ve made.

bath bombs

Ruby and I have started work on the Christmas gifts. There’ll be plenty more of these things to come.

I ran out of time to get back here and show more last week. DH and I had a weekend away and I got caught up in planning/booking/organising kids. Do good intentions count?

Posted by: picanini | November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It’s late and I’m tired and I forgot to take pics of the things I’ve been working on – our after school schedule has changed in the last few weeks and I’m not home till late today. But I can show you something…

Octo gardenThese will be going up on the site tommorrow – I finished and photographed them just before school pickup this afternoon. The fabric is by the fabulous Tula Pink, who has an amazing way of hiding nature in her beautiful works – though these octopus aren’t so hidden.

Seahorses dark aqua

The seahorse are a little more tricky to find, however. I’ll try to share some actual WIP’s tommorrow!

Posted by: picanini | November 13, 2013

WIP – I’m back

Actually I never went away. Unfortunately, the only thing I had to show you last week was very clean house with pristine floors and lounge suite. We had a house inspection last week, and (after a previous one scheduled 2 weeks before that was cancelled during the designated time due to the agent going home sick!) I decided that a major spring clean was in order – carpets and lounge suite cleaned by myself included.

apple fairies preview

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased to be back on machines and making creative mess again on Friday! I did make myself do some mending that had been aside for months before I was allowed to play. I’m almost finished these Apple fairy pads. They are topped with sherpa – which is a great fabric for heavy/gushy flow as it’s highly textured surface is very “grabby”. Once these are finished, I’m getting stuck into this set.


I’m always trying to think of special things to make for little boys – and this is one of those.  You’re always spoilt for choice when making things for girls, but boys you really have to look hard for fabrics/patterns/ideas that are a little bit special.

Tula ocean

And then some more pads!

I’m listing a few new pads and training pants that I’ve had sitting here to go tonight.

Posted by: picanini | October 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

pinned pads

The pad shelves are almost bare, so I’ve had to spend some time making some more! First up are some of the Fairies. I hope to have them finished and listed tommorrow.


And here’s my first version of the Collette Sorbetto  top (just got to pull out a few basting stitches) – it’s a free pattern, and I really like it. There are a number of variations of the pattern that others have done – some of which I’m hoping to try.

If you look over in my flickr pics on the sidebar>>>>>>>>>,

you’ll see the pics I’m talking about below. They’re on my phone and I can’t access it at present. >>>>>

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve also done a bit of work on the UFO (unfinished object) pile. There were a pair of summer jammies – these were another free pattern – from a big fabric website.  They’re called “tap pants and cami”. The cami wasn’t the best of fits – I had to do some tucking and I’m still not that enamoured with it so I won’t make the top again. But the pants are extremely comfy – though they do use up quite a lot of fabric.

Pics of what I’m talking about again over there >>>>>>>>>>

on flickr again. Will get them posted on here shortly

And I don’t know if you remember the gorgeous fabric that arrived a few weeks back, but I used some of Amy Butler’s gorgeous pinky/purple paisley rayon Chalis fabric to make this lovely dress. It is from the Creative Bug workshop with Gretchen Hirsch – the peasant dress. It looks much better on!

Ruby and Gertiesmall

I also made a couple of hats for Ruby

KJ hat

and myself (it’s had to get pics of me!). Pattern is the Make it Perfect Sunkissed Sunhat. Lots of summer sewing now that it’s suddenly made it’s way here and we’ve been found wanting somethings.

Posted by: picanini | October 29, 2013

Wow, it’s been just over a month since I’ve been here! It’s been a busy time…A lot of fun, but some sadness as well.

apartment panorama

We had a fabulous extra long weekend in Brissie -

City night

we stayed in an apartment in Spring Hill. Ruby had an appointment with her orthopaedic specialist on the Thursday before the labour day holiday, so Richard took a couple of days off work and we experienced city life for 5 days. We did lots of shopping in Queen st,  visited some great op shops (we LOVE Paddington), fantastic parks,

Thumbs up G BBQ

enjoyed a variety of different cuisines (Gannon surprised us with enjoying everything he tried at the Korean BBQ – he’s normally not very adventurous when it comes to food and particularly spicy food). had fun catching up with family we haven’t seen in ages. I even snuck in a couple of yoga classes

Then it was back to reality with a thud getting home later than planned and trying to get organised for school the next day. It felt like I spent the next week trying to catch up!

Sadly, Ruby’s chook, Dora, was looking unwell when we got back. She wasn’t moving around much and had started doing this strange thing with her head. She progressively got worse (and was having trouble with her vision – she’d go to peck at something and be off kilter, like she had some neurological problem). I gave her the epsom bath treatment, we fed and gave her water by hand numerous times per day as she wasn’t getting up and moving.  During this time, her sister Gertrude, stayed close by her. She didn’t range around by herself – normally they range around the back yard together.


Dora stopped eating and eventually died a couple of days later on Wednesday a couple of weeks ago. Ruby was very sad – and I was surprised how sad I was.  Gertie, it seems after this, had no will to live. She went gradually downhill rather quickly – despite our best efforts.


She died yesterday in my arms on Sunday morning while I was patting her – I was really cut up about it. I spent a good portion of the day in tears. I know that might sound crazy to many of you (I felt a bit silly about it – I grew up with a big flock of hens, ducks and geese and had never been attached to them), but it was just the way I felt. We’ve had those girls for about 3.5 years (here is the post about when we got them), and spent alot of time looking after them and they were only a small flock – given we don’t have any other pets, they have been given lots of love and care. I am telling myself that there is nothing wrong with loving someone or something and mourning their loss – whether it be a chicken, a dog or a human. It means that you loved and cared for them and that can never be wrong!

I hope to back tommorrow and back to normal!

Posted by: picanini | September 28, 2013

Can you guess…

what we’ve been up to this afternoon?


Well, I’ve been glancing at the big screen and doing stuff online, child wrangling and snack providing. Richard’s dad has been a Hawkes supporter since a young lad, and so the torch is passed to the next generations.

Sorry I’ve been absent. I was still pretty ordinary for a while after school finished – I’m still recovering. I decided to take the kids down the coast for a few days early on Wednesday to see the family, catch up with some friends, and do some things.

I always pack with such great hopes of doing lots of crafty stuff and reading while I’m away from home, but often the reality is different. I don’t think I’m alone in doing that…? So I don’t have anything to show you.

Ruby sewing

I bought Ruby a little kit to do some sewing (I mostly bought it for the plastic needle, to do a weaving workshop with her on CreativeBug). We pulled it out when she complained before we left of being bored.

Ruby bird

She (and the boys) was also quite engrossed with this little bird. It’s a mynah bird – which I know is a pest, but it was a baby that she found having fallen out of it’s nest, and I couldn’t not help her try and care for it. We put it in a box after she a daddy tried several attempts to put it back in it’s nest. It kept hopping out and falling off the branch onto the ground! When it was left on the ground, other birds came down trying to kill it, so we couldn’t just leave it. It’s mum and dad (I presume) must have heard it’s cries on our back patio, and came over with worms and grasshoppers. We managed to keep it alive like this for several days, but on the morning we left for the coast, found it dead in the box. Ruby was devestated of course. We tried to console her with the fact that it wouldn’t have survived in the wild and that she saved it from a horrible death, but it wasn’t much of a consolation.  We had the backyard funeral before we left. The timing was fortunate, because I’m sure dad would have got the blame for the demise if it’d happened while we were away.

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