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.

Posted by: picanini | September 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday…

Deadlines, deadlines…WIP Wednesday was photographed on Wednesday, but didn’t make it to the desk! Techically, these aren’t a WIP – but they soon will be!


The veil is back with the bride’s mother, the customs being posted. Now I can show you the haul of jumpers I got at the local op shop the other day. Hopefully they’ll all be turned into nappy covers in the near future.

I know a lot of people are scared of wool, but really, there’s no reason to be! It’s the most wonderful product – renewable, breathable, and very good as a nappy cover. My 2 younger children always wore wool to bed at night over their nappies and it works fabulously. If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll happily do my best to answer. Wool interlock fabric is very expensive, so hopefully by finding reasonably priced jumpers to hack and repurpose, I can offer some affordable covers.

box of goodies

And these pretties arrived. I almost squealed with excitement when I opened the box. There’s some fabric for items for the store, but there’s also some for some clothing for me and my girl. I’m really hoping to get some warmer weather clothing sewn during the holidays (starting tommorrow ) – we both need it. It seems we had a week or so of winter, then spring and we’re already heading toward summer up here.

Posted by: picanini | September 17, 2013

Music, music, music…

There’s been a lot of it in our house recently. Gannon plays the violin, and did his exams at the beginning of this month – there was lots of practise. Thankfully, it payed off, and he came away with a high distinction (not a proud mum much)!

Gannon violinclose

He also plays with the school band and was performing a solo at the school “music spectacular”.

Ruby choir

Ruby sings in the school choir. She was doing piano lessons, but I wasn’t that impressed with the teacher (I play, though not so often lately), so she’s not anymore…I’m planning on teaching her again myself shortly. I need to set aside a definite time for her lessons – we’ll see how that goes. Teaching piano to Isaac at around the same age didn’t work so well for family harmony, so…hmmm.


I finally wore the Sassy Librarian blouse out that I finished the other month (to the music spectacular) . The back looks ok, but I’m not sure about the front.


I’m not thrilled with the way the collar sits, and honestly, I don’t think it’s the most flattering thing. The release pleats at the waist seem to release their fullness right at my natural waist – making it full rather than tapering in and defining the waist at all.  And the busy print probably doesn’t help. Also, I think the bust darts are a little bit highly placed for me, so I may have to move them down if I make another. This was my “muslin”. I think this may be a style that suits ladies that need a little shaping, rather than those that have plenty of shape?


And finally, I’ve been asked to alter this. Finn’s class has a teacher’s aide (who was also there when Ruby was in prep) whom I know reasonably well. She’s asked me to alter the length of the hem on her daughter’s wedding veil – the wedding is in a couple of weeks. Its an easy and straightforward job, but the fact that it’s something to do with a wedding makes me a little nervous (cue nervous laughter!). I’m sitting here procrastinating about it right now in fact…

Posted by: picanini | September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday…

I’ve mostly been working my way through

Heath House - from their website

Country House Rescue in the last few days (they’ve got a couple of series on offer on Iview at present). As a lover of Jane Austen (and to a lesser extent, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens and many more English writers from around the 1800’s) I get a great deal of pleasure poking around through these amazing houses through the tele/computer.

Finn’s been home sick, so we’ve been doing lots of cuddling and lounging around. Work for the store has been minimal. Of course, Finn’s shared it with his Mum and Dad, so I’m not feeling fantastic. I have done a bit of sewing, but not enough to show progress from last week.



Posted by: picanini | September 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I’ve left the fairies for a short while, as I’ve been as I’ve been asked to do a custom order. A customer bought some of my training pants for her little boy a couple of months back, and needs more.

Trainer ring

So I’m working on some more. Some for the special order, some for the store. Sorry for the lack of cropping – I can’t work out how to do it on this version of software at present.

trainers close2

I’m still trying to work my way around the technology shemozzle between laptops and photos – I’ve added to it by purchasing a new phone last week! The back of my old phone kept falling off, the battery was almost had it, and it wasn’t a smart phone. So I purchased myself a new Nokia Lumia 520. I’m finding it great to use, but still have a lot to learn (texting is unbelievably easy though!!!). I tried the WordPress blogging app on it yesterday, but couldn’t work out how to toggle around various tools, so I’m back to the computer for tonight.  I also can’t seem to sort out using facebook as my business rather than the personal account on the phone…. I know that you can get a separate Apple app for facebook business, but haven’t found one so far for Microsoft/Nokia.

trainers close

Anyway, yadayadayadah. I’m sure I’ll work at least some of it out soon! Till then, bear with me.

Posted by: picanini | August 28, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Sometimes work is just work

core pile

Tracing the template, cutting the cores and stitching them together is one of the less creatively inspiring parts of pad making.

Most standard and curvy Picanini pads have 2 layers of organic bamboo fleece (occasionally it might have microfiber or Zorb instead or as well) – as well as  a layer of PUL knit, a backing print and a top fabric. I trace and cut out of these components individually.  The upside to cutting out the cores is that I did manage to catch up on the last couple of episodes of The Time of our Lives. If you haven’t seen it, you can catch up from the beginning for another 25 days – it’s a wonderful (and scarily realistic in some cases) Aussie drama on the ABC.

purple fairies

Now I’m off to thread bury these so I can snap them tomorrow and hopefully have time to list them.

Posted by: picanini | August 22, 2013

Book week 2013 – Read across the Universe

Read across the universe is the theme this year  – I think our school was encouraging space themed costumes…they’re a little tricky. I’ve never been much of a science fiction reader, which tend more to have “spacey” theme’s than most book genre’s. I did think about Superman (he may have come from American Smallville, but everyone knows he came from the planet Krypton), but both boys had other ideas.


Gannon is an avid reader, and his imagination is always running wild – particularly when sparked by books. Gannon is a HUGE Redwall fan – he still hasn’t read  the entire series, due to the difficulty in finding the books . This (and Deltora Quest) partly explains his desire to dress up as a Knight/Warrior/Medieval kinds of characters. So he decided to go as Martin the Warrior (though fortunately, I didn’t have to make mouse parts!). Finn was determined he would go in his Spiderman costume, so that was easy. Ruby is also a very keen reader – mostly into girly books. She kept changing her mind as to who she would go as. Her last request was a fairy – but I discouraged her out of that despite the fact that she’s always reading fairy stories (the Rainbow magic ones). There are always so many fairies…and princesses at the Bookweek parade. She is currently reading “Little House on the Prairie“, and I had thought about doing a costume for that, but it would have involved a lot of fabric and hassle. I suggested Wonder Woman instead  – she recently borrowed a Wonder Woman comic from the library. She decided that was a good idea, which is why I didn’t get to blog WIP Wednesday last night – I’d planned to, but I was costume making instead. We’ve had a couple of crazy busy weeks, not leaving much time for thinking about these things – so I made the starry blue pants and the red top last night. The gold appliqued scroll “w” was the most difficult part – the red and gold are some stashed Panne Velour I’ve had for years).   I told my hubby at 9.30 last night “this is when it’s great to have a sizeable fabric stash” – he replied with a harrumph of some kind.  I made Ruby wear tights underneath, as it was quite a cold morning. Unfortunately, they made the pants sit a little funny and bunch up a bit.

Redwall sword face

Gannon actually got this sword for his birthday last month – it was made especially for him in Kangaroo Valley, South of Sydney (near where I grew up). It’s beautifully made. The shield was purchased at the medieval fair we took them all to for his birthday.

paleo honey cake

On a completely different note, if you’re after a yummy gluten and dairy free cake, why not give this a try? We call it Yummy Honey Cake here. The recipe is from Elana’s pantry – it’s actually called Paleo Honey cake. I’ve made it a few times now – I omit the raisins cause my kids don’t like them, and substitute coconut oil for vegan shortening (cause I have it in my cupboard  and don’t have vegan shortening).


I’ll be uploading some of the Fairy pads tonight (just about to bury threads and snap these) and put up the rest in the next couple of days I hope.

Oh, and have you seen google today? Do yourself a favour and press play to hear Debussy’s Claire De Lune.

Posted by: picanini | August 19, 2013

A whale of a time…

You may or not know, that Hevey Bay (where we live) is considered to be one of the best places in Australia to see Humpback Whales. Apparently the whales stop, rest and play in the waters between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.

Whale fest2

As a concequence, Hervey Bay has a month of festivities that are based around the whales returning. Last Saturday night was the illumination parade – with the theme “protecting Oceania”.

Whale fest1

whale fest Ruby

There were a number of floats with the themes of rubbish in the ocean – which I guess is something pretty relevant, and something we can all do something about. I’d like to think that the products I make help with that. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have seen dirty nappies, pads and tampons floating or washed up on the beach!

Whale fest3

This is the Pacific Whale foundation’s float – I liked how they decorated the car pulling the boat with this wire sculpture. Hopefully they’ll get another  berth at the Marina next year!

Whale fest5

And how about this cute little ride-along whale!

Whale fest7

Half my photos ended up with this pair in them! Not sure who the guy was, but had had a great knack of getting right in the middle of my shots!

There’s still a few more things happening before the festival finishes, but the whales should be around till October if you want to see them.

Posted by: picanini | August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Look – 2 weeks in a row! Sorry for my scatterbrained finish last week. For those of you who aren’t aware, I was referring to Dr Patrick of Offspring. Apologies to those of you who are absolutely sick of hearing about it.

librarian blouse

Here’s the Sassy Librarian Blouse I was talking about last week. It’s still got quite a bit to do, and I haven’t really gotten much more done than last week, as we’ve been away Friday – Monday night down the coast visiting Dr’s. I also managed to get some shopping in, of course.

We also managed to see a bit of Isaac (my eldest son) – who turns 20 next Sunday. We got to watch him play his final game for the year (he plays 1st grade Rugby Union). It’s actually only the 2nd game I’ve watched him play, as he  didn’t start playing tf till his last year of school a few years ago. I had for many years refused to allow him to play, but he forged my signature and didn’t tell me till he was half way through the season!


I re-opened my cloth pad shop store at the beginning of the month, and I’ve sold quite a bit of stock, so I need to get sewing. I had planned on doing a whole series of fairies (some of which I decided to use for the Gossamer Dreams stocking last month), so I you’ll see lots of fairies in the stores hopefully by the end of the week.


And I’m hoping to get back into the Block of the Month Craftsy Series later this week – these are the blocks I’ve already done. Unfortunately, I did some booboos when putting them together after slashing, so I’ll have to look at some other people’s comments to work out where I went wrong.  I’m not really wanting to make a quilt – more learn some of the techniques through doing the blocks.


PS – I forgot to mention that Gossamer Dreams is celebrating their birthday this month – previews are happening now!

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