Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thankyou cards

Recently I received a lot of help from some dear friends and family.  I wanted to make thankyou cards for the wonderful people who helped out in a hurry.  Here is what I've made them:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The completed bridesmaid dresses - and lessons learned along the way

I've done it.  They are  complete.

The dresses look lovely.  And now I can move on to other projects.

I have learned a lot of lessons from making these dresses:

1. I enjoy sewing formal dresses, 'couture' sewing, if you like.
2. I find it difficult to stick to a pattern, but like to alter it [same with recipes] as I always seem to find a way of improving it.
3. It is good to give yourself early deadlines, so that when the things of life come up [sick kids, funerals, unexpected crises etc.] there is still time to complete your project.
4. I do not enjoy sewing three identical items.
5. Chiffon is not as scary as I thought it would be to sew.
6. Chiffon is really difficult to cut out.
7. Making a dress for a lady who has just had a baby will mean multiple fittings and alterations.
8. It is essential to let your fitees know thay have to wear THE SAME undergarments [ie. bra] to each and every fitting.
9. Plan how long it will take you to hand sew the hem and linings and then multiply by 2 or 3.
10. Rolled hems are a great finish for chiffon.
11. Measuring hems from the ground up is the easiest way to get a straight hem.  Use a ruler.
12. Invisible zips are not that difficult to insert, and give a far better finish than a regular zip in a formal dress.
13. Always make sure the base of your iron is clean BEFORE you press seams, or iron the finished garment.
14. Sharp pins are essential for any sewing, but even more important when sewing satin and chiffon.
15. If you have snags on your finger nails, file them before handling chiffon.
16. Read the pattern all the way through before starting to sew.
17. It is more efficient to sew the same seams three times in a row, than to make each dress one at a time [production line sewing].
18. I have now realised that I enjoy sewing for my family, but I would not like to sew as a career, it was not fun by the end.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miss 9's birthday cakes

Miss 9 had two cakes this year, the number nine on her actual birthday with the family, and then the fairy princess castle for her party.  She helped to decorate them both, she loves to decorate cakes now.  I have had to let go of my perfectionism to let the girls help to decorate their own birthday cakes, but they love them all the more when they have a hand in decorating them. 

Miss 9 will be doing it all herself in a couple of years I think.  She is very creative. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

I have bookshelves!!!

Mr E did it - he put up bookshelves for me in my sewing room.  I am SO excited.  I have one project to finish off and then I will let myself sort out my sewing room properly...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

a cute holiday project

I am so proud of Miss 9.  She hand sewed this doll all by herself over the Easter weekend.  Actually it only took her a day.  I found the kits at Aldi and thought it might be a good holiday activity to keep her and Miss 7 busy for a week or so.

I really wish I bought more kits at the time - the holes were pre-punched in the felt, and everything required to complete the doll was in the little box.  Isn't it adorable?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the decluttering bug has hit me

It started with the storeroom and hall cupboard.  Moved to the bathroom under-sink cupboards.  Now I've moved into my bedroom...

I was going to post a photo or two of my progress but decided that was just showing off.  Besides, the storeroom and hall cupboards aren't looking quite as good as they did a week ago...

I LOVE looking at a neat and tidy shelf or drawer!! I actually feel more relaxed.

I only wish they would stay that way.

It's a bit like our minds - they get cluttered up with all the stuff we're trying to remember, worries and stresses, lots of stuff that distracts us from what's really important in life.  God is waiting for us to declutter our minds, tidy them up, and fill them with His word.  That's the only way to keep our minds neat and tidy, our thoughts on what's important, and it's the BEST way to relax!

Do you like to declutter your cupboards?  How about your mind, is it in need of a declutter?  Have you read your bible lately? 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Christ is risen - He is risen indeed

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead - Hallelujah!!

Today the girls have an Easter egg hunt in the backyard [or we hide them in the house if it's raining], we attend church, and we spend time together as family.  No presents, no commercialism, no weird bunnies that have nothing to do with Jesus.  I love how simply we celebrate Easter.

My favourite quote about Easter is from a children's song:

He died for us to give us life, and to give us hope He rose.

Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

bridesmaid dresses

Here they are, all ready for final fittings and hemming.  Nearly done.

Monday, April 2, 2012

front garden update

The paths are laid, the garden beds are in and mulched, and we have started to plant our trees. We have decided to take a permacultural approach: landscaping with edible plants.  A productive and beautiful garden.

So far we have planted a jaboticaba:

A bird's eye chilli:

A quince that has already shrivelled up and practically died!!

 Two tropical apples:

 A tropical peach:

 A rollinia [I'm really looking forward to the fruit from this one, it's supposed to taste like lemon meringue]:

Two chocolate pudding fruit trees:

The vege patches are next, only a few herbs so far, but I hope to have the rest up and running very soon.

You can see my rose hedge along the front of the yard in this photo - it's doing incredibly well.  I prune it back fairly regularly.  I'm planning roses between the paperbark tree and the rose hedge, and more edibles throughout the rest of the landscape.