Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How quickly things change and stay the same

So much has happened since my last post.   Alexi went back to school and started grade 4 and James started school.  They settled in well and have had a good term so far. Alexi went on his first school camp - we all survived his two nights away.  He came back no worse for wear and having had a good time.  It is nearly the end of term and we are all looking forward to some time away from school.

I have gone back to work.  After 14 months on leave I thought the adjustment would be hard.  It hasn't been.  It was like putting on a pair of old shoes and walking around in them again.  The work has carried on and I am remembering more and more of the things I once did.  I work 3 days which provides a good balance - I still make contact with the kids' school and my friends as well as having time to catch up on all the domestic stuff.

I even sneak in some craft!

 I've been playing around with Fimo.  This is fun stuff, comes in great colours and can be shaped, baked, drilled and threaded to make cute jewellery bits and bobs.

I call these Sun, Sky & Clouds.  You can have a closer look here in the Bombalina shop.

And Tunisian Crochet! I have been loving playing with different coloured yarn and vintage buttons.  These neck warmers are so warm and soft that I have to resist wearing them as they are also in the Bombalina shop.

I was prepared for Valentine's Day this year.  I made a small lino cut and printed lots of cards which I hid around the place for my hubby to find.  I even made him an original artwork as a gift.  I know this will be worth lots of money one day when I'm famous … ;) .  I tried to stay away from the shops and I think I succeeded.
I am "this close" to enrolling in a Jewellery Making short course at TAFE.  It starts in May and is on for 9 weeks (one session a week).   I have been playing with wire and beads,  collecting some tools and organising the things I already have amassed over the years.  I have a really good collection of pliers, of which I am particularly proud (sad but true). This course is the precursor to a couple of other courses I'd like to do later this year.   I'm very excited and I keep meeting lovely people who have already done the course and are making seriously awesome pieces.

Things are ticking along nicely and that is a good place to be right now.  

Hope you're having a tickity-boo kind of time, too.

x Miss G

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

School time for James….

James loves school.  He hasn't started yet but he is sure he loves it.  There are two more sleeps until James starts school.  His big brother starts back tomorrow and James and I will have one more day, just the two of us, before he joins the "big kids".  

 Summer holidays are over….  

I am ready for him to start.  As ready as I can be.  I am more excited and happy than sad and worried.  I know he will be in a class with some great mates whose mums are great fun.  I know that his teacher is a good one.  I know that he will listen and learn and have his lunch and play games and tell stories.  I know all that.  I just wish I could be a fly on the wall, looking over him and making sure that all these things are happening and that he is happy and relaxed.

I will not cry on Friday when I drop him off.  I will give him a squish and wish him luck.  I will tell him to remember his manners, to be kind to his friends, to listen to his teacher, to eat the things in his lunch box.  I will tell him I love him.  But I will not tell him that I will miss him.  I will not tell him that I am worried or anxious.  I will not tell him that other kids can be mean sometimes or that the work may be tricky.  I don't want him to focus on things that could go wrong or be difficult.

James will have a great time.  And I have a lot to look forward to this year too.  I'll be going back to work and doing some short courses and generally getting back into the swing of things after a challenging 2011.

I had better go and get things organised for school bags, lunchboxes, uniforms, shoes, hats, sunscreen, water bottles …...

Have a great start to the the school year!

x Miss G

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Camping Happens to Happy Campers

I love camping.  I have only just discovered this about myself in the last week or so.  After a lovely Christmas in Rutherglen with my hubby's family, we headed to Colac Colac (pronounced Clack Clack) Caravan Park.  Not sure what I expected but I was incredibly impressed when the guy led us to our "unpowered site" which was under 3 shady trees overlooking the creek.  Wow!

My last experience with camping involved hiking with a heavy backpack through Wilson's Prom in the drizzling rain, at "that" time of the month, with people I didn't really know very well.  I fell over a lot and sooked a bit. The setting up of camp was ok but sleeping on a cold, hard surface with a girl who shot daggers at me was NOT FUN!  I certainly was not a happy camper.  I filed that experience under "things I don't like doing and will not do again."

The difference this time was I had my adorable and adored little family with me and we were all excited by the adventure that laid ahead.  We set up camp and got a bit organised and then settled down for some dinner - pasta with sauce which tasted awesome because we had cooked it on a little gas cooker.  The boys wanted to go to bed early - the sun was still up and the birds were still singing!

Camping is something we would do again I think.  Once we were set up it was actually really fun and easy.  We heading into nearby Corryong for supplies and to catch up with friends who live there.  We fished, we went to the  Cudgewa pub for a parmi, and just enjoyed each other's company without our usual distractions!  

We didn't have very much new equipment - our inflatable beds, sleeping bags for the kids and a couple of torches were the only new things we bought.   The tents combined age is about 50 years old and they were great at keeping the wind out.  It didn't rain so we didn't have to test their water-proofness (frankly they may have failed that test) but we got some comments from fellow campers about our "cool vintage tents".

The creek was a great source of entertainment and it also provided a serene view from our tent.  Not too shabby for $28 a night and the daily papers delivered to your tent!  

Happy Camping

x Miss G

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Dr Seuss Birthday Party

James is turning 6.  Not until January next year but we thought we'd get in early and celebrate his and his friend Lachie's birthdays last week.  They are born on the same day so are like twins with different mothers…. Hence the Thing 1 and Thing 2 theme for the party!  Blue hair and great t-shirts topped off with some Dr Seuss inspired party stuff made by Lachie's mum and me!

We made some jumping sacks out of calico and Cat in the Hat fabric - the kids had a ball as they raced each other for glory and medals!

An egg and spoon race was easy to organise and with a few salad servers and juggling balls no eggs were lost in the process!

The boys each had a cake - James had the Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes and Lachie had a cake with a personalised cake topper.  The cake board for James' cupcakes is a Dr Seuss gameboard that I found at the opshop! This game came with cards and other cute things that we used to decorate our cakes and party favour boxes.

Continuing the theme to the end, I made a Pin the Number on the Thing game - I drew the Things and made some stick on labels that the kids had to attach while blind folded. Fun and easy!

The day culminated in the Blue Fish Pinata!  This was a shark from Spotlight and the closest thing we could find to go with the Dr Seuss theme.  That's Alexi having a go!

The kids went home with a party favours box which we decorated with cards from the Op Shop found game and labels we printed ourselves.

All in all, we had a ball.

Happy Party Planning

x Miss G

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Funday Sunday

I did not get out of my pyjamas today.  And most of yesterday too.  I woke up, showered and then got back into pyjamas.  These are special Super Productive Pyjamas.  Yesterday I wore them as I pottered around home, cleaning, cooking, hanging out with the kids and hubby.  I had my dad over for a lamb roast.  That was a nice get together.

Today was not as productive although I did make some headway on my Babette Blanket.  A few of my friends are walking around with baby on board!  The first one to have a GIRL will get this as a gift!  I am trying to not get scared of the sewing up and sewing in part.

Another exciting thing happened today! I finished my Teepee AKA Wig Wam!  I started this project ages ago and had nearly finished it but just needed some holes drilled in the top of the poles to loop through the rope that holds everything up and together.  My husband and the boys had fun with the task of drilling the holes and then the boys busied themselves filling it with books and toys.  I think they are enjoying their cubby corner with its new addition!

I watched some old movies today as I crocheted.  There was one called Jeanne Eagels - It was based on the story of an actress who was around in the 1920's.  A really interesting story about a then famous Broadway and Hollywood actress.  The movie starring Kim Novak, Jeff Chandler and Agnes Moorehead was very dramatic with beautiful fashion throughout.  Some of the fairground scenes were amazing too - if you like Carousels there are a few good ones in this!

 And have you noticed lately that there is often an Elvis movie on a Sunday afternoon?  Today's offering was Follow Your Dream.  Nice to crochet to and fun to watch (listen to!)

That was my Pyjama Clad Weekend! 

Happy PJ Days
x Miss G

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Craft Room Make Over

Don't you love Make Over shows?  Whether they are making up a scruffy man or a tired lady, I can't help but watch the transformation.  Hair, make-up, clothes and hey presto they are new people (until they go home and pull on their favourite overalls, tie their hair back and be themselves again). 

Well, my office was getting very scruffy and tired and required a make over intervention.  I hope it will not become the crazy, unfriendly place it was before.  This was also a bit of an anniversary present from my husband as we recently celebrated 10 years of marriage!  

So it started last Wednesday.  I called Vinnies so they could come and take some furniture away as there was a lovely floral 4 piece lounge suite in the room which I had bought from them 8 years ago.  I also looked into storage furniture and a work table - alas my op shop visits were fruitless as there was nothing really big and wide enough to accommodate all the things I wanted to have in my room.

I had my plan.  I made this about 6 months ago.  I had it hanging on my office wall so I wouldn't lose sight of the vision.

Okay.  This was the reality.  With no storage in the room, the lounge suite became a dumping place for everything.  I also had fabric and sewing machines, wool and needles, craft books and whole lotta other stuff in the lounge room.  Any attempts at crafting had to be packed up for meal times and I was not able to leave things out to ponder and think about them.  They got tucked away and sometimes forgotten about.

 On Friday, the lovely guys from Vinnies came along with a truck and took the furniture away.

Just before they got there Officeworks had delivered the new storage furniture in flat packs ready for assembly.  I had a blank canvas and it started getting exciting as I started putting a small book shelf together.

This was the space I had to work with.  It's quite a large room with good natural light in the morning.

On Saturday, I waved my husband and boys off as they headed to Rutherglen for the weekend.  The Rutherglen show was on and it was a good chance for them to catch up with their Pa Frankie.

I got right into it.  I started with the large storage shelves.  I found some tools and built one slowly. The second one was faster and soon I had two done!

After a little visit to Officeworks and Ikea  to pick up some small storage stuff and a new light fitting, I kept going.

At around 5.30 I found myself up a ladder trying to rip an old light fitting out of the ceiling.  NOT CLEVER GINA!  I took a deep breath, swallowed my pride and admitted that I would need a professional!  Lucky for me, I have a neighbour who is a friend and electrician.  I popped round to his place and his daughter told me she would ask him to call me back.  He popped around a little later and installed the new light fitting.

OH MY GOD - THEN THERE WAS LIGHT!  This room has never been so bright. EVER!  He left and I happy danced!

 By the end of Sunday, after a lovely visit to the Camberwell Market, I started sorting, packing, deciding and shooshing the room.  The work table is enormous - big enough for everything I need to do!  The bookshelf is full of my favourite craft books,  the storage shelves are full of boxes of my crafty bits and bobs.  Even my lovely Dr Esse Jane has a place from which to survey her new surroundings (she has no head but I know she feels it!)

By the time the boys got back from the country I had practically finished.  The boys were impressed that they could see the top of my desk and that they could find the mouse.  They have started making plans on how they will use the room too….. mmm….

It's been a long time coming so I am feeling very happy that I have achieved one of my main goals this year…. and its only October!

Happy Make Overs but be yourself!

x Miss G

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Op Shops & Skip Bins!

Holly Hobby says it all in this cute ceramic apple shaped dish.  This was found at Salvos in Ringwood  and it ticked all my boxes!  Apple shaped, ceramic, cute, nostalgic … check!  I also found some scarves and knitting needles.

And just as we were about to leave, I noticed something in the Skip Bin at the Salvos.  I could see there were some car track games so I thought I'd go over and have a look….. it started raining so all I could rescue from the Skip was this incredible Milton Bradley Twister Game!  FROM 1967!! In amazing condition down to its spinner card and plastic mat!  SCORE!  How cute are the box graphics, I ask you?

Happy cute things & fun games!

x Miss G