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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making and Baking

 I've been making a few things!  Brianna (rollinginfabric) taught me the fundamentals of embroidery at the Northern Craft Bonanza session a few weeks ago and I practiced at home with French Knots! So much fun and terribly cute!

I have been working on this blanket for a little while now.  I am growing it daily and I am loving the colours!  Next I will try a Babette Blanket like the one in the Smurfs Movie! It is scrummy!  

I made a wicked Spanakopita! Yum for the whole family! Dad grows all the greens in his garden and this turned out better than even I could have hoped.  Really easy and delicious!

More to follow! 
Happy Baking and Making!

x Miss G

Friday, September 23, 2011


 I love UPHOLSTERY!!  What fun I've been having with some old bits and pieces from the footpath and the op shop and some new bits and bobs from the hardware store.

The picture below shows the original footstool frame.  A dark cherry reddish brown colour - it had no cushion left but it still had the frame that the cushion went in.

 I picked up the foam from Resource Rescue and the fabric from East Kew Vinnies. Paint and upholstery nails were from the hardware.

The timber footstool came from the footpath just a little way up from here.  SCORE!
To cover the dark stain, I painted on a couple of coats of undercoat.  Now its white.

While that dried I put the new cushion together.  I wanted it to be square so that I could put a tea tray on it and use it as an occasional table occasionally!  This was done with the piece of wood layered with foam, covered with calico and then covered again with the bluey-greeny fabric from Vinnies.

 Then I painted the frame a mustard colour - Its called HAYRIDE if you want to be proper about its painterly moniker.  I think it looks really sweet and above all it is FINISHED and out of my craft room!  It will take pride of place in the spare room.  I think I will drape my negligee (ie flanny pj's) over it.  Or use it for cups of tea and tired feet!  Its so cheery and fun!

Love my Staple Gun and Paintbrush!

xox Miss G

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Those were the days.

We've been looking at some great old photos of mum and dad as young parents in the last few weeks.  Here are some of my favourites.

My mum and dad with me and my Godfather after my christening. 

On a family outing in 1972, mum is pregnant with my little brother George and that's Mary with the funky sunnies. 

Mum and me and a giant teddy at a family function in the early 70's.

Our family passport photo around 1976, just before out 6 month trip to Greece.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A tribute to My Mum

My mum passed away on the 25th August.  She had been diagnosed with liver cancer in early July.  We had 5 weeks with her before she died and we are really feeling her loss right now.  Being Greek Orthodox, her funeral was a traditional one but the priest is Australian born and he performed the ceremony, along with my uncle (also a priest) in both Greek and English.  This helped to include everyone in the service and made it all the more meaningful for those of us who don't speak fluent ancient Greek.

I wrote a tribute for the priest to read during the service.  

Vicky was born on the 12th of April, 1942 in the mountain village of Karaiskaki, Western Greece.  Her parents, Andreas and Ionna Skapetis lived in a two room stone house with their six children, Frosini, Haralambos, Vasiliki, Gerasimoula, Phillipas and Maiyoula.

Their life in the village was a poor yet happy one.  Theirs was a very close family that worked hard on the land.  They had very little and yet managed to look after each other.  The children went to school and worked alongside their parents to make their simple living.

Opportunities in village life were few.  With the desire for better lives and with the encouragement of their parents, the older children, in their late teens and early twenties were given the option to come to Australia.  Frosini and Vicky came to Australia in 1961 to live with their Uncle Yianni and Aunt Nicky who had settled here a few years earlier.  The girls were followed a few years later by Haralambos, Gerasimoula and Maiyoula.  The family settled into life in a foreign country and with very little English they secured jobs at Manola Shoe Factory where they worked until 1967. 

Emmanuel Zouglakis came to Australia in June 1964.  He had met Vicky a few years earlier in the village where he had worked as a health surveyor.  He left Greece for a better life in Australia and on the 5th of September, 1964, he and Vicky were married.  Their first child, Mary, was born in October 1965.
In 1968 Vicky and Emmanuel together with Frosini and her husband Fotis opened their first small business, a milk bar in Richmond.  Gina was born in July 1970 and George was born in December 1972.  The 2 families worked in the shop and lived in the house behind the shop with their children.  Together with their cousins Chris and Louis, the children Mary, Gina and George grew up happily as the business thrived.  This partnership continued for 10 years.

Their next business venture lasted 20 years. Vicky and Emmanuel’s small supermarket in Wattle Park thrived in those years.  Vicky made so many friends there.  She worked hard but always had time to listen to her customers’ stories.  Vicky balanced full time work and motherhood extremely well.  The business was closed in 1997 and Emmanuel and Vicky retired. 

Along with Emmanuel, Vicky worked tirelessly over 14 years with Melbourne’s Cretan community.  She organised and catered numerous small and large social events.  The Brotherhood of Lasithion was grateful for her work with them.  Over the years Vicky provided beautiful meals for hundreds of people and was a beloved friend to all in this community.

Vicky and Emmanuel were inseparable as life partners, as parents and as business operators.  Everything they built for themselves and their families they built together.  Side by side they managed the rigours of work and family life.  They watched proudly as their children succeeded through school, university and into the workforce.  Vicky loved all of their partners John, Kathy and Gavan as her own and was beyond thrilled when each of her 6 grandchildren were born.  Saski, Alexi, Katia, James, Jasmine and Aris were all adored by their Yia Yai. 

Vicky loved her garden, growing fruit, vegetables and flowers successfully for many years.  Vicky also loved to cook.  Her greatest joy came from seeing her family sit down to enjoy a meal together. 

Family gatherings were happy occasions with Vicky enjoying the love and company of her children and grandchildren.  She was surrounded by people who loved her for her generosity, humour and warm spirit.  Her strength made her family strong.  Her intelligence and courage forged a future for her family that is something for which they will be eternally grateful.

Remember Vicky now for all the special gifts she brought to your lives.  She cared deeply for others in their time of need and rose to every challenge with great energy and determination. Her memory lives on in each of you and with your remembrance her spirit will continue to touch your lives.  Think fondly of the times you have spent with Vicky and hold on to your memories. 

May she live forever in our hearts.

love you mum x 
Miss G

Friday, August 12, 2011

So Fast + So Fun = Soft Furnishings

I love changing the stuff in my house.  I get sick of things sometimes and feel a change is needed.  But, I'm not working so the change has to be cheap and cheerful and somewhat environmentally friendly.  No waste permitted!  It has to look ok though - it can't be too shabby, either.

My favourite place to shop for materials is Resource Rescue.  I know, I know… you've heard it before! But really it is quite special and popping along there regularly means picking up new stuff.  I went yesterday as it had been a while since the last time and James and I were sick of being sickies, stuck inside!

Gary was there when we arrived.  He was making something yummy smelling for lunch.  I picked up some great drawing paper for the kids - large sheets of white paper - perfect condition.  I grabbed some lovely large pieces of leather and then I stumbled on some great fabric samples.  Large swathes of coordinating fabric as well as a huge roll of upholstery fabric…. my mind started singing Soft Furnishings Are The Gateway Craft to Upholstery!  And I really want to learn upholstery… what a great way to start.  Resource Rescue has some great upholstery fabrics for next to nothing.  My whole shopping trolley full of treasures set me back the princessly sum of $20.

So this is what came out of the visit.  The fabric was a very large sample of coordinating fabrics by Unique Fabrics.  The back of the large cushions is the stripey fabric you can see on the small cushion at the front.  The small cushion is a bit of a patchwork effort to counterbalance the flouncy flowers on the large cushions.  It even has a zip (which are getting less scary!)

Happy UpCycled Soft Furnishings (nearly Upholstering)!

x Miss G

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm a Craft Group Newbie!

I love craft.  You know that, I know that.  Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that.  Up until yesterday I was a solo crafter.   I could be found at home sewing, knitting, crocheting. Alone.  I can be quite shy at times and meeting new people can be anxiety inspiring.

I have been thinking about craft groups lately.  The evolution of the social crafting group has been amazing at connecting likeminded crafty people in a fun and creative way.  The aim is to share skills and come together through craft.  Up until last week I had only thought about going along to one of the many regular gatherings around Melbourne.  I don't know why it took so long for me to pluck up the courage to take stick and yarn to a group.

I have been a fervent fan of Twitter lately primarily because of the crafty gals that are there.  We chat about life, kids, work, what we've made or are making.  Milo, ice-cream and mint slices feature quite a lot too.  Last Wednesday, Cathie from Melbourne Epicure invited me along to the NCB.  The Northern Craft Bonanza. I was thrilled to meet some of the Tweeters in person.  It was funny how we had our real names and our Twitter names.  Introductions were made as Gina, or Miss G or Gidgeroo.  An instant rapport existed due to the familiarity of names on Twitter.  Crazy nice and I was instantly rid of my usual shyness!  I also have new Twitter friends and some new Blogs to read!

So the focus for me was not on what I was doing but what others were doing.  There were crochet squares, blankets and shawls, there was embroidery, there was needle felting and pom pom making!  I took some Tunisian Crochet to do and gave a little demo on how it worked.  I SO want to try needle felting as Mel was teaching Brianna and it looked like such a fun thing to do!  Next time will be needle felting time! I, for one, cannot wait!

Happy Public Displays of Crafting

x Miss G