Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An organised Mum

My mum said something inspirational to me today.

Remember – your house and James are your business – this is your job that God has blessed you with!
My parents with James

I don't know about you but I struggle with housework. I am not the most organised person in the world. So when it comes to making sure I am organised enough to keep my house running smoothly I find myself a bit lost in the jungle of clothes, dishes, toys and clutter.

This statement that my mum made has inspired me to take a different look at the way I think about things. I don't have a full-time job. I am a stay-at-home mum to my darling son James. What if I started organising my days as I would if I was working? If I was being paid to look after my house and my son I would put more effort into it and make sure things got done.

I have made myself a "Daily Do's" checklist of chores to do each day. These are the things that are done every day.

Daily Do's 
Prayer and Bible 
Showered and Dressed 
Load of washing 
Get meat out for dinner
Make beds 
Tidy bedrooms 
Hang out washing 
Exercise: walk, dancing with James, swimming 
Weekly do's 
Prepare dinner 
Dishes and kitchen tidy 
5 minute clean up with James 
Story's and songs 
James' bedtime 
Sweep house

I have also made myself a "Weekly Do's" checklist of chores that need to be done on certain days. I have split the housework up between the 5 working days in order that we can relax and enjoy family time on the weekends when Daddy's home.

Weekly Do's 

Clean En-suite
Change beds
Write grocery list
Water plants
Master bed, James' windows

Mop floors
Clean laundry
Sweep garage and front porch
Organise sewing room
Sewing/guest room windows

Clean out fridge
Clean out car/vacuum
Water plants
Theatre/kitchen windows

Wipe kitchen cupboards
Clean out pantry
Clean oven/stove top
Cut James' nails
Organise bookshelf
Lounge/dining windows

Clean guest bathroom
Water plants
Laundry/bathroom windows

I leave you with one last quote from my smart mother:
Tidy House = Tidy Mind
So here's hoping this works! I'll let you know....


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 5 Minute Dress!

I've done it. I've finally conquered my fear of sewing with knit fabric! Once I found out some great tips I discovered I really didn't have anything to be afraid of. So without further ado...

This is the most amazingly easy dress ever. I swear. I am certain that once I make others in different fabric and colours that they are going to be my summer uniform. That's how in love I am!

This is yet another of my Pinterest finds. Katy at Sweet Verbena is amazing - you should definitely check out her blog for more tutorials. Here is the tutorial for this dress.

This tutorial includes only 3 lines of straight stitching (well, sewing a straight line with a zigzag stitch anyway). No hemming. No over-locking. No patterns required. Just two pieces (or one folded over piece) of knit fabric. It's just that easy!

Here are my handy tips:

  • Make sure you use a stretch needle. You are going to be working with knit fabric so you need to have a needle that is sharp and will allow for this sort of fabric with a lot of stretch in it.
  • Use a zigzag stitch. It will allow your fabric to stretch and move as knit fabric normally would.
  • Allow the fabric to feed itself through the machine. Don't pull it through otherwise it will bunch.
  • Make sure when you measure how wide you want your dress that you add in a bit of extra length to account for... um... female body parts (breasts for those of you that need the hint). If you just measure the width of your shoulders and have rather large... uh... female body parts... then you will create a dress that will stretch over this area. Those of us know have these larger parts know that this makes them look even bigger...
  • WEAR WITH A BELT!! If you don't you will end up with a Homer Simpson style Mu-mu. Not very flattering...
Have fun!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I have experienced death twice this year.

A dear friend of mine, Russell, passed away due to complications from a stomach virus which affected his heart at the age of 27 years old in April this year.

Friends of ours gave birth to their precious first child, a beautiful daughter, and she passed away at 6 days old - today - father's day.

I know death is a hard thing to face, especially of people so young. I know both of these special people will be with our Father in heaven. I know they are now free of pain, sadness and fear. All these things I know.

Yet it is still a very hard thing to accept. I don't understand why I am struggling to accept these sad circumstances. I guess it is all head knowledge and it is having a hard time connecting with my heart. I can't get my mind around the fact that I will never see Russell's smiling face again or catch up with him next time we are in our home town. I can't understand that he just doesn't exist any more.

I seek God for answers. I know that somehow this will all work out for His glory. But I don't understand it.

How do you comfort those who grieve? What words can you say to the fiancé left behind and the parents whose hearts are broken. All the things that are on my heart seem so cliché.

"I'm praying for you"
"They are in a better place"
"I'm so sorry for your loss"

None of it seems enough. And that's because it isn't. It can't change the fact that they have a reason to grieve.

The only thing I can do is be there. Be there when they struggle to accept it themselves. Be there for a shoulder to cry on. Be there to just listen. Be there to understand that it will take time to get up and walk steadily again. Just be there. As cliché as that is.

My heart has broken this year. I'm learning to deal with that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baby Beanie Hat Tutorial

A friend of ours gave birth a few weeks prematurely recently to a beautiful 4lb 9oz baby girl. I have a feeling her surprise early arrival (she is doing well though) will mean that she won't be able to fit many of the baby clothes her parents have prepared for her and so decided to make her a little hat for starters and perhaps this will be joined tomorrow by a matching baby outfit... depends on how my little munchkin is tomorrow :)

scissors, thread, sewing machine
approx 40cm x 30cm of stretch cotton knit fabric - eg t-shirt fabric

I considered doing a refashion of an old t-shirt for this as I am currently on a re-fashion high but I didn't have anything girly or pink enough (go figure!).

To create a template either model it off a baby hat you already have or use a saucer to trace a semi circle and then add about 4 inches of straight fabric at the bottom as you will be turning it under. Place it on your fabric making sure that the fabric is able to be stretched sideways rather than up and down. This is important - it will help your hat stretch to fit bub's head. When your template is placed as it is in the picture your fabric with stretch left to right. Cut out 2.

Now you have your two pieces....

Place them right sides together lining up all edges.

Sew around the edge with a 1/4' seam leaving the bottom straight edge open.

At this point if you like you could overlock your seam. I don't really deem this necessary on this project as you are working with knit fabric and it won't fray. Fold up the open edge to the mark as indicated in the pattern.

Sew around where you folded your straight edge up to. This will keep it in place. NOTE: This is not the bottom of your hat but rather about half way up where your previous edge now has been folded up to.

Turn inside out. You can see where my stitching from the previous step is part way up the hat.

Fold you bottom edge up to the sewn line making sure to fold towards the outside of the hat.

Almost done! Iron your little fold rim to make sure it sits flat and perfect.

With a needle and thread stitch a few stitches over top of each other at each side to hold the rim in place. I managed to make my stitches so small I needed an arrow to show you where they are (that and the fact that my camera seemed to be having trouble focusing!)

And you are done! Since I don't have a newborn model at the moment (here's hoping the stalk will bring one soon!) James' teddy has offered to do the job - although he wasn't too happy about wearing pink....

I plan to embellish my little hat with a fabric flower (stay tuned for the tutorial!). You could also do a nice button (making sure its sewn on nice and tight so little hands don't pull it off) or sew some ric-rac around it... the possibilities are all there for you to imagine!