Wednesday, September 28, 2011

tread lightly: skin care

My little one developed a sore, red, dribbly rash on her face over the last couple of weeks. Changing laundry detergent helped, but I also wanted something immediate to soothe her poor sore skin. I lamented to my child & community nurse last visit that several commercial potions and lotions I had tried hadn't worked. The only one with some short-term success was one containing "soothing oatmeal" along with several other chemicals. So she suggested just oatmeal. In the bath. *blink*. Just put it in a stocking and kind of swish it around, she said. Too embarrassed to ask if oatmeal was different to rolled oats, I toddled home.

But you know, I gave it a go. With rolled oats, because that's what I had in the cupboard. And it worked! I had to kind of squish the soggy oats in the stocking to make the 'milk' come out. I also stopped using any other products, in case she was reacting to them, or they were further irritating the rash. The redness didn't miraculously disappear, but over the next few hours it calmed down. I've even taken to making a mini-pot with warm water and just dabbing it on the skin with my finger. So there you go...oatmeal bath for soothing rashy skin!

Next on the agenda, much to my darling's absolute mortification is my Great Natural Deodorant Challenge. I am currently trying the first of two recipes, and am quite surprised by the results!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

meaningful gift: flowery outfit

Hands up who loves a twirly skirt? I do, and I hope my friend's gorgeous little daughter liked hers, too. She turned two this week, so I made her a springy skirt, prettied up a white tee-shirt with matching self-covered buttons and even made a matching hair clip.

Details: Fabrics from Spotlight, tee from Big W.
Followed the tutorial for the Market Skirt at made
Hair clip inspired by loveliness spied here while visiting creative spaces
There are a few more of these sets on the cards in the next couple of weeks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

found: and it was all yellow

A happy little teapot in my favourite colour, and a spicy linen tea-towel in browns, oranges and yellow too. I was able to sit down and share a cuppa with an old friend over the weekend. I'm a bit sad that this pot probably won't see many sessions with lovely friends, for a little while, anyway. One of the only drawbacks of moving away!
Oggling other lovely finds here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

meaningful gift: birthday hero

An invitation to a birthday party(on a Friday arvo- lovely, clever parents!).
 Some super green shiny fabric, my sewing machine and about 45 minutes.
 Our first handmade gift for a school friend.
I felt just a little bit sick taking my boy to the party with his mum-made present for the birthday boy. Is taking handmade a form of social suicide? I thought I was oh-so-clever until self doubt crept in. I wonder if the birthday boy liked it?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

in stitches. little spring

I have been having a little trouble finding great vintage sheets for my stash. But pillowcases, I've found stacks! I also absent-mindedly threw a roll of shirring elastic into my basket a few months ago. This weekend, the two came together in a beautiful epiphany. I present you: my



 Want to make one? Go on, it's easy. You can do it.
You will need:
  • a lovely pillowcase from an op shop, freshly washed
  • a roll of shirring elastic
  • some pretty ribbon
  • some sewing thread
  • a sewing machine
  • some elastic for the waistband- half a metre would be plenty, I used 1cm wide stuff
  • scissors
1. Lay a dress that fits your baby on the folded end of the pillowcase, to get an idea of the length and width you need. Cut the excess fabric away. This job is made more delightful if you say "chomp, chomp, chomp" as you cut. Don't cut the folded side! You should end up with a long rectangle.

2. Do a very nice little rolled hem on both the long sides of your rectangle. 

3. Roll some shirring elastic onto an empty bobbin. Not too loose, not too tight. Got it?

4. Using the elastic in the bobbin and thread in the top, sew a few rows of straight stitch. It's worth having a practice with your machine first. I found that increasing the tension and using a smallish stitch length worked for me. A distance of about 1.5cm between the rows looked good to me.

5. With right sides together, sew the side seam (the short sides of the rectangle). Finish with a zig-zag stitch, or overlock if you are fancy.

6. Sew some lengths of ribbon to the front and back.

7. Marvel at the cuteness of chubby baby shoulders.

Seriously. Marvel.

And if you want to, you could make a little pair of bloomers from the leftovers. I followed this tutorial for a diaper cover, only instead of elastic casing for the legs, I used the shirring elastic in the bobbin on a tiny roll hem.
I hope you have a go, really so easy. I am now considering adding shirring elastic to all manner of fabrics. Tea towels?
more creative spaces here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

tread lightly

To look at me, you wouldn't know that a hippy-greenie lurks beneath the surface. I am really, really suburban. But then we moved near this

(aah. so looking forward to summer really hitting)
and watched some of these guys make their merry way, quite literally, past our doorstep.
(picture from here)
Well, almost. We aren't quite posh enough to live on the water. But we did do some crazy shenanigan driving following a whale family up the coast, stopping at lookouts and beaches.

Now don't get me wrong, I've bought my share of Enyo cloths and had a go at scrubbing grout with baking soda. But in my deeply conditioned brain, clean isn't clean unless it burns your nostril hairs. The stronger the chemicals, the better. "Household Strength"- bah! Pass me the Hospital Grade. Just put on some gloves first. And maybe use some tongs. But I am changing. I am worried. I have concerns about the chemicals my family is ingesting, and the ones I am sending out for others to ingest.

So, I am on a mini-mission. To check out gentler products for the home.

First on my list: Laundry detergents.

Freshly washed clothes should smell freshly washed, like the artificial smell of "Fresh Linen" or "Wild Frangipani". I don't buy the super expensive detergents, I usually use a powder, and like to buy the same one because I like the smell. Summer Breeze I believe. I use fabric softener. I've bought the no-phosphate types for a long time because I used to put the grey water out onto the lawn, in a vain attempt to soften the clay soil in the suburbs.

Last week, the baby girl had some sensitive skin rash thing on her face. Perhaps it's the laundry powder! thought I, and into the shopping trolley I put these:
Picked up in Coles as part of my normal shopping, cool. Reasonably priced- in fact a bit cheaper per wash than my usual stuff, cooler. And it works, and smells like fresh laundry. Kid's clothes, my sweaty walking clothes, some cloth nappies, towels, everything came out like clean laundry! I'm happy. Because I didn't have to go to a great deal of trouble or expense to make a more gentle choice. I also like the gigantic bulk pack and the tap. It reminds me of a box of wine.

If you want to find out more about this particular brand, you can go here, and watch that ad.

And Jodi has some lovely organic, gentle things for bubs up for grabs at her place.

Oh. and the baby girl's rash? Gone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

meaningful gift: quilt for abigail

Aaah, my beautiful little niece! Much like my baby sister and I, our daughters are opposites. One olive-skinned, dark haired, the other fair of hair and complexion. I bought the fabrics for this precious bundle weeks before either girl was born, and have taken a long time to finish the quilt.Technical notes: 100% cotton fabrics from Spotlight, with cotton batting. I am lazy, so turned over the backing to make the purple edge. I adapted the Crayon Box Quilt by Rae (on Sew Mama Sew) and cut the 7inch sqaures into four smaller squares, instead of triangles. I like it. I also like the kind of whimsical quilting, which was done on the machine, without a walking foot. Because I don't have one.

Anyway, I think my sis liked it, and I feel good for giving something meaningful!

I am also checking out the creative spaces over here.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a vintage rainbow

...came to grace my front doorstep today.
 Do you see your pieces, lovely scrap fairies? Thank you. And thank you to the delightful Kel, who organised the swap- you are gorgeous!

 I have been eagerly awaiting this assemblage of pretties to make this little poppet's quilt. And perhaps some pretty bunting too. And some scrap dollies for all the little girls we know. And maybe a lovely apron for me. Can't wait to start!

Monday, September 5, 2011

sometimes it's awesome when the car breaks down

...because that means you have to walk the boy to school, and pick him up. And that means
  • you get the dogs out for a run
  • you get some great exercise
  • you clean out the pouch on the pram, finding two milky ways, a space food stick and book club catalogues from approximately 18 months ago
  • you can practice a little mindfulness meditation (I am walking. I am walking.)
  • you get to walk along a gorgeous beach
  • you can stop and have a leisurely chat at the bakery
  • you can meet the most striking Great Dane ever
  • you can be told by several people "Gee. You have your hands full!", and feel sorry for them, that they don't have their hands full
  • a kind man with a surfboard will tell you what a great job you are doing
  • your baby girl will snuggle up comfortably in the carrier
  • there are at least two hours where the two-year-old TV addict won't be whining about I watcha car doos mummy?
  • you will sit on a cool sandstone rock under a tree and feed the baby while the middle boy plays at the park
  • you will realise, yet again, how much you love it here, and vow to do it again tomorrow.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

weekly gratitude

Five images, representing gratitude for simple things in my life.
 Sharing this parenting gig with a loving man, awesome daddy to my babies.

 My Poppi. You can't beat a grandfather's unconditional love, can you?

A lifetime of gratitude for my dad.
 For long, important conversations; Sunday morning bike rides; family holidays and adventures.

Fishing with my Pop.

Much love, and more thanks than I can put into words, to the dads and grandfathers in my life!

Joining in with the grateful-go-round, this week at the Beetle Shack!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

found on friday: august

August was wonderful for feeding my rekindled op-shop fascination. I think I just love peeking into the lives of others. Finding strange objects and making up stories. Lots of times I just like to see these objects, not necessarily own them.

Like the decor wine cask cooler with matching plastic wine goblets. I imagined a very fashionable 1980's summer pool party, mum with a spiral perm, kids riding pool ponies. Or the super-cool picnic set I found, which was inspired by air-travel technology. Four stacking plates, which you loaded with a meal, then put in the cooling or heating box. To be ready when you arrived at your picnic spot.

Anyway, here are some lovely findings from the past few weeks:
 A vintage snakes 'n' ladders game, complete with moral lessons. Displaying vanity? Down the snake you go to loneliness. Showing kindness? Up the ladder to you go.
 This romper with veggie patch design was too cute to leave there, even though it probably won't fit the small girl until next Autumn!
Buy of the month: two bedsides, seen here in the process of making nicer. A lick of nice white paint and a silver spray to the handles, and now they are a little shabby beach thankyouverymuch.

Lots of fun had shopping.

meaningful giving: father's day edition

I saw my lovely Dad early this year, and presented him with this giftInside is a framed photo of my sis and I holding our new baby girls born in May and June. My Dad adores photos. I recently scanned the entire collection of family photos he took with an SLR camera. You know, with actual film in it. And he has some skills. The frame I upcycled from an oppy. Also in there was a funky t-shirt, which I did buy new. I'm still giving myself credit on the challenge for this one though, because a) I bought it before starting the challenge, and b) it's made of organic cotton, in Australia. So well done me. And see how I wrapped the gift in an oppy tie? Cool, huh?

Now, I'm on the search for something to make with my kids for the husband. Here are some things I've been checking out around the interwebs: from here

from here. I like this idea, for my guy who commutes 3 hours every day. He goes to the same place though, so maybe a mix tape instead of maps?

yum. from here.

you can buy these here. Nice.

I do love to love with food, so there will probaby be some of these

recipe here

and more than likely a healthy dose of these

the buttermilk makes them good. recipe right here.
What are your plans for a meaningful father's day gift? Link me up if you have something I can steal take inspiration from!



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