Tag Archives: bag

The Aftermath

My house is quiet and peaceful, the sun is shining, and the next two weeks are stretching out in front of me in a sea of unplanned possibility. What a treat!

I hope that your Christmas celebrations were full of joy. I was very fortunate and am happy to report that my day was just lovely. Our Christmas Eve celebrations with our friends went well and both desserts were successes! (More to follow on that soon!) The chicks were well behaved, and reminded me about leaving food for Santa, hanging stockings, etc. The boy gave me an early Christmas present, including a drum roll to announce it, by not just tidying his bedroom, but making his bed, arranging all his soft toys in lines on the bed, his shoes in his cupboard and putting his dirty clothes in the basket. It might sound like a small thing, but he was so excited to be doing such a good job and to have done it so well, that it was a gorgeous gift!

We read the Nativity story and talked about what it must have been like for the shepherds to see a heavenly host of angels singing and how freaked out they must have been (I love the perspective of children!). And then I had my second special gift – an uninterrupted night of sleep, with no children trying to wake me until 6.30am! I managed to stay in bed until 6.45am which makes it officially a two hour better sleep-in than last year! We had a lovely morning with presents, sharing, Lego building, Wii playing and laughing before I took them to their father’s house where they spent the afternoon and evening in great happiness. I spent the afternoon and early evening with friends at their house and had the most delightfully relaxing, happy day. Nothing overboard in food (although the Christmas trifle was a thing of great beauty and taste!) or alcohol (although a few champagnes were enjoyed a lot) and just lovely time being with friends. I talked to my parents on the phone for an hour and received the reports of the day for the rest of my family who were gathered in New Zealand and was happy to hear that they also had a lovely day.

Which means that gifts have been delivered, and the few that I remembered to photograph can now be shared! After I made the boy a hat for his birthday Mum commented that a hat would be a nice present for my father, and that if it could incorporate some orange, in honour of his Dutch heritage, that would be great. So this is the result! He informs me that it is a snug fit, which suits him as it won’t blow off easily.

012d9e7dd204919c84a4ee70c657936fe4ec312488

My parents have recently acquired a campervan/motorhome and are very excited about the trips they will do in it. The chicks and I decided that we needed to make some gifts for the motorhome, so we used some of the middle chick’s new fruity fabric design and made placemats and a tea towel for the van. We had also wanted to make them some cushion covers for the van but time constraints meant that I only managed to make one – but I think it is pretty cute, so will have to try for another one to match it for them!

caravan

I also made a present for my grandmother, Oma.  She will be 98 in February.  She has 10 children, about 24  grandchildren, and (I think) 23 great-grandchildren.  She was never very tall but she shrinks further every year, and yet her heart, her energy, her love for us all, and her sharp mind, never shrinks.  When I was talking to my ex-husband about having a second child he was worried whether we could love another child as much as we loved our first one.  I was able to illustrate that love is not finite by using Oma as an example.  Each of her 10 children knew that they were loved, and that she knew them as an individual, not as one of a group.   So when she requested a bag to carry when she is going out to play cards or mah-jong, or on a day trip I was delighted.  Then I heard her instructions were that it was not to be an ‘old-lady bag’ and she would like something in pinks and blues, with short handles, and I was further delighted, because that very statement sums up my Oma.  She doesn’t want an ‘old-lady’ bag, because she still doesn’t feel like an old lady.  So this is what I made for her, and what my parents delivered to her earlier in the week on my behalf.

Omabag

I am told that she likes it (which makes me very happy) and when I posted the image on my facebook page I received a lot of positive feedback, so I am thinking of making a few more in this style and calling them the “Oma bag”!

The aftermath of Christmas can often be a let down, but for me, having kept our Christmas simple, it is just lovely.  I am pottering around the house tidying up, putting the children’s presents that they left here in their rooms for their return, deciding which leftover dessert I will have for lunch (so, so bad I know!) and reading some books that Santa brought me.

Now – before I sign off I have to share the desserts that I made.  I have no photographs (of course!) but do have recipe links to share.  The first was Salted butter caramel ice-cream.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  It is soooooo good.  Although it required a bit of standing at the stove stirring and worrying about whether I was going to burn the caramel, by following the instructions it turned out well and was declared a hit by adults, and two of the chicks.  (Which meant more for the adults!)  The recipe is by David Lebovitz and includes a link to tips on making caramel – great, clear instructions, and with a delicious result!

Of course, the recipe calls for 5 egg yolks, so that meant that I had 5 egg whites to use.  The solution?  The traditional Australian/New Zealand (there is great debate about which country it belongs to) dessert – Pavlova.  The crispy outer meringue with the gooey inside, whipped cream on top, and fresh fruit (mango and passionfruit in our case) on top of that, is a favourite in our household.  The recipe that I use, and that has never failed me, is by Donna Hay.

I have one slice of pavlova left, half a tub of the salted caramel icecream and a serving of the trifle made by Mrs B for our lunch yesterday.  The best bit?  I don’t have to share it with anyone!!

I hope that your Christmas aftermath is a relaxing happy one and that are also enjoying some delicious leftovers as you spend time doing things that you like.

 

Advertisements

Explosions and goo – a science party!

Today heralded the middle chick’s birthday party. She and I decided, with the help of Pinterest, to have a mad scientist’s party. I am exhausted, but she reports that it was the best party ever, and her friends were all very excited by it all. The preparations involved a trip to Costco at midday on Saturday – a mistake I will NEVER make again. However this morning, a bizarre thing happened, and we were ready for the guests to arrive half an hour before the appointed time. This has never happened before! The difference this time? The three chicks helped. Yes – you read correctly. They helped! There was assistance galore from the two girls, and even a modicum of following instructions from the boy. It truly was miraculous!

The explosions I hear you ask?

I warned the little scientists that the nature of experiments meant that some might not work. The first experiment – making elephant toothpaste – was a bit of a fizzer. But not in the way that we expected. Instead of our mixture foaming up and out of the bottle, it slowly fizzed and rose over half an hours, then slowly subsided. A good lesson in not always succeeding! We used the instructions from Preschool Powol Packets but don’t be dissuaded by the fact that ours didn’t work – I was using 3% hydrogen peroxide and they recommended at least 6%.

Next we made time bombs – vinegar and water in a bag, then added baking soda in a folded piece of paper towel, sealed it and waited. We probably went a bit overboard on the papertowel so they took a while – but the suspense was delicious! And they DID explode!  We found the instructions at Geeks Raising Geeks .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To counteract the delayed gratification experiment, the next one involved instant effects. The ingredients? Diet Coke and Mentos. I read about this on a number of sites after the middle chick requested it. The main trick with this one is to get the original Mentos, and drop them in at the same time if possible. We made a paper tube and had a piece of paper that was pulled out to drop the Mentos in. On the first go we used 4 Mentos. Second time round we used 10. For the third bottle we used 14. Each time the eruption was larger with more Mentos. The kids loved it – smiles, amazement and delight!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eruption number 2 (10 Mentos)

After a bit of refuelling with snacks the next experiment was making bouncy rubber balls. No photos unfortunately but they did enjoy the sticky-ness that turned into bouncing balls. Only a couple of failed experiments with this – the birthday girl and my boy – one had the mixture too dry and the other too wet! The recipe for these was from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

The final experiment? Making their own “Lava Lamps”. We found the instructions at SL Smith Photography. The ingredient that made them bubble was Alka Seltzer. I had planned to send them home with a tablet each to show their families but they had so much fun doing it at the party that the tablets were all used up. I suspect that any brand of fizzing or effervescent tablet would work. Again there was much oohing and aahing.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lots of fun and only a bit exhausting for the hostess! Luckily my beautiful friend Ms C stayed to assist with the festivities – what a godsend! Although it went well I think it might be a while before I decide to host another party at home!

The rest of the week has been a return to our routine. I have been back at work and the chicks back at school. The boy has had a good week – the strategies that the school and I agreed on appear to have worked so far. With the good weather they have all been riding to and from school with Miss N supervising – it took a few days for them to settle down for her, but now they seem to have it sorted. I have enjoyed the return to my office and my team. It is busy, but having had my time to rest, I have been able to jump back in with energy.

I did manage a little bit of sewing still – the bag that I posted earlier in the week, plus a few little zipped pouches using laminated cotton for the outer. Then, thanks to the request for a pattern from the lovely Meredithe at Pomegranate and Chintz I decide to make another cross body bag but to photograph each step so that I can write a tutorial for it for you! The photos are done – now I need to sit down and write the instructions!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hopefully later in the week……. However before that can happen I will need to buy a new keyboard – after the party one of the chicks helped themselves to some of the lemonade we had purchased for an experiment that wasn’t performed (inflating balloons by tipping ‘Nerds’ into soft drink) and spilt some on the keyboard. The result several hours later? A ‘d’ key and ‘k’ key that are sticking (I have spent most of this post backspacing after each word ending in ‘d’!!

I hope that you are all safe and well. There are terrible bushfires in New South Wales and more weather that will create difficulties for the fire fighters, so my prayers are with them all, and with those who have lost their homes already this week. It is a very early start to our fire season, so I am very grateful that my father did clean my gutters a couple of weeks ago! Thanks Dad!!

Be safe everyone.

The holiday is over. The chicks are back in the nest, ready to return to school tomorrow. While I am delighted that they are back, healthy and happy, I did like my little break while they were away! The chance to only worry about me was truly like a holiday. So today we are back to the usual Sunday night routine. The eldest chick has baked cookies for their morning tea at school this week, the clean laundry pile is threatening to hide half the family room, and I am turning my head to the week ahead and trying to recall what I want to share about the week just past.
One thing that I can report is that we have returned to Geocaching after a long, unintentional break. I introduced one of my colleagues to it a couple of weeks ago. He took his family away on holiday and found 23 caches in one week. After one year we were only sitting on 46! Being the competitive creature that I am…..that was enough to spur me on. So while on the road trip to collect the chicks yesterday we found three (and searched in vain for a fourth). Today we went for a walk, with some friends, up the mountain that we live on and found three more. Given that there was a threat of snow and the temperature didn’t get above 6 degrees C, you might start to get a picture of how determined I am to keep ahead of him!! We haven’t stayed true to our aim of achieving 365 this year, but staying ahead of him should keep us going for a while! One of the caches we found yesterday was a delight. It contained ‘licences’ including the laminating pouches for them. The chicks are so proud to now be licensed as follows:

I do hereby grant myself permission to use multi-million dollar military satellites to find hidden Tupperware.  Furthermore I certify that this license is issued in accordance with no known legal requirements in any jurisdiction whatsoever.  This license expires with its owner.

My plan for the time while the children were away was to sew, sew, sew. Although I don’t regret the things I did do (a story for another day) I didn’t get to sew very much. So I set myself a target, (and told my Facebook followers to make myself accountable) that I had to make one colourful bag this weekend. I have done it! And once again I feel like my groove is coming back as a result!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The return of my chicks has been a little confronting in some respects. I have debated writing about this for a while, but think that to not do so leaves an unexplained gap. Everything in our life is so intertwined and so much results from the issues of my chick, that I think it is better to write about it than to not.

Having a diagnosis for my chick with ‘issues’ just before they went away means that I have had time to think about the implications, to research the options, and to contemplate it all in isolation. It also meant that I have had time to doubt the diagnosis, to think that maybe we (me, teachers, doctors, etc) have all been over-reacting and that I haven’t tried enough, or used enough strategies, or been a good enough parent, or, or, or……… But upon their return, with my eyes wider open, I can see that the professionals are right. My boy, who I describe as all boy, who is always on the go…..is really always on the go. He climbs the door-frames, can’t sit still on the couch, can’t play without talking non-stop, can’t shift his focus to listen to me, including to stop stepping out in front of cars on the road. He gets one idea in his head and can’t be shifted from it, and he moves, non-stop, even in his sleep. My boy, my beautiful boy, who comes into bed in the morning and answers my question of ‘what are you doing’ with “Coming to sleep with you Mummy because I love you”, my boy who loves hugs, and animals, and his family and his friends, my boy has Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder. There. I have said it out loud.

I love him. I love him with my whole being. But he exhausts me. And I am still not sure how I have managed to care for him for nearly 7 years without realising that this was more than a behavioural reaction to his father’s absence, or because I work full time, or because he went to daycare, or because he has anxiety issues, or because his diet needs improving, or, or, or…… That this is biological, and not a minor glitch.

So, after struggling for 20 months, he has started on the prescribed medication today. I was so scared. I thought it would change my boy and stop him being the boy that I know and love. But I need to give him a chance to sit in class for a whole day. To not be labelled the ‘bad’ kid. To learn and succeed. With much trepidation I started……….and nothing happened!! We are starting on a low dose and building, in accordance with the doctor’s instructions, so I expect that there will be some gradual effects. However after being so worried and feeling so guilty and alone this morning, it was almost a disappointment that there was no effect! Talk about a very silly mother! I will persevere and keep loving him and advocating for him and trying to balance his needs against those of his sisters who have suffered so much as a result of the issues we have faced over the last year or two. And I will keep sewing, and making things, and staying as calm as possible. He has a long life ahead of him and we have much to do in order to ensure that it is a good and happy life. I predict many, many bags being sewn over the next few years!!

This week starts off with the hope of things to come, of great opportunities, of colour and creativity, and of love and strength. In other words, back to normal in the nest! I hope that you have a wonderful start to your week, wherever you are.

Friday Finds – a list of 23 free tutorials and patterns to make Messenger Bags

I have decided that today is a good day to make a list of the patterns for Messenger Bags that I have collected. I love messenger bags – they can be as informal and hippie, or formal and suitable for office attire as you like. It all depends on the fabric that you choose and the attitude with which you wear it! They are great as nappy (or diaper if you are American) bags, good for students, for travelling, and for carrying a large amount of ‘stuff’, if yours is anything like mine! They are good for slinging across your body when you are on your bike, or need to be hands free, and can have as many pockets as you like.

I also like the fact that a messenger bag lends itself beautifully to different forms of decoration. You can add applique, feature fabrics, and stand out linings. There are so many options!

Here is the first one I ever made, based on the great pattern by Larissa at mmmcraft.  It was a birthday gift for my beautiful mother, a year ago!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the one that I currently use, and that often features in my photos as my ‘mascot’ when I travel!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   bag_waterfront

This is one that I have currently listed in my shop, made using my own pattern (which I will one day draw up a tutorial for!! Hmmmm…. how many weeks in a row do you think I will make that promise before I actually write up the tutorial??).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here is the list of tutorials for you to try, so that you can make a great messenger bag of your own, to reflect your own style!

Basic Messenger Bag – mmmcrafts

Messenger Bag – No Time to Sew 

Mens Shirt Messenger Bag – Crafty CPA

Messenger Bag – Alida Makes 

CMB1Push the Envelope – Weekend Designer

Patternless Messenger Bag – Fabricworm 

Messenger Bag – Obsessive Crafting Disorder

Messenger Bag – All People Quilt

Laminated Messenger Bag – Sew Can Do

Sun Sea Patchwork Messenger Bag – Sew Mama Sew 

Messenger Bag – Emmi Grace and Me

Messenger Bag – Blue Bird Baby New messenger bag tutorial!!

Messenger Bag with Zip Top – Heart of Mary

Reversible Messenger Bag – Crazy Little Projects

Boxy Messenger Bag – Pick Up Some Creativity

32 Minute Messenger Bag – Diary of a Quilter 

Tote to Messenger Bag Tutorial – Betz White

A little birdie told me Messenger Bag – Mommy by Day Crafter by Night

Not so Big Messenger Bag – Sew Sweetness

Messenger Bag Tutorial – Crazy Little Projects

Kids Messenger Bag – Zaaberry

DSC_1963Messenger Bag with ipad pocket – New Green Mama

Please do let me know if you use any of the patterns, and how you go!!

Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Inspiration and Quirkiness

So much to report this weekend!! I have spent the last two days having lightbulbs pop in my mind – such a buzz!

The Right Brain Creative Business planning course, facilitated by Mikaela Danvers from Canberra Creatives was an incredible experience. I highly recommend participating in one of these courses if you are a creative type and want to map out a plan to build, establish or develop a business. Those of us there had goals ranging from having a first sale online to building a business with a 6 figure turnover. We came from quite diverse business endeavours and yet found so many links between our visions! (I now know who to go to in order to have a logo designed, stationery designed, children’s parties catered for, items upcycled, jewellery individually designed, photographs taken, and my overall health coached!!)

There were some amazing activities throughout the day that had my brain popping with ideas, then refining them, examining them, brainstorming with the group and filtering out the gems. Just the suggestions from the group alone have given me practical ideas for streamlining my processes, outsourcing other parts, and planning new ‘lines’. I have started to build the visual depiction of the vision that I have formed through this process but it is very much a work in progress at this point. The first part of it is here – in my first ever Instagram post! (Another product of the encouragement of my fellow workshoppers!) (If you want to follow me on Instagram then you will find me at #alittlebirdmademe !!)

I have some activities that I have assigned myself for the next couple of weeks, and will be accountable to the group, so will share my progress with you as I go (without too much boring detail!) I have to do a lot of research into my market, my competitors, my aspirational point, etc. So much fun to be had!

The other lovely part of this is that I have been able to share my excitement/vision/buzz with friends and family over the last day and they have added to my knowledge banks. One with a suggestion for a new product (that is so logical I can’t believe I never thought of it!!), another with some added material and mantras to include (such a great inner circle advisor!) and my parents with wonderful encouragement to just keep playing with the ideas and enjoying the journey. One of the biggest benefits in this process, and some other activities over the last week, has been a journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation. Being reminded of my strengths, my unique values and what makes me stand out from the crowd has been a joyous journey.

One of my discoveries that I am adopting as an affirmation is that being ‘quirky’ is a compliment. Standing out for being ‘different’ is a gift, not a burden to be carried, in this case. I am happily embracing my quirkiness and celebrating my differences – these are the things that will help me stand out from others in identifying my perfect customer and my marketing strategies.

Phew! After all the brainstorming and excitement of yesterday, followed by dinner, lunch and then afternoon tea with friends to allow for de-briefing, no sewing occurred. And that is okay. However I do have a photo of a bag I finished a few days ago to share with you. This one, and the Dr Who bag are both in the shop now.

Now to start the work week, do my homework from the course, start on my action plan, fit in a bit of sewing and then drive down to the farm (6 hours away) to collect the chicks and bring them back. Feeling so invigorated and inspired and happily quirky, the week is sure to be great! I hope that your week is full of inspiration and is appropriately quirky.

‘Right brain thinking’ preparation

Ah…..the weekend is here! This week seems to have flown by in some respects, and dawdled in others! But on a Friday night, slipping into comfortable clothes, listening to my music without complaints from the children about my singing (heathens that they are) and contemplating which of my collected links I will share with you, I have to say that I do love weekends! Two days of ‘free’ time spreading out before me! Ah the joy!

Before I start on my collection for tonight I thought I would share with you my preparation for the Right Brain business planning course that I am doing tomorrow. (The details are in the link so I am just going to share my thoughts on it here rather than try to explain it!!) I needed to ask some people who I trust for three words that describe me, and three words that describe my ‘business’. So I duly sent off an email to a small selection of my trusted friends and family. (And recognised how lucky I am that the list is so long that I had choices to make!) The answers have been intriguing to read. None have been confronting, but some have provoked thought, which is a great start to creating a plan!

I am also meant to be gathering visual aids to help me visualise what I want to do with my business. Hmmmm….. I keep seeing a lot of white in my minds eye for this one. Not so much ‘nothing’ as a lot of clean and empty surfaces. So I started to chat to friends and colleagues, and slowly over the course of the day I have started to add some colour to the white. I don’t have the actual images yet but by the time I get to the course I think I will have some good ideas to add to my visual aids.

I have started to do the ‘dreaming’ part of visualising… you know – what if I could do anything I want? What would my business look like? That part is fun – imagining colours, people, products, spaces, marketing……

As tomorrow and the start of the course draws nearer I am getting a bit excited. A whole day to dedicate to thinking about me and my business. What luxury! (I have also been practising saying ‘my business’ so that I start to think of it this way instead of just ‘my sewing’!!)

Other things that have spurred on my excitement over the last 24 hours have included one of my bags featuring on the front page of Etsy, and one of my treasuries featuring!  (Oh – and I worked out how to take screen shots!)

Etsy front page

Untitled

While writing this I have decided to break with my usual convention, and will add my Friday night finds in a separate post, so that this one can just be my musings at the end of the week and on the brink of a new adventure.

This means that I can share with you that I finished a couple of the bags that I started earlier in the week. I haven’t taken the ‘shop’ photos with great daylight yet (the perils of working in an office during winter – dark in the morning and dark at night!) but if you will forgive the use of flash, here are some images of the Dr Who bag completed!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can also share that the chicks are having a ball on their grandparent’s farm. Yesterday they went up to the snow and went tobogganing. They have been fishing, playing in the mud, helping with the animals, and generally having a great time. The middle chick has conceived a plan to build an incubator to hatch some duck eggs from her aunt’s farm. I think I have dissuaded her for now (given that we don’t live on a farm and already have 5 chickens!) but I love her enthusiasm and the fact that she had researched how to do it before calling to ask me. The eldest chick has called a lot, just to check in and say hi. So grown up and so gorgeous. The boy has been very busy and reluctant to stop his activities to talk on the phone, but when he does he asks “How have you been Mum?”. Just delightful from a 6 year old! I do miss them, but know that I need this time.

For those of you who read my post a few weeks ago about questioning my judgement as a parent I can share that the professionals agreed with me that that particular diagnosis didn’t fit my chick. The paediatrician then suggested that we explore another diagnosis and the school and I again completed screening questionnaires. This time round we were both on the same page. So it appears that we are getting closer to have answers about how to support my chick. Any sort of medical diagnosis that will affect your child for the rest of their life is a bit confronting. I, and my ex-husband, are focussing on the fact that we now know what the issue is, and what the treatment/strategy/plan will look like. And hopefully by identifying it so early in a young life we will be able to build strategies to get through life better than a later diagnosis. There are silver linings. And of course, I get to breathe a sigh of relief that I do have decent judgement when it comes to my children!

Have a great weekend! I hope that you get some time to yourself, to focus on you and what you want to plan in your life, whatever it might be!

Nurturing the muse (or just attempting sanity)

Sunday night in the nest is always a little chaotic. I try to hold on to the freedom of the weekend as long as possible, and then reality sets in at about 6pm and I remember that I need to clean up from that very ‘freedom’, prepare for the week ahead, load my photos, list any new items, write this blog entry, put clean sheets on the stripped beds, sign notes for school, feed the dog, and tackle Mount Washmore (which is really Mount Foldmore but is still referred to as Washmore – a teetering pile of clean clothes, sheets, towels, school uniforms, sports uniforms, and generally everything that will be needed urgently first thing tomorrow morning if I don’t fold and sort it tonight.)

In case I haven’t said this before, I LOVE weekends. After years of being a busy social butterfly I am now the complete opposite and work very hard to keep weekends as free from commitments as possible. Sports fixtures and birthday parties are about the extent of it. When I find myself with a day with no ‘bookings’, instead of rushing off to ring my friends to see who is free to go off on some wild adventure with multiple children in tow, these days I stay very quiet about it and inwardly breathe out at the thought of a day where I don’t have to be anywhere at any time.  Which means that I have time to sit, have a cup of coffee and take in the sight of hot air balloons drifting past the back of my porch, looking like musical notes against the electric wires.  (I was feeling a bit poetic this morning!)

Of course I love it when I do catch up with my friends, and think ‘we should do this more often’ – there is just no pleasing some people – but the reason for keeping weekends as simple as possible is that it is part of my plan to keep myself sane (or on bad days – to attempt for sanity!) I suspect that it also contributes to nurturing my creative muse, mojo, or whatever you want to call it! Between a busy office during the week, lots of after school commitments with the children, and all the other busy ‘stuff’ that just comes from being a family, if I don’t carve out some hours for myself on the weekend, then I start to disappear.

Luckily this weekend had a good balance of sports and parties – only one of each – and great weather, so I was able to do lots of thinking, planning and some sewing. I felt rotten on Saturday and thought I was getting another cold, but a bit of resting seemed to do the trick. I used the resting time to make lists. Lists of the things I want to make, lists of the things I want to make right now, lists of the things I could make if I suddenly had a time-turner and could be in two places at once, and then, lists of the supplies I ‘need’ to buy. It was a long list of lists. The inability to do everything I want, all at the same time, can be a little overwhelming, so I chunked it down. The end result? Two overnight bags from the great pattern I bought at the beginning of the year from Gingercake.  One with some lovely fabric I received from Spoonflower earlier this week…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And the other with some divine retro fabric I bought a few weeks ago….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am quite happy with them.  I also intend to make a travel pack to go with them – a zip up pouch and a draw-string bag, but the reality of life means that that might not happen for a day or two….

During the week I made the bag to go with the pouch I posted on Wednesday – a custom order for a colleague at work.  Again I included an adjustable strap – will definitely be making more of those!

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of the other ideas I am itching to start on?  A series of appliqued t-shirts, some travel bag sets, some cushion covers, some hats, hot water bottle covers, skirts, pillowcases, ipad covers…..  sheesh!  You can see why my brain is buzzing!

Taking one thing at a time…… have a look at this delightful offering from Spoonflower….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

one of my friends, immediately upon seeing it on Facebook, asked for scatter cushions.  She has a fantastic eye!  I had just been sitting there admiring it and wondering how best to use it….. and cushions are perfect!  (As are travel bag sets I suspect….)   So at some point, that is what will happen.

I often write here about my ongoing struggle to ‘maintain the balance’.  I read an online article today where it said “Balance is a myth. Parenting isn’t a tight-rope walk; it’s a dance. Strive for rhythm instead of balance, and trust yourself to move to the ever-changing beat.”

I think I like this concept.  Balancing always feels a little precarious.  Dancing, however, has moments of fun, of pure joy, and of fumbled steps.  I might adopt this.

I had two random moments of joy today at the hands of my children.  The boy was playing with an electronic world globe that they got for Christmas (from grandparents who don’t have to hear it all day long…….) and started singing the national anthem.  I was quite proud of his patriotism, and knowledge of the song, until I listened a little closer and heard him singing “Avast Australia Fair”……. apparently we live in a land of pirates.  (For the non-Australian readers amongst you the correct phrase is “Advance Australia Fair”.

Then some hours later the two girls were talking about something on the computer and the eldest chick said to the middle chick “You are one little world of weird”.  Her sister (fortunately)took it as a compliment, while I sat and marvelled at the imagery one phrase from a 10 year old can elicit.

As I head off to tackle the mountain of clean laundry, and face the working and school week, I can reflect that I am still one of the lucky ones.  My sanity is reasonably present, my muse and mojo seem to be in the vicinity and my children are delightful.  Especially now that they are all asleep.

Have a great week as you work towards another fabulous weekend.