Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year That Was...

As I'm madly thinking of everything we I need to pack for all six of us to jump on a jet plane tomorrow, I wisely thought I should sit down and reflect on 2011.  So, here are some highlights......

*  I muddled through a very tough situation with the ex-husband.  I managed to come to a peaceful resolution in terms of where my eldest son wanted to spend his time, and how he wanted to spend it, and was very relieved that I was savvy enough to do all of the legal paperwork myself and save thousands of dollars.  It was worth the stress - as we now have a very settled, happy and content 13 year old boy.

*  Five new babies were brought in to the world, through my very close circle of friends.  I have been lucky enough to spend time with them and come to grips with the fact that I will never bare any more children myself!  This is something I NEVER thought I would be at peace with......but I am more than happy to hand the little bundles of joy back now!  I get to meet the fifth baby tomorrow, when my god-daughter to be and I lay eyes on each other for the first time - can't wait.

*  This time last year I was still very much struggling with the loss of what I thought was a very important friendship.  I am happy to say that 2011 has brought me so much on the friendship front!  Women whom I knew and liked, from an acquaintance point of view, have now become much nearer and dearer, and I look forward to our friendships getting stronger and the laughs continuing.  I have also "almost" found closure with before-mentioned friend, and have realised how absolutely blessed I am to have the amazing long-term friendships I treasure.

*  I have watched my "little boy" aka 13 year old, develop and blossom in to a teenager.  I know it's only early days, but gee I'm proud!  His first year of high school has been trying, but he has done so well.  He still drives me bonkers, but I really do like him!!

*  We had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for two weeks......and managed not to kill him!  It was a super hard lesson in communication - but it paid off for all seven of us.  The kids learnt patience, and this painfully shy and quiet Japanese boy found his voice, and showed us his personality.  Memories that will last a lifetime!

*  My youngest son went the full circle this year - at the beginning, we were worried, really worried.  He was struggling to settle in to Grade one, and his behaviour was hideous.  Through lots of meetings with his wonderful teacher and the help of a child psychologist (aka The Worry Doctor), by the third term, he was a different child.  So very proud of how far he has come in all areas of his development.

*  My husband, my amazing rock, has scored himself THE MOST amazing job!  This opportunity will surely open so many doors for us, that we dare not close them.  I am looking forward to growing as a couple, and as a family.  Today, as it happens, is our eighth wedding anniversary, so the perfect time to shout to the world - I LOVE MY HUSBAND!

*  And last but not least - I've managed to grow my little business.  What started out being a little hobby to earn some extra dollars before Christmas last year, has now built into something I certainly had never ever dreamt of!  Ms Midge is very dear to me, and I have absolutely no vision of what I would like it to be in the coming year.  What I do want, is to continue to watch it grow.  Continue to be stunned by the amazing words of "strangers", now customers, who love what I do - and are paying me to do it!  I have loved every single moment that has passed through my sewing machine.  I have wrapped the orders lovingly, posting them to all sorts of destinations over this country of ours, and am thrilled to think that there are little ones out there wearing something that I have made!  It's a privilege.

I would also like to take a second to say HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Thank you to each and every one of you who has stopped on my bloggy page.  Although you don't all comment, I can tell you've been here!  For all of you who do take the time to leave me a comment - Thank You.  Your words are like gold!

My beautiful Melbourne - fireworks on NYE.

Have a safe and most of all FUN New Year's Eve!  I will most likely not have time to check in here for the next 8 days.......I will either be too exhausted from all the theme park hopping on the Gold Coast, and the ghastly fact that the sun rises oh so much earlier there!  Wish me luck. xxx

Monday, December 26, 2011

'Tis The Season to be.........

De-lousing......Yep, most people get to relax at the end of the school year.  Not here.  Nope, my lovely children decided my pre and post Christmas gift would be heads full of nits!  

It all started last Wednesday night when I went to wash Miss 8's hair....and she uttered those dreaded words - "Mum, my head has been itchy".............. I felt like running......but instead - got the biggest bottle of conditioner I could find, along with our handy dandy notebook nit comb, and spent the following 30 minutes combing, combing, combing.  A roll full of paper towel and a bath full of cold water and blue daughter later - no more nits.  Well so I thought.....

Following morning when Miss 3 woke up, I marched her to the bathroom......went through the same dreaded routine as the night prior, and was horrified to see that those disgusting little bastards had been breeding like rabbits in her mop of curls.  I was literally crying.  You see, you'd think someone would be going bat-shit if they had a head full wouldn't you?  Apparently not.

Three days later...and copius amounts of conditioner and red raw scalps - the girls got the all clear.  

Want to be repulsed?  Google images of head lice.......Urghhhhhh!

End of story?  Nope.....

Wonderful two days of Christmas cheer, fa-la-la-la-lahhhhhh.......Enter Master 7.  And the worst head full I have ever, ever seen.  Right......on.....queue.....ten minutes before I was due to leave for work.  More tears, horror and grossed out looks whilst the all too familiar routine was conducted.  "Surely your head has been itchy mate?"......."Nah Mum".  Great.  

So this morning's activities were all put on hold (read: I was late to work, Hubby was sent to shopping centre chemist - on Boxing Day bhahahahahaha), and sister-in-law arrived just in time to be told she would be finishing off de-lousing child whilst I went to work and Husband went to the cricket.  Such great parents.

Sooooooo........after spending almost a week combing hair, this evening has topped off the week with a huge dose of de-lousing treatment for the whole family!  The couple of times my eldest daughter has had them, I have been able to nip it in the butt just with conditioner and our super duper comb (it's about $18 from the chemist and squashes eggs and lice on its way through the follicles - tasty).  But this crop of decrepit little fockers needed some chemicals involved.

I know I'm not the only poor Mummy(or dare I say Daddy?) who has had to deal with the revolting sight of bugs in kids does everyone else deal with them???

Ps. Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas!

With Christmas Day 2011 almost coming to an end, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say Merry Christmas!  Thank you all for checking in every now and then, reading, sharing and taking an interest in my sometimes very mediocre life!

I wish you all much joy, stuffed bellies and over-loaded rubbish bins.  That's exactly what today has brought to my beautiful family.

It has also brought the priceless looks on my children's faces when they read their little letters (Dr Seuss style penned by Me) packed in their new bags, filled with Summer clothes, hats and thongs that they got as gifts....

We have managed to keep this holiday a secret from the three youngest children for approximately eight months!  My eldest son also kept the secret, so that is a feat in itself!  We are off to the Gold Coast this time next week......lots of fun in the sun, catching up with my childhood into adulthood friends and general family fun.  I cannot wait!

So as I publish this post, I am about to head out the door to visit some family, including my husband's 92 year old Nanna.  Once again, feeling very blessed to be able to share time with beautiful people.

Merry Christmas everyone xxx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jelly Belly

Given that I have absolutely no sewing to do at present, I have succumbed to cruising the bloggy world.  Well, succumbed probably isn't the correct term - as it is certainly not a pastime I loath!  I love reading other people's blogs - about their lives, their hobbies, their trials and tribulations.  And tonight was no different.  I have just read BigWordsBlog post.  And I must say, it has struck a cord.  Bianca, the blogger, bared her soul in that post.  Her soul, and her belly.  It is something that I can honestly say, I would never do.  So I am hi-fiving her for doing so!

I know that anyone who knows me - from the outside - would wonder why I would never show my belly?  They would probably be thinking "she's so thin, she doesn't have a belly".  Or something along those lines.  My closest friends, I would hope, would understand.  You see, a lot of the general public see a person who is thin, who does not generally struggle with weight issues as not having any body image issues.  "You're so skinny", "God, I wish I could have four kids and have your figure", "If I looked like you I would wear a bikini"........these are just some of the hundreds of things that have been said to me in recent history.  What these people saying these things do not know is that my body is NOT perfect.  My figure is NOT perfect.  I bare the scars of four pregnancies.  Most of them I got during my first pregnancy, 13 years ago.  My divine 9pound, 9ounce baby boy stretched my stomach way beyond its capacity, and as week 35 rolled around and I dared to hold a mirror under my belly, I was aghast at what I discovered!  The stretch marks went right over my belly button, and therefore half way up my belly.

I too, like Bianca, used the creams, the lotions that made promises of stretch marks never turning up.  I too, like Bianca, had gestational diabetes with my second, third and fourth pregnancies, so only gained a minimal (well if you call 9-12kilos minimal) amount of weight - but still suffered immensely with problems due to my little frame.  And yet, nothing I did changed the course of my body's destiny!

A personal trainer, many years ago, post first pregnancy, told me that it didn't matter how fit, how healthy, nor how thin I was - that bit of jelly belly that wobbled over the top of any muscle mass I had left there, would never go away.  I was devastated.  I was 25 years old, and was divorced.  How on earth was I ever going to meet a wonderful man who would accept my belly for what it was?  Well, first of all, I had to accept my belly for what it was.  And funnily enough, my acceptance came through my amazing husband's acceptance.

My belly is what it is.  My figure is what it is.  Yes, I am thin.  No, I do not have a problem with my weight.  But I do have my imperfections, and my issues with my belly.  I just choose to hide them.  I won't ever wear a bikini again, but I'm at peace with that.  I have four amazing kids to show for the scars I have, and I would never taken them back for a pancake flat tummy!

None of us are perfect, and the sooner we all realise that, maybe we will ease up on ourselves, and cut some slack?  I'm not on my own, am I?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Fabric chosen....

A few days ago, I sent out a request for HELP!  I would like to thank everyone who commented here on the blog, as well as on my Facebook Page.  A quick update to let you know I have finally (after much stressful thought) made a decision and have placed an order with my lovely fabric supplier!

So here is a little more close up action of what will be in store late January, early February....

Aren't they just beautiful?

I promised those who helped me out by giving me their opinions would be I have popped your names into and picked a recipient of said reward.....

8 lovelies in the draw, including Facebook comment.
Thanks Hayley!  You have the choice of a Notebook Cover or Crayon Roll - all yours for nothing!  Thanks again to everyone who took the time to have a look and comment!  I know I'm not going to please all the people, all the time - but I needed to make a choice! xx

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I need Dr Phil - Part Two

Last week I sort of went somewhere I didn't really plan on going.....but now that I have, I guess I have to continue...

Addiction, in my opinion, is genetic.  It doesn't have to be the same kind of addiction, for instance - just because I'm addicted to buying fabric - it doesn't mean my children will be addicted to fabric!  But I really think that if there is a long line of family members, through the generations, whom have struggled with an addiction, then you are going to be more likely to struggle with one too?  I could be wrong - but as I said - my opinion.

I didn't know my paternal grandparents, so I can't say that I know if they battled any kind of addiction.  I do know that my paternal grandmother was a kind and generous woman, whom my own Mother loved dearly.  My grandfather apparently was a different story.  Don't get me wrong - I think he may have been a nice enough man, but not someone who would make you all warm and fuzzy?  And the couple of stories I have heard about him from my Mum (I don't think I've ever heard my Dad speak of him?), do not make for a glowing report.  But you know when you just get that feeling?  The feeling that things just weren't "right"?  That's the feeling I get.

The line of addiction has unfortunately filtered down to my generation.  I may joke about my addiction to buying fabrics, but the other kinds in our family are not really a laughing matter.  This is why I was so upset the other week whilst watching Dr Phil.  It's like watching your own family, your own story.  A wide-screen HD view of your life.  And at times, I feel helpless.  Both of my siblings (whom I love dearly and do not want to tarnish their reputations) have battled on and off with varying addictions over the years.  And I have generally sat back and watched them flush their sanity down the toilet.

A couple of months ago, I was on the phone to my sister.  We got to talking about some of her struggles, and I was rather candid.  If I was given just one wish, from anyone - genie or not - it would be that my beautiful, artistic, whimsical and vivacious sister, could be given the opportunity (and take it) to get some really spot on help to battle her struggles and overcome them.  My wish is for her three beautiful daughters to see the amazing woman that she can be.  The woman who was so care-free, and so happy.  Instead, my nieces only know the battle-weary woman.  The one who sits and drinks coffee all day and does not enter the public arena.  She is a mere shadow of herself.  Unfortunately it is not only addictions she has battled, but mental illness also.

The phone conversation was wonderful.  We both cried.  Lots.  But I was wanting to convey to her that these beautiful, amazing children of hers deserved to know their Mother.  And she deserved to be known by them.  And if I had to ring Dr Phil for an intervention - by God - I would!

Although the threat of Dr Phil was almost laughable, it got the wheels turning.  And I'm hoping (and praying) that in the very near future - the help that is needed will be available and taken.

What about my brother?  Well, that really is another story.  One for yet another day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I need Dr Phil - Part one....

**  I started writing this post two weeks ago....but it was all too hard, so I'm trying again today....

Not for me....well, I guess it is in a round about way for me.  I was watching yet another amazing Intervention on Dr Phil today, and I stood there crying and feeling the torture this poor family was going through, watching their family member literally killing themselves in front of their own eyes.  And there was nothing they could do about it.  Enter: Dr Phil.

Addiction is a nasty, evil and soul-killing thing.  It drains people, drains the people around them.  And unfortunately, too many members of my family have been afflicted with this evil, and I'm just about at my wit's end...

It all started with my Dad (well, I'm guessing his Dad, or his Dad's Dad, or someone prior to my Dad started it all?), who discovered the "joys" of gambling many many years ago.  Gambling pretty much ruined his life, not to mention his family's lives, which I guess in turn, means mine?  I don't see my life that way, i.e. ruined, but it was certainly altered.

Gambling led my family from a humungous house on the Gold Coast, a successful family plumbing business and what I would have considered, a pretty regular and happy family life, to smaller homes and businesses and a fairly dysfunctional family life.  Until we eventually had to sell everything and rent a house from a family friend.  The inevitable happened, and my parents divorced and we then lived in a caravan park for a couple of years.  This all happened in a matter of approximately seven years.  So it was a pretty swift fall from grace.  Some relief came in the form of my Step Dad and his job offer in Melbourne, so off we went.  But the damage had already been done, and I did not see or hear from my Father for the following 13 years.  I am however, pleased to say, he re-entered my life eight years ago, and we have a pretty good relationship.  I accept that he had/has a disease, and he is now a reasonably elderly man - so bygones are now bygones.

To say I have "issues" with and around gambling, would be a huge understatement!  I made it perfectly clear to my darling husband not long after we met, that the one thing that would be a deal-breaker, was gambling.  He and I now have an agreement that he is "allowed" (typing that sounds SO wrong) to gamble Melbourne Cup Day.  And it's a bit of family entertainment - the kids pick horses and put a dollar on them.  Win, win.

Needless to say - this first addiction was the first of many to emerge in my family, and I believe was the catalyst to all that would eventuate.....

Help required!

I wouldn't normally throw it out there like this.....but I truly cannot decide which fabric range to purchase next!  It will be used for my February collection of dresses and outfits.  So, I'm going to leave it open to you - my lovely customers!  Votes shall be tallied over the next couple of days, and one of the "voters" will receive a little somethin somethin for their efforts!  So - go on - Vote!

Option Number One - sigh....

Option Number Two - Something different for me, but maybe not so different for everyone else!

Option Number Three - A bit geometrical and floral!

Option Number Four - amazing colours together.....
Well, there are your options!  Please comment on this blog post to be included in my little gift giveaway!  Ps. Thanks in advance to Jewel for the use of her photos (sorry I haven't asked you!!!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm on a Roll!

It took me 36 and a half (the half is important people!) years to make my first proper quilt.  And another two days to finish my second!  As Guiliana would say - Amaze-balls!  I'm so thrilled with the outcome of this second beauty, as the odds were against it turning out ok.....

But - it did!
I took some advice from a few friends in my sewing group and looked over a couple of tutorials - here and here.  They were sort of the same, but different.  So last night I took out my gorgeous little fat quarter bundle of Hoos In The Forest, which I bought a couple of months ago, in anticipation of this project.  Guesstimated that I would use them in 9" squares and cut them all out.  Ended up with 20 squares, so once again guesstimated that this would be the size of the quilt!  I'm guessing you have put two and two together and realised I'm not really one for following patterns to a tee?

Fast forward to this morning, when I decided I would brave the local shopping centre (well, I had no choice as my iPhone got wet last night and I had to go to the phone shop to hand it in for repair) and head in to Lincraft to get flannelette to continue with my quilt.

First problem - Lincraft had no flannelette.  Apparently flannelette is a Winter fabric??  Of course - why on earth would a fabric shop stock any fabric that did not fit a particular season?  Grrrr......  The Manager-type-looking-lady was rather taken a-back when I suggested that flannelette is in fact quilting fabric.  And the lovely employee concurred with me.

Anyway.....jumped over the no-flanellette hurdle and decided I would take a punt, and buy some Bamboo Batting for the middle and some gorgeous printed white quilting cotton for the back.  I had no idea if this would give me the "rag quilt effect" I was after, so a bit of a gamble.

Back home again with my purchases and trying to work out whether I have the batting showing or not?  Took yet another punt and decided to have it showing.  So cut the backing cotton and batting the same 9" squares, and proceeded to follow the directions in above tutorials.

To say this was easy, would be quite the understatement.  This quilt (I s*it you not!) literally took a couple of hours to whip up!  Yes, it was a little painful when you get to the cutting of the seams, but the fact that you can then go and throw it in the wash and dryer, and it comes out looking so beautiful - it's worth the pain!

Could it really be true - that quilting is rather addictive?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My first Quilt - finished!

Well, it has taken me  a couple of months, but I have (literally) just finished my first "proper" quilt!  I say proper because I have made dodgy ones here and there over the years, but because I am such an impatient human being and do not gravitate towards anything fiddly, I have done rush jobs, and have not been proud of them.  But tonight - I'm overflowing with glee....

One cot-sized quilt for a very special baby girl.

I know it's not perfect - but it's close enough!  Ooh, and you can see the mistake I made....

The colours are stunning!
A big thank you to the lovely ladies who have helped me out and given me the confidence to get through this project!  You will be happy to know I already have another one ready to be started......

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What I did today...

It may not look very interesting to some....but I have been run off my feet these last few weeks - sewing orders for others.  So today, I finally got around to making some Christmas presents!  It was the first time I had ever made crayon rolls (or pencil rolls when you can't find the right size crayons!).  To say I was impressed with myself would be an understatement!  You can find the tutorial I used here. 

The other gorgeous numbers in the photo are notebook covers.  I tried with a different tutorial last week, and completely failed. So took a deep breath this morning and plunged head-first in to this one.  It was really fiddly at first.  But once I wrapped my head around the instructions, it all clicked and worked out fabulously!!  Once again, great Christmas gifts.  My primary school aged children will have them to give to their teachers, and I have made a couple for family and work mates.  I am hoping they love them!

Today is most of all proof that even if you really hate what you think is going to be fiddly and tricky stuff - give it a go.  You may just surprise yourself!

Now - what's next?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Young Love

It's happening.  That 13 year old boy I told you all about a couple of weeks ago - I think he's in lurve.  I think he's growing up as I look at him.  Right before my eyes.  And I'm not quite ready!

The first signs were easy to spot.  He spoke her name a few times, told me he had a new friend who catches the bus to school.  And then last week, he asked if he could catch the early bus to school?  Ummmm, yeh, why?  "Well, um, well, Jane* (I shall not completely embarrass him, although I would be stunned if he even knew I wrote a blog!) texted me and asked if I would catch the early bus".  Ok, but why?  "Um, well, she has some printing to do at school, so I'll just go with her".  Took me all my time not to ask a million questions, but I did ask one - Is Jane your girlfriend?

"Well, sort of, yeh". territory.  I let him catch the bus early, because later that evening we had another conversation, where I asked for more details.  Like, what does "sort of" mean?  Well, it turns out sort of means that he asked her out, she said yes, then a few days later she said she needed to focus on her schoolwork not a boyfriend.  I LIKE THIS GIRL!!!!  My husband read that as - her parents told her she was too young to have a boyfriend, and needs to focus on her school work!  If this is accurate - I like this girl's parents!

I can tell he is rather smitten with this very smart young lady.  He caught the early bus every day, got off at her stop, waited for her, and then waited for the next bus.  He posted a photo of the two of them to his Facebook page one morning - in which I commented he needed to open his eyes, and he said the sun got in the way.  Phew, still signs he hasn't completely grown up!  

As much as I am loving watching my little boy blossom in to a young man, it frightens me.  Although we have a REALLY honest and very open Mother/Son relationship, I know what lies ahead of him.  I know there are going to be a million hurdles before he gets to man-hood, and I know that it is going to be quite a road to travel.  But I want to hold his hand.  I re-assure him (probably too often) that whatever he has ahead of him, whatever he does - his parents have already been there.  This shocked him the first time I told him, and I could tell he didn't believe me.  But last week, he came home with the news that strangely, there had been a big shift amongst the kids at school, and all of a sudden, he wasn't being picked on.  He has made new friends.  It was then that I asked him if he now believed me?  Only a couple of months ago, when the kids at school were really pushing his buttons and being general pains in the proverbial, I told him it wouldn't be forever.  And it seems he now believes me.  The tide has changed.

How much longer do I have with this little boy who likes to talk?  Who believes what his Mother says?  Who still comes in the door at the end of the day and tells me all about his day and every last little detail about everything?  I'm crossing everything I have that he will always be this way, and that I just "lucked in" with this teenage boy.

Is it always this strange to have your first child enter teenage years?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A letter to David Davis....

I don't know if you have heard about the Victorian Nurse's troubles here in Melbourne (you can read about it here) at present, but it is basically a stand off with our Government  because they are seeking nurses accept a 2.5% pay rise, in exchange for giving up Nurse/patient ratios.  Hence, making nurse's workplaces a more dangerous and stressful environment.  Yesterday, a friend of mine, posted on Facebook that she had been threatened with 12 months jail, a $6600 fine and the docking of her wages because she will not agree to those terms.  It unfuriated me, so I asked what I could do to help?  This is what I have sent:

"Dear David,

I have been forwarded your email address from a friend of mine, who yesterday was threatened with jail and a huge fine, because she did not accept a 2.5% pay rise and a cut to her patient/nurse ratio.  She has not closed one single bed or refused to treat one single patient, yet her name was taken so that legal action may be taken against her.

I, as a member of the public, and a user of the state public health system, find this deplorable.  I cannot accept that a caring, compassionate human being, who educated themselves in the field of looking after others, could be treated so terribly, and undervalued so greatly.  It troubles me that you and your peers and this Government find it acceptable behaviour, and troubles me even more so that you think the desirable outcome of your actions - a small pay rise along with cutting greatly the nurse/patient ratio - is going to be "ok".

I have been hospitalised many times over my 36 years, four of those times whilst having my children.  I cannot believe that you would undervalue the job that the midwives do and the invaluable experience they bring to new mothers at their most vulnerable time in their lives?  I believe midwives have one of THE most important jobs.  Bringing a new life in to this world is not an easy task, and midwives help to ease the worry of doing so as well as the questions of millions of new mothers.

Not once have I come across a nurse who is not worth double the amount they are paid.  They are the comforters in our public health system.  The people who patients, and patient's families call on first in their times of need.  They put up with a bevy of bad behaviour, mistreatment and disrespectful patients also.  And they do it with a smile on their face.  And yet, you still undervalue their worth?

Please re-think your actions, and realise that the nurses who are not accepting of your terms, are merely thinking of the risks those terms present to us - their patients, as well as them, as employees.  It will cost your government far more in legal action from patients who have not received the care they deserve, because they have not had enough nurses working in the health system.

Thanking you

Melissa Gottliebsen
Melbourne, Victoria"

If you would like to help, you too can email David at  Let him know that he and his government's treatment of our nurses is not acceptable!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

100th Post Give-away Winner!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part in my little old give-away!  As I said the other day - I know I don't have a huge "following" here in bloggy land (well, I have a few more now!), but I appreciate everyone who quietly reads along with my and my mundane, everyday life!'s the line-up of possible winners:

Apologies for my delightful writing - now you understand why I type!

And here is the WINNER:

That would be:

Nic said...
Happy 100th Blog Ms Midge xo

Contact me Nic to claim your $25 Voucher for Ms Midge!

What lengths would you go to.....

.....To get a brand of clothing?  Really, this is a serious question.  I ask this because I have just read on the page of an extremely popular brand of little girl's clothing, that "fans" of this brand will go as far as paying for flights from interstate, to attend a market, in the hope of picking up these items!  And I'm shocked.

I am guessing that this now confirms that I am not a "brand snob"?  I have never been overly worried about where I have bought my clothes from, nor my children's.  It still irks me, even after ten years of being together, that my husband prefers to wear branded clothing - whether it be sports socks or t-shirts.  And what is irking me even more, is that I now have a teenage boy who is becoming more and more aware of the so-called "importance" of wearing or owning branded items.  Don't get me wrong - I understand the pressure kids are under to feel like they fit in, and are not looked upon as "dorks" lol.  So we were lucky to go to a huge warehouse sale for a surf/skate brand earlier this year, where we got almost $1500 worth of clothing etc for the whole family for around $250!  Can't look a gift-horse in the mouth.....

So, what's your take on this?  How far would you go?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My 100th Post!! Give-away?

I just came on here to blog about the fact I have just joined the Pinterest community - and then I noticed it was my 100th post!  So then I started to think about how I would be wasting such a monumental moment on telling you about Pinterest?!?!  And then I started to think about how I should celebrate actually logging in to Blogger and managing to spew forth my thoughts 100 times?  And of course - now I am over-thinking it!  Heheheh.......

So, back to Pinterest......I have been watching, reading, stumbling across many bloggers who have been raving about Pinterest.  About how they are "pinners".  About how they found such and such's pin and it's totally like amazing!!  But I was scared.  Another online community.  Another thing that could (and will) lead me to wasting more of my precious time sitting in front of the computer.  So I joined.....

I was lovingly invited by a couple of cool chicks I "know" from a uber cool Sewing Group on Facebook. And after a few no doubt ridiculous questions from myself......I managed to pop my pinning cherry!  What did I pin?

My all time favourite fabric!
And then I pinned some more.......and more.....and more!  I have already wasted an hour.  Ho-hum.  But what I have done in that hour, is move all of my bookmarked websites, links etc onto "boards"!  And it looks so much prettier on my Pinterest boards than it does down the side of my iMac screen!  I am actually quite thrilled!

Ok, back to celebrating 100 posts.......

How would you like $25 to spend at Ms Midge?  Well, there's a couple of ways you can enter!

1.  Comment on this blog post
2. "Like" Ms Midge on Facebook, and leave a comment on the wall (if you're already a liker, let me know that!)
3.  Follow this blog!

Each of the above options gives you one entry in to the give-away!  I know I "only" have 11 followers here in bloggy land.....but I know for certain there's a whole lot of you out there who silently follow me and encourage me in other forms!  Thanks again! xx

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I just looked up Teenager in the dictionary.  "A person in their teens".....gee, thanks!  No instructions, no manual, no nothing.  Today, my eldest son turns 13.  I'm in shock.  Where have those 13 years gone?  Who is this man-child that stands before me?  What do I need to know in order to keep him my little boy for just a little bit longer?  I'm in shock.

This first joy of my life arrived on this earth in the most excruciating fashion.  I was a somewhat naive 23 year old girl, married for 18 months, still not completely comfortable in my own skin.  Enter: childbirth.  I was prepared.  Well I thought I was prepared.  Ten days overdue, contractions began at 2am on Friday the 13th - an omen?  Hours were spent up and down out of bed trying to stay calm - and then my waters broke.  Along with hell.

Trying to have a shower in labour is not ideal.  Trying to do so whilst your ever-so-caring Maltese Mother-in-law opens the door and offers her help is extremely unnerving! The unfamiliar painful drive to the hospital was followed by a painful wheelchair trip to the Labour Ward.  I can still remember holding on to the doorway of the room and looking right in to my Mother's eyes and telling her "I don't think I can do this" which she replied "It's too late".

What followed in the hours after this is nothing short of hideous.  Trying the bath, because it's supposed to ease the pain - wrong.  Trying pethadine because it's supposed to ease the pain - wrong.  Trying anything and everything to ease the pain - wrong.  It turns out my beautiful boy was posterior - ie. his spine was on my spine. This is something I wasn't told until well in to labour.  Let it be said that with my next pregnancy, when I found out late in the pregnancy baby was posterior.....I did every exercise invented to move that baby's position!

Hours spent on my back writhing in agony, sucking furiously on a gas mask, were eventually over.  But not before a dozen doctors, midwives and students made their way through the room observing.  I was a spectacle!  Forceps were attempted - no go.  Some sort of mechanical vacuum device was attempted - sorry, don't have all the parts, no go.  So lucky me got a delightful episiotomy.  My delivery ended at 2.10pm, with legs in stirrups and my lady bits out there for all and sundry.  But as is always generally the case, all of this pandemonium ended when a great big ball of dark hair and chubby skin was placed on my chest.  I was in shock.

Lachlan was a tender nine pounds, nine ounces.  Nothing short of enormous for my little frame.  But the immediate love and affection I felt for this little man was amazing.  He has now grown in to an amazing teenager.  One that is loving, caring and a lot of the time incredibly annoying!  But I would go through all of that pain, agony and shock to get the same result.

Happy 13th birthday my dear Lochie.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Sanitary Post......Curious?

Firstly - a disclaimer - I can't take any responsibility for making any men squirm when they read this post!

This afternoon I was enlightened.....Whilst catching up on people's posts in a Facebook sewing group I am a part of, I came across this post:

"I want to make some cloth panty liners but my normal cloth pads slip around and I find myself "adjusting" the pad all the time.  I need a fabric that is going to stop the pad from slipping around.  Does anyone have any fabric suggestions?"

I actually had to re-read it a few times to make sure I understood exactly what they were talking about.  Re-usable sanitary pads?  Really?  This is something I had only heard about from my Mum's era.  I was intrigued!

So I read on, and was amazed at how many women actually use them!  And there are thriving businesses out there who make and supply them!  I actually felt right out of the loop, considering I have not had to wander the supermarket aisle that supplies the disposable version since my ovaries lost their home base.  I may have been naive in thinking that all women just moved swiftly through aisle number 7 (or whatever aisle they happen to be in) grabbing a couple of boxes of whatever works for them!

I'm all for personal choice, environmental factors and really, generally just people who make choices for themselves, but now I'm really curious.......does anyone reading this use the environmentally friendly version of sanitary products?  And why do you use them?  Just for curiosity's sake!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why I don't (generally speaking) drink alcohol.....

Because I am currently sitting in front of this computer with glazed over eyes, and would like to go and crawl in to bed!  I have blisters the size of ten cent pieces on my toes from inappropriate footwear.  My bank account is a little less flush......

I honestly do not understand how people can drink regularly, copius amounts of alcoholic beverages, and function like a normal human being?  How does that work?

I went out with a wonderful bunch of girlfriends last night, to celebrate the impending marriage of one of the girls.  I knew it was going to be a big night, based on past experience.....the last hens night we had as a group, we "retired" to our apartment room at approximately 5am......and it was not a pretty sight a few hours later when we wandered down to a local cafe for must-have greasy breakfast.  Last night was not as late, but I think I may have consumed more vodka this time round!  Add to that I stupidly decided to wear high heels instead of my comfy silver sandals - and you have one weary mumma today.....

The greatest part of being out?  We are all Mummies, with young kids - some of them only months old.  So to let our hair down and shake our proverbial booties, is a rarity - and an absolute scream of a time!  I never laugh as much as I do when I'm out with them, nor act as stupidly and much less than my age!

I've said it before here, and will say it again - them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Progress is being made....

Ooh, ooh!  Just wanted to share......with anyone who could care.....I have been attempting to make my first ever quilt!  It is for a very special little newborn girl in London - Ms Sadie.  Her Mummy told me she loved greens and pinks - so I searched and came up with Riley Blake's Sugar & Spice!  And I have just sewn all of the HAND CUT (nope, no rotary cutter in this house - yet!) 12cm squares all sewn together!  I'm quite proud of myself, as it seems to be quite "square".  Only one mistake so far - one little square the wrong way around....oh well!

I've got some lovely white flannelette for the backing as well as some beautiful cotton batting!  I'm not really sure what I should be doing next, so will have to refer to Google!  Or if any of you lovely readers are crafty/quilters, feel free to share!

A Just Because Post!

I am extremely pleased to say that I have had an influx of orders come in to Ms Midge, and I'm thrilled that so many people appreciate my work!  But this week has also brought a tonne of social events and work (you know, my "real job"), which has left not much time for this sewing gig!  And I have a feeling, in the lead up to Christmas, it's only going to get crazier!  It's making me wonder how on earth I am going to get everything done?  I have come up with a plan......I'm going to schedule "sew like a mad woman" days in to my diary, and I'm going to stick to it!

The latest addition to the Ms Midge range are these yummy Christmas frocks:

I wanted to give them a bit of a modern twist, so mixed the soft denim with the Holly Birds print!  Both of my girls squealed when they saw them - so I'm guessing they will be happy to wear them this festive season!  I also made up this yummy little skirt:

I love these little Paper Dolls prints....and it looks gorgeous with a plain top and matching headband/brooch!

Do the little ones in your life like to dress up in Christmas outfits?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A very exciting request!

Hi all!  I've been a little AWOL of late....have had a lot on, and just had to breath.  But I'm checking in here now to give you a very quick update!

Last Sunday I had my little stall at Mulgrave Makers Market for the third month in a row.  Beautiful sunshine, lots of lovely folks and some cute little customers.

During the week, I got a lovely message from Nat at tiny & little.  Nat asked if I would like to put a photo of one of my dresses in the gift guide in their next issue?  So I acted all cool, and said SURE!!!!  And then I panicked!  None of the photos that I have taken of my products were magazine worthy......and I almost gave myself a hernia over-thinking it all.  Enter Gina Ralli Photography........Gina has taken family photos for us, and I love her work, so I contacted Gina for her advice on which photos to submit.....and one thing led to another (well, I probably just sounded like a freaked out woman!) and she came over on Friday to do a little mini photo shoot!  To say I was grateful would not even touch the surface!

The end result?  Well, have a look and see what you think:

I can't wait to see my little cherub, and Gina's, in the divine on-line magazine this week when it is released!

I'm so glad in all of my freaking out, I decided at 5pm Thursday afternoon that I would cut in to the divine Terrain fabrics and create the first two outfits!  A couple of hours later I had the gorgeous playsuit above and also this yummy little dress:

Quite evident why I fell in love with this fabric and HAD to have it!  Thanks Julie!
In other breaking news - I went to my first ever Halloween Party last night!  I know this may come as a shock to any US readers, but Halloween is not a widely recognised event in Australia.....well, until recently anyway.  This year, I have noticed everyone is talking about it, dressing up and decorating their homes.  It's still a bit strange, but we had lots of fun!  Here's an amusing photo of me and the husband:

Not the most attractive shot of us, but I guess it's not supposed to be?!?!
And last but not least - today I went to work.  So what? I hear you say.  Well, one of the many wonderful benefits of the job I have, is that I get to go to lots of great outings.  And today's was the Craft & Stitches Show, held at Caulfield Racecourse.  The most amazing part of the day was that I only spent $3!  Not including my lunch of course.  If only pay day had of been last week.......

What did everyone else get up to this week?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pin Cushion Swap

Something I never thought I would be a part of!  Considering I only really took up sewing again a year ago, I'm constantly amazed at how much I WANT to sew.....and how much I WANT to make new things!  And this last week, I have made my very first, and second, pin cushion!

Lovely little flower from Penilla's Journey!

I wasn't entirely happy with my first attempt - only because I think I should have used more contrasting fabrics.  And then I remembered I had a gorgeous off-cut of the green elephants! So this is what 
came of that:

I'm so pleased I got another yard of this yummy fabric, it's patiently waiting for me to make Ms Chloe a Summer frock!
I have contributed the lovely elephant cushion to a pin cushion swap going on over at Oopsidaisi!  There are so many A-mazing pin cushions - some people are so damn talented! whilst I was at Spotlight.....I accidentally bought some pretty felt!  Have never used it before, so I'm ready to get creative, and make myself something lurvely!

And just on a side-note......look what arrived at my house today:

This is how the lovely Jewel send her parcels - so pretty!

And this is my new stash ready for more pretty girl goodness!
That's it for tonight - off to bed!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I have a Confession....

I'm an addict.  Not the kind you're possibly thinking of - you know, drugs, alcohol?  Nope.  I'm officially addicted to buying fabric.  And not just a metre here or a metre there.  My addiction is to bulk orders of fabric.  I can't help myself.  I need help.  I've always used the old adage of "It was a bargain - I got it at half price" etc when buying anything, whether it be clothes or household items.  And now it seems I am using the same justification when buying fabric.

I came to this realisation today, when I saw a link to a fabric store with the deadly caption - "50% off".  And before I had even finished reading the sentence, I had clicked on the link and was drooling.  Yep, I have a problem.

But I have made a vow to myself.  No more bulk orders of fabric until after Christmas!!!  And I need you all to remind me of this vow.  Or else I fear I may need some form of rehabilitation.

On the bright side -  you all get a sneak peek at what will be arriving here (possibly only days after last week's order.)  It is so damn gorgeous, and also leads to what I think my next closet addiction could be.....elephants.

So, here's that peek.....

Anyone else out there have the same problem?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Today's Post is brought to you by the letter B

B......for BORED!

I have forgotten what Friday nights should look like.  My usual routine on a Friday is to go to work from 1pm - 8pm.  Come home in time to say goodnight to the kidlets and then sit around watching a bit of tv or do a bit of sewing.  Tonight?  Husband is watching soccer on the tele, and I'm here browsing the web.  I tried to hint to him - well, it wasn't so much a hint, I walked in to the lounge room, proclaimed I was bored and waited for him to say "You can watch what you like" - but it didn't happen.  So now I am chomping on Snakata whilst tapping away, sharing my bullshit with you!

 My youngest son played his first game of cricket this evening........I honestly didn't know whether to be happy for him or cry for myself!  You see, I am a cricket widow - our Summer's are written off mostly, because of my husband's penchant for long Saturdays standing on an oval getting burnt to a crisp.  Which is fine.  Except it also means that my Saturdays are spent herding children to said oval, chasing them with sunscreen in an effort to not have them resemble their Father's crisp, red skin!  So, it seems the start of another cricket career, means I have at least another 20 years of watching the grass grow ahead of me.  Joy.....

The ONLY good thing that shall come out of this is the following:

That is, once I work out how to ditch working Friday nights!

A couple of friends, whose sons are playing also, cracked open a bottle of bubbles. But considering I was actually working whilst at the cricket, I passed.  Oh, to be a lady of leisure!

Anyway, I'm now getting bored of my own blog post on will leave it there for now!  What's everyone else up to?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Strange Thing Happening in my House....

This is becoming more of a regular occurrence here in my household

Which then means I can do more of this

Which then leads to this

 My delicious "Summer Breeze" range can be found here.

And means I can now order these

Images courtesy of google search due to my supplier selling out!  These are just SOME of the beautiful prints on their way from Ms Julie at The Intrepid Thread.  Thanks for being so wonderful Jewel!

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