Wednesday, January 30, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday #7

My darling children went back to school today!  And Chloe was at creche.  I took the day off work being their first day back and all - so what do you know?  I had the WHOLE day free for uninterrupted sewing! I laid out Chloe's quilt last night, ready to baste this morning, and by 10am - I got cracking!  This quilt is actually much bigger than I had remembered, so I started having a little panic about how the hell I was going to quilt it?  I put some tunes on, and got my pinning on, in an attempt to put the quilting to the back of my mind.  Failed.  Only managed to stab myself once, but got a drop of blood on the quilt!  Suggestions as to how I get that off would be most appreciated.  I had heard of putting your own saliva on it to remove it - but that did not work for me!

About three quarters of the way pinned, and I ran out of pins.  So I jumped in the car and went to TWO local quilting stores - the first one was sold out of pins AND quilting gloves, which I've had recommended to me to use.  But I must put in a mention to this little store - Lilly Patches.  The lady who runs it is just lovely, and we had a great chat - particularly about the vast variety of Aboriginal fabric she stocks, that is traditionally painted, and then made in to fabric in Collingwood, here in Victoria.  So if you're ever in Boronia - pop in there!

I digress.  I headed to the next store to find they had the pins but no gloves.  So off to Coles I went.  Got me some gardening gloves!

The best $4 I've ever spent!
Once home, I asked for some advice in my quilting group, as to how I should quilt this baby?  I ended up going with a meandering pattern - basically just winging it!  Five hours later and I must say - I'm extremely happy with how it turned out!

The back is a lovely light grey.

The gorgeous front!

Close-up squiggles.

Now I just have to find the binding fabric and finish it off!  I've followed THIS tutorial over at Samelia's Mum's Blog.

And the other W.I.P. that I think will be featured for the next few weeks is the Kissing Fish Quilt.  I'm getting somewhere fast slowly on the HST's.......66 down - 44 to go!  Definitely a marathon opposed to a sprint this one!

That's it!  

I'm linking up......

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

PS. The GIVEAWAY winners were announced this morning - in case you missed it!  Thanks again to everyone for entering!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Underwear Wrap

It just occurred to me, whilst sitting here looking at the screen blankly, that I failed to write a post about the Underwear Drive, and the end results!  Back in the first week of January (we're almost at February people!!!  How did that even happen?), bushfire season started with way too much of a bang, in the beautiful state of Tasmania.  We had just returned from a week there, we left the day after the fires began, and I entertained the idea of doing another Undies Drive.  I ran one back in 2011 for those affected by the devastating Queensland floods, and thought I would be able to get a box or two together to send to Tassie......

The difference between 2011 and now is that I have a much more viewed FB page, with lots of charitable people it seems!  I set up Events on both my personal and business pages and before I knew it, had parcels arriving on my doorstep, people I had never met before knocking on my door and strangers trusting me enough to deposit cash donations for me to purchase underwear on their behalf.  K-mart became my second home and I became accustomed to strange stares in the underwear department as I filled trolleys and baskets with a varied and interesting array of knickers, socks and bras!

The best plans can sometimes stumble, and when my hope for how it would all be delivered fell through, I went searching.  I found a fabulous page on FB that a lovely gal called Mel had started called  - "Tassie Fires - We Can Help".  I found a post from a lovely lady in Melbourne called Tess, who was taking a 3 tonne truck down on the ship to Tassie, and would be happy to take any Melbourne donations.  I got straight on the phone, and before I knew it, had a way of getting it all there!  I also messaged Mel to find out who I could donate the underwear to, and she pointed me to Foodbank Tasmania.

I was astonished and very proud at the end of the ten day drive to tally everything up.  The Queensland drive delivered just over 400 pieces of underwear.  The Tassie drive?

225 mens jocks, 102 bras, 528 ladies undies & 49 camisoles, 89 pairs boys socks & 6 singlets, 107 pairs mens socks & 6 singlets, 151 pairs ladies socks, stockings, 94 pairs girls socks & 19 singlets, 350 girls undies, 303 boys jocks, 4 schools bags, 6 lunch boxes, 2 drink bottles, 15 hand knitted jumpers & cardi's, 2 bags of school supplies and odds & ends!

That is a ridiculous 2029 pieces of underwear!!!

My house was taken over by bags, boxes and coat hangers.  My kids got used to strangers dropping undies at our door.  And I was overwhelmed with the kindness of people all over our beautiful country!

All the boxes piled up during sorting.

Waiting for more boxes...

All sorted and ready to go!  15 boxes FULL of brand new underwear!

I'm happy to say they were all delivered to Tess on Saturday the 19th of January, and they were to be delivered to Foodbank soon thereafter.

So a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated, spread the word and eagerly helped out!  I'm sure that all the recipients of your generosity would thank you too if given the chance.

And as our country continues to be ravaged by Summer storms, I would urge you to help out a little more if you can.  The Red Cross have appeals set up for bushfires, floods, everything!  You can find details HERE.

On a slightly different but same note, I was just reading over at Edenland, and Eden asked why her readers read her blog?  Amongst other things, Eden gave me a gentle nudge the push I needed to become more charitable last year.  I'm planning to continue.  Do you have plans to be charitable this year?

Ps - Giveaway finishes TONIGHT!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Stash #3

I have been just a tad bit naughty this past week, and have spent money on fabric that I really just didn't "need".  Plus, I also spent money on fabric that I did in fact "need".  Here are just some of them.......I can't show you the two other parcels, because they're somewhere in transit - I believe Ohio and Las Angeles...... Ahemmmm......

Anyway, back to my local purchases.  This Thursday just passed was in fact "Visit your LQS day" (local quilt shop for those non-sewers amongst us).  So after I'd spent 20 minutes in the car, 35 minutes at the school text book store and another five minutes on my phone googling, I found a not-local-to-me store in Mt Waverley.  I decided to pay it a visit!

I wandered in to Somerset Patchwork & Quilting having no idea what to expect.  What I found was a gorgeous store that specialises in vintage and reproduction prints.  Not really my cup of tea, nor taste in fabric, but it was beautiful none-the-less!  Had a lovely chat to one of the staff and then found a couple of lovely prints in their sale stock.  Got me some more Valori Wells to add to my collection as well as a cute little butterfly print.

Got back in my car and nearly died from the sauna it had become.  Nobody told visit your quilt store day that it would in fact be 35+ degrees......  Headed back towards home and remembered the little quilt store that I drive past daily and had NEVER entered.  So I pulled in and entered Under The Mulberry Tree in Ferntree Gully.  They had no idea it was such an auspicious day in the quilting world!  So I just browsed quietly myself and picked out a couple of prints.

Earlier in the week, I just happened to be passing Lincraft, and spotted these new additions to their quilting range......

The jewel tones grabbed me - and for some unknown reason - I needed them.  So I got them.  Cute yes?

I also "had" to go to Spotlight to get some of the Prima Homespun for the Bee I'm taking part "had" to go in to the quilting section.......which turned out to be a good thing, because I found the perfect fabric for binding on the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt I was making, and also found a gorgeous little ballet slipper print for $6 p/m, so grabbed some to throw in my stash.

Now, just to make sure my husband doesn't read this post.......

Have you made any good purchases lately?  Needs or wants??

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth

PS.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy 300 To Me! Giveaway Anyone?

Whilst logging in to Blogger the other day, I noted that my posts tally was sitting pretty on 299!  And I thought "Holy moly!  I've sat in front of this computer and tapped on this keyboard 299 times, and shared it with the world!?"  I then got to thinking of how I could celebrate this milestone?  And was honestly still stuck, until just now.....

Give away??

I've gone through my own personal stash of fabrics, and pulled out two of my favourite collections!  There's a Fat Quarter set of Flora by Lauren & Jessi Jung and Peacock Lane by Michael Miller up for grabs!  And I've also got a custom spot for a Retro Circle Brontee dress in any size from 1 to 10!

So Thank YOU for reading my drivel, and for giving me such great feedback all the time!  You may have noticed there's more of a mix of drivel and quilting/sewing these days.  I've well and truly caught that quilting bug, and it's clearly seeping in to my Blog world!  I hope you're all enjoying the quilting equally as much as the drivel.......

Just follow the Rafflecopter Directions!

Giveaway ends midnight 30/1/13.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday on a Thursday

So I meant to post this last night, but life got in the way!  In a very good way.......One of my bestest friends arrived back in Melbourne with her husband and daughter, after being in London for the past 15 years!  I think that's worth missing posting on time?

I've done lots of sewing this week, but clothes!  Here is where I stand on the W.I.P. front......

31 blocks finished!  Only 79 to go......

All of the HST's have been sewn together and cut.  That pile on the right is what needs to be ironed flat, and then added to the little pile on the left which needs to be trimmed........God give me strength.

These Kissing Fish better come together beautifully!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Chicken Pox Survival Guide - According to Me

I am hoping and praying (as I'm sure you are!) that this will be my last EVER post on chicken pox!  The past 20 days has taught me soooo much about the pox I thought I should share.  If you ever have the joyful absolutely painful task of dealing with THREE poxy children in as many weeks, you too will write your own survival guide - if in fact you survive!  So here goes:

1. When your child shows you a spot, and another one the next day - don't dismiss them as sand fly bites.
2.  Plan your chicken pox outbreak AROUND public holidays.  New Years Day in rural Tasmania is not the perfect timing for medicinal needs.
3.  Keep note of the date your first child comes out in pox.  Then mark on your calendar precisely two weeks from that date.  Put an alert in your phone, something along the lines of "MASS POX HYSTERIA" to remind you that the remaining children will ALL come out in pox that day.
4.  Keep all supplies from the first child's pox episode.  You will need them - and more.
5.  Buy shares in all late night pharmacies NOW.
6.  Make friends with your local Naturopathic/Health Food store.
7.  Don't make the mistake of thinking because your child has been immunised, that they are immune!

In all seriousness though, here are the products and procedures we used that benefitted the kids the most:

* Pinetarsol - It's bright green and has a most peculiar smell that lingers weeks after use.  BUT it's quite effective in warding off the itches.  It now comes in a host of different forms, but we bought (thankfully) a decent sized pump pack of Gel.  Just work into a lather and cover poxy child in it, leave a couple of minutes and rinse off.  Can be used to wash their hair and soothe poxy scalps too.


*  Solosite Gel - Comes in a tube from the pharmacy and was recommended to lessen the scarring caused by pox.  Tubes are not big enough for masses of pox - so buy a few!  It is a little annoying for the patient as it gets flakey as it dries, but seems to be working well so far.

*  Calendula Tea - This mix of dried flowers can be made up as a brewed tea.  Soak face washers in cooled tea to use as cold compresses.  Reduces redness, heat, itchiness and swelling.  Can also use in the bath for soaking in.

*  Chickweed Gel - When the pox have dried out completely and the itching is driving them crazy, the Chickweed Gel worked quite well!  It has Aloe Vera and Tea Tree oil in it, so smells yummy!

*  PHENERGAN - This is THE MOST essential item on the list!  Get a bottle (or two/three depending how many kids you've got) for the kids, and the tablet form for yourself!  You can use the lowest dose during the day to help with the itchiness, and the highest sedative dose at night to help the kids sleep.  My sleep cycle was completely thrown out, so the tablets over three nights got me back in to gear!
*  The Ocean - If you are within walking or driving distance to a beach, make the trip there once the pox have dried up and are no longer contagious.  Whilst in Tassie we were a walk away, and it made a huge difference to Cadyn's sores.  And I took the girls last week two days in a row, and saw a HUGE improvement!  Salt water is a great, natural antibiotic and healing tool.

*  But the best thing possible to get through Chicken Pox?  Patience and a sense of humour.  If you don't laugh - you will definitely cry!  I can honestly say I have never been as cool, calm and collected as I have the past 20 days.  For some unknown and crazy reason, I just accepted that there was nothing AT ALL that could change the situation I was in, and I had to let go of ALL control.  Which, if you know me well, you would realise is a very hard thing for me to do!

All six of us have survived, with smiles intact.  I came home from work today to find that my nine year old Chelsea (who copped THE worst case of all) had returned in all her whinging, whining, sooking glory!  She's back!  Fingers crossed this is the end and we can all return to our regular routines.

Post Beach Happiness!
Have you had to deal with a trail of Pox?  How did you manage?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sign Of The Times?

Do you remember when you were growing up and you'd hear your grandparents say "Back in my day...." or your parents say "when I was a girl....."?  Do you remember rolling your eyes and thinking "yeh, yeh" and wondering what all the fuss was about?  Thinking that all of them were just old fogies who had no idea about what you were going through, about the type of world you were growing up in?  And thinking "when I'm a parent, I'm NEVER going to be like that!"?  Well, I feel like I'm in a never-ending version of that complete paragraph at present!

One word - Teenagers.

I want to know what on earth has happened in the 20 years since I finished being a teenager?  Since when did it become OK to do everything that it wasn't OK to do when I was a teenager?  Have I really been living under a rock BOULDER???  I don't think I'm naive, I don't think I'm a fuddy duddy, in fact I think I'm a pretty COOL MUM.  But if the teenage years get more eventful and more testing the older they get - I could lose my cool.....

At 14 years of age, I had only just relinquished my Barbie dolls, started filling out a bra and was not remotely interested in sex.  Don't get me wrong - I had a pulse, and hormones, so I knew the opposite sex existed - I just wasn't interested nor prepared to get involved in anything more than a kiss.

Fast forward to 2013........where 13 year olds think it's OK to drop the F bomb in front of their friends' Mum.  Where parents think it's ok for the same age girls to roam the streets after 5pm, hang out with boys unsupervised and wear the most ridiculously skimpy clothes known to man.  Morals are thrown out the window (or maybe they're just not taught?), restrictions on phone calls don't exist (can you imagine calling someone at 11pm back in 1988?) and writing on FB that you're on the phone to your "sexy boyfriend".  13.  THIRTEEN.

You may have guessed what I'm dealing with?  I thought the fact I had to go and borrow the "Where do I come from" book last week, for the younger members of the family, was enough sex talk for at least a month, but apparently not.  It seems my world has now become one of repetitive conversations about what is appropriate and/or inappropriate behaviour.  

Remember this little gem of a book?

The expectations I have as a parent are pretty simple - I thought?  But I'm slowly realising that perhaps my expectations are completely out of whack with the time I'm living in?  A certain someone said to me today that he was "glad he doesn't have daughters".  And I replied that I was glad I did, because I will teach my daughters (and my sons!) morals, self-esteem and love.  That my daughters will have a slew of restrictions of what/how they can and cannot wear, do, say and behave.  And that there will be consequences for the choices they make in their lives.  Am I really being THAT unrealistic to think that I can have so much input in to how my children are going to turn out?  Do I have to just give in to the fact that times have changed and expectations appear to be somewhat lowered?

I'm doing my best.  I'm having VERY open and honest conversations on a very regular basis.  I'm ensuring the teenager is informed and protected.  But I feel like I'm going "against the tide" so to speak.

Do you have teenagers?  Do you have expectations?  Discuss!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday #5

In what could be one of the most craziest decisions I've made, I chose to use the Freshly Pieced Kissing Fish Baby Quilt Pattern to make a cot quilt for a best friend's impending arrival.  As per usual, I did not read the instructions much before making the choice, and once I'd started, there was no turning back.  So now I find myself in some kind of HST hell!  I have cut out a total of 461 squares ranging in size from 2" up to 8 1/2".  And have now sewn together half of the 3" squares to get my HST on.  Here are all my pretty little piles of "to do's".

I chose five different coloured prints for this quilt, all to co-ordinate with some gorgeous butterflies that will be on the nursery walls.  I don't usually do pastels, so this is a first!  The ribbon print is going to be the backing, I have no idea what I'm going to do for the binding though......  I have a feeling that by the time I get to that part of the quilt, I may just have had a meltdown or two and will just choose whatever is closest to me!

When I asked my friend Gemma from Pretty Bobbins if I was crazy to contemplate making this quilt, she was very encouraging, telling me that it would be great practice at points.  Yep, I should have points down pat by the end of this project!!!!!  Here are the first eight blocks done.  Only 102 to go!

See the little kissing fishies???
I haven't gotten any further with this quilt, except for buying some grey homespun for the back and contemplating just one pieced block smack bang in the middle of the backing.  I also bought a really bright plain purple for the binding, but literally haven't had a chance to see if it all ties in well.

And I decided to pull this Hungry Little Caterpillar panel out.  I was given the other pieces of fruit etc, so trimmed them all up and put them around the panel.  And haven't gotten any further.

I do believe I'm starting to become one of those crafty people who start things but doesn't finish them?  I don't want to be - so am eagerly awaiting the end of school holidays, the end of the chicken pox epidemic that has taken over my family and the start of my four year old's Kindergarten year!  Then I will have more time during the week to myself than I've had in fifteen years!  Yeeeeeehawwwwwwww!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Stash

It's been a while since I've done a Sunday Stash - well, I've only done one!  So I'm linking up with Hot Pink Quilts who are hosting today!

Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth
I haven't bought a big bulky order of fabric for a while now, much to my husband's delight!  But I have been purchasing bits and pieces here and there.  This week I popped in to Lincraft (they were 50% off!!) and grabbed a few prints for a baby quilt I am making.

I can honestly say I've never bought pastels before, but my beautiful friend who is expecting the baby is using the same palette in her nursery.  And butterflies.  So I found the butterfly/dragonfly print and went from there.  Got the little yellow love hearts, tiny pink floral and green from Lincraft.  Then came home and shuffled through my fabric stash (also managed a huge tidy up!) and found the yummy purple print which had been sitting on the shelf for far too long!  The gorgeous pink ribbon print I bought a few yards of on a whim months ago.  I think I'm going to use it as the backing?

So, this is my latest project.  I chose a pattern yesterday, and got it all cut out.  Hundreds of HST's coming my way!

Friday, January 11, 2013

T.G.I.F.F. - A Few (more) Firsts!

Good evening to you all!  Tonight I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F over at From Blank Pages!

Given we only got back from our holiday last Saturday, I've had a rather productive week.  I wrote myself a list of projects I wanted to get done before I get back in to the "paid to do" sewing.  On the top of that list was my first ever Block for a Quilting Bee!  I only found out what a quilting bee was a few weeks ago, and was thrilled when I was added to one.  The Bee of the month (which is actually for February, not January as I thought) chose THIS BLOCK.  I had a quiet little panic when I first saw it, because I basically thought "how the hell am I going to make that?!?!"  But once I took a few breaths and actually read the instructions, it really sounded straight forward.....

I set about scrounging through my scraps tub, and then re-discovered a few scrap bags, and between them both found a really varied array of amazing fabrics!  I wasn't really sure about the colour matching, but the Bee requested brights for the HST (half square triangles - just learnt that too!)  So I just went with my first choices and thought I would see how it turned out.  Turns out it looks awesome!!!!

Ta-daaaaaaaaa!  Very pleased with myself and the fact that they basically all have points!

The second thing on my list was another thing I had never done before - making dolls..... I wrote a post last week about why I was making them, which you can read HERE.  I enlisted the help of a very excited nine year old, who had been waiting oh so patiently for me to show her how to use her sewing machine.  I gave her free range to my fabric stash and she chose aquas.  I went with pinks.  It took us a few hours, but we got there in the end!

Very proud of herself!

Two little dollies ready for a home!
And the last things I finished this week were two divine outfits for a Jennifer Pagnelli Showcase over at Alex & Grace Designs.  Libby love JP's designs, and chose her fabrics for her Birthday Celebrations!  I have to come clean and say I have never bought JP before, but when I saw this So St. Croix fabric, I fell in love!  So here are my two submissions!  One for the big girls, and one for the little!  They will be available for sale on the 19th of January.

And that's it my friends!  I started a couple of other projects, but will leave that for next week.  I also started with more chicken pox remedies after my two girls starting breaking out yesterday!  Hoorah!  

How long til school starts back??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

W.I.P. of a Different Kind

I don't know if you have noticed (If you're on FB) that Mr FB now asks "What's happening ................?" in the blank status space.  I've been giggling on and off about this for a couple of days now, because I'd really love to just blurt out what's happening here every time I see it, but know that the couple of hundred friends I have really do not want to know that Chloe just asked me to wipe her bum, or Cadyn is commentating his Playstation game.  They don't want to know that I'm stuffing my face with chocolate and sloshing down a Pepsi Max chaser.  And I certainly don't think I should bother sharing that I have just cleaned the shower or read more articles on Mamamia??

Well, tonight, in fact only minutes ago, I looked at it again and was about to give a spiel about what was happening here at home.  And I thought, No, I'll share it on the blog.  So here I am - raspberries to you FB!

So what IS happening??  A very strange thing is husband - he of the "not a home maintenance kind of man breed"- has all of a sudden become Mr Handy Man.  Before we went on holidays, I went to Bunnings and spent a small fortune on all matter of crappola in an effort to create motivation for finishing off a few things around the house.  One very hot day whilst at work, I called to see how his Sunday was going, and he was huffing and puffing.  "What are you doing?" I ask.  "I'm in the garden".........


It turned out that he was in the garden for quite a few hours and also managed to oil the gate between the garage and house and also used the high pressure water machine I bought, to clean the front concrete path.  I was astounded, and very pleased.

When we returned from holidays on Saturday, as we were coming around the corner to home, he says "It's nice to come home to your own home".   O.K. then.  

Last night I informed him that we would be having a BBQ here in a couple of weeks, when my London bestie arrives in Melbourne.  She's moving back here after 15 years abroad, but will only be here for one night before going on holidays.  So a bunch of friends will be coming over.  A look of befuddlement greeted me, and he says "We'll have to buy a BBQ".  Yes, yes, we will have to buy a BBQ - because the husband I used to have left our BBQ out in the elements and is now rusty and dodgy.

Today, he calls me during his lunch break to say he's found a BBQ, and it's half price!  I've taught him everything he knows.  So proud.  He brought it home with him tonight and I helped him lug all of its 45 kilos in to the garage.  He then proceeded to tell me that before dinner he was going to clean to deck off, and then after dinner would be making another trip to Bunnings (this post is NOT sponsored by Bunnings) to get a couple more supplies, and would be punching the nails in that the builder never came back to fix, and would put a coat of oil on before bed.  O.K. then.

This is NOT the man I know!  But I LIKE him!

The "before" shot....
It really is so very, very lovely to see him so house proud, and actually getting amongst it..... Our home is one big work in progress!

Oh, and whilst I have your attention - Is there an easier way of getting those bloody dandelions out of the lawn other than digging them out one. by. one.????

The bane of my gardening existence!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another Pox Post

We made it home from holidays.  Usually not a news worthy statement, but it was a bit touch and go there for a while!  If you read my New Year's Day post, you would know that Murphy's Law ascended on us and gave my eight year old son a good, decent, solid case of the chicken pox.  It knocked the poor kid for an absolute six.  What was most unusual about this scenario was that I remained strangely calm and relaxed during it all!  I'm still rather confused as to why I was, but also very impressed with myself....

Once we could get to a pharmacy, the day AFTER the pox arrived, and spent a small fortune stocking up on Pinetarsol (that shit stinks), Sol Site gel (expensive little tube of scar healing gel) and Phenerghan (GOLD), my poor little man just slept off the pox.  He also became a beautiful, darling little child, who actually came to me for a hug and let me look after him.  So, basically the complete opposite to what he would normally allow me to do!  Cadyn is a Daddy's boy..... Well, he was - until Daddy pushed him in to the ocean for some salt water therapy.  I think the other beach going families thought we were attempting some sort of strange baptism.  I went forth and explained to one of the families that we weren't in fact trying to kill him, but that he had chicken pox and we were trying to heal him.

Anyway, a couple of days later, and our cheerful lad returned in all his smart-arse glory.  Straight back to annoying his sisters and non-stop commentating of sporting events.

I called our airline to check what I needed to ensure that we could get on the plane home in a few day's time.  I spoke to Marg from the airlines, and was directed to get a letter from a Doctor to say he was fit for travel.  That's it.  So I made an appointment at the nearest GP, 20 minutes away in Beaconsfield (yep, the Beaconsfield that is unfortunately famous for the mining disaster) and when we presented there the day before travel, a hippy like looking GP wearing boardshorts and a check shirt with a leather necklace wrote me a little medical certificate to say we were A OK to get on a plane and not infect everyone with the pox.....

We spent our last 24 hours in Tassie at the beach and also having lunch at the marina, then headed to the airport.  And this my friends is where my calm, relaxed facade instantly disappeared......

Our family of six lugged all our shit to the start of the line and when called went to the check in desk.  I presented our booking forms and then proceeded to explain our son's predicament and gave her the medical form.  Airline lady looked momentarily perplexed as she looked from the medical form then to Cadyn and back again.  She then got out a small folder and flicked through, clearly not having any idea what to do.  Next step was heading over to another older airline lady and asking her advice.  Young airline lady disappeared and older airline lady headed towards us stating that the medical certificate was not enough and that young airline lady was going to consult their nurse.

WHAT THE F*CK!?!?!?!!?

Right about then was when my cool disappeared and my ranty pants returned.  I managed to rant without expletives, which in itself is a miracle.  I felt Andrew's hand on my shoulder as he tried to calm me down, but I was so frustrated at the thought of doing all I was told to do, and then possibly being stuck in Tassie whilst half our family left....

My cool returned whilst we stood waiting patiently shitty as hell for around ten minutes.  We'd sent the four kids away to sit together in case Andrew had to lose his shit upon airline lady's return.  We also now had a very captive audience of fellow traveller's who were becoming increasingly restless with the wait.  Airline lady appeared with folder in hand and asked to see Cadyn.  So we called him over so he could be inspected in front of everyone, and she asked if his spots were all scabbed over (fuck I hate that word)?  Well, you're looking at him lady??  Then, in all her wisdom, she declared he was able to fly!


So we got our tribe home, relatively happy and healthy and I'm just biding the time waiting for both girls to present pox like symptoms so that the school holidays can just be that little bit more FUN!

I have a couple of lessons for you in this post - 

1.  Do not think that just because your child is immunised against chicken pox that they won't get it.  And don't think that if they do get it, it will necessarily be a mild case.   A friend asked me why we couldn't just get on the plane without saying anything?

My point made....only a balaclava would have made getting on to the plane easier.....

2.  Don't trust an airline phone operator with a Malaysian accent called Marg.  

3.  DO GO TO TASSIE FOR A HOLIDAY!  You may or may not be aware that they are currently going through a terrible bushfire season.  100's of homes lost and no respite just yet.  This was our second holiday to the Apple Isle, and I can highly recommend it for a great place to visit.  I am planning on running an Underwear Drive to aid those who have lost everything (including their undies), and have contacted Foodbank Tasmania, to be recipients of any donations.  If you would like to contribute to the underwear drive, please email me and I will forward details.  If you can't donate underwear, you can donate to The Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal.  If you can spare a few dollars, they will make sure it goes a long way.

Beautiful Green's Beach, Tasmania.

Amazing Cataract Gorge, Tasmania.

So - how are you getting through these holidays?

****  Edited to say that I will in fact be running the Underwear Drive!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dolly Drive

Nope, I'm not talking about the magazine I spent hundreds of hours flicking through in the 80's, I'm actually talking about REAL dollies!  Am I going bonkers?  No!  Although I very well may just do that now that I have committed myself to making a doll/softie.....

The lovely gals over at The Sewing Library (I know, I know - I'm a sewing geek!) have organised a fabulous Dolly Drive, and their aim is to provide Australian Children's hospitals with 1000 dolls and softies to donate to sick kiddies.  Fabulous yes??  They have teamed up with the amazing Sarah from Dolls and Daydreams, who just happens to design amazing little dollies and sells the patterns.  BUT, upon further investigation today (yep, I'm a bit late to the party) I've discovered Sarah also has a blog called Dolly Donations.  It's a fabulous blog with lots of great stories of dolly drives throughout the world!  And last Friday she wrote a post about our Aussie drive.

There are many, many amazing doll makers out in the world, and my kids are very lucky to own a few themselves, which is great, because I have never had the urge to make one......until now.  I have just purchased this gorgeous Nesting Dolls pattern, because quite frankly - the idea of sewing and stuffing little limbs makes me extremely nervous!  If my attempt at softie making is successful, then I shall make a couple to contribute to the cause.  And if it's a big fat fail - I will still contemplate sending it off (with an apology letter !) because the dolly drive is not about perfection, it's about chipping in for charity!

If you would like to join in the drive (1000 dolls/softies by the 1st of March!) please pop on over to the TSL Dolly Drive 2013 page and get stuck in!  I will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress or lack thereof with this little project!  I'm thinking Ms Chelsea may even like to join in the fun!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday....I'm Quilting - Again.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm back again with a WORK IN PROGRESS and linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

It's now possibly very close to being official that I may just be possibly hooked on quilting?  Given I started my third quilt this week, I think I have an addiction....

I bought a layer cake of Kate Spain's Good Fortune months ago, with the aim of making my youngest daughter a quilt.  Since buying it, I have made a couple of others, as well as being very busy with Ms Midge, so the "lull" that is post Christmas has spurred me in to action.

I mentioned in a quilting group I am part of that I was looking for a good layer cake pattern.  One of the lovely members, Carol, gave me the link to her blog and a great tutorial HERE.  She has called it the 1 + 2 = Easy Quilt Pattern, and I must say - she is spot on!  The blocks came together really quickly, and despite my obviously wonky rotary cutting skills, before I knew it, I had reasonably straight rows and then a complete quilt top!  I think the whole thing has taken me maybe four hours from start to finish?

I went to Lincraft on Friday when they had 30% off, and got a lovely big quilt sized piece of bamboo batting!  And now the hard part is deciding how to back it and bind it?  Ms Chloe is OBSESSED with purple, so I'm leaning towards one of the brighter/bolder purple prints for the binding, but not quite sold on the backing yet.

I'm away on holidays with the family at Green's Beach, just outside of Launceston this week, so will be happy to get any suggestions from you all!
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