Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Last day of the School Holidays

I have to say, I limped to the finish line of these school holidays (hangs head in shame).

This unrelenting bad weather has almost seen me lose my mind.

Luckily I had some "stuff" put aside for just such a hair-pulling day.

I'd previously purchased some very good maths resources from MTA and shoved them in a cupboard till a day when we really needed something to entertain us.

These weighing scales and cuisenaire rods really fit the bill today.

We had a lovely couple of hours mucking around with them. And the best bit? Rhianna was actually learning some stuff. And there was no glitter, glue or paint involved. I mean, I love my craft as much as the next girl. But honestly, if I had to glue another pom pom onto anything I would have screamed!!!!

Then, I kid you not, I played hide and seek, colouring in, shops, make-overs and did the grocery shopping.

I'm exhausted.

But I try to cherish every second with my girl because I know how quickly this time will pass and I want to store as many beautiful memories as I can.

The cuisenaire rods came with a little booklet with math activities to try. Today was all about exploring them and having fun but this book may give us some direction for future activities.

Love how colourful the rods are.

Because I'm tired and feeling lazy tonight, I decided to fill the rest of this post with my recent op shop finds.

I scored some good stuff up at the op shops near Mum at Toukley.

Toukley is a little town on the Central Coast of NSW full of retirees, so it just makes sense that the op shops there are top notch as much new stock comes in daily.

First up, a genuine Nally 1960's biscuit barrel in mint condition - $7. Bargain.

A 1960's yellow vase - $12.

Handpainted cream and sugar set - This was for my vintage sideboard. ($2)

Another cute little ceramic Japanese deer - $3.

I now have three in my "collection". Who knew collecting was so much fun?

Tomorrow Rhianna is back to school and the big clean up begins.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make and Bake

Well I did say I am in love with all things British and as luck would have it, I awoke to some very English weather today. Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle. I did have a little laugh to myself at all those people I saw last Thursday heading up the mountain with their camping gear.

Nothing goes better with the drip, drip, drip than a nice cup of tea, whereupon Rhianna and I decided to stay in our jammies all day. This is otherwise known as the make and bake day.

First up the make part of the equation.

I've been working on this pillow for a while and today it reached completion. It's totally kitsch and totally me.

A close up :: it's my first real attempt at applique. I think I've found a new love.

It's nearing morning tea time and we decide to bring some baking into the day.

Nothing too fancy as we have no intention of leaving the house to buy ingredients.

I found a recipe at Mum's last week for chocolate peanut butter cookies. And yipee, I already have everything to get started.

My God, these were seriously good, and the recipe made millions. Well ok, maybe not millions but if you live close by, please pop in and grab some.

The chocolate and peanut butter gave the biscuits this chewy caramelly taste. So yummy.

The onto some more making :: take some old shoeboxes and turn them into........

A treasure box.

Again we used just existing supplies. The white around the buckles is the glue still waiting to dry.

And inside any good treasure chest is some treasure :: otherwise known as junk jewellery and old currency money. Except I just spotted some US currency that will come in handy in about 6 weeks time.

Bill could take the crafting and baking no longer and headed out. He'd blown up the toaster at the start of Easter and returned later this afternoon with this lovely red Delonghi model. It's a little bit retro, very shiny, very red and very big.

We've had a fabulous Easter and hope you and your family did too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day at the Museum

With the weather being very ordinary on this Anzac long weekend we decided to head out for the day.

We needed somewhere indoor, interesting and hopefully not too crowded.

The Australian Museum in the city seemed like a good choice.

We caught the train in, as it's way cheaper and more convenient than trying to find parking and arrived at the Museum around 11am.

The dinosaur exhibition is the big draw card at the museum.

Rhianna wanted to see what it was like to pick the nose of the giant wombat - she's all class my girl!

We voted this guy the dinosaur we would most like as a pet.

The great thing about the Museum is all the interactive stuff they have for the kids.

The photo below is Rhianna using a gigantic interactive table about sea creatures.

When you touch certain areas of the table, animals would appear and then describe them in very simple text.

Rhianna is touching a blue ringed octopus.

The computer programs are popular too. There was no waiting time to use anything so we definitely came on a good day.

There was a drawing area for the kids to learn how to draw tree frogs.

Rhianna came away with a really good picture.

Not to mention all the exercise we got walking around and riding the exercise bike.

The bike demonstrates how your skeleton works when you ride a bike.

It really was a fabulous day out with us not arriving home till after dark.

If you live near Sydney or are visiting soon, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Saturday and Sunday 2011

Easter Saturday was spent on the Central Coast with my parents. As well as visiting dad we had to replace the back door of my parents house as my dog Finn had damaged it on our last visit up there.

He wasn't nearly as excited to be visiting "Nanny and Poppy" as he was last week.

Funny that!!!

The F3 was the usual nightmare and the weather was atrocious.

Easter Sunday started off on a much brighter note with a visit from the Easter bunny.

The Easter bunny doesn't bring much chocolate.

He brings new Winter Pj's, new slippers, books, undies and a few other little things.

After breakfast we went out for a drive and ended up at the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge.

We decided to do the gallery tour.

After the tour, where you are not allowed to take photos, we strolled around the gardens looking at his sculptures.

Some are in concrete and some are bronze.

Nothing as interesting as this tree as far as Rhianna was concerned.

Then into the cafe for some lovely delicious hot chocolate and a quick bite of lunch.

We spent the rest of the day lazing around, reading the papers, drinking coffee and snuggling up to watch some truly ancient DVDs from our collection.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Friday

Last week we all bit the bullet and took out a family membership at a local gym.

Two of the great things about the gym we joined is that they welcome kids and they have a squash court. We now play a family game every Thursday night.

Here are Bill and Rhianna warming up.

We play a game called racquetball which has bigger racquets than squash and a bouncy ball. It is tonnes of fun and we are all getting very good at serving and returning. We play for an hour and even our son Broc comes along to participate.

This is me about to serve.

Rhianna has picked the game up very quickly. She's sleeping well on Thursday nights now.

We tried out a new dessert tonight with a distinctive Easter flavour.

We took a chocolate egg, knocked the top off and placed it in an egg cup. We filled it full of custard to represent the "googy" part of the egg and added a scotch finger biscuit snapped in half to represent the "toast".

Can you tell this was a Rhianna creation?

Finally a very quick craft project :: can you guess what this is........

It's a flower pen of course.

Wrap some florist tape around a pen.

Superglue a flower in the top and bob's your uncle.

Did you notice the plasticine pen holder Rhianna has made especially to house it?

Today was a very lazy Good Friday.

I'm a big fan of Art House film and love anything in this genre that is French. Today I watched this French movie called The Hedgehog. It's loosely translated from the book The Elegance of the Hedgehog which I've bought to take on the plane with me to NY.

What a beautiful film. I was in bliss watching this, eating dark chocolate and drinking a red wine.

Have a great Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holiday Tea Party

In the relative calm of the school term, I agreed to a holiday tea party for Miss Rhianna.

Staring down the barrel of another half a week of school holidays I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking.

As my place already looks like a fairground there was no decorating to be done just a few nibblies to provide...oh, and around 2 hours of entertainment for some 7 year old girls.

We managed to get the table looking pretty spiffy. I let Rhianna use all the vintage crockery and glasses from the "good" cabinet. I mean, they are there to be used...ummm, right?

Our centrepiece was a bunny egg holder bought at Hot Dollar for $2.

I threw on the grapes at the last minute for all the attending parents who might care about how much junk their child may be consuming today.

The girls get stuck in soon after arrival.

After a couple of sedate games such as whole house hide and seek and musical statues, I was, I mean the kids, were exhausted and wanted some down time on the monkey bars.

Then back inside for colouring in. A nice quiet, not to mention - clean, activity that uses up lots of time.

How silly to think I could hold these creativity geniuses in check!

No!!!!!, before long most of the craft cupboard was out and there was glue, glitter and pom poms as far as the eye could see.

It didn't help that one little girl got her hand stuck in the glitter star jar. When I eventually managed to reef it out, about 200 glitter stars came too.

It did look colourful though and I do so love a bit of colour.

Well, I'm off now for a cup of coffee and a good lie down. I'm sure you don't blame me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm Back

Hello there everybody.

Bet you thought I'd given up my blogging.

Well yes, it does get a bit hard sometimes to keep up the updates. especially lately with so much going on.

I'm currently visiting with my parents on the Central Coast (of NSW) as my Dad has had a cancer diagnosis. At this stage it is only a small area and was treatable but we are unsure of the long term prognosis. I've been spending some time them during this stressful time.

Of course there are the usual limitations on my time and sanity such as the school holidays and Easter descending rapidly upon us but we've managed to keep ourselves occupied in quite crafty ways.

Now usually, I like the loungeroom to look like this.....

But during the school holidays it looks like this on most days.
I knitted this small throw for Rhianna in under a week using the biggest knitting needles I've ever seen and using 2 balls of wool at once to knit with.

It's so unbelievably soft and snuggly. And the colours are just divine to look at. Sitting on Miss Rhianna's lap is Chloe, the newest addition to our family. And so appropriately Easter themed don't you think?

This is my current table arrangement. Roses have been so cheap lately I've taken to buying myself a bunch each week. And those little cupcakes are a project I found in a childrens craft book (very much my level).
So cute to make, and then Rhianna arranged them on a plate to try and trick Bill.

Some paper chain just because we had cardboard, a stapler and a small bored child last week.

Some Easter decorating. The bunny stand in the middle of the mantle needs some Easter eggs to complete it.... will happen at the end of the week I think when the Easter bunny visits (wink, wink)
There was an Easter bonnet to be made as the school has outsourced this project this year to already stressed school holiday parents. Nice of them really.....

Some lovely British bunting arrived in the post last week. I am in love with all things British at the moment and Kate and Wills are getting married soon so it's all entirely appropriate to my way of thinking.

And finally.... a mother and daughter first sewing project - 2 little chicks - just in time for Easter. Rhianna made the pink one . Such lovely little softies.

So as you can see we are right back in the thick of the crafting thing. Winter weather tends to jolt me back into action in that regard. Lots more WIP (works in progress) to display soon.