Second and final quilt

After the Mario Brothers quilt was finished I was so happy with the final result that I thought that I would give another one ago. But this time I would use bigger squares.  I found a Perler bead design on Pinterest of a Sugar skull that I liked and that I thought my other brother would like.

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Having no idea how to translate the design into a quilting pattern, I decided that I would just design it and give it a go.  I emailed Dawn again (Dawnlewis.com.au) for some advice and encourgagement.  Her suggestion was to draw it out on graph paper and work from there. So thats what I did.

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Once that was sorted, I bought a whole heap of fabric and got cutting squares.  This quilt took me a lot longer to do than the mario quilt.  I think it was because I was just sewing random squares together rather than working on smaller pictures.  Plus I got bored.  But the fact that my brothers birthday was quickly approaching was the only reason I finished.

This is it…. The final product complete with baby for size comparison.  It turned out a bit bigger than I planned but I am glad that it is done and I think my quilting career is done and dusted….at least for the time being. And just for the more observant readers there are a few squares that are incorrect…I don’t know what happened and it wasn’t until I was finished that I noticed it.

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Trying my hand at something new….

Dawn Lewis is a crafty figure that I have found alot of inspiration in over the past 12 months or so.  One thing that popped up on my newsfeed was that she was working on a pixel quilt that featured the old school Mario Bros.  I loved it.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.

Quilting is something that has never interested me at all but there was something about this quilt that was calling me.  I have two of my four brothers that are very into computer games and all that geeky stuff so I knew that one of them would love it.  After thinking and dreaming about this quilt for weeks I contacted Dawn for more information on the pattern and the complexity of it.  Her words to me was go for it. Maybe try one panel first and if I don’t like it I could always make it into a cushion cover.  Well, I didn’t listen.  I went out bought all the different colours and sat down cutting out the inch and a half squares.

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Each panel has 324 inch and a half squares.  The pattern for anyone interested can been seen on the cuttopieces.blogspot.com.  My quilt design did not include all of the panels featured here.  I substituted some for other patterns I found when I googled Mario Brothers quilts.  Mario Brothers on old school Nintendo was the first computer game that my family owned when I was a kid.  Some of the characters spoke to me more than others hence my reason to change them up. Once my squares were cut it was time to get underway and start putting them together…..

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This was a big project so this is square one….more to come.

I’m back….

Ugh…Morning Sickness! Whoever decided that was the best name for it was lucky to only have it in the morning.  I have to admit I was pretty lucky with my previous three pregnancies and the sickness was pretty mild but this one has made up for them all. Morning sickness has now passed and it has turned into crafting mojo.

I love crafty stuff but with two children under two, I spent a lot of time thinking and even dreaming about what I want to create but not actually getting it out of my head.  I am now well and truly into the second trimester and my ideas are now getting out of my head.

I have been doing the Scrap TV card swaps run by Dawn Lewis (see Scrap TV on Facebook for this months swap) for about a year now but just making standard cards.  With my new found mojo I am now getting more creative.  Stepping out of the standard comfort zone I found myself stuck in and making more wild designs.  My most recent swap cards were to the theme of “Circle”.  Somewhere on your card you had to include something with a circle.  This could be patterned paper, punched shapes or stamps.  I decided to go with punched shapes, bright colours and something that is very in at the moment….stitching. Now that the swaps a done, I can share my finished product.

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Announcing number three

We recently announced that we are expecting out third child. I wanted to do the usual photo announcement to let everyone know.

With the announcement of our second, we had our daughter sitting with the iPad on her lap displaying a photo of the scan. She was only about seven months old and happily sat smiling.

This time I wanted to include both children. I trawled trusty Pinterest for inspiration. It looked easy enough. I then thought, right I’m ready to do this.

On a day that was relatively morning sickness free, I set up a makeshift studio on the back deck where the light is really good for taking photos. I set the kids down then started with the stupid thing that all mums do….”Smile. Look at mummy.! Over here. Sit down. Smile.” I kid you not, about 150 photos later, I gave up. Whatever I had, was it. I was over it. I would have to make do.

Let me tell you it is hard to get two kids to co operate for the split second it takes to take a photo as well as keep your cool and not let the urge to throw up get the better of you. I can only imagine what my neighbours were thinking as they were digging about in their garden on the other side of the back fence. I’m sure they already think I’m crazy and this would have cemented that thought.

I am marking this exercise as a partial Pinterest fail. I did get a few that were ok but nothing that screams at me as awesome. Not a complete fail but not a success either.

Here are a few of the fails….

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And here is the announcements we went with. The second was sent to family. It turned out to be a bit cryptic for some so, I went with something more obvious for social media announcement so I wouldn’t have to answer a million questions.

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My advice for anyone attempting this…have two people to help, be patient and DON’T have high expectations. It makes for a better story in the end and shows the kids personalities.

Here’s another fail…look how happy they look.

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Three things to keep a mum from losing her mind

This post is about being a mum and some of the things that I have learnt in the past nearly two years. Not the things like how to get a toddler to eat their vegetables or how to teach a newborn to self settle but three things that will help your sanity just a little bit. A bit of background on me, I am currently a mother of two, one twenty month old and one seven month old. No we are not crazy nor do we not own a Tv, our family has been in the control of the fertility gods. We had to wait until they decided to help us out in the form of one very good doctor but that’s for a different time.

Here goes in no particular order….

Number one – It’s as hard as you make it. This is something I didn’t realise until I had baby number 2. One thing I remember when we announced we were having number 2 is everyone saying “It’s going to be hard work.” Really? NO!? How can two small people with minds of their own be hard work? “It’ll be fine.” I would respond. I have to admit towards the end of my pregnancy I did have a mini melt down in my mind (I was not going to show my weakness to anyone who was already judging me). It was then that I realised I had two options, let it get the better of me or pull myself together and get on with it. I chose to pull myself together and just expected the worst. If things were a mess then things were a mess. I think expecting the worst made it easier when number two actually arrived. It didn’t even come close to what the worst was that I could imagine. It was actually easier. I had done the hard yards with baby one. There were no surprises. I wasn’t worrying if number two was getting enough milk or he was too warm.  I wasn’t constantly googling or reading rubbish. One, I didn’t have time for this and two, I didn’t care what some doctor thought was right.  I had learnt from number one if any of these things were happening the baby would let me know. I didn’t have to worry. Plus I realised that the majority of these doctors writing these books only had one child.  Yes, they stopped at one.  Did they know something everyone else didn’t?  It was at that point I decided that they did not have enough experience to tell me how to raise my children.

Number two – Its okay not to have a prize home. When I became a full time stay at home mum when number 1 was born I had this idea that everyone expected that my home should be spotless. I did manage this by busting my arse for a whole year. But when number 2 arrived…I just couldn’t keep up. It started to get me down. I must be a failure as a mother and wife if I cannot keep a spotless house. Then one day I was talking to my mum and she lifted a weight off my shoulders. “It doesn’t have to be spotless, it just has to be clean and tidy.” There is a difference? Yes, there is. “Don’t you remember our house when you were a kid?” she asked. I did. It was always clean. She was constantly mopping, doing washing and making cups of tea. “It was like a bombsite. There was always stuff everywhere.” She answered herself. What!? That’s not what I remember. “That’s it. Your children don’t care about how your house looks just what you are doing. Make sure your floors are clean and they have clean clothes to wear and the rest won’t matter.” This was my light bulb moment. I was staying at home to care for my children not maintain a museum. The next week a friend was over and I was explaining my “light bulb moment”. Oh, she said, I thought it was your husband that expected you to keep a clean house?” What?! Had I given her that impression? I had. My continual ramblings…”Sorry the house isn’t clean. Don’t judge me.” She thought that he expected that of me when it was just me expecting it of me.

That leads me to number three…Kids don’t care. They don’t care if your hair is brushed or what you are wearing. Just as they don’t care if your house is clean they don’t care if you stay home everyday. This was another thing that my mum made me realise while I was worrying unnecessarily. It was the third day in a row we had been at home. I was still trying to find a regular routine with two kids. My mental state was fine, what I mean was I had no “cabin fever” that I had heard many other mums talk about. But I did feel for number one playing with her same toys for the third day in a row. After telling mum about how I felt her words to me were… “Children do not need to go out. They just need to play. They don’t need “toddler time”. I responded…”Yeah but it’s nice to go out. Isn’t it?” Her response was, “Yes, but not every day. Don’t stress yourself out with it. If you don’t go out you don’t go out.” Obvious but true. Kids care about if you will make time for them. If you will sit on the floor and do puzzles or throw a ball. Kids care if you are present. So from that moment being present became my priority. Let’s go make play dough.

Another Pinterest Project…Inital hooks

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Another Pinterest project that I recently finished was Letter wall hooks for the kids to hang their dressing gowns on. This was an easy one the hardest thing is deciding colours and patterned papers. For my daughters Christening I had already decorated a letter to sit on the table next to her cake so it was good to find another use for this rather than just sitting on her very full “special” shelf in her room.  I just had to add the hook and hang it.

Here is the idea from Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203365739398641491/

To put this one together I purchased a pre cut Kaisercraft letters in the required initial.  These are also available at stores like Spotlight, Bunnings and I have even seen them in some dollar stores.  These are available in different sizes and sometimes different fonts.  Once you have your letters its now the hard part…choosing paper. It’s down to personal taste this one.  I used scrapbooking paper.  It’s nice and thick plus I have a fair bit of it hoarded.

Once you have chosen your paper, trace your letter onto the paper.  You can do this on the reverse side of the paper if you like but I just used a pencil and erased the lines before sticking it to my letter.  Then choose a paint colour that will compliment your chosen paper.  I just used Acrylic paint.  Paint the sides of the letter.  You don’t have to be neat.  One side will be attached to the wall and the other will be covered with the paper.  While this is drying, cut out your traced letter from your paper. Glue your cut out letter to the front of your letter. For a bit of shine and to seal it all I added a layer of Modge Podge over the whole letter front and sides.

Finally add your hook.   I wanted to use vintage style hooks to fit with the style of our house.  I couldn’t find any that I liked at the hardware store so I ordered cheap ones of eBay.   At a dollar a hook you can’t go wrong right!? Well, it did make finding a screw to fit the shape of the hook a bit hard.  In the end, I used long gold nails and clipped off the long bit from the back.   It does the job and looks pretty good I think.  To fix these to the wall I just used 3M tape that you usually use to stick the hooks to the wall.  My kids are currently sharing a room so I wanted the hook to be relocatable once they can go into their separate rooms downstairs.

 Another easy project done. 

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