Monday, December 31, 2012

Sew sew sew...

Now that the silly season has passed, and the presents have all been ripped open, I can share a couple of things that I made for the gorgeous cherubs that we're so blessed to have in our lives.... nieces, nephews, good friends, and of course my boy Alex!  As well as a couple of household gems I whipped up....

One of my biggest projects was a princess and the pea I did for my niece and god daughter Ella...  She is such a beautiful girl, and I love her so much...  when I came upon this idea about a year ago, I just knew I had to do it!

I bought a bed some time ago from Ikea (which I unfortunately do not have a photo of) and bought the Princess and the Pea book from the Book Depository (which is the cheapest place in the world to get books by the way, absolutely awesome!!)

I then just cut a whole bunch of rectangles, put batting in between them and sewed them up as mattresses... and made a little round pea....

Ella loves ballet and I'm told she's fond of the colour yellow, so I made the princess's quilt and pillow from fabric with little ballet slippers all over it.  The princess herself is the Disney Belle princess (I ordered her from Target, and she conveniently came with sleepwear!)

One thing I really go into making this year was these little owl pillows.... I made 18 of them in fact!

They were more fiddly than they look and ended up taking me about an hour each to make....

But they were well received with all the kids - that's the important part :)

Even our niece and nephew who are 21 and 15 respectively ended up taking one home on a recent visit! You're never too old for a new cuddly!

And the last thing on my little Christmas list for the kids were Christmas t-shirts (or onesies for the bubs!)  I just bought some Christmassy fabric from Spotlight, and some good quality t-shirts from Target and got to work!  I ironed on some applique paper stuff (yes, totally the technical term for it!) and then cut out the patterns - some had a Christmas picture so I just cut around those and sewed them on...

Others were just Christmas print, and so I cut them in the shape of Christmas trees and sewed them on too...

I really loved how they turned out - I thought they were really cute, and just a little Christmassy something for the kids to wear :)

In between all this sewing of gifts, I did get a couple of cushions done too....  I bought this red fabric some time ago, and to be honest I cannot even remember where it came from (bummer, because I would really like to get some more!!)  But its a cute, bright, fun little burst, so I sewed it up to lift the corner where our little reading lounge is - before it was all blue and neutrals (sorry I don't have a before photo) but now with the addition of my little red cushions, and a green one I bought a while ago somewhere on sale (again no idea where!) I think its a really cute little area now - I did get a photo of the whole lounge but it was so bad I left it out and moved on (in the interests of actually publishing this post!)  But here is a closeup of one of the cushions....

Also our daybed out the back was looking a bit sad...

From afar its not that bad, but the cushions I had there had actually gone mouldy (eewwwww!) so sitting on them was a bit of a hazard.... again, a trip to Spotlight was in order!  They were having a 30% off fabrics sale, so Mum and I scoured the aisles for some nice brights.  We found a few we liked and headed to the checkout - one was originally $16.95/metre but was end of roll and just enough for one cushion - so the lady rang it up as a remnant for $2, score!  I just did simple envelope backs for these (which I love - no zippers or buttons!) and they turned out well too I think....

The body pillow behind is covered in some fabric I've had hanging out in my stash forever so no cost there - the new fabric cost me about $20 so I think its a pretty cheap little facelift!   Bit of an odd mix of colours for sure, but I love how happy they are :)

The cover on the main seat is looking a bit shabby against all this brightness now though.... so I might have to get onto that ;)

Sew there you go!  I can't wait to have a bit of time to sew again soon - my loungeroom is looking a bit boring now and needs more colour I think to lighten it up - and even moreso now that I have put all the Christmas decorations away.....  I really hate this time of year :(  The rooms always seem so bare and 'unfestive' when they're gone...  I'll have to have a think about what I could run up on the cheap to put a bit of sunshine back into the house.... hmmmmm...

Bye for now :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Elfie Farewell...

Today is the final elfcapade for 2012 in our home...  We were all wondering what Elfie would have in store!  As it turns out, we found Elfie under the Christmas tree where he'd tied himself to a present.

When Alex opened it, we found a letter that read as follows:

Dear Alex,

Thank you so much for having me in your home this month!  I've had the best time :)

As you know, Santa comes tonight to deliver presents, and so I must go back to the North Pole.  Elves have a very busy time making toys for all the children, and so we need to get started right away on toys for next year!

I've left a little present for you - this is for you to enjoy with your family this afternoon.  This movie is one of my favourites - I hope you enjoy it too!

Please remember all year long that Santa is watching, and you need to be a good boy all the time, nopt just when Christmas is near.  If you're good next year, Santa will let me come back next Christmas - so please be super good because I really want to come back!

Goodbye Alex, I will miss you a lot.  Don't be upset that I had to go, just be good so I can see you next Christmas!  Have fun at big School next year!

Lots of love, Elfie xxx

Also in the box was the movie 'Shrek the Halls', some microwave popcorn and some popcorn containers - so we can all sit and watch a nice Christmas movie with popcorn this afternoon...  What a lovely Elfie!

He also snuck in a pair of shark PJs for Alex to wear tonight (he loves sharks!)

So there you go, Elfie sits on our shelf today for the last time in 2012.... I'm a little sad (but elated at the prospect of finally sleeping in, after Christmas of course!)  Alex took it quite well this morning but I'm expecting tears later in the day when departure is more imminent and he's getting tired....  Hopefully I'm wrong!

Well I must away and get my last minute Christmas preparations sorted....  There are reindeer carrots and Santa treats to get ready, some last minute wrapping and cooking (Mim is cooking lemon garlic prawns for dinner - yummo... Might post a recipe later in the week!)

Enjoy your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day friends!  Hope its a magical time for you and your family, with lots of love and laughs!

Bye for now :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Elfie Escapades - Part 5...

As Christmas draws closer, Alex is acutely aware that Elfie's time with us is limited...  There have been a few tears already, and I'm hoping Elfie will do something to explain his departure (when the time comes) so Alex feels a bit happier about it.

But without further ado... what has Elfie been up to these last few days?  Well the morning of Thursday 20th saw Elfie hankering for the great outdoors I think...  but it was raining so what's an elf to do?  Go fishing in the bathroom sink of course!!

Alex thought this was really cute!

The next night, it seems Eflie got himself in a spot of bother with some toy soldiers playing war games!!  Looks like Alex woke up Friday morning just in the nick of time to save him!!!

On Saturday 22nd December, my darling baby boy turned 5...  Where did those years go?  Its a bittersweet milestone - awesome because he is delightful at this age, but not so because I just wish sometimes that time could stand still...  Oh well, enough of my ramblings... Elfie had the honour of giving Alex his first present of the day - we found him on the bench laying on top of a wrapped gift.

It was a new bike helmet!  His old one doesn't fit anymore, so this was very well received :)

On Sunday he went all Super Elf on us!!  Mim has her TV wall mounted up high in her bedroom - in the morning when Alex went into her room, who should be sitting on top wearing a little cape he'd made but Elfie!!

And so the next visit from Elfie will be his last....  like I said, Alex is a little upset about this, he will miss Elfie a lot.  Can't wait to see what he does for his last visit!

Bye for now :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elfie Escapades - Part 4...

I’m just going to preface this post with an acknowledgement of the terrible tragedy that unfolded in recent days in the US…. Whatever I say will be grossly inadequate, and so I will say only that all the families, teachers and children affected by this horrible event are in my thoughts and prayers constantly….

And with all this going on, I am so gratefully celebrating my own little boy – his joy and innocence, and wild wonder of all things Christmas and Elfie. So for those whose heart need a little lift, and whose mind needs a little distraction, I hope you’ll enjoy this post about our Elfie’s latest escapades.

After Alex’s unfortunate touching incident, he has been very careful not to get too close to Elfie again. True to Santa’s word, his magic elf dust did the trick and Elfie did indeed ride again!

On Thursday 13 December, it seems that Elfie was missing the snow just a little…. And so he found himself a nice ramp and some snow like objects (aka make up remover pads), plonked himself in one of my shoes and held on to the laces sled-style for a little ride… wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!

On Friday, Alex had so much trouble finding him! We all looked everywhere, and he was just nowhere to be seen. I decided to give up and make a cup of tea, and when I opened the fridge, who did I find?

Yes, that would be Elfie….. who had turned our milk pink (as you do!) Alex thought this one was a pretty funny stunt (and I think he was secretly relieved that we finally found him!)

On Saturday 15 December, Alex came in to wake me up and get me out of bed for what has become the traditional hunt for Elfie…. I was just opening my eyes when Alex spotted Elfie – in my room! How he snuck in without me hearing, I will never know…

He was sitting in front of what looked like a pot with dirt in it, but he had a note on his lap to Alex, and told him he’d planted magic seeds that Alex needed to water once… and very soon something would grow….

We were out for a while on Saturday, but when we got back, we brought the pot out of the bedroom and Alex diligently watered as Elfie had instructed. He was a bit disappointed when nothing sprouted immediately, but Elfie assured us it wouldn’t be long, and so he knew he’d just have to be patient.

As it turns out, it wasn’t too long for us to wait – on Sunday 16 December we discovered Elfie again sitting next to the pot, this time in the lounge room…. But something looked a bit different today!

Elfie’s magic seeds had sprouted…. Candy canes!!! How cool is that?! Alex thought they were awesome – he was allowed to have one later in the day, and we have left the others planted to see if they will grow any bigger!

Monday morning again saw Elfie roping in some partners in crime… Alex again came to wake me up and told me we didn’t need to look far – back to the lounge room and this is what we found…

Elfie having a jam session with his buddies! We’ve got bear on the guitar…

Yakkity yak and giraffe on vocals…

Hawthorne bear on electronic drums…

And Elfie playing the didgeridoo that Alex made!

What a clever little lot they are! Alex said they must have been playing very quietly – he decided they were probably playing Christmas carols that Elfie had taught them to play. Cute :)

On Tuesday 18 December we found Elfie pretty quickly…. Being a cheeky monkey again and swinging from the feather Christmas tree on the dining table

And we quickly realised he hadn’t stopped there – he’d also turned all the dining chairs backwards!!

This morning Elfie was back at the dining table – only today was a little messier! As time goes by I guess Elfie is really missing playing in the snow with his buddies… and so he’s finding creative ways to ‘pretend’… I can only assume this was what led Elfie to tip rice all over the dining room table and make ‘rice angels’!! Oh that Elfie….

So that brings us up to date with Elfie’s exploits…. We have only 5 more mornings of waking up with Elfie now before he flies home to Santa until next year - I’m sure Alex will be excited and sad at the same time… Excited because it means Santa is coming, and sad because its another year before he gets to see Elfie again. I’m sure we’ll all miss him (but just quietly, as I mentioned in my last post, I am counting down the days to a sleep in!! LOL)

Bye for now ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elf... Interrupted!

All the Elfie Escapades so far have brought us up to this day – Wednesday 12 December 2012.  You see, on this day, Alex did the unthinkable….

The day started as usual…. Far too early and with only Elfie’s whereabouts on Alex’s mind.  He burst into my bedroom to tell me we didn’t have to look far today…. And we didn’t…

Elfie was out on the bench!  I was doing a little glitterifying (yes, that is totally a word!) the night before…  but more on that in another post!  The result of my glitter frenzy though was a plastic tablecloth with surplus glitter, apparently awaiting another project, or perhaps some Elfie mischief! 

So what we awoke to was Elfie tractoring around, using my glitter as his cargo!

Alex had a little giggle at Elfie’s too-large frame on his tractor… he touched the tractor a couple of times to move it backwards and forwards… I told him not to…

Then Alex lost himself in the wonder of Elfie for a moment, and this happened….

This is a photo of Elfie falling from the tractor (immediately after Alex touched his leg) and Alex launching into FULL MELTDOWN in the background….  Oh, how my little boy cried :’(

It was absolutely awful.  He realised straight away what he’d done (before we even registered it actually) and for a good 15 minutes he was completely inconsolable – just crying his little heart out.

I gave him big cuddles and said we’d write to Santa and tell him it was an accident, and I felt sure Santa would send through some of his special elf dust to restore Elfie’s magic.  He was so worried Santa would be mad at him…. 

We immediately went and typed up an email to Santa explaining what had happened….   I assured him some more that everything would be okay, as long as he never did it again!  But 10 minutes later he was in tears again….  He said Elfie was looking at him, which he was, because he always does – but Alex couldn’t cope with the guilt and thought he was staring because he was so upset with him.  It just broke my heart.

The whole episode presented one of those parenting moments when you know you should be enforcing the message that actions have consequences (being that Elfie means so much to him)… but he was beating himself up so badly, I really couldn’t bring myself to do it – he just desperately needed Mummy to make it better.

Fortunately, within about 20 minutes I had a reply from Santa and an instruction to check the letterbox (I knew he didn’t want Alex to suffer for too long!)  And so we trudged out to the mail box and lo and behold – an envelope from Santa!

He told us he’d had one of his other elves use his magic to deliver it right away…  He wrote that Alex should be very careful never to touch Elfie again, as he wouldn’t fix him next time, he’d just ask another elf to bring him home to the North Pole for good…  but for now he’d put some magic elf dust in the envelope and Mummy should sprinkle it over Elfie to bring back his magic.  He told Alex that he loves him, and no more tears! 

So the dust was sprinkled on Elfie, tear stained cheeks were cleaned and peace was restored – thank goodness!!  And tonight Elfie rides again!

That was a big meltdown to have to cope with before 6am and a cup of tea!  I need a good lie down….. 

Bye for now :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Elfie Escapades - Part 3...

It seems I was right that the sedate Elfie of last week might ramp things up a bit again….. We’ve seen all sorts of shenanigans since the last time I gave you an update!!!!  And right up front, I have to apologise for the blurry pics.... they were all taken on my iPhone so they're not the greatest, are all over the place in picture and quality, and many seem to have a green tinge for some reason..?  Anyway, back to business....

On 6th December, Elfie decided he’d been quiet and well behaved long enough – and he rediscovered his cheeky self BIG TIME!!

Yes, that is our TV. Covered in toilet paper. You read that right, Elfie toilet papered our TV!! He could be found rolling across the floor inside the toilet roll…. Wheeeeee!!!

And I couldn’t help but share with you Alex’s reaction to this one – even if it is hard to see!  He was loving it!
It seems in all that toilet papering, he worked up an appetite because on 7th December Elfie could be found on top of the cookie container… He helped himself to some cookies and milk (it must be very difficult for a tiny elf to hold the big milk container, because there was a small amount of spillage!)

And look at Elfie’s cheeky little face covered in chocolate….. Alex just couldn’t believe how naughty he was!

But little did Alex know, Elfie was working himself up to something big…. Because on 8th December we woke to find Elfie swinging from the Christmas tree star…

And it seems he’d done a bit of tree redecorating – with Alex’s undies!!

Alex thought this was most hilarious, as did his buddies who come to our place every Saturday morning for swimming lessons – so much laughter and pondering how he would have taken the undies from Alex’s drawer without waking him…. Elfie’s decorating was a big hit!

On 9th December he roped in a buddy, and we awoke to discover that Elfie and Bumblebee had been having quite the high time with Alex’s Nerf guns overnight!!

Alex has a really strong sense of justice and he was MOST upset with Elfie about this one – as Elfie should know that we do NOT fire Nerf guns inside… and we certainly don’t rope in Bumblebee so he gets in trouble too!! LOL… It took me a while to talk him around, but he did eventually forgive him ;)

The 10th December saw a very adventurous Elfie... riding on a dinosaur!!

This one is a particularly noisy and scary T-Rex – look out Elfie!!!

And after all that excitement,  on the 11th Elfie was not feeling so daredevil and just decided to have a little fun. He was actually on his shelf, just a little further along….

And there was something just a bit different about him (and my owl!) today…..

Apparently Elfie didn’t get the memo that ‘Movember’ is finished!! LOL… Alex thought this one was really cute – it took him ages to find Elfie though, he certainly didn’t expect him to be on his shelf!!

We are still having a blast with our Elfie – Alex continues to wake and ridiculously early hours of the morning so he can search for him…. As much as I’m enjoying Elfie, I’ll definitely be glad when Christmas is here and the urge to wake at 5am or earlier in order to find him has passed so I can finally get some sleep!

Bye for now :)