Monday, December 31, 2012

Craft Project a week: That's all folks!

I am so excited that I've actually followed through on the craft project a week challenge that I began at the start of the year.  It's been hard at times to get something made each week, especially when myself or the kids have been sick or there's been lots of other stuff going on.  There's also been times when I haven't really felt like pulling out the sewing machine yet again, but I've done it regardless.  And really, sewing does make me feel better when I get into it - it's just the getting started bit that's the hardest! 

So this is what I have made this year...

For Esme
2 shirred dresses
Shorts and top set
3 pinafores
2 pairs of flared pants
Patchwork skirt and top
1 pair of pyjama pants

For Jacob
1 pair of pants with cuffs
Applique t-shirt
Reversible sun hat
1 pair shorts with cuffs
1 pair of pyjama pants

For Gideon
2 pairs of pants with cuffs
1 pair of big butt pants
1 pair of up-cycled pants
3 appliqued tops
Reversible sun hat

For me
Patchwork skirt
1 pair of pyjama pants

Felt fishing set
2 felt farmhouse bag and animals
Owl finger puppets

Cross stitched dress
6 appliqued tops
Patchwork skirt and top
Shirred dress
1 pair pants with cuffs
3 pinafores
Kids' apron
4 appliqued wheatbags
4 wheatbags
Seatbelt covers

11 sets of sling suck pads
Sleeping set
Glasses case
Up-cycled apron
Granny squares
5 fairy skirts
Fairy wings
Christmas gift bags

Quite an impressive list when I look back on it.  I'm amazed and proud at what I've managed to achieve this year - even with our velcro baby who prefers to sleep in our arms rather than a bed!  It does help to have a supportive husband - I don't think I could have done it without him. 

So...what project to set myself next year??

Nah, I think I might actually have a year off!! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week 52 of Craft Project a week: The Very Hungry Little Caterpillar

I've had these Very Hungry Little Caterpillar fabrics sitting in my cupboard for nearly a year now.  I knew I would use them one day but wanted to make sure it was for something special.  When a friend of mine posted some photos of pants she'd made using this big butt pants pattern and some Very Hungry Little Caterpillar fabric I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  A matching top was easy to make too.  I just cut out a circle of fabric with the caterpillar on and then appliqued it on to the t-shirt. 

The front of the pants - with all the fruit lined up

The back of the pants - the Very Hungry Caterpillar
And I can't possibly finish this post without a photo of that big butt in question. The pants are still a little long but he'll grow into them.  It's great to have a pair of pants that fit nicely over a cloth nappy!

Cashew nut cream

Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free

Cashew nut cream is an all round favourite in our house.  We use it as a sweet dip for fruit and as a replacement for yoghurt and cream seeing Jacob can't have dairy.  It's amazing how yum it is with just a few simple ingredients.   

Cashew Nut Cream 

115g raw cashew nuts
125ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup, or to taste
1/2-1tsp natural vanilla extract, or to taste

Soak the nuts and 1/2tsp of salt in a bowl of water overnight at room temperature.
Strain the nuts and rinse well.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth (the thermomix is great for getting it really smooth!) Adjust the sweetness with maple syrup and vanilla, as desired.  The cashew nut cream will keep for a week in the fridge.

Recipe originally from Jude Blereau's 'Wholefood for children'. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apricot balls

Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free

Apricot Balls

2 cups cashews
1/4 cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g dried apricots
1 tbsp coconut oil
extra coconut for dusting

Place cashews, coconut, vanilla and apricots into thermomix.  Blend until finely ground (about 1 minute on speed 6) 
Add the coconut oil and mix until it comes together.
Roll into small balls and dust with coconut

The wire comes out.

Looking at this finger you'd never guess that anything had happened to it!  But this is the same finger that, six weeks ago, got stuck in a bike chain and ended up with a deep cut and fracture that needed to be fixed surgically.  I have neglected to update on here what happened though. Almost two weeks after the initial surgery Gideon managed to get his cast off.  When we went the outpatient appointment two days later it was discovered that the bone had actually moved back to the wrong spot.  So Gideon couldn't straighten his finger. 

There was much debate by the surgeons about whether anything could be done.  The problem was that it was now two weeks past the inital surgery and the bones might have already fused together.  Then there was the problem that even if they hadn't that it might be impossible to find the piece of bone that had come off especially given the size of an 18 month old's finger!  We were told it was going to be like 'looking for a needle in a haystack'.  Eventually they decided that it was worth the risk of more surgery in order that his finger might have full mobility.  So we were booked in for surgery the very next day!

It's weird going in for surgery with an 18 month old for the second time.  It's eird knowing what it was going to be like!  We had a long wait to get into surgery and poor Gideon was a bit over it again especially given that he couldn't have a breastfeed to fall asleep. But we got in there in the end.  And the anesthetist was a lot more understanding this time.  I was allowed to hold Gideon in the sling while they put the gas mask on to get him to sleep.  He fought it just as much as last time but at least I was able to hold him close.

This time he was put in a cast up to his armpit.  No getting out of that one.  Or so we thought!  Just over a week after the surgery Gideon managed to break his cast and work it off his arm.  We were told by the plastic surgeons to take him straight to the ED if that happened so that's exactly what we did.  It was only a short wait at the ED as they fast tracked us which I was grateful for.  But the second time (yep, we ended up there two days later when Gideon did it again!) was a 4 + hour wait.  It was really busy and there was a violent patient which was not pleasant at all.  Luckily my little chilled out boy slept for the entire time we were there, only waking up when we redid the plaster.  

The enormous plaster cast!

Two weeks later we had our outpatient appointment again.  All looking good with his finger (awesome!)  The enormous plaster came off and we then had to try and keep a hand splint on his hand for the next two weeks!  He still had the wire sticking out the end of the finger so we had to be really careful that it was bandaged up enough so he couldn't get to the wire.  I think we ended up putting about 3 layers of bandage on just so it took him a loooong time to get to the finger!!

Gideon's finger just before we got the wire taken out.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve and we had our appointment to (finally!) get the wire out.  The wire came out easily and painlessly (I was worried it was going to be traumatic) and the surgeons are very happy with how his finger is.  Gideon is still a little reluctant to use the finger but gradually better.  We have another appointment in 4 weeks but that should be it.  I'm very much looking forward to putting this all behind us now!  No more accidents or illnesses allowed in this family for at least 12 months ;) 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wildlife in our backyard

We get lots of wildlife in our backyard as we live in the Hills with a reserve running along the back of our property.  We've had wallabies in our backyard before.  And we frequently see possums (but doesn't everyone here!), kookaburras, tawny frog mouths and we even have a powerful owl living in our valley.  But it's been a while since we're since an echidna.  In fact it was just after we moved in that we saw an echidna in our front yard (nearly 10 years ago!)  So I was very surprised and excited to walk outside yesterday and see this one.  It was purely by chance that I say it too.  I heard rustling near the deck and looked down (expecting to see the chooks having a dust bath) and was very excited to see this little echnidna.  It stuck around for a while too, alternately burying itself into the ground when we got too noisy and then sticking out it's head.  Eventually it waddled away under our house. 

A video of our little visitor. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week 51 of Craft Project a week: Christmas all wrapped up

I really like the idea of having a 'paper free' Christmas.  In previous years I have used various ways of wrapping presents including tea towels and Christmas fabric.  I've been meaning to make up some fabric bags for quite awhile but it's taken until this year for me to actually get them done!   This is a photo of all our presents 'wrapped up' (well, at least the family's christmas presents, still deciding how Santa is going to wrap the kids' presents!!) 

I love this owl fabric - perfect for my SIL who loves owls!

Sewing buttonholes on this slippery fabric was a little more fiddlier but worth the effort!

You may just find me at my local fabric store on Boxing Day nabbing some half price Christmas fabric for next year ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

Well, I had the best of intentions to do a lot more posts about Christmas this year - kids activities and recipes and so on.  But alas, it did not happen.  Life doesn't always seem to go to plan (you'd think I would have learnt that by now!) Between Gideon's surgery and numerous appointments at the hospital, school/kinder events and work I just haven't quite had the time. 

But I do want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  May you have a lovely Christmas with your families!  We are planning a (slightly) more relaxed Christmas this year spent with family.  The kids will be getting baby bunnies as their Christmas presents this year (adopted from a rabbit orphanage).  I can't wait to see their faces when they see their bunnies on Christmas morning (they've been talking about getting new bunnies ever since we lost ours just before Christmas last year). 

Enjoy the season everyone - however you decide to do it! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 50 of Craft Project a week: Little birdy tops

This week I've been busy making a couple of little birdy tops for some little girls.  I've made these before so not really that exciting but I think they look quite effective on the yellow t-shirts (even if the yellow does look a bit washed out in this photo!)

My own labels for the clothes I make!

I've just started putting labels on for the clothes I make too.  Chris has been using the FunKey name for his chocolates so I've decided to use that too for the things I make (and it was originally the plan to start up my own business using that name, it just kind of never happened!!)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 49 of Craft Project a week: Sweet lil' cherry dress

I saw this two summer sundress pattern a little while ago and knew straight away that I wanted to make it for Esme.  Even better, I already had enough of this sweet cherry fabric sitting in my fabric container (I knew there was a reason I stockpile fabric!)  This cute dress is made using a knitted top and a skirt sewn to the bottom.  Since I am (by my own confessions) not a knitter I commissioned the knitting over to my Mother-in-law.  The skirt part was pretty easy to sew but putting it all together and sewing the ribbon/buttons onto it was a little tricky especially since the knitted part stretches a lot.  I'm thinking of replacing the buttons with red snaps down the track. 

The back view of the dress
It does, however, look very cute on.  And the best thing about it is that it will last her a couple of years!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 48 of Craft Project a week: Little girls' pinafores

I decided to make some little reversible pinafores as Christmas presents for the girls this year.   I love making pinafores as they are really easy to do and look so cute!  Although I had to use a new pattern for the bigger sizes and make quite a few adjustments so it ended up being a bit fiddly (thank goodness for my trusty pattern tracer and cutter aka my hubby). 

Little apple dress in size 2
Little birdy dress in size 5

Little apple dress in size 6

The new pattern ended up making huge dresses so I daresay they will last for a couple of years yet!! Oh well, there's nothing like having clothes that the kids will 'grow into'!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week 47 of Craft Project a week: To the moon!

This week I started on some sewing for Christmas presents.  I always try to make presents for the kids for Christmas.  I have a few kids to sew for so I try to keep it relatively simple!  I saw this design recently and thought it was very cute.  It has a rocket on the front and on the back the Earth. 

A close up of the front
A close up of the back    

I made three of these and have another cut out to make for Jacob once I get another t-shirt!  There will be lots more sewing to do in the next few weeks...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chocolate Truffles (the healthy version!)

Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free

I'm experimented with a few different versions of these chocolate truffles before but this is the first time I've found a recipe that I've absolutely loved as soon as I tasted it.  No one would ever guess that these truffles were healthy!  The original recipe is from here.  I used the same ingredients but simplified it by chucking everything in the thermomix to blend up.  Easy!  The hardest bit was rolling them into balls (and I got the kids to help with that anyway). 

Chocolate Truffles

2 cups natural almonds
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cinammon
1 tsp vanilla bean (I used vanilla bean paste)
16 dried dates
2 tbsp water
extra cocoa and coconut for dusting

Place almonds, cocoa, cinammon, vanilla and dried dates into thermomix.  Blend until finely ground (about 1 minute on speed 6) 
Add the water and mix until it comes together.
Roll into small balls and dust with cocoa or coconut - whatever you prefer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Visiting Tom at home after his surgery in 2004
I love my work and the students I work with but the hard bit about working at a school specifically for kids with physical disabilities and health impairments is that often these kids face complications and don't have a long life expectancy.  Sometimes it's hard to deal with but I've learnt to live in the present with these kids and enjoy each moment as it comes.

Yesterday though I had to say good-bye to a very special student of mine.  Almost 10 years ago I started work at the school where I am at the moment.  I had a class of 5 upper primary school students.  All confined to wheelchairs (except for one who could walk!) all non verbal and all with some degree of intellectual disability (although I think they understood a lot more than we ever gave them credit for).  It was a steep learning curve for me as a teacher.  I had come straight from uni with only a bit of voluntary work with special needs kids behind me

In my class was a boy named Thomas.  At first glance it didn't seem that he was capable of much.  He was quiet (or so I thought!) and had trouble keeping his head up and making eye contact.  But I learnt pretty quickly that this was all a bit of an act.  We used to joke in our class that Thomas was like this because he wanted to get out of doing any work.  Always the planner and schemer! 

Thomas quickly became my favourite as I learnt to understand and get to know him better.  I learnt that he had good body days and bad body days.  On a bad body day he would have trouble getting his head up and be quite sleepy.  But I always knew he would be listening because he would give a smile every so often.  And then there were times when I thought he hadn't been listening to something but he would all of a sudden just crack up with a big belly laugh as if to say 'I tricked you all'.  That used to make my day.

It was great seeing Tom on a good body day.  He would have his head up and smiles for everyone.  He had a bit of a reputation for squealing when he was excited too.  I used to hear him from the classroom as he was pushed down from bus bay in the morning (there's a fair distance to bus bay and a door in between so you get some sort of idea on how loud his squeals were!)  I always knew that things were right in the world when I heard Tom in the mornings. 

I quickly began to anticipate what Tom wanted or needed.  He had a communication book that he accessed with either his hands or his eyes depending on how his body was that day.  While we used his book I always felt that I knew what he was saying without it.  I used to be able to ask him a question and he would answer yes with a big smile.  Sometimes he would reach out and hold my hand with his long 'piano playing' fingers. 

Tom was also known to be a bit of 'lady's man' too.  In the class was a girl that he had grown up.  Tom and Giulia had a very special bond and had been together since playgroup.  It was so funny seeing them interact together.  Tom would often reach out and hold Giulia's hand.  I remember on one occasion when they were lying on the floor together Tom deliberately rolling over closer to Giulia and putting his hand on her as if to say 'she's mine!'  When I sat next to him and teased him about it he just gave an enormous grin. 

Of course there were hard times too.  Tom had epilepsy as well and there would be days when he would just go in and out of seizures.  I remember sitting in the classroom with him at times when all the other kids were out at lunch, keeping an eye on him while waiting for his mum to come and get him.  The amazing thing was that even though these seizures would take so much out of him he would always come out of one and give me a great big smile. 

Tom was 19 when he died and had graduated from school the year before.  I had him for 3 years in primary school and I honestly think that those 3 years of my teaching career have been the highlight.  I think back on all the wonderful memories of Tom and realise that he gave and taught me so much.  I think that Tom will always be remembered for the love he gave, the happiness he radiated and the joy he brought to so many people's lives.  It has been a privilege to be involved with Tom and his family. He was always have a special place in my heart.   

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Daddy made swirly bread!

Now that Jacob is gluten-free we've had to come up with bread alternatives for him.  Chris has always made our bread for us but gluten-free bread has presented him with some ummm, shall we say challenges?!  It's very sticky and hard to work with.  And it's pretty tasteless compared to regular wheat bread (although Chris is working on improving that too!)  Jacob is also very fussy about his food and finds it hard when things change (that's a kid with ASD if ever I saw one!)  The first loaf of plain white GF bread Chris made we were told tasted like poo (now there's a nice image!) but I did notice that Jacob kept eating it....Anyway, Chris used to make a marbled rye loaf that Jacob absolutely loved.  He would always request that Daddy made 'swirly bread'  When Jacob knew that he had to have special bread he asked Daddy if he could make him his own swirly bread.  And so good old Daddy agreed to attempt it.  The above photo is the end result.  I think he's done an awesome job.  And swirly bread has now become a staple in the freezer for Jacob.  I thought I'd share the recipe in case anyone wanted to give it a go...


Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free

This recipe makes two standard sized loaves.  The instructions are for two doughs - a white and a brown - which will be put together to create a marbled bread. 


White bread
520g gluten free white bread flour blend*
300g lukewarm water
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 egg, beaten, for brushing
60g seed mix (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds)

Brown bread
500g gluten free white bread flour blend*
310g lukewarm water 
20g cocoa
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 egg, beaten, for brushing
60g seed mix (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds)
Grind the seeds into a powder. 
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix
Knead until the dough comes together (add more flour if needed).
Split the white bread dough into two and the brown bread dough into two (you will need one of each colour per loaf). 
Roll each piece of bread dough into a rectangle roughly the width of the bread tin. 
Place the brown bread dough on top of the white.
Roll into a tight spiral.  Place roll in tin, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (approx 90mins)
Brush top with beaten egg.
Bake at 220C for approx 40mins or until golden brown.  

*we make our own bread flour blend by combining 450g white rice flour, 115g potato flour, 60g tapioca flour, 60g cornflour and 4 tsp xanthum gum. 

Week 46 of Craft Project a week: Pay it Forward Challenge Part 2

Hooray, I am finally up to date with my craft posts!  It's a good feeling (yes I know, I am sad!)  This week was finishing off my Pay it Forward Challenge.  This time I did an owl applique on the wheat bags.  He's pretty cute, don't you think? 

A close up of the owl
Unfortunately, I ran out of wheat to do the last bag and will need to order some more.  So people will need to wait a little bit longer for their wheat bags.  But they'll definitely be on their way by the end of the year!  I've just been over at Spotlight again today getting more bits and pieces for Christmas presents I am making.  So there'll be lots of crafty stuff happening on my blog from now until Christmas! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Poor Gideon

Our poor little boy has been in the wars lately.  Last Thursday he decided to put his finger in a bike chain and unfortunately a certain little girl started riding the bike.  It wasn't intentional, she had no idea his finger was in the chain (and I still don't think she realises what she did which I guess is a good thing) but there was some serious damage done to Gideon's finger.  I was inside at the time but when I heard his screams I knew that something was wrong from the way he was crying.  I rushed straight out and saw a very deep cut most of the way around his finger.  I panicked a bit (ok, a lot!) and rushed around trying to get things to stop the bleeding. 

I ended up taking him straight to the GP.  The first doctor there thought that it would need stitches but we checked with a second doctor who suggested the nurse at the clinic cleaned it up and then we'd take another look.  It was decided that the cut would be ok with steri-strips so it was bandaged up and splinted (just in case).  The GP wanted me to get xrays done to make sure there wasn't a fracture.  I never got around to organising an xray that afternoon as I had to pick Jacob up from school and had no one to mind the kids while I took Gideon for an xray.  I wasn't too worried though, he seemed happy enough once the finger was bandaged up so I assumed nothing was wrong. 

I decided to go in late to work on Friday and get the xray done on Gideon's finger just to make sure all was ok.  I really wasn't expecting to be told after the xray that he did indeed have a fracture there. The radiologist had spoken to the GP who had advised us to go to the Emergency Department so we were taken down there.

The doctor on duty had a look at his finger and it was then that I was told that he would most likely need to have surgery to fix the finger.  Today.  Not only that but it couldn't be done at the hospital were we were, we had to travel to a bigger hospital where they had a plastic surgeon who could work with such little fingers - eeek! 

Gideon after his operation, cannula still in and plaster on his right hand and arm
 So off we went to Box Hill Hospital for surgery - a bed had already been booked for Gideon on the paediatric ward.  As soon as we walked into the ward we were told that he would be having surgery in 10 minutes.  A bit of a shock to the system.  He was prepped and taken down to the operating suite.  By that stage he was overtired and getting really upset as he hadn't had a proper sleep that day.  Usually I would feed him to sleep but of course I couldn't breastfeed because he was about to have an anesthetic. 

It was very hard seeing him have the gas to be knocked out.  He was wrapped in a blanket and had to have the gas mask held over his mouth as he struggled.  All I could do was touch his face, tell him it was ok and cry.  It seemed to take forever before he was knocked.  Then I was taken outside to wait.

The doctor was out in literally 25 minutes and spoke to me briefly before he left.  All had gone well.  They had put Gideon's finger back in the right spot and he would have to have a cast on for 3 weeks.  It was still a little while longer before I could see him though but I was there as he woke up from the anesthetic.  He was very groggy and fell asleep again in my arms straight away. 

It took him a while to wake up properly but about half an hour after we were back in the ward he was awake and alert and eating again (he was pretty hungry considering he'd missed lunch!)  We thought at first we'd have to stay for 4 hours but we were allowed to go a couple of hours after the surgery. 

Now comes the challenge of keeping the cast on and relatively clean for the next three weeks!!  And hopefully we don't have any more injuries for a while now- surgery with a child that age is not something I want to go through ever again! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 44 & 45 of Craft Project a week: Pay it Forward Challenge Part 1

A while ago on facebook (when I was actually on facebook) there was a 'Pay it Forward' challenge going round.  The idea behind it was to do something nice for someone else and make something special for them (the item had to be handmade, it could not be purchased, and it had to be done by the end of the year).  The first 5 people to comment on your post would receive something handmade by you.  I made some Ergo suck pads for one friend earlier this year but was a bit stuck with what to make the other four.  It's taken me almost all of the year but I finally worked out what I wanted to make.
A close up of the bird applique
I loved the idea of making wheat bags for everyone - something that everyone would use at some stage.  But I thought plain old wheat bags would be a bit boring.  Then I had the great idea that I could put a little applique design on my wheat bags.  My first attempt didn't work so well (I did some flowers on a bag which I wasn't happy with - Esme ended up with that as a pillow for her dolls which she was pretty happy with!)  but I'm quite happy with how these ones have turned out. 

I have an idea for my next two wheat bags but you shall have to wait and see what that is ;) 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Big Bang

You may have noticed that I've been a bit quiet on here lately (well, quieter than usual - I'm a bit of a sporadic blogger at the best of times anyway!)  The reason is that we've had some problems with our power.  Just over a week ago we had an overhead power line outside our house break.  It produced quite a spectacular bang.  And the kids were excited to watch the resulting fire trucks arrive who secured the live wire that was lying on the ground. 

We were without power for 30 hours while repairs were done.  As if that wasn't annoying enough, the surge blew out the air conditioner, dishwasher, computer, printer and modem.  So we (read Chris) have been busy organising repair people to come out and replacements for things that can't be fixed.  And did I already mention that this same thing happened a year ago?  Yep, we've been through this before.  It took ages for everything to be repaired last time too - we had a lot of trouble with the air conditioner (it didn't help that the company sent a faulty part!)

Luckily, the power company *should* cover some of the cost.  Although we will have to pay out of pocket for a few things including the dishwasher (which is so old they no longer make the parts for it!)  I just hope that this same thing doesn't happen again next year - I will be one very angry woman if it does ;)

The reason I haven't been online much is because I have to use the laptop to do my posts now.  I think I live in the dark ages because I find the laptop more frustrating to use than the home computer!  And it's a bit more fiddly to upload photos on here.
Hopefully I'll be back online properly very soon, the computer is being repaired as we speak...I'm looking forward to catching up on lots of craft posts when I do!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week 43 of Craft Project a week: Hat for my (little) boy

A few weeks ago I made a hat for Jacob.  This week it was Gideon's turn!  I chose to make his hat with cars material on one side and denim on the other side.  The denim made it much sturdier and was easier to work with than the corduroy.  Don't you just love the photo of him above - his two 'teeth' are celery just in case you were wondering! 
The cars side of the hat

The denim side of the hat


The next challenge will be actually getting him to keep it on.  This is a photo of what actually happened when we were getting him to try the hat on...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week 42 of Craft Project a week: Baby's Day Out

I've been incredibly slack in getting my craft projects done these past few weeks (lots of stuff happening here at the moment!!) I promise I will get my craft projects from the past couple of weeks done and up here soon but I wanted to share what I did this weekend before the moment has passed...

Tomorrow our ABA group is celebrating  Baby's Day Out.  This event is nation-wide and is an initiative of the ABA.  It aims to celebrate the place of babies in our community and their right to breastfeed whenever and wherever they wish.  Our local place centre, Eco Playscape, very generously offered to allow our members free entry to the centre for our meeting.  So tomorrrow at 10am we will be meeting up there to celebrate our Baby's Day Out event which I've very much looking forward to!

I've been busy making some things for the event as gifts for the babies and children attending.  I got some bibs from Kmart and simply used an iron on transfer of our official Baby's Day Out logo - they turned out pretty well I think!

Customised bibs for the babies coming!
I also didn't want the older children to miss out so I put together a little organza bag with a couple of balloons with the ABA logo (our group project also which I am in charge of!) and a bottle of bubbles that I printed an ABA sticker for.  Hopefully they will enjoy it! 

Little goody bags for the older kids!
 I'm really hoping that we will have a few new faces there tomorrow!  Our group tends to go up and down with memberships and we could really do with a few more people coming to meetings to energise us breastfeeding counsellors and group leaders a little more! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free

Now that Jacob is on a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free diet, you'll probably be seeing quite a few recipe posts like this as I experiment with new recipes.  As soon as I saw the recipe for these muffins I knew I wanted to make them.  The original recipe is dairy-free but not gluten-free so I had to make some adjustments.  Replacing the wheat flour with GF flour (we make our mix of GF flour using rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour) was easy enough.  But I also halved the recipe and added an extra egg so it wouldn't be so crumbly with the gluten-free flour. Here's my adjusted recipe...

Raspberry and Coconut Muffins

1 cup GF flour 
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raspberries

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  
Put everything except for the raspberries and shredded coconut into a bowl and mix really well.  
Add the raspberries and coconut and mix gently until just combined.
Spoon into patty pans and cook in oven until brown and a skewer comes out clean.  
Leave in tin for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool.  


I don't particularly like the texture of GF flour but I didn't have a problem with these muffins.  I think the coconut cream made them really moist and not dry like gluten-free things tend to be. Next time I make them I will try substituting the castor sugar with 1/4 cup coconut sugar instead so there's not so much processed sugar in them. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week 41 of Craft Project a week: Hat for my (big) boy

With the weather starting to warm up it was time to make Jacob a new hat.  He's growing so quickly - the hat I made for him last year is already too small for him.  I love this hat pattern and have used it many, many times.  It makes a very cool reversible bucket hat.  Jacob chose to have the trains (of course!) and I put it with some brown cordoruy that I already had. I'm not very happy with how the cordoruy side of it turned out though.  The material is slighly puckered in a couple of spots but as Chris points out, no one would notice expect for me!

The train side of the hat
The cord side of the hat
I think I might make Gideon one of these with cars material and denim next...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 40 of Craft Project a Week: Digger shorts

This week I've been using up some scraps to make Jacob a pair of shorts.  I had a little bit of leftover cord and digger material from the orange digger pants I made the other week.  It wasn't enough for a pair of pants for Jacob but just enough to make some shorts.  And so I did! 

The back of the pants with pockets

The front of the pants
 Jacob was pretty chuffed with the shorts.  Pity he's not so keen on getting his photo taken in the things I sew for him anymore!! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 39 of Craft Project a week: Pyjama pants for all!


This week's project - pyjama pants for all of us! All of these pants were made by repurposing sheets I found at the op shop.  I love finding old sheets at the op shop to turn into something new. It means that things I make are unique and that they are cheap.  The doona cover I used for Jacob's pants cost $4 and I can get four pairs of pants out of that - bargain!

I've got making pants down to a fine art now. It literally only takes me half an hour from start to finish so it's easy to just run them through the sewing machine/overlocker. The cutting out bit is the worst bit I think!      

Esme and I show off our pj pants!
Jacob is pretty pleased with his.

These pants are perfect for warmer nights.  Now fingers crossed we actually get some warmer nights so we can all wear them ;) 
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