Friday, 27 May 2011

Modern Meadow Quilt

I've had a collection of Modern meadow for quite a few months now.  I do love it.  I bought it because I loved them, not with a use in mind.  That's the nicest kinda fabric shopping don't you think?  Anyway it seems I'm not the only one who fancies it.  No.4 also thinks it is pretty and her thing.  Could I please have a quilt with this fabric she asked one day?  I really thought she was having me on as it's quite sophisticated fabric and not little girly at all.  She's only four after all.  Anyway I was thrilled to hear her say that and they have been labeled with her name since.

I've been searching for the perfect quilt design to use for her quilt.  And finally last night I found it - inside my own head!  Well actually it's pretty basic, just what I like, but with a twist.  You may remember that I was wanting to make a quilt out of doilies and traycloths?  Well this incorporates these with the collection of fabric as well.

So I got a cutting last night at 8.30.  Yep I cut every last piece of them and some linen/cotton as well.  I'm still a little shocked at the speed of cutting and the fact that I've actually cut through them!  Have I done the right thing?  Maybe squares are too yesterday?  Well if they are that's perfect because doilies are from the same era, right?  And old fashioned is what my little girl likes.  I do love that.  She and I delight in changing our dressing table mats, choosing which new one to have.

Are you seeing my vision?  Am I right in thinking it's going to be beautiful?  Or am I loosing the plot entirely? 

The whole quilt will be stitched together with larger squares of linen.  I will then sew the doilies and cloths over the top when the top is finished.  I'm thinking of handstitching some flowers and hearts onto some of the smaller linen squares for a nice handmade look.

And let's hope that they will NOT still be sitting in this container next year!!  I can be rather naughty like that sometimes.  I'm hoping that No.4 will be really bossy and nag at me to get moving on her quilt.

Now I must order some more of one fabric for the binding.  I'm thinking of using the circles one.  And now I really must run.  Have a super weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Clean Cleaning

Well I promised you a recipe for a dish washing powder that you can make yourself, but wait, there's more!!  Yes I am going to show you how you can clean all of your home with just a few different recipe cleaning products.  Now when I go down the aisle at the supermarket for cleaners, washing powders etc I just aim straight ahead and then go down the next aisle.  I have absolutely no business down there whatsoever! 

Not only am I saving money, but I am creating a cleaner, more healthy home for my family.  With allergies in our family this has been brilliant for us.  I can safely wash our clothes and know no one will get itchy skin.  I can clean the benches and know it's not going to affect our girls.

Now without further ado, here are the recipes I use...

Dish washing powder:

1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid

Blend washing soda until fine, then add and blend other ingredients. Use 1 tablespoon per load in dishwasher. You can use white vinegar in the rinse.

Window/glass cleaner:

2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
a few drops of liquid detergent
add a few drops of lavender oil if you like

Mix together in a good quality spray bottle and spray onto glass.  Wipe clean with a dry cloth.  I washed these windows today using a wet cloth and this product, and the aluminium frames came up a treat as well.  Simple and quick.

Shower Cleaner:

500ml water
500ml white vinegar

Mix in a good quality spray bottle.  Spray on shower, vanity and toilet then wipe clean with a damp cloth.  I also use this in the kitchen for surfaces. 

For cleaning hobs I sprinkle baking soda all over the top then spray shower cleaner over the b.s. and leave for 15mins or so.  Then all the grime just wipes away.  I use it in the oven as well. 

Washing Powder:

1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
60ml liquid castile soap
drops of essential oil if you like

Blend the washing soda until fine.  Add the baking soda, liquid soap and essential oil.  Mix until blended well.  Use one tablespoon in an average load.  Your washing will come out smelling wonderful and so clean as well.

Floor cleaner:

4 litres of hot water
1 cup white vinegar
half a squeezed lemon

Put in a bucket and wash floors with mop.  Your floors will smell lovely with the lemon and they will come up a treat.

*All of these ingredients, except the liquid castile soap, I found in our local supermarket.  The washing soda can be found near the clothes washing powders.  The liquid soap came from the health shop.  These cleaners are a fraction of the cost of bought ones and are all natural. 

*I found these recipes online and from Wendyl Nissen's book, A Home Companion.

*And of course, use these products at your risk.  Please don't blame me if something awful happens!  It's what I use and I haven't had any problems.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Last Birthday!!!

Yep that's us done and dusted for all the girls birthdays this year!!  Yee ha I say.  Although I do love bits of them.  Like the cake decorating bit.  And the planning part.  And maybe the buying of serviettes and finding a theme perhaps.  So it's not too bad I guess, but it is exhausting having them so close together.

Anyway this birthday was for No.1, Molly.  She turned the very grand age of 12 on Friday 20th.  My goodness it's starting to make us sound OLD suddenly.  So we had a little family afternoon tea.  Sponge cake provided by Nana.  The real deal too!  Dropped on the floor after baking kinda deal!!  Not really sure why that's so important but it sure does sound impressive.  And boy did it taste fabulous.  I've just had a sneaky piece actually!  There's still a couple of pieces left if you want to drop by.

On the Saturday Molly invited a couple of friends over for a movie night.  It was very sweet and most enjoyable.  Such sweet girls.  So this is the cake we made...

The idea is that you break open the chocolate layer and there is a cake covered in treasure underneath.  Well as I said, that's the theory!!  The reality is, is that the chocolate was rather thick and rather impossible to break without damage to the plate.  So she just attacked it instead with her hands.  It sure did look pretty though - to start with I mean!  The big girls and I spent a good hour painstakingly decorating it will all those smarties and rainbow drops. 

And now that it's all over, I'm in relaxation mode.  What I mean is, I plan to be relaxing sometime this week.  Today I Autumn-cleaned a small child's room, shopped for new bedding for two girls, made two beds, did a bit of decluttering, several loads of washing, made too many meals, ironed four shirts, shined the sink, make laundry clay, made and used dishwasher powder (absolutely brilliant recipe will follow at another date!) and ate sponge cake of course.  After this I'm going to find a book and read until bed time.

Now do you want a great read yourself?  This library book was passed on to me by my mother and neither of us could put it down.  It's such a good book.  It's one of those suspense ones with a clever ending.  I've asked my mother to check out the library for her first novel.  I'm sure it should be just as good. 

OK my dears, I hope you are all good and enjoying a bit of relaxing time yourselves.  Grab a book and sit down with a piece of cake if you are so inclined.  You are more than welcome to have a glass of wine with it if that's your thing. Or a good old cuppa tea if it's before 10am!  See you later!!  Yep with that recipe I promise.  Remind me if I get forgetful.  Bye!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Yet Another birthday!

Well I suppose it's to be expected when you go and have four children!  I have to say that I don't enjoy the huge amount of kitchen activity when you organise a party.  Give me ready made cupcakes any day!  But I do love to decorate these little cakes.  Ohhh yes I do!  I stole this idea from a magazine I found while browsing in a bookshop one day.  And no I didn't buy it!  So naughty I know.

Anyway it was No.3's turn to have a celebration on Friday.  She has now turned the ripe age of six.  Katie came to me a couple of weeks ago and announced that she had finally decided on her cake idea.  A garage!  Yep one of those ones with levels of car parks and petrol pumps!!  My dear little girl who wears pink, loves tutus, plaits in her hair, and is very girly girly.  Well what could I say but... Yes of course I'll make you one lovey. 

Well I made her the garage... but I girlyfied it!   Is that a word?  Well anyway I made it all pink and purple and it was the prettiest garage you ever did see.  Check it out...

Apparently she drives the pink car.  See I told you!  She's really is all girl.

The ramps were not for the fainthearted I must say!  Not what you want to learn to do hill starts on.  Thank goodness for automatics I say!  And for Daddies who understand the stress of making icing ramps and alleviating a crisis by coming to the rescue with ice block stick supports that mean our little girl can safely drive her little pink icing car up her icing ramps without fear of the icing folding around her and swallowing her up.  Phew!!

And here she is blowing out all six candles.  Happy Birthday dear little Katie!

Parties are fun aren't they?  And guess what?? I get to do it all again in less than two weeks!!!  Good grief, our baby planning wasn't the best at times.  Never mind, after the next one that's all of the girls done for the year. 

Sorry if I haven't been to visit you lately or even emailed you.  I've been rather bloggy slack of late I'm afraid.   You see I have a huge project underway and it's taking up all of my time and thinking space.  It's not of the craft variety but it's too early to share it with you.  Please forgive me for leaving you in suspense like this.  I try and catch up with your blog posts but I'm not getting through all of them.  But rest assure I'm still here, still tidying up, still doing the washing and all that boring stuff.  Till next time, love to you all xxxx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Gifts For the Mums

This is my last post about the 'Gifts of Love' Appeal.  I couldn't have done it without all your help my dear friends and family.  Thank you hugely to Cat for helping me and for organising donations of soap and tea for the mum's presents.  Oh and for finding me a music group to send all these wonderful gifts to. 

These very beautiful cloths were made by a friend of a friend.  Thank you so very much Lisa, they are fabulous and so well made. 

These Blue Earth Soaps are locally made in Christchurch and were generously donated by Cat for our appeal.  Thank you so much Cat, they are the prettiest soaps and they look wonderful!

I decorated these Eco Store soaps for some of the ladies.  The room smelt heavenly when the girls and I were packaging them all up.

Prettily boxed tea from Oliveria was kindly donated by Lynn.  Cat is clearly very good at rounding up goods for a good cause!  I must remember that in the future.  Wouldn't she be the BEST on a school committee?!!

Here are my helpers doing a sterling job of getting all these bits and pieces in bags.  We thought we had finished until I found the box of tissue covers!!!  Oh bother!  Just as well the cellophane bags were resealable.

And finally 35 gift packs, packed and ready to go.

One huge hug for good measure and then out the door to Cat's hubby's work for dispatch.  What a good man he is!

Now I must show you a few extras that Joyce sent.  Check out these wonderfully colourful scarves! 

Doesn't No.2 look cute in one of them?  The funny thing is, when I took this photo a couple of weeks back, a scarf was completely the wrong piece of clothing for the weather, but now it's just what you need.  And in Christchurch they are even colder than us, so these will be just the ticket.

Joyce also made these cute bookmarks.  You would think she had all the time in the world wouldn't you?  Well she is as busy as you can be with two young boys and studying to be a teacher as well.  It just goes to show how wonderful some people in the world are.  Thank you so much Joyce, you are a great friend!

And these wonderful gifts were sent to me via Cat.  Just look at how much time and effort were put into these.  I'm so excited that finally these gifts are going to be in new homes next week and loved.

Iif you helped make this appeal happen, thank you soooooo much!!!!!   You are the best and I thank you very much.  It's so nice to be able to show our girls how many wonderful people there are in the world and how willing others are to help out someone in need.  You never know when you are going to be the one in need.  These days it seems that anything can happen and probably will.  Scary times.

Anyway on a lighter note, have a great week!  School went back for our girls yesterday and the house is finally getting back to normal.  Actually it's a bit too quiet for my liking.