Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Creative Space-Saturday Market Day Skirts

In April I wrote  a post about Portabello Pixie's Saturday Market Day Skirt FREE pattern.

I made one for Little Miss Sunshine and was totally in love with it  - still am!!! (even if it took about three hours to make -Im so a faster the better girl!)  But for this it is SOOO worth it. She has worn it non-stop all winter and it has even had a run in with a slide at a park with baby poo on it (yep, there's some disgusting people out there!). 

keeley new skirt



Well, not too long after that I made one for Little Miss Attitude, loved that one - 20 squares less and took a little less time... she wears it all the time too...

e market skirte wearing skirt

Well yesterday and today I have made another, for a gift for Little Miss Sunshine's Bestie who is having her birthday this week... she has hinted so many times about how much she loves this skirt and she is one of the nicest girls you could ever wish your daughter to have as a friend, so I thought I could handle making one more :)

market day skirt



Can't wait to give it to her!!!

I would totally recommend giving this pattern a go.  As long as you can cut straight (56 squares!!) and sew a straight line you can make one too!!!

be sure to check out the other creative spaces at Kootoyoo.

Beautiful Blog

Have you ever found a blog that you absolutely LOVE.... but ... you can't read a word of it?

I have found a beautiful blog that makes me go weak at the knees.. gorgeous pictures..

but....... its in another language (yep, I know so little about languages that I don't even know which one it is!!) but its just lots of loveliness!!

Check out Stipje now!

Navigating the Gluten free Jungle

For one year now I have been gluten free.  My GP and Endocrinologist suspect I have Coeliacs due to the fact I already have Grave's Disease which is autoimmune, as is Coeliacs.  It is also fairly common to have both together.


image borrowed from here


What a learning curve this year has been.  For the first few months I basically lived on hummus and rice crackers.  I struggled to find bread that tasted ok and made soooo many mistakes!  Gluten is hidden in so many foods and it's meant becoming a label reader - of EVERYTHING.


Now I'm doing much better at avoiding gluten but I still make mistakes, like last night when I cooked gluten free and gluten pasta (in seperate pots) and accidently stirred the fresh herbs into my pasta with the knife I used for the gluten pasta.  Most people would think that something like that wouldn't matter much... but when you are really sensitive to gluten - it matters.  Usually I don't make those mistakes but was distracted, normally everyone gets served gluten free!!


Even crumbs from the toaster are a problem.. or crumbs in the butter/margarine (grrrr!!). So it means adjusting how you do things in your house to make it gf friendly.


white choc and rasp gluten muffinscheck out my recipe for these yummy raspberry and white chocolate gf muffins here



Sadly, going out to eat is not so easy and I hardly ever do.  Firstly, I feel like such a nag when I ask question after question about the food. Or ask for them to make sure the chef uses seperate utensils and seperate dishes to prepare my meal, or worst still, send it back when they get it wrong (yes, after making it very clear about my sensitivity to gluten at a dessert restuarant my plate turned up with biscuit crumbs on it for decoration). 

It can feel quite embarassing but it is also essential for my well being to question things. So now its just easier not to go anywhere.

The other difficulty can be eating at other people's houses, or eating food other people have prepared.  I'm talking about those wonderful people who go the extra mile and make you something 'gluten free'.  It is such a lovely gesture and usually makes me feel very special and humble, but there's always that nagging thought in the back of my head.. but what if they didn't get it right... it would be rude to ask what is actually in it... But....oh how special it makes me feel knowing they would go to all that trouble.

Fortunately, I haven't had any problems with the things my friends have prepared and I appreciate them so much for so lovingly preparing food that I can enjoy too. Love you guys!!!

At first I missed bread sooooo much. It seemed I was consumed in finding the 'perfect' gluten free bread.  I found a pretty good one (at Baker's Club for those in Australia) but have since just done away with bread for the most part now.  The thought of actually eating a piece of normal bread holds no appeal anymore. 

I still miss my lifelong, breakfast friend, Vegemite (or Marmite - Im not fussy). Oh the cravings I have for that. I have tried gluten free substitutes, but BLERGH!! no comparison.

Fortunately, there are a lot more gluten free products available, and every week at the supermarket I see something new.  I get so excited when I do find a Gluten free friendly place to eat (recently found a cafe with half of the food being gluten free  - the whole top shelf!! so not only do they have a great selection, but by keeping the food on the top shelf they keep it free from contamination).

gf apple berry buckleGF Apple berry crumble here



My kids are so funny because they probably know more about gf now than most adults.  Even my four year old questions whether I can share something she is eating. My nine year old frequently makes pikelets, biscuits and slice with gluten free flour.

At times (about once a month *grin*) I have a little melt down and find the whole experience too overwheming and too hard and the thought of a life time of living like this sends me a little bit crazy.  But mostly I remember how crappy I feel eating gluten.

My Specialist really wants to confirm my Coeliac diagnosis which means having an Endoscopy.  I am very reluctant and today rang the endoscopy clinic. They said I have to eat 5 slices of bread a day for 5 days before the test. I am still deciding if this will be something I can do.  One bite can make me very ill and the thought of torturing myself for five days (probably longer to get over it) doesn't fill me with much enthusiasm.

I have recently found a great blog with great recipes here.  I love finding new GF recipes.    Tomorrow I'll post one we recently tried - ohhhh so good!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Navigating the Gluten free Jungle

For one year now I have been gluten free.  My GP and Endocrinologist suspect I have Coeliacs due to the fact I already have Grave's Disease which is autoimmune, as is Coeliacs.  It is also fairly common to have both together.
image borrowed from here
What a learning curve this year has been.  For the first few months I basically lived on hummus and rice crackers.  I struggled to find bread that tasted ok and made soooo many mistakes!  Gluten is hidden in so many foods and it's meant becoming a label reader - of EVERYTHING.
Now I'm doing much better at avoiding gluten but I still make mistakes, like last night when I cooked gluten free and gluten pasta (in seperate pots) and accidently stirred the fresh herbs into my pasta with the knife I used for the gluten pasta.  Most people would think that something like that wouldn't matter much... but when you are really sensitive to gluten - it matters.  Usually I don't make those mistakes but was distracted, normally everyone gets served gluten free!!
Even crumbs from the toaster are a problem.. or crumbs in the butter/margarine (grrrr!!). So it means adjusting how you do things in your house to make it gf friendly.
white choc and rasp gluten muffins
check out my recipe for these yummy raspberry and white chocolate gf muffins here
Sadly, going out to eat is not so easy and I hardly ever do.  Firstly, I feel like such a nag when I ask question after question about the food. Or ask for them to make sure the chef uses seperate utensils and seperate dishes to prepare my meal, or worst still, send it back when they get it wrong (yes, after making it very clear about my sensitivity to gluten at a dessert restuarant my plate turned up with biscuit crumbs on it for decoration).
It can feel quite embarassing but it is also essential for my well being to question things. So now its just easier not to go anywhere.
The other difficulty can be eating at other people's houses, or eating food other people have prepared.  I'm talking about those wonderful people who go the extra mile and make you something 'gluten free'.  It is such a lovely gesture and usually makes me feel very special and humble, but there's always that nagging thought in the back of my head.. but what if they didn't get it right... it would be rude to ask what is actually in it... But....oh how special it makes me feel knowing they would go to all that trouble.
Fortunately, I haven't had any problems with the things my friends have prepared and I appreciate them so much for so lovingly preparing food that I can enjoy too. Love you guys!!!
At first I missed bread sooooo much. It seemed I was consumed in finding the 'perfect' gluten free bread.  I found a pretty good one (at Baker's Club for those in Australia) but have since just done away with bread for the most part now.  The thought of actually eating a piece of normal bread holds no appeal anymore.
I still miss my lifelong, breakfast friend, Vegemite (or Marmite - Im not fussy). Oh the cravings I have for that. I have tried gluten free substitutes, but BLERGH!! no comparison.
Fortunately, there are a lot more gluten free products available, and every week at the supermarket I see something new.  I get so excited when I do find a Gluten free friendly place to eat (recently found a cafe with half of the food being gluten free  - the whole top shelf!! so not only do they have a great selection, but by keeping the food on the top shelf they keep it free from contamination).
gf apple berry buckle
GF Apple berry crumble here
My kids are so funny because they probably know more about gf now than most adults.  Even my four year old questions whether I can share something she is eating. My nine year old frequently makes pikelets, biscuits and slice with gluten free flour.
At times (about once a month *grin*) I have a little melt down and find the whole experience too overwheming and too hard and the thought of a life time of living like this sends me a little bit crazy.  But mostly I remember how crappy I feel eating gluten.
My Specialist really wants to confirm my Coeliac diagnosis which means having an Endoscopy.  I am very reluctant and today rang the endoscopy clinic. They said I have to eat 5 slices of bread a day for 5 days before the test. I am still deciding if this will be something I can do.  One bite can make me very ill and the thought of torturing myself for five days (probably longer to get over it) doesn't fill me with much enthusiasm.
I have recently found a great blog with great recipes here.  I love finding new GF recipes.    Tomorrow I'll post one we recently tried - ohhhh so good!

comments imported from wordpress blog
lee
my grandfather and father are gluten free due to Coeliacs and i have often thought of doing that myself. i have irritable bowel and have been told a gluten free diet can be good for this. where i live the gf free bread is around $7-$9 a loaf, is that the norm? i bought it once and it just fell apart and crumbles, was really hard to eat so i had to toast it. i will check out that blog thanx for the link.
  • I’ve never thought about Vegemite having gluten in it. I think that is what I would miss most as I love Vegemite! I have a sister-in-law who has to go gluten free. I’ve found some good books in the library so that I can make gluten free entree, main or dessert (depending on my turn).

  • Wow. I admire your determination and peseverance in having to make such a massive change in lifestyle. It should really make the rest of us stop and appreciate the fact that we don’t (and also don’t have to) give a second thought to what we put in our mouths most of the time. I hope that you can continue to keep in good health having made this change for the good :-)

  • I’ve been gluten-free for 5 years now and can relate to the problems you’re experiencing. I go out to eat much less often than I used to, but I have found a few places where they understand my issues and I can eat relatively safely. I will always miss ‘real’ bread but the available substitutes are getting better every year. Good beer is the thing I really miss – yep, there are GF brands where I live (Canada), but they’re not really comparable to the real thing.
    There are so many really good web resources for GF recipes, but one that I like is: http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/
    I’m about to go on a trip – 3 weeks away from home visiting family and friends. This is really tough as they don’t understand what to look for on labels, despite trying really hard, invariably try feeding me something with gluten in. I have learned to be in the kitchen with them and to double check what is going into my food – they’ve seen how sick gluten makes me, so they prefer that I do that!
    By the way – I declined the endoscopy. I couldn’t bear the thought of making myself so sick.

  • My daughter is gluten free as well as dairy free and so I know what you’re going through!
  • Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Raw (e) Girly

    This week at Sailor and Co the theme is Girly! 

    With two girls I have thousands of  'girly' photos and Im a prolific picture taker!!...but I instantly thought of a photo of my daughter from a few years ago  (very impromptu photos on a very basic snapshot camera)... but its always been my favourite...

    DSC03753



     What's more girly than wearing a pink fairy dress and picking flowers in a 'fairy' garden.... this is actually the backyard where we lived!!! Cool eh!!! (and it was in NZ so no spiders or snakes to worry about!!)

    Oh.. and here's a few more... because I LOVE these pics.

    DSC03748DSC03756

    Making dolls clothes!!

    Ive been a bit absent from my blog due to school holidays, sloooowww broadband and a niggling four day tummy upset. 



    My darling youngest, who from now on shall be Little Miss Attitude, has at 4 years and 10 months, developed a sudden interest in dolls... this is the wee girl who has preferred cars, trains and lego until now.

    So all last week she begged me to make her some dolls clothes and yesterday I finally did!

     e dolls dresse dolls nappydress for doll

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Creative Kiwis Join the Party

    Firstly, my apologies that I never got a new linky party up last week. I have been sick and then our broadband ran out ... sigh!  But everything is looking brighter today, the sun is out, our broadband is onto a new month and as long as I don't eat, I feel great!!!

    Thanks to those who linked up to the last linky party.  Great ideas and inspiration again.
    I want to share with you two of the links from last week

    Emerson J's gorgeous letter 'E' tutorial



    Oh how I would love to make this for my littlest room!!!

    And Remarquable Junque's gorgeous vintage pillowcase turned shopping tote! Cute!
    So go and check out their blogs and check out Remarquable Junque's felt shop here.

    And don't forget to check out the other links from last week AND link up your creations for this week!!!



    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Smiles and Laughter Raw (e)

    DSC03480



    I haven't participated in Sailor and Co's Raw for a while but when I saw this weeks theme I couldn't resist.  ' Smiles and Laughter'.

    I have so many photos I wanted to use but chose this one which is a few years old and what I love about it most is the fond memories it evokes, of my two eldest having so many laughs swinging on a tyre swing that we hung in a tree.  It also makes me pine for a beautiful backyard with gardens and big old trees again.. we have NOTHING in the backyard here, where we are renting.

    And because I couldnt resist... here's a few more...our littlest has always been super cheeky and Little Miss Sunshine always laughs out LOUD!!!

    e laughingkeeley laughing

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Kids Clothing Week Challenge Day 3

    Our boy has been begging for some new pjs and I had picked up a few cheap Bonds tee shirts from a seconds shop.


    So in about 30  mins I made him some pj pants and appliqued a piece of the fabric to the tee.


    He is STOKED!! and of course is wearing them now (4.30pm)and won't take them off *grin*


    pjspj toppj pants


    and no attitude from this sweet boy.. just 'Mummy, you are the best Mum and the best sewer in the whole wide world and I love you so much' Aaaah!!! Lovely boy!

    Kids Clothing Week Challenge and the attitude princess

    little miss attitude


    Ok, its up to Day three but with sewing at night I only get to photograph the kids the following day..



    So to go with the Fisher boy Shorts I made appliqued an icecream on a target tee (which is actually a dark pink but is showing up red in the photos)

    oh and yeah, a little princess had a major attitude going on and I couldn't get a photo without the grumpy face!

     lma2lmalma4



    Based on the current level of attitude I am a little concerned about how our little princess will be as a teenager... lucky she is cute!!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Kids Clothing week challenge day 1

    So now I am posting what I made yesterday ... Fisher boy shorts, the tutorial from here.

    fisher boy shorts3fisher boy shorts1


    fisher boy shorts2



    My little one loves them and Im going to make a tshirt to wear with them.

    Now Im off to make pjs for my boy :)

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Kids Clothing week challenge day 1


    So now I am posting what I made yesterday ... Fisher boy shorts, the tutorial from here.
    My little one loves them and Im going to make a tshirt to wear with them.
    Now Im off to make pjs for my boy :)

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Kids Clothes Week Challenge



    This week is the Elsie Marley Kids Clothes week challenge.

    What you do is make clothes for your kids for an hour a day for seven days!

    I am joining in because I want to make my boy some PJs

     and these for my littlest - Fisher boy shorts(for girls) !!!!Oh so cute!

    image borrowed from MaryJane and Galoshes



    tutorial found here...

    And some more super simple lazy days skirts for the girls.... like I made last year (yes its my first ever post!)


     skirts 006



    A snap wrap dress from here

    Oh and this adorable dress!!!


    image borrowed from here & Tutorial here


    And this gorgeous one here



    oh and there are a couple of dozen more things I have saved that I want to make!! haha! but for now I'll just start with those :)

    Chocolate Swap at Nays Place

    One of my favourite kiwi bloggers who happens to live in the next suburb... is 0rganising a CHOCOLATE SWAP!!!

    Head over there now and sign up!!

    Choc Swap 1



    Why wouldn't you???

    One Lovely Blog Award


    Thank you to Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road for nominating me for my first ever blog award.



    Now here are the rules:

    1. Accept the award. (Post it on your blog along with the name and link of the person who has awarded it to you.

    2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers whom you've recently discovered.

    3. Contact the bloggers and let them know that they have been chosen.



    Here's my list
















      

     

     

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    MAMMA MIA!!!

    Yesterday, the day we've been waiting for finally arrived!! Little Miss Sunshine and I and our lovely friends went to see Mamma Mia on stage!!!  And WOW! it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!



    We dressed up in our glad rags (yes I went right out of my comfort zone and I put on a dress!!) and picked up our special friends and then hopped on train to Brisbane City.  Here's our beautiful girls while we were waiting to change trains...

    gorgeous girls

     


    We arrived in Brisbane City and went out for lunch at our FAVOURITE place, Grill'd! Yum. They make the BEST burgers ever and have such yummy Gluten free ones too!! Best of all their burgers are preservative free and hearty and ..well, my mouth is watering just thinking about them! lunch at grilld



    Following our YUMMY lunch we wandered through the markets at South Bank to QPAC theatre for MAMMA MIA!!

    at mamma mia

     



    The show as AMAZING!!! It was everything we love about Mamma Mia and then some!! Lots of added Aussie humour and lots of fun! It was soooo worth going and the best part was the end when the whole cast came on stage and performed ABBA songs... the audience were up dancing and clapping (except scaredy cat me who was sitting at the edge of the third tier balcony!!)  The girls LOVED it and it was so exciting to see their excited, happy faces and watch them dancing along to the music. So I say 'thank you for the music'!!!!

    We then hopped back on the train and went to our friends house for dinner and a 'play' because at 9 years old, its super important after a 10 hour day together, including lunch and a musical, that you get to have a play with your Bestie! 


     besties



    Little Miss Sunshine and her Bestie are the most gorgeous girls, it makes my heart swell seeing the beautiful friendship these two share!

    Now its back to reality.. school holidays for the next two weeks!

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Itty Bitty Christmas Tree Winners!

    I was so excited by all the entries to my giveaway I just knew I wouldn't be able to have only one winner.. so when my darling children were helping with drawing out the names, I let them choose one name each...

    The THREE winners of a Itty Bitty Yo Yo Tree each are:

    Megan (Mousehouse)

    Christine (MacDonalds Patch)

    Christy (A Christy Production)

    Congratulations! I will get them in the post to you next week.  Please email me with your address :)

    This was so much fun I hope those of you who didn't win are having a go at making one yourself and don't forget to link up to my Flickr Group with your creations!

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Last day to enter giveaway

    GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*** thanks for all your entries!

    Thank you for all the lovely comments about my first ever tutorial! I havent had the energy to post again this week after doing that - haha, it was mammoth!

    Anyhoo, today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the little Itty Bitty Tree... so leave a comment, follow me and blog about it for three chances :)



    Back later today with the winner!

    Creative Kiwis - LINK UP!

    There is another linky party for all you Creative Kiwis!! So far there is only one link :(  but its a great one - I want to make one like this!
    So it would be great to see some more. It doesn't have to be a recent post - just something you would like to share and inspire others. And become a follower while you are here.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Yo Yo Christmas Tree Tutorial

    This is my first ever tutorial and I hope it makes sense. The Yo Yo christmas tree isn't my original idea.. I just did my own tutorial because I couldn't find one that suited how I wanted to do it.



    This project is great because you don't need a sewing machine and you can take and make your yo-yo's anywhere. I made my yo yo's for the tutorial at the beach!

    What you will need: 


    *Compass (raided the hubby’s tool box for this)

    *Ruler

    *Cardboard – I recycled cardboard from cereal boxes and the inserts they use for fat quarters at Spotlight

    *Craft glue (I used PVA)

    *Saw

    *Fabric marker pen

    *Scissors – sewing and paper

    *Fabrics (a selection of the colours you want to use)

    *Needle and thread (i just used white for all of them)

    *Dowel (for big tree I used 6mm)

    *Wooden cotton reel (perfect are old vintage style ones – I have a few but would love a whole box of them!!)

    *Optional : tulle of various colours

    And here's what you do:
    Using your compass, ruler and cardboard, make 18 circle templates of the following sizes for the large tree (diameter) 220mm, 210mm, 200mm, 190mm, 180mm, 170mm, 160mm, 150mm, 140mm, 130... etc to 50mm.



     Cut out templates



    Draw one of each size onto your chosen fabrics.



     Make each circle into a yo-yo. Here’s a couple of pictures of how I do it and there are plenty of great tutorials on the internet. Thread  your needle leaving a long tail after the knot.


    Pull the edges out so it is flat.



    Make all 18 of your yo-yo’s. Try not to tie off the smaller ones too tight as they need to fit over the dowel.


    Take your cotton reel and piece of dowel and glue the dowel inside the cotton reel (i used pva glue). Allow to dry. Alternatively, you could do this before you start so it is dry to pop your yo yos on.



    If you are going to use tulle.. cut several strips as wide as the yo-yos you are putting it below.  Sew a running stitch by hand across the top of the tulle and pull it into a circle. Sew in a circle shape.



    Start layering your yo yos onto the dowel, including the tulle layers.. I cut a little snip in the underside of my yo-yo’s so the dowel could feed through it nicely.


    You could place a bead on the top to hold them all down.

    I then trimmed my dowel with a saw (also raided from my hubby’s tool box).

    Pop a star of your choice on top. I made a felt star for my first one and sewed beads on it. Then I found these lovely stars at a local haberdarshery shop which I plan to use for future trees.


    And then.....



    To make an itty bitty tree...

    I bought a packet of wooden spools from the kids craft section at Spotlight.


     For the stick I used some large sized match sticks and broke off the pink bit at the top.then glued it in the little wooden spool, as with the larger one.



     Make only 10 yo-yo’s from size 50mm – 140mm.

    Assemble as with the larger tree (I didn’t use tulle for this one as its already quite full looking)


    When you’ve made your tree or trees be sure to head to the Yo Yo Christmas Tree Flicker groupand share it !!

    Im linking up to here.





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