Monday, October 31, 2011


It's been awhile since the last 'shouse' update, but lots of things have been happening.  It's been liveable for 6 months now, but we are always adding/changing/replacing something to improve life in the 'shouse'.  I haven't shown you the outside since the photos I took when I came to inspect the shed over a year ago so I'm going to update  on that now.

Firstly we borrowed a little slasher and cleared all around the shed. Then we borrowed a backhoe and did some DIY earthmoving to remove built up dirt/leaves/rubbish etc. and reshape the land so that water from excess rain flows into the creek and not into the 'shouse'.  We did all this about 4 months ago and until recently that's how it stayed so our yard was a complete dustbowl.  Our aim at the moment is to grow some grass and pretty the place up with some plants and gardens.  I'll post about the back yard and the rest of the yard later this week, but for today, this is the front yard (dustbowl).

So, I know it looks pretty pathetic, but here it is.  Until a few weeks ago there was no green out here at all so it is growing quite well.  At first we just planted some buffalo grass that we got from a relative then we sprinkled a cheap box of lawn seed on it and it seems to be growing ok.

Today Milly helped me collect some rocks in her wagon to make an edging for our little flower garden.

I just bought a few punnets of little ground covery, flowery things and planted them straight into the ground.  They have little flower buds that look like they will open soon.

So that's the front yard.  It doesn't look like much, but if you compare with this 'before' photo I think it's quite impressive.

And of course there's more plans to put into action.  Still to come is the backyard (much more impressive) and the fruit trees (I'm very excited about these!!!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

More Sewing!

What a lucky lady I am! My mum took Milly for a few days this week (she lives out of town) which left me with Claire to look after and as 7 week olds sleep a fair bit I had lots of time to myself. So what did I do?  I sewed (and did dishes and folded washing).

I found this tutorial for a drawstring pouch a few days ago and had planned to make it when Milly went, so I had everything ready to go.  It was so easy and I managed to get it finished the day I started it.  I was interrupted by feeding and chats with Claire and LOTS of washing folding and a lovely long visit from some cousins of Daddy's, so really, I could have done it in maybe 1.5 hours.  I don't yet have a plan for the pouch.  Suggestions anybody?

I have  another exiting sewing project I'm waiting to start.  Just waiting on a delivery from the postman with my fabric! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I've been crafting!

I have somehow found the time to do some sewing lately and I'm starting to think about what to make people for christmas.  At the rate I sew I better get started on the christmas sewing or it will not be done in time.  Anyway, I have found time to sew because I have an amazing newborn who, from about 5 weeks old (she's 7 weeks now), as been sleeping 8 hours straight at night and so I'm not needing to nap through the day when her and her sister do.  It's a really peaceful, quiet time in the house.

Earlier in the week I bought my first pre-cut fabric pack ever and used it to make Milly a little lap quilt.  I used a charm square pack and it made a little quilt that is the perfect size for her to snuggle with on the couch (not that she is ever still long enough to do that!)

I didn't make it properly with batting or anything, because I really wanted to see a finished product and so didn't have time to bind it or quilt it. I just backed it with some minky dot fabric.  Once I joined all the charm squares together all I had to do was cut the backing fabric, put right sides together, sew around and leave a gap to turn it the right way and sew up the hole.  All up it took me about 2 hours (with a few little interruptions).  The fabric was purchased from 'Fabric Patch' online and was delivered REALLY quickly.  The range is 'Giddy' for Moda.

She loves it and calls it her 'nice and soft and warm', because that's what she was calling the minky fabric all through spotlight and she became very attached to it.  It's the one on her lap, not the one on her head.

I'm going to buy another pack and make one for Claire next.  Hopefully I'll have that post by next week. Fingers crossed!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grandmas are special people

My Grandmas are 3 of the most important people in my life.  Yes, I'm lucky enough to have 3 and I have never EVER thought of the third one as a step grandma.  To me she is no different to the other 2.  I spent my childhood growing up very close to my grandmas to the extent of living down the road from my mum's mum and visiting every morning before school so I could practice on her piano and I lived with my dad's mum every second weekend when I was visiting him.

My mum's mum has been battling cancer for a number of years now (first breast, then bone and liver) and last week she lost the fight.  The worst part was that she has been having chemo for the last few months and because I was pregnant I wasn't allowed to visit her at all.  Fortunately she had finished her treatments a few weeks before she was put into hospital for the last time and I spent most of that last week visiting her.  We spent lots of time together as an extended family ( grandad, cousins, aunty's, uncles, etc). 

I am doing a terrible job of writing this, but it's not very clear in my head.  

It's actually been a few weeks since I wrote this and I was going to write some memories I have of her, but I don't need to.  I know I will never forget them.  I can't think of anything to say except how much I love her and how lucky I was to spend so much of my life with her.  The last few years I lived in a different town, but ALWAYS visited a few times when I returned home.  Grandma and Grandad down the road (as we called them) were always first priority on my visiting list.

Grandma was famous for her mudcake.  I am famous for making it terribly (dried and crumbly, forgot the sugar, undercooked type terribly). This cake is something very special to me as I once spent a weekend with Grandma and this was one of things she taught me to do that weekend (you think I'd be an expert at it, but no).  My mum asked me to have one more go at making it to share with the family for the small gathering after the funeral.  She also told everyone I was doing it so the pressure was on.  I am pleased to say it was beautiful.  Right texture, flavour and look.  It was the first thing to be eaten at the party and the whole thing was devoured in about 10 minutes.  I shared a piece with Milly and the taste was good too! My Grandad told me that it wasn't quite as good as Grandma's (which I knew, of course), but that I should make one every week and drop it off to him and he will let me know when I've got it as good as hers! Cheeky!

Before the oven
Perfect crust. Yummy!

I know this isn't a very nice photo of my Grandma, but I was so lucky to get one her with Claire, her 9th great grandchild.  Claire was 2 weeks old here and Grandma even managed a smile when she met her and remembered who she was the next day. Oh the other lady is my mum.  The photo shows 4 generations.