Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Starting on my Victorian Costume

As I posted many moons ago, I have plans to sew my own Victorian costume. I have started cutting the pieces and learning the different techniques, but I decided to go back and start from the bottom up. So I needed to practice making petticoats for the layering effect over my hoops and for hoopless day dresses.

I also suck at circle skirts, so will be trying another version soon.

I started with an old doona cover that I got from the Rummage Sale - plenty of fabric that way.

After struggling with the circle drawstring hem, I have decided to leave the bottom un-hemmed. I have made it a good 3-4 inches shorter than my dress as I want the dress to be the focus, not the petticoats. I am also tossing up if I am going to put a ruffle on the bottom ....

A full spin, I get a horizontal lay. Heaps of fabric and feels great on!
Can't wait to get some more fabric and try some other versions!

Drama and Fun!

A Scary, but ultimately okay situation necessating a quick trip to the hospital (everyone is ok!)

Playing in the sunshine!

A Thermomix Demo this week!! I CAN'T WAIT!!

Rummage Sale Day

 We had a great Rummage Sale Day. Got HEAPS of books!

Bwahahaha!! I couldn't refuse this one!!!

Vintage 1977, in great condition!

Also got some great christian books!

My All time Favorite Story as a Child!

A good book to help Dragonett Lass prepare for when EVER she gets her tonsils out!!
Vintage, but a great read!!

Also got some other stuff ... (other than a HUGE bag of clothes and TWO LAMBS WOOL QUEENSIZE BLANKETS! No photo, off to the laundry, sorry)

A Camping BBQ - bigger and in better condition than my Little One.
Packs away nicely!

A Score - A BOX FULL of patterns - labeled and sectioned! Just the way I love it!

And the one that makes me chuckle - patterns, but SAFARI SUIT FOR KIDS!! YEAH!! lol

Learning At Home

 Our Week was interesting again - loving home schooling.
Here is a quick snapshot of some of the things we did this week...

We caught up with another homeschooling family we love hanging with for our weekly craft sessions.
This week, I thought to do Salt Dough. Not a fantastic success, but fun all the same. (See Family Ways for how the day actually ended up panning out)

Dragonett Lass finally became interested in some shape games I picked up at our Rummage Sale.
A family friend asked what it was and after I explained quite a bit, he suddenly exclaimed "Oooohhh, IRL Tetris!!" Ummmm, yeah, lol!

She (with a tiny bit of help) managed to get this far!! Very impressive!!

Pythagoras Game.
 A bit of a stretch for Dragonett Lass, as she didn't quite 'get' the concept of patterns from shapes, but she did give it a good try!

Finger Puppets are an interest in our house ATM  - (meaning having to sit and watch a 5yr olds Puppet Theatre for aaggggggggeeees LOL)

Thank goodness I just found this at the Rummage Sale -

This will be getting a massive workout over the next few weeks, I can see!!

Then, cooking (well, experimenting with kitchen stuffs) outside, to allow for maximum spillage.
Cooking Salt
Self Raising Flour
Plain Flour
Bi Carb
and Coloured Water - red

Then, the reason why this is done outside ...

Dragonett Lad is merely playing in the destruction left by his sister - and he loves it!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Our Week that was

We had a quite busy week this week.

In no particular order ...

This is Scone Making in our house! I haven't made scones in years (I actually can't remember the last time I made scones TBH) and while we are/were a little tight, I wanted to make something that was easy but cheap, and still yummy. So we hopped on the internet and googled Scones and came up with a good one.

With a tiny scone cutter I picked up from my Rummage Sale, we got cutting - and by we, Dragonett Lass did nearly all the work herself, with just a little help from Dragonett Lad, and made Sultana Scones.

They were ... FABULOUS!!! In the words of the ever honest Dragonett Lass "These are INCREDIBLE!!"

30 Scones lasted approx less than 4hours in a house of 4! I just managed to keep 6 for morning tea the next day, by hiding them in an old flour container and stashing them at the back of the pantry, and then bald-faced LYING to the rest of the Dragonett Family that we had none left!!
I have promised Dragonett Lass that we will be making more tomorrow!!

We also made Paper Dolls and Clothes. This was a bit of a struggle for my Perfectionist Daughter, who temper-tantrumed her way through because her person didn't look like a 'real' person, but we managed to convince her that what she does - as long as she likes it (and that's a hard one, because she DIDN'T like it) was fine! - and she got into the swing of it!

Her finished Attempt (after 4 attempts and 6 screwed up pieces of paper) - Brilliant!!

Complete with Dress and Hat

Our Table o' Fun

My Creation - LOL
 Then today, while Dragonett Papa and I were off doing cleany things, Dragonett Lass decided to make another one - aaaawwwwwwww!

Dragonett Lass has been learning about Board Games and Chinese Checkers is a favorite one here. I am NOT ashamed to say that a 5yr old beat me (sorta)!!

All I did was let her know which pieces could jump, but she had to figure out how far. (I also didn't set my pieces up for this, I swear - teehee) I can honestly say that I didn't cheat, I just gave a subtle boost...

We had recently been discussing Electricity and what it does/how it works and Dragonett Lass decided that she wanted to pretend we had a BlackOut. So, the obliging parents that we were (heck, any excuse to use candles!!!) we made dinner by candlelight, ate and read books, even bathed by candlelight.

A side effect was that both kids went to sleep! Yup! My allergic to sleep children, who rarely go to sleep before 10pm, were in bed AND asleep by 8.30pm!! We always knew that our kids were sensitive to light, but as bedtimes weren't really a concern, I guess we never followed through.
But it was starting to become a joke. 1 and 2am bedtimes were wearing us out.

5 nights running - all successful!

Last, but not least, I spent all day Saturday cleaning up the house, after a few days stint in bed with my back again. I even got into the playroom, which had been badly trashed AGAIN! They had trashed it ages ago, but I hadn't been able to face it, but I got in there and after I was done, I shut the door and luxuriated in the feeling of a tidier house for a night. Today, the kids had a BLAST playing in there - I actually had time to myself!! They spent about an hour, playing by themselves and with each other! BLISS

Friday, July 1, 2011

Final Days of My 30 Day Organize-athon & My Personal Conclusion

Day 26: Declutter Your Exercise and Sports Equipment


Day 28: Organize Your Grooming Supplies (And Save Time And Money Too)

I have neither of these. We have neither sports/exercise equipment, nor do I have a myriad of grooming utensils.
So an easy pass.

Day 27: Declutter By Donating A Dozen

This was a great way to finish of the challenge. Many of the items should have already been tossed in the 30 days, but here's the list from the email

Day 27: Declutter By Donating A Dozen

Step 1: Grab a bag. Quickly fill the bag as you move through your home - and don't stop until you have at least 12 items.

Throw into the bag anything that:

You don't use
You don't like
Has negative associations
Is no longer your style
Keeps you stuck in the past
Is more than you need to feel good about your space.

Ideas for Items To Donate

Living Room

Unloved rugs, throws and cushions
Unloved ornaments, gifts, vases, etc
Knickknacks that don't enhance your space
Extra pieces of furniture
Unloved lamps
No-longer used entertainment devices - TVs, DVD players, stereos, etc
No-longer-played DVDs and CDs


Excess stationery, notebooks, pens, etc
Knickknacks that provide no meaning, beauty or inspiration
Functioning phones, computers, cells, PDAs, etc that you don't need
Supplies, storage containers and accoutrements relating to abandoned craft, knitting, scrapbooking, and other projects
Old lamps and equipment in good condition


Anything (clothes, footwear, coats, purses, accessories, etc) you've not worn in a year
Anything that doesn't fit
Anything that's not your style
Anything that's unflattering on you
Anything that's uncomfortable, scratchy or ill-fitting (it may be perfect on someone else)
Anything you bought ages ago that still has the label on it
Anything with negative memories or associations


Mismatched or unloved crockery
Mismatched or unloved cutlery
Cookware, plungers, teapots, gadgets, and sundry infomercial purchases not used in the past 12 months
Cookbooks not used in the past 12 months
Knickknacks you don't love
Fancy appliances you never use
Doubles of utensils, cookware, etc


Excess, unused towels, bathmats, etc
Excess, unopened perfumes, lotions, etc
Unloved bathroom ornaments
Storage gizmos that encourage clutter

Kids' Stuff

No-longer-used toys
No-longer-used games consoles
Outgrown clothes
Outgrown CDs, DVDs, etc
Outgrown back-packs


Unloved garden ornaments
Day 29: Get Organized Mindset Shift #1: Adopt OCI-OGO

Basically, its about if Something comes in, Something goes out. So if you bring something 'new' into the house, something else should leave in its place. Sound thinking - I do agree for the most part. Sometimes that is just a little too hard - I try to only bring in stuff I want or need - but being a hoarder, that container doesn't hold much water, I suppose!! ROFL

Day 30: Get Organized Mindset Shift #2: Make It A Habit To Avoid Clutter

Whatever you use, take out, or work on, you put away as part of that activity.

And again, something I totally agree with, but, like many others who struggle with crazy houses and cleaning routines, I must say I find it a little insulting that someone seems to feel that this hasn't occurred to me before.


My Personal Conclusion.

It has been said to me that I have been too critical of this particular challenge.
I have found some things to be great fun and others to be downright weird.
There were double ups and areas that I personally felt were too random for many people.

I think that for many people, these sorts of De-Clutterings are a bit like a crash course diet - it may work in the short term, but lacks staying power. I personally would have probably chosen different areas for some of the challenges, but my biggest bugbear in this whole challenge was ...

The 5 Minute Time Frame. That was probably the worst part. For those people that struggle to keep order, even those like many of my friends who have fabulous houses, the 5 Minute 'promise' was perhaps a bit unrealistic. For people like me - hoarders, collectors, even the basic non-minimalist - freaken impossible. When you set your limits too high, you have an even higher rate of failure. When I started this challenge, it was touted as a great way for anyone and everyone to gain control over their house... lol, I guess you can see where I am going.
If I am going to do something - clean, organise, etc - it makes sense that leaving a task half done adds to the problem as it means that you have to come back to it again next time, so you may as well do it all at once. Just the task, not the perfectionist standards I struggle against.

Look, I'll be honest, many people loved this challenge, they thought it was great and felt it really helped them. I am one of the few who think it was less then fabulous.
Not everything is meant for everyone.

I know that by saying 5 minutes, it was a way of getting something done, without it seeming like a total drag and making it seem like something easy and quick.

But bottom line - as someone said to me after I started this challenge and there-in lies my conclusion ...

If it only takes you 5 minutes (or less) then you don't have a clutter problem!!

Day 25: Declutter Your Surfaces

Day 25: Declutter Your Surfaces

Monday 30th May

This is a confusing one. It says to pick an area, a surface, and clean it.

Kitchen counters
Dining table
Coffee table and side tables
Bookshelves/display cabinets
Sofas and armchairs
Home office desk and filing cabinet
Bathroom vanities
Entry hall table/consoles.
As the table in the Lizard room is consistently covered in crap, I chose to do that surface. Again, it took more than 5 minutes (Hoarder Here).
But after about 1/2 hr, all done.

Day 22: Declutter Your Bag

Day 22: Declutter Your Bag

Sunday 29th May
Now, this is another one that doesn't really apply to me. I have only just recently discovered a passion for handbags and switched every day nearly. I was, until recently, a wallet user. I would store my wallet in my back pocket, mobile in the front pocket and keys from my waist band - LOL. So when I change handbags, that's all that goes with me. I don't tend to put rubbishy stuff in there.

Day 21: Organize Your Pantry

Day 21: Organize Your Pantry

Thursday 26th May
Ooooohhhh my! This was a corker!! My pantry is quite large, although its not the walk-in version I desire! I recently totalled the pantry in one of my cleaning rages - so I literally set 5 minutes and scanned the shelves and pitched anything that was out of date, stale, unappetizing, that sort of thing. In other words, nothing LOL!! But I did throw out some stuff we won't use, stuff that I had bought or been given that I decided that we wouldn't actually use - that sort of thing. But it really needs a good reorganise .... another day.
Overall, this one was good, cleansing and entirely do-able in 5 minutes in even a half organised pantry!

Craft Days and Learning Ways

I have been really stretching myself lately and reaching out more (as I explained in a previous post) to my IRL communities and one of those was to make a real effort to hang out with an online friend. She has 2 girls she homeschools, her eldest is only about a week or so older (? don't quote me on exact dates) than Dragonett Lass.
She is a total breath of fresh air TBH and Dragonett Lass and Dragonett Lad both love going to her place. After a few visits where I literally hung out there all day (Thank You So Much!!) we chatted about making a regular Craft/Science Day - to which Dragonett Lass has been 'reminding' me about every.single.day.since. lol!
It is something I am really looking forward to.
She is a very intelligent, explorative, Attachment Parenting mum and I am excited to be able to hang with them and learn more on how to engage Dragonett Lass in more attention capturing natural learning as well as exploring my own parenting skills and how to do it better (we can always do parenting better IMO)

How we spent some of our days lately...

Exploring our vast yard and discovering some 'drawing rocks' as the kids called them

I really wanted to get some cleaning done, so while the older two were outside, Dragonett Lad was engrossed in some coloured water play in the kitchen with me.
He refused to start until he had his apron on - very very adorable!!

Of course, as soon as the other two saw the fun to be had, they wanted to join in...

Dragonett Lass was very excited to explore her newly discovered knowledge of colour

While I was setting up the older two, I realised that Dragonett Lad had disappeared. After a quick search, I was getting a little 'concerned', then I noticed that the lump on the couch moved...

He had gotten his bottle, climbed onto the couch and snuggled down under the doona
I guess that his day of water play had worn him out

Dragonett Lass exploring a new craft - Latch Hooking. Its a fabulous skill for hand/eye co-ordination, problem solving, map/instruction understanding, logical thinking, plus so much more!

And today, playing with store-bought playdough (not something I have ever done here, we prefer homemade) Dragonett Lad was very impressed I think.

Having Fun - as always!! LOL