Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Children, Cookies, Crafts, Family, Food, Ironman 70.3, Quilting, Sewing, Training, Washi Tape

A handmade Christmas (almost)

This year I decided to make a few of the Christmas gifts, I however ran into a few snags along the way. Actually that is not entirely true, I only ran into one snag but it was pretty major, I ran out of time.

Next Christmas I need to plan better.  This year, although I knew what it was I wanted to make I underestimated the time required to make them. That and the fact that I left it all to the last minute, I am training for a ½ Ironman and I decided to take cookie orders all kind of played against me.

I am however very happy with the gifts that I did manage to make, the others, oh well, the intended recipients will never know that there were actually a few other gifts planned for them.

For both the grannies I made a cushion cover each, out of clothes from Little OL’s first year.  I intend to make a quilt out of the blocks I cut, but realised that I have a few blocks extra, so made 2 cushion covers.  (I still need to make the quilt)

Baby Clothes cut into blocks

I personalised each one a little by making sure at least one block was from an item of clothing that they gave to Little OL.

Baby Clothes Quilted Cushion Cover

Baby Clothes, Quilted Cushion

For my mother-in-law I also baked biscuits.  I saw this tutorial on line with this colour scheme and idea for the Christmas trees and thought it was stunning.  I deviated a little as I was trying to do it from memory but am very happy with the way they came out.

Pink and grey Christmas Cookies

For the Blog Secret Santa that Stiletto Mum was running on her blog I also made a couple of handmade items.  The first item is a notepad I covered.  I used a normal cheap notebook then decorated the cover a bit using dress-making pattern paper, paint, washi tape, printed letters and a fineliner pen.  I am very happy with the way it turned out and hope that the person I gave it to like it.

Handmade notebook cover

The second is a “Best of my Days” calendar using a printable from Ashley at Under the Sycamore.  I printed quite a few of these and gave them to some of my friends and family as well.  Follow the links to have a look – I did not take a photo of them.  (also just a note to add that Ashley’s blog is one of my favourites!!)

There were a few other items that I made as well, but forgot to take photos off – like Christmas Cookies for Little OL’s teachers and cards.

I had planned on make more Christmas Cards but…. next year. My word for 2013 is going to be “DO”

I hope you all had a very good Christmas and a that 2013 brings all you hope for.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Sewing

No Sew Tutu – EASY!

Little OL had a princess part to attend so I decided to make her a “no-sew tutu” and bought her a little tiara crown to match.

It was really easy to make.  Measured some elastic to go around her waist,  took a safety pin and pinned the ends of the elastic together and then just tied strips of tulle over the elastic in alternating colours.  I used turquoise, purple and green.  It was so easy I got carried away and made a matching one for her teddy “Door Stop”

So where are the pictures of her looking cute and adorable in it?  There are none – my little tomboy point blank refused to put it or the tiara on.  I managed to get the teddy’s one on for all of about 3 seconds before she pulled that off. Apparently boy teddies don’t wear tutus!

HERE  is a tutorial and photo of one very similar . (using an elastic headband is pretty clever)

Above image from

Posted in Baby OL, Books, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Quilting, Running, Sewing, Swimming

I don’t know what to write at the moment.  I usually feel like this when there is stuff going on that I can’t or don’t want to write about.  It detracts from all the stuff I am doing that I could actually write about.

What I can say however is that Little OL and I have been having fun!  Lots of it!  When Mr OL left I decided that I would say yes to more social engagements than I normally do.  I have been feeling like a rotten friend lately and thought I had better get my butt into gear so not only have I said yes to stuff, I have actually initiated stuff too.  Very proud of myself.  Normally I only see my friend that train or race – I need to make time for the others too.

Little OL and I have been to braais, dinner, breakfast, lunch and play dates.  On Heritage day I invited a friend and her two little boys around and we lit a fire – yes, girls doing it for themselves.  I of course sent Mr OL a photo of the fire  to make him jealous just to let him know we were doing ok …

I have also been to gym a couple of times and this weekend Little OL and I went swimming.  I really want to teach her to swim so thought there was no time like the present.  At first she would not even put her toes in the water but in the end she was jumping off the side into my arms and even going under.  I battled to get her out – definitely my child. We then went home and washed my car – and both ended up soaked through.

I have also made a start to the quilt that I am going to make from Little OL’s baby clothes.  I have cut all the squares – and boy was it hard to cut the first few.  All I kept thinking was “somebody could wear these”.  It got easier after I did a few.  I could not cut them all up though and gave quite a lot to our gardener whose wife has just had a baby girl.

Baby clothes cut for quilt

I am going running tonight and my mom is watching Little OL – so that should be fun.  It is our club time trail – 5kms.  I don’t think I will do as well as I did at the last one, but it will be fun to run.

In terms of a confession – I have to say that I finished 50 Shades of Grey…  My thoughts – it’s an easy read and I can see why some people are enjoying  it.  I must say though that it is not my normal style of book, it is not written particularly well, the story is predictable and the girl is annoying.  Let’s just see if it gets any better in book 2……. J.  In the books defence I am all for anything that gets people reading!  And this book is getting people that don’t normally read that much reading.  I have spoken to friends that have not read anything in a couple of years and they have finished all three books.  So well done to the author.  She has definitely done something right!


Posted in Art, Children, Family, Food, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Quilting, Sewing, Women

Making a plan!

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my previous post – and for the kicks up the backside. I needed it.

Little OL is doing so much better.  I can notice a huge improvement in both her temperament and energy levels and I did not even know there was something wrong with them.  She has always been a happy child but now she is bouncing off the walls (in a good way).

Unfortunately I have not heard anything further from her Nanny, which I am guessing that is bad news on her behalf as I am sure she would have contacted me if she could.  I have tried contacting her but her number is no longer operational.

Little OL seems to be doing fine at Day Care full day.  It has simplified one area of my life as I now don’t need to pick her up at lunch time and take her home.  I did not realise how much of an extra stress that was.  Seeing how much of a change that one little thing has made to my day I have decided that other areas of my life need simplifying too.  I am generally a pretty organised person, especially at work and I have decided to carry this over to my home.  As I work through what I am doing I will let you know.

Here is my list so far (I am sure I will add to it) as well as some of the stuff I have already done

  • Sell Little OL’s baby stuff
  • Organise recipes – DONE
  • Create a meal plan (Mr OL has a new job with longer hours and is no longer doing the cooking)
  • Organise baking stuff – DONE
  • Organise craft stuff – DONE
  • Organise sewing stuff
  • Do a drastic clear out of my clothes – be ruthless this time (I have lost some weight and my work pants no longer fit)
  • Take stock of everything in the freezer – keep the list up dated.
  • Take stock of everything in the grocery cupboard – keep the list up dated.
  • Start a family file with all the important stuff in it.  Dates, numbers ect.

Then there are some things I want to do that are not purely organisational

  • Draw every day – I used to carry a sketch pad around with me and draw, I want to do that again (I want to post about this in a separate post)
  • Repaint 2 chairs (started – I have finished the first coat – so happy) – DONE – read about them HERE.
  • Start the quilt I want to make from some of Little OL clothes and blankets from her first year.
  • The abs challenge with Pink Hair Girl.

I am sure both these lists will be added to as I work through them.

Posted in Baby OL, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Sewing

Will she be THAT kid?

So what are your thoughts on home-made clothes for kids?

I mentioned to my sister that I wanted to make some of Baby OL’s clothes and she said “Oh please don’t make her be THAT kid!”… Hmph!

Now, I do get it.  My mom used to make some of our clothes and I was not that amused. But then I was also 10 and HATED dresses.  Although she did make me a blue hoodie once and I think I wore it so much I wore through the elbows. 

Baby OL is only 8 months and so should not know the difference. 

So, what do you think – do home-made clothes make her THAT kid or will she survive into adulthood without too many scars?

Posted in Ordinarylife, Sewing, Whachumacallit

This little piggy went to market.

Better late than never …

The Christmas in the Home market went well.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and although I did not sell out I did sell quite a bit.  I am happy (ish) with the result.  Obviously I would l have liked to see out totally but for the first time it was good.  It was quite funny, on the Friday I sold a lot of playmats, but not may toys.  And then on the Saturday I sold a lot of toys but not that many playmats.  Weird!

The feedback from customers and non-customers was positive, lets hope it translates into future sales.  Although – I am SOOOOO pleased not to HAVE to sew them anymore. The pressure kind of took away the enjoyment.  I think I will give it a bit of a break and then just start sewing and drawing them for fun again.

Here are a couple of pictures of my stand.

Whachumacallits - stand and Christmas in the Home


Whachumacallits - stand at Christmas in the Home


Thank fully I managed to get time to take a brief walk around and have a look at some of the other stands.  There are some really talented people in Port Elizabeth.  The girl with the stand next to mine was selling baby shoes that she makes.  OH MY WORD!!!! So cute.  I was worried that I would spend all my profit buying Baby OL shoes.  I managed to restrict myself to one pair.  I will take a photo and post it soon.  One woman bought two pairs – to frame – they were that cute!

I also had some feed back on the name of my toys.  Most of it VERY positive – saying that “Whachumacallits” is exactly what they should be called.  However I also had a very funny comment.  This little old lady looked at them and then leaned forward and whispered to me; 

“My late husband used to call my whatnot my whachumacallit.”  

Oh my word – I nearly died laughing.

Posted in Crafts, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Sewing

Christmas in the Home this weekend

Wish me luck – it is the Christmas in the Home market this weekend and I am both nervous and excited.

I have been so worried about not having enough stuff to sell that I did not even contemplate the thought that my stuff might not sell at all.  Yikes – what happens nothing sells??? 

This year the market is being held at the Moffat on Main Shopping Centre.  Friday 29th October 9:00 – 19:00 and Saturday 30 October 9:00 – 16:00.  See you there!  Remember that the “entry fee” is a non-perishable food item.

Posted in Baby OL, Books, Family, Food, Gardening, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Restuarants, Running, Sewing, Training, Training

I miss…..

There are a few things that I miss since I have had a baby.  And they are not the things I expected… I do not miss nights out or parties, I did not do that much anyway.  I am missing the hectic training I was doing but not as much as I thought.  I also miss going out to restaurants and just sitting down for a good meal, but I know that will come shortly.

So what am I missing?  Well, oddly enough I miss working in my garden!  I miss pottering around, planting seedlings, and just doing stuff!  I also miss cooking – just for fun.  Not puréed baby food.  Normally I would get home from work and cook dinner – not all the time as Mr OL and I would take turns.  But I enjoyed it.  Now Mr OL does all the cooking while I bath and put Baby OL to bed. 

So when exactly did I get this old? 

Truthfully though I think it is more the creative aspect that I miss.  I like designing my garden, I like concocting new dishes.  The only creative outlet I have at the moment is sewing Whachumacallits, and although each one is unique and hand drawn I miss variety.  I am very excited about the market on the 29th but will be quite pleased when it over.  Then I might have more time to do other stuff.

I suppose that Mr OL might be right, he says that I do too much.  But I guess I like it that way.  I like to be doing stuff – and different stuff. 

Here is list of things that I want to do but just don’t have the time at the moment.

  • Sew Baby OL some summer dresses – I am in front of my sewing machine  a lot at the moment but it is all for the market.
  • Plant some veggies and herbs – and have the time to look after them.
  • Learn to bake.  We have recently bought a Kenwood Major, but I have not even used.  I can’t wait to give it a test run and make something.
  • Make Mr OL a nice romantic meal and sit and eat it at the dining room table, possibly with a bottle of wine (actually maybe scrap the wine – last time I had any 17 months ago Baby OL was the outcome)
  • Spend an evening just sitting, relaxing!
  • Finish one of the four unfinished books next to my bed.  Normally I finish a book within a couple of nights but at the moment it taking me forever.  I will read a couple of pages each night before I go to sleep, but at the moment it is never more than a couple of pages. The one I am currently reading is “The Great Run” by Braam Malherbe.  It is about his run along the entire distance of the Great Wall of China.  So far so good, but I have only read about his first day…
  • Read up on and practice using my camera properly.  I am sure it has functions that I just don’t know how to use.

So if you had more time what would you like to do

Posted in Charity, Crafts, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Sewing, Whachumacallit

Sew much to do!

So I am sewing feverishly at the moment but I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere.  I luckily got accepted to sell my Whachumacallit toys at the “Christmas in the Home” market at the end of October, but now I need stock. Who knew it would take this long to make a couple of toys.

I am getting a bit faster at it, but not nearly fast enough.  Also (and don’t get me wrong I am not complaining about this part) people keep on buying them…… J  I have  about 30 ready for the market now, but was hoping to have closer to 100.  I have nearly a month left to sew but am only averaging 1 a day at the moment.

I think what I am going to have to do is get business cards printed and have pictures of ones I have made previously around and then take orders.  I am really excited about the market.  I am curious to see how my toys will go down and if they will sell or not??? 

The Christmas in the Home Market is taking place on the 29/30 October at Moffett on Main in the underground parking lot.  Click HERE for a link to their Facebook page

Posted in Family, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Sewing, Whachumacallit

I better start saving!

Why is it that before sewing was what you did if you could not afford to buy your clothes?  It worked out cheaper.  Now you need to have money to sew.  Seems like it has gone from something you did out of necessity to something you do for a expensive hobby. 

Before you even begin to look at material, which is not cheap, you need to buy a sewing machine – holy crap!  You can buy a lap top cheaper – in fact my first car was cheaper! And I was not even looking at the top of the range, more like middle to bottom. 

I have been lucky enough to use my mom’s old sewing machine but figured if I am going to be sewing this much I really should get my own.  So today when I took it in for a service I asked for quotes.  Lets put it this way – my mom is not going to be getting her machine back for a quite a while. 

What I have decided I am going to try and do is put the money I get from selling my Whachumacallits into a “Sewing Machine Fund”  it was supposed to be my “I’m going ½ day Fund” but looks like that is going to have to wait.