Friday, February 6, 2015

An eventful couple of weeks......and some handknit eye candy.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks here lately, from life changes like Mikes mother is going to be moving in with us!.... to our car breaking down several times earlier this week.

We've had builders visiting, real estate agents taking advantage of Mikes mother and car radiators spitting boiling water into my face in a hospital parking lot...... all the while crunching numbers to figure out how to build a house large enough to fit us all in!


Amongst it all though there have been some positives, number one being a larger house on the horizon, you can imagine after living in a two bedroom house with the family bed in the lounge/kitchen area, this will be a dream come true! 
Gosh under this alone I can rattle off so many pluses....our own bedroom, a proper place for the washing machine, possibly even a dishwasher!! Oh yes! And the highlight......a SHOWER!!! 
Oh how much I have missed a shower! 
Baths are over rated! 
Give me my shower back!!! 
Honestly it has more of a relaxation effect on me than soaking in a bath, and I think the sound of the water drowning out the noise and possible screaming of children might have something to do with it! hehe


But other than that what are some other positives? Well for one having Mikes mum and the children's Grandma living with us! There is something to be said for multi-generational living, not only will our kids and Grandma benefit, but we will also....for one Mike's mum is far more tidy than we will ever be, so she is bound to keep us on our toes in that department! And I'm sure my washing will never be left overnight on the washing line anymore! 
 Plus I'll imagine it will enrich our lives in more ways than we can even think of right now.



But how about the broken down car?.........hmmmn yes well partly this is our own fault, a disaster waiting to happen really, and one that always happens when I'm driving the cars......for a quick summary:
 
My First Car = broken down alone in the middle of no where with  3 kids from 3yrs old to 2 weeks old!

Second Car = came around the corner at night in wild weather with four kids in the car and alone again, crashed into tree that had just fallen down on the road....and out of cellphone range.

And this week = after the cars radiator boiling over and exploding at me, I thought I had fixed it, so I cautiously continued to drive to the library, Bunnings and then a food shop at P n S, where with a car full off groceries, the car decided not to start.....again alone with my eldest child......turns out it wasn't the car battery and it was a computer problem, which attributed to telling the car that it was colder than it actually was...hence boiling over radiator.


So my positives are.....the car is getting fixed finally and I didn't get burnt, it hurt, but I'm okay......those 3 hours waiting for help in the car park were a good life lesson for my boy and I, and what started off being an anxious experience, resulted in him being more positive than me!  
And this week we've enjoyed swimming lessons in the back yard of a local home-schooler, meeting with other home-schooling families and being thankful for the use of my Mum's car!
Phew!!
  So life has been full, and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down in the near future either! 
But that's our life, so we will just continue to roll with the punches!
 


Pictures of a Tropical Lily top, pattern by Tikki Knits.  I knitted my Lil girl this a couple of years ago but it never fitted her until now.....details on my Ravelry Page


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Home schooling and learning difficulties - 3/52 Things I made 2015


This year is our second year of home schooling and it's also my Lil girls first proper year of learning, so I have been gearing up to start making resources to help her learn her basics.


I've been wanting a Laminator for ages! And now that I have one its all go go go go, creating learning binders etc, to assist her with processing all this information.

My children's learning is not something I mention much about on my blog, but it's something that's a big part of lives....learning in all areas of life as well. 
 Around here it's not just about presenting all the basic academic information in a format my children understand, a good part of it is also teaching social rules. 


You see, my kids all have learning difficulties to varying degrees, which has been a huge focus for us in the last couple of years.  

Last years absence on my blog was the result of one of those....2014 was consumed by an added condition on top of another, and it was a dark year to say the least! Thankfully we are on the other end of that journey and things look brighter than they were. 


 However last year we got a second diagnosis for my little girl, amongst it all.

 I had been in denial for many years, quite aware that something was amiss from when she was as young as 6 months....that's when alarm bells starting ringing, I'd 'been here before' I thought, but I pushed those thoughts away, denying what I knew deep down.  
Then when she was close to 3yrs and her speech and language was not on track compared to her peers I started the process of involving a Speech Language Therapist, which in turn led us to her second diagnosis late last year and a sigh of relief to put the naysayers in their place...there is always the naysayers isn't there?!



And throughout this journey, we have been involved in many courses, I have read so many books and scoured the internet on these subjects, that all I want now is a good fictional book to absorb myself in! since reading non fiction is not my strong suit, unlike my eldest who loves it!

But instead because of our hard work, I find myself now, armed with a plethora of information, a laminator and a big roll of Velcro dots! 

So this term we are learning the alphabet!  I'm pretty sure she will have many of these figured out quickly, since thankfully she is a very quick learner! ( and she will keep me on my toes ) 
It's just all comes down to how the information needs to be presented.  What my little girl may lack in auditory processing, she certainly makes up for it in processing visually!
So now we have the key, its our time to unlock the door!



Friday, January 23, 2015

Saturday Routine and a Floral Tiered Skirt - All the things I made 2014


Good Morning! 

Another Saturday in our household, and that means 'Game Day' which my boys eagerly wait for each week!

We don't have any TV connection now ( 3 months and not missing it! ), so when Saturday rolls around, those boys are up early talking gaming and what each of them is going to do....
Me?, well I'm not a fan, as they always end up arguing and grumpy at the end of it, and it stretches on longer than I would like, but looking at the bigger picture it does give Mike and I some time-out of our own, and its only for Saturday, so right now I can live with that! 

Aren't you all sick of the Mummy guilts? They seem to come with the territory, and right now for me its the Gaming! I've never liked it, and I'm unlikely to in the near future, so who wouldn't want free time to sew? Knit? Garden for hours without interruption? 

Exactly! So I'm leaving the guilt behind, and I'll take what time I can get!

And one of those days last year, was spent making this skirt for my Lil Miss.



Made in a pretty cotton voile, it's my first tiered skirt, a nice easy sew and from the book 
 

 Captured how she attempts to open the front door....despite it looking like 'Strike a pose'

I love that book! I must make some more clothes from it!
A few more items to add to the ever increasing list!

What about you? What's one of your mummy guilts? 
Is it really that bad?  
 


 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Slow down and Smell the Roses - Roadside Foraging


Do you look out for roadside fruit and flowers as you drive down country lanes?, or do you pop a pair of scissors in your pockets on that leisurely Saturday morning walk?

Well the later is my mum, always an opportunist when it comes to free plants! A good majority of her garden probably came from sneaky snips of cuttings and seeds taken from fence lines around my hometown! 

This mostly, embarrassed me tremendously, as a kid joining her on these walks....in my eyes it was stealing back then, but now that I'm older and wiser I see how it actually was rather clever of my mum, after all money was hard to come by being a single parent to three, though despite this she was still able to full fill her passion for gardening without spending a penny.

And that brings me to now, where I find myself searching the roadsides for freebies of my own.  Down in the Mt Ruapehu, where we last lived, is where my fruit tree seeking began, I knew every roadside apple tree there was on the country road between home and the boys school, though it took me two years to get over the imagined humiliation I felt for picking the apples! And now up here in the Winterless North, I have done the same thing, I'm always on the lookout for something on my numerous trips on our country roads, I guess you could call it another one of my past times.

Currently there's Peach trees nearly ready for picking, the last of the roadside Roses are finishing their bloom, which means Rosehips come after, and numerous flowers that have naturalized themselves amongst the long grass.....but I never stop unless Mikes with me.
Yesterday however I thought it was about time I changed that, who cares and 'Why not?'
I've said those last words to myself a lot lately, and it made me stop.  After all I was on the way home with only one child and I wasn't in a hurry to get back!   Slow down Laura!



So I picked some free flowers, and even pulled a few bulbs too! It was so freeing not care about the cars that drove past, and thanks to having plastic bags in the car ( for car sickness ), newspaper from the mailbox that hangs around, and water for the cars leaking radiator! I had just what I needed to keep them alive on the way home! I even had scissors, though I think I'll pack a pair permanently as I don't want to make a habit of using my sewing scissors!


Next on my list, is the Peaches, and then a bunch of Sweetpeas! And maybe I'll pack a spade too?!

So what about you? do you share the same passion for foraged goods?

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Appointment Baby Cardigan - 2/52 Things I've Made 2015


This little cardigan is my latest finish for this year!
It all started last year many months ago with the intention to be one of those quick and satisfying baby knits I enjoy!


But instead it was the knit that kept me busy at every hospital appointment we had in the last few months of 2014....it would come out every time I had to sit and wait and even got its own fan club in the doctors office!


I was told by one lady that I must show them
 all the finished product in the new year! hehe 
I love people getting enthusiastic about other peoples creations!!  
Talk about making me feel special!


So now its finished, and there's another appointment tomorrow, 
I'm wondering if I should pack it for show and tell?

Recipient: A soon to be born, family member in the UK
 Background Fabric for: A soon to be dress, to accompany it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

City Gym Shorts - Slightly addictive! - All the things I made in 2014


A big thanks to Leonie from Kiwi At Heart for introducing me to the City Gym Shorts pattern by The Purl Bee!

I had been watching via Instagram, all of the different creations that Leonie had been sewing up for her girls, and in December I decided to give them a go for myself!

It started with the vintage floral sheet......


 then I added the gingham for the binding....


 and to top it off, a Rouleau tie.


 Since watching a number of episodes at my mums each weekend of The Great British Sewing Bee....loving it!! ( But we are now TV free ), I've been inspired to create and throw in a few old favourite techniques, and I hadn't used a Rouleau tie in a while.
in fact I'm quite tempted to take part in this challenge this year.....but more on that another time!

After that pair, I cut out two more pairs for her and two more for me, though I only managed to sew up another one before the Christmas rush. 
However, I'm so glad I did as I have got so much wear out of these!


Plus the size is bang on! I made one size larger than my hip measurement to account for my shapely derrière! hehe, and its perfect! 

My pair was made from a op-shop fabric find, as to not waste any good material...its the first place I find in the second hand shops! 
and with that success, I'm now keen to get the other pairs sewn up, as these are so comfortable to wear around the garden, and I just love to look at my little girl running around in these cute retro style shorts!

Ahhhh this girl, always with an apple in her hand!

So if you ever considered making some, I give the pattern a big thumbs up.  They have a lovely simple construction, apart from the binding being possibly a bit tricky for a beginner, the rest is plain sailing! 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yellow striped Cricket Cardigan - All the things I made in 2014 Catchup


Now that I've personally committed myself to blogging a bit more frequently I thought its about time I showed you some of my creations that I made in 2014!

Lets just say most of 2014 was a family year of bonding! Not much time for anything else, and 2015 is looking a lot more brighter!

Moving onwards and upwards, but not forgetting all the lessons I've learned and of course the pretty creations I amazingly actually managed to make! I present one of those creations.  This sweet striped cardigan for my little girl!


 I don't know where the idea came from, but I just was yearning at the time for a yellow striped sunshine cardy!



 After knitting another striped cardy previously, which I'm yet to share...oops! Probably should have shared that first! Ohwell.....anyway it was that one, that got me started with the stripes and the glorious wool!! Knitsh Merino 4 ply! It knits up with the most beautiful drape! It's my favourite 4 ply and the colours! oh glorious! yes twice said because it really is!


  So I had my wool, but I just needed to find a, 4ply, Child's, long sleeve cardigan pattern, that fitted the bill! 

Easier said than done....there is a lot of 8ply patterns out there, but not a huge amount of straightforward 4ply knits! Just saying.....let me know if you know of one! Please...


 But I did find Cricket by Dandiliongirl Designs on Ravelry, It had some sweet details, like the stitch pattern across the shoulders and the pockets


and it allowed me to work my striped pattern...well apart from the pockets.....that took a bit of brain power to figure out an alternative to the construction.

 The buttons are a vintage set from Mikes grandmothers button jar (which I now own ), so I get what I get.....I may change these so that it closes probably all the way down this winter.....as I can't say I'm happy with how my button band turned out.  But otherwise I love how the yellow and gray semi solids knitted up together.....a bit of sunshine for those winter days

Oh and PS: Those goats are much bigger now! Gosh I love my goats! As does Lil Miss!

Joining up with my Favourite Regular 
















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