Saturday, March 27, 2010


Yup, that is right people... I am taking a temporary break from my blog.

Why you may ask? Well, this is why:

Nope, it's not because of my little man. See my hands? Well they are (for want of a better word), screwed.

I started having hand problems when I was 31 weeks pregnant. First I got carpal tunnel, then I got tendinitis. While the carpal tunnel has almost disappeared, the tendinitis has only gotten worse.

A couple of days ago, my hands got so bad that I could barely pick up our son so I booked in for an appointment with the hand therapist. As a result I now need to wear splints on both hands for around 6 weeks *sigh*.

As I am sure you can imagine, wearing the splints full time is going to be pretty annoying. I am finding that I have to learn new ways of doing things and that makes me slow... oh so incredibly slow.

With Easter coming up I thought it would provide a great opportunity to take a break, work on some designs and then resume fresh upon my return. I am thinking I will be back blogging on April the 11th, so it's really not too big a break.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and that you drop by to see what I've been working on in a couple of weeks time!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Vegetable Disaster

So, a while back we started making a raised vegetable garden. Due to the weather being either too hot, too cold or Matty and I simply wanting to spend time together rather than working on house stuff, the garden still isn't planted. The boxes are, however, filled and ready to go:

Now I said I would show you the process I used to fill up the boxes, but lets face it.. it really isn't that hard. We popped in some soil, some bags of poop and some dynamic lifter and it's all ready to go. It's a shame that the vegetable seeds aren't!

The last time you saw the seeds they looked like this:

Now they look like this:

What happened you may ask? Well, it got cold... so I cranked the central heating and fried the lettuce and the snow peas as they were sitting right next to the vent lol.

I am not overly concerned though as they are still 'in season', so I can just do a new lot! Remember that this is my year for working out what does and doesn't work, so if we end up with no vegetables at all that is fine.

Lesson number 1 : Don't put your seeds near the heating vent if you have intentions of turning it on!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Charm Square Project

After making the tag blanket yesterday, I really wanted to make something else using the charm squares... so I came up with this:

What is it you might ask? Well, it's a game of naughts and crosses of course lol:

Can you tell how awful the weather is at the moment with this horrible lighting in these photos! I will try and take better photos later on.

I must admit that I'm not really sure what I am going to do with it, but it was fun and quick and easy to make. I am thinking I should make a little bag out of the remaining matching charm squares, to store the 'X' and 'O' pieces in. I am also thinking I could spice it up further by replacing the 'X' and 'O' pieces with cars and buses instead.

Perhaps this is the first item in my Etsy store (I'm sure there is an overwhelming demand for these lol)? Perhaps it is destined to sit in the back of the cupboard? Who knows!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tag Blanket

Last week I bought a packet of cute little charm squares with the intentions of making this tag blanket. Unfortunately, as you may recall, when I opened the charm squares up I was a tad disappointed to find that the material was not all the same theme. So I had to go back to the patchwork shop and buy another packet so that I could make the blanket (oh, and what a hardship that was!)

I actually started the blanket last week, but you know how it is... I got part way through it before another shiny craft project caught my eye and the charm squares were left half sewn together on the craft table.

This morning I thought that I really should get my act together and finish off some of the projects I have underway at the moment, so out came the charm squares once again.

The longest part of this entire project was cutting and pinning the ribbons. I decided to make them a bit shorter than suggested in the tutorial, so I ended up having to cut some of the length of the ribbon off once they were pinned. Here is a picture of the blanket ready to sew:

I chose to use Minky for the back of the blanket as I had always had a fascination with it taking every opportunity to run my hands over the nice soft fabric in all of the quilting shops. This was, however, the first time I'd sewn with it.

I had never realised how stretchy it was until I went to pin it to the quilting fabric, then I started to panic.
When you're sewing with stretch fabric, it is easy to sew right back to your starting point only to find that the fabric has been stretched too far and as a result, you end up with a pucker and need to unpick it all and start again.

As I don't have as much spare time on my hands these days as I once did, I needed to make sure the Minky didn't pucker. So, I pinned it to the quilting fabric with about 75 pins. While this might seem like a bit of overkill, the Minky didn't pucker.

To finish the blanket off, I simply ran a top seam around the outside roughly 3mm's in from the edge:

All up I think this blanket would have taken roughly 30 minutes to make, so it would be a great gift for someone having a baby!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

5 Weeks Old!

This last week has passed a little slower. I'm guessing that is because there is only 2 hours between each feed at the moment. I am hoping that this is just a growth spurt and it will pass, because it is positively exhausting.

Here is the 5 week photo of our son wearing the romper I made for Matty, who is an avid gamer:

The things I have learned this week:

White is great when you have children! - Yes, I might be mad saying this and I certainly thought my step mother was mad when she bought me a white dressing gown for Christmas knowing that there was a baby on the way, but seriously, the amount of times I've looked at myself in the mirror and said "OMG.. I have dried poo on me!" is bordering on ridiculous. If my dressing gown were any other colour, who knows how much dried poo I'd have on me and how long it would be there for!

It would be so easy to become, well, a 'slob' - There are times that I would rather stay in bed than get up and have a shower before Matty goes to work, but I know that if that happens it could be a while until I get a shower (If at all). So I force myself to get up and have one rather than stay in bed getting the 10 minutes of interrupted sleep I'll have if I don't.

I also try to make sure that I only wear tracksuit pants once a week and try to dress nice for the rest of the time. Just because I'm at home, it doesn't mean that I can stop looking after myself. If I feel good (by showering and dressing nice) then the whole day seems to flow a lot better. I also find that I don't eat nearly as much crap!

It would be so easy to sit around all day in my trackies, unshowered and eating bad, but I hope that never happens to me.

Feeding doesn't have to dictate your life - Two hourly, three hourly, four hourly or five hourly.. it's definitely going to have to happen. I was finding that I was timing things to occur between feeds, which meant that I could only go out for a maximum of an hour and a half before I had to head home to feed again. It doesn't have to be that way... which leads me to my next point.

Parents Rooms are a fantastic invention - I have fed in a couple of parents rooms this week and they have been great, offering up to date facilities and private quarters for feeding. It also means that I can stay out for the whole day, yet still feed the baby.

This week is weigh-in week, so it will be great to see how much he has put on. He is a real little porker and is growing right before our very eyes. If only there were some way to slow it down just a tad!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt (Update #1)

Remember how I was designing the Redwork Christmas Quilt? Well I worked on it a bit while I was in labour and have continued working on it between other projects since our son was born. Here is how it is currently looking:

While I am generally happy with the design, I have decided to change it a little. The hearts in the border... well, they are going. There are a couple of reasons for this change:
  1. I think the blocks will look too busy when put together with Christmas quilting material; and
  2. The hearts are a bit too "girly" and were only included in the original design because I thought I was having a girl...turns out I was wrong!
Anyway, I am pleased with how it is turning out and have decided that the quilt will consist of 9 blocks in total. I am hoping that I will be able to finish off the first square this weekend, which means I really, really need to get my act together and design that second block!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Getting Motivated!

Lately I have been consumed with thinking of ways that I can generate money, so that come next February I don't have to leave our little man to go back to work full-time. Although it seems a while of now, we all know how fast it is going to come around.

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I have been thinking about opening up an Etsy store. I am pleased to announce that I am going to commence working on items to sell in the shop this coming weekend - yay!

I am aiming to start off incredibly small with approximately 5 items in the store and go from there. As if to spur me along, my horoscope from today said that I should channel my creative energy as there is money to be made from a hobby lol. I hope they are right!

When I say I need to think of ways that I can generate money, I am not only thinking of ways to get my hands on some cold, hard cash, but also of ways that I can either spend less money or obtain items of value so that I don't need to spend so much.

For a while now I have been a member of the Opinions Paid site, completing surveys in return for 'zoints' which can then be exchanged for vouchers in their shop. Although it takes a while to accumulate enough zoints for a voucher (you need roughly 2300 zoints), I have recently earned enough to obtain a $20 coles/myer voucher. It might not seem like much, but it is $20 of 'free' money and everyone loves 'free' money!

I am also planning on using my Simple Savings membership to look at ways to reduce our spending. This site is excellent as it brings together a community of like-minded individuals who share tips on ways in which money can be saved. We have already saved a bucket load of money by implementing some of the tips, but I think we could save even more!

Finally, I have been inspired by a recent post over at The Life and Times of an Ordinary Girl blog, to look at ways in which to generate income via my blog. While I was not overly keen to do this when I initially set up my blog, I am coming around a bit now - especially if it means I can stay home and spend more time with our son.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Making Easter Eggs (and Butter Creme Recipe)!

Well as the title of this post suggests, I have been trying my hand at making Easter Eggs. In theory they shouldn't be hard to do, it is just finding the easiest way to make them that appears to be the challenge!

I picked up a mould when I was in Spotlight the other day that would enable me to make 4 small easter eggs at the same time. My plan is to fill the eggs with the butter cream recipe I have included at the end of the post.

As per usual, I did a fair bit of research before attempting to make the eggs and believed that the easiest way to do it would be similar to the suggestion on the website. Turns out I was wrong.

The method above said to grease your easter egg moulds, then put the melted chocolate into the mould and spread it with the back of a teaspoon. There were three problems with this method:
  1. The greasing of the mould resulted in the chocolate sliding down the side of the mould, so they were only half full (I had to set the chocolate and then apply another layer where there was no chocolate so that I could get a full egg).
  2. The eggs came out with a 'pitted' look (see the photo below).
  3. The chocolate was waaay too thick as there was no control using the back of a teaspoon.
Here is a picture of the first lot of eggs I made (see how they aren't really smooth):

I decided that I would just make up my own way of making them since the web had failed me in this instance. I remembered back to when mum and I had made chocolates when I was younger. We had always painted the moulds with a paintbrush. So that is exactly what I did.

Here is a picture of how they turned out using that method (much better, hey):

Next I need to make up the butter creme recipe and and yes, that does say 1 kilogram of icing sugar lol... it's Easter people - the calories don't count!

Butter Creme Recipe:


225gms of cream cheese, softened
120gms of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 kg of icing sugar

  1. Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla togetheruntil well combined. Add icing sugar and mix in well.
  2. Place the mixture into pre-made chocolate egg shells being careful not to overfill. Place in refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.
  3. Once set, join two easter egg halves together by painting melted chocolate around the edge of the two halves and pressing together carefully.
Now I just need to make around 30 eggs but I am not going to do that until closer to Easter. I guess that just means I will have to eat these 'trial' ones! I'll be sure to post a picture of all the eggs once they are done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Charm Squares

I must admit that I am pretty disappointed with the range of quilting fabrics available for boys. I visited our local patchwork shop on Saturday and while they had roughly 50-60 'girly' prints, they only had around 6 that were suitable for boys.

I was going to buy just one fabric to make our little man one of these blankets, but on my way to the counter I came across a pack of 20 charm squares which I thought might be a bit more interesting and inspire me to do something a little more 'out there' than I was perhaps originally thinking. Here is a photo of the squares:

Now, don't get me wrong, I like the squares but I must admit I am a tad disappointed. While the colour schemes of the fabrics blend well, the pictures on the fabrics do not.

Some squares are transportation themed, some are animal themed and some are space themed. To me, I don't think they belong on the same blanket. Soooooo, I think I'm going to get another pack and use the animal themed squares for the blanket and then put on my thinking cap and make something else out of the other squares.

In order to make the blanket, I also got some pale blue minkee for the back and some ribbons that coordinated well with the colours of the charm squares:

Unfortunately the patchwork shop is closed today, so tomorrows mission is to get the other pack of charm squares and make a start on the blanket! Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1 Month Old - Where has the time gone!

Our little man is one month old today and what a month it has been! I may be a bit biased, but we have one of the most adorable babies ever. The only issue we had had is with the feeding and even that seems to have resolved itself somewhat over the past couple of days. Our baby appears to be incredibly happy and content which is SUCH a blessing!

I wanted to do something special to commemorate each month of his life, so I did a bit of a search on the internet and stumbled across a blog (which of course I forgot to bookmark), where the blogger took a photo of her baby with a sign showing the date (she had the template on her blog).

She did it for the first twelve months and the results were really quite cute, so I decided we would do it also. Here is the first photo in the 12 part series:

This week I have learned:

You can never have enough clothes - I mean for YOU, not the baby! On Friday morning I was going to have morning tea with a very good friend of mine and I ended up changing my top 3 times in a half-hour period before I could leave the house! One more mishap and I wouldn't have had a jumper to wear!
I also recommend keeping a change of clothes for yourself in the boot of the car... which leads me to my next point...

Breast pads are not leak-free - You guessed it. I went out and I leaked... right through my bra and through my jumper. Luckily I was at my mum's and it was hot so it dried pretty quick, but still - it wasn't cool! lol

Perseverance pays off - A lot of people give up on breastfeeding and I can't say I blame them. It is stressful and exhausting if it doesn't work naturally. I have been eating oats, taking alfalfa capsules and expressing every two hours for a month now. I am pleased to report that my milk supply looks to have increased to a stage where I can feed the baby and still express some out. Thank goodness (I thought I was going to throw in the towel too for a while there).

Using cloth isn't as time consuming as they say it is - Every time I mentioned that we planned on using cloth nappies rather than disposables, I was met with frowns and the words "oooh it's a lot of work". Well, actually, I'm finding that it really isn't.

Cloth has come a long way and so now you can use a process called 'dry pailing'. It means, you simply dispose of any poo (which isn't solid at the moment anyway as I'm breastfeeding), put the nappy in your bucket (without any water) and put the lid on. Each morning you then pop your nappies (and cloth wipes if you're using them too) into the washing machine, put in your nappy soak and set the washing machine to the soak cycle on a hot wash. Done. It's as easy as that.

It is important to remember who you are - It would be so easy to become someone who doesn't have anything to talk about other than the baby and lets face it... that's really a bit boring lol! So I make sure I keep up with the news (did you hear about the guy who married his pillow?!?), continue with my craft endeavours and catch up with my friends regularly.

On Friday night Matty and I went out to dinner with our friends while mum looked after the baby. It was great! It reminded me that I am still my own person and that having a baby doesn't necessarily have to mean that you lose your identity.

Anyway, our little man is looking to be fed again so I best away!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recipe : Golden Oat Cookies

This morning I bounded out of bed at 6am, fed the little man and then got stuck into some baking.

I was originally going to bake some lactation cookies to help my milk supply, but with 500gms of butter, a tin of condensed milk and a packet of chocolate chips in the list of ingredients, I thought my bum might thank me if I made something else!

So I got out my most trusty recipe for Golden Oat Cookies (which I believe is just a fancy rip off name for Anzac biscuits lol).

Anyway, here is the recipe. It is so quick and easy and pretty cheap too:

1 cup of Self Raising Flour
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of Bicarb Soda
100gms of Flora Light Margarine
5 tablespoons of golden syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to160 degrees Celsius
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. Melt margarine, mix together with Golden Syrup and then add to dry ingredients. Combine well.
  4. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray or line with baking paper. Roll about 1 teaspoon of mixture into a ball and place on tray. Flatten dough with the back of a fork.
  5. Place trays in the oven and bake until golden brown.
Here is a picture of the ones I baked this morning:

I'm hoping they'll last until afternoon tea time but I don't like my chances!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tutorial : Photo Cards

We received soooo many gifts after the birth of our son and simply can't believe how generous our friends and family are.

I wanted to send out something to everyone as a kind of 'thank-you', so I decided to make photo cards as they are so easy to do! You could also use the same process to make your own invitations, birthday cards or Christmas Cards too!

You will need:
A computer program that enables you to do image and text manipulation and set a canvas size (I use Adobe Fireworks)
A photo or image that you want to appear on your card.

  1. Firstly you will need to open up the computer program you choose to use and set the canvas size to 1200 x 1800 pixels.
  2. Import the photos or images you want to use on your card.
  3. Arrange the photos or images to your liking, making sure that no 'important' detail is close to the edge of the canvas (when you print them, some of the image close to the edge may be lost)
  4. Place any text you like either on top of the image or photo, or alternatively, re-size your image so that it does not fill the entire canvas and place your text next to the photo or image (this is what we did).
  5. Once you are happy with the placement of your images, photos and text, you are ready to print. You can either print them yourself on photo paper or have them printed at places like Big W or Kmart.
  6. You may choose to glue your photo onto a card so that you can write on the inside as well. Alternatively, you could glue a magnet on the back of the photo card so that people can stick the card on their fridge, which is ideal for invitations.
Here is a picture of the photo card we made thanking our friends and family for their gifts:

All up 40 photo cards cost $6.00 to make, so it is quite a cost effective method of showing your gratitude. Now I just need to send them all out!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Modern Cloth Nappies (Update #2)

Quite a while back I made a trial Modern Cloth Nappy. They really were easier than I thought they would be to make, but I decided not to make any more until after our baby was born, as I wanted to check that the sizing was right before I went into mass production.

Since our baby turned three weeks old last week,I decided it was time to set about making a 'real' nappy using the PUL and other fabrics I had bought especially for this purpose.

I decided to still use the wee wekka pattern as I did for the original trial nappy, but this time I made it multi-sized by placing snaps at varying intervals on the rise: As you can see, the nappy actually fits quite well (the unused rise folds over to make for a better fit):

Unfortunately on the two occasions that this nappy has been used, with a micro-fleece soaker, it leaked! I read and re-read the instructions for making the nappy and it appeared that I had made it correctly, so I was unsure why it wan't working.

I conducted a search on the internet to see if I could find anyone else who had encountered the same problem. It turned out that the problem may have been with the soaker used,as a number of people found that the micro-fleece soaker would start leaking after about an hour of use and as such, a soaker made from towelling material was recommended.

The picture above was taken tonight with the towelling soaker in place.

The Verdict: Well, the jury is still out as we encountered a 'logistics' problem. I forgot to point 'Mr Percy' downwards, so the test was void as it leaked out the top after the first wee - how silly of me hey!

I will rewash the nappy tomorrow and try it again. I will keep you posted as to how it goes!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Children's Ruffle Apron

Remember the other day when I said I was going to make something for my niece and that I would post about it 'if' it worked?

Well... it worked, a
nd here is a picture of it completed. It's a cute little ruffle apron for her to wear while she's baking:

It was a lot easier than I had anticipated, which is quite an achievement since I made up the pattern myself. I also found the gathering wasn't as hard to do this time round as it seemed to be when I made the cot valance.

There are a couple of things I would do differently if I were to make it again (which I definitely plan on doing):
  • I would make the ruffles more 'rufflier' (if that's even a word!)
  • I would put the ruffles closer together as you can almost see the tops of the underneath ruffles
  • I would try and keep the colours of the fabric used for the ruffles similar as I had to sew the green ruffle on with green cotton, so from the back of the apron (which is pink) it looks a little bit dodgy.
  • I would buy myself a ruffler foot for my sewing machine (oh hell yeah!)... actually, I think I might buy one of those anyway lol.
I am thinking that I could possibly sell these in my Etsy store when (if) I get it up and running. They were quick and easy to make and hardly cost a thing!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tutorial : Refashion - Baby Pyjama's (Part 1)

Thanks to our lovely friends we have an abundance of onesies in sizes 000 - 00, in both second hand and new condition. In fact, we have so many that it would be impossible for them to all get worn before they become too small. We don't, however, have a pair of pyjama's for our little man.

In my internet travels I stumbled across a blog showing how to refashion a onesie into a tshirt - cool idea, hey! (it is a shame I can't remember which blog it was).
So I figured if I also made a pair of pants (which I will show you in part 2 of the tutorial) then we could use them as pyjamas.

You will not believe how easy this is to do. I was able to convert the onesie into a tshirt in the time that it took Matty to walk around our block (roughly 20 minutes). Here is how I did it:

First I selected the onesie:

Then I drew a line where I wanted to cut:

Next I cut off the bottom of the onesie:

Then I used the serger stitch on my sewing machine to sew around the bottom edge of the onesie

Finally, I hemmed the bottom edge:

Ta-da! Done... it's as easy as that! The pyjama pants will also be a refashion, using an old t-shirt of either mine or Matty's. I can't wait to finish them off!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3 Weeks Old!

Our son is now 3 weeks old and has brought so much joy into our lives in the short time he has been in this world. It is scary how much he has changed over the past three weeks though and it has made me realise that children really do grow up too fast and so it is important to cherish every moment.

Here is a picture of him from this morning:

Earlier this week we attended a baby settling class run by our local, private Hospital and it was fantastic. It armed us with some more tools to assist in settling our baby and also confirmed that we were doing some things correctly (like putting him in his cot while he is still awake so that he can learn to settle himself). We are very fortunate to have a very content little baby who only cries when he is hungry or has a pain in his belly.

Anyway, the things I have learned from my experience as a mother this week are as follows:

I need to toughen up - I need to learn how to either say "no" to visitors coming or be tough enough to tell them to leave. Don't get me wrong, I do like visitors... but it seems that everyone wants to come on the same day! To make it worse, we don't see anyone all week and then everyone wants to come and visit us on the weekend and it is exhausting!

Breastfeeding is hard... so very, very hard - Anyone that has issues with breastfeeding and perseveres deserves a medal. I have been very close to throwing in the towel this week due to under supply issues and I have to say that breastfeeding has been the most stressful thing I have EVER had to deal with. When you're holding your baby who is screaming because you can't supply him with enough milk, you can't help but feel like you're failing. But, we are persevering and we are getting there... slowly. Which brings me to my next point.

Don't underestimate the importance of having a supportive husband - If I wasn't married to the most beautiful, supportive person in the world then I would have given up breastfeeding this week for sure. But Matty has sat by my side for hours, holding my hand and telling me that it will all be ok. Together we have brainstormed different techniques to try to increase my supply and I am beginning to think that we might be ok. I honestly couldn't have gotten through this feeding issue without him.

This coming week I am trying to build up my confidence with going out alone with the baby and also with breastfeeding in public. I am not sure that I'll ever whip out the boobs at the local McDonalds, but I am hoping to be able to breastfeed at places we frequent a lot - like my parents house.

Anyway, I am going to go and have some cuddles with my little man before tucking him into bed for the night.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mini Bunting Flag Card

I am pretty sure I have declared my love of bunting flags to you all at some point since starting my blog. If you were not aware that I love, love, love bunting flags let me tell you that I do... I really, really do.

Anyway, imagine my delight when I came across a tutorial at How About Orange for making mini bunting flag cards. As my niece's birthday is coming up, I thought I would make her one.

The tutorial was easy enough to follow, however putting those flags on the way the tutorial said to was incredibly fiddly. I got glue all over my fingers which meant that everything I touched got stuck to my fingers and in the end I decided there must be an easier (and less frustrating) way.

Sure enough there was. I suggest firstly gluing the little flags together by putting glue on just the tips of the flag and then sealing them shut. Once you have done this to all of your flags, load a needle up with your desired thread and poke your needle through the top edge of the flag. The result is pretty much the same:

I hope she loves the card as much as I do! I made a start on her birthday present today too, so I will be sure to post about that once it's done (if it works!) lol.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Breastfeeding pillow

The most favourite thing I have made for our baby so far would have to be this breastfeeding pillow:

For months prior to our son being born I hunted for the ultimate breastfeeding pillow, but was unable to find one that was exactly what I wanted.

Some I didn't like the shape of, some I didn't like the feel of and, of course, some I didn't like the price of (although I would have paid the money if I had found one I liked!).

I figured if I made one, then I could tailor it to suit my exact needs. See, the problem I had with most of the breastfeeding pillows available in the stores is that they were flat, so they didn't tilt the baby in towards you and that made me feel just a little uneasy. The other problem I had was that some seemed to wrap around the body too much for my liking.

Based on the above requirements, I made a 'trial' pillow using a calico remnant that cost me .98 cents. The pillow contoured nicely to sit against my body, but not wrap around it, and the back of the pillow measured 15cms high while the front was 12cms high.

It was a bit hard to test the pillow without a baby, but I was pretty confident that the design was good so I made a pillowcase to tie in with the rest of the nursery.

While I suspected that the pillow would work well, I didn't expect it to be used for anything other than breastfeeding in the nursery. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have used it for many other purposes than just feeding. These purposes include:
  • Wedging it under my elbow while sitting on the couch watching TV. The pillow stops my arm from going numb from the weight of the baby while giving him cuddles;
  • Laying the baby on the pillow to have his clothes changed. I sit the pillow on my knee and because it is not flat, there is no fear that the baby will fall off; and
  • Feeding at my computer desk. I sit the pillow on my knee and slide myself right into my computer desk. The baby fits on there perfectly and on days when he is feeding well, I can actually have the use of both hands without the fear that he'll fall off.
I have a friend who is having a baby, so I was thinking maybe I would make her a pillow too and see whether she finds it as useful. All up (including the pillowcase) I estimate I would have spent under $10 to make it and most of that cost would have been for the hobbyfill I used to stuff it with.

As most other breastfeeding pillows we looked at were between $50 and $80, making it definitely saved us a fair amount of money!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Dilemma...

I have a dilemma..... I am really loving being at home with our son, but I need just a little more stimulation. I realise that things might change over the coming months as he grows up and becomes more playful, but until then I need something to fill in the hours that he sleeps and to make me feel like I am more than just a mum.

So at this point I am reluctant to start up any kind of business, but I am thinking that maybe I could open up an Etsy store and sell some things through there. This would have a couple of benefits:
  1. I could make money to buy pretty fabrics to make more pretty stuff to sell
  2. It would give me something other than the baby to talk about with others
  3. It may give me the confidence to think about an online business at some point in the future
My main problem is working out what to sell. I could purchase the license to make buttercup bags or I could make bibs and burp cloths to sell as a pack or maybe even breastfeeding covers. I suspect that I may get sick of making the same things over and over again, so perhaps it might be best for me to just sell 'one-of-a-kind' items.

At the moment it is all up in the air and I really need to give it some thought. I just know that I need to do something to avoid going insane lol!

I would love to hear your thoughts as to what you think I should do!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Project #2 - Christmas Traditions Book (finished)

Remember how I was making a Christmas Traditions book? Well it is finally finished.

The only problem I encountered with putting the book together was that there was too many pages, so when I tried to close it this is what happened:

A trip to the scrapbooking shop and the problem was fixed by purchasing some bigger rings to bind the book together:

In order to complete the book, I included a section to record the ornaments our children will receive as a gift from us each year:

And also a section to house our Christmas CD's:

It has taken me quite a while to finish this book and I am glad that it is done before our baby's first Christmas. I am so excited to think of all of the family traditions that will be created over the years and look forward to having a book that will hopefully be passed on for generations to come!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tutorial : Making Labels

I am often asked how I make the labels I put on the baby stuff I make, so I thought I would make a tutorial. You won't believe how easy it is!

You will need:
T-shirt transfer paper
An inkjet printer
An iron and a hard surface to iron on (I use an old wooden chopping board)
Cotton tape
A piece of cotton material (I use an old hanky)

  1. First you need to decide what you want to put on you labels. I make a number of different types, but my favourite is the 'boehm baby' label which I put on my baby bibs and burp cloths. To create your labels, open up MS Word and design away.

  2. Once done, print the page onto a piece of transfer paper making sure that you print the image in reverse (most printers have an option in the 'advanced settings' to do this for you). Note: This will only work on an ink jet printer and will not work if done on a laser printer.

  3. Once you have printed off your labels, you will end up with something that looks like this (the picture below is of a 1/2 sheet of labels):

  4. Iron your cotton tape flat as sometimes it has kinks in it which will hinder your ability to adhere the labels to the cotton tape easily. There are many different widths of cotton tape, so you will need to ensure that the one you get is wide enough for your design to fit on to:

  5. I always cut my labels up, to make it easier to put them onto the cotton tape. Once cut up, position the label right side down onto the cotton tape as shown below (the label is a little hard to see, but it is right at the very end of the cotton tape). Make sure you place your cotton tape on a hard surface as an ironing board is too soft to enable the label to adhere to the tape:

  6. Next, take a damp piece of cloth and carefully place it over the label and cotton tape. Follow the directions on the back of your transfer paper pack to find out how long the iron needs to be applied before the design will set and also to determine the settings your iron needs to be on (ie. you need to ensure the 'steam' function is off):

  7. Once done, carefully peel the backing off the label. You will then have successfully completed your first label:

Once you have mastered how to do this, you might like to try making a roll of labels if you plan on using a lot of them:

When sewing the labels on, I simply use the machine to do a straight stitch along all four sides, making sure that I turn the short ends of the label under to avoid fraying.