Monday, 31 December 2012

Bye Bye 2012!

Hope you've had a wonderful Festive Season so far! How did it get to be the end of the year already!?

Our first Baby Darling Christmas was gorgeous, dressing the babe in red and white and stuffing his stocking (with donations to Unicef and the Red Cross - what a very Charitable Santa visiting this year!) and eating a LOT of good food.

We're not big on gift giving, but I think I've developed a personal tradition of receiving Melissas each year, and this year Baby Darling found the 'Mel' brand of Melissa Shoes and gave these pinky pair to me (How does such a little boy know where to shop for Mel Shoes? He'd never even been to Brunswick Street before!).

It's not been on purpose, but I've collected a few pink things in the past year or so... especially as I've had to update my wardrobe to accommodate a pregz style and now a breastfeeding style. These Mel shoes have been around for a while, and the short wedge heel appealed to my Mama Style, for I'm walking so much and carrying a bebe around these days... just can't wear the normal heels for a long period... so these are as practical as I can get for a bit of heel.

This past week of holidays with Husbie and Baby Darling and my family has been very quiet and I've been able to do a lot of thinking and planning and reflecting... as we all do at this time of year. As always, I don't do resolutions, but I love planning my sewing schedule or way of life and living... Next year will be our first full year with Baby Darling, and as I found out in January were were expecting him, I've felt 2012 was a massive year of growing him. 2013 will be more of the same I'm sure, but with being less ill (pregnancy nausea and tiredness occupied a lot of my time), I'm planning on getting back to my old way of life... with creating my own stuff, and getting back to reusing, recycling, repairing and all the 're' words we love. Out of convenience I've bought new clothes (mostly online, while breastfeeding) but I wouldn't have felt up to leaving the house without my maternity bras & various 2 piece items.

I'm really looking forward to the new year! Thanks for being darling online friends this year, reading my sporadic posts, commenting here and there and blogging your life as well (as I've loved reading your sewing stories in 2012!)... so cheers to creativity in the sewing room and online! Hope to see you well and happy n 2013.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Merry Tidings Blessings

 This year, I discovered our potted Christmas tree had withered, and my (pretty shonky) green thumbs could not revived it. So my next best effort of being thrifty & non-consumering (one of my peeves about Christmas time is the waste & capitalist approach of more more more) was to trot across the road to the park & bush area and pick up sticks LITERALLY. I grabbed as many long and branchy branches (the kinds that could host decorations of course)!

When in Hobart I bought some handcrafted little decorations from one little store called 'Maker' in Salamanca, and some second hand baubles from the Op Shop... minimalist and a branchy first Christmas tree for Baby Darling, who won't remember it all anyways... just from photos!

Husbie found this little sign from the shop up the road from us in West Footscray:

He also took these photos, just magical!

Happy Holidays, Christmas or whatever you celebrate! Love to you and hope you're with family & friends and sharing some laughs and good food! That's what Christmas means to me, so wishing you the same!


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Dress Planning!

It's taken since Tuesday to get this far, and this photo is from late on Friday night, and now I'm blogging on Sunday! Babyland is dreamy but space and time are nothing I've ever known! Every glimpse of 'Me Time' I get, while Baby Darling is asleep is spent kinda doing 'Mama Time' things, like washing, hanging out laundry, prepping food for all of us, or paying bills and doing life admin shizz!

BUT, this week, Baby Darling is growing up a little and playing by himself for a 20 minutes here and there... so I'm going CRAZY and splashing out and making a dress to wear (hopefully!) on Christmas Day! There's no back up time for sewing, so fingers crossed this dress fits divinely.

Because I'm using stretch knit, I've used the kitchen table (with it's nifty smooth glass top) to lay out this Spotlight special fabric and used a 'good fitting' skirt or my old minty dress instead of the pattern piece (which was loosely gathered, and I don't want a gathered skirt with knit fabric). FINGERS CROSSED.

Are you making any special holiday outfits? I wish I could make another one for a BBQ I'm heading to tonight, but oh well!


Friday, 21 December 2012

Earrings Anniversary

I've had my ears pierced for a year now, and here are my first gorgeous 'real' pair of earrings, in that my boys bought them for me! Husbie spotted them in a gallery art shop in Salamanca in Hobart and they're handmade by a Tassie artist... she uses piano wire in some of her bigger items... and hang on! I thought I'd lost her name/info in our travels back here, but I've just found the little box they came in!

Ha ha! The artist is Sandy Wrightson, and there's a lovely write up about her recent discovery into jewellery making! Nice work for a newbie I reckon! They're perfect anniversary earrings!

A year on, I love having my ears pierced and probably should have got them done sooner than 33 years old. Oh well! I'm really sensitive though, so can't really do any shoddy metals (even the ones that say 'allergy free', I get irritated by)... so 'good' pairs of earrings are well loved by me. I haven't bought any vintage or older style ones, so I wonder... do you know if the metals are better from certain eras?

I hope, being a Friday here, you are finishing up your day jobs, packing the bags for a holiday or having a great celebratory drink here or there... but hopefully I'll check in soon (I'm grabbing precious sewing room minutes here and there, so hopefully I'll have a Christmas Dress to show you!)!


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hobart Holiday: The Food!

We planned our visit to Hobart for Husbie's birthday, and due to us not having a proper holiday for a while. And now with our Baby Darling, it was our first family holiday! We'd heard Hobart was good for food, and I wouldn't go crazy over fine dining, but I really do need to eat happily and healthily and as I'm with a breast fed babe: I need to eat a hell of a lot.

The above brekky is Eggs Royale from Machine Laundry Cafe, and was a perfect start to Husbie's birthday and our holiday! Below is the delish window display of Jackman & McRoss Bakery up on Battery Point...

And our view from Somerset on the Pier, an apartment we stayed in that was ON the waterfront so had views all around the harbour area in Hobart. Just gorgeous!

The other bakery we tried out was Daci & Daci where I ate so much, including one of these mini pavlovas, or meringues! The size of my hand! And what a funny gingerbread house!

One of our last brunch places was Tricycle Cafe & Bar, which was also just delish! Baked eggs for me, and how darling is their water bottle, with a sprig of mint?!

And now that I'm not pregnant, I just wanna eat soft serve all the time. YUK but delish at the same time:

 And right after this photo, Santa turned up in the shopping centre, so Baby Darling (and Husbie & I) grabbed a photo with him. Hilarious! How good are my shellac Christmas nails? SO GOOD. Hobart has everything you need!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hobart Holiday: The Views!

Yes, I've got my hands full with my Baby Darling (3 months old now!)... so you're probably ok with me only dropping in to the blog every now and again... but we've also been on our first family holiday together. What a cute threesome we were travelling to Hobart!

If you're a non-Australian, Hobart is the southern most capital city in our country and has had a lot of attention in most recent years due to the new Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), it has a great/interesting story behind it (check out the wiki for the matter of fact) but within my community it's had so much buzz... it boasts great and grotesquely gorgeous artwork, but has a strong music connection (PJ Harvey played the festival earlier this year) as well and everyone I know has been there.

We took the ferry across, which was just gorgeous for Baby Darling to set sail for the first time!

Hobart is full of great waterways, views galore and a magnificently steep mountain ... right in town... Mt Wellington. Yep, we relaxed up there!

We visited our friends in Carlton, down near the beach, and pretty much every couple of metres along the beach road you could take the best photos. Our friends have a big deck facing west for the sunsets are amazing.

In town, we just loved rolling Baby Darling around in his stroller, to park to park, restaurant to cafe, coffee to vino... it was just a perfect holiday for us all.

Travelling with Baby Darling was great, I booked apartments for us (with washing machine/dryer access) and made our luggage lighter (planning ahead, I know!), and we just had his stroller for town & the Baby Bjorn (just at the beach). Everything in Baby World is a challenge if you think it's a challenge (my darling friend Shona shared that with me), so in my Baby World I don't want any challenges, I set a really low expectation on everything (as I do with most things anyways)... like if we have to stay in our apartment all day instead of eating out, who cares? If Baby Darling does a massive poo-nami (pun on tsunami) at MONA, just laugh it off and clean it up... who cares! The gallery has the world famous Poo Machine anyways on display!

But, yeh, Hobart you are gorgeous and we will be back! There were so many more cafes & restaurants we couldn't fit in, and maybe next time I'll be brave enough to take a dip in the lovely clean ocean!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Day Before

For my own memories, and with my lack of vanity, I wanted to publish a photo of my largest point of pregnancy: The day before labour started. At the time, I didn't feel that large, but now... OMFG. That's a LOT of baby there in that photo.

I remember having my midwife check up that morning, and during her visit I had a contraction that was different to the (Toni) Braxton Hicks types. As we were given 4 due dates during the year, Baby Darling ended up being born on one of them!

The dress is my Sew Weekly creation from earlier in the year, and it got so much wear all the tummy area became worn out, you know how knit fabric gets all baubly? (It pills, or whatever it's called?)

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sorbet Wrap Skirt DIY

OMG OMG OMG, you guys are so gorgeous! Thank you for such lovely comments from last week! Here are some more photos from our walk in the park, because.....


And this is a crafty queen blog after all, right?

During several baby naps a few weeks back, I started flipping through my "Sew What! Skirts" book to see what wrap skirts could easily be made in an hour or two. This one is half a circle skirt with a waistband, and probably could take an hour in one sitting, but as a new Mama, it took 3 days. BUT, it's a cutie! And really wasn't hard to make up, with no pattern, just your measurements!

For the past month, as I've becoming more confident with breastfeeding and holding my (constantly growing) Baby Darling, I've been thinking about what fashion I can gear towards for summer. Baby Darling & I have spent so many days cuddled up in our pyjamas learning about each other and falling in love, that leaving the house dressed hasn't been a priority at all. But the biggest change for me fashionwise: Two piece ensembles are your BREAST friend.

Now, I wear dresses usually, right? And all year my body grew and grew with Baby Darling, I was still able to wear dresses, in fact... they were the best kind of pregz outfits for me. BUT, not anymore. SAD FACE. So, dear sewing friends, I will be spending the next few weeks brainstorming about the breastfeeding/comfortable holding baby fashion, and if you have any tips please let me know!

This wrap skirt was my first sewing stop off, only because I know my tummy and waist are still in flux. I'm graced with good genes (I think!) and great breastfeeding skills, so my uterus shrunk back to normal pretty quickly, and now it's just the extra skin that's moving around... so the wrap skirt can accommodate that easily before I'm back to my normal size. And I might not get back to my normal size! For the time being, I think adjustable and stretchy clothes are the way to go. But, totally please let me know if any style of outfit worked for you post baby!

I chose the striped fabric thinking it would look interesting as a wrap skirt, and I'm pretty happy with the diagonal & contrasty look of it. It's just an op shopped remnant that I've had for years, might have been from Sydney perhaps?

The Facts

Fabric: Light linen, $4, thrifted
Pattern: Self drafted, but using Francesca DenHartog's Sew What! Skirts book
Notions: just thread
Year: 2012
Time to complete: 1 hours over 3 days
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: $4

SO looking forward to a few more sewing room adventures while the babe sleeps, might try the overlocker/stretchy fabric combo next!

Love to you on your weekend! xoxo

Monday, 12 November 2012

Baby Darling

With a blink, it's November. My darlings, I'd love to introduce you to Baby Darling, our little boy!

He was born just after midnight on September 15th, as a very strong and healthy babe and has become known as our little cowboy. He's now 8 weeks old, a little shy of the internet, but if you meet him in person, Baby Darling can charm you with his massive smile and chuckle. If you're really friendly, he'll try and have a little conversation with you (in baby language of course), as he really is his Mother's boy (right now he's talking to a soft toy bumblebee! CHATTY)

We love him so!

Thank you all for your dear well wishes from my last post! We're so happy and can't believe how lucky we are!


Monday, 24 September 2012

Coming Soon

We have a safe and sweet arrival at the Darling Household! More news soon, watch this space, etc etc etc. Love to you all xoxo

Friday, 21 September 2012

Spring Break: The Radio

I love our new kitchen and the shelves above the sink and NEW dishwasher, but I miss the radio. I've given it a good rest while on maternity leave (so far) because otherwise I think too much about work, and hear good ideas and get a little carried away with 'radio producer' mode thinking instead of 'fluid and relaxed and calm' mode... the latter being so much more suitable for planning for birth, in my opinion.

The radio set is all ready though, in the new kitchen!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Spring Break: Tulips

Because our house is looking so lovely after the renovation of the kitchen, I'm filling every surface and every spare bottle with flowers. So gorgeous!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Spring Break: Vitamin D

Thank goodness for all this sunshine during my mat leave, it's been glorious to be out during the day (instead of stuck in the office) but vitamin D is really important as well espech for the baby!

Happy Monday to you, I might have had Baby Darling by now, who knows? I'm just taking a blogging break until I can visit the computer and internet again!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Spring Break: Orange

This hipstermatic photo is from the new MCA in Sydney, and it's my screen saver on my phone... I love orange! The Biennale was on during our weekend up there, and I took so many photos that I've only just refound in my photo stream. Snap Happy!


Friday, 14 September 2012

Spring Break: Doris Day

Doris Day is naked right now! Naked at on the internet and she doesn't care! She makes such a good maternity leave friend and has been enjoying sharing the backyard with us on those beautiful sunny days.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Spring Break: Knitting

Did I post this already?

My friend made me a monkey teddy, and he/she is my couch companion (when I can stand to sit for longer than 30 minutes with this large uterus pressing everywhere) as I knit. I never knit these days, so it's kinda fun doing it again!

I'm taking a little Spring Break with my blogging chit chat, as there's a high chance I'm having a baby this week... so you'll see a few photographs instead! xoxo

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Spring Break: Big Belly

My basketball under my dress attracts a bit of the old head turning along the streets. I'm only 4 eleven (you guys must remember that by now) so it's a bit funny to see I guess.

Here we are waiting at the airport to pick up Mum.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Spring Break: Blue Skies

There are so many things to take photos of when you're out walking the dog.

Don't mind me, I'm just taking a little Spring Break from blogging (and showing you photos instead), as I may or may not be having a baby this week!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Spring Break: Icecream

The darling Franca has put together a month of just photos as she takes a 'writing' break from her blog, and I was thinking that considering my due date is just days away, I might do the same! I'll call it Spring Break because: ... it's spring and we're very happy to see the blossoms and sunshine and blue skies and even the glossy rain and rainbows that September in Melbourne brings us!

My first photo for Spring Break (Veronica Darling on Maternity Leave Style):

White Mudcake, Choc Mint and Watermelon icecream and gelato from the shopping centre. I needed to pick up a few things, but had to shop close by to bathrooms, so I went to the massive shopping centre. But you need treats first, right?


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Baby Sleeping Bag

Last week, I caught a little 'Me-Time' in the Sewing Room before the newborn arrives in the real world. And with some cotton towelling from Spotlight, I made a Sleeping Bag with a little Hoodie! 

My Mama gave me the bias tape last year, and the mismatched buttons are from the stash, and I only included them because Max in Where the Wild Things Are has them on his jumpsuit... The ears were just really improvised pieces that I turned inside out, and stitched on, and then hand stitched so they'd stay up if one was to wear the hoodie... And one doesn't even know if one's child will wear this (what we think is adorable is often not comfy for the kidlets, right?)! But it's just so lovely anyways!

Being on maternity leave has left me as a Lady of Leisure, but a lady who can't go too far from the bathroom, or too far from a nice siesta spot ... so my daytime activities are small, close to home and often car trips. (For example, I changed my shopping schedule yesterday to visit a real life annoying shopping mall/centre because there were lovely bathrooms. And yes, I was there for 2 hours and visited the bathroom 4 times).

ANYWAYS, so much pregnancy goss and sidetracking! I was in our lovely west village for a massage and enjoyed a lovely late morning brunch with Nikkishell the other week! And she passed on so many lovely goodies, these baby sewing patterns above being the ones I Frankenstein-ed together for the Sleeping Bag. It's absolutely massive, not a 3 month old size (like it suggests) and I'm not sure if that's the pattern or the material I chose?!

Thanks Nichola! My offspring sewing is only just beginning... not sure if I'll make anything else (oh boy am I rolypoly today - BIG but no baby yet) before the birth... but we'll see.

Have a great weekend and thanks again for your thoughts and comments this week! Maybe we'll have news within the next week or so?!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Little Toys

A gorgeous soft toy rabbit for Baby Darling. Yes I may have cuddled it a little already, just to warm it up!

Hope you're having a lovely week! I'm so loved and gushed about the pleasant weather and love having so much maternity leave to enjoy it. Vitamin D top up is good for the both of us!


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sew Weekly: Nursing the Wild Side

While I was doing a bit of this on the couch for most of this week, I also pottered my way into the Sewing Room. WTF, I KNOW! As you've probably noticed, I'm not really in the creating mood this year, I've been tired, busy and doing the grown up thing of actually slowing things down while I grow a real life human child. A VERY different pace of life for me this year. And how great do I feel (beside the heart burn, weird pelvic tingles and puffy feet) for it? GREAT!

But with a little nudge from some online friends, I also got a little inspired to take my time and make a few things this week. The first, this WILD dress which only came about because the lovely Megan Nielson sent me the BEST maternity pattern... the Perfect Nursing & Maternity Top and I turned it into a little/large dress for to wear now and after birth.

The Sew Weekly theme this week was about being inspired by literature, and Husbie and I have been feeling a little in love with children's books at the moment. My work sent me a great collection of darling children's books to start our library for the new addition, and we've always had a really beautiful hardcover edition of 'Where The Wild Things Are'... it might have been a subconscious inspiration to our new kitchen wallpaper as well...

Anyways, so great inspiration from Megan's pattern, some fun and totally cheap fabric from Spotlight and a fun Sew Weekly challenge brought about the dress and this hilarious photo shoot in the kitchen. All my Sew Weekly details are up on Mena's blog and this week I'll post the little Max costume I made as well, thanks to darling Nikkishell's baby patterns!

I do LOVE Meg's nursing pattern, it was really so easy to make up and I can imagine I'll be making it again once I work the whole breastfeeding thing out. I've been wearing clippy bras through my pregnancy, as I can't stand underwire or anything tight (I ripped off some tights this morning that were just way too clingy) so I just hope they're big enough to accommodate a milk filled boob as well, who the hell knows!

Anyways, today the neighbours decided the bump shape was definitely a boy shape, and I know some of you have had your pick too... I wonder what he or she will be like! Now that the Little Darling is 38 weeks old in utero, birth could happen anytime. The midwives again say it's head down, fixed now, and its little back is along the front of me... so perfect birthing possie. At the most recent heart beat monitoring, the midwife told me the myth was that at full term if the heart beat is a certain number it means a boy and if it's another it means a girl. My little fetus was still being a trickster, and gave us a heartbeat reading of first a boy, then a girl, then a boy. I love not knowing, it's so funny thinking of who they'll be and so amazing knowing they'll be in our lives and we'll love them no matter what. SO MUCH love and gush in our house at the moment!

Have a gorgeous weekend and I'll hopefully see you here soon! xoxo

Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...