Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Green Thumbs Needed!

After a year of living in our beloved home, we spent a good working bee weekend in the garden, thanks to the help of Mum & Dad! I have fallen off the green thumb bandwagon, what with 2012 being the Baby Growing career year and all... so things were extremely out of hand (and the roses still are, mind!) in the backyard. Please don't even MENTION the front yard!

The summer has been pretty brutal so far, and lots of plants were in a state... the garden shed is like a greenery (a very haphazard shed) or bush shed, and the door became stuck a few months ago, and I couldn't get in to see what was growing (or not growing). Over the working bee weekend, Mum helped me organise and saved the lives of many gorgeous green things... so hopefully I'll be able to continue helping these plants survive!

And here are the future feature plants (my favourites!), the succulents!

The beginnings!


Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Country Life

Looking out toward the western sky from Bairnsdale, in Victoria... we've been in the country a LOT since Baby Darling was born. My parents live there, we've had people to visit and chat with and my friends held their engagement party there.

Having Baby Darling in our lives now, we've tried to carry on life as normal now that he's over 3 months... do the things we'd normally do... and he just loves being with us, meeting people and seeing the world. Before he was born, several people (including an amazing remedial massage guy) mentioned to me how in many cultures it was common to stay at home just Mama & Newborn, often wrapped and swaddled up (both baby and adult!) and have limited visits of family and friends... for up to 3 months. Being a very energetic and happy social bunny, I surprised myself by actually wanting all this quiet time post birth. I didn't leave my house for 3 weeks, and only went a few quiet and calm places together as a family (including a lovely 2 week country stay at Mum and Dad's) until maybe 2 months after Baby Darling was born. We'll never know of course, but his slow introduction to the world (many people called it his final trimester, but out of utero), has created a friendly, happy go lucky carefree little child. He's just gorgeous! But you know, I'm incredibly biased! He's my absolute favourite!

My thoughts are (as always throughout the hotter days in Victorian summertime) in the country when there are bushfires... so thinking of everyone close by the fires, and those amazing people working to stop them for us. Stay safe if you're holidaying as well.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Busy Bee at Mine

We are loving our new kitchen here at the Darling Household, pictured here on Christmas morning. It's all so easy to use (new oven not pictured, but so fast and dreamy to cook things!), and clean and to keep cluttered free... one thing I've noticed in myself is that it's a little harder to grab food or coffee or whatever when you have a baby... he's keeping himself occupied and loving looking at everything for longer periods so it's not as hard as it was... but for the first 3 months having this space clean and gorgeous and always having things at the ready - thanks to our freaking AWESOME washing machine - was a dream and an easy transition into Mama-hood for me!

For all you Darling trainspotters... the kitchen was an August 2012 project (our darling friend built it for us) that had the finishing touches on Monday, and I was in labour by Wednesday. Nothing like a big deadline in the Darling house. I would LOVE to get some time to photograph the whole space, because it's just gorgeous. Maybe a 2013 project for us! Our darling builder has a blog too, so I'll get all that hooked up once those photos get done. Sometime this year... I have no deadlines now with baby in tow!

Our latest house happenings is a backyard makeover, just a few stop-gap ideas until we work out what the bigger picture for it is. I'm dreaming about child friendly spaces and fun adventures for Baby Darling! We're at work out there today, I've just popped in to grab the camera for progress shots!

A big shout out to the lovely Franca and her little family, they've just moved into a new flat with their tiny little newborn Milo! Wishing you guys lots of happy settling in times and cuddles and kisses and relaxing moments ahead! I love my house and being settled in the one spot and enjoying my space with my babe is perfect... so I wish you lots of lovely space and time in your new place! Congratulations guys! xoxo

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Mama Lyf: Recently

Baby Darling was born 4 months ago today, and it seems like at least 3 years just from how steep the learning curve has been for us all, and how long the days are. My friend had a theory because babies sleep and nap so many times in a 24 hour period, perhaps they think it's a new day everytime they wake up... and that's why our childhood years felt so long and our adult years feel like they're slipping by so fast.

My Mama Lyf (I sometimes #hashtag that if you're interested/bored) has been amazing, a challenge, an absolute delight, all the stereotypes you ever wondered about being a Mum, funny, laughable and weepy & tearful (in good and bad ways). There are so many details I want to write about and capture, but just not enough spare typing/writing hands to do it... I think about voice activated technology so I can just say my thoughts to the computer, but I don't have time to set it up or work out how it works.

From pregnancy, where my body was physically changing all the time... growing bigger (in the uterus) and changing emotions with hormones and all the natural stuff moving around your mind and body... the constant thing is "change"... you can bank on change, and you can feel happy knowing things will change. "This Too Shall Pass" was my 2012 saying, and it still applies to Mama Lyf now. And it's comforting knowing that change is here with me always. Baby Darling changes all the time, his habits, his likes, his dislikes... and I do too. Last week I wanted to eat chocolate nonstop and today I feel nothing, and my sweet tooth has gone. Oh I loved my sweet tooth, I miss it, but not really.

Today, I also went to yoga for the first time since I became an external Mama (I frequented yoga pre-natal classes until maybe 7 or 8 months) and everything just fell into place! Baby woke at 5.56am for a feed, and went back to sleep by 6.10am, so I grabbed a few mouthfuls of fruit and muesli and made it to a new studio in the west by 6.30am... a great teacher and a great class and I loved feeling my body do different things than just walk and carry/wear Baby Darling. And I feel so much more awake and energised because of it! I KNOW, I'm a stereotype of things today, but I just feel so much better! And I didn't even realise I didn't feel 'better'...

Anyways, from time to time (I hope you don't mind) I might write a little about Mama Lyf... I've always felt quite strongly that my blog here is about sewing and creating and my challenge in that... but I guess, through those things I've also become a really confident person and being a Mama is in some parts creating things and being confident as well... But, we'll see... I change my mind a lot these days and perhaps next week I'll be sewing vintage type dresses for you instead?! Who knows! Expect lots of changes!

As we live in the West of Melbs, Baby Darling has an automatic AFL team to go for. The Western Bulldogs! We walk past their training oval sometimes, and I tell him not to kick too much as he's too young for the draft.

Hope you're having a gorgeous week so far! (From this blissed out yoga girl! x)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Pondering Etsy

Hi goodlooking, I have a question... about etsy! Do you think people would be interested in buying second hand, self made clothing? They're secondhand because I've worn them maybe 10 times (or some I've worn 2 times) and self made because... I made them!

Life as a Mama has very few dilemmas (if you look at the glass half full way of looking - or in my case - glass very full while some would see it empty!) and one dilemma is my quantity of frocks that I still can't wear due to breastfeeding or I'm just not that 'into' the style anymore because my life has evolved a bit.

So, I'm pondering listing some frocks on etsy that are in very good condition, nicely made by me, and often from recycled fabrics (the above is the bedsheet I dyed and then made into a darling frock for Sew Weekly) ... and just wanted to gauge your thoughts! I haven't used etsy for a while, and maybe you have? Let me know your thoughts babes!

Anyways, we're back from holidays and have lots of errands to run around the house... so hopefully I'll have some clearer photos for you (but you didn't mind the iphone photos did you?) and some nice stories to tell. NICE STORIES!? Oh I make myself laugh!


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tiny Armed Tshirt

Another day of holiday in Gippsland; another crafty adventure! This one is tres cute, but I wouldn't even try popping it on Baby Darling because I misjudged the armhole size! Tres tiny!

It's fun being on holidays while Baby Darling naps and entertains himself! He's getting older and giving us so much fun and laughter with his giggles, energy and learning! While I sewed this up, he slept and then looked out the window at the trees for a while! So cute!

I'll try this baby tshirt again, with wider sleeves (I've drawn up a pattern after I made this to get better proportions!) and with another old singlet! This mauve one might have to become a baby singlet instead!

Monday, 7 January 2013


Been busy today, and got some photographs of my first adult attempt at macramé (I have made a plant hanger before, but in grade 3!)!!! Have you noticed (or is just a Pinterest thing?) how terrariums and hanging pots and kitsch things our mums made are back in fash? I saw a massive hanging pot in a Smith Street store last year, with huge white ropes, and thought I should give the regular version a go!

If you follow my Pinterest boards, this How To is on the Crafty Ideas and is totally a no sew thing, totally a project you can finish in a baby nap (mine may have slept 45 mins) and, my fave, made from an old singlet. I made another one from an old tshirt while Baby Darling had another nap!

( again, posting from my phone, apols for the layout!) x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Hot Hair

On Friday, the well and truly hot hot hot day for us, I got an early hairdressers appointment and I took this #selfie to highlight my glam hair but to show the 'real' side of a huffy and puffy gal in the 40 plus degree heat... However I look quite cool and calm! I'm surprised!

Right now I'm blogging from my phone, via the blogger app (which seems to have been updated since I last used it) as I'm back in Gippsland for a bit. Being in the phone, I'm not sure of the layout etc! A new year means a bit of a spruce up around here, so you might see a few little admin and layout changes in the next few weeks. We'll see when I get a bit of time for photoshop!

One of my ideals for this year is to make something every week, and I've made 2 necklaces already but forgot to photograph both of them! Drats! My current creative inkling is to make macramé out of old tshirts, I saw a few on Pinterest, so maybe I'll convince mum to join me in relearning some mad macramé skillz!

Hope you had a lovely weekend! X

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Atsui desu ne!

Japanese for 'It's hot, hey?' is 'Atsui desu ne!'

Oh boy. Yesterday was so hot in the 40 whatever (Celsius, was probably over 100 F) heat. I got a hair appointment earlier in the day, and then spent the afternoon at the ice skating rink in town where it cooled us down. It was my darling bestie's birthday, so she called the shots, but Husbie gave her the idea!

Poor Baby Darling was very sweet in the heat, and not as bothered as I thought he would be. But, inside in the air con, he LOVED the ice rink! So much noise, lights and action. He adores being around people, and you can see his little mind clicking over loving and learning about humans! Me too, I love it!

Post-birth, I'm not yet back into yoga... so I didn't skate just in case I got overzealous! I do have my eye on a few early morning yoga classes next week, and I think I'll slowly see how my body bends!

Stay cool guys, if you're in Australia of course! Thoughts are with those near bushfires and hope things are going ok!


Friday, 4 January 2013

100 Things Update

Last year, I set myself up with an open ended deadline of 100 Things in whenever time... I was pregnant and wanted a slow moving and no deadline approach to creating anything at anytime, and my 13 Things of 2012 (that I remembered to blog about) were pretty cool considering. . . considering I had no sewing mojo, as the pregnancy left me feeling tired and nauseous, whilst I didn't feel like committing to making too many clothes for myself as a pregnant person... I also didn't feel like making baby clothes or decorations ... I guess I'm just not that type of person either.

So my favourite 2012 item would have to be the darling dress inspired by Betty from the tv show Mad Men:

And I'll be a non-breastfeeding person one day to wear it again (little fact in the above photo I am 'secret pregnant' when you don't want to tell anyone just in case, as it was too early for the scan and for work to know etc).

The 'Thing' I totally forgot I made was:

As much as I love hair accessories, I forget to wear them. I stick with flowers the most (I'll have to think of fabric flowers to make as some more 'Things') if I do stick a hair accessory in, but like jewellery, I'm forgetful that I own them!

So 13/100 isn't a too bad start for me in 2013! If I make one 'Thing' a week (as my current goal is) then I should be finito by mid 2014! It took 2 years to make 100 Outfits (from memory) so we'll see how I go!


EEP! Stay cool Melbourne! It's HOT! x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Ahem, a 2013 Update

Hey again (so soon!), and yep, even after my first post yesterday, I'm back again, as I've been reflecting. Reflecting on 2013 already! ? !

I think I'll add in handmade stuff as an option (if I can't make things myself) and also the last point about planning ahead for purchases (which I initially thought was for fabrics and what not, or the secondhand option) I've added to plan for what I make too (dur!), but plan ahead like, I have a party on Saturday, I need to make something by Wednesday etc etc etc because with a baby, time can easily slip by.

So my daily life ideals (I'll keep forgetting what I call these, I'm sure - maybe I should add them to my side bar on the blog?) are:

Avoid new products

Make first, buy secondhand second or handmade

Make something every week

Write everyday in someway (blog here or just write in my journal/diary)

Plan ahead for crafty pursuits & purchases

So my Baby Darling Chrissie Present (in the above piccie) were the darling shoes... what I love about Mel and Melissa shoes, is they are made from recycled plastics and out of all the shoes I've seen are the loveliest, prettiest and stream the best with my outlook for wearable things. I heart them so much, and also with my ethos, take care not to own too many of them.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013 - A Daily Life!

Happy 2013 to you all! My love of even numbers will be tested this year, but my Dad points out that all the digits add up to '6' and that's my FAVE number, so here's cheers to a good year for even and odd lovers! 

My big ideas for the year have been swelling around creating and reusing, and my first 'gung ho' challenge idea was (very ambitiously) to: blog everyday, and create something everyday. Yes, I think big. But the reality of being a first time Mama, with the messiest (and hot in summer, cold in winter) sewing room and plenty of Real Life errands to run around and do daily... the reality of this means that blogging and sewing/creating something and photographing it everyday is just not for me, let alone anyone.

These are a few of the realistic and fun ideals I'll try and live by in my daily life this year:

Avoid new products

Make first, buy secondhand second

Make something every week

Write everyday in someway (blog here or just write in my journal/diary)

Plan ahead for purchases

My first attempt and last purchase of 2012 of 'getting back' into this was buying a second hand car seat on ebay for Baby Darling. YAY!

And today, my first post of 2013, is just a simple ideal for me, not a big unacheivable challenge, just a way of daily life. This post took me since 9am to 1.30pm to write, in between parenting, helping my dad on ebay, writing our monthly To Do List and cleaning some of the house post holiday. My life is so different from this time last year. This time last year, I didn't even know I was pregnant!

I'm off to the shops, see you all around here (and your blogging space) for another great year! 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...