Monday, October 31, 2011

Marimekko Fabrics

I love the use of fabric as wall art. I especially love the fact that it's an easy way to add colour into a room that can be updated from time to time with a minimum of fuss and expense.

I might be wrong but I think it was on Packed to the Rafters that I first saw the Marimekko Kaiku fabric. I would love to see it hanging in my dining room just like in this photo.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear Miss M

To our darling Michaela/ Missy Moo/ Moo Moo,

Unbelievably it was 3 years ago  today that we held you for the first time.
You have grown into an affectionate and kind little girl. You are gentle (except when you wrestle your father!) and love spending time with people. You are thoughtful, often asking if those around you are happy and OK. You love your 'ducky', he comes everywhere and receives many cuddles. You are brave and show independence and maturity beyond your young years. You love to read and be read to and you learn so much every day. You have taught us to enjoy the smallest things and you bring us such joy. You are a loving sister, keen to share everything with Harper and seeing you care for her is truly sweet.

We love you to bits

Friday, October 28, 2011

Online Reads

I look forward to my deliveries of Real Living each month, picking up Home Beautiful at the supermarket and snagging a free copy of Get Creative from Spotlight. I love the crisp pages and using coloured sticky notes to flag my pages of interest (yes, I'm a bit of a geek!) But having a good sit down with a magazine and a cup of tea these days is short lived. A toddler who always needs food, the potty or to be read a book and Miss H who nurses every 3 hours means my sticky notes rarely make an appearance. I can, however, prop the laptop next to me on the couch during feeds and check out one of my favourite online mags.

My Little Jedi - for lovely party ideas and supplies.

Adore Magazine for interior design

Inspired Ideas from the creative Amy at inspireco

Tiny and Little - Australian magazine celebrating all things precious.

Mollie Makes - handmade goodness

Tickle the Imagination - more handmade creations and ideas, market information and Australian small business links.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welcoming Michaela

I enjoy reading the birth stories shared on Spearmint Baby and am glued to the TV on Wednesday evenings for the BBC documentary series One Born every Minute. Each birth is unique and special and full of emotion for both parents. I have been fortunate to have had two wonderful births and also wanted to share my experience. In many ways it feels just like yesterday that this all took place, but she'll be celebrating her third birthday in a few days.

On Tuesday 28th October I attended my scheduled hospital appointment at 39 weeks 5 days where the doctor performed a stretch and sweep. At the previous appointment the midwife had mentioned that this might take place and so I spent the next couple of weeks reading about it and mentally preparing myself. Some comments online had said that the procedure was very uncomfortable even painful so I tried to brace myself for that. It certainly was uncomfortable but it was brief and not painful. The doctor informed me that I was already 2cms dilated and that the stretch and sweep should 'get things going.'

I woke around 4am on Thursday (my actual due date) for my usual toilet visit but couldn't return to sleep. I eventually got up and went downstairs to see if i could fall asleep in the spare room. No luck, so I got up and watched TV. I felt fine, just a little 'off' along with a sore lower back, nothing that I hadn't been feeling recently anyway. Every 45 minutes or so I felt a slight wave of queasiness. I woke Jon around 6am and told him that I thought I may be in the early stages of labour and to not go to work.

By late morning nothing had changed, I didn't feel any different, the 'waves' continued to come and go but they weren't consistent or defined and I apologised to Jon that it was a false call.

At 1pm the waves grew stronger and there was a definite start and finish to them. During each one I walked around the house, I had a little set path that I followed from room to room and around various bit of furniture. Jon started to time the contractions which went from 20 minutes to 16 to 10 to 8 all within about 45 minutes. Every second contraction was double, Jon would ask if the contraction had finished, I would say 'yes' and then ten seconds later I would have another one. I rang the hospital just after 3pm and told them about my contractions and the times. It was suggested that if I was handling the pain at home, then to stay there and have a shower to assist with pain management. Two contractions later and we were getting into the car.

We arrived at the hospital where I gracefully threw up as I waddled through the maternity ward doors. I had also reached the point where I couldn't talk during the contractions. We were shown through to the examination room where I was checked. The midwife was thrilled to announce that I was 4 cms and that I would probably be having bubs in the morning. I looked at the clock on the opposite wall and it read 5pm, 'But my baby is due today' I said. I was in labour today and I wanted to have the baby today, fair enough eh?!

We spoke about pain relief and I said that I wanted an epidural when the time was right, if I could get to 6/7 cms that would be great. I didn't want gas, especially seeing as I had already thrown up, I didn't want the gas to make me feel queasy. The midwife offered to run a large bath for me which took about 40 minutes to fill. Meanwhile I walked around the room- backwards! Walking backwards gave me the most relief.

The bath was bliss. I felt really comfortable and relaxed, so much so that I think I dozed between contractions. Jon sat alongside the bath and put a cold flannel on my head, this was exactly what I needed.

Then the contractions grew stronger and the pain grew with them. I told Jon that I had had enough and to take me home, (not sure how that would have helped?!) No longer were the contractions in my back and stomach but my whole body felt them, I had no control of my body and struggled tokeep my head above the bath water. My waters then broke, I didn't realise but Jon called for the midwife and together they pulled me up and out of the bath- no mean feat hauling a big pregnant woman out of a deep bath!

I dressed in a gown and walked next door to the birth suite. The midwife (and a trainee midwife) said that they needed to examine me to check how dilated I was. They offered me gas to help me crawl onto the bed. At that point I was happy to accept anything if it would help with the pain.
I managed to lie down on the bed for the midwife to examine me. I was 9cms and my baby would be here in 15 minutes at this rate- there was NO time for an epidural. I went into shock! I couldn't quite grasp what had just been said, this was not my plan, I am not one of those women, I don't like pain and the most painful part was still ahead. I was adamant that I could not do this. But I couldn't argue, the labour had gone much faster than any of us had thought and there was no time for a doctor to come and give me an epidural. I sucked in that gas with all my strength and with every breath. Jon reassured me that I could do this, but his face also told me that he was just as scared.

The midwife asked if I wanted to get into the shower or change position to deliver but it had taken such a massive effort to just get onto the bed that I wasn't going to move again. I threw up again.

The next stage was like an out of body experience. The midwives instructed me about how to breath through the contractions and how to push. I actually didn't feel like I had complete control during this stage, it was like my brain and body instinctively knew what to do. I could 'see' in my mind our daughter coming out with each contraction. Inhaling the gas was more of a distraction during the pushing phase so I stopped it during the contractions. After 15 minutes of pushing, baby's head came out. Jon and a midwife propped me up so that I was able to see her. This gave me the motivation to meet my little girl. Ten minutes later, at 8.35pm, there she was. She was born with the cord wrapped around her neck twice but it was quickly loosened and she was given a little rub.

Michaela was placed on my chest and there she stayed for about an hour. We simply stared at one another and took in every little detail on her beautiful little face. A few photos were taken, she was weighed and measured and Jon rang both our parents. Michaela then went to Jon's chest while I was tended to by another nurse. Getting stitches was more painful than than the actual birth and I embraced the gas wholeheartedly at that time!

I showered and was wheeled to my room around 11.30pm. I said 'Good night' to Jon who then had to go home and I rang my parents. I didn't sleep that whole night, I couldn't, adrenaline, hormones and a lot of love for my gorgeous daughter meant that I just watched her all night.    

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ric Rac Hairclips

I never need an excuse to make a new hairclip so this tutorial was hard to resist. 

Chibi Run

Stationery, wrapping paper and stamps, just a few of my favourite things. Germaine from Chibi Run has the loveliest collection of these things on her online shop. I recently bought some leg warmers for the girls and now have my eye on a few more goodies.
Lace Memo Notes

Set of 14 postcards

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Doily Crafts

Looking for something to do with your nana's doilies? Stitch them to placemats, canvas totes or a baby's singlet to add some detail. Or try your hand at a few of these more imaginative doily creations.

Via The Blushing Bride

Via Creature Comforts blog
Paper N Stitch

Festive Mobile
Paper Garland
Doily Brooch
A Doily Lace Bowl
Doily Paper Lantern with a tutorial on how to dye paper doilies here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Sewing

A couple of creations emerged from my sewing room this weekend, just in time for one little birthday girl and her birthday brother.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fave Finds

Jane Hall (most recently from Neighbours fame) has created and released a range of bedlinen and cushions. The heart pillow is cute and teamed with the vintage yellow bedhead and pink componibili...gorgeous photo!

Salvation Jane
Cushion Temple
Ikat Wallpaper

I must have this quilt- it's so happy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An easy dress

I squeezed in a bit of sewing the other day using this tutorial. I used a $6 t-shirt from Big W, $3 worth of fabric from Spotlight and some ric rac from my stash. I added a little yo-yo for the top too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A little birdie

I recently picked up an issue of Australian Homespun with a couple of cute lovebirds on the cover. They are created by Melanie Hurlston of Melly and Me and are on my ever growing list of 'things to make'. I'm obviously attracted to whimsical bird creations as I have a few other tutorials ear marked. 

Spool Bird Mobile

Bird Garland

Lovebird from Molly Chicken

Snooty Birdie

From Paper and String

Birdcage Cushion Pattern

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fave Finds

A few of my favourite things this week........
Laikonik Wrapping Paper from Mr Sparrow
Tree Hangers from Mocka
Etsy Shop Marley and Lockyer

Have you met Miss Jones
From Rock Your Baby

Friday, October 14, 2011


Unfortunately it's coming to the end of the school holidays and Jon will return to work next week. I expect that Michaela will take his absence quite badly as they have spent a lot of time together recently. He took her to the zoo along with a friend on Wednesday and for her first haircut yesterday. I love her long hair and it has taken me all this time to give in and get it cut. She, of course, wanted her Dad to take her so I shed a little tear as they took a lot of coercion and some bribery to get her to go but she returned very happy with glitter in her hair and a new book!

With Jon returning to work I found this post about creating 'quiet time' activity boxes. Michaela has recently dropped her afternoon nap (even though she still needs one as she i quiet tired by the late afternoon, as am I!) so this sounds like a perfect way to entertain her and give us both a little quiet time.

I think (and hope!) that Harper has turned the corner with her day and night sleeps, the day naps are a little more routine and preditable and she settles herself really well. I've also had a few nights of getting up once for a feed. The next thing to address with her is accepting a bottle feed. I have some work in the next few weeks so I'm hoping to leave her for about 4 hours. She wouldn't have a bar of it yesterday so I think this will take some persistence and a few tricks.

I am happy to say that I've also managed to get some sewing done. I have almost finished the petal cushion as well as a dress for Michaela. I'll share pics soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hitting the shops

Hitting the shops is officially something of the past. For a multitude of reasons ie the physical logistics of carting around the two girls and assisted by the comfort of my pj's, online shopping is my number one choice. Here's where I've spent most of my time (and money!) recently. And being quite thrifty by nature, I've managed to save quite a few pennies after seeing items in bricks and mortar shops. & have daily sales on everything from fashion to toys to perfume and home wares, many designer labels too.

I lose track of time trawling through the dresses on, the free shipping is great but as I learnt last week, sizing can be risky.

LOVE Polli for their stainless steel jewellery (and free shipping within Australia) - good prices for home wares and toys. I bought a pair of stools with free shipping the other week.

The US based West Elm and Pottery Barn now ship to Aus so I'll be visiting them regularly.

One of my favourite shops is Typo and they have just launched their online shop.

Baby Zone Direct have the lowest prices on a number of baby products and toys, especially on their rocking horses. Michaela received this gorgeous doll pram when her sister was born.

Next have a lovely range of clothes and offer free shipping.

Friday, October 7, 2011

3 months

Harper is 3 months old today. She continues to be an absolute joy- she smiles constantly, 'talks' to her sister and is starting to put hands/ bibs/ whatever-is-in- reach into her mouth! The only 'issue' is that she possets/vomits regularly; her clothes and bibs are soaked and nappy changing is a juggle between nappies, wipes and tissues. But none of that matters when she's this cute!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A new commitment

Having a new baby, caring for a toddler and trying to run a house means that I currently flake out on the couch around 8.30 every evening. I know that things will settle into more of a routine soon (PLEASE start sleeping through the night, Harper!!) and in turn I look forward to having more energy and being better company in the evenings!

Except for a couple of little softies, I haven't really done very much sewing since before Harper was born. I miss it. So, I'm setting myself a little goal of a project a week. It might be a softie, a piece of clothing or just some crafty project for the house, whatever I chose from week to week, I'm making a commitment to complete it!!

Here's this week's project from Cluck Cluck Sew- a petal pillow. Check back soon for my petal pillow (and whether I honoured my commitment!)