Thursday, 29 March 2007

Corners of My Home - Sisters

This is my first post on "corners of my home". Now that I have my flickr account running, I can add some of the photos I have taken.
My girls share a bedroom. It is the largest bedroom in the house, even bigger that ours, but that isn't saying much. I figure they need the space more than we do. Anyway it is a beautiful, very pink, room. I love it and they love it. I wanted something to write on the wall and was searching for a long time, then one day it hit me (that's usually how things come to me,like a strike of lightning) "sisters". The writing is above a little seat that I made. My mother-in-law was throwing out three daggy pine bed-side tables and asked if I wanted them. I got my husband, a very handyman considering he is an IT risk auditor, to bolt them together and put some skirting around the bottom. I gave it several coats of paint, put on some new french handles and made the cushion to go top. It is such a fantastic piece of furniture for a child's bedroom. Lots of big storage (I am the storage queen) to pile things like dolls clothes, pjs and ello into, a seat for them to read on and looks pretty too. Hope you have enjoyed their room as much as they do. I will post more on other corners of our home another day.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007


I have two business that I run from home. Both small but enough to keep me busy, particularly with my other three interests; Ella, Kate and Ed. The first I have already posted about, Ella and Kate accesories. The second is my interior decorating/colour consulting business. I specialise in hard surfaces; paint, stone, laminates, tiles as well as cabinetry design. Most of my clients are renovating or building. I just love it. It is so wonderful to be doing something that doesn't actually feel like work, just playing. Here are some photos of my recent projects.


You will notice on the right hand side of my blog is an Amitie button. Amitie is a Melbourne based quilting/patchwork store that has the latest, and most beautiful fabrics. When you become a VIP member you receive lots of goodies including samples, news of sales, a discount card and secret mailouts. Well I managed to squeeze my name on their VIP list just before they sent out the latest round of mailouts. We all have to make something out of the seven squares of fabric and post our photos on Flickr. What motivation to set up my Flickr account and get sewing.

This round of fabrics was from Heather Bailey's Freshcut range. The colours are just so scrumptious. I have been eyeing the fabric off for a little while now but it looks even better in real life. Upon seeing the fabrics I ordered myself and extra half metre of my favorite and made a smock for my girls.

Smocks, as you are obviously aware, are in this season. Which is great for us those sewing mamas because they are so easy to whip up. I made this one to fit both my girls. A dress for Kate (4yrs) and a smock over 3/4 pants for Ella(6 yrs). I used soft sheeting elastic at the back to give Kate the fitting she needed and stretchy enough for Ella. I would like to say that this was intentional on my behalf, but no, simply a result of it being the only elastic I had available at the time. Given I was sewing this the night before Edward's party, when I should have being icing the cupcakes, I had to use just what was in my elastic pile. I know that no sewer would need to ask "why were you sewing it the night before the party" like any other humans, including my husband, would. But add to my own "must finish it NOW" personality, I also had a persistent and adorable four year old begging "please mama can I wear it on Sunday". You really could have thought it was her party.

Our family is travelling overseas at the end of the year and I have decided I must make up a few more these. They will be so handy. Smocks are great for the autumn weather; cool mornings and warm days. You can start the day with long sleeve tee and jeans underneath but when it warms up, strip down. They keep the shirts underneath clean, they will fit both girls and hopefully give more versatility to their travelling wardrobe. And lastly they just look gorgeous. Jo of course has been a fan for a while now, it has just taken me a little while to get on board. Well, on board I am! Next is a French/nautical theme I think.

And of course, every smock needs a pair of ribbons to match.

Sunday, 25 March 2007


Today we celebrated our baby's, our last baby's, first birthday. When Edward was born it marked the completion of our family. It was such a wonderful feeling knowing who all the members or our little family unit were. No more wondering will there be two or three wee ones, will they be boys or girls, what will we name them. All the questions we had when we were married eleven years ago were answered on that day.

What a wonderful year. How much joy he has brought into our life and how much we love him. After having two girls I was unsure about having a boy. We were so sure we were having another girl, after all that's what we had...girls. And we thought we were pretty good at girls. I will never forget the look on my husband's face when Edward came out and we realised he was a boy.

I am so glad we had a boy. I never would have got the "boy thing". Oh how besotted I am by my baby. Here are some photos of his wonderful first birthday.PARTY TABLE





Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Internet shopping is so much more fun than the regular kind;
1. much more enjoyable browsing without the little darlings
2. so easy to "shop around", an important factor for me
3. so much more choice than available in my local environment
4. twice the fun, first the purchase and second the arrival of the package

I just love it when the mailman knocks on my door with a parcel. Here is what he delivered today. Beautiful winter colours....

I had better get busy making winter ribbons.

Monday, 19 March 2007


I love to cook. I do however get a little repetitious at times. When I stumble on a great recipe this becomes my recipe for the season and every time we entertain or I take a dish somewhere this is it. Well, for the summer of 2007 it was this Roast Vegetable Salad, which I am proud to say I developed all by myself. So please excuse the guesstimation. I am a bit of a Jamie and Nigella cook ie a handful of this, a scoop of that rather than a Womens's Weekly cook ie 1.5 tblsp of... This is a great salad to take to a BBQ where you know you won't be doubling up with someone else's "garden salad". So here it is.

Roast Vegetable Salad
1 sweet potato
1 big chunk of pumpkin
1 eggplant
1 red capsicum
two handfuls of green beans
feta - 1 deli sized block
bunch of coriander roughly chopped
olive oil
salt and middle eastern seasonings
lemon juice

Cut the sweet potato and pumpkin and eggplant up into chunks. (I dont always use all three of these) Place in a baking pan with the cored capsicum and drizzle with olive oil, salt and some morrocan/middle eastern seasoning (I love the ZEST brand at the moment)
Bake 200 for about 40 mins until cooked through but not soggy. You may need to stir once or twice. Take out of oven and allow to cool slightly.
In the meantime blanch the beans, not too soft again, still nice and crunchy
Peel the roasted capsicum and slice
Mix the roasted veges, beans, feta, coriander (save a little) in a large bowl. Maybe more seasoning?
Arrange on a platter and drizzle with more oil and coriander.
Viola. I promise it will be a hit.

Thursday, 15 March 2007


Don't try to finish a sewing project whilst cooking cheese on toast. Even if it is only a few stitches.
Attempt No.1
Attempt No.2
At least I finished this without burning it. Off to a baby who is now six months old. A little late. Just as well they dont start solids until then, at least that is my excuse.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Blue and brown. These are my boy's colours. Oh how I love these two colours together.

It all began almost one year ago with his birth announcement, then followed this beautiful little knitted jumpsuit by Jack and Janie, sent by my best friend who lives overseas.

Before he was born I spotted the Johnny and Buck collection from Moda and knew if we had a boy - I would have to have it. Still a WIP - do you think I will have finished quilting it by the time he is in a bed? Too bad it's a cot quilt. I know there are countless others who have done the same.

Now, almost a year later we are about to celebrate his first birthday. The invites are in keeping with the announcements sent out at his birth. The party will hopefully be a blue and brown theme. The brown is easily taken care of with chocolate but there is a limit to the amount of food you can colour blue. Stay tuned for more pics of the day.

Sunday, 11 March 2007


This is what I do for a little pocket money. I sell a range of handmade children's accessories called ella and kate. The business came about two years ago when I saw some beautiful bows on US ebay. I figured that I could probably make something similar for my girls. So I bought myself some great ribbons from one of my favourite fabric stores in Melbourne, Darn Cheap, and made up a few. I started to notice that everywhere we went I heard whispers behind me "look at those ribbons". I realised then I needed to do something with these. It took me quite a bit of time to trial different constructions until I finally found upon something I was happy to sell.

Since that time I have sold over 1000 pairs of ribbons. I love my business. I make every pair unique and love putting the colours together. I have always loved watching the new season fashions come in and now I can follow it all even more closely. I sell to two retailers and have done a couple of market nights and fundraisers. I also have a considerable personal business. Girls who love these ribbons, really love them. I am now looking at doing "showings" with another girlfriend in our customer's houses. Ella's uniform shop also stocks them - a hit with the preps.
I love matching ribbons to special outfits. These ribbons were to match some fabric Jo sent me. Ooh those colours.

As you can see my girls love to wear them too. But I am waiting for the day when the decide they are too old for them. I guess I will move onto something else when that time comes. Until then...

PS. I am having new labels designed by Marianne from applehead. I will do a post when they arrive. So excited.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


Anyone who knows me, knows that since I was a girl with my first pocket money, I have always been a bargain hunter. I guess there is probably a nicer name for such a talent but that's it for me. I have been know to drive right across town just to save a dollar or two. Now that I have three kids and a couple of small business to run I am having to be a little more efficient with my time. Of course visiting the local op-shops as I walk home from kinder or do the groceries isn't being to wastefull.

Lately I have been having great streak of luck and I thought I would share for you a few of my finds.
Trip 1. A handsome jacket for my little boy, a board game for my girls (not shown) and these for me; new and vintage threads, black peasant top and lace doiley for embellishing shirts - all for $7.00

Trip 2. All of this for $5.20. The buttons and felt were being thrown out at the local bargain store and the old grosgrain and velvet ribbons(perfect for the hair accesories that I sell), bias binding(can never have enough) and crochet yarn(for flowers)were from the local op-shop. My favourite thing about this day's finds was how the colours all just seemed to belong together. Like they were just waiting in these two shops for me to come along and bundle them up with each other.

Trip 3. This one wasn't actually a trip as such but rather a squiz through the doors as we were coming home from kinder. I had been looking for this very Fisher Price toy on ebay that weekend. Someone is happy.

Sunday, 4 March 2007


Here I am writing my first blog post. I have umm-ed and aah-ed about this since the first time I stumbled upon a craft blog. I was doing a google search for tips on sewing with oilcloth when I found The Complete Adventures of Violet and Rose . This is quite amusing because Jo is actually a friend of a friend and lives in my old street. To think we lived in the same street for four years and never met. Since then, I have spent much time reading about other like-minded people. It has been wonderful.

With each new project I completed, I contemplated how I would write it up in my blog, if I actually had one. I even started seeing my life through my imaginery blog.... oh dear.

Since making the decision to create my own blog it has taken me a little longer than I had hoped to actually get it going, for one simple reason; what do I call my blog. Did anyone else have the same problem? Well last night it hit me! I have always thought of my home as my nest and I do enjoying "nesting". Never a thing confined to pregnancy for me. If I am making my nest then the next question is what bird would I be. Well, colour is one of the most important aspects of my life. It is the foundation in both of my businesses and it really does shape almost everything I do. And my favourite colour is blue (followed closely by green, yellow, pink, red and lots of others) so a bluebird it was. Next,to make sure there was no other bluebirds out there making their nests I did a search on google. The only result was the poem on the right. How perfect. Our house is built in what used to be an old apple orchard. Well that was it and here I am. I hope you enjoy sharing my journey as much as I have enjoyed sharing yours.