• Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Sewing Room

    Upcycling: Excess Skirts Become Flattering

    I’ve long been a keen bargain hunter, haunting op-shops (thrift) well before it became trendy to do so. I began my passion because of: financial needs, the fact I rarely find anything I like in the ‘regular’ shops and shopping centres put me on sensorial overload.  Whilst I’ve long had a discerning eye for a bargain and am selective in what I bring home, it wasn’t until I discovered the world of ‘upcycling’ that I discovered ‘a whole new world’. No longer do I discard fabrics, prints or outfits I like with a sad sigh because they are: too big, shapeless, fussy, too whatever’s. Instead I now stop and assess;…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Home - Organisation,  In the Sewing Room

    Fabric Boxes: Our Storage Solution

    Successfully completing an organisation project always makes me happy. Last week I decided our dress up storage wasn’t working and I wanted a solution that involved minimising visual ‘clutter’. Therefore it was time to make more fabric boxes, purchasing a few doona cases at garage sales I was began cutting.  Dividing the task over several days, I cut out sufficient material for 16 boxes, yep 16!    This actually translates to 32 fabric ‘crosses’, as sewing includes a liner as well as the outer box.   Then there were also the 32 handles to cut and sew.  Handles are fiddly, always a relief to finish them.  Sewing madly on and off…

  • Blog,  Celebration,  Celebration - Birthday,  Hearth & Health

    “Come As Your Favourite Animated Character”

     Mega Birthday week this week.  Jack Jack and Jelly Bean turned 8 & 10 respectively and Michelangelo 15.  We celebrated the younger two’s birthday with a themed party, “Come as your favourite animated character”.  Jack Jack was Hiccup (How to Train Your Dragon).  His whole outfit was courtesy of op-shop hunting one afternoon, we really hit the ‘motherlode’; green leggings, green velvet top, a brown woolen scarf and a dressing gown, with which a bit of judicious ripping and hemming became a vest.  Fortunately his sister had a pair of boots that fit too.   Jelly Bean of course was Princess Anna from Frozen, our girls’ favourite movie. Wearing an…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Home - Organisation

    Dress Up Storage Solution

    Often when one project is completed another is created, thus it was when PC and the girls built our incredible linen press.  Project created was, The Dress Ups, they now needed to be moved from the linen press alcove, and it was time to find a better storage solution.  For months they have been stored in one very long box, the length and depth of our new linen press, this however meant a messy search for most items.  Consequently the Dress Up storage wasn’t inviting to play.  As I now had empty shelving of two sections, I considered making some more boxes and storing like the toys, but would the dress…

  • Blog,  Extensions,  Extensions - Carpentry,  Hearth & Health,  In the Home - Organisation

    A Dream Of A Linen Press

    Twelve months is long enough for any girl to have her linen shelves highly visible in her dining hall don’t you think? Embarrassingly it’s not even as if I kept it neat all the time, the messy truth is, it often looked like this! Before visitors were due that is, the visitors at least got to look at tidy shelves. When I uttered the words on Saturday to my darling Prince Charming, “I’ve reached my limit, I want the linen cupboard out of the dining hall” He immediately responded with, “Let’s plan how to design the linen press and I’ll build it tomorrow.”  That’s all it took! He stopped tiling…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Sewing Room

    Making a Knight’s Costume

    A fortnight ago we celebrated Jem’s 5th birthday, this year I purchased and created a few dress ups as gifts.  I found a knight’s costume rather doable to make. Whilst op-shopping I was lucky to find a very large women’s silver top. This material was cut down to make the armour, both top and underhelmet. Learning how to make my own pattern gave me confidence to undertake this project. Best of all I can re-use this template now for other small boys if needed.  The hood and top are two separate pieces. Sewing right sides together it didn’t take long to stitch seams.  Armour completed. The surcoat was simply a…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Sewing Room

    Fabric Bin Love

    Fabric bins are my latest love.  It began with three and then I couldn’t resist making more and yet more. These bins reside in our learning room and house all craft supplies.  They look far more attractive than the previous jumble. Keeping with my frugal theme, this was my first purchase, a double doona cover (comforter) for the princely sum of  $5. The liners were made from unwanted valances. This bin is my absolute favourite by far! It sits in the games room and houses the playstation controls.  Far more sightly than the previous set up. I just love these stripes, off set with the blue liner.  Both fabrics were…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health

    Finding My Style

    Lately I’ve been ‘nesting’ and have decided it is time to turn my attention to our home in earnest, our extensions have now progressed sufficiently to start the final decorating stage.  The question is, what is my decorating style, and it isn’t just my tastes that have to be considered but PC’s too.  I have been blessed with friends who are very talented in the home decorating arena, they just seem to know what to do and somehow conceive ideas effortlessly.  Whilst I admire these friends immensely, I continue to be at sea as to my style, what says me. Last weekend I began my search to define me, clicking on decorating…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health

    Frugual Living: All About Clothes

    As a family with children, living on one income requires creativity, ingenuity and frugality.   There have been periods in our marriage that have required complete frugality and other periods where we have had some ‘wiggle room’.   Choosing to living on a single income with a large family in today’s world can be a challenge but it can be done. Continuing my series on frugal living, today I want to share some suggestions and tips on clothing your family and yourself that have worked for our family. “We soon came to realise that this was the key to our shopping problem.  Instead of doing as other families did, buying…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Home - Organisation

    Our New Toy Shelving

    Sewing fabric bins has been going on apace and I was thrilled to complete four more this week, bringing my total to seven bins. Finally I was ready to set up a new toy area!  The last three years our toy area has been set up in our ‘new bathroom area’, as this room is not plastered it smells of cement sheet dust. Also it wasn’t very large to play in, therefore the children haven’t played much with their toys.   We filled up the new bins, set up the toys on their new shelving, sold unused toys and gave away surplus furniture. The new toy shelving is a pleasure to…

  • Blog,  Hearth & Health,  In the Sewing Room

    Creating Maternity Jeans

    A couple of weeks back I was in desperate need of maternity clothes, googling for ideas I came across a tutorial on converting regular jeans into maternity jeans. Inspired I set out on the hunt to op-shops with our two oldest girls.  I fell in love with these stretch, skinny jeans, I also found a lycra T-shirt that I planned on using in place of ribbing. The tutorial directions were easy to follow, though when instructions say, “pull your band tight” that is what you should do;)  I’m not entirely comfortable with the fit, I cut too wide and deep towards the sides, which means they slip down a little.…