Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tuppertoys and Owl toes

Remember last post I mentioned something about vintage Tupperware toys? Aren't they just the cutest. We are so pleased that these Zoo- It-Yourself animals have come home to live with us. They have completely interchangeable heads, legs, bodies and tails which if nothing else is sure to create some bio- diversity.

From my little bit of research I have discovered that they were released in 1966 and despite being 45 years old seem to be almost indestructible. They come as a combination set of dog, elephant and giraffe heads with interchangeable legs and bodies. Of course Roboboy wanted to genetically modify his own creature from all the spare legs.

And then he whipped up this little friend,

before announcing, "Look mama, a Pushmi-pullyu". You know, out of this super wonderful book that we found a little while back.

I think he's spot on. Well except for needing slightly longer horns.

In other news I was most surprised to see that I had been nominated for a Versatile blogger award by Annie from Artistica Domestica. Until I sat down and thought about (and googled) what versatile really meant. And then I figured if it means dabbling with ones fingers in a whole lotta different pies then that would actually be me. And definitely Annie as she finds humour and art in the wrangling of 5 small people.

 I had intended shortly doing a post  apologizing for the fact that while this blog was originally intended to involve a whole lot of house renovations, it has kind of meandered into being  about sporadic bursts of painting of Betsy interspersed with lots of op shopping, quirky kid things, crochet, sewing, gardening and too long sentences like this one.

Now that I have been told that this haphazard style of blogging is an acceptable thing, I am quite relieved as some of my favourite blogs are a mixed bag as well. I have lots of favourites, most are on my blog roll so that I can share what I like with everyone who visits. I love how there are so many blog styles. Thinkers, dreamers, writers, crafters, photographers,gardeners, embracers of small children and chooks.

 Mostly I love people who are doers- who have their own ideas and then follow them, and those who embrace and have gratitude for the small things in life, including their small people. If they also take gorgeous photos, well then that's the trifecta.  My two all time favourite blogs, who have perfected the trifecta, are Foxs Lane and Ivy Nest. I'm not sure how they feel about being nominated for awards, but pop over and enjoy your visit, perhaps make yourself a cuppa first.

Now I think I'm also supposed to write about why I started to blog but in the interests of keeping this post shorter than War and Peace, I will give that story the post it deserves another day. And now I know you are wondering about the owl's toe. Well, just another definition of versatile- capable of moving in all different directions.
I was kind of thinking that my blogging style was more of a dog's breakfast so I am  heartened to know it's actually more of an owl's toe.

Linking in with Sophie and all the other flea market finds.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

When the op shop delivers

I love it when the op shops deliver a pile of colour to bring home. And all at miniscule prices. The glass situation had become critical at our place. Clumsiness runs strong at our family and we had not only broken all the glasses we had ever purchased but also the two freeby Coke glasses we had been given somewhere along the way. I not only found the two lovelies above but also eight heavy plain drinking glasses, all 50 cents each. Legoman was impressed that the op shop was starting to deliver essential items and not just vintage sheets.

The pyrex was $4 , the pillowcase $1 and the books 50 cents each.

There is nothing better than finding a Golden book that you loved as a child but haven't seen for thirty plus years. That Runaway Squash  book was mine but didn't seem to survive with my other collection, so nice to find one to share with my own children. The other three are all Golden books that I haven't seen before, all circa 1974 and all with a pure gold spine and fantastic colourful 70's style illustrations. Miss Liongirl was also very pleased with her new melamine bowl and matching plate and had to use them for her next meal.

Roboboy has very specific likes in books and probably the ultimate for him would be clever animals inventing machines. Can you believe that the op shop delivered that too. He was so excited he made me read it twice the minute we got home from school.

I could even pick his favourite page in advance.

He does have a thing for reptiles too, this was a close second.

Meanwhile I have been dabbling with this colour.

And let me leave you with a few words of inspiration for my next post. Vintage Tupperware Toys. Boy did the op shop deliver.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mud pies and thrifty buys

We have had the busiest sunniest weekend in the world. What could be a better start to the weekend than a vintage garage sale hosted by the queen of cupcakes and vintage fabric, miss Laura from Kit & Nancy.  She and a few other vintage lovers had a massive cleanout and I was more than happy to come and relieve her of a few unwanted tablecloths, teatowels and pillowcases. Oh yes, and that lovely piece of milk glass.

Another friend  had a little pile of Enid Blytons that had to come straight home for Roboboy. There was also a lovely metal outdoor chair in the perfect size for Liongirl, once I whip up some cushions for it I'll share a photo.

I had a surge of sewing focus last night at midnight and savagely snipped into this pile. A St George teatowel,   a very stained tablecloth and some dotty fabric are on their way to adorning my lounge.

I also had a little moment at Spotlight the other day. Legoman was kind enough to let me know that there was a 30 % off sale on everything in store so I could pop in my way home from work. I did actually need some fabric for my sewing group so could justify most of this little pile.

And what about the mud pies? Well, it's actually a pizza pie and Roboboy had not yet sprinkled on the grass cheese when this photo was taken.

We've been having a grand old time mucking around with this stuff all day. Roboboy is working his standard "I really want to be in a Target catalogue" pose. Goes so well with the giant mountain of dirt.

We have made quite massive progress in our garden today. This laundry tub was salvaged from underneath Betsy and finally has been planted out with some herbs.

And the mere sight of a trailer load of dirt just flushed out  those Menace brothers from two doors down. They even brought their own shovels and helped us fill and plant out our vege garden bed.

 There was much discussion about  planting based on the merits of vegetables in Plants vs Zombies and significant disappointment over the fact that we have no pea shooters, hypnotic mushrooms or cherry bombs. We did plant corn ( which provides a catapult and cannon apparently), carrots, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes. The "burpless" cucumbers had everyone picturing little rows of normal cucumbers burping away. Actually maybe that was just me. Photos of our stellar efforts including possum proofing coming soon.

Linking in with Sophie for some weekend vintage thrifty sharing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New curbside find and garden colour

Look what was propped up on the side of the road on the way home from school the other day. Luckily I only had one child in the car at the time or I would have had to leave one of them on the footpath in order to get this baby home. Don't ask me which child, that can vary from day to day.  I thought for sure it would be wonky or broken or missing something structually important, but no, it's perfect except for being a bit grubby and needing sanding in a few spots. What really caught my eye was the beautiful rising sun pattern at the top and I can already imagine if stacked full of vintage sheets. I can't wait to get the paint out and give this a colourful makeover. See if you can guess which colour I'm leaning towards. I promise this makeover won't take anywhere near as long as my last curbside find.

Check out this gorgeous rose. Last year we started a new tradition of buying  a special tree for our garden using the excuse of a wedding anniversary. (There is also the longstanding tradition of a piece of art every year as well but that is a whole other post).

This year, I was a little uncertain about choosing another tree and so these gorgeous roses came home instead. While I love having functional trees that produce fruits to be eaten, I am equally fond of trees and plants that are just there to look decoratively gorgeous. So nice to have some more colour in the garden.

My bougainvilleas have all burst into bloom and the kids just keep picking little branches for me.

And miss Liongirl is still very happy with every dandelion she stumbles across.

Just not sure if she is going to puff this one or eat it.

No, I think she's worked it out. And if you are wondering why there is a derelict car in the back of this shot, that would be because we are geocaching of course, the cache was in the boot, or what was left of it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flowery footstool fancying pirates

Firstly, I wanted to share my fantastic fabric finds from the oppie this week. A bag of vintage off cuts for $5 plus some crochet cotton in the loveliest shade of blue. The same op shop must have had a big craft donation since I was last in as there was a huge pile of crochet patterns too. I was really excited to find this pattern booklet dedicated just to crochet edging as this is something I have been wanting to try my hand at.

While I was very selective and left a huge pile behind, these little girl patterns had to come home.

My mum had this book and I have so many memories of flipping though it looking for projects. She gave hers away years ago but I can't wait to make those toilet roll people with my gang.

Remember this footstool I bought at the oppie a few months ago? A few of you quite liked the original harlequin green and cream vinyl cover. Well, it was grubby, and heritage green would have to be just about my least favourite colour.  So at 10 o'clock last night I was suddenly overcome with a desire to sew a new cover, and I knew just which piece of my corduroy stash would do the trick. A few years ago I even sewed a little shirt for Roboboy with this same fabric. Look at the little dude in his horsey shirt aged 14 months.

 Despite having absolutely no idea how to best reupholster anything, I tackled it with a frenzy that can only be found late at night and put the finishing staples into it this morning. It's not perfect, but I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I left the original cover intact underneath, just in case the next owner is a footstool purist.

Now Legoman and I can both put our feet up while on the lounge, and I get a new piece of colourful eye candy.

Meanwhile we appear to have been invaded by pirates. Roboboy had his pirate stash raided and while he was happy to give up the never worn eye patch, we had to make a new sword and scabbard with a more girly theme.

Unfortunately we were only able to conceal one of Liongirl's matching black eyes, courtesy of a bad knock to the forehead a few days ago. How you can get two black eyes from pulling a sheet off the washing line is a little beyond me but coordination and domestic capabilities are not my strong points either.

Thank goodness for a large chest full of fake gold coins and every piece of quartz crystal fleeced from the school playground. All we need now is a map.

Roboboy has just started writing by himself in the last few weeks .His very first illustration with spontaneous accompanying text did not make the blog as it had a drawing of his cat demonstrating her bowel and bladder function. What is it with boys and wees and poos? I love seeing how he problem solves the phonetics of words when he is left to his own devices.

That would be a " short cut" (not cat) as well as the "finish" and "map island" at the far right. Of course the treasure is clearly marked with an X. This map inspired a good hour of repeated hiding and finding of the above treasure chest complete with terrible impersonations of pirate speak by myself and copied hilariously by Liongirl .I think  "Aaaaargh, yee scurvy dogs", will be going around the traps at kindy this week.

Linking in with Sophie to share all the crafty finds.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For the love of parcels

 Take a peek at  what came in the mail for me today. These beautiful vintage sheet pieces, some gift tags and some map envelopes, all  part of my prize from entering gorgeous Lea's giveaway. I really love that orange pink and red sheet on the top, they are completely my sort of colours. I am itching to add these to my stash and start cutting out a quilt but there are a few other projects that I am trying to finish first.

I had to take a photo of the packaging as well, almost as exciting as the actual gift.

I have been fiddling around making more yo-yo's. Liongirl and I found a teeny tiny haberdashery with a wall full of buttony bits and after prolonged deliberations, and much pretending that all the button containers were maracas, we came home with some real treats. Nothing better than some vintage fabric and mustardy buttony goodness. These are destined for a date with a hot glue gun and some hair clips.

Roboboy is on a roll with this whole sewing thing. A few weeks ago, we had a student free day at school and I did something unheard of and took both kids op shopping with me. Roboboy found this teatowel and was in love. Rainforest, rainbow lorikeets and vivid colours are three of his favourite things.

Today he didn't want to do an extra swimming lesson, or stay at school to play with his mates. He wanted to come straight home and work on a sewing project with me. I had been eyeing this teatowel up against his generic school library bag and the minute he spotted them both on the dining table he was onto my plans. He chose the orange thread and how we would stitch it, as well as being in charge of removal of pins whilst sewing. Meanwhile, I chose the simplest way we could throw this thing together, including putting the rope under the seam before stitching.

He was so excited about his new bag, he immediately had to pack his book inside whilst telling me that I am the "best mama in the world".  I am so relishing this probably shortlived time where a home made knock up mama job out ranks a generic Ben 10 or equivalent fad item.

And when I went to hang out the washing, look what was peeking up at me atop the thick green carpet near the clothesline. Not sure if the fact that it appears to be some sort of mutant frangipani with three extra petals is some sort of omen. It does suddenly make me aware that summer must be just around the corner.

Time to fossick out the slip n slide.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yo-yo's a go-go

The Sewing for Sanity gang met again yesterday. The much awaited Heather Bailey pattern that was our next group project had unfortunately not yet arrived. So we all set to work on a few other projects and for me that meant cracking open a yo-yo maker that my MIL gave me about a year ago. I know yo-yo's are probably done and dusted by everyone else in the crafting community but still an exciting challenge for all us crafty newbies. And this yellow plastic donut thingy makes it so much easier. Try and not be distracted by that luscious lolly pink corduroy, a recent op shop find heading towards miss Liongirl's owl.

We managed to knock out 5 of the little things between us. I know seems pretty paltry but in our defence we only had one plastic thingy and many breaks were taken to slurp tea and scoff chocolate hedgehog.

Not forgetting what our newest member managed to whip up in her first session. Realizing that her excuse of sleep deprivation was not going to cut it two weeks running, she even cancelled her root canal surgery to hang with us. Doesn't the yo-yo just complete this fantastic headband. You can find the free pattern here.

And that super cute model baby, well she belongs to our resident sewing guru. Unlike me, (who has very limited sewing knowledge but likes to spout off words like interfacing just to sound clever), the guru KNOWS all that important stuff like tensioning, what causes extra threads, and where to find whisper weft. She is our Yoda, and she makes very cute children. Use the force mini- Yoda.

And check out these critters that the host whipped up for her Angry Birds loving boy. She even made some golden eggs.

Thanks gals, I'm feeling quite sane again........ now just need to try and make it last for a full 2 weeks.