Look, it’s all real and it’s me and it’s a logo and it’s MINE!!
This is part of what I have been so excited about. There really is more to it than just my brand new shiny logo, but up there is the first little bit of hurrah from me. I have so much more to share but not just yet. The first part of this journey of mine is to show off my awesome new logo that was created for me by Castle Design – Sarah Rosberg was just awesome to deal with and I gave her a whole heap of ideas about me & my brand and here is what was created by her team.
I’ll be honest and say at first I was a bit…eeeek…that’s my face!!! However my Husband said “DO IT” (ok, he said more than that, but this post is supposed to be short and if I wrote down all the discussions…!). However after heaps of thinking about it I just went..YUP!! That’s what I need and now I love it.
Anyway…stay tuned, there is soooooo much more to come from me and my cheeky logo. If only it wasn’t 10.30pm on a Monday night I would celebrate with a cocktail.
I had to put it in again…because it’s my blog and it’s my logo and why the hell not!!!!
This time it’s a Shirtwaist Dress from the ‘Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing’. I have a vintage black shirtwaist dress. It’s preloved and now adored so much that it’s slightly faded and just a little see through (though with a pettiskirt that’s not a problem). I was on the hunt for another shirtwaist dress that I could wear around the house and not stress that the kids & normal wear would kill it. So when I saw this dress pattern in Gertie’s book I decided that I would give it a crack.
A pic from my Martinis and Slippers Instagram account.
Next was the fabric. While I was on holidays in Mauritius last year I posted a picture on Instagram of the gorgeous teal & floral cotton fabric that I picked up in Rose Hill for only $AUS 12.00. From memory I got about 5 or 6 metres.
In early January this year I copied the paper pattern pieces onto tracing toile and then cut up my pre-washed fabric and then folded everything up for another time. From memory my brand new Pfaff sewing machine shit itself when I was testing / trying to shirr. So after only having the machine for 3 months I had to get it serviced and believe it or not it’s still a shit trying to get the shirring right. So I use my elcheapo Brother $99 machine (side loaded bobbin for the win!!) to do all my shirring.
Of course this Shirtwaist Dress has shirring on the back so held back doing starting sewing this dress until my Pfaff was back from the Doctors & in the end I still used the Brother because the shirring was so bloody temperamental.
Overall this dress was really easy to do, I will admit I struggled with the collar when I was about to join the collar to the dress it was too short & the notches didn’t match. So I double checked that I had copied the right size which I had. So I did it again and sewed a smaller seam allowance & managed to get it to fit. I absolutely love this dress, it really does have a very 1940’s feel to it – did I mention it also has pockets!!!
I still have heaps of fabric left over and I will probably make a skirt or maybe a shirt…hmmm.
That’s the only way to describe the Monica dress from Pinup Girl Clothing!
I would say that 90% of my wardrobe has dresses & skirts that all are either full circle skirts or have full skirts, so I can wear my pettiskirts underneath. I could wear the figure hugging wiggle dresses but I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything (Ha!) and I really don’t feel absolutely comfortable wearing them.
However there is always an exception! I saw this dress on Pinup Girl Clothing and did the ssssssiiiiiigggggghhhhhh. I neeeeeeeeeeed that dress.
So I waited patiently until MisKonduct Clothing had it in stock and in my size and bang bang, that baby was mine.
Since I have had this gorgeous dress, I haven’t actually had any significantly special (non eating!) events come up that I could wear it to, so until that special date occurs it will sit waiting in my wardrobe.
The best thing about this dress…no bra!! I mean I don’t have to wear a bra. It’s full lined with a stretchy shaping fabric and has the amazing ability to hold all the wobbly bits in nice & tight. The added bonus is the draping effect of the fabric is very flattering.
I won’t buy a dress if it ends above the knees, I am fussy and it means that so many dresses are automatically on the no buy list, simply because I have varicose veins on the backs of my knees. Nothing dramatic & worth getting medical intervention for but it’s just enough to cause some anxiety for me. So rather than be stuck in pants forever, I work around it and only buy dresses that end past the knee. Thankfully this dress does end past the knee!
MisKonduct has the Monica dress in stock, they have amazingly fast delivery if you buy online, you can also buy the Monica dress online at Pinup Girl Clothing and they have it in many gorgeous colours so knock yourself out!
Now I just have to wait for a special occasion to wear it to!
It’s taken me 2 whole years to finish sewing a dress. I know it sounds bad but there is a story behind why it took me so long.
I found the pattern for this dress 1958 Ladies’ Party Dress on the Sense & Sensibility website. My friend who sews told me about this pattern all those years ago and I decided that this was the dress that I would start my sewing journey with.
The pattern was bought online, downloaded as a PDF, printed into a million (well it felt like that) pages and then I had this huge jigsaw pattern to stick together. All of that I did with no real hassles. The next thing I did was trace the pattern onto tracing toile so that I didn’t have to cut up my giant jigsaw puzzle, plus the thought of sticking paper onto fabric and then trying to pin it & cut…yeah…no thanks.
So tracing the pattern was easy. Then I realised half way through tracing that I was copying my shop bought clothing size – not my true size. SHITE…start tracing again. I wasn’t happy about it but at the time I was thinking it would be better than cutting the fabric and it’s too small.
Then I had darts….darts at the back and front of the bodice and I just froze. I had no idea how to copy those darts from the pattern to the fabric. No idea at all.
So everything was folded up and put into the bottom of a box and I decided that perhaps I needed to go and do some sewing lessons. One of the first things I learnt to do in those first few weeks of my sewing lessons was transferring the dart from the pattern paper/toile to the fabric. I had a burst of enthusiasm and I pulled the fabric out of storage and transferred my darts, pinned them down ready for stitching aaaaaand then put everything back into storage.
Fast forward almost two years and I needed to finish that dress off. However…I learned a few things over the years.
1. Wash your fabric – yup…I didn’t wash my fabric before cutting it.
2. Make a toile – yup…I didn’t make a toile and I discovered that my torso is short so quite often I have to adjust the bodice of any dresses / tops that I make so that they fit.
3. I cut rather large notches on my fabric – a simple straight short cut is all that is needed…not my giant year 7 sewing class triangle notch (I was doing what I was taught all those years ago!).
4. Lining – didn’t even think for a minute that I would need to add lining to my bodice. I ended up having enough fabric so I self lined it and it turned out perfectly.
I start sewing, matching my giant notches and trying on my toile/real bodice and it was a tight fit. I was seriously wondering if this dress would fit once I put the zip in.
Meh…just keep going.
It’s cool, so what if it doesn’t fit me, at least it’s practice. I sometimes stress so much that what I am making won’t work or fit or look any good but I have to remind myself that even if I fail at least I tried and at least I am getting practice and using the skills I have learnt.
Sure enough it all came together and with my brand new overlocker I was even able to finish off all my raw edges.
I took a deep breath in and zipped her up and what do you know…it fit!
If I had to make any changes I would actually lower the bodice a little – maybe half an inch to an inch and I would make the skirt a bit longer. Otherwise this dress is awesome and will be worn this coming Spring/Summer.
I have already received a compliment wearing this dress (it was a mild day so I HAD to wear it out!). I went to Spotlight where I bought the ‘Deck Chair’ fabric from originally and one of the ladies working behind the cutting counter said my dress was beautiful and when I told her that I bought the fabric here she said “I know”.
The deck chairs are navy & white and goes perfectly with my navy shoes and cute vintage navy purse I picked up at The Vintage Emporium in Tyabb this past weekend.
Oooh look what I made!!!! (a gravity defying child AND clothing to fit my gravity defying child!!)
Sooo, it’s the end of February and this is my very first post this year yeeeeahhhh sooooooo sorry eeek…. I can’t say I have been lazy just really busy doing stuff. January was a bit of a blur of school holidays, bbqs, an annual trip to Barooga in NSW, celebrating Australia Day and getting ready for the new school year. Of course that meant I had to clean the cupboards in the kitchen…?? I had to!!
Then February was all about..more Summertime bbqs, getting my little 3yr old settled into kinder, which I am happy to say she loves, as well as a very quick and very much unplanned trip to Sydney to visit a very dear friend of mine (Hi Gina!!).
I made a few New Year Resolutions and one of them was to dedicate more time to sewing. I am ok at it…not brilliant but I have made a two dresses, a few circle skirts and a top based on a pattern from 1942 but most of those were done in the sewing classes I attend each week.
Really what I wanted was to be much more autonomous when sewing. Not having to ask for guidance or help or getting stuck but just being able to sew & understand the instructions that come with patterns. So I bought a few patterns and yep…I instead of taking me 4-5hrs to complete it’s dragging on and I’m now 4 weeks (2hr lessons each week) into a top that I thought would be easy.
Regardless for ages I have been doubting my ability and doubting that I can really sew, then about 3 weeks ago I popped into spotlight and saw this really cute ‘Vintage Paper Doll’ patterned fabric with a yellow background and on a whim I bought it. It was on sale and I was thinking that I could make myself a novelty circle skirt with it.
Then Miss A saw it and declared it “her new dress”. So I got to thinking that there might be a simple free girls dress pattern that I could find online and then if I stuff it up..meh. If it works then HOORAY!!!
I Googled, I Facebooked, I searched the sewing pages that I follow until I saw a few pics and that led me to Create Kids Couture. I found a dress that I liked. I bought it and printed it out and really started to stress…the ‘what ifs’, the ‘not sure’, the ‘I don’t think I am going to be able to interpret the sewing jargon’.
Then I figured…it’s a piece of fabric…material. So what if I stuff it up. It’s all practice anyway. Away I went. Oh uh…first road block. I didn’t have any contrasting fabric to use. I could make it all using the same fabric but it would look so much better with contrasting fabric.
Off to Spotlight I go and I find some but there on the sale table is the exact fabric I already have at home ready to be cut but with a pink background, rather than the yellow background I have. Miss A declares the yellow is yucky and she wants the pink. I would have preferred the pink too…in fact if I had seen it the first time I would have bought the whole bolt. Anyway…I also bought it because I figured I could keep the yellow fabric to make my novelty circle skirt.
I followed the instructions and with the exception of one step, which I quickly rectified it took me two nights to complete this dress.
The gathering on the skirt took me 3 goes. The first time the thread broke, so I unpicked and stitched again. I got my gathers all done and then ahhh…BROKE the thread again and this time I have no idea how it broke.
Third time lucky…!!! Oh and of course…ha ha…FRICKEN ha…I found an awesome tutorial on creating gathers using a zig zag stitch that just looked so awesome that I am going to give this dress a crack again and see if this new fandangled zig zag gathering business works.
My most gorgeous most adorable baby girl!
I don’t have an overlocker so I wasn’t able to finish my edges as nicely as I would have liked, however my Pfaff has a huge number of stitches to choose from and one of them is a zig zag that will suffice for raw edges.
Overall I am absolutely freaking thrilled. It’s amazing how something so small can boost your confidence so much. I want to find a few patterns that have sleeves – I don’t think I can let my child out of the house in the middle of winter with a halter neck dress on.
In any event the dress I have made is called Hadley, cost $10.00 and you can buy it from the Create Kids Couture website. It’s a downloadable PDF pattern with full instructions and pics to go with it. Any pieces of the pattern that have straight edges you have to measure up yourself but the curved pieces are on the PDF. Absolutely perfect for beginners so give it a crack if you need a confidence boost or have a gorgeous Daughter like mine!!!
Here are 73 Elf on the Shelf ideas that we have used with our elf over the past 3 years. We got & named our elf Finnegan The Elf in 2011 and he has been a source of much fun & laughs from my kids each day during December since.
Finnegan The Elf arriving in 2011.
Sliding down a ribbon to the Christmas tree is fun!
I will admit it is tricky thinking of new Elf on the Shelf ideas to surprise the kids and the pressure each night to do something bothers me slightly, there have been nights when I am absolutely buggered (buggered = Aussie slang for tired!) and have jumped into bed only to realise I need to do something with Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf has turned the milk green
Two years ago I bought a note book and started planning what Finnegan The Elf would do each night but sometimes the idea doesn’t work as well as I thought it would and I have to come up with something else on the spot.
Finnegan The Elf meeting with Blaine the Surfer Dude.
This year we are expecting Finnegan The Elf to return to our house on December 1st and the kids know this means CHOCOLATE. He also gives the kids a book each during December which is a Christmas themed book – I know they get presents on Christmas Day but I love that my kids read and if I could give them new books every day I would.
Riding the rocking horse, pretending it’s a reindeer.
So here are the pictures of all the antics that Finnegan The Elf got up to during previous years that I am sharing for anyone who needs any Elf on the Shelf ideas. I have a Facebook page for Finnegan The Elf that you can follow to see what he gets up to over December this year and if you have any ideas of things I can do…please let me know!!
Finnegan The Elf with a message for Oliver.
A small gift of lollies.
Hmm Finnegan The Elf…busted in the act.
Holding the toilet paper in his hand. Reading to the other toys.
Rice bubble angel.
Drawing pictures under the Christmas Tree.
Having a quick shower.
Hanging out with Thomas & Friends.
Fishing into a bowl of blue jelly.
A bad note from Santa after Oliver misbehaved.
Just hanging around.
It’s way too warm in Melbourne, Australia for an Elf from the North Pole.
Captured by the Smurfs.
Oh no…how is Finnegan The Elf going to get out of this?
Surrounded by Smurfs.
There is even a King Smurf.
4 More sleeps.
When planking was all the rage…Finnegan The Elf planked on the Christmas Tree.
A true work of art!
It’s Christmas Eve.
Just hanging around to watch the fun on Christmas Day 2011 (Finnegan The Elf chooses to stay one extra day).
Christmas 2012 we saw Finnegan The Elf arrive after a huge storm hit Melbourne the previous day. We were worried about how he would get here but fortunately he arrived safely, although he was a bit stuck and needed help getting out.
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a balloon but with all the high winds he got stuck in the tree out the front.
This was a subtle reminder to get cracking on the Christmas decorating.
Finnegan The Elf met with Snow White for coffee.
Marshmallows in cups – to look like the real thing.
Who is that sneaking around in the background?
Finnegan The Elf was invited to a house party.
A dolls house party!
Oliver found them the next morning.
Roasting marshmallows by the fireplace on a cold ‘Summer’ night
(we get freaky cold weather in Melbourne, Australia even though it’s Summer).
Finnegan The Elf gave the kids Christmas books.
Finnegan The Elf went on a picnic with the other toys by the Christmas Tree.
Having a picnic.
Hanging out in a hammock.
Easiest job in the world.
This is the life!
A bit of a weightlifting competition with Blaine The Surfer Dude.
He isn’t as strong as Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White cheering for Finnegan The Elf.
Snow White watching Finnegan The Elf..hmmm!
Finnegan The Elf had a night out on the town – He went to an Argentinean restaurant.
He had wine…
He had empanadas… Steak & salad…
More red wine…
Then it was time for cocktails…this was a gingerbread cocktail.
And more cocktails…
And a very rough start to the day…the kids found him like this.
Finnegan The Elf hanging from the Christmas lights with a note…
A special note for Oliver, giving him permission to hold Finnegan The Elf.
More books for the kids.
Finnegan The Elf had a visit from a friend but with all this heat he just didn’t last all that long.
Oh Finnegan The Elf was sooo upset.
The kids found him outside riding a bike.
Floating in an ice bath (packing foam in the bath with the bath water coloured blue with food colouring).
The kids found a note…
and some arrows…
leading around the garden.
They eventually found Finnegan The Elf out the front with some treats.
Finnegan The Elf made breakfast.
Blaine the Surfer Dude invited Finnegan The Elf to a card game…
These are Finnegan The Elf’s cards.
OHH…someone is cheating…BLAINE THE SURFER DUDE IS CHEATING!!!
What’s this…the Surfer dude villian…what is he up to?
He has tied Snow White to the tracks…but where is Finnegan The Elf?
Oh No…he is tied upside down, hanging from the fairy lights.
But where there are fairy lights there are also FAIRIES!!
Finnegan The Elf was able to get free…
Will Finnegan The Elf free Snow White before the Polar Express arrives?
YESSS!!! and Snow White is very grateful to Finnegan The Elf for saving her life from the speeding train.
A bit of time away camping together is what they did next.
(Battery operated fairy lights with red cellophane and then surrounded by small twigs.)
The kids found Finnegan The Elf in front of the computer the next day.
After pinning his pictures to Pinterest , he updated his Facebook page…if you want to follow Finnegan The Elf click HERE
Making sure his pictures of his camping date with Snow White were uploaded…
Then it was time to skype with the Boss…Santa Claus
So much work, so little time but Finnegan The Elf left a small treat for the kids – little chocolates.
What’s this…sneaky Finnegan The Elf with my lippy.
And it’s was my nose that got ‘Rudolph’d’
A recipe for Magic Reindeer Food.
This is my Christmas planning book – all the things Finnegan The Elf gets up to, cocktails, Christmas menu planning, recipes and it’s even been scribbled on by one of the kids!
Finnegan The Elf arrived via a post bag on December 1st 2013. The door bell rang and we opened the door and the kids picked up the package.
An Elf that arrives with gifts is a very welcome Elf. Finnegan The Elf arrived with a letter & some goodies for us.
Finnegan The Elf with a letter from Santa.
The Santa letter up close.
Finnegan The Elf just hanging out on the tree with a few of the other toys.
Finnegan The Elf tried to make breakfast for the kids. With macaroni, lentils, milo & a biscuit stuck in the middle.
Finnegan needs to work on his food styling…actually the whole recipe looks awful!!
Lime cordial for breakfast…ahhh?!?!
It’s a date…with Snow White.
Watching a Christmas favourite at the drive-ins.
Oh no, Finnegan The Elf made lunch for Oliver to take to Kinder.
Oliver really wasn’t impressed with this packed lunch.
Arielle was not happy with Finnegan The Elf. His attempt at making breakfast previously resulted in a very sad child. This is the apology letter.
What is Finnegan The Elf giggling about?
The kids undies all over the tree.
Finnegan The Elf has hidden some gifts for the kids around the house. Wonder what they could be?
BOOKS! You can never have too many books!
Both kids were really excited with their new books.
Finnegan The Elf has mucked around with the milk again!
Finnegan The Elf has set up a little Santa & his Reindeer display.
Swinging on a swing, that is hanging from the tinsel & fairy lights.
Another one of the Elf on the Shelf ideas that are floating around Pinterest.
Clever Elf on the Shelf – they can bake gingerbread houses too!
Finnegan The Elf was very busy getting the gingerbread house ready for the kids to start sticking lollies on to.
Finnegan The Elf was toilet training and yeah….perhaps he is a little dehydrated with such green coloured wee.
All the toys at a Christmas concert watching Santa sing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.
We found Finnegan The Elf outside on a rug, waiting with a note & a little paper bag.
The note from Finnegan The Elf.
The kids planting the seeds before bedtime.
Sure enough, the very next morning our seeds had grown into candy canes.
Oh no…our poor Finnegan The Elf came down with a cold. He spent the day in bed.
Finnegan The Elf with notes for the kids.
A beautiful note from Finnegan The Elf to Oliver on his last day of Kinder.
It’s hard work being an Elf on the Shelf.
Finnegan The Elf taking it easy during the busiest time of the year for an Elf on the Shelf.
A reminder from Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf is caught climbing up the Christmas lights.
Oh my…we had heaps of fun this night…perhaps the video would explain better.
Finnegan The Elf spending a bit of time with Snow White up where it’s much cooler.
This is where we are starting to run low on ideas. The kids still thought it was funny.
Finnegan The Elf always asks Santa if he can spend Christmas Day with us. This time he had a very important job to do. At the end of Christmas Day before Arielle went to bed, she gave Finnegan The Elf her dummy “to give to the new babies”. Finnegan The Elf was going to give Arielle’s dummy to Santa so he could give it to the new babies and she had to pass it over to him. We were really proud of her handing over what was essentially her comfort blanket to Finnegan The Elf.
Finnegan The Elf left on December 25 2013 and now we eagerly await his arrival on December 1 2014. The kids are so excited and are counting down the sleeps until he arrives. I just hope he can top some of the past tricks he has done.
My Son’s school had a Twilight Market on last Friday night. A letter went out to all the parents asking for baked goods to be donated for the Home Produce Stall. I decided to make Macarons, you know because they are just so damn easy to make!!! Pffft. I started baking the shells the day before the market & finished them later that same evening.
I like to try and match up the shells prior to piping the ganache so they are similar in size.
Ok, I have made them before and they do take a bit of time to make but I love Macarons & sometimes they work brilliantly and sometimes I have a whole mother load of macarons that I can eat because they just didn’t work. I have tried making the packaged versions. Once they worked and were awesome, although not enough of them. The second packaged batch I made was a different brand and absolute failure…I threw a tantrum. I bought the pack again and tried again and they failed again. No more packet mixes for me, they are full of shite that I would never put in my macarons anyway.
So I took a risk and decided to try a new recipe. They worked really well and tasted delicious, of course I had to sample a few – just to be sure!!
I made up 45 in total (I think there were more but they weren’t pretty so ended up as ‘testers’!.) and put 5 to a cellophane bag with a cute ribbon & ingredients list. All 8 bags sold and I may…ok…I bought a bag of my own macarons and I am pleased to say they were the very last bag of my macarons! HIT!! yay!!
When everyone else is bitching about the decorations in the shops, I am secretly squealing on the inside.
When the stores start putting up their Christmas decorations & Christmas trees in their stores I am like a little child full of excitement.
When the stores are playing Christmas music over and over…I am singing along (or I take my headphones and play my own playlist of Christmas music).
Naturally I have amassed a heap of Christmas decorations – yes I have lights on the outside of our home. Yes I play Christmas music & yes…I bake.
I bake a gingerbread house every year, I bake fruit cake, I bake christmas cookies (choc chip & cranberry!!), I roast turkey, & bake a ham. I do it and I love doing it. Although this year I am not doing the full spread – that’s another post.
So this is a pic of my collection of Christmas baking/cook books. Heaps upon heaps of magazines all dated December & a collection from over the past 10 yrs if not more. I think I did do a cull about 8yrs ago but kept much loved recipes and condensed them into a binder.
Every year I read them all. I flick through them and get tons of inspiration from them and try new things and put on about 5kgs.
I love Christmas! and I don’t care if everyone hates on it.
Alex aka ‘Miss Candy Cane’. <<<see that….that’s my pinup girl name as mentioned at the end of this post…of course my pinup name is Christmas themed!!!
My recently turned 6 year old son just lost his first tooth. Can I tell you that I was soooo excited about this…more than he was.
Ok…he was excited but for me it was a whole other level of excitement. My son who I held through sleepless nights, who had the very normal very pooey nappies due to those very teeth that are starting to fall out, the same child who had the bright red cheeks and nappy rash because of those teeth is making a huge transition from ‘baby’ to boy.
I know…he is already a little boy but those teeth represent so much more. I can tell you I struggled for at least the first 19 months of my Son’s life with a child that never or hardly slept. And obviously the later parts of that time was because of the pain caused by those teeth breaking through the gum line.
It’s all good now. In fact it’s fantastic and on Saturday night we eagerly awaited the very first visit from The Tooth Fairy.
We have a fairy door that is a very special secret door that allows instant access into our house and it’s even been used by Finnegan The Elf our ‘elf on the shelf’ that visits us during December.
I did a bit of a search on Pinterest to see if there are any creative tooth fairy ideas for kids – The Tooth Fairy wanted to leave some sort of a note but not something that I had to help write . So I found this receipt template & I downloaded it on behalf of The Tooth Fairy and let The Tooth Fairy add in the rest. First teeth are worth quite a lot these days…$10.00. Yup!!! $10.00!!! I also understand that subsequent teeth aren’t as valuable!
The envelope was placed under the Oliver’s pillow by the Tooth Fairy and the kids tell me that there was fairy dust on the floor beneath the fairy door leading all the way to Oliver’s room!
He was so excited the next morning and ran into our room to show us the “ticket” and how much money he received. I’m really glad that I can create that little bit of magic in my Son’s life, he is growing up & it’s happening way too fast for my liking but I love the idea that I am creating some happy memories for him and that someday he might do the same if he chooses to have any children.