Tag Archives: clothing

Sometimes I Just Hate being Short….

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The cold weather is upon us here and I had to go out and buy myself some new winter gear.  You’d  think that would be exciting, hey? But winter means long pants and jeans and I am short.

Apparently, my 5’3″ height is short even by ‘short length’ pant standards, so all my pant purchases need to be re-hemmed.

After procrastinating for about 2 weeks, I finally altered all my new purchases. It wasn’t as difficult as I had remembered the task to be…..maybe my sewing skills have come along a little??

Hemming Pants

Before altering  my jeans I revisited two helpful tutorials at Do it Yourself Divas and Just Something I made.  These gals show you how to reuse the jean hem in your length alteration.  So simple and no need to worry about ruining the look of your distressed jeans with a crisp looking hem.

My next alteration task is shortening the cuffs on a jacket.  While my sewing skills have come along, I think I am still a way off doing cuffs.  Perhaps that is a job for a professional.

Do you have any helpful alteration tips for the vertically challenged?

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Under the Sea: Kid’s Artwork Design Shirt

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Here is a cheap art activity you can do with your kiddies and they will feel pretty proud of themselves doing it.

Pick up cheap cotton t-shirt.  I picked this one up on clearance at Target for $1.73. Bargain!

Kid's Art Shirt

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Using a dressmaker’s pen, get your child to draw their t-shirt design onto the fabric.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

After placing a piece of paper in between the shirt’s front and back, trace over your child’s  drawing with laundry pen.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Kid's Artwork Shirt

Wash the shirt to remove the dressmaker’s pen marks and its ready to wear.

Kid's Artwork Shirt

You of course could skip a step and allow your child to use the laundry pen to draw the picture.  Just be aware that there are no ‘do overs’ and that on some fabrics the pen can bleed quite easily.

To keep with our Under the Sea theme, Master O drew some sea animals – fish, jelly fish and sea urchins. So cute.
Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: I should be Mopping the FloorCherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine,   A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts,   The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun RamblingsClean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday:  My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday:  I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

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I thought I would share with you a little party we held with our family after my youngest’s baptism a month ago.

It wasn’t a huge or lavish affair.  I wanted things to be low-key and simple (well as simple as I can allow things to be) given the event was coming off the back of ripper party season and the weather was sweltering.  As it was a mid-morning affair, I choose decorations and food that could be prepared the day before, allowing me to enjoy the party instead of being crazy busy.  I must apologise as  I didn’t photograph everything, but hopefully there are enough to give you an idea of what it was like.

I have wanted to have a baby elephant themed party for one of my boys for such a long time.   When I came across a whole heap of blue elephant party items on clearance, it was locked in.   After all, this was probably my last opportunity to throw a ‘cutesy’ themed party for my growing boys.

So, the theme – elephants. The colour palette – blue and chocolate with the addition of polkadots for some fun.

The food table had a milk and cookies kind of vibe.  I had a variety of plain and flavoured milks in pitchers for guest to pour into their own miniature milk bottles.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

All of the sweets I made the day before.  Mini Oreo topped cupcakes, vanilla and white chocolate cake pops and brownies.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Instead of a cake, I decided on a two-tiered Oreo stacked ‘cake’.  I got the idea from a Martha Stewart show and just had to recreate it. I topped this with a little wooden elephant I painted blue to suit the theme.

Blue Elephant Baptism

Other sweets on the table included blue and white M&Ms and butter cookies.  We also served up cut fruit as a healthier sweet option.

For those who preferred savoury to the sweet, we had a variety of sandwiches and rice paper rolls.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

To decorate, the food table had a blue and white polkadot material backdrop.  You can read how I do these here.  Pinned to the backdrop were some blue and chocolate paper garlands I made on my sewing machine.  I love how these look and they are really simple to make.  You can see my blog post on how to make these here.

The coordinating partyware was used to decorate the patio where I had the tea and coffee station set up.  I neglected to photograph this but you can grab a glimpse of it to the side of this pic.

Master C, the baptism babe, with Nanny and cousin, Miss L.

Master C, the baptism babe, with Nanny and cousin, Miss L.

The baptismal boy was dressed to fit the theme in his blue and white polkadot elephant shirt.  I got the talented Linda from Loui with Love to embroider this especially for the day. Amazingly, after a couple of Oreos, this shirt still remained clean.

Blue Elephant Baptismal Party

Despite being dreadfully hot, it was a lovely morning.  I was delighted that my planning, and restraint, resulted in a relatively fuss-free event.   It seems I may be learning a thing or two as I get older.

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Creating a Smoother Day – Morning Routine

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Previously, I had written about my New Year’s Resolution to make my days run smoother.  I realised the key to success would be my morning and evening routine.  Last week I listed some of the tasks that I included in my evening routine to ensure my following day started off on the right foot.  Today, I thought I would share with you my morning tasks that ensure that the rest of the day runs smoothly for me.

  • Go for a walk – This is the first thing I do every morning.  I find I feel a lot more energised and ready to face the day after a walk

  • Drink a glass of warm lemon water – this gets the fluid intake going early in the day and the lemon aids all sorts of things such as digestion and the immune system

  • Unpack the dishwasher – as the dishwasher was run while I was sleeping, the dishes are dry and washer is then ready for dishes used throughout the day
  • Do any last lunch box preparation and packing
  • Unload the washing machine – the cycle, set on timer the night before,  finishes just as I am returning from my morning walk.  While I am happy to wash clothes, I loathe hanging them out and bringing them in.  This is hubby’s task.  Until he reliably remembers that each morning there is washing to hang up, I unload the washing machine and place the full clothes basket in the hall so he can’t miss it.

  • Make the beds

There are also things on the ‘not to do’ list as well.

  • Turn on the television 
  • Hop on the computer to check emails, Facebook etcetera
  • Be side tracked by non-urgent tasks (usually cleaning tasks).  They can wait till later.

By completing this small list of tasks, I immeasurably improve the running of the rest of  my day.  I have still left ample time in the mornings to have a play with the kids, eat breakfast, shower and dress for the day in a very civilised fashion.

Between the morning and evening tasks, things are running relatively smoothly in the Crooked Household.  Far less flying by the seat of our pants moments!

We are loving….

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We are loving …. Sun2Sea Sun Protection Clothing……

Today has really marked the start of  Spring for me here in Brisbane.  The day was super bright and the temperature quite warm.   Everything about it  just called for you to be out amongst nature and to enjoy the day. 

I decided to take the boys to the local koala sanctuary, Lone Pine.  They have a heap of koalas, obviously, but lots of other Australian fauna such as kangaroos, platypus, crocodiles, wombats, dingoes and parrots. 

The boys love days out  like this but there is always the little whine when it comes to sun protection.   They are good with wearing hats and sunnies but they really dislike putting on sunscreen.  No wonder.  You have to stand still while Mum slathers it on and it makes you all greasy.  That is why I love the sun protection clothing I bought for us. 

It is all 50+ protection rating and can be used in wet or dry conditions.  Perfect for fishing.  In fact you can buy shirts with a fish check on the sleeve to measure your catch.  The shirts all have long sleeves, so less sunscreen application – yeah!

The boys each have a cool camo patterned one which has a slightly thicker weave and is good for winter, and a lighter plain shirt for warm days.

I have my own zip up hoodie version.  It is great just to throw on over skimpier summer clothing when you take the kids to the park.  It saves me trying to cover every bit of exposed skin with sunscreen for a quick 20 minute play at the park.

I try to keep a shirt for each of us in the car so that even in the most impromptu of outings, we can always do the right thing when it comes to sun protection.

Transform a Baby Shirt into a Cushion

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Master C, being born at the same time of year as his brother, is wearing all his hand-me-downs.  As he begins to wear a new season’s lot of clothes, I have found a few pieces that are no longer suitable to wear. This shirt’s neckline is stretched too much to wear.

But look at it’s cute motif.  As the shirt’s material and motif otherwise look virtually new, I hated the idea of  throwing it out.   

Cutting off the sleeves and running a few quick hems up on the sewing machine, I had created a cushion cover.  Using some wadding/cushion fill left over from an old craft project, the cushion was filled and ready to use in just minutes.

My 3-year-old nabbed it as soon as he saw it.  It has been squished, prodded and poked consistently for a week now, but it is holding up.  I have rescued it and moved it to the car so that he can rest his head on it if he gets sleepy.

Little Boy’s Room Freshen Up. Part 1 – More Storage

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I am in the process of overhauling my 3-year-old’s room.  After just about everything annoying me for ages, but not being motivated enough to instigate change, I forced myself to start this week. 

So what was annoying me?  Well he needed more space to store smaller toys away from his now roaming baby brother.  He also needed the room layout adjusted to give him more floor space to play with his favourite toy set of the minute – Fireman Sam.  I wanted to move and replace some of the artwork he had on his walls and set up a little gallery to hang his artwork.  I was hopping that all of the solutions I came up with would work for a 3-year-old, allowing him to better tidy his room and manage his ‘stuff’.

I dealt with the most important job first, improving storage.

We are getting additional storage being put into all our  bedroom cupboards by our cabinet-maker.  However he is so busy at the moment (he measured up over a month ago and we still have not got our quote), that I don’t think we will be ready to rock and roll anytime soon.  So wanting a cheap, temporary storage solution, Master O and I, stood thoughtfully at the cupboard door, singing the ‘Bob the Builder’ theme song for inspiration.  It worked and we measured up for a shelf to be placed in the lower section of the cupboard to hold boxes.  It took little effort to find an inexpensive, pre-made shelf suitable for the space at the local hardware store and a few brackets to attach it.

Before getting hubby to erect the shelf I decided to choose the storage boxes so that we knew the best height at which to hang the shelf.  After a bit of internet searching I couldn’t really go past the Ikea Trofast tubs for durability and price. I quite like the Trofast units as a storage solution so once the cabinetry gets done, I will be able to use these tubs elsewhere.

So up went the shelf (sorry about the picture quality but it was a terribly dreary day).  I know it looks a little skewed and does not sit flush with the side wall, but our house is this weird modern design and has no right angles.  Ok, I lie.  There is like 3. Tops.   

And in went the tubs.  The top two hold his beloved Fireman Sam set.  Two of the bottom tubs hold all his linen.  I keep it in his room in the off-chance of late night bed-wetting.  There is nothing worse than waking up the whole house, ratting around in the dark trying to find new sheets.  The remaining tub holds all the little fiddly toys that I worry about the baby swallowing.   Master O know that they can only be played with in his rooms and must get packed away as soon as he is finished.

I also bought some smaller Trofast tubs to store things on the built-in shelf at the top of the cupboard.  I have one box for new clothes, as I often buy clothes at the sales for him to grow into.  I also have a box for clothes he has grown out of.  When the box get full, I sort out which ones I will keep and store elsewhere for his brother and then I take the rest to the charity bins.  The third tub I keep up there to store keepsakes such as drawings or cards until I have time to properly preserve them in some manner.  Always thinking ahead, I have one tub left empty, just in case.

On the other side of the cupboard, I included baskets in his shelves to hold clothes that don’t need to be hung.  Unfortunately the shelves are a strange size and I couldn’t find any deep, solid containers.  I would prefer not to see the mess that occurs after Master O ‘helps’ putting away his clothes, so I can’t wait for these to be converted into drawers to hide the mess inside.   At the bottom of the cupboard is a flexi tub to throw all his shoes and bags.

Elsewhere in the room, I used a cheap pop up hamper to store  all the stuffed toys he likes to take to bed.

So that is how I have improved the storage in his room.  Pop back this weekend and see some of the cute and easy artwork and decorations I made for his room.