30 October 2013

Sloth Sunday

Or "What the Kids Didn't See". My lovely husband took our girls up to spend the day at the farm on Sunday, so I shall share with you some of the things that I did and didn't do while they were away for a full six hours.

The kids didn't see me not do any housework. Not even to put away three heaving basketloads of clean washing that are still sitting in the lounge, two days after the long weekend has finished. Let's not mention the state of the bathroom. I'm a bit scared to go in there without wearing a Hazmat suit and breathing apparatus. They didn't see me not clean the BBQ utensils that have finally been brought in after spending six lonely months living in our outdoor BBQ. Six months of build-up on those suckers. They're still sitting on the kitchen bench. I wonder if there is a certain timeframe in which these things start to self-regulate, like hair if you don't shampoo it for a while.

The girls didn't see me relive my youth while singing badly to Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams. They didn't see me eat a Picnic bar (there were no Moros) and a bag of licorice allsorts and call it lunch. I didn't even have to hide the evidence until 5pm.

I know I sound incredibly lazy. Maybe I am part-sloth. I do like to sleep alot. It's not that I wasn't doing anything. I sewed. All day. I finished off a wrist corsage for the wedding and lined my daughters' flower girl dresses amongst a few other bits and pieces.
The corsage is for my niece who has cerebral palsy. It has been designed with comfort in mind so the band is elasticated with individual pearl embellishments glued around it. I wanted the flower to be large since it is effectively replacing a bouquet, but am a little worried that it might be too big. My seven year old has the same sized wrist as my niece and she is modelling the corsage in the above photo. 
With this project completed (unless I decide to make a smaller corsage), I think my involvement with the wedding preparation is nearly at an end. I don't quite know how I feel about that. It has been so much fun to be part of the planning and I am very grateful to my sister for allowing me to have a degree of creative licence with the floral arrangements. The next time I blog about the wedding, the big day will have been and gone and I will hopefully be allowed to share some photos with you all.

21 October 2013

Postcard from {Wellington} - Taputeranga Marine Reserve

It was a beautiful day on Saturday and we drove down to the south coast to the rugged coastline that lies west of Owhiro Bay. You can sit on this seat and look over the Cook Strait and see the Kaikoura Ranges in the South Island.

This spot is a place that is popular with divers and snorkellers but we are total landlubbers so we wandered down to the craggy rocks where the girls lost themselves in the rock pools until they uncovered some sea snails, starfish and a crab all in one pool which promptly scared them off exploring further. Townies.
An unsealed road leads past an old quarry and further around the point to Red Rocks and Sinclair Head. There is a fur seal colony that 4WD and mountain bike enthusiasts can ride to up to a certain point and I had hoped to walk around there with the family and take photos. That idea was quickly scotched after all three girls took a completely impromptu but totally foreseeable dip in the water instead.  It is about a two hour round trip to walk to the seal colony so the "swim" probably was a blessing in disguise.
I love that although the Wellington CBD lies just 10 minutes drive away, you can still find places like this that make you feel as if you are the only ones around.

16 October 2013

Toss bouquet

Last bouquet post, I promise. I made this fabric bouquet over the weekend for my sister to do the traditional bouquet toss at the wedding reception. She had given me one of her old bridesmaid's outfits a few years ago to make use of the fabric and now seemed the perfect time to use it. 
Butterflies are very significant to my sister and her fiance, so it felt right to include one on this bouquet. It is made from card and was recycled from a birthday party invitation to Aimee. Although the photo suggests otherwise, the colours of the butterfly complement the tones of the bouquet

I used some of the buttons from the bodice to place in the centre of a couple of flowers and wrapped the stem with the same vintage lace that is used on the junior flower girl bouquets. I like that there is a touch of sentimental value to the bouquet in using parts of the dress that my sister wore and the lace given to me by our grandmother.
It is really quite a deceptively heavy bouquet, and it survived a couple of practice runs at throwing it (think caber-tossing, that should give you an idea of the finesse of the throws), so it should hopefully last the one final important toss - I wonder who will catch it?

11 October 2013

There's happy messes

And then there's this. It can generally be anticipated that there will be moments that require you to exhale just that little bit more deeply before launching into wrangling children over the course of school holidays, but it just felt like the majority of these holidays were like that. And there's still three days to go. We have experienced lovely holidays before, so I know they do happen and it's wonderful when they do but somehow, this time, my usually quite pleasant girls were replaced with Perpetual Whinger, Painfully Petulant, The Antagonist, Quietly Destructive and Borderline Demonic. Yes, I only have three children but over the last two weeks, I'm pretty sure two of them had split personalities.

Admittedly, I've been preoccupied with wedding decorations these past few weeks so I haven't necessarily been "in the moment" with my children when I ought to have been. This has led to some interesting discoveries around the house. Like my lovely rimu kitchen table with oil-based paint smeared on it and gouge marks where somebody helpfully tried to scrape it off with a steak knife.

When I found a whole new roll of toilet paper unravelled and stuffed down the toilet effectively blocking it, I was annoyed but calm when I explained that it was perhaps not the most economical butt wipe of the year, but when it happened another two times in the same day, the writing was on the wall as far as how the rest of that day panned out. Panned, toilet - hehehe. My good moodometer was close to hitting expletive point* by this stage, but there were still gems to come.

The girls decided to perform in a circus another day. Great! I'm all for imaginative play and fashioning props from general household items. Except when the prop happens to be my broom being used to walk a tightrope between their beds. Rest in peace, broom, rest in peace.

I have to remind myself they are still little and while their brains find workable solutions, they still don't have the capacity to see possible flaws in their logic. I could hear the girls outside playing swingball - a two-person game, but they were taking it in turns and playing nicely, so I left them to it. A while later, I went out to find my washing line in two pieces. Apparently, it was in the way of the swingball set so they decided to cut it in half.
Now, any good blogger would be out with their camera capturing these gems of parenting moments and I originally inferred that I would not be showing them here to protect the guilty parties. However, it seems I can be persuaded to add photographic evidence if my readers ask nicely enough.

If I receive comments to the effect of how wonderful your school holidays were and how so much fun was had spending quality family time together, I will get violent. Wish me luck for the weekend.

* Disclaimer: I have never ever sworn at my children, not even during childbirth, I just say it REALLY LOUDLY in my head.

09 October 2013

Artificial bouquets

My sister has a vintage theme in mind for her wedding, although I think the final, overall look will be quite eclectic, as much of the items are being collected from a number of different places, with mismatched china, table decorations, seating and the like. It should make for some really pretty photos. She is quite relaxed about what flowergirl dresses are worn which is helpful as the entire bridal party is spread right across the North Island. With such a broad age range to consider, there is little chance of each girl agreeing to a specific style or colour, but the aim is to be as complementary as distance and budget allows.

To help keep the look cohesive, I have been making flower girl posies using a very neutral palette for the artificial flowers. I experimented with different fabric types to see what would work best for the flowers I had in mind. In my fabric stash was eight metres of white polyester lining, purchased two or three years ago for $1/metre when I stumbled upon an amazing pop-up fabric sale held in a vacant office space in Wellington. I also had some off-white satin lining, as well as a few metres of cream crepe de chine and some beige polyester fabric, so I was in no danger of running out of a particular fabric to finish each posy. This was important given there were eight posies to make.
I did expect that it would take a while to make each posy, but little did I know that I would still be working on them two weeks after I started. My glue gun and I are great mates now and the blistered skin on my fingers is starting to heal. I thought you might like to see how it all turned out.

There are little girls, tweens and a teenager in the bridal party so I ran an idea past my sister to keep the posies age-appropriate and she really liked the concept. The junior flower girls are between 2-5 years old. Speaking from experience, a 2 year old cannot hold a bouquet in front of their body for very long, so I made some flower wands for each girl to hold. They are very lightweight and designed to be held up and away from the body so as not to hide their faces as they walk down the aisle. The individual flowers are very time-consuming to make but worth the effort.
I followed a tutorial on the internet and I really wanted to say they look like peonies but that would flatter their real form. They still give a lovely effect though. From a distance, they look like candy floss or the underskirt of a full petticoat. The ribbon is some vintage lace that belonged to my grandmother. I used the same white lining to wrap around the wooden dowel.
For the older flower girls, who are aged from 7-13, small posies have been made using the same white flowers, some artificial roses and large silky petal flowers. No chance of getting hayfever with these babies.
With eight posies completed, I have turned my attention to making a wrist corsage for my niece who has cerebral palsy. I can't access my Pinterest account at the moment and I really wanted to spend some time there looking for some ideas *sigh*. Would you please do me a favour and let me know if you can see my Pinterest boards when you click on my sidebar? All I get is an error message and I can't pin anything new. I forged ahead anyway and you can see how it is taking shape on my Instagram page, if you like.
It is such a miserable day here and I would have loved to have taken some outdoor photos with these bouquets, so I am sorry, you will have to settle for some poxy indoor snaps instead.

Skinny marinky linky link with Leonie at Show at Tell this week.