Monday, April 30, 2012

Festival of birthday

Last week (ANZAC day) was my birthday! 
We had Thursday and Friday off work, so I managed to stretch the birthday celebrations over a full 6 days (starting with morning tea at work on Tuesday) - a festival of birthday!

Wednesday we headed up to Sydney and had a gorgeous lunch at Centennial Park, then dinner at I'm Angus in Darling Harbour - the staff are amazing, as are the onion rings! And check out the view =)

There's a Lindt chocolate store just around the corner, and even though we were stuffed full of delicious onion rings we couldn't resist popping in!
My daggy iPhone pic doesn't really do it justice, but everything was gift wrapped and shiny and colourful and pretty! I want ribbons on the wall just like those ones there!

We stayed at the Menzies, which was really beautiful. It is right opposite Wynyard, in the city and our window looked out onto the station, so I was expecting a bit of street noise on Thursday morning but it was so lovely and quiet! We would definitely stay there again!

Breakfast was at Green Bean Espresso, just next door to the hotel. The Mediterranean breakfast was delicious, and enormous! (we didn't eat for the rest of the day!)

A quick trip to Kinokuniya (as if I could visit Sydney without popping in there!) and we were on the bus home again.

There were exciting presents (my Mum has the best taste in fabric!)

On Friday I went out with a friend for morning tea - we went to Ricardo's in Jamison.
Check out this cake! It is apple cheesecake and was really AMAZING! You can see the apple/cinnamon inside, there was also a little pocket of biscuit crumbs. Incredible - how do they do it?!

Saturday there would two exciting deliveries....

One from my local sewing shop!

(It's not out of the box yet! I was too busy over the weekend to sit down and look at it properly, so I'm saving it for later in the week!)

And our IKEA billy bookcases arrived!
I ordered them through Bring It Home - I would totally recommend using them. They were super professional, and the delivery charge for my 3 bookcases plus a cd tower was only $130 - very reasonable!

We managed to get everything put together on Saturday arvo (and not an allen key in sight!) - filling them is still a work in progress, but here's how they're looking so far...

I'm really loving them!

Of course no birthday celebration is complete around here without lots of kitty hugs and smooches - these guys were excited to have us home (mostly because they haven't figured out how to turn the heater on for themselves yet, I think!)

Jinx was very helpful when it came to reorganising the books.

Max just mostly looked confused!

To cap off a lovely few days, yesterday was Brown Owls!
Which meant not only catching up with my lovely friends but also an excuse to bake brownies and an opportunity to get some baby snuggles.

Perfect closer on the festival of birthday, I think! xo

Sunday, April 15, 2012

flowers frock

Do you ever have a sewing project that sits around unfinished for ever, with really very little left to do, and no excuse at all? (surely it's not just me!). And then when you finally finish it, you are so pleased and just kicking yourself for not getting it done sooner? This frock (it's definitely a frock) was one of those.

I started it at the end of September - as a try out ('wearable muslin', if you will) for the green spotty dress I made to wear to our friends' wedding (in fact you can see it in this blog post). I was in such a hurry to get the spotty dress done, that once I was happy it would fit ok I put it aside without finishing it.

At the start of March I was searching through my wardrobe, and fabric stash (maybe I could sew up something new over the long weekend?) for something to wear to my sister's engagement party, when I suddenly had a vague recollection of an almost finished frock. A bit of digging around (seriously - my sewing stuff is soooo unorganised, but that's a (boring) story for another day!) and, sure enough, there it was. All I needed to do was insert the zip, hem it, and fix up the straps (I had loads of trouble with the straps on both dresses - way to long!).

An evening's sewing, and taa-daa! a new frock:

Please ignore the funny light on my face, which is thanks to the lovely dappled sunshine in my garden! Do feel free to admire the camelias though!

The fabric is a lovely light cotton, and look - pockets! =)
I used bits of two patterns for these dresses - the skirt comes from Simplicity 2886 (which I also made into a spotty dress). I love this skirt and am sure this is not the last time I'll use it with a different bodice - the pleats sit nicely, and it is coomfy, and did I mention the pockets? The bodice is from New Look 6966 - which I had to size up (by about 1 size) and do a full bust adjustment on (you can read a bit more about that here if you're interested). 

 At the party - I may look like I am busting some excellent dance moves, but really I've cropped the pic to protect the innocent. Not that I don't have excellent and bustable moves.

I've been searching for a yellow cardi for ages, and found this one just the week before the party - I think it works perfectly with the dress!
I really am kicking myself for not finishing this sooner - it is lovely to wear, and maybe the fabric is more forgiving than the spotty green fabric the other dress is made up in, because I think this one is more flattering around the bust and waist.

I think this is a total winner (even if I do say so myself!).
Next up I'd actually like to recreate the dress my sister wore to the party (aren't they a gorgeous couple? =))

I ordered a couple of the Simplicity 'Amazing Fit' patterns this week, and I'm thinking maybe Simplicity 1800, which has the princess seams, sleeves, and lovely soft pleats in the skirt (and pockets, natch), but with the neckline from 1882, could be cute (mind you, the neckline from 1800 is super cute too!)


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

Hope everyone had a wonderful day, with loads of chocolate and a decent dose of hot cross buns!

Made in my bread machine using this recipe - so delicious!


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

In April I am reading...

This should really be 'last month I was reading', because for once the reading is actually ahead of the blogging! A week and a bit ago I started reading the Hunger Games trilogy, and I am just loving them!

I hadn't really heard much about the books before, but a couple of weeks ago the trailer for the film was on, and as soon as it started I thought it looked brilliant, and decided I had to get my hands on the books. I almost bought them the next day, but I just had to have these exact covers, so decided to wait it out. A day or so later there they were on sale - and aren't they just gorgeous? =)

I started the first book the Sunday before last, and by that evening I was finished - I can't remember the last time I read an entire book in a day, but have found these so easy and enthralling that I didn't even notice. The second book, Catching Fire, I got through between the train and the plane on the weekend, and now I am trying to pace myself through the 3rd one =)

I think the feeling of the books is very like that of another favourite series of mine - John Marsden's Tomorrow series (which I re-read about 18 months ago) - with a similarly tough, smart, young woman as the main character, fighting to survive in a violent (and a bit gruesome sometimes) situation. And of course written for young people.

If you haven't checked these out, I can't recommend them enough - I really think they are amazing! I'm really looking forward to going to see the movie =) (maybe over the long weekend! =))

Once these are finished I have two options lined up for what to read next - I'm thinking either the Game of Thrones series (which I think everyone except me has read already!) or a couple of the Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood (author of the Corina Chapman books I have been reading). There has been a series on the ABC of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' based on the books that looks like lots of fun too. As always, any advice/ recommendations much appreciated!


A long weekend is just perfect for getting some reading done! What's on your list? Let us know in the comments, or leave a link if you post on your blog, to let every one know what you're up to and join our bloggy book club for April!!

Enjoy your reading!