Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Tidy Place (aka CRAFT! aka I clean up the rubbish tip that is my dressing table)

I am not a tidy housewife. Mr S is a very tidy housewife and is very good at putting things away.
Example #1
On his bedside table there is a bedside lamp and an alarm clock. That's it.
On my bedside table there is (now) a bedside lamp, my iphone alarm clock dock thingo, three books and a pair of headphones. This is exceptionally tidy for me. It used to be a bedside lamp, iphone thingo, five books, a glass of water, headphones, lipgloss, my wallet... you get the picture. Little Lady of the house is mobile and quite good and taking things off my bedside table.

Example #2
Mr S has no clothes left out. As in, they're all put away. Always.
I have several outfits close to hand. There's a beautiful chair I made when I was 33 weeks pregnant with Millie that is usually covered in clean washing or clothes I'm just going to wear the next day anyway.

Example #3
On his day at home with Millie Mr S manages to clean the whole house. I don't know how.
On most of my days at home with Millie we wind up sitting on the floor surrounded by forty thousand plastic toys capable of rendering a grown adult (me) to a whimpering child by walking over them.

But I digress.
I think I'm starting to nest or something already. It's really weird and I don't like how it makes me feel.
(I really must just take a Bex and a good lie down.)

We'd just moved our new bed in to our bedroom so change was in the air. I saw my rubbish tip dressing table last week and I couldn't stand the sight of it any longer. When Millie went to sleep I set to cleaning out the top two drawers (scarves! Swimwear! Gymwear! Gloves! Hiking heat packs!) to put the gigantic box of perfume bottles and various jewellery boxes in. So they could be close to hand, but not THAT close to hand.
Naturally, Millie woke up 20 minutes after she went to sleep. No matter. We can clean together, child! Hooray! What's that? The world is ending unless I pick you up? Oh...
Never mind! I can clean with you on my hip! Actually, no I can't. We will return.

Millie proceeds to not be asleep for the rest of the day, so in fits and starts I turn the radio up loudly (Let's dance Millie!) and force myself to throw things out or find a new home for them. I am tensing up just typing about that - I hate it more than game meats.

In a rare moment of 'I think Millie might be asleep! Quick! To the craft room!' I found two old photo frames in Mr S' man cave, and covered the backing boards with my new PVA glue and furnishing fabric that I made the chair, canvases and matching doona cover out of. There are no photos of this because I was crafting at the speed of light. Turns out Millie was not asleep, merely lying there contemplating how long before I would free her from the prison-like confines of her (Huon Pine) cot and (tastefully decorated) room.

I wrapped ribbon across one board, securing with PVA glue. I did not have any thumbtacks in the house, and my staple gun would have sent death-like metal spikes through to the front. I honestly didn't think the PVA glue would hold. The other board I took outside and hammered two nails close to the top of them. By this stage Millie had been awake for about 6 hours and unhappy for about 5.5 of them, so it was good stress relief for me to escape by myself and hammer something...

Then, I had these.

Left - brooches, Right - necklaces.

Brooches - this was the one with ribbon affixed.
Super handy to display most of my brooches, and easy to get
on and off.

Necklaces. The nails should have been closer to the top, but I'm happy with this.
(It's not actually crooked, it's my professional photography.)

My nana-esque dressing table tray.
L-R Back row - Hairties, perfumes.
L-R Front row - hair pins, my daily watch and earrings, Myrtle the mouse.

My word! Look at how tidy and uncluttered that is!
 Once I had the frames on the wall I realised I wanted a nice way to display my favourite perfumes (of which I found I had duplicates, so I need to use them all up) and have a space for hairties and bobby pins. I also wanted a nice place to put my watch and daily earrings.

A friend gave me the tray years ago, and I had the glass bowls leftover from holding candles at my wedding, so it was a nice way to have my favourite things on display, but feel like they're organised.

I know. I don't know what came over me either, except that I bloody love it. And we'll be fixing the cracked mirror shortly too.

How do you organise your dressing area? Nana-esque or something else quite funky?

NB: There are whole days where Millie and I sit on the floor and there's no frustrations whatsoever. This was an anomaly of a day, where instead of her lovely 2hrsx2 daily there was 20 minutes sleep over 12 hours. Had I had a crystal ball there's no way I would have attempted this. But I'm so glad I did. I love going in to my bedroom now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

FFS Friday - the White Ribbon edition.

So many shiny things this week! Not many crap things... bar one. This one puts all the other crap in perspective, and I don't really much feel like having a first world whinge. And it's a big point, so I'll give it some breathing room.

This week we heard the worst domestic violence incident I've ever heard. We called the police. They took their time. We called them again. They turned up. Phew!
Then, we heard the female say to the police officer 'No, I'm fine. Everything's fine. Nothing's wrong over here.'


Truly. I don't believe for one moment that the police bought it, but what can they do?
No one, male or female, deserves to be treated like that. No one should let themselves be treated like that.

I don't swear very often here, but for fucks sakes.

Do you swear? I've also sworn over here... you should too.
There's also Men's Line for blokes to chat too, and Lifeline (13 11 14) for anyone needing help 24/7.
And to the lady in question, I wish you'd knock on my door.

I will be back oh so soon with a real FFS Friday...

Dear Baby G

Friday, May 18, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

The Maternity Whinge Edition
As always, linking up with the divine Sarah for today's post.
  • It's cold. More specifically I'M cold. I'm making a human being here, shouldn't I be generating heat like a... heater? I've also worked out that being cold all day makes me grumpiery. FFS.
  • I know, I hear you say 'Like, put a jumper on, you whining preggo.' I'd love to. I do not own one that a) fits me or b) zips/buttons up. FFS.
  • Little Lady is getting more teeth. We hope. I feel like the family that cried teething... M still only has four teeth - the last ones made their entrance at Christmas time. Does this mean we're going to get a full set at once? Oh god. FFS.
  • My shirts ride up, and as I have not gained an unholy amount of weight this pregnancy (as opposed to the 1/3 my body weight gain with Millie) my 'Fat Pants, The Ones Before Maternity Jeans Fit' are way too big and slide down all day. A belt does not help. FFS.
  • I went op shopping yesterday to find lots of too-big shirts to alter and re-tailor to become maternity shirts. I bought a cardigan and a button up shirt for me, and an entire winter wardrobe for Millie (three long sleeved shirts, two jumpers and a dress for summer), a tablecloth and some fabric. But the plus side was the lot was $24, and they gave me a bag of apples too. FFS-ish.
  • Mr S has removed even more of the bathroom now... but we've had A Guy come and look at it. The prognosis is good, it doesn't look a $20K job. It looks like a Mr S and His Dad job. With a new vanity and toilet. UnFortunately the shower came out in one piece so we can re-use it we're stuck with it. So no new glamorous bathroom for House Smyth, but I'll be delighted to not traipse outside to the loo at 2am. FFS.
  • Have I mentioned it's cold here? It's even colder and darker at 2am. I disturbed a hopper (Pademelon) nearby to the toilet the other night. I marched right back inside and made Mr S come outside with me. He has so far been very nicely obliging my 'I HAVE TO GO TO THE LOO. COME WITH ME PLEASE.' requests at 2am. I appear to be subconsciously dehydrating myself so I don't need to use the loo overnight. FFS.
  • Witching Hour has reared it's ugly head again. Except this appears to be practice for a toddler and a newborn. From 4pm-6pm I have an unhappy Millie losing her temper at every opportunity... i.e.
    Coupled with...
    'Meeeoooooooow!' (I'm hungry.)
    'MEOOOOOOWWWWWW!' (I don't want that dry food crap in my bowl.)
    'MRRRRROOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!' (I have to use the litterbox but Daddy's not home so I don't feel secure enough to do so.)
    'MROW. MROW. MROW. MROW.' (Why are we all yelling?)
    I wish I could drink. FFS.
  • We bought Millie a Heinz Unbelivabowl last night, so she might stop flinging her bowl around the lounge room when she doesn't want any more. It appears to be Mummy-Proof. I couldn't get it off the suction base to wash it before use. It worked like a dream in keeping her bowl safe and sound this morning. And now... I can't get it off the freakin' high chair. Ideas anyone? FFS.
  • Washed and in the dishrack. It's stuck in that ridiculous spot
    after I tried to slide it off. 
  • Mr S has been kindly, correctly, in the interest of #2, monitoring my caffeine intake when we are together. (One day per week at the moment. Fun, I know.) Whilst we were out on Mother's Day, I eyed off a cafe latte at the Farmer's Markets. Mr S said 'You've already had a cup of tea, is having an espresso coffee really the best idea?'
    Me: 'Well, it'll be ok.'
    Mr S: 'If you have an espresso and a cup of tea won't that be too much?'
    Me: 'Fine. I'll have a cup of tea.'
    Me: (thinks) You haven't seen me have several cups of a tea and then a Coca Cola in the afternoon recently, have you? Oops.
    And, FFS.
Shiny Things Friday
I had the best Mother's Day ever. I've had two now, I'm an expert. Cup of tea in bed, Farmer's Markets, NO NAPPIES, Mr S detailed the kitchen (swoon), takeaway pizza dinner, early bedtime. Delightful. Coupled with the best drawing ever from Millie, it was divine.

I was given a copy of Sarah Harmer's 'You Were Here' about 8 years ago, and I've loved it ever since. So much so, in every live gig I do I cover her song 'Capsized'. I finally remembered that I can buy music this week and purchased her newest release 'Oh Little Fire'. Oh, my heart is on fire. It is divine.
This week has been Vocabulary Week for Millie. She heard a dog barking across the road and turned to Mr S and said 'Dog!'. Then when it barked again she shrugged her shoulders at him and said 'Idunno'. What?! Then the same thing happened to me on Wednesday - she heard the dog barking (notice a dog barking theme here btw? BNHQ I think...) and said 'Dog!' to me. Then a car drove past and she said 'Car!' Even stranger, she had my car keys yesterday and pointed at the car keys and said 'Car!'. Holy moly. I love it.

This is our fishtank. My photography IS amazing, I know.
We can't stop buying fish... we know have 8 Neon Tetras (The Young Talent Team),
3 Harlequin Rasboras (Rocky and the Punchy Brothers),
two Reticulate Loaches (Dude and Dudette) and two Catfish (as yet unamed).


Snow on Mt Wellington on Mother's Day.

Millie all rugged up, waving at the cars driving by to the snow.

Family Smyth all rugged up at the snow.

A birthday present for someone pretty special on her first birthday.

This has being making me laugh SO much this week.

After stealing my empty Chamomile tea mug, Millie decided
to have a crack at the tea infuser. Fine with me!

I was trying to write a shopping list. Lucy was sitting on my other side,
just complainin'. 

Our breakfast table. Everyone has something to read.

Go over and wish Maggie a Happy Birthday, and Sarah and HB a Happy Birth Day.  Go. Now.
By the way Sarah, I dreamt that I called you to wish Maggie a Happy Birthday and
you a Happy Birth Day. Exciting, huh?
Dear Baby G

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mrs Smyth creates... #2

The title is a nice twist on words, isn't it?
That's what I've been doing a lot of in the last fortnight and a bit, creating little Smyth #2. My shirts are very quickly getting too short and I'm in that awkward 'my regular shirts don't fit but I'm too small for maternity clothes' phase. A quick trip to Big W and a few nice T-shirts in a bigger size will see me through for a little bit longer. Since I typed this part of the post (<2 weeks) these shirts are now riding up over the epic sized bump already and making me grumpy. It's time to start sewing myself some maternity shirts I think... I've been shopping but pregnant women wish to wear tents or skinny jeans.  I've also been cutting out a cardigan from a lovely grape coloured jersey stretch material.

This fortnight I've...
started work on a new kid's apron for stocking in my as-yet-created shop

bought an overlocker (serger) from Gumtree, serviced it and got it running!
I've tested Miss Jones (overlocker) on every scrap of fabric I can find, and have started
overlocking some of the apron above.

Started and continued cutting out fabric for a cardigan pattern
I have drafted... based on an existing hoodie.

I have had help with this.
I purchased some material for a custom iPad case.
I fell in love with the Spiderman fabric for the inside... with a sensible navy for the outside.
It makes me think 'Outside: I'm a sensible thirtysomething who is a Tax Professional.
Inside: SPIDEY!'. I love it. I think my customer will too.
I made a softie for my niece, but it didn't turn out quite as nice as I imagined it would (bizzaro pattern.. this is meant to be a cat?!), and Millie kept stealing it and running off to her room
with in her arms before I'd finished it. Guess who now has a brand new giant softie and loves it?

Then I made another softie for my niece, who reportedly opened the parcel, said 'BIRD', grabbed it, ran into her room and tucked it into bed. I'd call that a win.
I also made a birthday present for the most gorgeous girl who lives in WA and is born in May. However, I haven't posted it yet so no pictures. But trust me, it's gorgeous.

Craft Blogs
I'm addicted to a few sewing blogs, and I thought I'd share them with you so you might become addicted too...
Craftiness Is Not Optional
This was one of the first sewing blogs I started reading, and it was also the first one that gave me confidence to make my own patterns. I've made Millie a shirt and two dresses from my own patterns based on Jessica's tutorials and I can't wait for every new blog post. And, she's also having another baby in November!
Cuada Design
Chris designed and wrote the pattern for the Cuada Clutch, which is my go-to clutch bag for sewing. So much so, I've scaled it into three sizes and adjusted the height of it for two patterns. Making that 6 patterns. Her pattern writing is what all pattern writing should be judged upon. She rocks. She also blogs. Win win!
Me Sew Crazy
I love the kid's clothes and tutorials on this site. I love that she makes her kids 'Collections' of clothes for every season. It's such a great sentiment, after all, I love seeing Millie in beautiful dresses and skirts and shirts but I can't afford to pay $40 for a dress/skirt/shirt etc. So I love the idea of making a dress, skirt, shirt and pants for 'good' for each season, and so far I've not done too badly with this.
Sew Many Ways
I found this blog tonight and holy moly - look at her craft room. I literally wanted to be transported into her craft room.
I Could Make That
I always love checking in and seeing what ideas are being posted here - so many gorgeous ideas!
How About Orange
This isn't about sewing neccessarily, but oh my word, you need to look at the gorgeousness that is How About Orange.
Little Pink Monster
I made Millie's sleepsuit from a tutorial on Natasha's site. She's got some great tutorials there and her posts are always fun to read! If it weren't for the Occupy Mrs Smyth movement I'd be highly tempted to make my own dressmaking form based on her tutorial.

So - link up your craft posts from the last little while! Go on!

Friday, May 11, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

The 'Accidental Reno' edition...

  • Remember last week I told you about Mr S peeling back the lino? Yes. As days went on he began to talk about 'just checking how far the damp has gone' before we call someone in to look at it. After all, it's cheaper for us to rip up the floor than pay someone else to do it. On Monday Mr S disappeared into the bathroom with a drill and some chisels. Then, one by one, the entire tool department of Mitre 10 went in there too. Then a toilet came out, then two shower screens... this is what my inside bathroom looks like now.

Who the f**k builds a bathroom floor out of particle board?

Look Ma! The floor's rotted through!

The gap appears to be larger than it really was here.

  • I'm remarkably glad that we have a second shower in our laundry, and the ManLet (ManToilet) outside as well. Otherwise Mr S would be a single man feeling the full force of my Face of Stone. FFS.
  • We like to do things Out of Order here in Family Smyth. Get married whilst pregnant, after living together for ten years etc etc. Ditto the bathroom reno. Now we have no inside bathroom we have applied for finance to get a new bathroom. I think Mr S will hopefully call a goddamn plumber in the next day or so to come and tell us what needs to be done. FFS.
  • I had a routine checkup at the Doctor yesterday for Occupy Mrs Smyth and when I went to leave I found a half empty car park and a car parked next to me like this.
    I looked around, and decided that if you could quite clearly see the baby seat in my car and still parked there, you could live with me resting my car door on yours whilst I put my wriggly toddler in the car. If I dinted your car in the process I was going to leave you a note to this effect, without my phone number or car registration. However, I couldn't even fit M through the gap with the door open, so I had to climb across the car seats with M in my arms to put her in the car seat. For. F***s. Sakes. 
  • Lucy has taken to sleeping on the beanbag or the spare bed in Millie's room. This is a lovely arrangement until Lucy wakes up, shakes herself off, jingling her bell and tag in the process and wakes Millie up as she leaves the room. FFS.
  • I wish I felt I could blog/tweet about work. But I'm smarter than that. Enough said. FFS.
  • I listened to two of the Bogan Neighbours mess about with a trailer in the parking bay near our houses for THREE hours on Tuesday. SO much swearing, and so many cars involved. There were three cars with the trailer, then one car drove off with a trailer attached. BN#2 went running down the road screaming at BN#1, then traipsed back to BNHQ swearing profusely about how it's not his effing fault if the effing trailer gets effing broken etc etc. Then BN#1 drives BACK, after BN#2 has moved two (different) cars around the driveway. BN#1&#2 proceed to argue loudly about the trailer (I think one of them didn't secure a chain very well) and then they moved two other cars and manouvered the car with trailer to put ANOTHER car on the trailer. The appear to have made up by this point because BN#2 was calling BN#1 'Bub'. I didn't want to point out to them that the car they had the trailer attached to didn't seem to have enough power - the fan belt was slipping every time they tried to move it. I was outside shifting firewood when this all happened, and it was better entertainment than the radio. But really, the swearing? FFS.
  • By moving the firewood from one end of our steep block to the other I have managed to do something awful to my neck/shoulder. FFS.
  • Panadol is the sum of the painkillers a Preggo can take. FFS.
Shiny Things Friday
I put my head torch on and cleaned up Miss Jones last weekend.

I found a secret compartment on the side, containing the original
unopened set of needles for the overlocker. Suffice to say I changed them,
as it appeared they'd never been changed...

Miss Jones does her thing BEAUTIFULLY! I'm so impressed!
I sent this pic to Mr S and he wondered if I was having a PfaffGasm. (yes)

Toast is yummy!

We spend a lot of time looking out the window.

This is Henrietta, made with love for my niece on her birthday.

The view from the ManLet. It's quite nice, actually.

7.30pm and Mrs Smyth knows HOW TO ROCK A PARTY!

Cutting out a pattern... with help.

Scissors... my precciiiooooussss....

The baby made me do it at 11am.
It was a glorious moment when craving met reality.
I'm not usually one for McDonalds, but I was instantly queasy AND hungry at all once. Pregnant ladies , you hear me right? The one where you NEED to eat, but you have NO idea what. I called my sister...
'Sally! Help! I'm going to vomit if I don't eat. What do I want?'
'Where are you? What's nearby?'
'I'm walking through the mall... I can see a McDonalds?!'
'Go and get a cheeseburger meal. GO RIGHT NOW.'

Meet our first tropical fish. They are Neon Tetras, and they're called
The Young Talent Team. I have put in an order for a big black fish...
I want to call it Beyonce.

Go and see Sarah and tell her Maggie's party will be freaking amazing no matter what she's worried about. And that I'm still waiting for her Macarons in the post... they're on their way, right?

Dear Baby G

Friday, May 4, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Straight into it... no niceties here, but I suggest you read right to the end.

  • I forgot to blog this week. Suddenly it was Thursday. I am not a professional blogger by any means. FFS.
  • Tasmania has been collectively whinging about speeding fines - there's been a discussion to make the speeding fines be administered on a sliding scale to make sure that those on a larger income really feel the sting. Cue many letters to the editor in our local paper on how 'the battlers will survive'. Here's a straightforward idea - don't speed. This is why I don't care about this sliding scale for fines. I don't speed, therefore I don't get speeding fines. Easy.  FFS.
  • After our washing machine died last week I found one at the tip shop for $30. Works, fills, drains and spins. There's two little things though - when it spins it's impossible to hold a conversation for the noise. No problems, my laundry is outside. Annnd, it appears to randomly trip our circuit board. No rhyme or reason as to why. Suffice to say we're on the lookout for another washing machine and we turn this one off at the powerpoint. We also agreed that if our laundry was inside and it made that level of noise when spinning, we'd buy a new one too. It was totally worth a go for $30 and at least we can have clean clothes. But really,  FFS.
  • Our house appears to be falling apart. When the honeymoon mortgage rate is over and our year is planned out... it falls apart. Mr S re-siliconed the shower base at 8.30pm Monday night. He came to bed at 11.30pm. When I woke up and look quizzically at him, he mumbled something about 'the bloody bathroom, I'll tell you in the morning. But there's a lot of stuff everywhere... just be careful when you go in in the night.'
    I went to the loo, saw the lino pulled back and some wet-looking flooring... with a hole in the floor. Directly where the toilet sits. I carefully used the facilities and went back to bed. I promptly dreamt that I rang our mortgage broker to enquire about how to refinance our mortgage for a new bathroom. Mr S tells me he doesn't think that's too far from the truth.  FFS.
  • I do love our house, but who the eff builds a bathroom floor from chipboard?  FFS.
  • I got stuck in a traffic jam yesterday on my way to work, my 35min journey took a bit over an hour. Most of that hour was spent driving 4.5km. Annoyingly the traffic wasn't ever at a dead stop so I couldn't even play with my phone. Instead I was dictating ideas for today's post to Siri. Bless her.  FFS.
  • We got two tonnes of wood delivered this week. It's been pouring ever since.  FFS.
  • FFS will be continued at the bottom of this post...

Shiny Things Friday
She then slammed the door in my face.

Sunrise... I love it here.

Mr S and I re-live our childhood days. MORTAL KOMBAT!

I was overtaken by a cleaning binge on Monday
and reorganised the pantry. Mr S asked me if I was sneaking into
other people's houses and taking photos of their clean pantries.

Thank you Gumtree! An overlocker! Hooray!
Best bit: $35.

Even came with a book!

Millie angles for a cuddle or the newspaper... either was fine with her.

The traffic jam on Thursday. Enjoyable...?

And oh yes... this.

(this is also the dress I made M for her birthday)

One more FFS.

  • Morning sickness that will not go away. It's been 14 weeks now. Enough already.  For F's Sakes.

Go and see Sarah and tell her how bloody awesome she is. It's true.
Dear Baby G


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