Ok, so a little late with this actual post, but Merry Christmas to all!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic time and Santa brought them all they wanted!

We made a last minute decision to head down to a property at Agnes Waters (we only had 4 kids with us, so it was a little easier to just up, pack a few bags and leave!!).....SIL Mum and Stepdad's place. It poured down rain the night of the 23rd, so were at odds whether we wanted to camp out in the rain. BUT we made the trip and set up camp in the very overcast afternoon. Christmas Eve wasnt too bad...just a few drizzles....but Chrissy day was fantastic!! Very overcast, but not hot, humid and awful, like so many other Christmases I have known!

Tea that night was a lovely, big Red Jew that Pete bought from the fish markets just before we left......bloody lovely fish!!! It fed 6 kids and 10 adults (I think that the 4 dogs got a little each, too) and we were still picking from it when everyone had had a plate full! It is tradition for them not to eat red meat on Chrissy Eve, so it was a fitting meal....and very filling!!

The kids had a fantastic time opening their pressies up in camper in the morning before Christmas. As SIL's whole family were there, we thought it best to do that first then head over to the house for brekky. Brekky was VERY simple, with vegemite on toast, cereal and the usual non-cooked stuff.....no bacon and eggs and no dishes to wash up (used plastic plates!!).

About 10:30am came some nibblies as well as some more visitors! Christmas certainly IS the one time of year where I eat and eat all day and dont feel guilty!! After lunch, we all had a rest and everyone was back up by 4 or 5pm. SIL's Mum was a little under the weather the whole time, so it did her some good. I just hope she doesnt/didnt pass the flu onto anyone else!!

Heaps of video was taken over the days, but not many photos, so I can only show you guys a couple! Bubbles were the theme for the day......there is a bubble machine on top of the chest freezer, there and the kids were chasing them and having a HEAP of fun! See the sky in the background? Yep....that is what it was like ALL day!! AND windy!!

Here is SIL entertaining the kids with one of those bubble wands! They really loved the huge bubbles from it! Well....when the wind wasnt blowing them apart, anyway! She DID manage to get one or two off whole, though....so all good!
I have been appreciating nature, of late. I love my digital camera and I am taking photos whenever and wherever I can. I truly live in a beautiful part of this world and I grew up taking it for granted! Over the last couple of years (I would say about 5-7), this area has really grown.....as in new industries have cropped up, therefore lots more new people have moved here to get jobs.

I love this time of year! Not only is it hot (my favourite weather), but the days are, mostly, beautiful, crisp, clear days. I grew up in a small community (here), where there was basically NOTHING for kids to do, but go to the beach, over someone else's place or the like. Most of my friends didnt have a computer or any of the gaming machines available of the time (I was one of the lucky ones with an Atari....remember them?). We (Bro and I) had to HOUND our parents for a video machine!

Although this place has changed lots (bush area bulldozed to make room for more subdivisions, etc), there are still things that have not changed. Nature, for example, is still the same in most areas. Since we have an Aluminium plant, they have to have a 'buffer zone' between them and 'civilisation' so if any fallouts happen, we are, basically, protected. Mind you.....if one of the Lines were to blow, then we would ALL be in for it! But, that would only basically happen if someone COMPLETELY fucked up, so is highly unlikely.

Anyway....here are some photos that I have taken over the last couple of weeks....just so you know what I am talking about!

The sky one evening...loved the way the sun was playing with the clouds!

Our two resident Kookaburras. They had a baby, but s/he has now left the nest and they all alone, again. I found their nest the other day. It is visible from our back verandah and I missed all the comings and goings!!

The walk down to the beach is not far.....couple 100 metres....and this is in between!! This is what we found today! a see of green foliage, with pink lillies poking their heads up everywhere!

A flower in the greenery on the side of the path to the beach.....quite common, but fitted in with my 'theme' for today! An open Pippy........just something that caught my eye. Not something you see too often down there, either!

While the kids were swimming, today, I took these. The first is a shot to the left of where I was standing......huge sparse water in between me and the boat (the white thing in the middle) and then an island. 2nd is across the mouth of the river, directly in front of me.....mainland is that far away! hehe. 3rd is a shot of down the river towards the bridge. No, this is not the way onto this island........it is actually the main way to the next town (which is just across the bridge).
I cant BELIEVE it!! There are just 6 days to go!!! OMG!! Where HAS the time gone??? Seems I had better pull my finger out and sew like mad! There are just sooooo many things that I want to make and do.....and sooo little time! BUT, considering that I only started making things a little over 4 weeks ago, I dont think I have done too bad, myself.

I am going to make myself a list of things to do, anyway. So here it is -

Complete those door hangers - add ribbon to top, find a good stick for each and add string to that to hang.

Fix up D's cushions - the quilting is coming apart in places where I inserted the stuffing (have learnt I should make the opening on the sides...not the bottem or top), so sew them up!

Complete D's tableware - Just the backing to sew up and turn right side out, iron and top stich around the edges.

Start on J's bag - cut out, so just needs to be sewn up!

Hopefully, I get all this done, today! The babies are going to daycare and, because Monday didnt go to plan (long story, but a waste of a morning!!), I plan on sitting down with the girls at the sewing machine and teaching them, today!
Over at Crafty Mamas, I recently took part in our annual Christmas SWAP. This year was a secret santa swap. I received my package yesterday!! It came at JUST the right time! I spent most of the afternoon in town and picked up the babies from daycare a little late, so they were a little ratty. The package was JUST the right thing to settle them down a little before I had to put them in the bath and prepare tea!

I, honestly, cant thank my Secret Santa enough! She has completely spoilt me! Anyway, here are some photos:

The whole package

These are a couple of singlets and a sling for the new bub. A little felted pouch, some Pooh ribbon, zig-zag trim, lacey trim, velvet ribbon and 2 tea towels with a Chrissy tree embroidered and a little star button on top.

3 pieces of GORGEOUS fabric! Weez has already claimed the butterfly material!

A little book on quilting and a stack of fat quarters. some excellent patterns in that book!! I might just have to try my hand at it sometime soon!

AND a sling bag! It holds a HEAP of things! At the moment, it is holding all this stuff, PLUS has room for more!! I am LOVING the colour of it!!

Now that Tracey has hers, I can post a pic of what I sent her! Clockwise from left is a fabric covered lever arch folder with pens; a notebook, tablecloth (I was thinking dresses or skirts with it, but what she does with it is her own!), buttons and ribbon; a pin cushion and hand needle case to match the folder; some patches/scraps of fabric....perfect for applique; and a Cuddlepot and Cuddlepie iron on motif.

I actually meant to put in some display pockets and some dividers in the folder, but I totally forgot!! She has already indicated what she will be using it for, so I am glad that she likes it all!! This photo is actually Tracey's, because, as usual, I forgot to take a photo of it before I sent the bloody thing off!!
Well....it is the start of the holidays and we DO have Pete's kids here.....BUT......Pete is away for the next couple of days!!!!! He has taken the two older boys (Lenny and J-Man) with him and is working a whole 6-7 hours away! LMAO......not something I would normally be happy with, but, for some unknown reason (could be his bad mood on the weekend) I AM glad!!

The babies are at daycare, today, and I DID have heaps planned for the girls and I to do, today - like start teaching them how to sew (giving them an early Chrissy pressie), painting some things for Chrissy pressies and the like - but, it turns out that Pete needs me to do some work, this morning, so they are being put off......just for a little while. We are headed into town this arvo to visit a friend, so I plan on cruising through the paperwork and having it finished on time, so we CAN get some things done!

Our weekend was GREAT!! Saturday started off a little rocky, with Pete getting shirty at the kids while we went out to garage sales and the like, but all was well after a very quiet drive up to Yeppoon (quiet, because the babies were asleep in the back and the kids were in the very back of the car and we couldnt hear them, coz my car is a little noisy when going long distances - picture no air con, windows down and wind rushing through the car!). He seemed to get over himself and enjoy the afternoon.....even though he SAYS that he HATES getting together with his family. The kids had fun in the pool, although Bubba pushed the limits a little and stepped off the edge to the deep end (they were in the shallow part - more like the spa bit, but not actually separate from the main pool)......just checking that he COULDNT reach, like Mummy said, I spose!

Yesterday, we had lunch with my Dad, Bro and SIL. Bro and SIL are moving out from across the road (they have bought their own house over the other side of town), so I saved them some bother and made them some lunch, because I could not help out any other way.....something about me being pregnant and picking up heavy objects PLUS all the kids wanting to follow me over there!! After lunch, I went over to my friends' place and spent a little time with her. Her parents are up and are like parents to me, so it was great to see them, too.......the pool was just a bonus.

No crafting done on the weekend. Just a few quick and easy sewing projects on Friday night. But the social time with others (besides direct family) was excellent!!
Santa came to visit the kids last night!! Every year, the Apex club in this area (with the help of a local car dealership) dress a bloke up in a Santa suit and pack him onto the back of a trailer and he hands out lollies to the kids. He has a bell and sounds very much like the Home Ice Creamery Van, but the "Ho Ho Ho" makes the difference!

This year, he handed out lollypops, red skins and a few more lollies (all wrapped, to avoid germs, I spose). Bubba was all excited, until he pulled up! I had to pick him up, because he would not go to him by himself. Once he saw the lollies being handed out, though, Santa was his best friend!

Here they all are, waiting for him to come down the street....in their night time glamour...hehe.

And here he is!! FINALLY!!
I got in and made some things this week! So........3 things off the list of things to make/do!!

Here are two door organisers.

I might just keep this one for our room! The patterned material was my Mum's and the backing material is from an unknown source, originally....but is from my stash. The lining I got a couple of months ago at the op shop!

This will be going in one of the kids rooms - most likely the boys. This material is two sheets from the op shop and the lining is the same as the one above. Plenty more material in the sheets to make some more things out of!!

These are cushions I made for a good friend of mine. They were originally placemats with the colours going in stripes, then the design changed to this one. When I was turning them the right side out, I figured they looked better as cushions! Too long and skinny to be placemats!

After talking to my friend's kid this morning, she said that she would like something purple for her room, so her door organiser will be the print in the top photo with a purple backing on it! I am also making her a little duffle bag, so she can carry things around in, too....so I think I had better pull my finger out and do them!!

I have also decided to make those placemats for my friend, just in slightly different colours. The fabric is actually sample blocks from sofas (you know....you go into a furniture store and see what sofa you want and then choose which fabric you want from the samples?). I got them off eBay and they are great! Perfect size to do little projects with! They are just a little too easy to fray, though and, for me being just a beginner sewer, I found that a hassle and had to hold myself back from snipping the threads (which, ultimately, made things worse!).

This week has also been a pretty stressful week! Monday was the most stressful, with talks not going too well with a certain person. I then went to go into town and ran over a dog!! I managed to fix my friends' computer, though!! So ended up well.

Tuesday was pretty 'blah' with me being at home with the 3 little ones. All up a very good day with them and making SOME progress on pressies from them, but pretty 'blah'.

Wednesday, I had to go into town, again......to redo my scan. Some of the pictures from the last one didnt exactly turn out right and it didnt worry me that I had to go in there and do it again (I love seeing/hearing bub whenever I can!)......it was just that it was such a hot day!! I ran around all morning, taking Moo to her little concert at the retirement village, then my Bro to the doc. That was all good.....while I was moving!! When I stopped still, I realised just HOW hot it was!!

Yesterday was pretty cruisey, though and today looks like it is going to be, too, so a great end to the week!!
I told the girls on Crafty Mamas that I would make up a tute for these and then promptly forgot about them!! So sorry, girls, but here it is!! This is not EXACTLY how I made them, but how I learnt through sewing them!

Cloth nappies. I used towelling nappies that I found - very luckily - at an op shop. If you are using new ones, I suggest that you wash them first in hot water and, maybe, dry them in the dryer, so they pre-shrink.
Flannel material. Again, I used a plain cot sheet that I got from the op shop. And, again, if you are using a new one, I suggest that you wash it first....etc. Any other type of absorbent material will work well, too, I spose!
Cotton material. In any print that you like.

Step one.
I find that cloth nappies - especially the towelling ones - are different sizes, depending on the manufacturer, so following this step will make the burp cloth a little more uniform to the rest of them, should you have a couple from different manufacturers, like I did.

Take your nappy and fold it into three sections. Take the measurements from the middle section and this will be the measurements for your outer material. Do not unfold! You will need this for the next step!

Step two.
From these measurements, cut out a piece from your flannel material that is a little smaller each side. You may like to cut out one large piece (doubling, tripling or whatever to maximise absorbency) From my cot sheet, I managed to get 4 inners out of 1/2 the sheet (by folding it in 1/2, then 1/2, then 1/2, cutting out and then folding this piece to have 3 layers....I think! When I make another and put the photos up, I will edit if otherwise).

Step three.
Take this piece and centre it on the folded nappy. No need to be exact, here......the outer layer will cover any mistakes (as I found out). Pin and sew down each side to stabilise. You may like to do the top, too....depending on how close it actually comes to the top! Mine were a little skewed on it and were a little shorter, so I sewed the ends, too.

Step four.
Cut out your outer material, adding on a seam allowance from the measurements. Fold and press in the edges to make a hem on each side and end. Centre this over the top of your inner and sew in place. You MAY like to double stitch each end.......it is entirely up to you

Step five.
Take your ribbon and place it down the side of the outer material, measuring how much you need and adding a little to fold under each end. Pin in place and sew as close to the outer edge on each side as possible. I suggest sewing the inside of the ribbon first, because I found that, after sewing the outside, the inner material has a bad habit of popping out of the ribbon! Then again, I used a thin ribbon and centred it on the edge of the fabric, so it was BOUND to happen!

There you have it!! A very nice burp cloth and not just a plain old nappy!!

Some extra notes:
This is NOT how I made mine! But is an easier way than what I did (and what I will be following in future)!!

If you are lucky to have those premade nappies (the ones that you can find with the padding already in the middle, then 1/2 your job is already done!! Just take measurements and follow Barb's tute, here!

The placing of the outer fabric is totally up to you! You may like to place it just inside the outer edge (which is hemmed, doubled over and, therefore, harder to sew through) or have it going to the outside edge. You may also like to have a little of the towelling to each side when folded, like mine.....like I said - TOTALLY up to you!