29 September, 2010

Repurposing Boy pants from a skirt


I was given this lovely skirt and told to pass it on to another
or an op-shop if it wasn't my style.

Well, I of course thought it was gorgeous, but it just didn't sit right on me, as often happens.
BUT I thought I'd much rather utilise it, with it's quality material, cute buttons and groovy design...
Which is about when it came to me, my eldest has been after me to make him some pants.
( I tend to make many more for Little Pipkin as he is the action man around here & boy does he do some clothing damage!)

So the skirt, became these!

What do you think of the buttons? I just had to remove and keep them for some yummy project down the track. 

My first step was to cut out the material in the shape of pants!
(Yes, to any 'real' sewers out there,
my method is rather slap-bang, basic)
I found another pair of pants that fit Mr Turtle comfortably and laid them out to cut around. Allowing both for a seam and lots of leg room (as there's no give in this heavy cotton material).
I cut out on the Right side of the material so that I could use the skirt's band as a leg cuff and I wanted to get it straight.
I also made the pants a little longer, thinking I could have a wide waist band and let it out later as Mr Turtle grew UP (I think the heavy material will lend itself to a bit of wear and tear!)
So I cut out a single leg and then mirrored it as the template for the other leg.


I pinned from the cuff to the crotch, on the Wrong side.

Then overlocked the legs in the same direction.

Then for a little trick my Crafty Step-Mum taught me...I turn one leg Right side out, one Wrong side out. Slide one leg inside the other - to have Right sides facing each other. Then sew the whole crotch in one go.

This makes for an even seam and no chance of holes in between the legs.
I used my overlocker and think it turned out really well!

Once the pants are turned again to Wrong side out, we can see we're nearly there!

Last bit is my easy waist band. I love using elastic because the boys find them easiest to go to the toilet in a hurry (when you're always a busy soul, this is important!)
I use thick waistband elastic, measured around said child's waist.
After pinning and sewing the waistband (on the sewing machine in straight stitch). I leave a little gap. Thread my elastic onto a large safety or nappy pin. Thread it around all of the way and then sew the elastic ends together.
Finally I sew the gap in the waistband.



Then Voila! New pants = Happy son.

23 September, 2010

Brushtail Possum's Sneaky Feed

Can you spot it up there in the tree above Little Pipkin?

My close up photo really doesn't do it's sheer cuteness, justice!

After several setbacks,
(too close approaches by my super excited boys and surprisingly loud noises - squeals of delight, again of course, by my boys) -
It made it's approach.

A free feed in the newly topped up compost bin.
Now it's been spotted, we wonder how often this has been happening?
Is this a regular stop off for many local inhabitants?
Will keep you posted!

21 September, 2010

First Mulberry Harvest

We've been watching THE mulberry tree...


Daily...Just waiting for those first ones to ripen up...



Then, Voila!

"Can we pick them today Mama?"

YES!


See those HUGE eyes?
Excited over these HUGE berries!


THE First Harvest, was devoured in only minutes.

But today took forever to arrive, it seemed to some littler folk.

And was the wait worth it?

Oh Yes!

♥ ღ ♥

17 September, 2010

Baking Day - Berry Muffins, Fruit & Nut Balls, Muesli Bars

As we were leaving town,
I needed to reduce the stores in my pantry, fridge and freezer!

So, we made lots of yummies to share with friends and neighbours.


Mulberry Muffins
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour , sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almond meal
1 banana, mashed
½ cup apple syrup
2 T olive oil
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup milk
1 cup frozen mulberries

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Separately, combine banana, syrup, oil, juice and milk.
Add wet to dry ingredients.
Stir through the berries at the end.
Pour mixture into a greased (or patty pans) muffin tray.
Bake in a moderate oven approximately 15 minutes.


Sweet nutty balls
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds
2/3 cup rolled oats
100g dried apricots, soaked in boiling water and chopped
2T honey
juice of one orange
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
some almond meal and sesame seeds for rolling

Blitz the sunflower seeds until ground in a food processor.
Add the oats, chopped apricots, honey, juice and coconut - process until the mixture comes together.
Shape into small balls, then roll in in either meal or seeds, then chill to set.


Muesli bars
100g soft, dried apricots
50g dates
50g sultanas
juice of one orange
2 eggs, beaten
75g melted butter
21/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup desicated coconut
1/3 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/2t baking powder
pinch (Himilayan rock)salt

Oven temp 180 degrees
line an (approx) tin with baking paper
Chop the dried fruit in a food processor with the orange juice, until minced.
Add eggs and butter, and pulse briefly.
Mix together the oats, coconut, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Mix all together thoroughly.
Firmly press the mixture into the tin and bake for 15-20 mins, until golden on top and firm to the touch.
Score into bars, with a knife tip. Cool in the tin

A personal note: next time I make these, I think I'll hand chop the fruit and blend everything in a bowl by hand. Not use a food processor. My boys didn't really enjoy not being able to recognise all of the ingredients they were eating.

* The last two recipes were adapted from the 'energy balls' and 'chewy apricot bars' recipes from this wonderful book: "Cooking for your Child" by Nicola Galloway


A cooking tip!
Just about all dried fruit are interchangeable.
As are nuts and seeds.
Therefore 1/2 cup of dried apricots could easily be translated as
eg: 1/4cup raisins + 1/4 cup dried figs
Also, I do the same with almond meal = flour and dessicated coconut = rolled oats.
All of these little hints will help to use what's already in your cupboard and to change recipes to suit your family!
May all your baking days be happy ones

11 September, 2010

More seed pod usage ideas

On a recent walk we found and collected some enormous seed pods.
(Moreton Bay Chestnut)

When it rained, sorry, poured down the following day,
my boys knew just what to do with them.


1. Mr Turtle used some to Collect Rainwater

2. Little Pipkin thought boats would be a great idea

That meant he got to play bare foot in the puddles, afterall!



08 September, 2010

Crocheted headband

What does Mum do in the passenger seat on a road trip?
  • Read the map
  • Organise the snacks
  • Sings the songs
  • Plays the games
  • Makes the warm drinks
  • Organises the music...
But when the kids are asleep and Dad has his earphones in, there's a little time to do something SHE wants to and enjoys
Something for herself
Something meditative
And for me, that's craft!

A great project to stop and start. No row counting necessary.
My new headband.
Verigated Alpaca wool in greens & blues, combined with a second strand of hemp twine.

Ah, love the simplicity.
These type of projects are just so, quickly, rewarding.

07 September, 2010

Palm Tree Seed Pods

What can you do with a palm seed pod?


Well, my man was feeling energetic and started beautifying our backyard.


We have several mature palm trees in our garden, so now & again some of the older leaves sag and need trimming.
They need to be sawn off, which isn't really a job for me.
But I at least held the ladder!





And you can see the beautiful gifts we received as a result of this not-so-hard work.







Immediately my boys took one each for a boat and a toy bed.


I sorted through them to find the perfect Seasonal Dinner Table Display Dish




And with the remainder?
They make great gifts.
I let my friends sort through to choose their own. One has hers across the fireplace mantle.
Mother Nature has many gifts to share.
Sometimes it's just a matter of looking from a different angle!
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