Kate’s First Top 5 – Blogs!

Thought I might occasionally start putting up a “Kate’s Top 5”!
This is the first ever! The themes will change, some might be sewing/quilting related, or some will be timber/furniture, some will no doubt be just general … stuff πŸ™‚ Let’s see where it takes me! haha

This one is going to be …

Kate’s Top 5 BLOGS!
I follow a buttload alot of blogs! I have kinda a large range of intertwined interests and there are sooooo many clever people out there! I love to read along and gather ideas. Some share some awesome quilting tutorials, some include some great discounts from their sponsors, and heaps run fantastic giveaways! πŸ˜‰

In no particular order here are my Top 5 reads!

#1 – Happy Quilting
This one’s predominately a quilting blog. Melissa is in the USA and does gorgeous work – And often shares FANTASTIC tutorials! There are always tips and tricks included. She also has a cute pattern shop and is an author!
Her book Irish Chain Quilts is on its way to me as we speak!

Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

#2 – The Kitchen’s Garden
A lovely NZ lady living and farming in midwest US … Celi is aiming for self-sufficiency, sustainable farming, and simple clean living. Knowing where your food comes from and knowing what you put in your body. I love reading her blog and look forward to it every evening {I get disappointed if it’s not landed in my inbox before I crash for the night! haha}

Celi lives with the most gorgeous big, fat pig called Sheila {I won’t say she owns Sheila, because that’s not accurate! haha} There is a large cast of adorable animals and Celi’s photography of her life there is breathtaking.

SheilaThe other cuties include cows and calves, more pigs, goats, dogs, cats {lotsa gingers!!} peafowl, chickens, brand new turkeys … Always lots of brand new animals actually πŸ™‚
Baby goatsBaby goats!!

#3 – Shanty 2 Chic
Two Texan sisters, these chicks are ROCKING!!
I love their tutes. And they have an extensive range! They share heaps of simple DIY projects from shelves and easy make-overs right up to building your own furniture.
They usually include plans as well, and helpful hints and tips! I have asked a few questions and they always take the time to answer! Here are a couple of my favourites from them, links are in the photos and underneath:

$5 Leather Strap Shelves
Kitchen Island Bench

#4 – Miss Mustard Seed {MMS}
As you might know, I work in a paint department as well as make over furniture. Both of which I LOVE!
Well, Marian is the maker of one of my favourite paint products – Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!
And I truly believe Marian and I could be kindred spirits because we both love Hemp Oil to about the same degree haha Check out these colours!!!
I like Flow Blue best I think … Last year I made over a little TV cabinet for the boy’s playroom. It’s in Luckett’s Green {green is Mstr 9’s favourite colour!} Here it is :Kids TV cabinet makeover

If you make over furniture, or just want to pump new life into an old piece you really should try the Hemp Oil πŸ™‚

#5 – Pat Sloan

Fabric and Quilt designer, Author, Podcast Host … And all round lovely lady!
Pat Sloan wears many caps and her blog and site show it! There’s heaps to see and join in on. I am taking part in a QAL – the Vacation Time QAL. All of them can be found here.
And have also joined in on one of Pat’s Challenges this year – the String Bean Challenge. Mine is Link #19 {Below} and I am sad to say it’s still in my UFO box 😦 You can find the challenges here.
IMG_6204 (2)I also first leaned of ‘Leaders and Enders” thru Pat Sloan’s Hip To Be Square Challenge! What a revelation!!! It’s like you’re making 2 quilts at once but you hardly notice … And sooooo much thread saved! Don’t forget to check out Pat’s gorgeous fabric lines!

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Well … that’s it for my first “Top 5”!
What do you think? Do you have something you’d like me to do a “Top 5” on?

Have a great Friday everyone!
KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Random Musings and a Finish!

OK, so finally here are the pictures of my beautiful quilt I have been promising!

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… and the back:
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And the quilting by Quilting by Fiona :
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Can you tell I like scrappy binding? I have decided to make an effort to do scrappy now and then instead of every time from now on. Not every time I bind haha

This quilt is my Quilt Along from the Bonnie & Camille Charm Swap organised by Ms Midge.
I am soooo excited that I won a prize during the charm along! It was donated by the fabulous Keera from LiveLoveSew! The prize is a Scrumptious by B&C Layer Cake and a pattern by Keera herself, the X’s and O’s Quilt. I can not wait to give it a go! It looks lovely in the Scrumptious prints hey! πŸ™‚
X and O quilt
It’s available to purchase HERE!

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So, I am still going on the bed stripping and re-painting. I swear I will be done and returned on the weekend!
I must. I must. I must finish so I can move onto other patiently waiting projects …

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All of this paint is now removed, it’s been sanded and the first coat is on!
… please note the safety boots. I learnt well at work – “Safety first!” πŸ˜‰
Seriously tho, I can’t stress enough that safety gear really should be used when using paint stripper.
You can’t see it, but I use safety glasses and gloves … This shizzle BURNS if you get it on ur skin!

It has to be said, the flies in our neighbourhood have quite the substance abuse problem!
They swarmed to the toxic paint stripper haha

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My house is a pigsty right now!
Mr Manic is away for work and returning this afternoon. I am hooking in to finish it before he gets home and thinks we have been burgled and ransacked! haha It’s like an obstical course πŸ™‚

It just feels so GREAT to have a purge of ‘stuff’ tho! I am even *gasp* destashing some fabric!!
I need to get rid of much more as I will never use it … but, baby steps must be taken!

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The Fault In Our Stars.

I watched this gorgeous little movie last night. Cried like a baby!
I like to watch movies cold. ie not know too much about it before I watch. I find that if I go see something that has had its trailer played over and over on tv for a month or 3 that most of the good bits are in the trailer and I am left disappointed.
This movie did not disappoint at all. Fantastic acting by relative unknowns. Laura Dern was the only one I knew. I totally recommend you see it!

Rightio, back to the spring cleaning/purging/streamlining πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Bits n Pieces …

Ugh! I started this post nearly 2 weeks ago!

Then I had TAFE and work and kids and … life got in the way.

And then on Saturday evening there was a large fire just up the road and our local internet crashed. When it was still down I reported the issue to Telstra. They said it would be rectified in 48-72 hrs. I gave them 72hrs {almost to the minute πŸ˜‰ heehee} and rang again this afternoon … Turns out everyone else’s was restored Monday. Ours was fixed after 1 1/2 hrs on the phone and a LOT of cajolling on my part :-/

Anyhow … here is what I was sayin’ :
Did anyone catch the new series with Nina Proudman Asher Keddie in it? ?
I wasn’t going to as I am still mourning Offspring. But it was a slow night and I thought what the hell … I didn’t mind it.
The only thing I didn’t really like in the pilot was the repetitive phrase “Across it” They used it 3 times in the first couple of minutes.
Not a great phrase and very noticeable. On the whole I didn’t mind it tho, and I’ll watch it again πŸ™‚
And here is where I got up to lol :
since I’ve now caught another episode, I still think it’s ok. It’s not knocking my socks off, but I guess I am still comparing it to her other work … AND they friggin said “Across it” again!!! ARGH!

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I have been so busy lately!! Big working weeks, TAFE placements and working on assessments for it at night as well as running round after the kids means Kate is one tired little chicken …
We had a ladies night at work tonight and I have not long gotten home from hosting a demo table *yawn* I work in the paint dept {which I adore!} and I demonstrated how I make my own chalk paint! Fun!!

Speaking of “Chicken”, Mr.5 has started calling me “Chicken” It’s so cute!!! He uses the cutest tone. And sometimes turns it into “My little chicken” Love his guts! He is such a little character πŸ˜€

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Mr.8 came home yesterday bursting with pride!
He set himself a goal of being awarded a “Bronze Medallion” this year. To my knowledge there’s only 2 been awarded since the school opened 4yrs ago. To get one you have to obtain 4 purple merit certificates in one month which earns you a “Principal’s Award” … 10 Principal’s awards earns you a Bronze Medallion. And he did it! With a month to spare! πŸ˜€ They told him he is the youngest to get one! He is so proud of himself and I couldn’t be prouder of him either! Love his guts!

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Anyhow, I will do a proper post over the weekend … one with pictures an’ all! πŸ˜‰

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Lessons We Learned This Week

First of all, welcome Spring!!! Yaaay! My favourite season is upon us once again πŸ˜€

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It’s still misty on my way to work at 6.15!! But it’s like this in no time :
spring morning

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So, my big boy and I learned a couple of things together this last week or so.

Lesson # 1.

Back story = I detest lying!! If you wanna know only one thing about me, know that lying is a deal breaker.
Long story, short version. He had a little stumble at school involving some of the values we are teaching and I questioned his honesty and integrity {don’t laugh, these are words I use with my boys, they’re values I regard extremely highly!}. He then lied and made it worse. He was grounded and banned from gadgets for a month. This is his all time least favourite punishment! So it works a treat as a deterrent. Usually.

Anyhow, he got upset all over again when I told Mr Manic after work. Mr Manic asked if I thought shaming him was the right thing to do.

And do you know what? I’m ok with it. I didn’t set to shame him, of course. But I’ll sleep fine with it for sure.

I think shame in your own bad actions is one of the things missing from today’s society. If you’ve done something shameful you should feel ashamed! I wouldn’t have told it to a wider audience, just like I’m not sharing the full story right here. And now, here we are 2 or 3 days down the track and apart from sulking over being grounded and not being able to use gadgets, he is none the worse for it.
Personally, I believe that if wanting to never feel shame ever again is a deterrent to doing the wrong thing next time, then freaking YAY! Happy side effect and parenting win as far as I’m concerned.
The last part of his punishment was to go to school the next morning and deliver a heartfelt apology to the person involved which he did with courage and genuine remorse. He is generally a kid who we never have issues with. This was totally out of character and I am fairly confident it won’t ever happen again.

Lesson learned = Feeling ashamed of bad actions is ok.

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Lesson #2.

My big boy has been promoted to ‘Squad’ at swimming lessons recently. Yay! He is such a lovely little swimmer! My brother was a fantastic swimmer and could should have gone all the way to the Olympics with it. If only … But that’s a loooong story for another day.

Anyhow, it’s now an earlier time slot. 9am on a Saturday morning which means we need to get up at 7.15 to get there on time.
I was lamenting this fact to Mr Manic a few days ago and didn’t think anything more of it. Until Mstr 8 started getting grumpier the closer it go to the weekend, and saying he didn’t want to swim squad. I pressed him and found out it was because “I feel bad cos you have to get up early on your day off after working hard all week just to take me to squad” OMG! My heart filled to bursting point!
He is such a gentle, soft soul, and so mature that I sometimes think I treat him like he is older than he actually is and then I get a little shock when he acts like a kid lol I love his guts so much!

Lesson learned = Kids hear everything! Even if they don’t appear to be listening, they are haha πŸ™‚

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I haven’t been doing any sewing lately 😦 Sad because I am running late with my Bee blocks!!
I lent my fold up tables to a friend for her little boy’s birthday party and haven’t picked them up yet. Kinda deliberately as I was trying to use it as fuel to get my sewing table project finished. That’s still a way off. I decided I wanted to paint and wax it instead of my old plan and that’ll take a while longer. I’ll then have to let the wax cure before giving it any hard use too … *le sigh*! I have had some very early starts this week and I am dead tired, but hopefully I’ll get it done over the weekend πŸ™‚

Oh well … I have finished my Sunny chair tho! I’ll post a few pics over the weekend. Anyhow, catch you on the flip side,

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Excitement to the MAX!!!

Look what has just arrived on my doorstep!!!

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It’s theΒ Annie Sloan Chalk Paint prize pack I won fromΒ Kartina Chambers blog {I mentioned it HERE!}

I can’t wait to get into it!!! They are sew pretty!

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I have recently upcycled a cheap TV cabinet for the boy’s new playroom {I am re-arranging and re-painting all the rooms}.

I usedΒ Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for it. It is lightly shabbied and waxed.
This is the before and after :

Kids TV cabinet makeover

I will take some better pictures of it and share in a future post.

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I recently tried my hand at making my own chalk paint and have started a little project with it :

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I am in love with the colour! It is sooooo bright and beautiful!!

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I am also going to try to make my own milk paint in the next few days!
When I have done so, and used it, I will do a special post rating the 4 in my own opinion. So stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

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Don’t forget to check out my new Manic Mumdays Facebook page!
It’s easier than ever, just click ‘like’ on the icon on the right hand side –>

Thanks! Cya next time,

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays