Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thought for Thursday

Joy is not in things, it is in us.
Today I watched as my Molly button pulled a pair of tights over her head, covered her eyes and wiggled her head so the legs of the tights flapped about. She let out a hearty belly laugh, which attracted the attention of her brothers who joined in the merriment. After a couple of minutes she took them off, grinned at the attention and the shenanigans started all over again. By this stage Mr Button and I had also joined in the gigglefest.

It was a simple, joyous start to a day that we knew held some challenges. This darling, little girl reminded us that we had everything we needed to make the day go well - Miss Molly, you are a joy and delight to behold!

Feeling Hoppy!

Thanks for all the lovely feedback on the blog changes. I did make the link colour slightly darker as some people were finding it a little hard to read. I'm still a bit surprised when I arrive at the blog and I find I keep walking past the computer to admire the prettiness.

A couple of posts ago I told you that I won a prize in Clare's giveaway and on Monday it arrived. I have to admit I've been playing hookey from the blog to enjoy the magazine that was part of my prize and I'm going to embark on some of the projects that were inside. Firstly I have started to put together some fabrics to make up Clare's pattern for Frances, as requested by one of the Buttons. Clare also sent a 'Pin the Lips on the Frog' game which has caused many a gleeful giggle about the Button abode. The game and my Big Boy Button are off to Prep tomorrow to liven up News time! I am imagining his classmates rolling around the carpet guffawing and making kissing noises and shall refer the teacher's thanks to you, Clare! Hard to pick a favourite part of this lovely parcel, but, I did make a little squeak when I saw the bag of buttons! I have already used some of them on hair ties, Clare and it was a really thoughtful gift.

I shall proudly post my Frances when completed. Does this count as a softie? Softie making is new territory for me and I shall boldly know how it finishes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spot the Difference

You may have noticed that our blog has had a face lift. Our friend, Rachael, from the Boutique Markets has had a little play with our photos and layout and look what she has made. Rachael paints and sews AND she is good with computers. Quite a clever chicken and what a lovely surprise to click on the blog and see the changes.

What do you think of the new look? We'd love your feedback and are grateful for the comments we've already received. I was already toying with the idea of changing to a white background but, I really like the polka dots on the side.

Tonight I cooked a family favourite and thought I would share it with you. I apologise in advance to the Master Chef devotees who read our blog. I have not obeyed any of George's advice on the correct way to cook a risotto. Never the less, this recipe always seems to work, is really easy and only involves washing up one saucepan and it tastes great. I would acknowledge the source but it has been lost over time and the best I can do is tell you that it came from a book of Toddler recipes.

Mr Button would like to be acknowledged as the food stylist and photographer for this shot. It is a latent talent which has emerged in the void left by Master Chef. I think his style is a little reminiscent of Trevor's but I applaud the moulding and stacking techniques he has employed!


1 tblspn olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 small onion

1 stick of celery

1 large tomato

2 mushrooms

1 tblspn chopped mint

1 tblspn parsley

1 cup of Arborio rice

3 cups of stock

EXTRA VEGIES TO ADD: carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, squash,corn, peas


GRATE/FINELY DICE vegetables and any extra vegetables you want to add

HEAT pan and oil

COOK diced onion and garlic

ADD vegetables and COOK for 1 minute

ADD rice and STIR to coat with pan juices

ADD stock

Bring to BOIL and SIMMER for 30 minutes

ADD more stock if risotto is too dry or rice needs to cook for longer

I like to add extra vegies and make a double serve. It is great as a side dish/warm salad but we usually sprinkle some diced chicken on top and all members of the Button family devour it with glee.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thought for Thursday

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anais Nin

I love the idea that we are always able to grow and change - it gives me great hope. I also love the idea that there are worlds in me which I am yet to discover and that, through the happy serendipity of friendship, these worlds will unfold. I have mentioned before that I have been blessed with beautiful friends. One of my dearest 'heart' friends and her darling husband came to our house today and sent Mr Button and I away to spend some grown up time together. We finished conversations, went to the movies, strolled through antique stores and looked at the things inside and finished by sitting down to lunch. It was a kind and thoughtful gift and we feel lucky to have had time together.

So, dear Lou-Lou, many, many thanks for today and for the world that was born when I met you! It is a great place to be.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Buttons

Today I took the Baby Buttons to their Paediatrician for their almost 2 yr old check up. They were 81/2 weeks premmie when they were born and weighed about 1.5kgs each. Perfectly healthy little buttons but just a tad underbaked. The doctor has checked them every couple of months to make sure that their early arrival hasn't caused them any problems and today, he has decided they are pictures of health and don't need to be reviewed for a year. So 'Hooray for us!', no more treks to the doctor and in his words, 'no more intervention'. Probably time to stop calling them babies but I'm not sure I'm ready to do that, yet!
As promised, here are some photos of them in their min nah pants and Cute as Buttons tops. The cords are as soft as butter and best of all, don't need to be ironed!! This is just one of the reasons why I love the min nahs! Before I had babies, I always left the house in make up, usually wore crisply ironed linen and cleaned my jewellery every week. These days, I am lucky to have washed my face, shop for clothes that don't require ironing and my jewellery only gets cleaned as I wash up the dishes. I do iron the small fry's clothing but can't describe my happiness when I find something that looks good even when it is not ironed. Cassie and Rachael's designs are really practical and look great. They always have lots of unique and quirky finishing touches, like the gingham frill on Molly's pants, that make them stand out from the crowd. You can visit the girls here and find out where you can snap up some Mum Friendly, Kids Clothing!

Monday, July 20, 2009

What a Weekend!

It is really pleasant to be sitting and catching my breath tonight after a big week and an even bigger weekend. After replenishing the stock last week, we packed up the whole Button bunch and headed off to Nanny Button for the weekend. My Mum lives about half way between Brisbane and Warwick and, while I braved the frosty weather for Warwick's Jumpers and Jazz Festival, the little buttons and Stu played on the farm and frolicked with the cousins.

Warwick was cold but very, very friendly and my day was all the more pleasant because I spent it in the company of the min nah Girls, Cassie and Rachael;

(come back tomorrow for a photos of the min nah creations on the Littlest Buttons)

Linda and her husband from Lilly Cottage;

My first purchase of the day was from Linda, a gorgeous d'oyley basket which I couldn't resist and gave to my sister. Linda treated me to one of her little cupcakes at the end of the day aren't they divine? It is looking very happy on my tea trolley and I just might have to pop over to Lilly Cottage and snaffle some friends for it! Linda is having a giveaway at the moment so pop over to her blog for a chance to win.

Lori was also great company throughout the day and she has stolen my 51/2 yr old button's heart with her Lemon Butter. Of course The Handmade Expo Girls are always great company and their personalities are as warm and bright as their matching min nah beanies!

After a good night's sleep at Nan's and as many quick cuddles as I could squeeze in with the various buttons, I was back in the car and headed to City Hall for Mathilda's Markets. It was such a busy day that I don't have a photo to share with you. I could only admire the beautiful wares from afar. While the packing up was underway, I did have a chance to buy an Evie Rose Petite Fleur for my Miss Molly. This is such a great idea - it is a hair accessory that can be worn four ways. They are easy to convert and come in a great range of fabric and colours. Molly's Petite Fleur is 'Kate' and she is sporting it as a clip at the moment and is quite pleased with herself.

I strongly suggest you start saving your pennies now so you can stock up on your Christmas goodies at the next Mathilda's Market on November 1. It really is an amazing chance to see the wares of great local designers and enjoy a pleasant boutique shopping experience.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Let me start by showing you a photo of Cooper. Cooper came to visit us at the markets on Sunday with Liesa and as I mentioned yesterday, was doing a grand job of modelling one of our new designs.

Now, let me refer you to Liesa's Handmade Heaven blog. It seems Cooper decided to stretch his Mum's parenting skills on Sunday and she has appealed to fellow bloggers to find the best way to handle this kind of thing. On the topic of Toddler Tantrums, sadly, I have nothing of real value to offer except to say that I do try to keep smiling and also to chuckle knowingly. I do this in the vague hope that onlookers will think I am still in control of my child and not about to burst into tears and sit in a corner rocking to and fro.

The little Buttons all have different approaches in their tantrum throwing. Paddy's have always been loud and dramatic and are a bit like a summer storm - over quickly without too much damage. Molly is showing a tendency towards hissy fits and is doing a fair impression of hair tossing and crocodile tears at which point Mr Button totally caves and she gets whatever she wanted. Will started early with the tanty throwing and would lay on his stomach and wail whilst beating his hands and legs on the ground but he seems to have developed a more sophisticated and enlightened approach of recent times. These days, if he is being taken in a direction he no longer wishes to go, he just drops to the ground like a log and refuses to move. There is usually no warning that this is about to occur until your shoulder pops out of it's socket or the shoppers behind you start falling over his prostrate body and cursing parents who can't control their children. He doesn't make a sound, just looks up at you with those magnificent blue eyes and waits for your next move. I think he'll make a great chess player because he's usually two or three moves ahead of his parents.

If you feel like a great giggle at another Dad's expense, check out this blog. We're heading out for haircuts tomorrow and I really hope our experience is different to his!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I've just finished folding and putting away the Mt Vesuvius of washing. Mr Button was running the show over the weekend as I was preparing for and absent at the Boutique Markets at Portside. He did a smashing job but he has no love for washing, sorting, folding or putting away clothes. So, this embarassingly large pile of clean washing is a result of him taking a day off. I kid you not, I wash every day - usually two loads but often three and this has accumulated since Sunday. It's a good incentive for staying on top of things, isn't it?

Now that the domestic tidbits are dealt with, let's move on with the market wrap up. It was a great day and coincided with Portside's Coffee and Chocolate event. There were oodles of people out and enjoying the beautiful, autumn day. There were lots of new stallholders and we were next to the lovely and friendly, Helen from Ruby 2 Go Go. She brightened our day and had a plethora of interesting and quirky things. One of the most eye catching sights was her laser cut scooter girl - people came down just to admire her!

I treated myself to a beautiful pair of red earrings from Hot Toffee. I also have the matching hair pin so I'm feeling quite glam. My photos don't do them justice so I am sending you over to Nicole's store so you can really see what they look like.

Our new boy designs went down a treat and so did the revamped old faithfuls. Micky from Handmadies stopped by to outfit her lads and Liesa from Handmade Heaven also came to visit with Cooper in tow. He looked quite scrumptious in his plane shirt and patiently posed for a picture. The markets had a great family atmosphere and our visitors were obviously enjoying themselves. In fact, the only drawback about the markets is the huge pile of sewing we need to get through before our busy weekend when The Handmade Expo is in Warwick and Mathilda's Markets return to City Hall.

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep in the chair and only stirred when Mr Buttons sent me off to bed. I didn't realise until this morning that I was a lucky winner in Clare's 100th post giveaway. It was a beaut surprise to start the day with and thank you, thank you, thank you, Clare! I can't wait to have a look at this new magazine.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Weekend Brunch or Munch

The House of Button is a hive of industry today. There are cars to be raced, herbs to be tended, chickens to be chased and sewing to be done before tomorrow's Boutique Markets. I'm on my designated sweatshop tea break so thought I'd share this quick and easy muffin recipe with you. We made them for breakfast this morning and there are only 2 lonely muffins left from the batch...we're declaring them winners!

Mother Hubbard Muffins

1 cup of SR Flour
1/2 cup lite sour cream
1/2 cup milk
handful of chopped dates soaked in boiling water (or any other fruit you can find about the place)
handful of breakfast cereal (whatever is left in the bottom of the box..All Bran flakes in our case)
3 tblspns of sugar

PREHEAT oven to 180C
COMBINE all ingredients in a bowl with a metal spoon
FILL mini muffin tins 2/3 full with mixture
BAKE in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown
DUST with vanilla icing sugar and serve warm

Hope they are a hit in your house!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thought for Thursday

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.
John B. Priestly

If this is the yardstick for a great holiday, than this school holiday has been one of my top 5. I love that holiday feeling of staying in your pyjamas until you absolutely must get out of them...not keeping track of the time and saying 'yes' to all manner of things just because you can.

Tonight, we have just arrived home from a mid week Dinner Over at Nan's house. What is a Dinner Over you ask? A very clever term my 51/2 year old button uses to descibe going somewhere for a play, staying for dinner, having a bath and then going home in the car in your pyjamas. Apparently it is only a Dinner Over if you have the bath and go home in pyjamas - otherwise it is just a playdate! Somewhere on our 11/2hr drive home, the 3 Little Buttons fell asleep, happy and content. It was a lovely day and one of the great things you can do when there are no school bells to answer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Small Miracles, M'dear

When I started teaching, there was a much experienced, extremely talented and highly revered teacher on staff who was a cross between the Queen and your favourite aunt. She always wore stockings, had her hair set weekly and could find the beauty and intelligence in every student who entered her room. If you asked how her day had been, she would reply, "Achieved small miracles, m'dear, small miracles." My very dear friend and I were quite taken with this expression and it has slipped into our vernacular. If ever I hear that she has been achieving small miracles, I know it is my duty to make a cup of tea and take the emergency Christmas cake out of the freezer ready to sustain her when she arrives. It goes without saying that she would do the very same thing for me.

Yesterday was certainly a day for the Christmas cake to defrost. I really achieved small miracles. I needed to move my creative space/sewing paraphenalia from the corner of our bedroom. To do that, I cleaned, tidied, rearranged and reorganised no less than 3 bedrooms, our lounge room and the PLAYROOM. Please remember, this room is home to the accumulated toys of 3 small children and I did this while they were helping me! I am generally a fairly organised person and try to keep a handle on the domestic scene, but, by jingoes, what a day. It was all worth it. The 51/2 year old button loves his rejigged bedroom and feels like he has a space to play with all his non toddler friendly lego, Mr Button can retire at night without feeling the need to consult the sewing schedule and the lounge room has had a revamp and now includes a small play nook for the small fry.

The Playroom is a triumph. I am happy to report that all 43 of our puzzles are completed and have no missing pieces. After a little bit of creative rearranging, I have taken over a third of the room and have used the Cute as Buttons screen to tidy away the sewing corner when it is not in use. I would love to do some daytime sewing so I am hoping the twins will play with their things and I can play with my things! I do hope none of you were hurt as you fell off your chair laughing at that last comment.
My new roomates seem surprised to see me!

It is not finished yet...needs painting and some pretty things on my wall. I am also going to put a table and chairs in the centre of the rug like the cute one at Beach Vintage...her creative space is gorgeous. Mine is on the way! It was a pleasure to sit and sew tonight!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thought for Thursday (I know - it's Friday!)

Chains do not hold us together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
Simone Signoret

One of the things I love about school holidays is the opportunity to catch up with old friends and family members. As children, a train trip to the city and lunch in a cafe was part of every school holiday. It was a chance to catch up with my Nin and a myriad of cousins and aunts. My Mum comes from a family of seven girls so people watching one of these assembled gatherings probably thought we belonged to some sort of polygamous sect! I am eternally grateful to my Mum, Nin and aunts for making this outing a priority in their lives. At times, it would have been a big financial and physical effort but oh, the beautiful, beautiful rewards we have reaped as a result of their efforts.

As my darling buttons now take up these threads and I help them find their place in my big and beautiful family, I am glad I have this legacy to share with them. Although we don't gather as frequently as we did, we still gather and I love watching my cousins' adult children play with my babies. There are so many wise and wonderful human beings in this collection of people and we are blessed to be sewn together with them. Thanks, Nin - the most talented seamstress of all!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Straight to the Precious Things Cupboard

Howdy, Strangers. I've been absent a bit this week due to school holiday merriment. We've been up to our armpits in playdough, duplo and little people (of the Fisher Price variety). In my spare time I've also had a bit of catch up sewing to get on with so I've had to spell the blog for a few days.

Thanks for your enquiries regarding Mr Button's recovery. Both families are well and enjoying the Autumn weather. Your kind words have been appreciated. We've also appreciated some super posts by our blogging friends who've made us feel loved and honoured. Thanks to Rachael from Boutique Markets, Micky from Handmadies and Liesa from Handmade Heaven. Pop over and see what these lovely ladies have to say. It is gratifying to know that you like what we do.

Tonight's title is a very bad take on a classic line from the iconic film, The Castle. In the Kerrigan's home, anything of note went straight to the poolroom. We Buttons do not have a poolroom, but, we do have a Precious Things Cupboard. Said cupboard is a silky oak sideboard on which reside a number of beautiful things which are precious for all sorts of reasons. The oil lamp my Dad used to do his homework by, figurines given to us to celebrate our babies' births and candles in bowls I've found in odd places and lots of other treasures. It often is home to a beautiful drawing, a playdough sculpture or an intricate lego construction. We have a very fluid definition of precious and at the moment, it is also the home of my new cordless mouse!
Now, I am sure that the wonder of a cordless mouse is not a new thing for many of you but it is a thing of wonder and rare beauty to me. I cannot believe how much easier this natty little gadget has made my life. It would seem I have made a reasonable amount of fuss about this new addition to our home, as during a quick tidy up, my 51/2 year old button decided the most fitting place for this little critter was right on top of the Precious Things Cupboard. Looks right at home, doesn't he?