Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanks Cute as Buttons

Thanks Lisa from Cute as Buttons!  It was very exciting to win your blog comp and even more exciting to open the parcel ...

A custom made tee and hair slide for Little Miss Cuggles

A gorgeous bib for Baby Cuggles

Some fabric and ribbon to play with

...and a brooch for me from Jettas's Nest.
Happy days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Butterflys, Frogs, Bees and Bugs

A belated and excited 'Thank You' to the talented Giuseppe Poli for these gorgeous cards.  They arrived several weeks ago as a blog competition prize and I love them too much to use them yet.

xxx Kim

Friday, November 5, 2010

Making Fairy Wands

While the Baby Boy Cuggles slept this morning, the Toddler Cuggle and I did something fun!

We started with these Fairy Wands with stars that Great Aunty Cuggles sent up -

Then we traced around the stars onto some scrapbooking paper 

Mummy cut them out

Then we pasted the star shapes onto our wands with homemade glue and a paint brush

...and waited impatiently for them to dry!

While they were drying Mummy cleaned up all the mess and fed the baby while Toddler Cuggle had her lunch and watched a Tinkerbell movie.  : )

Making Glue

The Toddler and I did some craft this morning but I didn't have any kid-friendly glue for our project.  I remembered mum used to make a flour and water mixture and so gave it a go.  It works surprisingly well - here's how.

1) Put about a tablespoon of flour into a jug;
2) Add a little bit of hot water (from the tap) at a time and keep stirring until you have a paste;
3) Add more hot water until you have about 3/4 of a cup of glue, the consistency is similar to what you'd do for making gravy, just runny but not too watery.

I've decided that I'll be saving money and reducing environmental damage by using this glue for all our simple projects.  It works well and is truly non-toxic, so that makes us happy.  : )

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post baby creativity - girly girly quilt

I'm still here!!  Just thought I'd share a peek at what I'm working on for the big girl's new 'Big Girl Bed'.  Our little Girl Cuggle is the kind of child who insists on wearing dresses and skirts to bed over her pj's. 

Must fly, time to feed bub.  All still good here.

xxx Kim

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The 2 Hour Labour ...and Beyond

Do you think he's going to be tall??
Yep, a 2 hour labour, an incredible experience.  Our little Blue Cuggle is here, he is gorgeous, he is adored.  I thought I'd share the birth story if you'd like to hear it. 

It was very early, 2.11am when I woke up to realise my waters had broken.  I put a maternity pad on, then crept back to bed thinking I could get some more sleep.  Then, gush!  Back to the bathroom for another maternity pad.  I was just lying down again, being careful not to wake Hubby Cuggles who I knew would turn every light in the house on and start ringing people.  Hubby stirs, with one eye open he asks if I'm ok.  When I tell him he sits bolt upright but I convince him to lie down with me thinking it might be hours yet. 

A few minutes later at exactly 2.31am I get the first labour pain, 3 minutes later the next one and the next one.  They were serious contractions too, there would be no hanging around under the shower at home or pacing the floor.  Hubby springs into action.  He goes to call the hospital and the people looking after our toddler.  He then comes back to ask 'before I ring are you sure your water has broken?'.  I was incredulous.  'YES!  GO AND RING THEM NOW!!'.   I could have drop kicked him. 

Thank God the hospital is only 2 blocks away.  We arrived about 3am and went directly to the labour room.  Directly after the midwife and hubby take a nice moment to have a chat and a laugh that is.  Meanwhile I was doubled over the reception desk patiently waiting.  When we got into the labour room the midwife did an examination and I remember her saying with genuine empathy, 'Oh darlin', you're already 7cm'.  Well.  No bloody wonder I was feeling edgy about getting in there.

I then spent most of the next hour or so hoovering on the gas.  The obstetrician assured me it was distracting me though when it was time to push and I gave it up.  With some reassurance from the obstetrician and midwife and my husband allowing me to crush his hand with every push, I did actually feel confident and in control throughout the pushing phase.  It was exactly 4.31am, 2 hours after the first contraction when our little boy was born and we instantly fell in love with him.  He went straight on my chest and proved he knew his way around a nipple very quickly.  He has continued to be a good little feeder.

He is 5 weeks old now, he is very sweet and calm and is getting beautifully fat.  His big sister just loves him, she often says with a note of urgency 'I need him!'.  Which means she needs to kiss and cuddle him.  She is still adjusting but so far any wayward behaviour has not been directed at her baby brother.

I'm feeling really good in myself.  I'm lucky to have had a straight forward birth and have recovered pretty quickly.  Emotionally I've figured out that the only way to stay sane is to always be 2 steps ahead, so there aren't a lot of spare moments for luxuries like blogging/facebook/email but we are mostly keeping on top of the basics and not feeling stressed.  Life is good in the Cuggle House.  

Thank you everyone for your nice comments and for the facebook messages and well wishes.

Hope to get back here soon.  xxx Kim.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Very Special Announcement!!

Hi there friends and followers of Cuggles Creations, its Kylie here from Chasing Purple Dreams. I am honoured to have been asked to make a very special announcement here on behalf of Mummy Cuggles.

Yep, you guessed it; the littlest Cuggle is no longer in the oven!!!! A little blue Cuggle has been delivered safely into the world and all reports have him listed as perfect. Toddler Cuggles has taken on the big sister role like a duck to water and Mum and Dad are ecstatic.

There will be a little break in transmission here at Cuggles Creations as they all enjoy their Babymoon. Then we can all look forward to seeing what new Cuggles Creations this little blue bub will inspire!

Congratulations once again guys and welcome to the world little Cuggle, I can’t wait to meet you and have a cuppsy with your Mum.

Friday, August 6, 2010

While waiting to give birth....

I'm still here!  The Cuggle oven is due to ding in 7 days and I've spent the last couple of weeks offline. 

My belly, last week.
While waiting for bub to arrive, I've been sleeping when the Toddler Cuggle sleeps but also have been caught up with other things...

The Cuggle has been in undies for the last 5 days.  She's doing really well, though when visiting the Art Gallery today we discovered that the bathrooms are 2 floors down from the Kids' section.  Apparently my little Cuggle is not the first to wee on the carpet - derr!

Bunnies salvaged from a stained bib, ready to sew on some training undies.

I got the birds up on the wall last week -
Click the link above for the tutorial
Making my Mum-in-Law's Vegetable Lasagne.  I had planned on posting the recipe yesterday so I could play along with Emma's new segment of Easy Peasy Dinner Winners where you can find and share some really good family friendly and easy recipes.  But, I decided to just be pregnant instead and try another time. 

Layered and ready for the oven
Made another easy recipe, Melt and Mix Honey Cake from an old issue of Donna Hay Magazine.  Toddler Cuggle and I enjoyed some for our morning tea picnic in the back yard the other day.  Definitely another recipe which I'll have to share at some stage.  If you fancy making it in the meanwhile, check out the DH Website

Melt and Mix Honey Cake, yes the fruit got eaten too!
Finally, I spent hours on the phone to plumbing people on Tuesday because our hot water system broke on Monday night.  Thank goodness for great neighbours who let you bath your toddler at their house, shower yourself and send you home with an 'American Brownie Fudge Cake'.

Now, back to more waiting....
: ) Kim

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Creative Space: Witchy Woman Tea Cosy meets Scotsman

Remember my mad client who is married to a Scotsman?  She loved the kilt-apron and chef's hat so much she requested a matching tea cosy for him... and one with a witch on a broomstick for herself! 
What a wicked sense of humour she has. 
Oh, and speaking of, this very same witchy woman saw me yesterday morning and predicted the baby to arrive within a few days.  At 37 weeks, I'm not sure whether to question the quality of her 'eye of newt' or to finish packing my hospital bag!

Thanks again Kirsty for hosting My Creative Space.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Farewell Handmade Heaven, for now.

Today is my last day at Handmade Heaven before our newest Baby Cuggle arrives.

I don't really feel sad, the shop is a wonderful happy place where customers are relaxed and in good spirits.  If they're rushing to find a last minute gift they appreciate help and ideas.  If they're in for a play and a looky at what's new they often stay for ages, chatting and admiring all the gorgeous handmade things.

Gratuitous shot of Crayon Roll by Cuggles!Kids.

A freestyle crocheted beanie by Kylie.  I barely took mine off my head last week.

One of many gorgeous little outfits by Rachael.  She finds the best vintage fabrics!

If they're new to the shop, they gush over what an amazing find it is and when they leave, it is with the promise of coming back with their girlfriends, their husbands, their mothers,  sisters, aunties or their kids.... and they do and they become one of 'our regulars'.

Why not visit Liesa's beautiful shop or blog to see so much more.  You can make it into a good shopping expedition with sustenance just next door at di.licious.

Thank you Liesa for your friendship, your vision, your flexibility, your trust.  I always have so much fun here and today will be no different.

Big hugs and kisses,
Kim : )

Monday, July 19, 2010

At My House: Fun Stuff, Trackies, Fire and Scrubbing!

We've had a break in routine today and are staying home instead of doing our usual Monday run around. I've made Toddler Cuggles a colouring book (instructions at the end of this post) to keep her amused while I nest/clean/bake today, ....

We will crack open the cinnamon scented, glitter playdough (purchased from Kylie through Handmade Heaven) a bit later...

And because it's a bit chilly, we have the fire going and have let the dog inside to indulge in the warmth with us.


Time: 20 mins including time for answering the question - 'What are you doing Mum'? over and over.  

I googled Free Colouring Pages, chose a few images and printed them out. 

Then I covered a manilla folder (tea cup fabric that I've been saving for just such a project).  I sewed the fabric on in the same way you'd attach contact.  I also folded the raw edges over on the inside (see top picture) twice just to make it neat and ironed it before sewing on the longest stitch my machine does.


I added some ribbon through the slits where the bendy tie thing would normally go on the inside to hold the pages in place and so we can keep adding to it.    (Again, see top picture).

Must be time to get some more washing out of the machine.  Why don't you visit Lou's to see what else is happenning today.
: )

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Creative Space: My first Tutorial - Little Birds

Making these little birds is part of my whole 'nesting' thing.  As promised yesterday here's the tutorial.  These are pretty quick to put together, about 20 minutes if you do one at a time, so probably quicker if you do a few in bulk.  I've added pictures and some more detail to an already good pattern which I found here. 


1) Download the pattern, print it and cut out the 2 paper pieces.

2) Cut out your 2 fabric pieces, note one piece is on the fold.
I used medium size fabric scraps (quilting cotton).  My scraps are all shoved into bags, so I made sure I ironed the fabric well before cutting.  This made sure my pieces lined up nicely as there is a bit of shaping to be done.  Don't worry, pretty easy though.

3) Right sides together, pin the pieces together along one side. 
Start with the tail and finish where the dot is marked on the pattern.  It's a bit trickier than pinning two straight lines together but quite easy if you do this - pin one small section at a time, not worrying about the next bit ahead.  Bend the fabric over your fingers one way or the other to allow the curved edges to line up.

4) Sew along where you've just pinned. 
The pattern says to use a 1/4" seam allowance.  That's just over 0.5cm.  I used the edge of the machine foot as a guide.  Don't make it too narrow because you don't want the stuffing to bust the seam. 

5) Pin and sew the other side together in the same way as Steps 3 and 4. 

This is what it looks like now.

6) Pin the head seam.  Sew together using the same seam allowance as before - about 0.5cm. 

This is what it will look like now.  *Note that the tail end is left open.

7) You might want to clip/notch the curves now but it's not really necessary.  Turn it right side out and use a knitting needle (or something similar) to gently push out the point of it's beak and all the curves.  

8) Stuff wadding/tontine through the tail little bits at a time:  
I'm no expert but I take off pieces about as big as 1 or 2 cotton balls, fluff it up just to separate the fibres slightly and then push the first bits right to the end to fill out the beak and so on.  I use a bit of a massage technique to make sure the stuffing is firm, but not jammed in there too tightly.  If it's too tight, it will still work but will probably end up lumpy. 

Here's what it should like like now.

9) Sew the tail closed:
I'm pretty sure most softie experts would tell you to slip stitch (hand sewing - agghh!) this section however I did no such thing.  I folded the ends in about .5 to 1cm making sure the edges joined neatly, then put it under the sewing foot and sewed as close to the edge as possible.  No picture of this I'm afraid so you'll have to trust me that it works.  It won't be invisible like hand sewing but is probably stronger.

10) Admire your efforts and make yourself a lovely cup of tea for being so clever. 

Hope you found this useful and fun.  Please let me know if you have any trouble and I'll do my best to help.

Thank you Kirsty for hosting this fun game of My Creative Space.

: ) Kim

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nesting: The Woman's Way

You may remember Hubby has been nesting.  Now, at 36 weeks it's time for show and tell about how I've been preparing...

...creating some special things...

Tutorial for these little birds tomorrow!

Pictures from a 20c op shop book, in $1 op shop frames, painted white.

...enlisting help to move furniture...

(Thank you Tash)

.... scrubbing the kitchen in a mad frenzy late at night (not a good sign with 4 weeks still to go).

... and, um, falling asleep at every given ......zzzzzzzzzzz.  Huh? Time for a cuppsy tea?

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the little bird tutorial.  : ) Kim

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My (first) Creative Space: Bribery Reward and Corruption

This is my first time playing along with My Creative Space.  It seems too much fun not to join in, so today is the day!  I hope my 'creation' qualifies.... it's a bit different to my usual sewing efforts.

I recently created this Good Girl Chart to tackle some challenges with our Toddler.  It is very free form as you can see.  My first instinct was to divide the page into sections for each day, but this seemed more age appropriate to just have a big space for sticking and more sticking.  It is working wonders for us!  Every morning Toddler Cuggles gets a sticker for not having called out to Mummy and Daddy in the night; another one if she hasn't called out after we leave her room when she goes to bed; and a sticker every time she doesn't squirm or kick my very pregnant belly when changing nappies.

Before starting the chart the Toddler Cuggles and I talked about how it works and I asked her what prize she would like to have after she gets lots of stickers.  She decided on a cupcake.

After a week of collecting stickers we set off to Di..licious and the very proud Good Girl showed her sticker chart to the lovely Renee in exchange for a cupcake with a dinosaur on it.  We then went off to playgroup where she ran around showing all the kids her stickers and saying 'I not to call out Mummy and Daddy in the night!'.

Wow, what an impact.  I like to read into this that perhaps we've taught our daughter about setting goals and how good it feels to achieve something you want.  Perhaps, but then, she's 2 and a bit, maybe it is just FUN!  Either way, we're all happy.  

Thanks for the game Kirsty.  Time for a cuppsy!  : ) Kim

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Dinner that cooks itself: Donna Hay Baked Mushroom, Bacon and Spinach Risotto

I LOVE any dinner that can be thrown in the oven and forgotten about until it's time to eat.  This recipe is a favourite in our house, there is a little bit of prep on the stove and then it all goes in the oven.  Recipe following below if you want to skip over my tips. 

My tips for streamlining this dish:

1) I ask my butcher to take the rind of the bacon and roughly chop it up for me so I don't have to do that part.  (I also ring him when I'm around the corner from his shop and get him to deliver my order to my car as I go past the back door.  One less 'in and out' involving a child and a car seat!).  Gotta love good old fashioned service.

2) Make sure you use Aborio rice, may be an obvious statement if you're a seasoned cook.  I'm not the best of cooks and I did try substituting normal rice once.  It works but takes longer to cook and the result is not as nice as a proper risotto.

3) We have a big 'stove to oven' pan with a lid that I use for this recipe.  If you have one I recommend using it as there is less clean up and saves time transferring ingredients to an oven dish. 

4) I shared this recipe with a girlfriend who is a great cook.  She uses porcini mushrooms and I think she said gruyere cheese... it takes it up a notch in terms of flavour.  If I don't use these ingredients, I use a good amount of salt to season at the end.

The recipe - Donna Hay – Baked Mushroom, Bacon & Spinach Risotto

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 rashers bacon, rind removed, roughly chopped
1.5 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add garlic, mushrooms and bacon and cook for 5 minutes/ until browned.
Place in a ovenproof dish with the rice and stock, stir to combine. Cover with lid/ aluminum foil
Bake for 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and rice is al dente.
Stir through the spinach, parmesan, butter, salt and pepper.

You can also see this recipe on the DH website.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nesting: The Man's way.

Pic from Flickr - no copyright
Help!  Only 5 weeks to go until bub number 2 arrives and my husband and I are both in nesting mode.  I was sick in bed on Saturday with a cold, leaving Hubby and Toddler Cuggles to their own devices.  I'd normally be at work on a Saturday anyway, but when I got up in the afternoon... the house was sparkling!  How did  he do it with a toddler underfoot?  He won't tell me the secret and assures me there was no TV involved.  I'm sure I heard a tanty at some stage, but nothing disastrous. 

Hubby had vacuumed and mopped all the floors, polished the furniture (something I never do), tidied away all Little Miss Cuggles' toys, clothes and general kid-stuff and oh yeah, rewritten my menu plan for the week!  (I let it slide because of how the house looked, because Toddler Cuggles hadn't come and jumped on the bed or disturbed me all day and because he chose only Donna Hay recipes.  He is wonderful at times.  (So far I've resisted the temptation to blog about when he's not!).    

Will do another post about how I've been nesting soon.  For now, it must be time for a cuppsy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Making of a Master McChef

One of my favourite clients is married to a Scotsman who has recently started cooking at the age of 60. She loves a good joke and asked me to make him an apron with a kilt attached. "Hmmm" I thought, how am I going to do that?

Well, I got some tartan, worked out how to space some knife pleats...
fashioned a sporen (Ha!) and attached it all to a standard adult's apron. Here's the finished product!  Oh yes, and the matching 'Master McChef' Hat of course.

I wonder if he has snags or haggas on the barbie?

Either way, I'm off for a cuppsy tea (and a Nenish Tart). What? 
:  ) Kim

Friday, June 11, 2010

My friend Barb and her Ginger Kisses Recipe

Meet my friend Barb.  She's from the 80's I think, and not quite what she used to be.

Barb and I met at our local op shop a couple of months ago  and since then she has happily assisted with lots of lovelies like these Ginger Kisses for example.  Recipe below.
And yet, she doesn't like to oblige every time I ask for her help.  If I ask her to cream butter and sugar in the big bowl instead of the little bowl, she flings big chunks of my ingredients all up the wall and onto the floor.  At least I know her limitations... and sadly, she matches the decor of our kitchen.  One day we'll win lotto and get rid of the ugly gumnut tiles and green laminate.

Here is the recipe, I found it online ages ago and unfortunately don't know who to credit for it.  It's a goodie anyway.


125g (2oz) butter
125g (2oz) sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 egg
225g (8oz) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/3 cup milk

Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup. Beat in egg. Sift in dry ingredients, add milk and mix with a metal spoon. Place teaspoonfuls on greased trays. Bake 10 - 12 minutes at 200ÂșC.  Fill with mock cream flavoured with 1/4 teaspoon lemon essence.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence/lemon essence

1. beat butter and icing sugar to a cream

2. add vanilla/lemon essence, stir in well
3. sandwich between 2 Ginger Kisses.

Yum!!  Enjoy with a lovely cuppa tea.  : )


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