Monday, March 30, 2009

Colour mixing and farewell Moster

Well, it has been a pretty boring week, craft wise, around here! I have been in a bit of a funk and haven't had a lot of enthusiasm for anything much - not even baking. I did manage one activity with A and E got some enjoyment out of the second half of it as well. Basically I put food colour (diluted) into 3 glasses, got out the paint palettes and an eyedropper and let A transfer the coloured water to each little indentation and then he added a different colour. I wish I had a photo of A's face when a drop of blue hit the yellow. He loved it! Then, after he finished that, we did some cotton bud painting. Always a favourite.

Apart from that, my great Aunt (we called her Moster) just passed away and I am on the other side of the planet and can't get back for the funeral. As much as I enjoy aspects of the expat way of life, these things sadden me. So, in memory of our dear beloved (and eccentric!) Moster, here is my favourite recent photo of her. She was 99 years old and would have turned 100 this November.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kid's odds and ends

Someone kindly commented the other day about some of my organising tips and kid's room ideas so I thought I would share a few. Firstly, a couple of organising tips as that is one of my very favourite things to do (seriously, it is....).

I had a large flat'ish bottomed basket that I wasn't sure what to do with and decided to store little books in it for my daughter first, and now my son is using it. I didn't like the bumpy bottom that baskets naturally have so asked my good friend, Barry, to cut a rectangular piece of thin (I think it was 3mm) MDF to fit which I painted white. It provides a smooth surface so everything sits neatly and I am sure this idea would be great for many other things also.

I love finding old enamel bowls, baking dishes etc. at flea markets, thrift shops and so on and I use them for different storage if I don't use them in the kitchen. This one is for felt pens as I find my children really prefer to use them if they are standing up in a container rather than lying down (I originally had them in a lovely multicoloured woven basket lying down). All that sifting for the right colour must be too annoying.

One day I found some very cheap packets of felt shapes sold without the accompanying cute little felt board (that so many of them come with). Rather than buy another set with the board I decided to make a basic one myself just from a length of felt and a piece of thick cardboard. This has lasted a few years now and I won't feel guilty when the time comes to get rid of it! I simply cut a cardboard rectangle big enough for our chalkboard and glued the felt around it to the reverse side. Not so neatly so don't look too closely!

I also like to use the kid's own artworks for their rooms at times and I loved this picture Miss E drew last year for A so it is cheering up his room now. I just used an economical frame from Ikea and glued the picture to a frame sized piece of red card to give the impression of a mat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recycled boxes & tortilla chips (nearly)...

I have been holding on to these little boxes for awhile now as they are too good to throw away but I haven't been able to work out what to do with them either. They came from some cutlery sets I bought the kids and I have no idea what happened to the clear lids but I decided to add a cute liner and will find some way of using my little boxes (or trays really now).
I might use one near the front door to hold my sunglasses and phone when I come home and maybe the other one might corral lip balms in my dressing room. Or I might make lids for them and use them as little gift boxes for someone. Or maybe I could design some little note cards and envelopes for a handmade gift for someone. Hmm, not sure..... I could keep going but I won't torture you! Oh, that reminds me, I am making the grand goal for myself to make all homemade gifts for everyone for Christmas this year (I was thinking birthdays too but that might be a bit too much for the first year). The goal also includes the gifts actually being very good and not looking too homemade! Will post on my progress as I go....

The only other thing I did today was totally spoil making some chocolate pudding for the kids (grrrr) and providing a testimonial on 'how not to make tortilla chips'. Those little suckers turn quickly if you aren't watching them! Sigh.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day Nine of 'Housebound with Chicken Pox Child'

Ok, first let me say that I love my children. Love, adore, would do anything for them. However, after 9 days of being at home with a quarantined child (and a grumpy other child who has a particularly social nature and likes to go out A LOT) I would really, really like to go away somewhere by myself for quite a long time.....actually it hasn't been that bad but a bit of cabin fever is definitely starting to sneak in!

So, now I can show you what I have been doing over the last couple of days to try and ease the boredom/cure the cabin fever etc.

Firstly, I have made yet more cards. My niece and nephew's birthdays are coming up and, seeing as I can't buy cards in english here, a couple of cards were in order. I could have used a gorgeous floral art card from my very talented photographer friend, Karen, however I had a specific idea in mind for my niece (SPOILER WARNING MELISSA!) and I didn't think a teenage boy would be that thrilled with a flower - no matter the beauty of the shot - so I came up with these two.

Miss E was inspired and made her own card too. I love it - I think her colour coordination is often much better than mine (see russian doll card in earlier post).

After our card making time, A was in desperate need of some crafty fun so I came up with the idea of drawing a basic outline picture on the non-sticky side of some contact adhesive and then turned it over for him to stick little crepe paper squares on. It went very well and cutting up all the crepe paper wasn't toooo time consuming (good thing is, a little goes a long way and they will last for a number of projects).

Here is the drawing....

Here it is flipped over with the crepe paper ready and waiting.... (hint: turn under a couple or all corners to stick it to the tabletop so it doesn't move about when little fingers touch the sticky part)

Here is A getting busy....

Here is Miss E's turn....

Here are the finished products! I put another layer of contact over the top of them so they can hang around for awhile.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Handmade memories

Not only do I love to make stuff, I love to see what all the wonderfully talented blog community are making also. Here is one I recently came across.

These memory hearts are so lovely from the inspiring scrumdilly-do blog. Link through for the excellent instructions.

It reminded me of some handmade ones I already have. Lynette (one of my wonderful sisters) made these years ago and I still love them. These are drawn freehand onto cards and then covered in contact (years before our laminator ownership) and they are very sturdy. I haven't shown every single one (Lynette was very industrious!) or the matching pairs but you get the idea. I might make a heart set as well just because you can't have too many memory games. Maybe I should be playing them more actually.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Back!

Well, after a rather long absence on here I am back from holidays, over the jetlag and the kids are almost back in school. Today is a wonderfully cool rainy day and I would love nothing more than curling up in a big chair with a good book or a new magazine and a hot chocolate however seeing as I don't have a nice big chair, the ingredients for a hot chocolate or a good book I am going to steal a few minutes away from the kids to post an update! They are enjoying the rain too as you can see.

I seem to mainly be finding time for card making lately so I will show my latest attempts and also a 'vintage' project from my archives. How professional that sounds!

I have become a bit obsessed with russian dolls lately so I made a card with one. My hand drawn face is a bit wonky but once I get it right I will do it on the computer and make it look a bit spiffier. I need to work out how to take nicer photos of cards. Hmmm, another excuse to spend time surfing the internet! The left butterfly one is a readymade blank card with butterfly cutouts and I just glued a scrap of wrapping paper behind the cutouts and added antennae with felt pens and glitter glue. The other butterfly one is a readymade blank card with the square cutout and I have glued a gingham square behind it and then used mounting tape to stick 4 craft punched butterflies on top. Can you tell I love symmetry??

This is a photo of a very cheap Ikea clock that I changed the face of just using a pretty scrapbooking paper. Very easy to do but, if you feel tempted to try this, take the hands off in order and lay them down to go back on in order otherwise it could be a bit confusing once they are off. Could be. Just saying.....


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