Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday evening hodge podge post

This is just a hodge podge of things I have been up to and things I am liking the look of!  Check out this gorgeous terrarium design.  Good to see they are back in the design spotlight.  I love these ones!  I spotted these on Apartment Therapy.

Now, as for the very little I have been up to, here is another very basic stamp in my series of very basic stamp making....  Can't wait to get some of the good materials and tools to really work on something interesting and more detailed!

This is a very quick game I set up for the kids in desperation this afternoon.  It is chilly and they didn't want to go outside, plus I didn't really want them outside in the chilly air when they are both a little under the weather.  So, after listening to fight after fight I decided to sit and play this very, very basic little game with them.  They loved it!  Basically, you just get a bit of newspaper, scrunch it into a ball, wrap it in sticky tape to stop it unravelling, grab a couple of straws and blow the ball towards each other on opposite sides of a table.  Many variations ensued after this initial setup, ending up in straw golf utilising a long orphaned putting practice piece (say that fast 3 times).  I think I initially saw this idea in the very handy 501 TV Free Activities for Kids (Di Hodges).  A book I snaffled off my generous sister actually (and which I was supposed to give back I think...).  You can buy this on Amazon if you don't have a sister handy to nick it off (the previous link will take you there).

These following photos are a shining example of my progress with 'letting go' and not being so anal about some things.  One of the (many) things I have been anal about is letting the kids use their art materials often.  They always have access to a certain number of art materials (I am not totally awful!) like felt pens, pencils, crayons, play doh, plasticine, sticky tape, etc. but I am not so good on the ones with real potential for mess - like paints and sometimes stamp sets (don't get me started on glitter!).  Anyway, we can all clap for me that I not only let them use the paints (in the room with a rug - outside is usual!) but I didn't even flinch when A decided his hands were just as good as the paintbrush for distributing aforementioned paint.   Only a little bit ended up on the floor and his socks soaked that up anyway!  :-)  My goodness, he is cute!

Ok, this item is just one that caught my eye for its grossness factor.  They look truly disgusting and I am sure my kids would love them!!

If you are remotely interested in knowing how to do them, you can find out here.

Now, onto pretty things.  These are just a few things I have come across lately that caught my eye.

I am totally in love with this knitted cape!  If only I could knit.....

I found this lovely art (via this delightful blog - More Ways to Waste Time) and am going to purchase it soon from Freya Art.  There are many others so it is worth popping over to her Etsy shop.  I like lots of them but this one is my favourite.  I think I will buy it as a belated anniversary present for us.  Kind of appropriate when we move around a bit.

Last, but certainly not least, this was another favourite Etsy find - The Brass Hussy.  I love their jewellery and it is so affordable!  These two just might be coming home to me shortly....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Foodie love

One of my favourite people in the whole world, the lovely Karen Anderson, has started a new blog (in addition to her cool photography one).  Check out this Chicken Laksa!  Wonderful recipes (only a couple so far but keep a close eye - she is a fabulous cook), ratings for popularity with her kids and especially gorgeous photos.  A can't miss combination!

Stress relief the crafty way

Feeling stressed, just had to make something with my hands today....

I think I might spray paint the wire a bright colour.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Jumbly Day

Well, I still haven't got to my promised tutorial but managed instead to have some quality time with a sick little boy (I am imagining in the background - 'I'm not little!' - sorry, sick 'big guy').   We made these delicious iced jumbles from Bill Granger's Everyday cookbook.  I love this cookbook.  I keep on promising myself that I am going to cook my way through it.  I have pored through it many times and this is only the second recipe I have tried but at least I have started!  I suggest you buy it and try his wonderful, simple, real recipes yourself.  Now I am going to turn off my computer and enjoy the rest of this slow drizzly day playing 'Tumbling Monkeys' and other things with my 'big guy'....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back again!

Phew, finally back on board.  I have missed you!  I have a nasty staph infection in my leg so haven't been doing much.  I did have to make a gift tag for a present my daughter needed for a birthday party last Sunday so I got inspired and made a little bunch of them.

I used a business card sized piece of card and lopped off the top corners for that classic tag shape.  They seemed a bit big for a gift tag though and I get distressed using too much of any one of my lovely papers (the few that I have!) for something that will most likely be thrown away.  So, after a couple of the large ones I cut them in half lengthways.  There is still ample room for names on the back so I prefer that now.  Just in case you haven't worked it out I only have 4 craft punches so the variety isn't exactly vast!  I quite like the 3D butterflies - it is easy to do by just gluing the body part down and bending up the wings.  I quite like the effect anyway.

For the black card I just printed out the 'to' and 'from' with lines next to them on to orange card, cut out the same shape and joined them through the hole with the ribbon.

This shows my handwritten 'to' and 'from' on one of the other tags.  I am going to make a bunch of these.  The kids go to so many birthday parties here it is good to have a supply on hand.

I have a great idea for a tutorial that I have been wanting to get to for two weeks (at least).  I hope I get to it today....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Moving on....

Well, as predicted, that was one busy week!  Nice to take a breather now.  I have come down with an annoying head cold so laying low this week is just the thing I need.

So, I haven't really done much, crafty wise but just thought I would share a couple of things.

My darling daughter came up with this decoration for our vase and then I happened to spot something almost exactly the same on Apartment Therapy.  What good taste my little girl has!

This is the only other thing I have done.  Another card.  I actually just drew the cage using one of my kid's felt pens but I think it turned out pretty cute.  I really love the saturated colours of felt pens actually (they are underutilised I think).  Not exactly how it was in my head but I like it all the same.  I have more cards needed for family member's birthdays coming up so there may be a bit of a card making glut coming up!  Maybe I should do all of them for the year (well, the half that is left) at once so they are ready and can get posted in plenty of time (instead of me posting them so they would be on time...if I was actually in Australia....).  Ah, the tribulations of being disorganised!

I just had to share this gorgeous card made by my niece.  She is a very talented young artist and you can see her talent for composition here I think.  Is that sounding like a biased Aunty comment?  Oh well, too bad, I don't care!

I have a tutorial in my mind that I hope to complete in the next few days, sick kids allowing...stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My next stamp attempt

Ok, here is my second handcarved stamp attempt.  Actually it is my third but we will just ignore the demonic looking dragonfly for now....

I am really happy with this little fellow (and the cute little gift tag).  Except for accidentally chopping off one of his little toes I think it turned out pretty well, considering the tools I am working with.

I used AuntLoLo's suggestion of an eraser pencil end (with eraser removed and squished a little to form a point) and it worked pretty well.  Nothing like I imagine the speedball lino cutter to work but satisfying for me right now in the meantime.  I am aspiring to become skilled like the wonderfully talented Geninne!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Quick ideas

I am having a very busy, busy week so this is a quick idea post.  I did both of these ideas for my previous home and I loved doing them because they gave me a great effect for very little cash and very little time.  My favourite sort of idea!

These frames are cheap unfinished ones from Ikea that I stained and varnished a dark brown (it doesn't take too long, really!).  I cut out white card the same size of the frame and then cut out three rectangles from wrapping paper in a smaller size than the white card to give the effect of a mat.  I just glued them on and popped it all back into the frame before hanging on the wall.

These are the same frames but I left the timber unfinished.  I used the same technique with red card and some of the children's art as well as a couple of full wrapping paper ones for contrast.

Hopefully I will have some more crafty fun by the end of the week!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Thank you so much, AuntLoLo, for your kind words on LoLoCraft and I am so excited to see someone's finished project from one of my tutorials!!  Go check it out everyone!

Also, thank you to One Pretty Thing for including me in your daily roundup on Friday.  I always find so many things I want to check out.  You do a great job Rachel!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Teabag Tag Tutorial (I love alliteration!)

I am on a tea related roll it seems (see my teacup pincushion from earlier).

Well, this project was inspired by the best present I ever received.  For my birthday one year my wonderful husband cut out a bunch of tiny little hearts and wrote a quality that he loved about me on each one and then put them all in a little box.  How sweet was that!  So, I have adapted this for teabag tags and I did two versions.  One with little sayings of what you love about the recipient of your gift and the other with funny/witty quotes to brighten up their day.  I love both equally so this is definitely going into my list of handmade christmas present ideas.

I have done this as a PDF for download as well.  A few more photos and prettier layout!

Step One
Remove the paper tag from your teabags.

Step Two
Use the teabag tag size for your guide.  You can print out quotes on paper to cut out and layer on pretty scrapbook paper or, as in the plain orange example, you can just cut a rectangle out to fold around the string.

Step Three
I just used a glue stick to glue it all but made sure I got a good squishy dollop on it so it would hold the string reasonably firmly.  You don't need superglue when you consider how long it will be used for!  Warning: just make sure your quotes are up the right way before you glue...and, no, I didn't actually do this but just thought it could be easy to do!

Step Four
Let dry and pop a bunch into a teacup or a pretty box for a personal and thoughtful gift!

Of course, now I have lots of other ideas for variations on this.  You could make the tag into a circle shape or a flower shape or whatever large craft punch shape you have on hand....etc...  I would love to see what anyone else comes up with so please let me know and link back!


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