Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Barbie stuff

So my brain has been a little preoccupied with Barbie dolls lately. How very frustrating when I am trying to get ideas on how to finish the stitching project that I started after the moustache's. It would seem that I am having a break from my projects at the moment because the kids are on school holidays.

Anyway, as you can see from the above photo, I made a home for the Barbie's to live in. Actually, it's more of a room. I bought a box for storing glassware in from the hardware shop to use for this. It is two layers of box instead of one and I thought it would stand up better to the wear and tear the kids would throw at it. It's covered in wood grain contact to make it pretty and give it even more strength. I also put some of that on the 'floor'. I found Barbie contact at Target the other week which they were clearing at 56 cents a roll so I bought a few. That's where the stickers are from. And I used scraps of photo mat board for the walls to make them nice (except for the joins... gotta think up a way to hide that).

See that thing Barbie is sitting on? Couch. Hmm... yep had to have a go at making one didn't I. Silly, silly me. Trying to make small furniture when children are around asking if its finished and trying to make it something special when it didn't need to be... Let's just say I spent a very frustrating afternoon on it!

It started like this. Scrap photo mat board again. And a dodgy hot glue gun.

Before I glued the back on, I stuffed the box section with scrunched up newspaper to stop it from getting squashed should somebody stand on it.

I covered it with a couple of layers of an old polar fleece baby blanket to give it a little padding and then tried my best to get the fabric on. The fabric is actually a tea towel I found in my fabric stash. It's all hot glued. Blerk. I had so much glue stuck on my fingers when I finished this! This is what I was thinking about doing when I started out. I made the cushions the same way. As you can see, I didn't really follow the picture at all. Except for the cushions, of course. Note to self: If you are going to make small furniture for your children to play with again, either go with the simple recycling boxes and containers idea or make it at night after all the kids are ASLEEP!

When I googled furniture for Barbie, I also found this. I might study this a bit more and see if inspiration hits. I should probably add at this time that all three kids ended up playing with other things after I made the stuff for them. I am glad we haven't spent any extra money on the Barbie's just yet. Probably those Barbie's just need more stuff to cosy up the room to get the kids interested.  You know like a bit more furniture, some pictures for the walls - that sort of thing!

After the kids crafting...

This was yesterday. That says it all really. Happy Wednesday.

Frosty day

Monday morning was frosty. It was minus 3 degrees Celsius. That's pretty cold people! Can you tell we don't get it this cold here very often? Something I love to do when we manage a frost is to rug up and go out to take random photos. Especially using the macro and super macro settings on my camera. I pretend to know something and sometimes my photos turn out cool. (Pardon that pun!)

I love to take photos of spider webs.

Flowers are good posers too.

Did I mention spider webs? I uploaded about 13 spider web photos to flickr and thought it might be a bit much to put them all on here. I was tempted though.

Our car window. I love the frosty patterns.

It was very wintery here yesterday again. I hope today will be more inviting to go outside. Then I will be able to kick the kids out to play for a while. (HOORAY!) Yesterday they did a whole lot of making and managed to cover the whole floor with stuff. I like them to be making things but when there is not a clear path through the house... that's a bit much! I have pretty much given up on having a tidy house for the school holidays. The three girls together are like the Tassie Devil on the cartoons!

Monday, June 28, 2010

More paper shoes

The three girls decided they wanted to have their own paper shoes like I made for their Aunty's birthday. It was a bit hard for Esther and Ellamay to work out how to fold the paper so I ended up doing it all for them. I made 3 paper shoes in different colours. We got out some stickers and they decorated them. Amelia really wanted her photo taken with her shoe. Okay Amelia, but I will have to put it on the blog now :-)

She also really liked that it fit on her foot. She spent some time carefully walking around the house on tip toes just so she could wear it. Esther and Ellamay really wanted to make bigger ones so they could wear them too. Our girls do like shoes! I might have to make some of these for more school holiday fun.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Teacup bickies

Have you ever made teacup bickies for a party? It is cute and easy food. They were very popular at Esther and Ellamay's party.

There will be other recipes and instructions for these on the internet somewhere and I certainly did not come up with this idea myself.

You need:
Arnott's Tic Toc biscuits
Life savers (cut into halves)
Chocolate freckles (or chocolate buds)
Icing sugar

Just mix up a paste of icing sugar and water (or use leftover icing from something else) and use it to glue it all together like in the picture. Easy. They look impressive and aren't hard to make. Great for a party.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Birthday girls

If you have been reading this month, you would already know that it was Esther and Ellamay's birthday's at the start of June. And you would already know that I am trying to catch up on the Crisis here. So, better late than never, here are some birthday pictures.

Esther opening her first present of the morning.

Ellamay with her new princess basket. I think that is an impressed face, don't you?

They didn't spend the day in their pj's - this is at dinner time with their birthday cupcakes.

I have visions of making glorious cakes for their birthday's each year, but time is never on my side. Probably by the time I have the time to make cakes as glorious as I want to, it will be very uncool.

Ellamay was quite sick during the whole week of her birthday which is why everything was delayed. I am happy to say that after that week she improved and is nice and healthy again.

The drawing sets and baskets were very successful and have been getting a lot of use. I found another basket at the Reject Shop in their clearance bins marked down to $1 so I will be saving that one up to remake too. I will have to keep the drawing sets in mind for other kids birthday's too. Their friends at school really liked them. 

Easy decorated book for kids

We had a last minute birthday party for Esther and Ellamay this week. It was really just a play and party food. Anyway, I was trying to come up with something for them to do to keep them entertained at the last minute. Having decided only two days before hand I didn't really have much time to do anything really amazing.

I have a pile of exercise books in the cupboard that I buy up on in January at back to school sale time. I got five books for 5 cents! Can't go wrong there. I covered the books in some plain white paper the night before. I gave the kids some of my special scrapbook stickers, bling, flowers and paper cutouts. I also gave them some permanent markers which they love to use but only get to use at special times.

It was a big hit! The five little girls loved making their own special books. When they had finished decorating them, I gave them all a plastic cover to put over their special books. I got the plastic exercise covers in a packet of five from Big W. Their books looked really special then. They were so excited about them. What a relief! I never really know if kids are going to like what I have in mind.

One of the little girls decided she really needed a pen holder in her book. Using a piece of felt and elastic we made a band that stretched around the cover. I just cut some slits for the elastic to slide through and a bigger slit for the pen. Not sure how long they will last but the little girl was really impressed. She said I was really good at making things. Which, of course, made me feel like a pretty clever person. The photo above is Amelia's book. I didn't manage to get photo's of the others because the older girls have been busy using them.

A very successful crafting time really. We will be doing this again. I bought a lot of those books so we will be set for a long time!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rainy today

It's been raining all day today. I do love it when it rains. We haven't had enough of it here for such a long time so when it rains all day it feels like a big deal. All I really wanted to do today was curl up on the couch under a quilt and do some stitching. Of course, Amelia wouldn't let me do that and I was supposed to be doing things. Not that I got very far with all that.

In other news, Waylon the cat sat on her cozy pillow on the front verandah.

The firewood got wet.

And the puddles got bigger and bigger.

It was Esther and Ellamay's last day of term today. I had to pick them up early and since then, they have been eating their afternoon tea and complaining about being bored. I hope things improve for the next two weeks while they are home. I have got some kids crafting coming up, which I will post some time. I hope I will be able to catch up a bit with the Crisis. I have been sick and am finding it hard to get my energy levels back. 

Amelia has come down with another cough so hopefully we can get her onto some different antibiotics soon. Can't come soon enough for my liking. And we will have to get back to nebuliser pump treatment too. Amelia has had maybe a month off from this treatment which has been a nice break. Back to reality now though.

More later...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stamps from erasers

I know lots of people are making eraser stamps out there and now I am one of them. It is so easy, you should really have a go. Erasers are so cheap too.

These ones came from the Reject Shop and I got 8 or 10 in the packet for about $1.50. I just used a craft blade to carve them. A bit tricky but it did the job.

I made this bird stamp a while ago. It was my first attempt. I love it. It makes me want to get back to scrapbooking again. It's been quite a while since I've done any. I have piles of stuff to do it... just got interested in other things. A whole lot of mid-craft going on there too. :-)

After stitching the moustache hoops for my sister's birthday I decided to use the same pattern to make some moustache stamps. I mean, who doesn't need a couple of stamps that look like moustache's?

The second moustache didn't turn out as cool as the first one. Never mind. Still looks funny. Perhaps I could draw on a tail, a nose and some ears and it could be a funny looking dog. (?) I can see it.

What better place to use the moustache stamp than on the presents for my sisters birthday, including the moustache hoops. I had to use some Christmas paper because I didn't have any other wrapping paper. So I just used the white side and stamped it. We were really late to the family lunch that day so each gift only got one stamp each. Otherwise, they would have been covered in moustache's.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Paper dress garland

I made this for Esther and Ellamay's bedroom wall. I was hoping to make a longer one and add a detachable birthday sign too, but I got sick and the kids were sick so this is as big as it got. Sorry about the average photos. We are in winter here and the light is pretty dull during the day. I used this great tutorial for the cupcake toppers like I used for the girls birthday baskets.

I have started working on a new stitching project but I am not really happy with the way it is going so far so it might be one of those for the mid-craft pile. I am really inspired to do some stitching after the moustache's turned out so well. I have also nearly finished a new cardboard box kitchen for the kids to play with. I am hoping it will be all done in time for the school holidays which start at the end of next week. I will have to make some new felt food I think too just to sweeten the deal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gardener Amelia

While on Flickr recently, I saw a great idea of using an egg carton to make a little garden with carrots and flowers (Find the blog post here). I thought this would be a fun thing to do with Amelia while the kids were at school some time.

We made our version of it today. It took a few sessions but it was fun and distracted both of us for the day. Above is the wheel barrow made from a printer cartridge box, empty ribbon spool and lots of straws and sticky tape. And of course there is the gardener. I used a photo of Amelia's face and cut it out and drew a body (I am no artist). I covered it in clear book contact (self adhesive cover) and cut it out. I made a stand for it using just a strip of paper with a couple of slits in it. Perfect.

The flowers are made from paper cupcake liners with a straw sticky taped on. There is a box for a chicken house.

Amelia loved this little bucket I made from part of an egg carton and a pipe cleaner. The yellow chicken feed is just some tissue paper cut into tiny pieces (because I am silly and now have to vacuum my floor).

I drew some pesky chickens, that liked to scratch in the garden. I made them in the same way as I made Gardener Amelia. Covered in the clear contact. It gives them strength so they can be played with and makes the pen drawings not rub or run. As I said, not really an artist. We made trees too. Amelia liked helping with that one because she is quite good at screwing up paper :-)

And here is Amelia, cleaning out the chicken house. We also made a water tank which was a small box on a stand made from straws.

When Esther and Ellamay got home from school they wanted to know where Gardener Esther and Gardener Ellamay were. So guess what I should be doing right now? Yep, making some. This craft was great because it continued to be fun all day. Amelia played with it for ages. I had to do a lot of the making for it with Amelia because she is only little but older kids would have fun with it too.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Look who's come to stay

Barbie. Well, Barbie's actually. Esther and Ellamay got one each for their birthday. They are pretty excited about that. Now I am hearing about how they need all these clothes and accessories. I declared just the other day that I would not be making any clothes for them because I thought they would be too small and fiddly and then I saw how much they cost. We shall see.

It seems these Barbie's are going to have to learn some decency at least. They are already so comfortable they seem to be always in the nude! Have to do something about that. Don't be surprised if you see a few Barbie type things going on here in the near future. Just warning you.

At the moment, they are unnamed so I will have to suggest the girls come up with suitable names. And don't you love that "play with" look their hair is sporting already?

Monday, June 14, 2010


I don't understand the fascination with the moustache. For some reason though, they are everywhere on the internet. I wonder who started it? Anyway, I have to admit, they do amuse me. It's kinda strange that people make so many different things with them. I see them and I think, "No, I don't think a cushion shaped like a moustache would suit my house's style but funny that somebody made it." Or, "No, my jewellery collection does not need a ring with a moustache on it but I wonder what occasion one would wear that?" And so here I am, just finished a stitching project full of moustache's. And I have smiled the whole way through.

 My arty sister just had a birthday and since she is amused by moustache's I wanted to make something funny to go with the canvas' I had bought for her present. I saw this pattern on One Pretty Thing and knew I would have to have a go at stitching it.

(100 mm - 4 inches)

After a great suggestion from Kelly, my sister-in-law, I turned this small hoop (above) into a brooch. As a brooch, it is so big and ridiculous - I love it!

(150 mm - 6 inches)

(200 mm - 8 inches)

We gave my sister her presents on Sunday and she wore the moustache brooch for the afternoon while we were there. Hopefully, they bring a few smiles. And hopefully she can get some mileage out of the silliness of them. To me that is what they are all about. The reaction of people "Oh my! You have moustache's hanging in your house!"

I use to think that embroidery was all about flowers, old houses and cute animals but I have come across so many different ideas about stitching since I have been looking at crafty stuff on the internet. I have been scribbling up ideas for some more projects that I would like to attempt. And hanging things in embroidery hoops is a cheap way of framing a project too.

We are slowly getting our groove back here. Last week was a tough week. Ellamay was sick most of the week, Esther was at the start and I was under the weather all week too. I hope to get some more posts done in the next few days. I have more birthday posts to catch up on and a couple of other projects to show as well. School holidays start at the end of next week. I will have to hurry up and finish up my current projects because it will be all kids crafts once those holidays hit.

Have a moustachio kind of day :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Project 52 - 21st date - A home

I think technically it was my turn to come up with a date this week but I have been feeling lousy with a cold so Tim took on the job. I would like to just take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Tim for being such a huge darling and helping me out so much for the past week while the kids and I have been sick.

This week we continued on the theme from last week's date on house talk. We wrote a wish list of things we wanted to have in a new home. We want it to be a home though and not a dream. We tried to be reasonable and only included things we thought were achievable.

It was good to sit down and write out what is important to us in any future house. We have talked about it so much but never actually committed to paper things that we wanted. We both knew that we wanted a bigger and better kitchen but had not really spoken about the appliances. We are both interested in building a home that is friendly to the environment and our finances. Things like a grey water system for the garden and it needs to be solar passive. The garden is important but it needs to be low maintenance where possible. We would really like a useful outdoor area with BBQ and seating on a deck. And with 3 girls, a second bathroom is going to be important. That is just a few things.

Next date, hopefully I will be feeling better and can come up with something. It must be nearly time for another photo booth date like we did here and here.

Visit Simply Modern Mom for more date nights.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paper shoe

In our extended family, we have five birthday's in June and four birthday's in July. Esther and Ellamay's birthday makes up two of the June birthdays but all the other birthday's are for the grown ups. Now I don't know what everyone else in the world does for birthdays but it can be a pain to work out what people want. Especially when they can generally just go out and buy what they want themselves. So we usually just give cash.

Occasionally, I decide that the cash should be presented in some very cool way. The other night, I made this paper shoe for my brother-in-law's wife. (Hi). I just rolled up the cash and tied it with some pretty ribbon. I ended up enlarging the original slightly, just because it seemed too small. Go here to find the templates and pictures. I am sorry to tell you that it started life as a witches shoe... It's so much prettier here. And I had no idea that witches got around in peep-toe shoes anyway!

I thought I would just add a couple of links to some great templates for boxes that can be used for party favours or making you look clever when you are giving cash as a birthday present ;-) I haven't tried the cupcake one yet but the other site is fantastic and I have used a few of them. I use them for treats on the Christmas lunch table.

Cupcake box template here
Lots of different box and card templates here

In other news, it is Esther and Ellamay's birthday this week and I have sick girls. I hope they are better soon. Ellamay is worst, poor little thing. She keeps saying that this is "the worst day in my whole life". She is asleep on the couch at the moment. It would be nice if she woke up feeling a little better. If not, perhaps we will postpone their birthday for a couple of days.