Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kids Treasured Art Gallery

The boys constantly bring home hoardes of artwork from kindy to add to the huge amount of drawing that they do at home.  I constantly run out of room on the fridge!  They have a box each that I store it all in and have been meaning for a long time to get a rotating system going of displaying their newest artwork each week.

So in avoiding my housework today, I quickly put a couple of strings up in their room using 3M hooks, and pegged up their latest designs. 

Each week I will put up their new artwork and store the old stuff in their boxes.  When the boxes are full I have no idea what I will do with it all!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Circle Top

I saw this on Pinterest and it looked so simple, so I had to do it!  I used one metre of knit fabric, which set me back $14, and it took about half an hour.  Its my new favourite!

Here is the original picture from Pinterest and a link through to the tutorial here.

 And here is the one I made:

  I like.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ruffle Bum Pants - Take One

So these were my first attempt at Ruffle Bum pants for The Girl, made out of an old Tshirt and a vintage pillow case.  While they are OK, I am not entirely happy with them, but know exactly what I need to do to perfect them.  Slightly different placement of the ruffles, bigger width of the ruffle strip and a slightly longer pant from the top of the leg to the waist to fit the bigger ruffles in.  So watch this space for take two, and a step by step how to!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cloud Dough

I found a bag of expired flour in my pantry today.  It was hiding deep in the dark recess of my pantry.  I hate wasting food, so its been put aside for the kids crafts.  I made them a batch of Cloud Dough this arvo, and its such a great sensory experience for them.  And smells devine as I used lavender scented baby oil ..... wonder if they'll go to sleep after this?.....

Hindsight tells me I should of put it outside in the waterplay table, but won't take long to vacumn up and its making my house smell yummy!

Its so silky smooth, I can't keep my hands out of it, but both boys have kicked me out of their trays ... might have to make my own!

And if you want to make your own its so simple.  7 cups of any flour and 1 cup of baby oil or vegetable oil.  Mix together with your hands till it clumps together when squeezed.  You can also add glitter, essential oils or food colours.  Have fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cosmonaut's to the Rescue

These friendly little things are off to Christchurch to help out a friend of a friend.   I made these while I was away at the beach, over a few days where we had rain and were stuck inside. 

You can pop over to Our Creative Spaces to see more creative work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cake Smash Photos

I said I would post some!  Thanks so much to Karen from K C Photography for the amazing photos.  Check out her Facebook page here.  She has huge talent and really captured the moment with all the babies involved.  If you live in the Hamilton area I definately recommend you check her out! 

She has posted a series of photos from the day on her Facebook page, but has allowed me to sneak a few up here as well.  Too cute!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

52 Reasons Why I Love You

Why reserve gifts of love just for Valentines Day?  I was away over Valentines this year, and although I received the most beautiful gift of roses I have ever had, my poor hubby just received a Happy Valentines text.  So I made this and left it on his pillow for him to find when he had finished work last night.  He loved it. 

This little project has featured on so many blogs its not funny, so if you google 52 Reasons Why I Love You, you will come across a ton of sites offering tutorials.  I originally found it on Pinterest.

Don't save it for Valentines.  Make your hubby one today, he'll love it - a spontaneous gift of love will make his week.

Op Shopping - Books

I popped into our local Habitat for Humanity store after picking up the kids from kindy today and picked myself up a stash of books for $5.  I brought some new book shelves the other week as the boys have run out of room in theirs.  Now I have the fun of filling the new ones up.

Pretty much most of the books my children own are pre-loved.  I love the thought that they have brought other children lots of pleasure, and now its my children's turn with them.  Books are meant to be loved, handled and softened from plenty of reading.  I can certainly say that about our collection!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Focus on Family Time

Over the last month or so I have really focused on my family time with the children.  I follow a lovely blog called Make It Give It - Let It Shine.  Miriam has been focusing this year on making a more focused effort to spend more quality time with her children, and its inspired me to do the same with mine.  I so easily get caught up in the everyday rush of life - three children under 4, running a house, running a business, faith, being a wife, finding some time to craft and just be me.  More often than I care to think I put the play needs of my children to the bottom of the pile.  Miriam's blog has inspired me to change this, and to rearrange my priorities when it comes to quality time with my children. 

So I am making an effort to focus alot more on quality time with the children.  Dropping the housework when the children want me to come and look at something, finding fun free activities we can do as a family, listening to their needs more and just stopping and cuddling and spending time together.  And I have noticed a major change in Danger Mouse - he has, over the past few weeks, started telling me he loves me, kissing me, and there is a lot less frustration from him.

Its not that I didn't spend lots of quality time with them before, because I did, but I did it when it suited me.  And some days, it never suited....  I found myself frequently telling them "Not right now, Mummy is busy", "In a minute, Mummy just needs to finish this first" - and I hated it.  I think it causes alot of frustration in small children who don't understand the concept of a minute (which often stretches to 20 ..), who easily get distracted so as a parent you miss the moment, and who can easily feel pushed aside when its said to them ALOT!.  Now I have changed this focus, and answer to their needs more when it suits them, and the changes have been awesome.  They still have to wait every now and then, especially when it really doesn't suit - cooking dinner, nasty nappy changes - some things just can't wait!

I can't wait to spend more fun times with my children ... so what if the house is a tip, right?

Some of the activities we have done have been:

A colour treasure hunt.  I printed off some colours on cards and took them down to the Hamilton Gardens.  They were each given a colour and had to find something in the gardens that matched the colour on the card.  This was more to help Danger Mouse learn his colours.  He did fantastically, but both boys had trouble matching their blue colours.

We went on a nature trail around the lake in Cambridge.  We collected leaves, pinecones, sticks and all sorts of random things with different textures.  We talked about trees and how they drop their leaves, how they grow, the ducks in the lake, fish in the lake and what a pinecone is. 

We've had plenty of water fun at the beach, and also lots of waterplay with our new waterplay table.

Family trips to the miniature trains

And there have been countless bike rides, trips to discover new parks around town, lots of car play on the floor, book reading, trampoline bouncing, paddling pool play and way more than I can mention. 

My children are gifts, and I am glad I have rediscovered the joy of parenting everyday, and not just when it suits me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Little Superheros

I have three Superheros in my life.  Two are small, imaginative, boisterous, outgoing and gorgeous superheros.  One is a big, strong, handsome and protective superhero.  The big one doesn't need a cape (or want one, more to the point ...), but the two little ones are really into imaginative play, so do!

This was a project I completed while away at the bach.  Yes, I took my sewing machine to the beach on holiday with me.  It really enjoyed the change of scenery and the sea air....  I vaguely followed this tutorial here.  

 Very happy wee superheros.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cake Smash Cake

The Girl is taking part in a cake smash photo shoot today with her other 1 year old friends to celebrate their 1st birthdays together.  I wish I knew about these when I had the boys!

Here is a sneak at the cake I just iced for her to smash.  I wasn't too concerned about how pretty it looks, as it will get destroyed the minute it is in front of her, but I hope it looks appealing enough to squash her hands into and smear everywhere!

I will post a few pictures of the photos up here once I have them.  Excited much?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hooty Earrings

I made my children too busy.  They didn't want mummy playing with their masking tape city, so I had to off and find myself something else to do.  So I made these.  Cute huh!  I am not a jewellery maker, have no skills whatsoever so I just winged it until I got them secure (can't you tell).  I love them.  Found the owls in Just Bead It and couldn't resist (I say that alot don't I haha).

While making these I have come up with a great idea for storing my earrings, by turning them into an art feature.  Watch this space - hopefully I'll have the time to complete it before the weekend is out.  If it works ....

Masking Tape Happiness

Another rainy day in the Waikato.  I was going to take the children on a nature hike today, but we don't own raincoats.  I know!!  Isin't that terrible.  I might have to change that.

So I made this masking tape 'city'.  I know its not elaborate, but it has a jail, a farm and two parking garages.  Even a roundabout!  It will evolve more when the baby goes back to bed, with a train running through it, Stop and Go signs and the farm will score a tractor and some animals.

Very VERY happy children and more scuffed knees for mummy as I get down to their level and brum cars with them, do alot of conflict resolution and catch some baddies.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pay it Forward with Bookmarks

For me, this is the year of paying it forward.  I love to give anyway (wonder what my love language is!!), but this year I am making a concious effort to go above and beyond, giving gifts for no reason apart from to say "I love you and am thinking of you".  Ohhh, another news years resolution has been revealed!!

I had a spare moment today so I made some more book marks.  I LOVE making these.  All of these, except one I love too much to part with, will be making their way all over the countryside over the next few days to surprise some very close and missed friends of mine.  Awww, shucks.

I found this wooden heart pendant at Just Bead It, in Hamilton and the black charms are off an old necklace of mine.

Another charm from Just Bead It.  If you love beads, you must check them out -

I found the shell pendant in a clearance bin at Spotlight.  I am not sure it will make the sturdiest of bookmarks, but I liked it quirkiness and couldn't resist.  The cross is another delight from Just Bead It.

And the one I am keeping.  I love it.  Also found this pendant in the clearance bin at Spotlight.

I am going to be talking to the hubby tonight about doing a photography course one night a week.  I think its time I learnt how to use my camera properly.  Here is hoping he says yes!

Taking part in Our Creative Spaces

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Colour Blind?

I was so excited about The Girls quilt.  I launched into it head first, without really stopping and checking my colour scheme.  BIG mistake.  On piecing it together I decided it looked awful.  I had picked quite a dark green that really just didn't go.  See what I mean:

So after much staring, rearranging and advice, I have picked another fabric to replace the green blocks, and am moving the green borders to around the dolls to make them 'pop' out.  Downside to this is that it requires ALOT of unpicking.  Unpicking the green blocks and unpicking the green borders and the borders around the dolls.  I hate unpicking.  And I can never seem to get my blocks square again once I have unpicked and then restitched.

Lesson learnt.  When quilting, BEFORE sewing, take lots of time to make sure you have your colour arrangement just perfect.  Do not rush in.  Argh.  This is definately a labour of love!!