Wednesday, 16 April 2014


This morning we walked to a playground a couple of streets away from our house. We were meeting a family that have moved back to Perth after spending a few years overseas. Ten minutes before we were due to head out the door I asked everyone to go to the toilet and put their shoes on.
These are the shoes that Eli put on. Tinkerbell shoes from the dress up box.
Note to self: be much more specific when giving instructions to a four year old.

Monday, 14 April 2014

princess leia

I have finally made a start on Lily's Star Wars quilt. It's about time. There was a bit of a hold up while Lily and I searched for a background fabric we both liked, but after deciding on Space: The New Frontier by Benartex there was no reason to delay the start of this quilt any longer.

Except for not having any brown for Princess Leia's hair. We are enjoying two weeks of school holidays right now, so we made a family trip to the fabric shop to purchase brown fabric. Or hair fabric if you ask Eli.

A little while later and Princess Leia emerged. Minus her facial features which I will hand stitch later. Much later.

So, who will be next? Chewbacca? C3PO? Take your pick - Kristy has designed them all!

hair clip holders {tutorial}

I am very fortunate to have some very clever friends. One of my friends has been making these fabulous hair clip holders and invited me to make some with her. This is where I disclose that she did all of the work while I chatted!

This particular hair clip holder is for Zoe. I rummaged through my fabric and chose two very different fabrics for Zoe and Lily. You can see Lily's at the end of this post!

Want to know how to make one? They are very simple, cost effective, useful and they make great gifts for girls.
Cover a canvas with your chosen fabric. Our canvas is 30cm x 25cm (12" x 9 3/4") and we used a hot glue gun to secure the fabric to the back.
Make sure that the fabric is stretched fairly tightly across the canvas. If you are using fabric with a directional print ensure it is placed in a way that is pleasing to the eye. In this case that meant no wonky chairs!
On the back of the covered canvas mark the placement of the ribbon. We used four lengths of ribbon. To space the ribbon evenly, divide the length of your canvas by one more than the number of ribbons you would like. For example, for a 30cm long canvas requiring 4 ribbon strips:

30cm divided by (4 + 1) is 6cm.

So we marked our ribbon placement at 6cm intervals.

When working out the length of each ribbon, add 10cm (4") to the width of your canvas. Our canvas was 25cm, so we cut our ribbon lengths to 35cm.

We used ribbon that was 2.5cm (1") wide.
Check your ribbon placement measurements by placing the ribbon before gluing.
Hot glue in place. We secured all the ribbons on one side before turning the canvas around and gluing the opposite end of each ribbon. Make sure that the ribbons are pulled tight.
If you'd like to hang your ribbon holder, secure a piece of ribbon - loop style - to the back. Cut a piece of white cardboard and glue to the back to cover up the innards. Or not. If it is to be kept against a wall you won't see the back anyway!
Attach your hair clips and admire your creation!
These look great in a variety of colour combinations. Lily's is the holder with the purple ribbons!

A big thanks to my lovely friend who allowed me to ride her coat tails for these!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

finish along - 2nd quarter

Finish Along 2014
I had a very ambitious list of projects to complete during the first quarter of the finish along hosted by Katy of The Littlest Thistle. And I only completed one!
I finished the London cushion that I blogged about here and presented it to my brother in law and his wife before they returned to the UK.

And that was it as far as my planned list was concerned. I found myself busy with other things, not many of which were crafty.

So here is my list for the second quarter of the finish along. I have decided to be slightly less ambitious (i.e. more realistic!).

  1. I'm hanging in there with this scrappy quilt top. I ordered some batting so this top can now be basted, quilted, bound and put in the boot of the car.

2.   My Kate Spain 'Cuzco' Scrappers Delight quilt top. The top is two thirds finished.
3.   Another blue, green and purple 'Scrappers Delight' that I blogged about here. The blocks need to be trimmed and then sewn together.
4.    My scrappy trip along quilt. I've been slowly plodding away on this one. And I want it finished so that I can start a new quilt!

5.   This little pile of 'Mabel' monkey. I have made two of these but never got around to completing the third. Unfortunately I just used the last of my stuffing to make a large pillow form, so we'll see how that goes.

I am hopeful!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

growing a pineapple

We have decided to grow a pineapple. My mum is in her seventies and has a small courtyard with a very productive garden bed. She grows all manner of fruit, including pineapples. Mum has harvested two pineapples in the last 12 months.

So, inspired by my mother, we decided to have a go at growing our own pineapples. After a quick phone call to Grandma, Eli explained what we had to do. Cut off the top. Plant it in the ground.

So we cut off the top and planted it in the ground. And then I read a bit about growing pineapples here and quickly dug up the pineapple top and removed the flesh and lower leaves.

It is now back in the ground and seems to be happy enough. Have you ever grown a pineapple? Incidentally, it is planted next to a large bush that has these flowers on it (just a reminder that it is autumn here right now!).
The same bush has red flowers as well as yellow flowers on it! Does anyone know what this magical plant is? The flowers don't change colour; they either appear as red or yellow. Amazing!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

the mending pile

 My mending pile never disappears, though recently it was reduced to almost nothing. One of the items on the pile was a pair of jeans for Eli. Handed down from Lily they were fantastic jeans, mostly because they had an adjustable waist. Both Lily and Eli have a very slim build which makes it difficult when it comes to buying pants or shorts that fit. It's a bit tricky running around while holding up your pants with both hands because the waist is too big.

Why were the jeans on the mending pile you ask? Because Lily wore out the knees. I usually throw clothing away when it is completely worn through (after harvesting the buttons!), but the adjustable waist in the jeans prompted an idea.

I cut off the legs just above the holey knees and bound the edges (just like a quilt!). And now Eli has a fabulous pair of shorts with a waist that fits him perfectly.
Old made new again. I love being thrifty. Do you have any great thrifty ideas?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Story Stones

 I thought I'd do a bit of tidying up on the blog (I feel like I do it all day long at home, so I might as well do a virtual tidy up too!) and post some drafts that have been sitting in the wings for a long time.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to story stones by Hannah from Paint On The Ceiling. I love story stones as much as my children do.  They are wonderful for language development, fostering creativity and providing the perfect setting for imaginative stories. And they are so much fun to make!

Zoe, Lily and I have made quite a few story stones since first discovering them. While we have kept lots for us to use at home, they make a wonderful gift for children aged 3 years to 8 years old. They are also a great craft activity when we have visitors in that age range.

We don't live near a river to provide us with beautiful stones, so I usually visit my local $2 shop and buy a bag. There are usually about 20 stones in each small mesh bag. Hardware stores also sell river stones, but they are a lot more expensive (and usually come in a lot larger quantities!).

I like to use Posca paint pens for story stones. They are mess free and come in a great range of colours. I bought mine online, but they are also available in good craft stores and art supply stores.

Once we have painted our ideas on each stone I give them a quick spray with some varnish to protect the paint (otherwise the paint wears off very quickly). This is a great activity to do on a hot day; the varnish will dry really quickly.
And then we play!

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