Auntie Beth gave Bella this canvas today when we went down for a little visit. Her tiny fingers have been working on it ever since. She began with a sketch in pencil and then patiently painted on each colour until her masterpiece was finally unveiled after dinner tonight.
The paint set is by Junkitz (Laguna Paintz) - such a petite and pretty mix of colours.
On my crafting front I've been oohing and ahhing over some patchwork bath mats at Flickr for several months now. Especially this one - love the colours and the embroidered feet! Last night I decided to whip up a quickie and now I want to make 100 fabric bath mats for the bathroom. This one is a little crooked on the edge and not as perfect as I'd like, but once it's down on the floor all the blemishes are pretty well hidden. The fabric is Amy Butler.
This morning we popped down to visit and feed the ducks (as well as the friendly birds that were more than happy to share the bread).
Bella was a little hesitant of the ducks, running to me for cover when they became too demanding for bread - she was nipped on the finger as a toddler by one and hasn't forgotten it.
I've also been meaning to post a photo of my new Amy Butler patterns that were so generously mailed to me last week from a lovely lady at Amy Butler. These are 4 of their new patterns and are so so cool!! When school goes back and I track down some nice fabric to use I'd really love to try and sew the Lotus tunic and cami or the Anna tunic to begin with - I've never sewed clothes before but the patterns look fairly straight forward and I think the tops are seriously cute.
If you're looking for inspiration you really need to check out the Amy Butler website too - beautiful photos, gorgeous fabrics and even some yummy free patterns - quilts, fabric leaves (gorgeous), fabric silhouettes (which would be very cool on my wall), etc.. and the most adorable fabric necklace that I'm dying to sew for Bella.
The weather was kind to us, perhaps a little too hot for walking up to the top of Russell Falls - Rich, James, Bella and Clare submersed their heads in the creek on our way back down to cool off. We ate a nice picnic lunch (including Kate's chockie slice that I'll post the recipe for tomorrow) in the national park and spotted a few wallabies on our walk. The girls were so tired on the way home - all three of them going to sleep in the van and Bella had 15 hours sleep last night because she was so exhausted from the day.
Tomorrow the girls go home :O((
Today I took the girls (plus my two) up to the top of Mt Wellington. We left early to catch a glimpse of the view before the clouds came over. It was still a little misty but you could pretty much see for miles and miles.
Home for some music playing - Kate plays the violin beautifully.
Then Kate and Bella did a little bit of chocolate slice cooking in the afternoon (yummy!).
Bella wanted to make some pom poms today. These are fun, I can remember making them with my Mum when I was little. I think I was pretty slow at them though.....Bella made both of these in half an hour....much faster than her Mummy was!
Here are the instructions if you'd like to do some with your little ones and aren't sure how. Super easy and a quick craft to fill in the afternoon (or half an hour lol).
Use something to draw out your circle and a smaller circle on the inside. Make them all sorts of sizes (our outer circle measured 9.5cm and the inner one was 4cm). You need to use some cardboard for this (so it doesn't bend too easily when you are winding). You also need to cut out TWO circles from the cardboard.
Cut out the two circles and sit them together.
Start winding wool around the two circles (that you've sat together)...remembering to keep it nice and firm as you wind.
Keep winding all the way around the edge of the pom pom until you can't see any more cardboard.
Cut the wool all the way around the top of the circle.
Lightly seperate the two pieces of cardboard and slide another piece of wool in here. Pull it all the way around the circle and tie it in a very tight knot to hold the pom pom in place.
Once the pom pom is secure, pull off the cardboard circles to reuse for another pom pom.
The pom pom is finished! Use the long end (left over from where you knotted the pom pom) to tie the finished creation on something (Bella tied the pom poms on her school bag).
Oscar, Bonnie and Kama came up to visit us today - it was great having the cousins altogether. Six big and little kids was serious fun! We headed off to the beach after lunch so everyone could have a swim since the weather was so warm.
Here's a little button wreath tutorial for next Christmas...so cute! I made one and added some wired stars around the outside. Super quick and easy.
Cut two lengths of ribbon - 11cm and 7.5cm.
Trim each end of the smallest length on a slight angle (to prevent fraying and also look nice for the bottom of the bow).
Roll up and adhere the longest length to make a circle. I used Ribbon Stiff (by Strano) for my adhesive.
Squish the circle down flat to make the top part of your bow. Position the smaller length of ribbon as shown in the above photo. You may wish to pin these two lengths of ribbon together to hold into place nicely ready for the next step.
Using a needle and thread wrap the cotton around and around the bow pulling it nice and tightly. Knot the cotton off to finish.
Cut a third length of ribbon - 3cm in length.
Fold the length in half.
Roll the small length of ribbon around the bow. Adhere at the back and hold in position with a pin until dry. Alternatively you could hand stitch the ribbon together. I used Ribbon Stiff to hold mine in position.
Now cut a small length of ribbon to hold the hairslide in position on the back of the bow (approx. 1cm). Slip the hairslide onto the ribbon as shown above.
Hand stitch the ribbon/hairslide into position on the back of the bow - ensure you stitch either side of the hairslide to hold it firmly together.
Have fun :O))
Wow...so many comments for the giveaway (it took me 13 pages of printing to print them all out!)....Sarah Latham was the lucky winner - Sarah if you could email me your address please that would be great(email@example.com).
I'm sorry that there weren't more prizes for you - I'll try and have another giveaway in Feb.
Thankyou for all the blogging suggestions, there were some great ideas in there. I can't believe the number of people that asked for more children's craft (about 1/3 of the comments). More scrapbooking, cards and recipes. More tutorials/step by steps, sewing ideas and low cost gifts. Lots of people suggested more themed projects (like my 25 days of Christmas craft) too. Many other topics too that I've written down in my diary....wow, all these things should keep me busy blogging for a while...so thankyou :O))
We have my two nieces staying with us at the moment from the mainland - such lovely girls, really really lovely girls. We went to the beach this afternoon when the chill eased a little in the afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon we went down to the beach to fill in a couple of hours before a barbecue at Mum's house. It was warm but the clouds were becoming darker by the minute while we sat and searched for crabs and other seaside treasures. Our greatest find was a little starfish that was clinging to a rock as the tide went out......I don't think we've come across one of these before at the rocks, usually finding only crabs and sea snails.
Thankyou for all your lovely suggestions for blog posts too - I'll leave the comments open until late tonight incase anybody else would like to be in the draw for the giveaway.
Leave me a comment about what I can blog about in 2008 or photos I could include here - I do like to do a 5-10 minute post everyday to record little things but sometimes I run out of things to say!
I'll close off the comments section tomorrow night and draw the winner the following day.
The giveaway includes some funky monkey fabric, my latest Daring Card Makers card (from the post below), a felt house pencil topper, Heidi Grace flower stamp, silver bookplates and a selection of 6X6 Basic Grey Scarlet's Letter paper. I'm happy to post overseas too.
This week's dare over at the Daring Card Makers Blog is all about 'hide and seek'....go and pop over for a look and join in with the fun if you like!
Today Bella and I went to Big W (I swear we live at this shop) and printed about 100 photos followed by milk shakes and cookies at Gloria Jeans (or Nora Jones as Bella calls it) as Bella's reward for being so patient while we sat in the photo printing chair for nearly an hour. I think we arrived home at about lunch time and then set up the playstation to belt out tunes to Singstar Legends. Bella made a rocket ship using foil, paper and jewels (because we'd been singing 'rocket man').
The boys were at work! James is saving up for a Nintendo Wii and decided to go to work with his Dad for the day to help finance it. They left at 7am this morning and at 3pm I drove into town to pick him up as he'd had enough. He looked exhausted and hasn't moved from the couch all afternoon - he hasn't decided yet if he wants to go back and help another day, lol. Poor little darling.
I received a pack of these in the mail from Belles Familles this morning. Bella was nearly jumping through the roof when it came, combined with plenty of 'oooh cuuute, mum why don't we ever make bears and houses out of gingerbread - all we ever do is men'...apparently this little package was much more exciting for her than 25 gingerbread men to decorate! It was really fun, cute and yummy (thanks Sarah!) and came with it's own teeny weeny tubes of pre-made icing (which Bella took great delete in squeezing every last drop that was left into her mouth, while James looked on telling her that she was a gross little thing). The pack also had a pattern included - which I guess was supposed to be used as a guide for decorating - but I'm in the process of making a teeny felt bear family with it.
Well, I'd better get my butt moving...I have family coming for dinner and we've been mucking around all morning not doing much - I need to get a wiggle on with the salads and cooking!
One of the places we love to go and visit is the local library. Mum used to always take me along when I was little - I'm not sure how many books we were allowed to borrow in those days, perhaps 3 or 4?? At our library every person that has a card can borrow up to 10 books for a 3 week period. James usually selects 3 -5 books (you see he doesn't like his library bag to be too full otherwise it might damage the handles apparently) and Bella tries to load her's FULL with books and sometimes I'm carrying them in my arms as well.
On our second last visit she cottoned on that X3 library cards means that our family can borrow 30 books. I didn't find any on this day and James had 3. That left 27 books for her to check out apparently....in a weak Mummy moment I let her borrow that full 27 books and she thought it was Christmas, pouring over them each night before bed. We won't be borrowing that many again though - she has a strict limit of 10 per visit now - it was way too heavy to carry for starters and we were reading like mad things at night trying to get through them all before they were due back. Bella likes to choose nice long stories usually too (because that means that she can stay up longer), so we really had a mammoth marathon to read them all in time. What I love about hiring books from the library is that it teaches them both responsibility about borrowing and looking after something that doesn't belong to them. They each have a library bag (that their Nanny Marion stitched for them) and we have a rule that as they read a book it goes straight back in the library bag. The bag has to live standing up behind their door so that they always know where it is and they both know that have to read the books in a *safe* area away from drinks or food.
Anyhow, I think it must be time for bed........
When Bella had her sleep over at Mum's the other night, one of the things on her list to do there (yep, she had a list) was 'learn to knit'. She has attempted this a few times over the years, having a go at it with both Nannies...but always so easily distracted and I guess not quite ready for knitting.
I got a phonecall from Bella while she was at Nan's house to tell me that she could knit properly now. You could hear the excitement in her little voice over the phone - six rows she had completed - apparently a new scarf for her doll or monkey (she hasn't decided yet).
Today she knitted a few more rows - we keep it to a maximum of two rows at a time, otherwise her little mind can wander off the job and I'm not capable of fixing anything too severe on the knitting front.
I love that she can learn new things and do craft with each Nan. I have fond memories of learning to knit and crochet at my Grandmother's house when I was little - Mum, Grandma and myself sitting around knitting, I could never work out how they could knit SO fast though!
After some knitting this morning, Bella and I did a bit of scrapbooking together. James was at a friend's house, Rich was dirt bike riding, so it was just us two.
There are two other things I want to share in today's post - a little felt heart that Bella made especially for James to hang in his bedroom. She wanted to make this for him the other day so he knows that she loves him. Yesterday James came out of his room and said to me - 'Mum, poor Bella has just come in with a very sad face, her lip dropped and she said to me - James, I think you love your new nintendo DS more than you love me...are you ever going to play with me again?' He gave her a cuddle and reassured her that he could never love the nintendo DS more than her. Poor little darling must be feeling the effects of his new birthday toy.
The other photo is James' stained glass fish. Bella gave him this as a gift from their school shopping day. When he opened it at Christmas he thanked her and giggled a little - giving us a little smile and eye movement that said 'I think I'm way too big for this, but I'll just play along to keep her happy'......anyhow, he really enjoyed making the fish after all and I thought it was a really neat craft to do. Over the last six months I've noticed that James doesn't always want to join in now with every craft we do - which is fine - but it saddens me a little on the other hand to think that he is growing up :o(
I live with my husband and 2 children in Tasmania, Australia. I love to make nice things, spend time with my family, travel, bake yummy treats, read pretty craft books, give handmade gifts, toast marshmallows in our wood fired oven & live a lovely life.