Monday, 28 May 2012

a bit of silliness

My mum gave me a packet of wooden pegs recently as she thought I'd be able to 'do something with them'. Well I did, I made a 'missing sock dept' for our laundry area. It has been the subject of lots of eye rolling and laughter from the husband... but I bet he'll now keep an eye out for the missing ones!

note the neeew tube of liquid nails
glued and painted
and now it hangs on the laundry wall

Saturday, 26 May 2012

scooter stand

I've seen these at schools lately as lots of them are having ' wheels' days or letting kids ride scooters at school every day. I'm guilty of filling up our garage with all sorts of 'stuff' so thought I'd attempt to tidy up a bit by making us a scooter/ bike stand. I've had some little blocks of wood aside for a while, I wanted to sand them up and make these, found here on a brilliantly clever blog called mermag: mermag.blogspot.co.nz


but it hasn't happened ( yet!). The photos pretty much explain the steps. I had to cut open our nearly finished tube of liquid nails with a craft knife and use a stick to apply it- can't let it go to waste!

my helper, I soon realised I wasn't going to be able to hammer a nail through the cubes!
so out came the liquid nails- love the stuff!
I sort of guessed the spacing, the wider ones could be for bikes.
I painted it white while the kids slept
and today they added colour
in use; much tidier ( I'll sweep the garage later!)
with the leftover liquid nails, M asked if we could make her a pink camera

say cheeeeese!

Friday, 25 May 2012

fairy doors

Our kids like fairies, particularly our girl. I think we've watched a certain Tinkerbell movie at least 10 times! Fairy doors have just started popping up on the internet and one of my favourites can be seen here: littlefairydoor.com. I love their potential to inspire imaginative play and the many possible uses for them like for when the tooth fairy starts her visits or for when little notes of encouragement need to be 'left' during the night.

I decided however that, even though it's gorgeous, I can't justify spending $45 NZ + postage on a tiny wee fairy door. Instead, I put to use one of the wooden frames we've been given ( we also used them in the embroidery for beginners post). Making this door was a fun process that started with me buying a $3, 1/12 scale door knob (it even came with a key!) from a dolls house supplier on trade me. Once the door handle came I could judge and measure how big to make the door. I dismantled a frame, cut it to size with a saw and glued it back together with pva glue. Next I cut a piece of hardboard to fit, glued cardboard panels on and painted it. We have quite high skirting boards in our home so I'll have a surface to attach the door to. I think I'll just use some blue tack, we go through so much of the stuff  I swear our place is being held up by it! I plan to make T one too but with an oval frame in a kind of hobbit style with a yellow door ( his favourite colour). They're Christmas and birthday presents, if I can wait that long that is!

I LOVE the little key that came with the door knob. When my nana passed away my mum gave me one of her jewellery boxes. A while ago I took the time to carefully look through it. She kept broaches, earrings, badges, a hat pin and necklaces in there. Some were broken, some had missing parts and tucked in one corner was a lovely little gold and pearl pendant. M turns 5 in December so I'd like her to have it. I bought a child's length gold chain ( it's not real gold!) and threaded the pendant and the little gold key onto it. I think it looks really sweet- perfect for her to wear for special occasions like her '5' birthday party ( eeeek!).

I'm just a big kid really and much of the stuff I do for the kids is for my own pleasure, besides I can't see any harm in encouraging little imaginations. I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring to this... the dolls house supplier even sells tiny 1/12 scale welcome mats- do you think I should get some? : )

in progress

the door plate
cute eh?
teeny tiny entrance next to the big one
we can leave the fairies presents too
the pendant

Sunday, 20 May 2012

art attack

We like to watch Disney Junior in the mornings. One show the kids really like is called Art Attack.

The show is just step by step instructions for making lots of crafts like picture frames, puppets and gifts. Much of it is too old for the kids yet but they're still engrossed. One part of the show we all love is the Big Art. The artist uses pieces of cloth and everyday items to construct a big outdoor image, here's a video that shows what I'm talking about- fast forward to about 1.15.


Anyway, I wrote this post as today I noticed our boy playing with the pile of clean washing I was 'yet to get to', I was about to tell him to stop but realised he was 'busy' so waited. I'm so glad I did. Hand on heart, all by himself, he made a dolphin! He even left the room to get our oven mitt to use as a nose! So any tv haters, this sort of thing reinforces my opinion that a bit of tv is fine and can even be a source of inspiration. I'd like to make note too that this is the ONLY time my undies will be seen on my blog! lol

the front part of the dolphin, with a big eye
to busy being creative to worry about 'builders crack' lol

Saturday, 19 May 2012

envelope puppets

It's so cold today I swear it's going to snow. I decided it would be nice to sit on the floor in front of the fire and make something together. We've just bought a new mat for the lounge so I used our trusty giant plastic tablecloth to protect it- a bargain from Gala I went to with mum last year. These puppets are really simple to make. We have a whole drawer of envelopes- I don't know where we got them from.

1. seal the envelope
2. cut it to size
3. decorate
4. put on a show!

M's cat

a monster

Spongebob square pants!

another Spongebob- note the nice new mat mum : )

the boy took this I like the girl's stripy legs : )

Spongebob taking Gary for a walk lol

Friday, 18 May 2012

bad hair day

My girl likes playing hairdressers with her dolls so the game is less fun when you can't get a little brush through their hair anymore. I saw a 'how to' on the internet once that explained how to de-tangle a doll's hair so I've just given it a try. You just rub fabric softener on the hair let it soak for a bit, brush it like crazy, rinse it and then dry it naturally or like I did with a hair dryer. M commented on how nice it smells now and I think Strawberry Shortcake even appears happier and more confident with her new look, lol! It might seem like quite a bit of effort over a doll but it's renewed the girl's interest in playing with it and her other dolls. As I type she's setting up her ' hairdressers shop' - worth every second of the 5 minutes it took me I think!


after!!! : )

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

the adventures of a cardboard box

This is by far the best little movie I've watched in a while (found via colour me there).

It made me smile from ear to ear. It was made for the Nokia Shorts 2011 competition. It tells the story of a boy who meets and befriends a large cardboard box, and was shot on a Nokia N8.

It's 10 minutes long so go and get a cuppa : )

To watch it in full screen, go here, go on, it's worth it:

the adventures of a cardboard box 

chocolate rice bubble cakes

I just made these as I have a catch up with friends and their kids tomorrow, kids love these. For any non NZers that may read this, chocolate rice bubble cakes are a traditional Kiwi kids birthday party food. So easy to make and yum.

Prep time:   10 minutes
Servings:   2 dozen

250g kremelta
4 cups rice bubbles
1 ½ cups sifted icing sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
4 tbsp cocoa
24 mini paper cupcake liners

Melt the kremelta over a low heat.
Mix the rice bubbles, coconut, cocoa and icing sugar in a bowl and pour in the kremelta. Mix well and scoop into the cupcake liners. Refrigerate until set about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

happinesss is a hole punch

I got this for $3 a few days ago as I wanted something to help me make nice tidy homemade gift tags. I thought the kids might like punching holes with it. They did and they loved opening up the part where it collects all the little round 'punches'. M did some collage with it, she got a bit frustrated when the 'punches' kept sticking to her gluey hands so I suggest she wash them and I gave her a cotton bud to use to move the bits around the paper. I like the colours and the looks of concentration on their faces while they worked out how to use the punch. I'm thinking we'll use the 'holey' strips of paper to do some sort of threading/ sewing activity in future.

my mum

I thought a bit about my mum on Mothers Day last Sunday, she doesn't live in the same city as us so I sent her flowers for the first time ever. Mum's great, she listens to me when I need to vent, never judges and gives the best advice. She has shown me unconditional love and now that I'm a mum I have a much better understanding of what that's really meant for her. We ( my younger brother and I) had a great childhood and now we're 'grown ups' she's a wonderful Nana to our kids and an important role model for me. She's in luuurve with a great man, she volunteers, cooks, gardens, blogs (capital living) is into photography, has a much busier social life than ours and is just an all round lovely person. I haven't always been nice to her. When we were teenagers I was particularly not nice. I feel bad about it now. She was a solo mum much of our childhood and she worked hard to provide for us. I decided to repay her by being a 1990's version of a painful Emo type teenager, minus the long black fringe but with the same revolting attitude. I worry about (but also know that the day is bound to come) when my kids treat me in a similar way. I think my heart will break into a million pieces. The other day I heard a friend's 11 year old tell her that he "hates" her. I was mortified, she just brushed it off as a near daily occurrence. I wonder if there's something that needs to happen or something I need to do in order to possibly avoid having my heart broken in approximately 10 years time? Not all teenagers are mean to their mums are they? Our kids will be different... that reads like a Tui add... " yeah right!"

Love you mum xo
My mum on the left, aged about 20? with my beloved Nana


Or macaroons, I think both are ok, anyway I'm home alone today with no work ( I'm a casual relief teacher). I'll keep myself busy and clean and tidy the house, attack 'washing mountain', plan a yummy meal ( roast chicken) and make a treat ( macarons) for the family. Hubby works hard, he very rarely gets time to himself so I feel like this is another way I can contribute ( but don't get me wrong, I also make the most of it, there's the new Your Home and Garden that will get read cover to cover over lunch! ). I've been wanting to make these for a while now, mainly because they're pretty expensive to buy from fancy macaroon shops $30 for 12 when I last checked! They were easier to make than I thought they'd be. I used butter cream for inside them as I didn't have any cream or dark chocolate. I also used 4 egg whites as our eggs are smaller than size 7. The recipe is from here:

Macarons/ Macaroons!
  • 210g icing sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 3 size 7 egg whites
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • Few drops pink food colouring
  • Few drops strawberry essence
  • 90g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • Cocoa to dust
Place icing sugar and almonds in a food processor and process for a minute or so.  This makes the mixture as fine as possible.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy and then gradually add the caster sugar while continuing to beat until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Add a few drops of essence and tiny drops of colouring until you get a definite pink colour but do add gradually as it will easily become too bright.
Sift the icing sugar and almonds into the egg white and fold together.  The mixture should be soft enough that if you make a peak it will collapse down onto itself.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe small circles onto a baking paper lined cold tray.
Preheat oven to 150 C and leave the macarons to rest while the oven is heating.
Bake for 15 minutes until firm.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Melt chocolate and cream over a gentle heat and stir until smooth.  Allow to cool until it thickens enough to spread and sandwich macarons with chocolate.
Dust tops with cocoa ( or icing sugar).
Store in an airtight container.

cute aren't they?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


I'm having one of those days today. It's cold so any outside play is limited, we've had the play dough out, a play date with friends, we've baked, danced like crazy to Justin 'Beaver' and painted pictures. The boy decided it would be fun to empty his water bottle onto his sister's cd player and drawers- he went to tine out for that. While in time out ( which is held in our really boring for kids bathroom) he got naked, unrolled a full roll of paper and stuffed it down the toilet. I can't put him in time out for being naughty in time out so I just sat on the couch with him and closed my eyes, we're both calmer now.  I can also hear 'that' Beiber song playing for about the fiftieth time today so the obviously the cd player has survived too.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

fairy garlands

It was a miserable day today so we spent most of the day inside. M and I went to her friend's 4th birthday yesterday. I was inspired by the child friendly craft activity the party goers made with the host and her daughter. It was a flower garland necklace/ lei made with cut straws and hand cut paper flowers. The children loved the threading and they had a nice reminder of the (mermaid/ underwater theme) party. I'd like to do something similar for our girl's 5th 'pixie picnic' : ) this year so we did a little experiment, it went well so we have our party craft sorted. 

You need:
long pipe cleaners ( 2 joined for each child)
fake flowers ( or a lei cut and the flowers pulled off like we used)
ribbon cut to lengths

Give each child the joined pipe cleaners, ask them to thread beads and some flowers of their choice onto them. Threading onto the pipe cleaner was easy for her as it stayed taught and the beads didn't fall off. When finished, twist the two pipe cleaner ends together, make a ring and secure a long length of ribbon in a bow at the join. Cute!

Thursday, 3 May 2012


The boy loves playing with the leaves he finds in our garden so I asked him if he wanted to make something that would let him enjoy them inside too. I like making use of things that are in our environment and brown crunchy leaves are not only fun but can open up lots of fun chats about changes in seasons, trees, leaf systems etc. Cut and peel the backing off a large piece of clear book cover, press the leaves onto the sticky side, press it on to the window and admire it as the sun shines through the leaves.