Oct 3, 2016

DIY Chistmas gift ideas for kids

1. Peg Doll Key ring
Gnnnn. Little peg people make me sick with how cute they are! You can paint a peg doll to look like a kid in your life, then attach a little key ring or just a chord so they could wear it on their bag on something.... I'm sure it would charm little people! I also love the idea of creating a whole family and putting them in a shadow box to go on the wall. Everyone loves to see a cartoonised representation of themself, don't they?

2. Personalised name letter/s
3 Letters Name Set 
I love these ones from Ma Petite Handmade (everything in that shop is adorable), or you could get some wooden letters and decorate them yourself (google "felt flower tutorial" to DIY this look). You could just do one letter per child to keep it simple, too.

3. DIY mini felt dolls

You can buy the pattern for these Gingermelon mini dolls here (it's an instant download.) Or if you are creative/reckless like me, try winging it and coming up with your own mini doll design. I think a set of 3 of these in a little drawstring bag for be fun for a little one to get at Christmas.

4. Playfood
I made playfood for my daughter and niece last year. It was easier than it looks!
You can see more of this and other things I made last year in this post and this post.

5. Larger dolls
There are so many doll patterns on the internet! Some you pay for (like this one from Wee Wonderfuls - this was an actual doll but they also sell a pattern book) OR you can find some free tutorials that go through a VERY basic doll design. Then you can search hair tutorials or extra things as needed. Obviously you want to be able to work a sewing machine to do this! I was super rusty on my sewing skills last year (like hadn't sewed since primary school) but with a lot of practice I managed to sew a couple of cute dolls. So don't be TOO intimidated if you're not a pro.
handmade dolls and sewing patterns for sale at wee wonderfuls 

6. A cushion/pillow 
Simple, sweet.
This is the one I made for my niece last year - I just used pom pom ribbon to add her initial.

7. Blank russian dolls
Image result for blank russian dolls
You could either include a paint brush and paints for a little artist in your life, or paint them yourself to resemble the people in your family.
Image result for russian dolls family

 8. Felt car mat OR felt town/farm

 With my skills I MIGHT be able to manage something basic like this. I do recommend having pockets as 'garages' for the cars. But my favourite version of this would be a roll-up felt mat that can be carried around, and has pockets for micro-machine or other tiny cars. That way you can take it with you to cafes or church or any type of event where your kid may be bored!

If you search for felt play mats online, there are so many cool versions of this - farms, towns, gardens... all of which you can add little toy vehicles or animals or people to. 

What are some other ideas for DIY presents? Last year I made ALL our presents - at least for the kids - it was time-consuming but also really fun. Not sure if I can bring myself to commit to that again but it's nice having little crafty things to work on sometimes!

I've been absent from this blog for a while, but in my next post I should have some fun news ;)

Jul 13, 2016

Random catch up + things my child says

1. I was meaning to blog about my daughter's birthday a while back but I didn't.
Anyway, it happened. And now we have a 2 yr old!

Aside from the random flower wall (last minute, of course) I also made the cupcakes and ladybug cake which I'll give you a few seconds to marvel over.
 Totally pinterest worthy.

Well, almost. 
 I won't lie - they were delicious and turned out better than I expected!

 2. Things my child says:

9am in the morning after getting up and ready: Where's daddy? Is daddy sleeping?
Me: No, daddy's at work
Ella: oh. POOR Daddy.

At dinner time:
Me: Is that yummy?
Ella: mmmmmm! Mummy been BUSY. Iss dere more meat mummy? It's wike bacorn.

Coming up the stairs from the garage after a morning out, calling out: "Hi Pooh Bear! Hi Sammy Bear! I'm coming!!!!"

Whispering to herself from the other room: Careful Ella... careful Ella... careful FLOWERS!
I walk in the find her carefully plucking every petal from every flower on the dining room table.

Spying a moth in the corner:
Ohhh mummy! Wassat?
Me: A moth.
E: Issat a mosh, mummy?
Me: Yes, it's a moth.
Me: yes...
E: Get. It. Out.
[Writing courtesy of her big cousins:]

Jun 14, 2016

All the progress we don't notice

I was looking through photos the other day and found some earlier photos from our home that made me realise how many changes we have made since moving in nearly 3 years ago.

I often feel impatient with this 70's house and all the renovations I want to do in the future. (New kitchen + new carpet, come at me! Bring cash.)

But there ARE little changes we've made that have made this place feel like home, so in an effort to see how far we've come and encourage myself...

Here's our bedroom when I was towards the end of my pregnancy with Ella and was trying to do it up. This was my 'after' at the time but it still lacked so much and didn't feel like 'us' at all.

And here's our bedroom today:

This is probably the one room that feels almost 'done' to me and kind of sums up my style. It's warm, colourful-yet-calm, and just feels inviting. 
It came together slowwwwlllyy over time as bits were added here and there. Now that I think about it, it's probably the only room in the house we've actually purchased new furnishings for (other than our couches). The bedside tables were the cheapest dresser/drawers available from Freedom Furniture. But at $600 each, in a flat pack, and COMPLETELY RAW unvarnished bleached wood which stained even from touching it with your fingertips... we had to coat them with 5 coats of polyurethane each... I wouldn't actually call them cheap. But we needed drawers desperately and now that they're all done, I really love the look and the way they fit our back wall, unlike normal small bedside tables.

The 'office' when we first moved in. It's the darkest room in our house but still gets all that glare from the back yard which makes it super hard to photograph:

And currently. Eeeeek:

We're in the lengthy process of transitioning it into what will probably end up being Ella's bedroom one day. Assuming we ever pluck up the courage to move her out of her cot and into a bed with no rails that stop her from roaming the house - a scary thought! Right now we're calling it the playroom but it's a bit of an odd one - Calum uses the wardrobe in here for all his clothes as we can't fit everything into our bedroom wardrobe. It also houses a chest of drawers that I can't wait to get rid of as the old-lady-perfume smell saturated into the wood inside the drawers makes me nauseated. Ah pregnancy memories (we bought it second hand online when I was preg, not knowing it came with that smell... which by the way doesn't bother anyone except me). As for the old office - we just don't have an office anymore. Literally it was just a storage room for books and files which we've majorly purged or gone paperless with.

Don't mind the tissue paper flowers randomly on the wall... long story.

Also, the hallway. I don't have a before picture but basically all the walls were blank until recently when I finally moved our framed pictures from a pile on the floor to the walls. On the right you see the little wall shelf with hooks underneath - just added that recently and it has been so so useful. You don't realise how amazing these functional items are until you have them! When I come up the stairs from outside I can put everything I'm carrying - bag, + Ella's jacket and hat and bag - all on the hooks immediately instead of dumping them on the bed or couch and then having to find them later.

And lastly...
Ella's bedroom/nursery when I first got it ready for her, whilst pregnant:
I had painted it a stark white which combined with the large glarey window makes it nearly impossible to take pictures of.

Today the base is the same, but with the cream rug and rearranged furniture plus the addition of some old wooden drawers (kauri or rimu) and a chair it looks much warmer:


 To get this room 'done' I would make my own curtains that actually fit and hang nicely - maybe in a soft minty blue, change the wardrobe door to something more functional and white, and have a light neutral coloured carpet throughout the house instead of this greeny blue grey stuff.

Oh and last but not least - this wardrobe system works perfectly for us and has been great since Ella was born. On the bottom of the wardrobe I have several large plastic boxes with lids that fold in the middle and can have one side kept open (from The Warehouse). As Ella grows out of clothes I wash them and then tuck them into the open end of the container on top. It's as simple as getting out say, a top for her and realising it's not going to fit. So I just have to bend down and tuck it under the lid of the upper container. Done.
When a container fills up, I move it to the bottom (or to the side) and put a new container on top. We have 4 of these containers and at 2 years old, I now have all 4 filled. It's so nice knowing they are all sorted by size and everything already.

The end!

May 12, 2016

Update: painting, drawing, making

In order:

1. I ran a Facebook competition for my Etsy shop

2. The winner lived in Canada so I got to post the chocolately prize with one of the necklaces I make, AND a cushion cover that she purchased.

3. I have more necklace designs coming - the shop will be filled up again soon.

4. I've been purging/simplifying like my life depends on it and it's so good to break my hold on hoarding and materialism. Some of our most hoarded treasures that I've been saving "for our dream house" have now actually been passed on to good causes - really good causes - and I'm so glad. We don't need all that stuff - our house is lovely because of the sunlight and views and spaciousness, and no amount of added material possessions are going to change that. If anything they sometimes take away from it.

5. I painted this pot in an attempt to get the Rifle Paper co floral look. Hmmm could use some work.

6. It was my Dad's birthday and I didn't know what to make, so started doodling this. I was completely unconvinced but actually it turned out great and brought me back to me childhood + teen-dom when all I ever did was draw people. 

[in progress]

[Displayed stunningly against our bisque coloured, textured 70s walls...]
7. Basically everyone I know is having babies.
When I was pregnant with Ella I barely knew anyone who was pregnant or had kids, but now it's like parenthood has exploded all over our friend-circle. Yay!

8. I'm not a fan of Winter at ALL (it's the cloudy, gloomy days that get me. I feel like my eyes aren't working properly and spend my days feeling blind and sleepy). So this year I'm all about the mood-lighting to create ambiance and remind me of Swedish winters (they do it properly!)

Also.... my cutie-patootie daughter is coming up with something new everyday. Recently she just started counting and there's an underlying cheekiness to her happy personality that I find adorable. I had a video to upload here but it won't work... so you'll just have to take my word for it :)