Thursday, August 26, 2010

not your normal socks...

Come round to my house on any weekday afternoon and you will find a fair amount of chaos. Once I pick the 4 school age kids up in the afternoon the craziness begins, with lifts to and from ballet lessons and footy practice, homework, music practice, chores, and dinner. Last minute surprises never help the afternoon to run smoothly and I have tried, (and failed!), to get the kids to plan ahead for special dress ups and the making of props etc instead of doing it the night before.

Last week, at 5pm one afternoon, my children reminded me that the next day was a "silly sock day" at school, and then outlined their ambitious plans for their socks - one wanted to design an aquarium! Once I had toned their ideas down a bit (mean, I know, but I was desperate to get them to bed at a decent time), I gave them free reign in my craft supplies and this is what they came up with...

Crepe paper ruffles stuck on double sided sticky tape...

Felt flowers with button middles...

Torn strips of black fabric plaited into spider's legs with duct tape eyes...

They were very proud of their socks and I was impressed with their creativity. Next year though, we will be making these before the last minute or I will be grey before my time!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

making a change...

While we don't totally agree with the old saying that "a change is as good as a holiday", there is something about changing things around that gives us all a lift. Joy has been tweaking her living room in Melbourne to freshen things up and the room has changed from having a riot of colour, to a blue and white scheme. I have no doubt that a new colour scheme will transform the room again in a few weeks - the furniture, walls, and rug always stay the same but it is amazing what changing the cushions and adding some accessories and flowers can do.

Do you enjoy changing things round? Which photo of Joy's living room do you most prefer?

Friday, August 20, 2010

recycled display...

Here is a cheap and easy way to recycle postcards or greeting cards, and those old jam jars or glasses you might have hidden away at the back of a cupboard. Joy just placed smaller glass jars inside larger ones (to hold the water) and slipped these pretty butterfly postcards in between. If, like her, you haven't treated yourself to any flowers this week, a few leafy twigs are just as effective.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

driftwood boats...

With the sun shining in Melbourne today, the kids and I had some fun outside making some boats from driftwood found on beach holidays and scraps of fabric. Wish I had a cute little stream at the bottom of the garden to sail them in!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

multicoloured blossom artwork...

It has been a dreary old week in Melbourne so Joy has been busy working with some very colourful papers to brighten up her days. Measuring 100cm x 70cm, this artwork is created from hundreds of hand-cut hearts in various sizes, and is part of our 3-d blossom range.

We make these artworks in other colours to order, so maybe you would prefer blossoms in shades of blue or a range of pinks, or even just white on white as shown in this post.

Please contact us for more details.

Monday, August 9, 2010

a week in bed...

What a week! I had a horrible flu/bronchitis bug that kept me in bed since last weekend and I have emerged quite disorientated. You know what it is like I'm sure - I haven't watched any news, read any papers, or even visited any of my favourite blogs, and I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. I also need to catch up on the housework. It is no exaggeration to say that my home looks like a tip and the washing pile is metres high. At least it proves that I do a bit of cleaning and tidying in a normal week!

Joy sent me this photo of a display on her sideboard using the loveliest shaped bottles/vases. It looks far prettier than anything round here at the moment, so I thought I would pinch it for this post. Thanks JJ!

Monday, August 2, 2010

the rainbow party...

Yesterday, we held a rainbow party for my now 6 year old Chloe, and she and her friends had a lovely time. Unfortunately I woke up on Saturday with the flu, and was still feeling horrible on Sunday, so didn't get lots of the little things I had planned done. The perfectionist in me had to remember that no one knew! My poor old head couldn't cope with any decisions though, and I put the smarties on the cake upside down (ie violet to red, not red to violet) but the lovely thing about decorating a cake for six year olds is that they really don't care as long as they get to eat those same smarties!

Unfortunately, I can't take the credit for the gorgeous rainbow table skirt, which was on loan from the amazingly generous Siobhan from Hip Hooray, who had made it for her own daughter's party. She left a comment on the post I did on the party invitations last week, asking if I wanted to borrow it.... did I ever! As well as having a very inspiring blog, Siobhan and her sister Vanessa also have a fantastic online shop called Details, details which stocks all things fabulous for parties and other celebrations.

My bigger kids made this beautiful rainbow from crepe paper circles which they scrunched into rough flower shapes and then painstakingly poked through the holes of a big pegboard we use for market displays. I was really impressed with how they stuck at it, even though it took them hours, and how effective it looked.

More crepe paper... long strips this time twisted into flowers and pinned into styrofoam for a centrepiece.

The rainbow jellies turned out well considering I rushed them a little. Having only a small-ish fridge and 8 people in the house meant that I couldn't spare them any room until Thursday, so I risked mixing layers by adding two or three colours a day. They were demolished!

My daughter asked that the take home bags be very rainbow-y, so we found some plain white metal buckets and stuck different lengths of coloured ribbons to a strip of double sided tape. Amazingly, the ribbons fitted exactly around without having to miss any colours at the join. My big kids were good at this job too - see how useful it can be to have six children?!!

As for the games, we had a treasure hunt to find the gold that the naughty pixies had stolen from under the rainbow. Luckily the good fairies had left the girls clues on how to find it again, which also involved doing lots of colour challenges, all of which they passed with flying colours. We finished the party off by making rainbow coloured necklaces which was a lovely quiet activity. But the biggest hit of the party by far was the puppet show that my husband and two sons put on. Following the tradition begun by my dad (and Joy's) who always gave puppet shows at our parties, my hubby has gamely stepped up to the challenge for our own children and he is a natural. It was so lovely to see the girls so excited, screaming instructions at the puppets and giggling away at the rather lame jokes. Priceless!