Thursday, 28 February 2013

Leap Year Day

I have a friend who was born on leap day - 29 February.  She says that she doesn't have a birthday and only celebrates when her date comes up.  That makes me so sad - I look foward to my birthday every year.  I say that she should celebrate on the 28th AND the 1st.

She is special - she should get to celebrate more than the rest of us!  Don't you agree?

Last year I made this for her.  This year I made her this pretty teal cross-body bag.

I posted it to her yesterday, all wrapped up in tissue paper and string and packaged in one of my pretty pink mailing bags.  If I must confess, I am just a little anxious - a) what if the postman doesn't bring it to her today? and b) what if she hates it?

Ava's little Croc's bag was my inspiration.  I think that I need to make another grown up version for me!  Maybe add a little fabric flower too.  Once I have made a few tweaks to the pattern and the way that I assembled it, I thought I might add a few to my shop or maybe create a pattern for it.  What do you think?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Kids Slipper Socks {Tutorial}

I don't know about other children, but my girls feet do not grow according to the shop stock seasons.  You have no idea what I mean?!  Ok...I saw slipper socks in the shops a few months ago - but, I figured that they both had slippers and were sorted for warm feet for a while still.  Well, Chloe has just outgrown her slippers and I figured that I would replace them with those socks with little non-slip pads on the soles [what I call slipper socks].  You think anyone is stocking them now?  No!

It is still pretty much mid-winter here.  Feet still need to be kept warm for at least another 2 months.  But, oh no, the shops already have their spring stock in.  Which means, amongst other things, no slipper socks.

Every time I see slipper socks in the shops, I think that I really should be buying a few pairs.  Kids feet grow so darn quickly, that I never do buy in advance because I just don't know what size they will need when they do need them!  Stupid excuse really, but I am sticking with it.

A few years ago in desperation I brought out my fabric paint and drew all over the soles of a pair of Ava's socks.  Then a little while later, I made some slippers and did much the same.  The little feet never slipped and both washed really, really well.  The socks in the picture above have been really well worn by my two little flowers.

Back to my desperation...

An almost 2 year old who needs warm feet - who needs to run every where - slipping and sliding on our wooden floor and banging into things and hurting herself over and over does not a make a happy toddler or Mummy.  So, I went and bought some new socks for her and cracked open my fabric paints and once again have been painting the soles.

This is how I go about turning a pair of regular cotton socks into anti-skid traction foot wear....

Gather your socks, fabric paint - I have used volume and gloss with success - pen and some card.

I like to insert a piece of card into the sock, to make it easier to apply the paint.  to do this I draw an oval that is the same length as the sock and a guestimate foot width.  

This time around my card was a little on the narrow side. It makes it easier to apply the paint if the sole is stretched a little bit.

Trace a 2nd card insert.

Then apply your paint.  I like to match my paint colour to the sock.  So these pink spots were given gloss red spots.  When doing spots, I find that it helps to squeeze a teensy bit of paint out and rub it into the sock and then give a bit more on top of it.  I imagine that the paint is then attached into the fibres and will stay put better.

After doing a pair, I gently ease the card out of the painted sock and insert it into the next pair.

When painting, think about how your recipient walks and make sure you get the toes and heel covered too.  My spotty socks really don't have enough heel and toe coverage...if she still slips in them, I will go back and add more paint.

The socks then need to be left to dry.

The volume paint that I used needed ironing once it was dry, so that it puffed right up.  So, just do what ever your chosen product tells you to do to finish up....

You noticed that the flower power socks were missing?!  Well, they have already been worn and are on their way to the washing machine.  I couldn't very well let on how dirty our floor was today, now could I?

Happy smiley faces all around!

Now, all I need to know is how the heck to keep socks on a 2 year old?!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Macadamia Chocolate Spread {Recipe}

My mother made me a recipe book for my birthday a few years ago.  The recipes are all cuttings from various magazines....almost all from the 1980's-1990's.  I guess that she had a monster pile of magazines that she wanted to ditch and decided to chop them into shreds before doing so.  I won't complain - there are some delicious recipes in there!

One of the recipes is for this chocolate spread, I don't know what magazine it has come from.  It is sooooooo goooood, so I feel the need to share.  

125g macadamia nuts, chopped finely
250g milk chocolate, finely chopped or grated
125g unsalted butter, softened

Combine the butter and chocolate to form a smooth paste.
Add the nuts and beat until smooth and evenly combined.
Store in jars in the fridge, but serve at room temperature or slightly warmed up.

I spooned dollops of mix into 2 and a half dijon mustard sized jars.  The half a jar means that we get to keep a little as the other 2 jars are [very] late Christmas gifts.

I also sterilised my jars and lids in the oven, am not entirely sure that is necessary - I figured it wouldn't do any harm to be on the safe side.

Once your jars are filled and cooled, have fun decorating them.  I just cut fabric circles and tied them onto the lids.

Spread the chocolate on to sandwiches, toast, biscuits, get the idea.  

These little jars of healthy chocolate - hey! they have a nuts and milk in them...doesn't that makes them healthy!?  The little jars would make a lovely Easter present too.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Handprinted Fabric Swap III

Leslie, of Maze and Vale, warned me last week that signups for her third fabric swap would open on Monday....which lead to me stalking her blog.  Creepy, I know.  But I missed out on the second one by a day and I really didn't want to miss out this time around.  So when I saw that she would post again on Thursday with details about signups....I again stalked her!  

Long story short - I ammmmmm innnnnnnnnnnn - YIPPEEEEEEEE!

Now, I have to try and keep my pants on until 3rd March when I will find out who is in my swap group...

If you are even the teensy-ist bit interested in playing around with fabric printing - you should have a look at Leslies list of tutorials right here.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

The little flowers made these at nursery this week.  Ava took a little convincing to get paint-dirty and Chloe apparently ate as much glitter and glue as what is on her card.  I can't believe that these 2 little chickens will soon be 4 and 2....!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

New Yarn

Progress has begun, again, on my Attic24 ripple blanket.  It has been ages and ages since I last worked on it.  My colour selections have been alternating warm and cool colours and last night I found that I needed a new cool colour.  With only 2 blues left sitting in my bag.  The last few colours were blues, so I needed something new.  Like I needed an excuse to pop into our local yarn shop!? 

Want to see my new colours?

There are a whole bunch of new Sublime Extra Fine Merino colours.  Yay!  Some lovely bright orange to reds...I must confess that the pinks were starting to get a little boring for well as some new Spring pastels and gorgeous metallics.  So, I bought 3 orange-y, pink-y, red-ish balls and another green.

Want to see the possible colour line up?

...and the gorgeous bag that I took it all home in....?

I also bought these....!

Hoooked Zpagetti!  It's a rather dull shade of brownish grey, but it is intended for this.  One day, the wall behind where it will hang will be a lovely shade of sea green, so grey seemed the sensible sort of choice.  The shop didn't have many colour options - white, ivory, navy, a gorgeous coral-y orange, light and dark grey.  I book marked that pattern ages ago and when the Zpagetti saw me it shouted and screamed at me to take its gigantic self home.  The bag/basket will be used for stashing hats and gloves - which are presently all stuffed into one of those Crocs bags that you get with their kids boots. noticed that lovely printed green linen then?  No?

This one...!  The ink is a really lovely pearly white, slightly on the grey side so as not to dazzle the eyeballs.

These fabric pieces are destined for gorgeous bags or zippy pouches.  I haven't decided yet.  More like this one maybe?

What do you think I should do with that fabric?  Have you made anything with Zpagetti?

Childrens Reward Chart

We have tried Ava on a chore chart before.  It was a very simple hand drawn thing, not pretty but it did its job.

In an effort to getting back on a good, well behaved sort of track (i.e. making Flower Daddies life a little more tantrum free and easier on the mornings of my working days, in the getting dressed sort of department) I put a new one together on the computer.

Again, not beautiful - but clean and simple and neatly customisable (and not full of annoying commercialised characters).  Most importantly, it won't suck up all my printer ink in a single print!

I printed ours on to white paper and then stuck it up with pretty washi tape.  If you are feeling like you need a little bit of help in the small person department, please feel free to download a copy here.  {For some reason colour is missing from the download preview.  When you download it is should look like the picture above.}The colours are less pink, more orange - gender neutral I think?
Not sure how to fill it in?  Well, here is my suggestion:

Ava's responsibilities this week are:
* to get herself dressed in the morning {the picture says what she needs to put on - t-shirt, panties, pants, socks and shoes}
* to be kind and gentle to her little sister 
* to check and top up the dogs food and water in the morning and evening
* to not suck her fingers

We are using 1 of the many, many, many sheets of stickers that we happen to have in the house.  But, I have seen these cute ones here and another here.

She has to get 20 stickers to get her reward.  She chose to go to the park as her reward...crickey!  Makes me feel like I deprive her of park visits!!

Let's see what it looks like at the end of this coming Sunday...

Monday, 4 February 2013

Some Sunshiney Holiday Photo's

Just a few photo's from our holiday in South Africa, the first 2 weeks or so that we were away.

Gotta love those legs...all of them!

Beachy fun at Gordon's Bay, near Cape Town

Heaps of people kite surfing at the Strand, near Gordon's Bay.  Check that huge blue sky....sigh....

Too much fresh air and sunshine does this to a person.

Penguins and a dassie at Betty's Bay.

Nemo fish...and a little Ava the V&A Aquarium in Cape Town.

Humungous crabs!

Whizzing down a slide at a lovely little play area outside the aquarium.
Lovely mountainous scenery on the drive inland.

Monotonously straight Karoo roads.

Playing in the Murraysburg lei water.  {Lei water is water that is fed through parts of the town, via furrows that line the streets, from the local dam.  Each property is allowed to open a sluice to allow water in to irrigate their gardens during certain parts of the day.}

Playing in a make shift paddle pool in the shade of a tree.  It was blazing hot.  The water was from my dads borehole and was very chilly.

On leaving Murraysburg there were masses of these beautiful cactus flowers.

....more photo's still to come!