The Best Kind of Gift

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We have family emigrating soon and while we were discussing their move my daughter asked what she should make for them as a leaving gift.
I was so pleased by this for several reasons. Firstly, because she takes after me and obviously loves to make things. Secondly, because her first thought wasn’t “what shall I buy, but what shall I make.” With all the media saying “Buy,Buy, Buy” I thought that was kind of sweet. Thirdly, because she understands that a handmade gift has much more value if it’s made with love.
She decided on a chocolate cake. Can’t fail to please with chocolate, clever girl. And no worries about it not fitting in the suitcase!

Toddler Craft – peg bugs

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I am having fun organising the craft for the toddler group we go to. This week was a winner. They loved it. It is simply a decorated wooden peg (we used felt pens and sticky black dots), with a square of tissue or crepe paper, a piece of pipe cleaner and some googly eyes. The bugs in the photo above were a selection of those made by the children aged 18 months to 4 years (with a little help from their mums).

Chalkboard Door – family organisation

Family organisation is not one of our strong points. I love the clever menu planers I’ve seen on pinterest, and the magnetic chore charts.
How cute is this one at heartland paper
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And these chore charts from Burton Avenue are just amazing.
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They are exactly what I needed, but as I looked around my kitchen I couldn’t work out where I could put something like this. We are really limited on space. But I did have a free door, so the door got a makeover.
My hubby was very surprised to arrive home one day and find a big black rectangle with messy edges painted on his kitchen door. And he was really patient with me over the next three weeks as I added coat after coat of magnetic chalkboard paint, as directed on the can. It took six coats to make it magnetic, and I could only paint in the evenings when there were no little fingers around to wipe it all over the house. Turned out to be quite a long project.
I finished it off with oak beading which I mitred on the ends and glued on to the door as a frame.
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It is perfect for us as it is so adaptable to suit our ever changing family needs. I used liquid chalk to mark the things I need to stay on fairly permanently. That way it can still be wiped off with a damp cloth if I feel I need to change things. Over all I am really happy with it. Its not pretty, but it’s practical. We all enjoy writing on it and leaving messages and there is plenty of space for the little ones scribbles.

Here are some other clever chalkboard ideas. The first uses the inside of a cupboard door, found @ inspire design and create. The second from whipperberry is painted onto the side of a piece of furniture, and if you want to go all out then you could paint the whole wall, like this one found @ the nest. Happy painting!

Upcycled jeans bag

We had a pair of jeans that were too nice to throw out when my daughter put her knee through the leg, so we decided to make a jeans bag together. She has been looking for a bag this size for a while now, but it seems she has inherited her mother’s fussy ways because nothing was quite right. I find when that’s the case it’s best to make exactly what you wanted. These jeans were the perfect starting point because she already loved them.

upcycled jeans bag

We cut a rectangle shape around the pockets, because they make a really nice feature and give her something to keep pencils in. The lining was made from a pink gingham shirt that was given to my husband. He was never going to wear it so it made its way into my fabric stash. It was pretty so we decided to make it overlap and trim the top edge of the bag. The strap was secured to the outside of the bag and pink buttons added for fun.
She loves it and it was great to work together. The best part is that it didn’t cost a penny to make.

Wooden Photo Blocks

I really love the photo blocks I came across @ somewhere in the middle. Firstly, because I love any cute baby photo, (and this baby is adorable), and secondly, because they look look so good. I can just picture them on my mantelpiece. But if I were to do baby photos I would need to make five, and that might look a little ridiculous, so I’m thinking it might be good to do a family shot, and put the family name on the one block and a good family quote on the other.

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Personalised t-shirts

Finding anything personalised is quite a challenge for our family, as we picked some quite unusual names. I was really excited to find this clever idea at homemaker for personalising t-shirts using only card and bleach.

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You just cut out the letters, lay out on the shirt and carefully spray with bleach. The bleach lightens the shirt around the letters, leaving a darker name.

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So simple. I’m definitely giving this one a go. The kids are going to love this.
It might be fun to try out a more detailed stencil pattern. That could be quite effective. Oh, the possibilities are endless……

Say Goodbye to Technophobia!

What a journey. This blog is dedicated to my transition from bored, to business. Over the past few years I have been devoting all spare time to turning my crafting hobby and love of all things creative into a productive business. At last, my website is up and running. It has been a learning curve for someone who was even scared of a mobile phone. But I overcame all apprehensions and with a lot of hard work, study, and Tech support have managed to create an online shop.

This is my next step. Time to share the joy I find in the whole creative learning process with anyone in the world who may feel that this is of any value to their life.