Sunday, 30 September 2012

Craft Giveaway

I noticed when I posted my last blog entry that I had reached 50 blog entries since I have started blogging . . . woohoohoo!!  A small milestone for me, but a milestone none-the-less.

I love giving gifts ~ so this is the perfect opportunity for a surprise giveaway ~ something with a crafty theme in mind of course!!

I know that many readers visit my blog from around the world, but I don't know who you are.  It would be nice to get to know a few of you.  So, in order to enter this giveaway all you have to do is become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment to tell me whether you have become a follower or are already one.  It couldn't be easier.  I will pick a random winner next weekend and send that person a small surprise crafty gift in the mail.
For everyone who does visit my blog, thank you for the priviledge of allowing me to share a little bit of my world with you.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Holiday Craft Activities

I know I have been missing from blog land for awhile, but so much has been happening here on the homefront.  The end of our school term meant extra activities on at school and our playgroup usually has an end of term party which is a big event - and with 2 different play groups, it meant two days of involvement for me.  After all that was over we emptied out the room we use for playgroup, ready for new floor coverings to be installed - a huge task - but it is going to be so, so worth it!
Now the children are all on school holidays means 4 extra people around to keep entertained on a daily basis.  We always try to do fun things together and we usually have lots of play days with friends during the holidays.
Our local shopping centres are fantastic with the kids activities during school holidays.  With the release of the new Madagascar 3 movie (which we have seen and I do highly recommend), there has been a definite Madagascar theme to the craft activities on offer these holidays.  Here are a few photos from one of our school holiday outings.

Hard at work colouring

Each child was given a Madagascar cushion/keyring to colour and decorate with glitter.  They even got to take home their set of pens!

Photo time with Alex the Lion

Sand art is always a favourite craft activity with my children!

Our holidays have also had a slightly different twist to usual.  My oldest daughter has has some major dental surgery which has left her very uncomfortable and in a substantial amount of pain.  So we have limited our activities to home based things since she has come home from hospital and also restricted the amount of visitors we usually has until she feels up to more noise.
Craft continues on in our home, always in some form.  I've been very busy working on our playgroup scrapbooks this week.  The scrapbooks are a combination of artwork the children make throughout the year and also photos taken during their various activities at playgroup.  I won't show you photos out of respect to the parents and their children, but I have had a lot of fun decorating with coloured papers, stickers and using our new Dot Markers ~ you can do so much with them and they add such a colourful look to brighten up any page.  My younger girls were both given scrapbooking kits for their birthdays, so they have been working alongside of me making up their own books.  It has been a lot of fun!
In my spare time I have found some lovely new crochet designs which use the crochet flowers I love so much.  I really need to learn how to make these.  The limitation of my crochet skills is so frustrating, but I am happy to say progress is slowly happening.

These crochet shapes would be perfect to applique onto any project!

I must say I totally fell in love with this cushion - a mixture of crochet circles and flowers

The colours and combination of styles create a pretty effect

I have been working more on my crochet ripple blanket, but will save that for sharing another time.  If it is school holiday time for your family too, I hope you are enjoying your break from the usual routine and getting the opportunity to add in some creativity to your days!!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Debbie Mumm Wallhanging

I have shared with you before that I am a Debbie Mumm fan.  I've loved her work and her designs from right back when she first started out in the world of quilting.   My favourite quilting fabrics were probably some of the more vintage prints, like the watering cans, the garden angels and the tea time themes.

One of the things I've enjoyed for a long time about the Debbie Mumm Website is the free projects listed.  If you click on the link you can take a look at what is currently on offer and also be sure to check out the archived projects.

There is one project which I really loved and I have actually made it a couple of times now.  It is a heart themed wallhanging, all made in the traditional Debbie Mumm country colours. 

It took me quite awhile to source and collect a lot of her vintage prints and build up my collection of basic colours.  I was so pleased with the finished result of this wallhanging.

I also wanted to make a quilt which used the same types of classic country colours, most have a striped pattern in them.  I did add in one extra fabric which is by another designer I really like, Teresa Kogut.  Her fabric was the one which has a combination of all the colours in the one fabric.  I was pleased with the overall effect and finished it off with a basic quilting design on the diagonal which gave a nice contrast.

If you read my last post, with all the shabby chic items, you can see how varied my style is!  I do love both the bold country colours and the soft, pretty feminine fabrics too.  The challenge is in how to display the things you love without them clashing - my solution is to have them in different rooms, that way I can still enjoy both.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Loving Shabby Chic

My craft and decorating styles used to be very much country themes and colours.  My home was full of this for years and even though I still do like it, it is no longer the look I am so passionate about having reflect my home.
Trends definitely influence us all - in fact we are very much influenced by the availability of what we can buy in stores.  If you are creative, you have a bit more flexibility to incorporate your own sense of style and that is something that I really do personally enjoy.

In more recent years I have become characterized by my love of the colour pink.  I've always loved pink but used to be hesitant to use it in my home.  Now I am the complete opposite and go out of my way to buy things that are pretty and pink to enjoy and have around my home.  Pity for my poor husband and son!!

What I find myself drawn to now is the very pretty and feminine Shabby Chic style. 

Of course, perhaps the real reason I am partial to this look is because it incorporates a lot of my favourite colour - pink!!
We have a store not too far from us which is set up in a house and each room is filled with different themed items, but all Shabby Chic in style.  It is a store I can always go to when buying a gift for someone and be guaranteed to find something amongst the treasures they have on display.  Some of these pictures are taken from inside that store (with permission of course).
Some of their cushions were amazing!
Now this next picture is not from the store.  It is one I came across this so perfectly shows the look I love.

I love this room, to me it feels so peaceful and inviting. 

No, unfortunately this is not my home, I only wish it was!!  If I had lots of spare money I would certainly be tempted to copy some of the ideas shown here.
When it comes to craft and sewing, especially quilting, I have been buying more and more fabrics which are influenced by the Shabby Chic style too.

This mix of roses and paisley on a soft pink backgrounds is so pretty

This one is a Westminster Fabric - gorgeous rose bouquets

This fabric is from a range called "Celebration" by Lecien

This fabric is by Barefoot Roses - I particularly love the strawberry coloured background!

If you love the Shabby Chic style, you will love this website Miss Rose Sister Violet.

They usually have a stand at the craft fairs which come to our City twice a year.  I always visit them and fall in love with the things they have for sale.  If you ever have the opportunity of sitting in on one of their workshops, you must do it!  I had the priviledge of doing it once and they are very talented and inspirational ladies, who give you lots and lots of ideas to incorporate this style into your home decor, personal wardrobe and accessories.  Best of all, the ideas are simple and things you can actually go home and try for yourself.
Of course Shabby Chic doesn't just mean you have to have pink - I love the soft aqua and blue colours too.  Pink is just my own personal choice because it makes me feel happy!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Childrens Craft Book

We are frequent visitors to our local Library and for the size of the community we live in, we really do have a fantastic library which frequently gets in the latest books - the selection to choose from is quite amazing.

Like any other parent, I do try to encourage my children's love of books and reading.  Another part of their lives I really like to encourage is expanding their creativity, which means we often have books on loan for how to make a variety of things - from yummy cookies, through to handmade craft projects. 

On our most recent library visit we found another new book which I fell in love with! 

It is specifically aimed at children in the 7-11 year old age group and it has some gorgeous projects in it.

These little babies made using walnut shells are very simple to make and so very, very cute!

This necklace is made by constructing yo-yo's or suffolk puffs together.  These are incredibly simple to make, even for a beginner and when put together you have a lovely necklace. 

There are paper craft projects in the book too.  This one really appealed to the girls - we are cat lovers through and through in this family.

And aren't these paper flowers so beautiful - they would make lovely decorations!!

These projects I have shared with you are just a few that I picked out from the book.  Obviously there are lots more.  I liked that they were all projects which could realistically be made by the age group they are intended for, without a lot of assistance, if any is even needed at all.  As children get older they enjoy creating something by themselves, independence is imporant and gives them the ability to be creative without having to wait on mum, and there is definitely a feeling of satisfaction when kids have accomplished something on their own.  It gives them more confidence to continue trying new things and expand their creativity.

It's always exciting at our house when we find a great new craft book at the library!!  If you have any favourites you can recommend, I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fresh Strawberries

We love this time of the year in our family, strawberry season!  We are very fortunate to live close to a few really great strawberry farms where you can visit and pick your own strawberries.  Let me tell you, if you have never tried this before, there is nothing quite like eating a strawberry which has been warmed by the sun and freshly picked - absolutely delicious!

We make strawberry picking a family outing at least once or twice each strawberry season and it is so much fun, we all really enjoy it. 

This time we went along with a group of friends, which made for a lot more fun. 

The children were all on the hunt to find the biggest strawberry and see who could fill their basket the highest to take home.

It ended up as another successful and very delicious visit to the strawberry farm - more special memories made together -  and lots of fresh strawberries to take home and enjoy!!