Thursday, July 29, 2010

my creative space

Today I'm doing some thinking, planning and list making...

deciding how to make these two op shop finds a little more beautiful...

(the CD rack will be turning into a dollhouse - inspired by this and this)

and checking out places for a winter beachside break ...

(oh, and having a big rest so I can start creating again, doing some of that too...)

See more energetic and inspiring spaces over at Kirsty's.

Edited to add: I'm also linking this up with Sophie's Flea Market Finds, and Sarah's Thrift Thursday... maybe I'll see you there?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

flea market finds

We've had another busy and fun week over here, but still managed to fit in a trip to the local (op-shop that is). It's now such a part of our lives that Mini Blogger role plays op-shopping at home (I'm wondering if it will reach the point that I'll be paying to get my possessions back...).

Anyway, to the finds:

A wooden toy caterpillar - that broke before we left the store, but has since been repaired with cooking twine. They gave it to us for half price, which was nice considering we broke it!

Another apron - lovely orange gingham - for $1. I'm not sure about this recently discovered attraction to aprons - it doesn't exactly fit with my beliefs about the division of domestic labour - but they are so often pretty and so often cheap... (and, well, as I write this my husband is doing the dishes, so the aprons haven't done any harm so far!)

A gift from my mum (who is an op-shop volunteer - but in a different state), via my sister: a pretty floral pillowcase and a little pile of white ric rac.

Pop over to the lovely Sophie (so glad to see you back!) for more finds...

Friday, July 23, 2010

A quick hello and a miniblog update

Over here, we're still returning to normal after birthday celebrations (though Miss Mini Blogger is of the opinion it is still her birthday after continuing to receive gifts through the week - to the point that when handed a used train ticket today, she exclaimed "ooh, a ticket present!").

I'm still thinking about birthdays too - specifically the bits of the party that didn't get finished on the day.

I'd planned to make these little butterfly pastries (Donna Hay inspired again!). They seemed easy - but not as easy and fast as taking premade pastries straight from the freezer and putting them on a tray! I made them the day after for a fun lunch. The recipe suggests cutting 10 cm rounds, then shaping them to make butterfly wings. I soon took the lazy route and tried rectangles with little triangles removed - much faster, and the scraps make nice dipping sticks too!

After making little bug jars for all the over one year old guests, I wanted to make something for our littlest guests - these knitted caterpillar finger puppets (inspired by a book known to many a child) seemed like a good idea, except I didn't get them finished in time (and I still haven't finished them - these are some I made a year ago)! I have a new deadline - next week when we'll see them all again...

Finally, Miss Mini Blogger has been putting in some time lately updating her blogging computer - she likes to blog about the treasures she finds around the house (she especially likes the bowl of "things we might use one day"), and wanted to share this with you.

Hope you all have happy weekends!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

birthday party debrief - with tenuous links to flea market finds

Mini Blogger's birthday falls about a week after the Donna Hay Kids Magazine comes out - which is a good and bad thing.

Good, because I do generally find a few ideas or recipes to incorporate in our party, and bad, because I look at those photos and start thinking "this is what a birthday party should look like" (of course forgetting that those parties are put on by a [paid] team of stylists / editors and other clever people, and that the "party" is in fact a photo shoot).

Strangely enough, our party did not look (or feel) like a Donna Hay photo shoot.

The day began inauspiciously with a crying, sniffly guest of honour.

When guests started to arrive, she was still out of sorts, and not keen to join in any planned activities - I had stayed up last night cutting out cardboard antennae for guests to decorate with pencils, crayons (50c from the op shop) and stickers - luckily the other kids had fun.

I had planned a small musical interlude once antennae were made - a spot of "jitterbugging" to Wham! because that is what ladybirds do according to our girl. I did end up listening to Wham, but in a quiet room, just me and her, trying to cuddle and console a miserable child, to help her make it through her party. Which she did, through the power of Wham!, chocolate and assorted sugar filled products. She was even happy by the end - and I'm pretty sure it wasn't just from the sugar!

About half the planned menu items were abandoned due to lack of time (and hopefully because the guests were actually full) - the menu did, however, include these cute ants on a log and carrot stick insects...

The cake selection was a success, despite lumpy cake batter (unsifted cocoa - luckily not noticeable in the finished cakes) and a distinct lack of planning - I made up the ladybird cake design this morning after being unable to find the components I'd planned for when shopping last night. The worms and butterflies were ideas from a borrowed cookbook.

I was also really happy with how the bug jar party favours turned out - really easy, using mostly things we had at home already.

So, in the end, no Donna Hay party, but a happy-in-the-end, near-enough-is-good-enough, real life party shared with people we love and love to spend time with (who of course I can't show to protect their privacy).

And finally, just to sneak my way in to Flea Market Finds tomorrow... a bug catcher I found at the oppie for 50c on the day we sent out our bug party invites... and then forgot to actually use at the party today!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

my slightly creative space

Well, it was inevitable, wasn't it? After gloating last week about finally getting going, my creative pursuits were suddenly halted - I am now temporarily one-eyed (well, kind of one-and-a-half eyed!).

Luckily, today we have a distraction - it is Miss Mini Blogger's birthday!

Of course, I had to abandon my last minute handmade gift ideas, but at least there were two special little things wrapped up...

Pigeon was an instant hit - he got to read his book...

go for a fly...

and then practice his dialogue before putting on a play (held on the window sill to entertain any real pigeons passing by ... )

(she even finally agreed to wear her scarf - this was not such an instant hit, but I think she's getting used to it now!)

Party preparations are slowly progressing too - I've had to simplify some of my handmade contributions, but somehow I don't think the guests will notice!

So far I'm working on the party favours

and doing the kind of knitting you can do in the dark...

looking forward to visiting you all at Kirsty's (in a couple of days when I can see you properly!).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

flea market finds

Eleven days ago, I was forced to accept that I would not be able to sneak my way in to the big Vintage Sheet Swap, for the simple reason that, despite my efforts, I was vintage sheet-less.

Of course, since then, things have changed (does anyone else find that you can only find things at the op shop when you're not looking for them?) ...

From bottom to top - the orange one came as a full single bed set, and reminds me of wallpaper when spread out (funnily, after removing wallpaper from much of our home a few years ago, I quite like the stuff now!) - it will probably get use as a sheet set!

The yellow flowered flannelette is rather worn, but also pretty snuggly - and also came with pillow case.

I really like the next yellow flowered sheet in small chunks, but it's a bit much when spread out, so I'm a bit more confident about cutting this one up - especially after seeing how Beck's used the exact same fabric - what a beautiful bunny!

Finally, I wasn't sure about the blue faux japanese print sheet (which came with a coordinating "fitted" sheet that has lost all its elastic, and 2 pillowcases) - it's 50/50 polyester / cotton and doesn't feel as nice to touch, and not exactly vintage, but it's growing on me...

At least I have some consolation sheets to tide me over when enviously admiring everyone's swaps....

Pop over to Sophie's for more finds.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

my creative space - doing something

What we do is important. It helps us to define who we are and what is important to us. It influences our health. Getting the balance right between doing what we need to do, and what we want to do, helps us lead happier lives. I should know this - it's the basic principle underpinning my work as an Occupational Therapist - but lately I haven't been living it. I've been going through the motions, doing "just enough" to get by, and it shows.

I decided it was time to change. I booked a couple of "well" days off work (otherwise known as annual leave) to spend some child-free days at home, getting back on track, and getting back to "doing".

Early in the hours of my first "well" day, I heard a cough, then another. Soon after, a small body was snuggled into mine, and she was being quiet (a bad sign indeed!). I had to quickly accept that the day would not be child-free after all... and I learned a big lesson. Maybe I just had to get on with things - no excuses, no special conditions, just get doing again.

This is what I did this week...

I made invitations for our girl's third birthday party - inspired by these cards from Myrtle and Eunice (thank you Tania!) ...

I did some cleaning - well, actually not much cleaning...

I finally posted this (only three weeks since we made it!)...

I exercised - thanks to some enthusiastic and friendly work mates...

I did some night time knitting - a little birthday scarf...

I made some calls, and organised a few appointments I'd been putting off for a while...

and I finally took down the sewing machine from that high shelf and starting making some baby gifts...

Pop over to Kirsty's to see what others have been doing too!

Edited to add: Today I remembered the importance of balancing doing with not doing, and have been enjoying some pyjama time visiting all your creative spaces - isn't Thursday such a good time for that?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

flea market finds

My favourite finds of this week were the finds that found us...

A work colleague brought in a bundle of fabrics (I think they were from a friend's relative), to use at our work. After all the "useful" things had been weeded out, we all got to have a rummage before the remainder went to the op shop, and this is what I found...

I love the pictures on the snap fastener cards, and even though I'd never heard of "washing buttons" before, I rather like them!

We had another surprise when my husband found a plastic bag on his desk, from a former workmate's wife (who works in the same organisation in a different section) - a little collection of hand me downs from their girl for our girl, including this outfit!

Hoping you all had lucky weeks! See Sophie for more lovely finds...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

my creative husband

What do you do when your wife is sick and tired and grumpy, and your (also sick) child just wants to visit the Eiffel Tower (yes, really - Steph, you would love this girl!)?

Well, you make one, of course!

Thank you my husband.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

my creative space

This week I have been thinking, writing lists and imagining what I will do when I'm recovered from this (hopefully) last in a line of viruses (virii?), and doing the bare minimum of "doing".

After trawling around blogland this morning, though, I'm feeling somewhat humbled - I've just seen what Curlypops has been doing while once again surrounded by medical students. I really should get started on that list (well the easy jobs anyway).

I did manage one little burst of creativity ... and even have a "tutorial" for you(with apologies to all of you who do real tutorials about really clever things).

1. Go through overflowing ribbon box (I'm sure I'm not the only one who rummages through the rubbish bins on christmas day to ensure no ribbon is left behind...) and find a few nice ribbons

2. Fold ribbons in half, loop onto old bangles (or in our case, old baby toys), and pull through

3. Inspect for quality

4. Put on dancing pants, dancing skirt and, um, dancing shoes

5. Turn on Tchaikovsky, or Justine Clarke if you prefer, and dance....

Pop into Kirsty's for more creative types...

Edited to add: when I said rummaging through rubbish bins, I meant just the bins full of wrapping paper that other family members throw out, not actual rubbish, and not actual strangers' bins... just in case you were wondering...