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Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Easter BuntingThis Easter Sunday we spent some time in the morning making Easter bunting to decorate the house for lunch.

To make your own Easter bunting you will need:

1) Easter eggs printed on thick card stock – draw or download your own

2) Coloured pencils, crayons and textas

3) Small paper hole punch (or a needle or similar)

4) Scissors

5) Brown twine

Step 1) Colour in the eggs. We coloured in a total of 32 eggs.

Easter BuntingStep 2) Use scissors to cut out the eggs.

Easter BuntingStep 3) Decide the order you would like to have your eggs placed on the twine, using contrasting colours and patterns.Easter BuntingStep 4) Punch two small holes in the top of each egg.Easter BuntingStep 5) Thread each egg with twine.Easter BuntingStep 6) Attach your Easter bunting to the wall with masking tape.Easter BuntingHappy Easter x

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A Particular Shade of Blue There’s a lot of fun you can have with a tester pot of paint from a hardware store. This particular blue is called Dulux Tropical Haven and it has a great retro look about it. I used it to revamp a few plain wooden items including a foot stool, rolling pin and old cigar box turned jewellery box. I put a light spray of clear gloss over the finished paint to seal and harden it. It really is a cheap and cheerful way to give everyday items a new lease on life.

Dulux Tropical Haven

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Five Ways with Lilly PilliesLilly Pilly TreeDown our street and around the corner is a rather majestic Lilly Pilly tree, whose branches hang over a little lane-way.  Many Lilly Pilly trees are native to the East Coast of Australia and carry striking pink edible fruit. This vitamin-C rich fruit formed part of the diet of coastal Aboriginal communities. The fruit is quite acidic and tangy…I would describe it as being similar to a not-yet-ripe green apple with the texture of crisp watermelon. I’m surprised that my children snack on the fruit straight from the tree, undeterred by the sourness. While eating native foods is becoming much more common in Australia, it’s still not very widespread. Given the overabundance of this little native fruit in our lives recently, I’m pleased to present my top five ways with lilly pillies.

1) A native substitute for fresh flowers.Lilly Pillies in a Vase

2) Lilly Pilly Smoothie. Pictured below is two freshly juiced organic apples, a small organic banana and a cup of pitted lilly pillies blitzed in the food processor.

Lilly Pilly Smoothie

3) Table Decor. A sprig of lilly pilly tied with brown twine to a white cloth napkin.Lilly Pilly Table Napkin

4) Lilly Pilly Muffins. I adapted Donna Hay’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins to make the Lilly Pilly Muffins pictured below.DSC03833Lilly Pilly Muffins

5) The way nature intended…from the tree to the mouth.Toddler holding Lilly Pillies

A note on cooking with lilly pillies

If you’re planning to eat and/or cook with Lilly Pillies, please note that there is a hard little seed in the centre of the fruit, pictured here.
Lilly Pilly Seed
It’s easy to remove the seed by squashing the berry between your fingers. The prepped lilly pillies should look something like this.Pitted Lilly Pillies
This image shows diced lilly pillies in muffin batter. Cooking the lilly pillies makes them sweeter and more palatable.Lilly Pilly Muffin Batter
This NAIDOC week embrace some lilly pillies into your life!

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I’m a little ambivalent about succulents, but when you plant one in a vintage tin kettle…it’s ooh la la très chic!

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I recently stumbled across a great little blog called Happy Little Kiwi, which features lots of the things I love such as recipes, crafts and useful ideas & products for kids. This week featured a link to a website called Mr Printables, containing oodles of free printables and resources for preschool and beyond.

I used imagery from Mr Printables’ Alphabet Activity Book (see photo below) to create a handmade birthday card for a sweet little boy turning one on the weekend (see photo above). I downloaded the image and cropped it, then used Schoolhouse Cursive B font to type his name in the space provided. I printed the card onto 4×6 card stock on my colour inkjet printer and made a custom envelope out of brown kraft paper.

Mr Printables’ Doodle on the Moon is too groovy not to include here. You can download fabulous high-resolution images of the moon…for doodling on of course. My son drew an Alien Moon Monster…in what appears to be a purple top-hat. Where does he get these ideas from?!

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At the risk of sounding like a crazy Lego lady, here is another Lego-related post which will appeal to those people that love to organise.

Since the Lego revolution took off at our place we’ve been keeping all our Lego in one big ol’ plastic tub. This was causing my husband and son no end of frustration as it would take them forever to find an elusive piece lurking in the nook of another piece. I googled Lego storage and was amazed by the number of people who were obsessed with finding the perfect sorting and storage system. I was most inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organising. She uses the Ikea Trofast system for sorting and storing their Lego pieces. I decided to use the Trofast storage system, but with different labels aimed at a younger child. I wanted visual, easily-identifiable labels so that my 3-yeard old could be responsible for sorting and packing away his own Lego.

So here goes:

You will need

2 x white Ikea Trofast frames + 12 small Trofast storage drawers with lids.

Cutting board, ruler and stanley knife/scissors.

Small roll of contact paper.

Assorted paint chips from a hardware store in the colour of your Lego pieces.

A colour print-out with 2 x Lego logos and imagery of lego accessories (my printable here).

A small white label with the word Instructions printed on it.

Instructions

1. Assemble Trofast frames and wipe clean the exterior surface of storage drawers with a damp cloth and dry (this will assist with contact paper adhering to the surface.

2. Decide how you would like to categorise your Lego collection. We sorted into Baseplates, Instructions, Minifigures + Accessories, Wheels + Vehicle Windows, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, White, Grey, Black and Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces.

3. Source Lego logo + label imagery and insert onto an A4 sheet for colour printing (or use Lego Organisation Labels). I sized and cropped my Lego logos to approx 9 x 5cms and the drawer panels to approx 10 x 6cms. You will also need a separate written label for the Instructions drawer.

4. Using a cutting board and ruler, cut the logos, colour paint chips and imagery to size.

5. For the drawer with the Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces I cut colour paint chips to size and then divided them into four and stuck a piece from each colour together with tape before placing onto contact paper.

6. Cut pieces of contact paper into rectangular panels slighter larger in size to the colour panel. My contact panels were approximately half a centimetre larger than the colour panel around the diameter.

7. Peel off contact backing and carefully place paper labels onto sticky side, then adhere labels onto the drawers.

8. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!
Oh and it also creates a handy little display for all those wonderful Lego creations.

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I decided to make this sweet little mini-book for my mum (tutorial found here). I made a few changes. Mine is a little larger and on the pages I printed text, and used photographs and my children’s artwork. I also used my sewing machine to sew down the spine of the book. It’s the sort of project that would work just as nicely for a birthday or other special occasion.

During the project it was nice to take the time to think about the things that I love most about my mum.  She has six children and ten grandchildren. She’s a people person, creative and passionate with her work. Most weekends she can be found grandchild wrangling, hustling at a garage sale or having a cuppa. Unfortunately I can’t spend Sunday with her as we live interstate, but my brood and I will be hopping on a plane to visit her next week. 

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Dioramas have a school project loveliness about them and are wonderfully tactile in this digital age.  I’ve been meaning to make a construction site for my son for some time now and was motivated again after organising his toys and seeing all his little yellow diggers together. This project is easy to make and came in at a grand total of $0.00 as I sourced all my materials from around the house and yard. Here’s a step by step guide:

Materials

  1. Large cardboard box
  2. Garbage bag
  3. Stanley knife / scissors
  4. Tape and glue
  5. Blue paint + brush
  6. Several printed sheets of rocks and other construction materials
  7. A sheet of white paper
  8. A couple kilos of slightly damp sand
  9. Small assortment of rocks, paddle-pop sticks, bark etc
  10. Building site accessories and signs
  11. Yellow diggers

Instructions

  1. Cut the box on each side diagonally from the top back corner to approximately 10 cm (4″) above the bottom front corner. Cut along the front and remove this portion of the box so that it resembles a stage.
  2. Paint the inside walls of the box a sky blue colour.
  3. Cut a plastic garbage bag to size and secure firmly to the base of the diorama with tape, making the bottom of the box water resistant.
  4. Cut out white clouds from a sheet of paper and glue to the blue sky.
  5. Glue the construction site imagery around the bottom inside wall of the diorama.
  6. Fill the box with a layer of slightly damp sand and pat smooth.
  7. Arrange accessories and diggers on sand.

This diorama was loads of fun to make and a big hit with my son. The possibilities are endless; zoo, farm, space station, jurassic…

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