Friday, 28 September 2012

Fun doll faces

Jasmine and I made some fun doll faces using wood and wool as the main materials.

We found the wooden bases at one of our favourite craft stores in Sydney - IKKE in Crows Nest. I helped Jasmine thread the wool through the holes to make the doll's hair. Jasmine chose the wool colours and trimmed the strands for me.

Jasmine used texta to draw on a face.

I used googly eyes and felt for mine.

You can see in the photo below that Jasmine is pretty excited about her new doll faces.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Super heroes in action

When I saw the #kodakavengers Linky Challenge over at Britmum's Blog I knew my son would be keen to participate. I asked my husband to run off some of the free printable masks on his work printer and bring them home. Alex was sooooo excited he just couldn't decide which Avenger mask to wear - Hulk, Iron Man or Captain America. A tough decision to make!

He started with a Captain America mask, as did my daughter. We made "baddies" out of balloons. I filled the balloons with some water and the kids drew faces on them with a black pen. I then hung the balloons with string off our pergola outside so the kids could show off their superhero skills.

Alex and Jasmine charged at the baddies with their fists, trying with all their powers to pop the balloons. There were some funny sound effects coming from Alex in particular ... yaaaa, pow, gotcha ...!

Alex then switched to an Iron Man mask. He said, "Mum - you know you are so lucky to have a son like me that can pop all the water balloons so easily". Too funny. Indeed I am.

After the water ballooons had been popped, the kids had an outfit change and made their way to the trampoline for some more craziness.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Simple family tree

Do you remember struggling as a kid to work out how all your different family members are related? I recall being in the car on the way to family BBQs and quickly asking my parents to remind me who our cousins are or how a specific person fits into the family. I know my kids find it particularly confusing that my parents don't live together any more and thus struggle to work out how they can both be their grandparents and not be married.

I made a simple family tree to assist my kids to work it all out. I used:
  • green and brown cardboard
  • photos
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • black marker pen 
Basically, I just rummaged through a box of old photos and cut out the heads of all our different family members. If I couldn't find photos of certain people, I printed digital images from my computer onto paper using a coloured printer. Either quality looks fine - real photos or printer paper.

I wrote family members' names and their relationship to my children. At this stage I have only included family members that the kids have met such as their aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-granparents and cousins. I have left room at the top of the tree to add on previous generations. However, I think it will be a good start for the kids to first understand how their immediate family members fit into the picture.

Our family tree is stuck on our living room wall and is a constant point of discussion now.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Scrapbook paper castles

There is something very appealing about castles. I would love to take the kids to visit a real one some day soon.

In the meantime we made paper castles using scrapbook paper, cardboard, glue and scissors. Alex and Jasmine both love castles so we thought it would be fun to make some paper castles to decorate our playroom.

I cut out some shapes - squares, rectangles, triangles and arches - and the kids did the sticking with a glue stick.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Halloween costumes & bunting

My mum has turned very festive this year with her sewing and has made Halloween and other costumes for sale. This is great for my kids who have been spoilt with new hand-made Halloween outfits. They are super excited about wearing their costumes out "trick or treating". Above are Alex's pants, top and gloves. Jasmine of course would prefer a skirt so she has been given something prettier .. though still suitably black and orange.

My mum has also been busy making Halloween bunting. She has found a range of really cute fabrics - some with more traditional orange and black and others with spooky blue and yellow bats, green and purple witches etc. My kids are desperate to hang their bunting up but I have asked them to at least wait until October arrives. We'll see what happens ... I have a feeling I might be the first to give in!

For sale

Bunting and some girly costumes are available for sale. Have a look at my mum's website under "girly gear" and "bunting" - Dezines for Kids

You can also see Christmas and Hanukkah bunting and skirts.

Contact Tina if you would like to make any purchases.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Ice toys

I know in some parts of the world, the air is turning crisper, days shorter and there is a growing temptation to retreat indoors. However, in my part of the world it is lovely and sunny. The air is like a fluffy warm blanket and the colourful Spring flowers greet you as you step out of the house. My kids and I have been thinking of as many activities to do outside that we possibly can.

We've been gardening, kicking a ball around, filling up our new inflatable pool and riding bikes on the patio. Last weekend I froze some of the kids little toys in tupperware containers of water over night while they were sleeping.

In the morning I brought out the lumps of ice and we played a game called "free the toys". Alex and Jasmine tried a few different techniques to retrieve their toys. They tried hosing the blocks of ice.

They tried a hammer.

Jasmine even tried sucking some of the smaller pieces of ice. Eventually they managed to free all their little toys.

It was such a lovely day, Alex and Jasmine then decided to fill up two of their toy buckets with warm water and hop in and play with their newly retrieved toys. They stayed in their buckets for over an hour. Such a blissful way for everyone to spend time on a Sunday!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Weaving with scrap fabric

I love playing with scrap fabric and finding new ways to use it. Jasmine and I rummaged through a bag of old fabric pieces the other day to see what we could make.

The book "Fabric Leftovers" by D'Arcy-Jean Milne has some good ideas for weaving strips of fabric.

I bought some rug canvas on eBay. I bought canvas which is three and half holes per inch. If you type "rug canvas" into the internet several cheap options come up for where to purchase some samples.

You basically just weave the strips of fabric through the holes.

I am not sure what I will do with the finished product but it might make a fun picture for the kids room with a frame. Not sure? Or I could put a fabric backing on it and turn it into a bag? To any extent, it is quite a satisfying process mixing the different fabric colours and patterns to see what you end up with.

Jasmine found it a bit tricky to weave through such small holes so we set up something slightly easier for her using cardboard and stockings. I cut out a weaving frame using an old cardboard box.

I tied some stocking pieces across the length of the cardboard frame.

Jasmine then did some weaving across the frame.

She thought it might be fun to experiment with lace and other fabric strips too. This was a nice easy introduction to weaving with fabric.

We look forward to trying out some more elaborate projects in the future.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mad hatters' afternoon tea

Last weekend we hosted a mad hatters' afternoon tea party for my mum's birthday. This gave us a great excuse to have some fun creating new hats. I decided to sew buttons on a plain old white hat of mine to give it some more life.

Jasmine and Alex got busy with their stickers and jazzed up some cardboard wizard and princess hats.

Our party guests were most obliging and turned up looking colourful and groovy in their hat creations.

Our cake was inspired by one of my favourite food blogs - Bird on a Cake.