Tuesday, May 31, 2011

party week: dee.i.y - fringe necklace

you'll need:
* an old t-shirt (i used a kids' size 3)
* scissors
* beads (optional)

 above the hem line, cut from one side seam all the way around back to where you began. this longer piece will be the piece you tie around your neck.

 tapering up to the neckline, cut the front and back portion out of your tee. fold in half and cut in about 1 inch strips.

 pull firmly on each strip to make them into nice 'fringes'. lay them from biggest to smallest and starting from the centre with your longer fringes, firmly loop each one over your initial piece (you will have a seam you will need to cover in the centre)

(optional: let your son practice his Blue Steel-with-facial-hair look?!)

thread some beads randomly and you're done!

inspired by this oldy-but-a-goody + this

lovin party week~~ :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

party week: giveaway #1

this week i'm celebrating by finally being brave and wearing my mustard tights i've had for about 2 months now.

 hurrah! i LOVE them!
...and by the end of this week you'll wish you owned a pair too!! haha.
(either that, or you'll be sick of seeing mustard-coloured tights ;) )

anyway, i'm gonna get this party started by giving one of you lovely readers a little thank you gift:


i saw these cute mary-janes on pinterest and had to paint them. so, up for grabs is one (unframed) 12cm x 12cm ink & watercolour painting.

if you're a follower and this painting makes you go nawwwww~ then comment below telling me what fashion trend you secretly adore but would never be brave enough to wear!

yay, party week!

Make my Week #21 - Workshop Doll

i made a doll for ME last week! *gasp* i know~~

pretty relieved it wasn't an order because this guy pretty much coughed, drooled, cried and snotted all over it while i made it. it'd be like, "here have a bonus virus with your custom doll!"

i LOVE this fabric - good old-fashioned quality cotton (originally an apron) in the happiest colours!
don't you think?

the doll was actually a test run for this, yikes!:

(Jada copied my flyer. cute!)

i'll leave you with a maxi-happy image:


Sunday, May 29, 2011

party week!

to my lovely 100 followers
you are invited to attend the

{party week!}

a week of dee.i.ys, giveaways and MUSTARD TIGHTS!!

can't wait!

(thank you lovely readers x)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


...i really, really wish you could buy kid-tranquilisers Over the Counter.

(can 18mo babes suddenly get colic?.../yawn)

hope your weekend resembles the complete opposite of these images!

Thursday, May 26, 2011



1. i was commissioned to make this rat by JR's dad. it is attached to a tape measure (the automatic retractable type) with a length of fishing nylon. looks kinda realistic huh? he intends to give to his granddaughter so she can scare JR's mum with it!! classic, he's a total crack up. 
(and yes - shame - there is a used nappy loitering on my floor)

2. mmkay, so there i was all set to do something fabulous to celebrate 100 followers, and it's back to 99. *twiddles fingers*  it's gone like this: 98-99-98-99-100-99...teasers!

3. i'm a woose when the kids are sick. neurons in my brain stop firing and i can't concentrate on anything. it doesn't get better with a)no. of kids or b)length of time being a parent.

4. in other big news, i am officially hosting a doll-making workshop next month for a handful of my mum's crafty peeps. totally freaking out (but faking professionalism of course). i would LOVE any tips from anyone who has run, or attended, a workshop. what are the rules? do's/don'ts? pros/cons?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


sometimes i think i get so caught up in making it through the days, weeks, stages, phases, terms that i really miss opportunities to be intentional as a mother.
i can't remember where i first heard/read about the 'You & Me' notebook (our name for it) idea but it is a totally ace way to develop deeper relationships with your children before they hit the tween/teen years.

basically it's a notebook of short letters between a parent and child. (sometimes it's easier to ask awkward questions, express deep feelings, or discuss tricky school situations through writing isn't it?)

i gave this notebook to Jada when she turned 7 and already it is so special to look back over the notes we've shared these last few months. i use it to encourage her, to thank her for positive behaviours i have observed, or simply to let her know how special she is, and then i put it beside her bed for her to find when she wakes. if she likes, she will reply and leave it on my pillow for me :)

she pretty much loves it :)

(and so do i.
just don't let me read over it on the eve of her wedding!!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Make my Week #20 - shirt restyle

another restyle for the project this week~
if you're like me and love detailing on clothing but are too incompetent, lazy, time-pressed to do it yourself, here is my genius solution:

take one thrifted shirt with all the fancy detailing you are too incompetent, lazy, time-pressed to do yourself * cut out the fancy part in a semi-circle kind of a way * make up your most basic peasant top according to the first tutorial google provides * and, look! 

the coolest thing? if someone asks if you made it you can say
(then mumble "kind of..." while they oooh and ahhh)

(ps.is it bad to really want your daughter's socks??!!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Made my Week #19

(we skipped a week last week cos of blogger's lil tanty.)
so here are some visual and audio snippets of my fave moments in the last couple of weeks:

JR had showed the kids how to do this at breakfast time and that evening i found Danny having a sneaky practice (umm, competitive?)

Ty has provided some much-needed humour this week at his swimming lessons*. oh man, i wished i'd filmed him using a flutterboard on his back... hyst.ter.ri.cal! i had tears streaming down my face.
anyhow, this is him learning breaststroke (it's his legs that give me the giggles):

a few weeks ago the kids were introduced to the wondrous world of the great iPAD at a friend's house. on wednesday Jada was given a gel notebook, which Ty quickly declared to be an "ipad". his imagination is unrivaled: 

after sitting there for almost 2 hours straight - no kidding!- pretending to play games (and periodically checking his emails), he finally announced, I'm sick of playing on the ipad!

ha! who needs an $800 ipad 2 anyway? pfft~


* twice a term our (school-aged) kids do week-long block courses of swimming lessons for - get this! - $12.50!!! that's $12.50 for five days in a row of 45 minute lessons with only 2-3 other kids in the group! nice... i heart homeschooling! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

kids art class #2

for my 4-6 year olds kids' art lesson today we did these 'Cool Hands, Warm Hearts' drawings.

concepts learnt and discussed were:
  • cool colours vs warm colours
  • tracing
  • following a pattern (ie, red-yellow-orange, red-yellow-orange)
  • drawing part-circles (that go off the edge of the paper)
  • and, surprisingly, drawing the circles right over the top of the hand outline was unnatural for them.  
it was fun and the mums were so encouraging.

(again this project was sourced from art projects for kids)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Make my Week #19 - Cowgirl Dolls

so this is some of what i have been working on last week:

cowgirl dolls!

and the boots:

to be honest, they don't get any Fair Play awards for being nice to make BUT i now have a pattern (and a plan!) if anyone ever orders one in the future. phew!

in fact, why don't i make patterns for all my dolls...it'd be so much easier...

Monday, May 16, 2011

postponement (again!)

this week is crazy busy. and i'm gonna have to postpone Make my Week until tomorrow again :(
BUT! i'll show you some cowgirl dolls (with real leather boots!!) i've made so hopefully it'll be worth the wait?

(gold stickers to anyone who recognises the babe above x)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

siblings=best friends? (kinda long!)

you'd think it'd be all ballerinas and cupcakes growing up between two sisters wouldn't you? i mean, if you had three daughters in a row, wouldn't you think you'd done pretty well at providing the perfect familial playmates for each other?
i adore my sisters now, but the truth is, growing up i wasn't close with either of my sisters. our friend groups came first and there were very clear rules against crossing between friend groups. it's not that we didn't want to be friends....we just didn't know how. (or maybe that it was OK to be friends)

when i was snooping in on the homeschooling community in 2009 to see if it would be a good "fit" for us, the thing that struck me the most was the relationships i saw between siblings. the siblings were friends! regardless of age! there seemed to be a wonderful absence of peer segregation. 10 year old boys would happily welcome a 6 year old boy into their activity. 18 year old girls would scoot over for their friend's little sister to sit with them! it was something i had never seen before and was so profoundly counter-cultural that it truly, deeply affected me.  so much so that this has become one of our deepest convictions for homeschooling.

and you want to know what is really exciting? is that now our kids are getting older, i can see their relationship extending beyond just someone to play lego or barbies with, into true friendships. the sad thing is, is that we have this false assumption that the more time siblings spend together, the more likely they are to strangle each other!! and therefore we need to have their friends over often, or pawn them out to their friends' homes often.
here is what i have found to be true: the more time my children spend together, the closer they become. the more time they spend apart (with friends) the more irritable they become to each other. i find that fascinating - and quite revealing - don't you?

i am not saying that homeschooling is the only way to get your kids to be friends. of course not! i know some beautiful non-homeschooling families whose children are deeply connected. but i do think it requires intentional parenting - including directing them towards each other as a first choice of playmate - and rejecting the cultural emphasis on peer segregation.

one of the ways i intentionally direct our children into friendship with each other is, very simply, brainwashing! ha!! :) i regularly tell them they are best friends. if they have treated each other badly i will ask them, "is this how best friends treat each other? is this how mummy treats [insert name of friend]?" (raising adults, not children remember? ;) )
we also have a rule (is that the right word?) where we aren't allowed to treat another person outside of the family with more kindness and respect than we treat each other. let me explain,...imagine this: i'm raging at the kids and suddenly the phone rings and it's the septic tank cleaner (often, in my case) and i'm all sweet-as-pie polite, then i get off the phone and continue my tirade at the kids? see how i treated a perfect stranger with more kindness and respect than my own children who i profess to love more than anything in the world? except i actually just showed them that i have more respect and affection for the septic tank guy...didn't i? and so, in the same way, we have this as a family rule (i'm still not convinced that's the right word. help?). it usually applies when they have a friend over and there is an imbalance in the kindness and respect being dished out!! ;)

woah, this has ended up kinda long but i have been really grateful lately for our large-ish family and that our children's best friends also happen to be their siblings.
and just wanted to share that it IS possible for your children to be best friends before they're in their mid-20s :)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

on my mind

1. i really want to pull this window seat out and put a pair of chairs here with a little table in between them. the perfect spot to sip a cuppa and look OUT at the view (currently anyone who sits here has their back to the view). I shared my idea with JR and he said, "but where will you put the laundry?". ha. (ever so practical.../sigh)

2. i am terrible at maintaining friendships. always have been. i don't have the usual gaggle of super-close female friends most women have. never have. (not sure what this means, but there you are)

3. have been thinking a lot about the blessing of siblings lately. and feel especially sad that a lot of couples umm and ahh so much over having another child after only having 2.

4. i prefer to bury my head in the sand instead of facing reality. ie, check blogs at 5pm instead of making dinner, or create/sew/paint something to forget about people/work/life drama. maybe that just means i'm an addict. or a comfort-crafter at least.

5. i have yellow mustard tights and am too scared to wear them out in public. but i am seriously in LOVE with them.

6. i am dreaming of particiapting in a popular local annual market. there would be no real purpose or benefit besides the experience.

7. i am also dreaming of hosting a workshop. i'd have no idea what to teach, but i think i'd really like to. 

8. i think a rodent has died in between the floor levels. in the spare room. yuk!! it's a wait-it-out job cos nothing is fitting in there to get it out.

so, yeah.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Make my Week #18 - RE-restyle

remember this restyle?
(and how i said i knew i'd never wear it? well, (finally) i'm getting to know myself pretty well. i was right, i never wore it.)

feb restyle

and so, on the eve of Easter Sunday I re-restyled it into a dress for Jada:

I kept the scalloped collar and tried -really hard - to do a bodice out of the stripe but that fabric was determined to float everywhere and the stripes were much too unforgiving of such floaty behaviour!

her Poppa especially loved it, so that was nice.

Monday, May 9, 2011


i'll show you something tomorrow for Make my Week i promise.
right now i've got roughly 50 billion dolls to sew...

goodnight! x
(to those of you who are lucky enough to be heading off to bed...)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mothers' day

my mother
{Lois Rosina}

my mother, not much older than my own daughter.
 and already a mother to her siblings since 8 years old.

creative, caring, determined, loyal, selfless, strong, supportive, encouraging, hard-working.

i hope i grow to be the kind of mother she has been to me.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

deja vu

because our kids are all exactly two years apart things happen at the same times throughout the year.
it's kinda fun.
but sometimes i feel like life is one big deja vu (and i often lose track of what happened to which kid!! ha)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Made my Week #17

let's start with this moment:

a deserted deck bunny to yesterday's half-eaten, ant-covered apple in 30 seconds flat :)

then there were these:
::warm, just-from-bed bodies::
::blonde heads bent low together with mischievious faces and plotting giggles::
::vibrant green grass in was-rainy, now-sunny evening light::
::a hip-riding babe with toes tucked in tight::

what moments made your week?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

wahine in watercolour

 does anyone remember - or have - one of these dolls?
this is my one (from my mum I think?) and was actually faring quite well until i let my baby daughter play with it a few years back. now she looks like a hare-krishna Maori doll... :(

but! today good fortune knocked at her door and she received an extreme makeover, restoring her to her former 1950s glory:

I'm dreaming of a whole set of these... :)

(help, how do i make feathers look more like feathers and less like leaves??)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

kids art class #1: peacocks

during the 2 winter terms our local homeschooling group meets every fornight to do "classes" together. i volunteered to run an art class for the 4-6 year olds. that means 2 hour-long sessions, back to back, 6 times this term. (yikes)

today we drew/coloured/painted peacocks.


::the little girl who saw my example picture and said, "i can't do that!" and then did do it (top right painting)

::Ty (saying out loud with other mums in the room): i think this looks as good as your paintings aye mum?
Other mum: oh, does your mummy paint a lot does she?
Ty (just try to imagine his tone): all the time. 
pfft! hahaha

and if you want to do this with your kiddos at home, find full instructions over here at Art Projects for Kids

(btw, Ty's is middle right. lol. in Korea they would call this "orbah" - konglish for "over", as in Over-the-Top!! ha) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

homework II

Stella set our second homework assignment: 1 photo, a drawing, some writing each depicting one of the three following: our past, our present, our future.

isn't it funny how we interpret instructions differently? i imagined the 3 components to be combined into one somehow. anyway, this is what was in my head:

photo = past: where i was brought up.

drawing = present: my upbringing shapes so much of my present and my future.

words = future: i hope to live this. to be fully aware of the preciousness of time and life. of past and present.

thanks Stella.

(who's next?)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Make my Week #17 - (more) boy dolls

for prem baby, born at 27 weeks.
snap domes open for a little love note pocket.
(i added freckles before sending to young-him-down a bit)

a race-car driver doll for, well, Liam. obviously ;)his zip opens for a pocket for love notes, tooth fairy $$, etc

i had made something else i really wanted to show you but my camera would have had a hernia trying to produce a decent photo in today's dreary conditions. show soon though k?