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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Time to eat

I've had one of those weeks that has been busier than usual. When things 'busy' up, it is more convenient to take short cuts, particularly with food, hence the takeaway containers seem to pile up.

One good point is that tonight we met up with some friends that we haven't caught up with for ages and shared a very yummy meal with them. Food for the body and food for the heart, rekindling friendships and sharing memories.

Therefore, this week, I thought that I would pick some food oriented inspiration...

This is where I wish that I had pierced ears. These chocolate heart earrings look so realistic and delicious. They would make a perfect gift for a friend (or treat yourself).

Kids Meal Soaps by 'Bubble Lane'

Believe it or not, this meal is actually made out of soap. 'Bubble Lane' make the most realistic soaps concerning food including cakes, biscuits, donuts... but they also make other items including lego, pebbles, teddies... you name it!

Tea towel by 'Kookery'

After doing a bit of browsing on Madeit, I came across 'Kookery'. This sounds like a great shop if you have a passion for cooking and linen. 'Kookery' has simple but gorgeous images and quotes on their tea towels. This tea towel particularly took my fancy, as no-one can have too much ice-cream! I will keep this store in mind for the 'foodie' lovers that I know.

I hope these items inspire your gift giving and creativity!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday in the making

Yay! I have finally finished my little hero! He is one half of a crime fighting duo. I thought that I would release my new doll designs with a male and female version, to be sold seperately (not necessarily together). This is a little sneak peak. Here he is...

Ready to save the world from anything detrimental is 'Dean'. He is equipped with mask, cape, utility belt and power bands.

I am in the process of making his partner and hope to show you what she looks like soon!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weekend Wonders - Relaxing, Chatting and Munching

It is nice to sit down and relax for a bit...

After a few weeks that were very busy with work, I decided to have a weekend where I could relax and catch up on a few things...one of them being my craft! I managed to finish of my latest little doll. He is such a cutie. I plan to show him off with some photos posted of him tomorrow. He is also one half of my design. I started cutting out the pieces for his crime fighting partner and hope to get some more stitching done tonight.

It was also lovely to catch up with friends that are part of my Bible study group. We had an 'Indonesian Night' - cooking up some Indonesian inspired food and sharing a meal together. It was delicious and it was great to chat the night away! My contribution was some 'Mie Goreng' (Fried Noodles). Mr T and I spent a few weeks over in Indonesia a couple of years ago and this is one of the dishes that I lived off of, as I am vegetarian. My version was quite tasty, but not exactly like how they make it in Indonesia. I also have a problem that when I cook a noodle dish and try and mix the noodles with the vegetables, my noodles end up in one big clump. I tried very hard to disperse the noodles and the vegetables evenly.

Even though it has been rather cold and wet this weekend, I managed to get outside for a little bit to plant some crysthanimum plants that were given to me. I also tried to tidy the veggie patch a little by pulling a few weeds. The weeds seem to love the cooler weather and grow like mad. It is an effort to keep up with the weeding.

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday thoughts - Let's Play!

This week at work we have started a new theme - Toys and Games...

Games are a fantastic teaching tool for children. They are a fantastic medium for teaching specific skills (eg. Spelling skills, counting skills, etc) and children enjoy playing games. They are also a great way to teach children social skills - turn taking, playing fairly, following rules and instructions and being a gracious winner and loser.

I used a number of games this week to teach Mathematical concepts. One of the games was a 'Concentration' or memory game to help with matching numerals to number words. I had cards that had numbers 1-10 on them and cards with the words 'one' to 'ten' on them. The children mixed up the cards, faced down and turned two cards over. If the number and the number word matched, the child kept the pair and had another turn, otherwise they turned the cards back over and it is their partner's turn.

Another game was a 'Cover up' game. Each pair of children had a game board that had numerals, amounts and number words on them (1-6). One child rolled the dice and placed a counter on the board that matched the number on the dice, either the numeral, word or amount. Then it was their partner's turn. It proves easy in the beginning, but once the board begins to be covered up, it is more difficult. If a child cannot place a counter on the board, due to their number being 'covered up', they miss their turn and it is their partner's turn.

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Inspired by coffee

What a busy week...

I've had deadlines to meet at work regarding assessment (and that has been on top of 'normal' work). Mr T has been away at times over the past couple of weeks, which creates a 'busyness' as I assume his household chores while he is away. Plus, I've wanted to keep progressing with my craft projects despite the shortness of time. Throw in meetings, sport, etc and time is quickly eaten away.

Time to sit down and relax with a coffee. I love coffee...the taste and the smell! Coffee shops and cafes are one of my favourite places to unwind. Therefore, this Wednesday I am inspired by these coffee themed crafts:

Coffee Cuff by 'Monkey and Bee'

I love these coffee cuffs by 'Monkey and Bee'. Not only are they cleverly made, but they are also a great idea to save fingers from hot, takeaway coffee cups. I have given one or two of these away as gifts to coffee loving family members. The way that I am drinking coffee, I may need one of these myself!

Fridge Magnets by 'Badge Bliss'

I thought this was a cute little magnet set with a coffee theme. I love the 'vintage' look. This would make a lovely little gift for a coffee loving friend.

Coffee Cup by 'Hey Emmaline'

Finally, something to drink nice, hot coffee out of...a mug. This mug is hand decorated. I like the uniform blue hearts. What perfect sizing and spacing!

I hope that you have time to sit down and relax with a cuppa!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday in the making

I was hoping that I would finish this little man over the weekend, but I just didn't have enough craft time to finish him off (I apologise for the 'shadows' as I had to take photos of him under lights).

I am so pleased at how he is progressing. I have a utility belt to make for him, a cape and mask and he is all set to fight for justice. I love his little shorts! They look quite formal with tucks in the front...a little more dressier than underpants over stockings. The cape and mask will set his outfit off quite nicely.

I hope to share with you the finished product by the end of the week and the start of his partner in power.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Weekend Wonders

Wow! What a weekend...

Mr T has been away this weekend, so I made a few short cuts (particularly with cooking), but also had to accomplish all of the weekend jobs by myself (washing, etc). When Mr T is away, it also gives me the opportunity to visit some shops that Mr T isn't overly fussed with (eg. Craft shops, clothes shops). Hence, I purchased some fabric, felt and thread and some clothes.

I also had my brother visit me, be it all very briefly. He arrived late one night and left early morning, so it only gave us an hour or so to chat and catch up, however, I am very thankful for that time. He is such a busy man!

I am still busy with assessment for work, however, I did squeeze in some stitching time. My doll has now got some shorts. His outfit is coming together nicely. I hope to show you my work in progress tomorrow.

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Friday Thoughts - Traffic Light Cakes

I feel very blessed to live where I do...

I live in a regional centre in Southern Australia. It has all the shops that you need. I can drive from one side to the other in around 10-15 minutes, compared to some cities where it can take an hour or so to cross the city. Some people may argue that the weather here gets rather wet and cold over the Winter...but I love it. We end up getting a beautiful mild Summer, as opposed to the searing heat that I grew up with.

This week, the children that I work with and myself have been focusing on what makes up our community. We had a 'fun day' during the week, where the children dressed up as someone who works in the community. There were quite a few doctors, a police officer, a waitress, a forestry worker, a transport inspector, just to name a few. We also made some 'Traffic Light Cakes'.

What is needed:
  • sponge cake
  • icing sugar
  • baking cocoa
  • colourful candy coated chocolate buttons (I picked out red, orange and green coloured buttons)
  • popsticks
What to do:
  • Cut the sponge cake into rectangles. We cut ours into rectangles approximately 8cm x 5cm (adult supervision is required for this step).
  • Mix around 2 cups of icing sugar with 1/4 cup of cocoa with enough warm water to make an icing paste that can be easily spread on the rectangles of cake.
  • Place one red, one orange and one green button on top of the icing.
  • Insert a popstick into one of the short sides of the rectangle for the 'post' of the traffic light. Note: the popstick is not a handle as the cake may fall off.
  • The 'traffic light' is now complete.

The children loved making these and this activity is quite easy for five year old children to do. They can spread the icing, add the buttons and insert the popstick.

Yum, yum! Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Leave your hat on

The weather is turning icy as we progress through Autumn and head towards Winter. It is time to pull out the Winter woollies or purchase some new Winter accessories.

During the week, my talented sister-in-law created a gorgeous hat perfect for the cooler weather.

This in turn is my inspirational theme for today. Take a look at these gorgeous hats...

'Plushka' is one of my favourite designers. I admire the originality of her designs and I also admire the care that she puts into each of her items. Her talent is amazing - she not only crochets, but she makes adorable little items using cross-stitch and hand stitches the cutest felt toys.

I love the style of this beanie! So casual, but also stylish. 'Baboom' has a variety of types of slouch beanies, but I particularly like the colour of this one and the wide, rib band. It would definitely keep your head warm on cool days.

Have fun and I hope you keep warm if it is cool where you are!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday in the making

This little fellow doesn't look too much like a hero yet, but soon will be.

Over the weekend I managed to stitch, stuff and attach the limbs. I have also stitched on a bright, lime green 'body' which will end up being his top. I am in the process of stitching around the body so that I can then stuff him. I love this part - watching a doll 'come to life'.

 I also enjoy designing and making clothes. This guy will have some shorts and some other accessories to make him look more powerful. I am also thinking about making up a female counterpart...

I hope to show the final product soon!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Weekend Wonders - A market, Mum and marking

This weekend ended up being quite a busy weekend...

Our church held a fair on Saturday morning. I ended up looking after the plant stall and despite the cold weather and the showers that passed through on occasion, it was an enjoyable experience. It was great to meet new people and even though plants aren't my most knowledgable area, we sold most of the stock that was donated. It was wonderful how a group of people all pull together and pitch in to put this event on - from looking after stalls to making, baking and creating all the items to be sold. A mammoth effort!

Sunday, was a funny type of day. Unfortunately, I am not a mother, so Mother's Day triggers a variety of emotions for me. However, my main focus is my thankfulness to be blessed with such a loving, caring and nurturing mother, that I still love to chat to. My parents live some distance away and I don't always see them, so I try and pass my love onto them on such a day as this, through phone and post (although I must admit that my mother's gift will be a little late...). Sometimes,I think it would be great to take Mum out for lunch, etc like some other people do, however, distance does not permit us to do that.

For me, work has its pressures for the next five weeks or so, and some time was spent today catching up on some assessment work. I try and limit the time that I spend on work on the weekend, but weekdays don't contain enough time unfortunately. However, I make sure that I have time to switch off and relax. I enjoyed spending some time today knitting and also continuing my next doll. Limbs are currently being attached and then I can focus on the costume. I will show a sneak peak tomorrow...

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Friday thoughts - We built this city

Over the past few weeks, we have been focusing on 'People in the community' with the children that I work with. We have had a number of parents share about their occupations, why they chose that occupation and what they use as part of their job. We have had a linesman, a traffic officer and a travel consultant share about their work. We have a police officer and a doctor to share a little later.

The children and myself have been practicing construction techniques so that we can build our own community - our own city next week. We practiced making doors, making windows and verandahs with cardboard and cardboard boxes so that we can get into our 'city making' next week.

Boxes are wonderful to fuel imaginative play and to practice construction techniques. I showed the children how to make a simple door by cutting into the box with an upside down 'L' shape and folding it, so it opens and closes. Similarly, cutting out rectangles out of card, folding over one of the edges and taping it to the box with masking tape creates 'opening' doors and windows.

Providing children with empty boxes and card and teaching them how to make doors, windows, wheels, etc, can 'turn' the box into anything that the imagination creates, let alone a shop.

Have fun creating!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Love you Mum!

Mother's Day is sneaking up very quickly. It's a wonderful opportunity to thank Mum for her love, support and guidance, not only during our youth, but her continued nurturing now. Whenever I am feeling down, or want to bounce an idea, Mum is a wonderful person to have a chat with. Therefore gift ideas for Mum are my inspiration for this Wonderful Wednesday. Hard to choose...

Clutch bag by 'Ooakbags'

Apron and cookbook by 'Jilly Jumbles'

Paperclip bookmark by 'Little Poppet by Ali'

Pearl necklace by 'Two Cheeky Monkeys'

What to give my poor Mum?.. I have made a special card and have a handmade goodie in the post for her.
Have a lovely day!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Monday in the making

As mentioned, I've been busy making headbands. This is my 'Pink, White and Purple' selection.

Funky purple patterned headband

 Purple and black headband

 White tulle headband

 White satin headband

 Soft rose pink headband

 Satin pale pink headband

Some of these headbands are embellished with buttons, some have diamantes added to them. Four of these headbands are sold already, but I can make more as I have more of the same fabric. They will be one of a kind as the embellishments won't be exactly the same. I've enjoyed making this selection so much that I plan to release selections of headbands regularly.

What colour would you like to see? 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Weekend Wonders - Yielding to craft

This weekend was pretty jam packed with assessment work and preparation work...however, I did have some time for fun.

Firstly, I managed to finish off the headband selection that I have been working on over the last couple of weeks. I made six headbands that are either pink, white, purple or a combination of these colours. I have loved working with different fabrics to create a 'shabby chic' type of flower. I have also liked choosing buttons or diamante to highlight the colours and features of the flower. These flowers were then stitched onto handmade headbands that were either white, black or pale pink. I will post this selection up on my blog tomorrow (or you could have a sneak peak at them on Tupsy Turvy Designs Facebook page here).

I also can't resist crafty inspiration when I walk into a craft shop. I had to get some more soft elastic to finish the headbands, hence the visit to the craft store over the weekend. Whilst in there, I spotted some pom-pom/snowball yarn (on sale) in gorgeous colours. There was also a shawl with beautiful, big buttons that was knitted in the same yarn, which looked simple, but gorgeous. It would add warmth and dress up a dress or shirt/pant set for evening wear, but it was also simple enough to throw over a top for casual wear. I looked at the tag (which stated the amount of yarn, stitches and needle size) and bought what was required to try my own version of a similar type of garment. So...I spent some time this weekend starting this new project. I figured out that I should have purchased longer needles, as the stitches are a little squished and it is a little hard to see how it is all working out, however, so far, I think it is working out ok.

Whatever you got up to on the weekend, I hope that it was enjoyable!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Friday thoughts - Let's go shopping!

Who doesn't like going to shopping? I love walking through shops (particularly if I have the time to do so), wandering through the aisles, browsing the wares of the shopkeeper. As I am a homemade/handmade advocate, I have thoroughly enjoyed attending markets and purchasing handcrafted items or browsing websites that promote handmade items (eg. www.madeit.com.au) scrolling through all the lovingly crafted goodies.

This week, the children that I have been working with, have enjoyed learning about Australian coins and their values. We had a big bucket of play money and once given a handful or two of coins, the children sorted them into groups that had the same picture and number on them. We talked about what the picture was and why. As we are in Australia, we had a fascinating discussion on what a lyrebird is, as it is featured on the 10 cent coin. I found a 'youtube' clip of 'Chook' that used to be the lyrebird at the South Australian Zoo. The zoo went through renovations and since lyrebirds imitate sounds that they hear, 'Chook' could perfectly mimic the sounds of saws, drills and hammering, as well as mimic the sounds of other birds. You can find it here. The children were amazed!

We made our own 'shops' by cutting out pictures of items from catalogues, gluing one item on squares of cardboard complete with price tag, which was a picture of an Australian coin. Half the children opened their 'shops' while the other half were given a small handful of play money to 'buy' products. The interaction of the children was priceless - the concentration of matching coins that they had in their 'purse' to the price tag, the assistance that they gave one another, the talk about what products they 'bought'. I had to giggle how some 'shopkeepers' patiently waited for 'shoppers' to look through their items, while others had the gift of luring customers to buy.

These activities were a great introduction to money, the value of coins and the use of money for young children. It also assisted their conversation skills as they interacted with one another.

Have fun shopping!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Parties and patchwork

Surprises...my favourite! I am the blessed recipient of two surprises this week. Firstly, a surprise gift from Christine at 'Monkey & Bee', a beautiful patchwork bookmark. Christine makes the most fabulous patchwork goodies. I particularly like her pincushions, coffee cuffs and coasters. When this total surprise landed in my post box, I was thrilled!

Secondly, I won a garland from 'Ben & Jess'. I have admired Ben & Jess' party goodies for awhile, so when the opportunity arose to win a gorgeous garland made by Tracey, I had to enter. I was totally thrilled to be the lucky winner. I chose a blue and yellow colour scheme and the end result is stunning! It is going to be hung, pride of place, in my craft making area.

To celebrate the generosity of these two lovely ladies, I thought I would show my favourites out of their products. Please go and check out these goodies for yourselves. I am sure you won't be disappointed!

And if you are wondering what my goodies looked like, I have also added some photos...

My bookmark from 'Monkey & Bee'

My garland by 'Ben & Jess'

Thank you SO much Christine and Tracey!