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Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday Thoughts - Giving rather than getting

We are well into the swing of Christmas...

...and into the season of giving. I love teaching the children fun Christmas crafts, but also teaching them that Christmas is not just about 'getting' but 'giving'. Young children are naturally egocentric, therefore it is important to teach them that there are others in this world, not just themselves and about putting others before themselves.

I develop a 'Kriskringle' type of idea, but instead of buying items, we make them. Over a period of two weeks, the children decorate a gift bag and then we make some Christmas items - a card, wreath, decorations, bon-bon, treats, etc, to place in it. The children know that what they are making is going to be a gift for someone else in the class, not for themselves. That also means that someone in the class is making something for them. We then have a special 'Christmas Day' and I choose someone in the class, then draw a name out of a pool of names (children in the class) and they then give their gift bag with their goodies, to that child and wish them a 'Happy Christmas'. They love making their special little items and they are focused on doing their best for their special person.

I thought I would share a photo of one of our gifts...a tissue paper wreath...

They are stunning! They put so much effort into them that you would not guess that they were made by six year olds. They are simply a ring (paper plate with the middle cut out) and squares of green tissue paper (approx. 8cmx8cm) gently scrunched over the end of  a pencil and glued on with children's PVA glue, closely together. I did cut some red tissue paper squares (same size) to place in the occasional spot for 'holly berries). This child chose to scrunch theirs up into little balls. To finish, I twisted a silver chenille stick around the wreath and twisted the end into a loop for a hook to hang it up. The finished product...

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Christmas decorations

The Christmas decorations and the glitz that it brings, has already entered stores...

...in fact, it started weeks ago. I love Christmas and it is an important religious festival for me, but it seems that I can't 'enjoy' or get caught up in the fun that it brings until I am on holidays, as the end of the year seems to be super busy. There are a number of ways to reflect on Christmas and experience its joy. One way to get into the 'spirit of Christmas' is to decorate the home with the festive touch and Christmas reminders. As we enter the season of Advent (preparation for Christmas) this weekend, I aim to put up our Christmas tree. I love cranking up the carols whilst decorating, hence my inspiration for this week - Christmas decorations...

Set of 4 Glass/Fabric Scandi Christmas decorations by 'FYL Handmade'

A unique set of decorations. This set is printed onto fabric and then framed. I love the European flavour of these decorations and the simplicity of a red motive on a white background. These would look lovely on a tree or on a gift as an embellishment.

Set of 9 Baubles by 'Velvet Bean'

This set of baubles have a touch of country and rustic charm. I love the look of the ribbon wrapped baubles with the rustic charm of string to attach the baubles to the tree. Why not use a set of these baubles in a bowl to decorate the Christmas table, similar to the photo.

Crocheted white snowflake decoration by 'Edward & Lilly'

Add a touch of Winter Wonderland with these gorgeous, hand made, crocheted snowflakes. I love the lacy design! So much skill and effort and a touch of European class...

Nativity set by 'Twinklekids'

A nativity set is a perfect way to show the story of Christmas. This set displays each of the characters, hand painted. It would look cute underneath the tree or displayed on a cupboard/shelf.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration :)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Monday in the making

During this past week I have been busy finishing off orders, mainly for multi-strand up-cycled t-shirt necklaces. However, I have had an idea for a new ring design floating around in my head and I was craving a little time to give it a try. I managed to find a little time during the week and here is the result...

This is my new 'daisy' design. It has a large, daisy like flower with a glass bead stitched in the middle. It is then stitched on a thinner band (compared to the vine ring I created earlier). Once again, I have added this ring to my personal jewellery collection, but I do aim to make more. They are comfortable to wear and are perfect for those ladies that can't wear metallic jewellery.

On the list:

  • Christmas gifts - I'm busy designing and creating some goodies for loved ones.
  • Cushions - another design that I can't wait to try!
  • Necklaces - to continue to fulfil orders and add some to my store.
Thanks for viewing :)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekend Wonders

This year is fast drawing to a close...

...and this is particularly so with work. Presently, I am wading through assessment and reporting tasks. This afternoon was spent in front of my computer, typing up reports. It is great to cross items off of the list, knowing that I am one step closer to completion (I love lists!).

I have been finishing off some customer orders and packaging them up. It is such a thrill that others value your work. I have also been experimenting with a new ring design (which I will show tomorrow).

I love making hand made gifts (hence the beginning of 'Tupsy Turvy Designs') and I spent some time last night making up one of these gifts for a special person for Christmas. I must say, this little elf better get busy to finish them all in time before we catch up with family!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend too!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Friday Thoughts - Making a Japanese lady

This year is fast drawing to a close...

...we have just about concluded our last unit at work, before we start to unwind a little with some Christmas activities. We have been focusing on 'Japan'. Here is a craft that the children and I completed after focusing on traditional dress and the lovely hairstyles that Japanese women wear.

If you wish to find out how to make these lovely ladies, click here, as I give credit to this activity to the wonderful site of 'DLTK - growing together'.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Gifts for the girls

I went on a bit of a shopping spree on the weekend...

... and no, I didn't browse through shops at the local shopping centre that display the usual thing. Instead, I checked out all the original and hand crafted goodies on madeit.com.au . I found some lovely items and I have started to receive them in the post (the exciting part!). I thought I would showcase some lovely items for the ladies in your life...

Coconut Lime Soy Wax Candle by 'Torch Soy Candles'

Candles are a lovely gift, particularly for the lady that is hard to buy for. These candles are infused with lots of delicious fragrances.

Mini Lip Balm matchbox gifts by 'Twotreehouse'

What a super idea! Inside these beautiful little boxes are three mini lip balms. Just the right size to pop in a handbag. The flavours are tangerine, mint and strawberry. Gorgeous and cute packaging!

Zip Purse with swivel clip by 'Ooak Bags'

Every woman needs a handy little bag to place makeup, keys, tissues, etc in. This one can be clipped onto a belt or key ring, to make it hands free. I couldn't go past this bright design.

Linen cushion cover with screen printed design by 'Agnes & You'

This bright pink pattern on linen caught my eye. Hand screen printed, this lovely item would look lovely in a bedroom or lounge room.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Monday in the making

Necklaces have been my focus in the studio of late...

...I have already made some out of 'Sunset Red' and 'Dark Grey'. The latest colour is 'Royal Blue'...

This colour has a silvery grey pattern added to it. Like the other necklaces, this one has five, randomly placed, weeping roses stitched to the strands. These roses have one royal blue bead stitched in the middle. Another colour to add to the collection, however, 'Sunset Red' is currently sold out as I only have limited amounts of each colour.

On the list:

  • Making a tutu (finally sourced some material).
  • More necklaces.
  • A variety of handmade Christmas presents.
Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been an eventful week to say the least...

A pleasant surprise this week was to be featured in last week's madeit.com.au 'Monday New Finds' newsletter. One of my 'Up-cycled t-shirt multi strand necklaces' were featured and shortly after my shop was sold out of them. I also have a number of orders for them to complete. It was lovely and I am currently having tremendous fun making up these orders.

I have also been doing some Christmas shopping over the weekend and of course the place that I visited was madeit.com.au to find my hand made goodies. It was lovely to peruse through the different categories and all the amazing ideas and items to find just the right gifts for loved ones. The extra bonus is not fighting through crowds or waiting in line at checkouts. However, if you do wish to purchase some handmade products for Christmas, now is the time to do so to allow sellers to make, package and post your items.

Despite the busyness of orders and the urge to create more designs, I aim to make some handmade gifts as well. Got to package up some love!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Friday Thoughts - Kimono Dolls

As mentioned in previous posts, at work the children and I have been learning about 'Japan'. We have been learning about the country side of Japan, culture, food and festivals. Another aspect we have been looking at is Japanese traditional clothing, in particular, 'kimonoes'.

I helped the children to make these Japanese inspired cardboard dolls that are wearing our attempt at 'kimonoes'...

  • Firstly, the children cut out a paper outline of the doll. I made one up that was simply a head and a body.
  • This paper outline is then glued onto cardboard and cut out again, in order to make the doll more sturdy.
  • A length of fabric is wrapped around the doll to make the body of the 'kimono'. Try to ensure that the fabric covers the 'body' area of the doll (ie. from neck to foot).
  • A length of paper around 7 or 8 cms wide and long enough to wrap around the body, is then wrapped around the middle of the doll to make the 'sash'. It is taped at the back of the doll. As in the above examples, the 'sash' could be decorated first.
  • I then helped out by tying some yarn around the middle of the sash and then snipped the ends of to represent the 'cord' like feature.
  • The children drew the facial features and hair to complete the doll.
Have a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Thursday Inspiration - Japan

Wednesday slipped by SO quickly, hence this post occurring on Thursday. Sorry if you were waiting for it ...

At work, the children and I have been learning about 'Japan'. This is a new unit for me and I have been finding it fascinating and I am learning just as much as the children. We have been learning about Japanese festivals, culture, life and food. Being an artistic person, I have enjoyed helping the children make different Japanese inspired crafts (you will see another one on the blog tomorrow). Therefore, my inspiration for this week is 'Japan'...

Japanese Design earrings by 'Mikano World'

'Mikano World' have a lovely range of Japanese inspired items, including this pair of earrings. These earrings use Japanese Kimono fabric and the red and white enhances the Japanese feel.

Japanese Kimono Cushion by 'The Niki Tree'

What a stunning cushion! I love the gorgeous pattern of the fabric - a composition of fans. I also love the tonal blue base with highlights of bright colour. A stunning addition to a bedroom or lounge room!

Origami Dress card by 'Chie No Wa'

These origami cards are so clever! Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and these cards have origami embellishments. I particularly like this cute little dress - a lovely card for a little girl. I love the addition of the 'buttons' and bow.

Cherry blossom brooch by 'Under the shade of a bonsai tree'

The detail in this brooch is amazing! Cherry blossoms signify the beginning of Spring in Japanese culture and this brooch captures this important event. I love the detail in the cherry blossoms and their colour on a raw, wood background. A unique gift.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration :)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Monday in the making

Once again I have been playing around with accessories as part of my 'Tupsy Tee' range. I have created some multi strand necklaces using up-cycled t-shirts, however, here is my newest 'accessory'...

This is one of my favourite designs. It is very soft and comfortable to wear as the body of the ring is made out of up-cycled t-shirt. It is more of a 'chunkier' ring, but it provides room to highlight the 'vine' stitching, complete with little beads for 'fruit'. As each ring is hand stitched, no two rings are identical. I enjoy wearing mine all day, although, the ring is not waterproof and needs to be removed before washing hands, etc. The upside of this, is that it is completely hand washable!

On the to do list:
  • making more necklaces (they have been in demand)
  • designing and making some Christmas presents for family and friends.
  • headbands
Thanks for viewing:)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been a lovely weekend...

...it has been the first weekend in a while that we were blessed with sunshine for both Saturday and Sunday. Even though I love staying inside and crafting, I couldn't resist the warmth and the sunshine and headed outside for part of the afternoon to do some gardening.

I did also manage to finish off a ring that I was making. I also finished off the scarf that I have been experimenting with. I hope to show some photos tomorrow.

I was thinking that I also better start thinking about Christmas and what to make or buy for family and friends. I like to support handmade businesses and make items and cards for myself, which also means leaving some time to do these things. It could turn into a busy few weeks *smile*.

I hope that you had a great weekend!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Friday Thoughts - Mountains

We have been focusing on a new topic at work this week and I have been loving it! I love adding some new topics each year, to keep variety and interest. This year, I added a unit on learning about Japan. I haven't been privileged to visit this country, but I have enjoyed researching about it. This week we focused on the land, the flag, the difference in language and traditional clothing. It has been fascinating!

Japan has quite a mountainous landscape, partially due to volcanic activity. There are many photos taken of Japan's highest, Mount Fuji, showcasing its height, complete with snow on top. This week the children completed a crafty/Maths activity making a picture of 'mountains'.

How to make it:
  • Firstly, each child had a 'mountain' coloured square of paper. We used dark green, light green and brown.
  • The children then folded their square in half and cut along the fold line to make two triangles.
  • The children kept one of these triangles aside in order to make their tallest mountain.
  • They then folded the other triangle in half and cut it to make two smaller triangles.
  • I gave the children the option of keeping both of their small triangles or swap with other children in order to have different coloured mountains. In the picture above, this child had one big, light, green triangle, but then swapped their little, light, green triangles in order to obtain one little, brown triangle and one little, dark green triangle.
  • The children then arranged their triangles, biggest one at the back, two smaller ones at the front, on a large, white piece of paper and then glued them down.
  • The children glued on cotton wool at the top of their triangles to represent snow.
  • You could add more decorations if you wish.
We chatted about how the square could make triangles and how the big triangle could make smaller triangles, therefore, this activity incorporated some mathematical concepts about Shape.

Have a lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - At the races

On Tuesday, the 'race that stops the nation' occurred in Australia - the 'Melbourne Cup'. It is Australia's most famous horse race and many people don a frock and a hat, attend special luncheons and stop to watch the race on TV (if not at the track). As for me, I am not much into horse racing, however I do love these majestic animals and I do love the hats and fashion. Hence my inspiration for this week - at the races...

Horse brooches by 'Oh Blackbird'

I love these brooches for the workmanship involved. Delicately cut horses and inner shapes and then backed with Japanese paper. How lovely!

Horse decals by 'JadaBella Studio'

These decals by 'JadaBella Studio' are amazing! Designed and made by 'JadaBella Studio' they are so professional and detailed that they look like they have been painted. This would look lovely on the bedroom wall of a little equestrian.

Purple Flower Fascinator by 'Emerald Diamond'

Fascinators are fascinating - these elegant creations created with feathers, flowers, glittery items, mesh, etc. I found it very hard to pick just one lovely creation by 'Emerald Diamonds', however, this purple number did catch my eye. Not only is the colour gorgeous, but I love the simplicity of it all - a large flower with a beautiful, glittery embellishment in the middle. It would look lovely with a purple, black or silver formal dress.

Tooty Fruity Dress by 'Pretty Parcel'

I love this vintage inspired dress. I love the simplicity of design and I also love the gorgeous, flowery print on the fabric. It is one of those dresses that could be worn during the day for work, but then could also be dressed up with a lovely necklace (and maybe some lovely hair accessories) to create a stunning evening/semi-formal piece. There are more lovely designs by 'Pretty Parcel' in their Madeit store to choose from.

I hope that these items inspire you :)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Monday in the making

I have been in an 'accessories' mood...

...I have enjoyed up cycling t-shirts to create accessories. I thought that I would make a few more necklaces.

I made another 'Climbing Rose' necklace using a number of strands and various lengths, embellished with five roses. These roses have tiny gold beads stitched in the middle.

I have also been experimenting with different designs. This necklace is also made up of various strands, however, this one is plaited and knotted at different intervals (sorry that I don't have a close up of this one...).

I have also been experimenting with some rings, also made out of up cycled t-shirts, with embroidery and beading. I absolutely LOVE the design and I trialled one today (that is mine for keeps!!) and it is so comfy to wear. It is a bit wider or 'chunkier' that some of the rings that I wear, but the design and detail is lovely. The only downside is that it is not waterproof (ie. you can't wear it to wash dishes, wash your hands, etc) but the upside is that it is hand washable if it becomes dirty or yuck. As this design is a new creation, I haven't got any photos as yet. Hope to share some with you soon.

On the list:
  • Finish the scarf (it's been on the list for a while).
  • Trial my 'Christmas idea'.
  • Tutus
  • Another bear or two or three
Thanks for viewing :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Weekend Wonders

It is nice to relish some warmer weather...

...the only drawback for Mr T and myself is: hay fever. Where we live is one of the worst places for hay fever and as Spring blesses us with flowers, grasses and warmth, so does hay fever. My hay fever is particularly bad on heavy cloud/rainy Spring days, whereas when it is sunny and breezy, Mr T's hay fever is bad. Hence one of us is sneezing away. I never used to suffer from hay fever, however, after living here a few years it has developed...urgh. However, at least it is only for a time, so I can be grateful for that.

Whilst going for my Saturday walk, I had an idea to create something cute with a Christmas theme. As it is the beginning of November, I will need to get into it quite quickly. I will have to see how this project goes, otherwise it will be something that I work on for next Christmas.

I have been loving making up cycled t-shirt items for my 'Tupsy Tee' range. I have been focusing in particular on jewellery and I will show some items tomorrow.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend:)

Friday, 2 November 2012

Friday Thoughts - 'Brushing' up on Spelling

Today I thought I would share with you one of the crafty, Spelling activities that the children completed during the week. We have been looking at words that end in 'sh' this week and one of the Spelling activities was to make a 'brush'...

We used a wide strip of paper for the 'handle' of the brush. The children wrote words ending in 'sh' on thin strips of white/cream paper. I showed them how to curl the end a little, by using a pencil (some did choose to keep straight bristles). These 'bristles' were glued down one end of the 'handle'. The children then decorated their 'handle'.

Other Spelling activities that we did:
  • I had a bunch of little, coloured paper squares. The children wrote the letters of their words on the squares and glued them on a piece of white paper to make their words.
  • We ran out of time this week for this activity, but we were going to make a fish. First, find an outline of a fish. The children write words ending in 'sh' on paper 'scales' and they glue them down on their fish.

Have a lovely weekend :)