Monday, 30 July 2012

Funky Red Bead Necklace


My friends and family know that I never like to pay much for either my clothes or my jewellery. (See also my Electrical Wire Ring, which I made for free – but I had to pay for the electrician’s visit of course to find the wire in the first place!!)

So this Funky Red Bead Necklace fits in with my collection well! And of course, this project was very cheap and really easy! No special materials or talent required.

I purchased two packets of large red beads from Spotlight at a total cost of $4.

Then I simply cut a thin strip of material from some I already had – whatever length you’d like, but don’t forget to allow an extra bit for tying it at the back of your neck. Of course, you could sew the piece of material but for mine, I preferred the rustic, frayed look.

Then I found a large-ish needle and used sticky tape to fix one end of the material to the needle.

Then it was a simple matter of threading the material through the beads.

The best thing about this necklace is that you can change the fabric according to what you need the necklace to co-ordinate with! There are so many options with this project.

And it looks great on too!

Happy making!


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Safari Life Quilt


I recently ordered a bundle of the Happy Drawing fabrics by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 fabrics. I wanted to make Thom a new quilt for his bed since I realised all his quilts where still cot size.

I wanted to choose a pattern that didn't cut into the great fabrics and found the really simple 'turning twenty' pattern. 

It's a really simple pattern that starts with a single square which you just cut into three pieces. For my quilt I started with 12" blocks which I cut into a 4" wide strip (see the giraffes above), next cut the remaining 4" x 12" block into a 8" square and a 4" x 8" strip.

It was so quick and easy I got the whole quilt top done in a single night.

Now just to get it quilted before winter is over!

Caity x

Monday, 23 July 2012

No-Fuss Outdoor Firepit and Seating

Home Decorating:

 The other week I was looking through some magazines and saw lots of different designs for firepits, as every trendy house has one in their backyard at the moment!!

Most of the ones I saw were designer ones and would have cost some money to create. So I set about making my own (for free!) in a corner of the garden. I chose a section of an already paved area to put the firepit. I am very lucky that it was all already paved with rocks, I know!

Then I basically just put some rocks into a circle, and I added some flat ones on the top. Funnily enough, I’m starting to find some curved rocks which are all gradually going onto the top of the firepit to form a neat circle. I used a large flat rock at one end of the firepit (it’s larger than the rest and sticks out from the circle) – it is very handy for putting things on when you’re using the firepit (eg, plates, tongs etc). Then I did a bit of a cleanup around the garden (the firepit is a good dumping ground actually) and put all the sticks in there.

I then selected four wood stumps from the woodpile. I cut up some old planks that I’d saved up ages ago for some sort of project, and made the benches. The planks are just simply placed on top of the stumps. They’re not attached at all. I've seen lots of these styles of seating around before - they look great!

I then felt that the design needed ‘balancing’ so I added a decorative woodpile to one side of it.

I’m very lucky to have access to all of these things, but you never know what you’ll find in your own backyard and garden!

This project was great fun and it works really well. Now I just need the weather to clear up so we can get out there again!

Happy decorating!


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sweet Heart Drawstring Bag


Remember a few weeks ago when I made my 'Little Bit of Love' cushion and got distracted? ....well this is what I ran off to make. A sweet little draw string bag with an appliqued heart.

I trimmed the top of the bag with ric-rac which looks really cute. This pattern would make great little gift bags for a girl's party, or just use in place of wrapping paper for a special gift. 

Mine is going to use as a new little travel cosmetics bag!

Caity x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Simple Blue and White Hanging Mobile


This is yet another one of my hanging mobiles made out of cardboard, material, glue, string and sticky tape! I just love them - they’re so easy to make, and they look so good hanging up!

This style of mobile would look lovely hanging inside a front entrance. It’s double-sided too, so it can be hung from the ceiling and it will turn around and display all the different materials you have used. What a nice welcome for your visitors!

I made this one using exactly the same methods as per my Pretty- in-Pastels Easter Egg Mobile – the only difference is that I drew random circular shapes instead of egg shapes on the cardboard, and I threaded a few buttons at the bottom of the mobile to give it a nice finish (and a little bit of weight).

My Simple Blue and White Hanging Mobile is now on its way to the UK to a friend’s newly purchased home.

Happy making!


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Running Through the Heath Nine Patch Quilt


This week I managed to get this great quilt finished! I'm so happy with the result - I made the quilt top earlier in the year back here and finally got around to sending it to my quilting friend Cheryl at Baci Quilts so she could machine quilt it for me!

I chose a butterfly pattern to reflect my memories of Hampstead Heath in the summer time (which is why this quilt is named 'Running Through the Heath'....) 

I bound the quilt in a bright solid aqua a shade brighter than the aqua in the floral prints which helps frame the quilt beautifully.

I'll be sad to part with this quilt, but its heading to a good home - as Sarah and Dr P's belated wedding present. 

Caity x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Soft Colours for a Baby Boy’s Bedroom

Home Decorating:

I first started decorating my little boy James’s room when he was very little (see my previous post from 2011 Things for my Baby Boy’s Bedroom).

I was talking to someone the other day about softer-style decorating for baby boys, so I thought I’d do an updated post of how James’s bedroom actually looks now it is finished!

James is now about 18 months old, and the design of his bedroom still works really well.  I have, however, changed it around a bit, and added a few new things.

Originally, I matched up a couple of different materials I purchased from Spotlight, and sewed a bunting, basic quilt, a toy rabbit and a mat for the change table. That sounds like lots of sewing but they really were very easy projects.

I then matched some paint (Dulux Dewpoint Quarter) to the materials and painted a feature wall. These colours really are lovely and calming for a little boy.

Then I painted a canvas and chair to match the room – for the canvas, I copied a bunny from one of Lauren Hinkley’s designs. And I also purchased a basic small white paper lightshade for about $5.

Since then, I’ve added:
- More storage for toys and books – a couple of nice baskets and a rustic wooden tub

- A ‘mobile’ of sorts over his change table – it is more of a wall hanging really, but I wanted something that was a bit rustic (again) and natural looking

-    An elephant Tiger Tribe mobile and wooden running writing lettering. I just purchased the wooden lettering as is, with no paint or treatment given to it

-    Some lovely little wooden vintage-style cars that I purchased from our local Craft Shop

-    Some of my old Noddy books – James just loves looking at these pictures when I’m changing his nappy (or trying to get him to have a sleep!)

-    … and an even lovelier wooden pull-along rabbit that was given to me by a friend whose children had finished playing with it. Her grandfather had made it for her children, so that makes it even more special!

As you can see I still need to get the powerpoints in this room changed over from brown to white, so I suppose his room actually ISN’T finished for the moment! Oh well!

I also plan to cheaply update his room again in about another year, so that will be another exciting project for me to look forward to.

Happy decorating!


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Make Your Own Batman T-Shirt & Other Printing Ideas


Thom has just recently turned 3. And it seems that turning 3 means he has also moved to the age of super heroes. Around our house at the moment everything is batman this, spider man that, not to mention superman!

I thought I would have a go at making a batman top for him to embrace this latest super hero love.

I bought some freezer paper a while ago, you can get it here in Australia from Spotlight (it's behind the counter so just ask for it there and you can buy it by the meter).

This project was so simple and I enjoyed it so much I made a few other things (see end of post).

If you want to try it here are my simple instructions so you can make one too!

1. Choose the image you want to print and trace onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper.

2. Carefully cut out the shape (remember you want the outline and not the centre - see photo). Position the image on your fabric (shiny side down) and iron for 20-30 seconds with a iron until the freezer paper is completely secured to the fabric.

3. Now comes the fun part - painting!!! Depending what you are proposing to use the final image for will depend what sort of paint you could get away with - if its an item of clothing, or anything you intend to wash i would recommend buying proper fabric paint. As I was painting my image onto a stretch fabric fleecy top I bought a paint that was also stretchable.
TIP: Before you start though lay a piece of plastic between the top. This will ensure if any paint sinks through the fabric it doesn't ruin your clothing by sticking the layers together. You can use cardboard or paper, but plastic will be easier to peel off if any does leak through.

4. Once you have painted your image, let it dry in accordance with the paint instructions. To get a great cover over the dark navy fleece I had to paint 3 coats of the silver. But it's worth it for the great result!

5. Once you are happy with the intensity of the colour and the paint is completely dry gently peel away the freezer paper. Make sure you do this nice and slowly just to ensure you don't pick up any of your image while you go......and ta da it's done!

Hope you enjoyed this idea and have a look at a couple other fun images i had a go at making....

A little hot pink bunny rabbit.

Hot pink and gold hearts.....yummy!

Caity x

Monday, 2 July 2012

A Children’s Cubby House Now… and a Room for Grown-Ups Later!

Home Decorating/Creative Ideas:

We had this little room built recently by our very clever builder – doesn’t it look great? It’s currently being used as my children’s cubby house, or play house as they also call it… and they just love it!

The point of building something that didn’t LOOK like a cubby house is that it can be given another purpose later on. It could be a teenagers’ retreat, a spare room, an office or a craft room – whatever extra space we will need at the time.

The actual room size (i.e. once inside) is approx. 2.95 metres x 2.95 metres and the deck is 1.65 metres x 3.23 across, so it’s a really nice, useable size. I haven’t had the electricity connected at this stage, but that would be very easy to do later if required.

The cubby house is in the garden but still quite close to our house so it’s very easy to access from our verandah. An added bonus is that the cubby house is near my veggie garden so I will use the underneath part to store garden stuff like my wheelbarrow and garden stakes. I have planted a hedge to shield the underneath part from view.

Because of its enclosed design, we can use the cubby house all year round (it does rain a bit here and it gets very cold in winter!). I also had the glass sliding doors put into the front so that I can easily see from inside the house what’s going on outside in the cubby house.

All of the furniture, storage and shelving in the cubby house can be very easily moved around by the children. I wanted them to be able to do this so they could change things around depending on what they were playing (eg. shops or castles etc)

In these photos you can also see my Easter Egg Mobile and Peg Print III Coloured hanging up, and the Children’s Kitchen Cabinet that I made for Poppy a while ago.

… and no play house would be complete without its own mailbox ($13 from Bunnings and mounted onto a timber offcut) and garden gnome!

Poppy and James both love it! James is only just walking but as soon as he’s outside he goes straight for the cubby house door!

I can also see that this little room will be very well used for lots of different purposes for years to come!

Happy decorating!