Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Love

So much has happened while I've been away. About a month ago my computer just stopped working so I took the opportunity to take some time off. I have been thinking about what I do here at Krafty Guts, How much I love to share creative projects and document the things my children and I do but much more, how I have so much opportunity to connect with so many other creative people in cyber space and have been inspired and challenged and above all, encouraged by the journey and the process. I really do enjoy it. So now I am dreaming of something even bigger... its gonna take more time more effort and more creativity so in the meantime I am going to stop and reflect and be grateful for now (and pray for a fancy computer to fall into my lap, I feel naked without photos on here...)

 I am grateful for...
*A computer on loan from Mum and Dad
*Sleeping children
*A great day with my sister
*A quiet car trip to listen to my own music instead of Justine Clark on repeat! no offence Justine...
*Two weeks shared with my husband and kids
*Peeps who believe in me and encourage me
*Mums who inspire me so with strength when times are tough, with love when they seem all loved out.
*kids who challenge me and make me want to be a better me
*moments when I turn to mush: a giant leap-into-your-arms cuddle from Angus, a joyous belowing angelic mash-up song of all her favourite tunes from Ruby or a loud, unrestrained squeel of delight from Poppy.
I hope you too, have so much to delight in tonight. x

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friday Love

These past few weeks I have been without a computer but still have alot to be thankful for. These days we have been taking it easy at home mostly. Cooking, playing, crafting and lots of other fun stuff and most importantly having a siesta. This has been my life saver recently. I must have forgotten how much young kids need their sleep (and how much I need a break). Things are alot less intense and I feel much calmer and ready to enjoy the ride my kids take me on each day. We get alot more done too. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Waterproof Swim Bag

Here's what I did with the rest of the oil cloth I bought.

Its a tote or a bag with holes punched out at the base to carry towels and wet swimmers without them making everything soggy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

Friends and family who enrich our lives so much, most of whom celebrated our children's birthdays on the weekend with us and made the day amazing.
Friends who are far away, who are still close to my heart, Stacey, Josie and Katherine. I miss you guys! x
Happy, healthy children.
Down time to stop and appreciate it.
Neighbours who don't complain about the kids screaming (or the mum screaming)
A homeschooling community who encourage me and inspire me and who make this decision to homeschool a little easier.
Beautiful weather
A great babysitter
A good book
A pantomime
Angus' constant exclamations of "OH WOW!" (so cute it makes me cry)
My girls who are truly blossoming and getting cheekier everyday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oilcloth Apron for Ruby

For my birthday girl, Ruby. A pink strawberry oilcloth apron for getting messy over and over again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Make a Poof

Here's another quick craft project you could knock over in under half an hour. Cut out 2 equal circles (I traced around a large bowl and added 1cm hem allowance). Cut out a length of material in matching or contrasting pattern, approximately 30cm in width and the length is to worked out according to the size of your circle. Measure the diameter of your circle (from one side to the other through the centre) and multiply by 3.14 to get the approximate circumference of your circle and this will be the length that you cut your meterial plus at least 2cm for seem allowance. Sew the circle on each length of the rectangle ensureing outer sides are facing in. Turn inside out, stuff with plenty of filling and hand stitch the opening. Sit a kid on top like this one.

...oh and happy birthday beautiful Ruby! xxx

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*A return to the blogosphere after my many preoccupations including the Breaking Bad Tv Series on DVD, a bout of some seriously addictive book reading (The Hunger Games Trilogy and various Jane Austen books) followed by the movies of the afformentioned books, glandular fever, a lack of motivation, early nights to bed and the obvious tending to kids and housework.
*A great Daddy to take all the kids out so I could sleep in peace, oh yeah!
*Some beautiful sunny weather amongst some very cold days
*A lovely day at the library and the local park
*Our art sessions at the park and in the front yard
*A house that was clean for at least 10 minutes at one point today
*A slowcooker

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oilcloth Apron

The aprons I created for my girls, Poppy and Ruby, were bleached beyond repair when I tried to get some stains out and ended up in the bin. So I've sewn some more indestructable aprons out of oil cloth and am hoping these will last a bit longer. This is another easy sewing project for beginners. Cut the apron shape from oil cloth (for an even shape fold lengthways and then open out). Get at least 2 meteres of bias binding. Sew a length on the short collar edge of the oil cloth and the bottom length of the oil cloth leaving two arm spaces without binding. Next sew a length of binding encasing both of the arm areas whilst leaving a loop wide enough for a little head to get through and at least 30cms on each side for ties at the back. Each end can then just be knotted.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Button Craft

Here's something else you can do with your buttons...

My children love textiles, and this is a great alternative to collage using textiles, buttons and handmade op shop finds. We used a crafters ring to create a canvas and then glued all our materials onto it. Let it dry and it is ready to hang.

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

Toilet paper
A cheeky baby
Op shops
Buttons and doilies
A new ride!!!
New homeschool friends
Sunday cook ups, I did a big cook up on Sunday and we are still benefiting from all the meals I made
Paint. Just putting a new coat of paint on something makes me feel great, yeah just short of painting a masterpiece!
Having my husband home early... time to finally clean the house
Tying up loose ends

I hope your week has been great too. X

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
Tea parties
making cubbies
long walks
sleeping babies

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Beading with Buttons

It might sound boring to us adults but beading with buttons can be quite exciting for kids. There is so much value in sorting through different shaped and coloured and textured buttons. There is the excitement of finding treasured gold buttons, or the rare beautiful pearl button or the collecting of matching buttons.  
 It can be tricky for little fingers, so great for practicing fine motor skills.
 And a final product as individual as the child who made it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

All the lessons learned this week
The lovely rain
Heaters and ugg boots and the layers of blankets that kept us warm
A crawly baby to keep me on my toes and always make heart skip a beat with the sheer cuteness of him
Poppy who learnt her that all her hard work paid off when she went and bought her play makeup table with the money she earned doing jobs around the house, (a lot of lessons learned here)
the kindness of strangers
My husband who did so much kid wrangling to give me a break even when he has been so short on time and breaks himself
The spaghetti he made at 6:00 in the morning so I wouldn't have to
Despite the hours spent sitting by the toilet and the piles of washing, the progress Ruby has made toilet training
Potato stamps, play dough and collage
A good book to read
Wine and chocolate to relax after a long week.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

$10 Worth of Faith

A stranger gave me $10 yesterday. I know it sounds silly but that $10 was worth more than it could buy that day. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I'm pretty sure everyone feels like this at one time or another and these last few weeks, it has been my turn. Wearing your heart on your sleeve all the time is painful, trying to love the people around me and connect with others only to face a brick wall all the time. Just being a loving parent and being strong has lately been very challenging. As I looked around, I could see the balls dropping around me. Yesterday, at Poppy's swimming lesson, I broke the bad news to the girls that not only had we shown up on the wrong day and that I had forgotten my daughters change of clothes but I had left my wallet at home and we couldn't get a milkshake from the coffee shop, which the girls had been looking forward to all morning. I had no idea at the time that someone had been listening to me and as we left the change room she slipped the money into my hand and told me to buy my girls a drink. She would not take no for an answer. The tears welled in my eyes as she left and I realised this is what I had been waiting for, someone like this to restore my faith in people. A small act of love suddenly made me feel as though me and my children were not an inconvenience, we were appreciated. That someone wanted to build us up and not watch us fail. That someone did not expect anything in return just for us to have a little piece of joy that we might have missed out on. The world was not going to end if the kids did not get a milkshake. The kids knew that and so did I, but this stranger gave me more than she might have realised when she handed me that money, she gave me faith to get through another day and plenty more to come.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
*Knowing how far I've come
*Realising I only have to take life one day at a time
*Moments of pure joy among screems and tantrums and spills.
*Good company and coffee (and a conversation when we can manage it)
*A husband who takes over childminding duties when I am hiding from my children...
*The 8 piles of washing that I no longer have to fold
*The way God orchestrates meetings, moments of revelation and words of wisdom when I trust Him
*So many women in my life whom I respect, who are honest about their struggles and their triumphs
*When nothing else seems to work for him, the peaceful night sky and a rocking chair to rock my baby to sleep
*A glass of wine and a good chat (or should I say, debrief) with my soul mate
*A nylon string guitar and time to myself to sing a few tunes

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Waterproof Art Bag

Just made this waterproof art bag for Poppy's A3 visual art diary and art supplies. She has begun taking art classes in the park with local homeschoolers. It is awkward carrying all these items as there are not many bags that fit an A3 sized visual diary. We also take things home from the park that are still wet so having a waterproof bag will be very practical. We can wash the paint, glue or crayon straight off with a cloth. Poppy helped me design this or should I say, dress up the dull green material... and so handles, badge and sticking are PINK. Anyway, she loves it. Kids are climbing all over me as we speak. Not safe to type. Happy krafting! Ow

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Clay Imprint Vase

This is a great kids craft idea to introduce young kids to clay and ceramics. It looks at form, function and texture and can be accompanied by a nature walk a treasure hunt to source materials. I did this when I was 4 and enjoyed it so much that to this day I remember the whole experience. 

Get some light coloured air drying clay. Roll it out on a plastic covered board. Use shells, lego blocks, bottle caps, branches to press into the clay to create interesting textures.

 Trimmed the edges with a plastic knife and rolled into a cylinder pressing overlapping clay gently together. (If you want more secure joinery, cross hatch where clay will overlap, with a toothpick or scure and lightly paint with water before joining two surfaces together). Attach a circle of clay for the base, neaten edges with a knife once attached. Cover loosely with plastic and leave to dry for 48 hours outside. When the clay is completely dry you can paint, but be sure not to use too much water or paint or the clay will soften. We used sparkly nail polish as well for a nice bling finish! Make sure to glaze it if you want to use it with water.

It also makes a nice pencil holder ...

Happy crafting...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
*Storytime at the library
*The exercise running to get there on time, pushing over 30 kilos worth of kids up a hill!
*Red Radish cafe... One of the only cafes I have ever been to that has a huge play area for kids and I am not worried about the kids getting bored which means fun for kids and relax for Mum!
*Cute kids to play with. Angus had heaps of fun playing peek-a-boo behind the bean bags with a 3 year old boy we met. (He is growing up so quick)
*Such happy kids
*Guinea pigs
*Chalk for drawing roads and zebra crossings on concrete. Bike circuits rock.
*Togetherness (even if I had to lock myself in a cupboard at one point for some personal space)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Right Brain Exercise and Encouragement

I loved this idea to protect chalk pastels and so I did this with mine at home. 
Last weekend, I took an art class run by a local Gold Coast artist at her cafe Canvas. It was so much fun. I had been trying for quite a while now to delve into my art but every attempt I made, felt like failure. Like most artists, I am my own worst enemy. What I struggled with was my desired visual outcome. What I achieved was never quite good enough. In life I have been learning that the outcome is not always the most enjoyable part, in fact, it is, in most cases if you let it, the process of doing/creating. Most of you reading may already know this but for me it has only just sunk in and it has significantly changed the way I look at the world around me. Instead of being discouraged by the failure to meet a desired result, I am now only seeking the joy in the process! I don't know why I let this  result based thinking rob me of this joy.

Blind continuous line drawings of my teacher in pencil
We did some right brain exercises which involved drawing in continuous lines without looking at our drawings, drawing with eyes shut, drawing from memory. These exercises allow the right brain to be active without the left brain, (the reasoning) to kick in. I got so much out of this, it helped to shut out all those thoughts that occur (which for me are usually negative). Instead, I was able to clearly focus on my subject or object and notice all the details within. I really improved on my observational skills.
A pear in chalk pastel

 After indulging myself in an art session and a nice cup of coffee I felt so encouraged and rejuvenated. I didn't care what was on my page at the end of the day, I just enjoyed the experience of creating.
Are you a right brain exerciser?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
*A fantastic holiday in Boonah, full to the brim with Easter craft, playing with cousins, exploring the farm, reconnecting with family, learning from wise friends, performing at 'Variety Night' (and laughing our heads off), eating chocolate, making chocolate, avoiding chocolate, experiencing the epic Easter Story at Lake Moogerah, all the help at hand in a large group with kids (if only I had a village like this everyday)
*A home to return to
*A great book I can't put down, "Unschooling Rules"
*Friends who put up with it all and can laugh at most things
*Children who teach me things everyday
*Drive through Coffee Shop
*My True Love who brings flowers home for not only me but for my girls too (Lord please bless them with a love such as this)
*For the generosity of those around me
*Reconnecting with old friends who in 10 years have changed but somehow stayed the same (and multiplied)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
*all the help I can get, my hard-working hubby who always thinks of me and gives me time to be alone and recharge... sew.
*no one drawing attention to the 3 or 4 baskets of washing waiting to be folded for the last week.
*play dates and park meets with so many kids this week, new friends and old.
*the school holidays, time to escape again.
*the mornings a spent drawing and painting with my girls this week.
*the generosity of others, I feel so blessed when others give so freely of themselves, I only hope I can do the same.
*my big girl Poppy who became a real encourager this week
*my little Ruby who completed her potty chart today and is now officially trained
*my baby boy Angus who learned to dance this week - heart melts every time!
I am a lucky girl indeed!
I hope you have all had a lovely Friday and have a fantastic Easter break. x

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Put Your foot In It

We had quite a bit of rain last week and that left us stuck in the house. We ventured downstairs to get creative and we ended up painting with our feet. It was great, the girls got a bit more energy out and got to get very messy as well as creative. We had some large cardboard boxes that we opened up and spread them out on the garage floor. No crazy rock and roll music or drip painting like Pollock but the girls had plenty of fun.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Love

Friday, you have not been kind to me... I've had a shocker so the love is gonna have to wait until tomorrow when I have some perspective! ....back to my wine and chocolate and tacky romcom. blah

Today I am grateful for
*A good sleep in and a level head to look back at my week with gratitude 
*These little cuties that I shared my week with
*Little Dragon music
*A Night out on the town with my man (he had to tackle me to get back in the car to go home)!
*Our wonderful babysitters

Monday, March 12, 2012

Matching Skirts

1/2 a meter of fabric, 2 meters of binding, 1 meter of elastic and 1 hour later... two cute skirts for my two little girls.

When the girls came home from their morning walk I surprised them with these matching skirts and they were very excited. I wonder how long I can sew for them and get this reaction? I was super excited because of said reaction and because the skirts cost around $4 each and was so quick and simple o make. Love it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*Good mates to share the day with
*Three sleepy angels on the drive home
*Health after two days of feeling rotten
*The help of my mum so I could spend a whole day in bed yesterday!
*Two little girls, learning to look after one another... Playing doctors (we have seen a few lately)
*Our lovely new guinea pig additions to our family, Mike and Knight. For the first time in a long time,  there are now more boys than girls in our household.
*Sleep after such a busy week

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Spaghetti Painting

Want to do some painting with the kids? Mix it up today with a sensory twist.

 Instead of paint brushes use spaghetti! This was a cool way to paint and the kids loved it. A little too much at times. The pasta was warm and they made a meal out of it before getting their pasta in the paint... or what remained.

Once again, we had a ball and got very messy indeed. So that's dinner and craft in one! Yay! Now I'm wondering what else we can eat and craft with... Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Tin Bird Feeder

This is a pretty simple, straight forward craft idea that could be as elaborate and decorative as you like and could lead to more learning opportunities.

What you will need:

A large tin, thick twine or rope and bird seed. You will also need some plastic and glue to keep in place. We used an empty milk carton.


Remove both ends of the tin with a can opener (make sure there are no sharp edges sticking out). We used a tin with a lid so only one end needed to be removed. Trace a circle around the tin onto a piece of plastic. Cut the circle out and then cut in half. Glue or tape the plastic pieces to the ends of the tin to create a troff type enclosure. When the glue has dried loop a long piece of twine in through the cylinder and use it to hang from a branch. Place bird seed inside. Now wait patiently for the birds to find it...

You can decorate it as little or as much as you like and you could take photos and study the kinds of birds who visit.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*Rain and plenty of it
*Chocolate Cupcakes and my two little cooks who consumed way too much chocolate icing than the recommended daily intake...
*Storytime online for snuggling up in bed to a good story that I didn't have to read... ah.
*No cook playdough with sparkles less mess for mum, more texture, a little extra sparkle and plenty of squishability for kids.
*The leather belt Angus played with for half an hour
*A very lovely baby sitter who made it possible for me to take down the wet washing and vacuum pathway through the mess.
*Pizza, another favourite cooking activity for a rainy day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kids Craft Idea: Puffy Paint

This is a fun craft activity for something a bit out of the ordinary. Make puffy paint. The kids enjoyed making it just as much as using it. Be sure to make plenty if you are going to make a few different colours.

  • equal parts of flour, salt, and water
  • food colouring or tempera paint

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and add water. Divide into small containers for several colours then add food colouring into each container (you can also use tempera instead of food colouring). Put the paint into squeezey bottles for smooth lines or apply with a paint brush for a more painted and textured effect. Have fun and get messy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Double Layer Skirt

Love this design. It is the simple kind... Easy for anyone to make.

Ruby is loving this skirt I made for her yesterday. It is a very easy design to make but the added layer makes it a bit fancier, a bit twirlier and a bit more exciting than the average skirt. Sewing binding around the hems of each layer makes it a bit of fun too and you can mix and match materials which I love. I will be making plenty more I think. I'm wondering if the pattern works for big people too... Poppy has already put in her order, anybody else?

The instructions are found here on this lovely lady's blog, Dana Made It, along with heaps of other cool tutorials.