Saturday, February 21, 2015


Over the past year we have had the great privilege in attending a local homeschool co-op full of beautiful homeschooling and unschooling families. Most families have younger children whom take turns each week to facilitate a workshop. A couple of weeks ago we attended a weaving workshop. One of the mothers opened up her home to us and set up an inviting space for us to weave. We had a really good time, many of the mums and dads got really involved in crafting their own stick weaving and sat amongst the children assisting when needed. I love the way the adults and children came together and all participated as peers in this activity. There were some beautiful creations and I was amazed to see the variety of interpretations within the activity.

 We had so much fun, that we have been doing a lot of weaving together recently. Its a great activity to take with you when you are out. All you need is a variety of yarn and you can find some sticks outside. Here are my girls at the skatepark the other day. While the others are busy riding around, my eldest finds a quiet spot under a tree and busies herself with her weaving.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for... 

Story times with the kids
Bush walks 
Outdoor art sessions
Learning new crochet tricks
Encouraging words and wisdom from my mummy friends
Pinterest inspiration (although too much dreaming is not so good)
Cooking with the kids
Ruby's love for music and dancing 
Poppy's maturity and care for her siblings
Angus' long winding tales he likes to tell (has us all in stitches sometimes)
Rosie's determination to hold everything and infatuation with her own feet
A wonderful, generous husband who drives 3 hours a day so we can live our happy country life...
I could go on. Feeling very grateful right now. Sending out my Friday love to you all. X

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...


Lots of smiles and giggles from my beautiful baby girl.
A husband home on holidays
New art supplies
The warmth of a fire on cold nights
Beautiful sunsets
Wonderful learning experiences with our homeschool co-op
Making new friends
Sleep overs
Paper aeroplanes 
BBQs with mates

I hope there are many things that bring you joy too this Friday. Sending love to you all. X

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*A day to recover and rest for the kids
*Toy Story 3 that kept the kids happy while they rested
*No one vomiting today just a general unwellness and one kid who woke up genuinely frightened of their pillow
*All the exciting things happening around us
*A new baby to arrive in February
*The morning sickness that is slowly fading
*The energy to cook (which has been hiding away for at least the last 3 months)
*The beautiful sunny weather we've been enjoying
*The parks we've been visiting
*The friends and family we've been spending time with and all the blessings they bring to us

I hope you have had a good week too! Sending out some Friday Love to you all! x

Crocodile Soup

Do you have trouble getting the kids to eat soup? I do. And with sick kids at home, I had to find some way to fill them up with good greens and vitamin C foods.

Although it's we know it's both healthy and tasty, it can be a bit of a challenge for kids to even try it. Poppy and I had to get creative today to convince the young ones to eat the healthy green soup I made. I mean, who wouldn't drool at the sight of thick, green, gooey looking food right? Poppy thought the texture looked like crocodile skin so we called it 'Crocodile Soup'. They liked the sound of that so I had an idea. We made some crouton crocodile heads to float on our swampy soup. This really appealed to the younger kids who were now willing to try it and decided they'd like a bowl too! It's funny how a little imagination can go a long way for kids.

Saute' 1 chopped onion. Throw in 2 diced potatoes. Cover and cook on low heat until slightly soft. Add 3 diced zucchinis and 2 large handfuls of chopped baby spinach. Add 2 cups of boiling water and 1 cup vegetable stock. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Season to taste and blend until smooth.

To make the crocodiles cut a piece of bread into small rectangles, crusts removed. Butter in between so they stick. Squeeze one end together so one end pops open like a crocodile mouth. Slice some pitted olives and stick on one end for eyes. Float them on top. For a crispy crouton, you can toast the bread first or bake the triangles with brushed olive oil in a hot oven.

Now hopefully, if these little crocodile hunters of mine eat all their Crocodile Soup, they'll be feeling better in no time at all.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*A baby that reaches for me for comfort when he needs it.
*The screams of delight when my girls are playing in the playground at the bookstore.
*The wonderful friends, both old and new, that I am surrounded by who encourage me and inspire me.
*The gorgeous kids who come to visit.
*The family we spent the weekend with and the country escape that always brings peace to our busy lives.
*My girls whom I'm so proud of, who are always surprising me with their energy, joy and love of life.
*The warmth inside a cosy house on a cold night
*The shouts of joy when our song plays on the radio and the dancing and singing, with all the excitement of sharing the same love of music, that follows.
*Hearing my kids make up their own lyrics to the songs!
*New pillows
*A room to hide the piles and piles of washing in
*Having all I need and much, much more.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Upcycle - Paper Bunting

I know some of you may be dead against cutting up Dr Seuss books but if you think you may be getting rid of a few or have multiple copies, this craft idea is a great way of recycling a childrens picture book.

A long piece of bias binding, an old picture book, scissors and a sewing machine is all you'll need. Cut out triangles of paper using the pages of your children's picture book, pin them in place and fold bias binding over (leave 1 or 2cm in between each triangle) and sew! 

The kids did this one on their own. I assisted them with the pinning and sewing. The kids love it because they get to sew and cut and when its done you can hang it in their room.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Berry Yummy Fruit Dip

This is a great recipe for the kids to make. My eldest (5) has been asking to make this nearly everyday since she first saw it on Playschool.

The recipe calls for a kiwifruit, 1 tablespoon of natural yoghurt, a handful of raspberries, 1 teaspoon of honey and fruit to dip.

Basically you blend all the ingredients together and slice the extra fruit into fingers to dip in the raspberry dip. No dramas.

The kids love using the blender, there is nothing more exciting than watching things get pulverised in a loud and dramatic fashion. It is a nice colourful and healthy snack idea. It's berry yummy too! Have fun! x

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for ...

*Crazy creative kids who love to get messy
*A beautiful sunny day that followed the coldest day in 11 years (or so my neighbour tells me)
*First days of football, I'm a proud Mama!
*A clean house! OMG! Yes, today it was apparently 'fun' to help mum clean the house.
*3 sleeping kiddos! still can't believe that one. Its rare these days.
*A happy and productive day, just the four of us. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kids Craft Idea - String Art

Here's a fun activity for young kids. All you need is a ball of string some nails and hammer and a peice of wood. It makes a great decoration for the home or kids bedroom and a great alternative to a hung canvas.

You can choose any shape you desire plus there are lots of fascinating patterns you can create which may suit an adult or an older child. Here are some free patterns For a younger child such as mine, it is best to keep things simple. My little sweety chose to do a heart shape. I simply drew the shape and hammered the nails in around an inch apart, tied the string in place and then let her go crazy weaving the string in and out of the nails and 'go crazy' is exactly what she did. She was so excited to create an intricate web out of string and nails and on a large scale it was quite a physically engaging activity. We used a multi coloured wool but any colour or fibre would be fine too.

I love the texture and pattern and have placed it in our living area for everyone to appreciate. The wool paired with the grainy wood brings a warmth to our home. It reminds me of the kind of art I grew up with from the 70s and 80s. I'm so glad this trend is back. Have a go. Get retro.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blackboard Paint Drawers

Chalkboard paint has changed my life. You won't believe me but its true. In my home, drawers can be a blessing and a curse. See, I figured some time ago that my habit of hiding my toys under my bed, when I was a child, in order to 'clean my room' has translated into putting random things in random drawers and cupboards in adulthood in order to 'clean my house'. The problem with this is when you go to find a toy or, in my case, a receipt or battery or screw driver... it could be anywhere! And God forbid if you opened a drawer anything could spring out at you. If the space I live in is unorganised and chaotic it spreads into every other area of my life. This is true for many people, I guess thats why the saying "a place for everything and everything in its place" is so catching. If you know where that place is just by reading it on the front, things get a little easier. 

Chalk board paint is a great solution to labelling things. You can paint it on just about anything and you can label things and relabel them just by writing with chalk and wiping clean.

This is my balinese style wall unit. It has plenty of drawers and I used to spend quite a while searching through every drawer to find something. I simply removed the handles, sanded the front of each drawer down and painted them with two coats of blackboard paint which can be found at most hardware stores and craft suppliers. It is quite cheap and dries quick. After I labelled all my drawers and cupboards with chalk, I was able to keep things in their place and find them so easily. It is a great way to organise your home and so easy, so I recommend giving it a go, it may change your life too...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Plaited Rag Headband

I always have off-cuts laying around of cute materials. I can't part with them but I can never find a use for them either. Until now.

Make a plaited headband out of scraps. Tear off three strips of fabric equal in length and width. My pieces were approximately 1cm in width and 35cm in length for a child's. Begin by knotting the three strips of material together with at least 5 cm overhanging. Plait as neatly as you can. To make this easier have someone hold the end for you while you plait or place the knotted end under a heavy object such as a chair or table leg. Tie a knot at the end. You will need to make sure that the plait is the right length on the subject. Ideally, it should measure from behind the lower ear and extend over to the other this is how to gage the length. Next you need to attach a length of elastic. I used white lacey elastic to match my fabrics. Attach one end of the fabric to the elastic by sewing it in place on the underside of your fabric plait just above the knot. Then cut two of the overhanging strips of fabric away. Use the remaining fabric to wrap around the knot and where the elastic is attached and hand sew at the back. This covers all the joinery and gives a more see less finish. Next measure the amount of elastic you need to reach around the back of the head with out stretch. This should be a good amount of stretch once you take into account the length lost in overlap. Cut and sew above the knot on the under side of the plait. Then repeat the process of covering the knot and joinery with matching material overhang.

You should now have a nice rustic looking headband and if you've used some of your favourite off cuts, you should be very happy with yourself! These make great gifts and would be great to coordinate with another handmade item in the same material.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hand Drawn Geometric Mug

This is my take on the hand drawn mug. This pattern is so simple to draw. Simple lines, fill in with zig zag and colour every second one. It doesn't matter if it is uneven. That just makes it more interesting to me. Have a go making your own.

Get a blank mug, a permanent marker and go crazy. Make sure you bake them in the oven at a high temperature for at least 10 minutes before attempting to wash them or you risk loosing your precious artwork! I would hand wash them to be on the safe side.

For a kids craft activity, get some coloured permanent markers and get creative...

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Unorganised Housewife

This week I am going to be organised, (or so I have told myself). It is a Sunday afternoon and I have butterflies, as many Mothers do, about the week ahead. Sometimes it can feel like a fight to stay on top of the mess and I find myself being pulled in all directions. It's also unhelpful to have a 3 second memory like Dory from Finding Nemo and get distracted very easily. Yes, I am one of those people who write shopping lists and then leave them at home on the kitchen bench. Homeschooling, makes things even more complicated. How do teachers do prep when there's Pinterest to get lost in?

The few times I have prepared myself, the day or night before, the days have run so much smoother. Things get done, I can prioritise without getting too distracted and I have more realistic outcomes for the day. If I can just make a simple plan, I can achieve a lot and if i put things in the right order I think I can achieve a whole lot more. I used to giggle at the Organised Housewife blogs and websites wondering if I could ever be so fastidious, do these people really have kids???People like this probably giggle at people like me, who run around all day like a chicken with its head cut off...  now I find myself seeking help from these websites and I am thankful for people with a passion for home organisation. These things are important. Granted I may never have a spotless home for more than 5 minutes at a time, I may be able to accomplish a day in which I achieve everything I set out to do eg, feeding the kids and haven't been distracted by that dust in the window runner that I only just noticed and must drop everything I was doing (whatever that was) to scrub with a tooth brush.

I found these weekly organisers which I am going to use, which are perfect for me, not too complicated.

So this week this Unorganised Housewife is going to give being organised a shot. How about you? Do you use Weekly planners? Visit home organisation sites for tips?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day Activity - Miniature Garden

A potted miniature garden is such a fun, easy activity to do with young kids. We did this today to celebrate Earth Day. Our generous neighbour allowed us to grab some offcuts of succulents growing in her yard and we replanted them in a large round pot. The kids had so much fun decorating the garden with miniature trees and creating tiny stone pathways leading to large stone houses at the end. They placed small terra cotta frogs and mushrooms in the garden and enjoyed watering it when it was completed. This would be a great activity with any aged child and relatively simple to create, with little cleanup or preparation involved. An imaginative activity that could take you anywhere really...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Homeschooling in a Small House

Anyone who has been to my house knows that it is a small space. And while I love it's old charm and the closeness at times, it can be a real challenge to find work space and keep clutter down. This year we begun homeschooling our eldest daughter or taking her life learning to the next level might be a better definition. We needed to find a space for her to do work and store books. The living room is already full, I had to find another space for her. The laundry/hall was not being used and was always an area where random items I didn't want to think about where regularly stashed. It was pretty much wasted space. So the decision to transform this space into a study area made sense. It was not a big task to turn this area into a working space. We bought a filing cabinet and stored it where the washing machine goes, installed a shelf where the dryer would be and placed a board over the sink, most importantly, I disabled the tap. Poppy was so excited to use this space and she has been able to work with ease in our home without disruption. I have been really pleased with the space. I have been able to organise all the books and work and have been using this space myself to plan school work for coming weeks and work on my own projects and household tasks. With a good study lamp and a few art works mounted on the wall, i quite enjoy using this space. What was once a wasted space has now become the working hub in our home.

Friday love

Today I am grateful for...
*the beautiful weather, rain and warmth
*baking banana bread with my littlies
*new guitar strings
*dinner already cooked at 8:00am this morning (and not by me) and so he deserves a line of his own...
*vegies that are, to my surprise, growing in the backyard.
*happy, confident, creative kids

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.