Friday, 31 August 2012

5 simple card ideas

Recently I wrote down all the birthdays and Christmas presents I have to buy/make until the end of the year.

That was scary.

So I decided to get the cards out of the way asap. You may already know that I'm too cheap to buy cards, haven't for years (except the odd cute thanks /note card pack).

So here's a few I made quickly and with things I had on hand!

(excuse the photos, I'm still without a camera and used my sister's phone!)

This one is for my brother, he's in his twenties, but I'm pretty sure this could be for lots of people on your card list; kids, grandparents, dads, girlfriends...(would that just be me?).

I just grabbed some acetate and cut a small strip, folded and stuck half round the back, and drew a 'stache on. Now my brother will never have to grow one. Again. His wife will thank me later!

This one's for my daughter's friend, who's having a party in a couple of weeks. He's really into star wars, and loves to talk about all the different characters. Yoda's one (of many) favourites! I googled "yoda silhouette" and traced from the screen onto some freezer paper and cut out - this is actually going to be the stencil for a tee I'm (hoping to) make for his gift. I used the cut out part to draw around, coloured it in,then added a groan worthy pun. 

This would also work for lots of boys/men I can think of.

This one is for another brother, and would work well for any man I reckon. I found the idea here after pinterest-ing (it's totally a thing! It's like googling.) "man card". I can't find the original source, but I did the above one then...

made a personalised one for my hubs. Ridiculously he has actually done all of these things. I know, I know.

This one is super cheesy for my sister, but could be for any teen. She'll think it's even more funny because she explained most of these to me tbh ("to be honest" fyi! Okay I'll stop now.)

Unfortunately this one photographed particularly badly :( but it's just a strip of ribbon with the person's name in alpha stickers and some "extras". I've done this for new babies and birthdays. In fact I was told one is framed! It does look a LOT better in person. But is a simple idea for lots of occasions. 

Feeling so much better now they're done! Now onto the gifts...wish me luck!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wordy wednesday (free printable)

Sorry for the quiet this week, my camera broke! :(

If you follow me on facebook you'll know I was finishing off this project, and I have a few more to show you...just have to try and fix (?!) my camera first! And I'm going to continue teasing and wont tell you what it is yet!

But until I can show you properly, here's a free download for you:

Click here to download it.

I adore this saying, and it's a really good reminder, especially at this time of year when my kids are really needing their school and friends! :)

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Ideas for kids - number bingo

I've been following mommy school with Cheri from I am momma hear me roar. I finally got around to doing one of her ideas.

This one looked easy to set up and was good for preparing my daughter for reception (I think it's the same as kindergarten? She's four.), and I thought it would also appeal to my two year old.

The idea is you draw a picture and put numbers on it. Then they roll a dice and count the dots. Then stamp the number.

Helps with number recognition, counting; and by the end of our first picture Izzy could recognise the one, two, three and five on the dice without counting. 

Plus Ethan enjoyed stamping and practicing counting too. We helped him count, as it's still a new concept, and we showed which number was where on his picture. 

Simple and educational. That's what I like! 

Speaking of simple fun, here's how our "summer" has been spent this week!

Am really loving spending time with the kids this week. (Except from  a few melt downs...) I can't believe Izzy will be at full time school in two weeks! I'm  sure Ethan and I will love the alone time, but we won't have Izzy as much, and I'm realising that from now on we'll be spending less and less time together. But it is making me make more of our time together. 

It's pushing me to do more with them. Make more of our time together. So there may well be a couple more posts like this in case you're feeling the same. 

In the spirit of this I'm wanting to work on Izzy writing more of the numbers now, anyone got any ideas that work for their kids to make it fun?

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Brownie milkshake jar and a vinyl bowl (two quick gifts)

I needed a couple of quick (and cheap of course!) gifts this week. This first one was for our family friend who was having a vinyl music themed bbq.

So I made one of these super easy vinyl bowls. The vinyl cost 49p, and took ten mins on top of a glass in the oven at 100 degrees C. 

The vinyl melts downwards in the oven creating a cool rippled bowl effect.

I also made some "brownie milkshake mix", which is just brownies in a jar, but with directions to make it milkshake by blitzing it with milk. Good, quick gift for a man. 

I chalkboard painted the lid and left it to dry over night. So easy to use this paint. I just slop it on and it seems to self level and cover really well. 

Here's my easy brownie recipe too.

Gotta love easy go to gift ideas, just using on hand items. 


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Easy bunting tutorial

This tutorial has serveral stopping and changing points, so it's can be completely unique. Just make it however you'd like. I'll explain a little more in a bit...Also this was totally prompted by a visit to my friend's house where she'd just made some really cute bunting for her boy's birthday. Really pushed me to get over my fear of bias tape!

First decide on your number of triangles, font (if any) and size. I used this Bunting template and this free font for mine. I also decided on seven squares for mine so the name I wanted (James) would have a triangle either side too.

Trace the triangle and letters onto paper, then draw round onto your fabric and cut. I alternated stripey and plain fabric on my triangles.

I used a plain green for the font, though now I wished I'd used something with a higher contrast for the lettering, like a dark grey maybe.

Line up your triangles and lettering in the order you'd like it and iron in place. It will not hold like bonaweb, but I was too lazy to cut that out too, so ironing and holding in place while I sewed worked okay for me!

Sew your lettering in place with a zig zag stitch and you could leave it there, I also sewed another triangle on the opposite fabric on the back. You can see that I left it raw, I liked that effect for the fabric I've chosen and the bunting will be on a wall or door, not played with, so I wasn't concerned. You could sew the triangles right sides together and turn and iron if you wanted a cleaner look.

Here's where I wish I had a better camera! You place your bunting triangles nearly touching at the corners and about  half way into your bias tape or you could use ribbon. 

One triangle at a time fold over the tape, looking either side of the triangle to make sure it's as even as possible, then iron down. No photo of this as I'm a wuss and it had a high burn risk!

Once you've ironed down all the way, turn the ends in and iron them too so there's no raw edges.

Then you have to pin (boo!), otherwise your ironing will be for nothing!

Sew down the binding as close as possible to the edge and you're done!

I forgot to get a picture of the other side, but it's plain, so you could use it that way or for other occasions. 

I'm thinking of doing some for Christmas gifts with Seasonal colours on one side and birthday on the other. 

Took about 1 1/2 hours to finish, with both kids at home. Pretty good and I love a project I can finish quickly! And as a bonus it only used what I already had so....


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Guest post and a new blog

While I was on holiday I guest posted for Natalie from Johnny in a dress. I showed how to make a cute cat taggie toy. Great for using up scraps and of course no spend summer!

Also I started a family blog. I've been meaning to for a while, and finally did it! It's in its very early stages, so bear with me. It will be wordier than this blog, and more personal, more like an online journal. But if you're interested it's Nosey at the Parkers.

Monday, 13 August 2012

No spend summer - Bethany from Bethsco

Hi, I'm Bethany. I love to make lots of stuff and I blog about it at That's the short version of what I do, anyway. Rhiannon asked if I'd make something for her No Spend Summer theme and I am flattered to share one of my projects on her blog. Her projects are always inspiring and I hope to follow suite.

I live in California. And here, if I forget my sunglasses, I always feel like my eyes are being irradiated by the summer sun. Anyway, don't judge too harshly when you see my sunglasses here please because I have no style when it comes to sunglasses. They are merely practical to me... besides being purple. That's just fun. To get to the point, though they are cheap, it's still annoying when they get scratched up in my purse. So the kids and I set out to make sunglass cases with some scrap fabrics we had around. They got to pick out the fabrics and decorations and had a lot of fun doing it. It was a pretty good success story in the end. Though if I'm honest I'll admit that after the kids' cases are done and well used, I've still yet to finish mine because I'm having a decisional conflict regarding what fabric to use. I know. Decisional isn't a word. Hopefully Rhiannon will give the the leeway to use it on her blog though. I usually say that it's my blog and I can say what I want, but that's not so true today. No reason they have to be for sunglasses either. They'd work well to replace boring standard cases for reading glasses or any eyeglasses.

This is a simple and quick project that can be personalized easily. Here's the how... First, to make a pattern, I cut out a paper rectangle that was 6 inches by 3 inches. I checked the size with my glasses to make sure it would fit and made one corner of the rectangle rounded by tracing a container lid that I liked the curve of.

I marked the straight long edge of the rectangle to go on the fold of the fabric. I cut out a liner and outer piece for each sunglass case. The liner was made of felt to cushion and give some substance to the case. The outer fabrics were a knit material so I wouldn't have to finish any edges.

Fold over the fabric and put that straight long line on the fold. Trace around your pattern piece and cut out.

Do the same with the outer fabric.

Next, embellish your outer fabric. We sewed on some butterflies and flowers from the same old dress that we used for the outer fabric of this case. And we embroidered my daughter's first initial.

Then we placed the liner and outer fabric together and sewed across the top to secure.

Next, we folded them in half along the fold line, and just sewed up the two sides, leaving the top open.

front- glasses case 1

back- glasses case 1
For decorating the baby's glasses case, I embroidered her first initial and cut out some hearts from striped fabric and sewed them on.

front- glasses case 2

back- glasses case 2
The kids all loved their new cases! My boy's case had to be made differently because his sunglasses were huge and he wanted a woven fabric, but I may save that for another post sometime. I do hope you're inspired to make one of these sunglass cases and save your glasses from scratches. A button and loop could be added at the top but we've had no trouble with glasses falling out. If you'd like to use a fabric that is more prone to fray as the outer fabric you could consider binding for a finished look on the edges.

Thanks, Rhiannon, again for a spot on your blog and I'll leave you all with some photos of my kids who love their sunglasses and having a great little place to stash them now!

Love Bethany's idea, and her kids are SO cute! Thanks Bethany!

For other no spend summer ideas click here.