Tuesday, March 25, 2014

mousehouse 'ABC suitcase' giveaway

I absolutely love anything to do with the alphabet- typographical artworks, abc books, alphabet posters, abc games and puzzles…I don't know if it's the teacher in me or just the simplicity of the alphabet but I have built up a bit of a collection of games, books and puzzles plus I love making my own ABC activities as well.  And I think children having some knowledge of letters and sounds before they start school is really beneficial- not in a flash card/rote learning type way, just building on their natural curiosity and interest in letters and the ABC's by reading, playing games and puzzles, and talking about letters and sounds in daily life. So I thought with Stella starting school this week I would finally sort out and share my ABC giveaway that I have been planning for ages now.  And Jasmine from Bubbalooz kindly donated one of her lovely mini suitcases for the giveaway which was perfect to keep all of the items in. I used a piece of scrapbooking card to decorate the underside of the lid of the suitcase and have filled it with a few things for one of you to win….

In the suitcase I've put...

*'My First Book of Letters' board book by Alain Gree - I love the vintage style illustrations in this book

* ABC ice cube or chocolate molds

* Aluminium Alphabet water bottle

*A sheet of my favourite ABC little house stickers

*A roll of ABC wash tape

* A lollipop pen to practice all those abc's!

So if you would like to win this all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me how old your children are (you don't need to write their names if you would prefer not to) and what they are interested in eg: reading, writing, numbers and counting, lego, pirates, dinosaurs, fairies, art, sport, space, animals…. If you don't have children you could tell me what you are interested in, don't worry about your age though ;)
Giveaway will be open until next Tuesday the 1st April.
International entries welcome.

For extra entries you can like my Facebook page - just leave a separate comment telling me you have (or already do.)
You can also follow me on Pinterest for another entry

There are other ways for gaining entries on my Facebook page as well...

Thank you for reading 'mousehouse' and good luck :)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scrap Bag Swap 2014 - A Pocket Organiser

Ever since seeing this gorgeous pocket organiser on Pinterest  (from the blog post http://nicety.livejournal.com/1217050.html which has lots more photo's of the stunning kids space the organiser is hanging in) I wanted to make my own one and late last year I finally did, making one for my friend's daughters 7 year old birthday. Some of the fabrics I used were from a fabric scrap bag swap I took part in 2 years ago organised by Nin  (I was very lucky to also get Nin as my swap partner who sent me a beautiful bag of scrap fabrics which have been well used) so it was fun to get them out again to make this.  If you have a bunch of scraps then this is the perfect project as you can have a lot of fun choosing different pieces for the pockets and you don't need a lot of fabric for each pocket. I didn't do any measuring for this project which really appeals to me so it was a reasonably quick project too - it probably took me 2 hours max.

For the white back and front pieces I cut out 2 large pieces of fabric (each one about 50cm x 80 cm approx). I used my favourite off white cotton duck that I get from Bernina, a lovely heavy linen looking fabric that I use for heaps of my projects.  Then the fun part-  I got out all my scraps and found a mix of pink pieces, then cut out different size rectangles and played around fitting them on the front piece of fabric. Once I had them sorted I folded over the tops and sides of each pocket and ironed them, and then stitched around them.
For some pockets I added a bit of embellishment like a piece of lace or ricrac.

You could also do things like hand stitch the initial of their name to a pocket, or appliqué their name across the top of the organiser.

I added a ribbon down one side to put hair clips on, and a little ribbon loop under one pocket to attach things like headbands, or a carabina with hair ties on it like this one I shared on my Facebook page a few weeks ago.

I also added a line of lace across the top of the pockets so things like cards and postcards could be attached with pegs.
Then I pinned the pockets on and sewed around the sides and bottom of each pocket to attach them to the front piece of fabric. Once that was done I placed my back piece over the front piece (right sides together), sewed around the whole thing leaving a gap at the bottom for turning, then turned it right sides out and top stitched around the organiser to finish it off. I added two ribbon loops to the top back of the organiser so it could be hung on the wall.

I found a small container and filled it with a few things for the pockets to give with the organiser- 7 year old girls are lots of fun to buy for :) 
I can't wait to make one of these for each of my kids - anything to facilitate any sort of tidying/storage will be a good thing in their bedrooms!

Don't forget to check out all the other blog posts for Nin's Scrap Bag Swap series- there's a link to them all here, and join in the swap next year if you are keen!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scrap Bag Swap 2014

Make :: Life :: Beautiful
I'm taking part in Nin's Scrap Bag Swap for 2014- I did this a few years ago and it was so fun making up my parcel of scrap fabric, and receiving my lovely parcel in the mail as well.  This year there is also going to be a series of ideas and tutorials using scrap fabrics from the bloggers below- I'm sharing my pocket organiser I made using the scrap fabrics from the last swap. 
So if you're keen to get some great ideas for using some of your fabric stash, or want to get into some sewing then please follow along! Nin is the wonderful organiser from the blog Make.Life.Beautiful- she shares lots of really lovely sewing projects and other things so check it out here.

Here are the blog posts that will be shared over the next few weeks...

Scrap Bag Swap 2014 :: Blog Hop {Tutorial Series}

Mon 10th February             Tartankiwi – Paper pieced koru
Tuesday 11th                      Make. Life. Beautiful. - Dolly Outfit
Friday 14th                         Mousehouse – Pocket Organiser

Monday 17th                      Catalina's Cottage –  Hexie love
Tuesday 18th                      Make. Life. Beautiful.  Scrappy quilt Part 1
Friday 21st                         One Paisley Apple – Fabric Flowers

Monday 24th                       Kiwi at Heart  -   Scrappy Rope Coaster
Tuesday 25th                       Make. Life. Beautiful.  Scrappy quilt Part 2
Friday 28th                          Works in Progress – Scrappy Pot Mitt and Trivet

Monday 3rd March              NZ Green Buttons – Floral Wreath Tote
Tuesday 4th                         Make. Life. Beautiful.  Childs Bike Seat Pad
Friday 7th                            Catalina's Cottage –Giant Star Quilt

Right, better get into sorting and choosing my fabrics. This is how my fabric stash looks at the moment...

...one day it will be beautifully organised...one day... :)


Friday, February 7, 2014

Using Decorative Tapes at Home

This is my last post as part of my series of ideas for using the new Scotch® Expression Tapes,   I have had a lot of fun thinking of ideas for each of my posts- it has been pretty challenging getting them all done during one of the busiest months of the year (school holidays/going away trips) but I have enjoyed sharing my ideas with you!  So here is my last post with a few ideas for using washi tape and the new Scotch® magic tape in your home. As I said in my first post I've been using washi tape for quite a few years for all sorts of things so this is a pretty easy post to write...

I used the magic tape (a matte repositionable tape) to label my containers in my pantry.

I also use it to label containers that go to school for bake sales and the like rather than writing straight on the container.

We use our pantry doors as a bit of an art display wall so I love using washi tape to stick the pictures to the doors.
It's Valentines Day next week so I taped this heart onto a wall by our dining table and made some more washi tape heart stickers  as well.
I bought some new mascara the other day (I buy it probably less than once a year) so I had the idea of taping a bit of magic tape on it and labelling it with the date so I'll know how old it is (apparently it only has a shelf life of 3/4 months!!) 
I also had the idea of using washi tape to make a bookmark type thing just by folding over the tape about 2cm higher than the book and sticking to the other side of the page.

And here are a few more cute ideas I've found on blogs and pinterest-I have heaps more ideas on my 'I love washi tape' pinterest board as well :)

More kitchen labelling and decorating

Washi tape shelf edging

A stripy washi wall!

Label wine glasses at a party

Use for gift wrapping - this is how I wrap most of my presents now!

So I hope you've enjoyed my series of Scotch® tape posts- all of the tapes are at Warehouse Stationery or Fishpond so have fun and get crafty!

Megan x

Here are my other Scotch® Tape blog posts...

Friday Book Club

I am going to try and share some of the books I am really enjoying most Fridays this year (sometimes just on my mousehouse facebook page and sometimes I'll write a blog post as well) so here are my first four for 2014.


This book was recommended in lots of magazines over the last few months so I have just picked it up today, I noticed there were 3 other copies on hold as well so it must be popular! The novel I've just finished and really enjoyed was 'The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton-it was  a challenging read in the beginning but the story and the characters were very compelling-she is one incredible author!

Non Fiction

I bought this book late last year and have been dipping into it over the holidays- I absolutely love it and can't recommend it enough, especially to any of you mums that maybe feel you have lost a bit of yourself along the way parenting wise if you know what I mean! I really like Lisa's style and philosophies on life :)
I got this book out of the library recently as it was another one recommended in a magazine, I can never get enough of any books about organising your home (mine by the way is pretty much a complete opposite of an organised home but I have big plans this year!). I read this book the other day while my 6 year old and her friend were having a swim at the school pool and it was so nice to see/hear them playing happily while I indulged in some peaceful time reading. If I was at home I would not be able to focus the same on a book like this for long (always something to do) so I can recommend taking a book like this out with you! This book has heaps of great tips and ideas as well as lots of anecdotal stories as well about having a busy household (Antonia has 5 young children!)

Children's Books

Baxter Basics- Poems for Children by James K. Baxter
I've saved my favourite till last- I spotted this book at Unity Books in Auckland High St the other day when I went up for the night to see two good friends and couldn't resist it- am so glad I bought it. I loved these poems when I was little and this book and the illustrations are just gorgeous. Definitely a book to be treasured. I especially love the poem "The Seagull".

So I hope you enjoy my little round up for the week, hopefully it will be a semi- regular thing!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Washi Tape Dollshouse

At the end of last year I took home a dollhouse from a teacher's classroom at my daughters school, planning on doing a quick reno on it for her. Here are some before shots...

I got the kids doing a bit of sanding and then painted the whole thing white.
Then on the last weekend of the school holidays I realised I better quickly get it finished! I used scrapbooking card to wallpaper the top rooms, and then just painted the bottom floors back walls. Then I had the brainwave to use the new Scotch® Washi and Magic Tapes to tape the floors (I especially love the blue patterned magic tape that I think looks like a mediterranean tiled floor and the black and white chevron washi tape floor which I can just imagine on some stylish New York loft apartment)
As I was taping the floors I was checking facebook for something and up came this photo from the Small Acorns facebook page of a dollshouse made out of cardboxes and decorated with pictures from magazines.  Can't believe I hadn't thought of doing this before as I was thinking the dollshouse was going to be a bit sad without any furniture! So I got my stash of Your Home and Garden magazines out (so glad I hadn't got rid of them when we moved) and had heaps of fun going through them for pictures  that would work for each room. 
My favourite pictures are the bookcases as they really look 3D on the walls of the dollhouse, and I love the couches in the lounge too. Some things are a little bit out of proportion and the upstairs especially is quite random but all in all it looks pretty cool and costs a lot less than my previous dollhouse!!

Here are some more pics...I used modpodge to stick them all to the walls, and then a layer of modpodge over all the walls and floors to seal them.

I was finding it hard to find a kitchen that would fit under the window and then I spotted this cute kitchen by Emily Henderson that LeeAnn Yare shared on her facebook page so I printed it out- easy!
I found out that the lovely painting I cut out for this bedroom is from the home of Hayley who runs The Art Room Limited- she spotted it when I shared a few pics on my facebook page! 

It was pretty fiddly cutting out this bunting but a lot quicker than making my own still! The mini art works on the left and right were from an ad for wallpapers in one of the magazines.
The arrow light is from Alex Fultons home 

I thought of Miss Molly Coddle when I cut out the turquoise peacock chair for the kitchen :)

So if you are wanting to do a dollshouse reno this is a great option- you could even washi or magic tape the walls- a lot easier and quicker than paint or wallpapering! (and if you want to change it it's really easy to remove the tape). This would be a great activity to do with kids too, just give them a shoe box and let them decorate it! 

 PS: This is the last week of the Scotch® Back to School "Make it Amazing" Promotion so if you've made anything with the new Scotch® tapes upload a pic on the Scotch® facebook page here and you'll be in to win an i-pad mini- there are prizes just for voting as well. I've got one more blog post to publish 'Using Washi Tape at Home" so look out for that :)

Here are my other Scotch® Tape blog posts...

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