Sunday, November 28, 2010

yummy courgettes

Our little vege garden has really come away in the last week or so. We've got tomatoes, corn, lettuce, passionfruit, spinach, blueberries and peas growing along with some basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, italian parsley and thyme.
Our courgette plant has just started flowering but my sister's is already producing some yummy big courgettes. She brought one around the other day so my hubby Ben made this delicious dinner- pork chops with sage, oven baked potatoes and grilled courgette. Yum!
 Here's how he cooked the courgettes...
1. Slice thinly longways and spray on olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides
2. Place on a hot griddle plate or the BBQ for a few minutes each side or until they are nice and soft and look like this.
Enjoy!
Megan

Friday, November 26, 2010

my creative space

My creative space at the moment is all about this forgotten sad little space in our garden.
Hopefully by the end of the weekend it's going to look a whole lot different...here's a clue for you...
I've been painting, pruning, collecting (and obsessing if you ask my hubby) but I think it's going to be worth it!
I've also finally finished a couple of personalised pillowcases and waterproof bags for a friends two children- she gave me the fabric to use- how cute is that cars one!
And amidst the sadness of yesterday hearing about the Pike River Miners both our monarch butterfly's decided to hatch out of their chrysalis's.
Thank you for your lovely comments for my christmas giveaway - I am just loving reading about all of your christmas traditions and will be adding quite a few of them to our family christmas :)

Megan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

one year on....a crafty christmas giveaway

Fri 3/12/10 Giveaway is now closed, thanks so much for all your comments! Will announce winner Saturday 4/12/10 ...
About a year ago my friend Anna came round to my house with some felt, fabric glitter pens, velisofix and other crafty things.  She wanted to make some stockings for the two children of our friends that had gone to live overseas, and she thought we could make one each. My first thought was.....I have no idea how to make a christmas stocking.....and.... how are we going to sew it up??!!!  Luckily Anna said we would just do the decorating and her mum could sew them up for us as neither of us knew how to sew.
It was pretty funny trying to work out how to use the velisofix stuff- we wasted a fair bit of it by having the iron on too cool as we had no idea how to use it. And we decided that we most definitely didn't want to sew around the letters on the stocking as that would be far too tricky which is where the fabric glitter pens came in handy- we used them to hide the raw edges!
I remember Anna asking if I had a sewing machine and me telling her I didn't even know how to fill the bobbin up and that I thought it was broken. It hadn't been used since we moved into our house over two years ago.
Well, things sure have changed... One year on and Anna now makes gorgeous dresses for her little girl and her friend's children, beautiful patchwork baby blankets, bags and even applique art works. And as you can see on my blog I caught the crafting bug too! I've learnt most of my sewing over the last year from craft books, tutorials on the web and sheer perseverance as my hubby can attest too. I've loved making bags, purses, toys and other goodies and also learning how to crochet. Next year, learning how to knit and also sew clothes for me and the girls is on my list among other things!
So to celebrate learning how to sew, one year of crafting and to say a big thank you to all of you for reading my blog, I've gathered up a few goodies for a crafty christmas giveaway which includes...
* a mousehouse waterproof zip purse
* two fat quarters of red and green floral fabric
* red and white bakers twine
* a christmas tree stamp and a black ink pad (great for making your own wrapping paper or gift cards!)
* 2 sheets of cute label stickers
* a set of mousehouse gift tags
* a french christmas postcard
* a 'Love' christmas decoration
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post or a comment over on the giveaway post on my mousehouse facebook page.  If you have a favourite family christmas tradition I'd love to read it, otherwise any comment is fine!
For extra entries ...if you want you can 
-follow my blog
-'like' my mousehouse facebook page 
-put my giveaway button on your blog. 
Just let me know in the comments section if you already do or have done any of the above- each one above gets you an extra entry :)
Entries close Friday the 3rd December, anyone can enter (non bloggers just leave your email address ) and international entries welcome.


Happy christmas crafting and thanks again so much Anna for introducing me to the crafting bug!
Megan x

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my creative space: christmas stockings and gift tags

Well, it's a busy day today with Amelie's swimming lesson, my 20 week scan, general kid wrangling and getting organised for a bonus day at work tomorrow, doing a day's relieving in one of the classes I teach in on a Tuesday.
Crafting wise, I'm working on two christmas stockings for a friend's two little girls at the moment and I've finished two as well- one for Amelie and one for a friends baby girl.
 
And if I get a chance I'm going to make some more christmas gift tags, including a few for my crafty christmas giveaway I'm having soon!
Visit Kirsty's at Kootoyoo for more creative spaces....I'm loving seeing all the creative christmas ideas out there in blogland!
Thanks for visiting!
Megan

Monday, November 15, 2010

ice ice baby

It was really hot here on Saturday so I got out the ice toy thingee I made up last week. It's so easy and the kids loved it.

Put some little plastic toys in an icecream container.
Fill the container with water, put the lid on and put in the freezer.
 
When frozen, pop the block of ice out and give to the kids to play with, either in or out of the water!
The girls loved seeing their toys in the ice and trying to get at them as the block slowly melted- it took ages too which is always good isn't it!

(If you have a dinosaur or an Ice Age fan, I've seen this idea used for birthday parties where the container is filled with little plastic dinosaurs and the kids get to break the block up to get at the dinosaurs!)

And in other news....you might have noticed I've been playing around with adding some pages to my blog - I'm meant to be doing my planning for work tomorrow and as usual am the worst procrastinator ever.  I've added pages for my crafty projects, my tutorials, kids stuff and my mousehouse things I've made for my (very neglected!) Felt Shop.

Thanks for visiting :)
Megan

Friday, November 12, 2010

ABC's in the garden

We've been spending a lot of time in the garden lately and one of the things I really wanted to do was a little garden bed for Amelie. We actually bought the raised bed last summer and it's just sat next to our vege garden all year looking very sad and empty!  Finally a few weekends ago we got some top soil and compost and filled it up ready for planting. It was neat planning with Amelie what she would like to plant and going off to the garden centre together.  She chose a pansy in her favourite colour, a cherry tomato,  two strawberry plants and some marigold seedlings.
I remembered seeing ages ago (in a gardening magazine I think) a grandmother that had spelt out her grandaughter' s name using flowers which I thought was such a neat idea.  So we used the marigolds to plant a letter A which she absolutely loves. Everyday for the last couple of weeks she has been out there checking on her 'A' and telling me how many flowers have 'popped' out.
You could use flowers to make little pictures in the garden too- like a love heart , a star  or a flower made of flowers!
Will have to try growing them from seed next- so far all I've managed is some cress!
Megan

Monday, November 8, 2010

a handmade christmas stocking

 I had a lovely crafty christmas morning on Saturday with a few friends. It was great enjoying a cuppa and some baking (kid free!!),  sharing ideas for some christmas crafts and getting started on a few projects. There was a cute top being made for a 7 year old using shirring elastic (which looked so easy I can't wait to give it a go), a lovely navy and white spot apron whipped up, and for me a start on a christmas stocking for Stella.  It was so nice hearing the sewing machines going and chatting away, definitely a lovely way to spend a morning!
I made this stocking out of cotton duck which I love the look of especially when it's been washed- it looks a bit like antique linen. I went for a bit of a vintage look to the stocking so the girls will hopefully keep them for ever- I still use my stocking that my mum's friend made us when we were little!
I used a pinky red gingham for the top, some lace trim and a lovely floral fabric for the star which was appliqued with the S. I lined the stocking and added some ric rac too. To make the stocking I just  used the same tutorial I've used before from Ruby in the Dust for a child's satchel bag but without the straps and a stocking shape instead!
Lots of fabrics and trims to choose from here...onto Amelie's next! 
And if you are looking for some christmas craft inspiration my crafty friend Rosie forwarded this link to me
Have a great week, thanks for visiting!
Megan

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

hungry caterpillars and a flower fairy

Our swan plant is teeming with very hungry caterpillars at the moment so I thought I'd share this amazing video of the life cycle of a monarch butterfly I found on youtube- it is stunning to watch.
Megan x
PS: Thanks for the tips re growing seeds in the classroom- I went for cress and mustard seed in the end- hopefully they'll grow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

some more thrifty finds

It has been the most beautiful weekend here and we spent most of it in the garden which was heaven even though we've got a few cuts and scratches to show for it!
We planted vege's, herbs and flowers, pruned a massive trailer load of trees and shrubs, did a little bit of weeding and just enjoyed being outside with the girls pottering about together watching and 'helping' us.  Will share some pics soon.
Anyway, I like how a lot of bloggers share their thrifty finds on a Sunday or Monday through Sophie's "Flea Market Finds" at http://herlibraryadventures.blogspot.com so I thought I'd share a few things I've found lately.
This crochet tea cosy from the Salvation Army for $1... now I just need to actually use my tea pot!
Not exactly a 'find' as I didn't have to go far but my neighbour Karen popped over the fence yesterday and offered me her huge box of vintage patterns as they are moving soon. I haven't got any patterns so I am looking forward to having a good look through these. I like how Karen put the patterns in big envelopes and stuck the picture on the front- much easier to put the pattern pieces back into!
A cute dolls pram $5 from the kids second hand shop up the road- 'Zero to Five'- we had one of these when we were little so its neat to have one for the girls too
and this gorgeous little dress also from Zero to Five- it was brand new so it was $7 but still not bad for a new dress! I just love the fabric!
Well, back to the garden now, have a great week and thanks for visiting!
Megan
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