Thursday, February 23, 2012

my creative space: a fabric bookmark

Finally a creative space post- a little something I made the other evening for my nearly 5 year old Amelie. I have been really looking forward to reading chapter books with Amelie so I thought I'd make a little fabric bookmark to mark the occasion so to speak!  I received this amazing bag of scrap fabric from Nin last week as part of her 'Scrap Bag Swap'- what a treat to go through all the gorgeous fabrics.
Amelie and I had heaps of fun choosing our favourites- there was some debate going on in regards to some of the fabrics that we both wanted for our stash's (yes Amelie has a stash already ;) so I used some of the fabrics she chose for the front of the book mark...
..and this beautiful yellow fabric for the back- we both love this fabric :)
Thank you so much again Nin for the fabric, and for organising such a great swap. Check out Nin's blog as she has made a Scrap Bag Swap Tutorial page - there are lots of great ideas for things to do with fabric scraps.

I made a pile of the chapter books I want to read with Amelie first- most of them from when I was a child hence the tattered look of them! The only one missing is Pippi Longstocking which I will need to buy as that is one of my favourite books- I have very happy memories reading about Pippi's adventures.
Here's my list if you are wanting some ideas for chapter books for your children...
And just had to share this- if you are wanting something to keep the kiddies amused for a while- read them this picture book...
then give them a basket tied onto a rope and loop it over something like this or a tree branch and show them how to pull the basket up and down like a pulley just like in the story. The girls spent nearly an hour (honestly!) filling up the baskets and pulling them up and down!!
Would love to hear of your favourite children's novels or authors :)
For more creative spaces click here
Megan x

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A mousehouse playhouse

Hi all and Happy Valentines Day to you!  I mentioned a few week back that I had a playhouse reno to share and have finally got around to collating my pics so you can take a look. This project was the reason my grand plan of handmade christmas presents went out the window last year (really need to prioritise my projects...) and yet another reason why my hubby thinks I am (just a bit) crazy.
It was seeing Stella's gorgeous play kitchen that she and her hubby made for her 2 year old that finally got me inspired- I just loved it as did my two girls when I showed them Stella's photo's. I always wanted a Wendy house as a child so this project was really me fulfilling my dream of a little weatherboard cottage kitchen- in fact if I lived in a little cottage I would pretty much want to decorate it just like this!
Here are a few Before pics of the inside the playhouse. We got it 3 years ago from here - I painted the exterior soon after getting it (which took ages) so for the inside we just bought a little toy oven, put in a bench on both sides of the house, added a sink and taps and a shelf from Bunnings and a blackboard from Warehouse Stationery.  It has been the best thing over the last 3 years to have outside- they girls love it, as do their little pals that come round.
And here are the After pics...
First off my hubby made the three shelves to go right across the wall above the bench. Then I painted the whole interior white and the floor grey.
For the colour scheme I had the idea of using the colours in Orla Kiely's multi stem fabric print (one of my favourite prints). So I ordered a metre of the fabric from and made the skirt to go under the bench and hide the plastic storage bins under there. 
And then I found this gorgeous set of Duraware cups and plates (called tennis sets) on TradeMe which pretty much matched the colours in the fabric. Duraware is great as it is like a very strong melamine- everything for the playhouse has to be very durable having seen what happens to it in there over the last 3 years!
To choose the colours for the scallop bunting I took the cups into Bernina here in Tauranga and found this lovely 'linen-look' fabric they had just got in in every colour imaginable so it was really easy to match the cup colours to the fabric.  Then it was just a trip to my favourite op shop to find some more stuff and a few more Trademe purchases and it was done. The girls loved it and it got them re-enthused about playing in it which was great.  I should add that it looks nothing like this now- most days it looks like a mini tornado has been through it and most of the stuff ends up on the lawn but hey it was still a fun project!
Here are some details about some of the other things in the playhouse
'Learn the alphabet' wooden toy from second hand kids shop Zero to Five. Phone from Kahu's Nest- a second hand shop that's part of the Raglan Transfer Station.
The microwave was a gift and the yellow scales were from TradeMe. There's a little shop till that sits on the bench too but it's not aesthetically pleasing enough to be in the photo hehe. The microwave and the phone are drilled to the bench- if you have small children you'll know why- heavy phone pulled onto little toes not fun! 
Vintage sifter and measuring cup from TradeMe. The sifter is a Bonco one if you like the look of it.
Fairy Friends print I won in a giveaway from Charlotte and Austen. Shelf from an op-shop that I painted. Flowers in glass jar purely for photograph- they would last about 2 minutes in there! 
Pots from Op-shop, play food from The Warehouse. 

Hope you enjoy the pics and thanks again Stella for the inspiration:) 
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