Scallyoop Scoop!

November 26, 2012

Tuxedo Sam (other characters available) USB sticks.

Today I want to tell you all about a fantastic online store.

It’s owned by my fabulous little sister Hayley and a friend… so I am a little bias in my recommendation…. but after I have shown you a small selection of an enormous range of products, I am sure you will agree with me.

Firstly, I will show you some of the items we have enjoyed from Scallyoop and a few reasons why I like them…. and then give you my recommendations for Christmas….. and leave you with a special offer!

Tuxedo Sam (and Friends) USB stick. 14 year old has one and loves it! Once the kids get to high school the USB becomes their best friend. These little guys wont be lost like the boring generic kind…. and are easily recognisable. Even Dad’s and nephew’s would enjoy these.

Djeco Art Nouveau Workshop.

Djeco make fabulous product. They provide great structured art projects which are vital for building skills. Over the years we have enjoyed many of these craft boxes. They are beautiful indeed.

Covering crafts from colouring, collage, puppet making, folding and knitting these sets ….made for boys as well as girls are highly recommended.

Made by the same company (and often included in the kits) are these felt painting textas and oil pastels. Be warned however….once you buy a child these beautiful textas they will never want normal ones. They make truly beautiful marks and last and last. Well worth the investment.

The oil pastels are also lovely to create art with. you will want to sit alongside your child and draw with them. I think they are better for older children ….. maybe 8+ as they can be a little messy (like oil pastels are)

Felt paint textas.

Oil Pastels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ni Hao Noodle Bowl. Now $19.95

The Ni Hao Noodle bowl is a fun way to introduce chopsticks to your children. The set comes with a noodle bowl, a patterned plate and a cute set of ‘kid friendly’ chopsticks. The little rubber man holds the chopsticks together making the pinching action that much easier! ….almost like holding a pencil and squeezing. A great gift for 6+ noodle lovers.

 

Roll-up chalk placemat.

We have enjoyed our chalk placement outside and inside. The girls use it to make signs on the cubby house and I sometimes use it to write a list of jobs for them to do…. It’s so much more fun to rub a job off with your hand after doing it!

Alice in Wonderland necklace or brooch.

What is not to love about this sweet Alice in Wonderland necklace (also available as a brooch)? Wood cut and light. Beautiful. You can also get other Alice in Wonderland characters.

Ride on Lady Bug.

The ride on bug.… yes, sadly we are past this, but have many fond memories of the girls zooming around on these. Stylistically so much more beautiful than the plastic ride on…and great for imaginary play.

Skwish classic.

Past this one too but loved it when the girls were very little. I loved the lightness of the elastic and wood….didn’t hurt when it inevitably hit them in the face! Skish Classic.

Throwing Game Klop.

I think my all time favourite gift from Scallyoop is Klop. A fantastic park game. It plays like a cross between bowls and boules with a twist or two.

Our family regularly take Klop to the park just with us or with friends and play across generations. The game is well weighted so adult or child can win….. but it’s not all luck. Brilliant!

Now….. my picks for this Christmas and beyond.

Ziggy Platter….. How groovy!

This one is for me! Yes there are gifts for adults too!

Balsam wood postcard…… can think of a few granddads who would like one of these.

Love this idea! …..and Balsam wood Plane Card just $7.95

Kokeshis Paper Dolls…. great holiday fun.

Another Djeco kit! Un-tricky origami Only $12.50

Beautiful wooden 3 layer puzzle.

How about this exquisite wooden puzzle? Lovely.

Make-a-do. Reusable connective pieces for creating straight from the recycling box.

I have loved these for a while. Such a great idea for the ‘construction kids’. Make-a-do kits.

There you have it!

Some of the best gifts you will find…. and you don’t need to go to the shops! Yay.

The site has soooo many more things to love….. and if you get in quick (before Dec 9) adding the code scallyoop10 will give you $10 off if you spend over $30 and put you into the draw for a $150 scallyoop shopping spree.

Why are you still here?

 

 

Two shirts become one skirt.

November 21, 2012

An adults tunic dress and peasant shirt into a skirt for 6 year old.

Some of you may have already seen her in this.

A super comfy fun favourite.

….and so super easy …..

Sorry it’s been so long since an upcycle!

Spring Fair Photos

November 12, 2012

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A quick slideshow of photos in case you missed our fabulous school fete.

Often we are keen to help with school or church fetes but are not sure where to start.

So, I have put together a giant list of fete and fair tutorials from around the blogging world.

So many clever people out there!

For me…. what makes a great craft to make for a fete or fair, is one that is inexpensive to make and buy , fun, quick to make, fairly easy to put together, and something people would want to hand there money over for.

All the images below are by the original tutorial writers. If you want to try one… just click on the creators name and it will take you straight there.

Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Let me know what you think.

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  1.  Bunting Cards (tiny party invite) by The Pleated Poppy.
  2.  Tissue Paper Pom Poms by diy Wedding 
  3.  DIY sugar body scrub by Craftiness is not an option.
  4.  Waterproof shower caps by Smashed Peas and Carrots.
  5.  Felt Tissue Pouches by My Growing Home
  6.  Simple Shopping Bags by The Purl Bee
  7.  House pillows by Craft and Creativity.
  8.  Beaded Heart Wand by First Palette.
  9.  3D Owl printables by Craft and Creativity.
  10.  Any colour chalk board paint by Salt Tree.
  11.  Angel placecard by Allsorts.
  12.  Covered Mouse pads by Coming Home To Roost.
  13.  Fairies in a Jar by Organised Chaos.
  14.  Paper Decoration Star by Craft and Creativity.
  15.  Button Thumbtacks by FellowFellow 
  16. Reindeer Gift Tag Printable by Eatdrinkchic.
  17. Knitted Mini Stockings by Little Cotton Rabbits.
  18.  Edible Teabag Cookie (Gluten Dairy and Sugar free)  by Whatever’s left 
  19.  Wooden Fork Dolls by Craft and Creativity.
  20.  Spray Painted Animals on lids by Pysselbolaget
  21.  Fabric Covered Lights by Rebeccasdiy.
  22.  Time for tea Soap by Cumbersome. 
  23.  Owl iphone case by handmade. 
  24.  Tea bag gift Tag by the studio of Mae 
  25.  Monogram bags by zszywka
  26.  Plush Monsters by Blueberry Moon.
  27.  Plush Penguin by Purl Bee.
  28.  Felt ball garland by The SoHo
  29. Lavender Satchels by Purl Bee 
  30. Chalk Paint Cheese Tray by Wit & Whistle

Book Week 2012.

August 25, 2012

9 year old as a suffragette, complete with banner and fliers.

6 year old as Gretel from “The sound of music”

My story series. Suffragette by Carole Drinkwater

 

The Sound of Music by Bert Fink.

9 year old took a bold turn this book week parade and decided to be a suffragette. It lead to lots of discussion in our house…. which was helpful and an education for us all. I was totally unaware of the lengths women and men went to for equality on this issue. And while I am here, I will give this series of books a plug. Our 12 year old started reading other books from this history fiction series when she was about 10 and enjoyed them immensely. They cover royal history, some ancient history and more recently modern history. This months scholastic bookclub (which I usually groan when it gets pulled from school bags) has a great deal on these books. 22 books for $88 dollars. Brilliant!

6 year old, after much discussion, decided on Gretel Von Trapp from The Sound of Music…… and yes! it is a book. Her costume came via the grandparents. A fabulous authentic Austrian dress, and a few other bits from their amazing dress-up box. Thanks guys.

I hardly made a thing!

Hope you enjoyed your book week as much as we did.

I couldn’t resist putting this one in. Gretel, Polly ( from The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis) and Emily.

 

Image by Ben Adams via Style me Pretty. The girls.

 

Last year I played a small roll in a very beautifully personal and stylishly fun wedding. I made a maid of honour dress for the lovely Cathy and this week it was included in a DIY wedding feature.

The inspirational blog, Style Me Pretty, gives lots of photos of beautiful wedding and events from all over the world. Taire had a vision in her mind and managed on a small budget to bring together a gorgeous look. After speaking to some of the guests afterwards, as expected of this talented girl, felt as good as it looked.

Clicking on the top image will take you through to a more complete set of images and a beautiful piece written by Taire about their day. Above all she wanted her wedding to be God honouring, a great day for everyone (young and old) and a joyful.

My contribution was very small, but I was so excited to be included in such a beautiful day.

Image by Ben Adams. Cathy’s dress and purse.

Inspiration: Ann Wood

July 25, 2012

Sinclair. Image from Ann Wood.

This artist, Ann Wood, makes beautiful one-of-a-kind sculpture from antique clothing. The aging of the antique piece is not seen as a disadvantage but as an opportunity for aging a new creation.

Very high end upcycling. I love it.

On her blog she takes the reader through the process of creating some of these pieces and also has photos of past work. Click on an image to take you through to the blog.

The antique coat used to make Sinclair by Ann Wood.

The gorgeous birthday girl with the jelly cake that did work. Photos by the lovely Charles Francis.

Our excitable 6 year old enjoyed a crazy mad science party a few weeks ago now.

When she suggested the idea I was a little out of my depth….. not having enjoyed science that much through school…. so I did what I do best and searched the internet for party ideas. Tim also had the great insight to ask some family friends of ours to help with the activities. They are a family full of crazy, fun, sciency folk and they did a marvellous job of entertaining and exciting the masses.

Because I was so thankful to all the people out there in cyber space posting their great ideas for me to use ….I thought  would put all the links together in one post for you to use and steal and enjoy.

Click to play this Smilebox invite
Create your own invite - Powered by Smilebox
Another free invite by Smilebox

 The invite was made using the excellent Smilebox. So easy , and so free!

Playing with IT…. the slimy stuff.

Norfolk Kids have a great recipe for custard powder gooey slimy stuff!

The super geeks preparing the rocket for launching.

The water rocket was a great hit with the Dad’s and the kids.

The Aquapod bottle launcher could quickly become a family favourite. The launcher is safe and with just a bike pump and water sends the rocket about 100m in the air.

….. a little palaeontology anyone?

Wack with a hammer to reveal a dinosaur inside. A hit!

…similar ideas at Kids Activities Suite 101.

Marbled fingernail painting….

…a little something like this.

6 year old in her scrubs playing with ‘squishy circuits’.

‘Squishy Circuits’ are the brainchild of AnnMarie Thomas. See her TED talk here. These are super cool!!

Yes, it’s an old faithful….pass the parcel. The treats inside included ‘Smarties’ and ‘Nerds’ and crystal stickers.

No link here. I adapted this game all by myself.

Even when we really had no idea what we were doing we looked the part in our lab coats. These came courtesy of the high school our friend works at. They had authentic chemical stains.

Making ice-cream to eat with our birthday ‘cake’….which was actually jelly. BIrthday girls looks a bit sceptical about this one.

We jiggled and wiggled to science music making our ice cream. You can find the recipe here.

….ooops just realised that you all have seen this outfit before on a different birthday girl. Yes the girls do borrow each others clothes.

And speaking of food…..

An exploding (not really) jelly cake.

Made this one up too after the disaster of the ‘molecule cake’ 

Inside the test tubes was a jelly snake, and it’s hard to see but the jelly was layered lime aqua and pink.

A very cool and easy way to layer jelly. The link is down but you can see from the images here how to do it. All you need is a muffin tray.

It doesn’t show fully in the photo but these drinks were colour layered….it’s all to do with sugar content.

I found this cool idea at the sisters cafe. It also works in a larger jug.

A little difficult to see….. ‘Build a molecule’ tray of round food and toothpicks. Also little specimen cups full of jelly.

The ‘build a molecule’ idea came from Come together Kids. This blog has lots more ideas re:science party.

Balloons and flower balls as party favours. If you look closely you can see the water has H20 labels.

I have talked and made these tissue paper balls before. The instructions can be found at Martha Stewart (I couldn’t do a party without her) and the idea for re-labelling the bottles of water from Kara’s party ideas. As you could imagine ….there are lots more ideas for different parties to be found here.

Last of all 13 year old and I made bunting of real chemical elements (with a few made up ones).

Were you aware the R is the element Random and Da is the element Daring?

…… not to leave out science fiction …… see chemical element Et……

The idea for the bunting came from Apartment Therapy.

6 year old in excellent company…… mad scientist together.

I used the image of Einstein from the invitations…… then photographer 6 year old doing the same face. After a short fiddle with the colours in photo shop….. we had our bunting.

How do you start putting together ideas for a themed party?

What are the best ones you have ever hosted or been too and why?

Before Christmas, the house move and the best holiday we have had as a family yet, I made my first ever unisex nappy bag. It was quite a fun process, so I thought I would share some of it.

It all began with an email out of the blue from all the way over in WA…. Deb wanted a bag that both her and her husband were happy to carry. She liked the Phoenix Files Bags shape and colour palette (although wanted to see some other ideas for colour), but wanted to make sure it was still ‘male enough’ for her Tim.

Blue/ grey Combo

Black/Avocado combo.

Red/Black/White/Grey Combo.

Tan/Brown Combo.

School Tie combo.

I emailed her a number of tie combinations. They settled on the black and avocado greens combination. To make sure it wasn’t t too feminine we stayed away from florals, paisleys and shiny ties. After we decided on the colour-way Deb cleared out her husbands wardrobe and asked if it were possible to upcycle one of his shirts for the lining.

The shirt was a King Gee style one made for a church men’s weekend away. The shirt had special memories for Tim but wasn’t something he wore. It didn’t yield quite enough fabric for the lining alone….so I added some ikea fabric from my stash.

Here’s what we ended up with.

Finished Nappy Bag with Change Mat.

Bag back....

...change mat.

Deb also wanted lots and lots of pockets.

Pockets for wipes, wallet, diary and notebooks, bottles and creams and of course nappies.

She also requested a special hook for her keys so that she wasn’t constantly searching for her keys at the bottom of the bag.

Inside looked like this.

Lots and lots of pockets. Open and zippered.

Button on key holder.

One of the more obviously telling details of the nappy bag are the side bottle pockets. I enjoyed getting my head around shaping these without compromising the given shape of the tie too much.

The strap is adjustable so as to be able to lengthen it for going over the handles of a pram or stroller and then shorten it again for carrying on the shoulder. I used a reclaimed computer-bag shoulder pad for extra comfort.

Right bottle pocket ...

Left bottle pocket.

Shoulder pad.

After I posted the bag off I received this lovely email from Deb’s husband Tim.

Hi Ally,

This is Tim (Deb’s husband) here.

Just wanted to say a massive thankyou for your superb work with our new ‘man-friendly’ nappy bag! It’s sooooo cool :)

The incorporation of my King Gee shirt is really, really nice as that was the camp uniform for a men’s retreat that I organised while I was working for church (it was a huge hit and really had a tangible impact on the friendships between the guys). So, needless to say, I am stoked at that memory being interwoven with the practicalities of caring for my precious girls!

Tim.

I really enjoyed making this one.

Anyone else need a nappy bag?

Day 1: Big smile in her skirt into dress....oh and a sneaky owl!

Day 2: A Mary Poppins impersonation before leaving home. Another skirt made into a dress.... yes and am "Over it" Brooch to finish it off.

Day 3: Orientation done! I think a song is in order. Men's shirt into a skirt and top.

Leading up to orientating 5 year olds to school, she began getting very excited about upcycling skirts into dresses.

We had made one in the past, and she really enjoyed wearing it….bit small now…

On a recent trip to the Op Shop, 5 year old bought me the two ladies skirts and suggested we make dresses for her ‘try out days’. She called them this because  she was under the impression that she would try it…ask the teachers a few questions (Like what is 2+2… because if they didn’t know, then she thought they wouldn’t make very good teachers)…..

Anyway we thought we would turn it into a fun activity together. She would pick some pieces from the Op Shop and I would make her some things to wear. While I sewed she sat on the floor and floated around watching and learning what Mummy does.

These are what we ended up with!

The first one is simply made by attaching ribbons to the top of the skirt and tying them together at the shoulder.

With dress two, I made fixed straps with ribbon and attached the ties. I also added a little ribbon on the skirt yoke to draw the ribbon print into the overall dress.

The skirt and top is a little complex to explain in a sentence, but I hope to share a tutorial of how to do it soon. It’s a great (cheap) way to introduce children to sewing…..

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