Oh, I bet you thought this was never coming!
You can find the first half of the giant list of fete and fair tutorials and printables here, along with the criteria I used to decide on what was included and what I left out.
If you still want more ideas you can see some past items we have made (although not all have accompanying tutorials)

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  1. The Scrapbooking Jar by Crate Paper Blog
  2.  Chalkboard Serving Platter by Wit and Whistle.
  3. Knitted Snake by Purl Bee 
  4.  Paper Fortune Cookies by design wash rinse repeat.
  5.  Pebble Mat by Junk Hippie 
  6.  Clay bird ornament by JessicaJane Handmade.
  7.  Owl cushion by button bird designs.
  8.  Pillowcase shopping bag by Grow Mama.
  9.  Mouse Ornaments by Family Fun 
  10. Crocheted Washcloths by Purl Bee 
  11. Monster Bags by harrysdesk 
  12.  Pram cards by The Pleated Poppy
  13.  Salt dough Christmas Ornaments by Oleander and Palm 
  14. Rice filled heating Owls for children by Just another Hang Up.
  15.  Beaded Heart Wand by First Palette
  16. Circle Zip Earbud Pouch by dog under my desk
  17.  Tea Bag gift Tag by The Studio Of Mae.
  18. Cardboard Horses by Design Sponge
  19. Mooshy Belly Bunny by Chez Beeper Bebe 
  20. Felt Crowns by hellobee
  21. Easy Drawstring Bag by Purl Bee 
  22. Recycled Book Bird Decoration by Under the Table and Dreaming
  23. Present Cards by Craft and Creativity
  24. Babies Triange Dress by Purl Bee 
  25. Monster Slime by all things simple 
  26. DIY ice cream sundae box by family bits.
  27. Monster bibs by stubbornly crafty.
  28. Cloud and rain mobile by dailylike recipe?
  29. Bunting by the yvestown blog.
  30. Lunchsacks by All people quilt.

Enjoy….and let me know if you think you might make anything.

Monster/Fort Kit mash-up.

October 24, 2012

Yes, the monsters are back!

Lately…. I mixed together two of my favourite creative gifts into a monster/fort mash-up.

Previously,I have made fort kits  for gifts. I got the idea from saltwater kids, who got it at Bloom.

The contents of the monster pillow.

…and more recently I have been making monsters. You can see a tutorial here if you would like to make your own.

For this particularly creative  9 year old boy, I joined them together.

I’m particularly loving the eyes!

The monster fort mash! ….and a cheeky foot.

Would the 9 year old boys in your life like these?


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.

Bunting for Bronte.

New room bunting made from a lace tablecloth, reclaimed yellow and blue cotton and ribbon.

Similar idea to this one I made for Sascha at a similar time a couple of years ago.

Wall hanging for Angus.

Angus’ wall hanging made from a man’s shirt, reclaimed cottons (yellow and blue) woven tape and a recycled button.

As Sue wanted them all different I went for the shirt covering the squares rather than ties… which I usually use.

A patchworked name picture for Lachlan.

Lachie’s picture is made from reclaimed men’s ties and woven cotton fabric.

….a new idea not made before.

Still working out how to photograph finished work at the new house.

Quite liking the greeniness of the fence and the corkscrew vines poking through.

Favourites anyone?




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!


I really enjoyed making this one.

Anyone else need a nappy bag?


1. Button Cards by Martha Stewart.

2. Downloadable Gift Tags by hello, Good Gravy.

3. Paint Chip Wrapping by D sharp.

4. Pop Up Christmas Cards by Martha Stewart.

5. Nature Packaging by Justina Blakeney.

6. Stitched Wrapping Paper by Redefining Creativity.

7. Fabric Giftwrap by Chewing The Cud.

8. Recycled Fruity Packaging by Tokketok.

9. Threaded Christmas Cards by Bleach Black.


10. Paper Bauble Garland by Kidspot.

11. Filled Baubles by Country Living.

12. Felt Doves by Elsie Marley.

13. Photo blocks via Screen Print Blog.

14. Pomanders via Ohdeedoh.

15. "You mean the world to me" Ornaments by Maya Made.

16. Wire and Twine Star Garland by The Handmade Home.

17. Paper Christmas Tree Ornament by Elsie Marley.

18. Chalkboard Wineglass Tutorial by Just short of crazy.

19. The Gumdrop Garland by Martha Stewart.

20. Lego ornaments by Chris McVeigh via Ohdeedoh.

21. Christmas Tree Mobile by Not Martha.

Sing Choirs of Angels!

November 23, 2011

Angels... harrysdesk decoration 2011

As in past years I have used my favourite medium , men’s neckties, to make a decoration for the coming Christmas season.

This year was no exception.

I love how often the angelic crowd are mentioned in the biblical Christmas story, and so they have become, for our family one of the big symbols we associate with Christmas.

Every year we give the girls an angel each to hang on the tree, or sit on the mantle piece. It’s a reminder to them that God is much bigger than they can imagine, that there are things in this life they don’t yet understand and that we are all called to be messengers of the good news…… just like the angels were on the first Christmas.

Siver and Sky Blue..... no two the same.

My great friend Cathy McKay has written the poem this year, and I am so thankful to her for that.

Each angel comes with a printed poem for you to hang or use in your advent activities.

All for $12

....made from reclaimed neckties, buttons and ribbon.

Time weary waiting

On the long silent God to speak

Angel voices split cold, black silence

Saturating the void with glory


The dust-bound tremble, breaking under glory’s weight.


Fear flees with a word

God has left the glory of the highest

Slipping to the cold, dark earth

In the cold, black silence

Speaking, being, bringing peace.


Previously I have made stars and trees.

The angels, stars and trees can now be purchased via

1. Pottery Barn Inspired Advent Calendar by Hallelujahs for Joy.

2. Bucket Advent Calendar by Curbly.

3. Pocket advent Calendar by Noodlehead.

4. Advent Tree How To by Paige + Russell.

5. DIY Advent Calendar (Burlap) by Funkytime.

6. Advent Calendar Tutorial (House) by See Mommy Sew.

7. An idea to adapt for Advent Calendar by Hambley Screen Prints.

8. Countdown Calendar by Maya Made

9. Button Advent Calendar by Craftstylish.

10. Fabric (Paper Type) Advent Calendar by Roots and Wings.

11. Simple Advent Bags by Moment to Moment.

12. Burlap Sack Stocking Advent Calendar by Making the world cuter.

13. Giving Advent Baskets by Molly Piper.

….no tutorials for these but I think you get the idea!

14. IDEA: Advent shoes by Great Craft Disaster.

15. IDEA or Purchase Advent Calendar Printed Pouches by nuvonova.

16. IDEA Printable labels by Poppy Talk.

16. IDEA Parcels in a parcel by Women bible Life.

More Ideas from Last Year

What our family did in 2010…including contents ideas.

What our family did in 2009….. including contents ideas.

Cathy’s content’s ideas from Women Bible Life (a simpler and more complex version….. keep going to the end of the post for the easier one!)

Ruth’s ideas via 168 hours

Jesse (Jesus) Tree reading ideas from the voice.

Wednesday was lovely in so many ways!

Whilst the 10 and 11 year old were off having a few days with the grandparents (thanks guys!) 7 year old and I had some rare one-on-one crafty sewy girlie time.

We used the sewn heart card project I mentioned and linked to in the giant list of things to do.

I cut the shapes from the box of paper scraps, selecting only the pink and white papers.

After making a pile of hearts in different sizes, I also made a pile of square and rectangle shapes, and a pile of the heart outlines.

I then found some pink and white buttons and thread to add to the mix.

Here is what my clever little sausage made…. She has even sold 3 cards so far to friends and given one away!

A few things I learnt or was reminded of:

  1. Third children rarely get time with mum alone, especially to do something fun and learn a new skill.
  2. Learning to sew through paper/card is an excellent starting point because the paper is firm and doesn’t get ‘bunched up’ when you sew over it. It stays where you put it.
  3. There are lots of little steps to sewing even straight lines…. I only realised when I tried to show someone else how to do it.
  4. In design, it is sometimes helpful to reduce the possibilities. This is especially true with kids because every element you add requires more skills from them but actually decreases the creativity. In this project, I opened up one new possibility at a time, as she mastered the previous one.
  5. She’s a really fun kid who’s skill at learning new things surprised me.

As promised……. please feel free to fill in any hole. I am sure there are lots

Three things before I start.

1: This is my list of things I do…. not a list to tell you what you should do, and

2: I share it because I was asked to by some (to give them some ideas) and thought it may be helpful to others (for those many non-creative moments we have.)

3: Some days my 3 year old just follows me around chatting while I do countless jobs.



*play in the yard

*go to the library

*catch the train to nowhere and back again

* find a pond and feed the ducks (if you are allowed)

*good time to teach them to eat lots of different things

*laugh loudly together

*take a video of them and watch it together


*visit Cityfarm at fairfield..... or similar


Great family prices..... and take a picnic lunch

* go for a mummy/daughter/ milkshake

*take a picnic to the park for lunch

*garden together

*make mud pies

*pick fruit, veges or flowers, if you are fortunate enough to have any of these.

*go for a swim

*get in your swimmers and play with water in the yard

*have a bath/shower, at an unusual time of the day, put in lots of things to play with

*read books


Photo by 9 year old "A work at the art gallery"

* go to the art gallery. NSW gallery has a special program for 3-5 year olds

*take books to the park to read

*sing songs

*make up songs

*call the grandparents

*call the Aunts and Uncles and Cousins

*cook muffins or banana bread ( I am sure there are other things that one could bake with a three year old, but I am not a baker.

*Invite a friend over and eat the baking

*do jigsaw puzzles


Have an older sibling or playmate play the game the 3 year old wants to play.

*draw pictures on paper

*draw on the chalk board

*paint with water on the chalk board

*paint on paper….. if you feel like cleaning up

*watch older kids doing things they can’t yet, and talk to them about how they will be able to do that too one day.

* get them to help clean up

*play duplo by building something huge together and CRASH it down

*make up a story with duplo

*wrestle  (they will take a while to learn how to do this, but is great for their self control, using up energy and understanding their strength.)


*cuddle and kissing for extended periods of time.

*make up a puppet story

*read a story using a puppet

*get them to ‘read’ you a story

*leave them alone in a safe place to enjoy their own company…… they may need some convincing of this

*play with buttons sorting, feeling, talking about colours and textures, count the holes

*give the day a theme (see playschool for ideas) and do lots of activities around the theme


*Rest outside

* go to the park

* build from the recycling with sticky tape, or without tape ….just stacking and falling and rebuilding

*play in a cardboard box

*pray with them  for people that are important to them

*play an age appropriate game on the computer here or here I am still exploring this and testing sites with 3 year old. I will keep you posted…… Literally

*dance together

*look for leaves

*paste leaves to a page

*make playdough  Recipe here and here

*play playdough

*make a story up with playdough

*make ‘biscuits’ with playdough and have a tea party or “smoko” for boys. My dad was a tradesman, this is what they call morning (and afternoon) tea.

*paper , pens, pencils, crayons, textas and stamps.

*make wrapping paper from stamps or buttons


Dress -up

*dress-up and dance

*clean walls with a spray cleaner VERY watered down

*build a blanket cubby over the dining table

*take a ball to the park

*ride a trike to the park….and take lunch with you….and some books


Special spots at the power house for 3 year olds

*go to the Powerhouse museum (Membership at very friendly prices especially for families with more than 2 children)

*play Mr Potato Head… or the beetle game

*read them a kids bible, we like this one.

*read to them a giant pile of books, even if they wonder around you and appear not to be listening for

*laugh at them

*laugh at what they laugh at

*talk about how life works throughout the day

*play age appropriate boardgames and Card games. Snap, memory match, Hiss

*watch playschool, or other age appropriate TV. Be careful of shows with mean characters…… 3 year olds are great imitators.

*watch Colin ( who requires no last name)

*musical Instruments playing

*musical instrument making

* playing trains

*sweep paths

*sweep floor

*sing songs


Call a friend and ask them to come and play

*help them to share with their playmates

*help them to say sorry to their playmates

*help them to be generous with their toys

*talk about imaginary places and people with them…. go with their stories


Make sure she get lots of rest

*take a ferry somewhere, and back again

*cut up paper and magazines just for the fun of cutting

*go for a walk and see how often they can see the letter that starts their name

*teach them how to obey simple instructions

*catch the bus