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?




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?


Bliss bomb: Knit Knit

December 10, 2011

Learn to Knit Tea Cosy by Knit Knit. $35 (without discount)

hd: Hi Anna, tell us a little about yourself….
ak: I am a quiet country girl come city slicker who loves knitting, sewing and baking. I’m obsessed with learning how to do new things, and usually hate to make the same thing twice!
hd: I know what you mean. What did you think you would be doing when you were in school?
ak: To be honest, I had no idea what I would be doing! I knew I wanted to make things and do something creative, but I didn’t have any clear idea of what kind of job I could do. I chose to study Fashion and Textile design so maybe I was hoping to head towards being the next Akira Isogawa…
hd: As far as I know Akira doesn’t knit…. so….how did you get to this point?
ak: I worked a little in fashion, then a little in textiles and graphics, then started to feel like I really wanted to be creating my own product, rather than working on someone else’s. I have always been a keen knitter, and realised that a lot of my friends were keen to knit too, but had never learnt. Or they’d tried and failed. So I set out to somehow make knitting accessible to young people who are that way inclined.

Learn to knit Christmas Stocking by Knit Knit $30 (without discount).

hd: Great idea. It’s not really something that gets passed from generation to generation like it was in the past, which is a pity.  Tell us how you have made knitting accessible again.
ak: I create ‘learn to knit’ kits for kids and adults that have an emphasis on great quality natural yarn and needles, and really simple, easy to follow instructions. The kits are a perfect starting point for a non-knitter to explore the world of knitting (or for a rusty knitter to get back on the horse). The kits are designed to appeal to young people and kiddies, and are a great way to introduce them to the world of knitting.

Colour choices.....

Kids Kits....

Smaller Kits...


hd: Have you always loved knitting? What is it about it that captured your attention and started you making things?
ak: Yes I started out knitting scarves for my Barbie dolls quite a while ago! I got hooked and loved making something that no one else was wearing. I also love that you can create a fabric out of a bit of string, and that you only need to know a couple of stitches and you can knit amazing things.

Learn to Knit Kids Hooded Scarf by Knit Knit $35 (without discount).

Adult Learn to Knit Hooded Scarf by Knit Knit $85 (without discount)

……… hd: It’s also super portable….. which makes it a great craft to learn.What did that first sale feel like?
ak: A great relief! I had put a lot of effort into kicking off the brand and was so glad when someone wanted to buy a kit. I think each sale still feels a little like that!
hd: Thanks Anna for helping us to get to know you a little more. What would you like to offer the  ‘Friends of harrysdesk’?
ak: I would love to offer everyone a discount to help you do your Christmas shopping. Just pop over to my etsy store  and enter the discount code FRIENDSOFHARRYSDESK to receive 20% off everything in store.
hd: That’s brilliant Anna. Thanks. I gave my 10 and 11 year old nieces sets last year and they loved the big needles and that everything they needed was right there, ready to go. ….. also 2 of my girls (at ages 6 and 11) completed kits. I love these!

1. Chalkboard Necklaces by Henry Happened.

2. Felt Ball Necklace by Purl Bee

3. Twig Necklace by henry Happened.

4. Sewing Kit in a Jar by Martha Stewart.

5. Paper Clip Earrings by Evie-S.

6. Recycled Woven Rug by Craft Passion.

7. Fold-over bag by Noodlehead.

8. Little Letter needle Book by Emaykayee.

9. Silhouette Jewellery by Less than Perfect Bliss.

10. Feather Hair-clips by Henry Happened.

11. Clay Necklace by Henry Happened.

12. Embellished Resin Rings by Tatertots and jello.

13. Beach Towel Tote by Redefining Creativity.

14. Swatch Portraits by Purl bee.

15. Vintage hankie Pillow Cover by Noodle Head.

16. Fabric Beaded Jewellery by Make It and Love It.

17. Dip Died Scarf by Henry Happened.

18. Love letter Corsage by Less Than Perfect Life Of Bliss.

19. Confetti Earrings by Evie-S.

Friday was the first of 3 orientation mornings for 5 year old.

On Thursday we made a special water bottle to take and use into the coming year.

It is such a simple little project…and will make great Christmas presents for some of my many nieces and nephews.

I thought I would make up a little tutorial (although I am sure you could work it out for yourself:))

1. What you will need.

You will need:

  • a plain drinking flask
  • letter stickers
  • a sheet of stickers the child will like. (Waterproof if you can get them)
  • diamonties …..maybe not for boys…..

2. Using the letter stickers and the base of the flask as a guide..... stick on the name. Add diamonties if appropriate.

3a. Ta Da. Give the flask and the sheet of stickers to the real designers!

3b. Horsey stickers ....very inner city!

4. Enjoy watching them (you may need to be an extra set of hands) design their flask.

...and stick...

5. Admire the artistry....and use. Can you see she added some extra bedazzling between the horses?

This was a 10-15 minute craft.

  • No mess (Yay!)
  • Useful (Yay!)
  • Something I want to keep. (Bonus!)

11 year old loved it and asked could I make her a more grown -up one.

I'm thinking I might make myself one too! And no...she doesn't read Patricia Cornell and PD James. That is my stash from the fete last week....... thought it made a nice background.

Let me know if you try it.


May 15, 2011

Yes our 7 year old turned 8 yesterday…… but we were too busy visiting friends and celebrating that I haven’t been able to post it until now.

On Tuesday we took her out of school for a day in the city shopping and hanging out with me.


Hot chocolate in the QVB.

What do you think of all her charm bracelets?

They are not all for her.

We spent the majority of the day finding 3 matching charm bracelets, suitable charms and putting them together for 2 very special friends of hers, and herself. One of the precious things about this girl is …. even though she could  shop like the world is ending if given a limitless budget…. more often than not the purchases were for someone else. Sure she go lots of treats, but she also came home with presents for all 3 sisters, 2 friends and an adult friend….she even encouraged me to buy somethings for myself.

I hope her love for learning leads to a large enough income to keep her and her friends in the manner they are becoming accustomed!

After the traditional ‘open the presents on the parent’s bed’ we headed off to Maitland to visit dear friends, have our eyes tested and play.

Not your traditional birthday photo. Eyes all good.

Happy Birthday 8 year old.

Thank you God for this wonderful little/big girl.

We are so blessed to have her in our family.

A flower tower near my front door.

I’m sure everyone has noticed the crazy rising prices of food lately, and because of recent flooding, is not likely to get better soon.

Although it feels like having food stored in the pantry/ cupboard is saving money, so often it is out of date or not quite the right thing when the time comes to use it.

After going through my pantry, I noticed that one of my big areas of waste is dried herbs and spices! I love cooking with them, so I am not going to give them up at this stage. But… I am going to reduce my dried supplies of herbs (most are out of date and tasteless anyway) and go for fresh ones, grown right outside the front door…. hopefully!

I have a particular love of cane baskets, but so do the cockroaches…ick… so I removed almost all of them from the house and put them outside in the garden…..all part of the mammoth de-clutter…. and upcycle them into something much more useful!

The school holidays was a great time to create these. 3 out of 4 of the girls love  to garden and had been chomping at the bit to do some….


We organised for Fafa (grandfather) can come and give them a hand. He made some herb baskets about 10 years ago and they are still going strong! And grandparent time over a project….


Herbs on call that I don’t have to pay for and taste even better than shop ones…



     We did not keep them all …. in case you were wondering.

One flower basket and one herb basket were given to other families as easter presents.

Yay! Herb and flower baskets.

Now …. to keep them alive!

One of the products included in the special

March 9 is World Read Aloud Day.

To celebrate reading aloud and all other things book related, I have a special bonus for harrysdesk-ites from Quirky Kids Online.

“Tomorrow we are taking 20% off our books section, which for the next week will also include some puppets and other things. (including dress-ups…. yay!)

I suggested people come across and like our Facebook page, mention harrysdesk sent them and I would send them an exclusive harrysdesk coupon.

It might include store credit, offer extension (20% off books only runs for 48 hours on facebook) or FREE gift, FREE postage or even storewide discount. Really just depends how I feel on the day.

Thanks Quirky Kids online!

So go ‘like’ the Quirky’s Facebook page and say you came from harrysdesk…. then come back here and tell me in the comments your favourite books to read aloud….. then get reading. But do it quickly, as the offer only lasts for 48hours.

P.S Reading Aloud is not just for parents and children. Many adults enjoy reading aloud or being read aloud to too.

Alison's black Wheaton.

This was a fun one to make, and a great way to start the new year.

Alison’s husband commissioned it to give as a wedding anniversary gift. Nice one!

The strap is adjustable and made from a belt.

It’s made from a mixture of vintage and modern ties, in black, navy and white.

Detailing with brass shank buttons and rings.

Cathy do you recognise these buttons?

Yes, they came from a bundle of buttons she salvaged from one of her local op shops.

They are gorgeous and almost look like studs.

Just right for this bag.


….and Lyndal might recognise this lining fabric…

Over the Christmas break I was given a suitcase full of fabric treasures from Lyndal.

The suitcase had a code lock, that I couldn’t break…. so after trying for a number of days…. I took to it with a hammer!

I am glad I did, because the treasures inside were worth it. Including this black, grey and bronze ticking.

… again, just perfect for the lining of this one….


Congratulations Alessandra you are the winner of the Valentines day give away.

Here are some more ideas for Valentines (or ANY-TINES) from across the blogosphere.

From the decorated cookie blog..... fuzzy hearts. Image from blog.

Such a sweet idea for anytime.... and simple enough for kids to do. Image and idea: Martha Stewart.

An idea so simple you could use it every time you make cupcakes. Image and idea from Ohdeedoh

I think you could also do this with pencils.... for a bit of fun. Image and idea from design sponge.

The love trophy! Image from fashionista daily.

You could also make this with stars..... or any shape really. Image from Martha Stewart.


Another really simpleone. Martha again. Image hers.

Martha's heart letters... image hers.

Great anytime treats. Especially for a lunch box. Image from Martha Stewart.