Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas :)

So we are on Day 3 of crappy sickness... Jared has watched more tv than I have in years but hes too lathargic to do anything else... So today I sat with him, watching movies and snuggling :)

Unfortunately its made for a very non event for christmas craft. So today, Im signing off for awhile. Ill be back late next week with hopefully all well children!

WE took a trip last night to Sarahs Creek to see the lights on two houses... they are just amazing!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, full of lovely moments and happy memories :)

See you soon!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

try a little kindness

I now have a housefull of ill children... croup, whooping cough ( almost back to normal thankfully) and two vomitrons does not a happy household make.... what a day!!
Over the weekend I travelled down to Sydney to be the photographer at a wedding :) It was a beautiful day.. and aside for the stupid amount of pressure I put on myself, it was loads of fun :)
I got to road test the most amazing piece of photography equipment whilst I was there... probably one of the most important pieces you'll ever own if you shoot for fun or for a living.
This :)

From the outside this looks like an ordinary ( well its more fabulous that ordinary) bag but its the most amazing camera bag you'll ever find, seriously!
I fitted three lenses, my full camera with the 24-70mm lens on it, an external flash, my ipad, phone and bits and pieces and it still looked like a normal bag. Its got lots of storage and zippered sections, padded all around plus two different length straps. PLUS ITS REALLY COMFORTABLE TO WEAR! I wore mine for just over 10 hours and it still wasnt killing me... such an awesome bag :)
I got mine from Camera Chick ( stockist for Australia) from Natalie who couldnt have been more helpful in our transaction :)
If you want to see the wedding shots, head over to Karina Baker Photography and check them out! Like me while you are there and Id love to know what you think of them! ;)
On the way home yesterday, travelling for 6 hours on a train ( ugh) I had one of those lightbulb moments.
When I got on the train, exhausted after shooting all day the day before and not alot of sleep, I got to my chair to find two young boys mucking around in it. They moved to sit behind me and proceeded to start kicking the back of the chair in their rumbles.
Instantly I was annoyed and thought all sorts of mean things about young boys and (ashamedly) about the race of which the boys were. ( Im not saying what this is, it doesnt matter. In Australia though, its a race that is often thought bad of).
They continued to annoy the crap out of me and my chair and I realised they were going to be on the train for the same length of time as me. I couldnt see that they had anything to do, and their dad had already fallen asleep and was oblivious to the racket they were making and so I busied myself by watching a movie on my iPad and ignoring the boys.
Awhile later, I noticed that they had calmed down. I had a snack, I hadnt seen them with anything. I did a crossword puzzle, played angry birds, watched a movie. They walked up and down the aisles, and then sat and watched out the window.
A strange feeling washed over me as I peeked at one of them between the cracks in the chairs. Two of them had no fallen asleep, bored enough to let it take over. Dad was still asleep ( he slept for just over 5 hours) and there was one still awake, sitting there, doing nothing. I looked down at all the things I had for myself... sewing, a book, an ipad, and and iphone. I argued with myself to go and talk to him. For about 10 minutes Im afraid to say.
Until that voice inside continued to tell me that on my iPad was a kids movie. Give it to him to watch. DO IT. NOW.
I got up and went over to him, ( careful to to tread on the sleeping brothers on the floor) and asked him if he'd like to watch a movie. He looked nervously at his sleeping dad, I assured him it was ok, that dad would be fine with it. He took it from me, and looked up and said " Thankyou so much" and then settled down to watch a movie.
I sat down, shocked that I had been so quick to judge not only a race, but also a young kid with nothing to do. I smiled as I heard him quietly giggling at the movie being played. And as it finished, he asked him if he could show it to his brothers, and all three of them watched it again.
I was humbled, to be shown a simple yet incredibly powerful lesson on showing kindness. To be shown how wrong it is to judge without first seeing the whole picture.
I hope that lessons like this continue to come my way :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Last year I discovered a love of Bokeh. I researched how to do it, and off I went in search of pretty Christmas lights :)
For hours I sat and tried to capture this beautiful effect with very little success. Throughout the year though, I have practised and learned this cool art and finally, with Christmas upon us, I have mastered the art of BOKEH.

Ok, so maybe you dont think its cool?? Well wait :) Cos now Im off on a christmas tree light hunt!
At the moment, my littlest angel is incredibly sick and so today swung from the tv, to curling up with her, to a movie, to a snooze.... much to Jumeirahs dismay it was fairly craft free.
Tomorrow I am off to Sydney to shoot a wedding ( I know, the butterflies are only just at bay but Im SO excited) so I wont be here until next week.... hopefully Ill have lots of Bokeh to show you ;) Oh, and some cool christmas craft :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Last weekend we had a family adventure to Coffs Harbour. It rained most of the way up but the kids are really good travellers so it was all ok.
Once we got to our adventure destination ( the Butterfly House) they all were so excited... until we actually got into the enclosure....
30 seconds later I had Jared screaming and Amahli crying to go home as apparently butterflies are SCARY!! Not really but they do fly close to you and that was enough for them. Jumeirah was completely in her element and never wanted to leave. And me with my gorgeous camera?? Had a lovely time, in between the lens fogging up in the heat ;)
But we ended up having a great time, Jared and Amahli calmed down enough for us all the walk the whole way through and then they took off to the maze and I quietly turned around and walked back through... I took a whole stack of photos but this one is my favourite :)

Linking it up to Mom Tried Its linky!!

Ive also entered a competition to win a cool tamron lens ( I entered the wrong photo but I love the one I entered anyway ;) ) All I need is for you to click the link and click like and VOTE!! Please, go do it, Id do it for you ;)

Shoot to Thrill COMPETITION go click it. now :) thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

christmas cupcake art

We have had some crazy weather lately... wet and cold, then hot, then full blown storms... we got stuck with one late last week and so I needed an indoor activity to amuse two littles.
The request was for cooking so we somehow found all the things to make cupcakes :)
Amahli was more than excited to help with pouring and even cracking the egg was fun this morning :)
Jared was keen to help but his role was more about making sure the oven was on, finding patty pans, fixing the timer. It was great to see them working together to get a job done.
Once the cupcakes were cooked, we let them cool and I had a great idea for decorating them. I iced them with white icing ( icing sugar and milk, I made it really thick) and let them go solid in the fridge for half and hour.
Once hardened, I gave them some food colouring and cotton buds so they could paint on the top! The idea was that they were going to paint Christmassy things but they were just more keen to paint :)

I left some for Jumeirah to do once she got home from school. She really enjoyed decorating them... but all three enjoyed eating them more.
Well, at least the icing anyways ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A new little friend/salt jars

I spent way too long try to work out what to get Jumeirah this birthday... and everything from boogie board LCD tablets ( way cool especially for a techno savvy kid like mine) to theatre tickets, I just couldnt settle on one thing.
Then at music the week before her birthday, she rescued a baby bird that had fallen out of a tree. With such tenderness and concern she tried to help this tiny creature, until its mother came and helped it too.

She was pretty dissapointed when I told her we didnt need to take it home now that its mother was looking after it. I had a brewing thought that a pet bird would be a perfect gift for this little animal whisperer of mine :)
Daddy took a little bit of convincing but finally came around. After a very rude encounter with a pet shop (its a story for another time) I found myself out the back of nowhere looking for an aviary.

What finally happened was we introduced this beautiful boy into our fold :)

His name is Thomas and Jumeirah is absolutely besotted with him, teaching him to talk, eat from her hand, and he spends most of his days perched on either hers or my shoulder.
Hes really very sweet!

So we had her party on the weekend which was incredibly stress free and easy. 8 little friends, an easy beach location, simple party food ( outdoors and not at home means no hot food!), 8 water pistols and a blow up boat made for fantastic fun for such a lovely group of girls.
I had a few backup plans incase of rain but we were incredibly blessed with a brilliant afternoon.

After a swim and food, they asked if I had a cool craft to do ( some of them know me well) and of course I did!

I set them up with a jar each, a piece of carboard, chalk and salt. I showed them how to tint the salt with the chalk by rubbing it. The more you rub it, the darker the colour becomes. Its really very cool :)

For each section of chalk they coloured, we then poured it into their jars. They then repeated the process with another colour and another lump of salt.
Its takes a little while to do which was perfect for me. But they could see how awesome the colours looked layered up in the jar that it kept them working on it till it was done.

Currently Im still trying to find a way to seal the jars so the salt doesnt come out when "encouraged"... think a trip to the hardware shop might be in order tomorrow :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the beginnings of Christmas

I worked it out :)
That weird, disconnected feeling?? Its because I TOTALLY was. I was fussing most of the day with washing, tidying, cleaning, retidying.. never really getting anything done and not spending any time at all with the littles I love.
When I fixed that ( clean only for an hour in the morning) by settling with them by 10am and playing until we had finished ( anywhere from half and hour to 2 hours) I felt so much better in myself and was able to clean with a purpose instead of just filling time.
So to fix it, I started by setting up the tables the night before with some activities that they could sit and do with me.
Yesterdays activities looked like this:
Letter boards and story stones
Marble transfering

And we began our Christmas craft :)
The christmas tree shape activity I designed myself in about 2 minutes in a word doc, printed it out, cut the triangles out and we were ready to start.
Amahli and our little Monday friend really enjoyed sitting and working out how the triangles went. Jared flew through his with minimal help, and he didnt even really flinch at the glue :)

I love a productive morning.
Stay tuned tomorrow when I show you our new addition to the Mumma Made It clan.... ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

taking the time

It was happening again.. that yuck feeling of not really achieving anything in my day, spending bits and pieces of time with my precious littles, half finishing lots of things.... when it happens, nothing seems to flow, nothing seems to work, and NOTHING seems quite right.
So I recentred, refocused, got OFF the computer, and played with the two people who needed me most, Amahli and Jared.
I set up the table with a few different things to do... some candle painting, a simple Christmas threading, and the letter boards, and invited them to join me. Both were really keen, which goes to show that I have been a bit absent of late.
Amahli was straight into the threading, not really wanting to do the Christmas colours, but to make a rainbow. I was happy to oblige and she was more than keen to sit and chat whilst she threaded.

Jared wanted to have a go at the candles but wanted me to light them. After creating a dripping picture, he painted over the raised wax dots on the paper. This he did alot! He then wanted me to paint a "J" for him to drip down. All these ideas I was totally shocked at.... he had heaps of different ways to use the paint and candles and I just tried to keep up!

40 minutes later, both had finished and wanted to build a cubby so we grabbed some sheets and got to work. They told me to go clean the kitchen, so I left them to create, feeling so much more connected and focused and able to actually get things done :)
I love that in making time for them, I had time for me too. Time to reconnect, to take those few precious moments to bond, but also that in doing that I was able to stop the rush of " doing" to just be :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the beginnings of christmas craft

CRAZY! This week has had so many twists and turns Im feeling rather giddy.... coupled with the fact that Big Miss is having a birthday this week and yesterday told me she would LOVE something handmade ( a cat, no less) Im racing against absolutely everything to keep my head above water...
so instead of just ignoring you for another day, Im reposting the beginnings of Christmas craft :)

Paper towel dipping

Now this craft can be messy. But if you do it in an organised ( read anal) way, it does work really well for kids of all ages from about 3 up ( unless you are really game).
To start with, you need the best paper towel money can buy. In Australia, its VIVA. If you cant find a really absorbent paper towel, dont do this craft as its really dissapointing when it doesnt work.
So, not really listening to my own advice, I bought a generic brand of paper towel. And whilst I did manage to do this craft, it didnt work as well as I wanted it to.

You also need food colouring or waterclour ink. (food colouring is what we used)
Each colour we put into the paint tray, ready to be dipped into. I only added a little bit of water as I wanted the colours really vibrant.

As this was going to be a Christmas craft, I cut the paper towel into tree shapes before we folded it. ( See here for another version of this paper dipping craft without the christmas bit)
Then, I got Jumeirah to fold the tree as best she could into a square shape and then dip each corner into a different colour ink.

Once dipped, turn the square around so that the ink runs all over the paper. Once this is done, carefully open the paper towel up. ( this is probably an adult part, especially if you didnt listen and bought cheap paper towel :). This is where you need to be strong)

And there you have a gorgeous tree!
Lay it on some old paper, ( newspaper will do) to dry completely. Then, you can hang them, use them as wrapping paper decorations.. whatever you like :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

foto friday: puddles

Friday. A wet friday. Its been raining non stop ( I kid you not) since wednesday.
On wednesday, when it was still kinda sorta raining, my mum rang me to tell me of some awesome Canon competition ( for australian residents only, sorry!) that could win me a new camera ( yes I do need a new one) but it had to include an umbrella, I said to her " I need it to rain more". Obviously this was the wrong thing to say as now it hasnt stopped....
But it did mean that I was able to get some photos of an umbrella :) My ever helpful Amahli suggested she jump in muddy puddles whilst I took the photo. 20 photos later and with one very wet but happy child, this is the ones I liked :)

I sent one in, then asked Tim which one he liked. Of course he liked the one I didnt send in..... but hopefully, HOPEFULLY, ( but really thinking it will happen because some of the photos are amazing!) I might just win something :)
Voting will start soon so Ill let you know! Theres a viewers choice so I need lots of you to vote for me!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baby props

In just 7 weeks I will be (hopefully) taking the first of many newborn shots of my little nephew :) Im a touch excited as I havent done newborn photos before and so I have been madly trying to find some props that work with the style of photos I want to take. I have seen all over the place these awesome posing pillows... huge circular bean bag style cushions that can be molded to fit a baby perfectly and makes for great photos.
Unfortunately I cant find ANY in Australia, let alone Port Macquarie. And the international ones I found are over $300 without the beans or postage. So I thought Id have a go at making one :)

I cut two circles out using a hula hoop for the shape and then a long strip to go in the middle, between the two circles ( this is actually my second attempt.. the first one was so big I would have never filled it and probably lost the baby in the middle of it!). With much difficulty I managed to sew this whole heap of fabric together and have spent part of every day filling it with beans, much to my childrens delight. We have had about 4 "snow storms" in the process as the beans are polystyrene and fly really well....

But finally tonight its finished!!

Its been teddy tested for safety and is going to work a treat. I just need some fabric to go over the top of it... some brown furry stuff will look awesome :)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As you may ( or may not) have noticed, Im not blogging everyday anymore. Ive changed that for a few reasons... one being that it takes time to do it everyday, time is not something I have alot of anymore with working two little businesses of my own! The other reasons are my gang are not as crafty as Jumeirah was at their age and are happy with a sheet and some cushions to build cubbies.. and writing about that every day will get boring :)
So I hope you dont mind, but it wont be an everyday blog anymore. Id still love to hear from those of you who read this ( the easiest way is to choose the profile "anonymous" at the bottom of the comments section) and let me know that Im still loved ;)

Over the last few days though, I have increased my status as "awesome mum" to "amazingly fantastical mum" with a very simple ( and possibly was a bit stupid) idea that was right up the alley of my little guy.

Over the weekend, Tim went to Sydney, leaving me to my own devices and with the three treasures. I told them on saturday that it was "Yes Day". Yes day is something I heard about ages ago from another blog who allows their kids a day when they cant be said no to. It filled me with a bit of dread over what could come of it but apparently it would all work out well and my kids would have a brilliant day.
So I told them what was happening, and that they had the run of the day. I was told not to use the computer but asked to come outside and sit and watch them perform tricks on the trampoline. Of course, I said Yes :)

The day progressed quite well, we had chip sandwiches for lunch, a play with the hose, and a trip to Lake Cathie ( which I REALLY did not want to do but followed the rules and was completely surprised by how wonderful it was to spend time there), and a last quick play outside ( even after a bath). I was proud that we had had such a lovely day and was given permission to take some photos whilst they played..... which is when it happened.

Jared came up to me, looked at me straight in the eye and said " Can I have a go of your camera Mum?"
Gulp. My very expensive, pretty irreplaceable camera with a brand new lens on the front. Um. No. Heck. I have to.

And so, I did. I explained that it was important to me ( "I know Mum!")  and that it would break if he dropped it, showed him how to hold it, and then let it go.

And to my absolute shock, he came up close and took this photo.

I was surprised that it looks ok, surprised that he seemed to really enjoy being behind the lens, amazed at his careful handling and the way he knew how to how it properly and shut one eye, and humbled by the fact that his little face was glowing knowing he had been allowed to do something I would never have thought to let him do. ( he also has a natural eye for not shooting dead centre!! fluke?? maybe. But just maybe he got that from me )
Time to have more "yes" days :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

For Amahlis birthday recently, my dad constructed her a clear easel. Ive wanted one for awhile, instead of having to use the glass door, and we used one all the time and preschool many moons ago. So I casually mentioned it to dad who was keen to have a go at making one. I gave him some basic instructions on how I wanted it to look... and this is what he did! The kids loved it today. I just let them paint on it but on opposite sides so pretty quickly they were chasing each others paint brush around the screen :)

Ive never seen Jared paint for so long!
Does anyone else use an easel like this? What else do you use it for?