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?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

all about the feets

Yesterday I spent much of the day making cute little baby shower cards for my Sister in law. Shes giving me a new nephew in about 2 months :) So I obliged and make these gorgeous little feet cards to invite her friends to celebrate this little boy whos almost here.

After making them, Amahli was keen to make her own footprints with her hand like I did and so I set it up for her and Jared to have a turn.
He would have none of it, but he humoured me with this awesome picture of a dinosaur. Sometimes he shocks me in his able-ness. I think sometimes he acts like he cant do anything cos I get off his back... hmmmm.....

But Amahli was well keen so I showed her how to make a fist, then print that fist on the paper to make the foot. then using a little finger, make the toes! She loved it and soon I had a table full of tiny footprints.

We talked about what feet do, how they help us, and how we look after them. She then wanted her toes painted to celebrate them :)

So it was pink piggies all round :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

self portrait

For the next 30 days, Im taking part in a 30 day photography project ( that totally sounds stupid but Im too tired to redo that sentence). It began on Saturday with a self portrait.
This is me. Just me.

I dont like photos of myself, theres too many things I wish I could change. But I kinda like this photo :) At least now my kids will have something to remember me by :)
Want to join our 30 day fun?? Click here to go to the facebook page! Or you can just go there and see the other photos too! And whilst you are clicking all over facebook, why not head over to my other facebook page Karina Baker Photography and give me some love ( or likes) there too!

Go on, take a photo of yourself. Look at it. No, REALLY look at it. Know that the person you see looking back is an awesome piece of marvellousness.... something the world would be lost without. Like it. Love it :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

flower stacking toy

I think I made mention last week sometime that I have fallen in love.... with a scroll saw. Now, really, I dont need ANOTHER craft to do... I have 4 unfinished quilts, two shoots to edit, The Body Shop, scrapping, as well as whatever else Im halfway through... but I saw this awesome idea off Made By Joel and knew I wanted to have a go :)
So I was lucky enough to find out my father in law owns a scroll saw, and was happy enough to let me have a go. I was instantly hooked by how fun it was turning wood and creating something awesome.

It turned out really well and its a toy she has played with alot since I gave it to her. She talks to herself whilst she stacks, sorts colours, and imagines a real garden.
Now what else can I cut?? :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

easy party fun

This weekend I lost my little 2 yr old... and gained a great big 3YR OLD :)
A party was needed to celebrate this little one and so preparations began. The thing Ive found with parties though, is that so often we go to HUGE lengths only to have them not go to plan, or end up costing a fortune. This party I was all about easy cheap fun that would entertain whatever age of child I had come to her party ( they ranged from 2-12 yrs).
So we made our bubble wands last week and they were a ridiculous hit with not only all the children, but the neighbours kids too, plus all the adults as well.
Here are some of the awesome photos from it :)

One of the other cool things I had easily prepared for her party was the decorate some "ninjabread men". I bought the coolest cookie cutters awhile ago in the shape of ninjas and made a butter biscuit base the night before and it was ready!

You obviously dont have to get ninjas cutters to do this you can use whatever you have.
At the party, I set up the ninja biscuits with pink icing and things to decorate. We started with the youngest child and I thought it would just be the littler kids that would do it but soon I had all the other kids ( up to the 12 yr old) wanting to decorate!

Such an easy party activity!
What do you do to make party life easier for yourself?

Friday, November 4, 2011

bubble awesomeness

This weekend, my littlest sprite turns 3. Yes she actually made it ;)
And to celebrate we are having a little party on the beach for us and a few of her friends. Today, and actually over the past few days, I have been busy planning, preparing and creating masterpieces.... in the form of bubble wands. What more fun could you ask for than giant bubbles on a beach??!! I mean really...
This is the final result after much tweaking, refining, and a heck of a lot of dishwashing liquid.
The wands themselves are really easy, the mixture is not.
But here are some photos from this afternoon to show it totally worked and our beach bubble party is going to ROCK :)

Ill give you the tute next week!
( or you can google giant bubble wands, its everywhere really!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

paper dipping...again

Ummm WHAT!?! How did it get to November?? And how the heck did I miss my bloggy birthday almost two months ago!! :( happy birthday, blog. :)
Yesterday, as I was quietly contemplating the day, Jared came and almost literally knocked me off my chair. He wanted to do dipping painting and he wanted to do it now! ( he came barrelling around the corner which is why I fell off my chair figuratively but also literally).
So I jumped to action and got out some absorbent paper and food colouring. Now we have done this craft ALOT but I was keen to do it again considering he was so keen.
He knew exactly what to do and we soon had a table full of amazing colours, shapes and designs.
Take a piece of absorbent paper, fold it into quarters.

Carefull, dip each corner in ink or food colouring. Dip it quickly or the whole square will soak up too much colour.

Once dipped, turn the square around and watch the colour run..
Then carefully open it ( making sure you dont rip it!)
And....TA DA!!
We even had painty fingers!! And he didnt care!!!!!

The addictive thing about this craft is that you never know quite how your pattern will turn out.
He totally loves doing this. I think its the surprise element at the end. By the time he had finished, we had nearly 40 pieces of gorgeous absorbent paper... now trying to work out what to do with it! I think I will try and turn it into a banner... stay tuned :)