Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

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Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

I don’t know why, but I always seem to find myself at these gardens in autumn or winter. Annoying really as I would love to see them in full spring bloom.  None the less, the gardens have a pretty impressive display of succulents, cacti and other odd specimens that are impressive all year round.

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So if you are wanting to get out of the house for a few hours, pack up the picnic blanket and head down to the Mount Coot-tha Botanical gardens. Open 8am to 5pm daily, with an onsite cafe to grab a bite to eat if you don’t feel like packing your own lunch.

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Pockets.

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Pockets.

The outcry surrounding women’s clothing and the lack of pockets is nothing new. It’s been a problem recognised by just about anyone that wants to carry like anything since forever. When I was younger I’d console myself with the idea that it was a money saving sacrifice. I can sew, pockets would be an absolute time-consuming bitch to add to clothing. Sounds reasonable?  I’m all for a bargain and certainly couldn’t afford any designer labels to prove my theory. So, it was a justified sacrifice to affordable fashion I could live with. Then I had a baby boy.

 

Little kids clothes with pockets

Baby Levis Image Courtesy of Levi.com

 

Not being a fan of pastels and ‘soft’ baby fashion, he owned a pair of 000 jeans before he was even born.  Yep, jeans with not one, not two, but FIVE functioning pockets.  I guess newborns have a lot of things they need to carry, pacifiers, breath mints and all of their mother’s hopes of ever fitting back into their pre-pregnancy wardrobe or jumping on a trampoline again without their insides falling out.  Big human clothes in miniature versions are super cute though, right? We can deal with the fact that our babies have more on-the-go storage options than us mothers for the sake of fashion?  Lucky these milk-engorged breasts allow me to store my mobile phone AND a dummy in my cleavage. Sadly, when I whip the credit card out of those sweaty babies due to both arms being full of said pocketed up baby and other seemingly important stuff, the shopkeepers are less than impressed…

 

 

The lack of pockets sparks some pretty entertaining debate.  My very favourite conspiracy theory is that handbag companies pay designers to leave us with nothing more than ‘fake’ pockets to force us to buy handbags. It’s a pretty solid theory when you think about it, and I do have a decent handbag collection, so it’s probably working for them. I doubt these designers have seen how excited we really get when we do find pockets, especially in a dress. Ohhh a dress with pockets.  That is the stuff dreams are made of.

She’s just found a pocket on her dress and it’s made her day! Image courtesy of Kobomo

But do you know who else appreciates a good pockets? Dogs.  Why else would my dogs new winter coat have pockets, functioning pockets?

That’s right, much to my pleasant surprise this winter I could purchase fully lined, semi-weatherproof, hooded with fake fur lining, dog coats for the grand total of $9. What a bargain.  I mean the price alone was cause for celebration, but then I discovered not only that you could clip back the faux fur hoody, but it has a FUNCTIONING POCKET! That’s right, my dog no longer has to worry about where he will carry his emergency tampons, paracetamol, house keys or phone because he has an actual usable pocket on his back. Never mind that he has no opposable thumbs to get that shit out of his pocket nor the ability to reach his front leg around to that part of his back, but he can if he wants to! Yep, this is the world we are living in. Where dogs have pockets and women don’t. What the actual fucking fuck?

 

A fake pocket for aesthetic reasons I can appreciate, but a real pocket on a dog coat all for $9?  Meanwhile women around the world are replacing phone screens every few months because they are constantly dropping everything they are forced to carry in their hands!

Even he thinks it’s ridiculous.

DIY Party Favours

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DIY Party Favours

We only have parties every 3rd birthday in our house as organising parties for 4 kids every year would be a full-time job (plus I’d need a 3rd job to pay for them).  So when we do have a party, I like to try to make it ‘next level’.  This month my daughter will be having her 9th birthday party with 10 close friends at home.  I thought rather than just the usual party bags filled with cheap lollies and plastic noisemakers, I’d try to make it a bit more grown up and special for them.  Here is one of the ideas we came up with to include in the party favours.  They worked out to $1 each and took about an hour for the 2 of us to put together.

You can purchase these packs studs in an assortment of colours and sizes from most Kmarts for just $2.  With only 10 guests we just split a pack in half, but there is no reason you couldn’t break them down further if you were to have more guests.

Image from http://www.kmart.com.au/

The background ‘thank you’ note was created on PicMonkey which is a really fun and easy editing website that even the kids can navigate. I inserted the image into a Word document to make it easier to adjust the size and estimate how big they needed to be on an A4 page.

Once we decided on an appropriate size for our image, we simply printed and cut them out and stuck on the strips of card that came with the earrings, using a glue stick.

Then it was simply a case of transferring the earrings over to the new home pushing them through the pink layer of paper.

If you plan on doing this project buy one more pack than you need as unfortunately some of them did break as we were removing from the cards – but at $2 for 10 pairs it’s hardly worth complaining about nor making another trip to Kmart. 🙂

And there you have it.  Thank you cards with a gift, all for $1 each plus a bit of ink and paper.  Happy party planning. 🙂

Rustic Clay Wind Chime

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Rustic Clay Wind Chime

It has been entirely too long between entries.  Life gets like that though I guess. I actually made this wind chime back in May, but have not had a chance to blog about it. Pretty sad when you can’t find a spare half hour in 7 months… but hopefully I will make up for that over the next 3 weeks while my schedule is not so hectic.

I am really happy with the way this project turned out, but it may not be something everyone can make at home, as you will need access to a kiln for the baking of the clay.  I am lucky enough to have that access 🙂  The discs were made from potters clay, available from any good craft shop, about $30 for 10kg (it’s really heavy when wet!). I rolled some clay out to around 5mm thick, then cut the circles out using a metal egg ring.  I then used a variety of leaves and flowers from around the garden, laid them over the clay and rolled over gently with a rolling pin, just enough to create the patterns as you can see.

Clay craft

Clay circles with leaf and flower prints.

Once baked and cooled, it was time for assembly.  Mr 5 and Miss 6 were happy to help decorate the pieces of fishing line with some chunky transparent glass beads I had in my bead stash.

Threading beads

Threading the beads on fishing line before assembly

We then went on a hunt for the perfect stick, attached it to a chair and began assembly.  I wanted the discs to taper down, so this was not something the kids could help with.

Assembly of wind chime

Assembling

Once I was happy with the positioning of each string, I tied them in a few more knots and decorated the top hanging twine.  Cut off any loose ends and it’s done.  As simple as that.

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Each disc touches the next ever so slightly, making a lovely sound in the breeze, without being too noisy.

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas – Part 2

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas – Part 2

Christmas craft that doubles up as a math lesson! Hehe.

This activity really doesn’t require much explanation.  All you need is some paddle pop sticks, sharp scissors or secateurs, some craft glue and card stock. Work out how tall you want your tree.  If you want to make a pattern, decide on that now too. We just went random.  Measure out on the sticks 1cm, then 2cm on the next one, 3cm and so on.  Cut the sticks where you have marked them.  Set them out on the table then add a generous amount of glue to your card, stick them down and you’re done!

We added a little green tree trunk to ours too, but that is optional.  You could also add some other little squares of stick as decorations if you wanted.

Paddle pop Christmas Tree.

Paddle pop Christmas Tree.

Simple Christmas Card Ideas, Part 1.

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas, Part 1.

Here’s a simple card decoration idea that doubles up as a fine motor activity.

For all the card projects this year I am using plain black card stock.  They were $2 for a pack of 12 at a $2 shop.

For this project you will need some coloured paper or thin cardboard, craft glue and any decorations you like (we kept it simple with an angel sequin)

Trace out a tree shape on the back of one of the pieces of paper.

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Fold the other coloured paper in half to double it over then bring all 3 pieces together and cut along the outline so you end up with 3 identical shapes.

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Using a pencil draw some lines across the back of one of the trees.  Then tear carefully along the lines as demonstrated by Ms5

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Cover the other colour tree completely with glue, then stick down every second piece of torn paper.

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Allow to dry and secure to your card stock 🙂

Torn paper christmas tree.

Torn paper christmas tree.

Christmas Craft For Kids – Cup Cake Christmas Trees.

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Christmas Craft For Kids – Cup Cake Christmas Trees.

These are so easy to make and turned out super cute.  Inspiration actually came form some fish scales I saw some students at school making.

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All you need is some cup cake papers, cardboard (we used an old cereal box) glue stick (or paper glue) and scissors.  We just used cup cake papers we had in the cupboard, the striped green is my favourite.

Draw and cut out a tree shape.  For the first few, I drew lines as a guide for the rows so that Ms 5 didn’t just stick the papers all over the place.  This created the layers or ‘tiers’.  By the time she got to do her own at the end, she didn’t need lines anymore as she understood the process.

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Just press down the flat part (the bottom) of the cup cake paper, not the corrugated part. Once the bottom line is covered, move up to the next row and repeat until you get to the top.

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Ms5 decided to finish them off with a yellow paper sticking out the top like a star.  Great idea!

Cupcake Tree

Cupcake Tree

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