Unleash Creative: A day of crafty indulgence

I was lucky enough to attend the first Unleash Creative event in Melbourne on Saturday! For me, it was creative heaven.  So much colour and creativity and how wonderful to be allowed to set aside a whole day to just craft and hang out with other lovely folk who share the same passion!  And not just any crafts either – new to me, super cool crafts!   Not to mention all the party inspiration that was there too (I just can’t help myself and always have half an eye out for party ideas) and I’ve come home with a list a mile long of recommended craft supply stores, party shops, how to’s, where to’s, etc, etc.

   Here are my pics from the day … 
How cool is that wall (above) decorated with origami paper and double sided tape!
We were each given one of four coloured name tags when we walked in and we stuck with that group for the day.  These are the gorgeous blue ladies – thanks for making it a fun day!
Our clever clogs teachers for the day (pictured below) were:

and the whole day was put together by super organiser extrordinaire Magdalena Franco.
Here are my four creations for the day …
My cuckoo clock (bottom left pic) is not quite finished, but if you like all things kitsch and kooky, there is a full tutorial including downloadable templates over on Allira’s blog complete with a deer head and dangling toadstools.
This was just the beginning of many Unleash Creative events across Australia.  

Check out the Unleash Creative website for more deets!
I must also mention the deliciously exquisite dessert table for morning tea made by the super clever Caz from Nectar and Stone (I must admit to having tasted her goodies on another occasion and both times they have been divine)

along with the most amazingly scrumptious lunchboxes by Miss Jackson (I’m not exaggerating here!  I’d love one of those delivered every day, thanks! (seriously, please!)

I know I’ve used a lot of descriptives like awesome and gorgeous and amazing, but I came out of the day on a creative high, feeling both content and inspired.  We all have our thing that makes us feel alive and for me, it’s getting those creative juices flowing.  Huge thanks for letting me be a part of the day Magdalena - can’t wait for the next one! 






















You’ll find more pics of the day on instagram under the hashtag #ucmelb.


On leaving we were given the BEST goodie bag ever with generous gifts from some of my favourites – thanks to blank, little shop of, lovemaedandelynewoodsfolk & more!


What is it that makes you feel refreshed, rejuvenated and alive?

An Easter craft & ten things you can do with plastic eggs.


OK, so it’s a little early to be thinking about Easter.  Way too early for me, as I thrive on the last minute rush.  Well, maybe thrive is not quite the right word, but last minute is often the way we roll around here.  I’ve been writing a couple of Easter craft tutorials for Kidspot and so I’ve got into the Easter frame of mind a little earlier than usual.  


This year, here in Victoria, Easter is at the end of the school holidays which gives us a good couple of weeks of school holiday time to get into some Easter themed crafting with the kids.  For the next six weeks I’m going to be posting lots of Easter craft ideas.  This might also include some re-posting of a few from the FGB archives for all of my lovely new followers who might have missed them.  If you have a gorgeous Easter craft to share, I’d love to include some guest posts. 

I found these adorable clear plastic eggs at my new favourite, locally based, packaging supply store, Pack-it-in.  We made these Easter egg terrariums using fake moss and flowers, some foam eggs (purchased here) and made the nest using florist wire.

The possibilities of what you could put inside these as Easter gifts is endless!  I particularly like that they lend themselves to non-chocolatey goodies. I can imagine colourful confetti, balloons and mini streamers just for a colourful explosion of fun, filled with mini toys or a little game or activity like those we put in our bon-bons.  I actually found a list here of 40 non-candy items that fit inside a plastic egg.
I couldn’t resist including the photo above.  Little Miss Frog was feeling a little ignored as I was taking photos in the courtyard and it took me a while (observant parent that I am) to notice the cheeky faces she was pulling in the background. 
Here are ten cool ideas that I have come across in blog land using plastic eggs as the base for some awesome crafts and activities for both kids and adults:
  1. egg shaped bird feeders
  2. easter bath bombs
  3. easter seed bomb
  4. super fun egg maracas
  5. recreate the christian easter story
  6. bakers twine covered eggs
  7. fabric decoupaged eggs
  8. egg shaped rice crispies
  9. glowsticks in eggs for nighttime egg hunt
  10. an easter egg lunch hunt
Have you started thinking about Easter yet?  

Have you got any awesome Easter craft ideas?  I’d love to share them with FGB readers, so shoot me an email and we can organise a guest post!  You don’t have to have a blog to do this either.

If you’re looking for more Easter craft ideas, 
you might like to head to the FGB kids craft page.
http://www.froggooseandbear.blogspot.com.au/p/kids-craft.html

Decoupage with kids …

A little while ago, Goose (aged 9) asked if we could spend more time together crafting.

It seems that just like her Mum, she needs a bit of creativity in her life to energise her and give her that buzz that you get when you are doing something that you love.  There is nothing she likes more, apparently, than to potter around in my craft room sticking, painting, sewing, gluing, creating.  Although I knew she enjoyed doing any crafty things that we did around these parts (which sadly are more few and far between than ever before) I underestimated just how much she enjoyed and valued it.  I think a bit of needing quality time on her own with her Mum is a little part of it too as she told me that I had to do it with her, not just potter nearby.  So, we’ve now marked one Saturday a month in the diary to craft, just the two of us.  We are very different in so many ways, so it’s nice to have something that we share.  We’ve missed one already, but hopefully we’ll be regular … 

The first time we met, we decoupaged…



If you’d like to give it a go too, this is how we did it …

You will need:

- tissue box cover (we purchased ours at Spotlight)
- paper serviettes 
- mod podge (special glue from craft shops)
- paint brush

1. Tear up your paper serviettes into small pieces.

2. Paint the mod podge glue both underneath and on top of the serviette.

3. Continue to cover the box with serviettes and mod podge until completely covered.  

4. Depending on the thickness and colour of your serviettes you may have to do lots of layers like we did.  Allow time to dry in between layers.

When Frog saw what Goose had been doing, of course she had to have a go too!  She had a cardboard letter A that we had also purchased from Spotlight and so decorated that. You can decoupage anything!  You can see that she did less layers on hers, but it still looks fine.  Both girls love having theirs on display in their room.

Are you good at spending regular one on one time with your kids?  
What do you do with them?  

Do you decoupage?  Any tips? 

For more Frog, Goose and Bear crafty activity ideas for you to do with your kids, click here…

Handmade Christmas Cards

This year’s Christmas cards are made.  I can’t seem to get away from the fabric covered card.  I love them.  Simple, yet stylish and I find them very addictive to make!  I have updated the instructions on how to make them here if you’d like to give them a go.

As well as the ‘Made ‘n’ Thornbury’ market on the Friday night just gone, I will be selling my cards, as well as my paper garlands and clay decorations at the Wale St Primary Christmas Market in Thornbury this coming Tuesday from 6.30 – 9pm.  Love to see you!

A per usual if I have any left over, they’ll be my Christmas cards for this year.

Do you make your own Christmas cards?  Do you bother with Christmas cards at all?  

Planting in Eggshells

We’ve been planting tiny succulents in eggshells.  

You can head over to Village Voices for the FGB tutorial to see how we made them if you’d like to have a go at making some yourself.  They are super easy and I love seeing them on our kitchen windowsill whenever I’m at the sink.

I’m really excited to be doing a whole lot of crafts using eggshells for Village Voices over the next few months.  

Have you ever used eggshells for craft?

DIY Temporary Tattoos

I promised quite some time ago that I would share a little more about how to make your own temporary tattoos.  Yes, you can make your own tattoos!!!!  I was pretty excited when I found out.


I purchase my tattoo paper from a local Melbourne seller on ebay.  The tattoo paper comes with very clear & detailed instructions on how to make your own tattoos, which you can get a sneak peak at here, but basically the tattoo paper comes in two A4 pieces.  The first piece is for you to print on and the second is a clear adhesive film to stick over the top.

It only works on inkjet printers and it is very important that you make sure that the image that you are printing is reversed (ie mirror image) so it will come out on your skin the right way around.  Ignore the fact that I did not do that in the pic above as we just used the images for that party which look just as good mirrored.  It is correctly done in the pic below which we used for Frog’s Supergirl party last year.



The possibilities of temporary tattoo images all of a sudden become endless!
  
There are thousands of free printable images available on line, you could use your own drawings, images that match your party decor or even tattoo your phone number onto your child’s arm.  The ice cream images that we used in the picture below can be found here.

Be careful though, because if you look away for any more than the 20 seconds it takes to apply a temporary tattoo, you never know where your children might apply them!

If you’re not into making your own, check out these very funky temporary tatts over here.

For more DIY party ideas, you might like to browse through the FGB party ideas page over here.
Have you tried making temporary tattoos before?  How did it go?

Guest Posting – Upcycled Tshirt Scarf Tutorial

You might remember that I posted some pics of my upcycled tshirt scarf last month.  
Here are those pics again… 

…but this time if you’d like to know how to make one, with an old tshirt and a pair of fabric scissors (seriously!) you can head on over to the home of my friend Jane of Mama Pea Pod where I’m guest posting today with a full step by step tutorial on how to make this quick and easy scarf.  Mama Pea Pod is a lovely space in blogland and Jane writes some wonderful posts on kids and play and getting kids outdoors. I’d highly recommend a visit! This post was written as part of her new series focusing on time out for Mums…

CLAY NECKLACES

This year, I am once again co-ordinating the craft activities for my MOPS* group.  Once a fortnight I need to come up with a 30 minute craft for a group of gorgeous women.  Some are seasoned crafters and others are new to expressing their creative side.  I love the challenge!  I’m really excited about the fun crafts we’ll be making this year.

One of the crafts that we’ve done already this year is to make clay necklaces.**
You might remember the clay decos that Goose & I made at Christmas time.  Same concept.  Oven baked clay imprinted with leaves.

We also made some with newspaper imprints.  If you want to give this a go, remember that the image comes out in reverse.  The one attached to the necklace on the picture below is from a picture of a tomato plant from a Bunnings ad.


We attached them at the back, by first of all putting a dob of hot glue onto a small split ring and then attaching this onto the back of the cooked clay with superglue. We then slid it onto the wire necklace.  It also means that the clay images are also interchangeable.  

Oven baked clay comes in all different colours, so the possibilities are endless.
I’ve been loving working with this simple and easy to use clay lately. The kids really enjoy playing with it too and making their own creations. 

Sage & Daisy leaves were my faves.


I’m keen to try making some small bowls like this & this.  
Have you used clay before?  What have you made?

I’ve been collecting simple craft ideas on my pinterest page.  If you have any ideas for me – I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Joining in with our creative spaces once again.

There are MOPS groups all over the world.  MOPS is short for ‘Mothers of Preschoolers’ and according to our facebook page - MOPS offers a caring & accepting atmosphere where Mums have an opportunity to share concerns, make friends, explore areas of creativity and learn.  We have some really worthwhile speakers & discussions.

** Thanks Claire & Candy for the inspiration!  & thanks Claire for making 30 of those split ring/hot glue combos!

KIDS CRAFT – RECYCLED CRAYONS


Yesterday we recycled our old crayons into fun new crayons that the children are now fighting over.

First it involved a lot of peeling, but surprisingly this was the part they enjoyed the most. We placed the broken crayons into some small silicone muffin trays. We also made some heart shaped crayons using a heart shaped silicone ice cube tray.* The possibilities for shapes are endless.

We put them into a 130 degree oven for approx 8 minutes, put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then just popped them out of the moulds. See here for more detailed instructions.


They work very well when doing rubbings…

…and apparantly can also double as glasses!

It may have just become my new favorite party favor or gift for kids!

Via some new favorite blogs, I have recently discovered another new great blog called Childhood 101 and every Tuesday people link up their posts about kids & play. Head on over there for some playful inspiration!

and on Thursdays a little more creativity is shared over at Kootoyoo.


* I was concerned that the silicone ice cube tray may not work in the oven, but it was not a problem at all, maybe due to the low heat. Certainly can’t guarantee that all silicone ice cube trays would work, as there are no doubt different qualities out there! There are so many fun & interestingly shaped silicone ice cube trays on ebay. Probably a good idea not to use the trays for anything edible afterwards though….

COCOA IN A JAR…

One of the things we have been making for neighbours and friends for Christmas this year is ‘Cocoa in a Jar’. I’m quite into the ‘jar’ at the moment. This activity may in fact remind you of my ever favorite soup in a jar.

I found this idea here at one of my favorite printable party destinations.

It even comes with free printable gift tags and instructions!

It tastes divine too!
We had to make some first for ourselves, just to see if it tasted OK of course! Using a candy cane as a stirrer and leaving it in the mug…mmm… even better. I am a bit of sucker for hot chocolate.

You can vary the amounts to suit your jar size and add whatever ingredients you like, but mine has:

1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 crushed candy canes
enough green & white mini marshmallows to fill the jar

The recipient just mixes it all together, puts a spoonful or two in a mug and just adds hot water.

Enjoy!


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