My Creative Space … no-sew applique

On Christmas Day when I saw the gorgeous little top (below) that my clever sister in law made for her one year old daughter, I loved it!  The words certainly suit my little niece!   

What impressed me the most was the no-sew aspect.  I thought that maybe without sewing that it would easily come away or fray, but she showed me one that she’d made months ago and had been through many wears and washes and it looked just the same!  I’ve always been a little daunted by the technique of applique – seemed far too time consuming and fiddly –  imagine sewing around all of those small letters!  Needless to say, I was inspired and of course I just had to have a go! 

On New Years Day we attended a fourth birthday party of a lovely little friend which seemed like the perfect time to try out the no-sew applique for her gift.  I didn’t have any t-shirts on hand, but I had some bags left over from when we did our apple printing.

With the help of my trusty four year old designer, we really enjoyed the process and couldn’t stop with one.  They were so quick and easy, we may now be slightly addicted!   My box of fabric scraps is of epic proportions, so I’m always glad to find a way to use them up! 

I followed her instructions and just typed the words into my computer and reversed them.  Then I printed them out and stuck them onto some paper-backed fusible webbing.  The same stuff that I use for my fabric covered cards.  Then I ironed them on to scraps of fabric and cut around them with my fabric scissors, peeled off the backing and ironed them very securely on to the bag.

For the images, I just googled free applique images and found some great ones!  The ballerina and deer image came from here. I then followed the same process as I did with the letters.

A year ago, I put together a series of posts under the heading of ‘Simple Handmade Gifts for Girls‘…. I’ll be adding this post to the list.  Have a squiz if you are interested in finding some quick and easy last minute handmade gift ideas for girls and if you have any ideas to add to the series – do let me know!

Joining in, belatedly, with a whole bunch of clever ladies over at my creative space.  

MY upcycled tshirt CREATIVE SPACE

I’ve been doing quite a lot of creative stuff over the last couple of months, just haven’t managed to blog about it.  This is one of my favourites.  A scarf made by recycling a t-shirt.

I have spotted them on quite a few places over blogland & pinterest and was keen to give them a try.  My first couple of attempts were not so great, but after some tips from a super stylish friend, I’m very happy with the current design and have started giving them away as gifts.  We made them at MOPS last term also and they were quite the hit.

It’s a super quick & inexpensive gift and doesn’t involve any sewing at all!

I didn’t have any old t-shirts, but I purchased some XXXXL t-shirts (the larger the better) from Kmart for less than $5.  
I have been meaning to write up a tutorial & take detailed pics and I’ll let you know when I do, but, basically it is made by cutting an old t-shirt horizontally into one inch strips, stretching each strip slightly till it starts to curl and then tying each strip into a knot to form a loop.  I used fabric from one of the sleeves, cut in a long rectangular shape, & wrapped it around the joins and just tucked it in.*
Joining in again today with Creative Spaces over at Village Voices.  

Have you tried making one of these scarves or recycled a piece of clothing and made it into something else?
UPDATE: I have now written up a full tutorial of how I made this tshirt scarf.  You can find it over here.

P.S.  I’ve started a Frog, Goose & Bear facebook page if any of you are interested in getting updates on my blog, craft tutorials, kids parties, markets, recipes, etc. via facebook.

* If you follow these instructions or these or these you should be fine.  Mine is roughly based on these.

Another Sock Monkey…

Meet my latest sock monkey.  

Aptly, and rather embarrassingly, named “Mummy loves you” because quite frankly it took so long to make, Mummy certainly must love you to make one of these!  

As you may have realised, with all of the quick and simple crafts on this blog, I am a big fan of a craft that can be completed in under an hour!  That way you have something to show for your efforts, you’ve had your craft fix, accomplished something and can move on to the more exciting tasks of folding the washing, but I just couldn’t resist these little cuties. 

To be honest, it doesn’t really take that long.  You probably could do it in a few hours, or in my case more than a few nights in front of the telly, it really just took me a while to get around to it!  You might remember the one that I made last year for a friend….. it’s been promised since then!  I have since made three and the other two are now all bally and loved to pieces, reminding me of one of my all time favourite story books.  

The feeling of accomplishment having completed a slightly bigger than normal craft is definitely worth it!   If you’d like to give one a go – it’s made from a pair of socks, 2 buttons and some thread (seriously!) – check out this very well written tutorial.
Linking in today with the new home of our creative spaces over here.
Back to that pile of washing… or should I say mountain… I’d much prefer to be making monkeys from my socks rather than folding them…. problem is you need a matching pair and they are few and far between in this house!
What creative pursuits have you been up to lately? 
Do you prefer the quick and easy craft or the slow and satisfying?

My Creative Space… bringing back the 80′s!

When I was in high school I loved scrunchies.  I remember making scrunchie upon scrunchie on my mothers sewing machine using her fabric scraps.  They were cool once and I have been itching to make some more for ages and give them a come back!

 I don’t think I’m the first. I have seen them around.  When I eventually got around to making them, I was surprised how much the girls loved them.  Goose was wearing hers every day to school and refusing to wear anything else, so I thought I’d make one to match her school uniform!

I found a second-hand dress at the school uniform shop for only $2 and used it to make a scrunchie and some fabric covered hairties.
 As you can see in this pic, in true 80′s style Goose is wearing her ponytail on the side as well!  

These would make another great handmade gift for girls
If you’d like me to write up a tutorial, let me know.
Do you find the comeback of 80′s fashion a little disturbing?  
Or are you embracing it?

Joining in again this week with our creative space – an inspiring collection of creativeness.

My Creative Space – Miniature Bunting

I haven’t joined in with the fabulously inspiring ‘creative space’ for a long time…

Inspired by many other clever gals across the internet and my stash of origami paper, I’ve been making some mini bunting birthday cards for friends.

Then I tried making some mini bunting by just sewing triangles together.  

I made these ones from an old Melbourne street directory for an extremely well-travelled 3 year old who has a thing for maps and had an aeroplane themed birthday party.
I also made some for my extremely well travelled sister-in-law who has a ‘thing’ for bunting and is currently living overseas.  Thought they might reminder her of home.

I quite enjoyed making them as I have a ‘thing’ for cutting paper with scissors.
It is a great ‘in-front-of-the-telly’ activity.  I need some more of those in my life.  I spend far too much time on the move and ‘getting stuff done’ after the kids go to bed and I need to allow myself some time just to sit in front of the telly.  This way at least I can still feel productive and not like I’m completely wasting my time.
Such frivolous time wastage can sometimes feel like a thing of the past for me.  Pre-children.  They just don’t seem as urgent as the thousand other things that need to be done.  After pushing myself far too hard on too many occasions, since starting this blog, I am starting to realise that these things are possibly even more important for a mother sometimes.  When we have taken some time out doing something that relaxes or refreshes us we are much better mothers and much better people.  Sometimes those dishes just have to wait and cutting up paper triangles can be even better for the soul of someone like me who is completely energised by doing something a little bit crafty, creative and frivolous.  

Do you feel like you are wasting your time if you just sit and watch telly, read a book (or a blog), go for a walk, sit at the park watching your kids or cutting up paper triangles?  Or are you good at looking after yourself?

To check out other creative souls, head on over here.  You’ll be stuck for hours and just maybe, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.


It is a little Christmas tradition in our house, starting from my childhood, to make little Christmas puddings.  Before you go getting all impressed at my skills in the kitchen, it is simply an Arnott’s Chocolate Royal biscuit with some white chocolate, a jaffa and some sliced mint leaf lollies.  I love an cheat’s easy peasy recipe.  You might remember these from last year.

This will be our MOPS craft activity today. Nice and simple as per usual.  While Goose & Bear were at school & kinder yesterday, Frog & I made a few samples and packaged some up as gifts to give to the ladies who look after the kids each fortnight at MOPS.

I feel like I have melted an enormous amount of chocolate over the last few weeks for various recipes.  My new favourite thing to do since, by trial and error I’ve discovered the fool-proof, no-fail chocolate melting technique.  Stay tuned later this week for a post on melting chocolate and another easy peasy chocolate recipe.

A little reward for the jaffa and mint leaf placer…
or was that just plugging the hole to stop the incessant “can i have one, can i have one, can i have one, can i have one… can I lick the spoon, can I lick the spoon, can I lick the spoon…”

Oh look there is one of the clay tags that we made last week.

And a pudding for one…

With the leftover white chocolate still in the saucepan, I tried something I’ve wanted to do for a while.  We made some Candy Cane bark.

Simply add a few drops of peppermint essence to the melted chocolate, pour onto a small tray covered in baking paper, then sprinkle some crushed candy canes over the top and let it set.  
We based our recipe on this one over here.  

 Once set, you break it into pieces and package into nice little gifts.  
This was so ridiculously easy.  Next time I would like to try a mixture of dried cranberries and pistachios on some dark chocolate, and without the essence, for a more adult Christmas treat.  I’ve also seen it done with layers of white and milk chocolate or swirling the two together.  The possibilities are endless.

For more easy peasy recipe ideas you might like to check out the FGB easy recipe page.

What are your easy peasy ‘go-to’ Christmas recipes each year?  Do share.

MY CREATIVE SPACE…clay decorations

Completely inspired by clay christmas decorations that I have come across online via pinterest - here, here & here & here, just to name a few.

Goose and I tried our hand at making clay Christmas decorations on the weekend.

Using cookie cutters, some rubber stamps, some pine leaves & some doilies.

I was really happy with how they turned out!

We used oven bake clay and it was so beautiful to work with.  
It was so much fun, we just kept going and going. 

A friend and I are having a little stall at a fundraising market at her children’s school on Monday night next week, so I think that I might add a few to our stall. 

I think I’ll also use them as tags on Christmas presents that can then double as Christmas tree decorations as part of the gift.

What Christmas creativity have you been getting up to?
Time to put up the tree and start the advent calendar.

For more creative spaces head over here.


Last week at MOPS* we made brooches. 
Here’s my attempt.  Still not sure if I like mine or not.
Very simple though when made with a hot glue gun (my new favourite crafting tool!) Being fun and easy made it the perfect activity for MOPS.  Roughly cut felt and fabric circles, add a button and a brooch pin and stick them all together with a hot glue gun.  You could also add them to a headband instead of a brooch if you were feeling inclined.
I have been collecting ideas for quick and simple crafts to make with the MOPS Mums one day over here on Pinterest.**  Any ideas to add?

For more crafting inspiration head over here to the ever inspirational collective of creative types over at our creative space.

*MOPS – Mothers Of Pre Schoolers – a lovely nurturing group who meet once a fortnight at our church giving time out and bit of rejuvenation to worn out Mums like me!
** I LOVE pinterest.  Could spend all day there!  Are you on Pinterest?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll check out your space.


For the last couple of weeks, I have been making sock monkeys!
We were invited to a first birthday party with a cheeky monkey theme and so I thought I’d give a sock monkey a try!  Amazing what you can make out of only a pair of socks!  Of course, as soon as I started the kids all wanted one, so they ran to their sock drawers and came back with a pair each!  I’m still working on theirs…
I followed a very well written tutorial with step by step photographed instructions, right here.
This is my new favourite thing to make.  I still can’t get over that it is made out of a pair of socks!

Joining in today with our creative spaces.


Some more quick and simple handmade gifts for girls for you…

Paper has always been a favourite craft medium of mine.  Japanese paper* is something that we have a soft spot for at our house and due to Goose’s love of all things Japanese, we have it in abundance.  
As well as a cute gift, these ideas would make great party favours also!

I made this fabric covered notepad using the same method that I used to make my Christmas cards last year.  Ironing fabric on to the cover using vliesofix.  Simple, but very effective.  Full tutorial here.

I just wrapped some paper around the pencil and eraser using some mod podge glue.  
Full tutorial on pencil here.

I love how something plain & inexpensive…

can quickly be made into something cute & giftworthy.

To make the peg magnets, I simply used double sided tape and stuck the pegs onto a sheet of patterned paper and used my scissors to cut around the peg.  I then attached a magnet onto the back.  I can imagine the gift above being given with a fabric covered notebook or some free printable stationery like this one.

Goose and I made up this little package for our lovely friend Shannon’s birthday last week – who also happens to be our gorgeous babysitter!

fabric covered notebook – tutorial here
paper covered pencil – tutorial here.
origami covered erasor
paper beaded bracelet – tutorial here
origami paper crane – tutorial here
paper garland made from a mix of old sheet music & origami paper.

Shannon is in her mid twenties, but the same things could easily be modified for a younger girl…

Take out the tea and add some origami paper and an instruction sheet on how to make their own origami creatures.  There are many simple origami tutorials to be found here.

The Japanese card above was made from an old children’s encylopedia, along with some origami paper.

Stay tuned for more simple handmade gifts for girls and even some guest posts from some other crafty handmade gift givers in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in doing a guest post for this simple handmade gifts for girls series – send me an email - I’d love to hear from you!

Linking in today with one of my favourite creative places on the web.

* I purchase all of our origami paper from ebay where there are many different sizes and prints to choose from.  I have found this store particularly prompt & helpful.
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