Crafty fun at The School’s Kids Holiday Camp

Last week I had the opportunity to be ‘intern’ for the day and help out at the Kids Holiday Camp run by Megan Morton’s The School down here in Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent masterfully organised by the fabulous Ms Candy Sparkles.  

The camp ran for three days and the children could attend just one day or all three. Each day was different, but the day that I was there, the kids made dream creatures with the super talented Madeleine Stamer in the morning and sparkle terrariums with Candy in the afternoon among much more creativeness along the way like feathery & sparkly crowns, pom poms, dancing in the rain, eating hot cross buns and drinking hot chocolate.

Madeleine also drew an extra special Easter design especially for the kids in this class to colour using watercolours (you can see it in the top pic).  She has been generous enough to share the design as a free download over on her blog if you’d like to print it out for yourself.

Goose (aged 10) came along with me on the day and had a ball!  Goose made the delightful Pheonix dream creature in the picture above which is now hanging above her bed.  She is a huge fan of anything creative and her words at the end of the day were “Can we do that again?  No, let me rephrase that – when are we doing that again?”

The School in Sydney runs amazing classes for both adults and children covering all things creative and stylish and can often be found running classes in other parts of the country as well.  Candy is running a Kids Holiday Camp in Sydney too and there are still places left for Tuesday and Wednesday this week so if you’re a Sydney-sider, go and check out the website for more details coz I know your kids would just love it!

Being around kids expressing their creativity is something that I just can’t get enough of.

What have you been up to during the school hols?  Do you go crazy with activities or spend lots of lazy days in your pj’s or a mix of both?

If you or your kidlets are up for any Easter crafting, you might like to check out our Easter Craft Series for some fun and simple Easter themed crafts, recipes and activities.

P.S.  Big thanks to my beautiful friend Susannah for looking after Frog & Bear (as well as her own three kids) for the whole day so that Goose and I could go along to this.  Where would we be without friends like this ? xo

A Baking Birthday Party

Last week Goose invited four of her favourite friends to come over to help her celebrate her tenth birthday with a baking party.  They had lots of fun baking and decorating and making a big mess in our kitchen!
Here is a little run down of what we did …

1. Decorated Chef’s hats.

I picked up these cute little hats at a garage sale during the year and the girls decorated them with fabric markers.

2. Made shortbread cookies.
Using this fail-safe recipe I pre-made the shortbread and the girls just rolled and cut into shape with the plethora of cookie cutters we seem to have collected over the years.

My best ever and most faithful party helper – my Mum – couldn’t do it without her!

3. Melted chocolate.
We dipped everything into that chocolate!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate.  They were lucky to make it to the tray!

Our favourite chocolate dipped grissini wands.

Chocolate dipped Oreo pops.

(which I totally forgot to get out of the fridge!)

4. Decorated cupcakes 
Goose and I pre-made the cupcakes and gave the girls a bag of white icing and a multitude of coloured sprinkles of varied shapes and sizes to decorate their cupcakes.  They got to keep their first one to take home in a special cake box and the rest went on the dessert table for later.

For something different we baked the cupcakes with edible confetti* inside!  

Decorate the birthday cake!!!
Just like the cupcakes Goose and I baked this the day before the party and added sprinkles to it, but we used the regular hundreds and thousands for the cake which, although was fun, did not have quite the same awesome confetti affect as the cupcakes.

I was all prepared to have to bite my tongue and turn a blind eye to an icing and sprinkle explosion all over the cake when five ten year olds were let loose on it, but I was pleasantly surprised!  

They were each given an icing bag containing a different colour and they all squeezed their colour onto the cake while I quickly smoothed it out with a knife, which created a mixed colour affect which was pretty cool and a blank canvas for them to decorate.  The girls, then worked together as a team to design the rest.  I was quite impressed with their result.

The sides of the cake were covered in popping candy which kept exploding at various intervals throughout the day much to the delight of the girls.

I had an area already set up for them to display their delicious goodies where they were on display until after dinner.

The gorgeous bakers.  Although there were only five of them – the sugar, colouring and party high they were on certainly made a LOT of noise!

Then when Goose’s 2 younger siblings, 4 younger cousins, 3 aunts, 3 uncles and her other Grandma arrived we made pizzas

and played party games …

Pin the cherry on the cupcake
(made by the birthday girl)

Click on the link above for details of how to play.

This game was such a hit that all they wanted to do was stick their face in the flour.  Usually when we play it, they all want to avoid it, but possibly the excess of food colouring and sugar went to their heads this time ;)

To finish it off, we ate cake !!!
(and all of the other delicious goodies the girls had made)

water bottles (something had to counteract the sugar!) and lemon cordial.

The girls also tried dipping these glass bottles (below) in chocolate – you can see them at the bottom right in some of the dessert table pics above.

After the extended family left, Goose’s four lovely friends stayed for a sleepover where they painted their nails, watched a movie and stayed up all night talking!
As the party guests left, depending on age, they were given 
Cookies in a jar‘, a cookie cutter and a party bag** as well as a cupcake they had decorated, the shortbread they had made and their chef’s hat.

I quite like this party format that we have going for Goose now that she is older.  We did the same thing last year.  A small number of friends for a few hours while her younger siblings go to their cousins for a play and then extended family (and siblings return) come over for dinner which includes birthday cake and party games (so the younger siblings & cousins don’t think they’ve missed out on the party) and then the friends stay for a sleepover (which for Goose is apparently not negotiable).  Helps having your birthday during the summer holidays!  It probably sounds like a loooooong party, but we made sure dinner was simple and mostly pre-prepared and in this case – the girls spent their time together actually making most of the party food!!  I think we’ll be using the same format again as it saves having two separate parties to accommodate friends and family and allows Goose some time with just her friends her own age.

Pics of the invites that we made for this party can be found here.
To see more of Goose’s (and her siblings) birthday parties 
you can click on the drawing of the cake below …

* purchased at Spotlight.
** The party bag was small and simply contained some lollies, cupcake stickers and some cupcake shaped lipgloss.

The beginnings of a baking party …

Just some quick snaps taken on my iphone of the invitations that Goose and I made for her baking party this weekend.  
If you’d like to give them a try for your own baking party, we just printed the invitation onto some card and sewed baking paper onto the front using pink thread and a zig zag stitch.
Before you sew up the fourth side, you slide in a teaspoonful of edible sprinkles (slightly tricky!) and push them as far down as you can so that you don’t sew over them.  Then you sew up the final side.

 Trim the sides of the baking paper so that it is the same as the card underneath and you’re done!
We also made very simple envelopes for our invitations before we popped them in the post.  We did this for a bit of fun, but also because our invitations didn’t fit into the envelopes that we had on hand.  I found these A4 sheets of cupcake paper at ALDI a few months ago and knew it would be perfect for this party.  A bit of washi tape with a rainbow sprinkle pattern made it even more fun.  

Goose has made some garlands using cupcake wrappers, straws and doilies and we’ll be spending the day baking and preparing on Saturday before the party.

Have you ever had a baking party?  
Stay tuned for party pics next week!

Collecting ideas for baking party on pinterest here

For more Frog Goose and Bear parties head over here … 

The “Friends who make things market”

Goodness life has been busying up and I’m struggling to find time to blog.  Sorry folks. Still active over on facebook and instagram though if you’re on those platforms.  I know lots of you have been asking when I’ll be posting the photos of Frog’s Fancy Nancy 5th Birthday Soiree and the answer is VERY soon, but in the meantime I wanted to quickly share about a market Goose and I attended last weekend…

Long time readers will remember a few years ago some friends held a gorgeous market in their backyard a few times a year.  You can see the pics from some of those markets here and here.  After a break for a few years, the market was back last weekend and at an even better location.  Look there is a rare pic of me!

A wonderful community vibe as it’s really only advertised by word of mouth and the stall holders are friends and friends of friends so everyone mills around chatting and they hand out sandwiches and baked goodies.  This year there were some gorgeous kids doing face painting and they’d made some salt dough decorations which you could paint on the day along with a sausage sizzle.

Goose and I had a stall each.  I made fabric covered cards, clay decos and 3D rainbow cloud garlands.  She made little DIY peg people kits along with all the pieces for kids to make their own peg person on the day.  She had such a wonderful time.  For a child who is hard to wake in the mornings she was up at 6.30am all dressed and ready to pack the car! 

She sold all 15 of her packs and has since had orders for 25 more, so she’s pretty chuffed!
All on her own she decided that she would like her profits to go to her friend in Rwanda. A girl whose education we support who shares a birthday with Goose from a school her Granny is involved in.  You can read about when Granny met her over here.

My fun and clever sister Clare had a stall selling vintage games that she had made.

The biggest hit by far was her fake vomit!!  Her husband made it using latex and dried soup mix!  Hilarious and far too realistic looking!  I’d love to give it a try!

My gorgeous friend Caroline who makes the most beautiful things was there also.  Those adorable little sausage dogs flew out the door!  Lucky for you she also has an online store so you can get in on the action also.  I purchased a few of her slip-cover headbands that you can swap and change as often as the outfit (among other things!).

Such a fun day!  Thank you so much to all of the lovely friends and family who came and supported Goose and I on the day.  It was much appreciated!  I’m also hoping to do one more market stall before Christmas and I’ll let you all know the details when that is confirmed.

As we’re still in the process of putting together packs to fulfill the orders, let me know in the comments section below if you’d like some.  $2.50 each or $3 each if you’d like them sent to you in the mail. They contain everything you need to make 2 magnetic peg people.

Have your kids ever had a market stall?  

Here are a few links to some gorgeous entrepreneurial Mums and kids that I know ….

- Jacqueline’s boys annual reindeer food shop.
- Simoney’s kids halloween lemonade stand to put a positive spin on halloween.
includes link to her tutorial on how to make your own rustic lemonade stand
- Kirra’s kids lemon-aid stand to raise money for a well through World Vision.  

P.S.  If you are really interested in craft packs for your kids, there is a great little company, run by two Aussie Mums, called ‘Kiddie Create‘ who deliver awesome little craft packs regularly to your door with everything that you need inside.  They even do customised kids party packs!

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…

Playing with Wool

Last Sunday we had a pyjama day.  All day.  
Sadly, all day pyjama days are an extremely rare occurrence in our house and we relish them.  Goose was wanting to ‘craft’ so I showed her the pinterest board where I’d been collecting ideas for the next ‘rainy/pyjama day’.

It’s nice having a nine year old as she can get on and do things all by herself without me having to supervise.
To make these yarn wrapped vases, you use a paint brush to cover a jar or bottle with pva glue and, starting at the bottom, slowly wrap the wool around jar.  As you can probably tell from the photos, by the time she did the white one she had started to lose her patience a little….

 She originally wanted to make a pen-pot but they ended up as vases.

This shot makes me smile.  Styling the shot.  She didn’t like the way that I did it apparently and, as it was her art, she wanted to make sure that it was displayed correctly.  ;)  All shots in this post are styled by her.  She popped the flowers in and sprinkled rose petals and placed everything just so.  xo

Love that girl.  I love how she inspires me to be creative.

Granny taught her to knit a few years ago and she loves it.  
She is currently knitting a bright pink scarf.

Ojo De Dios (also known as God’s eyes).  One of Goose’s school friends taught her and they were quite the craze at school for a while, and she made many!  
You can find a tutorial here.

For more wool crafts that are simple enough for kids to make, you might enjoy:

- finger knitted scarf (& finger knitting tutorial)

Rainbow Celebrations Continued …

Sorry folks to leave you in suspense once again!  Although I have high hopes for this blog, lots of ideas,fun crafts and parties to share, I sometimes just find it hard to find the time! Just as I got some more time on my ownwith kids at school and kinder, and I finally get back into blogging … school holidays arrive!  Being a perfectionist by nature I do find it hard to just let this blog sit dormant sometimes when I have so many ideas floating around in my head.  I sometimes wonder whether I need an editor for my own blog to give me a deadline for the next post for the extra motivation, or perhaps I need to give myself the deadline, or perhaps I just don’t need the added stress and this blog will just be what it is for now – sharing the fun things when I get the time – and it will continue to evolved and expand as it has over the last 3 years.

In my last post I shared with you the Rainbow Crafternoon that we had to celebrate Goose’s 9th birthday back in January.  After the Rainbow Crafternoon the celebrations continued when Goose’s 6 aunts and uncles, 2 siblings and 3 young cousins joined us for a BBQ dinner, party games (so the cousins and siblings didn’t think they’d missed out on the “party”) and rainbow desserts.

 Goose’s main stipulation for this party was the rainbow cake.  “I don’t care what we do Mum, but we have to have that cake!”  She loved the idea of having a surprise under a boring looking cake on the outside.  She allowed me to put the rainbow bunting on the top under duress as she wanted to maintain the secret beneath the cake for as long as possible.  

That first slice…

Thanks so much for all of your tips which made this cake so much less intimidating!
Rainbow jelly cups were a big hit!
Along with the rainbow fruit platter
that we served in spotted rainbow cupcake pans with mini wooden forks.

 A bit of everything for Bear!

The always colourful Super Granny.

Rainbow stools borrowed from a friend.

Frog with her beloved Aunty Clare and the stunning views from our new house!

Lemon cordial in stripy rainbow cups that Goose and Frog designed & decorated.

Party games of ‘Pin the cloud on the rainbow’ and ‘Pass the Parcel’.
Our favourite way of doing pass the parcel.  No music.
An activity written on each layer.  For eg…
… to the person wearing the most colours of the rainbow
… to the person who can stand on one leg for the longest
… to the person with the most letters in their name
… to the person who can do the best impersonation of a dog
or, in the case of the photo below,
… to the person who can make the funniest face. 
The person with the parcel at the time is the judge of that round. 

Rainbow tissue garland that Goose made covered the length of the balcony!

When most of the aunts and uncles and cousins went home, the girls
set up their beds in the big empty lounge room, painted their nails in rainbow colours 
and watched the movie of “Ramona & Beezus” with snacks and then eventually sometime in the wee hours they went to sleep… and I crashed and burned!

Granny, Aunty Clare & Uncle Mika stayed the night too as they are beloved out-of-towners and helped with the pancake & fruit breakfast in the morning.  We sent the party guests home with the crafts they’d made from the crafternoon along with some rainbow lifesavers and a gorgeous little Re-Sew-Cool flower brooch making kit from Sister Outlaws

Thanks Julianne!  We ran out of time to make the badges as a party activity, but Goose has made hers (with no help from me, it’s that user friendly!) and loves it!  Re-Sew-Cool sell gorgeous little craft party kits from recycled materials that are perfect for craft parties and all of their craft packs make great gifts for girls of any age.

For more Frog Goose and Bear Parties head to this page!

A Rainbow Crafternoon Revealed

And here it is!  The much awaited pics of Goose’s 9th Birthday party.  The gorgeous Goose spent a lovely few hours with 5 friends, her two Grandma’s and her Mum (that would be me!) at her ‘Rainbow Crafternoon’….

Goose and I had got everything prepared before the move (which occured 2 days prior, yes I am absolutely insane) and put it in a big box labelled ‘party’ making it much smoother on the day for others to pick it up and run with it.  Thanks lovely family for all of your help over that time!  It was a lovely, lovely day and I’d highly recommend it for a party theme!  Particularly for the 7-12 age group.

We had just moved into the house and most things were still in boxes which meant that we could easily customise the party space as it was a blank canvas!  The bookshelf contained everything we needed for each activity and Goose had made pen pots using old tins for a set of supplies for each child for each activity.  We purchased an apron in each colour of the rainbow from this online store which each child got to take home.

Goose had made samples of six crafts.  Here are the four crafts that we had time to do.  

Craft no. 1 No-sew cushions.

Craft no. 2 - Fabric painting on bags. 

 The bags were also purchased from the same online store as the aprons.
Craft no. 3 - Rainbow clay necklaces

Packing boxes (still unpacked of course!) 
make great make-shift snack tables for a snack while crafting.

It was a quiet and pleasant afternoon as there were only 6 girls, my mother and MIL and myself.   Then at 6pm the little siblings (who had played at their cousins house all afternoon) arrived along with siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles for a birthday dinner which I’ll tell you about in my next post!

Click here for more FGB parties and stay tuned for the rest of Goose’s rainbow birthday celebrations – including pics of that rainbow cake!

Rainbow Party Prep

As we’re moving house in the next few days and Goose’s birthday is two days later (yes, I am insane) party prep has not necessarily been my first priority, but never fear, I have a party prep protégé.  Lucky, as sometimes I have been known to regret setting the precedent of a big at-home party every year.  Particularly at this time of year.  These school holidays Goose has been a little insatiable for craft, so I’ve just gently nudged (with only the occasional bribe) her toward rainbow crafts that can then be used at the party.  
She’s made a very, very, very long tissue tassel garland (thanks to these clever tutes – thanks Brenda & Julianne)

rainbow tissue poms (who knew how easy they were!),
drawn and painted a rainbow for pin the cloud on the rainbow game,

made a sample for every craft activity for the crafternoon,

made some rainbow chocolate grissini wands and many other rainbowy bits and pieces.

These party things really are “extras, but I’m so glad that she is old enough to do them so that she doesn’t miss out completely on the extras that we love.  Thank goodness for birthday parties in the school holidays!  Without her it may have been a lot less colourful party!  So glad that Goose is making sure the fun remains!  
So, things might be a little quiet around here on the blog for a bit, as tends to be the way here when my life hots up a bit.   Now… back to those boxes… and taking big deep breaths … as those short, sharp breaths threaten to overwhelm when I think of all that needs to be done before school goes back next week … next week!!!

How involved are your kids in party prep?
How are you going as the summer holidays near an end?  
Still trying to hang on, or desperate for them to be over?


Earlier on in the year, the kids and I made bookmarks.  While the school holidays are still in full swing I thought now might be the time to share it.  It all started when Frog wanted to be just like Goose.  Nothing new there.  Goose (almost 9) reads “chapter books” and therefore needs a bookmark.  Frog (aged 4) looks at picture books and does not really need a bookmark, but kept pinching Goose’s as she thought they were pretty and if Goose had them, why couldn’t she?!  After the suggestion of making her own backfired with the flimsy paper just not being sturdy enough and the inevitable tantrum ensued, I brought out the big guns – the laminator!  Do you have one?  I inherited my Mums last year and I’m in love.
We used origami paper, scrapbooking paper, book pages, map pages, birthday cards and anything we could get our hands on!  We cut them into rectangle shapes using a paper trimmer and using a corner punch, we rounded the corners.

I inherited a laminator from my Mum – how cool are they?!  We popped our paper strips into the laminator sheet and put them through the machine as per instructions.

Once through the laminator, we trimmed around the edges of each bookmark using scissors with a border of a couple of millimetres.  On some of them we then punched a hold at the top with a hole punch and added some ribbon for something extra.

Needless to say, with that amount of bookmarks (and by no means do these pictures contain all that we made!) there are no longer bookmark arguments at our house.  If one gets lost, another one is easy to find!  I think they’d make a lovely gift also, particularly with a child’s drawing or a photo on them.

Are your children insatiable readers?  Are they forever losing their bookmarks?  Do you have ten books on the go at one time and need multiple bookmarks yourself?

Head over here for more FGB kids craft ideas.

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