Dream Catch Me

DreamcatcherAnyone who knows me in the real, knows that  I’ve read the Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables books ad nauseam. From the age of 11 or 12, I ‘ve read them at least once a year. Never gets old. Don’t know how the author did it. I guess, it’s because when you read as a kid, you hear a different story to the one you hear at 22 or 32. Anyway. The connection today is Anne’s House of Dreams. I’ll get there, I promise.

I saw, on Pinterest, a pretty picture of a hoop looped with yarn catching a heart in the centre, and when I read the comments, I saw that it was a dreamcatcher in progress.

It looked a little different to the Dreamcatchers of mine and my brother’s youth, but it made me look up dreamcatchers on the internet.

I found this gorgeous website explaining how to make them. I like their notions: the first one is never perfect; place a bead in the third or fourth round to represent the spider of the web – perfect for this time of year, Autumn with all the spiders busy making their webs. And my favourite part: the dreams you want to catch are decided when you make it.

 

DreamCatcherDIY

So as I made mine – a prototype I think, there will be more I’m sure (watch out for your Christmas gifts guys!) – I thought what dreams I wanted this one to catch and I decided, it’s a this house dreamcatcher.

The same website has a lovely couple of paragraphs on the origins of these and I love that children’s dreamcatchers are different from adults and are expected not to last: As our dreams change throughout our lives, so should the webs we weave.

This was a quick naptime project. Completed in way less than an hour!

Dreamcatcher2

I used an embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, three feathers pinched from my Valentines Wreath (it’s looking ever so bald now!), and four beads from a Christmas decoration. I know, Little Miss Pinch-It. I’ve hooked it on the door of Marshmallow’s bedroom for now until it finds a real home. I hope it catches his dreams (he’s still asleep!)

What my daydream is that one day he and I will get to make a Hula-Hoop-sized Dreamcatcher together. Watch this space!

Autumn Subway Art – free printable

I saw some lovely subway art posters on Pinterest – but since Southern Hemisphere autumns are ever so slightly different to Northern Hemisphere autumns I thought I should make one myself.

I thought about our Autumn, what we do.

AutumnSubwayPoster-white

Just realised that I missed off ‘bomby knockers’, aka Magnolia Tree cones – Marshmallow thought they were maracas last week on one of our meadow walks.

I saw our first Crane Fly today but got to say, ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’ looks better in type.

Driving home from work at 1am, there are wispy ghosts across the road from the river-mists.  The dawn chill is truly Antarctic. Sometimes the bonfire smell is from the traditional Maori cooking ‘hangi’ but at this time of year, it’s the farmers, post-harvest.Autumn-In-Situ

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So, as a thank you for the bounty of being alive in these halcyon days, I thought I’d share this printable with you.  It’s available for free to download and print as a .pdf file – A4 size – at Google Drive by clicking here.  Enjoy!

Here’s a black version I made, but it isn’t on google drive. If you’d like it, let me know and I’ll do the same.

AutumnSubwayPoster-black

 

Happy Harvest-time!

 

 

Autumn Wreath

DIY-Autumn-Wreath

Last year,  I was  just as thrifty and imoverished as I am this year.  I didn’t have the moulah to buy a polystyrene wreath, I had no pool noodle to hand, but I really wanted a wreath. So I used a bit of genetically provided ingenuity (thanks Mum) on how could I make one with things I had at home.

I used:

1. A wooden hanger

2. Heavy cardboard

3. Old clothes – stretchy works best – cut into strips

4. Burlap – in strips

5. The original wreath – things to embellish – pine cones, berries, & pipe cleaners to attach the goodies.

5b. The new wreath – things to embellish – two colours of felt cut into heart shapes, complementary wool to attach the goodies.

Using  a wooden hanger, I attached a cardboard semi-circle to the bottom of it – making an approximate circle. I wraapped it in old clothes several layers thick to pad it up, and then wrapped it in red burlap.   Some red berries I’d bought for $1 and pine cones I’d found for free, voila, I had this beautifully misshapen, lumpy and very heavy wreath! It looked good to my eyes. Not professional or purchased, but home-made and homey. 

DIY-Autumn-Wreath-original

It’s held up really well.

I retired it for spring and summer – you can see the Valentines wreath I made recently with the red berries, but Autumn is tapping her golden fingers in this hemisphere and so I pulled it out of hiding last week.

I was inspired by this lady blogger’s – friend’s  – St Patrick’s Day wreath at their recent craft night.

I cut out dark red hearts and little grey hearts and used some pink yarn I had lying around to attach it. I love it!

DIY-Autumn-Wreath-closeup

 

Easy Autumn Table centrepiece

Over summer, I’ve had a sad, crisping basil plant on my dining table. Don’t get me wrong, fresh basil on my pizza or on my marinading olives, Mamma Mia! But not a beautiful sight…

But now it’s my favourite time of the year, I thought I’d gussy up the dining table, remind me of the splendour of the golden season.

It’s funny how being cheap nets amazing results: by using resources that are available in the house, or outside for free.

Even better, my boy and I got to go collecting (swamp) oak leaves today for the finishing touches. We went to a fairy beach (an estuary beach) at low tide. The mud was peppered with little stones — or so I thought — apparently they are periwinkles and considered a delicacy by the Maori, we met a fella out there with two buckets and a white Tintin dog.  So watch out, we’ll be harvesting some of these little sea snails soon enough and I’ll tell you all about it!

Back to my gorgeous, golden harvest table centrepiece.

Autumn Table

It’s an assemblage really. I used the Happy Holidays tray I used for my Christmas vignette. A scrap of orange material from my craft cupboard to line the tray – although once the pinecones, oranges, apples & oak leaves are on the tray, the fabric makes negligible difference. 

I only had apples & oranges in my fruitbowl (bananas don’t go!) and I like the organic nature of the look, precisely because I sourced what I found naturally in my home, if that makes sense.

Autumn Table

Pumpkins are available in NZ, but not the big orange ones (at the supermarket, probably at a farmers market) and also I can’t bear the thought of buying something that will decay without being eaten: we do that often enough with just regular food we bring into the house! The candle was a gift from a work colleague – one of those fancy ones that smells all the way through. Unbelievably, the flavour of that candle is sweetpea. I know! Serendipity!

 

Easy Wall Words for My Playroom or Any Room

Decorating the  playroom for my little fella has been slow and intermittent – always dependent on time, inclination and how many naps I need to take during his naptime. Like the Perfect Storm, the ‘playroom’ has been taking shape without any input from me – a gift of an indoor slide, a coffee table we don’t use that I can refurbish so it’s child friendly, and an old crib mattress, that I could see being used as a flop-cushion, in between sliding and artistic endeavours!

My favourite bit, on my list of ‘to-do’s for this room, was making the word ‘Read’.

Read1

It’s straightforward: freehand letters onto cardboard and cut out. Wrap them with strips of crepe paper – under a sun umbrella in the garden yesterday as Marsh snoozed.    

Playroom-Wall-Letters-Read

I attached them to the wall with command hooks and pegged them onto a ribbon.

It’s a place where we flop while Marshmallow crayons or slides or reads. 

5 Things I made for my first baby that I shan’t make for the second

OMG! Can you believe I’ve been so absent from sharing all my crafty stuff! I’ve been very productive as a writer, and crafting all sorts of lovely things for our new addition.  But as I’m keeping baby’s gender a secret from one of my favourite pals (at her request, I’m not just a meanie!), I can’t share with you yet.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a list of 5 things I made for Marshmallow – my first baby – that were kind of a waste of time.

Not really, because something to do in those insomnia hours can’t be a bad thing, and also, contemplating a new arrival is one of the pleasantest ways to while away time. But, I didn’t use these things – for the purpose I made them for. Not a once.

5THings

1. Felt Baby shoes. Cute little felties.  I made two pairs. They both turned out to be too small for starters and then really, shoes for a baby who’s reclined for most of a year. Not something I’ll be making this year.

2. Cute baby burp cloths. Really. Who wants to get their prettys all sicked up on! I never used them. not a once!

3.  Baby blanket, following internet size guides. I got so paranoid about the rules of looking after a baby, no blankets, no pillows, no hats, that I just stopped making the blanket halfway through and bought an owl and the pussycat crib duvet. Then, of course, I discovered that baby’s wriggle- wander at night, so they need a sleeping bag.

4. Cute changing mat. Like no. 2, who’s going to use their prettys for poop moments! I used it as a playmat instead while Marshmallow was small enough though. Worked out well.  Bought a nice little waterproof, bland design, poop mat. Left it accidentally in the shopping mall changing rooms. Used cloth nappies ad infinitum since then, for changing moments.

5. Cloth Diaper Cover. Three words: don’t go there.

Have I learnt anything though! Here’s what I am making for bambino number 2 and I believe, hand-on-heart, that it’s worth it and I’ll use them:

1. Carseat canopy

2. Customising plain layette outfit

3. Name bunting

4. Play mat.

And you guys will get to see them all in July!

Peek – a – Boo Bill – Felt Pop Up Groundhog Puppet Tutorial

OMG, if only I would do this, this would be the ultimate of uber projects. As it is, American Felt have done it: Groundhog Puppet & its Shadow!

~American Felt & Craft ~ Blog

Peek a Boo Bill - Felt groundhogs day puppet tutorial with<br /><br />shadow finger puppet.

The celebration of Groundhog’s Day is
based on the legend that a groundhog will leave his of his burrow
after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

Peek a Boo Bill puppet Felt Tutorial

If he sees it, he regards it as an
omen of six more weeks of chilly winter weather and returns to his
hole.  But if he doesn’t he stays out and unpacks his
shorts…or something like that.

Peek a boo Bill - Felt Groundhog Puppet tutorial from American<br /><br /><br />Felt and Craft

I named him Bill after Bill Murray
star of Groundhogs day and a super hilarious guy. Make your
own felt groundhog  and shadow puppets and help your little
one welcome spring with a laugh.

You will
need: 

5″ x 8″ Groundhog Brown Felt –
Tobacco
* 2″ x 3″ Dark brown Felt for Groundhog belly and
hair – Chocolate* Tiny scrap of White Felt for teeth and Black Felt for nose. 9″ x 12″ Green
Felt for hill – Fresh Cut Grass * 4″…

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