Tuesday, April 1, 2014


'a portait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'

Bella the best things you've come out with this week:
'if you don't do that for me dad, I will feed you to the hyenas'
'it's as hot as a hot cheese burger'

Seren - almost sitting, wanting to stand, slow down little guy!!

As always joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Make a personalised dancing bag

Miss Bella has started back at dancing and after the last three dance mornings spent running frantically round the house ten minutes before we're supposed to leave trying to find shoes, tights, leotard, tutu and other assorted paraphernalia I decided to make her a personalised dance bag to keep it all in and save us the Saturday morning rush. 

Here's what we used:
  • an iPad 
  • a blank calico bag 
  • tracing paper
  • a stanley knife
  • a felt tip pen
  • a coloured pencil
  • scissors
  • screen printing bits and bobs including:
    • screen printing paper 
    • ink
    • squeegee
    • silk screen
    • an old spoon
    • masking tape
    • a sheet of old newspaper
  • sewing bits and bobs including:
    • shiny fabric scraps
    • needle and thread
    • an odd button

And here's what we did:

1. Photo Shoot
First of all we staged a little photo shoot. I slung an old white sheet over the record shelves and Bella wore her favourite dancing outfit. I snapped off a few shots while Bella posed her little heart out and the dog photo bombed. I took the photos on my iPad and edited it using PixlrExpress+ I wanted a high contrast image to make step two easier.

2. Trace the image
To do this I placed some tracing paper over the iPad* (which acts a little like a light box) and using a felt tip pen (so as not to damage the screen) I traced around the outline of Bella and Chacha. 
* you could simply take your photo with a camera, print off the image and trace over that. 

3. Transfer the image onto the screen print paper
I used a coloured pencil and scribbled heavily on the wrong side of the tracing paper along the lines of the outline. I then placed the tracing paper on top of the screen printing paper and re-drew the outline to transfer the image.

4. Cut out the silhouette
Using a nice sharp stanley knife I cut out the silhouette. I couldn't find my self healing cutting mat so just used a piece of cardboard underneath.

5. Get ready to print
I took the cut out image down to my printing table* and got together all the screen printing bits and bobs. I trimmed the paper to fit one of my screens then attached it using masking tape and put a piece of old newspaper inside the bag to prevent any bleed through to the other side.
* you can print on any firm surface e.g. your kitchen table but to create a good print surface first put down an old wool blanket with a scrap of fabric or old sheet over the top

6. Print the silhouette
Using the old spoon I splodged a generous amount of ink onto the screen then ran off a couple of test prints onto fabric scraps. I always do this first to check I'm happy with the design and make sure I'm getting my squeegee pressure just right. When I was happy with all this I printed the design onto a couple of bags.

7. Add some sparkle
I found a few strips of shiny fabric and tulle and used these to make tutus for the Bella and Chacha silhouettes. First I cut three pieces of each, folded them in half lengthways and lay them on top of each other. I used matching thread to gather the pieces together to the right width for the teensy tutus and hand stitched them onto the bag. I finished it off with by sewing on a button which Bella chose from the button box.

Now all I have to do is find all the flipping dance gear to pop in the bag and keep it somewhere out of missies reach so she doesn't raid it before dancing on Saturday. And I also have a few of the test prints left that I might make into a little wall hanging.

Why not have a go making your own silhouette screen print.

xx Bec


'a portait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'

Seren - in constant motion

Bella - entertaining us with a puppet show

So I've missed a week, I didn't mean too. I had pictures taken and was ready to go but then I didn't turn on the computer for five days and the week was gone. Last week was one of THOSE weeks, you know the ones? A two day headache, a cold sneaking in and a bunch of stuff I should have been dealing with and frankly wasn't. Too much sinking into self pity, thinking 'what if', 'if only' and 'I wish I had....'.  But after waking up at one o'clock one morning and deciding to get up and do something instead of lying in the dark and wallowing in hindsight and wishing, things started to clear. I ticked some things off the 'to deal with' list, I reached out to friends and I took time to be present with and enjoy these little people. I sat and observed my little boy as he rolled and wriggled, trying to master his limbs and I know it won't be long until he's up and going and this time will have passed in the blink of an eye. And whilst he slept and recharged Bella and I sat together and made paper snowflakes. I loved watching the excitement on her face as each one was unfolded. We pasted the snowflakes onto the back of an empty cereal packet - it was intended to be an art folder to keep her drawings in, but instead she decided to host a puppet show and sat on the couch with it on her lap and made up stories and songs - I love how her creative little mind ticks over. 

As always I'm linking up with Practising Simplicity where you'll find plenty of beautiful photos and inspiration.

x Bec

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A cup of tea with me....

It's graduation time for the February 2014 class of Blog with Pip and we've all been invited to have a cuppa and share a little about ourselves. It's almost time for elevenses here so I'm having a rooibos and a couple of arrowroot biccies.

I thought the easiest way to get to know me would be by sharing ten random things about me:
  1. I've been cutting my own hair since 2006 and so far this has worked out ok (no major disasters and very forgiving straight hair that mostly does what I want it too).
  2. I love to rug up but don't get much chance in Queensland so as soon as there's a chill in the air I will put on a scarf, even if I only get to wear it for ten minutes (bring on winter).
  3. I love British comedies and historical dramas and anything by David Attenborough.
  4. Sewing and making is my therapy, I start to twitch if I haven't done something creative for a couple of days.
  5. The pile of books and craft magazines next to my bed is getting a bit out of control.
  6. I'm not a morning person so I LOVE that the hubs makes me a cup of tea every morning so I can stay in bed and snuggle with our small folk.
  7. I'm thinking about going back to Uni next year to study primary teaching.
  8. There is an entire wall in our house taken up by records.
  9. I am an ISFP.
  10. I've nabbed an early bird ticket to Unleash Creative Brisbane Woohoo!!! 

I've really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone wanting some inspiration, great techy knowledge and incredible support and encouragement from Pip and fellow students. It's wonderful becoming part of a new virtual community and I've enjoyed finding new blogs and following new journeys. I'm in awe of Cat at That Bettie Thing who finds time to blog amongst the activities and needs of four kids under seven and have her to thank for signing up to the 52 Project. I'm loving reading the adventures of Hieke Herrling as she and her hubby travel round oz in their caravan. I've felt enlivened by the creative generosity of Karen at Leaf and Petal and been inspired by the beautiful images and stories of Clare at Cats Eat Dogs.

I'm feeling reinvigorated to blog more regularly, to believe it what I'm doing and to share our upcycling and family adventures and  welcome you to come along for the ride.

x Bec

Sunday, March 9, 2014


'a portait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'

Bella - what a gorgeous way to spend our afternoon, out doors, running about, having adventures and building a cubby in the paddock with Nanna. How lucky we are to have this time with them and share this precious part of your journey.

Seren - six months this week, I feel like I've blinked and that time zipped past. You are seriously the most smiling and captivating little fellow. An old lady was compelled to stop and talk to us after you had given her a big smile 'he's been here before' she said, and I can't help feeling that you have. 

As always joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kiddo crafts - bottle top and button crabs

This project came together after Bella and I had been rummaging through my button box and found some teddy bear eyes I had bought yonks ago for a failed toy making attempt. I'm not quite sure how we got to crabs but I guess it seemed like the logical conclusion once we realised how perfect the teddy eyes were for stalky crab eyes.

If you fancy making your own goofy little crabs here's how:

1. gather your tools and supplies:

  • plastic milk or juice bottle tops
  • buttons
  • pipe cleaners
  • quick dry craft glue
  • teddy bear eyes
  • scissors
  • a small hole punch (or something pointy like a nail but only with proper supervision)

2. punch holes

  • make ten holes around the side of the lid, two close together for the eyes and four along each side for the legs. If you have a nifty small hole punch use that, otherwise you can carefully push a nail through the plastic and wiggle it about a bit to make the holes bigger.

3. attach the eyes and legs

  • gently push the eyes into the eye holes
  • cut the pipe cleaners in half then thread them through the leg holes  

4. add buttons

  •  squeeze some quick dry glue onto the bottle top and add buttons

5. make some friends

  • that was easy huh? Why not make some more......

Happy making
x Bec

Monday, March 3, 2014


'a portait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'

A global record of childhood - you can read all about how it started and how to join in over at Practising Simplicity

Bella - happy when running and jumping

Seren - happy when wrapped in fabric

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's all in the details...

One of the things I love the most about visiting a friends' house is discovering those little quirks, collections, and random bits and bobs that are a sneak peek into their world. I’m a small details loving gal so it’s these odds and ends that catch my eye and in this little series I’ll be sharing some shots from the homes of some lovely folks I know. 

This week we held our 'adrift' working bee at Kate and Ian's so I took the chance to have a wander about with my camera. I really admire the way these guys honour vintage and recycled items. Kate's paintings on recycled timber and found objects are scattered about the house, there is always a vintage table cloth at the table and coffee is shared in a random selection of lovely old mugs. In the garden a collection of aluminium teapots are displayed on a retaining wall, old laundry tubs and rusty buckets sprout succulents and Ian's unique found object sculptures are dotted throughout. It's all been so artfully (and seemingly effortlessly) put together in their welcoming home and sprawling garden, I hope you get a sense of that from these pics.


1. creative reuse of an old palette
2. atop the fridge
3. detail from one of Kate's paintings
4. laundry tub succulents
5. retaining wall of teapots and upcycled sculptures
6. the bird bath
7. talisman

Monday, February 24, 2014


'a portait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014'

This is my first ever 52 Project entry. I'm off to a late start but have only just discovered this beautiful link up thanks to That Bettie Project, My Bearded Pigeon and Her Library Adventures

A global record of childhood - you can read all about how it started and how to join in over at Practising Simplicity.

Bella - we've watched your confidence in the pool grow since the beginning of the year, now you can swim all the way across the shallow end althoigh you still giggle incessantly when you should be holding your breath.

Seren - little boy you simply radiate joy, every where we go someone comments on how smiley and happy you are, it is such a pleasure to be your mumma

Friday, February 21, 2014

Australiana – doing it right

I've been thinking a lot lately about this cultural cringe thing that us Aussies seem to suffer from and I reckon it's about time we got over it and start embracing our Australianess again.

'we love australia' and flan no shirt does it get more Aussie??

Now I don't mean lets all rush out and get southern cross tattoos or flag stickers for the back of our cars with slogans like ‘love it or leave’ – that is a bit cringe worthy. I’m talking about embracing awesome Aussie things like our strange obsession with making giant things for tourists to visit and celebrating our unique plants and animals and not more eco vandal woodland creatures like foxes and deer.

Here’s a couple of amazing designers and makers I reckon have got it just right in that Aussie's having a gentle dig at themselves kinda way: 

Wear a splendid and satirical me & oli 'bird in the hand' print dress, tank or blouse (you choose what design and print and it's made to order).

Decorate your wall with a fabulous vintage wallpaper budgie wall cameo over at Each to Own

Dry your dishes with an Everingham and Watson 'Australian Crest - Ode to the big things' tea towel

or hang your keys from an Anita Laura key chain - 'dugong and koala in scandi sweaters' 

And if that's not embracing some Aussiness enough you could go and hug a koala.

lone pine sanctuary circa June 1985