Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Matty

I know I'm a little bit early but Matt is going to be away for Valentine's Day so I wanted to do something nice for him before he went. So I made these handsewn tea bags filled with his favourite organic peppermint tea! I used unbleached coffee filters and normal sewing cotton and a little cardboard, all things that we had lying around the house.

This idea came from Home Shoppe :) so thanks to them for thinking up something sweet for my valentine.

Knitting: Citrusy Citron

This is Citron by Hilary Smith Callis. This was in the Knitty in Winter 09 and has been very popular on Ravelry. You can knit it in any weight yarn and I am still mentally damaged from my last lace weight shawl so I decided to knit it in 4 ply. The yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Fingering, since Knit Picks still don't post to Australia (I know crazy isn't it what a market they're missing out on) a bunch of us knitters went in and did a big mega order and sent it via a mail forwarding company. I found the Chroma a little sticky as it's a single rather than a plied yarn and frankly I found the 30% acrylic in it made it feel awfully squeaky to me after being spoiled by all the lovely natural yarns I have used.

I didn't hard block this shawlette because I don't want to lose the ruffley bits as I have heard can happen if you pin too severely.

This is a nice little bit of summer to carry me through the rest of the season and into Autumn. It was a fun knit and easy to memorise which made it perfect for braindead end of the day and car knitting.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Blog for Lucia

We got Lucia a camera for Christmas and I started a new blog for her pics. It's cute, well I think it's amazing to see from a child's perspective and if you want to see some random pics then go to If you like the concept then check out Cooper the photographer cat, you can get his link from my Sites Made of Awesome sidebar.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why I Love Food Dye: Six Ways To Entertain Kids With a Few Simple Ingredients

I have discovered a new and abiding love for the extensive use that you can put food dye to in your house when you have little kids.


I had a lot of food dye around from dyeing yarn when Lucy was born and when she got old enough I thought it was great that we could make our own coloured playdough. Home made playdough lasts so much longer than shopbought and I use this recipe and it feels great and lasts for a couple of months if sealed up between plays.

Coloured Baths

At some point Lucy was protesting about getting in the bath and so I added some colour to the water, just a half cap is enough to colour the whole bath and it did not dye her skin at all. We experiment in the bath by adding a colour at either end and seeing what happens when they mix, so we are learning through play. Also a coloured bath can make an enchanting setting for some water play with underwater animal toys etc. 

Coloured Bath Soap for Kids  

I have looked around for bath soap pens so Lucy could draw on the expanse of white tiles next to our bath without luck and at the suggestion of a friend I added some corn flour (starch) to some baby soap (you could use liquid handsoap for older kids), split the mix in half and added some food dye and voila! bath soap that you can paint on the walls or tub with the added benefit of getting a clean baby. Special note that I did dye my grout but it came out after a few scrubs

Pavement Paint for Kids

We made paint by mixing one cup of water with one cup of cornflour and spliting it into four bowls and mixing in some food colouring. BRILLIANT! This is my favourite thing to do with food colouring and Lucy loved it too. We got the idea from the Tend website. The colours blend together brilliantly when wet and then change colour to a more opaque/chalky texture as they dry and you can just sweep/hose off the results. We didn't have any residual dyeing on our cement pavers.

Ice Cube Painting

On a hot day you can freeze some water that has been dyed with food colouring and then pop it out and let your kids use it like a paintbrush. This is another great chance to see colours combine and observe the result. Something simple and cheap that can keep kids entertained and cool on a hot day. 

Finger Paints

We did make home made fingerpaints which I posted about here, but they were no where near as fun as the pavement paints, which you could use as fingerpaints if you wanted to, but not for paintings you wanted to keep.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Stuff I Wish I Knew Before Having a Baby

  1. A good water bottle that you can open one handed is a great thing for a breast feeding Mum
  2. Shower curtains make excellent drop sheets for craft, saves getting glitter, paint and anything else all over your floors
  3. Swimming nappies are just for catching poop, do not let your baby wear them in the car
  4. When a bubba says I have a tummy ache or I have a sore back it can mean I want to poo or wee
  5. Art with kids is about the process not the finished product, learn not to be a perfectionist
  6. A great way to stop a kid from tantrumming is just to ask them lots of questions "What's over there, who is coming home later, what should we have for dinner, what toy should we take to bed". They get so interested in the answers they forget that they were upset
  7. The words "It's going to be ok, everything is going to be alright" when taught to a loving partner can stop you from going crazazy
  8. There is 24 hour nurse on call, 24 GP on call and also a 24 Maternal & Child Health Nurse on call in Australia provided by various state and federal governments. They can be a comforting when you're concerned about something but not so concerned that you think you need to go to a GP
  9. Black food dye in cake icing can make poo go fluorescent green (see point seven). In fact anything that kids eat can make their poo change colour and as long as they're doing poos easily and regularly there is generally no problem
  10. More about poos, when babies are breastfed they don't need to poo as often because it's such a complete and amazing baby food for them. When they start to eat solids or have formula then they poo more often.
  11. Pawpaw makes babies poo smell nice
  12. Read widely but take what everyone says with a grain of salt and do what works for you, all kids are different and need different things
Disclaimer: This stuff is true for me but may not be true for you so don't spam me because you don't agree, you're welcome to your opinion.

Our Christmas Day