Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This was going to be a post about pinterest.com, but really it is about cake.

I resisted Pinterest for a while because (a) it is hard enough keeping up with Facebook and Blogger, (b) I didn't really get it, and (c) you have to 'request an invite'. Clearly I was not cool enough to just start pinning.

But a few weeks ago I thought maybe it would be useful for keeping track of tutorials I want to try, gifts I might buy, recipes that look yummy. You set up as many 'boards' as you like, 'pin' images to them as you surf the interweb, and then it saves the links for you.

I wasn't so interested in the social networking part, it is a bit weird people knowing what I might make or buy before I do it (but I am here if you think you might like what I like!)

However it is great for searching for things, a bit like google images without all the ugly crap. That's the best thing about pinterest, things are only there if someone has liked them in the first place, so they are usually pretty.

And if you see something you love, you may want to follow the board it was pinned on, because clearly that person has great taste. I am following Adventures in Dessert. Enough said.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Room 2: fairytale dream land

Right. The countdown is on - 6 sleeps to go until we move house. I'm absolutely rapt that my little miss five is excited about moving and when we were checking out the new house she had the great idea that her little sister could move in with her. Ever since I've been day dreaming and pondering how to combine the d├ęcor ideas and patterns of my two girls’ current rooms into one, so that it suits a new, shared room for a five year old and a nearly two year old.

Princesses and fairy tales seems the obvious age-spanning choice, but I’m trying not to be obvious! So instead I’ve been searching online under my “big idea” theme of whimsical and restful. This has opened me up to a whole world of possibilities including fairy tales and vintage themes.

Miss five's room was only just recently completed using quaint Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty fairy tale fabric in pale pinks and greens from Heather Ross' Far, Far Away II collection, so that will stay. Miss Two's room was all done in vintage-styled owls and birds when she was first born - so I'm thinking that I will extend this theme while matching miss five's quaint style, and bring in some Heather Ross' soft duck egg blue-coloured Owl and the Pussycat fabric, from the same range/s.

On the bed I'll shabby-chic it a bit with a pink/brown damask and spotted reversible fabric quilt for miss five, and keep miss two's much-loved duck egg blue/brown damask and spotted fabric quilt from her old room, from my lovely sister-in-law's homegrown business, Holly Chic.

Both little girls will have gauze canopies on their beds...and I've nabbed a gorgeous old fashioned white dressing table with an oval Sleeping Beauty-styled mirror off trademe. I just need to find a dressing table stool or vintage piano stool to sit in front of it. The finishing touches will be an amazing pink, funky-styled chandelier, from Chicos online, and I have nabbed two 'tree hangers' from Mocka to sit in the corner, like in a fairy tale forest, and hang all their dress ups and dancing costumes.

I’ve also got my eye on this gorgeous “up, up and away” hot air balloon themed print from carodandelion - or this other whimsical print by sweetwilliam here, from www.felt.co.nz . Both local New Zealand artists, these talented Kiwis specialise in mixed media prints and I love the layered effects of the watercolour and whitewash-effect of damask patterns and vintage wallpapers.

I may have to sleep (or dream) on it…but only for six more nights!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spoonflower Update - Free Shipping and Kids Contest

I have been spending too much time working on a Spoonflower project I am not quite ready to share, but if you have ever thought about trying out Spoonflower...

Free Shipping
On Monday 20th June (US time) there is free standard shipping internationally, details here. Remember you don't have to design your own fabric, there are thousands of designs by other that are available for purchase, here are some of my favourites -

(Clockwise from Top Left - Movie Characters, Tea PartySummer Rose GardenSpace Alphabet)

And remember that the US dollar is very weak at the moment, and fabrics are available in 8inch x 8inch swatches, or fat quarters, so you can just get a little bit and make some gorgeous little things (see Aimee's fabric scraps post).

Kids Contest
This week's design contest is for children 12 and under - so they do a drawing or collage and then you take a photo or scan it to get a digital file to upload (details here). Entries close Tuesday, how gorgeous is this one?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Planning my new house: Room no 1 - lounge

Wallpapers by the great Amy Butler; green shag cushion with tutorial from V and Co; white plantation shutters; modular corner sofas in browns (here from Freedom); white lacquered furniture; artwork by Gretchen Albrecht; factory and topography inspired artworks; antique photo frames; lily pad fabrics as cushions.

The lily pad household is on the move, and the excitement at nesting in a new place is mounting. Every spare second (of which there are really none) is spent thinking about what items of our furniture to take, and what to start fresh with.

Room One taking up most of my dreaming and planning is the lounge, mostly because I am going to relegate my current black couches to the family room and buy new sand/brown ones for the big 'adults' lounge. While I still love my black-white-red theme in the kitchen and family areas, rather than creating yet another room in the same style, I've dedicated to be brave and expand my colour palette and bring in browns, navy and teal greens.

The colour combo was initially inspired by my favourite designer of all time, Amy Butler, and her new wallpaper ranges (see above), as well as my research in new season colour influences from colour expert Pantone, as well as a spread in Homestyle magazine. But it has also allowed me to incorporate my love of pattern, and so I'm going to use my highly decorative, damask navy and green lily pad fabric on some cushions for a personal touch and make a shaggy green cushion. I'm also loving all these cool accent pieces below from http://www.felt.co.nz/ - oopsey daisy, I might have already bought the decorative mounted deer head even before we move!
Interactive wallpaper - magnetic wall art
sky blue cuckoo clock
small peacock wall clock
Silver & black taxidermy deer
Fantail cushion

I'm also brainstorming my own large scale canvas multi-media artwork for the lounge wall - more on that later. Clue One: Hessian coffee sacks from NZ company Avalanche thanks to a friend of a friend (thanks, Paul). Seriously such good coffee, have you bought some yet? Clue Two: Sewing and layering. Clue Three: Pattern and shape. Clue Four: oil paint?

But for up on the stunning wall with an original plaster fireplace mantle built in, I'm looking at purchasing this gorgeous 'Winged Spill" print by New Zealand artist Gretchen Albrecht pictured above. I love the mix of deep, mulled wine and forest colours - and it reminds me too strangely, of my daugher's love of rainbows. A little bit of playfulness in my otherwise seriously 'adults' retreat' style room.

Next up: ideas for my girls' new shared room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apps for Kids

I wasn't sure what people used iPads for until we were given one (a very generous birthday gift for my husband), but I can't believe how much we use it. And of course the kids are all over it, but I have found it hard to figure out in the app store what games would be suitable for Miss 4. 

This week I discovered Toca Boca (via Li'l Magoolie and Meet Me at Mike's) and it is EXACTLY what I was looking for - cute, fun, a teensy bit educational, and completely intuitive for little hands, no instructions needed. Toca Boca have a range of games and the favourite in our house so far is the Toca Doctor puzzles (pictured above), but by far the cutest is the tea party - choose the tablecloth, plates, drinks and cakes for your tea party, lie the iPad flat then sit special toys around the place settings! So clever.

Toca Boca Tea Party

A friend of ours has launched another great game, Little Fingers Nursery Rhymes, which records voices so children can read a story and choose who will be reading it to them. Of course my daughter thinks recording and listening to her own voice is hilarious.

Little Fingers Nursery Rhymes

The other app that has been a hit so far is Park Math, a supercute puzzle game.

Park Math

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I am just an iPad convert! I would love an iPhone too (mainly because I am lazy and the thought of having an iPod/phone/camera/video camera all in one appeals!) but I don't think Mr Toddler and I can be trusted with one yet, I do like being able to throw my ageing phone in my handbag, and it surviving toddler-drops...

Do you have any iPad or iPhone apps you would recommend? I would really like some old-fashioned fairytale picturebooks but have only found ugly ones so far. I didn't know if I would enjoy reading a grownup book on the iPad but it has so many great features - you can change the brightness of the page, the size of the type, leave lots of bookmarks... and the best thing is downloading a book is so quick and easy - did you know Amazon now sells more digital books than hardbacks and paperbacks put together?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Upcycling my fabric scraps just a tinch more...

I'm loving making as many things as I can out of my fabric scraps. It's a wonderful side effect of having the opportunity to buy bulk fabric lots for my lily pad liners - their unusual shapes mean I end up with a large stash of scraps perfect for crafting.

Mostly I cover unusual shaped tins and boxes, to create more storage; or I make face washes with flannel on one side; or I make cushion covers. At Christmas time I made Santa Sacks with appliques. Waiting next in line for a rainy day are fabric covered buttons and pegs.

But I also love to share my fabric scraps around, as one girl can't use them all! Recently I sent some to one of my favourite crafters, Helen at Tinch Design Studio.

I was delighted when she sent me some photos of what had become of them - gorgeous little bird magnets.

Only one or two of each colour exist and they are up for sale on her felt.co.nz store.

Do you love upcycling fabric scraps? If so, leave me a comment below - I've bagged up three bags of mixed offcuts and I will randomly pick 3 New Zealand bloggers addresses next weekend to send them too - just tell me what your project will be by either leaving a comment here - or on my facebook page.

Each bag contains a random collection of offcuts from designers such as Amy Butler; Anna Maria Horner; Valori Wells; Studio E; Patricia Bravo or Robert Kauffman.


This week I was also delighted to find a funky collation of 24 projects on Make It: Love It full of ideas for how to make great modern stuff by upcycling fabric scraps. All the projects and patterns are all free!!! What a find. Two of my favourites are below. I hope you find something you love in there too!!

Check out everyone else's loves over at Paisley Jade this week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lily Pad on You Tube

Have you discovered the awesome new The Natural Parent Magazine yet? With the by-line 'eco conscious, intelligent living and connection parenting' - you can get the drift, and the photography and paper stock are so high grade, it's gorgeous to hold and read.

This latest issue has an article on 'travelling with kids' and a little promo for Lily Pads runs beside it. Since then I've worked with Bex, the lovely marketing manager there, to start a competition to win a lily pad and also she has done a You Tube review and video on how easy it is to pop a lily pad into use for mums. It is so wierd to see the Lily Pad online in a TV advert style video, alongside such fantastic products like Ergo Baby and Bubbalooz. Watching the video, I am all tingly - yes, with being proud, but also slightly embarassed - does anyone else notice how my name stands out so prominently in the rest of Bex's sentence?

Watch it here or below.... xx

Thursday, June 2, 2011

We're making a Solar System...

...but experiencing a few hiccups!

My husband is in charge of the maths (the planet sizes and distances are going to be as close to scale as we can manage with basic craft materials - which means it is 3 metres long!) and I am in charge of the painting.

We found an iPhone/iPad app with great pictures of the planets, and you can spin them around to get a 360 degree view (Jupiter shown above).

However we still have to figure out:
- How to do rings on Saturn
- How to do the meteors that Miss 4 is insisting on
- Whether painting the wall behind it sparkly-black is really a good idea (yes, that one was my idea)

Also there is the small matter of a missing sun - the 'find' of the project, a $2 shop swirly yellow and red ball, has prematurely exploded, perhaps because it was used as a Swiss ball for two weeks...

See what everyone else is making each Thursday at ourcreativespaces.blogspot.com
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