The 365 Day Challenge

My goal is to create something every day using something from my craft cupboard. I am a self-confessed fabric addict and just love to fossick through thrift shops and find treasures.

So here goes. Live, love, recycle and get crafting.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 346 - Chalkboard wine glasses

Something for the adults this time. :-) I've run out of chalkboard paint so I guess this will be my last chalkboard post for a while.

As you can see, Mum needs the larger wine glass....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 345 - Refashioning one of my Grandma's dresses

I have a special refashion today. Special to me. This is a dress that used to belong to my grandma. In fact she loved sewing and it looks like she made this for herself. She died about 18 months ago but a few months before that she moved into an aged care facility and she gave me some of her clothes. She was a couple of sizes larger than me so this is the first time I've tried a refashion of one of her dresses. Her eyesight being a bit poor there were a few stains on the front so the first task was a wash. :-) This in itself gave me a smile at her memory.

The before picture.

First step was to cut off the sleeves, and then take both sides of the dress in by about an inch.

Then I added a couple of rows of shirring elastic to the shoulders at the front. This elastic was also gifted from my gram, and this was my first time trying shirring. It was really easy, and I will definitely be doing it again soon.

Then I found an old belt meant for another vintage dress that I never wear the belt with, and wrapped it with red lace (also from gram). My Gram was quite flamboyant at times so I felt the dress should have a bit more colour in her honour.

To match the belt I used a red felt brooch which I made very early on in my 365 craft project. I actually pulled apart the brooch and then sewed the front section of it onto the dress by hand, with 2 strands of green embroidery thread.

Here's the finished dress.

Before and after.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 344 - DIY lace earring storage solution

Every since Juliet and James made me copious amounts of earrings for my birthday I have had a storage crisis with my jewellery. It's all cheap stuff and is spread everywhere and can never be found when I want to wear it.

I decided to create this today in my walk in robe. I just attached some lace and ric rac to the wall with drawing pins and the little holes in the lace are prefect for getting the earrings in and out easily. Pretty happy with myself really, this is very practical and pretty too. Looking for stuff all the times drives me completely mad!

Improving my life one step at a time. ;-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 343 - A chalk board wall

Judging from the amount of chalk dust that now covers my entire house, the chalkboards from yesterday were an 'epic success'. Liam has been using his endlessly to draw minecraft worlds, his latest obsession.

I thought why not just do a whole wall? Well, part of one anyway. I had the prefect spot where Mr D decided to draw on the wall during the week with a whiteboard marker, and not all of it came off with sugar soap. As you can see the whiteboard where I write everyone's weekly schedule has been hijacked, so I'm hoping this can be just used by me now.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 342 - Homemade chalkboards

Liam and I went shopping yesterday and found some chalkboard paint for this easy project.

I used these boards which were the back pieces for the shelf I made last week here. I decided not to use them all for the shelf. Three coats of paint and the boards were done.

Juliet was quite taken with them.

She drew flower men versions of Dylan and Liam.

And this is Little A.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 341 - Homemade playdough

Today we made some homemade playdough with a little bit of lavender from our garden and made some playdough creations.

Here is my playdough recipe for great playdough.

Mix a cup of flour, half a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 cup of water, food coloring and a small handful of lavender together.

Stir over heat until it thickens and rolls into a ball.

Smells good, feels amazing and provides hours of entertainment. Even my almost 8 year old loves it.

Then we made our own creation that we call Mr P-Playdough head. He's as cute as a button!

Aidan has also been regaling me with tales of the good old days when 'we all used to be octopuses'. he has drawn a self portrait of himself as an octopus and I recently found out that I used to be a pink octopus as recreated below. Love the way his mind works. I have always thought of him as an old soul so perhaps he is right. ;-)

We then had a picnic in the bush out the back of our house and these are our instagram entries for this weekend's hash tag project #whpleanwithit. The idea is to take a photo of people imitating leaning or funny shaped trees.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 340 - The vintage tie

I'm still working on making something masculine into something feminine, so I used the rest of the vintage tie from yesterday in today's project. Not sure I'll wear this, but I wanted to try making it anyway.

I made a flower from some lace. First I sewed a row at the bottom of the lace and pulled the threads at each end to gather the fabric, and then I rolled it up to make a flower. I found an old button for the centre of the flower.

I sewed the bottom of the tie onto the top and then added the flower. It was fun to make.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 339 - Vintage men's shirt + vintage men's tie = girly shirt

Today I was interested in taking two men's items and turning them into something quite feminine. I really enjoyed this refashion a lot, and am happy with the result.

So I started off with this funky vintage op shop tie.

And this vintage shirt my husband bought about 10 years ago for a fancy dress party that was always a bit too small. I didn't let him throw it out because I thought the fabric was awesome. It had these slits at the back.

Ready to go!

First the sleeves got chopped off. Then the top of the shirt and a couple of inches below the collar.

I overlocked the underarm edges and the top edges, then made a folded over the underarms about half a cm to finish them off. Then I made a casing in the top front and back and inserted the tie. This tie was a 70's fat tie so I ended up cutting the fat end off - it was a bit too much but I'm hoping to use it for another project.

I sewed up the slits at the back, crossing over the fabric a little so that I ended up with a more feminine shape.

Once the tie was in I added a large button where I joined the tie ends. Now it's very girly!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 337 - Rice and food dye fun

Lots of fun today playing with rice, which we coloured first with food dye. It's like a sandpit, kids can spend hours shuffling it around. Great fun and good chill out time with your preschooler.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 336 - An open letter, on the gift of turning 40

Today's craft is a little bit different, I decided to write an open letter on the joy of turning 40 this year. I wrapped it in lace, and it now sits in my lounge room to remind me of how fortunate I am.

An open letter, on the gift of turning 40

Today I received the last of my 40 days of gifts from my family to celebrate my 40th birthday. Turning 40 has, for me, been a lovely opportunity to look back on the last 40 years, and to celebrate a journey of my life so far, and the here and now. It’s also a chance to consider the infinite possibilities of the future and the adventures out there waiting to be grasped.

I am (hopefully) less than half way through a phenomenal life, where I have been fortunate enough to have many opportunities and choices that have led me in many varied directions.

At 25 when I left my corporate job to explore the world, I had no idea what the next 15 years would bring. I felt only that the finance world would destroy my passion and spirit if it were given a chance.

My solo travels began in Africa, the trip of my dreams and the start of a love affair with that continent. It exceeded all of my dreams and hopes and still holds a place firmly within my heart. I loved this time of my life, working in the UK, Ghana and Thailand, with the freedom to go anywhere I wanted and to follow my dreams.

A spur of the moment visit to a school in Botswana also led to my next dream to become a teacher. This lead to my studies in teaching English as a second language, and eventually my post graduate diploma of education. I loved teaching, making an impact on the lives of young people, and being a part of something important and vital. It was a privilege and I miss it still.

Meeting my husband a few months after returning from my travels was prefect timing. I still wrestled with the normalcy of life back in Melbourne, and dreamt of further travel. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew my life was forever altered. I was lucky enough to meet someone who may not always dream as big as me, but is always there to support and encourage my dreams, big and small.

Then came our family, first 2 dogs, then 4 children, all of who have taught me more about love, life and pure joy than I ever thought possible. I never imagined myself in this place, with 4 kids, but each one has expanded my heart and mind and continues to do so every day.

Ernie taught me about courage, acceptance, perseverance, and reminded me to look at every day life with the wonder it deserves.

Acknowledging his loneliness when we both worked full time, the decision to get another dog left me wondering how I could love another dog as much as him, but Cookie soon showed me the way. She taught me about resilience, loyalty and determination, with her protective nature and crazy, relentless pursuits.

Liam, my kind and sensitive almost 8 year old, opened my heart in so many ways, such was my love for him from the moment I laid eyes on him. As a baby he always knew when I was sad, and never failed to comfort me. He still does. He is never afraid to walk a different path to his peers, something that fills me with pride.

Juliet showed her fiery spirit from day 1, and her ability to make me laugh has never diminished. She is the funniest person I know, and her passion is boundless. Her heart is huge and her quick temper is evenly matched with an ability to forgive and forget just as quickly. She is open, honest and always full of the highest praise and affection for those who have earned a place in her heart.

Aidan came along and I swear he entered the world with a smile and a scream. He is loud and happy and generous of heart and mind. His unique slant on life makes me laugh every day and continues to expand my heart. He is always first to apologise and take blame, and to slather me with kisses and hugs at random. There is a special warmth and glow about him that makes me happy just to be near him. His quick mind and wit challenge me each and every day, and fill me with love.

Then came Dylan. Who would have thought there would be so many lessons to be learned from number 4? He has shown me even more about how precious life can be, and how important it is to grasp every opportunity to enjoy one another and the moment we are in. He delights in his family, and is passionate about life. He is strong, determined, loving to all who come into his world, and has a huge sense of adventure.

I know I’m a very lucky woman, and for me, turning 40 is a blessing, a wonderful time of celebration. I have a small but wonderful group of friends that a love dearly and am thankful for, and parents who raised me to believe in myself and my future. My brothers are pretty great too, and my mind is full of memories of a wonderful childhood growing up in the country.

If I teach my children anything I hope it will be these things:

  • Dream big
  • Be adventurous
  • Fight for what you believe in
  • Find your passion
  • Life is miraculous
  • Don’t forget to stop and live in the moment
  • Celebrate whenever you can

Wherever you are, whatever your age, live, love and be who you want to be.


Here is my letter, wrapped up in lace.

One of my favourite gifts in my 40 days of presents was this one. Balloons lined the hallway and inside were love notes and memories from Mr Crafty and the kids.

And tonight, my last present, and album celebrating the things that I love.