Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paint Dipped Vase

Back before Easter I jumped on the paint-dipped bandwagon and DIYed a vase. I am finally getting around to sharing it, better late than never right!?

You can see the vase here on my Easter decorated sideboard...

I started out with a vase that I picked up from Vinnies (local thrift shop), it was originally $5 but I got it for $2.50 in a half price sale. Bargain!!

It was black when I bought it and my only plan was to spray paint it white. Unfortunately though, my bad habit of buying cheap spray paint from the dollar store caught up with me. For whatever reason there was something wrong with the can of paint. When I sprayed the vase the paint came out all chunky and left a gritty residue all over the vase. I probably could have done something to remove the paint, but it felt so horrible when I touched it so I put it in my decorating closet and forgot about it.

You can't tell in this photo but the paint job is patchy and gritty.

When I was getting ready to decorate for Easter I went looking around the house for something that was about 2/3s the height of the bunny frame and found the vase.

Straight away, I knew that I wanted to wrap it in jute twine and then give it a paint dipped look.

I started out by wrapping the whole thing in twine. I started up at the top and using hot-glue I secured the twine as I went along.

I ran out of twine about 2/3s of the way down the vase and had to go and buy some more. The new twine was a bit different to the old stuff and didn't seem to be as thick. I didn't worry about it though seeing as that part of the twine would be painted over anyway.

When it came time to do the paint dipped part of the vase I cheated and used a paint-brush. It seemed really wasteful to pour out a big tub of paint. I think my way of doing it gave just as good a result.

I started out by roughly painting a line at the point that I wanted the paint to go to, and then painted up to that line.  I did three thick coats of paint, letting each coat touch dry first.

The end result looks really good. The paint is nice and thick, with really good coverage and it really does look as though it's been dipped in a tub of paint.

I think I am addicted to the paint dipped look now! I keep seeing things around the house that I want to paint. Wooden spoons, chair legs, baskets... nothing is safe!!

Monday, April 23, 2012


My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and seeing as a certain man that I know reads this blog, I thought I might put together a little wishlist.

All the things I *really* want are things that we are saving up for already, like a back deck, landscaping, new furniture etc. So this wishlist is made up of little things that would brighten my day. After all isn't that what birthdays are about.

Amazon - $20.51
Amazon - $22.63

Set of four beaded bangles $36 and zig zag bangle $10 - from Sweet Auburn Studio on Etsy - buy both to get free shipping

Monogram necklace $49 - Marinette Jewelery on Etsy

Clear Crystal Bracelet $15 - Bride Blu on Etsy

iphone case in grey and light yellow $55 - Daninotes on Etsy

So there you have it, my sweet and simple wishlist. Do you normally put together a list? Or do you trust your loved ones to know exactly what to get you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY Sponge Balls

Back at Easter time one of the things I put in Max's (and his cousins') Easter baskets were these cute little sponge balls.

They were really easy and cheap to make and the kids LOVED playing with them!

I started out with some packets of sponges. I think I paid about $9 for the whole lot. Like I said, a super cheap project.

I cut each of the sponges into thin strips...

Then it was just a matter of tying each bunch of sponge strips with string (I used 15 strips per ball). As you pull the string tight the sponges fan out into a ball shape.

Although I only put one sponge ball in each of the Easter baskets, I made a huge stack of them so that we could have lots of fun playing with them.

On the weekend we finally took them outside with some tubs of water and we had some sponge ball fun!!

Max thought it was really funny when we got Ava, but didn't think it was quite so funny when he accidentally got one in the face...

He got over the surprise fairly quickly and ended up having a ball chasing us around trying to throw sponges at us.

You'll have to take my word for it though, by then I'd put the camera down and was having too much fun to remember to pick it back up :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Not such a Baby Anymore

Lately I've been noticing that Max is really starting to grow into a little boy. He's becoming more and more independent, he talks like a normal little human being, & he can do so many things for himself.

The other day when I was getting ready to go to work, Sean came into the ensuite and said that my sister (who currently lives with us) had offered to take Max to daycare with her girls. It would have made things easier (I'm always running late for work after dropping Sean off at the train and Max off at daycare), but I said no because I like the job of dropping him off in the mornings. I finished getting ready and went out to the car, and there was Max climbing into his seat in my sister's car. I looked at Sean and he said 'Max really wants to go with Jenny'.

I stuck my head into the car and Max said to me 'bye Mumma, I go daycare with Jenny now'. At the moment I was so full of pride that he is growing up and learning to be independent, but so sad that my baby didn't feel like he needed me.


Some days I would love to be able to freeze time and have him as my little baby just for an extra couple of months. I love this little monster to pieces :)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Handmade Easter Baskets

One of the little family traditions my sister and I have is creating handmade presents for Easter. I think it's important to remember that Easter is about so much more than chocolate. Sitting down with my sister and making gifts for our children and then giving them to them on Easter Sunday really helps us to stay focused on that.

Last year my sister, mum and I made each of the kids (Max and my sister's two girls Ava and Emily) a sweet little bunny softie. (We got the pattern from JDC).

This year we decided to make Easter baskets for our children (the ones I mentioned in my last post). I searched for Easter Baskets on pinterest and came across this tutorial. It was so easy to follow that even I understood it! The pictures are nice and crisp and Amy explains everything really well.

We wanted our baskets to be a little bigger, so we took all the measurements and multiplied them by 1.5. We also used stiffer interfacing than Amy did on her baskets, and if I was making them again I would actually use the stiffest interfacing I could find. I noticed that our bigger baskets were a little bit too 'droopy' when the kids carried them around.

Seeing as we were making three baskets and needed to cut multiple versions of the same shape, we started out by making ourselves a pattern. We then cut out soooooo much fabric.

The fabric we used for the main part of the baskets was the same stuff I used for my bunny silhouette (left-over from my no-sew Christmas tree skirt). Jen picked 30cm each of some pretty pink fabric for her girls' baskets and I used an old business shirt of Sean's that had a small rip in it for Max's basket.

Now, I have to admit that I did absolutely zero sewing for this project. My sister Jenny is an absolute whiz on the sewing machine so she did every single last bit of the sewing. I helped out by ironing, snipping, pinning and doing all the other easy jobs.

We worked through the toddlers naps and then did some more once they had gone to bed for the night. All up I would say it took us about four hours to make all three baskets.

They were a lot of fun to make, and I absolutely love how the turned out! But the absolute best part of the project was working together with my sister to start our own little family traditions.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Celebrations

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.

We had a great weekend here, Max and his cousins were so excited about Easter and had such a great time!

On the Sunday we started out early with the kids waking up to find their new Easter baskets full of treats. It was so much fun watching their faces light up as they realised that the Easter bunny had visited!

Their baskets were filled with a few hand-made things - treat carrots, sponge balls (diy to come), marshmallow pops,  and number magnets for Max - a few little chocolate treats and extras like colouring books, crayons, fluffy chicks etc.

A couple of hours later, once the grandparents and the girls' Dad (my sister's ex) had arrived we organised an Easter egg hunt for them. Ava was really good with the little ones and left the easy eggs for them to find, Max was over-the-top excited and ran around the house grabbing every single egg he could find (even if it meant taking them out of Emmy's hand) and little Emmy wandered around happy as anything to be carrying her Easter basket. It was such a fun thing to do!!

After that we cooked up some brunch and had a big (and delicious) family meal.

Mini iced coffees to go with brunch

We woke up this morning with plenty of chocolate left-over (the kids got more eggs and bunnys from the grandparents) and lots of happy memories.

I hope you all had a perfect weekend too. I'll be back tomorrow with the details on how we made the kids' Easter baskets.