Friday, 25 January 2013

My new craft digs ...

Back in December we moved house and have bought a big house with my mom & her husband.  The plan is to renovate and give them a 'granny flat' (or apartment as they are calling it) and the rest of the house is ours.  The plans for how to do this have changed about as many times as you could possibly imagine and so I am only just now finalising my craft room.  The room is the size of a nice single bedroom with a built in double sliding door closet.  The previous owner sewed and so the closet was fitted out with lots of shelves.

I started by sharing this room with my mom, then she moved her stuff and I had room for two tables (one for sewing), but then the kids lost their gaming spot and so we re-organised once again and now I have one table and they have two chairs :-)  I like to face the door so this is my craft space facing the closet and the doorway ...

This is the wall as you enter on the right, you can just see the desk on the left.  My machines were spread out on the chest but now half has a TV and a game station.  The bonus is I now have the TV back in my craft room :-)

Here is half of the closet ... It is kinda full and needs a serious de-clutter!  This is the first time in about 6 years that all of it has been unpacked so it is definitely time for a serious sort out ... now to just find the time ...

I started a new job on the 3rd of January.  I sell houses for a local builder.  After having lived in a few different countries I know that building and buying houses differs greatly from place to place so here is a brief run down of the way it works here if you are buying a new house.

Land Agents/Developers divide up land into blocks for people to buy.  They put in the roads and main connections to each block.  The buyer comes along and chooses their block and purchases it.  Now you have to find a house to build on it.  Most new land estates have 'display homes' on them (a collection of a few homes is called a 'display village').  These are sample houses designed by different builders.  Here is the one I am based in ...

The display is open at certain times but I can actually sell people any home that my company builds (not all are made into display homes).  Once you have chosen your home you can take the plans and re-draw parts and then you enter into a contract to have it built.  You choose all your fittings, colours, and bits and the house is built as you want it.  There are LOTS of builders to choose from.  The largest display village at the moment has over 30 builders in it.  These display houses are eventually sold as house plans change and are kept fresh and new.

So I talk with clients, help them change their house plans to suit their needs and wants, and then I get them to sign on the dotted line.  I am really enjoying it!  Here is the link to the details of the house pictured above if you are interested.  It is very rare for two houses to look alike as people choose different bricks, paint, tiles, paving, and elevations.  Even if two were built side by side you probably wouldn't notice.

So if I am not crafting I am re-designing houses ... sorta the same thing ... kinda ... maybe :D


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A little funny for you ...

A friend found this on Facebook today and I had to share it.  I can't find an original source other than the FB photo HERE.  I think many of us would say that we are a bit like this (or lots as the case may be!) ...

Have a great day,
Chipper xox

Monday, 21 January 2013

Golden Books Gifts

After all the work it took to get ready for the party I realised the day before that I hadn't made my present yet!  I was planning on making a nappy (diaper) cake and The Princess helped me make more 'toppers' and we quickly put this cake together ...

It looked the part and is always a very useful present!

When the baby was born she was a girl!  But I still wanted to make something in the same Golden Books theme and so I made a growth chart to hang on the wall.  It is a piece of pine and is designed to be hung about 20cm above the ground.  That means that she can grow to about 6'4" before she would reach the top!  I don't think she will get that tall, but any future brothers might :-)  Here is a very bad full length photo ...

The center strip is light aqua card and then I used the same golden book paper that we used on the decorations to cover the sides all the way around.  I then added washi tape to form a border.  I added pictures from Golden Books to the edges for decoration and a few flowers finished it off.  The yellow and red makes it feel quite boyish so I added some purple in the flowers.

I marked every 1/2 meter and every foot (after taking into account the gap at the bottom) and then sealed the whole thing with Ranger Glue and Seal.  Add a sparkling title and it sort of looks boy or girl.  I haven't been able to give it to them yet but I really hope they like it :-)

This is the second growth chart that I made before Christmas.  I also made my mom one using Graphic 45 'Little Darlings'.  When mom sold her first house she took all our height marks that were on the wall and transferred them on to paper. There they have stayed for about 17 years!  So I made her a wooden one that can move from house to house and she has already started putting all the heights on it.  On Christmas day she made us all add a new marking (I have SHRUNK!) and we spent ages discussing how each of the grandkids compared to their parents at the same age.  It was a fab present and after making hers I decided to whip up this golden book one for the new arrival.

And that is the last Golden Books post.  Feel free to let me know if there is anything you want more information on if you find yourself hosting a Golden Books themed party!


Friday, 18 January 2013

Golden Books Baby Shower Part 2

The date for the baby shower fell smack bang in the middle of a HUGE busy period for all three of us so we were very happy that we had divided the work.  After making the invites I still had the decorations to do.  Looking at Pinterest gave us some ideas HERE, HERE and HERE.

I made little signs for the food, themed around a Golden Book.

The Cook made these DELICIOUS red velvet cupcakes! I made the wrappers and The Princess helped me make the toppers.

We collected up all the Golden Books that we could get our hands and and The LOML spent an afternoon scanning and printing covers and pages for me.  The Princess helped me turn the covers into bunting that we strung around the room.  This now decorates the nursery.

Here we are ... me, The Cook, The Gamer.

I made a table runner with scans of pages from inside the books.  All the food was home-made.  The Gamer made a warm spinach and cheese dip in a cob loaf.  It was very nice.

I also made the punch.  The VERY cute little jars were originally baby food jars that now contained pregnancy friendly chocolate mousse  The Gamer helped The Cook by following her recipe and mixing them up and pouring them into the jars she had already decorated.

The paper pages look like they are scattered down the center of the table but they were actually stuck together and hung over the end of the table.  It looked like the pages were falling off the table.

The parents to be were very surprised!  We asked them to leave while we set up and they didn't know anything about the theme.  Here they are looking at the invite for the first time.

The Gamer organised games for everyone.  They were a big hit as most hadn't been to a shower before.  This one was the worst one but lots of laughs.  The bowls contained baby food.  We had to taste them and try and write down what was in it.  YUK!!!!!  I don't know how babies eat it and this was premium food!

We had a 'spit the dummy (pacifier)' game.  Here is The Princess laughing too hard to put it in her mouth and 'spit' it out!  I am a little ashamed to say that I won this one ... by quite a bit ... it is amazing how far one of those things can fly!

We also had a game to guess the girth of the bump by cutting string to our 'guess length'.  Mine was exactly the same length!  I measured around my middle and added a few inches ... boy did I feel terrible!  I need to keep on my weight loss journey!!  I had to stop winning games as I was an organiser, but I didn't even know what the games were until we did them.

It was so much fun organising a party with a theme.  It certainly makes the decorations easier to do as you can just go CRAZY with the theme and when you are short on time it makes you stay focused.  I just wish we had managed to take better photos.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Golden Books Baby Shower

It has been quite a while since I posted something crafty but I have been doing things throughout all this upheaval!  So I am scheduling a few posts to get myself back in the habit of blogging :-)

You may remember that quite a while back I made a mini album for a friend who was expecting, if you want to go back and see it click HERE.  Fast forward a few months and a couple of friends and I threw her a baby shower.  She wanted it low key (she had never been to a baby shower before) and she wanted it to be at their new house.

So in came the three of us (The Cook, The Gamer & Myself) and we divided and conquered, each doing the thing we do best.  The Cook and I brainstormed and after a quick look at Pinterest for additional ideas, we settled on a 'Golden Books' theme.  Both of the expectant parents are teachers and as the baby's sex was a surprise it kept it general and fun.  The Cook made a comment that a book invite would be cute and so the challenge was on!

I used pictures from Golden Book pages and created a mini book for our invite.  The front cover was card with the internal pages all plain paper.  I then laid it all together and stitched it up the middle and made a book.  The computer part took the longest but it was sooooooooo worth it as they were a huge hit and turned out perfectly.

Front cover

We kept the theme a secret from the expectant parents.

The parents didn't want lots of presents but we did ask everyone to use a book as their card.  It could be any book that took their fancy (here a golden book is $3) and we asked that they write inside the front cover as they would in a card.  That way the baby had a beautiful pile of books with personal sentiments inside.  We saw the idea on the internet and really loved it.  I joined together a few poems that I found and printed this on one of the book pages ...

Just one last request, and we hope it's not hard,
please bring baby a book in place of a card. By signing your book, they will remember and share,
your special gift, even when you're not there! New or used it doesn’t matter.It need not cost more than a card,just pick a favourite, it shouldn't be hard.
This was the surprise that the parents appreciated the most.  They loved them! Some were new and some were family favourites that kids had outgrown.

I'll post more about the party and decorations another time.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Storytelling Sunday "Pick Your Precious" - January

This year Storytelling Sunday asks you to "pick your precious".  This is how Sian described it ...
Start looking around, see what you love. Pick Your Precious is for short story tellers and for long. You can take the idea of simply a photo with a few words; or, if you are a can't-stop-yourself storyteller, you can expand as much as you like. The thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the year you'll have a permanent record of the little things you hold dear - and your family will know why you are holding onto them! Doesn't that sound like it might be worth it? No more "Do you really need that?"
Please join us this year.  It only takes a minute and even if you only write a story or two, that will be two more of your stories written down.  Click HERE to find this month's stories :-)

January's Precious

On the top shelf of my closet is a small stack of old shoe boxes.  This collection of "stuff" (or "junk" as my mom calls it) began in a small drawer in an equally small bedroom.  It was the only drawer that was off limits to everyone else, and the only place that was safe from my mom's clear-outs.  As my collection grew it expanded to the brown shoebox you see on the top of the pile.  Looking at the pile of boxes to take this photo reminded me that those shoes were the FIRST pair of shoes I bought with my own money.  They were a tan pair of leather Rivers boots and they cost a small fortune!  But I digress, this collection of precious possessions has followed me from house to house and country to country.  Last month they emerged from storage after almost four years.  Everything there holds some meaning to me, some happy and some so painful that I don't know whether I will be able to actually look at them.

My Precious (very Lord of the Rings! LOL)
This idea of Sian's to tell stories about some of the things we would save if our house was burning down brought these items to mind first before anything else other than my family :-)  So this year I am going to go back through these boxes and see what memories get stirred up.  I am both excited and terrified of the idea at the same time!  So lets start this series of stories with a story.

Amongst the papers at the top of the stack is a story I wrote when I was 14.  That year I had the most inspiring English teacher (Mrs F).  Mrs F's son was in my class and I had known her since I was small, but in class she was all business and she loved to see us all expressing ourselves. (Mrs F is now the high school librarian where my sons go to school and she finds that very strange!) At the beginning of one class Mrs F walked around handing out pictures torn from magazines.  We all wondered what had gotten into her when she announced that our assignment was to write a story inspired by the picture.

My picture was of a wedding dress.  I think that most 14 year old girls are a bit romantic and melodramatic, even a tomboy like myself.  So I wrote a tragedy all woven around an old wedding dress.  Reading it now I roll my eyes at the stereotyping and completely ridiculous plot but Mrs F deemed it good enough to enter it in a state wide writing competition.  I didn't win but I felt honoured just because Mrs F had liked it.  If it wasn't so long (5 pages and embarrassingly corny!) I would have typed it out for you.

This Christmas my mom spotted a book by Rachel Hauck called "The Wedding Dress".  It made her think of my story and the minute I opened the present I was taken back in time to when I wrote my story.  I have read the book and really enjoyed it, but the most ironic part was that we both chose the same name for the leading character - Charlotte.  How strange is that?!?!?!?!

The covers of the two stories.
This is definitely a story I shall have to turn into a layout.  Maybe next week I will find the time to finish unpacking my new craft room.

Look around you ... do YOU see "your precious"?
You do?
Great!  Jump in and write about it!

Until next time,
Chipper :-)