Spotted Madamoiselle Tee

Spotted Madamoiselle Tee

I have decided to have a go at Project Run and Play’s February Challenge. The pattern found at Living with Punks looked quick and easy, just how I like patterns. My girls both have red and white skirts but not tops that matched so this was the perfect time to remedy the situation. These were to be for preschool wear and as such needed the shoulders covered so the only alteration I made was to add width to the shoulders.

Adding width to the shoulders

I’m trying to use up fabric and trimmings from my stash, the white knit is almost the last of a roll, but I couldn’t find appropriate embellishments so decided to use a paint technique I’d seen on Pinterest using the eraser end of a pencil to make the dots. I used everyday poster paints. After the paint had dried I ironed it with a hot dry iron for 5 mins or you could put it in the dryer for 1/2 hour while still dry to set the paint (if you aren’t sure it will work test on a scrap piece of fabric first). My husband still has a shirt I painted with poster paints 4 years ago.

If I was to sew this again I’d make the neck line higher to make it more ‘Sun Safe’; reduce the width across the chest area of the shirt (it was a bit wide on my two) and then flare out to original width at the bottom; possibly add a high/low hemline.

Cost: nothing as this was leftover fabric and craft supplies

Time: approx 4 hrs to make two including drying time

Age: 8 yrs+ (with adult help)


Australia Day Mini Preschool Pack

Australia Day (26th January) is fast approaching. To celebrate I’m sharing some Australian animal activity sheets.
To use at home click on the photo, then click again to ‘save the image’ you can then save the photo and insert it into Word or like to print.
Australian Animals Prewriting
Australian Animals Word Associations
<img src= alt="Australian Animals Same
For those less familiar with Australian animals
Top row has a wombat, kangaroo, wombat and koala
Second row has a kookaburra, cockatoo, rainbow lorikeet or parrot and another kookaburra
Third row 2 kangaroos, a dingo (native dog) and a koala
Fourth row koalas

Age: 2-4 years
Cost: printing (or free if you save them on a tablet and use in a free drawing app)
Learning: left to right prewriting skills, word associations, vocabulary, concepts of same, different and similar.


Cereal box Skyscrapers

Cereal box Skyscrapers

I love how much fun can be had from rubbish… My daughters (4 years 1 month) had fun decorating and playing with cereal box skyscrapers. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun (and when no longer fun they can be thrown out guilt-free).

What’s On the Tray Today? An Invitation to Create

With Jasmine
What's On the Tray Today? An Invitation to Create.
Left over craft materials made for lots of fun. I divided the remaining craft materials (from a Cre8tiv Kidz Make Your Own Paper Puppets set) into two containers and provided blank paper and glue. Lacy (3 years 0 months) loves gluing and hates it when there is no more gluing to do in an activity so she particularly loved this activity – there was plenty to glue and even better no set place to stick it.
What's On the Tray Today? Invitation to Create

Cost: Free – It was leftovers – (the original Cre8tiv Kidz. Make your own paper puppets cost approx. $5 from Kmart.)
What's On the Tray Today? Invitation to Create

Ages: 2+ years

Taught: Creativity, colours, shapes, and we also counted.

Time: 10-30mins

What’s On the Tray Today? Lacing Cards and Colouring

With Jasmine

What's On the Tray Today? Lacing Cards & Colouring.

These lacing cards were given to Lacy and Aniya (3 years 0 months) for their birthdays. You could easily make your own like this, by punching holes around the edge of cereal box pictures, pages of old board books or my favourite – postcards.

Due to the small size and flat nature of lacing cards they would make a great travelling activity and/or busy bag activity.

(NB the crayons were also a present and are very cute but unfortunately the colouring tip breaks very easily)

Preparing to travel with young kids

With Jasmine 

Preparing to travel with young kids
You’ve decided on a family holiday? Congratulations – now comes the hard fun part getting ready…

1. Decide on your accommodation and transport needs while away as these will affect what you need to pack.

2. Washing!?! Yes how much washing do you intend to do while away? Again this affects how much and what you pack. (I prefer to have accommodation where I can wash if we are away for more that 3-4 days)

3. Packing list – I would say this is essential to allow you to pack over a few days, check that you have all necessary clothing and items before packing and stops (well reduces) you forgetting the essentials. My packing list is extensive covering;
Each person’s clothing needs (underwear, hats, day clothing, swimmers)
Toiletries (including medications such as children’s Panadol)
Kitchen/food items
Electronics (phones, chargers etc)
Other (camera, mum’s pillow, tickets, toys, reading material, music etc)
Jobs (feed animals, water plants, lock windows etc)
You can find various packing lists all over the Internet e.g.
Here and here
There are packing list apps for all types of devices and you
can even get the kids involved with packing with lists like this one

4. Sort clothes – checked that those you want to take are clean and in good repair (in enough time to wash, repair or buy further clothing). See my Pinterest board for travel wardrobe / travel capsule ideas.

5. Source travel toys – you may need to hide some of your child’s toys for a few weeks before travelling so they are ‘new’ again. You may want to make or print some toys or activities. You may also like to look out for travel toys to buy new or preloved.

6. Plan food – food can be such a big cost when travelling. Planning ahead can reduce the stress of deciding on and finding food both in transit and at your destination. The last few times we’ve travelled I’ve paid closer attention to this and it has been much less stressful as well as much cheaper and healthier.

7. Plan a rough itinerary – if you are a free spirit then no need but for the rest of us having at least some idea of what activities might happen what days means you can plan clothing appropriately and have a better chance of fitting everything in. I find it best for my family to keep the itinerary fluid to suit weather, children and my pain level (I have chronic back pain) but work to your families strengths. I find planning can be half the fun. I love looking at all the possibilities.

Have fun getting ready….Anything I’ve forgotten?

DIY Birthday Present – Girls Baking Set

DIY Birthday Present - Girls Baking Set

With Jasmine
I like making birthday presents as I think it makes it a bit more personal to have taken time to think about and make a birthday present.
This was made for a school friend of Aaron’s 6th birthday.

It includes a
home made m&m biscuit mix (covered with the same fabric)
apron ( made using this pattern but I found it a bit small for this age
mixing bowl
cookie sheet
Pretty bag (that can double as a library bag) to wrap it all in.

Cost: approx $20
Time: Approx 2 hrs