Since overhauling our toy
disaster collection a year ago, I’ve opted for quality, open ended toys that stimulate imaginative play. Our play room is full of wooden food, musical instruments, baby dolls and clothes and a gorgeous doll house full of little wire dolls and hand me down furniture from at least three generations. The little girl who plays in there is much calmer and occupied for much longer in her imaginary worlds.
The next addition I have been hunting for were some sweet felt or wooden Steiner/Waldorf gnomes and small world toys. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near a brick and mortar store that stocks anything Montessori, Steiner, felted, etc. I have a whole list of bookmarked online toy retailers but being in Australia, the shipping would cost more than my cart! The closest store with a beautiful range of fairy houses, felted faires and food, and wooden nins (I love these little nins by Grapat) and gnomes is the beautiful Goldfish Toys in Berry, NSW …a three hour drive away. I didn’t want to wait until our next countryside escape to pick up some $8 gnomes I had my eye on so I took to Pinterest and Youtube in a quest to make my own.
These little guys are the results and I couldn’t be happier. It took about 30 – 45 minutes to make each one and I already had the yarn and 3mm crochet hook. They are super cute, are very similar to Grapat Nins and definitely cost less to make than petrol for 6 hours driving then $8 each if I was to buy them in Berry.
I followed HappyBerry Crochet’s “Wizard Gnome” tutorial only I used a 3mm hook, 8ply arcrylic yarn and I chose to stuff my little gnomes with poly fill while Laura keeps hers open like a finger puppet.
To seal the bottom, finish the final round as the video instructs and instead of tying off, CH 1 and in back loops only, SC in next stitch, SC2TOG in the next. Repeat SC, SC2TOG until end. Your stitch count will reduce to 12. Stuff your gnome at this point then SC2TOG x 6. Tie off and sew the hole closed. I poke the needle back through the hole and pull to flatten out the bottom before hiding the tail end.
I hope this idea helps another mama looking to make her own set of little gnome friends. I have this vision of an entire toy box of toys I’ve made my children. What are some other handmade toy ideas? Amish puzzle balls, stacking bowls, rattles and loveys spring to mind. Now to actually make them!
My husband did well this year. Not only did he totally surprise me but he got me something I absolutely love!
This sampler of RichMore Percent 1/100 is one of my favourite gifts ever.
It’s so soft and the colours are just gorgeous. I cannot wait to make something special out of these little beauties. But what? A patchwork granny square blanket? Multi coloured scarf? I will have so much fun deciding.
Our April was completely taken over with the chaos of moving house. In all the packing and stress and chaos, I lost the one thing keeping all the loose ends straight in my head – my precious rose gold Kmart/Kikki K planner!
It was missing for weeks. Seriously I couldn’t find it anywhere. All our appointments and reminders and Lottie’s school stuff was spread over post it notes, phone calendar apps and my frazzled brain.
So a few weeks ago I took the plunge and bought myself an early birthday present – a Mom On The Go planner from In The Leafy Tree Tops.
I am not an LDS mum so the Mormon Mom Planner wasn’t the right fit for me but I was so impressed by the gorgeous and thoughtful layout of their non-denominational Mom On The Go planner! I have now binge watched what seems like every MOTG planner review and unboxing on YouTube I knew it would be exactly what I needed and I was right! I love this planner.
The Home + Family section at the back with pages for your spouse and children is especially useful. I have teacher contacts and shoes sizes with me all the time. The monthly planning sections at the front and back of each month section has plenty of space to manage home, work, kids, medication, crochet WIPs, business & blog goals and anything else I need to track. And now that I’ve used a vertical three part day weekly spread, I don’t think I can ever go back!
I can’t thank Melinda from In The Leafy Treetops enough for designing such a functional and beautiful planner. Oh and as for shipping to far flung Sydney, Australia from Salt Lake City, USA? It only took two weeks. Trust me, that is great timing for something like this to be delivered from overseas. Check out the gorgeous range at https://intheleafytreetops.com/
[Not sponsored, just a fan]
It’s been a whirlwind few months. New house, new neighbourhood and new kids activities. With it all came a wake up call and a new perspective.
Working full time is rough sometimes. So many days I wish I was at the school gate or on canteen duty or there to take her to ballet at 3.30 in the afternoon. Life comes in seasons and while we are in this fulltime family season I want to do something for me and for my little one.
I have been putting off pouring my heart into my side projects for so many years I just feel sad when I see them. Not anymore. You only reap what you sow and I have been sowing so many exciting little seeds. I can’t wait to share it all soon.
I haven’t thrown out a coffee pod since July 2017 thanks to my stainless steel reusable Seal Pod from Crema Joe.
I love our Nespresso machine dearly. It was a wedding gift and a massive boost to being more frugal in our daily lives, but the wastefulness of cheap supermarket pods bothered me and I couldn’t always get to a Nespresso boutique or florist to recycle the branded pods – it was time for an alternative.
While Saturday brunch at one of our amazing local, independent cafes is always amazing, it’s a special treat and no longer a weekly routine for us. Brunch money stays in the bank while I whip up lattes and avocado toast in our own kitchen.
p.s. Expressi pod users can register to be notified by PodCafe.com.au when their Expressi size reusable capsules are available! Here’s the link
I’ve started small on our ‘war on waste’ journey. Carrying a keep cup, using stainless steel refillable coffee pods, refusing plastic and unnecessary packaging, cold wash cycles and making use of the soft plastic recycling. The next thing I want to tackle is clothing.
I am starting with myself and plan to go as long as possible without buying any brand new clothes. If I need something I will head to Vinnies, Goodwill or The Smith Family and buy second hand.
This is today’s Goodwill haul at their end of year sale.
- Black puffer vest, Witchery
- White and black stripe turtle neck top, Seed Heritage
- Black tie top, Witchery
- Black wool knit sweater, Country Road
- Black zip up jacket, Witchery
Total = $14.50
About 50% of my wardrobe has been thrifted over the years but this is probably my best haul yet as far as value for money goes.
Where are the best thrift shops in Sydney? I have a few local ones near me but they aren’t the best as far as selection goes. My local Vinnies children’s section is literally a box on the floor 🙄 and this particular Vinnies shop prices damaged second hand clothes almost double the price of similar items brand new at Kmart or Target so I am desperate for some tips!
I’ve been reading the Ruby Red Shoes books to little Lottie and we absolutely love the beautiful description of Ruby’s cost caravan. Cups of tea, books to read and cozy blankets to cuddle up in.
It really reminds me of the atmosphere I try to create in our home with lots of cushions, books, handmade mittens, paintings and pieces of furniture made by family, nice lavender soap, candles and, of course, tea and biscuits are always plentiful.
No matter what happens out there, home is always a warm, safe and happy place to rest and just be.
And with it comes new goals and a refreshed sense of purpose. I was lucky enough to receive an oil painting set from my husband for Christmas. I watched everything I could find on YouTube and Pinterest about oils (I’ve only worked with watercolour and drawing) and tried a few simple paintings to get familiar with the new paint.
I’m trying to grasp the idea of layering and working with mediums that aren’t water. Lena Danya’s YT channel has been the best resource so far and her advice is just to jump in and learn by doing. I’ll attempt some Bob Ross when I’ve built up my colours and confidence a bit but for now these little pictures are fun and a fresh undertaking from crochet and ballet.
December is such a whirlwind. Family, friends, shopping, cooking, noise, wrapping up at work and keeping up at home knocked the wind out of my sails this year.
Regardless of the manic moments leading up to the day, this Christmas was wonderful. Watching our little angel poke at her presents on Christmas Eve and fuss over the perfect carrots for Santa’s reindeer were beautiful little moments. Someone once said that they thought being a kid at Christmas was the best then they had children and discovered having kids at Christmas was even better – they are so right.
After a beautiful Christmas Day spent in true Australian style with family, sunshine, white wine and good food by the beach we took a little break to the country to recalibrate and round off the holidays.
I’ve shared about this beautiful retreat on the NSW South Coast before. It is one of the calmest and most stunning places I’ve ever been. Perfect for a quick escape to the country to clear the head and reset the soul.
Hubby genuinely surprised me with a beautiful oil painting set for Christmas. I took so many photos to serve as inspiration as I re-discover drawing and enter the brave new world of oils in 2017.
I hope you and yours had a merry and bright Christmas 🎄💕✨
This time of year is always so busy but in the best way. Ballet performance night is coming up, Santa photos, Christmas parties and pretty decorations everywhere.
We already have our tree up and it’s my favourite one yet! I love red, gold, lights and decorations lovingly made by tiny hands covered in finger paint.
Not the best picture but you can’t beat those nights when the tree is the only light in the room.