Wednesday, 24 December 2014

How to say Goodbye on Christmas Eve to your Elf on the Shelf

So it was with sadness that we said goodbye to Elfie on Christmas Eve.  I didn't want to make too bigger deal about it, but then he deserved a pretty good send off and I wanted to end his adventures with a little something.  So we gave him cuddles and made sure he was waiting in the right place for Santa to pick him up (under the Xmas tree of course!)

And then I made a little book of his adventures and wrapped it and popped it under the tree with a card from Elfie.  I also made a Christmas Tree decoration with a photo of Elfie and Lily - this is another tradition we have that every year we make a Christmas Tree decoration with a photo of Lily and something 'Christmassy' happening.  Another Snapfish product, we chose the Snowflake Ornament this year (for obvious 'Frozen' reasons) you can see the other options here.

I made both the book and decoration through the Snapfish website and with it being a bit last minute (good ideas only come at the last minute right?) I did not in any way expect the book to turn up before Xmas.  I ordered it Saturday 20th Dec and it arrived on Tuesday 23rd December which is pretty amazing service in my book (see what I did there....)

 Here are some of the pages of the book -

Now we can read about his adventures at bedtime and talk about what he might do next Christmas, although I feel he may turn up on special occasions, will keep you posted!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

16 Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Inspiration

Our Elf on the Shelf (if you haven't heard of Elf on the Shelf head here) has arrived and made himself at home. I thought I would share a little about Elfie and his adventures so far. It's been pretty fun creating a new Christmas tradition and watching (and planning) the adventures and mischief this little guy gets up to.  It also inspired friends and family to have their own Elf on the Shelf, and when I share his adventures on Facebook everyone was looking forward to the next instalment of what this little guy had been up to.

Look who just dropped in, (didn't get the memo about the fire being removed so ended up in the chimney outside)

Elfie was on breakfast duty this particular morning, he knew exactly what Lily liked for breakfast, must be a mind reader....

Seems Elfie hadn't finished his xmas shopping yet - naughty Elfie! Lily found him perusing the Kmart catalogue this one morning, lucky they are open until midnight!

Elfie coloured in some pictures for Lily one night, of course it was Sven his favourite Reindeer....

Elfie watched some of Lily's fave movies one night, and made some himself some popcorn - what a clever elf!

Elfie went on a picnic date with Mrs Potato Head one night.....

Elfie and his princesses having a tea party. Princess Lily particularly enjoyed the elf donuts....

 Elfie tried to recruit Bambi as one of the reindeer, we found him putting her through her paces one morning.....
Elfie took the school bus to the North Pole one night, hope he watched out for the flashing lights....

Elfie loves a good story, so do the Dino's apparently....

Making a Kiwi friend or two....

Silly Elfie getting tangled up in Dad's trophies and medals.....

Elfie, all aboard the Shoe Shoe Train....

Elfie trying to make us scrambled eggs, well trying to, those toy eggs can be tricky.....

Elfie was working a shift at the Supermarket one morning, Lily the Supervisor had been checking up on him to see if he's doing a good job.....

Elfie hung up my washing one night, wish he could do my housework every night *sigh*
If you are looking for more inspiration you can find more here on the official Elf on the Shelf website and my Cheats Guide to Elf on the Shelf.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A Cheat's Guide to Elf on the Shelf

So this little guy turned up this morning, (a little on the tardy side but better late than never, I didn't mention this to Miss 3 though. He told me he was a visiting a little while ago from Not Socks Gifts the North Pole but was waiting for the right time to visit). Tried to pop down the chimney of the old gas fire that Mr R pulled out last week. Didn't get the memo that the fire had moved outside temporarily (although it seems to be permanent fixture on the deck at the moment!).

 He came with a letter addressed to Miss 3 explaining basically how it works -
  • Who he is (a magical Elf)
  • Why he's here  (to spy on Santa's behalf)
  • Can he please have a name (we decided on Elfie) 
  • The rules (basically don't touch him, otherwise his magic will go away and he won't be able to report to Santa how naughty or nice you've been)

 And then he made himself some Kiwi friends and has fitted right in.

Now that's the easy bit done, usually there's a month of activities to think about but luckily enough the Elf on the Shelf journey has been carried out many times before.

Here's a Cheat's Guide to make the Elf on the Shelf fun (and easier!)

1. Check out lots and lots of inspiration here on Pinterest like this one from My Life and Kids

100 Elf on the Shelf ideas from quick & easy to crafty & committed.

2. Come up with a bit of a plan! There are some lovely people who have compiled activities for each day in calendar month form on Pinterest, you can find them here 

I absolutely love this one from Mama Cheaps, Inspiration for both Slackers and Overachievers I'm totally following the Slackers one (and maybe thinking about the Overachievers one)

elf on the shelf calendar slacker edition wm

elf on the shelf calendar overachiever edition wm

3. Think about your kid's interests and what they are into/have been excited about throughout the year.

Here's a few ideas based on Lily's interests that I've come up with so far........

I have a few ideas that involve her toys (I think watching the Toy Story movies 1, 2 & 3! lately have inspired some of these)

Dinosaur Piggyback

Elf on the shelf- haha!!
Snippets from Suburbia

Hanging out with the Frozen Movie Cast

elf on the shelf + frozen, do you want to build a snowman, #elfontheshelf, #frozen,

Mat Time (Lily loves being the Teacher)

A convoy of vehicles to the North Pole - maybe a sleigh like this one

elf on the shelf…Santa's sleigh
The Organised Housewife

Elf Donuts - I blogged about these super cute treats last year

Elf made the kids Elf donuts! Cheerios topped with icing and sprinkles.

Movie Night

Day #6- Elf on the Shelf Idea!

Making Pancakes

elf on the shelf ideas

Reading a toy catalogue

Playing a little Poker

elf on the shelf-1-13

The Voice audition

Picklehead Soup
Stay tuned for more Elfie adventures over on the Facebook page!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Market Mashup - What's on the Market Calendar Summer 2014

Tis' the season for Markets so I thought I would compile a handy list of upcoming markets for you in Christchurch. As you can see there's a lot on the calendar!  I hope to see you at some of these either shopping or stalling it (in a good way).  Also if you know of any other Market events please contact me and I can add to the list or please feel free to comment below.

Cathedral Square Market
Running most days throughout Market Season (check website for details)
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: Cathedral Square
Official Website:

New Brighton Seaside Market
Every Saturday from 8th November to the 20th December
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: New Brighton Pedestrian Mall
Official Website:

Sumner Sunday Market
Every Sunday from 19th October to the 5th April
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Sumner Village Green
Official Website:

Riccarton Rotary Sunday Market
Every Sunday
Time: 9am - 2pm
Venue: Riccarton Racecourse, 146 Racecourse Road
Official Website:

Shabby Chic Market
Date:  (1st Sunday of every month)
Time: 11am - 3pm
Venue: Rochester Villa
Official Website: Shabby Chic Market Day

Lost and Found Market
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Market
Date: Sat 15th Nov
Time: 10am - 3pm
Official Website:

The Revamp Vintage Market
Date: Saturday 22nd November
Time: 10am - 3pm
Venue: The Pavilion @ Rangi Ruru Girls High School
Official Website:

Christmas Encraftment Market
Date: Saturday 29th November
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: The Foundry Bar, 90 Ilam Rd
Official Website: the blog or

Mandeville Craft Festival
Date: Sunday 30th November
Time: 11am - 4pm
Venue: Mandeville Sports Club, 431 Mandeville Rd
Rolleston Community Market
Date:  Sunday 30th November
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue: Rolleston Community Centre
Official Website:

Shop Me Pretty
The 12 days til Christmas Fete
Date: Saturday 13th December
Time: 11am - 4pm
Venue: 280 Hasketts Road, Yaldhurst
Official Website:

Lincoln's Christmas Twilight Market
Date: Thursday 18th December
Time: 4pm - 7pm
Venue: On The Green bside Hillyer's Cafe, Lincoln

Sunday, 26 October 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Sewinspired by Kelly Roe

How did your business come about?
 I guess you could say I have always been quite creative, this lay dormant while I was in my uni years (funny how a great social life interferes with such things!) and really came in to play after the birth of my second son. 

A friend of mine enjoyed sewing and had made a blanket for my little man and I fell in love!   I was given my sewing machine 3 years ago and it has not stopped humming since.  I started with quilting blankets and duvets for close friends and myself then it just exploded from there! I love to try new things and tend to make all my own patterns for everything I make. The things you can make, the beautiful fabrics, the ideas are endless... I tend to get very carried away - I even recently made my own modern cloth nappies for my 1 year old! 
I dabble a little in upcycling too - however that's more of a pastime than business centred. Now I have my facebook business which is slowly growing and keeping these crafty hands busy - and I love it!
Where did the name come from?
When starting out I had no idea what to name myself - so I did what most normal people do (right?!?!) I threw out the question to the Facebook world. A very good friend of mine suggested Sewinspired, I loved it and I thought to make it a little unique I'd add my name. So it became - Sewinspired by Kelly Roe!

Where does your inspiration come from?
Magazines, the internet (don' even get me started on Pinterest!!!), people in general, are all good sources of inspiration. I spend a lot of nights sprawling the internet for new fabrics, a lot of these give me inspiration as I get a feel for what might look cool as leggings/t- shirt dresses/blankets/cushions/homewares/bibs etc. I also tend to follow trends - at the moment I love geometrics and triangles and bright colours.

 My children are also a huge source of inspiration. I have 3 sons, Lochee, Sawyer and Kingston, I'd like to really progress my business so I can remain essentially a Stay at Home Mum while also running my little sewing business. Wouldn't it be great to be able to do the two things I enjoy most at the same time - being  a Mum and sewing!
What do you love about what you do?
What's not to love really... creating, making, starting with a piece of fabric and turning it into something gorgeous... It is such a neat feeling.  When you begin you have a vision and it is so neat to see that vision come to life!  Making something that is essentially unique and one of a kind is awesome, we all like to be individuals and by buying handmade items it is ticking so many boxes - 
  • buying NZ made,
  • supporting local businesses, 
  • unique one of a kind items, 
  • supporting local WAHM's (work at home mums). 
I absolutely love receiving pictures and comments about how people love what I have made up for them - it is so rewarding and definitely makes it worth all the blood sweat and tears. 

I also make my 1 year old son a lot of items - and it is so neat dressing him in things I have made for him, he is one trendy little boy I can tell you that much! 

My house is a huge compilation of everything I have made from my cushions and dining suite to all the beds having duvets and throws made by myself (Even my lamps all have been recovered by myself!). It is neat to walk through the house and think - I did this!  I am a huge fan of the shabby chic, upcycled vintage look, as you can see!

What's hard about what you do?
I guess like anything - there are parts that are difficult. For me they are pretty trivial - I spend far too much time searching the internet for fabric! (and then consequently spending  a lot of money on fabric!) 
Also working from home poses the difficult decision on whether to do housework or to sew (sewing wins every time!) And I would say the only other thing that is hard is the amount of pressure I put on myself. I worry right up until the point someone has received their parcel and told me it fits / they love it / I sent the correct item.( I have yet to send the wrong item so unsure why this one bothers me as much as it does!) 

I guess at the end of the day I am human and I do my best, and if others can get some enjoyment out of something I have created then why not share the love.
Where do you find time to craft?
I get asked this a lot. I am a single mother to 3 beautiful boys, I work one day a week and I run the household. Sewing is my happy place and I find once I get in the zone there is no stopping me. 

My crafting area is my dining room table / kitchen area. Terrible - I know. But I have 3 sons under 6 and if I was to have a room on its own I just don't think I would get anything done. This way, I can (sometimes) sew when they are busy playing in the lounge where they can still see me and demand food and drinks as they do.

 I always get straight to work when my oldest is at school, second at Kindy and baby is asleep. On a good day he will give me 2 straight hours of sewing and its amazing what you can achieve once you get organised. I have found it helps me too if I can have a lot of my pattern pieces cut out and ready to go at night time (usually during the ad breaks of The Block!) then when baby is asleep its a case of sitting down and sewing!

What’s next for you?
Business wise I hope to keep growing, expanding the business and perhaps one day have a shop where I can sell many items - different types of fabric, items I have made, homemade items others have made, furniture that has been upcycled.  Trouble with me is I love all things creative - sometimes I need to take a step back and filter things down so I can focus on one main component. Ideally in the next couple of years I would like to expand enough that I can stay home with my little rascals and help them develop into wonderful little humans while also satisfying my creative needs. They say do what you love - and I love to sew!
Kelly has a bundle of her cute creations to giveaway to one lucky reader (who will be looking very cute!)

To go into the draw head to Sewinspired by Kelly Roe Facebook Page and 'like' her page.  Leave a comment on the giveaway post about who you would give this super cute bundle to. Easy Peasy!

- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Monday 3rd November

Images used with the kind permission of Kelly Roe (Sewinspired)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Market Mashup - Lost & Found Market

I was recently a stall holder at The Big Melt Market which was another great Lost and Found Market event. It was fun to be part of the market scene again, being amongst very talented and creative people (you guys rock!).  While I was a very busy bee on my own stall I did manage to have a wee sneak peek of all that was on offer and here are some of my faves....

Foxy Foxes from Ameliorate Designs

Pin Cushion Ring from El Pato Guapo

The latest designs from Gracefield

Snowflake Cookie Cutter from Making It!  Perfect for Miss 3's Frozen themed party!

Flustercluck from Off Beat

Snow White cushion from Shakey Smiles

Winter Double Sided Pendant Necklace from Pretty Birds

Cloud Cushion from Remember when you used to be a Rascal

Wall Decals from Sticky Tiki

Oh Deer Cross Stitch kit from Stitchology

And something just a little bit cute from me....

Photo courtesy of Glow Studio