Tuesday, 29 April 2014

30 something ways to show Mum some love!

There are many ways to celebrate Mum on Mother's Day from making her breakfast in bed to giving her flowers.  This year put a cute twist on old favourites or create something totally new she will love for years to come.  You can get crafty by making something from scratch or buy something from the talented people I have featured.

I've hopefully covered all budgets, tastes and gift ideas for all those different types of Mums from crafty to sentimental. If in doubt Coffee, Wine or Chocolate (or all three!) usually work too.
It’s also been my experience that significant others tend to need to be reminded that Mother’s day is coming up. If you’d like to be recognized this Mother’s Day, email this list as a reminder to someone special.  

Tell Mum how much you love her… 
Whether it's a keepsake, card or a heartfelt letter, tell Mum how special she is to you with a few meaningful words.
  1. Felt Envelope
  2. Handprint Mother's Day Card
  3. I love you to the moon and back keepsake heart
  4. You a Super Duper Tea Towel from Flora Waycott

Say it with flowers…
Let the moment live longer than a week when the flowers expire and give Mum the gift of everlasting flowers.
  1. Crochet flowers
  2. Thanks a Bunch Mum! card
  3. Felt Hearts flowers
  4. Paper Flowers

Breakfast in Bed
This only works if a. she is left alone to eat her breakfast in bed and b. the kitchen is left spotless by the time she gets up!
  1. Reading the Paper
  2. Mother's Day Breakfast Menu Printable
  3. Message on Toast
  4. Mother's Day Tray Cloth Tutorial

Winter Warmers 
Mum would probably appreciate something warm this time of year, we all know by now that Winter is definitely on it's way, if not here already!

  1. Beanie from Giggles & Curls
  2. Wool Crochet Gloves from apricot
  3. Crochet Slippers from maisemakes
  4. Hottie Cover from baby bird

Support her Hobby
If your Mum loves a little crafting then support her in this by gifting her some supplies, project ideas or help to organise the ones she already has.  If Mum has limited space to craft I'm sure she would appreciate a little breathing room to create.
  1. Craft Supplies in a jar Tutorial
  2. Make by Cath Kidston 
  3. Craft Storage House
  4. Make her a little Pincushion, this one made by yours truly!

Make her a special cuppa
We all know Mum deserves probably more than a cuppa but these super cute ways to present her with one were just too cute to ignore.
  1. DIY Love you a latte Tutorial
  2. Sharpie Mug Tutorial
  3. You're Tea-rrific Card
  4. Mother's Day Tea Tags Tutorial

Baking up a storm
If Mum throws together a pretty good banana cake then chances are she loves baking up a storm so some new supplies wouldn't go amiss in her kitchen, especially ones as cute as these.
  1. Whip it Good Recipe Cards (Set of 12) from iDear
  2. Thanks for Raising Me Card from iDear
  3. Loves to Bake Kit
  4. Cupcake Cookie Cutter from Making It!

Give the gift of time out
Sometimes it's the simple things like some time out which is a special enough gift especially for busy Mums who don't have time to think.  I'm no psychic but I bet most Mums would have this at the top of their wishlist for Mother's Day.
  1. DIY Mums Time Out Basket idea
  2. Cartoon Source
  3. Make a Mum's Nook
  4. Pedicure at Home Tutorial

Jewellery. Simple.
There are no words really.  Mum's like pretty shiny things, preferably lots of them but anything pretty and shiny will do.
  1. Home is where your Mum is Necklace
  2. Mother Bird Necklace
  3. DIY Fingerprint Pendant Tutorial
  4. Tessellation Necklace from Pandemonium
For more ideas and inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board Mothers Day

1. A Tessellation Necklace from Pandemonium.
(for the Mum who likes to look good)

2. Make by Cath Kidston from Fabric Fixation
(for the Mum who likes to craft)

3. Pincushion Cutie from justalittlebitcute.
(for the Mum who likes to sew)

4. Beanie from Giggles & Curls.
(for the Mum who likes to look good and stay warm)

5. Cupcake Cookie Cutter from Making It!
(for the Mum who likes to eat cookies)

6. Hottie Cover from baby bird
(for the Mum who likes to stay toasty)

To be in to win one of these special Mothers Day prizes, I am asking for nominations. Just leave a comment either here or on the facebook page telling us why a special mother in your life deserves to be honoured. Anyone can enter. You can be a child nominating a parent, a husband nominating a wife, a friend nominating a fellow mother or friend…hey, why not nominate yourself?!

The little details:
- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Wednesday 7th May
-prizes will be randomly drawn in order of this list
- make sure there is some way for me to contact you! Please leave an email, or have your name clickable to a profile or something.  If there is no way for me to reach you then I'll have to draw another entry!! This has happened previously, so I wouldn't like to do this and disappoint someone!

Monday, 28 April 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Baby Bird

How did your business come about? 
Just like many other handmade businesses, I (Bronwyn) started when my son was about 1 as I needed an outlet to 'find myself' again, and something to potter away with during his naps.

Where did the name come from? 
The name came from a comment my Mum made when she was feeding our son " he's just like a baby bird". I thought that was a cute name, also our surname is Finch. I've considered changing it a few times (to what I don't know), the association to the 90's electric pop band might not be cool but it could be worse I guess!)

How long have you been creating for? 
Well our boy is now 4 so for about 3 years. I started off with a few handmade toys, Mei Tai baby carriers and some home-made cleaning products. I also made handy items that I had made to use for our boy that I thought other Mum's might appreciate. My focus is mainly on making soft toys now, I love how they come alive. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
From new fabric, new patterns, people's desires, my kids interests, my own wants/needs and things I think are cute. 

What do you love about what you do? 

Making things that little people will love and treasure. 

Where do you find time to craft? 
When our kids are asleep! Since having our twins last year my crafting time has dwindled (and also lost my craft room - I now use half our laundry!). Being a zombie also doesn't assist my sewing escapes. When our son goes to Kindy and the girls go down for their nap I get stuck in. I have to be very efficient with my time, have a cutting out session so everything's prepared for a sewing session. Some Sunday's I stomp my feet a bit and get granted some home-alone sewing time which is blissful.

What’s next for you?
Designing more of my toys myself. It's fun buying patterns to try out but nothing beats a complete original. 


Bronwyn has a Tooth Fairy Pillow of your choice - for one reader to win. I'm sure you will agree these are super cute!

To go into the draw tell me in the comments below which colour you would like to win - simple!
- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Monday 5th May

For an extra entry head to the Baby Bird facebook page and have a look around, and click 'Like' while you are there.


- make sure there is some way for me to contact you! Leave an email, or have your name clickable to a profile or something.  If there is no way for me to reach you then I'll have to draw another entry!! This has happened previously, so I wouldn't like to do this and disappoint someone!

Images used with the kind permission of Bronwyn Finch

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Liebster Award for justalittlebitcute

cool liebster award badge

I am so chuffed to have been nominated for a Liebster Award recently. Chuffed that someone is actually reading my blog and chuffed that I was nominated for an award! Thanks Lisa from Lifeblooming for the nomination.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award for new blogs. Liebster is a German word that means: BELOVED, CUTE, LOVELY, DEAREST, and WELCOME.
This award acknowledges and promotes blogs by "paying it forward" by other bloggers. It could also be classed as a blogging version of a chain letter. The method of support replicates that of a chain letter where a blogger who has been nominated for an award must fulfil a few tasks then nominate a handful of other bloggers who do the same. Like a chain letter though if you don’t want to participate it’s as simple as well, not participating. It's up to you!

I agree ( and have copied her words exactly because I couldn't say it any better!) with Lisa from Lifeblooming who nominated me, where the value of the Liebster is this:
  1. It’s a great way to spread the word about wonderful undiscovered blogs.  It’s a  practical and simple way of connecting with others.
  2. As a very new blogger it gives me a boost when I’m still muddling my way through. I’m trying to find my way and my voice and this was a nice bit of validation when I’m walking that lonely walk of writing to what feels like, no audience!
  3. I enjoyed going through the list of nominated bloggers and finding other people who are working through similar challenges to me. I’ve gone on to follow a whole pile of new blogs.
  4. I also dig the idea that there’s a collective blog hug making it’s way in perpetuity round the world – cheesy but true!
Rules for the Award:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display your award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate eleven blogs (200 followers or less) that you think deserve the award.
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  • Give them eleven questions to answer

My eleven questions from Lisa at Lifeblooming:
Why did you start a blog? I had some time on my hands after having a baby (not so much spare time any more as that baby is now 2.5!) and I needed something else other than nappies, giggles and feeding time.

Knowing what you do now, what’s something you’d do differently if you were starting a blog today? 
Have a clear plan about the what and why.  I started out with good intentions but needed more of a structure to make the blog really work.  While this does change from time to time, I feel that a clear plan is important at the beginning!

What’s one talent or skill you’d love to have and why? 
How to make more quality time for everything including more 'me' time and not feel guilty about it

What 3 pieces of furniture would you have in your dream home? (describe the style or better yet put some pics up) 

What’s your worst fashion moment? (feel free to provide photographic evidence)
There's been a few of those and photographic evidence has been erased however one of the worst was shiny metallic silver pants.

What’s your favourite post you’ve written? (link pls)

The Fun Lunch Series was my first attempt at networking with sponsors and my first really big Giveaway.  I felt like I was being taken seriously as a blogger.  Here is the first post of the series - Part 1: Hamming up Sandwiches

What’s something embarrassing that’s happened to you that you’ll laugh about one day but we can laugh about today?
There's been a few....gosh where do I start?

Coffee, tea or hot chocolate? 
Does Chai count? I drank coffee for a while but it gives me heart palpitations, sometimes the buzz is good not the anxiety attack(a little caffeine sensitive perhaps?) 

How would you describe where you live to a tourist? 
I live in Christchurch and it's a bit broken but coming back to life for the better in some aspects.  The heart of the city is in it's people and we've all been pretty resilient which has resulted in a rebuild that has possibly never been seen before. 

The best icecream in the world – what flavour is it? 

Goody Goody Gumdrop (my fave as a kid and still is after all these years)

What’s your favourite way of unwinding (or the most practical one at least if life gets in the way of doing your favourite)? 
Reading a book uninterrupted with a HOT cuppa (and some home baking) or having time to work on my new craft adventure Miniature Fairy Gardens.

    11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I joined the RNZAF when I was 18. I lasted 8 weeks. 
  2. I still don't really know "what I want to do". I have an Bachelor of Education degree and worked briefly as a relieving teacher  after I graduated. While I was searching for a full time teaching position and although I didn't decide it wasn't what I wanted to do at the time , not getting a teaching job probably worked out for the best .  
  3. I married my partner after waiting 10 years for a proposal (he got there in the end).  
  4. Living on the Gold Coast for a year was my 'OE' experience
  5. I live in Christchurch and was exactly 12 weeks pregnant the day of the February 2011 earthquake.  
  6. I have a photographic memory for faces not so much names
  7. I love wrapping gifts as much as unwrapping them!
  8. Black jelly beans are my favourite
  9. I don't like Math much.  
  10. I can't wait for the new season of House Rules to start.  It's like The Block but even better.
  11. I grew up in the Bay of Islands, one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand

Bloggers I nominate:

Hazel from hazellovesdesign
Miriam from createhopeinspire
Treena-Marie from Creative Mama
Katrina from Offsquare
Melissa from The Best Nest
Louana from nzgreenbuttons
Leanne from Paper Moon
Becky from Liked. by Becky
Leonie from Kiwi at Heart

And the questions for my nominees: 
  1. What inspired you to blog? 
  2. Do you have a blogging idol?  Who is it and why?
  3. How do you find time to blog?
  4. What is your favourite post you've written? (include link)
  5. Name the happiest moment of your life so far…
  6. Name a song title that sums up your life
  7. What is you favourite movie/TV series?
  8. What is your proudest moment/achievement?
  9. Do you have a life mantra/saying/quote & what is it?
  10. What do you prefer: a good book or a good movie?
  11.  If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

Monday, 21 April 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Pandemonium & Kotsu

How did your business come about?
I (Tali)  moved to NZ in January 2013 with a husband who works irregular hours and two small children so I was eager to do something that would be flexible and allow me to work from home. In Australia, I had been working for my lovely friend, Carly Schwerdt, teaching art in her studio, Nest Studio.

Nest Studio

Photo Credit - Jen from Utterly in Love

I had also started making things for the little shop attached to the studio – jewellery, lino prints and children’s clothes. The move to NZ pushed me to finally act on the design/business ideas that had been floating around my head for the previous 3 years. Pandemonium and KOTSU were born, sating my love for fun jewellery and printmaking! Originally, I was just going to make for markets but both brands took off and I now sell to HAPA in the Re:Start mall and online at the Hazel Loves Design Emporium.

Where did the names come from?
I have a habit of writing down words that appeal to me and “pandemonium” caught my eye some time ago. I remember thinking it would be great name for one of my brands because everything is always crazy in our house! 

KOTSU is a combination of my maiden name, Koto, and my friend’s name Sue. Initially KOTSU was going to be a collaborative effort, but then Sue’s candle business (Kandle Co.) took off and the name stuck. In Japanese it can mean to hone a skill, so that seemed like a perfect name for a new venture.

How long have you been crafting?
I’ve always enjoyed art and making just seemed to go with it. I’ve made my own jewellery for as long as I can remember but I’ve been making with a view to selling since 2011.

Where does your inspiration come from?
As a child, I loved the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods and I think that has definitely influenced my love of line, form and strong positive and negative spaces. Sometimes I feel like my brain takes mental snapshots of all sorts of different things in real life and online and then after a week or so, spits out an idea that I then act upon! It’s often quite a sudden realisation of what to do next, or how a particular design should look. I also spend a lot of time experimenting with different materials, shapes, colours and textures. There’s a whole lot of process before the final product is released!

What do you love about what you do?
I really love the designing and making process. It’s exciting and cathartic in equal measure. Having a flash of inspiration and following it all the way to final production is a fantastic feeling, especially when others appreciate the results!

Where do you find time to craft?
The only times are when the kids are at Kindy or when they are asleep. I try to maintain a balance between mothering and crafting by limiting my work to those hours, although it doesn’t always happen!

Photo Credit - Jen from Utterly in Love

What’s next for you?
With Pandemonium, I’ve been working on some new colours for winter and some new necklace shapes, while also experimenting with different materials. KOTSU will have a new product out in time for the next Encraftment market in June and I’ve been playing with some new designs. The biggest thing I will be working on this year is getting a website up and running! It seems like such a huge task but I’m all about baby-steps this year and trying to work smarter not harder!


Tali has a shaped necklace of  your choice - either a circle, hexagon or square in either navy/gold, peach/gold, turquoise/gold or white/gold for one reader to win. Exciting!

To go into the draw tell me in the comments below which one you would like to win - simple!
- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Monday 28th April

For an extra entry head to the Pandemonium facebook page and have a look around, and click 'Like' while you are there.


- make sure there is some way for me to contact you! Leave an email, or have your name clickable to a profile or something.  If there is no way for me to reach you then I'll have to draw another entry!! This has happened previously, so I wouldn't like to do this and disappoint someone!

Images used with the kind permission of Tali Ingram

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Egg Hunt - Putting blog posts into practice!

Sometimes it's easy to blog about stuff and put it on the to-do-list and it can fall by the wayside.....well this Easter we have definitely walked the walk around here with some sugar free egg fillers for the Easter egg Hunt.  And I'm so glad we did considering the small amount of chocolate I did put in some eggs, Miss 2.5 went up on a sugar high and crashed on a sugar low a little later. But it's only Easter once a year so we just rolled with it.

The Hunt

Watching her collect the eggs was so much fun, and I'm so glad I helped the Easter Bunny set it up. He definitely knows how to hide eggs!

Egg Fillers

Our Egg Fillers were hair clips, underwear (to keep encouraging toilet training success!), baby chicks (which got cuddles tonight before bed so clearly a hit there), cute bunny stickers below (which I found in one of the dollar stores), bracelet, necklace, Kinder Surprise eggs x 2, Mini eggs, and some jelly beans.

The Spoils

The Kinder Surprise didn't stand a chance, Miss 2.5 was into it!

And as predicted I tripped over those eggs so many times today (and it was only Day 1!), but Miss 2.5 loved the novelty of collecting them in her bag again and opening them and closing them and so on and so on..... so next week we will definitely be making use of my 28 Upcycling Ideas for plastic Easter eggs post.

Friday, 18 April 2014

25 Wet Weather Activities for Kids

rainy day fun
If you have bought the Easter egg hunt forward in your house to alleviate the boredom due to the wet weather you aren't alone out there I'm sure.  It's days like these that everyone develops their own acute case of cabin fever (well at my house anyway),so it's time to compile a few different wet weather activities for Miss 2.5 for not only this weekend but for Winter, as we may be in for a few more wet days yet.  Play dough and Puzzles aren't really cutting it so I've found some new and exciting activities.  These would also be great for those of you gearing up for School Holidays.  

Fun with Tape

  1. Abstract Canvas - a little colour to brighten up your day 
  2. Cardboard Castle - perfect for those cardboard boxes that tend to pile up
  3. Race Car Track - hours of fun, with lots of possibilities
  4. Hopscotch - a bit of old school (for  parents everywhere)
  5. Washi Tape Picture Scene - a little cuteness for a rainy day

Games & Play

  1.  Forts - for some more inspiration check out my Fun Inside Day series with Part 1: Forts, Part 2: Teepees, and Part 3: Cool Cousins of Forts & Teepee
  2. Balloon Ping Pong - easy peasy using a balloon and and some paper plate paddles
  3. Tower Play - an oldie but a goody using bright coloured cups and plates
  4. Marble Race Track - upcycling a pool noodle seeing as they won't be needed any time soon
  5. Box Land - loving this cardboard box village

Arts & Crafts

  1. Pom Pom Necklaces - great for fine motor skills with the threading of pom poms
  2. Playdough Pizzas  - get creative with play dough and embellishments to create everyones fave pizza!
  3. Patchwork People - this is definitely a favourite on my to-do-list this weekend
  4. Cloud Dough or Moon Dough - an alternative to playdough and no cooking involved
  5. Rainbow Collage - a great way to learn colour recognition and create something bright
For homemade art supplies like facepaint, shaving cream paint, and chalk check out  my Homemade Art Supplies post.

Messy & Non Messy Play

  1. Oobleck - Oobleck defies Newton’s third law of motion–for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you quickly smack oobleck with your hand it immediately turns into a solid, instead of splashing or moving. If you slowly move oobleck it reacts like a liquid. 
  2. Construction Quarry - bring the outside inside with this construction quarry in a plastic bin
  3. Mess Free sandwich bag painting - all the fun without the mess
  4. Creative Art Station in the Bath - perfect to keep the mess contained, it just washes away - genius!
  5. Soapy Sparkle Sensory Bags - The more you handle it the more soapy bubbles you create, and the best part, they sparkle! 

  1. Bears in the Bubble Bath Cupcakes - love the cuteness of these guys!
  2. Easter Basket Cupcakes - it's Easter after all and these cupcakes are perfect for a morning tea
  3. Cupcake Poppers - an alternative to a macaron with cupcake flavour
  4. Lollycake (everyone's fave!)
  5. Wheels on the Bus Savoury Scrolls - something savoury to balance out all the sweet this weekend!

What wet weather activities do you bring out when the weather turns pants?

For  more check out my Pinterest board Fun things to do!
Have fun and stay sane dry!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Thrifty Thursday - 28 Upcycling ideas for plastic Easter eggs

I don’t know about you but the week after Easter I keep tripping over those plastic eggs I used for the Easter egg hunt.  And I’m sure there weren’t that many to begin with, it’s like they multiplied overnight!  
I decided to find some uses for those sneaky eggs and found so many fun ways to upcycle them.  I’m sure you will agree when you see how many fun ways there are that you will be saving those eggs and wishing they would multiply so you can use them for some of the ideas below.

Believe it or not, there are some great storage ideas using the plastic eggs, considering how small they are.  But when you see the different storage ideas you can see how handy they are for those little storage jobs.

1.      Creative Lunch box ideas
2.      Popsicle holder and popsicle recipe
3.      Snack containers
4.      Keep jewellery from getting tangled by placing one in an egg. Great for travel!
5.      Play dough storage – keep stored by colour
6.      Give those little bitty small parts of board games like puzzle pieces a new egg home. Keeps them from getting lost!
7.      Crafty storage, organising little beads snaps, buttons, or ribbon. colour.
8.      Toy treasures stored in an egg
9.      Keeping small parts of toys together using egg storage

For learning activities, plastic Easter eggs have many uses, from scoopers during sensory play to memory games and alphabet eggs.

10.  Rainbow Rice scoopers during sensory play
11.  Alphabet Eggs with items starting with that letter or matching up capital and lowercase letters
12.  Water Bead activity
14.  Egg Transfer activity using a couple of tools like spoons and tongs for fine motor exercises

 It wouldn’t be upcycling fun without arts and crafts, and as you can see there are many crafts using the plastic eggs.  My favourite is The Lorax and the plastic Teacups (cuteness of course!)

11.  Plastic egg garland
12.  Egg Animals
13.   Make Maracas - Fill with beans, rice, or sand and glue or tape the egg shut. Or both!
14.  Teacups
15.  The Lorax
16.  Make egg shaped  bath bombs
19.  Dino dig

Of course being an egg shape there would be a use for them as an egg during role play games but who knew you could disguise them as a strawberry or a carrot?

20.  Cupcakes, a great addition to any tea party
21.  Play food for baby or teddy or dolly…..
22.  Mr Carrot
23.  These Strawberries are super easy to make
24.  Eggy Eggs complete with insides

Happy Eggcycling!