Monday, 31 December 2012

Resolutions for a Happy New Year

As the year draws to a close, I am looking forward to starting 2013 with a fantastic family holiday! We fly out in four days and I'm sure that I will have some photos to share on our return.

Meanwhile, as it's New Years Day tomorrow, I was thinking about some resolutions to see in the new year. I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration and this beautiful collection smiled at me. Perfect thoughts for my new year! 

Source: Pinterest

Happy New Year to all! 

Christine xx 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas creativity - Gift bags for Julia's teachers

At the end of the school year, Julia (Miss 6) and I put together some handmade gift bags for her wonderful Kindergarten teachers. Some goodies were handmade by Julia, some by me, and some by friends. 

These gorgeous bags are from Amanda at Appleberry Kids

Inside the gift bags... 
handmade card and butterfly magnet by Julia; 
mug cosy, tree decoration and card handmade by me; 
sticky notes note book by Cassy at Cards by Cassy
Alice in Wonderland necklace by Kelsie at Pretty Little Piper
zip pouch from Johanna at Onepear
Christmas tree biscuit from Beck at Becca's Biscuits beautifully decorated by Julia; 
and a Starlight Foundation chocolate star. 

Julia and I had so much fun choosing and making things to include in the bags and Julia's teachers loved their gifts! 

Counting down to Christmas? Eeeek... it's Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas everyone! 

Christine xx

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas creativity - Julia's goodie bags

Julia (Miss 6) has had a fabulous year in Kindergarten this year. She has been lucky to have the most awesome teachers and has made lots of new friends. 

She decided to make goodies bags for her classmates this year and fill them with some small gifts like a pencil, balloon, a chocolate Santa and a handmade Christmas card. 

The bags were so colourful and the kids loved them! 

Counting down to Christmas? Eeeek... only 1 week to go! 

Christine xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas creativity - Julia's first sewing project

Julia (Miss 6) has taken an interest in sewing, having received a toy sewing machine from a friend for her birthday. 

Last weekend, she and I decided to make a Christmas stocking for her much loved teddy bear Lollipop. She didn't want him to miss out on Santa's visit this year. 

We drew a stocking pattern on paper which she cut out. I then cut it out of felt for her (using the "good scissors"), and also some letters for Lollipop's name. She hand stitched all around the edge and glued the letters into place. 

As you can see, she was so proud of her handiwork! 

Counting down to Christmas? Eeeek... only 2 weeks to go! 

Christine xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

Rainbow surprise cupcakes

I had to make cupcakes to take to school for Julia's birthday. Inspired by ideas and pictures on Pinterest, I made these rainbow cupcakes which the kids loved! 

Happy Birthday Julia! 

Lots of cupcakes ready to take to school. 

Here's the surprise! 

Recipe: You can't go wrong with a cake mix! Take 1 or 2 packets of vanilla cake mix and follow the directions on the packet to make the cake batter. Divide mixture into three bowls, add food colouring to each bowl and mix well. Put one spoonful of each colour into patty pans and bake. When cool, cover with frosting and sprinkles. 

P.S. The cupcakes I made for school didn't have quite as much frosting on them... that was the one I saved for me! 

Christine xx 

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Birthday girl

Julia is now Miss 6 and she couldn't be happier! She has told me her favourite number is now 6, and she feels a bit taller too. I'm not sure about taller, but she is definitely looking more grown up! 

Julia's birthday dress was made by Cindy at HannyLach Handmade Kids Wear. The colours are just wonderful! 

Christine xx

Monday, 19 November 2012

The perfect birthday book

Miss Julia is turning six next week. She loves books, and loves reading. 

My own business, Jelly Bean Books, specialises in personalised children's books, so Julia has quite a collection of her own personalised books. Most of these commemorate some important dates in her life. 

She received "Santa" for her first Christmas, "Teddy Bear Land" for her first Easter, and "God Loves Me" for her baptism. She treasures her birthday books - "Little Mermaid" (first birthday), "Beauty and the Beast" (second), "Batman" (third), "When I Grow Up" (fourth) and "Circus Star" (fifth). 

In each personalised book she is the main character in a story with fairy tale characters that she knows, as well as new characters that develop imagination. Her friends are in the stories too, and are different in each book as her friendships have changed each year. In the front of each book I have also included a photograph of her taken at each of these dates. 

As this was Julia's first year of school, I think "School is Fun" would be a good personalised book for this birthday. It will have her teacher's name and the name of her school included in the story so she will think it's just great!

School is Fun
Deluxe Personalised Children's Book
$21.50 each with free shipping for delivery within Australia only.
Available now from Jelly Bean Books.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Summer Holiday fun!

The creativity continues here, with three more showcases starting this week! I have made two items for each so I will share one from each showcase:

Get ready for summer holiday afternoon tea time with this crocheted watermelon tea set, complete with a delicious selection of mini fruit tartlets. Available to purchase at the "Summer Holiday" showcase at Handmade Boutique Showcase which starts 13th November 2012 at 7.00pm. 

Summer fun! This gorgeous short & sweet baby sun dress, size 6-12 months, is crocheted in cream with a rainbow trim. Available to purchase at the "Summer Days" showcase at Calm Boutique which starts 14th November 2012.  

Summer days at the beach, strolling around the markets, or lazy sunny days at the pool will be perfect with this beautiful crocheted beach bag with matching crochet bead necklace in my favourite summer colours. Available to purchase at the "Colour My Summer" showcase at Two Little Loves Boutique which starts 18th November 2012. 

These items will all be available to purchase at the showcases, along with many more wonderful handmade creations. Please take a look through the showcase albums on Facebook and be quick to snap up your favourites and support Australian Handmade! 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Gallery - Autumn

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Autumn.

When Autumn comes, the leaves turn from green to gold and red - a beautiful sight. Then they turn brown and fall from the trees, and the wind blows them to our back door. Little Miss Julia tried to help us sweep them up, but she really just liked the scrunching sound they made underfoot. 

Christine xx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Ballerina and Alice dolls and more...

The showcases are continuing, with two more starting this week. 

The first is "Pastel Pink Ballerina" at Bella Rosa Designs. Such a pretty sounding theme - how could I resist? I have made two items for this showcase which starts 7th November 2012 at 8.30pm.

This ballerina wrap cardigan would look gorgeous on your tiny dancer! Size 2, hand crocheted in soft designer cashmerino in dusky pastel pink. 

This beautiful ballerina is ready to dance! She is 45cm tall and comes with three gorgeous outfits in pastel pink and white. 

The second showcase this week is "Alice in Wonderland" at Serendipity Designs, which starts 8th November at 8pm. This story is a favourite in our house so I have tried to revisit the nostalgia of the classic tale in my two showcase items. 

When Alice visits Wonderland discovers a bottle on a table labelled "DRINK ME", the contents of which cause her to shrink too small to reach the key which she has left on the table. A cake with "EAT ME" on it causes her to grow to such a tremendous size her head hits the ceiling. Alice is 45cm tall and comes with her small bottle and cake.

It will be tea-time all day with the Mad Hatter's tea set. This 16 piece set comes with a delicious selection of mini cupcakes, the Mad Hatter's top hat and the dormouse. 

These items will all be available to purchase at the showcases this week, along with many more wonderful handmade creations. Please take a look through the showcase albums on Facebook and be quick to snap up your favourites and support Australian Handmade! 

Christine xx

Monday, 5 November 2012

Calisthenics - A little girl with a huge trophy

It has been a monumental year in Calisthenics for my little girl. Julia (Miss nearly 6) had her annual concert and presentation day on the weekend. 

She was overjoyed to receive a gold medal for her hard work in her Tinies team again this year, but then she topped it off with a huge trophy for Junior Clubperson of the Year 2012. 

This is the first year that this award has gone to a member of the Tinies team! I am so proud of her commitment to the sport, from practising hard to supporting others. Her award is a magnificent achievement, and proof that hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed. 

Her coaches Kirsty and Kari have always her encouraged her to try her best, and deserve a huge thank you for their own dedication to their teams and the sport. 

She has enjoyed working with both the Tinies and the Sub-Junior teams this year, but she is looking forward to moving up to Sub-Juniors next year and performing in the solo competition as well.

If you'd like to find out more, please take a look at Calisthenics ACT if you are in Canberra like me, or Calisthenics Australia for more information about Calisthenics in other states. 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Gallery - Frightful

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Frightful.

My frightful family dressed up and ready for a Halloween party (insert witchy cackle here)... 

Christine xx

Monday, 29 October 2012

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Pretty and Floral

Still busy crocheting, with quite a few showcases coming up soon, all with varying themes. I have made two beautiful cushions for an upcoming showcase at Lella M on Facebook. The theme is "All things pretty and floral" which I think is such a lovely springtime theme.

This rainbow reversible cushion has rainbow colours on one side and white on the reverse with a button closure. 

This reversible cushion uses shades of pink & purple colours with reverse design on each side, also with a button closure.

The pattern for this gorgeous crocodile stitch design can be found on Ravelry here

These cushions will be available for purchase at the showcase, which starts at on 4th November 2012. Please take a look and support Australian Handmade!  

Christine xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Gallery - Books

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Books.

Sitting in the new bookcase... this is the perfect place to read my book! 

Christine xx

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mini-Me Handcrafts - very fruity!

I recently crocheted a set of life-size fruit for a special custom order. 

Here is the set: cherries, bananas, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pear, apples, orange, grapes, pineapple and lemon. 

Julia thought they were pretty good too! 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Gallery - Old

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Old.

On a trip to Dubbo Zoo we found this sign... now I think we all know the answer to this question! 

Christine xx

Monday, 15 October 2012

School holidays with Enoch and Plonk

Spring is here and we have had some warmer weather over the past 2 weeks of school holidays. Time to share some fabulous arty tees, all hand crafted by Nicola from Enoch & Plonk

"Three Windows"

"Two Trees"

School holidays have just finished. Julia is back at school today and I am almost glad to be getting back into the usual routine! 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Gallery - Yellow

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Yellow.

The yellow lane is the fastest on this giant slide! 

Christine xx

Monday, 8 October 2012

Mini-Me Handcrafts - Cherry Blossoms

I am loving the showcase themes - and this one is so very inviting! The Cherry Blossom Spring Showcase starts tonight at Ineke Designs on Facebook. 

As my mini tea set is quite popular, I decided to crochet a set for my first showcase entry. I have used blossom pink as the main tea set colour, and mint green to add an accent colour. Four mini strawberry cupcakes with sprinkles complete this set - perfect for morning tea. 

My second entry is this gorgeous crocheted blossom dress. I love the pattern in this dress! This is a size 6-9 months in soft merino baby yarn in bright spring blossom pink, with beautiful blossom buttons to finish.

This Spring Blossom scarf is beautifully light and perfect for accessorising a spring outfit. I have crocheted this in a gorgeous cotton blend, each leaf and petal individually hand beaded with metallic seed beads, and finished with Millefiori glass beads. The scarf comes in two pieces - flowers & leaves - so you can separate for a different look. 

There are so many beautiful items displayed in the showcase including dresses, dolls, bags and hair accessories and so much more. All are available for purchase from 8pm (EST) tonight Monday 8th October 2012. Please take a look and support Australian Handmade! 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Gallery - Fitness

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Fitness.

I am not at all fit, but I can usually keep up with Julia. At least so far... 

Christine xx

Monday, 1 October 2012


In a new party dress, on a warm spring afternoon, is there anything better than twirling.... 



... and a curtsey to finish. 

Beautiful dress by Alana at Yumminess Textiles

Christine xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Gallery - 8pm

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is 8pm.

Nightfall looking along the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited and I would love to revisit some day.

Christine xx

Monday, 24 September 2012

Calisthenics - Team Championship Competitions

The past two weekends have been taken up by Calisthenics competitions - the last for the year. Once again, Saturday sleep-ins were forgone in favour of early rises, hair and makeup, and fancy costumes.

Here is Julia in costume for her tinies free exercises routine.

Both her tinies and sub-junior teams did really well again, and their performances were wonderful. There will be lots more ribbons to add to Julia's collection! 

Her club came 3rd overall in the Club Championship, so well done to all the girls, from the tinies all the way through to the seniors. You all worked so hard and looked so fabulous on the stage! 

Thanks again to her coaches Kirsty and Kari, the team assistants and the team managers, who always give everything to the training of my little girl and her teams, and always encourage her to try her best.

If you'd like to find out more, please take a look at Calisthenics ACT if you are in Canberra like me, or Calisthenics Australia for more information about Calisthenics in other states. 

Christine xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Gallery - Breakfast

Joining Sticky Fingers for The Gallery... the theme this week is Breakfast.

Never smile at a crocodile... 

Christine xx