Friday, February 21, 2014

Lego love - the party edition

We celebrated a 5th birthday here last weekend. It was a very bleated party, with the real birthday being in early January. But with lots of little friends away on holiday during that time, it made sense to celebrate a bit later.

I've long wanted to host a "Lego" themed party, we are a Lego loving family. Lego is the single most played with item in our house, played by family members young and old. I did a little Internet research for party ideas, adding some to this Pinterest board - Lego party ideas. I wanted to keep it fairly simple and easy to prepare keeping in mind a budget too, I do believe you don't have to spend a fortune to have a fun and memorable party.

I kept the cake simple (it was his third cake!) butter-cream icing and some stack-able Lego lollies that I bought from Crazy Candies. They stock an impressive array of confectionery mainly imported from the USA.

We kept the menu simple too, but I had spied this amazing Jelly recipe a while ago and was keen to give that a go. You can find the recipe for Glass block Jelly here. If like me, your country doesn't have sachets of gelatin, each sachet mentioned in the recipe is equal to 2.5 teaspoons. I was so impressed with how it turned out, as were the guests! Not to mention it can be made ahead of time, always a winner in my books.

I bought a Lego silicone mould off Trademe and poured melted crayons in it for take home gifts. Along with a printed Lego colouring in book. We also spent an afternoon in the school holidays making polymer clay (Fimo)  pendants, squishing the clay into the moulds. It was a fun activity that even the youngest member of our family could take part in.

I printed off some little Lego guys and hid them around the garden - "I spy a Lego guy". Super easy and the kids had a blast trying to find them. I set them a task of finding three each, although I'd hidden many more, just in case some went astray.

Simple white bags were transformed with printed Lego guys and washi tape, other than the colouring in books and crayons I included a small bag of the Lego candy and the Lego pendants.

We greeted the guests with VIP tags, attached to a lanyard so they could wear them easily during the party. There were five activities planned so I added some little check box circles at the bottom to mark them off as we did them. Once all the activities were competed each child could have their goodie bag. It was amazing how enthusiastic they were about getting their passes marked off and asking about the next activity, it made the time go so quickly.

We had a "Lego spoon race" and we played "don't eat Pete". I printed off the game from Delia Creates and had enlarged it to A3 size, instead of laminating it, I just used washi tape to attatch it to the table. Don't eat Pete was the biggest hit, probably my favourite activity of the day. It was a new game to me, but I love how you could easily make one to match any party theme.

It was such a fun party and the feedback suggests it was the "best birthday party ever" possibly a slight exaggeration, but I'd definitely do it all again!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

sew sweet

Cat recently hosted the Sew Sweet swap, I was partnered with the uber lovely Talia. The colours that she liked were - mustard, rust and grey. Normally that palette would have stumped my fabric stash, but lucky for me, I had just stumbled upon a grey wool skirt at my local thrift store. One thrift store in town is currently having an "extended" $1 sale, all out of season stock is just one dollar! It's meant I've picked up some absolute bargains, merino tops in perfect condition, wool skirts, I won't brag too much, but I'm feeling lucky! I teamed the grey wool fabric with a little off cut of hand printed fabric that I bought last year in Christchurch, by the talented designer : In my back yard . In a strange twist of fate, my scrap bag swap partner also sent me a wee bit of the same fabric!

I made a very bad attempt at some free form sewing and popped some delicious chocolate in to hopefully make up for sewing!

I've got some plans to make a few more of these zip bags, them seem to come in handy for so many things don't you think?

Monday, February 10, 2014

a scrapin'

Make :: Life :: Beautiful

I've taken part in Nin's Scrap Bag Swap for the last few years. It's been a great way to pass on a little of my fabric collection and receive a surprise parcel in return. It's always so nice to get mail and fabric in the post, well, win/win I say! 

This years format is slightly different and also includes a blog-hop which started today! The oh so talented Juliet from Tartan Kiwi is talking about Paper piecing, I think it's above and beyond my sewing patience but Juliet makes it look easy with her beautiful patterns! 

Below is a list of the other bloggers taking part, you'll notice my name in the line up too! I'm looking forward to sharing a quick and easy scrap busting tutorial. 

Mon 10th February             Tartankiwi – Paper pieced koru
Tuesday 11th                      Make. Life. Beautiful. - Dolly Outfit
Friday 14th                         Mousehouse – Pocket Organiser

Monday 17th                      Catalina's Cottage – Hexie love 
Tuesday 18th                      Make. Life. Beautiful.  Scrappy quilt Part 1
Friday 21st                         One Paisley Apple – Fabric Flowers

Monday 24th                       Kiwi at Heart  -   Scrappy Rope Coaster
Tuesday 25th                       Make. Life. Beautiful.  Scrappy quilt Part 2
Friday 28th                          Works in Progress – Scrappy Pot Mitt and Trivet

Monday 3rd March              NZ Green Buttons – Floral Wreath Tote
Tuesday 4th                         Make. Life. Beautiful.  Childs Bike Seat Pad
Friday 7th                            Catalina's Cottage –  Giant Star Quilt

I hope that you'll follow along some of these lovely bloggers, checking in to see the amazing scrappy projects.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

for me

The times that I sew clothes for myself are few and very far between. It seems one bad, ill fitting sewing experience is enough to put me off sewing for myself for quite some time. But ever the optimist I try my hand at it again and again.

I've been searching for a pattern for a top for a long time, searching in vain. It's pictured in my mind clearly but no pattern designers seem to have the ability to read my mind! Then, quite by chance while waiting for some fish and chips at a sea side town over the holidays, I popped my head in a little store. It was one of those little poky stores that have way too much stock for the size of their footprint and items seemed to be falling out the door. It just so happened that I found the perfect top amongst all the bric-a-brac.

Perfect pattern yes, but not the perfect top for wearing. The fabric wasn't soft and comfy, more itchy and sticky, and not to mention the colour wasn't really me. I spent an evening carefully unpicking ALL the seams, trying to carefully maintain the pattern shapes without the fabric fraying away to nothing.

The effort paid off! I made this top up quite quickly using some fabric that I dyed with Inko Dye using a doily. The rest of the fabric came from an over-sized thrifted cotton top, that I had tried to "refashion" and re-size. But although Refanshionista seems to do it with ease, it just wasn't the case for me! I was very pleased to find it was an almost perfect match for my dyed fabric.

I fixed that little bump on the bodice once I spotted it in these pics.

I'm so pleased to have finally found an easy to sew pattern that I love! I just had to go the long way around to get it!