Thursday, October 28, 2010

the beauty of a new flower

Strange link today... but watch monster singing "Manamana" and tell me my double headed gerbera doesnt remind you of him!

Watch this: "Manamana"

Today we began the very fun task of our veggie and flower patches :)

Whilst my dad was here, we had grand intentions for our huge bark area that doesnt get played in ( its way too rough on the feet!) but as we started, all of us realised that the area is just too big to start a beginner off on her "real" veggie experiment( yes I had a veggie patch, sort of. Things grew well without much love, but it wasnt a proper patch I had to look after).
And so, we hunted around and found these awesome corrugated iron tubs that were perfect for what I needed.

Uum yes well I really cant explain this one too much.. we stupidly moved the trampoline into its new home BEFORE we filled to flower patch with dirt. Ahem. oops)

So we got two, one for deep dwellers ( potato, sweet potato and carrot) and one for surface dwellers ( strawberries, beans, etc. We got waaay too much soil, so dad cleared out another area for me to grow flowers. Now, I have been absolutely stunned at the gerberas that have grown so well in my small original space. So I am really looking forward to growing some more. So two littles and myself trotted off to Big W this morning and bought this!!

Two gerberas ( one that has a twin flower on it that I cannot stop taking photos of)
Two of the most stunning Roses I have ever seen ( that head of blooms is on a single stem!)
Snow Peas
Squash (eww gross but daddy likes it)

How cool is this gerbera.. its a twin!!
Ma had given me a present to give Jumeirah before we started so I gave her that and it turned out to be a little gardeners set. She was totally thrilled and we got started on our flowers first.

How gorgeous are they! We also uprooted our other gerberas so they would be happier with their new family and were amazed at the root system they had in such a small and shallow spot.

I am really hoping these take off and give me lots of lovely colours to fill my house with :) I know I was born to macro them ;) I will be forever grateful to Kim over at Mom Tried It for finding me a cheap one!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

REAL birthday playdough :)/ candle fun

Its heating up here!! Today we splashed out in our pool :)

Well I earned another "worlds greatest Mum" notch today :)

I dont get them as often as I would like ( and no where near as many as Daddy seems to score just for coming home) but today I got one from my littlest gem. This morning, I made some gorgeous teal playdough and Amahli was instantly drawn to it and sticking paddlepop sticks into it. She began to sing Happy Birthday and blew out the candles. Shes practising you see, she turns TWO in two weeks :) I came to join her, whilst she remade her cake, and we sang together. I then had an idea... in our house, birthdays are well celebrated and fun. But, inevitably, it always turns to tears as only one person gets to blow the candles out. I have taught them to share, but not their candles. They get to do that themselves. Today, whilst she was making her playdough cake, I went and got 6 candles, three for each of them to blow out. I gave them to Amahli and she pushed them into the playdough.

Before she began singing, I actually lit them to do a REAL happy birthday. She looked at me with such love and adoration, I widh I could have photographed it :) She then blew them out and asked for it again. Jared came and watched and then had a turn too. Its funny how something so simple ( seems to be the week for it) gave them so much pleasure.

With a larger candle, I gave Jared a piece of paper and asked if he would like to use the candle to paint. the novelty of using a lit candle to drip with fascinated him no end and he stayed dripping for ages. He then sang himself happy birthday and blew it out.

Candles are such a fun thing to craft with with children. Just dont go answer the phone in the middle of it or you may not have a house at the end!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

practising the finer arts

I had a friend email last week saying this:
"Karina, I absolutely love your blog.. the craft, the painting, the amazing things you create with your very lucky children. But reading it causes me to despair. I have 4 boys who are totally not interested in anything crafty or painty, but prefer to spend every minute of every day with either their trains or cars. I often set things up for then only to find I am doing it on my own ( its very therapeutic!). Any suggestions??"

Well, to tell the truth, my week is progressing much the same :) my two littles, who have been taken to here, there and everywhere, have NO interest in my crafty love this week. And so, I too, was despairing over lack of fun and learning. And then I walked in on them building the fourth train track of the week and realised how much they were getting out of it. How Amahli was joining track together, trying to work out how each piece is connected, using hand eye coordination, concentration and patience to get each piece to fit.

How Jared was trying so hard to deal with the inevitable "track crack" and working hard to not burst into tears and scream at the little darling that contributed to it happening. To find words to express thoughts, ideas, and plans. Working together to achieve a common (ish)goal. I was amazed at such a simple play space was giving them so many things to practise.

And then, it also gave them the ability to practise playing alone (heaps of kids cant do this, needing attention and someone else to play with all the time), Amahli out with the farm set and Jared staying with his beloved trains. Both of them happy in their own worlds, chatting and organising and simply having fun :)

Yes she eats the cone without the icecream.. its breakfast. I drew the line at icecream.

So when your treasures look like they are doing nothing but creating disaster zones even a cyclobne would be proud of, take a closer look. What are they REALLY learning? You may just be surprised!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

holidays, whales and icing biscuits

Im back... just.
A week off was just what I needed.. unfortunately its hard to get back into the swing of.. well... anything at the moment. the washing is again climbing the walls, inspiration is at an all time low, I have Body Shop orders to do, I have had enquiries as to how to buy bulk of my peek a boo bags (yikes!!! yes that was the exciting bit) and I just cant seem to get myself going on anything. Plus tonight I have just spent 2 hours creating a word doc only to have it corrupt itself because I had to save it cos I cant print it today :( So really, Im a bit flat all round ( hehe wouldnt THAT be nice if that were literal)

My week with my folks was busy, full and fun. Lots of things we accomplished.. I now have not one, not two but THREE big veggie patches ( ahem, without veggies currently, but Im getting there), I got a NEW car, my kids have the worlds best play area, we saw Whales (LOTS of them), went strawberry picking, and ate and ate and ate. The kilos I was losing just before they came have returned with gusto. Grrr.

Diamond Beach " The Organiser and her slave"

Dads massive Kite
The awesome cake

Beautiful waves ( there are about 100 photos almost exactly like this one.. I couldnt stop)

Little Miss in her tower

Our improved backyard ( veggie patch photos tomorrow)
Moving a rather large trampoline freaked the daylights out of Amahli

Fixing the yard with Pa

Our amazing whale baby ( at one point, we were surrounded by at least 15 of them.. they got a bit too close for me but were truly an incredible sight to see and hear)

He may be a baby but he makes the biggest splash!

Mum and bub

UNmacroed.. yup he really is THAT close

One of the things I did whilst on our mini break to Diamond Beach was to decorate some biscuits. This was such a great activity for little people ( especially my nephew and Amahli) that practised fine motor skills and hand eye coordination and they loved it!

Get yourself a simple biscuit recipe ( Id give you mine but the biscuits were so crap because I forgot the butter and had no egg so we just decorated them and then licked the icing off), cut out some fun shapes with a cookie cutter, and bake them.

Then, make icing from butter, icing sugar and colouring and put it into small plastic bags. I then cut a tiny part of the tip off and it made an easy piping bag for little hands. They had a great time with the icing and then sprinkled the sprinkles on top. Both the littlest gang spent ages on these, my nephew ( at 18 months) did about 6 before he started eating the icing straight from the bag....

easy simple and fun!!

And on a very high note, a wonderful friend ( thanks Kim) sent me elusive and mysterious packets of Kool Aid. I have never smelt mail so sweet!! It was such a nice surprise to find. So stay tuned, this week we are painting with it!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

reversible skirt/ super cake/HOLIDAY TIME!

Ive achieved a lot today...actually I am a little bit proud of myself really :)

Tomorrow we are off to see my folks and siblings to celebrate my Dad turning 60 last week. We are having a little party, in black and white theme, and some beach fun with all my gang.
I, of course, got way out of hand with ideas and things to do for this little shin dig... making black and white outfits, cake making, cupcake decorating.. stupid brain goes into over drive when things like this happen.
Funnily enough, some things in the brain got out and actually worked!
I found the cutest pattern for a reversible skirt for the girls and decided to have a go. Now, I know you think I am lying but I really cant sew very well.Mostly its just sheer determination that gets me through.
With this skirt, its so easy, you dont need anything but about half and hour, some fabric and bias binding. Easiest skirt I have EVER made. That includes the 20 minutes skirt I can whip up. NO JOKE!.

Black on the inside...

Flick it around and whites on the inside!

I love how these turned out! Maybe I will make one for me too! I then tackled the other major party project I wanted to do... Dads cake. I love to cook, and, much like my sewing, often it doesnt happen but for sheer willpower and tears. I bought a Wilton cake tin (thought I would make it easier on myself) and made a chocolate fudge cake. First mistake, I filled the cake tin up too much and had it dripping all through the oven and then burning so I had to bail some out ( imade 9 full sized cupcakes with the bailed out bit). It ended up ok, I then had a quick piping lesson from Dad in law ( a chef), chucked all kids in bed, and began to decorate this masterpiece. It too, has turned out ok!

Amahli and Jared helped with the cake for a little while but they were happier playing in the rocket I scored in Big W for $15!! Bargain.

So now, whilst I am exhausted, everything is done :)
I wont be in here for a week now, Mum and Dad are comnig to visit for the week and we have STACKS of cool stuff planned... but whilst they are here I am unplugging myself from this computer and having some time off myself :)
Dont leave me and not come back though...... theres heaps of archives to find some awesome activities for your beauties to do PLUS! the giveaway is ready to go! Its even in a post bag so all I have to do is address it :) So, until Monday 25th, see ya later!