Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tutorial: Easiest Handmade Doll's Clothes

Hello. Are you following Just For Daisy on Pinterest and Facebook?

We made our own doll clothes! Yep - and it was super easy and hardly any materials necessary!

Here's 10 easy steps to make your own repurposed doll's clothes from your children's clothes or treasures you find at the op shop!

Miss Daisy and Li'l Peppa have both worn the same clothes... there hasn't been a lot of need for us to buy new things because we've been blessed to be given lots of hand me downs from friends and relatives. 

I've had a bit of an urge to clear out some of the clutter in our home lately and one of the things that was bugging me was the huge stash of clothes in the top of the girls cupboard that just sits there now they've both grown out of it.

I have an exciting way that we used some of the smaller clothes and repurposed them to make our own handmade doll clothes! You'll love how quick and easy this is and they make the cutest little clothes ever! Even better that now their dolly's can wear the same cute clothes they did!

By using the existing jumpsuits, tights, hats and t-shirts all of the buttons, hems, zips, seams and elastic are done! It's just a matter of a few simple alterations and they're perfect for doll friends to wear!

And the next best thing is that your subject doesn't wriggle and move while you're pinning!! And they'll try on the garments over and over again without complaining! Win!

This is so easy (and you have forgiving subjects anyway!) that even the most beginner of sewists will love this project! I promise! 
We started off with a selection of clothes sized 0000-00.  Smaller is better (depending on the size of your doll!) Miss Daisy had the important job of pinning this hat while I got down to business with the other items of clothing!

Here's what you'll need:
- preloved baby clothes (small sizes best!)
- pins (lots of pins!)
- sewing machine/thread
- scissors/shears
- a doll to fit the clothing to

Here's what to do:
1. Turn the item of clothing inside out and put it onto your doll. 
2. Straighten the seams out and pin along the shoulders to decrease the neckline slightly. 
3. Start pinning around the dolls underarms and torso leaving about 1/4" for seam allowance. 
4. Straighten seams again and pin crotch evenly
5. Pin around legs. (You get the idea now right? We're pinning around the body to shrink the suit!)
6. Undo the buttons or zip and carefully (without pinning yourself) take the garment off the doll

7. Stitch carefully along your pinned edge, allowing for your 1/4" seam allowance. Remove pins as you go. This doesn't have to be perfect, just keep it as even as possible :) 
8. Use a zig zag stitch if fabric is particularly stretchy (click pic below to enlarge)

9. Use scissors to trim around your sewn edge. You might like to serge the edges to reinforce.
10. Hem your arms and legs and you're ready to dress your doll! That's it! The same principle applies for tights, hats, t-shirts etc!

Enjoy! That's 10 simple steps to a cheap and easy way to give your little ones best friends a whole new wardrobe!

I can't wait to show you the rest of our outfits that we repurposed - but you'll have to wait as they're part of a special Christmas gift for one of my nieces who has a particularly well loved doll!

I'm off to keep sewing presents!!

Do you do handmade gifts at Christmas time?

Here's some other handmade gifts we've made.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Healthy Popcorn Recipe - Ditch the microwave!

My girls love having popcorn as a snack. We usually buy the corn kernels and pop in a brown paper bag in the microwave. Well, that is until I tried using some of our yummy coconut oil instead!

I'm currently trying to phase out our microwave use and popcorn needed to jump on board!

- popcorn kernels, approx 3 Tbs
- 2 Tbs, coconut oil
- sea salt, to taste

1. Scoop 1 Tbs of coconut oil from jar (it's solid) and melt in a hot 40cm frypan
2. Once melted and the pan/oil is hot add corn kernels to evenly cover base of frypan
3. Cover with lid. Watch closely :)
4. Give it a little shake occasionally until kernels begin to pop. 
5. Once popping starts I pull the pan on and off the heat as the popping starts and stops. Keep the kernels moving in the pan when on the heat to prevent your popped corn burning :)
6. Once cooked put in a bowl to enjoy topped with sea salt!

Happy customers await!

Miss Daisy, Peppa and their cousins went to the cinemas a few weeks back and enjoyed some home popped popcorn in their own fancy popcorn boxes! Easy peasy!
Great for lunch boxes or afternoon snacks too! 

How do you cook your popcorn!? Try it in coconut oil - you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Healthy Treats - Homemade Smoothies and Ice Cream Recipe

Sustainable Living Bloggers Healthy Food Alternatives Blog Hop

We love to make homemade smoothies and turn them into ice creams!

Is it crazy how children can recognise sweets and chocolates in an instant. The way they learn the branding of big name food chains quickly and can request them as you drive past on the highway!

We very rarely have McDonalds or other takeaway foods. Especially now we live at least half an hour away from any such place! However, we are not immune to buying some chips on a long trip or when we are at the shops.

We also tend not to buy any sweets, ice creams or chocolate in our weekly grocery shop so that the temptation for children (and parents) is eliminated! If it's not there they can't ask for it! When we feel like biscuits or sweets, we bake them! (This time of year there are too many temptations in our house!)

Smoothies are one way we can get lots of nutritious foods in one delicious drink! Loved by both girls and by me of course!

Here's our favourite smoothie combination which Miss 3 makes confidently on her own!

- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1-2 bananas (depending on size)
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 6 baby spinach leaves (we count 'em out!)
- 2 cups full cream milk (sometimes almond milk)
- 1-2 Tbs natural yogurt

Around here it's basically step back and see the toddler work!
Miss Daisy loves to measure out each ingredient and add them to our blender. Once they're all in she steps back and allows me to do the noisy work (she's still not a fan of the noisy blender - see here for a cute trip down memory lane!)

Pour into cups with lids and add a straw!! Enjoy!!

The reason we make such a big smoothie is to ensure there is leftover smoothie!! That's how we make our ice blocks and ice cream!

We fill our ice block moulds with leftover smoothie and freeze! Yum!

We also fill ice cube trays with smoothie mix to make ice cream.
To use, we pop 2-3 cubes out and place in a bowl while we eat dinner. Smoosh them up with a spoon after dinner and you've got yummy soft serve consistency ice cream that's super healthy and loved by all!!

This is part of a blog hop with these wonderful bloggers for healthy eating ideas for kids!
Go and check them out!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Want to ditch pads and tampons forever?

Today I'm blogging over at Down To Earth Mother sharing about secret women's business!
Come and get to know me on a whole new level - and yourself too!!

It's worth it - and I promise you'll be glad you read it.

Here's a little teaser of what you'll discover!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Ombré Purple Hair Ends

DIY Ombre Dip Dyed Purple Hair

Do you find it difficult to get to the hairdresser? I do. Sometimes I find it hard to find time for a shower long enough to wash my hair or shave my legs - and never long enough for both!

Well, on the weekend I decided to bite the bullet and dye my own hair! I wanted to dip dye the ends of my hair a purple ombre like I've had at the hairdresser in the past. Surely it couldn't be too hard and if it was awful I could always cut it off, right?

I armed myself with a $4.95 hair dye, a children's paintbrush and an empty Tim Tam container - yep, those darn things do run out! So you can see I was taking a professional approach here!

My quick tips for doing your own purple ombre dip dye ends are:

- have all your equipment ready to go before you start (towels too!)
- use conditioner to tone down the colour (see video)
- have a comb to get a really even coverage (I didn't have one so had to really scrub it in with my paintbrush!)

It took me about an hour in total which included gathering bits and pieces, watching the YouTube tutorial a few times, applying the colour, processing time, then rinsing and finally having a long hot shower and washing my hair! Oh and a blow dry! Awesome right!?

So here is the end result... unfortunately not the best lighting but it's purple, it's ombre and I love it!

Do you DIY when it comes to hair or leave it to the experts?

Here's the great tutorial that I used! So many great tips in here and I just love this video! :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

On my heart: so much love

This girl has had a tough 4 and a bit weeks. She hasn't really complained and deals with it all without worry or being annoyed. 

She has continued to show patience and kindness to her sister even while she does things Miss Daisy cannot do. 
She's a delight and she is my joy. I've enjoyed our closeness these last few weeks and her relying on me a little again. 

She teaches me something new every day. She remembers everything I say. I want to remember everything she says. Does. Is. Always. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spring Blog Hop - Flower Press Craft - Flower Fairy Cards

Miss Daisy has a keen interest in the seasons, one reason I think is that we did an Autumn leaf collage which has hung on our art wall proudly for months and spurred on many conversations on what season it is and what's happening to our trees... and the other is because Peppa Pig shows all seasons, so yes, our sense of seasons is sometimes a tad warped. Put it this way, my Daisy girl is expecting snow for Christmas!

Spring time has proved to be a hit for my garden loving girl, with our own garden in full bloom and plenty of extra goodies from our neighbours we've used our bounty of flowers, leaves and seed pods for lots of fun and games. And just as it was getting awfully dry around here we've been blessed with a few days rain!

In particular though, we've enjoyed using the flower press that Daddy made for the girls. The joy on Miss Daisy's face as she opened that flower press and saw those big blossoms made thinner than paper was fantastic! You know what, my face probably mirrored hers a wee bit!

If you haven't quite got around to making your own DIY flower press then you could put some flowers and leaves between a few tissues and press them under some heavy books! I love this method because if you date them.... you might come back years later and find some that you forgot you'd even put in!

Here's something we enjoyed creating with our pressed flowers:

Card making has been popular around here of late as Miss Daisy and I have been the grateful recipients of lots of help and special gifts as she lays low with her broken leg.
This means a need for lots of thank you cards... 

To make these pretty cards we gathered:
- two colours of paper/card
- flower fairy shapes cut from card (roughly drawn by hand!)
- scissors/glue
- pressed flowers
- pencils

Upon us came the moment of truth. Peeling back our tissue paper ever so gently and finding these gorgeous flowers! Aren't they amazing.
We then chose which flowers would suit our fairies best, something for dresses, hats and Miss Daisy even decided on adding in some grass and flowers for her fairy to frolic amongst. I had to be quick to ensure my fairy was dressed too!

I'm in the process of letting go a little bit and allowing Miss Daisy to do more and more for herself when we do painting and craft. She wanted to fold the card herself (I usually pre-fold them before we start) and I was really pleased she showed an interest! It was rather neat for a 3 year old and she was proud as punch as she pressed it down nice and flat!

And then we glued our flower fairies onto our cards. We covered the fairy with a piece of clean paper to smooth it out and press it on to ensure we didn't take off the delicate flowers. I love Miss Daisy's attention to detail and her voicing her concern to herself at the flower's vulnerability "gently lift it off, really slow". She's patient like that, never rushing, always content to wait, take it easy or try again. 

Don't you just love them sitting on our coffee table! One travelled with us to Scarlet's Great Gran today for her 94th birthday!
The beautiful paper flowers were for Miss Daisy from a special neighbour, they've made both of us smile! And are a long lasting bloom to bring Spring inside!

What does Spring mean to you and your family?

Be sure to join us on Twitter (#springbloghop) and Facebook to follow the blog hop and see all the great ideas for exploring Spring with your children!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Recipe:: A loaf of bread in an hour

A Homemade Loaf of Bread in under an hour.

A while back I went through a bread making stage, we were regularly having fresh breads. We'd particularly have lots of sour dough with our Winter soups, easy 2 ingredient bread for scrolls and pizza and I also tried a variety of tasty loaves from around the web. This one from Fuji Mama was one of my favourites. 
Rachael's recipe is for 2 loaves of bread in an hour! I've modified it here to just make one simple loaf.

Last Monday night we were having a slow cooked beef casserole and I decided at 4:30pm to bake some fresh bread. Here's my adaptation to make your own last minute loaf... you won't be sorry, especially as it can be made in under an hour! Yum!

What you'll need::
2 1/2 cups plain or bread flour
1-2 Tbsp sugar (or leave it out altogether)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 Tbsp dried yeast
3/4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water 

What to do::
1. Mix dry ingredients.  Add oil and water.  Mix for 1 minute and then check the consistency of the dough.  The dough should be very sticky.  If it is too dry, add more water.
2. Mix for 3-5 minutes, until it comes together in a sticky dough.
3. Spray kneading surface with cooking spray and turn dough out onto surface.  Knead dough briefly until it has a smooth even consistency (this will only take several turns of the dough to accomplish). Rachael says not to add flour but I'm a bit of an old school chuck the flour on 'til it doesn't stick. Some days I just use the spray oil but others I feel it's too sticky and need a bit of a dusting with flour :)

4. Shape it as desired or pop it in a loaf tin and let it rest for 15-20 minutes

5. Preheat oven to 180'C (350'F). Slash the top of the risen loaves with a sharp knife. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

We like it hot out of the oven with lots of butter on it! You won't be sorry with this yummy loaf!

Friday, November 1, 2013

On my heart:: Halfway there

For those of you playing along at home Miss Daisy's leg is healing well. She's able to take some weight on it now and has a pretty decent walk going on. 

It's giving her (and me) more freedom which is lovely. 

Another two weeks and hopefully we'll get an all clear X-ray. 

Thanks for your messages, calls and parcels of goodness. She's been extremely spoiled! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Watercolour Resist Painting with Candles

Miss Daisy and I enjoy the times when Li'l Peppa goes to bed. She's napping about 3+ hours at the moment so we usually get a nice block of time together.

We use this time to do things that we can't get out while our active 1 year old is bouncing around! So paints, puzzles, peg boards and anything else with small pieces or ultra messy.
It's also not unusual for us just to use this time to play something like tea parties, dolls house or mummies and babies without a real baby interrupting us!

Last week I thought we'd make some thank you cards for (the first lot) of people who've been so kind as to send Miss Daisy something special in the post or brought something on their visit. She's been really well entertained and gained lots of special new things too!

I decided to grab some tealight candles and make some Watercolour resist paintings.

Miss Daisy took the candles out of their foil holder. Then she created her own designs all over the page.  I explained she'd have to press quite firmly and she remarked about them being secret because you could only see if you looked on a certain angle with the light.

Then we got to the real magic! Making our secret patterns come alive! We grabbed our watercolour paints and set about painting over our paper.

At first Miss Daisy was a little disconcerted that 'those bits' weren't painting. And she tried over and over again to cover them up. So we discussed some more what the candle had done and why the paint wasn't covering them!

We made some cards out of our paper scribbles and then I also wrote the words Thank You on some prefolded paper and let Miss Daisy bring our secret message to life with the water colours.

And all this card writing is great practice for writing our name!