Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stained Glass Hearts - 2 Ingredients!

Yesterday it rained and rained and rained.
Miss Daisy loves craft and she loves gloppy glue (thanks Mr Maker) and fixy tape (her own name because it can fix anything!)

Well, after seeing this post from The Imagination Tree I knew Miss Daisy would love working with ripped up tissue paper and sticky clear contact!! We use purple, white and pink! 

This one's easy and doesn't need much but gets a very big toddler tick of approval! It's got ripping and sticking! Hooray! And it's great for fine motor. :-)

Here's the window in the girls room after making our hearts. I think we'll do some stars for the lounge room window! 

Go on! Grab that tissue paper and head over to The Imagination Tree to find out how to do these gorgeous stained glass hearts! You'll want to make more and more!

Monday, January 28, 2013

50 things that make you know you're a Mum

Here's a little list that might make you laugh, or cry. I bet you can relate to a few of these! Here's 50 things that make you know you're a mum... and not forget it!

Just For Daisy :: 50 Things That Make You Know You're A Mum!

1. Showering in private is a thing of the past. Some days I set up seating and snacks!
2. Visits to the grocery store must be timed well.
3. A trip to the grocery store alone is like a tropical getaway!
4. You spoon feed your little one and find your own mouth open, willing them to get it in!
5. You hear hundreds of questions a day. Most of them being "why?"
6. You can find ALL the buttons on the onesie in the dark
7. You celebrate over the consumption of vegetables. Every little bit.
8. Bribery is no longer beneath you
9. You've been pregnant or breast feeding longer than you can remember!
10. You have a love/hate relationship with both.
11. You can read most of the books on the children's shelf without looking.
12. The dishwasher is always in rotation. Clean. Dirty. Clean. Dirty. Repeat.
13. The washing baskets are all empty simultaneously. Almost never.
14. You find toys in shoes and glue sticks in the pots and pans cupboard.
15. You have seen Disney/Pixar movies so many times you can recite them by heart
16. So can your child.
17. Your desk has your child's artwork all over it. Some of it is on paper!
18. Your child is fluent in iPad, iPhone and several other devices!
19. You photograph the magnificent and the mundane. They're all memories to you.
20. Your job entitlements are sketchy. But you're still content in your work.
21. Ice Cream is dairy. So it's kind of good for you. And your kids.
22. Your bed often has a little person in it
23. You're a touch afraid of your toddler
24. Social media keeps you alive. And sucks the life out of you.
25. You can make voices when reading that leave your children wondering who said that!
26. You've had that moment in the public toilet. "Are you doing a poo mum?" "Want me to wipe for you?"
27. You name a room in your house Shrek's Room because that's where the TV is!
28. Your daughter has better phone manner than you. At 2.
29. Meals are rarely eaten hot.
30. Let's not talk about tea and coffee!
31. Sometimes you drive an extra few minutes (or more) just so your children sleep a little longer!
32. You do about 10% of the things you pin with all the best intentions!
33. You have little rhymes to remember your children's birthdays
34. You eat, pay and run at a restaurant to save face while the kids are still behaving!
35. Date night is often done at home
36. You are braver than you ever imagined.
37. You write blog posts with a little one on your lap
38. You don't leave the house without snacks or sippy cups
39. When you do you make a point to take your smallest handbag! It feels good!
40. Your strength is not your own.
41. Your husband rocks your world. And keeps it level.
42. You have too many half done projects to know where to start.
43. The toilet paper roll is always empty when it's your turn!
44. When one of your children are sick you could stay awake all night. When they're not sick. It hurts. A lot!
45. Your kisses can make anything better!
46. You draw the line at kissing butt's!
47. You talk about Shrek, Fiona, Alex the Lion and Nemo like they're family.
48. You oblige with one more story each night before bed.
49. Anything can be repaired with 'fixy-tape'
50. Those that can't are taken to the Lord in prayer. You've heard nothing better in life than your 2 year old's prayers.

Can you relate? I'd love for you to add to this list with a comment here or on my facebook page!

Our second Australian Busy Bag Swap

It's been a few months since our second Australian Busy Bag Swap ended! And what a fabulous swap it was! It was great to have many joining us again from our first Busy Bag Swap and even better to see that with some new faces we made our way up to 42 participants! Wow!

Hannah from Paint On The Ceiling and I were excited to see the quality of bags coming in to us and couldn't wait to try them out! Here are some of the amazing bags that Miss Daisy got to play with this time around! Thanks again to all of our participants! Look forward to working with you again in the future!

Many of these activities would have been inspired from the internet and I unfortunately do not have source references for them all as they were made by others. Please comment below if you've made these before and would like to direct others to your blog/website for instructions! I'm happy to add a link to our image.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Felt Mailbox For Valentines - Tutorial

We had lots of fun making our felt Valentine's envelopes and we needed somewhere special to put them! Best place for mail is a mailbox! So here is a quick tutorial on how to make your own felt mailbox. I cut/stitched this freehand so you will need to be a tad savvy as it's fairly DIY and not very accurate/specific in it's construction!!
Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
After pinning some cute felt lined fabric mailboxes on Pinterest I wanted to make some for my nieces for Christmas. It all seemed a little tricky, needing three layers, fabric, felt and a stiffener so I went on the hunt for another way! Our local craft/fabric store (Spotlight) had A3 pieces of stiffened felt. They looked perfect! At Christmas time I made three cute mailboxes for my nieces with their own matching felt envelopes.

Here are the measurements I used to make this cute little sweetheart heart mailbox.

Here's what you'll need:
1 piece A3 stiffened felt
felt scraps for accents
embroidery thread/needle

Here's what to do:

Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
Your base will be 4" x 8" and the top 8" x 12"... I use the rest of the stiffened felt to create my two ends once I have sewn the top and base together.
Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
Miss Daisy wanted to help with some sticking. I then stitched over the hearts to secure them.
Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
 I use a whip stitch for these and it seems to work well, it's easy to sew and holds well. You could do a blanket stitch too I guess. 
Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
 This bit is optional. Flags aren't typical on mailboxes in Australia but I think it made a very cute addition and it was a good way to talk about the mailbox having mail or not and how we could notify people! Fun! Again, I cut this freehand and attached a mini felt heart.
Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial
To create the end and the door I stand the whole thing up on the stiffened felt and trace so I get an exact size. This is important as the stiffened felt can bend a bit funny so you may have a different shaped door than you thought! :) Simply trace, cut and attach!
I also sewed on a little 'S' monogram to the front of the mailbox. You could put a 'house number' or the word 'mail' here if you like! And you're done! Be sure to add some cute felt envelopes and your little one will be writing notes and sending mail happily!

Just For Daisy :: Felt Mailbox Tutorial

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine's Day Role Play: Making Felt Mail with free printable pattern

After going handmade this Christmas I am going to reuse one of my Christmas gift ideas for Valentine's Day! Three of my nieces received their very own felt mailbox with felt mail! It was quite quick and easy to make each of these sets and makes for a great role play set that the whole family can enjoy!

Just For Daisy :: Felt Envelope Pattern free printable

Just For Daisy :: Valentine's Envelope PatternI have created a free printable for you to create your own felt envelopes for Valentine's Day or any day really! (Click the image to the right to download your free copy) Your child will love to receive notes from you all year 'round. And what a great way for them to develop their own writing skills by sharing notes with others too!

These are really simple to make. Either as a machine or hand-sewn project or a quick project with the glue gun!

Simply print out the free pattern by clicking the picture to the right and follow these simple instructions! Use your own creativity to create a variety of fun postage stamps. Perhaps you'd like to create some felt letters or love hearts to go inside.
Use decorative stitches on your sewing machine to create a different look on each of your letters. The options are endless.

These fabulous felt envelopes can be themed for any time of year. Try making some at Christmas time or Easter. Maybe even a letter for the tooth fairy. Your child will love receiving their own 'mail'.

Here's what you'll need:

- Just For Daisy's free Valentine's envelope pattern
- 1 piece of wool felt
- sewing machine (optional)
- or needle/thread
- or glue gun
- scissors

Here's what to do:

I used a scalloped rotary cutter to create the jagged edge around my stamps. You could do this with scissors! :) The large hearts were cut free hand to put in the finished envelopes!

These can be hand sewn or you might like to use a glue gun to create your own felt mail!
I'd love to hear from you if you make these! Feel free to share a pic on the Just For Daisy facebook page!

Keep your eyes on the blog for a tutorial later this week on how to make a very simple felt mailbox for your child to store/receive their mail in!

And if you're in the mood for Valentine's Day.. take a look at this fabulous photo shoot by the beautiful Alyssa from Resolved 2 Worship.
And you might like to make some Valentine's Swirl Cupcakes or a cute cushion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Job entitlements

My hubby is in the process of resigning from one job and moving into a new one. The decision to change jobs came with lots of discussion, particularly about what entitlements or benefits each position brought compared with the other. That's life isn't it? We want the best for ourselves?

Well, it got me thinking about my current place of employment (it's often messy and rarely quiet!). Life as a SAHM comes with very few job entitlements or benefits. Or does it.

I swear I write this post daily in my head. It's like an internal groaning. Sometimes I write it. Then I'm too embarrassed to publish it. It always reads differently but here's the general gist of it.
"Here's how hard life is for me. Here's how many things I miss out on each day. Here's where all the hours in my day go, see I had no time for myself. I shower with an audience. Don't even ask me about going to the toilet! And...."

You ever get that feeling?
And yet, there is so much in that day that fills me with indescribable joy!

The part where my girls smile and laugh together.
The part where we read books and play games that I could never have invented.
The part where we do craft and scrunch all the coloured craft paper to make a giant Christmas tree.
The part where we play dolls house and Miss Daisy tells me what to do and say.
The part where I get to watch my girls grow and change before my eyes.
The part where I share it with the most amazing, patient, Godly and loving man.
The part where I realise that they're not getting in the way of my day, they are my day!

How could I miss any of that? How could I go a day without being a part of that.
And so, although I find my job tiring, stretching me to my tallest tip toes some days. There isn't another job in the world that has benefits or entitlements that outweigh the one I'm doing now.

I'm blissfully, exhaustingly happy. And I have the most amazing husband in the world. He cooks, cleans and child rears like a pro! :) Bummer that he goes back to work next week!

I'm interested to know though, what's your dream job?!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holidays are for dancing

So it's a little quiet on the Just For Daisy front!
I've been enjoying some quality time with my hubby and girls whilst he's on holidays!

I'm also sewing up a storm (a slow moving yet havoc wreaking storm) for a local Easter Market that is quite the annual event in our area! Hoping I can keep increasing my stock before the end of March!!!

Oh, and there's been plenty of dancing, jumping and general carrying on going on over here!

Look forward to getting back into the blog once the new semester begins!

What have you been up to?

animated gif maker

Friday, January 18, 2013

For Kochie - please don't tell me to be discreet

Hi Kochie,

It's me, Bek. I don't see a lot of you anymore because I don't have a tv. Haven't had one since March 2012. Boy am I glad too! I remember what commercial tv was like though. Soap operas, advertisements and an awful lot if parading of the female body!

You're right. Women should be more discreet with their breasts. I saw a woman exposing her breasts at the beach today. And at the shops. And out at dinner tonight. The only breast feeding mother I saw was myself. On the beach. At the shops. And in the restaurant. At the table. And no one saw an inch of skin. They enjoyed their meals. I enjoyed mine. And my 7 month old enjoyed hers!

I heard what you said. I've got lots of friends on Facebook. Friends who breastfeed. Friends who wear their babies. Friends who co-sleep. *insert gasp here* Friends who share when they hear someone wants them to cover up!

They tell me you support breast feeding. Thanks. That's important! They tell me you think women should breastfeed discreetly. Me too I guess. But there's more to it. I don't want to intentionally strip down to nothing with both breasts flailing in the wind and feed my daughter. Thats not necessary.

But I also won't put a blanket over her. She wouldn't stand for it anyway! And I won't go to a private room. Sometimes sure. But not always, then I might miss that coffee date with a friend, or catch up lunch or a date night with my dear hubby.

I fed my first daughter until she was 20 months old and my second is now 7 months and I will continue to feed her. Inside. Outside. Poolside. She deserves it.

I know you feel you've been misquoted in places. So I included a little of what you said. And I've also included some of my most indiscreet breast feeding moments!

Anyway. I hope you are able to forgive me for disagreeing. But let's use prime time to rally for women to model more discreet fashion, swimwear or general behaviour before we target a mother feeding her child.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Things that go bump #3

I had the privilege of photographing one of my sisters when she was pregnant with her second child. I also photographed one of my beautiful friends with her gorgeous daughter. AND I was lucky enough to photograph my sister in law a few times through her second pregnancy! (Check her series of bump pics out! They're super creative!)

However, this post is dedicated to my baby sister. Who was pregnant at the same time as me and our little babies are 5 days apart! (Her little boy came two weeks late and Li'l Peppa arrived two weeks early!) Here she is at 41 weeks! Looking amazing!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How can my Blogger Pages and Tabs benefit my blog and readers?

Now that you've created some pages with their own tabs on your blog you want to know how to best put them to use right?

Well, here are just a few tips for making the most of your pages/tabs.

1. Catch your reader's eye
As you land on a blog or website you want to find out what the blog is all about. The trick is to show people what your blog is all about while all they have to do is scan the exact page they land on. No scrolling, no searching. Check out my 'landing page'. You can see my header, tabs, a small part of the about me section in the right sidebar and the title and opening text of my latest post. If you're interested in this google tutorials on what to have 'above the fold'.

Your tabs are a great way to entice your reader to click through and learn a little more about you or find what they came looking for easily. Create an About Me page and it will be frequently visited by newcomers to your blog. Make sure your other tabs have meaningful names that will attract your readers to click through also. Your tabs, like your header, are visible for your readers on each page/post that they enter, so make them count!

2. Use those tabs to direct your readers to other places on your blog. 
For instance, on my About Me page I have included links to some favourite or relevant posts on my blog, other pages of interest as well as links to my social media outlets such as Pinterest and Facebook. Use these links to create further interest and keep people reading/clicking around your blog. You want to make it an inviting place for them to stay and continue reading.

3. Use an online tool such as inlinkz.com to create a collection of related posts on your 'page'.
 This program has both manual and automated options (I'm not an expert but I love it and update it manually every month or so!) and you can create collections of links with a thumbnail (size/layout of your choosing). You are then given the html code by inlinkz which you can enter directly into your 'page' to create a pictorial collection that is appealing to your readers. Here is a screenshot of my collection of toddler play activities on my blog under the Toddler Play tab. (I use what's now called the Project Manager on inlinkz)

4. Connect your tabs to the 'labels' you apply to blog posts
For this you will need to have labelled your blog posts previously (or go back and do it) and they will need to have some form of order to them!! I have too many silly labels and need to clean this up a little. However, take 'Toddler Play" as an example. If I wanted all those posts labelled Toddler Play to appear when clicking the corresponding tab I would need to enter the direct URL to that label search. Here's a good tutorial on adding label tabs to your navigation bar.

5. Keep your pages/tabs up to date!
Knowing that your tabs will be frequented by new readers and also by your regular audience. Make sure that these are one of your main points of housekeeping. No dead links. Update your About Me page every now and then. Create new links within your tabs etc. These will help to keep people reading their way around your blog rather than just visiting and clicking off your blog quickly.

Hope this has been helpful! Please leave any questions or comments below and I'll get back to you!

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to add pages to your blog in Blogger

Lately I've had some of my beautiful blogging friends use my tutorial to create a grab button for their sidebar and this prompted conversations about adding other features to blogger blogs.

One such task is adding pages and all the wonderful things you can do with those pages! Adding pages to your blog can help your readers to find what they want quicker and also tempt them to stay a little longer as it gives them several obvious areas of your blog to explore. This is where you can highlight the main areas you'd love your readers to visit first!

It's also a great way to organise your blog or collect past posts. You can also create an About Me page which is often the most visited 'page' on a blog - as we all love to know a little bit more about the person behind the blog!

Here is a little tutorial on how you can add pages to your blogger blog and some of the great ways you can use those pages to enhance your readers experience when they visit your blog!

Step 1: Go to your blogger dashboard and select 'pages' in the left hand menu
Step 2: You'll see in the picture above my pages menu shows that I already have several pages (in blue). Yours will more than likely be blank if you've not added pages to your blog before.
You will see the option for 'new page' - when you click on this it will give you a drop down menu with two options. Select 'blank page' (I'm yet to use the 'web address' option but am thinking of adding a Pinterest tab that would take readers directly to my Pinterest page/URL)
Step 3: Select blank page and you will get a screen that looks like the one below. This page is much like your usual outlook when posting a new blog post. You can use your page in a similar way to a post, however, it retains a permanent position on your blog, usually under the blog title as a header. However you can choose to have these pages displayed in other ways. (More on that later!)
Step 4: Now you can choose a title for your page. Let's create an About Me page for your blog. Where it says page title enter the title "About Me". Now you can add whatever text/links as well as images into the usual text section as you would with any blog post.
Notice in the second line of text I have added links to my sewing, cooking and craft posts - these direct readers to the corresponding 'pages' for each of these subject areas. I've also added images into the about me section. (This is optional) :)

Step 5: Now you can save your 'page' and click on 'view blog'. This is where your blog settings/template may differ to mine so please email me if you need assistance here.
Most blogger templates will automatically have 'pages' displayed as a header style tabs bar along the top of your blog page, directly under your title banner. Is your About Me page there now? Hope so! :)
To change where your tabs are located you can use the 'pages' menu again and under the 'show pages as' tab select the option that best suits you.

You can add more pages in the same manner by repeating steps 1-4.

This (image above) is what my blog looks like when I am visiting the 'about me' page that I've created. You will see that the 'About Me' tab is highlighted and my newly updated about me page is displayed as any blog post would appear.

A few things you can now do with your new pages you've created.
In the image above you will see a little tool icon on the pages tab bar next to 'Contact' on the right. This is where you can do a little editing of your pages display. You will get a pop up box like the one displayed below. Here each of my pages are displayed in two lists. One list where I can check the box whether or not to display the pages along my header bar. And the second one is page order, here you will get a cross-hare when you hover over each page title and you can choose the order in which they will be displayed. Drag and drop them in order from first to last and this is how they will display as tabs either horizontally or vertically in that order depending on your template!

I will be adding have added another tutorial (as this post is getting rather long!) with some of the other tips I have for making the most out of your pages! Be sure to head there for some great tips.
Don't forget to check out my tutorial on making your own grab button if you haven't already made one!

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions. If you use this tutorial to make your own pages I'd love for you to leave a link in the comments section and I'll come and check them out!

Happy blogging!

Now I'm onto making some great social media icons... I'll get back to you on that one!