Sunday, December 26, 2010

Last minute gift and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A couple of weeks ago we had an early Christmas party with Mr Jess' family. I decided it would be nice to get something for his (our) one remaining grandparent - Nanny, that didn't include soaps, powders, chocolate or shortbread. I asked my mum-in-law if there was anything Nanny used all the time that could be a practical gift and she said that she wears an apron every day. Perfect! I thought. Could a I find a sweet half apron ANYWHERE?? no. Too many would-be "Masterchef's" around wanting chef's aprons!

so. I made one.

and nearly didn't give it to her because I liked it so much.

here 'tis.

And hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Ours was super hectic... note to self: don't host 2 Christmas parties on the same day... but very rewarding and Little Man was VERY spoilt!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

little darling dresses

Oh how I sometimes wish Little Man was a Little Lady. Really only when it comes to clothing and the fact that girls clothes are so much easier to make! I am determined to come up with some cute little boy clothes this summer, but in the meantime here are a couple of darling dresses and matching headbands that I whipped up last week. The first was custom made for a little lady who is about 6 months old and the second I made to document the journey so I could put a tutorial up here... one day!

This one would fit a 1-2 year old as a dress and then older girlies as a long top over leggings. Bindy.T if you're reading this and thinking that you like it and that it might fit Miss D, then it's yours!

Happy to take custom orders, so just get in touch for pricing and more information. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

christmas gifts on a budget #2

So on Sunday we went to a party for a little girl who turned 2 (not the farmyard party you may have seen here, but another!) and I made a dress as her pressie (yes, I forgot to take photos..ah well). As it was being admired by one of my friends she jokingly said "you don't make headbands for little girls do you Jess?"... my friends should know me better than to joke about craft.

Apparently yes Lisa. A, I do now make headbands!

Here are some I whipped up last night... now if only I had a little girl to put them on!

Now for those of you in the headband buying market... how much do you think I should sell these babies for?

Monday, November 29, 2010

christmas gifts on a budget

As Christmas approaches I get very excited about giving presents to all our friends and family ("gift giving" is definitely my love language!) but then all the reality sets in about how much everything costs. So rather than getting sad or mad about it I try to get creative with my present ideas to come up with special gifts that don't break the bank.

This year a few of Little Man's friends will be receiving these custom t-shirts.(I'm clearly banking on the fact that their parents don't read this blog.. oh well, if so, early Merry Christmas!) At $3- $4 each (for the plain tee) at KMart, they really are a bargain!

The doilies on the pink tee were $2 a pair from the Reject Shop (seriously, can I say enough how much I love that place??) the fabric and button on the aqua tee were scraps I had around the house and the white lace band on the yellow tee was off an old shirt. I love that all 3 girls will have a completely unique shirt to wear this summer. 

And for a couple of the other little men in Little Man's life I've done tie tees. Again, the red and white stripy fabric were scraps I had lying around - never throw out your fabric scraps, you never know when they'll come in handy!

So there you go. With a bit of imagination you too can create unique and AFFORDABLE gifts for friends and family this Christmas.

or... if you're really not the crafty type, there are some pre-made tops for women for sale over on my etsy store and I'm happy to take custom orders too!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Farmyard Party

Inspired by other stay-at-home-designer-project-mode-y mums I decided to try my hand at creating party printables. I mentioned this to my friend Jen who cunningly got me to design some stuff for her daughter's upcoming 2nd birthday. Miss 2 loves animals so it had to be a farm party!
yummy food! I love love love the butterfly fairy bread! 

Here are some of the printable bunting, cupcake toppers and tags I designed.

 I do love how cute labels and ribbons make even the simplest things look lovely. Printing the juice labels onto a4 stick on labels was a stroke of genius on my part (if I do say so myself!!) much easier than glueing every single one  - like I did for Little Man's 1st birthday!

Here's the birthday girl herself! All the other kids were invited to dress up as farm animals and Miss 2 was the farmer. Jen picked up these cute overalls and hat at Kmart (I think?) and I added the fabric  belt and flowers to it just to girly it up a little more. Don't you think this gorgeous family look like they belong in a magazine?
Speaking of farm animals... here is Little Man as a cow.. You can see the hat didn't last long. Fluffy chickens were far too interesting to bother about a hat.

 Jen had a Kiddy Farm come to the party and it was so cute seeing all the different reactions the kids had. Miss 2 was besotted with these chickens (perhaps she knew how well they matched her outfit??) and sat with them on her legs for ages being very gentle. I love her little hands carefully holding them.

 Another little cow makes his way through the party and this little miss on the right may forever be known as chicken choker! I've never seen 1 year old hands go so fast for a chicken's neck. It was hilarious!!

 The party favours were these super cute piggy banks - such a great alternative to lolly bags!

All in all a very beautiful party. Jen did such a wonderful job putting it all together and lovely time was had by all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas Present idea!

For those of you following along in Sydney who may also have kids here's a great (and affordable!) idea for Christmas presents for the Grandparents!

Monday, October 11, 2010

new venture!

I'm so excited to announce a new business that I'm partnering in with the very talented Hristina Piltz. We have just today launched Joyess Images. Feel free to come and visit the website and to "like" us on facebook.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New graphic designs!

So... I've been busy designing lots of cute new things. Mainly birth announcements and a couple of invites. If you're interested in a custom design please do get in touch via my website I hope to be starting up a brand new etsy shop dedicated to graphic designs very soon. Watch this space! A present for our niece on her 1st birthday...

 ... and then a matching (ish) one for her brother

Ellie's finished product can be seen at the end of this blog over here

a present for a family member to give to friends who had twins

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DIY Wall Art

One of the ways to bring colour and life and focal points into a room is through wall art. One of the ways to do this on a budget is to... make it yourself!

Canvas art is by no means a new thing, but it is INCREDIBLY simple to make and can be really effective in spicing up an otherwise boring wall.

I was wandering through the kitchen section of Ikea last week not really looking for anything in particular... just wandering.. and came upon a set of 3 tea towels. The colours were perfect for our otherwise SUPER boring kitchen and rather than dirty them up and use them for their actual purpose I decided to cover  canvas panels...

here we go...
So the tea towels, in true Ikea fashion, are "swedishly" named Ellakajsa. I think they cost $7 for the set. I then picked up 3 40x40cm canvases for $5 each. The tools needed then are simply scissors and decent quality staple gun. I say "decent quality" because I bought a cheap one a while back and it a) hurt to use and b) was crap. It hardly permeated the surfaces I was trying to staple into!

And so then on the left you can see where I began folding and stapling. Really, that's it. I don't have a tip for corners, all I'll say is whatever you're covering ensure you always pull the fabric TIGHT before you staple. Then on the left you can see my 3 finished canvases (is the plural of "canvas" "Canvii"?)

And here they are up and proud in our kitchen. I added some red rick rack to the centre one so that I can peg invites and all-those-important-bits-of-paper-that-you-always-lose up. The pic on the right shows even more canvas art that I got stuck into that night. I'll be sharing where these were used very soon!

So there you go. Super easy and affordable. Perfect for almost any room in the house (I do challenge any of you out there to make some canvas art for their bathroom!). Just find the fabric you like and fold and staple and fold and staple!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lusi's Lush Spare Room

A great friend and fellow blogger has been busy (in amongst mothering and homeschooling 4 beautiful children - I am exhausted just THINKING about how she does it all!) turning their youngest's room into a spare room. I love Lusi's bargain finds and great ideas!
Here's the before and after. It was a very sweet nursery to begin with, featuring a black, white and purple theme, but now it has been transformed into a striking black, white and red themed spare room. I love the shelves on the far wall that hide away a lot of of homeschooling supplies - Lusi strung up some elastic between 2 3M hooks (I agree Lus, I think we should BOTH be paid to advertise them - I use them everywhere too!) and hung some sheer Ikea curtains over it.
Here's a bargain hunters rundown:
Canvas above bed: $10 from GoLo
Set of black frames: $15 
Cushions on bed: $30 total (!)
Corner shelf: 99¢ off ebay (!!!)
 Paper lanterns: $5 each.

And there are even more bargains and creative ideas to be found on her blog Eternity Matters.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a lovely lounge

One of the first rooms I "officially" helped out on belongs to some of our favourite people - the Coe family. Their Little Guy #2 has a hilarious and almost obsessive attachment to our Little Man. It's so funny and I love it!

Anyway... So Adam and Nic had a pretty empty room and had just been given some $$ to fix it up, but didn't really know which direction to go in.. so I helped! The budget was limited, so I put my bargain hunting hat on, and off I went.

It all started with this mood board that I came up with after having my first chat with Nic.
They had already made an excellent eBay purchase of 2 chocolate brown lounges, so these gave me a great starting point. Ok, let's go on the tour!
Just a bit empty! But really, who could ask for a better place to start!
Great lounges right? I would like to think that this is the start of even more things to come for this room. When their budget allows there might be room for some more storage, but already, a big difference!
I really am a miracle worker - I was even able to disappear two little munchkins!
The three floral panels I made from a set of tea towels and the frames were old ones that Adam and Nic had that I sprayed white. The cushions were 2 for $15 from The Reject Shop (I lurrrrve that place!), the lamp base was $5 from a charity shop and the lamp shade was $8 on sale at Target. The rug was free from some friends (actually, from Pete and Lisa, whose gorgeous nursery - and not to mention new baby girl - you can see here).
Who doesn't love a good lamp/ entry table? (random Jess... random.) Anyway... The lamp table I found for $40 through Gumtree, but it was stained a yucky brown colour, so out came the white paint again! The mirror was a steal from Target - reduced from $90 to $30 (!!!), the lamp base was another charity shop find for $4 and the lamp shade, again from Target on sale at $8. (the camelia one of the boys brought home from their Nanna's place!)
The Coes had recently had some gorgeous photos taken by the very talented Hristina Piltz and Nic really wanted a way to show them off. I found the large frame at the Reject Shop for $30, and the other frames were again old ones the family already had that I sprayed white. I also had custom mats made to fit their pics. The white letters are from Lincraft and a few $ each.
So there it is! Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Oh! and here is that Little Guy #2 I was telling you about earlier. How could I not love that he loves my Little Man so much!

Monday, August 16, 2010

photos photos photos

so... I might be blog obsessed at the mo... I've just started a second one. This one is more about the photos and less about the words. Just pics of things I've been doing, designing, photographing, liking etc etc. Head on over if you'd like to have a squiz.

Here's a preview....
Pop on over to and feel free to follow me on my pictorial journey!

ellie's nursery

Our dear friends Peter and Lisa asked for some help with their nursery for their baby #3. They have 2 seriously beautiful girls already and so they thought that for bub #3 it might be nice to revamp all the old baby stuff and that's where I came in.

The first step was to repaint all the old nursery furniture (cot, change table and some picture frames) in crisp clean white. Pete borrowed a high pressure spray and did an amazing job on these! The next step to making the room feel new was to rearrange the furniture from it's old positions. Let's go on the tour!
Pete and Lisa didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl, so we went for primary colours minus the yellow as they already had the green feature wall painted and they liked the idea of bright and cheery colours. Ok, i know you can see a bit of pink in there too, that's because they had a GIRL! So rather than "baby-to-be"'s room, it's Ellie's
I made these elephant canvases after my first meeting with Pete and Lisa and they became somewhat the inspiration for the rest of the room. I love the happy coincidence that there is a song called "Ellie the Elephant!"

The canvases (fabric included) cost no more than $5 each and the "dream" was only $3 (from Spotlight) and I painted it white.
One of my FAVOURITE things in the room! Ellie's big sisters are Charlize (5) and Brianna (3) and they made their special contribution to the room with these handprints. Ellie's will pop on the bottom when mum and dad can pry her tiny hand out of a fist! (she is only a couple of weeks old!)
This cute mini alarm clock only cost a few dollars and it's not only a cute addition to the room , but a practical one too... perfect for counting the minutes when feeding.
The feeding corner. Complete with chair from Ikea for $35, cushion and throw from The Reject Shop for $18, giant rick rack trim for curtains for $2 a metre.
How great does that cot look! Excellent job Pete. 
I made this "grow" artwork for about $3 (This is one of the frames that Pete repainted). I think these artworks (or something like them) are going to become a signature for me in rooms I help out with. You can see a similar one here in Natalie's Nursery. The lamp I picked up for $15 and added the rick rack to match the curtains and lantern above the cot.The clothes hooks were $2.50 from a local $2.00 shop and were a hideous dark wood stain. Nothing a few thousand coats of red paint couldn't fix!
A final look back at this lovely room. Overall, including the purchase of those Billy shelves from Ikea, the whole makeover came in at under $200. A great combination of creative thinking, bargain hunting and elbow grease!
And here is precious Ellie, sleeping peacefully in her cot. Isn't she gorgeous?
And finally, here is our present for Ellie. I designed this baby announcement especially for her. I think Lisa is going to put it up above Ellie's cot. Cute.


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