We finally got our tree up last weekend! I was determined to do it before we got any closer to Christmas - unlike last year, when we put it up two days before and took it down about two days after. Our main dilemma last year was an inquisitive 18 month old who couldn't keep away from the shiny glass balls, which in turn, led to a few smashed decorations. Not a drama at all, I was more concerned that he'd cut his fingers on broken glass. So, in a bid to have my tree up relatively early and looking its best, I decided to buy and make some toddler friendly decorations.
I made these cute stars from felt, using this tutorial at the Purl Bee. I didn't do any beading on them, as I was aiming for toddler friendly (and that includes the 1 year old who is drawn to the tree like a magnet!!). The silver thread works really well as a contrast colour on the red, but I also love the silver on white too.
These started out as papier machedecorations that I painted red and decorated with some silver paint and the blunt end of a bamboo skewer - I did do one with the sharp end, but that was way too time consuming for this time of year!
I really wanted to get a wreath for the front door, but they were so ridiculously over-priced that I figured I could make my own. I bought a plain twig wreath and some wired red berries from a florist supplier and tied it all together with some ribbon leftover from our wedding presents (over seven years ago!!). I would've loved a gorgeous clip-on bird decoration amongst the berries and may alter it a bit for next year, but was quite happy with how it turned out.
My very clever mother has learnt how to make Temari balls and made these for us. Aren't they gorgeous?
We decorated our tree with all these and some others I'd bought in last year's post-Christmas sales. The tree has been up for a few days now, decorations get pulled off and played with, and hung back up. I don't have to worry about cut fingers, lips or tongues and I get to enjoy having a beautiful tree to gaze at! So next year, come October or November, the IndigoElephant etsy shop will stock a range of toddler friendly decorations, (range will be finalised after the product testing phase has been completed!).
Last Friday my 2.5 year old was walking around wearing my pink Havaianas and stated that he wanted his own pair. So while we were at the shops , I decided to check out their stock to find him some, and wasn't that a drama! He very clearly (and loudly) refused to even try on any blue or black ones and insisted on red...so we found some red ones with white stars, but they didn't have his size, and he lost it. "I WANT RED ONES" could be heard through the shop as he very clearly made his point. Luckily we had a lovely sales assistant who rang the warehouse and ordered him a red pair in his size, they should arrive sometime this week...let's hope he still likes red!
Anyway, as I was recounting this story to my husband, he suggested that I might have passed this trait onto our little man....me?But the more I think about it, he is probably right. Being opinionated about colour is a lot like me... kinda like my OCD colour co-ordinated pincushion!
In other news, IndigoElephant's Cupcake Dribble Bib is part of a MASSIVE giveaway, put on by Chantelle, at Fat Mum Slim.I highly recommend heading over and sharing what you love about Christmas for your chance to win a pack containing goodies from various Australian Etsy sellers worth over $600.
As I've already mentioned, the last couple of weeks have been a tad busy! Part of it was due to the opportunity to celebrate my gorgeous Baby Elephant #2's first birthday. I know, I know, how hard can it be to invite a few friends over, get a cake and blow up some balloons? It'd be fine if I wasn't such a control freak about things being just like the ideas in my head... so in between trying to make some new items for the Etsy store, and filling orders, I've been making invitations, making co-ordinating decorations, planning party food and trying to work out the cake!Here are some pics of the day...
The food & the birthday boy!
(with part of the over 15m of bunting made to decorate the garden, hanging in the background!)
This week has just been too busy for words... I feel like I rush through each day, scrambling to get through my 'to do' list - only to make a longer one for the next day - then fall into bed exhausted at midnight, and I wake at six the next morning to start it all over again...
Anyway, enough complaining! Here are some new bibs that I haven't had a chance to list yet... they should be up next week!
So this weekend has been the busiest in... I can't even remember how long! We spent most of yesterday gardening our neglected patch of earth and getting it ready for summer - and Noah's first birthday party!
Today, I decided to get started on some trial mince pies, in preparation for giving as Christmas presents. I'd never made any before today and needed to make sure they taste half decent before inflicting them on others! See, I've decided this year to attempt making as many gifts as possible, and while all the ideas are there, the time is lacking!
And if that wasn't enough to give my control freak heart palpitations, I've also decided to start making some toddler-safe decorations for our Christmas tree. Last year we left putting our tree up until a couple of days before Christmas, took it down again pretty soon after, and still managed to lose some decorations to inquisitive toddler fingers. This year, all the images of friend's Christmas trees on facebook is giving me Christmas tree envy and I really want to get it up early, or at least earlier than last year. And in the spirit of handmade, feel that I should really attempt making some when there are great tutorials out there. My only dilemma is the size of our tree, it's huge, and I love it. So do I go for a minimalist feel - very few decorations, half and half- with fragile decorations on the top half, or go all out and attempt covering my tree in toddler friendly decorations??? I honestly can't see the last option happening, so may have to go for either of the first two.
I have been looking for some images to hang on my wall lately and have come across a myriad of beautiful things... now comes the hard part of narrowing down my favourites. I thought I might share some of the things I've found along the way...
Something about this one keeps catching my eye, a limited edition hand pulled screen print called Purple Crane byKate from Alyoisiusspyker.
These are a couple of faves by Emily Martin from The Black Apple. The one on the left is called As Long As I Have You and on the right is Gosling and Cynet. These prints are gorgeous but I also love the cards and book plates also available from The Black Apple.
And for something a little different, these Retro Poppies are too cute, made with layered papercuts (not the painful type) and available from Crafterall. The Aqua Topography is stunning too.
The Plant Life prints by Field and Sea appeal for their pared back simplicityas do the cards, tags, notebooks and jotters also available.
And for the kids - or maybe that's just an excuse - I love Meet The Family by Amy Blackwell from Blackoutwell. Also love the At Home On The Sea print too.
So I'm still no closer to making any decisions but will be sure to let you know if I do! Special thanks to the artists, for allowing me to share their work, all images belong to the individual artists.
This post has been a long time coming!! I did promise it about 3 weeks ago, right before my wonderful father-in-law passed away following a fierce battle with cancer. But, I'm back now and have even more wonderful treasures to share... I just hope I don't give away surprises certain friends may have coming their way on Christmas Day.
So, back towards the end of October, I stumbled across hjrdDesign, on Etsy of course! The beauty of these magnetic wallscapes grabbed me straight away, not only are they super cute but also interactive for busy kids fingers. I think I need a collection of these on my fridge to keep the kids entertained while I cook dinner!
All items are made using upcycled materials, so you'll be sure that you're not getting something that everyone else has. I also love the interactive aspect of these, for something that can change with your mood!
Yes, I know, I haven't been here for awhile, but I haven't forgotten about all this. Our lives have been crazy busy this last month, but I have tons of creative greatness to share that will hopefully make up for my lack of input here.
I haven't forgotten about Kids In The Kitchen either... it's all in progress! One apron was finished by my deadline and my lovely 2-and-a-bit year old asks to wear it all the time! If only he could cook me some tasty treats (that aren't made of playdough!!).
Also, in case you hadn't been to the shop lately, there is a new section of hair accessories, for little girls, right up to the not-so-little ones. So please take a peek and let me know what you think!
Last week I thoroughly enjoyed watching my 2 year old 'cook' with his best friend, Millie. They made some pizza - from scratch - with a fair bit of help from the mums! Actually, there was so much raw dough consumed I'm surprised there was enough left for the pizza! But they had such a great time that it has motivated me to do something that I've been planning for ages, but have yet to action.
So, watch this space for the launch of the 'kids in the kitchen' range, I'm planning little aprons and chef's hats to start with, and am really hoping they'll look as great in reality as they do in my head! But I figure that now I've put it in writing, I really need to get started... so I'm aiming to get at least one finished by this weekend! Hold me to it!!
I've also started playing around with some ideas for hair accessories, for the purely selfish reason of being able to wear something that I've made myself! Because as much as I need a bib to keep me clean during spag bol dinners, it really isn't the most flattering look to sport around town!
And yes, I know it's no longer the weekend, but that's how long it's taken me to get this blog post finished! Hope you have a great week, Sash
I can't stop checking out the beautiful items at LittleSaplingToys! They have such a wonderful range of gorgeous wooden toys and teethers, and if I could just narrow down my favourites, Noah would be biting down on one right now, instead of the bright plastic thing he's got in his mouth! "The wood used for our toys is either reclaimed or FSC Certified hardwood and is sanded satin-smooth. We use a local beeswax and organic jojoba oil finish to bring out the natural beauty of the woods. Our teethers are left bare. + All the paper products and packaging Little Sapling Toys uses is recycled and recyclable. + We plant a tree through Trees for the Future for every toy sold. + We participate in Idaho Green Power Program to offset our business and personal energy usage."
Nick and Kimber have been able to successfully quit their day jobs to run this business and spendquality family time together. They were recently interviewed about this on etsy, and their inspirational story can be found here. I have included some images of a few of my favourites from their shop, but again struggled to select just a few, so recommend checking them out!
Ok so this post isn't about one particular item, but the possibility of everyone finding something to treasure this weekend! What am I going on about?? This weekend IndigoElephant is participating in the Etsy DUST sale - no, not dust damaged stock from our recent dust storm - Australian etsy artists (from the Down Under Street Team) are banding together for a special sale this weekend!
So, check out the various sellers, and start your Christmas shopping before December! Not only will you be avoiding crowds, mile long queues and battling for car park spaces, you'll be supporting Australian (hand)made and receiving items you wouldn't find in retail centres. IndigoElephant will be adding more stock to the shop over the next two days, all you need to do is just add 'WEEKEND DEALS' in message to seller and save! Go on, start shopping!!
The last couple of days have been quite hectic with lots of cutting and sewing, to get my gorgeous new fabrics made up into bibs, while also trying to develop another toy for the shop, and keeping up with 'life'. And the great thing about so much sewing - apart from the satisfaction - is that it really gives me lots of thinking time!
Yesterday I was remembering back to my first ever sewing experience, back in year 7, facing one term of textiles & design, and having to make a peasant top, which later that year had to be modelled at the school fashion parade!! The peasant top was a bit of a disaster. You can view a pattern for a similar style here, but need to picture it with short puff sleeves. It was too short, too tight and waay too ugly! Let's just say there had to be a bit of re-making before the fashion parade...
Fast forward about 18 years, and I find it hard to believe that I'm now making things, with a sewing machine, that other people like and want to buy. I'm feeling so fortunate to have found something that keeps me sane while being a stay at home mum, and allows for a bit of creativity in my life!
And for a sneak peek at some new releases for this week, see below!
Having been profiled on someone's blog last week, I've decided to share with the world some of the treasures I find whilst attempting to get some work done!! There are so many independant sellers out there with amazingly beautiful products, often created themselves. And I'm all for supporting that!
That said however, I'm starting out with something that isn't handmade, but I do love it, and think it'd make a great gift for my Atticus - maybe when he's a bit older!
Yes, it's a rare first edition of one of my all time favourite books! It was found on etsy in daisychainvintage 's shop (or you can follow Sandra's blog for an entertaining read). This would definitely be on the top of my shopping list if I had a wad of spare cash floating around!!
The other day I was catching up on reading some email newsletters from various places, and stumbled across the Softies for Mirabel charity crafting project, run by Meet Me At Mikes in Melbourne.
Mirabel is a wonderful organisation that supports the children of families affected by substance abuse. And this is something small I can contribute to help someone else out... not too sure what I'll be sending yet, but if you're feeling crafty why not send something along too?
IndigoElephant has been interviewed by fellow Etsian Nay, of moonangelnay, who is a great supporter of up and coming Etsy artisans, and a very clever photographer too! Read the interview here. You could also visit her shop to check out her work.
Meanwhile over at IndigoElephant HQ, I'm flat out making bibs and toys, with my first custom order of 3 elephants and 2 birds being finished for mailing out tomorrow. New bibs are also on the way, so stay tuned for mouth watering cupcake bibs, and some cute girly ones to come. Also being developed are some new toys, an owl and a rhinocerous, who will hopefully make it to the shop soon. So much to do and so little time...better get back to it!
We're celebrating new beginnings here, a shop on Etsy (www.IndigoElephant.etsy.com), a new blog and of course the start of Spring! In honour of these great events, IndigoElephant is pleased to announce a special offer of 20% off purchases until September 14. Just visit the shop on Etsy, select your items and enter IES09 into 'message to seller' at checkout (20% will be refunded to you through Paypal)... enjoy shopping!