Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 for kaetoo Canvas Photo Boards

On my last post of the year, a round-up of all things 2012 for kaetoo Canvas Photo Boards.

This year, both my Etsy and madeit shops reached one year old and I celebrated with a month of discounts and freebies in both shops. Over the year, my Etsy store branched out of Australia and kaetoo became an international seller, with shipments to Florida, Texas and New York in the US.

As well as my pre-prepared canvases that are complete and ready to ship from my stores, I had three custom order requests this year through Facebook and e-mail. Custom orders are great for unusual sizes like the very big canvas for Brown, Autumn Tree, which can be picked up in person, or something different like the ribbon-free pair of boards for Green, Tree(II).

Custom Order, Green, Tree (II).
Each canvas measures 61.0 x 30.5 cm.

Custom Order, Brown, Autumn Tree.
Measures 91.4 x 61.0 cm.

Custom Order, Four Seasons.
Each canvas measures 15 x 30 inches.

The world of social media and networking keeps me busy. I was an editor for madeit Picks, forayed briefly onto where I was included on the front page, and was featured in several Etsy Treasuries.

I started this Blog and shared some of my life, my finds in the craft world and a lot of the things that I do with my two toddlers, Miss 1.5 and Miss 2. The toddler posts are extremely popular; the top five posts for the year were:

People on Pinterest are watching this Blog. They seem to like toddler posts too...

Now 2013 is on my doorstep. I'm starting the year off with a wider range of wedding and adult canvases... there's one on my kitchen table right now!

Best wishes for the New Year.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A talented family.

Hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas!

We were thoroughly spoiled with lovely handmade gifts from my talented family. My mother, Pat from Patapan Art, gave Miss 1.5 and me tie-dyed, screen-printed t-shirts (and a beaded one as well).


As well as that, Pat made me a set of printed place mats.

Darren's father, Peter from The Toy Boys, made a block trolley for Miss 1.5.

And my cousin, Jessie McLennan, made Darren some bottled quinces (yum).

Hopefully you're all now enjoying a bit of a break (Darren isn't... he's at work...). Happy Holidays!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Cookies

I read this idea for biscuit jar gifts on the madeit Blog very early this year and bookmarked it as a great idea for Christmas presents. It's a very easy gift that the whole family can get involved in and would work for other simple recipes also.

I went out one night and bought 12 jars of approx. 1 L capacity and several kilograms of sugar, oats, chocolate, flour and rice bubbles. We washed the jars and in the morning Darren, Miss 1.5 and I made the presents.

We layered the ingredients in the following order, gently packing them down after each layer:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup red and green M&Ms

1/2 cup chocolate chips

(It was at about this point that Miss 1.5 got bored and decided that picking up spilled M&Ms and eating them would be more fun, leaving me and Darren to bond over adding the rest of the ingredients.)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rice bubbles

Then I wrote labels for each jar with instructions on how to make the cookies, as well as a little Christmas message.

Of course, we needed a trial run of the biscuits.

I'm not used to my new oven and overcooked them :-( Still, they were tasty and people who know how to use their oven will think that they're yum!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Toddler Facial Features

I've been playing this game with Miss 2 and Miss 1.5 where I draw a circle on the blackboard or whiteboard and then they tell me what facial features to add. It's been a really interesting study of what a two-year-old thinks are important.

In this picture, the "twins" told me to add eyes, a mouth (sad), cheeks, a nose and hair. Then "bye, bye" and the face was erased.

In this one, they wanted eyes, mouth (sad), cheeks, eyebrows and hair.

And in this one, eyes, mouth (happy... no! sad), cheeks, ears, hair and balloon!

My favourite: eyes, mouth (happy), ears, elbows and walk... haha!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Before and after

This week has been a laundry week. My, what an improvement!


... and after.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

This year, I have done almost all of my Christmas shopping online (I really haven't had time to go to the shops) and mostly at madeit. I'm going to share with you the shops that I purchased from (but not the things that I purchased... that would spoil the surprise!).

I started my shopping with Christmas cards. Here We Go Loopy Lou makes fabric Christmas and greeting cards, as well as resin bookmarks. The cards that I purchased arrived promptly and were neatly made. On top of that, they came with four extra lovely little gift tags, yay! I realise now that I have more cards to write and I should have bought many more. This happens to me every year...

Set 4 Christmas Cards (pink stripe) by Here We Go Loopy Lou.

Little Angel Card Creations makes cards and invitations and some homewares as well. I got a lovely card that was very neatly and professionally made, with the edges sealed well. It was surprisingly heavy because of all the different kinds of paper and embellishments on it.

Dino Christmas Card by Little Angel Card Creations.

Jaclyn Guerin handcrafts jewellery using gemstones, freshwater pearls, glass beads, Japanese seed beads and lots of other materials. I bought some earrings and I wanted the hooks changed for a different metal, which Jaclyn did promptly and well. The end result was quite lovely and arrived all wrapped up as well (I unwrapped it to see what it looked like, but could have given it just the way it was).

Rhodonite bracelet by Jaclyn Guerin.

Cooshonz makes... cushions! The communication was brilliant (I was with only sporadic Internet access at the time and Andree was worried that I hadn't got her messages, so she tried another contact method) and the cushion was professionally and beautifully made. I went out myself for an insert, but you can also purchase them from Andree and that actually would have been marginally cheaper for me.

Duo of Grecian Chocolate/Chocolate Leaves by Cooshonz.

Bubble Lane is away on holidays at the moment, but makes some very fun soaps. I had a hard time choosing which ones to purchase and ended up getting three. I was a little disappointed with the colour of one of the soaps (I thought it could have been more realistic if it were darker), but it's for a child who won't worry about that kind of thing and all the others were fantastic.

Bubble Foody Soaps by Bubble Lane.

Dyani and I used to chat on the madeit forum before it was discontinued, so I feel a bit as if she's a friend, even though we've never met. This was my first purchase from Little Deer Creations and my purchase came well packaged, with a receipt and a discount voucher for my next purchase. And the item itself was great too, very carefully made and pretty.

A5 Notebook Recycled Spiral Bound Funky Flowers Red Yellow & Orange by Little Deer Creations.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Moving House - Week Seven and WE'RE IN!

Alrighty. Where was I up to? I believe that it was around one week until move day and we were plastering and sanding. Here's a long post to bring you up to speed.

Darren took the whole of the last week before moving off work and I moved my days around accommodate working on the house and impressing the new CEO with my brilliance (I don't think that he even noticed that I existed). Darren's father came over to help out. 

By moving day, Darren had plastered, bogged and sanded all of the rooms, I had gap filled all of the rooms except for the kitchen, study and master bedroom, and Peter, Darren and I had painted Miss 1.5's room (not the trims) and started on the laundry.

We did a last vacuum and some final runs of possessions (our neighbour brought over a car load and then helped to vacuum the house) and then it was moving day! And wasn't that fun? No. We'd moved anything that we could fit in the car over the last two months, which was great because it was mostly moved, but terrible because it was shoved in no particular order to make way for the renovations and we had a frantic last minute move of everything out into the massive garage to make way for the furniture and items that we actually use, like clothes and forks. It was a hot day and it looked like Darren would have to go to work, so it would be me and the "twins" moving the large items and the essentials with the hired moving van and two hired men. Thankfully, Darren had a change of plans and stayed home and my next-door-neighbour took the girls whilst the truck was being loaded. It was all moved in time for dinner, but was mostly chaos.

The next days were the weekend and we somehow had organised ourselves into going to swimming lessons, a 60th birthday, a 30th birthday, two 2nd birthdays and netball. I had a melt down at this stage and rebelled, so we send our apologies to a few of the events. A friend came to help us unpack and we got the house a little more organised.

Over the next week we started to find our stride, but the dogs, chickens and fish were still living at our old house, so we had to go back every day to feed and walk them (obviously the fish and chickens weren't going for a walk...). We didn't have the Internet for a week, but I made some sales on madeit and eBay which I had to co-ordinate. And the delivery of 16 boxes of fundraising mangoes arrived from Queensland to be distributed.

The fencing had been delayed by a week, so it started in the first week of December and was done in a couple of days. It's amazing what a difference the new fence has made to the property.

The dogs came across and were thrilled with their new playground. They were followed by the chickens, moved by our neighbours and Darren and a little perplexed by their temporary accommodation, and some of the fish (the rest are staying with my brother until we finish the bathroom renovation). We unpacked as much as necessary, without unpacking too much because we haven't finished painting yet. The ugly garage is a blessing for hiding away things for later. I painted the laundry whilst the "twins" napped and Miss 1.5 poured blue food colouring into the cream carpet (!).

Big thank yous to our wonderful helpers and toddler distracters over the last few months: Peter, Robyn, Teena, Andrew, Trish, Dan, Nat, Kat, Gillian, Jon, Elle, Pat, Bob, Derica, Gemma and the magically appearing Helen.

I wonder why Darren and I are tired?

Monday, 10 December 2012

Still here...

We are moved in and the Internet is back. The dogs and the chickens and some of the fish are here. I'm tired. Will share some pictures with you soon, I promise.