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Monday, August 30, 2010

A Round Tuit (12)

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'
MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION and the key factors behind my Monday posts and opportunity to link up and encourage, motivate and inspire each other....with your very own ROUND TUIT
Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
Thanks to those who linked up last week - and - here's my favourites:
 
Firstly a fantastic vinyl tree from Holm made:
 

Doesn't it look AMAZING???  She has 7 kids and still finds time to do things like this!  Go and check out her lovely blog:


Next, are some big and small lunch bags made by the domestic groove
 
Great bags, with beautiful fabric to boot!!  Great ideas at this blog too- go and check it out:
 
 
Finally, some great teacher's gifts made from old cans!! from Judy's Handmade Creations

You know I love repurposing things - and this is just too cute!!
Another fantastic blog - go check it out:


And so onto my project for the week - which was to repurpose the kids old shell sandpit into a planter!
So first I drilled some drainage holes in the bottom:

Then stood it on top of some bricks down our 'useful side' of the house..

Then filled it up with potting mix and compost..
I've put in lettuce and baby carrot seeds, and true to tropics form, they have already sprouted!!!


So now on to this week's project...which is to have a think about pencil cases. 
 I have several furry ones made up that I sell at my market stall...

My daughter snaffled one for school - and it got into a fight where it lost an eye... so is now a pirate pencil case.


I want to make a special pencil case for my other daughter - but not furry.  Try something new!! 
So that's my task this week!

Please feel free to link up your posts - maybe it's a project you've completed that you're proud of - something you have wanted to get done for a while and need some extra motivation to get going on it - or you'd just like some of that fabulous encouragement, praise and motivation that bloggers are so good at spreading around.
Whatever the reason - grab your very own "Round Tuit" button, and link up.
Then head on over to some of the other links and praise, encourage and motivate!
I'll feature my favourite posts next week.
(by linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your linked post on my blog)




I hope you all have a great week - I look forward to checking out everyone's great projects this week!

Jill



Friday, August 27, 2010

Guest post at Olivia Renn!

Well today I'm lucky enough to have been asked to guest post over at Olivia Renn.



I've posted a little tutorial on how I made those small grocery bags for the market..



So hop on over and check out my post, and the lovely blog called Olivia Renn.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Jill

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Creative Space

I haven't been terribly creative these past few weeks.  First I had a race up and down a mountain to compete in - in which I beat last year's time by 35 minutes - so I was very happy!!  Now I'm aiming to do the same again next year and have already started training!  It's a tall order to improve so much again, but my incentive is that there are very few woman participating in the race.  This year I came 10th, and if I improve as much again, I'd be getting close to top 3!!  Aim high I always say!!

Since the race, I've had my 2 girls off school sick - not at the same time of course - one after the other, which slows things down at home for me!  It  means I get different things done though. 

Yesterday I finally got back into doing some sewing, and made up a few things from my ladybug fur, for our upcoming markets this Saturday.


A backpack...

With a little ladybug JeM and a pencil case to match:


Now the weather is starting to warm up, I'm also very excited to see our garden start to come to life, with lots growing, and our cherry trees COVERED in flowers!!!

The Grumachumas..

Close up..


And the Surinam (Brazillian Cherries)


Close up


It'll still be a few weeks before we get actual cherries, but I'm excited already.  Last year we got heaps from the then tiny trees. Now they are a year bigger.......Yummmm

We also have a couple of pineapples beginning to fruit - but they take so long it'll be months before the fruit is ready!  Still exciting though! (I chop the top off every pineapple we buy from the market and squeeze it in the garden somewhere.  They seem to grow with no attention needed, so we now have around 20 growing in various spots!!!)
OH AND one of my tomato plants has 6 big juicy cherry tomatoes which should be ready to pick today!!'

I've never had much success at growing stuff in the garden, but decided when we moved to this house a couple of years ago that had to change.  Fortunately I seem to be improving slowly and each year we get a little more!  All part of the master plan to become more self sufficient!!


For more wonderful creative spaces, hop over to Kirsty's place at kootoyoo.

Hope you're all having a wonderful week - look forward to visiting everyone!

Jill

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Round Tuit (11)

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'

MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION and the key factors behind my Monday posts and opportunity to link up and encourage, motivate and inspire each other....with your very own ROUND TUIT

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!

Thanks to those who linked up last week - and - here's my favourites:

First of all, the cutest ever elephant pincushion from Team Awesome.

Isn't it gorgeous??  Team Awesome blog has some great things on it- it's all about 2 ladies who send each other craft projects to try!  What a great idea!  Go and have a look..


Next, is some great eco-friendly wrapping from Sapphire Ridge Chronicles
A super simple idea to use newspaper - but with the string and names written boldly in black, it looks great!  And on a nice budget too!
She also has some YUMMY looking recipes on her blog, you should check out!:


Finally this week, is some cute zippered pouches from The Multi Purposed Life
.
Kati posted that she had never put zippers in before, and after instructions from her mum, made these!!  I think they're fabulous!  And I always find other people trying something new, inspires me to do the same!  So thanks for the inspiration Kati!
She's now selling these cute pouches in her shop - along with some fabulous reversible aprons!  Go and have a look..


Ok - now to my project for the week - which was to finally get around to making up some small bags for my fruit and veggie shopping at the market each week.
I had an old net curtain:

Which I cut into a few different sizes, and made up little drawstring bags:


They all stuff easily into one bag for easy carrying:


And I even remembered to take them with me to the market and put them to good use on Saturday!


Another Round Tuit project that has been on my 'to do' list for a looonnggg time, is now finished!! Yippee!!
So what's for next week? 
I'm currently on a mission to grow as much edible stuff as I can in our garden.  I've never been very good at growing things, but have decided that's going to change and I WILL be successful! 
We have a nice crop of lettuce just now, that has been keeping us going for a few weeks:


But it's beginning to come to an end, so I need to get more planted now, in the hope that the next crop will have grown in time to replace this one...
We have an old kids shell sandpit by our shed, that the kids haven't used in years, but I've been keeping for something....


This may be the perfect lettuce planter!  I got the idea after I decided to use our old baby bath as a planter...

Please feel free to link up your posts - maybe it's a project you've completed that you're proud of - something you have wanted to get done for a while and need some extra motivation to get going on it - or you'd just like some of that fabulous encouragement, praise and motivation that bloggers are so good at spreading around.



Whatever the reason - grab your very own "Round Tuit" button, and link up.
Then head on over to some of the other links and praise, encourage and motivate!
I'll feature my favourite posts next week.
(by linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your linked post on my blog)





I hope you all have a great week! I look forward to visiting lots more interesting and inspiring blogs this week.


Monday, August 16, 2010

A Round Tuit (10)

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'

MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION and the key factors behind my Monday posts and opportunity to link up and encourage, motivate and inspire each other....with your very own ROUND TUIT

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!

Thanks to those who linked up last week - and - here's my favourites:

First of all a great lego playmat sack from Bellgirl.  My brother used to have a round tablecloth to keep his lego in, then just spread out the tablecloth to play with the lego on.  This just goes one step further with the drawstring at the top!
She has posted a wonderful tutorial on how to make it.  She's also been joining in a present a week until Christmas, and has some wonderful little projects going on. So do go and check out her great blog:


Next, a brilliant idea from lil Mop Top - a fabric memory game:
What a fabulous idea - and made all the more impressive is she made it with a 1.5 week old baby at home!!  She has some great kids activities on her site - so go and check her out:

Finally, a fabulous lego themed party from Holy Craft.
She had lego invites, party bags, a giant lego block and these fabulous lego cakes!
Looks like an amazing party - and all for only $35!! WOW!!
She has such a lovely thrifty blog!  So go and check her out too at:


There were so many wonderful projects linked up this week - I wish I could mention you all!  I do visit everyone and I'm looking forward to more inspiration this week from everyone!!

As for my projects this week - I managed to get all my tidying done:









And I'm proud to say it's still tidy.  I have always been a messy person, but I've decided NO MORE!!  No longer will I even say "I'm messy".  Now I will say "I'm a tidy person" and by saying it - and thinking it - it will be true!!???!!

I also had one more task to do this week - make a handmade gift for an 8 year old boy.  This is what I came up with:

A personalised pencil case.  He loves planes, so fortunately I had some scrap fabric with a plane on it!!  Plus I added a secret pocket inside the case!
Then I took my girls out to the shops yesterday and we bought some pens and pencils etc to fill it up with!  (so a mostly handmade gift!!)

So, on to this week's Round Tuit project.

About a year ago, I used an old sheet to make up some grocery shopping bags, which are great and I use every week.  Ever since, I've been meaning to make some bags to use at the fruit and veg market we go to every week.  I feel terribly guilty every week when we use up lots of little plastic bags, and say - "I really must get a round to making those fabric bags".  Well this week I will!!
I've found some old net curtains and will use those to get some ready for this Saturday's shopping trip:

Please feel free to link up your posts - maybe it's a project you've completed that you're proud of - something you have wanted to get done for a while and need some extra motivation to get going on it - or you'd just like some of that fabulous encouragement, praise and motivation that bloggers are so good at spreading around.



Whatever the reason - grab your very own "Round Tuit" button, and link up.
Then head on over to some of the other links and praise, encourage and motivate!
I'll feature my favourite posts next week.
(by linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your linked post on my blog)



 
hope you all have a great week. I look forward to all your posts this week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow!

Well it's finally arrived. Tomorrow is the day of the big race- The Pyramid Race! A race (??) up this mountain:



At just under 1000m high, it is a bit of a crazy thing to do!!  Last year, my husband and I decided to join the festivities and run in the 50th anniversary of the race. 
We completed the race - last in our categories, but ahead of one or two senior runners...

This is us crossing the line - just!!


So this year we decided to do it all over again - the aim being this time, to not come last!!!
We have done more training, and are aiming for a much better time (2.5 hours would be fantastic).

The winners complete the entire race in little more than 1 hour.  Last year we'd just got half way up the mountain, when they passed us going down!
I believe they actually RUN up the moutain - we do more of an, erm, walk!!  But considering the track looks like this:  I'm happy enough with that!


With this race on my mind this week, I've not been doing much crafting.  But I do have a project I need to have a go at.  And just to keep me accountable, I thought I'd put it on my blog - so I feel I have to do it !


I discovered that my blog is great for motivating me to get things done, and I created a Monday post just for this called "A Round Tuit"  which I use to get things done that I've been meaning to get "A Round To" for a while.  I've opened it up for anyone to join in, and make use of the fantastic inspiration, motivation and encouragement that is out here in the blog world!! 
 Feel free to join in too here!

Anyway - back to this project.  We have a boy's 8th birthday party to go to next week, and I'm a bit stuck on what to give as a gift.  (I have 2 girls, so get a bit stuck with boy gifts!!)
Anyway, last year he asked for and got one of my Big JeMs for putting some of his toys in:


But this year, that little bit older, I wanted to give him something a little more boyish...
He's really into planes, and my daughter found a couple of books at the library book sale this morning.
Then I've dug out some of my boyish fabric and a couple of other bits and pieces, and I have an idea...


So now I've put it out there, I'll have to get it done!!!  His birthday is next week, so I'll have to get a move on!  Watch this space to see what I come up with!

If you have any suggestions for handmade gifts for boys around age 8 or 9, leave me a comment with them, as there are a few coming up this year, and I find handmade trickier as boys get older.....



Finally I wanted to give a mention to Lindsay at Pixies and Bears.





 
She has a wonderful blog that I discovered recently, and she also makes and sells the most adorable plushies you've ever seen!  So if you haven't already been, go and check her blog out.
http://www.bearypixie.blogspot.com/
And today (Friday) she's having a blog party!!  One of my posts is being featured, along with many others, so do go and check it out! 
 
I hope you all have a great weekend! 
I'm off to rest my legs before tomorrow's big race!!  Wish me luck!!
 
Jill


New Friend Fridays

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inspired by songs

This week I've been attacking the mess in my house.  There are certain piles that have been moved from room to room over the past few weeks - never quite finding a home.  These are my 'too tricky' piles!  But no longer - they have to go!! 

I find what really helps motivate me for this and so many other things - is music! 

Enrique Iglesias is always a good one - those funky latin rythmns blasting out mean I can sing along (sorry neighbours) and those jobs you don't want to do somehow are much more fun!


Then there's always anything from Paul Simon's Graceland album - which I love.  This one in particular is a very sunshiney song I feel: Diamonds on the Soles of her shoes



One song I always find gives me energy and makes me smile is an older song - in fact it was the winner of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest. Now I know this is a bit cheesy - but I used to watch this show every year growing up in England - and I loved it!
Now I have this song on one of my mix CDs and my 2 daughters love when I put it on and we dance crazily around the house!
Bucks Fizz - Making your Mind up:



And finally one of my all time favourites - great to sing along to at the top of my lungs! (Ok I am an 80s child! - it's from the original Karate Kid movie - Peter Cetera, The Glory of Love




So today - I wanted to share a snippet of these fun songs with you. It makes me smile to think that these little pieces of my happiness may be heard all over the world today!!

What songs motivate you? Are they the older ones with happy memories attached? or new ones?

Thanks for visiting me today - leave me a comment and I'll return the favour!

Jill
Linking up to Wobble over Wednesday at My life with rats and more

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The importance of enjoying what you do! - curtains to tablecloth tutorial

Here in Australia it's winter.  Up in FNQ (Far North Queensland) that means that weather-wise it's one of our most pleasant times of year.  Low humidity, little rain (the dry season in the tropics), sunny days and temperatures around  25C. Just lovely!  BUT, not very conducive to sitting inside at my sewing machine looking out of the window at this gorgeous weather!  

But I know I need to find the motivation to get things done - I can't justify being a stay-at-home mum if all I do when my kids are at school is sit by the pool in the sun and read a book.....I need to feel I'm being productive, otherwise the guilt at thinking of my husband working so hard when I'm enjoying myself at home is terrible!

So, I decided to take my work outside to enjoy and appreciate the fantastic weather we are having, while still being productive!

The task I set myself to get 'A Round To' last week was to transform an old pair of curtains that I no longer needed into something useful. I decided to turn them into a tablecloth for our old round plastic table:


Since the curtains were in need of a wash anyway, I figured cutting out outside, and laying them on the ground wasn't a problem. Washing could be done after I'd finished sewing!

So finding a nice shady spot, I checked the curtains would fit around the whole table:



Then letting them hang to the ground where I wanted the tablecloth to reach to,
I just cut around leaving a large overlap from there I figured the join would be.  I did this for both curtains:



Next was to use the remaining top part of the curtains to cut the round table top part.

One curtain for each side:

So now I had all the parts for the tablecloth, they just needed putting together:

At this point I allowed myself to be a little distracted, by a beautiful pink flower in the secret garden..


And looking up at our palm tree with the stunning clear blue sky background:

But back to the sewing!

Next I pinned the top parts together along the straight join at the centre of the table. 

 I put in two pins to make sure and leave a gap in the centre that will allow me to use the tablecloth on the table in the future if I decide to get a sun umbrella to go over it! (pole would slot through the hole in the top centre of the table):


Once I'd stitched the top together (a brief interlude out of the fresh-air into my sewing room), I placed the fabric upside-down back on the table outside, and pinned the drops to the top, again inside out:



Once that was pinned, it was inside for the last time to stitch it, then back outside to trim the seams, then test it on the table!



Perfect!  Then I just needed to throw it in the washing machine and I'll give it a good iron before using it out our next market stall!

I really enjoyed doing this project outside.  I think it's really important to remember and enjoy all the good things we have in our lives - not just take them for granted and plan to enjoy them another day!

To end, I want to add a quote from the little book of inspriation I won in a giveaway :

"When faced with a problem, free your mind and think creatively - the possiblilites will be endless."

I hope you all have a great day!

Jill

Linking up to :
Tuesday Tag-Along






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