Learning new skills – flower arranging. Part 1

Inspired by a recent holiday through the Australian countryside, I’d like to learn how to make a pretty floral arrangement (without using expensive flowers that will cost the earth). Instead, I’d like to use the beautiful native Australian flowers which I have in my garden and nearby.

After reading a few blogs and instructions on the internet, I thought I’d give it go….there’s only one way to learn right??

First attempt:


Not enough flowers or foliage…it’s looks a little sparse.


Second attempt:

Added more foliage and flowers


Third attempt:

Added some small blue flowers for a bit more colour.


Looking better this time.

It made such a big difference to add more foliage and flowers. I ended up using loads more foliage, greenery and flowers than I thought I would need……lesson learned.

And I also used a grid of sticky tape on top of the vase to keep stems in place.

I love the different textural elements at play


Well that was fun, but I think I’ll have to keep practising.



Sew easy, Nappy Wallet

I was given one of these by a good friend (which she made), and I have found it so handy, I use it ALL the time. Especially if I’m out for a walk and don’t want to bring the whole nappy bag, I just grab the nappy wallet, and my belongings and off we go….


its big enough to fit a few nappies, a change mat and nappy bags. But you could make it bigger or smaller to suit your needs.

I’m gonna give this one to friends who are having a baby, but I’m gonna make more and see if anyone wants to buy them….


Dimensions were: 60cm x 30cm. Cut 2 of these rectangles and sew right sides together, but leave a small opening to turn right sides out. Then press, and top-stitch the short sides.

Cut another small rectangle out of a contrasting fabric, and sew right sides together, leave the short end open to turn right sides out.


Attach your fastener in place on the strap, and on the wallet, then sew it on, and your finished.







Baby gift idea: Fake Sushi

Here’s a cute idea for a present to celebrate the birth of a brand new human……sushi!!…made up of an assortment of baby clothes, singlets, socks, bibs, nappies, toys, books, rattles etc etc….anything works really… (although it works better if the items are mostly white)

All you have to do is roll up the items, and wrap black tissue paper around them, and arrange them to look like sushi. Then use a larger, coloured item, and place on the side, with a strip of black tissue around. For a finishing touch, place chop sticks on top. And wrap with clear cellophane.





My go-to family meals!!

Numero uno: Pasta with bolognese sauce. Why? Because you can add as many (or as little) vegetables as you like. Even the baby / toddler likes it. You can change the flavour slightly by adding different sauces, spices or vegetables.

(other pasta flavours: roast pumpkin with pesto. Broccoli and bacon or mushroom and bacon, with a cream sauce. Salmon with greens, and a simple lemon dressing, lasagne).


2. Cheats Pie- I call it cheats pie because the meat is cooked to perfection first, then added to the pastry case, just to cook the pastry. Aaaanndd to make it even easier you can use frozen (ready made) pastry, or if you have the time and inclination you can make your own pastry. I love Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry. This time I made a chicken and mushroom pie, but it works equally well with Beef instead of chicken. The toddler also loves this one.


3. Good ol’ roast! Whichever meat takes your fancy at the time, whether it be chicken, lamb or pork. Great for left overs, or cooking up a big meal to use for a couple of nights.

Burgers!! Normally this would be beef burgers, but tonight I’m gonna make chicken burgers. Add some avocado, lettuce, tomato, and maybe even some grated carrot for extra veggies. Choose your sauce: BBQ, tomato, mayo, chutney….or my personal fave dijonaise…


4. Risotto. So many flavours to choose from: Chicken and asparagus (add mushroom and broccoli for more greens), Roast Pumpkin, Chorizo and capsicum (tomato based).


5. Soups: Healthy green soup (broccoli, spinach and zucchini). Hearty minestrone. Carrot and ginger.


6. Mexican: Tacos, nachos, enchiladas, burritos.


7. Moussaka, ratatouille, vegetable bake.

8. Chicken schnitzel / crumb chicken pieces.







Party · Recipes

Under the Sea cookies

Using the same recipe for my ‘paw print cookies’, (except mixed in choc chips and mini M&Ms). Then decorated for an Under the Sea party.


Crab cookie
Fishy, fishy, fishy
Hey turtle…
I want to be, under the Sea, in an Octopuses garden…


Buttercream icing, half coloured blue and half coloured yellow.

Using a mixed bag of lollies, sour straps, mini M&Ms, peanut M&Ms, and mini Oreo cookies.

Ready to partayyy!! Under the Sea style…

Party · Sewing

Mermaid costume (DIY)

Easy (and inexpensive) mermaid costume, and VERY easy crab costume

You will need:

fabric for mermaid tail (I used an old satin dressing gown which was perfect for this project)


felt (for mermaid bra)

flesh coloured tshirt

needle, thread and the usual sewing gear

Start by drawing the shape of your mermaid tail on the cardboard.

Then measure and cut you fabric. I used a rough pattern below. Make the tail as long or as short as you like.

Then cover your cardboard with your fabric and either glue or sew it on. Then join the smallest end of your fabric tail to the cardboard tail (which is already covered in fabric also). Sew in position.


Add straps / ties to the top of the skirt so that it will stay on.

For the mermaid top, I wanted to base it on The Little Mermaid, however I didn’t want to wear just a mermaid bra, because I didn’t want to wear something that revealing to a 5th birthday party, and also it’s freezing at this time of year. So instead I opted for a flesh coloured t-shirt and have sewn the mermaid bra onto it.


Finished product:


Party · Sewing

Toddler Under the Sea costumes (DIY)

Here’s a couple of easy (and very cheap to make) costumes for an ‘Under the Sea’ themed party.


This one is for a toddler, but since all you are really using is a grey hoodie, the exact same costume could be made for an adult.

Shark Jumper
Shark Jumper

All you need is a grey hooded jumper, white or grey felt (for the fin), white felt for the teeth, and small amount of black felt for the eyes.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUse two pieces of felt for the fin, and sew in the mid-line of the back of the jumper.

Cut triangles into a strip of white felt and sew onto the hood for the teeth.

And cut out a small black circle for the eyes and sew them onto the hood as well.



Dory (Fish)

IMG_3158.JPGOnce again, very easy and you may already have all the things you need at home. All you need is a blue, long sleeve top, I couldn’t find one with a hood so I used a beanie as well, and felt pieces (yellow, blue and black).


IMG_3149.JPGUsing yellow and black felt, cut out the shape of the fin and sew together, but leave a small amount that can be sewn onto the top.

IMG_3150.JPGOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASew the eyes on the front, and side-fins on the arms.

IMG_3151.JPGI also added another fin to the beanie, to tie it in with the costume.

and there you have it, you found Dory…