Day 23 of 45, and advent calendars

Just past halfway now and feeling good!  Mind you yesterday I didn't exercise at all since ALL of my muscles were aching so much after the new Spartacus workout I found - oh my goodness that's a good workout!!  I'm still aching today, but have a day of housework ahead which should stretch my muscles out enough to be able to have a cycle tonight!

Now today being December 1st, we started our advent calendars! So yes, the girls finished their new one yesterday!

My eldest daughter is still sick, poor thing. I took her to the doctors yesterday and he told us it's a virus so all we can do is rest and wait it out!  Anyway, she managed to make some ornaments for the pockets, but I did her sewing part!

My youngest was game to have a go with the machines though!
I wanted something very simple that they could do themselves, so I thought using scraps of Christmas fabric I've collected over the years...(sorry about the blurry photo)

 we'd make 24 small bags, number them, and then make ornaments to go in them, which can then be hung on a small tree we have:

 So I cut out 24 rectangles, then showed my 5 year old daugther how to use the overlocker to finish the edges off to stop them fraying.  Here she is having a go!  She did so well..
 After a couple of practices, I was able to stand back and let her do it all by herself!

 She managed about half of them before needing a break! So I finished the rest off! 24 is a lot to do of anything!
Next step was to turn the top edges over to make a 'tunnel' for the drawstring to run through. 
Folding a pinning was a simple enough job for a five-year old..
(this rectangle had to be cut and sewn together at the bottow so the pattern on the fabric was the right way up on both sides)

 Then there was just joining the two sides together..
 And adding the cord for the drawstring..
Using a big nappy pin to push them through. A nice job for small fingers!
Knots tied at both ends (tricky bit done by Mummy)
 Then using glitter glue the girls both added numbers to the bags..
 Then came the real fun part - cutting and sticking and creating ornaments to go in each bag!  The girls did this all by themselves, making secret ornaments for each other so that they both get surprises!  They love making things for each other, and they had a really fun afternoon!  I've only seen a few of the ornaments, so it'll all be a surprise for me too over the next 24 days!

Here's the finished advent tree waiting last night in the girl's room..
 The box of bags to rummage through and find each day's goodie bag..
 And this morning, bag one was opened by my youngest, and out came a sparkly pipecleaner, with 'Merry Christmas' stuck to it!  The first ornament on the tree! You can just see it here in the middle of the tree.
 My eldest got to open the chocolate calendar that I made a few years ago, from small cardboard boxes a friend had leftover from her wedding favours!
We have to put each chocolate in the night before, otherwise they would all melt in the heat!  And each box has a picture inside too.

So there you have it!  Two homemade advent calendars - that I can fill each year with whatever!
The girls love taking turns with the chocolate one, but I think they like just as much to open one they have made more or less by themselves!!


My Creative Space - backpack repurposing project 4!

I'm feeling quite proud of myself having found several uses for my pile of old and broken backpacks that has sat in a box in my cupboard for a long time....

I've turned 3 backpacks into:

A bike pack for my daughter:

2 paintbrush organisers:

Padded microphone holders for our karaoke mics!

 Which are now velcroed to the karaoke machine for nice easy and convenient storage!

And here is what I did with all the left over scraps of nice firm backpack material!
Patchworked them together very very roughly...

To create a nicely authentic crumpled witches hat...

Covered with a little ghostly fabric I bought on clearance 2 years ago thinking 'that'll be useful one day'

And wonderfully modelled by  Dorothy...
 Hope my daughter likes it!!  Just got to make a cape for her now (not from a backpack though!! :) )

And now all I've got left is a pile of cut up zips......Not sure if I'll get to these this week though - maybe another time!  At least they don't take up very much space in my fabric stash now!!
What do you have in your cupboard that needs using up??  Go on, have a look!  I've ended up having lots of fun with these old backpacks - and have gained a few useful handmade things, along with some much needed space in my sewing boxes!!

Hope you're all having a lovely day!


Backpack repurposing continued - project 3!

So the work continues on finding new uses for old broken backpacks!!

So far I've made a bike pack for my daughter.
And a paintbrush roll, and paintbrush bag from two of the backpacks.

Today I finished of project 3 with the third backpack.  This time I used the soft padded part from the back of the pack.  But what did I make?

Well first I have to admit to being a bit of a karaoke lover - so much so that we have our own karaoke machine in our living room:

Earlier this year, my parents bought us some cordless microphones for it (pesky wires kept getting in the way of grooving while we were singing!!
Now these have been stored in their orignial cardboad box on the floor next to the karaoke machine..

Out of the way and safe in their padded box, but not exactly pretty - and I've also been concerned as, living in the tropics, we do have lots of friendly cockroaches who just LOVE to nest in cardboard boxes...

So, my third backpack was cut up and transformed into...

Snug padded cases for our microphones!!

And with the help of some strong sicky velcro.. they can be kept neatly on the side of the karaoke machine itself..

Perfectly neat and ready for action - and another backpack successfully repurposed!!

Now I've just got scraps to use up 
(2 of the backpacks I deemed possible to fix up and use as...well...backpacks!)
Do come back tomorrow to see what my next broken backpack repurpose project is!


Backpack repurposing project

As you may know, I decided it was time to do something with my pile of broken backpacks that I have been hoarding for several months (some for years!).
Yesterday I showed my first project, when I turned this:

Into this bike pack for my daughter:
For the bike pack, I kept the bottom half of the backpack intact, cut off the top and restitched various pieces and straps to make it fit! And of course added the pretty pink doggie at the front (from an old pair of pyjamas!)

Today I want to show you my second project.
This time I used this backpack - with broken zip..

First I deconstructed the whole thing into parts:

And then reconstructed them into.. holders for my daughter's paintbrushes!
A long pouch for the long brushes..(using an old shoe lace for the tie at the top)

And a roll up pouch for the smaller brushes..

And here they are both together - full of paintbrushes!
(Until now the brushes have all been loose in a box with the paints and other bits and bobs!  I'm trying to tidy that up into a more organised painting container!!) 

What do you think??

Come back tomorrow when I'll show you the next backpack and what I've done with that!

Hope you're all having a great day!



Today the snow finally arrived in Cairns:

We had a perfect day for it -  blue skies and 30C temps!!

Needless to say the snow wasn't soft and fluffy, but rather hard and icy - and melting fast!!

But the machines kept pumping out more, and lots of fun was had by all!

The prep penguins looked great in their costumes (made by yours truly!)

They gathered in the snow - (tropical penguins in boardshorts!)

For their five minutes of fame on Channel Nine's breakfast Tv show with weatherman Stevie Jacobs

And then time for a little fruit salad for penguin breakfast in the snow...

Voted best fun by all...was the slide!!

But being Far North Queensland, you still have to watch out for crocodiles! Even in the snow!

Hope you're having a fun day too!

(the tutorial for how to make the penguin suits is here)