Friday, 29 October 2010

How to make a play kitchen for your kids!

Every time we go visit friends or our playgroup and there is a little play kitchen, Luke spends most of the time role playing. So I have been for the past month looking into buying a little play kitchen for him, one who won't break the bank. They can range from $130 to $400! I really loved the wooden kitchens but of course they were the most expensive of the range. Ikea has a really cute wooden kitchen on display at the moment but still our budget just doesn't allow us to buy it. After a lot of looking around I have decided to make one for Luke from an old empty packing box we had left from our move. After just one hour putting the kitchen together I was surprised by how great it looks. It was also a great activity to make together even if he is just 20months old, he was very excited by the process. So here is how you make a play kitchen for your kids for less than $10.

1 large empty packing box
4 roles of contact paper (any colour u like)
1 stainless steel bowl
2 felt sheets (black and red)
1 empty paper towel role tube
1 kitchen tap- optional
play food
play pots and pans
Stanley knife

  1. Find a packing box that will be a good hight for your child. A tall box could be used for a refrigerator or laid on its side for a sink and counter. I decided to use mine on its side because I wanted to use it as a sink and stove top. Tape the box shut in all its sides. 
  2. Cover all the box with contact paper of your choice. 
  3. For the oven, on the front side of the box, cut across the top and ½ way down on both sides, to form the oven door. Place tin foil on this pull down door to represent the window to look through.
  4. Mark area beside the oven door to make a cupboard and cut so you have two doors so your child can put all their pans/pots and play food away when done playing.
  5. Cut three sections of the paper towel tube to make three handles. I made one wider for the oven handle. Glue these on the top oven door and cupboard doors with craft glue.
  6. Glue the black felt on the top counter area above the oven and make two red circles with your red felt. Glue the two red circles on top of the black felt to make the stove top. You can also glue some milk bottle covers on the side to make the stove top controls. 
  7. For the sink get your stainless steel bowl and cut a smaller circle to insert the sink. 
  8. I had an old kitchen tap which I used as a sink tap, this of course is optional.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Home Made Pumpkin Bread & Strawberry Jam!!!

Here in Oz we are on a tight budget at the moment. This gave me a chance to look around the web and find ways to reduce my monthly food bill.  I already started a small veggie patch here in our garden and I am happy to say that my zucchini seeds are already little plants soaking the sun. The orange tree is blooming very happily and I already can see the fruits forming so we will have a great crop this year. The poor tree when we got the house was almost dead so I am very pleased by her happy recovery. We have mature almonds at the moment which the black cockatoo's are munching on, they are beautiful big birds and Luke is delighted to see them in the afternoon. Not bad for a city girl who didn't know anything about gardens!

Last week Luke and I went to the farmer's market near our home and  they had strawberries on special, so I bought 1,5 kg for less then 4 dollars. Too much for our house hold so I decided to make jam out of 1kg of strawberries. I used Jamie's Oliver's recipe and I am sad to say this but, it didn't work too well. I used the special jam sugar but it is still was runny even though I left it to boil much longer than in the recipe requested. It is still yummy, don't get me wrong you can still eat it but it is more like a strawberry sauce than jam. Well I guess next time I will make it with normal white sugar, I think it would set better and also be less acidic.

Grandma bought for me a huge pumpkin so I also had more than a kilo of pumpkin in the fridge which I didn't know what to do with, so I decided to make pumpkin bread. I used this great recipe from FRESH LOAF. It turned out perfect so I have two small loafs which I will bring one to grandma when Luke wakes up from his nap. She is has the flu so I can am sure she will enjoy the bread. I changed the recipe a bit I added more spices than the recipe and also used a little less flower (just 3 cups), also I added soaked raisins in orange liquor and walnuts. Like Luke says when he smells something nice hmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Enjoy the pictures of the garden and the loafs!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I love this video!!! Enjoy

Sunday, 26 September 2010

I love Spring!

We had a lovely weekend, the weather was just perfect! Rob and I were cleaning the gutters and eaves through out the week to get them ready to paint. So today we started painting the eaves and downpipes all white, we decided the gutters looked good enough once cleaned up. It's amazing how some paint can make such a difference, we are not done yet but it is already looking like a different house.

Yesterday Aline came by to visit us, I was very happy to see her and Nina because we haven't seen each other for over 5 months. It was a nice surprise when she left me a message in facebook saying she was coming to Perth for the long weekend. She spent the afternoon with us, Nina and Luke were all hugs and kisses; very cute! Tania, Glen and the boys came by in the end of the afternoon also for some hot-dogs, it was great to see them because we also needed to catch up. So our Saturday was a day with good friends, simple food and great weather, I couldn't ask for anything better!

Today while Rob was finishing painting, I took Luke to Lansdale Farm (petting farm) so he could work in peace and Luke could be entertained for a couple of hours. We had some great news also form Kel, she had a beautiful, healthy baby boy, so in the end of the afternoon Luke and I went to visit her in the hospital (which is three blocks away from my house, handy or what?). I got a little teary when I was holding the little bundle of joy, I must admit that I miss the baby phase even with the sleeping deprivation. It was so great to see Kel and Harley so happy with their little angel. Well that's all the news for now, enjoy all the photos from the farm and Kings Park. Take everyone!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Redwork from The WORKBASKET: 100 Designs for Machine and Hand EmbroideryIts been pretty hectic around here in the land of OZ. Luke is growing so fast, he is a little boy running around the house and outside in the garden in the spring sun. It seems like it was just last month he was crawling around the house. Its crazy how time passes so fast once you have kids! So not only Luke keeps me on my toes throughout the day, renovations have begun here too. Which means, money is tight, trades man coming and going and chaos rains in my little kingdom. Our bathroom renovations have come to a halt because of lack of fund and of tiles due to no more funds to buy more tiles but most of Luke's bathroom is done. Renovation in Luke's bathroom will commence again in November but our roof and ceiling will be fixed next month because May's freak storm damaged both.

Spring has finally arrived here in OZ and all the flowers are blooming, magpies are starting to swoop and the days are becoming warmer. Most of you know that we have a big back yard which has been neglected for years from the previous owners, so with spring here, there is a lot of work to be done in the garden. Rob took this week off, so we could do a so needed spring cleaning in and outside our house. So since Saturday we have been busy outside picking weeds with Luke and trimming back some of the bushes. Also I have been busy with my herb and veggie patch, adding some compost to the ground and planting some seedlings. Hopefully my zucchini seedlings with flourish and all my flower seedlings too.  

So you must be wondering why my post reads Redwork instead of gardening galore? Because I finally started on Kim's wall quilt, she just had her third baby girl a couple of weeks ago!!! So I am making for all three little ones a Redwork wall hanging. Its coming along great, considering I have never done any embroidery before, but pretty much its all straight stitch in red embroidery cotton thread, a no brainer really. If you would like to know more about the history of Redwork go here.So as you all can see, its been pretty busy around here. I will post some photos once the quilt is finished because I don't want to spoil the surprise for Kim, this also goes for the photos of the renovations seeing its not ready yet. Here are some more photo of Redwork but not made from me.Well take care everyone.

                                                       Life at Rosemary Hill

                                                                     Bunny Tales

                                                                      Agulhas da Meri

                                                                     Stitching Cow

                                                                    Feeling Stitchy

                                                              A cup and a catch up...

Monday, 19 July 2010

Handmade SHORT FILM by Dennis Kamioka

DENIS KAMIOKA - Handmade from nkcrida on Vimeo.

Denis Kamioka is a Brazilian Japanese director who made the following 6-minute short in 2006.  It’s hard to describe but it has some neat effects.  Check out the official site.  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

1st Family Holidays

Rob had to go to Singapore for a work convention and so we decided that Luke and I should join him. His parents are living in Singapore at the moment and are staying till November for work. We all left Perth excited to start our first family holidays. Luke was very good in the plane and he was so excited by everything that he just manged to sleep when we were landing in Singapore.

So while Rob was at the convention for the first week, Luke and I enjoyed Tiiu's (Rob's mom) company and the pool facilities of the Caribbean condominium where his parents are staying. The weather was very warm and humid and sometimes it was a bit too much for Luke and I, but we managed well. Tiiu is truly a great tourist guide, she took us too all the places that one should go while in Singapore. Rob and I are just horrible tourists, if it was up to us poor Luke wouldn't have seen nothing but the pool of the condo! But Luke, Tiiu and I had a great first week together while Rob did his networking in the convention for work. Rob and I had also a chance to go out together a couple of evenings which was great while grandma and granddad took care of Luke for us.

 We took Luke to the Night Safari but forgot to take the camera!!! Luke loved it and was pointing at the animals, he didn't know where to look by the end of it. He managed to stay up till we got in the bus back to the city! Tiiu and I managed to get a few hours to explore Arab Street and buy some fabric, they also had some beautiful Persian Rugs that I would love to own. Also we all went during our first weekend to the Singapore Botanic Gardens which was the most beautiful park I have ever seen and been to in all my travels, specially their Orchid Garden. The weather didn't help us at the Botanic Gardens it was too hot and we didn't manage to stay longer and explore the gardens a little further.

 Orchard Road was a place which I was amazed by all the beautiful malls and I had never seen so many designer shops in one street but what I enjoyed most in Orchard Road was the Japanese department store (Takashimaya). I just love Japanese fashion, food and life style so that store and the 2 dollar Japanese shop in Vivo Mall in Harbor Front were both, my favorite places to go shopping. While we are in the subject of shopping I bought two very cute pair of shoes for Luke for a bargain price, both pairs are real leather. One is a pair of boots and the other a pair of trainers for $20 dollars Singapore each, if I would have bought these shoes here I would have paid around 60 dollars each. I think the shopping experience in Singapore is just amazing!!!   

One would not go all the way to Singapore and forget to have a refreshment in Raffles Hotel. So that is what Rob, Tiiu , Luke and I did, but I was shocked that three coffees cost us $35 dollars!!! But you are not paying for the coffee but for the experience, still that was a very expensive 15 minutes of my life which left me with a bit of a bitter sweet after taste. One cant ignore though what a beautiful Hotel it is, colonial in style and very well maintained so it is a must see if in Singapore even if the coffee is expensive. 

We also spend an afternoon in Sintoza Island which was very hot but very nice for Luke to swim in the sea even though it was as warm as a hot bath, still we had a wonderful time and I had the best dumpling noddle soup of my life in the food hall. Luke through out the trip was like a celebrity baby, all Asian family's wanting to take picture with him. Every where we went people would stop us and want pictures with Luke by the end of the trip Rob and I were almost charging for pictures with Luke hahaha...

On our way back to Perth Luke slept for two full hours. Everyone was amazed of how good he was but I also did bring loads of toys for him so he was busy with something for most of the time. Once we got home all three of us were popped beyond belief. We were all in bed by 8:30pm. The next day Luke didnt want to leave the cot in morning and is still doing this oday, he just stays there playing with the light on (he found out how to switch the lights  on in his bedroom). So I have had a great week waking up at 10:00 am! So life is good even though we miss Singapore maybe we need more holidays so Luke can miss his cot and I can have a sleep in every morning. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Perth 2010 Quilting Show!

My poor blog is so neglected that its not funny anymore. But its been a very busy beginning of the year and I am really trying to update it as much as I can; its just that during the day Luke wont let me near the computer. If I am at the computer just to check my email very quickly I get a little demanding boy crying by my side wanting to play with my keyboard. Not only that, Rob got me the new Samsung mobile with the touch screen, which I was happy but when we installed the software in my laptop it just crashed my windows explorer! Thank god I have a smart husband because he managed to save all my documents, photos and songs but we will need to re-install windows again! I was so peeved that every time I look at the phone I get upset, not only that; the bloody thing doesn't work properly so I cant send any email just receive, apparently I am not the only one with all these problems!!! We are at the moment seeing if we can return the bloody thing and get an iphone for me instead.

Any way this weekend was really great! We had our annual WA quilt show. I spend the whole Sunday from 9-5 buzzzy like a bee around wonderful creative quilts and also beautiful fabrics, gadgets and quilt notions. Bought some really neat tools, like the adjustable quilting rulers. It is an Ozzy invention check out the video...its pretty neat. It was pricey but will make my live easier when quilting. Got two nice books with Jelly Roles patterns which of course I got one Jelly Role fabric pack also so I can make a quilt for my bed. I found some cheap $1 wooden buttons which was a bargain. Got some cute Christmas embroidery to make cute tree hangings. Got a wonderful Bias making tool from clover.  I could go on and on but the rest was just small things nothing too flashy. Rob took care of Luke and called me around 13:00 pm to see how everything was going and asking how much longer I would stay...hahaha I told till it closed. Luke is teething at the moment, his molars are all coming out at once so he is very cranky. Poor Rob was completely exhausted when I got home at 17:00pm. So I made a nice dinner for my two special guys and cuddle up with them in front of the telly.

Well I hope you all enjoy the pictures of the quilt show and have fun with Lukes walking video...its pretty funny. Big hugs to all.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

DIY- How to re-upholster dinning chairs!

As promised here is my first DIY post. I have 4 dinning chairs that were in urgent need of an update. We have had these chairs for more than 9 years. The base had still the linen cover which we kept saying,"we will upholster them soon" but just never did get to it. So this weekend I had enough of the dirty, dingy look and got Rob to get me to Bunnings (its like a home-depot store) so I could buy a staple gun. Yesterday while Luke had his afternoon nap, I got busy. I went to my fabric stash and choose a nice printed fabric that I bought while in the US. It is a cotton fabric for quilting but I think that doesn't really matter. So choose a fabric that you love and get busy. I used this video as a guide. Sure enough, it took me one hour to do all 4 chairs, its so easy that I felt really stupid for letting 8 years pass by before changing the base fabric of the chairs. So here are the pictures of before and after:



It looks great!!! I am very happy with the results. So get busy people and don't worry its so easy that you will wonder why you didn't do this sooner. Take care!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Busy as a Bee!!!

Hi Everyone sorry yet again for the long silence but it really seems that there are not enough hours in a day to get all things done, specially updating my blog!! We FINALLY moved in to the "new" house. Of course like any renovation we had more costs involved then we thought at the purchase of the house. As mentioned in my previous post we were going to renovate the kitchen but unfortunately that did not happen seeing we found leaks in both bathrooms in the house. The leaks were so bad that we had mold all over, underneath the carpets on the walls, so we naturally had to replace the whole floors with new timber floating boards, which the costs of this and the repairs to the bathroom showers had us scraping at our budget. So kitchen is not done and looks like a war zone. At the moment I have no cook top or oven, been cooking with our microwave oven (which is on its last legs:meaning we will need to replace the bloody thing soon enough) and the barbecue. I was very fortunate to have my mother in lay give me a electric frying pan, it really saved the day!!! I have no pantry so cant really take anything out of the boxes just the essential stuff that I use everyday. My dishwasher is a storage area for all the plates, cups and cutlery.

Now enough ranting....Luke is doing very well. He is almost crawling properly all his little teeth are coming out and he is just an adorable little man. My mom left back to Holland on the 5th of Feb and we do miss her so. Luke specially, was very cranking for a week! I have been pretty busy getting our garden looking descent after many years of neglect of the previous owner. But we can see the light on the end of the tunnel. I have planted a little herb garden which is looking pretty good for some one who never had a chance to do any gardening in her life! Unfortunately I have no pictures for all of you because I have no clue where my cables are to be able to upload pictures on to the computer, this is another item on my to do list for this weekend. We also managed to start of our compost bin last weekend so all the veggie scarps and bread scraps are being put for a good use. We also have a recycle bin now which is a great relief because in the previous house there was none and every time I had to throw out glass, paper and plastic my heart filled with guilt! We also had insulation put in, in the nick of time before the government rebates were scrapped because of government scandal regarding it. So we only paid $120 to insulate the whole roof. We can really feel the difference now, its not as hot as it was when we moved in, seeing we had no insulation and no air-con, it was blood hot in here!! But all in all the house does look much better, we had everything painted and new showers. Once I find the cables I will put pictures up of before and after. Its far from done but its getting there slowly.
In the crafty front I have started a little sweater for Luke. Its a free pattern from Lion Brand. Also two weekends ago had a great Saturday with my mother in law. We took grandma to these really nice fabric shops for patchwork and also had a coffee with some cake at Wolly Latte's (its a yarn shop that has a really nice little cafe inside with some great coffee and wonderful cakes). Also when we went to get Tiiu's things as patchwork workshop that she organised, there was this lady who gave the workshop who takes care of little orphan Joey's (Baby Kangaroo). She had one with her and it really was the sweetest thing ever, Luke was so impressed and he even stroked it a couple of times. So so sweet, I have the pictures but yet again no cable grrrrr... Well that is all the update I have time for today. Hope all of you are well. Take care!

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