Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Activity Jar

This year I wanted to start some Christmas traditions with my family. Our Advent calendar is full of activities rather than sugar, and will hopefully be an exciting thing for Emma and Harry to do each morning during December.

I saw this gorgeous example on the Just a Girl blog and thought it would be perfect for us.

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With the activities written on paper inside each matchbox, I can easily change activities depending on the weather or what ever else is going on (including everyone's behaviour and my own sanity!) I've made a list of which activities are in which box, and stuck the list inside the pantry. I also knew it would come in under budget - I asked around for matchboxes, had paper already lying around etc etc. Here's ours...

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Rather than a jar, I used our salad bowl! It's easier for little hands to search for the right number, and less likely to get broken (I hope!). 

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It was harder than I thought to come up with ideas - most calendars seem to be filled with lollies or toys. I wanted this to be about the things we can do together, so here's our list...
  • Decorate the tree
  • Read a Christmas book
  • Colour a Christmas picture
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Buy / borrow, and listen to, some Christmas music
  • Make a Christmas card for Emma and Harry's friends
  • Make a Christmas treat for a friend
  • Make Christmas decorations
  • Get a photo taken with Santa
  • Hang our Christmas Stockings
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Make a Christmas treat
  • Make a Christmas picture for someone and post it to them
  • Buy a gift and place it under a charity tree
  • Borrow a Christmas book from the library
  • Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie
  • Go to a Christmas Fair
  • Go to the Carols
  • Buy our dog a Christmas present
  • Wrap some presents
  • Camp out under the tree
  • Drive around and look at the Christmas lights
  • Make a Christmas card / place card for Gran
  • Leave a treat out for Santa
I'm excited about starting - Emma is already asking about our tree, so December 1 here we come!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcoming the season...

A week or so ago I was heading out to the shops when I noticed some old fence palings on the side of the road. SCORE!

I grabbed a bundle, all the while thinking of snakes and spiders... and wondering if my mobile was in the car in case something grabbed me! Who would have thought my new found interest in scrounging would require such tough stuff! So far they've been made into a stenciled date sign for my gallery wall and some signs for Emma's upcoming birthday. With the bulk of the remaining ones I made this sign...

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This was a great project for me right now - I only used things I could find garage (nails, paint etc) - so it was great on the budget... FREE! I've seen so many gorgeous examples on other blogs and wanted to try one out too.

I don't have a stencil, or even a printer at the moment, so I just drew and painted it free hand - it's not meant to be perfect! I find the best way to do something like this is to type it into a word or publisher document, in the font that I want, then just draw it on in pencil, then paint. Look at the screen, look at the boards, look at the screen, look at the boards... you get the idea!

I wasn't sure about the black to start with, but it's grown on me :) I mostly use silver for Christmas decorating, so this fits in perfectly. So it's the first of my Christmas decorating... I know it's November, but who's checking!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm sharing at Primp Your Stuff and aka design!

Friday, November 18, 2011

From Dirty to Dashing!

I have always loved old TV chairs (they probably have an official name, but this is what I call them!), but whenever I see them they are always expensive and out of my price range. Then I found this...

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I was 'lucky' to pick it up on eBay for $10. There was no bottom cushion and very heavy scratching, but I'd replace cushions and paint it anyway right? So I knew it needed a bit of work, but when I picked it up I suddenly thought, have I paid too much??
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This thing was dirty. I mean, there were actually real pieces of dirt sitting on top of the spring cover! But it gets better! When I started to pull the chair apart there were bugs inside the cushion. BUGS. Gross crawly black ones. Thank goodness Danny wasn't around when I was doing that or he would have freaked about me bringing more 'junk' into the house!

So, I got to work. Spray painting and sewing. The wood was beyond my skills to repair, so I chose black gloss. I've never spray painted before; there were a few moments where I held the can too close to the wood and it created a paint pool. But we got there in the end...

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The chair was originally destined for Emma's room, but once I started I decided that it might suit Harry's room a little better. I'm hoping to transfer him out of the bassinet in my room and into a cot in his, so this will be perfect for me to sit in, beside the cot, on those nights when he is not so cooperative drifting off to sleep.

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm linking to Primitive & Proper, aka design and The T-Shirt Diaries.

All Things Thrifty is having a chair party!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pinterest Challenge - Stencilled Date

I mentioned in my last post I'm addicted to Pinterest. REALLY. And it seems like everyone else, I have pinned and pinned DIY projects, but haven't quite started on... well... any! This is where the Pinterest Challenge comes in.

Katie of Bower Power, Sherry of Young House Love, Ana of and Erin of House of Earnest are hosting the Challenge; giving everyone a push to get something they've pinned finished. So here is my inspiration...

{aka}design is one of my favourite design blogs. Apart from having great taste, they have amazing ideas and lots of straight forward how to's. When I saw their stencilled date sign I pinned it, and this week I made my own!

I didn't make a stencil, I just drew it on in pencil and then painted it in silver. And to keep the silvery tone of the wood (found on the side of the road BTW!), I didn't stain it either. {aka}design have a great tutorial that's really easy to follow - I'm planning another sign for Christmas that I'll again use their instructions for (based on another pin!).

The piece makes up part of my gallery wall, which isn't quite finished. And yes, those are my fingers holding up the sign - I haven't worked out how to attach it to the wall yet!

Oh - true story. When I held it up, under our wedding photo no less, my husband Danny said 'How did you pick the numbers?' I said 'It's a date' - thought he'd get the hint right? NO! He said 'What's December 1?'. SIGH. I'll be sending him out for ice cream tonight!

Thanks to Katie, Sherry, Ana and Erin for the motivation!

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