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Saturday 28 November 2015

My first Quiet Book !

Hi Everyone!

Here's a project I completed recently and one that I'd been itching to post online. (I already did it on my fb page but thought it's worth putting it up here). It's a busy / quiet book for my little girls. There are so many ideas online and each project is unique and beautiful in its own way. My inspiration was derived from a multitude of blogs/websites on Pinterest. 

Anyway, I don't think I need to do much talking here; the pictures are quite self-explanatory. I'm really really happy with the way it turned outI'm also very very grateful to all those who gave me positive feedback; it made the whole experience worth so much more. 

Oooh ...and my girls love it too! ;) So without further ado, here's the finished project.

This turned out to be an expensive project because I only had very limited supplies at hand, not to mention very very time-consuming. But I think the end result for me was well worth it; hopefully it will be a keepsake for my girls as they grow. 

Also, because of my kids' age difference (2 and 4), I tried to include a mixture of activities for both younger and older toddlers. My 4 year-old loves practicing how to tell the time and my younger one loves pulling the clothes and shoes off the doll's page :P So it has worked out well methinks.

Do tell me what you think of this project and post your comments below. I would love to hear from you!


Thursday 20 August 2015

Tutorial: 5-minute easiest thread organizer EVER!

Hi y'all!!

Here's a tutorial that I've been itching to share on MCW for a while now. It all started when I started looking around for a cheap way to store my thread spools efficiently.

Now I am no seamstress but I do have a small collection of spools of various colours that come in handy from time to time. Previously I had been storing these in an old shoe box. I tried a number of different homemade thread organisers including the one where you stick bamboo skewers in a foam board and then hot-glue them in and then frame it. But most of these took too much time and the eventual result was not as efficient as I would've liked.

I needed something that is compact yet roomy that can be stashed away and then taken out when needed, and that can show me my thread spools at a glance.

Enter the Box-Lid Thread Organizer!

This is a super quick organizer to make using only 4 things you've probably all got lying around your home. And if you are as clumsy as I am, it should take you all of 5 -- yes, FIVE -- minutes! 

So without further ado, let's grab those supplies.

You will need:

A cardboard shoe-box lid
A long length of twine (I used cotton twine but you could use anything like jute or even nylon)
A double-hole punch

That's it. Now I did take plenty of photographs for this to reduce verbosity. You will find that this makes it pretty self-explanatory.

Step 1
Put the lid flat on a table, hollow side up, and punch a series of holes close together along the two lengths of the lid.

Tip: it helps to hold the hole punch on its side and push it down onto the cardboard edge. Then lift the lid and jiggle the punch deeper down the edge. Otherwise you might end up with a shallow hole like I did initially.

Step 2
Once both the long sides have been punched through, start threading your twine in a zig-zag manner as shown in the pictures.

You will end up with something like this.

Step 3
Knot the twine at the top.  Now back-track along your zig-zag, pulling and making it taut as you go down to the original threading hole.

Once here, keep the twine taut and snip off from the spool, leaving about 6 inches in excess. Now knot this end to the box too, making sure your zig-zags are still fairly taut.

You should end up with something like this.

That's it! Your threat organizer is ready!

Now fill it up with your spools and see how they nestle in neatly side by side.

Once full, stand back and admire your handy work.

Here I am going all ninja on it and flipping it upside down. No spools lost, woohoo!!

 ...And here it is, sitting cosy next to my sewing basket.

 ...And here's another shot along the narrow side.

Enjoy! And let me know how your projects turned out.


Tuesday 13 May 2014

Homemade Glittery Sensory Play-Dough

I'm a big fan of fun sensory stimulation for toddlers. And what better excuse to whip up some play-dough than a miserable morning downpour? I've been regularly making play dough at home for a few months now and have safely pinpointed my no-fail go-to recipe. I have made it even more fun by adding a sensory aspect to it aka essential oils.

The end result - a lovely squishy soft dough that shimmers and sparkles as it is rolled and poked and moulded into different shapes. Not only that, it also smells beautiful and keeps for MONTHS!

Want to give it a go? Go grab your ingredients!

Plain flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 cup
Cream of tartar - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Water- 1 cup

Optional- 3 drops of essential oil e.g. lavender, orange, lemon etc.

Additional -
Food colour

Method -

  1. Dump all of the first five ingredients in a pan and mix well with a wooden spoon. (If you are making scented dough, add the essential oil at this stage too.)
  2. Set your hob to lowest heat/flame and put the pan on. Stir every few seconds until dough makes a clumpy lump or gets difficult to stir. Remove immediately from the heat.
  3. Take out into a large bowl/plate. At this stage, you can either divide it into smaller sections or work with one large lump. 
  4. Set the timer for 5 minutes and start kneading. Add food colour and glitter while doing so. The end result should be a very soft, smooth, pliable dough that springs back when poked with a finger. 
  5. Store in an air-tight container. 
Play away!

Alternatively, you can do step 4 using a food processor/mixer as well.

To get a long undisturbed quiet tea break maximum play time and sensory fun, gradually introduce tools and toys such as cookie cutters, rolling pins, silicone cupcake moulds, large buttons, toy cutlery etc.

Put the kettle on, sit back and watch an episode of your favourite sitcom while your toddler gets some quiet sensory creative fun.

Did you try this recipe? How did it go? Post below and happy crafting!

Saturday 10 May 2014

New Starts and a DIY Dummy Clip

As seen on CraftGossip.com

Hi everyone!

It has been many months and a brand new baby later that I am returning to my blog. The past few months have been a whirlwind mommying a toddler, a bump, a C-section and countless diaper changes. Now with two kids out of my belly and finally settling into a routine, I've been able to return to MCW.

That is not to say that I was being a complete craft slob. There was the odd project I'm proud of. Details later.

But for now, here's what it is. DD two who has just turned 6 months is in a habit of dropping her binkies (dummies/soothers/pacifiers). So I trolled Amazon and can you believe, this little nifty gadget bit of string with a clip to keep the dummy from dropping costs a whopping £9.99!!!! (image below)

Well although I clicked and placed it into my checkout basket, try as I might, that thrifty niggle in my pointer wouldn't let me hit "Proceed to checkout". And I'm so glad because I came up with not one but a number of dummy clips in a matter of minutes. No sewing involved and with only my craft supplies at hand.

Wanna take a look? Here it is, dummy attached and all ...

And here it is again, being used in all its glory hahaha .... :D

The best part for me though is this - I can even use it during DD's bedtime without fear of choking. Because I have kept the length of ribbon quite short, if she loses the dummy while sleeping, the max it does is touch her ear. No fear of the ribbon tangling around baby's precious neck. You can even make it any colour to match the outfit/pram/mood! Total time - 3 minutes.

Supplies needed - 
  • A length of ribbon
  • Two snap studs
  • A snap-stud kit
  • A bulldog clip
Of course the baby and binky are inevitable :) 

Have you made something like this or did you try out this gadget? Post and let me know. Happy crafting!

P.S. This post was featured here on Craftgossip.com!

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Potatoes and Onions - organizing my home in little bits :)

I'm returning to this blog after AGES!! The past many months have been occupied with becoming a first-time mom, bringing up a newborn into toddler-hood and now waiting to become mom again in winter 2013. But in the meanwhile, I've been organizing my little home in little bits and bobs, trying my best to make things happen on as tiny-a-budget as possible. I love being scrimpy ... I'm good that way :P

One of the best investments I made in the recent past was a supply of clear ID card sleeves and zip ties. Now I can go label-crazy on anything and everything wheeee!!!

So one of the things driving me crazy was this tiny shelf in my little kitchen cupboard where I kept my potatoes and onions. Things were always getting muddled and messy as you can see. Here's a "before" of things.... not something I'm proud of ...

Burlap sacks holding my onions and potatoes. Ho-hum.
But then, inspiration hit after browsing some Pinterest pins. And so I bought a couple of mesh magazine holders from Amazon. A pair of print-outs and some zip-tie magic later ... here's the after....

Magazine files from Amazon. Happy days :D 
Ta-daaaa!!!! See? Aren't things a lot better? :D These magazine holders are quite sturdy with a non-scratch base. The mesh made it easy peasy to thread the zip-ties through and the little finger holes make it easy to pull out the storage and see exactly how much supplies I have left. Well done Me!!!

Things would probably look a lot better if the label prints could be in colour ... but I ran out of printer cartridge ink. Boo. Ah well ... I'll get to it another day. As for now, hurray!!!

What do you think of this storage idea? Happy organizing!!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Tutorial: Recycled Kitchen Cupboard Organizer

When I first created my kitchen cupboard stacker, I thought I'd never seen anything so beautiful in a long time. Call me crazy but this autumn with the grey winds and cold rains, I've been finding my ray of sunshine every time I open my kitchen cupboard. Stacks upon stacks of neatly lined culinary condiments -- each and every jar, bottle and sauce clearly visible and accessible. No more rummaging around and taking down all the bottles to reach for the stock cubes hiding away at the back. No more bending down-picking up-carrying over-and-stepping-up on the step-stool to reach for the peppercorns jammed behind bottles of ketchup and peri peri sauce. Mmmm bliss ... :)

So I thought, why not make a simple tute out of it and share the happy times? You'll need this stuff and only 20 minutes of your time to get your cupboard in spanking order:
  • Empty plastic milk bottles, juice boxes and/or empty kitchen/toilet paper rolls
  • A piece of stiff cardboard (I just rip apart old parcel delivery boxes and they work like a charm)
  • A retractable cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Measuring tape
  • (Optional) Spirit level gauge or half a glass of water in a clear glass
Right then. Now that your supplies are in place, go ahead and empty your kitchen cupboard and give it a good clean inside (start with a blank canvas eh?)

Now take your measuring tape and measure the width of the cupboard shelf that you want to organize. To make the tiers, here's how will calculate the width, length and number of cardboard strips you need:

Strip length:

You want to cut strips of cardboard as long as the width of your cupboard. (My cupboard is about 14 inches across so that's how long my cardboard pieces are)

Strip width:

To determine the width of each cardboard strip, look to the the fattest jar/bottle that you have in your cupboard. In my cupboard, for instance, the fattest jar is Hellman's mayo (see photo above). So in short, my cardboard strip is wide enough to accommodate a Hellman's mayo bottle.

Number of cardboard strips needed:

This will be (the number of times your fattest bottle will sit inside the cupboard) minus 1.

So for my cupboard, I took the jar of Hellman's and placed it inside the cupboard; I counted that only 3 bottles of the mayo would sit front to back in a single row.

So the number of cardboard strips I need is is 3 -1 = 2 cardboard strips.

Now for the thrifty, salvage-y, crafty bit **grin**.

I took the tallest bottle in my cupboard and held it up to where I wanted it sitting inside the cupboard. I held a ruler next to it in my other hand and eyeballed the height of my first tier; it had to be about 4 inches tall. For the second tier, I simply opted to halve the height of the taller tier i.e. 2 inches.

(If you need to build more than two tiers, it is best to build one tier, fill it up and then hold the tallest bottle in the next-down tier to eyeball the next tier's height.)

I'll show you how I made the shorter tier here. I simply took three empty plastic milk bottles and washed them out. I measured 2 inches up from the base and marked it all around. Then I made a slit using a retractable cutter at that mark and cut all around the bottle using a pair of scissors. Here's how the cut-up bottles looked (ignore the mess in the background, I was having a messy day :P)

So each of these little cut-up bottoms is 2 inches tall. Next, I simply placed the three bottle bottoms along the length of one cardboard strip and traced their outlines roughly...

I hot-glued each of the bottle bottoms inside their outlines to create a wonky little tier, see?

(If you're feeling extra DIY-ish, you could place a spirit level gauge or a half-glass of water on top of the tier before gluing anything, just to make sure it is horizontal. If it is too topsy, just change the positions of the plastic bottoms or slice off thin slivers of plastic until your tier is level. I did it and do not regret it; its not perfect but nothing will fall off it, see?)

And there you have it, one tier all done! Can you see all the recycled bits and bobs I used to create the tiers for my cupboard?

When assembled, put the tiers in your empty cupboard and see how they're doing. If all seems okay, pull out your hot glue gun and connect the tiers together at all the places where two tiers touch each other. My tiers were touching each other where the orange juice box is, so I hot-glued 'em there.

It all looks a bit raw and wonky ... but all of that will disappear in one-two-three!

One ...

Two ...


Voila! That's kitchen cupboard perfection for me. Now all I need to do is change the label on my chilli flakes jar. Boo. Another time.

Go on and give this a go ... let me know how your projects turn out! Toodles!