Friday, July 31, 2015

Christmas in July

Christmas came early this year.

It started with a gift for my mum, who is basically Christmas crazy. She has all manner of decorations and even has her own shed to store them in. What she didn't have was an Advent Calendar.

I'm not sure where I found the idea. Probably Pinterest. Or maybe I morphed a couple of ideas together. Anyhoo, I'm sure Pinterest is the reason I held onto my old baking trays when Mr Frog bought me new ones from Aldi. It can't just be because I'm a bit of a hoarder. Right?

Here's what I came up with.

It's one of the simplest crafts I've done in ages.

1.Take one old baking tray/cookie sheet (FREE) and go at it with a can of spray paint. I chose white (because I had some. FREE)

2. Measure some xmas coloured scrapbook paper to size (already had because I bought it on sale ages ago. FREE)  and wrap around some matchboxes (ten of which I already had because I had to have them when I first saw them. FREE) from the craft shop. They come in packs of ten, so I bought another pack ( stupidly expensive when you're buying this many!) and then they didn't have any more. Commence swearing like a sailor, then save the day by buying actual matchboxes and turf the contents. (Seriously thought about keeping the matches, because surely I could use them for something, but after two weeks on the dining table they had to go.)

3. Adorn each box with a number from a purpose made sticker sheet. Thank you Kaisercraft for making my life easier.

That's basically it.

But then I realised that mum could display some of her massive magnet collection on the tray during the year, so I found a box to house the little boxes in (also FREE).

I love it when  a gift does double duty.

So, not long after I posted this off, we were invited to Christmas in July. Of course, I'd need a hostess gift and it would need to be homemade. I've got a rep' to protect.

I've been dying to make Mulled wine "teabags" almost as long as I've been obsessed with handmade tea bags. So, I went to Pinterest again, and used this and this as guides. The American measurements annoyed me no end, so there was a little bit of educated guessing going on.

Sadly, there was no time for a tasting so I can only hope they're as delicious as they look!

One "teabag" will do one bottle of wine, so I figure two bags will generally do for the winter. And of course they need to be packaged just so...

The morning of our lovely lunch date, Mr Frog trimmed the herb garden, so they came too.

Properly dressed of course...

And that is how we Christmas'd in July.

 Mr Frog has decided that next year, from Yule (in June...yes, I'm Pagan. The nude dancing is optional.) until Bastille Day on 14th July we will be celebrating Xmas, with decorations and everything.

You've been warned.

Now, it's time to start preparing those xmas crafts... don't leave them till the last minute, you'll just do yourself a damage.

What do you have planned for Xmas? Or is that a dirty word right now...?


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Someday, Soon...

For the last few years, I've had in mind a fabulous scenario....
Something a little like this... (If you own this photo, email me so I can credit you)

I'm working in my studio, a building separate from our gorgeous white weatherboard. I'm working on new designs; I'm on the phone with stores that sell my handmade wares; I'm popping into one of those stores to check on my stock; I'm meeting with a customer about their custom design; I'm home when the kids get home from school; I'm making dinner; enjoying a wine and a laugh with Mr Frog; I'm making a bit of money; and life is good.
Perhaps I'll need a little more room, but could it be any cuter? (Via Pinterest,"Found on

It's only since the birth of my daughter that that little scenario has been fleshed out in my head, clear enough that I can hear the sounds that go along with it. It's almost a memory.

I thought I had been working hard enough on my little business. I thought I was doing the best I could. And to some degree perhaps I was. The last two years have been hard. I didn't know having a baby and raising that person was going to be so hard. And time consuming. And energy sucking. And did I mention time consuming?
I couldn't possibly know how awesome, and how exhausting, motherhood could be.

A few weeks ago, we put the Tadpole into Family Daycare. It took ages for me to "get around" to arranging it. I kept "forgetting" to check out childcare centres and look into Family Daycare. I felt too guilty. It's not like I'm going back to work. (I'd still feel guilty but that would be different.) It's mostly so I can have a break to do what I want to do. To take some time just for me. Could I BE more selfish?!

It's just one day a week.

Tadpole thinks it's awesome.
She loves it because she gets to do stuff like this all the time!

And I am becoming the business woman I always hoped I really was.

Creative people really struggle with the business side of trying to make a living out of their talents. I really struggle.

But that scene in my head just won't quit.

So neither will I.

What's the scene in your head? What do you want your life to look like?

Tell me!


I made these. And I took the photo, did the editing, made it fancy and even did a photo shoot of the bags in action. I'm the BOSS!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Love Notes

Here is a little something nice to do for the ones you love.

First, make some biscuits/cookies/slice or similar. Try not to eat them all yourself.

Next, write some lovely things on some tiny post-its or note paper. Hell, you can even write them on scrap. The point here is to be specific. It's great to hear " I love you", it's even better to hear "I love you because...". I made these for Mr Frog, so they were all things I love about him, but you can do this for anyone. I imagine they'd be especially well received by someone going through a tough time (new mums, for example). Use your imagination and write loving thoughts.

Next, cut some baking paper so that you can easily wrap a couple of bikkies, or a piece of slice, without too much overhang. Place your treat on the paper, add your little note and wrap. I simply folded my ends and tucked them underneath, but you can use tape (washi tape would be awesome) if you wish. Then tie them with string, because who doesn't love things tied with string?

Repeat until you've used all the treats or you've run out of things to say.

Voila! You're done and you've just done something lovely for the one you love.

 Sometimes it really is this easy to make someone happy.


P.S Mr Frog has taken to returning home from work and quoting his note of the day to me... he looks very pleased with himself!