Monday, February 24, 2014

Gifts for a newborn: DIY felt finger puppets and theatre

When friends had a beautiful baby boy last month, I knew I wanted to get crafty and give them some handmade gifts. It just made sense since they are great supporters of this blog and my DIY projects, plus Mrs Tee (now Mummy Tee!) is known to make amazing advent calendars each Christmas for her little family members.

After seeing the felt characters that Jenny made for her daughter on Little Green Notebook, and reading how she treasured the things her own mum made for her growing up, I was inspired to make felt finger puppets.

For the puppets themselves, I found heaps of inspiration by doing a Google image search and just picked animals and designs I liked. See my Pinterest board for more ideas and to see where I borrowed my designs from. I ended up with a lion, zebra, giraffe, rabbit and fox.

The fox was inspired by this chevron onsie in Big W. I'm not big on heaps of emblems, patterns and words splashed all over baby clothes but I think this one is adorable. Bargain prices at Big W too. If you are prepared to wade past the not-so-adorable clothes and squint creatively, you can find some good stuff at the cheap department or chain stores.

Baby Tee will be well out of this body suit by the time he can play with the finger puppet but I enjoyed making it all coordinate :)

 To make the puppets, you will need felt pieces in various colours, sharp scissors and glue. I also used little stick-on eyes but you don't need these if you'd prefer to cut eyes from the felt.

 I found all the supplies at Spotlight but most craft stores would have these items. I chose to use a hot glue gun because I had one already. Fabric glue would also work.

After lots of cutting and glueing while baby Leo was napping or playing, I ended up with five finger puppets I loved. Somehow, they seemed a little lost without a theatre so I transformed a box from one of Leo's toys into a little home for them. The hot glue gun worked wonders in adhering the striped fabric onto the box as curtains for the theatre. For the red cardboard though, a combination of craft glue and double-sided tape was more than enough.

The back and sides of the theatre are covered in brown kraft paper and jazzed up with stars cut from yellow card and stickers from Kikki K.

The box originally had a red lid so it was perfect for creating an entrance to the backstage area.

So there you have it, a little theatre and five furry friends for Baby Tee. Hopefully it holds up long enough for him to direct a few puppet shows in years to come. I had such fun making it.

To round out his gift, I picked up a few other pieces at Big W that we've found really handy with Leo.  Firstly a three pack of these white body suits or onesies. My nanna got Leo a set in size 000 and we had them on him for so many months under clothes in place of a singlet or with a pair of leggings (like the navy and grey pair below which were about $5). They just seemed to stretch with him. I promise we weren't squishing the life out of him when I say he was still wearing them even when his other clothes were 00 and even 0! I've noticed Big W doesn't always have stock of all the sizes in white so I may not be the only person to think they are good value (about $9 for a 3 pack).

In the suit pictured, I sewed on a little pocket just for fun.

The last item, in the far right of the photo below, is a new style Bonds Wondersuit. The fabulous thing about these is the two-way zipper which is exactly what you need when changing nappies overnight. Who really wants to do up all those buttons or snap fasteners in the dead of night?! Or anytime really. A baby might as well take advantage of being able to wear a onesie day and night. After all, they grow up so quickly and will be wearing separate tops and bottoms for the majority of their lives. Baby Tee, kick back while you can. Wear onesies and play finger puppets! And have a lot of fun! xx

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A new obsession: hobnail milk glass

Do you ever wonder how you become fixated on certain items? Or how you go from not knowing what something is one day to feeling like you must have it the next? I must have an obsessive streak in me because I know too well the feeling of lusting after things, especially interior-related items. Sometimes, it's all about the thrill of the chase and tracking down hard-to-find beauties. Since this blog is all about the hunt for things that make my heart sing, it's probably obvious that I enjoy a good hunt, even if I'm not always collecting a booty. Must be the thrill of the chase. Truth be told, I'd love to be bringing all the treasure home, but neither my bank nor home can stretch that far.

Image via Haus of Mason

So, what's my latest obsession you ask? One look at the title of this post gives it away - hobnail milk glass. Do you know it? Milk glass is pretty much as it sounds - glass coloured the shade of a creamy white milk, while hobnail refers to the textured pattern of the glass which mimics the look of a hobnail. A hobnail is a short nail with a thick head traditionally used on the soles of shoes or boots. 

Image via Haus of Mason

I'm not having much luck finding it on eBay here in Australia but it seems to be everywhere on Etsy and blogs in the US. There's an old manufacturer called Fenton that seems to have made the bulk of it and I'm hoping some of it will surface when I get around to fossicking in some op shops and vintage stores. You can see my Pinterest board on hobnail milk glass here. 

Image via Haus of Mason

As for how this new love grew, I can only think that a certain mug I fell for while on holiday over the Australia Day weekend is to blame (holiday deets below). It wasn't hobnail as such, and I've since found they are currently available new in stores (yay), so not at all vintage either. I guess it just ignited something in me, most likely a memory of beautiful milk glass collections on the blogosphere. 

Image via House

It's made by Alex Liddy and is available in House stores. They call it a "Textured Mug - Dots" and at only $7.99 a pop, I gotta get me some! Usually I stick to my Country Road Bistro mugs in various patterns and colours but I've noticed my mum steers away from them when she stays, instead preferring some smaller bone china mugs I have (but don't like). Hopefully she likes drinking from these as I want to say goodbye to those other ones. Hello imitation hobnail! While I hunt down the real deal, these are sure to make my heart skip a little faster. 

Note on the holiday long weekend: We spent a lovely long weekend at Martha Cove on the Mornington Peninsula in this holiday house. Clearly I was a fan of the crockery! The kitchen was very well-equipped and overall the furnishings were pretty tasteful. Plenty of room for three couples and little ones. I'd also highly recommend a visit to the Peninsula Hot Springs and a wander around Sorrento. Elephant is a must-visit homewares store there (oh my, LOVE that place. I stumbled on it a year ago and I was so happy to be nearby recently that I went twice in one day!). We also enjoyed visiting the Ashcombe Maze and the Red Hill Brewery. We had a Mornington Peninsula attraction pass which made things more affordable. There is so much to do in this part of Victoria and it's an easy drive from Melbourne for a day trip or weekend. 



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