Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Summer, School, Silly Season and the Fantastic Plastic

Hey Guys,

It's been some time since I posted so I thought I would give you a quick update and let you know I am still alive. It's been the most crazy couple of months, so here is a quick run down.


I bought a fireplace about a month ago, couldn't wait to decorate the tree and hang stockings....been so busy the only thing that has changed in this picture is the vase of flowers. Yeah the tree is still not decorated, mantle not done and stockings not yet hung.


My Elizabeth graduated primary school last night, I am so proud of her and she is very excited to be starting high school next year. I can't believe she is going to high school it makes me feel like she's growing up too quickly.


We've done some fun end of year activities with these two little rug rats. Max was hilarious, after this picture he tried to unwrap the faux presents, yep we were those parents, the ones dragging their kid off the tree. Honestly though, it is kind of funny.


Why am I so busy, because of this, for those who don't know I am selling Tupperware, I started back in October and it's just gone gang busters. I seem to be constantly out of the house. I've found it to be the best fun I have ever had while making money and it just keeps growing. Which for me is a good thing. I want to redo my floors and have that extra pocket money to do all the things I have wanted to do in the house that have just been out of reach.


However, it has left me with exactly zero crafting time, between my parties and the housework I haven't done a single thing. I've hardly read any blogs and done absolutely nothing on my own, so I have decided to take a Summer holiday. The boys have already finished for the year and Elizabeth finishes at the end of the week and come February I hope to have a better idea of how I am going to manage my time.

I'll see you all after Christmas, so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Sticker Place Mats - Building Fine Motor Skills

Well hello there!

It feels like forever since I have done anything lately, well blog related, at present I seem to be running around everywhere. I remembered something the little two did a while back and they had aan absolute ball. Please mind the photos they were never intended for the blog, but hey what the heck I might as well share it.


We've been working on our fine motor skills, some of us are a little uncoordinated...truly they get that from me, I am the sort of person who trips over imaginary lines and you should see my attempts at learning crochet, disaster. Anyway I'd been researching things the kids could do that would be fun but help build fine motor skills, and I discovered playing with stickers was really good for them.


They had a lovely afternoon of sticking stickers onto painted wooden place mats, then I just sealed them.



Good, cheap fun, just like me, since I have done nothing Christmassy and my blog license will be revoked, lets all just pretend that they're Christmas stickers.


So what have you all been up to? I feel like I have been neglecting my online friendships, honestly not intentional and I miss you guys so much!

Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Roadside Stool Makeover

Hey Guys,

So things have been bouncing along here at the mansion. I haven't had much time for anything although IU have managed to score a few amazing items, which I hope to get poictures of very soon. In the mean time here is a guest post you might have missed during the year.

This post first appeared on The Thrifty Rebel


Sometimes I think my neighbours know I am going to take their roadside trash. You see I found five of these wooden stools on my neighbours front lawn ready for pick up. 

Instead of just being thrown on like the rest of the crap these were neatly tied together making it easy to carry 2  at a time. When I asked if I could have them, he smiled like he had been waiting for me and said of course.




I only needed two of them for my craft room so I gave them a couple of coats of chalk paint. They need something else, I was thinking grain sack, but for the life of me I could not get them to line up and it was peeling the paint. So I left them white until further inspiration hits and the paint cures



Then Tuula invited me to play,  inspiration hit and I got the paint out again, TADA pink seats, but even better that, the stools inspired something else that caused my very mild mannered husband Jules to freak out!!

and if you're new here I have already posted the makeover that had my husband wondering whether or not he was living in the Barbie Dream House here.

Thanks for reading

Mel xo

Friday, 7 November 2014

Oven Baked Bread, Without Kneading!

Hi Guys,

Can't believe I checked out of bloglandia for so long! Lately life has been going a million miles a minute and I just haven't had any spare time. I have been trying to catch up with all the happenings but aty this point I am so far behind if I haven't said hi in a while I am coming. Since I haven't been doing much in the way of crafting or DIY I thought I would share a guest post from earlier in the year.

The post first appeared at With a Blast

Now I must admit, I am not a fan of cooking but I love to bake and one of my favourite things to bake is bread. Before you say baking bread is hard and annoying and time consuming, what if I told you all you have to do was chuck it in the bread maker and then get on with your normal routine then come back to it when you're ready to bake?

That's exactly what I do. Using my bulk bread maker recipe which you can find here


Ingredients - Add to bread maker in the exact order.
3&1/2 cups of Bread Maker Mix - recipe for bulk mix here
2 tsp of Dried Yeast
1 cup of Mixed Dried Fruit
1 tsp of Cinnamon
1&1/2 tbs of Olive Oil
1&1/4 cups of warm water (just slightly warm to touch, water that's too hot will kill the yeast and your dough won't rise 

Now I think you all know how to pour stuff into a bread maker but I like to use the dough setting rather than the bread so I can have these rustic free form loaves. Once the bread maker is set, go shopping for an hour or more, your bread will sit quite happily in the bread maker until you're ready to come back to it.

First spray down the tray, really well or use olive oil to oil the spray. I like quick and easy so I just use the spray, and dump the dough onto the tray.




Wrap it in plastic wrap but allow room for the bread to rise, leave it in a warm place then go and have a coffee or do something fun.


Come back in half an hour and it should have doubled in size.


Bake it in a moderate oven 180 Celsius or 350F for approximatly 30 mins. Be aware that this does depend on your oven, mine is brand new and it's exactly 30 mins, my old oven was dying and running very hot I found 22 minutes was enough in that oven. Isn't that bread just awesome.


Then slice it up and watch it disappear in front of your eyes. My 5 kids can eat 2 loaves of this for afternoon tea between them. (I admit two of them are teenage boys and never seem able to fill their stomachs)

Truly delicious and almost no work! you can shop and sit around drinking coffee because this is pretty much a waiting game and don't forget to check out my bread maker mix, it is seriously the best thing......since sliced bread. (bad joke lets all groan together)




 Or come and follow me at any or all of these places.

    

Mel xo

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

My Perfectly Imperfect Experiment - The Patchwork Chair

 Hey Guys,

I am so, so , so excited about this chair makeover. It's not perfect and I made heaps of mistakes but you know what I LOVE it.

Remember this thrifted chair, yep awesome design but let's be honest it's a bit dark and dreary



Then I started seeing patchwork chairs on Pinterest, I fell immediately in love, however they were all for sale, (around $1000) dollars and I had no idea how to turn that idea into a DIY.

Then I thought, blow it, I have all this free fabric that my neighbour gave me, it was from a friend of hers who sells patchwork fabric. She always collects the samples once the line is done, and I just started cutting squares using my Big Shot. Check the link below (*affiliate link)

                                                              />

Can't tell you how awesome it is, cuts through 8 layers at a time and I had my squares cut in an hour!!!


Stitching these pieces was looking like a nightmare until I found this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew, AMAZING!!! It took me less than an hour to sew the main fabric.

Then it was time to pin and get the sides cut, that was the part I found really difficult, it is so not perfect but who cares I still love it and I have learned a lot from this chair to try with the second one.


This bad boy came out more than a few times while trying to place the pieces, exactly where I needed them.


By this stage I was just thrilled, I really could see it coming together.


I painted the arms and legs using white chalk paint from the EZE2Paint range from Canterbury Blue sold here, totally paid for it myself, but I just adore her and her paints!

And then stapled it on. There are a few lumps and bumps but I think it makes it more beautiful in that shabby chic kind of style.


DIY Delight or Disaster? Oh this my friends is a total delight. I'm not sure I have ever had a project that has truly come together with so much love. In spite of the short cuts I took with the cutting and sewing, this took a LONG time, mistakes and seam ripping aside it was worth every minute, I adore it! The chair is perfect like it was made for me, the new cover, isn't perfect but can I tell you, it's beautiful anyway. It makes me smile every time I see it and that can only be an absolute delight!!



Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Look What My Thrifting Fairy Godmother Found Me.

It's been pretty quiet lately on the blog, what with the holidays and then a million things coming up time is just getting busier and busier. Also I have to declare something to you, I am outing myself as a Tupperware freak. So much so that I decided to take up selling it. Not to worry though, I won't be bombarding you guys with it, although if you're in the Melbourne area of Australia and want to host a prty drop me an email (mellywoods5@gmail.com), I promise, it wont be like any other party you've been to, cocktails and Tupperware.....yeah I'm going there!

Anyway I have scored a few things lately, not one but two of these chairs, my Mum thinks they're from the 50's apparently my grandparents had them when she was a young child. I love the really high backs. Being a tall person, I find lots of modern furniture is really low backed and low to the ground. These chairs are so comfy the kids are fighting over who gets the other one. $10 each. If you follow me on Facebook, you'll have seen the progress I am making turning this from 50's find to shabby chic/cottage gorgeousness. I'm almost finished one of them, oh and I am loving it, delights abound so far!


You have no idea how long I have wanted a suit valet. You know we all have those crazy things we have on our "one day" list, this is it for me. I saw it on my local op (thrift) shop's fb page and was lining up at the door before opening the next day. $25 a bit pricey for thrifting but I had to have it. Jules says I shouldn't give it a makeover, I'm like, ummm do you remember who you're talking to, she will be painted! Also look at the floor, that was the disaster in my living room. The paint scratched and peeled and looks worse by the day, currently saving for new flooring. I still don't regret ripping up that blue carpet.


I want to give this a makeover for Summer, 20 cents, can't go wrong. I've discovered landfill rescue shops, thanks to my friend Karen at RUDE Record, completely changed my thrift store shopping ways and I am now scoring amazing bargains! She's amazing, turns fabric rescued from landfill into amazing fashion items. Check her out!



This vase, I am not even sure what it was about this vase but I fell in love with it. Even all scratched up it is absolutely gorgeous. I don;t think this photo is showing it right because it truly is so beautiful. 10 cents score! I have started playing with vignettes and it's truly a stand out piece. Obviously I will share when I get it finished.



Well this post has been a little chattier than I intended but it was kind of a catchup as well. If I haven't made it to your blog this week, I am making the rounds.

Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ombre Russian Doll Pillow

Hey Guys,

Well the holidays are done and the kids are back to school for the last 2 months of school. I really enjoyed having them home and to be honest I also enjoy sending them back!

Over the holidays I did a few projects but this one comes with a freebie for you.

A few weeks back my friend Cass at Cass Can Sew put a call out for pattern tester for her new appliqué pattern. As soon as I saw they were Russian Dolls, my hand went up immediately.


I made a very simple envelope pillow then I used Heat & Bond Ultra Hold, this stuff is brilliant, you do not need to sew it. In fact if you can't (or don't like to) sew you could buy a cheap pillow and do the appliqué without so much as touching a needle. It just irons on. I have washed it before and it holds up well but do so at your own risk. That said you  could have some fun new pillows in a matter of 15-20 minutes.

The pattern was very easy to work with and Cass has a nested option too. Go and check out all the ideas and download the free pattern here.




For those of you who don't sew, these would make beautiful paper crafts especially cards or wall art and Russian dolls are always a hit at Christmas!  Actually I have another idea I hope to finish using the dolls very soon.

Thanks Cass for trusting me to play with your baby,


Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

Friday, 3 October 2014

Christmas is Coming!

You can hate me for the reminder but it's true Christmas is coming.

As a kid as much as I loved the big present I truly loved my stocking, all the bits and pieces not to mention the candy, it was always so exciting. I like to take my time with the kids stockings, I made them huge ones and right through the year I like to pick up items I think they will like.

However when they got to school age, I realised that a lot of the stuff was just crap, played with and broken before the last slice of Plum Pudding had been devoured, so I thought of ways I could fill the stocking with things they would love and actually use.

Recently the good folks at Zak! offered me the chance to review their new range of Frozen lunch box products and I thought these are perfect stocking stuffers and gifts for my nephews. Anyone with a little girl will tell you that anything Frozen related is the absolute bees knees so of course I said yes please. 


Madeleine immediately fell in love with it, and now asks me every day when school starts, sorry kid not until February, so until then it's fabulous for picnics and days at the beach. 

The boxes have clip seals which are very easy for little hands to open and all products are BPA free. Once lunch is made pop it into the insulated bag and you're ready to go.

However what if like me, and you also have a little boy who loves Frozen but doesn't want princesses all over his plates and drink bottles, what are you going to do? Well the boys haven't been forgotten they also have Sven and Olaf, in blue!

You can check out the whole Frozen range here, but I've included a small sample of  other items available in the range.




Other great stocking stuffer ideas include.

Cutlery, all kids love having their own special forks and spoons.

Dinner plates, so you can eat with the Frozen crew at all meals.

So if you're thinking of online shopping this Christmas, get ordering early to avoid postage dramas and if Frozen is not your thing, Zak! has many other wonderful licensed products and items for older children. Items will also be available at Big W and Kmart.

Thanks for reading,

 Mel xo

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 things I've never told you before

Hey Guys,

We are on school holidays, the weather is absolutely glorious and so I wont be around much, the kids and I are having some fun. We've been doing things like finger painting in our undies...the little two that is, the rest of us prefer to stay clothed. Crafting and I have been doing some pretty deep Spring Cleaning!!! (Filled my car after just doing my wardrobe)

Anyway I thought I'd share 10 things I may or may not have told you over the past couple of years and I would love it if you joined in and shared 10 things about you.

1. Growing up we had the good old back yard pool and my parents would not let us swim unless the temperature was over 27. My brother, sister and I would stare at the barometer with our bathers on once it hit 25 in hopes that we would be swimming any minute. To this day as soon as I see 27 it automatically makes me happy.  That's me in the green tshirt, with all the zinc, we burn easily. In fact in the middle of summer my Mum used to make me sswim in a skivvy, so cool....



2. I have dodgy ankles and I am a big old klutz. I spent EVERY school holiday either on crutches or in a cast. Except for the time I broke my nose. The weird thing is even after I left school for the first 18 months I still wound up with something sprained or broken. More often than not it was my ankle.

3. My mother family immigrated here from Ireland I am of the first generation from that side born here in Australia. I don't really identify with it, other than St Patty's day and lets be honest everyone is a little Irish in March.



4. I was married prior to marrying Jules. I was young and dumb and I sincerely hope my kids don't marry before they're 25. Jules is 6 years younger than me, which interestingly enough, always raises eyebrows but my ex was 6 years older than me and nobody EVER mentioned that age difference.

5. If I ever had a career do over I would love to write commercial jingles, not sure why but it sounds really fun.

6. I was never a girlie girl. I have always been much more comfortable with boys my favourite toy as a kid was a Tonka Truck.

7. My retirement plan is to move to the country and try to have a fully self-sustaining property, except for meat. I would buy meat I don't think I could raise then eat an animal. I long to have a little cottage full of scrappy quilts and baskets of home grown fruits. I know lots of people have done the sea change/tree change here but for the sake of my kids education and income possibilities, I don't think it's the right thing for us now. I love this quilt, Mum made it for Madeleine. (I want to keep it for myself)



8. My biggest fear for my short term future is not being able to get back into the work force. I have plans of going back when the little two are in school but being over 40 and out of the workforce for a few years, I am worried that t will hurt my employment prospects.

9. Without a doubt I am sure my family is finished. I have been watching friends and family have babies the last couple of years and as gorgeous as all those little ones are, I never feel clucky. I am happy to hold and happier to hand them back.  You see lots of pictures of the little two so I thought I would show you my older three when they were little, oh so many memories.



10. My bucket list includes, skydiving, bungee jumping and learning how to crochet. I have tried so many times to crochet and I CAN NOT figure it out. I make one long chain and that's as far as I get. I have been shown in person, watched you tube videos read books but the technique just eludes me. I find it really frustrating.


Anywhoo, I think I have one more post coming up over the next couple of weeks, but if not, see ya soon. Oh and if you decide you want to share some things about you, do it in the comments or blog and let me know so I can learn more about you guys.

Mel xo

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Nurseries - Oh Baby!


Hey Guys,

I was more than a little excited this week to have the opportunity to curate a board over at Hometalk.

Oh Baby (pun intended) there are so many cute ideas for any one planning a nursery, like this adorable wall art from Our Pinteresting Famly.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Monday, 15 September 2014

Memo Board

Hey Guys,

So I have banned myself from buying anything more from the thrift stores and op shops until I use all the items I have. You might remember this one from a gazillion posts ago but it is one huge frame.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

DIY 3 tier stand

Howdy all,

So back in June my Mum took Elizabeth and I out for high tea, Have to say it was a really great day. If you're in Melbourne go and checkout the new Emporium and visit The Tea Salon it was lovely.

Anyway we are sitting there having a wonderful tea and my Mum says "Look at those holders, they're just old plates, someone drilled a hole in and put them together."



Friday, 5 September 2014

curtains

Good Morning,

One of the things that was really in need of replacing in Elizabeth's room were those awful blinds. When I moved into the mansion these were in every room, along with the horrid blue painted walls, and believe me that blue was horrible, but matched with the ugliest blue carpet, it was any wonder it took them a year to sell it.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hoop Wall art

Morning All,

Elizabeth had been pinning her little heart out prior to me starting on her room. One thing that she pinned a gazillion times was Hoop Art displays. Sadly this one didn't have a link, if you know where it has come from please let me know so I can credit the photo. She loved this one she pinned it 4 times. She told me she wanted it but in green.



Monday, 1 September 2014

Roll Top Desk Maakeover

Hey Guys,

Remember this desk, the catch all of my crap in the entryway before it had it's makeover? Elizabeth has always wanted it and so I thought the time has come. She goes off to high school in January and she will need somewhere to work in private away from the little two.



Using the Canterbury Blue Chalk Paint, I painted it white and I bought these beautiful pumpkin pulls off ebay for less than $2 each. I found them in store for $12.50 so I was pretty pleased with the price.


Only problem was the 4 week wait for them to be shipped, however I just think they're so pretty.


See Pretty!!



DIY Delight or Disaster? Oh delight for sure, I have always loved the desk but I think she is just stunning in white. I love the Canterbury Blue paints, I did receive a pot of the white paint for free, but have since bought a few more, I just love them. So the first touches of green in her room and they're so pretty.

Thanks for reading,

Mel xo

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