Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top of the Pops

Just before Christmas last year I came across this beautiful book in Vinnie's for $2, it was brand new and a really lovely find.

It is more a work of art than a standard pop-up book...

This is a new book, not vintage, and is available on Amazon, I would really recommend it, my boys' eyes light up as each beautifully crafted page pops into life. This is definitely one I would have bought anyway if I hadn't found it and definitely one to be kept up out of reach except for story time until the boys are older :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and all your dreams and wishes come true. I would like to thank everyone who has read/followed/commented on my blog since I started in January, it has been such fun! My Blogoversary is next month and I am planning a little giveaway, so hopefully I will see you in the new year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Perseverance pays...

Since the dawn of time (ok maybe not quite that long) I have been hoping to find a filing cabinet. Not a typical steel office one, but a lovely wooden one, with brass handles and tag holders. I have hunted high and low, been outbid on eBay (what's new?) and rejected many left out on the side of the road knowing there was something better out there...

Last week my patience finally paid off when I came across this in Vinnie's...

It's lovely, it's wooden...

It has the much desired brass handles...

I love the nice bevelled detailing...

Best of all it cost $30, which means with my free typewriter, $3 lamp and cute $2 Eiffel Tower, this little grouping cost $35 in total :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Festive Finds

I am a Christmas FREAK! I get excited for months beforehand, playing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You", watching the Budweiser Clydesdale Horses Christmas ad on Youtube (they don't show it here in Australia) and of course my new favourite Christmas movie "Love Actually".

I yearn someday to make a mega-haul of fabulous brightly coloured vintage mercury glass ornaments still in their boxes like almost everybody else in blogland seems to be doing but for now I am happy with these little festive finds...

These funky cards were $1 for five, haven't been able to bring myself to send them yet.

I LOVE these ice-cube trays, they cost 50 cents, it's such fun having Santa and tree-shaped ice, even though they will probably melt within seconds in the Sydney heat!

Hello Deer (or is he a moose)? Either way for $2 I wasn't passing this cutie up. S and D love him, he's the perfect size for their little hands to clutch and push around.

This assortment of Christmas baubles were $1. I love these old threaded ornaments, they remind me of when I was little and Dad was putting up the tree, we would go through all the decorations and I loved fidgeting with them and pushing the thread apart and back together.

Christmas glasses for 20 cents each.

What could be more festive than red snowflake pyrex?

One of my few gripes about Australia initially was how much less festive Christmas was here for us at first, I was used to the Northern Hemisphere where Christmas means cold nights, evenings spent huddled around roaring fires, Christmas lights twinkling on short days and the possibility of snow (the only white Christmas in my lifetime in Dublin was the year we left Ireland, typical!) However, whilst I still have the occasional twinge for a cold Chrimbo I am now almost fully acclimatised and love the Aussie Christmas, I think having kids does that - the wonder and excitement of Santa is back, buying stocking fillers, making lists...

I digress, this book was a great find for $3, it's the Aussie angle on a Christmas feast, featuring beach buffets, bbq tips as well as incorporating the traditional turkey and ham feast (which we Paddies still insist on preparing every year).

This was the motherload of Christmas hauls, not strictly thrifted as they are from Myer but too good a bargain not to share. It was last January at the very end of the sales and they had 90% off the already marked down prices, when I brought $180 worth of decorations to the cash-desk expecting to pay $18 for them they charged me $1.80 with a rather haughty sales assistant assuring me it was 90% off the initial 90%, who was I to argue? Yaay!

I think even in the hot Summer evening sun I may be tempted to partake in some traditional mulled wine heated up in this gorgeous enamel stove-top jug which I picked up for $1.50

Only 16 days to go...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teepee or not teepee

My middle munchkin S occasionally likes to escape the chaotic antics of his brothers and find a little spot to chill out with his books and puzzles. His favourite previous little getaway spot was a Thomas and Friends pop-up house which doesn't so much pop as flop anymore after a couple of years of constant use and being climbed on. He likes to stand up and take stock of his surroundings so a lot of the little houses available now aren't tall enough, even though he's only a little cupcake.

So now I'm thinking along the lines of a teepee, it would be a great little spot to hide and chill out and with a few cushions scattered on the floor would be so lovely and cosy.

Here's some teepee inspiration, I have had these images for ages stored in my decor folder so I have no recollection of where I found them and hence can't credit their origins, oops!

Aren't they gorgeous? Most of the ones I have researched online such as Dobbin and Drum and An Angel at my Table are pretty expensive so I'm still on the hunt.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wax Works

I was going through my rascals' art and craft supplies earlier, jotting down what we need, getting rid of unusable bits such as dried up felt tips etc and doing a general tidy up. I had made a little pile of broken stumps of crayons when I recalled a post I'd seen out in Blogland about making new crayons out of old. H was very excited when I suggested we make brand new crayons for S (as a sort of apology to his little brother, there hadn't been much brotherly love going around this morning).

It's such a simple and fun activity...

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Slice up the crayons into little pieces and put them into a mini-muffin tray. You can make them single coloured or mix about colour for more fun effects. Put them in the oven and leave until the wax melts, then take them out and let them cool (well out of reach of little hands, that hot wax would burn!). When they've cooled and turned solid use a knife to prise them out and hey presto!

Don't they look good enough to eat? My favourite is the moo-cow effect black and white. When S got up from his nap he was so thrilled with this very special pressie from his big brother whom he adores :-)
The crayons kept him busy for ages, and both he and H got a great kick out of getting different colours out of the same crayon depending on where they pressed down. I think these could make a great stocking-filler or a fun addition to party-bags. So lovely for little chubby hands to clutch :-)

This was a winning activity for all, H had such a great time making something special and really useful for his little brother, S was delighted with these colourful, easy to hold crayons and I was glad to have done something resourceful with the old stumps rather than just chuck them out.

Tip: Open the windows while the crayons are in the oven, I didn't, and now the house smells like a crayola factory!