Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bloglovin' Blop Hop #81

Your Devoted Host:

Your Fabulous Co-Hosts:



1.  Add your link DIRECTLY TO YOUR Bloglovin' profile.  You will need to manually upload your picture.
2.  Follow your host, co-hosts, and sponsors.
3.  Visit a few other bloggers in the linky and follow them, too!
4.  Tweet and share this hop!

Happy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free Printable "Love You to the Moon and Back"

I love the projects that abound at the moment with chalkboards as inspiration. I think there is something really appealing about the look of a nicely formed chalkboard. Maybe it comes from years of visiting cafes and little local restaurants that show their specials on boards.

Whatever the reason, I love the look so decided to make my own print for my daughter's room. I thought this was the perfect place for a little reminder of how much we love her, and using the chalkboard theme is perfect for a children's room.

So first I spent the week searching for elements to make this little quote, one of my favourites and something I say to my daughter all the time. 'We love you to the moon and back...'

We have hung this in a lovely little distressed yellow and white frame that I made recently and it sits on our daughters bedroom wall right where she sees it every night before she falls asleep so she will always know how much we love her.

Download a copy here...

(PS, the print comes without the yellow framing but with the blackboard right to the edge, I added the digital frame just to show how cute it looks once it is framed.)

Hope you Enjoy this and don't forget to share it with other's who might like a copy too.

Monday, July 28, 2014

De-Clutter Challenge Updates - Digitalising your Paper Records week I talked about the 52 Week De-Clutter Challenge from the Organised Housewife and to keep me on track I am sharing my progress on the blog.

Task 1 - Noticeboard, cork board, inspiration board or the fridge. This was a quick and simple challenge as I did the fridge, it’s amazing how many expired vouchers, old school notices and more ends up gathering on the fridge if not checked regularly. Now my fridge has only a calendar and a couple of current school reminders. What a difference it makes.

Although I am also creating a little inspiration board to hang on the wall to remind me how I want my home to look. I created this digital version this week, but am going to print it and set it on a canvas to hang on the wall over the weekend so it's there all the time to keep me on track.
The images represent the feeling I want, a home that is clean, clutter free but still lived in. I don't want clinical, but want a home I can walk into, feel proud of the way it looks, but know that it's a home, not a showcase where people are afraid to get comfy.

Task 2 -  Kid’s Artwork, Drawings & Creations. this would have to be the best idea for de-cluttering. My daughter is a prolific creator and our house abounds with drawings, paintings, sketches and handmade creations that have no purpose and we have drawers spilling with her work.

I am still working on this one but I suspect it will be an ongoing task as every time I open a drawer somewhere in the house I find more drawings, colourings, sketches and art that have been forgotten. But now I have a digital frame in the lounge which rotates through all the images created from the scans and it’s quite lovely to see her creativity on show and not jammed in a drawer somewhere forgotten and she can see how her style and creativity has progressed from infancy to now.

In fact I was so impressed by the amount of space we managed to retrieve by clearing out all that clutter that I am expanding the brief and using this same concept in my office and studio. I have shelves full of paperwork, class work and instruction sheets from the vocational course, financial paperwork for the family and the business, plans, documents, paper, paper, paper!!!!

So my goal over the next month is to gather together all the documents and papers in my office, scan them, sort them into labelled archive folders on a hard drive. It’s amazing how much space you reveal and how much more organised your space is when not cluttered by reams of paper. After all, in this age of technology, keeping electronic records makes far more sense. 

I am pretty excited about the changes I have been making, in addition to the challenge I started following the example of another blogger who is recording ‘365 things I can live without’ so I have been slowly and ruthlessly throwing away items, at least one every day. It’s quite a cathartic feeling to be removing unused and unwanted clutter from your home.

It always seems a little wrong to give away or throw away items that are perfectly good, just unused, or even worse, items that were a gift from someone. But unfortunately it is that struggle that allowed my home to become so cluttered and disorganised.

Do you have any stories you can share following the De-Clutter challenge or other similar projects, or de-cluttering ideas, share them in comments to help on my road to a cleaner, brighter home.

Images by of Michal Marcol and Gualberto107 on

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Date Night Inspiration...

It's Sunday night and the kids are all in bed early ready for school tomorrow, why not make it Date Night. Spend a little quality time with your Husband or Partner without the kids.
Need a little inspiration, here are some great ideas for date nights from the romantic to the unique and unusual activities, things to do at home and inexpensive ways to show someone you love them with a little bit of time and creativity.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Things...I can't Live Without

1. My Family. Do I really need to explain that!

2. Chocolate and Coffee. I know, it's two things, but really they are both food so I thought it would be OK to put them together and what women would EVER give up chocolate by choice. As for coffee, I need caffeine to be human, especially in the mornings. And in winter, there is nothing that warms and comforts the body like a hot coffee.

3. A Creative Outlet. My jewellery and my blog are my creative outlets, without them I would slowly fade into nothingness. I need a creative outlet to keep me sane and having an outlet that is also my business is what keeps me going every day.

4. Technology. I know, we are all way to obsessed with technology, but these days I would be lost without it. I have forgotten the art of reading a traditional novel, can't remember the last time I picked up a book or wrote a letter. I am quite a solitary person too, after 15 years of being on the move with a military husband it's hard to make connections when you know you will be moving one in a very short period of time so my biggest and most enduring connections are sometimes online.

Of course I have real friends offline too, those that will always be there, an important part of my life and would most definitely come under the heading of family in my No.1 thing I cannot live without.

5. My Car. I know, very ungreen of me, but I hate public transport and the idea of me on a bike has me and my whole family in whoops, I am about the biggest klutz in the world and a bike would be the end of me for sure.

What are your Top 5 must haves?

Image 2 from Elenathewise @ (c) Can Stock Photo

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bloglovin' Blog Hop #80

Your Devoted Host:

Your Fabulous Co-Hosts:



1.  Add your link DIRECTLY TO YOUR Bloglovin' profile.  You will need to manually upload your picture.
2.  Follow your host, co-hosts, and sponsors.
3.  Visit a few other bloggers in the linky and follow them, too!
4.  Tweet and share this hop!

Happy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Great Resources for Improving your Handmade Product Descriptions

Along with photos, product descriptions are something that requires considerable time and thought to get it right.

I am not the best at this particular activity. I have no problems writing the facts and providing the basic information required on my jewellery, dimensions, size, materials and even short descriptions on how they are made.

But emotive and appealing descriptions are something I have never mastered and yet, on handmade sites like Etsy, Made It, Artfire and more, product descriptions that tell a story and appeal to the individual can make the difference between average sales and a ‘Quite Your Day Job’ type of top seller.

Telling a story, giving something more than the bare facts is what many buyers want, after all, it’s what separates us from the big retail giants that aren’t that interested in sharing anything but facts.

Many customers buy because they love the thought of handmade, that every item is unique and has its own identity and being able to convey individuality of your item in your product description can give you an edge.

Whilst I am still learning and working on this aspect of my store I thought I would share with you the resources I use to help me improve and work on my product descriptions:

  • First are two articles from the Etsy Blog. After all, this is one of the best places for resources on improving and getting the most from your Etsy Shop.
  • Third is 'How to Write Product Listings with Personality' on Oh My Handmade, another blog I visit constantly when I need information specific to Handmade products as it provides great hints, tips and business themed articles, and its so cute to look at.
  • Fourth is '5 Step Formula for Writing Handmade Product Descriptions that Sell'  on a blog I found recently which I have not seen before but really like and will be adding it to my favourites, it has resources for handmade sellers.

  • Fifth and final, is almost a checklist post about questions should you answer in your product descriptions based on questions a buyers will have. Some of course, may be so obvious they don’t need to be answered, like jewellery, I don’t think I need to explain the purpose of a necklace, but some products many of these questions may be very relevant. It is also a great way of checking there are not things you have missed talking about to avoid those emails and conversations taking your time away from the creative tasks asking, ‘how big is it’, ‘how long is the necklace’, ‘what is it made of’ and more.
I hope the above resources have been as helpful to you as they have been for me. If you have any other articles on creating great product descriptions please share.

Image by digitalart and  scottchan at


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dear Mr Busdriver...

Dear Mr Bus Driver

Thank you for cutting me off today as you illegally crossed 2 lanes to get into the turning lane nearly sideswiping my front bumper.

I and all the other parents sincerely appreciate the care you take in safely transporting our children to and from school, but I feel I must point out to you that the 'giveway' sign on the back of your vehicle, whilst allowing you to pull into traffic from a stopped bus zone is not a free licence to change lanes whenever you feel like it without concern for existing traffic in the lane.

I realise you are on a timetable and under pressure to meet arrival times but I cannot help think that the delay caused by an accident would be far less acceptable to your managers than the few seconds delay would create by giving way appropriately and following the road rules.

Yours Sincerely
A near miss.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Craft for Kids: Decorating a Photograph

Back in May this year I talked about the Benefits of Craft Activities for Developing Children which included benefits for developing Fine Motor Skills, Hand-eye co-ordination, Concentration, comprehension and more. 

Expanding on that concept I am sharing a few specific craft activities that address the benefits discussed in the original post.

Materials Used: Laminated photo of your child or loved one, PVA Glue, Sequins, shells, wool scraps or pressed flowers, magnet if desired  with double sided tape to attach to the back.

Skills developed: Fine motor skills, concentration, empathy and making things for others, positive self image, shape and colour recognition, sense of self.

From around 2 years children begin to recognise their own photograph and reflection as belonging to them, and if your 2 year old is anything like mine, they very quickly learn their way around our wonderful new devices. There is no 'Queen of the Selfie' that can out-do a 2 year old with a smart phone! I wanted to create a craft for littlies that encourages slightly more permanent things; I love photos, and I wanted to foster an enjoyment of the old fashioned photograph, among other things.

This fun little idea is perfect to encourage your ego-centric two year old to start thinking about what other people like too; teaching them to make something wonderful to give as a gift can never start too early! Face it, most of us love crafting gifts, the look of pleasure on the face of the recipient is priceless, and your child will love being able to make something special for Nanna or Grandpa that is appreciated because they made it!!

I used a photograph I'd taken at the Kindy Christmas party, that my lovely boy really liked, and prepared it by laminating it. If you don't have a laminator, simply sandwich it between two layers of clear contact paper, or glue to some coloured cardboard and cover with the clear contact paper. I put a line of PVA down one side of the photo: PVA is messy but lasts longer, if you would rather use a Gluestick or glitter glue, that's also fine.  Whatever works and is easy to access for you! Then I just let Master Two heap on as many sequins as he liked!

This project actually occupied him for nearly 20 minutes on one side alone; we talked about colours, shapes and how cool he looked in the elf costume, while I told him how much Nanna would love this as a birthday present! Birthdays are pretty cool at our house at the moment, I keep getting shoes and remote controls given to me wrapped in T-shirts! This is a great age to encourage making things for others as gifts, as they are really starting to appreciate the joy of giving. Giving shouldn't just be a quick trip to the shops, I really think teaching kids the value of making things with love can never start too young!

After doing the same thing to the other side, and if you like the top and bottom as well, we left it to dry overnight and I attached a magnet to the back with some double sided tape. If you have an older child, use a hole punch to punch holes around the edges and let them thread ribbon or wool through as an added fun feature; this can turn your photo into a hanging decoration, perfect for the wall or a Christmas tree!  I hope you enjoy this fun idea, we certainly did, and Nanna really loved her birthday present.

Craft activity instructions and photos by Liz Jones, freelancer and photographer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Sweets...

For many years, my favourite part of our Sunday was the sweets my mother served after Sunday lunch, every week there was something special. 

Here's a little inspiration for your Sunday Sweets with some delicious recipes for a Sunday of Indulgence from breakfast treats to desserts or something sweet to serve with your coffee. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

De-Cluttering with the 52 Week Challenge...

The title of my blog says quite a bit about me as a person.

My home is very 'lived' in and whilst I am not
quite at the crazy cat lady or extreme hoarders on TV level, there is a definite disorganised nature to my house and I hate it. Despite my slightly messy nature, and a relaxed attitude toward tidying, there comes a certain point where the mess become smothering.

This year I have determined to try and get more control over my home and the best way to do this is to declutter. Of course, I think have two hoarders in the house won't help, but I am determined to get to a point our house is only full of items we need, use or that are there to make our house a home.

My daughter is the classic hoarder and I can barely stand to walk into her room most days. My husband, whilst far tidier than I am, in fact, once upon a time I would have said he was a bit of a neat freak, is unfortunately also a bit of a hoarder. I open the cupboard in my office and the top level shelf is filled with boxes our equipment came in, because, according to hubby, they come in handy when we move. I cannot fit my car in the garage anymore for the same reason, all the 'stored' stuff.

Yeah right! Do you know how many empty boxes I unpacked from our removalist boxes on our last move. How many times our printers, computers, kitchen appliances and more were was carefully wrapped in paper, packed in a removalist box and the original boxes they came in packed in another box empty. On one move I unpacked a whole waist high removalist box full of nothing but empty boxes. SERIOUSLY!!!!

Not to mention old equipment he can't bear to throw out. We replaced our printer 18months ago, there was nothing wrong with the old one but it was ancient and needed an update. Guess what, YES we still have the old printer packed in its original box, sitting in our cupboard as hubby says: 'Just in Case'. Hoarder or What!

So this year I am getting a handle on it and taking control but its a little overwhelming to figure out where to start right. Then I found this 52 Week De-Clutter Challenge on the Organised Housewife site. Love it, giving me specific and achievable weekly tasks to follow. So I am starting this week off with Task No.1 and moving from there onwards.

But I decided that this challenge, whilst the perfect start for me was not enough on its own and then I saw another challenge in the comments on the 52 Weeks '365 Things I can Live Without' from a woman who is committed to disposing of one thing every day for a year. What a great idea.

So in the coming months I am going to share my journey in the 52 week challenge, not every week, just those tasks that I think are worth sharing, together with the occasional roundup sharing goodbye to the items 'I can live without' as I think its fun to share your journey with others.

Do you have any cleaning, decluttering or organising challenge, hints and tips to share, add them in comments.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bloglovin' Blog Hop #79

Your Devoted Host:

Your Fabulous Co-Hosts:



1.  Add your link DIRECTLY TO YOUR Bloglovin' profile.  You will need to manually upload your picture.
2.  Follow your host, co-hosts, and sponsors.
3.  Visit a few other bloggers in the linky and follow them, too!
4.  Tweet and share this hop!

Happy Kids, Inc.