Homemade Cards

I have just recently started using interviews to add lovely memories to cards for special people in Pebble’s life. When their birthday arrives I interview Pebble about that person and add the interview to the inside of the card. Its adorbs!

We did this for the first time recently with Grandmas’ birthday (say hello to the delish coconut ice that we made her, while you’re here). To made the card I grabbed a piece of A4 card and folded it in half. I also added some rectangle inserts cut from regular coloured paper using my special crafty scissors (what is the name for those crafty scissors that create different shapes on the edges? Those!).

Pebble was asking to paint, so I got out our paints and some foam stampers, and away she went. Add a touch of glitter at the end (oh, the joy of a toddler sprinkling glitter!…. and the mess!!). Pebble did a few different pictures as well as the one we used for the card. So much fun!

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I helped Pebble to stamp Grandma’s name on the front of the card using our Kikki K alphabet stamp kit. I wrote out the interview inside one half of the card, and then asked Pebble what she wanted to say on the other side, transcribing her message. Pebble signed it of course (she is really into ‘writing’ right now, I’m finding notes all over the place…. that’s a whole other story).

If you’re not feeling very crafty you can easily buy a card and insert an interview with your little one on some paper. Sometimes I have done this when we’re just having one of those weeks and a birthday sneaks up on me. Isn’t it funny how they can sneak up on you, even though they’re at the same time every year?

You can ask all sorts of questions, but the format I’ve been using (adapted from here) is this:

What is your favourite thing about X?

What do you like to do with X?

What does X look like?

What would you like to say to X?

The fantastic thing with this interview is that it keeps on giving – you can use it again and again each year, as each year the children’s answers are different.

Do you make your own cards, or do you prefer to buy them?

Homemade Gifts: Coconut Ice

Homemade Coconut Ice

It was Grandma’s birthday recently, and she loves coconut ice. I thought it would be fun to try and make some for her. It turned out to be really easy and very delicious! I will definitely be keeping this recipe in mind for future gift ideas. I thought I might try changing the colours to match the occasion – some green and red for Christmas, or perhaps some edible glitter? Or Dad’s favourite football colours?

This recipe is no bake, and easy for children to help with.

Cooking with Kids - Coconut Ice

Homemade Coconut Ice

150 ml sweetened condensed milk
250 g icing sugar
175 g desiccated coconut
2 -5 drops pink food colouring

Grease and line a shallow baking tray/lamington tin. I use a little spray oil first so that the paper stays in place.
The secret to easy colour blending:

Divide the condensed milk into two separate bowls. Colour one bowl of condensed milk pink, using the food colouring.

Divide the icing sugar and coconut evenly into each of the condensed milk bowls. Mix each bowl until fully combined and stiff.
Press one mixture into the pan gently then top and press with the other mixture. Your paper may slide around a bit. I ended up doing this part on the bench top, then transferring it to the pan. It wasn’t a perfectly smooth shape but that just meant extra edge bits for us to chop off and nibble later!
Leave to set then cut into cubes or fingers.
To store: wrap or layer with waxed or greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from here.

I bought this cute jar from Ikea and tied it with pink ribbon before giving it to Grandma.

Homemade Coconut Ice

Do you like to give homemade gifts?

Easy Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Easy Father's Day Gift IdeasIt’s Father’s Day today, but we’ve already been celebrating all weekend! This year we decided to spread things out a little. We had “Grandad’s Day” on Saturday and we’re having “Father’s Day” with just Paul, Pebble and I today.

We celebrated “Grandad’s Day” at my youngest sister’s new house (she just moved out with her partner – all growned up!). We kept it pretty simple and delicious, serving up Mexican devilled eggs, quesadillas, nachos and salad, followed by white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and wagon wheel slice.Easy Father's Day Gift Ideas

A hefty supply of play dough kept the kids entertained, all five of them, along with a big dose of Nana, who apparently makes a fantastically scary bear on a bear hunt (cue LOUD and delighted little kid screams).

Today we’re having a very relaxed and low key day. So far, after an early start and some present and card giving, we left Daddy to sleep in. When he wakes up we’ll do whatever he’d like to do, which might involve making him breakfast and perhaps visiting Bunnings – he asked for a whipper snipper and I’m not qualified to make that kind of purchase alone! He has some vouchers to use up, so we’ll make up the difference to get his dream weed cutter. He’s a low key kinda guy, not into fuss and bother, especially not over him. Unlike some people… like me ;PEasy Father's Day Gift Ideas

Pebble and I made him a couple of home made gifts for today – thank you to the interwebs for the inspiration. This year we made a photo puzzle, which was simple: two photos, back to back, laminated and chopped into puzzle pieces. On one side we put a photo of Pebble with a “Happy Father’s Day 2012” message, and the other side was a picture of her with Daddy. We made similar puzzles for both of Pebble’s Grandads too. Easy Father's Day Gift Ideas

We also made Paul a ‘Daddy and Daughter Science Kit’ – some photo copied and laminated science experiments from my collection of science books (some of my favourites are from the Usborne range), along with everything needed to make the magic happen – all simple bits and pieces available from the local supermarket. Now they have a handy and super fun box of tricks to pull out for some fun science play. The hardest part was explaining to Pebble why we couldn’t do some of these fun activities RIGHT NOW.

Easy Father's Day Gift IdeasEasy Father's Day Gift Ideas

Well, the sun is shining and we’ve got a whole Sunday stretching out before us, so I’m going to go and enjoy the real world now.

How are you spending your Father’s Day?

25 Free Father’s Day Printables

I have done all the hard work for you by rounding up the BEST Father’s Day Printables on the interwebs. Are you ready? Set? GO!

Father's Day Printables

Adorable! Easy! Free! Warm up those printers peeps, and get your scissors ready. The hardest part is choosing which printables to use.  Psst… you can totes check out all these ideas at my Father’s Day board on Pinterest. Just sayin’.

How do you celebrate Father’s Day in your family?

Mother’s Day ~ Coffee Filter Flowers

Coffee Filter Flowers

These coffee filter flowers are a cinch to make and make an adorable gift for Mother’s Day. Pebble and I made a few bunches for some of the mothers in our family. Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

coffee filters*
water colour paints
paint brushes
cup of water for rinsing brushes
pipe cleaners

*I usually buy coffee filters through craft suppliers at school, I hadn’t bought them for home before. I picked up this box from the supermarket. They turned out to be an unfortunate brown paper colour, instead of the white I’m used to. However I think that these flowers turned out quite nicely anyway, they look a bit vintagey. Like I did it on purpose, or something :) The best kind to use are usually the white, fluted variety.

Let’s get making! (hope Mister Maker doesn’t sue me for that)

1. Set up your work area with all materials except for the pipe cleaners. Give your kiddos a demonstration of how to paint the coffee filters, if they need it. The paper is very porous, which makes it easy for the paint to bleed through the paper, and the colours to blend into each other.

2. Pop your coloured coffee filters somewhere safe to dry. It may take a night to dry out, or you can do what I did and pop them in a single layer in a warm oven for about five minutes.

3. When they are dry use scissors to cut or poke a hole in the bottom of each coffee filter. Thread a pipe cleaner through the hole and bend the tip to create a little centre (did you know the centre of a flower is called an ovary? Google just told me that. Must be true). Scrunch the bottom of the flower around the pipe cleaner to secure it.

And you’re done! We used two pipe cleaners intertwined to create a pretty and kooky candy cane effect. This also helped to support the weight of the flower heads. Tie your bouquet with ribbon and present it to the adoring mumma figure in your life.

Did you see the uber-cute Mother’s Day cards we made last week?

Are you making any Mother’s Day gifts this week? Do tell!