hello poor neglected readers!! gosh i hate when people blog about how much they haven’t blogged but there i go anyway. if you follow me on instagram (which lets face it, is way easier for me to do that make a blog post) you’ll know i’m alive and well and busy doing stuff. I have new prints in my shop, like the one pictured above.
You can also win one of two copies of my new “Be Nice or Go Away” print in the latest Frankie magazine (which you already have bought and enjoyed because you are awesome).
My awesome friend (and employer!) has been fostering kittens through Cheltenham Cat Rescue and i’ve been so inspired by the good work they do i wanted to help. Sadly we’re not in the position to foster rescued cats before making their way to forever homes, so i’ve used my design skills and created an activity book!
There’s 24 pages of kitty pictures for colouring in, and things like a maze, wordsearch, spot the difference, jokes and facts. To download your own copy, click the link below
100% of profits from this book will be passed directly to Cheltenham Cat Rescue. And don’t forget to visit their site and learn about what they do, and how you could help!
i’m so excited to finally share the pattern for this mid-century macramé inspired crochet wall hanging i made! i have always wanted one of these christmas tree wall hangings but never seemed to come across them thrifting. being the spoiled girl i am, i decided i must have one and would just have to take matters into my own hands! based on a picture of a 1960s knitted tree i found in an old magazine, i recreated the pattern as a crochet project.
i’ve taken out all the trial and error and prepared for you a complete crochet pattern with stitch diagram AND written instructions. i know this seems like a big crochet project, and it will take you some time – but its not really that complex and if you can do basics like chain, single and double crochet – you can do this! the five branches all follow the same series of row patterns so once you’ve made one branch, you’ve pretty much mastered the whole process. Click below to purchase the pattern at a special introductory price!
please note this pattern is written in US crochet terminology but i do include a glossary of stitches and conversions in the instructions.
the materials are only as expensive as you choose them to be: while i usually work with pure wool yarn, i chose acrylic for this project because the thought of a moth chomping through my tree while it was stored for the majority of the year was too much to bear!
i hope you love this pattern – let me know if i’ve missed any important information.
ps: don’t forget about my ever popular matchbox advent calendar DIY!
hey friends, find an in-depth interview with me about our house in this issue of the excellent mollie makes magazine. i’m so excited to be included in this mag, this feature has been in the works for quite some time so its a real thrill to see it come together!
hardcopies of mollie makes seem to FLY off the shelves, but fear not! you can subscribe to the digital ipad version here. if you’re new to mollie makes, a subscription is worth it – its one of the few magazines i look forward to and make the time to read.
thanks for featuring me, mollie makes!
its almost easter! that can only mean one thing: festive printable time (oh, yeah and eggs and bunnies and stuff) and so i have made for you this very nifty bunny box printable!
not only is it my patented super-fun black and white coloring-in version, there is also a full color, ready to print’n’gift template for you! TWO FOR ONE BUNNIES! in fact it’s $2 for two funny bunny box templates in 1 easily downloaded PDF file, and just like real bunnies, you can multiply them infinitely (or rather, print as many as you need – for personal use only though – please don’t sell or reproduce these crafty bunnies)
please note: i do not offer tech support, or customization on printables.
see, this box is clever – the interlocking funny bunny’s face keeps the box closed, and the egg hidden!
its big enough to fit a real egg in it (or a whole bunch of tiny chocolate ones) or maybe you could find a fabulous painted wooden pysanky like the one pictured – that one is from little sparrow, the fabulous toy & handcraft supply store i work at a few days a week!
i hope you enjoy the funny bunny egg box! and i hope your easter is full of all your favorite treats.
as a kid my mum would put together the BEST advent calendars for me – counting down to christmas was almost more fun than christmas day itself! when i was really small she bought fabulous cardboard calendars from europe – the ones with tiny doors you open, and there’s a little picture inside. these made a big impression on me; i was only about 2 or 3 but i can still remember some of the illustrations. each year i’d have a different kind of calendar: one year each day was a tiny book telling part of the sort of the nutcracker (to hang on the christmas tree). some years i’d get a little chocolate each day, and so on…
when i turned 7 mama stepped up her game – she made me a fabric advent calendar, with little pockets. each day of december she would tuck a little tiny present in there, or a slip of paper with an activity written on it. she did this for me every year until i turned 18 and moved to england. even then, she’d email me funny or cute things every day of december. so when i had my son i was thrilled to have the chance to pass on this tradition that had brought me SO much happiness through the years. its really only been a couple of christmases so far, but he totally gets it. we say the advent fairies come and leave little surprises for him and he rushes out every morning to see what’s arrived. i’ve been using the old fabric calendar my mum made, but this year i felt like something new and so, inspired by those fabulous vintage european matchbox labels, i created a printable kit of matchboxes to countdown to christmas with!
how to make them
first you need to purchase, download and save my advent matchbox kit:
the kit contains:
- 24 individually designed matchbox labels by draw! pilgrim, all vintage style with an aged color tint, fake ‘off register’ color overlaps and a variety of european christmas greetings
- 24 templates to fold up the matchbox bases/drawers
- a template for slips of paper to write notes for treats or activities etc
what you will need
aside from the kit mentioned above, you’ll need to print the templates on heavy-ish paper: regular printer paper is quite flimsy – it’d be ok for using JUST this year, but if you want to use these matchboxes again i recommend something a little heavier, around 300gsm (i believe thats equivalent to 200lbs weight). printing at home is convenient but for paper advice you might want to splurge and take this project to the print shop where you can see what range of papers they have and decide what will fold best for your needs.
you will also need:
- glue or double sided tape,
- scissors and/or a guillotine paper cutter (it makes cutting down the sheets of labels a bit faster and neater)
- a bone folder or scoring tool will really give you great crisp edges when folding.
what to fill the boxes with?
you know your own people best, but some ideas are:
- tiny candies: jellybeans, m&ms etc
- individual chocolates
- hair accessories
- teensy toys
or put in slips of paper hinting at where to find treats that are just a bit too big for the matchbox, e.g.: “look behind the dictionary!” and there will be hidden a new matchbox car or a little bottle of nail polish.
or write a list of treat experiences: “let’s put up the christmas tree!” “let’s go out for egg nog!” “gingerbread decorating day!” etc
how to display your calendar?
- thread them on a string and hang them as a garland across a mantlepiece or door frame
- add a strip of magnetic tape and put them up on your fridge
- leave one each day on their bedside table
- put one in their lunchbox
- hang them all vertically on a length of string
- …or just stick them all to a plain colored poster sheet!
so go ahead! its so much fun and a project that the whole family can get involved in.
did you have christmas countdown traditions too?
i finally got my hands on a copy of print and pattern 2 by bowie style today and hoo boy was there some excited squealing in the bookshop. its not the first time i’ve squealed over a good design book, but for once there was genuinely good reason…
… because i’m in it! i am in the book. see the book? see my alphabet series designs? i know, i know.. but i’m so. so. SO excited to be included amongst some of my idols (uh, marimekko, jonathan adler, call me!) there are so many more fab people in here: byGraziela, ellen giggenbach, beci orpin, ingela arrhenius, lab partners, and on and on and on it goes.
those of you who follow me on twitter might have seen this chewbacca cuddly toy i made for a gift. you were all so desperate to get your hands on one that i felt obliged to share the pattern i made up.
so go forth and sew! please let me know of any issues with the pattern – its my first try so be gentle.
this chewie is about 50cm tall and made of durable pinwale corduroy, guaranteed to last for at least twelve parsecs. Wait a minute … a parsec is a unit of distance, not time! you lied to me, lucas! lied to me!
please note: i do not offer tech support, or customization on printables.
each year, around june i ask my son what he wants for his september birthday party. i love parties, so i get excited early and i’m eager to start planning! the rest of the year we’re busy and we have to say “no” to a lot of stuff, but birthday time is SACRED! so far we’ve had “alice in wonderland”, “space” and this year he asked me for a “willy wonka/charlie and the chocolate factory” themed party. i thought that was pretty neat considering he share’s his birthday with roald dahl and we’ve read the book multiple times and watched both movies many multiples of times.
this theme is a blessing and a curse, though. you have so much inspiring material to begin with that its not like you need to brainstorm too hard, but then both the book and the movies provide such awe inspiring descriptions of the factory that that’s a BIG job to try and live up to!
i started off “small” with the invitations. the obvious choice was to send out bars of chocolate with golden tickets! and who am i to question the obvious choice?! however i’m neither made of postage money or chocolate so i opted for 2D double-sided paper wonka bars that were cheaper and simpler to post.
i made you a special printable version to use for your own wonka party! and don’t forget to ask your print shop to print them double sided – just fill in the party host, the location, time and date, your phone number and “RSVP by” date.
please note: i do not offer tech support, or customization on printables.
pinterest came through big time with decor ideas, and the rest was just some creative thinking. above are some of the inspiring bits and pieces that pinterest delivered. i didn’t use them all, but maybe you’ll find them useful.
the big issues i had to solve with making this party all that it could be were:
a) making a big impact, on a small budget and scale
b) not wasting too much stuff (food, money, materials)
a tight color palette is the answer to all of life’s problems, but it helps parties look well put together with minimal effort and expense. turns out there’s not much chocolate brown party supply out there so i happily used the groovy pink/orange/yellow color scheme of the wonka bar packaging.
you can make a big impact with a knock-out buffet display – let the food display be part of the decor: decorative AND delicious! i really lucked out finding a groovy striped plastic table cloth in those colors which served as the backdrop to the table AND the table cloth (it was long).
we had pink and orange plates and cups from our birthday shindig, so i mixed in some new yellow ones, and some orange striped napkins. some of the plates even made their way into the decor as cellophane wrapped candies (see down a little further).
in my intensive, focused, scientific, party research phase i loved the jars of candy i was seeing at other people’s parties – but we will never eat three full jars of candy in 1000 years so that was just wasteful in our situation. my solution was to whip up some graphic faux candy! i printed out paper inserts for the jars and some paper lollipops too. these would be fun to do with your kiddo – get them involved in the preparation by stamping, drawing or painting some candy jar fillings!
~ Menu ~
fizzy lifting lemonade
everlasting bubblegum cordial
(if you’re in australia, cottee’s make “gubble bum” flavor cordial)
pretzels, chips, popcorn
mini candy bars
lots and lots of candies!
and i was instructed to make a “chocolate birthday cake, with chocolate frosting, and chocolate” to follow. i made just that! and i decorated it with smarties (candy covered chocolates like flatter m&ms) in the shape of a 5. this cake is kind of an homage to my own 5th birthday cake which my clever mama and grandmama made in the SHAPE of a FIVE, covered in smarties. it blew my tiny mind and i’ve never quite recovered.
i had every intention of also making a rainbow platter of fruits with honey yoghurt to dip, and vegetable crudité with hummus but a) i’m a chronic over-caterer and always feel wasteful after parties and b) what kid is going to eat veggies when there is a table full of candy?! we all know candy is a sometimes food, but parties are only sometimes events so i saved the fruit and veg for us to enjoy during the week. and i skipped the fairy bread too. i know, i’ll just give up my australian citizenship right now, huh? shame on me.
so there was candy for all, and sugar highs on the horizon. the only solution was to burn off some energy and distract the kids from grazing on the sugar by playing lots of fun games! here’s what we did, how we did it and what you need to do it yourself!
mike teevee’s tv quiz
think up 5-10 tv related questions your kid’s will be able to answer. give chocolate money prizes.
for example, we asked the 5 year olds:
“what color is oscar the grouch?”
“on the wiggles, what color shirt does jeff wear?”
“what type of animal is pingu?”
“on yo gabba gabba, who said they had a party in their tummy?”
“who can tell me the name of the island that thomas the tank engine lives on?”
charlie bucket’s bucket basketball
a large bucket or tub
a lot of breath or a balloon pump
put the bucket up high; participants take turns shooting balloons into the bucket. whoever can dunk the most balloons wins.
veruca salt’s bad egg and spoon race
eggs; real, plastic or chocolate depending on the age of participants
silver spoons or dumpling spoons (easier for little kids)
each participant gets a spoon balanced on an egg and they must make it around a race course without dropping their egg. no holding the eggs with your hands, though!
augusts gloop’s donut race
mini donuts for each guest
a long stick, or broom handle
using the kitchen twine, tie the mini donuts to the string, then tie the length of string attatched to the donut to the long stick. make sure they’re equally spaced leaving enough room for everyone to stand/eat comfortably.
to play, hold up the stick with the donuts hanging down and have the children put their hands behind their back. the first to eat all of the donut without using their hands wins!
violet beauregarde’s blueberry baloon bonanza
blueberry colored balloons
small prizes you’ll be able to fit into un-inflated balloons eg: mini candy bars, small puzzles, whistles
fill blueberry colored balloons with small prizes then inflate them. get the kids to pop (squeeze, sit on) the blueberry bubbles to win their prize. have a push pin on standby for you to use in case your kiddos are too light to pop the balloons on their own.
to finish up with, i REALLY like party favor bags. its like having a little extra party after the party, so i tend to make a bit of extra effort to send home some fun treats. this year i got organized early and it paid off! i found handmade soaps (by sailormouth soaps on etsy) in the shape of frog candies, and i redeemed myself with the guest’s parents by finding a bunch of cute animal toothbrushes. packed up in gold bags with some bubble mix, and a couple of extra candies the favors made leaving the party a little less upsetting.
sure there are people who will say i’m probably spoiling my kid, but we ALL had fun – both father and son asked for the same party next year) and there’s only a few years you can be spoiled for. my mum threw fun parties for me so i like passing on those special memories to my son as its a way of keeping her fun spirit alive, but i think whatever effort you make for your children will be happily received and treasured.
maybe its the sugar talking, but i think i’d quite like to make parties happen for a living, so y’know… call me! who knows maybe we can have a pilgrim party blog.