Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easy Bag Tags Tutorial

I am well and truly in back to school mode so I thought I'd share a quick and easy tutorial for making some bag tags.

- fabric scraps (for front and back)
- scrap of fusible wadding
- 7 inch piece of ribbon
- coordinating thread
- pinking shears

Cut your fabric scraps to whatever size you would like your tags. I opted for 4" x 2.5". Do the same for your  fusible wadding except we want it to be 1/4" shorter on all sides so take 1/2" off your measurements (mine was 3.5" x 2").

Iron on your fusible wadding in the center of your backing piece of fabric.

Lay your other fabric scrap on top wrong sides together. Sew together around the edges using your presser foot as a guide and leaving a 1/2 - 3/4 inch gap in one of the short ends (the gap needs to be big enough to slide your ribbon in).

Now you can choose to either stamp on your details or just write them on like I did. (Tip: Always do a test on some scrap fabric first). Once that's done trim the edges with pinking shears to prevent fraying.

Fold your ribbon in half and poke the raw edges (about 1/2") into the gap that you left. Sew the gap closed starting and finishing at your previous stitching.

Attach to bag and you're done.

If you make some Easy Bag Tags using this tutorial, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave me a link in the comments.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recipe: Quick Yeast Rolls

These rolls are so good fresh out of the oven. They're really quick to make and don't require any rising time, perfect for when you're in a hurry.

1 1/4 (315 ml) warm water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dried yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups wholemeal or white flour ( I like half and half)


Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then sprinkle in the yeast. Add oil and stir gently for a few seconds. Leave to stand for at least 5 minutes or until the yeast has begun to bubble and looks foamy.

Mix the baking powder and salt through the flour before adding to the yeast mixture.

Stir everything together until the dough forms one large ball.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead for approx 5 minutes adding more flour to the dough if necessary.

Divide into 12 and form into rolls.

Place rolls on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and bake at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Eat and enjoy.

Find more recipes here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Green Rocket

My brother got Riley a rocket for his birthday last year. At the time we didn't have any suitable bottles to use with it so it was put away for future use.

 Last weekend we finally got around to trying it out.

The boys had heaps of fun with it while I observed, offered encouragement and applauded at how far it flew.

We really needed an extra bottle for it to use as a stand, so after a while the boys went out to get one and took it down to the local playing field to play with it some more. When they came back Riley was full of stories of how far it went (easily twice the length of our backyard).

Joining in here.

Create Hope Inspire

Sunday, January 27, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Making the most of the gorgeous weather with a scooter ride.

Joining in here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Framed Children's Art

I was looking through Riley's school books from last term and I came across a super cute picture that he'd drawn with a little story written underneath it ....

I was singing at the concert.

When I asked him about it he said that it was a picture of me and him at the Christmas concert that the school put on last year.

Anyway I loved the picture so much that I just had to do something with it. So I simply traced it onto some fabric and framed it with an embroidery hoop. I used a permanent marker with a fine nib and did a patch test on some scrap fabric first. It was quick and easy and I really like how it turned out.

Joining in with My Creative Space and Show & Tell.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Straw Plane

Another idea that I found through Pinterest and probably the most entertaining so far, is the straw plane (original source here). It is so simple and yet it really does fly better than any paper plane that I've ever seen. It's surprisingly robust too considering how many times its flown into walls/doors.

Riley had a blast with it and we spent a lot of time flying it up and down the hallway and seeing how far it could go.

Joining in here.

Create Hope Inspire

Sunday, January 20, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Daddy forgot to put your car seat in the car. When he came back with it, you were sitting in the front driving.

Joining in here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crochet Phone Sleeve

I'd been wanting to give this tutorial a try for some time. The perfect opportunity finally presented itself when Phil's current phone case had an unfortunate accident.

The tutorial was really easy to follow and worked up quickly. The resulting case is nice and snug so there's no chance of the phone falling out and since there's no closure Phil can still easily plug his headphones into the top.

It's a great basic case for all genders and ages. After seeing this one my brother requested that I make him one too.

Joining in with My Creative Space and Show & Tell.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Naked Egg Experiment

I came across this idea for making a naked egg on Pinterest. It looked easy enough so I thought it would be interesting to explore with Riley.

All you need is an egg, a cup of vinegar and some patience.

You can see the chemical reaction that takes place, starting almost instantly.

Leave the egg in the vinegar for a couple of days and you'll be left with an egg with no shell. I had to gently wash all the egg shell residue off before we could really see what it looked like.

The egg feels all rubbery, a bit like a water bomb and it's a lot bigger than when we first put it in the vinegar. Riley was quite hesitant about holding it as he didn't want it to break, but loved gently touching it and seeing what it felt like.

Joining in here.

Create Hope Inspire

Sunday, January 13, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

All set for our drive over to Gladstone to visit Grandad.

Joining in here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crayon Caddy No. 2

Riley's crayon caddy was one of the first things that I ever made so it was nice coming back to it 2 years on and seeing just how much my sewing skills have improved (let's just say that it didn't take nearly so long to make this time around).

I made this crayon caddy as a Christmas present for one of Riley's cousins. Again I used this tutorial here with just a few minor changes. They really do come together quickly and make such great gifts.

Joining in with My Creative Space and Show & Tell.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chalk Paint

It's school holidays, Phil is back at work and I have to keep Riley entertained for another 4 weeks ....

I was browsing Pinterest the other day looking for inspiration when I came across this idea here for sidewalk chalk paint.

The paint is so easy to mix up and uses just a couple of simple ingredients. Riley loved watching how it changed colour when I mixed in the food colouring.

The paint dries quickly and has a cool chalky effect. It kept Riley busy for quite some time and I ended up mixing up 3 batches before he was done - I can see myself going through a lot of cornflour these school holidays!

The clean up was just as much fun and a great way to cool off after all that creativity.

Monday, January 7, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Splashing around in the paddling pool - squealing, laughing and enjoying the warm weather.

Joining in here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Project for 2013

So I've kicked off my sewing for 2013 with a project for me. I don't often make things for myself (especially not clothes since they usually require a great deal of fabric), so when I came across some knit fabric on the clearance table at Spotlight I just had to grab some.

I really wanted to make a circle skirt but when I cut out my pattern, the center of the circle that's supposed to fit around my waist was way too big, so I adapted it a little by cutting  a section off the side. This just means that instead of it being a continuous circle it has a seam up one side.

The only thing I'm not happy about is that the hem tends to wrinkle no matter how much I iron it. I don't think it's too obvious when the skirt is on but now I wish I'd left the edges raw and just overlocked them (I'll definitely be keeping that in mind for next time).

It was my first time sewing a yoga style waistband and I just love it. The skirt is super comfy and will be perfect for mucking about the house in this crazy heat we've been having lately.

Joining in here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Projects

This year has flown by! For the most part it's been a good one with just a few major changes for our family (moving back to Wellington and Riley starting school a couple of months ago).

Creatively it's been a good year also - I taught myself to crochet, bought an overlocker, successfully made some clothes for Riley (sewing clothes is always challenging for me), I dabbled a bit in making my own patterns, wrote my first tutorial and made my first sale in my Felt Shop.

Here are some of my favourite projects from 2012 ....

As far as 2013 goes - I'd like to write some more tutorials, stock up my Felt Shop and make a quilt, so make sure you stick around to see how it all pans out.

Wishing you all a safe and happy new year xx