fun stuff – crochet playground

I can’t crochet.  I can’t knit, and I can’t really sew unless we count the turtle cushion I made in Year 8 Home Economics class (yes, I am that old).

If I could crochet, this would totally (like, totally) be my next project.  A crochet playground!  How amazing is it?

images courtesy of

Terribly talented Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam is the artist behind this incredible Rainbow Net playground at the Hakone Sculpture Park, Japan. The idea for the crochet playscape happened by accident, after Toshiko observed two little kids interacting with a crochet art installation she had on exhibit.

For the moment, I might just try a crochet square coaster … or maybe a scarf …


ideas express – storage jars

This fab idea can be done in no time but creates maximum impact.  Simply paint jar lids with white enamel paint spots to create a magical woodlands storage idea.

(image source unknown – sorry!)

A couple of tips – white nail polish works well as does a cotton bud rather than a paint brush for application.

These are great for storing all those annoying little bits and pieces like hair accessories or lego!

meet a mama – penny from alphabet street

For many of us, the school holidays are just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to shine the light on Penny and her fabulous website Alphabet Street.   Alphabet Street lists what’s on and available for kids in your city.  You can use it all year round and it also has great ideas for littler (pre-school age) kids.  Meet Penny here (that’s her pretty picture below), then go and check out the site.  You can thank me later.

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Hmmmnn… A mum to three fabulous children (Thomas, Isobel and Matilda) who created Alphabet Street to keep the cogs churning in the brain while raising little ones. Prior to motherhood I was a Media Strategist in the advertising industry in Sydney. We now live in sunny Newcastle enjoying the beach lifestyle and loving being an hour from the Hunter Valley vineyards and Port Stephens crystal clear waters. 

Who inspires you?
Any woman that works and has a balanced lifestyle. I think sometimes us working mums forget to have equal portions of family, work, sleep and me time. Something that I struggle with.

What cant you live without?
For me it would have to be my Ked Wedges. The most comfortable shoes giving a shortie a little bit more in the height area. For my children it would have to be our Steam Vaporizers …we have three running all winter to help the little ones breath each night and help us all get a little bit of sleep.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I have to say I don’t read too many but am loving the Rudy and The Dodo Blog. 😉
I also like Babyccino Kids and for a touch of creativity I love the Townmouse Blog.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Spare time? As I am guilty of a non-balanced life I seem to have misplaced my spare time!  If I did I would like to finish a magazine from front to back in the sun on the deck with a cuppa in hand.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We have some great plans for Alphabet Street, I would like to see them come to fruition in the next five years. I would have also like to have a bit more me time.

What is your favourite quote?
I can really connect with ‘There is no stronger love than a mother’s love’. My mum used to say to me when I was younger.  I wouldn’t understand it until I was a mother and boy oh boy…I would give all my organs for my children if they asked. I also remember my mum saying being a mother is a thankless task and sometimes this rings true too. 😉

Where can we find you?
On our website or facebook pages.

Giddy Up! Just one of many activities available for little ones!

craft express – send a hug

We are loving this simple (and fast) idea kids of all ages can enjoy making.  Makes a fab gift to send to grandparents, friends and other family members who love hugs!

courtesy of

And this is another cute spin on the same idea …

courtesy of

Go on.  Send someone a hug.  It only takes a few minutes and will make their day!

collections – wallpaper for kids

Wallpaper has well and truly made its comeback.  I’ve actually never stopped loving it since being surrounded by blue, lime green and yellow retro flowers in our family room in the seventies.

I’d love to feature some in our little home, particularly in the kids’ rooms.  Here are some of my favourites I have collected for “someday” …

Top left: courtesy of
Top right: courtesy of
Bottom left: courtesy of
Bottom right: courtesy of

Left: courtesy of
Middle: courtesy of
Right: courtesy of

And last, but not least, my all time favourite that I have coveted since I first laid eyes on it several years ago – love, love, love.

Courtesy of

craft express – dinosaur plate

courtesy of

1. Paint the plate a colour of your choice.

2. Draw the sections on the back of the paper plate like in the image: body, legs, tail, neck and head. Cut the sections out.

3. Attach the dinosaur’s body parts with glue (staples also work well)

4. Open the paper clips in an L shape and attach one side to the back of each leg to make the dinosaur stand up.

Find all this a bit too hard?  Grab this instead!

meet a mama – mara from printspace

I always wanted to be a graphic designer.  And I love art.  And I love anything mid 20th century. Read on and you too might think Mara and I could absolutely be twins separated at birth … oh, except she just oooozes that cool factor, is terribly, terribly talented and can create something like these little gems …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you! (what do you do, who is in your family, where do you live etc?)
I am a trained graphic designer & illustrator, who dabbles in art and who secretly wants to be a textile designer!

Our family consists of me, husband Nicholas, Maxy (6) and Archie (4).  We live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and work in Richmond.

I run Printspace with Nick, combined with being a mum and wife. Juggle, juggle, juggle.
I love design in all its forms, especially design from the mid 20th century.

Who inspires you?
My family inspires me – sometimes seeing things through the eyes of children is all you need. Simple and honest.

Designers such as: Paul Rand, Charles & Ray Eames, Lucienne Day, Alexander Girard, the list goes on…

What can’t you live without?
Good food, sleep, cheese, sleep,

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
And I know this isn’t a blog, but I love pinterest! So inspiring!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Ah, spare time … so rare.   I love hanging out with the family, and going out for dinner and drinks with friends.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?

Sanity saving tip: You don’t need to do it all – at least not at once.
Give yourself a break, mentally. And don’t worry if the floor hasn’t been cleaned today. I am still trying to find a good work/life balance, but I try not to worry about it too much either.

Time saving tip: Freeze pre-cooked meals. LOVE IT! An oldie but a goodie, and I still use it even though my kids are no longer babies.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still doing what I’m doing, only bigger and better!

What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote at the moment is;

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Dr. Seuss Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Where can we find you?
On our website (you can link to our blog and facebook page from there), at our friends at rudy and the dodo, and across a wide selection of stores across Australia.  Internationally, our prints are available in New Zealand and Singapore.