A finish all the loose ties kinda weekend

Whoa what a Saturday!

Up and straight onto finishing milk cartons with the enthusiastic Ella at the craft table still out from when we glued them yesterday! She’s had a fab time learning inches and using her recently learnt fractions with the paper cutter and score board.  She picked all of the scraps of paper to cover the cartons and I have to say she may just turn out like her mother with that gift of creativity! She was limited to what we wanted to use up of scraps but the patterns and colors chosen look great!


Next project, we had the colored rocks we collected from birdlings flatt last weekend, they’d been painted and were ready for a coat of chalkboard paint.  Voila!


Wheres my energy coming from today? who knows! onto my next get-it-finished project.

Cushion covers.  Haven’t sewn in years successfully, (intermediate age and it was a velcro pencil case) we were gifted a goodie of a machine, an old singer.  Unfortunately it has the mood of an old git and does jam up and do weird things.

I got out the manual and managed to get the cotton changed to white (Mark normally mends our stuff! isn’t he a jack of all trades!!) and Mark came in and had a look… I’d done it different to his way but ahem… *point to the manual* and he’s impressed.  He’s itching to help me, but he also needs sleep for the next night shift.  I asked on my way out the door for the fabric the other day if he had any preferences in patterns or colors and got a “nah, just whatever, you choose baby” so I took myself solo to the fabric shop, resisted all the craft stuff!! the super expensive fabrics and had a good walk around.  I grabbed some fabric that would do the job and was $16 a meter (1.2 m wide x 1 m piece) and head for the counter and that’s when this kiwiana typographic (so addicted to geography typo art at the moment! which is hilarious if you know me and how I get lost all the time lol) font in two colors screamed out BUY ME for $20 a meter!? What!! That sounds expensive.

I have no idea if its expensive. I don’t buy fabric.  I ask the sales clerk “Is $20 a meter too much to spend on covering my large 600x600mm cushions? I mean… they’re just couch cushions that often are floor cushions” she shrugs and out comes her solid UK accent and I break into a smile.  I love that accent and seem to befriend everyone blessed with it.  She has orange hair, in a mess of short curls, and I fade back in to hear her saying that her 9yr old daughter can do it – so can I! and to bloody well spend what I want on fabric.

I ask how much I’ll need so she calculates based on my cushions and measures it all, then I decide I want texture.  No I need texture.  I explain I’m a VERY tactile person and she laughs and say’s “hey not judging… anyone who works in this place is nuts!” She takes me on a chaotic tour through “textured” stuff and I come out with $10 a meter stiff, starchy, and as I wished for, textured…hessian.

So I’m getting this sewing done and freaking out about doing zips, never sewed them before.  I pin it all together several times until uh ha!! got it! and get the first side sewed on.  Beautiful! 

Then do the other four cushions in a relaxed chip-away-at-it between other stuff for the rest of the day until I run out of cotton at 5.30 eek only the Warehouse will be open.  I get home with cotton that looks a third the thickness to the stuff Marks brought and raves about.  Ah well.  Fingers crossed and luckily it does the job.

All done!

Time to have dinner and clean up the house that’s just accumulated a whole day of activities and mess from both the kids and I while Mark was enjoying probably his most undisturbed slumber.

My last finish-it job is to hang up the coat/bag hooks in our entry.  I get Mark’s help quickly to mark the walls where to drill and place them before he’s off to do my favorite of his shifts  [the one where I get the bed all to myself… ah so nice occasionally to stretch out even though I miss his snuggles] but he’s brought in some retro drill.

I want the power drill so I’ll grab it in the morning if he doesn’t beat me to it and get these beautiful hooks up.


I’ve had a horrid night trying to sleep.  I think there’s too much to do.

I hear Bob purring next to me around 7am and then Mark climbs into bed.

He tells me he’s hung up the hooks at 6am! and I’m keen to get up and go see!! but give him a snuggle and ask how his night was.

It looks so much tidier with all our stuff off the floor!

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I think I’m going to buy a third one so that we have more hooks for our jackets.

I’m outta bed and determined to seize the day.  Thinking I need more hours in the day I have a chuckle to myself. That’s exactly what NZ got last night! Hope you remembered to turn your clocks back too?

One coffee down, hair thrown in a bun, runners on and I’m outside on a mission!! I’ve contacted two window cleaning companies and had no response so with new found courage I’ll get the ladder out and give these un reachables another go.  I feel sick up on the ladder but suck it up and get the job done! They all look so good nice and clean.

Look at my predicament with this ladder and our stupid foundations Ugh!

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Our east boundry is still not levelled out.  We just haven’t had time to play in the sandpit.

The windows don’t look that high but I’m only 5+ foot tall and because the ground is even lower to allow “ventilation” for the house around the concrete footing it makes them another half meter out of reach.


I even got that long high window! Hard work!

While I’m round there I remember I want to order some massive pavers to keep our bins ontop of, they’re a right pain rolling over sand.

I’ve set up all our tables/seats ready for Eater lunch tomorrow.


Finally! Blu Tackd up these letters I brought second hand while we were building the house


Finally found somewhere to hang this gorgeous mirror!, Banged that hook in with my rolling pin 😉


Mark won’t be impressed.  I didn’t use his beam scanner lol so he’s gonna have to re-do this.  Maybe

At least I’ve stopped using no-more-nails to glue everything to the walls 🙂

Vee x


Cupcake Bubble Bath Bombs Recipe


3 Cups Baking Soda

1 1/2 Cups Citric Acid

1/2 Cup Cornflour

1/4 Cup Kaolin Clay

4 Tespoons SLSa (some people are allergic/sensitive to this and you can omit it but your bombs wont turn into bubble bath without it they’ll be plain bombs)

Essential Oils (next on my list to try is a chocolate and coconut scented one) or/ 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cosmetic fragrance oil

6 Tablespoons of a good light carrier oil (i’m using grapeseed and apricot kernel at the moment)

Spritz with a sterile water (witch hazel water or actual distilled water if you have it somehow) to help it moisten for pressing into the mold you choose to use.

Put in the hot water cupboard overnight to dry out then gently take out of the molds and ice


Use a royal icing like below (remember to halve or quarter it):

3 eggs whites room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar (confectioners)
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
Combine ingredients, beat at high speed 7-10 minutes. pipe it on like you do with read cupcakes and then wait as it magically goes hard over the next hour or so.

Put on the label to toss out the frosting before putting the bomb in the bath as sugar in baths may cause irritation and or yeast infections, careful with which oils you choose if using essentials, cinnamon for a simple example can cause serious heat up of skin and could result in burns if overdosed.

I half this recipe and use mini cupcake silicone molds, place them in the hot water cupboard overnight then transfer into patty casings and ice the next day.

Box up using my envelope punch board window box tutorial in packs of two’s but hated how labor some it was so went with baggies instead

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Found several recipes online and youtube so this was a result of those combined haha

I found the cheapest place to get all the ingredients was my massage supplies company, they’re based in Kaiapoi, Chch, NZ and have all this stuff listed on their trademe account but not on their website http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Profile.aspx?member=1850997

Next recipe coming soon is my body massage melts, going to do a sports one and an insomnia one 🙂

Still playing with packaging… I want a two piece baggie but this turned out sized for three… (doubled the large baggie on the punch board e.g paper increased to 12” x 6” instead of 6×6)

New folder (3)

Need….. to go to bed so will try and do a 1.5 size of the large baggie to fit the two nicely


Mini Cupcakes Box with Envelope Punch Board

I’m obsessed with LUSH products!

I went in there today to get inspiration for the presents I’m making for the salons loyalty clients and as soon as you walk in its like happy ville.

So back home I get set to work making some bath bombs, as cupcakes!! I’ve found the only reliable way to decorate them at this stage is to use royal icing unfortunately as it can’t go in the bath (can cause yeast infections) So will have to learn how soaping works and try to get a soap mold that is the shape of cupcake icing… hmmm ideas ideas way too many at this time of year with being so busy with the kids, salon and family stuff.

So I’m just logging in my proto-type so far so tomorrow I can keep tweaking this nearly perfect design.

Papersize: 9×9 inches

Punch and Score on the envelope punch board at 3.5 inches then at 2.5 inches

Fold it up and work out where you want the window to overlap so you can see the cupcake from both angles, place your die on it and run through the cuttlebug

Cut a piece of plastic (flexi as possible without compromising the structure – I’m using laminating pouches as that’s what I have on hand to use up) and adhere it well with good ole sellotape

I’m having it open from the right end with a pull out tray.

I’ll design the pull out tray also using the punch board then running it through the cuttlebug with the circle die again.

Then I want to add a nice image to the inside back of the box to see through the window…

Then add instructions, ingredients, made and use by dates and a gift tag

Here’s a photo of the prototype so far…



Christmas gifts in the making

I know! I know… Christmas is still three months away.

I’m trying to get organized.

I’ve been looking at my aromatherapy notes and have created recipes with a theme of peace on earth, and joy to the world

Bare with.

Peace on earth: this will be bath salts with a de-stress essential oil blend and earthy accessories like a disposable wooden spoon and twine around paper baggie packaging (using my giftbag punch board and my cuttlebug to die cut a view window in it)

Recipe: (not yet tested, I will test this and tweak if necessary)

12 drops clary sage essential oil, 4 drops lemon essential oil, 4 drops lavender essential oil

3 cups of a mixture of pretty pink himylayan and regular epsom salts

1 tablespoon of carrier oil

Use: 1/2 – 1 cup per bath or a hand ful in a foot spa/bucket

note: these need to be 100% pure essential oils, not cosmetic or fragrance oils… as we do want the therapeuticbenefits with the bath.

Joy to the world: this will be a massage oil for when they step out of the bath, they’ve de-stressed with the aromatherapy and de-toxed with the salts, so lets throw some joy to the world at them with happy aromas and skin loving sweet almond oil.

Recipe: (again not yet tested and I will tweak if necessary)

8 drops bergamot essential oil, 8 drops pink grapefruit essential oil, 4 drops rosewood essential oil

112 ml of sweet almond oil

I’m searching for clear bottles with suitable lids, either flip top or screw top and will look at designing labels for them with festive ribbon.

Will post photos once I’ve completed these gifts.

I found these super cute bottles that would be perfect for the bath salts online but they’re still a bit pricey for how many people I’m making these for so I’ll stick with my plan to make pretty little baggies with earthy accessories :


If you too are in NZ I buy all of my essential oils and raw materials from


Wish me luck!!

Face masque

I have no idea how this happened, I was online, started reading, got excited, then went and spent $40 on random sciency ingredients to make my own face masque?


Total credit to http://www.humblebeeandme.com who’s website is my new hobby!!

Just kidding!

Actually… I’m trying to find dark cocoa butter so that I can make the body butter oreo truffle things!!

Then I want to try… soap, candles, and see if I can replicate some of my favorite stuff from LUSH in northlands mall.

I went in to bin inn and hubby will laugh when he reads this.

I needed TWO ingredients.

It took me nearly quarter an hour to get OUT of the shop! Again.

…so I’m trying to find somewhere online to buy these weird ingredients.

Like Chia seeds.

Why.  Are these not readily available yet? everyone knows about these babies!!

By readily available I mean – not priced like gold! far out some places are cheeky with their prices.

Where was I? oh yes face masque….

So I’m putting this in here because it was freaking awesome! I changed the mud so it could be PINK!!

Of course.

Also the pink mud had different minerals and benefits too, it was a better option for sensitive skin too.

By mud – I mean powdered mud.

OK ….


3 Tablespoons French Red clay, which is pink once blended in this masque… red clay is good for for detoxing, healing and strengthening the body

2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide, I got this at the health shop around $3 for 50 grams of it (1 Tablespoon is 15 grams)

1 Tablespoon Baking Soda

5 Drops of Chamomile essential oil (brace yourself… this stuff is crazy EXPENSIVE!!) Mark will never know… he probably won’t read this post… since it’s titled Face Masque haha

3 Drops Honey myrtle essential oil or tea tree ( I omitted this… I didn’t have honey myrtle and didn’t want tea tree in it)

1 Drop Helichrysum essential oil (what on earth is that? I didn’t put this in either lol)

5 Drops Benzoin essential oil – definitely put this in, its amazing and in another of my aromatherapy oil blends, great for your skin!!

Blend it all in something small like a coffee grinder, I’ve got a breville chop N whizz that I used.

The white plastic on it is now pink.

The woman at the herbal dispensary where I brought my overpriced red clay ($12!! for 50 grams of it) said it won’t color my skin….

Looking at my chop N whizz… I began to doubt her.

Looking at my makeup pad with toner on it after doing the face masque with pink on it… I can confirm it does somewhat leave a film of color on you… but hey – who isn’t up with some rosy pink cheeks?

Yes, the toner gets it off.

So that’s the recipe with my adjustments, and omissions…. whats my opinion?

It was great!

I loved the red clay and that it gave me a pink tint, the toner removed any un natural pink tint but maybe if you are as fair as a pom you may want to use a different clay, you can get green, white, red, and some others I can’t remember but just go with white if you are worried.

My skin did feel nice and soft and clean and pores looked like they’d had a good clean out.


Love it.  Especially love that since it’s a powder I can gift it!!

Who want’s some??

I used 2 teaspoons of the powder and added one teaspoon of warm water and it made a beautiful paste that I used my makeup brush to apply.

I’ll put photos up next time I apply it so you can see the paste.

It’s super pretty!!


Thursday: Architect Required – Cardmaking…

Worst card-making project.



First attempt I used the scoring board on my guillotine and a craft knife.

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Chunky rips and feathered edges.

The tutorial video used a cutting board with a blade that can begin cutting at any point inwards from the edges.

I work out if I fold the card up along the score lines I can cut through both sides of it then flip it 180 degrees and do the same at the other end, and if you hold your tongue right – the cut’s meet in the middle of the card!


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Next came the design dilemma.

Too busy.

Too contrast.

Too boring.


I left this project on my craft desk for three days while I had temper tantrums with it being a donkeys arse.

Finally after three failed designs I get this one to flow.


So glad this is over.

Will never.


Make a trifold shutter card again.

Here’s the tutorial if anyone want’s to dare try it

I made peace with the dam thing and even embossed the envelope.


Very pretty.



I hope this cards recipient love… love… loves it lol

It needs some love!






On a much more positive note…

The family and Marley and I went for a walk at Hagley Park again today…

Yesterday the kids got soaked and we had to leave early.

So, today was their chance to show they know how to be sensible… to; earn…

More fun outings in public.

Gosh they’ve been a bit bat S*$# crazy these holidays.

I’m sure it’s this crappy cold and miserable weather.

We’ve been outside at all times possible but sometimes you just need to sit down, be quiet and have a calm day inside.

LOL – I’m kidding right?


Anyway the forcast for tomorrow looks nice so we’ll be off to do a day trek outside with the kids.

Bye for now from Marley and Vee

Big kissies 😉



Gift cards Gallery

I am on a mission…. I am pre-making the giftcards for upcoming birthdays.

Both Mark and I are from larger than the statistical NZ family so… I have a few on the list 🙂

I’ll put them in this gallery as I get them made and photographed.

Addicted to explosives



Ohh….. my…. goodness.

I’m addicted.

To these explosion box cards.

I’ve now got three prototypes and sizes but this one takes the cake!


You can recycle old cards into these.

I sat down and was looking at my rapidly decreasing pile of cardstock.

I have heaps of paperstock…. so no worries there but – cardstock… well it’s getting low.

I made one of these with my 12×12″ paperstock and it was just too flimsy – it warped too with the adhesives. Dam.


So I finally found a use for this box of basic and blank cards I brought on sale one day!

I knew they would get used LOL

Actually I got them home and months later wondered why on earth I’d brought boring plain and bulk! cards.


So I adjusted all the measurements to convert these boring basics into some seriously exciting cards.

Now that I’ve got it mastered I can’t wait to start the next card.

But I will.

Its the holidays and family time will become scarce once the children and Mark return to school and work.

So here’s the measurements if anyone else want’s them!

Start with a regular card – these were 21cm x 14.5cm when opened flat.

Flaten it out and holding it landscape, because these cards were pre-folded I had to divide it evenly into four vertical columns from the center spine outwards (5cm wide boxes) and score it from top to bottom.

Keep a 1/2 cm edge on both the left and right end (used to adhere the box together).

Turn it portrait and score it horizontally left to right – at 6.5cm down from the top edge… then snip between these shorter squares flaps and fold them. Don’t fold the left one as it’s the back and feature wall to the card which you line with a full length piece of deco paper and or embellishments.

Inside it you need two strips 7cm x 2.5cm wide, fold 1cm in on each end, in opposite directions to make a “Z” shape, see the photo… work out which way you will be bending the box flat and place the Z in it to move in that direction.

Once you work out what direction you will flat pack the card you know how far your embellishments can extend over parts of your card (to still fit in the regular envelope) when it’s an upright box

The covers for the flaps were 4.5cm x 6m – you need six of these to cover both sides so when its all closed and flat there are no boring bits.

The covers for the base of the box’s exterior were 4.5 x 7.5 cm – you need three of these

The cover for the back of the feature wall is 4.5 x 14 cm and you need two of those so you can use one on the front.

You can add a piece of loose paper to the back of the feature wall for a written message with a deco push pin, or you can make a little pocket on one of the interior “Z” bits to hold either a message or giftcard.

So many options and variations.