Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Decorated Jars - A Cute Storage Solution

image jar upcycled painted lid teacup ornament storage

One look around my home and most people will know that I struggle with neatness and finding a place to store my variety of crafting supplies and tools (and pretty much everything else too).  I am frequently on the lookout for cute and/or efficient storage ideas and saw one that caught my attention while surfing the web last week.

image jar upcycled painted lid teacup ornament storage tea pot teapot

And yes, I am talking about turning old jars into fun storage jars!  This is a great project for those of you who have kept, rather than recycling, all those pasta sauce or jam jars.  All I did to make these cute storage jars was to spray paint the lids of the jars then glue on small embellishments in the centre of the lids.

image jar upcycled painted lid teapot tea pot ornament storage

If you're not a jar hoarder, you can easily find some at your local op shop (thrift store to my US readers), or you could buy them cheaply at a $2 shop type of place, like I did.  I got my spray paint at the hardware store and the little teacup and tea pot at the same $2 shop where I found my jars.  Don't like teacups?  Then you could easily attach a plastic animal, flower or anything you like on the lid.  You could even attach your embellishment before painting and then paint the whole thing to get a more uniform look.  The only problem I can see with these jars is that they're not stackable , which means that you either waste potential vertical storage space or you can only use them in areas where your shelves are close to each other.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Birthday Surprise Mail Swap

Swap-bot swap: Two Cheeky Monkeys' Birthday Surprise Swap

As some of you may know, my birthday is coming up next month.  And this year I thought I would celebrate by organising a little "surprise in the mail" swap for my lovely readers!  Does the idea of receiving a little something in your mailbox (other than bills) sound exciting?  Then read on!

I am asking each swap participant to send a surprise in the mail to two different recipients.  You can send anything you like (but please don't send items your recipient may be allergic to or specifically states in their profile that they don't like), as long as it is something which will brighten his/her day.  If you are a creative type, you might consider making something for your recipients.  If that is not your thing, then perhaps look through your partner's profile or their blog to see what kinds of things they like.

To make things a little easier, I am hosting the swap over on swap-bot, a site which facilitates all kinds of craft and snail mail swaps.  If you are not already a member of swap-bot, it is very easy to sign up and join the swap.  Please also make sure to fill out your profile page on swap-bot so your partners can get some of idea of what you like.  To join the Two Cheeky Monkeys birthday swap, follow this link and use the password TCMBIRTHDAY when prompted by swap-bot.  PLEASE NOTE that this is an international swap, meaning that you may be assigned someone in a completely different country as your swap recipient.  I am leaving the swap sign up open from now until May 5th 2013, and ask that you send out your swap by May 20th 2013.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide - The Jewellery Lover

Today is the final in my series of handmade mother's day gift guides.  Some mothers just adore jewellery, so today's post features a range of different jewellery styles for spoiling your mum.
Some mums just can't go past pearls!
Realisation Creations is perfect for those who love intricate, gemstone pieces.
Hand stamped jewellery gives a contemporary and personalised look.
How about a felted crochet ring for the mum who loves fun and quirky pieces?
Choose statement jewellery for the mum who thinks "bigger is better" when it comes to bling.

Friday, 19 April 2013

A Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide - For the Science Geek

Okay, so as a scientist mum, I couldn't resist putting together a gift guide for my fellow science-y mothers!
DNA earrings by NB Design.

Serotonin keyring by made with molecules.
Periodic table t-shirt by escape(pod).
Cellular anatomy embroidery hoop by your organ grinder.
Geometry cookie cutter by Printmeneer.
Galaxy Converse (!!!) by Shoedy.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide - The Gardener

My third mother's day gift guide for this week is all about gifts for mothers who love to make their garden beautiful - enjoy!
Garden markers by Magpie Designz.
Teacup bird feeder by Finch and Thistle.
Garden-themed cushion by Lilac Corners.
Garden tools by Ashfield Tools.
Bring the garden indoors with decals by elly nelly.
Humorous garden sign by Sign Fail.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide - The Master Chef

Welcome to day two of this week's mother's day gift guides.  Today's gift guide is for the mother (or grandmother) who loves to cook, bake or generally create amazing foodstuffs for her family and friends.

Fun cookie stamps by totalum (I have a few of these).
Edible cake decorations by incrEDIBLE toppers.

Funky geode bowls by Blue Room Pottery.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Handmade Mother's Day Gift Guide - Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia

With mother's day less than a month away, I am unashamedly devoting most of this week to mother's day gift guides on the blog.  While I hope that my children (and all children around the world!) express their love and appreciation for their mum repeatedly throughout the entire year, I definitely won't be saying no to any love tokens they want to offer me on mother's day.
Today's gift guide is full of items you can find in my Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia stores.  I think there's something for different types of mothers and for all ages.
The Party Girl
image multistrand bracelet creme de menthe two cheeky monkeys jewellery pearls green mint pastel spring
image godiva earrings two cheeky monkeys sapphire blue gold vermeil dangly vintage estate style hollywood glamour party wedding bridal
The Book Lover
image mr darcy locket necklace jane austen pride and prejudice silver two cheeky monkeys orange carnelian
image jane eyre magnet set fridge mr rochester charlotte bronte domum vindemia vintage homewares
The Hostess
image cocktail napkins fabric reusable eco environmentally friendly yellow domum vindemia party
image dessert stand domum vindemia handpainted plate pedestal party hostess
The Home Decorator
image vintage dictionary page art print chandelier black and white two cheeky monkeys homewares
image vintage doily bunting yellow sunshine white crochet party wedding bridal domum vindemia
Come back tomorrow for a "master chef mother" gift guide!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Do you love snail mail?

Hands up if you get disappointed when your postman arrives and all he (or she) has for you are a bunch of boring (and possibly expensive!) bills!  While I am thankful that the Two Cheeky Monkeys household can afford to pay the bills that we receive, I certainly do get that, "I can't believe I walked all the way out here just to collect bills" kind of feeling (especially when I was recovering from foot surgery and had to hobble out or use my crutches just to get to the letterbox).
To counter that, I am organising a little snail mail swap for next month.  A swap where my readers can surprise each other with something fun in the mail.  I will outline the swap specifics and open up the swap at the end of April, but in the mean time, have a little look at some of the fun items I've received or sent in similar swaps in the past.

Friday, 12 April 2013

More Crochet!

As I mentioned last week, with the continued enforced rest I've been under, I have been busily crocheting scarves for the two cheeky monkeys to wear this winter.  Monkey #1's scarf was a little difficult to get going because the yarn she chose was very fluffy and chunky.  My very loving mum had to help me buy some larger crochet hooks to use on the yarn, and long-suffering Mr Cheeky Monkeys went and bought me another ball of yarn when it was clear that one ball wasn't enough for a scarf.  But after all the fiddling around with design, pattern and gauge, I ended up adapting this Fiber Flux pattern into a scarflette for my oldest monkey.  She is thrilled with her new scarflette (purple is her favourite colour) and has been experimenting with crazy ways she can wear it (as a shawl, a belt, mini skirt, etc).

image crocheted bracelet round rounds crochet fibre felt

I have also been making fun crocheted bracelets with my cheeky monkeys.  These are just simple crocheted rounds which the monkeys glued onto strips of felt with fabric glue.  I sewed on some large press studs as the bracelet closures but velcro squares would have worked just as well.  This was such a simple project I think we finished it in an hour!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Once Bitten, Twice Shy - My Creative Space

image yellow heart christmas ornament fabric cotton blossom lace button

You know the saying, "Once bitten, twice shy"?  Well, I have certainly been feeling that way about needles since my sewing needle injury last month.  I kind of shudder every time I see a sewing needle (or tailor's pins for that matter) and have really had to push myself to get back into my sewing (but only hand sewing at the moment as the foot is still out of action).  This little heart-shaped ornament is the first sewn creation I have made since getting home from hospital.  It is completely hand sewn, and was kind of fun to make, and I was very careful with the needle.  I have a few more sewing projects I plan to tackle once I can use my sewing machine again.  And hopefully I won't shudder quite so much at the sight of the pins and needles!

image yellow heart christmas ornament fabric cotton blossom lace button

Monday, 8 April 2013

Creations for Book Lovers - Literary Magnets

image glass magnets romeo and juliet capulet montague shakespeare domum vindemia upcycled

Yes, I've shown you a host of literature-inspired jewellery from brooches to earrings and cufflinks and I've even made literary buntings, but today I have yet another literary creation to show off.  This is a little project I started working on before I injured my foot and now it's one of the few things I can easily do while recuperating.  I love fridge magnets (my fridge and freezer are covered with them!) so I thought that it would be very cool to make Mr Darcy, Romeo/Juliet or Jane Eyre magnets for those of my customers who love the classics and want to express that in a practical way.

image glass magnets jane eyre mr rochester domum vindemia charlotte bronte upcycled

I will be selling these magnets in sets of two, four and six, with each magnet featuring favourite characters from the novels (or play) in question.  I think they'd make a cute housewarming or birthday gift for your book nerd friend or would even be lovely party favours at a classics-inspired wedding (and you'd be surprised how many of those there are nowadays).  What do you think?  Which book characters would you put up on your fridge???

image glass magnets mr darcy elizabeth bennet jane austen pride and prejudice mr bingley jane bennetdomum vindemia upcycled