Monday, 21 July 2014

Gorgeous Boy Lion!

Here is the latest animal I have made! The lady who ordered him was keen that I include the Mickey Mouse motif from the little man's hoody so I gave him pride of place on the tummy. I also included a couple of buttons from the shirt on his ears. It's the little touches that make my creations!

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Easy Peasy Teacher Thank You Card and Gift

Big Girl has been at pre-school a whole year, I can't believe it! She's learnt so much from her time there and the ladies who taught her were lovely. I'm not a big fan of jumping on American bandwagons, I think that's what "teacher appreciation" is?! I wanted our gift and card to be genuinely made by Big Girl. So it had to be easy if I was going to get her to do it three times!

I just wrote out "thank you" on a piece of paper and got her to stick the letters I had cut out from magazines the day before on to the cards in the right order. She has really got into writing recently and she did very well picking the right letters and glueing them on, she really enjoyed it. She did decorate them a bit more after this picture was taken, with sticky gems and tin foil, the current favourite!

We also made gifts. We decorated large mayonaise jars by sticking tissue paper shapes to them. I used watered down PVA glue. I also painted over the jar with another a layer once Big Girl had finished.

 I bought some epsom salts from Ebay and we made our own bath salts using this tutorial from Simply Designing. We used lavender essential oil as that's what I have. On reflection I would have added some lavender flowers as well as the rose petals but it did still look really pretty. It was a lovely thing to do together and simple enough for Big Girl. We popped a church candle in the bottom of the jar so that when the salts are gone the teachers can use them as candle holders. The lids were a rather garish blue so I spray painted them white and finished them off with a personalise lable and some satin ribbon. The ladies did seem pleased! 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Baby Boy Joules Rabbit Dolly

Not very long ago I sold one of my New Baby Gift Vouchers to a good friend and a couple of weeks ago she bought me her friend's child's garments.

They included a stunning Joules top which I just had to showcase on the little boy's trousers, using the iconic little Joules rabbit alongside his personalisation! I'm sure you'll agree that the result is a very cute little keepsake?!

Find out more about all my keepsakes at


Monday, 9 June 2014

Bake Bread 2gether! Only 2 ingredients!

Bake Bread 2gether, only 2 ingredients! I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across a link to this lovely website via Pinterest. Bread, from two ingredients?!? Never! But yes, it is that easy and we had a great time. The ingredients are  

  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 2/3 cup of Greek yogurt

  • So easy, right? I also gave my girls silicone cup cake cases full of seeds to decorate their bread with. I was learning on the hoof with this one and quickly realised that my girls (2.5yrs x2 and 4yrs) were not going to be able to form their own shapes from the bread easily so I gave them more of the cup cake cases and they filled these, which made nice little buns.

    I was careful to bake the bread knowing whose was whose so that they could eat their own. I have to say that I thought it was quite doughy and rather sour but the girls were still keen to try their bakes. 

    We made quite a lot of bread so I did freeze some of it. We've had more out since and this time I slathered it with cream cheese and this time it was eaten more enthusiastically. I would definately like to try this activity again.

    Sunday, 27 April 2014

    Thrifty, NO Tat Party Bags

     My big girl has only been to a few parties so far and in this time I have learnt to grab the party bag at the first opportunity and NEVER ever let her have it to herself in the back of the car by herself on the way home. I am going to come across like an ungrateful wretch but the contents of the bags we have had have sometimes been plastic toys suitable for older children or just packed full of sweets so I do prefer to go through it first and then let her have a few bits at a time. And the thing is I know that they cost a lot to put together and taken someone time to put together, so I do feel bad for being a bit anti-party bag.

    Big Girl has just turned four herself and we had a little birthday tea party for her this weekend. Now my first advantage was that we only invited three friends so I didn't have many bags to make but I did also make bags for my two nephews for the outing we had with them to a farm the previous weekend. I really wanted to make nice, no tat party bags and still not spend too much. As always Pinterest obliged, together with a few of my own ideas this is what I came up with.

    A pack of colouring pencils (around 20p in Wilkinsons)
    Easter chocolate coins (I bought two bags from Aldi to do all the party bags)
    Dinosaur paper toy 
    Felt car topped pencils
    Bubbles (I happened to have these already and you can't beat bubbles, right?)
    Easter bark egg (if I'm honest I just used the party as an excuse to have a go at this!) I wrapped my egg shapes in clingfilm to protect them in the bag. I guess you could use any cookie cutter, maybe use one that fits your party theme?

    Wooden bead bracelets (I spent around £2 on beads from eBay and made bracelets with elastic I already had. Anyone can do this, it's just threading beads and tying a knot! You could even do it with an older child)
    Stickers (Again eBay. I did kick myself though because I thought I was getting more stickers than I did. I have since discovered that our 99p shop does little boxes of stickers in packs of about 8.
    A pack of colouring pencils
    Easter chocolate coins
    Butterfly paper toy intructions
    Easter bark egg
    Homemade hairclips (I bought a pack of about 20 clips from the £1 shop and cut small discs of colourful felt from my scraps box. Along with some teeny buttons I had I sewed it altogether onto the clip. I thought it would be a nice touch to print little ' thank you for coming to my party' notes on card that I could snap the clips onto.

    The inspiration for a lot of these ideas came from this pin. There are lots of other ideas on there too.

    The bags:
    I was really lucky, in the £1 shops Easter product range they had packs of 20 cellophane bags with pretty spring images printed on them. They even came with  short lengths of organza ribbon to tie the bags up. I must admit I thought they were such a bargain I stockpilled, keeping some for other parties, other projects!

    Oh and just in case you were wondering, here is Big Girl's cake

    Monday, 10 March 2014

    No Chemicals Rainbow Rice Play

    I've had a recipe for making coloured play rice pinned on my activities board on Pinterest (did you know I heart Pinterest?!) for quite a while but when I finally came round to using it I discovered that it used surgical spirit and I was not keen on using it for something I was giving to the children if it wasn't necessary. I was also wanting to make it as cheaply as possible.

    So I hunted around a bit longer and found a recipe here which uses vinegar. I used clear vinegar but I am not sure it would make an different if you used malt vinegar. I used two 1kg bags of Tesco Value rice at 40p each. For 500g of rice I mixed about 2/3 tbsp vinegar with the food colouring (as much as you like depending on the colour you would like) and then poured it into the rice, in a plastic food bag. I tied a knot in the top and shook it around a bit until the rice was uniformly coloured. I poured it into trays and allowed it to dry, I left it overnight but I think it was dry within an hour.

    I gave it to the girls to play with in small baking trays. I gave them toy cups and saucers, plastic cups, bowls and measuring or formula scoops. They had a whale of a time filling their pots and them emptying them again. You could play with cars in it or small model animals, whatever you like! This was another attention span winner, 45 minutes before Miss A, who usually has the shortest attention span, wanted to do something else.

    I always clean the kitchen and dinning room floor on Friday lunchtime so Thursday afternoon was the perfect time for this activity although it wasn't really that messy. I swept up what they'd dropped and threw it away, since the floor, and the broom, weren't that clean. I still had a big Quality Street tin full of rice to keep for next time. I wish I had tried it sooner!

    Thursday, 6 March 2014


    This makes me very happy as it's something I've been meaning to get around to for ages. Big Girl brings home new artwork from school every day and I really like the idea of showcasing the girls' efforts and showing them we are proud of them.

    I used some adhesive cable clips which we bought from Ebay to sort out the TV's cables and some white picture hanging thread from Robert Dyas. After knotting the cord I did melt the ends with a lighter to make them neater and secure them.

    I went through the fonts on my computer and chose the one I liked best. In Paintshop Pro I flipped it to a mirror image and then split it in two so I could print it at my desired size, 50cm long. I used greaseproof paper to trace the print outs and then laid it on the wall and rubbed over the pencil lines with a pencil to transfer them onto the wall. I used a tester pot of normal wall paint to fill in the letters. I had little wooden pegs already, they're just right for hanging the masterpieces.

    I still use a one in, one out system where Big Girl pick what she's going to replace with her latest efforts!

    Monday, 3 March 2014

    Memories Gro News

    I haven't kept up with the blog of late because I have been very busy. Here's my latest Dolly, for a lovely lady who received a gift voucher. I enjoyed working with these really pretty garments and using the lovely bow from the babygro on the Dolly.

    The customer emailed me when she received her Dolly through the post and said

    "We love her! Thank you so much, you have made the perfect little memento for one of the most wonderful days of my life bringing home out little girl. She's actually wearing a dress made from the exact baby grow our little Sylvie wore on her trip home from hospital."

    I've also launched two new gift vouchers just in time for Mother's Day.

    I think it would be lovely to receive a Memories Gro voucher, especially for a new Mummy or Mummy-to-be. It's such an exciting time and a gift they can treasure forever is a perfect way to mark it! If you'd like to purchase one do email me at or purchase one in my Etsy Shop

    Half Term Part II

    Right then, over a week later, here are the tissue box monsters! Isabella and I really enjoyed putting them together and she was so proud of hers that she took it to Show & Tell when she went back to school! 
    The other really successful activity we did during half term was to make and play with fake snow. I got the idea from my friend Karen, over at Let Kids Be Kids, it's made from cornflour mixed together with shaving foam. I just popped it in three baking tins and put some Happyland figures in for the girls to play with, next time I would probably use toys without holes in as they were difficult to clean.Otherwise it was fairly easy to clean up, it just wipes off surfaces, but I did need to get the hoover out for the floor! I also gave them a couple of little pots which they loved filling and then emptying, again and again. It was So simple! I will definitely be doing it again!

     photo letkidsbekidslogobadge_zps424b7d61.jpg

    Monday, 17 February 2014

    Happy Half Term

    When my husband told me that he could only take one day off at half term I had a slight panic. What was I going to do to entertain the girls for four whole days? I am so used to our weekly routine of the Big Girl being at pre-school and having groups and classes to attend with the Little Ones that I forgot that when the twins were born I looked after all three of the all day every weekday for 18 months!

    Still I felt better with a plan under my belt and today's plan was meet Grandma and get their current shoes checked this morning (boring job ticked) and then try a couple of crafts from lovely Pinterest that I've been meaning to get around to for a while.

    I love the idea of messy play but I am not much good at the reality (cleaning up!) so I look for cleaner ways to do it and this pin looked ideal. To be honest I didn't even need to read the original post, it seemed like a great idea, easy access to the paint without pots that could knocked over, spilt or dropped. I saved a couple of trays from vegetables etc and cut a bath sponge into nine pieces, then glue gunned them to the trays.I am sure you could use other thick glue. The paint we have is quite thick so I painted it onto the sponges with a brush.

    I wanted to have a go at these. Again I haven't looked at the link, it just sparked an idea. I painted the tissue boxes with white paint before, three coats and the print still wasn't really covered but I don't think the girls minded. They did tire of the boxes quite quickly so I just gave them some paper. It entertained them for half and hour which is pretty good going. It was good to get them cleaned up and give them colouring books instead anyway so I could get on with making their tea without worrying about paint on the walls!

    I hope Big Girl and I might make the tissue boxes into monsters tomorrow. I'll definitely reuse my sponge trays though a couple need re gluing and to be honest I didn't need to bother with the tissue boxes, they were just as happy with paper!

    Monday, 10 February 2014

    Pin It & Win It!

    On my Facebook newsfeed I recently had an advert for some free Pinterest business training. I wasn't using Pinterest a lot for Memories Gro but I do LOVE Pinterest. I spend a serious amount of time on there. Its pick up, put down nature really appeals to me as I get snippets of down time during the day when the children are occupied.

    The most important thing that I learnt from this training from Melanie Duncan is that Memories Gro needed its own account independent from mine. So I have launched one. And what I was also inspired by Melanie to run a Pin It & Win It competition. So it you would like to win one of my Mini dollies click on the image below!