Tag Archives: free

7 Free things to do in Canberra over the Spring school holidays

Our two weeks of school holidays start today!  The children definitely need the break, and their mother isn’t complaining either!  While we have a camping trip planned for the second week of the holidays, for the first week I thought we might explore a bit more of the city we live in, rather than sitting at home with eyes glued to screens.  (Wish me luck!)

There are some amazing classes, programs, and activities available during the holidays, and my children have a long wish list.  However money is a little tight, and I realised that it was probably time for us to craft a list that focussed on things that don’t cost a lot of money, but will be really enjoyable.

These giant snails next to a floral wall spelling out Floriade are beautifully colourful!

These giant snails next to a floral wall spelling out Floriade are beautifully colourful!

1.  Floriade.  Yep – it may be clichéd but the huge floral displays are open throughout the holidays, are free to enter, and provide lots of different opportunities for being involved.  There is a different program of activities every day.  The tips I gained from head gardener, Andrew Forster, were to check the program first thing each morning before planning your day.  There are great things in the ‘Fun for Kids‘ section, including potting their own plants, attending Bunnings workshops, a circus playground with workshops, and more!    (And Bindi Irwin will be at the inspiration hub giving talks one day.) If all else fails, take a picnic and let the kids run around on the big grassed areas.

2. Arboretum.  The national collection of plants is free to enter, and roam around.  In addition to the wonderful wooden pod playground, there are also open spaces for picnics and running around, and amazing photographic opportunities.  There is a free creative corner during these holidays, plus a program of workshops ranging in prices from $10 – $30.  My personal plan is to pack some food and take the kids there with their cameras/iPods etc and run a family photo competition.  If it works I will publish their entries here for you to enjoy!

National Archives of Australia |a little bird made me

3. National Archives of Australia.  You might remember that I enjoyed a tour of the National Archives as part of the discovery phase of the Human Brochure.  I have been wanting to take the children there ever since, and with the opening of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize this week, the timing is perfect!  Entry to the archives is free, and there is a great range of exhibitions that I think my children will enjoy exploring – including one of ‘banned’ material that I think will appeal to my son!!

Industrial remnants installed at the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Gardens

Industrial remnants installed at the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Gardens

4. National Gallery Sculpture Gardens.  I suspect that taking my active children (well, let’s be honest, my son) into the Gallery could be a recipe for stress, but I think that exploring the Sculpture Gardens, with reflective sculptures, floating heads, and my favourite, the James Turrell installation “Within Without’, could be much less stressful!  I might even include that in our family photo competition!

5. Geocaching.  We have been a little slack in our geocaching for about a year (oops) but the upside of that is that there will be lots of new caches around town that we haven’t discovered.  If you aren’t aware of geocaching it involves looking for hidden caches/containers that contain a log book, and occasionally swap-able  or track-able items, using GPS coordinates.  You can download a free version of the app to your phone, or use the GPS from your car (or go really rustic and use a compass!) and search for different caches hidden in public spaces, and logged on a website so that others can look for them.  I like to pick a geographic area, park the car and then go for a walk with the kids to find as many as we can before someone gets tired and complains!

6. National Museum of Australia.  The museum is always great for an interactive experience with kids, and these holidays they are running free drop in workshops in their Discovery Space, including one where you can make your own wire sculpture.  (Wonder if the kids will realise that I am there to do it for me, rather than to entertain them?!)

7. National Library of Australia.  On 2 October the Library has a story time session and a movie for children, both of which are free.  But the thing that appeals to me for my children is the Library detective – a free ‘find it’ trail of discovery.

Handmade Markets | a little bird made me

Plus one more.  Handmade Markets.  Entry to these amazing markets (no I am not at all biased) is free!  Of course it won’t end up being truly free as the temptation to buy so many of the beautiful products there is hard to resist, so I haven’t included it in my list of 7 – but wanted to remind you that it is a great day out!  4 and 5 October at the National Convention Centre!  (I won’t have a stall there but will be there helping out anyway!)

There are many more things to do in Canberra over the holidays, but this list will keep us going I think!  What ideas do you have for free activities these holidays?

Friday finds – a list of DIY gift ideas for a 9 year old girl with links to tutorials

Oh dear. The middle chick turns 9 next week and I am drawing a blank about what to make for her (let alone buy for her!) Last year I made her bunting with her name on it, and a creativity suitcase. This year? I am just not sure! So I decided to prepare a list of the links I find and share them with you in an effort to find inspiration for myself! Let’s hope it works!

Hair accessories

These days my nearly 9 year old is very fashion conscious.  She puts together her own outfits with more style than many adults – layering colours, textures and different fabrics to create her own ‘look’.  I think that some hair accessories to assist in her styling wouldn’t be out of order!

Interchangable ruffle headband – Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Hair accessories – Life and Grace

Hair Accessories – Style My Party

IP-HAIR-ACCESSORIES

Rolled Ribbon Rosette Hair Accessory – Mom Advice

Home décor

Part of developing her own style means that my nearly-nine year old is a ‘tween’.  So it is time to update the bedroom décor and let her have her own space to express herself.  Some of these accessories might just do it!

Alphabet cushion – Hobbycraft

Fabric covered magnetic board – Riley Blake Designs

Fabric buckets for storing ‘things’ might also be useful as part of a ‘makeover’ – see the list I prepared earlier! Friday Finds – a list of 23 tutorials for fabric baskets and buckets

Fabric Covered Pin Board – The 36th Avenue

Reading Nook – Club Chica Circle

Clothing

Hmmmm….. perhaps making her some things that fit her ‘style’ might work!  With summer coming on she definitely needs a new hat – and is very picky about what she will and won’t wear.  Perhaps if I make one with funky fabric that might work!

Reversible Bucket Hat – Oliver and S

The other thing about summer is that she wants to wear shorts – all the time.  So perhaps I need to make some of these for her (adjusted to her size of course!)

25 DIY shorts to try – Cameo Blog

Or a skirt?

25 Girls Skirts Tutorials – Every Little Day

Technology accessories

Like so many young people my tween has an embarrassment of electronic gadgets.  A cover to assist in protecting them would be just the ticket (and in fact now that I remember, something that she has been asking for!  Yes, yes – insert the embarrassed face of a forgetful mother here!)
Kindle Cover – Diary of a Young Teacher

Padded Gadget cover – Riley Blake Designs

Ipad Cover with wrap around Pocket – Sewn Up by Teresa Down

Under

Editted to remove links to the WhipUp.net site which appears to have been closed.

Kindle Keeper – Polka Dot Chair

And to assist with the earphones that I keep finding tangled in a heap!

Earbud Pouch – Erin Erickson

A list of iPad and Kindle cover tutorials – TipNut

Things of her own

My middle chick loves to have her ‘own’ things now rather than sharing in the communal household things.  She also loves to ‘borrow’ her mother’s heat pack for all sorts of imagined ills….. so maybe she needs her own!

 Heat Pack – Fellow Fellow

She does have a large amount of pencil cases, but when you are the artist-in-residence you can’t have too many!

Pencil roll – You Go Girl

Notebook Cover – Sew Up by Teresa DownUnder

Edited to remove links to the site WhipUp.net which has been closed.

 

The good news is that after spending the last hour or so preparing this list, I DO know what I am planning to make for my middle chick!  Now to see if I can pull it off before she returns from her holiday!  I hope that the list helped you a bit too!

Friday Finds – a list of 18 free tutorials for Diaper/Nappy Bags

Although we are a few days away from the official beginning of Spring, the weather has decided to anticipate the change a few days early, and it is beautiful!! The sort of weather where you want to be outside, pottering in the garden, going for walks and being energetic. I love it! Here’s hoping that it will last and not revert to the gloomy winter conditions again!

Today’s list of finds are well and truly for me to make as gifts, not for personal use! When I had my chicks I had a fabulous nappy bag (diaper bag for some) that my sister gave me – a black, quilted, backpack, lined in plastic lined materials, with great pockets. I found that having my hands free was wonderful. And it didn’t look like a nappy bag. I have written before that I think that diaper bags can be sophisticated, with no little duckies or teddy bears etc. Having this cool black bag meant that I felt a bit groovy instead of completely lost in motherhood. So it is with this in mind that I have collected these patterns for diaper bags. The ‘cool’ factor is defined by the fabric that you choose, and therefore only limited by your imagination!

Diaper Bag – Nap Time Crafters 

Easiest Nappy/Diaper Bag ever – Sew Christine 

Diaper Bag – My crazy beautiful life   

Diaper Bag – Prudently Painted Vintage 

2 in 1 Bag – Stroller Bag into Messenger Bag – Make it Love it

Diaper Bag with a Divider – Warehouse Fabrics

Diaper Bag – Sew Much Ado 

Simple Diaper Bag – Life on 19th

Hip Mama Diaper Bag – A Mingled Yarn

Diaper Bag – Sleep Owl Studio (with ideas on adapting the Hip Mama Diaper Bag)

Pretty Bird Quick Trip Diaper Bag – Sew 4 Home 

Diaper Bag with elastic pockets – Craftster

Diaper Bag – Crafty Couple 

Mod Diaper Bag – Vibrant Designs 

Anna’s Diaper Bag – CocoJ Designs 

Diaper Bag – Mommysewing

Angela’s Diaper Bag – Moda Bake Shop 

Baby on the Go Diaper Bag – Moda Bake Shop 

 

Friday finds – a list of 28 free tutorials for making skirts for grown ups

Well, the suspense is over. I have prepared a list of Friday finds after all. The collection this week is a list of tutorials for making skirts. For grown ups! While many of the patterns and theories and lessons can be used to make skirts for little people, the aim of these are skirts for big people. Like me! I am so over this winter and it’s dreariness. I keep looking at my cotton wrap skirts with longing. Waiting for the day I can wear them with bare legs and sandals. A list of patterns might keep me going until the season is right to wear them again. Or I might find one for a winter skirt! Let’s see.

Pleated wrap Skirt – Grand Revival Design

Paris Skirt The TutorialParis skirt – Nothing too fancy

Circle Skirt Maths explained – By Hand London

 Miranda Skirt Pattern – Pattern Scissors Cloth

All About the Skirt – Freckles in April 

Simplicity in a Pillowcase – Casa Crafty

Paperbag skirt pattern – Grosgrain Fabulous

How to draw a skirt pattern – Simply Modern Mom

Circle Skirt Pattern and Tutorial – The Ribbon RetreatCircle #skirt #pattern #tutorial by Kaysi on [http://www.craftskeepmesane.blogspot.com/] via, [http://www.theribbonretreat.com/blog/circle-skirt-pattern-tutorial.html]

Hemless a-line skirt – One Avian Daemon

Make your own full gathered skirt – Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing 

Dana Wrap Skirt by Fitzpatterns | Sewing PatternDana Wrap Skirt – Craftsy

Everyday Skirt – iCandy 

15 free knee length skirt patterns – Fab n Free

Friday finds – a list of 21 links to free patterns for crochet market bags

I think that Fridays are my favourite day of the week. Work is over, the weekend is stretching out in front of me, full of possibility, and there is nothing that ‘has’ to be done other than self imposed things like posting a blog post! When looking through my collection of ideas that I go to when I need inspiration I realised that I have collected a large number of links to crochet market bags. I have yet to make one, but love the concept, and, once I have finished the ripple afghan (soon, I promise, soon!) I intend to make a couple. I have made a crochet beach bag as a gift for my sister, and loved the process, so think that market bags would be similarly delightful.

On a cold and blustery day, curling up on the couch and crocheting away is so appealing… To assist, here is my list!

Crochet Grocery Bag – Fat Cat Crochet, RavelryCrochet Grocery Bag - free pattern - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-grocery-bag

l20065a-187x300Hobo Market Bag – Daisydozit

Rainbow Market Bag – allfreecrochet

Beginner Market BagCrochet Market Bag – Dearest Debi

Cotton Shopping Bag – Posh Pooch Designs

Market Bag – Hippy Hooker

Simple Market Bag – All Free CrochetSimple Market Bag

Dynamite Market Bag – Crochet Dynamite

Market Bag – Ravelry.com

Crocheted Market Bag – Ravelry

Hexagonal Net Crochet Bag – Ravelry.comRavelry: Hexagonal Net Crochet Bag pattern

Crochet bag – Fine Craft Guild

Colourful Cotton Bag – Knitting and some more

Crochet mesh bags.  Free pattern from Michaels.Sugar and Cream Crochet Market Bag – Micheals.com

Go Lightly Tote – Ravelry.comRavelry: Golightly Tote pattern by Lion Brand Yarn

Pattern for simple crochet bucket bagCrochet Bucket Bag – Joann.com

Lacy Crochet Market Bag – Red Heart.com

pattern imageProvence Crochet Bag – Classic Lite Yarns

Crochet Market Bag – Hip 2 Thrift

free crochet market bag patternMarket Bag with Floral Accent – Bobbles and Baubles

Go Green Market Bag – Suzie’s Yarnie Stuff

Friday finds – a list of 23 free tutorials for fabric baskets and buckets

I don’t know about you, but I seem to have an endless collection of scraps of fabric, pieces of yarn, pattern pieces, cotton threads, pencils and tape measures that I ‘must’ keep, but that seem to take over my work space. I have tried various methods of keeping them organised, tidy and under control, with varying degrees of success. I think that my next attempt will be to make myself some lovely bright fabric baskets or buckets, so that the odds and ends look lovely, rather than chaotic! I have gathered up a collection of links to free tutorials to do just that, so thought I would share them with you as I sort through them and identify which ones I will make to address my current state of disorder!

Fabric scrap basket – The Sometimes Crafter Tutorial - Fabric Scrap Basket : The Sometimes Crafter

Buckets – Vintage RicRac

Round Bottomed Fabric Storage Buckets – Film in the Fridge

Fabric Bucket – Over the Moon Arts

Fabric Bucket – The Stitchin Chicken Bucket

Fabric container – Pippi Joe

Fabric bucket – Dreampatch

Fabric Bucket – Restyled Junk

Nested Fabric Buckets – Whip Stitch Fabrics

Fabric Bucket – A Good Wife’s Journal

Fabric Bucket – Yellowcloth 

Spring Form Bucket – Bad Skirt

Easy Fabric Bucket – Sisters with Flair 

Fabric Basket with cut out handles by Delia Creates

How to make a fabric basket – Apartment Therapy51b6e05f74c5b6499d001f9f._w.540_s.fit_

Fabric Baskets – El Petit Taller

Round Nesting Baskets – 2 Little Hooligans 

Square bottomed canvas bucket – Craftster.org

Jumbo Fabric Tub – Sew4Home

Nursery Fabric Storage Basket – Sew4Home

Small fabric Basket – Jillian in Italy

Patchwork Bucket – 1/4″ Mark

Divided Organizer Bucket – The Busy BeanBusyBeanCarBucket

As always, do let me know if you use any of the patterns, and how you find them!

Friday finds – a list of 18 links to free patterns to make market bags

I have realised that if I am going to post a list of the links I have found, I should probably call them something! So here is the beginning of “Friday Finds”!! Tonight I thought I would go back to bags. Mainly because I keep finding more that I am inspired by, and that I want to make! Today’s list will be market or shopping bags. Where I live in Canberra shops are not allowed to provide free plastic bags for our shopping. We either pay between 10 and 15 cents per bag, or we carrying our own bags. I love my shopping bags. They are bright and bold and make grocery shopping a treat for the eye. But they are starting to wear out. My plan (along with all those other plans on my ever growing ‘to do’ list) is to make some new ones for myself and use fabrics that make me happy. (That will counteract the sometimes excruciating nature of grocery shopping with 3 chicks in tow!!) And that means that, without further ado, I present a list of links to free patterns for market bags that I have collected for this very purpose!

Market Tote – Bijou Lovely Designs

Simple tote for Groceries – CYA Tutorials

Market Day Tote – Quiltmag

Teeny Tiny Fold Up Shopping Tote – Instructables

17groceries

Fat Sack – Atkinson Designs

Nylon Eco Bags – Ever Kelly

Grocerybag_3_large

Charlie Reusable Grocery Bag – Burdastyle

Mini-Market Tote – Chubby Hobby

Fold Away Shopping Bag Tutorial – Crafty Ady

Tabs on bag when unfolded

Cloth Grocery Bag Tutorial – Just Crafty Enough

Reversible Grocery Bag – Splendor Falls

Vintage Market Bag Tutorial – Sew Home Grown

IMG_1451

Quick Carrier – Earth Girl Fabrics

Farmers Market Laminated Tote – Sew 4 Home

Market Tote – The Long Thread

Free market bag pattern

The Martha Market Bag – Pattern Spot

Fold up Tote – Zaaberry

Foldaway Shopping Bag – Sew 4 Home

Let me know if you use any of these patterns and how you go!!