Here's to an amazing 2016

I use Leonie Dawson's Create Your shining Life in

2016 Biz and Life Workbooks

Do your self a favour and treat yourself. They are awesome for goal setting and following through on your goals throughout the year!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Week 2016 Australia Story Country

This years theme for Book Week in Australia is Australia: Story country.
Each year, around Australia, Schools, Libraries, Booksellers, Authors, Illustrators and children celebrate book week. 
During this time you will often see Children's Book Character Parades and talented librarians creating amazing displays. 
I really had to put my thinking caps on to come up with fantastic but easy costumes to tie in with this years chosen theme for those who have book week parades.

there are plenty of books about Australian Animals but not necessarily the easiest costumes to make. so what about these ideas.
Costume: giant carrot with carrot cut from orange felt with arm openings and head openings and a hat made from green felt to represent the top leaves. See here for examples.
Dress up as an Australian Animal 
Koala from The Adventures of Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall.
Sew your own koala mask with this pattern from Ebony Shae Designs.
Possum from Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Wombat from Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
Wombat mask from schooza teamed with a woolie brown jumper and trousers.
Emu from Edwina the Emu by Sheena Knowles

Dress up as a farmer based on the book My Farm by Alison Lester.
There are plenty of Australian stories involving bushrangers such as Ned Kelly. Cover a round box with tin foil, cut out eye holes as Ned's Armour, 
Or as a bushman based on Waltzing Matilda with a straw hat with corks, old trousers and shirt and a billy can. Grab a toy sheep and your child will be set.
There are also many Australian books that celebrate our Australian Aboriginal heritage, dream time stories and outback.
My Country by Ezekiel Kwaymullina and Sally Morgan
You and me: Our place by Leonie Norrington
Or get creative with a costume as a snake, or colourful bird from the books above.
Or what about an indigenous Australian with dot face paint or a convict costume?
Be creative with a costume as an early settler or gold miner complete with gold pan and  gold nugget (rock painted gold), small garden shovel.
So while this years book theme may be harder and isn't focused on Harry Potters, super heroes and fairies, there are still plenty of dress up ideas from those mentioned above.
If you have photos of your child in costume I would love to see them. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thermomix Apple Pie

As a child I grew up in Tasmania, the Apple Isle. In our backyard my father had 8 apple trees. Apples were a constant in our diet, fresh ones, stewed ones, apple crumble, apple streudel, apple pies. 

I have tried a few apple pies with the aid of the trusty thermomix and this one below has to rate as one of the yummiest ones.
Apple Pie in the Thermomix
This apple crumble recipe is a favourite too.
Healthy Thermomix Apple Crumble

In the sewing room apples have also been made. This time felt ones as part of my felt fruit play food set.

And my Apple Pie book and story telling set. A lovely story about a fairy named Annie who comes to realise that with the help of her friends the best way to cook is with simple ingredients including flour, sugar, butte and apples. As the book is read to kids they can find and identify the ingredients. Makes reading fun and interactive.

Friday, June 17, 2016

When is the Right Time To employ Staff?

My new office assistant is here.

Introducing my new office/sewing assistant and general dogs body Harris Tweed. If you have been following Creative Wishes on instagram  you would have already met Harris. I ran a competition to name him and Harris was chosen as the perfect name.
Harris is my assistant in training.
His favourite job is to taste test my felt food.

 He is still a puppy so gets up to some mischief every now and then.
He also loves playing with the other dog in the house.

Do you want to see more of what Harris gets up to? Follow me on instagram to see more of Harris.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Felt Campfires

Winter is here... and since this is the time we spend inside I thought I would share one of my newer Creative Wishes creations with you all.
Felt Pretend Campfires

The campfires come in a few varieties and are priced from as little as $50.00 for a basic campfire with 3 logs and a flame to the deluxe campfire  $90.00 which includes 3 logs, flame, 12 rocks and two marshmallows on sticks. And for a bit more variety the logs come in two different colours and the rocks can be made from a mottled grey felt, black or a dark charcoal felt. (black felt rocks are pictured).

The campfires are great for imaginative play. Kids love setting them up inside with their dolls and teddies around and pretending to cook their marshmallows or to keep warm. Children with indoor tee pees love the campfire set up outside their tee pee or indoor cubby house as an extra fun  play element.

They team really well with my BBQ grill food set too.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Top 8 Benefits Of Play

It may look like play when children are playing house, sailing the seven seas in their imaginary baby bath boats, chasing one another or fighting imaginary dragons. But it is much more, they are actually developing life skills and learning so many things.
 Unfortunately child experts say that free play time has shrunk dramatically for children over the past three decades.
So take a read of the top 8 benefits of play and then give your children plenty of free play opportunities.

1. Play develops cognitive development.
It builds imaginative and pretend play. Children begin this type of play from about 2 years of age. Everyday objects will be transformed into something else, a pot for a drum or a wooden block will become a house.  This type of play gives your child a sense of control as he interprets the drama of every day life and practices the rules of social behaviour  Imaginative play is of benefit as it increases creativity, abstract thinking, problem solving, mastering new concepts, social behaviour and empathy.

2. Play promotes social skills.
As babies and toddlers, children play side by side, this is called parallel play. As preschoolers they start to interact and play together. As they play together they learn to cooperate, negotiate, take turns and share. When they are arguing over who wears the superhero cape they are also learning social skills like taking turns and patience as they wait their turn.

3. Play improves physical development.
Large motor skills improve first with play such as kicking a ball, running and pedaling a bike. Finer motor skills are practiced while playing too, picking up blocks and building a tower or learning to hold a crayon and draw. Increasing these gross and fine motor skills will carry on into everyday life activities like being able to dress and feed themselves, 

4. Play helps language development.
As children are playing together they are developing language skills. They are learning new words through story telling, books and listening to other children and adults. Their communication skills will improve organically through listening to other children and adults and mimicing their pronounciation and talk.

5. Play helps with emotional development.
Before a child has the words to express their emotions in words they are expressing these emotions through physical play and behaviour. For example if a child is hit  or pushed accidently by another child he may not know how to express this in words or understand the concept of it being an accident. He may reenact this behaviour in play in an attempt to process and begin to understand. It is very common for children to review this behaviur over and over again in play.

6. Play increases attention span.
Concentration and persistence are increased through play. A child building a tower with blocks may try again and again as the blocks tumble down and over time is improving his skills and able to pay more attention to the task. Physical play allows children to blow off steam and then increases their concentration levels for quieter play activities.

7.  Play provides educational benefits.
Play allows for practice of new skills in an unstructured way and with minimal pressure, It also allows children to explore or discover together or on their own. It provides children with the opportunity to experiment and take risks and discover consequences and to learn new concepts and skills. 

8. Its fun!
Play creates laughter, release of energy, relaxation and self expression.

I would like to invite you to come and join my Creativity List. 
It is chocca block full of fantastic content from freebies and special offers to kids craft ideas and small handmade business articles.

As a thank you, you get not one but two free Ebooks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sight Words and Back to School

Schools back for another year and those with young children will be familiar with the list of sight words children come home with to learn.

What are sight words?
Sight words, often also called high frequency sight words, are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.
Advantages of Learning Sight Words.
The advantage for children in being able to recognise sight words instantly is that the beginner reader will be able to identify these words in books and texts automatically. This allows the child to concentrate on meaning and comprehension as they read without having to stop and decode every single word.

There are some great sites and resources around to make learning these sight words fun and I have included a list of my favourite ones.

Sight words worksheets and printables Good printable worksheets.
Sight word game A fun game for ages 4-7
sight word activities  A great resource of printables, ideas for fun games and activities all based around sight words.
Sight word bingo cards
Out and About App a fun and educational app for kinder - grade 2 children
Tips on Teaching Sight Words  Great tips from a teacher and parent
Printable lists of sight words A compete list of Australian  Dulche flashcards for years Preschool - grade 3
Eggy Words downloadable game A fun game to help kids learn their sight words.
Memory games with sight words printable  Print out this popular game for your child to play.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sewing With Felt Part 2 - Cutting Felt

Not all felt is the same. As a crafter who sews a lot of things with felt I have tried many different types. Acrylic craft felt is not as thick as other types of felt and can pull when sewn or rip if over stuffed.  100 % wool felt is too thick for a lot of the toys and games I make but feels lovely. I use a wool blend felt, thicker than acrylic and much more durable. 

Hints and tips for cutting felt.

Felt has a vertical and horizontal side.  The horizontal side will stretch when pulled. When cutting felt make sure you have matched up the sides. Otherwise the felt may stretch and change shape when stuffed and distort your finished item. 

Prior to cutting out your pattern give the felt an iron on medium low to iron out any creases.  

Felt is best cut piece by piece for accuracy. I rarely stack and cut more than two layers of felt at once. 

To have great looking felt pieces with clean cut edges use very sharp scissors.  I use a fiskars brand of scissors.  Blunt scissors will pull at the fibers of the felt leaving fuzzy edges.

Don't use fabric markers or chalk on felt.  When rubbing out the chalk outline the felt fibers can become fuzzy making your shape less crisp.

For more intricate cuts use freezer paper or even a clear tape to adhere your paper pattern to the felt prior to cutting.  Both will be easy to remove once the pattern is cut.

Want to know more about sewing with felt?
Read Part one all about supplies needed to get started with sewing with felt.


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