Muska & Elvis

Pom pom, hama bead garland

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I have always loved pom poms, I clearly remembering making them with 2 cardboard circles in year 1, and then going to my grandma’s shortly after, and just sitting there wanting to make pom pom after pom, she was a big knitter, so she had all these balls of wool in different textures and colours. Although I loved it then, it is still time consuming. I made them the original way years ago, and then sort out an easier way. I tried the half loom, but to me it doesn’t give you the same volume, so I got one of those looms with double sides, and in 4 different sizes, and its fab! It is easy enough for Lil M to do it (she is on the early side of 4), and I get a nice full pom pom! So once making all of these pom poms I decided I would make a garland, and add some of the lovely coloured hama beads that Lil M (we) have an abundance of around the home! Just quietly after seeing the finished garland, Lil M decided it would be best as a scarfie, so watch this space for more pom poming!

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The deliciousness colours of the pom poms and beads together!

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Now I’m not doing a tut on how to use the pom pom loom, it is pretty self explanatory, but you can see how it works just like our ‘old fashioned’ cardboard way.

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Once you start to pull the loom apart the beauty of the pom pom reveals itself!

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Lil M could do it too, although she still hasn’t finished one (she choose the largest loom), she has been coming back to it.

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You can buy hama beads from your usual craft stores, or a large tub of multicoloured beads from Ikea. We have those, and I had purchased a small packets of these pretty pastel ones from Lincraft, Spotlight sell the beads in packets by colour (that I have seen at my local anyhow).

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Once your poms poms are done, using an embroidery needle (you need it to be long enough to get through your pom), and some embroidery thread, thread through your first pom pom. Leave about 20cm or so at the end before you tie a knot, so that you have thread to hang the garland, and do this at the end too.

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I used a medium size pom, and 20 beads between each section.

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Yep it is that easy. Make it as long or short as you like, hang it vertical or horizontal. Now I have a lot more pom pom making to go, if I am going make Lil M a pom pom scarf before winter is over!

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Ahh if you look closely I didn’t realise Lil M’s special ‘sticky jewel’ she had stuck onto one of the poms is still there! Hahaha!

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Muska & Elvis

SALE

 

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If you didn’t already know, I have a SALE section in my store. Some items are definitely on sale, and some items are only on sale for a limited time, so be quick! *Free shipping in Aust on most items.

My skate decks are on sale and I only have a limited number left. Once they are sold, they are gone! Check them out, and my other items here xx

*Overseas shipping rates apply

Muska & Elvis

Taming a toddler (again) for $20 and endless fun – Pipe Dreaming

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My kids absolutely love the Discovery Space at UOW, and amongst the forever changing and large amount of activities, the magnetic pipe and ball walls that are inside and outside are one of the Lil Mr’s fav’s (at the centre they are attached to magnetic boards, and have blockers, so that you can create crazy paths for the ball to fall, he still needs me to set it up for him, but it really get the kids thinking, and it is such a reward once they get it to work – I even get chuffed when I work a good one out hahaha).

Below is the magnetic one at the Discovery Space.

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He really doesn’t stay still for long, but this intrigues him. After out last visit I mentioned it my Big Mister, and of course I see his mind ticking over, and a few seconds later he says…When we go to Bunning’s on the weekend, I’m going to get some pipes and make one on our fence. (note ‘when’ we go to Bunnings, not ‘if’ or ‘lets’ go to Bunnings, it’s like out second home, and Lil M can recognise the logo anywhere, and on Sunday when we asked her what park we should start off at, she asked to go to the Bunnings park! hahaha).

So here we go…He created it for approx $20 – (for pipes and screws), you could do it cheaper, it depends on what size pipes you buy etc, and that is totally up to you. He bought 3 x 6cm width pipes, pre cut at 1m lengths. (this size is not big enough for a tennis ball, you would need to go wider. We have lots of smaller balls from other kids toys hanging around thats we used).

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Draw a line as a guide to cut in half lengthways ( don’t forget your safety gear)

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Now you can’t see it once they are up, but depending if you wanted colour on the inside, you can spray them different colours, do this now before you attach, and let it dry.

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Then attach to your wall/fence. It is best to do it with the ball as you go. At the start, only screw in one side and angle it to the next pipe, and test that the ball rolls onto the next one, then attach the second screw at the other end. Its just playing around with what ball you are using and your angles with the space you have.

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He did it a little higher than our little guy could reach, as it is at a height that Lil M can reach, and you know, they grow so quick, and he will be able to reach soon enough!

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Soon enough their cars and trucks came out and the 3 of them were having races. Fun for everyone! If anyone give it a go, I would love to see pics! Had fun! x

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Muska & Elvis

My switch to more natural

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I’m pretty sure that in my late teens, and twenties, I tried as many different beauty products on my skin that I could afford. I learnt that my skin was oily and also sensitive. In my later twenties after seeing a dermatologist it was suggested I stay away from any fragrance in my beauty products and make up, and to maybe just go more simple. At the time I was using alot of MAC, and Dermalogica, out they went, and from then on I made sure my face products had no fragrance, and it has really made a difference. A few years on a few more skin problems, another dermatologist, and I decided to break it down even more, I had the kids, and my routines kept getting simpler, and then in the past year I have gradually been switching to as natural as I can, but within reason. So I thought I would share what I use and why I love them. A few of the brands are handmade here in Australia, which also a massive bonus!

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I started using Wild Healing a few years back, back when they were Kaffe Organic. I used the cold pressed face oil on my face (and I also used it on my C-section scar, I have a keloid scar, and even though my first was cut out and re-done the second time, it was again keloid, and for me this oil, made a huge difference to it healing compared to my first scar), and I also used the pink clay mask a few times a week, which exfoliates and cleanses my face. I now use their raw moisturiser on my face, it does come in natural fragrances, but they have customised it for me to have no fragrance. I use their mint body butter on my terribly dry hands, and heels, and just recently I’ve been using their ‘Stick It’ face soap with activated charcoal, eucalyptus and coconut oil, and my face has been great. Everything is all natural and hand made, and the shipping has been really fast, and their prices are exceptionally reasonable. I also purchase alot of these products for gifts, you can find them here.

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I am a HUGE coffee lover, dont even get me started. So of course Frank Body had me intrigued, so did the thousands of social media posts I kept seeing in my feed (sorry you won’t see one of me, I hate selfies of myself haha) so I gave it a try and yep hooked. I’ve tried the coconut coffee scrub, but I have to say the original is my fav, and oh my gosh! My skin feels so awesomely silky smooth after. I started using their body cream too, and Is seriously want to eat myself I smell and feel so good! Lil M is obviously watching me more (I’ll get to that more in this post) and want to moisturise too. So I’m more than happy for her to share my cocoa body cream, with all its natural goodness! Find the deliciousness here.

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Now onto the make up! So I’m pretty simple when it comes to make up, and I’m done in less than 5 minutes. Now not all of this products are 100% natural, but definitely have less of the nasties, and have been great for my sensitive skin, and are all non fuss, and more good for the skin, and are non irritating. I’ll go through them! I always like to wear lightweight foundation, and for me it is a must to have SPF, I use the Bare Minerals Skin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation, little really goes a long way and it is so lightweight, and has a really nice light cover, it covers what I want covered, and yet my little freckles and moles are still apparent. I also use their All Over Face cover in a light blush colour when I want a bit of pink on my cheeks, again, nice and lightweight and free from parabens, sulphates, synthetic dyes and fragrance.

Now lipstick has not always been in my makeup bag, I found it hard to find ones I liked, the Moxie Bare Minerals lipsticks are what actually got me onto the rest of their range, again free of all the parabens, sulphates, synthetic dyes and fragrance, with Abyssinian Oil to  hydrate, (and a handy click lid so it doesn’t go AWOL in your purse). I buy all of my bare minerals from Mecca Mexima online or instore.

Another brand I use is Shanghai Suzy, which was recommended to me by a fab make up artist when I was after something with less of the nasties in it. They have seasonal collections, and smell like bubblegum, and at $14.95 a pop (or less if you buy more), you are winning! There are a few local store in the Illawarra that sell these, but you can buy online, or find a stockist near you.

Another fav brand of mine is Korres from Greece, alot of natural skincare. I used to use their rose body lotion before it was discontinued. I use their tinted lip butter for everyday use in Quince (or a subtle pink) and Wild Rose (for a darker red tone), it uses shea butter and rice wax, so helps my lips and adds a hit of colour. Again at $16 a pot, you cant loose, I also buy these from Mecca Maxima. They smell amazing too! I kiss my kids ALOT (even so much that Lil M asked Daddy why I do so much), and I dont mind if I have all this stuff all over my lips! hahaha!

I also use Korres Volcanic Minerals Voluminizing Mascara, again lots of natural goodies in it, and it really makes my non existent lashes that bit fuller, and doesn’t irritate. This one though I buy online, usually from Strawberrynet.

Now I snuck that NARS stick in, it isn’t known for all its natural ingredients, but it is enriched with Vitamin E and Acai Oil for antioxidant benefits, doesn’t have fragrance, and is my go to everyday – in under 5 mins, I have my light coverage of foundation, eyebrows defined, a bit of this on my cheeks (these multiple sticks you can use on your face, lips and body), a lick of mascara, and some lip butter and I’m good to go! (the only thing I haven’t replaced yet is my eyebrow pencil – you know its hard to find a good colour). I ADORE this! I have the Malaysia colour, and I’ve used it through summer and winter, I have more of an olive tone skin, but there is an abundance of colour choices. Again Mecca is my big go to!

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Now Lil M is at the age as I mentioned before that she is very observant at the moment, she watches my mum do her make up when she is over, and she watches me get ready. We bought her a brilliant wooden make up case and set for Christmas for pretend play. It’s funny as I guess sometimes no matter the influence, girls like what they like. She has asked to use my make up, and I tell her its just for mummy, but then I came across this brilliant company No Nasties. They create 100% natural, play make up and hair chalk that also become face paint. This I am totally into. The kids love face paint and again I’m very sure to buy non toxic, water based crayons and paints, but this take sit even a step further, and with that cute packaging!?!!? We received a small play make up set and a hair chalk set, they come in various colour combos and are coded via these cleverly cute face icons. Again this is an Australian handmade company and actually based close to where I grew up, so big win here! I think the kids and I are going to have a ton of fun on the weekend!

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This post was not sponsored or paid for in any way, just a post sharing what products I love right now, and what works for me, especially when looking for something that is so simple for the busy lady and good for your skin :) x

 

 

 

 

Muska & Elvis

Taming a toddler for $6

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My Lil M is a very creative one, and the Lil Mr is showing he could be too. They both love to draw, and paint and make. I guess having all the different supplies and media at your fingertips, they are lucky to experiment with a wide range tools.

Lil M need to be busy and is most happy creating and like most kids love to get messy!

The Mr saw something similar to this on the web, and suggested she would love it, so we bought 4 x $1.50 plastic spray bottles from our local bargain shop. Used acrylic paint we already had, mixed it with water and tah dah! A little bit of awesome was created!

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The ratio of paint with water, really depends on how big your bottle and how thick your paint is, but you want it have a consistency that isn’t too watery when you spray it on the paper. You also want a big sheet. It was raining yesterday when we did this, otherwise we would have done this on the grass, or up on the fence. We did it on our deck, so we used an old picnic rug (as the waterproof backing) as a drop sheet, the paint that got off the sheet did come off with a wet rag, but just in case. A paint smock is a good idea too.

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She had an absolute ball! The best bit was that the colours would all run into another and she had fun mixing them to see what they would make, then once one side was done, we turned it around so she had a fresh canvas and she started to be more ‘precise’ about where she was spraying and how it was spraying. It was a definite win!

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I was lucky enough to have this big piece of backing card from a paper delivery. If you dont have anything similar, I’d try using cutting out the sides of brown boxes from Bunnings or your local supermarket, the thickness was good as toddlers really dont have a stop button, and this way they would go crazy spraying with the water without the paper starting to tear from all the pressure hahaha!

Have fun! x

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Muska & Elvis

Making of an indoor cubby

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Firstly I am sorry it has been so long. Life happens! Since I last wrote, I guess the tiny dude has been so active, my business has been busier, and I have also gone back to work – part time designing locally. The past year I found it the most challenging for me, and I do have high expectations of myself and had to let some things go (another blog post in itself to come), and this was one of them. But I want to come back again and be more consistent with my posts – trying to get one up at least once a week, as there are a lot of things I want to share more in depth, and followers on FB and Instagram ask for more detail and images on certain posts, and just anything else I feel like sharing or posting about more in depth. Now one that has been a long time coming and I am sorry for the long delay (like about a year!) is the indoor cubby the Mister built for the kids.

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We had this little nook upstairs, just off our large rumpus area where we spend a lot of our time. We had a chair there, but it wasn’t really used, then we made a fabric tent for the kids and put a rug there, that lasted for a while, but it still felt like it had a lot more potential. The mister always had big plans for it….then he had some time off after we went on an overseas holiday (another post there on how to entertain a toddler on a plane, and tips and tricks that have worked for us when traveling with kids on previous trips).

Because of the narrow space, having 2 levels really made sense of really getting the most out of the space. Upstairs, he secured shelving on both sides. One side has the short Ikea book shelving, so Lil M could put all of her fav paper books there (you know paper books that babies rip, so best to keep them away from him), also all of her sticker and colouring books. On the other side is a wider shelf and a smaller one, that could house her big Peppa Pig collection, you know it – the house, the playground, the spaceship, the castle cart, the caravan etc….. It has been almost a year since this was built, and her interest have changed, so it also now holds… wait for it… Shopkins, and Small Frozen figurines too. So Christoff meets Daddy Pig! Also a ton of crafty things are up there too now. What you can’t see in the pics, as I took most of the pics the day of, the next day he also put horizontal railings over where the window was, just as a security measure.

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‘Downstairs’, we put their table and chairs with their huge drawing pad attached, and the Mister attached a towel rail across the wall, and we bought Ikea herb pots to hang off it, to hold crayons, pencils, texts and chalk, or the odd stuffed Pony – as on the other wall is a painted chalkboard section, which they love, and the honeycomb copper mirrors we bought from Ikea too, we used half a packet, the kids love looking into them. Last Christmas we bought them an Omy super larger colouring poster, we attached it to the wall with wash tape, and every now and then they add a little bit to it. All artworks of course by yours truly hehehe (click here to see my Big Cartel store)

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I also chose some super bright fabrics to make 2 huge cushions they could lounge on underneath or take up top to read. Since this was made, downstairs has been very versatile to move with their needs and interests…For a while there we had moved the tables and chairs out as the Lil Mr M was climbing a lot, they are now back in, and up the back we now have a little play kitchen. There is also a powerpoint in that corner, and to be safe, we had it disconnected and have safety plugs in it for piece of mind.

The kids adore this space, and Lil M likes to go up there to have her own time to herself, it is going to be a while yet until the Lil Mr M can use the top, but soon enough. Hopefully this inspires you to look at any little unused space into something super fun!

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Muska & Elvis

Printable Crowns!

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My baby loves craft! She will ask to play ‘craft!’ and I have a big box full of my paper scraps and cuts, pom poms, sequins, buttons, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, you name it and I just let her go nuts! (like mother, like daughter). I have already made her a fabric sequin crown, almost 2 years ago (original post is here), which thankfully she still loves, and she has a few headband ones too, then she came to me and said mum I want a princess crown please, I said you have many, she said, no with flowers! Ahhhh ok then…. so I whipped up one on the computer (now only saying whipped up because I can. because I am a graphic designer), printed it out, cut it up, tied some ribbon to it and she was smitten! So smitten that it hung round for ages, so I made plain ones, and ones without colour for her to decorate herself and they were a hit!

So naturally I have created them as printables, there are various sets available, either $5AUD or $6AUD, and you will get a high res PDF with 4 – 6 designs, including one with a pattern, that can be coloured in, and a blank which is only limited to your child’s imagination! Keep them for a rainy day, or they would be an awesome addition to a kids party, even using them as a party activity, you can’t go wrong.

There are three sets to choose from, or at that price take them all! Enjoy! xx

Link to the crown in store here

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Muska & Elvis

What’s new pussy cat?

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A lot of of stuff! I have been working on new things for you all, from fabric screen printed banners to personalised prints and handmade hangers! Take a look below and visit my Etsy Store to purchase! The fabric banners are limited in numbers at this stage so get in quick sticks! Enjoy your day! x

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Muska & Elvis

Free Printable – Lolly Bag Labels and fab party ideas!

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I have been having a whole heaps of fun designing and creating using Avery – Celebrate with Avery printables. I have created a donut party from the printable invitations, circle stickers to use as seals, on milk bottles and even to stick on the wall*, and lolly bag labels. These are my fav as they come with the cello bag and all you have to do is peel and stick and it looks so professional! ha! You can purchase this whole set as files over at my Etsy store here $20AUD will get you double sides DIY invitations , with 3 different sprinkle backs, a sticker set with 3 different donut designs, 3 sprinkle designs and a mixed donut design, and a set of 4 different coloured sprinkle lolly bags (pink, choc, mint & lavender).
I am giving away free here a version of those lolly bags as a printable in just pink and choc.

The great thing with printables is that you can print as many as you like and they dont need to be used just for parties, use them as gifts as decorations, endless possibilities!

So get baking and give out some treats! Download your free printable here MuskaElvis_Donut_PartyBag_FreePrintable

©Muska & Elvis 2015. All designs are protected by copyright. Artworks cannot be copied, printed, or reproduced, in whole or in part, without the permission of Muska & Elvis.

*the sticker stock are not decals, I have used the stickers and stuck them on my wall, and they were fine, but it may peel paint from your wall depending on what or how it is painted with ;)

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