28 August 2014

Are you a Perfect Pinner?

I was doing a bit of "online browsing to avoid cooking dinner, taking the clothes off the line, tending to my children, folding the washing, running the bath etc etc etc"....) and came across this little pearler.

If you are a lover of Pinterest and like things to look completely in order all the time because that's just who you are (and a lot like me) then you'll love this! It's a size guide to pinning so everything fits beautifully within their allocated areas and everyone is happy. Enjoy the Cheat Sheet to Image Sizes. Now I'm not sure what is good etiquette for referencing this because it appears all over the shop but I got it from Authormedia

Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels
Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height
Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height
Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels
Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels
Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels

As you create pins, it’s important to be strategic. Inspirational quote pins drive tons of traffic for authors but they aren't the most effective pins floating around on the boards. You may not know this, but the most clicked on image size are the long, skinny pins. They are most often DIY instructions. Think of the mason jar tutorials or the long pins that show 20 or so different household tips on Pinterest. People pin them all the time. They drive traffic because they require you to click on them to see the full size (so you can actually read the instructions).

When you create pins for your site, think about how you can diversify your pins. Find out which ones drive the most traffic. If you can adapt your pins, try out the longer, skinnier type. When you do pin things, make sure that you remember to link back to your website.

20,000 visits! Woohoo!

I woke up to a lovely surprise this morning finding my blog has clicked over 20,000 visits. My dear little site has been very neglected over the past year after Olive came along and I have been trying hard to bring it out of dormancy. The thing is, you think of ideas to engage with your audience, spend hours compiling photos and content, you post them and then hear nothing and wonder 'is anyone actually reading my stuff?' and feel deflated. But as I see the counter ticking over on a daily basis I guess you are coming to visit and I appreciate the support. Sales have been picking up and it really motivates me to make more things and have more fun exploring my creativity! THANK YOU!

20 August 2014

Upcycling Vs Recycling

Visiting handmade markets and adorable little boutiques you will come across a term that is becoming increasingly more popular 'Upcycling' is all the trend now and I know our grandmothers have been doing it for years but it's now something people specifically go out and seek and sometimes pay a good price for something that was once new then old now new again!

So what's it mean? Is it just a different way of 'Recycling' old items and making new ones? Well kind of. And to be honest I was a little grey on the issue too which is why I went to my good 'ol friend Google. According to the site Hipcycle, Recycling takes consumer materials — mostly plastic, paper, metal and glass — and breaks them down so their base materials can be remade into a new consumer product, often of lesser quality.

When you upcycle an item, you aren't breaking down the materials. You may be refashioning it — like cutting a t-shirt into strips of yarn — but it’s still made of the same materials as when you started. Also, the upcycled item is typically better or the same quality as the original.

What’s old is new again, but with a twist. 

That's where they get the 'up' in upcycling from. It's something better than before! The Upcycling Fashionista says upcycling is converting low-value materials into high-value products that are more desirable. When you convert old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful you are giving an item a new purpose and in doing so, you reduce the consumption of new raw materials and you reduce the amount of waste you create.

I love how they use the term 'refashioning' an item. I have a friend who had this fantastic idea to collect old denim items such as jeans and jackets from the local op shops and cut them up into small squares and make a queen size quilt (until she got about 50 squares into it and realised she need around 500). She has since lost interest however the point is she had a wonderful thought on how to upcycle something society tends to discard once it's a little worn, torn, stretched or simply no longer in fashion.

So it got me thinking about what I do at Ernie & Bird and FaithHopeLove and how none of my items are really helping our environment. I just buy brand new things and make more brand new things out of them. This makes me feel pretty blue considering there is so much in our world that is no longer loved and cherished and encourages me to think a little harder about my creations. So who knows what's around the corner for future products but for now I might try sourcing some fabrics from my local op shop and upcycling them into new creations. That would be nice. Here are some upcycled discoveries from madeit

EATcreations - Upcycled Spoons for Herb Garden
Flopsam and Jetsum Bright Boho Patchwork Infinity Scarf
Gaye Abandon - Upcycled Jumper Hot Water Bottle Cover
APIECEOFPIE - Sunny Day Dress - M 12/14
Vintage Chenille - Bernard Plush Grey Elephant
Merry-Go-Round - Vintage Retro Rainbow Bunting

14 August 2014

Let's Go Shopping Guide - Rocket Man!

I was thinking about creating a shopping guide to help promote some of my fellow sellers over at madeit and was finding it difficult to narrow down a theme! Sitting here on the computer humming 'Rocket Man' by Elton John and did a simple 'Rocket' search. The results were incredible! If you sell online make sure you always use 'tags' in your listing so you can be found by people like me searching by theme. Check out these amazing treasures I found for all our little astronauts out there!

Little Alligator
Handmade Games to Go by Mollydag Made
Two Blue Ducks
The Parchment Place
Lucy’s Poppet
Byrne Woodware

04 August 2014

Polymer Clay Necklaces

I'm excited to announce I've just released a new collection of handmade necklaces to sell in my FaithHopeLove madeit store. I love wearing a statement piece you can wear over a simply outfit to brighten your whole look. Dress it up, dress it down, reorder the colours of your clay balls - even design your own!

* 15 mm hand-rolled polymer clay balls
* 60 cm silver ball chain necklace
* All beads are sealed with a semi-sheen gloss glaze
* Colours of clay may vary slightly to the photographs depending on screen appearance
* Ball Chain necklace can be easily shortened to suit your desired length
* Each necklace is unique and one of a kind

Please note these items are not recommended for children under 3 years of age. Small parts may pose as choking hazards. Purchases come wrapped in a little clear box perfect for gift giving. Protects during postage. Due to width of beads all necklaces are sent in a 500g Australia Post Pre-Paid Satchel. Combined orders welcome.

27 June 2014

First World Problem: Baby Clothes

When I had my eldest daughter I kept every piece of clothing she outgrew labelled in big plastic tubs and stored away in our garage. I must admit when I had my second daughter 14 months ago I thought, "You beauty! I won't need to buy a single thing!". And to be honest, I haven't really bought many new things - but I have found I've hardly needed to tap into my storage tubs carefully horded away for five years waiting for this specific moment in time!

I like to think of myself as one that doesn't like to 'spoil' or go on excessive shopping sprees coming home with bags of new clothes that may fit for a month or two (if lucky)! But looking at my ridiculous amount of baby clothes in storage ranging from newborn through to size 3 I ask myself, "How on earth did I accumulate so much??"

I have no problem sending stuff off to the local 'Vinnies' store on a regular basis. I'm BIG for de-cluttering whenever I can. Not just when I have too, but actually enjoy the outcome of knowing that what's hidden behind closed doors won't jump out at you if you open it! Plus I find housework relaxes me, "Come over to my place I hear you yell!" and I would if I was invited and would thoroughly enjoy it! So this week my ambition has been to sort through every single tub, donate what I don't have some sort of sentimental attachment to, and 'pay it forward' to someone who actually needs baby clothes. Let's face it, they are all in pretty good nick and are definitely unworthy of my husband's search for spare rags to use in his garage!

The issue I am finding however, is that I seem to have some sort of sentimental attachment to pretty much everything my daughter once wore. I guess it just reminds me how much she has grown and as much as I love her to pieces, I also miss the tiny baby she once was. And this makes me sad. Luckily I have a second daughter! Woohoo! And I can re-experience all the wonderful things I enjoyed raising my first little bub into a big girl who is almost ready for school. And that is the really exciting part. Being able to love and guide my baby girls as they grow into beautiful children that make mummy very proud.

God help me when it comes to de-cluttering every piece of artwork I have tucked neatly away!

04 June 2014

My Mummy Uniform: Tan Ankle Boots

I have a brand new pair of boots for winter and I am completely in love with them! Ankle boots are a fashion 'must-have' this season and our stores are flooded with some amazing styles to choose from. Below are four of my favourite pairs (I already own style a.) and have left you with some outfit inspiration for day-to-day wear!

06 May 2014

'Biscuit' the Kinder Puppy

My eldest daughter is in 4yo kindergarten and had the privilege of taking home the class puppy 'Biscuit' last week. Biscuit is new to the class and comes with a special book filled with pages to detail how he spent his time at your home on an adventure!

The weather in Melbourne this past week has been chilly and wet. The perfect weather for crocheting in front of the TV once the girls are tucked up in bed. I decided to pull the crochet hook out - it's been in hiding for so long I can't even tell you what I last crocheted! Needless to say, Biscuit had a 'ball' with his new toys. The bone in particular was taking my crocheting to a new level with so much increasing and decreasing I had two marker rings going at one point! I'm sure all Penny's classmates will love their new puppy and his toys and go on many adventures together.

Here are the links to the patterns if interested: Water Bowl & Bone PatternToy Crochet Ball

01 May 2014

Olive's Teddy Bears Picnic

Teddy Bears at the Beach Birthday Cake
Children's birthday parties.... just the mere thought of throwing a birthday party fills most mums with anxiety and overwhelming exhaustion! I hosted a BIG first birthday for my eldest daughter five years ago inviting pretty much everyone we knew and celebrating in our backyard. Plus she also had a rather large 4th birthday party last year that was probably a little over-the-top looking back. But hey, you're only four once!

So taking these two "events" into account, I thought it was only fair to do the same for my second daughter (to try and prove the second child doesn't get forgotten with less parties, less photos, less one-on-one play time, less fuss etc!) To be honest I didn't really have much enthusiasm to pull it all together but I sure am glad I did. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and beautiful memories were made!

I decided on a 'Teddy Bears Picnic' because the theory was to have something simple down at the local park so all I had to do was buy some sausages and throw all the used napkins into a plastic garbage bag and walk away. Hahahahahha..... yeah that didn't happen. We ended up inviting all her little friends to our home and were blessed with the most beautiful sunny day in a very cold and miserable week! Luckily I have a very clever girlfriend who made the little Tiny Teddy racing cars and tea cups for me, plus my aunt made some special Honey Crackles for the little bears to enjoy! The bigger bears LOVED my gourmet sausage BBQ with home made onion relish. Such an easy way to feed a crowd on a crisp Sunday afternoon!

I also made all my own decorations using my Photoshop that I was given for Christmas (but I'll write something about that experience another time!). So here's to Olive. A beautiful and serious little bub who has bought nothing but joy and happiness to our dear little family. Happy Birthday sweetheart. Mummy loves you

11 April 2014

Frozen Necklace Pendants

My little (almost) 5 yo has a slight obsession with Elsa from the latest Disney Princess' movie 'FROZEN'. Scrolling through Etsy one evening I can across these very cute little digital clip art file for some glass tile pendants so I made her a couple. Anyway, they haven't left her neck so I thought I'd list some on my Facebook page to see if they generate any interest. Head on over to the Ernie & Bird Facebook page if you would like to place an order before they go onto my Etsy store!

07 April 2014

Etsy April Discount Coupon

Interested in setting up a rewards program for your little one? The Ernie & Bird Digital Download Chores and Reward Charts are a fantastic way to to help guide your child in the right direction while showing them what can be achieved by doing so! Write your child's goals (or chores) in the first column along with their 'reward' at the end of the week if they achieve their goals. The Rewards Chart comes with a page of 'Extras' which includes both days of the week and weather conditions PLUS some little icons to move around the chart and have fun with!

Enter the Coupon Code 'APRILSALE' to receive $2 off your purchase at