Sunday, February 7, 2016

Edible Marzipan Bugs For Kids

When my kids were little we would often make these edible marzipan bugs. I always loved marzipan and think it has something to do with a trip to Vienna visiting family when I was 7. Every konditorei I passed was filled with trays of amazing looking marzipan creations, which my many relatives were happy to indulge me with...and I was happy to accept their kind offerings. Still today when I visit Vienna I can't go past a konditerei without buying one of their amazing marzipan creations.

Making marzipan bugs with your kids is really quite easy and definitely lots of fun...and whatever you decide to know it's going to taste good.

Here's my recipe and some handy tips.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sewing Sweet Hearts for Valentines Day

These simple hand sewn hearts made from bright coloured felts are perfect for someone you love…small enough to slip into pockets and purses as a Valentines Day surprise…they’re quick and easy to make…and an original gift for tweens and teens to create and give to their friends.

What you need

15cm square of light pink felt
15cm square of dark pink felt
15cm square of purple felt

What to do

1. Use the template to cut out a heart from each of the different coloured felts.

2. On the light pink heart, make a horizontal slit about 7cm up from the bottom point of the heart.  The slit should start and stop about 3/4cm in from the sides.

3. On the purple heart, make a horizontal slit about 8cm up from the bottom point of the heart. Again don’t cut up to the edge. The slit should start and stop about 2cm in from the sides.

4. Layer the hearts by placing the dark pink heart on the bottom, the purple heart in the middle and the light pink heart on top. Pin them together.

5. Sew around about 1/4cm in from the edge.

6. Take the bottom pocket of the light pink heart and turn it inside out. This flips the light pink pocket around to the other side. 

Now you have a little pocket on one side to put sweets in...

 ...and a hidden pocket on the other side to put a secret message in.

Happy Valentines, Trixi

For more fun Valentines crafts have a look at these great tutorials in our Valentines Blog Hop

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quick Aussie Cookies Kids Can Make

Lamington drops are a quick Aussie cookie you can make with kids to celebrate Australia Day.

Your classic lamington is a square of sponge dipped in chocolate sauce and sprinkled with desiccated coconut. They're as Australian as kangaroos and Holden cars and when I was growing up you couldn't find a cake shop without them. Personally, I liked eating off all the chocolate coating and leaving the sponge. Whoever created the first lamington drops must have had the same idea. They've got rid of the sponge and just kept the yummy parts, that is, the chocolate and coconut. These little cookies are heaps of fun and take next to no time at all to make. Here's a great Australian Women's Weekly recipe from the 70's:


150g dark chocolate
125g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup desiccated (shredded) coconut
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
1 cup of desiccated coconut (extra)


1) Combine the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan. Stir over low heat until melted. Set aside to cool.

2) Stir in the egg, coconut, and sifted flours. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3) To make the drops: roll 2 level teaspoons of the mixture into a ball, roll the ball in the coconut and then place on a greased oven tray. Leave a space of about 2cm between the drops.

4) Bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until the coconut begins to lightly brown.

The Australia Day Blog Hop 2016

And here are some more awesome Aussie projects for you to check out!

Week 1

Monday January 4th Printable koala mask at The Craft Train
Tuesday January 5th Koala in a Creek at Laughing Kids Learn
Wednesday January 6th Australia themed printable at Montessori Nature
Thursday January 7th Boab Tree Mosaic Art at A Moment In Our World
Friday January 8th Homemade Violet Crumble recipe at Go Science Girls

Week 2

Monday January 11th Aussie Book List at Honey Bee Books
Tuesday January 12th Mini kids pavlovas at Kidgredients
Wednesday January 13th Bottlebrush (flower) art at Danya Banya 
Thursday January 14th Quick Aussie cookies kids can make at Coloured Buttons 
Friday January 15th Cooking with Kids at Learn with Play at Home

Week 3

Monday January 18th Aussie recipe at Sweet Little Pretties
You might also like to visit our Australia Day Blog Hop from 2014 for lots more fun Aussie ideas!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Best Kids Activities of 2015

New years are always exciting. It'a a time to look ahead and plan new goals and adventures but also to look back and see what you've achieved.

One of my favourite post this year was my no sew sock snowman.

It's amazing what you can make from a few odd socks. Just have a look at this motley bunch.

Together with 50 other bloggers I'm presenting the 'Best Kids Activities of 2015'. Take a look at these awesome crafts.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Christmas Tree Ornament for Kids to Make

Agnes over at hello, Wonderful asked if I'd like to design a Christmas tree ornament for kids to make for her blog. I jumped at the opportunity. I decided to design an ornament that would be easy for kids of all ages to make. I know that kids love to bead and even littlies can join in on the beading fun so combining my love of sewing, felt and beading I came up with this Christmas tree ornament. I'd seen Christmas trees made with circles of felt but thought squares of felt might give that lovely pine tree look and I think it works really well. The tutorial is over at hello, Wonderful but remember you can experiment with your colours and have a magical rainbow tree or perhaps a white snow covered tree. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Looking for a fun Christmas craft for the kids...enter Stained Glass Cookies. These cookies are very versatile, not only can they be eaten (obviously) but they can be used as hanging ornaments on your Christmas tree...that is, if they last that long.

All you need is your favourite cookie dough recipe, some lifesavers or jolly ranchers and cookie cutters. All the instructions are HERE

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dancing paper ghosts for Halloween

It was an unusual week. Lately I've been working on sewing projects but this week I decided to make some paper folding projects. I was looking through an old craft book... McCalls Golden Do-It Book....a present from my grandmother when I was about 7 and saw those paper doll chains that we were always cutting out as kids and thought this would be a great idea for a Halloween inspired Dancing Paper Ghosts

To make these little dancing ghosts just download the template and print it out. Fold your paper in half and in half again. Cut out the ghost shapes. I used a paper punch to cut out the eyes...and now you have two rows of dancing ghosts to decorate for Halloween.

Happy Halloween, Trixi

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Flying Bat Craft

I've wanted to make this flying bat for a while and with Halloween coming up I decided it was time. I googled images of bats to see exactly what the little fellows look like. I always thought bats were cute and they are...just look at those faces...and they have sweet little voices too...I know because we have a mulberry tree in our garden and every November when the fruit ripens the local bats come to enjoy a little midnight snack. They always seem to be chatting and making all sorts of strange sounds which I enjoy listening to...although I think my neighbours disagree. Anyway, if you'd like to make your own very well-behaved flying bat just read on...

What You Need

Black felt
60cm length wire
16cm length of wire
Google eyes

What to do

1. Download and print out the bat template. Cut out two bat shapes from black felt.

2. Bend the 16cm wire into a "bird" shape and glue across the wings.

3. Glue the 60cm wire into place. I've used light coloured wire in steps 2 and 3 to make it easier to see what I'm doing but the actual wire is black as in the final photo.

4. Glue the remaining felt bat shape on top. Glue on wiggly eyes.

And if you'd like to make a butterfly in flight have a look at this one.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Interview with author and sewing teacher Annabel Wrigley

"I'm an Aussie mum, author and designer living in rural Virginia. I own Little Pincushion Studio, a sweet little space where I teach many little sewing pixies everything they need to know to go forth and conquer the world of sewing and creating. When I'm not teaching, I'm busy coming up with a million and one projects for my "We Love to Sew" series of books published by C & T Publishing." Annabel blogs at Little Pincushion Studio and has just released her 4th book.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Odd Bods: No Sew Sock Dolls

Want to make some sweet little sock dolls with just one sock that you don't have to sew or cut? Well then, say hello to the Odd Bods...the cutest one-sock no-sew sock dolls you ever did meet. Some people might think these little fellows are..well...just a little odd looking...I guess they are... but hey they're family:

Monday, August 24, 2015

An interview with craft and sewing book author Jane Bull

I remember seeing some of Jane Bull's books many years ago and loving them… many of the craft books for kids that I'd come across seemed either too simple or too complicated or too boring…her books were like finding a little oasis of colour and fun and life. Jane lives in London with her husband and three children.

What do you think makes a project something kids love to do?

My rule of thumb has been anything with a face . There’s nothing like it for grabbing their attention and engaging them.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

DIY Back-to-School Owl Locker Magnet

It's back-to-school time in the northern hemisphere and this DIY Owl Locker Magnet is a fun and easy way to personalise your locker.

I was chatting with Amie Plumley the other day and she mentioned she was going to use my speech bubble magnet as a locker magnet project with her sewing club. I loved the idea so this little Owl is jumping on the locker magnet wagon. You can find the Owl tutorial here and the template here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

An Interview with Amie Plumley co-author of Sewing School

Amie Plumley is co-author of Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love To Make. With more than 63,000 copies in print, Sewing School is in Amazon's top ten for sewing. Her second book, Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing, was awarded a gold medal in 2013 by National Parenting Publications. 

Amie is also co-creator of Sewing School Day Camp, oversees an after-school sewing programme, and teaches sewing workshops to both children and adults. She lives, teaches and crafts in Memphis, Tennessee and is the mother of two little sewers aged 7 and 10. She blogs at

Monday, August 3, 2015

An Interview with Kids Sewing Book Author Wendi Gratz

Over the next few weeks I'll be intervewing sewers from around the world...most teach kids sewing at home or at camps...all have written sewing books or craft books or's been so interesting hearing from people involved in an area that I've also been working in for the last two decades...and I see the same look in the kids' eyes...they just look so proud of their creations...hope you enjoy these interviews as much as I have. 

My first interview is with Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World who, together with her daughter Jo, is the author of Creature Camp: 18 Softies to Draw Sew, and Stuff and runs sewing camps in North Carolina.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crazy Garden Bugs to Craft with Kids

This easy garden bug craft is sure to be a favourite with your kids. It uses simple-to-source everyday items and is full of creative possibilities.