School holiday challenge

during this holiday the girls and I are exploring Brisbane through travel journaling and the internet. Today though we went in real life to the Mt Cootha Botanical gardens for some exploring, some sketching and some photography.


School holiday challenge

My daughters and I have started our “travel journal ” for Brisbane, by making the journal and decorating the front cover.image
We collected materials like stamps, papers, pens, magazines etc. image

It took a bit of time and convincing to have them make the cover about Brisbane. Granted it is hard to use images instead of words, for someone that loves words so much. But after a bit of a struggle everybody got on a roll and ended up with beautiful covers. image

Hope you have found an interesting subject and are well on your journaling way.

travel journal

School Holiday Challenge: Travel Journal

I can hardly believe it. Term 3 is as good as over and the Spring holidays are here in Australia. Holidays are the ultimate time to travel and go on adventures. Unfortunately we can’t always go away to foreign countries (and not everybody feels the need to).

But with modern day technology we can pretend. We can pretend to go to far away countries or to places not so far, but still unobtainable. We can ask ourselves questions about these places and look up the answers? This is what I would like to do with my girls these holidays and I would like to invite you along.

It will not be a daily challenge as I did in the last holiday, as I noticed that that sometimes just doesn’t work and is pretty full on. But I am going to give some “rules” that we are going to keep to. You are welcome to follow them or come up with your own.

Our rules:

  1. We will make our own journal existing of 5 spreads and a front and back cover. That means that you will need 2 cardboard a4s and 6 normal a4s. Staple them together and cover the staples with sticky tape
  2. The 5 spreads are for 5 themes, being; facts & figures; language; places to visit; food; traditions.
  3. We are actually going to stay close to home and explore Brisbane. (The photo’s are from an earlier project about the Netherlands).
  4. All forms of journaling are allowed; paint; collage; lettering; drawing; etc. You can make it as messy or clean as you like.
  5. There is no fixed order into what pages you work on, you can do a bit on each page on the days you are working on it or concentrate on one theme.
  6. We also decorate the front cover to know about what we will find inside.

I will be posting about our progress on my blog and this will be 4 times. Have fun and explore without having to sit in the car and or an airplane. Hope you will travel with us!

Word cards

Word cards and word games

Remember the words I collected last week. I finally given myself the time to do what I planned for them.image

I’m looking for ways to come up with ways to make stories and plays that are not based on the cartoons and other Rv and movie fads that go around.

Well if you can make cards with places and people and things, you can blind pick the different categories. Once you’re words are revealed your imagination can do the rest. Gnome

So that is what I have been doing. I have selected some words. I have written them clearly on some nice cards. Then to add a bit and make them more fun I have drawn a pattern around the word with an image that makes the word clear. The drawings are very simple but effective and lots of fun, go on have a go and come up with some very unusual and funny stories. Word cards

Candle making

Candle Making

I have done it, I have made my first container candles ever, today. It didn’t take long, it wasn’t difficult and I think candles make awesome gifts, so, I’m set…. Thanks Crafty Candle Supply for giving me the opportunity. (Look at last weeks post for their instructions)

Yes I do love candles, although I must say that I used them a lot more when I lived in the Netherlands then here in Australia. I must associate it more with “cold” weather then with the lovely summers and winters of Brisbane. However I can totally see these candles as gifts and presents for loved ones. If you are looking for an opportunity to gift handmade gifts, candle making is a great option. Using the starter kit from Crafty Candle Supply made it even easier.

The starter kit comes with instructions, that I followed to a tee this time, as I wanted to know what was involved. My next attempt will be a bit more adventures. I am looking at different containers and perhaps even some colour. I’ll let you know when it happens. All I have to do now is wait until tomorrow evening to light my first candle and enjoy the soft glow of candle light and the gentle sent of shoreline.

P.S. If you think of buying the starter kit from Crafty Candle Supply and use the link on my blog I will receive a commission, just to let you know.

bird mask

Fairytale Bird Mask

Sometimes you have to admit defeat. That is for now at least. Last week I did not post on Thursdays as I promised. I was going to lead the way with some dress up ideas for the fairytale that I tried to develop. Yes, I was going to give you some guidelines on a bird mask I did make (and I will still do that.), but this will for now be the last post on the fairytale as I want to make it useful for you.

My aim with the storytelling in words and crafts posts so far and will in future be (I hope) to stimulate creativity and fantasy and that it should not always be let by comic characters “superheroes and princesses”. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is so much more.

I will get back to this when I have a more clear idea of how I can incorporate all these ideas. It feels right in my head, but I haven’t found the right way to express it on paper, so, bare with me.decorate with felt tip pens

In the meantime I did make a bird mask for the bird that got rescued by the girl of my fairytale (see former post). And I must say it doesn’t look half bad, considering it is made out of a cereal box, magazine snippets and felt tip pens. My daughter had an eye mask that I  used as a template. I opened up a cereal box and drew the mask on there. Cereal boxes have the right thickness of cardboard. Cut out the mask and decorate the white part with felt tip pens. From a magazine you can cut feathers and stick these on. Now from a yellow or orange piece of paper cut a triangle and attach it around the nose area as the beak.

To hold the mask in front of your face you have different options. One is to attach elastic around the back. Or you could sticky tape a bamboo skewer on one side and carry the mask as a lorgnette. Hope you like it!bird mask



Candle Making

Some people will now be wondering… Renate and candle making, we have not heard that combination…

candle making starter kitWell a couple of weeks ago I was approached by Crafty Candle Supplies, an Australian based candle makers supplier. They read my blog and more importantly they must have read my about page which states that I will try my hand at anything crafty. So they asked if I want to try candle making. They offered me a starter kit, a lot of fun and if you find your way via my blog to them and buy a small commission. So I said yes and asked them to provide the candle making text as they are the experts.

Then they send me a beautiful wooden box with the supplies for 6 container based candles. And Gemma Foubister wrote the following text about candle making.

An introduction to candle making:

Making candles is a really fun, easy and relaxing way to spend a few hours! The best thing about it is that at the end you are left with some beautiful candles that you can either keep, give away as gifts or even sell! I genuinely love making candles both for my own home, and to give away to friends and loved ones.

Whilst candle making as a profession takes a lot of practice and experimentation, the good news is that you don’t have to be a professional to make your first candle. Yes, candle making can get complicated, but at the beginning it doesn’t have to be. We can keep it relatively simple and still get great results!

Perhaps the easiest and my personal favourite type of candle to make is the container containers and fragrance for candlescandle. These are candles that are housed in anything from jars to teacups to flowerpots! The options for container candles are endless, and they allow you to make really personalised candles. You can of course buy empty jars/containers online too, it really depends on what you have available.

Once you have chosen your container, the next important step to choose is your fragrance. Again, this is where you can have lots of fun experimenting and creating a scent that you absolutely love! My favourite scent at the moment is Vanilla Panna Cotta- I just want to eat it! I’m also hoping that by breathing in such a sweet and delicious scent, it will help with the diet (smelling is better than eating, right?!).

Once you have chosen your containers and fragrance, you then need to choose a wax. For beginners and professionals alike, EcoSoya is by far the most popular type of soy wax. Made from all natural soy beans, it has no pesticides or herbicides and is a fully renewable and sustainable resource. It’s extremely easy to work with, and gives great results.

soycandle waxNext you need to choose the correct wick for your candle. Wicks can be tricky, and can require lots of experimentation, but when you are first starting out, choose a wick that fits the size of your jar’s diameter and type of wax you are using. So for instance, if we had a jar that was 8cm in diameter and we are using soy wax, I’d find a wick made for use in soy wax and that had a burn pool of 8cm. (Burn pool just means the diameter of the wax that will melt around the wick. You want this to match the diameter of your jars)

The next steps really just involve sticking your wick to the base of your container (using wick stickums or double sided tape), melting your wax and adding the fragrance, pouring it in and leaving to set.

You can then package them as gifts for friends and family (this is what I’m doing instead of Christmas cards this year!), keep for your own home or even sell.

For your first go at candle making, it’s always easiest to buy a candle making kit. It will give you everything you need to make your first candles, and is a great stepping stone to making more! Our kits have been designed to make it as easy as possible to create beautiful handmade candles.

Once you’ve tried your hand at candle making, there are all sorts of other candles you can make – pillar candles, soy melts, tarts etc, it’s an art that you can really get creative with.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy it!

I can not wait to use their beautiful supplies and show you my results next week.

If you are a supplier of starter craft kits and you would like me to try it and write about it on my blog send me a mail on


Bird and story

Fairytale Mask

Last week I talked about the idea for the fairytale play, this week is supposed to be about costumes. I didn’t manage to come up with a good story line.

Bird and storyThe fairytale idea didn’t leave me though. And you know how thoughts just occurs to you when least expected. Well I think I might have come up with a modern fairytale. With in the lead a 15 year old girl and an injured bird. The magic object a raindrop ring, that is going to help her see that she is perfect the way she is. Al this in the setting of a beautiful Forrest where her and her family are camping.

So what costume can I make out of this. Well I was going to work on a birds mask and perhaps even some wings. But little girls and family life sometimes change these plans.

Mask templateThe groundwork has been laid though. A cereal box has been confiscated for the base of the mask. And a template has been drawn. Next week hopefully a how to and the end result.


Keep Playing

Last week I talked about the Watercolourdifference between my 2 daughters and approaching a task. How knowledge can stop this freedom of approach. I see it in myself, wanting to do it right, but what is right? Collage

Noticing my reservations in starting and seeing my 4-year-old just going for it has made me realise I need to keep on playing. Yes I need to focus and follow a path to make my creativity my source of income, but I do not want to stop playing so that my creativity stays fresh and fun. Hope you get to do the same and I can help you with that.