Saturday, 31 March 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...(19)

Tortoises first appeared over 250 million years ago.

Friday, 30 March 2012


pillowcase tutorial
I don't actually use any pillows in my living room even though I have been itching to make a few for a while now.  Having cooler days too contributes to my desire for them but I am sure it is not the only reason. I just love so many designs and making things that mean something to me and my family. Even before I start making things at home, I often imagine how they would fit in our lives. I can already see those little pillows making some rough railways for Mr. Junior's currently much loved trains and it is before my eyes that Miss Junior crawls all over them on the floor. I can also hear them arguing about whose turn it is to play with a certain pillow. I am sure they will stay on the floor so much more often than on the couches but I think they are something that they will enjoy (even if not so much for their primary use).

Here, I am sharing with you some design ideas that I have come across with as well as a video recorded TUTORIAL on how to make a simple envelope pillow cover. It is so well explained and demonstrated that even if you are a total beginner in this field, you are still unlikely to have a major issue making it.

Enjoy something that has a personal touch today!

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Here is what you can do when your child's playdough (whether homemade or not) dries up to refresh it so that s/he can use it as new again the next time.

This is only one of the methods that you can use:

Pour some water in its container (go over the dry playdough level). Close the lid. Rest it for a while (could be over night). Pour the water out. Start kneading the dough until it gets its original form (initially, it will be sticky but soon after, it will form its usual consistency).

Have a refreshing day!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


recycled handbags

What a great idea and the owner of the tutorial has made it look so simple! Can't wait to try something like this when I get some time for it.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


On the weekend, I was at a market (Northern Community Market) in suburban Melbourne with my very own homemade display frame.

easy handmade display frames
Had a good time at the market
I only took some of my handmade baby shoes and bags to that market on the weekend. I was given a trestle table which was good enough for my handmade fabric shoes but I had this picture in my mind that I could display my bags on a hanging line. So, I sat down with Mr. Hubby, drew something on a piece of paper, went on a family trip to a local hardware store, talked to a few professionals to get ideas on  safety and so forth, spent approximately $10-12 and came back home all excitedly.

Handmade frame instructions
Great fun drilling and putting bits together

A day or two later, Mr. Hubby and Mr. Junior put them all together and in only a few hours, my frame was all ready to go!

Handmade sand bags
Pole base stabilised with sand bags
To make sure that the frame was stable enough and would not pose an occupational health and safety risk, I roughly sewed very simple bags which Mr. Junior filled in with sand using what we had in his sandpit.

We used very simple and affordable materials for this project as that was all I needed for the display of my lightweight bags. Below is what we used for this project:

Materials used:
  • 2.4m rectangle pine wood (X2)
  • 1.8m rectangle pine wood (X1) 
  • 35cm rectangle pine wood (X8)
  • Screws
  • A drill
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Guide/support wood (optional) (we cut some from the 2.4m pieces and used them for this purpose). 
  • Bags filled with sand (X4) (I used my old pyjamas and from each leg, I made two bags. I sewed one end and put an elastic through the other end)
The wooden pieces are attached to each other with nails (and we also used some wood glue as an addition but you don't have to). We made some holes on the wood after deciding how high and how apart we wanted my handmade bags to be displayed and made some matching holes on each pole with the drill. We then used a rope (but you can use some strong string or a ribbon), which went through the holes and were knotted at the very beginning and at the end, and made the hanging lines where I hung my bags with the help of some folding paper clips. 
Baby shoes by MADE BY Y
My handmade shoes photographed beautifully by memories of mine photography
 Enjoy something crafty today!

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Handmade grape dessert
Our frozen grapes
This dessert is new to us. We are used to frozen berries and mangoes but we have never thought of freezing grapes until we were given a lot of organically grown purple grapes and were desperate to find solutions to consume them without any waste at some stage this year.

You can use your favourite organically or biodynamically grown grapes (could be any type) but we tried it with the freshly picked purple/black grapes (if you would like to read about the principles of these two types of farming, read this). These grapes with seeds grow in bunches and they are pretty fragile. Once they are cooked (meaning changed its original colour of green to purple or black), you need to pick them and once they are picked, they don't stay fresh long. That is why, they are a great type of fruit to share with family, friends and neighbours.

recipe with grapes
Fresh grapes
These grapes are extremely healthy and they are specifically recommended to be eaten with the  seeds even though it is possible to peel and also discard the seeds while eating. I will do an entry on the goodness of it in the future but for the moment, lets move on to the topic of today's entry, an alternative consumption idea for your grapes.

How to make it:

Wash the fresh grapes
Place them in the freezer
Eat when frozen!

This makes a great little snack or can be served as a dessert. 

Enjoy something delicious today!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (18)

Noble riding horse
Andalusians are noble riding horses and originally come from Spain.

Friday, 23 March 2012


 Plastic takeaway container lids make great paint palettes. Give it a try!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


I have a few suggestions for people who take public transport and also try to learn a new language. However, here is only one of them for you today.

This will work only if you are at a place where the target language is widely spoken. I had experienced this personally and it had definitely worked for me. Here is what you do:

Hop on a train/tram/bus and before taking a seat, eye out the people in it. If there is someone sitting alone and you are a chatty person, go sit next to him/her and start a conversation even if you are not very accurate or fluent in that language. If you see that there is a group of people (at least two people) talking to each other, try to sit somewhere close by to them and listen. I know it doesn't morally sound good but hey, you are only trying to do this as a part of your language studies, not to really listen to what they are talking or gossiping about. Especially if you are a shy person or don't have enough confidence to talk to people at this stage, this may work better for you. You can't necessarily practice your speaking but you can improve your listening skills by doing that.

Another point I would like to make even if it may not sound right is that try to sit beside/around people that look like native speakers of your target language. For instance, if you are in Japan, trying to improve your Japanese, then try to sit close to 'Japanese looking' people rather than Middle Eastern or Western looking ones. You can always be surprised at who speaks a language better than who but if you need to take a guess, then this is the safest.

I also highly recommend you to take notes especially if you sit on the seat behind the people that you are trying to listen to without making it too obvious. If you hear a word that you are unfamiliar with, just try to remember it and jot it down as soon as you can. You may not be able to write it  correctly but then you can ask for help from a friend/teacher etc later on for correction. Additionally, pay attention to the way they pronounce the words that you are familiar with as well. You may see that they may be pronounced differently than you think they do.

I need to remind you once again that the intentions here are not to interfere with anyone's privacy or disturb anyone. Nor is it to discriminate. The idea here is that you use the time you are on public transport as an opportunity to practice your language skills by trying to catch some words/sayings/idioms/cultural aspects that are associated with that language that native speakers of that language have, pronunciation, intonation and so forth.

Have a day when you learn something useful today!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


DIY recycled organiser
Source: Unknown
Here is another idea fantastic idea by someone smart and crafty for you to use at home. It is made out of recycled materials. In the example above, the pockets are made from the pockets of used jeans however, you could easily change it to other pockets too such as shirt pockets, pockets from trousers and so on as long as the fabric is strong enough.

The idea is simple: take the pockets of your unwanted/worn out clothes, machine or hand stitch them on a pice of felt or a thick fabric. The design options for this particular project are endless. You can make them all out of same colour pockets in different sizes just like the example above, you can use a variety of colours and pocket materials, you can put letters on each to form a word that means something to you, you can put some embellishment on them, you can use some patchwork design for the base and so forth.

Have something nice and functional today!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


painting caterpillar

Here is a fabulous example of an easy and fun painting idea for your children/students.  Especially if you have a party that is caterpillar themed, this would make a great fun activity for all the kids that attend. Enjoy!

Sunday, 18 March 2012


DIY jewellery organizer

What a wonderful handmade idea to recycle frames! It is stylish, practical, easy and tasteful. The easiest way to work with this design would be to either staple or glue your strips to attach them to the frame (what attachment solution you should use depends on the types of materials you use the most).

Have a super Sunday!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (17)

domestic pigs
Humans have kept domestic pigs for roughly 9,000 years.

Friday, 16 March 2012


corn on the comb
Corn from our garden
Corn in different forms has always been a part of my diet since childhood. Most people would love corn chips and popcorn but as for me, I love corn on the comb the most but I also enjoy it in other varieties too. I find it delicious when it is boiled, popped, barbecued and so forth. However, the reason why I would like my children to include corn in their diet is not limited to its tasty flavour. It is also because of all the goodness that it provides.

Corn is a great source of many nutrients.
  • High in fiber.
  • Good source of vitamins such as folic acid, niacin and Vitamin C. 
  • Corn has Vitamin B (Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate). It has traces of Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
  • Corn is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. It also has small amounts of potassium.
Health Benefits of Corn:

  • is good for skin care
  • boosts nervous system
  • is good for digestion
  • helps in maintenance of low cholesterol levels.
  • has health-supportive antioxidant benefits from all varieties of corn, including white, yellow, blue, purple and red corn.
  • provides necessary calories for daily metabolism of the body.
Although corn is now available in markets year-round, it is the locally grown varieties that you can purchase during the summer months that not only tastes the best but are usually the least expensive.

Few Quick Serving Ideas

healthy corn salad
  • Healthy sauté cooked corn with green chilies and onions. Served hot, this makes a wonderful side dish.
  • Use polenta (a type of cornmeal) as a pizza crust for a healthy pizza.
  • Add corn kernels and diced tomatoes to guacamole to give it extra zing.
  • Adding corn to soup enhances the soup's hardiness and its nutritional profile.
Have something healthy today!

Thursday, 15 March 2012


DIY puzzle

I believe that there are endless options and opportunities in our lives everyday for people who can see them. I especially respect people who can find their own practical and meaningful solutions to problems and also people who try to reduce the amount of their consumption of things in general. I find them inspirational.

I have recently come across with the picture above here and thought it was a brilliant idea to come up with your own puzzle at home using very simple (possibly recycled) materials. I have got some of those sticks at home as I generally collect them for my other handmade projects. I am looking forward to making my very own wooden puzzle sometime soon. I am sure Mr. Junior will appreciate it well.

Depending on your child's age and readiness, you can involve your child/students in making the puzzle from the very beginning to the end. For instance, if your child consumes some packaged icecream which come with a wooden stick inside just like the ones in the picture, you could encourage him to save the stick. Ask him to wash it and put it aside until ready. Alternatively, they are sold in packs of many in some hardware stores as well as at arts and crafts shops. They are quite affordable but you could easily utilise your icecream sticks if you already have them at home.

Your children/students or yourself need to paint a figure on them. In the example above, it is a tree but you could easily go for something that you prefer. The best way to keep the sticks together while painting would be using a sticky tape from top to bottom on each side. Once painting is complete, then, you could take the tape off, separate the pieces and voila! The puzzle is all ready in only a few easy steps.

It is a good idea to make sure that your child first sees it as a whole and then you change the order of the sticks so that your child knows what to aim for.

Have a fun day!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Now that we are in Spring  here in Australia, it is time to get ready for cooler days -despite the hot days that come and go here in Melbourne. Warmer colours to be taken out around the house, more natural plant leaves to be stored in jars for homemade teas, thicker pyjamas to be stocked for cooler nights in kids' drawers, more soup recipes to be chased, moisturising creams to be prepared and so on.

Here is a homemade body butter recipe for you that will be much appreciated during cold and dry times.

Body butter recipe

  • 1 cup organic shea butter 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • Some essential oils of your choice (be careful with essential oils as not all are good for the skin. For example, citrus oil may sensitise your skin)


On top of a boiler, melt the shea butter and the coconut oil before leaving the mixture to cool for half an hour. Mix in essential oils. You may leave this mixture outside and wait until the oils become half solid. After that, whip it all a few minutes so that it forms a butter-like consistency. Put it in a clean glass jar and it is ready!

Enjoy a nice and smooth day!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Handmade card

This is another cost free and fun activity that you can enjoy with your children/students and the end product would make a great little gift especially on a special occasion such as on mother's day, father's day, or even a birthday or valentine's day. The idea was originally presented here.

All you need for this activity is some coloured paper, a pair of scissors, glue and a pen.

Draw around your little one's both hands and then cut them. For the example you see in the picture above, write "I LOVE YOU..." on the outer side of one of the hands and then write "THIS MUCH!" on another piece of paper and cut it out a strip of paper, in a long rectangle shape. With the rectangle, make an accordion shape by folding it accordingly. Glue the ends of your accordion strip on the insides of the hands to finish it off.

This is sure to melt the heart of a loved one, especially a mother when gifted by a son or a daughter. It is as easy as peeling an apple!

You can use your own variety for this activity simply by changing colours, message etc easily. Don't forget to kindly share your version with us here or on my facebook page (Why Bee:

Have fun with a loved one today!

Monday, 12 March 2012


The 'i' world
Click here for the source
I was inspired by a non-English site for this post. I am actually totally illiterate in that particular language but I still found the list (and the hidden message) in the picture very clear.

It is debatable that the technology related to the 'I' world that today's people of almost all ages all over the world live in or are very familiar with is good for us/society/the world's future etc or not but it is for sure that it has become a significant part of our lives regardless of it is us or our children that participate in it.

Now, lets try it for ourselves and see what our kids/students/nephews or nieces come up with. Here is a quick activity idea for you:

Written or spoken, ask your children/students what 5 words beginning with the letter 'I' come to their minds first. What have they come up with?

Sunday, 11 March 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (16)

Grey whales swim up to 10,000 km per year on their travels.

Friday, 9 March 2012


Recycling ideas for garden

This is not the first time I am writing about some recycling ideas for gardens (see here for another idea). Nor is it the first time I talk about how much I enjoy personal touch to things. Here is another great idea for unique gardens.

This can be considered as a 'keepsake' project as well as a recycling and a decoration related activity.

The picture above clearly shows what to do but I have an urge to add a little detail. Don't forget to make a hole in your gumboots that you will be recycling before putting soil in them (for drainage purposes).

Enjoy something unique today!

Thursday, 8 March 2012


A photography trick

Today's topic is on a photography tip. Look at the photo on top of this page. Isn't that amazing? It looks like with some smart thinking and a little preparation, it is possible to take a photo like that!

Lets now have a look how they have achieved it. They have put a big bowl of colourful candies/little balls under a piece of flat glass. They have steamed up the glass so that some water drops have formed and simply taken a photo from top of the glass. This is one brilliant idea and a marvelous photo shoot.

Do you have any tips on photography?

a photography trick

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


You should keep a magnet in your sewing kit to help find pins you drop on the floor (This is much safer than finding them in your feet later on!)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Recycling ideas

I haven't met many people (or should I say 'women' instead of people?) who believe in 'enough storage'. Personally, I can never have enough storage solutions. As a person who makes things quite often, I always have something that needs to be put away but I never seem to have enough area to put them away all nice and neatly. I am a fairly fussy person too and I do enjoy it when things are where they are meant to be but like I said, unfortunately, there is no such thing as 'enough' in my world when it comes down to storage.

The above picture shows that it is possible to use a recyclable item to get rid of some of the clutter at home so easily. The circles are actually just paper towel rolls and depending on the size of your items, they can be cut into two or three and make smaller rooms. They can also be closed on one end, so that they can be used for small items such as buttons, nails etc too.

Have a nice and easy day today!

Monday, 5 March 2012


paper boat tutorial

When at home, Mr. Junior plays on his own at times but his favourite is doing things with us. He generally does things like crafty projects or cooking related activities with me and does gardening and things that require tools with Mr. Hubby the most.

He loves being involved in daily activities and responsibilities and we are happy to keep it that way. However, there are times when he doesn't want to do anything on his own and can't find anything to do with me during the day and he comes and asks me whether we can 'make' something. He even gives me ideas at times.

About a week ago, he wanted to make a boat with me. As a child, I remember of making hundreds of them but I couldn't remember the right steps on that day for some reason. So, I jumped online and refreshed my mind using some online tutorials. After a few minutes, we made our first boat together with him. It was really fun. We only used what we had in hand for paper at the time and it doesn't look the best. So, excuse the picture but regardless of how imperfect it looks, it was one great activity for us to do together and made Mr. Junior very happy. I believe that is what matters the most after all, don't you think?

Below is a video recorded tutorial on how to make a paper boat. Enjoy!

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Door decoration

What a brilliant idea to share once again! So easy, so personal, so unique! You could use this idea and change it a bit if you wanted to. For example, if you are a teacher and are looking for a crafty idea to do with your students, you could form groups of 5 (or so) students and each group can have their unique hand stamped wreath. Alternatively, if you are a parent and would like to do something with your family, you could make this using each family member's hand prints. You can make a wreath with it and put it on a door or you can frame it!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

DID YOU KNOW ... ? (15)

Since 1945 more than six million people from across the world have come to Australia to live. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born and more than 40 per cent are of mixed cultural origin. In our homes we speak 226 languages - after English, the most popular are Italian, Greek, Cantonese and Arabic.
Here is the source of this information. 

Friday, 2 March 2012


This tutorial comes from Belinda Connelly of Fairythread. A big thank you to Belinda for the tutorial as well as the special offer for the readers of this blog (see note below). 

Make your own felt balls - great for the kids to try!
Handmade felt tutorial

"the ball is the first toy a child should have, for it is the symbol of the whole" Froebel

This soft and simple ball is made from 100% pure wool which is then hand felted. It is warm and comforting to touch and provides a wonderful means for your baby to become aware of movement as well as stimulating the senses and imagination. 

You will need: 
•unspun wool 
•large bowl or kitchen sink
•dishwashing detergent
•warm & cold water

(I find it easiest to work over the kitchen sink)

1. Wind very thin strands of the wool round and round in a random pattern to form a ball shape. Make it a third bigger than the intended size as it will shrink in the process.
2. Submerge the ball in warm water until it is soaked. Squirt generously with washing up liquid.
3. Now work the ball as though you are making a snowball 'cupping' and 'packing' it with your hands. Rub the ball, making sure to keep its round form. You need to work quickly: rubbing, cupping and packing so that the outer fibres begin to lock together. This will take about 7 minutes.
4. While rinsing the ball in cold water now, continue the above actions. This helps to firm the locking of the fibres.
5. Resubmerge the ball in warm water, add a little more detergent and work for a further 5 minutes.
6. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, making sure to squeeze out all of the soap.
7. Rub in a towel to dry. I like to leave mine on top of my hot water service overnight to dry thoroughly.

Note: You can buy your own felt ball kits from Fairythread ( Mention this blog to receive 10% off normal price!

Thursday, 1 March 2012


There are many ways that can help us bring up our babies as environmentally friendly as possible. Below is a list of suggestions most of which are quite easy to do. Please feel free to add to this list your tips in the comments section below.
  1. Breastfeed: There are many reasons why it is best to breastfeed babies in general but here, lets look at it from the environmental perspective. By not using packaged foods, you will be supporting a healthy environment (no factory carbon footprints caused during production of foods)
  2. Make your own baby foods at home: When your child is ready for solids, cook his foods yourself at home. It is cheaper and healthier (and pretty easy too). 
  3. Re-usable nappies vs disposable nappies: It takes 200-500 years for a disposable nappy to dissolve. It is arguable that the amount of energy and water used for washing the cloth nappies may be less harmful to the environment than the modern single use nappies.
  4. Use cloth and water instead of wet wipes: Some cotton cloth  and water is so much better for your baby and the environment than the wet wipes. However, if you have a convenience issue with that, you may try to use the cloth/water at home and the wet tissues when out and about.
  5. Share: Re-use baby/kids clothes and toys. Share them with others (with other family members' or friends' kids or you could choose the pre-owned ones when shopping and then pass them on to others when done with them) as opposed to buying new at all times. 
  6. Choose environmentally friendly toys: Plastic is bad for your child's health as well as our planet. Choose the toys that are made using natural materials such as wood and cotton. You could even give a go at making a toy at home or choose the handmade ones when shopping.
  7. Go for cotton baby clothes: Good for your baby, good for the environment, and more durable than many other materials/fabrics!
  8. Read tags: Read the ingredients used in baby shampoos, soaps and other products and try to buy the ones that have natural ingredients. It may be more expensive but it would definitely be worth it. At least try to swap the one that you use the most with a natural one even if you can't afford to purchase all of your baby's products from the natural/organic range. Alternatively, make your own! Many products that we/our kids use on a regular basis can be home-made. (Let me know if there is a particular product that you would like me to write about or share a tutorial of)
  9. Use natural disinfectants: Instead of using chemicals like bleach, use natural options such as bicarbonate and vinegar when cleaning baby products (toys, pacifiers etc). You can use them in general house cleaning purposes too. (I have already written about a few options such as homemade cleaning products for babies, homemade hand sanitizers, homemade laundry detergents, homemade all-purpose cleaning products, and more but If you need more information, stay tuned! I will be posting more about homemade disinfectants in the future.)
  10. Be an example: Teach them how to love and protect our planet/world/environment not only verbally but by being a good example too. They are likely to be more interested and passionate about it if they see you as a caring person and if it is a part of your lifestyle.