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November 2011

Upcycling old woollen jumpers into felt stash boxes {crafternoon blog party}

Little Eco and I enjoy upcycling old materials into something new. I often struggle to come up with quick and easy projects that we can complete in an hour or two, so we've been enjoying the inspiring project ideas in Kathreen's two latest Kids Crafternoon books: Kids' Crafternoon Felting and Kids' Crafternoon beading.

Like the previous two crafternoon books, each book is filled with practical and creative projects that can be easily completed by beginner crafters in an afternoon. Little Eco and I choose to start by making a couple of the Zakka Stash Boxes (contributed by Suzie Fry) to organise her hairbrush and elastics.


We used felt i'd created by felting a couple of old woolen jumpers.

My approach to felting is pretty simple. I throw the woolen jumpers I want to felt into a pillow slip. They need to be greater than 30% wool and 100% wool is the best. I then simply toss the pillow slip into the washing machine and wash on hot (with whatever clothes I think would benefit from a hot wash given that I usually wash in cold water).

Kids Crafternoon Felting includes instructions on how to felt and 'take apart' woolen jumpers, along with instructions for all sorts of other cool stuff like wet felting, needle felting, and basic hand sewing stitches.

Zakka Stash Box from Kids Crafternoon {felting}

The Zakka Stash Boxes were super easy to make. I'd cut the felt and sewn the boxes together in under an hour and then Little Eco helped me decorate them with hand stitching.

Little Eco and the girls from up the road have already put in requests to make around a dozen projects from each of the books. High on the list are the Zombie Critter Charms, a felt wallet, and beaded badges and critters.

Want to find out more about these books? You can visit the rest of the crafternoon blog tour at following sites:

{The Red Thread}  {Soosz}  {mmmcrafts}  {Between the Lines} {Christine Chitnis} {Chez Beeper Bebe} {The Happy Zombie} {Go Make Me} {Love in the Mommyhood} {JCasa Handmade}  {Picklebums}   {Modern Parents Messy Kids}   {Simple Kids}   {li'l magoolie}   {Sadie and Lance} and tomorrow over at {Poppytalk}

Both books are available from Booktopia.

A simple quick and easy natural advent calendar

natural leaf advent calendar

I'm aiming for a simple Christmas this year. I'm refusing to get caught up in all the business that usually comes with Christmas and instead am aiming to slow down.

I'm doing this by being ruthless with the tasks I decide to take on.

I'm starting with our advent calendar. Last years leaf advent calender was super quick and easy, so we'll make one the same this year. But last year, I complicated our life by making it an activity-orientated calendar, identifying a different nature play or eco craft activity for each day. It was fun, but really, I was simply adding more tasks to our already busy schedule. Little Eco was more excited about the calender and being able to remove a leaf each day than the activities. 

So this year there will be no activities or gifts associated with each day. We'll simply remove a leaf each day and focus on counting down till Christmas. Based on Little Eco's excitement for the calendar last year I know this will be more than enough.

Speaking of 'more than enough', I wrote about our 'less is more' approach to Christmas over at Childhood 101 today.

Are you already overwhelmed by the business of Christmas? Do you have a super long 'to do' list? Perhaps you could also be a little more ruthless with the tasks you decide to take on?

Don't forget the Planet Boab giveaway.

Welcoming summer: Planet Boab ethical and eco t-shirt giveaway

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

I can smell Summer. Long days. Ocean swims. Sunshine. The sound of Cicadas.

To welcome Summer i'm offering readers a chance to win a Planet Boab t-shirt.

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

I shared my love for Planet Boab t-shirts earlier in the year. Planet Boab t-shirts are made here in Australia in a sweatshop free factory from 100% certified organic cotton and are hand printed using water based inks. Whats not to love!

I treat myself to one new Planet Boab t-shirt each summer. I'm onto my third and my first is still going strong despite being worn literally over 100 times. It was one of my six for the six item or less challenge earlier this year and I still love it. 

Planet Boab Australian handprinted organic cotton T-shirt

Daddy Eco is now sharing in the Planet Boab love. Here he is in his new Cycle Path t-shirt.

Want your very own Planet Boab t-shirt? 

The Giveaway

You can win a short sleeved Planet Boab t-shirt of your choice*.

The winner is comment number 80: Nicole with her t-shirt design suggestion of a 'brass instrument like a trombone or trumpet, or a bat hanging upsidedown from a branch'.

I LOVE the bat idea Nicole! Congratulations. I've just sent you an email.

Thank you all for your entries.

To enter head on over to Planet Boab, check out their range, and pop back here and leave a comment sharing which of their hand printed designs is your favourite. Those of you reading this by email will need to head on over to the blog (by clicking on the title) to leave a comment.

Want a bonus entry? Leave an extra comment sharing a design idea for a new Planet Boab t-shirt. If Lisa from Planet Boab spots an idea she likes she's suggested she might make it a limited edition print and offer it first to Little Eco Footprint readers. That would be fun!

Entries close midnight (Australian EDST) Monday 28th November 2011.

The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post on the Tuesday morning. I'll contact the winner directly by email.

Good luck!

*The prize is a gift voucher for $57AUD  which covers the cost of a short sleeve t-shirt plus postage within Australia. International entries are welcome, although an international winner will need to pay the balance (above $57AUD) to cover international postage.

Warrumbungles National Park and the Crooked Mountain Concert

Warrumbungle National Park bushwalking

Warrumbungle National Park nature art

Warrumbungle National Park nature art

Warrumbungle National Park nature art

Warrumbungle National Park nature art

Crooked Mountain Concert, Warrumbungle National Park 2011

Crooked Mountain Concert, Warrumbungle National Park 2011

Crooked Mountain Concert, Warrumbungle National Park 2011

Have you ever seen a more magical backdrop for a concert?

The Crooked Mountain Concert in the Warrumbungles National Park was the initial motivation for our current travels.

It well-and-truly didn’t disappoint.

I’ve wanted to go to this annual concert ever since learning of its existence a few years ago. As soon as I heard that the Black Sorrows were the lead act, I decided this year had to be the year.

Full moon. Camping. Roasting Marshmallows. Playing in a creek. Mud art. Down time. Bush walking. Purely magical!

Want out find out about other National Park events? For NSW National Parks check out the Wild Wild World website. I’ve just spotted a few nature crafty events that Little Eco would love: creating Birds and Boomerangs. For other states: Vic, SA, WA, NT, Qld, Tas and ACT.

Are you a fan of visiting National Parks? Have a favourite? My favourite (I think, as its hard to choose just one) is Crowdy Bay National Park.



...I've started a new job. I'm now working for the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC). I finished my previous job last week, then the following day drove five hours to Guyra for a workshop on managing native vegetation in Travelling Stock Reserves. I'm a tad excited about the new job. The ANPC is my absolute favourite conservation organisation. I've been involved in the organisation for almost 15 years (and even met Daddy Eco at an ANPC Conference) so it feels a bit like working with an old friend.

Innerpickle 1
Innerpickle 2
Innerpickle 3
Innerpickle 5
...Little Eco and I popped into the Innerpickle Farm on our way to my Mums place a couple of days ago. Little Eco was in awe at the farm-wise independent tree-climbing Tilly. And to be honest, I'm equally in awe at Fiona's plans for her family farm. I've decided i'm going to unashamedly live out my yearnings for rural living by following Fiona's journey.

Boorowa Bees 1
Boorowa Bees 2

...I'm now in Canberra for work. Today I visited my bees (and my Dad). They're sadly not doing too well (the bees. Dad is fine). This time last year Dad struggled to stop four hives from swarming. He's now struggling to keep two hives going.

It's been one very busy week! And the fun hasn't stopped yet. We're travelling for another week and a half. Our future includes a mountain retreat, a national park, two rural towns, and a weekend at the beach. I love this country!!