Inspiring Maternity Photos

This is a bit outside of the Crafty Rabbit realm of DIY, junk  and crafts, but I thought I might share our maternity photos we had done a few weeks ago. My husband happens to work with a very talented photographer (Andi Crown Photography at andicrown.com) and lucky for us she agreed to do a photo session of us and our bump!

Maternity photo collage 3 watermarkWe went to Cornwall Park in Auckland but didn’t count on how busy it would be. Trying to get photos without joggers and tourists in the background was a bit challenging.

We were lucky with the season as the trees have just started dropping their lovely, golden autumnal leaves, and the late afternoon sun created a wonderful filtered light.

Maternity photo collage 4 watermarkThese photos were made special by the fact that the tartan rug was given to me by my nanna many years ago and the baby booties were knitted by my aunty.

My husband really wanted a photo of us with our childhood toys (see below), he’s holding a teddy bear his mother made him when he was little and I’ve got ‘Monkey’ (appropriately named).

Maternity photo collage If you’re umming and ahhing about whether you should get maternity photos done my advice is do it! As long as you find a photographer who you gel with and their style speaks to you then you can’t go wrong. I recommend you check out their portfolio of work and make it really clear what appeals to you. I created a Pinterest board of maternity photos (http://www.pinterest.com/leahmccurdy18/) that appealed to me, then shared it with our photographer so we were both on the same page.

Anybody else had bump photos done recently? I would really love to see them!

Leah The Crafty Rabbit

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10 Ways With Jars

10 Easy Ideas With Jars

We all have an abundance of them.  Whether they’re beautiful Ball jars you picked up at an antique market, or those less than desirable pasta jars shoved in the back of your cupboard.

I have assembled the top ten ways with jars right here!

1. Store Herbs and Spices

Got millions of coffee jars that you keep putting in the recycling bin?

I spent one industrious afternoon taking inventory of my pantry and then printing millions of labels on my computer.  Not fancy labels ready to stick on, oh no, I’m too cheap for that.  I cut them out and stuck them on with tape.

Old coffee jars reused for herbs, spices and much more

Old coffee jars reused for herbs, spices and much more

2. Mason Jar Planter

Use an old piece of wood and secure clamps onto it.

Screw wood into the wall. Then, fill your jars with soil and plant your plants.  Tighten jars into clamps.  Bingo.

3. Jars as Vases

Jars really do make the best vases.

I spent a small fortune on vases and never found one I was completely happy with.

But jars come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s always plenty squirreled away in the pantry if one isn’t quite right.

4. Glass Jar Photo Frame

Don’t buy a new photo frame, make do with what you have.

This is so simple and creates a really great effect, just make sure your jars are spotless.

Having trouble getting the labels off?  TIP: Just fill the jar with water, microwave for 1 and a half minutes and the label should peel off when the glue softens.

5. Candle Holder

There are so many ways you can do this.

  • To plant an unstable candle just fill the jar about a quarter to half full with rice. It has the added bonus of absorbing the wax making it easy to clean up.
  • Float a tea light in water
  • Wrap wire around a jar and hang it like a hurricane lamp

6. Store Silverware

Don’t hide your favourite silverware in the drawer.

Display it in a jar with a cute ribbon or twine wrapped around the neck to give it a rustic feel.

7. Green Gifts

How about making your own green gift for family this Christmas, or maybe you have a friend with a birthday coming up?

Check out  these ideas:

  • Bath salts
  • Hand cream
  • Carpet freshener (see below)
  • Wardrobe freshener (see below)
  • Sniff jar (see below)

Just write/print a small label on recycled paper with instructions (if necessary). You could even tie an elegant silver spoon to the jar with twine or ribbon.

Carpet freshener

(Good Magazine http://good.net.nz/ )

Add 20 drops of essential oils to a cup of baking soda.  Mix well in a small bowl.  Seal in a jar with a lid and stand overnight or longer.

Sprinkle it over the carpet, brushing it deep into the pile.  Leave for an hour before vacuuming.

How to make a wardrobe freshener:

(Good Magazine http://good.net.nz/ )

Punch six large holes in the lid of a small glass jar.  Fill the jar with cotton balls and soak the balls with fragrant oil.

Replace the lid and put the jar in your wardrobe.

How to make a sniff jar:

(Good Magazine http://good.net.nz/ )

Ingredients: Small lidded jar, a few cotton balls and essential oil

Method: Squeeze a few cotton balls into a jar and add a few drops of essential oil and replace lid.  Voila!

8. Decorative Storage

Why not buy some cheap transfers from your local craft store and gussy up an old jar or bottle.

You could also print a silhouette and use it as a template.  Think, numbers, letters, cameo silhouettes, you could even use paper doilies.

9.  Dessert in a Jar

Yes there is such a thing!  You can find all manner of recipes too.

What a great idea for a thank you gift.

10. Garden in a Jar

Are you an apartment dweller? Is your garden  restricted to your window sill?

Why not grow a bulb, wheatgerm or sprouts in a jar.

For more ideas you can also check out: http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/themed-linkups

Well, I hope I inspired you to think twice about throwing away that jam jar.  Do you have any nifty ideas you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them, post your comments below.

Inorganic Rubbish Collection Treasures: Part 2

I harvested some wonderful treasures from the Grey Lynn inorganic rubbish collection a few weeks back. One of my favourite finds was this rickety chair…

Some people would call this rubbish - I call it rustic

Some people would call this rubbish – I call it rustic!

When my parents came to visit they asked if I was going to paint the chair.  No way!  I love the flaking blue paint. Although, I should add, this is strictly an ‘outdoor chair’.  Don’t know if I want that crusty paint on my carpet.  So it sits outside my front door as a glorified pot plant stand and a place to sit under the eaves to take off shoes.  Like a faithful sentinel.

This chair has got me thinking about…

Other uses for chairs

I love chairs, they’re so versatile, so multipurpose.

You heard me – chairs are not just for sitting people! Flat wooden chairs are particularly good.  Think, old stools or standard issue school chairs.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Stack magazines
  • Pot plant stand
  • Nightstand
  • Side table
  • Display over sized ornaments

Hang off hooks for instant storage:

apartmenttherapy.com

No shelves?  No problem…

Hang folding chairs for storage and clothes

yiconglu.com

Tattered old chair…turned shelf:

postroadvintage.com

Inorganic Rubbish Collection Treasures: Part 1

Think this is case is cool?  Well, guess what.  It was free, wanna find out how I scored it?

Carry case

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

It’s that time again…no, it has nothing to do with the changing of the season, it’s…INORGANIC RUBBISH collection!!!

For those non-Aucklanders out there let me tell you about this wondrous civic tradition.  Each suburb, once every two years is allowed to dump oversized junk next to the road and then the Council will go around, collect it, and take it to the tip for you.

I have a friend who is a seasoned professional at finding gems in the inorganic rubbish.  As long as you choose your suburbs carefully, ahem, *Remuera* you can find all sorts of amazing treasures.

Four years ago when she first told me about it I turned my nose up, but then I saw her finds.  You wouldn’t believe the things people throw out!  Brand new Morris and James pottery, beautiful Chinese folding screens (she found two that year), heaters, bikes, skii’s!!!  After that I was sold.

I admit, the first year was hard, I felt…ashamed, dodgy, because you’re essentially pawing through their rubbish in front of their houses.  Most people politely turn a blind eye, but then there were some people who actually came out and helped us. ‘Oh how about this piece?  It’s still quite good…’

I like to think of it as recycling, it was going to end up in the rubbish dump anyway and as long as you’re respectful and make sure you don’t make more of a mess of their junk pile then there really isn’t a problem.  And…a lot of people do it.

 

Leah’s top tips for the newbies to Inorganic Rubbish Collection:

  1. Have spies – As you know the schedule for which suburb is having inorganic rubbish collection isn’t really advertised.  So the best way to find out is to tell all your friends what you’re up to.  Also, keep your eyes peeled.
  2. Be prepared – first year I went with my friend we were kicking ourselves for not taking ties for the roof rack. We have to tie bits of trellis to the rack with string and rope we found in the rubbish.  We were sure we were going to be pulled over with our faces plastered on Police 10-7.  Moral of the story, you never know what you’ll find.  Make sure you have a good sized vehicle, a van, SUV, station wagon are best but even a car with fold down seats can be good.  Put a tarp or old sheets down – you’re dealing with rubbish people, ‘nuf said.
  3. Go early – Best time to go is Sunday afternoon because people are doing their chores around the house for the coming week, that’s when it seems most abundant.
  4. Be polite – Don’t be a jerk, you’re spending a lot of time cruising around streets so be courteous of other motorists who aren’t scavenging like you.  Pull over and let them pass if you’re going to be a turtle.  There is also the unwritten rule of finders keepers, if someone else has laid claim to a fabulous deck chair, deal with it and move on.  No fighting.  I’ve never, ever seen a disagreement amount treasure-hunters, so fall in line if you’re a newbie.

To help inspire you I will attach some photos of my past finds.  I will follow this post up with a second part talking about my latest ‘precious’ goodies from this year.

Believe it or not but this bar stool was much oranger when I first found it.  I sanded it and put a transfer image on it

Believe it or not but this bar stool was much oranger when I first found it. I sanded it and put a transfer image on it

These are two halves of a pantry door (brand new).  I have plans to make a drying rack for herbs and a magazine rack...stay tuned

These are two halves of a pantry door (brand new). I have plans to make a drying rack for herbs and a magazine rack…stay tuned

Happy hunting!

Bottle love

I have a confession.  I have a preoccupation with bottles, any kind, old or new, big or small.  They’re brilliant and cheap (if not usually free!).  I have had the Clements tonic bottle for years and it’s normally quite brownish in colour, but when the light catches it it becomes a lovely amber.  The apothecary style bottle and card with the Easter bunny was bought a few years ago when I was at a conference in Napier.  I found the most fabulous little store where I bought an abundance of tea towels (another obsession) and various other bottles and nick-nacks.  Sadly, since it was so long ago, I can’t pay tribute to that fabulous store where I squandered a small fortune.  But, when I return to Napier, I will endeavour to find that store and report back.

Simple bottles on a window that catches the light can make for an interesting display
Bottles arranged artfully on a window that catch the light can make for an interesting display

I call this my window to heaven.  The rest of the house could be in complete chaos, you know what I mean, un-vacuumed floors, used tea cups everywhere, piles on paper over every surface (how do we accumulate so much?).  But there are small windows around our house where I don’t have to worry about that, they’re static and beautiful.  This is one.  I highly recommend it – it’s quite zen.  These bottles are on our window sill above our bed, they’re too high to put junk so they never accumulate it.  Nope, this is the only thing on it, and I will often just look at it (even just for a few seconds) and enjoy it.

Then I go grab that vacuum – someone has to deal with that Loki hair clinging to the carpet like a mat.