Wednesday, 30 September 2015

School Holiday Activity

Crafting fun for the kids

School holidays are upon us. 

Thankfully (here in the South at least) we're enjoying a great start to the fortnight weather-wise, but there's no guarantee we won't require indoor activities to keep the kids busy and focused before Term 4 starts.

So I thought I'd share an activity that we rolled out recently for a 7 year old's birthday party.

Decorating hats

I've never had a 7 year old before, but I have a year of having a six year old under my belt now, and it's been busy!

I'm not sure if it's the age (do you think??), or this particular group of friends, but gather them all together and it's mayhem - in a fun-but-full-on sort of way!

We organised this activity to give the girls something to concentrate on - a wee bit of focus among the squealing and non-stop dashing. 

The hats were purchased from a $2-type store (they were $5) - along with the feathers, beads and pom poms. 

I stripped the hats of the embellishments they came with so the girls could redecorate as they liked - these 'recycled' ribbons and trims were added to the mix of ingredients on the table.

We had the girls choose their mix of hat 'toppings' and arrange their placement.

A glue gun was the final ingredient needed to assemble the hats - and a method to determine who went first!

(We choose alphabetical - but if you're only doing this with one or two kids at home, it might not be an issue.)

The girls then had fun modelling the hats and were able to take them home after the party - hopefully now geared up for a long hot summer with a wide brimmed hat for sun protection.

Did you see signs that we hosted the party in our building site... an exciting renovation/extension project we've been working on for a few months now - see the gib stopped walls and wires poking out of walls? We're close to completion and I'm looking forward to showing you more...

x Mel

Friday, 18 September 2015

Playing with my 'real' camera

Dusting off the DSLR

With the convenience of built-in phone cameras (always at hand) it's easy to leave the 'real' camera to gather dust (as mine certainly has literally been doing over a prolonged period of house renovations).

But I've been bingeing on my DSLR camera lately.

Is it Spring that awakens a new lease on life... fresh new eyes on the world?

What sort of camera do you use?

Mine's a Nikon D90 (because people always want to know) and most of these photos were taken with my 50mm prime lens.

I love it.

Here are a few of the images I've been making...

Do you have a favourite?

If you have a 'real camera' gathering dust - let Spring be your inspiration too.

xx Mel

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September's 7-Vignettes

Monthly Photo Challenge

7-Vignettes is a monthly challenge hosted on Instagram by the Australian blog The Interiors Addict.

Participants style  and photograph images and share on Instagram.


The themes set for each day of the challenge vary from month-to-month, and for September they were:
  1. Spring
  2. Mint
  3. Monochrome
  4. Natural
  5. Metallic
  6. Greenery
  7. Pattern

The Penny Drops' Vignettes

I embarked on the week with no over arching plan, taking it day-by-day to compose an image.

On day 1, I was scrambling in the gorse bushes to find some yellow flowers for my 'Spring' wreath. 
(A wreath for spring? Oh so original...)

Day 4 had me clambering up the bank on the side of our road for the toi toi and, by day 6, I was crawling under the trampoline for the long grass... which doubled as my Father's Day tribute to farming Dads.


It may be apparent that we're always inspired by nature at Penny Drops' HQ - both flora and fauna - so it seemed only fitting to have our family rabbits pop in a couple of times to participate.


Black rabbit 'Snowballs' is a real beauty. She's the larger but more timid of the two sisters and has 'wintered well'.

White rabbit 'Snowflake' is invariably the hardest to catch for a cuddle - but only the first time. She's quite the brave and snugly rabbit after her initial hesitation.

Rabbits have long been a motif/theme used by The Penny Drops - in fabric choices and original paintings. This Rabbit Print in my webshop remains one of my best selling items so I take from that, that you like them too.

Excellent. No wonder we get on so well ;)

x Mel

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Gorgeous red and black nursery

Decor with a difference for a baby girl

This blog post represents the start of a new journey for The Penny Drops. I'm planning on popping in occasionally with picture-heavy posts showcasing... 
  1. The Penny Drops in your home
  2. Spaces of local creatives
  3. Just all-round good interior eye-candy
The 'maiden room' of this new adventure ticks all those boxes.

Welcome to Thea's room - daughter of Paula and Matt of Invercargill. 

Paula, along with her mum, is the talent behind local clothing brand Hedgeez - so as you'd expect there's plenty of handcrafted touches. 

(There's also a touch of The Penny Drops in here and it's undoubtedly a fine room.)

Starting point

When Paula found out she was having another girl, she was very keen to avoid the overly pink scheme that had unfolded in her first born's room.

The chair in the corner had been reupholstered by Paula - the striking red fabric and gloss black framework became the launchpad for the rest of the room. 

The art work above the cot "has hung there for years" - long before this room belonged to Thea, and was painted by Paula herself.

Simple, but personal, touches abound in this room - like the use of washi tape to spell out Thea's name on the blackboard bunting draped across the table.

A wee bunny decal by The Penny Drops has found a spot in the fabulous wall arrangement Paula pulled together which continues the red and black theme.

Thea was all smiles during my visit. Her cot quilt was made by Paula.

Paula points out that the collection of decor on the wall was pulled together for very little cost - using items already in the house, including Christmas decorations (hearts), free internet printables and a little DIY - Paula painted the chevron pattern on the star and her Dad " took the elephant to work" and professionally sprayed it red to fit in with the room.

 Thea, following in her big sister's footprints, is the perfect model for Hedgeez apparel.

She was comfortable, cosy and cute in her Hedgeez hoodie and harem pants - clearly loving the ensemble and her special room.

Big thanks to Paula and Thea for welcoming us into their home.

If you're in Southland, have been a Penny Drops customer and/or have a special corner of your home (maybe even a whole room or house), you're proud of, please get in touch and let's discuss featuring you in a future post. I'm open to this being done anonymously if you're 'camera shy' and also receptive to recommendations/nominations of friends and family.

Let's showcase some Southland style to the world.

x Mel