• MJ

Grass stains and flip flops, sweet smelling roses and barbecues..does that sound like summer to you?

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Yep! Days are getting longer, Labour Day barbecues and our neighbours are out and about in the garden... May is finally here and things are (almost) normal here in Taiwan. Kids are at school, some parents have gone back to work, families crowded the nearby park at weekends and we even took a little camping trip up the mountains for a change of scenery. It is a bliss in the middle of this pandemic.

To be fair, lots of positives have actually come out of this. Sure, there are few negatives ... like, you've come to realise how annoying husbands can be, but let's focus on the bright side of things, we've got to spend more time together as a family, parents spend more time with their children and even helping out with school work, and we have never had enjoyed so many healthier, home-cooked meals at the table every single day, breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I enjoyed my pipsqueak's company throughout the self-quarantine period and actually felt a little sad now that she's gone back to school. We learned to play duet on the piano, she wanted to cook, and the three of us had a little morning routine of hiking up the little hill at the back of our flat, followed by a trip to the market. Flowers were (and still are) blooming and we collected them off the side of the path some mornings, pressed them between the pages of a big book and they dried beautifully a week or so later!

It was the birthday of a dear friend a couple of days ago, the pressed dried flowers and our egg carton Easter basket DIY came in handy to be used and recycled to make part of her gifts. Check out our Easter blog here, if you missed it, for our Easter crafts.

We have celebrated our UK Mother's Day in March, but this idea may be useful for our friends in the US and the rest of the world who will celebrate it later this month.

We made easy pressed flower card and vase, a paper and egg carton flower bouquet, and a wine cover for her.

Here is how we made our card:

We had a sparkly dark blue card stock (fold in two), our pressed flowers and leaves, a button, a liquid glue (makes it a lot easier to apply on the delicate flowers), a white and a gold fine tip pens.

We had one flower petal with a shape that we could use to make a dress and we added a button for the head (you can always draw or stick a photo instead), We applied a tiny drop of glue on the tips of each petal (a small soft paint brush might be good to use as well), followed by the button. Then we drew sticks for the legs and arms, a bottle and a champagne glass in each hand with a white pen, and added strands of blond hair with a gold pen). And that's it, the card is ready.

And here is how we made the vase:

My daughter made the bouquet:

And below is how she did it:

Please subscribe to our free quarterly e-magazine here for a compilation of our arts, crafts, interior DIY projects and free templates. The next one is due next month just before summer holidays starts. Tutorials for the corset wine cover (and its template) will be in there, as well as fairy lights that we recycled from our easter basket work for Miss E's room:

There'll be more tutorials in June for Father's day, some ideas on arts and crafts (that I am working on towards a digital workbook for children), birthday party ideas, and my ultimate goal is to complete Miss E's room before the summer. Here are some I've managed to complete: her wall, a lampshade and a corner for a dressing table with an upcycled IKEA stool and mirror.

You can still get our Spring Edition e-magazine by subscribing here to catch up with some of the previous projects, like the recycled lampshade and the floor cushion, as well as recycled crafts we did for our UK Mother's Day in March.

We'll be back next month with more. Here's a peek on an art project that we did over the Spring break.

Cheers for now!