31 October 2014

Your Letter to Santa with Mattel {GIVEAWAY}

In Partnership with Mattel

Tomorrow is the first day of November - and if you're like me, it's the official time to start getting into the swing of Christmas. 

No, the Christmas tree won't come out just yet, but it's the time to start thinking about what I need to buy, what I need to make, where we need to be and what needs to happen. It's a time for lists. Lot's and lot's of lists.

One thing which has already been ticked off my list is presents for my children. Last week, we sat down, wrote a letter to Santa and created a wish-list... all from the comfort of my home computer. You can read more about our Letter to Santa experience here.


Your Letter to Santa



Mattel have really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year and have very generously offered one lucky Samelia's Mum reader the chance to win their Christmas Wish-List (to the value of $100 RRP of Mattel toys).

To enter, visit to get your kids involved in a little Santa magic this season and ensure you get your Santa wish list to him this Christmas.


After your child has written their letter to Santa and created their wish list, pop back here and tell me which was their favourite toy.


The winner/s will be announced on the Samelia’s Mum Facebook Page, so be sure to follow along to see if you are the lucky winner.

Letter to Santa is the perfect Christmas companion helping children select their Santa wish list online and in return, receive a message from Santa himself.

Letter to Santa is a handy tool for relatives and friends wanting gift inspiration or help this season.



Terms and Conditions: Giveaway is open to Australian Residents ONLY. Giveaway will close on Friday, 7 November 2014 at 17:00 AEST. The prize will be sent by the promoter/s. Samelia’s Mum will take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage to prizes sent to winner. Winner/s will be announced on the Samelia's Mum Facebook page and/or contacted by email. The winner has 7 days to claim the prize. If it is not claimed within this time period, it will be forfeited.

28 October 2014

Quilted Garden Pillow {TUTORIAL}

Playing with pretty fabrics is one of my all time favourite things to do. One of the prettiest new ranges which I've had the pleasure of working with is called Primrose Garden by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Fabrics. The colours combinations are just lovely and the prints really appeal to me.

I created this quilted pillow with some of this new range. The basis of the pillow is a pineapple block which - foundation pieced. I enlarged this simple pineapple block with EQ7 to create a larger block, which when bordered makes the perfect size for a pillow.

Yes I know that some people are a little wary when it comes to foundation piecing, but I really think that this is a simple project, perfect for the newbie to try.

I quilted the pillow top quite heavily. When I quilt straight lines, I like to raise the stitch length to between 3.5 - 4.0. I don't think it's necessarily any better than using the regular 2.0 or 2.5 stitching length, but I just prefer the finish with longer stitches.

If you would like to create your very own Quilted Garden Pillow, all of the instructions are available here on the Riley Blake Cutting Corners Blog.

27 October 2014

Blooming Time

I hate to jinx it, but my garden is blooming beautifully right now. FlyBoy and I have never really had a garden to play with. Our first house had an established native, drought tolerant garden (imagine a lot of bushes and rocks).

We then lived in a town house while with the new house was being built, so we discovered container gardens. We managed to grow herbs. They flourished beautifully with all of the attention they received in their little pots.

We’ve now been in the new house a year and we have our first roses! Roses which we bought as dormant twigs at the end of autumn. I always envied my sisters Pierre De Ronsard roses so we planted some in the garden and they’re now blooming.


Pierre De Ronsard Rose

Pierre De Ronsard Rose 2


We have two pink plants and one plant which produces these beautiful red blooms. FlyBoy is on a mission to find a way to attach some wire or trellis to the side fence, so they can climb and continue to bloom.


Pierre De Ronsard - Red Rose


Pierre De Ronsard - Red Buds


My iceberg roses are also beginning to bloom… unfortunately, the aphids are also out and attached to my pretties.


IceBerg Rose


This is one of the two different bloom rose bushes. Some flowers are a the usual white/off white colour, and some are a dark burgundy. All on the same bush!


White and Burgundy IceBerg Roses


It really does need to be moved as it’s a little close to the bricks. And a good trim wouldn’t go astray either.


Purple Pansy



We also have a nectarum in our garden. Half nectarine and half plum. It’s blossomed and now we just hope it produces some fruit. We have no idea if it’s a cross between both fruits or if different fruits grow on different branches. It’s all a bit exciting and we keep a look out regularly to see what’s happening.




If you’re read this whole way, how about a giveaway? Australian Made made contact asked if I’d like to host a reader give away for an Ezy Grow planter box valued at RRP $169.

Well, why yes I would. I’m sure there would a garden loving reader out there who would like to win one of these, right?


Ezy Grow Planter


Just leave a comment telling me what you would plant, if you won an Ezy Grow Planter Box.

Sorry to my international friends, but this one is open to Australian residents only. Read all of the T & C’s here.

23 October 2014

A Day with Helen of Hugs n Kisses

The day finally arrived. I was going to join a group of other ladies to have a day of stitching with Helen Stubbings of Hugs n Kisses. It's been a while since I've been to a class, so I was super excited.

Upon walking into the room, we were treated to a visual festival. Helen has brought along a number of her projects which were beautifully displayed and which were evoking lots of ooooh's and aaaaaah's from us.

The class got underway and we were taught how Helen appliquéd with her semi water soluble single sided fusible applique paper.

The paper is perfect to popping into the printer and printing up the patterns, or to trace with the standard pen and light box.

We were working on a beautiful project called "Birds of a Feather". Before long we were cutting and arranging and pressing and gluing and arranging and more gluing... It's funny, there were moments of absolute silence as we all concentrated on the task at hand... followed by lots of chatter.

Birds of a Feather by Helen Stubbings of Hugs n Kisses

Helen would show us a step and we'd all be concentrating furiously, and the chatter and giggles would begin and then we'd be taught the next stage and we'd go back to being super quiet and concentrated quickly broken by more chatter. It was such fun!

I didn't finish my project but I'm almost at the sitting and appliquéing stage, which in my mind, is the best bit. Right? 

Helen showed us how she appliqués with fine thread and a fine applique needle. I captured a sneaky picture over her shoulder ;-)

When I finish, I'll be sure to come back and share. Now, I couldn't spend the day in a sewing store and not come away with a few goodies.

Here's what came home with me. Again, I was very surprised at my restraint.

I was thinking that perhaps a Hugs'n'Kisses stitch along might be a fun idea? Maybe starting in the new year. What do you think? Would this be of interest to you? We could set goals and share photos in an online group and maybe even have a few prizes. Let me know if this is something you might like to join. 

22 October 2014

Letter to Santa

In Partnership with Mattel

Can you believe it's almost November? The countdown to Christmas will soon commence and by the end of it, we'll be frazzled messes. We'll have thrown random gifts into our shopping carts with limited regard as to what we're buying for our kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews, friends, neighbours... just that need to get it done and to get out of the shopping centre.

Or is this just me? Every year I have the best of intentions to be organised and shop early for Christmas. I like to imagine that I'll be one of those wonderful gift-givers who breezes calmly through the aisles of my department store barely working up a sweat. I envision that I am one of those people who pays particular attention to what the recipient wants, needs or likes and buys appropriate gifts which will be loved and cherished. 

Admittedly, the reality is never quite what I imagine. I usually run out of time and impulse buy or stock up on gift cards. This year, it will be different... well the kids shopping at least... 

Mattel's new Letter To Santa website, means that kids can be involved in a little Santa magic this season and ensure they get their wish list to him this Christmas.

Letter to Santa is the perfect Christmas companion helping children select their Santa wish list online and in return, receive a message from Santa himself.

Letter to Santa is a handy tool for relatives and friends wanting gift inspiration or help this season. The lists are emailed to the parent, who can then forward this list on to grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends etc. Plus, the email includes links  to where you can source the toys in your local area. What a great idea! 

After dinner this evening, my two sat down and chose their preferred toys : Monster High, Hot Wheels, Barbie, Batman etc. This part took a little while as there was much to look at, decide and choose. It's tough being a kid, isn't it?  

When they'd made their decisions, they clicked on to the next screen and wrote their letter to Santa. My little man was straight to the point whereas my little lady was a little more flowery with her writing and even added a few x's at the end for Santa.

We clicked on the next screen and I added my basic details (name, email etc) and had the option of entering the draw to win 1 of 500 toys. We entered of course and then when we clicked to the end, the end, the children were treated to a little personalised video from Santa himself.

Once they'd finished, I checked my email and wouldn't you know it, one of them had won a toy and the other hadn't. We don't know who it was, so they both went to bed excited with the knowledge that a toy would be arriving in our mail box in the next few weeks.

Do you have a little person who would like to choose some toys and write a letter to Santa? 

What is your Christmas shopping style? Organised or Frazzled?

What do YOU want for Christmas?

Help your kids choose some toys and write a letter to the big man in the red suit by visiting