pirates and treasure island (we’re building a box maze)

Fairfield Primary School Fair is on Saturday 14 March from 2-7pm (do come along!).  And this year Elise, Wendy and I are building a box maze.  It’s going to be an indoor one and the kids are going to crawl through the boxes.

We saved the election booth boxes that were at school for the recent State Government election.  And we have been diligently dropping in to Harvey Norman Preston twice a week to collect all their fridge boxes, which they are kindly saving for us. The aim is 100 boxes.  

maybe the ship could look something like this one I found on Pinterest

So, the plan at the moment is that the box maze will start on a pirate ship.  The kids will have to walk the plank to the island (this will take them up the ramp to the classroom door).  Then they’ll enter the castle and follow the maze, climbing to the lookout (they’ll be able to look out a window … a crafty trick to entice other children to wonder what they are doing and visit the box maze), before visiting a fairy glen (fun for the little kids) and entering a pirate dungeon (where the treasure is stored of course).  Before popping out at the end via a waterfall (well it will be a slide really …).

some of the pirate treasure … my inherited silverware is going to see the light of day!

Sounds ace huh?  After some intense Pinterest research that you can see here the major technical decisions for construction are:

1. Fridge sized boxes are the go.  We are using large boxes to minimise the joining required.

2. The boxes will be joined primarily with cable ties.  These make the joins sturdy and mean it is simple to dismantle the maze at the end (we’ll just cut the ties).

3.  We will drill the holes for the cable ties. We’ve had a practice and this is a simple process.

I’m getting so excited. Today we started working on the dungeon.  Inspired by this photo below I am now in the process of photographing the teachers to be part of the ‘pirate picture gallery’.  I am asking to take a photo of them dressed up.  Fun!  Then I am going to make some sort of photo display …. a bit like this hopefully.  With the treasure in front!

how cool is this room? i found this image on Pinterest.

I think my kids would like to be part of it too (the display that is) … the practice run pictures are pretty cute huh?

ali’s garden drawers

My friend Ali (the urban farm girl) is endlessly brimming with new ideas. And then implementing them (which I so admire!).  Or in this case, getting Norm to implement them (good on you Norm). Last week she sent me a pic. of her latest garden project.  And as she just lives around the corner, I went around to admire her handiwork in real life.



So the project was all about the chooks (they needed a new yard), pallets (Norm built the fence for the chooks out of pallets, how very NOW) and also drawers (Ali got Norm to make some planter boxes out of drawers and build them in to the fence).

She’s growing coriander in them. Cute huh?

happy birthday alice (crafting vicariously through my children)


The final product

My friend Cate* says she hates craft. And I think actually she really might. Because at her daughter Alice’s screen printing birthday party on the weekend she pulled out her sewing kit, and it was the size of a mini makeup bag, and all it contained was about 5 needles, a couple of rolls of cotton, some regular old pins and one safety pin.  And that was it. Yep, it seems she only had ONE safety pin in the whole house …

Luckily for her she has VERY crafty friends to call on when craft is required.

For this occasion she called on her high school friend Nicola Cerini to help out.  You know her?  A few years ago EVERY girl needed a handbag by Nicola.  And she was the one who made screen printing cool … as I remember … in Melbourne at least.

So Alice and her friends got to make a calico screen printed bag. From scratch. With Nicola. They saw the bag being cut from the roll of fabric. And then they screen printed the cut fabric and sewed it up into a bag.


Nicola and the kids are lifting up the giant screen to see how the fabric looks once it’s printed.


The fabric drying. In 36 degree heat it didn’t take long.


India sewed up the handles of her bag on the sewing machine and then used a safety pin to turn the handles in the right way … before ironing them and sewing them on to the bag.

So much crafty fun.  I was jeal!  VERY jeal!

These days Nicola is designing wallpaper and rugs.  With beautiful botanical themes (I am always a bit of a sucker for botanical prints). And she runs screen printing courses every now and then at Abbotsford Convent.  I think there are some coming up in March … She did a super job with the kids.  And the finished product looks just so great.  I wish I owned a bag like that.  I might book myself in to one her courses …

* not her real name (well really it is. I just said that in case she is embarrassed about not being crafty … but actually, I’m pretty sure she’s not … in the least.)