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Chinese New Year Lucky Horse Packets


Every year over Chinese New Year, I receive lucky “red packets” from my family. They’re a token of good luck and I put them under my pillow for a week after receiving them as a ritual. This year it’s Jan 31st, so this week!

If you celebrate it too, I’m sure you’re used to giving and/or receiving the typical envelope designs. Some of them are a bit boring so I decided to come up with one myself! 

In Chinese astrology, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. I’m a Dragon so it’s not my year but I’m sure some of you are horses. I picked up some red and gold foil paper and using origami, I created some horsey red packets.

The origami part is real simple and putting it together just requires some super glue! I’m really happy with how they turned out, aren’t they cute?


Here are the three simple steps!

1. Cut and measure out the red packet using my template above. All measurements are in centimetres. I adapted this pattern and made the size of it wider and larger.

2. Fold your horse head using gold foil square measuring 7 x 7 cm, following this pattern. Using a permanent marker, draw in the eye and nostril.

3. Using super glue, stick the horse head sides flat together, and then stick it on the centre of the envelope.

You can change up the animal feature pretty easily too. Next year is the year of the sheep, some call it ram or goat too. I found this wicked resource for different animal origami figures so you’ll be able to customise your red packets based on the year.

Happy Chinese New Year!


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Koala Family Pom Pom Garland


How was your Australia Day yesterday? It’s been an interesting and emotional week so a long weekend couldn’t come soon enough for me. One of my new year’s goals was to do more DIYs so here’s one inspired by the time of month!

As I’ve been on such a pom pom craze recently (more coming this way!), I made some koala pom poms inspired by the national festivities. Mum and Dad and two little baby koalas!

koala pom poms

I came across these ones originally and they looked so fine, I just had to make some myself.

After some experimentation, I finally worked out how to create the koala look using a pom pom. I’ve put together some visual instructions just below, it’s fairly simple and I hope it makes sense. Do let me know if you have any questions.

I used a plastic pom pom maker but if you don’t have one, you can make your own using some cardboard - here’s a good tutorial.


The last part is to seriously trim like crazy. It’s kind of soothing to be honest, although it creates a mess so I tend to do it on some scrap paper to prevent it from going everywhere. 

To trim fast, I grab small bunches at a time and then I cut. Repeat and repeat…. until you begin seeing it form shape. I made a couple of large and small koalas and strung them all together. They’re too cute!

koala pom poms

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Merry Christmas!


Guys, it’s time! Go be merry, spend quality time with you friends, family, loved ones… and be grateful! No matter what ‘Christmas’ means to you and how you choose to celebrate it, it’s a great time off the normal routine of life and work, so have fun with it. If you celebrate it, then Merry Christmas - and if not, happy holidays :)

I don’t do much for decor for Christmas but I couldn’t resist hanging up this garland of green pom poms! I originally made them to decorate the stall front of my markets last weekend, and realised when I was unpacking that evening, how festive it would be to hang it around the home.

It’s super easy, you just need to make (at least) 5 medium sized pom poms. I used a pom pom maker (like these), or you can just use some card paper and do it yourself. Make sure to leave a few loose ends and then use them to tie it to a longer strand of green yarn. Snip off the excess and voila: a simple, holiday cheer at the ready!

Have a good one guys! I’ll be back soon to gear up towards the new year :)

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Cross Stitched Christmas 2013

So who’s counting? There’s 3 days left until Christmas and I’m working until the day before! I’ve never taken this little time off before over the holiday period so it will be a first. I’ve heard the commute into the city is ‘fantastic’? Here’s hoping that the extreme heat doesn’t break down the entire train system…. wouldn’t that be a doozy?

Now if you’re like me and still haven’t finalised all your Christmas gifting chores, you’re probably scrambling to get everything together! I know I’ll be doing some last minute gift shopping tomorrow at lunch. Luckily, I’ve already put together my cards and sent them off. I find cards to be so much more memorable and a keepsake if they’re one of a kind, so I started cross stitching them last year, where I made up mini versions of Gareth and myself. 

This year I wanted something simpler and floral, so I went with tulips since they’re my favourite flower!

cross stitch christmas cards cross stitch christmas cards

They’re super easy to make, as long as you understand the basic cross stitch technique. This is a great guide with images if you want to get into it.

All you need is some Aida cloth, which I found in Lincraft, embroidery thread, embroidery hoop, embroidery needle, hot glue gun, some coloured card paper and a marker.

Come up with a design, like my trio of tulips and stitch it onto the cloth.Then use your glue gun to stick it centrally on the card. Mark up ‘Merry Christmas’ or a similar message on the front of the card. Fold the card in half and then write your own personal message to your recipient inside. Hey presto, handmade Christmas card filled with love!

Here’s the pattern I created for these cards so you can try it yourself!

cross-stitch-pattern2013cross stitch christmas cards cross stitch christmas cards

Cross stitching is an old craft, very soothing and consumes a fair bit of time. Each trio took around 30 minutes and I love the feeling after I finish one - does anyone know what I mean? I find them great to do whilst watching a movie or tv episode so there’s a multi-tasking tip for you! 

Have fun! x Helen

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