Sunday, 13 October 2013

Time to move on

It's been rather quiet here for a while now and there's a reason. I'm just not feeling it, I'm not feeling H.E.L.M.I handmade. So I've decided to end this little blog. I wish I could say I'm a bit sad, but really I'm not. It's been leading to this for a while and now is the time.

But I wouldn't call this an end. I wouldn't leave my poor mother and my bestie out of the loop of what were up to (yeah they are pretty much the only ones who read this blog anyway), I couldn't be that cruel. And if there's anyone else out there who want to see what we're up to next..

Press HERE

Hope to see you on the other side!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Bathroom renovations

 Here comes our new bathroom, are you ready? Looking at the pictures of the old bathroom makes me wonder how on earth we were able to live with that bathroom and use it every day.

Can you count how many different types of tiles we used to have in the bathroom? I'm counting 4, some with flowers, some beige, some dark beige and then some thin border ones. Flattering wasn't it. So off they came. There was one light bulb and hence the lighting wasn't very good. We had big plans for this bathroom when we started with it, tiles on every wall and better lighting, and just like with the kitchen, we wanted to do it cheap but good quality.

We went to the salvage yard again and found these dark shiny tiles that had been left over from some spa renovations and there were just enough for two walls on our bathroom, perfect. And so that the bathroom wouldn't be too dark we used the same white tiles as we used in the kitchen and to soften it more we made a pine ceiling and put 4 lights in.

What do yo u think of the finished look? We kept the vanity and shower same as they were both in good condition, also the towel rack and the floor stayed the same. I am so loving all the light we now have there and how fresh it looks. The ceiling reminds me of Scandinavia a bit which puts a smile on my face. Thank you again to my dear brother who was the master mind behind all this and did most of the work with the help of his beautiful partner. I did learn some tiling too and how to put silicone (not my favorite thing at all). Loving our bathroom.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kitchen mini renovation

This dear little house that we're living in is getting very small for us and for a while now we've been dreaming about selling it. Before selling it though, we've felt like some renovations needed to be done. As we want to sell it our budget was as small as possible, so we tried to find cheper options with still keeping the quality good. We were so lucky to have my brother and my sister-in-law over as they have a lot of experience in renovating and they did most of the work for us. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Here's what we started with. Beautiful bright yellow bench top, I did grow to like it so I was a little sad to see it dissappear. Creamy colour cabinets with plastic handles and grey walls. I wanted to get new doors for the cupboard but as we started to search for new ones we realised that these ones were once custom made to fit here. It meant that there were no doors in any shops that would have been the same size to ours. With grinding teeth I had to let go of that vision and get use to the idea that these creamy doors would stay.

We then went to a salvage yard to see if we could find anything that would help us with the renovations. A salvage yard is a place that sells anything left over from someone's renovations and selling it very cheap. We found almost straight away the long white tiles for the wall and the grey floor tiles for the bench. We saved over 70% in cost by getting these tiles from salvage yard compared to getting them from a tile shop.

Because the yellow bench top was in such good condition we, and with we I mean my brother and my husband, started to lay the grey tiles down on top of it. And as the grey tiles were originally floor tiles, they are very strong and thick. I was very happy with that. Who would have thought to put tiles on the bench? Not me for sure, but my brother had done it twise and had been very happy with the result so I thought why not try it. Now I love it!

For a whole week, my kitchen was in our laundry as the real kitchen was construction site. It was so exciting to see and learn how to renovate this kitchen.

Here's the end result. In the end we changed the handles and the difference in huge compared to what we started with. The grey bench makes the creaminess of the cupboards so mild that I can totally stand it now. So with very little money spent our kitchen got a nice makeover.

Next, the bathroom makeover...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Artsy birthday party

 And so she turned 3. I can't believe how time has gone so fast and what an individual she's become. She's been looking forward to this party for months now so I wanted her to enjoy. We had a big artsy birthday bash for her with all her friends there.

 Let's start with the food shall we. We had jelly cups as paint cups, perfect party food for kids party as they absolutely love jelly. The paint brushes were a hit too, you can find the recipe I used from HERE. The crayons gave me most work. I loved the idea though so I had to make them. I got the idea from HERE, but instead of pretzel sticks I used chocolate bisquits and instead of candy melts I used coloured white chocolate. The best part is that you can actually print the labels if you don't feel like making your own. For the printable crayon labels go HERE.

Then I thought we'd have an artsy activity at the treat table, so we made biscuits in different shapes, put just white icing on it and got the kids to decorate them.

I got a bit carried away with decorating the biscuits, but it really was a lot of fun. The bread stick pencils were a bit sad sight, a classic example of what happens when you get a last minute great idea that doesn't work out as well as you saw it in your head.

Just like on her previous birthdays, I wanted to have cupcakes instead of a cake. I think cupcakes work so well with little kids, they are rather easy to eat and they are not very big. Yes the fact that I'm not a very big cake person had something to do with this decision as well. The cupcakes worked great on this occasion and the icing was plenty of messy which was part of the theme.

I made 4 art smocks so that the kids wouldn't get too much paint on themselves. Emma had hers on the whole time where as the other 3 were going around to who ever was having a turn at painting. On Emma's art smock under the picture it says "Allowed to get messy". I realised after the party was finished that I don't have any pictures where you could see that text, what a bummer.

We emptied Emma's room and made that into an art studio. There we had a painting stand, a spot to draw with chalks, playdough and a necklace spot where all the kids were able to make THESE necklaces. Also my amazing sister-in-law painted cute butterflies to all the little cheaks.

Of course we also had to have some funny frames to get funny pictures of our little people, and the big ones as well. All the frames were made of cardboard, so very good recycling and low cost way here.

As a party favor all the children got to take home a paint bucket. I spray painted old formula tins (milk powder tins) and my brother drilled some holes for the handles, great recycling again. Inside the paint tins was some stickers, cute colouring sheets from made by joel, a big chalk and tiny watercolours that I brought back from Finland. Cute ay?

Happy 3rd birthday my darling baby girl!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Dot painting and practicing staying inside the lines!

Her birthday is just around the corner and she's been talking about it every day for months. I planned a little activity for her to get her even more excited about her birthday, not sure if that was the right way to go, but it did help her to practice staying inside the lines and making dot painting. It was so much fun that I wanted to share this idea with you guys.

Grab yourself a piece of paper (we used a proper canvas paper, but I'm sure normal would work just fine as well), a black marker to draw your picture with, Q-tips and paint. First draw a very simple picture, make sure that there's enough pictures with spaces to fill with dots. I'm sure older kids can draw the picture themselves, but for little people this is the spot where you need to do the prep work for them.

Then choose your paint and put one Q-tip in each paint so that your child doesn't try to take different colours with the same Q-tip. After that it's just time to make some spots. We actually did this together a little bit so that she was able to watch me doing it and take example from it. Then just admire your work when you're finished!

As you see, you don't have to be a very good drawer... And I tried to keep it really simple. This activity was so much fun, and I was amazed how she got the idea of keeping inside the lines, she never stays inside the lines when colouring. Recommend trying this fun!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Thank you Finland

Thank you everyone who made our holiday back in Finland so great.
It was wonderful to visit family and friends and we wish we could have seen more of you.
Thank you Finland for showing us your best parts, giving us plenty of sunshine.
It was great to visit and can't wait to see you again.

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