Nine things Whipup sampler

Can you believe it – Whipup is NINE years old! Hiphiphooraybirthday!!

So for the month of February 2015, if you pop into the shop here at or at Action-Pack you can get 25% off on Action Pack purchases by entering the coupon code:


I had a little stroll down memory lane this morning, visiting the first posts back in 2006 – Wednesday 1 February 2006. There were twelve posts on that date and a community of contributing Whipsters. Why don’t you settle down with a cuppa and some cake if you have some handy and pop back in time for a lovely crafty reunion.

I got a bit wistful and teary, but also inspired to go and make something straight away – well, almost straight away. I decided we needed to bake a birthday cake first.

Now, I’m not a baker – I’m not handy in the kitchen at all really. But I do love to decorate cakes. Last year, (or possibly the year before…) I went through a (very short) phase of making fondant icing and sculpting little critters to put on top of cakes. I had bowls full of rainbow coloured sugar in the fridge for ages. OK, maybe a week. It was FUN.

I had a lot of help from the intertubes in particular from Ann Reardon’s How to Cook That on YouTube.  I decided to watch Ann’s tutorials because I live in Australia and since she does too I could be pretty confident that I’d be able to source all the ingredients she used. There’s nothing so frustrating as following a recipe and then finding you have no idea if cornstarch is the same as cornflour or if the recipe means flour made from wheat or flour made from corn… or something. You think you speak English and then you find you actually speak Australian – or Canadian, or American, or South African, or Northern Irish or… English? Yikes.

So anyway, (back to that birthday cake) I went off to look at what Ann Reardon had in the birthday cake line, and then checked to see what the Domestic Goddess and others in my husband’s cookbook collection had to say (he is the cook in our family – and thank the Domestic Gods for that…). And then it was all too much for me because I read too many yummy recipes and was frustrated that not one of them was possible without a trip to the supermarket.

I ate a biscuit and had a cup of tea to revive.

Then I created a Happy Ninth Birthday Discount coupon for purchases of Action Pack instead of baking a cake.

Happy Whipping Up everyone!

Nine Grannies







I am very happy to be participating in the Imagine Childhood blog tour. For my stop on the tour I asked Sarah a few questions about her philosophy and the book:

Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World through Nature, Imagination, and Play – 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure by Sarah Olmsted. Roost Books; (October 16, 2012).

1. You discuss in your book the magic of childhood — Can you explain a little about how you ‘build’ your world of wonder? How you create that magical world for children and how the children you know respond to that world?

I don’t think it is so much about “building” a world of wonder as it is about opening yourself up to the one that we are already living in. Experiencing magic can be as simple as a subtle shift in your perspective or actions. Taking the time to notice the birds in your neighborhood, the intricate patterns of a spider web, the clouds in the sky, can instantly create a sense of wonder wherever you are. The same principles are true in regards to creating a magical world for children. The space that children naturally inhabit is an enchanted one. Every object or interaction has as much potential to be magical as mundane. All that is needed to put the focus on the fantastic is a willingness to jump into that world with them, to chase fairies through the park, to look for magic stones at the beach… to see the world through a child’s eyes and join them on their journey.

Perhaps one of the most heartening aspects of writing this book was seeing just how close children (and adults for that matter) keep the world of magic and how quickly and wholeheartedly they will engage with it. I have worked with, or designed for, children for the better part of my life, but still, the power of a few sticks, some string, and a healthy dose of imagination never ceases to amaze me. When given the space to explore the universe of their imagination, children engage the world with openness and see it for all of its limitless potential.

2. The projects in your book are built upon layers of experimentation and innovation, each project is a guide with lots of tangents of possibility, can you tell us about this trial and error approach to your projects for children?

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn”
~ Benjamin Franklin

The trial and error framework for many of the projects in this book is based on a sentiment very similar to the quote above.  That in order to really learn something,  you have to engage with it, and nothing is more engaging than experimentation. The fluid structure of experimentation allows children to experience moments of discovery in whatever they happen to be working with and it encourages them to follow those discoveries wherever they may lead. This sort of open ended approach can be fun because it allows children to come back to projects or activities again and again without ever repeating the same experience. Since the focus is on the process rather than the end result, innovations and tangential explorations can be just as important and fruitful as the original activity.

3. You use a lot of natural materials in your projects — and if you are not directly using them then you are inspired by them. Can you tell us how this connection with nature is important for your inspiration and for children’s play?

When you really look into it, most of the materials that we use on a daily basis have a root in the natural world. Whether it is a pigment made from plants or minerals, or a steel cable inspired by the strength found in spider silk, the origin of nearly everything we touch can be connected with nature in some way. I think I am attracted to natural materials for exactly this reason. They are the building blocks of the world we live in, from mountains to skyscrapers, color wheels to computers.

My emphasis on using simple natural materials with children follows a similar logic. That by starting out with the fundamentals children can learn how to build the world of their dreams, one stick raft, one tree fort at a time. Also, procuring natural material means engaging with nature, which is never a bad thing in my opinion.

Thank you Kathreen for sharing your wonderful space with me today!

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

  1. Making this gnome bowling set from recycled soda bottles looks like a fun thing for the grownups and kids to make and play with together.
  2. Make this boats from corks – great all day activity for all ages (via).
  3. Weave a mat using t-shirts also (via) great project for school age kids and I am thinking grownups too will dig this.
  4. Braided headbands using fabric scraps – perfect for all ages.
  5. Printed wall hanging – using cereal boxes and found materials


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Come join the fun at the whipup flickr pool

1. Jazzberry Jam Totoro, 2. lavender strawberries | bees & yellow gingham, 3. leafy pouch, 4. Θαυμάζοντας το υφαντό τους…. Admiring their weaving, 5. soft serve ice cream, 6. Springtime Wreath, 7. Little birdy brooches, 8. YIP 365.236 :: Mock patchwork skirt , 9. Microbes coin purse, 10. Watercolors 3, 11. tova’s swing swing smock 2, 12. Round Cushion, 13. ~ a rainbow ~, 14. Duct tape flip flops, 15. flying doggies :), 16. backpack-front, 17. La habitación de Pablo, 18. Rainbow notecard, 19. bread/stash/fabric baskets, 20. Bird pincushion (osnaburg), 21. picnic presentation, 22. for my daughter because she looks fab in red, 23. seeing red quilt folded, 24. ruffle quilt


DIY Chandelier

by kath_red on 26/05/2010

in Home+Decor

cute and easy diy chandelier tutorial