Absolute Perfection!

So that's where Marty went?

I just couldn’t help myself ūüôā

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Posted by on 01/12/2013 in Photography, Travel


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Advent Calendar ideas

Lately I’ve been gathering some amazing ideas for Christmas for my job with the Canvas Factory¬†and posting one idea every day on their Facebook page. I’ve come across some outstanding – and quite a few cheap – ideas for Advent calendars, and so thought I’d share a few ideas with you here ūüôā

1. Wrap 24 books & put them under the tree for the kids to choose one each night before Christmas. They don’t even ¬†need to be new books – they could be ones you already have in the cupboard but haven’t read yet, or even second hand books.

Wonderful Advent calendar idea - wrap 24 books & put them under the tree for the kids to choose one each night before #Christmas

2. I love this Christmas bucket Advent idea – you could have a different activity for each day and you wouldn’t necessarily need to number them either, so it’s a surprise for you too! Source

Christmas bucket Advent calendar idea - a different activity every day.

3. If you’re feeling crafty, here’s a beautiful scrapbooking Advent calendar using ‘library pockets’ or seed packets. Source

A lovely Advent calendar idea for #Christmas.

4. I absolutely adore this idea: giving experiences rather than things in an Advent calendar. For example ‘decorate cookies’, ‘drive around to see the lights’ and ‘write a letter to Santa’. Source

"Experiences" rather than "things" for the countdown to #Christmas.

5. Here’s an envelope Advent calendar and inside each day is¬†a story, an activity and a song. Fantastic idea to keep the kids busy! Source

Envelope #Christmas Advent calendar - each day has a story, activity and a song.

6. One of my amazing friends made this beautiful Advent Calendar for me – it’s a square canvas, painted, with envelopes for putting activities, songs, book names or whatever we want in there. I love it!

Advent Calendar ideas

Made by Just Because crafts


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To The Boy in Berlin – Fantastic resource for German students

Last week I travelled to Melbourne for a meeting of the Professional Development Facilitators for the Goethe-Institut and also to present at the Victorian German Teacher’s Conference. It was¬†fantastic! In fact, I would go so far as to say that I came away completely inspired and fired up, ready to boost my numbers back up in German.

One of the fabulous workshops that I attended was by Tina Wilkinson on using ‘To The Boy in Berlin’ as a text in a middle school German classroom. It’s written by Elizabeth Honey and Heike Brandt and is centred around two main characters; Henni and Leo.

The blurb on says:

To the Boy in Berlin

A funny, suspenseful novel, bursting with character and ideas: a quirky detective story about righting the wrongs of the past and fighting injustice in the present; a touching story of friendship, football and the power of the Internet.

Henni lives in Melbourne, Leo lives in Berlin.

Different countries, different lives, so far apart;

but sometimes the person furthest away is just the one you need

A postcard from Leo Schmidt? I can’t believe it. I’m trying to solve the mystery of a boy called Leopold Schmidt who migrated to Australia years ago. Leopold is long dead, but this new Leo is very much alive and kicking.

Emails fly as they explore the world according to Henni and Leo. It’s friendly and funny, but deadly serious, too. Without Leo, Henni would never unravel the dark secrets from the past. Without Henni, Leo would have to save his friend Felix single-handed.

Amazon suggests that this book is suitable for students from ages 9 and up, but as I want to incorporate German language and an investigation into internment camps during World War 1 in Australia, I am going to have a go at running it with my current Year 9 class, and possibly also my Year 8 class later next term.

You can buy an eBook copy of the book from here Рif you download their free Kindle for PC here, you can actually read it using a normal PC without the need for a Kindle device. The novel costs $9.99 and will be well worth the price in my opinion.

As I don’t have a class set of these books, it would be great if my students could buy the eBooks, so that they have their own copy of the book to refer back to.

Here’s a little teaser though that I downloaded from the Amazon site – they have it there as a free preview and is publicly accessible. NB – this is all copyrighted material.

To The Boy in Berlin teaser (Year 9 students, this is your homework: please read it and add any information you find out about either Henni or Leo to your brainstorms)


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Beautiful educational storybook about to be released

Where Has Polly Gone‘ is a story about Netta, a young ostrich who finds it very difficult to concentrate at school and who finds it very easy to get into trouble. Travelling the world in search of ‘Polly’ – the Summer homework her teacher has set her – Netta discovers that polygons are all around her.

Book CoverI am very fortunate to have gotten a sneak peak at this beautifully illustrated book before it’s released (later next month), as I’m the Marketing Assistant for author, Lisa Service.

This book accurately reflects the frustration that so many of my students who suffer from ADD/ADHD have felt in the classroom. Without attention and care to their learning needs, it is easy to understand how they might find themselves gazing off into the distance, taking their imaginations to more interesting places.

I love the fact that this book focuses on geography, especially the inclusion of different country flags and the shapes that have been used to symbolise their people. Considering that many Middle School students still can’t use maps effectively, this is fantastic!

The layering of shapes throughout this book is very well done – from the obvious to the subtle, it provides teachers and parents with the opportunity for explicit teaching, as well as student centered discovery.

The website includes a blog written by Lisa Service, as well as lesson plans linking directly to the book and Learning Outcomes from the US, with Australian Curriculum links to come. It will also include a platform from which to buy the book, as either an eBook or a hard cover book.

You can also find other great teaching resources shared on the Where Has Polly Gone? Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest page and Google+ page.


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Get a free canvas from the Canvas Factory

Get a free canvas from the Canvas Factory

If you’re anything like me, you have tons of photos on your computer, phone and tablet, just waiting to be printed out and displayed in your home. I have empty photo frames sitting on shelves, gathering dust; ¬†I forgot to take out the sample image in a couple of them and had visitors ask which members of my family they were. That would be embarrassing enough, except that it happened 2 years ago and they’re still there…

The images that you capture of your family and friends are priceless. With help from The Canvas Factory, you can turn them into amazing pieces of art on canvas, acrylic glass or metal for you to treasure for years to come.

About The Canvas Factory


The Canvas Factory is an Australian business that prides itself on offering superior quality and service, resulting in customer satisfaction every time. With a fan base all over the world, their convenient ordering service is easy to use, making it the ideal solution for sprucing up your home decor.

Uploading is easy; simply import your photos either from your computer or device, or you also upload them directly from Facebook or Instagram. This gives you complete flexibility over which images you choose to use for your artwork and means that you can easily print out those candid shots, taken whilst on the go.

Alternatively, you can select from over 20 million images from Fotolia in The Canvas Factory Art Gallery, which is ideal for businesses such as restaurants and hair dressers, or for anyone wanting a beautiful and artistic image that leaves a lasting impression.

Giveaway Offer

The Canvas Factory is offering its fans on Facebook¬†a¬†free 20 x 30cm Canvas, simply by liking their page! All you need to do is pay the $14.95 postage. Not only that, you’ll also get a massive¬†70% off any additional prints¬†within the same order. Spend over $100 and your postage is free!

22_1364x1012 - Copy

To claim this offer, like their page and then click on the tab that says ‘Like Us & Get a Free Canvas’. Enter your email address and you’ll be emailed the code back. Once you receive the code, follow the steps below, under the heading ‘How to use the Canvas Factory Website’.

Like us to get a free canvas

Want more free canvases?

There are many blogs and Facebook pages partnering with The Canvas Factory at the moment, each offering their own giveaway or prize of either a 20 x 30cm canvas or a 40 x 50cm canvas. Here are some of them:

  1. Like my Facebook page – click here to get the code or (if you’re on an iPhone) email me – ūüôā
  2. Head over to 2 Plus 1 for 3 chances to win!
  3. Perfect Party Pieces have a giveaway on Facebook.
  4. Mary is having a referral competition over at Being a Mom is a Job Рthe person with the most referrals, wins!
  5. The Simple Mummy is offering her readers a free 20 x 30cm canvas.
  6. If you like A Happy Teacher is the Best Teacher page and inbox Joe Ann, you’ll be sent a code to use at the checkout.
  7. Head to Organising the four of us for your free 20 x 30cm canvas.

How to use The Canvas Factory website

The Canvas Factory¬†ordering system is very easy to use. Follow these step by step instructions and you’ll be on your way to fabulous new artwork for your home.

Step One

Screen 1

Step Two – Choose whether you want to print on canvas, metal or glass

Step 1 Choose Style

Step Three – Choose how you want the sides of your canvas to look

Step 2 Choose Wrap

Step Four – Upload your photo/s

Step 3 Upload Photo

Step Five – Choose the canvas size you want and edit how your image will look on the canvas

Step 4 Customise Canvas

Step Six – Use the different backgrounds to visualise how your new artwork will look

Canvas Preview 1

Step Seven – Click on Add to Cart and follow the prompts to enter your address details


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Party Ideas for 11 Year Old Boys

I did a bit of research into parties for 11 year old boys and came across a lot of posts from people who said that their son didn’t want a traditional party; they wanted a stay at home party with video/computer games or an action packed outdoor adventure. So, I decided to categorise the ideas under 3 headings; Traditional Themes, Indoor Ideas and Outdoor Ideas.


Traditional Theme Ideas (by this I mean something you can create themed decorations for)

  1. Call of Duty, Black Ops Party –¬†
  2. Lego –¬†
  3. Duck Dynasty paintball (combines an outdoor activity with a theme you can create matching invites etc for) –¬†
  4. Big Bang Theory –¬†
  5. Minecraft –¬†
  6. Cowbow Western –¬†
  7. Army –¬†
  8. Baseball (or any other sport for that matter) –¬†

 Indoor Ideas

  1. Bowling
  2. Go to the movies
  3. Make a cinema in your own living room
  4. Trivia night, eg. using Buzz or Trivial Pursuit
  5. Console games / computer games night, eg. Wii and xBox

Outdoor Ideas

  1. Paintballing
  2. Capture the flag
  3. Treasure hunt
  4. Camping in the backyard
  5. Moonlight – also known as flashlight, played at night with one person holding the flashlight, trying to find others.
  6. Ghost stories and a trip to the local graveyard (yeah, I thought that one was creepy too)

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Feeling very blessed!

I am so incredibly lucky. I start each day not knowing exactly what will happen, what kind of work I’ll do or who I’ll be working for; that’s the beauty of freelancing.

As you know, I’ve been freelancing for a year now and I have been very fortunate to work with some amazing companies and people in that time. I have gone from purely undertaking administration roles, to voice overs, video tutorials, accounting and now social media marketing and PR.

I am currently actively promoting two books; one is a suspense thriller by Ken Boehs called The Tilted Truth and the other is a children’s book, details for which I’ll reveal soon. How exciting is that?!

I’m also working with some other fantastic companies:

  • The Canvas Factory¬†– who print photos directly from Facebook and Instagram onto canvas. Awesome!
  • Perfect Party Pieces¬†– a future party supplies company, although at the moment I’m providing fans with inspiration for cakes, decorations, party food and party games for different party themes.
  • Elance Australia¬†– I help others use Elance to find work or hire contractors.
  • Paint My Place App – A fantastic iPhone app that allows you to paint your home with virtual paint colours. I’m no longer working with them, but it’s a wonderful idea!

It’s so nice to be able to be able to clock on and off around Hannah’s needs, and fulfill my own at the same time.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss how Elance or freelancing works ūüôā


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