Join us on our Journey Down Under!

We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party

Blank Canvas Gifts, A Perth Mum's Idea, Unleashes Kids' Creativity!

Blank Canvas Gifts is the "brainchild" of a Perth mum. Budding artists from age three can create their very own personalized works of art on projects like t-shirts, library bags, sunhats, pencil cases, and even dresses.

What a surprise yesterday to come home to three gift bags from Blank Canvas Gifts on our doorstep. It was like an early Christmas for my kids as they hurriedly opened the canvas bags to see what was inside.

I loved the way the gifts were packaged in a reusable drawstring bag.  There was a gift tag on each featuring a cute Blank Canvas Gift character.


Inside the bags the kids found a blank canvas, or project, suited for them to complete with all the tools necessary for them to unleash their creativity.

My 13 year old daughter received a cushion, my 11 year old son a T-shirt, and my 4 year old son a Santa Sack.  It was so much fun watching them open the bags. They squealed with delight when they pulled out the paints, brushes, glitter and gems from their bags.


My daughter's Blank Canvas was a cushion with a removable cover for her decorate.  Her gift bag contained paints, a little palate, paintbrushes, gems and glue.

My eldest son's T-shirt project came with 3D paints, brushes, and some very special glow in the dark paint.  He was pretty excited about that!

My younger son's project was a "Santa Sack" complete with a blank letter and envelope to mail to Santa himself.  I love this idea for Christmas gifts this year!  His Santa Sack came with paint, brushes, and a "finishing touch" of red glitter.  

I loved these brushes for my youngest.  They were perfect for his little hands to grasp onto!
Letter to Santa


It was a beautiful day outside, so I set up a crafting table on the patio, and the kids eagerly got to work!

Each project came with a blank piece of card for the kids to plan and practice drawing out their masterpieces before putting it on the actual canvas.  It gave me such joy to see them concentrating so hard, and putting so much effort into their projects.


This handy little pamphlet was full of tips and descriptions of all the different projects and supplies.

It wasn't long before the Blank Canvas projects started looking like amazing, personalized works of art!  I loved how each project was so completely different from the other, just like each one of my kids!

My 11 year old son took the longest with his project.  I found him mixing his primary colors to create new paint colors when he needed them.  

The paints and supplies provided in the kits were top quality!  The projects themselves were high quality 100% cotton.  The paints, brushes, glues, and embellishments were all renowned brands I had heard of and used before such as Scribbles, Tulip and Aleene's.


I was very impressed with the quality of all the paints and supplies, and we had plenty left over for future projects.  In fact, my teenage daughter has already used the paints on a while pair of canvas shoes she had that needed some personalization!

Blank Canvas Gifts were a huge hit with all of my children.  It appealed to my 4 year old, on up to the teenager.  I plan to buy some projects for Christmas gifts this year, and it will be my new go to gift for birthday parties!

Here are my kids showing off their works of art:

This Santa Sack will sit under our tree waiting to be filled for years to come!

My kids were all so proud of their work, and were thrilled with themselves... a definite self esteem booster!  I know we will cherish these projects for years to come!

Gift packages range from $30-$45 and include everything needed to create a self inspired work of art. Each pack comes with fabric paints and brushes or markers to complete the project.  There are also a variety of "finishing touches" which you can add to your gift pack, such as the gems, glitter and glow in the dark paint. 

To see all the Blank Canvas Gifts has to offer, check out their website, or find them on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Roll n' Dice Barbershop, Canning Vale, Perth

My little man has a Big Birthday coming up next week!  He's turning 5 and having a party with all his friends, so putting off getting his haircut any longer was unavoidable.  

For some reason, the boy hates to get his haircut.  He usually sits on the chair kicking a screaming and refuses to wear the cape.  I end up with him on my lap while the hairdresser quickly trims up the mullet and side burns the best she can.  

But today, we were going to try something different.  We traveled to Canning Vale to Roll N Dice for not only a haircut, but an experience.  It's a traditional barbershop with a retro look, catering to all ages.  All kids are offered a milkshake, some popcorn, a lucky dip bag, and a pleasant experience.

Roll N Dice Barbershop is located inside Livingston Marketplace Centre in Canning Vale.

Before haircut
We entered the shop, and Hagen was cautiously looking around.  He seemed relieved to see that the customer before him survived his time in the chair.

There were no appointments, just "Walk Ins", at Roll N Dice, which worked really well for our unpredictable schedule.  We only had to wait a few minutes for our turn, and Hagen had fun playing with the toys in the waiting area.

Hagen happily playing with toys while we waited!
When it was Hagen's turn, he had a big decision to make!  Would he get his haircut in the Army Jeep, the Police Car, or The Red Airplane?

He was still a bit apprehensive, but he had his eyes on the lollies he was sure to be awarded if he sat still for his haircut.

Before hopping into his vehicle of choice, he was offered a milk shake.  Would it be banana, strawberry, or chocolate?  So many choices to distract him... It was magic!

He chose strawberry, and was soon sipping away while seated on the red airplane, cape and all!  He even had a glimpse of a smile on his face.  His hairdresser was super fast, and did a terrific job encouraging him to sit still. I'm sure she has seen his kind plenty times before!

Hagen sat still through to the very end of the haircut!

Here's the dapper young man admiring his new look in the mirror. He's all set to celebrate his 5th Birthday!

Hagen left the shop happy with hands full of rewards.  A goodie bag, popcorn and a box of lollies.  

I know we will definitely be back for another haircut at Roll N Dice.  I'm not sure how much longer Hagen will fit into the little vehicles though! Perhaps next time he'll graduate to the regular chairs. They still look pretty fun!

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday: 9:00am to 7:30pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am to 7:30pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am to 8:30pm
  • Friday: 9:00am to 5:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • closed Sunday