11 December 2011

A long catch up ...

This blog post has been a long time coming BUT all I would have to blog about lately is school runs and illness.
Firstly poor Alfie had a virus about a month ago and since then he has struggled to pick up and get himself better, even Charlie had time off school:
(the little tuft of hair peeping by the feet is actually a toddlers head!)

We have had a new addition to the family:
**Joey Timothy**
My toddler is no longer the baby cousin...

We also celebrated the eldest childs 12th birthday.
Time has gone soooo fast...too fast really, but he's growing into a young man whom we are very proud of.
This was celebrated in style.
First event - birthday tea at Nans house.
Second event - Cinema with friends to see (a brilliant, and highly recommended film)
Arthur Christmas
followed by Pizza Hut tea...
Third, and final event - games night and pizza at Uncle Jacc and Craigs house
(Uncle Jacc does get competitive hehe)

Charllie performed in the town centre lights switch on with Starlight.
(My lad is the tall one at the back)
He has also got the job of school librarian, following an application form and interview.
Very impressed with how he is doing at senior school, even moved up a Maths group which is a major accomplishment.
Alfie has been picked to be a star in his playschool nativity next week so fingers crossed he is well.

14 August 2011

More storage

I have a friend called Jayne and she is a car boot queen, she finds the coolest stuff and makes it look great.
I saw the bottom drawers at her house and wanted them:
 Guess what?? bet you can't guess??
That's right I have them!! Both of them.

The top set now look like this :
Everything used was found in my craft area.
Gave it a bottom coat of white watered down acrylic.
Top coat is acrylic paint (mixed colours til got right shade or orange).
Front of drawers covered with scrapbook papers, edges sealed with pva glue.
When dry the edges and corners were rubbed with sandpaper.
Strip of paper on bottom drawer is decorated with cute cartoon like wildlife animals.
Top drawer holds all my 3D collage bits and bobs ...
... bottom drawer holds all paper collage pieces ...
They are a solid set of drawers.
As these photos show...
...every time I went to take the photo he wasn't there and as soon as flash went off he would appear!!
Took a few attempts not to get him in the photo.
But as he's cute thought would share the "outtakes" with you.

11 August 2011

new alphabet storage

The sun has cooled (thankfully) which means my very fair headed toddler can play in the garden. He loves to dig with his little construction trucks but has to be watched intently as he tries to pick up anything that wiggles or moves (a bee didn't like this and told him so) and anything bright coloured gets put in his mouth (big relief that the ladybird he swallowed was already dead).
So today while he was playing I decided to change the way my die-cut alphabets are stored.

I looked around at what I already have ... alot of small used jiffy bags and an old storage box  ... an idea was formed .....
To start with I ordered extra jiffy bags, 4 just wasn't going to do the job.
Problem occured: Storage box too small by time jiffy bags filled with letters.
Took an envelope out with me and found a great basket in the sale at TKMaxx.


Labels were made using more found pieces.
Box of large paper clips.
Box of large brads.
Sheet of letter stickers.
Back view shows how they're made:
some letters used the same envelopes
In the words of my hubby:
 "That's organized, scarily organized"
and all made while sitting in the garden.

7 August 2011

create your own treasure map.

Are the children bored??  Too hot to be outside??  Looking for some fun??  Want to do something that's cheap??  Here's the perfect activity....
a totally awesome
*an old map ... this can be a page taken from a street map, a car map, even an atlas, part of an ordance suvey map even a hand drawn one ... doesn't matter what condition it's in the tattier the better.
*large bowl with cooled tea in.
*cooled used tea bag but still wet.
*brown/black ink pads. 
*the letter X ... this can be drawn, a letter sticker, cut out of fabric or scrap paper ... so long as it's an X.

Make sure before you begin your clothes and work area are protected. In fact if the weather is nice take it outside to do.

The great thing about this activity is that it's adaptable for younger and older children.
To start with take the map and lay out flat. Rip the edges so it has an old aged look about it.
Now for the fun messy part ... you can either
A: rub the tea bag all over the map, keep dipping tea bag in the water and keep rubbing until you are happy with the coverage. If the tea bag splits doesn't matter it all adds to the appeal.
B: screw up the map and keep dipping in the bowl of tea. Carefully unscrew the map, it may rip or tear slightly, this all adds to the aging effect.
(Second method is better with older children as it can rip easily.)
Now for the boring part : Leave the map to dry
OR you can cheat and use a heat gun or hairdryer to dry it out quicker.
Whilst map is drying it's time to create the "X marks the spot"
Now there are many ways of doing this:
A. Get the child to cut out a circle and draw an X in it, screw it up tight, unfold, ink all over.
B. die cut an X.
C. Use a letter sticker.
D. Cut an X from a newspaper/magazine title...
it goes on and on.
You can age the X by rubbing the edges with an emery board.

When the map is dry rub an ink pad around the edges.
If you want to age it further gently rub a pale brown ink pad over the map and it will define any creases made

Look at your map and check out the place names.
Choose where you think your treasure would be buried ...
 ... mark it with your X.
(Ours is Bottom Lodge Farm)

Now you have a map why not dress up as a pirate and stop those baddies from finding it??
Do you have a sand pit why not bury the map and let a sibling find it??
Why not use a map that leads to a relatives house or friends??

Don't forget let me know if you make one and how it goes, leave a link in the comments.

Before I go ... Charlie is 11, he loves making maps and it's his hands which are in all the photos ... this is the finished map.

5 August 2011

(primary) school days...

Well that's it! Charlie will officially be a senior in September.
He is coping better than me about the whole thing, he's looking forward to moving on.
On the last day he took his camera and created lots of memories, here are a few of them...

This will be hardest part for him leaving his "gang".
He started school not knowing anyone, he had a visiting day with 4 other children and the girl closest to him was in his group. They formed a bond and became best friends all through primary. The other girl started later in the school but quickly came part of the group.
Saddly they are both going to be at different senior school to Charlie :o(

We picked up his blazer and tie today and he looked so grown up when trying them on.
A new chapter begins..
...hope he enjoys it.