Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fantastic art site

I love this site by Kathy Barbro for art ideas. Great things to do for art classes, but I'm thinking of projects for when the girls are a bit older so I keep my I on it in Google Reader.

One thing I love that she does is produce murals that are made from many sheets that can be coloured in each sheet by one child. Those of you that were at our wedding will recognise this Keith Haring-esque one

But I also love this Kandinsky one:

I'm really looking forward to doing this sort of thing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Amazing Doll's House

Look at this amazing doll's house my Mum has made out of a cardboard box! We are going to all paint/wallpaper/carpet it in the proper Spring when we can do the activities outside!

The "IN' bookcase

Before we had kids we used to have a small pile of 5 to 10 books in our bedroom that was the "IN" pile of books we had yet to read. Since we have had kids, we have continued to acquire books at the same rate as before (charity shops, book sales, etc.) but unfortunately we haven't had much time to read them. So in approximately 2 years our "IN" pile has graduated from 5 or 10 books to needing a new bookcase, which Dan built rather amazingly from our old bed,

and now we need another one as exemplified by this ridiculous stack of books on top of a chest of drawers!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hair is gone!

Look at all this hair:

from this tangley, horrid, multi-length, multi-coloured mess:

to this sleek and short one-length effort.

Not sure if I like it yet....kind of wanted it much shorter at the back but this length at the front. The hairdresser got scared!

Ellie's New Chair

Just finished the latest bean bag chair. This one is for my very good friend Tessa's daughter Ellie and will match her curtains! I've done another of the primavera ones as I have been fiddling around with the pattern trying to perfect it.

You can see from all the examples below that each is a little bit different, but I've finalised it now and Ellie's will be the gold standard.

So the deal is if you are interested, I'm selling them for 30 quid. I need about 2 weeks notice if you want to give them as presents etc. so bear that in mind if you want to make an order. At the moment I can't get hold of the blue monkey material from my supplier, but as well as the others shown above, the links below show some examples of what else you could have. Or if you want to supply your own material the cost is 25 quid.


cheeky monkey - spicecheeky monkey - primary
down on the farm - bluebellbutterfly - bluebellx
blue discsfloral 2
roar - redfish - red
piccadilly - cobaltjigsaw - lime
spot on - raspberryspot on - chambray
tiddler - ocean
oasis - greenprimavera - petrol

oh no oh no oh no

Mark Thompson

BBC director general Mark Thompson. Photograph: Richard Saker

The BBC plans to axe two radio ­stations – 6 Music and Asian Network – cut spending on imported shows and halve the size of its website, it is claimed today. The Times says the measures are part of the BBC's strategic review to be unveiled next month. Under the plan, the BBC intends to shrink overall services and focus more on quality over quantity. There have already been reports suggesting that the BBC will axe the digital radio stations 6 Music and Asian Network.


CLOSE RADIO 1 INSTEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Machine

Just bought myself one of these....
very very excited!

Does anyone need a sewing machine? I'm looking for a good home for my old one...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Experiments in recrystallisation

I've been working for some time trying to get the perfect recipe and method for butter tablet. I'm getting pretty close now, I think I have the right recipe, it is just the method that is trouble. Specifically I think the issue is the crystallisation of the sugar. I'm working on the theory that too little beating once the mixture is cooked will result in an amorphous toffee, and two much will result in crystals so small what you really have is a fudge. Although I clearly had good crystallisation visible this time, and the tablet had the required 'shatter' when I tried to cut it, the texture is slightly gritty.

So did I beat it too long or too little? I think it was probably too long, but does anyone have any ideas?

Either way I think this is one of the greatest things that you could encounter in a cake tin!

Soft toy storage

I've been working on a soft toy storage system for the Bean for a last it is finished!

I had some old wooden door knobs hanging around and some tester pots of Wilko's emulsion paint (I use this paint for a lot of is fantastic actually and costs very little).

Using one of those things you stick candles into cakes with I painted all the knobs with a sponge and let them dry.

After sticking them too her bedroom door with Araldite (loving epoxy glue!) and holding them there with selotape for an hour or so, I left them for 24 hours and strung some nice blue elastic between them and there you have it!

It's Spring

I declare it to be Spring. Two sunny days this week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jam Tart Day

Pancake day turned into jam tart day in our house. Despite loving them last year, Anneli totally refused to eat them this year. Oh well, all the more for me and D. Bug had a good go, but I think a lack of teeth made things difficult. Still jam tart making was a huge success, and I love the fact that from the photos you can clearly see that Bean has been eating flour when I wasn't looking.

They taste a lot better than they look!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Brilliant Rug

Just wanted to sing the praises of this fantastic rug we bought from IKEA. We've had it a couple of years now as we bought it for Anneli, and it has been well abused, weed on, calpolled, etc. etc. and yet look how marvellous it still is! The beauty of it is you can stick it in the washing machine and it dries quickly too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have been trying to get the garden in order. Last year I was so pregnant and also dealing with a one year old I just didn't get any weeding done, and we decided to concentrate on veg rather than flowers, so the garden looked a bit crap. This year we will be just doing flowers and fruit. We have an apple tree and a plum tree and we just planted another apple. We have loads of raspberries and strawberries and also blackcurrents and red currents. Probably we won't be able to resist a few veg, and tomatoes practically grow themselves...I usually get a bit carried away so no doubt we'll end up growing loads. BUT this year I can't stand looking out at a big patch of weeds so I have been sorting things out in the dark after the girls are asleep! D's let me do some on the weekend too 8)

But of course it is Valentine's day and I didn't want the old card to be as freaky as last year's. So I did a lovely monster bookmark for D this year (he has been using one of the celebrity top trump cards I made for him many years ago. It is the Barry Bethel one and since he is *allegedly* a child abuser and wife beater I thought he needed a change)

Of course when Anneli saw it she wanted some monsters too so I had to quickly make a family.

Happy Valentine's everyone.