Sunday, April 25, 2010

More crayon antics

I have been experimenting with crayons again. I wanted to try and make some in a more interesting shape and a first birthday present seemed like a good excuse. I had an ice cube mould that looked suitable, but I didn't know a) the melting temp of crayon b) the melting temp of ice cube tray and c) was the difference between a) and b) large enough to allow oven-based crayon meltage.

It turned out that the answer to c) was no and odd smells alerted me to immanent (no doubt) toxic breakdown of ice-cube tray.

So I built a kind of double boiler and tried same in the microwave.

This was loads more successful and produced some rather lovely star crayons that I was pretty proud of actually.

A couple of them exploded because I popped them into the freezer to cool down and they had accidentally got a drop or two of water in them during the process. But hey, what's a little collateral damage?


I have met several people in the past that love cupcakes and I have never really totally understood them. I mean the issue is that the actual cake is never that good. However Mum bought me some of those silicone cupcake cases so I thought Bean and I would have a go at baking some.

Now I may be addicted to the process. Firstly, they are super fast to make (I just used a standard Victoria sponge recipe, 4oz of everything makes 8 cakes). Secondly, icing them is so much fun! Bean has been running around saying "little cakies" for a couple of days now so she is as into it as I am.

I'm still not totally in to the sponge recipe. It does rise very nicely so gives you a great cake to get a peak of icing on, but it is a bit DULL. So watch this space while I try to find a nice cake recipe that gives more satisfaction.


At last the sun is here and we can get the kids in the garden! We've had a little trouble with gazebos in the past because we bought the cheaper ones with plastic frames. Our apple tree has been decapitated twice by high speed gazebo blowing across the garden when the corner pieces snapped in the wind. So last year we invested in a proper metal framed number. It is much stronger and as a bonus is super fast to erect. I've customised ours into a fully shaded play tent!

Check out this fantastic sheets that D's Nan gave us years ago. They were in their original 70s St Michael packaging, but although we have slept on them once, I thought they were just too good to be used in private. So this is the ideal use!

broken phone

OK so at some point Bug either dribbled into or dropped my lovely phone. Sadly this means that although the screen works when it is closed it doesn't when it is open. I can use it to make and receive calls, but texting is rather dependent on my blind skills. So for some reason I thought I might be able to fix it. I have no idea why I thought this, I no nothing of phones or electronics or anything like that.

Here it is disassembled:

I didn't manage to fix it.

I did manage to put it back together and it still worked in the same not working sort of a way. And that is surely an achievement.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eat this!

Check out this beautiful cake of goodness cooked by my mother-in-law.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010



I had a lovely Easter up with the Grogs but the weather was not that fantastic. Let's face it, it was freezing...and therefore we didn't want to spend too long outdoors. A bit of hurried crafting did cure the cabin fever for about 5 minutes though...and here we present the Brewer Easter Lamb.

OK it might not be that stylish, but it was a pretty good way to get rid of some of that present packing! We don't give out Easter gifts in case you are wondering, but my brother and I share a birthday and it usually seems to coincide with the Easter birthdays are lovely chocolate-filled events for me!

Sugarless cake

An unfortunate aversion to sugar in one member of our family has led to the necessary discovery of a sugarless birthday cake. So we decided a carrot cake would be a good thing to try and that Splenda would be the sugar substitute of choice. Have you ever seen this stuff, it is really strange! Tastes lovely and sweet (slight aftertaste noticed by me but not by D) but weighs next to nothing. It's bulked out by a filling agent to make it spoon for spoon as sweet as sugar, but in its raw form it is apparently 600 times sweeter (how do they measure that?).

Anyway the first attempt produced a slightly sticky cake that we polished off in a couple of days so can't have been that bad! It seemed to take a lot longer that a normal cake to cook...but maybe that was because I added milk to try and get the consistency right.

In any case the second attempt was a bit more like bread pudding in texture and tasted good enough to scoff too.

RIP beany chairs

I feel like the old blog has been a bit of a hurried hit and miss recently mainly due to birthdays and Easter etc. etc. but also the terrible death of the beany chair. After much research and deliberation I have decided that I will not be able to afford the capital outlay that is required to start up a furniture business. The fact is that the legislation for fire safety in furniture is very strict (rightly so, I mean who wants to set fire to a baby?) and requires too much for me to cope with as my business was on such a small scale.
But this will not be the end of BeanPi! I'm already trying to get the business up and running to sell my other stuff and hopefully that will be sorted too. So I spose I should say watch this space...but I won't as you might get very tired eyes before it all gets sorted. Got to wait for my contract with my old employer to expire before I can register as self employed in any case.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I 'm not usually a huge fan of daffodils in a vase, but these three really caught my eye. Lovely spring!

Fabulous birthday present

Just wanted to show my lovely new thread box from my sister!