Saturday, 21 August 2010

plymouth lido

This is Tinside Lido – an Art Deco outdoor, sea water swimming pool – one of my favourite things about living in Plymouth. It is situated right on the seafront, near the Plymouth Hoe. The venue for our wedding reception next year is just around the bay to the left of these photos.

The Lido was closed for years, but was fully refurbished and reopened in 2005. It has lots of cool Art Deco features.. I love this ceramic tiling in the interior, and the sign here which reads ‘To the sunbathing terraces’..

The pool water is filtered salt water taken from the sea.. it is not heated so seems quite cold at first, but once you get used to it it is quite pleasant on a hot summer’s day..

I regret to say that this gorgeous sunny day back in June is the only day we have managed to get down there this year.. I just found out that you can buy a yearly season ticket though, so I mean to take advantage of that next year, and get out for a swim at least once a week in my lunch break.. I work about 10 minutes walk away..

I never in a million years thought I would be posting a picture of me in my bikini here.. but my mum snapped this photo of me with the kids!

I really hope we get a few more sunny days before the end of the summer so we can get down there again this year.. August has brought rain, rain, and more rain..


Friday, 20 August 2010

the dalek pirate party

To round up my posts on the dalek pirate party we held for my son Oliver’s 7th birthday..
Party favours
Décor, flags and stencils
Pirate party games

I had this idea to make all the food
on sticks, so we had:

Fruit & marshmallow kabobs, cheese & pineapple on sticks, grapes & mini-marshmallows on sticks, breadsticks, sandwich bites on cocktail sword picks, pepperamis on cocktail swords, chocolate dipped orio pops.

We also made cupcakes with dalek pirate flag toppers, and chocolate dipped pretzels which were yummy (salt and chocolate is my new favourite taste combo!) and they went down really well with the kids too!

Party masks
For our first activity the kids (and my two attending sisters!) made pirate dalek masks. I bought the dalek party masks, and the kids sat down and customised their dalek masks with pirate foam stickers, gem stickers, feathers, and brass curtain rings for earrings!

This was a lot of fun and we certainly had a colourful and interesting collection of masks! I never knew boys (other than Oliver – he’s a magpie like me!) loved bling so much! The boys asked if it could be a competition – they are so competitive!

Karl (Daddy) picked the best mask and the winner chose a prize from the Treasure chest lucky dip.. We played lots of fun pirate party games..

Oliver’s mask completed his look with the T-shirt I stencilled for him..

Cyan dressed up as a pirate princess!

Tucking into the feast..

The birthday cake

I have seen a lot of cakes around the blogosphere made up of cupcakes.. which led to the idea for Oliver’s cake this year..

Karl baked and iced the cakes, which were made from three sizes of cupcakes stacked up to make an army of individual daleks! With chocolate buttons and mint matchmaker sticks for the appendages..

Each guest took a dalek cake home at the end of the party.. they went down a storm!

The party bags with custom made favours..

Cyan took this photo of Karl, Oliver and I at the end of the day..

The whole day was a lot of fun, with just a few little stresses (mostly down to the bad weather necessitating last minute improvisations), all the kids had a blast, and Oliver had a really special day to remember.. Yes – all the hard work and planning is worth it!

A big thank you to Karl, my mum and sisters; without their help these parties would not happen!


pirate party games

The theme for my son Oliver’s 7th birthday party was dalek pirates. I selected and adapted some fun party games on a pirate theme. I ran all the game ideas past Oliver before the party and he was really excited about playing all of them!

These are the games we played..

To play this game you need a large room or outdoor area with different items of furniture etc. which the kids can climb on. One person acts as Captain, then all the kids run around until the Captain shouts “Shipwreck” and calls out an item which the kids must run to and climb on it. The last one to reach it has sunk in the sea and is then out. As there are less and less players left in the game, the Captain calls smaller and smaller items to climb on.

It was raining so we played it in our dining room; we used a wooden pallet (we were going to use these to make a deck in the backyard had the weather been fine) which was ‘the deck’, a plank of wood ‘the plank’, a long floor cushion ‘the bridge’, a square floor cushion ‘the Captain’s chair’ and a large round wooden chopping board ‘the crow’s nest’. We played it so as each player got out they acted as Captain and called the next “Shipwreck”. I didn’t get photos of this game being played.

X marks the spot
This game is basically musical chairs, but we used Xs made from strips of black card instead of chairs. So all the kids run and dance about until the music stops then try and get to an X until there’s only one player left.. you all know how this one works!

Port and Starboard
There is a list of commands with actions, when each command is called the kids have to do the appropriate action, once they get used to all the actions the last player to comply with each action is out. I adapted the commands and actions to make it a bit more piratey..

• Port : all run to the left
• Starboard : all run to the right
• Captain’s aboard : raise fist and shout “Aaargh!”
• Hoist the mainsail : run on the spot like climbing the rigging
• Mess deck : sit cross legged on the floor ready for lunch
• Davey Jones : climb on anything so you are not on the floor
• Land ahoy : hold hands to eye as if looking through telescope

This was really fun – and I got Captain Jinni (my youngest sister) to call the commands so I did manage to get a few pictures (not great, but you get the idea)

Treasure dig
We planned to do this in the sandpit in our backyard but due to the weather had to improvise on the day by using a large shallow plastic box indoors with play sand. We buried a load of booty in the sand and the kids had a blast digging it all out.

They loved this activity so much in fact that a few (Oliver included) were begging me to let them re-bury all their treasures so they could dig them out again! If we had been outside I probably would have let them, but by this time we had sand pretty much all over our dining room floor! The booty included marbles, gold and silver plastic pirate coins and these cute little charms – anchors, coins and keys.

Sleeping Pirate
For this game you need a blindfold and a big bunch of keys. All the kids sit in a circle, one child is selected to be the pirate, they sit blindfolded in the middle with the bunch of keys in front of them. One of the other kids is nominated to try and swipe the keys and return to their place without the pirate hearing them. The pirate then has to guess or point to who has the keys, they then take the place of the pirate in the middle.

This was the last game we played, and the boys took some rounding up at this point, they all wanted to just run around and play, so we nearly didn’t play it – but Oliver insisted and rounded a few friends up.. they loved this game best of all I think, as they were playing the others gradually came and joined the circle, I think we had all but one guest in the game by the end. They wanted to keep on playing and playing, they all kept getting the giggles when someone was trying to quietly sneak the keys and then there would be a little jangle of keys and the pirate would know who was the culprit!

Treasure chest lucky dip
I found this really cool pair of treasure chests on ebay (I think they are supposed to be for wine bottles or something?!), the large one was just perfect for the treasure chest lucky dip I was planning for prizes.

We made lots of shrinky plastic pirate daleks in different colours, I bought brass keyring parts on ebay and we made them up into key fobs, each one was placed in a little paper bag and the winner of each game picked one out from the lucky dip.

At the end of the party anyone who hadn’t won a prize yet picked a keyring from the lucky dip, and then we all sat round and they had the option of attaching their little charms from the Treasure dig to their keyrings if they wanted (some did – some didn’t). This was a nice way of calming down at the end before everyone went home.

Many of these games were from (or adapted from) this site:
Little Cherry eco-friendly party supplies.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

dalek pirate party stencil décor

dalek pirate party flag

For my son Oliver’s 7th birthday party on a dalek pirate theme I enlarged
the stencil designs I created for the invitations and used them to make flags
and other items for the party..

dalek pirate party flags

I made one large and three small flags with our dalek jolly roger design..

dalek pirate party flags

The large flag and two small flags were put up in our back yard,
and one small flag we put up at our front gate.

dalek pirate party flags

I used lightweight black poly-cotton for the flags, and gold spray paint
for the stencil designs.

dalek pirate party flags

dalek pirate party flags

dalek pirate party flags

dalek pirate party flags

dalek pirate party flags

I made a backdrop to hang up with a (almost) life-size dalek stencil..

dalek pirate party backdrop

It rained on the day of the party, so we hung the dalek backdrop indoors
in our dining room..

dalek pirate party backdrop

I stencilled a T-shirt for Oliver to wear – he wanted to ‘be’ a dalek!
I used special T-shirt spray paint for this, which is machine washable and everything..

dalek pirate T-shirt stencil

I also re-used the stencil from the invitations for the party favour bags
which the kids took their booty home in..

dalek pirate party booty bags

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