Monday, 10 January 2011

winter woolies

Some gratuitous cuteness.. Oliver and Cyan modelling their stylish new hats and scarves knitted for them by my Mum..

We took some photos the same day of the kids with my sister, Auntie Arwen – Oliver wanted a photo of them to go in his picture frame which he made at school..

Saturday, 8 January 2011

gingerbread playdough

I made some gingerbread playdough for the kids, a little stocking filler for Christmas.. completely inspired by Christy’s gingerbread playdough over at from glitter to gumdrops..

When I came to make it (on Christmas Eve) I realised I had neglected to buy the cream of tarter necessary for Christy’s recipe.. a moment of panic, then google to the rescue! I figured there must be other recipes for playdough right? Yes indeed! There are many! I found this site with a multitude of recipes for playdough..

I decided to try the simplest sounding one – oatmeal playdough.. all you need is flour (1 cup), water (1 cup) and oats (2 cups)! I used porridge oats and ground them fine first in a food processor.. I added ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice for the gingerbread ‘flavour’. You simply stir together the dry ingredients and add water and food colouring (I used a little yellow and red colouring added to my cup of water) gradually until you have a dough, then knead it and add a little flour and/or water as necessary until you have the desired consistency! Easy as pie – or should I say gingerbread!

As an afterthought I decided to add some coppery glitter, it really did smell good enough to eat (it isn’t – I tried – before adding the glitter!), I thought the glitter would look pretty and put the kids off eating it!

I had bought some cookie cutters, cute gingerbread men and snowflake buttons, and mini cutter embellishments with this little project in mind.. I wrapped the gingerbread dough in cling film, one lump for each child (and some left over which I wrapped and put in the fridge for later), and placed in some empty body butter pots I have been saving..

Lastly I printed out some labels to stick on the lids..

What an easy gift, the kids loved it, and it was super quick and simple to make! Thanks Christy!

Friday, 7 January 2011

oliver’s school makings

Well, I have some serious catching up to do here in blog-land.. I’ll start off with a selection of some of Oliver’s school work and projects from last year 2010..

This was a project he worked on through the Autumn term, and he got to bring home the finished article just before Christmas.. it’s a picture frame which he designed, planned, fabricated from wood, painted, and decorated all by himself! He is very proud of it, rightly so!

This is a table centerpiece he made at school the week before Christmas, it came home with him to grace our Christmas dinner-table, it was lovely with the candle lit..

A beautiful still-life artwork, a pastel drawing he made at school of a vase of flowers and foliage.. this is going in a frame up on the wall..

This was a homework project from back in May, he had to produce an piece of artwork relating to The Wild Woods – a book by Simon James, a local author of children’s books; who incidentally my Dad used to teach to play the guitar many years ago, we have a copy of Simon’s first book The Day Jake Vacuumed in our family signed by Simon with a sketch of Jake playing the guitar!

Simon visited Oliver’s school shortly before this to give a talk and presentation to the kids on his work processes for writing and illustrating children’s story books, which I was also lucky enough to attend. Oliver found it very inspiring..

While I was in school Oliver showed me his monster puppet, a project he worked on last year, again designing and making it himself, stitching the felt shapes together and gluing on the features..

I love that there are so many opportunities at school for the kids to get crafty and creative, and I’m sure it helps that we do a lot of crafty stuff at home!
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