Autumnal lanterns

7 Nov

Now that the clocks have changed we always have our tea after the sun has set. I find this time of year a little miserable, its the thought of the cold, dark winter ahead of us. So I decided we needed a bit more light in our lives.

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We created these lanterns with some balloons, PVA glue, tissue paper and wool.

I’ve seen a few similar things on pinterest and thought they look very pretty.

I blew up three balloons so they each had a small amount of air in them. We spread some Vaseline over the balloon first as I wasn’t sure how well the lantern would separate from the balloon at the end. We then covered the balloons in a watered down PVA glue mixture and covered with small squares of tissue paper. I deliberately picked autumnal colours. We kept adding more glue and more tissue paper and then decided to add some wool which we covered with a final layer of tissue paper then hung up to dry.

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Both children got involved in this activity although I did have to finish the lanterns off when they got bored.

When dry, I cut the top off the balloon and cut a neat circle around the top. The deflated balloon then pulled away easily from the lantern. The lanterns did initially scrunch up a bit as the balloon shriveled but I gently pushed them back into shape.

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I put a battery operated tea light in each one as I felt it was safer then a naked flame. They made a great table decoration at our firework party and we now frequently have our tea with the lights off and lanterns lit.

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Firework rocket garland

2 Nov

Bonfire night is just a few days away and this year we’ve decided to hold our own firework party. Hopefully the kids won’t be too scared by all the noise!

I decided our house needed a little decorating for the party and rockets seemed to be the most obvious thing.

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These started life as a humble toilet roll. I wrapped them in coloured paper and made little paper cones for the top of each one. Then The Limpet got to work on the decoration. It involved A LOT of glue so I was a bit too sticky to use the camera to take photos of their creation.

When they were dry I attached some ‘flames’ to the bottom and strung them up with invisible thread.

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Rainbow sunshine toddler craft

29 Oct

My regular readers may have noticed my recent absence. Well, I haven’t actually been anywhere, I’ve just been busy with other things. One of the things that has been keeping me busy is my new role in charge of creative activities at our church toddler group.

I’m really enjoying the responsibility but organising activities for children aged between 0 and 4 is quite a challenge.

One of the first topics we did was the story of Noah’s Ark. For this activity we did a sunshine and rainbow. I tried it out initially with my own 1 and 3 year old and it went quite well although I had to help the 1 year old quite a lot.

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The idea came from this post which I found via pinterest.

Here are a few of the ones made at toddlers.

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Scarecrow festival

4 Oct

I’ve not been blogging much later due to a number of things. Firstly we went away for a week and since returning I’ve had a lot of other projects on the go (I’ll go into more details about this soon…)

But I’ve still been busy trying to keep my little monsters entertained. Last weekend we all visited a local scarecrow festival. It is an annual event and this years theme was heroes and villains.

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Some people had gone to great lengths with their scarecrows and props. It’s apparently all just for fun and isn’t judged but I think the whole village is pretty competitive about it.

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There were a number of Olympic themed heroes.

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This garden was getting the biggest crowd for obvious reasons.

Another of my favourite ones was the child catcher complete with working cage – unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that one.

When we returned I thought it would be good to make a scarecrow picture with The Limpet. I decided to cut up different shapes for her to build her own scarecrow.

I didn’t want to tell her how to create it, however, I did think that the large pink circle I had cut out was a very obvious face. My independent daughter had her own ideas though and this was her finished creation.

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Eye spy matching bottle

16 Sep

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I had never heard of an eye spy bottle before seeing them on pinterest. At first I wasn’t too sure about how well they would work, the majority seemed to come with a list of items that needed to be found. This obviously wouldn’t work with pre-readers.

Then I discovered this brilliant rainbow eye spy bottle on Pink and Green Mamas site. It looked so pretty and inviting that I decided to give it a go.

After finding two tiny dolls shoes I had a sudden brainwave to put two of every item into the bottle. This way there’s no need to mess about with written or visual lists. It’s a bit like a mix between eye spy and pairs.

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I found about 30 pairs of tiny items such as buttons, pasta animals, beads, tiny pegs etc. And used some multicoloured dyed rice which we had previously used for sensory play. I got The Limpet to help me fill the bottle. I thought that it would be good for her to see all the items that were going into it and it also gives her a feeling of ownership over of it.

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The bottle is also proving very popular with The Gannet (aged 17 months). He seems to like turning it over and over seeing what he can find but he also just loves the noise it makes when he shakes it.

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Australian parcel swap and artwork

12 Sep

Our first parcel has arrived as part of the worldwide culture swap that we’ve taken part in. It has come all the way across the world from the Australian family.

The monsters got very excited, although I have to admit they found the bubble wrap the most exciting part of the contents!

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Inside the box was a jar of vegemite, a money tin with a picture of an Aussie dollar on it, an Australia boomerang magnet and lots of details about the items and the country.

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The magnet was decorated with an aboriginal style dot pattern. I thought this would be an interesting craft activity for The Limpet so we started researching aboriginal artwork on Google. I thought it would be interesting to do our artwork on some rocks we had collected from the beach. I set some paints out with a cotton wool bub in each and The Limpet got to work.

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Her dots soon developed into swirls and squiggles so I thought I’d try my hand at some dot painting too.

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Liebster Award

10 Sep

I was delighted recently when Hannah from MakingBoysMen gave my blog The Liebster Award. Then a few days later Amy from inspire imagination through creation nominated me! Thank you so much to both of you.

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers, by bloggers. It is for blogs with 200 or less followers, so it is a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs and get them more readers and followers!

I have to admit that I didn’t really know what this was so I googled it and found two different results. Half were saying that you just need to choose another 5 blogs to nominate and the other half said you need to nominate 11 blogs and set them 11 questions and answer 11 questions set to you. The later option seems like a lot of hard work but these were the rules set for me so I shouldn’t really break them. Having said that, I’ve decided to pick just 6 blogs to forward the award to. Partly because the majority of the blogs I follow are big ones with higher than 200 followers. Although most blogs don’t say how many followers they have so if I’ve nominated you and you have over 200 followers than sorry (and congratulations).

So here are the 6 blogs I’m nominating.

feathered nest studio

Tea for monkeys

knitty mummy

Ink spots and grass stains

create with your hands

Jennifer’s little world

Here are my answers to the questions set to me by Hannah.

1 – Are you an early bird or a night owl? neither now I have kids but I used to be a night owl

2 – All time favourite song? very difficult to pick one but I would probably go with ELO Mr Blue Skies

3 – All time favourite movie? The Towering Inferno – you can’t beat a 1970s disaster movie!

4 – What’s your earliest memory? I have a few memories of nursery school

5 – What was your best holiday ever? my honeymoon in Canada. Although I’ve had some pretty amazing times in Cornwall too

6 – What superhero would you be? anyone who can fly

7 – If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? Brie – it was so difficult when I was pregnant and couldn’t eat any

8 – In the movie of your life what actor would play you? Carey Mulligan

9 – Do you have any party tricks? no! I must work on getting some

10 – Do you have a pet preference for dogs or cats? cats, I’ve never owned a dog

11 – What three things would you take to a desert island? a camera, paper and pens

And if I’ve nominated you and you want to play along, then here are your questions.

1.How long have you been blogging for?

2.Where is your favourite place in the whole wide world?

3.What is your favourite bar of chocolate?

4.Have you ever broken a bone?

5.When was the last time you went on a child free night out with your partner (if you have one)?

6.What was your first job?

7.How many toilets do you have in your house?! (I only have 1 and am very jealous when people have more!)

8.What is your favourite season?

9.What is your favourite children’s book?

10.Do you get a real or fake Christmas tree?

11.How many siblings do you have?

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Rainbow gnomes

9 Sep

I’ve been wanting to make these little guys for a while and have now finally got around to it. Aren’t they pretty?!

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I made some flower fairies a while back for The Limpet and she seemed to enjoy playing with them and still often does. So I decided to buy 6 more plain wooden figures (this time from Myriad). I painted the body of each one and used felt for their hats and cloaks. I thought about added a button to each one but then found some cute little rose beads in my craft stash.

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It was my first attempt at this sort of sewing but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out, even the back is fairly neat.

The Limpet has already been busy playing with them. I gave her some other rainbow items and she got to work creating a rainbow gnome land.

Due to the popularity of this post and a number of enquiries, I have now decided to make more sets to sell on. If you are interested in purchasing your own set please visit my Facebook page pocket treasures

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Worldwide culture swap

1 Sep

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Whilst reading through other patenting blogs I discovered a link to the worldwide culture swap. I immediately signed up for it.

After signing up you get linked up with 4 families from around the world. We got families from Australia, South Africa, Ohio USA and California USA.

It’s a fabulous way to learn about other countries and their traditions directly from the families themselves. And let’s face it – everyone loves receiving parcels in the post. But actually, its just as fun to give as to receive.

As the monsters are quite young they couldn’t really help me with ideas but I used the experience to teach them about our own culture and history.

I had great fun putting together our 4 packages. I included postcards and leaflets from our town and county; a colouring in book of native animals; a Paddington Bear visits Buckingham Palace book; London stickers; a toy London bus and a stick of rock. I also put in some maps and facts about our country and details about traditional food and famous people. And finally some family photos and details about ourselves and our house.

Farm play mat

25 Aug

Now that I’ve finally learnt to sew, I thought I should put my new skills to use.

We bought The Limpet for her birthday some farm animals but she doesn’t have a farm house or barn or anything like that. So after searching through Pinterest, I decided to make a farm play mat.

I’d like to say that I used lots of scraps of fabric that I had lying around but as I’m new to this sewing malarkey I don’t have many scraps. So off I went to my local haberdashery to buy lots of fabric in various textures, colours and patterns.

I planned out a rough design and then got to work cutting bits up and sewing the whole thing together.

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I wanted to make it as appealing as possible so I added lots of different textures. I used mainly cotton fabric but also included a heavy wool, corduroy, felt, ribbon and wool.

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I wanted to inspire the monsters imagination and creativity so I didn’t make anything too obvious apart from the pond.

It was only finished last night but so far it has gone down very well. Here is a picture of The Limpet enjoying playing with it.

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