We now have puppy pens for the boy and girl cages so the GPs have a huge grass run during the day. Creating shade is the new problem though. They love boxes on their side or with doors cut in them but any moisture and they are ruined. Pet shops sell tunnels like this made from soft pine, but at around $45 each and when you need several, I decided to have a crack at making our own. It was just as easy as I expected. For the next ones I will make them longer and not at tall. But definitely happy with the result so far.
We used branches collected from around the property, choosing the straightest ones we could find.
I then used a drop saw to cut them to roughly 40cm long. I then marked out lines on the workbench to use as guides for the drilled holes.
Then it was just a case of threading them onto some strong wire. Which the ever-so-helpful dogs wanted to join in on.
One all pieces were pushed down as tightly as possible I cut the wire and bent it into a small loop to stop them sliding off. Then just bend into shape. Easy as that.
So Ms5 started big school this year and she has been wearing lovely hair bows every day thanks to the wonderful All Tizzied Up. But I figure at the rate we lose hair bands in general, she will soon be requiring more. So I thought I’d give making some a go.
I ordered a stack of plain clips from ebay, I think it was $5 for 100 or something equally ridiculously cheap. The ribbon was the only kind in the school colours that I could get my hands on at the local $2 shop. The various widths limited my design options, but I am pretty happy with the results for a first attempt.
I have been warned by the pro not to get addicted! I can see how easy that might be though! Beside the row of buttons one, they are all basically just loops or figure 8s of ribbon, glued on top of each other. The buttons nicely cover up the mess in the middle too! Might have to watch some tutorials on other kinds of bows when I get my hands on some more ribbon.
By the way, just in case anyone was not aware, hot glue burns like fire. Yep, true story, just ask my finger.
My crafty mum friend at All Tizzied Up has been very busy putting together some Christmas Craft projects with the family. Thought we’d share for inspiration.
They created 3 different trees from styrofoam cone shapes using buttons, ribbon, felt, and every crafters favourite tool – a hot glue gun!
The felt tree was created by layering leaf shape felt pieces working from the bottom up, then decorating with plastic jewels.
This one is simply a case of measuring out same lengths or ribbon, fixing with hot glue, then twisting, gluing again. Glue 2 of these together to create a flower type shape and attach to the cone. Again, finishing with some jewels to look like ornaments.
The button one is covered in aluminium foil, before attaching buttons all over with hot glue.
So if you are wondering what to do this weekend before Christmas, maybe get out the craft supplies and get crafty with the kids. Would make a great addition and talking point for your Christmas table on Wednesday!
It’s that time of year again folks. Time to thank the dozen different day care providers, half of which I don’t even know the names of, for putting up with my darling children 2 days each week.
This year I decided to make something that all the kids could help with, as last years gift required minimal effort from the kids. So we made Bath Bombs and I am happy to report they were a success (we tested one out last night!)
I used 2 different recipes, the first one was here
- Baking Soda – 8 ounces
- Citric Acid – 4 ounces
- Corn Starch – 4 ounces
- Salts – 4 ounces
- Water – .75 tbsp
- Essential or Fragrance Oil – 2 tsp (I used peppermint, as it is Christmassy)
- Oil – 2.5 tbsp
- Food coloring – 1 or 2 drops
For the pink lot, I used this recipe
- 1 1/2 cups bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid powder (use fine grade, available from chemists or pool supply shops)
- Potpourri or herbal teabags such as chamomile, lemon, rosehip or peppermint
- An essential oil such as peppermint, lavender, geranium
- Sweet almond oil (I just used vegetable oil)
- Food colouring
- Rubber gloves
- Moulds from craft shops
Which came from here
The method I used for both was the same though. Mixed all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then had Mr8 ever so slowly pour in the wet ingredients while I stirred like a mad woman. With the second recipe, it doesn’t actually call for corn flour (starch) but I decided to throw a handful in just to make the recipe go further. The second lot stuck together better than the first recipe while wet, but they have both dried lovely and firm and both fizz wonderfully in the bath tub.
We made the round ones in some empty plastic Christmas ornaments like the blogger in the first link did, as well as some smaller ones in some Aldi silicone trays. If I was to make them again, I think I’d find a mould that was spherical, but a bit smaller, so you end up with more bombs from your mix. I left the silicone tray ones to dry over night, and they popped out easily the next day.
It is summer here right now, and humid, which can destroy the bombs. So before putting them in the little draw strings bags ($2 for 5 at the cheap shop) I wrapped them in cling wrap to protect them from moisture.
Added a little thank you note and Merry Christmas tag to the bags and we are ready to drop them off.
Mr8 weighing out the Bi Carb,
Mr 8 adding dry ingredients
Ms4 with the important job of mixing the dry ingredients,
We used this pink salt as I thought it would look cool through the green bombs, but normal salt would have been fine too
Mr8 measuring out the wet ingredients into a separate bowl
Stirring very quickly while wet ingredients are being added, so a reaction does not occur.
Press firmly into moulds.
Mr9 and Mr8 making the bombs
Wrap with cling wrap to protect from moisture
Ok, so the school holidays have not quite started here, but this looked like too much fun and I had a fairly light schedule for the day, so we gave it a go. The best part is, unlike normal play dough, it is not going to go bad when stored between uses.
The recipe I followed required Elmers Glitter Glue, but after searching everywhere in a 20km radius I was still empty handed. Apparently Elmers is available in Australia now, but from what I can tell it is only the white stuff, and I really wanted the clear version for this project. So I just used non toxic craft glue, added my own glitter and was thankfully able to achieve the results I was after. The recipe came from this delightful blog
Santa Slime Recipe
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl
In a separate bowl combine
- 3/4 teaspoons of borax
- 1 & 1/3 cups very warm water
Once the ingredients of both bowls are mixed, combine them and mix, the slime will form almost instantly.
– See more at: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/12/santa-slime-recipe.html#sthash.MROKZyw1.dpuf
As I mixed up the ingredients I found it very hard to believe it needed all that water – but it really did, and then some! Not sure if it was because I used so much glitter or because the make up of the glue I used was different than Elmers, but it turned out really firm, almost like play dough, and certainly didn’t ooze like I anticipated. After I got over the initial disappointment, I figured I could either spend another $11 on glue or try to fix it – had nothing to lose, so I added more water to a section of it in a bowl (which did nothing while cool) and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Yes, it worked, the slime took on more water and began to get runnier. I continued to do this in sections, increasing the time in the microwave and the amount of water until I had the desired texture.
The kids have been having heaps of fun with it, even the older 2. We ended up with about 3 litres of slime after adding all the extra water, so plenty to share between the 4 of them. If I make it again using the same glue, I will use twice as much water from the start, because adding some extra borax to thicken will be a lot easier than adding extra water was!
What we used.
The little ones helping decant the glue
Stirring in the gold glitter
After mixing the red glitter and adding the borax solution
Home made sludge
Storing for later.
I have had this idea in my head for a while, but wasn’t sure what medium to use. This product is really fun and easy to work with, however, it sets more like a hard rubber than a ceramic clay, so it did not achieve the wind chime noise I had in mind. Oh well, its still pretty!
Nature theme mobile / sun catcher.
Sculpey Oven Bake Clay. It is quite firm out of the packet, but softens up quickly with some kneading.
Ms 4 Rolling out the clay.
Cut just like a cookie or play dough
Reshape to make leaf like
Press in between the backs of 2 leaves
Ready for the oven, bake at 130c for approximately 15 minutes
Ms4 threading the fishing line and adding some beads.
Some things we collected on our bush walk
Drilling some extra holes in the piece of bark.
Nature theme mobile / sun catcher.
Autumn and bush influenced mobile.
My kids love fish and chips. But gone are the days you could feed the family from the local fish and chip shop for under $20. So we always make our own now. I am sure its not just me, but I hate crumbing things, fingers getting all caked up with goo. So, outsourcing it is! Even my 4 year old can do the whole process herself. So while it may not be the healthiest meal (we deep fry the fish) it could certainly be a lot worse, and their sense of achievement and the skill building is totally worth the mess!
Mr9 is cooking some pinking fillets here. He just cut them into small even sized pieces, so they should all take roughly the same time to cook through. Flour each piece so it is dry, then dip in an egg/milk mixture before rolling in the crumbs. You could also get the kids to make bread crumbs if you have a food processor. We don’t, so we are just using store crumbs.
Mr9 is actually mature and coordinated enough to use the deep fry, but I am particularly paranoid about hot oil, so I took over that part of the process.
Pink ling fillets cut to size.
Drying in plain flour,
Dipping in milk and egg mixture
Coating with breadcrumbs
Ready to cook
Keep them separate so they don’t stick together while cooking
Drain on paper towel.
Home made fish and chips.
And yes, we used frozen chips, shhh, don’t tell anyone.
I couldn’t get my hand on any decent glitter paint pens to finish these, so this is just part one of the process.
To make these decorated cards, all you need is a hot glue gun, strips of wrapping paper, card and either some large buttons or as we used, some plastic jewels.
Cut strips of Christmas paper, approximately 3 – 4 cm wide and 30 – 40cm long. Fold back and forth to create a zig zag, approximately 1cm wide. As demonstrated by Mr 7 below.
Once folded the whole way to the end, glue both ends together. You can get the kids to do this with craft glue, but I chose to use the glue gun as it dries so much quicker.
Once the glue has dried, put a circle of hot glue onto the card where you want to place your decoration
Carefully turn the paper in at one side and out on the other, to create a flower type shape. Trying not to let it all go at the same time as you can see on the right above. The first one is the hardest!
Then cover the back of your jewel of button with hot glue and place in the centre. Repeat until you have as many decorations on each card as you like. You can experiment with different thicknesses of paper to create bigger and smaller ones.