Sunday, 27 July 2014

Footprint Printing

Whilst we had the paints out last week for our sunflower printing I decided it was worth doing more printing and there was a request for footprint printing.  Thankfully the sun was shining and we had a quiet day planned otherwise I think I might have said no, definitely one for outdoors and when you're happy that everything is a mess!

 I found that watering down the paints slightly stopped that gloopy thing where the paper comes away with the foot on the first step.  It also seems to keep the coverage of paint thinner so that the paper can cope with numerous walking trips across it without becoming slippy or sodden, although we did end up with a few rips.

I also found it good to suggest that our two year old step in the paint tray one foot at a time to prevent him slipping over, the older two were fine with both feet in squelching the paint.


Lots and lots of footprints

Very popular but not for the mess adverse!

See the pictures now reminds me of the Footprints in the Sand poem.  It's always good to be reminded that whatever joys or challenges are children face there is someone walking alongside them and that we as parents are not parenting them alone.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sunflower Printing

With the sunflowers in the garden looking particularly beautiful at the moment we had a go at printing our own version to make some pretty wrapping paper for an upcoming birthday.


Using half an onion and a carrot as our printing tools

Painting outside is so much more relaxing! All the mess not in the house and so much more room - the summer is definitely the season for doing some of the larger or mess art projects.


The finished wrapping paper.  One of the things I have found is that poster paints do have a tendency to flake off when dry - not so good with wrapping it around presents.  I have found that adding a bit of water to the paint seems to help or alternatively you could use acrylics.

Nothing like sunflowers to make you smile.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Lion Birthday Cake

The request was for a zoo themed birthday cake from our eldest who turned 6 earlier this year.  I couldn't resist a lion, although zebra came a close second, but wasn't sure about getting all that black and white icing not all squidged together to resemble more of a donkey, so lion it was!

The cake is the Hummingbird cake from the Hummingbird Bakery Book.  It's a banana and pineapple cake along similar lines to a carrot cake.  I used pumpkin seeds instead of nuts and halved the sugar.  To be honest I could have taken more sugar out as I find this book has some great recipes but it's definitely for the sweet tooth.  As I was going to ice it and decorate it with sweets I would definitely try leaving out the sugar completely next time as there should be enough sweetness from the bananas and pineapple as well as the icing.

For the icing I made a caramel icing. The eyes are licorice allsorts, the ears, nose and mouth are giant chocolate buttons, the whiskers are fudge pieces chopped up and the mane is a mix of chopped fudge and 'crunchie' bars. 

No marks for technical expertise but one happy daughter!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Strawberries: Ice Cream, Bakewell Tart and Sewing

Golly it's been a long time since I've written anything here on the blog, time seems to have flown by and juggling the demands of the three little ones hasn't left me with much spare time or energy.  But with the sun out and shining it's been strawberry picking (and eating) time in our garden. It's reminded me of the fun we had this time last year making strawberry ice cream. 

First the picking, searching carefully to find them, skillfully handling them and learning about when they are ready to pick (and of course this involved the taste buds!)

Then into the kitchen for some making, with lemon squeezing, weighing and measuring.  We used a recipe from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, but there are loads available on the web.


Then into the freezer and a mix every few hours.  Or an ice cream maker does it all for you.  I'm not sure we were diligent enough with breaking up the ice crystals enough times as it was very tasty but a bit frosty in places.

Very popular.

We also made gooseberry and elderflower ice cream with some garden produce, again from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.  I am yet to find a child friendly gooseberry bush, I think you can get some spineless varieties but ours are definitely not that so I did most of this picking.


This year I made strawberry jam with our strawberry crop, and  made my first bakewell tart, a family tradition from my husband's Granny.  Another popular sweet treat with everyone.

I also made these lovely felt and fabric strawberry's from the Red Ted Art Book.  Perfect for play picnics in the garden.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Lost and Found Story Box


 Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, is the story of a boy and a penguin who arrives on his doorstep one day and seems to be lost.  The boys tries to help the penguin find his way home, but in the end realises that the penguin is not lost but is just lonely and so the boy and penguin set out together.


 This beautiful book, with it's gorgeous illustrations is just perfect for creating a story box.


Using toilet rolls, lolly sticks, an egg box some paint and bits of cardboard, Chick (age 5) created this little story box.

Story boxes are a great way to encourage creativity, story telling and language skills and Chick really enjoyed doing this one, carefully painting the characters, thinking about what materials to use, practicing her writing skills withe South Pole sign and the Lost and Found Office.


The penguin left at the South Pole!

Having looked at the photos just now, a thought just occurred to me, that this would also make a great photo book or a simple animation set for a short film if you had suitable technology.


The penguin and boy back together at last.
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