Monday, October 17, 2011

Not sew easy!

I recently invested in a sewing machine and discovered that the mere act of threading the thing up is akin to rocket science!! Imagine my surprise when I found that, not only is there a spool of thread, but there is also a fiddly little gadgety thing called a bobin which has to be threaded and 'installed' - what a job that is! and let me tell you bringing the bobin thread 'up' is a whole other kettle of fish!
S.O.S Lisa! Two hours of lesson later I was sort of getting it, but  was having to reconsider all the 'haute couture'  I had buzzing around in my little brain.

Project numero uno - my version of the reuseable snack bag or snack 'taxi' as they are called over at Hip Mountain Mama
not sew easy!!!
Now there are lot of snack bag tutorials out there, but I took (and simplified - I left out the nylon linner, as I couldn't get any) the SAHM of ETSY lesson, in which they estimated 30mins for 3 bags (linned of course!).
4 hours later I came up with these two. 
Naturally Rémi and Tino were overjoyed with their little taxi's and didn't hesitated to melt a few smarties in them to illustrate just why linners might have been a useful after all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let them eat cake!

Happy 3rd Birthday Tino

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so to save my fingers from keyboard tapping overload, here's a photo documentary of the little guy's birthday fun...

Invitaions made and sent

Binocular decoration activity
Autumn fruit/vegi scavanger hunt, using 'binoculars' to help find the goodies!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crafty little things Kids

Sunday, 8.30am, cold but dry (view from kitchen window)
In anticipation of  two cold and rainy days ahead I had a few craft activities hiding in the weekend wings.  Friday afternoon we made play-dough, for the very first time!  Up until now we have always had a steadly supply of the 'shop' stuff that has come our way on various birthdays and christmas, but that's now gone all hard and crunchy (despite being stored in the tubes?) so we decided to give the homemade version a go.
We used the following recipe which worked really well, but there seems to be lots of variations possible:-
2 tbs alun
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbs oil
food colouring
Put dry ingredients into bowl and stir.  Mix water, oil and food colour together and pour into dry ingredients.
Mix/knead together for 4 mins (or 30 seconds in our case, but as they were going to play with it straight afterwars I figured this was the equivalent of kneading)

We tryed doing autumn colours but, whilst the colours when mixed in the water/oil solution looked exactly as we wanted, they became very 'bland' when mixed into a dough.  By this time the boys creative juices were flowing and I didn't think they'd appreciated a pause whilst I adjusted my colour palette, so I just left them as they were.  Next time I'll be sure to go heavy handed on food colouring, I mean it not as if they are going to eat it - well not all of it anyway!
We also tryed adding spices - cinammon and ginger - to the dough but that didn't work to well either.  Apparently essensial oils are the answer!

This occupied them for a while, quite a while actually, but there are limits to everything - so on to the 'painting workshop'. 
We soon have a very long car journey (all of 5 hours!!) ahead of us so I though i'd try and make it a bit more interesting for them and less noisy for us!   I bought two wooden 'attaché' cases and gave them to the boys to decorate.  For some reason Rémi chose to embelish his with the flag of Burundi , and Tino did a sort of 'rainbow' thing.

Now it's up to me to fill them with fun games, activites, snacks and supplies for the 'road-trip'. To be continued...

Nothing like a little fresh air are to re-fuel 'craftly' little minds

This was only our '500th' visit to the helicopter landing pad!
And tomorrow Tino will be 3!!! so I enlisted the help of the chaps to make his school birthday cake; he will be having a little party on wednesday afternoon.

Then at last it was time for bath, dinner and FINALLY bed!! but not forgetting 'The night before the Birthday':-

When I have said my evening prayer,
And my clothes are folded on the chair,
And Mother switches off the light,
I'll still be 2 years old tonight,
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I'll be 3 years old,
3 kisses when I wake,
3 candles on my cake!
(Festivals Family and Food - Diana Carey, Judy Large)

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Cheerful Hatter

Why is it that if a drummer is a man who plays the drums,
a plummer has nothing to do with plums.
And if a cheerful man who sells one hats can be a cheerful hatter,
why is it that a serious man who sells one mats
is hardly a serious matter!
Dylan Thomas

Richard at work this morning!

Typical hey, just as I write a post about the lovely warm autumn we are enjoying, we wake up to  5°C . There was much digging about this morning to find last years hats as this years creations are still on the 'to do' list.

2010 hat collection

There will be many a cheerful hatter in Chamonix today.  Generally when there's not much to do in the mountains the tourists (there's always tourists here) go shopping!! I imagine I wasn't the only one rooting out 'bonnets' this morning. They boys have requested viking hats (with horns please) and sesame street chracter hats this year.  But Richi, despite having a year-round outside job has specifically requested - "Please DON'T make me anything".  Sometimes he's just no fun at all!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autumn time warp!

We are having a unusually warm autumn, we generally have a nice mild colorfull fall but not a hot one! the raspberry bushes and strawberry plants have started (re)producing fruit and I have two rose buds just ready to bloom! What is mother nature doing?  How do I explain to the boys that I'm not buying strawberries in October as they are an early summer fruit and it's important to chose seasonal produce etc etc when there's  little squiddgy red blobs sporadically popping up in the garden?

now that's more like it!
Despite all this climatic chaos (It snowed here on June 1) the garden trees seem to be doing what they are meant too; a final exhibition of raptuious colour before the long cold winter (well traditionally it's long and cold but who am I to predict the seasons!)

another nature inspired peice of jewellry by Rémi

 'I'm so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?'
Anne of Green Gables

Yarn along Mother Bear

I so throughly enjoyed taking part in 'yarn along' with  Ginny  a few weeks ago that I decided to sign up for it again.  It's very interesting to see what other people are knittting/crocheting and reading, so much so that I was inspired to buy Anne of Green Gables, An irish country doctor and A tree grows in Brooklyn, all of which I read about on 'yarn along'.
So on to what i'm currently making and reading; I'm knitting another Mother Bear (if you haven't heard of the Mother Bear project please take a look) in the colours of my brother-in-law's favorite football team.  The other two 'girl' bears are knitted in the 'image' of my two sister-in-laws.
And i'm just flying through Anne of Green Gables, it's quite simply a sweet, funny, easy read;  I thought my son talked alot, but Anne (with an e), well she's just something else!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things that make me go AHHH!!!!

Just look what Tino monkey got up to whilst I was taking a much needed shower!

 At first glance I wasn't too worried, we'd been making binoculars that afternoon and decorating them with water soluble pens, so I just told Richi not to sweat it - "it'll wash off no bother". Thing is, the little monkey had done this little abstract peice with a wax crayon - not so washable! 
The doors (yes he did two) now have a sort of 'scrubbed used look'; apparently it all the RAGE in decorating circles!

How do you stay mad at this?