Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Howe do you do... art in nature?

This year, the National Trust is running Project Wild Thing - an incentive designed to reconnect kids with nature.

The project outlines 50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4 with the idea of ticking them all off. They range from camping out in the wild to making a mud pie, bringing up a butterfly to making a raft.

Number 18 on the list is: make some wild art

As the weather continues to surprise and baffle us, we thought we'd continue in our wild romping... well to the library anyway as it was nearly fine o'clock.

Here's our effort...

Our first job, and Minnow's favourite bit, was the scavenging for colourful bits and bobs to include in our masterpiece. Astride her trusty bubble bike we set off, with pre-requisite basket on the handlebars to stow our loot (N.B. no plants were harmed in the making of this blog post).

I did wonder at this time of year if we'd find anything worth using but how wrong I was. We walk past this stuff every day, how does it go unnoticed? (Actually a 3 year old cycling next an A road will probably do it.)

Then Minnow spotted a gorgeous feather, sleek and glossy like Black Beauty's coat after a hard gallop along the shoreline. By the time Minnow's feet dangled two and a half feet off the ground, it was clear that the crow hadn't finished with it... we had to let it go. 

There were two further alarming incidents with some chewing gum and some dog poo but we got through it.

Here's our plunder:

Not too shabby if I say so myself. 

So here's me, getting stuck in...

... and here's Minnow wishing she had some glitter...


A few leaf lip antics soon loosened her up a bit...

That's the spirit!

And here they are, the finished products...

Top marks all round!

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Friday, 13 September 2013

Howe do you do... stitchery doodles...

...with woolly noodles?

Ah Tenerife in early summer: quality time with the family, long hot days messing about in the pool, switching off from life, easy come, easy go...

That is unless you happen to be holidaying during some kind of freak weather anomaly and the sky is sun shy for the entire week!

"Don't worry", said Mum, "you'll still get a tan through the clouds". It wasn't the tan I was worried about but the goosebumps that plagued my body with little more than a two piece packed to cover them. 

Aside from all of this the kids (and there were five of them) could be heard saying things like:
"I can't get in the pool, it hurts!"

Ho hum, so what to do with them. Well I was glad that I had packed a Marry Poppins carpet bag full of needly things. I have such happy memories of my holidays as a child, lost in a cross-stitch reverie that I thought now was as good a time as any to see if their interest might be sparked by a bit of wool and card. 

This couldn't be simpler. All you need is a piece of card, a big blunt needle (technical term), some blu tack, some wool and some sellotape (preferably on a stand so they can do it themselves while you read Grazia). Maybe also a pencil and rubber if you don't trust your freehand.

So mark out the picture your little one wants to make, use the BB needle and poke holes through onto the blu tack.

Start your little one off, sellotaping a bit of the wool to the back of the card and hey presto, away they go!

Now either the plan worked, or The Shoemaker's Elves had stowed away with us again. (They were pests during our mini-break to Windermere I tell you.)

 Perfect for an overcast holiday... or England.

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Friday, 6 September 2013

Howe do you do... awesome bubbles?

The Bubble Experiment


Many of our household objects could be used in the art of bubble blowing. With particular investigation into the multi-functionality of kitchen implements.

  1. A big bucket
  2. Awesome Bubble Recipe for Super Strong Bubbles: 6 cups of water to one cup of washing up liquid. Stir gently, attempting not to make any bubbles. Add one tbs of glycerin. For best results, cover and allow to rest until tomorrow. N.B. You can still enjoy bubble fun with your Bog Standard Bubble Mixture - water and suds.
  3. Anything with a hole in it!


Dunk any holed item in to your Awesome Bubble Recipe, remove and blow through, thus testing it's efficacy for bubble blowage.


Items that are not born to bubble: Not telling, what kind of killjoy do you think I am!

Items surely wasted in the kitchen that should have their bubble potential unleashed:

Whatever this is, I use it to make mash into neat tidy circles when I'm feeling a bit cordon bleu, but it now forms part of our bubble repertoire:

The outside of a sprung cake tin, the bubble potential here is two-fold, as well as the standard bubble, it makes large bubble tunnels out of the bucket:

Which then satisfyingly spring into a bubble in the tin to blow or burst whichever is your whim:

Next came the runaway success of the experiment - the syringe you tend to get these days in kids' medicine instead of the old 5ml spoon. This piece was adored for it's simplicity and for it's surprising adaptability to the task. Not only did it form bubbles shaped like eggs but loads of them, one after the other. Brilliant!

It did prompt a more simplistic and perhaps equally cherished approach. Sadly the enchanted bubble eventually encompassed Bubble Bike and took off before popping somewhere over the Manchester Ship Canal...


Success reined in the fields of mash ring, cake tin and syringe. It has lead to experimental testing of further objects to include Cinderella's glass slipper and a pair of joke glasses. No further success has yet been recorded...

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