Creating Laminated Pennants – Tutorial

I’ve had a massive (ahem, year long) break from blogging – but I feel renewed and full of ideas, so …I’m BACK!!!!!!

The break is a whole other story, and one that I will come back to in a later post… but for now, some fun!

Lately I’ve gone a bit pennant crazy, and I’ve started making paper pennants that I hope to sell. But here’s a fun and easy idea that you can do at home, if you have access to a laminator!

laminated pennant

laminated pennant

Whilst I was making some the other day, I was blotting my paintbrush on some tissue paper and as it dried I thought, “hmm that looks too good to throw away!” So it go me to thinking about all the scrap bits of paper that I create. Also my son had had just been painting and there were a few pieces of paper that I felt were just desperate to be made into something… (So often my son’s do lovely pieces of ‘art’ that just aren’t quite up to being framed, and yet I feel awful at the thought of recycling them.). So I decided to turn the leftovers into something for the boys rooms instead! And so the idea for some fun pennants for each of their rooms was born. I wanted one pennant to have J’s name, the other to have a line from one of our favourite books. It was super easy and fun for us to do together (well mostly, although do take care when using a laminator and craft knife please!!)

blotting paper

 

scrap painted paper

 

All you have to do for each pennant is either leave your scrap art paper whole or cut out you shapes (I wanted to write some text but if your child is old enough to use scissors let them create their own master piece!)

Then simply use  a glue stick to lightly adhere the shapes onto the inside of a laminator pocket and then insert it into your pre-warmed machine.

laminating DSCF0653Obviously take EXTREME care when allowing your little one to ‘help’ you!!

my helper

text in laminator pocket

 

in the window

in the window

You could just stop there – as you can see I cut one of the finished pieces into a heart shape. But for the pennants, keep reading…

(The next part I had to do by myself whilst my ‘helper’ had a snack..!)

Draw and then cut our your child’s name or favourite quote using a craft knife. Make sure you have a cutting mat down! Then you will need some chord or string – I used gold just to be fancy but really anything will do. Trim your pennant to size and cut the bottom into a ‘v’ shape. I made a template out of A4 paper and used a craft knife and ruler but scissors will be fine if thats all you have. Using a hole punch make two holes at the top and knot one end of your chord, thread it through to the desired length and then cut and knot the other end.

laminated pennant

Est voila! You have your very own kids room pennant!

 

 

It’s been… AGES!!!!

Oh sigh, I’m one of those people that once I’m in a groove, I am great – I am in the flow, I am productive, I am consistent… BUT, if I get out of the groove – Totally hopelss at getting back in it! So this is what has happened here, I got out of the groove.. I neglected my blog. Life took over. Motherhood. Yes that’s right, Real Life.

And hey, you know what, I realised that is OK!

As the days went past I grew more distant from my bog as life got busier, and it got harder to get myself to add a new post. I kept telling myself I should. And then the guilt took over. Which is a horrible, silly thing to feel about a blog. This was supposed to be fun, a way of sharing my ideas and creative experiences, a way of sharing my motherhood. Not a ball and chain around my ankle, a lead weight on my shoulders. It was not supposed to bring me down. I have enough demands already to add another self imposed one to the list. So I have had to have a serious word with myself, and let go of the guilt, and the pressure, and let go a bit. It is ok to get out of the groove here. So long as I can focus on the important things in life, having fun with my boys and trying to find time to be creative for myself. I am going to stop feeling like this is something I HAVE to do, and more like it is something I WANT to do. Not necessarily once a week (my original aim) but simply when the whimsy takes me. (I no, don’t think I have ever written the word ‘whimsy’ in my life before).

So what I have I been up to in the past 7 or so weeks? Too many things to count!

Here are a selection of some moments…

MAIDFinallly got some business cards printed for my new lable. ‘MAID” stands for Maker, Artist, Illustrator and Designer. Whoop! I will be adding things to http://www.phoebegander.com for sale in New Zeland, but again, progress is slow due to my limited time to be creative!

IMG_2288 Flower and shell arrangement for me from Sen. Love him. X

DSCF1458Making felt pizzas.

DSCF1751

Zuchinni brownies. Making. Eating. YUM.IMG_3046These two. XXXXXXXX

Right, I have quite a few blog posts to add, but they will come when I have the time and energy, and not a moment sooner! x

 

Fairies in a Jar (The truth exposed!)

I kept seeing this photo on pinterest time and time again, and know that I had to try it as well, it looks amazing so who wouldn’t want to give it a go?!

fairies in jarPhoto from pinterest

But before I continue, can I just say one thing, the above photo is IN NOW WAY REAL!!!!! It is, I am convinced 100% photoshopped. Even though we followed the instructuions to the letter, the results were nothing like this photo. However it was still pretty awe inspiring for my boys and so I would say that it is still worth trying to make ‘Faries in a jar’ but just prepare yourself (or maybe your kids) for a slightly more realistic outcome, as I have shown in my photos here.

You will need:

  • a jar with a lid
  • a glowstick
  • some diamond coloured glitter (I am not utterly convinced I used the right sort of glitter, or that it is even necessary but we went with it as per the original instructions)
  • scissors

Fairies in a jar

You need to make sure that the next part is fully supervised as glow sticks can contain some nasty stuff in them that you don’t want your littlies getting on themselves…

Snap your glowstick to make it ‘glow’, then carefully cut the top off to shake it in the jar. If you find this tricky (as I did) cut both ends off and blow (without putting your lip to the glowstick!) the contents into the jar. I found blowing it in more sucessful then shaking… Note the distance I was blowing from!

blowing the glowstick into the jarmaking fairies

Then add your glitter, and pop the lid on…

Then shake!

Thats it!!!

Next, overcome the slight dissapointment that it doesn’t look remotely like the pinterest photo…

Then marvel at the glowy-ness…

Now quickly retreat to a darkened room for fairy watching!Fairies in a jarWatching fairies in a jarFairiesThe Fairy CatcherHere is my little fairy-catcher.

The boys had a jar of fairies each, and were very excited to go to bed with them as a glowey nightlight next to their beds. As I said earlier, I think the glowsick liquid shaken in the jar was what produce d the look of the fairies – I am not sure the glitter did much to add to the effect, however as the glow faded by morning it was nice to see the glitter inside the jar. I think in hindsight perhaps a jar of water filled with diamond glitter might make a more similar effect to the pinterest photo…?

I wil have to try it and see! x

 

Crunchy Cinnamon Crackers

cinnamon crunch crackers

I found this yummy recipe on a favourite blog of mine “Delighted Momma” . It’s a wonderful blog and the lady who writes it is very inspiring, funny and not to mention gorgeous and very clever! I love to try out her ideas, so made these crackers (or some might call them biscuits) and have adapted it slightly. I made these gluten free but you could easily substitute the GF flour for regular flour.

Crunchy Cinnamon Crackers (GF)

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar of sugar substitute such as Stevia
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
  • aproximately 1 tablesoon of milk (or water)
  • Cooking oil spray

Pre-heat oven to 180 centigrade and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Wisk eggs with oil and stir into the dry mix then use your hands to from into a dough. If it is too dry still, add the milk. I used my dough straight away but you can chill it for 20 mins if you like.

cinnamon dough

Place some baking parchment onto your work surface  and lightly spray with oil . Roll the dough out using a floured rolling pin. You might find it easier to place another peice of baking parchment on top of the dough and roll it out between the two sheets. It should ideally be around 2-3 mm thick.

DSCF1726

Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes or a pizza roller to slice it into sqaures. Re-roll the etra dough and repeat until its all used up.

DSCF1725DSCF1730Prick your shapes with a fork and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, then pop them on a pre-sprayed baking tray. Prepare your nostrils for an aroma overload!!!!

DSCF1739

Bake for around 15 mins. They might need a little less or longer, up to 20 mins even, it depends on the thickness of the crackers. Remove them when they start to look a nice golden brown. Mmmm your house will smell divine! Time to pop the kettle on….

cinnamon crunchy crackers

crunchy cinnamon biscuits

snack timeThis recipe is super easy and a great way to make a yummy snack that you and your littlies will love, whilst knowing exactly what has gone into them. I like to bag these up into little snack sized pouches, perfect for my son’s lunchbox, and a much nicer, healthier (and cheaper) treat alternative to supermarket pre-packed kids biscuits which are full of ingredients I can’t even pronounce!

Enjoy! x

 

Clean Mud ‘Recipe’

What do you do when your two year old throws two new rolls of toilet paper in the bath??

You make clean mud of course!

Clean mud recipe - Sensory play

ingredients for clean mud

I hate waste, and throwing things away unecessarily, so was slightly horrified when my toddler took my husbands words of “put these in the bathroom for me” a little too literally… (I could see it happening in my mind’s eye the second the words were out of his mouth as the bath had just been poured, why do men not think?!) So I fished the soggy rolls out of the bath, and set them to one side, then when my little darlings were washed and dried and fast asleep I went on Pinterest find inspiration. Of course.

And voila! Clean mud was there jumping off the sceen demading to be made the following day, and I was happily satisfied that I had triumphed in the face of disaster. Okay not disater, wet loo paper. Still its a good reslut in my book!

Clean Mud Recipe:

  • 2 toilet rolls (they do not have to be wet!)
  • 1 bar of soap
  • Warm water
  • you will also need a cheese grater and a large container to make the mud in.

Usually you would take a couple of rolls toilet paper and shred it into a large bowl, bucket or storage bin. Since my rolls were pre-dampened, (the inner cardboard tubes just slipped straight out by the way) I just had to tear at them and added enough warm water to the bowl to saturate them. Then I got busy grating in the soap. Usually I would have let S do this but he was happy playing with a friend and so I just got on with it to avoid arguments! next you just need to squish it about till its all muched up and dough like, then its time to play!

Clean mud

DSCF1630

clean mud - Glitter mud pies

clean mud piesWe added glitter and plates so we could make some ‘real’ mud pies. it was a great sensory play activity that they could really have fun moulding and squeezing. Perfect for a rainy day! Unfortunately S got a bit carried away and poor M got a faceful of mud pie and glitter (had it not been cruel it would have made a great photo)… So that was the end of the clean mud for that day…. But aside from that and since finding glitter in every nook and cranny of my house for the rest of eternity, I would say it was great fun all round and much better then throwing the toilet rolls away, so I have to thank little J really for his impulsive act of ‘helpfulness’! I will definately make this again, next time though, I will try it outdoors.

Still, at least their hands (and faces) were very clean afterwards!! x

Joy Is…

Oh Rocky…
Homemade rocky roadMmmm the joy of homemade Rocky Road. YUM. And Soooooo easy. My version goes like this –

Rocky Road:

Melt 250 gm bar of dark chocolate in bowl over boiling water, pour into a bowl which has a handfull of each – mini marshmallows, pistachios, dried cranberries, puffed rice cereal (maybe two of these, I used gluten free), and a pinch of flaked seasalt. (feel free to add what you like though, crushed biscuits and chopped dried apricots or dried cherries are a hit too) Stir, and pour into a 9 x 13 inch tray lined with greased baking paper. Chill. Dust with icing sugar. Cut. Eat. If any remain, save in a tin which you will then open immediately and eat more from. Life is short, just enjoy it!

Treasure huntersChilly winter walk with friends on the beach to look for burried ‘treasure’ (I sneakily hid some sweets/lollies) Any little pirate loves this activity.

marble run towerMarble run tower. How could you not love this! Great rainy day fun, and only $10 on sale too so a total bargain that has provided hours of entertainment.

Beautiful child portraitMy baby boy. Ahhh I just Love him. Look at those eyes! x

Pansy printingPansy printing that we did at our local playcentre – Literally the best thing ever!!!! I will do a proper blog post on the soon. Involves real pansies and a hammer, but even then I got much more into it then my son, oops.. for a change…  resluts are so pretty as you can see. Joy! x

Easiest Ever Way To Poach Eggs

This is one of those ‘life hacks’ I keep reading about them – basically a way to simplify life and make any task easier! And well, if there is a shortcut, I will take it!

Poached eggs rock, but mine always tended to turn into a frothy mess of stringy eggs in a kind of vinegar infused broth. Not so good. Not any more. This is a super easy way to making the best poached eggs ever. You will never look back, I promise!

You will need: (aside from eggs and a pan of water..yeah ok)

  • Plastic wrap. (Also known as cling film, saran wrap or glad wrap depending on where you are!)
  • A small remekin or cup or similar

easy poached eggs

Thats it! So far, so S-i-m-p-l-e! Place a piece of plastic wrap over a ramekin  with enough to cove the edges like shown.

super easy poached eggs Break in the egg…poached eggsBring the edges of the plastic wrap together and twizzle it around (yes, twizzle) as shown. Bring your pot of water to a light simmer and lower in your egg/s! plastic wrapped eggs poachingYour eggs will take 2-5 min to cook depending on their size, freshness and whether they came out of the fridge or not. The good thing is you can easily lift the egg out at any time and give it a gentle squeeze to see if it feels firm enough for your liking. When done, simply untwizzle the plastic wrap (taking care as the plastic will get hot and even melt a little if it touches the side of the pan) and slide your egg onto you toast. You can toss the used wrap in the bin and empty out your pan and the only bit of washing up you will have to do is your plate, knife and fork! Whoo hoooo!!!! (If we are going to get all techincal and fancy, I have read that the method is called to Sous Vide, but, whatever.)Plastic wrap poaced eggs - mess free!In my humble opinion, nothing beats a beautiful free range egg on a slice of hot buttered toast, with a generous grind of black pepper and sea salt. Mmmm mmmm! And combined with this easy peasy, mess free method, poached egg time is now any time! x