Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bow & Arrow

Yesterday we took to the yard with some home-made bows and arrows. I had wanted to organise some stuff for the kids to do over the holidays and while searching the web for ideas I came across some clever mums who had made bows and arrows for their kids. The first one I found, here had crafted up some bows using the bamboo stick thingies you use to stake things up in the garden. Yay, I thought, I have some of those already, too easy. But when I tested my bamboo for bendiness, they just snapped. Poo.
Then I found this here where they had used pvc piping to make their arrows. Again I thought, too easy, I'll just get some pipe at the hardware store. Ah, no, I won't. They don't have any. Of course. So I hunted around the hardware store until I found something else. What I found and used was very thin, lightweight dowling (dowl? dowling? is that even how you spell it?) You know the stuff I mean, don't you? Anyway I got the thinest stuff they had, and this is how ours turned out.
What I did was use a little hack saw to make small notches at each end.
 I used string which I knotted at each end and slipped into the notches to hold it in place. Does this make sense? I pulled the string tight and curved the dowling up as I put the second end on so the end result was as above in the first picture (with Clary holding it). After a bit of a play I added the foam and strapped around it with electrical tape, this gave them something to hang on to, as well as a guide of where their arrow should rest. Arrows were made using the same dowling, just cut in lengths and a small notch (shallower than the ones on the bow) cut in the end for the arrow to rest on the string with.
Hmmm, don't know if this is all making sense, I should have taken more pictures.

Anyway, then it was just a case of getting your bow and arrow, lining up your mums head (Ruby below), and you're away!

I can tell you right now that Ruby loved it and Clary had pretty much no interest what so ever in this little activity. But I think Clarys' lack of interest came partly from the fact that he found it a little hard to do it.
Even with Ruby it took her a while to get the hang of it.
The next two pictures show how she was holding the arrow at first, it took her a while to get out of that, and hold it a little less awkwardly.

It was fun though! Ruby loved it, insisted on a minimal amount of clothing and no shoes because 'that's what the Indians do' (it's winter here, remember, we had a blazing fire going INSIDE the house).
This picture below is Rubes in her 'Indian' pose. It was very serious.
Happy Indian.

Not So Happy Indian.
 I'm hoping to be able to share some more holiday activities with you over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Holiday Books (journals, diaries, whatever)

A little while back I splurged on a little book binder and went to work turning old books into notebooks, journals, doodlebooks which I have been listing over in my Etsy shop.
It is THE perfect way to combine my love of old books with my enduring stationary obsession. Love them.
The ones shown here are filled with fairly lightweight blank paper and although I've been experimenting with heavier, higher quality papers I actually find the lighter weight paper to be really quite a good fit for these (in my humble opinion), surprisingly.
The thicker/heavier paper of a higher quality means you fit less pages into each book.
I'm still experimenting and test-running, it's quite interesting putting these together.
For now though, it's school holidays here, with the kids home for two weeks so I decided I would make Ruby her own little spiral bound book to fill during the holidays. She loves to draw and write and scribble, loves pencils and paper, so I thought this would be great for her, and she loves it.
I used a pretty old book which was in very un-loved shape with biro marks on the cover. It was otherwise pretty much at the end of its' lovely life.
I filled it with an absolute mish-mash of paper goods.
Bits of scrapbooking paper, cardstock scraps,

one of these cool colour-it-in type maps (which I found on Etsy)

airmail envelopes, vintage postcards, anything at all. It's quite rough as you can see above. I punched the holes quite late last night, I was pretty tired..............on some pieces I hadn't got the holes quite right so I just chopped off the bits of pages that didn't fit. Yeah. I was pretty tired.
 I also put in some stories which have come from other books I've turned into journals. They're short but complete stories, being just a few pages long, so perfect for this.
And as soon as Clary saw Rubys' book he had to have one too.
I kept his much the same as Rubys'.

More envelopes, cardstock, vintage postcards to scribble on, he had a map in his also although it can't be seen in these pictures.
A story for Clary also, and he insisted on some acetate sheet music, just like Rubys'.
For both of these books I've put an assortment of stuff in the first half and then pretty much just plain paper in the second half (maybe the odd thing mixed in here and there, but pretty well just plain), for them to draw, write, scribble or whatever takes their fancy.
Not obvious in this picture, but he was happy with his book :)
I can't wait to see what they do with their books.
What are you up to on the holidays?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Upcycled Tunic

I am kind of mad for knit sewing at the moment, having discovered that it is quite simply, not scary at all. Why did I think it would be scary? I have no idea.
Armed with this fabulous pattern from Lil Blue Boo I hit the local op shop and turned six old shirts into this awesome tunic!

I didn't get a picture of the shirts before I hacked them up but what I used was
FRONT: top piece is cut from a long sleeved shirt from Target (I have some of the same shirts which I layer with in winter and I find the quality to be pretty good)
bottom two pieces came from boys shirts
BACK: top piece is cut from a top from Millers (if you're not from Australia, Millers is the place to shop if you couldn't care less what you look like when you get older)
bottom pieces are from a mens shirt (green) and a womens shirt from Colorado (the store, not the US state)
Again, I got all of them from the op shop.
The only 'new' parts of this tunic are the ribbing which is used around the neck and armholes.
I really love it, it's super comfy, can't wait to wear it in summer.
I used the small pattern size though, and will use the medium next time.

For my next project I remembered just in the nick of time to take a 'before' picture. Actually, as you can see, I had just chopped the arm off this jersey when I thought to take my 'before' shot, lol.

I got this jersey at the same time, same shop that I got all the shirts for the tunic.
It's a boys rugby jersey, I'd say about a size 10, and I've got a size 2 dress out of it.
The jersey is pretty old and I love the worn out look of the '17'
Not quite finished, as you can see, but I'm pretty happy with it, I think it's pretty cute.
The jersey wasn't quite big enough on it's own so I just attacked another shirt and patchworked them together.
I don't have an overlocker (serger) and found my trusty old sewing machine did just fine, all it needed was a ball needle, that's it. Of course it would be much neater it you had an overlocker but it's not actually a necessity :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

I have been flat out busy the last few weeks, with different things and unfortunately, photographing none of it. I've been baking and sewing and, in a very conscious effort to be more mindful and 'present' I haven't been picking up the camera to document it. Which doesn't work for the poor old blog, I'm working on finding a nice balance.
But I couldn't resist picking up the camera for this today.
I was given a huge amount of lemons, mandarins and oranges a couple of weeks ago. More than we ever could possibly consume. I've given loads away but still I had lemons just sitting there.
So I thought I'd give Lemon Meringue Pie a go.
I used this recipe (except I used a store bought pie shell), but I must've done something wrong (no idea what), because the lemon part of the pie didn't set properly.

It's completely edible and it tastes great, but it just wasn't firm. It kind of had to be scooped out of the dish :(
But like I said, it still *tasted* good, so not a total write off (not by my standards anyway, lol)
So now I'm on a mission to try again and make it perfect.
If there are any lemon meringue pie experts out me ;)