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An Interview with Ewan

Posted on 26 November, 2015

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Today we rented a book from the library that asks the child a few questions at the end.

Ewans’ answers made me laugh so I thought I’d share them with you.

What makes you happy?

Playing

Laughing (he said this twice)

Crocodile

A dancing bear

Books

My hair

Mummy’s glasses

Birdie

Playing with bus

Elfa (the character in the book)

Buns

Toys

Spooky things.

What makes you sad?

Upstairs in bed

Bad dreams

Monkey (no elaboration offered)

Someone pushed you

Mummy not nice about porridge

Me- When was mummy not nice about porridge?

Ewan- Mummy not nice about porridge, Ewan want grape instead.

(No idea what breakfast debacle this is referring to but clearly it has left an impression)

Pushing

Mummy drinking

Me- What? Mummy drinking ?

Ewan- Mummy drinking make me upset.

Me- Mummy drinking? What does Mummy drink?

Ewan: Mummy drinking lemonade makes Ewan upset.

Me: Oooh. Do you mean if I have lemonade and I don’t give you some?

Ewan: Yeah, mummy drinking.

Then his Dad walked in and he said he was upset about Daddy coming in.

What places do you like to go?

The secret place

Me: Where’s the secret place?

Ewan: Over the wobbly thing.

Me : Okay. Where else do you like to go?

Ewan: Left.

Homemade Christmas Cards

Posted on 18 November, 2015

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This year I’m all about Christmas. A few days after Halloween I thought Ewan should write to Santa. Steve luckily is more contained about the whole thing but as soon as the 1st of December comes it’s open season!!

Not at all put off by the calendar I decided to get cracking on with some Christmas crafts. For some reason I decided to tackle making 36 Christmas cards. Often when I see lovely DIY things on Pinterest, I think, “yeah it’s lovely but would you really be bothered!”

In truth if you’re looking at these and thinking, “Could I really be bothered?”

I’d say “It’s probably best to stay clear unless:

a) You have a crafting itch that really really needs a scratch

b) You have time on your hands

and c ) You really really like the people you’ll be sending them to.

If you tick all three boxes then please read on my friend!

I started with my beloved Christmas biscuit tins for inspiration/ stealing their design.

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I love the trees in the boxes on the left but after a few failed attempts at making a tree lino cut I gave up. I have one dodgy scraping tool and trying to get the detail needed on the branches proved too much for my little wonky tool. In lieu of not spending more money on another new tool I went for the bolder pattern of the stag/ reindeer instead.

I traced it from the tin first and then traced it on to the lino using pen which was easier to see on the lino than the pencil.

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I then started to cut away some of the lino with a scissors and used my wobbly scrapper tool to dig out the rest.

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I wasn’t sure how much or little I wanted to cut away from the body of the deer to create shadowing so I did a few test prints. I carefully cut out some more. When I wasn’t sure I drew on the parts I was considering cutting away to see what they might look like and then decided for or against cutting that part away. I ended up cutting very little away which I was glad about because once it’s gone there’s no sticking it back! This is how the lino looked before printing.

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Next I rolled my lino paint until it made a satisfying tacky noise. My roller also caused me problems by not rolling. So I invested in a new one. It turns out any lino printing tools with a red handle end up breaking.  Either they are poor quality or I’m a particularly vicious lino printer!

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I then pressed  the inked lino onto blank cards that I picked up at my  local craft shop and there you have it.

I wiped the lino clean with baby wipes and cotton buds, for the little knooks and crannies, between each print. As I went on I didn’t do this every time and found I could get two, or at a push three, prints before I needed to clean the lino. I just rolled the lino paint over the lino ,dabbed away any excess and printed again.

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After 16 reindeers I decided another patter might be nice so I tried again with the trees before bowing out and going for a dala horse instead. I used the horse I have to trace the shape. I cut away the pattern on the horse free hand and it looked pretty odd to start with. I kept edging away until it looked somewhat okay. Then I reminded my self never ever to try cutting away lino freehand again! Tracing is my friend.

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Many hours later my Christmas cards are complete.

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Now I just have to think of one million other ways to use the lino cut outs for other projects. Maybe a Happy Birthday Dalla horse or a Congratulations on your New Home reindeer card. This might need more thought!

For the moment I’m off for some mulled punch and butter biscuits. If you’re keen you can see my other experiments with printing here , here and here 🙂 And if you happen to have time on your hands you can check out all my crafting attempts here.

 

 

 

 

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Best of 100: All that glistens is not golden syrup

Posted on 7 November, 2015

Let’s start with the fact that calmly baking with a toddler is the internet’s biggest lie. So what did I decide to do with a toddler who woke up wired to the moon when I was pressed for time?

Yep, you guessed it bake a recipe that involves a half an hour in the fridge. Time which would be filled by Ewan repeating on loop,”It’s ready, it’s ready now”.

It is pretty hilarious to look at the hundred pictures now. Even though I looked at the photos a few hours after my stress levels went through the roof the pictures are already altering my memory of the event. I say event because that’s what it felt like. All looks calm and measured in the photos, it even looks fun. In real life it was a bloody nightmare. With his enthusiasm he tipped 75g of brown sugar over his head, into the cupboard and all over the ground and the chair he’s standing on. While I went to get the hoover he fueled his sugar high by stealing big clumps of butter to lick and smear everywhere.  It kept going like that until the slightly burnt male specimen made their way out of the oven. I will concede that baking with my little toddler man has occasionally gone well. We can happily make an easy bread and butter pudding together when he’s the right level of tired and I don’t try to photograph it. I have actually enjoyed doing that with him. But yesterday was nothing like our bread and butter pudding evenings!

I fear the odds were against us yesterday morning. As well as the time constraints of the morning I also decided that this would be the right time to take my 100 photos. The more I picked up the camera the greater the opportunities were for Ewan to spread the baking mess far and wide and practice his “wobbling like jelly” moves while standing on a chair . But despite the fact that I wanted a drink at 10:20 in the morning we actually ended up with something edible. And while I desperately struggle for positives in a day that went on to me getting a split lip from an accidental elbow in the mouth all I can think of was at least there were sugary treats to comfort-eat my way through the day!

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He sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating just like his Granny!

He sticks his tongue out when he’s concentrating just like his Granny!

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The high five guy in the middle and the big blobby dude at the end were my favourites!

Steve bought me back these chocolate icing pens from a recent business trip to Seattle. You heat them up in warm water and then squeeze out the coloured chocolate icing. What will these Americans think of next . Squeezable coloured chocolate, well I never!! They are pretty nifty I have to say and great for little hands to manage.

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Steve’s keen sense of smell meant he popped down just as the Gingerbread men came out of the oven and so he also had a dabble with the tasty icing.

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During the lengthy clean up I considered never ever baking again but due to a bad memory and the photo below I’m likely to reconsider. Although next time I’ll leave the camera down so I have some chance of catching dropped bowls!

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