Tagged Blue Peter

Silly Mummy Makes (Wrecks, Semantics) a Fairy House and Fairy

fairy2Today I am branching out slightly with a craft post (non-toddler related). I am toying with the idea of creating a new category for this type of post, probably called: ‘What Is Silly Mummy Doing? Who Cares?’

So what did Silly Mummy do last weekend, I hear no one ask. Well, in preparation for The Toddler’s birthday, I made a fairy from some wire and a wooden bauble. Because I am Blue Peter now. And a little wooden fairy house. I didn’t make the actual house. I am Blue Peter, I am not Tim Allen (Home Improvement or The Santa Clause – either is applicable to the production of a small wooden house for a child). You can tell the house was not made by me, because it is not made of a fairy liquid bottle & some double-sided tape.

Actually, there is double-sided tape involved. I love double-sided tape. I firmly believe it is stronger than superglue. Or at least quicker. Superglue is strong, in all fairness. After being held in place for about 30 minutes. Up to 29 minutes, superglue is about as sticky as milk. At 29 minutes 30 seconds superglue is strong enough to effectively bind your fingers to your project, but not the project to itself. At 30 minutes, the project is permanently bonded, and will look lovely as soon as you have it medically removed from your hand.

Superglue was involved in the making of the fairy. She looks better now she doesn’t have fingers attached to her hair. I make no comment as to whether there is still fairy hair attached to my fingers. Superglue, incidentally, will evidently not bind a wooden bauble to a piece of wire. Nor will double-sided tape. I really don’t know if the fairy’s head is actually attached. The fairy could meet a distressing end. Still, The Toddler does like to shout, ‘Off with her head!’ It’s not usually literal, but things change.

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So, yes, back to the double-sided tape…the house decorations are attached with double-sided tape. Seems to work. Double-sided tape should be utilised more frequently in architecture, in my view (actually, I think there is a good chance it is in current new builds, but I digress). The house has also been painted (by me – go me) in stains for garden fences. I don’t think that was quite what I meant to use. I think I meant to use those paints people who upcycle use to stain furniture. Couldn’t find those. Found fence paint. Did I mention I’m excellent at crafts? At least I didn’t Ronseal it. The doors were only briefly stuck together from painting them. They open again now.

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There you have it: an entirely pointless post, a craft idea to avoid, valuable bonding products advice, and a (*ahem*) lovely homemade/decorated fairy and fairy house for my daughter. It’s the thought that counts, right?

 
 

(Please Note: This is not a review, a fact I imagine everyone responsible for the products I mutilated/used is grateful for. I have not been sponsored by double-sided tape. Covered in it, yes; sponsored by it, no.)

 
 
BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.

 
 

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

Look What I Made: a Handmade Christmas With Nipper and Tyke

Some of you may know Alice at Nipper and Tyke: funny blogger, owner of a sleep helmet wearing genius, and talented artist and maker of tapestry (tapestress is almost certainly not the word). Alice also offers tapestry classes and makes do it yourself tapestry kits, so that we can all pretend to be talented tapestresses (definitely not the word).

For Christmas, Alice has made kits to make your own gorgeous tapestry Christmas tree decorations, and she has kindly given me a kit to try. The decorations come in a variety of designs and colour schemes, and each kit makes three decorations, in different sizes and shapes. They are all so pretty, but I chose the red and white design as I love the heart and snowflake motifs.

The kit comes in a little bag and contains everything you need. You get the tapestry needle, six plastic canvases (two for each decoration), all the threads, the hanging wire, instructions, and the pattern for your chosen design.

The designs are stitched in a half cross stitch. You sew each design twice, to make the two sides of the decoration, and then stitch the sides together and attach the wire for hanging. The instructions are very clear, and the patterns are really easy to follow (as in, I was able to follow them). There are simple methods for neatly securing loose ends at the start and finish. This may seem an odd thing to mention, but I know it will appeal to any other people like me who may be out there. That would be people who enjoy sewing, are actually reasonably good at embroidery, but inexplicably have never mastered using any kind of sensible, tidy method for dealing with the loose threads at the start and end. You would not need to have any pre-existing abilities or knowledge when it comes to sewing, embroidery or tapestry in order to follow these instructions. I would say your level of experience would really only affect the speed with which you can complete the decorations.

It’s really very relaxing to do the sewing, and it is satisfying seeing the pattern coming together. As you progress, and can see the designs appearing, it becomes pretty intuitive to see where the next stitch goes without needing to closely count out the pattern (though, of course, you can still do so, if living on the edge is not your thing). The best part is that, as Alice has done all the hard work of designing the patterns, providing instructions, and collecting up the necessary materials, it really doesn’t take all that long to make a lovely handmade decoration. You then get to look awfully clever and creative, whilst secretly knowing that it wasn’t actually that hard (because really Alice is the awfully clever and creative one).

I have taken pictures showing the materials, the stages and a completed decoration. Mostly because I have always wanted to be a little bit Blue Peter, and push my just started piece out of the way to plonk down my ‘one I made earlier’. In fact, if I have one criticism here, it would have to be the disappointing lack of double sided tape and washing up liquid bottles involved in the making of these decorations. Of course, for all those who have less romanticised recollections, and remember the reality of Blue Peter creations, this could only be seen as a positive for Alice’s creations.

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You can purchase these kits on Nipper and Tyke’s Etsy store. I would definitely recommend them to add a bit of homemade charm to your decorations, or as lovely handmade Christmas gifts for friends and family, not to mention an enjoyable craft activity.

I give The Toddler and The Baby a Christmas decoration every year, and this year will be giving them each one of the Nipper and Tyke decorations I have made myself, so that will be extra special. I may neglect to mention that the credit is really all Alice’s (sorry, Alice): ‘Look what Mummy made you! Isn’t Mummy clever?’

N&T 5

 
 
(You can see more examples of Alice’s work on Nipper and Tyke’s Facebook page, as well as in her Etsy store.)

 
 

Disclosure: I was sent these items by Nipper and Tyke to review. All opinions are my own.