Magic Wands

Sunday, March 20, 2016

After a pretty rough Saturday recently, Sunday proved to be a much better day. I had nothing I needed to go out and do, so I let the kids lead the way for our morning. Turned out the bigger boy had been itching to make a magic wand for a few days. He is a big fan of Harry Potter and The Nowhere Boys, so last week was all about magic. This week is all about bats, but lets not go there right now.

First sticks were collected. Then the iPad was consulted, and various how-to's found. We decided to simplify.

Supplies were collected. Two sticks, trimmed with garden shears. Plastic plates for the paint. Brushes, string and hot glue.

It's fairly straightforward, they didn't want a design that needed me to do everything, but I insisted on doing the hot glue gun work! I used a plastic tub lid to protect the dining table from stray hot glue blobs.

Run a little hot glue to get the string attached to the end of the stick, then run a line and inch long or so, wrap string, another line of glue, wrap string, and so on, until you have string securely wrapped around the handle end of the wand. I went back and added a blob of hot glue to the end of the wand to give it a rounded finish. In hindsight, we probably should have rounded the tips too.

Next came the fun bit for the boys. Painting! 

The bigger wanted a Harry Potter style wand, very 'sticky' looking, so he opted for a dark brown. Good lesson in colour theory as we mixed that up from red blue and yellow. 

The littler wanted an abracadabra wand! Luckily we had a tube of silver paint (honestly my craft stash is not bad at all) which satisfied him perfectly. The finishing touch here was the fine silver glitter which we sprinkled over the tip of his wand, very magical!

Coffee is a kind of magic. An amazingly chilled morning considering there was hot glue, paint and glitter involved.

Wingardium leviosa! Abracadabra!

Felines in high places

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Recently, we expanded our household by one.

His name is Rupert.

Before he arrived we had some preparations to make and I was concerned about this guy

Ted, aka Fat Arse aka Anxiety Cat. He gets upset about the weirdest things. Once bit me every time he saw me, for two days, because I had rearranged the furniture.

Based on his previous behaviour, we decided that his capacity to handle change was limited and, while we know we can't guarantee a harmonious household, we decided to try to manage the adjustment.

One of our plans was to provide high places for the cat to get up on. He already had the washing machine and we wanted another place down the other end of the house.

A really obvious answer is a cat tower, however we have had one in the past which the kids managed to break. Despite the kids being older and more sensible I wasn't keen to spend over $100 that would wobble under the weight of the cat. (He is on a diet and Mr Doh has recently restricted his movement to house and backyard as we believe a neighbour is feeding him. why? why? why? would you feed this cat. He is clearly not starving.)

Anyway, I decided that, provided I could get Dad on board, I could probably make one.

Dad, on discovering that I wanted him to put timber together with a hammer and I would do all the fabric stuff, decided he was happy to help.

We designed something simple because we had limited space to squeeze it into and we weren't sure if Ted would actually use it.

Here it is. Dad tells me he managed to scavenge the timber and he seemed to have this bashed up in no time.

The fabric required consisted of 30m of rope and just under a metre of fabric. No padding necessary for Ted.

 I have used treats to lure the fat one up there and he seems to like his observation post.
This now lives in our living room. I also bought a dangly toy for $2 from Kmart and attached that to the underside of the top level, he beats it up quite frequently so I presume he likes it.

p.s I have been eating Gorgonzola whilst writing this post. Not dead yet!

Horses and pickles

Thursday, March 10, 2016

We just went to our first country show! There were horses! Retro cars! Bulls that were about twice the size of our car! And Dagwood dogs. The big boy had his first Dagwood dog experience, I resisted but was lured by the curly potato on a stick thing.

I wish we had kept cooler, had hats and a pocket full of dough, because everything seemed so expensive. Cue meltdowns when I had to start saying no to $10 quad bike rides.

Something I wanted to check out was the craft, cakes, pickles and preserves. It was pretty busy, and all the displays of jars and flowers had large metal grills in front of them. Look how many fruit cakes were entered!

I'm thinking pickles next year. Pickled cucumbers. In fact, these pickled cucumbers. My mother in law is something of a keen amateur in this field, and always enters something in the show, so I'm hoping for some good advice there as well.

I didn't catch the knitted and crocheted items, the boys were keen to get outside and have another go on the rides. But I did see the quilting section in passing (at speed), that looked very popular.

There were giant vegetables! See how big that pumpkin is? Yes it was 197kgs! That little arm to the top right is the bigger boy.

So here's to our first show, and my big plans to dominate in the pickled cucumber category next year.

Inspiration is a funny thing

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Before the shawl went quite so spectacularly wrong, I was, as you know working day and night on it; racing towards a deadline.  I was determined. I didn't have time to be distracted and, as always happens when neck deep in a massive project with an impossible deadline, inspiration struck.

Here is the list of all the things I want to create:

1. Cat scratch pole
2. Notice board
3. Dog bed
4. Curtain for the laundry (this has been on the list for ages)
5. Knicker bocker glory (this one actually belongs to my son but he's pretty keen to achieve expert level in this field).
6. Duvet Cover for my Son

The thing that I find most interesting about these projects is that none of them are knitting related.

As you know, I have a massive tub loaded with yarn. I have patterns and needles coming out of my wahzoo but nothing is standing out for me.

This of course will end when I am staring at my sewing machine, or welding my staple gun, wondering why I am not knitting.
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