Monday, 23 March 2009

Crafting outside my comfort zone

I don't usually 'do' papercraft, in any form. Any cards I make are usually a handmade brooch pinned onto a card, or something the girls have squiggled. But recently I found a tutorial for making doll rooms from cardboard and patterned paper and decided to have a go. Tiny Small has been clamouring for a new house for her Geraniums (aka Sylvanian animals) and I'd rather spend money on the furniture than on yet another plastic abode.

And this is the type of thing I like to spend pennies on - yummy looking sweeties that wouldn't look out of place in a Sylvanian Country Living house.

We measured (twice) and cut (once) and glued and squeaked and duct taped. There were some tense moments when the glue started to soak through the floor paper and made it all bubbly - and reminded me why I don't do paper crafts. But we kept breathing and in the end the fluffy cat mummy moved in with her rabbit and kitty babies and the goat daddy - don't ask.

They do seem rather settled, and their wallpaper is far prettier than the decoration in our bedroom. Wonder if it would scale up?

I moved back into my comfort zone to make some bunting and a little sign for Kristina's allotment cafe - some inexplicably motivated people burned the old one down and she's been put in charge of bunting and decoration for a temporary replacement. She asked for bunting instructions and I thought it was easier to make and send some than to describe the process. Hope it works to lure in cake buyers, Kristina!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Calling all geeks!

March sees two weeks of heady excitement in the form of the annual Cambridge Science Festival - surely irresistible to those of us with even the vaguest nerdy tendencies. Clearly, as someone with a self declared interest in kiddie science I HAD to go along, and so did the rest of the family who were nearly as giddy as I was.

We duly boarded the Park and Ride bright and early last Saturday morning. Weekend P&R is usually to be avoided at all costs - Cambridge city centre is bad enough on a Saturday lunchtime without adding an all standing, sardine packed blue bus into the equation. But we had No Choice, it Had To Be Done.

At the Chemistry department we donned rubber gloves, lab coats and safety glasses and walked past labs emitting Organic Chem smells that whisked me right back to undergraduate days (and the outfits reminded me why I quit bench science in the first place.) We made blue goo, and green slime, and also a bagful of violently yellow silly putty:

I can't help thinking that if a child is small enough to be tempted by a bite of that, they're probably too small to read the label ...

Something we were allowed to eat was ice cream made by stirring liquid nitrogen into sweetened milk - really delicious - prepared by two charming students who encouraged small people to wave their hands in the clouds of water vapour while geeky parents tensely muttered "Don't touch the (intensely cold to the point of tissue damage) mixing bowl!!!!"

This weekend we may brave the Vet School ...

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A belated Valentine

Yesterday Julia showed some beautiful glass heart beads she found recently, and she reminded me that I've been hoarding similar beads for a while now with the intention of making something pretty. Every bead selection I buy seems to have a few hearts in it these days, and I'm not about to complain - we have hearts all over the house: beaded ones, glittery ones, cake tins, bits of fabric ...

So I decided to make a little charm bracelet. See how it sparkles!

And I was so pleased with it I decided to make another one:

I've been wearing them together all day. I think I might do the same again tomorrow, especially if the sun shines again!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Time to come clean

Dear Blog,

You must have noticed things have been a little different recently. I've been neglecting you, and been distracted, and perhaps you've wondered what or who has been stealing my attention.

Well, it's time for a confession. Ever since a certain tall dark handsome chap came into our home I've been unable to keep away.

You'll always hold a special place in my heart, but please be patient with me for now!


DC xxx

Now hold on there - I'm talking about a PIANO!!!!

Right, now that's out of the way, and I feel much better for having got it off my chest. Recently, hours that would have been spent blogging have passed quickly as I grapple with the very basics, learning major and minor chords and forcing my hands to play separate tunes and rhythms (good grief it's hard - how on earth do small people with little hands do it?!)

Of course, every new hobby requires kit (and admit it ladies, who amongst us doesn't have a stash of stuff that simply has to be the mark of a mildly obsessive nature?), and we've had hours of fun browsing the Oxfam bookshop for music, some of which is already playable and some frankly optimistic.

Though I will concede that this one is probably downright unforgivable.