Friday, 22 June 2012

Have A Great Weekend!

Nothing crafty going on here today and nothing to show you really.
My husband is in hospital you see, nothing serious, just a follow up from previous surgery. Although it isn't serious, he is having further surgery today.

I hope you'll join me in wishing him well.

This weekend and next week will see the majority of my time spent looking after my husband as he will need lots of rest when he returns home. I'll still try to cook up some projects to post but there probably won't be a post each day for a couple of weeks or so.

In other news, the Olympic Torch is in our area on Monday... Something not to be missed so I'm taking the kids off to see it, school has kindly granted permission to take them out of school for a few hours to do this. 

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful weekend.
Kaye xx

Thursday, 21 June 2012

DIY Disney Map Pen-Pot.

When we went to Disneyland in March I brought 4 maps back with me, as keepsakes. I dug them out of the cupboard on Monday and noticed they were getting damaged, creases getting scuffed and corners torn.

And so I made the decision to recycle them into something where I could see them everyday and they wouldn't be just stuck in a box, bag or cupboard. 

I save all-sorts of junk from around our house with the intention of crafting it up somehow, someday! 
Well, on Monday I located a couple of Bisto gravy granules tubs and decided that it was their turn to be made-over. 

If you look in the background of this picture, on top of the orange notebook you will see the first almost-finished pen-pot. I forgot to take pictures the first time around - oops.

Here's one of the maps I started with. They are obviously too big to use both on one pot so I used the Disneyland Park Map on one pot and the Disney Studios Park Map on the other. Even just one map was too big for my pots so I had to try and choose the best area of the map. I obviously chose Sleeping Beauty's Castle to take centre stage.

If you cut a flat edge at the bottom of your map it will make it lots easier to wrap it around your Bisto pot to cut around the top. 

Once you have measured your map to the size you need, stick it to the gravy pot using a glue stick. (You could use PVA Glue if you wanted but I wanted something that stuck quickly!)

At this stage it's possible you may need to trim your map even more. I definitely did as I have an unsteady hand at times and I stuck my map on a bit wonky. I just trimmed it with my scissors and that was that.

To really protect the map now I need to coat it in a PVA solution but even now I haven't done as I have nothing to spread it with! I need a paintbrush. As soon as I get one it shall be coated and shiny and more heardwearing.

With pens.

I have to say that I'm rather pleased with the way they turned out even though they're still not finished.

The one on the left shows where the crease had started to wear. The left pot is the Disney Studios Map, the one on the right is the most popular Disneyland Park - both in Paris.

I love these especially because I can look at them on my desk whilst I'm working and be instantly transported into those memories.

I'm currently on the lookout for more crafts for my Disney maps, for the first time Pinterest has failed me!! I'll just be using my imagination instead although I do have something in mind that is kind of Pinterest inspired.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow for another post.
Kaye xx

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A toddler friendly lunch - grilled cheese sandwiches

As some of you may know, my little son is about to turn two. Up to now he has been very good with his meals and will eat almost anything you present to him on a plate.

Until now. 

He will graciously take his seat at the table but it really depends what mood he's in as to whether he will eat his meal or not. Sometimes, especially breakfast, he will finish his meal and then search for seconds. Other times he will shout and tantrum and throw his cutlery.

I have here a meal that he hasn't yet turned down, even when he's been in a monstrous mood! Grilled cheese sandwiches. 

I know they're a very simple meal and although they are fried (not grilled as the title suggests), they are not greasy. If you choose your ingredients well they're actually a nice healthy snack.

You will need:
- 2 slices of bread per person (we used wholemeal)
- roughly 40g sliced cheddar (or cheese of choice) for each person
- a little margarine.

You could also add chopped onion, tomatoes, peppers etc for an extra tasty snack. I didn't have any of these in my pantry when making this batch.

Before you start preparing your sandwich, pop your frying pan on a low heat, you don't need anything in it as the margarine on your sandwich will ensure it doesn't stick. Take care not to let it burn.

To begin with you need to spread the margarine over your bread. I used a low fat spread and applied it generously.

Place a slice of bread spreaded side down on a fish slice.
Cover your bread with your sliced cheese.

Take your other slice of bread and place it spreaded side up on top over your sandwich. 

Carefully slide your sandwich into the frying pan. The pan should be hot by now if you popped it over the heat earlier and your sandwich should sizzle immediately!

You're nearly there.
You just need to let the sandwich 'fry' for 2-3 minutes each side, just until they're golden and a little crispy. 

They're really tasty and a great little compromise for a toddler prematurely experiencing the terrible twos!
Of course these are not just for toddlers. You could serve these with a side salad for a light lunch or afternoon snack. I bet they'd even be nice for breakfast occasionally.

I have a list of recipes that I'm keen to try soon and when I do I'll probably post them here, if they turn out nicely that is.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Kaye xx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Choc Chip Banana Bread

Thought I'd share a spot of baking with you today. This is deliciously addictive, especially served warm with a drizzle of cream over it. 

It takes some time to make but it is worth it and fills your house with a gorgeous baked banana aroma. Makes me want to go bake it again just thinking about it!

You will need:
1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (I used 4 bananas)
- 2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups plain
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chopped small (plain, milk or white)

Make it your first step to preheat your oven to 170*C and grease your loaf tin. (If your oven is not in Celsius there's a useful temperature conversion chart here.) 
As you can see from the picture I used a new, unused kitchen sponge to grease my tin with vegetable oil.

I then roughly lined my tin with baking parchment, (greaseproof paper).

Cream your butter and sugar together in a mixer them add in your mashed bananas, vanilla and eggs.

If you haven't already, chop your chocolate, (unless using chocolate chips)

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate. Add to the wet mixture and mix lightly until just moistened.

The time has come to pour your banana batter into your loaf tin. In my opinion this is the trickiest bit as it's a lumpy batter.

Using tin foil, create a tent over your banana bread batter like the picture below.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes and then remove the foil.

After that 30 minutes it should look like this:

It clearly isn't baked but it now needs to go back into the oven. 
I had to bake mine for another 30 minutes, despite the recipe advising just 10 so please just keep checking your cake as after all this work it would be a shame to burn it. 

Next time I may use 2 loaf tins to quicken cooking time, I think my loaf tin was too small for the amount of batter I was baking.

But, when it's all done and ready, make yourself a hot beverage - I chose coffee - and cut yourself a wedge of delicious choc chip banana bread. 

Try to save some for others to enjoy too!

Enjoy your day.
Kaye xx

Friday, 15 June 2012

DIY Pirate Mickey Party Bags

For this upcoming joint party for my boys I want people to look at the things I've made and think to themselves, "Wow, that looks great!" 

I did the Pirate Mickey Invitations first but wanted things to match. 

So instead of buying party bags from a store I ordered some paper take-out food bags to decorate. I like them so much I've decided to branch out and try a few different designs too but not yet, they are still at sketch stage.

This can be done in an hour or less depending on how many you want to make, I'll be making about 15 but I've only made 10 up to now.

For this project you will need:
- A5 sheets of coloured card, with my template I got 2 to each piece so I only needed 5 sheets. Packs of card are £1.99 each 60 sheet colour pack in The Range.
- Scissors
- Pirate Mickey stickers/labels - I bought mine on eBay, £1.79 for 48 stickers with the message of your choice. Size wise they were 6.3mm x 3.3mm.
- Take-Out bags - eBay again, £2.80 for 25 small size white bags.
- gold glitter gel pen - 50p, local card shop but widely available.
- PVA Glue - £1.50, Wilkinsons (But 1 bottle lasts just about forever)

The very first thing you need to do is make your template of your Mickey. The template that I used for my invitations was too big, the size of the 'ear' became the 'head' of this template. I can't remember exactly what I used for the ears on this template but circles are easy enough to find anywhere in the house really.

Draw around your template twice on each piece of card and cut out. 

In the central area of each head place one of your Pirate Mickey labels.

Glue the Mickey Heads to your paper take-out bags with your PVA glue.

Now using your gold glittery gel pen draw on an earring from one of Mickeys ears. 

All Done!!

I think they're cute. When they're ready to be filled in a couple of weeks time I'l be knotting matching ribbons to the handles for a bit of an extra feature. 

Aren't they easy?

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! See you on Monday.
Kaye xx

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Pirate Mickey Mouse Party Invitations

This is what I've been working on all week. Its my boys birthdays on the 2nd and 3rd of July so I'm planning a joint party for them. My only problem really was finding a theme that would suit both of them as my little one is turning 2 and my big one is turning 6! 

We are huge Disney fans (my fault I think..) so what I came up with was Pirate Mickey! Little Corey is Mickey Mad! Rio loves pirates, so it made sense to combine the both of them. 

They're pretty simple to make, however I already know what I would do differently to make them simpler. I definitely over-complicated things here but you live and you learn, right? Worth mentioning too that your children could also help with many parts of making these.

You Will Need:
5 sheets A4 Black Card - £1 for 25 sheets, PoundWorld
1 sheet A5 Red Card - £1.99 for 60 sheets, The Range
Gold Gel Pen - 50p local card shop (but widely available)
PVA Glue - £1.50, Wilkinsons (but I already had this is the cupboard)
Glue Stick - £1 approx, Wilkinsons (I've had this ages!)
Some Circular Items to Draw Around
Invitation Wording Printout - price of this will vary, as some can do it at home. I did mine at the library for 10p a sheet and I needed 2 sheets so 20p.

You can see from the price and quantity of the supplies that these invitations are very budget friendly!

First of all I hunted around the house for suitable circle templates, as you can see I used our tea canister and an upturned peanut butter jar. I drew around them on grey card to make circle templates and played around with the positioning of them until I was happy. (That's the practice trace you can see on the white paper). 

Here's what I would do differently here: I would make a complete template out of card instead of drawing 3 circles onto black card and sticking them together in a Mickey shape. I don't know why I didn't just think of this to begin with as it seems obvious now but never mind. There's always next time.

Here's the test run.

I traced onto black card and cut out the circles.

I made a pirate patch template and traced it 10 times onto red card (I was making 10 invitations). 

Using PVA Glue, stick your pirate patch onto your biggest circle.

If you didn't make the full Mickey template then you will now need to stick the ears on. Press down firmly to make sure they stick.

Set aside to dry, I left mine overnight. 
When completely dry, type out and print out your invitation wording - don't forget it must fit within Mickey's head!  

I kept it simple and printed out universal wording that didn't require me to type each invited child's name in. 

Because Rio was inviting a few friends from school I only put his name on the invitations instead of both his and Corey's.
There will be decorations at the party showing both of their names.

Cut these out and stick them onto the back of your Mickey.

I wrote the name of each invited child onto the pirate patch using the gold gel pen.
I didn't have time to think up an exciting way to package them individually so into a punched pocket they went. They were sealed with a white sticky address label. 

Do you like them? Rio was over the moon with them!! He was so proud showing them to everyone on the school bus this morning, "My Mummy made them!"

*Proud Mummy Moment*

*Tear in Eye Moment*

I also decorated the party bags last night but I'll save that post for another time, I hope you'll pop back to read it.

Have a happy Thursday!
Kaye xx

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Disneyland Paris, Our Pictures.

I hope this fine Wednesday finds you well?

I don't have a project to post for you today as it isn't quite finished, so instead I thought I'd share some pictures from our Disney trip back in March.

This is the moment we told them where we were going. Sophie didn't quite believe us!

Sadly, we didn't get to eat here on this trip, but the kids did enjoy seeing the characters through the window.

This is when you know you're officially there!

Disney's Magic On Parade. We were lucky enough to see this parade on it's very first day! 
And it was stunning.

Miss Poppins.

The Blue Fairy from Pinocchio and also The Fairy Godmother from Cinderella.

These green army men were ace! I love their shoes and binoculars. 

Five minutes walk from the parks you have this! Shops, cinema, bars, and more shops. Oh and restaurants. Plenty of those!

Aurora, AKA Sleeping Beauty.

Prince Phillip.

It's A Small World.

The most beautiful Sleeping Beauty's Castle you'll ever see. 

A tired Corey and his Mickey.

Mickey, always happy.

The Molly Brown riverboat. Mark Twain wasn't running while were there.

We were one exhausted family walking back to our hotel along the Rio Grande. 

So there you have it, I took over 1000 photographs so these are just a fractional amount. 

It was good, oh so good. I'll never forget this first time we went to Disneyland as a family.

I cannot wait to go back in November, although it will be significantly colder, we certainly won't be strolling around in t-shirts! More like ski-suits.

I'll try and get the latest project finished for tomorrow's post!

Kaye xx