Tuesday, 31 March 2015

BBC Painting Challenge Semi Final/All weathers Tuesday

This morning we watched last weeks BBC Painting Challenge Semi Final, we are a bit behind probably due to Grey's! I was excited to see this week the artists were in Liverpool as its one of my favourite places. I lived in Merseyside for a couple of years as a child and have fond memories, we've took the children a few times and they love it too. I think after seeing the Giants there last year too it's one of our favourite places.

It was great to see T.S Lowry mentioned too, we visted the Lowry last year and also did the Lowry trail whilst away in Berwick last Christmas. It's great when everything links up, I love life connections and joining the dots.

Looking into Arts Awards possibilities for Cordelia. Think she can get through bronze quite quickly.

The weather has been atrocious today, high winds all night so I hardly slept, wind is my least favourite of all the weather kinds. It's been torrential rain, hail, snowflakes, sunshine and rainbows!

We had my niece over today so I did a little Easter Egg hunt, it didn't really work. It was too easy for the girls and Ruben (who found it within seconds) and Baby Bella found one egg opened it and was more than happy with her 3 chocolates! Still there was chocolate and everyone's happy about chocolate! The rabbit lollipops came out brilliant as did the cake pop pound shop mould I used as a back up, really big solid chocolates so will be using those again. The medium eff mould and large rabbit mould not so much....




We also had a trip to the supermarket, totally forgot how much harder it is with a toddler in the trolley! But all good experience, also got to sit for 45 minutes on the bed in peace whilst she had a nap. Was actually really refreshing.

Evening spent with girls and Ruben on laptops whilst I knitted. Watched 3 episodes of Channel 4's Raised By Wolves with the girls, they loved it and I'm totally in love with Della their mum. I loved this quote:
Germaine "Mum, why don't you just put us sun cream on?"
Della " Have you seen the price of sun cream? I might as well paint you in liquid gold. Do you know the square footage of six kids Germaine". Genius.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Making chocolate eggs!

A pre-Easter Monday here. I bought chocolate moulds a few weeks ago from the Range, they were only £1 so I thought we'd give them a try. Easter Eggs have come down such a lot in price, most only cost £1 now so it's not really worth making them yourself but I still thought it'd be fun! We already had some pink candy melts and they worked brilliantly when melted, cooled and then put into the small egg moulds.

Ruben helped but it was a messy job!


We had enough to do 18 mini egg moulds and then 1 rabbit lolly mould too. I used the rabbit lolly mould for Cordelia's Alice in Wonderland 10th Birthday Party you can see it here: http://barrasschoolofexcellence.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/alice-in-wonderland-tea-party.html?m=1. It's one of my most popular posts, I can't believe that was 3 years ago and that she's going to be a teenager soon!

We used some milk chocolate from Aldi-their chocolate is good quality and very reasonable at only 99p for 200g. I also bought some white chocolate but ran out of time & moulds for that so will try in the morning.


Ruben used a silicone pastry brush to brush the melted chocolate on to the moulds-I read online that this was the best thing to do-not sure how they will turn out....


Also today Cordelia did more work to her Link shield and sword, it's looking awesome!


And my clever hubby made this fantastic arm guard from a Pringles tube and Poundland craft foam! Genius and thrifty..



Ruben did some more Pokemon hama beads in the form of Diglet:


Also today, some of Bailey's PC parts arrived so he's very excited about getting it built! We had a big family/business meeting. The great thing about running your own business is seeing how you can include the children, it's going to be a real family effort and I love that our children all bring different aspects to the table, whether that be creative or IT related. 

Cordelia had more horse time at Pony Club passing her silver badge!! And practising on her favourite horse ready for her D+ Pony Club test.

The girls and I finally finished Grey's Anatomy season 10. Was pretty sad, or at least I was. Going to have to wait to watch Season 11 as Sky aren't showing the first half on demand yet.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Weekend!

I've really been trying to post everyday through March, I've managed most of it!

Yesterday we popped back to the library to get Piper more of the Negima books she's been reading, she read the first 3 books straight away so I got her books 4-15. 

Only Ruben wanted to come out. We picked up the Lego Movie on DVD (the one with The free minifigure!) for family film night. Last weekend we watched Finding Nemo, it was Cordelia's favourite film when she was 3 and I can still remember all the words!! More painting and Cosplay costume stuff going on. I'm seriously impressed with Hubby's new skills for costumes, I'll put some more photos on next week. I managed to lay all the pieces out for my Minecraft mini quilt project, just need to get it seen on the machine now. Piper did some drawing today too and was much more pleased with her efforts, ever the perfectionist, I think her drawings are awesome



Today we were up early (even earlier thanks to the clocks jumping forward an hour to BST) to get Cordelia off to the stables. We took Piper and Ruben to Meadowhall to pick up a few bits and have a mooch around the shops as the weather was so rainy. Back home to help Bailey get all the components ordered for the gaming PC he is building-that should keep him busy during the Easter holidays! Piper and I managed to do a another cardio workout to Davina, before Cordelia was home and hubby made fresh pizzas for tea. This evening Ruben had Skype with his friend whilst the girls and I watched some more Grey's, only 5 episodes of Season 10 left now! We are going to be left with a Seattle hole in our days very shortly.

Cordelia had a great day at the stables, she even helped teach a small class of young riders and witnessed the aftermath of a girl coming off her horse-yikes, I'm glad I wasn't there! She came home happy, tired and stinking off horse pee as per usual!


Friday, 27 March 2015

Link-ing Friday, Into Film

More cosplaying in the house today in the form of finishing off Cordelia's Link shield and making it more battle finished!


I trimmed Piper's fringe-haven't done that since I was a teenager so I'm pretty impressed with my effort.

We had several family games of Monopoly Deal, seems like our game of the week this week!


Ruben has been writing lists of Pokemon, making a card for his friend and writing her a note-very sweet. He's also been playing on his DS today, a full day of no laptop by choice! Pokemon is back...

This is the finished shield:

I'm very impressed! Hubby's Cosplay outfit arrived in the post today too. So we're nearly all ready. We also had a real cool package from another cosplayer hubby is friends with. He won a small competition at the beginning of the week and so she very kindly sent us several bits and pieces for the girls and Ruben too. The challenge cards I ordered from the Dyson Foundation also arrived today, they look like fun with lots of good ideas!

Yesterday I finally got a reply from Into Film about the film making workshop Cordelia and Ruben made back in October. They had such a fun weekend and it was great to finally see their 60 second film. It was so funny, I wish I could share it but as it has two other children in from their group I can't. I did get this still of Cordelia as Megatron though:

I think we watched it about 10 times last night!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Painting, Crafting, Cosplay Props and horse riding

This cosplay business has taken over the house! There is barely any space in the kitchen as the sides of full of things to paint, pieces of foam, things drying, in between coats of glue/paint! My normally super tidy house has become a prop storage room! I don't mind though, I quite like making a cuppa whilst checking out the new Link shield that Cordelia is painting. My hubby is very creative and its been really wonderful to see him creating all kinds of props for the kids to use in their costumes. I've always encouraged the children to be creative but all of a sudden its happening without me having to even do anything at all!

Here is Cordelia painting her shield this morning:



Its made from a large piece of foam board, hubby cut it to shape and even cut into the foam to give it a decorative edge, then it was painted with white primer twice and then hubby used a pva glue/water mix to make it a bit sturdier.

This afternoon he has been working on a new sword for her, she wants her won rather than using Ruben's. He is also working on a necklace as part of my cosplay costume for a charity ball we are going to in a few weeks.

Cordelia has also drawn this picture of Link today, she changes how he looks on an almost daily basis!



For no reason other than I love it when the cat sleeps like this, here is our youngest cat Coco, affectionately called Bibby because of what looks like a white bib around his neck:


Piper has spent the day drawing, listening to music and also reading more Japanese anime.

Hubby has fixed my sewing machine-hurrah! and also helped me get to grips with a rotary cutter, I'm going to have a go at making a small Minecraft quilt for Ruben. I've seen a few online and they look cool, as its all squares it should be an easy first quilting project but we will see.

Our last stick insect died last night, I was a bit sad but the kids don't seem to bothered. Think we will just stick to the four remaining pets we have now- 3 cats and our little (but super barky!) Jack Russell. It's an equal ratio of pets:children!

I stayed home to make sausage casserole for tea and hubby took Cordelia to her horse riding lesson.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Charity shops, fabric shops & Sheffield's Antique Quarter

Wednesday
 
We started off the day with another few games of Monopoly Deal, our third day in a row of playing it and I still haven't won Ruben yet. He is a master of card games!
 

Having not been out much so far this week we decided to run some errands in Chesterfield-mainly hama bead purchasing (Ruben), quilting tools (me), some cosplay supplies (Hubby & Cordelia) and a quick trip to return books to the library. Then we headed into Sheffield to have a walk around the Antiques Quarter and charity shops. Ruben was super impressed with this top hat, he's wanted one for a while but it was a bit pricey at £23.....
 

Hubby thinks this leg mouse might have been on display in an old toy shop in Sheffield called Redgates, Since I am slightly younger than Hubby I don't remember it but Hubby's mum worked there so he has very fond memories! He once got stuck in the lift visiting his mum at work and the manager let him pick a free toy!
 

It was over £300 to buy this


Lots of corners to investigate


Cordelia liked these Vintage horse riding jodphurs/breeches..


We didn't actually come away with anything from our trip but it was fun to have a mooch around and get out for a bit. Back home for tea, Ruben chatted with his friend S for a while and seemed to have a lot of fun. The girls and I watched more Grey's, we are nearly half way through series 10 now. Its been great watching it all on the sky box sets, we only have until Monday to finish all of series 10 which is a bit intense so I'm ready to have my evenings back especially now its getting lighter and warmer. I do think it has been a good series to watch its thrown up so many questions about human biology, relationships, friendships and we love the characters, especially Christina. I was so happy to see a quote over on http://www.amightygirl.com/ facebook's page about Christina Yang.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Superhero Tuesday

Tuesday

A quiet home day today, I was feeling under the weather again so wasn't up to doing much. Great to have Hubby on hand for days like this :) piper is devouring through her new library books. She's finally trying out some Anime books after much persuasion, she's finished book 2 already today:



She's a bit appalled at the clothing aspect of the female characters-she's a very proud feminist in training-she said she enjoys the story though and even spotted a bit of lolita fashion.

Another few games of Monopoly Deal, yu-hi-oh cards and even Ruben has been reading one of his Tin Tin Library books. He's played happily on Minecraft whilst skyping his friend this afternoon and evening.

Cordelia has been drawing Superhero ponies and painting the new Link shield hubby has carved her out of foam-it is brilliant. He has spent a lot of time on it today, it's a great hobby but he's got lots to make now the kids are joining in the Cosplay fun.

Saw my first bee of 2015! Spring has arrived :)

Monday, 23 March 2015

Millionaire's Shortbread & Minecraft craft

Monday

We all had achy legs this morning from all the walking around at the NEC yesterday, the girls were up late but as Bailey was at college this morning the rest of us were up early. I had a few things to do so Ruben sat next to me and we had a look at his Minecraft skin, I suggested he make a mask like the ones he made at his birthday party, so he got some different coloured paper and Hubby helped him cut out a piece of cardboard and all the squares. 


The finished face:


The afternoon we popped into our local library, we had to sign up for new cards as its been years since we have used our nearest library and its in a different area to the one we normally use. The last few times we have been to the library there is only usually Cordelia who gets any books out, maybe Ruben at a push but he rarely reads them when he gets back. I don't know if its a case of a fresh place but everybody got books out even Hubby and I! Think we might try and go more frequently.

Back home and after a chat with Ruben, things are still very up and down, we decided to make Millionaire's shortbread. Normally its Cordelia who makes it but she was busy doing her art. We even managed to make several chocolate cornflakes at the same time as making soup and a vegetarian chilli-multi-tasking at its best!




Ruben, Hubby and I had several games of Monopoly Deal-we haven't played it in ages, His mood was much better by the end of the day even though his tooth was really painful. It came out whilst he was eating tea so that was much better.

Cordelia has been working on her Creepy Pasta art with the bamboo tablet, its really coming on and she is getting lots of compliments in her art groups. We had to have a chat about proportions as I noticed she was making the neck too long so she managed to cut it out and make it in more proportion.



I think its amazing what she has managed to teach herself, she is even thinking of making a small business out of it.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

MCM Comic Con Birmingham/NEC Sewing Show

Its the third time I have been to the NEC Sewing for pleasure show, second time for Piper. Its always a good place to get lots of ideas, inspiration and cute material. Its the first time I haven't bought anything but Piper got some really cute material for a skirt she is planning on making so it was worth it and I got lots of ideas for new projects :)

As we were going to the NEC I figured it made sense for Hubby, the boys and Cordelia to go to the big MCM Comic Con that's there too. So a really full car with all 6 of us and my MIL.

It was really busy inside and we couldn't find anywhere to eat so we ended up eating our lunch whilst watching a live fashion show. Its always fun to watch as its the designs of students that are being shown. Two of the designers were only 16 years old. I didn't get many photos of the catwalk but we loved this dress:


I liked this Alice in Wonderland Inspired dress and those shoes!! Oh my, I really wish I was better at sewing.



Piper went to have a look at the costumes they had on display, the last time we went a couple of years ago it was the costumes from Downton Abbey and this year it was ITV's  Mr Selfridge. We haven't watched it but Piper went and took some photos:







Meanwhile.... at the other side of the NEC they were having a very cool time meeting cosplayers. How much does this guy look like Bard out of the Hobbit?


It was great that Ruben got to debut the Shredder cosplay costume that Hubby had finished only days earlier, Cordelia decided to borrow Ruben's Link costume and make it her own by using make up-it was apparently very popular!


She was excited to find someone dressed as Noel Fielding's Fantasy Man!


Ruben even got to play a game of Yu-Gi-Oh and won the Yu-Gi-Oh Master!! He won some cards and a limited edition carrier bag.


They had a great time and bought lots of geeky things including new cuddly toys (when will they get too big for cuddly toys?????).

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Alfred Denny Museum Sheffield University

This morning we had a tour around Sheffield University's Alfred Denny Museum-named from the University's first Zoological professor in 1904. Its not normally open to the public but we booked onto it through science weeksy as part of Sheffield's Science and Engineering Festival. I'm glad we did because it was a really interesting, albeit small, museum.




After a small talk we were free to wander around the cabinets. Ruben even did a worksheet! He had to look at picture clues of a section of animal and then find them in the cabinets and write down their names-he got 12/12.

Python skeleton


Skull of Terrabird, it used to eat horses!


Sea turtle Embryo:



Grey headed flying fox:







Cordelia had a go at sketching this octopus:




The rest of the afternoon was spent on Minecraft (Ruben), watching The Dark Knight (Cordelia), sewing and gluing slides on to hairbows (Piper) and hubby and I watched The Winter Solider with Bailey. Mexican for tea and probably another movie. We seem to be in a movie kind of mode this week, hubby and I watched "Drive" last night, the Radio 1 remix. It was a really simple film but I really enjoyed it. We have a busy day tomorrow so it's been nice to have a chilled afternoon.