It's half term break, so the kids are off for a week, but ours have been off for about 3 weeks now with the measles !! Actually it wasn't that bad, almost worse was that the washing machine died (and as sheets and towels were going through it daily this was a crisis!), quickly followed by a webiste malfunction where we lost pretty much all the images of products and art from our website. So it has been an interesting few weeks! Throughout this 3 of the 4 children had yr 6, 7 and 10 exams. Oh and Millie spent an afternoon in hospital with a suspected broken arm, so she had a scribe for her SATS, then on the last day she became full on measle city...good timing on her part...so we have been in quarrantine here for about a month now! LOL
We have also been looking to add to our family for the last couple of months.....no don't panic...I don't have any big secret to spill......... we were thinking along feline lines.... I seriously do NOT need more than 4 kids in my life!!! So knowing the recuperating measley kids were in need of a little measle-distraction, we got serious about finding a cat. We have scoured Essex in the last 2 months looking to rehome an older, settled adult cat ( mainly because after 4 kids I wasn't keen to face toilet training that a kitten requires LOL), but after going to several open days, filling out numerous forms, and having to virtually sit an exam to qualify, we decided that a kitten was probably a lot less effort, and hopefully wouldn't have too many issues like some of the older cats we saw. We need a confident cat to chase the magpies, pigeons, ducks, morehens, rabbits, pheasants etc away from our flourishing vege patch! As we are on a farm, we think this location is a cat's paradise - cat rescue places don't seem so sure about that to our utter surprise!! So last weekend we found 2 lovely boys, Milo (black) and Otis (black and white) who are embarking upon our feline scarecrows-in-training programme.
The kids are all loving the kitten antics, and I'm thrilled because they are pretty onto it re kitty litter, so the toilet training thing is pretty much sorted, we just have to get them used to the outdoors now, every day they are exploring a little further, and they are hilarious to watch. Oh and they are good at catching (and eating ) bugs too - we have around quite a lot of spiders, ants, black beetles, bees...all kinds of crunchy wiggly things....I guess they have to learn that hard way about those that sting or aren't so good for them! So far so good!
Now that the chidlren are getting better, they have started crafting. There is stuff all over the kitchen table while they experiment with paints and metal! So I just thought I'd share with you what they have been up to.
Courtney had to cover her second art book with metal. Last time she used pink metal and sanded it back, but this time she decided to use aluminium metal, and she coloured the metal with the new Precious Metal Colour Paints from Viva in greens and copper. These paints seem quite durable on the metal showing no signs of scratching off although it is early days. I'm interested to see how well the paint copes with her handling of the book!
Ella then got involved. Now that Courtney was out of the way and back at school, she started using the supplies out on the table and the leftover metal scraps.Ella decided to cover a smaller book (pics above and below), and she also used the Viva Precious Metal Colour metallic paints, but she used 2 different colour combinations, mainly purples and greens to get a nice contrast. I think it turned out really good, and makes a nice sturdy notebook. The only help she got from me was how to stick it down with humungo tape, but once I showed her how to do the front, she did the back and spine all by herself, she's 12 (Year 7) and I think she really enjoyed this project. She often makes this kind of thing for birthday gifts for friends or teachers.
Not to be outdone, Hugo (8yrs) needed a little box to keep some flash cards in, so he made and decorated this one. First he drew his name on the front of the metal, then puffed that out from the back. Then around that he used a mould - that alphabet one is really fine detail and takes quite a bit of work to get it all defined nicely! That kept him quiet! Then for the sides he did a great job of ruling lines, using texture wheels, ball/ cup or sometimes he made up patterns himself. Once he was happy with it all he distressed it with espresso paint, and then fixed the metal to the box with humungo tape. All the other kids at school are most impressed with his box!Now that the weather is warmer, we are gradually getting the garden sorted out (well Mark is mainly - I just do the watering and occasional weeding). He planted leeks, courgettes and beans this week. The potatoes are flourishing in some cool barrels we are trying out this year - they have a window-slot to open up when you want to harvest the potatoes - I wonder if it will work?? The carrots are showing green tips already, we need to put in another row of seed this week, and the garlic we planted ages ago is well under way. Soon we'll get some tomatoes on the go. Last year the pigeons and ducks ate all the brocolli green leaves one early morning, so this year we have that under a plastic tunnel thing - sorry I'm not up with the lingo! Next we will need to make collars for them i believe. I'm still a beginner!! In New Zealand you just plant something and it grows, here there seems to be a lot of disease, bugs or adverse weather conditions to contend with, so I am sure that gardening skills of people here are far more attentive than what we are used to! My friend Diane is an avid gardener, and she pops over here once a week, so she is our chief consultant and advisor. I think we'd be a bit lost without her!
Can you believe June is around the corner?? We still have last years calendar on the wall! I'm still in denial that it's 2009 already. Next weekend I'll be demoing at the Craft Barn in Lingfield, so if you are down South, and need some inspiration do come along. They usually have about 20 people demoing so it's a fantastic way to learn lots of ideas, and see many products being demoed. I'll be using all the new stamps: Crowns and Castles, Metal Xtra, Spring and Sprout papers and Precious Metal Paints. Hope to see you there.