Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Easter Holiday Projects Part 6 - Stained Glass Windows

I like to recycle 'rubbish' if I can in my house and had some sweet wrappers left over from Christmas.  I also bought some e-cloths recently and pondered on what I could re-use the packaging for.  On looking at these items together stained glass windows jumped to mind (I am a bit strange like that :-) ).

I cut out the two clear panels of the e-cloth boxes and gave one to the oldest and middle sweetpea, and one for me of course.  Little baby sweetpea decided she wanted to bypass this project and go straight into painting so she did that instead.

We then drew designs on paper and cut out the sweetie wrappers to fit the shapes in the drawings.  Eldest sweetpea got annoyed at this point and decided he wanted to paint on some canvases I recently bought for them so he did that.  Just two of us left :-)  Middle sweetpea and I carried on and made these:

These were fun but very fiddly to do.

Now these are some old watercolours I had when I was younger, all the sweetpeas loved trying these out!  I bought some canvas from Wilkinson's, 4 square ones for £4 and they had great fun trying the paints out.  Amazingly most of the paints were still OK.

Baby sweetpea did get a little carried away however - I looked away for about 2 mins and there was a blue tongued monster staring at me :-)  It seems watercolours are quite tasty !

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Easter Holiday Projects Part 5 - Tissue Paper Covered Eggs

For our art project today we made tissue paper covered eggs.  I have been saving up the eggs shells from my cake making for a few weeks now, these were washed out and then glued shut again so that the kiddies can keep these eggs for as long as they want to.   I got some tissue paper out of our craft drawer and cut them into little bits.  We then used pva glue which we painted on the eggs and then stuck the tissue paper on them until we got a couple of layers. 

They all really enjoyed this activity.  Baby sweetpea wasn't so sure about sticking tissue paper to her glue and for quite some time just put more and more glue on her egg.  We managed to persuade her in the end but only when she was sitting on my knee to do it.

Then she got really stuck in :-)

Here we have the finished eggs, baby sweetpeas feather version, my butterfly one, middle sweetpeas chicken and oldest sweetpeas bumble bee complete with sting in its tail.  These were great fun to make.

Just a quick update on the poor pigeon, i am afraid he was put out of his misery last night :-(  We couldn't let him sit all night in pain and with his bad fracture there is no way the bones would have knitted back together again.  Thanks for all  your comments re kiddies becoming more independent, I have sat down with them today going through how they shouldn't talk to strangers etc.  It is hard to teach them that not everyone is nice in this world as we live in a lovely village but they must learn this. 

Monday, 12 April 2010

Easter Holiday Ideas Part 4 - What to do with easter egg boxes.

Apologies for lapsing on my Easter holiday ideas.  Mr Sweetpea is back to work after a week off last week and I work Sundays so it is back to full on mayhem with all the kiddies at home (a nice but tiring mayhem).

The other day I was pondering on what to do with our Easter egg boxes.  I do hate throwing things away (partly due to my eco ways and also an inherited hording gene :-) ).  I remembered that when I was I child I loved making boxes into houses and thought maybe the kiddies would like a go.  I had some wallpaper samples and the kiddies and I got to work cutting and sticking to turn the boxes into rooms.  They really enjoyed this after the initial arguments over who had what box, who had which wallpaper, who had what pair of scissors!

After a couple of hours or crafting they created a little house with cardboard furniture and little felt rugs.  Little baby sweetpea just spent the time gluing her box.  She got upset if you tried to get her to stick anything to the glue so she just made a sticky box instead.

Not sure what to do with the smaller egg boxes yet, any ideas?

This afternoon the oldest Sweetpea and middle Sweetpea went to take Ted (one of our dogs) for a walk on their own.  They are getting to that independent age now but I am still a little uncomfortable with them walking off alone.  They were walking on the route which has hardly any road crossings and the oldest Sweetpea cam running home with a pidgeon that had a compound fracture to its wing.  He was so wishing to help it recover but I am not sure we can help the poor thing.  He is currently in Sweetpeas room in a box snuggled in a towel and in the dark but I think he will die of shock :-(  I am in two minds as to whether to put it out of its misery now or wait and see how he gets on.  Better be off I suppose.  Hope you all had a fab fab weekend in the sunshine.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

A surprise visit to the Sweetpea Household ..

After the excitement of Marion's arrival to the Sweetpea household we weren't expecting more excitement to come knocking at our door.  The Sweetpeas were all sitting quietly in the house the other morning and we heard some strange noises coming from outside the house.  Little Sweetpea, Marion and Elf went to investigate (they are a brave little team) and found an empty box, it looked like a Rabbit hutch and had an un-eaten carrot inside .......

There was a sweet little note inside, little Sweetpea got Marion to read it as she couldn't read yet.  Marion read it out loud, it said  'Oh my, is this the Easter bunny who came to visit little Sweetpea? A little bunny for a sweet girl.  Lil' bunny thought he would come and be friends with Esme, Marion and Elf ... can he stay ?'

Little Sweetpea became excited and worried, the Easter bunny had come to visit but where was he now?  Marion, Elf and all the Sweetpeas looked around and found some empty chocolate wrappers, they looked like chocolate egg wrappers.

As they were looking they didn't see the little Easter Bunny hiding behind the daffodils.

The Easter Bunny decided he didn't want to be kept in a hutch but wanted to explore the Sweetpea household.  Now, Mr Bunny was a clever little thing, he was fluent in English, French and Bunny but was getting more and more worried when he couldn't understand a word these feathered creatures spoke.

And this furry creature spoke yet another language ....

Oh me, oh my thought Mr Bunny, why did I run away, what have I done, who are all these strange speaking creatures .....

He hide behind some more flowers with what looked like a fellow bunny having a snack, this little chap was however very quiet indeed.

In the meantime the Sweetpeas were still looking for the missing bunny.  They looked under all the flowers but found chocolate eggs instead of a bunny.

Little Sweetpea then found Mr Bunny.  He told her how worried he had been and little Sweetpea hugged him tight and told him everything would be alright.

She showed him the little eggs she had found, Mr Bunny said he had hidden them just for her and the older Sweetpeas.

He was introduced to Marion and Elf and little Sweetpea tucked them into bed after a long day and read them a bedtime story.

I would like to BIG thank you to the lovely Monique for sending little sweetpea the gorgeous Mr Bunny.  Monique makes the most gorgeous dolls and felted creatures, please do go and look at her lovely Etsy shop.   Mr Bunny has settled in really well.  My husband did have quite a scare the other day when middle sweetpea came running to him saying that Ted (who looks so sweet and innocent below) had stolen Mr Bunny!  

Middle sweetpea picked up the dropped Mr Bunny and told Mr Sweetpea how upset she was as his eyes had been eaten and his scarf can got stuck round his waist - he looked like he had his hands up to surrender :-(  Now Mr Sweetpea was really worried and was starting to panic he would have to move Ted out of the house as he knew how much little sweetpea and I loved Mr Bunny.

Thank goodness they were just holding Mr Bunny upside down and back to front!  Phew!  (No bunnies were hurt by the mischief Ted and Mr Bunny is now back safe and sound with Marion, Elf and little Sweetpea.)

Eater Holiday Ideas Part 3 - Create a small pond

We created this pond about a year ago and whilst cleaning it out today with the kiddies I thought it would be a good idea to share with you.  It is a fab little pond  and works really well in small spaces and seems to keep lovely and clear.

All you need for this pond is:
A big glazed garden pot
A slab
A bit of cement or waterproof filler
A pond plant
A water pump
Some pebbles

First pop some cement on the slab and put your pot on it so it is secure.  Then fill in any holes in the pots base with the left over cement or a waterproof filler.

Next pop some pebbles in the bottom of the pond.  I also put some slate in to balance the plants and pump on.

Put in an aquatic plant, this helps keep the water clear and creates a great hide for any fish you may want to put in.

Fill up your pond with new water.  Little sweetpea loved this bit :-)

Put in a pump if you have one and there you have it, a lovely little pond!  I am going to place pebbles around the base of ours but I was pondering on blue mosaic stones - let your imagination run wild.

If you do add fish make sure you put them in the pond whilst still in the bag you transport them in.  After about 20 - 30 minutes when the water has changed to the temperature of the pond you can add them to their new home.  This is so they don't go into shock with the temperature change.

I have also seen this style of pond recessed into ground which is a nice idea as then frogs can hop in and out.  As we have little sweetpea we decided against this idea otherwise she would swim in it.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Easter Holiday Ideas Part 2 - Colouring Eggs

As the chickens are laying well at the moment we decided we would decorate some eggs today.  For this I filled 3 containers with different food colourings - they need to be have quite a lot of food colouring in them to dye the eggs.  I also added a tablespoon of vinegar to fix the colour.  I then got out all our arty supplies which included stickers, glue, paint, glitter etc - let your imagination go wild :-)  I used an egg box to pop in some paint and glue and this worked really well - not sure why I hadn't ever thought of it before!

We popped the eggs into the colourings but found they took a little while to colour the eggs.  Thinking about it now it would have been best to leave them for a few hours really to get vivid colours.  The red worked really well and the yellow worked OK but the green didn't work at all in the time we had.

I dried the eggs off a little and the kiddies started prettifying them.  Baby Sweetpea in particular spent ages on this and really enjoyed herself.  She painted and painted, stuck stickers on, painted and painted a bit more.  She even used both hands at once to make sure it was completely covered !

The older sweepeas also enjoyed this but did get sidetracked by a tractor going around the field next door hence no photos of them doing theirs.

Little sweetpeas egg in progress, you can never have too much paint :-)

The end products, they loved the googly eyes.  I particularly like the glitter on middle sweetpeas egg (left) and the cape on older sweetpeas egg (right) and of course the shiny paint on baby sweetpeas egg (in the middle).

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Easter Holiday Ideas part 1 - Terrarium

I thought I would do a daily post of ideas to keep the kiddies busy.  I am hoping to do this every day for 5 days but we will see if that will happen with 3 kiddies in the house all at once for the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday the eldest sweetpea and me made a Terrarium.  I was reminded of these fascinating mini gardens by Ryan on his blog Ryan's Garden.  Oh how it reminded me of my childhood when I saw it - they used to be so fashionable in the 80s!

My son has always had a thing about the Venus Fly Trap plants so was really excited when I told him about this idea.

You will need:

1 glass jar - I used a large coffee jar.
Some gravel.
Soil - we used the soul that came with the Venus Fly Trap plant as it was in a deep pot so had loads of soil.
Some moss to pop around the plant (this is optional).
A spoon to help pop everything in the little jar.

Get a jar and give it a good clean to make sure everything that was in it is now gone otherwise it will go mouldy in a few weeks.

Pop the gravel in the bottom of the jar.

Pick a plant that enjoys tropical conditions and then pop that in.  You will most probably need to take some soil away due to the small space in the jar.  Keep this soil to one side for filling in around the edges.

Place the plant in the centre and press in with a spoon or stick.  We did try just our fingers but the job was just too fiddly for that.

Once it is pressed in pop the moss around it and press down gently.

Give it a little water and wipe around the inside of the glass so it is clean and then close the lid.  If it steams up them just open the lid to release the moisture from it.  If it is a Venus Fly trap you have used then make sure you leave it open so it gets food (flys).

You will to keep the jar in a window that doesn't get direct sunlight.

Thanks Ryan for the inspiration!

I hope you all had a fab fab Easter, I worked one of the days and my hubby worked another one of the days so we are having a belated Easter break together now :-)