Cleaning ink

What a surprise I had to find Emily had used pen to write all over her white bed.


She even signed her work. Off to google I went and one website said try shaving cream or hairspray. So off I went to gather my supplies.

I tried the shaving cream but it did nothing do I moved on to the hairspray not expecting anything much but the ink just melted away!
So I just sprayed and wiped and all the surface ink was gone quite easily but you could still see the indents.

Back to google and I collected my next supplies.


I even enlisted Emily to do the scrubbing with the toothbrush but all the photos are too blurry.
All the ink stains disappeared and I wiped it down with paper towel and spray and white and you can’t tell what Emily had been up to!



July 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

Alexander’s birthday present

Emily seems to do well out of my creations and I’ve been thinking what to make Alexander for his birthday. I have seen on Pinterest of storing toy cars on knife holder magnetic strips. Unfortunately the metal in modern toy cars is negligible and this doesn’t work. I toyed (ha ha) with the idea of attaching magnets to the cars and doing it that way but thin strips don’t have the grip to hold the weight of the card and bigger magnets means you can’t drive the cars anymore.

So next idea was hot glue Velcro strips to the cars.


I originally put the strip lengthwise but that means the cars slide more than roll but if I just put it on the middle section that was enough.

I found a canvas (the last one! Time to buy some more they’ve been so useful) and Emily got to painting. Green for grass and A’s favourite colour.



My first idea was to lay ‘roads’ using felt but I didn’t like how it looked as my felt wasn’t long enough to do a length without a join and because I had cut it thick it just didn’t represent my idea.

I changed ideas and because Alexander us interested in maps I printed out maps of where we live, the new house and other significant places i.e. grandparents’ houses.

I glued this on with Mister Maker’s gloopy glue – craft glue mixed with water. I let dry and over a period of couple of days ( while A was at school) E and I covered the maps with 2 layers of gloopy glue.

I then used the felt to make an A in the middle. Unfortunately this is where I stuffed up. I glued the A on upside down, ie the maps are now the wrong way round.

Here is the finished result. I am pleased with it, I hope A will be.


The banner at the top is perhaps for his cake but I am starting to think it is too big and looks good draped over the canvas.

July 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Girl’s hair and jewellery organiser mk II

We are going to a birthday party tomorrow and the invitation specified no gifts but I asked if it was alright if E and I made something for the birthday girl. With permission I gathered together all the materials I had on hand from when I made Emily’s organiser. Thankfully I still had extra cup holder hooks so this did not cost anything since all the materials were lying around the house.

I had a small canvas because when I did the sibling tree craft the canvases came in groups of 3.
I covered it with scraps of batting that otherwise would get thrown out for not being useful. I knew I was holding onto them for a reason. 😉 it was a jigsaw putting the pieces together but I didn’t take any photos this time as u had E helping me.
We covered the canvas in craft glue and stuck down the batting. We then went through all my material and she picked out the sand material as hers.

This tune I think I managed to do the corners better, I didn’t cut but instead folded and stapled.
E helped me stapling in that she held my hand.

She then picked out the ribbons and this time instead of placing the ribbons horizontally I stapled them vertically with E choosing colour order.
I decided to staple them vertically because for hanging things like hair bands and other things they slide down. This way the hooks aren’t all used up but the ribbons can be used for more than just hair clips.

Emily and I then screwed in the cup hooks and voila all done! Cheap, cheerful and very quick.

Because we had time we also made some bracelets to hang.


As you can see I have a carabiner with E’s hair ties.

July 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

Easter Egg Hunt

This is definitely an old post but thought I would still post about it.

We did a scavenger hunt for their Easter egg surprises this year.  I bought plastic eggs and we put clues and sometimes a little chocolate easter egg in the egg and stashed them around the house.

We gave them the first egg and they followed the clues around the house.  I had bought them some gum boots because we are coming into winter and wet season and they needed to get some so I thought I would include it as part of their Easter surprise. I wrote and drew the clues so both Emily and Alexander could try to solve it.  The rule was they had to do it together holding hands.


The clues It’s a bit hard to see but it is a picture of our mailbox with the words Go Here!  Also a bad picture of a dog and a dog bowl with the words where Jacky eats (this is where we put their gumboots and the clue was inside one of the boots).  A picture of our BBQ, just the words where our wii games are (wasn’t going to try and draw that one – though I suppose just a rectangle would have done with a slit).  And the last clue was a picture of the fridge saying Time for Breakfast and this is where their Easter basket and eggs were.



With their surprises

May 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

Science experiments with colour

I’ve been sitting on these photos for ages, just trying to find the time to upload them and write a blog post about them.  I could be sweeping the floor (and it needs it!) but I am downloading the photos instead.

In the holidays we went to the Science Museum on a rainy day.  We were going to go to the botanical gardens (we were dressed in raincoats and gumboots) but it got cancelled for being too wet so off we went in our gumboots to the science museum.  It cost a bit of money because I added on the extras of the planetarium and laser show but that was the most interesting bits for me and we got to watch two science shows on dry ice and bubbles and balloons.

Anyway Alexander this year has been getting pocket money and he used it to buy a growing tree from the gift shop.  This inspired me to do some colour experiments with the kids as we waited for this tree to “grow”

First experiment:

kitchen towel


water in a container

We drew dots on a piece of kitchen towel and discussed which colour would be “faster” in a colour race.  We dipped the kitchen towel in the water and watched the colours race up the towel. (no pictures)

Second experiment:

kitchen towel


4 clear cups with water

2 empty clear cups

food colouring

dish to stop colour staining table

I let the kids choose their colours to add to their 2 clear cups.  I set it up in the container with the colour on the outside and the empty cup in the middle.  We then folded the kitchen towel and put part in the coloured water and bending it over the other end in the empty cup to watch the colours travel up the kitchen towel and then down to mix in the next cup.

We then picked a rose out of our garden and placed it in one of the cups so we could see how plants suck up water and it changed the colour of our rose.






You can see the tree in the background growing. Oh and Emily’s tasting plate for morning tea with a bit of this and that.

Also hanging over the edge of the red and blue container is the kitchen towel with the stripes of colour from the first experiment.

(I started this post on the 20th April, it is now end of May  – oops)

April 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

The kids are running circles around me

It’s raining and we’re not venturing outside. We have watched tv, we’ve been painting and Alexander especially is full of energy so while the pair were having morning tea I built an obstacle course.
It worked fine for a while but I think the kids have got too excited when I relaxed the rules and Emily is having a mini breakdown because her bed is messed up because she included it in her obstacle course.
The kids wanted to build their own and I thought it might be good for their working together if they did but Emily built a silly one using her bed and told Alexander he was to sleep in it as part of the course and he messed up her quilt and she got demanding that we HAD to fix it or mummy had to.

When I do it again the bedrooms will be out if bounds so we can avoid this type of thing.

Anyway I started out simple with what I had to hand. We have a pop up tunnel so the kids had to crawl through that.

Then I had a container (fruit bowl) with three juggling squares and they had to toss it in the washing basket.

Them they had to step over a broom stick and step up and down on my wii board, circle around a marker and back over the board, over the stick, toss the beanbags back and back through the timer and I timed it all.
After a few goes of that, they requested longer do I added two dining room chairs which they had to crawl over and under.



This wax great fun trying to beat our PB.

The problem came when I let them design their own and being still young they started adding silly elements.

All is quiet now and I would do it again, just keep a tighter rein on the sillies.

April 20, 2013 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

Emily’s Birthday Fairy Cake

I was 90% pleased with Emily’s cake.  Of course I know and see the flaws.

Anyway I had a couple of websites where I got the inspiration.  Garden of Delight Cake for the base idea, fairy toadstools and fairy topper were the inspiration for the outside and for the inside were from these sites – Australia Day Cake and this site which showed you how to make a checkered cake.

OK this cake took a few nights work due to the colouring of the fondant.  I buy my fondant and the first night I settled down to make the fairy topper.  I decided to make her purple and I dyed the fondant and added the tylose powder.  That was the first night.

Dyed HandsThat was the colour my hands turned but by the next day they were back pretty much to normal.

The next night was my red and pink night for making flowers and butterflies.  Then the next was green, yellow and black for making the leaves and flower stems and bees and lady bugs.  Oops I must have done some more red. This site gave me some idea on how to make my ladybugs but I didn’t make them so miniature.  I couldn’t make the second video on bees work but I got an idea.

Cake fondant decorations Fairy Flower Fondant Cake ToppersI used a cake carrier to protect them and keep them sorted.  So the day before the party I got my 3 cakes out of the freezer.  I had made pink, yellow and green.  I had used 8 inch pans but I had not used up all my basic butter mixture to fill them up, I made a couple of cupcakes with the left overs.  SO my cakes were not quite the same height but near enough.

I use a biscuit cutter to cut out the middle and quickly learnt DON”T push it all the way through all it will get stuck half way.  I used it to give me something to trace around for the other two cakes.  I used a bowl to trace around for the middle circle.

Cutting the cake The bowl different colours joined together icing the checker cake all the layersI used icing to rejoin all the layers, so the icing was around the outside and also around each insert, very handy when an outside circle cracked and I “glued” it back together with icing.  So around each circle I put icing around it before inserting it.  Then I used what icing I had left over to cover the cake.  I had many compliments for my icing. I am not a big fan of butter cream icing and I prefer cream cheese or what we use in my household where the kids don’t eat dairy, tofutti icing.

Tofutti is found with the cream cheese but it is actually tofu but it is lauded as being better than cream cheese.  I find it awful but once you add sugar it is lovely!

I use a tub of tofutti, about 1/2 cup of nutalex (dairy free margarine), 2 cups of icing sugar, a squeeze of lemon and a1 tsp of vanilla essence.

It was a bit uneven since the cake layers weren’t even but with fondant over the top it looked fine!

Once this was done and the kids were in bed I got out the rest of the fondant and the blue icing colouring.

Emily's cake

Unfortunately my butterflies were a little heavy for the florist wire I had them sitting on.  I had made many more butterflies but decided four flying around was enough.

Then time to cut – to see if it worked!

Emily's cakecheckerboard cake gardenSo that was lots of fun to make and I got some lovely comments and Emily LOVED it which was the important thing!

February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

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