Category Archives: Projects

Happy First of October

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I still can’t quite believe it’s already October.

Where did September go?

Things were pretty busy for us here with Josh starting school, another thing I can’t quite believe.

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That has to be one of my favourite pictures from his first day of school!

But now that we have all settled into our new routine, I thought it would be a great time to make a Fall bucket list.

I’m sure you’ve seen these things floating around the internet, but most of them seem to be from America and involve things like going to football games, something which we don’t really do much of here in Blighty.

So I made up one of my own, using ideas taken from other bucket lists I’ve seen and writing it on a photo of some leaves I took last fall.

I’m not sure what I might do with it; I’m thinking I might print it out and just hang it on the wall. That way, whenever I am looking for inspiration for something to do, I can just have a glance at it.

Feel free to save and print a copy if you feel it might help inspire you to get out and enjoy fall.

I know it will for me.

We can already tick apple picking off the list.

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Now we just need to go make a pie with all those apples!

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Salt Dough Ornaments

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I’ve been trying to get Josh to help me in the kitchen recently.

Sometimes it’s a good idea.

Other times, it’s not.

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Despite not actually getting anything in the bowl, Josh loves helping out and he really enjoyed making this salt dough recipe that we found here.

Salt dough seems like the perfect recipe for little hands as it only has three ingredients; salt, flour and water.

And then there’s all the fun of rolling it out and cutting it into shapes.

Or big lumps of shapes in Josh’s case.

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During one rainy day several weeks back, we went ahead and made the dough, cut out some shapes using cookie cutters and baked them.

I’ve been saving them for a cold and rainy day to use as a fun, little activity to do with Josh.

Today turned out to be that day.

So, nice and warm inside, we got to work painting some of the ornaments.

Josh especially liked the fish.

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I decided to try and make something to hang in Josh’s room and used some of the stars and a map of the USA.

I painted the map white and the stars red, white and blue.

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Then, using some string, I threaded the ornaments onto the string.

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It turned out better than I thought it would and I’m thinking that tomorrow would be good day to hang it up in Josh’s room and talk to him about Thanksgiving being celebrated back in America.

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Though he’d probably be just as happy hanging the fish up instead.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

DIY Bunting Cards

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I feel as if I’ve been posting so many outings lately, I should attempt to even things out with a quick project I did the other night.

My Grandma’s birthday is coming up, and as all my family knows, I love to pass Josh’s “artwork” off as cards.

Well, as much as I wanted to get Josh to make a card for his Great Grandma, I decided maybe I should give her a break from Josh’s creations and make one myself.

I’m so glad I did.

I had seen cards for sale like this on Etsy and thought it wouldn’t be too hard to make my own; though I’m sure they’re nowhere near as professional looking as the ones I found on Etsy.

But they were very easy to make.

I cut out some triangles from bits of coloured paper.

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Then, using a pack of blank cards I had on hand, I glued just the top of the triangles to the front of the card, mimicking the shape of hanging bunting.

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Then, I got my sewing machine out and sewed a quick little line at the top of the bunting, to look like the string.

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I got my letter stamps out and got to work.

I had heard a trick about wrapping a rubber band around the letters to keep them all in line, which worked wonderfully.

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I finished my Grandma’s card and had all the supplies out, so I figured I should make some thank you cards too.

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I thought they turned out pretty cute, so I ended up making more than a few.

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I made so many, poor Josh may be out of a job.

Though I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding other things to paint!

Little Book of ABCs

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I am so excited with the results of this project, I just had to share.

I had seen the idea for alphabet books on pinterest, specifically here, at Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Basically, the idea is to use photos of items from around your house to make a personalised photo book for your child.

It sounded like a wonderful idea and I thought with the amount of photos I take of Josh, it would be a breeze.

I was wrong.

It took several days to go through all my photos, desperately searching for any photo which might have some tenuous link to a letter of the alphabet.

On several occasions, I gave up and just took new photos. I remember walking around the house on one occasion mumbling “Q? What the heck starts with Q?!”

I eventually found something.

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Who knew living in England would come in so handy?

Josh adores the book though, which makes it all so worth while! When we read it out, I will say “A is for…” to which he shouts out “animals!” with a big grin on his face.

Here are a few of my favourite pages.

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And this is Josh’s favourite page.

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Last night, we never got any further than this page, as Josh went into immense detail about what colour jelly beans he wanted to eat and refused to let me turn the page, content to just stare and talk about jelly beans all night.

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That’s my boy!

Baby Book Themed Baby Shower

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On Saturday, we had a baby shower for Tim’s sister.

Saturday also happened to be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures hovering close to 90.

For other parts of the world, that may be typical summertime weather; but here in the UK, we just aren’t used to that kind of heat.

It was ridiculous.

The icing on the cake melted.

I didn’t even know that could happen.

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It was still a delicious cake and turned out to be a wonderful baby shower.

We did a book themed baby shower where every guest brought along a book they enjoyed as a child.

I had made book plates for them to fill in and leave a message for baby.

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Also as guests came in, they were asked to put their thumbprint on a picture, which hopefully will resemble Winnie the Pooh holding balloons. I’m hoping this can then be framed and hung up in baby’s nursery.

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Both men and women were invited and we played some games like baby pictionary and had a BBQ going.

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I had used several old children’s books to make bunting for the shower.

It felt a bit sacrilegious to be cutting up these books but I’m thinking maybe these could even hang in a child’s room after the shower.

Either way, they turned out very cute.

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Guests were also invited to paint a baby onesie, which we hung up to dry on a clothesline outside.

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I had bought several bags of them, ranging in sizes from newborn all the way to a year so they won’t all have to be worn at once.

I think everyone did such a great job on them and they all turned out so good.

Here is Tim’s.

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Typical football.

And here is mine.

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Typical American Dr. Seuss rip off.

But it really was a great shower with a great group of people.

Everyone left with bookmark favours and cookies.

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Josh especially seemed to have a great time, though I suspect that had to do with being allowed to eat a cupcake.

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Sidewalk Paint

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The other day I was frosting cookies for Josh’s birthday party.

Train cookies.

The poor guy. He loves trains. It was probably torture for him watching all those cookies sit there on the counter, waiting for their frosting to dry.

I told Tim I just needed a few more minutes to finish decorating the cookies and so he agreed to watch Josh outside for me.

As I went about decorating the cookies, Josh came in saying something like “Train. Paint.” and ran back outside.

I laughed to myself, thinking, “oh how cute; he thinks I’m painting trains with the icing.”

After I finished, I went outside to check on the boys and saw Josh holding a paintbrush, dripping with paint, painting, you guessed it, his train.

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Josh’s Godmother, Lucy, had given him this train as a first birthday present and I guess we had left a paintbrush to soak in a cup at Josh level, and well, you know the rest.

We stopped Josh and cleaned all the paint off of Thomas. Or at least the best that we could.

Josh wasn’t too happy when we took the paintbrush away from him.

Not at all.

So in the middle of his tantrum, I looked up “how to make sidewalk paint” and in less than a minute, had made some paint.

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I found the recipe here at Spoonful.

All you need is:

• 1/4 cup of corn starch;

• 1/4 cup of cold water; and

• food colouring.

Just mix the corn starch and water together, then add the food colouring to get the desired colour.

This all took less than a minute to do, and Josh was very happy when I showed him the paint that he could paint with.

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Outside of course.

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Moustache T-shirt

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As you guys know, our very talented brother-in-law, Andy, has been building us a new closet.

This means we’ve been (attempting) to clean out our wardrobes and get rid of clothes we don’t wear anymore.

Which means we find awesome shirts like this!

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If you can’t tell, it’s a Cranberries t-shirt. They are a band that I think was before my time, but Tim assures me they were very cool when he was a teenager.

I had a good laugh over this find.

And as much as I wanted to donate it to a charity shop, I had seen this tutorial on how to make a moustache t-shirt, and I needed some spare black fabric.

I’ve been wanting to make Josh a quiet book and had heard about appliqués and thought this was a great, easy project to try it out on.

It turns out it was easy. Really easy. Like 20 minutes easy.

All I did was print out the moustache picture and cut it out.

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Then I traced the moustache onto the heat and bond paper,

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And ironed the paper onto my black fabric.

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I then cut out the moustache, cutting along the tracing I had made.

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I decided where I wanted to place it on my white t-shirt and ironed it on.

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I used my sewing machine to secure it onto the t-shirt.

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And in less than half an hour, Josh had a cute new t-shirt!

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