Crafty – Toilet Roll Butterflies

I’m posting this up on behalf of Heather – they look fabulous!Toilet Roll Butterflies

Here’s what to do!

We had some toilet rolls kicking around for a couple of weeks as M has been collecting them – she’s had a bit of a thing, and wanted to make Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus characters as we’d seen them on a tv programme before Christmas.

I googled around and adapted them with things we had around the house – like pipe cleaners and fluffy bobbles for antennae, then experimented with different patterned paper from the crafty drawer, and some glitter glue pens for decoration! 

M was really good with doing most of it with some help (like drawing the lines, glueing the paper on) – we ran out of plastic eyes (but they’d look really good too!) – but they’re really simple to do, I just stuck plenty of paper on the rolls – the wings are folded in half when they’re being cut to keep them symettrical, and away you go! Great fun!

Thanks Heather! I know what we’ll be doing this weekend…!

Activity – Painting Stones

I don’t know about you, but every time we go anywhere H comes home with pockets full of stones. We were at home on Wednesday, our last day of the holidays before nursery and work kicked in again, so decided to do a spot of painting.

Painting stones, that is. It’s a really simple idea, messy enough it’s fun and allows your child (or you) to get creative.

I used watercolour paints (the ones in tubes) as they seem to take a better colour on the stones and wash off your hands easily. We did some one-colour ones, and some dual colour, and even a ladybird which was fun. (the large black one with red spots is H’s seal)

We’ve run out of our paints now, so I’ve more on order arriving next week, so here’s what we did the other day – and even better, we both worked on all of the stones. Now H has a train set to play with, we decided she should paint some stones golden, for the ‘Gold Rock’ station – now I’ve just got to build a station…

Painting Stones

Knitting a Tea Cosy

Every month us Hooky Knitters of Carshalton meet in our local pub and knit – and the pub set us a task. Make them a tea cosy or two for their warmed up Pimm’s Winter, which is to be served in teapots.

Pouring Pimm's Winter

We found what they wanted and gulped. It looked like it was crocheted, and we’re dwindling in crocheters, though do have some. Fortunately Shaun’s mum came along with a brilliant knit for a simple tea cosy using two colours and just the one stitch.

Incredibly, I’ve finished it in just over two weeks (this is incredible as I’ve never followed a pattern before and I’ve never knitted with two colours before, and I’ve never finished a pattern or a project before).

My Pimm's Tea Cosy

So, what to do? You’ve two colours – we chose orange and white as they’re quite Pimm’s-y.

Cast on 72 stitches.
Knit 5 rows plain then knit 3 (colour one) and knit 3 (colour two).

Keep this going for as long as necessary – and remember at the end of each row to twist your two colours around so you don’t get gaps in the knit – it helps keep it tidy.
Keep it neat!
Remember which side you’re knitting from and where your unused wool goes, so that each colour change is neat at the back.
When you get to lid height start to decrease by knitting one then knit two together for each colour for four rows and when long enough cast off. Sew both sides up (and don’t forget to leave a space for the handle and spout!) Gather in the top and attach the pom-pom. You can also put some wool around the bottom to gather it in – I didn’t, but Karen did, so you get an idea of how it’ll look.
You’ll end up with something that looks like this :
Karen's Pimm's Tea Cosy
Karen added a white knitted rectangle to the front of hers with a cross-stitched Pimm’s on there – I think it looks ACE!

Making SaltDough Christmas Decorations

Yesterday was a miserable Saturday, though we made it out for a bit of shopping – but it was the kind of day you’d stay indoors, so I did a bit of googling and found a recipe for Salt Dough Christmas Decorations by Kirstie Allsop. Even better, you can microwave them, so they don’t need baking in the oven.

So, what to do?

A cup of flour, half a cup of salt, and half a cup of water, mix the lot together and you’ll get there. It was sticky for a while so I added extra flour and salt which helped.

Saltdough Decorations - roll it out

After it was ready, we rolled it out onto a board and got our old faithful Christmas cookie cutters out. They’re quite small, so I think we need to be looking at bigger ones for next time… We also made an M, a D and an H (mummy, daddy and H) which we could do whatever we felt like doing with.

Saltdough Decorations - all cut outOnce they’re done, I put a sheet of greaseproof paper on the microwave glass plate, and arranged the shapes – and made a hole through each one (I had no cocktail sticks so used the end of a corn on the cob holder).

It says to microwave for two minutes, but I felt like these needed longer – they were still a bit soft later on, so were left to dry overnight.Saltdough Decorations - drying out

Overnight the shapes weren’t properly dry so we microwaved them a little longer which helped, then I got my watercolour paints out and mixed a few colours  painting the tops of trees green and the trunks in brown. I’m not sure why I bothered as once the paint had dried we gave up trying to do intricate designs and just got a pile of glitter and painted glue onto the shapes (we used Tiger’s £3 stuff) and dipped it in there, before threading each shape onto some cotton for next weekend (when they’ll either be part of a chain or on their own individual cotton).

This is the result : Saltdough Decorations - the end

It was a really simple straightforward task to do, and the painting was fun. There were no rules other than they’re going on the tree next weekend – and I’m pleased with the results!

Hooky Knitters Carshalton

Do you live near Carshalton? Are you aware of our fantastic family-friendly pub The Sun? Can you knit or crochet? If so, and you fancy meeting up once a month, the Hooky Knitters, a group set up by Rachel (who has now moved away from us sadly) are still running.

Hooky Knitters Carshalton

We’ve also got a project running with The Sun – we’re knitting them tea cosies for their teapots to serve Pimms Winter!

I have to add here that I’m not a good knitter – I can knit, and doing this project is the first time I’ve followed a pattern. We have all levels of knitters and crocheters, from experienced to just starting out – everyone is welcome – it’s a social thing.

We have a Facebook group which has all our meeting dates, which generally fall in the middle of the month on a Thursday, there’ll be a table booked for 8pm.

Come and join us! We’ve one last meeting for 2012 which will be a Friday – which may be noisy due to it being a Friday – before things go back to normal from January. We hope to see you there!

(n.b. we are not the fabulous knitters who did the Jubilee ducks and the halloween cobweb around Carshalton Ponds – we look on in envy)