Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Sun...

.... doth shine upon this little corner of our green and pleasant land. Looking like a good day to get tidying the garden, although bedrooms are first on the agenda and we decided on a trip to Hobbycraft as the girls have birthday money burning a hole in their pockets.

I haven't blogged for a while 'cos we have been getting stuck into clearing the loft. For once we're going great guns and stuff is shifting. Its taking some time to get rid of it although L at the Art Factory took a lot for eco art which is her thing!
Hettie went to her first art award session there and apart from having a slight return to old nervous habits - which I haven't seen for a long time now - mainly rolling her tongue around and twisting her sleeves, she got pretty geared up for it. Strange isn't it suddenly your child matures without you really noticing. She's very much aware she's doing this a year early, but keen to prove she can do it. She has to choose an art hero or heroine to research and she's picked her nanny - aah. You're right up there nanny beating Leonardo da Vinci, who came a close second.
Issy will be doing a similar project, and while Hettie chose pastels and watercolours, she has chosen textiles and fashion.
In the course of loft clearance I found my tapestry frame, and after an hour trying to remember how it went together I finally managed it. Now to find something to get my needle busy creating.
They also went to a second maths session, which was a little more chaotic than the first. The main problem was basic maths skill were not good, although you have to remember most of these kids are dyslexic. This has in turn sent me on a maths drive here. They had to design a garden and work out areas and costings. Hettie did really well and persevered even though she has never done this type of maths before and Issy after a slight meltdown in the middle of class, also gathered herself and got it finished. They must have enjoyed it because we repeated in on Saturday. Maths on a weekend, never been heard of here before!
So I was busy last night printing off worksheets for Issy - she loves them - and writing out lists of sums from Hettie's GP maths book, so she's ready to go.
They went into the garden and cut some grass for the guineas - I was hoping they would trim the lot but it takes a while with scissors I suppose!

The guineas turned their little noses up at grass and more or less demanded spinach and curly kale, which are their favorites. They ate it eventually once they realised they weren't getting anything else.
So back to the garden, I really must get it sorted this year and get growing. Mrs D as usual has reminded me of her fantastic canning skills. Not sure I'll ever 'can' but sure I can grow enough to eat and freeze. Plus I can't afford to keep buying veg for 5 hungry guineas.
Well off to do something or the day will drift by and I'll miss the sun, it might be gone tomorrow!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

We started....

..... clearing the loft today. It was postponed slightly as dh had managed to delete the drivers on his computer 'cos he 'didn't think we used those'. Still once I sorted that out we got stuck in.
Deciding it would be best to work down one side at a time, we dragged it down, and got filthy in the process. I think we had about 6 boxes of videos, and no longer own a video player. Also boxes of books. But I found some old letters and photos, a couple of diaries from when I was about 10, which the girls fell about laughing when I read them aloud. I found some autograph books - remember those - which my nan and grandad had signed! One letter was from my nan and was a lovely find. I'd forgotton how funny she was. She wrote 'Thank you for the book, I really enjoyed it and finished in a couple of days. Mind you, some of it was a bit saucy' Obviously I had sent my nan a risque book to read!
I found this lightshade which I rescued from a clearance some years ago:

Unfortunately although it was perfect when I acquired it, Hettie kicked a ball at it and broke a panel, and its been in the loft ever since.

I will get it repaired, because for one I love it and for two it will go nicely in the house.
And the girls have generally dossed about, got in the way, sneakily saved things from the 'dump' pile and cuddled the pigs!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Pastels Today!

I had to work this morning which is always pretty boring for the kids, but they were very good and so got MacDonalds for lunch as a treat. This afternoon they played with the baby guinea pigs for a while and then it was back to art!

Hettie had taken a liking to a picture of The Scream she had seem in an art book we got from the library and decided to make a copy in pastels.

She loves using pastels and its one of her favorite ways to produce art work. Issy seeing the pastels out thought she'd have a play about with them and came up with this:

Which I kinda like! Looks like something I'd paper my wall with!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Birthdays and Art....

It was Issy's 8th birthday - at last! She was much calmer than last year and we only had a couple of outbursts of tears the night before. She more or less knew all her pressies, but still had a lovely time. My mum was in hospital so we went round on Monday and had cake etc and as it was pancake day on her actual birthday I did my best to cook and toss them! Ok so the dog got to eat two that ended up on the kitchen floor. Well actually one landed on the bin, but he still managed to scoff it.

iPod Nano complete with Dolly Parton greatest hits!

Monsoon top (which as matching bag at considerable expense) - her favorite shop!

Now, this is dh, in bed in his work clothes, family tradition we sit in our bed while they open birthday presents and he was already dressed for work so had to get back in, having just learned he has games on his iPod which he has had for a year now. Hettie informed him!

Today we went to our HE meet. Group is going great and we have lots of regular turn out which is nice for parents and kids. We usually go to nanny's for lunch but she has just come home from hospital after having a kidney op, so we gave it a miss. After lunch we got down to some art and craft work.

Issy made geometric shapes from paint stamp sponges.

Working on a rabbit mask.

Hettie had some good news this week, thanks to Lyn at the Art Factory - she can start the Art Award, broze level, a year early. This means although she may not be able to register until she's 11, she can do the work, and then register and have it assessed when she turns 11. Great because she is very keen to do it, and some of her HE friends will be starting Monday so she'll join with them. This meant she immediately started looking at art, so we looked at cubism type work and she produced this:

Today she started on a bigger piece, looking at how she can use different textures and materials to produce a similar effect. I'll blog the finished pic - well when she's finished it! Note the straightened hair Nanny Norfolk!

That's about all folks!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Thriller and Dolly Parton.....

... strange combination, but that's what happened here tonight. We watched Let's Dance For Comic Relief where some well known and lesser known stars dance famous dances, a type of dancing X Factor for charity over 4 weeks. If you missed it, available on BBC IPlayer.

Dh and I quickly realised the girls didn't know the famous dance routines, having not seen the films they were from, with the exception of High School Musical. The Flashdance routine performed by Robert Webb of Mitchell and Webb fame was the funniest thing I've seen for ages, and boy has he got legs I'd kill for! He somehow seemed to look strangely attractive in a leotard and leg warmers. Anyway I digress, and so after the show I scanned You Tube for the original dance scene clips.

Its been some years since I've seen the M Jackson Thriller video and so I popped it on. Unfortunately it scared the living daylights out of Issy -surprisingly Hettie laughed all the way through it and she has nightmares if she watches Scooby Doo. They howled with laughter at the Blues Brothers though, and at John Travolta strutting his disco dancing in Saturday Night Fever. Thought it was even funnier when I said all the girls loved John Travolta. There was a sudden outburst of the strut and dance routines in the lounge.

So we stayed on You Tube because Issy asked me if they have Dolly Parton on there. I wondered where she had heard of Dolly Parton and discovered unbeknownst to me she's a closet DP fan. Nothing wrong with that, I like her myself! Turns out DP is Hannah Montana's aunt in the tv show. So we got over my scaring the life out of her by watching half an hour of DP on You Tube, whilst Issy told me how glamorous she is, what lovely hair she has and how slim she is. Hettie pointed out she has big - well lets call them Dolly's - as well!! We checked out a few Billy Ray Cyrus videos as well, and I learnt more about Hannah Montana. Seems to be Issy's specialist subject, maybe she can do a lapbook ;) We also checked you can buy a DP album from itunes, just in case she gets an ipod for her birthday next week.

So click here if you want to see a much younger DP singing Jolene, which is my favorite! I was 8 years old as well when this was on, and I thought she was pretty glam too - sadly, I never grew such a nice pair of Dolly's though ;o)

I've been tagged!

OK, so I got tagged - more thanonce, thank-you blog friends! You take the 6th picture from your 6th folder and post it. Here's me in Bath!

And I'm tagging, anyone who wants to have a go as almost everyone I know has been tagged already ;o)

Friday, 20 February 2009

Thank Heaven for Mrs Beeton...

... now she may have been born in 1836, but boy she's handy when you're having a cookery crisis. The girls both begged - sorry asked politely - for those cake mixture boxes when we were in the supermarket. I gave in and Hettie bought Butterfly cakes and Issy bought some Barbie mix. Both from a well known cake mix company.

So today we started. Hettie made hers and the mixture just didn't look right to me. She licked the bowl out and said it tasted funny. We removed them from the oven, and they were rubbish, and so ended up in the bin. Issy started hers and the mixture looked like slop tbh. And yes I did follow the instructions carefully!! I didn't even bother baking them.

We'll go back to the proper old fashioned way of baking fairy cakes I said, reaching for Mrs Beeton. In fact we really did go back because I had no self raising flour, so it had to be plain and add baking powder. Well Mrs Beeton won the day and we finally produced 12 cakes which looked like they were edible. Actually being on a diet the ones I threw in a bin looked quite edible to me!
After finally producing something worth decorating we made Issy's pink butter icing from the pack. It was Yuk, no-one liked it, so after my arm nearly falling off beating it, the whole lot went in the bin. By now I was getting a tad grumpy. So I made normal butter icing for Hettie and pink icing for Issy!

Girls spent a happy hour decorating their cakes. Unfortunately I can't find my camera, so no pics but the girls and dh said they tasted good. No I didn't eat one, I'm on a diet.

Other than taking 3 hours to produce 12 small cakes, I washed and ironed all day.

Our loft conversion starts in 3 weeks and so I really need to get sorting all the stuff that is stored up there. Strangely enough one of the builders employees is the grandparent of HE children and so hopefully there will be minimal disruption. Ok who am I trying to kid? They've already told Hettie she can go and learn carpentry!!