Mar 22, 2012

Newspaper Pot Project

Image: A Heart For Home
It's all doom and gloom really, or that's what the newspapers would have us believe.

This morning there is report that the Banks are going to start charging us for not having enough money.
What's next - a toll for using the footpath outside their door?

Week in week out there is a constant flow of financial mumbo jumbo across the airwaves, through our TV screens and rubbing off on our very fingertips from the daily newspapers. If it's not about bank bailouts, new government plans, bigger bank bailouts, restructuring of finance, yo-yoing interest rates, ginormous bank bailouts, increased unemployment or the astronomical bank bailouts, then it's the usual peppered attempt at bluff nonsense, reporting on the 'green shoots of recovery'.

Mar 12, 2012

Playdough Project

I made a choice, when I first started this blog, that I would never post articles about food or recipes.

There are a 101 different blogs out there, that each week, mix up a measure of crafts, a dollop of DIY and a pinch of seasonal produce to create that perfect blend of delectable, guilt free, bite sized blogging content.

So you won't find any of that here.

Saying that, this post requires you to use:
1 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of water, 2 tsp. tartar powder, 2  tbls cooking oil, 1 cup of water dyed with food coloring.

Image: Hammer & thread
Mix everything together in a Non-stick pot. (The site makes a point of saying "Seriously use non stick." so, you've been warned!)
Stir over medium heat. It will look really soupy when you start but then suddenly it will come together. When it clumps into a ball dump it onto a cutting board to cool.

If you want to try out some natural dyes and festive scents then pop over to mini eco for their great tutorials.

The link for natural dye, using raspberries, rose petals, beetroot, blueberries and turmeric can be found here.

Image: mini eco

The link for the festive scented playdough can be found here.

Image: mini eco

Mar 8, 2012

Mothers Day Project(s)

In 1985, The Breakfast Club posed the question, "Are we going to be like our parents?"
There was a time when I wholeheartedly agreed with the answer.
"It's unavoidable, it just happens. When you grow up, your heart dies."

The adult part of me believes in that first sentence. The second part belongs to every generation of teenager - and what do they know?

It's a little over a week until Mothers Day and I recently read an article which stated  - "There's a lot more to being a woman than just being a mother, but there's a hell of a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect". This was made even more clear to me while reading a bedtime story with my son.  The Wolf And The Seven Young Kids . In the story , a mother goat, leaves her 7 young kids at home while she goes to the woods to find food. She warns them about a nasty old Wolf who may try and trick them into letting him in and thus getting a chance to eat them up.

Of course they get eaten up, it's the Brothers Grimm after all, and the Mother goes on a revenge rampage against the Wolf, armed with a scissors, sowing thread and a bunch of stones, literally and metaphorically.

The Wolf gets it in the end.


It made me think about a incident in my life that I've tried to bury for the longest time. Something that happened to me in childhood that really should remain in childhood but maybe now is the time to finally admit it.

I stole money from my Mother.

I was around 8 years old. I had a crazy fixation about Magnum P.I. the tv show. I wore a brown corduroy jacket and I believed I was Magnum (Magnum never wore a brown corduroy jacket. I was 8, OK?)
I use to love the candy cigarettes that were probably only one ingredient away from chalk. The red tip giving the impression it was lit. I would hold it in my mouth for what must have seemed like hours, but was probably only 5 or 6 minutes, before eating it, tiny nibble by nibble, smoking it down to the butt. Now, I really was Magnum. (Magnum NEVER smoked cigarettes. I WAS 8, OK?)

One day I found £10 Sterling. £10. STERLING. This was a fortune to me and in 1982 was nothing to sniff at - but I found it. It was mine.  Think of all the sweets I could buy. I found it in an envelope. Think of all those candy cigarettes. The envelope was in a handbag. I could have candy cigarettes for the rest of my life. The handbag was in a drawer. I could BE Magnum for the rest of my life. The drawer was in my mothers room.     I ran.

I was 8 years old.

My mother found my stash of candy cigarettes under the bed along with a wad of money. She asked me where I got it and I told her. I've never been more embarrassed in my life. My mother explained to me what I had done and I understood finally what it meant. I had let her down and lost her trust. She still loved me. She was still my mother.

Now it was time for her revenge rampage. She took the money and candy cigarettes in one hand and me by the other and marched me back to the shop, not just to get her money back, but to protest at the shop owner for 2 reasons.
1: selling all those sweets to an 8 year old - with that amount of money & minus a parent and...
2: not giving the correct exchange rate on the sterling. You see, my mother would not be taken for a fool. The shop owner had treated the £10 sterling as if it was £10 Irish and in 1982, £10 sterling was probably worth £20 Irish. On this day my mother had been ripped off twice and she was very pissed off.

I just remember my Mother walking into that shop with her head held high and walking out with her head still high, plus £10 Sterling in her pocket.

Mothers do the most incredible things. For this, we must thank them and if we forget to do it day in and day out, then at least we have this one day in which we can praise them, before ultimately falling back into our old pattern and taking them for granted once more.

Here are 81 Handmade gift ideas for Mothers Day.

Some of my favourites are:

Mothers Day Newspaper
Honor Mom by publishing your own Mother's Day newspaper.

Image: Martha Stewart

Homemade Body Scrub
Make Mom her own all-natural body scrub filled with salts, sugar, and lemon zest.

Image: Martha Stewart

Tea cup lights
Antique teacups that have lost their saucers still make sweet gifts when fitted with candles.

Image: Martha Stewart
Stamped Book Bindings
A good read always makes a nice gift for Mother's Day, but why not make it good-looking, too? Use rubber stamps to decorate the edges with a design or message
Image: Martha Stewart

So back to that question posed by The Breakfast Club "Are we going to be like our parents?"

If that means seeing them as you want to see them, in the simplest terms and in the most convenient definitions: A teacher, a friend, a provider, a listener and a disciplinarian.

Then yes it's unavoidable, it just happens.

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