Friday, March 4, 2016

Home-made Robinson Crusoe Costume (from recycled school clothes)

My kids celebrated World Book Day at school this week. After much discussion, my older son decided to dress up as Robinson Crusoe the shipwrecked hero of his favourite (audio)book.

I used some outgrown school clothes to make his costume.
First I found one of his old school shirts from last year  that was on the grubby side anyway... 
I threw three black teabags into about 1.5-2 liters of boiling water. 

 I put shirt into the tea-dye and let the pot boil for a couple of minutes before turning the heat off and leaving the shirt to soak for an hour or so.

I then rinsed the shirt in cold water and hung it out to dry.

When it dried, I ripped off parts of the sleeves, and tore into the pocket. (As it is still cold out I was concerned A would freeze with too many tears...)

The shirt turned out really well, much better than I had hoped for.

For the bottom part of the costume I used a pair of scruffy P.E trousers that were already riddled with holes for some reason.

I cut the cuffs off the legs in a zigzag fashion. And cut a few holes into it.

A added an old scarf as a belt onto which he strung the pouch he uses for Cubs and tucked in a wooden knife S lent him. Alternatively it's quite easy to make a weapon from sticks and rope.

What I really like about this costume is that I could recycle old clothes that we no longer have a use for, my only added cost was 3 teabags, and the fact that the costume is comfortable to wear, its not made of that clingy polyester material like most of the cheaper costumes you can buy in shops.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Home-made Captain America Costume/1

My younger son does not really love dressing up. So when it was Hero Day at school , I was a bit worried about how he would take to the idea. He did not want to be Spiderman or Batman, a brave knight or any other of the costumes we had at home.
We were discussing the options on our way home from school. When we got home my older son noticed a blue hoodie on the banister. "Well...actually this would make a great Captain America costume... would you like that S?" he said. And he would, so I got down to making the costume.
I used white felt for the A on the hood and the star. I attached the felt with Bondaweb and subsequently sewed it on. (I cut the star out in one and cut it in half and lined it up on either side of the zip.)

The shield was made out of a cereal box. I used a plate as a template , and cut two circle shapes.
I also cut a longer rectangular shape for the handle that I covered in duct tape, to make the handle stronger.
I cut two slots into one of the circles and pushed the handle through both holes.

The handle from the back
And duct taped the ends of the rectangle on the other side.

I painted and varnished the Captain America sign on the other circle and glue-gunned the two sides of the shield together. I wanted to make sure the shield does not fall apart at school, and result was a shield that the kids have played with a lot in last few months and is still intact.

And S has been wearing the hoodie a lot too, and not only for dressing up. 

Infact, A has also requested and recieved his own Captain America hoodie....
coming soon to Feverish Feltist :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Home-made pizza

This Monday, by older son's school had an inset day, and we wanted to do something special at home. So I thought we could try making pizza... again.
I have to say, I do not have the best track record with pizza dough. We've had some bad ones since I started trying to make them. The kids and my husband have been very supportive and optimistic, and it seems to have paid off, as this latest attempt actually turned out alright!

 This is the recipe I used for the dough (from the BBC Goodfood website)

300g flour ( I just used plain this time )
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1tsp salt
1tablespoon olive oil

Mix, knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let raise.

Pizza Sauce (ala Judit Stahl and recommended by Adrienn :))
Half the amount is enough for the two pizzas we made, but I'd rather have some extra pizza sauce at home than half a carton of passata)

400g passata (one pack)
2-3 garlic cloves
two pinches of oregano/basil
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs tomato puree (sometimes I omit this)
pinch of sugar
salt, pepper

Just mix until they come together as a smooth sauce. Waited about half an hour for the dough to raise a little bit

I preheated the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and alsp preheated to bake trays(, as I have had problems with the dough being undercooked in the past...)
We made two bases, being careful not to make them too thin, (approximately 1 cm) (another issue I have had...)
Put bases into the oven for about 2 minutes.
Took them out of the oven, smeared them with sauce grated cheese, sausages and fresh basil.

Note: I had some left over pizza sauce (about half). It lasts for a week or so in the fridge and it is a great sauce for quesadias or grill cheese sandwiches. In fact, I sometimes make quick and easy mini pizzas from English Muffins with this sauce!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Painted Herb Marker Rocks for our Garden

We had spent a lot of time by the seaside this spring. We went down to Brighton for a day out with my husband, then with my parents and kids. We did some crabbing at Whitstable with my uncle, then down to Hastings for two lovely days with friends. Needless to say, we collected lots of rocks. They were lovely and smooth and we couldn't resist. 

Collecting rocks in Brighton
Wanting to do something useful with them, I decided to use them as herb markers for the garden.
I used acrylic paint and acrylic varnish. 

I had to make quite a few rocks for tomatoes, as my son managed to grow 3 healthy plants from tomato seeds he saved from last year, as well as some store bought ones.

My younger one and I planted these radishes. They grew really quick and look and taste

lovely. He was so proud to eat some of the vegetables he planted!
We grew this rocket from seeds as well. They took such a long time, I almost gave up on them. I noticed the growth spur as I was taking these pictures! Just as well, as we've just run out on the bagged rocket.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New and improved home-made bread

I think I started baking our own bread nearly a year ago. Since then, I have made several changes to the original recipe. I have moved away from the lovely white loaf towards healthier options, and also recieved great advice from my mom (the right ratio of white-whole wheat and rye), mother-in-law (less water) and of course the queen of domestic advice, my grandmother ( more yeast, less salt, add oil, add yoghurt, knead for longer).

So here is my new and improved recipe for making one large or two small loaves:

about 1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
little flour
3 tablespoons of water

1. Mix the ingredients above and allow yeast to rise.

2. Add:
3  cups strong white bread flour
0.5 cup whole-wheat bread flour
0.5 cup rye flour
3 teaspoons of salt
1-2 tablespoons of oil
linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds, chia seeds to taste
 2-3 tablespoons of joghurt (optional)
potatoes (mashed if you have any at hand- also optional)
1.5 cups water (maybe less, so add bits at a time)

3. Knead. The consistency should be thick and a difficult to knead. You should knead (with a hand mixer) it until the dough separates from the side of the mixing bowl and is sort of "pillow-y" (my word for it- obviously). It takes a couple of minutes and involves some vertical movement of the kneading sticks. If you add too much water it will be gooey, so it is best to add about a cup of water first and add some bit by bit without it getting gooey.

4. Cover and wait for dough to rise.
5. Form dough into the shape you want.

 6. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius until golden brown. (30-45 min, depending on size of bread and your oven).

Yum! Good Luck S!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Home-made Gingerbread Latte Syrup

After a busy morning of Christmas shopping with the little one, we took a coffee/babychino break at Costa. This is when I had my first Gingerbread Latte. I got thinking that it would be fun to make for the family on Christmas morning, so I looked up a recipe online. I found one onn
 I really liked that it could be made from ingredients I already had at home, and took only about 30 minutes to make - but the syrup will last to up to 2 months in the fridge,

The recipe I used was as follows

2 cups of water
1.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla sugar.

Combine all ingredients and stir continually or whisk until it boils, then on a lower heat, allow to simmer while stirring until it thickens.

Allow it to cool down and put in fridge in an air-tight container.

You need to add 1-2 teaspoons of the syrup to warm milk, add your coffee and top off with whipped cream- or not.
I also made the kiddos gingerbread milk, which was really popular!

This is what it looked like when it was finished.

I put some of the syrup in a small bottle stuck a label and made it into a gift.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Candle Making with kids

Ever since, we candles during Puritan's Day in 5th grade, I've wanted to dip candles again. When I came across a  candle making kit, I knew I had to get it. My boys were eager to help.

 A helped me calculate the amounts we needed, while S counted the number of spoons we needed.

 We melted the wax in a pyrex placed in a pan of water
 It was exciting to see the wax pellets desolve, its change of state from solid to liquid.
 We added a bit of tea tree oil to add scent.
 At the beginning we had to straighten out the wicks, to make the candles straight.

A used a toothpick to etch an elf out of the candle

S pressed small glass beads into the warm wax
There some wax left, but not enough to dip candles so we used the mould and added colouring to make some moulded candles.

Our candle collection:
I've asked for more supplies for Christmas!