Saturday, 30 October 2010

Fancy Dress Costumes

Another quick post tonight, to share the final costumes with you all before I fall into bed.

What did I say in my last post that I really didn't want to happen this week?

Yup, viewers.

After a month with none, I got a text message from my hubby this morning saying, 'Viewers tomorrow 10.30'


I'm sure you can imagine the state of the house. Paper-mache heads in the dining room. Costumes in the living room. Half made cards all over the table , piano and any other surface Alasdair can't reach.

Double groan!

Still, somehow, the costumes were finished, the cards are almost finished, three batches of cupcakes were made and the house is almost tidy. The floors need hoovered and washed, but that can wait till morning.

Even better, David won first prize at the fancy dress party and James won second. Calum won first last year so wasn't too bothered about not getting anything this year.

Here is my cute little Yoda. His cloak is made from an old sheet.

A slightly less cute General Grievous. His spare arms are stuffed with socks from the odd-sock drawer!

And C3PO. Notice how he has the authentic C3PO stand?

To finish with, these are my cupcakes for tomorrow's Coffee Morning.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I saw this on a crochet blog I recently discovered and thought it was a good idea - Work In Progress Wednesday.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have more than one work in progress at the moment, so here are the main ones.

This is a pile of cards, mostly with Christmas texts on them, I printed out last night and now need to embellish.

I am working on a scarf to go with the hat I crocheted last week. I'm not sure what they are technically called, but it's one of those circular scarves, all joined up, that you wrap round your neck twice and then the bitter East coast wind can't blow it off! Nice and cosy.

And let's not forget the boys' costumes. This is Calum's C3PO so far. He is going to wear a brown boiler suit underneath, then we'll stick this over it, with bits on his arms too (the legs are on the right) and we're working on a papier-mache head. 

David's Yoda ears are drying at the top of the picture.

Tomorrow I need to chop the arms off a black top and sew them onto another one for James' General Grievous. And finish Yoda's cloak.

Gaelic word of the day:
trang (as it looks) - busy

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Costume Making

We have been busy today with costume making for the Boy's Brigade Fancy Dress party on Friday night. The boys are wanting to stick with the Star Wars theme but have much grander plans than those costumes from Calum's birthday tea!

As a result tonight's post is short and sweet, but here is a peek at the boys working on their costumes.

Why, oh why, oh why did I put my sewing machine into storage??

I'm also busy making cards for a stall at a coffee morning at church this Saturday. I haven't made any cards since the summer so I need to build my stock up again.

 Plus, I've been roped into making cupcakes for the same coffee morning.
(The proceeds of the morning are going to the charity my husband works for so I couldn't say no!)

Now I'm really hoping nobody phones up tomorrow and asks to look round the house any time this week!!!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Trip to Science Centre

As well as a day trip to Falkland last week, we also went on another day trip. This one was in the opposite direction, to the Glasgow Science Centre.

It is quite expensive to get in for a family, as they don't offer family tickets, but there was plenty to see and everything is hands-on so it's good fun. Just now there is a special Wallace and Gromit exhibition on as well, with sets from the films as well as a big emphasis on inventions, so this was right up our James' street!

This big Lego model meets you at the door. That was Calum happy!

This is a life size model of the outside of Wallace's house, but you can't go inside though.

This special heat camera shows where your hottest and coldest body parts are. The boys are rubbing their hands together here to make them glow redder.

Calum's class have been learning about inventions that changed the world and this was one they studied.

Here is the model of Gromit's vegetable garden from Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Here he is in his little greenhouse, tending to his prize-winning marrow.

We took part in a challenge called the Diamond Heist Challenge. Your team had to use junk to build something to steal the diamond from it's display. You couldn't touch the ground around the diamond though, and had to get it without dropping it on the floor. (This probably makes a lot more sense if you have seen The Wrong Trousers! They weren't encouraging young criminals!)

This is our planning and building stage.

And here are Calum and James executing our plan. We stuck kitchen roll tubes together, made a scoop of plastic spoons on the end of it and put a big scrunch of sellotape on the spoons to stick to the diamond. We had another device of kitchen roll tubes with a cut out milk carton on the end, like a shovel, to catch the diamond in case the sellotape lost it's stickiness before we had the diamond safely across the floor.

It worked a treat, and we made it to second place on the leader board for fastest, successful attempts that week! 

Here are a few more film sets.

This exhibition was all about how packaging and branding has changed over the years.

James drew an invention and it got up onto Wallace's 'Bright Ideas Conveyor Belt'.

David as a builder operating a crane. His reflective jacket was a bit too much for the camera!

I didn't read what scientific fact this spinning disc taught them, but they had fun on it anyway.

This was a very clever bit in the optical illusions section. Carefully positioned mirrors make it look like the heads have no bodies.

Finally, here is the giant keyboard, and Alasdair making sweet music as he crawled along it.

Gaelic word of the day:
ceol (cyol) - music

Friday, 22 October 2010

My latest crochet creation

Now, I know every time I show off my newest crochet project I say how excited I am with it, and how proud I am, so apologies, but here we go again!

I made this hat up in a couple of nights. First of all I followed a pattern but the resulting hat was far too small for me. It was kind of like a beret, where I was really after more of a beanie style hat.

I unpicked about half of the hat and just made up the rest of it, measuring it on my head every now and then.

And then, ta-da...............

(It's hard to get a photo of me without little man in it!)

You can kind of see the flower on it here a bit clearer. It might show up better in daylight but I was keen to show it off! The black wool also has a little sparkle to it.

The flower is stitched all in one but it's like there are three layers to it.

I'm so proud of it, and very excited (sorry!)

I'm off now to make up a batch of them in different colours for Christmas presents. Any friends reading this, please state your colour preference now, or forever hold your peace :0)

Gaelic word of the day:
ad (as it looks) - hat

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Recipe of the Week - Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins

Muffins are so quick and easy to rustle up and they always go down a treat with hungry boys. I always feel with these ones that they must be semi-good for you too, with the banana in them!

In my wheat-free baking I have found that muffins without fruit in them can be a bit on the dry side. The bananas in these ones keep them nice and moist. 

A handy tip is; if you have some bananas going black and don't have time to use them for baking, pop them in the freezer. The skins will then be really black when you defrost them but they are ideal for baking with.

If you wanted to, you could omit the chocolate chips, although I can't claim to understand anyone who would want to omit chocolate! Or maybe add a similar amount of pecan nuts instead, if you aren't catering for a nut-free diet that is.

One final thing to remember, is that home-made muffins are never going to be as airy as those you get in the shops. They will, however, be far tastier! 

10oz Doves Farm Wheat-Free Self Raising Flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large blackened bananas, mashed
4oz white sugar
2 eggs (only use one if you are making this with wheat flour)
3 fluid oz soya milk
3 fluid oz vegetable oil
100g dairy-free chocolate chips

~ Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and chocolate chips.
~In a jug measure out the milk and oil.
~Add the sugar, beaten eggs and bananas to the liquid mixture.
~Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and mix quickly. A lumpy batter makes a lighter muffin, so don't mix too much, but do make sure there is no dry flour left at the bottom of the bowl.
~Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200C.
~Savour the aroma, but leave to cool slightly before attempting to eat.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Day trip to Falkland

Falkland is a pretty little village in Fife. We took a drive there today, stopping first of all for lunch at an Organic cafe, shop and farm  - The Pillars of Hercules. The food was very wholesome and we found some dairy free chocolate spread in the shop!

Then we headed to Falkland Palace, lived in long ago by some of the Stuart Kings & Queens of Scotland.

Because of the age of the property, we weren't able to take any pictures of the inside of the palace. There was furniture in some of the rooms dating back to the 1600s!

This is the Palace garden.

These were through in the orchard.

Looking back towards the Palace

The photos show what a lovely bright day it was today, what they don't show is the icy wind. 
Brrr, the weather has certainly turned now!