crafts, create, key stage 3

My Dream Pet

My Dream Pet by Ronnie age 13

I have always wanted a dream pet which was created by my own imagination. This is why I jumped at the chance to have my own dream pet made into a real plushie.

KidsChaos-PetPlan-Lizard-photo-in-Olive-TreeMy dream pet would always have to be some sort of a colour changing reptile or a chameleon. I have always loved chameleons because of their ability to change colour to suit their surroundings or environment which they are in.

It would sleep and live somewhere warm and comfortable because I would think that if I designed an animal, it would like to be in comfort wherever it can.

My dream pet would eat foods which are high in protein and carbs as it would be roaming free for most of its life and would need the energy to keep it healthy.

The creature would be intelligent enough to understand basic tasks and to know right from wrong to a certain extent, however, this animal is not a human so it cannot communicate with speech.

The dream pet would not need to have a collar or a lead to take on walks because the creature would be capable of finding its way back wherever it is. It would not need to be taken on walks either as it takes itself around without help from its owner (me).

KidsChaos-PetPlan-Lizard-photo-with-pencilsOf course there is no need to get a pet anymore as we are currently happy with our young cat kipper.

You may well know that Mum finally caved in and we got a cat earlier this year who she’s sensibly covered with Pet Insurance from Petplan, but we do still like the idea of an exotic pet too. Maybe a stick insect or a lizard? Anyway delighted we had a go at drawing our dream pet, and Mum had them made into soft toys and awwww we love them!

This post has been possible thanks to Petplan, but all thoughts are my own.

Follow my mum @incredibusy over on twitter, insta, pinterest and facebook too….x

baking, cooking, crafts, create, key stage 2, kids, travel

Fforest gather – a new kind of family holiday

Cheese makingFforest gather – a new kind of family holiday

Family time together just so special as our boys get older – they are more independent and dare I say a little ‘feral’ this year? We’ve had the best of times and made new friends, made memories, and given us something to look forward to next summer too – why? what? how? you ask? Well, a week at Fforest gather, that’s what!

Over to Spike age 15:

If you’ve not heard about Fforest gather – you’re clearly not following @incredibusy on the instagram – or @coldatnight, which you should remedy forthwith – follow us here and here… It’s through instagram that Mum, and it transpires on chatting to fellow campers at Fforest gather, many others, have ‘met’ Sian and fallen in love with what she and husband James have been doing in Cardigan, Wales for the last couple of years…

A small intimate ‘festival’, not really a festival, but that explains the basis of the event – week long holiday with accommodation (optional, you can also bring your own tent/camper van) and daily workshops you won’t want to miss… a new kind of holiday in fact! Two family friendly weeks of adventures in nature, music, culture, creativity and simple pleasures.

view from our group tentWe stayed in one of the ‘group tents‘ – our family in one end, in two bedrooms, and our friends and their three small children in the facing ‘tent’. We brought our own sleeping bags and pillows, and the shared bathrooms a short walk away were positive luxury compared to some campsites we’ve stayed in! The group tents have a communal cooking, and eating area in the centre – and an amazing view across the fields. However, after trying the first catered meal in the canteen, we decided that we’d ditch the camp cooking, and eat with the majority of the other campers – the breakfast and evening meals were just amazing – and the dining area was super conducive to socialising too.

supper time

The beauty of the Fforest gather is that the workshops, talks, walks, performances and activities are all included in the ticket price. Two sessions a day, one at a very civilised 10am, and the afternoon sessions start at 2pm – Between our two families, we tried Screenprinting, Nature illustration; natural dyeing, canoeing, Tamsin with her pencil and puppet making, Bees make honey with the honey farm, making bacon, smoking fish, making cheese,  cooking with fire; axe & knife craft; yoga and wellness; drumming; beer cocktail classes; bird illustrations, silver ring making;  forest school sessions; den building; tree climbing; wild swimming and learnt about foraging with Jade and coppicing with Bruce – woah, all in one week?!

the pubThe evenings were equally entertaining, with, Music from Eyre Llew, and DJs and chatting, and Fforest Island discs, and beer drinking at the adorable little ‘Bwthyn pub‘. Candle lit, and roaring fire – this little pub is located at the heart of the Fforest camp.

A brief selection of our favourite workshops:
Natural dyeing with Hazel Stark – Indigo Shibori (a Japanese pattern technique) – we were so blessed with the weather, so a day spent outside in the Fforest vegetable gardens, patiently folding, pegging and dipping our canvas tote bags was well spent.

Indigo Dye
Indigo Dye

Bird drawing with Matt Sewell, such a delight; as was the glasses onto inanimate objects with Finn Thomson making faces and giving objects sight – such a fun workshop! Seeing objects – using wire, paper, glue, and a LOT of imagination, in the project barn.

Screenprinting was a really big hit with Lex from Feather studios and her patient partner @morganhenryjames.

 

Cheese making was a revelation (and made for the best photos! #instagramthat) Curds and whey with cheese chief Max – who it transpires, can also tell a tale, and sing a song….

Beer O ClockBeer was high on the agenda for the grown-ups, with Evil Gordon doing a turn talking beer cocktails, Beerbods, and sourdough bread making in the wood fired oven.

Jade Wild Pickings

And then there was foraging! @wildpickings 🍃🌿 Jade took us on a walk; foraging for edible hedgerow wonders – we’ve learnt such a LOT this week 🍃🌿

Oh and Sam! The Newquay Honey Farm Man – brilliant and enchanted!

Seriously, this is an event/holiday/week long party I would recommend – such a lovely way to spend time with your family.
We went with good friends, and came away with even more…

 

beer-cocktails-backstage-fforest-gather
The Farmhouse
bandcamp-beer-fforest-gather
Music from Eyre Llew
beer-cocktails-fforest-gather
Beer cocktails in the Farmhouse
coppice-college-sign-fforest-gather
Coppice College

 

coppice-college-tols-fforest-gather
In the tool shed
walk into Cardigan to visit the PizziTipi
walk into Cardigan to visit the PizziTipi
Sunset over the Tipi
Sunset over the Tipi
Forage baskets
Forage baskets
making Sour dough
making sour dough
Coppice College Woodburner
Coppice College Woodburner

 

Time to plan for 2018… 23 JULY – 5 AUGUST 2018 www.fforestgather.co.uk
A new kind of holiday.
Two family friendly weeks of adventures in nature, music, culture, creativity, making, growing & simple pleasures.
500 acres of bliss. Only 300 tickets available each week.
Week 1 – Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th of july
Week 2 – Monday 30th july – Sunday 5th of august

TO FIND OUR MORE ABOUT FFOREST CLICK HERE

Ali also writes over on incredibusy.com and funcraftskids.com and  aGreenerLifeforus.com

crafts, create, FREE printables, halloween, kids, monster

Milk Carton Skull Lanterns

So with much delight, we introduce our latest invention, the Milk Carton Skull Lanterns!Milk Carton Skull Lanterns

Spike age 14:

We really wanted to have a go at making some skull lanterns, and thought the milk carton would be perfect for this, and it wasn’t until we started planning the graphics for it that we realised how brilliant it was that the handle itself created two brilliant indentations that were perfect for the skull’s eye sockets!!

We’ve since made LOADS of these are they are so easy to make, you can either print off the FREE printable here, or use marker pens, like these * affiliate links which work really well on plastic bottles – for full instructions watch my Mum’s incredibusy youtube video here.

For the PRINTABLE Skull’s face template click here

For more FREE printables for Halloween click here for Pumpkins
and here for brilliant Witches Hats
Some fab paper skull potato print Halloween party bags
How about Toffee Apples!
And some wonderful FREE printable, Skull Bunting

Ali also blogs over on incredibusy.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, cooking with kids, create

Carrot Cake recipe with Lemon Icing

carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaos-instagramThe carrot cake is a classic, and this carrot cake recipe’s a super-simple variation on that delicious theme. Just add grated carrots to the dry ingredients, which include both plain and wholemeal flour for extra texture.

Once you’ve beaten in free range eggs and some butter, you’re away – just pop it in the oven. The tangy lemon icing on this carrot cake recipe contrasts with the sweet, cinnamon-flavoured cake to really bring the flavours to life.

fairtrade-carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaosIngredients
200 g (7oz) self raising flour
115 g (4oz) wholemeal flour
350 g (12oz) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250 ml (9fl oz) butter
3 Large carrots, peeled and grated
4 organic free range eggs
 Icing
2 unwaxed lemons, zested
225 g (8oz) Fairtrade icing sugar

 

organic-carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaosMethod
Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in carrot and gradually beat in Flora Cuisine and eggs. Pour into a greased and bottom lined 20cm (8-inch) square cake tin.
Bake in preheated oven 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4 for 45–55 minutes. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Icing – Zest the lemons. Squeeze out the juice and add to icing sugar in a bowl with the segments. Mix gently and spread over the cake. Sprinkle with the zest.

Note – make sure your icing is not too runny – we had lots of fun scraping the icing off the board as it dripped through the cooling rack!!

Ali also blogs over on Incredibusy.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

crafts, create, halloween, monster, Uncategorized

How to make a Halloween Leaf Wreath

How to make a Halloween Leaf Wreath 

Thank you for visiting, this marvellous craft can now be found HERE

autumn-leaves-wreath_incredibusy-square-copyright

Pen for writing on conkers – available here in the UK, here in the US

Well; that’s the weekend… conkers and scary skulls; this is what I’ve been doing with 12yo whilst 13yo seems to be drowning in homework – hardly fair right? So we’ve left him to it at home and walked up to tennis; the weather is wonderful and we’ll be scrumpy-ing some little apples we’ve spotted on the way home… Oh incidentally: we have a “plan” for our conker skulls; will keep you posted… Meanwhile do keep your #halloweencrafts 🎃 coming for judge @innerchildfun #kidscrafts101 and your #sgiew_potplant shots too so that @komoonko can find them 🌿 . #sgiew #conkers #autumn #littlestoriesofmylife #flatlayforever #fromwhereistand #potplant #cactus #cactuslover #slowlivingforlife . Hosts – we should have a party! @babbledabbledo @redtedart @willowdaygram!

A photo posted by Ali Clifford (@incredibusy) on

autumn-leaves-wreath_incredibusyAli also writes at aGreenerLifeforus.com

halloween leaf wreath skulls

charity, create, education, gardening, gardening with kids, key stage 2, kids, life

Q&A with a community gardener

Q&A with a community gardener

Hannah and Kevin

Community gardener and founder of yourspace.sutton Kevin Plicio runs local community garden nursery Seears Park Nursery in Sutton. This nursery runs on pure volunteer manpower and community spirit, running training courses and therapeutic activities in a calming and peaceful environment. He has been running the beautiful non-profit nursery for almost six years, transforming it from a run-down nursery to a social and stunning community hub which has just recently been opened to the public.

As his daughter, Hannah, I’ve grown up around the transformation of the park, seeing it go from overgrown and slightly wild, to open space and inviting. Perfect for family days out and picnics, the nursery offers scenic and photogenic open areas, free for the public to utilise.

13118933_577749772401247_5145497625308435159_n13119073_577749822401242_8007960149422514965_nQ- So, tell us about what made you want to run a community project?
Well, the idea originally stemmed from me working at other projects, but these projects were all tailored to one specific group of people, or had one specific service, and I wanted to do something more socially integrating and open to all users, regardless of their background, age, or ability.

Q- What is there to see?
Honestly, there’s so much! We have this really great pond that’s just teeming with life, frogs, fish, newts, and even in the evening we get the occasional duck family coming to stay – it’s such a sight! We also have vegetable patches, some art display inside the main classroom from a local artist Santiago Plicio, the polytunnels have a great plant selection, including a great cactus area. We’re also in the process of making smaller gardens as part of the garden nursery, where 6 out of the 16 planned are complete. We also have this really stunning willow circle, which is just beautiful.

photo-1465405269228-024e4723a8d9
thanks to Stephanie Krist for this photo

Q- Tell us about your volunteers, and who helps run the nursery.
We have quite a large group of volunteers here at the nursery, and without them, there would be no way that the place could be running. Some people volunteer for a month, and some have been volunteering for years, and we appreciate every bit of help we get. Their generosity and time is something I’m always going to be so grateful for.

Q- You’ve just opened to the public for the first time in almost six years, how does that feel?
It feels amazing, we’ve been getting this place ready for the public for so long and now it feels as if our work is finally paid off, and we can do what we’ve always set out to do, create a community project that everyone can benefit for. We’ve been running training courses and school placements for years which is so amazing, but now we can finally make it open to everyone, which was always the plan. We now run a plant sale every Saturday from 10:00am until 4:00pm, and the nursery is otherwise open Monday-Thursday from 9:30 until 5:30.

sale

Q- Got any last words or comments that you want everyone to know?
I’d just love to see you there! Bring your friends, family, dogs, come and experience and enjoy the nursery, see what’s here, and if you want to contribute in any way then we’d love to hear from you too!

 

Seears Park Nursery is open to the public from 9:30am-5:30pm Monday to Thursday, and 10:am-4:00pm on a Saturday for the plant sale and general public use. Follow them on Facebook for events and updates here

Note from Ali – Thank you so much, Hannah, for introducing me to your dad’s amazing community project. Here’s a picture of a pond that my 13-year-old son made, with the addition of the Junctus that he bought from the Nursery!

13652431_980345098746058_2050378783_n

Written by Hannah Plicio-Keattch

create, life

Colour Lover YELLOW

Colour Lover YELLOW

MiniModernsHello – My name is Ali Clifford and I go by the name of @incredibusy, and I rather like the colour YELLOW.

I think this colour penchant is quite a recent phenomena  – if you look through my instagram feed, it seems to be somehow dominated with brights, and spots of yellows – I don’t really think it was intentional, it just seems to evolved that way!
We even had a ‘sogoodineveryway‘ theme a couple of weeks ago! #sgiew_YELLOW click here to read about that.

Ali Clifford Britmumslive ringsWhen I was a child, with red hair and freckles, my mother would tell me, “oh no Alison, you CAN’T wear yellow! It just doesn’t suit you….” so I started rebelling… From my eyeshadow at art school (seriously, not a good look, like a gone-wrong watermelon) to the frocks I wear today.
I’ve all sorts of outfits, and accessories in yellow now, and even have a small collection of yellow shoes.

yellow shoesI’d LIKE to be maybe someone who wears more muted colours – I love the style of friends like Ali Dover – we have similar colouring (oh, and the same name), and she just always looks so fabulous – denims, and stripes, straight out of the Toast catalogue… I do try, but the wabi-sabi in me means I’m better off multi-coloured (and a bit scruffy…)

My favourite flower in the garden happens to be yellow FORSYTHIA – to look out through the kitchen window on a rainy day and see that Forsythia bush shining like the absent sunshine, really lifts my spirits too.

Laying on a carpet of grass looking up at the blue blue skies… (#nofilter!) We have enjoyed our half term break; but it’s got us thinking about the SUMMER (and getting away from ✈️ flight paths!) – any top tips for festivals this year?? Late summer September looks like a weekend at the @goodlifeexperience – and we have August covered off with a week at the @fforestgather summer camp, a festival that’s not a festival (see blog link in profile for more on that!) but what about you lot? Anything early summer festival-wise we should check out? Anyway how about we celebrate the impending SUMMER with a new #sgiew hashtag? If you’d like to join in next week; this is a “heads up” that we will be looking for your #sgiew_goodlife photos; so tag us on your festival pics; school fête photos; tea in the garden; bunting on your tents; and how about we throw in a PRIZE TOO? We have two adult tickets with camping @goodlifeexperience worth £198 up for grabs – get tagging! Use #sgiew_goodlife to join in #sgiew #blueskies #laburnum #bunting #teainthepark #teaparty #festival #summerfete #belltent #greatoutdoors #goodlife #summer #simpleandstill #slowliving_nurture #underthefloralspell #theartofslowliving #aslowmoment

A photo posted by Ali Clifford (@incredibusy) on

Evening sunshines! 💛 Finally finished our latest mid-century-modern upcycle project with the help of @madebymrsm and her AMAZING fabric design… *windows*. Two #found chairs given some love. We appeared on #periscope today sharing this project and asking whether to chalkpaint the back-rest, or legs, and the result is just divine! What do you think? We have three further chairs, should we leave them unpainted or try yellow this time? #wildandwolf #retro telephone prop courtesy @4_living http://www.4living.co.uk/ Oh I have 25% OFF for you until Sunday MIDNIGHT with discount code *incredibusy* Colours: 💚peacock green 💛English mustard (seen here) 👤black 💙petrol blue 😺concrete grey #midcenturymodern #upcycle #AnnieSloan #ParisGrey #chalkpaint #london_by_incredibusy #homedecor #interior #design #capturingcolour #epig #abmlifeiscolorful #DScolor #yellow #retrophone #midcentury #textiles #upholstery #upcycling

A photo posted by Ali Clifford (@incredibusy) on


I’ve even started painting furniture in tones of yellow and grey, that combination really works well for me, you can watch me making some desk stationery below in some beautiful fabric by my friend Kate madebymrsm – (oh, and I appear to have a yellow telephone prop too… guilty!) And – really – you have to check out Kate’s hashtag – #100daysofyellowstuff

Rustic Chopping Board

And finally, I’d like to give a big shoutout to instagram, for helping me find my creativity again – after a long absence from my art school hobby of photography, I’m back in the game – finding the love of yellow peppers – probably my biggest ‘like’ on instagram to date!

Thank you Becky, for the prompt, loving all of the colour stories over on colourlover.co.uk!

crafts, create

Button Crafts for Get Your Craft On Challenge

Every month we run a craft challenge on a theme – May is #ButtonCrafts.

button craftsShare your Button Crafts photos on Instagram, or over on Twitter, using the hashtag #GetYourCraftOn, add your link to the linky below, and we’ll pick the best ones to feature here on the host blog the following month. (and on our Pinterest board too)

The photos you share do not have to be of the finished article – let’s see your work in progress as well as your completed masterpieces! Anything related to the #Button crafts topic. Just tag them with #GetYourCraftOn and follow and tag us too so we know you’re taking part) Our team’s four Instagram accounts are: @incredibusy (that’s me!), @redtedart @bluebearwood & @missielizzie.

This month’s Craft Challenge is #Sheep Crafts in honour of the #ChineseNewYear #GetYourCraftOn, and add your link to the linky below and check out our Pinterest board too.

FOLLOW #GetYourCraftOn team’s Instagram accounts @incredibusy @redtedart @bluebearwood & @missielizzie

BritMumsoh, and if you have a couple of minutes, any chance you can vote for me for best social media expert in the BritMums BiBs awards HERE


crafts, create, education, key stage 2, kids, monster

Piper – a Minecraft toolbox for anyone to create and invent with technology. Build electronics. Invent power-ups. Create the future.

So – the kids were pretty excited last week to hear from Mark at Piper all about their fabulous new toolbox for budding engineers who happen to like Minecraft!
As a family we tend to use ‘screentime’ as a reward at the end of the week, for best behaviour, and finishing homework without it being an excruciating teeth-pulling exercise. Minecraft is their favourite ‘go to’ game, and without further ado, read what our 10yo thought of Piper, and then watch the video!

In short, my son, 10yo RB says this:

“Minecraft toolbox – Build electronics with Piper. Piper is brilliant for seven and ups. I think it is really awesome because the instructions are in the game so it would make children and adults interested in making things outside of the game. Minecraft is a good way to get people that like Minecraft to play it. It will make a brilliant Christmas or birthday gift. It will entice people to play because it is easy to build so you can get started really quickly.  Raspberry Pi is what all of the software runs on. Raspberry pie is a mini computer if you’ve got all the right equipment and gadgets luckily all of that comes in a really well made wooden box. The screen comes readymade and all fits in.

There are ten action-packed levels to complete in the game. You have to make your own buttons and fit the wires in the right places. The mouse comes with the box so you can look around.

There are lots more interesting exciting things about the game but they are for you to find out.”

RB Age 10 says – “NOW watch this video!”

How it works:

– First you assemble the wooden toolbox and connect it with the Raspberry Pi 2, a 7 inch LCD display, a power bank, and an assortment of electronics.

– Once assembled, you enter a Minecraft adventure map viewable on the LCD screen.

– Your Mission: guide a robot to rescue astronauts on a foreign planet. The robot’s hardware is damaged on the way over, and you have to build it in real-life to control the robot in the game to save the day!

How this educates kids:

– Each gadget you build gives you a special power-up and progresses you through the game

– First build the controller to navigate your robot. Add switches to activate hidden bridges and doors. A row of lights to serve as a proximity sensor and more.

If you want to find out more, click here. Piper are on facebook and twitter.

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

create, kids

A Room Makeover for 10 year old boys

Lucky Boy! He’s next on the list for a room makeover, and has very strong ideas himself of how that might look!

Room Makeover for boys

He’s always had the biggest room – and it’s been the shared ‘playroom’ for the two boys, however, with more and more homework and less time to play with ALL of their toys, we thought it would be a good time for a bit of a de-clutter.room makeover age 10

He has a great cabin bed already, so we’re going to give that a lick of paint, and although we have watched a great video on youtube, with a ‘space up’ bed which opens up to store your clothes and books – I’m not sure we’re quite ready for that yet!

So we’re planning a room makeover for boys refresh with some fab brick patterned wallpaper, love the look of this white loft brick wall mural on one wall, and a chalkboard on another – using blackboard paint, and some fun cupboard handles to hold the chalk!

He really rather likes yellow too, so we’re on the hunt for an anglepoise lamp – and an Alarm Clock is a must – He struggles with the mornings!

He also has a sofa bed in his room, which we’re going to keep there, it’s ideal when unexpected guests arrive, and he bunks in with his brother – so we’ll add a few scatter cushions from new Finnish designer Nora instagram.com/projektityyny to tie it all together – His brother has plans for his own room too so watch this space!

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!