Saturday 27 August 2011

Clay, pixel blocks and bandages

 cool bandage huh? I did egg the nurse on a bit...

Whilst I wouldn't say that we had grand plans for this bank holiday weekend, there is so much going on in Brighton this weekend, I felt sure we could find something fun to do. But one ill-fated trip to the park, a foot vs slide mishap and a couple of hours in the wonderful Brighton A&E  finds me house bound with my beloved and bandaged girl.

a master craftsman at work

So, this would seem like and excellent excuse to get a bit of crafting done. I saw somewhere on the interweb a tutorial involving clay, cookie cutters and shells. And seeing as we have a lot of shells from our holiday and clay is brilliant fun I made a mental note to try it out. I picked up some no fire clay today and got out the cookie cutters which have definitely been used more for craft than cookies. Anyway, I don't need cookie cutters now that I have the best ever cookie recipe.

a doorbell maybe, she is a very creative crafter

This activity didn't pass as much time as I would have hoped. Maybe I should have tied one hand behind their backs to slow them down a bit. That seems a bit cruel for a child already bandaged though. I'm sure they looked rather more spectacular on that lost tutorial, but it was fun, and when they have air dried in 4 years time, we'll paint them.

somewhere under those shells is a star

Another thing I have been meaning to blog about for ages is Pixel Blocks. My husband brought some back from a trip to the US, I've struggled to find a link for the UK but they did have them on Firebox at one point. They are amazing, like 3D Lego blocks that you can connect in all directions, have a look at the link for an explanation. The kids love them as do I. They come with a book of ideas, but my daughter is old enough to make up her own stuff now.

This is not modelled on me, 
I have short hair and 4 fingers on each hand

Apparently they are popular amongst geeky designer types, and you can create amazing stuff out of them, 2D or 3D. Take a look at the Flickr group.

a dog, obviously

I'd recommend them for 4 years + my (4 year old) son loves them, great for fine motor skills and general concentration. When it rained last week we made zoo animals. (Don't get me wrong, we also watched telly and bickered).

 a panda, and next, a honey badger (this is a joke)

Here's a close up...

you want them don't you?

So, my bank holiday weekend so far, I'm hoping the remainder is less eventful.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Dear J Crew...

Is J Crew mocking those with glasses 
or those without?

A while back I expressed my views on J Crew and how much I would love them to open up in the UK. Imagine my excitement when straight away one of my clever readers told me that such a thing would be happening this summer. I have been eagerly awaiting this and checking their website for updates. This week, they proudly greeted me with this message.

Well hello indeed, J Crew

Now I'm not a great one for letter writing. That being said, I did email the council 3 years ago to ask them to sort out the blocked drain at the end of the road because every time it rained we got a puddle the size of Lake Geneva. It seemed to be pretty effective as 2 years later they came and cleared it, no more lakeside views for us. So I am aware of the power of a letter. Dear J Crew, here is my latest request.

I love them too J Crew, but they are going to 
cost me a gazillion pounds to buy

Look at the lovely clothes, and then look at the not so small print. £9.95 flat shipping rate, that sounds a bit steep. It's because they are shipping from the US and so you will still be stung by horrible customs duties making clothes that are already pricey, pricey x 2 + £9.95 shipping + customs + VAT.

£9.95 shipping x 16 = a gazillion pounds to buy these outfits

Furthermore, help is provided in the FAQ page by 'Julie and her team' This worries me a little, there are over 62 million people in the UK. What happens if we all decide to buy something say on a Friday night after payday, Julie might be having a day off (because let's face it - she'll need it after dealing with 62 million people) and maybe her second in command had to go home early to take her cat to the vets. Is the rest of Julie's team going to be able to cope?

I'd love to buy this dress for my daughter, it is a mere £71.80, 
add on £9.95 shipping, import  duty, VAT, Parcelforce fees, 
and it would cost a gazillion pounds - is my maths right?

Another US store that opened the UK is my favourite - Anthropologie. Not only did they open an actual store with a living wall and glorious decor, oh and it has clothes too, they have an excellent online shop which is actually in the UK. So,


Dear J Crew, please open a proper UK web shop with proper postage charges and the pound equivalent of your US prices (the above dress costs £47 on the US site). Because I don't have a gazillion pounds and neither do my friends.

Thanks everso,

Sunday 21 August 2011

Things I have learnt this last 2 weeks...

1. When on a ferry, catching your child's sick in your hands may seem like a good idea but ultimately, it is a very bad idea.

 un whale massif a la plage

2. The french eat baby Cornetto's. They are both barbaric and delicious.

 c'est delicious, les cornettos bebe

3. French supermarkets are full of amazing vegetables, meat, fish and bread and make me wish I was a better cook.

 beaucoup de poisson dans le supermarche

4. I love collecting shells.

 shells est tres jolie

 c'est un theme n'est pas?

5. The French love stripes almost as much as me...

la boutique de stripes

and my son...

mon fils de stripes

6. Was there ever a building more wasted on a Burton's?

la Burtons, sérieusement?

7. Sandy beaches rule

 Brighton plage a beaucoup de rocks, 
la plage Francais n'est pas beaucoup de rocks 

8.  The coolest fish tank ever?

le tank a peche est un tube longs hanging from un l'arbre

9. Pigeon hearts are best barbequed.

 c'est un tomato, pas un pigeon, yuk

10. France is where baby vintage sewing machines are born

 ancienne bebe sewing machines, c'est tres cute n'est pas?

11. In another life, I would like to be this French cat.

tous les jours, le chat sleeps dans la soleil
c'est la bonne vie n'est pas?

I hope you are having a good Summer, and thanks for bearing with me while I was off, all holiday orders will be posted tomorrow.