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MAKING PROTEST PLACARDS WITH MOTHER PUKKA

Craft January 19, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

You’ve probably seen the proprietor of awesome Mother Pukka around the interwebs. With her campaign for flexible working, her balls-to-the-wall honesty and iconic wit, she’s getting shit done. We got together to make some placards for the upcoming Women’s March on London to shout about flexible working so employers will start to make working easier on families – and not lose talented staff in the process.

We got crafty, I showed her the wonders of the cable tie. I’ve also added how you can make this without using a broom handle as the stick and attaching it with cable ties, so you don’t need to get the hammer and nails out and you can put your handle back on your broom afterwards, to save you a trip to the hardware store.

Check out the video if you want to make one for yourself.
You can download the design here. ..and read all about the campaign here.
And if you’re in London on Saturday January 21st, get down to Grosvenor Square at midday and join us for the march!

  1. Some cardboard
  2. A piece of wood – or you could use the handle from your broom for the day
  3. Some cable ties – to avoid nailing into the stick
  4. A jaunty slogan. You could download our Flex Appeal design, or paint your own like I have below.

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HACKY MONDAYS – DEFLUFF YOURSELF

Hacks January 16, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

I own a cat, therefore, I am always covered in fur. It drives me mad and It doesn’t help with keeping up the pretence that I am not a crazy cat lady. (The purple hair and mismatched socks don’t help either).

This isn’t rocket science, but instead of buying one of those sticky rollers from the impulse buy bins at the H&M checkout (always next to the random phone cases and hair bobbles you want but really don’t need)… use some tape instead. Wrap it around you hand and use it like a roller, sliding your hand down the jacket, letting the tape roll down. Cat fur be gone!

I keep a roll of tape in my bag, in the car, in my desk drawer. Basically anywhere that I might be when I realise I’m covered in fluff.  One step closer to looking respectable.

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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7 THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS INDOORS

Craft January 13, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

When it’s freezing out side, or raining, or dark at 4pm, I often find myself with a genuine dislike for the outdoors and two hyperactive children. This is when I call in the power of a rebrand. It works on adults all the time – show them a sunny Peckham carpark and tell them it’s a ‘beer garden’, it will be full of happy hipsters before you can say ‘artisanal cider’ – I use the same techinique on my kids. It’s all about how you frame it.

These are things that need NO preparation, literally nothing. They are actually just regular things to do with kids indoors, rebranded to make them feel like it’s a fun, new activity. Find your inner Don Draper (not the sleazy drunk one, the dashing creative one) and pitch these to your tiny grumpy clients. See if you can sell it in.

SEALS AND POLAR BEARS

Polar bear suits optional

Hungover parenting 101 – create an activity that you can do lying down. This is that activity.
Your bed is the iceberg. You are a family of seals, drifting in the arctic, looking for some food. No one is allowed to leave the iceberg for fear of being eaten by a polar bear who lives in the sea surrounding the iceberg. You can however send particularly brave seals out to catch ‘fish’ ie: biscuits, magazines, your phone… daddy seals might manage to catch things like cups of coffee and toast without getting eaten by polar bears. (It works best to cast the most hyperactive child is the polar bear so you don’t spill your coffee). You can probably keep this up for about three hours if you’re clever about it. You can also fashion the duvet into an ‘ice-cave’ while you ‘hibernate’ and hide your shameful adult headache from the world.

THE CRAZY BATH

 

This doesn’t have to happen at bath time, it can happen at any time of the day.

Grab something to add to the bath to make it crazy. A good old Lush bath bomb would work but if you don’t have one handy here are some other ideas, try them all in one bath.

1. Loads of fricken bubbles, like, ALL of the bubbles, go nuts!

2. Food colouring or finger paint (don’t worry, it won’t dye your kids permanently. I have tried this many times.)

3. Glitter, why the hell not?

4. Shaving foam with food dye in it! Let them go full Jackson Pollock on a tiled wall. (This is why I have black grout).

BAKED BEAN VOLCANO

Enlist these guys to help with dinner

 

This is a back of the pantry special. There’s always a few potatoes and a can of baked beans lurking somewhere. Plus it’s a great way to introduce your kids to the theory of evolution, the extinction of dinosaurs and the earth’s geological movements – or just get them to eat their bloody dinner.

Here are the highly technical culinary instructions:

1. Make mashed potato

2. Sculpt it into the shape of a volcano

3. Add dinosaurs

4. Pour baked bean lava all over it

5. If you’re feeling really fancy, add some meatballs and throw them at the dinner in the fashion of a meteor shower.

THE MOON

Take me to your leader

Laundry day and space travel. Together at last.

Put loads of cushions and pillows on the floor. Get all the duvets, white sheets and white towels and lay them across the pillows, furniture and floor to make a big white ‘moonscape’. Now put on your bike helmets, grab some teddies and count down to blastoff.

Once you’ve landed on the moon, it’s customary to have a picnic of cheese (because the moon if made of cheese – obvs!). Bonus points if you put on a funny voice and pretend to be an alien serving delicious moon cheese to your earthling visitors or make a helmet for your teddy.

PICNIC TEA

Dinner rebranded

Cannot be arsed to cook another dinner? It’s relentless. Why do they want dinner EVERY NIGHT? Geeze.

Rebrand dinner as a ‘picnic’. Blanket on the floor, sandwiches, grapes, cheese strings, anything else you can find in the fridge and rebrand as ‘picnic food’. Invite some toys to come too.

Dinner done.

*This is similar to the old classic, rebranding dinner as ‘breakfast’ and giving everyone toast and cereal. Bonus points if you combine the two.

FANCY MILK

You don’t need to be a Pinterest queen to pull this off.

Got milk? Got honey? Got a bag of ‘decimated’ coconut or sprinkles lurking somewhere in the back of the pantry? Of course you do. Everyone does. You’ve got yourself some fancy milk.

Pour some honey on a plate and roll the rim of the glass in it, then dunk it in a pile of coconut or sprinkles. (Like a bartender would do with a margherita… I know you know what I’m talking about.) Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top then serve it up to your little drunkards.

See another ‘recipe’ here.

ROLE REVERSAL

Greetings from naptime

I like to do this because it makes my kids realise what it’s like to hang out with an asshole toddler all day.

You are the kid, they are the grown up. You will refuse to get dressed. You will refuse to put on your shoes. You will make diva demands like “I want the PINK SPOON!” and with any luck, you will eventually be banished to the naughty corner or told to have a nap.

Good luck, stay sane!

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HACKY MONDAYS – HOW TO FEED AN ORCHID

Hacks January 9, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

I love speaking to older people about life hacks, They have loads of great ones ad they are always surprised when I tell them I’ve never heard them before. My aunt-in-law is one of these fonts of knowledge. She has a collection of beautiful orchids that are all years old and still going strong.

I asked her how much to water them, she told me her secret. Place one ice cube at the base of the orchid once a week. Because it melts slowly, the water will drip through and be absorbed by the roots rather than running straight to the bottom of the pot.

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland, have you got a good one?

Photography: Emma Scott-Child

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TURN A TOILET ROLL INTO A REINDEER – DIY VIDEO

Craft December 22, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

This little DIY was actually the first EVER post on Ladyland, three years ago. I’ve done a little redo of it with my glamorous assistant, Frida because it’s really fun for the littlies to get involved and it costs zero money.. which is good at this stage of the game right? Anyone else running out of money?

If you’re going on a wintery walk, pick up a few twigs to make into antlers then all you need is a toilet roll, some paint and a few pens. We have one on the top of our tree. Make one for Granny, that will keep them busy for half an hour while you can get on with everything else that needs to be done for christmas!!

Video & styling: Emma Scott-Child
Music: The one and only Wham!

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KOOKY CHRISTMAS COOKIE DECORATIONS – PLUS POMPOMS!

, Craft December 21, 2016
Clementine Larvor

One of my favourite Christmas activities is to bake cookies to hang on our tree. This year I had much bigger ambitions than my usual heart/star/gingerbread man combo, or whatever shape takes my fancy from my cookie-cutter stash, and set out to make big cookie pendants that could be hung not just on the tree, but just about everywhere in our house.

Sure, you could use cutters in different shapes, but we’re taking it to the next level here. After deciding on a few very simple geometric shapes that could be combined in many ways to form trees, I made my own chevron and rectangle-shaped cutters using strips of card wrapped in aluminum foil. I adapted Martha Stewart’s Basic Sugar Cookie recipe by adding some pain d’épices spice mix (a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, star anise and pepper) and orange zest for a more seasonal twist.


The cookies turned out very nice, but icing them was laborious and threading the shapes together far more fiddly than I anticipated – but I got there in the end!

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Custom cookie cutters
Paper
Pencil
Ruler
Sturdy cardboard, cut into 3cm strips
Scalpel
Masking tape
Aluminum foil

Method

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1. Decide on your shapes – I used chevrons and rectangles for my trees, but wanted to arrange them a little randomly for a more deconstructed feel. Sketch them first with a pencil and ruler and note the measurements. You’ll be folding the strips of card to form your shapes.

2. When you are happy with your shapes, mark the card where you need to make your folds and use the ruler and scalpel to carefully score the card where necessary. Wrap your strips of card in aluminum foil, then fold them to form your shapes.

3. Join the ends with masking tape. Your cutters are ready to use!

Ingredients

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Sugar cookies
600g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g caster sugar (I tend to cut out sugar by 1/3 when I bake)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp of pain d’épices spice mix (optional)
Zest of two oranges (optional)
Icing – don’t feel as if you need to stick with traditional Christmas colours. We think hot pink is surprisingly festive.

Method

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter and mix until well incorporated.
4. Gradually mix in the flour mixture and the pain d’épices spice mix and orange zest, if using.
5. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour – overnight, if possible.
6. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a tray with baking paper.
7. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thickness.

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8. Use your cutters to cut out lots of different shapes, transferring them to the prepared sheets as you work.
9. Now, Martha Stewart reckons you should put your shapes in the freezer for 15 mins until very firm. I skipped this stage as I felt my dough was still firm enough.
10. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, until lightly colored on the edges.

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11. As soon as the shapes are out of the oven, use the pointy end of a chopstick to make holes for threading through your ribbon or string.

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12. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with icing.

Now you can thread them with string, ribbon or wool – or go nuts with pompoms and tassels and other dangly bits.

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Photography & Styling: Emma Scott-Child

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DIY WRAPPING PAPER – DON’T WASTE MONEY ON GIFT WRAP

Craft December 17, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

Hey, hands up if you want to spend loads of money on wrapping paper! Not me. But I also have an aching desire to create beautiful parcels that get squeals of excitement from their recipients because I’m that weird person who actually really LOVES wrapping gifts. So here’s a solution. Make your own.

It ends up being super cheap and if you use a simple quick design like I have here, it doesn’t take long either. Using a combination of Ikea drawing paper and simple acrylic paint, you can make 30 metres for £5.

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1. Wrapping paper – I used Ikea Mala drawing paper, 30m for £3 and brown paper from the Post Office, 25 metres for £3.35. If you can’t bear a trip to Ikea, you can also use basic lining paper from a hardware store.

2. Paint – I used Daler Rowney acrylic. They have 57 colours in their System 3 range including neons and metallics. You could also use kids’ poster paint.

3. Wool – You don’t have to use wool, but I love it instead of ribbon, it goes a lot further. I get mine from a pound shop up the road for £1.50 a ball… you may have seen it in action before here.

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There aren’t any rules with this, it’s basically painting dashes on the paper but I’ll offer a few tips to keep it looking stylish…

1. Only use one colour per sheet, any more will look messy. I used metallic green and neon red and I love it.

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2. Keep your dashes, dots or splodges consistent, the same size with the same spacing. Repetition is key.

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3. Choose the right brush – if you want to do circles use a circular brush and use it like a stamp, if you’re doing dashes, use a flat brush with a straight edge.

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5. It looks great if you use two contrasting papers like I have with the white on brown and green on white. To keep it chic, paint the same pattern on both.

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Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child
Gift tags from Kikki.K

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CHRISTMAS CARDS THAT SPEAK THE TRUTH

Craft December 16, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

Here are eight Christmas cards, that you can download and print yourself, that speak the truth about Christmas.

Have you sent out your christmas cards yet? No, me either. I’m not sure that wishing anyone a ‘Merry Christmas’ is truly accurate is it? (Unless by ‘merry’ you mean drunk?). Call me a Grinch, but I know I’m not alone here. There are people who genuinely enjoy Christmas day, but they seem to fall into these three categories:

1. They are under 10 years old
2. They are high on the love of the baby Lord Jesus
3. They are Jamie Oliver

We’ve all been in category 1, and it was awesome. A little creepy believing that some old bloke is watching you sleep – but hey, if he brings you presents that’s ok, right? – Right? And although most of the ‘fun’ seems to happen before 6am, it is lovely witnessing humans in this category.

If you’re in category 2, I am really pleased for you. I am. And kind of impressed that because of your belief, some dude’s birthday two thousand years ago is still being celebrated.

And category 3? Well I’d be that happy if I could cook a Christmas lunch like that too.

Then there’s the rest of us. On Christmas day we’re usually a bit hungover. If we have kids, we’re hungover AND we’ve had a maximum of three hours sleep between drunkenly assembling an acrobatics apparatus and being woken up in the ‘morning’ by the acrobats. Which means we might be a bit cranky, maybe a bit sweary, definitely not ‘merry’.

Then there’s the difficult task of finding our place in the delicate family political structure of the cooking heirarchy. I find myself somewhere between vegetable-peeling serf and dish-clearing pleb. I dare not make any suggestions to the Lord of the Turkey.

At some point the acrobats will stage a gladiatorial fight to the death over a chocolate Santa. We must be ready to catch any stray chocolate limbs before they destroy the ‘good’ couch. Being polite, discussing the potatoes, trying not to ruin Christmas. It’s exhausting!

Boxing Day is much the same, still with a hangover but now with added meat sweats. We catch up the relatives that didn’t make the cut on Christmas Day – and enjoy some quality time sitting in traffic. Before long we’re yearning for the sweet release of The Day After Boxing Day. A day where we can sit in our pyjamas, in our own home, eat a whole tin of Quality Street and not have to be polite to ANYONE.

The true joys of the festive season are food, booze and The Day After Boxing Day. Here are eight Christmas cards, that you can download and print yourself, that might speak a little more truth than the rest.

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Download my Christmas Cards Of Truth here.

Directions:
Download the PDF of the card design you want.

You can print it on a regular ink jet or colour laser printer. Each PDF has two cards of the same design on an A4 sheet.

After you have printed your design, cut the A4 sheet in half then fold your two cards.

The cards fold down to A6 (postcard) size to fit in a regular envelope. 

Styling & photography: Emma Scott-Child

Thanks to Margherita for the use of her shelves & angel Gabriel (which will come as a surprise to her because she doesn’t know that I snuck into her house yesterday and took these photos. I couldn’t resist! She has nice shelves!)

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SUPER CHEAP D.I.Y. WRAPPING PAPER

, Craft December 14, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

<<< A POST FROM CHRISTMAS PAST >>>

I usually have an aversion to all things involving potatoes and prints – largely because no matter how deft you are at carving, they tend to look a bit Mister Maker. The trick is to keep things simple. I made this gift wrap by cutting potatoes into basic triangle shapes to represent fir trees and created a snowy landscape by printing them in long lines with the faded prints a little higher on the page to appear as though they are disappearing into the mist.

It’s also super cheap: you can make 30 metres of wrapping paper for around £10. Bargain!

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  • Paper: I used this great paper from Ikea, which is only £3 for 30 metres and the texture is lovely.
  • Paint: Any poster paint will do, but since I was on an Ikea binge, I used their Måla paint, which is £6 for an 8-pack. I mixed green and black to create an inky forest green.
  • Potatoes
  • Scissors, a paint brush, some paper towel and a plate

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Blot the potatoes on some paper towel after cutting so they aren’t too juicy. If they are too wet the paint will smudge.

You can stamp the potato into the paint on the plate, but you’ll get a better result by painting it as there won’t be too much paint seeping at the sides.

Print the faded triangles slightly higher than the darker ones to appear as if they are disappearing into the mist.

Add some contrasting ribbon or wool to brighten it up.

Watch the video to see how I did it.

Photography, video & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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HAPPY HOUR – EASY WINTER CRANBERRY COCKTAIL

Food December 9, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

If you feel like you need to congratulate yourself for getting to the weekend, make yourself a cocktail! Nothing too taxing mind, just three ingredients stirred together will do.

Here’s a great, simple cocktail that feels very festive and wintery but still feels a bit special. The ingredients are easy to find, all available from the supermarket, bung them together, stir drink, relax.

CRANBERRY & GINGER FIZZ

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  • 30ml whiskey
  • 30ml cranberry juice
  • 30ml (or more) ginger ale
  • Some frozen berries to garnish, red currants or cranberries.

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Pour the whiskey over ice. Add the cranberry juice and ginger ale, taste it as you go . If you prefer is sweeter add more cranberry juice, or if you want it to taste a bit more refreshing, add more ginger ale.

Styling & photography: Emma Scott-Child

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