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HALF-TERM RAINBOW PARTY WITH HUNTER!

Craft February 24, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

Last week I have the pleasure of working with lovely the Kirsti from Buggied Out and the human rainbow that is Zoe from Dress Like A Mum for a half term party at the Hunter store on Regent St.

The theme was rainbows, and because Hunter are the kings of festival chic, we made rainbow flower crowns. Thanks to all the crafty mums who came along, it was so great to meet you! It was brilliant fun. Here are a few pics.

And check out Buggied Out for more great family events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Jim Tobias

 

 

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5 EASY WORLD BOOK DAY COSTUMES

Craft February 20, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

This year it is the 20th anniversary of World Book Day! It is the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. Over 15 million children will be given tokens for brand new books to enjoy.

So it’s great to get involved, but the last thing anyone wants to do is spend loads of money or get into a fight with a bowl of papier mache. Here are some ideas for simple costumes that cost less than £5 using paper and cardboard. NO SEWING! Yay! You don’t need to be a craft nerd to make these happen, they are easy to make and won’t take a long time. My little helpers loved making theirs.

<<<< Read on further down for step-by-step instructions to make your own …>>>>

 

 

MR MESSY

FROM MR MESSY BY ROGER HARGREAVES

 

 THE LADYBIRD

FROM WHAT THE LADYBIRD HEARD BY JULIA DONALDSON

 

THE CAT IN THE HAT

FROM THE CAT IN THE HAT BY DR. SEUSS

 

THE BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY

FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR BY ERIC CARLE

 

JAMES

FROM JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH BY ROALD DAHL

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE MR MESSY

Of course there is a whole world of Mr Men and Little Miss’ to explore with this idea, but Mr Messy is a great one because even if you aren’t neat, it’s still on brand!

  1. 2 sheets of white card
  2. Pink and black paint
  3. Tape (cellotape or masking tape will do)
  4. Some rope

  1. Paint great big messy swirls on each of the sheets of cardboard, then add his face. I didn’t bother with his hands or feet, just his body to keep it simple.

  1. Cut out the body shape
  2. Stick some tape to the back where you’re going to poke the holes for the rope. This will stop it from tearing.
  3. Poke holes with scissors (grown up job!) through the taped area for the rope.
  4. Thread the rope through and tie knots in the end at the right length. It’s best to do this while it’s on the child so you get the length right and it’s even on both sides.  Here’s a close up so you can see how I did it. 

 HOW TO MAKE THE LADYBIRD

Frida absolutely loved making this. You can team it with a black top and leggings, but we happened to have ladybird spotted jeans. It’s a really great costume because the ladybird in the book is a very quiet character – which meant I had a break from hearing her sing Katy Perry’s Roar at the top of her voice for approximately 10 minutes.

  1. One sheet of red cardboard
  2. Some black paint
  3. A sponge or potato to print the circles
  4. Some rope
  5. For the hat – some old black tights and a pipe cleaner

  1. Cut your red card into two ladybird wing shapes. Start by drawing and cutting one, then use it as a template to trace around for the second one, then you’ll have two exactly the same.
  2. Cut a sponge into a circle or slice a potato in half (for potato printing tips, see this one we did a while ago).

  1. Print the spots on using the sponge or potato. Three spots per wing.

  1. Stick some tape to the back where you’re going to poke the holes for the rope. This will stop it from tearing.
  2. Poke holes with scissors (grown up job!) through the taped area for the rope. You’ll need two holes on each wing, one above the other.
  3. Thread the rope through like I have in the image above to form two arm loops. It’s best to tie it off while it’s on the child so you get the length right. You can tuck the knot in so it ends up behind the armpit and you don’t really see it.

To make the hat:

  1. Cut tube of fabric off a pair of tights and tie the end in a knot to form a beanie shape. Turn it inside out so you don’t see the knot.
  2. Cut two small holes near the end edge and thread the pipe cleaner in one hole and out the other so the ends stick out the top.
  3. Bend the pipe cleaner in to antennae

Shhh! Don’t say a word!

HOW TO MAKE THE CAT IN THE HAT

This one is the most complex of the lot and it takes a little bit longer, but it looks great if you have the patience for it and the cat is such an iconic character.

  1. One sheet of red card and one sheet of white card
  2. Some red crepe paper for the bow
  3. White paint for the stripes
  4. A dinner plate to trace around
  5. Double sided tape
  6. Gaffer tape
  7. String to fasten the bow
  8. Some eyeliner to draw whiskers

  1. Paint the stripes on the sheet of red card parallel to the longest edge of the sheet of cardboard. I used a roller because it makes it easier to paint thick straight lines. 
  2. Rule a line along each long edge of the red cardboard, about 15mm from the edge withe pencil.
  3. Cut up to this line at small intervals all the way along the edge. Like this below. These will fold out to form tabs which will attach the red tube part of the hat to the brim. 
  4. Do the same at the other side. These ones will fold inwards to attach the red tube part of the hat to the top.
  5. Roll it up (measuring the size of your little cat’s head) and stick the edges together with double sided tape to form the tube.
  6. Fold out the little tabs. 
  7. Trace around a dinner plate to make the shape for the brim. Cut out two of these circles out of the white cardboard. 
  8. Now place the tube on top of one of the circles and trace the size of the inner circle, using the tube as a template.
  9. Cut the circle out of the middle. Don’t cut it too large to start with, cut it smaller than you think you’ll need it then test it out on your little cat’s head and sliding it onto the tube. You might need to go back and forth a bit to get the size of the inner circle just right so that it fits perfectly on the tube. 
  10. Trace the inner hole on the other circle piece, and cut that one out to form a ring too, if you do it very neatly, you can use this smaller circle from the middle as the piece for the top. 
  11. Tape the tabs to the rim of the hat with gaffer tape. The result will look a bit messy (see below), but that’s why you have the extra ring to stick over it to cover the tape. 
  12. Stick double sided tape on top of the gaffer taped part. This will hold the second ring on to finish the brim. 
  13. stick on the second ring to hide all the tape.
  14. Now fold the tabs on the top end inwards so they can hold the top circle. 14. Stick double sided tape around the edge of the top circle, then attach it to the top. You’ll have to stick your arm right inside the hat and press on the tabs from inside to secure it. 

To make the bow:

  1. Cut two lengths of crepe paper, about 80cm long each and one smaller piece that will wrap around the middle
  2. Fold one in half to make the long, dangling pieces of the bow
  3. Fold the other into a bowtie shape by bringing the ends into the centre, to make a flat loop, then fasten the ends with tape in the centre. 
  4. Add the long dangly bit by bunching both pieces together in the centre, then wrap the small piece around both pieces and fasten with tape at the back to hold it all together.
  5. Thread string through the smaller centre piece, then tie the string around the neck.  
  6. Draw on whiskers and a little black nose.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY

This is a little more time consuming than the others but kids over the age of six could do it on their own with a little supervision which is an afternoon of ‘educational, creative fun time’ sorted. Butterfly wings are always fun to flap about in and everyone remembers how spectacular The Very Hungry Caterpillar is when he emerges from his cocoon.

  1. One small piece of white card for the mask (roughly A4), two large sheets for the wings.
  2. Tissue paper, coloured paper scraps, or painted paper to make the collage.
  3. String for the mask
  4. A glue stick to stick it together
  5. Rope to hold on the wings

To make the mask:

  1. Fold the small piece of card in half and draw a butterfly wing shape.
  2. Cut around it while it’s folded to it opens out into a symmetrical butterfly shape.
  3. Cut lots of pieces of coloured paper and stick them on just like Eric Carle’s collage in the book.

  1. Hold it up to your little butterfly’s face and measure where their eyes are.
  2. Cut the eye holes. I find it’s easier to use nail scissors for this bit.
  3. Poke two holes in each side for the string
  4. Thread the string through and put it on!

To make the wings:

  1. Follow the instructions for the ladybird wings above, but add some collage like on the mask.

 

HOW TO MAKE JAMES’ PEACH

This is probably the easiest one. Elliot made it all by himself, with only a little bit of help cutting out the peach. The easy part about this is that James is a regular kid in regular kid clothes. If you go by the book, we wears a blue buttoned up shirt and some khaki shorts. Easy!

  1. One sheet of white card for the peach
  2. Some peach coloured paint
  3. Some extra cardboard to make the critters that live inside
  4. Pencils to draw and colour the critters

  1. Draw a peach shape on the piece of cardboard. The bigger the better!
  2. Paint your peach 
  3. Draw your insect friends 
  4. Cut them out and add them to the peach. We made it look like they were climbing out of a hole in the peach. 
  5. That’s it!!

Photography and styling: Emma Scott-Child
HUGE thanks to my crafty little models: Elliot, Eve and Frida. 

 

 

 

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HACKY MONDAYS – O.C.D. D.I.Y.

Hacks February 20, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

If you’re a little OCD about your DIY, avoid that crusty dried paint on the edge of the tin by wrapping an elastic band around it to wipe the brush on.

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland. Have you got a good one?

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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HACKY MONDAYS – KEEP COOKIES MOIST

Hacks February 13, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

The word ‘moist’ is one of those words that sounds gross and creepy however you say it – I’ve long thought that the most uncomfortable phrase in the English language is ‘moist coin-purse’. It’s not even rude, it just sounds weird – But I’m going to persist with using the word moist in this post for the sake of a good hack.

If you’ve got some cookies you’re trying to keep moist (muffled giggle) so they don’t dry out and go crunchy, add a wedge of apple to the box. This will help them keep their moistness (there I go again). You’re only young once but you can be immature forever.

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

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JUICY LITTLE VALENTINE HEARTS

Food February 11, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

This idea came to me while scoffing an M&S fruit salad on the bus and I’ve been waiting for the perfect situation to give it a try. Hello Valentine’s Day! Add a little extra love to someone’s fruit salad today…

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  • Some red grapes – make sure they aren’t too circular, you want really long egg-shaped ones, which make better heart shapes.
  • A sharp knife
  • Toothpicks
  • Some coloured paper and glue, or some washi tape
  • Scissors

LL_miniheaders_HOW TO DO IT_620

1. Divide up your grapes into matching pairs; make sure they are the same size and shape.

LL_valeitnes-grapes

2. Cut each grape in half diagonally, making sure the cut section is the same angle and size as its twin.

LL_valentines-grapes1

3. Stick the two sides together to make the heart shape and pierce them with a toothpick. LL_valentines-grapes2

4. To make the arrow point and feathery bit, stick small strips of paper to either side of the toothpick with glue (or use coloured tape doubled over) then trim it into the arrow and feather shape with scissors. This bit is a bit fiddly, which is why you wouldn’t want to be making vast numbers of these, but as a little surprise garnish, they work a treat.

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HAPPY HOUR – LIME & APPLE RUM HOT TODDY

Food February 10, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

It’s bloody freezing today. Like, lip-shiveringly, toe-numbingly freezing. In times like this you have to ask yourself, what would a pirate do? (Obvs).  The answer is hot rum.  And to add a dash of tropical optimism, chuck in some limes.

Here’s my recipe for hot piratey rum to ease you into the weekend.

  1. 2 litres of cloudy apple juice
  2. 4 limes
  3. 2 apples
  4. 3 cinnamon sticks – more for garnish if you’re feeling fancy
  5. 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  6. 450ml spiced rum – I used good Ol’ Captain Morgan

  1. Slice the apples and limes
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan
  3. Heat until warmed through and the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t let it boil, you might lose precious alcohol!
  4. Serve it in a glass and swashbuckle your way through until springtime.

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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HACKY MONDAYS – WHEN BUYING FLIGHTS ONLINE…

Hacks January 30, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

Next time you book a flight online, clear your cookies.

If you’re bouncing about on comparison sites looking at fares, a flight may seem more expensive when you return to buy it because the cookies (which track your browsing history) have told it you’re shopping around. Airlines know that once you see the price has gone up, you’re more likely to buy it because it seems as though the seats are selling out.

To disable cookies, clear your browsing history making sure the box that includes ‘Cookies and other site and plug-in data’ is ticked.

This would have saved me hundreds if I’d known about it back when I was booking flights for our wedding!! Rascals! (I think you know I’d like to use a stronger word here).

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland. Have you got a good one?

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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7 CARAFES THAT WILL MAKE YOU DRINK MORE WATER

Style January 26, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

How are we all going on our new year’s resolutions? Great? Smashing it? Totally failing?! Yep That’s me.

Every year I have a resolution to drink more water. Every year I fail. I just forget. I have too many things to remember to also get up seven times during the day to refill my glass.

This year I’m investing in some stylish help in the form of a fancy carafe. I figure if I have a pretty bottle on my desk all day, I’ll probably remember to drink the water in it.

Here are some on my shopping list. It’s hard to choose. I might get two and use one for wine – or both… I’m not doing very well at this am I?

 

 

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IT’S LAMINGTON DAY! TRY OUR RECIPE

Food January 25, 2017
Selina Altomonte

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi! Oi! Oi!

Okay, I’ve got that out of my system.

As a Sydney girl living in London, I always get a case of the warm and fuzzies on January 26. This is, of course, Australia Day, when all the Aussies who have found themselves in freezing London instead of on some glorious beach back home huddle in pubs to share precious body heat and get a little bit too jolly on Fosters.

But, for the antipodean abroad who doesn’t quite care for Fosters, Australia Day is officially LAMINGTON DAY, when one may eat as many chocolate-dipped, coconut-rolled cakes as physically possible – it’s a show of national pride.

I’ve made my lamingtons with a simple sponge recipe, and without jam. Feel free to halve your sponge and add liberal dollops of raspberry or strawberry sweet stuff. It WILL get messy. I’ve also followed Dan Lepard’s lead and enriched my chocolate sauce with melted dark chocolate. Fancy.

Ingredients

DARK CHOCOLATE-DIPPED LAMINGTONS
Makes 12 small lamingtons

Sponge
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate sauce
150g Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate
3 1/2 tbsp cocoa
100g caster sugar
150ml milk
100g desiccated coconut

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a square or rectangular baking tin with baking parchment and grease and flour the sides.
2. Use an electric beater to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs, one a time, making sure each one is well incorporated into the mixture before adding the next.
4. Stir in the vanilla extract and sift in the flour. Gently fold the flour into the mixture and pour it into the prepared tin. Use a spatula to level the cake batter.
5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Test the cake with a skewer – if it comes out clean, the sponge is ready. If not, return the sponge to the oven and check again after 5 minutes.
6. Transfer the sponge to a wire rack and allow to cool. Once cool, use a serrated knife to level the top of the sponge and trim the edges. Slice into 12 small squares.
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7. To make your chocolate sauce, break the chocolate into small pieces. Place the cocoa, sugar and milk in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Allow to cool, then transfer to a deep bowl.

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8. Scatter a thick layer of desiccated coconut on a large plate and have it ready, next to your bowl of chocolate sauce. Line a tray with baking parchment for your completed lamingtons.
9. Working quickly, dip a slice of sponge in the chocolate sauce, coating all sides, and roll it in the desiccated coconut to coat. Transfer to the prepared tray. Repeat with remaining slices of sponge and allow the chocolate to set before scoffing them all.

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Ladyland lamingtons stackPhotography & styling (main & last image): Emma Scott-Child
Additional photography: Selina Altomonte

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HACKY MONDAYS – RUN OUT OF BREAST PADS?

Hacks January 23, 2017
Emma Scott-Child

One of my all time, least favourite moments of motherhood was not long after I had my son. I was standing on the bus, staring into space like a zombie while my child screamed in his buggy. I was at that point where I actually couldn’t even hear him any longer, all I knew was I’d be home in five minutes and I would hopefully never have to see any of these people ever again. Then I looked down at my denim shirt. Patches. Massive, soaking patches. No denying it. Teenage boys were staring. It was awkward. That’s when I texted my best mate “I’m that woman on the bus with the screaming kid and the leaking boobs”. She wrote back “Hang in there Honey, I love you.”

While I miss his tiny chubby thighs and milk drunk expressions, I am SO glad those days are behind me. And I’m so grateful for friends who know the right thing to say. If you’re there now, right in the thick of it, hang in there, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick breastfeeding hack for you.

It’s not the most photogenic hack and sure, you can’t do this on the bus, but it’s a good one if you run out of breast pads. Just chop a regular pad in half. You got this!

This hack is the brainchild of my fabulous friend Cat from Not So Smug Now

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland. Have you got a good one? 

 

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