Goodness it’s quiet round here! The boys are back at school and this time that includes Boy 3. So it’s just me and Boy 4, and although he is anything but quiet, he can usually be persuaded to have a nap for an hour or too in the late morning, and then it’s really quiet. I can hear the blood rushing around my head! It’s very strange.
There’s so much catching up to do from the summer holidays. It’s difficult to get much done with four kids at home and anyway, that’s not what the summer holidays are for, is it? So we had lots of fun but the house became even messier and I did hardly any sewing.
prioritise prefer crafting to housework, but last week unfortunately I had to have a major go at the house and the garden, partly because they were awful and partly because Boy 1 had a birthday party at the weekend. So I’ve caught up on some manky jobs but I’ve still not really done much sewing. However I couldn’t manage not making anything at all, so here is what I have been doing!
I discovered these little gems while trawling the internet for ideas for Boy 1’s birthday party, which was on Sunday! He wanted to have some of his friends round to play video games, play with the lego and run around the garden. I thought a structured (ie craft!) activity might be an idea. He’s not really crafty, but he’s a sweet boy and went along with it.
I found instructions here at Frugal Fun 4 Boys. Basically you cut a couple of metres of parachute cord, fold it in half and thread the folded end through one part of a plastic buckle. Then you thread the other ends through the other part of the buckle and move it up as far as it needs to go to make a bracelet that fits. Then using the free ends, you tie a series of knots around the cord between the buckle bits. When you have finished, you cut off the excess cord and melt the ends. Apparently you are supposed to use a lighter. I used a candle and it worked fine, although the paracord melts easily so it doesn’t need very long or to be too close to the flame.
The recommended age for making these is 8+ (the melting needs to be done by an adult, obviously), but Boy 2, who is 6, and his 6 year old friend, both managed to make them.
Boy 2 enjoyed it so much he has requested more paracord in different colours. Hong Kong via Ebay is a good place to get them! I’m hoping he’ll prefer making paracord bracelets to loom bands as I am beginning to tire of hoovering them up.
This might not really count as crafts!
I did this years ago. I can’t remember if we had children then, possibly we had Boy 1. He would have been a baby, so it was a while ago. I remember I left it too late and they flowered in early January, which was fine, who wouldn’t be happy with beautiful flowers when it’s grey and dark outside? But I vowed that next time, I would get my act together sooner and have lovely hyacinths in time for Christmas time.
It’s taken a few years, but a couple of days ago, I bought three hyacinth bulbs from the nursery next door to my next door neighbour, known in my house as Mr Plant Man.
I found a plastic plant bowl in the garden and gave it a wipe, filled it with compost and planted the bulbs. They are covered but only just and, according to the advice of the internet, not touching the bowl or each other. I covered the bowl with a black tea towel (the internet said to cover with a black bin bag but I use Lidl bags as bin bags as we have a lot of them). The bowl is now in a little used part of the sideboard and I’ve written in my diary to take them out in 10 weeks’ time. They will apparently take 3 weeks to flower, so hopefully they will flower the week before Christmas. Gorgeous. I can’t wait!
This is something I promised the boys and also a project that will be featuring in my ebook when and if I ever get it finished. I’ve cut the bits out, sewed them up and sewn the casing for the bamboo canes. I tried buying the canes from the hardware store over the road but they had sold out of 5 ft ones. But, happily, when I was buying my hyacinth bulbs, I noticed that Mr Plant Man had bamboo canes! The canes are currently in the kitchen, in Boy 2’s welly, propped up against the piano. I still need to trim the seams which hopefully I will be able to do in the evening if PEOPLE go to sleep/ let me sleep. I am not holding my breath.
I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago. It’s a project I wrote for The Sewing Directory in exchange for some free fabric. I love fabric, free stuff and writing up projects, so I’m very happy! The instructions for making this will be going on to the site over the next few weeks. There’s lots of other gorgeous projects on there too.
So there we go. I’m slowly returning to normal, even though normal feels weird still!