Monday, 30 April 2012

Make it Monday - Jewellery


Just because I was short of crafts to try our, well you all know that isn't true, anyway I saw these pendants in quite a few places online recently and loved them so much that I just had to start making them.

I searched out an online supplier of the bits and pieces and got started on them.

They are so much fun to make, and so beautiful to wear.

They proved quite popular at my craft stall last week and I am now in the process of adding them to my Etsy store.

A few times when someone would comment on how nice they were, I would reply how much I loved them and then add that perhaps I was a little bit biased to be saying that, but one of my buyers helpfully stated, 'If you didn't love them so much then you won't be crafting and selling them.'

I also started making cufflinks in gold or silver (the silver ones I had made were all sold)

I love these Vintage style pendants and can't decide if I prefer them or the square ones at the top of the post!

But then I also love these round ones too!

As well as these, I made some cute rings, hair slides and a couple of bracelets but they sold before I could get round to photographing them.

When I re-order the supplies and make them again I'll be sure to share the photos before trying to sell them!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday Fun (and a history lesson too!)

It's no secret that we love history in the housefulofboys.

Nor is it a secret how much we (and I include myself here, as well as the boys) love Horrible Histories, especially the songs.

The latest series is on TV just now and it includes our new favourite song, which I have shared below.

Apparently some history experts have been critical of the show recently, accusing the makers of dumbing down or trivialising history. 

I totally disagree with them.

It has my boys interested in history, keen to learn more than what they see in the show, which turns them towards books on the subjects that they would probably not have been interested in without the spark of interest begun with the show. Phew, does that make sense?!

Anyway, here is the song.

I especially love how they used the voice of Churchill at the end. It gives the whole thing a more sombre, reflective tone after the fun of the song.

Have a great weekend ♥

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Meet Mr Happy & Mr Bump...

Mr Happy and Mr Bump spend most of their time living inside our fridge.

They share a little house together in a little plastic bag, and are usually found sitting on the second bottom shelf, beside the margarine.

Mr Happy and Mr Bump have an important job to do in our house.

You see, when the itchy bug takes over one of the eczema boys, especially the littlest man, they come to the rescue.

Once the raging heat and itch has kicked in, and no amount of distraction is working, or the offer of mama rubbing instead of little man scratching & tearing away has been turned down then we call on Mr Happy and Mr Bump.

Their coolness is just what is needed and it usually doesn't take long for them to work their magic.

Recently Alasdair has even started asking for them, as he seems to be becoming more aware that he should try not to scratch.

Just simple bruise soothers but one way we have found of helping to cope with one of the hardest parts of living with eczema - the unbearable itch!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Mod, part 2

At the prizegiving. Don't they look handsome in their choir uniforms? I'm not sure why David looks so serious in the background!

A couple of months ago Calum came home from school saying that he and one of his friends wanted to do a folk group for the Mod. They had asked a few others in their class to join them too but needed help with choosing the music and practicing.

Given their enthusiasm, I was only too keen to offer some help, and when they mentioned it to their teacher she very kindly said that I could go into school to coach them there - the pupils at the Gaelic school come from right across the city and outlying areas and the easiest way to get together and practice was when they were already together at school!

They finally settled on the band members - Calum on accordion, his friend on guitar and two of the girls from their class on clarsach. I chose and arranged the music for them and once a week for about 6 weeks Alasdair and I would stay in school after dropping the boys off in the morning, and spend a while teaching their little folk group.

The folk group competition at the Mod is an open one for any age of school pupil and so they were by far the youngest competitors - one group was made up of girls who must have been at least 16!

This didn't phase them at all, and they did us proud. 

I was filming them on my phone, with Alasdair asleep in my arms, and so one of the girls' mums who was sitting next to me offered to take over the filming for me. As I handed the phone over, one of us hit the stop button and so the recording I have is in two parts! 

Tonight's entertainment for you all is the second song from their set. The two songs the played were 'Calum's Road' and 'Domhnall Beag an t-siucar'.

After a wee intro to the second tune they sing a verse each (boys then girls) which is tricky to hear on the recording as their voices weren't mic-ed but you get the idea!

Just remember if they hit the big time (or if James does with his animations, see yesterday's post) that you saw it here first :0)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Animation Time Again

On Saturday the local Mod took place here. The Mod, just for those who have never heard me talk of it before, is a Gaelic music/song/literary competition.

James & Calum had both been working hard for various competitions and came home with a few medals. David also took part in a competition with his classmates.

James was over the moon to win first place in the short film category with his latest animation. I was so pleased for him after all the hours of work he put into it. He also got a 2nd place in the chanter competition for his age group.

Calum won 1st place for the unseen Bible reading competition (Bible Gaelic is quite a bit harder than spoken Gaelic), and 2nd places for his solo accordion playing, written poetry and conversation. He also played in a little folk group with a few friends from his class, but more about them tomorrow.

Tonight, I thought I would share with you what is now officially an award winning animation from JAMINATIONS.

The story line (since it is all in Gaelic) is of a boy inventor. Some aliens want to kidnap him to make some new weapons for them and so come to earth to find him, resulting in a chase. One of the aliens accidentally takes a bomb back to their own planet, and that spells the end for them.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Another Bear Grylls inspired activity!

As well as trying out a spot of sea kayaking last week, James (aka Mr Outdoors) put his shelter building and fire-building skills to the test.

Anyone who can remember back to last Easter, might remember that we went to a Ranger led Bushcraft Skills morning and learnt to build these shelters. You can see the post about them here.

That was before James had really heard of Mr Grylls though, and this time he set about building his shelter and fire with a whole new enthusiasm!

He built it all himself, with only things he found lying around the croft.

He also got the fire going himself, without the use of matches - he used a flint instead.

Here, some of his friends pop by for a visit!

And to warm up by the fire.....

...which shows up better in this photo!

Despite the heavy influence of 'Born Survivor'/'Man V Wild' I'm pleased to say that no bugs, and only mum's home baking, were eaten by the fire!

Gaelic word of the day ( I think we may have had this one before, but anyway...):
Teine (chen-ye) - fire

Monday, 16 April 2012

Make it Monday - Candles

This coming Saturday is the local Mod and I will again have a stall at the craft fair attached to it.

As well as my usual Gaelic cards, this year I also plan on having a few extras on my stall.

These extras are also heading for my Etsy store.

So, these last few weeks the boys have been helping me make candles.

These are some of the ones we have made so far.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Some Friday Fun

Since his school camp a few weeks ago, James has loved all outdoor activities.

He is also a huge Bear Grylls fan, as is Calum.

So with both things combined he wanted to make this video last week at our friend's house.

He directed it and decided what to do. I did the filming and editing.

Since I am writing this from my phone I haven't worked out how to embed the film, just add the link. It should take you straight to the film though.

Oh, and don't worry. It has none of the gross factor of Bear Grylls!

Watch "Born Survivor - in Skye!" on YouTube

Enjoy your weekend everyone :-)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Snow, Skye & a Quick Geography Lesson!

We came up to our Easter holidays at my parents via a short stay with some friends on Skye.

For those who don't know the Scottish islands, here is a little map to help you out! We are looking at the north-west of Scotland. About 20 years ago a bridge to Skye was opened so visitors (and locals) no longer have to worry about ferries.

From the north of Skye you can get a ferry to Harris, which is the same land mass as Lewis but classed as a seperate island, and then drive north for about an hour until you get to Lewis.

map of outer hebrides western isles map
map credit here

We usually come across to Lewis by driving further north on the mainland and getting the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway. Although the drive takes you further north, there is much less driving time to go this way but the ferry crossing is longer, nearly 3 hours. Coming through Skye the ferry crossing is only 1 1/2 hours and a much calmer bit of sea too.

Despite the shorter, calmer ferry, I still prefer our usual way, but since we were staying with friends for a few days then the journey was broken up nicely.

So, background set, I thought I would share a few photos of our drive north, the day after the snow came down last week, as well as a few shots of our stay in Skye.

Once we had crossed over to Skye we left the snow behind us and arrived to beautiful blue skies.

This was the evening view from the front of the house we were staying in.

Our friends own a holiday cottage next to their own house. You can just see them both in the photo below. The holiday house is the one on the right. I did offer to give them a shameless plug, so if anyone is interested in a lovely wee cottage in a beautiful, peaceful part of the country then you can find out more here.

Skye is also known as Eilean a' Cheo (aylyan a chyaw) - the Island of the Mist.

There was plenty chance for outdoor adventures.

Everyone was asking me why was I photo of such a mundane thing as a post box, but I really liked the red against the green background!

We stumbled across a ruined Blackhouse. Anyone know what Blackhouses were?

We even managed to get to the wee beach across from the house.

Yes, that is one of my sons in the sea in April....

....and the yellow streak on the water is another of them trying out sea kayaking with their friends from the cottage and their friends' auntie.

I stayed nice and dry on the shore. I would like to say warm too but, well, it wasn't.

 The holiday adventures then continued across to Lewis where we still have a few days left to go.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Make it Monday - An Assortment of Makes

Last week we came up to my parents' house for our Easter holidays but just because we are away doesn't mean the making has stopped!

David has been busy decorating some special Easter biscuits (cookies).

James made his first ever Banoffee Pie for our pudding yesterday. This was him making the caramel for it.

While they were busy doing that, Calum made up the mixture for his Yorkshire Puddings.

These are David's decorated biscuits. He made each one with a different pattern, and knew which pattern was for which person.

And here is the finished Banoffee. It didn't last for long!

Then today James was back in the kitchen. It was my dad's birthday today and while I made the birthday cake, James made up some figures to decorate the cake.

This is Roscoe, my parents' dog. The sugarpaste version!

Here is Roscoe in position on top of the cake, alongside my dad! James decided to make my dad and Roscoe with some golf clubs, and added a Bible, camera and golf club along the front. He did an amazing job.

My dad loved his cake, which he got at the end of a birthday banquet that my mum spent all day cooking - that's another make, I suppose.

As is making the table look pretty for the dinner.

The whole family are here to celebrate - both my brothers, my sister in law, 3 nephews and the 6 of us.

The final surprise came when the cake was sliced.....

Is anyone else busy with any makings over the holidays? If you have a blog feel free to post a link in the comments or if you don't then don't be shy in just leaving a comment about what you are making!