Tuesday, January 21, 2014

50 Dangerous Things: #48 Explode a glass bottle in the freezer.

The book told us that this would be a great project to do while we were doing something else - and it was! We decided to pop a bottle in the freezer just before dinnertime.

Aesop was in charge of filling the bottle. We used a sweet chilli sauce bottle, and we filled it right to the top.

Otto placed it, carefully, into a plastic container (which would catch all of the pieces, when it did explode!) ready to go into the freezer.

We popped it in, covered with a tea towel for extra safety, and we waited.
We checked it after dinner, nothing.
We checked it before bed, still nothing.

We checked it in the morning...


We talked about why the bottle had broken, about how careful we needed to be around the broken glass and also noted things we could do differently next time. We noted that there was ice all around the bottle, so it must not have been completely frozen when the bottle broke, and that the top had also popped right off. We thought we might try different sized bottles, and maybe starting with different temperatures of water?

Have you ever tried this one?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Me & Mine project: Intro and a dress for me!

You know what's weird? How mechanics have broken cars, and builders have never-ending renos.. and sewing people never make things for their own family!  I'm forever being asked if I made the dress I'm wearing, or the clothes the boys are wearing, or, well, any fabric gift we give anyone.
And I very rarely have made those things. I am always so busy sewing up custom orders, or readymades, for Croutons - so sewing stuff for us seems less exciting, and less productive (due to not earning money from it!)
But, it sucks. Really, it does. Earning money is great (and much needed) but our kids are growing fast, and I really want them to be the type of grown-ups who complain about how Mum insisted on putting them in homemade clothes! Heh. And the ones who are embarrassed when Mum turns up to pick them up from a party wearing a homemade nana-frock. My best friend in primary had a Mum who made everything for her and her three siblings. Everything from jeans to undies!
(While I wish I could be that dedicated, I can't quite, but I want to at least make the undies...)

And, with that, I announce my personal project for this year. Inspired (heavily) by my friend Hazel (and also by Talia Christine!) I'm doing a 'Me & Mine' project.
I am not setting myself any numbers, but I want to greatly increase the amount of sewing/crafting I do for my family. I want to sew clothes, repurpose things, paint and decorate things, maybe even BUILD things? Who knows where this will lead.

Behold, my first project:

I've been wanting to do this for a long time, this was just the kick in the pants I needed.
I took one of my favourite vintage dresses - a style I have found many times, in many sizes, and is super flattering - and traced a pattern from it.

I took a duvet cover I found at the Sallie a few weeks ago, and I cut out the pattern pieces.
Then I whipped it up over the course of last weekend.

I was so pleased with how quickly it came together. And even more thrilled when my dodgy pattern taking technique actually proved to be quite accurate!!

I didn't need to alter many things, and I have taken some notes on possible improvements for next time. (Oh, there WILL be a next time - soon!)

I'm especially pleased with the pattern placement, totally worked out how it looked in my head. Love it when that happens!
I'm excited to be able to say 'yes!' next time someone asks me if I made my dress.

(Bonus shots of Mol modelling her birthday suit, and of my swish new non-frumpy-housewife haircut. Heh.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

50 Dangerous Things : #2 Lick a 9-volt Battery.

Number two - Lick a 9-volt battery! Eeep. This one got some of us feeling very nervous, indeed.
On the face of it, it seems pretty simple. Tongue plus battery, done. Right? But trying to get your brain to allow your hand to physically put that battery onto something as sensitive as your tongue is a a big hurdle!

As I expected, Otto (aged 4) took upon the task with gusto. He was very keen to go first, he stuck his tongue out and did it without much of a reaction at all. He wasn't keen to do it again, but he did it. He described the feeling as 'yuck'.
Abraham had a bit of a struggle to get his brain to cooperate, but did it pretty quickly. He described the feeling more like a bitter taste than an actual buzz.

Aesop, our nearly-nine year old, is a bright spark. He also struggles to do things that he is not 100% certain about. His brain works overtime and he struggles to overcome it. In a lot of ways, he is the main driving force behind us doing this 50 Dangerous Things challenge.
It took about 20 minutes of talking him into it,  but he felt so much better once he had done it. I knew the feeling of not being included in the challenge, and not having his picture in the book would be far worse than any discomfort from the battery!

I found this surprisingly easy. I had the initial panic and then decided that I needed to tough it out if there was any chance of Aesop having a turn. It was a really strange feeling, a buzzing, almost pinching sensation and a bitter metallic after taste.
Strange, but not truly shocking ; )

That makes 2/50 complete! Whoop!

Friday, January 10, 2014

50 Dangerous Things - Intro and thing #1!

Inspired by one of my favourite friends (who happens to be a super great blogger) and her sweet family, our family has purchased this book and set ourselves a challenge for this year : to get brave, and complete these 50 Dangerous Things. We're calling it a team building exercise.

If I'm really honest, it's a much-needed reminder, for Abraham and I, to let our kids experience the simple-yet-memorable things that we all did as kids.
Things like licking batteries, making slingshots, burning things with a magnifying glass, sleeping in the wild, building campfires and sticking your arm out of a moving car.
I mean, we did those things and survived, right? We probably didn't even do them with supervision and instruction from adults.. we had a blast, and we still survived to tell the tale. 
It's really easy to bubble wrap our kids. Society encourages it! We're forever hearing of schools banning playground games, toys being deemed 'unsafe', our favourite fireworks going off the market, children getting hurt doing things that would have been everyday activities a decade ago. I find myself discouraging all sorts of things, without realising it.
It's really hard for kids to learn about danger, without experiencing any. And really hard for parents to remember how important that learning is. We're hoping that, by encouraging our kids to try these things, that they'll learn about the boundaries of danger and learn when it's okay to give things a go, and when it's best to give it a miss. (And we'll learn not to be so afraid to let them be kids!)

We've had a flick through the book, trying to decide where to start - and then, yesterday, the weather decided for us! The clouds darkened, the temperature dropped, and it started hailing!
Number 2 in the book is - Play in a hailstorm! Perfect!

The book suggested putting a metal bowl on your head (for the sound effects!), donning a coat, long pants and gloves and heading out to play. We compromised a little - figured maybe going out in a lightening storm with a metal bowl wasn't super smart - and used plastic bowls. We also skipped the warm, protective clothing, it wasn't hailing really hard and wasn't too cold. We had a warm-up bath afterwards, instead.
The kids loved it. They didn't stay out long, due to the very loud thunder freaking them out a bit, but they managed to eat some hail that had collected on the tramp and run around a bit.

They were mostly just excited to have made a start on the project! They're busy deciding right now which activities we might be able to do this weekend.

(As the storm continued, we decided that a pizza and movie night was also in order. So nice to snug up on the couch on a rainy evening.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ahhhh Summertime.

 Happy new year, lovelies!

We're full into the swing of Summertime, over here. Beaches and pools are being swum in, Christmas presents are being played with (especially that big, bouncy one!), dinners are being eaten outdoors and general chaos is the norm at our place!
(Summer is not my favourite time of the year, but I'm doing my best to roll with it this year, I even donned togs the other day! Say whaaaa?!)

We had the coolest Christmas this year. We spent just over a week camping over at Ohiwa (about 40 minutes from home, nice and handy but juuuust far enough away to make it a real holiday!) with my parents. We had the most glorious weather, just a few wee spots of rain the whole time - just enough to keep the temperature reasonable, actually. We beached, crabbed, walked, blobbed, gifted, ate our body weight in treats, beached a bit more, walked a bit more and even caught the odd afternoon nap. So relaxed and lovely. I really enjoyed not stressing about traveling from family to family, or about getting the house tidy, or even really about preparing a fancy lunch. We ate the most delicious, simple bbq meal and it was just what we needed.
Can't wait to do it all again next Christmas.

I feel a bit like it has taken me 9 days to feel ready for it to be a new year, and a new start! Always need a wee break after a holiday with three kids. Hah. But yesterday morning I woke up feeling like it was a fresh year. I logged myself out of Facebook, for what I hope is going to be a really long break (crushing that addiction will make a HUGE change to my life... you can laugh, but FB addiction is some serious stuff!) and got stuck into my housework. I revised our budgets and I bought a new daily/monthly planner - I'm getting myself organised. 2014, BRING IT!