Jun 19, 2014

Make your own little Loom Band looms

Loom Bands! It's a craze. A big fiddly tweeny fad that just last week swept up my eight and nine year old. I've been reliably informed by friends back in California that this is very much a "thing" over there too. I just need to keep the tiny rubber bands away from the baby because he's pretty good with the old fine motor skills for a seven month old, and everything looks like a tasty snack to him!

I wanted to slap up a few pictures of the hacked together looms that we made today for the kids to make different types of bracelets on. There are no photos of them actually being made because I was out in the back yard on my hands and knees with a drill and a toddler and a baby in a buggy and you just need to see them to realise exactly what I did, because it's really simple.

I wasn't going to be getting the proper plastic loom thing that is sold to make these with, because I'd have to get two because there are two older kids for a start, but also they just look like they are over engineered for the job. The kids had been making the more simple bracelets just using their fingers to loop the bands over, but it becomes tricky to put things down mid bracelet when you're doing that, and you can't do the more complicated ones with fingers anyway.

We made three different looms, each by just drilling a hole into a bit of wood and then banging a few little nails into the appropriate places. Sanded the wood a little to smooth off the drilled hole and edges, but really it was that simple. By using two nails fairly close together as the loop point, it's really easy to get the little hook in to pull the bands over.

The easiest loom was the one with two loop points.

The next was one with three loop points.

Then we skipped right ahead and made one that had six loop points.

Even little Del was intent on having a go. She's got a lot of focus for a kid that's just turned three last week, but I guess when you can see your two older sisters doing something, you really want to do it too.

I put together a bunch of photos to show how the three loop point bracelet starts, builds, and ties off. If you click on the image below it should open up the full size image for you to see it better. The black bands that you see making the start are eventually snipped with scissors and pulled out and thrown away.

Hope that was of some use to someone out there. My kids are having so much fun with this stuff. It's lovely that they want to make them for friends and it's great that they are small and light, so cheap to send to friends overseas too! It's very much like those dolly bobbin french knitting thingies we used to have as kids, but just so much easier and more fun with elastic bands.

Feb 10, 2014

Bathtub Ice Cube Curling

It's the new craze. You heard it here first! Well, maybe not, but it is kinda fun and silly. We invented this slightly daft take on the Olympic sport of curling last week. The weather here has been atrocious and rainy day ideas were needed.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are now in full swing, and if letting the kids play "Laundry basket Luge" on the stairs is a little too terrifying, pop on over to the post I've got up on Alphamom.com showing how we made our ice cube curling stones, and what the basic rules and scoring is for a game.

I have a bit of a secret fondness for the sport of curling, because up until the early 1990s there was a little workshop near where we lived in Wales that made curling stones from Welsh blue granite. They would mill out cylinders of rock from this rough cubes, and then sell the left over rough cubes with cylindrical holes in them as planters for gardens, and there are still quite a few around the place in people's front yards. I thought that was super cool when I was a kid. I guess I was pretty into creative reuse from an early age!
As with most of the things we get up to, you don't need much to do this, just a muffin tray, some paper clips, and some crayons. Full post can be found here.

Thank you too for the get well wishes. I am actually doing a lot better a lot faster than we thought was going to be the case. I'm just very impatient and want to be back to normal, which is likely to take another three to six months so they say. I'll be able to walk up in the pretty Welsh hills, pain free by the summer time hopefully.

Feb 9, 2014

Golden Snitch Valentine's Favor Printable

Another Valentine printable for you! This one lets your Harry Potter fans make a 3D "golden snitch" card (four to a page) for their BFFs. The free printable is available for download over at Alphamom.com 


 The snitch itself is made from wrapping a lollipop in gold wrapping paper. I didn't think about it until yesterday, but if you want to make non candy valentines then you could easily wrap those little bouncy balls that are sold as party favours, and hold the twisted end in place with tape once it's poked through the card. Those things are about as hard to catch as a snitch anyway!

I know I've been posting more printables than crafts lately, but that has been because I'm still recovering from a difficult pregnancy and birth. I do have an actual craft/game being posted some time today or tomorrow, so I'll give you a link to it when that happens. Good news is that in about five weeks I should be discharged from my physio appointments, and able to handle the rest of my recovery myself. I gave my crutches back to the hospital just after Christmas, and things are getting easier every day. We even had a moment of relative calm in the house yesterday. Everyone was chillin' and doing their thing. I was starting to wonder if that was ever going to be possible!

Happy new year by the way! Chinese and Gregorian. I think I forgot to say that, but then there's been a lot going on ;)

Feb 3, 2014

Ultimate Souper Star Valentine

Helloooo! Valentine's Day is fast approaching again. Where does the time go!?! I just made an easy peasy lemon squeazy printable valentine for classmates. And it's punny! I love cheesy puns. This is a soupy pun though.
You will need to get a bunch of mini Necco wafer rolls to wrap up inside these valentines. Easier to come by them in the US than here in the UK, but I went for these because the tradition of classroom valentines isn't really done here in the UK, but is very popular back in the States.

Because the Necco wafer rolls are only about three centimeters tall, these are teensy little soup cans. If you want to make a few then pop over to the post here on Alphamom.com and download the free printable there.

Here are a load more Valentines themed bits and bobs from Filth Wizardry's past to save you searching through my badly organized archives.

Awesome baby is still awesome and is going to be three whole months old tomorrow. .Like I was saying... where does the time go?!? The littlest big sister is absolutely besotted with him.

In other news... A year and a half after our move from the US to the UK we finally unpacked the "slot together panel" one twelfth scale doll house that we made of our old American home. We waited all this time so that the kids were settled and happy and it wasn't going to make them sad to see it, and miss the old place too much. They were very excited to see it again, and as Delyth was so young when we first made it, it's totally new to her and she loves it! Hooray!


I should show you what the kids had made to use as a doll house during the time that this one was packed away, because it's pretty epic. They took custody of a bunch of the boxes we used to move, and constructed a massive upright doll house against their bedroom wall. I helped them get the structure they wanted and we hot glued and taped it all together.

They kept adding to it throughout the year that we were living at that house, until it was really quite elaborate and well decorated.

I don't have a photo of it in all it's completed glory sadly, and when it came time to move house again last August, we had to pull it apart as it wouldn't fit through the door, but they enjoyed it while it lasted. The last photos I got of it were about six months before we moved and they had done a lot more on it by the time we took it apart, but you get the idea. The old poster tube was an elevator that stopped at the different floors.

One side was meant to be a Polly Pocket Condo, and the other side was a Transformers base. The Pollys got on reasonably well with the Autobots. Not so well with the Decepticons though. Starscream kept using the roof to launch himself from.