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.

Dec 20, 2013

3D Printable Christmas Tree Card


Hello! I have a Christmas printable I made for you! I made a baby too, but I'll show you him in the next post. Anyhoo, this printable card thingy I made, it's over at Alphamom.com and if you like colouring in then you're going to love it. Lots of little decorations to colour! All you need is card to print it on, colouring pencils, scissors, and glue. We filled ours with sweets to give to the kid's teachers at the end of term. 



Also, here are 15 of our Christmas time posts from current to years gone by (list and links below this image) in case anyone is looking for a few extra ideas of things to do with the kidletts.

Oh go on, you've twisted my arm, here are some photos of the cute baby with his sisters (I'll tell you more about him soon) Now that we have four kids, Paul has started nicknaming them "Eenie, Meenie, Mynee, and Mo." He's 6 weeks old now and completely rad!

Happy Holidays 
my fellow filth wizards!

Jun 13, 2013

Father's Day Printable and Update on the Filth Wizards

Hellooo! Nearly Father's day! I've drawn a Super Dad illustration that can be coloured in and have a photo of dad's head glued on, plus a little fill-in-the-blanks greeting to go inside that is a bit silly, but fun. You can find the printable over at Alpha Mom here.

I've been a bit slow with the blog the last couple of months because I've been feeling rough as a badger's bum. This is because I am manufacturing another family member! So, come the beginning of November there will be four little filth wizards. We're currently all crammed into two bedrooms, so there's a house move on the horizon too, hopefully in the next month, and that way we can have the seven and eight year old sharing a room and Del (who is two on Saturday) and the new bairn sharing when the baby is big enough.

I'm feeling less exhausted and nauseous now that I'm nearly half way through this pregnancy, so hopefully I can get some more projects up on the blog soon. The kids have made a massive cardboard thing that I really want to share with you! Also, school holidays start here in a few weeks, so we're looking forward to lots of extra time for making messy things, especially now that it's staying light outside until 10.30pm! The house we're hopefully moving to has quite a dilapidated garden, so I figure letting the kids make another junk town this summer is on the cards.

In the mean time, have a lovely father's day weekend! I think we're taking the family to the roller disco on Sunday night. I will resist the urge to crowbar my pregnant self into some gold spandex Kylie Minogue hot pants for the event. Maybe Paul can wear them over his trousers for the full Super Dad look!

May 3, 2013

Battle of Hoth Ice-cream dessert printable

Star Wars Day is coming up on Saturday (May the Fourth be with you), so that's a perfect excuse right there for me to indulge in some Rebel Alliance themed geekery with the kids. If you fancy making your family a nice cold dish of Battle on Hoth, then pop on over to my post at Alpha Mom, where I've made a printable template that you can download.

And if you think a sci-fi themed battle dessert is a little odd, you're lucky I didn't go with my original plan, which was to make an upside down cheesecake pit of Sarlaac. Yeah. Nobody wants dessert that looks like vagina dentata, so, you're welcome.

In other Star Wars news... We met some of the Rebel Legion UK at the Newcastle Maker Faire last weekend, and the kids were very happy to have their pictures taken with a storm trooper and an X-wing pilot. They took great delight in telling the X-wing pilot about the Helmets they made a couple of years ago, and the storm trooper mask too.

We had a fantastic time at the UK Maker Faire, and are really looking forward to the Manchester Mini Maker Faire that's going to be taking place in August.

Here's a link to some of our other Star Wars themed posts from the archives (It seems there have been quite a few!) May the force be with you!

Mar 27, 2013

Easter bunny printable wrappers for your Cadbury's Creme Eggs.

Hello! Just a fly by post to let you know that I've done a post over on Alphamom.com showing how to make these little Easter rabbits easily from a baby wipe, a Cadbury's Creme Egg, and a little free printable that I made for you to download over there.

They would make a cute little gift this easter for kids to give to their friends. My kids saw me making these ones though, so they are nommed already! Happy Easter my Peeps!

Mar 22, 2013

Easter crafts from the archives

Today is the last day of school before the Easter break here, where the kids get two weeks off school, so I thought now was a good time to post a reminder of some of the Easter/Spring type crafts that we've done over the past few years, in case any of you fancy trying them.

I'm sure we'll be doing some new things over the Easter break, but you know what I'm like, we don't do crafts well in advance to blog about them at the right time. We do the crafts and then I blog about them with the excuse that you might want to do them next year! Ha! So, this is what I found in the depths of the badly organized Filth Wizardry archives of yore...

Hope some of you fancy having a go at one or more of those ideas. I think we may have a bit of a weekend of crafting indoors here, because although yesterday was the first day of spring, today it has already snowed, hailed, and now it is raining/sleeting and blowing a gale, with more of the same forecast for tonight and tomorrow! Brrrrr.

We were going to go down to Bristol for it's Mini Maker Faire, but it looks like traveling in this weather isn't advisable. Thought I'd put the link in there though in case any readers are down south and nearer to it and might want to pop in. It's free and is from 11am until 3pm at Bristol's M Shed museum. This co-incides with the last couple of days of National Science and Engineering Week.