It’s BRAINZZZZ for dinner

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Halloween again! Or at least it was a couple of weeks ago and yet again, we had loads of activities planned.  There was a party at a softplay, a horror walk, pumpkin carving, a Halloween breakfast, Halloween movies and of course, trick or treating.

I know that in the US any costume goes but for me, Halloween should be scary.  After all, it’s when ghouls and goblins walk the earth so we’re supposed to dress as scary as possible to blend in! Luckily, my big two share my feelings on the matter so Roux and Hurricane want blood and gore when it comes to their costumes.

Last year, I went on a zombie walk so attempted some zombie face paint (which I was really chuffed with at the time) and Monster came along for the ride.  It was a great baby wearing costume but this year, I didn’t need one.

I asked Roux and Hurricane what they wanted to do this year and they decided we’d be a family of zombies. Obviously my love of all things zombie has come shining through!  I was really pleased as I’d seen an amazing tutorial on YouTube by Bonnie Corban and desperately wanted to try it out.

As Halloween fell on a Saturday a very good friend and drinking partner had agreed that we’d go out around the local pubs and clubs in fancy dress.  It was brilliant!  I was ever so chuffed with how my costume turned out although I kept getting grabbed for photos.  I do wonder how many people woke up on Sunday morning to find a picture of my face on their ‘phone.

Starting with the children, they wanted lots of blood so I got 3 plain white t shirts (2 for £2.50 in Asda) and tore them up then covered them in blood.  The blood was very red so looked a bit too fresh. A quick google told me that if you mix the shop bought blood with gravy it’ll darken it up nicely.  Unfortunately, none of the google searches said that you would reek of roast beef! It was quite something, we absolutely STANK.

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I bought myself a dress from a charity shop for the grand total of £1! Then I ripped the top, shredded the hem at the bottom and covered it in gravy smelling fake blood.  The smell really was horrific, it permeated the house so next time, I’ll use black food colouring m’kay.

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For the soft play party they both wanted lots of blood.  It stains.  Thankfully they were dressing up again the next day so face paint covered it all.  Unfortunately, Monster wasn’t keen on being a zombie at all, I couldn’t help but laugh when he saw himself in the mirror and cried (bad mother).  He was massively over tired and quite hungry when I attempted to do this so perhaps that wasn’t the best but never mind – at least I hadn’t spent a fortune on his costume.  A quick change of clothes and a swoosh with a baby wipe and he was happy again.

The next day, we were doing the horror experience and some trick or treating so we went same costume but different face paint.

They were really getting into the swing of it and constantly walked like zombies whilst trying to bite their cousins.

Now to me… following the tutorial upthread and wearing the dress I first put on some latex and tissue…

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Then I matted my hair with copious amounts of dry shampoo, texture powder and a lot of back combing, finished my face paint…

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Added some white zombie contacts…

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And then started to bite everyone…

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Nativity life lesson.

This week I learnt an important life lesson about ASSUMPTIONS and hopefully if you hear my woeful tale you’ll be saved from the same curse of the Assumption.

Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…

A few weeks ago Hurricane’s (reception age) teacher took me to one side and gave me the good news that she’s been picked to take the lead in the Christmas Play. I was handed her lines and ASSUMED that also meant I had to provide a costume. ASSUMED.

Miss wasn’t pleased as the main part was a figure called The Sleepy Shepherd. She didn’t want to be a shepherd, she wanted to be an angel. Little madam. I laughed about this in school and said I’d make her something bright and the teacher didn’t flinch.

Costume made and I took it in this week. School were over the moon and then dropped the bombshell – they are providing all the costumes! Gah! Apparently though they’re all very tatty and just cobbled together as none of the staff sew. Due to this, she’s going to find me this time next year and ask me to make/remodel them! I’m practicing saying “no” now. Do you think it’ll work?

Anyway, here she is. I’m writing up a ‘how to guide’ so I’ll put that up when I get a second.

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Holding out for a Superhero

Gosh, it’s taken me a long time to get around to doing this post, I’m very much a victim of Life, it gets in the way.  On the 14th November it was Children In Need day and as such, school children around the country attended their lessons in a variety of costumes from pyjamas to fancy dress.

Our school decided to dress as a Superhero so for the boys this opened up opportunities to attend as all manner of their favourite comic book heroes, for girls however, I just knew the classes would be full of Princesses.  I’ve got nothing against Princesses at all but I do get a bee in my bonnet over them NOT being superheroes in just the same way I dislike boys going in on World Book Day as Spiderman.

Anyhow, Roux has quite a few superhero costumes to choose from in his wardrobe so I thought I’d start with the easiest, he could wear one of his – Ben10, Spiderman, Superman, Batman and the SuperRoux outfit that I made him last year.  Did he want any of these?  No, that would be too easy.  He wanted to be The Green Lantern.  *Sigh*  That’s me making a Green Lantern Costume too but how! How would I do that?  I had a quick google search and all the ones I found were skin-tight and full of padding, my skills aren’t up to that and he didn’t have any green clothing whatsoever that I could mangle into a costume.  Bummer.

His Godfather is superhero daft and loves all things DC/Marvel so I asked for his help, what Green Lantern image did he think of when the name sprang to mind?

10 things we discovered about Green Lantern at Comic Con today!

Well this gave me an epiphany!  See that green bit? Well wouldn’t it work as a bib?  Felt on a roll turned into a tabard with the logo on the front, some long gloves, black clothes underneath and some boot covers and I’d be done.

Using felt on the roll, I cut out the tabard and put elastic on the sides to hold it together.  I also used the same felt to make boot covers that slipped onto the leg using elastic.  The symbol on the front is made from felt and glued on using PVA.  Next up was the gloves, they’re knitted white gloves (2 pairs for £1) with white felt sewn on.  The lamp is made from green metallic card with a battery operated tea light and the ring is made from loom bands with a bead in the centre and I painted his face.  He adored it which is all that counts.

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Then it came to Hurricane, as I said up there I wanted to do everything in my power to stop her going as a Princess.  We love Princesses here in this house and for about 6 months, she refused to be called anything other than Princess but they have their place and that place isn’t as a superhero.  She accepted the news that she couldn’t go as Elsa pretty quickly so I ran through a few options with her (Batwoman, SuperGirl, She Ra etc) or perhaps a real life one like a doctor, firewoman, (me ha!) she declared very vehemently that she wanted to be Poison Ivy.  Ok, that’s a super villain but who cares, it’s better than Belle.

On doing a few GIS they’re all very, umm, sexy costumes and totally unsuitable for a 4 year old!  There was no way that I could allow that much flesh on show so I needed to get my thinking cap on.  In the end I settled for a pair of her green school tights, a black leotard, some green netting to make a half skirt with lots and lots (98 at last count) green leaves hand stitched on with a red wig we already had thrown in for good measure.  I found the net green gloves and thought they’d be perfect and also made her some loom band bracelets as she wanted a super power so I convinced her that she could shoot branches out of her bracelets that wrapped people up.

I’m pretty self depreciating normally but even I’m happy to say that this is pretty damn good.  I love it and so does she.

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Skylanders, a whole new language.

Last September Roux started school and came home talking about Skylanders. I don’t have a clue and as we have no games console roundly ignored it all.

Skylanders chat continued. 
The adverts on tv started. 
“Can I have Skylanders for Christmas”
In January I gave in and bought an Xbox360 and the game (plus nearly 20 Skylanders!) in the sales and with it bore a new obsession in Chez KitschStitch. Roll on February and I’m now planning a Skylander party for a very excited nearly 5 year old. 
Just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Party I threw for him last year, there was very little in the way of official merchandise that I could get in the UK (and I was unwilling to import from the US for megabucks) so I had little choice but to get crafting. 
The Skylander figures themselves are highly detailed so I’ve left them for now but do have some ideas. Instead I decided to choose the first bad guy you encounter in the game – Chompies. 

These wee critters arrive en masse frequently and are pretty easily killed, they also looked to be fairly simple and the easier to start with. So I gathered together a few supplies and decided to have a go. 
You will need:
• Polysterene balls (about 3″ in diameter)
• Floristry wire or any other sturdy wire. I chose floristry wire as it’s already green. 
• Green tissue paper 
• Green poster paint 
• Modelling clay (air dry) or fimo 
• White paper
• Red card
• PVA glue
• Black felt tip pen
• Masking tape
You will also need scissors, wire cutters, paint brush and a pot to mix the glue. 
First, take some modelling clay and divide into two equal parts. Roll these into balls approximately half an inch in diameter. 
Cut the floristry wire into 3 inch sections. 
Squash the balls into rectangular shapes and mould into feet, ensuring that you get them almost identical so they look like a pair. 
Push the wire into the bottom of the Polysterene and then into the feet. 
Repeat for the others. 

I’ve used quick drying modelling clay but you could have just as easily used coloured fimo. This will need to dry over night before painting but it was considerably cheaper than fimo and my shoestring budget meant I selected cost over my time. 
Next you need to make the eyes. In the Swapforce version of Skylanders, Chompies have large almost oval eyes so for this, I made a quick template of an elongated oval with a flat bottom that was about two thirds the height of the ball. 
As I like to recycle where I can I used the packaging for the Polysterene balls to make the eyes. 
For the eyeballs I drew around the template the drew a smaller shape inside of that and cut it out. The space at the bottoms indicates where the outer eye section will be folded and attached to the head. 
Using this smaller template I cut out the eyeballs from thin white paper (I used plain copier paper) and drew the pupil on with a black pen. 
Putting the eyeballs to one side (to be glued on after the head has been made green) I attached the outer eyes to the heads with a small strip of masking tape. 

To make the heads green I first attempted to paint them but it failed miserably as you can see in the photograph below. 
The left side of this shows the head after 3 coats of thick paint. You could still see the Polysterene and the brush strokes were visable. It just wasn’t going to work. 
Instead, I decided to do something similar to papier mâché so made up a mix of PVA glue and water (60:40) and using tissue paper started covering the head. 

If you’ve never done this technique before it’s really easy. First apply a thin layer of the glue and water mix to the Polysterene, then apply a couple of squares of tissue paper. Paint over the tissue paper with the glue mix and apply another layer and so on. Continue until the head is covered and there are enough layers to ensure you can see the Polysterene. 
Once you’ve covered the head, paint the now dry clay and add the eyeballs. 
Draw a mouth onto some white paper with a black pen. Cut it out and glue it onto some red thin paper. Cut that out and apply to the face with glue. 
Now make 5 more!
And done! Roux spotted them in the morning and declared them to be amazing Chompies so I’m very happy they are recogniseable. 
I hope you found this tutorial useful and if you do make any please share them with me. I’d love to see all your Skylander makes and could set up a gallery to show them off. 
Next up are bigger ones and a chompy pod. 

A very special Kitsch Stitch make

Hopefully you’ll forgive the shortness of this blog post as my Handmade Monday project required quite a lot of work.

Peanut made his grand appearance at 41+1, on Thursday morning an hour after the midwife appeared. He was born in my childhood bedroom at my parents home and the labour was perfect. Just over an hour of contractions, no pain relief and totally relaxed. The midwives said it was a privilege to have been a part of it.

I’m absolutely smitten with him as are his big brother and sister. He’s an eager beaver when it comes to feeding so for now, I have to concentrate on him and my other projects will have to be sidelined. 
When you’ve got this wee face to gaze at though it’s hardly a sacrifice. 
Just because I can look at his two siblings, so in love with their new baby brother. 

A Right Royal Third Birthday Party

Gosh, I’ve not blogged in an age, I’ve been so busy planning Hurricane’s party, viewing houses and preparing for a mini holiday I’ve just had no time at all.  
A couple of months ago I asked Hurricane what theme she wanted for her party and unsurprisingly, she chose Princesses.  At that time, Roux was going through a bit of a “pink is for girls” stage so I suggested we did Princesses and Pirates just to save a tantrum.  He’s since decided that pink is for everyone (after cajoling from me) and that he quite likes Princesses so I didn’t need to have bothered.   
So, planning commenced and I started pricing up various things such as plates and decorations etc when I was shopping in a supermarket with Roux and he spotted a Knights costume, now, one thing about my boy is that he doesn’t do fancy dress he has loads of costumes but prefers to pretend he’s wearing one and won’t actually put it on.  So he asked for this costume and obviously I said no due to the lack of costume wearing that generally goes on with him but he insisted, a 4 year olds logic is a wonderful thing to behold and he tried and tried before he finally found what he needed to get what he wanted – “But Mummy, Hurricane is having a Princess Party and Knights go with Princesses so I could be her Prince Knight”
Suddenly a Knight costume was in the trolley with me over the moon that he’d actually wear some fancy dress again and I started mentally replanning the party to include a Knight element.  On the day of the party he refused to wear it and decided instead on Ben10 *bangs head on floor*, still at least he’s over his fancy dress aversion.
As with the Roux’s TMNT Party I turned to Hurricane’s talented Godmother to whip up a few posters and the invite and I think she did a brilliant job.
The swirly font is a free one from dafont and called Shooting Stars.
So the invites went out and a venue was found, a local community centre that was large enough but not too big with plenty of space for children to run around and more importantly, space where the fantastic Northumbrian Nannies could set up their soft play.  Unfortunately, the people that run the community centre I’d booked do not communicate with each other so when the day came, I turned up with Northumbrian Nannies to a locked venue and despite calling the owners no one turned up to rectify the situation.  Being that the party was being held on a Sunday morning I coudn’t find another venue so after waiting for almost an hour, 15 minutes before the guests were due to arrive we decided to host the party at my Mothers and quickly informed all of the guests.  I’d booked Northumbrian Nannies to provide indoor softplay so most of the equipment they’d packed in their Tardis of a van was not suitable for a domestic home or a garden.  They did save the day though as they’d packed a bouncy castle and organised a game with a parachute so the children were very entertained.
Next up was the cake, Hurricane enjoyed looking through pages and pages of cakes on the iPad until she decided on a purple Princess with long hair.
So it started with a copious amount of flour, butter and sugar

Added some colour and put it into a pudding basin

It certainly wasn’t my best work, the basin exploded during baking and by the time I actually got around to icing the cake it was getting towards midnight and I lost the will to live.  Hurricane loved it though and really that’s all that matters
For food, I opted to repeat the lunch bags that I’d previously made for Roux’s TMNT party.  Up until this year, I’d always provided a buffet but it can prove expensive and this party needed to be done on a budget.  I bought the bags, die cuts and food for just under £30 to make 16 bags and some nibbles for the adults which I think isn’t bad value at all.  
The bags, as before, came from an eBay seller Smiffihobo and once again were received within a couple of days of purchase and were excellent quality.  For ease, I ordered some diecuts from two eBay sellers, elsonbabe and Annabel1212.  Both were well made and arrived within 48 hours which was perfect and I think (even if I do say so myself) that they looked brilliant on the bags.  Using word, I made the banners with the names inside – the older children were quite excited at the prospect of their own lunch bag.  Each bag contained a sandwich, crisps, vegetable crudités, crisps, chocolate fingers and a cake that I’d topped with some personalised rice paper discs that were another eBay purchase from Tiggerjosh.  The artwork was so clear on them, I was quite impressed.
The party bags were again something I’d done for Roux’s Birthday and were cellophane bags (from this eBay seller) stuffed with sweets.  This time, instead of the VIP badges I provided a sparkly ring with some bracelets for the girls and a water pistol for the boys.  Roux had asked for a sword but they were all over a pound each and that would have made for expensive party bags.  Again, a special Godmother provided the artwork for the labels.  They are so easy to make and I would recommend this seller as again, they arrived within 48 hours and were the perfect size.

The decorations were to be some pink netting pinned to the wall behind the food and covered in fake flowers, twinkly lights and large tissue paper pom poms hung from the ceiling.  Due to the lack of time I actually had to decorate and the fact that my Mum wouldn’t appreciate me sticking pins in everywhere this was reduced to just some twinkly lights around the door and the tissue paper pom poms hung from the ceiling lights and in the conservatory.  They were destined for Hurricane’s bedroom afterwards but some very cheeky friends took them home with them instead!  I’ll just have to a make more when I finally move house.  
I’m amazed that on my holiday last week I came across a pack to make 3 of these that cost £18.99! It’s just tissue paper, wire and a bit of thread – how can anyone with a conscious sell a kit for this amount?  They looked so effective and I’d like to play around with different edges. 
So that’s food, cakes and decorations covered, the only thing left was games and entertainment.  
Fun, in the main, was provided by the highly talented Northumbrian Nannies who luckily had packed this Bouncy Castle that was a massive hit with the children.  After a little while they organised a game with the parachute for the older children so the toddlers and babies could have a go without being bounced all over the place by over exuberant Princesses and Knights.
Next up was the ubiquitous pass the parcel which always seems to be demanded/expected at every party, then a round of piñata, this one was just £3 from Asda – it would not be broken!  The children really enjoyed giving it a good attempt but it was perhaps not the best idea for me to hold it as my hands and bump got a few strikes. 
The game that was most popular was a reworked pin the tail on the donkey, this time in the form of pin the kiss onto the frog.  Hurricane is currently loving The Princess and the Frog so she was quite delighted by this and I’ve not been allowed to put it away yet.  
Despite all the issues – venue and cake – the party went really well and the children never noticed the stress that had been caused by the venue change.  Princess Hurricane was left happy, exhausted but still very excitable so I’ve got to say it was a success!  Perhaps going on holiday the next day (also my Birthday) wasn’t the best plan but that’s for the next blog post.
As with the other posts, I’ll leave you with a list of suppliers in case you’ve see any of the ideas here and want to use them for yourself. 
Northumbrian Nannies – I honestly can’t recommend this company enough, they were absolutely fantastic and the party wouldn’t have gone so well if it wasn’t for their input.  Not only did they entertain the children but while we were waiting outside the venue and my panic was starting to set in they kept me wonderfully calm.  If you are based in the North then please, please check them out.
Elsonbabe – Shield and Sword diecuts
Smiffihobo – Lunch bags
Polymailbags – Cellophane party bags
Tiggerjosh – Cupcake toppers
Annabel1212 – Carriage and horse diecuts

Hello to absolutely nobody as I don’t have any followers yet.  I’m Sharon, a stay at home single Mum to 2 beautiful children with another on the way.  All my life I’ve crafted doing all sorts of various projects but I always seem to come back to crochet.

I’m late to the party but I’ve become an avid blog reader over the last few months and finally, after a bit of pushing from some friends, decided I would delve into this world.

I’m wishing myself lots of luck!