Powered by Blogger.

A is For ...

I got 2 wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday and I've been too sore and cranky to do anything crafty. I have been having a look through some of my favourite blogs though and a few of them have taken part in a-z challenges ... Some are photo based and some are actual posts. 

It looked really fun so I decided I'd start my own A-Z project.

*The project posts will be in amongst other posts I write ... gives me a chance to come up with letters that relate to my blog ... most of the ones I seen were beauty based*

So here goes ...

A is For ... Academic Announcement

During the summer I applied for a Hairdressing course at my local college. I had my interview which went great and I was told I'd hear either way if I got in or not.
We went on our "English-Land adventure" and when we came back, in amongst the mail was a lovely letter saying I have been offered an Unconditional Place ... I'm going to train to be a hairdresser!!!

To say i was giddy would be an understatement!

To me, this is the chance *quite possibly my last one* to get a trade behind me and make my own career that will let me support my son and myself. I will be able to work anywhere (in theory) so should i decide to move closer to my mum and sister then i can and i can decide when i will work. Never again will i panicking that im only going to see Agent M for a couple of hours on Christmas day due to work. If i need to get more money for something like a boiler replacement,  i have the option to take on more jobs and therefor make the money.

I'm excited ...

But secretly im freaking out.

I don't generally spend a lot of time worrying how I look. I'm normally just a get up and go type of mama but for the first time in years I'm being made to focus on myself as a woman rather than as a mum. Agent D thinks this is a good thing as it's "about time" I put myself first. I think the fact I took an hour to get my hair 'perfect' was beyond excess cause I can do my friends and families hair better ALOT quicker.

I went to my induction on Friday and the other students in my class are alot younger than me and Ive been out of education for a while.

This is going to be a big adjustment for us. Student life isnt commonly known as easy but i reckon im just crazy enough to make it work ...

I have to make it work!

*bites nails nervously*

Roll on Sept 10th :)

Fish tail loom band tutorial

I've not been blogging much as I've not been crafting. The joys of having an impacted wisdom tooth have been overwhelming me recently ... though we shall be parting the middle of next week.

*I think it's time we went our separate ways. It's been a rocky year and to be honest there where more downs than ups. It's not completely amicable but I've enlisted the help of a dental professional so I'm hoping I'll get to keep custody of the month including any and all nerve endings*

Anyways ... while Agent M was getting his 40 winks after his first week of primary 3 ... mama decided to do some looming. I've heard about fish tail bracelets but didn't have a clue how to make one ... now I do :)

And I've decided to share with you guys ... it's really easy and you can use any combination of colours you like.

Firstly I'll remind you that you should always use a loom board. I don't really like the idea of using a fork and some designs require you to loop multiple times which can damage circulation in your fingers. You can pick up a board in loads of shops these days Inc Poundland.

For this bracelet you'll only need 2 pins of the loom so the smaller Y tools will do.

To make your bracelet you'll need to start with a single band in a figure 8.

*I'm going to make the bracelet with the blue, purple and white bands so the colours listed might be different to the ones you wanna use. Just swap out the colours listed to the colours you want*

Using the same colour as your starter band (in this case blue) add 2 more bands to the pins. Take your hook and grab the started band on the left and pull it over the 2 top bands.

Do the same on the right side so that you have the starter band in the middle of the 2 bands above.

Next add the second colour (in my bracelet it's purple) and using your hook pull the bottom band up and over the purple.

Add another purple band and do the same ... bottom band over all the bands above.

Do this for a third purple ... hook up the bottom band over the top and then your ready to move onto white.

My bracelet is using 3 bands of 3 colours so it goes ... 

3 blue > 3 purple > 3 white > 3 blue > 3 purple > 3 white

Continue this pattern till you get the desired length you want. When your ready to take the bracelet off the loom your going to need to add 2 more temporary bands so you can keep the colours your wanting and the pattern remains intact.

I used red so once you've pulled up the last colour (in my case blue) your going to need to add a clip. I have an abundance of S clips ... but if you only have C clips they will work too.

Hook the S clip through the blue band, making sure you catch both sides ... then pull out the red bands and your left with only your colour combination. Hook the other end of the bracelet to the clip and voila ... you have a fish tail bracelet.

This bracelet is so easy to make and like I said before you can use any colours or combinations.

I've made a little Spider Man bracelet for my little cousin who just started primary 1 this week and a jelly multicoloured one.

Slutty Brownies

I feel like I should be standing in a support group when I say this but ...

Hi, my name is Sarah-Jane and in a Pin-aholic

I mean it ... I was introduced to Pinterest and have since built up board upon board full of ideas that I'd never be able to complete in my life time. It's an addiction. I admit it but I doubt in the only addict out there with many a secret board.

It's ok ... this is a safe space ... we're all friends here :)

One of the many recipes I've came across is quickly becoming Agent D's favourite ...

Slutty Brownies

The name alone, at the very least will have caught your attention ... *I know it did mine* and when I tell you they are made from cookie dough, brownies and Oreos ... oft! Who wouldn't wanna try.

*One thing I will say is although they are chocolate heaven ... they may put you in a cocoa induced sugar coma ... it's a once in a while treat in my house since I'm not partial to scrapping a hyper Agent M off the ceiling. Enjoy responsibly and all that jazz :) *

Now, to make the Slutty Brownies (how fab is that name btw), your gonna need cookie dough mix, a packet of Oreos and some brownie mix.

There is absolutely no rule saying you can't buy the mixes in a supermarket. I'm a realist and a mum. Sometimes you just don't have the time or the will to make your own in which case a box mix is a godsend!

If however you wanna make from scratch ... here are my faves.

For the cookie base

155g plain flour
115g margarine
110g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
200g chocolate drops or chips
a pinch baking powder

Mix together the butter with the sugars until it's pale and fluffy. I like to use can electric whisk as it blitzes quicker. Add in the egg, vanilla and chocolate chips and mix well.

Mix in the flour and pinch of baking powder and pour in the bottom of a greased square tin.

Make sure you spread it as evenly as you can so your base is nice and thick.*I find a metal spoon works best over a spatula*

Next cover the cookie dough with Oreos. You can use any ones you like ... chocolate, original, mini, double stuffed ... whatever you like ... adding as few or as many as you want.

I like to leave a little room between the Oreos but you could literally fill every inch of u wished *though you'd probably have to chop up some to make it fit* 

Next you need to mix up a batch of brownie batter ... this recipe I've found makes more than you will need but I use the extra to make brownie cupcakes ... perfect for the lunch boxes.

*note the massive amount of sugar is not a typo ... hence the disclaimer before *

For the brownie topper 

225g margarine
140g milk chocolate
450g caster sugar
110g plain flour
55g cocoa powder
5 eggs

Melt the margarine and milk chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.

Remove from the heat and mix in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and eggs.

Pour the brownie mix on top of the cookie base and place in a pre heated oven at 180c for about 30 to 40 minutes.

That's air bubbles by the way ... not lumps ... There should be no lumps :/ 

We like our brownies on the gooey side so at about 30 minutes I check the sides of the brownie to make sure they are firm but the middle should still be soft.

If you like a more cakey brownie, make sure the whole top is relatively firm.

Once ready, allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin or you'll end up with hot chocolate burns ... not fun! TRUST ME!

Once it has cooled however, remove ... slice ... and enjoy :)

French Braid Loom band bracelets

Here at the Haus of Mama, we've been trapped in the clutches of a mega clear out.
I am kicking myself for even starting it cause my once lovely and tidy house is now filled with "keep", "sell" and "tip" piles along with stuff that i haven't got a place for yet. I'm hoping turn the box room into a craft room and move Agent M into the bigger room, but in all honestly its gonna take me a while to find the funds to finish it what with Christmas coming up and a big life decision on the horizon *deep breath and keep calm. It'll be worth it in the end*

Anyways, as a way to have a 5 min breather from the dusting, bin bags, boxes and what not, I've been joining Agent M in making some Loom band bling.

Since I'm running the giveaway a la loom band,  i figured I'd show you some of the jazzy things you can make with them.

I really liked this style of bracelet and after watching me do it Agent M picked up on it within minutes. Its so easy and looks funky when you use contrasting colours.

Start off by grabbing your loom board *i know you can use forks, pencils or even your fingers but I'm a stickler for safety. I don't allow Agent M to use anything but a loom so I'm not gonna recommend anyone else does. The set up for grabs has a loom included ... I'll also say at this point the DIY loom which is a board with nails sticking out is just beyond me. Please use common sense. If you have younger kids, use the loom boards*

You'll need 25 of each colour. I used pink and blue in the glitter ones.

Starting off with your first colour, place it between two pins in an "8" shape like so

This will serve as your "holder band" *it probably has a technical name but I don't know it* ... it will keep all the bands from falling off and where you can attach the "S clip".

Add your next colour ... in this case a blue band ... this and every other band will go on as is. There is no need to make another 8 shape from here on out 

Add another pink band on top of the blue one and this time we're going to hook some bands and start the loom.

Start by hooking the bottom left band up and over all the bands ... then do the same on the right. Push the bands down so you have plenty of room to add bands.

Add the next blue band and take your hook ... you need to grab the middle band on the left and hook it over all the bands. Then grab the bottom band on the right and pull it over all the bands. *This should leave you with 2 of the same colour on the left and 1of each colour on the right if you've done it right*

Push the bands down and add the next colour (pink). Using your hook we're going to take the bottom left band and pull it up over the bands and then pull up the middle right.

Again you will be left with 2 of the same colour on one side and 1 of each on the other. Push down and add the next colour.

The same pattern is continued throughout the bracelet ....

Because the last time we took the bottom left band, this time we will take the middle left band and pull it over. Next take the bottom right and pull it over. Push down and add the next colour.

*I used an extra hook threaded they the holder band to pull the bracelet down ... it helps keep everything straight as you braid*

Repeat this pattern ... making sure your pushing down the bands after you pull the bands up.

Middle left > Bottom right

Bottom left > Middle right

Middle left > Bottom right

Bottom left > Middle right

Middle left > Bottom right

Bottom left > Middle right

*a little tip ... when you see 2 colours next to each other, that's the side that you need to grab the bottom band. Then you know the other side will be the middle band*

When you have your last band left, add it as normal, hooking up the correct bands. Then you'll need to hook both bottom bands over all the others. There should only be one band left on the loom

Connect an S clip through the left over band and gently pull off the loom board ... clip the other end onto the holder band and your done :)

Easy peasy! :)

A crafty escape

I'm gonna start this post by apologising for the neglect I have inflicted on my poor wee blog. Not only that I have had a craft free week (plus) and the effects are devastating.

My sewing box is contemplating the joining the witness protection programme and my craft box can be heard crying at night as it's buried under piles of bedsheets and winter clothes in vacuum-bags.

I managed to talk myself into having a massive clear out and decorate the house before the summer ends and a big life changer starts. *maybe it's good I document this as I can look back next time I wanna clear out and remind myself how horrible the idea is ... like childbirth, you forget till your in it again and it all comes flooding back to you but its too late to change your mind*

I will say though in regards to my home ... it will be great to move Agent M into the bigger back room and I can turn the once nursery/kids sized box room into my own little craft room ... and I'm LOVING having a Super King-Sized Bed and new family sized washing machine.

*I could actually hug my new washing machine ... 8kg makes the world of difference when washing bedsheets and towels ... it beats a 5kg 14 year old machine hands down*

Till then however, I'm living with stuff boxed in my bedroom and tubs of paint, rolls of linoleum and black bags full of broken toys to stress the unholy hell outta me *and it makes for a cranky mama!*

Since its turning out to be a looooong drawn out process, I decided Agent M and I needed a break from the decorating and the like so we went into town to go to the Creation Station Workshop at the Burns Mall.

The theme was Summer holiday special and like always he had a blast :)

When we got there we were greeted by the lovely Rona who explained to Agent M all the different things he could make. He went straight to the musical instruments and got to creating his own "invention".

He cut up a kitchen roll tube and taped it into a cone shape and covered it to make a trumpet. He then covered a box in gold and added a green tray to the side for a drum. Unfortunately that tray was needed elsewhere so he chose a small cereal box and decorated it. Add to that his trumpet and he had, as he put it, "a musical invention" :)

After that he decided to make an ice cream cone ...

*I love his face in the bottom picture ... he just loved his "blackcurrant ice cream" :) *

Mama had a Dr's appointment so we left the makes at the Creation Station so the glue could dry and we could go back and get them.

He was very happy with his makes ... mama's headache wasn't so thrilled at the instrument but hey ... it made him smile so I could grin and bare it ... for a while lol.

Afterwards we decided to get some lunch and let mama work out what we needed in town while we were there.

We headed back home a little more relaxed and a little more prepared for the return to school on the 18th *now fully prepared thanks to online shopping ... lifesaver!! *

I'll keep you updated on the renovations and will share my news when all's confirmed :)

My first Guest Post

Well laddles and jellyspoons ... I was contacted by the lovely people at Scots Bloggers to write a guest post and im chuffed to bits to tell you it's now gone live :)

It's the first time I've ever done one so I was kinda nervous (which started to drive Agent D mental as I kept changing my mind on the topic). But in between the clear out, decorating and furniture building I managed to type up a post on something I think (hope) everyone will appreciate ... saving money.

As part of the No Spend challenge I learnt some tricks and I decided to share with you lovely people.

Click HERE to view the post and while your there why not have a look at some of the other Scottish bloggers out there ... some lovely posts and blogs to be found :)