Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Look what's growing in my garden!

Following on with the "Wonderland" theme I've been making magical toadstools for the garden party.

There are plenty of amazing large scale toadstools to purchase, or even rent as props for the day, but they would all blow the budget.

On-line there's a myriad cool making ideas, but again, most are either too expensive and/or time consuming to make.

I have a huge mental list of ideas I'd like to bring to life, so cheap and easy is the tag line for this venture. But "thrifty" is my middle name so I'm well up for the challenge.

After a ponder I came up with the following:

1. On a trip to Lidl (our local "no frills" supermarket) I picked up a half sphere hanging basket liner.

2. First I painted it red. This was easier said than done because the porous nature of the"egg-box"  material "drinks" paint. I decided I could either use my own body weight in paint or be happy with the mottled effect that gave the appearance of a mossy toadstool. The latter idea won.

3. I was quite pleased with the result.  So off I scooted back down to Lidl to buy a couple more liners, in different sizes, to mix it up a bit. Followed by LOTS more red paint.

4. A scattering of spots made by glueing on round, flat, cotton wool pads.

5. The next conundrum was stalks for toadstool caps. Most of the ideas I came up with weren't going to be sturdy enough to allow each toadstool to be self supporting especially if it's gusty out.

However, a friend had recently felled an overly happy tree in her garden and was selling off the logs. She patiently indulged me while I tried my "caps" on different logs to see which ones stood nicely, thus avoiding further sawing, whilst still giving a pleasing organic effect.

 6. All that remains to do is a quick couple of tacking nails through the top once in position on the day. Plus, the addition of one blue spiky rubber caterpillar courtesy of the pocket money section of our local toy store.

Job done!! What's the verdict?

Hanging basket liners 99p each
Logs £1 each
Red paint pinched from my daughters painting box
Cotton wool pads laying around the house
Total: £5.97 for three giant toadstools.

P.S I do have a "Hubbly Bubbly Pipe", a souvenir  from past travels,  for the caterpillar to smoke - or is that taking it bit too far?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

All things Alice

It been a crazy few weeks with the Easter school holidays, trips away, various stubborn viruses and last but not least a distinctly absent "mojo".

Hence blogging, both following and posting, has been neglected.

Family day out in Suffolk
Easter at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgshire

But spring has sprung and I'm back!

However, most stitching projects have been put on the back burner while my urge to create goes "free-range".

Next month, my daughter is having a Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party in our back garden and since then I've become obsessed with "everything Alice".

This was meant to be a small scale party on a limited budget. But, having impulsively blown most the budget on  the "entertainment" I'm reigning it back in by creating thrifty makes based on this theme.

There's so much scope for quirky and wild interpretation. There's a wealth of images and ideas to be found in the original texts, movies and of course on-line. I've become somewhat obsessed.

I love, love, love it!!!

Invitations have gone out on giant A3 playing cards which make quite a scale statement and the playground is buzzing with costume ideas. I have to say it's hard to work out who is more excited, the children or the parents!

The text layout does look a bit "off balance" in these pictures as I've edited out our address and phone number so avoid hoards of gatecrahsers!

 Meanwhile watch this Wonderland space.