That time we made ninja stress balls

First official site post of the new year…would be great if someone could tell me where the time has gone. So anyway we’ve been allowing the short people to watch The King Of Random YouTube videos from time to time – honestly I’m loving all the crazy experiments, & the shorts too – & so a few weeks ago I felt brave enough to attempt one of their more crafty projects…enter the stress balls.

All you’ll need are some balloons (about 3 or 4 per ball), some flour (we used white bread wheat flour as I had some from my attempted bread making days, but cake or self raising should work too) , a decanting container (plastic honey bottle works great), a 500ml cool drink bottle cut in half (brain still says 500ml, it’s actually 440ml) – this gets inserted into the honey bottle (or whatever bottle you choose, not too big though. But I’ll keep referring to it as the honey bottle so as not to confuse myself, lol), scissors, some short people (i.e smaller, sometimes annoying, versions of yourself), a heap of patience, an area you don’t mind having covered in flour & probably a cup of tea (was too early for Gin).

So insert cut cool drink bottle upside down into honey bottle & pour in flour. Remove cool drink bottle whilst telling short people to remain patient & make sure all the flour is in the honey bottle. Stretch balloon neck over the opening of the honey bottle & turn upside down so the flour falls into the balloon – If you’re feeling courageous you can allow your shorts to attempt this. Then very carefully remove the neck of the balloon from the bottle. Gently squeeze the air of the balloon whilst still keeping the flour in the balloon (probably not a good idea to let the shorts do this part unless you want all surfaces to look like a flour bomb has gone off). When you are satisfied that you’ve removed all the air, carefully snip off the neck of the balloon (just above flour level). You can either now ask one of the excited shorts to hold the balloon whilst you snip off the neck of the other balloons or you can pre-snip the others beforehand (the last balloon you add will need to be snipped top, bottom & sides, preferably in a contrasting colour to the other balloons to really make it ‘pop’). You will now need to stretch the empty snipped balloon over the flour balloon, making sure you cover the opening of the flour balloon with the non flour balloon. If you want a really firm stress ball you can add another balloon before the final ninja touch otherwise go straight to gently stretching over the balloon with all the cut-outy parts.

Taaaa daaaaa! Now repeat making these until the short people are satisfied & leave you alone to drink your tea 😉

*The oldest short loved his so much it made it to show & tell – proud mommy moment…These are also great if you’re looking for an inexpensive party favour idea.

That time I was picked to test a bolster beanbag pattern

A few weeks ago there was a sewing pattern tester call (this is when pattern companies want to release a sewing pattern they’re designing but it needs to be tested first…get rid of all the gremlins etc. & they select a few various sewing people’s with varying degrees of sewingness). I applied because how difficult could it be, then held my breath as I’d never been picked before, then let my breath out as I can’t hold it forever without turning blue & passing out (doesn’t sound very appealing).

Dundun daaaaah! Cue dramatic music as yay, I had the major honor of being selected *happy dance*. And now begins the process of being a tester (it’s all very technicial). The following is based on true events…

Accept invitation to tester group. Faff for a few days. Go onto group & see some people have already completed theirs (who are these non-procrastinator people?). Locate instructions & download, yadayadayada, speed through instructions, select necessary pattern pieces to print. Have message pop up that the printer is offline (it’s frikkin not, I turned it on). Moan to husbander because he’s probably the only person who would care. Troubleshoot printer. Printer now printing. Mentally high five yourself. Line up pages & then go wondering around the house looking for the tape dispenser, whilst starting to feel annoyed because you know you’ve seen it somewhere. Find dispenser. Tape pages together & cut out the shapes you need. Go delving into the deep, dark crevices of your fabric until you locate ones that look big enough for said project. Take all items to the lounge.

Start laying out the fabric. Curse fabric when it doesn’t want to fold neatly. Squint eyes at pattern pieces, line up fabric, pin & cut. Curse fabric again because you should have cut out the larger pattern piece first, but oh well you can still make it work (brain tired). Finally cut out other pattern piece & make a note to get zips at the place that sells zips on the way home. Get out potential stuffing from the cupboard & leave to get the short people.

Collect short people & take them with to the zip selling shop, locate zips whilst short people think this is an amazing shop to play hide & go seek in (more like hide & wait for mommy to freak out because she can’t see them. Thankfully Chaos will let out a little shriek now & then & because mommy has ninja keen hearing she can pin point location to within a few cm’s). Leave shop. Do mommy & short people things & breathe a happy sigh when checking in on the tester group that the final date has been extended, because you have also since realized that you will need to make 2 of these tester bean bags otherwise there will be short people anarchy & the world as we know it will be destroyed (or just my house). Weekend has commenced so not much more can be done except making sure that all remaining pieces for BOTH bolster beanbags has been cut out.

Friend comes over on the Wednesday to work & to make sure you stop procrastinating (domestic goddess duties took first place the previous days, I swear). Spend morning pinning zips, squinting at instructions, talking out loud as that might help my brain decipher instructions, humming along to music & stuffing up zip on first bean bag. Decide that nobody has time for unpicking & so try again on second beanbag because you’re 96% sure you’ve got it figured out. Enjoy the sweet smell of success (was probably just my tea) & start attaching other pieces. You & your friend congratulate each other on the work you both accomplished & once again it’s time to collect the short people.

In the last few days leading up to the deadline it’s a blur of unpicking, acquiring stuffing, finish sewing, finally adding the stuffing within the inside cover & a sigh of relief is heard throughout the land as I get to stand back & admire my creations (it’s alive, it’s ali…no not really). Take photos, submit, done…and now I can finally share the end result.

I have since learnt that once a procrastinator always a procrastinator. Sewing requires copious amounts of tea. Zips ain’t that bad. And the toddler size beanbag makes an awesome cushion for series/movie binging.

Happy sewing!

That time of an attempted VIY (Vix-It-Yourself)

Required steps:

• Have an awesome coffee play date with a likeminded creative friend.

• Friend proposes awesome space-saving idea for aluminum foil & wax paper & such, using just a magazine holder (What!!! Just a magazine holder?! Yes, just a magazine holder, focus!). 

• Google potential places that may have these holders. 

• On the way home from coffee play date decide to quickly swing by a stationary shop with the short people, that should still be open, because it will bug you if you have to leave it until the next day & the shorts are game.

• Arrive at stationary shop with short people.

• Locate metal magazine holder 

• Attempt to not dry heave at the price (succeed), convince yourself that you’re doing the right thing & that the metal holder will last longer than it’s plastic rivals. 

• Take a moment to *dramatic pause* THINK OF THE CHILDREN (in this case the “children” being your kitchen drawer that will now have more space in it). 

• Make purchase.

• Congratulate yourself on well behaved short people. Enjoy a game of yes/no-which-cars-have-their-lights-on that the short people have just invented. 

• Find yourself 5 minutes away from home trying to maintain your cool whilst the short people have resorted to smacking each other & crying because the one does not agree with the other’s something-or-other statement which was probably pure drivel anyway & you cannot even remember what it was to begin with. 

• Arrive home & see husbander is already home. 

• Breathe a sigh of relief. 

• Short people also now happy (it helps when mommy has cleverly timed the arrival to be after daddy-home-time). 

• Place purchase on kitchen counter. 

• Some time much later (include supper eating, repeatedly asking short people to get pajamas on, a bucketload of kisses, tickles & giggles, sneaking out their room, some sketching, tea drinking & series watching) go to bed not having started the VIY, & now you can’t fall asleep because it’s annoying you, just sitting on that friggin counter, sending you irritating magazine holder thoughts. 

• Write blog post.

• Promise yourself: Tomorrow perhaps…