Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Happy National Stationery Week!

Oh dearie me but I love stationery. I LIVE for stationery! I am known by family and friends as the Queen of Lists. I have drawers and drawers of notebooks. Pens. Washi tape. Notecards.

Fickle Me Blog: List Notebooks
1. Pygmy Cloud 2. Got2Jot 3. The Green Gables
Even growing up, I remember my greatest ever Christmas: it was the Year of Stationery. This wonderful Noah's Ark 12-in-1 set, where the anchor was a pair of scissors, the wheel was a roll of sellotape. A giraffe was a ruler. It was fantastic. The other amazing present was a box from the big office supplies shop from the eighties whose name I forget. It was chock full of tiny notepads, tins (the dream), teeny tiny rubbers, and a full size sellotape dispenser which we still have...

Fickle Me Blog: 'Vintage' Noah's Ark Stationery Set
The only picture available from Google: from the VINTAGE section of Etsy *cries* (shop: PopesWithPaint)
When I was a cool twenty-something living in London, I would spend my weekends moseying through Covent Garden, or one of the many indie markets. I would buy trinkets, snacks, make-up, jewellery, but always, ALWAYS stationery. I loved Urban Outfitters, Paperchase (especially the 3-storey flagship on Tottenham Court Road), and Artbox - Artbox in particular was amazing because it housed myriad Japanese bits for like a quid.

Nowadays I'm very conscious of supporting small, UK-based businesses, and there are SO many creative people out there!

Here are a few of my faves (prepare yourself!):

Fickle Me Blog Favourite Stationery
Credits from left to right...
2ND ROW: PeleMeleClaireabelle Makes (more funky motivational pencils at ThriftBoxUK, come to think of it!), Serendipity VitaPencil Me In

Now this doesn't even cover the half of it, but I thought for my first stationery post I would keep it to the 'classics' - by which I principally mean pens and paper. However, look out for future posts on card-giving (both buying from small independent designers and making your own), gift-wrapping, as well as other stationery bits and pieces!

I hope you enjoyed looking at this post as much as I enjoyed researching it!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Mini Crafter: LEGO PARTY #2

So we read about my little man's DIY lego bunting here last week. Bless him, he loved it. Bunting wasn't the only homemade touch though - we created all of the decorations and games ourselves.

Lego party games decorations

B made some fab Lego and Duplo models and we displayed them in our glass cabinet, along with our Pass the Parcel prize (a lego storage box wrapped in yellow paper, with a lego man's face drawn on it in Sharpie - of course).

We used a large base plate with a number 4 fashioned from Duplo blocks for a birthday plaque, and used bulldog clips and string to hang it from underneath our bunting.

Cutlery was stored in a pot made from yet more Duplo, and the tableware was very plain - and cheap - just paper plates, cups and bowls in our primary colour scheme from eBay. We did draw Lego man faces on our square yellow paper plates for an extra quirky touch though, with my beloved Sharpie!

Onto the games!

Lego party games decorations
  • Lego & Spoon Race. Hilarious! Balancing pieces of Lego on plastic spoons as we raced up and down our living room.
  • Stick the Head on the Lego Man. B spent another happy hour or so painting a Lego man onto a huuuuge piece of paper, which we used as a spin-off to the classic 'tail on a donkey' game. 
  • Lego Memory Game. We laid out 10 or so Lego/Duplo parts, for eg a motorbike, window, elephant, and gave the player 30 seconds to try and memorise them all. Tell them to close their eyes and then take one piece away - they then have to try and guess what's missing.
  • Find the Lego Man. I found an amazing template via Pinterest for a Lego man paper chain (Kirigami, if you will), and then just cut it up into loads of little men. We hid them all over the house to be hunted down by excited partygoers.
  • The Build-a-Car game we didn't actually play, as B received lots of Lego sets as presents. However, I'd pre-prepared a few sets of random pieces, including wheels (obvs), some generic bricks, and then some wacky parts, just for fun. The idea was that everyone would be challenged to build the best vehicle they could within  the allotted the time, and then we'd race them.
One final thing to say: THE JELLY DID NOT WORK!!! I bought special moulds, but nope. I was much more disappointed than the birthday boy was though! Thank goodness for cake baker extraordinaire Nicola, who has been in charge of birthday cakes every. single. year. This years was constructed from multi-coloured bricks made from sponge, and had Lego construction men on the top (not that we managed to get a good photo - impatient little fingers seem to appear on every picture I have?!) 

Fun times :-)

Lego birthday party cake

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Mini Crafter: LEGO PARTY #1: DIY Lego Bunting

My little man has been obsessed by Lego before he could even say the word. So for his 4th birthday, we had... a Lego party!

He wanted to be involved with every little detail, and I was keen to have my mini crafter on board - it's not often he wants to join in with his nerdy mum! And as everyone knows, the most important thing about planning a party are the details - we wanted the Lego theme to permeate throughout; decor, food, entertainments, the lot.

We started with the bunting...

Lego party DIY bunting

- A5 sheets of craft foam in bright colours (or cut A4 in half). We used red, green, yellow & blue. You will need 10 pieces of A5 per 1m of bunting, including the extra needed for the circles.
- Scissors
- PVA glue
- String
- Hole punch

1. Put aside 6 pieces of A5 foam per metre of bunting. These will form the basis of your lego pieces.

2. Cut out a LOT of 4cm diameter circles from your surplus foam.

3. Let your kiddo go wild with the PVA glue! I demonstrated how to stick 6 circles to each 'brick', and let Mr B do the rest. It's not important how in-line they are; crafting with kids is not meant to be perfect, so try and let that inner perfectionist step back!

Lego party DIY bunting

4. When the bricks are dry, punch a hole in each top corner, and lay them out in a design that pleases the eye. Mr B was very hands-on at this bit and I had to bite my tongue and restrain myself when he chose not to alternate the colours in sequence!! As a self-confessed control freak this was haaaaard.

Lego party DIY bunting

5. Encourage your kidlet to 'sew' the string through the holes in the corners.

Lego party DIY bunting

6. Tie loops at each and and ta-dahhh! You're done! Easy peasy and looks fab.

Skills practised: counting, colour recognition, sequences, fine motor