Bostik Blogger Autumn Craft.

Autumn has tumbled upon us in a rush and far from mellow mists and fruitfulness, it has mostly brought bugs and snuffles and a general sense of “gaaaaaaah, bring back summer!”

This did mean that I had the company of various of my children for the last two weeks which has many positives and some negatives in the form of getting work done. Or blogging. And my house looks awful. This may or may not be their fault.

However, the Autumn Craft Box arrived at a perfect time for Josie, who was feeling sorry for herself with a burst eardrum and she had a lot of fun making this ‘mixed craft media’ picture.

Josie's autumn tree picture

She had a lot of fun with this and the Bostik Glue Pen and the Sticky Dots combined perfectly to make it easy for her to stick felt, tissue, foam sheets and the gorgeous autumnal leaves together with no mess at all.

Upside of a poorly Josie is time for autumn crafting.

There are lots more Autumn Crafts on this site and also on Simple Crafts and naturally I have a Pinterest board as well.

Follow Merrily Me’s board Autumn Crafts. on Pinterest.

Merry’s Perfect Prairie Muffin Moment.

I win, I win! I baked something and it isn't a disaster!

A couple of weeks ago I got totally and utterly sick of packed lunches, specifically the fact that the girls have ended up hurriedly making sandwiches and grabbing a snack bar, snack bars that are expensive and neither healthy or particularly satisfying. I decided i would try baking, something I absolutely never do, and see if that improved things. Once the children recovered from the shock and inspected me carefully for implants, they risked tasting my wares – and it was pronounced a success.

First of all I canvased for help, and got some great recipes from Snafflesmummy, but then decided I was going to have to go even simpler first. I tried out this Apple and Sultana Muffin recipe, which has been a ‘go back to’ one since – they are lovely and really don’t feel unhealthy to eat.

I win, I win! I baked something and it isn't a disaster!

Hurrah. I didn’t have so much success with the flapjack, which fell apart too much despite several attempts, so I’m still on the look out for a better version of that.

But the girls liked my baking, they’ve asked for me to do them again and it has been so much cheaper that snack bars. I do rant and rail about the whole school ‘healthy eating’ policy – Josie is stick thin, does 16 hours of gym a week and needs calories but is bound by the same break time rules as an obese child. At least this way I feel like I’m doing something good for her, which can’t be questioned, makes them feel a bit more mothered and is cheaper too. No one can complain about a home cooked, butter free muffin but I can make sure it is big and has plenty of good calories.

So a couple of weeks into the experiment and I got brave – my very own ‘see what happens’ recipe. And here it is. Worked perfectly, so I hope it does again!

Banana & Sultana Muffins.

5 small squashy bananas, mashed

1 cup of sultanas

1 cup of brown sugar

3 tbsps of sunflower oil

3 tbsps milk

1/2 of cup brown flour

2 cups of self raising flour

1 egg

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup of porridge oats

Chuck it in a bowl and mix briskly. divide into 12-15 muffin cases and bake at 190C for about 25 minutes.

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I did a recipe. I don’t know what to tell you. It makes a cake-y but also quite banana bread-y, heavy but nice muffin. I might try adding some baking powder and see if that lifts it (who knows, I’m not exactly a baker!) but I’d make them again to turn out the same anyway because they were yummy.

I’d really love you to leave links to healthy, fast, easy baking for using for breaks and packed lunches as I’ve got the bug for baking all of a sudden!

 

 

Easy Pretty Fabric Noticeboard

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I’ve been wanting one of these noticeboards ever since I saw Jeanette at Lazy Seamstress make one a year or two back. I’ve had the materials ready for months and not go round to it but wanting to try out the Sew Simple glue from Bostik this  month was the perfect push to get on with it.

It turned out to be stupidly simple to make something this good.

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(Getting it hung up may be a very different matter though; it’s been made a week but is still languishing in the hallways :( )

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Ingredients: one large canvas painting rectangle (£4.95 from QD) and some fabric (don’t ask, it was Michael Miller stock and I was very naughty) tape and buttons plus a staple gun and Sew Simple Bostik Glue.

First I cut the fabric to size.

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I entirely forgot to iron it, which means I have a crease on the front. Still, as my life is always full of paper I need to deal with, that won’t matter ;)

I placed the fabric right side down, the frame on top of it and staple-gunned it to the edge. Had I known how good the glue was, I wouldn’t have bothered to staple.

Then I cut ribbon lengths to cross hatch the front. I was dreadfully unscientific about this and it is mildly random, or as I like to call it, Merry-Rustic-Shabby. Ahem.15195676459_f1bd218640_zI did one direction first and then crossed them over the other way. I think if I had had longer or was making another I might weave them for a more snug fit but as it was, it works okay. I secured the ends on the back of the board with Sew Simple. I didn’t really expect this to work and had back up green drawing pins ready, but it did. It’s really sticky (but peels off your fingers in a way that reminds me of primary school) and is stuck fast in 20 seconds or so. Pulling against it to  get a snug fit across to the other side really did work fine.

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After that was done I glued big green buttons on the crossovers to secure them together and on to the board. The glue dries almost clean and would have been fine had a small boy not decided to squidge them a bit. It does leave the fabric darker but the effect is minimal and wouldn’t be a problem if you were careful.

I finished it off with the flower from my Handmade Fair day :)

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Disclosure: we are part of the Bostik Family Bloggers Scheme and receive glue products to try.

 

 

Big and Little.

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I was beyond tired today, of the worn out and grumpy and tearful with it variety.

Fran let me go back to bed. When I woke up, they were deeply embroiled in kitchen stuff.

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There was a lot of mess (which they tidied up; result!)

There was a lot of hard work.

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There was a very happy little boy who loved every minute and learned to lick the bowl.

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And delicious cakes.

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I’m a bit of a rubbish mum at doing things like this so I’m extra grateful to big sisters who do. These are the things his memories will be made of.

And I got to giggle at the naked icing that happened – it was a fun body art installation by the end!

In a jam – again.

I really don’t cook. I’m terrible at it, with a total disinterest in food and all the things like it. But I do, it turns out, quite like making jam. I’ve made it before and enjoyed it so when Persil sent me a jam making kit, I thought I would try again.

Ok. I can do this #jam #cooking #persilchallenge

It did however take me rather a long time to  get round to it; time disappeared and we never did make it to the pick your own, so the COMPLETELY ENORMOUS blackberries got bought on our Tesco trip :lol:

I went for blackberry and apple this time because of the naturally occurring pectin in apples that saves buying special sugar or faffing with lemon juice and tricky setting points. I used FabFood4All’s recipe, a Tots100 blogger I hadn’t come across before – she was very friendly on Twitter.

Blackberries and apples courtesy of our #tescofuelsave shopping spree #jam #cooking @tescofood #persilchallenge

My top tips for am making:-

  • clean down everything first, make sure you have lots of space.
  • dishwasher EVERYTHING – pots, ladle, spoon, slotted spoon, lids, easy pourer, saucepan for minimum germs that could get into the jam.
  • Have a boiled kettle ready to reboil and use for sterilising the ladle if you drop it.
  • Stick a saucer in the freezer for the crinkle test.
  • Wear shoes.
  • Use a much bigger pot than you think you’ll need. It really comes up and you don’t want to be hanging around boiling it slowly to stop it boiling over on to your toes. (See point above).

Yum. #jam #cooking

Love the colours. This was before the sugar, it goes all shiny once that’s in.

Most gorgeous colour. #jam

And it worked! (That was exactly the number of jars I had ready; impressed? I was!

Ta Da!!! #jam

Respect due for the setting perfection I think.

That is a good jam :) hurrah!

The purpose, aside from making yummy jam, was to try out a new Persil Dual Action Laundry Capsule, that funny thing that looks like a dingy at the front. The Persil Dual Action capsules are just coming to the end of the box here as we’ve been using them through the summer. Aside from the funky shape (I keep imagine them rafting merrily inside the drum), they do seem to be rather good. I wash on 30 degrees as a rule and often use quick or low water quantity and haven’t had any issues with cleanliness. We always do use Persil anyway, everything else causes hives on various people here. I love things that aren’t powder and go straight in the drum, they save a lot of mess. I’d quite like it if Max started getting these. Admittedly at £10 for 28 washes, it is a bit more expensive than powder (I’ve done some calculations and I think £29 for 100 washes in powder is 29p a wash, £10 for 28 is 36p a wash) but for convenience or perhaps for going away and using laundrettes or for heavier stains that benefit from the stain remover granules included in the centre., it could be worthwhile.

The money shot.

I used my muslin to wipe up and strain lots of the jam and then washed it on my normal 30 degree, half filled cycle – the result was perfect, all blackberry stains gone.

Disclosure: Persil sent us the jam kit and the tablets – views and hard labour are our own. Additional weight gain due to jam consumption sadly also our own.