A Not so Flubber~ly MMwM

I was incredibly excited about my plans for this week’s MMwM ~ we were going to make ‘Flubber’ via a recipe I found on Pinterest {you’ll see why I don’t provide the link in a sec}, and I set out to find the ingredients with the Bear after pre-school…

One of these was Borax, which is apparently no~longer widely available in the UK {the recipe is American} due to it’s toxic levels {!!!}. After being given a very odd look in Boots by the very rude pharmacist girl {having been so directed by t’internet}, I popped into our local independent hardware shop where I found Borax substitute {apparently a more natural product ~ phew!} and, assured by the very kind saleslady {whom not only guessed it was required for making something with Boo, but also didn’t bat an eyelid when I said it was to make ‘flubber’!!} that it should work, I went for it…

So, we came home, laid out all our ingredients and got going; carefully measuring everything into 2 mixtures and adding them together. Apparently the ‘flubber’ occurs through the chemical reaction between the Borax & PVA glue…we were very excited…it said it might take a couple of minutes…so we waited…our mixture was still liquid…so we waited {good lesson in patience here}…and then I got fed up {I’m not a patient person!}, so I chucked in a load more of the Borax substitute…and I think it went to far and turned into a  solid lumpy mess that looked like turned out brains – oops!

I went back to the original post and took a look at the comments & another UK maker had had the same problem due to using substitute, so even though I overdid it, I don’t think it would have worked anyway. I may try another day with more than the recipe {but less than what I chucked in!} So anyway, after a little snack break…we picked ourselves up and, having bought some ‘Hama Beads’ the day before {after spotting them on a trip to HobbyCraft and reminiscing ~ I was playing with these..ooo…about 23 yrs ago!!!}, we decided to see if we could make them into a bowl {another idea seen on Pinterest from EisforExplore}. This had far more successful & satisfying results than the flubber…
There’s really not much know-how in this one other than to say:

♥ Beads were actually HobbyCraft’s own brand {cheaper for more, but possibly different results than EisforExplore which I assume used genuine ‘HAMA’ beads}
♥ Use an oven proof non-stick bowl and have fun experimenting with shapes & sizes
♥ Bake at 200ºc for about 10 minutes keeping a good eye on them

Easy Peasy. The best bit was watching Boo watch the oven…

Before we knew it, we’d whiled away a happy few hours together, learnt that not everything is a success {but it’s the trying that counts} and produced two very bright and fun little bowls.

Thanks for joining us again 

Pinterest Interest & Link with Love

SoMO on Pinterest

I love Pinterest. I mean I really L.O.V.E. it! I could happily spend hours getting lost from one gorgeous pinned image linked to an amazing blog or site, to find another and another {and another…} {merrily pinning more inspiration along the way} in a seemingly endless maze of creative, inspiring and wonderful people doing and making equally creative, inspiring and wonderful things…

Pinterest is an amazing tool, but I’ve been reading some negative stuff about it lately {about copyrights & idea “stealing” e.g. here & here} and it’s been making me think {abit too much!} and feel somewhat conflicted. So, to clear my head, I thought I’d jot down exactly why it is I like it so much, what my boards mean to me and how I intend to react…

I sometimes have self~esteem issues, I’m not sure there’s many people who don’t at some point. Not as much as I used to, but it’s there in a corner of my mind, always…playing over silly things I’ve said or done, wondering if I’m good enough, doing enough, being enough…trying to be all things to all people and making myself miserable in the process. I’ve been on quite some journey, to try to understand who I am, and to like and accept myself {who hasn’t?!} as much as possible. I have good days, and I have bad days…
One of the reasons I love Pinterest so much is that it’s given me a very real and visual insight into…well, ME. It’s what I like, what inspires me, and what I relate to laid out right there in front of me…

My Style
I’ve always felt uncomfortable with how I dress; never sure what my ‘style’ was and feeling like I needed to fit in with others, and then feeling unhappy because I didn’t feel ‘right’ in what I’d put together. I look at my ‘My Style’ board now and it makes me happy ~ THERE I am & THAT’s my style. In amongst all those pictures, there’s a thread that links them and that’s my style because that’s what I like. For me, not to fit in or for anyone else…we all know how much better we feel when we’re feeling comfortable and confident in how we look, and realising ‘my style’  has certainly been a small part of helping me feel happier and more confident in myself.

One Day Crochet, MMwM Ideas & Crafty Stuff
I’ve always been creative. It runs in the blood on my mother’s side ~ I did Art & Photography A-Levels and a short course in Interior Design {then bottled out of going further (a huge regret)} and then had fleeting interests in bits & pieces, or favours for friends as work and life took over…I did alot of making again when the Bear was expected ~ a labour of love you might say ~ but once she arrived, time was not on my side to be getting creative. Then, as she’s got older and I started to have a little more me time, along came Pinterest & POW! It helped stir my creative juices again ~ seeing the amazing things people make {things I’d never have otherwise seen} and in turn, finding the wonderful bloggers who post about their creative lives and their {sometimes not dissimilar} ups & downs within them.  My craft & crochet boards make me feel so chirrupy chirpy & inspired when I look at them. They help motivate me to keep learning and trying new things and to keep developing my own style of work. As I first started pinning to them, I realised that I so NEED to be creative. I need to make the time and to work on projects that reflect me, who I am and what I love. It’s my outlet. I love being a creative person, it’s always in me and yet it’s historically been the part of who I am I’ve stifled when the going was rough. BiiiiiiG breakthrough moment…

Homey Stuff & Garden Stuff
And finally our house. If you’ve been here before, it’s no secret that I wasn’t in love with our house at first for various reasons. I knew I wanted to somehow put our stamp on it but my previous attempts at decorating never turned out how I visualised them ~ I couldn’t seem to pull a room together despite having lovely pieces I’ve collected over the years. Once again, Pinterest came to my aide and I found that, when I looked at all my images together, I got a much clearer idea of the mood, style and features I liked and how I could incorporate them to work for us. We’re not done yet, but I’m starting to enjoy our house more…it has an essence of us as a family, and it’s a far happier and more comfortable place to be…

I stand in the rather lovely, lively & colourful ‘arty crafty blogging creative peoples’ bubble {phew! it’s a big bubble!}, within which there is an unwritten code of respect and love ~ linking back and forth ~ it’s part of the whole thing we love ~ finding new inspirations, lovely sites and ideas, and sharing them, crediting those from whence they came along the way. In general, while we might want to try out an idea, a cake, a make, a recipe or to learn how to do these things; 99% of us have no intention of “stealing” these ideas or meaningfully causing upset when we have pinned beautiful images, and certainly not of using them directly for our own gain. Most of us are creative enough to want to put our own spin and style into an idea…To an extent, I think we all do what we instinctively feel is right within our own definitions, mainly being to respect the creativity, talent and downright hardwork of others. For newcomers though, I can see how it could be all too easy to see an idea & get carried away with an ‘I could do that’ attitude and to just copy or even emulate another. That’s fine if it’s for personal use, but it gets dirty when people start to think ‘I can do that and make money from it’. I do believe in this case it is important to educate oneself as to what can and can’t be done within the actual legal definitions of copyright, and in either case, to be true to oneself in the spirit of what you do. That way you can be sure that what you create is original to you and has a little bit of your heart in every piece.

I agree there may be some kinks to iron out in terms of Pinterest’s development & growth; I agree that ‘pinners’ should not copy entire details such as recipes or how-to’s in descriptions {I think this is down to awareness rather than a deliberate attempt to take credit}; I agree we should try to maintain original credits and links wherever we can; I definitely think those 1% that do directly “steal” images and copy work and profit from it should be taken down. And hard.

I have pledged to ‘Link with Love’ {check out the link in my side bar to the right if you want to find out more} & provide credit wherever applicable throughout my blog. I pledge to pin what I personally find from original sources wherever possible and, at the very least, to do my best to find the originator of an image I want to repin. I will also pledge to promote that it is better and kinder to ensure you have an original link or credit wherever you can. I feel at this stage, and in the manner in which I use Pinterest, this is enough for me, and I won’t berate myself for the odd repin that doesn’t have the perfect trail.

So wherever possible…

(La Whimsy has also written another very appropriate post with additional points for considerations which I like alot here, and here’s one from my3boybarians)

Thanks for joining me ♥ 

Sticks & Stones

may break my bones, but words will never hurt me

{click image for link}

Really? Because, oh boy, sometimes, words can do more damage than we realise…

This is a bit of a rambling post because I’ve had lots of thoughts swimming about in my head about this that, whilst related, are not necessarily cohesive…

I was once told as a child ‘to stop asking such stupid questions‘. I’m quite sure it wasn’t meant to be dismissive or unkind – it’s just one of those things we’ve all said at some point without thinking when tired, frustrated or distracted ~ but I believe this one simple comment had a huge subconscious effect on me as a little person. I’d never linked this until recently, BUT, I’ve always had a “thing” about how we talk to the Bear. For example, I hate it when she is called ‘silly’ or ‘naughty’ by other people for doing/saying something. I try very hard not to do this ~ I try to say ‘that was a silly thing to do/say’ so that it’s the action that is silly, not HER…

This applies to actions that are naughty, mean, bossy; basically, any of the negative things…
She is none of those things, but she does sometimes do things that are. If she’s good, kind, clever, funny or lovely though, I make sure I tell her so. Are my efforts alone enough?

I want to instill a sense of worth and confidence in my little girl that I never had and I will make sure she knows that no question is EVER stupid or silly. I don’t think I really asked another question or for help with anything after I’d received that comment in childhood. It was only when I was trying to explain to DB why all this mattered so much to me that I linked the two. And it was only in the last six years or so, as I’ve been working on my own self~esteem that I started asking questions again ~ how do we find answers to anything, including who we are, if we don’t ask questions and in which case, if we don’t know the answer, just darn well ASK the question…it’s not stupid to want to learn & to grow.

On top of all of this, I’ve also been thinking alot about negative words we use to ourselves. I had something come up recently which was absolutely petrifying for me, but I wanted to make sure I thought positive thoughts until I knew for sure what the deal was, so my mantra became ‘it is not…’ and ‘don’t be afraid…’.

I didn’t realize how much I used phrases like this until I visited a Homeopath and told her how I was trying to be so positive…She commented that, even when we’re trying to be positive, our brain instinctively tries to ignore the negative words and therefore hears ‘it is …’ and ‘be afraid’. Think about what you say to yourself ~ weird huh? So instead, I told myself ‘I am fine’, ‘I will be calm’ and ‘I am positive’…and I felt so much more, well, positive!

Do you think about what you say to others {especially children} and yourself? Do you think any of this really makes a difference? I’d love to know your thoughts. I think so…

Thanks for joining me on this little wordy ramble 

Calm Time

In this recent post, I’d been looking at ways to try to help the Bear understand how she’s feeling and take time to relax and talk about it instead of reacting negatively. I got the idea of a calm box from Here We Are Together and the books I’d ordered for ours have gradually been arriving…
I also got around to making our calm jar. It took a little experimenting but I got there…

It takes around 45 seconds to fully settle, which doesn’t sound alot but it’s enough, and is indeed very calming to watch {I’m fascinated by it & keep giving it a shake to watch it settle!}

This is what I used:

A small Dowe Egberts’s coffee jar
2 small tubes of glitter {turquoise & purple}
Dr Oetker powdered gelatine {about 1/2 teaspoon to this size of jar}
Food Colouring {I used green & blue to make sea green}
Warm water {I didn’t measure this I’m afraid-I filled the jar then poured it into a jug to mix in the gelatine}
Hot glue gun

This is how I did it:

♥ Mix up the warm water & gelatine
♥ Pour back into the jar & add the glitter & a couple of drops of the colouring
♥ Pop on the lid & leave in a cool place overnight {the gelatine should set abit so that it slows down the settling of the glitter}
♥ If you’re happy with the setting, hot glue the lid on {so there are no leaks or spills!}. If not, {which I wasn’t the first time}, either spoon out a little & add more warm water to thin, or pour out a little liquid & mix a little more gelatine & more water to add back in and thicken. Hot glue on the lid once you’re happy. {I shake with a hand on the top & bottom ~ just in case!}

And that’s basically it. It’s so simple yet so effective.

We’ve had quite a few of the books out, usually in tired times when she’s getting a little grumpy or sad. I’m not sure Boo fully understands all the feelings we’re talking about {and I don’t really expect her to yet} but the reading distracts her from the grumps and the talking is all good. Trace Moroney definitely has wise words to say on self-esteem and confidence which as got me thinking…

I’m sure we’ll add to the basket as time goes on ~ I still want to add some music/story CD’s so it’s a work in progress, but so far…I’d say it’s a hit.

Thanks for joining me on this little learning journey 
 

L.O.V.E.

We don’t usually do much for Valentines Day, but it’s nearly here again, and this year I was searching around for some inspiration & projects to do something a little more special and involve the Bear – there is soooo much out there! It was so hard to choose & I’m limited on time as ever, but I found this gorgeous free download from Twig & Thistle the other day. Kathleen was lovely when I queried on her facebook page as to whether she ships to the UK from her Etsy store (which she does), and I purchased the white version of these bags & the glassine inserts (stops any food grease spoiling the bag) to make a little something for the Bear…

Do you ‘do’ Valentines Day & if so, what are you up to? I’m often somewhat torn about the meaning of the day, but I’m liking the idea of making it more of a special day about celebrating love, sharing, and family for the 3 of us here at SoMO.

Thanks for joining me

Here’s another rather lovely blog I found with LOADS more ideas…bee-inspired

 

Revamping & Procuring

So, you may remember from this earlier post, that we are in the process of sprucing things up round our way…The lounge is ‘done’ and we’re on to the kitchen now, which, after an exciting start, is now in rather an annoying mid-stage whereby replacement cupboard doors have arrived {but are cluttering up my hallway}, the extraction fan is up {but the flue is not finished}, shelves are up but need moving down & painting, and the tiling needs sorting but we haven’t decided what to do yet!

I am not a patient person and this frustrates me no end so I have been amusing myself in the meantime with the fripperies {oh, how I love eBay!!} and smaller projects while I wait for other things to happen…

My Jamie Oliver ‘Drink Up’ Jar – can’t wait for the Summer!

Pretty new plates…

The Nigella ‘Salt Pig’…

Now, I do tend to get a teeenie tiny bit excited about a project before I have had time to make space for it {c’mon, I cannot be the only one who does this…surely?!}, but I had at least put our chairs on eBay to make way & pay for the new stuff, they just hadn’t quite been collected in time…oops. So there was a little tense situation as to where the old & the new would go, but we got there…

In the meantime, I had already decided I was going to cover the benches so I’d found some lovely oilcloth here {there’s a good range of styles & patterns, they were reasonably priced & it arrived really fast} and some foam, which was cut to size for me here {I used 2cm thick firm foam} I was really surprised how easy it was. This is how it went…

This is what I used:
Two Ikea ‘Norden’ Benches
2cm thick firm foam cut to 35cm x 150cm
Oilcloth {180cm x 140cm} cut to allow approx. 10cm either side {left a little over for other projects}
Staple Gun with 8mm staples

This is what I did:

And that was it. Simples! I’m going to paint the legs which will match the base of the new table and the cupboard doors {when they are attached!}

Thanks for joining me for this little revamp