Monday, 23 April 2012

Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy

A couple of weeks back Liz (Me And My Shadow) tweeted the following YouTube clip understandably excited that she had tickets to attend, it's an interactive cinema experience based on Bugsy Malone

I was green with envy, I fell in love with the movie as a child and revisit it whenever I spy it's getting an airing on TV and tweeted her expressing as much.  In a wonderful twist of fate she drew my attention to a competition to win family tickets to a matinee performance on another blog (Childcare Is Fun) and as luck would have it yours truly was the eventual winner!

Well Sunday was the big day and Mr Right, Buster and I got our best 1920s bib and tucker on and headed down to the big smoke (despite the odd looks we were drawing from Tube passengers and London Marathon spectators alike), we'd been told to meet the boss under the bridge, Caroline Street, E1 (the East End home of the beautiful art deco Troxy Theatre) where a back street had been transported almost a century into the past and there were characters from that era milling about interacting with the queuing punters.
There's one on the roof!
Buster was press-ganged (quite literally!) into helping the news stand boy sell his papers
Read all about it!
And a fight broke out among the members of rival hoodlum gangs
Put 'em up!
After all this excitement we still had the performance inside to enjoy and we were ushered into the building via a network of corridors which lead to a bookcase behind which soft music was emanating.  We each handed over a book (your ticket into the speakeasy) and made our way through the now open bookcase...
Buster going through the bookcase
...into the massive auditorium beyond.

There was a band playing on stage and tables with lamps aglow just like the movie, you could order food from Mama Liguini's, have a shake and some popcorn from the Milk Bar, try your luck with the roulette wheel, visit Slugger's Gym or audition for Fat Sam, we chose to grab a cocktail from the bar 
Me enjoying my Tallulah Twist
meanwhile the actors and dancers were mingling with everyone at their tables, Bugsy came and sat at ours and was chatting away to Buster about the caper they'd arranged for later, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
There were energetic reenactments of some of the scenes and songs from the film, Mr Right had to perform the 'kiss' of life on one of the characters during one such skit 
Mr Right, the hero
Then it came time for a viewing of a Harold Lloyd black and white silent short (with real piano accompaniment like in the good old days) and the actual movie, which was magical as a couple of times I really felt like I was part of the film and as if I wasn't immersed into it enough by then I was certainly about to be with what happened next...
Splurge gun fight!
I can't recommend this event enough, although we won tickets the cover prices represent amazing value for money for the four hours plus of entertainment we enjoyed, the actors were in character the whole time and were wonderfully accommodating, patient posing for pictures and great at getting the kids involved.
Buster and I post Splurge gun fight, I think Buster's sad
that he has to give up a life of crime now he's taken a direct hit
Sadly the show (presented by Future Cinema) is in the last week of its run but there may still be tickets available and if there are I urge you to get yourself down to Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy before they all go straight!

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Holy other people's crap Batman, it's Monday again, which means it must be time to trawl through my latest junk shop jewels.

Firstly this bunch of pretty pastel vintage knitting needles (50p per pair).  I don't knit but I have plans afoot for these little babies in another crafty capacity, will keep you posted.
This LARGE black leather belt (£1), I'm going to butcher it and use it for the handles of a bag that I'm making
A brand new roll of wood effect Fablon for card making purposes (99p)
An old cross stitch pattern book, I love a bit of cross stitch but I didn't purchase it for that, I thought that some of the motifs would be nice on greetings cards
More old spoons for plant markers (I will get round to posting about this at some point) (10p each)
Two cute little triangular Pyrex casserole dishes, I thought they were really unusual so they had to come home with me (£1 each)
I loved Meg and Mog books as a kid and spotted these for Missy (50p each)
Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over on Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Hair's One I Made Earlier

Missy is growing her fringe out, which is taking forever and as a consequence we are drowning in a sea of hair clips.  I keep the plain ones in a little box but the nicer ones I wanted to hand so they'd actually get worn once in a while so I used some of the vintage Strawberry Shortcake fabric I won on an eBay auction last year 
and these iron on Strawberry Shortcake patches from H and M that I put in Missy's Christmas stocking last year
and with an off-cut of ribbon and some iron on interfacing I bashed this out on my sewing machine
Now all the fancy Nancy clips we have are at my fingertips, which is super helpful when you're wrestling with a struggling 2 year old sporting hair that's like a bird's nest, plus it can be hung up away from prying little fingers
Linking up with #HandmadeThursday over on White Lily Green 
Inspire Me Beautiful

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Land Of Sometimes CD Review

I met Liz from Me And My Shadow for the first time at CyberMummy last year and it turns out that not only do we have heaps in common (I think she put it best by describing us as sisters from different mothers) but we don't actually live too far from one another, anyway we decided to get together a few weeks ago for a crafty sesh an excuse to swear, eat cake and fart about with wire and beads.  During our lovely day together she asked me if I fancied reviewing a kid's CD and I almost bit her arm off.  

You see Missy is not a fan of car journeys and has a tendency, if bored, to vomit so I found myself singing to her pretty much constantly in order to stave off the Vom Fairy every trip, no matter how short or LONG (do you know how many times you can sing the ABC song on the weekly round trip to Sainsbury's?!  Believe me it's a LOT!)  It was driving me insane, until I remembered that I had a bunch of Buster's old nursery rhyme CDs in the loft so I tracked them down and whacked one on in the car the next time we went out on our travels.  For a couple of days it was like a miracle I could actually concentrate on driving letting the CDs do the hard work until I remembered why I was so glad when they'd finally gone into the loft the first time, I think we'd done them to death and although Missy hadn't yet tired of them I had!  I needed new blood and The Land Of Sometimes CD that Liz provided was that blood.
It's an enchanting story CD scattered with songs charting the journey of twins (Alfie and Elise) through a dream-like land where four seasons occur in one day and where they meet lots of different magical characters (each with their own song) along the way.  

I tried it out on a journey during the Easter hols with both kids in the car (so they couldn't escape and I could judge their reactions in an environment with few other distractions) please bear in mind that my kids are 2 and 10 and as such are possibly either a little too young or (think they're) a little too old for this depending on how you look at it but it did keep them quiet for virtually the whole journey and also gave them some common ground to chat about for a change, usually Buster is more interested in talking about Club Penguin to anyone that will listen and Missy's nattering on about her shoes or the colour of things or what she's going to have for her next snack and never the twain shall meet but they had a good old discussion about their favourite characters and songs.  

Each of the songs has its own style from pretty much every genre of music going in order to represent each of the many characters.  Missy's particular favourites were 'The Ditty Of Little Twink' about a mischievious disco dancing fairy that messes up kids' bedrooms while they sleep (although she sings 'Little Twig') and 'Mr Small Than Smaller Small Thing' a tiny character that's smaller than half a baked bean, a fact that Missy has been rather obsessed with ever since!

The CD is beautifully packaged with lots of detailed illustrations of each character in the integral booklet and the songs have a bit of West End stage production feel about them and there's also some internet content for kids on The Land Of Sometimes website which I've yet to explore with Missy but I'm sure I will as I predict that, in her case, this CD will be a grower as she didn't really follow the story side of it too much given her age but it's definitely something I can bring out again and again in the coming years to make those car journeys a little less vom-tastic!

I was provided with a free copy of The Land Of Sometimes for the purposes of this review by Liz at Me And My Shadow (thanks Liz!), if you'd like to purchase one of your own and follow Alife and Elise on their 'mysterious magical musical journey' you can do so (via Amazon) here

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Roller Booties

Saw something like this on Pinterest (yes, sorry, I'm wittering on about that again!) and knew I had to track down a pattern and crochet a pair.  I have no baby for them to be worn by but I love them all the same, you know me and a spot of rollerskating so when the opportunity to combine that with the fine art of crochet there was no stopping me.
Linking up with #HandmadeThursday over on White Lily Green
Inspire Me Beautiful

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Cupcapers - Easter Basket Cupcakes

Well Easter's over and done with for another year and I mentioned in my Cracking Easter Crafts post over the weekend that I'd post more on the Easter Basket Cupcakes I made as they contained a yummy new ingredient that I simply had to tell you about
and this is it, it's Philadelphia soft cheese blended with Cadbury chocolate.  Now I know what you're thinking because I thought the very same thing but it's actually pretty f**king amazing and I had to stop myself from eating it straight out of the tub
Thankfully I managed to resist and had enough left after copious spoonfuls found their way into my mouth my initial tasting to use as a decoration for the cupcakes...ah, yes, the cupcakes...

I made some chocolate chip cupcakes and when they were cooled I piped on the Cadbury Philly around the outer edge to emulate a nest, on top of this I grated on some ready-to-roll icing that I'd coloured green, scattered on some mini chocolate eggs and some teeny weeny chocolate eggs and jammed in a thick jelly lace as the basket handle.

The decoration made these cakes a little ungainly to eat but I managed to push on through some how, just for you guys.

Anyway, just wanted to bring the chocolate cheese to your attention as I think it's a great shortcut as a cake topping and probably a hundred and one other baking/dessert applications. Enjoy!

Monday, 9 April 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

I've been rummaging through the detritus to bring you more gems from planet Chazza

First up this box of old wooden 'educational blocks', they are for educational purposes only, NO FUN ALLOWED!  Bought these for Missy and she loves them (£2)
Six old spoons, I want to make them into plant markers for our vegetable bed, I'm sure there'll be a post about it at some point (£1.10)
Four vintage buttons to add to my stash (20p)
This massive marble slab, great for rolling out icing or pastry as stays cool (£5)
And finally two more of those Mary Quant style flower bowls, vintage Woolies.  I now have quite a collection from this set, three trifle size bowls and eight of these little ones (40p the pair)
Linking up with #MagpieMonday over on Me And My Shadow

Me and My Shadow

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Cracking Easter Crafts

Well Easter is almost over so I thought I'd give you a little round up of all the seasonal cakes and makes I've been immersed in these last couple of weeks, first up this deranged little fellow.  I found a lovely pattern for him for free on the internet and made a few of them up.  I turned this one into a brooch as a gift for Liz over at Me And My Shadow's daughter.  We got together a couple of weeks ago for a lovely crafty sesh (more on that later)
and some others I turned into Easter cards for my family
Of course you will have seen my Easter wreath (you'd have to be blind to miss it!)
I did a bit more crochet in the form of this little basket filled with five pastel crocheted eggs, Missy loves them and insists on trying to juggle the eggs at every opportunity
More eggs in baskets, this time in edible form.  I took these little babies along to my crafty hook up with Liz, I'm sure there'll be a separate post on them as they contain a yummy new ingredient that I simply have to shout about
Yet more crochet.  My MIL gave me a great book on crochet flowers and embellishments for Christmas and I made some daffs from it and stuck them onto green drinking straws
And last but by no means least this fabulous Easter nest ring that Liz showed me how to make from a blog post by Sara Ortega (apologies for my pasty chipolata fingers and chipped nail polish)
I hope you've had a wonderful Easter, thankfully mine's not over yet, we enjoyed a lovely brunch hosted by my sister and brother-in-law today
so we're having our Easter with too much chocolate and an Easter egg hunt on Easter Monday.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

A Cracking Easter Wreath

I wrote earlier in the year that 2012 was all about the wreath for me, inspired by the Christmas wreath and Gingerbread Man wreath I made back in December I've decided to try and make wreaths for all the seasonal celebrations this year and kicked it all off by making a Valentines wreath out of Love Heart sweets (much to the horror of my readers as I made the massive faux pas of hot glue gunning the sweets together rendering them inedible, I don't like them so who knew I'd offend so many by my rash actions?!)

With Easter just a hop away I decided that I wanted to make something suitably colourful and cheerful to echo the springtime flora that's bursting through everywhere and what could be more fitting than some luridly coloured plastic eggs and a crocheted chick that looks like Yoda's head?
For anyone wanting to recreate such a gorgeous springtime addition monstrosity for their home here's how I made it.  I took a large piece of cardboard and drew round a casserole dish lid and a side plate to get the hoop shape
I purchased 4 bags of 18 mini plastic eggs from Poundland (love cheap craft)
and hot glue gunned two base layers of them (one row pointing into the centre of the ring and one row pointing out) to the cardboard ring (apologies I neglected to take a picture of this stage and I realise now that it was probably the most crucial stage but I think you can get the general idea from the main photo) and finished off with a top layer of eggs glued between the base layers all pointing in the same direction.

I hid the area at the top where the eggs didn't quite meet with a massive yellow bow and a deformed little chick I crocheted and hey presto you have yourself a clucking egg-celent Easter wreath.  Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Cupcapers - Lolly Poppies

Well spring decided to arrive a little early this year, although it seems like it's realised its mistake and buggered off sharpish today!

Mrs B came to tea a couple of Fridays ago and it was also her birthday that week so I decided to make some cupcakes that were a bit less hum drum for the occasion when remembered that I'd seen some great cupcakes at a craft and vintage fair I'd attended with Mrs D and decided to recreate them at home.

They're chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream icing slopped on the top, some chocolate chip cookies crumbled over that to look like soil and a lolly pop jammed in with a couple of green icing leaves placed delicately either side of the stick to make the lolly pops look like spring flowers. 
In retrospect I'd have used Oreo cookies for the soil but as I didn't have any in the house choc chip cookies had to suffice.  

Monday, 2 April 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Wow, it's been a few weeks since I last posted about dead people's stuff, I've been ill and had Buster's birthday to prep for but Mr Right and I had a child free weekend so we decided to spend an hour or so perusing some local charity shops without worrying about Missy touching things she shouldn't and Buster constantly asking when we're going home.

Firstly this massive ball of blue wool, my wool stash is huge but there's always room for a bargain £3
A couple of hats for me to make another old man bag £2 each
A pink casserole dish decorated with a pretty white flower design £2.50
And finally this glass storage jar, it's French and I assume Le Parfait is their version of our Kilner jars 99p
Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over on Me And My Shadow

Me and My Shadow
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