October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

We were trying to get ready to go out but they BEGGED me to paint their faces! I have to get my creative fix in where I can these days so today it was the face painting and actually remembering to take the camera with me to the park 🙂


Pumpkin Carvathon 2014 – Pumpkin No 1

October 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mum brought home a big pumpkin the other day, and the following day I took the boys pumpkin hunting as well and came back with 3 medium pumpkins and a teeny one. So today was the start of the carvathon.

I started with Bean’s pumpkin.

Of course he wanted both Spiderman AND Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I figured with a challenge this big I’d need to draw the things out first – I hardly ever draw on my ‘kins first, I whittle away where the mood takes me usually! But, it had to be Right.

So I drew.

Big challenge to me: I am not very experienced in drawing the negative spaces! I guess it’ll come in handy next time I find my lino and cutters but still… nerves! I have no shame in saying I copied the designs from free stencils I found on pinterest, if I’d tried drawing them myself I’d still be at the drawing stage now….

And then I started cutting.

I hate pumpkin guts. The boys stayed away. They were free to help if they wished but they were more interested in lego today.

But I have two pumpkin carving tricks I will share to anyone who’s interested in that kind of thing: don’t cut the top of your pumpkin out. Cut around the BASE. Trust me it makes lighting a tealight in there a whole lot easier and the top of the pumpkin remains pretty 🙂 and secondly, use a metal scoop to scoop out the innards. I used a metal tablespoon measure, it had a short handle and a scoop shape and was perfect! And I guess there’s a third but only if you’re doing the cutting yourself, not letting the children carve – use a small sharp knife, not one of the blunt serrated plastic handled things you get in pumpkin carving sets.

So here y’go. Today’s effort.

I’m pleased – and so was Bean!

spidey drawing ninja turtle drawing pumpkin guts seeds and scoop unexpected alien invasion Spidey pumpkin with ninja shadow Ninja pumpkin with spidey shadow

But it’s not ending there. The seeds are drying ready to be roasted tomorrow; and ALL the flesh has been cooked and sieved ready for pumpkin pie – I’m definitely not wasting it all! Even the water from cooking the flesh in is being used, we cooked rice in some of it this evening, and I’ll reduce the rest down tomorrow or use it as a base for a soup 🙂

A Rainy Day Creative Explosion

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

The weather was WILD today.

Seriously wild.

Each time I thought I’d see about making a run to the shops for groceries, before I’d even finished the thought the rain would come lashing down again.

wild weather

So I was actually really grateful that the boys asked (asked! of their own accord!) to do some making. They wanted to make clay hands to go on top of jars, like they’d just seen Mister Maker make. I couldn’t get that set up for them unfortunately as we didn’t quite have enough time, but we DID have their clay dragons to paint, plus a few other bits. So we got the paints out, the dried models, brushes and water, and started painting. I had fun. I got to paint some of my bits!

clay painting

It wasn’t long before all the bits were painted but they wanted to keep painting. So I brought out some big pieces of paper (thank goodness I’d thought to cut several pieces last time we did some painting!) and set them out. Bean’s painting has really changed over the past year. He asked to do foot painting but we can’t really do that at Grandma and Grandad’s house just before lunch!

Painting Painting By Bean, Oct 2014

Once they’d had enough of painting it was lunchtime but the creativity didn’t stop there. Bear wanted playdough, and Bean wanted to make something with eggboxes so out came the eggboxes and scissors and glue.

Eggbox crafting Eggbox Craft

Pompoms were required and the tin that holds the pompoms is full of little cut squares of coloured tissue paper – perfect for some colourful sensory craft!

Eggbox crafting Tissue Confetti

I had fun decoupaging a jar and a vase, Bean decoupaged the Turtle he’d made out of pieces of eggbox, and Bear had a tissue paper confetti explosion when he dropped a cupcake case full of tissue squares.

Eggbox crafting Diggers Required By Bean, for Bear Diggers and Tissue Explosions

Diggers were requisitioned to come and scoop up all the tissue paper which brought a whole different avenue of play to explore! All in all, a messy explosion of colourful creativity.

Tidy up time...

Thankyou, Rain.

Even the tidy up operation gave great pleasure to the boys – they found toys they thought they’d lost!

Circles, shields, shells and wheels

October 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

What can you make with circles?

Turns out, quite a lot.

Hubby brought home some huge cardboard circles the other night as Bean was asking us to make him a shield like Hiccup’s shield. I can paint, but I’m not so great at drawing (or at least, I didn’t want the weight of responsibility to get it right!) so I passed the drawing challenge over to the Husband. He excelled.

I coloured the shield in today. And glued on the dome that Husband brought home (there are definitely some unexpected benefits of having your dad work in the loudspeaker development industry!!) and voila, one Hiccup’s Shield!

Hiccup's Shield

Of course, since it’s nearly Bean’s birthday and everything is pretty much bought and organised for his Spiderman themed birthday tea, he’s discovered a new obsession: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No, the birthday tea is not changing!!

But it was handy that Husband had brought home extra giant circles intended for Monster Truck Wheels for the Bear.

Two of them have been converted into TMNT shells instead! I’ve finished one mask, lunch has inconveniently happened though so Raph’s mask isn’t finished yet but here’s a very happy Leonardo with his mask and his shell.

TMNT Leo turtle shell

The Monster Truck Wheels are next on the list…. Tyre treads can’t be that hard to draw, can they??!

Dreamsong Lullaby

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

I did driving duty the other night, driving home from Worthing to Manchester. The best way to keep myself awake (it’s a 5 hour drive and we set off at 9.30pm!)  was to sing. And as everyone else was snoring I was able to sing unhindered! Such a joy. This is the result of that drive home. It has a melody but no music as I have no instruments here and all my recording equipment is in storage – anyone fancy helping a girl out here?!

Dreamsong Lullaby

As the sun sets over rooftops and houses
The sky turns to gold and the air feels a chill
Slowly your eyelids are closing so drowsily
Caught by the promise of dreams, become still

So sail away, sail away, floating on featherdown,
Carried by starlight and wil’o’th’wisp,
Follow its melody, haunting and lonely
For the dreamsong will fade with the pale morning mist.

As the moon rises with silvering halo
In skies cobalt blue, behind frostbitten clouds
Gently so gently you fall into slumberland
Tumbling down to the dreamland below

As the night breeze ruffles treetops so lazily
And the moon catches the foam on the sea
Caught by the winds of the dreamtime you sail away
Safe in the love of your daddy and me

(c) Jeni Entwistle 2014

What I Love

June 8, 2014 § Leave a comment


What I Love

I love watching my boys play. I love watching them ride their bikes, watching them go faster, improve their balance, discover a new trick. I love listening to them sing, to their stories, to their imagination. I love saying “yes, let’s do that!” to them. I love snuggling with them at the end of the day, I love kissing them goodnight when bedtime is finally done, I love their smiles when they see me or daddy.

I love painting on big canvases. I love doodling on smaller ones. I love colour, and how it mixes and melds. I love crochet and learning new stitches, I love this new hobby to keep my brain active. I love the community of friends it has brought me into.

I love singing, playing piano, trying to play guitar. I love listening to music, singing along.

I love riding my bike with my littlest on his bike seat in front of me. I love being alone on the seafront, eyes closed with the wind pushing against me, smelling the sea, feeling the wind, being. I love being in the garden with the kids playing. I love walking in the woods or by the river. I love showing my children new things, old places. I love swimming in the sea, paddling in the shallows. I love paddling in a boat, cooking on open fires, huddling in shelters in the snow. I love being outside.

I love being inside! I love my food, I love cooking and baking. I love a glass of wine at the end of the day. I love chocolate (dark) and filter coffee (decaf these days, but still black). I love chick-lit books, rom-coms, soppy pointless feel-good reads that don’t require any real thought.

This morning, I did not want to get up at all. Bear suffered with a fever through the night and the last thing I wanted was Bean prodding me saying cheerfully “mama it’s wake-up time!” But as I grumped in bed scrolling through my news feed this status caught my attention:

“I have already decided, this is beautiful day and I will rejoice and be glad!”

And so, I decided, that I would rejoice and be glad.

I have had THE most trying morning so far.

But, I shall rejoice and be glad, for today IS a beautiful day.

I am grateful for friends sending love my way, helping JOY be in my heart this morning. And when we lie crumpled on the floor, we have the opportunity to see things from a very different perspective!


December 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

December 7thstowaway
Not really much you can say about this – I think she must have heard us talking about going on a little roadtrip!

Let’s Paint!

December 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Invitation to Paint

Let's Paint!
Piper set up a lovely invitation to paint last night! She’d found a paper Christmas tablecover printed with snowmen and santas, and set the painting box on the table. And she’d even got a few paints out ready! How exciting 😀 I was excited to see the suggestion to use the paintings to make cards for the boys’ friends, but we will have to see how much they paint!

When Bean got dressed this morning he chose his “sports clothes” and announced very decisively that it was Sports Day today…. so I was a little worried about his reaction to finding Piper like this, all tucked up asleep with Duck and a couple of presents…

Sleeping soundly
Hmm. The new pyjamas got the reaction I was expecting – new clothes are only exciting if they are exactly what the boys want right at that precise moment, so having got dressed already they weren’t in the mood for pyjamas!

That said, Bear was happy. He climbed straight in for a snuggle with his beloved Duck!

Bear and Duck
We may have to go out on a bike ride and do some running races in the garden before suggesting painting I think!

Fire Rescue Piper

December 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

fire rescue piper
She doesn’t waste much time, that Piper! Bean got this fire engine from a charity shop yesterday (the boys blew their budget of £3.20 between them by a couple of pounds unfortunately!) and played with it all the rest of the day. It even beat the present of lego that Daddy brought home!! Now that’s something.

This morning we found Piper trying to climb into the Fire Rescue Station, but she’d got stuck in the window. Bean laughed, then told Piper off for using his fire engine: “Piper, the ladder’s not meant to go that way!” The reason she was trying to get into the fire station was because that’s where she’d decided to hide their presents for today. More new pants and socks! Both boys very happy. It was Bear this time, with his new Batman (“BAT-BAT!!”) socks who decided he had to get dressed right now. Bean took a little while longer – he’d seen he weather and was not keen on going out just yet…

fire rescue boys
It’s all too rare these days to get a decent shot of my boys playing nicely side by side – thankyou Piper, for suggesting playing with the Fire Rescue Station!

Let’s make biscuits!

December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

let's make biscuits!

Piper WAS busy last night!! We came down to find she’d made a tower of baking things, and had left a note on this morning’s present saying “let’s make biscuits!” When the boys gleefully ripped open the wrapper they found a set of new cookie cutters and took them with them to eat breakfast 😀 We had a quick look through the tins to see if everything we needed was there and UH-OH – there’s no sugar!! We’re going to have to get wrapped up and go to the shops before we can bake!

But that’s not all Piper got up to last night. Apart from having a bit of a disco with the flashing Christmas tree lights while we were out (I had to turn them off before bringing the children in from the car to put them to bed) she’d put more fairy lights up in the kitchen! I think I might have to help her to get down….

Piper fairy lights