Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Making hairbands, crochet and other bits and bobs

The last time the girls and I went to the shops (it doesn't happen very often) we saw hairbands with little flowers over them. We decided to make our own. Kiki is modeling her hairband :)
All it is, is a piece of elastic measured to the right length, sewn and then I sewed the little flowers on.
The photo is a little saturated so you cant see the colours that well.
Sneaky pic of the growing chicks :)
I keep forgetting to take pictures of the crocheted gifts that I make for people. I remembered this time though :) some hand warmers for a friend.
While the older two did some work, the younger two made some flying birds.
They wrapped round their little fingers.
And here is a picture that Kiki drew titled "Mommy" :D
My children all play well together...most of the time :P They play a LOT of imaginary/role play games. Even the older kids play for hours every day. Here they are playing fairies. To be honest this game didn't last that long as they all got out the play food and insects and spent ages inventing strange dishes :)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Making a biltong box!!!

I have wanted to get stuck into this project for AGES! At first I was just going to make a biltong box for us but then I thought that it would be the PERFECT 30th birthday present for my brother :)

Bit of biltong info: Biltong is a delicious dried meat from South Africa. Biltong evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-travelling Voortrekkers, who needed stocks of durable food as they migrated from the Cape Colony north-eastward into the interior of Southern Africa during the Great Trek.

So back to business :), first I had to find the right cupboard/cabinet. After searching in IKEA and other furniture shops with no luck, I had made the decision to buy some wood and build a box HOWEVER, I just happen to drive past a second hand furniture shop and saw the perfect sized box!!! I was so excited :)
I took it into the garden straight away and started stripping the veneer which was peeling off.
It had been used to store records :) Obviously I had to take those dividers out as well as the shelf which was just way too high.
I am not sure if you can see it from here, but I drilled a row of holes at the top and the bottom along the side of the box as biltong is air dried meat so we need air holes :)
Googs helped with the sanding.

We then painted it and stuck on some playing cards for fun. You can see the top air holes better in this picture.
I cut some piping for the rails, drilled more holes in the shelf and placed the shelf back in at a lower position.

I found this little fan too! Biltong boxes usually use a light bulb at the bottom but a friend of mine, who has a biltong box, only uses a fan. I guess we will know soon enough if it works :) I did give my brother a light fixture if he wanted to add it.

Varnished. Finished! We gave this to my brother along with all the ingredients that he would need. My parents gave him a voucher for the local butchers, he was one happy bunny :)

After Hubby saw the finished box, he REALLY wanted one too, so I went to that same second hand shop and found another cabinet.
I had nothing to do externally to this one. I took out the top shelf, drilled holes in the top and bottom and in the bottom shelf, drilled a hole in the back at the bottom for the fan's cord, cut the poles and added them at the top.
In the shop where I went to buy the fan, I just so happened to walk past the lighting section and noticed a lamp that had smashed, I asked them if I could have it. So I got back and added another hole at the back and added a light!

Here it is, a bit of a dark picture.

We were so excited to use the box that Hubby went out to the butchers and the shops that day :)

We used Mark Blumberg's recipe.

We roasted half a cup of coriander seeds.

And then crushed them - hmmm smelt so good!
half a teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of brown sugar
And not quite a tablespoon of coarse salt. Mix together and spread out in a dish.
Sprinkle vinegar on meat - we used silverside cut of beef and red wine vinegar. And place on spices.
Cover meat with spices, cover, and leave to marinate for a few hours or cover and put in the fridge over night. We were to excited to leave it in over night. We stayed up until after midnight so make sure that we put the meat up as soon as possible :)
Once finished marinating, take the meat and quickly dip into some vinegar. Then place on meat hooks- we used paper clips as meat hooks.We put tin foil on the shelf and some kitchen towel to catch the initial dripping. And hung the meat up!!! We have to leave it to dry for 4-7 days!!! Oh it is so exciting :)
The biltong the next morning.
And here it is after 36 hours. Only 3ish more days :)))

Thursday, 19 May 2011


This week, as it was so blustery, we decided to do some studies on wind. A perfect project was to make a windsock. We raided the cupboards to look for appropriate materials and found a metal coat hanger and some lining material in assorted colours.
First, Boo hemmed the sock, leaving enough space for the wire.
While she did that, Champ cut up some material for the tail.
We then folded the material in half and drew a diagonal line that didn't meet at a point to leave an opening.
While the older two made the windsock, the younger guys did some painting.
Champ then sewed the ends together.
and we cut off the excess fabric.
Once we had a large pile of ribbons..
we sewed them onto the small end of the sock.
The wire coat hanger was straightened and pushed through the hemmed edge on the large end.
string was added to the top
And it was hung up! :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Guitar playing and pulling faces.

Champ has started learning guitar, so naturally the others want to as well. Luckily I spotted two smaller guitars in a second hand shop, did some haggling and got a great deal :) So now everyone can play.
I know that Kiki looks very messy in the picture but I thought she looked a bit like a rocker :D
When my mom came round to visit, Kiki wanted to play her a song. I managed to record it but it was too big a file to put on here so I put it on you tube. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgonqqKWAZg

The weather has turned cold and miserable again :( The kids have still been enjoying playing outside. Here they are outside with their friends. There are 4 of them in their little umbrella hut :)
And our other big news is that Googs' first tooth fell out! His big tooth had been growing behind his milk tooth so he doesn't have much of a gap.
He got carried away with the photos...

And Boo made a lovely spotting thank you card.