Be blown away with paint!

The school holidays seem to be particularly dreary this year. The toddler seems to have fallen slightly out of love with painting so I decided to come up with a new method to renew her passion. 


This was a super-simple, fun and VERY messy project and one we both enjoyed. Seriously though, if you decide to try it, paint goes EVERYWHERE so make sure you put lots of paper down.


Those who know me, know I’m terrible at drawing (I once drew a stick an with three knees….) but luckily ‘Moon’ from the toddlers new favourite show (Sarah & Duck) is easy enough for even my cack-handedness to draw. I also did a few other simple outlines, including a tree, Spidergirl and a hedgehog.


Next, it was time to pour the paint. I bit of trial and error taught us that small drops, fairly close together worked better.


Then it was time to blow!


It was fun trying different lengths of straw and different ‘blowing’ techniques from short, sharp puffs, to longer blows while moving the straw around. They created surprisingly different results.


The tree is a little abstract.


Spider girl turned into a Deadpool/Venom hybrid. We used slightly too much paint on this one….


And here’s Moon, waving on his way to work.

Have you tried blow-painting? How did you get on? Let me know in the comments below! 

Make it Monday: Greetings! 

I love receiving cards, don’t you? But even more than receiving, I love MAKING cards! Here’s some of my recent makes. 

Make it Monday: Shark Week


We live every week like it’s Shark Week here at Beagle HQ but having a dedicated week is always fun to try some new crafts.

Seeing the Lamb playing with a toilet roll inspired the ‘shark fin cuff’. It was incredibly simple but turned out better than we expected and the toddler loves ‘swimming’ around the house with her cuff. We cut a fin shape, painted it grey, while the toilet roll was painted blue. Then it was a simple case of gluing the fin to the toilet roll and cutting an opening! I added some tissue paper to cover the flaps at the base of the fin and the cuff was ready!


Just in case the Lamb didn’t want to wear a cuff, we also made this fun hat/hairband. Another simple construction, with a band of paper to fit the Lamb’s head, and an extra one to go over the top. The Lamb painted both and again I added some tissue paper to hide the join, and to add a bit of texture. If I’m honest, I think hubby and I are a little jealous we don’t have a fun hat like this. Perhaps next week….

How are you celebrating Shark Week?

Make it Monday: Room On The Broom inspired Quiet Book


We’re HUGE fans of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s books here at Beagle HQ. So much so that the toddler’s last birthday was themed around some of their more famous books, but that’s a post for another day.

A zipper for a mouth

What’s inside? Some other characters!


I wanted to make the toddler something a bit different, so I combined some of her favourite characters with different openers and fasteners to help her improve her dexterity and coordination. The product was ‘Evie’s Quiet Book’.

Bird’s wing has a magnetic which helps it move. There’s also plenty of ribbon to practice tying bows


Quiet books seem to be hugely popular and it’s easy to see why: soft to touch for little hands, they are only limited by your imagination and can keep little people occupied for ages. 

Help Dog count bones


I created a page for each of the main characters: Witch, Cat, Dog, Bird, Frog, Dragon plus all of them on the broom.

What’s in Cat’s cauldron?

All the ingredients fro a witches brew! Each item is sewn onto a popper so can be removed for an endless mix of spells


I tried to use a mix of fabrics and materials to make it interesting to touch as well as various colours. Some worked better than others, with some of the coarser fabric fraying, however I think this adds to the characters. 

The Dragon isn’t too gruff here – he has a squeaker for a voice


There are also different fasteners including zips, poppers, buttons and clips, all of which encourage to toddler to explore and learn how to use them. They’ve helped her improve her manual dexterity while also teaching her some key skills for getting dressed. 

Help the Witch button her cardigan and plait her hair, but be careful not to lose her ribbon!


I think the Witch is my favourite page. Her long ginger hair is a mix of different wools, from very soft, to slightly more coarse and even a few strands from my rag doll I had as a baby! Perfect for learning how to plait, and to tie a ribbon! Her cardigan also needs buttoning. This was the only page where I used my sewing machine (for the cardigan), all the rest was sewn by hand.

And out flew, a magnificent broom!


The last page is the broom with all the characters sat safely in their seats. I made the finger puppets as a fun accompaniment when reading the book, but they can be used for reenactment while out and about, or for creating new adventures!

Endless fun with the finger puppets


Have you made a quiet book? Do you like the characters from the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom? Let me know in the comments below. 

Make it Monday: Bath Bombs!

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It’s a bath explosion! I’m going to a friends wedding soon and it’s my first night away from the toddler EVER so I’m feeling a bit unsettled (she’ll be fine with daddy and the pup, but I’ll definitely miss bedtime snuggles!). However, every cloud has a silver lining and as I’m staying in a hotel, I thought I’d make myself some bath bombs to enjoy while I have a (hopefully) uninterrupted bath.

I’ve been making my own bath bombs with the toddler for a while. She loves measuring out the ingredients, selecting the essential oils and then mixing the assorted ingredients. It’s  a fun, not-too-messy activity which teaches her about measuring, different ingredients and scents and also the pleasure of using what we’ve made come bath time.

As these were going to be a little treat for me, I decided to use some Himalayan Pink Salt, which is supposed to be a good detox tool. The mix of sweet orange and clove is delicious, and definitely one of my favourites, although it’s a tough choice between that and jasmine.

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There’s a lot of recipes out there (and I’ve tried a number, including one which used coconut oil which left my skin soft but the bath a mess!) but this is the one that’s been working for me.

  • one cup of bicarbonate of soda
  • half cup of citric acid
  • quarter cup of Himalayan Pink Salt (or Epsom Salts)
  • Witch hazel in a spray bottle
  • Essential oils

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well, making sure there’s no clumps. Add your essential oils, approximately 15 drops, but I added 15 of both the orange and clove. Mix well to ensure they’re evenly distributed. Keep mixing and spray witch hazel over your ingredients. I generally do a couple of sprays, mix and see if they’re clumping together, if not I’ll do a few more sprays, then see again if it’s going to bind together. One thing I’ve found is using the salts, I need more witch hazel to get the ingredients to bind that I do when I just use the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. Once it starts to clump in your hand, start pressing it into moulds. I’ve found cookie cutters to be best as they hold their shape while I firmly press the ingredients into it. Silicone moulds tend to bulge and the bath bombs then crumbled when I pressed them out. Gently press the bath bombs onto a rack to dry overnight.

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I really love the flecks of pink from the Himalayan Pink Salt. Don’t they look pretty?

I store my bath bombs in a pot in the bathroom. They’re so much more cost effective than those bought in stores, plus the toddler and I love experimenting with colours and scents – we even added a cup of ‘Lustre’ from Lush to create beautiful golden swirls in the water.

Have you made your own bath bombs? What’s your recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

Make it Monday: Melt & Pour Soap

It’s a few weeks until my soap making course with Sharon from Soap Daze and as we’re running low in Casa CH, I thought I’d try ‘melt & pour’ soap. I’d seen a recipe of Garden Therapy which I had followed and made for gifts but this time I thought I’d try something a little different.

I’ve become a huge fan of ‘Thieves Oil’ and I’ll write a longer post about the benefits of this fantastic blend at a later date, but given it’s anti-fungal, anti-biotic and assorted other benefits, I knew I wanted to use this oil in my soap. Given the assorted ways we get mucky here, from paint to soil to dog drool, I knew we’d need something gently abrasive to remove even the most stubborn food or paint. Luckily hubby has started drinking filtered coffee again so we have plenty of coffee grounds (if you’ve got some lying around, mix them two parts coffee to one part coconut oil, then add an essential oil such as lavender. Use as the most scrummy body scrub!). 

But back to my soap! Melt and pour soap is incredibly easy to use. Measure out the amount you need (approx 200g made six small soaps but it depends on your moulds). I used a measuring jug for ease of pouring. Pop your soap into the microwave and set on a high heat for 30seconds (or as per pack instructions). Keep microwaving at 30seconds intervals until it’s fully melted. 

Mix in your essential oil and any other ingredients. I’ve found that the soap can set quite quickly so it’s best to have everything ready to go, but if you don’t, don’t fret, simply pop it back into the microwave to melt it again. The soap smells lovely, but was extra delicious when I added the coffee grounds and thieves oil. I gave it a thorough mix and started to pour. As expected the coffee grounds settled rather quickly so next time I’ll wait a until just as the soaps starting to set before adding them. I ppped the moulds into the fridge overnight to make sure they set fully.when I popped them out of the moulds, the coffee grounds had settled but I love the colour differences and they smell delicious. And, the best bit is, we’ve got super duper clean hands! 

Happy Easter!

Do you have an Easter egg hunt planned with your little ones? I’m certain that cheeky bunny will be dropping off some eggs (and pup friendly treats!) to our girls so I thought I should make some bags for the toddler and her friends.

Luckily the very clever Caroline of ‘SewCanShe‘ had created these beautiful & simple egg collecting bags.  I’d made a slightly larger bag using this pattern (and super easy boxed corners) last year as a house-warming gift for a friend so decided to make a smaller one for the toddler. 

Following the pattern was super easy, even though it was my first real attempt at appliqué. As promised in her blog, the bags sewed up quickly and I was really pleased with the results. I thought the toddler might be a little too focussed on picking up eggs so I added a shoulder strap which worked well. What do you think? I love the bright colours and as you can see, it packs a LOT of treats! It’s also currently one of my daughters favourite bags, hence the creases!

I also wanted to make some treat bags for her friends so used this pattern, again from SewCanShe. I love the bunny fabric and again the pattern was super easy, although I always have a few issues doing buttonholes (I think I need more practice. I measure, and place, double check and they still end up slightly in the wrong place!). Anyway, they came out pretty well, although I decided to use fleece for my bunny ears to add some texture to the bags. They looked cute, but we’re a little too heavy and kept pulling the rest of the bag in odd directions. If I make these bags again, I’ll use a much lighter fabric as suggested in the instructions. We filled the bags with treats and I can say they were a hit with the toddlers friends! 


What do you think? Will you try the sewing patterns? Send me a picture in the comments below of your creations!

Wishing you all a peaceful and chocolate-filled Easter!