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Craftivism: I Am Super Capes

2014 September 29
by Kat

I Am Super Capes Claudia Beard

I have a fun download for you in this post, first, let me introduce you to my friend Claudia.

After Haiyan struck The Philippines last November she swung into action with a friend in a campaign to gather blankets, clothing, soap and medical supplies amongst other items and getting them shipped out.

This is despite having three children two of whom were under two at the time. I know, right?

Following the initial push for aid Claudia wanted to do something which connected with the children whose lives had been turned upside down. She developed the idea of making capes to send out as an open play toy which both delights and gives children the power of play.

I Am Super Capes Heroes

 Image courtesy of I Am Super Capes

I Am Super Capes was born and Claudia’s first cape mission was sent to children in The Philippines. Since then Claudia has been busy coordinating and sewing capes for children across the world.

Often the children she is sending capes to are facing the very hardest times of their lives; challenges they were born with or from which they can’t escape. I Am Super Capes gives them to opportunity to be heroes and to play as all children love to play.

I Am Super Capes Hero

 Image courtesy of I Am Super Capes

 

I Am Super Capes’ latest mission connects with the annual toy drive held by Charly’s Bakery in Cape Town for the children 0f the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town.

This December Claudia will be flying out to Cape Town to deliver 600, yes 600 capes and help with the toy drive personally.

I Am Super Capes The Capes

600 capes is a tall order and I Am Super Capes needs your help to fulfil their pledge. There are a few ways to lend your support:

  • Firstly, make a cape (or several capes, tutorial here) and send them to I Am Super Capes at the address on their contact page.
  • Got no time but a stack of fabric / duvet covers / machine thread? Send the fabric to Claudia and she’ll add it to the I Am Super Capes stash.
  • Donate – Claudia and her supporters are jumping out of a plane in October to raise money for fabric and notions. You can contribute by donating on their GoFundMe page.
  • Finally, help Claudia spread the word. Share details on twitter, Facebook and your blog (join Nurture Store’s linkup). Or let companies you work with know how they could help, sewing machines, thread and fabric are all put to good use in the I Am Super Capes Sewing Cave.

I Am Super Capes Crafternoon

Want to make your cape fun? Here are three printable templates to use with the Cricut Explore or simply to pin to your fabric and cut.

Enjoy x

I Am Super Capes Templates

bolt template | star template | burst template

 

Project Garden: The Finished Garden!

2014 September 19
by Kat

Before-3

Last Summer we called time on having a shabby garden. Bit by bit it had gotten away from us and turned into one of those gardens. Hands held up – I was embarrassed about the state of it (and you’ve seen inside my house, I don’t embarrass easily!). So embarrassed that I stopped asking people over to the house. You can relive the full horror here.

In the last year we have gradually reclaimed it as a space to be enjoyed not avoided and by the Summer Solstice it was looking good enough to have a barbecue with actual outsiders and everything. It may have taken us a year of work but in all reality we could have packed that into five or six weekends. Sounds simple but you know that’s not going to happen when you have children in the equation. Or lazy adults for that matter.

We all know slow and steady wins out in the end and we now have a garden to be proud of. I cannot tell you how dreamy it feels to be able to play on the grass again or how excited I feel every time I sit at the dining table – did I tell you we haven’t had an outside dining area since we moved here eight years ago?

Gone are the crumbling raised beds, the bald lawn and the numerous broken plastic toys and we’re left with a serene space. The balance beam you see was being discarded by the local school so we picked it up and brought it home. It needs a coat of paint and some marine varnish as does the bench so I still have a few jobs on my to do list!

To re-lay the lawn we roped in some family to help with rotavating the existing lawn and then allowed it to settle for a week. Mr Kat laid the turf in two sections mostly because it weighed too much to buy it all in one go! As you can see the first section of turf has taken well and is already growing long by the time the second section went down a week later. Now it has been in for a few months I can report that the grass has survived the summer well and didn’t need watering beyond the first week or so. We’ve thinned the plum tree a little to give it the best chance over the Winter in this tricky spot but so far it’s goring well across the whole garden. The rolls of turf cost around £3 each from B&Q (I did notice them on offer over the last Summer bank holiday for less) and in my opinion they have been great quality – no weeds, no dying back, all lush green grass.

I know you’re dying to see the final timelapse of the lawn being turfed (watch out for the worms and the birds in the middle). So here it is along with the reveal of the finished garden!

If you’re not seeing the video click here to view it on YouTube x

 

Project Garden Housewife Confidential-7

Project Garden Housewife Confidential

Project Garden Housewife Confidential-13

Isn’t it the best? I know it’s not cutting edge or likely to win any awards but when it comes to a family back yard this one is tops. So good in fact that I even invited my friends over for coffee. Thank you B&Q for helping us get our garden back and for stocking all of the best toys (because really; paint, power tools and DIY are about as good as it gets). And thank you to you guys for your advice, encouragement and for not disowning me when you saw how bad it really was. Let’s have coffee…

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-3

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-11

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe

2014 September 15

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

We have a plum tree in our garden which periodically gives us a crop of plums. This year we have a crop and after the children have gorged themselves on what they can scrump I might have a few plums for my favourite plum cake.

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

It may horrify you to know that I can take or leave cake most of the time but not his one. This cake is deliciously light with the sharp fruit cutting through the buttery flavour. The nuts add a toasted crunch which you didn’t know you were missing until this beautiful cake.

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential-8

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe

150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

75g self raising flour

100g ground almonds

70g blanched hazelnuts roughly chopped

6 – 7 small plums, stoned and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Method:

  • First toast the hazelnuts until lightly browned and set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the plums then butter and line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Sieve the flour into the wet ingredients and gently fold into the mixture.
  • Fold in the ground almonds followed by the hazelnuts.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and flatten the top gently.
  • Lay the sliced plums across the top, I like to arrange them in a circle but do bear in mind they will sink in so you don’t need to expend too much energy.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes and test with a skewer.
  • Cool for ten minutes in the tin before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential-17

I’ve adapted this recipe from one in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (an absolute must read).

Loving Just So Festival 2014

2014 August 25

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

We are crazy in love with Just So Festival. It is our family’s annual summer highlight and the children look forward to it all year.

This year was no exception, we’ve been talking about Just So since the Winter Solstice when our first tickets were booked.

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

Now in its fifth year, Just So is a festival which brings the arts, nature and families together in an explosion of unicorn certified awesome. There is so much going on over the weekend that we end up feeling like we saw so much yet missed loads at the same time.

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

A total highlight for me was John Hegley, his set was brilliantly funny and a perfect fit at Just So. Along with Perhaps Contraption and the Bollywood Dance class it was one of the fixtures we went to for Mama.

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-5

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

This year we finally managed to buy our own tent after a few years of searching for a good deal  (tip: ex-hire tents are sold in the Spring on Gumtree). We took it along for its first outing and it was worth the long wait – it is a perfect canvas home.

I managed to forget my pyjama top so I awoke each morning even more creaky than usual and it was definitely my limitations rather than the children’s which slowed us down this year. I definitely need to do some more camping and get my back used to it again.

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

 

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-16

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-5

This year the children decided to switch tribes from owls to lions & foxes which prompted a day of designing and sewing. I really loved how the manes turned out and my two lions were thrilled with meeting the tribal leaders around the festival. Next year I definitely need to create some adult costumes as well.

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-1

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-4

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-38

Just So Festival on Housewife Confidential-39

I care a great deal about Just So Festival and am so grateful to Rowan, Sarah and the whole team for bringing it to life each year. We are incredibly proud to be customers of Just So and to contribute to its future.

If you are considering buying a ticket for future years then do it now. Camping may be difficult and the weather may give in to rain but it really will be the most magical weekend you spend in the entire year.

The attention to detail and quality of experience is second to none. The atmosphere is, on the whole, one of camaraderie. The pace is more in step with the needs of children than any other festival I have attended.

Just So is a truly special and unique event and the inspiration you will draw from your visit is the kind that stays with your for years.

My write ups from 20112012 & 2013.

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