Friday, 9 December 2011

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegan Pizzas!

It can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to make party style snack foods on a gluten free dairy free diet...but I think we hit the jackpot with these:


The bases were made using Hale & Hearty Quick & Easy Pizza Mix which is by far the best gluten free mix we have tried (and we have tried quite a the name of research of course ;-)). We made up the mix, rolled out and cut into 3 inch circles with scone cutters. The circles were then topped with tomato paste, some dried Italian herbs and grated Mozzarella style Cheezly then sliced tomatoes and sauteed courgette & red onion. Cooked for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees and voila - delicious mini pizzas without a sniff of gluten or casein.

Yum yum.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Making Pomanders

pomander face

In Elizabethan times, people believed that the Plague was caused by foul smells, so they made pomanders to keep the air smelling sweet.

Yesterday, we made pomanders. This is Waif's in progress. I think this lovely chap will definitely keep the plague away this winter :-)

Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Art

Oh my, has it really been that long since I posted on here?!

Thought I would share the rather fabulous posters the boys made for Halloween this year. The instructions are on That Artist Woman's blog. If you haven't been there before, do stop and check it out. She has some wonderful projects for kids of all ages.

Here are a couple of progress shots:

halloween poster in progress
boys work on halloween posters

And here are the finished articles. First up Gman (11):

gman halloween poster

I just love the little devil fella top right. He started out as an owl, but then when Gman stuck the nose on upside down, that changed! A great lesson in the art of accepting mistakes, and realising that sometimes great things come from them! Gman was especially pleased with his extraordinarily gruesome eyeball :-)

Next up, Waif (6):

waif halloween poster

Possibly the cutest, saddest Frankenstein's Monster you are ever likely to see!

Friday, 22 July 2011

An ICAD tribute to home education

When I bought a magazine this morning, I was given a complementary copy of a well known national newspaper...rather than waste it, I thought I would just start snipping words that attracted my attention and put these on my index card. It ended up as quite a tribute to the joys of home education, so I thought I would post it on here!

ICAD Ode to Homeschooling

The boys have continued another week with the ICAD Challenge. Here's a card each from their week:

Gman -

take me to your leader

Waif -

icad 19 july waif go slow

The rest can be found in our Flickr set here.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Halfway thru the ICAD Challenge

And Waif is celebrating with fireworks:

icad 15 july waif

Check out Daisy Yellow for more ICAD fun!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Felt like making pizza

I know, it's been a while :-)

But couldn't resist sharing Waif's felt pizza with you:

waif makes pizza (1)

waif with pizza

We roughly followed this tutorial. I cut the pieces out but Waif did all the sewing. Very proud of him :-)

There is so much I could be reporting here. The boys have been busy making lapbooks, and writing poems and stories, and just generally soaking stuff up, but where's the time?!?!

They are still continuing with Daisy Yellow's ICAD challenge. Here's a couple of recent cards from each of them.


icad 7 july gman

icad 4 july gman shark


icad 10 july

icad 6 july waif

If you wanna see more, check out our Flickr set.

Friday, 10 June 2011

More index cards

10 days in and we are still going strong with the index cards! Here's some of the boys' creations:


icad 10 june - gman

icad 8 june gman


icad 8 june waif

icad - 7 june - waif1

Check out Daisy Yellow's blog for lots of inspiration for your index cards. You have until the 15th June to get started.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Coloured Index Cards are Fun Too!

index cards - 1 June

Second day of the index-card-a-day challenge. Found some coloured index cards that I bought for revision for a course I did years ago. We all had fun with these - me with my doodles, Gman and his cats, and Waif and his creatures.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Index-Card-A-Day Start

We made a start on Daisy Yellow's index-card-a-day challenge (which you can read more about here)

From top to bottom is my card, then Gman's, then Waif's:

index cards - 31 May

You can sign up any time before 15th June, so what are you waiting for?

Sunday, 29 May 2011


After Barb decided to take a summer break from Sketch Tuesday this year, we have been looking for something to fill the gap...and here it is! It's an Index-Card-A-Day challenge, c/o Daisy Yellow. Throughout June, July and August, we will each do something creative with an index card. Ideas from Daisy Yellow are:

♥ draw ♥ doodle ♥ write ♥ collage ♥ paint ♥ cut ♥ haiku ♥ stamp ♥ stitch ♥

We will do these and more I'm sure. It should be fun, why not join in too?!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Dalai Lama:  Foreword by His Holiness The Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama: Foreword by His Holiness The Dalai Lama by Demi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely book, telling the life story of the 14th Dalai Lama. I read it with my boys, aged 11 and 6, and both enjoyed it. They particularly liked hearing about the Dalai Lama as a mischievous boy!! A well written and beautifully illustrated book - one to treasure.

View all my reviews

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sketching Spices

This week's Sketch Tuesday assignment was to sketch a spice or spice jar. The boys both relaxed into this one beautifully and produced these sketches:

spices - g

spices - r

Didn't they do well?

If you haven't discovered Sketch Tuesday yet, then hop on over to Harmony Art Mom to find out more :-)

As well as the sketching, both boys have started an art journal. Gman is using his very much in the style of a private diary, so won't be sharing his, but Waif is enjoying using his as a place to experiment with paint, collage and (best of all!) mama's ink and stamps. Yes, it does get messy, but I'm so pleased they both decided to do journals, cos I have found this such fun myself.

waif - rust

On the non-art side of things, both boys are enjoying studying via lapbooks. Waif is busy putting together one on pandas; and Gman is working on two at the moment - one on Buddhism, the other on pandas. I think they will complete these in the next week or so. Project based learning certainly seems to suit their learning style.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Book Review - Buddha at Bedtimme

Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and InspireBuddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot begin to describe how much I love this book! I bought it to help my two homeschooled boys (aged 11 and 6) to learn about Buddhism, but hadn't anticipated that they would ask nearly every evening if we can do "buddha" tonight please mum? There is a nice section on relaxation for kids, as well as three different guided meditations, and an explanation of Buddhism and its relevance today. Then there are the stories, which are based on the traditional Jataka tales, and are beautifully told - the language itself is meditative, and the illustrations are gorgeous. You certainly do not have to be a Buddhist to appreciate these stories.

The only (minor) criticism I have is that the illustration of "Buddha" throughout is not Buddha, but Ho-Tei. Maybe they will sort that out for the next edition :-)

View all my reviews

Monday, 9 May 2011

Book Sharing Monday - A Seed is Sleepy

a seed is sleepy

Last month, I shared "An Egg is Quiet". This book is by the same author and illustrator and is another example of an informative and yet poignantly beautiful book.

inside a seed is sleepy (1)

inside a seed is sleepy (2)

inside a seed is sleepy (3)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lapbook Crazy!

This month, the boys have mostly been making lapbooks...

Gman decided he would do a lapbook about dogs:

dog front

dog inside

Waif plumped for a lapbook on birds:


Birds middle

Both boys worked really hard and are jusifiably proud of their work!

More pictures of the lapbooks can be found in my Flickr sets here and here.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Book Sharing Monday - An Egg is Quiet

Today I am sharing this beautiful book "An Egg is Quiet" by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long. If there is a kids' scientific book that is as beautifully illustrated and enchantingly written as this one, then I have never come across it. A truly awesome and awe-inspiring book. Quite lovely.

an egg is quiet

inside an egg is quiet (1)

inside an egg is quiet (3)

inside an egg is quiet (2)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Boning up on Bones

As you might be able to tell from the books in our Library Thing sidebar, we are learnig about bones at the moment. It all started with this rather excellent book.

It says it's aimed at 5-9 year olds, but Gman (11) has equally enjoyed doing the experiments and singing the bone song. Sample verse (to the tune of "She'll be Coming Round the Mountain":

Yes, my bones need calcium phosphate so they'll grow (uh, huh)
Yes, my bones need calcium phosphate so they'll grow
Yes, my bones need calcium phosphate
Or they'd never ca-ci-fi-cate
Rubber bones are not that great a fate (oh, no)!

This has inspired us to find out more about bones, and do further experiments. We downloaded the "Bones: An Exhibit Inside You" from the Children's Museum in Indianopolis and that had loads more ideas in too. One of the experiments was to make a model of a bone from the inside out, involving a straw (for the hollow centre), playdough with rice crispies in (spongy bone), snips of red and blue embroidery thread (for veins) and more dough for the outside (compact bone). The boys then cut a cross section of the "bone" and painted and labelled the different layers.

making bones
painting cross section of bones
Science was never this fun when I was at school!! Because we are a gluten free household and we didn't have any commercial playdough, we made our own, using the recipe below:


3/4 cup cornflour
3/4 cup salt
3/4 cup rice flour
3tsps cream of tartar
2tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
few drops food colouring

Put all the ingredients except the food colouring into a pan and cook until thickened, stirring continuously. Let cool, then add the food colouring and knead in until the colour is evenly distributed and dough is no longer sticky.

playdough ingredients

stirring 1

stirring 2

If you are making this, I would recommend gloves for the dyeing bit, or you could end up with blue hands :-)

blue hands

The boys are making lapbooks of their bone studies so watch this space for more bony fun!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Book Sharing Monday - Light Reading

light reading

It's been a while since I posted, and a very long time since a Book Sharing Monday post, but I couldn't resist sharing our love of these books!

Waif is currently very keen on reading stories aloud to all and sundry. He surprised us by actually liking the Oxford Reading Tree series (Biff, Chip et al known to thousands of primary school children around the country) but I can't say as any of us were all that enamoured of some of the stories. Then we rediscovered a couple of these Light Reading books on our shelves, and have been gradually acquiring the full set from Amazon over the last few weeks (mostly second hand for £0.01 each!).

The books are aimed at beginning readers but appeal to Gman (11) too and equally to us parents ;-). The illustrations are very simple and the family that is the subject of the stories is presented in a lovingly humourous way. There's a hopeless-at-DIY Dad, a bossy big sister who always has her nose in a book, and two naughty brothers. From reading certain reviews on Amazon, I am guessing that some people don't really "get" the humour but we LOVE THESE BOOKS!! And how could you not love a kid's book that starts with these lines:

Katherine plays the recorder.
Roger plays the piano.
Mark plays the fool.