Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The London Eye

We had been hoping to go on the London Eye for quite a while now, but with a husband who is very afraid of heights and an Autistic son who doesn't keep still or particularly quiet in company, we had our doubts about the success of the plan. However...


The black spots are rain, cos it rained a lot yesterday and the pavements were more like one gigantic puddle with a few spots of higher ground, but...


Husband was VERY brave (and I'm not just saying that). He not only did it but looked out at the highest point and had to endure our son keep telling him to look down!
Son obviously thought it looked like his current obsession with a Tomica World video, where there are aerial views of toy trains and other vehicles moving along roads and tracks below, so he was very well entertained.

We intend to do it again when the days are shorter and the darkness falls earlier, so we can see the city by night. The challenge then will be that, according to my son, when the sun goes down you should be in bed!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Love Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons!

I love them and now I know they love me too!

A few days ago I gave in to an offer and bought a large packet of Cadbury's Giant Chocolate Buttons for just £1.00. Then circumstances overtook me and, not only did I have no chance to open them but, horror upon horror, I had to leave them in the car for the rest of the day. It was a scorcher and I thought the boot would be the coolest place for them to hide (temperature, not image!!).

When I got home I could feel the squidgy mess they had become so placed them in Intensive Care: the freezer.

A few hours later I opened the packet and, without looking, broke off a chunk. 

Here is my proof that Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons love me too!

Or maybe they just fancied doing a Mickey Mouse impression???

Monday, 29 July 2013

Octopus on Dry Land!

This was a surprise present from my daughter, made with great skill and secrecy in her room and packed in her suitcase ready for my birthday when we were on holiday.

The body and legs are made from a satin wedding dress type fabric, hand sewn, and each leg has a full compliment of suckers in a beautiful ocean blue. These were carefully snipped from the side of a bathmat and individually sewn onto each leg.

If you want to see more of her creativity, checkout this site

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pikmin Art: A Crowd in Cardboard!

As you know if you are a frequent visitor to Socklet-World, or even the occasional viewer who picks out Pikmin entries, my son LOVES Pikmin games, characters and objects.

 As it is very difficult and would be astronomically expensive to find and buy all the toys and models from the games, we are reduced (or elevated??) to drawing them out on cardboard from cereal packets, which he then colours and cuts out. 
This has the added benefit that you can a) have as many as you like and b) have them in any colour, pose or oddness you like.

Here is a sample

This is the kind of scattered handful you generally find on the sofa or in the backseat of the car, after which he will tell you at a glance that one is missing and, after a fruitless search, it will be drawn, coloured and cut all over again.

Like Pikmin makes? Checkout: 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Weird Pancakes 2: The Salad Cream Obsession

A while ago I treated you to a glimpse of the typical Saturday Pancake Breakfast in our house as assembled by my Autistic son. Most choices of filling were within the bounds of the expected, with one exception. (see ).

Today we return to the Weird Pancake theme and, as the title suggests, today's featured product is Salad Cream! 

First up we have butter, strawberry jam and Salad Cream...

And finally, after the usual lemon and sugar pancake followed by the Dairylea cheese one, there was the freshly picked blueberry and salad cream! 

Who knew it was such a versatile dressing?

Friday, 26 July 2013

It's a boy...girl...boy...It's Quintuplets!!!

A while ago I told you that baby Socklets are called Socklet-Grubs, well the season for births is well and truly upon us in Sockletania and one lucky couple have given birth to Quintuplets!!

Here they all are tucked up in bed cosy and warm...

...and out on the play-mat, with arms outstretched, all wanting to be picked up and cuddled at once!
That's going to be a tough first year for those poor, sleep-deprived parents!

After about a year, little stubby feet start to appear and they grow out of the 'grub' stage and begin to walk.

 And then, like human babies, there's no stopping them and they are off like a rocket getting into mischief all over the house.

      Congratulations to the proud parents!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

3D Beach

My neice loves the beach (especially the Isle of Wight) so when it came to her birthday...deep in the depths of winter... I made her a beach card.

The pictures came from a photo sheet intended for decoupage (where you cut out parts of an identical image and lay them on top of each other, slightly raised with sticky pads or dots), but I based it on a a souvenir card of Crystal Palace that always fascinated me in our local museum when I was a child.

  The sides of it are made from concertina-ed card and then the layers of image are glued to each of the zig-zags in turn, with the furthest image at the back and the closest at the front.

  I added a metal boat charm at the back and some shells and stones near the front. The larger pieces of card at the front, each with a half circle cut out, mean that when they are closed (like doors) you can look through a peephole and see the scene close up in 3D.

When finished, the card still folds flat to fit in an envelope and pops out again when taken out.
It's a design I later repeated with family photographs...with the smaller images of people at the back and the larger ones at the front. That way you can have a 3D box of as many people you like.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

In Disguise

As part of the wedding festivities (see yesterday's blog), at the Reception there was a laptop with a photobooth, some ornate but empty frames and 2 jars full of  cardboard masks and disguises for guests to try on and photograph themselves wearing.

 If you type photobooth into a search engine, you'll get lots of ideas to try if you fancy a go, and may even be able to download a free trial piece of software.

 For now, here is a sample of some of the ones we made and used....

They were fastened to barbeque sticks so they could be held against the face but no fingers could be seen in the pictures.

Good fun for all ages and even non-threatening for those who don't like their photo taken as you can't tell who it is!!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Steampunk Wedding Cake-Stand for Cupcakes

That's the answer to yesterday's teaser! All the crafty ingredients from the pics in yesterday's blog (and a few embellishments on top) were used to create a Steampunk themed cupcake stand for the wedding of my good friend B and her lovely husband J.
And here it is

I'll zoom in for a close up of some parts so you can get the feel of it. To me it would be what you might get if you used bits and pieces found inside the Tardis.

 There are old watches and chains in each 'compartment' of the bottom layer (4 compartments made by the struts holding the next layer up.

All the layers above are held up by wooden struts which look like the parts on old bi-planes and are anchored down with leather threads.

 There is a central core of brass through every layer with coils of brass wire and sticky see through dots rather reminiscent of Dalek casing.
And the whole lot edged with hand dyed black lace which makes it look patchy and old, rather than just buying black lace which looks rather too new and pristine.

I didn't make the knitted, light-up cake with figures on the top. That was some other clever soul.

Monday, 22 July 2013

What Do You Get If You....

Here are the ingredients for a very special craft project I undertook 2 years ago. I will describe what they are and tomorrow you will get the reveal! I know one person out there will know for sure what it is!

Polystyrene with board on the front and back, cut into disc shapes, getting smaller and smaller, with a hole up the centre of all but the top and bottom one.

Then covered in papers of various olde-worlde looking types, stamped and then varnished for extra protection.

 A central tube made of pipe insulating foam and strengthened with thin, wooden poles.

And a variety metal sheets for decoration.

Any ideas what it could be???
Tune in tomorow and find out!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Book in a Matchbox

As you've probably guessed by now, mini books are a bit of an obsession for me. Here is one I made during a Big Book Draw event my husband was running: a day where children and adults could just come in off the street and make books of all sorts for free. I was running the Book in a Matchbox session and based it on ANTS!

There was a choice of papers for the front cover, to wrap around three sides and leave the thin side on the right unpapered. If you draw lines on that side from top to bottom, it looks like the pages of a book.

Then we folded a long, thin strip of paper in a zig zag and glued one end into the matchbox, the rest of the book then pulls out to be drawn on and folds back in when finished.
All my pages had a fingerprint or two, made into an ant of some kind...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

More Miniature Library

 Piles of books - that just about sums up our house: piles of books nestled between piles of other stuff. We are a Stuff Palace full of what my friend B calls "dust gathering space stealers" (not a criticism, just a kindred spirit!).

 Oooh, I told a lie yesterday, quite unintentionally I assure you. I said the middle book in a pic was the Best Picnic Book and it wasn't. It's here. Please forgive me, dear blog-hunter. I could have gone back and corrected yesterday and written it again here but I want to spare you from that dizzy feeling of deja-vu, again.

These last two today are made from the packs of miniature cards you sometimes get in posh crackers.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Miniature Library

These are some of the books in the Miniature Library, hidden in the fake book on yesterday's blog.

 Some have got writing in, some are still blank and waiting.
Some have been given to friends and family who volunteered to write in them and return them to the library... but none have yet returned.
The middle book from this trio contains examples of all the weird and wonderful places we could think of to have free picnics!
The tiny green one (in the pic above) saying Lord Byron was a free download from a mini books website, where you could print and fold it into a tiny book of his poems.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Secrets of my Bookshelf

Not dirty secrets... but on my bookshelf there is a book that is not what it seems...

 Covered in textured paper and looking old and sturdy, it sits serenely between the genuine books,
 and even when taken out, still looks for all the world like an ordinary book. But it is in fact a miniature library of even smaller books.
More to follow...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Flip Flops: a sign of summer

Long time no Socklet! 

I don't know how it makes you feel but this, for me, captures that wonderful feeling of hope and excitement at the very start of a holiday: clutching a pair of flip flops and standing at the holiday cottage or hotel, breathing in the fresh air and wondering what the week will bring...

 That wonderful feeling... before sand gets into everything, it rains a lot, the family argue over what to do and you realise its just like home but without all the computer equipment and DVDs to make life easier. Still, every year we start with that same hopeful feeling.

Do you fancy hearing my two flip flop jokes? I pre-warn you they're terrible but I like them...

What do you call a Spanish man selling beach shoes? Ans: Felipe Felop!

What moves along the beach at night going FLOP...FLIP...FLOP...FLIP? Ans: Someone with their flip flops on the wrong feet!

Well don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Pikmin in Needlefelt and Sculpey

Last in the Pikmin series for a while (till the new game comes out and I get requests for new stuff). These are Pikmin from the second game: the original 3 colours and talents with the 2 new ones. I have tried needle-felting with limited success but my friend B is a Jedi Master of the skill and has broken many needles when using the Force.

 She made the fabulous 4 on the left and right of this pic, and I made the grumpy-looking saggy purple one in the centre.

The Sculpey ones above  were much more my thing to make and starred on my son's birthday cake last year. 

With Pikmin 3 coming out any day now, this may be the third Pikmin-themed birthday in a row so I'd better look up how to make the 2 new types of Pikmin!
For how to make pikmin figures in shrink plastic checkout

Monday, 15 July 2013

Olimar's Family

I gather from checking the information out there, that the lovely Olimar is not going to be part of the Pikmin 3 scene, so I guess that means  I will have to get the sewing kit out to make the three new heroes: Alph, Brittany and Charlie. I have already had to draw them out onto little playing cards to add to the set from the last two games.

Meanwhile, back to Olimar. He has a wife and two children who wait patiently for him on Hocotate, and I have a son who waited patiently for me to make these to add to the collection.

They are sewn from felt and, although she appears on the screen sending letters, Grandma was not required!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pikmin 3 - Where Are You???

We love Pikmin and while my son eagerly (and surprisingly patiently) waits for Pikmin 3, promised for many months, I thought I'd show you the model of the S.S. Dolphin we made together last year. He really wanted to buy Olimar's spaceship but online it was a collectable model at $399.00!!!! Having no concept of the value of money, it was tricky to persuade him that it was a no-go... but surprisingly easy to convince him that an empty lemonade bottle was roughly the same shape.

 Being a hoarder family that can't let go of what other people would class as 'broken beyond repair' but what we call 'bound to be useful for something'... we managed to equip the spaceship with all the necessary accessories it needed to pass muster in the critical eyes of an Autistic detail-noticer.
 And then we had to make a few of the choicest items from his memorized list of every treasure Olimar, Louie or Preston have ever collected. The rest are lovingly drawn and carefully coloured on multiple pieces of card in little bags secreted away.
Come on now, put us out of our misery of waiting (and holding onto the saved birthday money for nearly a year ago now) and put the game in the shops! Then we'll only have the problems of temper tantrums when he can't succeed at a level and the endless joys (?!!!!) of drawng out all the new items discovered.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

More: Made For Me

Another triumphant piece of gorgeous whimsy from the creative daughter. This was a Christmas present she made for me.

She called it a 'Christmas-ling'. It looks like a little worried crocodile and came complete with its own nest in a used Christmas cracker end and a book of instructions on how to care for it.

It's about 5cms long from snout to tail tip and very cute. She has a great way of getting a lot of character into a small piece of fabric!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Potato Dog

Have you ever made a potato dog? I confess I have not but my son has and this is it.

I would have been inclined to have called him Spud but he was given another name which temporarily escapes me.
I have no idea why he has spikes on his back but never question a young artist on his concepts.
The beast in question was made about a month ago so has lost a little weight (and moisture) since then and gained a few wrinkles (haven't we all?), and has made several kamikazi dives off the windowsill when the curtains have been drawn, all with no ill effects!