Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Autumn Leaf Bunting

What's this? Two posts in as many days?? Yes, it's true...but this is such a quick and easy make that it's worth sharing, especially after the storm that Britain has just experienced.

One thing we have in abundance at the moment is fallen leaves, so why not get the kids out and collect some to make this beautiful Autumn Leaf Bunting? Davina Drummond at The Making Home has a great tutorial to show you how, but it is super simple and looks great.

Wiss really likes to sew all by himself so we used wool and a plastic wool needle to string the leaves together. Pick your favourite leaves, sew them together and then hang. Easy! Beautiful!

Easy Halloween Decorations to Make with the Kids

We got our hands dirty in the name of art this week!

Our Dining Room Art Gallery needed a new exhibit, so we went spooky for Halloween... Floating Ghosts and Creepy Spiders! These are so easy to make the kids can do most of it themselves, and they look fantastic too.

For the Ghosts you will need:
Some polystyrene cups, some plain white tissues, pva glue and some googly eyes.
Then all you need to do is turn the cups upside-down, paint around the base of the cup with glue and stick on one tissue, making sure there is enough hanging down past the cup. Repeat with another tissue to create a full ghost effect.

Once the glue is dry stick on googly eyes as desired. Hang away from the wall with fine thread (to create the illusion of the ghosts hovering). The ghosts will move whenever someone walks past....oooooooohhhhhh!

The spooky spiders are made from two black hand prints cut out and stuck together and their web is just cut from folded tissue paper (like you would make a snowflake)

I have always loved the Mexican Day of the Dead imagery and think that it is a wonderful idea to celebrate those no longer with us. The brightly coloured sugar skulls and fun skeletons are in contrast to our own spooky ones, and they are great for kids to make (especially those that may get a little frightened by Halloween.)

I drew a very basic skull shape with eyes and teeth and left the rest up to Wiss and his glitter pens! As he was drawing I explained that the festival remembers the happy lives of those who have died so that we don't have to be sad. He thought for a minute then asked if we could paint a happy 'Jimmy'. Jimmy was his black fancy goldfish that was unfortunately found floating on Saturday morning :( So, here are our Day of the Dead inspired skulls, and a fish!

Enjoy Halloween with the kids (and the sugar-induced craziness!) but if you're looking for something more grown-up then check out the Horniman Museum website. They are hosting a Day of the Dead Late night on 7 November from 6 - 9pm for over 18s only. With parades, theatre, puppets, Mexican street food and costumes, it looks amazing!!! See you there?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Where is Wiss? Buy Handmade in London this Christmas

I know we are still in October so it's really not the done thing to be talking about the 'C' word yet...but as this is the busiest time for makers and markets I've been planning upcoming events very carefully. It's going to be a really busy time for me but I'm really excited about involved in some wonderful Christmas Fairs.

So, if you are planning on buying handmade and supporting your local area (London) this season here are all the events that This is Wiss will be at (come rain, shine...or even snow!!!)

Saturday 10 November - Richmond Duckpond Market 10.30 am - 4pm

Saturday 16 November - Christmas Bazaar, Dulwich 10am - 5pm

Sunday 17 November - Ruislip Duckpond Market 10am - 3pm

Saturday 30 November - Open House Christmas Event, Herne Hill 10am - 2pm
Sunday 1 December - Red Ribbon Festival, Battersea Arts Centre 12pm - 4pm

Sunday 15 December - Richmond Christmas Duckpond Market 10.30am - 4pm

Phew! My sewing machine is going to need a holiday after all of those!

As well as all the usual best-sellers I will be bringing back my 'ChWISStmas' products: Rudy Reindeers, Make your own Rudy Kits, and festive t-shirts and baby gros. If you are able to come along to any of these events, you will be able to pick up some wonderful, unique presents and stocking fillers from all the sellers - and don't forget to say hello!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Kids Capture the Colour Competition - This is Wiss entry

A couple of months ago I took Wiss on a Toddle around London (a treasure hunt in Shoreditch with a digital camera). I was amazed at how much he enjoyed it, impressed at how easily he could operate the camera and fascinated by what he chose to capture. The world does look very different through the eyes of a child.

When I found out that Travel Supermarket were running a photography competition for 15 year olds and under I thought it would be fun for Wiss & I to think about over the summer. There are 5 categories to enter - Red, Yellow, Blue, Green & White - with a different guest judge for each, and an overall winner too.

The first 100 bloggers to register were given a digital camera, but although I wasn't one of them Wiss was lucky enough to borrow a V-Tech kids camera from Yat at Toddle. We like it so much that Wiss will be getting his own for Christmas (but sssshhh, that's a secret!)

The colour themes were simple enough for a little one to think about but also turned up some surprising ideas, as you will see! Lewis took the camera to a wedding, the supermarket, the park, and even just snapped away at home.

 From over 300 shots, there were lots of blurred photos but also some recurring themes:
Some surprising subjects:
Lots of shoes:
And lots of selfies!

But here are the final 5 photos which we are entering into the Kids Capture the Colour Competition. All the pictures below were taken by Lewis (aged 3 and three quarters) but I have chosen the final photos to submit.

Lewis loved this scooter in Shoreditch - you can see him reflected in the chrome at the top!

This was taken in Shoreditch again - Lewis was fascinated with the street art, particularly the colours.

Lewis spent a lot of time looking at the sky, noticing how it changed colour, and prompting the tricky question 'why is the sky blue?'*


Lewis took lots of photos of the trees and plants so I had lots to choose from, but I particularly liked the simplicity of this one.

Lewis took lots of photos when he stayed at his Nana Daisy's house.This is his favourite spot to sit and play in the sunshine so it was no surprise he took a photo of it.

If you want to check out some of the other entries you can use #KIDSCTC on Twitter or just google the competition for the blogs taking part. Good luck to everyone who's entered and I look forward to seeing the winning photos!

*Answer: it just is!