Monday, 31 January 2011

Well I said I would do it, and this time I really have!
The recipe for making pre-school play cakes,
Plus some exciting news at the end of the post!

One length of fleece fabric roughly 28" long by 2" wide
Double sided sticky tape
Length of ribbon roughly 12" long
One button or bead and matching thread

Makes one cake. Some adult help and supervision required.

Step one.
Get a grown up to cut the fleece to size. 28" long by 1.5" wide at one end tapering to 1" wide at the other.
(if you want to make a bigger cake you will need a longer strip of fleece, otherwise it will turn out tall and thin!)

Step two.
Stick double sided sticky tape down the middle of the length of fleece and peel away the backing.

Step three.
Carefully roll up the length of fleece starting at the wide end and rolling towards the thin end.

Step four.
Your cake is now made, tap it on a work surface to give it a nice flat bottom.

Step five.
Tie the ribbon round the middle of the cake and tie in a bow.

Step six.
Get an adult to help you thread the needle and sew the button or bead on to the top of the cake.

Step seven.
Put your cake on a plate and await the arrival of a tiger.

And so to the exciting news.
Play cakes are not the only thing nora has been cooking up recently.
I took a bit of this

some of these

and mixed it all up with my new friend.

Its all in aid of Valentine's day.
Little declarations of love the Nora way.
Heavy on the humour, thin on the smush.
Tune in tomorrow and I will reveal all.
But not only that, oh no most certainly not, there will be treats too!
Yes thats right folks I'm having another giveaway.
The last one was such fun I just couldn't resist.
All you will need to do is whisper a little sweet nothing in my shell like ear and your name will be in the lucky mixing bowl.
So see you tomorrow when I'll tell you what I want you to whisper
and we will let the fun begin!
Love Nora xx

Saturday, 29 January 2011

From "The Tiger who came to tea" by Judith Kerr

Last Wednesday, after a certain amount of last minute panicking over a toy trumpet that used to be in our possession and never used, but when you need it has been thrown away, was the morning of Nora's second foray in to story telling, or as it shall hence forth be known,
preparing to read by learning to sew!
Yes that is still making me laugh, a lot, thanks to my many talented
You can see the results of the first here.
I try to pick stories that are well known so the children feel confident enough to join in, but they also have to be simple enough for them to follow, and be able to spark off an idea for a fun fabric based craft in my jumbled mind.
Also there needs to be an opportunity for a big ending.
This time around we were making cakes

for the pre-school tigers to eat during tea.

I was so pleased with how they turned out, simple to make and easy for little ones to understand and only needing a small bit of adult help.

So pleased am I that I shall be showing you how to make them very very soon.
But back to the story telling.
When Sophie's mummy opened the door, it was not the milkman, nor was it the boy from the grocers, and it certainly wasn't Sophie's Daddy

It wasn't even a big furry stripy tiger... was a room full of big furry stripy tigers.

The Tiger didn't take just one sandwich...

He took all the sandwiches on the plate

And then he ate all the biscuits...

and all the cake....

Shock, horror, gasp

he even drank all of Daddy's beer!
Then he said
"Thank you for my nice tea. I think I'd better go now"

In the morning Sophie and her Mummy went shopping and they bought lots more things to eat.
And they also bought a very big tin of Tiger food.....

.... in case the Tiger should come to tea again.
But he never did.

With never ending gratitude to Judith Kerr for being such an amazing and engaging writer.
Thanks also to Ruth and Tot Spot for letting me have my way, again!
and to Caroline, Hannah and Kathryn for the face painting,
and to all the wonderful families who came along, dressed up and made the event so very very enjoyable.


Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

After an exhausting morning surrounded by excited pre-school tigers, with lots of roaring, face painting, crafting and finally story telling, I, me, Nora was feeling
some what pooped.
So the blonde bombshell and I spent what was supposed to be,
but didn't quite turn out to be,
a quiet, relaxing, bonding afternoon making button biscuits.

Ho Humm such are the best laid plans etc etc.
Still they tasted great.

I got the idea and recipe here.
Soon I shall return telling you further tales of pre- school tigers but until then here is a taster.

Love Nora xxx

Monday, 24 January 2011


P.J O'Rourke.

With these words of wisdom in mind I thought I would talk a bit about one of the
great loves of my life.
Big books. Small books. Heavy books. Light books. Books of facts. Books of fiction. Books of reason. Books of nonsense. Work books. Fun books. Grown up books. Children's books.
At the moment I'm very much in a bookish frame of mind.
This Wednesday I am hosting another story telling for the under 5's.
"The Tiger who came to tea."
An absolute favourite within the walls of this house.
I love it because its a wonderfully entertaining story that captivates the children's imaginations.
But I also love it because if I think hard enough (and trust me I have done a lot of thinking about this book) and squint my eyes slightly whilst thinking uplifting thoughts there could be a hidden meaning. But I think that may just be me.
So before I get completely sidetracked and end up in a culdesac of mine own making I would like to share with you some of the books that have come in to our family recently.

This is the first.
Repro Depot's flora pattern book.
The book has 75 patterns in it each in three different colour ways,
all ready to print out and use on craft projects.
The book shows all the different designs and the enclosed disk has all the information you need to print them again and again.

There is also a folksy pattern book which I am seriously thinking of investing in.

I had read so many great things about Rob Ryan's book, and lets face it you couldn't move with out bumping in to it over this Christmas, so I felt it would be rude not to treat myself to a little present.

And I was not disappointed.
The paper cuts are beautiful and the story heart breaking.
But then what is there not to love about Rob Ryan?

While trawling through Amazon one night I found this amazing book.
Sara Fanelli's "Sometimes I think, sometimes I am"
The book is in five parts devils and angels, love, colour, mythology and the absurd.
Each illustration is based on a quote.

"Tell me where is fancy bred, or in the heart or in the head"
William Shakespeare.

"To write a weepy poem try onion juice" Stephane Mallarme.
I keep on picking this book up and dipping in and out of it.
Each time I find something new, humorous and inspiring.

The Hippy discovered this book and knew I would love it.

Published in 1910 it tells the story of little Bobby who lives at the top of the hill and the adventure he has when his pram rolls away with him in it.

The slant of the book gives you the angle of the hill.

When we saw this book before Christmas it was bought and paid for and hidden away for the big day before either of the children could blink or braw breath.

We both remembered it so well from our own childhoods.
It comes with a cd which has the best music on it for you to read along to.

I really really love illustrations in children's books from the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Well actually I think I just love illustrations in children's books.

Which brings me to this final book in my little book club for one.
Something Father Christmas lovingly placed in the stocking of the Ginger Ninja.
Possibly, due to his love of the wrestling annual his auntie bought him, more for his mama's reading pleasure than his own.

Patrick George's "A filth of starlings"
A book about the collective nouns for animals.
Some well known, a pod of dolphins, some lesser known, a parliament of Owls
and some I suspect fanciful a hover of trout.
I could have taken a photo of every illustration in the book to show you, but in the end settled on this one.

"A kettle of hawks
Swirling and spiralling, hawks seek out the rising air thermal during migration.
Hungry for its prey, the white tailed hawk plucks insects from the rising smoke of the wildfire.
And a pair indulge in aerial acrobatics, steamily circling, diving and soaring during courtship."
How poetic is that?
And remember anyone who says they have only one life to live
must not know how to read a book.
Happy reading.
Love Nora xxx