Friday, June 27, 2014

Elderflower Lemonade

A couple of weeks ago we went to Downe, and after visiting Darwin's house (Downe House)

we went rambling in the nearby fields

 and picked elderflower blossoms. (There are plenty of elderflower bushes in our area, but picking blossoms from bushes that are close to roads is not a good idea as traffic fumes pollute the air and the plants) 
 Our pickings:

I made cordial and elderflower infused lemonade from the blossoms. This is the recipe for the lemonade.

I used about 10 blossoms and 3 litres of water.

1. Make lemonade the way you like it. I prefer to use honey or brown sugar
2. 3. Wash and slice a lemon and add it to the lemonade too. (optional)

3. Wash and clean blossoms (i.e. make sure that there are no creepy-crawlies or dried bits). Add it to the lemonade.

4. cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

The zest from the sliced lemons gives the drink a tangy taste. I discarded them after the first night, because I felt it might be a bit too tangy for the kids.

You need to strain the lemonade before serving. 

It is such a refreshing drink on a hot day!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ikea Aron chair revamp

We got this chair from our friends when we moved, and I have been meaning to do something with the seat (other than covering it with a tea towel) for nearly a year now... 
It was a question of finding the confidence and the right fabric, mostly the latter :)

Last week I found a whole bunch of floral print pieces, scraps and shop samples in a charity shop. I bought a couple of pieces, this sample among them:

 (it is about 60 x 60 cms) 

The great thing about this chair is that the seat can be unscrewed and that when you reassemble it, the screws fix the seat firmly on the frame so that the upholstery fabric is held in place.

My son and I dissembled the seat quite quickly and easily. He loves using the screwdriver, and also loves to "really help". 

The truck held the screws while we worked :)

 Luckily the edges of the fabric were cut with pinking shears so as to prevent fraying. I fit the fabric onto the seat while making sure the screw holes were not covered.
I used tape to secure the fabric in the back, making sure the fabric on the seat was nice and even. Ideally one should use a staple gun or even a glue gun. I'll see how well this holds and glue gun it if necessary.

S got to help fasten the screws.

Ta da! The colours of the print also go well with our desk (which I have painted teal but is still under constuction)

The revamp took about 20 minutes and 50 pence. I am really proud :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Scouting project: learning about leaves

One of my sons is a cub scout, and one week their homework was to collect leaves and try to figure out what they were. So we collected leaves from the garden and on our way home from school.

We had to look up most of the names and I was concerned that he would forget so much new info. To avoid this, we used clear adhesive film to laminate the leaves and we added little notes with the names of the plants. This way he also practised his spelling and learned the names better than if I just told him which each one was.

I bought a roll of the adhesive film at the stationary department of Wilkinsons

We placed the leaves in between two pieces of film .

 and cut around them.

Abel's cub leader was very pleased and he was still able to to do the leaf rubbing activity. The idea came from a bookmark my grandfather bought me from Israel with pressed flowers on it.