Sunday, 31 January 2010

DIY Barometer

Seeing as there is so much talk about the weather here in the UK I figured I use all that weathertalk and do something productive with it. I've got a bunch of weather realated projects lined up for us to do. Today we made a barometer we took pictures as we went along.

DIY Barometer

Here's what you need
-1 jar
-1 long necked bottle-
-food colouring
-and tape
-cd pen or label to mark the water level

DIY Barometer

Make sure the bottle and jar fit wel together

DIY Barometer

Fill the jar with enough water so it just touches the opening of the bottle

DIY Barometer

add food colouring to the water. Don't ask why I had pink I don't know, it was pink or yellow, and the yellow wellwould have caused a lot of potty talk lol!

DIY Barometer

put the bottle back into the jar

DIY Barometer

Stick the two together with tape and mark the water level with a cd pen or stick a label on the side and mark the water level on there.

Now just check the jar and mark the water level as and when it changes

A post for hubby :P

Just to rub it in a little more

Today I saw a kingfisher and you missed it :P

There have been rumours that there is a kingfisher by the canal a few people have seen him but as far as I know no photo's have been taken yet.
So it was pretty cool to see him today. James totally missed it and has been bringing it up all afternoon. Just thought I'd rub it in a bit more love you :)


I love watching birds and have allways pointed any we see on the way out to the kids. We've stepped the twitchering up a bit and now carry a small pair of binoculars and book with us. If I can i take the camera along but its often to awkward to carry along.
Today I remembered that my ipod was still in my bag. it has a pretty good voicerecorder so I recorded a few times whilst we where at the canal. here's the result:

Birdsong canal 1

birdsong canal 2

birdsong canal 3

birdsong canal 4

birdsong canal 5

not the greatest but it does enable us to compare what we've heard to some sites with recordings
like the british garden bird site or the BBC, there is also a bunch of cd's on amazon and such. if you are in the States there is a podcast with a bunch of American birds for free!

Our main book that we are using is the british birds handbook
I like it because the writing inside is a good size easy to read when walking along, the drawings inside are clear and not fussy and overly artistic like some. It also has enough space for us to write any notes in and stick a picture if we want to. Euan likes it because it has stickers lol!
British bird book

If you want to get into birdwatching with your kids here's some other site's I have used
birds of britain

My favourite spot for birdwatching is near the canal, you have the canal the little forest nearby and large fields on the other side so you get a bunch of different birds all close together.
Todays walk resulted in a very special sighting for which I will make a seperate post in a bit, you will read in that post why :D

Here's some of the pictures we've taken the last couple of days

great tit

Ducks on ice


Starlings on the roof


Friday, 29 January 2010

Don't forget perigee moon tonight!

From spaceweather:

FULL MOON AND MARS:  Friday night's full Moon is the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year.  It's a "perigee Moon," as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than other full Moons you'll see later in 2010.  But that's not all.  Mars is having a close encounter with Earth, and on Friday night, Jan. 29th, it will join the Moon for an all-night-long conjunction. Don't miss it! Sky maps and images may be found at

perige moon

The moon just came up from behind the houses I look at from my kitchen window. It looks like we'll have a clear night so squish & I will go out later to have a look when its dark :)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

How to make a zafu

I've made the boys their own zafu's so i can actually use mine without putting up a 20 minute fight first. I took pictures as I went along :)


You need:
pencil or chalk to makr your fabric with
sheet of newspaper
compass (optional)
enough fabric
buckwheat hulls or Kapok for filling.Or try and see what you have in your house. all 4 zafu's I've made so far have been made with leftovers I had lying around. Mine where all filled with wool

The amount of fabric you'll need depens on the size you'll be making the number & size of pleats you want to use and if you want to give it a carrier strap.
For the boys I made the circle 15 cms diameter, this doesn't include seam allowence!
This blog has some great calculations for figuring out the amount of fabric needed.

Once you know how big you want your circle to be cut one of of newspaper to use as a pattern.

pining the pleats
cut you fabric after deciding what size circle you want and how long your side fabric needs to be.
iron and pin your pleats

top view of a pleat
Here's a top view of the pleats.I choose to make short 1cm wide pleats

how not to do it
When you fold & iron your pleats make sure they all go the same way......

zafu all pinned
Here it is all pinnen and ready to be sewn together

zafu tute stitching

And here I am sewing it all together. You can obviously do this with a machine. I found it easier to sew it by hand.

zafu all done

And here are two finished zafu's. Because I filled mine with very coarse wool I had, I've left the sideopening open. if you choose a different filling you probably want to sew this up. You can see the opening slightly on the right side of the bottom zafu.

There are loads of sites allready talking about making your own zafu & zabutonTry these:
urban decline
Western Ch'an fellowship

I'm not linked to any of these sites and have only looked at them when I was researching how I should make one.

Now all there is left to do is sit :D

My little shoplifter

Wednesday is marketday, we go and get our veg from the market and go to get milk in iceland. Iceland has a very (in)conviently placed display filled with cadbury cream eggs. Both Thomas & Willow where holding my hands whilst we waited and once I got to pay they all went to sit in the windowseats, a little to happily
little shoplifters.....

Tomas had helped himself to the eggs and shared the joy. I guess I should be happy he got an egg for each of them lol!

AS you can see in my previous post I recieved my Januari WTS swap parcel. In it was a rattleback, I'd never seen one before and the whole thing is pretty facinating. Euan has been turning things al afternoon.
Here's a short video:

You can tell Januari is nearly at its end and days are getting longer when you are getting eggs again
days are getting longer!

And then there is this picture:
asleep with buzz

I posted a phonepicture of this yesterday. We found 2 buzz lightyear figures in a charityshop at only 1 pound each I could not refuse. however I had not yet taken out any money so the short walk from the shop to the cashpoint was an absolute nightmare. I had two tantruming toddlers, each under one arm kicking and screaming. Once I had put them down on the floor so I could put my card in the machine the tantruming just went on, they didn't stop until I put a 2 p coin into each of their little hands and told them that I had taken money out. They rushed back to the shop andBuzz was exactly where they had left him. they each paid grabbed a buzz and didn't let go of him for pretty much the whole day. The tantrum obviously exhausted them, I went intothe kitchen to make unch and when I got back in the livingroom a few minutes later they where fast asleep, still clutching onto buzz :)

WTS januari

WTS januari
Originally uploaded by mum21andtwins
OMG the rattleback is so cool! Love this parcel!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Sleeping twins

Sleeping twins
Originally uploaded by mum21andtwins
We found 2 buzz's this morning. The twins wont let them go :-D

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

more snow more frost and finally some sleep!

Well we had some more snow since last time I wrote and we made Mit
Mit the snowman
Mit is a scary snowman according to Euan

mit the snowman
Mit stould at the end of the drive for less than 24 hours before he slowely started to melt.

With the snow came sleepless night. I am blessed to be mama of 3 beautiful boys, 1 who just wakes up a lot, one who has really bad nightmares and one who a couple of months ago started sleepwalking. the last 3 weeks they have all been doing it all at the same time. Last night was the first night this year that I had more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep! Fingers crossed this phase hangs around for awhile :)

Tomorrow mum will get all her testresults back and we'll hear more about the bonemarrow transplant. But so far everything has gone much better than expected so I have high hopes.

My Sister send this picture oer by AIM this week its her & my brother celebrating the new year

Kelly & Leon

I'm of to get some dinner on, tuesday is gaming night for James so Euan & I will curl up on the sofa & watch a film together.

I'll leave you with one last snowy scene:

Snowy seed

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Van dyke

Van dyke
Originally uploaded by mum21andtwins
Pattern by wendy d johnson

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Snow wonderfull snow

it has snowed and snowed and snowed. Most of the roads in our little town are now used to iceskate on. The hill in the park has turned into this big iced over mudpool because of the huge number of people sledging down it.
Whilst we were out happily joining the crowds in the snow some *@($^%& stole some of the kids outdoor toys, I found them smashed to pieces the next day on that same hill.

Obviously all this snow & ice means James can't go into work so he's been working at home for the past week and according to the metoffice the weather is going to stay untill wednesday so he'll be working from home for at least another 3 days. We had to go out and buy him a desk because sitting on the bed with his laptop was not working (I was rather impressed he managed to stay awake lol!)

Mums chemo is going much better than the Docters thought it would go and on the 27th we will hear when the bonemarrow transplant will take place. If this all keeps going at the rate it is she will be done before her birthday (8 march).

I have nearly finished my socks. I had to rip back several times, kept adding stitches somewhere. I am working on charts for my next pair I have an idea in my head of what I want and hopefully I am actually going to pull it of but we'll see :)

Euan till has his little tree on his desk and does not want to take it down :) maybe I can pursuade him to adjust the decorations as we go trough the year.

I have finished my duaflex and it has a nice tube on top of the vieufinder to block out the light. I had been looking for a suitable cardboard tube in the postoffice but they ony had one size. a trip to Whsmiths and craftstores didn't do any good either. then whilst queing in Iceland I found the perfect fit, the tube from pringles. that combined with a couple of rolls of electrical tape now make a pretty sturdy ttvcam.
I have a few in my stream allready. Hopefully I'll be able to update my pictures later on today, Currently my camera is powerless.

My december sock has finally arrived in canada it only took 28 days!! Hope you like everything spinquilt!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Last repeat

Last repeat
Originally uploaded by mum21andtwins
I gave up the two socks at once prefer 1 sock on 1circ


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