A one off design

Armed with a white t-shirt, Deco pens and some Pic Tixx glitter pens, I decided to express some creative flair.

It was simple!

All I did was draw my design on the t-shirt first with pencil and once I was happy with it, I drew over the pencil with black Deco pen.

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Then I added the details… Hair, tattoos, bracelet etc.

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I used Pic Tixx glitter pens to add some sparkle. I especially love the silver that I added to the bracelet and the red strikes of glitter in her hair!

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I did smudge a little of the red! As I went to hang the t-shirt over the door to dry it, I must have accidentally knocked it. Given the Pic Tixx works so well I couldn’t remove it! I therefore plan to add some funky backdrop later on.

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The Pic Tixx Glitter and Deco pens (pack of 6) are from Baker Ross. They are really reasonably priced, £10.99 for the pens and £9.99 for the glitter. They can be used on almost any surface and last a good length of time.

The t-shirt I used was just a plain white tee from ASOS that I’ve had sat in the draw for donkeys years.

So, there you have it! A true one off tee designed by me! Why don’t you get crafty and give it a go!

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Kids get crafting with Tiny Tigs

I love crafting especially with the children.

My eldest child isn’t as keen, though my daughter and toddler seem to love crafts just as much as I do. So when asked to review a craft subscription kit from Tiny Tigs we happily accepted.

Now we’ve reviewed a few subscription kits and these can be found over on my other blog. So for us, tiny tigs isn’t a first.

It’s quite apparent that the idea of subscription crafts is becoming quite a popular choice for parents, especially the non crafty or working parent.

Tiny Tigs is aimed at children age 3+ though it’s my opinion that younger children will need a little help to complete projects. Alice is 9 so had no difficulties whatsoever when working with Tiny Tigs.

Each month your sent out a letter box friendly Tiny Tigs addressed to your little ones. This box contains three individually sealed craft activities complete with all the materials required to complete all projects (with the exception of glue). The instructions are very visual which is always a bonus for children, especially those with SEN (special educational needs) they find things much easier this way.

Children’s scissors along with felt tip pens are supplied with your first Tiny Tigs delivery and then every 6 months thereafter.

We received the Tiny Tigs kit for August and I was really impressed with the 3 projects on offer. As mentioned each project is individually sealed and within each you get your instructions and all that’s needed for each craft. This is ideal as this way everything is kept together in one place making it much simpler for children to navigate from task to task.

The projects were excellent and I felt these were very well suited to my daughters age and interest, though it’s my opinion that those children maybe younger than 5-6 would require a lot more help.

The project Alice loved most was that of making her own fashionable shoes. This was an awesome little kit and she really enjoyed this one.

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Next up Alice-Sara completed project number 2 with a little help from the toddler. This was a visual weather chart. This is much easier than the shoes and I suspect that children as young as 4 could complete this with little help.

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I love the weather chart as it reminds me a lot of the visual aids I make for my eldest child who has Aspergers Syndrome. It works in the same way as a visual timetable. It uses the same velcro technique allowing children to change the weather symbols with ease.

Last project was a really funky memo board. Alice-Sara and the toddler did this together. However they never completed the project as the toddler was so fascinated by the spoon people that he screamed every time Alice tried to attach the pecs and other parts. It was therefore decided to let him be. A week on the toddler is still having fun with his spoon people.

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There are some great benefits to subscribing to the Tiny Tigs programme. For non crafty parents it gives children who want to be creative and get crafting, the opportunity to do so, all mum needs to supply is the glue. All projects are individually sealed so can act as a boredom buster during long car journeys, sleep-overs, holidays, visits to granny and granddads and where ever else you like. What’s more your only sent the materials you require each month so your not left trying to store it all. Tiny Tigs are also a fantastic gift idea that gives children something to look forward to each month.

If like me you are a crafty mum you’ll properly find you already have more than enough craft materials to keep the kids busy. However, you should remember that it’s not just the materials being supplied by Tiny Tigs but the inspiration too. These are all crafts that have been tried and tested by the creator and her children so you know each project has been created with lots of care and attention.

The Tiny Tigs monthly subscription fee is a very reasonable £11 (you the option of cancelling anytime)!
The longer subscription you get the better it is in terms of value! For example a 6 month gift pack is available for £60 & a 12 month gift pack for £108.
Every new subscriber also receives a free PVC painting coat.

Whats more all the above pricing includes your postage and packing,

In comparison with the other subscriptions we’ve tried I found that the price was much more realistic. This is the first that has been letter box friendly too. The package arrives flat packed which is also better for storing the crafts In till ready to use.

The individually sealed projects are also a fabulous idea as it stops the children from becoming confused at what goes with what! I’ve experienced this feature with only one other subscription kit we’ve tried.

Tiny Tigs was the least visually inviting in terms of box presentation etc… But it was much more practical and for a busy mum with not enough storage solutions, practical was much better suited. I guess it just depends if you want that whole wow factor in terms of presentation.

Tiny Tigs like all other kits I’ve tried used great quality materials, though there is no extras (one I reviewed came with extra craft materials, a beautiful story book and a card game) though this was reflected within its price tag. You must also remember that getting these extras on a monthly basis means your once again presented with that all to familiar storage problem.

Tiny Tigs provides all that it states it will. Nothing less, nothing more.Yet, the inspiration within the craft projects it offers are in my opinion fantastic. It’s something I’m actually considering, even as a crafty mum.

Tiny Kids are offering readers of Mummy of Many Talents a lovely discount… 3 months for £30 & 6 months for £50

A Tuscan Dream

Sat here in my garden, the warm evening rays of the departing sun warms my skin. A glass of white wine is firmly griped within my hand with the remaining half a bottle sat on the table before me. I’ve been reading a novel, one set in glorious Florence Italy. The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga, has left me in a state of day dreaming, I lose myself as I try to visualise the beauty that is Tuscany! This somehow leads me away from what is proving to be an incredibly written novel!

“No, no … No…”
I’m not running off, leaving the sounds of my giggling children far behind me as I head of to throw my designer wardrobe into my Gucci suitcase in-order to catch the first available flight to Tuscany! Yer… As if! I’m just off to fetch my MacBook so I can ask my good friend Google to show me a couple of images of this italian dream location. Is it as beautiful a place as the one I had now created in my mind?

Italy is full of beauty, it’s a country that is filled with romance, religious traditions, breathtaking scenery and incredible cuisine. My children have been blessed with a touch of the Italian gene through that of their father (Why else would I have given my eldest son a name like Giovanni).

I’ve been to some beautiful places both on the Italian mainland and it’s neighbouring island of Sicily. Though I must be honest, Tuscany is somewhere I’ve not had the pleasure in visiting and it’s only now as I begin to look at it in such finer detail, My eyes are opened to its exquisite beauty and I’m left questioning myself, “Why haven’t I been here before?”.

This is a part of Italy that has now somehow captivated me purely from reading about its existence.

20120825-202959.jpg Sunset over Florence Italy. Image credit Wikipedia

There are many elements of beauty and interest that surround Tuscany, it’s artistic legacy, beautiful wine and outstanding locally produced cuisine. But over all it’s that combined element of cultural, historical, natural and architectural beauty that swings it for me!

I can just visualise myself stood on a cobbled terrace belonging to a beautiful old italian farmhouse that still displays that same originality as it did hundreds of years before. A breathtaking Tuscan countryside lined with vineyards and rows upon rows of olive trees.There is no ending to be seen just miles of natural outstanding beauty.

A picturesque vision, one of Intertwined tones of greens and yellows that form the rolling hills that descend into nothingness. But set somewhere deep within the Italian countryside of Tuscany is that of this small remote but equally as beautiful, dusky medieval village with its narrow cobbled walk ways, lit up by a string of little town house, its quite simply idyllic.

I’m drawn in by it’s culture, the way of life this Tuscan village has to offer. I’ve done the big organised holiday at the all inclusive beach resorts and although these can sometimes be pleasing I still find it difficult to understand how this would offer that fabulous cultural experience that a new place of travel should ultimately bring. Can one really relate when I state that I want to smile at the passing locals as I sit on the doorstep drinking a glass of ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ How about the wonderfully inviting aroma of freshly baked Italian beard that drifts through the old wooden windows while as you rise from your bed on an early summers morning?

20120825-202856.jpg Gimignano view from torre grossa Image credit: Wikipedia

It’s important to me that such a place of cultural heritage, fine architectural beauty and stunning scenery should be fully appreciated for all it has on offer. For me it really isn’t about 5 star beach side hotels. I’d much rather experience villas in Tuscany or that of a traditional Italian farmhouse. When opportunities arise, these should be taken fully for granted in order to experience a new and wonderful way of life that’s a bit different than the one that we’ve always known because who knows if we’ll ever be given such opportunities again! For me a holiday in Tuscany would begin with the throwing away of any itinerary (unless I’m with the children as this would then become one of the most important aspects of our holiday due to my eldest child’s autism diagnosis). I guess this is partly the reason while I seek this degree of spontaneity when holidaying alone or with friends.

Since asking my very good friend “Google” for the run down on this place I’ve uncovered a string of beautiful finds that I’m almost certain I’m destining to be. San Gimignano a hill top medieval village was that of my vision described above. Yet, I’m far from finished. I feel that my description relating to my favourite element of Tuscany lacks the credit it deserves.Though yes, it is clear to see that Tuscany oozes character with its historical villages, beautiful surrounding greenery, fresh water lakes and stunning architecture, Its felt that there is still so much more you really should know in-order of fully appreciating my visualisation of that of Tuscany.

The next path of this Journey leads us to the beautiful city of Siena. One that boast rich Italian cultural traditions, rare and beautiful original buildings from churches to museums and of course some of the worlds finest art galleries! Although this is a city, it’s cobbled narrow winding roads, pretty churches and amenities make it seem more like a friendly little village. Whats more Siena’s location within the hilly hilltops of the Tuscan countryside add to its rare character and charm.

Siena is a city of many treasures and it’s the spectacularly designed Duomo a glorious gothic cathedral located just above the cities popular historic square ‘Piazza del Campo’ that is home to many. Inside this magnificent cathedral you will discover ancient workings of art, such as original paintings and beautifully crafted sculptures by some of the worlds most famous artist. Here you can view original masterpieces by Donatello & Michelangelo just to name a few (and … No i’m not referring to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so don’t even go there)!

20120825-202320.jpg Duomo Cathedral Siena Tuscany. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Duomo is a somewhat impressive build which dates back to 1215 and is recognisable for its fine display of Marble black & white symbolic stripes both inside and out. Its arched appearance and spectacular bell tower add to its mediaeval charms! One may actually refer to this historic cathedral as something of an architectural work of art.

Now although this Tuscan city is more peaceful than most there is a period of time when it plays host to a number of popular traditional italian festivals. During the summer months both locals and tourist flock to its stunning medieval square the ‘Piazza del Campo’ to witness the well known Palio, two of Italy’s most spectacular horse races that are followed by a magnificent display in one of its most talked about medieval pageants.

20120825-203205.jpg Pailo di Siena image credit: Wikipedia

As many will know, Italy is a country renown for its religious artefacts, its only logical that it would house some of the worlds most beautiful churches. The Catholic Faith is one taken very seriously, it forms a massive part of Italy’s cultural history and will continue to shape much of its future. My interest and love of architectural beauty can easily be ignited when stood before me is a magnificent house of worship… I’ve stepped inside some of Italy’s most magnificently designed churches, ones that have simply took my breath away.

While researching the churches on offer in the area of Tuscany, it quickly become apparent that it was home to some amazing places of worship. Its really not difficult to paint the picture in ones mind. The sound of church bells can be regularly heard ringing out throughout Tuscany’s towns and cities, each one housing its own historic church yet each defined by that of its own beauty. Medieval churches can be found nestled between the orange and olive groves of the Tuscan countryside, while others sit upon slopping hilltops, the grounds that surround them, a sea of red when the sweet smelling Poppy’s blossom in the spring time.

For me Tuscany has suddenly become an extremely appealing destination that has left me needing and wanting to explore it more. I wish I could continue in writing what i’ve come to learn about the wonderful delights that are florence or the history that surrounds Tuscany’s Pisa home to the extraordinary leaning tower of pisa.

20120825-203333.jpg Leaning Tower of Pisa Tuscany Italy. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sadly I must now reluctantly return to that of reality! Yes, the whether that was once described as a warm summers evening, has took a rather sudden turn for the worse! It’s now pouring bucket loads and my washing that is hanging from my washing line is dry no more! Oh well, that’s the danger of dreaming.

Elen Rivas Joins Ben and Holly from the Little Kingdom to support Jeans for Genes Day 2012

ELEN RIVAS LAUNCHES JEANS FOR GENES DAY
NURSERY SCHOOL CAMPAIGN WITH
BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM

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Celebrity mum, Elen Rivas joins her friends Ben and Holly from hit pre-school series, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and children from Peques 1 Nursery in Fulham to kick start a nursery school campaign for this year’s Jeans for Genes Day. To help raise money for the charity, exclusive Ben and Holly zip pulls will go on sale in the UK. Elen will also be judging a nationwide competition with participating nurseries to find the best denim dress and denim trousers designed by pre-schoolers for cartoon characters Ben and Holly.

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The exclusive zip pulls come in four designs featuring popular children’s TV characters Ben Elf, Princess Holly, Nanny Plum and Gaston the Ladybird from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom which airs daily on Channel 5’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr. The range is now on sale at the official online store, the Jeans for genes day web shop and will be available from selected UK retailers. All proceeds generated from the sale of the zip pulls will go direct to Genetic Disorders UK, the charity that brings you Jeans for Genes Day.

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Jeans for Genes Day takes place on Friday 5th October and the charity’s target for this year is £2.5 million. A beautifully simple idea, on Jeans for Genes Day people leave their suits and uniforms at home and wear their jeans to work or school in return for a donation. Jeans for Genes Day raises money for Genetic Disorders UK which aims to raise money to provide vital care and support for individuals and families with genetic disorders. In 2012, 23 charities will benefit from the funds raised.

For more information on Jeans for Genes Day or to request a free fundraising pack please visit www.jeansforgenesday.org or call Freephone 0800 980 4800. To find out more about Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, please go the little kingdom website

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