Sunday, 20 September 2015

MADE London - The Design & Craft Fair

Readers of my blog will know how much I love making stuff - anything and everything. I adore handmade. Regular readers will also know that I had a baby a year ago, and finding the time as a mum of two, to make things for my home, my family, or even myself has been much more challenging than I thought! But although my 'To Do' list of future projects is ever growing, a girl can still look (and buy) can't she?!

There is such a wealth of talent around these days and some really wonderful events that showcase new designers and makers. I am really excited about the upcoming MADE LONDON Design and Craft Fair starting next month on the 22nd October and open until Sunday 25th. There will be a whole range of products on show from furniture makers, glass blowers, textile designers, woodworkers etc. I've only been shown a small preview of some of the goodies on offer but just look at these:

MADE LONDON is being held in a particularly stunning building too, so not only are there 4 floors of makers to explore, but the Grade 1 listed church built by John Soane is an attraction itself too.

I can't wait to be inspired, impressed and hopefully make a purchase or two! Tickets are available now...

MADE LONDON – The Design and Craft Fair 
One Marylebone, London, NW1 4AQ
22 – 25 October, 2015
Open 11.00 – 17.00
£10 on the door, under 14s free

Friday, 28 August 2015

Good Old-Fashioned Fun - with Elastoplast!

Last week we were invited to spend a few hours having some 'good old-fashioned' fun, courtesy of Elastoplast. They had recreated a village fete feel, complete with games such as the coconut shy, hook-a-duck and hoopla but amazingly, all this took place on the roof garden of John Lewis! We were sipping freshly squeezed juices 5 storeys above London's busy Oxford Street and you couldn't even hear the traffic. It was bliss!

The children all had a great time - the games (and lunch) kept them occupied and interested for a couple of hours (no screens needed!) before we took a joy ride all the way back down to earth on the escalators in the centre of the store.

Elastoplast is the UK's number one plaster brand, and as well as producing all sorts of different plasters (waterproof, silver healing, blister plasters, spray on, as well as the kids' favourite characters) they have just launched these really cool vintage-style tins to keep them in!  I've added ours to my handbag already because you never know when you may need a plaster. In fact...I sometimes give Wiss one even if he doesn't actually need a plaster. I think the placebo effect works wonders here! I'm not the only parent who does this? (I hope?!)

Thank you to Elastoplast, Tilly's Garden Party Hire and the roof top café at John Lewis for having us :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Me & Mine - A Family Portrait Project 2015 - July

If I sneak these ones in, very quietly, maybe no one will notice and just think that they have been here all along....? Well, it's worth a try!

July's family portrait was taken on Studland beach, Dorset. And despite Wiss's face, we all were enjoying a glorious week of camping, yes even my husband enjoyed himself under canvas! It was so good to spend time together as a family, and be able to just relax and let the kids play. Wiss found a new level of confidence and made friends with so many children on the campsite and beaches, while little Miss practiced her downhill crawling every morning and she can get some real speed going now! So much so, that she's had blisters on her hands from so much crawling.

Us grown-ups also hit a new milestone this holiday - we finally became members of The National Trust! I don't know why we took so long - there are so many amazing places run by the National Trust to visit, and they put on some fantastic special events throughout the year too. Studland Beach is stunning but it also offered den building for kids, and open air cinema screenings. We can't wait to explore some more!

The seaside is my happy place, and I'm glad to report that it seems to have been passed down in the genes to Wiss and little Miss too. Such fond memories in this photo already!

See you in a couple of weeks for August's Me & Mine, and I'll do my best to get it up on time :) You can check out all the other family shots taken by other bloggers by clicking here:

dear beautiful

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Me & Mine - A Family Portrait Project 2015 - June

Finally! I know that this is the latest my Me & Mine post has been (and they've been bordering on tardy each month!) but things were not going my way.

I wanted a more formal shot this month as we'd had lots of selfies, but trying to pin everyone down to sit for their photo proved very hard. That's what's so great about this project though because it's always tricky so you don't get the picture. Then the time slips by and you realise it's been a whole year since you last had a family photo - probably at Christmas time!

I wanted us to be outside as this month has been glorious, but on the day it was raining. My idea for the portrait was 'stripes' - we all have a lot of striped clothes in our family so I thought a black and white shot of us in our stripes would be striking. Except Wiss didn't want to wear stripes. He wore checks. Of course! But then he did make a concession and put on stripy socks, so how could I complain?! The formality of it didn't sit well with him either so he refused to smile nicely, so we ended up all being silly. You have to do what you have to do...

As always, don't forget to pop to Dear Beautiful over to see all the other great family photos from other bloggers, or facebookers. And why not join in? There's still 6 months left for you to get some great memories captured.

dear beautiful

Monday, 1 June 2015

Me & Mine - A Family Portrait Project 2015 - May

Another has flown by and we are already in June!! Summer is here....?

Well, to be honest we have had some glorious weather this month but this weekend has been very wet and chilly. Brrrr!

This month's portrait is another selfie-style photo but I love how it's captured our family. Can you guess who has been asserting himself to be the centre of attention?! This picture was taken at the British Museum - we went for the day at Wiss's request as he's been learning about it at school.

This month we had the general election (what a shame, that's all I can say), I eased myself back into work gently with a day's teaching and a This is Wiss stall at a local market. We had (another) half term! Ferne's front teeth are slowly coming and the right one has broken through the gum. Wiss is steaming ahead with his reading and is enjoying looking at menus, road signs, newspapers...anything he can see! It's amazing to see how quickly this skill develops and I'm so proud of him.

The Me & Mine project is a great big linky so don't forget to check out the other bloggers' great family photos this month. Click on the logo to be taken there...

dear beautiful

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Brave Bones Club - Outdoor Adventurers

You may have already seen the adverts on telly at the moment about the Brave Bones Club encouraging kids to get outside to have adventures? It doesn't really matter what you do, adventures can be found in your garden as well as by the sea, in the countryside, or even a trip to the shops if you take the time to look around you.

We are in the middle of half-term here in the UK, and so far it's been great! We are enjoying some very sunny weather at the moment so it's been easy to spend time outdoors. Bank Holiday Monday was spent in our garden - I've been tidying up the flower beds and getting experimental with colour, while Wiss has been making the most of his new 'mud kitchen'.

We had a very short half term bucket list - go to the park, eat candy floss, spot a kingfisher, visit Papa at work, get outside on our bikes. We have yet to find any candy floss unfortunately but today we went on a Kingfisher Hunt!
We live in South East London, on a busy road, near a retail park and a wonderful green park too. Behind the retail park there is a Green Chain walk which runs alongside a little river. We have often visited part of the river but never walked right the way along, so when we were told there are Kingfishers living there we wanted to explore. I love these birds but have never seen one in real life, and Wiss adores all animals. So, armed with some essential supplies (all adventurers need Battenberg!) we set off.

I just could not believe how beautiful this area is, especially given it's in a busy part of the city and right on our doorstep.

Wiss was in his element, taking notes in his notebook, and he even made a little video of himself talking about the surroundings! He didn't say he was bored once, was happy making up his games and would have stayed out longer if he could. In summary we saw: mallard ducks and ducklings, moorhens, coots, grey wagtails, blackbirds, magpies, crows, pigeons and a heron. We got rampaged by 6 wet dogs who had been swimming in the river and the picnic blanket took the brunt of it! We saw schools of tiny fish, and 3 whoppers. Wiss spent about half an hour perched on a rock in the river catching catkins floating past and got very muddy knees. He had many 'au natural' tree wees (very exciting for a 5 year old) but kingfishers....? Zero :) But I don't think that was the point anymore!

The Brave Bones Club has been created by Cheestrings and Yollies in partnership with the explorer Steve Backshall, to encourage people to have safe but brave adventures. To find out more, visit the website or watch this short video:
If you know an adventurer aged 6-10 years old then why not enter one (or both) of these competitions to win an amazing 4 day adventure with Steve Backshall? They close on 29 May so there is still time!
Brave Bones Competition or Win a 4 Day Adventure

I'd love to hear about any adventures you and your little ones go on, especially if they are city-based. Leave me a comment below or find me on Twitter @thisiswiss. Enjoy the rest of half term, and then there's only 6 weeks left until the summer holidays for more fun...!

This is a sponsored post, and we have been sent an adventure kit to help us with future explorations.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Baby Led Weaning and Recipe Ideas

Forgive me for this quick post - it's not strictly about making stuff, although it is about making food and preparing meals for all the family to enjoy. It's also the most amount of making I get to do at the moment so I may as well enjoy it!

Ferne is nearly 9 months old now so we've been weaning for almost 3 months. I'm a big fan of Baby Led Weaning and it worked well for us with Wiss, so that's what I planned to do again this time. However, Ferne has led us and made it clear that sometimes all she wants is to be spoon fed! So I'm taking my cues from her and we've been mixing it up with a bit of both at each meal time.

Even though we've been there and done it before, at the beginning I was a bit stuck with what to offer her that would be nutritious and exciting for her but also appealing to the rest of the family. I stumbled upon this beautiful website My Lovely Little Lunchbox and suddenly my cooking mojo was back again! Have a look at Kayla's recipes and I'm sure you will find something to tempt both you and your little ones. The ricotta dumplings are particularly good.

I'm a lot more relaxed about it all second time around but I am still keen to provide as varied a diet as possible. Our typical western diet is very heavy on wheat and cheese so I am trying to limit these and am making sure we eat a range of grains - rye bread, barley, polenta, quinoa etc. As with all good diets, variety is the key (although Ferne could probably eat avocados all day long!)

I've been struggling though because a lot of the finger food ideas for BLW involve muffins, or things on toast but it seems little Miss is not keen on bread-type food (for the moment at least). She likes saucy food that can be sucked and slurped. To be fair, she has only got 2 bottom teeth so chewing is a bit tricky. So I've had to rethink some of my stand-by recipes, but this week seemed to be particularly successful for us all so I thought I'd share our meal plan:

This week we have enjoyed for lunch:

Spinach Scrambled Eggs and Wholemeal Toast
Braised Lettuce and Peas with Cous Cous
Spinach and Goats Cheese Pancakes
Courgette Polpette with creme fraiche dip

and for dinner:

Jacket Potato with Cheese and Mushrooms
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Barley & Vegetable Soup
Fish Cakes with Parsley Sauce and Brocolli
Tomato Mac 'n' Cheese

Breakfast is usually some kind of baby cereal, porridge or Bircher Museli with chopped fruit to keep her busy while I sort everyone else's out. Puddings are often fruit again - Ferne is practising her pincer movements so loves halved blueberries and quartered strawberries and grapes - and yoghurt. We are coveting the Collective Dairy's amazing flavours and their Straight Up yoghurt is brilliant for little ones as it's only ingredients are milk and pectin.

I hope this has given you some inspiration for your meals, but I'm always grateful for more ideas. Please share any winning recipes from your family's repertoire with me...

Thanks for reading and I'll be back again with some real actual crafting soon! Bye for now :)

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ta Da! A Knitting Special

Regular readers will know that I keep complaining about not having enough time to sew/craft/blog recently (new baby, too busy, blah, blah!) But, although it is true*, I have been able to squeeze a tiny bit of knitting in here and there. Knitting is such a wonderful hobby as you don't need lots of equipment and you can do it sitting on the sofa in front of the telly. Brill!

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not the best, nor a particularly fast knitter but I do enjoy it and love watching the lines grow into a finished garment.

Way back last year when I was pregnant I treated myself (& the new baby) to a kit from Wool and the Gang, a über stylish knitting company based right here in London. Check out their beautiful website and gorgeous knits. You can buy them ready made (hand knitted by one of their team) or purchase a kit to do it yourself. The kits aren't cheap, I'll admit, but the quality is amazing. You get plenty of yarn to work with so no worries about making mistakes and there are lots of cute extras too such as a sticker, a kilt pin, personalised packaging...

I chose to make an Aloha Hoodie in golden yellow, although it was a hard decision as there are over 20 colours to choose from. I also bought the needles to go with the pattern; they are bamboo and a joy to work with. Everything I needed came in the kit, including a wool needle for sewing up the garment when it was finished.

Skip forward in time a few (maybe 6!) months and I had finished knitting all the pieces. It wasn't a hard pattern to follow though and I love the cool little details like the rectangle on one side of the hoodie. Unfortunately, I have realised that I really need to learn how to finish a knitted garment properly. My sewing up often leaves the seams very bumpy, and the arm holes a bit restricted which is a real shame given the amount of time spent knitting. I actually unpicked the seams and tried again and it's still not perfect but good enough to be worn.

The Shiny Happy cotton yarn is quite heavy so the hoodie does have a tendency to stretch and drape, and it slips off the shoulders. The design is for a slouchy cardigan but I'm thinking of attaching a popper or button fastening to make it a bit more baby-friendly.

So Ferne got a new mama-made cardigan, but what about Wiss? Well, I was honoured to be asked by Shireen from the fabulous handmade knitting company Picaloulou to trial one of her new knitting kits for children's scarves. (These kits aren't even on sale yet!) There are lots of animals to choose from but I went for the fantastic Fox Scarf. The pattern was easy to follow even though there were quite a few techniques I hadn't done before, so I had to google these (slip stitches, make one etc). I love the design of these scarves, they are slim enough to be worn easily with coats and the fact that they don't need to be tied makes them perfect for little kids. I think Wiss looks so cool with his new scarf, don't you? These animal scarves are available ready-made from the Picaloulou shop (as well as loads of other gorgeous, British-made hand knits.)

Yes, I know that we are heading into the summer months soon but we do live in the UK. The temperature is unpredictable at the best of times, and actually cotton knits can be great for sunny days. I am so slow at knitting though that maybe I should start knitting for this winter now!

*and I hereby promise to stop going on about it and making excuses!

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored review but as I have enjoyed making both I wanted to share them with you. I bought the Wool and the Gang kit myself, and I was provided with the Picaloulou kit for testing purposes but not required to write a post.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Me & Mine - A Family Portrait Project 2015 - April

Oh my god, it's May already! How are the months passing so quickly now?

Here is our portrait for April - even though it has been glorious weather most of this month there are no sunny shots of us this month as we seem to have spent most of it split into two teams. Wiss and Papa have been spending lots of time together and Ferne and I have been stuck together like glue. It seem that this often happens when you have two, and one is still so little?

What have we been up to this month? Apart from (still) eating all the Easter chocolate around the house, I started running again, I've been making lots of new friends with very inspiring local mums and have been arranging childcare for when I return to work in August (gulp!) We went along to the London Marathon to cheer on my best friend, and the other 38,000 runners. It is always such an amazing day and I am moved by all the hard work and effort everyone has put in to be there. I wanted to take our selfie there but it was just too hectic!

Wiss has been hanging out with his old nursery friends, he started cookery club after school and has been writing lists and list of things all over the house!

Little Ferne has turned 8 months and is starting to show her personality. She is very inquisitive and grabs literally everything that she can get her hands on, and even pulls the table closer to her if things are out of her reach! We have a feisty one on our hands I think.

This is part of a great big linky so don't forget to check out the other bloggers' photos this month. Click on the logo to be taken there, and see you soon!
dear beautiful

Monday, 20 April 2015

Real Nappy Week 20-26 April 2015

Today sees the start of Real Nappy Week, organised by Go Real to promote the use of washable nappies and highlight the many  benefits.

Some info from their website: There is an estimated 813,200 (and rising) babies born in England and Wales each year, using 3 billion single use nappies - which translates into over 355,000 tonnes of waste produced and an annual disposal cost to local authorities (and tax payers) of £32 million!

Disposable nappies are filling up landfill sites, costing families a lot of money, and creating large carbon footprints. Real nappies are a great solution to all these problems (and more) but aren't they difficult to use and yukky to wash?

No! They really aren't, I promise!

I'm a huge fan of cloth nappies and started using them when Wiss was born. We are now using the same ones for Ferne. There are loads of different brands and styles, and you can even make your own or have some custom made for you. So how do you know which to go for?

To help you decide before you invest in a set it's a good idea to see some up close. Many areas across the country have Nappy Libraries where you can look, feel and compare different nappies from different companies. They also often hold talks and demonstrations and there are loads planned this week as part of Real Nappy Week, so check out the website for events near you. When I went to a talk back in 2009 there was even a baby modelling one for us all, so here's one for you!

Once you've decided on which nappies to buy then you need to work out how many you will need. We have got 20 nappies in total (BumGenius one-size pocket) and I find this enough for us to be able to wash every other day. I do have to say that getting the inserts dry during the winter does take a long time, but during the summer it's a breeze. If you have a washing line they'll be dry in a day and the sun will help to bleach them too.

As well as helping to save our planet and saving you money, I've found that real nappies also help to prevent nappy rash. Wiss hardly suffered with it all, and so far (touch wood) neither has Ferne. There is also talk about cloth nappies helping to prevent hip dysplasia by supporting the babies' legs in the right position.

So how about the practicalities of using them on a day to day basis? Well, you do need to set a few things up but once you get in the swing of it, using real nappies is easy. We have a lidded bin next to the nappy change area that has a mesh bag inside. Dirty nappies get put in here until they are ready to be washed. It is a dry bin, no need to soak them and I put a couple of drops of tea tree oil in to keep things smelling fresh. I use flushable/biodegradable nappy liners which are basically a tissue-type cloth that goes inside the nappy to catch to poo (I didn't bother with this when my little ones were exclusively breast fed as the poos are too runny. A plastic spatula, kept by the loo can help you with these and that can go in the washing machine along with the nappies too.) As soon as they start weaning though, liners mean that you can tip the poo into a loo and flush.

When it comes to washing them, I just take out the mesh bag and pop it straight into the washing machine. You don't need to handle the nappies at all. I wash them at 40 degree, and only do a pre-rinse if they are particularly soiled (pre-weaning for instance). Easy! Never use softener, and only use 1/3 of the amount of usual washing powder.

Using washable nappies on the go is simple too. I usually have two wet-bags in my nappy bag, filled with two clean nappies. Then when I change my little one, the dirty nappy replaces the clean one in the wet-bag. They are lined with waterproof material so will keep everything contained and away from the rest of the contents of your bag. Any wet or soiled clothes can be squeezed in here too. And then when I get home i pop these in the wash with the nappies.
"I'm definitely going to try real nappies, but where can I get my hands on these wonderful wet-bags?" I hear you cry... Why, from my This is Wiss Etsy shop of course! I have a range of gorgeous bright, bold fabrics listed and as I make everything myself I will happily sew something to your exact preferences. I even have a few new fabrics not even listed (see below) so please start up a conversation with me if you'd like something made from those. The wet-bags come in a set with a matching travel changing mat and start from £20.

If you have any more questions regarding washable nappies then please leave me a comment below and I'll do my best to answer it or point you in the right direction if I can't. If you are heading out to any events planned for Real Nappy Week then enjoy! And I'd love to see or hear about them so why not tweet me @thisiswiss or post it on facebook (I'm thisiswiss!)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Sticker Club - our Review

A few months ago we were offered the chance to review a new product for kids. The Sticker Club is a super cool sticker subscription service. Using creative designers to make unique and original images, the stickers are then delivered by post weekly or monthly depending on your choice. Wiss was lucky enough to be given a 3 month weekly subscription, so every Wednesday he had a happy post day!
The stickers come in a distinctive yellow envelope and Wiss loved spotting it in amongst the post. With the 3 month subscription we got 6 sheets of stickers each week, and each one is different. No duplicates!
I have to say that for the first few weeks Wiss didn't really seem to know what to do with his stickers. Apart from sticking a few onto his things he left the rest and so amassed a small pile. Personally, I think that he was so used to stickers being part of something; a workbook or an activity sheet, that he just wasn't used to going 'free-range' with his stickers. He shared some with friends, and embellished birthday cards with them...
But something clicked, or inspiration struck, or there were just too many fab stickers not being used and suddenly he couldn't get enough of them! He started to use them to tell stories, and make large imaginary scenarios which grew and grew as he added more and more stickers. We have an easel with a long roll of paper and he could spend ages creating these scenes and the narratives to go with them. I loved watching him get engrossed in this activity, and hearing the crazy stories!
We both loved the stickers (I may have even nabbed a few for myself. We'll call that Mama Tax!) I liked the fact that they were quirky, original and non-gendered. Wiss just thought they were fun!

There are lots of different subscription options on their website so you're bound to find something that suits what you are after. I have bought a few of the 1 month subscriptions as birthday presents for children in Wiss's class. At just £7.99 they make a great little gift, and all the children have enjoyed getting something for them through the real post. And if you are hosting a party yourself then you could choose personalised Sticker Club packs for the party bags.

I think you can tell that we love the Sticker Club! Check them out yourself...

Disclaimer: we were sent a 3 month subscription for free (usual price £23.99) but as always, all opinions are our own.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Me & Mine - A Family Portrait Project 2015 - March

This post is late. Sorry! Life really has been so busy that there doesn't seem to be any time for anything else. No sewing, no blogging, not much reading (apart from twitter and facebook!) but a lot of washing, drying, folding and putting away. Yawn. And lots of cooking...and cleaning up. Now that Ferne has started eating solids there is a lot of mess, every meal time!

I've still been taking lots of photographs though, and I've been using Instagram more recently as it's so immediate. I'm still loving the Me & Mine project and even with just three photos so far it's already lovely to look back at them.

March for us was unfortunately marred with illness - first Wiss, then me, then F, then me, me again F again, and the husband has just recovered too. I can't stand being ill, it's such a waste of time. But fingers crossed we all stay well now; the days are getting sunnier and the evenings lighter, and that makes the world of difference to how I feel.

This month's photo was taken at a wonderful house we have rented often and where we always have such great times. This was Ferne's first visit to Holly Frindle and I'm sure it won't be her last. Wiss enjoyed showing her around, and she especially liked the mule at the end of the garden. There is a huge oak tree in the middle and I thought it would be the perfect location for our family portrait, nestled in amongst the emerging daffodils. Spring has sprung finally!

This is part of a big linky so don't forget to check out the other bloggers' photos this month. Click on the logo to be taken there, and see you soon!
dear beautiful

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

I'm currently on maternity leave and I've been off work for 8 months now. (Gulp!) Life on maternity leave is very different to real life, and I'm not just talking about looking after the baby. It took me a while to find my new pace, to realise that my main priority is just to be there for the baby, and for my son too! Things don't get done like they used to, I can't guarantee that I will be able to complete even a 5 minute task, and I've come to terms with the fact that my time is rarely my own. But something else happens too...

I have been completely blown away by the interactions I have daily with various people: strangers, neighbours, fellow parents, passers-by, teachers, shop assistants. Just going about your business during the day means that you meet all these people that you probably wouldn't if you are rushing, commuting and working. We now say hello and chat to at least 4 people passing us on our school run every day. I now know my neighbours and we have started doing little favours for each other. One lady I met who walks her dogs past our house had even bought a gift for the new baby and Wiss too. So kind, and so wonderful. I believe these interactions really make a difference to your quality of life, and help you feel part of a community (even in big old South London!)

I've also joined a few local mums groups on Facebook which have been great for finding out about what's on, recycling unwanted baby stuff, getting advice etc etc. There seem to be groups for every location, so you can search to see if there's one for your neighbourhood.

Last week I had an extra special glow of happiness caused by the kindness of strangers. I had signed up to a springtime swap project organised by the lovely Lucy from Capture with Lucy. You can see the details here, but basically we were all matched up with a partner and told a little bit about what they liked. Then we all made up a surprise gift box to be posted to our partner for the Spring Equinox. The gifts were not to be extravagant but thoughtful.

I was told that my partner liked tea, vintage crafts, pastel colours and was a fussy eater! I also started following her on Instagram so I could find out some more, and discovered she has a very special dog in her life! I wanted to make some things for her and also included some little supplies and treats. As she said she was a fussy eater I decided not to try and guess what she would like to eat, and decided to make some homemade dog treats for Rosie instead. I made a boxy pouch for my partner using some vintage curtain fabric (because who doesn't need a boxy pouch in their life?!)

Here's what I sent...

Of course it is better to give than to receive (ahem!) but this is what I had in my surprise box...

It really was so lovely getting presents that were completely unexpected, and it was clear that so much thought and care had gone into my box. Lucy will be organising another gift swap for the Summer so if you'd like to get involved and get that glow too then click here

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Make a Solar Eclipse just 5 minutes!

This Friday there will be the most spectacular solar eclipse seen since 1999! In London there will only be a partial eclipse but even so, it's going to be pretty special. According to the experts the moon will start to pass in front of the sun at 8.25am and it will all be over around 10.40am, with peak coverage at 9.31am.

Now, if like me, you are a little late getting your stuff sorted, don't worry. Yes, solar eclipse glasses are like gold dust but it's not too late to make your own solar eclipse viewer. This version of a pinhole camera takes literally 5 minutes to make so you'll be able to make one today and look super organised come Friday morning! They are easy enough for the kids to make too, although I'd get an adult with a steady hand to make the pin hole. This needs to be small and perfectly round.

This amazing event allows for so many discussions about planets, orbit paths, the effect of the sun on earth (it's going to go dark during the day! wow) as well as how pinhole cameras/projectors/our eyes work! (See here if this is where your interest goes.)

I hope all of that makes sense and you're all able to make a viewer for yourselves. Of course, if you have longer than 5 minutes then you can jazz up the outside of your box. Or the kids can! Just remember, the box needs to be as dark as possible so covering or painting the outside is a good idea but makes sure you don't make any extra holes or damage your pinhole.

Let's hope the weather is kind and the clouds stay away on Friday morning at least!