Warning: Robin Hood will steal your house

March 11, 2016 - Leave a Response


This is what I did – it was a poster from the Sheriff of Nottingham:

Do Not Enter This Forest

Robin Hood is a mean, disruptive figure who has no care for you and will have no care for killing you. He has not paid his taxes and will do anything to get his house back. He will even dress up as you and steal your house. So beware – keep away from this maniac person! 

I did a picture of Robin Hood with a couple of trees in the background; one with apples on, one with oranges on and one just plain. I let his arrows show and his face was like this [does sly look].

Top Tips for a Top Notch Performance

February 27, 2016 - Leave a Response

Can’t beat a bit of constructive feedback! The adjudicator at this year’s Milton Keynes Music Festival was very good – through her group evaluation, ideas and tips for a top performance, all the young musicians learnt that: a ‘phrase’ is a musical sentence; ‘articulation’ is the pronunciation of the notes – clearly defined or slurred through use of the tongue; ‘dynamics’ determine how quick or slow, loud or soft; try and rid yourself of the music stand if you can; and to bow and appreciate an audience’s applause.

Also that musical language like ‘tempo’ is Italian. Dylan would like to know why Italian – any offers on an answer? 

Strawberry & Chocolate Valentine Fudge

February 13, 2016 - Leave a Response

Today we explored the changing states of sugar and chocolate by making Strawberry and Chocolate Valentine Fudge:

  • 450g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 170g evaporated milk
  • Half a teaspoon of Strawberry flavouring
  • Few drops of pink food colouring
  • Melted chocolate for topping off

Can highly recommend!

Happy Valentines Day 🙂

On your toes

January 9, 2016 - Leave a Response

Me: I read somewhere that rubbing Vicks Vaporub into children’s feet can help with a cough at night.

D: Really? …Mum, is there anything that can make painful feet go away?

Me: What do you mean?

D: I mean, when I go to Karate and we run around in bare feet my heels start to hurt. It’s not just in karate though.

Me: You might need to look at how you’re running. Do you run on the balls of your feet?

D: We’re not allowed to run on balls.

Me: It’s a part of your foot – the ball of you foot is just beneath your toes. You should run and do sport on the balls of your feet, without your heel touching the ground – it makes you springier and faster. If you’re running heel-first, you’ll hurt your feet and not be very fast. Have you heard the expression “having it away on your toes?”

D: Yes, but I thought it meant having your toes chopped off or something.

Me: Just remember, don’t put your heels down, stay up on your toes and you’ll be faster.

Next day:

D: Mum, it was awesome! I ran along with the fastest person in the class at break time. I don’t know if they were going at their top speed, but I was only a little bit behind. I reckon I’ve gone from the last quickest to the 5th quickest in the class.

Me: Because you were on your toes and able to spring?

D: Yes!

Adding a dimension

December 27, 2015 - Leave a Response

Decided to build on my 2D printing knowledge and take our experience to another dimension by experimenting with a 3D printer at home!

This particular printer was chosen because:

  • It was delivered from within the UK
  • Has an entry-level price tag
  • Had photos and videos of it working
  • Had some honest reviews on the website, with what looked to be very responsive web chat support
  • Is a #2 version of the machine which had been reviewed online at technologyoutlet.co.uk

The printer came pretty much ready assembled – it was pretty easy to work out which final pieces to link together.

…Then the ‘how to’ guide was discovered on the tiny memory card (which was a little tricky to insert into the printer).

It was probably easier to assemble by sight anyway as the English on the document wasn’t great, but there were photos included and the set up instructions were important to look at.

We didn’t use enough of the glass bed spray to begin with – the PLA lifted off after a couple of layers of print, but a quick respray followed by a second attempt and we were very impressed with the quality of print from the Wanhao i3 Duplicator.

Time will tell how we go on with it…

2.5hrs is condensed into 33 seconds in this video:

Saving Santa?

December 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

Q’s about Santa this year:
Q: I know I sent him a letter, but… How can Santa still be alive if he’s been around forever?

A: He’s magical.

Q: How can he fly around the world and deliver presents to every house in one night?

A: He’s magical and he has a time machine. He can go wherever he wants whenever he wants.

Q: Why does Santa not freeze to death in the North Pole? 

A: Because he has that big furry jacket, the hat, the boots and the mittens. And he’s magical.

Q: Why do all those guys dress up as fake Santas?

A: Because they’re Santa’s helpers in the run-up to Christmas – Santa needs helpers everywhere to help get people into the Christmas spirit.

Q: How come all the films are different about what Santa does? I mean, how does Santa get down the chimney in everyone’s house?

A: Not every house has that sort of a chimney; so some parents might leave the back door open… And he’s magical and can go where he wants.

Q: Why did I see you putting the presents in my room?

A: You didn’t – you must have dreamt that.

Q: How does Santa get all the presents? They’re not made by him because it says on the packets who they’re made by. Santa can’t just go to the shop and buy things can he?

A: Santa’s magical and can do whatever he wants. He can also go wherever he wants. He’s a saintly being – ‘Saint Nicholas’ is his other name. ‘Santa’ is Italian for ‘Saint’.

Me: Why don’t we put your new music CD on?

D: Which CD?

Me: You know – the new ‘Now’ album I bought you.

D: Oh yes! … You bought me those Santa presents didn’t you? The ‘Now’ CD came with the other reindeer wrapping paper presents.

Identifying a stone

October 9, 2015 - Leave a Response

White stone that glitters in the sunlight – could it be white marble or dolorstone? Dylan carries out an experiment on a stone he found today….

A Million Hands – New Product Design

September 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

Dylan wanted to add a new product to his sweet shop range, after a slight lull in business activity. In line with the ‘A Million Hands’ initiative by The Scout Association, he came up with the following design:

A Million Hands Lolly DesignWe worked on the development of a resistant mould that would accommodate hot, liquid sugar (using silicone sealant, oil and cornflour), and today managed to realise his design into these prototypes:

A Million Hands Lollies and Sherbet

Left to right: Strawberry lolly with fizzy strawberry sherbet; Lemon lolly with fizzy lemon sherbet; Chocolate lolly with fizzy lemon sherbet. We still need to work out the costings..

Keeping those marbles together

August 28, 2015 - Leave a Response

Today Dylan made a bag to keep his marbles in out of an old T-Shirt (I helped a little with the name on the front). 

For a first-time attempt, I thought it deserved an 8 out of 10. Dylan agreed; he thought the drawstring was awesome but the bag could have perhaps been decorated a little more (but not today). We could have also used draw strings at either side for an easier close. 

How to fly a Space Ball

July 3, 2015 - Leave a Response

Dylan shows how to fly a Space Ball from the Science Museum.

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