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26th Oct 2009

Coffin Cakes

Edie: I wanted to make some little coffin-shaped cakes for Halloween (and eat them!). So me and my mum made a big sponge cake that we put black colouring in to make it look coffin-coloured, and cooked it in a big rectangular tin. When it came out it was green and grey not black and looked like it was covered in mould – we thought that was quite spooky for Halloween. 

Then we drew a coffin-shaped template out of cardboard, and cut it out. I put the template on the cake, got a knife and cut around it six times to make six coffins. (There was quite a lot of cake left over, but we ate it!)

Next we made some black glacé icing (which did turn out black) and spooned it over the top of the coffins, so it dripped down the sides. They did actually look like coffins.

Then we wrote on them with coloured icing tubes – things like ‘RIP’, ‘Vampire – do not open!’, and ‘Fang lives here’. Once they were finished, we ate them. They tasted spookily great!

I think these would make a good gift for trick or treaters on Halloween.

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26th Apr 2009

Beehive Style

Edie: On Saturday night my parents went out to a 1950s party. My mum did her hair really curly and I wanted to have a go with a different style too. So the next day we set up a hair salon in the front room. My mum got out all her hair things that she was going to use to give me a beehive hairstyle.

You will need:
Comb and brush
Hair pins (we used kirby grips and bun pins)
Hair doughnut
Styling lotion
Hair spray

This is me with nothing done to my hair, before we started.

To make the beehive, my mum put styling lotion in first, then she made a parting across the top of my head from ear to ear. She pinned the front half out of the way, and backcombed the other half so it was really bushy. She twisted it upwards, pinning it in place on the back of my head, leaving a little pony tail sticking out of the top. She then pinned the doughnut on top of my head to cover the little pony tail bit.

She backcombed the front half of my hair next. She did this a lot, so it stood up nicely. Then she twisted this upwards and backwards over the doughnut, tucking it in with hair pins so it stood up high. Then she sprayed loads of smelly hairspray over the whole thing.

I was desperate to see the finished product, so ran upstairs to the bathroom mirror to have a look. I felt a lot different and was really amazed. I thought I looked really grown up and from the olden days. It was a lovely feeling, but I didn’t dare go out of the house.

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14th Mar 2008

Snowflake Designs

Edie: We have been playing with coloured paper and scissors to make paper snowflakes. Mum gave me a special book which showed how to make lots of different shaped ones. First you fold your paper into a kite shape, then you trace over the pattern with a pencil. Then you cut it out with small scissors. I enjoyed unfolding them and seeing the shapes come open in front of my eyes. 

My favourite is the yellow one. I really like how it’s sharp in the middle, then becomes round and bobbly at the edges.

The green one is beautiful too, because at the ends it looks like flowers.

The gold one looks like the plated armour the polar bear wore in the film The Golden Compass.

The blue one is like a snowflake looks in real life.
I am going to hang all the snowflakes I make on my bedroom wall.

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18th Dec 2007

Christmas Bunch of Baubles

Edie: My sister and I decided to make two big bunches of baubles to hang on our walls. My mum went to John Lewis and bought a box of 100 silver baubles (Jane: reduced to half price – hurry!) and some big fancy baubles too. We got some silver beading wire and started to thread the baubles and stars on to it. Once we had put on lots of baubles, and one coloured one, we twirled the end of the wire and twisted white ribbon on to which we hung our finest bauble so it dangled below.

It was great fun and quite quick and easy to make, though to warn you we got very glittery as the glitter on the balls went all over us. We took down two pictures and hung the decorations up in their place. They look very special in your house at Christmas. And if you put them in your dining room or kitchen, you can stare at them while having your Christmas dinner.

For other homemade Christmas decorations, see our Glass Tree Biscuits, Feather Angels and Secret Gilded Walnuts.


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3rd Sep 2007

Spider Attack!

Edie: My sister and I were having dinner, and I noticed my dad dropping something into Maudie’s hand. I didn’t say anything because I thought it was something like a leaf. Of course I didn’t know why he was giving her a leaf, so I dismissed the idea from my head completely. Then Maudie said, ‘Oh Edie, look out the window, those two friendly robins are there!’ (We have two of the friendliest robins in our garden.) I looked out the window. They weren’t there. I said ‘They’re not there, Mau…’ but then I was drowned out by the hysterical shrieks of her screaming: ‘Edie! There’s a spider on your hand.’ Immediately I screamed. I do not like spiders, especially ones that have the nerve to crawl up me.

I looked down, and there on my hand was … the green top stem of a tomato, its long bits looking like a spider’s legs. Maudie was laughing with all her might, and explained to me how dad had played the same trick on her when they were eating lunch, and she had flung the crisp she was halfway through eating across the table. (I didn’t see it because I was at a friend’s house.)

Then later that night, my mum came home from a long hard day at work. And we did the spider trick on her. We were all watching a football game on the telly. Maudie had given me some instructions that I was to do while the trick was playing. She cleverly asked mum if she noticed anything different about dad and then, while mum was looking at dad, she dropped the ‘spider’ on to her hand. This was my cue. I got up and went hysterical, jumping up and down, shrieking ‘Mum, mum, there’s a spider on your hand! Quick! Get it off…’ For a moment mum didn’t see it, then she looked down at her hand, gasped in horror and shook it off. Then we all burst out laughing, and explained it to her.

We got could also play this trick putting the spider on someone's hair... or on their shoulder... or you could keep it as a pet if you give it a home of its own...

If you would like to try this trick, the only things you will need are: the top green bit of a tomato and a good excuse.

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25th Jul 2007

Mah Jong Mascot

Every day on holiday, we played two games of Mah jong before bed, and I hadn’t won a single game. Then on Wednesday, my Mum bought me and my sister some Sylvanian family baby otters called Becky and Eddy. On the night I won, Becky was my lucky mascot and she helped me by pointing at the pieces I should throw away. I got Mah jong with two flowers, a kong (four) west winds, a kong of white dragons, a hidden poong (three) green dragons and a hidden poong of seven of bamboo. My Mum says that’s the highest score she’s ever seen.


Jane writes: I couldn’t score this one even using my rule book (it’s in Chinglish which is pretty hard to follow). Edie was West Wind and she got her own (no 3) flower, which doubled the score, but she also got a kong of her own wind, which again doubled the score, and another kong of white dragons which I think means she doubles her score again. Anyone know what this Maj jong hand would total?

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