Things to do while attempting to stay sane: Part 1.

It’s been a brutal few months around here, adjusting to the climate, getting back in the swing of work and study and child-caring without a support network. Three months at my parents’ place made me get soft. Getting up here and having no one at all was a bit of a shock to the system. Couple that with about a month of Jake having to study 24/7 (including spending weekends at work) and you can probably see why blogging hasn’t been the first thing on my brain.

But I have a semi-free moment on my hands (the kids are busy trying to kill each other in various entertaining ways and I’ve just finished doing my chapter by chapter thesis outline so…) so what better way to fill it than to share photos of crap I’ve been making with/for the kids.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed that the majority of my photos are going to be cardboard based, because I’m kind of obsessed. But, seriously, who DOESN’T love cardboard boxes? Largely free, readily available from bottle shops or supermarkets (sometimes, not all of them) and usually pretty sturdy. you can use them as is or slice and dice them to make some fantastic new things. CARDBOARD. It’s awesome.


Look at it! It’s clearly a seething mass of potential, just lying there, seething.


(Hot tip, if you live near a gigantic scandinavian flat pack furniture outlet, it’s worth having a look around their carpark and inside the shop to see if you can scavenge some of their boxes because they have some odd shapes and REALLY thick card.)


Thing I did to stay same number 1: Made a Fire Nation warship for Elias.


Flameo, Hotman! (Yeah. The paint went a leetle dribbly on that Fire Nation symbol. But I tried. And in fairness, it was my first time wielding a spray paint can in a long long time.)

The kids are all obsessed with the various Avatar series and they love both Aang and Korra equally, but Elias’ heart beats particularly hard for Prince Zuko and the Fire Nation. (What can I say? He is also convinced the entire Star Wars opus is really about Darth Vader and loves to pretend to be Mendoza from Mysterious Cities of Gold. The boy likes morally ambivalent anti-heroes. )

I was kind of at a loose end one morning and he asked me if I could use some of the cardboard left over from the move to make him a Fire Nation ship.

I’d been in a fairly negative, grumpy space, so I thought I’d try saying yes rather than no and see what happened.


Note: Building a cardboard ship is actually not that hard, but as you can see from this photo you will need to use some kind of support on the joints to reinforce them. I also wish I’d hard some much much thicker cardboard but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.


Took me the best part of a day’s work, resulted in a number of burnt fingers courtesy of the dreaded hot glue gun, and a really light head from spray painting – even outside that stuff is fumy as heck.


My nemesis.


But it was worth it. And it’s held up pretty well, even with all three of them climbing in and occasionally using it as a tortoise carapace or a house.

Plus we worked together (kind of. There was a lot of silliness), we went out for a walk to buy the spray paint and we had a ton of fun painting it in the garden together.


All in all, an excellent sanity saver.

More to follow.


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