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August, 2011

  1. Coupons

    August 24, 2011 by Amy Hansford

    I get a lot of coupons through the post, mainly through having subscribed to various store baby clubs. Most of it is pretty standard, but sometimes there’s something that catches my eye. Today, a revelation.


  2. How to: Knightmare shield and helmet

    August 23, 2011 by Amy Hansford

    For my 30th birthday we had a Kids TV themed party. I chose to go as a character out of Thundercats while Alex opted for going as a generic kid from the programme Knightmare. Huge credit to this kid for making us realise it was possible to make this outfit. I couldn’t find any pictures of the actual shield, so ours is based on his. While the photos don’t start until halfway through, I thought it might be helpful to post a guide on how to make such an outfit.

    The only item bought in advance was a viking helmet to use as a base.

    You will need:
    Cardboard (I used the one the helmet came in)
    Viking helmet
    Black pen
    A4 card
    Newspaper (I used the free ones, collected over a fortnight)
    PVA glue (school glue) (We could only find it in Hobbycraft)
    Strong adhesive
    Kitchen roll

    Step 1: Making shapes
    For the shield, I found a cardboard box big enough and drew on a basic shield shape before cutting it out. At this stage it looked like a giant guitar pick.
    For the helmet, I blew a balloon up bigger than Alex’s head, then sellotaped A4 paper around from the middle downwards to extend into a helmet shape. Note – you should use card as it’ll give it more strength!

    The plain shield with built up edges and central piece

    The plain shield with built up edges and central piece

    Step 2: Building up
    For the shield, I twisted newspaper and taped it around the front edge of the template. I also used more scrunched paper to build up the middle area of the shield where the raised eye would be. Both areas were built up around an inch high from the base.
    For the helmet, I used a mix of 1/3 PVA glue 2/3 water and pasted strips of newspaper all over the balloon and attached paper. I probably did around 4 layers before moving on to the next stage. It takes a long time, so be prepared to do this over several days to allow each layer to dry.

    Step 3: More of the same
    For the shield, I pasted newspaper all over the front. Once dried, I took some more cardboard and taped it on the back to make a handle, followed by – you guessed it – more newspaper pasting!
    For the helmet, it was time for the embellishment at the top. I taped a larger, pointed scrunch on newspaper at the front, three rounded scrunches to form a cross behind it, then two smaller scrunches inbetween the left/rear and right/rear. I then took a piece of card cut in the same shape and taped this on top – I also used strong adhesive to help. Once settled, I pasted with newspaper.

    Sticking the viking helmet (minus horns) inside the cropped popped balloon

    Sticking the viking helmet (minus horns) inside the cropped popped balloon

    Step 4: Shield 80% Helmet 60%
    With the shape of the shield now complete, it was time for the final top layer – kitchen roll. I used the PVA mix from before and pasted this on to give a strong and single colour base on which to paint later.
    The balloon still inside the helmet was burst. Make sure you have scissors on hand to quickly cut away from the sides of the helmet to avoid it collapsing in on itself. Having been cut down to a point where Alex could see his feet, I took the plastic viking helmet (minus horns) and glued it inside the paper helmet. This would ensure it sat comfortably on Alex’s head.

    Step 5: Helmet 70%
    At this point, the kitchen roll was still drying – while it’s stronger and a better base, it takes longer to set.
    I glued the horns to either side of the helmet using sellotape to secure the position and to fill in the gaps, then papered it.

    Before the paper...

    Before the paper…

    Before and after the paper

    …and after the paper

    Step 6: Helmet 80%
    I taped thick string (doubled up) around in the pattern seen on the original helmet, then kitchen rolled over this.

    Lots of lovely string

    Lots of lovely string

    Lots of lovely kitchen roll

    Lots of lovely kitchen roll

    Step 7: Finish
    Finally, I painted the shield and helmet. No pics of the process due to mysteriously vanishing from my phone.
    The shield was painted grey on both sides with a red iris on a white eye. The eye was outlined with black paint to make it stand out more.
    The helmet was painted white/grey for the horns, black for the ‘top’ piece, brown for the main helmet and black for the front centre drop. Gold paint was used for the stringed areas. Do note I was guessing at the majority of the colours. I was going for it looking good rather than being completely accurate.
    Alex used a pin to put several dozen holes in the front in patches to allow him to see. Visibility was still limited, but you couldn’t see any holes from the front at all.

    Finished Knightmare helmet

    The completed helmet!

    And so, the finished product!

    If you make your own Knightmare helmet or shield, do let me know. It’d be interesting to have a bit of a gallery!

  3. Happy Birthday to me

    August 22, 2011 by Amy Hansford

    I turned 30 this month, or as the good Sara Cox taught me, 21 9. I had a cracking joint birthday party with a friend – Kids TV fancy dress like – and all in all have had a lovely month celebrating here and there.

    I got a few gifts which were wonderful for me. They really demonstrated how lovely my friends are and how much they know me.

    1. Cult Movie Art book. A beautiful, beautiful thing full of the most glorious depictions of many of the films we love.

    2. 30th badge. Because you have to wear one on your birthday.

    3. Love Hearts mug. A love a good cup of tea, and now I have a spanking new mug to enjoy it in!

    4. Angry Birds toy. Because I’m a geekette and I like apps.

    5. Simon’s Cat book. Because I love following this chap via my Google Reader.

    I also received some gorgeous frames for (so I was instructed) pictures to put up so that Little L knows I was a fun person before (and since) being a mum, plus “The Pantomime Book” which is just the most apt thing ever.

    I have great friends and family. Very chuffed.