Frozen-themed play dough [Sensory play]

Elsa and ElsaLike every other Mama, Elsa and Anna are honorary members of my brood. It’s tailed off a bit in recent weeks. I believe I’ve actually gone a whole 7 days straight without watching the movie or listening to the sound track. But the power of the icy pair remains strong. MoonMunkie loves it all and totally wants to be Elsa. She sings the songs and dances beautifully, dramatically throwing an imaginary crown at the appropriate point in the song.  MamaMunkie and MisterMunkie both prefer Anna – she more sensible, girl-next-door and much less neurotic-snow-strumpet than Elsa.

MiniMunkie wants to be MoonMunkie. That’s it. She just wants to be her big sister. She trails around after her, wearing a tiny blue costume and singing “…’et it gooooooo…” It’s so adorable I could eat her with a spoon. She thinks the movie is called ” ‘nowman” and that Elsa is called Anna. We don’t correct her. She’s so happy with it all and it’s of no real consequence. Watching her twirl and sing is one of the pleasures of my life.

Of course, this fandom spills over into our other activities and this week we wanted to make play dough. So Frozen play dough was the order of the day. I took our basic play dough recipe and added silver glitter, blue and green food colouring to get that perfect “Frozen blue” and a dose of American peppermint flavouring to give it a scented element too. It looked and smelled heavenly and my Munkies played with it for about 3 hours. Next door’s little Munkie also popped in to play and was so overjoyed with it that we just had to give her some to take home.

There are a bazillion-trillion recipes out there for play dough. Cook, don’t cook, edible, scented, you name it, there’s a recipe. And this is ours. The basic dough is based on a 500g bag of flour and makes enough for 4 children to have a great big lump each. This recipe doubles and triples very easily. I don’t have  bowl big enough to test beyond that!

Ingredients for basic play dough

500g plain flour

1 tbs cream of tartar

1 tbs of oil

4 drops of glycerine

200g salt

hot water to bind.


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. If you have dry additions to add, this is the place to do it. We’ve tried all sorts of things in the past: tiny silver stars, sequins, glitter, seeds, dried lavender and sand all give different textures and characteristics.
  3. Add the oil, glycerine and a little hot water,  and mix.
  4. If you want to add colours or flavours now is the time. We’ve used natural oils like peppermint and lavender; food flavourings such as lemon, American peppermint, liquorice; and we’ve also added cocoa and coffee to the hot water in order to flavour the dough
  5. Continue to add hot water until the dough comes together.
  6. Knead on a floured counter top for 10 minutes until the dough comes together and is elastic and shiny.

20150926_110146240_iOSThe dough keeps in the fridge for a long time. It’s not edible, but a taste will not do anyone any harm. Leaving it out in the sun will dry it out – it becomes hard like
salt-dough if you leave it to dry for long enough.

MoonMunkie made herself a shrew. She’s been very interested in shrews since we found a dead one on our patio. MiniMunkie’s cat brought it to us as a gift, we think. The cat isn’t really MiniMunkie’s. But she desperately wants a cat and then big big tortoiseshell started to visit and it was as if her wish had been  granted. Ours too – a cat that visits daily, but we don’t have to feed it, clean up after it or worry about it when we’re not here. Perfect cat!

Welcome to the new look MoonMunkie (and a super-special giveaway!)

As part of my plan to take over the world, this is the new online home for MoonMunkie. Please (please, please!) click the subscribe button, especially if you followed the old blog. It’s a bit of a risk for me, moving to a new domain, because I’d built up a modest but solid following at the old one. However, owning gives me more flexibility with what I can post and how I structure things. (Also lots of scope for not knowing the first thing about what I’m doing and getting cross because I can’t work it out!) So do please follow along and support me.

So, in the spirit of newness and excitement, I’m hosting a very exciting MoonMunkie giveaway throughout May. The winner will receive  a free private lesson for 2 people in the new studio, Bury St Edmunds, UK. All materials included. On a mutually convenient date in July or August.

I envisage it will be a bookbinding lesson, but if you’d prefer something different, we can arrange it. And overseas followers, don’t despair! I’m also giving away 2 runner up prizes! 2 people will each receive one of my new (and as yet unveiled!) bookbinding kits, complete with instructions and materials to make your own mini art journal.

How to win?

Well, subscribe to this page and comment below. I’d also be grateful if you could like MoonMunkie on facebook and share this giveaway with as many people as you can. I’m trying to hit 300 likes on facebook before the summer.


Thanks so much for dropping by.



I’m not getting along terribly well with this young lady. Something about the cream paper that means her skin is sallow. Usually I would use white paper to draw a face. I’ve not practised getting skin tone right on a coloured background. I’ve gone off her entirely. Looking forward to tomorrow’s class though. Better get back to making goody bags!

Workshop taster

An example of what you could be making if you’re coming to my workshop at Keep on Crafting on Saturday. This is just one option- upcycled from a set of file dividers. The workshop for this Saturday is booked up. There are still spaces available on Apil 24th. Email if you’re interested in booking a spot! 

presbyterian journal

Journal Charms


For the last week I’ve been working on a collection of gorgeous charms to add splendour to art journals, scrapbooks and cards. Made from paper clay, they are light and will withstand a fair beating. With a diameter of 3cm,  they will look stunning on the spine of any journal whilst being whimsical enough to be incorporated into a personal journal spread, greetings card or scrapbook layout.

Each charm has at least 4 layers of paint and/or distress ink  to build up a patina of rich colour and deep iridescence. They look opulent, aged and antique. In the future I anticipate that there will be a greater range of shapes, colours and expressions. I may even have time to do a few custom made ones, if the interest is there. For now, there are 4 sets to collect each with an expression and an image:

FLY & Butterfly

GROW & Flower

BE & Matryoshka

LOVE & Heart

As an added bonus, each packet has a digital print of a Moon Munkie journaling card – currently the young lady alongside the charms is known as Hazel – I hope to make a new card for each new series of charms.

So… if you like them, they’ll be on sale in my online shop which should be coming soon. Although if you’re desperate, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do. They will be available at Moon Munkie workshops – and participants may be finding a free one in their goody bags over the next month. I’ll also be giving away 1 of each set over at Facebook in the next day or so. So go over and hit like in order to be kept up to date with that.

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In the faraway land of Once Upon A Time, they all lived happily ever after.

Moon Munkie has been living up to her pseudonym. Sleepless nights when she just wants to be close to Mama Munkie. And stories. She wants me to tell stories. At 3.30am, I don’t want to put on the light and find a book to read.  Lying in the dark, with my eyes closed and my Moon Munkie cuddling close I begin, “Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a princess;  there was a castle; there was a wicked queen;  there were three bears, three little pigs and a big bad wolf; there were two small children; there was a little Munkie who didn’t want to go to sleep.”

It’s awoken my inner Anderson. I want to help Moon Munkie make her own stories. So I’ve been creating the cast of “Once Upon a Time”. And here they are in the  shade of the carrot bed. So far we have the King and Queen of Once Upon a Time, 2 princes and 4 princesses. Given Moon Munkie’s fascination with the Frog Prince story, I also made a frog and a lily pond. We found a little yellow pom-pom (or “ponpon” as Munkie calls them) to be the golden ball. She told the story to Daddy Munkie after tea, using the new dolls. Then we set to making a tower for the princess from building blocks, but got distracted because Munkie thought they each needed a throne. The frog had to have one too. A green one.

If you want to make peg dolls of your own, I can recommend Lil Blue Boo and her wonderful tutorial. I didn’t follow it very closely because I wanted more than princesses, but I was grateful for help with the hairstyles. And the King of Once Upon a Time looks suspiciously like Burt Reynolds, does he not

I’m just going to go and make 20 eiderdowns and 20 mattresses so we can play the Princess and the Pea tomorrow. I’ll probably scale it down to just 5 of each. And after that I’m thinking maybe Snow White and then Cinderella. Dwarves and Fairy Godmothers could be quite good fun to make. I hope that after some time Moon Munkie will start to inter-mix the characters from different stories to make her own. I hope they all live Happily Ever After!

Like Mother, like Munkie…

 If you had given me £3 to spend when I was 2 and a half, this is probably what I would’ve done with it. Who am I kidding? If you gave me £3 today (and I wasn’t allowed to spend it on chocolate!) I’d head directly to the stationery aisle.  (Initially I wrote stationery isle… now there’s a place I want to visit, just imagine…)

Moon Munkie spent the rest of the day happily in her “office”, drawing, writing important letters and getting to grips with the intricacies of scissors. Those chubby little fingers – I could just bite them.

Look how hard she is focussing on that writing. What does it say, little Munkie? “Mmmmm … It say… Mummy is great.”  Way to go kiddo, you’re pretty great yourself. Try to ignore the late-afternoon Vegemite tide lines around her mouth. She was working too hard to be interrupted by the banalities of personal hygiene.

Planning what to go into her new pencil case.How many hours of my life have I spent doing that? I hope she doesn’t also inherit my Stationery Fear. Pretty things that I never use, for fear of spoiling them. The lovely notebooks that I don’t write in because I have nothing to say that is important enough to mar their creamy pages. Pretty rubbers and pencils that remain in their boxes because using them would make them  uneven sizes.  (Yes, I know. But as OCD goes, it could be much worse!)

For the moment, I’m deriving a pure and simple happiness in watching my Moon Munkie discovering the pleasures of the Stationery Isle.  Perhaps I’ll hand over my beautiful notepads and pencils and enjoy her using them on my behalf.


I seem to have lost my Makery Mojo somewhat recently. Just lacking in inspiration, and creativity. I think I’ve probably contracted some rare tropical disease because I’ve been focusing on cleanery and laundery(!) rather than makery. For people that know me, this is serious… I’ve never met a duster I liked.

So my house is sparkly but my sewing machine is gathering dust. Along with the dust, once nebulous feelings of craft guilt are starting to coagulate in a thick patina on the inside of my skull. And this post is a shameless attempt to break through. So here is the list of things I’m feeling guilty about right now.

– Not posting about the Mystery Makery that is going on world wide. It’s taken off well. I just haven’t been keeping up with it.

-Not completing my own Mystery Makes from the Seek Speak (who is doing a very cool giveaway at the moment!) and Modern Vintage Cupcakes (go and see how cute she is with her baby bump, it will make your day.)

-The incomplete cardigan I started at Christmas for Moon Munkie. Just one sleeve left. Why can’t I pick it up?

-The large bag of dress making fabric bought at a whim and stroked lovingly many times. But as of yet uncut.

-Map bunting for my classroom

-Final hemming of the hallway curtains.

-Blackout curtains for Moon Munkie’s new bedroom

-I haven’t written in Moon Munkie’s journal for a couple of months either. Which isn’t officially makery, but it comes from the same bit of me that isn’t working at the moment. Wish I could locate that spot and give it a prod.

I could go on, but it’s not really helping. I’m just feeling worse. So I’m going to post a picture of the only makery I’ve been up to in a fortnight. Some small eco-systems for my classroom. The little growing plants make me happy.  I hope that Year 8 are happy too when they make theirs. I’m especially fond of the tall one which has a pond eco sytem at the bottom linked to a soil eco system at the top. I found the idea here.  I love it but I couldn’t bring myself to introduce live animals and insects to such a small environment. No point in starting my own version of the Hunger Games.  

Moon Munkie has planted a whole trough of her own plants too. She came running inan hour later to see if they’d grown and her little sad face broke my heart. A hard life lesson to learn there.

Sew Thankful: Giveaway

Sew Grateful Week

I just decided to join in with today’s Sew Thankful Giveaway. It’s the last minute, I know! My giveaway is for one  felt cupcake pin cushion. (You can see a set of 6 below that my Moon Munkie is baking in her oven – minus the pins of course!)  You can enter by leaving a comment. If you’d care to follow me too, I’d be so grateful. But it’s not a requirement for entering.
I’ll leave the giveaway open until Wednesday 14th 15th February (because I’m away for the weekend) so anyone who wants to has lots of time to enter. And even if you don’t win, you can go to the cupcake post and get the template and pattern to make your own! What could be nicer to celebrate Sew Grateful Week?

Play kitchen

Last Christmas I fell in love with this toy kitchen. I ummed and ahhhed about getting it for my Munkie, but it was £60 which felt  too extravagant for a 1 year old. Also, it’s less than half a metre tall, meaning that by the time she’s 5 or 6 it will be too little to play with properly. But the image of the pretty blue oven with the red gingham oven gloves continued to creep into my daydreams until I couldn’t resist any longer: I either needed to buy the oven or create a substitute.  

Searching the internet for tutorials, I found no shortage of build your own toy kitchen instructions. But none really matched my rookie woodworking skill level. Then suddenly it came to me. Upcycling. My favourite way to make. It’s cheap and sustainable and gives you a warm glow when you’re done.  A quick google revealed all manner of possibilities, from an entertainment centre (too big), to a stool  (too small),  to a bedside cabinet (just right).  Seriously, there are a lot of talented Mummies and Daddies out there in Internet Land.  Mr Munkie selflessly donated his bedside cabinet to the cause and we were all set to go.

Except I had no tools. Or experience. Or any ideas of how to begin. So a few months of heavy pondering were in order. In the meantime Granddad Munkie had blessed me with a powerdrill as a birthday gift. Armed with this and girlie thoughts of pretty pastel kitchens I headed off to B&Q for a sheet of MDF.  (Have I mentioned before how much I like the people in this place?  I’m a novice DIYer. I have grand ideas and no abilities. They never fail to support me whilst gently suggesting more reasonable ways to achieve the effect I’m looking for.)

A woodworking friend cut the straight edges on his table saw. And he used a router to inset a piece of perspex in the over door. I sprayed with aerosol paint. I attached all the bits together with little white plastic doo-dahs which I now know are referred to as “modesty blocks”. I went to town with the hot glue gun. And whipped up some accessories from the red gingham I loved so much. A few felt cupcakes later and my Moon Munkie was overjoyed to receive Mama Munkie’s version of the Honeybake on her 2nd birthday. Seriously fun to make and seriously fun to play with. I find myself “tidying” it while she’s sleeping.