You don’t have to go too far to find a good farm and Bocketts Farm is FAB! Set in the Surrey countryside, this working family farm is a fantastic day out for everyone. From animal handling, Pig racing, tractor rides, playgrounds and indoor soft play, you and the children will not get bored!
We spent a full day there, the weather was lovely and the children had so much to do and see. When you arrive you can buy some animal food and the kids get given little passports. Within the main farm building, there is a tractor track with mini peddle ride-ons for the little ones. Stanley LOVED them! A big indoor play area is on the other side with giant slides… Bocketts have an extensive range of animals. In the indoor ‘Small Animal Village’ there are Rabbits, Guinee Pigs, Birds, Chickens, Mice and an opportunity to milk Goats. As you walk around, you have an opportunity to get your farm ‘passport’ stamped. Outside, you’re greeted to Goats, Horses, Ponies and much more. The boys loved feeding them, Harry was loading up handfuls of food but Stan’s technique was a little reserved…giving them one piece at a time haha!
One of the highlights of our day had to be the Pig Race. Competitors included ‘Will-I-Ham’, ‘Peppa Pig’, ‘Bradley Piggins’, ‘Kevin Bacon’, ‘Harry Trotter’ and ‘Boaris Johnson’! With it being Lambing Season, we were fortunate to watch a new baby lamb being bottle fed, having been born just moments before we entered the Lambing Shed. His mother had a green mark on her back which meant she was initially scanned for carrying twins however we learnt that she only had one after all, so he was quite a big boy!
On the farm, there are Alpacas, Donkeys, Horses, Ducks, go-karting, tractor and trailer rides, trampolines, adventure playgrounds, giant bouncy pillows, slides, sand pits, ‘dress the scarecrows’, designated picnic areas and a very cool kitchen garden with fresh organic produce. If you didn’t come prepared with a picnic, then the large Tearoom Barn serves up delicious homemade food, and caters for all dietary needs. The farm shop sells homemade jams and plenty of little animal themed gifts for everyone.
To plan your visit to this beautiful farm, you can check out their website here: http://www.bockettsfarm.co.uk
by Laura xx
My favourite craft idol is without doubt Kirstie Allsopp and a couple of weeks ago I went to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace. I took my friend Angela along who is also a big creative bee like myself, but it was just wonderful ‘escaping’ mum duties for a day and it just be the two of us, kid-free for a few hours!
It was a sunny Sunday and addmitedly I’ve never been to Hampton before, so it was a real pleasure to take it all in. The fair itself was opposite the palace, but that didn’t stop Ange and I visiting the palace grounds after.
‘Molly Makes’ teams up with Kirstie and The Handmade Fair for a third year running and promises to be another fantastic 3 day weekend of workshops and creative inspiration. With opportunities to meet with some of the top creative experts in the industry, and Kirstie herself. Sponsored by Hobbycraft, it’s an event not to be missed.
Having not been to Kirstie’s fair before, I was thrilled to be invited along and excited to get my creative senses tantalised! When you first arrive you are faced with numerous large tents and plenty of colour, bunting and the yummy smell of cuisines. If only I hadn’t had breakfast! Angela and I went straight to the Press tent to collect our pack and decide which workshops we wanted to participate in. Before that, we had a stroll around in the marketplace to take in all of the talented artisans and crafters. Stall after stall of wonderfully handmade and homemade products. Everything from art work, knitted and crochet gifts, stationary, fabric, toys and vintage. Unluckily for me I hadn’t foreseen that I would want to purchase EVERYTHING….luckily for my husband I didn’t bring his debit card with me (next.time)- yes all stalls take card!! What’s more is that all of the exhibitors were absolutely lovely and it was such a friendly and welcoming environment. The visitors were predominantly women, with friends or their mothers…and the occasional dad who had clearly been dragged along to be in charge of the baby while mum spent his money on more craft that she already has at home but NEEDS MORE (obvs)!
The VIP tent was calling us so we headed in there for some complimentary cups of tea and took stock of everything we had viewed before getting ready for our first workshop. We’d probably only been there for an hour and were buzzing with adrenaline! We signed up for three skills workshops; Confetti Crackers, I Make Knots and Tie Dye Infinity Scarf.
Confetti Crackers, with Zeena Shah.
Zeena crafts all of her handmade products in her East London studio. She makes things such as hand silk printed home accessories and also runs her own craft workshops from her studio. To find out more and view her beautiful collection, visit www.zeenashah.com
Who doesn’t love a confetti cracker right? I love them, as do my boys, so to get to make them was a treat..and so straight forward they are too! All of the kit was set out on the tables and Zeena ran through with us exactly what we had to do step by step. We made everything from decorating the outer part of the cracker using stamps, to pre-cutting the confetti for the inside. You can purchase the cracker ‘pulls’ from Hobbycraft and use toilet roll tubes for the inner part.
I Make Knots, with Riannon Selcuk.
Following on from her passion of knitting and crocheting, Riannon started up ‘I make knots’, creating everything from Jewellery to full scale knitwear! Visit her website at www.imakeknots.com
Wow, I had not put my hand to knitting for years, probably since I was a child, so this was certainly a craft that I needed to begin from scratch. Learning the techniques and skills I needed to create an impressive necklace knitted with fabric yarn. I’ve never used fabric yarn before but apparently it’ surety easy to pick up. Luckily for me, Riannon is an excellent (and patient) teacher! Angela was in her element and fell straight into her knitting skills pretty swiftly. Once I got into my stride, I too seemed to sail through occasionally needing support from the craft master herself! This was such fun and the end result was impressive!
Tie Dye Infinity Scarf, with Ellie Jarvis.
Ellie studied at Central St.Martin’s School of Art in London and developed a passion for fabric manipulation and embellishment. Her and her family have created a family business to be proud of, producing original and one-off textile designs as well as a range of greeting cards. To find out more, check out www.clovellysilk.com
Tie Dyeing always takes me back to memories from my childhood. I remember learning the techniques at school, using large buckets and getting her hands right in with large pieces of cotton fabric and a load of elastic bands! This workshop however, was slightly different. We were all given a White T’shirt which we needed to cut the top half off (neck and sleeves) to leave us with one tubular piece of fabric. This was our ‘infinity scarf’. To create our Tie Dye, we were using permanent Sharpie pens and surgical spirit (which you can buy in any high street chemist or pharmacy!). It was so much fun. We designed our own patterns with the pens and then carefully dripped (sparingly) the surgical spirit over the top from a height, which slowly seeps through the cotton to merge the pattern and colours effectively creating a Tie Dye! If you do this at home with your children however, it is vital that you man it, because the spirit must be used sparingly and is pretty potent 😉
After a busy day of making, eating, drinking and laughing with my friend, we were equipped with new skills and filled with inspiration to take home and share with our families. If you’ve not yet been to Kirstie’s Handmade Fair, then look out for tickets at the next event as I’m pretty sure you’ll LOVE it! In the meantime, I’m super excited to watch Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4 which will be on our TV screens soooooon….. YIPPEEEE!
This September see’s Kirstie’s Handmade Fair return for a 3rd year to Hampton Court Palace and the best bit is that my lucky readers get DISCOUNTED tickets!
Kirstie Allsop has to be my all time ARTs and CRAFTS idol. I don’t know about you but one of my favourite winter tv series is ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas’ full to the brim with ideas, inspiration, glitter and colour. She oozes sassy-ness, charm and style and is unbelievably imaginative and inventive…
Come and get creative with Kirstie Allsop herself as well as Annie Sloan, Patrick Grant and many more inspiring designers and artists. There are opportunities a-plenty to take part in some fabulous workshops throughout the day, from mug painting to block printing, willow weaving to needle felting, it’s all covered! Whether you’re a creative bee like myself or lack in a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ but love all things crafty, there’s something for everyone.
It’s promised to get all your senses buzzing, with not only things to participate in but some great shopping for gifts, art materials, fabrics, etc as well as lots of yummy food and drinks to fuel you up!
So if you fancy getting involved, I’ve got two discount codes available for you for the following tickets:
Code: LAURA27 gets you £5 off a Full Experience Ticket (£27 instead of £32)
Code: LAURA16 gets you £4 off Entry + Super Theatre Ticket (£16 instead of £20)
Running from Friday 16th September- Sunday 18th September 2016, three days to chose from for a fun day out! Not all experts are appearing every day, so it really is best to check out the full schedule over on their website www.thehandmadefair.com
SEE YOU THERE! Xxx
World book day is a yearly event organised to promote reading. In the first week of March the children get to dress up as a book character of their choice then walk in the school parade. It’s such a fun event, getting to see how enthusiastic some of the parents get when helping their kid create a show-stopper of a costume, or the parents that freak out at the thought of anything imaginative or creative! I love it. Probably a bit more than my son loves it. But then any excuse to try and make something I go a bit giddy!! Harry told me last week that I’m ‘besessed’ with making things- by that, he means ‘obsessed’!
Last year he wanted to go as ‘Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs’. So we made a cardboard bucket, a spine of spikes for his back, and a giant dinosaur head. It was a lot of effort..and all for 5minutes of him trying it on in the house. He REFUSED to wear the head when he got to school!
So this year, I learnt my lesson and we tried to come up with something a little more ‘wearable’. I know what he’s like, when all eyes are on him or he feels the pressure, he backs out or gets shy sharpish! Cat in The Hat was the choice. I was quite relieved as I knew from the start we only really needed to make a hat, the rest we could throw together.
For the hat, I wanted to be a bit more imaginative, so I drew out some of the illustrations from the book, then got harry to colour them in. We then colour photocopied onto white card and these are used for the white sections of the hat. Together with red card, we made quite a tall and bent (harry promptly reminded me it HAD to have a bend in it!) hat. The problem with it being so tall was that it was quite heavy to wear! Uh oh!
Harry wore a black onesie, white gloves, and a tail that I purchased online (this will definitely come in handy again I’m sure). For his white tummy, I hunted for some fur in John Lewis but sadly they didn’t have any, so I rummaged their bargain bucket and found some white satin fabric for 90p 🙂 I sewed a circular shape onto the front of the onesie and padded it out with stuffing. Rather than use a ribbon for the bow-tie, I drew and cut out a giant bow on red card and super glued a piece of ribbon onto the back to be tied around his neck.
Cat in The Hat couldn’t turn up at school without the fish of course! Half filling a sandwich bag with water, we made a goldfish from Orange pipe cleaners. We’ve made goldfish like these before, but usually use carrots (cut into fish shapes). They look soooo effective swishing around in the clear bag.
Having spent the last 3 days saying ‘actually I don’t think I’ll wear the hat’, and me thinking (silently) ‘of course you will..u better!!’ Harry decided to WEAR IT! I was very proud. I dreaded us having a repeat scenario like last year- arriving at the school gates and him freaking out and refusing to put anything on! He was a super duper Cat in The Hat..and most people thought the fish was real!!