Monday, 30 July 2012

And lo yet more Lego appeared...

I mentioned in my last post that it was Max's birthday recently and inevitably that meant an influx of new Lego (can anyone say "spoilt child"??!!), including (but not limited to) a police station, truck, helicopter and several pieces from the new Dino range.

Now there's nothing I like more than a bit of good organising and all this Lego left me thinking how on earth we were going to store the damn stuff.  Short of using all the Lego (and trust me there's enough) to construct a shed for it in the back garden, some consideration needed to be given to the layout of Max's bedroom and the storage options available.  Max has two Ikea units in his bedroom, one being used for all his books and some random toys/dressing up stuff and the other for Lego.  The Lego unit left a lot be desired as all the Lego was housed so most of it couldn't be seen.  I had previously googled "Lego" for an image, when I was looking for inspiration for Max's birthday cake, and I came across a blog post which of course I can no longer find but this one is similar.  As one of the storage units in Max's bedroom is the Trofast one (the one with the books/random toys on) it seemed sensible to have a shift about.

So the art easel (which Max no longer uses but Penelope is obsessed with) was moved into Penelope's room.  Then the books all moved across to the other storage unit, after the younger books were weeded out and moved onto Penelope's bookcase.  Penelope got as much out of this as Max did.

At this point a trip to Ikea was required to acquire some storage bags and some more of the drawers that fit in the Trofast system.  And, as is inevitable with a trip to Ikea, several other non-essential items also acquired - seriously how do they do it??

After bringing home all the essential and non-essential (but seemed it at the time) items, I moved all his dressing up stuff into a storage bag under his bed and redistributed the random toys to other storage units about the house, the loft and some charity bags.

At this point I needed to name the drawers so after using a bit of WordArt on the computer, and shading the WordArt the appropriate colour some drawer names were created and then laminated using my bargain laminator from Tesco.  How can they sell a laminator for only £12??  After a bit lot of sorting out individual Lego bricks Max's Trofast system now looks like this

The larger bottom drawers have a colour theme whereas the two smaller top drawers contain mini-figures and also the tinier more technical bits which would never be found again if they went in the colour coded drawers.

I have even arranged all the instruction booklets in some lever arch files (top left of the photo above) but do confess to having got slightly carried away by laminating an index of the booklets and putting it on the front of the files.....

Max was very pleased with this turn of events

The brilliant thing about this is that it has made the Lego much more accessible to Max and he has already built lots more things just because he can see all the bits.  I had suggested to him that we could break up all the built pieces but that was a step too far for a five year old.  Instead he has satisfied himself with taking apart a piece at a time and then immediately rebuilding it.  Lego - the toy that keeps on giving!!

And, having posted a photo of my efforts on Facebook, a certain person at Two Owls Design also arranged some Lego in a similar fashion, albeit without the lamination - although I have offered my services.

Now if I could just work out where to put all the Lego that is currently residing on our dining table I could call all this organisation a success.....

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Birthday Cakes Again

Max turned 5 at the beginning of July and yet again I needed to make birthday cakes.  And this time I had to make three - eek!  Max and his friend P were having a joint birthday party - well they are in the same class and their birthdays are only a fortnight apart so it saved me and V half the cost!!  I made the mistake of letting Max and P look through a birthday cake book that my friend J had lent me.  It was inevitable that, as they had decided on a knight and princess party (well they are 5) that they would both choose different castle cakes.....

So here's P's cake - this one was actually fairly easy to make as it was constructed entirely of swiss roll. I adapted the decoration to make turrets etc with ice cream cones.

And here is Max's

This one wasn't very complicated but it took ages.  It was quite fiddly putting on the individual bits of icing to get the stone effect.  I think it probably took about 4-5 hours to decorate.  My best friend whilst making this cake was edible glue!  It is amazing and very useful for things like this.

Now as we had Max's birthday party almost two weeks before his birthday, Max had a friend come for tea on his birthday and of course that meant another cake.  Now as you may recall Max is more than a little obsessed with Lego so, to make life a little bit easier for me, I decided to make a Lego brick.

One rectangular cake was made and then I cut some circles out from the excess using a cookie cutter.  Funnily enough my friend Jo had the same idea for Aidan's birthday cake - great minds think alike and all that.