Thomas Tale of the Brave DVD Review & competition!

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Thomas the tank engine is a beautiful blue steam engine which recalls Britain’s mastery of the rails and the age of steam. My whole family has grown up with him through his books, toys and TV shows. Now my own children enjoy watching his antics (now CGI based rather than animated) and own a huge collection of Thomas trains. Despite this we have never visited Thomas Land at Drayton Manor before, so when we were asked along to a special screening of Thomas’s brand new movie we just couldn’t say no! So today I am bringing you our Thomas Tale of the Brave DVD review and over the next few days I’ll pop up a post about all the fun we had at Thomas Land.

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The films begins with a terrible storm which causes a landslide at the Sodor China Clay Pits. Thomas notices some strange footprints, but who could they belong too!? The engines of Sodor are divided in opinion on whether there is a real live monster stalking the rails of Sodor but one thing’s for sure it’s going to take one brave engine to solve this mystery!TOTB movie still 3

The movie also introduces some brand new trains to the Thomas world including Gator, Marion, Timothy and Reg. Without revealing too much of the story and giving away the mystery here is what my kids thought of the film.TOTB movie still 2

Engine N – I loved it, I like James best, he’s funny and naughty.

Conductor G – It was really exciting, I particularly like Thomas, he’s always been my favourite!

Driver I – I thought the film was brilliant and my favourite part was when Thomas meets Marion the digging train, she talks a lot and made me laugh.IMG_9964

From a parents point of view all three kids were transfixed for the full hour and entered into a state of blissful silence, you can’t really ask for more.

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There have also been some new toys released to coincide with the movie including Marion, Timothy, Gator and Scrap Heap Monster trains and a new Take-N-Play Roaring Dino Run set including Thomas.IMG_9956

Competition

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To be in with a chance of winning your own copy of Tale of the Brave on DVD enter my brand new competition!

How To Enter

Entering couldn’t be simpler, just pop over to the Angel Eden Blog Facebook page and hit ‘like’ then either click the widget below or the ‘Competition’ tab on the Facebook page to register your entry.

For extra entries either:

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The competition will end at midnight on 20th September 2014 (UK residents only please).

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Make sure you leave me a way to contact you should you win.  Good Luck!

DVD Details

Release date:                    1 September 2014

RRP:                                     £12.99

Running time:                  68 minutes

Find out more about Thomas on the Thomas & Friends website www.thomasandfriends.com. You can keep track of all the latest Thomas & Friends news on Twitter and Facebook.

Upcycling tutorial – Making an old hat new!

DSC_0651As a creative sort of person I love taking things apart and remaking them to suit my own needs. Not only is it a fun and inspiring occupation but it’s economical and environmentally friendly too. I’ve detailed my latest project as an upcycling tutorial and written the steps below in case you would like to have a go at making an old hat new!

DSC_0628I wanted a large floppy hat to shield me from harmful rays (although the sun appears to be hiding today). I found my hat in a local Oxfam shop, but while I loved the fit (and the flop) I was less keen on some of the adornments. This picture shows the rather cheap looking flower that was stuck onto one side with a massive blob of glue. DSC_0629

I removed the flower and as much of the glue as I could cut away but I was still left with a noticeable blob!

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I covered the glue and crooked sewing with another band of contrasting ribbon. The hat was tough enough that sewing seemed a little difficult, so I used fabric glue to attach instead.

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Next I sewed a simple fake bow from the contrasting ribbon, unfortunately I forgot to photograph this stage. The bow is created by cutting a length of ribbon and sewing the ends together to make a loop. A smaller piece of ribbon is folded in half and used to pinch the loop in the middle, this is then sewed together at the back. If you want ribbon tails just add in at the back with a couple of stitches. It creates a much flatter bow than a real one, making it easier to sew into place. I cut my tails into V shapes to stop them fraying and sewed the bow onto one side of the hat.DSC_0644

I was very pleased with my simple hat, it took hardly any time at all and became a truly unique creation. :)DSC_0651

This Old Thing – Vintage Patterns

this-old-thingIf you’ve been watching Channel 4 recently then chances are that you caught a bit of Dawn O’Porter’s new show ‘This Old Thing’. In it Dawn tries to convince vintaphobes (my new word, do you like it?) to swap their brand new mass produced clothing for the unique wonders of vintage. She’s mostly successful and is certainly introducing a whole new group to second-hand (excuse me vintage) clothing.dawnoporter_2954682b

As for myself I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with ‘vintage’. I love historical fashions (I’d be dressed in a bonnet everyday if I could!) and I love being unique so vintage definitely appeals. However I don’t always love vintage stores, I’ve visited several which were cramped, badly lit, musty smelling and generally uninviting. However all of that would be nothing if I bagged a real vintage treasure, unfortunately many are now overpriced and underwhelming and their idea of good quality clearly differs from my own.

On the flip side when vintage is done well, enticing stores with bright colours and enthusiastic staff, it can be incredibly exciting. Only the other day I was bouncing about my house with glee having found a 1970s Clothkits dress in perfect condition and it cost me the princely sum of £8!

However I have an unwavering passion for vintage patterns! With them I can create wonders from the past with my own two hands, I could even use vintage fabric if I wish. The end result is just as unique, and even better, I can tailor things to my own choice and size. I could even make them again!

patternRecent acquisitions include a wonderful collection of knitting patterns. I can actually remember many of these sitting about the houses of my relatives. The best creation by far though is a wonderful Teddy pattern that my Granny knitted for my brother when he was a baby.snidneys2

The Teddy was named Sidney and was dearly loved. Unfortunately my brother (being a baby and all) had the audacity to throw up on him and thanks to a trip in the washing machine he stretched and never looked the same. Despite this Sidney became something of a phenomenon in my little village and before we knew it Sidneys (all named after the original) were popping up everywhere, knitted loosely to resemble our stretched one. Of course what none of those knitting Mommas knew was that Sidney was named by my Father after Sid Snot who was one of Kenny Everett’s many characters!snidneys2-crop

I picked up my needles recently and knitted my bro a brand new bear. However what I hadn’t expected was the size difference between the new bear and the original, it goes to show what a washing machine can do to hand knitting. If it hadn’t been for this gorgeous vintage pattern Sidney would have spent the rest of his days alone but now he has a significantly smaller brother to keep him company.

So I guess Dawn is right, there’s still life in This Old Thing. :)