Horrible Histories At Warwick Castle with the W Factor

Putrid PiratesA short while ago I asked if any of you had the W Factor and fancied entering a new competition based on Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my three ‘pirates’ do indeed have the W Factor and came second overall!!

WickedWarwickThat means they’ve won cameo roles in Wicked Warwick, a brand new Horrible History stage show being shown at Warwick Castle twice daily until 6th September. The show is amazing! I must admit that none of us were sure what to expect but Wicked Warwick is quick witted, engaging and perfect for all ages. The kids were giggling, I was chortling and the grandparents were laughing heartily. There were impressions of famous people, historical facts and songs a-plenty. I’m not going to tell you that you should go, just make the time and get thee there!! It really is worth a visit and of course you get to explore Warwick Castle too.WickedWarwickStage

Back to the competition, we found our way to the Wicked Warwick stage (by the Riverside), where we claimed our seats early! It was a family affair with Granny knitting Blackbeard’s beard, Daddy painted the ‘No Mercy!’ t-shirt and I had sewn Blackbeard’s coat. The props were made from Ikea packaging boxes (even pirates can be eco-friendly!) and we were all nervously waiting. When the host called the pirates on stage I helped them carry their props and then crept back to the audience to watch. I’d love to show you their performance but unfortunately we had a technical hitch and didn’t capture it 🙁 . However you can see a mini bit in the following Youtube video along with some of the other brilliant entries (aren’t kids brave getting up on stage).

When the winners were announced, the excitement that oozed out of my kids was extreme; they bounced, they skipped and they squealed with glee! They felt so special and grateful and haven’t stopped talking of it since, the trophy of course has a special place where everyone can see it. They even received Horrible History books and have been delighting me with funny facts every day.piratesatwarwickcastle

We finished off our wonderful trip by visiting the Horrible History folk in their encampment near the entrance to the Castle. The kids splatted some rats, although Blackbeard true to pirate form splatted the Executioner stood nearby who reacted in a most humorous manner.piratessplatrats

Later in June we’ll return to Warwick so the kids can take up their cameo roles in Wicked Warwick (I’m determined I’ll get that one on video). We’ll also make sure to see some parts of the castle that we missed such as the Trebuchet firing a fireball or the Eagles flying. We did manage to visit the new Time Tower though which is brilliant.piratefight

For full details on the Horrible History show pop over to the Warwick Castle website here.




So You Want To Be A Pirate DVD review

Earlier in the year Aardman Animations released The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists at the cinema. In honour of it’s DVD release Aardman have produced a short animation DVD in conjunction with Tesco stores called ‘So You Want To Be A Pirate!’ I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy to watch with the kids.

First of all I haven’t actually seen the film that this DVD is promoting! Like most films I fully intended to take the children along to the cinema, but family life being what it is we never got around to it. This is where DVDs come in so handy, I can always find a moment at home to sit down with the kids. The children were therefore very excited to watch this short animation, they knew it was not the film, but as my boys are currently somewhat pirate potty they were very excited none the less.

Like many people I grew up with the Wallace & Gromit films made by Aardman. The whole family would sit down together and even the adults could appreciate not only the skillful stop motion animation but also the wonderfully British humour. I even had a budgie named after Gromit, we were true fans! This undoubtedly means that I have high expectations when it comes to their new releases.

I am therefore very pleased to report that this DVD lived up to those expectations in everyway. As usual there was the smooth animation and wonderfully wide grins that are essential to an Aardman flick. There was also a good deal of humour that had me chuckling away as much (if not more!) than the kids. Everything I expect from an Aardman film, from the jokes, to the styling, to the cute animals, every element was here.

The DVD also features extras including: How To Animate Your Pirate, How To Draw A Pirate and How To Talk Like A Pirate!.

Plus there’s extra content accessible by popping the DVD into your computer including games, colouring pages, recipes and more!

The DVD itself only runs for 17minutes, but I find that perfect for short attention spans and at an RRP of just £5 you can’t really complain.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed this DVD and have watched it many times already.

Could it be improved in anyway?

Not really, there were certainly no complaints from the kids.

Would I recommend this item?

Without a doubt, in fact I already have to several friends. It’s just jolly good family fun, Yar! (we’ve all started speaking the Pirate lingo now!) 🙂

Croquembouche and Pirates!

Good afternoon everyone!

I’ve been going through my schedule and I do have a lot of yummy, interesting and crafty posts in the pipeline, but for today here are a couple of projects that have been keeping me busy.

It was recently my wedding anniversary which we’ve never really got around to celebrating. Year after year we promise to actually do something, but it never seems to happen. This time we both managed a card at least, so that’s a vast improvement. Anyway, at about 2pm on the day it suddenly struck me as a fantastic idea to recreate our wedding cake. I had no idea what was in the cupboards, but I improvised my way through and made a croquembouche! With more time and preparation I like to think it would have looked a bit grander.

Our actual wedding cake was significantly larger, filled with chocolate cake and obviously somewhat more professional. For my first croquembouche though, I think it’s pretty nifty 🙂 If you would like to have a go yourself I used the recipe from Lakeland Limited’s site. I sadly do not own their specially designed pan, I had to make do with a rather fiddly cardboard cone I constructed and covered in greaseproof paper. Overall I was very chuffed with this last minute effort.

In other news we have been redesigning our boys bedroom. Having heard an awful lot about pirates recently, it became easy to choose a theme. I’ve tried to take a few photos to show you the finished product.

We painted the bunks (which were originally white) using a homemade chalk paint. This was largely due to impatience on my part, the original plan had been to purchase some wonderful Annie Sloan paint, but it worked so I’m not going to complain. If you’d like to have a go at making your own chalk paint, it’s roughly two parts emulsion to one part plaster of paris.

I made the bed covers from wide stripe fabric. No fancy padding I’m afraid, they simply pull over the existing quilt.

The cushions are premade faux silk ones from Dunelm Mill. I then cut up an old sheet and appliqued the skull and crossbones.

The lampshade is a plain one from Ikea with gold braid glued in place (just realised this doesn’t feature in the photos but I swear it looks great lol). The clock and curtain fabric (which I forgot to photograph) are also from Ikea. The curtains are tied back using thick rope. We also have a jolly roger light switch cover.

A bit of a search about the internet found this amazing porthole from Wilson Graphics, it’s wonderful!

The ships wheel, toybox and fishing net were from various sellers. The shells were wound into place using beading thread.

The boys love their new room and I’m pleased with it too. If you want to know where I got anything from just send me a message or leave a comment here.

I’d love to say the projects are finished, but my little girl wants an Alice in Wonderland room next 🙂