Tuesday, 26 October 2010

What Lo-Lo Did Next: Toast Part Deux

Simon Cowell and Prince Charles
So I got hold of some pictures from one of the staff at the City Rooms to show you all our next toasty efforts! We did these on behalf of the Daily Mail, but I don't think they used them in the end!! Ah well, it was 6.5 hours of more toasty fun and absolutely dead  legs the next day!

But maybe doing these will cement my reputation as a 'contemporary artist' so if the whole museum thing goes belly up then I've got something even more flouncy to fall back on.

Me working Liz Hurley
They've told me they'll send me more so I'll add them as I receive them. In true Daily Mail stylee, we did the Queen, Prince Charles, Simon Cowell, Mick Jagger, Joanna Lumley, Liz Hurley, Madonna and David Cameron. Absolutely all my favourite celebrities in the world. I'm surprised at how well they've come out via this mobile phone camera though. Toast mosaics seem to always look better in photos and considering these are quite small the overall impression is still there.

And so the art of toast mosaicking continues to develop. :)

Turning Prince Charles into the Queen!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Extreme Housewife's Christmas Challenge!

I heard on the news this morning that today is the last day for people who want to lose a few pounds sensibly to start preparing for Christmas. This got me to thinking how I've let my exercise slip and had far too much beer and takeout in the last fortnight or so, so I have decided to embark upon an Extreme Housewife Christmas Challenge!

In fairness, the tshirt doesn't help. But my posture's awful!
I weighed myself on the wii fit and was shocked that it came out at 8st 10lbs! Arghh! (I was 8st 6lbs two months ago when I last went on it!) For someone of my diminutive height, this is not good enough. Since there are 6 weeks until Xmas I want to lose 6lbs. I want to end up more toned so I can look fabulous if I happen to get invited to any Christmas parties. So, 8st 4lbs or below by Christmas, that's the challenge.

In fairness, I'm not going to change my diet. I've definitely had too much fast food recently,  but that has been a product of circumstance, rather than choice. So I'll just make sure I stick to the usual routine of cooking too much for dinner and taking some into work for lunch the next day. I will also remind the Extreme Husband that as much as she loves his homemade curries, she should not be eating two portions worth of them at once. And I refuse to cut down on the beer - again, we've been out a lot recently, but that should be calming down now, so back to a few drinks once or twice  a week.

In order to complete the challenge therefore, I need to get back on the exercise. EA Sports Active here I come! I will also record all my activity and habits on Feel Fit, so I can keep tabs on how I'm doing with eating, drinking and exercising.

I am hoping that by posting on here and being honest about it I will feel obliged to keep it up and therefore not feel like a lazy cow come Christmas. We shall see. Any encouragement duly welcomed!

Things I Know About Making Toast Mosaics That I Didn't Know Before

1. Dark toast is smaller than light toast and therefore messes with your grid.
2. Jumping up and down on toast is the most effective way of making it bigger so it all fits.
3. Eventually, crumbs on the floor become a life-threatening slip hazard.
4. If correctly attached to the floor with 'spread', you can walk on a toast mosaic.
Me making a toast mosaic
5. Getting your mates to make a massive toast mosaic leads to a whole range of interesting builder's bums that you never thought you'd see.
6. Given the volume of toast, at least one person will search out butter in order to try and eat some.
7. Giant toast mosaics are surprisingly popular with the media.
8. Repeated toast mosaic creation leads to soreness of the lower back, knees and front of legs.
9. Everyone develops a different technique of applying the toast - by rows, in blocks or by colour seeming to be the most popular.
10. Anyone dislodging a piece of toast from the mosaic will be subjected to a round of pantomime boos.

Oh, and finally, the speed at which a toast mosaic is produced increases geometrically with the amount of booze consumed.

My Extreme Toast Mosaic - A New World Record!

And so it began...

So last weekend we entered the Guinness Book of World Records by making a the biggest ever mosaic in toast. We organised it as a HTC Wildfire Experience through a competition that we won. This meant that I got a load of my facebook friends together, including having Greg and Cory flown over from the States! It was so awesome to have so many friends together and it made me laugh so much that our friend Ian decided to get the bus back to Leicester with us, even though, strictly speaking, he had no way to get home!!

Sandra couldn't believe that we'd made her face out of toast and even cried a little bit when she saw it, but hell, she deserves it - she's an ace mother in law! Since last weekend, it has been incredibly mad. We've been on Daybreak, The One Show, This Morning, Granada Reports and BBC Northwest Tonight. We've been featured in pretty much every national newspaper and loads of local ones. I've done radio interviews for local radio, national radio and international radio! I don't think anyone could have predicted it would take off to this extent! I'm so glad that it helped to raise the profile of the Salvation Army in Warrington too, so some good came out of it apart from our own selfish wishes...

Lex and Jim
On Thursday, we did a series of 8 much smaller toast mosaics of various celebrities for the Daily Mail. I have no idea if it's actually in the paper, it is supposed to be in today, will send the Extreme Husband to Tesco in a bit to go check out the situation. Doing these mosaics was actually a lot harder as there were only a few of us there. The next day my knees and the front of my legs were absolutely stiff as - still feeling it a bit now. Unbelievable stuff.

Measuring it up with the official Guinness adjudicator
Makes you glad to have a blog called 'Extreme Housewifery' - this is definitely the highlight so far, so now we have to figure out what we can do to top it... Crocheting at the summit of Mount Killimanjaro? Feeding the 5000 by cooking a massive tarka dal in the Punjab? Redecorating the hall entirely in beer bottle labels? I don't know, but these all sound like great places to start. It has just reminded me to take the opportunities that arise in life. We grasped this one with both hands and had the most wonderful day. We're starting to get back to normal now - I'm spending the weekend resetting the house by doing a bit of low-level extreme housewifery, but I am determined to keep making my life sparkly and fun wherever I can, and if I can include my friends in that and share something special with them then so much the better!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

And she said 'Let there be path'

Wow! What a beautiful day!

Gipsy-Moo living it large
I am very much enjoying being out in the garden in a t-shirt and long shorts at this time of the year! I've been neglecting the garden for the last month or so as work has been so busy and the rain has not encouraged me to get out there, so today I thought it was time to roll up my sleeves and get it sorted. Looks like Gipsy-Moo is enjoying the impromptu sunshine as well, although I'm slightly worried she may have killed off the rosemary cuttings that were doing so well! Time will tell on that one!

The monster veg garden
I have officially declared the growing season for most things over. I've picked the last couple of baby courgettes and pulled up the plant as it's time to reclaim my path, especially with the terrible weather that undoubtedly lies ahead. Unsurprisingly, the cabbages and cauliflowers have not recovered from the Cabbage White caterpillar attack, so they've gone too! I have deadheaded the climbing rose for the last time this year. The kale I am hoping will recover and continue to provide us with greens over winter, so I've simply trimmed off the cabbage white ravaged leaves and left the new growth. Hopefully it will thrive now it has a bit more space.

Hope there's room in the compost!
My random beetroot all looks to be doing pretty well, so we can start eating those soon too. I was pleased to pull all of that lot up and find my Poundland gooseberry bush is still holding its own at the back of the border. Hopefully next year it will shoot up like the blackcurrant has this year, although that is yet to fruit. The last of the redcurrants are shriveling on the branch now, so that is heading into its winter sleep and I've cut back the lovage for the last time - that will wilt down to its roots, ready for me to move it when it first shows it's head next year.

And lo, there was path
All in all a very productive year for the garden this year. We've done very well for vegetables and herbs - the sorrel in particular seems to have enjoyed its new location. Now all I need is for the Extreme Husband to get the lawns cut and we can pretty much leave the garden to sleep until next year. Night night planties!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Extreme Halloween

OK, I want to get myself ready for Halloween this year. I can't remember dressing up for Halloween - ever! My parents weren't really into it and wouldn't let me go trick or treating and I never really went out for Halloween at uni, so this year I'm thinking it could be time to go for it and hold a house party.

So having never really done this before, I want an awesome costume. And I think it's only right that I make it. I don't mind if I sew, knit, crochet or stick it, but it's got to be good. And I've got 3 weeks just over to make it. So do you, lovely blog readers, have any ideas?

Past fancy dress is a cop out, although I did the flares!
I've been scouting the internet. Rainbow Brite looks a possibility, with knitted armwarmers and tights/leg warmers and a sewn bodice. I've seen awesome YouTube videos for making your own fairy wings, which seems to be a great idea, but maybe a little predictable? I've seen knitted cat accessories - ears and tail as well as hilarious sewn costumes FOR cats, which I think my three would totally not appreciate...

In the past I've made a couple of things that would be suitable for a costume so I'm happy to go on with it. My favourite was the Brain Slug (from Futurama) that I made for a friend, unfortunately I didn't take a picture.

Help! How can I go from my past fancy dress predictability to amazing?
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