Category: Seasonal

Crafty Christmas Presents

p1040208Just a few crafty bits and bobs I got for Christmas. A new copy of Selvedge magazine which is stupidly expensive, but has pretty pictures and articles on artisanal* crafty things.  A book of 20 different fabric flowers for me to try making, and some pretty silver tape. Continue reading “Crafty Christmas Presents”

Felt Christmas Decorations

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I made some felt birthday decorations for boyfriend’s birthday and did the same thing again for Christmas.  I made a garland/banner with felt letters that spelt out Happy Christmas, and stuffed the letters with toy stuffing.  I made the letters smaller than the ones I did for the birthday banner but this made them fiddlier, especially for the stuffing.  So next time I’ll make them bigger, and they’ll have more impact that way too. Also I might use a template for the ‘S’ because they came out a bit wiggly!

Below are some from a few years ago which I’m pretty proud of. I think they look pretty cute, I did a gingerbread house, a present, a Christmas tree, and a gingerbread man.  Then I strung them onto sparkly ribbon.

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Origami Stars

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It’s bonfire night so I thought I’d make some origami paper stars.
I took a thin strip of paper about 1.5cm wide and tied it into a ‘knot’ then flattened that down into a sort of pentagon with tails.  Then I folded the little tail, then wrapped the long tail around the pentagon, turning it over each time until I was left with a little tail again and finally tucked that in.

Then I squeezed each point to make it more star-y.  It sort of worked!

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Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl

I always want to do something awesome for Halloween and it never really happens.  The internet tells me I can make a mummy costume, or become a lego version of myself with only my innate make-up ability and 10 minutes.  That way ends in disaster.

I also want to go for something scary, rather than all the silly popular culture inspired ones that proliferate the interwebs, but that limits the options further. I went for something in the middle, not a witch or vampire but also not a humanoid emoji or confectionery item.   I chose cave girl. Continue reading “Halloween Costume Idea- Cave Girl”

Shakespeare's Day

No one knows the exact date of Shakepeare’s birth so we tend to celebrate his death.  Well tbh I don’t think I have ever celebrated his death, but April 23rd 2016 is its the 400th anniversary and, given how much I’ve been reading recently, it felt appropriate to make a blog post on it.

                         All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Really, you shouldn’t be reading Shakepeare, his plays were written to be watched and they make a lot more sense then struggling through reading them in English class which is most people’s Shakepearean experience.  I can’t say I’m his biggest fan but I have enjoyed watching A Midsumer Night’s Dream performed at The Globe in London, and watching Much Ado About Nothing, the Kenneth Brannaugh film.

The plots are convoluted to say the least- the equivalent to any Spanish language soap opera- and not all of it makes sense.  In Twelfth Night, for example, twins Viola and Sebastian are shipwrecked and separated, Viola disguises herself as a man in order to get a job working for Duke Orsino who sends her to woo Countess Olivia on his behalf.  Olivia, believing Viola to be a man, falls in love with Viola. Viola, of course, has fallen in love with the Duke…Meanwhile some of the other characters play a trick on Malvolio, Olivia’s pompous steward, convincing him that Olivia is in love with him. Then Sebastian turns up, Olivia mistakes him for Viola (well the man Viola is pretending to be) and proposes, they secretly marry. Finally, all four meet and Viola reveals herself as a woman, at which point she gets together with the Duke.

There are silly plot holes all over the place, but when watching the play it’s entertainment, you’re not supposed to be examining it with a fine tooth comb.  And the language Shakespeare used is the key.

In fact, there are about a million words and phrases that we use everyday that old Bill came up with.  A foregone conclusion? That’s from Othello in 1604.  Star-crossed lovers? Why that would be the unlucky Romeo and Juliet from 1592.  What the Dickens, has nothing to do with Charles Dickens, the phrase been coined more than 200yrs before he was born.  It’s from The Merry Wives of Windsor, Dickens being a slang term for devil.  And shuffle of this mortal coil? That’s from Hamlet in 1602, back then a coil meant bustle or fuss.

Anyway there’s a whole lot more. Of course there remains questions around whether Shakespeare did actually write all the work attributed to him.  But I find language really interesting, especially in how it has changed over time.

Happy Shakespeare Day.

 

 

Crepe Paper Flowers- Mother's Day Gift Idea

Here’s a cheaper alternative to buying flowers as a gift…I mean here’s a way to show someone you care about them with a hand crafted gift…

  • Pink and yellow crepe paper
  • Green wire sticks
  • Florist tape
  • Glue and scissors

First things first cut a strip of yellow crepe paper about 2-3cm wide and 10cm long, the longer you make it the more voluminous the polleny bit of the flower (I’m going with the stamen) will be. Make cuts into the crepe every 5mm all the way along the strip.  Glue one end to a piece of wire and roll the rest of the strip around.

Next cut out the petals, 4 small and 4 large.  I made up the shape, basically it’s half an oval but gone all wiggly around the top of the curve edge.  Start with the small petals and arrange them around the stamen and use the green florists tape to tape it in place.  Then do the same again with the larger petals.

Et voila!

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Leap Year

Sometimes you become very aware that time is entirely made up- the 29th February is one of those times I think.  It is a day that happens only once every four years and gives up an extra day that year.

Although it doesn’t because men aren’t really working in the back to make days, and they didn’t just get over zealous and make us an extra one- there is no more time than there was before.  Although as I said time is entirely made up so it doesn’t really matter and we do kind of get an extra day of 2016. Although it’s just a day that would have been in 2017.

Although…leap years come from the fact that it takes 365.25 ish days for the Earth to orbit the Sun not the 365 that we commonly discuss at dinner parties over brie.  This means every four years we have acumulated an extra day that has to be used to keep the calendar in line with the seasons.  But somehow over 400years we get 3 extra days so we miss out 3 leap years in every 400… But the concept of days and calendars is all made up anyway…

I hope you guys enjoy your extra day in February.

 

Homemade Gifts and Decorations for Valentine's Day

I asked boyfriend if he knew any romantic quotes and he came up with:

Phwoar you look well fit.

Which was very helpful… To be fair most romantic quotes are nauseating in their sentimentality, which I think he managed to avoid.  Still I went for something a little sweeter:

If you live to be 100 I want to be 100 minus 1 day so I never have to live a day without you.

That’s Winnie-the-Pooh for you.

Anyway just a few crafty ideas for Valentine’s Day Decorations for you, some I did myself and some I found on Pinterest:

  1. Felt Heart Decoration
  2. Paper Heart Garland
  3. Paper Heart Origami (in French)

And a few Valentine’s Day Gift ideas:

  1. Homemade Bath Bomb
  2. Homemade Jammy Dodgers
  3. Homemade Coasters