Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wall Paper Chains

To jazz up our first Christmas at home, I've made some paper chains, which obviously isn't something new, but I've learnt through the years, that using normal paper or wrapping paper, doesn't work, it's too weak. I noticed that the shop I'm currently working for, used wallpaper last year. Ding! I'm stealing that idea.

Luckily, I had two rolls of left over rolls of wallpaper from my old house, I started by cutting (using a stanley knife) lots of strips of wallpaper, 1.5' by 10.5'. I used two different types of paper, but the shop used 6 or so different types, it's a personal choice.

I couldn't find my stapler, even though I turned the entire house upside down, so I used double sided sticky pads, which were extra sticky. Although double sided sticky tape, a stapler, or paper fasteners would all work well.

In typical fashion, roll one strip in to a circle, fasten at the end. Get another strip, put it through the other one, and fasten, and so on.
Due to only having the two different types of paper, my pattern was simple, but if you're using the ends of rolls, etc. You could be funky, etc. and not conform.

To tie to the walls, curtain rails, light fixtures, etc. I then sewed some gold thread through each end, through the sticky pad, leaving quite a large loop, tying the ends together.

I've made three chains in total, but am planning on a forth one, for the corridor. My only wish, that I had more variety in paper, but I'm not going out to buy any, as this is more of a cost effective decoration.

Et Volia, cheap, easy and relatively quick decorations.

Primarni Christmas Wreath

I was in need of some cheap decorations, due to all of mine being in Oxfordshire, at my parents, and being skint. While on lunch the other day, I started to fret where to get some baubles, etc., everywhere on Oxford St is extremely expensive, where are all of the Wilkos of London?! I miss Wilkos!

I then hit upon an in genius idea, Primark! Although, Primark on Oxford St is a huge nightmare, possibly worse than New Years Sales, which are also something I avoid. I bit the bullet and took one for the team.

Now in Primarks defence, their decorations are relatively a-ok! I fell in love with these horrifically tacky glitter birds (this photo doesn't do them justice)! They come in various colours. They are totally worth the €3 (I can't find the receipt, so I've no idea how much they are in pounds, but I'm assuming £2.50-3).

Anyhow, I purchased some "Shatterproof baubles" = plastic! And these birds, they come in packets of three, and three different sets of colours. That night, I marked circles on to some pizza boxes, cut them out, marked some smaller circles on the inside. Glued the two sides together, covered them in foil, heated up my glue gun and got to work.

I took the tops off each of the baubles. and worked out how many I would need on the outside circle, and then on the inside circle. Tried to sort a general pattern, so that there wouldn't be lot of the same ones together, and set about gluing them in place.  I then glued a string of beads in and around them, to disguise the foil.  Well, in an attempt to disguise it.

Once that was all dry, I glued the remaining baubles on top of the bottom baubles, to hide the bauble tops. I left that to dry for a hour. Then I glued the birds in place, as a crowing glory.

The next day, once all was dry and set, I hooked some wire in place between the birds. So it's easy to hang.

It won't last forever, the glue in my gun is a little rubbish, but it'll last this Christmas, and everything involve, is easy to dismantle and reuse next year. This Christmas might be a cheap one, but it's going to be so so pretty!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Queen at 89

Today is the Queen's (my Grandma) 88th birthday. In homage to the old girl, I'm dedicating this post to her!

To the left is a photo of her and my Grandpa on their wedding day, many, many moons ago. Can you tell it was during the war? He was also, 13 years her senior, dirty old dog! Apparently there is a photo of my grandpa in the Imperial War Museum (in the 2nd World War section in the basement) sitting on a doogle-bug, that he and his battalion discovered in a woods in Germany, my grandma donated it to the museum, after he passed away, so others could enjoy it. I went there last summer and didn't see it, as I didn't know it was there. I'm going back, soon!

My grandma is a bit of a marvel. Fiercely independent, and stubborn as the most impossible mule. She often jokes that god is keeping her on the earth, as a joke. A bit harsh but very funny. It's safe to say that she's always had a very dry sense of humour. She's extremely witty and dark humoured, even at her age, possibly more so, now. And sharp with it.
She grew up on the outskirts of London, within a well to do family. One great uncle started the first department store in London and another was a Whittard. Her mother was of German descent, her father English.
With a caricature of herself
in uniform, she got for her dad. 
During the war, she was based down in Cornwall for a while, training young troops how to man the spotlights, later she got moved to central England to work on the radars. She once told me that the saddest part of the job was counting back in less planes, than had gone out. Towards the end of the war, she fell pregnant with my dad and lived out the last year or so, with offspring, assisting the army where she could.
After the war, once my grandpa returned from Germany. They settled in Blackheath. Apparently, she had the greatest garden of south England and the greatest dog know to man. Since then, she's moved around a bit. Worked way passed her retirement years and had my family running around her, like mentalists. So, I'd like to raise my glass of squash in honour of the old girl's 89th year, chin chin!