Sunday, 29 January 2012

My Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Ickle Bruvva

Dear reader, this is my little brother, Andrew. Everyone say hi! I snapped this stunningly attractive photo on the bus this morning.

I love my little brother because he does things for me sometimes and... Well that's about it...

As well as this, my little brother never cleans the kitchen, never turns off his computer and has a stupid hole in his face.

But then I would think that, cos I'm his big sister.

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Diet Coke is the Nectar of the Gods

No really, that Zeus and his nomads drank. I read it.

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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Then Let Us Drink A Cup Of Tea

"I pour the tea and we sip in silence. We have never had our tea together in the morning, and this break with our usual protocol imbues the ritual with a strange flavour.

"Yes, this sudden transmutation in the order of things seems to enhance our pleasure, as if consecrating the unchanging nature of a ritual established over our afternoons together, a ritual that has ripened into a solid and meaningful reality. Today, because our ritual has been transgressed, it suddenly acquires all its power; we are tasting the splendid gift of this unexpected morning as if it were some precious nectar; ordinary gestures have an extraordinary resonance, as we breathe in the fragrance of the tea, savour it, lower our cups, serve more and sip again: every gesture has the bright aura of rebirth. At moments like this the web of life is revealed by the power of ritual, and each time we renew our ceremony, the pleasure will be all the greater for having violated one of its principles. Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time. Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn - and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.

"So, let us drink a cup of tea.

"Kakuzo Okakura, the author of the Book of Tea, laments the rebellion of the Mongolian tribes in the thirteenth century not because it brought death and destruction but because it destroyed one of the creations of the Song dynasty, the most precious among them, the Dr of tea. Like Okakura, I know that tea is no minor beverage. When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet.know how to set.a jewel of infinity in a single moment?

"The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a licence granted to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and of the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, the autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And with each swallow, time is sublimed."

- an extract from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

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Saturday, 21 January 2012

More Nails

Hi guyz (my phone just tried to autocorrect guyz to Fitzgerald...)

I'm pretty sure I didn't show you these before, which is an error on my part cos they're really cool! These are Nail Ease decorative fools and they are a super easy alternative to actually being good at nail art - essential for those of us who are particularly uni-dexterous.

They take about 20 minutes to apply and there's no drying time. You get two sets in the packet, a cuticle stick and a nail buffer, and the instructions of course. You need a nail file as well. Remember to seal up the packet again so the second set don't dry up.

Mine lasted two days looking pretty perfect and I didn't take them off for about a week cos they still looked alright. I removed them using a cuticle stick, and then a wipe of polish remover to get rid of the residue.

They came off better than Nail Rocks (a similar product) but the range of designs is smaller and less imaginative. You get enough to do two manicures with these as well - Nail Rocks only have 16 in the packet.

Aaanyway, that's just my two cents.

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Monday, 16 January 2012

Tape, Crackle and Pen

Still no sign of that new computer I'm afraid, but don't worry, you've not got rid of me that easily!

I had a quiet weekend due to a stinking cold, and I spent most of my time eating ice cream, knitting, and reading Harry Potter. Oh and last night I dropped an entire 2l carton of milk on the kitchen floor.

The coolest part of this weekend was definitely my nails. A couple of coats of No. 7 Me! Me! Me! Polish for the pink. Then I cut some strips of sticky tape, and placed them on, one nail at a time, then painted black Barry M Nail Effects over the top. The trick with this is to remove the tape before the crackle starts drying (easier said than done) so that flakes of it don't lift up too. I didn't do very well at that, so I used a silver Top Shop nail art pen in an attempt to neaten the edges. Unfortunately I'd never used the pen before so I didn't do a fabulous job, especially on the right hand. Also, I was too lazy for top coat, and then pen wears off pretty quick, so don't be like me!

Hope you like them anyway.

Love and hugs

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hardware Fail = Blogging Fail

Sometimes, life is really inconvenient. Especially when you're just minding your own business on facebook (what an oxymoron!)  When your laptop does of a short circuit and you have to wait weeks until you can afford to buy a new one!

I do have some news though - I'm going to Paris at the end of March, and hopefully start working full time in May. Super excited. :)

Love and hugs

Ps, how cute is the baby!

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Itty Bitty Baby Booties!

Today's blog post is a tutorial on how to make these origami baby booties! They are the most adorable little things, suitable for all manner of baby-related decorative uses. For example, you can make them small, like this, and attach them to your gift wrapping for a cute personal touch. For small presents, you can make them bigger, and then put the presents inside them before tying them up. That would be adorable.
If you have far too much time, or a rainy day and a bunch of kids, you could make lots of them and make a garland. You could make a mobile, you could make them in gold and have them as Christmas tree decorations (write your kids names on them and put sweeties in for an extra treat), you could use them on your nappy cake.

I used these to wrap a gift for my friends' new baby (who is the most adorable creature on the planet with his tiny tiny fingernails and his wrinkly old man head) but as my blog links go on my facebook, and so do my friends, I won't tell you what the gift was in case they see!

But the booties, I will show you.

Fold a square of paper in half, top to bottom, wrong side facing you. My paper was the same on both sides but if you are using origami paper or cute gift wrap, it makes a difference.

Then, fold the top and the bottom over by a little bit. I used the edge of my ruler to make sure this narrow fold stayed straight and even.

Then fold in half from side to side.

Then fold each edge into the middle.

Mark the centre of the top half by folding the top to the bottom and just creasing over the centre line. This isn't a fold, it's just a marker, so you want to keep it small.

With the assistance of the mark you just made, fold the top right hand corner into the centre of the top half, so that the corner is in the middle of the little crease-cross.

Fold the left side in as well, so that the left top edge meets what used to be the right hand edge.

Fold back the sloping left back edge twice, so it rolls over itself - this will be the channel for your ribbon in the end.

Fold in half backwards. Or, flip the paper over, fold in half top to bottom, and flip it back. Either way, half the height, with the ribbon channel still at the front.

Lift the ribbon channel and fold up, to make the heel of the bootie. The middle of the channel should be the left hand edge, and this part should look the same on both sides.

In the same manner, lift up the sloping edge on the right hand side and fold up to make the toe. The bootie should now be entirely the same on both sides.

Fold up the front section of the bootie on a line between the two side points.

Then fold down the top to the middle, and fold up the bottom to the middle.

Then fold the top to the bottom, to get back to your bootie shape. Is this not adorable? Well you're not finished quite yet...

Fold the bottom right hand corners up inside the shoe to shape the toe.

Now to make it 3D! Push the sole flat and persuade the ankle part to stand up straight.

Inside the shoe you will see two edges which nearly touch in the middle, lying flat against the sole. Lift each of these out to the side and form the toe.

You also need to shape the ankle/ribbon channel by making little creases, so that the ankle makes a nice curvy shape.

Unfold the top-most part of the heel.

Slide a piece of co-ordinating ribbon underneath the flap that remains, then fold the top back down again to keep it in place.

Tie a bow in the ribbon at the front and trim the ends.

If you wish to hang your booties off something, like a garland, a christmas tree, or through the knot of the ribbon on your wrapped gift, thread a needle with a piece of thread in white, or a coordinating colour. Push the needle through the heel of each bootie, and tie a double knot in each end. You can use a dab of glue to secure this as well.

Now try not to drown in cuteness.

Love and hugs

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year!

No Malawi post this evening I'm afraid. This is because I spent all weekend celebrating Hogmanay and I haven't written it. And I didn't write it today because I was asleep.

Hope you guys all celebrated in style!

Love and hugs

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