Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Festive Crafting: Reindeer

Hello Everybody!

I hope you are enjoying the festive season. I sure am! I just got back from some German Christmas markets. I have also been indulging in some seasonal crafting - reindeer wall-hangings, they are so easy to make, let me show you!

First find some appropriate card, I found these present boxes in the 99p shop and then took them apart.

Next find a template you like the look of, I got this one off the internet by typing 'reindeer template' into Google. I know you can do that!

Now take your template and draw round it onto your card, making the most of all the space available - remember you can even tessellate the reindeer.

Pick your weapon of choice and cut out your reindeer!

Get some blue-tac. We're gonna put some holes in our reindeer. I'm using cotton threads but you could easily use ribbon. Place the blue-tac on your surface. Place the reindeer over the blu-tac and make your hole(s). I used scissors but you could easily use a craft knife, braddle etc. I found two holes give extra support.

Now thread your reindeer onto your thread. If you are doing the two hole method can I recommend threading such that they cross over behind each reindeer? This stops the reindeer from bulging all out front.

It is time to position your herd, on the fireplace or wherever feels right. At this point I hit a roadblock. Some of my reindeer were flipping upside down and showing their rather unsightly behinds!

 I tried a number of solutions with little success so stretched out to the wise souls of the internet who did not disappoint! As it transpires, that same blu-tac you used earlier weighs the reindeer hooves down just so! Thank you good people of the internet!

And there you have it, a herd of seasonal reindeer; you could adapt this any number of ways. Name your reindeer, draw on each one, change the material (work in glass perhaps?!), move the holes such that the reindeer don't topple over? Either way enjoy!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Hamburg T2D3: Coffee with and without eyes


Yes I know I've been keeping you waiting some three weeks to find out what happened on day 3, I've been off having important meals, getting new jobs and exploring new cities if you must know! But sort of vowing to do better in December.

Coffee without eyes: Dialog im Dunkeln

So, when I was at the Toll Museum I saw an advert for this exciting adventure-experience. Dialog im Dunkeln Hamburg is a part of a much larger international outfit (India, China, Argentina all have sites) giving visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of situations blind. In a similar way to Dans le Noir, the tables are turned and the blind guides of this social enterprise become the confident ones, visitors are entirely at the mercy of the guide and their little white stick. My experience lasted 90 mins but it felt like just 5! What an adventure, Jann our guide took us through a variety of simulated experiences based on Hamburg's tourist scene, bridge crossing, boat trips, picking fruit at the market, even crossing the road. The space is entirely devoid of natural light so even with your eyes open you are reliant on your other senses. I was surprised how quickly I adapted to the loss of sight. In the cafe I bought a cup of coffee, I was amazed at how much more important the texture of even the coffee cup became once the visual aspect of coffee had been removed. Bit pricey for a standard adult (20€) but they offer plenty of discounts. And I've never been so grateful for my eyesight.

(so trendy it hurts)

(Amazing Apfelkuchen)

 (Cute advertising...)

Coffee with eyes: Cafe Brooks

From the museum I headed East on the U-bahn out to Hasselbrook station. I was meeting a couchsurfer for coffee at Cafe Brooks. What a great cafe. It definitely fits in with that Shoreditch/ Berlin/ antipodean unique coffee vibe and the Apfelkuchen was nearly as good as May's, and that's saying something! It was great to meet Theres. She even took me to this beautiful, peaceful park (Stadtpark) near her house. I'm getting somewhat into the habit of frequenting peaceful parks before returning home on the plane. Company, the cafe and the park were all A+.


I'm back in Germany next weekend enjoying Aachen's Christmas Market and catching up with friends...