Booky books

11 10 2012

Left to right, top to bottom:

* Maude: the Not-so-noticeable Shrimpton by Lauren Child

* How to be Danish by Patrick Kingsley

* The Fox’s Tale: The First Christmas by Nick Butterworth

* The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

* The Woodland House by Ben Law

If you are thinking of building your own house or pursuing a self sufficient lifestyle then Ben’s journey is an utterly inspiring one. Beautiful photographs and useful tips for all.

* One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days compiled by Rita Gray

* Do your ears hang low? sung by the Topp Twins

* The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

I have recently finished reading this book and, though mind watering, it is brilliantly written. If you enjoy reading William Gibson, Neal Stephenson or Bruce Sterling then will enjoy this novel too.

* Knit your own Zombie by Fiona Goble

Cute patterns for toy zombies that snap apart and reassemble in multiple ways. A kookie Christmas present perhaps?


Next Christmas

6 01 2012

Have I gone mad? Yes, quite possibly…

We have only just finished one years Christmas season and I am already planning the next one, in terms of decoration anyway. I was looking at the After-Christmas sale table at the local department store and inspiration hit me – BACON!

I think I was in bacon mode after finding bacon band-aids for my partners Christmas stocking. So now I’m covering red baubles with bacon printed paper, saving and drying out chicken bones to paint white later and doodling pictures of what it will all look like (see below).

How not to… Make your own Christmas decorations

27 11 2010

To make your own Christmas decorations, in a kinda anti-Xmas way, you will need:

* Clear Christmas baubles – available from Spotlight or The Warehouse

* Hot glue gun and glue sticks

* Small glass vials – available from E-bay

* Rock salt, whole peppercorns, paprika, turmeric, rosemary twigs, sage leaves etc

* Chicken bones, teeth, hair, nail clippings etc

* Red cotton or thread

* Buttons, marbles, gem stones, dice, birds eggs, feathers, sticks, pins, ribbon, lace etc

First off you need to remove the cap on your Christmas baubles so you can place things inside. Some will have little wire clips attaching the caps, others are glued on and can be pried off. There are some that come in 2 halves from craft shops but they are a little expensive. Which ever one you have, be careful, especially if the bauble is glass.

Next fill the vials with “blood” or other fake bodily fluids, depending on your colour theme and/or squeamishness. Most of these vials come with custom made caps that fit tightly and have a whole in the top for threading string through. If you want to guard against possible spillages you can add a blob of hot glue under the cap to seal it.

Next you can make charms but binding together sticks, leaves, feathers, button etc using the red cotton. Don’t worry about making them look neat and tidy, they should be a bit rustic. If you want to insure against spontaneous dismantling then glue your objects together with hot glue first before adding cotton for looks.

Now that you have all your bits you can assemble the baubles. Take a vial or charm and add a piece of string attached to the cap so that it hangs in the center of the sphere. Add one of your dry ingredients so it will sit at the bottom of the sphere along with any other items you wish. Seal up the bauble with a little hot glue and replace the cap. Allow glue to dry then hang on your black Christmas tree or ornamental twig with red ribbon or lace.

Tinsel will probably not go with the voodoo theme so add strings of beads or thread together strings of popped corn. Now invite your folks over for Christmas lunch and place bets on how long it takes them to notice your alternative decorations 🙂

How not to… Make your own Christmas decorations

26 11 2010

Christmas decorations – Library style.

Check out these beautiful book inspired decorations being made at Christchurch Central Library. What a lot of people don’t know is that libraries are faced with having throw out books everyday. There is something about burning or otherwise disposing of books that goes against the grain for most people, especially librarians. So it’s great when you can find ways of recycling books even if it renders them unreadable.

The paperbacks and fiction were sent to the Bindery and cut into chunks on their big guillotine keeping the binding intact. These had their pages curled back to make star type arrangements. The individual pages that fell off were used to make paper chains. Old graphic novels have been cut into stars and will be laminated and arranged to create a Christmas tree for the Youth Adult area. Covers from Chinese and Japanese fiction have been cut into doves in brilliant reds and gold.