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Showing posts from November, 2019

Friday Five: Christmas Carols

We went to the Christmas light switch on in Old Cwmbran today, with Anthony and Marianna leading the countdown. The lights did flicker on... then back off again. The SSE guy is coming back tomorrow to try and work out what the fault is! Still, it was a nice little event with carols and refreshments. In honour of the occasion, this week I'm listing my five favourite Christmas carols. :) #5. I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In) #4. Good King Wenceslas #3. Carol of the Bells I can't remember ever hearing this as a kid - though originally based on Ukranian folk chant  Щедрик , the tune was rearranged with English lyrics for the NBC Symphony Orchestra in the 1930s. These days it's as American as apple pie. Still, it's a beautiful song, especially in acapella versions. #2. We Three Kings (Of Orient Are) Written by John  Henry Hopkins Jr in 1857, it nevertheless has quite a medieval feel about it. And it has lyrics like: Myrrh is mine; its bitter

Tutorial: Miniature Doll Stickers

There is a reason I usually buy miniature books - I hate making them! Still, I made up a few little exercise books for Licca's desk recently and then wanted to jazz them up a bit. Here's my super easy tutorial for making miniature stickers. You will need:  - Scissors  - Glue  - Sticker  - Teeny Tiny Pictures  - Hole Punch In the interests of cost free crafting, I'm using pictures cut out of the trusty Baker Ross catalogue and a bunch of old football stickers my mum gave me. Any sticker will do or, if you don't have any stickers, you could use double sided tape or even normal tape if you stick it to sticker backing paper (or anything else you can easily peel it off of) first. I've punched a hole out of the top right of the sticker to help me judge whether pictures I like are going to be the right size. Once you've found some suitable pictures, cut them out and glue them onto the sticker. That done, just pry the bottom off your hold punch so you

Personalised Bottle Labels Review

A few weeks back I was sent a personalised Prosecco bottle to review. As I had the personalisation done in Anthony's name it seemed only fair that he do the actual reviewing! :) Anthony: It was only a little while ago that you couldn’t go to any event without being offered a glass of Prosecco, networking event, business lunch, or at anything to do with the arts, you were guaranteed to get a complimentary glass of Prosecco. Prosecco was the In Drink, although I couldn’t help but think that most of the cheap stuff you got handed as you walked into whatever function you happened to be at that week has a resemblance to grapes that had been fermented in battery acid.  So when Jessica handed me very own personalised bottle courtesy of Personalised Prosecco , I was slightly taken aback, the design of the bottle was actually rather elegant and it was slightly novel to my own name printed on the a bottle, but as someone who is no stranger to decorative booze I would quite happily ha

Tutorial: 1/6 Baker Ross Craft Pack

We received a Baker Ross catalogue in the post yesterday, full of crafty goodness, and it got me to thinking about how I could use it in a miniature setting. I've seen a 1/12 scale paper craft pack on Delph Miniatures, but that's like £2.50 and I'd rather make one at home for nothing... You Will Need:  - Paper  - Scissors  - Ruler  - Washi Tape  - Cellophane  - Heat Source  - Baker Ross Catalogue! (/printer) First up, grab your Baker Ross catalogue and flip to the craft paper section. Cut out one of the little labels. (Alternatively, you can print a label out.) Next you need to create your A4 paper. I used a scale calculator to work out the measurements, taking 1/1 A4 (297mm x 210mm) down to 1/6 scale (49.5mm x 35mm), then got busy with my scissors. As you can see you don't need your own supply of fancy craft paper - here I'm upcycling an envelope which contained some junk mail this morning. Paper done, it's time to make the packaging.

Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force

Jakks Pacific introduced their line of G.I.R.L. Force fashion dolls in 2000. The name was said to stand for Glamorous Intelligent Respected Leaders, and they were given various special attributes in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. The dolls stood 11.5" tall with rooted hair and painted faces, jst like a standard fashion doll, but were designed to look much more realistic than contemporary rivals. Their hands were finely sculpted with separated fingers, and the bodies were made of a seamless rubbery kind of plastic with an internal armature allowing limited movement of the elbow and knee joints. The dolls had painted knickers, arched feet, and sculpted rib detail. Jakks also tied their licensed dolls for Charlie's Angels (2000) and Josie and the Pussycats (2001) to the G.I.R.L. Force brand. Although the line was short lived the bodies were popular with adult collectors, and dolls continued to be produced for other sellers even after the line folded in 2002/3.

This Week - 24/11/2019

The Christmas tree is up! I'm kind of loathe to have it done before December, but Marianna wanted it and we'll have to take it down quickly after xmas ready for her birthday so I relented. My collection of tree decorations now includes a metallic alligator in a tutu, retro style mini santas, and a rubber ducky in a Christmas hat. Kitsch, galore! This week has been mostly school stuff. I had a meeting with Jane McCarthy from Estyn on Monday, then Tuesday was school governors at Maendy. I also had another meeting there this week, and we had Marianna's belated parents' evening. It was good to hear that she's playing well with the other kids, and is coming out of her shell a bit. She's firmly on track for expected level +1 and, possibly, +2 which would be awesome. The most important thing is that she's enjoying school and loves going. :) Other than that I've gone out as little as possible. I think Anthony's telling people I still have a chest i

Snatch App Review

Snatch is an app for apple and android which offers virtual gaming and real life prizes. In layman's terms, it's a phone game in the style of Pokemon Go but instead of small animals you're trying to capture parcel boxes. If you can keep hold of your parcel for 6 hours it will hatch open and give you a prize. They range from in game currency and boosts, to discount codes and cold hard cash. The challenge aspect comes from other players who can 'snatch' the parcels from you, requiring you to defend your property. If you live in a densely populated area with a lot of players this is probably intensely irritating. There are quite a few players near me, according to the map, but the snatch rate has only been about 10% so far which is liveable. My prizes have been a 50-50 split between game items and 'real' things. As I'm not interested in the snatch element - it costs 250 coins a go - I've been using the currency to extend the range of my rea

Friday Five: Cryptids

A cryptid is an animal whose existence lacks concrete scientific evidence, but who is nevertheless believed to exist by cryptozoologists on the basis of more anecdotal reports. Here are five of my favourites... #5. The Beast of Bodmin Moor The likelihood that there are big cats terrorising the British countryside is kind of slim to none, given the issues of space, food supply, and those resources having to support a breeding population. And yet... Although the Bodmin Beast is the best known, it's certainly not the only alleged British big cat. They've been seen everywhere from Aberdeenshire to Cornwall, and back in 2000 an 11-year-old in Trellech was mauled by what he claimed was a 'leopard-like' cat. Between 2011 and 2014, Gwent and South Wales police forces alone received 17 reports of big cat sightings. Some say the cats are ancient survivors of a more wild Britain, perhaps reaching back as far as the ice age, while others suspect they have a much more rec

Anthony In The Press

Anthony's been in the local press quite a bit lately! Here he is at the launch of the poppy appeal in Cwmbran town centre, and then again on the front page of the Pontypool Free Press in a story about the opening of an exhibition to celebrate 70 years of Cwmbran. He's also managed to get on the telly (ITV News), and was in the papers again yesterday in a piece about the 70,000 trees the community council is planning on planting. For more like this, please click the image below: